sad songs

“We met at the wrong time. That’s what I keep telling myself anyway. Maybe one day years from now, we’ll meet in a coffee shop in a far away city somewhere and we could give it another shot.”

I’m sat alone in Letna park, in a patch of shade overlooking the Old Town of Prague. The three Australian girls I met in my hostel room last night have just left me, and for the first time in over a week, I have a chance to think. To reflect, to write. And in a way, to grieve.

Last night, I saw a man in a suit hand over the lead of a black lab puppy to a haggard-looking woman who was clearly on drugs. He paid her 100 CZK in cash and she yanked the dog harshly, holding the leash tight and dragging it upwards by the neck, making it yelp. Watching it all sort of broke my heart, and I wanted to cry. 

Some people might say I’m a pessimist, and a lot of the time I’d agree with them. But deep down, when it comes to it, I’m a dreamer. A hopeless wanderer, with itchy feet and an open mind prone to fantasies. I love adventures, and the idea of romance, and I want it all, together. I used to want it abstractly and from a distance; it was more of a “someday” sort of dream than an active one. Until I got a little taste. Just a drop—three days. But it was enough.

Enough for me to want more, and to realize I probably won’t get it. Not this time, at least. It’s odd, because I’d never really worried about being clingy before I traveled. I’ve always been pretty good at separating my feelings, isolating the annoying or unnecessary in the presence of someone who might not reciprocate them. And I’ve had flings, and even hookups, during the last three months abroad. They’re fun, and they don’t last. We go our separate ways. We might stay friends on Facebook, or we might not remember any more about each other than a blurry face and a first name. That’s the unspoken rule of travel: you let go. Everyone’s here to meet people and see the world, not to stay or settle down or fall in love. Not in a way that lasts, at least. But somehow, despite knowing all of this, I sort of did.

I don’t wish it didn’t happen, not really. He’s a good, good guy. One of the best I’ve met. In fact, I can only think of one other guy I’ve known, back home, who comes across as pure and lovely as this one. My cynical British friend insists I’m naive about it, too hopeful and foolhardy. But I know. I’ve met good guys, I’ve met decent guys, bad guys as well. But only a few are… tender and pure. I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s more of a feeling, that they respect you, treat you like an equal. They might be more reserved with touch because they’re a bit shy and don’t want to overstep your boundaries. They’re sweet and can express their feelings but they don’t overload you with them. They feel lucky to be with you, but not because they’re insecure. I’m doing a shit job of trying to articulate it, but like I said, when I meet one of these guys, I know.

I feel fortunate, really. It was a beautiful thing for me, and I’ll always have the memories. But it still hurts. It feels like I lost something that I only barely managed to grasp as the time slipped away. Part of it is lust, of course; I’m not entirely immune to that feeling, or the knowledge that it’s a factor in all of this. But for me at least, there was an audible click. And the hard part is not knowing whether he heard it too. Or rather, whether it was loud enough to last. Like I said, I’ve never worried about being clingy, but expectations are different with travelers. Snapchatting or messaging a few times a day at home would be normal, but I’m suddenly worried it’s too much. That maybe I’m a bother. This is all internal fear; nothing he’s done has implied as much. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised when he messaged me that day, after we’d said goodbye. I left expecting it to be over, and was prepared to resign myself to it. I prefer to leave rather than be left, so perhaps I’m overanalyzing the signs, preparing for the worst and to be the first person to take that step if need be. It’s such a long shot for anything to come of it… And yet I want something to. That’s what makes me a dreamer, and that’s what makes it hurt. Because in some parallel world or storyline, something like this could happen, and does happen, for people. The knowledge that, if feelings and motivation were mutual, something grand could emerge from a simple travel fling makes the leaving hard sometimes. Painful even. Because they often aren’t or maybe they are but the two people don’t know that they both feel the same way. Want the same thing. We’re too scared to be honest, to make ourselves vulnerable, and who knows how many opportunities we miss out on because of those fears. I fear rejection, because rejection ruins the dream. And if you let it, taints the beautiful memories. 

