Tag Archives: Monthly Recaps

August Recap 2019

To be honest, I don’t have too much to say about August. Oh…except that I got engaged! My (now) fiancé and I went on a little vacation at the beginning of the month, and he popped the question! Of course, I said yes, but I am so excited! We’ve already begun planning the wedding, and I am finding myself overwhelmed. There is so much to planning a wedding that I didn’t even think about.

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What I Wrote:

After much debate, I decided to trunk my YA thief novel. I’d lost momentum and inspiration, and found myself uninterested in working on it anymore. As much as I didn’t want to, I had to listen to what my mind was saying. It was pointless to force myself to write something I wasn’t passionate about anymore.

That said, I did start writing my Foreign Princess WIP, and am currently 18,000 words in! I’m aiming for at least 70k – 80k for this one, and so far, it’s going well!

What I Read:

Total: 4

Wilder Girls by Rory Power ★★★☆☆

I was so eager to read this book and anxiously awaited its arrival. There were so many things about this book that I was loving: survival of the fittest, deadly diseases, mutation – all of it was great. This book should’ve been a five stars from me.
And then the ending came.

While I don’t want to spoil it, the only real thing I can say is that there was hardly any resolution. Almost none of the questions brought up in the beginning were answered. The book ended on a very weird note, and I haven’t heard any confirmation that the author will be writing a sequel. If this remains a standalone novel, I will be very disappointed.

I’ll Never Tell by Abigail Haas ★★★☆☆

I am so torn on how I feel about this book. The novel follows Anna, a high school senior who goes on vacation with her friends. When one of her friends is murdered, Anna is to blame. The novel jumps between different timelines – detailing Anna’s life in school before the vacation, the events during the vacation, and then Anna as she is detained in prison while awaiting trial.

There was so much I loved about this. It was a great read, and I read almost all of it in one sitting. But much like Wilder Girls, once I got to the end, I was stunned at the twist. While it got me totally off guard, there were a lot of loose ends. While I really enjoyed this book, I don’t know if I would read it again.

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan ★★★☆☆

I wanted to love this book – and I was. I loved the characters, the world, the magic, the atmosphere – everything about this book pulled me in from the very beginning. And then: the end came. The end of this book felt very rushed; many things were left unanswered, certain magic rules set in place suddenly flew out the window. This was the kind of book that I loved reading in the moment, but once I put it down, I started to notice a lot of inconsistencies within the plot.

Likewise, after every book I finish reading, I read other people’s reviews to see if they felt the same way I did. In reading and watching reviews of this book, many things were brought to my attention regarding discrepancies within the plot, the world, the characters, and with the author herself. It’s clear that the author borrowed many ideas from other source material – which, while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since many authors do the same – the fact that so many different reviewers noticed almost plagiarized ideas made me feel a little uneasy.

All this said, I did enjoy this book enough to pick up the sequel. Considering this is the author’s debut novel, I’m willing to look past some of the issues and give her a second chance.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig ★★★★☆

I really, really enjoyed this book. Craig’s debut novel is a dark fantasy retelling of the classic fairytale Twelve Dancing Princesses. There was so much about this book from the characters, world-building and writing that I really enjoyed. I read 130 pages of this book in one sitting, and when I picked it up again, I could not put it down!

The only reason I’m not giving it five stars are because of a few little, nit-picky things that I can’t mention without spoiling the whole book. But otherwise, I highly recommend picking this one up!

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What I’m Watching:

The fiancé and I finished watching Dragon Ball Z Super, which we loved. I’ve been watching The Originals more as well, but as of right now, we have no idea what to watch together as a couple! Any recommendations?

Currently Reading:

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How I Did: August Goals

At the beginning of August, I gave myself several goals:

• Finish revising adult fantasy WIP
• Finish writing YA Thief Idea
• Send adult fantasy back out to beta readers
• Create blog schedule for September and October
• Start writing YA Foreign Princess Idea
• Start plotting new adult fantasy romance idea
• Research literary agents
• Revise query letter for adult fantasy WIP

I’m happy to say that I completed five and a half of these goals!

