Surprise! It’s Hiatus Time.

So this was completely unplanned. I took a hiatus at the end of March, beginning of April, hoping I wouldn’t need another one until November-ish, but it turns out I’m in dire need of a little break. For the last month and a half I’ve been telling myself to just get through this week, just get through this week and then I’ll have a breather. Said breather hasn’t come to fruition. While blogging itself isn’t the source of the stress I’m feeling, it is something else I need to worry about on top of everything else.

So I’m going to take a week off from blogging starting tomorrow. I have my Top Ten Tuesday post all ready to go for this week, but aside from that, I won’t be posting. I won’t be working on my blog all week and I won’t be responding to comments. I’ll be back next Sunday (August 12th), hopefully a little more well rested and with a review for one of my favorite novels I’ve read this year (Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali). You can still get in contact with me through email or twitter if need be. See you all soon!

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Monthly Wrap-Up: July ’18

MonthlyWrap-UPI actually had a pretty good reading month. I’m so surprised and really pleased. These numbers won’t astound anyone, but for someone who has been struggling to read “enough” books during the last few month, July felt really productive. I read seven books this July; got to a couple of that I’ve been putting off for a while and even snuck in a reread (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before). I’m feeling really good about my summer reading right now, so hopefully this carries into August. It is also the start of the final month of the Summer 2018 Comment Challenge which I cohost with Lonna @ FLYLēF. For August, my partner is Barb @ Booker T’s Farm. I’m really looking forward to interacting with her more over the course of the month.

(Book covers below are linked to my reviews, unless otherwise specified.) 

Favorite Book This Month:

I had some really good reads this month, but my favorite was S.K. Ali’s Saints and Misfits. It was such an unexpected favorite and the protagonist Janna is now among my favorite contemporary characters. My review for this one will go up in August. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

Least Favorite Book This Month:

No book this month received less than three stars.

Reviews Posted This Month:

Read, Review Coming Soon:

(covers linked to Goodreads)

Notable Blog Posts This Month:

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Seafire by Natalie C. Parker – What do you get when you combine pirates and Mad Max: Fury Road? Apparently, it’s this novel. I am beyond stoked for this book.

Summer 2018 Comment Challenge: August Sign-up & August Partners – The final month of this challenge is starting. We’ve had such a fun time with the challenge this year and I’ve met so many wonderful bloggers.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Pride by Ibi Zoboi – If you’re like me, you love discovering new P&P retellings. Be sure to check out this one, it sounds all kinds of amazing.

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books in 2018 So Far – Loved sharing my favorite reads so far this year.

2018 Second Quarter Book Haul: How Did This Happen? – I accidentally accumulated far too many books this quarter.

2018 Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag – I finally got a chance to post this tag where I looked back on the first half of the year.

Reading Challenges:

Aside from the Goodreads challenge, I’m only participating in one reading challenge this year.

1. The 2018 Debut Author Challenge is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. I didn’t read any debuts this month which make me feel a little guilty. I am now two books behind schedule >_<

  • Challenge Goal: 12 books; Current Count: 5 books

August Releases I’m Excited For:

Month in Review

How is your summer reading going? Any title your hoping to get to before the season is over? Let me know in the comments and feel free to leave me a link to your own wrap-up post and I’ll be sure to visit.

2018 Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag was originally created by booktubers Read Like Wildfire and Earl Grey Books. I’m a little late with this tag because as usual, it started showing up first before I remembered to do it. And I kind of dragged my feet when it came to editing it as well. I’ve been reading less compared to last year, but I’ve been picking up some really good reads. I’ve only had a handful of two and one star reads, so regardless of the number of books I end up reading this year, as long as this number is low, I consider it a successful reading year. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

1. Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2018?

As of the end of June, I’ve read six five-star reads and while this isn’t the biggest number, I’ve had tons of four-star reads that came close. So far in 2018, my favorite read it Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s The Beautiful Ones. I didn’t expect to like this one so much, but it cast a spell on me. I found the story enchanting and the characters hard to forget.

2. Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2018?

While I liked Zoraida Córdova’s Labyrinth Lost, I loved Bruja Born. Lula was a character I could related too and one I cheered for throughout. The best part about the sequel was its emphasis on the Mortiz’s sister relationships. I loved seeing these three come together despite how different they were, how they learn from their mistakes, and how much they supported one another.

