Hitting Reset: September 2020 Wrap-Up

Growth can be found even in stillness. Never has that saying rung so true because let me tell you, I’ve learnt a LOT over the course of the month.

But before I launch into my month of self-discovery, I need to address the elephant in the room, mainly my spontaneous and completely unplanned hiatus. I definitely took a step back from Reading by Starlight during September and I want to thank you all for being so patient while I recharged my batteries. I’ve missed you all so much and I can’t wait to start replying to your comments and catch up on all your posts.

And now, with that out of the way, let’s get into my September Wrap-Up!

September was yet another roller coaster of emotions. I think all us Melburnians were anxiously awaiting the government’s announcements regarding stage four lock down. And when those announcements finally came, not everyone was happy. Instead of going back to work, lock down was extended and so I spent yet another month at home. At this stage, it doesn’t look like I’ll be going back to work until October 19th. WHO HOO!

Anyway, with the curfew still in place [and under some seriously heavy restrictions] the most I could do was go for a walk around my estate. Well, I wasn’t about to let that stop me. While at home, we had family game nights [I bankrupted my brother twice during Monopoly… In the same game], Disney marathons and cooked some amazing quarantine cuisine.

Then there’s the fact that I discovered my best self – apparently perpetual quarantine will do that to you? I feel that hitting pause really helped me to narrow down my life. I wasn’t worrying about the future but rather staying grounded, living in the moment. Appreciating the beauty in simplicity. Let’s say I’ve gained a newfound perspective and it suits me.

Also, I actually made time to FINALLY start the novel I’ve always dreamed of writing. [I’d pitch is as a poignant, summer contemporary with a focus on anxiety and found family]. I spent a lot of time really honing my plot and within a couple of weeks, I had the entire novel outlined from start to finish. Keeping the momentum going, I launched straight into my first draft. At this stage, I’ve designed some mood boards, compiled a playlist and drafted the first four chapters. My goal is to hit at least 10K words before I go back to work – baby steps.

And in other news, Octavia [@Mermaid Reads] and I had yet another amazing buddy read [there’s no getting rid of me now]. Our buddy reads have saved 2020 for me – the discussions are honestly legendary. We read Blood and Honey then The Other Side of the Sky back to back. We especially loved The Other Side of the Sky which just blew us away [and scattered the pieces].

Cress by Marissa Meyer | ★★★★½ | AHHHHHH! This Book was so good on SO many levels! I mean, the reunions! The ships! The climax! That KISS! By far, my favorite installment of the series. Cresswell is my new favorite thing.

Fairest by Marissa Meyer  |★★★★½ | Fairest had no damn right to be this good. I mean, it’s a novella. About Queen Levana. The freaking VILLIAN. And yet, I cried so hard??? Basically, Fairest offers a peak behind the curtain into Levana’s murky character and Selene’s traumatic past.

Winter by Marissa Meyer  |★★★★☆| Winter actually gave me carpal tunnel – dang was it heavy! And LONG! [I had to read with the book propped on my knees]. Was it a breathtaking conclusion to an epic series? Yes. Yes it was. Also, I’m 100% TRASH for Cresswell.

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer |★★★★½| This graphic novel served as the closer [and character arch] I never knew I needed. The gang’s all here with major appearances of the entire Rampion crew as well as an introduction to some new characters. And FYI, Kinney is my new favorite Lunar boy.

Wires and Nerve: Gone Rouge by Marissa Meyer |★★★★★| Iko has always been a favorite of mine and I loved her growth over the course of this duology. Wires and Nerve is about prejudice, humanity and loyalty – a beautiful epilogue to an amazing series. [Also, I’ve come to the realization that every series requires an epilogue in the form of a graphic novel].

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer  |★★★★☆| A collection of prequel novellas, Stars Above provided the welcomed backstory for our favorite characters. While I loved the novellas [especially The Little Android], the real MVP was the gorgeous epilogue. I bawled like a baby. This is the wholesome shit I need during quarantine.

