July Wrap-Up & August Goals!

Hey everyone! Wow, it is going to be AUGUST already!! Can you believe it?! I sure can’t! I feel like I’ve said this every month for the last 2 years of blogging hahahaha, BUT hey I’m going to say it again XD

Overall July has been a good month. I finished the third draft of my WIP and I’m now a mini-break from writing, so I got a LOT of reading done. It felt amazing to sink into the world of reading again. It’s also been busy with wedding planning and some changes in my career (in a good way!!)

I finished a total of 5 books this month, and in progress of reading 4 more. This is awesome because (a) it’s kind of my monthly record for this year? or something like that haha, and (b) some of these books are LONG, like 600+ pages. I also branched out from my typical diet of young adult fantasy/sci-fi into classics, adult fantasy, contemporary, AND non-fiction. *Big pat on back!!*

I finished East of Eden, which was a multi-generational book about love and kindness, goodness and evil, family and self-acceptance, and the like. It was a slow-paced book and MUCH longer than my typical read, however I ended up really loving all the characters in this novel and felt inspired by its message. Check out my review here.

Opposite of Always was a fun and breezy YA contemporary. My only complaint was the insta-love and the writing style, however overall it was an enjoyable read! Check out my review here.

Jade City (Green Bone Saga, #1) was an Asian-inspired epic fantasy about a clan of warriors on the island of Kekon who derived special powers from jade. Really loved the premise and the worldbuilding, which made the world of jade and honour feel real to me. The highlight of this book was the characters- the Kaul family who were the leaders of their clan. Loved all the Kauls and the dynamics between them. Check out my review here.

I was wary about Jade War (Green Bone Saga, #2,) being the second book in the series. Although the pacing was slow in the beginning and middle of the book, by the last 150 pages I was ON THE EDGE OF MY SEAT waiting to read what would happen next!! I loved the characters even more than in the first book, especially the female protagonists who took fate into their own hands. In the end, I loved this book even more than the first. Check out my review here.

I’ve been hearing so much about Red, White and Royal Blue that I had to read it so I know what the hype is all about hahaha. There is GREAT character chemistry and lots of laughs, but I can sense deeper themes boiling beneath the surface. Review coming up soon!

Writing Tools teaches writers 50 tools that are helpful for improving our writing. I love how there are exercises at the end of each chapter that allow me to practice the “writing tools” by analyzing a published book of my choice, as well as my own work. Some of these tools were new to me, while others were a review. In any case I think it is a great writing instruction book for those looking to improve prose!

Red Rising was one of the novels that I’ve heard so much about. So far I am just 20% done the audiobook. It was a bit slow to start, but overall I’m loving the premise and the characters, and I’m looking forward to read the rest the book.

Permanent Record was one of my highly anticipated eARCs! After reading (and loving) Emergency Contact by Mary HK Choi, I couldn’t wait for this new work. So far I am still getting used to Pablo’s voice, and the story is taking some time to get rolling, but I am excited to read more.

As a part of my writing exercises (from Writing Tools) I am re-reading and studying the prose of Brokeback Mountain. I’ve read this book last year and loved it, but I realized I haven’t paid much attention to the writing, which is superb. It is amazing how the author can pack so much meaning within so few words; a story spanning decades that is captured within 50 pages!

I finished 2 YARC books this month!! (This means that my total YARC progress is 6 out of 10. Getting there!)

SO! Yes!! I finished the third draft of Children of the Sun! Now it is sent off to beta-readers and the feedback is slowly but surely trickling in. I am of course super nervous hahahaha….

In the mean time I’ve been practicing my writing technique by following along with the exercises in the Writing Tools book. I also listened to several Masterclasses as well.

The end of July also means that Camp Nanowrimo is coming to a close! I had a fun time with my group of cabin members. I was a bit of a rebel this time since part of my month was writing the tail end of Children of the Sun, while the majority of the time was spent on writing exercises. So my Camp Nanowrimo goal was 15000 words, although only 6993 came from my novel. I ended up doing some complex Calculus with the remaining 8007 words, assigning 323 words per writing exercise.

July was a quiet month in terms of blogging for me. I wrote one discussion post, which was inspired by my mental debate as I typed my review for East of Eden:

This brings my current Discussion Post Challenge total to 8 (out of 12)!! I am on track!!

Here are some of my favourite blog posts from July!

Check out the Jade War Blog Tour hosted by the amazing Shealea!! I loved the book (the Green Bone Saga in general) and the blog tour couldn’t have been possible without Shealea’s hard work! Be sure to check out some of the other awesome posts as well!

