Hello! Hope you’re having a great week thus far. I’ve got a short week this week at school, so I have a lot of time to read! (Well, and do other things like see Beauty and the Beast with my friend and watch more Glee.)
Today I wanted to talk to you about reading slumps. We’ve all been there. You’ve just finished a phenomenal book and you’re still living in the wonderful world that just ended (or didn’t if it’s a series unless it was the last book in that one). Alas, all good things must come to an end at some point. Yet, you want to go back in time and start reading that book for the first time again. I have felt that way with many books (The Upside of Unrequitedbeing the latest probably).
As a book blogger, being in a reading slump is the worst. I need to read so I can review and stay up to date with all of the buzz! So what do I do to fight this? Here are a few of my tried and true tricks.
1) Read a contemporary. I love contemporaries because they’re light and fluffy. Many of them have strong underlying messages in them too, and I love them even more for that. It’s nice to take a dip into the “real” world and see someone go through something that you have (or haven’t) and sympathize with their plight. Also, I love how fast they usually go. Some of my go-to contemporaries are To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli, anything by Sarah Dessen, and the latest contemporary that I bought.
2) Re-read my favorites. I don’t know how you people expect me to have just one favorite book. I have some all-time favorites (To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Shug by Jenny Han, You Were Here by Cori McCarthy to name a *few*). Re-reading a favorite book is an awesome solution because it’s revisiting a world that you’ve come to love. I always find that there are details that I missed the first time around and it’s fun to find all of the new things about the book that I love.
3) Start reading multiple different books. This one isn’t for everyone! I know it’s tough to read more than one book at a time for a lot of people, but if I’m feeling a slump come on I start a bunch of different books. Chances are one is going to grab me and suck me in. After I finish that one I have all of the other ones that I started that I can come back to. I slowly make my way through my books this way. (I have so much that I have to read vs. ones that I want to read in addition to this that it’s necessary to read more than one book at a time.) If the book that you picked up isn’t working for you then you can try one that you already started and come back to it later! This is how I finish so many books around the same time. It’s pretty effective when you have a huge tbr stack.
I hope my tips have helped! Are there any tried and true ways that you use to get out of a slump? Let me know in the comments below!
Welcome to the club my friend! We’ve been waiting for you. I, myself, am a proud book addict and absolutely love hanging out in all places bookish. You may have recognized yourself whilst reading my last post on this (Book Chat: Help! Am I a Book Addict?). If you do, then welcome; if you didn’t, then I hope you can use these to better understand your friends who are.
Step one: Acknowledging you have a problem
Congratulations! This is sometimes the hardest part – saying you’re addicted to books makes it a real thing instead of something you can hide away in between the pages. There is a certain level of liberation you’ll feel after seeing this in yourself and admitting to it. That by any means doesn’t mean you’re yet done with it! You still have urges to sit in between the shelves of books, cancel plans last minute because you’re “sick,” and read all the time.
Step two: Finding ways to cope
Now I’m not saying that being a book addict is necessarily a bad thing! It only is kind of bad when it gets in the way of things like laundry and dishes. It’s gross to eat off of plates crusty with last week’s pasta sauce. It’s nice to eat something that’s out of your fridge and not a restaurant. The best way to manage your time is to read while doing other things. Ride a bus? Read on your commute. Cooking dinner? Doing the dishes? Listen to an audiobook. There are so many ways to consume literature and I promise there are great ways to do so.
Step three: Find a support group a.k.a. a book club
Book clubs are the ultimate support group for book lovers. There are people here that can sympathize with you when you’re feeling those feels, especially when you read those gut wrenching books. Here you’re going to find people with different perspectives that will let you see your reading in a new light.
Step four: Read
Seriously, why should you stop reading? Reading is one of, if not the best way to explore new worlds. Books give you a new perspective on the world and develops empathy within you. They make you think and feel and it truly brings the world (and more) to you in the span of a few hundred pages.
