WHEN THE CURTAIN FALLS by Carrie Hope Fletcher | Review

Welcome to my first book review in MONTHS. I’ve decided to switch up the way I write my reviews, to let me know if you like this new format! 

In 1952 two young lovers meet, in secret, at the beautiful Southern C ross theatre in the very heart of London’s West End. Their relationship is made up of clandestine meetings and stolen moments because there is someone who will make them suffer if he discovers she is no longer ‘his’. But life in the theatre doesn’t always go according to plan and tragedy and heartache are waiting in the wings for all the players . . .

Almost seventy years later, a new production of When the Curtain Falls arrives at the theatre, bringing with it Oscar Bright and Olive Green and their budding romance. Very soon, though, strange things begin to happen and they learn about the ghost that’s haunted the theatre since 1952, a ghost who can only be seen on one night of the year. Except the ghost is appearing more often and seems hell bent on sabotaging Oscar and Olive. The young couple realise they need to right that wrong from years gone by, but can they save themselves before history repeats itself and tragedy strikes once more?

{Goodreads.com}

When did I read this book?: All in one day on December 13th. (This seems to be a trend for me with Carrie’s books…)

Where did I read this book?: In the library at Wheaton. It was towards the end of finals week but I was done with work and wasn’t leaving campus until that night. I didn’t want to just sit in my room alone all day, so I went to the library with my friends who were still working on finals and read while they typed away on their essays. Definitely felt strange being in a college library and reading something purely for fun! 

Why did I read this book?: A dear friend gave me this book for my birthday (the same friend with whom I saw Carrie perform live in London while abroad!) and I couldn’t wait to read it. Plus, her books are perfect for reading all in one huge chunk.

Pros: 

  • Although the romance was a little over-the-top for me at times, there were also moments where it felt incredibly real, particularly regarding how muddy and confusing dating can get. There was a nice balance between a classic “star-crossed lovers” type romance in the past plot line and a more nuanced, complicated, bittersweet romance in the present plot line.
  • Speaking of plot lines, I really enjoyed the intertwining stories of the old case and the new cast of the play that the novel revolves around. Discovering the parallels between them was really fun, and learning the details of the full back story made what was happening in the present plot line a lot more meaningful. I think this was a great way to add depth and intrigue to this novel’s main premise.
  • Perhaps my favorite thing about this novel is how real Olive’s emotions feel. I’m not usually one to cry while reading–watching movies is an entirely different story–but I actually found myself tearing up a few times while reading this novel. Carrie captures what it feels like to be let down time and time again by someone you thought cared about you. While it was immensely sad to read during certain scenes, it was also surprisingly reassuring; in a way, it’s nice to know that other people have felt the same way at some point in their lives.
  • Last but not least, I really loved how you could just feel that Carrie was in her element while writing this novel. As a professional actress on the West End, Carrie is no stranger to cast dynamics backstage, what it’s like to live based on a stage schedule, or the pressure of constantly being scrutinized by the public eye. When the Curtain Falls just exudes Carrie to me, and for this among many reasons I’d say that it is her best novel yet.

Cons: 

  • While I adored the story of this novel, the writing style was not quite my cup of tea. Some phrases and sentences sounded a little off, as though they could have benefited from another round of editing.
  • As much as I enjoyed the realistic aspects of the romance, there were nevertheless still parts that were a bit too “insta-love”-ish for me. Yet perhaps this is a problem not so much with Carrie’s novel but more so with the genre itself and what I was in the mood to read at the time. There’s only so much realism that can go into the development of a fictional relationship in a few hundred pages, so I suppose some element of this kind of portrayal may always exist. (Thoughts? I’d love to hear what you think about this topic!)

Overall:

Again, I would absolutely argue that When the Curtain Falls is Carrie Hope Fletcher’s best novel to date. From ghosts and dark theatre lore to modern celebrityhood, romance, and life on stage, this novel encompasses topics and twists that I never saw coming. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a quick but emotional, exciting read–especially if you’re already a fan of Carrie Hope Fletcher in general!

