March. What a month. There were plenty of highs but the lows were seriously killer. Especially because the month started off on a bit of a sour note. And while I can’t really talk about said sour note [let’s just say it was a confronting work related incident of criminal nature], it inspired yet another setback in terms of my mental health.
BUT, that’s not what I’m choosing to focus on. So, ignoring work stress and without further ado, let’s spread some positive energy and get into the highlights:
After a much needed mental health day, I headed to the local cinema to watch Raya and the Last Dragon with a friend. It was actually the first time I’d been back to the cinema post lock down so we treated ourselves to a large buttery popcorn and I indulged with a mint choc top. I mean, if you’re going to be bad, you might as well do it thoroughly, right? We both absolutely LOVED Raya [which was actually pretty dark and heavy for a Disney film], even getting a little emotional at the climax.
Mum and I also watched Oprah’s bombshell interview [over FaceTime] with Meagan and Harry and what a night. We don’t exactly follow the Royals but the amount of tea spilt was pretty
damn epic. I think we were on the edge of our seats the entire time. After the interview, mum and I swapped our theories for hours and speculated on all the drama.
In other news, I hosted my very first “adult” dinner party with a games night for my work wives. Fun fact: we never really got around to playing a lot of games but it was such an amazing night filled with plenty of laughs, a few new inside jokes and great company. There was dancing, a rather heated game of Burger Mania [only the most anxiety inducing game ever] and Uno.
I also FINALLY managed to catch up with my best friend. Long distance, conflicting work schedules and COVID19 restrictions were not our friend in 2020. BUT, we finally made it work. We met up for some retail therapy and brunch in Melbourne before meandering around the Flagstaff Gardens.
At home, I was busy bingeing period dramas. After obsessing over Bridgerton, I watched Sandition and re-watched the first season of Poldark. After my recent struggles with mental health, staying positive and strong has been a big focus of mine. I’ve been sticking to a pretty grueling training schedule and working out more regularly. I’ve found it’s really helped in terms of getting my anxiety back under control. Work stress who?
In other news, my parents launched their own business! They quit their toxic hospitality jobs and traded the kitchen in for a food van. My step dad has dreamed of owning his own food van forever so I’m so proud to see their dream take off. Feel free to give them some love and follow them on Instagram at Food From The Heart Airlie Beach. Be warned – their photos will make your mouth water!
Bridgerton: The Duke & I by Julia Quinn | Adult > Historical Romance | ★★★½☆ | Bridgerton is nothing but Regency fluff. Contemporary, Austen-esque fluff. There’s very little substance to the plot or characters but that doesn’t stop you from getting completely swept away by the court drama and romance. Basically, Bridgerton is the perfect bath book.
The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig | YA > Historical Fantasy |★★★☆☆ | If you loved the adventure and romance of Passenger than The Girl From Everywhere will be right up your alley. There’s pirates, time travel, heists and lots of mythology. My one issue is the fact that The Girl From Everywhere feels less sophisticated and very YA.
The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn | Adult > Historical Romance |★★★★☆ | The Viscount Who Loved Me is by far my favorite Bridgerton novel so far. This is Julia Quinn at her best. Featuring a reluctant but steamy enemies-to-lovers romance and plenty of sharp banter, The Viscount Who Loved Me will leave you cackling with mirth. Also, watch out for the Pall Mall scene.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald | Classic |★★★★★ | My first classic of 2021, I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read and re-read The Great Gatsby. Besides The Phantom of the Opera, it’s probably my favorite classic. It’s a Jazz-soaked romp through the roaring twenties, commenting on the decline of the American Dream. It’s about obsession, impossible dreams and reclaiming the past – a masterpiece.
An Offer From A Gentleman | Adult > Historical Romance |★★★☆☆ | Okay, I’m pretty sure that this book contributed to my slumpy reading mood this month, particularly towards the end. After The Viscount Who Loved Me, An Offer From A Gentleman was a let down. And I’m devastated. Especially because Benedict was my favorite Bridgerton brother on Netflix. An Offer From A Gentleman had a strong start/ending but the middle seemed to lag. There was also a serious lack of steam. That said, I loved the Cinderella vibe.
All the Stars and Teeth | YA > Fantasy |★★★★☆| My second read through of All the Stars and Teeth really suffered from my slump, catching the full brunt of my burnout. Through no fault of it’s own, I really struggled through this book. Thankfully, it seems said slump is officially squashed. All the Stars and Teeth is one of my favorite pirate books. Full of swashbuckling high-jinks and sweeping adventure, it’s the pirate novel of my dreams and I can’t wait to continue with All the Tides of Fate next month.
The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig | YA > Historical Fantasy | ☆☆☆☆☆ | Sigh. This book right here can take full blame for charting the course to my reading slump [An Offer From a Gentleman merely solidified it]. I was trying to read The Ship Beyond Time almost all month. Like I said, this duology has all the Passenger vibes BUT I just can’t get into the characters. I mean, I don’t really care about anyone??? I’m trying to trudge through but for now, I’m placing this one on hold.
Already April’s shaping up to be a very busy month. Not only is there Easter and a girls day to look forward too, but I’m finally going on a holiday for the first time in six years [Whoo Hoo]. I’ll be boarding a plane mid-April and jet setting off to the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef to visit my parents. [You can bet I’m already counting down the days and planning what to pack]. Make sure you’re following Reading By Starlight Blog on Instagram – I’ll be sharing all my adventures and a ton of photos.
As for my reading plans, I’ve got some more summery books lined up. I’ll be kicking things off with All the Tides of Fate and I’ll be taking 99% Mine and Beach Read away with me [I figured contemporary romances would make the perfect beach side reading material]. As for the rest, I’ll be letting my mood be my guide. Considering I’m hot off the heels of a burnout/slump I want to keep things light and chilled. Basically, absolutely no pressure what so ever – which is exactly how I like it.
What did you get up to this month? I’d love to hear from you! Especially if you’ve got any recommendations for me to take on my travels. Wishing you a very safe and happy month and, as always, happy reading!