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles  |★★★★☆| Holy shit – what did I just read? A mix between Phantom of the Opera and Moulin Rouge, Where Dreams Descend is dark and seductive fantasy about love, magic and betrayal. And after that showstopping cliff hanger, I’m going to need an ARC of book two immediately [can someone please make this happen???].

Blood and Honey by Shelby Mahurin  |★★★½☆| Here’s the tea – Blood and Honey suffers from second book syndrome. There’s no way to sugar-coat it. The complexity of the plot dwindled down to Gathering Allies™. Despite interesting new characters and a changing dynamic, Serpent and Dove was definitely the stronger book.

The Other Side of the Sky by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner  |★★★★½| AHHHH – I’m in complete and utter awe of this book. The Other Side of the Sky is such a vivid and immersive reading experience – a seamless blend of science fiction and fantasy. I mean, the romantic tension, the lush world, THE BINDLE CAT! I need book two stat!

Review: All the Wandering Light by Heather Fawcett

Books As First Dates Tag

Quarantine Flurries: August 2020 Wrap-Up

So what’s up next?

…This is Halloween, this is Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! Halloween! HALLOWEEN!

Considering how much fun I had last year with my October Bucket List, I decided to keep the tradition alive. It’s the perfect way to celebrate the spooky season and make the most of my final weeks in lock down. [Urgh, there’s already stirrings from work]. I’ll be spending the month sipping Pumpkin Spice Lattes, slurping pumpkin soup and basically just wishing I was American. [Honestly, why isn’t Halloween a thing in Australia???].  

In terms of reading, I’ve created a spooky TBR. The Phantom of the Opera, House of Salt and Sorrows, Pumpkinheads and The Bone Houses are just some of the books I’ll be tackling. I also plan on toppling some tomes and FINALLY reading Strange the Dreamer. Suffice to say, I’m nervous.

As always, I wish you all the spookiest of Halloweens. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for some moody reviews and themed posts which are headed your way. Until next month, stay safe!


18 thoughts on “Hitting Reset: September 2020 Wrap-Up

  1. I’ve been checking your blog weekly I’m so happy to see that you’re back and recharged ❤ We all need that every now and again, probably now more than ever.

    I'm so happy to hear you are writing your dream novel! Honestly I am always scared to put pen to paper (figuratively I write on my laptop lol.) It's hard to start when you've never done it before. So many questions, the process alone and pre-writing stage is it's own thing entirely. 10k, you got this! Good luck on your goals, cheers to Spooktober too 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awwwww, that’s so sweet [although I’m SO sorry I left you hanging so long!] – thanks for being my number one supporter on the interwebs! [I’ve seriously missed interacting with you in the comments and lusting after SJM characters!].

      And I can 100% relate to NEVER putting pen to paper. I just realized that daydreaming about my books wasn’t writing and I needed to stick my butt in the chair and just smash out a chapter. And then you stick your butt back down and smash out another. And another. Actually, another great motivator was Abbie Emmons and her amazing writing advice on YouTube. Would HIGHLY recommend them for kicking ass with you plotting! 😉

      If you ever want to talk writing you know where to find me! Have a very spooky Spooktober! 💙💙💙

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahh Alexandra so happy to see you posting again ❤ I'm glad your quarantine is going well, and it's so great that you're writing your book now! I always love summer contemporaries and found families haha I'm sold on your book ❤ love seeing you reading Marissa Meyer's books too :)) cresswell is definitely amazing haha. I also really want to read Where Dreams Descend so I'm so glad to see you enjoyed it! also hahaHA you don't wish you're American I wish I was Australian the USA is an absolute dumpster fire shitshow rn lmao you're not missing out on anything. Anyways halloween is basically cancelled this year (I was super looking forward to going to a fun halloween event at my university this year but now I can't even go back to campus for classes much less large gatherings). house of salt and sorrow is such a deliciously creepy book perfect for this month! hope you have a spooktacular October ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awwww, thank you bestie! I’ve seriously missed posting and chatting with you in the comments! Actually, we have SO much to catch up on because I finished the Lunar Chronicles!!! YAY!!! Thank you so much for recommending them and putting me onto Marissa Meyer – they’ve become firm favorites of mine and you can bet I’ll be re-reading them soon! Sending you a BIG hug! 💙

      As for Where Dreams Descend… IT’S SPECTACULAR! I mean, there were a couple of flaws [debuts are never perfect] but they’re easy to over look. If you loved Caraval or the Night Circus or are a masive Phantom “Phan” like me then you’re going to LOVE it. I can’t wait to discuss it with you!

