Summing It Up: November 2017

Sigh, I am 24 days late with this post but I suppose it’s a good thing that I’m finally getting around to it than never at all. (I’ve not mentioned this before but I’ve made this silly promise to myself since I’ve started this blog in 2015 that I would always at least post once a month; and so far, I’ve been good with that vow.) But it still feels kind of moot to post this now when I’ll be sharing my December wrap up in a few days, but I hope that you all don’t mind anyway! >.<

Unfortunately, like my sparse blogging I hit an all time low with my reading last month in November. I didn’t read a single book-not even a manga. (Well aside from my four chapters of ReLife, an ongoing webtoon that is posted weekly.) Subsequently, due to this slumpy reading period, I’ve felt a lack of motivation or inspiration to log onto WordPress and blog. (I didn’t even have a chance to draft a Yallfest post like I promised. I’m sorry!)

To be honest… for the past few months… I have truly struggled and debated with deciding what I plan to do with this blog anymore. I feel like blogging isn’t quite the same for me as it used to be. The community has changed a lot from when I started. A lot of the friends that I befriended at the beginning are on hiatuses or no longer blogging at all. Although I would love to meet new bloggers I feel like my enthusiasm to blog hop has waned a ton. There’s also the problem that I haven’t even been reading all that much, too… I have started to read more again this month in December while I’ve been on winter break (especially after reading The Cruel Prince, which is brilliant by the way), but, I don’t know if this is enough for me to continue.

Anyway, I’m not sure what will become of Xingsings for now. But I do want to make a decision by the first of 2018 about whether I’m going to continue to blog or say goodbye permanently, at least on this platform. At the moment, I’m leaning towards continuing because I feel like I’ve invested so much into this blog over the years (even though it may seem like I haven’t lately); just thinking about saying goodbye is so hard.

Either way, whatever I decide to do in 2018, thank you guys for all the love and support you’ve shown me throughout the years. The friendships I’ve made on here have been irreplaceable and for that I am so, so thankful.

– November Blog Posts –

– November Events –

I’m disappointed that I never got to recap/review my Yallfest experience this year as a blog post as I have in the past years. So I guess I’ll be doing it within this post instead.

In short, it was as fun as the years before. This time I was able to meet and talk to some of my all time favorite authors (Cassandra Clare and Marie Rutkoski). I told Cassie about my love for Jem, and she even wrote “Summer + Jem” per my request and added a “forever” on her own. Meeting Marie was also so lovely. I was gushing over her characters and lamenting about her ability to break readers’ hearts too well, haha. Of course, we talked about Roshar a little lot, too.  I also went to my first panel/keynote-actually the closing one with Cassandra Clare and Marissa Meyer-which worked out perfectly since my partner in crime that day, Amy, is a huge fan of the Lunar Chronicles series and loves Marissa. And throughout that day I was able to grab some ARCs in my free time, which was also a new experience since I never did that the years before. (However, I’m going to have to admit being near the ARC drops was like being in the cornucopia of The Hunger Games. I wish I could say it was a better experience but it really wasn’t pleasant. I actually ended up leaving most of the ARC hubs because things were too crazy and not worth fighting over early copies of books. Besides, I knew that if I really wanted a title I could possibly try to just request it at home as a book blogger.)

– Favorites –

A silly photo of me and Amy when we arrived in Charleston! (We didn’t take any serious photos this year, haha.)

Attending Yallfest had to definitely be the highlight of last month, so it can be considered a favorite, right? I guess I don’t have plans on recapping that adventure on the blog anymore since I also didn’t take too many photos this time around… but feel free to read my experience in the paragraph above.

Omg, this one was just the cutest.

I also got to visit a local cat cafe with Amy and it was so fun, especially since I adore cats! (I’m a dog and cat person, but I’ve be especially fond of cats this year.) The ones at this particular shop were so precious.

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I am a huge lover of art and love supporting artists when I can, so I had another commission done for me in November but this time by the lovely Julia @liyadraws on Instagram. Julia was so kind and lovely to work with. I love how this bookish portrait turned out so much! 🙂 This month when I received the original in the mail… it turns out that Julia also sent me a small art print of hers as well, which was so sweet. T_T (For some reason the Instagram link wasn’t attaching properly, so I went ahead and just included the photos that Julia took herself and sent me.)

My Cassandra Clare shelf is really no joke, huh?

My Jem Carstairs custom candle by Alchemy and Ink (aka my absolute favorite bookish/literary candle company) arrived. It did take a while before I was able to get it but I was not letdown at all. I genuinely think this is my favorite bookish/literary candle that I own yet. Not only for the label, but the scent profile, which I help make! It’s slightly sweet, but in a sugary or caramel way than vanilla. And it’s citrusy due to the mandarin oranges oil I requested. Anyway, I am very much satisfied and in love with this candle. Natalie is always such a pleasure to work with. And she’s a genius candle witch; I highly, highly recommend her company!

The cup and holder was so festive, too!

Drink of the month was probably my peppermint hot chocolate from Joe Muggs at my local Books a Million. XD

I was very much still into my planner and stationary supplies in November. But I want to highlight a shop I’ve been pretty obsessed with called Simply Gilded. The owner, Irene, has the most chic and prettiest designs. Since discovering her Etsy I’ve ordered a lot of orders for myself and gifts for my friends. I’m also currently a subscriber to her monthly subscription box, which is pretty affordable. I like that all her tape comes with metallic foil, the shipping is extremely fast, and one of the cheapest I’ve encountered for online washi tape stores.