3. New Release You Haven’t Read Yet, But Want To?

I’ve had Emily X.R. Pan’s The Astonishing Color of After for a few months now. I bought it because so many bloggers praised it and I was completely taken by the writing when reading excerpts, but I just hadn’t had time to read it yet. This summer, I will read it…I hope.

4. Most Anticipated Release For Second Half of 2018?

I have an eARC of Anna-Marie McLemore’s Blanca & Roja sitting in my tablet and am so stoked to get to it. I will buy every book this author writes. You can write that in stone. Put it on my grave.

5. Biggest Disappointment?

I haven’t had too many disappointing reads this year, but I was really looking forward to Kristina Perez’s Sweet Black Waves. The romance was unbearable and the other relationships puzzling. If I hadn’t read an ARC of this one, I probably would have DNFed.

6. Biggest Surprise?

I picked up Holly Black’s The Cruel Prince based on hype alone and was surprised to find that it lived up to said hype. Black can write complicated and multi-layered characters. Jude is one of my favorite protagonist I’ve met so far this year.

7. Favorite New Author?

Elizabeth Acevedo blew me away with her poetry in The Poet X. I don’t read a lot of novels in verse, but this one makes me want to pick up more.

8. Newest Fictional Crush?

At the top of my head, I don’t think I have any new bookish crushes, but I do have a lot of friend crushes. In some other world, Dimple from Sandhya Menon’s When Dimple Met Rishi and Janna from S.K. Ali’s Saints and Misfits (I’m cheating with this one because technically I picked it up in July) are my BFFs.

9. Newest Favorite Character?

Jane from Justina Ireland’s Dread Nation is the most complete and complex character I read this year. I loved her strengths and her weaknesses, and I think both made her character feel more real.

10. Book That Made You Cry?

Adam Silvera knows how to make me cry and History Is All You Left Me is no exception. I love that Silvera allows his characters to be flawed, to make terrible mistakes, but still remain the kind you root for.

11. Book That Made You Happy?

This was on my list last year as a book I needed to read, but hadn’t yet and now that I finally have read it, I am so happy. Sandhya Menon’s When Dimple Met Rishi made me smile from start to finish and I can’t think of the last time a book made me this happy.

12. Favorite Book To Movie Adaptation You Saw This Year?

I finally watched Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time and I loved it. I thought it was beautifully done and managed to scrub from my brain that horrible adaptation they made years ago.

13. Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year?

This is always a hard question to answer, but I’m going to go with my review of The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. This book made writing a review easy which doesn’t happen often. Go check it out!

14. Most Beautiful Book You Bought So Far This Year?

I really like the cover to Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone. I felt its epicness even before I opened its pages.

 

15. What Books Do You Need To Read By The End of The Year?

I made a list of summer TBR books I’d like to get to (you can check out the full list here). These are the ones I’ve owned the longest, so it would be really nice to finally get to them.

What’s your favorite book so far in 2018? Tell me your new favorite author. What book are you hoping to get to before the year is out? Leave me a link in the comments to your own Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag post.

2018 Second Quarter Book Haul: How Did This Happen?

This post is a little late because I couldn’t quite fit it in with all my June posts. I…uh, kind of accumulated a lot of books during the last three months. I was lucky enough to win a few giveaways, including a major one from Sourcebooks Fire during a Twitter chat. I’m still a little shocked. It was my birthday in May, so many of these are from gift cards I received and I splurged on a couple for myself because I deserved it. I only caved once when it came to Book Outlet and I think this might be the only time I purchase from them this year. I’m not foolish enough to make promises though. All the new books have finally pushed me to do a book unhaul because without one, I would be running out of room real fast. Let’s get to the books.

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Preorders and New Releases:

1. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland – This is one of my favorite books of the year. It’s also one of the first 2018 books I preorder, having done so way back in December. It lived up to all my expectations and then some.

2. Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson – Another one of my highly anticipated reads of the year. I was lucky enough to read an eARC of this one and then went and bought it after it came out. Anderson deserves to be a more popular author.

3. The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo – Another cute Goo novel is in the world and I’m so grateful for it. I loved that Clara was so different than Goo’s previous protagonist.

4. Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson – Another preorder that I’ve been wanting and dreaming about since I finished Jackson’s debut Allegedly last year. This one was so powerful and so good.

5. From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon – I haven’t had a chance to read this one, but it sounds so adorable and I am really looking forward to it.

6. Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova – I read an ARC of this one and ended up loving it, so had to preorder a copy for myself.

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Book Outlet Purchase:

7. The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman – The ending to this one just about gutted me. I’ve really been enjoying this historical fantasy and am anxious for the final book to be released later this year.

8. Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust – I’ve heard so many wonderful things about the writing in this one, so when I saw it on Book Outlet, I had to get it.

9. American Street by Ibi Zoboi – This is one of my favorite 2017 debuts. I’ve wanted to own this one for a while and now it can keep Zoboi’s upcoming novel Pride company once I get my hands on it.

10. You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins – I’ve been recommended this book several times and am excited that I now own it. Now I need to find time to read it.

11. Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser – Another really good 2017 debut that I’m really glad I have on my shelf.

12. How to Keep a Boy From Kissing You by Tara Eglington – This is one of those books I’ve been curious about, but never took steps to read. Saw it on Book Outlet and said what the heck?

13. Duels & Deception by Cindy Anstey – I love the premises of this author’s books, but always feel they leave something to be desired. At yet here I am, coming back for more.

14. Trouble Makes a Comeback by Stephanie Tromly – Wasn’t quite as in love with this sequel compared to the first, but still enjoyed it overall.

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Happy Birthday to Me Books:

15. Monstress, Vol. 2: The Blood by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda – My birthday was in May and so I took a couple of trips to B&N to celebrate myself. I bought this second volume of Monstress and I just love love love this graphic novel series so much.

16. Peluda by Melissa Lozada-Oliva – I’m not a big poetry reader, but this woman’s poetry just gets right under my skin. If you haven’t heard of her, check her out above, reading from this collection.

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The I-Just-Couldn’t-Resist Purchases:

17. The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan – I’ve been wanted this one ever since I read several passages from it. Haven’t read it yet, but am pretty sure I’m going to fall in love.

18. Avenged by Amy Tintera – I was pleasantly surprised by Ruined, the first book in this series, and there was a really good deal on this one, so…yeah.

19. Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova – I actually only have an ARC of this book before buying this one. Another great deal and it features one of my favorite covers ever.

20. These Vengeful Souls by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas – Renewed my interest in this series, so had to go out and buy the final book. It was under $10, okay?

21. Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller – I got this one as part of a B&N deal and heard that it’s even more fun than the first.

22. Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West – Kasie West has yet to write a contemporary book that I haven’t bought.

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Giveaways:

23. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katharine Arden – I was really impressed with this novel and won Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog‘s anniversary giveaway, so chose this title.

24. This Side of Home by Renée Watson – I don’t know much about this novel, but I won it from Rich in Color.

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Sourcebooks Fire Giveaway:

I took part in a promotional Twitter chat for Sourcebooks Fire‘s Furyborn release by Claire Legrand and never imagined I would be one of the winners of this incredibly generous giveaway. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around it. I got all these books and a map + swag for Furyborn, plus a gift certificate to Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore.

25. – 34. This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp, Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp, The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco (I’m so excited for this one!), As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti, You Will Be Mine by Natasha Preston, Out of Left Field by Kris Hui Lee, Now a Major Motion Picture by Cori McCarthy, Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally, Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger, Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller.

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35. Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria – And last but not least, I got in my possession an ARC of Destiny Soria’s upcoming novel Beneath the Citadel. I am so stoked for this book because I loved her debut Iron Cast. This also happens to be the first ARC a publisher has ever sent me and I about fainted in shock when it arrived.

Monthly Wrap-Up: June ’18

MonthlyWrap-UPThere are days when I am fine with reading less and others where it throws me into panic mode. I read only four books in June, plus a collection of poetry. It wasn’t much, but I ended the month kind of okay with it. I’m suffering from lack of free time rather than a slump. Hopefully, I can get more books in in July because my summer TBR is pretty big. We are in the midst of the Summer 2018 Comment Challenge. If you’re not familiar, Lonna @ FLYLēF and I cohost this summer challenge; we pair bloggers each month and have them interact with one another through comments on each other’s blogs. If you’re interested in joining us, our sign-up post for August goes up tomorrow. I am paired with Carolina @ Fictionologyst for July and I really excited to get to know her.

