Honestly, I don’t even know how to begin this wrap-up. August has been an emotional roller coaster of highs and lows. Perpetual quarantine and a stage four lock down will do that to you. But it’s been tough – especially because I lost touch with my creative voice.
I am a writer. I’ve been writing since I could hold a pen – it’s always come as second nature to me. But what happens when you lose that part of yourself? How do you make like Ariel and find your voice again?
That was the question that plagued me [too soon?] this month. But, general lack of motivation and creativity aside, my August actually got off to a pretty spectacular start…
This month the Victorian State Government announced some pretty drastic measures in response to the escalating health crisis. Metropolitan Melbourne was placed under a strict stage four lock down with all non-essential businesses forced to stand down their employees for six weeks. With heavy restrictions in place [including a curfew], I found myself back in quarantine.
And yet, the very next day it snowed in Australia. [FYI you’ve probably got a better chance of winning the lottery – I mean, this is the Outback after all].
I was sitting in my office, working on my next post when suddenly a crystalline flurry of snow began to swirl around my window. Suffice to say, I screamed and raced outside as fast as I could [only to realize that it was, in fact FREEZING and I needed to grab my snow gear].
Okay, so the snow didn’t stick for long and it sure as heck didn’t blanket my backyard but it was so powdery and soft and we were able to have an actual snow ball fight. It was AMAZING. Even if I did cop a snow ball to the head… and the butt.
The lesson learned? Even amidst a global pandemic there is still magic to be found. As we marveled at the snowfall, catching snowflakes in our hand, we could hear the entire neighborhood squealing, almost in unison. Suddenly, and despite the lock down, we weren’t quite so alone anymore.
Anyway, as we established, I lost touch with my writing voice this month. You might have noticed that my posting was very sporadic. I missed deadline after deadline and just sort of spiraled there for a minuet. I’m hoping to do a little better in September.
But quarantine wasn’t all bad. Having WAY too much time on my hands, I was inspired by my new normal to create a COVID19 playlist. I might have had a little too much fun putting it together, burning CDs and sending them to my family. [I even drew toilet paper rolls on the cover to really set that scene]. I’ve linked it below, I’m hoping it will remind you that we’re all in this together. Remember: COVID19 will be our story – we’re standing on the sidelines of history.
In other news, I officially completed [and surpassed] my 2020 Goodreads Reading Challenge, I finished bingeing Downton Abbey [again] and finally started reading The Lunar Chronicles. I know, I know – it’s about dang time. [Thank you for the motivation, Kay!].
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge | ★★★★☆ | Why, why, WHY did I let this amazing book collect dust bunnies on my shelf for the past few years? Cruel Beauty had everything I wanted in a dark, twisty Beauty and the Beast retelling. This book surprised me in every way – I would highly recommend for anyone who loved A Court of Thorns and Roses.
Midnight Sun by Stephenie |★★★★½ | THIS BOOK DESTROYED ME AND I STILL HAVEN’T RECOVERED. Midnight Sun, basically Twilight reimaged from Edward’s perspective is a decidedly darker, more complex novel. Emotionally intense and very dense, the entire tone shifts as Stephenie Meyer gives us more context into Edward’s character and a deeper understanding of the series as a whole.
Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge |★★★★☆| Crimson Bound wasn’t exactly what I expected but I was completely blown away. It’s less of a Red Riding Hood retelling and more of a fully-fleshed fantasy novel. Featuring a cast of flawed, complex characters, Crimson Bound is dark in tone and full of lush imagery.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer |★★★★½| Cyborg Cinderella set in a futuristic New Beijing? Best. Idea. Ever. As far as retellings go, Cinder was so atmospheric and refreshing [even if the whole plague-thing was a little too soon]. The romance was so pure and sweet and honestly, I ship the heck out of it. Probably my favorite Cinderella book ever.
Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett |★★★★☆| Harking back to the early explorers of Mount Everest, Even the Darkest Stars is a sweeping, high-stakes adventure steeped in Tibetan lore. The plot might be simplistic but the execution is breathtaking – hauntingly atmospheric and cinematic. The perfect reading material for quarantine.
All the Wandering Light by Heather Fawcett |★★★★☆| Wow. Talk about a breathtaking conclusion to a seriously atmospheric duology. All the Wandering Light was fantastic. The mountainous empire was expanded, the stakes heightened and new dynamics made for an added layer of complexity.
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer |★★★½☆| Unfortunately I didn’t love Scarlet as much as Cinder. There just seemed to be something lacking? Whatever the reason I wasn’t fully immersed. That being said, I loved the futuristic rural French setting and Scarlet herself was such a strong-willed protagonist.
In terms of September? Honestly, I don’t want to look too far ahead right now – I have no idea what my mental state’s going to look like next month. On one hand, I’m dying to be out of quarantine but I’m not exactly wanting to go back to work either. Customers just don’t respect social distancing, okay?
The good news is that September is shaping up to be a seriously exciting reading month, what with the release of Blood and Honey [AHHHHHHHH!] and The Other Side of the Sky. I’m also anxiously awaiting my copy of Where Dreams Descend which I hope arrives soon [Phantom is my LIFE]. While I wait for my pre-orders to ship, I’ll be finishing The Lunar Chronicles. I can’t even tell you how excited I am for Cress – I’ve heard great things!
I hope you’ve all had a fantastic reading month – be sure to let me know in the comments below what you got up to. Until next time my friends!