Summing It Up: June 2017

Sigh. Again, June was not that impressive in the reading and blogging departments for me.

But instead of labeling this inactivity as a unpremeditated hiatus or a slump as I have been doing this past year… I think I should confess that I’m slowly facing the reality that I’ve outgrown my enthusiastic blogger phase from 2015. I, honestly, no longer have the inspiration to post twice (or even once) a week as I did back then. I’ve come to accept that I’m more of a casual blogger now. I don’t see myself posting regularly or being super interactive like I used to anymore. But I also believe that this change isn’t a bad thing per se because even if it means that I’ll post less, perhaps, taking these breathers in between each post will give me more motivation to release more quality content. Besides, it’s a natural course for people to evolve and their interests to alter with time.

I didn’t intend for this to sound like a farewell or anything (because I’m definitely not quitting this blog completely yet), but I’ve just been meaning to get this admission off my chest for a while now.

Anyhow, with that disclosure aside, onto the real recap of this month. As I hinted in my last monthly wrap up/favorites post, I started my summer externship. And, gosh, it was an absolutely amazing experience. I highly encourage you all that are fellow students to apply for internships/externships if opportunities arise. I only participated in this one because it’s mandatory in the US for pharmacy students to have rotations, but I’m now so grateful that this is built in our curricula. Learning in didactic classes is nice but getting hands on experience (outside of lab) is so vital.

Also, quick warning before I move on. This post is going to be quite lengthy! I know that these monthly wrap up/favorites are probably my least viewed posts since they’re not strictly bookish, but I enjoy putting a lot of effort in them since they’re for my own benefit really. I view the compilation of Summing It Up posts as a diary of sorts, haha. The idea of being able to look back and see what I was into in the past appeals to me. XD

– What I Read –

Dengeki Daisy (full manga series) (Myanimelist)

I didn’t really have much leisure time this month so I only finished up the Dengeki Daisy series. (There are 16 volumes total.) Admittedly, I did read the chapters online with fan translations because I generally make it a rule to not buy manga unless I want to commit to collecting the entire series. And I don’t come to that decision until I know that the manga is super good because manga can get ridiculously expensive since they’re rarely on sale. I digress… This particular one was pretty marvelous. Immediately after finishing, I ordered 8 volumes from Amazon. It’s obviously another romance manga, but the plot and romance is quite unconventional and less cliché than most shoujo I’ve read in the past. The romance was so swoonworthy and the comedy was consistently fab. Anyway, I’m going to save the rest of my thoughts though and reveal them later in my review, which I hope to start composing soon as my impressions are still fresh.

– June Blog Posts –

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Summing It Up: May 2017

May was a marvelously restful month for me. On the 1st I took the last exam of my P1 year and started my summer soon after that. The rest of the month I (re)read a lot of Dessen (my favorite YA realistic fiction/contemporary author if you haven’t caught on by now), met up with some longtime friends, and relaxed. This is my last week of freedom, however, since I’ll be starting my summer community pharmacy rotation this approaching Monday, June 5th. I’m both nervous and excited but mostly thrilled since I was very lucky to get the site I wanted with this cycle. I won’t be working long hours as I thought I would so this may mean I’ll be around the blogosphere in June.

Anyway, I have lots of (different and kind of strange) favorites this month so let’s move on!

– What I Read –

I’m quite impressed with this reading month despite there being only 4 titles read. I’ve been meaning to have a true Dessen summer (where I reread some of Dessen’s old releases and review them) for years now. Also, in case you missed my review or only read the bold parts of that one, I mentioned that I was extremely thankful and happy that I was granted access to an eARC of Once and for All. I consider this a pivotal milestone in my blogging career. :’)

– May Blog Posts –

I daresay May wasn’t that shabby of a blogging month for me since I posted several reviews (mostly for blog tours but still) and even released a discussion post. Speaking of that Summer Says post… I just wanted to quickly thank you guys for the response towards it! I have to admit that my corner of the blogosphere has been a little dead since I’ve stopped interacting like I used to and a lot of my original friends are no longer blogging, but I am so grateful for those that read that post. You all are awesome! T_T

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Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

Once and for All by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking Books on June 6, 2017
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

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3.5 Stars, Completed May 8, 2017

– this review is quite long; you can read the bold text to get the main idea and to avoid SPOILERS –

Being the daughter of a popular wedding planner, Louna has practically seen every type of wedding imaginable, some with hysterical brides, others couples with cold feet or misbehaved wedding guests, and not uncommonly all of the above sometimes. Witnessing the imperfect side of those in romantic relationships has made her somewhat cynical about happily ever afters and question if they even really exist. It doesn’t help that her first love ended tragically. So when Louna meets happy go lucky, serial dater Ambrose her heart by default knows to be wary of stepping into romance territory and she decides to keep him at arm’s length. But that isn’t going to stop Ambrose seeing as he’s finally met the girl that he really wants.

