Highlights Of August 2017

August 28, 2017

   August was one of the best months in 2017. That is all and everything that needs saying.

highlights of august 2017

monthly highlights

   Okay VERY BIGGEST NEWS first - this little guy was born!

my adorable brother, little Jonah <3

   Little baby Jonah - DEFINITELY the biggest highlight of this month! The excitement levels are high at our house!  Jonah's absolutely adorable and I love him so much <3 <3 <3. He can be a little fussy (trust me, if he doesn't like something he lets you know about it xD), but his happy coos are so adorable <3. And now I'm a big sister six times over!

   Besides that ultra-exciting piece of news (trust me, I could have bombarded you with so many pictures of him - Jonah has already had about a two hundred pictures taken xD) - I also got to edit and alpha a lot of story-words this month! I love love love editing/alphaing/betaing so much, you guys have no idea (Yes I know I'm weird - who even happily volunteers to edit things?? *raises hand* apparently me.). I alpha-read It's Reality by Julia Ryan and edited Five Golden Apples by Clare Farrelly during August,  and they were both amazing stories.  

   And of course, there was the eclipse. We didn't end up getting glasses, but we spent a good portion of the morning watching the NASA livestream, and then decided last-minute (literally about half an hour before the eclipse would really hit us) to make pinhole viewers and see if they would work. They ... uh, didn't xD. But it was still super fun to hang out with our neighbor and watch as the world turned grey and all the little night-time critters came out for a bit. Literally, the yard was SWARMING with crickets, and these pretty little moths were fluttering around. So even if we didn't get to directly view the eclipse, it was still super fun! 

   Also I'm doing a (very) minor redesigning of my blog. You might have already seen some of the changes around here (- or not, they're pretty subtle), but if anything seems wonky or inconsistent on Scattered Scribblings in this next week or so, that's why xD. 

writerly things

   Lots and lots of stuff happened in the writing world this month, you guys.

   First of all I WROTE 26K WORDS (roughly xD). I didn't really mean to write that many? It was halfway a surprise? It's even more than I wrote for Camp NaNoWriMo last month?? But I finally decided to buckle down and churn out a bunch of words for my Snow White retelling this month, so I guess it makes sense xD.

   Speaking of which, my Snow White retelling is coming along splendidly! I kind of ended up dropping my first novella (the one with the Saudi Arabian MC - maybe I'll pick it up again some other time), and I'm focusing solely on my second one. It's probably going to be the one I enter, and I'm hoping to be able to start looking for alphas + tell you guys more about it in mid-September!

   But as of now, I'm still working on putting the whole thing together. I'm in the middle of stitching my zero-draft into a first-draft, and it's kind of hard and complicated (maybe I should do a post on it sometime), but SO much fun.

   And maybe I'll show you a snippet or two from my Snow White novella next month. No promises whatsoever xD. 

collage of the books I read in august
+ Gregor The Overlander by Suzanne Collins

   The books (well, most of them - I did read a few that I didn't enjoy) were utterly amazing this month, I was so happy! And while I'd LOVE to talk about all of them, I'm only going to mention the best ones (that I haven't reviewed, like I did with Caraval and Unraveling), because otherwise we'd be here all day! (but if I read any of your favorite books this month, let us flail together in the comments!)

   - The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke. So, confession, I almost DNFed this book in the first couple chapters. I was thrown off because the voice didn't feel like Inkheart's (another Cornelia Funke book), and I kind of expected it to? But once I got over the fact that this book was going to be a little different that I thought it would be, I loved it to death. If it hadn't been for how I felt at the beginning, it probably would have gained five stars! THE CHARACTERS ARE THE BEST <3 <3. The Thief Lord is definitely high up on my list of favorites, and I'm giving it four and a half stars. 

   - Black by Ted Dekker. My dad told me that he really enjoyed Ted Dekker's Circle trilogy, and that I should try it, so I FINALLY buckled down this month and did it (of course it wasn't because this author was at Realm Makers. What are you thinking. Hush). And while it was a little hard to get into at first, it got so much better, and I really enjoyed it! I'm excited to finish the series, and I give Black four stars.

