Friday, July 3, 2015

Previously On WLABB: June 2015

Previously On We Live and Breathe Books is an end of the month wrap up post. Previously allows us to recap all our posts from the past month and discuss what's going on in our lives, including what books we're reading, any fun things we've been doing, and a TBR for the next month. Our inspiration for this meme comes from Midnight Madness Newsletters created by Melanie at YA Midnight Reads.

Posts from June

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Love to See as Movies
Waiting on Wednesday: Queen of Shadows - Sarah J. Maas
BEA Recap: Pictures and BookCon
Triple ARC Review: Those Girls - Lauren Saft
Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the Rest of 2015
Save the Date + Giveaway: Another Day - David Levithan (Ends July 2nd)
Stuffed Animal Saturday [25]
Review: Maximum Ride Forever - James Patterson
Review: This is How You Lose Her - Junot Diaz
Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my TBR for Summer 2015
Waiting on Wednesday: Go Set a Watchman - Harper Lee
Review: To Hold the Bridge - Garth Nix
Review: Champion - Marie Lu
Double Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl - Jesse Andrews
Review: Written in the Stars - Aisha Saeed
Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Top Ten Tuesday Topics
Review: The Lost Chalice - Anita Clenney
Review: And the Mountains Echoed - Khaled Hosseini
Stuffed Animal Saturday [26]
Double Review: None of the Above - I.W. Gregario
2nd BEA Clean Out Giveaway (Ends July 19th)
Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I've Read So Far in 2015

Keeping Up with the WLABBers


Last month was pretty busy for me! After recovering from the end of May BEA/BookCon craziness, I decided to rearrange my bookshelves to accommodate all the new books. Since I'm kind of obsessive about the books looking nice next to each other as well as being able to find something, I organized them first by type of book. I put all the hardcover books together, then all the finished copy paperback books, then already released ARCs, then new ARCs. All the books are arranged by height because I think bookshelves that have a lot of the same size book together look nice. Additionally, the ARCs are arranged in approximate release date order since that's basically the order I'll be reading them. I would include a picture, but my shelves are really wide rather than tall and it just doesn't work well for a photo.

In the middle of the month, I went to see Dashboard Confessional at the Stone Pony and it was absolutely incredible! Chris Carrabba really knows how to put on a show and keep the crowd energized. I actually got to meet Chris Carrabba, which was really cool. He's so nice! My mom told him about how his side project, Twin Forks, is in one of Morgan Matson's books and he got really excited.

The weekend after the Dashboard concert, I went on a trip to Nashville for UtopYA! I won't go into all the details here, but I will be making a post about my trip in the near future!

The last big thing I did this past month was going to see Imagine Dragons. Let me tell you, this concert was LIFE. CHANGING. Seriously. Imagine Dragons is always great live, but the light show was on an entirely different level. I bow down to the team who designed the stage, lights, and video from the show because it was stunning.

Books Read:

I started off the month by finishing my Lunar Chronicles binge (except for Fairest, which I still need to read). After that, I finally finished To Hold the Bridge, which took me a while since I'm not a huge fan of short stories. As part of my series challenge, I finally read Free Souls to finish off the Mindjack trilogy. After finishing Free Souls, I read my first BEA ARC, Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls. I really enjoyed it but I'm still kind of figuring out my feelings on the end. My review will be up soon! The last book I read this month was The Diviners, which I've had for a while but decided to read now since I have an ARC of Lair of Dreams. I really liked it, so I'm definitely excited to start the next book!

July TBR:

This TBR list is a bit ambitious, but maybe it'll happen. I can dream. August is where the BEA ARC insanity begins, so I'll have a lot to read in the next few months. I'm really excited about these books though!

Awesome Blog Posts I Read:

How to Get and Keep Getting ARCs, Written by a Dinosaur by Kat @ Cuddlebuggery
Things to Say to Piss Off a YA Reader by Melanie @ YA Midnight Reads
In Defense of Love Triangles by Bekka @ Pretty Deadly
A Guide to YA Imprints - Scholastic by Grace @ Words Like Silver
Story Sprites: Round 1 by Lyn @ Great Imaginations (This one is actually from July, but it seems like a super fun challenge. I'm definitely participating!)


