January 2016 Monthly Recap

~*~On The Blog~*~
Holy cow...It is the end of the January! I cannot believe it. I have been in the UK for just over three weeks. And, fun fact, as you read this post I will be on my first trip out of London since arriving. I am currently on a Saturday-Sunday trip to Wales! AHHHH! This month has been a rollercoaster of emotions, but I am settling in and loving every minute of it. At the bottom of this post you will see my London recap so far. I haven't read much because there is so much to be seen, but this long bus ride to Wales is determined to change that! This month has flown by...and I cannot wait to see what is in store for me next on this crazy adventure.

Books Reviewed:
Remembrance by Meg Cabot - 4.5 stars
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard - 4.5 stars
The Imposter Queen by Sarah Fine - 4 stars
Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan - 3.5 stars

Books Read This Month:
I have challenged myself to read 75 books this year, let's see if I can! I'll be keeping track in this section.
1. Remembrance by Meg Cabot (eARC: 400 pages)
2. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab (ARC: 509 pages)
3. Edward II by Christopher Marlow (eBook: 92 pages)
4. King Henry IV Part 1 by William Shakespeare (eBook: 160 pages)
    DNF's of the month 
    1. None
    Total Pages Read This Month: 1,161 pages
    Total Pages Read This Year: 1,161 pages
    Total Books Read This Year: 4
    Total Books DNF'd This Year:0

    The Broadway Review:
    • I saw my first show in London! Perhaps that will be enough to bring this meme out of retirement.
    • I was part of The Imposter Queen blog tour and I adored this book! The giveaway for 3 finished copies is almost over, but trust me, you want to enter this one!
    Lili's Travel Diary:
    • I launched my new series with a pre-arrival post detailing what exactly caused me to want to study abroad. And now I am here! OMG, I cannot believe it.
    • Day one in London was really hard, so I used my second travel diary as a way to get the feels out because I was alone and struggling. 
    • However, I did some touristing around London for the first week and things began to slowly look up. Things are pretty great right about now. And I totally got to do some serious touristing.
    • But let's be real, Platform 9 3/4 deserved its own post because this was a fandom bucket list goal that was finally achieved!
    • I haven't experienced intense culture shock the way my friends going to Africa have, but there are some things that are very different in the UK than they are in America, so I did a post sharing 20 pieces of culture shock I have experienced so far.
    • I also had to compare education between the US and UK because now that I am two weeks into classes, I am drawing constant comparisons between the two. I think both countries can learn a thing or two from each other.
    Discussion Posts:
    • I talked about the fact that I was heading to London and my blog would probably experience changes. It's kind of ironic that it took going to another continent for my blog to be ridiculously active again. Anyway, this post launched my new meme Lili's Travel Diary so I can keep track of my travels around Europe.
    • I also took a moment to talk about what I perceive as the downside of ARCs. There's been a lot of drama about ARCs lately, so I just wanted to get my thoughts out. I am curious to hear any comments!
    • My 2015 End of the Year Survey went up and it was super hard to complete since I only read 55 books last year. The shame!
    Guest Posts and Bonus Content:
    • I was part of the Truthwitch pen pal blog tour where I linked up with a UK blogger to ask Susan Dennard a question. It was such a cute idea! Find my post here.
    • I also got to interview Alison Goodman, author of THE DARK DAYS CLUB, EON, and EONA about her latest novel and had a blast. Definitely one of my favorite interviews ever done on the blog!
    ~*~What I've Been Watching~*~

    Broadway/West End Shows:
    • I saw The Master Builder at The Old Vic after a few UK book bloggers were kind enough to invite me. Thank you Cait, Jim, Deb, and everyone else. I had so much fun seeing Ralph Fiennes blow my mind with his amazing ability!
    • The Challenge: Bloodlines is coming to an end but it has been a great season. I am not a big fan of any of the remaining teams minus Cara Maria and Jamie so I hope they bring home the W. I am, however, super happy that Bananas and Vince are gone because, dang, did I hate Vince (even more than Bananas!). Their elimination took out all of the entertainment from the show though, so let's see what happens next.
    • My first binge since coming to the UK was Making a Murderer and boy, do I have thoughts. I'll probably be doing a post about this later, but I think Steven Avery is innocent. What about you? There are definitely a few failures in our justice system with this one.
    • I am watching Sherlock as a movie night with a couple of the girls I am friends with here in my residence hall. We are four episodes in and I am absolutely obsessed. I am 100% a Sherlockian, except I think the fandom should be referred to as the Sherlock Holmies thank you very much.
    • I have been streaming a few American Football games because I am so ready for this Super Bowl!
    • I saw the movie Sisters with Dana before I left for London. It was a lot funnier than I thought it would be, but it does not measure up to the amazingness that has been Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's previous collabs. Also a few cameos from Parks n Rec characters which is always lovely.
    ~*~Reading Challenges~*~

    Fairytale Retelling Challenge:
    0/10 Completed
    • not yet
    Flights of Fantasy Challenge:
    2/30 Completed 
    • Remembrance by Meg Cabot
    • A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
    Contemporary Reading Challenge:
    0/16 Completed
    • not yet
    Backlist Books Challenge:
    2/12 Completed
    • Edward II by Christopher Marlowe
    • King Henry IV Part 1 by William Shakespeare
    Contemporary Romance Challenge:
    0/6 Completed
    • not yet
    Finishing The Series Challenge:
    1/7 Completed
      • The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot
      ~*~Around London~*~
      London, I am slowly falling in love with you. I cannot wait to see more.

