Guess who’s probably way too late on posting her wrap-up?
*Attempts and fails to radiate my inner Gina Linetti*
And yes, I’m late again.
Overall, February was such a tiring month, and I am so so thankful that it was both the shortest month of the year and that it is over?
Also, Happy International Women’s Day to all my fellow females out there! I love you guys a lot.
I’m honestly pretty exhausted and don’t think there is much to say, so let’s get into the wrap-up. It’s going to be a very long one (it’s 3000+ words WHAT).
I’ve decided to use Elise’s representation key to denote marginalized representation, for your information or just as a good reference! I also like to track the representation I’m reading, so it’s great for us all.
On that note, please let me know if I have missed any key representation! I read most of these quite a few weeks ago, and I don’t want to unknowingly hurt anyone (which is why I avoided doing this for so long).
I’m also using the key I set for myself in my February TBR! I like to track books challenges count for, so hopefully this will work, too?
🏳️🌈 lgbtq lead / major side characters
☀️ lead / major characters of color
🌸 neurodiversity and trauma
✨ New Release Challenge
💨 Beat the Backlist
📚 Back to the Classics
📖 Library Love Challenge
🎧 Audiobook Challenge 2019
Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1) by Leigh Bardugo (reread) 🏳️🌈☀️🌸♿️💨📖 ★★★★☆ // This was a pretty great reread, and I realized how much I loved the heist aspect of the book! However, I do feel like the pacing was kind of off in this one, and while I did enjoy my time reading this, I don’t stan this the way that everyone and their mother does. (I would like to talk about the most iconic friendship, aka Nina and Jesper. It is CRIMINALLY underrated.)
Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo 🏳️🌈☀️🌸 ♿️💨📖🎧 ★★★★☆ (reread) // Even though I have read this before and initially 5-starred this, I was expecting for my rating to lower, which it did. While I did really like the focus on Jesper (if you can’t tell Jesper is my favourite character) and Wylan, but I’m not sure why I loved this as much as I did? I’m very sad now.
Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman ☀️🌸💨🌍 ★★★☆☆ (3.5) // You guys, I wanted to love this so badly, but I just … couldn’t. It took me a long time to decide on my rating, as Starfish, in a lot of ways, was a deeply personal (and sadly, relatable) novel for me, and that made it very difficult to digest at times. I did really like the mentor relationship between Kiko and her mentor, but I was absolutely not on board with how the romance seemed like a love-cures-all, and way too perfect to be realistic? The writing was not my favourite, and it read across as quite choppy at times. I’m truly not trying to roast this book, as it is important and needed, but I think it’s a bad case of wrong book, wrong time. I know so many readers have found merit in this book, but I don’t think I vibed with this book that well.
Fame, Fate and the First Kiss by Kasie West ✨ ★★★☆☆ (3.5) // I have read quite a few Kasie novels by now, with a preference towards her newer novels, so I was really hoping to love this! This definitely had the classic cute-sy Kasie West vibes, and I definitely enjoyed reading about filmmaking and creating a movie. I did enjoy my time reading this, but it just wasn’t as great as Listen to Your Heart, and Love, Life, and the List.
Final Draft by Riley Redgate 🏳️🌈☀️💨🌍 ★★★☆☆ // I heard so many great recommendations from so many people I trust, so I went into this with an optimistic mind and a hopeful attitude. But I don’t know, I just didn’t love this a whole lot? Like, I truly could not deal with the writing style, since I found it quite clunky and abrupt.
Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman 🏳️🌈☀️🌸💨🌍 ★★★★☆ (4.5) // This was so great, and can we just talk about that cover for a hot second because it is gorgeous and I’m obsessed? Unlike many other people, I truly love Rumi as a character and I deeply empathized with her. I understood her anger and pain, and I LOVED the way this book talked about and dealt with grief. I loved so much about this – from how Rumi grapples with her sexuality, her relationships with other people, and how she realizes she may not be ready for a relationship, this book has a whole lot of good. Bowman has truly developed as a writer, and I can’t wait to see what she has next for us.