Marie @ Drizzle & Hurricane Books wrote about her travels to Croatia! Be prepared for beautiful photos!!

Belle wrote about how to be a minimalist book blogger which echoes my sentiments precisely!

Kal @ Reader Voracious showed us the ropes when it comes to paid vs. self-hosted WordPress! (Apparently there are TWO different WordPresses?! I definitely learned something new haha)

I loved this inspiring post by Asha about how to choose a book to read.

July was an exciting and busy month for me. First of all, it is officially LESS THAN ONE MONTH UNTIL THE WEDDING!!!!!! EEEEEEEKKKKK!!! *epic freak out and hyperventilation mode*

Hahahaha kidding I am doing just fine. Just. Fine. *Deep breath* Really. XD

It was a month full of running around and ticking the boxes on last-minute things, making our final instalment of payments, adding the final touches to the dress, etc.

You guys are probably curious about my DIY wedding dress progress. I hope that I could say more about it! I’ve decided to keep it simple, no elaborate embroidery or beading. Instead I’ll spice up the veil to add more excitement to the outfit!

ALSO, in addition to wedding-planning madness, another big piece of news is that….. I was offered another position in my current workplace. Rather than clinical pharmacy, I’ll be doing some leadership, education, project management stuff (don’t want to bore you guys with the full description!!) So yeah, it’s kind of like a promotion! The position will start in mid-August, pretty much before my wedding date hahah. Yes! Lots of excitement coming up!

  • THE BIG DAY OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE IT KILL ME NOW (or actually, don’t kill me hahahaha I want to live)
  • After my wedding, I plan to gather up feedback from my beta-readers and start on the fourth draft of Children of the Sun (?? final draft??! JUST KIDDING, because EDITING NEVER ENDS)
  • More reading!
  • Maybe one more discussion post?
  • DEFINITELY a wedding-dress post hahaha, can’t escape it now 🙂

Because I can for-see August being a hectic month, I’ll be taking a hiatus from blogging for the last 2 weeks of the month. THEN it’ll be back to business as usual 🙂

How was your month of July? Any remarkable reads? Any goals or plans for August?

Photo by Dakota Roos on Unsplash

40 Replies to “July Wrap-Up & August Goals!”

  1. I absolutely freaking LOVED Red, White, and Royal Blue! I read it for my book club, and it was a hit with everybody. I definitely agree with your take on it. It had a nice balance of light and fluffy with juuuuust enough substance to not feel frivolous, you know?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 1. Thank you for saying “OMG it’s August already?!”, because it seems like that is exactly what I’ve been saying for months on my blog, too. Now I do not feel as silly, knowing that I’m not the only one.
    2. Wow. I thought I was productive this month. I have NOTHING on you.Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome wrap up!!! East of Eden is one of my favorite classic books and I felt exactly the same way about Opposite of Always. And good vibes all around for the Big Day. Oh my goodness. You just have all the butterflies right now!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, congrats on your new position! So many exciting things are happening for you Sophie, that’s awesome!! Your wedding is going to be amazing and memorable and fantastic! No worries, and can’t wait to see your dress ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s always nerve-racking but also exciting to hear from beta-readers hahaha 🙂
      I really loved the Asian representation in Jade City and Jade War! The worldbuilding and family dynamics were amazing! I would definitely recommend this series if you are looking for an epic fantasy 🙂
      Thank you and wishing you a wonderful August ❤


  5. You did so much in July! I love how organised and efficient you always are! I didn’t do much as it was my two weeks of leave and I had to take a rest.
    Unfortunately I will be working in August so it’s going to be slow reading and trying to pretend it’s summer vacations when off work.
    Congratulations on your new position and of course we are all awaiting for the wedding! I hope we will get a little glimpse of it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Michael 🙂 That’s great to hear that you had some time in July. Sometimes being able to take a break is important.
      Yes, there will be wedding photos 🙂 Thank you and wishing you a wonderful August!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Aww… I loved reading this and you certainly have had a good reading month!! I definitely want to check out the Green Bone Saga and I’m so glad that the sequel was even better than the first– I love it when that happens!!
    I read Red, White and Royal Blue this month and enjoyed it — it was definitely fun but covered some important themes as well!!
    I love that you are reading writing tools to further your writing and I’m glad you are learning new skills from it. I have been meaning to look into books about writing myself 😊
    Big congratulations on your new position and the wedding of course — I hope you have a wonderful day you deserve it!! 💕
    Best of luck with the start of the next draft of Children of the Sun as well!!
    I hope you have a wonderful August!! 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I love it when sequels are better than the first novel! Usually it’s the other way around haha, however in this case I am glad that Jade War didn’t suffer from the second book syndrome!
      Red White and Royal Blue was definitely a fun book to read. It was exactly what I needed after a long stretch of serious books haha. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it too.
      Thank you ❤ How was July for you? Wishing you a wonderful August as well!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I do as well– I feel like it is nice when as the books go on you get more excited and in love with the world– it is the best feeling. And yes second book syndrome is the worse so I’m to hear that was avoided.
        Haha it is nice to have a light-hearted book after some heavy ones!!
        July was ok for me– I felt slightly less motivated which was a shame and as it has been so hot I have definitely felt a bit drained but I have had lots of ice cream to make up for it ahah!! But mostly it has been a good month– I’ve got more reading done than I planned which was nice.
        Thank you 💛💛