      I came to England with the goal of exploring 10 countries. Let's see if it happens.
      2/10 unlocked.
      • England- Though I have been here when I was 12, I am counting this because it is my home base and I plan on exploring the heck out of it.
      • Wales- I am currently in you, so more thoughts will be coming later.
      Sights Seen
      • Museums: The British Museum, The Tate Modern, THe Natural History Museum
      • British History: Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, The Tower of London, Kensington Palace
      • Parks: Hyde Park, Regent's Park, Green Park
      • Theater: The Old Vic
      UK Food Eaten
      • Holmes Fish & Chips was cute. Really there's a ton of fish and chip shops around London, but this is close to me on Baker Street and I wanted to say I had a London delicacy, even if I only ate the chips due to my vegetarianism.
      • Wahaca is one of the few Mexican restaurants that you can find in the UK and it is so good! It is created by someone that won UK Top Chef in the past, and the best part is that it is affordable. I will definitely be going back.
      • Gourmet Burger Kitchen gave me the absolute best veggie burger I have ever had. I am definitely going back, even if they make my wallet cry. Thank God for student discounts!
      • Nandos is also a UK rite of passage and I did not allow my vegetarianism to get in the way of experiencing it. Salad and peri fries, I am in love with you. Give. Me. More. Now!

      Food I Cooked
      It should come as no shock to you that I am a terrible cook, but I have vowed to cook more on this trip because I need to experiment and save money.
      • Macaroni and cheese- It was meant to be fried mac n cheese but the fried bit failed so we just had a lot of regular mac n cheese
      • I cooked my first ever omelette! I know that is silly, but it was a big deal to me. haha

      US v UK Food
      This is more a section for fast food comparisons since there's not a lot of US and UK shared foods otherwise, but why not?
      • I had UK Chipotle and I have to say it is better than the US. Firstly, their chips are SO MUCH BETTER! And yes, they are called chips here even though the proper terminology is crisps. Anyway, everything is fresher and I just love it.
      • I also snacked on some UK Shake Shack fries by complete accident and can say they are quite the same as back home. No big difference here.

      Do you have a monthly recap or thoughts on anything I'm reading/reviewing/watching? Share your thoughts below! Every comment is greatly appreciated! <3


      1. Sounds like you are having a wonderful time :). I am loving the recaps about your travels. Also totally agree with Sherlock Homies that would be hilarious and wonderful. Have fun in Wales! And happy reading if you get to some :)

        1. Thank you Steph <3 I am excited to put up my first travel diary that does not focus on England specifically!

      2. Hey!!! I've just discovered your blog, but I thought I'd let you know that if you want to see Oxford while you're over in the UK, I can show you around! :) I'm a non-Brit in England, too.

        1. I may have to take you up on that, Dani! If you ever want to see London perhaps we can explore together <3

      3. I approve of all your food choices! GBK and Nandos are two of my favourites. I was so thrilled when Deliveroo (a food delivery service) started providing deliveries for Nandos. Now I don't even have to leave the house to get it LOL!

        1. What a cute name...Deliveroo haha

          NANDOS WITHOUT LEAVING THE HOUSE?! You have found a version of heaven.

      4. I love how thorough your January recap is! Impressive pages read for this month. What was your favorite read?

        - Elizabeth @ Book YAbber

        1. Thank you! <3 January was a great month.

          I loved both REMEMBRANCE by Meg Cabot and A GATHERING OF SHADOWS by V.E. Schwab, so I would have to say I am happy with both and highly recommend!

      5. I'm so happy that you are having such a great time in England!!! Sherlock bored me to death lol. One of the few shows I don't watch haha. I didn't fully watch Making a Murderer just sat in on it when my brother had it on, but I totally agree with you. We need to buddy read something while you're in England!!!!

        1. Omg you don't like Sherlock?! Dana give it another chance for me!!! Please?!?!?!

          I will buddy read happily, but the time zones may be a bit of a challenge.

      6. It's so fun to hear about your London adventures, Lili! I feel like I'm living vicariously through you. And I'm really glad that you're enjoying Sherlock; it's a show that I'm thinking about watching, as one of my best friends keep telling me I need to!

        1. Hehehe yaya that makes me happy! <3