Sunday, August 2, 2015

Previously on WLABB: July 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.

(Note: We're still working on how we'll be formatting this post, so bear with us while we experiment with layouts)

Posts from July

Previously on WLABB: June 2015
Waiting on Wednesday: The Sword of Summer - Rick Riordan
ARC Review: A Million Miles Away - Lara Avery
ARC Review: Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls - Lynn Weingarten
Top Ten Tuesday - Hyped Books I've Never Read
Double Review: Royal Wedding - Meg Cabot
Review: Compulsion - Martina Boone
Sloth Saturday: Never Always Sometimes - Adi Alsaid
ARC Review: Armada - Ernest Cline
Top Ten Tuesday - Last Ten Books I've Acquired
Waiting on Wednesday: Before We Were Strangers - Renée Carlino
Review: The Diviners - Libba Bray
UtopYA 2015
Review: Lucifer - Annabell Cadiz
Review + Interview: The Dogs I Have Kissed - Trista Mateer
Top Ten Tuesday - Books that Celebrate Diversity
The Hunger Games Exhibition
Double Review: Paper Towns - John Green
1989 Book Tag
Discussion: Night on the Towns
ARC Review: Pretty Baby - Mary Kubica
Top Ten Tuesday - Characters that are Fellow Book Nerds
Waiting on Wednesday: Wandering Star - Romina Russell
ARC Double Review: Fuzzy Mud - Louis Sachar

Keeping Up with the WLABBers


My life has been kind of crazy but very fun as of late! I went shopping for a ton of school stuff last month because I'm moving into my new apartment at school in about a week and a half, so it was a lot of prepping for that and trying to squeeze in more fun times before going back to school.

Early in the month, I went into the city to meet up with a friend from school, Cheech, to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time on Broadway as well as going to The Hunger Games Exhibition! The Hunger Games Exhibition was absolutely AMAZING! I highly recommend going if you'll be near the city. You can check out my entire post about it here! If you were wondering what I thought about Curious Incident, it was seriously incredible. I read the book in high school, and I felt like it translated really well to the stage. While in the book it's really just about the mind of a boy with autism, seeing the interactions on stage added the element of seeing how his family felt at times and all the things they had to do. Overall, an amazing show! Sloth really liked it as well, and he got to meet the actor who played the lead, Alex Sharp!

We also can't forget how Alex Sharp replied to Sloth's picture with him.
One of the coolest things I did this month was kind of a surprise. My boyfriend goes to Columbia, and through the university, he was invited to a discussion about costumes and film with Nicole Kidman at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Knowing that I'm a costume person, he figured out a way that I was also able to go. The discussion was a private event organized by Vogue because of the China Through the Looking Glass exhibit at the Met. When we got there, all dressed up in our cocktail attire, the museum was closed and the discussion was in front of the Temple of Dendur. Hearing Nicole Kidman talk about her experiences working with designers and costumes was so cool, but even cooler was some of the other famous people there. Some notable people I saw were Joe Zee, Ivanka Trump, Keith Urban, Amare Stoudemire, and Alex Sharp, who was mentioned above! The event was so fancy, and I was kind of in awe that we got to go. After the discussion, we also got a private tour of the China Through the Looking Glass exhibit, which is seriously beautiful. If you can get to the Met before Labor Day, you should definitely go see the exhibit! (I'm sorry that I keep telling you to go to things in New York City, especially for those who are not nearby. I have the luxury of living about an hour out of the city, so I get to go to a lot of things there.)

