MONTHLY UPDATE: October 2018

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~ LIFE IN GENERAL ~

 

Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I am utterly exhausted after this October! Progress on everything has been slow due to the culmination of a number of university projects, and now that they’re done I have to buckle down and study for exams. Anyway! My life highlights and key milestones from this month are:

  • finishing my penultimate semester at uni…well, the teaching period anyway, as I have exams coming up in November
  • managing to NOT have a mental breakdown amidst all my myriad commitments (is that an achievement?!)
  • reaching (almost) 750 followers on Twitter and (almost) 200 followers on Instagram (thanks for the love, guys!! 😍)

 

 

~ WRITING PROGRESS ~

 

Holding Up the Sky

 

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So, I made literally 0% progress on my contemporary YA novel Holding Up the Sky this month. But I’m okay with that. I’ve been working on it pretty steadily and I was in desperate need of a break given the hellish few weeks I had with uni assignments. Exciting news, though—I’ve decided to make finishing this third draft of Holding Up the Sky my goal for NaNoWriMo 2018 (learn more here)! I have ~45k words left, maybe less, so I’m going to give it my best shot throughout the month of November! I’ll keep you posted on how that goes, and in the meantime, you can read Chapter 1 here!!

STATUS: writing draft #3

WORD COUNT: 40,350 / 85,000 (47.5%)

 

 

Blood of Old (Graceborn #1)

 

Blood of Old (1)

The world-building for my WIP fantasy series Graceborn is coming along excellently! I got an ENORMOUS chunk done this month, which has tied together a number of cosmological and historical aspects that have been troublesome for quite a while. My world-building “to-do list” has been significantly reduced, and I now only have a handful of things to finalise before I can start on the second draft of Blood of Old, the series’ first installment. At the moment, I should be on track for beginning that in December.In the meantime, you can check out a few excerpts from Blood of Old here and here.

STATUS: conducting first-round edits

WORD COUNT: 166,000

 

 

~ NEW BLOG POSTS ~

 

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~ BOOKS I READ ~

 

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

 

35529926The capital has fallen, and the Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne. Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army. Alina believes the firebird is the one thing that could save them all—but claiming it could cost her everything.

MY THOUGHTS: I really enjoyed this final installment of the Grisha trilogy! Nikolai is still definitely my favourite, and I was surprised by how Zoya grew on me. I did NOT see the twist about the third amplifier coming, and that probably made the book for me!

GENRE: high fantasy | YA

SERIES: The Grisha Trilogy #3

 

 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

 

12000020Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime.

MY THOUGHTS: I see what all the fuss is about now! I adored this book, and its depiction of the teenage mind was absolutely incredible. Ari was such a fantastic narrator and you just can’t help but love Dante. Definitely recommended!!

GENRE: (contemporary)| YA | LGBT+

SERIES: (stand alone)

 

 

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

 

23395680The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit. But their problems are only getting started…

MY THOUGHTS: Wow. This has gone to be one of the most unique books I’ve ever read, and again, I understand the hype now. It took me a while to get into it, but once I did…boy oh boy did I get into it. Also…does anyone else just really, really want an AIDAN?!

GENRE: sci-fi | YA

SERIES: The Illuminae Files #1

 

 

Found by Fleur Ferris

 

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Beth Miller had lived in Deni her entire life. In a small rural town, Beth’s biggest problem is telling her protective and fiercely private father that she has a boyfriend. But when her dad disappears before her and Jonah’s eyes, Beth discovers that he isn’t who she thought he was. Her family’s secret past has caught up with them, and someone wants her dead… 

MY THOUGHTS: The thing I liked most about this book was the fact it’s set in Australia. I need more books set in my own country! Found was quite short, so I felt there was a bit of character development missing, but it was full of action and overall pretty enjoyable.

GENRE: contemporary | YA

SERIES: (stand alone)

 

 

Celestial Bones by Holly Evans

 

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Niko thought everything was starting to fall into place. Then the world came crashing down around him. What started as a tedious job watching over some old elf-god bones quickly turned into blood rituals with him as the intended sacrifice, betrayal by one of the few people he trusts, and a whole lot of zombies. And it’s all down hill from there.

MY THOUGHTS: Poor Niko just can’t get a break! I loved watching his and Alasdair’s relationship continue to develop, and the world sure is going to hell! Things felt a little rushed during this book, but its paranormal goodness was just what I needed at the time 🙂

GENRE: paranormal | LGBT+

SERIES: Forged in Blood #3

 

 

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

 

39340341Aelin Galathynius’s journey from slave to king’s assassin to the queen of a once-great kingdom reaches its heart-rending finale as war erupts across her world. As the threads of fate weave together at last, all must fight if they are to have a chance at a future…and a better world.

MY THOUGHTS: This book was EVERYTHING I hoped it would be and more!! I flew through this nearly 1000 page epic in a handful of days (and amidst assignments), and the withdrawal is now so great I’ve had to go all the way back to the beginning to read the whole series again! A worthy conclusion to one of the best sagas I’ve ever read ❤

GENRE: high fantasy | YA/NA

SERIES: Throne of Glass #7

 

 

~ QUOTE OF THE MONTH ~

 

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I had a LOT of favourite quotes from Kingdom of Ash, most of which are far too spoilerish to publish here. In the end, I selected the “Nameless is my price” quote (which goes on for longer, but again, *spoilers*) because it’s probably my favourite quote from the entire series. Those four little words feel so powerful to me, and the excerpt in KoA from which they’re taken…just wow. I adored that whole scene. What’s your favourite KoA quote? Can you talk about it without any spoilers haha 😂

 

 

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Was your October as busy or as hectic as mine? What books did you read and which were your favourite? Are you planning on taking part in NaNoWriMo 2018 next month?

 

 

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Rebecca Alasdair

  One thought on “MONTHLY UPDATE: October 2018

  1. 30/10/2018 at 10:52 PM

    Here’s hoping next month isn’t as hectic for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 01/11/2018 at 1:59 PM

    You got this, kid. Bring it on! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 04/11/2018 at 1:04 AM

    I hope next month is simpler. Calm comes after the storm. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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