If The Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman💨🌍☀️ ★★★☆☆ (3.5) // This was so cute, and I’m so glad that I got to read a fake-dating rom-com set in the Phillippines! SEA rep is so rare, and I’m glad we got to see that representation front and center. While this book was super cute and was easy to fly through, I found the writing a little turbulent and the dialogue a bit stilted? But if you like the things that I listed above, I do recommend you check this book out.
Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid (reread) 💨 ★★★★☆ // I loved this book on my first read, and still loved in on my reread! I reread this to squeeze an extra read for Contemporary-A-Thon. Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing is superb, and her writing is FANTASTIC. I loved the development of Carrie, one of the main character, and that ending? So satisfying.
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo 🏳️🌈🌸✨🎧 ★★★☆☆ (3.5) // I was so excited for this, and I don’t think this held up super well? This book was really not what I expected at all, and had a lot less Nikolai than I was expecting, especially since it was so heavily advertised as Nikolai’s book? (I do enjoy Zoya and Nina though). The pacing in this book was seriously uneven: the first part was so slow, but the second part was a lot better? Something I’ve noticed in Bardugo’s books, especially Six of Crows and this one? We often begin the book from a perspective we will never hear from, and something that doesn’t feel relevant to the story, which I don’t love. Also, this book’s political intrigue? Everything.
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas ☀️✨🎧 ★★★★☆ (4.25) // Before I get into this mini-review, I want to make something infinitely clear: please do not compare the Hate U Give and On The Come Up – though they are both by the same author, they are separate books and should be treated as such. I really enjoyed my time reading this, and Bri was such an interesting character to read from. I also really enjoyed listening to the rapping (the audiobook was AMAZING). Thomas still has her signature knack of phenomenal character work and development of character relationships. (Especially Trey and Bri, aka sibling goals!) What held me back from giving this a higher rating was the slight emotional detachment I felt while reading it, which was disappointing.
I’m so glad that so many of you enjoyed this post, and that alone makes all the anxiety I had before posting this worth it.
Featured Posts of the Month (February Highlight Reel)
In terms of my February Reading Plans, I don’t (or more so, rarely) do TBRs and this was so long, but I enjoyed working on it! I am absolutely in love with the format and the organization makes me so happy! I am so proud of actually writing and publishing my ARC Hoarding Post! Honestly, I was TERRIFIED to post this, but I’m generally glad that I did. I think I generally articulated myself pretty well with that post (?) I guess what I’m saying is that I tried? Lmao. And I cannot believe I actually got to publish my 1-year blogiversary post, because one year is absolutely WILD to me. I also show a different part of myself by being super wholesome but it’s all good!!
I haven’t been able to comment or interact well at all because I went on hiatus and was way too swamped in February! I have pulled a few from some of the blogs I follow (and just from some of my favs), but without further ado, here they are:
- Ilsa @ A Whisper Of Ink wrote an incredibly relatable post about jealousy in the book community!
- The amazing Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books
spilled the teadiscussed the truth about blogging statistics
- Kat @ Novels and Waffles wrote a series of posts over a week about blog graphics!
- May @ Forever and Everly wrote about their top 5 favourite diverse romances!
- Aline @ Fully Booked asked whether there are a lack of tropes with marginalized protagonists (and to answer her question: yes, there are) She also just launched her blog a month or so ago and you should all check her out!!
- Kelly @ Another Book In The Wall discusses the value of teen bloggers in the community + announces something really exciting!! (As a teen blogger, I 10000% agree with this)
- Marija @ Inside My Library Mind discusses why the 5-stars rating system doesn’t work for her + her rating system
- CW @ The Quiet Pond wraps up her series of bloggers sharing their experiences balancing blogging and life! (Also lil ol’ me got a feature!! I apologize for any typos or sentences that don’t make sense, I wrote my section at 12am)
A little note before we get into this: I have decided to put this section into bullet points for at least this month because 1) I am a lazy human, 2) I need to seriously condense my blog posts, 3) my life is low-key dull so yeah!
