Skip to main content

October Wrap Up


This month has been a journey. I've tried to write this wrap up like 5 times now, and I keep stumbling because, for one, I read almost nothing this month. From a more personal standpoint, this month was the biggest disaster of the year but had some of my favorite moments. Life is annoyingly complicated like that. I hardly remember the beginning of October it was so stressful. I finally bought Halloween decoration, which I've wanted to do for the last year or two. I stuck them around the house to get in the spirit for my favorite holiday instead of hanging them up outside like I normally do. Since I rarely leave, they're way more fun to pass on the way into the kitchen, and I'm going to miss my skeleton dragon and ghoul/skeleton man when Halloween is over. 

Mostly, in October, I've felt overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by my life at home, overwhelmed by school, overwhelmed about the million responsibilities I make up for myself, and overwhelmed by feelings of failure aimed at the future. And when I feel overwhelmed, I don't really read. I watch YouTube, and I listen to a ton of music because that art that melts into you. My brain doesn't have to be functioning at peak capacity to absorb their messages. Honestly, I've done so much reading for school in the last month between extensive research for a final paper and the regular class readings, words on a page longer than a Twitter post feels like a punishment. I keep saying "Oh, I should read this afternoon", but when I sit down to do it, I realize that's the last thing I want in my slices of time off. I'm sure that feeling won't stick around forever, but it does feel weird. For the first time in my life, I felt like I didn't need books. My head was too full and buzzy to focus on them. I wrote a lot. I tried to process my own feelings, but outside of the first week of the month, I didn't read books. I finished one book I started in September and go halfway through another one before I lost all desire to keep going. I'm almost done with the new anthology Together, Apart, which I'm really enjoying, as part of my campaign to get back into reading. I'm hoping I'll have that review out for you this weekend. Still, I'm sure I will want to read again soon. Beyond doing too much school reading, I also started listening to this amazing podcast, which has been fulfilling all of my nerdy, nonfiction reading desires, You're Wrong About. Hopefully November will be a better reading month for me. I have I Would Leave Me If I Could and Rent a Boyfriend to look forward to at the very least. (Read the full list of books I'm excited about in November here). 

No promises, but I'll hopefully be a better book blogger in the next month. I'm falling back out of my usual schedule once again since I don't have a long list of posts I've already finished. I'm going to start sharing posts as I write them again. I hope you don't mind. Also, I want to thank everybody. This might have been my worst reading month yet, but my blog views ended up being even higher than last month. Knowing that all of you read my random words and have for the last four years helps me stay in love with this space. 

I have done plenty of writing this month. I'm resting my finished WIP while it's with CPs, so I focused on other genres for the month. At some point in November, I'll have to pick it up for another round of revisions and consider querying, but I'm enjoying not thinking about that right now. Instead, I wrote plenty of songs and poetry, both for class and also just for me. I made the leap of sharing songs I'd written not for class with my professor and, a couple days ago, with one of my new friends from school. I'm used to sharing my work and critique, but sharing songs feels extra vulnerable. And I don't have the support system of previous positivity to fall back on with it. There's just a lot of doubt surrounding me I'm trying to shut out. I'm proud of myself for starting to put my songs out there. I think I reached the point where I wanted the songs to feel less attached to me. Sending them to someone feels like a degree of separation. It's funny how you can write for so long and still feel so much anxiety around specific parts of it. I think it's further proof that, as much as we all pretend it doesn't matter, encouragement truly helps people find the confidence to improve and take steps forward. 

Speaking of things that went well this month, I got to go to two super exciting virtual events. This isn't the place I talk about music, so I won't go into a ton of detail, but I got to meet one of my favorite songwriters, Conan Gray, through Zoom, and I got to go to Billie Eilish's virtual concert. If you want to hear more about either one of those experiences, I made a vlog about the last week of my life and put it on YouTube this morning. Watch it here. You can also read about my Billie Eilish experience on my other blog, Music, Musings, and Me here. I've been much more active over there because I don't have to read 3-400 pages to write a post. If you like pop music, I'd love it if you'd go check it out. And, talking about YouTube briefly, I've managed to make new videos twice a week through the whole month, which I honestly didn't think would happen. I'm close to fifty subscribers. I only need two more people! If you'd like to help me get to fifty, I'd love you forever, and you can click here to go explore my channel. One of my favorite videos I made was my ranking Halloween music videos, but I only used pop videos from the last 5 years. I had to get super creative to think of enough videos for a top 10. If you want to get in the spirit, watch it below or click to my channel to watch it. 

