An Update On My Summer Bucket List // In Which I Watch Marvel Movies, Read, & See the Sunrise

Well, summer is over.

Part of me is sad about this, because my days spent reading and blogging as I pleased are over, and I’ve already returned to the routine of (online) school, dance, and with that comes stress. But I’m also very excited for fall to come soon and for the semblance of normalcy that’s already returned to my life with school and everything else. Summer being over means we’re making our way through 2020!

This summer will probably go down as one of the most abnormal summers of my life? Usually I would spend it reading, hanging out with my friends, possibly traveling- and yes, I did a lot of reading, but nothing else went the way it normally would have. I was able to spend time with friends outdoors occasionally, but I didn’t go anywhere and didn’t venture out of my house very often at all.

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Despite the setbacks and social distancing measures, this summer was not without its highlights: my whole family was at home, so we got to spend quality time together. I also had (almost too much) free time, and got to spend more time relaxing and doing things that interest me than I normally would.

At the beginning of summer (when I was naive and thought COVID might actually get better instead of worse where I live) I made a summer bucket list, so this is going to be my follow-up to that! I looked back at these goals a little bit, but not a lot, so I’m actually very curious to see if I mostly achieved them or mostly failed.

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5 Stories of Bloggers Finding The Blogging Community // Blogger Origins pt. 1!!

Hi, friends! Welcome to my newest feature on the blog, Blogger Origins.

I am way too excited for this post because I don’t think I can ever truly talk about how much I love the blogosphere and all the bloggers that are a part of it. Blogging takes so much time, dedication, and passion, so any chance to promote or show love for my fellow bloggers is a chance I’ll take (psst you can also vote in the Book Blogger Awards right now to show your appreciation for bloggers!).

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A combination of my desire to promote bloggers and my curiosity about how people found the blogging community culminated in the creation of a new series on Purely Olivia: Blogger Origins. Essentially, each post in the series will feature a handful of bloggers that have been kind enough to send me a short summary of how and why they started blogging.

My hope with this series is that you can not only find new blogs to follow and enjoy, but that you also might find it as interesting as I do to see how everyone’s blogging journey has come about! What I love is that everyone’s blogging origins are different, but somehow we were all led to connect here, and that’s pretty amazing.

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An Update on My 5 Star Predictions! // Exposing My Skills As a Psychic (7 Months Later)

Way back in January, when the world wasn’t turned upside down, I made some five star predictions.

I like how my January self thought that I would do an update post on what I ended up thinking about the books in March, and here we are in August and I just now finished reading them all (I think that’s fairly representative of 2020)…but even though it took me much longer than I thought to read them all, I did it within the year and I guess that can be some sort of accomplishment!

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I haven’t looked back on this list in a while, other than to occasionally see what books I still had left on it, so this post is basically going to be testing just how psychic my January self was. Or at least how well I know my reading tastes. (Although a fun fact is that my friends always joke that I’m psychic because I have pretty good intuition and I also somehow always manage to guess what song is going to be played right before it comes on, but I’m no Adam Parrish).

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July Recap // ft. Lots of Reading, Sunsets, & Folklore (+ Ask Me Questions for a Q&A!)

It’s August, my friends!

I’m not sure why, but I’m actually so happy that we’re officially in August of 2020. I think part of me thinks this year is going to drag on forever, so making it to another month feels like an accomplishment. We’re also a little bit closer to fall now, my favorite season- and the return to school (and dance for me) is here, too. I usually dread August, but I’m trying to go into this month with as much positivity as possible.

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Even though I didn’t really do much at all in July, because I had absolutely no commitments and the COVID situation where I live just keeps getting worse and worse, I still…did things? I might have not traveled anywhere or even left my house more than a few times, but I still had a productive month in the sense of reading and accomplishing some personal goals.

I’ve noticed in the past that July is always one of my more productive months in terms of blogging and reading, probably because it’s a full month of summer vacation for me and I usually don’t have any plans. Adding that to me being in quarantine (is it even still quarantine? I don’t know?), and I had even more free time on my hands! This resulted in worse mental health, but more free time spent on my hobbies and goals.

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The Folklore Book Tag // In Which I Love Taylor Swift and Reading Way Too Much

Taylor Swift released a new album, and in conclusion, I am not okay.

I don’t exactly have the words to explain my happiness when I found out about the surprise release of Folklore, but I won’t lie, there were tears. Taylor Swift has been my favorite artist since her debut album released and I spent hours laying on the floor next to my CD player memorizing every song, and while I’ve loved everything she’s put out, this album has a special piece of my heart.

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I could go on and on, but the lyrics (her best ever), storytelling, and genre (indie folk/soft pop/alternative?!) could not be more perfect. It’s genuinely my favorite album yet and!! I haven’t stopped listening to it or screaming about it since it released. So you can imagine my excitement when Ilsa created The Folklore Book Tag, and now I can talk about the album here while also talking about books!!

