Things To Do While in Isolation

I know things are uncertain for a lot of us right now with the pandemic. Those of us who are high risk are definitely feeling the anxiety and stress of the situation, but it’s hard for everyone. While in self isolation a lot of people could go a little stir crazy, so here’s some things you could do to take your mind off things.

Read! You knew this was coming. Start a new series, tackle your TBR, finish those books you are still in the middle of! I had a big plan for this weekend to do just that, but then I feel asleep – oops!

Keep an eye out for your local businesses – Since we’re self isolating as much as possible, local businesses that depend on walk in traffic are really hurting. And this doesn’t just affect the business itself, but it’s employees. If you need a new stack of books, check out if your local bookstores are doing curbside pickup or have special deals going on for online orders. Even though we are looking out for ourselves we also need to look out for everyone else too.

Break out the puzzles and games – These are great stress busters, especially if you have heightened anxiety over the situation. Spend time having fun with your loved ones and breathe.

Reorganize and clean – Ok, if you’re anything like me this probably causes a lot of nervous energy that you don’t know how to use. Either you do something or you’re going to end up crying your eyes out. I have plans in the next couple days to probably reorganize my bookcases, just because it is something I know will utilize that energy.

This is a fearful time no matter where you live in the world. Please be compassionate and caring towards each other, have empathy and remember that we all live on this planet. Don’t hoard products, just take what you need, don’t get in fights over things such as toilet paper when people are literally fighting to stay alive.

Keep safe and healthy!

Review: Hotel Dare

Olive and her adopted siblings Charlotte and Darwin are spending the summer with their estranged grandma at her creepy hotel and it’s all work and no play. They’re stuck inside doing boring chores but they soon stumble upon an incredible secret… Behind each room door of the hotel lies a portal to a different strange and mysterious place. The simple turn of a knob transports them to a distant magical world filled with space pirates. Behind the next door are bearded wizards. Down the hall is a doorway to a cotton-candied kingdom. But once the doors are opened, worlds start colliding, and only one family can save them before they tear themselves apart. Written by Terry Blas (The Amazing World of Gumball) and illustrated by the talented Claudia Aguirre (Kim & Kim), this world-hopping fantasy tale breaks down the door to imagination and dares you to embrace the idea that family is everything.

This was such a fun and wild adventure! I love stories like this that weave diversity and real life issues so seamlessly. They aren’t overt, they are just there – and that’s something I applaud. This story follows three children going to visit their grandmother and help her with her hotel. What they fall into however is an intriguing mystery involving portals to other worlds, little sprinkles of mythology and tons of adventures.

The art style is so fluid and vibrant, plus the color palette is really punchy and bright, which made the story dynamic and fast paced. Overall it’s a story of family, even when that family is a found family and it was a great read!

Happy reading!

Review: Love Looks Pretty on You

Filled with wisdom and encouragement, every single page is a testament to the power of words, and the impact they can have on the relationships you build with others. And most importantly, the one you have with yourself.

Lang Leav captures the intricacies of emotions like few others can. It’s no wonder she has been recognized as a major influencer of the modern poetry movement and her writing has inspired a whole new generation of poets to pick up a pen.

Love Looks Pretty on You is truly the must-have book for poetry lovers all over the world.

Here’s the story of my life. Hoping they would care about me or wishing they wouldn’t care so much.

I’ve never heard of Lang Leav before, but when I saw the cover of this book I was immediately sucked in. I picked it up on a whim and am so happy I did. While the writing perhaps isn’t as atmospheric or lyrical as a lot of other poets, it is very raw and compelling.

The poems and prose in this collection are empowering and honest while they cover a number of subjects such as love, loss, growth as we move through life and the relationships we build with others – especially females.

Leav’s poetry and prose were so easy to read and have a great flow. I will definitely be picking up more of her books in the future!

Happy reading!

Can’t Wait Wednesday 3/18/20

40276268 – vintage old pocket watch and book

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings based on the meme Waiting on Wednesday by Breaking the Spine. In this weekly post people share a book that they’re excited about being released.

This week I wanted to talk about The Mall by Megan McCafferty. I’m lucky enough that I received an ARC of this one and it’s super high on my TBR. All I had to hear about this one was that it’s set in the 90s in a mall, and I was there!

The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like, totally fresh. Cassie Worthy is psyched to spend the summer after graduation working at the Parkway Center Mall. In six weeks, she and her boyfriend head off to college in NYC to fulfill The Plan: higher education and happily ever after.

