Posted in Book Blog, Mental Health

Depression à la Reading Slump

Mental health is such a vital thing. The majority of people still don’t realize its importance. With the forced confinement brought on by COVID, maybe some people have become aware of this though I’m not holding out hope that mental health won’t go back to being a taboo once life goes back to normal.

Depression is like an insidious snake, it often creeps up on you unaware and you don’t know it until you’re mired in muck so deep, you can’t pull yourself out of it. For those of us who have it, you know how the littlest things can set it off—a bad day, lack of rest, fatigue, an argument, things not going your way (especially no matter how hard you try or how you do everything right and it’s still not enough), a book hangover, the disappointment of two highly-anticipated books that fell way below your expectations.

As a norm, my mind has two modes (Nope, not an on/off switch, sorry). A) I’m either too high or so low I could sink beneath the earth or B) I don’t feel anything a.k.a apathy i.e. an absence of emotion. When I’m high, it feels like I have champagne bubbles in my veins. I could be the happiest person in the world but the emotion is not real and the fake happiness doesn’t last. Of course, at one point, you gotta come down from that high.

And when the low comes—oh, boy, you tank so bad that staying in bed and crying for all the bad things that happened to you, because your mind is a masochist and replays all your mistakes over and over again just to show you how worthless you are, are the only things you can do.

So, all in all, you can see why I rather prefer the apathy. I used to hate it, the lack of emotion, and I’d do anything to feel something. Now, it’s my lifeline. When you don’t feel anything, you can’t spiral into despair. But the downside to it is that you don’t give a damn about anything. Nothing matters in this state. So, I have a coping mechanism for that—my principles & BOOKS. For as long as I can remember, books have been my escape and my solace. A good book allows me to feel emotions without the high/low factor.

However, being a book dragon with depressive tendencies isn’t without its own set of problems, especially when you’re stuck with a book hangover or the dreaded reading slump, which can bring on the D word and let me tell you—it sucks. It sucks when you’re depressed and you can’t even read your way out of it.

Reading-wise, August was a good month and I was up to such a good start getting through my NetGalley and Edelweiss books. One of the books I read, Fable, was an amazing read. Then September started. I was lucky to get two new highly-anticipated releases I badly wanted. But rotten luck prevailed since both books turned out to be disappointments. Book hangover from Fable, followed by two disappointing reads one after the other at the very start of this bloody month, all equaled to…*drumrolls*… yes! Reading Slump! (note the sarcasm.)

September used to be my favorite month, but this year since it’s started, I’ve been miserable. My usual solutions for dealing with reading slumps haven’t been working—reading old favorites, changing genres, reading newer books—nothing’s working. So anal obsessive soul that I am, I sorted my obsessive-compulsive TBR list by number of pages, which entailed searching on Amazon for each title from my TBR list (which had 3,000 titles & change) and checking the total number of pages in the description section because I wanted to read books with less than 200 pages to get rid of my reading slump. What can I say, it kept my mind occupied.

Did it work, you might ask. Did it get rid of my reading slump? And the answer to that—a big fat no. I’m all out of options, unless jumping off a bridge is still valid. On second thought, the water’s freaking cold. So I’m writing instead, venting I guess, or spiraling again? Fellow book dragons, mind sharing your coping mechanisms for reading slumps?

I hope ya’all are having a better month than me. Mazel Tov.

∼Lyn

Posted in Blog Memes, F is For Friday

F Is For Friday – 18 September 2020

I’m still hanging in here, though I wonder every morning why I should even bother getting out of bed. I should change my blog title to “Nomadic Worlds, Rants of a Depressed Book Dragon“. Rah-freaking-rah.

F – Feature your latest book obsession (it doesn’t have to be your current read)

I love romance stories with past lives and Jude Deveraux is really good at them. I really want to read this but damn my reading slump.

Continue reading “F Is For Friday – 18 September 2020”
Posted in Book Blog, Netgalley, New Releases

New Book Releases – 15 Sep 2020

Hey, Book Dragons! Got some new releases today. Happy Book Birthday to these beauties!

