June + July Wrap Up // in which i pretend like nothing happened but i’m actually proud of myself

Time is a strange thing. Let’s just pretend I read 20 books this month and assume I finished my goals. 😌

This year has truly been like no other. The one great constant in my blogging life has been the fact that I am constantly working on something bookish! Whether it was blogging, writing my WIP, taking pictures for bookstagram, or scrolling through book twitter, I was constantly doing something these past two months.

And now I’m tired, okay? Blogging is hard. I still accomplished some things, and to me, that makes me feel proud.

Let’s just get on to the post!


The only reason I delayed this wrap-up is because I read one (1) book in June. 

I feel like I read a lot in July. I could have sworn I read like 5 books, which is really good for me. But in reality, I finished 8 in July, and since that’s WAY more than I normally read, I actually feel… accomplished? For once? 😳 Who am I? How did I even read so much while Camp Nano was going on? Why don’t I remember any of this? 

Anyway, here’s what I read over the past two months. 

completed: 

Furyborn, by Claire Legrand
⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 | goodreads

I really enjoyed this one! I don’t remember much of my feelings for it, but I definitely want to pick up the sequel. 🙂 

The Henna Wars, by Adiba Jaigirdar
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ | goodreads

!! One of my favorite books of the year! (although I must admit it has not been a great book year for me, but let’s just forget about that for now) The Henna Wars was just so… good. It was fast to read, simple and sweet, and I loved the characters. I even teared up a bit at the end. I will have a more in-depth mini review soon! 

Cinderella Is Dead, Kalynn Bayron
⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 | goodreads | my review

I read an ARC, and I really liked it! It was better than I expected. I have a full review for this one! Read it if you’ve been looking for a twisty Cinderella retelling!

The Tea Dragon Festival, by Katie O’Neill 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ | goodreads | my review

I love this series! It’s seriously so so cute. Nearly a year after reading The Tea Dragon Society, I decided it was time to read this sequel, and I am so glad that I did. I cried multiple times, but that’s probably just a me thing. I also have a full review!

A Gift for a Ghost, Borja González 
n/a | lol don’t recommend

Yes I read this graphic, but no, I do not recommend it. I accidentally borrowed it from my e-library and they wouldn’t let me take it back, so I had to finish it. It was okay, just a little slow at times. 

The Sound of Stars, but Alechia Dow
⭐️⭐️⭐️ | goodreads

I liked it, but The Sound of Stars was just okay. I really really liked the characters and their journey, but the pacing of the book was just slow, and I think that was my main issue. 

You Should See Me in a Crown, by Leah Johnson 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ | goodreads

This one was so cute! YSSMIAC was a great and fast read, but I kind of wish it was longer! Anyways, it was cute and I recommend it. 🙂 

Nocturna, by Maya Motayne 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ | goodreads

I made the executive decision to read this before A Darker Shade of Magic, and it was probably the best advice I’ve ever given myself. I had seen some negative reviews for this book, but most of them had to do with the similarities between it and ADSOM, and since I had nothing to compare it to, I can safely say that I loved this book. 

I will be making a mini review post soon! 

Aru Shah and the End of Time, by Roshani Chokshi 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ | goodreads

I really need to stop saying this, but this book was so cute. 🥺 It reminded me of why I love MG, and it especially reminded me of when I was a simple 12-year-old enraptured in the world of Percy Jackson. This book, and The Storm Runner (and probably other RR Presents books), are exactly what I want this generation of new readers to read. I’m so excited for young readers to read these books, and I’m excited for myself to read them, too! 

Something about the fact that the main characters were both girls made me so… happy. It made me feel good inside. I also related to Aru, and I loved that. I have a lot of other things to say, so I think I’m going to include this in the mini review post later! 

currently reading: 

The Storm Runner, by J.C. Cervantes 
goodreads

I haven’t finished this one yet, but I am definitely enjoying it. 😌 Just like Aru Shah, it’s making me so happy to read MG again! Why didn’t I try reading this sooner? I need more Latinx Middle Grade in my life!

Cemetery Boys, by Aiden Thomas 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ | goodreads

Obviously, I am living my best Latinx life, and I have never been happier. 

I never knew how much I needed to read more Latinx #ownvoices books until recently. But now? Only Latinx, please. I am Mexican-American and that part of me is screaming to be nourished. 

Also! Cemetery Boys is amazing. (For me, anyway.) Just as I expected. I’m not including it in the “completed” wrap up, because I finished it in August while writing this post, but I loved it. Please pre-order! 