A major thank you to both Ilsa and Rhi for tagging me- I’ve loved talking about this album with both of them so far, so this was especially happy.🤍 I’m very much looking forward to talking about the songs, sharing my favorite lyrics at the end of each song, and tying them back to books using Ilsa’s prompts!! (Also, I will be using the graphics she created, so a thank you to her for that too.)

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Mini Reviews From Quarantine Pt. 2 // The Second Installment of Me Crying Over YA and MG Novels!

I’m back again with more mini reviews!

As I’ve said a few times, one of the good parts about quarantine for me has been getting back into reading frequently. I didn’t realize quite how much I’d gotten out of the habit of reading consistently until I recently looked back at some monthly recaps from late 2019 and saw that during the school year I sometimes…didn’t read anything at all the whole month.

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Knowing that I’ll probably be in a similar situation like that again (though at this point, I would welcome in-person school stress, knowing my school will probably be online for the foreseeable future), I’m trying to take advantage of all my free time to read as much as possible! That’s resulted in me having read a lot of books that I would very much like to scream about and recommend to you.

To follow up with my first mini reviews from quarantine post, I’m going to be reviewing (in a bullet point fashion) some more books I read so far during quarantine! I’m unfortunately very behind on my reviewing, so these are mostly ones that I read in May but I will be doing more to talk about ones I’ve read in June and July as well.

I’m writing this post while absolutely freaking out about Taylor Swift’s surprise announcement of her new album, Folklore, coming out in (at the time of me typing this) around six hours, so I feel kind of like I’ve just had ten shots of espresso. Hopefully my nervous and excited energy translates into enthusiastic reviews and not rambling, muddled ones??

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My Nominations for the 2020 Book Blogger Awards // Much Love & Appreciation for Blogs and Bloggers I Adore!!

It’s my favorite time of the year, the Book Blogger Awards!

My favorite part about blogging is the community, and I know many other bloggers relate to that sentiment. Having conversations with other bloggers about books we’ve read, discussing aspects of books and blogging, and connecting in the comments truly makes blogging worth it for me. That’s why the Book Blogger Awards are so special and exciting for me, because I get the chance to promote bloggers I adore!

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First off, a huge thank you to May and Marie for hosting this year’s awards! I can’t thank them enough for their dedication to recognizing and promoting book bloggers. If you’re interested in participating, you should definitely go read their posts (linked to their names) where they list all the rules and categories, especially since I didn’t nominate someone for every category.

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Ranking Romance Tropes in Books From Worst to Best!! // Aka Exposing My Inner Romantic

Tropes. What would books be without them?

The answer, naturally, is less cliche. But even though tropes represent major cliches in books, I definitely don’t think that undermines their ability to move a plot along, develop characters better, or overall make a reading experience more enjoyable! It really just depends on how they’re used, the frequently with which they’re used, and if they’re able to be effective in the story.

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There are a ton more tropes besides just romance ones, but I thought it would be fun to go through some of the most well-known tropes often seen in YA fantasy and contemporaries, and rank them according to how much I like reading them!! If I have a particular book (or books) that fit with the trope and I want to recommend, I’ll do that too.

This is just my opinion, and whether you agree with my ranking or not, I hope you can at least relate to some of this post- and I’m very much looking forward to the comments section because I would love to talk about what everyone else’s thoughts are on all of these. Without further ado, to the ranking!

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12 YA Book Recs Based Off TV Shows!! // Stranger Things, Gilmore Girls, Friends, & More

Fictional worlds have my whole heart.

I’ve been in love with books for as long as I can remember, and I think the fact that I’m even here, blogging about books, speaks to that. More recently though, maybe in the past three or so years, I’ve also fallen in love with fictional worlds in multiple TV shows. I love talking about both books and television, so I thought it would be fun to combine both of those loves into one post!

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So because I’m actually a Fangirl™ I’m going to be giving book recommendations based off of some of my favorite TV shows. My hope is that if you’ve seen the show and enjoyed it, you might be able to find some books to read. But alternately, if there’s a book you enjoyed, you might get a show recommendation as well!

Don’t take this as an exact translation, since I’m going to focus more on the overarching themes or specific characteristics for each book, but hopefully it can be a pretty accurate depiction of the show versus the books. Also, I think I’m being creative by writing this post?? But if it turns out it’s already been done, please know that I wasn’t aware.

So, for lack of a better way to start the post, let’s get to the recommendations!

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June Recap // Failing At Goals, But More Reading, New Music, & A Survey For You!

Another month of 2020 is over.

I feel like this is cause for celebration. We’ve made it to the seventh month of this horrible year, and that has to count for something, right? If there’s anything that this year has taught me, it’s that each day is a gift and I need to recognize how lucky I am to have every day that I do, so with that mindset, July is definitely a celebration.

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In honor of the new month, I’m going to recap everything that went on this past month! June was a strange haze of watching the news, scrolling mindlessly through social media, reading library books, and spending most of my time either at home or driving around aimlessly listening to music just to get out of the house.

It was one of those months that at the end I’m torn between wondering where it went and being glad that it finally ended- and I don’t have much more to say without mentioning everything I’m about to recap (I’m great at intros), so without further ado, let’s get into the actual post!

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