Tuesday, September 1, 2015

July/August Wrap-Up

So since I was away at the end of July, I decided to just combine my July and August wrap-ups. Here we go:

July

Books I Read

I Crawl Through It by A.S. King

4/5

This was a fantastic read. I'd love to be able to compare it to another book or two, but it's impossible to categorize since the whole story is about not being categorized. So I'll recommend it to everyone. Once you accept the fact that you can swallow yourself or let your hair grow ten feet in one night or fly an invisible helicopter, you'll hardly even notice the time passing. Read my review here!http://themagicviolinist.blogspot.com/2015/07/i-crawl-through-it-book-review.html

Doubt #1. by Yoshiki Tonogai

3/5

I'm not a huge manga person in general, but a friend recommended this series to me and I thought I'd check it out. It was actually pretty good! Super creepy, not exactly a book full of depth or something that'll make you think about it days after you've read it, but it's a fun mystery. I read each book in maybe an hour. It was a nice way to spend a summer afternoon.

Doubt #2. by Yoshiki Tonogai

3/5

(See above.)

Movies I Watched

"Midnight In Paris"

5/5

I. Loved. This. For people who like quirky movies, "Stuck In Love," and love to write, this is the movie for you. I watched it the first night of my overnight writer's camp with a bunch of friends and we couldn't stop talking about it even the day after we'd seen it. It was really short (we all couldn't believe it was already over when the credits started rolling) but it was fantastic. Highly recommended.

"Big Hero 6"

4/5

If you like "The Incredibles" or any Marvel movie ever, you'll probably like this one. Super cute and fun with the perfect amount of humor and action, this totally seemed like an animated Spider-Man kind of movie. (And the Fallout Boy song in the credits is great, too.)


Obsessions I Acquired

Picmonkey I've really wanted to do more art lately, so I've been experimenting with all kinds of different forms of it. Sketching was a really popular one for a while, but recently I've found out how addicting photo editing can be. I love quotes (especially ones from books and TV shows) and with my recently discovered love for fan-fiction, combining the two is so much fun. I've been taking the quotes from my favorite fan-fic stories and pairing them with artsy photos. Picmonkey is the easiest site to use for this stuff, in my opinion, so that's what I've been doing with some of my free time.

Picture of the Month

This is one of the pictures I'm especially proud of for making. It's from a "Supernatural" fan-fiction series by a Tumblr writer, Kazzy, who helped me to find a bunch of other fangirls to talk to. This is from her Stolen Dance series.


August

Books I Read

Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

4/5

A great, super quick read (it took me about half an hour to read it) with simple illustrations and a good story. This is my kind of graphic novel, just fun and easy to read. And for a middle-grade novel, it tackled some pretty tough subjects you wouldn't expect to show up in a book geared for ages 8-12.

The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

3.5/5

I don't really like zombies or zombie stories in general. If this hadn't been the pick for a sci-fi book club I'm in, I wouldn't have picked it up at all. But I was pleasantly surprised. It read a lot like a dystopian would, but it was very creative in the sense that the "zombies" weren't the typical rotting, drooling, "braaaaaaiiiinnnnsss"kind of creature you'd expect. It was more of an infection than it was a paranormal creature, something that you could almost see existing in a very scary version of the future. Lots of action and adventure, it'll keep you interested the whole time.

You're Never Weird On the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day

5/5

I freaking love Felicia Day, and this is hands down one of the best books I've read this year. Lately I’ve felt a little stuck and discouraged creatively, and by the time I read the Acknowledgements, I was tearing up a little bit. Not only has this given me the push I need to keep going, but now I want to buy several copies of this book and shove it into the hands of everyone I know who's ever felt weird or wanted to create something and share it with the world but doesn't know how. Read my review here!

Edgewater by Courtney Sheinmel

DNF

I don't have particularly strong feelings about this one, but I stuck to my "rule" (which I hesitate to even call a rule, because it sounds so strict and scary. It's more of a personal reading guideline of mine.) of putting down a book that doesn't grab my interest after 100 pages. By the time I hit 100, I still wasn't interested enough in the protagonist or the plot to keep going. That's not to say that it somebody else won't like it, so I'm not going to discourage you from picking it up. It just wasn't my cup of tea.

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

4/5

Another Maggie Stiefvater success! I love her writing style. While I think I definitely enjoyed The Raven Boys more, I still ate this one up. The ending was the only reason why I knocked off a start, because I felt like the last 100 pages or so dragged on for a little too long. There were a lot of unnecessary details and extra plot lines that I feel like could've been cut for the sake of keeping my interest. BUT. The characters are still phenomenal. I love Blue and Gansey and Ronan and basically everyone in the book for different reasons. It's a great series.

Nevermore by Keith. R.A. deCandido

DNF

I was so disappointed that I didn't like this one more than I did. It sounded really promising from the premise, and a "Supernatural" companion novel?! Sign me up! But even if my standards for fan-fiction weren't as high as they are now (I'm extremely picky with how authors portray the characters since I already know them so well), this story would still be a major fail. 100 pages in and the plot wasn't going anywhere. It was just a lot of Dean listening to classic rock and getting frustrated with New York traffic and Sam rolling his eyes at him. (And the author couldn't even get their PHYSICAL DESCRIPTIONS right! I mean Dean with blue eyes? No. No no.)

Movies I Watched

"Legally Blonde"

4/5

A fun summer movie with a clever story. Not anything to scream about, but I definitely liked it. Just enough fluff to be lighthearted, but not so much that it's stupid. You'd never guess it'd be as good as it is from the DVD cover.

"500 Days of Summer"

4/5

Indie film! Zooey Deschanel! Good music! Quirky premise! I loved it. There was even a bit of wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey stuff going on (not anything sci-fi related, just in the way that the flashbacks and flash-forwards were played out). The ending wasn't what I'd expected, but it strayed away from Hollywood expectations and fit perfectly with the overall theme. Go watch it!

"Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (a rewatch)

4/5

Good ol' Harry Potter, of course I enjoyed it. For the shortest movie in the series, it did a pretty good job of sticking to the plot and getting all the major details in. (Though I'm still always confused why they decided to make the Collin Creevy character Nigel instead. WTH?) The music was especially good, as always. I like watching these movies any time of the year.

"Easy A" 

4/5

If you like "Mean Girls," this is the movie for you. Emma Stone is fantastic. It was laugh-out-loud funny, witty, and super clever. I loved the characters and all of the pop culture references. It was great.


Obsessions I Acquired

Sleeping At Last Especially their songs "Jupiter," "Neptune," and "Turning Page." (Say what you will about Twilight, even if you despise the story, the movie has a freaking awesome soundtrack.) I've been writing to their "Atlas" album and I'm loving how inspired I feel whenever I hear it.

Picture of the Month




A blogger's dream come true, I got to meet one of my best online friends in real life! We spent the day yesterday walking around the small town she used to live in before she moved away. It was so much fun. She's just like she is online, super sweet and funny, and we hit it off like we'd known each other for years. Now time to meet all of you guys!


How was your July/August?

2 People Made Me Happy By Commenting! :D:

Boquinha said...

I have been looking forward to this review! It's fun to see what you're reading and watching and hear your thoughts on it all. I like the "new obsessions" part a lot, too. Fun to see some personal pictures here as well. Can't get enough of your contagious excitement over Felicia Day's book. :)

The Magic Violinist said...

@Boquinha Thanks! :) It's fun to look back on that section in particular and see what kind of stuff I was getting into last year. You really need to read her book!