summer reading,

I finished all of my exams! You guys have given me such amazing support and I can’t wait to get back to posting regular content! I’ve got some exciting things to announce over the next week so keep a look out for developments, I’m very excited to be back! This photo was taken when I went to a bar near my house to celebrate and ended up spending a lot of time scanning their borrowing library! ~ the t-shirt I’m wearing is from Lasula.co.uk and all proceeds go towards the victims of the recent Manchester bombings for those of you asking! ~

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Summertime Reads

As of earlier this week, summer has officially started! So here are 10 books I recommend during these hot months while you’re out vacationing, at the beach, on a road trip, or staying inside trying to beat the heat!

10. The Saga series by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples

It’s short since it’s a graphic novel. It’s action-packed and fantastical. And I guarantee that you won’t be able to flip through the pages fast enough.

9. If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson

Aaaanangst. Romaaaaaance. Plus this book takes place in the sweltering hot of an Arizona summer, so it definitely has that summer mood.

8. Angelfall by Susan Ee

Literally one of the quickest I’ve ever read a book. So fast-paced, and so goddamn readable. You will not put this down, and you will be thoroughly engrossed. Also, R A F F E.

7. This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

Emma Mills’ books are just so stinkin adorable, and this one is no exception. The characters and story just make this perfect for the summer. And it’s also a short book, which i know I crave in these summer months because I just wanna read as much as possible while I have my freedom.

6. The Deal by Elle Kennedy

Some hot & steamy times for this hot & sweaty weather. This is hands down my favorite New Adult romance book. This NA read manages to be both funny, romantic, and real af.

5. Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

THIS BOOK THO. One of my top 3 favorite books of last year. I mean, it’s a YA Western… need I say more??

4. Everything Leads To You by Nina Lacour

Not only is this book CUTE CUTE CUTE, it’s freaking phenomenally written and is just so grounded and good that you will fall in love with it. To me, this is a summertime read because it’s so fluffy yet real, and because it’s set in the summer.

3. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

BOOK DONE FUCKED ME UP. Good luck with this short yet riveting read. These cousins, self-dubbed “The Liars,” spend every summer together and are inseparable. But there is so much more to this book than meets the eye.

2. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

I could not make this list and not include Ari & Dante. Impossible. This novel is perfect. It’s heartwarming and heartbreaking, and I HIGHLY recommend you read it this summer, if you haven’t already read it and fallen in love with those cupcakes.

1. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

In my opinion, no book screams summer more than Amy & Roger. It’s a road trip book, that takes place in the summer, and is a YA contemporary romance…. YUP. Also this is my favorite Morgan Matson book :)

I remember every empty conversation but
still I dream we turned out differently.
love heals, but it also hurts and
you were the king of breaking me

(just so you could heal me again.)


–I still love you by shelby leigh

One of my majors is english, so I do a lot of reading. Having to read an entire novel each week is rough, but it really helped me refine my annotating methods. Here is how I annotate fiction and nonfiction books! 

FICTION

1. MAKE USE OF THE BLANK PAGES IN THE FRONT OF THE BOOK 

I’m someone who has a lot of trouble with keeping track of characters, especially if there are a lot of them. To remedy this, I use one of the blank pages in the front of the book to make a list of each of the characters, and sometimes I’ll write something about them so I can place a name to a character. Here’s a quick example: 

2. USE HIGHLIGHTERS AND ASSIGN MEANING TO THE COLORS

If you aren’t someone who likes to actually write in the book, you can obviously use different colored post-its for this instead. I typically use three different colors when highlighting, and this is what the colors mean for me:

Pink - Character introductions: I use pink to highlight any time a character is introduced for the first time. You will often be asked to write about characters’ personalities, so this makes it easier to find descriptions of characters later. 

Green - Important plot points: I use green to highlight any important things that happen that I think I’ll need to look back at. 

Yellow - quotes: I use yellow for important quotes, or anything that is important but doesn’t fit any other category. 

Extra - Purple: After you finish reading a book, your teacher will usually point out important passages too. When this happens, I use purple to highlight those sections to denote that my professor found them important, because this probably means they’re worth talking about in an essay. 

3. WRITE A SUMMARY AT THE END OF EACH CHAPTER

To make sure you really understood what you just read, it is a good idea to write down a brief summary on the last page of the chapter. This helps with remembering what you read, and it also makes it much easier to go back and find events in the plot that you want to talk about.

4. POST-ITS FOR ESSAY IDEAS

I’ve pretty much had to write an essay on virtually every book I’ve had to read in both high school and college, so I’ve made a habit of using post it notes to bookmark pages with content that would be helpful in making arguments in an essay. Make a short note on the post it so you remember what point you were planning on making with that passage. *This is especially helpful for timed essays during which you’re allowed to use the book as a resource. That way, you can have essentially your entire argument planned out ahead of time. 

NONFICTION 

I use similar methods when annotating nonfiction, but instead of paying attention to plot points, I try to focus on main arguments and ideas. 

1. USE A BLANK PAGE FOR SUMMARIZING

Like with fiction, I like to use a blank page at the front of the book to summarize different sections of the book. This makes it easy to remember all the main ideas without having to flip back through the entire book.

2. HIGHLIGHTING AND WRITING

When I read nonfiction, I care much less about color-coding my annotations. I typically just use whatever I have around me at the time. What really matters about nonfiction is making sure you really understand the content, so I write down summaries in the margins on nearly every other page. 

As you can see, there’s a lot of different colors going on. They mean nothing. Honestly, my yellow highlighter was just going dead so I was going back and forth between that and my purple one. The red pen was the one I was using during my initial read-through, and the second time I read these pages, I just happened to have a blue pen, so don’t worry about the colors.

Anyway, what is really important about this is my short summaries in the margins. Doing this not only helps you dismantle the arguments being made, but it also forces you to become an active reader. 

3. ACTIVE READING

Like i just mentioned, engaging with the book by writing summaries frequently makes you an active reader. It is difficult to get anything out of a book if you aren’t actively engaging with the material, especially if it’s nonfiction. To fully understand the ideas being presented in the book, you need to find a way to actively engage with it. You can do this by using my ‘writing summaries in the margins’ method, or you can do whatever it is that makes you really focus on the content of the book. Anyone can zone out and look at words on a page, but if you want that A, you need to really dive into the book! 

I am absolutely in love with my 2010 edition of A Handmaid’s Tale! My pet peeve is when publishers turn film and tv posters into book covers, so I had to search high and low to find this one due to the new series out at the moment on Hulu and Channel 4! (Shout out to wordery.com for hooking me up!) Can’t wait to start this one as a treat for after exams!
~for those of you asking I had my first one today and will be finished on the 22nd June!~