New Releases: June 2017

june releasesWhen I sat down to write this blog post I quickly realized that I didn’t have that many books on my Goodreads shelf for this upcoming month and I was worried that this post would be really short and not much fun to write or read. Luckily for all of us (or mostly me) The Broke And The Bookish’s theme for yesterday’s Top 10 Tuesday was Most Anticipated Release For The Rest Of 2017 and I was reminded of a few books that I had seen here and there and found a few new ones to add to my list for June releases! Let’s get right into them!

Release Date: June 6th

song of the currentSong Of The Current by Sarah Tolcser

To be completely honest with you guys, the first thing that drew me to Song Of The Current was hands down that cover! The colors and the way the moon is reflected in the water just really spoke to me and demanded that I look at it longer! But the cover isn’t the only interesting aspect of this book, don’t you worry! The story sounds really awesome too! I’m really bad at summarizing books I haven’t read, so please click on the link above for the Goodreads page to find out more. But this books features a headstrong and determined heroine, pirates, politics and waterways of a magical land and that just sounds really interesting to me!

Once And For All by Sarah Dessenonce and for all

I just finished my first ever Sarah Dessen book this past weekend (I will be talking more about it in my wrap up this Friday!) and I’ve obviously heard about the author as she is really beloved by a lot of people and the promotional campaign for Once And For All was just so cute! This book is all about weddings and wedding planning and everything that goes along with it and I feel like summer is the perfect time for this kind of book and I really hope I can get to it sometime soon! Though maybe I shouldn’t read the author’s most recent book before I read her previous books? I expect her to have gotten better over the years and I don’t want to be disappointed if her previous books aren’t as good as this book can be. Have you guys read any Sarah Dessen books and have tips on how to read them? Let me know!

Release Date: June 13th

our dark duetOur Dark Duet

If you’ve been reading our blog for a little while you probably know that I read my first Victoria Schwab books this year and that I have fallen in love with her writing, so obviously Our Dark Duet is on my list of releases for this month! I was actually hoping to read This Savage Song in May so I can jump right into this one, but I haven’t had the time yet. But none the less, this book is still very high on my list and I can’t wait to jump into Victoria Schwab’s Young Adult books! I do love the concept of acts of violence manifesting in different kinds of monsters and what I’ve heard about this book from Victoria herself in various interviews sounds so awesome!

Down Among Sticks And Bones by Seanan McGuiredown among the sticks and bones

I haven’t heard too many people talk about Every Heart A Doorway (the first book in the Wayward Children trilogy) but the people that have talked about the book have spoken really highly of it, which has me excited to read it and its sequel Down Among The Sticks And Bones soon! And can we just talk about the cover, please? It looks stunning. I have some serious heart-eyes going on! You should check out the cover for the final book too! So pretty. This trilogy is about children who disappear to magical lands and try to find their ways back once they return. Many of these children live at this Home for children like them and when our main character Nancy shows up at the Home things start changing and Nancy and her schoolmates have to figure out what is going on.

bad romanceBad Romance by Heather Demetrios

While looking for books for this list I definitely saw this cover pop up on various lists but it never compelled me enough to click through and read the synopsis. But then I read Jackie’s T10T post in which she featured Bad Romance and I was hooked. One Goodreads user added that there should be a trigger warning for both suicide and abuse, so please be aware of those if you are thinking about reading this book! Bad Romance is about Grace who wants to get out of her home and away from her parents and small town life and start the life she wants to live. She meets Gavin who seems to be right for her, but he’s controlling and dangerous. This relationship might be a prison Grace is unable to escape.

Release Date: June 27th

Now I Rise by Kiersten Whitenow i rise

I’m currently in the middle of my audiobook of And I Darken to get ready to finally read Now I Rise (and slightly worrying about the deadline that has been staring at me these past few days) and I am loving it! I love Lada who is ruthless and a fighter and not afraid to show her toughness and Radu who is the opposite of Lada but has his own ways to deal with people. Then we have Mehmet, the son of the Sultan heir to the throne. These three form such an interesting triangle that is becoming more and more toxic as time goes on and characters grow up. I love the diversity and setting in this story! I haven’t read anything set in the Ottoman Empire before and it’s really interesting to see this side of history! I am really excited to see where the rest of And I Darken goes and where Now I Rise picks up after!

