So let’s start this post by referencing the major creative crisis I went through this month, stemming from a blogging rut I found myself in beginning in July. I’ve got through it now, and I have basically the next month and a half of content already scheduled in preparation for my return to Uni, but the rut was real, guys.
I spend a lot of time on my posts and I found myself very low regarding the content and the amount of response I get to what I post. I know blogging is a lengthy process, I’m not going to immediately get response considering the blog is only just over two years old, and I genuinely love writing these posts and reviews. It’s a worry I tackle often, but sometimes it just gets to me and makes me feel kind of hopeless of ever getting over my general anxiety regarding interacting with other people. I keep my distance just because I don’t know how to make friends in the community, and I feel like that translates over to my blog sometimes too, but I’m really trying to change that by talking to more people!
Other than that: August was boring. I read, I watched random stuff, and I worked overtime shifts so I have enough money for rent when Uni starts. I’m honestly a pretty boring person during off-time from University just because of how far away I am from people, combined with my lack of money. Maybe next Summer will be more exciting.
I also want to add that my blog is going to be a lot busier now the end of the year is approaching. I always seem to have a calm period in November, but every other month, expect chaos! Good chaos, though. Friendly chaos. October is a great month for me as I love horror and supernatural things, which means I have twice as many post ideas.
READING WRAP UP
- Assassination Classroom Volume 3-4 by Yusei Matsui– I expect to read more Assassination Classroom this month, but I ended up starting another popular manga series (that’ll come up later). I did enjoy these two volumes, and we got some intriguing looks into Korosensei’s backstory.
- Ibitsu by Haruto Ryo– I hated this. Straight up. It felt very targeted towards the humiliation of teenage girls with a lot of unneeded torture and nudity, and I just felt sick after reading it, and not in a way I can enjoy with some stories.
- Bond of Dreams, Bond of Love Volume 1-4 by Yayu Sakuragi– This is an age-gap romance between an 18 year old and his childhood friend who is… six/eight years older than him, one of the two. There were some really weird moments, for sure, and I won’t dispute that the age gap was kinda gross at points, but I feel like by the end the conversations on adulthood and the main character finally having his frustrations recognised meant a lot.
- My Love Story Volume 7-13 by Kazune Kawahara– I’m in a perpetual state of mourning now that I’ve finished this series. It’s one of my all-time favourites. The ending is so heartfelt and they get into heavier issues towards the final volume that I feel helped carry the main relationship from feeling young into adulthood as the characters began college. It addresses jealousy and feelings of incompetence, while never belittling the trust these characters have in one another. It’s handled so maturely and so unlike other stories, and I’m satisfied with the conclusion, even if my heart is broken.
- My Hero Academia Vigilantes Volume 4 by Hideyuki Furuhashi– Not as good as volume 3, but has some solid character development and we finally have a showdown of sorts. This does end on a cliffhanger, fair warning.
- Starlike Words by Junko– Reaaaally didn’t like this. Poor development of character and relationship and the nudity felt gratuitous and gross, especially considering these characters are only 15/16.
- These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling– Another one that disappointed me. I have a review for this linked at the end of this post, just know that I had issues with the treatment of toxic relationships and a victim blaming attitude.
- Peter and Alice by John Logan– An OK read that’s very meta, a play that imagines the meeting behind Peter Llewelyn Davies and Alice Liddell in 1932. It’s very tragic and the weaving of the characters they inspired into their own stories was incredible, but I found myself thinking the whole time about how this… probably didn’t happen. I know I should have suspended my disbelief, it just felt impossible.
- One Piece Volume 1-11 by Eiichiro Oda– EE. This series is great! I literally started the longest running manga series I’ve come across so far and I don’t regret starting it, even if I did at first. The first 100 chapters have flown by with incredible character development and a wonderful world being shaped, and I adore it.
- Their Body and Their Afterthought by Shelby Eileen– Not my favourite poetry collection. I don’t want to be too harsh, but it felt like it reiterates what I’ve read in other collections on similar themes and issues without ever offering anything new with form.