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What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen + Giveaway

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking Books on May 10, 2011
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 402
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

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3.5 Stars, Reread May 18, 2017

– SPOILER free –

Home wasn’t a set house, or a single town on a map. It was wherever the people who loved you were, whenever you were together. Not a place, but a moment, and then another, building on each other like bricks to create a solid shelter that you take with you for your entire life, wherever you may go.

For the past two years Mclean Sweet and her divorced father have been moving from town to town as he is a restaurant consultant. With each move Mclean sees it as a chance to reinvent herself and take up a different persona. As Liz, Eliza, and Beth she’s been many girls from preppy cheerleader to drama diva. But when Mclean and her father make a stop at Lakeview, she’s finds herself as just Mclean. But who is the real Mclean? After being separated from her true identity for so long, Mclean isn’t sure who she really is anymore. With What Happened to Goodbye Sarah Dessen weaves yet another story about youth and self discovery.

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Just Listen by Sarah Dessen + Giveaway

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Published by Viking Books on April 6, 2006
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 371
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

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5 Stars, Reread May 9, 2017

– SPOILER free –

In everyone’s eyes Annabel Greene seems to appear as “the girl who has everything” for the fact that she plays the part of a well-liked, popular cheerleader in a television commercial for Kopf’s Department Store. Though in reality, she’s far from that role. At school, she’s shunned by her peers for shamefully stealing her best friend’s boyfriend behind her back at a party last summer. (Though, she didn’t.) At home, her parents are completely oblivious to Annabel’s friendless life seeing as they’re more preoccupied with her older sister who recently became anorexic. With the focus on Whitney, Annabel begins to bury a lot of her thoughts from her family and it becomes a habit. But then she meets Owen Armstrong, a truth-telling, music-obsessed guy. As if his blunt honesty was contagious, she finds that voicing what she really means comes out so easily when she’s with him. But with the help of her and Owen’s comfortable friendship, will she finally be able to finally face the events that happened the night that she and Sophie stopped being friends?

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The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen + Giveaway

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Published by Penguin Group Inc. on May 11, 2004
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Pages: 374
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

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5 Stars, Reread May 3, 2017

– SPOILER free –

I’d tried to hold myself apart, showing only what I wanted, doling out bits and pieces of who I was. But that only works for so long. Eventually, even the smallest fragments can’t help but make a whole.

After witnessing her father’s unexpected death, Macy has always sought to find control of her life by planning for the expected. She likes the certainty of knowing what will happen next. So when her boyfriend, Jason, is away at Brain Camp, she decides to spend her summer subbing for him at his library job, studying for the SATs, and occasionally making small talk with her mother about anything but the traumatic loss of her father. But when she meets the dysfunctional team at Wish Catering, a group accustomed to chaos and surprises, after they cater at one of her mom’s parties she starts to feel compelled to breakaway from her steady and sheltered life. Because, perhaps, the key to truly living is not to dwell on the past or wait for the future, but instead embrace each moment of the present.

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Summing It Up: April 2017

Hello! You guys thought I was gone for good, huh?

It’s been a little over a month since I’ve last posted anything, which is quite an abnormally long hiatus for me. Anyhow, it’s nice to be back and I hope to get into the groove of things since I’m out for summer now. (YAY!)

Speaking of summer vacation… yes, that’s right! Exams are over. I took my last one early morning Monday so I’m officially a P2 now. (I took a celebratory photo. It isn’t a great picture… but I kind of like how candid it looks. Plus, you can tell I was genuinely relieved that I was done with the semester because of my huge, gummy smile, lol.)

Since April was a crazy month in that school consumed my life (more than usual), let me just warn you all that very little of this post is bookish related. When I had free time, I rarely did any real reading. Instead, I indulged in mostly manga and shows, which you’ll see soon.

