Reading Slump. What to do?!

As we all know reading slumps are the bane of every readers existence. Not being able to read for days, weeks, months.. YEARS would make you think “Am I ever going to read again?!” (cause that is what happened to me back then 😅)

As someone who has experienced huge reading slumps countless of times I do have some tips and tricks on how to get rid of them. So if you are experiencing a reading slump right now don’t you worry. I gotcha!

Below is a list of 7 tips I have found to be the most effective way to get over a reading slump.

First off! Get off your phone or any gadgets. Yes I know. You want to binge watch or rewatch Shadow & Bone BUT you won’t be able to get to your book if you keep being distracted by the gadgets around you. So for now let go of the gadgets and try to read a few paragraphs of your current read.

Read your favorite book. If reading a new book puts you on a slump why not go back to that book you have reread countless of times but still absolutely love. You can never go wrong with a favorite, right?

Try a new genre. I actually tried this for my recent slump. I got tired of reading fantasy last year and the books I had was not appealing to me at all so I changed it up and started reading historical romance books. This wasn’t a new genre for me but I haven’t been reading much from this and it rekindled my love for it AND got me back on track. So put that Fantasy, Contemporary etc down and try a different genre. You never know. You might find a new favorite after.

Read shorter books. When on a slump reading a 800+ page book won’t help you. It might even trigger your slump more then you’ll not be reading for months! Start with something small and when you get the feeling you won’t go deeper onto your slump you can now pick up that big book.

Join a book club. Surround yourself with people who have the same interest as you. You can even talk about your own struggles with reading slumps and share your own tips and tricks.

Watch booktube videos or browse on bookstagram. This is what I usually do when I feel like the slump is slowly getting to me. I don’t know why but when I see a bunch of people hauling books or see them absolutely rave about a book I always end up missing reading then sooner or later I will be able to get back to it.

Lastly if everything fails Don’t Push Yourself. Don’t get mad at yourself for not reading. Think of it as taking a bit of a break. If you pressure yourself to read something you might end up hating a book that you were so excited to get to. So don’t panic. Breathe in. Breathe out. I am now allowing you to watch a few episodes BUT don’t go to hard that you’ll completely forget about going back to the books. 😉

Now.. any other tips and/or tricks of your own to get over a reading slump? Let me know down below.

Top 5 Wednesday: April Showers Bring May Flowers 💐

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey at GingerReadsLainey and Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes way back November 2013 and is still going strong! For more information and if you want to join click here to be redirected to the Goodreads page.

I have been a part of T5W for so long and I am so happy to be back and doing this month’s challenges/prompts. So the prompt for today is “books with flowers/plants in the cover” since we ARE welcoming the Month of May and as they say “April Showers Bring May Flowers.”

I first thought of sharing books I’ve read with flowers/plants on the cover but I thought why not post books that you WANT to read. Right? Right! So below are the 5 books I want to read with flower/plants on the cover.

A Deal with the Elf King by Elise Kova

The elves come for two things: war and wives. In both cases, they come for death.

Three-thousand years ago, humans were hunted by powerful races with wild magic until the treaty was formed. Now, for centuries, the elves have taken a young woman from Luella’s village to be their Human Queen.

To be chosen is seen as a mark of death by the townsfolk. A mark nineteen-year-old Luella is grateful to have escaped as a girl. Instead, she’s dedicated her life to studying herbology and becoming the town’s only healer.

That is, until the Elf King unexpectedly arrives… for her.

A Deal with the Elf King is a complete, stand-alone novel, inspired by the tales of Hades and Persephone, as well as Beauty and the Beast, with a “happily ever after” ending. It’s perfect for fantasy romance fans looking for just the right amount of steam and their next slow-burn and swoon-worthy couple.

House of Hollows by Krystal Sutherland

Seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats.

Iris has spent most of her teenage years trying to avoid the weirdness that sticks to her like tar. But when her eldest sister, Grey, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Iris learns just how weird her life can get: horned men start shadowing her, a corpse falls out of her sister’s ceiling, and ugly, impossible memories start to twist their way to the forefront of her mind.

As Iris retraces Grey’s last known footsteps and follows the increasingly bizarre trail of breadcrumbs she left behind, it becomes apparent that the only way to save her sister is to decipher the mystery of what happened to them as children.

The closer Iris gets to the truth, the closer she comes to understanding that the answer is dark and dangerous – and that Grey has been keeping a terrible secret from her for years.

