Welcome to my monthly wrap-up for April!
The spring months are always slightly chaotic for me. Something about the warmer weather (and the astrological new year at the tail end of March) always gives me this huge burst of energy. I’m inspired to get things done and to make changes that need to be made. So while not a whole lot happened in my life this month, I have the feeling that a lot of changes are on their way. I’m starting a serious job search in the next couple weeks; my parents are coming to visit from Oklahoma; and I’m planning a trip to New York with one of my oldest friends.
in my writing life
I made some serious headway on the novel I’m currently dubbing BiDepressiveYA (and yes, I made a hashtag for myself on Twitter). I rethought my plot structure—which is now going to be somewhat of a dual narrative between her current therapy sessions and the events and people that led her to seek help in the first place. So I revised my outline extensively and I finally “finished” the first quarter of the draft. And by finished, I mean, it’s readable, but not edited yet.
My goal for April was 25,000 words, which I completed after only three weeks! I ended up with 34,400!
in my reading life
The April challenge for Diverse Reads 2017 was Mental Health – aka my lane ✨
Accurate representation of mental health issues is something very near and dear to my heart. I’m fortunate that of the 12 books I read this month, 10 of them had mental health rep and 8 of them did it extremely well.
from the TBR shelf
- Off the Page by Jodi Picoult & Samantha van Leer (on loan from a neighbor) – 2/5
- Unravel by Calia Read (New Adult) – 1/5
- Running With Scissors (memoir) – 2/5
(Clearly I had really bad luck with previously owned books this month.)
- Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall – 4/5
- The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli – 5/5
- When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez – 4/5
(Zero regrets on purchasing this month!)
- All Things New by Lauren Miller – 3/5
- Speed of Life by Carol Weston – 4/5
- Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin – 4.5/5
- Between Two Skies by Joanne O’Sullivan – currently finishing – probably 4/5
(Stay tuned for more of these reviews on the blog in May!)
Reading Challenge Updates
I should finish Between Two Skies this weekend – which will be my 50th book read this year! I have been so lucky with time to read so far this year, which means that I will have read more books in 2017 than in any year previously (at least, since I joined Goodreads).
I have now read 28 diverse books, 6 nonfiction books, and 4 books published before 1977. So far I am ahead on every goal except diversity; my goal is to read 66% diverse books this year so I hope to really up my diverse reads next month to catch myself up.
spotlight: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Nearly everyone who’s got their hands on this new release is gushing about it. I think I’ve seen one mean review (from a really “popular” Goodreads reviewer who pretty much always shits on diverse books). I had a lot to love about this book. Molly’s voice resonated with me so hard, and I don’t know if it was her anxiety or her crushes—my inner teenage self just felt so heard reading this book. Please buy it. You won’t regret it.
on the blog
At the beginning of April, I finally revamped my blog: new design, new graphics, and a brand new blog title! I’m super excited about it. I started of 2017 wanting to get back into blogging, but I’m finally at a point where I take it a little more seriously. I want to see where I can go with this aside from just posting my book reviews.
It’s only been a few weeks, but I have to say that I’m feeling really good about the blog. I know that no design set up or graphics scene is permanent, and I know that ultimately my words are more important—but it’s nice to appreciate the way my blog looks.
Plus, I’ve noticed that since I’ve been pushing myself to come up with discussion topics and writing these posts, it’s gotten a lot easier. Writing is such a muscle, in that if you use it constantly, it becomes stronger. I think I let my non-fiction muscle atrophy a little bit in the *gasp* 5 years since I left academia behind. As much as I’m now taking my blog “seriously” it’s actually turning out to be more fun in that sense.
notable posts from this month:
- I finished up my discussion series on re-reading Harry Potter
- I did 2 Diversity Spotlight Thursday posts: depression/anxiety in YA | mental health & intersectionality
- my first ever Trope Tuesday on Unlikeable Characters: why I love them & think they get a bad rap
- my first ever #MentalHealthMonday, in which I shared some misconceptions people have about clinical depression
- my best picks for mental health in literature: including fiction & memoir
awesome posts from around the blogosphere
- Puput @ Sparkling Letters made a really interesting discussion post about writing reviews – specifically, is there a difference between Goodreads reviews and ones we write for blogs. Puput is on hiatus right now (for good reasons, obviously) but is sorely missed by me and others I’m sure.
- Wendy @ What The Log wrote a lovely post on “What To Say To People With Mental Illness” for #Mental Health Monday
- Krysta @ Pages Unbound talks about “The Real Problem With Insta-Love”
- Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies talks about the outing of a trans contestant on Survivor
- Ann Elise listed her top bisexual books – some of which are my faves as well, others are on my TBR
- CW @ Read Think Ponder put together an amazingly extensive prompt for writing book reviews, for those moments when the to-be-reviewed pile just keeps getting bigger and we’re stuck!
That’s a wrap for April! Thanks for stopping by. If you’ve made a monthly wrap-up post, link me in the comments below!