Black Lives Matter.
I’m sure you’re already aware of current events, but if not, please take the time to educate yourself. Use your platform to uplift Black voices and fight racism. Remember, being silent is siding with the oppressors. This link contains a masterlist of resources, including petitions to sign, guidelines for protestors, donation links, numbers to call, and more. If you’re unable to expend money, protest, etc., the least you can do is take the time to sign petitions, retweet important links, watch this video without skipping the ads, call out your racist friends and family, and more (there are so many easy ways to show support for the BLM movement and be anti-racist).
I officially cannot imagine life without quarantine anymore. On one hand, lots of free time (yay!!), but on the other hand, I’ve sorta turned into an unproductive potato. I oversleep a lot and don’t manage my time well at all. 😞
I tried to dedicate May to planning my WIP (it’s high fantasy, so there are lots of things I have to figure out first before I can start drafting). I spent many afternoons doing nothing but think about my WIP, trying to figure out the worldbuilding, and while I did make some progress, I’m still far from done figuring out everything I need to know about my world and magic system.
My mind wanders off too often while I brainstorm. I think actually writing down my ideas instead of just thinking about them helps. I’ll definitely be using paper and pen more in June, but either way, laying out the groundwork of my world is gonna be a frustrating endeavor. Coming up with ideas, especially ideas that could actually work, is like pulling teeth, I swear. 😭
I started the Chinese drama The Untamed in May too!! Both the drama and Chinese novel it’s adapted from are gaining popularity in the book community, and like the bandwagon-er I am, I couldn’t be left out. I honestly think I should’ve read the book first before starting the drama, but oh well. 😂 I’m currently on chapter 35 of the book and I’m close to finishing the drama, but I don’t know if I should finish the drama already or wait until I finish the book first…
Despite the fact that the show is a bit confusing, I really like it. And that’s 100% due to the fact that the main male leads have such good chemistry!!! In the book, their relationship is explicitly queer, but due to China’s censorship laws, their relationship in the drama is supposed to just be a friendship. Keyword: Supposed, because they did such a good job of conveying the two leads’ romantic love, despite not being able to show it upfront.
I’m so excited to re-watch the show after finishing the novel. Maybe even without English subtitles because I wanna improve my Mandarin!!
Also, watching The Untamed has turned me into Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo trash… (XZ and WYB are the main actors of the drama)
Lastly, plot twist of the year: I have been working out! Yes, you read that right. I, Caitlin, the lazy potato, am willingly dedicating time each day to exercise. There’s this fitness YouTuber called Chloe Ting who’s been getting super famous during quarantine. She has free workout programs up on her site, and I’m currently on day 23 of her Slim Thigh Challenge.
At the beginning of the month, I was super motivated to exercise and take care of my body. Now, not so much, but I think what matters is that I stuck to and am sticking to the schedule. I’m the worst at sustaining good habits, so the fact that I’m gonna see this 25-day program through makes me happy. 🥺 I don’t think I’ll end up getting the results I was expecting, but that’s perfectly fine. Since I know my body needs it, I’ll be continuing to exercise once I’m done with slim thighs. I think I’m gonna do 2 Weeks Shred next!
My reading for the majority of May was nonexistent lmao. Like I said above, I tried to dedicate May to writing. I did come through in the last few days of the month though. I think I finished four books in under a week? This couldn’t have been possible without the help of audiobooks, though I don’t prefer audiobooks, since I don’t retain much when I listen to them.
I wasn’t exactly successful at reading books by Asian authors for Asian Heritage Month, but five out of eight isn’t bad, and I’m glad that I didn’t only read from East Asian authors! I’m definitely gonna read more books by Asian authors in the following months, whether it’s Asian Heritage Month or not.
Also, I’m trying out a new format for the reading section of my wrap-ups again! I won’t be answering the “Should you read it?” question anymore, but I’ll be giving more in-depth thoughts on the books I read. Not including my star ratings this month, because I don’t think they’ll be useful. We’ll see if star ratings make a comeback next month.
Confessions by Kanae Minato– What does it say about me that this wasn’t as messed up as I thought it’d be? 😅 I feel like the reviews calling this book horrifying, disgusting, etc. made my expectations for it a little too high. Additionally—I don’t know if I was just very eager to find out what actually happened—but having to read about the same events from a different perspective was tiring.
The Silence of Bones by June Hur– THE ATMOSPHERE IN THIS BOOK!! Reading it is akin to feeling like you’re underwater. This was a seamless debut—I can’t imagine how much research must’ve went into it (it’s set in Joseon Korea), and I wasn’t able to guess the real culprit at all.
There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon– A romantic contemporary about a fat Desi athlete who’s perfectly happy in her body? Yes!!! Sadly, it wasn’t really for me… Cheesy (and I mean cheesy) instant attraction romances aren’t my jam, but I recognize that many fat and/or Desi readers have yet to see themselves in these stories.
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare– I reread this just to refresh my memory of what happened in it, so I wasn’t actually forming thoughts on it while reading. Am not looking forward to making my way through the first half of TMI and TID though… but for The Dark Artifices I will persist. 😤 (Why did you have to wait so long to start City of Lost Souls that you forgot everything about the previous Shadowhunter books @ past Caitlin)
The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar– I was so surprised by how much I enjoyed this!!! I read it in a day, which almost never happens! Even though the writing style was a little too simplistic for my taste, I loved the queer POC rep. And the main f/f romance was a little insta-lovey, but this time I could forgive it. My absolute favorite relationship in the book was the protagonist’s friendship with her sister though. 🥺
Beartown by Fredrik Backman– An unflinching portrayal of how society mistreats rape victims. It was more hopeful than I was expecting it to be too.
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal– I gave this 4 stars on Goodreads, which is a little generous. But, after putting this book down, I realized that if I had just taken off my Critical Reader Lenses™ while reading it, I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more. I did not get the romance at all and the action scenes were a little poorly written, but I absolutely loved reading about the Arabian-inspired world!
When will I post more than four times in a month??? I feel so guilty about my lack of posts, because I have so much time to write them!! The time management is just absent… Anyways, if I don’t post at least five times in June, you are required to cancel me.
As for my interaction in May, I think it was so-so. I was doing good at commenting on others’ posts in the beginning of the month, and then everything went downhill. But I’m used to playing catch up when it comes to blog hopping, haha. My comment replying is a mess too, but hey, at least I eventually reply to everyone? If you leave a comment on a blog post of mine, rest assured that I’ll reply to it eventually… emphasis on the eventually.
What I posted in May:
Wishing you all the happiest June! Remember, #BlackLivesMatter, #JunkTerrorBill, and all cops are bad.