   - Airman by Eoin Colfer. I love Eoin Colfer books, but for some reason it took me forever to pick this one up? I think the cover was throwing me off - it didn't really look like something I'd enjoy. But then I picked it up and GOOD GRACIOUS. It immediately went on my list of favorites, I loved Airman so so much. The characters were incredible (and you guys know I'm picky about my characters), and Eoin Colfer's way of writing things is just the best. I should review this sometime so that I can flail over it properly, but for now I'll just say that I'm giving Airman an epic four and a half stars. 

   - The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill. Oh my good gracious - THIS BOOK. If you remember it from this book haul video, you'll remember that I picked it up on a whim without really knowing what it was about. And turns out that it was a very GOOD whim, because The Girl Who Drank The Moon was an incredible book! The writing style was absolutely gorgeous, and the storyline <3. I just loved the gorgeous thing so much, and it gets a solid four stars! 

   - Some Kind Of Happiness by Claire Legrand. Okay so this WAS a reread, so I wasn't sure what I was going to think of it the second time around, but turns out it only gets better! I love love loved revisiting this story and its characters, it's such a sweet book. Definitely a five star reread. (actually, I think this was the only five star book that I read this month - but some of the books that weren't five stars were so good that I don't care xD)

   *squints* okay so I didn't even talk about all of the books that I loved this month (*cough* Dreamtreaders and Gregor The Overlander *cough*), but ... well, those were some of them xD.

 Also I reorganized my bookshelves? I never thought I would have time to do this?? Admittedly, I don't have that much shelf space, but I'm wildly picky about how my bookshelves look and which books sit beside which books. So it took me while. I'm still not QUITE done, but I'm nearly there! Maybe I should do a bookshelf tour vlog/post for you guys when it's finished?







elsewhere online
    - Recaps of Realm Makers have been popping up left, right, and center - including these ones by Victoria, Jonathan, Tracey and Audrey. I very much intend to make it to RM in 2018, but we'll see what happens!

   - Hannah White did an epic post about living first and writing second.

   - Aimee Meester told us all to please shut up about hating our own writing, so I suppose we should listen? xD

   - Nadine Brandes signed a contact with Thomas Nelson/Harpercollins and I might have been THIS FAR from having a heart attack when I heard the news! I'm on pins and needles to pre-order her next book!

   - Christine Smith did a beautiful post about why Cinderella is still a good heroine

   -  Abigayle Claire shared a first look at her future writings and I NEED THEM ALL.

   - Tracey Dyck did a epic post about God in fantasy fiction.

   Also, EXILES RELEASED! *all the confetti and celebratory pizza* I've been waiting so long for this book, and yet I still haven't read it for some reason? This needs to be fixed promptly.

ramblings to come

   Well ... I can't exactly tell you because IT'S A SURPRISE. But what I CAN tell you is that there's going to be some pretty fun stuff going on at Scattered Scribblings next month.. Keep an eye out for a special post on the first of September! I'll see y'all then ;).

~ Savannah Grace

   how was your august, friends?

Book Review - Unraveling by Sara Ella

August 22, 2017

   Two reviews in one month? Yes, yes - I know I'm breaking my unspoken rule of only one review a month, but I had to share my thoughts on Unraveling! I mentioned awhile back (in this book haul video, actually) that I had bought an utterly gorgeous copy of Unraveling, and I just now finished reading it. Scandalous, I know - it took me forever to get to it! But my tbr pile was teetering at its limits, and some of the books on it were library books, which weren't sticking around forever. So Unraveling got pushed a little further under. But OH MY was it an incredible book - I read it in almost one day! xD

Unraveling by Sara Ella - Bookshelf Picture [header image]

   4 1/2 Stars

   It was a beautiful read (also, confession: I did literally stop reading a few times so I could close it and look at the cover again. IT'S JUST PRETTY), and I enjoyed it so much. Unblemished (the first book in this series) was a 4 star book, Unraveling is a 4 1/2 Star book, so I'm hoping the series will only escalate from there! It's been amazing so far. <3

   From The Back Cover 

Cover Image of Unraveling by Sara Ella
What happens when happily ever after starts to unravel?

Eliyana Ember doesn't believe in true love. Not anymore. After defeating her grandfather and saving the Second Reflection, El only trusts what's right in front of her. The tangible. The real. Not some unexplained Kiss of Infinity she once shared with the ghost of a boy she's trying to forget. She has more important things to worry about--like becoming queen of the Second Reflection, a role she is so not prepared to fill.

