Skip to main content

July 2020 Wrap Up


July, like every month since March, has passed extraordinarily slow but also in the blink of an eye. This month has been pretty eventful for not having left the house at all. Like always, it was full of ups and downs, but I accomplished a lot. I turned 17 at the start of the month and got my ukulele, which I've been learning how to play. I filled out the form to hopefully get my college class schedule for freshman year soon. And, most notably, I launched my YouTube channel where I upload a new video every Monday and Friday. If you haven't heard about it yet, I'd love it if you'd check it out and subscribe here. I make book, music, and college advice content. It's been a major learning curve, but I really do enjoy filming and editing the videos.
I also had a lot of blogging achievements! While numbers and stats are far from the most important things, it's still validating to see the blog keep growing and to know that people are enjoying what I'm creating. I've been focused on writing and planning content that I'm genuinely excited about and that will be sustainable for the longterm. Towards the middle of the month, I hit 100,000 all time views on the blog, and I got to over 800 Instagram followers. If you aren't following on Instagram, I give real time updates on what I'm reading, share extra content that I don't have space for on the blog, do book hauls and unboxings, and give you a choice in what new posts you want to see! You can find the page @readingwritingandme or by clicking here. 
Besides YouTube, my other new addition is a BookShop storefront. You might have noticed in recent posts that I've been using my affiliate BookShop links to make it easier for you to shop the books I'm talking about. I've also curated a couple different lists to give you some inspiration if you're looking to go book shopping. You can find those here. I'm really excited to work with BookShop because they're a great way to support indie bookstores from home, and they're the first place I've found to have competitive pricing with Amazon on most books. Hopefully, you'll find these links useful and consider my shop when making book purchases. It would go a long way to supporting the blog.
My final milestone was finishing writing the first draft of my latest WIP. I started seriously writing it in May, and I was really hoping to finish a draft by July. There were lots of times I doubted I would hit that goal, but I managed to make it happen. I've been working on revisions the last couple days and really enjoying the project as a whole. If everything goes according to plan, I'll get it to first readers before school starts. I'm really trying to spend August wrapping up projects and preparing advanced content so that everything can keep progressing even as I adjust to school.
I want to get back into more short story/flash fiction writing this month because I haven't flexed that muscle in a while. Folklore made my brain start thinking of a lot of new ideas for quick stories. Lily Meade had come up with the idea of a YA anthology based on the album, but she ended up creating a database to gather stories from writers everywhere who were inspired by Folklore instead called Folklore's Invisible Strings. I want to submit a short story there at some point, and you should definitely check it out and support Lily in her super cool idea.

On to the actual reading I've done this month. Then I'll share my post recap so you can get caught up on any posts you might have missed.
I finished 8 books this month. It would've been 9, but I finished the last book I started in July on the 2nd, so I'm counting it towards August. I was on a roll earlier this month, but I hit a slump towards the end that I'm trying to get out of. It's about average for how much I've read during the pandemic. Going into August, I'm not sure what to expect from my reading. I don't have a ton of ARCs this month, so I'm going to try to get ahead for September and focus on the books I bought for myself for my birthday that have been waiting for me. I'm hoping I'll get in quite a few books so that I don't feel pressured to read a ton when I start classes in September. Honestly, though, reading has been one of the best escapes recently.
I loved so many books I read this month. If I was picking favorites, they would probably be Today, Tonight Tomorrow and Felix Ever After (everyone is completely correct; this book is amazing). I had one DNF that I just couldn't get into, and my average rating was a 4.5. I read 2 nonfiction books while the rest were YA. 5 were ARCs, 1 was a library book, and 2 were books I bought (yes, I broke my book buying ban. It was a good run). 

Books I Finished Reading:
Running
Today, Tonight, Tomorrow
The Voting Booth
Generation Brave
He Must Like You
Recommended For You
Felix Ever After

My Favorite 2 Blog Posts & Videos This Month:
YouTube

On The Blog

As far as blog posts go, I managed to keep to my new schedule posting Tuesday through Thursday with new videos every Monday and Friday to round out the week. I've found keeping to a schedule helps everything feel more manageableand gives me more space to be creative. I shared 8 reviews, 3 listicles, and 2 author interviews.
On YouTube, I uploaded 3 college advice videos, 3 book videos, an album reaction to Taylor Swift's new album, a birthday memory video, and yesterday's video recapping all of my favorite things from this past month including books, movies, music, clothes, and more.
Since that fits with the theme to today's post, I'll include it here:

I hope you had a good July and a great reading month. I'm so excited about what's coming up for August, though I'm nervous about starting college through Zoom. There are tons of new books I can't wait to get into for August. Let me know which books you're most excited about next month in the comments.

