Summer TBR Kick Off + Soft Launch of New Website

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Hello friends,

I’m formerly THE WOLF & BOOKS. I took a blogging hiatus to spend some time on other endeavors before relaunching as DARLING, LET’S BE WILD. You can check out the story behind the name here.

I decided to do a “soft launch” since I have not yet bought a domain for my website name. My current theme is temporary and my website banner was quickly put together in Canvas. There are still many changes I want to make before the official launch but I missed you all too much to stay away!

What’s New

My new website will include think pieces and creative musings, my novel writing ventures,  travels and adventures, and self-care. Of course, there are still book reviews, just less frequently.

And because I won’t ever forget my true roots as a book blogger, I’m sharing with you the start of my Summer TBR.

June TBR

Other books on my TBR I want to get to are some Book of the Month backlist selections. I am trying to finish a majority of my BOTM picks because it’s super easy to subscribe to receiving books without actually reading them. I picked these thrillers to finish this summer:

  • Miracle Creek by Angie Kim
  • The Whisper Man by Alex North

Upcoming Blog Posts

  • Book Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman
  • My Birthday Weekend in Asheville, NC.
  • My Reverse Bucket List
  • 30 Things  I Learned Before Turning 30
  • And more!

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Life Updates

  • I recently turned THIRTY. And that change came with many doubts and realizing I’ve struggled with imposter syndrome. I don’t feel successful in any way. But then I look around and most people my age are stumbling around in the dark.
  • My reading this year has been the absolute worst. Most of the books I have read have been  okay. I haven’t feel emotionally invested or super excited in most of what I’ve been reading. I think my brain is still recovering from 2020.
  • I deleted my Twitter. At first I thought I might return before the 30 days and reactivate it, but Twitter no longer serves me. My mind feels clearer, I’m a lot more productive, and I feel more at peace. I find social media activism emotionally draining and often times there’s little room for nuance in these so-called discussions.
  • My summer calendar is filling up, which is funny because I’m not normally a summer person (my heart is always in Fall). I’m so excited to see friends and family again.
  • That being said, I don’t really have any summer goals. Nothing beyond finishing my novel and continuing to exercise. I would like to read 20 books, write every day, practice my photography, and work on my copyediting a little bit more—but if 2020 has taught me anything about plans, it’s don’t make any! My intentions for the summer are to take every day a little at a time and spend time with every one I love and cherish the moments we have. That is more valuable than any goal I accomplish.

I’m looking forward to this new phase in my life and I hope you all with join me!

With Love,

Blog Sign

Blog Update + Hiatus Announcement

Blog Annoucement

Since starting this blog in 2017 as Through Prose Tinted Pages, I’ve written over 300 posts! Now I’m Almost 30 and my tastes and interests have certainly changed. I miss blogging the way people used to circa 2005 before it became about sponsorships and influencing. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I just miss the personal, deep stuff.

That is why I’m re-launching my blog to focus on creative lifestyle and musings about my life as an artistic person. I want to write about creativity from a more vulnerable place. I’m a little nervous because I’m going to be sharing more about how I feel with hundreds of strangers with a bleeding heart. That’s scary.

Before you ask—YES, there will still be book reviews! I still consider myself a book blogger but with expanded topics. Initially, I planned to launch my new blog from scratch but I already have small readership here so I decided to “recycle” my old blog instead.

What will change?

  • My style and format of posts. All my posts will my journal-style, including my book reviews. I will also include more lifestyle-oriented posts as well.
  • The content. There will be more travel, writing, and photography related posts. I will also be writing more adult fiction reviews.
  • My blog name! I have something in the works but it has been a challenge trying to come up with something that encompasses both my love of literature as well as adventures. And it comes down having to choose which of these things do I want to be the dominant topic? Literature with a side of wanderlust or lifestyle with a side of bookish content?

My new blog will have a “soft launch” later in the summer (May or June) because I’m still not sure if I will purchase a domain for it yet and don’t know if I’m ready to go “pro”. I’m in the process of changing my old blog posts to private. At first it made me sad but then I realized according to my stats literally no one reads any things I’ve written back from 2017, 2018, or even 2019. My old posts won’t even be missed.

