Hello there, frens. By now I’ve started school and the end of August is nearing. Summer went by fast, but at the same time I feel like a lot of great things happened. I didn’t do as much as I could’ve done, especially when it comes to writing, but I tried some new things and made good memories. Here are the highlights of the last few months!
I read a grand total of 28 books this summer. I’m pretty happy with that, even though I didn’t get through the huge tbr pile. Here are some mini-reviews of my favorites, along with some attempted artsy pictures with them. 😉
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
I committed a reader crime and watched the movie first… it was kind of confusing, but it intrigued me enough to read the book. I’m glad I did. It was short and unique and made me feel and think. Following two very different teens in high school, the story grapples with being your authentic self versus trying to blend in with the crowd. It has an important message, captivating characters, and a subtle yet gripping plot. I really need to read the sequel and find out more about what happened at the end, because I was (and still am) shook.
Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill
I read this YA historical fiction on my trip to Florida. It exposes a side of history that I didn’t know much about before, but wow, it was sad. The two main characters, Evalina and Taichi, each had interesting point-of-views and were easy to root for. This story definitely made me want to read some more historical fiction.
Jackaby by William Ritter
I had high expectations for this book after it was compared to my favorite series of all time, Lockwood & Co, and it did not disappoint. It was more like Sherlock than Lockwood, but I also love Sherlock so I’m not complaining. The story follows Abigail, the new assistant to the slightly eccentric supernatural detective Jackaby. I loved reading this duo’s humorous banter, near escapes from death, and other fantastical adventures. This murder mystery with a magical twist was a lovely read, and my favorite of the series so far.
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
I read this book in one day. I find the “secret identities” trope pretty fun (and usually frustrating), and it was played out well in this ya contemporary. The premise of two people getting to know each other through letters left at a graveyard grabbed my attention. The characters felt real and distinct and made me keep reading until the end; I can’t remember if I cried, but some moments for sure punched me in the heart.
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Oh how lovely this story was. Maggie Stiefvater is the queen of captivating prose and vivid worlds. This is the only book by her I’ve read, but still. The book moved at a very slow, drawn out speed, but all the little moments made the characters and world so real. The atmosphere captures autumn stunningly, so it’s almost the perfect time to read it! The water horses were a lot less creepy and violent than I expected, and the race only lasted a few pages near the end. Even though the book was a lot different than I thought, it was very beautiful and lovable. Puck and Sean and Finn and Gabe all felt like dear friends. The Island of Thisby is one I very much want to visit again.
P.S: I totally cried at the end.
(However, use caution if you try to bake the November Cakes recipe found in the back of the book. I may or may not have almost caught my house on fire attempting to make them. Be smarter than me and don’t put butter in a saucepan on medium-high heat.)
Your Lie in April (volumes 6-8)
My library kindly got me a loan for these! Your Lie in April is my favorite anime and the manga are nearly as good. Some of the extra little quotes and scenes in this that didn’t make it to the anime grabbed my heart and ripped it into tiny pieces… these small beans are just so sweet and wholesome and I wish I could protect them. 😥
Movies & Shows
Grave of the Fireflies – I was not expecting this one to be so depressing. The characters were sweet, but I didn’t feel like there was any character arc. From the start you knew the kids were doomed. I heard this was based on a true story, so I suppose the film was just trying to portray life during the war. It wasn’t really for me, but it had some sweet moments.
Ponyo – I watched this when I was really little, but I had pretty much no memory of it and decided to rewatch it. I loved it. Ponyo is such a cute and fluffy story that is sure to warm your heart. Ponyo and Sosuke’s friendship was wholesome and precious. Sure, the concept is weird, but I thought it was unique and interesting.
Haikyuu!! – This show is currently my obsession. I love all the characters so much and talk about it pretty much every day with my spectacular friends. I am currently waiting impatiently for October and the rest of season four’s release. Until then, I’ll be gazing at the lovely Oikawa poster on my wall (thanks Carlye) and probably rewatching it.
Besides that, I went on two trips, drew quite a bit of fan art, watched some of the Harry Potter movies with my brother, turned sixteen, and went on an adventure with my friend. I’m sad it’s over, but excited for fall! I hope great things will happen.
How was your summer?