I’ve never had a breakup before, never had my heart broken. Not in love, anyway. This is probably the closest thing to it I’ve felt, and I don’t quite understand why. Why him, why now. I wasn’t even looking for anything that night, had worn a loose dress and little makeup and thrown my hair in a bun because I was tired of going home with someone. Tired of missing out on dancing with my friends because I’d met a guy. It’s funny how you find what you’ve been looking for when you finally stop searching for it. And it’s sad because the beginning was almost the end for us; we were both about to move on. 

I could have stayed another night. Thought about it, but not really. I was going to stick with my new friends and see another town, because after all, that’s what I’m here for. Not boys, but places. And the people I meet along the way. But then he came the next day, and stayed up all night with me, long after our friends had gone to bed, because I had to catch an early bus and didn’t want to sleep and didn’t want to miss a moment of this goodbye. I can’t say how much I appreciated that. To sleep with someone—twice—without any sex. Without feeling like I owe something, or that someone expects it from me. Not to say I didn’t want to, because I did. But I think it means more to me this way. It’s more special, rare, and therefore treasured. 

It’s hard right now to imagine meeting another guy. Charlie Puth’s lyric “Does it feel, feel like you’re never gonna find nothing better?” comes to mind. I’ve only thought that before about one other guy, the only other good, good one that I’ve known. (Known and been interested in, I should say.) And even with him, it wasn’t to this extent. That adds to the sadness, because I can’t help but wonder about the “what if’s” and the “might be’s”. Will the feelings fade? They have to, if nothing comes of them, because people move on from real relationships and breakups all the time. They survive, and thrive, and fall in love again. At the moment, I don’t understand how, but I guess I’ll just have to trust the journey. Travel is crazy, and can make you crazy, I swear it. Yet I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. 

After a week, I think that’s what I needed to say. To get it out of my system, or at least sort it out a bit in my head. Writing down my feelings helps me validate and understand them, and I’ve been in a bit of a limbo this last week having them bounce around with no sort of sense. This has been a stream-of-conscious post, which I love doing when I want to dump my thoughts and feelings onto paper (or in this case, the notes section of my phone) without worrying about making them sound orderly or pretty. Despite the fact that I’ll probably post this on my blog, it’s not for anyone else. If you can take something from it, all the better, but I wrote it for me, and I hope that if you’re reading it, you can understand and respect that. I’ve been pretty open and vulnerable, and I hope to God that doesn’t make me come across as fucking clingy. Or crazy. And that I can stop worrying about those words entirely. 

“So we’ll just let things take their course, and never be sorry.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Read in 2016

Here’s a chronological list of what I read (or rather, finished) in 2016. 75 books… The highest number since I’ve started tracking my reading. Woo hoo! I also started, but didn’t complete (with the full intention to this year), at least 9 books, and I had several DNF books (with no intention of ever finishing), as well. Happy New Year!

1. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
2. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
3. The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin, illustrated by Luis Royo
4. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
5. The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
6. The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas
7. The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
8. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
9. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
10. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
11. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
12. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
13. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
14. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer     (re-read)
15. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer     (re-read)
16. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer     (re-read)
17. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer     (re-read)
18. Midnight Sun draft by Stephenie Meyer     (re-read)
19. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer     (re-read)
20. Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer
21. The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide by Stephenie Meyer
22. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
23. Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
24. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling     (re-read)
25. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
26. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
27. The Tailor by Leigh Bardugo     *
28. Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
29. The Demon in the Wood by Leigh Bardugo     *
30. The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson
31. The Offering by Kimberly Derting
32. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
33. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson     (re-read)
34. The Girl Who Fell by S. M. Parker
35. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
36. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, narrated by Jim Dale     **
37. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
38. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
39. The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
40. The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss
41. The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski
42. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling, narrated by Jim Dale     **
43. Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes
44. Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes
45. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
46. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas     (re-read)
47. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas     (re-read)
48. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas     (re-read)
49. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas     (re-read)
50. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas     (re-read)
51. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas     (re-read)
52. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
53. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
54. This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz
55. City of Thieves by David Benioff
56. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
57. Iron to Iron by Ryan Graudin     *
58. milk and honey by Rupi Kaur
59. Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse
60. The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
61. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne
62. One Direction: Who We Are by One Direction
63. Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes
64. Germans as Victims? by Robert G. Moeller     *
65. The Question of German Guilt by Karl Jaspers     *
66. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, narrated by Jim Dale     **
67. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
68. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
69. The Reader by Bernard Schlink
70. On the Natural History of Destruction by W. G. Sebald
71. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
72. Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi
73. In My Brother’s Shadow: A Life and Death in the SS by Uwe Timm
74. Crabwalk by Günter Grass
75. Farewell to Manzanar by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston & James D. Houston     (re-read)

* Novella, thesis/long essay, or short story
** Audiobook

Thanks for reading.