– What I Read –

A Silent Voice (full manga series) | Anonymous Noise (full manga series) | The Inexplicable Logic of My Life

It may not seem like a lot but I actually read the entire series for both A Silent Voice, which had seven volumes alone, and Anonymous Noise. But I’m kind of particular with how I include manga/graphic novels towards my annual Goodreads reading challenge. I only count them if I finish the entire series (or however many volumes that are available in English if its ongoing). And I only count 1 volume regardless of how many I read to complete the series. It just feels like cheating otherwise? I don’t know. I’m weird with this sort of thing, I guess.

– April Blog Posts –

I had planned to make an effort on working on some book reviews and scheduling them but, alas, the only post I ended up publishing was previous month’s recap.

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Summing It Up: March 2017

Last month was like the calm before the storm. My spring break was early March, and it was wonderful even though I did hole myself at home away from humanity watching Asian dramas for the majority of that week. (It may seem pitiful to some but that was my ideal vacation. #embracetheintrovertlife) In regards to my academics everything went smoothly and was the usual.

(However, this month, April, is going to be quite horrific since I’ll be swamped with exams after exams after exams. Then finals. In fact, my prescription filling compentency exam and Top 300 Rx Drugs final is this approaching Tuesday, which I’m not looking forward to but it’s unavoidable so I’m just going to put my warrior paint on. (LOL, my unease shows because I’m saying ridiculous stuff now.) I also will have several presentations, one of them on tobacco cessation, which will be interesting. But more on all that later when it actually is April.)

Back to March… though everything with school was normal, I had a friend that went through a really tough time and was admitted to the hospital. Subsequently our entire circle of friends weren’t in the best mental state for a while because we were worried about her. Good news is that my friend is on the mend! But that scare really opened my eyes to how crucial it is for one to lead a well balanced life. Guys, seriously, I encourage you all to take care of yourselves and relieve as much stress as you can amongst your busy schedules. Remember that your health always comes first.

– What I Read –

Not exactly an impressive reading month, but considering what was going on I’m not too upset about reading three books-especially since two were mini bricks of books. Pachinko is adult fiction. It was nice to finally delve into something non-YA for a change. A Conjuring of Light was a thrilling ride; it proved that Victoria Schwab can do no wrong. And It gave me ALL THE FEELS. Thankfully, I buddy read this with Lois at My Midnight Musing so I had a partner to vent all my feelings. Windfall was a refreshing contemporary that I enjoyed. I was actually part of the blog tour, so feel free to check out my tour stop post if you’re interested.

– March Blog Posts –

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Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
Published by Delacorte Press on May 2, 2017
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary
Pages: 432
Format: ARC, paperback
Source: Publisher

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3.5 Stars, Completed March 22, 2017

– minor SPOILERS ahead –

windfall
/ˈwin(d)fôl/
noun

a piece of unexpected good fortune, typically one that involves receiving a large amount of money.

Alice doesn’t believe in luck and especially not after she experienced the worst kind when she lost her parents nine years ago. But as a joke she decides to buy a lottery ticket as an eighteenth birthday present for her best friend that she has secretly loved for years, Teddy. To their utter disbelief, he wins $140 million and, suddenly, everything changes. Teddy’s newfound wealth will put an unexpected strain on their friendship; their once effortless understanding and dependence of one another after having grown up in tough circumstances together dissipates completely as they argue more and more. Thus, the money begins to feel more like a curse than a windfall. As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice will discover more about herself and what she wants from life in moments she least expects.

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By Your Side by Kasie West

5By Your Side by Kasie West
Published by Harper Teen on January 31, 2017
Genres: [Young Adult] Contemporary
Pages: 342
Format: ARC, paperback
Source: Yallfest

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3 Stars, Completed February 15, 2017

– SPOILER free –

By Your Side is a light contemporary about two teenagers that develop an unlikely friendship after they’ve been accidentally locked in the library for a weekend. Dax is the school’s loner with a bad reputation. Whereas, Autumn is a do-gooder that doesn’t notice much beyond her camera’s viewfinder and inner group of popular friends. At first, Dax and Autumn only recall the negative impressions they have  of each other and do not get along. But after a few nights of shared vending machine snacks and real talks, both realize that the other is much more than what first meets the eye. They decide to call an amiable truce and soon begin to enjoy each other’s company. And when the pair are finally found and released, the question is after all they’ve shared will they remain friends or will they ignore each other as they had before?

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