Hi, happy Wednesday! I hope you’re all having a wonderful week. I didn’t have school Monday, and since then I have been screwed up on what day of the week it is. I can’t complain too much – it’s an okay problem to have in the scheme of things.
Today I’ll be discussing the very serious topic of Book Addiction. Are you a book addict? What are the signs and symptoms of this disease?
What is a book addiction?
A book addiction is defined as a disease of literary lovers who cannot stop consuming the written word (spoken or read). These people eat, sleep, and dream of worlds known only to them and their books. Often times you will find these people cooped up in the corner of the room at a party with a book in their lap quietly ignoring the people while they escape into a different world. Be careful when approaching a book addict when they are reading. There is an array of reactions you may receive when taking them by surprise varying from a cold shoulder to an angry outburst.
Bags under the eye
Sleep deprivation (due to reading through the night)
Increased coffee/tea/hot chocolate consumption
Carrying +1 book around with you anywhere (even if you know when you won’t have time to sit and read)
Intense craving to stay in a read your book
Cancelling plans because you’re “sick”
Telling friends and family you’re “going to sleep” when in actuality you’ll be reading for the next hour or so
Frequenting a bookstore, library, or any other source of literature
Visits may include getting another book to read after the one you’ve decided to read next
Finding solace in the shelves
Or simply by being surrounded by books
Looking at the stack of books you have and deciding you simply must get another because you need it
Obsessively checking the release date of a book
Repeatedly refreshing your browser to check if your book mail got left in the mail
Though this list of symptoms is certainly not complete, these are some behaviors of book addicts. You may have been reading this list and thinking – I do [insert behavior here]! Have no fear, I am a book addict too. I have come to embrace my addiction. Stay tuned next week for the next installment!
Hey there! In light of recent holidays (like Galentine’s day or course) I thought it’d be fun to post this here. I wrote this article for Justine Magazine a while back and if you want to see the original click here.
Strong women used to be few and far between, but with people like Michelle Obama and Malala Yousafzai paving the way for others, things are looking up for females. Here are some literary heroines to fuel the feminist pride within you.
The Wrath and the Dawn by Reneé Ahdieh
There are a lot of retellings of A Thousand and One Nights, and of the ones that I’ve read this is definitely my favorite. Shahrzad’s story is one of loyalty—not only to her friend, but to herself, as well. As the plot thickens, Shazi’s verve and strength shine through her willingness to fight to do what’s right.
Mary Iris Malone (a.k.a. Mim)
Mosquitoland by David Arnold
When in doubt, go on a road trip. At least that’s Mim’s solution to her problem. When her father drags her to Mississippi with her new stepmother in tow, Mim feels herself wasting away. When she finds out her mother is sick, Mim sets out to reconnect with the woman who taught her to wear her warpaint proudly. Through her quest to find her mom, Mim encounters detours and people who show her what she is truly capable of.
Inej Ghafa & Nina Zenik
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
The Wraith and the Heartrender are two of the deadliest people in Ketterdam. These lovely ladies know how to wield knives, be enchantresses and hang with the best of the Barrel scum, all while eating waffles. Inej gathers the deepest secrets crawling all over the city and Nina can bring a man to his knees with a flick of the wrist—without a knife. While they’re only two of Kaz Brekker’s crew, these girls are essential to executing a dangerous heist that could cost them their lives.
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
Charlotte may be a bit prickly when you first meet her, but it’s in her nature as a Holmes to be a bit off-putting. Despite many qualms students seem to have with her, Charlotte never wavers from doing her work and doing it excellently. She follows the trail and and her self confidence is steadfast.
Jasmine de los Santos
Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz
Jasmine is what seems to be the perfect girl; she’s cheer captain, valedictorian, the daughter of loving parents. All her life she’s worked hard to achieve the lofty goals she sets for herself. Jasmine is over the moon when she’s awarded a full-ride scholarship from the government to the college of her choice. Her excitement is short-lived, though, after she discovers she’s an undocumented citizen. Suddenly Jasmine must dig even deeper to find strength to fight for what she has rightfully earned. She must decide if she’s going to let someone else tell her who she is and who she isn’t.
