I’m Finally Back?? (what i’ve been up to during my unexplained absence)

hello everyone! i’ll refrain from saying welcome back because i’m the one who ghosted you guys 😭 another post, another four-month-long break, amirite? i find that april-june is the most chaotic school season for me and i do not exaggerate when i say that my brain has been FRIED these past few months. between ap exams, final projects, final exams, and one of the most traumatizing group project experiences of my life, i was just about to combust. thank goodness school is over.

i still have a bunch of summer commitments but i really really want to get back into blogging again. i say this everytime i come back from an unexplained hiatus but i’ve genuinely missed being here so much. today, i just want to catch you guys up on everything i’ve been up to recently and not-so-recently as a prelude to some (hopefully) prolific blogging this summer 🤗 so let’s get started!! 

(if you’re wondering why i’m suddenly typing in all lowercase: one thing i’ve realized from computer science this semester is that capitalization is overrated and surprisingly energy-draining. also i’m just lazy 🥲) (and i see wordpress got rid of the ultra-small text editor while i was gone. thank goodness 😭)

📚 books 📚

  • i finally jumped on the hype train for a good girl’s guide to murder by holly jackson! and y’all were right about this one—it was even better than what i was expecting, which is saying something! pip was such an amazing character and her thing with ravi was actually the cutest thing ever. the mystery itself took me on a RIDE. i’m really excited to pick up the sequels (eventually)!
  • i also jumped the hype train for daisy jones & the six! i wasn’t a huge fan of taylor jenkins reid’s novella (evidence of the affair) but this one suited my fancy so well. the scandalous retro vibes, mixed with the domesticity of billy’s relationship with camila and daisy’s raw coming-of-age arc, made for a combination that i didn’t know i needed. and the interview format?? 😚 the ending, in terms of how the band breaks up, was perfectly done, but the last chapter felt way too saccharine for me. i get that we needed to see the final outcome and where all the characters ended up, but it was such a huge contrast to the rest of the book that it took me out of it. otherwise, would definitely recommend! (but do check the content warnings before reading)
  • not here to be liked by michelle quach was so good!! everything—the rom-com vibes, the east asian rep, the conversations about racism and sexism. it’s all i’ve ever wanted 🙌 can’t recommend it enough!
  • the ivory key by akshaya raman was one of my most anticipated books of the year but it turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. i loved the individual characters, but where oh where was the sibling tension that i was promised?!??! i wanted crackling resentment, screaming matches, angry sibling love confessions, bitterness and ANGST. instead… all of that was just brushed aside in favor of the sweeter moments? i would still definitely recommend it for fans of adventure and indian-inspired world-building.
  • when you get the chance by emma lord was SO CUTE but also unexpectedly emotional?? the relationships were all so amazingly written: platonic, romantic, and familial. perfect for lovers of romance and musicals.
  • my brilliant friend by elena ferrante was an actual masterpiece. i had to read it for school and i was expecting a boring italian history textbook disguised as a novel, but it was 200% better than anything i could have imagined. the characters, the writing, the eponymous friendship—it was all perfectly done. it’s unexpectedly violent too, and ferrante’s writing captures those vibes incredibly well. lenù and lila’s relationship was literal *chef’s kiss*. their individual personalities, in all their flawed glory, blend together in an equally flawed but life-changing relationship that broke my heart. this is the first in a quartet, and i’m really looking forward to continuing the series!! everyone, READ IT. 

🎶 music 🎶

  • first of all, i was lucky enough to watch hadestown live over spring break!!! it was my first time ever watching a live broadway show with the original cast. i won’t ramble on here but it was absolutely surreal and one of the best experiences of my life. the live show had such a raw, emotionally visceral quality to it that no audio will ever be able to replicate. the staging, singing, acting, lighting, everything 😭
  • i also started listening to the cast recordings for little women and between the lines and i am heads over heels. 

you know how i used to exclusively listen to musical theater? between the time i last posted and now, i may or may not have taken a bit of a dive into other genres… 

