The Inevitable Reading Slump + How to Deal With It

Hello Flowers!

It seems like I’ve been going through reading slumps more and more these past few months and my spurts of wanting to read all day everyday are getting shorter and shorter. No matter how I’ve tried to fight it, reading slumps are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to get out of it! Here are some of my tips on how to deal with a reading slump. 

original.gif

  1. Listen to Audiobooks 

For me, my reading slump is because my mind is simple tired of looking at words on a page, so making my reading audial helps my brain so much (also, audiobooks most definitely count as reading and anyone who says otherwise is a liar!). Listening to books allow my eyes to rest and also gives me the freedom to do other tasks while listening or simply lie and bed and listen. 

  1. Read Graphic Novels 

Graphic novels are one of my favorite types of books to read all the time, but are especially helpful when I’m trying to get out of a slump. The artwork and minimal text is easy on my eyes and makes for an easy, yet enjoyable read. 

  1. Stop Reading 

If none of the first steps work, or if I simply don’t feel like trying them, I just stop reading. My brain is telling something: I’m just not in the mood to read. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. As an avid reader I used to be ashamed to feel like I didn’t want to read anything, but I realized it happens to the best of us. It also doesn’t mean that I never want to read again, just that I just don’t want to read right now and that’s completely normal. 

I hope the tips that I use to get out of my reading slumps are helpful to you! What are some ways you get out of your reading slumps?

Until next time, 

Trinity

Books I’ve DNF’d So Far This Year + Why

DNF — meaning ‘Did Not Finish’

 

Hello Book Flowers (I’m trying out this name since my blog is Brown Girl Blooming…and flowers… get it? ahah)!

I’m not the type to DNF books very often. I like to try to push through a book even if I’m not liking it, but recently I’ve realized that there’s too many good books to read for me to be spending my time reading ones that I don’t like. So I’ve begun to come to terms that although I may not like DNFing books, it must happen. So here are the books that I decided to put down this year.

reading-gif.gif

 

 

  1. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir 

I started this book towards the beginning of the year because I had to get my hands on this book after finishing An Ember in the Ashes, the first book in the series. I got about a hundred pages in when I realized that there a very prominent love triangle in the story. If you know me, you know that one of the YA tropes that I absolutely hate is the love triangle trope. It annoys me so much because the characters are usually in serious danger and have important missions to complete, yet they’re worried about who’s in love with who and I’m sitting there “like who has time for any of this!!” Once I realized the love triangle was happening in this book with Laia, Elias and Keenan and I immediately lost interest. Now, I can handle tropes if they’re well done, but this book was not one of those cases, so for that reason I decided to put it down. 

 

      2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 

I decided to listen to this audiobook a few months ago because I’ve been wanting to watch the movie for a long time and am a firm believer in reading the book before watching the movie. I got about 20% into the audiobook before deciding to put it down. The mystery of the book was interesting enough, but there was too much exposition for me and so much of it was unnecessary. For a moment, I forgot what the main plot was because there were so many things being explained that I did not care about and wasn’t exactly relevant to the story.  I know it’s an adult novel and I was expecting for it to be more descriptive and wordy, but was too much for me and when my loan for the book expired, I had no desire to renew it and finish it. I still want to know what the big twist is in this story and know this is the unbookish thing to say, but I think I’ll just watch the movie instead. 

 

  1. The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

This book was the most recent DNF for me and the hardest as well. I really wanted to love this because I absolutely loved A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, but this one did not do it for me. The first thing was plot of the book, I don’t know if it was because I decided to listen to the audiobook or the narrator, but what was being said was not engaging me. The second thing I didn’t enjoy was Felicity’s character which makes me sad because I loved her in the previous book. She was so strong and independent and I looked forward to getting to know her more in this book, but now that she had her own story I wasn’t liking her character as much. My favorite part of what I did listen to were the parts with Monty and Percy and they weren’t even the main focus of this book. This one hurt the most putting down, but I hope to find the energy to read it again physically and see if that changes my opinion. 

 

I’ve only DNF’d three books so far this year and there will probably be many more, but that’s okay, because I’m creating the opportunity to discover books I’ll truly enjoy. What books have you DNF’d so far this year? Do you DNF easily or is it hard for you? Let me know in the comments!

 

Until next time! 

 

Trinity  

Daisy Jones and the Six Review

510KW37JP6L._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_Title : Daisy Jones and the Six 

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Date Published :  March 5, 2019

Format : Audiobook

Duration :  9 hours 4 minutes

 

Synopsis

 

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice. (Goodreads)

 

Review

 

My rating 4/5 stars

 

Daisy Jones and the Six was such a well made, well structured book. The story was full of life and the characters were full of vigor. Listening to this as an audiobook was such a unique way to experience the story. It was honestly one of the best books I’ve read in awhile, so why not 5 stars? I’ll get into that later. 