Kingdom of the Cursed by Kerri Maniscalco

One sister.
Two sinful princes.
Infinite deception with a side of revenge…Welcome to Hell.

After selling her soul to become Queen of the Wicked, Emilia travels to the Seven Circles with the enigmatic Prince of Wrath, where she’s introduced to a seductive world of vice.

She vows to do whatever it takes to avenge her beloved sister, Vittoria…even if that means accepting the hand of the Prince of Pride, the king of demons.

The first rule in the court of the Wicked? Trust no one. With back-stabbing princes, luxurious palaces, mysterious party invitations, and conflicting clues about who really killed her twin, Emilia finds herself more alone than ever before. Can she even trust Wrath, her one-time ally in the mortal world…or is he keeping dangerous secrets about his true nature?

Emilia will be tested in every way as she seeks a series of magical objects that will unlock the clues of her past and the answers she craves.

Pride and Premeditation by Tirzah Price

Perfect for fans of the Lady Janies and Stalking Jack the Ripper, the first book in the Jane Austen Murder Mysteries series is a clever retelling of Pride and Prejudice that reimagines the iconic settings, characters, and romances in a thrilling and high-stakes whodunit.

When a scandalous murder shocks London high society, seventeen-year-old aspiring lawyer Lizzie Bennet seizes the opportunity to prove herself, despite the interference of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the stern young heir to the prestigious firm Pemberley Associates.

Convinced the authorities have imprisoned the wrong person, Lizzie vows to solve the murder on her own. But as the case—and her feelings for Darcy—become more complicated, Lizzie discovers that her dream job could make her happy, but it might also get her killed.

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodore Goss

Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.

But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherin Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.

When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.

Out of all the titles I mentioned I am most excited with Pride and Premeditation which is a new discovery (literally saw it seconds before making this) and is said to be perfect for fans of Stalking Jack the Ripper. I absolutely loved SJTR so I added this to my want to read shelf as soon as I finished reading the synopsis!

Are any of the titles mentioned on your tbr?

Goodreads Was Wrong Book Tag

I have been tagged by my good friend Angele over at Angele Reads Books to do this tag so thank you so much friend!

I have been trying to finish this since last week and well.. procrastination hits and I wasn’t able to do it. (But I was able to start Way of Kings so don’t get mad at me Angele). 😂

Goodreads has been my go to tracker since I started reading. This was also where I have posted my very first review before creating my own blog so when I want to post past reviews here I can go and check there (I might have to tweak some stuff before posting though). 😂 But I have actually removed a TON of titles on my Goodreads so we’ll see how this one goes.

This tag is originally created by GabsAboutBooks, so make sure to check it out and without further ado let’s get into the tag!

1. what is the highest rated book that you gave a low rating? (sort your books in goodreads based on average ratings and find the highest rated book you gave a low rating)

Heartstopper: Volume 3 by Alice Oseman

Heartstopper is actually becoming one of my all time favorite graphic novel with 4.65 ratings and a Goodreads Choice Winner last year. I gave this a 3 star and I really did enjoy it but I think I set my expectations to high after reading the 2nd volume (which was my favorite). Still highly recommended though.

2. what is the lowest rated book that you gave a high rating? (sort your books in goodreads based on average ratings, in reverse order, and find the lowest rated book you gave a high rating)

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

This was actually a shock for me cause I LOVED this book and is one of the top books I have read last year (review here). It has a 3.82 rating on Goodreads but I gave it 4 stars.

3. what is the most popular book you disagree with the average rating? (sort your books in goodreads based on number of ratings, and find the first book you disagree with the average rating)

The Giver by Lois Lowry

I know this was a classic with over 1,896,232 ratings and a 4.13 rating but I gave it a 2.5 star. This was actually a book I read way back because of the hype it was receiving and the movie coming out. This was also the very first review I made on my past blog but honestly speaking, now that I’m thinking about it.. I don’t remember what really happened in the book.

4. what is the least popular book you disagree with the average rating? (sort your books in goodreads based on number of ratings, in reverse order, and find the first book you disagree with the average rating)

What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell

I have been on a historical romance kick since the year started and this was one I did enjoy and gave 4 stars (I think I’m starting to like Duke-Governess romance). But on Goodreads it only has 2,074 ratings and an average of 3.80 rating.

5. Choose two books that have an average rating of 3/5 stars but you gave a higher rating?

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta Goodreads 3.87. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson Goodreads 3.79. Gave both of this books 4 stars. HIGHLY recommended!