- I Hate Fairyland Volume 1 by Skottie Young– I previously read this volume years ago. After a re-read, I’ve lowered my rating. I’ve just read way too many different comics and manga and whatnot to not be slightly critical. The art is still great, but it felt like I was struggling to get through this at points, especially after starting volume 2 and having to stop from boredom. It feels repetitive.
- Sunshine, Sadness and Other Floridian Effects by Shelby Eileen– This collection was better than Their Body, luckily! It has some stunning imagery, calling up impressions of water and the turning of the tide in tandem with loss coinciding with moments of happiness, and I do recommend it.
- Faithless #3/#4 by Brian Azzarello– Starting to get bored with this series. There’s only so much shocking stuff and nudity without any kind of explanation for it before you grow tired. I’ll carry on reading for a few issues; I’m just ready to drop it if nothing much keeps happening.
- Pochamani Volume 1-5 by Kaname Hirama– Ohhh this was such a great series! It’s out of print so I had to read it online, and only the first five volumes are actually translated, which was so disappointing but I still recommend this series. It’s got the first fat main character I’ve seen in a manga series, and has so much conversation surrounding body shaming and positivity and the constant grappling with self-hate when you have a fat body. It means a lot to me, and seeing a romance where a fat girl is adored by her boyfriend is so wholesome.
- The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell– I literally started this last year and it took me that whole period of time to read 140 pages, and then in the space of a week I read the last 150. There’s definitely a sense of elitism and anti-genre fiction (especially what is typically branded as targeted towards women) which aggravated me, but the general humour was great and there was an interesting insight into the running of independent bookshops.
- The Luminous Dead by Caitlin Starling– I feel like I’ve gone OFF about this book on here in August, but this book deserves it. It’s an intense psychological sci-fi horror where main character, Gyre, goes on a caving mission that ends up being more than it first appears. I love the relationship that develops between Gyre and Em, and I highly recommend the audiobook!
- My Life with Bob by Pamela Paul– I have a whole review on my Goodreads that I feel summarises my issues with this book. I enjoyed this, but same with Shaun Bythell’s book, there’s a definite sense of elitism in some ways. I think Pamela Paul was willing to paint herself negatively in some respects and show the harmful thought processes she could have, and I appreciated that. My review is a lot more elaborate! Sorry!
- Pen & Ink by Isaac Fitzgerald and Wendy MacNaughton– This is a fun side-by-side of tattoos with the explanations behind them from the people that have them. The stories are whacky and fun, in some places, but are also sentimental and heartfelt in others, and I like the different thought processes behind getting them and the way everyone still seems to love them.
- My Hero Academia Volume 19 by Kohei Horikoshi– SO. GOOD. The real strength of this series lies in how well developed the characters and their relationships are, and this volume especially reaffirms that. Aoyama is so sweet and if he’s the traitor I’ll riot!
TBR JAR PICK FOR SEPTEMBER IS: WILLFUL MACHINES by Tim Floreen! My best friend picked this one out for me, thank you friend!
THINGS I WATCHED
- I FINALLY went to the cinema again and watched BTS: Bring the Soul. I loved it.
- I re-watched Daddy Day Care (don’t ask, it’s literally the only film I watched on Netflix the whole month and I hate that) and it opens with Ben– Eddie Murphy’s in-movie son– climbing out of bed and putting on the exact same Spongebob slippers my sister and I had when we were younger and it was amazing. I’ve never felt so nostalgic over something so unintentional in a film.
- Not a watch, but a listen: the Teenage Scream podcast hosted by Kirsty Logan and Heather Parry, where they read and breakdown classic Point Horror novels from the 90s.
- As always, I watched random stuff on deep dives on YouTube. This included: An Aesthetic History of The 1975, fat people don’t belong in magazines (it’s not what it sounds like), Being Lowborn w/ Kerry Hudson (an author interview! yes!), and I guess I’ll recommend the latest paperbackdreams video because I love Kat’s channel!
- University: Second Year Breakdown
- A Bookshelf Tour: Part 1
- REVIEW: These Witches Don’t Burn
- Shakespeare Plays as Taylor Swift Songs
- REVIEW: The Luminous Dead
- Top Ten Tuesday: Read Books I Wish I Owned!
- A Bookshelf Tour: Part 2
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