The first month of the Roaring ’20s is over!
And like, damn. It went so fast.
January was an insanely busy month for me, and I genuinely had so many things happened this month. It was a huge blur that went really fast, but also really slowly at the same time, if that makes any sense? But I was able to read a bunch of really solid reads (albeit all from the same genre).
Let’s just get into this truly chaotic month, shall we?
☀️ lead / major side characters of color
🏳️🌈 lgbtq lead / major side characters
🌸 neurodiversity and trauma
✨ New Release Challenge
💨 Beat the Backlist
📚 Back to the Classics
📖 Library Love Challenge
🎧 Audiobook Challenge 2019
Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen ★★★★★ (4.75 – 5?? I’m not sure) // My first read of the decade and ahhh I loved it so much! I binged this in a single day (literally the day before school started which is. Uh. Questionnable) but this was so much fun and so entertaining and the characters were great!! Also, Taiwan and the culture was absolutely fantastic. My only gripe with it was that it was way longer than it needed to be, imo? But now I’m just craving Taiwanese food and Taiwanese bubble tea so that’s great!
The Anniversary Party by Cassandra Clare ★★★☆☆ // Not the strongest of the stories so far, personally – I found it very run of the mill, your basic ‘meet the characters’ kind of story but it does set some stuff up well? I guess?
We Used to Be Friends by Amy Spalding ★★★★☆ // We genuinely need more friendship break-up books in YA! They are seriously so lacking and like this happens in real life, so representation please. While this was SO heartbreaking to read and I got so frustrated at Kat’s self-centeredness, it made me do a lot of self-reflection and musing in general and just really played with my feelings. It was absolutely great and heartbreakingly realistic, though.
Lucky Caller by Emma Mills ★★★★☆ // If you didn’t know, I absolutely adore Emma Mills and everything she writes! I’ve read all of her books except her debut (which needs to change) and I’ve always loved her writing and her portrayal of friendship groups! This was admittedly not my favourite Emma Mills book, but it was definitely a solid one and I just loved how realistic and wonderful the characters are. While there were a few things left unresolved that had me feeling iffy, I just love the atmosphere of Mills’s books so, so much. Also, give me all the childhood best friends to lovers stuff. I am TRASH.
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare ★★★☆☆ // This was a pretty underwhelming re-read, in my opinion? I do know that the books get better and better as they progressed, but since I have re-read a lot, I don’t have much to say except. Wessa. Even though he’s not exactly nice to her. And the setting! Yes, please.
Tweet Cute by Emma Lord ★★★★★ (4.75) // Oh my gosh this was so cute and wonderful and so wholesome and I loved it a lot? The writing was funny, cute and so realistic, and I just loved how grounded in reality and school the whole story was in. I loved the characters and the online aspect of it and how everything came together, I guess? And the food part, I suppose? While I do wish that it would have been wrapped up in a more neat manner, this was just so great and I loved it a lot.
While ya girl was definitely late and a little inconsistent with blogging at the beginning and the end of January, she managed to get up all her 2019 content up, so you can see that, at least?
I still, uh, did not finish uploading my End of Year content until February. So like … yeah. Yikes.
- My Very Late Favourite Books of the Year ft. a Highly Predictable List and LOTS of Contemporaries!!
- Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020: Checking In With My 2019 Resolutions and Making 2020 Resolutions!
- A Very Late Reflection on 2019 // Reviewing My Reading, Blogging and Just General Life Things!!
- December ’19 Wrap Up // The One With the Last Wrap Up of the Decade (??), Last Reads of the Year + Lots of Life Things (aka me being very late with uploads)
- It’s Time for That Post: Did I Read All My Anticipated Reads of 2019?
- My Most Anticipated Releases of January to June 2020 // ft. glorious covers, diverse releases and way too many March 3rd releases
- It’s the Roaring ’20s again!! While it had its share of atrocities (shout out to the Diviners for openly discussing it) I just love the black and gold aesthetic, and yeah. Pretty things!
- The New Year happened. To be completely honest, I think this is one of the worst New Year’s I’ve had in a while. It was stressful, since I was just working most of the time, and I was really not in a great head space. We love it!