What are your thoughts on this novel or any of Carrie Hope Fletcher’s other books? Do you think that some degree of “insta-love” is inherent in fictional romance? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

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APRIL 2018 | Wrap-Up

T.S. Eliot famously wrote in The Waste Land that “April is the cruelest month.” Fortunately, this particular month of April has been remarkably kind to me! Between traveling, spending time with friends, starting a new term, and planning for some exciting days to come, this past month was filled with moments that I know I won’t soon forget. Here’s what I was up to in April:

In April I read a total of 12 books:

  1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  2. All That She Can See by Carrie Hope Fletcher
  3. Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez
  4. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  5. Death and the King’s Horseman by Wole Soyinka
  6. Butterfly Burning by Yvonne Vera
  7. Changes by Ama Ata Aidoo
  8. The Autobiography of My Mother by Jamaica Kincaid
  9. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery 
  10. Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
  11. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling
  12. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf {yup: second time this year!}

I read a lot of fantastic books this month (shout out to my Oxford required reading list) but I think my favorite is probably the very first one I read: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This novel is so well written and really uproots you and plants you in the United States at the time before Obama’s first presidential election. As a book blogger, I adored the fact that Ifemelu ran a blog about race in America as an outsider as well as all of the issues and delights that came along with it. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone!

+ MOVIE: Definitely, definitely, definitely The Sound of Music. Up until early April I was one of the seemingly few people left on Earth who had never seen this iconic musical film, so you can imagine how confusing my life must have been before due to all of the reference I never fully understood. Well, I’m happy to say that this problem has finally been resolved, and I LOVED it. My friend and I watched it in preparation for the Sound of Music bus tour we went on while traveling through Salzburg on our break and I honestly still can’t believe it took me over two decades to finally see it. How have I lived???

The back of our Sound of Music tour bus in Salzburg, Austria.

{Also shoutout to Marvel’s Infinity War as an honorable mention. I went to the midnight screening of it (my first one ever) and it was a WILD time.}

+ MUSIC: I’m tempted to say the Sound of Music soundtrack, simply because it’s SO. DARN. CATCHY. However, in the interest of not repeating myself a million times, I think I’m going to go with an artist I was recently introduced to by one of my friend’s before we saw her perform live in London: Dodie. She has a lot of music up on her Youtube channel and she’s also released a few EPs, which are lovely. A few of my favorite songs are “When,” “6/10,” and “Party Tattoos.” Definitely check her music out if you haven’t already!

+ FOOD: Literally anything that is not granola bars, Lays and Pringles chips, fruit, and packets of oatmeal. This was basically all I ate while traveling with my friend for two weeks because I didn’t want to order anything in other languages due to my nut allergy, and now real food with substance tastes AMAZING. Actual protein! Meals that are cooked in a kitchen! Food that isn’t classified as a snack! What a life!

+ PLACE: I had the incredible opportunity to travel to many different European cities in April, so there are a lot of amazing places for me to choose from! However, I think the place I loved the most was Austria, particularly because I didn’t expect it to be so beautiful! We stayed in Vienna for several days and then spent some time in Salzburg and Mondsee for the Sound of Music bus tour and all of those places were just gorgeous. I would absolutely go back some day!

Wow, so much to say! The first half of April was one of the most incredible experiences of my life: traveling to five European cities in two weeks! The trip began by visiting my friend who is studying in Edinburgh this semester, and then from there we went to Amsterdam, Berlin, Vienna, and Salzburg. I don’t even know where to begin talking about this amazing experience! We went to so many places, from countless museums and parks to the Dutch amusement park Efteling, the East Side Gallery, the apartments of Beethoven and Mozart, actual sites used in the Sound of Music film, and more. I’ve been back in Oxford for weeks now and I still can’t believe I actually went to all of those places!

To be honest, before coming to Oxford I never, ever, ever thought I would go on such an adventure. Not only does my nut allergy make traveling quite difficult and stressful, but I’ve always been a bit of a homebody and have preferred to do things well within the bounds of my comfort zone. However, I am so, so SO glad I took advantage of the opportunity to travel while I’m already in England because it ended up being one of the most fun, exciting, eye-opening things I’ve ever done.

I’m in the process of writing MANY posts about all of my traveling adventures, so stay tuned for them over the course of the next few weeks!

So much Harry Potter graffiti in the bathroom at the Elephant House cafe in Edinburgh!
Amsterdam is so. pretty.
Loved all the tulips out in Amsterdam!
Efteling is so fun but also SO WEIRD.
Found the American flag at the East Side Gallery.
We were so lucky with the weather on this trip, and Berlin was no exception!
BEETHOVEN LIVED HERE?!?!
Anyone recognize this from the “I Have Confidence” number?
Casually visited the church where Maria gets married in Sound of Music (!!!)