There we have it, six books I am really excited about for the next month! Are any of these books on you guys’ TBR too? Or have added any of them after reading this post? Let’s talk in the comments below!

 

5 Ways to deal with exams and the results!

The idea for this post actually came to me randomly when I was brainstorming my way through what I recently did in my life that I could be sharing with you guys, since a lot of you mentioned, that you love getting to know us a bit better with each post that shares a little bit more of ourselves. Talking about this also comes from a rather self-indulgent place because it’s kind of a reflection for me and to remind myself that no matter what happens that everything will be okay.

Recently I had this big exam (3 different parts) and it was one of those big defining moments for me because I have been building it up so high in my mind, I was really nervous but also determined because I really want to pass. (I’ll update you guys once I get my results next month!)

It made me think of ways I might be able to give people some advice on how to deal with the stress that inevitably comes with tests/exams that are really important for your future career!

#1 Don’t study all around the clock. Take breaks to let your mind ease a bit.

This is one of those things I’ve been struggling with a lot because I kept thinking what if I don’t study enough and then the results come back and it turns out I didn’t pass?. That’s where I realized – NO. I’m going to let myself have breaks and watch a show or continue reading a book. Just simply doing something where all of that stress (which mostly came from thinking about it too much, which I do quite often) gets some release.

#2 Remind yourself that if you don’t pass, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure.

Saying that and actually believing this are two different things – trust me I know. But I find that doing that, really helped me be less nervous and not see myself as a possible failure if it comes to that. Sometimes it happens because maybe you’ve been having a bad day or a hard time at home with your family and that can take a toll on you too.

For me, it was actually the first time going through something as defining as that because I already have plans for over the summer and the rest of the year – so if this ends badly – it all gets pushed back and I think that is what I’m most afraid of. Another aspect of my determination to pass is that I have been working for this moment for the past 2 years and that alone is just what gave me the motivation.

#3 Talk to your teachers, classmates or family and work through all of that together.

In the weeks leading up to my exam I had so many different conversations – be it with a teacher or my family – about what this means to me and how I can prepare for it and also be ready for the results when they come. Just having that bit of support meant a lot to me – knowing people believe in me – gave me the push I needed in the end.

#4 Give yourself a break after the exam and treat yourself (to a nice bath or some shopping)

This is exactly what I did once my exam was over. Giving myself a break really helped me come to terms with it all and find ways to unwind. Thinking about other things other than grades or my future for a while – setting it aside for a bit. Keeping that balance of knowing what I want for my future but also having a chance to breathe and reflect.

#5 Allow yourself to feel sad or happy – no matter the results

Letting yourself feel that is important because it helps with the process of – What is to come next for me? What will my future look like? Helping you decide where to go from there and how to find a way that makes you happy even if it’s not the way you initially hoped it would be like.

P.S: I just wanted to add that obviously, this is different for everyone but I hope this post helps some of you in one way or another.

Have you recently had that big exam? How did that make you feel? & Do you feel better now that it’s over? – Let’s have a chat in the comments 🙂

Spin-Off Series: 5 Reasons Why They Are Great

spin-off seriesThis post is being brought to you guys by my somewhat sleep deprived brain and the fact that all five members of One Direction have finally released their first solo material which has me super excited – but still wanting more! I need those solo albums, boys! Like, yesterday!

And if you’re reading this and asking yourself if I have lost it entirely due to my lack of sleep – don’t worry! I haven’t. I was just thinking about what benefits fans get out of all of the boys releasing solo music and that turned into me thinking about why spin-off series are a great thing. It all made perfect sense to me in my sleep deprived brain. Don’t worry, I am not going to bore you guys with One Direction comparisons though, that’s not what you’re here for after all!