  • first of all, TAYLOR SWIFT??? i took the plunge into her work after an irl friend couldn’t stop raving about folklore, and ahhh?? the lyricism, the melodies, the overall vibes of every album have me in LOVE. i’ve listened to all but her very first and i am quite obsessed with them all. i can’t choose between red tv, fearless tv, lover, and speak now for my favorite album (watch me name her whole discography lol).
    • my fave tracks include but are definitely not limited to “this is me trying” (folklore), “long story short” (evermore), “forever winter” (red tv), “breathe” (fearless tv), “the story of us” (speak now), and “cruel summer” (lover).
    • in other words, you are now free to tag me in any and all ts-related book tags 👍
  • and then we have bts. can you believe that i’ve never listened to k-pop before? it started with wanting to learn their names after watching their grammy performance and now i’m in at the deep end of their discography. their songs are so much deeper and more meaningful than i was expecting, especially with the messages about self-love and the incorporation of their own rags-to-riches story. AND they’re catchy. AND they’re in korean (the vast majority of them, anyway).
    • for the record, my current bias is jin—his voice is the most ethereal, beautiful thing i have ever heard?? the sheer talent. how this man belts like that in the female range will forever be beyond my understanding.
    • my fave tracks include but again are not limited to “miss right” (skool luv affair), “butterfly” (the most beautiful moment in life, pt. 2), “moon” (map of the soul: 7), “spring day” (you never walk alone), “mikrokosmos” (map of the soul: persona), “awake” (wings), “stay” (BE), and “run bts” (proof).
    • let me know if you have any k-pop artists you think i should check out—i’m ready to expand my horizons!

📺 shows 📺

  • twenty-five, twenty-one. watch it for retro vibes, platonic relationships that will melt your heart, romance that will have you screaming crying throwing up, and depression. 
  • business proposal. cute and sweet and good enough for a weekly happy pill, but not that good? i don’t really get why people are calling it one of the best dramas ever made 😭 a lot of clichés (not necessarily a bad thing) and worth a watch if you need something mindless.
  • sh**ting stars. daresay better than business proposal. i again fell for a side character who got much too little screen time. it kind of dragged in the middle but overall, a cute rom-com with some heavier topics. disclaimer that the portrayal of africa as a continent is a bit… questionable. like that time the female lead said that the male lead spoke “african” 🤔 
  • cinderella and the four knights. this was so bad it was kind of funny. the first 2-3 episodes were fine, but then it just went downhill from there. everything was either (a) absurd, (b) nauseatingly cringeworthy, or (c) both. similar vibes to boys over flowers but worse??
  • 18 again. more depression. second-chance romance and marriage-in-crisis always hit different.

🌻 plans for the summer 🌻

none of this is set in stone but here are some books i’d like to read during the summer! let me know if anyone is up for a buddy read.

  • the no-show by beth o’leary (currently reading and i am SO intrigued)
  • clockwork angel by cassandra clare (what’s all this about jem and will and forgetting the color of someone’s eyes??)
  • you, me, and our heartstrings by melissa see (proposed buddy read with the lovely saniya)
  • tokyo dreaming by emiko jean (more and more serotonin)
  • the silence that binds us by joanna ho (prepared for heartbreak)

i’d also like to, as i said, post a bit more (💀) here, blog-hop, and maybe schedule some posts for the fall? again, completely subject to change. but here’s to hoping!

and that’s it for today! let me know down in the comments how you guys have been doing and what you thought of all my ramblings! any recommendations or anything you’d like to see in future posts? talk to me please, i’ve missed you all 😭

thank you so much for reading and see you soon! 💖

24 thoughts on “I’m Finally Back?? (what i’ve been up to during my unexplained absence)

  1. ABBY!!! 🤗🥳🤗🥳 It’s so nice to see you around again!! You’ve definitely been missed!!

    It looks like you were up to a lot of cool things while you were gone, though! That Hadestown experience sounds absolutely epic (Nope, definitely not jealous here 😁😂), and you read so many books I absolutely adore! And I love your reasoning for switching to all lowercase typing 🤣

    Anyway, I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us, and welcome back! 💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ahhh naemi!! thank you so much 🤩 i’m so glad to be back!!