But you know what they say about the best laid plans…

Set entirely in a classic “monument to consumerism,” the novel follows Cassie as she finds friendship, love, and ultimately herself, in the most unexpected of places. Megan McCafferty, beloved New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series, takes readers on an epic trip back in time to The Mall.

The Mall comes out from Wednesday Books on June 9th, 2020 so make sure to check back for my review!

Happy reading!

How I Listen to Audiobooks

I tend to read a lot of books and a huge contributor to that is listening to audiobooks. I’m able to listen to them at work depending on what I’m doing, so that ends up helping a lot. Also, depending on the speed of the narrator’s speech, I almost always listen at 2x speed or faster.

I use a few different apps to listen to audiobooks, here are the ones I use the most.

Libby – I use Libby to access my library’s catalog. It does sometimes take longer cause I have to put books on hold, but my library has a pretty good selection overall.

Scribd – I know Scribd has had some issues in the past with clear messaging and that put a lot of people off, but it’s one of my favorite apps to use. No you can’t constantly listen to super new, super popular books and the selection does get narrowed as you listen to more books before the monthly reset – but I’ve never not had audiobooks to listen to, just a smaller selection. Plus it’s a great deal considering all the content it has.

Audible – For a long time I was only subscribed to the Audible Escape program (formerly Audible Romance Package) but I recently got a full subscription again. With that and access to the Escape package there are a huge amount of audiobooks I can access. Yes, it is the more expensive choice, but they are reliable in what they carry and I can almost always find what I’m looking for. Plus, if you have Kindle Unlimited there are a number of books you can listen to the audiobooks to through Audible.

While I know there are more apps out there that a lot of people enjoy, these are the main ones I enjoy using.

What apps do you use? Happy reading!

Kindle Deals 3/16

Since a lot of people are having to stay inside while we weather the current pandemic, some people may use some of that time to pick up some new books. So what do you do if you can’t go out and buy them, but need something to read now? You can pick up some kindle ebooks for low prices! As a general disclaimer I am in the United States and these prices could change at anytime, so double check before buying.

Most of these I haven’t read, but I thought they sounded interesting or I had heard of them. Also, I’ve made sure that if they are part of a series that only the first book is included.

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft
Price: $3.99

History is filled with stories of women accused of witchcraft, of fearsome girls with arcane knowledge. Toil & Trouble features fifteen stories of girls embracing their power, reclaiming their destinies and using their magic to create, to curse, to cure—and to kill.

The Fever King
Price: $0.99 (or Kindle Unlimited)

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The Will and the Wilds
Price: $4.99 (or Kindle Unlimited)

Enna knows to fear the mystings that roam the wildwood near her home. When one tries to kill her to obtain an enchanted stone, Enna takes a huge risk: fighting back with a mysting of her own.

Maekallus’s help isn’t free. His price? A kiss. One with the power to steal her soul. But their deal leaves Maekallus bound to the mortal realm, which begins eating him alive. Only Enna’s kiss, given willingly, can save him from immediate destruction. It’s a temporary salvation for Maekallus and a lingering doom for Enna. Part of her soul now burns bright inside Maekallus, making him feel for the first time.

Price: $1.99

All Kane Montgomery knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. He can’t remember anything since an accident robbed him of his memories a few weeks ago. And the world feels different—reality itself seems different.

Hopefully some of these seem interesting to you and you have something to read while being home.

Make sure to stay safe, everyone! Happy reading!

Review: Nancy Drew – The Palace of Wisdom

Nancy Drew is seventeen and good at everything…ESPECIALLY solving crimes. But her totally-in-control-and-obviously-running-perfectly-smooth-(but-not-really) life hits a snag when a mysterious message drags her back to the hometown she left behind. There she’ll have to find out which of her friends are still her friends, which are enemies, and who exactly is trying to kill her…and (hopefully) stop them before they succeed.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Nancy Drew, so when I saw a graphic novel version I had to check it out. This is definitely a new take on Nancy and while her attitude towards needing to solve mysteries came through, some of the other aspects of her personality were off for me.

I completely understand and appreciate the need to modernize and add diversity to make it current, but with characters as classic as Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys it’s hard to do without too drastically changing things. This one, while enjoyable and a fun mystery/adventure, just fell a little flat for me in regards to the true legacy that is Nancy Drew. For people who’ve never been exposed to the originals or the case files, this would likely be a great introduction, but for me not so much.

Happy reading!