On a Sunbeam, by Tillie Walden 
goodreads | link to read

I’ve been kind of busy but I really need to get back to reading this graphic novel. It’s so visually interesting! I love it. 🥺

The Fever King, by Victoria Lee (?)
goodreads

Okay, I’m not technically reading this one… I just accidentally read the first 20 pages because I was so excited to finally have it in my hands. But I’m waiting to finish the other books on this list before I read more. 

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Click on the images to take you to my posts!

After years of questioning how the heck I could edit books onto my photos for free, I made a discovery and posted about it!

I made a mistake. 

Okay, so I will admit that I am guilty of not being very up-to-date on things, so I totally missed it when Cait @ Paper Fury made an updated post about her editing methods between my first editing post and this post. 

This post was inspired by a post Cait made fours years ago! I used Pixlr E and it was absolutely magic. I highly encourage you to try it! 

Blogging has changed my life in so many ways. I wrote a discussion post about how that happened, and why I think making a book blog is a great idea!

I made a nomination post for the 2020 BBAs! Please check out this post for some awesome bloggers to follow!

In June, I finally wrote a discussion post! This time, I made a Part III to my “Things I Should Have Known When I Started Blogging” series.

Other posts I made:

⭐️ My Summer TBR // we all know this is subject to change, but I’m trying

⭐️ The Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus Character Book Tag

⭐️ Writing Update #6 // I’m joining Camp NaNoWriMo!

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I am terrible at keeping track of the post I liked. These aren’t all from June/July, but please check them out!

🌟 Ruby @ Ruby Rae Reads: MY HISTORY WITH BOOK REVIEWS // a discussion: why I stopped writing reviews (and blogging in general) for a while, how they’ve changed ft. tips to improve yours!!

Ruby wrote a great discussion about her complicated history with writing reviews, and I related to it so much!

🌟 Ash @ Starlight Strands: Recreating Our Favorite Book Covers! // a collab ft. El @ Elated Books

Ash and El @ Elated Books recreated their favorite book covers, and it was so cute and fun to read about!

🌟 El @ Elated Books: ALL ABOUT STAR RATINGS (WHY I DON’T USE THEM & EXPLAINING MY SYSTEM)

El wrote a discussion about star ratings, and it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately! I feel like all reviewers struggle with star ratings at one point, and this point reminded me to make a more structured review system!

🌟 Mandy & Sha @ Book Princess Reviews: Going Book Shopping w/ my Co-Blogger (& a $50 limit)

Mandy and Sha went online book shopping together and it was such a fun blog post idea! 😊 I loved reading how they worked out their shopping limits online, and I could just imagine how this would go down in real life! (I also miss in-person book shopping, and this reminded me of that past life ability 😔)

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Summer time! 💫 I finished school in early May, but for some reason, it didn’t truly feel like summer until June. I tried to do a lot more relaxing in June, but it just didn’t happen, and I ended up being stressed for most of July. 🙃

Camp NaNoWriMo – July edition! 💫 I joined Camp Nano! (and omg i just remembered i promised an update post for that! i am truly all over the place) It was going really well at first, but then I posted my first update about it and jinxed myself. 😔 After that, I was never on track again! But, spoiler alert, I won Camp Nano at the very last minute! *celebrate noises* I was able to finish my 30k words just in time! I’ve never actually written this amount of words in that amount of time before… and therefore, this was super productive! 😊

An internship! 💫 I’ve mentioned this before a few times, but I got an internship with a small literary agency! My boss and the other interns have been very nice to work with, and I especially liked talking about books, but I am going to be sad when the internship ends. I might return in a few months, so that could be cool! (But it will also take up some of my time so please be gentle with me when I suddenly become even more sparse than before. 🥺 I’m trying my best to be here, okay)

A new home? 💫 With my family over the past few months, we have been talking about moving house for a while now, but… there have been some complications with this. There’s a very nice house (perfect for storing a lot of books 😉 ) that we all like, but it’s a little risky for a few reasons, so we’ve been spending a large amount of time talking about it and looking at other houses. This takes up so much time! 😦 I wish I could do some blogging things while we have those conversations, bc this really ate up a lot of my normal free time. And we still don’t have the house yet! 

Stress!! 💫 Once again, I fell into the trap of Blogging Anxiety, and it stopped me from doing a lot of things here. Nothing felt good or good enough. I was stressed over the possibility of not completing Camp Nano, and… idk. I almost quit blogging, maybe two times. But this is all in my head and I just need to think about it a little more. 