6. Choose two books that have an average rating of 3/5 stars but you gave a lower rating?

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson Goodreads 3.66. This Scot of Mine by Sophie Jordan Goodreads 3.67. Gave both of this 2 stars.

7. Choose two books that have an average rating of 4/5 stars but you gave a lower rating?

Fire by Kristin Cashore Goodreads 4.09. Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn Goodreads 4.07. Gave both of this 3 stars.

And that is the last question for this tag. Doing this made me realize a few things. I have been using Goodreads for 7 years now (joined on 2014) and back then I have made decisions based on the ratings they show here. Good thing I stopped doing that cause I found out that me and Goodreads do not agree as much as I though. How bout you guys? Do you agree with the average ratings of the book you’ve read so far? Anyone feeling the same way as I do?

Feel free to do this tag if you want to!

May TBR & Stan Asian Authors Readathon

I chose my May TBR last night and let me tell you… I might have been a bit ambitious for this month. 😅

May is the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month so I decided to join Year 2 of the #stanasianauthors readathon hosted by the lovely Eunice of Nerdy Talks Book Blog and Kath of The Last Reader.

(To know more about the readathon you can visit any of their instagram accounts here and here.)

#StanAsianAuthors tbr (w/ prompts):

I was also so happy that I was able to fit this 2 following books for my TBR this month cause I really wanted and NEEDED to get into them (not part of #stanasianauthor tbr)

April Wrap Up

April, for me, was a very successfull reading month cause I was able to read 9 books (3 from TBR)!

  1. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (The Winternight Trilogy #1) ☆☆☆☆
  2. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen #1) ☆☆☆
  3. To Sir Phillip, With Love by Julia Quinn (Bridgertons #5) ☆☆☆
  4. The Duke Buys a Bride by Sophie Jordan (The Rogue Files #3) ☆☆
  5. This Scot of Mine by Sophie Jordan (The Rogue Files #4) ☆☆
  6. What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell (School for Dukes #1) ☆☆☆☆
  7. Elle (s) by Kid Toussaint, Aveline Stokart ☆☆☆
  8. Murder on Balete Drive by Budjette Tan (Trese #1) ☆☆☆☆
  9. In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens ☆☆☆☆

Hoping this would continue for the rest of the year so I could finally accomplish my Goodreads Reading Challenge cause for the past years I have always missed 2-3 books when it comes to this challenge.

Readathons has also been a big help for me this month and I plan to do and join more in the following months.

In Deeper Waters by F.T. Lukens

SYNOPSIS

A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger to save him when he is kidnapped during his coming-of-age tour in this swoony adventure that is The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Pirates of the Caribbean.

Prince Tal has long awaited his coming-of-age tour. After spending most of his life cloistered behind palace walls as he learns to keep his forbidden magic secret, he can finally see his family’s kingdom for the first time. His first taste of adventure comes just two days into the journey, when their crew discovers a mysterious prisoner on a burning derelict vessel.

Tasked with watching over the prisoner, Tal is surprised to feel an intense connection with the roguish Athlen. So when Athlen leaps overboard and disappears, Tal feels responsible and heartbroken, knowing Athlen could not have survived in the open ocean.

That is, until Tal runs into Athlen days later on dry land, very much alive, and as charming—and secretive—as ever. But before they can pursue anything further, Tal is kidnapped by pirates and held ransom in a plot to reveal his rumored powers and instigate a war. Tal must escape if he hopes to save his family and the kingdom. And Athlen might just be his only hope… 

THOUGHTS & RATING

⭐⭐⭐⭐

“I know we’re young,” he blurted. “I know that we met under stressful circumstances. I know that I’m a prince and you’re a merman. But I also know that I’ve never felt this way about anyone else. I know we’re both the last, and we’ve felt alone. But we could be alone together.”

First of all can we appreciate how gorgeous the cover for this book is? I’ve actually first saw this on bookstagram and made a mental note to get into it as soon as it is released because I absolutely fell in love with the cover.

Honestly speaking I didn’t really think of this as similar to the Pirates of the Carribean but more on a queer take on The Little Mermaid. I have actually debated on what star rating I should give this book and instead of the average 3 stars I bumped it up to 4 stars cause I really did enjoy the story. Although this theme has been used multiple times I love how it was different in the sense that it isn’t dark, mature or full of tragedy. After reading too much fantasy the past year I needed something light and romantic for a change.