1. Playing with Fire – L.J. Shen

Blurb:
A broken boy on the path to destruction.
A scarred girl without direction.
A love story carved in secrets, inked with pain and sealed with a lie.
Grace Shaw and West St. Claire are arctic opposites.
She is the strange girl from the food truck.
He is the mysterious underground fighter who stormed into her sleepy Texan college town on his motorcycle one day, and has been wreaking havoc since.
She is invisible to the world.
He is the town’s beloved bad boy.
She is a reject.
He is trouble.
When West thrusts himself into Grace’s quiet life, she scrambles to figure out if he is her happily-ever-after or tragic ending.
But the harder she pushes him away, the more he pulls her out of her shell.
Grace doesn’t know much about anything beyond her town’s limits, but she does know this:
She is falling in love with the hottest guy in Sheridan U.
And when you play with fire—you ought to get burned.

2. Horrid – Katrina Leno

Blurb:
Following her father’s death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor’s doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone…and more tormented.
As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident “bad seed,” struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane’s mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won’t reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the “storage room” her mom has kept locked isn’t for storage at all–it’s a little girl’s bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears….
Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more…horrid?

3. Chance of a Lifetime (Providence Falls #1) – Jude Deveraux, Tara Sheets

Blurb:
In one century she loved him madly, and in another she wants nothing to do with him
In 1844 Ireland, Liam O’Connor, a rogue and a thief, fell madly in love with a squire’s daughter and unwittingly altered the future. Shy and naive Cora McLeod thought Liam was the answer to her prayers. But the angels disagreed and they’ve been waiting for the right moment in time to step in.
Now Liam finds himself reunited with his beloved Cora in Providence Falls, North Carolina. The angels have given Liam a task. He must make sure Cora falls in love with another man—the one she was supposed to marry before Liam interfered. But this Cora is very different from the innocent girl who fell for Liam in the past. She’s a cop and has a confidence and independence he wasn’t expecting. She doesn’t remember Liam or their past lives, nor is she impressed with his attempts to guide her in any way.
Liam wants Cora for himself, but with his soul hanging in the balance, he must choose between a stolen moment in time or an eternity of damnation.

4. Watch Over Me – Nina LaCour

Blurb:
Mila is used to being alone. Maybe that’s why she said yes to the opportunity: living in this remote place, among the flowers and the fog and the crash of waves far below.
But she hadn’t known about the ghosts.
Newly graduated from high school, Mila has aged out of the foster care system. So when she’s offered a job and a place to stay at a farm on an isolated part of the Northern California Coast, she immediately accepts. Maybe she will finally find a new home, a real home. The farm is a refuge, but also haunted by the past traumas its young residents have come to escape. And Mila’s own terrible memories are starting to rise to the surface.
Watch Over Me is another stunner from Printz Award-Winning author Nina LaCour, whose empathetic, lyrical prose is at the heart of this modern ghost story of resilience and rebirth.

What about you guys? Are these books on your TBR?

∼Lyn

Posted in Blog Memes, Music Monday

Music Monday – 14 Sept 2020 – Savage Love – Jason Derulo

Hola. I’m back to posting (hopefully). What a glorious Monday it is. (note the sarcasm). So, Life Update: I’m still in a reading slump, unemployed and absolutely depressed.

I’m in total screw-it mode. Let’s see how long that lasts. What are you guys listening to? I recently came across this song and it’s kind of embarrassingly adictive. I’m still unsure if I like it or not.

Music Monday is hosted by Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek. Be sure to check out his awesome blog.

Posted in Book Blog, Netgalley, New Releases

New Book Releases – 01 Sep 2020

Hola, Book Dragons! So many anticipated releases today! I can’t choose which one I want most. Or wait, maybe I do. Dark Song! As my friends can testify, I’ve been obsessed with Dark Song since 17 Jul 2020. This day has finally arrived. 🙂

1. Dark Song (Dark #30) – Christine Feehan

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Synopsis:
The 30th book in the Dark / Carpathian series is about Ferro and Elisabeta.

Stolen from her home at a young age and tormented for centuries, Elisabeta Trigovise is scared to show herself to anyone. Even though she has been rescued and is now safe within the Carpathian compound, she has lived in fear for so long she has no idea how to survive without it. She wants to answer the siren call of her lifemate–but the very thought terrifies her.