Now that the Verity is intertwined with her soul and Joshua's finally by her side, El is ready to learn more about her mysterious birth land, the land she now rules. So why does she feel like something--or someone--is missing?

When the thresholds begin to drain and the Callings, those powerful magical gifts, begin to fail, El wonders if her link to Ky Rhyen may have something to do with it. For light and darkness cannot coexist. She needs answers before the Callings disappear altogether. Can El find a way to sever her connection to Ky and save the Reflections--and keep herself from falling for him in the process?

the epic stuff

    - The fact that it wasn't cliche. This book could have become cliche fairly fast. But it absolutely, 100%, wasn't! Even at the parts where it would have been especially easy to take the cliche route out were done in a very original way. And I love books that tend to stray away from cliches. I really need to find more that are like that xD. 

   - The writing style. It's super unique, so cool, and very easy to read! I love it so much - and I think that's why I was able to buy Unraveling without reading it. I knew I LOVED the writing style before I even started the book! Unraveling is written in first person, so it's pretty important to nail a good voice in a story like that. And I think Sara Ella nailed it when it comes to voice and writing style.

   - The plot. Unraveling had an ah-mazing plot, oh my good gracious. I couldn't stop reading it once I started! (the only reason I had to pause and not read it all in one day was because this annoying thing called SLEEP had to interrupt. #rude) When I was only a small way through the book, I curled up in our comfy chair and just read until I finished the thing. It was lovely <3. (and also it was raining which makes it about fifty times better)  

the disliked stuff
   - I did lose focus now and then. I think it was only during the first half-or-so of the book, though - it was the same way with the first book (I almost DNFed the first book and MY WORD am I glad that I didn't!). I'm not even sure why I lost focus, but there it is. Not even a super big complaint, so this book still gets an epic rating from me! 

   All in all, Unraveling was a GORGEOUS book - not only was it spectacular writing-wise, but it was also a pretty clean book that I would recommend to teens who love speculative fiction (particularly urban and portal fantasy). Y'all should read Unblemished and Unraveling so we can wait for the release of the third book (Unbreakable) together! 

~ Savannah Grace

   have you read unraveling? who all saw the eclipse yesterday?

How To Liven Up Your: Cast Of Characters

August 16, 2017


   The lifeblood of a story. Probably one of the only we reasons we read a story. Which means you need to get them spot-on. Welcome to the very very belated (my apologizes) sixth and final post in my How To Liven Up Your Character series.

post one: How To Liven Up Your Leader Character
post two: How To Liven Up Your Mentor Character
post three: How To Liven Up Your Villain Character
post four: How To Liven Up Your Secondary Character 
post five: How To Liven Up Your Main Character

How To Liven Up Your: Cast Of Characters [Header Image]

1. Diverse Backgrounds - And Diversity In General 

   Sit down in a busy place, and take a look around. No one is alike - whether it be in looks, personality, or background. This is how it should be in books, and this is how you want it to be with your own characters.
   I can't pinpoint a book that's super diverse (at the moment - I'm sure my goldfish brain will think of one right after I hit 'publish' on this post), but in my own novel, Killing Snow, I try as well as I can to make everyone unique. There's people of different races, people with disabilities, people with personalities and interests spread across the whole board.  And one of the books I'm currently working on has a main character that's from Saudi Arabia (but of course plot bunnies are still attacking me left, right, and center - so we'll see how long said story sticks around xD).
   I've found that a lot of races aren't represented in YA books. Maybe it's just the books I've read, but it certainly seems that way to me. And I rarely see people with certain disabilities in books. People aren't all the same, so you need to keep your characters from always being the same, too.  

2. Not Having Too Many, And Knowing When To Introduce Them

Cover image of Cinder, by Marissa Meyer
   Knowing when to add characters is just as important as knowing where to stop. While certain genres are perfect from 1.7 million characters running around (Epic/High Fantasy, for instance), most genres do not need that many major characters. 
   Take the Lunar Chronicles, for instance. Marissa Meyer not only balanced her character amount perfectly, she also knew when and how to add them in. Marissa didn't dump a dozen characters on us at once. And that was perfect, because it gave us time to get well and fully attached to her entire cast. By the end of the series, she had quite a few characters in her series, but she'd placed them in so carefully that we were able remember who each of them were. Dumping a bunch of characters on readers from page one does exactly the opposite - readers will get characters confused (especially if names are too similar, so watch out for that), and it's harder to get attached until much later in the book.
   So how major characters does your book have? Did you throw them all in at once, or did you space them out? Try having a friend read it, and ask them if they can pinpoint and remember the characters you introduce.