      HAHA Why don’t we swap countries??? 😉 That being said, I guess the grass is always greener and every country has their respective issues. I love Australia but I’d love it a hell of a lot more if we had a Disneypark!!! But I’m bummed to hear that Halloween is sort of cancelled this year. We’ll just have to cook pumpkin soup and watch lots of atmospheric movies [I’ll be sticking with Edward Scissorhands and Mickey’s House of Villians because scary movies gives me the heebie jeebies!]. 😂

      Have a seriously spooky spooktober! 💙💙💙

      Liked by 1 person

      • YAYY another Marissa Meyer fan has been made ❤ ❤ lmao it's nice to have disneyland but not nice rn–disney has been closed for 6 months and now reopening the parks is getting political and it's like bob vs. our governor (30k cast members just laid off… or 3k new covid cases in state daily o.O). anyways the moral of the story is this is all trash and nothing to do but binge hocus pocus on disney+ because scary movies give me the heebie jeebies too haha

        Liked by 1 person

  3. So happy you took a break and experienced some beautiful self discovery this month, Alexandra! And I’m glad that you enjoy our buddy reads as much as I do! Even if Blood and Honey was a little disappointing, it was still so fun to discuss it with you! As for The Other Side of the Sky… what a FANTASTIC book! Like you, I can hardly wait for the sequel. I hope you enjoy all of the books on your spooky October TBR!

    Fabulous wrap-up (as always)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know, buddy reading MADE Blood and Honey. Without our amazing discussions it probably would have taken me a LOT longer to finish it! But that’s okay because The Other Side of the Sky 110% made up for any leftover disappointment! I’m still in a book hangover because that was seriously something else!

      I wish you the spookiest of spooktober’s! 💙💙💙

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, it looks like you are being very productive during quarantine! Good luck with your novel, you sound so excited about it so I’m sure you will write something that you’re really happy with. I’m glad that taking a break from blogging helped, too. Have a nice October 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Juggling Reading by Starlight and my retail day job is time consuming so I didn’t want to waste a single moment of quarantine haha! I’m definitely VERY excited about my novel. I think I needed to take that break from blogging in order to finally get it off the ground [I’m a serious pantser!]. I hope you have the spookiest of spooktober’s! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I can’t wait to see what you think! [I need to talk about the cliff hanger because it’s been weeks and I’m STILL reeling]. If you love books like Caraval and the Night Circus or the Phantom of the Opera then Where Dreams Descend will be right up your alley! And, it’s perfect for the spooky month!

      Wishing you a very spooky spooktober, Evelyn! 💙

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ahh I think it’s been a minute since I’ve commented 😅, but I’m so glad September was the reset you needed, Alexandra! And that novel is gonna be so awesome! A full-blown book where we can appreciate your wit?? A dream 😂💕. Those mini reviews of the Lunar Chronicles books are giving me an itch to reread them. I haven’t read Wires and Nerves yet, so maybe I’ll check it out soon! Oh my gosh I think this is one of few times that I’ve ever heard someone wish they were American 😂. I hope your October is happy and spooky 😄.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would 100% recommend Wires and Nerve – it’s the perfect, nostalgic send off to an amazing series. I was worried that our favs would only have brief cameos but the gang plays major roles throughout Iko’s story. 😉 It’s so bittersweet but in the best way! I hope you pick it up! 💙

      Haha happy Spooktober! [It’s so great to hear from you again – I’ve missed you!]. Sending all my love! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I just finished The Lunar Chronicles myself and loved every single book to pieces! Now I just have to read the spin-offs! Needless to say, I’ve been neglecting the other books on my TBR list thanks to Marissa Meyer. Hehehe. I think I’m in so much trouble. 😉

    Good luck with your own writing, btw!

    Liked by 1 person

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