Monthly Wrap-Up: July(Exhaustion, YALC and the Natural History Museum!)

As July came to an end, I soon realised how exhausted I was; clearly noticeable by the dark shadows beneath my eyes. It was a month packed with late nights and early starts, with the likes of YALC taking place in London, where we arrived at the hotel when it was approaching midnight - and, even after the long journey, I found myself walking to TESCO on the hunt for shampoo, which I had forgotten to pack. But, there were also times where I sat up writing until late, trying to forget that I had to be up in a few hours for lessons. Thankfully, at a point where I found myself falling asleep mid-afternoon, the school term drew to a close, and that final day was spent watching Frozen.

At the beginning of the month, I was finally able to go on my work experience placement, and I spent the week at a local primary school. I worked with Year One pupils at the beginning of the week, and then moved to Year Four, helping them prepare for a production of Joseph, at one point being handed face paints before a show. I couldn't stop signing the songs from the stage play for weeks after. It took me a few days to adjust to going to work; I didn't feel confident enough to boil the kettle in the staffroom until the Thursday! But, I soon started learning pupils' names and, when it came to Friday, I wanted to stay for another week.
Taking my newly-bought rucksack, I packed it with my camera and a stack of books for signings, ready to join the thousands of other tourists attempting to navigate the Underground. I absolutely adore London and could spend hours people-watching in Convent Garden, watching as different cultures mix-together. Initially, last month's four-hour car journey was to attend YALC(the UK's first Young Adult Literature Convention, curated by Malorie Blackman), but after going on the Saturday, I couldn't return for the Sunday. I spent most of the first day hiding in the toilets and trying to withstand the heat; pushing through crowds and attempting to listen to the panels. But, what made the weekend worthwhile was meeting fellow book bloggers, and starting conversations to pass the time in what seemed like endless queues. Throughout the day, signings were taking place, and I was able to meet Rainbow Rowell(eek!), Sarah Crossan and Natasha Ngan, who were all lovely.  I also found Laure Eve at the Hot Key Books stand, walking past a few times before approaching to check it was her, and started a conversation about her novel Fearsome Dreamer.
I also managed to visit Hamleys!
Since I first read Geek Girl by Holly Smale, I've been desperate to visit the Natural History Museum which Harriet Manners mentions in the novel, and with a free day on Sunday, I soon found myself working out what tube line we needed for South Kensington(after a man commented on how stressed my father looked on the Underground the day before, I took charge of the map reading). And soon, we were inside, beginning to explore the exhibitions, and I came face-to-face with the infamous blue whale, whose size I couldn't comprehend. This was at the top of my must-see list, and once I stopped staring at the whale - surrounded by orcas and dolphins - I spent time exploring the rest of the exhibition on Mammals, which became my favourite. What I loved about the museum was how much you could learn. I wanted to read everything, which was impossible in the time we had, not wanting to miss any piece of information.
I'm still behind three books behind on my target of thirty novels read this year, but now the holidays have begun, I'm hoping that I will catch up this month. In July, though, I managed to read two books, and also started another two - including Game of Thrones, which I've become addicted to this week. I'm almost 300 pages in at the moment, and after a rocky-start, have finally grasped the world and different houses. Before reading, I wasn't aware that it was told from multiple POVs, so that was a really great surprise; and those parts told by Eddard's children are really fun to read through.
I read:
Geek Girl #3: Picture Perfect by Holly Smale - The next instalment of this series was full of heart - and a little bit of humour - with a backdrop of New York. I loved the setting, the style of writing(Harriet's lists are always fun to read) and set of characters! ****
Half Bad(Half Life Trilogy #1) by Sally Green - When I saw this in WHSmith, I had to pick it up, especially after all the excitement at YALC. This was an interesting take on the world of witches, with heroes and villains, that I slowly sunk into. The second-person narrative was confusing, but the novel improved when that came to an end.  ****
Currently reading:
Game of Thrones(A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R.R. Martin - Page 277
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - Page 63
How was your July? Did you also attend YALC?
What were your thoughts?
Tell me in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. My July was stressful but had it's highlights. YALC was heaps of fun and then I was away for a week on holiday... I really want to go to that museum!! So jealous!

    Great post - glad July was a good month for you! :D


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