The story as well as the characters made it so much easier to get into. I adored Athlen and how naive he is to the world around him and I just want to protect him at all cost! I love the innocence and the vibrancy of Tal and Athlen as main characters. I love the relation of Tal “Tally” with his brothers and sisters. How it showed how much he could and would sacrifice to keep his family and his country safe even though he, like Athlen, doesn’t know much of the world since he was kept out of it because of his magic.

F.T Lukens briefly touched on topics like betrayal, forgiveness, hope, power, differences and acceptance but as Little Mermaid’s story this does center around the heart warming, fluffy and the innocence of Tal and Athlen’s first love. Even though both of them are so different with one another and from everyone else they held on to the belief that as long as they are together they will never be alone.

I can say that this is a book you would enjoy reading either at the beach on vacation or at the comfort of your home. Even though this wasn’t as action packed as the books I have been reading I did end this book with a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

SYNOPSIS

A richly inventive novel about a centuries-old vampire, a spellbound witch, and the mysterious manuscript that draws them together.

Deep in the stacks of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library. Diana has stumbled upon a coveted treasure lost for centuries-and she is the only creature who can break its spell.

Debut novelist Deborah Harkness has crafted a mesmerizing and addictive read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos. This smart, sophisticated story harks back to the novels of Anne Rice, but it is as contemporary and sensual as the Twilight series-with an extra serving of historical realism.

THOUGHTS & RATING

⭐⭐⭐⭐

“It begins with absence and desire.

It begins with blood and fear.

It begins with a discovery of witches.”

This was highly recommended by a good friend of mine and since we have the same taste in books I immediately got the whole series. BUT as the awesome reader that I am (note the sarcasm) I wasn’t able to get into it until last year.

This was a perfect blend between fantasy, history, science and a little bit of mythology. I was so amazed at how Matthew Clairmont’s brain works and it felt like I was not just reading for entertainment but also learning A LOT from it. The historical references the author has put into the story was another plus for me and as a history geek I devoured every information.

Not gonna lie I wasn’t the biggest fan of Diana at first. With her not accepting what she truly is, being in denial of everything and relying on other people to protect her but at the last few pages she began to change into the badass female character I enjoy reading about.

I would also like to give credit to the rest of the characters. Ysabeau, Marthe, Marcus, Miriam, Sarah, Emily, Hamish etc were all very unique and unforgettable in their own way. I love how this characters were not outshined by the main ones and was able to be a huge part of the overall story.

I have also recently finished the 1st season of the tv show and seeing my favorite characters come to life was such a joy. I’m not usually a fan of book to movie/tv show adaptation but I did really enjoy this. Matthew Goode as Matthew Clairmont was spot on!

This book was such a captivating tale that instantly caught my attention and challenged my imagination from the very first page. It was full of magic, action, romance and supplied unlimited knowledge and I loved every part of it. It might be a bit slow at first but it got better as you continue reading it. Definitely one of the best books I have read last year and can’t wait to get to the last book of the series.

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

SYNOPSIS

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honoured for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince, the leader of a campaign against her people.

As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for.

THOUGHTS & RATING

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Don’t worry,” I said. “These men are good. They’re going to heal the world.”

Read this last year and it definitely got me back on track!

The characters, or the “cavemans” which I like to call them (you’ll know when you read it), was what I fell inlove the most in this book. Belen the overprotective poppa bear, the very entertaining “monkey’s” Loren & Quian, Flea who thinks and acts older than his age and of course we have Kerrick – the bastard.

I feel like Kerrick has the most character development in this book. When I started reading this I absolutely HATED his attitude and everything about him, but as the story progressed and he started changing, my heart also slowly opened up to him.

Avry was such a soft-hearted and kind person that sometimes I want to go inside the book and shake her. Tell her to give more importance to her life. But she’s also a strong willed character who wouldnt just stand by and watch the people close to her get hurt.

The world building and magic system is another thing that amazed me while reading this book. Maria V. Snyder has a way with words and makes you feel like your there in the book with them gallivanting through the forest to get to Ryne, learning more about the magic they have and sitting front row while Kerrick and Avry argue. And let me tell you..insta-love was NOT present at all! 😂 I need to get to the second book of this and continue my adventure with Avry and the cavemans. 💜

Spring Cleaning Book Tag 🌸

I was catching up on blog post earlier this week and saw this and thought “Why not?”

I wasn’t tag for this or anything but I was interested to do it after reading Kat’s post over at her blog Life and Other Disasters.

