FEBRUARY & MARCH SYNOPSIS: blogging backlogs & Avengers-inspired TBR

In an ideal world where I have a lot more free time on my hands and an abundant amount of motivation to write, I would have written separate monthly synopsis posts for February and March, despite the fact that it’s nearly April already. But alas, this is not an ideal world, I’m feeling as lazy and exhausted as ever, and I’m typing this post while binge-watching another series on Netflix (Girlboss, in case any of y’all are curious about the train wrecks I like to hate-watch).

My blogging has been really inconsistent and sporadic for the past couple of months, and given that this always happens halfway through the semester, I wish I could say that I totally expected this. But ya girl is still really naΓ―ve and optimistic (you know, despite everything).

But I digress. What have I been up to last February and March? Brace yourself for a possibly lengthy blog post.

MY MONTHS IN BOOKS

ON WHAT I READ

Sadly, I haven’t had much free time to read for leisure. As a research major, I’ve been spending a huge bulk of my time with academic journals and papers. The very little free time that I do manage to get is spent catching up on sleep or watching a series on Netflix.*.

Having said that, I was unable to follow through with any of the titles I listed in my to-be-read pile, which you can find in my January synopsis. For the month of February, I did not finish reading any book at all. Honestly, I was initially pretty disappointed. On a slightly brighter note, I managed to read three (3) books in March. I say “slightly brighter” because I ended up really disliking two of them.

* I am very happy to share that I’ve finished all seasons of One Day at a Time, and I totally get the hype now!!! That show is brilliant and amazing. I am crossing my fingers and hoping that the series gets picked up. #SaveODAAT

Better At Weddings Than You by Mina V. Esguerra Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto Beware the Night by Jessica Fleck

πŸ“š Better At Weddings Than You by Mina V. Esguerra // This was my first #romanceclass novel from the author and first 5-star read of 2017. Two years later, I decided to reread this literary gem and I fell in love with Aaron and Daphne’s unparalleled chemistry for the second time. With wonderfully clever banter, a headstrong, unapologetically ambitious career-driven woman as a protagonist, and a soft, overprotective-over-his-scrapbook love interest, I easily ate up Better At Weddings Than You and sobbed over the gush-worthy cuteness all over again.

πŸ“š Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto // Phoenix riders? Female protagonist pretending to be a dude? Sisters with an insanely complicated relationship? This is was one of my most highly anticipated debut novels of the year. Sadly, Crown of Feathers turned out to be a massive disappointment — a wildly unpopular opinion. Although I liked the queer and disability representation, there was too much info-dumping happening for me to appreciate the world-building and the story. Plus, the characters were underdeveloped, the pacing was sluggish, and there was a noticeable absence of tension, mystery, and well-written action.

πŸ“š Beware the Night by Jessica Fleck // I won’t beat around the bush: I absolutely hated this one. Aside from the brattiest, most reckless heroine I’ve ever encountered, this novel had the weakest world-building ever. The love triangle was also a huge yikes. Everything about this book was a huge, albeit very boring, yikes.

ON WHAT I WILL READ

At the moment, I am ten (10) books behind on my reading challenge. Which means that I’ve got to really hustle to get back on track! After seeing #AvengersReadathon19 posts from Justine @ Bookish Wisps, Divine @ ReaDivinee, and Belle @ mybookcastlee, I decided to jump in and come up with a TBR guided by this readathon, which is hosted by Noura @ The Perks of Being Noura. In other words, I will be joining in on the fun!

My NetGalley ratio has been a sitting duck at 74% for far too long. Hence, in an attempt to hit two birds with one stone, I’ve decided to pick out most of the books from my NetGalley shelf. Look at me, trying to be efficient.

As y’all better know, I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe very much. I’m a solid stan of the Avengers. Unsurprisingly, it took me a long while to pick out which S.H.I.E.L.D. assignments I wanted to use for my TBR. In the end, I decided to pick two characters, Captain Marvel and Thor, which means my TBR has a whopping total of fourteen (14) books! However, knowing my semester is approaching the dreaded finals season, I will cheat a little bit and move the deadline for conquering this giant TBR to the end of May, instead of May 14th.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s my TBR for April and May!

Just for Clicks by Kara McDowell Fireborne by Rosaria Munda Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan
Brave Enough by Kati Gardner The Fever King by Victoria Lee We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal Mimic by C.L. Denault
Internment by Samira Ahmed Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan Stealing Luna by Carla de Guzman Color Outside the Lines edited by Sangu Mandanna

πŸ“š Feminist read: Internment by Samira Ahmed
πŸ“š Book set in a different universe: Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer
πŸ“š Book with red, blue, or yellow: We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
πŸ“š New release: The Fever King by Victoria Lee
πŸ“š Badass female character: Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst
πŸ“š Written by a female author of color: Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan
πŸ“š Book with royalty: Stealing Luna by Carla de Guzman
πŸ“š Anthology: Color outside the Lines edited by Sangu Mandanna
πŸ“š Book with siblings: Just for Clicks by Kara McDowell
πŸ“š Mythology: Athena’s Champion by David Hair
πŸ“š Book with one-word title: Fireborne by Rosaria Munda
πŸ“š Book set in the future: Mimic by C.L. Denault
πŸ“š Mental health: Brave Enough by Kati Gardner
πŸ“š Book set in Russia: Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan

MY MONTHS IN BLOGGING

ON WHAT I WROTE

πŸ“ YARC 2019, otherwise known as the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge, is still going strong! It is hosted and organized by yours truly, CW @ The Quiet Pond, Lily @ Sprinkles of Dreams, and Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads. If you haven’t signed up, don’t worry! Sign-ups are open all year round.