April/May Reading Wrap-Up

I’ve gotten way behind in my wrap-ups these last two months. I’ve totally slacked on writing my thoughts and impressions right after finishing a book and with an April reading slump, AP exams, and the end of high school, I just haven’t kept up with my blog. So here’s a very brief and bare summary of what I’ve read during the past two months.


I read four books and got into a bit of a slump because The Wise Man’s Fear was long and dragging. I also listened to much of the second Harry Potter audiobook.

Hamlet by William Shakespeare | 3 stars
The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss | 4.25 stars
The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss | 2.5 stars
The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski | 4.5 stars


I finished eight books and made progress in two more.

 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling, narrated by Jim Dale | 5 stars
Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes | 3 stars
Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes | 3.5 stars
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas | a million stars
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas | (re-read)
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas | (re-read)
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas | (re-read)
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas | (re-read)
Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas | (re-read)
Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas | re-reading, almost done
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, narrated by Jim Dale | barely begun

I’d just like to take this moment to say that ACOMAF by Sarah J. Maas is everything. It’s an absolute gem. And my favorite book ever. And you should read it. ASAP.

That is all.

Thanks for reading.


February Reading Wrap-Up

Hellooo. Today I’m here to share my February Reading Wrap-Up, a summary of my thoughts on all the books I read this month. Though I strayed pretty far from my February TBR, I had a really good reading month (possibly the best February reading month ever). I read twelve books and started two others. Without further ado, here’s what I read in February!

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin (5 stars)
I read most of this novel in January; I finished the last 20% of it on the first day of February. It was wonderful, packed, and exhausting. I think the show, which I watched first, has really done Martin’s high fantasy world justice, and its producers certainly enhanced characters and plot lines in season 1 that were a bit scant in the first installment of the book series. As far as Martin’s writing goes, I didn’t find it to be overly dense or difficult to follow. However, for whatever reason (though not for lack of interest), this book took me awhile to finishjust over a week. Regardless, I loved it, and it was really cool to read the source material of one of my favorite television shows. I will definitely be continuing on with the series, though I don’t think I’ll be reading its installments back-to-back.

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (4 stars)
My English class read the play aloud in school. I got to read Algernon’s lines for Act I. I thoroughly enjoyed Wilde’s wit and humor, and the play’s satirical elements certainly highlight his social commentary on both Victorian society and people in general. I found myself grinning and chuckling in class whilst reading; the play is really quite amusing.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (re-read)
Oh, wow. Where to even begin? For a very long time, The Twilight Saga was one of my absolute favorite series, a real obsession. For that reason, I will always love Twilight. It was so important to me during a critical developmental period of my life, and re-reading it for the first time in two and a half years (and six years after reading it for the first time) was nostalgic and wonderful. But it also showed me how much my reading tastes have evolved. I was able to see the flaws in Twilight that I have blissfully overlooked in the past, and I laughed a lot while reading because, honestly, the book is incredibly cheesy. But despite it all, I still enjoyed it. I don’t know if I’d be able to stomach Twilight now if I were reading it for the first time. I tend to loathe paranormal romance as a genre, and Twilight definitely contains some of my most-hated tropes: insta-love, ridiculous drama, and moody good-bad guys. However, I think Twilight is gripping because Bella is relatable and a blank slate—women can easily imagine themselves in her place. The writing style is addictive, and though not of the highest quality, easy and quick to read. Twilight has always been an escape for me, and this was the first time (out of 10+ times) reading it that I simply enjoyed the story on the surface, rather than sinking in and becoming engrossed. It has become a light, fun, and nostalgic book for me, rather than the best book I’ve ever read omg. (FYI: I re-read Twilight in the 10th anniversary addition, but have not yet gotten to Life and Death. Also, I definitely think Edward’s perspective is more interesting than Bella’s, at least now—I can’t speak for my 11-15 year-old self. I’m still hoping for Midnight Sun!)