3. Uniqueness

   If you have a cast of characters and the characters are all too alike, your readers are probably going to get bored. You need to keep each character unique, not only because readers love unique characters, but unique characters can be the heart of a story.
   Uniqueness normally comes in two different ways - there's unique as in 'all your characters are different from each other' and there's unique as in 'big personalities'. It's a good thing if your book has both, because readers love it.
   The Wingfeather Saga has some of the most unique characters out there, in my opinion. It's not a super well-known series (and the first book starts out a bit childish, but oh my does the series hit epic levels later on), but the characters are amazing. Every single one of them is very different - in very unique ways, what with some of them having very big personalities - and they all play different roles in the series.  This series scores high on the uniqueness scale.
   So, how well are you doing this with your book? Don't insert two characters where only one is needed - if two characters are too alike, and it wouldn't hurt your story to cut one, then cut one. Sometimes less is more. And it's a good idea to give at least one of your characters a big personality - one that's either sarcastic, flat-out crazy, or one of those "adorable cinnamon roll" characters, etc. Those are always tons of fun ;).  

4. Realism

   This one should be obvious, seeing as I've beaten you over the head with in almost every How To Liven Up Your Character post that I've done. Sorry I'm not sorry xD. But realism is important! In emotions, in reactions, in characters, and in every part of your story.
   There's one thing that I especially hate in stories - when one character kills another, and they don't have any feelings over it. No. No. Maybe this could work if your character shoot another over a long distance, but if they're near each other? Then no. This is not normal, and this is not human. Please don't do this. If your character kills someone else, they are going to think about it, and they're probably going to stress over it, and that moment might replay in their nightmares for years. The first day they took a life with their own hands isn't something they're going to forget. It's things like this that you need to look for, and make more realistic.
   Another thing that's unrealistic in story is what isn't mentioned. Your character is human, and humans get hungry. Humans get sick. Humans have days where they're angry for no reason. And your character needs to be human - we need to connect with them! So make sure that they're realistic and enough for us to relate to, at least on some level. 
   Place yourself in your characters shoes. How would you be feeling in their situation? Is it as realistic as it could be? Have you left things out that could be mentioned to make it more realistic?

5. Character Arcs

Cover image of Caraval, by Stephanie Garber
   Characters arcs were something I found out about after I got serious about writing, but I wish I had known about them earlier! I still have trouble with them, but it's an important thing for a character (most importantly, a main character) to have.
   To put in plan and simple: a character arc is how your character changes during the story
    I've always had a hard time pinpointing what a "character arc" really is - point out most any book to me, and I'll look at the main character, shrug, and say "I have no clue what their arc is". But I think I'm slowly figuring it out. Like I said, a character arc is the way the character has made a turn around from who they were, to who they are now. And we have to be able to see that they've changed. Take a look at Scarlett from Caraval (by Stephanie Garber). In the beginning, she's brave, but doesn't know how to stand up for herself very well - and by the end, she's definitely learned how. I can't tell you too much without giving spoilers, but there it is. And it's a good example of a character arc! You could easily see where Scarlett started from, and how far she came.
   So, how's your main character's arc looking? Have they changed from the person they were in the beginning? How? Is it a realistic change, considering what they've been through during the book? Compare your character to who they were in the beginning, and figure out how they've changed.

   And there you have it - the last post in this series! I hope you guys were able to learn a lot about character building. I had some much fun discussing characters with you guys - and I'm excited to start a new series sometime in the next few months! If you have any questions about characters that I didn't address in this series, feel free to give them to me in the comments!

~ Savannah Grace 

   I hope you all enjoyed this series! Should my next series be another about characters, or should I move on to a different aspect of stories? Do you have any more questions about character building (or characters in general)?

Book Review - Caraval by Stephanie Garber

August 11, 2017

   So, I put off reading Caraval for a good long while - it sounded like something I might enjoy, but there was something about it that made me unsure. Anyways, I finally decided that it couldn't hurt to try it, and OH MY. While there was some stuff in the book that I didn't like so much, I definitely don't regret picking it up <3.

