Sadie by Courtney Summers | Review

Hello, loves. One of my resolutions this year was to put more effort into my creative pursuits. For the blog, that means writing posts with more depth and better content overall. Specifically, I want to incorporate more reviews on here because I love writing them, and I get to share my feelings more.

Today, I want to talk about Sadie by Courtney Summers. I finished reading it literally a few minutes ago and knew immediately that I wanted to write a post about it.

Stats:

Trigger Warnings- murder/death, sexual assault/rape, pedophilia
Representation- stutter, LGBTQ+ 

It took me about 3 days to read. I started it on the first of February, and today (the day I’m writing this) is the third. But, I didn’t really read much for the first two days because I had other books to read. I read l over half of it today.

I alternated between the physical and audio because I knew I wanted to listen to at least some of it. The audiobook is what got the most hype for this book, so obviously I had to listen.

My rating: 5/5 stars

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Summary:

This is one that I definitely think you should go into knowing very little, so all that I am going to say is it follows a girl (Sadie) who goes missing, and the story switches two POVs. One is Sadie narrating her travels, and the other is a podcast host, who is telling her story alongside her, gathering his own clues about where she is.

Characters:

I am a character driven reader, so this is the first category I want to talk about. At first, I did not like reading from Sadie’s POV. I was much more interested in the podcast part because it was faster paced. However, the more I got to know Sadie, the more I started to love her.

I decided that she is definitely a scorpio- she’s stubborn and when she feels something, any emotion, she feels it deeply and with her whole heart. There is not a lot that can get in her way if she has her mind set on something. She’s also just such a badass. Her relationship with her sister was obviously so strong, and it drove her to do things you wouldn’t expect.

I see a lot of myself in her, so once I got used to the writing style from her POV, I loved her and everything we read about her.

As far as the podcast host goes, I loved him. He was very conflicted on whether he should take on this story or not, but you definitely see him evolve as he gets more invested in the case. He definitely cares.

Plot:

Like I said earlier, I don’t want to give too much away about this book. It was a fast-paced story that gripped me from beginning to end. The concept of the podcast was so unique and interesting. It tells the story of grief and sister love.

As far as the ending, I can’t stop thinking about it, and I know I won’t be able to for a while. It’s a little open-ended (not really, you understand if you read it), so if you don’t like that, you might be a little angry at it!

Overall:

I would highly recommend checking this out. It’s gripping, it’s fast-paced, and you won’t want to put it down. I will definitely be picking up more by Courtney Summers. This book was truly a whole experience from beginning to end, and I’m so happy I finally picked it up.

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Have you read this book? What were your thoughts on it? Leave me recommendations of books that are similar to it :)

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My Reading Tastes Have Changed… & So Has the Way I Rate Books

Hello, loves! Jess here. Notice anything new? I recently changed my site name, as well as my Instagram and Twitter handles! I wanted to “rebrand” in a way because my old name just didn’t encompass what this site is. I wanted a name that fits this blog and me! Kisses From Jess is now in the past :)

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What does this change mean? Basically nothing.

Like I said, I mainly just wanted a name that fits what this blog is- and that’s what Jessica C Writes does. I write. About books, writing, journaling, and a couple other things. As far as content, the type of things I post will stay the same, but I am going to be putting a lot of effort into those posts. I want each and every post to be something I am proud of. So that is going to be my aim for this coming year (oh- and expect more book reviews).

Anyways…

Let’s move onto what you clicked for- which is a discussion post about how my reading tastes have changed, but more specifically how it has changed my ratings!

I wrote a post about how I read both critically and for fun a few months ago, but my opinions have definitely changed on that subject since then.

I realized that (especially in the last few months) my reading tastes have been changing dramatically. What I used to read were mainly YA contemporaries- very fluffy ones. I had the occasional thriller or fantasy or adult book thrown in there, but I basically just stuck to one genre that I knew I loved.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.

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But the truth is, I didn’t really know what I liked in books and what I didn’t because I was only reading one type of book. Within the past few months, I wanted to change this. I wanted to pick up different books so that I could figure out what I like.

I now pick up books that are very different from what I was reading just a couple years back. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t suddenly become a huge high fantasy or science fiction reader, but I stray outside of the YA contemporary romance books. I read mysteries and thrillers, and lots of NA and Adult books! I also add a lot more fantasy novels to my TBRs than I have in the past!

Overall, I have definitely broadened my horizons when it comes to reading, and I am so happy about that!

How has this affected my reviews?

