July & August Wrap-Up & Best of the Bunch

Posted August 31, 2017 by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction in Best of the Bunch, Monthly Recap / 30 Comments


My Goings On in July & August:

  • At the very beginning of July I won the opportunity to get editorial feedback on my MG manuscript from a Penguin UK Children’s editor (via the Authors for Grenfell Tower auction). Then, at the end of August, I got that feedback back, and it was incredibly positive! (Click the links to read more since I’ve already gushed about both of these things.)
  • I took my kids to various camps and the swim season ended. My oldest decided he doesn’t want to swim anymore. Sigh.
  • My oldest started drivers’ ed, which is incredibly scary to me. Both on an emotional level and literally—you forget how nerve-wracking it can be when you first start driving!
  •  We had a Japanese exchange student stay with us for a month. He spoke the least English out of any of the exchange students we’ve had in the past, so it wasn’t quite as fun as the experience we had last year (with our Spanish exchange student)—we didn’t learn as much about Japan as we would have liked. Still, we had fun!
  • We rented an RV and went on a ten-day vacation to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. We had a great time (though we still prefer the Rocky Mountains to the Smoky Mountains, we think). We also stopped at Six Flags St. Louis on our way home, which was fun!
  • We started (some of) our homeschool co-op classes.
  • I took a bit of a blogging break. This was the first time in 4.5 years that I’ve done that, and it was a bit strange (but also good!).


I didn’t really post anything bookish on my feed, but I did post this pic of the street in front of my house when we had massive flooding in the area. Luckily, our house was fine (some other people weren’t as lucky). Of course, compared to Hurricane Harvey, our flooding seems like child’s play, but there were lots of people affected by it nonetheless.

Most Popular Posts:

My stats look wonky this month, and I honestly don’t have the mental energy to figure out what’s going on with them. (I had a weird spike at the end of July that seems like it must be bots or something). As always, my spoiler-filled discussion of Three Dark Crowns was the most popular, though. I’ll be reading One Dark Throne soon!

Other Features & Discussions:

August Wrap-Up Round-Up Link-Up
Book Title Tag
July Wrap-Up Round-Up Link-Up
August Discussion Challenge Link-Up & Giveaway
Do You Follow Authors You Haven’t Read? Let’s Discuss. 
The YA “Perfection” Trope & Today’s Pressures on Teens: Let’s Discuss.
June Wrap-Up & Best of the Bunch

My 2017 Reading Progress:

I’m down to 3 books ahead of my Goodreads goal, but at least I’m still ahead!

July & August 2017 Reviews

  • Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally | Review | Rating: 4/5
  • The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli| Review | Rating: 4/5
  • The Unlikelies by Carrie Firestone | Review | Rating: 4/5
  • Bang by Barry Lyga | Review | Rating: 3.5/5
  • The Lake Effect by Erin McCahan | Review | Rating: 4/5
  • What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum | Review | Rating: 5/5

  • Crash Land on Kurai by S.J. Pajonas  | Review | Rating: 4.5/5
  • Lucky in Love by Kasie West | Review | Rating: 4/5
  • No Good Deed by Kara Connolly | Review | Rating: 4/5
  • The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova | Review | Rating: 4.5/5
  • The Dragons of Nova by Elise Kova | Review | Rating: 4.5/5

  • Wandering Star by Romina Russell | Review | Rating: 4/5
  • Deception So Deadly by Clara Kensie | Review | Rating: 4.5/5
  • Wish You Were Here by Renee Carlino | Review | Rating: 4/5
  • Hello, Sunshine by Leila Howland | Review | Rating: 4/5
  • In 27 Days by Alison Gervais | Review | Rating: 4/5
  • Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist | Review | Rating: 3.5/5
  • Oishinbo a la carte, Volume 1 – Japanese Cuisine by Tetsu Kariya, Akira Hanasaki | Review | Rating: 4/5

  • Little Monsters by Kara Thomas | Review | Rating: 4/5
  • Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead | Review | Rating: 4/5
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series by Laini Taylor | Review | Rating: 4/5
  • Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay | Review | Rating: 4.5/5

July & August Best of the Bunch:

(Best of the Bunch is hosted over at Cocoon of Books. We link up our favorite reads of the month!)

For July, my favorite read was What to Say Next. I loved the unique POV of a teen on the autism spectrum. I was a bit more torn about August, so I ended up with a tie. I was going to choose Deception So Deadly because that one has been on my mind a lot since I read it. But, to be fair, I listened to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy quite awhile ago and just now got to reviewing it, so the second book in that trilogy seemed like it deserved equal props. Like I said, I couldn’t choose so I went with the tie.

