Wednesday, 31 August 2016

August - September

August was mostly a planning ahead month for me. I've mentioned a few times that I work for a major UK based company and summer is our busiest time of the year and we have mandatory overtime invoked in our contracts right now. I've been working crazy long shifts - some as long as 14 hours and so considering all of that i'm SO happy that I managed to read 4 books (at the time of writing - hoping for a 5th!) I also feel pretty successful that I didn't buy a single book either! Big thanks to Rock The Boat for not making it an entirely book free month ;) I've done a lot of planning for future reviews and I'm hoping for a jam-packed October on Loaded Shelves! Speaking of which, if anyone would like to be involved, please get in touch. Without further ado, here's my August wrap up!

What I Got (and where from)
Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow (Rock The Boat)
The Return of the Young Prince by A.G.Roemmers (Rock The Boat)

What I Read
Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider
Know Not Why by Hannah Johnson
Nothing Tastes As Good by Claire Hennessy
Girl In Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

What I Reviewed
Time To Say Goodbye by S.D.Robertson

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Review // Time To Say Goodbye by S.D.Robertson *SPOILERS*

Published - 11th February 2016
Publisher - Avon
Format - Kindle
Synopsis - Is there ever a right time to let go? HOW DO YOU LEAVE THE PERSON YOU LOVE THE MOST? Will Curtis’s six-year-old daughter, Ella, knows her father will never leave her. After all, he promised her so when her mother died. And he’s going to do everything he can to keep his word. What Will doesn’t know is that the promise he made to his little girl might be harder to keep than he imagined. When he’s faced with an impossible decision, Will finds that the most obvious choice might not be the right one. But the future is full of unexpected surprises. And father and daughter are about to embark on an unforgettable journey together . . .

I came across this book when Avon asked if I wanted to take part in a cover reveal. Of course I did, the cover is absolutely beautiful. The description also drew me in completely, I'm a sucker for a real tear jerker. That's kind of why I've been putting off this review. It started off brilliantly. It went straight into the story and pulled on the heart strings.It definitely wasn't as brutal as I was expecting and uh, in the nicest way possible, it was disappointing.

The writing style and characters were wonderful and the book had buckets of beautiful potential that didn't really deliver. If I had to put my finger on it, I'd say the deciding factor for me was lack of emotion. The protagonist has died and his child is left orphaned. Then the child's left reeling again when her grandfather suffers a tragedy and eventually dies himself. A LOT went on in just a few pages but I never felt it emotionally. I'm the kind of girl who cries as TV adverts but I didn't even get a lump in my throat.

As I said - the book wasn't bad. The story was intriguing and at times, thought provoking. Sadly I just think it was pitched incorrectly and I wasn't the right reader for the story because of this.

On that note - if anyone has any recs for big time heartbreakers - PLEASE send them my way! Sometimes you just can't beat a good cry.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

June - August

In order to catch up a little bit and not feel quite so overwhelmed, i've doubled up in this post so you can see what I got, what I read and what I reviewed (ha!) in June and July. We'll start fresh again at the end of August - assuming there's anything to talk about!

What I Got (and where from)

June
William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream Graphic Novel by Fares Maese (Library)
Books V Cigarettes by George Orwell (Library)
Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen (Library)
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (Library)
Sunny Side Up by Holly Smale (Netgalley)
Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi (Kat @ Perks of Being A Booknerd)
You Know Me Well by Levithan & LaCour (Present from boyfriend)

July
The Key To The Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson (Library)
Night Shift by Charlaine Harris (Library)
What's A Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne (Bought)
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (Bought)
Illuminae by Kaufman & Kristoff (Bought
Nothing Tastes As Good by Claire Hennessy (Bought)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K Rowling (Bought)

What I Read

June
Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman
Midsummer Nights Dream by Fares Maese
Sunny Side Up by Holly Smale
Books vs Cigarettes by George Orwell
You Know Me Well by Levithan & LaCour
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

July
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Key To The Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K Rowling 

What I Reviewed

..........

Oops?

Confession Time: I suck at blogging

Oh...hello....
Didn't see you there....
It's been a while huh? I thought before I just jumped straight in with a review that's awfully out of date, i'd say a little something first. Ah, I've missed blogging & I feel happier already.

I have a busy life.
I know, I know! We all do. But the busy-ness in my life doesn't even feel like it's there. I plod on doing my day to day things in an incredibly boring fashion and then one day it hits me; I remember all of the things that I love doing that I haven't had time for in SO long that I almost forget how they're really the only things that are worth doing. Does that make sense?

In the last couple of months, a lot has happened.  My mum and her partner have both been sick for a long time and I try to help them as much as I possibly can. Mum's partner recently had major, I mean major, surgery and so that's taken up quite a chunk of time. I've been super busy at work as simultaneously my entire team has quit and been replaced and i've still got a bit of whiplash from it all to be honest. I'm currently sick myself, which is how i've afforded enough time to not only give you a life update but to schedule a couple of reviews too! Being sick can be worthwhile, occasionally. I've also drank around 45416 cups of tea. Approximately.

For a while at the beginning of the year, things were looking beautifully for this blog and my mental health. Review books were pouring in and I had so many that I contemplated making sculptures. I was active on twitter, I read a lot, I participated in reading challenges and readathons (well, I tried at least) but I couldn't keep up. Instead, I hid from books and the blogging world and tried frantically to forget the names of publishers because I was too embarrassed to admit that actually, I don't have time to read all of those books you gave me or that I asked for in a moment of optimistic weakness.

I was completely overwhelmed.

I've read so many blog posts on why we shouldn't feel obliged to read the ARCS sent to us and that bloggers shouldn't feel pressured etc. They're right. It makes perfect sense! Of course that doesn't mean it's easy to do though. All I can do is this:

I am trying.
I'm learning to accept that I will only read as much as I read.
As much as I love reading, blogging and interacting with everyone in that world, it's my full-time-out-of-the-house job that pays for my house, my internet and uh, my books.
It's OKAY not to read everything that I receive and it's OKAY not to receive anything at all.

It has been 4 months since a book last came through my door and over the last couple of weeks it has really gotten me down but you know what? It doesn't matter. I'm not judging my worth on whether I receive an ARC. That's not why I started this and it's not what i'm here for now. I have loved reading since I was 2 years old and i'm not going to stop now. 

SO! I've got almost 200 books in my living room that are waiting to be read and their time has come. Whether I receive review books or not, I will read. Whether I have time to post reviews or not, I will read. Reading is what's important, everything else comes after.

Happy reading, guys :)
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