Why I’ve Been in a Reading/Blogging Slump.

lifeupdate

Hey!

There are a few things I want to write about and the main thing being why I’ve been in a reading/blogging slump. This may get long! Right at the start of May (actually April 30) I was told that I may lose my job. Since that day I have been beyond stressed about what was going to happen with my job and what I was going to do, because we just bought a house in a new city four hours away from family! I currently do not have a license, I never got one as a teen for whatever reason. So it would make finding a new job a struggle. I currently work from home. I also have major social anxiety and talking to people I don’t know kind of freaks me out, so I was kind of just going crazy. What was I going to do? I can’t drive anywhere. I can’t talk to people. It was just a lot to deal with. FYI: I am going to start working on finally getting my license. It’s time!

When I found out about my job, I pretty much cried for a long time. Then I ignored everything happening and read book after book after book to escape that reality. That’s why in May I read so many books and got so many reviews posted. I was ignoring what was happening. I was also waiting to see what was going to happen with my job, because my boss told me he would let me know what is going on in June. Once June hit, I was so nervous waiting to see what my boss was going to tell me. So I stressed out so much and impatiently waiting for that email about what was going to happen. It finally happened 2-3 weeks ago and he told me I could work part-time. So that’s what is happening right now. I am still working, but part-time. It was a little bit of a relief to know I still had a job, but also a downer because it’s part-time. I also don’t feel secure with this job now. I feel like it could still end at any moment and that’s stressful and weighing on me a lot.

Another thing is that this week my work computer crashed and I lost all of my files. I lost all of the stuff that I use for my job. I now have to work on redoing everything. I had so many spreadsheets and starting over really sucks. I had five years worth of work stuff on that computer and a lot of it I use every day. So I’ve been annoyed with that and trying to remember the most important things and a way to start again. The last backup for some things I have date back to December, but the most important things that I use daily I didn’t have saved somewhere else. So now I am stressing about that on top of the work stuff.

My personal computer seems like it’s on it’s last leg too and I need a new computer. The problem is, buying a new computer. Computers are expensive! Now that I am working part-time, we are trying not to spend money as often. I need a new computer at some point, because I really don’t want to risk losing all of my personal stuff; like thousands of pictures and music. UGH. I want a brand new hard drive/tower (I have plenty of computer monitors so I don’t need that), but the hubby thinks we should get refurbished for now. I don’t want to do that, because I don’t want to risk a refurbished computer breaking down a year or two later. So I’ve just been stressed about that too.

I’ve been in this weird place in my head lately and I don’t like it. A lot of it has to do with work. Some of it has to do with the fact that I can’t spend money or do things like I was before. It is now all about saving, saving, saving. I hardly ever leave the house, which usually I’m fine with but lately not really. I want to go do things or buy things, but I can’t because we’re trying not to spend money until we figure out the job situation and what happens in the future with that. I was excited about buying this house, because we would get to fix it up how we wanted it and make it ours. We haven’t really been able to do anything with our house because of all of this. It’s frustrating and annoying and I hate it. I’m not even that excited about owning a house anymore, which is really sad!!

I feel like maybe I’m complaining, but honestly, I’m not the type of person that complains about anything. So this is all new and weird and I don’t like it. I’ve always been an “it is what it is” type person. I usually go with the flow and whatever happens, happens. I’m usually always happy and good vibes. The fact that I haven’t been that person in months sucks! This is not who I am and I don’t like it. I want to get back to my old self, but I’m not entirely sure how to get there. Even writing that line is making me start to cry. It’s so damn sad! I’ve never been like this before and I don’t know what this even is. I just want things to go back to normal, but I don’t think that can happen. At least not right now. I think our “normal” has changed too.

So with all of that being said, I haven’t been blogging much and I haven’t been reading much this month. It’s not because I don’t want to, believe me, I want to! My mind is drowning in other things/thoughts and I can’t seem to figure out a balance between everything. So instead I just do mindless stuff, like watch TV. I’ve been catching up on my DVRed shows and shows I’ve been wanting to watch on Hulu/Netflix that I haven’t gotten the chance to watch yet. I’ve also started exercising every day and I feel like I’m starting to finally see results. I still eat like crap, but whatever. Let me tackle one good thing at a time. LOL.

I also can finally say that I finished my two current reads; well technically I have like 50 pages left in one but it counts because I’m going to go finish it right now after I post this. I’ve been reading these same two books (Naturally Tan and Red, White & Royal Blue) for weeks now due to this reading slump. I’m so sad that this entire month I only read read three books. That’s not like me! My mind has just been elsewhere. I’m hoping that things will start looking up or that I can get out of whatever it is that I’m in in my head. I don’t even know how to classify it, because this has never happened to me before. I don’t even think I was this stressed when I was planning my wedding or even the process of buying a house. That all was a breeze compared to what I am feeling right now.

I am really hoping to finally do that picture update soon. Until then, here are my two favorite pictures that I took over the last month or so.