Book Review - Caraval by Stephanie Garber [header image]

4 1/2 Stars

   Believe it or not, Caraval was the 100th book that I've read this year. (!!!!) I was incredibly excited to find out that I had met my reading goal for the year ... five months early xD. And if it wasn't for the stuff in the book that I didn't really enjoy, my 100th book probably would have received a full five stars!

   From The Back Cover

   Whatever you've heard about Caraval, it doesn't compare to the reality. It's more than just a game or a performance. It's the closest you'll ever find to magic in this world . . . 

   Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the    audience participates in the show, are over.
   But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
   Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

   Welcome, welcome to Caraval . . . beware of getting swept too far away.

   - The main character was epic. I loved Scarlett - she was a strong, beautiful main character, but not in a "I'm a girl but I can kill you with a butter knife" kind of way. Scarlett was strong in a "you try whatever tricks you like, but there's no way on this good earth you're going to stop me from saving my sister" kind of way.

   -The concept (and setting) of Caraval. At first I thought Caraval was going to be more of a circus-y thing (I don't know where I got that idea? Carval just sounded like it might be some kind of twisted/dark circus thing?), but it wasn't. And while that did throw me off for a few seconds there, once I realized that it wasn't a circus, I really enjoyed it! xD 

   -The mystery. There was so much mystery revolving around Caraval - what with some people not being who they seemed, and Scarlett trying to bring the clues together so that she could find her sister, Tella, there was a ton of pieces to try and put together. It was especially fun for me, as a reader, to try and put all those pieces together and figure out what was what before the characters did!

  - ... there actually wasn't too much that I didn't like? It wasn't the cleanest book ever - some of the romance ... wasn't the best, but (unless I'm having a goldfish-brain memory which isn't out of the question) only the first chapter really looked like it could get sketchy. But the book also managed to hold my attention for the entire book - which is sometimes a hard thing to do! So ... yes, even though there were a few things I didn't like so much (which cut the book's rating by half a star), I did very much enjoy Caraval.  

   So, because this book isn't the cleanest thing, I would probably recommend it for 14+. Still, I very much enjoyed it, and it was a worthy 100th book!  

~ Savannah Grace 

   Have you read Caraval before? How many books have you read this year?

Beautiful People - Raven Gale (August 2017)

August 8, 2017

   So I didn't plan on joining in the Beautiful People linkup this month - but then I saw the questions, and it felt like they were pretty much made for Raven. She's the main character in my YA sci-fi/dystopian novel, Killing Snow - which I'm currently rewriting (and rewriting and rewriting and REWRITING) xD. I don't think I've told you guys much about her, so I figured it was high time that I did!

   (quick note before I start - you might want to go read the description of Killing Snow over on my Writings page before you read further, otherwise the answers to these questions may mightily confuse you. And we wouldn't want that now, would we? ;D)   

Beautiful People - Raven Gale (August 2017) [Header Image}

 What Can't They Live Without?  

Raven Gale (story character image)
   Her brother, Robin. Since Raven's been trapped on the Aeriel (the airship she lives on) for multiple years, she hasn't been able to see him for a long time - but if you asked her to pick only one living thing in the world to save, she's say Robin. But another thing that she'd find really hard to give up would be her strength - Raven goes insane when she feels helpless, since she's used to relying on herself. 


   Name 2 Positive And 2 Negative Qualities About Your Character  


   Okay, positives first - 1) if Raven sets her mind to something, it's going to get done. No matter what. 2) She's incredibly loyal, and she'll go to pretty great lengths for anyone she loves. But then ... there are negatives to go with the positives. 1) Raven's distrustful. The Aeriel isn't a safe place to live, and so she'll either put her trust in you completely, or she won't really trust you at all. It takes her awhile to learn that someone's safe. 2) Raven's a pessimist - well, okay, she says she's a "realist". But she can come off as pessimistic, since she's used to balancing out her very optimistic best friend, Elyse.  


   Are They Holding Onto Something They Should Get Rid Of?


   Not telling. Partially because I don't know, partially because #SPOILERS. xD


   If 10 Is Completely Organized And 1 Is Completely Messy, Where Do They Fall On The Scale?   

