I'm still alive. :D Just been having a bit of a tough pregnancy. After seeing various markers for serious genetic diseases on my 20 week ultrasound (plus bleeding and a placental concern) I entered a bit of a personal black hole. I was just so worried about my little girl's health and so busy with follow up doctor appointments and extra ultrasounds and blood tests and freaking out about things I read online. Seriously, google is not a pregnant woman's best friend - especially when doctors and geneticists start talking about congenital heart defects and trisomies 13 and 18 and Down's and Cystic Fibrosis and CMV... oh man - it's been rough. I was already extra emotional and unbalanced before all this happened.
But all the tests came back normal.
So...while there are things that we're still going to follow for the next four months (and I will have a doctor's appointment about every two weeks or more for a while) I really think I'm going to have a healthy baby at the end.
As far as reading, I have done a bit. But being stressed as I was I was never in the mood to read and I liked everything I read a whole lot less than I normally would. I've been in a bit of a slump. I've renewed library books as many times as possible until I've finally had to return them unread. I keep telling myself to just read Harry Potter or Pride and Prejudice or something I know I love to get out of my slump.
But they haven't been all bad. Here's what I've read (the title links to the book's goodreads page):
Fragments by Dan Wells. My rating: 3/5 stars. This is the sequel to Partials, which was totally thrilling, but I was totally bored by Fragments. I found it long and rambly and irritating. It's still interesting, and I probably would have liked it more if I'd read it at a different time.
The Pirate's Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke. My rating: 3/5 stars. This is the final book of this two book series and it just didn't do what I wanted it to do. While I liked The Assassin's Curse, I wanted more to happen in it. Unfortunately, The Pirate's Wish jams in way too much. Naji is awfully boring and quiet for a magical assassin and the romance was unbelievable for me with a horrible ending. There was too much swearing (plenty of "F" bombs) for me too. Overall, a disappointment.
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. My Rating: 3/5 stars. I heard this one touted as the next Fault in Our Stars, but for me it wasn't even close to that level of emotion and humor and beautiful writing. If I'm going to read a contemporary book about issues it better be worth it. This one was too depressing for me, too heavy, too creepy at the end. And when Park all of a sudden starts wearing eyeliner I was kind of grossed out. Maybe that's just me.
Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers. My Rating: 3/5 stars. It is much darker than the first. Sybella is a bit possessed and takes her assassin nun-ing seriously - but I also was fascinated by her back story. I liked the mix of history and magic, just wish it hadn't been so gruesome and sad. There is newborn infant murder in this book (yeah, not the best thing to read in my current situation). And the romance wasn't super convincing for me. But, bonus points for references to the Bluebeard fairy tale. This must be the year for Bluebeard.
The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy. My Rating: 5/5. This book was exactly what I needed. I read it right after finding out all my tests were normal and I was in the perfect mood to laugh off all my stress. This is a perfect sequel. Everyone I loved was back (plus some very enjoyable new characters!) with all sorts of fabulous character development and hilarious adventures. Yes, yes, yes!
Sean Griswold's Head, The Royal Treatment, and A Farewell to Charms by Lindsey Leavitt. My Rating (for all three): 4/5 stars. When I like an author I usually go on a reading binge. Lindsey Leavitt is a new favorite. Sean Griswold was a perfect contemporary teen book full of humor and real emotion and the last two books in the Princess for Hire series absolutely delivered. They are fun and sweet and magical and exactly what I thought the Princess Diaries books should have been. They pretty much scream made-for Disney movie, which was what I was in the mood for when I read them. I needed light. Go check out Lindsey Leavitt if you like the Princess Diaries movies or if you like Janette Rallison's books.
Precious Bane by Mary Webb. My Rating: 5/5 stars. Precious Bane is the shining star here. I knew I would love it and I'm only sad it took me so long to finally read this, since I've been hearing good things about it for years. This is a little older of a book (published in 1924), set in the 1800s in Shrophire about a girl born with a cleft palate. It started a little slowly for me (and the dialogue takes some getting used to), but the writing is gorgeous and the story so beautiful. I loved it for the romance and for the depth of the story. I kind of want to go back to college and write all my literary analysis papers about this book. I seriously loved it and highly recommend it if you like beautifully written classics.
That's the wrap-up for now. I'm going to try and be better but I make no promises. Now that I'm not so worried about my baby the nesting phase seems to have kicked in with gusto because I cannot sit still. I've been cleaning and crafting and sewing things. Since I have four months left still I just hope this doesn't mean I'm going to end up on bed rest or with a premie! For now I'm going to get things done while I still have energy, but I'm sure I'll be back to reading like crazy when it gets hot and I'm massively huge and can't bring myself to do anything else. :D Till next time!