Monthly Wrap-Up: June 2019

A proper and on-time monthly wrap-up? Who am I? Just kidding, the other aspects of my life are still messy, though. Reading-wise, June was amazing and pretty chill. I think I said this in almost every monthly wrap-up post, but I’m slowly but surely, started to getting out of my reading slump. But my favorite thing from last month is how I started to blog-hopping again. Not as much, but definitely better than usual! Also, the reason why you should stick ’til the end of this post because I’m sharing my ten favorite posts around the blogosphere from last month!

what i read

Montauk by Nicola Harrison • I 👏 LOVE 👏 THIS 👏 I knew this genre is fairly a new territory to me, and therefore I don’t want this book to be the case of “it’s not the book, it’s me”. But it turns out to be one of the most enjoyable reads that I have this year! Final Rating — 4.5/5 • Trigger Warnings — Classism, emotional abuse, rape. • Full Review

I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman • After I read Radio Silence a few months ago, I immediately knew that Alice Oseman is up there when it comes to the list of my favorite author. I’m rushing to read more of her works and that’s when Rita @ Bookish Rita asked me if I’ve ever read this one. Obviously, I haven’t, and we decided to buddy read this one (((we buddy read two months after the plan but still))). But boy, oh boy, we enjoyed I Was Born for This so freaking much!!! Final Rating — 4.5/5 • Trigger Warnings — Alcoholism, anxiety, assault, depression, panic attacks, talk of the loss of loved ones, talk of suicide. • Full Review

Dead Dogs Don’t Bark by Tolu’ A. Akinyemi • A lot of these poems are full of anger and passion, I can practically imagine how strong it’d sound when it’s being read out loud. Unfortunately, pace-wise, it’s not working for me. The inconsistency caught me off guard, as in one part, the poetry was all raging with exquisite and beautifully-chosen words, but in the next one, it was a short motivational speech that happened to be rhyme. Final Rating — 2/5 • Mini Review

The Avant-Guards, Vol.1 by Carly Usdin • This is such a cute, fun and well-represented graphic novel! I especially love the using of creative layouts for the panel! I’m definitely waiting for Vol. 2! Final Rating — 4/5 • Trigger Warnings — Panic attacks. • Buddy Read — Inah @ The Bibliophile ConfessionsMini Review

Meal by Blue Delliaquanti with Soleil Ho • Another well-represented graphic novel that tries to raise awareness about entomophagy, a fairly unfamiliar subject for some people, including me. Unfortunately, the detailed explanation quickly turns into a massive info dumps and overly-technical and I just couldn’t keep up. Final Rating — 3/5 • Mini Review

Stay by Lewis Trondheim • It took me by surprise that with only nine pages in, someone was decapitated already, but really, I keep waiting and waiting and nothing happened. On the other hand, I truly appreciate the art style and it was so beautifully done! Hands down, visual-wise, one of the prettiest graphic novel that I’ve read this year. Final Rating — 2.5/5 • Trigger Warnings — Animal assault, explicit graphics. • Mini Review

TOTAL BOOKS I READ IN 2019 SO FAR: 37 BOOKS

around the blogosphere

Writing a book review is kinda expected from us when we decided to become a book blogger. I mean, it’s probably one of the reasons why we started our book blog in the first place, to share our thoughts about the book, am I right? Regardless, it could be really hard at some points. Last month, I discover these awesome posts that help me to ease the stressful process of writing a book review. Check them out and hopefully, it could help you too!

⇾ CW @ The Quiet Pond shared a whole of 63 prompts that you can use whenever you feel stuck when writing a book review! SIXTY-THREE. Now, I don’t think I really have any excuse to not write a review!

⇾ If you feel overwhelmed just by looking at those handful number of prompts, perhaps a how to write a review post from Hamad @ The Book Prescription is perfect for you. Sharing his own method to write a book review, I found it to be quite similar to mine!

⇾ Still related to review-making, you might want to read this fun post from Trang @ The Bookidote. The only tip is write for you and do not try to please everyone!

And now, here are some other creative and delightful posts that I enjoyed from last month!

⇾ If you ever wanted to make your own mood board, consider this step by step how-to post from Tiffany @ Read by Tiffany a read! She mentioned everything that you need to know, from the source to get legal pictures to the use of color and composition!

⇾ Kat @ Novels and Waffles shared a unique post where she mentioned her ten favorite book dedications! I never curate a list of mine for this matter, but now that I read Kat’s post, I’m more than excited to try!

⇾ If you’re anything like me and you’re obsessing over The Wicked Fox even when you haven’t read it, I can guarantee this lovely wallpaper freebie from Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads will cheer you up!

⇾ It’s story time with Kal @ Reader Voracious and she shared her childhood obsession over mermaids! Um, I can relate?!