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (re-read)
Despite being my least favorite book of the saga the first time around, New Moon has consistently been one of my favorites to re-read. This time was no exception, as I found it to be a significant improvement from my Twilight re-read. New Moon is better written, and though it does have its cheesy and melodramatic moments (like, say, Bella’s entire reaction to Edward leaving), it lacks some of the annoying tropes that Twilight contains. The biggest difference is that Bella’s relationship with Jacob in New Moon is much more developed than her relationship with Edward in Twilight (which I will concede is mega insta-lovey). I like Bella better in New Moon, though she is oftentimes still so incredibly slow at grasping things. Regardless, I enjoyed re-reading New Moon immensely, and found that most of my chuckling (or outright laughing) aloud was appropriate—Stephenie Meyer sure knows how to play with timing and awkwardness to create humor. If I were re-rating the books now from a completely fresh perspective (which I will absolutely not do—they will retain the 5-star ratings I gave them in sixth grade), I would hesitantly give Twilight 3 stars and New Moon a solid 4. And for the first time ever, I do feel the need to leave a disclaimer that yes, I understand the Twilight books are not the greatest works of literature ever. I rate books based on a number of factors, including enjoyment and purpose. The Twilight books are meant to be entertaining, addictive, and probably a bit angsty and romantic. For the most part, they fit the bill, if you ask me.

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (re-read)
Eclipse was my favorite book in the Twilight series when I first read it, and it has remained my steady favorite since then (despite the fact that I think I’ve consistently enjoyed re-reading New Moon more). It’s quite a long book, and somehow, simultaneously a lot happens and not a whole lot happens. I enjoyed re-reading it, but I found the pace/plot lagging in some places. Also, I realized that I 100% do not buy into the whole “Bella is in love with Jacob” thing. She loves him, and that’s it. Her feelings for him were not in one way romantic (aside from her considering loving him near the end of New Moon, before Alice returns) until he “tricked” her into kissing him at the end of Eclipse. *Cue eye roll.* I did like how Edward changed throughout this book; he went from being über controlling and overprotective to finally giving Bella some freedom and choice. However, their relationship is one hot mess—Edward can be very overbearing and Bella too submissive. But I can’t even get into that in one short blurb review. Maybe another time… My favorite scenes were 1) Alice guilting Bella into letting her plan her wedding, 2) the infamous tent scene, and 3) the Jacob-Edward face-off on Charlie’s lawn after Jacob kisses Bella against her will.

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (re-read)
Well, thus concludes the easiest re-read of the Twilight series that I’ve ever had—emotionally, at least. I have always been of the opinion that the last half of Breaking Dawn is the best part of the series. Not only because Bella is finally a vampire, but also because she starts to hold her own. She shines in her new form, taking control and standing up for herself. And her relationship with Edward is much more equal, though that relationship takes the back-burner big time as Renesmee takes center stage in the plot and the characters’ lives. Yes, everything is tied up super nicely at the end, almost to a fault. But doesn’t the movie make up for it, what with that epic vision/“plot twist”? *winks*

Midnight Sun draft by Stephenie Meyer (re-read)
Ah, how I very much wish Stephenie would suck it up and finish this book. If not for me, then for her mother. I find Edward’s perspective fascinating, mainly because it differs so drastically from Bella’s. Both think they are quite transparent in their words and actions, and yet both are insecure, self-conscious, and, in many ways, oblivious to the other’s feelings. I think the relationship between Bella and Edward is better explained and developed in Midnight Sun than in Twilight, mainly because we actually get to see and understand the specific traits in Bella that draw Edward to her. Midnight Sun also enhances your perspective on the Cullens and their daily life, and let’s be honest—they’re probably the most fascinating and intriguing characters in the Twilight world. I would definitely recommend reading Midnight Sun if you love or have ever loved Twilight!
PDF Link