The first picture was when my friend and I went Pokemon hunting at Lake Mirror here in Lakeland, FL. All over Lakeland there are swans (real and fake) and this one has been my favorite that I’ve seen so far since living here. The second picture is when my family and I went to the beach. We were on a ferry when I took this picture, because we wanted to go to Caladesi Island and in order to get to the island you have to travel by ferry. I’ll have a post all about it with even more pictures soon. It was a fun time!

I think I will end this now (it’s gotten a lot longer than I thought), but hopefully I will be okay soon and you’ll see more of me soon. If I am a little MIA (missing in action), these are the reasons why. I’m still around, just not as much right now. I still try to blog hop and still try to post at least once a week if I can. It’s just harder with where my head is at and also the fact that I haven’t been reading much. Hopefully this all changes soon. Hopefully I can figure out some way to get out of my head and back to reality. Like I said, I just want to get back to my old self. I don’t like who I am lately and that’s never been the case before. I’ve always loved who I was. I’ve always been a happy person. I never let things bother me. Now it’s different and it’s really sad. I’m sad for myself, so much.

This weekend I am going to Cape Coral for my cousin’s son’s birthday party and I am really looking forward to that because I’ll get out of the house and because I’ll be able to see my family who I haven’t seen in almost a month. Do you have any plans for the weekend? What are you currently reading?

In case you missed it;
Top Ten Tuesday|| Most Anticipated Releases.
Mini Review|| Virtually Yours.

I hope you have a great day and weekend!

ashleyblack

Top Ten Tuesday|| Most Anticipated Releases.

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl.

Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019.


Hey!

I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since the last Top Ten Tuesday post I’ve done! I really need to get back into doing them, because they are a lot of fun. This week’s topic is about my most anticipated book releases for the second half of this year. There are SO many amazing sound books coming out this year that I haven’t gotten yet and that have still not been released! So many books, so little time…and money. 😛 Here are the books that I am really looking forward to in the second half of the year. The majority of these are ones that I actually have on preorder.

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Destroy All Monsters by Sam J. Miller
Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

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The Hive by Barry Lyga & Morgan Baden
Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett
Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Technically, You Started It by Lana Wood Johnson

What books are you looking forward to in the second half of the year? Do we have any similar ones? Feel free to link me to your post, so I can check it out!

Still battling this reading & blogging slump, but hopefully I’ll get out of it soon! I’m crossing my fingers, because only reading 2.5 books this entire month so far is unacceptable, haha. I also think I only wrote a few blog posts throughout the month too. Sad day. I’ll catch up with all of your posts and comments in the next day or two. 😀

In case you missed it;
WWW Wednesday #62.
Mini Review|| Virtually Yours.
Wrap Up|| May.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

WWW Wednesday #62.

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly MEME hosted by Taking on a World of Words. Simply answer the following questions. 🙂

The three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

*All books linked to Goodreads below.


Hey!

I’ve been feeling like I’m in a reading & blogging slump the last week and a half, which has really sucked. There’s a lot of things on my mind and happening in my personal life that I just think it’s kind of dominating my thoughts and energy right now. Hopefully I can get out of this soon. Things are just weird right now. I’ll catch up with all of your posts and comments in the next day or two. 🙂 Even though I’ve been kind of in a reading slump, I have been slowly making my way through a few books. Here are the books that I’ve been reading and hope to read next.

Currently Reading:

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Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Naturally Tan by Tan France

I’ve been seeing Red, White & Royal Blue everywhere and I’ve been dying to read it. I had it on hold at my library, but got tired of waiting so I broke down and bought myself a copy of my own. I love Queer Eye and I love Tan France, so I’ve been switching between reading Red, White & Royal Blue and Naturally Tan. I am almost halfway through both books and I am really enjoying them both. Red, White & Royal Blue has so many laugh out loud moments. I love the way Tan writes and it’s been so interesting reading about his life and adventures in his book Naturally Tan.


Recently Finished:

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Virtually Yours by Sarvenaz Tash

I was sent an ARC on Netgalley of Virtually Yours and decided to pick it up ASAP because it was releasing soon after I got it approved. I was approved a week before release day. I actually really liked this one and had fun reading it. You can check out my full review linked at the end of this post.


Reading Next:

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Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

AHHH!! I was approved for Soul of the Sword on Netgalley last week and I can’t wait to dive into it. I was planning to reread the first book (Shadow of the Fox) before reading the sequel, but since I got approved on Netgalley and it’s releasing next week (!!!), I am just going to dive right into it. I honestly wasn’t sure I was even going to be approved because I requested it so long and the fact that it’s coming out this month I kind of gave up hope on that request, HAHA. BUT here we are…I am so excited! I can’t wait for my physical copy to get here though. My library hold for On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous was checked out to me, so I may be reading that one as well. Jeff Zentner gave it so much love and I love Jeff Zentner, so I have to read all the books he recommends, lol. 😛

What are you currently reading? Recently finished? Reading next? Have you read any of these books? Feel free to link me to your posts, so I can check them out!

In case you missed it;
Mini Review|| Virtually Yours.
Wrap Up|| May.
Book Haul|| May.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Mini Review|| Virtually Yours.

