May 2015 Monthly Recap

Hi!

Monthly RecapHappy June! We are quickly approaching the middle of the year, and the longer days and stress-free nights of summer are mere weeks away. While my excitement for summer vacation is increasing by the day, I couldn’t let May go by without a brief monthly recap. As usual, I have a run-down of the book reviews, features, and other links of the past month; it’s perfect if you missed a post in the craziness of May. How is your summer shaping up?

Black Dove, White Raven{Elizabeth Wein delivers again with her latest release, Black Dove, White Raven. I would say I’m surprised, but I’ve learned to expect nothing less from the queen of historical fiction.}

Reads: Despite two nonfiction books I had to put on pause {my preferred way of saying “did not finish”}, I had a terrific month in reading – it was one good book after another! It was a terrific month in reviews too, as I shared my thoughts on several impressive YA novels throughout May.

  • The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne | “Jenn Marie Thorne’s novel, The Wrong Side of Right, had me excited. Marketed to fans of Sarah Dessen and Meg Cabot, this debut brings politics, family dynamics, and a hint of romance to the YA audience – and I loved every page of it.”
  • Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein | “Since she had nothing left to prove when I read Black Dove, White Raven earlier this spring, Wein’s most recent novel only confirms what I already knew: she can write historical fiction, and she can write it well.
  • Audacity by Melanie Crowder | “I’m so happy I picked up Audacity. Clara was a courageous and amazing woman, Crowder is a talented author to watch, and I’m a happy reader.”
  • Bone Gap by Laura Ruby | “I might as well continue with the “pros” of this five star read since I found so little fault in the novel: complex characters and relationships, diversity in a multitude of forms, and a number of haunting, well-written scenes.”
  • The Truth Commission by Susan Juby | “Told in “narrative nonfiction,” The Truth Commission follows its characters in their search for truth at their quirky art school, Green Pastures Academy of Art and Applied Design. It’s clever, it’s humorous, and it’s thoughtful.”
  • The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds {a throwback review posted on Lit Up Review} | “Grief is a challenging subject to discuss, much less write about, but Reynolds makes it seem effortless with his realistic portrayal of Matt’s loss.”

As you’ll see below, May was a month of middle grade reading; I devoured a number of adorable children’s novels, from a tale set at Fairy Tale Reform School {Jen Calonita’s Flunked} to the satisfying conclusion of a beloved series {Wendy Mass’ Graceful}. Last month’s reads brings my yearly total to 47 books – cue the excitement.

May 2015 BooksReviews will be coming your way this month!

May Recap RecipesEats: I’m saddened to say that I didn’t share a single recipe in May! Between Shrek rehearsals and student council commitments, my time in the kitchen was few and far between. To make up for my lack of baking, here are a few favorites from springs and summers past {fair warning: I can vouch for these recipes, but I can’t promise quality writing :)}.

Lemon Yogurt Cake | Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins | Scalloped Tomatoes | Homemade Oreos

Saint Anything{I had a blast putting together this recent Top Ten Tuesday post because there’s nothing I like better than stylish accessories and good books. Saint Anything looks like the first of the ten I will tackle!}

More: Musicals, fashion, and art all made an appearance on Ciao Bella in their respective features. This month’s Musical Moodboard was dedicated to my school’s production of Shrek, a humorous and rather green show. I posted the shorts I’m eyeing for the summer in May’s Style Snapshot, and finally, I honored talented illustrators and artists in a bright edition of Eye on Art. Other posts included another round of Font Freebies and a summery Top Ten Tuesday list of beach reads.

Peanut Butter Gelato{via Design Eat Repeat}

Favorites: With the number of blogs I read on the daily, choosing the posts to share in this section gets harder every month. The following few examples, however, caught my eye for their creativity and inspiration. Read them and spread some love.

  • I’ve often felt that Rory Gilmore, one of the main characters on Gilmore Girls, and I would be kindred spirits. You can imagine my delight, then, in coming across a well-compiled list of Rory’s study tips on Emily’s equally lovely site. Even if she is a fictional high schooler. Rory’s helpful hints are ones to remember as finals week comes closer.
  • I gravitate towards blog design posts with glee, especially when they are written by some of my favorite book bloggers! First up is Kaitlin’s thorough list of what not to include in a blog design. Her tips are a terrific resource for those new to blogging, but even veteran bloggers can use Kaitlin’s list as a refresher.
  • My other blog design choice of the month is Cee’s list of well-done blog designs. Though the sites are eye-candy in it of themselves, the content of their posts is just as wonderful. If you’re anything like me, you’ll read the post for inspiration, but you’ll leave Cee’s site with a growing Bloglovin’ feed.
  • I really enjoyed this post on different school approaches over at Design Mom. I have no intention to change my academic path as I continue in high school, but I do find the various options so fascinating to read about {and the comments are just as interesting}.
  • Finally, because we are nearing ice cream season, may I suggest whipping up a batch of Homemade Peanut Butter Gelato, as posted by Melissa from Design Eat Repeat?! My sister, a homemade ice cream extraordinaire, loved it, I loved it, and surely, you will love it. Yum!

Looking Ahead in June{via My Cute Graphics}

Looking Ahead: June is bound to be a good month with the end of school on its way! I have several events lined up as well: a Mumford and Sons concert next week, a few different awards ceremonies for the school year, and a class on Adobe Illustrator that starts up at the end of the month. While I’ll be busy, I won’t forget to make time for simple summer pleasures – like tackling my library piles!

Have a lovely Monday!

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