The last thing I did in July (and yesterday aka August 1st) was attend the USITT Costume Symposium. USITT is the United States Institute of Theater Technology, so it supports the technical side of theater vs the design side. The symposium was absolutely incredible! We did things like get a private tour of the FIT museum with one of the curators, have a discussion with Broadway dresser Shannon Koger, wardrobe supervisor Robert Guy, and designer Shannon Koger (costume designer of Beauty and the Beast), a lecture with Andrea Lauer (costumer designer of American Idiot and Bring it On, the Musical), tours of the Theater Development Fund Costume Collection at Kaufman Astoria Studios and Helen Uffner Vintage Clothing, visiting Silver Cup Studios and talking to Sue Gandy (assistant costume designer on Persons of Interest), a backstage tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and more! It was such an incredible experience, and I'm so happy that I had the opportunity because of Syracuse University.

Me with Andrea Lauer and Helen Uffner

Sloth at various places we went: the FIT Museum, Kaufman Astoria Studios, outside the Orange is the New Black access door, Silvercup Studios, the Person of Interest delivery door, and The Museum of the Moving Image.

Sloth exploring the Theater Development Fund Costume Collection. The first photo shows one of the old Elphaba costumes from Wicked!

Sloth outside and backstage at Beautiful: The Carole King Musical

Sloth's shenanigans at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He likes the "interactive" aspect of going to museums.

So, I'm kind of cheating on this list a little, but I do what I want so. Anyway, my first three reads this month come from the eLibrary (yay, free books!). I really liked ACOTAR and I'm very interested to see where the story goes in the next book. It also made me even more excited for Queen of Shadows. I read The Lost Herondale before reading the first Shadowhunter Academy novella, but it wasn't that big of a deal - I could still understand what was going on. I'm curious to see if this novella is planting a seed for potentially bringing in another Herondale character in future books or if it's just a fun story to include in Simon's education. I absolutely loved The Young Elites and I am so jealous of those with The Rose Society ARCs *grabby hands*. My next July read was the massive Lair of Dreams. I don't think I liked it as much as The Diviners, but it was still really good! (Look out for a review this month). Now comes the part where I'm cheating on this list. I'm not actually entirely done with Never Always Sometimes or Red Queen, but I'm planning on finishing them today, so I included them. I'll probably include them again in August to make my read list look bigger again.

As always, I have an ambitious TBR that I probably won't get to entirely. The Accident Season, The Rest of Us Just Live Here, Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between, The Copper Gauntlet, Firewalker, and Everything, Everything are all physical ARCs I have, all from BEA with the exception of The Rest of Us Just Live Here, which was traded to me by Britt @ Please Feed the Bookworm. It's kind of sad how slowly I read print copies of books - ebooks definitely spoil me with convenience. Since there are times when I need a "hands free" book, I always have an ebook going while reading a print book. I have The Bane Chronicles from the library right now (I've already read 4 of them when they were coming out, so it should take too long to get through that), I'm probably going to get at least one of the Shadowhunter Academy novellas from the library this month, and I was recently approved for A Thousand Nights so I included that as well since it's the eARC I have with the earliest release date. I really don't anticipate reading all these books this month, so we'll see what happens.

Awesome Blog Posts I Read:

Blog Tour: Never Always Sometimes, a guest post from Adi Alsaid @ YA Midnight Reads
Imaginative Discussions: So Someone Didn't Like the Book You Love by Lyn @ Great Imaginations
Happy Blogging #3 - Getting More Followers on Social Media... for Free by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence


This is the part of the pop-quiz of life where I sweat profusely and nervously. Why? Because I really didn't do anything this month. Between searching for jobs, working out school things, and sometimes playing tennis, I have barely gotten up much less gotten out of the house. I don't have many books to show for it, either. I learned the Pixar Lava song on the ukulele, though. I guess that's something? The one thing I really did do this month was see Idina Menzel in concert. It was the most amazing, beautiful, fantastic, awe-inspiring thing ever. She's absolutely brilliant and her apparent disdain for Let it Go is so hilarious. She's one of the most entertaining performers I've had the honor to watch . . . while being so beautifully perfect at singing, she also has a talent for laying on the floor and rolling around. It's an experience.

Anyway, that's basically it for me!

