Monday, April 3, 2017

March Wrap-Up


Guys!  March is over already which means a quarter of the year is done! (and I haven't even posted my goals for this year... *crawls into corner*)  This month hasn't been great for reading but it's also been a pretty intense week at university so there's that.  Let me show you just how pathetic my reading totals are for this month.  Shall we?



Statistics:

Number of Pages Read: 2,629
Total Books Read: 7
Rereads: 2
Reviews Posted: 6

Distribution of Ratings:
5 star: 2
4-4.5 star: 2
3-3.5 star: 2
2-2.5 star: 1
1-1.5 star: 0

Number of Authors Read: 6
Number of Series Books Read: 4
Number of Stand-alones: 3

The Books:
Reads:
Taken by Witches by Nick Iuppa (Taken By Witches #1) (Review) (3.5)
Toward A Secret Sky by Heather Maclean (Review) (3.5)
Endurance by Amy Daws (London Lovers) (Review) (4)
Johnny and Jamaal by K.M. Breakey (Review) (4)
Escaping the Rainfield by Eliza Rich (Review) (2)


As you can see, it's been a pretty slow month.  I read four fewer books this month than in February.  I'm going to make a comeback for April, though!  This month was a pretty mixed bag with no new 5 star reviews.  Taken by Witches was the only horror book I read this month and the author upheld his tendency to write strange yet addicting books.  Toward a Secret Sky was an ARC I received at the end of last year and I finally got around to reading it and publishing a review.  I thought the settings were amazing but it was chock full of insta-love which set me back a bit.  Endurance was the only true full-blown romance I read this month and that author also kept up her streak of great books.  While I didn't love the attitude of the guy MC, it was a solid romance that I couldn't put down.  Johnny and Jamaal tackled the race relation topic which I thought was a brave move by the author.  It's such a polarized and sensitive topic, you can be speared for stepping one word out of line.  I think the author handled it well, though, and while I didn't feel as connected to the characters as I wanted to be, overall, it was a great think-piece and story.  Escaping the Rainfield was a bit of a low point this month.  I was SO hoping to enjoy it as the blurb sounds superb (it's an apocalyptic type book only the apocalypse is brought on by a rainstorm that produces feet upon feet of rain which I found to be quite unique) but in general, it needed a bit more fleshing out.


Rereads:
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa (Blood of Eden #1) (5) (Review)
The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa (Blood of Eden #2) (5) (Review)


When I was home for Spring Break, I actually didn't feel much like starting any new books so I decided to pick up one of my favorites that's been on my shelf.  I have semi-complete reviews for both of these.







Currently Reading:
Caraval by Stephanie Garber (Caraval #1) (1%)
It by Stephen King (39%)
The House Girl by Tara Conklin (9%)


If you've ever seen my currently reading shelf, then you know I frequently have to stop in the middle of books.  Most of the time it's because they're due back at the library because I didn't start them soon enough.  These are the books that I'm actually currently reading on that shelf and I am working my way through (and currently have a copy of!).  I'm enjoying all three so far.  Caraval has been good so far, although, granted, I've only read the first couple of pages.  I'm pretty far in It and it's living up to it's creepy reputation.  The House Girl is interesting although it took me a while to get into it.  I'm trying to reserve judgement until the end, though!



Life Updates:
Whew, it's been quite the month.  Like I said earlier, I had Spring Break this month so I got to spend a week at home with my two cats which was great.  I didn't get much reading done though.

I got to see quite a few new movies this month, though!  (well, new to me, I suppose)  I saw Beauty and the Beast on the week it came out and I loved it!  I heard a lot of people didn't think it stood up to the original, animated version, but personally it's been a while since I've seen that version so I saw it without that image in my head.  I especially loved the blend of animation/motion capture and real live acting.  And of course, the soundtrack was AMAZING!  Even if you didn't love the movie itself, I don't see how you could hate the soundtrack.  I especially loved Evermore which is a new song they cooked up for the Beast to sing when Belle left him.  You can read my full review HERE.


I also saw Kong: Skull Island, Ice Age 5: Collison Course, Patriot's Day, Edge of Seventeen, Moana, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  I've seen all of the Kong movies and I have to say, the newest one is definitely a different take on the original general plot lines.  There was more of a focus on Kong's importance to his ecosystem and the beauty of such a unique creature.  I loved that they took it in that direction instead of how in the other movies, the humans just immediately tried to capture him and bring him back to show to everyone else.  And, of course, Tom Hiddleston was as beautiful as always :D (he plays Loki in Thor).  The newest Ice Age was also pretty good although I think it's about time they wrap up the series for good.  As much as I love it, I think it's time.  They're getting to the point where they're pairing all the MC's off and soon they'll run out of new people and new adventures to be had.  In general though, I did like it!  Patriot's Day is a movie/documentary made about the Boston Marathon Bombing a few years ago.  I loved how they tried to keep it as real as possible and didn't dramatize it for the big screen.  I didn't know too many details about the investigation or the trials so I thought it was very good.  Edge of Seventeen was just hilarious!  It kind of reminded me of Easy A, actually!  It's such a great coming of age film.  Moana was gorgeous!  I'm thinking about writing a full length review, actually, or possibly making up a mini review compilation of some of these movies that I have more thoughts about.  I loved how there wasn't a romance and the soundtrack and the plot line and the visuals etc etc.  I can't get enough of the songs Shiny (by the crab), You're Welcome, and How Far I'll Go.




I also FINALLY saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and I'm so glad to say that I LOVED it!  I thought I wouldn't like to see a HP film (same universe) that didn't actually have HP in it but honestly, it was so cool to explore more of the wizarding world.  Learning about the different creatures and their abilities and such was amazing and I loved how they were all constructed in terms of visual effects.  If you haven't seen it yet and were waiting until it came out for rent on all the digital services, I highly recommend it!