Bookstagram! 💫 I started to post regularly on bookstagram! For the first time ever! Please go follow my bookstagram here, for top-quality mediocre content. 😌

Book Blogger Awards! 💫 Thank you all for nominating me for Most Helpful and Best Discussions in the 2020 Book Blogger Awards, and for taking me to the voting round! 😭💕 I highly suggest that you look at a lot of the other blogs, to support as many blogs as possible! You can vote for your favorite blogs on May’s post or hereOnce again, thank you so much for just supporting my blog in any way, I love you all.

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I don’t even know why this is a category! It will only press my stress further! But if I do complete them… I will be happy.

💫 Post 4 times. I hope I can post more than this! But 4 posts seems very doable for right now.

💫 Complete WIP draft 1. I’m so close to finishing the first draft! I can probably finish this week, so I can start editing soon!

💫 Read 5 books. This is pretty self-explanatory! I’ve already complete liked 2 books this month, so it shouldn’t be too hard. I hope.

💫 Self care to reduce stress. I really need to do this. 😦

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Hello! What did you do over these past two months? Did you do anything exciting? If that’s even possible? Are you going into online school anytime soon? Join me as I mourn my freedom to blog.

Chat with me about it!


You can also be my friend on Goodreads!

Happy reading, everyone! Have a lovely day! Please stay safe and healthy!

Starry Sky Books-13

25 thoughts on “June + July Wrap Up // in which i pretend like nothing happened but i’m actually proud of myself

  1. Congratulations on your internship and everything you’ve accomplished in the past two months! I really loved your blog post about editing pictures onto book covers for bookstagram. I also read YSSMIAC recently for book club and found it so cute! I haven’t read any of the other books that you listed, but I am excited to read The Henna Wars soon because I’ve heard so much praise for it. I am also starting online school in less than ten days, which is exciting but a little bit nerve-wracking, since I don’t know what the new format or quality of the course will be like. Good luck with your goals for the next month! :))

    claire @ clairefy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Claire! I’m glad you enjoyed my photo editing post! 🙂 I really liked listening to YSSMIAC as an audiobook, and I hope you enjoy The Henna Wars! Good luck with online school! I start tomorrow and I’m not really looking forward to it, haha. Good luck with everything this month!

      Like

  2. I’m so happy you had such a great July! And congratulations on winning Camp! I also participated but used it to plan my novel rather than writing a draft (I still got 10k words down though).
    I feel like, during this pandemic, we’re putting so much pressure on ourselves to be extra productive and whatnot. This is not healthy at all, and I hope you can manage it better this month.
    As always, lovely post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Juli! 🙂 10k words is still great, congratulations on doing that! And good luck with the rest of your draft!

      Thanks, I really need to think that way some more. I do feel pressured to be very productive, but sometimes it’s good to relax and do other things instead.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The tea dragon society is something I’m so so so excited to read but need to figure out how to get my hands on – still not sure if I’m plunging in & buying it or if I should just borrow it from the library, decisions, decisions 😂

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  4. Congratulations on reading so many amazing books and for having your internship! It sounds really fun and I’m glad to hear your boss and coworkers have been amazing 😀 I’m really excited to read The Fever King and Aru Shah as I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about them ✨

    Like

  5. Congratulations on your internship and on nanowrimo and I’m so happy that you almost form with the first draft of your book!
    There are so many amazing books you have mentioned here that I need to read soon

    Have a great day and happy reading 😊💕

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  6. Welp Xanrda, we had opposite months welp. Read A TON in June and July was lowkey a failure. Been feeling really similar, I’ve also been SO BUSY but at the same feel unproductive?? It’s weird.

    Haven’t read any of the books you read yet. As per usual. But I am SO EXCITED about basically all of them. Hoping to pick up You Should See Me In A Crown on audiobook soon. Hopefully. I’ve also The Henna Wars and The Fever King so need to get my hands on those eeeppp. And your Tea Dragon obsession has already convinced. I think that one is coming to my country soon so Imma be reading it as soon as it arrives. The fact that you’re loving Cemetery Boys has me even more hyped too! My reading life has been lacking many things, new 5 star reads and graphic novels included.

    Ahajdshkjahs THANK YOU FOR MENTIONING ME!! All the love for you and agh SO GLAD you could relate. Was SO NERVOUS about that post so it really means a lot.

    Also YAY for writing and doing so wel!! 30k is AMAZING XANDRA. I had time to participate in Nano this year, I usually never do bc high school exams but I actually could this year. And then I didn’t. Because I’m terrible. And I seriously need to continue with my 7k draft welp. So you’re both reminding and encouraging me!! Double yay for your internship. SO EXCITING.