This tag was originally created by Jen over at Book Syrup on youtube (sorry the link isn’t working anymore).

1. the struggle of getting started: a book/book series that you have struggled to begin because of its size?

Hands down The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon! I mean did you guys see how HUGE this book is? It has about 830 pages! But I did really like it buuuuut… I haven’t finished it yet. 😅 I think I have about 200-300 pages left but I haven’t picked it up yet (I should really do that).

2. cleaning out the closet: a book and/or book series you want to unhaul?

I have been debating on unhauling my Warcross Duology by Marie Lu for quite some time now. I did really enjoy the 1st book but the 2nd book just didn’t do it for me. My expectation was so high for this since this was the first book I’ve read and liked that contains the element of a game in the story. But every time I think of letting them go… I just can’t. 😅

3. opening windows and letting fresh air in: a book that was refreshing.

Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend is still the most refreshing and magical book I have read so far. This was the book that made me start reading middle grade and it was also one of the books that got me off of my reading slump. Highly recommend it if you are looking into trying middle grade books. 🥰

4. washing out sheet stains: a book you wish you could rewrite a certain scene in?

I was stuck in this for awhile and I was looking at the books on my shelf and then realize… Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco. If you have read this book I think you know what scene I mean. I don’t want to say anything else cause I don’t want to spoil it but OH MY GOSH… it still irritates me when I remember it.

5. throwing out unecessary knick knacks: a book in a series that you didn’t feel was necessary?

Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi. (Actually the following 3 books.) Don’t get me wrong I LOVED the first 3 books in this series and I was so excited when I first got Restore me but I have heard mixed things about the following books and I just didn’t want to ruin the love I had for this series. I am still debating on reading this and I feel like every time I look at my shelf it stares at me cause I haven’t really opened it since I got it.

(And it’s a bit unsettling since it has an eye in the cover. 👀)
6. polishing the door knobs: a book that had a clean finish?

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi. I recently finished this book and for a standalone fantasy I felt very satisfied with the ending. We all know that fantasy books usually has 3 or more books in it cause of all the world building, plots, characters and so on but I really loved and enjoyed reading this. I didn’t feel that it was lacking at the end of it cause I felt like it tied up everything nicely.

7. reaching to dust the fan: a book that tried too hard to relay a certain message?

For this I can’t really think of anything. 😅

8. the tiring yet satisfying finish of spring cleaning: a book series that was tiring yet satisfying to get through?

The All Souls Trilogy (minus the 3rd book) by Deborah Harkness. First off I haven’t read the last book yet AND I didn’t choose this cause they were bad or anything. I actually really really LOVE this and it has become one of my all time favorite series! It’s just that… they were super long (700+ pages) and very intimidating. I felt like I was back in college while reading this cause of all the scientific stuff it has in it that made my brain malfunction a bit at times. But the historical aspect… enjoyed every bit of it.

Also I really need to watch the series ASAP!

That is it for today’s tag! What do you guys think? Have you read the books I have mentioned? Agree or Disagree? Let’s talk in the comments down below! 😊

Feel free to do this tag if you want to! 🌸

Elle(s) by Kid Toussaint, Aveline Stokart (Illustrator)

SYNOPSIS

Elle is just another teenage girl… most of the time. Bubbly and good-natured, she wastes no time making friends on her first day at her new school. But Elle has a secret: she hasn’t come alone. She’s brought with her a colorful mix of personalities, which come out when she least expects it… Who is Elle, really? And will her new friends stand by her when they find out the truth? 

THOUGHTS & RATING

⭐⭐⭐

First of all this is one of the most beautifully made graphic novel I have ever read. The art was very colorful and it made reading more enjoyable.

Basically Elle was a new student in her school. She was very bubbly and friendly so it wasn’t a shock for people to like her and everything was going well. She had friends, she was excelling in school and she was finally fitting in until everything went down.

Honestly going in to this I didn’t think it will delve into mental illness that much, but for a 100 page novel it did capture my attention and made me realize how serious mental health is. I can’t even imagine how hard it was for Elle to cope with all the stress and having to be aware of the different personalities you have in yourself but can’t do anything about it.

Besides Elle I really liked the character of Maelys. Everyone needs a friend like her. Someone who won’t give up on you cause of your mood swings and will always have your back no matter what.

It did end to fast and I feel like more should be said but it is a first in a series and I can’t wait to read the next books.

Thank you to @netgalley and @EuropeComics for this ARC Ebook. All reviews and opinions are fair, honest and my own.