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer (re-read)
Bree starts out her novella as a not particularly likable character. She has no regard for human life, and the opening scenes are… graphic. However, as she begins to form a connection with Diego and, later, Fred, Bree becomes more relatable. She’s intuitive and has had a hard knock life, both as a human and a vampire. I love that she silently aids the Cullens in the face of the Volturi and her impending death. It was interesting to understand the newborn army and battle better, and to see the Cullens and Edward from a perspective other than Bella’s. Also, being a vampire is not all glam and glory, if you’re living the way Bree and her coven did. Yuck. The last line of the book—Edward saying, “Don’t watch.”— gives me chills because in Eclipse, it’s as though he is speaking to Bella, while in The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, Edward could easily have been speaking to Bree. Poor Bree. I wish she and Diego had run away as soon as they discovered their immunity to sunlight, or that she’d gone with Fred to Vancouver. Bree ended up being a good person in the end, relatively speaking, and her ending, written from her own perspective this time, was both inevitable and haunting. RIP.

Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer (3 stars)
Twilight reimagined. Sort of. I read Life and Death out of curiosity and a sense of compulsion, and this book gave me a complex. I am rating it on the basis of it being BONUS material, not an actual finished book. Admittedly, it was cool to see the ending, the what if, that we’ve all considered in Twilight. It made me realize that the way Meyer did it with Bella was the better way, even though it was frustrating at times because OMG EDWARD JUST CHANGE HER ALREADY. I thought Beau’s cooking and cleaning for Charlie was pretty unrealistic, but I liked most of the changes Meyer made. I think they improved her writing and the original story, and also made Beau’s perspective a bit more realistic. I think the concept of gender-swapping the novel is really cool, but Meyer could have made it better by going one step further and re-writing the story naturally from scratch, rather than trying to fit it into the original. It was a bit awkward, and didn’t work out or fit right with the original characterization at times. And the names are So. Much. Worse. But again, it’s bonus material. I definitely would have preferred to read from Edythe’s perspective rather than Beau’s, but in that case, Stephenie Meyer might as well have just finished Midnight Sun. I’M NOT GETTING ANY YOUNGER, STEPHENIE. Anyway, the ending was REALLY rushed, and a TOTAL info dump. The ending, and the way it was constructed, more than anything, is what really would have detracted from the story and my rating had Life and Death been a “real” novel. I recommend checking Life and Death out if you still have an interest in Twilight. It was fun and interesting to read, but I doubt I’ll ever re-read it. Never say never though, right?

The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide by Stephenie Meyer (4.5 stars)
I thought this was a very interesting, thorough, and well-done guidebook. It satisfied a lot of my curiosity and contains a good deal of bonus content and backstories. There is a TON of great material in the guide.I recommend reading this book if you’re still interested in the Twilight universe!

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (5 stars)
Wow. Where to even begin with this book? It is wholly and completely and utterly amazing. Everyone should read it. Yes, it is young adult historical fiction. But adults should read it, too. It’s eye-opening and life-changing, haunting and poignant, so raw and real. Ruta’s writing is eloquent and unique. I read it really quickly; the pages and short chapters that alternate between four perspectives just fly by. The one change I would have made would be to denote the final chapter (Florian’s perspective) as an epilogue. That’s it. I loved Salt to the Sea so much that I can’t even describe what I loved about it. This will most likely make my top books of the year list, and is probably a new all-time favorite. It’s just that good. It has almost a 4.5-star rating on Goodreads. What the heck are you waiting for? GO READ IT.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (4.5 stars)
I think that, for the most part, Between Shades of Gray is a solid 4-star book. However, I’m a sucker for war fiction, especially set in WWII, and so I gave it a slightly higher rating than the storytelling itself may warrant. Also, I began reading this immediately after finishing Salt to the Sea, which completely blew me away, so it’s a bit unfair of me to compare it to that and expect it to live up to those ridiculously high expectations. That being said, Between Shades of Gray is still a really good book that deals with an aspect of WWII that isn’t covered in many history textbooks. Most of the characters were of varying shades of gray themselves; few were black and white, completely good or evil. Nikolai Kretzsky was one said gray character who intrigued me quite a bit. I think this novel would have been better had the narration altered between several perspectives, rather than being told just by Lina. Nikolai and Andrius are two characters whose backstories I’d like to have seen. And Lina often got on my nerves. The middle of the book drags a little and is slow, and the ending is good, but quite abrupt. There is an epilogue, but many strings are left untied. I suppose it is purposeful, as many questions probably remained unanswered for Lina. However, I was left wanting more. Did her dad really die? What happened to Kretzsky? How did she and Andrius find each other again? Why was she released from Siberia after 12 years instead of 25? So much is left untold. But really, Between Shades of Gray is a good book. I just think Salt to the Sea is much better—more unique, powerful, moving.