July YouTube Videos:

Music Blog Updates:
Full Folklore Discussion + Favorite Lyrics

July Blog Posts:


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Halsey's I Would Leave Me If I Could Poetry Review

  I Would Leave Me If I Could  by Halsey  I've started this review a couple times and scrapped all of them. I've written hundreds of reviews before, and this is the first time I have absolutely no clue how to review a book. It's not just because it's poetry. And it's not because I don't have thoughts on every single poem. I've read the book twice and scrubbed a million notes around her words and highlighted every poem on my second read through. I have so many favorites, and my heart feels like it's going to burst after finishing each poem. Halsey exceeded every expectation I had set to the high bar of her music. I almost feel like this book is too good for my review to remotely do it justice, so I don't even know where to begin.  This book is extremely vulnerable. Halsey has never held back on telling the ugly truth in her lyrics, but the poetry takes it so much farther. She has space to tell the entire story, fewer constraints than what will fit in

Swimming Lessons By Lili Reinhart Poetry Review

  Swimming Lessons  by Lili Reinhart  Overall: 5 This is the first poetry book I've ever read in its entirety outside of Shel Silverstein, so I've checked off one of my reading goals for the year with this one. I've now read a graphic novel and a book of poetry. I've been anticipating Swimming Lessons  so long that I can't believe it's actually in my hands. I've been a fan of Lili since Riverdale, and I've continued to be a fan of hers even when the show got a bit too ridiculous for me to keep watching every week. I've been excited for the chance to get to see something completely created a controlled by Lili.  I'm not sure what I expected from Swimming Lessons . I think I had almost no idea what it would be like or the topics it would cover. After the first couple poems, I was completely hooked. In the intro, Lili prefaces the collection by noting that poetry has always given her solace in knowing other people felt the same specific emotions tha

My Most Anticipated of 2021/2021 ARC TBR

  A few days ago, I put out a list of my favorite books of the year that I couldn't stop talking about all year long. Now I'm here to introduce you to a brand new slate of books that I'm predicting will make my favorites list next year. These are the books I can't wait to get my hands on because they sound absolutely amazing! I've decided to separate the list into an ARC TBR so far for 2021 of ARCs I have and then to make a wishlist section below that with ARCs I hope to get or books that I'll splurge to buy. I'll include preorder links to the books that are already up for preorder so that you can easily grab a couple surprise gifts to show up throughout the year if any of these books look exciting! These will be affiliate bookshop links which means shopping the links support the blog at no cost to you. Also, if you're looking for even more 2021 books, Rachel and Vicky made the most amazing database/spreadsheet/blog to collect all the 2021 debuts togethe

More Than Maybe Review

More Than Maybe  by Erin Hahn (May 2020) Overview: Vada works at a dive bar, scraping together money for college and learning about running from a show her soon to be step-dad to get closer to her future dreams. She also runs the Loud Lizard's successful music blog Behind the Music. Vada is about to head off to LA and start working towards her music journalism dreams, but she has to make it through senior year first. Luke Greenly is the son of famous British punk rocker, Charlie Greenly. The whole family has set down roots in Michigan where his mom works at the university, but remnants of his dad's past life still follow them. Luke loves writing songs but hates performing, and, because of his dad, he's been thrust into the spotlight more than he'd like. For now, he'd rather stick to making successful podcast The Grass Is Greenly with his twin brother, Cullen, and hopelessly pining after Vada through stalking Behind the Music. Overall: 5 Characters: 5 Vada is a

Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon: YA Book Review

Super Fake Love Song  by David Yoon Overview: Sunny Dae is sick of his California neighborhood where everyone pretends to be something they're not to keep up with all the other rich families. He's happy in his own world, LARPing with his friends, even if he gets made fun of for it at school. That is until Cirrus comes into the picture. She's undeniably cool and he's undeniably a loser in everyone's eyes, so he finds a new personality. He borrows a life from the coolest person he used to know, his older brother Gray, who's on his way to becoming a rockstar. Of course, lies like that always fall apart, and the music industry is unforgiving. It's a long fall from the top. Overall: 3  Characters: 3 This is the weirdest book I've ever read, which I'll get into more later. One part of that is the book is basically only told in details. You'd think this would help with characterization, but so many characters are left completely flat. Sunny is unashamed

