March Wrap-Up: Some Decent Reading Amid Craziness | My Semi-Hiatus Continues

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Okay wow, how did March drag on forever but April is already like half over?? Didn’t April start like 2 days ago?

Well, despite the craziness of March, I still managed to read a decent amount: 6 books! (lol, thank you Kindle Unlimited trial for giving me access to all the smutty romances.) I actually managed to read a physical book for fun, which was such a nice change of pace (I’ve been having a hard time reading books for fun that aren’t on my phone).

And like the title noted, I’m still on my weird semi-hiatus thing which I noted here. I might try to squeeze in a review and/or a TTT post this month, but I have 3 weeks left of the semester, so I’m (hopefully) about to kick it into high-gear homework mode, so I’ll continue to be pretty absent. BUT COME MAY, when I’m done with college FOREVER, I’ll definitely be doing all the reading and blogging! It’s been so long since I’ve been fully active and I can’t wait to do more blog hopping and interacting with you all!

(Also wow, look at me posting a wrap-up in the first half of the month?!? Lol, what a concept 😅 )


BOOKS READ:

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1. Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott

Rating: 4.25 stars

A memoir by a Christian writer! Wasn’t expecting to enjoy this as much as I did. Really loved how real, honest, and different she was in talking about her experiences with religion. She’s also hilarious and reminded me of the memoirist Dawn Davies.

2. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Rating: 4 stars

Yes, I finally started and finished the first LOTR book! It was definitely a little slow for my tastes in the beginning, but wow, the characters are such a hoot! And my god, Tolkien is such an utterly astounding worldbuilder.

3. House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 4.25 stars

MY HEART! I started this shortly after the news of the pandemic came to fruition and my college kicked us to online classes, and honestly, this was the perfect comfort read! It was hilarious and dramatic and ahhhh, so much fun! Review to come soon! (either later this month or early May)

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4. Freeing Her by Anna Stone

Rating: 2.25 stars

The final book in the Irresistibly Bound series. Sadly, this one was my least favorite. The situation and attempted character background just felt extra forced and, if I remember correctly, the crisis was super short & weak.

5. Behind Closed Doors by Anna Stone

Rating: 3.5 stars

Oooh, this is gotta be one of my fav Anna Stone books, if not my all-time favorite! I adored that it was a work-place romance and that it had a twinge of mystery spun into it! Would def read this one again.

6. One Last Dance by Anna Stone

Rating: 2.5 stars

This one actually took me awhile to get through. I think part of it was that I’m just not big on dance/ballet books? Also, I really struggled with some of the messages and how utterly contradictory they were (e.g. one of the protagonists realized she needed to live her own life and not give it up for a lover and then went and did it again 😑)


APRIL TBR:

  • Smut— Shhh, I technically already started & finished this book, but I’m still leaving it on here!
  • Aftershocks— Also already started this one. Got sent an ARC of the second one, so I wanted to check out the first book! Don’t usually pick up space sci-fi, but hoping it intrigues me.
  • The Downstairs Girl— Still have this checked out from my library. Fingers crossed I can squeeze it in during these upcoming crazy weeks!

RANDOM LIFE UPDATES:

  • Well, life got crazy, ya know, for everyone.
  • Managed to go out a few times for drinks with friends at the beginning of the month before the pandemic and social distancing guidelines were announced. So grateful we were able to do this.
  • Lol, I got invited to join some fancy honor society chapter at my college.
  • All my classes were moved to online for the rest of the semester, though I managed to get approval to stay on campus and continue living with my friends. Another thing I’m grateful for, because I know I would be extra stressed & unproductive at my house.
  • Went home for a bit and visited with my family and animals for spring break (luckily right before the stay-at-home order was announced for my state).
    • At my house, my roommate and I literally binge-watched all of season 1 of The Witcher in a 24 hour period. It was a time 😅
  • My housemates and I have been trying to struggling to stay on top of classes and our mental health, but we’ve managed to do a few fun things! We were suppose to go my friends’ formal, so because that was cancelled we had our own “formal” and got dressed up, had a family dinner, took pretty pictures and have a movie night. Here’s my fav pic from that night:

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Do I dare even ask how everyone’s March was? Hmm…I guess tell me about how your reading has been lately!? Any new book recommendations? How is everyone holding on? Please feel free to tell me about whatever down in the comments; I would love to talk you!

I hope everyone is staying safe & healthy! ❤

August TBR: Lots of ARCs for ARC August!

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A monthly TBR post? Who am I?

