Wow, hello friends.
I feel like August has been simultaneously the longest and the shortest month ever. I’ve been in Italy all month, enjoying being with my family, my friends and my cat and going to the beach. I was able to spend such a long time home because I was waiting for an important result that would only come at the end of the month, on which depended a lot of my future, and since it was possibly the last time I would be able to chill like this without having to do anything I decided to just go for it and take this time off.
And a few days ago I got the result of my exam, and… I got the best grade in all parts of the exam. I’m so fucking proud of myself and excited for what this means for my future, something I’m not ready to talk about here yet but I hopefully will soon once everything is sorted out. For now, just passing the exam and especially passing it with the best possible result I could hope for has made me feel like I can really do this and I can keep living in a foreign country and be okay. I’ll be okay. I’ll be okay.
My month hasn’t been all positive though. You all will probably have heard about the bridge collapse in Italy a couple of weeks ago. Not just in Italy but in my hometown. Being here while that happened made it all more real and scary. Everyone who lives here has been on that bridge so many times because it’s, well, was, part of one of the most important highways in Northern Italy. I was on it with my mom literally one week before it collapsed. When that happened I was really… not okay for a few days. Events like this one are just so unfathomable and everyone deals with them their own way, but for me these sudden, “unforeseeable” tragic events trigger my anxiety and PTSD, on top of the pain and sadness at seeing how many people lost their lives, so I was really not in a good place. I’m better now and I’m finding acceptance that this happened, and I don’t want to make it look like I’m making this tragic event about me because I’ve lost virtually nothing in it, but I still needed to talk about this because I can’t pretend that it didn’t affect me.
So yeah, anyway I don’t know how to transition from this to books again so let’s just pretended I did it smoothly and let’s move on to talking about books because there’s a lot to talk about!
📚 26 books total read [I forgot to screenshot the 26th one from my reading challenge page but anyway it’s only another Banana Fish volume]:
○ 13 graphic novels, of which 12 were Banana Fish volumes and one Fence issue;
○ 5 audiobooks;
○ 1 poetry collection;
○ 6 rereads;
○ 3 ARCs;
○ 2 anticipated releases.
I haven’t been this happy about a reading month in quite a while. The thing I’m most proud of are my rereads: I’d been in the mood to reread stuff and also after reading so many contemporary novels I had started to feel like reading fantasy again, so I combined the two moods and reread two series I had wanted to reread since I first read them: Six of Crows and Shades of Magic.
There’s not one book I disliked and the lowest rating I gave this month was a three stars and now I’m scared because it can only go down from here ahahahahahah (I mean hopefully not but who knows).
(this section is going to be so long because I had to add almost every book I read this month! but folks, I really had an incredible reading month!
📖 Banana Fish (#10-#19) by Akimi Yoshida: it’s kind of hard to talk about this whole series. Nineteen volumes of 200 pages each is just A Lot and a lot that is a bunch of tragic shit happening and if you’re following me on twitter you might know how well I handled it (as in, I didn’t). Like, guys, this is really fucking sad. I can’t in good conscience recommend it to everyone because it has so many trigger warnings (it’s probably easier to list the ones it doesn’t have) and not everyone likes to read sad stuff. That said, I know some of you (like me) live for dramatic shit so, you know, it’s there if you want to read it. Overall rating ★★★★★/5
📖 Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (reread): I reread this on a whim because I couldn’t stop thinking about Wayward Son and I’m glad I did. That said, I love Simon and Baz with all my heart and I really think the way their relationship is written is masterful, but some of my feelings regarding the plot and especially the queer rep in it are different from the first time I read it and you can read more in my review. It used to be a 5 stars but because of that now it’s ★★★★✩/5
📖 The Ship of The Dead by Rick Riordan (reread – audiobook): amazing beautiful talented brilliant spectacular ★★★★★/5
📖 Heretic Anonymous by Katie Henry: this was one of my most anticipated August releases and it did not disappoint! Atheist rep was what drew me to it and both the rep and the book was really really good. And funny! And eye-opening. ★★★★.5✩/5
📖 Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (reread – audiobook): have appropriate words even been invented to talk about how much I love these books and these characters? I listened to the audiobooks which were really good but I’m picky and I wish some things were different and that all the narrators actually pronounced the same words the same way. But anyway it was great and even better than the first I read them. Both ★★★★★/5