Starting with the plot of the story itself— it was lively and exciting to listen to. I really loved the 70’s setting of the story and I felt like I was listening to the accounts of a real band. I also admire the set up Taylor Jenkins Reid used for this story by having the characters talk about what happened in interview form. When it comes to writing you’re always told ‘show, don’t tell’, but this book was all tell and no show— and it worked. Not a single aspect of the story was lost with this format. The descriptions and things the characters were explaining felt so natural like it was real dialogue.

That brings me to my love of the characters. They were all so layered and complex and felt so real because of their voices and insecurities. Having a full cast to voice the characters really helped the story come to life and the voice actors fit the characters perfectly. Especially Daisy. Her gravelly, deep voice stood out among the other characters just as her personality did. You could truly hear in her voice all that she’d been through. Daisy was such a cool character and because of how well crafted she was, I began to fall in love and look up to her the way everyone in the story did. I also loved the reveal that Julia was the one conducting the interview. It made look back and admire the story and format of it even more. 

Now, I haven’t said a negative thing about this book, not saying that it’s without flaws, but there was nothing big enough to make me remove a full star. So you’re probably wondering, why 5 stars? It’s because of the hype. The hype surrounding this book is insane. My expectations were through the roof because of it. I was expecting to cry, to laugh, to be absolutely blown away by this book— and I wasn’t. The good thing about hype if that it lets me know about good books out there, but the bad thing is it gets my expectations all out of wack. If I hadn’t heard so much hype and praise about this book, it could’ve been a 5 star read. But I do hope to buy this book physically and give it another shot to see if my rating changes and of course, because the cover is absolutely stunning. 

Overall, this book was well crafted and unique, but I always wonder if my rating would’ve been higher if I hadn’t heard any of the praise about it…

Orange Vol. 1 + 2 Review

51Z+jrrfONL._SX349_BO1,204,203,200_

Title : Orange Vol 1. + 2

Author: Ichigo Takano,  Amber Tamosaitis (Translator)

Date Published : January 26, 2016

Format : Paperback

Page Count : 523 (both volumes)

 

Synopsis (Vol. 1)

A Plea From the Future

On the day that Naho begins 11th grade, she receives a letter from herself ten years in the future. At first, she writes it off as a prank, but as the letter’s predictions come true one by one, Naho realizes that the letter might be the real deal. Her future self tells Naho that a new transfer student, a boy named Kakeru, will soon join her class. The letter begs Naho to watch over him, saying that only Naho can save Kakeru from a terrible future. Who is this mystery boy, and can Naho save him from his destiny? This is the heart-wrenching sci-fi romance that has over million copies in print in Japan! (Goodreads)

 

Review

My rating 5/5 stars

Orange was the first ever manga I read and I really enjoyed it. It was honestly one of the best books I’ve read in awhile. It deals with the heavy, but important topics of suicide and depression in a great way.

I cried so much while reading this because of how much Kakerus’ friends cared about him. They truly did everything in their power to not only try to stop Kakeru’s suicide, but to change his heart, so he knew he would always have his friends to depend on. Both of these volumes were very emotional reads.

The character’s were so fun, unique and ultimately lightened up the story. I loved how the characters interacted with each other and bickered, but still cared very deeply about each other. It was fun to see how they interacted with each other at school and during other activities.

If I were to rate the duology together, I would definitely give it 5/5 stars. Although I rated the first volume a ⅘ stars on Goodreads, due to the repetition of situations and conversations, I think it was all made up for in the second volume which was just about perfect.

The only complaint that I had was how to time travel element was explained. When the topic of how they sent the letters to their past selves was brought up, it was glossed over with just quick mentions of black holes and the Bermuda Triangle. That was the furthest the conversation went. In my opinion, that should’ve been explained better since it’s what starts the entire the story, but I’m willing to overlook it because of how good the rest of the story was.

All in all, this is a great duology and I’m so glad it was my first manga because it opened the door for me to read more of that genre. 

Six of Crows Review

 

23437156Title : Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Date Published : September 29, 2015

Format : Paperback

Page Count : 462

 

Synopsis 

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager

A runaway with a privileged past

A spy known as the Wraith

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first. (Goodreads)

 

Review

My rating 5/5 stars

This book was amazing and has easily become one of my favorite books of all time. I knew from the first few pages that this book was going to be mind blowing and it didn’t disappoint. It ended up being one of my few 5 star reads of 2019.

The plot managed to pull me in from the beginning and kept me turning the page for the entirety of the book. There were some parts that were a bit slow for me, but it wasn’t anything to deduct stars for because although it was slow, it still pertained to the plot or character development. There were no parts that could’ve been thrown out, everything was intentional and important to the story.

