School has essentially been kicking me in the ass, so I apologize for being so absent. As I predicted, the end of the semester has been incredibly busy, but I’ll try my best to do some blog hopping in the next week and finally catch up on all the posts I missed during November. I’m still terrible at actually coming up with a decent schedule, but oh well.
- Shawn Mendes’ concert! The concert is actually happening today – or the day this post is going up -, so obviously I can’t tell you my impressions. But, I’m so excited! I’ve been into Shawn Mendes since Vine days and this is my first time watching him live. My sister and my mom are both going with me and I’m anticipating an amazing night. I’ll definitely let you guys know how it went later!
- Gallavich is back. This is probably the only highlight in my incredibly busy month, but Gallavich is my favorite ship ever – Ian & Mickey, from Shameless US. They’ve been in a back and forth relationship since forever and since the actors had left the show, I had no more hope of ever seeing them in canon again. But they’re back for season 10 and I’m SO HAPPY. So far, the episodes have been hilarious, but I’m definitely expecting some angst. I don’t care, though. I missed them so much!
BOOKS I READ
First book completed in November was Our Wayward Fate, by Gloria Chao. Gloria Chao’s debut, American Panda, is one of my favorite reads of the year, so when I saw she was coming out with a book on late October, I knew I had to pick it up immediately. I did and it was… well, not what I expected. Even though I appreciate how this book discussed being a person of color in a predominantly white city, family secrets and Chinese folktales, I really, really, really hated the romance. It was so insta-love-y it made me cringe. They did not communicate enough to share such deep feelings for each other, in my opinion. I feel like the book tried to do so much, especially in regards to Ali’s development, but it didn’t have enough time for it, so it was incredibly rushed. I still think it’s a worthwhile read, because it had some great elements. I liked Ali as a protagonist, I love how realistic Gloria Chao’s writing style is, and the way the story mirrored “The Butterfly Lovers” was really interesting, but the romance was just a no for me.
I also finished A Very Large Expanse of Sea, by Tahereh Mafi this month and I’m so glad I did. It was in my 2019 TBR, so I barely made it before the end of the year, lol. This book was a lot. I read it in two days and it was a really intense experience, mostly because of the topics it dealt with. Shirin, our protagonist, is a Muslim teenager, living in a predominantly white city, a year after 9/11. It was for sure heartbreaking to see the type of shit she had to deal with regularly. But then she meets this boy, Ocean, and I was also feeling *all the feels* with their romance. If you don’t like romance, I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you do, you’ll have a really good time with it. While it bothered me a little bit that the characters knew so little about each other before they were confessing, I couldn’t deny the chemistry between them. Ocean was a really great character, even if not the most realistic teenage boy I’ve ever read about.
(I was reading To All the Boys at the same time and I couldn’t help compare him to Peter Kavinsky, and I definitely feel like Peter was a better representation of what teenage boys actually sound like). It really didn’t matter that much, because I loved these characters nonetheless and felt really connected to them by the end of the journey.
My re-read for the month was To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and how come this book is always amazing, no matter how many times I re-read it? It’s my third time reading it and I am always in love. I think what grips the most is how realistic I find it to be. I relate to Lara Jean so much as a character, albeit most people call her immature. I actually think she’s one of the most accurate representations of a 15-year-old I’ve ever read about. She makes mistakes, she changes her mind quickly, she’s still holding on to middle-school memories and she definitely doesn’t understand the meaning of *falling in love*, but that’s what you do when you’re a teenager. As I mentioned above, I also feel like Peter K. is such a great representation of a teenage boy. He’s annoying and says so many eye-rolling things, but I absolutely adore him nonetheless. I had to actually stop myself from reaching out to the rest of the trilogy and re-reading them immediately. This was amazing – as expected.
Then, I picked up As Many Nows as I Can Get out of a total whim. I saw they had the audiobook available on Scribd, so I just got it. Even though I’ve finished the book already, I can’t really tell you what it is about. It’s written in a non-linear way, so you have a bunch of flashbacks and flashforwards, and centers around our two protagonists, Scarlett and David, and their whirlwind romance. I’d definitely check out an in-depth trigger warning list, but from the get go, it will follow drug use, addiction, teenage pregnancy and so many hard-hitting topics. This is not a book I’d recommend to everyone, but it was such an interesting read. I liked reading from a different perspective, as I feel like most protagonists I read about are all sort of introverts, bookworms or fandom-people, and Scarlett and David were both party animals and a bit reckless. But, still, I feel like I would’ve enjoyed this so much more if I just cared more for the characters. Scarlett was fine, even though she wasn’t the most realistic one ever. David, on the other hand, had little to no personality and I just couldn’t really feel for them or their relationship because of that.
I also picked up the recent novella, The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky by Mackenzi Lee. This is a companion for The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and I picked it up as soon as it was released, because I love Monty too much and can’t get enough of him. This was hilarious – as expected from Monty Montague, but I didn’t like the way it ended. Being such a short novella, there’s not much to say without spoiling it, but it follows Monty and Percy and their road to ~intimacy~. Lol. I just wanted things to wrap up differently, but it was still adorable and I was gushing and laughing the entire time.
I also finally read Radio Silence, by Alice Oseman. I feel like I’ve been meaning to read this since forever, and I’m so happy it finally happened. I related so much to our main character Frances, I felt like the book was written about me. I loved how she felt like she couldn’t be herself around her school friends, because that’s how I feel most of the time; I loved her friendship with Aled, because I myself also have a best friend who is a boy and who will forever just be my best friend and nothing more; I loved her relationship with her mom, as I’m super close to mine too. I also related a lot to Aled, when feeling out of place, not knowing how to express his feelings and using fiction to cope with his own reality. I really feel like everyone I know loves this book and I can totally see why. I got close to tears numerous times, because these characters were just going through *so much* and I wanted to hug them both so bad. Still, Alice Oseman addressed the privilege in their problems on page so well. Basically: this was everything I wanted and more. Thank you for everyone who screamed I should read this.
ON THE BLOG
I was a failure and didn’t blog almost at all in November. *SHAME*. I’ll be better about it, though, I swear. It’s just life was too much this month.
My playlist for November is one of my favorite ones I’ve done the whole year. There are a couple musicals, some of my favorite artists and other random songs I love. Also, I have to thank Sophie for recommending me Greyson Chance. I finally listened to his recent stuff and I’m obsessed. I had to literally stop myself from adding his entire album to my playlist, lol. If you have any more artists to recommend, please let me know in the comments! I love checking you guys’ recommendations!
December is an exciting month, because I have very ambitious reading plans, which include reading around eight books. Lol. Wish me luck!
The end of the year season is not my favorite; I pretty much hate Christmas, New Years and all the traditions that come with it, but I am anticipating being officially done with classes and chilling at home most of the time.
How was your guys’ November? What books have you picked up recently that surprised you positively? Any other highlights for the month? Let’s chat in the comments!