Reason #1: You Get To Explore Different Parts Of The World

Any book or series we read is set in a world – be it our real world (in whatever shape or form) or a fantasy world; which we explore in the first series and hopefully fall in love with. If we’re lucky, the story of the first series is set in just a small part of the world and we get to venture out and see different parts in a spin-off. For example, Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy was set in Ravka while her Six Of Crows Duology was set in Ketterdam – both places exist within the same world but in different parts with their own unique elements and characters and I loved being in Ketterdam! I wouldn’t be angry with Leigh if she decided to travel further in her own world and show us even more places! I’m here for it!

Reason #2: You Get To Explore A Different Set Of Characters

I don’t know how many of you guys know about my love for Vampire Academy and the characters Rose, Dimitri and Adrian because I don’t really talk about this series on my blog but know that I love them a lot. But in a series with a good amount of characters and things happening, there is only so much time you can spend with a character or inside their heads so it’s always nice when you get an entire series from a beloved character’s POV – which is what happened with Adrian and Bloodlines! I loved getting six books featuring him as one of the main characters!

Reason #3: You Get To Explore A Different Time Period

Usually, I tend to be a little bit worried about stories that are set in a time period centuries ago. It’s probably because I don’t read many books set in the past – the only one I can think off at the top of my head is The Bronze Horseman. What I have discovered though is that if it’s a spin-off series that is set in the past in a world that I am familiar with, I don’t have those worries at all. That’s what happened with The Infernal Devices which is set in 1878. But since I already knew about the rules of the Shadow World, I had no problem reading a story set more than a century ago!

Reason #4: You Get To See Set Rules Be Broken And/Or Further Explored

Since we’re already talking about Cassandra Clare, let’s use one of her books as an example for this argument! Cassie has created this rule/law in her Shadow World where parabatai aren’t allowed to be in love with each other as that kind of love corrupts their powers and can have horrible consequences. And with her most recent spin-off trilogy, The Dark Artifices Cassie explores that particular rule and shows the reader why it was created and set in motion.

I feel like this might also potentially be something Sarah J. Maas is going to dive into in her upcoming releases in her A Court Of Thorns And Roses series but instead of parabatai relationships, she’s going to explore the mating bond and how different couples live with it.

Reason #5: You Get To Dive Straight Into The Story

You would think that as a person who enjoys reading fantasy novels and loves exploring new facets of a world I would enjoy reading about world building. But I hate it. There aren’t many things I dislike more than reading about world building – sometimes I even find it quite boring. But I’ve accepted that it is part of starting a new series and I live with having to read about it.

The great thing about a spin-off series is that you usually don’t have to ‘suffer’ through as much world building as you did that very first time and I love it. You’re also familiar with the set rules in any given world and you might also already know a few characters as you’re starting onto that new series and isn’t that just freaking awesome? It definitely makes me want to yell ‘Give me all the spin-offs out there!’ from the rooftops!

Are you someone who enjoys a good spin-off series or do you usually shy away from it? Why do or don’t you love them? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

 

Are Commenting Slumps A Thing?

commenting slumpsFor a couple of weeks now, I have been in this really weird thing where I haven’t really been commenting on people’s posts as much as I usually would. I don’t know how many of you guys have noticed this – but it’s been an ongoing problem and I am kind of annoyed by it. 

I’ve been trying to figure out why I have been acting this way for a few days or weeks now and I just can’t seem to pinpoint what exactly is going on or going wrong here. I still check my reader multiple times a day to look for new posts to read and comment on, but I just seem to find myself with either nothing to say or clicking out of a post because I can’t seem to get myself to finish it (most of the time it’s not because the content is unappealing).

This is again something that would never happen to me. I usually comment on pretty much any post I see in my reader or at least leave a Like if I don’t have anything to add in a comment, but even that hasn’t been happening lately.

We all know that reading slumps are a Things. And blogging slumps are a Thing too. But are commenting slumps a Thing? Is that something people experience at one point or another during their time as a blogger and active member of a community?

Jess from beaucoupbooks recently tweeted about not having been as good about commenting on people’s post lately and when I mentioned how I felt the same, she talked about it being okay to need a break sometimes and not to feel bad about it. But as I told her, I don’t feel like I need a break? I still very much enjoy every part of blogging – including commenting.