I arrived back in Oxford at the beginning of 0th week, and then Trinity term started right up with work, work, and more work. It’s so strange thinking that I’m already well into my third and final term here at Oxford. I know that I’m going to miss this place immensely when I go back home to the States in June– cue the nostalgia already!

 Here are some notable posts from my blog this past month:

Here are some posts that I loved reading this month:

How was your month of April? What was the best book you read? Did you do anything really fun or exciting? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Feminist Fridays: Carrie Hope Fletcher

Today I’d like to talk about one my favorite people to watch on Youtube: singer, actress, blogger, and vlogger Carrie Hope Fletcher. I’ve been a fan of her videos for years (since I was in middle school?!) and it’s been amazing to watch her grow and develop her channel over such a long time. I want to highlight her in this Feminist Fridays feature in particular because I think she is such a positive, empowering figure for younger girls and women alike.

I love how Carrie is incredibly open and honest when discussing body image, mental health, self-esteem, being a woman, etc. on her channel. She’s not afraid to call people out when they reinforce sexist stereotypes or make comments that are objectifying, insulting, or harmful. While she clearly sees the importance of empowering women to be confident in their own skin, she also acknowledges the pressure this puts on her as a sort of public figure with an audience and talks about how it can be overwhelming and frustrating at times. This is why I love Carrie’s videos: she’s genuine and makes a point to tackle tough topics with nuance and an attention to detail that is to be admired. 

Her blog is another source of positivity and empowerment as she writes about kindness, self-love, and shares tidbits about her life as an actress. For the current month of April she decided to take part in the Blurt Foundation’s Self Care-athon, writing a post every day about a refreshingly thought-provoking, positive, inspirational topic. For instance, she begins a post all about kindness by writing:

One of the reasons I love coming to WaltDisneyWorld is because the kindness is rife. Left, right and centre there are women complimenting each other’s clothes and accessories. There are cast members creating magical moments for little ones simply because they can. Families from all over the world stand together in front of Cinderella’s castle, chatting before the fireworks begin and then sing together when they do. I always try to bring that mentality home to England with me but “real life” often bogs me down. When people aren’t as receptive to kindness, it’s often intimidating to be the one that takes that step. It suddenly takes a lot more courage to reach out and tell someone you love what they’re wearing on the London tube, the place where everyone’s far too British to chat. Often you’re met with looks of befuddlement, a scoff or even worse, silence. It can easily put you off making that extra effort to be kind but it mustn’t.

If this doesn’t show Carrie’s dedication to helping spread positivity, empowerment, and kindness, then I don’t know what does!

Recently I had the opportunity to see Carrie perform live in London at Cadogan Hall and it was such an incredible experience. How surreal it was to see her belting her heart out on stage after watching her videos and reading her books for so many years! (Also, would highly recommend her book On the Other Side, which you can read my review of here.) It felt great to be surrounded by people who are also inspired by this woman who exudes encouragement, compassion, and empathy in everything she does.

I hope this gushing post about Carrie has made you want to starting watching her videos or reading her books even just a teensy bit!

Click here to see other Feminist Friday posts!

Are you a fan of Carrie Hope Fletcher, watch her videos, or read her books? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring 2018 TBR

Happy Tuesday!! It’s that time of year again: bring out the spring 2018 TBR lists! Every season I set a TBR list and then completely forget about it by the time I have to create another one for the next season… when will this vicious cycle end? (Not anytime soon!) Since I now have my reading lists for next term to start working on I have quite a bit of reading to do over the next few weeks. Based on a mix of assigned reading and random books I’ve meaning to read for ages, here are ten books I’m hoping to read this spring: 

What books do you want to read this spring? What do you think about the books that I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag | 2017

Can you believe that 2017 is already half way over??? I’m still not used to how far along we are in the twenty-first century. Every time someone mentions the 90s my first thought is “Ah, yes, that decade ten years ago.” But that is NOT THE CASE and it’s kind of scary… Anyways, thanks so much to Inside My Library Mind for tagging me in this Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!!

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017?

Must we start with the most difficult question ever??? I’ve read so many great books this year that choosing just one is really hard, so I’m going to go with two: How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky and Sartoris by William Faulkner. (Could you get two more opposite books??)

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017?

I actually don’t think I’ve read any sequels this year!

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

When I heard that John Green was releasing a new book this fall I literally squealed in delight, surprise, and excitement. ANOTHER JOHN GREEN BOOK, PEOPLE. From what he’s shared about the basic premise of Turtles All the Way Down it promises to be an entertaining, thought-provoking, and story about adolescence, mental illness, and life. October can’t come soon enough!!!