Charlotte “Charlie” Davis
Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
Charlie is not okay. She has lost herself and cutting is the only thing that makes her feel again. When Charlie wakes up in the psych ward of a hospital after cutting herself to the brink of death, her long journey back to wellness begins. Yet, this story isn’t a sad one. It’s complicated, and she experiences many setbacks, but Charlie’s strong will and hard work lead her to figuring out just who she may be after all.
Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
Willowdean is in charge and she is fabulous. It doesn’t matter that she works in a grease pit of a restaurant—she can work that hair net like, well, it’s her job. She has always been proud of her voluptuous body, but when she engages in a flirtation whispers of self-doubt worm their way into her brain. To take her confidence back, Willowdean enters her town’s Miss Clover City beauty pageant. Her stunning performance will inspire you to find body love instead of body shame.
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Jude may be a bit of an unlikeable character, yet that’s what makes her real. Throughout her life, Jude has felt like she has stood in the shadow of her brother Noah when it comes to art. While she loves him, Jude feels suffocated and rebels. Three years later she’s the one who’s been accepted to the elite art school that they both had applied to, not Noah. Jude doesn’t feel any less lost though, and she must find herself through the real art.
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Lennie lost her sister, and she doesn’t know who she is without her. She feels like a hollow shell of herself, even reading and music don’t seem to bring her the same pleasure they did before. The only person who seems to understand her is her sister’s former boyfriend Toby. Yet, when she piques the interest of the new boy in town, Lennie feels grounded, for once. He reminds her of the harmony and beauty that were in her life before her sister’s passing. Lennie ultimately must pull herself up and out, and with help along the way she seizes her life back.
Laia & Helene Aquilla
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
In the Martial Empire, Laia is a Scholar girl who watched her grandparents’ murder, yet she somehow got away. Helene is one of the best fighters in her class at the military academy Blackcliff, and the only woman. The girls come together when Laia takes on a slave job to help the resistance and save her brother from prison. Soon they’re pitted against each other…Laia the lowly Scholar and Helene the Mask, the highest ranking soldier in the Empire. Despite this, they help each other in unexpected ways. While they certainly don’t part as friends, there is a hint of respect between the two where they find a common goal, emphasizing the strength of women supporting each other.
I hope you really like this piece! I had a ton of fun writing this and I’m currently working on two projects for Justine for future publication that I can’t wait for you to read!
Hi, happy hump day! I wasn’t really sure what to talk about today, but I realized I haven’t talked about what books I’ve recently acquired. To my parents who may or may not be reading this, I want you to know I didn’t buy a lot of these, they were free. Let me repeat that, they were free.
Now that that’s out of the way, I do want to clarify my sources. I want to take a minute to thank my lovely editor at Justine Magazine for sending me many a packages of books. They are so wonderful and I can’t wait to read and review them for you! Thank you also to Megan Beatie for sending me multiple copies of various books. Each one I’ve read so far I have fallen in love with. They never disappoint! I also work at a local bookstore, where ARCs are plenty and I never have to go far to satisfy my addiction.
(Side note: Maiya once told the entire band and the parents that I’m the resident book hoarder. Probably was one of my proudest moments as a book nerd.)
ANYWAY I’ve recently come into many, many books. Here’s a *short* list of what I can remember:
If you’re interested in learning more about any of the books listed here I’ve included the Goodreads link so just click the title! Okay I’m gonna stop here because that’s all I can remember. Also I think my parents would kill me. If my books don’t do it first. Brb while my shelves crush me…
Hi everyone! Today’s post is hopefully a fitting post not just for me but for the world right now. Naturally, I know a lot of sh*t has been going on worldwide with Trump and lots of other things, and we probably all need to escape sometimes. So in this post, we’re going to be talking about 5 books to help us escape the modern world!
Some people may be surprised at the last two books – how can you escape with contemporary? Well, this book is purely for the road trip! It’s one of my favourite YA contemporaries of all time and I’d recommend it to anyone who loves road trip books or a good romance.