2017 Reading Challenges Progress:

Status: 20/41 Discussions Posted

I think I have to face the fact that I’m permanently behind on this challenge and I’m not catching up. The busier I am, the more my discussion posts suffer, and that’s definitely been the case in July and August. I only posted three!

Book Title Tag
Do You Follow Authors You Haven’t Read?
The YA “Perfection” Trope & Today’s Pressures on Teens
This or That Bookish Edition
The Disorganized Blogger’s Guide to Book Conferences (AKA an Example You Should NOT Follow)
What You Need to Know Before You Open a NetGalley Account
Do You Ever Add to Your Posts After You’ve Published Them?
Meet a #BroodyBFF! My Foray Into Street Teams
Why Rating Middle Grade (and Sometimes YA) Is So Darn Hard for Me!
Why Everything I’ve Ever Told You About Book Blogging Is Wrong (and Also Right)
Graphs Make Me Happy!
Two (Free) Tools that Have Transformed My Replying and Commenting Back
Is There Such a Thing as a “Quick Post”?
My Haphazard Reading Habits.
Watching Bloggers Come and Go.
A Book Blogger’s Guide to Acronyms, Terms and Slang
Am I the Only One Without an OTP? 
Why Does Technology Scare Me So?

Special Niche Genres
Seeing the Book Blogging World Through Rose-Colored Glasses

HOST/SIGN-UP LINK – Feed Your Fiction Addiction & It Starts at Midnight

Status: 42/50 Books Read
I reviewed five fantasies this month (again, a few are more paranormal or sci-fi dystopian, but I’m counting them since it looks like the people who run the challenge count these types of books).

Still haven’t read any more of Alexa and Rachel’s favorites: The Winner’s Curse! I’m keeping the others here to remind me: Throne of Glass, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, Six of Crows, Graceling.


HOST/SIGN-UP LINK – Hello, Chelly & Alexa Loves Books


Status: 17/21-30 Books
Three books from off my shelf this month:

HOST/SIGN-UP LINK – Chapter Break & Second Run Reviews

Status: 10/5-10 Series


Coming Up for Air was the final book in Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks Series. And I reviewed the entire Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series this month!

Here are some of the other series I’m hoping to finish this year (as a reminder to myself):

HOST/SIGN-UP LINK – Somewhere Only We Know & Words Fueled by Love

Status: 71/61-100 books read


Here are the ones I read this month:

HOST/SIGN-UP LINK – (un)Conventional Book Views &  Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! 

Status: 17/15-20 Books Listened To


I reviewed eight audiobooks this month! (The Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series included four audiobooks):

HOST/SIGN-UP LINK – Hot Listens & Caffeinated Book Reviewer

Status: 55/76 Possible Gameboard Spaces

If you’re interested in which books I read for each category or in seeing a bigger version of the updated gameboard, then go to my 2017 Bookopoly Progress page. The image above has been updated to reflect my newest reads. (I used 5 of the books I read in July and August for the challenge.)

HOST/SIGN-UP LINK – Broc’s Bookcase

Wrap-Up Round-Up!

Don’t forget to link your August wrap-up posts up to the Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up! And check out the giveaway, which will be posted here on Feed Your Fiction Addiction right around the 8th!



30 responses to “July & August Wrap-Up & Best of the Bunch

  1. It sounds like you had a great couple of months. Sorry your exchange student didn’t know a ton of English – that would make it difficult to really connect, I’d imagine!


  2. Jen

    Oh no for your oldest not wanting to do the swim team anymore. Maybe minds will change next spring? It’s funny what kids don’t want to do now, but then 6 months down the road it’s an entirely different story. At least that’s how it is in our house. ?
    And I’m so grateful your family and your house was okay from the flooding. It’s been such a huge year for weather problems everywhere, ugh. Right now we just got another fire and I can’t wait until I can open my windows again at night since it cools down so much here.
    Smoke and fires be gone!

  3. It sounds like you had an event break. It’s so sad when our kids quit something they (and we) had put so much time and energy into. I hope your oldest finds something to fill that void, and good luck with the driving. My nerves couldn’t take it! You read a lot of awesome book, and yeah! Buxbaum was one of the best of the bunch (love her!)