      hadestown was definitely one of the highlights of my hiatus. sorry about any inadvertent hatred i might have caused 😅 haha can you tell i was not a fan of computer science? 🙈

      thanks so much for the warm welcome naemi!! it’s always lovely talking to you 💛💛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. HII ABBY good to see you back!!
    ahh when you get the chance is an absolute favourite of mine too,, though i didn’t really enjoy not here to be liked. buut yass taylor swift supremacy!!! oooo i LOVED the infernal devices trilogy, hopefully you will too🤞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. rachel!! so nice to talk to you again 🥰 oh no i guess not all books are for everyone after all 🙈 but i’m so happy to hear you enjoyed when you get the chance and the infernal devices!! can’t wait to get my hands on clockwork angel. and obviously taylor swift is our queen 👑


  3. omg welcome back abby!! YESSS i’m so glad you like bts, they’re the absolute lomls 🥺 i really enjoyed not here to be liked too, i was such a cute yet important read! and i dnfed the ivory key oof- i was really excited for it but it just so disappointing 😭

    can’t wait to see more from you soon <33

    Liked by 1 person

    1. prutha!! omg YES bts has taken over my life at this point and i’m not complaining honestly. i’m so happy to hear you also enjoyed not here to be liked… and relieved to hear i wasn’t the only one who was let down by the ivory key 😭

      ahh thank you so much prutha 💖 it’s so nice talking to you again 🥺

      Liked by 1 person

  4. OMG ABBY WELCOME BACK!!! so glad you liked not here to be liked!!! and welcome to the army fandom, bts is such a joy in my life 💖 you should check out TXT’s music too! can’t wait for your new posts 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. AHHHHH ABBY HIII AND WELCOME BACK!!! I absolutely LOVE this post obviously and omgg YOUR WRITING IS AMAZING, OKAY?!! Hcwjgdqjgqd yayy to enjoying a good girl’s guide to murder AND ALSO daisy Jones!! ALL THAT YOU SAID ABOUT THEM MAKES ME SO EXCITED TO PICK THEM UP!! also ummm I may have gotten ridiculously excited when you mentioned ‘life-changing relationship that broke my heart’ and maybe had to reread your post from after my brilliant friend BECAUSE EXCITEMENT?? IVE NEVER HEARD OF THE BOOK BEFORE BUT IT SOUNDS SO SO GOOD?!!!! AHHHHHHH 


    Liked by 1 person

    1. aww thank you so much anoushka you’re the sweetest 🥺❤️ yess you SHOULD be excited for agggtm and daisy jones, they’re both amazing!! and omg omg i am ECSTATIC to hear my brilliant friend is now on your radar—as it should be 🤩

      ahhh you’re making me blush with this comment anoushka 🙈 you are the absolute kindest. i hope you have an awesome summer as well 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hii Abby welcome back! 🥰 So awesome to see your blog posts again!!! Need to read Not Here To Be Liked, it sounds wonderful. I never found the time to listen to bts until this year actually. There’s only a couple songs I listen to on repeat but their music is always so fun to listen to!

    looking forward to reading all your new posts 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ABBYYYY!! welcome back!! i cannot believe i’ve taken this long to comment on your post but yes!! unintended-hiatus buddies 😭💗 a good girl’s guide to murder is SO MUCH FUN omg i loved it so much!! pip and ravi’s relationship was the cutest thing and i loved the basic plotline and the whole mystery so much as well!! 🥰 i really need to read books by tjr and i’ve been putting it off for way too long so it’s good to hear you loved daisy jones & the six!! ALSO YES WE STAN NOT HERE TO BE LIKED IT WAS SUCH AN AMAZING BOOK 😍

    hadestown live sounds like such an amazing experience omg!!!! i’ve only watched musicals on west end with the original cast – not broadway but i’m so glad you enjoyed it!!! 🥰 taylor swift is the absolute BEST and i’m so glad you love her too now omg her songwriting her EVERYTHING is just 📈📈 i don’t really listen to kpop but everyone seems to love bts hahaha <33

    skjfnsdkjfns it seems like you didn't really love computer science but like naemi – i love your reasoning for typing in all-lowercase 😭😭

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHAANA thank you so much 🥹 yesss i completely agree, agggtm is so worth the hype!! i really need to get onto the rest of the series asap—from what i’ve heard it just gets even better from here 😍 and omg i would definitely recommend daisy jones & the six based on how i’m still not over its vibes!! AND YAS NOT HERE TO BE LIKED >>>

      ahhhh yes hadestown was absolute gold!! that’s ironic because it’s one of my bucket list items to watch a musical on the west end 😭 and OMG TAYLOR SWIFT. i cannot believe it took me this long to discover her stuff but it has been so worth it 🤩

      was it that obvious lolll 😭 the class was fine for the most part but the final project traumatized me to no end. if there’s one thing i gained from that project it was my realization about typing in lowercase 😌

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hiiii welcome back!! So lovely to see you back again and I look forward to reading your posts.

