Since I was away on vacation for just over two weeks, July felt like an especially fleeting month. My husband and I took an epic road trip and drove through parts of Alberta, British Columbia, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories (briefly), and Alaska. It was a truly amazing trip and now I’m already excited for our next adventure, whenever and wherever that may be!
Needless to say, July wasn’t a typical month for me. But this month, I have been…
Working on: While I didn’t do much writing on our road trip, I can tell you that I’m working on something related to FIRSTS that I’m really excited to share with everyone prior to release! I also finished first pass pages this month, which was really awesome. It’s hard to believe that what was formerly a Word document on my computer is almost an actual book!
The writing I did do our on road trip mostly happened in my head or in the Notes app on my phone. I was really inspired by the different Northern settings we visited and I have a new story idea percolating in my head, so… we’ll see where that goes!
Reading: Pre-road trip, I loaded my Kobo with two books I was super excited about: Dahlia Adler’s UNDER THE LIGHTS and Laura Salters’ RUN AWAY. I told myself I should sleep on the plane ride to Calgary since it was the crack of dawn, buuuut… Dahlia’s book beckoned and I read it all in one sitting. Guys, you need to read UNDER THE LIGHTS. It’s brilliant and funny and heartwarming and a million other amazing things and Dahlia writes with such humor, boldness, and insight. The dual POV between Josh, the Hollywood bad boy with lots of insecurity lurking under his cocky facade, and Vanessa, the Korean-American actress who starts to question everything about her life, works so well. Josh’s POV was done perfectly. I love, love, love reading “unlikeable” characters, and with his actions, Josh fits the bill. I really liked learning what was going on in Josh’s head and the ways he wanted to change his life but felt stuck. Vanessa’s journey throughout the course of the book was inspiring, humorous, fulfilling, but most of all, real. I adored her relationship with Bri and all the conflicting emotions she felt when she realized she was attracted to a girl and what that meant– in terms of her sexuality, relationships, and career. This is the kind of story teens need to have– the kind of story YA needs.
RUN AWAY by Laura Salters is another book I have been coveting. I love a good, twisty story, and this one definitely delivers– plus, the gorgeous Thailand locales are described so well that the book really transported me and sucked me in. RUN AWAY is the story of Kayla, who escapes her dreary reality in Northumberland following her brother’s suicide for a tour group in Thailand. Here, she meets some new friends– and Sam, with whom she shares a strong attraction. But when Sam disappears, leaving behind a pool of blood, Kayla is left with unanswered questions– along with the sense that something doesn’t quite add up.
When I got back from my road trip, I had a little surprise waiting for me in the mail… an ARC of ARROWS by my Sweet Sixteens friend Melissa Gorzelanczyk. I had been dying for this book since I first heard about it. Greek mythology spun together with the drama of MTV’s Teen Mom? Sign me up. I’ll be writing a more detailed review about this one later, but in the meantime, add ARROWS to your TBR now! It’s available for preorder and just so happens to share a book birthday with FIRSTS!
Watching: I haven’t really been watching anything religiously since we were gone for the first half of the month. So I guess in July, I watched mountains and valleys and sunsets and glaciers and all kinds of wildlife from car windows. And that was even better than any TV show.
I’m really looking forward to August and everything it has in store. As the months creep closer to the release date for FIRSTS, I find myself getting more and more bouncy with excitement, like a little kid counting the months until Christmas.When I get my ARCs, there may be flailing on the same scale as the year Santa brought me and my sister a dollhouse on Christmas morning.
Who am I kidding? There will be even more flailing than that.