  4. You had a super busy month! Congrats on winning the feedback from Penguin UK! That is wicked!
    Glad you’re safe from Harvey, albeit wet. My s-i-l is in Houston so it’s hits me here in Canada as well.
    Happy September!

  5. Oh wow, congrats on winning the feedback content- and even bigger congrats on the positive feedback! That is so wonderful, I am really happy for you. Does your son need someone to talk up swimming? I’ll be right over. (In seriousness, I must ask- is it a… bathing suit issue? I know SO many guys who quit swimming around that age because they felt weird in the suits.) And hey, at least the driver’s ed person has to teach him! My parents STILL tell people horror stories from when they had to teach me. And by teach, I mean yell at. And when I say I “drove”, I mean “sat in a parking lot and cried”. How I have the ability to operate a motor vehicle after all that behooves me.

    Sorry about the communication barriers with your exchange student, that would be my biggest fear, too. And, about the flooding. It might not have been Harvey, but if you see neighbors rowing down the street, it’s a big old problem regardless.

    Looks like you had an awesome reading month(s) too- all those 4 and 4.5 stars!! Oh, and I think I gave up on actually succeeding in the Discussion Challenge months ago, so no worries 😉

    • We had a weird thing over the summer where Jaden would throw up whenever he swam—we think it was acid reflux and by the very end of the summer it seemed like it was maybe handled, but it didn’t make swimming particularly pleasant and I think that had an effect. Plus, honestly, he’s not great at sticking with things, so as soon as he felt like he wasn’t making big progress he got a bit tired of it. Danielle’s still swimming, though, so don’t despair!

  6. Hi, Nicole! Sorry, I haven’t visited, I’ve been on long hiatus. You have so much going on on your blog. Congratulations on winning editorial content!

    My kids are too young for driving, but it’s definitely a stressful experience for a parent. My little boy is driving…

    Are you in some program, so exchange students can stay with you? It sounds like a fun way for kids to learn about other countries and meet new friends.

    • I understand about the hiatus. As you can see, I just recently got off of one as well. As far as the exchange student goes, we don’t specifically belong to a program, but in the summer there are always groups looking for host families. This year, we specifically looked for a Japanese exchange student program.

  7. Kids change what they’re interested in although it sucks your eldest has decided the swim team is one of those things he doesn’t want to do. And learning to drive, that is a scary prospect. I mean, I’ve never learned but I know how terrifying the prospect of learning is and I’m 26!

    That picture of the road outside your house! Most people by me (apart for the bloke over the road with a boat) would be screwed if our road looked like that. I always comfort myself with living on a hill, if it floods it’ll go downhill first.

    • Yeah, he was getting sick a lot over the summer—we think it was mostly acid reflux, but it would make him throw up when he swam, which was quite unpleasant, as I’m sure you could imagine. Even after we had the problem mostly solved, I think it just soured the experience for him, and he didn’t want to rejoin.

  8. You are doing phenomenal on your challenges! I didn’t know you’d ever hosted an exchange student before this one. I’m sorry this one wasn’t as interactive as you’d hoped. I’m sorry your son doesn’t want to continue swimming. Perhaps he’ll find something else he loves even more.

  9. Oh wow, so many challenges. Looks like you are doing great with them though.

    Even though it is not Harvey, floods like that are still scary. Glad you, yours and your house didn’t suffer much from it though.

  10. So glad to hear the feedback from Penguin was so positive! I had no doubt it would be though. I’m sure your book is awesome  Glad your Summer was so much fun, with a well deserved blogging break and spending time with your kids  yes, drivers ed sounds scary! Hang in there!

  11. That is such exciting news about the feedback from Penguin! I am excited for you 🙂 The flooding in your photo is terrible. It is amazing how much damage water is able to do. I have a 17 year old and I understand your fear about the driving. I am getting better but it still makes me nervous when she goes out alone. Looks like you had a great month!

  12. danielle hammelef

    My youngest is currently driving with her permit. She’s super nervous each time and doesn’t really want to drive. It always makes me nervous too, but I can’t show her that. I don’t understand why it seems teens don’t want to drive. I remember going to the SOS’s office on my birthday when I turned 16–freedom came with my license. On another note, I’m happy to hear you had a fun vacation and got to spend quality family time.

    • I’ve read a couple of articles recently about teens not trying to grow up as fast these days—they aren’t super motivated to get their drivers’ licenses or jobs because they don’t NEED to. On the positive side, they’re also apparently experimenting less with sex and alcohol. As a mom, I can’t say I’m too sad about that. LOL!

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