    I have been busy with moving house and not been so well, so haven’t been blogging much the last few months, though I have been trying to keep a slow (very slow) but steady rhythm of posting when I can.

    Hope you enjoy all your reads and have a great summer! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much for the kind words MT!! oh no i’m so sorry to hear that you haven’t been feeling great, though i hope the move has gone well! 🥰 i completely relate—the struggle to post consistently is REAL. i hope you’re doing better and i’m super excited to catch up with all your posts ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s been so long since I checked back in with the lovely blogosphere 😭 seeing your posts in my feed truly boosted my serotonin!!

    My Brilliant Friend was a stunner, wasn’t it? Ferrante’s writing is literally on another level, and it’s just so distinct? I picked up her collection of essays “In the Margins” right after My Brilliant Friend, and I really enjoyed it. Maybe you will too?

    AAAAAA FELLOW SWIFTIE. I think long story short is my favorite off evermore haha, and this is me trying is one of my favorite folklore songs. I went through a “The Story of Us” phase a while ago—the music video screams dark academia vibes haha. CRUEL SUMMER IS A LITERAL VIBE, I’ve been listening to it now more than ever (what with it being the summer and all lol) Taylor’s music is so >>>, I’ll always have a soft spot for the entire reputation album.

    Ooh I hope you enjoy Clockwork Angel. I had high hopes for it (it IS one of the most lauded YA series lol) but it just felt kind of tropey to me :(( But one of the things I did like was Jem and Will’s friendship, it was >>

    Hopefully I will have the honor of reading more of your posts soon! Have a great rest of your summer! ☀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ahhh i’m so happy to hear that eleanor 😭 and omg you read my brilliant friend!! i absolutely and completely agree, ferrante’s writing is just… something else. the straightforward, unembellished narration amplifies the emotion to 200% 🤩 ooh i haven’t heard about in the margins—thank you so much for the recommendation, i’ll definitely have to check it out 💕

      YES I CAN FINALLY SAY THAT I’M A SWIFTIE 🥺 omg fellow “long story short” stan?? “this is me trying” tops my “existential angst” playlist and always will. i’m never getting over “i was so ahead of the curve, the curve became a sphere.” and of course “the story of us” is absolutely iconic 😍 YAS the vibes of “cruel summer” are EXQUISITE. i can’t believe i didn’t list any rep tracks here, but they’re all such icons. “getaway car” and “dancing with our hands tied” >>>

      oh no so sorry to hear that!! i’m glad though that the friendship was a standout—it’s actually one of the main reasons i’m really excited to read the series 💖 unfortunately, my library got rid of its copy of clockwork angel for some reason so i’m probably not going to be able to read it this summer lol 😭

      ahh thank you so much eleanor!! your lovely comments always make me smile 🥹 hope you have an amazing summer as well!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. First of all, I am in love with the design of your blog! It’s so gorgeous! 😍 And welcome back!
    And then… Taylor Swift and BTS! I’m so glad you discovered them, all of them are such amazing artists! You chose really great songs favourites, I also am in love with Cruel Summer and this is me trying!! And BTS… welcome to the club, haha And you’re 100% right, Jin’s voice is just another level.
    I’ve heard a lot of good things about My Brilliant Friend, I need to pick it up someday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. omg thank you so much morgan!! you’re the sweetest ❤️ and ahh yes i’m absolutely thrilled to hear that!! “cruel summer” and “this is me trying” are both absolutely amazing, i’m glad you agree 😭 and believe me, i am so so happy to join the club haha. i’ve just visited your blog and i see “epiphany” is one of your faves (which i can’t believe i didn’t mention)—i just wanted to say you have excellent taste 🥺 and my brilliant friend is definitely worth the read 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

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