Summing It Up: October 2017

Happy November, friends! I hope that you all have been doing well. After I finish typing this post and it goes live, I will be replying to comments and (finally!) blog hopping the rest of the evening. (I seriously bookmarked blogs from, like, five months ago.)  And while on the subject of drafting blog posts, this is actually my 200th one! :’)

The next coming weeks should be like the calm before the storm (because school will lighten up a bit since final exams are in December) but I also have lots to look forward to. I’ll be attending Yallfest again this year, and I actually have my fingers crossed that I’ll be meeting Cassandra Clare and Marie Rutkoski. Clare will probably be a wristband author with her books’ popularity so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to see her, but we’ll see. Anyway, do expect an event recap for that later this month. 😉

Also, it’s not much longer before I’m off for winter break. This semester flew by so quickly and was probably one of the most stressful ones I experienced academically (pharmacotherapy is very challenging; I wish medicine and therapy were black and white but there’s so much gray), but I’m praying that I’ll survive till the end, haha.

Anyhow this month’s recap will be on the short but sweet side, because I really didn’t indulge in too much aside from the crazy shopping. And I suppose this is a good moment to put in a self promo plug like last month… If you do want to see my hauls and keep up with me (since I’m kind of inactive in the blogosphere nowadays), Instagram is the best way to do it! XD

– What I Read –

I’ve been feeling really slumpy in terms of reading so I picked up a manga called House of Sun (3/5 Stars) in October. I finished all 13 volumes in a week. I think the best aspects of the series was the romance and family. Also the comedy was A+; Daiki, my favorite character, was so deadpan about everything and therefore absolutely hilarious. I really wanted to buy this after reading it online but, to my dismay, the series has yet to be released in English aside for the electronic version. (And I don’t see the point in collecting e-manga when these books are so expensive as it is.) I’ll add it to my list to purchase for the future though. It was such a joy to read-despite my relatively low rating.

Edit 11/4/17: Oh my gosh, I totally forgot that I also read They Both Die at the End (4/5 Stars) earlier in October as well. It wasn’t until I logged onto Goodreads did I notice it on my profile. You guys now know to what extent of how out of it I am with my reading game. I can’t believe I forgot what I read, and a 4 star book at that, lol. XD

– October Blog Posts –

No surprise here. I’m still publishing once a month on the blog. >.< But hopefully this will change when I’m on winter break December-January.

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Summing It Up: September 2017

Gosh is this belated… But better late than never, right?

Life in September was the usual in that it was hectic, busy, and stressful, but I’ve decided to not bore you guys with the details because it’ll be just repetitive at this point. I feel as if I always begin my monthly wrap ups saying my life is crazy, and I feel bad doing this because I’m sure you’re all living just as busy lives. Anyway, if you do want to see what I’ve been up to with all the specifics, do consider following me on my Instagram account. I’m rather active on that platform these days and I enjoy updating my Instagram stories a lot. (You’ll even get to hear and see me flail over buying new books. It’s embarrassing but I thought I’d advertise it anyway, hah.)

Anyhow, I do sincerely hope and wish that you guys are all still doing well and hanging in there in your daily lives. #don’tgiveup #youCANdoit

(I think I’m feeling especially emotional while typing this up because a fellow grad student at my school recently died from suicide this month in October. I don’t want to talk about this either because I feel like it’ll bring down the mood of this post even more. But please, everyone, remember to take care of yourself! You’re not alone. Seek help if you need it. I’m always here to talk. Shoot an email or send me a direct message on Instagram.)

– What I Read –

A few months ago, when school first started back up I remember complaining about reading 1 book… but now I’m starting to realize that completing 1 book a month might be a miracle. The rigor of this year’s classes has definitely increased (PCT (pharmacotherapy) is so killer) and I guess I’m resigned to the fact that I’m going to have to read less during this period of my life. It is sad but it could be worse? XD

And it’s unfortunate that the one book I did end up finishing last month… I was not a fan. You can read my thoughts in my Goodreads pre-review or unedited review or whatever it’s called, but yeah,  Believe in a Thing Called Love did not work for me, sadly. (And I really want to love it; I mean, you all know how much of a crazed Asian drama watcher I am.)

– September Blog Posts –

I’m not sure why I’m still keeping this section if I’m only going to post once a month, but oh well. Maybe I’ll feel more motivated to publish some book review drafts if I do continue, haha. Who knows?