Usually I incorporate my monthly TBRs into my wrap-ups for the previously month, but in honor of ARC August (hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat), I couldn’t resist writing a separate post!

There are 3 sections to my highly ambitious and totally unrealistic TBR: ARCs, Internship books, and simply other books I want to read before I return to school. (Wow, I didn’t realize it at first, but all these books resulted in a wide variety of genres on this list!)

Also, despite blogging for almost 2 years (my blogiversary is later this month!), I still SUCK at taking nice pictures of books, so don’t judge me too much on these pics! 😆


ARCs:

These 4 books are all the ARCs I currently possess. My plan for this month is to read at least 2, hopefully 3 of them. I definitely want to get the ones that have already been released read. So I probably won’t get around to Gravemaidens, but I wanted to include it on this list because the cover is sooo pretty. 😀


Internship Books:

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As my fall semester starts up at the end of this month (holy crap!), I kinda have to finish my summer internship books beforehand, don’t I? These are the 3 books I have left. I actually started reading You Don’t Look Like Anyone I Know yesterday!


Other Books:

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The Storm Crow is one of my top 3 anticipated releases for this year, and since the other two disappointed me (Bloodleaf and Wicked Saints), I’m both nervous and excited to pick it up. The Power is a novel I got from a book exchange with my bookclub, so I definitely wanna read it before returning to school. After loving The Last Time I Lied, my grandpa’s wife sent me Sager’s first book, so I wanna read it before I see them on vacation (which I leave for…tomorrow, yikes). And I just love Charlie Bowater covers, so I had to buy Sorcery of Thorns, which actually arrived on my doorstep this morning. One of my Goodreads groups is also reading the book this month, so I can’t wait to read and discuss it with them!

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Can I read 9-10 books in August while also returning to school at the end of the month? Probs not, but I’m definitely gonna try! And looking back…two of these books are poetry collections, so maybe I actually have more of a chance of accomplishing this TBR? Who knows–only time will tell.


Are you participating in ARC August? What books are you planning to read in August? Any overlap between us?

If you did an August TBR post, feel free to share your link in the comments below, I would love to check it out!

Top Ten Tuesday: Childhood Favorites

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This week’s TTT topic is “Childhood Favorites”. I didn’t fall in love with reading until 4th grade, so a lot of these books are ones I read in late elementary school/early middle school, which is yes, still my childhood, just not early childhood. Wow, compiling this list really was a walk down memory lane.

Also, when I created this list, I realized a lot of my favorite books are from series that I never actually finished? WOW, even as a child, I sucked at finishing series.

Note: All series mentioned include links to and pictures of the first book.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.


1. The Nancy Drew Series by Carolyn Keene

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Literally, without this series, I wouldn’t be a reader. My mom got me hooked on this series when I was in 4th grade (prior to that year, I apparently threw fits when it came to having to read 😬). I owe so much to this series.
(Also, did you guys hear they’re making a Nancy Drew TV show?! I’m so pumped!)

2. The Warrior Series by Erin Hunter

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Wild cats! In their own civilizations! With feuds, and wars, and secrets, and betrayals! I’ve always been a cat person, especially when I was younger. I honestly still have some of these books on my shelf, even some of the companion graphic novel series. 😂

3. The Woman in the Wall by Patrice Kindl

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I read this book for the first time in 5th grade and immediately fell in love with it. It’s literally about a girl who makes all these secret rooms and passageways in between the walls of her house and lives there until people forget about her. I don’t know why, but I thought that was the coolest thing.

4. Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher

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Another book I had to read for school in 5th grade! This is a “A Thousand and One Nights” retelling, except instead of being from Shahrazad‘s or the Sultan’s POV, it’s from the perspective of a young girl who was maimed in ordered to avoid becoming one of the Sultan’s many murdered wives. After 3 children and 1000 days after getting married, Shahrazad is running out of stories to tell the Sultan, and seeks out the protagonist’s help in tracking down a tale that they both only partly remember.

5. The Guardians of Ga’Hoole Series by Kathryn Lasky

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These books were really popular with some of my friends in 4th & 5th grade, so I–of course–had to jump on the band wagon and read them too! I don’t think I ever finished the series–I wanna say I got about 8 books in. They actually made a movie about the first part of the series, which yes, my same friend group all went and saw together.

6. The Secrets of Droon Series by Tony Abbott

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These were books I actually read in pre-4th grade days, back in a time when my mother was still having me read aloud to her. My mom later told me she was disappointed that we didn’t finish this series because she wanted to know what happened. Whoops.

