Wednesday, April 30, 2014

'Having A Good Reading Month' and Other Thoughts on managing my TBR

Today I wanted to do something completely different from what I've posted before. I wanted to do a discussion post, and specifically I was thinking about my TBR pile and monthly TBRs in general.

For many, especially in Booktube, I've seen scheduled TBRs ahead of time, and for bloggers a lot of our TBRs can be determined by books needed for review. Previously I was so interested in TBRs that I created a themed TBR schedule for each month. I was so enthusiastic about the idea I scheduled months in advance, going so far as to fill up my 2014 with themed TBRs. What I hadn't counted on was how much of a mood reader I am.

Let me explain why themed TBRs, and even set TBRs in general, no longer work for me. I started my themed TBRs back in October, when I first started the blog, and in the beginning they worked pretty well for me. Then, something dreadful happened. I was reading a book that just didn't interest me as much, but since it was a part of my theme and the set number of books I had wanted to read, I pushed myself to read on through it. You might be able to predict what happened, and sure enough I fell into a reading slump. November was 'series marathoning month' and I managed to read Percy Jackson, but couldn't complete the third book in the Ruby Red trilogy and couldn't finish Crown of Midnight. I started to feel disappointed in myself, because I wasn't reading a certain number of books or fulfilling my TBR goals.

The reading slump lasted for awhile, and I would read a book over a pretty long period of time, but I wasn't able to read as much. It felt like running into a wall, and I couldn't figure out the problem. I continued to try my themed TBRs through December, January, and into February. During this time the reading slump ended (thankfully!) and I decided to think about things more to try and avoid another reading slump. 

First, I made a decision that I was going to allow myself to DNF a book. Not finishing a book didn't mean I was bad at reviewing it, or should continue on, but that the book wasn't one that I enjoyed as a reader. That's fine. Pushing myself to continue on with such a book, that I didn't even end up finishing anyway, was problematic because it took away my interest in the story. However, the problem had continued on, and that was when I discovered that I'm a mood reader.

For me, I prefer to read a variety of different books throughout the month, and I always want to have the opportunity to spontaneously choose what book I'd like to read next. By February, I had largely figured this out as I sort of allowed myself more freedom in choosing my next read. It was a smashing success, and I base that on how much I enjoyed the books, and not necessarily how many I read. That's another thing I want to address in regards to TBR. For me, my to be read pile had been a numbers game. Every month I pushed myself to read on so that, by the end of the month, I had read many books. While I do naturally read quickly, I decided that I never want it to be pushing myself to read a number of books- it took away from the enjoyment of each book and made the focus to be more on hurrying along to get to the next book.

So, what does all of this rambling mean? Firstly, themed TBRs and set monthly TBRs aren't something I'll continue on with. Yes, I do have a list of ideas for themes picked for each month, and I had even gone to put down a few books for each month when I was first setting up my system. Looking at it now, I don't see the appeal of a TBR for me. I have some books piled up that are from a variety of genres and that I can have as options. But, if I really want to read a book I hadn't chosen, then I grab it from my shelves and read. This is just my personal preference, and it's really helped me in my reading. I've truly enjoyed each book that I've been reading lately. Also, I'm not worried about how many books I read per month, or if I don't finish some of them. Adopting this mentality has, ironically, led me to reading more books and finishing (and more importantly enjoying) many of them. In summation, my TBR isn't a TBR anymore. It's my reading a book, enjoying that, and then continuing on with whichever book I happen to want to read next.

Now I want to hear from you all, if you've had the patience to continue on with the entire post. Thank you! I hope you liked more of a discussion post on the blog, and let me know if there are other topics you'd like me to discuss and if you like this sort of post in general. 

Do you have a set or themed TBR? How do you cope with reading slumps?

In a way, I guess this is my long awaited, mentioned-but-never-written reading slump update. I hope you've all enjoyed, and happy reading!

From the paper world,

Friday, April 25, 2014

What I'm Looking Forward To - Most Anticipated Book Releases of April 2014

This month is yet another awesome month for book releases, and a lot of my Can't Wait Books of 2014 are coming out this month. Although this definitely doesn't encompass all of the books releasing this month, here are some I'm definitely looking forward to!

April 1, 2014
Sekret (Sekret, #1)
Sekret by Lindsay Smith
Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die, #1)
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

April 8, 2014

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #3)
Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor

April 10, 2014

Pointe by Brandy Colbert

April 14, 2014

A Shard of Ice (Black Symphony, #1)
A Shard of Ice by Alivia Anders

April 15, 2014
To All the Boys I've Loved Before
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
A World Without Princes (The School for Good and Evil, #2)
The School for Good and Evil: A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani

April 22, 2014

The Inventor's Secret (The Inventor's Secret, #1)
The Inventor's Secret by Andrea Cremer

April 29, 2014

Of Breakable Things
Of Breakable Things by A. Lynden Rolland
Sleep No More
Sleep No More by Aprilynne Pike
Sweet Reckoning (The Sweet Trilogy, #3)
Sweet Reckoning by Wendy Higgins
Let me know if you plan to pick any of these up, or if you've already read them, tell me your thoughts!