- For being the shortest month of the year, February was both INCREDIBLY eventful and stressful
- I am way too glad that it’s over
is it okay to write thank u, next @ February?? probably
- My mental health really went up and down, due to a life event that I don’t really want to get into, because ~privacy~
- I had a week-long Chinese New Year break but I did not end up getting richer or eat my grandma’s amazing food (cries)
- Instead, since my little sister in boarding does NOT have a Chinese New Year break, and that fact that I had a ton of work to do for the next week, my parents and I ended up flying up to Phuket to celebrate with my sister there?
- Even though the coconuts were amazing in Phuket, Phuket was okay, I guess? I was basically working every day so it was kinda boring (lmao don’t drag me please)
- In February, I was drowning in schoolwork, so that was fun! (No, please save me) Since I am in an IB World School, (i.e International Baccalaureate, I’m not sure if most of you have heard of it, everyone has to do the Personal Project
- Tl;dr: the Personal Project is basically where we have to create and work on a project based on our interests. Sounds like fun, right?
- Spoiler: It is SO MUCH WORK OH MY LORD, let me tell you all
- I had three major deadlines/things I needed to do within February (two of which had to be completed and done within two weeks of each other) and I was completely DROWNING
- Okay, so do you all remember (probably not, why would you) that launch I vaguely alluded to in my last wrap up?
- That was my personal project
- Basically, what I’m doing is I worked with a women’s organization that focuses on empowering females and providing better opportunities for underprivileged females to create a launch event for them in Singapore! Due to privacy reasons (for my sake), and the fact that by disclosing the name of this organization will reveal my identity, I am not going to disclose the name of the organization, if that makes sense?
- The event ended up going pretty well, especially considering I stayed up until 1am to write three speeches the night before, go me?
- Though I had to drastically reduce my social outings, I went to the Marina Bay Carnival this month, which was kind of cool but also WAY too expensive for what it was worth? But I had a great time with friends afterward, so there was that!
This month was a lot of rediscoveries and lots of new songs! I got completely hooked on thank you, next (the album, it was so good). A lot of these were recommendations (either from Spotify or from people both online and offline) and I’m so glad I listened to them!
- Don’t Blame Me by Taylor Swift (This was so good. 2017 me knew nothing.)
- 7 Minutes by Dean Lewis (tHAT CHORUS)
- This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things by Taylor Swift (a verified bop)
- break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored by Ariana Grande (this was … interesting)
- FU by Miley Cyrus and French Montana (the ultimate rage track)
- needy by Ariana Grande (the BEST song on the album, fight me)
- changes by XXXTENTACION (I’m obsessed I love it)
- Sorry by Halsey (That voice though)
- The Broken Hearts Club by Gnash (aka the month I discovered Gnash)
- Hold On by Chord Overstreet (so this was from the guy in Glee? Hmm)
- Everybody Dies in Their Nightmares (I lowkey get the xxx hype now)
- Once Upon A Dream by Lana del Rey (so haunting, love it)
- NASA by Ariana Grande (we stan)
- Shadow by Bleachers (AMAZING. Thank you again, Elise!!)
- Honey by Kehlani (how have I not listened to Kehlani until now, she is an angel)
- Bohemian Rhapsody (this song is GENIUS)
- Kamikaze by Eminem (look I know this is old and Eminem has done some very shady things butttt this was still a great song)
- i’m so tired … by Lauv and Troye Sivan (shoutout to my friends for this one)
Miscellaneous Mains of the Month
I don’t really have any this month since I literally had no time to do anything, which is very tragic? But hey, what can you do.
On the upside, I have been watching (and very much enjoying) Season 6 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine!! I cannot wait for Friday’s episode with THE icon Lin-Manuel Miranda, I will be screaming.
The ULTIMATE crossover AHHHHH.