Because I now know what I like to see in books- in terms of themes, genres, character development, etc., I read more critically. I am very picky about what I like and what I don’t like, so I don’t give everything 4 or 5 stars anymore as I previously had for no reason whatsoever. I basically just gave everything 5 stars as long as I somewhat enjoyed it.

With that in mind, I am also pickier about what I read to begin with- I don’t add books to my TBR just because they are extremely hyped by the book community. I only add books that I have a genuine interest in reading now. So even though I said I give less 4/5 stars, that doesn’t mean the book is necessarily bad. It still had something in it that drew me to it, it just isn’t one of my all time favorites.

Mainly, I am just pickier about what I choose as my favorite books opposed to just good books.

For example- a rating between 4-5 means a book is amazing and I really, really love it. It has definitely earned a spot in my top favorites.

However, a book with 3-4 stars does not mean the book is bad- there was just certain elements that fell flat for me, or I was a little disappointed by it. For example, I might not have liked the writing style, but loved the story. Or the pacing was slow but I loved the characters, etc. This is still a book I enjoyed though!

I think most people see a 3 star rating and assume a book is bad, when that is not the case for me at all. It all definitely depends on each reviewer and how they rate their books, but I think in general a 3 star rating is not equal to a book being awful.

I rarely give 1-2 stars, but those are the books that I consider “bad.”

By experimenting with my reading tastes, I have definitely turned into a much more critical reader. Reading critically is something I really enjoy, and I’ve always been this way with books for school, so I don’t know why it has taken me this long to be this way with other books.

This post is getting pretty long, so I’ll end it there!

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Have your reading tastes changed at all? How/Why? This is a topic I could go on about for days, and it’s super interesting to hear other people talk about! Definitely leave a comment letting me know your opinions on this down below :)

See you soon!

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Books About Writing That I Want To Read

Hello everyone! Hope your January is going well so far. I can’t believe it’s almost over already!

Today I want to talk about books about writing that I want to read! I haven’t mentioned this here yet, but I am actually starting a new WIP! I am so so excited about it, and I will give more details about it soon. But for now, I want to give you a list of some books I want to read that are about writing. As a writer, I think it is so important to learn about the craft, and what better way to learn than from the experts??

These are all books that I have NOT yet read, but I’ve heard amazing things about them. I won’t describe them in too much detail since I haven’t actually read them, but also because there are a lot on this list! I hope you find at least one to add to your TBR :)

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On Writing by Stephen King

This is one that’s a staple to all writers. I have heard nothing by good things about this one, and I am actually in the process of reading it right now. It is funny and entertaining, but sprinkles writing tips all throughout. Stephen King is a legend in the writing world, so learning from him is huge to me.

 

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

This is another that I’ve heard such amazing things about. I want to read it ASAP! I will probably get it from my library right after I finish the previous one. From what I’ve heard, this book discusses so many different aspects of writing- not only does she give advice and tips on writing itself, but also on being a writer and what it is like.

A Writer’s Diary by Virginia Woolf

This is basically all of Virginia Woolf’s thoughts about writing put into one book- why wouldn’t you want to read this? Woolf is such an important and prominent writer, and her works are said to be art. I have only read one of her books, Mrs. Dalloway, and loved it! I definitely want to read more by her in the future, and eventually get my hands on this diary!

Why I Write by George Orwell

This is another diary-like book by a famous author. You may know him for 1984 and Animal Farm. His books were pretty revolutionary for how they described the future, and I would definitely love to read his reasons for writing. I am sure that this one will be amazing.

The Anatomy of Story by John Truby

I heard this recommended by Kat from Katytastic on Youtube, and she absolutely loves this. This is a book about screenwriting, but the methods can be used for novel writing as well. After I heard Kat talk about it, I was sold. She said it definitely helped her with her writing and outlining, so I need it!

Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose

I saw this book recommended in a Pinterest post, and I added it to my TBR immediately. As a writer, I believe it is VITAL to read as much as possible. But knowing how to read like a writer is something even more valuable. I think this book will definitely teach me a lot, so I want to pick it up in the very near future.

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Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer

I remember seeing someone tweet about finding this book at a used bookstore, and I was intrigued by it. Naturally, I looked it up. It is an illustrated book that looks so beautiful. Among the pictures, there are tons of tips for writing, and it just seems so interesting. It’s pretty different from the rest of them, but it’s still something I want to read.