Happy first day of February! I can’t believe this year is already a month over. This week I started my first week of the new semester and already I’ve got a test on Monday. Work hard play hard amirite?
Anyway, that’s not what I’m here to write about! Since it’s the new month already and it’s such a nice clean break into my blogging schedule I figured I would write about what I read this past month and maybe some things I’m hoping to get to this month.
So far I’ve read 4 books this year. My ultimate goal is 100, but my realistic goal is 80. I read 77 books last year so I’m hoping to make that a clean round number this year. According to Goodreads I’m only 2 books behind schedule, and while I don’t really want to start off the year behind I know I’ll have time to catch up once I’m done with school this May.
This January I read:
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
When Dimple Met Rishi is an ARC I received from the author’s publicist (s/o to her for being so awesome and kind!). I loved it soooo much I already loaned it out to a friend for her to read. I’m hoping to also write up a review for Justine Magazine in addition to the one I’ll write for the blog.
I read Harry Potter because I have been nerd shamed for not finishing this series for a very, very long time (thank you Logan and Brittany especially) so this year I’ve made it one of my reading goals to do so. Slowly but surely I will get there I promise.
Passenger was released last year on January 5th and I was so excited to read it. For some reason it took me over a year to actually pick up the book but I’m so glad I did! There was wonderful character development and the plot sucked me right in.
I read The Handmaid’s Tale for my Fem Lit class and I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but it was so good. It’s extremely relevant to conversations going on today especially with recent political developments. I highly recommend you pick it up to if you’re looking for something to challenge you.
I promise full reviews of Passenger and When Dimple Met Rishi. I’ve done mini reviews of the other two on my Goodreads account – just find me here.
I’m currently reading The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli. If you remember, Albertalli wrote Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda which was released back in 2015 and is also being made into a movie. So far I’m really loving this new one. It’s set to release this April and I can’t wait for you all to read it too!
There are a few other titles like King’s Cage and The Last of August I’m stoked to read this month. I’m hoping to get into the Shades of London series as well.
How are you doing with your reading goals so far? What are you looking forward to reading this month?
Hi guys! I hope your 2016 year found you with a wealth of books and reading. I know mine did! I found that as the summer ended I had less and less time devoted to reading and it was hard for me to get into a book.
I did continue reading fortunately, but it was slow going, and I had a much slower pace than I did at the start of the year. (I read 10 books in January and 4 in December.) I averaged about 8 books a month, however I failed at my original goal of 100 books but after tweaking it I completed my new goal of 77. This year I’m hoping to read 80 (100 is my ultimate goal, but 80 is a bit more realistic). At this point I’ve read only one book, but never fear I have so much time to read!
I did a lot of exciting things this past year in books, from author meetings to author interviews this by far has been a big one. I created a more organized posting schedule for our blog in an effort to clean things up and give myself a sense of direction. I hope you like this because it’s what is working best for me! Of late I have picked up bullet journaling and that is really helping me keep track of the schedule much better than before. I petered off toward the end of the year due to busyness, but I’m back!
Here are some of my favorite moments from 2016:
Me and David Arnold
Me and Morgan Matson
Me and John Corey Whaley
Hanging with David Levithan
Penguin Teen Breakfast
Siobhan Vivian and me
BookCon in Chicago was absolutely epic! I met some of my favorite authors and so many other people who are as enthusiastic about books as I am. It was an incredible experience and I can’t wait to go again this year in New York!
Not to mention I skyped with Beth (The Books Are Everywhere) for the first time this past December! It was so fun to finally see her. She and I met through our Bookstagram accounts a year ago and we instantly hit it off.
Oh, hey there, 2017!
Now that it’s a new year, I’m looking forward to so many things. (For one, I’ll be attending college this fall, but that’s sorta unrelated.) For a birthday present my parents got me tickets to the BookCon this June in New York! Since I went last year I absolutely fell in love and I was hoping to go back. I’m so stoked that I get to return, and I can’t wait to plan it all out. If you’re gonna be there too shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or DM me (@mindofabookdragon on Instagram or @bookdragonbooks on Twitter) and let me know. I would love to keep an eye out for you!