For starters, I not only finished revising my adult fantasy WIP, but I also sent it out to beta readers! I even researched literary agents and revised my query letter. It still needs work, but I’ve got a good start! I also created my blog schedule for September and already have them my posts scheduled and ready to go. And as I mentioned above, I started writing my Foreign Princess WIP! All in all, I feel pretty good about the goals I accomplished last month.

September Goals:

• Finish writing Foreign Princess WIP
• Organize list of literary agents
• Get submission materials ready for Pitch Wars
• Submit to Pitch Wars
• Plot out adult fantasy WIP sequel


How was everyone’s August? Let me know in the comments!

XOXO – Devon

April Recap 2019

Well, April is over and May is here. The weather where I live has been up and down from good to bad. We even had a snow storm a couple days ago. I am so sick of this rainy weather, and am eagerly awaiting the sunny, warm days.

April started out a lot like March did. I was recovering from my kidney stone but continued to have pain, and ended up in the hospital once again. I’m feeling a lot better now after tons of rest, but I finally made an appointment to see a urologist to try and figure out what the heck is going on with my body.

I also finished writing my YA Thriller, Little Lost Girls! It ended up at 54k, which was 10k-20k shorter than I had anticipated writing. I’m not too bummed about it though, since it gives me a lot of room to really expand on the mystery and the characters.

Overall, April has been an okay month for me. I’m proud of myself for writing another book, but there’s still a ton of work ahead.

What I Wrote:

I am so happy to say that I finished writing my YA Thriller, Little Lost Girls, which took me about twenty days to write. Camp Nano really helped me shoot for meeting a daily word count goal. Unfortunately, I’m not too thrilled with the way it turned out. It needs a lot of work to get into shape, and I’m not rushing to dive into rewrites or revisions just yet. I have some other projects I really want to write first.

What I Read:

Total: 8

They All Fall Down by Roxanna St. Claire ★★☆☆☆

I actually posted a full review of this to Goodreads, which you can read here. I went into this book with high expectations, expecting a thriller with a lot of unique twists and turns. While the author did deliver on that – there are actually three different twists thrown at you – the ending is what failed. The final twist, while unique, is highly implausible and doesn’t make any sense. Your suspension of disbelief really needs to be thrown out the window to enjoy this book, and unfortunately, I didn’t.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart ★★★★★

Wow, wow, wow. I picked up this book on a whim because I’d heard such good things. But this novel did not disappoint! While I wasn’t a fan of the writing in the beginning, somewhere around page fifty I suddenly got hooked into the plot. The characters were great, the twists and turns, the story – everything about this book was amazing.

People Like Us by Dana Mele ★★☆☆☆

I love a good boarding school mystery, but this one fell flat. While I liked the premise, I had a hard time connecting to our main character, Kay. Much of the plot revolves around the characters ability to generally be jerks to one another, and the mystery itself was just kind of…boring? The first half of the novel was rather fast-paced and exciting, but somewhere in the middle, it really slowed down and became less than enjoyable. And while I didn’t see the twist coming, I was just too bored to be hooked any longer.

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Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser ★★★★☆

I’m a little torn on how I feel about this book. On one hand, I did enjoy reading it. I liked the characters and the story. But on the other hand, I feel like this was marketed as a thriller, and it really…wasn’t? The book focuses more on domestic abuse and the realities of what can happen in a situation like that. Because of this, the end twist was pretty obvious, and there wasn’t much of a mystery. Had I known going in that this book was more about abuse, I think I would give it five stars.

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian ★★★★☆

The sequel, Lady Smoke, came out earlier this year, and I really wanted to reread Ash Princess before reading it. If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I love this book. I like the characters and the world-building is solid. I appreciate that our main character, Theo, uses her mind more than she does magic. Seeing a character only rely on their wits and not be some super badass assassin or magic wielder is refreshing to read.

All that said, the reason I haven’t given this five stars is because of the ending. There’s a particular twist at the end that I’m not a fan of. Reading it this time around I wasn’t bothered by it, but the first time I finished the book, I was really underwhelmed and a little upset. Ash Princess is still a gem, and I would definitely give it a read.