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That’s the best part about a series I think- there is more time to fall in love with the world and the characters 🙂 That’s great to hear that you got a lot of reading done in July. Hope that August will be a good month for you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Your July looks so eventful! I am glad to see you read so many books that you enjoyed, and that August is good too!
    Your writing is amazing and I’m glad to see tha you are looking at nw skills and enjoying it at the moment!
    OMG THAT’S AMAZING CONGRATS ON THE POSITION! Your wedding day will be beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your sweet comment Emma ❤ I was so glad to read your feedback about Children of the Sun, and it meant so much to me that you enjoyed the novel!! Thank you so much (again!!)
      How was July for you? Wishing you a wonderful August 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think as a book blogger it’s hard to not overestimate our TBR haha :’) That’s great that you had a good July. Hope August is going well!


  8. Hey Sophie, I’ve been spending so much time on Pokemon Go, whoops. But I think it’s mostly because I enjoy chatting with people online about the game, lol. Aside from that, I’m happy that I got to that plot twist in Damon and Emmanuel. I still want to write about the “creative energy fuel tank” one day. When I’m very low on creative fuel, I just don’t want to write any more of my story, though I would still be fine editing it. Reading other novels, or writing random future scenes, can help to replenish this fuel tank. Right now, my fuel tank feels about half full, so it’s not bad.

    Congrats on your approaching wedding!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean about creative fuel. After long stretches of writing, I definitely feel creatively deplete! After I finished this draft of Children of the Sun, I felt like I had zero ideas. I am slowly recovering haha. It does help to read novels and just experience life 🙂
      Thank you Sieran ❤ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Congrats on your promotion!! August sounds like a crazy month for you, but you got it! I definitely want to hear (and see) more of your DIY wedding dress 😮.
    Also, I applaud you for getting all that reading done with everything on your plate 👏🏽. The Green Bone Saga sounds very interesting (but, honestly, any mention of Asian characters gets my attention 😂).
    I hope you get some good, constructive criticism on Children of the Sun and everything else this month goes smoothly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your sweet comment Belle! I really loved the Green Bone Saga. It really was the Asian representation that got my attention too. If you love epic fantasy novels (especially ones that feature an Asian cast) then I would definitely recommend this series!!
      Thank you ❤ Wishing you a wonderful August!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. You definitely have a lot of exciting things coming up! I never knew what the madness before the wedding was like or the nervousness because I planned my wedding in 3 days 😂 Best decision I’ve ever made. Everybody showed up, everything went smoothly and we all had a blast! And I didn’t spend a dime on it either!
    Congrats on the promotion! That is so exciting! I wish you all the luck! And congrats on completing the third draft!
    Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

    Liked by 1 person

  11. AHH Sophie, it seems like you’ve had such a busy month! CONGRATULATIONS on the new position, this is so very exciting ahhh!! ❤ and I can't wait for your big day and to hear more about your beautiful wedding dress, too ❤
    Thank you so, so much for sharing my post, so happy you enjoyed it ❤
    I hope you're having a beautiful August ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Marie!!! Thank you so much for your sweet words as always ❤ I just started this new position yesterday. There is a learning curve however I am liking it overall 🙂 More wedding (and dress) updates coming up!
      Wishing you a wonderful August as well ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh wow looks like you had a fantastic month – so glad to hear that! ❤ I really hope everything well go well with writing for you + congrats on winning Camp NaNo 🎊 I’m wishing you all the best for your wedding, aaah that’s so exciting! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s awesome that you have lots of time to read this month!!! August is going well overall, just a bit hectic with the wedding and the new job, so not as much time to read as I would like XD

        Liked by 1 person

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