Before he found Elisabeta, Ferro Arany was an ancient warrior without emotion. Now that his senses have come alive, he knows it will take more than kind words and soft touches to convince the fractured woman that they are partners, not master and prisoner. For now, he will give her his strength until she finds hers, allowing the steady rhythm of his heart to soothe Elisabeta’s fragile soul.

But even as she learns to stand on her own, the vampire who kept her captive is desperate to claim her again, threatening the song Elisabeta and Ferro are writing together.

2. Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove #2) by Shelby Mahurin

Blood&Honey

Synopsis:
The hotly anticipated sequel to the New York Times and IndieBound bestseller Serpent & Dove—packed with even steamier romance and darker magic—is perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas.

After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Dames Blanches, Lou, Reid, Coco, and Ansel are on the run from coven, kingdom, and church—fugitives with nowhere to hide.

To elude the scores of witches and throngs of chasseurs at their heels, Lou and Reid need allies. Strong ones. But protection comes at a price, and the group is forced to embark on separate quests to build their forces. As Lou and Reid try to close the widening rift between them, the dastardly Morgane baits them in a lethal game of cat and mouse that threatens to destroy something worth more than any coven.

3. Fable (Fable #1) – Adrienne Young

Fable

Synopsis:
As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.

4. Queen of Volts (The Shadow Game #3) – Amanda Foody

QueenOfVolts

Synopsis:
Return to the City of Sin, where the final game is about to begin…and winning will demand the ultimate sacrifice.

Only days after a corrupt election and brutal street war, one last bloodthirsty game has begun. The players? The twenty-two most powerful, notorious people in New Reynes.

After realizing they have no choice but to play, Enne Scordata and Levi Glaisyer are desperate to forge new alliances and bargain for their safety. But while Levi offers false smiles and an even falser peace to the city’s politicians, Enne must face a world where her true Mizer identity has been revealed…and any misstep could turn deadly.

Meanwhile, a far more dangerous opponent has appeared on the board, one plucked right from the most gruesome legends of New Reynes. As the game takes its final, vicious turn, Levi and Enne must decide once and for all whether to be partners or enemies.

Because in a game for survival, there are only losers…

And monsters.

What about you guys? Are these books on your TBR?

∼Lyn

Posted in ARC Reviews, Book Blog, Book Reviews, Netgalley

ARC Review: Fable (Fable #1) by Adrienne Young

Rating: 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Pub Date: 01 Sep 2020

Review:

One fateful night leaves Fable without a mother and abandoned on an island where she has to fend for herself until the day she finds passage off it with the help of a young trader, West. And so begins the start of unlikely alliances as they strive to navigate peril and keep their head above water.

Fable’s story, how she had to strive to live, to survive, broke my heart. I felt so much pain for this young girl, left to fend alone, having to stay on guard all the time. I wanted to hug her and make her life better. Give her food, shelter, protect her. The author wove such a heartbreaking character with a core of steel that you couldn’t help but feel for her.

As for West? He was an enigma, layers and layers of complications and secrets. I wanted to know everything about him, and finding those answers, getting to know him better – drew me in deeper. The ending chapters? Oh, I tipped over the edge and fell for him.

The side-characters, the crew of the Marigold—each one with their unique voices, charmed and endeared me to their plights. As secrets are revealed and pacts made, this story grabs you and hooks you in to the last page.

The world-building and descriptions were excellent. The author’s writing was a pleasure to read and the cliffhanger left me in high anticipation for more. This was my first book by Adrienne Young, and I have to say she completely won me over. I cannot wait to read the next book.

*Thanks to the publisher, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.⁣

Synopsis: As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father. But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive. Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.
Posted in Book Blog, Netgalley, New Releases

New Book Releases – 25 Aug 2020

Hola, Book Dragons! Do you have any anticipated releases today? I got two.

1. Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy #5) – Ilona Andrews

Emerald Blaze

Synopsis:
Ilona Andrews, #1 New York Times bestselling author, continues her spellbinding series set in the Hidden Legacy world where magic controls everything…except the hearts of those who wield it.

As Prime magic users, Catalina Baylor and her sisters have extraordinary powers—powers their ruthless grandmother would love to control. Catalina can earn her family some protection working as deputy to the Warden of Texas, overseeing breaches of magic law in the state, but that has risks as well. When House Baylor is under attack and monsters haunt her every step, Catalina is forced to rely on handsome, dangerous Alessandro Sagredo, the Prime who crushed her heart.