Lady Smoke by Laura Sebastian ★★★☆☆

I was originally going to give this book four stars, but after some reflection and reading other reviews, I decided to lower it to three. As much as I loved Ash Princess, I really think Lady Smoke suffered hard from second-book syndrome. While I thought the initial set-up was great, the rest of the book suffered from a saggy middle. The entire plotline about Theo trying to find a husband who could provide her an army pretty much becomes null and void in the end, and if you took it out of the book entirely, I don’t think it would have suffered.

On top of that, I was most disappointed about what happened to another character. In Ash Princess, something happens to another character and I was eagerly awaiting to see what would come of her in this book. Unfortunately, she doesn’t show up until the very end, and even then we don’t get to see much of her. I feel like the author really missed out by not including this character’s own POV in the novel, which would’ve been so interesting to explore.

In the end, I’m pretty disappointed by Lady Smoke, but I’ll still be reading the final installment in the series when it releases.

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Sea Witch by Sarah Henning DNF’ed

I’d heard mixed reviews of this book, but as a big fan of the Little Mermaid as a kid, I was excited to dive in. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t connect with anything about this book. The writing style never pulled me in, and I couldn’t connect to the characters. On top of that, this story was just…boring. I never felt like anything really pulled the plot along, and the magic system and world-building didn’t make much sense. I got halfway through this book in one sitting, but when I put it down and began dreading coming back to it, I knew it was time to put it aside. Maybe one day I’ll come back to it though.

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen ★★★★☆

My mom actually let me borrow this book some time ago. She’s an avid thriller and horror reader, so her recommending it made me even more excited to read. That said, I read this novel in one sitting, and couldn’t put it down. The writing was beautiful and I loved the detail and interwoven mysteries of the plot.

My only gripe is that the final, big end twist just didn’t blow me away like I was hoping for. While I definitely didn’t see it coming, I just sort of shrugged me shoulders and thought, “That’s it?” On top of that, I’m a little over the “husband-who’s-too-good-to-be-true-is-actually-an-abuser-” plotline that seems to be surfacing a lot in thrillers lately.

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What I’m Watching:

The boyfriend and I finally caught up on all seven seasons of Game of Thrones, and he got HBO so now we can watch the last season live! We didn’t have it when the first episode of season 8 aired, but we got to watch episode two! I’m not going to lie that it felt good to watch and be in the loop with everyone else. I’m totally rooting for Daenerys to take the throne – she’s been my #1 since the beginning. Who are you rooting for?

Beside Games of Thrones, we also started watching The Magicians, which we’re both really enjoying.

Unfortunately, I gave up on watching The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. I just couldn’t continue watching with the strange plotlines, the weird characters – I don’t know. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.

I did start watching Switched at Birth. I got halfway through season two last year, and for some reason I stopped watching, I think just due to time. I’m almost finished with season one, and am really enjoying it so far.

Currently Reading:51NFXDZzifL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

How I Did: April Goals:

At the end of April, I gave myself several goals:

• Write 50,000 words for Little Lost Girls
• Outline my three new projects
• Finish my plan for figuring out how to go back to school
• Figure out new topics to blog about

I only managed to complete two of these. While I didn’t quite write 50k for Little Lost Girls, I did end up finishing the book. I also managed to come up with a list of blog topics and have been planning out my blogging schedule every month.

Unfortunately, I didn’t end up outlining my three other projects, or really figure out how to go back to school. I’ve been feeling pretty uncreative lately, and took the rest of April off to try and refill my creative well. I might take a few more days off in May, since I still don’t feel ready to outline the new projects, but I’m definitely beginning to get more ideas!

May Goals:

• Outline YA Fantasy Thief Idea
• Outline Secret Project Idea
• Actually make a plan to go back to school
• Create my June blogging schedule
• Begin writing YA Fantasy Thief Idea
• Begin writing Secret Project Idea

I’ve got my fingers crossed that May will be an even more productive month! What are your goals for May?

XOXO – Devon