Quarterly Wrap Up // Jan to March 2021

Hi friends! Wow, WELCOME BACK to Wishing Upon a Star!! Eleanor is back in the groove of regular posting!! Cue the confetti!!

As you probably know, I took a hiatus from blogging in March so I could prioritize other pressing projects that were going on: my piano exam and my two writing projects, which were my long term book project and a short poetry piece I wrote for a book contest! I also tried to take better care of myself in March, because I’ve been so tired lately, with everything that’s going on. I’m just trying to get more sleep :p

Also…we have been blessed with not one but TWO Shadow and Bone trailers, dropped at the end of February and March. I …am in AWE. Complete, utter awe. It is an AMAZING time to be a Grishaverse fan, my friends, because come April 23 (I’m really just counting down the days nowβ€”20!!!!!!!!!) Netflix will have the Shadow and Bone TV series!! 8 episodes!! The show will combine the Grisha Trilogy (with Alina Starkov, the Darkling, and Mal) and the Six of Crows Duology (with Kaz, Inej, Jesper, Nina, Matthias, and Wylan). I know some people thought they should have just adapted the duology, as it was more well received than the trilogy, but I think it’ll be really exciting to see how they will combine the two!! The cast look PERFECT together, and those VISUALS. Plus, with Ms. Leigh’s stamp of approval on the show, I have great trust in it 😊

My cousin and I are going to watch the show together over FaceTime too, so that will definitely be one of the highlights of quarantine. 😌 I’m also saving these strawberry waffle-like cookies for the BINGING AESTHETIC. (Love you cuz πŸ’ž)

If this isn’t iconic, I don’t know what is.

So that was my quick life update and the intro of this post! Today, I’ll talk about what I read, what I watched, what music I listened to, and of course share some of my favorite posts from YOU, all from the past three months! Let’s dive in!

Books

So far, I’ve read around 25 books this year, but to be fair, 2 were picture books and 3 were parts of a larger poetry collection. However, I’ve really enjoyed all the books I’ve read! I read a lot of Middle Grade these past three months, including Clues to the Universe, Tilly and the Bookwanderers, Red, White, and Whole, Many Points of Me, and Sugar and Spite.

Fun fact: During my time off, I received TWO ARCs in the span of one week!! Sugar and Spite is one of them, and The Infinity Courts is the other. I’m just in shock I was able to get them, but it’s really thanks to the blog tour teams TBR and Beyond Tours and Turn the Pages. I’m incredibly grateful to them 😊

Clues to the Universe: I absolutely ADORED this one, and I really want to reread it soon. Ro and Benji were such compelling characters, and the plot wasn’t predictable at all. I loved how so many heartwarming moments were balanced with the heavier, sadder parts as well. 4.6/5 stars!

Tilly and the Bookwanderers: Such a cozy readβ€”the type of book you’d want to snuggle up with in bed, blankets over your head, accompanied by the whisper of pages and aroma of sweet candles! I loved the atmosphere of Pages & Co., and the characters felt very developed. Plus, I did NOT see that plot twist coming πŸ™ˆ 4.2/5 stars!

Red, White, and Whole: Stunningly told in moving verse, I was able to finish this book in one sitting, and it’s one of the few books that made me cry. The relationship between Reha and Amma was so beautiful and bittersweet. I only wished it was longer, but I’m being unreasonable. 4.4/5 stars!

Many Points of Me: This actually reminded me a little of Clues to the Universe! But while Ro tries to heal through building her rocket, Georgia tries to heal through the asterism paintings. I think I enjoyed Georgia and Theo’s relationship best, it was a really well developed and complex dynamic. 4.4/5 stars!

Sugar and Spite: I don’t want to say too much about this one right now, as I will be on an upcoming blog tour for it, so keep an eye out for that! But I will say that Jolina and Claudine were wonderfully created characters and I adored how Filipino culture was woven into the story. 4.5/5 stars!

Side note: Forgive my decimal ratings, I’m so choosy, I know πŸ™ˆ

Film

I was able to watch some incredible movies with my family these past few months! Particular favorites include Soul, Hidden Figures, On Pointe, Leap, and the Bourne series (particularly Bourne Ultimatum).

Soul: The animation was incredible, the themes were poignant and very relevant, I adored how Joe used piano to get in the zone, and 22 was adorable.

Hidden Figures: A touching film based on the real story of the African-American women who were a part of one of NASA’s greatest endeavors. I loved how persevering Katherine Johnson was, how Dorothy Vaughan took matters into her own hands, and Mary Jackson’s unwavering confidence.