I started reading Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie at the beginning of the month and I read the prologue of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak at the end of the month.

What was the best book you read in February? Let me know in a comment below!

Thanks for reading.


February Wrap Up/March TBR

Hellooooo. Today I’m going to discuss what I read in February and what I want to read in March. Remember in my January wrap up that I said I wanted to read five books per month? Well already in 2015 I have failed that goal.

February was a rough month for me, reading and otherwise. I felt bogged down with schoolwork, SAT prep, and extracurriculars for the majority of the month (if I have time later today I’d like to write another post about all of that). Therefore, reading was sidelined and even though I did read sporadically I only got a few chapters or so into several books. But without further ado, here is what I “read” in February.

February Reads

1. I’m technically in the middle of Cress by Marissa Meyer, but haven’t read any of it since I began it in January. It’s the third book in a sci-fi, dystopian fairytale retelling series and while I love the series and this book so far, it felt too big and chaotic to get into in February.

2. I began Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta because in January I was on a high fantasy kick. It’s taking awhile to get into, but it’s beautifully written and I am enjoying it so far. However, I made less progress than I wanted to because the stress and craziness of this month left me yearning for quick, easy reads.

3. I continued reading Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan for the first half of the month. I was reading a story before bed whenever I didn’t have a novel I was in the middle of in January and it was nice to feel like I was still reading by continuing the trend in February. However, once again I put it down because sleep became more rare and thus more precious as the month went on.

4. I began God Loves Ugly by Christa Black, which is a nonfiction book I included in my 2015 TBR post. It is wonderful and I think it’s a book that every girl should read. Again, following the trend of this month, I did not finish it.

5. I began AND FINISHED(!!!!!!!) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. We’re reading this in my English class and I fell in love with it immediately so I read ahead and completed it. This novel is definitely a new addition to my all time favorites list and I already want to reread it.

6. I read my first Hemingway piece this month and I’m excited to read more. I read (and completed! though it’s only three pages) Ernest Hemingway’s short story, Hills Like White Elephants. It’s public domain, so you can read it here. I recommend using SparkNotes or another analysis to help discern the piece’s meaning.

So, as pathetic as it is, that is all I read (or attempted to read) in February. Now, on a more optimistic note, here is what I aspire to read in March.

March TBR

1. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
My friend Grace over at Words Like Silver hosts a Teen Classics Book Club at a local place every month and I have been a really, really bad member the past few months. I haven’t finished the chosen book since November and I need to get back on track! This novel is our March pick, and after getting a tiny taste of Hemingway in February, I’m looking forward to reading it.

2. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
In case you didn’t know, I was selected to be a routine contributor for Lit Up Review, a book blog run by a group of teens for other teens (but anyone who loves YA will love it!). They host a spotlight book club every month and this contemporary romance that deals with suicide is the pick for March. It’s already being made into a movie with Elle Fanning and is said to be reminiscent of The Fault in Our Stars.

The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

3. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
I watch a lot of BookTubers (YouTubers who dedicate their channels to books) and they all RAVE about the Mistborn trilogy. I’ve never read anything by Brandon Sanderson but I’ve heard nothing but good things about his work and all of his books get high ratings on Goodreads. This is a high fantasy series that I am dying to finally get into in March!

I know, I know, my reading goal is five books a month but I only listed three. That’s because I want to give myself some room to mood read. I may want to finish up the books I began in January/February. I may want to read more contemporaries or maybe more high fantasy. I have a shelved, ongoing TBR list, a stack of library books, and several new releases that I might want to pick and choose from. So I haven’t decided what other 2+ books I’ll read in March, but hopefully I will meet my reading goal this month.

Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear what you read in February or what you’re planning to read in March!

xx. Martha