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Summing It Up: August 2017

Sigh. I haven’t been the best blogger lately. There are so many books I want tor read, so many reviews I want to write, so many blogger friends I want to check in with, and so much I want to share but, ultimately, I can’t find the time to do these things anymore.

Last month, I mentioned that I was offered an internship at where I did my rotation in June. I work about two to three days at that job and I still work a day at the salon in the week. Of course, now that the fall semester has begun there’s school, extracurriculars, and volunteering as well… (Tangent: I thought I’d be done with extracurriculars after I got into grad/professional school but nope. The possibility of applying for residency programs (unlike med students it is optional for pharm students) makes me feel like I ought to stay involved with those organizations… I love them but they eat up my time like crazy.)

To say the least, I’m a little overwhelmed with life right now. I have very little down time to enjoy much these days. When I get home I’m too tired to read. I know, what kind of reader am I to say that?! Well, I need to be able to think when I read and, at the end of the day, that’s the last thing I want to do after attending classes and studying. Instead I’ve only been indulging in mindless entertainment like watching Asian dramas before I fall asleep. (The “What I’ve Been Watching” section is massive this month.)

Anyway, with all that being said, this inactivity in the blogosphere is going to have to be the norm for a while until I can adjust. Count on me still posting these monthly recaps/wrap ups/favorites posts and the occasional book review (I hope) though, because I don’t want to disappear completely yet. Blogging is still a hobby I cherish, but sometimes it’s important to prioritize real life over the internet one. I hope you guys can understand. And so that explains where I’ve been and why I haven’t been on here at all.

Read on if you want to know more specifics like what exactly I’ve been watching. There will be a few things bookish but not really. (I mean I haven’t been reading so…)

– What I’ve Read –

Good and bad news on the reading front in August. The bad news is, as you can guess, I only read one book in August: Lord of Shadows. The good news is that I enjoyed it a ton. The story picks up right from Lady Midnight and I found it greatly entertaining. Although, I think this is a 3 star range kind of book for me because I didn’t quite love it as much as LM.

– August Blog Posts –

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Summing It Up: July 2017 (Thank You for 1K Followers!)

Hello, friends! As promised, I definitely became a casual blogger last month where I posted quite spontaneously. Though I missed the times I was away from this corner of the internet, it was also very liberating to just not have a schedule.

Because I’ve been rather inactive, I’ll be replying to comments (including finishing up the ones from my last discussion post months ago-I’m truly so sorry it’s taking me ages!) and blog hopping very soon.  (I’ve already bookmarked a list of your blogs. So expect to see me around!) I’ll probably be doing this early to mid next week since I have to work today and tomorrow at the salon.

Anyway, onto the recap of July.

There were a lot of highs and lows last month. Exo came back with a new album, but, unfortunately, without my favorite member, Yixing. Then I saw the tragic news about Chester Bennington. (More on this later.) And then, again, happy news… I recently learned that I’ve been hired as a permanent, paid year-round intern at the local independent pharmacy I was on rotation (which is basically an externship where I’m not getting paid but rather graded on my performance) at in June. (However, I’ll share more about that as well in next month’s wrap up since it really happened a few days ago, at the beginning of August.) I just wanted to share the great news with you guys, early, since you’ve been along this journey with me since I was an undergrad. 🙂

Oh and I also reached 1,000 followers on this blog! I never imagined I’d reach this milestone, because my blog started off as a really small space. Anyway, THANK YOU SO MUCH for sticking with me and being such a great support! I really appreciate and value each and every one of you.  ❤ 

And I actually already have a giveaway that was (kind of) planned for this occasion; it’s open until the end of August on my Instagram. (Sorry, I chose that social media platform because I want to grow my bookstagram account!) I encourage you to enter if you’re interested though! It’s international and pretty nice, in my opinion. So, friends, please share or give it a shot!

– What I Read –

I finished my 2017 Goodreads challenge (and I always only count reading an entire manga series as one book, which makes this more impressive if I do say so myself). Honestly, it wasn’t that ambitious (only 25!) because I was unsure what my schedule would be like with school. For now, I have no plans of increasing it because I need to soon factor in juggling school with two jobs. :’) (I’m really more excited than anything though!)

– July Blog Post –

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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

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

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

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

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

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

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

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books a Million

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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