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

I’m honestly not very up to date with new releases for the second half of 2017, so I don’t think I have an answer to this question.

5. Biggest disappointment.

How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran. This was the first book I read (listened to, actually) in 2017 and I was so disappointed by it. I disagreed with many of her points and was frustrated by her tendency to focus on problems that were fairly tedious and insignificant compared with the more serious issues that some women have to deal with on a regular basis. The potential was there for this to be a great book, but in the end I just don’t think it was executed as well as it could have been.

6. Biggest surprise.

Sartoris by William Faulkner. Unexpectedly, this may be my favorite Faulkner novel that I’ve read thus far. I had never heard of it before taking a closer look at the Faulkner section of my local library because usually people stick with his most well-known texts (The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, etc.). Sartoris is under-rated, under-appreciated, and certainly deserves to be read by a wider audience!

7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

E.M. Forster. I read his novel A Room with a View earlier this year and was absolutely enthralled by it. Not only is his writing beautiful, but the novel was incredibly thought-provoking and captivating. I look forward to reading more of his writing!

8. Newest fictional crush.

Vincent from On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher. Not only is Vincent incredibly musically gifted, but he’s also sweet, thoughtful, loyal, caring… what more could you want? This entire book is adorable and romantic in general– I definitely recommend it if you’re in the mood for something really sweet, captivating, and heartwarming .

9. Newest favorite character.

Matilda from Matilda by Roald Dahl. I really wish I had read this book when I was younger because I think Matilda’s character would have really resonated with me. Younger Holly would have been thrilled to read about a bookworm like myself who triumphed over obstacles against all odds. Matilda is such an important character for children to read about, both as a bookish hero as well as a strong, clever, independent female character.

10. Book that made you cry.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. Though I didn’t physically cry while reading this poetry collection, I did feel emotional and sense tears welling up in my eyes at times. Rupi Kaur’s poetry is raw, honest, and beautiful. I highly recommend this collection!

11. Book that made you happy.

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl. I never read this book when I was a kid (are we sensing a trend here?) but I definitely wish I had because it’s SO FUN. I couldn’t help but smile all the way through this creative, hilarious, adorable book. Roald Dahl is the best! Also, now I really want to watch the movie adaptation directed by Wes Anderson. I’ve heard really great things about it!

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky. I love everything about this cover design– the color, the simple design of handwriting on a solid background, and the way it’s messy but not overwhelmingly so. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve photographed this book (although looking at my bookstagram will give you a pretty good idea). This is one of my favorite books that I’ve read so far this year, so I would highly recommend it!!

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

SO MANY. A novel I’m hoping to read by the end of the summer is Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. I’ve been meaning to read this book for ages but for some reason I just haven’t gotten around to it.

14. Favorite Book Community Member (Blogger, Booktuber and Bookstagrammer)

Ahhh, there are so many!!! I love each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart ❤ For the sake of this tag, I’m going to give a shoutout to:

  • Shar & Shanti @ Virtually Read. Not only do Shar and Shanti post thought-provoking, creative content on they’re blog, but they’re also both incredibly kind individuals. They leave the most thoughtful comments that always make me happy. If you haven’t checked out their blog, definitely do so!! ❤
  • Ariel Bissett. Ariel has been my favorite booktuber for YEARS. A smile immediately lights up my face every time I see that she has posted a new video because they always manage to brighten my day. I love her bubbly, enthusiastic personality and knack for creating content that’s simultaneously thought-provoking, creative, and entertaining.
  • Resh Susan (@thebooksatchel). I love her book blog, but I especially look forward to the photos she posts on bookstagram. They’re beautifully shot and always contain the most gorgeous editions of books. ❤

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How was your reading in the month of #may? Time for a #wrapup. – – 5⭐️ : The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (love the lyrical prose and choice of words) 5⭐️ : Anna Karenina by Tolstoy (loved minute observations of life in Russia & character sketches) 4.5⭐️ : The Dark Circle by Linda Grant (made me feel fortunate for medical advancements. Written in a stream of consciousness style) 4⭐️ : First Love by Gwendine Riley (imperfect lives and flawed characters told in minimal words) 4⭐️ : Lord Edgware dies by Agatha Christie (kept me on toes guessing the killer) 4⭐️ : The Muse by Jessie Burton ( moderate pace, predictable but enjoyable) 3.5⭐️ : Effi Briest by Theodor Fontane (beautifully written story of a marriage between a young wife and older husband) 3.5⭐️ : Mr Tibbit's Catholic school (charming boarding school stories and nuances of headmasters) : : What was your favourite book of the month? : : #bookworm#maywrapup #thebooksatchelwrapup #coffee #booksbooksbooks #books