I've also been working on some more TV shows.  I've been watching a lot of NCIS recently.  I'm also in the middle of season 6 in my PLL rewatch before April 18th (when the new season starts to air!).  I've also gotten into The Great British Baking Show on Netflix which is this baking show that takes place in England (it airs originally on a British channel and PBS picks it up in the US) and a bunch of bakers compete to win a cake plate at the end.  It's just so different than American cooking/baking shows because they're all actually nice to each other and it takes place over a longer span of time and they bake such different things than we have in America!  I'm also slowly working my way through Grey's Anatomy although I've slowed down a bit because a certain character's death is coming up (I was spoiled) in season 10.  I'm going to be starting to watch 13 Reasons Why in April and I'm really excited to start because I heard it was actually pretty good!  I've never read the book and that's next on my list to read.  I was also able to catch up somewhat on Shadowhunters during Spring Break and now I'm only like 5 episodes behind which is better, at least!  I'm liking the new season much more than the first season.  Malec is back in full force and I'm loving every second of it!

I didn't get any books read for either of my challenges because it's been such an R&R heavy month.  I've budgeted out my time for the rest of the books though and it's shaking out to be around 4 per month so I'll do half and half (R&R's and regular).

I also registered for classes for the upcoming fall semester and I'm going to have 8am's 3 days a week which is very annoying.  I like mornings and I feel productive in the mornings but I'm not a morning person AT ALL.  Getting up is always horrible so I'm really looking forward to that.  I'm also taking 18 credits next semester (which is the most you can take and 2 more than I'm taking this semester) so I'll be even busier than I am now.  I tried to arrange my schedule so I have more continuous open time like this semester, though, so hopefully I'll still be able to keep up with my reading.

There have also been some great trailers coming out for movies!  Most recently, the trailer for It (which I'm currently reading), Justice League, and a new trailer for Spider-Man!





Also, like I said in my February Wrap-Up, I've been listening to a lot of new music so I'm hoping to do a Music of the Month post as well as some Music Monday's coming up!



How was your March?  Did you watch any new movies?  Have you seen any of the ones that I saw?  What books have you read?  Do you have the same dilemma about mornings as I do?  Are you excited for any new movies coming out?  I hope you all have a wonderful April!!

12 comments:

  1. Whoa! Lots a fun books movies and TV shows. I've been watching 13 Reasons Why and it is pretty good.

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    1. Haha yeah where I wasn't productive reading books, I spent plenty of time watching shows and movies! I'm so glad to hear it! I'm hoping to start soon so fingers crossed I like it as much as you. Thanks for stopping by, Jenny!

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  2. I re-watched Moana last night and loved it just as much as the first time! :D I've always loved the ocean and this movie portrays it amazingly :)
    I also watched Hidden Figures which might be one of my new favorite movies! Seriously, so so good!
    Hope you have as much fun in April!

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    1. Me too! I'm so glad Disney decided to make it :)

      Ooo I've seen that too and I agree: it's such a good movie! I wasn't expecting to love it as much as I do but #noregrets :D

      Thanks, Caroline! I hope you have a lovely April as well!

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  3. I really want to see Moana now- everyone's been talking about how good it is and I tend to love animated movies. I haven't gotten to my own month in review yet, but you definitely read more books than I did. I actually started reading House Girl several months ago and didn't get past the beginning- I think I'll read it when I'm in a better mood because it seemed kind of sad. I hope you have an awesome April, Laura!
    ~Litha Nelle

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    1. I think you'd love it! It's a great animation and the whole no romance bit is extremely enticing :) I look forward to hearing if you liked it when you get around to watching it!

      I had the same impression of House Girl. While it seems like a great book, I just didn't have the energy to do a 'read it in one night' thing because of how heavy it seemed. Hopefully we'll both get back to it soon.

      I hope you have a lovely April as well, Litha! Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Looks like March was a waaaay better n=month for you than it was for me! 7 books is amazing- I've only read TWELVE so far this whole YEAR. And don't even get me started on blogging- I've been simply awful! In my defense, though, it's my final year at uni and it's draining me. Ugh. Anyway. There are so many movies I really need to get to- Beauty and the Beats, Fantastic Beasts (though I'm still in two minds about it), and Moana are a few. I'm glad you enjoyed them all! I don't think I'd have the nerve to try It, but I'd love to know what you think of the book :P

    Hope you have an even better April ahead, Laura! <3

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    1. Haha that makes me feel slightly better (the evil part of me :D). Ugh I can't even imagine how much work you have to do. I'm just wrapping up my first year and while it's not too bad, I definitely don't have tons of free time. Looking at my 4 year plan, my last year is going to be rough. So best of luck to you!! Haha yeah, normally I hate horror movies but since I'm reading the book, I think it'll prepare me a little and I really want to see some Stephen King adaptations.

      I hope you have a better April as well, Ruz! Hopefully your work load will slow up a bit!

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  5. I want to see Beauty and the Beast! It's one of my favourite disney movies, and I need to see the remake. I shuddered at the mention of Kong..... Kong, Planet of the Apes, etc freaks me out! It's really weird haha. I haven't watched any new movies lately but I had to watch Nosferatu and Daybreakers for my sociology project.... was very fun :)

    Wren @ For the Love of Books.

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    1. I hope you like it! I thought it was gorgeous :) Ooo sounds cool. I took sociology a couple of years ago and I loved it. Perhaps I'll check out Nosferatu and Daybreakers sometime. Thanks for stopping by, Wren. I hope you have a lovely April!

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  6. I just picked up a copy of Moana and I can't wait to rewatch it! :)

    Lauren @ Always Me

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