 

Why Poetry by Matthew Zapruder

These next two are about poetry actually, and not novel writing. BUT, this is something that I am also very passionate about. I heard about this one from Ariel Bissett, another Youtuber, and I trust all of her recommendations. This one isn’t necessarily teaching the craft, but it talks about why people read poetry and also poetry in a modern age. It definitely piqued my interest.

A Poetry Handbook by Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver was a beloved and very famous poet, who unfortunately passed away a few days ago. She was a huge inspiration to so many people, and I definitely want to read her handbook. This is a quick book that I think will be very useful. If I can write even 1/8 as good as she does, I would be happy.

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That is all for this post! If you have any recommendations for books about writing, please leave them down below :)

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More Pretty Book Covers! // Blogmas Day 24

It’s already day 24 of Blogmas! Merry Christmas Eve :)

I just wrote this post recently, but I have so many more book covers that I want to talk about, so here is part two!

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This cover is just so pretty to me because it’s simple and clean, but different. There’s just something about it that always catches my eye, even if I don’t necessarily think I’ll like the book. It was just done really well.

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I think everyone agrees that this is a nice book cover. The gold compliments the flowers so nicely, and makes it pop. I am usually fan of simple covers, but I love how this one looks a lot.

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The reason that I love this one so much is because I didn’t even notice that the “mountain” in the back is a face. It’s just so subtle and nice. I’m obsessed with it.

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This cover. I don’t even know where to begin. It is gorgeous. Jellyfish are my favorite sea creatures, so this definitely caught my eye from the beginning. Also, the background is so nice and I love the font of the title.

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This has been one of my favorite book covers ever for a long time because it’s just so aesthetically pleasing. If I wrote a book, this is the type of cover I would want. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the book as much. The cover makes up for it a little bit.

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Once again, Merry Christmas Eve! I’ll see you guys for the last day of Blogmas tomorrow! Enjoy the holidays :)

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24 Hour Read-A-Thon Recap // Blogmas Day 23

As some of you know, if you read my last TBR post, I just did a 24 hour read-a-thon with two amazing people! It was a lot of fun, and I definitely want to do more in the future :)

Let’s talk about how I did!

The TBR:

What I read:

I had about half of Emergency Contact left (200 pages or so), and I managed to finish it at around 11:30 at night. I kept alternating between listening to The Sun is Also a Star and reading Emergency Contact. Luckily, the The Sun audiobook was short, and since I listen at 2.5 speed, it took me less than 4 hours.

I finished it at about 7:30. It took me a long time to finish both because I took a lot of breaks and went out a couple of times throughout the day, but at least I managed to read 2 of them!

I started Dumplin’, but only got about 3 chapters in!

I’m definitely still counting this as a win because I managed to finish 2 books. I’m definitely happy with that.

I also had so much fun!

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This was a lot of fun, as I’ve mentioned! If you want to see more 24 hour read-a-thon posts, let me know! Or if you want to participate the next time I do one, definitely let me know, and I can make sure I announce it first :)

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Favorite Books of 2018 // Blogmas Day 22

Yesterday I accidentally titled my blog post Day 22 because I obviously can’t count, but I fixed that, and today is the true Day 22!

Today’s post is an exciting one- I am finally going to be sharing my top 10 favorite books of the year! I read 65 books this year, and I am currently in the middle of 2 others (but I don’t think they will make this list).

Out of those books, I found some of my absolute favorites, and I am so so excited to share them with you all! I put them in an order, but take it with a grain of salt. It was so hard to even narrow down my list, let alone rank these 10. I changed the order so many times because I was indecisive, so just remember that!

 

10. Looking for Alaska by John Green

I know that this is a bit of an unpopular opinion, but I loved this book. It was hard to get into at first, but I was hooked completely by the middle. It just gave me such a nostalgic feeling because this is a book that middle school me would have obsessed over. I can’t even really describe why I loved it so much, I just did.

9.Bird Box by Josh Malerman

I’m going to be honest, I really didn’t think I would like this one, but I decided I should just give it a chance. I ended up LOVING it. The movie is also amazing, so make sure you check it out!

8. To Make Monsters Out of Girls by Amanda Lovelace

This probably became my favorite poetry collection ever. It was so, so good. Amanda never fails to make me fall in love with her writing, but this one especially just spoke to me so much. I absolutely loved it, and I think everyone should give it a try.

7. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

After reading Simon, I didn’t have high hopes for this one. I loved the Simon movie, but the book fell flat to me in so many ways. It was just so hyped, so I expected a lot more from it. But this one was amazing. I loved and related to the characters so so much, and I really enjoyed the story. It was definitely a surprise for me.

6. Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

I love Jenn Bennett so so much, and 2018 is actually the year I discovered her books. This is one that doesn’t come out until 2019, but I was lucky enough to get an ARC and I am so grateful. The way she writes romance is unlike anyone else. She makes you fall in love with the characters and I was mesmerized by this one.

5. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

This book melted my heart. I have been dying to read anything by Alice Oseman for so long, and this did not disappoint. It was so relatable and I love reading about podcasts, so this one was such a hit for me. The story was a bit sad at times, but it made you FEEL something, which I love.

4. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

This is the first year that I got into thriller/mysteries. I’ve always read a couple here and there, but I definitely read way more this year. This one was by far my favorite. I listened to the audiobook and it just had me so hooked. I could not get enough of it, and I highly recommend it if you like this genre.

3. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

This is a story told through poetry, and I absolutely loved it. It was just such an incredible story, and I love poetry, so the two put together was just so amazing. I also just related to it so much (not as much now, but definitely a few years ago). I just saw myself in the story, and it made me so happy.

2. Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

Wow, would you look at that? Another Jenn Bennett. At the beginning of 2018, I couldn’t decide if I liked this one more, or Starry Eyes (also by Jenn Bennett). But the more I thought about it, the more this one was on my mind. Alex is my favorite YA love interest ever. He was just so smooth and knows how to make you fall for him. I was obsessed (and still am, let’s be honest). Wow, I just really loved this one.

1. Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

I don’t even know what else to say about this one. It just spoke to me on so many levels, and I couldn’t get enough. I posted a review on it, so I’ll just direct you there because it sums up my feelings pretty well.

Honorable Mentions:

Sea of Strangers by Lang Leav

What Happened by Hillary Clinton

The New Neighbors by Simon Lelic

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If there are any on this list that you haven’t read, I highly recommend picking them up! I love all of these wholeheartedly, and 2018 was an incredible reading year for me. Please check these out :)

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Mental Health Book Bingo TBR // Blogmas Day 21

I have an exciting announcement! This January, I will be a host for the Mental Health Book Bingo with a group of lovely people! I can not wait, and I am so honored to be a part.

If you haven’t heard of it, it’s basically a bingo board that has a prompt on each box, and the goal is to read 5 books during the month of January (to make a line- diagonally, vertically, horizontally, etc). They each feature representation of different mental illnesses, or are related to it.

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Make sure to follow the twitter to keep up with updates and participate in various chats and sprints with us! Also, use the hashtag #mhbb to post your own updates!

The rest of the hosts are:

Wendy // whatthelogsaid

Inge // ingeswonderland

Laura // 

Lili // UtopiaMind

Ayah Assem // 

Sar // 

My TBR

I am going to be a bit of a rebel when it comes to my TBR. I actually won’t be following the typical bingo line because 2019 is a no-buy year for me, so I had to choose books that I own or have accessible to me- this means whatever I can get on the Libby app or from kindle.

Also, I chose more than 5 books because I’m a mood reader, and need some options!

However, I do plan on reading 5-6 books, so I will still be doing my part :)

 

 

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga (Depression Rep)

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia (YA w/ MI)

When We Collided by Emery Lord (Free space)

Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow (PTSD rep)

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan (2018 Release)

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman* (Anxiety Rep)

Group Read- Not Chosen Yet

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I really encourage all of you to participate, even if you only read one book! It’s so important to read about all types of diversity, and this is a fun way to do it. Also, make sure to stay up to date by following the Twitter, where a lot of fun things will be happening :)

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24 Hour Read-A-Thon TBR // Blogmas Day 19

I am doing a 24 hour read-a-thon tomorrow with my friend Amanda, and I am so excited! I plan on doing a few of these while I’m on winter break because I’ll have a lot of time, and it’ll be nice to get more reading in.

I have so many books I want to get to, so this will be helping me out a lot! Let’s just jump into the TBR.

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

This is my current read, and I really want to finish it ASAP! It’s not my favorite read right now, but I’m enjoying it enough to keep reading. I’ve had this on my TBR for far too long though, so I really want to finish it.

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

I have the audiobook for this one, and It’s about 8 hours long. Since I listen to them at 2.5 speed, it’ll take less than 4 hours, so I definitely think I can do this! I’ve been meaning to read this for the longest time, too. Everything, Everything was okay, but I’ve heard nothing but amazing things for this one!