- I went back to school. Term break ended in the first bit of January, and term 2 is in full swing. And me? I’m just tired and stressed, as expected ✌
- Mocks. Within the first two weeks of school, ya girl had to sit her mocks! And … it was incredibly mixed, to be honest. Other than one subject, I felt incredibly underwhelmed by the results I had produced, and so have a lot of improvements to make before May.
- Tumultuous mental state. I don’t really want to go in-depth about this here, but some personal stuff was happening in January, and it had my mental state fluctuating SIGNIFICANTLY. I’m still trying to work through it now, but yeah. Fun!!
- SAT work. I literally was doing SO much SAT prep in January – like literally every day – it was absolutely insane. Because the next SAT date is on March, but turns out there’s a good chance it wasn’t needed at the end.
- Chinese New Year. Chinese New Year happened in the tail end of January, and I headed back to Singapore for a quick 3 day trip. Truth be told, I barely did anything, but hey. Money and food.
- I learnt how amazing my friends are. Like I mentioned earlier, I was going through a little bit of a rough time in January, and my friends, both in Bangkok and Singapore, were just so absolutely amazing about it. They’ve been nothing but endlessly supportive, sweet, amazing and have just truly made my month better and made my month in general, to be honest. I honestly love them to death and they have my whole, entire heart 💘💓💖💗💝💞💟❣💌
- I’m just very tired. Self explanatory, and we’ve been over it multiple times, so you get the point.
While January wasn’t a great month in some respects, it was successful for music! I had already begun getting into and really enjoying Clairo’s music in December, but January was where I absolutely fell in love with her music. And obviously other tracks too, but January really was Clairo month and we have no choice but to stan.
- Bubble Gum by Clairo (Bubble Gum, 2019)
- The Ways (with Swae Lee) by Khalid and Swae Lee (Black Panther: The Album Music From and Inspired By, 2018)
- Alewife by Clairo (Immunity, 2019)
- Softly by Clairo (Immunity, 2019)
- Sofia by Clairo (Immunity, 2019)
- Sinking by Clairo (Immunity, 2019)
- Scott Street by Phoebe Bridgers (A Stranger At The Alps, 2017)
- Cinammon Girl by Lana Del Rey (Norman F****** Rockwell, 2019)
- White Flag by Clairo (Immunity, 2019)
- Good As Hell (ft. Ariana Grande) – remix – by Lizzo and Ariana Grande (2019)
So, in conclusion:
What I Watched
The Breakfast Club (re-watch) ★★★★★
I decided to re-watch this film years later on a whim, and it was such a good decision. This film has suddenly become a film that I absolutely adore and has crept its way into my favourite lists and my heart (despite some of its dated, misogynistic behaviour and attitudes). It has me wanting to watch more of John Hughes’s films (any ideas where to start?) and for a movie that is 35 years old, its portrayal of teens/adolescents is still deeply touching, personal and relevant. The way it showed that teens are people with flaws, pains and a complex life was just heartbreaking but also wonderful. (Oh my god, the scene of the five of them talking together still breaks me a little) The character dynamics and the take down of stereotypes absolutely have my heart, and this movie just makes me so happy. Especially that dancing sequence. This movie deserves its place as a culturally important and significant movie, and I am grateful for what it has done for teen films and how the voices of teens are now being taken more seriously, because they are needed.
The Good Place, Season 4 ★★★★★
You guys!! This show. Oh my god. It’s actually over. I am truly speechless. While I’m so sad to see it go, this season was definitely on the stronger side, and I absolutely loved it. While I feel that some plotlines completely went down the drain and was discarded a little too quickly for my tastes (suspicious disappearances? It was weird) in order to wrap up the show, it was done so well. The ending episode was absolutely brilliant and encapsulates the show so, so well, and my emotions ranged from dying of laughter to trying not to cry. Truly a masterpiece and a show I won’t forget for a very, very long time. If you haven’t watched this show, please do yourself a favour and watch it!
- Get out all my end-of-year content and beginning-of-decade content scheduled and just … done. ❌ I was so close to completing this goal, but my very last end-of-year post went up in February, so, uh ….
- Fully get out of that reading slump!! ✔❌ While I did kind of get this (six books is super solid!) there were a lot of times where I just didn’t have the time and energy to read and was feeling sluggish, so …
- Set up all the 2020 stuff. ✔❌ Yeah, no clue on how to assess this goal.