Review: We Were All Someone Else Yesterday

A hybrid text that deals most urgently in the articulation of growth and grief. After the loss of his mother, Omar Holmon re-learns how to live by immersing himself in popular culture, becoming well-versed in using the many modes of pop culture to spell out his emotions. This book is made up of both poems and essays, drenched in both sadness and unmistakable humor. Teeming with references that are touchable, no matter what you do or don’t know, this book feels warm and inviting.

This poetry collection hit me super hard. As someone who lost a parent to cancer some of the poems were truly heartbreaking. Each one was a vignette into another facet of experiences the author had, whether it be the loss of his mother, things that happened in his family, relationships or other important events.

The writing was beautiful, even when there were changing tones and themes. It’s very much a collection about human experience, grief and more. I would definitely recommend it, but take note that there is definitely a trigger warning for death of a parent.

Happy reading!

Flashback Friday Challenge: Update 1

So it’s been a little over a month since I concocted this challenge. I was hoping to finish four a month, but that didn’t quite happen. So I’m going to update you on what I was able to read, which was two of the four books I picked.

First I read The Forever House, which I hadn’t read since I was a teenager. It definitely isn’t as teenage me remembered it, but still entertaining. I didn’t remember it taking so long to really get to the action. Now would this stand up today? Maybe. It’s definitely white washed, which was usual for the 90s in a lot of ways. Plus, some of the descriptions of characters probably would be frowned upon. My nostalgia definitely made it a fun book but my perception of it has definitely changed.

Next I picked up The Clue of the Broken Locket. I always love Nancy Drew books. To me they are classic and timeless and I know that part of that is because I’ve read and re-read them multiple times. Nancy Drew books are always great when I’m in a reading slump or just need something to cleanse my palette.

So that’s the update for now, I still have two more books left from the original pick, and I’ll pick more after that. It’s fun to revisit these and see how my feelings change towards these books.

Happy reading!

Behind the Blogger Tag

I was looking for something to post today and found this Tag over at Love for Words and thought it looked fun, so here we go!

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Answer all the questions down below
  • Pingback to the creator: Ellyn @ Allonsythornraxx
  • Nominate 5+ bloggers you’d like to know more about, to do this tag

Why did you start blogging and why have you kept blogging?

I really wanted to carve out a place for myself in the book community and not only talk about books but my writing. Booktube was a little too anxiety inducing to me, so I decided a blog would be the way to go.

What is your favorite type of blog post to write?

Probably reviews or blog tours. I do really enjoy interacting with publishers or the authors themselves. Having said that I really do enjoy writing about my writing journey, even if it’s to admit temporary failure.

What are your top 3 favorite posts?

My Review of Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith

The start of my Flashback Friday challenge (update coming soon, I swear).

All my wrap ups where I get to talk about my stats.

What are some of your favorite things to do to relax?

Well, definitely reading haha. If I had to pick things other than reading I would say writing, gaming and watching something mindless.

What are three of your favorite things?

My floofy baby – Calypso, have you met Calypso? You probably have, she likes to show up in my book hauls and wrap ups. My Nancy Drew collection and my boyfriend. 😛

What are your proudest blogging moments?

Getting contacted by authors and publishers and just getting to interact with people in general. It’s a very validating feeling and also makes this introvert feel accepted and seen. ❤

What are your hobbies outside of blogging?

We’ve already covered writing – I also like to make jewelry in my spare time, though I haven’t in a while. Also there’s music which is my other love.

Describe your personality in three words.

Loyal, Shy, Honest

What are your top 3 pet peeves?

People interrupting – I’m not talking about the accidental merging of voices, I’m talking about intentional talking over.

People answering a question with a question, such as me asking where someone wants to go and they respond asking me where I want to go. I know they are being courteous, or think they are, but it’s just a trigger.

Negativity/Poor attitudes – I know we can all get down, I suffer from anxiety and depression myself, but when someone is negative about something every single day for the sake of being nasty? Yeah, not ok. I’m extremely empathic and that stuff affects me horribly.

What’s something your followers don’t know about you?

Hmm. There’s a ton as I haven’t talked about a lot of personal stuff on here, so there’s so many things I could go with.

Ok, here goes, come closer, closer *whispers* I have an insane amount of penguins in my house. I love penguins. I have penguin plushies, art, figurines, socks, slippers, etc. My boyfriend feeds this addiction as he often contributes to said collection.

So that’s it! I’m not tagging anyone specific, so if anyone decides to do it from my post please just link back so I can take a look!

Happy reading!