Also, this month I got on TikTok randomly. I'm still not sure why. I have a fascination with internet culture and social platforms and content creation, so I guess my curiosity got the better of me. I still don't quite get the platform. I like watching TikToks occasionally, but a lot of the time I forget I even have the app on my phone. It's sort of like Tumblr for me. I have one, I use it sometimes, but I don't really get the culture or the appeal. I think I've made two myself, but they're so much editing work for a clip of a video. If you want to go follow me over there and maybe give me some pointers, I have the same handle on all platforms, @mslaurenbrice. I'm always going to be a Twitter girl at heart, so if you want to chat with me or get to know me better, find me over there. I guess my hierarchy would be Twitter>Instagram>TikTok. Also, follow me on my Twitter and Instagram if you want updates on my YouTube videos or music blog posts. As always for book blog updates specifically, you can find me online @readwriteandme on Twitter and @readingwritingandme on Instagram. There's also an email list on both blogs if you'd rather get updates that way. 

That's all I have for this month. Down below, I'm going to link all of my blog posts I wrote this month from both blogs and the YouTube videos I made. Before I get into those, I'm going to link and include two videos from this week that I think complement this post well. The first is my October Favorites and the second is my vlog from the last week or so.

meeting conan gray (on zoom) and 1st billie eilish concert (virtually) + online college

Posts on Reading, Writing, and Me

How It All Blew Up

Into YA with Kristina Forest 

Swimming Lessons 

This Is All Your Fault Tour Stop


They Wish They Were Us

Books I'm Looking Forward To: November 

On YouTube

1st Listen Mxmtoon's Dusk 

Top 10 Taylor Swift Music Videos of All Time

Reacting to Fletcher's EP You Ruined New York City For Me

Predicting BBMA Winners 

All The Fall Feelings Playlist 

First Listen: Sasha Sloan Only Child 

Top 10 Halloween Music Videos 

October Favorites 

vlog 2

On Music, Musings, and Me

Wrapping Up The Week: Reviewing "Lie Like This" and "Wonder"

Two Years of Generation Why Essay

Ranking All of Taylor Swift's Music Videos

Yungblud's "Cotton Candy" Single Review 

Billboard Award Predictions

Single and Music Video Review: Fake 

Cotton Candy Music Video Review 

Fall Playlist 

Falling For Blackpink: Their New Documentary 

Favorite Lyrics From Sasha Sloan's Debut Album 

Forget Me Too Music Video Review 

First Virtual Concert: Billie Eilish

Harry Styles Golden Music Video Review

Six Years of 1989 Favorite Lyrics 


Popular posts from this blog

Once Upon a Quinceañera

Once Upon a Quinceañera   by Monica Gomez-Hera Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an ARC so I could share my honest thoughts with all of you! Overview: Carmen hasn't graduated high school, even though it's the summer after senior year. When her senior project fell through, Carmen has to scramble to complete the project over the summer. That means no college (not that she applied) and no future plans beyond becoming a Dream (floating around in a Belle costume at children's parties) with her best friend Waverley. So maybe it's not the summer Carmen wanted, but it's fine. At least until her ex-boyfriend who ruined everything, Mauro, also shows up on the team and then they get assigned to work her nemesis and younger cousin's quinceañera, which becomes the big event of the summer. Nothing ever quite goes to plan for Carmen, does it? Overall: 4 Characters: 4 I enjoyed hanging out with Carmen for a while. She's super witty and cynical in a way that I

YA You Need To Read: April 2021

It's already April! School has been super super hectic, and I'm starting my old job as a bookseller again, so I haven't had much time for reading lately (ironic, I know), but I did want to talk about some books coming out in April that I can't wait to read (one day) that might inspire you to pick them up. I particularly can't wait for My Epic Spring Break Up! It's been on my list for a while now (I mean, look at that cover), but I also found some new books that hadn't been on my radar while browsing around the internet that I wanted to bring to your attention.  Let me know in the comments what April books you can't wait for!  Zara Hossain Is Here by Sabina Kahn  April 6th Zara has lived in Corpus Christi, Texas for a while. She's always dealt with the Islamophobia that's rampant in her high school, but when the star football player gets suspended, Zara becomes the target of a racist attack by the rest of the team that puts her and her family'

Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi: YA Book Review

  Yolk  by Mary H.K. Choi Overview: Jayne is in fashion school in NYC. Well, she's enrolled. It's debatable how often she actually attends. June has a fancy job in finance, or that's what everyone thinks. But when June gets cancer, the estranged sisters are pulled together because June needs Jayne's identity to get treatment. By pretending to be her sister to get the life-saving procedure, June is forced to come clean and pull Jayne back into her orbit. Though their relationship stays rocky, they're suddenly glued together, forced to admit that their respective glamorous lives are actually filled with roaches and trauma and missteps. Overall: 5+++ This book made me happy cry (that's never happened while reading) and sad cry. Characters: 5 The book is told from Jayne's perspective in an extremely close first person. This book has plot. Things happen in the way that life happens, but it's mostly just characters getting split open and probed for all their w