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

I finally got the e-book on the Libby app, but I only have about 7 days left to read it, so I definitely want to get to it ASAP. The movie just came out on Netflix, and I’ve been using all of my self-control to not watch it yet. It’s been rough, but if I finish it soon, then I can finally watch it!

EXTRA:

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The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic

If I manage to finish the other 3 (highly unlikely), then I want to continue this one! I only read about 1 or 2 chapters of it, but I’m really enjoying it so far. I probably won’t get to it, but just in case, it’s on the list!

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If you’ve read any of the books below, leave a comment letting me know what you’re thoughts were! See you tomorrow :)

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Top 5 Favorite Book Covers // Blogmas Day 18

Happy Tuesday! I finished my last final today, and I’m finally back at home! I will have so much more time for reading/writing/blogging for the next 5 weeks, and I’m so happy about that.

Today I want to talk about some of my favorite book covers because I am all about aesthetic. I am very particular about book covers, and I definitely have a style that I prefer over others.

Here are some of my five favorites (although there are so many more- i will definitely do a part 2!).

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This first cover is one that I do not own unfortunately, but I am absolutely obsessed with. It’s pretty simple, but the vibe I get from it is so nice. It is so aesthetically pleasing, and I am just obsessed with it, okay?

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I thought this cover was absolutely gorgeous the day I got it, and I am still obsessed with it! In person it is really shiny and reflective, which adds even more to it! The U.K. cover is also so amazing, and so are the other books in the trilogy. The little details all come together so nicely, and the font of the title fits so well.

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THIS BOOK IS SO GORGEOUS!!! In person, the entire thing is glittery and so pretty! I am so in love with it. It’s literally the tiniest book ever but just so so stunning. Unfortunately, this was not a favorite of mine writing wise, but the cover makes up for that a little bit.

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Okay, can we talk about this cover? How beautiful is this?? This is definitely one of my favorite books of the year, and I think the cover definitely added so much to this story. It fits so, so well with the book. I think it captures the beautiful writing of this story so well.

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This cover was just revealed today and I’m already in love with it! The design is so sleek yet I feel like it captures the books essence perfectly (even though I have not read it yet). It just seems really fitting, and I am in love with it! I am going to buy a copy ASAP, and you all should, too :)

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What are some of your favorite book covers? Be sure to let me know in the comments :)

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2019 Life Goals // Blogmas Day 16

I recently did a post where I talked about my reading goals for the year, but I wanted to include some of my “life-related” goals, too!

I am a super goal-oriented person, so setting to-do lists and making bucket lists is my absolute favorite thing ever. So, here are the things I hope I accomplish this year :)

Save $1k

I am the absolute worst at saving money. I made myself the goal of saving 1k in my bank account between September and December, but that just didn’t happen. I work a job at school which means I get paid minimum wage, and I can only work a certain number of hours a week. But, I plan on getting a job over summer break outside of school again so that I can save more money, and I’m just going to be more conscious about it in general.

Finish my poetry manuscript

I’ve had a name and theme idea for a poetry collection for months, and I eventually want to publish it. So, this year I want to work on drafting together all of the poems, organizing, editing, and then finalizing the details of it so that I can eventually send them off to a publisher or self-publish it!

Finish the first draft of my novel

I don’t plan on publishing an actual novel for a while, I want my debut as a novelist to be something I truly love. However, I want to finish the first draft of my current WIP, even though I know it will never be published. It’s great practice though, and would make me so happy!

End my second semester with straight As

I have been working really hard this year so far so earn the grades I have, and I want to keep this streak up next semester! School is my number one priority right now, and I want to do well.

Get a summer job/internship

Like I said earlier, I want to get a job over the summer to save up some extra $$. It really doesn’t matter where it is at this point, I just want to find something!

Hit 1k followers on here

I am so proud of this little blog I started when I was a little sophomore. It’s been through a lot of ups, downs, and changes, but I love where I am today. Numbers are not something I focus on heavily, but it would be nice to reach this number!

Hit 500 followers on my poetry instagram

Alongside the last goal, I also want to hit 500 followers on my poetry account because poetry is something I want to take more seriously this year. The reason for setting this number is just because it will hold me more accountable when it comes to posting. I want to make sure I consistently post on the account.

Go on a road trip with friends

I’ve always wanted to go on a road trip with my friends, but we’ve never been able to actually do it. It would be so much fun, and hopefully I get to do it in the future!

Let me know what your goals are in the comments below :) See you tomorrow!