*screeches in Brooklyn and in Hamilton simultaneously*.
- Finish my MYP Personal Project! ✔️ Since these deadlines were school deadlines, I kind of had to do this anyway, but I have one more thing for this Personal Project, which will be the exhibition for my project (it is this week), and I’m DONE! Halleluah.
- Keep up with my bullet journal (especially my mood tracker) better. ❌ I did great until the middle of the month, and then it flopped massively? Yikes.
- Try out Habitica? ✔️ I did download this and use it, but I’m so bad at keeping up with my habits and balancing things, and I just don’t think this motivates me at all? Need to find something else.
- Successfully pull together that launch! ✔️ I don’t know whether any of you care that much, but yeah, I did it. And I’m ~quite~ proud of myself
- Begin to compile, organize and backup my IGCSE notes (yikes) ❌ Sis, you didn’t even TOUCH your notes.
- Ensure I get proper IGCSE help for my subjects! ✔️ On the bright side, I did get things rolling in terms of this goal! Go me!
- Be more consistent with my skincare routine! ❌ I haven’t exfoliated for two weeks, and I am still terrible at this goal. RIP me.
- Write some sort of reviews (don’t have to be full, at least put some bullet-points down) ❌ All I have to say for this is. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I didn’t even remember this was a goal, not gonna lie.
I’m lowkey overwhelmed by the number of goals I’m setting for myself this month, but I am truly going to try my best to get to as many of them as possible. Wish me luck, haha.
- Revise for IGCSEs. My IGCSEs are happening really soon, so this is a priority. I did a countdown on my spam Insta and I have LESS THAN TWO MONTHS BEFORE MY FIRST IGCSE EXAM? *panics*
- Fully follow up on my personal project and tie up the loose ends. I’ve sat on this for a while now, and I quite honestly just need to finish it.
- Catch up and reply on all comments. I’ve already just done this at like 12am a couple of nights ago at the time of writing this, and the relief? Extremely tangible.
- Interact more. Since I was so bad at interacting in February, I truly need to improve in March. And I genuinely want to interact with you guys, it’s just life.
- Organize and tidy up my closet. I can’t even look at myself right now. It is an absolute mess.
- Fully set up the Club relating to my Personal Project. Though my personal project was the launch, the launch was to launch this club for the organization I worked with, if that makes sense? It’s related to gender inequality and we’re going to be trying to collectively improve the issue within Singapore. Hopefully, it will all go quite well!
- Be more social + keep in touch with old friends. Though I am getting slightly better at this, this is something I want to work on. I have lots to do in March, but I do want to ensure that I balance my work time out with my chill time/some social life. I have traditionally been very bad at keeping in touch with people, but I honestly want to change that, because it’s something that I don’t love about myself.
- Post 4-6 times this month. I used to post about 8-10 posts a month (which also depended on whether I went on hiatus, but since my IGCSEs are coming up, I need to focus on them, which will mean reducing the number of posts that I create per month! This should mean about 2-3 posts every two weeks, which I still think is pretty solid.
- Self. Care. Another weakness of mine is balancing things, and this becomes especially clear with self-care. I honestly can’t remember the last time I properly took care of myself. Being an absolute workaholic, with a terrible habit of taking on more than I can handle, I need to remember that I need to look after myself first, because this can lead to serious burnout, and I’m not here for that.
March is going to be really busy, but not as busy as February! (Thank god). In March I’m hoping to be a lot more social and a lot better at keeping in touch with people (like I said initially), and I’m super on track with that goal!
However, I’ll need to be doing SO MUCH revision so I won’t be super free at the same time if you know what I’m saying? I truly cannot wait for June for my first real break. In terms of reading, I’m doing really well, if I say so myself, and that makes me so happy, you all don’t even know.
How was your February? What was your favorite book that you read this month, and what did you read? Bloggers, what were some of your favorite posts this month? Did you set goals last month, and how did you do this month? I would love to know.
I hope March treats you all well!