monthly wrap up

June Wrap-Up!

Hi everyone!

Wow we can finally say that the year is half over. Can you believe it? In my mind, 2020 feels like it has just begun. On the other hand, its been a heck of a year so far in many ways and I can’t wait to move onto 2021.

June was a roller-coaster of a month for me. First of all, it’s been a tough world out there this month, and I really hope that we will come out of it kinder and more compassionate.

For me personally, having completed the latest draft of my novel (and still waiting on feedback from my author mentor), I found myself with a lot of spare time which meant I had some time to unwind and get lots of reading done and even some sewing.

In the past few days, one of my dogs fell sick so we’ve taken him to the animal hospital. I really hope he will be all right.

Did I mention that I am 8 books ahead of my reading goal for 2020??! I don’t think I’ve been this far ahead before haha πŸ™ˆ I might revise my reading goal to be a bit more ambitious, but I can foresee life getting super hectic towards the end of the year so I’m not sure – we’ll see!

I read finished 7 books this month and started an 8th book (which is a record for me!) Overall it was a great reading month and I enjoyed most of the books I’ve read.

Yes No Maybe So was a sweet YA contemporary with a bit of a political twist. I really loved the diverse cast of characters and the slow-burn romance. The MCs took some time to warm up to each other, but they had great chemistry and I was rooting for them the entire way. (❀️❀️❀️❀️/5 stars! Check out my review here.)

After reading The Kiss Quotient, I couldn’t wait the read the sequel, The Bride Test. Although I enjoyed the book overall, I did find that the pacing was off and I didn’t always understand the actions of the main character. I liked the first book more! (❀️❀️/5 stars! Review coming soon.)

Jo & Laurie was a recently-released retelling of Little Women. I’m usually a bit intimidated by historical fiction and classic books but I thought this was a fun retelling that was easy to read. It definitely makes me more motivated to read the original Little Women (which has been on my TBR forever!) (❀️❀️❀️/5 stars! Check out my review here.)

The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation (ARC) was a beautifully illustrated graphic novel adaptation of the famous classic. I easily gobbled it up all in a day. I loved how it borrowed famous lines and quotes from the original novel and gave an accurate depiction of the events. This also makes me want to read the original too! (❀️❀️❀️/5 stars! Review coming soon.)

Counting Thyme was a sweet MG contemporary novel about a girl whose brother was undergoing experimental treatment with cancer in New York City. I loved how it focused on the struggles and emotional ups and downs of the entire family. Although Thyme loved her brother and wished for his recovery, she also secretly wished to move back to California where her best friend was. (❀️❀️❀️❀️/5 stars! Review coming soon.)

After hearing so much hype about Felix Ever After, I couldn’t wait to read this book! I loved the diverse LGBTQ+ cast of characters and the dynamic relationships between them. I also loved Felix’s voice which was raw and candid. (❀️❀️❀️❀️/5 stars! Review coming soon.)

I Killed Zoe Spanos (ARC) was a YA mystery/thriller inspired by Rebecca, one of my favourite classics of all time. This novel gave me all the haunted, chilling vibes and kept me guessing until the very end. (❀️❀️❀️/5 stars! Review coming soon.)

I just started Girls of Storm and Shadow and about 10% through now. I liked the first book so I am curious to see where this one leads!

At the end of May I sent off my revisions to the mentor!!! I was so excited to have her read it and yet so so so nervous. Part of me was proud of my revisions, I really think I made the story better. And yet the other part of me was filled with self-doubt! And sooooo June was a month filled with nerves and anticipation.

Just a few days ago, I heard from my mentor who said that she was loving my edits so far and she’ll aim to send me her feedback soon!! πŸ˜ƒ

In the mean time, I started compiling a list of agents to query (this has been a time-consuming process but so, SO important! Because not all agents are equal! Some agents will do wonders with your work and some agents are bad!) I am definitely NOT an expert on this but…… let me know if you want to see a post on some of the tools I use to research and compile agents? (Specifically, Publishers Marketplace and Query Tracker!)