Raven Gale (story character image)
  If there's a choice to be organized or messy, Raven would normally chose organized, depending on how long it would take her to get organized. Time is money on the Aeriel, and she most of the time Raven doesn't have much of it. So I'd probably give her a four - though, if she were living on earth instead of the Aeriel, she'd probably get a seven or eight.



 What Frustrates Them About The World They Live In?


   The fear that everyone lives under on the Aeriel. The fact that she can't go home - that none of them can go home - even though she wants to, badly. The thought that maybe she can't win the fight, and that she could die without seeing her brother again. The reality that sometimes she isn't strong enough to save everyone, even when she wants to be. And the remembrance that, once upon a time, the Aeriel was a wonderful place to live. And those are only the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of things that frustrate Raven, honestly.


 How Would They Dress For A Night Out? How Would They Dress For A Night In?

   Raven hasn't had a "night out" since she boarded the Aeriel - but if she were to have a night out (which would probably mean going to a party with her friends instead of scavenging for food to eat the next day), she'd probably be found wearing a violently red dress, minimal makeup (unless her friends convince her to wear more), little to no jewelry, and shoes that are pretty, but sturdy enough that she could run if she had to. And for a night in? Tee-shirt and jeans / comfy pants. On the Aeriel, clothes don't matter too much so long as they can keep you covered. No one has the time or money (or resources) to be picky.


   How Many Shoes Do They Own, And What Kind?

Raven Gale (story character image)
   Probably about five pairs, and at least two of them would be pretty worn out. Most likely she has one nice-but-also-impractical pair, which still looks pretty new - but that's only because they are impractical. There'd probably be two pairs of combat boots, fairly scuffed up. And one pair of tennis shoes, also starting to get a bit ratty, but they work just fine. And then there's a sturdy pair of brown ballet flats, but the tennis shoes or boots are normally her first choice.    


   Do They Have Any Pets? What Pet Do They WISH They Had? 

   On the Aeriel? No, Raven doesn't have any pets ... though, she might have had a cat once, when she was living on Earth, but I can't remember. Raven isn't quite the type to have a pet - but if she did, she's pick some rangy mutt that she knows could take care of itself. And she probably wouldn't "pick" him at all - they'd probably run into each other, he'd refuse to leave, and she's be stuck with him until she realizes she loves him. Something like that, And then they'd probably take turns saving each other. The Aeriel isn't the safest place, if you haven't already figured that out xD.


What's Usually In Their Fridge Or Pantry?

   Not much, and sometimes there's actually nothing. But when there is something, it's normally whatever vegetables Raven could find in the (partially dying) community garden, or whatever else she can scavenge when she's out and about.


   Is There Something Or Someone They Resent? Why And What Happened?


   Yes, yes, and yes. All the yeses. And I'm not telling why or what. Spoilers, darlings.

   So THAT isn't the most interesting question to end on, but there you have it. My smol Raven is covered in spoilers, but hopefully you had fun getting to know a little bit more about her! ;D

~ Savannah Grace

   So, what did you think of Raven? What's one thing your main character can't live without?

* except for the first image, none of the pictures in this post are mine

Monthly Highlights - July 2017

August 5, 2017

   Have I ever posted a 'Monthly Highlights' post late? Is this the first time I have missed the mark?! *cue gasps*

   Yeah, well, I'm late - sorry, but you can blame it on NaNo. Every problem can pretty much be blamed on NaNo xD.

   - The week of 4th was basically an epic shebang of relatives being here, TONS of noise, and lots of sitting-on-the-porch-until-the-moon-comes-up-while-watching-fireworks. Or we'd lay in the trampoline and watch colors explode in the sky. The whole week smelled like fireworks and was just really happy, so it was fun <3

   - Okay, so for how BUSY July was, I actually didn't do much? Nothing too far out of the norm? Stuff changed, but nothing super interesting. It was a good, hectic, awesome month.  

   - I wrote 22,158 words this July (all words went to my two Snow White novellas that I'm writing for the Rooglewood contest, but they're still being held under lock and key. Maybe I'll tell you more about them later this month xD), which is about 2k words over my Camp NaNoWriMo goal, so I'm pretty happy with it! Speaking of NaNo ...