⇾ I stumbled upon this fun, trending bookish tag from Destiny @ Howling Libraries! I mean, the fact that’s it’s July and we’re halfway through 2019 is freaking me out already, but hey, I’m going to stress out anyway, so count me in.

Your turn! How’s last month going for you?

Monthly Wrap-Up: May 2019

Here we go again with yet another super late wrap-up post! May was pretty good because I started to get out of my reading slump. It’s also very exciting because I got selected to participate in three blog tours and all of them are featuring amazing books! The tours will take place in July and August, and I’ve prepared exciting material for my stop, so stay tuned for that! With that being said, here’s a quick wrap-up from last month!

what i read last month

Stranger Things: The Other Side by Jody Houser | I liked the consistent references to Dungeons & Dragons, the roleplaying of Will as Will the Wise, and the Upside Down’s version of Christmas’ lights incident (although it was not scientifically explained, but again, this is a work of fiction after all so it’s okay). Also, I’m a big fan of the art style, so props to the artists! It suited Stranger Things’ vibes perfectly. Final Rating — 3.5/5 • Trigger Warnings — Gore graphics, jump scares. • Mini Review

The Binding by Bridget Collins | I expected this book to be more fantasy/magical but turns out, it’s more drama/romance oriented, which I don’t mind, actually. It just feels like a wasted potential because I got attracted for the binding concept yet the concept of binding itself was not very much explored. And although I rate this book 3.5 stars, I wouldn’t mind a sequel especially because of the open-ending. Final Rating — 3.5/5 • Trigger Warnings — Abuse, animal cruelty, homophobia, murder, rape, sexual abuse. • Full Review

You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn | I wish I could enjoy this book just like the majority of reviews that I read from the past few weeks. Unfortunately, I couldn’t because neither the characters nor the plot worked for me. I did enjoy the country musical references, especially since I’m not that familiar with this genre. The lyrics that popped every now and then in some chapters were pretty good too.  Final Rating — 2/5 • Trigger Warnings — Alcoholism, death of loved ones, drug addiction, suicides. • Mini Review

100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons | THIS 👏 IS 👏 SO 👏 FREAKING 👏 GOOD 👏 I can’t wait to share my full review (August 5!) and gush about this debut release to everyone! Final Rating — 4.5/5 • Full Review to Come

TOTAL BOOKS I READ IN 2019 SO FAR: 31 BOOKS

I want to include other things like movies, series, and posts that I published last month, but to be honest, I was not productive at all and barely finished anything. So, there’s the super-quick wrap-up from last month and hopefully, I can be a little bit better this June!

Your turn! How’s last month going for you?

Monthly Wrap-Up: April 2019

Hi, everyone. First of all, I’m completely aware that we’re already in mid-May and it’s probably a bit too late to post a wrap-up. And second of all, I hesitated to write this post because I’ve been in the longest reading slump since March and I’m not proud of my readings from these past few weeks. But, I gotta say I did a pretty good job with my blog posts, especially last month (eh… hopefully?). 

Blog Posts

As for reviews, I posted one (first chapter) book review and one movie review last month. I participated in a massive blog tour with other 100+ bloggers which hosted by Dave @ The Write Reads for After the Green Withered by Kristin Ward. I also posted a review for Us (2019), one of my most anticipated movies for this year, especially since I’m a big fan of Get Out (2017). 


I’m also really excited about a new feature that I started last month, called Debut District. This feature is an appreciation towards debut authors and debut releases through fun, varied posts like interview, book blitz, listopia, review, and other related content. Last month, I published three posts for this feature and I feel quite proud because it’s also my first author interviews with as well!


As for other misc posts, such as memes, reading and watching updates, I post a few of those too. 


And last month was also quite special because one of my posts got featured as #blogoftheday on The Write Reads


Book Haul

I’ve been drowning in ARCs since March and it’s the main reason why I’m trying my best to control myself to not over-request last month. But, I’m glad to welcome these four books to my TBR, especially because they will be published over the next few months. Even one of them will be published next year! 


Read & Watched

Like I previously said, I’ve been in reading slump for a couple of months now, hence the reason why I read almost nothing last month. I tried to spark the excitement by reading tons of manga, but when it’s time to pick up a heavier book, I’m back to my slumping-mode, yet again. Sigh. But anyway, here are the two books that I finished in late March / early April along with a few of favorite manga from last month.

Things are probably a bit better with my watching. I watched a couple of movies and aside from Game of Thrones, I found my new favorite show, which is a Korean reality show called Korean Hostel in Spain! Surprise, surprise. This is completely new territory for me because I don’t even watch K-drama before. I think I’ll make another post about the show once it’s finished (?). I’m not sure yet, but I only watched a few first episodes of it and I’m already hooked!

Your turn! How’s last month going for you?

Paper to Popcorn: Dumplin’

Paper to Popcorn is an occasional feature on Artsy Draft in which I do review of a book to movie adaptation.

Book

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.
 
Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.
 