πŸ“ In celebration of Valentine’s Day, I shared 21 Sapphic romances that are guaranteed to make you feel all sorts of soft.

πŸ“ I decided to revive a well-loved feature from my old blog, Quick Kindle Steals. You can find Kindle books that cost $2.99 or less on these posts! Check out volume 1 and volume 2.

πŸ“ February was the month of book sales, and I wrote a very lengthy post on how to charge into a book sale like a warrior, which features my huge haul from the NBS Cubao Book Blowout.

πŸ“ I organized and hosted blog tours for Dreamer by Ja-Mel Vinson and Kingdom Cold by Brittni Chenelle. Plus, I got to interview Ja-Mel Vinson regarding his debut New Adult novel.

πŸ“ The universe smiled upon me, and I was granted the opportunity to reveal the newly designed cover for Secondhand Origin Stories by Lee Blauersouth, as well as the highly anticipated cover for The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco.

ON WHAT I FOUND INTERESTING ONLINE

πŸ“ For the month of February, here are some amazingly written posts that I read and loved! Check them out and make sure to shower these bloggers with all the appreciation in the world:

πŸ“’ Rita wrote a glowing review of The Night Diary, which is incidentally the cheapest book I hauled from the NBS book blowout last February.
πŸ“’ Elena shared her reasons behind giving up Instagram, which I found really inspiring (although my IG is largely inactive and I haven’t posted anything in years).
πŸ“’ Maffet listed 5 negative thoughts we should get rid of.
πŸ“’ Brianna enumerated some steps to take to improve your Pinterest account and get more traffic.
πŸ“’ Zaheerah wrote a great review of Gates of Thread and Stone, which has been sitting on my TBR forever.
πŸ“’ Sarah recommended YA thrillers based on your current Netflix obsession, as well as some body positive YA books.
πŸ“’ Siobhan asked, “Should the book community fight over ARCs?
πŸ“’ Abby gave tips on starting your blog right.
πŸ“’ Erica attempted to teach y’all how to control yourself when buying books.
πŸ“’ Christine’s thoughtful review of The Seafarer’s Kiss has convinced me to pick it up.

πŸ“ Of course, March was also filled with brilliant posts from fellow bloggers. Here are some that I thoroughly enjoyed! I hope y’all find the time to read them:

πŸ“’ Cande wrote a great #ownvoices review of We Set the Dark on Fire.
πŸ“’ Alexa’s review of Bloodleaf got me even more hyped for the book.
πŸ“’ The bookishanishgirl raised insightful points regarding feminism and Islam.
πŸ“’ Xandra eloquently discussed what makes a plot twist.
πŸ“’ I totally loved reading Lara’s review of Binti, which is high up my TBR pile.
πŸ“’ Marie put together a wonderful list of YA books dealing with anxiety.
πŸ“’ Hannah shared some stand-alone novels she wants closure from.
πŸ“’ In light of International Women’s Day, Sarah compiled a list of YA feminist reads, while Sophie shared some feminist books she hopes to read.
πŸ“’ Lauren effectively hyped up one of my anticipated releases this year, A Girl Called Shameless, in her glowing review.
πŸ“’ Melanie wrote a thoughtful review of Patron Saints of Nothing with valid criticism I will take note of once I get to reading my ARC.

πŸ“ Aside from featuring great blog posts in my monthly synopsis posts, I also like lovingly screaming about incredible book bloggers! Since this one wraps up both February and March, I’ve decided to select two featured bloggers. First, Taasia from Librae Paints Pages partly because it was her one year blog anniversary last February and partly because I was somehow mentioned in her post??? I am honestly not worthy, but this wonderful human deserves a lot of love thrown her way. And second, May from Forever and Everly! May has gone through great lengths to support and to encourage book bloggers to keep doing what they do, and it’s about time they receive the same amount of love back!

EVERYTHING ELSE IN A NUTSHELL

ON LOOKING BACK

I think it goes without saying that February and March were incredibly hectic months for me, especially the latter. Most of my March was dedicated to preparing for my trip to Malaysia, which I will hopefully write about soon when I find the time. ‘Preparing’ for my trip was not limited to dealing with traveling- or trip-related paperwork, but also involved having to finish academic requirements weeks before they were due and rehearsing for my research presentation.

But my workload and deadlines aside, both months were very draining with respect to my mental health and general well-being. I won’t deny that I’ve had so many wonderful opportunities this year both within and outside of blogging, and of course, I am infinitely grateful for all of them. I should be feeling like I’m on the top of the world, but in reality, on some days, I can barely bring myself to leave my bed. On some days, I dread waking up in the morning, and on some nights, I haul myself to bed feeling either too empty or too anxious.