I hardly remember the last month. It feels like one giant blobby day. I started out recovering from BEA, like Kiersten. But, unlike Kiersten, instead of truly organizing my books, I shoved them all into my bookshelf by release date, leaving out the ones I planned to read soon. In fact, I did not read too much this month. I ran, played some decade-old video games, ran some more, skateboarded, and then read a little. My friend and I may have also made some delicious ice cream:

Part of what impeded my reading might have been the roller coaster of major news, ranging from horrific : the Charleston shooting, the German cyber attack situation, the ISIS situation . . . and on the flip-side the amazing: Mexico and the U.S.'s legalization of same-sex marriage, Ireland's decision to make legal gender self-identification an stress-free (psychiatrist, doctor, etc-free) for adults, Bernie Sanders beginning to overtake Hillary Clinton and Sanders's overall (not perfect but infinitely better than all other candidates) platform, and so on. Because this month was so packed, there was a lot of media response and response by people I know/follow that made it impossible for me to really read a book without thinking "dang I wish I knew what to say to x to make them reconsider their hostile views on y." Which is why I ran a lot, and which is why my None of the Above review was so intense. If you follow my twitter, you got the smiley-face emoji version of events. If by some strange series of events you and I are friends on facebook, you have felt my you-probably-shouldn't-rainbowfy-unless-you're-lgbtq+ wrath!

Anyway, I may be seriously jealous of Kiersten seeing Dashboard Confessional??? Maybe. It's fine. I'm seeing Idina Menzel in a couple of weeks so I think I'll be okay! But seriously, DC and Imagine Dragons? Come on! Be still my singing heart.

Perhaps too much of my time was spent with my five year old sister playing both Final Fantasy XIII and Final Fantasy X (remastered PS3 edition). I know, I know, I should be pushing the book nerdship upon her, but she's far more adept at video games and seems to have a hard time understanding why I make random screaming noises when I read, so this is what it's going to be for now.

Books Read:

I started off the month reading the novels I really needed from BEA. A couple of the ones I'm going to mark below aren't strictly done done, but they're either very close or at least 75% done. The first book I read was The Copper GauntletI know. I'm trash. It's not coming out until forever from now. But I'm trash, so I had to. After that, I read This is How You Lose Her because I promised I would get a little more into Junot Diaz before the BEA binge. Though I actually read None of the Above and Written in the Stars during BEA and the couple of days after, I'll count those because my reviews of those books had me going back a few times. I also finished Zeroes and have made a lot of headway into Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls. I'm still about 50% for Legacy of Kings so I'll leave it down in my TBR section.

July TBR:

August and September are BEA ARC hell. I'm totally screwed. I. I'm just going to try to read it all. Here are a few of them:

Pretty Baby - Mary Kubica
The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts - K.C. Tansley
Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome - Reba Riley

Shout-out to K.C. Tansley and her team for sending me a copy of The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts! It releases August first so I'll have to get on that soon!


While on one end of the spectrum on you have Kiersten, organizing her BEA books by size and type, my post-BEA shelves fell on the opposite end. The 2015 books didn't even see the light of the shelves built into my wall, they just remained stacked onto my sofa in piles until I had to pack them away to move, which was a struggle in its own right. 

Today (July 2nd) marks the day I am officially moving to North Carolina! I'll spare you my super long spiel about it, but know that the past month has been a long one. Packing up my things took energy I didn't know I had and my books kept filling up box after box. 

A lot of the time I allocated during June ended up being to see my friends one last time before leaving. One of the things I did recently with one of my best friends of many years was see Hedwig and the Angry Inch before Darren Criss's broadway run ended. It was incredible and I highly recommend everyone going! It was a great experience, and I loved that I had seen the rest of StarKid perform in New York with the same friend at an earlier occasion, so it was only fitting we went to Hedwig together too. 

Another thing thing I do a lot is eat, because what better way to make plans than with food right? Well, it was one such food plan I had with my friends on a simple Tuesday last week that ended up being full of lies. They instead kidnapped me. With a blindfold. It was so brutal. Anyway, I don't know why I didn't figure out all their slip-ups but we ended up at a surprise farewell party. There was food. I cried internally. They made me a "gone girl" sash. Anika made me this cake (she didn't know how to misspell farewell my birthday is in December). It was all in all a very successful and very fun evening. 

And then after a vague threat of "there's more coming," last night, at my "last supper" everyone had to "go get their wallets" and of course what do you know there was a hand painted painting by Umama (that she took back bc it wasn't done but I loved it anyway and it had books lining it and a cityscape center that is SO my aesthetic), and the pop-up edition of The Little Prince from Anika which I was gonna cry about especially after I read the card, and this scratch off map from Lubna that she literally knew I was gonna buy when I got to my new house because our group chat is the reason I knew about it, and then a freaking SCRAPBOOK from everyone that I've slowly been reading as I've been packing and I've also slowly been melting at the cuteness. Ok sorry for this long ramble about my best friends I just really love them and the moving and the friends are the big thing in my life right now. 