Have you guys experienced this feeling before? Is it a common thing to happen? If so, do you guys have any tips for me on how to deal with this because I am honestly clueless. 

Down the TBR Hole #12

part 12

Hello, Everyone! I hope you’re all doing well. My exam is over now (still waiting on results) and my last days at work are counting themselves. But here we are back with this meme that is so much fun! Swetlana has decided not to participate for a few weeks, so, you’re left with just me.


Every week I go through my TBR and decide which books to take off or keep. This meme is hosted by Lia over at imaginaryplacesonpaper. You should check out her blog!

Without further ado, let’s get into it.

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  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff has the coolest concept of a book I have ever seen. Actually, I’ve started reading this a while ago but didn’t continue yet but I’m definitely planning on finishing it, although I might have to start from the beginning because most of it got lost in my head.
  • These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman gives me some serious Lunar Chronicles vibes based on the synopsis alone! I’ll be giving this a chance because I haven’t read much sci-fi yet and want to explore that genre a bit more.

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  • Assasin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers sounds interesting enough but like I mentioned in a previous post, there are so many similar books and I want to make room for others. Maybe someday I’ll pick it up but not anytime soon. Sorry!
  • Truthwitch by Susan Dennard has such a cool concept that plays with truth and lies and that alone has me sold already! A lot of people seemed to have enjoyed it a lot so, that’s always a given.

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  • History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera is about grief, coping with the loss of a loved one and self-discovery. Seeing as I already own a copy of this book, I would be damned if I took it off my TBR.
  • More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera is about Aaron who, despite having a girlfriend, finds himself falling for a guy. Things get complicated from there on. I’m game for any book with LGBT+ characters in them so I’m sold. I also want to explore the contemporary genre a bit more because I read a lot of fantasy.

That’s it for this week! Let me know if you read any of these and whether you enjoyed them or not!

eARC Review: The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

review the names they gave usPlot

In Emery Lord’s newest release The Names They Gave Us we are introduced to Lucy Hansson, a high school student who has her summer all figured out but then things don’t go quite as planned. Her mother’s cancer returns, her boyfriend puts their relationship on pause in an effort to figure if this relationship is really what they both want going forward and on top of all of that, Lucy also isn’t working as a counselor at her childhood bible camp and instead helps out at Camp Daybreak, a neighbouring camp for troubled kids.

We join Lucy as she tries dealing with her new normal of working at Camp Daybreak, Sundays with her mother and her developing relationships with her fellow counselors at Camp Daybreak.

The plot for The Names They Gave Us sounded really intriguing to me when I first read it and I knew I wanted to read this book and see how Emery Lord would tell this story, even though I was worried that I wouldn’t enjoy the religious aspects of the story as that is not something I usually gravitate towards in books I want to read. But I have to say, it wasn’t something that felt like it was being pushed down your throat at any given point in the story. Religion was an important part of who Lucy was, yes. But it wasn’t all Lucy was or what this story was about. I really appreciated that!

This story truly was about friendships and the relationships Lucy has build with the people in her life. Her parents are active participants in her life – even though they do keep secrets from her. And once Lucy arrives at Camp Daybreak she immediately gets along really well with Anna and through her connects with Jones, Keely and Tambe, a group of counselors who have worked at Camp Daybreak together before. I really enjoyed watching their dynamic!

Writing

This was my first novel by Emery Lord and I didn’t know what to expect from her writing because of it. But I really enjoyed it!

I enjoyed that she took the time to introduce us to Camp Daybreak and it’s daily rhythm; that we got to experience a day in the life with Lucy and her group of girls. We also get to explore the surroundings of Camp Daybreak a little bit, which was a fun addition to the story and allowed the characters to show a different side of themselves, which is definitely something I appreciate a lot in a story!

Characters

I’ve already talked a little bit about the characters, so I am not going to repeat all of it again here. What I do want to add is that I really appreciated the diverse set of characters that Emery Lord introduced us to in her story.

