This month was exhausting.
If my accidental posting hiatus was any indication, I was so tired in February. I’ve been so busy with school, and when I don’t have schoolwork, I am just numbly lying in my bed on my phone. I will say that I had a better mental health month (thank you for all the warm wishes, by the way!!), and there were some good things that happened! Mainly getting to read enjoyable books and also finding a new absolute favorite. But amongst that was a winter storm that left me without power for days and a permeating, overwhelming exhaustion so… not quite the best.
I read 7 books this month! I read exactly one (1) of the ARCs I was supposed to read this month… I’m not even surprised anymore by my inability to stick to a TBR, especially as my ability to focus on reading books has deteriorated considerably. I ended up impulsively picking up many middle grade audiobooks, which was pretty much the only way I was able to read quickly!
- The Okay Witch Emma Steinkeller // this was fun! great themes of family and friendship, and the history of the witches and their magic was interesting to read ★★★☆☆
- When We Were Infinite Kelly Loy Gilbert // when I finished this, it felt like I had just been punched in the chest. hard to read with so much focus on mental health, but breathtakingly written. RTC! ★★★★☆ [4.5]
- Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky Kwame Mbalia // this book truly captures the heart of middle grade! such well-written, important messages about trauma and grief but with fun adventures and characters ★★★★☆
- Lalani of the Distant Sea Erin Entrada Kelly // this was so lyrical and poignantly beautiful, and a bit darker than expected! a very touching story about community and bravery ★★★☆☆ [3.5]
- She Who Became the Sun Shelley Parker-Chan // 100% going to be in my best reads of the year: the character work was phenomenal, the writing was exquisite, and I am RUINED by the ending. RTC! ★★★★★ [4.5]
- Efrén Divided Ernesto Cisneros // this definitely got a few tears out of me! a hopeful yet realistic story about immigration and deportation, with so much care towards the importance of family and friendship ★★★☆☆ [3.5]
- Witch Hat Atelier Vol 2 Kamome Shirahama // the art is stunning and the witches are all SO CUTE!! I very much love this manga series and I cannot wait to continue (the magic is so intriguing!) ★★★★☆
Well… I accidentally ended up taking a break. I’ll go into more depth about what I’ve been up to in life later, but I just had little time and motivation for blogging, so I simply didn’t force myself to do it. I’m truly not sure if I’ll be able to post a lot in March either, because I really am prioritizing life/school at the moment, and I feel no excitement over any types of post ideas right now :(
Also, not a personal update, but what is going on with WordPress? Why am I now writing my posts in tiny Times New Roman?? I do not blog to feel like I am writing essays for school!!
THIS MONTH’S POSTS
FAVORITE POSTS FROM OTHERS
- Cande @ Cande Reads lists out over 40 new middle grade releases coming this year—Cande is definitely someone I turn to for MG recommendations!
- CW @ The Quiet Pond posted some great book recommendation lists for Black History Month! One of my favorites was her post on Black MG books (since I’ve been reading so much MG lately!).
- Chana @ Paper Procrastinators wrote a fun post recommending books based on anime!
- Rain @ Bookdragonism has fantastic recommendations for audiobooks and I’m definitely going to have to check some of them out soon.
- Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books discusses ways to support book bloggers (and I also was featured in the first post of an amazing new series she’s started!).
I didn’t write too much this month, but I did write a piece that I actually edited and polished to make a final draft of. I usually just let words spill from me and don’t really go back to edit them, so it was fun (and a bit excruciating!) to actually work with a piece and improve it for the first time in a while. I also applied to be an editor for an online literary magazine, so we’ll see how that turns out!
I am just dead. There truly is no other way to put it. I feel so tired and burnt out, so stressed yet numb at the same time. School in the pandemic is really getting to me—I am mindlessly doing my assignments, becoming incredibly demotivated to do anything, and steadily failing to actively focus on anything. The only thing I’m looking forward to is my spring break in a few weeks, and even that comes with some dread because I have the SAT right before it.
February WAS better for me than January was in terms of mental health, but I’m just so… exhausted? And I know it won’t fade away as we head into March, which marks a year since COVID changed everything. I’m just going to try to take it easy and give myself some grace, which I hope you all do as well!
I also was affected by the Texas winter storm that swept through a few weeks ago! My power was out for 2 days and it was VERY cold in the house, but I was lucky to have working water and gas, as well as a fireplace. The snow was SO thick, and while it was magical, it was also hard to celebrate it knowing 1) people were dying, and 2) it was a very real reminder of climate change.
But some good news! Near the end of the month, I was more adamant about doing self-care. I started to actually, actively make an effort to drink much more water and get more sleep, and it really helped my mood!! (For the first time in genuinely at least a decade, I drank 8 cups of water in a day, which was a very big moment for me, and also probably very appalling to hear for all you normal hydrated people.)
- read 8 books ✗
- finish my novella WIP ✗
- start developing a novel idea ✗ (I thought about it for like 5 minutes)
- post at least 4 times ✗
- get >7.4 hours of sleep ✓ (!!!)
- college prep ✓
- driver’s ed ✗
- read 8 books
- finish my novella WIP
- start developing a novel idea
- get >7.5 hours of sleep
- college prep
- continue drinking lots of water
- learn Thai tone rules!
Spring break!! The end of the school quarter is coming up soon, which means a much-needed week off. (I mean, I already had a week off school this month but that was because of the winter storm.) Again, there’s some apprehension attached to my excitement, because of the COVID one year anniversary thing, but I will finally get to REST. Especially right after taking the SAT!