With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

★★★½

Title: Dumplin’ | Author: Julie Murphy | Publisher: Balzer + Bray | Genre: ContemporaryRomanceYoung Adult | Publication Date: September 15, 2015 | Format: eBook | Source: Anybooks | Read for: Diverse Divers Book Club January 2019 #BOTM | Links: Book Depository (Affiliate)

[su_spoiler title=”→ Trigger Warnings!” style=”simple”]Body hatred, fatphobia. sexism.[/su_spoiler]

Movie

Dumplin’ (2018)

The plus-size, teenage daughter of a former beauty queen signs up for her mum’s pageant as a protest that escalates when other contestants follow in her footsteps, revolutionizing the pageant and their small Texas town.

★★½

Title: Dumplin’ | Director: Anna Fletcher | Starring: Danielle Macdonald, Jennifer Anniston, Odeya Rush, and Luke Benward | Genre: Comedy • Drama | Released Date: December 7, 2018 (US) | Links: NetflixTrailer

I read this book and watch this movie as part of Diverse Divers Book Club. This review supposed to be posted earlier this month, but I wasn’t able to do so because I got caught up with graduation ceremonies, but better late than never, right? Anyway, I’m trying my best to remember my emotions and feelings towards these two, considering I read and watch it quite a while ago.

The Friendship

First thing first, let’s talk about the differences regarding Willowdean’s relationship with her friends. There are a few differences between the book and movie, especially on the timeline. I feel they’re rushing it on the movie because I got caught off guard by how fast everything happened on the screen. For instance, the meeting of Will and Callie on the pool happened a little later in the book. We got the opportunity to get attached to Will and her universe first, the friendship between her and Ellen, and also Will’s very own personality. I think these are very crucial aspects of the plot since it will make us more sympathetic to each character. While in the movie, the scene where Will meets Callie for the first time basically acts as the opening scene and one might interpret Will’s attitude towards Callie as petty. I’d say this is such a wasted opportunity, especially for those who watch the movie without reading the book first. And the other thing that bothered me quite a lot is Amanda nonexistence on the movie. I understand that it’s nearly impossible to fully transfer everything from the book to the screen when it comes to adaptation. But I just feel a bit surprised that they decided to completely erase her.

The Romance

The romance within the book and the movie were both unnecessary in my opinion. I personally feel this story should be focusing solely on Willowdean’s journey of finding self-acceptance, building a better relationship with her mother and also Ellen. While the book had it worse for this aspect (c’mon, love triangle?), the movie also didn’t do any better especially with the cast. I don’t feel connected to Bo’s character at all and I feel Benward is a little too old for this character (yes, even when he’s clean shaven). And again, they decided to ditch Mitch from the story? I’m not the biggest fan of the love triangle, but I ship Will and Mitch more than Will and Bo.

The Mother and The Dead Aunt

Ah, finally my favorite part of the story. The mother-daughter and aunt-niece relationship. While the book brings a meaner side of Willowdean’s mom, the movie successfully makes her a lot more likable, thanks to Anniston. When I read the book and get to any part of the conversation between Will and her mom, all I want to do is scream and yell at her because I couldn’t stand her. But on the screen, she has a different persona, I’d say. There’s no mention of close-minded opinion that featured quite a lot in the book, which is something that I’m completely grateful for (may I remind you of “It’s flattering to get catcalled.” and the assumption that having a boyfriend will cure your problems?). As for Lucy (one of my favorite character!), I think the movie missed the opportunity to feature a lot of her wise sayings from the book.

Overall…

I’m one of those people that will get pissed when an adaptation is not done properly and this is one of them. However, I think the book is quite decent and a lot better than the movie where everything feels rushed. I appreciate the issues of fat-shaming that Murphy tried to bring within her book, while also covering the relatable aspects of teenagehood lives, including self-acceptance, best friend fighting, and family issues. As the final notes, I decided to give the book 3.5/5 stars and the movie 2/5 stars.

Remarkable Quotes

[su_quote]Will. I’ve wasted a lot of time in my life. I’ve thought too much about what people will say or what they’re gonna think. And sometimes it’s over silly things like going to the grocery store or going to the post office. But there have been times when I really stopped myself from doing something special. All because I was scared someone might look at me and decide I wasn’t good enough. But you don’t have to bother with that nonsense. I wasted all that time so you don’t have to. If you go in there and you decide that this isn’t for you, then you never have to go back. But you owe yourself the chance, you hear me?[/su_quote]

[su_quote]Maybe ’cause you don’t always have to win a pageant to wear a crown.[/su_quote]

[su_quote]There’s nothing good about losing someone. But maybe Lucy wasn’t supposed to be your compass forever. Maybe she was there for you just long enough so you could learn how to be your own compass and find your own way.[/su_quote]

[su_quote]This is me. Back me up or back the fuck out.[/su_quote]

Have you read this book or watched this movie? Which one is better in your opinion?

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