A sneak peek of my query list!! (I’m not quite done so there will be more!)

Also, I signed up for Camp Nano this month! I am planning to use the month of July to go through the revisions from my mentor once I receive them, and in the mean time…….. psssst I started plotting a new manuscript.

June was kind of a big blogging month! As you guys know, I celebrated my blog’s 3rd year blogiversary back in May! In June I wrapped up the giveaway and answered all your Q&A questions. If you want to take a peek at these posts, here they are:

I also featured some awesome people on Writers’ Corner this month, including the amazing Melissa de la Cruz, Margaret Stohl, and Kit Frick! Isa Muh’d kindly contributed a guest post and a Q&A as well!

Last but not least, I read lots of amazing posts around the blogosphere!

This month has been full of ups and downs for me personally. As much as I love writing, I loved being able to take a step back and have more personal time. As a result I ended up watching some (awesome) movies.

One of my favourites this month was Ne Zha which I loved. (I know I rambled about this already in one of the Q&A posts but bear with me please!!!)

Ne Zha is a Chinese animation based on a popular Chinese mythology about a child who was fated to be an evil villain. In this movie, the trouble-maker Ne Zha was ostracized by other children his age… but he decided to fight against his fate and save the world (and even make a friend in the process.) The character Ne Zha was so relatable and watching him struggle and succeed warmed up my heart! In addition to being a good movie, I loved that this brought one of my favourite childhood stories to life with lush and beautiful animation.

After reading Jo & Laurie I wanted to watch the 2019 adaptation of Little Women right away. I loved this movie so much!!

My city is beginning to re-open again and restrictions are loosening up. Because of this we’ve been gradually meeting friends in small groups and going to some restaurants. Of course businesses are taking precautions with masks, gloves, etc, but overall I am glad that things are beginning to feel normal again.

However it made me sad when we went to eat at a nearby Chinese restaurant which used to be bustling with customers and often had wait times. When we went this past week, it was quiet in comparison to the other restaurants around the area which were beginning to get business. We had a great experience with this restaurant. They had taken many precautions against COVID-19 (the server was wearing a mask and gloves, they use an app rather than a physical menu, the place was clean and they implemented physical distancing between tables, and all dishware was replaced with disposable containers even for dine-in), more so than the other restaurants we’ve visited, but they’ve gotten less business. I feel like there has been stigma against Chinese restaurants that they are unclean, when this is far from the truth. If you have a favourite Chinese restaurant, please make sure to give them your support, whether it means dining in (if possible where you live) or getting takeout.

As I had mentioned earlier, our lovely 11-year-old greyhound Charles had fallen unexpectedly ill this past week and we’d been spending much of our free time taking care of him. We ended up bringing him into the emergency animal hospital where he’s been staying overnight. I am worried about him and I hope that he will recover.

  • I’ll be getting feedback from my mentor really soon and AAHH I am so excited but nervous but excited!! I’m looking forward to working on Children of the Sun again for Camp Nano! My editing goal is 30-hours this month!
  • I have a vacation coming up next week. It’ll be a staycation of course, but I’m looking forward to catching up around the house and doing some more sewing projects. And….. I might have a special announcement coming up!
  • Now with the restrictions relaxed, I’m looking forward to spending some time with friends and trying new restaurants!

How was June for you? Did you have any favourite books this past month? Have you had the chance to dine-in at a restaurant or do other activities outside the house?

Photo by resul on Unsplash

58 thoughts on “June Wrap-Up!