📖 The Raging Ones by Krista & Becca Ritchie: this was my second (in order of release date) most anticipated release this month and I was so happy that I was actually in the mood to read it the day it came out. Right away I fell in love with the characters, which is already a great thing when you have a book like this where the premise sounds great. It had a lot of things I love: great characters, complex relationships, romance, subversion of romantic tropes, sort of a school setting, great conflict. And yet it couldn’t quite reach that fifth star, but I still think it’s great and that ending left me needing the next book. No full review yet but hopefully soon. ★★★★✩/5
📖 Fence #9 by C.S. Pacat and Johanna the Mad: as always I love this comic, but this issue was probably in the best 3 ones so far, at least in my opinion. The tension was amazing and the glimpse into last year’s fencing team life made me so emotional for some reason. ★★★★★/5
📖 Pisces Hooks Taurus by Anyta Sunday (ARC): this series is so much fun, and this one was just a delight to read. The tropes used and subverted here were amazing and I had so, so much fun. It releases sometime in October so make sure to have it on your radar (and in the meantime definitely check out the first three books in the series!) ★★★★★/5
📖 A Darker Shade of Magic & A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab (reread – audiobook): I love rereading and I love rereading as audiobooks. The audiobook for ADSOM was kind of bad though, but fortunately they changed things in AGOS (and ACOL too) and the last two audiobooks are amazing. As for the book themselves, well they’re just as great (if not better) as the first time I read them. Schwab’s writing style is one of my absolute favorites and she makes her characters feel so alive. ADSOM ★★★★.5✩/5; AGOS ★★★★★/5
📖 I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman: I liked a lot about this but at the same time I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed. I found the discussions around fandoms very accurate even though I’ve never been in a real-life fandom like Angel is. But at the same time I think something about the plot just didn’t click with me by the end, even though I love the characters. I can’t explain my feelings really well but it’s a ★★★★✩/5
By the time this post is posting I’ll probably have started something else too and/or finished either ACOL or Vicious, anyway this is what I’m actively reading now. Both ACOL and Vicious are rereads, Vicious because Vengeful is coming out soon (!!!!) and I wanted to remember all the details, and ACOL because I’m continuing my SoM reread lol. Herr der Diebe is really good and I’ve been reading it slowly since July which is a little fucked up but while I was in Italy I almost never felt like reading in German lmao but I hope I’ll manage to finish it somewhat soon.
Since my time in Italy was all about relaxing and enjoying myself, I didn’t spend too much time blogging.
📜 I mainly scheduled and wrote some ARC reviews;
📜 I wrote another post for my lgbTBR+ series: F/F fantasy & historical books on my TBR
📜 I wrote a review for the Violet Hill series by Chelsea M. Cameron. I love writing series reviews, I find them so useful and they’re so much fun to write!
📜 I did the Dreamy Book Covers Tag in which I finally got to fangirl about some of the covers I love most.
I fear the rest of September is going to be chaotic and hectic for me, so as much as I really want to get back to blogging more regularly and with a somewhat stricter schedule, I think that probably won’t be possible yet. October will probably be even worse but we’ll talk about that when the time comes.
I’m continuing to watch the Banana Fish anime as it comes out and it’s ripping my heart out. Especially since I’ve finished the manga and now I can see all the foreshadowing and tiny hidden heartbreaking pieces… Also, the anime is still almost exactly like the manga and I’m so impressed by it but also *breaks in a cold sweat* please @ Mappa change certain Things. I also am so very confused as to how they plan to fit everything in 24 episodes since we’re 10 episodes in and those were barely 6 manga volumes. I hope they have a season 2 planned because they’d have to remove too many plot lines in order for everything to fit and then things wouldn’t make sense anymore.
I also watched To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on Netflix and it was so so so good!!! I haven’t read the books and I don’t know if I will but the movie was so adorable and what’s amazing is that I’ve actually watched it all from start to finish without pausing and getting distracted on twitter and stuff. Do you know what an accomplishment that is for me?? Me, who watches a 1.5 hours movie in a total of 4 hours on average. Go me!
I was almost forgetting but I’ve also watched season 7 of Voltron: Legendary Defender and uhhh you didn’t hear this from me but I actually really like it. That’s all you’re getting out of me because I don’t want to get into discourse with anyone about it and I’m enjoying my fandom-free VLD experience a lot thank you very much.