– Video Favorites –

WHOA. This has to be one of my favorite songs of 2017, for sure. It has all the elements that I love and it’s just so K-pop. Anyway, it’s nice to see these boys debut after Produce 101. I think the members compliment each other so well. And some of the members really improved a ton since Produce 101. Donghan (the first guy with black hair that sings) is my fave in this group.

My favorite non-Asian song of the month goes to “Ocean Eyes.” It’s an older song but a new one to me!

EXID is one of the few girl groups that I listen to a lot and never get sick of hearing their music. I really love the timbre of their voices and LE is such a unique and talented rapper.

The phrase “up on the jelly” doesn’t make any sense… yet I still find this song incredibly catchy. I love the fun and youthful, but strangely psychedelic look of this MV as well. Along with Sejeong, Soyeon was one of the very few contestants on Produce 101 Season 1 that I really enjoyed watching and rooting. She’s a fantastic rapper but her vocals are incredible as well. I’m glad she finally debuted!

Jiwoo (my favorite) totally slays in this. Enough said.

I haven’t watched 1Million in so long, which sounds crazy to say since I used to watch them religiously everyday. (Well, honestly, I haven’t even been on Youtube all that much anymore lately.) But I loved this one because Isabelle choreos are always so dope and, come on, the song is by Kris. XD Musically, Kris’s and sometime Luhan’s music are the most close to the style that I like to listen to if comparing all the ex-Exo members.

– What I’ve Been Watching – 

Daytime Shooting Star8/10 [Completed]

Because I actually wrote a manga review for this series, you guys know that the story has to be pretty good or at least fangirl inducing. When I first saw the trailer for this live action adaptation… I was kind of disappointed. But after watching I’m going to have to say it wasn’t a letdown at all! It’s definitely one of my favorite book to movie adaptations to date now. Aside, from the teacher, Shishio, the cast didn’t really fit how I imagined the characters would be… but their acting skills disproved my doubts. A lot of the sweet scenes from the manga were included and, gah, they were cute. I’ve actually watched this movie three time times since my first time in November, so I highly recommend! I wish this had an anime now. T_T

Trailer w/ Eng subs: (It’s cheesy and slightly cringey, but cute! Omg, look at that unintentional alliteration, LOL.)

Journey of the Flower9/10 [Completed]

This drama didn’t come without faults. One of the biggest disappointments were the excruciating bad CGI and pacing. I found the middle and later half to be extremely dragg-y and slow. However, I am not going to lie that this show gave me ALL THE FEELS. 😮 The ending scene with the main couple made me sob for how emotionally and beautifully done it was. Overall, the acting was also amazing and so convincing. Truthfully, I didn’t think Zhao Li Ying could act but she proved me wrong with her role as Hua Qiangu. In fact, I became a big fan of Zhao Li Ying after her role in this. But really, props to the entire cast for the best acting. Oh! And I guess I should also mention… believe it or not but I actually tried watching this one three times before but I was never sucked in by the first episode (CGI is such a turn off, sigh), but I promise that it does get better. Anyway, this one is pretty golden despite the reservations that I had with it. But I do have to warn those that plan to watch this that the cutting of scenes was horribly bad in this series. It was very confusing because major parts would be completely omitted. Viewers wouldn’t be able to understand unless they googled the uncut, unofficial episodes. So I highly encourage looking for the uncut episodes if possible.

Opening MV instead of the trailer: (I’m sorry, there wasn’t a good one so I chose this video)

Legend of Chosen, The3/10 [Skip Completed]

You all know I’m sucker for these types of shows and although I found this one promising at first when I started it in October, I soon found myself fed up with the massive love polygon and endless scheming. I think I reached halfway and ended up skipping to the last episode to see what happened to each character. Bad idea, because this one didn’t fail to have a sad (but extremely frustrating) ending. The only good thing about this show is Zhao Li Ying and her badass role.

Legend of Zu Mountain3.5/10 [Skip Completed]

Also, was not a fan of this one because I felt like the central plot keep changing and the characters didn’t exhibit depth nor growth. Also, the plot was lagging too much for my liking. Life is too short for bad dramas so I dropped. (But I ended up skipping to the last episode to see the character’s fates as well. So “skip completed” it is.)

Peach Girl5/10 [Completed]

I have not seen this anime or read the manga, but I wanted to give this a shot since it seemed like a highly anticipated live action adapatation among the shoujo community. I thought it was cute and good… but just not amazing. However, don’t let my opinion deter you from watching if this is one you’re excited for. Like I said, I haven’t read or seen the manga/anime, and maybe reading/watching those would have made the experience of watching the live action more enjoyable.

It’s Christmas eve on my side of the world today. I’m sure I won’t be updating the blog tomorrow so merry Christmas, friends! ❤

3 thoughts on “Summing It Up: November 2017

  1. Marie says:

    Hi Summer! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a great end of the year and start of 2018 with your family and loved ones ❤
    It is always so great to hear from you on here, even if it’s always sporadically, I love reading these little updates ❤ I’m sorry to hear you’ve been feeling a bit lost about what to do with your blog, and I understand that saying goobye to this platform you have been working on for… three years, I think, this January? If I remember right?, has to be hard. I know that if I were in the same situation, it’d be really hard to decide. Know that whatever you do and whichever platform you prefer to stay on when it comes to books, I’ll always be there to support you! ❤
    I’m glad to hear you had a lovely time at Yallfest, but sorry to hear about the mess f getting ARCs… people are a bit crazy sometimes?? I don’t get it, really, ahah.
    I hope you had a great December, Summer, wishing you all the best xxx


  2. leathehatless says:

    It was a great month of November. I didn’t knew they adapted Peach Girl. Maybe I will take a look.

    You should only blog if it makes sense to you. I love your blog and it’s a shame if you decide to quit, but you should decide what is best for you on the long run. Good luck.


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