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I hope you’ve had a great first half of 2017 and that the second half is even better! ❤

What are your answers to these questions? What do you think of mine? How has your 2017 been so far? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

ON THE OTHER SIDE by Carrie Hope Fletcher | Review

I’ve been a fan of Carrie Hope Fletcher’s Youtube channel since middle school, back in the days of wearing crocs and starting stories I would never finish writing and pretending that I could run fast enough to be on the cross-country team (fun fact: I could not). Not only have we both grown older since then, but she has become an accomplished performer on the West End as well as a published author of both memoir and fiction books. Sometimes I think about the Carrie I used to watch back in my early teens and wonder how someone can be so incredibly talented and kindhearted and genuinely down to earth. Needless to say, Carrie is nothing short of inspirational.

I give this context of my history as an admirer of Carrie’s work to help explain how very excited I was when I learned that she would be writing a novel called On the Other Side. Becoming a published author has been a dream of mine since my age was in the single digits, and seeing Carrie accomplish this feat reignited this goal in me for the umpteenth time. My excitement rose even further after finding out that it would be a whimsical, magical, adorable love story– something I could completely imagine Carrie sitting down at her computer to craft. By the time a copy came into my hands via the lending hand of a friend (shoutout to my good friend Christina) it’s safe to say that I was so ready to read this book.

And I thoroughly enjoyed it. Everything about simply screamed Carrie to me: the descriptions of Evie’s flat, her affection for sweets, the creativity of the story, the relationship between Evie and Vincent, the charming character of Vincent himself, the focus on highlighting the value of the arts and creative endeavors in general. I felt as though I could recognize the Carrie I’ve admired for years in every page turn, every new line, every adorable moment that made my lips widen into a smile. The story was cleverly layered with bursts of the present and the past, trips between Evie’s life on Earth and the intriguing middle ground of her life after death.

It’s difficult to write a book about love, life, and death like this without coming off as over-the-top and preachy, yet Carrie has managed to do so (albeit with a charmingly generous dose of cheesiness). I feel as though readers can relate to the story no matter what stage of their life they are currently living. Even though a major portion of the novel is written from the perspective of an older Evie, I could really relate to the confused and conflicting emotions she experienced as a twenty-something trying to figure her life out. The idea of being able to go back and mend rather than change certain aspects of your life is a really interesting twist on the usual approach to this topic. Though this novel is brimming with magical realism, the important themes it emphasizes are incredibly real and relevant to our actual lives.

On the Other Side ended up being exactly what I imagined it would be: that whimsical, magical, adorable love story that I had hoped for.

But here’s the problem: it wasn’t anything more. 

The writing was okay, but not fantastic. At times the magical elements seemed over-the-top and out-of-place, oddly standing out against an otherwise ordinary background. A handful of scenes had to be reread because I couldn’t tell if they were meant to be figurative or literal (as in, did those pieces of paper really just turn into shards of glass?). Certain plot points felt forced, others illogical, still others as though they could have been expanded or emphasized as more important to the story.

I believe in sharing honest opinions, so that’s what I’m going to do. On the Other Side was okay– good, even– but not great. I turned the last page with a warm and fuzzy feeling in my chest that was tinged with a hint of disappointment. It almost feels as though I should give this work two different ratings: from the perspective of a fan of Carrie in general it was AMAZING, but I simply enjoyed it from a reader’s perspective. I’m proud of Carrie for accomplishing the daunting task of writing and publishing a novel– it just wasn’t the perfect novel for me.

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) 3 out of 5 smileys

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Yes, especially if they a) are a fan of Carrie Hope Fletcher and/or b) love a good romance story.

I hope this review makes at least an inkling of sense. On the Other Side is a fun, adorable, charming novel that is well worth reading… I was just a teensy bit let down because of all the hype.

What did you think of this novel? Do you watch Carrie’s videos? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

APRIL 2017 | Wrap-Up

April is one of those months where you never really know quite what to expect. This is especially true in New England, when the weather can be freezing and rainy one day and gloriously sunny the next. Though we definitely had our share of ups and downs weather-wise this month, life has been steadily looking up! Here’s what I was up to in April:

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In April I read a total of 4 books.