   - July's Camp NaNoWriMo was insane. I was writing on and off for most the month (a crazy busy month, as there were some lifestyle changes and school changes and writing changes and UGH *passes out*), and then on the last day realized I + my cabin was really behind. So all of Cabin Mitchtam buckled down and churned out AN ENTIRE 80K WORDS in one day to get our cabin to victory. It was epic xD. Shout-out to Katie, Hannah, Gabriela, Athelas, Nadine, Katriona, Lydia, Emily, Faith, Tricia, Jeneca, Rosalie, and Stephanie for making it to their goals! Cabin Mitchtam rocked <3    

   And this happened, too -

   It was highly amusing xD.

   This was a so-so reading month for me, there were some EPIC reads, and then some not-as-good ones. But all in all, I'm happy with the reading status for July xD.

   - The Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielson. So, is it always the series that one puts off reading that one ends up loving the most? Because IT SEEMS THAT WAY. I knew about The Ascendance Trilogy for awhile, but decided that I had to read it when I saw Mary Horton mention it on her blog, and OH MY am I glad I picked it up! The main character, Sage, is now one of my top favorites. I'd rate each of the books in this series differently, but overall I'd give it a solid four stars.  

   - The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner. Uh ... so it went downhill. Maze Runner (the first book) was pretty good, Scorch Trials (the second) was okay, and Death Cure (basically the last book) was ... meh. I didn't really like the conclusion, and I couldn't really get attached to the book. Still, I'll probably give some of James Dashner's other books a try, because maybe his other series/books are better? We shall see! I'd give the different books in this series very varying star ratings, but I'd give the overall series a three stars.

   - Unblemished by Sara Ella. And yet again a book that I put off reading, but then ended up loving. I think the cover was a little princess-y for me, and that's why I never picked it up? Guess it just goes to show that you don't judge a book by its cover xD. The author has such a unique writing voice, and it was so easy and fun to read. And it's definitely worth mentioning that I randomly bought the newly-released second book in the series without reading it. I basically NEVER do that, but Unblemished was good to make me want to (plus ... the second book is super pretty ... hehe ...). But anyways - I give Unblemished a solid four stars!   

   - The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby. Oh my goodness, this book. *no words* I randomly picked it up when I found it secondhand (and I mentioned it in this book haul vlog), and I never imagined that it would be as incredibly good as it actually was. This book had three main POV characters, and normally in a book with only two POV characters, I get slightly tired of one, and I always want to be reading in the viewpoint of the other. But that almost never happened in The Clockwork Three - I loved all of the characters so much and I never got tired of being in the heads of any of them. It's one of the best MG books I've ever read, and it gets a glowing five stars from me!



   And then I did three posts for the #SilmAwards2017 - the nominations, the voting, and the award presentation

   -  The amazing Aimee Meester restarted her blog, and it looks epic.

   - The WhiteFire publishing house is looking for submissions, so definitely check that out if you have a finished manuscript!

   - Burning Youth posted one of the most gorgeous things I've seen on their blog.

   - A ton of cool posts went up on the 29th of July to celebrate the 63rd birthday of Lord Of The Rings, and you can find the links to those in Jenelle Schmidt's celebratory post.

   - Katie Emmons released her first book, The Blood Race, five days ago (!!!!), and her sister Abbiee did an epic post of reasons to read it.

   - Katie Grace did a post all about her WIP, Where Shadows Lie, a book which I must read stat.(she also did an awesome post on what she learned from the MYWW conference)

   Okay, also, super cool thing - THE BRIGHT EYES PODCAST WAS RELEASED. With all the hype, I'd be surprised if you haven't heard about it, but it is the most epic thing, and you need to go listen to it immediately. I can't stop obsessing over it. It's wonderful and slightly creepy in a sci-fi kind of way and I love it. <3 

   Well, August is definitely, 100% going to be the busiest month of this year - I won't be taking a hiatus, but I might be a little scarce around these here parts. xD I'm going to try and get a Camp NaNo wrap-up post done, and finish the How To Liven Up Your Character series (I would have done it in July, but I figured I should wait until August so I could put a little more time into the final post) - but other than that, who knows what's going to happen? (*cough* there's a rumor that I might be doing a post to ask y'all what I should do for my upcoming one-year blogoversary, but WE SHALL SEE *cough*) 

   Have en epic August, frens <3

~ Savannah Grace 

   Have you listened to Bright Eyes yet? What do you guys think I should do for my one-year blogoversary? What epic stuff did you guys do (or read!) in July?