september wrap-up

It’s that time of the month…

September just flew by! I’ve been keeping busy with my multitude of personal projects–they seem to be getting out of hand lately! Writing, crochet, blogging, keeping up with my TPT store, reading, working out…it’s been A Lot.

But it’s been a good month, and I finally feel truly ready for fall. (If only it’d stop being so abnormally hot around here…) I’ve been productive and busy and overall pretty positive about life. Which is great!

Read on for my monthly wrap-up.

Continue reading “september wrap-up”

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august wrap-up

It’s that time of the month…

August was just about the perfect summer month for me. It started off with a vacation in Northern Michigan, boating and wine tasting and relaxing. It was filled with spending time with friends and sisters. My younger sister and I joined a gym and started working out together. I kept busy at work and busy at home. Overall, it was a nice balance of things, and I’m almost sad summer will soon be over (though fall is my favorite season).

I didn’t have a ton of success with reading until later in the month; I got into a slump when I just wanted to continue reading Robin Hobb and had to wait nearly a month to get the books from the library. *growls* Regardless, I’m currently in the middle of a few books that I should finish near the beginning of next month, so that makes me feel better about my measly list below.

Read on for my monthly wrap-up!

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bookish things

stats

  • Total books: 6 books
  • Total pages: 2,797 pages
  • Longest book: Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb
  • Shortest book: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  • Favorite book: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  • Least favorite book: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

mini reviews

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb: ★★★★☆

Fitz and all his adolescent adventures. He’s definitely a teenage boy in this one, but his continued story is full of even more political intrigue, his frowned-upon Wit, and complicated relationships.

Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb★★★☆☆

Fitz and the fool, Nighteyes, a journey across the land, and an impossible quest. A slow-paced yet wonderfully character-driven finale to this trilogy.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty: ★★★★☆

Three mums, some kindergartners, a bully, and an eventual murder. Touches on deeper topics than you’d expect. A quick and enjoyable read. Read my full review here.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik: ★★★★☆

A girl, her best friend, a wizard, and a prince. A book full of magic and a corrupted wood. Whimsical and full of lovely descriptions. Read my full review here.

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel: ★★★☆☆

Pieces of a giant robot are scattered around the world, and a team comes together to discover and study them. Told in interviews and journal entries, this story is dramatic, fast-paced, and full of science.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman: ★★★☆☆

A boy returns to his hometown and uncovers memories he didn’t realize he had, of a girl named Lettie Hemptstock and her mystical family. A short story full of magic, suspense, a touch of horror, and childhood.

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crafty things

I wasn’t super crafty this month. I realized that when I’m not working on a specific project for a specific someone, I get bored easily. As such, when I finished my star baby blanket (below), I didn’t have much desire to work on other things.

But! I started thinking about what I’d like to tackle next off my to-crochet list, and I think next month (especially with the start of fall), I’ll be a lot more productive.

completed

  • star blanket
  • infinity scarf
  • mug cozy, headband, experimental odds and ends

in progress

  • neon baby blanket
  • body pillow cover

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bloggish things

Here are some of my favorite blog posts from August:

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How was your month of August? What were some of your highlights?

Until next time,
Brianne

book review | the gentleman’s guide to vice and virtue by mackenzi lee

the gentleman’s guide to vice and virtue by mackenzi lee

My Rating: ★★★★★

Henry “Monty” Montague is eighteen years old and going on his Grand Tour of Europe. Accompanying him is his best friend and unrequited love, Percy, his younger sister Felicity, off to school, and their chaperone aka “bear-leader”, Mr. Lockwood. Monty has hopes for a Grand Tour full of nights out with Percy, drinks and frolicking aplenty. Mr. Lockwood, on behalf of Monty’s father, has a different idea. Little known to them, the Grand Tour will turn out to be nothing like they expected. Instead, they end up on the run, breaking into prisons, getting captured by pirates, and planning a heist to recover something from a sinking island.

Recommended if you like:

  • tons of diversity
  • tropey adventure stories
  • strong characters with fantastic chemistry and realistic relationships

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My Spoiler-Free Review

This book is just ridiculously enjoyable. It was exactly what I hoped it would be, and I loved every bit of it! It’s a perfect tropey adventure story–and so long as you don’t start taking it more serious than it’s meant to be taken, I think everyone would love this book. Strong characters, relevant societal issues, adventures!, coming of age, the sweetest slow burn romance you ever did read…what more could you want?!

My likes

Monty’s narration was entertaining like nothing else. I usually dislike first person point of view because it’s either too hard to get myself in the protagonist’s shoes OR because the narration is so flat and bland. Neither was the case here. Monty is ridiculous and egotistic, but he’s also super relatable. For all his bravado, he does have self-confidence issues, he’s squeamish about blood, and he doesn’t always say and do the right things. It’s so fun to get into the head of a character like this because half the time they’re putting on their entertaining persona for others, and the rest of the time they reveal to the reader who they are underneath it all.

Felicity. Everyone says she’s a bad ass, and she is. Honestly, not much more needs to be said about that! (Also, I am SO EXCITED to hear that Mackenzi Lee is writing a spin-off sequel about Felicity! HOW AWESOME will that be.)

SIBLING DYNAMICS. I’m very close to my siblings, so I’m always all over sibling dynamics in books, and Mackenzi Lee did a fantastic job with Monty and Felicity! How realistic is their relationship! They don’t get along! They tease each other! They butt heads! But at the end of the day, they have each others’ backs. I’m here for that.

The romance. It’s slow burn. It’s secretly in love with your best friend. It’s friends to lovers. It’s communication mishaps. IT’S EVERYTHING. It was so well done, and it wasn’t even the 100% focus of the book. I kept reading partly because we only get teasing little moments of the romance in the midst of the rest of the adventures, and Percy and Monty were just TOO CUTE.

Diversity. Ridiculously amazing job at this without it being too in your face or overdone. It did not feel like the diversity was added just to make the book diverse. It was a book about real people, with diverse backgrounds and issues, and they had the same adventures anyone else could have. Loved it.

Settings! Descriptions! The Adventures! I enjoyed it all so much.

My not so likes

Basically nothing?!

I will say it did take a while for the actual plot to get going. But I didn’t care. I was so into the characters from the first page that I would have kept reading 1,000 pages and not cared if the plot hadn’t begun yet.

Also, the book is a tad long. But again, this worked out in my favor.

Overall

GO READ IT. This is one to buy, if you like buying books. You’ll love it.

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Have you read The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue? What did you think of it? Leave your thoughts below!

Until next time,
Brianne