7. Princess from Another Planet by Mindy Schanback

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Another book I read with my mom in early elementary school. And I surprisingly remember a lot of the plot of this book, and it’s very weird, but for some reason I really liked it?!

(wow, so descriptive there, Keri)

8. Shadow by Jenny Moss

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Okay, I’m a bit of a broken record with this book and the next one, but I enjoyed this book SO MUCH when I was younger. I read it at least 3 times, which is pretty impressive for me because I don’t reread a lot.

9. Darkwood by M.E. Breen

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Such an eerie and twisty MG read with dark fairytale vibes if I remember correctly. I’m still upset that there were never any following books. I wanted moooooore.

10. Septimus Heap Series by Angie Sage

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I think I discovered this book at the annual book fair at my elementary school (though I’m irked now because I don’t know where my copy is?? I rarely get rid of books and never in a million years would have gotten ridden of it. WHERE ARE YOU BOOK?!?). Not sure if I ever finished the series—though I know I got a good many books in. I still think about this series to this day.


What are your favorite books from your childhood? Do we share any? Did you actually finish reading your favorite childhood series?

If you participated in TTT this week, feel free to link up your post in the comments below–I would love to check them out!

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2019

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This week’s TTT topic is “Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019”. There are so many intriguing reads coming out in the second half of the year that figuring out my most anticipated releases was harder than I thought it was going to be! Lol, now that I’ve compiled this list, I wish I had all of them in my hands RIGHT NOW and I REALLY wanna preorder them all (my bank account would kill me if I did this tho).

Also, I’m surprised that I came up with a list that not only includes a variety of genres–fantasy, sci-fi, contemporary, thrillers (not just my usual YA fantasy)–but almost half of them are adult books?!? Who am I?

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.


1. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

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Release Date: July 2nd

I read Sager’s The Last Time I Lied earlier this month and became completely addicted! I read the snippet for this book in the back and now I’m so pumped to pick up more thrillers!

2. Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells

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Release Date: July 30th

A YA fantasy about a girl trying to save her girlfriend! And there are DRAGONS! I’m so excited that I have this ARC!
(lowkey wish the cover wasn’t so ‘meh’ tho)

3. Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi

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Release Date: September 3rd

I don’t know why, but I’m a total sucker for romances involving pop stars. But the fact that this is technically NA makes me even more excited!

4. Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

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Release Date: September 10th

Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers.

Literally all that I needed to know before adding this to my TBR.

5. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

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Release Date: October 1st

I mean, it’s Leigh Bardugo, so how can it not be an automatic anticipated release for me? (And preorder, once I get around to it.) And it’s a new adult/adult book set in college? I’m gonna drop everything to read this book when it releases.

Also, lol at all these books involving a “ninth house”.

6. The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

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Release Date: October 8th

I’m so ready for vampires to make a comeback.

7. How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse by K. Eason

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Release Date: October 8th

Feminist! Fairytale tropes! In Space!
I’ll take this now, thank you.

8. The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco

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Release Date: October 15th

Shout out to Aurora @ Aurora Librialis for informing me about this book! Because a YA fantasy about the daughters of twin goddesses? With sun and night realms? And apparently the author said one of the characters has “bookish chaotic lesbian goddess energy”?!?! So yeah, I really need this book now.

9. The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

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Release Date: November 5th

A KING ARTHUR RETELLING. Ever since I watched the BBC TV show Merlin (oh, 6 years ago!), the word “Arthurian” has been a buzzword for me. And this retelling is focused on Guinevere, where she’s a lot more than she seems?!? I’m so pumped!

10. The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

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Release Date: November 19th

I AM FOREVER GRATEFUL THE RELEASE DATE FOR THIS GOT BUMPED UP TO THIS YEAR. There’s no doubt that I will pre-order this book, and (college/homework willing) that I’ll read it immediately after it releases.


Special Mention: The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

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Release Date: July 9th

The only reason I didn’t include this in my top 10 is because I’ve been so excited for it that I cheated and included it in My Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019 list back in January.

But a princess with depression? A betrothal with the enemy prince? And magical, elemental crows?? You see why I had to preorder this book and I haven’t been able to stop screaming about it? Everyday I keep hoping Amazon will screw up and magically send me my copy super early. Alas, no luck so far. 😆


What releases are you most excited for in the second half of 2019? Do we have any that overlap?
Any of you out there snagged ARCs of these and read them already? (If yes, I’m SO jealous!)

If you participated in TTT this week, feel free to link up your post in the comments below–I would love to check them out!