I felt like I read a lot this month. Perhaps it was the fact I spent literally thirty days lying in bed nothing. Anyhow, I finished Legacy of Kings, rolled over from last month, along with Another Day. With both novels, I needed recovery periods of not-reading to digest and organize my fragile, emotional mind after being crushed by the poetry and tension. Armada came next and took me a good while to read because it was so interesting and my feelings about the book were all over the place while I was reading it. Next up on the list was the psychologically damaging Pretty Baby. It was . . . an experience. I'd like to once again thank K.C. Tansley and her team (esp. Larissa Ackerman) for sending a copy of the next book I read: The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts. My review will be up soon, but I have great vibes about the book, which comes out August 1st! Finally, I thought I'd delve into The School For Good and Evil. I remember having started it a while back, but leaving the book with a relative and having to move on and wait for it. But I got to it! And I'm absolutely in love with it! I started A World Without Princes, but it's a definite rollover as I don't think I can finish it in one day, mostly because Chainani's books require a lot of color-coded sticky notes, screeching at the top of your lungs, and laughing until your stomach hurts.

I need. To get through. This list. Of Books. I can do this! If only Libba Bray and Soman Chainani didn't write 500+ page books . . .

Awesome Blog Posts I Read:

What A "Racebent" Hermione Granger Really Represents by Alanna Bennet @ Buzzfeed (*I know, a lot of people have done this, but the Buzzfeed article is a really good one for people unfamiliar with the subject and it's got pictures!)
Students' Thoughts about Book Covers by Mrs. Andersen @ YA Love


I didn't read much this month. Forgive me.

So, where we last left off, I was moving, and it's just shy of a month later, and I've moved, so the whole moving thing takes up the brunt of my update and my time. Like, did you guys know when you move you have to unpack your things???? And get all new furniture except the furniture stores will have a vendetta against your family and one will keep delaying your order and one will deliver only two items out of ten and make you stay on the phone with them for three hours before arranging to deliver the rest because "they never got to the warehouse????" My room currently only has in it, large objects-wise, a loft bed and two boxes I've been "unpacking" for like two weeks now because for some reason I thought if I moved the boxes from the garage to my room I'd be more motivated to unpack.

Among the moving into the new house in North Carolina, I also went back to New Jersey for ten days, for a holiday (Eid) and my grandparent's golden jubilee, and those ten days were such a whirlwind. I had family from Canada and California here and they were staying in New York City, so for each of the ten days I spent half the day in the city and half in New Jersey (don't ask me which half because it changed) doing whatever I had planned with whichever friend or friend group that day (even the last day, when all the nonnatives had left, I still ended up going to the city with my friends just for funsies). It was an exhausting (but very fun) trip, and didn't leave me much time to pick up a book. The only time I really had to read was on the ride there and back and while I did get a fair amount done, I generally can't read in the car or I get really nauseous for the whole trip, so the two nine hour trips didn't yield as many potential reviews as you'd expect.

Which is why, as you can see, I've read such a pathetic amount this month compared to my cobloggers. There was the aforementioned ten day chunk, but also no matter how much I joke about not unpacking, moving takes a lot of time. I actually have unpacked some of my clothes boxes, although I really should be done, but I have a reason as to why I'm not, but it's not relevant. However, there's also the going out every day because we need to get a pot to cook something for eight people because we have guests coming and we got rid of all the old cookware or we need a pudding mold to make flan (idk why all of these examples are about food????) or we need to go and get all the bathroom things -- like mats and curtains and stuff -- but for four bathrooms so four times the time involved. It's tiring and there's also more things I have to do that I don't like talking about because they're Adulty things and give me anxiety but the general conclusion from this long-winded spiel is that things like sitting down and reading a book get lost in the whirlwind and so my list of July reads is practically nonexistent.