On Pointe: A behind the scenes look of the students at the School of American Ballet, at the younger students’ preparation for the Nutcracker and the older students’ training for New York City Ballet. I found myself pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this series, and it was inspiring to see the dancers’ passion and dedication. Even though I’m not a ballerina, I am a pianist, and I think that no matter which art you choose to pursue, having passion and dedication for it will help you through the tough times.

Leap: This was a fantastic sports biopic, starring the amazing actress Gong Li as volleyball star Lang Ping. I was hooked from start to finish, and seeing so many Chinese women persevering through incredibly tough training brought me a sense of pride.

Bourne Ultimatum: This was that one Bourne film where I actually understood everything that was going on! The plot made so much sense, and of course Matt Damon was amazing at playing Bourne. The ending was also so symbolic and the perfect way to tie up the storyline.

Music

Okay…I’m going to make a confession.

These past few months, I’ve basically listened to Taylor Swift exclusively.

I’m not really sorry? But I know I need to listen to more artists πŸ˜…

BUT I’M GOING TO FANGIRL ABOUT HER NOW AND YOU CAN’T STOP ME.

Taylor Swift won Album of the Year for the THIRD time at the Grammys, being the first ever woman to do so, and only the fourth artist, joining the ranks of Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder!!!! And each time she’s won, it’s been for different genresβ€”country, pop, and alternative/indie!!!! TALK ABOUT TALENT.

I mean…every era, every album, every song…I never get tired of listening to her. She has a song for pretty much any mood, okay? Her lyrics, her vocals, everything…I just can’t get over it!!

Plus, every time I try out a song by her that I haven’t before, with very low expectations, that song will basically end up on repeat for the next week. HER POWER.

Right now, Call It What You Want, New Romantics, I Did Something Bad, 22, Red, Mine, Delicate, tolerate it, and happiness have been playing on repeat for me, but I’m constantly finding more of her songs to enjoy (she has 9 albums and she’s re-recording most of them okay?!).

Posts from You!

All you lovely bloggers put out such incredible content consistently, and if I named all the posts I’ve enjoyed seeing from you, we’d be here for hours. But I hope that you can find some new posts to enjoy from this list, and go show these bloggers some support!

Olivia discusses why she loves fictional characters and I guarantee you will be nodding along and smiling when you read her postβ€”or any of her posts, for that matter.

Alice pairs Jane Austen characters with bookmarks and I’m not joking when I say it is one of the most creative posts I’ve ever seenβ€”plus I laughed a lot while reading it.

Ash matches songs and playlists with books and you will be in awe of her brillianceβ€”I hope she makes this a blog feature!

Sophie takes us through the experience of writing a zero draft and you will definitely walk away with new insightsβ€”and want to try out a zero draft.

Introverted Thoughts presents us with yet another gorgeous poem, and her imagery and way with words will leave you stunnedβ€”in a good way, of course.

Sofii presents a comprehensive list of book bloggers and it’s so clear she put lots of time and effort into this postβ€”trust me, you’ll find many bloggers to support there!

A big thank you to Abby for providing resources to Stop Asian Hate as well as 20 upcoming YA releases by Asian authors. It’s been so shocking and heartbreaking to learn about what’s been happening across the country. Let’s take the time to find ways to support the Asian community.

And…that’s a wrap!

How have you been? Any new favorite books? What are your most anticipated releases? Anyone else planning to binge Shadow and Bone? Have you been listening to Taylor Swift? If you have recommendations by Asian authors or books that properly represent Asian characters, I’d love to see them. Tell me everything in the comments below! I can’t wait to hear from you πŸ˜‰

16 Comments

  1. Ooh i loved both Soul and Hidden Figures – they’re both simply amazing!! I know the Shadow and Bone trailer isπŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™ I’m so glad you’re back from your hiatus! I’m looking forward to read more of your posts!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes!! I’m so glad you enjoyed them too 😊 I will probably be ranting about the trailers until April 23 and even then I will rant about the show itself longer πŸ˜‚ Thank you so much Jan, you’re too kind!! πŸ₯Ί

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It was such a fun time reading your quarterly wrap. I found myself kept nodding and smiling at certain phrases. Love Taylor and her talents! Her songs can really tug at our heartstrings.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. YESS β€οΈπŸ’•πŸ₯° okay so I was scouring the store nearby for those strawberry waffle-like cookies β€” except I didn’t know what they were really called, so couldn’t find them 😭 (help what are they actually called? πŸ˜‚)