When it came to the character, the characters in this book were some of the most complex and well rounded characters I’ve ever come across. I often read books and don’t feel connected to the characters or feel like they’re not real, but this cast of characters were portrayed in such a realistic way. They had layers and really pushed the boundaries of morality. Every voice was distinct when I read from their perspective. When I realized it was from multiple character’s perspectives I became concerned. I was afraid the perspectives would cause the voices to become muddled and I wouldn’t know who I was reading about, but it was just the opposite. The only complain I had was that there wasn’t a perspective from Wylan. He’s one of my favorite characters, though it’s hard not to love all of them.

Another aspect I loved about the book was the world building. The Grishaverse was a complex and fun world to dive into and was so well executed. I will admit that it took me a while to get accustomed to the world, but once I did, I didn’t want to leave.

In conclusion, Six of Crows is a masterpiece that I recommend everyone read, especially if you’re a sucker for heist books like me.

 

The Umbrella Academy : Apocalypse Suite Review

250px-The_Apocalypse_Suite_TPBTitle : The Umbrella Academy, Vol. 1: The Apocalypse Suite (The Umbrella Academy #1)

Author: Gerard Way (Writer), Gabriel Bá (Artist)

Date Published : July 22, 2008

Format : Paperback

Page Count : 184

 

 

 

Synopsis 

In an inexplicable worldwide event, forty-seven extraordinary children were spontaneously born to women who’d previously shown no signs of pregnancy. Millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of the children; when asked why, his only explanation was, “To save the world.”

These seven children form the Umbrella Academy, a dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers. Their first adventure at the age of ten pits them against an erratic and deadly Eiffel Tower, piloted by the fearsome zombie-robot Gustave Eiffel. Nearly a decade later, the team disbands, but when Hargreeves unexpectedly dies, these disgruntled siblings reunite just in time to save the world once again.(Goodreads)

Review

My rating ⅘  stars

Ever since I saw The Umbrella Academy Netflix show I’ve been meaning to get a copy of this series. I was afraid my expectations would be too high because I loved the show so much,  but I’m glad to say I wasn’t disappointed. I’m somewhere between the 3.5-4 star range for the rating and I’m okay with not having an exact rating for this book.

Starting with the things I liked, I have to talk about the art work. Gabriel Bá did a phenomenal job with the visuals in the book. I found myself sitting and staring at the art on the pages for minutes before continuing on to the next page because of how beautiful it was. I especially loved the way Vanya looked as the White Violin. The plot was pretty solid and kept me intrigued, though it became cliché and cheesy as some points.

Some issues I had with the story were, for starters, the romance between the siblings. I was was somewhat prepared for (though still disgusted by) the romance between Luther and Allison, but I was not prepared for the thing Diego had for Vanya. I absolutely hate these relationships in the story. I know some people say it’s technically not incest because they’re adopted, but in my opinion, if you have to say “it’s not technically incest” it’s incest!

I also can’t ignore the lack of diversity of any kind in this story. It was pretty disappointing to see, especially coming from the show where there was a diverse cast of characters.

There was such a lack of motive when it came to the antagonists. Not really Vanya, but the rest of the orchestra’s motive was very weak. For me, the antagonist’s motive in a story has to be just as strong, if not stronger, than the protagonist’s.

When it came to the characters, they were lacking in personality for me. They were very one dimensional and only had one or two character traits. From the graphic novel alone, I don’t have any characters that I particularly like and it’s not because of the fact that they were all made to be pretty unlikeable, but because they were very flat and predictable.

Overall, I enjoyed The Umbrella Academy and will definitely be picking up the next volume in the series.

Sadie Review

34810320

Title : Sadie

Author: Courtney Summers

Date Published : September 4, 2018

Format : Audiobook

Duration : 07:57:27

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis 

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late. (Goodreads)

 

Review

My rating 5/5 stars

Wow. Just wow. This audiobook was freaking masterpiece. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about this story.

I guess I can start with the format of the book itself. The way the audio book was set up made it seem as if I was listening to an episode of “Serial”. The way the book switched back and forth from the podcast to Sadie’s narrative was genius. I can’t forget to mention how every character was voiced by a different person which made the book seem so real. Having different voices brought such a phenomenal dynamic to the story.

I loved Sadie as a character— her determination, her heart, and her stutter. I’ve never read or listened to a book where a character had a speech impediment. It was an interesting dynamic having Sadie be a character with a lot of fire in what she says, but having trouble executing her words. It brought such an element of vulnerability to her character that made her even better than she already was. Another aspect I loved it how the journalist of the show become emotionally attached to Sadie’s story. It made him feel so real. It was also representative of how I felt as a reader, the more I learned, the more emotionally attached to Sadie and her story.

The ending of the book bugged me at first, but then I realized that I liked it— not liked it—but more so respected it. It’s more realistic and representative of real life because of how some things remain unsolved. The contents of this book are heart wrenching and nearly brought me to tears at some moments. This book definitely has a trigger warning for sexual abuse, pedophilia and violence.

Overall, this book was an absolute masterpiece and that I would highly recommend in audiobook form.