- Do well in mocks! ❌ Okay, I think I did really well in English Literature (which is probably my most important mock, to be honest) and solidly in History, but my grades for Drama and Psychology are highkey disappointing, if I’m being honest.
- Get started with resolutions. ❌ I really don’t think I did that, because I got so sidetracked by life events and yeah. January wasn’t my best month, truth be told.
- SATs or ACTs – decision!! I tried taking a full SAT test in test conditions, and the score really worried me to the point that I am looking at switching to ACTs. I have been practicing for the SATs on essentially a daily basis for months, and the fact that I’m getting very little out of it is concerning. So, this month, I need to investigate the differences between the ACTs and the SATs, do a diagnostic for both, and decide which testing system I will be doing (in March for SATs and April for ACTs).
- Get extracurriculars moving. It’s already February at the time of writing this (HOW) and I just realised how little time I actually have before college application season. Therefore, I really need to figure out what I’m doing for extracurriculars, focus on them and pull it together.
- Figure out IA stuff! This is a goal that I started working on the evening this post is meant to go up, actually! I’ve got a good amount of it in and it’s working out quite well. I’m feeling a lot less stressed in this regard, so I’m happy about that.
- Look on how to improve my schoolwork. If mocks were any indication, my grades are nowhere as good as they need to be, and over the next few months, I need to focus on honing my strengths and weaknesses in all my subjects by actively taking control of my own education so I can perform my absolute best in May. Also, transcripts are important, so.
- Post at least once a week (in a timely manner). I’ve been getting into this habit where I post really consistently on the blog, and then slip off and not post for a while, and then come back to it with a start. This month, I want to change that by planning properly, and ideally having my posts scheduled in advance so I can post on a consistent time and day every week. And since school will be busy, I’m aiming to post once a week, but I will do my best to post at least 6 times if possible. Stretch goals, you guys.
- Read 4+ books! In comparison to my previous reading months, 4 books is almost nothing at all, but I’m trying to keep up with my read ‘one book a week’ trend, by reading consistently and at my own pace. Because quality over quantity.
- Brainstorm my summer plans. I’m going to be a senior in August 2020 (????) and since this is my last summer before college, I really need to make it a productive summer and do something. I would really like to have an instance of work experience/an internship and look at college applications, but this stuff needs to be arranged, and I need to get started now.
- Get out of that slump. When I say slump, I mean that mostly in terms of books, but I’m also talking about life. I’ve been having a weird reading funk which, in its worst stages, has me not picking up a single book for three weeks. Which is crazy. I really want to fall back in love with reading because it makes me happy, which I want to do by trying to find new favourite books. And in terms of life, I have been feeling admittedly pretty sluggish over the last few months, and I hate that feeling, so here’s to hopefully getting rid of it in February!
- Get my headspace cleared. I recently realised (helped by the wake-up calls of two close friends) that I’ve been pretty mentally distracted and haven’t done much in terms of school and general motivation over the past few months, making me very passive with my own life, if that makes any sense? So, I want to take control of my own life and feel super driven, energised and feel a lot of agency with it. Because it’s my life, and if I want it to go down a certain path, I have to do something about it.
- School, school and school? It’s the second term of school, and it’s getting closer to May, so … Yeah. Also, I have my mock IELTS examination this week, so more work. Fun!!
- Service projects. Like I said earlier, February is a month where I intend on sorting out what my extracurriculars are, which include service projects, so!
- Half Term. Admittedly, it’s not going to be a fun, easy going half-term, but I am going back to Singapore for a week, and you BET that I’m going to make plans to reunite with some of my favourite people ❤️
- More time with friends. Like I mentioned, my friends have been absolutely amazing, and I just love them so much. I really just want to get to know them more and further appreciate the amazing human beings they are, because they are absolute angels and I do not deserve them.
- SAT / ACT Prep. Ya girl will be doing the SAT or ACT in March or April, and since it’s February currently, she truly needs to get prepared to do well on them. Here’s to another month of standardized testing preparation!! Fun.
How was January for you? What was your favorite book that you read this month, and how was your reading month? Any other favourites? Bloggers, what were some of your favorite posts this month? Feel free to share them here! Did you set goals last month, and how did you do on them?
I would love to know.
I hope you all have a wonderful February! Love you all so much ❤