    YAY SUPER EXCITED FOR S&B. usually I don’t get so hyped about shows or movies ’cause I don’t watch a lot of that stuff BUT THIS IS DIFFERENT. I’ll be counting down the days with you;) πŸ˜…πŸ˜‡

    wow 25 books!! congrats! I read Clues to the Universe too after your high praise and enjoyed it very much. Ro is def an iconic, ambitious, and inspirational character.😎😌

    Taylor Swift is awesome, her songs vary in style so she literally doesn’t get boring. I like Enchanted and Love Story and will be listening to the songs you mentioned haha!😁

    you entered a contest with a poetry piece? that is so impressive! writing poetry is so quirky and romantic and cool lol. πŸ’

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 😌 πŸ˜‰ LOL I think it is the Double Romance French Cookie Gift Box – Vienna Coffee BUT IF ALL ELSE FAILS wafers work too πŸ˜‚

      OMG RIGHT I haven’t been so hyped for a show in a looooooong time. YAY 20 DAYS.

      Hehe thanks!! Aw I’m so happy you picked it up from my recommendation, and glad you enjoyed!! RO!! She has that “I love learning for learning’s sake” aura that I rarely see in characters but love so much 😊

      YES Taylor is so versatile and each era is just!! POWER!! Love Story is legendary – plus you were the one to introduce it to me! I just listened to Enchanted and WOW ✨

      Hehe I did! Thank you so much! Lol quirky is a good way to put it, but definitely romantic ☺️

      Like

  4. So happy to see one of your posts back in my notifications Eleanor! πŸ₯° Soul was a lovely, heartwarming movie, while the main characters of Hidden Figures were all such inspirations 🀩

    AND OMG SHADOW AND BONE. I haven’t gotten a chance to watch the second trailer yet but omg I am SO HYPED. Book adaptations are really hard to get right and I don’t watch a lot of them in general but S&B is a special exception πŸ˜‰ I’m so excited to see how they merge the SoC timeline with the original trilogy 😍

    Great wrap-up Eleanor!! I hope you have a wonderful April πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah thank you so much Abby!! πŸ’• I love seeing your posts in my Reader!!

      I loved how thought provoking Soul was and those animations ✨ And Hidden Figures is so iconic!! 🀩

      YES I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU TO WATCH IT. I wish there were more book adaptations that satisfied the majority of us bookworms, but we rightfully have high expectations!! YEP and S&B has Ms. Leigh’s approval AND she was involved in the writers’ room and even in a CAMEO so I have great trust in it 😁 There are…theories about how SoC will merge with SaB based on the trailer, but I don’t want to spoil!! It involves…the HEIST part, I will tell you that πŸ˜‚

      Thank you so much again, and I hope your April is marvelous too ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aww thank you so much Eleanor!! ❀️

        I had no idea Leigh herself is going to be making a cameo! That’s just another good sign, right?? 🀩 Ooh the HEIST? πŸ‘€πŸ˜‚ Color me intrigued! I really need to take a look at the trailer ASAP!!

        πŸ’–πŸ’–

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Eleanor welcome back!! ❀️ SHADOW AND BONE SHADOW AND BONE! 😍 ah I’m so excited for that one too, but to still need to find the time to squeeze in the trilogy before the 23rd… I have high hopes that this will be a case where the movie is nearly on par with the book! Lovely wrap up, thank you for sharing all the posts from the community- I’ll be checking them out… have a wonderful April!! πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Cherelle!! πŸ’• YES IT IS COMING AT LAST!! Hehe I finished the trilogy recently πŸ˜… and read it just for the show. I believe the show actually merges both SaB and SoC timelines (so theories are that the HEIST will be different) so I wanted to be all caught up lol. Although it should be fine, I just read it when I had the time πŸ˜‚ I hope you enjoy the posts I listed, they’re all fantastic reads!! Thank you again Cherelle, and have a lovely April too!! ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m freaking out over Shadow & Bone!!! I think the series will be more than epic, and I can’t wait to see my babies made flesh and blood πŸ˜„πŸ‘πŸ»βœ¨ & Thank you SO much for mentioning the bloggers list, I hope it’s helpful and that we can all take some time and share and support each other ❀️❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too Sofii!! It’s going to be INCREDIBLE watching the show, and the cast is perfect together, their chemistry shows through EVEN IN THE TRAILER. My pleasure, thank YOU for taking the time to compile such a comprehensive list!! A wonderful place to discover more friends πŸ’ž

      Liked by 1 person

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