I’m really excited to transition and I’m grateful for every one of you. Beginning on March 1st, I’m putting my account on my private while I work on updates!

Love,

Blog Sign

Top 8 YA Boarding School & Dark Academia Books Releasing in 2021

The Castle School

The Castle School (for Troubled Girls) by Alyssa B. Sheinmel – March 2, 2021

When Moira Dreyfuss’s parents announce that they’re sending her to an all-girls boarding school deep in the Maine woods, Moira isn’t fooled. She knows her parents are punishing her; she’s been too much trouble since her best friend, Nathan, died―and for a while before that. At the Castle School, isolated from the rest of the world, Moira will be expected to pour her heart out to the odd headmaster, Dr. Prince. But she isn’t interested in getting over Nathan’s death or befriending her fellow students.

On her first night there, Moira hears distant music. On her second, she discovers the lock on her window is broken. On her third, she and her roommate venture outside…and learn that they’re not so isolated after all. There’s another, very different, Castle School nearby―this one filled with boys whose parents sent them away, too.

the mary shelley club

The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky – April 13, 2021 

New girl Rachel Chavez is eager to make a fresh start at Manchester Prep. But as one of the few scholarship kids, Rachel struggles to fit in, and when she gets caught up in a prank gone awry, she ends up with more enemies than friends.

To her surprise, however, the prank attracts the attention of the Mary Shelley Club, a secret club of students with one objective: come up with the scariest prank to orchestrate real fear. But as the pranks escalate, the competition turns cutthroat and takes on a life of its own.

When the tables are turned and someone targets the club itself, Rachel must track down the real-life monster in their midst . . . even if it means finally confronting the dark secrets from her past.

the ivies

The Ivies by Alexa Donne – May 25th 2021

Everyone knows the Ivies: the most coveted universities in the United States. Far more important are the Ivies. The Ivies at Claflin Academy, that is. Five girls with the same mission: to get into the Ivy League by any means necessary. I would know. I’m one of them. We disrupt class ranks, club leaderships, and academic competitions…among other things. We improve our own odds by decreasing the fortunes of others. Because hyper-elite competitive college admissions is serious business. And in some cases, it’s deadly.

ace of spades

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé – June 1st, 2021 

An incendiary and utterly compelling thriller with a shocking twist that delves deep into the heart of institutionalized racism, from an exceptional new YA voice.

Welcome to Niveus Private Academy, where money paves the hallways, and the students are never less than perfect. Until now. Because anonymous texter, Aces, is bringing two students’ dark secrets to light. Talented musician Devon buries himself in rehearsals, but he can’t escape the spotlight when his private photos go public. Head girl Chiamaka isn’t afraid to get what she wants, but soon everyone will know the price she has paid for power. Someone is out to get them both. Someone who holds all the aces. And they’re planning much more than a high-school game…

the taking

The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass – July 13th 2021

Get Out meets Danielle Vega in this YA social thriller where survival is not a guarantee.

Jake Livingston is one of the only black kids at St. Clair Prep, one of the others being his infinitely more popular older brother. It’s hard enough fitting in but to make matters worse and definitely more complicated, Jake can see the dead. In fact he sees the dead around him all the time. Most are harmless. Stuck in their death loops as they relive their deaths over and over again, they don’t interact often with people. But then Jake meets Sawyer. A troubled teen who shot and killed sixteen kids at a local high school last year before taking his own life. Now a powerful, vengeful ghost, he has plans for his afterlife–plans that include Jake. 

when all the girls are sleeping

When All the Girls Are Sleeping by Emily Arsenault – July 13th 2021

For fans of People Like Us and The Cheerleaders comes an all new psychological suspense novel about one girl’s investigation into her friend’s sudden death and the unsettling possibility that a killer is still on the loose.

Windham-Farnswood Academy is beautiful, prestigious, historic–the perfect place for girls to prep for college. But every student knows all is not as it seems. Each January, the Winter Girl comes knocking. She’s the spirit who haunts the old senior dorm, and this year is no exception.