I won’t delve into too many details, but on a more positive note, I’d like to think that I’ve been making progress. I’ve been putting in the effort to become more open with exploring my identity and how I make sense of my self-worth, as well as reassessing some of my goals. And in doing so, I am slowly learning that it’s perfectly okay for me not to have everything figured out. And that a lot of the pressure heavily weighing on my shoulders stem from my own expectations, fears, and insecurities.

Despite the bleakness and busyness of February and March, I did manage to have a bit of fun! One of the highlights was spending the day with my favorite blogger friends, namely, Kate @ Your Tita Kate, Cara @ The Little Miss Bookworm, JM @ Book Freak Revelations, Bianca @ The Ultimate Fangirl, and Inah @ The Bibliophile Confessions. I also got to meet the lovely Kait @ Kaitlyn Gosiaco in person for the first time!

ON MOVING FORWARD

I’ll be working on my April synopsis hopefully within this week or next week! Hold me accountable on that, friends.

I’d love to hear from you!

🌻 It’s been a while, but how are all of you? I hope life has been treating you well! (Psst, did you write a wrap-up post for February or March? Leave the link in the comment section below and I’ll check it out as soon as I can!)

🌻 Are any of the books I intend to read for the Avengers Readathon also on your TBR for the month?

🌻 Are you a Marvel fan? Who’s your favorite Avenger?


Twitter: @shutupshealea ‧ Pinterest ‧ Goodreads ‧ Bloglovin’

10 thoughts on “FEBRUARY & MARCH SYNOPSIS: blogging backlogs & Avengers-inspired TBR

  1. Shealea, this was a fabulous post! I’m so happy that you got so many blogging opportunities because you 100000% deserve it! It’s a shame that you didn’t love the books you read in March, but I hope you have a really great reading month in April (and May)!

    I’m particularly excited for your thoughts on Stronger Than A Bronze Dragon (which is my current read), We Hunt the Flame (which I’ve heard nothing but great things about) and also Colour Outside The Lines (which I cannot wait to read!)

    There are so many great blog posts featured here, and I cannot wait to check them all out! Sending all the love your way – I hope your mental health improves and that you will be having a fabulous May!

    I can’t believe I was featured here, like holy cow? I’m on hiatus and defo would have commented sooner but because W.P and I (I didn’t get any linking notifications for some reason and I’m the worst at commenting yikes). I’m hope you enjoyed my posts, you literally made my day 😭😭 and ofc I had to shout you out because you’re the best omgggg. And also, to be featured alongside May from FAE (literally one of my all-time fav bloggers) made my day. Have an amazing May ahhhh <3333 (i'm still totally crying lmao)

    Like

  2. Good luck with all your planned reading, I love your selection of books coming up to read. I totally understand the busy life feeling, I haven’t read nearly as much as I have wanted to lately either.

    And I quite love Thor πŸ˜€

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  3. Lovely post, Shealea! You have so many exciting books on your TBR! I need to read Fire and Heist, Just for Clicks, the Fever King, and We Hunt the Flame soon, myself. I’m sorry to see that you’ve been having a rough month with your health, but am glad that you feel like you’re making progress! Wishing you the best for May! ❀

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  4. I love your TBR for the upcoming month and I can’t wait to hear what you think of The Fever King and Just For Clicks (I really liked both), as well as We Hunt The Flame, this one sounds incredible ❀
    I'm sorry it has been a couple of tough months, you're not alone swimming in the anxious, insecurity sea, I know I've been at it too. Here if you ever need to rant about anything, always. ❀
    Thank you so much for sharing one of my posts, it means a lot that you enjoyed it! ❀ ❀
    I hope you will have a brilliant end of April and an even lovelier May, sending you love ❀ ❀

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  5. Tbh I’ve been struggling with reading and blogging too this year, I didn’t expected myself to be this overwhelmed 😣 I love MCU and was super happy with Endgame! I might be late to join the readathon, but I’d love to sign up (even though I’ll probably fail too…). My favorite avenger would be Nat ahaha, she’s just amazing and I want to know more about her!

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  6. Your post made for an interesting reading! And I’m sorry your past reading weren’t all so great but I hope your next one would be great! I have Not Even Bones on my radar and I hope to read it soon!

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  7. You’re always so busy and somehow you still manage to write so eloquent posts. Share your magic with us mere mortals, Shealea.

    My first quarter was fun, I guess. April’s been a bit better. I’ve read more (two whole books in April! Lol.), I’ve opened an Etsy shop. The first quarter of the year was spent planning all of that, and now it’s trying to keep it going.

    I am a very vague Marvel fan in the sense that I’ve become disillusioned with the movies for their lack of representation, but also I really love Chris Evans as Steve Rogers and Chris Hemsworth as Thor. Lol.

    I did a first quarter wrap-up this year! I hardly ever do wrap-ups, but I’m quite proud of that one.
    http://www.foldedbetweenthepagesofbooks.com/?p=3001

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