Other than that? I don’t know what bookish things I’ll be doing this year. Hopefully I’ll be discovering some new book stores, not to mention some amazing new releases this year. (Umm, Shannon M. Parker’s The Rattled Bones, A Court of Wings and Ruin by ya girl Sarah J. Maas, Always and Forever Lara Jean by my favorite Jenny Han to name a *few*)
What are some things you’re looking forward to? Favorite memories of 2016?
Hi everyone! Today’s post is going to be a discussion about mental health in YA. I’ve chosen to post about this today as Monday was World Mental Health Day! Not only that, it’s also Mental Health Awareness week this week. Personally, I think mental health needs to be talked about no matter what day it is, but I love that we have a day for it!
Young Adult literature is a big influence on many teens day-to-day lives. It’s one of the places we turn to when we feel alone or just need some time out. With one in four teenagers in the U.K. experiencing suicidal thoughts and one in ten suffering with anxiety or depression, it’s more important than ever that difficult topics are discussed in Young Adult literature.
However, we still face many issues, not only with the lack of this but also with diversity. Unfortunately, many YA books are more likely to feature main characters with little to no knowledge or experience of mental health issues. One of the other main issues is disability in YA. There are very few books welcoming the subject, especially when the protagonist has a disability. One great example of going against the norm is Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom, which features a blind main character.
But things are finally changing. With campaigns and programs like We Need Diverse Books (find out more at www.weneeddiversebooks.tumblr.com), fans and bookworms are demanding authors tackle difficult topics within their writing. With popular authors like Sophie Kinsella (author of Finding Audrey) and John Green (author of Looking For Alaska) openly writing about depression, grief and social anxiety, tackling these issues is becoming slowly more common and acceptable.
Over time, diversity in YA is definitely starting to change, and hopefully will continue to in the coming months and years. But why is this likely to help YA readers?
In the media, we have a very skewed view of mental health. Suicide, self harm and substance abuse is hardly ever reported nationally or internationally, unless it involves a celebrity or public figure. This is changing, with more people sharing their experiences through blogs, articles and social media, but is still likely to be a slow process.
As YA is becoming more and more popular, so are events like conventions. The Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC) is the UK’s biggest YA event, and it takes place every summer at London Film and Comic Convention. I had the privilege this year to attend, and take part in Ask YALC, an agony aunt type panel with Juno Dawson (author of Mind Your Head), Holly Bourne (author of Am I Normal Yet?) and Rosalind Jana (author of Notes On Being Teenage). The panel was hosted by Gemma Cairney, presenter of The Surgery on BBC Radio 1 and soon to be author of Open: A Toolkit for How Magic and Messed Up Life Can Be. This shows that difficult subjects are being openly talked about within the YA community, and not just online.
But we do still face problems within YA – authors may be starting to recognise mental health issues, but it’s still very unclear how to relate characters stories to real life. A common example of this is that many mental health issues are solved by the protagonist finding a love interest or partner. In some instances, this is almost displayed as a long-term fix for their problems, which would not usually help in a real life situation. Many of us suffer with mental health problems alone, and are lucky if we’re surrounded by people we feel completely comfortable to talk to our issues about. Finding Audrey and When We Collided are both good examples of the love interest theory – for example, in Finding Audrey her new boyfriend manages to help Audrey come out of her shell.
Another idea is that our main characters can overcome their problems and stop taking their medication on their own. Yes, this does work for some people, but many need long term help and support through this, and for some it could even be dangerous to come off without it. Books such as When We Collided and Mosquitoland could even encourage people to attempt this.
So, what’s the next step? All in all, I’m hoping we continue on the right path. But one thing I’d love to see more of is how to deal with mental illness in real life – maybe with books showing trips to counselling and/or support groups. We still have a very long way to go, but YA is making progress all the time.
Would you like to hear more about this subject? What do you think of it?