    Your bookstagram is doing so amazing and I LOVE your photos so much!! But also please don’t leave. My heart would be destroyed. (But also you ain’t alone bc I also sometimes feel like quitting sometimes). Good luck with all the goals, you gonna slay them!! xoxoxo

    Like

  7. I didn’t know you can read On A Sunbeam online!! Thank you for including the link to the comic!!! I’ve been eyeing this one ever since I saw good reviews from others who have read it. Also The Fever King 😍 Well I haven’t read it yet but I WISH I COULD. I would love to know your thoughts on the book once you finish it 💕

    Congrats for the internship!! That’s exciting, working for a literary agency (doesn’t matter if it’s big or small) 😆 I wish you all the best with your internship, Xandra! And pleaseeeee your bookstagram is beautiful okayyy?? I mean have you seen mine? If you’re calling yours “top-quality mediocre”, what about my bookstagram then?? 😂😂

    Wishing your August to be a better month for you 💖

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  8. Pingback: The Liebster Award
  9. Ahh so happy you loved You Should See Me in a Crown!! It’s such a great read 🙂 I’m so excited to read Cemetery Boys- hopefully I’ll be able to get to it ASAP ! Good luck on all of your goals for this month, you got this 🤩🤍

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  10. So happy to hear that you had a great July reading month! I also expected more from The Sound of Stars, it was just so slow and I found myself not being immersed 🥺 I hope you enjoy reading The Fever King, it’s such a fantastic book!

    Congrats on winning Camp NaNo, that’s amazing!! 💗 Also so happy to hear that you got an internship that you liked! I hope you’ll be able to practice more self-care to reduce some of your stress ❤

    Like

  11. I read The Henna Wars too! It’s such a good read 😁 and I’m looking forward to getting my e-copy of You Should See Me in a Crown from the library! Ooh that internship sounds amazing — chatting in person about favorite books is SO MUCH FUN. Your Bookstagram looks incredible too, with its own beautiful aesthetic! Good luck with all your goals 😉

    Like

  12. Great wrap-up! Our taste in books is so similar 😆 I’ve read Cinderella is Dead, Furyborn, The Henna Wars, You Should See Me In a Crown and Tea Dragon Festival! I can’t wait to read Cemetery Boys and On A Sunbeam! I hope you love them both and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts😍

    Like

  13. You’ve read so many great looking books ahh! I really want to read The Henna Wars, You Should See Me in a Crown, Cinderella is Dead and The Sound of Stars. I’m sorry the last two disappointed you in some parts 😦
    I’m so happy for you about your internship and I hope you’re learning a lot, what an incredible opportunity. I’ve been loving your bookstagram as well!! ❤
    I wish you all the best, Xandra, and take care of yourself first and always, you're amazing ❤

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  14. Your blog post titles sounds so fun!! Watch me binge read your posts when I’m supposed to be studying for my final tomorrow.

    On another note, you read some really good books in July along with everything else! Hope it continues in August 🙂

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  15. we had very similar opinions on the sound of stars and you should see me in a crown and i loved how the cover of these titles look together, hahah. purple is my happy color.

    i recently finished the henna wars and it’s so deserving of the hype it gets! i loved the writing, as you said, it was very simple, but i feel like it was perfectly paced and engaging the whole time. i am very excited to read more by this author!

    can not wait for the release of cemetery boys! i’ve seen so many people hyping it up on twitter and even though fantasy is not entirely my thing, i’m really hoping i’ll love it!

    congrats on your internship & doing camp nano! i really hope you and your family work things out in the house soon and that you have a great august!

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  16. xandra!! i think i saw ur tweet on priv that ur going on blog hiatus, and while i’m sad that we’re not gonna get more quality content from you, definitely do what’s best for you and your mental health ❤ blogging comes with a lot of struggles and i totally understand why you need a break 😭 also, we share the same thoughts about the henna wars!! ahh, it was just… so good. a very solid 4 stars, which is very high considering how my reading year has been going, haha. while not a very complex story, it was so easy to breeze through, and i loved the qpoc rep and nishat's relationship with priti. same with you should see me in a crown!! it's just such a feel-good book, and i love how full of Black joy it is 🥺🥺 i wish you all the luck with your wip and school! you're doing amazing, i promise!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. caitlin i saw this reply when you made it but i still haven’t found the time to come back here so i’ll just reply now. 😭 yes, i’m on hiatus and i just feel really bad about it. actually i think it’s because i’m too hard on myself and i feel like the content is not quality anymore :(( but thank you for being so nice. ❤ i’m glad you liked the henna wars!! haha, looks like not every book you read is 3 stars, so that’s good! thank you so much!! i wish you luck on everything, too! 🥺🥺 you are too kind

      Like

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