Anyway, in the stresses of moving and packing and trying to do as much as possible in my last month here, I haven't read as much as I wanted this month, but hopefully in July I'll make up for it!

Books Read:

I jumped into my pile of BEA books with Another Day, even though it doesn't come out for a while, but David Levithan is a favorite and I needed to indulge. I think I probably read Those Girls next, which was a trip, if you read our triple review. After that, it starts to blur, since I didn't review in the order I read, but I think And the Mountains Echoed was next, which left me too sad for another serious book so I softened up with Me and Earl and the Dying Girl before moving on to Royal Wedding, the latter of which we have an upcoming review scheduled. I also read three poetry books because I'm into that and I'm working on a longer post about Trista Mateer's second book, The Dogs I Have Kissed (I reviewed her first, Honeybee, a while ago if you're inclined to check that out). I also read Clementine von Radics's Mouthful of Forevers and Nayyirah Waheed's salt. Lastly, I finished A Million Miles Away on my way to North Carolina and even though it's July I'm going to count it in my June wrap-up because it's not really on my to-be-read anymore so look out for my review!

July TBR:

I know I'm lame for not going as hard as Kiersten but I'm really not good at preemptively making -- and following -- lists like these of what I'm going to read for the month or even just in the general near future so I figure the less ambitious I am, the less disappointing and sad I'll look when I ignore the list completely and just read whatever I feel like reading. I'm all about low expectations.

While it's true I'm not a big fan of guided lists, whether I set them for myself or otherwise, these are all books I really want to read so this TBR might not be inaccurate considering indecisiveness is a huge personality trait of mine and with the amount of books I have unread, making decisions is impossible so why bother when I already decided right now? My July reads will also hugely depend on my level of unpacking, honestly. Basically, I'm a mess and anything is possible.


LOL, hi guys. You may be wondering why this end of the month post is being posted three days into the next month, and the culprit is me -- yesterday I had a final exam for a summer class and work and have therefore managed to neglect any other responsibilities I have (sorry friends). But to be honest, I haven't been to any cool concerts or moved to another state in the last month, and my life has been really repetitive (work, gym, Rutgers to do various things like school, and occasionally seeing people who enjoy interacting with me). I like my summers to be really busy because if they're not, I just end up not doing anything at all and by the time fall rolls around I'm literally incapable of doing anything myself.

But anyway. this past month I went back to my high school (lol) and I got to see some of my old teachers, including one of my favorite of all time, which was pretty chill. I also spent a good bit of time playing with or pining for my friend's dog, who's name is Olive and she is the cutest pup ever, I swear. Also, I work in a really small cute town that has things like "town-wide art festivals" so I went to Junebug which is this music/art/other stuff thing set up all along Main St. I think the most exciting part of that experience was finally going into this "BookStore Boutique" which is really close to my office but has been closed every time I want to go inside. They have a vintage store downstairs and they play black and white movies and have vinyls and type writers and art set up everywhere and so many books, and it was a genuinely great experience. 

Also, this goes without saying, but I also, unlike Kiersten, have done almost nothing in terms of organizing my books. Eventually probably, I will do it, but if I get anywhere near my piles from BEA I just use the time to pick one up and read one, which, in case you were wondering, is a really inefficient way of organizing.

Books Read:

Also, goes without saying that busy people don't read that many books. Whoops. But really I've only read BEA books this month, mostly because if my mom sees my purchase a book when I have so many unread ones sitting in the basement, bad things will happen. But I read Never, Always, Sometimes, Those Girls (lol), Signs Point to Yes, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Nowhere but Here, and None of The Above. I'm currently reading The Royal Wedding, by Meg Cabot, who is a queen. 

**My photo collage isn't nearly as nice as everyone else's because I am very sleepy and I do not have the patience to figure out how to make them that nice. 

July TBR:

Like Noor, I also do not go as hard as Kiersten. I don't really enjoy planning what I read and when I read it, solely because if I'm not feeling a book at the moment I won't hesitate to drop it and come back when I'm more in the mood. I really want to read Legacy of Kings, Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys), A Step Towards Falling, Go Set a Watchman, and And the Mountains Echoed

What have you been up to last month?
Let us know in the comments!

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