Olivia Rodrigo'a SOUR As YA Books: Track By Track

This list turned out to be much harder to make than I anticipated when I came up with the idea last week. I set out to match songs to SOUR because what goes better with an album written by a 17/18 year old than YA books, but it turns out that YA books are just too hopeful for this album. Unlike many of these songs, I couldn't find books where the characters ended the book totally despondent and broken up. It took a bit of brainstorming, but I think I found a book to match the essence of each SOUR track. Le me know in the comments which songs on SOUR are your favorite. Mine are "brutal", "favorite crime", "deja vu", and "jealousy, jealousy".  1. "brutal" : War and Speech   by Don Zolidis War and Speech just radiates the same badass, discontented with teenage life energy as "brutal". This was the first book that popped into my mind when I thought about making this post. Just look at the cover. Sydney's life has been fa

What's on my YA TBR: September 2021 Edition

September is always a magical, busy time in bookland because there are always a million books releasing to get ready for the holiday rush. That's how this list wound up featuring 7 books. There are a couple like Never Saw You Coming  and As If On Cue  that I've had my eyes on for almost a year, and then there are some new discoveries that I'm super super excited about. From heartfelt contemporaries to K-Pop to a musical anthology and a summer camp of animators, there's something for everyone on this list. I haven't been this excited about a TBR of books in a while, and I'm sad that with starting school, it'll probably take me a while to get through them, but I'm hoping my local library will pick up copies soon. Speaking of which, I have tons of new libraries to explore around campus! As always, I want to make it as easy as possible to preorder these books and connect with the authors who wrote them! If you click the link in the title of each book, it wil

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

My First Time Trying a Book Box: Literati Luminary Book Club Review

I am incredibly excited for today's blog posts because I'm working with Literati to share my experience with their Luminary Book Club. If you've been keeping up with my posts, I recently talked about how book clubs are an amazing way to fend off a reading slump, especially when life gets super hectic, and even with a super long TBR, I've still felt lost when I go to pick out my next read. I'm so grateful to Literati for sending me a book box and sponsoring this post!  On top of feeling stuck with choosing what to read, I've also been trying to explore more genres and the world outside of YA. YA has been my home base for so long that I always get overwhelmed trying to figure out what I want to read in other genres. Luckily, Literati had just what I needed. I got the chance to choose from 13 different book clubs all curated by Luminaries who are amazing, award winning writers, thought leaders, and artists you most definitely know like Malala and her Fearless cl

Fresh by Margot Wood: YA Book Review

  Fresh  by Margot Wood Get a Copy (this is an affiliate link. purchasing through this bookshop link helps support indie bookstores and this blog at no cost to you) Overview: Elliot isn't really sure why she's going to college. It's the next step that people take in life, I guess. She also isn't sure why she's at Emerson. It sounded better than Ohio State. She has no plan, no clue and how to approach college life. Quickly, Elliot gets sucked into a whirlwind of all the worst college tropes- the endless cereal bar, hooking up with everyone in the Little Building, not paying attention in any of her that classes she doesn't really want to be in anyway... the list goes on. She quickly forms a tight group of friends on her floor, but even those connections get tested as the year progresses. Eventually, Elliot is forced to realize that she needs to care about the academic side of college, and she craves closer connections than a trail of hook ups. Elliot, like most co

Weekly Book Reviews and Recommendations: Week 5

This week has been a bit crazy. With a four day weekend because of Easter, I thought I'd get some extra reading done. Lo and behold, that's not exactly what happened. I was way busier than I thought I'd be, but better late than never, I guess. Anyway, I read three great books this week that were all very different but also very good in their own rights. "You Matter" 1) Girl In Pieces  by Kathleen Glasgow (406 pages)  This book was so beautiful and amazing that I had to write a Standout Review for it. I published that earlier in the week, and you can check it out here: P.S. I Still Love You  by Jenny Han (337 pages) Overview:   P.S. I Still Love You  is the second installment of Jenny Han's YA series. (You can check out my review of the first book To All The Boys I've Loved Before  here:

You'd Be Home By Now by Kathleen Glasgow: YA Book Review

  You'd Be Home By Now  by Kathleen Glasgow  I'm very thankful to the publisher for providing me with this ARC to share my honest thoughts on this book with all of you. Overview: Emory has always been the good one. The nice one. The easy one. The invisible one. Her older sister, Maddie, is gorgeous and talented. Her older brother, Joey, is struggling with addiction issues, and her parents saddle Emory with the responsibility of being his forever babysitter. No one thinks about Emory- ever. Which leads her to pick up a habit of stealing and collecting small things and hooking up with the high school baseball star next door to feel seen and important. While Joey is stuck on the rollercoaster of his addiction, his family is right there behind him, and as Emory struggles to keep Joey stable, she's also left to contend with her own precariously okay life. Overall: 5+ Characters: 5 Emory is maybe the most universally relatable teen character in YA. She feels unheard and unseen by