(Book covers below are linked to my reviews, unless otherwise specified.) 

Favorite Book This Month:

Melissa Lozado-Oliva’s Peluda was a gift I bought myself for my birthday in May. I saw this video and immediately became intrigued, ended up watching various YouTube videos of her slam poetry and just fell in love with her words. Even if you aren’t a fan of poetry, I encourage you to check out Melissa Lozado-Oliva. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

Least Favorite Book This Month:

No book this month received less than three stars.

Reviews Posted This Month:

Read, Review Coming Soon:

(covers linked to Goodreads)

Notable Blog Posts This Month:

Kernels of Nonsense: In Which I Tell You How I Really Feel – Shared some unfiltered opinions this month that I don’t make a habit of talking about too much. Very cathartic.

Summer 2018 Comment Challenge: July Sign-up & July Partners – The second month of this challenge is starting today. You can sign-up for August starting tomorrow.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik – I am so excited about this release. Can I have it now?

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Make Me Want to Travel in Unconventional Ways – This was one of the funnest posts I’ve put together. Love that fiction introduces us to some odd ways to travel.

Reading Challenges:

Aside from the Goodreads challenge, I’m only participating in one reading challenge this year.

1. The 2018 Debut Author Challenge is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. I didn’t read any debuts this month which means I’m behind by one book!

  • Challenge Goal: 12 books; Current Count: 5 books

July Releases I’m Excited For:

Month in Review

What are some of your summer reading plans? Any summer releases you’re really excited for? Let me know in the comments and feel free to leave me a link to your own wrap-up post and I’ll be sure to visit.

Monthly Wrap-Up: May ’18

MonthlyWrap-UPI think I’m simply destined to read less books this year compared to last. No matter what I did in May, I just never had enough time to sit down and read. I finished a whopping three books, reread a graphic novel and picked up another. I’m taking this opportunity to officially announce that I am lowering my Goodreads goal from 65 books to 55. I’ve been playing with the idea for a couple of months now and I think it will take tremendous pressure off my shoulders. May was the start of the Summer 2018 Comment Challenge signups. If you missed signing up for June, I have good news for you. Tomorrow we will be posting our July signup post. We had such a good turn out for this first month, I’m really looking forward to this challenge this summer. Shout out to my partner for June: Elnade @ Confessions of a Serial Reader, can’t wait to visit your blog all month long!

(Book covers below are linked to my reviews, unless otherwise specified.) 

Favorite Book This Month:

My favorite read this month was Monstress, Vol. 2: The Blood by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda. This is my favorite graphic novel and I just love how this world is dominated by women. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

Least Favorite Book This Month:

I’m so disappointed with Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Pérez. Can’t decide if I disliked the insta-love or the one-sided friendship between the lead and her cousin more.

Reviews Posted This Month:

Read, Review Coming Soon:

(covers linked to Goodreads)

Notable Blog Posts This Month:

Kernels of Nonsense: Five Books I Want to Check Out From My Library – I am on an unofficial library ban, but am so very much dying to check out these five books.

Summer 2018 Comment Challenge: June Sign-up & June Partners – This seasonal challenge is back. We pair bloggers together each month and challenge them to comment on each other’s blogs all month long.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Monday’s Not Coming – This is one of the few books I’ve preordered this year and can’t wait to get to it.

Can’t Wait Wednesday: From Twinkle, with Love – Loved Sandhya Menon’s first novel and am so excited for this one.

Top Ten Tuesday: The Lion Doesn’t Stand a Chance…Against My Friendship – There are so many great upcoming releases and these are ones I’m most looking forward to.

Reading Challenges:

Aside from the Goodreads challenge, I’m only participating in one reading challenge this year.

1. The 2018 Debut Author Challenge is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This month I read one debut novel, Sweet Black Waves by Kristina Pérez.

  • Challenge Goal: 12 books; Current Count: 5 books

June Releases I’m Excited For:

Month in Review

How was your May? Are you participating in any summer challenges? Let me know in the comments and feel free to leave me a link to your own wrap-up post and I’ll be sure to visit.