  1. Congrats on being 8 books ahead of your reading goal!
    I really want to read Yes No Maybe So and recently bought it, so it’s always good to hear when someone else loves it!
    All the best for Camp NaNo!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on being ahead of your reading goal AND for completing the latest draft of your novel!! And I’m glad to hear you enjoyed so many of the books you read in June – I also loved Yes No Maybe So, and Counting Thyme sounds so sweet ❀️
    Ahh thank you so much for sharing my post! I hope your dog recovers quickly ❀️ and I hope you have a lovely July!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your encouraging words Margaret! Glad that you enjoyed Yes No Maybe So too!
      I had to say goodbye to my dog today. It’s been a rough week but I hope to get back to reading and writing soon. Wishing you a wonderful July πŸ™‚

      Like

  3. Can’t wait to hear more about Children of the Sun when you get your feedback! This is so exciting Sophie! πŸ˜€ I would love to hear about how you compiled your list of agents to query too. I still have a long way to go with my WIP but finding the right agent is SO important. I hope your dog feels better soon and I’m sending good vibes your way for July! Enjoy your staycation ❀ ❀ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jai Lynn. I had to say goodbye to my dog today so it’s been rough. I hope to get back into writing and query-prepping soon though. Wishing you a good reading and writing month in July πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Omg I’m so so sorry Sophie… losing a pet is one of the hardest things about life. All they do is love you so when we lose them it’s like an arm is being ripped off. If you need to talk just let me know ❀ ❀ ❀ I'm sending love and good vibes your way through this tough time

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much for your kind words Jai Lynn πŸ™‚ It was unexpected because he was his normal self just a week ago, and everything happened so suddenly over the course of a week. Although I am sad that he had to go, I am glad to for the memories we shared together.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats on finishing your draft and having such an awesome reading month! I honestly haven’t heard too much about Jo & Laurie since recently, but it looks super cute and I’m tempted to pick it up! Counting Thyme also sounds adorable, and the cover is stunning. Thanks for the recs and hope you have just as great of a month in July! πŸ₯°

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Erin πŸ™‚ If you like retellings of classic fiction then I think you would like Jo & Laurie. Hope that you will enjoy it if you have a chance to read it. Counting Thyme was a sweet and touching MG novel that I hope you will enjoy too. Have a wonderful July!

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  5. Uff you’ve had a very busy month! And such good news on the author mentor front! I’m sure Camp Nano will go well, too!
    My month has been a bit of a mess with preparing for exams and my anxiety got the best of me, which didn’t help with my reading or blogging. But I’m hoping I will be able to get it together for July and start becoming more organized and less chaotic in my blogging!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Vee! Thank you! It sounds like you’ve had a tough June. Exams can definitely be stressful. Hope that things will calm down in July and that you will have more time to read and blog πŸ™‚

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      1. Thank you so much! I’m still trying to figure out ways of posting my reviews without completing overwhelming everyone’s feed πŸ˜… but it looks like July is going to be better than June!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Zezee! Thank you! I really do hope I could go somewhere rather than have a staycation haha. I am in need of a change in pace πŸ™‚ However I appreciate being able to have time to tidy up around the house and run some errands.

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  6. thanks so much for linking my post, Sophie! & congrats on making so much writing progress in June!! πŸ₯Ί that’s amazing, and I wish you all the luck with querying ❀ ❀ I would love to see a post from you about how you're going about it! I want to be a published author in the future, & I can't believe that I still don't know much about the querying process :"""") congrats on being ahead of your reading challenge too! i hope you have an amazing July & that you do well on Camp NaNo!

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  7. Congratulations on all the reading you did and all your writing progress this month, Sophie!! I’m also so glad that you’re able to start going out to restaurants and having things somewhat resemble normalcy. I’m so sorry to hear about your dog, I hope he recovers, sending love and hugs your way!!❀️Wishing you an amazing July. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Olivia πŸ™‚ Yes it’s great to be able to go out and meet friends again, even though things are different with the new precautions. How are things going where you live?
      My dog passed away a day after I wrote this post. Although I am sad, I am glad for the great times we’ve spent together. Thank you for your kind words Olivia. Wishing you an amazing July too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Things are pretty bad in my state at the moment, unfortunately- the reopening didn’t go well and now things are closing back up. However, I’m glad that precautions are being taken to keep everyone safe.
        Oh Sophie, I’m so sorry to hear that.❀️I’m thinking of you right now. Virtual hug xx