For Haley, the timing couldn’t be worse. This month marks the one-year anniversary of the death of her ex-best friend, Taylor. When a disturbing video of Taylor surfaces, new questions about her death emerge. And it actually looks like Taylor was murdered.

how we fall apart

How We Fall Apart (How We Fall Apart #1) by Katie Zhao – August 3rd 2021 

In a YA thriller that is Crazy Rich Asians meets One of Us is Lying, students at an elite prep school are forced to confront their secrets when their ex-best friend turns up dead.

Nancy Luo is shocked when her former best friend, Jamie Ruan, top ranked junior at Sinclair Prep, goes missing, and then is found dead. Nancy is even more shocked when word starts to spread that she and her friends–Krystal, Akil, and Alexander–are the prime suspects, thanks to “The Proctor,” someone anonymously incriminating them via the school’s social media app.

They all used to be Jamie’s closest friends, and she knew each of their deepest, darkest secrets. Now, somehow The Proctor knows them, too. The four must uncover the true killer before The Proctor exposes more than they can bear and costs them more than they can afford, like Nancy’s full scholarship. Soon, Nancy suspects that her friends may be keeping secrets from her, too. 

a lesson

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee – August 3rd 2021

For fans of Wilder Girls and Ninth House comes a dark, twisty, atmospheric thriller about a boarding school haunted by its history of witchcraft and two girls dangerously close to digging up the past.

Felicity Morrow is back at Dalloway School.

Perched in the Catskill mountains, the centuries-old, ivy-covered campus was home until the tragic death of her girlfriend. Now, after a year away, she’s returned to graduate. She even has her old room in Godwin House, the exclusive dormitory rumored to be haunted by the spirits of five Dalloway students—girls some say were witches. The Dalloway Five all died mysteriously, one after another, right on Godwin grounds.

Witchcraft is woven into Dalloway’s history. The school doesn’t talk about it, but the students do. In secret rooms and shadowy corners, girls convene. And before her girlfriend died, Felicity was drawn to the dark. She’s determined to leave that behind her now; all Felicity wants is to focus on her senior thesis and graduate. But it’s hard when Dalloway’s occult history is everywhere. And when the new girl won’t let her forget.

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Which of these have been on your radar? Which of these do you think you’re adding to your TBR? Let me know in the comments down below!

Discussion | “Where was the editor?”

Discussion

“Where was the editor? This book was terrible!”

I hear this all the time. I thought it would be interesting to share why people say this phrase. I’ve said it! I will finish reading a horribly written book and wonder how on earth it every got published. What I have learned is that most editors don’t fix ideas or the author’s story concept; they fix mechanical problems such as grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. On my path to teach myself some things about manuscript editing, I learned a few things.

There are at least 3-5 kinds of editors (sometimes more). Most editors in publishing are what you call a copyeditor. The last editor to see an author’s work is the proofreader. One of the most pertinent rules I came across about professional editing is that editors DO NOT change the author’s style.

If there are plotting issues, such as inconsistencies then the publishing house or author themselves may employ a developmental editor, sometimes called a substantive editor (though some sources don’t use these terms interchangeably). Developmental editing involves a lot of reshaping and revision. This type of editing can include major cuts to the story to make the narrative run more smoothly. This is where the editor can make changes to the overall structure and style (source).

After a developmental edit, next comes the copyeditor followed by the proofreader. Generally speaking, editors don’t fix bad writing. They mostly focus on grammar, punctuation, spelling, minor inconsistencies as well as ensures clarity. While editors can make suggestions, they have to accept that the author may not take them—even a good suggestion. The editor is not the one writing the book and most authors may choose to maintain their way.

So next time you finish a book and look up at the sky and question whether or not there was even an editor or wonder if the editor even did a good job, remember that editors don’t write better stories for the author. A good editor will help an author grow as a writer but at the end of the day, editors don’t write books—they edit them. How good the book is squarely falls on the author. While the work into creating a novel should be collaborative, style ultimately defers to the author. It’s a little more complicated than I explained but I wanted to quickly share in simple terms what the relationship between an editor and author looks like. Although I’m a novice to the publication process, I hope this provides some insight into what editors actually do.