The nightmare that Alessandro has fought since childhood has come roaring back to life, but now Catalina is under threat. Not even his lifelong quest for revenge will stop him from keeping her safe, even if every battle could be his last. Because Catalina won’t rest until she stops the use of the illicit, power-granting serum that’s tearing their world apart.

2. The Siren and the Deep Blue Sea (Embraced by Magic #2) – Kerrelyn Sparks

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Synopsis:
Four sisters have become queens, rulers of all that Aerthlan’s two moons embrace. The last sister will forge her own path . . .

Signs and Seals

Raised on the magic-seeped Isle of Moon, Maeve is used to unusual powers–and the way they fuel the politics of her world. But when she discovers an ability to shape-shift at will, she knows who she wants to share it with first. Brody, the enigmatic, infuriating shifter-spy has always made time for Maeve. But it’s been almost two months since she’s seen him. And though no one else believes Brody is in danger, Maeve is more than ready to rescue him herself.

The rumors Brody’s investigating are terrifying: a secret army of magic-users, in the service of the cruel Circle of Five. But when he uncovers the identity of one of the Five, the mission becomes personal. Cursed as a boy by the Sea Witch, Brody can spend only two hours a day in his human form, a restriction that limits his future and muzzles his heart. Plus Maeve teases him for being such a pretty doggy instead of appreciating his manly charms. To win his freedom, he must take on a terrible disguise. And when Maeve finds out, she’ll unleash a tempest like no other . . .

What about you guys? Is this book on your TBR?

∼Lyn

Posted in Book Blog, Book Reviews, Edelweiss

Book Review: Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) – Zoraida Córdova

Rating: 3/5 🌟🌟🌟

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Review:

I remember wanting to read this book when it first came out. But as you know with us book dragons, we’re like magpies and we get distracted by newer, shinier things, aka newer books. When I saw it was available for request on Edelweiss and that the third book in the trilogy will be released soon, I had to request it. Plus, how cool is this new cover? I love it better than the original – this new cover with the possibility of a whole other realm behind those doors.

Alejandra (Alex) is a bruja who’s scared of her magic and wishes she could get rid of it. So, on her Deathday celebration, she does a spell to banish her powers and of course things don’t go as planned and the spell causes her family to disappear. Alex is stuck with Nova, another bruja and he’s her only chance to try to get them back.

The few chapters were good and I really liked Alex. I understood her reasons for not wanting her magic. Her few, bad experiences with it had left her with mistrust and fear. But the way she didn’t take responsibility for her actions made me start to dislike her. At every point, her outlook and thoughts disappointed me.

That said, I found the plot-line, world-building, the portrayal of the brujas, and their magic, excellent. If not for the main character falling out of favor with me, I would have loved this story. Even the love triangle, the impact of which was quite mild, wouldn’t have been such a pet peeve to me like it usually is. It’s hard for me to love a story if I don’t like the main characters. I did like the ending chapters, the climax and that cliffhanger though.

*Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher, Sourcebooks Fire for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Alex is a bruja and the most powerful witch in her family. But she’s hated magic ever since it made her father disappear into thin air. So while most girls celebrate their Quinceañera, Alex prepares for Death Day—the most important day in a bruja’s life and her only opportunity to rid herself of magic. But the curse she performs during the ceremony backfires, and her family vanishes, forcing Alex to absorb all of the magic from her family line. Left alone, Alex seeks help from Nova, a brujo with ambitions of his own. To get her family back they must travel to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…
Posted in Blog Memes, F is For Friday

F Is For Friday – 21 August 2020

Hola! Friday night, who’s being crazy? My idea of crazy is sitting in the backyard, finishing dinner alone because two rugrats abandoned ship and went inside. 🙄 The highs and lows of living with 4yos.

I like to do this post on Friday evenings because I think back over the week and the day and count my blessings. I hope everyone’s having a good Friday.

F – Feature your latest book obsession (it doesn’t have to be your current read)

1st Sept will be here soon enough. I can’t believe it will be 5 months and a half since I’ve been in Canada.

Continue reading “F Is For Friday – 21 August 2020”