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you so much for the shout-out! You’re too kind ❀️ Congrats on being ahead of your reading goal! I also have been reading so much more than usual this year and I couldn’t be happier about it. I’d love to read a post with resources and tips on agents and queries. At the last second, I also decided to join camp Nano but I’ll only be using it to plan/outline a new novel. It’s been so long since I was last writing consistently and I miss it so much. Good luck with your revision (and with the secret new manuscript as well) πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Juli! That’s great that you’ve decided to join Camp Nano (it was a last-minute decision for me too haha) and that’s exciting that you are outlining a new novel. Hope that you will meet your goals this month πŸ™‚ Good luck with your new manuscript! Wishing you a wonderful July!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I totally agree with you about The Bride Test. I was so excited to read it but for me it was a huge let down. I also really didn’t understand the actions/motivations of the MC and I didn’t ship the ship so that made it really hard to enjoy.

    I hope your dog gets better ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mel. Glad to hear that I wasn’t the only one who felt let down by The Bride Test. I totally know what you mean about not understanding the motivation of the MC and not really getting into the pairing.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I am so sorry to hear about one of your dogs falling ill, I hope they feel better at this point!! That is such a stressful situation on top of everything else.
    Happy to hear that your mentor liked your edits. I am so amazed and proud of the work you put into your novel. I would absolutely 100% love to hear about your research process and tools when it comes to agents. It’s something I have thought about, but don’t even know where to start at.
    Also, thanks so much for including my post in this wrap-up! I hope you have a great July ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kat! I can’t say which one is harder – writing or querying haha. Once I wrap my head around this searching for agents / querying process, I’ll write up a post πŸ™‚
      My dog passed away a day after I wrote this post. Although I am sad that he’s no longer with me, I am glad for the memories we had together. Thank you for your kind words Kat. Wishing you a wonderful July πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am so sorry for your loss, Sophie! It’s always difficult to lose a loved companion like that, but I always try to find comfort in the fact that they are no longer in pain. Thinking of you! ❀

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  11. Hello Sophie !! I loved reading your June wrap-up and I’m glad to hear that it was very productive reading wise. It is always a satisfying feeling. I would love to check out Yes, No, Maybe So and Felix Ever After as I have heard so many good things about them both.
    It is also exciting to hear that your manuscript has been sent and you are waiting for more feedback. It is interesting to see you compile an agent query list and I would be interested to see how you went about that. I always like seeing behind the publishing aspect as I feel like I don’t know too much about it.
    Best of luck with your current writing project as well.
    Thank you for linking to my post and I’m glad the resources could be helpful.
    I’m so sorry to hear about Charles and I saw in your comments that he passed away. My thoughts are with you and I’m sending you love.
    I hope July is as best as it can be. Take care πŸ’›

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sophie! Hope that you will enjoy Yes No Maybe So and Felix Ever After as much as I have πŸ™‚ Writing is hard, but querying and the publishing industry is another beast! Once I wrap my head around all of it, I’ll draft up a post πŸ™‚
      Thank you for your kind words about Charles. He was the sweetest dog, and although I was sad about what had happened, I am glad for the memories we had together.
      Wishing you a wonderful July Sophie ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh no, poor Charles! 😦 Hope he feels better soon.

    Wow the Ne Zha book sounds pretty interesting. I’ve always loved the character Ne Zha from the tv shows, haha.