From the paper world,

Monday, April 21, 2014

What's Next? - Review Edition no. 1

I heard about this through another blogger, and What's Next sounds like an awesome feature to join in on! This is hosted by Icey Books, and it's basically asking for reader feedback on what to read next.
What's Next? Hosted by IceyBooks

However, the only downside is that right now, I've got some books I'm already in the mood to read and that I have lined up. So, since I already know what I'm reading, I wanted to try a review edition of this feature. Since I've read a few books lately I've yet to review, I thought I'd share those with you all and let you pick from them!

Champion by Marie Lu
*spoilers for the first two books in the Legend series.*

Champion (Legend, #3)
He is a Legend.

She is a Prodigy.

Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position. 

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything. 

With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

Ever After High - The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale

Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends (Ever After High, #1)
At Ever After High, an enchanting boarding school, the children of fairytale legends prepare themselves to fulfill their destinies as the next generation of Snow Whites, Prince Charmings and Evil Queens...whether they want to or not. Each year on Legacy Day, students sign the Storybook of Legends to seal their scripted fates. For generations, the Village of Book End has whispered that refusing to sign means The End-both for a story and for a life.

As the daughter of the Evil Queen, Raven Queen's destiny is to follow in her mother's wicked footsteps, but evil is so not Raven's style. She's starting to wonder, what if she rewrote her own story? The royal Apple White, daughter of the Fairest of Them All, has a happy ever after planned for herself, but it depends upon Raven feeding her a poison apple in their future.

What if Raven doesn't sign the Storybook of Legends? It could mean a happily never after for them both. 
*spoilers for the first book in The Lunar Chronicles, Cinder.*

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)
It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone. 

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help. 

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.


A timeless love story, THESE BROKEN STARS sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers
*spoilers for the first book in His Fair Assassins, Grave Mercy.*

So, there are a few of the books I can review for you all. Please let me know which one you think I should do next, and I'm really excited to be doing this feature!

From the paper world,

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Slightly Overdue March Book Haul

The title says slightly but... this is definitely been a little delayed! Welcome to my monthly March Book Haul! I'm going to start linking these monthly hauls up to Stacking the Shelves with Tynga's Reviews. So, let's get started with the (far too many) books I purchased in March. I will say I did win some of these and were gifted a few, so I didn't buy all of the books. Just... most of them. So, let me know if you've gotten any of these books, and your thoughts on them! 

From the paper world,

My Life Undecided
My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody
The Killing Woods
The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher
William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope
Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope by Ian Doescher
Gilded (Gilded, #1)
Gilded by Christina Farley
Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)
Just One Day by Gayle Forman
Burn Bright (Dark Star, #2)
Burn Bright by Bethany Frenette
Half Bad (Half Life, #1)
Half Bad by Sally Green
Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends (Ever After High, #1)
Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale
The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5)
The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas
Raven Flight (Shadowfell, #2)
Raven Flight by Juliet Marillier
Infinityglass (Hourglass, #3)
Infinityglass by Myra McEntire
Side Effects May Vary
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
Prophecy (The Dragon King Chronicles, #1)
Prophecy by Ellen Oh
Tsarina by J. Nelle Patrick
Sweetly (Fairytale Retellings, #2)
Sweetly by Jackson Pearce
Fathomless (Fairytale Retellings, #3)
Fathomless by Jackson Pearce
Shades of Earth (Across the Universe, #3)
Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
Fire & Flood (Fire & Flood, #1)
Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott
Hereafter (Hereafter, #1)
Hereafter by Tara Hudson
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
Shards and Ashes
Shards & Ashes anthology

The Karma Club
The Karma Club by Jessica Brody

52 Reasons to Hate My Father
52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Monthly Wrap Up - March 2014

What Happened...
This month was not the best for the blog, unfortunately I had a lot of goings-on that distracted from the blogosphere. However, I did have the opprotunity to post more of the reviews that I've had saved from earlier on in 2014, and I was really glad to be able to share some of the posts I thought would remain drafts. I'd also like to apologize for the lack of blogging this month- it was an unintentional lapse but unfortunately I have been getting busy and a bit overwhelmed. I'm hoping to return with a multitude of fun posts, and I thank you for staying with the blog.
This month I participated in Fiction the New Reality's March Madness Readathon. Jayne is an incredible book blogger and her blog is one of my favorites, so I definitely recommend you go visit! Anytime there's a Readathon I'm likely to check it out, and I was really excited to be participating in this one! So, let's see what my 'March Madness' reads were...

What I Read...
Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3)Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
What I Reviewed...

What I Loved...
Sweetly was my favorite read of the month, and I was surprised by how it completely amazed me. I really enjoyed Sisters Red, but Sweetly was even more incredible. I loved everything about it, but I'll save my fangirling for a review.

Although I really did love Ignite Me, I don't think I'll be doing a review of it, simply because I have no idea how to explain my thoughts and reactions to it.

So, there is my March Wrap Up! There are plenty of posts to come, and I'm excited to be blogging again. Please be patient if there are a few days when I don't blog as much, I'm still busy with everything, but I'm so happy to be back!

From the paper world,