The Best, The Brightest, The Totally Biased List of my Favorite Books of 2020

 Welcome to my big list of 2020 favorites! Usually, I do this award show style and give out different awards in a variety of categories I made up. This year is a little different because it's 2020, and I'm out of brain power to think of categories. These books appear in no particular order, and I selected them purely based on which books are still in my head months after I read them. I didn't read nearly as many books this year as usual, but I think I managed to read more books that I fell head over heels for than ever. Publishing a book this year is a major accomplishment in itself, so these authors all deserve extra rounds of applause for launching their books into an uncertain world, and even if a book from this year doesn't make a list, it's still incredible for existing. Even though I've already talked everyone's ears off about these books all year long, I'm going to do it one more time because they got me through both a hard and hectic year and pro

evermore book tag!

As you probably know, I absolutely adore Taylor Swift, and I recently did a folklore book tag, so I figured I should make a version of evermore as well! If you want to read that post, you can find it here . And if you want all my thoughts on folklore, you can watch my original folklore reaction on my YouTube channel here.   I'm so happy to have found an evermore book tag I loved created by  Star Is All Booked Up ! That post is linked (I really enjoyed it!), and those are the prompts I'm using here.  In this tag, I just talked about books for the prompts and didn't get into the songs. If you want more of my evermore thoughts specifically, check out my blog post of favorite lyrics here and my new reaction to evermore here . You can also scroll to the bottom of the post to watch the video as well. If you want to know more about any of the books I mention, all of their titles are linked to my review.  I hope you love the post, and let me know your favorite evermore songs in the

Positions Book Tag

Today, I'm sharing a new book tag created by Cielo over at Bellerose Reads who tagged me in her new Positions book tag. I love working on book tags inspired by pop music, so I was thrilled to get the tag. If I'm being totally honest, I wasn't super into Positions, Ariana Grande's latest album. I'm much more of a Thank U Next fan because that album was far more lyrically focused. Positions reminds me a lot of Sweetener. I do like "POV", the closing track of the album. Still, I'm super excited to share the tag because these are some of the best tag questions I've ever seen. Cielo did a wonderful job coming up with really cool prompts. I had a blast thinking of books that fit them. As always, just click the book title to read my review of any of the books I mentioned. And don't forget to read the original tag here .    shut up – a book you couldn’t shut up about  There are way too many. Honestly, a ton of them are already sprinkled through this po

Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant: YA Book Review

  Happily Ever Afters  by Elise Bryant  Overview: Tessa gets the writing opportunity of her dreams, but her words run out at the same time. While she can't wait to take a novel writing class at her new school, the idea of sharing her work with anyone but her best friend, Caroline, makes her unable to keep writing, even for herself. Caroline devises a plan to get her to fall in love so that she can jumpstart her creative juices for the romances Tessa writes herself into. Real life inspiration is clearly not the answer, and Tessa is left even further from the answer to all of her problems. Overall: 4 Characters: 4 While I knew this book was going to have a kind of forced dating situation as Tessa tried to get this boy to fall for her, I didn't predict the love triangle till I started reading. I'm not going to fault Bryant for using a love triangle because everyone does it, but I do have to note that these characters fall into the unfortunate side effect of most love triangles

This Will Be Funny Someday by Katie Henry: YA Book Review

  This Will Be Funny Someday  by Katie Henry Overview: Izzy is sick of being 16. She's sick of being the "easy kid" who never causes a problem for the family or demands attention. Her mom is always busy working at her law firm, and her dad just isn't super invested. School is awful, and her controlling boyfriend makes her question what it means to be in love. And then she stumbles into a bar on comedy night, and suddenly, she finds a world so different from her own- one that's better. Though it requires maintaining more than a few lies, this new life with her college friends is too good to give up. That is, until it all comes crashing down. About growing up, being your authentic self, and navigating intense relationships for the first time, this book is incredibly relatable and quite unique in the way it approaches common YA questions. Overall: 5 Characters: 5 I relate to Izzy on a deep, deep level. From the second I read the synopsis, I knew the book was going to