I purchased Nejma as an ebook at the same time as salt., another poetry book by the same author, but waited a few weeks to read it because I didn't want the poetry from the two books to meld together into one. I wanted to experience them both fully and separately. Nejma was a beautiful collection of poetry, as expected from Nayyirah Waheed. Next, I read All the Bright Places, which I saw in the YA aisle of Target (yeah, Target has an entire aisle for YA novels (ok not like a full snack aisle, but it has a book section and within that section, there is an aisle)). I enjoyed this one and was drawn in by both the cover and the blurb and I'm glad I got a chance to read it. I definitely want to review it soon! Let's Get Lost was the book I read in the car and I've been meaning to read this forever but I've always wanted to read it on a trip and I brought it as my in-flight read when I was going to Texas in December and then I just ended up reading one of my backup books because it was too far down in my bag and then other times I've travelled I've been in cars or with friends and it hasn't worked out but I finally got a chance to read it! Lastly, I read Louis Sachar's middle grade novel, Fuzzy Mud. Honestly, I'd read anything Louis Sachar wrote because he was such a prominent voice of my childhood reading experience, but I really enjoyed this and just finished reviewing it so look out for my thoughts!

Since July was such a reading slump month, I thought I'd try to kick it up a notch with my August TBR. These are all books I'm really looking forward to, so even though I've mentioned I'm not a list person, this is probably an accurate view of how I'd like to spend my August so we shall see on the next Previously on Wlabb post how successful my attempts at making up for July are!

Awesome Blog Posts I Read:

#TenThingsNotToSayToAWriter Tag - Twitter - This one isn't a post but a trending tag on Twitter, yet I wanted to include it anyway because, with contributions from the likes of Maureen Johnson, Sarah Dessen, and even more favorites, it's a spot on look at some of the things published or near-published writers hear all the time.
Self-Hosting Discussion by Krystianna @ YA Midnight Reads
A Comprehensive Look at Beauty and the Beast Retellings by Kat @ Cuddlebuggery


It might be surprising to you all that I've done almost nothing noteworthy in the month of July. Honestly, this month has been the repetitive motion of going to work and seeing friends and at the most going to the movies or something. I swear my life will be a lot more interesting come September and I have school and related activities to through into the mix, but for now there isn't a lot to tell you. I worked. I sometimes left the house and interacted with others. I read a few books. That is all. 

So this month, I read some books on my July TBR
So, you'll be able to see reviews of pretty much every book listed here already on the blog, or soon to come to the blog! I loved Lucifer and Annabell Cadiz is great, and this goes without saying but Royal Wedding was a success just like everything Meg Cabot has ever written. Louis Sachar has been a favorite of mine since I read Holes years ago, and I was so excited when I saw Fuzzy Mud at BEA. I actually just read this and did a double review with Noor! I'm still working through my feelings on Harper Lee's new release, Go Set a Watchman, so there will be a review of that soon. My other two classic teen romance novels will have reviews soon too!

Surprise surprise, I still haven't organized all my books yet. One day, I promise. This month I am looking forward to finally delving into Libba Bray's books, which I've only heard great things about! I'm especially really interested now after reading Kiersten's review of The Diviners. Last year, WLABB all read The Iron Trial and Marlon, Noor, and Kiersten posted a review of it (I did not because I had like zero time at the moment) but I cannot wait to read The Copper Gauntlet and review it with everyone. I'm also looking forward to The Accident SeasonCourt of Fives, and Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between, as they are all books I got at BEA and all books I'm hella excited about. And the Mountains Echoed will be on my list until I actually read it.

Awesome Blog Posts I Read:

Romance is Romance: Author Dahlia Adler by Nicole @ YA Intrerrobang
My Two Book Rule by Angie @ Pinkindle

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


  1. Have some tissues around for Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between. It's sad for a JES book, still very sweet, but sad.

  2. Hi Kiersten! Your blog was forwarded to me and I was so excited to see that you were posting about the symposium! So glad you had fun with us! Now I have a new blog to follow, too. :)