  1. The Cambridge Companion to Frederick Douglass edited by Maurice S. Lee
  2. On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher
  3. Newsies: Stories of the Unlikely Broadway Hit edited by Ken Cerniglia
  4. The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder

I read some great books in April (courtesy of one of my dear friends who loans me fantastic books), which makes choosing a favorite one difficult. However, the one that I’ve been thinking about the most recently is Thornton Wilder’s The Bridge of San Luis Rey. Interestingly enough, I bought a copy of this book when I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City last month without even realizing that Wilder, the mind behind Our Town, is the author. (Clearly, this was an impulse purchase if I’ve ever made one.) Its rather short length is certainly not indicative of the depth and resonance it possesses, making it a sort of TARDIS in a sense. (Doctor Who, anyone?) At any rate, if you have not yet read this book or Our Town by Thornton Wilder, I highly recommend them!

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In many ways, the month of April on a college campus feels like a whirlwind of contradictions. Apart from the aforementioned unpredictable weather, there are also lulls and spikes in coursework, feelings of excitement and exhaustion, and the desire to be in far more places doing far more things than humanly possible. It’s hard to balance doing coursework and focusing on wrapping things up for the semester in the midst of Easter and Spring Weekend festivities, yet that’s the sort of balancing act that April requires. Overall, April was certainly a month to remember!

I briefly want to mention the fact that I watched the original Star Wars for the first time this month, because I feel like that’s a pretty landmark event, at least for me. Up until this point I’ve been wading through life lost in a sea of Star Wars references I only vaguely understood, but now everything makes SO MUCH SENSE. And Yoda is so cute and funny! And I can relate to C-3PO so much! And Princess Leia is such a fantastic female heroine!! And THE MUSIC!!

Finals week is now fast approaching, which means I am currently up to my ears in papers, papers, a few exams, and more papers. Though I desperately want the work to be done and over with, the prospect of leaving all of my friends behind when I move back home for the summer has painted everything with a bittersweet hue recently. I have two weeks left on this campus before embarking on the four-month stretch of summer (I know, we have a long summer break!). I’m really excited for the fun adventures that I’m hoping to have this summer, but in an ideal world those adventures would take place with my Wheaton friends alongside me. Needless to say, I’ve been feeling pretty conflicted lately!

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Here are some notable posts from my blog this past month:

Here are some posts that I loved reading this month:

How was your month of April? What was the best book you read? Have you ever had a month where you read nothing? Did you do anything really fun or exciting? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring 2017 TBR

Happy Tuesday!! The Broke and the Bookish are back with their weekly Top Ten Tuesday themes, and this week’s topic is a particularly timely one: the Top Ten Books on Your Spring TBR! The snow has just about melted completely where I live, allowing the grass beneath to soak in some much-needed sunshine and warmer air. As winter gradually gives way to spring, it’s time to start thinking about the exciting books we’d like to read this season. Though I likely won’t have an abundance of free time to read until after this semester is over in May, I’m still looking forward to getting a lot of reading done over spring break (AKA this week!). In no particular order, here are ten books that I would love to read soon:

 

 

What books are you hoping to read this spring? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant to Read in 2016 But Didn’t Get To

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Happy Tuesday! I hope you’re all doing well after the holiday season. I know that I always feel a bit blue, but Top Ten Tuesday never fails to cheer me up. This week I’ll be sharing the Top Ten Books I Meant to Read in 2016 But Didn’t Get To. My list of books was so long that it was actually kind of difficult to narrow it down… but I managed!

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What are some books that you meant to read in 2016 but never got around to? What do you think of the books I mentioned? Which one of these should I put at the top of my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall 2016 TBR

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Happy Tuesday!! My favorite season has finally arrived: autumn. I love everything about this transitional season, from the crisp chill in the air to the golden hues of the foliage. In the spirit of the pumpkin-spiced season, the theme of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is the Top Ten Books on My Fall 2016 TBR List. Since the semester is currently underway, I don’t have much time for reading other than what I’m assigned to read for my classes. Still, I’m hoping to get some reading in on breaks and if I have a moment or two to spare here and there. Here are some of the books that I’m hoping to read this fall:

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I know I won’t be able to read all of these books in the next few months, but I would be ecstatic if I could get around to reading two or three of them.

What books are you looking forward to reading this fall? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY