BEST READING MONTH OF 2020: July 2020 Wrap Up

July was a weird month. It wasn’t bad in the least bit – I had plenty of days floating around the pool, I was finally able to hang out with friends from college whom I hadn’t seen since we left campus in March, went to the beach every week, celebrated one of my best friend’s 22nd birthday, AND got a new T-Swift album! At the same time, I was really busy with grad school this month, and I feel like my uncertainty for the rest of this year really set in.

I’m really content with the amount of books I read July, having read 14 in total! I feel like I’m really in my summer reading groove now – I find that I basically binge read 2-4 books every week between Thursday through Sunday! I read books that I LOVED this month, but I also had a few misses. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read so many good books this year and a few that have become all-time favorites, but I don’t really have any big expectations for the second half of my 2020 reading year just because of the way life IRL is right now.

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The Dare (Briar U #4) by Elle Kennedy | 4/5 Stars

The Dare was another fun installment in the Briar U series (review is coming in August!), but it wasn’t my absolute favorite in the series.

The Idea of You by Robinne Lee | 4.5

The Idea of You was so, so worth the read – if you need a scandalous romance this summer, pick this one up!

Playing with Matches by Hannah Orenstein | 5/5

I’ve been really excited to read Head Over Heels soon, so I figured I should try Hannah Orenstein’s debut, Playing with Matches, beforehand and I LOVED it!

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo | 4/5

I’ve made it my mission to read all of Elizabeth Acevedo’s books this year, and I started with her latest release, Clap When You Land. It was such a unique story, and I loved Elizabeth Acevedo’s writing.

Have a Little Faith in Me by Sonia Hartl | 5/5

I want to put Have a Little Faith in Me in the hands of every reader looking for a summer camp read or YA book with tons of sex positivity and discussions.Read More »

BOOKS, TV, & MY CURRENT NORMAL: June 2020 Wrap Up

June was another transitional month into my new normal, with plenty of books in tow. I’ve been keeping busy, between starting my remote jobs and grad school. It’s crazy to think I finished my first round of grad school classes, and my second round started this week. I started experiencing some Zoom burnout this month, so reading and taking my eyes away from my laptop screen with books helped things. I actually have to read two YA books for my grad school classes in July, and I’m so excited to be getting to read YA for school – I read two YA books for undergrad, but that was purely because I decided to do my capstone projects on them.

My reading and TV watching were all over the place this month. I read a lot of contemporary and reread a few books, while I still dove into a reality TV this month. I often had trouble really concentrating on TV, movies especially – I had one night where I tried watching three different movies and then ended up rewatching Cheaper by the Dozen 2 and an episode of Queer Eye. 

What is also improving my reading mood even more is that my local library re-opened for door side pick up! I may or may not have put 15 books on hold as soon as the online catalog re-opened. Although there are plenty of good things going on personally right now, there’s definitely still some uncertainty this summer, to say the least. While my state’s covid-19 cases have significantly decreased over the past two months, we’re seeing multiple states have huge increases in cases. Between work and school, I’m typically home Monday through Friday but these increases has made me rethink a few weekend plans and curious to see how my state moves forward with re-opening plans. I went to my first outdoor restaurant and first trip back to Barnes & Noble last week, but my family and friends and I are still being cautious and smart about where we go. 

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Beach Read by Emily Henry | 5/5 Stars

Like me, I’m sure you’ve seen Emily Henry’s Beach Read EVERYWHERE, but I’m here to confirm that the hype is more than worth the read! There’s such depth to this contemporary romance.

Love at First Fight by Sandhya Menon (novella) | 5/5

I’m a firm believer that Sandhya Menon is the queen of novellas, with Love at First Fight as no exception. You don’t have to read it before picking up 10 Things I Hate About Pinky this July, but it was a really fun addition to the Dimpleverse! 

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell 5/5 (reread)

One of my best friends IRL is reading Fangirl, aka honestly my all-time favorite book, which led me to make the decision to reread Rainbow Rowell’s contemporary books this summer. Attachments still reigns as my favorite adult fiction novel of hers. 

Slay by Brittany Morris | 4/5

If you’re looking to read more YA books by black authors, as well as books that reflect some of the conversations we’re currently having about race in the U.S., Slay is definitely worth checking out. Read More »

SUMMER READING START & NETFLIX: May 2020 Wrap Up

IMG_2733May was another month having to adjust to the new normal we live in, with plenty of books & TV and a few more life happenings. In short, I graduated from college (virtually), read a lot of books, started grad school (virtually), and started working on my summer tan!  Since my state has had one of the most severe amount of outbreaks, we’re still primarily home as some stores and business slowly start to re-open. I’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to work from home and take graduate school courses online, so I have a feeling I’ll be spending a lot of time still home this summer.

Since I now do monthly If We Were Having Coffee posts and Fangirl News, I’ve decided to not include the Life Happenings section in my monthly wrap ups. I’ll add some tidbits about life lately in my introduction but I’ll be getting into more detail about my life and anticipated bookish happenings in those respective posts.

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The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass | 3/5 Stars

The One was actually my least favorite book in The Selection trilogy. America annoyed me the most  out of all three books, and it threw in so many new elements that were too late, considering that this is the last book in the trilogy. I know The Heir and The Crown are considered sequels, but I’m not sure if I see myself picking them up.

 Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren | 4.5/5

 I totally now understand everyone’s love for this Chriistna Lauren favorite! Hazel is one of my new favorite protaoginsts of theirs.Read More »

CONTEMPORARY READS & REALITY TV MOOD: April 2020 Wrap Up

April was another month filled with ups and downs. I’m super grateful for my health and safety right now, but I am definitely missing college life and like everyone, wondering when we’ll be able to get back to some state of ‘normalcy.’ This month, I technically finished my undergraduate work (online), had some fun Zoom sessions and reunions with friends, and again had so many books and TV shows as comfort.

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The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee | 4/5 Stars

The Thousandth Floor was the first book of April that fit my ‘let me catch up on all the YA dystopian contemporary (trust me it’s a category)’ and shortly after reading, found myself buying books #2 and #3.

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Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2) by Lyssa Kay Adams | 5/5

Undercover Bromance was such a great companion sequel to The Bromance Book Club. It also made me realize how much I need a book featuring the Russian.

Brunch and Other Obligations by Suzanne Nugent (ARC) | 4/5

It had been a while since I picked up a women’s fiction book, but I enjoyed Brunch and Other Obligations for its slightly comedic twist.

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris | 3/5

My sister finally got me to read Behind Closed Doors in April. It definitely wasn’t the best book ever (sorry sis), but at the same time, I couldn’t seem to put it down. 

Not the Girl You Marry by Andie J. Christopher | 4/5

I took a little break from (adult) contemporary romances in April , but I’m glad I still read Not the Girl You Marry. Despite the mixed reviews for this one, I thought it was a cute & funny read.Read More »

March 2020 Wrap Up

It’s an understatement to say that this March wasn’t the best. I’ve shared some more details below and in some posts this month, but March was definitely an adjustment to a new type of normal for me, having moved home from my last year of college two months early. I am very appreciative of all the people in my life during this time, but the following books and TV also were the perfect way to find comfort.

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I’m so especially that I read so many incredible this month- at least five of these are favorites of 2020 and contenders of being my #1 favorite book of 2020!

Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett (ARC) | 5/5 Stars

I think I finished Chasing Lucky on the last day in February, but forgot to add it to my February wrap-up. I haven’t met a Jenn Bennett book I haven’t loved, but this May 2020 release nailed everything I love in a YA contemporary.

Blitzed (Playbook #3) by Alexa Martin | 5/5

Blitzed follows one of my favorite characters in the Playbook series, Brynn. I loved the romance and the recurring cast from the first two books.

break your glass slippers by amanda lovelace | 4.5/5

I know I’ll be revisiting a lot of the poems in this new favorite Amanda lovelace poetry collection of mine.

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February 2020 Wrap Up

February was filled with some fun moments with family and friends- and all the homework and school/senior year stress- but I was content with the amount of time I was able to commit to reading this month! March is going to be an even busier month with school and work, but I have some really exciting weekend plans with friends and family coming up. While I do have work and homework to do, I just started my spring break and I’m hoping to dedicate some serious time to reading and blogging this week.

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Belonging: A German Reckons with History and Home by Nora Krug | 4/5 Stars

My friends are reading Belonging in a course on the Holocaust that I’ve already taken, and I was really intrigued by this graphic novel while looking over their syllabus. Exploring her family’s life in World War II Germany, Nora Krug’s memoir is told through a variety of historical documents, letters, and photographs. It had such a unique format and a very interesting story.

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton | 4/5

I finally gave into the hype and read Chanel Cleeton’s Next Year in Havana, which I really enjoyed! Despite all of the reviews I had read before, there were a few twists I was not expecting at all!

Harley in the Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman (ARC) | 5/5

My favorite read of the month and so far in 2020, I was blown away by Akemi Dawn Bowman’s Harley in the Sky. The circus setting absolutely sold and I loved the focus on Harley’s relationship with her parents.

Night by Elie Wiesel (reread) | 5/5

I’ve been reading Holocaust memoirs for my independent study this semester, which made me want to reread Elie Wiesel’s Night– I hadn’t read it since the eighth grade!

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NEW YEAR, SAME FANGIRL: January 2020 Wrap Up

January 2020 has been one of the busiest months of my life. I spent so much time with my friends this month, went abroad (for the first time ever) to Ireland, and jumped into my final undergraduate semester. Between friends, school, and abroad, I didn’t have too much time to dedicate to reading in January- and I’m content with that. I really enjoyed the books that I did pick up, as well as the TV and films I was able to also watch this month.

whatireadnew The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper (ARC) | 3/5 Stars

The Gravity of Us delivered on its NASA and space-premise, but I just wasn’t a fan of the chemistry between the main characters and character development.

The Risk (Briar U #2) by Elle Kennedy | 5/5

The Risk is my favorite book in the Briar U series! I loved everything about this book, and I can’t wait to read the last book in the trilogy- even though I am putting it off for a bit longer because I don’t want to be done with the Off Campus world yet!

You’re Not You by Michelle Wildgen | 4/5

You’re Not You was a really enjoyable adult contemporary and I’m interested in watching its film adaptation.

Together We Caught Fire by Eva V. Gibson (ARC) | 3/5

Together We Caught Fire is definitely a unique YA contemporary romance and provides an in-depth look at a lot of issues. However, I was not the biggest fan of the character and plot development and relationships.

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WINTER BREAK READS & TV WATCHES: December 2019 Wrap Up

With the fall semester officially over, much of my December was spent reading and watching up TV. Unfortunately, I basically had a cold when I came home from school for winter break that lingered around until Christmas. It went back and forth from going away to getting worse over the course me having it, likely not being helped by my winter break job either.

In short, feeling a bit under the weather gave me more of an excuse to spend some time resting and catching up on all the books and TV shows. While I’m really content with the amount and the actual books I read, I’m also glad I spent a lot of time this month with family and best friends. I had such a great, but very busy fall semester with an already equally busy January and spring semester ahead that it’s been really nice to relax and recharge.

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My December reading was primarily split between some (okay, two) fantasy conclusions and plenty of contemporary and contemporary romance.

Archenemies (Renegades #2) by Marissa Meyer | My Rating: 4/5 Stars

I’ve really enjoyed this superhero-inspired series from Marissa Meyer so far, although I feel that Archenemies suffered from middle book syndrome.

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams | Rating: 5/5

My favorite read of the month, my love for The Bromance Book Club inspired the rest of my contemporary reading in December.

The Queen of Nothing (Folk of Air #3) | Rating: 2/5

I had such high hopes for The Queen of Nothing given my love for The Wicked King, but was unfortunately really dismayed with this trilogy conclusion.

One Day in December by Josie Silver | Rating: 5/5

The only strictly holiday read on my December TBR, I’m so glad I finally got to One Day in December because I loved it so much!

How to Build a Heart by Maria Padian (ARC) | Rating: 4.5/5

I also got a small start of my 2020 review reads with How to Build a Heart, which featured many of my favorite YA contemporary elements with its own twists.

Intercepted (Playbook #1) by Alexa Martin | Rating: 5/5

Hi my name is Haley of Fangirl Fury and sports romance is one of my new favorite genres, much in thanks to Alexa Martin’s Playbook series.

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READING & CHRISTMAS MOVIE-WATCHING: November 2019 Wrap Up

November has been what feels like both the longest and shortest month of my year. This month was even more filled with school assignments- four research papers due the first week in December- and related things. I fortunately had some really fun experiences with my friends and family this month. I plan on doing a If We Were Having Coffee: The Fall Semester edition in December, filling you on some in real-life happenings of mine over these past few months- and some very exciting things planned for the new year!

Returning to bookish and fangirl things, I’ve so far read 5 books this month while still completing Schitt’s Creek. Given how crazy school life was in November, I’m both content with the amount of books that I read and wish that I had read more. With my winter break approaching, I’m really excited to have more time to unwind and dedicate to reading and blogging next month.

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All-American Muslim Girlby Nadine Jolie Courtney | 4.5-/5 Stars

All-American Muslim Girlwas my surprise favorite and a new contemporary favorite for me this month. It took me some time to settle in, but I absolutely adored the character development and emphasis on family and faith.

 When the Stars Lead to You by Ronni Davis | 3/5

When the Stars Lead to Youwas unfortunately my most disappointing read of the month. While I appreciated that it handled some heavy issues, I wasn’t a fan of its execution.


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(Arc of a Scythe #3)by Neal Shusterman | 5/5

I am here to admit that I definitely neglected those four school research projects for a few hours at a time this month to dive into the 625 page beast that was Neal Shusterman’s The Toll. And it was worth it!

Renegades by Marissa Meyer | 5/5 

I officially cannot believe that it took me over two years to pick up Marissa Meyer’s Renegades because I loved it so much!

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren | 4/5 

I finally read The Unhoneymooners! This was such a fun and flirty read and would make for the perfect one-sitting read over your holiday break.

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BOOKS, TV, & FALL THINGS: October 2019 Wrap Up

October was a month filled with so many (good) things and moments in my academic and personal life. That being said, my life was more busy and honestly hectic than it’s ever been before. October often marks midterm season in the college world, which meant a few papers and writing assignments on my end, including having to start drafting my first of two senior research papers. I know I haven’t been too specific about my senior project for my English major (honestly I’m still working out my subtopics and arguments even with my 15-20 page draft in the works), but I can reveal that I’m talking about Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give! I’ve luckily read a decent amount of contemporary literature in my English courses, but this is my first time studying YA.

Between also balancing my course-load alongside my jobs and social time (trying to make the most of my last year living with all of my best friends), my brain has been feeling fried and not exactly in the mood to read at the end of the day. Probably also not helping my reading life, I watched so many great new TV shows this month.

I really wish I was reading more, but I’m at the point where I have to dedicate my free time to the aforementioned things. However, I 100% admit that my senioritis is definitely kicking in and I’ve been finding myself drifting  to blogging and reading when I should probably be doing school work. I think it’s also because it’s almost (!!!) the end of the year and I’ve been working on my favorites, yearly wrap-up, and holiday-themed posts, but I’ve been so in the mood to read lately because of all the new books coming out still this year (I’m looking at you, The Toll and The Queen of Nothing.

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The Chase by Elle Kennedy | 4/5 Stars

I was so excited to jump back into the Off-Campus world with The Chase. Although it’s not my favorite Elle Kennedy book, I loved having Fitz as one of the protagonists.

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The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh | 4/5

The most Halloween-esque book that I read in October, I enjoyed The Beautiful for its atmospheric setting and for the fact that it broke my usual reading habits with its paranormal and mysterious story.

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston (ARC) | 4/5

October marks Christmas season prep in the Fangirl Fury handbook, which further encouraged me to pick up 10 Blind Dates. 10 Blind Dates was a fun holiday mood read. I really enjoyed its family focus.

 

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