Sunday, September 03, 2017

Monthly HapPENings: August

Guys, I'm doing it. I am finally starting a monthly sum-up post. Doesn't that just make you so excited?!

*awkward silence followed by a bit of coughing that's even more awkward*

Well, I'm happy to be doing these. And I included a pun in the title, so that makes it even better. I also apologize, once again, for getting this post up late. I think I'll just stop saying sorry at this point and inform you that if I don't post on Friday, it just means I'll post later in the weekend instead. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's hop right in!

(But I will also mention that I forgot to make a picture for this series, so that'll have to come in later posts. I may as well just throw in some kind of summery picture here.)


August started out with a bang for me. My family had left our home on July 31 to go on vacation, and let me tell you, it was a lot of fun. I had needed to get away from work and take a moment to just relax. I can definitely say that's what happened. Whereas we've done a fair bit of shopping on previous holidays, this year we decided to only go out twice to shop. I think that helped make the vacation feel more relaxing.

A few highlights (at least, ones that come to my tired mind right now) from the holiday are in order. At a bookstore we went to, I bought the book Wrath of the Storm by Jennifer A. Nielsen, the last book in a trilogy. I thought I owned the other two, but when I came home, I found out I only owned the first book. It would've been nice to remember that earlier, but at least I got a hardcover book for cheaper.

Another highlight was when we went for lunch on one of our outings. We were planning on getting ice cream later, so I decided to get a plate of appetizers. You could choose four different kinds, so I had French fries, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, and chicken fingers. I expected it to be small, but lo and behold, I got a big plate heaped with food. Needless to say, I had to pack some of it up.

I also bought five games for my New Nintendo 2DS XL, so I was quite happy about that. Other things I purchased were a couple of books and movies, candy, two LEGO sets . . . not much else. But my favorite moments were ones when I just hung out with my family. That's what made the vacation so great. It was nice to relax with my parents and sisters, with no rush for anyone to go anywhere. We could take things at our own pace and enjoy each other's company. (To get a more detailed look at my holiday, my youngest sister made a post about it from her perspective.)

When I got back home, I was hired by a local concrete factory to work there full-time. I worked my last couple of weeks at my part-time pump attendant job and began working at my new one. It's been interesting, to say the least. Becoming adjusted to the labor is tough. But hopefully that'll pass soon.

On to the media side of this month!

Bookish HapPENings

I actually read five books this month. Five books! That may sound lame, but you wanna know when the last time I read five fiction books in one month was? July . . . of 2015. Yeah, it's crazy, I know.

I finally finished this series while on holidays, and . . . wow. Just wow. When I read the first book, I wasn't sure if I could get into it. But the second book had me hooked, and now I love this series. Unfortunately, right now my brain isn't recalling enough about this book to give a proper review, but it was a great conclusion to the series. I adored the awesome characters and themes, and the way the series came full-circle--in a sense--on the last few pages. If you haven't read Overstreet's books, stop wasting time and go do it. He's got a different writing style than most, but I like it. His stories are well-worth the read.

While on holidays, I prefer to read books I know are going to be good. I took a risk with this one. I'd picked it up in the past and didn't finish it. I tried it again, because I had seen the fourth Uncharted game being played. And while this book wasn't bad, it wasn't great either. It was mediocre, which doesn't do the franchise justice. Like, the first chapter had no bearing on the rest of the story, other than the fact that it introduced Nathan Drake to us and allowed him to get some money to use for the main adventure of the novel. Plus, swearing was frequent, although it was never extreme. So consider this the book version of a summer action flick that's not much to write home about.

So several holidays ago, back in 2013 if I'm not mistaken, I started reading the Artemis Fowl series. It was bizarre, to be sure, but I enjoyed it. Well, at least enough to read the second book, which heightened my interest. I came to love these books even more as time went by, and I waited to read the final book (whose cover got me wanting to read the series) on holidays. I ripped through this story so fast. It was an epic and surprisingly emotional end to the books. Like The Ale Boy's Feast, the series comes full-circle with the end of the last chapter. I should actually do a review of this series sometime, because if you haven't read it yet, you need to!

The sequel to the amazing book called Knightley Academy, The Secret Prince is just as amusing and suspenseful as the first book. And both books are such fast reads. Honestly, they're pretty much perfect. But here's the thing: as I was zipping through the story, I was worried. This book had been published in 2011 . . . and my library had no other books in the series. So I eventually got the end, which left loose threads and a desire to keep reading the series. Except there's one problem: THERE ARE NO MORE BOOKS! Do you know how much this frustrates me? Six years is plenty of time to write one more story to wrap up the series, but nope! Why do that when you can leave all the fans hanging? Some people might argue that there really isn't a need for a third book, but with the twists in this story, I'd say that we seriously need another! . . . I need to vent about this to someone.