    Ahh I’m actually several books behind my reading goal on Goodreads… But I got to read The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. Whoa I really, really loved it. Some of the characters were so complex, I was amazed. And I enjoyed reading about all the political intrigues and scheming. XD The “romance” if you call it that, is very unconventional. The love interest is such an awful, cruel, selfish, petty person, that I’m actually very curious how Holly Black can convince us that he will be worthy of the protagonist’s love, lol. Another cool thing about the book, is that though most of the people seem to be straight, when people have same gender partners, nobody thinks there’s anything abnormal or extraordinary about it. It’s so nice to read about a society that is so accepting of queer people, that they just accept us as part of normality, that there’s nothing remarkable about being attracted to the same gender. It was very gratifying!

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    1. Cool πŸ™‚ I have The Cruel Prince audiobook so I should listen to it soon. I love unconventional romances and its cool that the love interest actually sounds like not that great of a person. I’m so tired of love interests who are described as perfect lol.

      Charles passed away shortly after I made this post. It was really unexpected and sad.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s so sad! πŸ˜₯ May Charles rest in peace.

        Yeah The Cruel Prince is quite unconventional indeed. Lots of plot twists. The love interest is so, so horrible. Later on in the series, we see more sympathetic sides of him, and learn about his backstory. He also does some good things and makes some selfless choices, which redeems him somewhat. I’m not sure I can say I like him, but I certainly dislike him less than I did at the beginning of the story.

        Are love interests usually described as perfect?? What I see, is that often, but not always, the love interest is exceptional in looks and charm. But there are always some clear personality flaws, insecurities, or other problems. (Sometimes some of these problems are never resolved!) In fact, we may even call some of these love interests “bad people”… Or maybe it’s just the books I happened to read. πŸ˜‚ Problematic, twisted love interests, who often have serious emotional disturbances too.

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  13. Thank you for the mention! It has been a busy month for you, and I hope you have fun with your new writing project! Ne Zha sounds great, and it reminds me that I should find more Chinese animations to watch. The only one that I’ve watched that comes to mind is Big Fish and Begonia. I hope you’ll have a wonderful July (and the months to come, of course)!

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  14. I hope your dog gets better soon πŸ’ž it’s awful when pets fall ill and I’m thinking of you πŸ’•
    Thank you so much for mentioning two of my posts here ☺️ and good luck with your feedback from your mentor. I can’t imagine how nerve wracking the wait must be but it sounds like you’re using your time wisely with looking into agents. And starting another project!! I have no idea how you manage to constantly write so much.
    Ooh I’m glad you got back into sewing. I’m seriously tempted to get myself a cross stitch kit. I keep putting it off but I think I will get one…I’m just worried that I’ll have forgotten how to start one as I haven’t done one in years.
    And you read a wonderful mix of books. I so can’t wait to read Jo & Laurie and I Killed Zoey Spanos sometime!! Both sound incredible (and I should really read the classics they’re based on).
    Once again I hope your dog gets better soon πŸ’ž and that you manage to have a good July.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Charlotte for your kind words. I haven’t tried cross stitching but I always thought it looked fun.
      My dog Charles passed away shortly after I wrote this post. It was sudden and unexpected but I am glad that he’s not in pain anymore.
      Thank you Charlotte πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope you enjoy it if you ever try it.
        I’m so, so sorry to hear that. It’s terrible when pets fall ill like that. I hope your other dog copes with the change. Thinking of you πŸ’•

        Liked by 1 person

  15. So sorry to hear about your dog, I hope he’s feeling better soon!! I’m happy to hear everything went well with your mentor, I wish you all the best with your agent search and your edits πŸ₯° Also good luck with Camp NaNo! Writing has been slow for me, but I’m getting back into my revision now! Also thank you so much for featuring my post ❀

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  16. I’m very late to this, but i’m so sorry to hear about your dog, Sophie, I’m hoping for all the best! ❀
    It's good to hear that you had a great reading month overall despite this, yay for promising revisions and camp NaNo, as well! I'm so proud of your writing journey and yes I'd be so interested in reading about your agent research experience, too, if you feel like writing about it all! πŸ₯°
    I hope your month has been lovely, take care ❀ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

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