And just how Religion wasn’t Lucy’s defining character trait, none of these characters were just the aspects that highlighted them as diverse. It was never the black character XY or anything like that. Yes, character XY was black but also caring and loving and talented and so much more and I really loved seeing that!

Pacing

The Names They Gave Us was definitely a well-paced story for a majority of the book. It had really small moments where I wished the author had taken more time to deal with situations that came up, but those weren’t major story points or drawbacks for me.

Enjoyment

To be completely honest, I was a little bit concerned that I might not enjoy this book as much as I would a different book with characters who weren’t teenagers, but those worries were for nothing! I actually really enjoyed reading about these characters and their day to day lives as counselors at camp but also as just teenagers on their nights and days off.

Maybe that was because these characters didn’t feel like teenagers most of the time? They felt they were mature for their age which definitely influenced my enjoyment!

This was a really quick, easy read and highly enjoyable! And now that I’ve read this, I definitely want to check out the author’s previous works!

Release Date

If you’re in the United States Of America, you’re already able to get your hands on this book as it was released on May 16th! But if you’re living in the United Kingdom, this book get’s released on June 1st! So make sure to either buy this book right away or pre-order it if it hasn’t been released for you yet!

I was approved for an eARC of this book by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ)!

Blogger Recognition Award Take 2

blogger recognition awardBefore I get into this post I just wanted to share a quick little update with you guys. If you follow me on Twitter you might’ve seen me talk about this already, but if you haven’t: I’ve decided to stop doing the Down The TBR Hole posts for a couple of weeks! I haven’t felt like writing them recently and they’ve started to feel like a chore and that is the last thing I want it to be. Sandra is still going to post her’s on the weekend though, so you have that to look forward too! I will get back to them eventually!

But now, let’s get into today’s post! Sandra and I were tagged by Lois over at Lois Reads Books to do the Blogger Recognition Award! We’ve done this once before a couple of months ago, but I figured I would do it again! We’ve definitely learned quite a bit more about blogging since then and I thought it would be fun to share with you guys!

screen-shot-2017-02-02-at-09-31-22

The Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.

Our History

I’ve been a book lover and lover of social media and blogging for many years and used to have a blog about a decade ago now (I think that’s about right, holy shit) and then towards the end of last year and around New Year’s Eve I kept thinking that I wanted to have a blog again and share my love of books with people who feel the same way. I’ve been a passive member of the book community for years (both BookTube and bookstagram) and I wanted to actively participate too! I asked Sandra if she wanted to do this blogging thing with me and luckily for all of us, she agreed! We’ve been blogging for almost five months now and our blog has definitely gone through a few changes already! I can’t wait to see what is yet to come for us!

Some Advice

Don’t be afraid to change things if they aren’t working (anymore)

When Sandra and I first started blogging, we didn’t really have a plan or schedule for our posts, we’d just post whenever we felt like it. That turned into us barely posting anything in January. Then we came up with a plan of action and somewhat of a schedule, trying to make sure we posted a variety of posts each day of the week to keep things interesting for us and our readers! We’ve since changed things about again to posting every other day which has been working really well! So, my biggest advice is: don’t be afraid of change! You’re learning as you go along and you’ll figure things out gradually!

Don’t underestimate how much time you are going to invest in blogging & the community

I feel like this is definitely something I didn’t realize would be a thing? I figured I would be posting here and there and commenting on people’s post and that would be it. All nice and easily done. But then you realize (especially as you follow more people and your following grows) that being an active member of the community takes quite some time! There are a ton of new posts to read, to comment or like posts and respond to your comment. Plus, obviously: writing new content for your blog! And that takes time to come up with ideas, putting said ideas to paper (or on screen) and editing the posts. All of that takes time!

But everything you have learned and will learn is definitely going to be worth it if you’re doing what you’re loving! So don’t be afraid to put in the time and effort! And don’t be afraid to take a step back if you have to! There are things in life that take priority sometimes!

Do you guys have any further tips for bloggers? Let’s share in the comments below and we can all benefit from them!