What got me hooked on this story is its premise. There's a comic book called Malice, which always seem to showcase kids who've gone missing. And when Seth and Kady's friend disappears, they begin to dig deeper and uncover something deeper and darker than what they first thought. I'll most likely post a review about this story in a different post, but I loved the unique formatting of this story. The creepy/horror also really captivated my interest. I'm glad I decided to pick it up, and I'll definitely be reading the duology's conclusion, Havoc, in the near future.

HapPENings on the Screen

I've seen this movie before, but my youngest two sisters hadn't. We had recently read the book, so we decided it'd be fun to compare it with the movie. Tracey joined us, and we watched it on our vacation. It was just as enjoyable as I remember it being. In fact, I'm even going to make a post sometime soon(ish) contrasting the book and the movie.

I watched more episodes of season 2 with my sisters. I have to say, the show's definitely getting better as it goes along. I'm digging the character arcs of the main characters, particularly Rumpelstiltskin's, since he's my favorite. I'm also getting close to being done!

I'm watching season 2 with my parents and two younger sisters. It's fun seeing the episodes again and noticing different things. Plus, we're getting to some super intense stuff, so that's a bonus too. Have I ever mentioned the villain of this season is really creepy? Because he is.

I actually watched the first Pirates movie twice this month. First, I watched it with Chloe when Tracey and Kaitlyn were having a day in the city. She loved it so much, she wanted Kaitlyn to see it too. So we watched it a couple of weeks afterward, and now they're fans of the series. I look forward to seeing more of these movies with them! They're so fun and epic, and it's easier to understand the plot when you watch them more than once.

Writerly HapPENings

Nothing in this category, sadly. I do have stories I need to write, but I didn't find--or make--the time to do any writing this month. Disappointing. I plan to do better in September.

Well, that's all from me. I'm sorry if this post seemed rushed, because I tried to get it up as quickly as I could. I plan to do better next time. Let me know if you've got any tips or suggestions.

What did your August look like? Have you read any of these books or watched any of these movies/TV shows? Did you do better than me in the writing category?


  1. Holidaaaaays! What a lovely time that was. Is it odd that it feels satisfying to know someone else had a solid month of reading too? :P

    I really want to read The Secret Prince...but the fact that there are no more books makes me want to put off that inevitable frustration! XD

    Hehehe, Once gets even BETTER yet, trust me. >:)

    Here's to a fun and productive September!

    1. 'Twas a most lovely time, indeed! No, I don't think it's odd. Well, not too odd, at least. :P It means we are of kindred spirit, or something. XD

      Don't let that fact deter you. It's a great book. I blazed through it so fast, which I hadn't done it forever.

      So I've been told. XD

      Hear, hear! *raises a glass of chocolate milk in a toast* :P

    2. Great, now I want chocolate milk WITH toast. XD

  2. Awesome post!! :D

    Yes!!! I love the Pirates movies so much now!!!! (They're, like, on my top faves list right now. XD) And The Maze Runner movie was super good, too. :) Can't wait to see the next one.

    Sounds like some good books you read this past month. Maybe I'll have to try a few. :3

    And, nope, I did not do better than you in the writing category. XD (Maybe it's cause I don't write any books at all. XP Hmmm. That could be the problem... XD)

    1. Thank you! ^_^

      I still find that so amusing. I never thought you would enjoy them as much as you have. XD It was a great film. If I remember correctly, the second one takes things up a notch.

      You should. I think you'd enjoy the Knightley Academy books. :D

      Yeah, that's probably it. Good thinking on your part. XD

  3. The Auralia Thread! I absolutely adore that series. Glad to hear you got plenty of reading done, even if you didn't end up writing as much as you would have liked. I'm on the lack-of-writing train as well, so I feel your pain.

    1. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and would definitely read it again in the future. :) I hadn't read in so long, so it was nice to finally sit down and just be able to read without thinking about the rest of the world around me. I'm trying to increase my writing activity, because I really want to get back into it.

  4. Ooh, Pirates of the Caribbean! Johnny Depp + Orlando Bloom + pirates = Why have I not watched these? XD

    1. I honestly don't know why. They're pretty hilarious and quite epic, and often both at the same time. XD