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Virtually Yours by Sarvenaz Tash
3 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Description: How bad can one little virtual lie be? NYU freshman Mariam Vakilian hasn’t dated anyone in five months, not since her high school sweetheart Caleb broke up with her. So, when she decides to take advantage of an expiring coupon and try out a new virtual reality dating service, it’s sort of a big deal. It’s an even bigger deal when it chooses as one of her three matches none other than Caleb himself. That has to be a sign, right? Except that her other match, Jeremy, just happens to be her new best friend IRL. Mariam’s heart is telling her one thing, but the app is telling her another. So, which should she trust? Is all fair in modern love?


I received an ARC of Virtually Yours from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. It was just released on June 4th.

I don’t have a whole lot to say about Virtually Yours, but I did have a lot of fun reading it. I liked it a lot and breezed through it. I liked the characters and all of the new friendships. I especially liked Mariam and Jeremy’s friendship the most. I liked the relationship Mariam had with her siblings and I liked the Iranian culture that was included in the story as well. I thought the virtual dating service was pretty interesting with the virtual reality dates. It also got a little creepy at times with how much the AI system knew about you. Throughout most of the story Mariam is trying to get back with her ex-boyfriend Caleb so she jumped at the chance when he was chosen as one of her matches on the app. Overall, I thought Virtually Yours was a fun, cute, and quick read. Even though the story didn’t blow me away, I still liked it and it kept my interest. I liked the characters, friendships, and family dynamic. It was interesting and worth the read, especially if you’re just looking for a quick fun read.

In case you missed it;
Wrap Up|| May.
Book Haul|| May.
Review|| Going Off Script.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

 

Wrap Up|| May.

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Hey!

I am pretty happy with how May went as far as reading goes, because I was able to get through quite a few ARCs that I needed to read and I enjoyed them all. I was also able to get reviews up for them too. There are still two ARCs that I wasn’t able to get to, but that’s okay. I’ll get to them soon. I even read a book toward my Reading the Alphabet challenge that I have been doing so horribly with this year, lol. I was also able to listen to a few audiobooks as well. Here are the books that I read and listened to in May. You can find a full list of these books and the other books I read this year over here. All will be linked to Goodreads below and I will also link to individual blog posts for them if I did a review.

Physically Read Books:
These are the books that I read myself (not audiobooks) throughout the month of May.

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Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson – 4 out of 5 stars.
Shout was such a great book. I loved the poetry and I loved reading about Laure Halse’s life and the way that she told it. It’s a really emotional and deals with so many tough situations.

Happy Messy Scary Love by Leah Konen – 5 out of 5 stars – Review
Happy Messy Scary Love was such an amazing book. I loved it so much and flew through it in a day. It was so hard to put down. I had so much fun reading it. Feel free to check out my review for more.

Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo – 4 out of 5 stars – Review
I liked Somewhere Only We Know so much! It was a lot of fun to read and it was so cute. I am really looking forward to checking out more books by Maurene Goo. Feel free to check out my review for more.

We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra – 5 out of 5 stars –  Review
My love for We Contain Multitudes is never ending. This book was an emotional roller coaster. It was so sad, but so beautiful. It was everything I hoped it would be. Feel free to check out my review for more.

Going Off Script by Jen Wilde – 4 out of 5 stars – Review
I really liked Going Off Script. It was cute and fun to read. It also dealt with a lot of important things and so much diversity. Feel free to check out my review for more.

Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon – 5 out of 5 stars – ABC
Olivia Twist is an Oliver Twist retelling and I’ve been wanting to read it for so long now. It’s part of my Reading the Alphabet TBR. I had so much fun reading this. It was so good and I loved it so much.


Audiobooks:
These are the books that I listened to the audio versions throughout the month of May.

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – 3 out of 5 stars
I liked The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, but sadly I didn’t end up loving it as much as I hoped I would. I think my expectations were set so high because how amazing Taylor’s book Daisy Jones & the Six was. I’m still glad I read this one though and I still found it enjoyable at times.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi – 3 out of 5 stars
I finally read Children of Blood and Bone, but I honestly don’t understand all the hype. It was good and there were some surprises, but it didn’t blow me away. I liked it though and I am still interested in reading the sequel one day.

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine – 4 out of 5 stars
Holy crap…The Last Mrs. Parrish was so crazy! It was also so addicting and I am really glad that I listened to the audiobook version of it.Some things were a little predictable, but it didn’t take away from the story for me. I still really liked it a lot and had fun listening to it.

Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan – 3 out of 5 stars
I honestly may have to reread Wicked Saints myself, because the majority of the time I had no idea what was happening. I think that’s more because I was listening to the audiobook in the background with my computer speakers while I was doing work (I usually listen with headphones so I can focus better but I didn’t this time). Because of that, my mind kept wandering. I don’t really remember too much of it either (especially the first half of the book), so I may give this one a reread at some point because it seems interesting and the last 40% was good.

What books did you read in May? Have you read any of the books that I read? Feel free to link me to you wrap up post, so I can check it out!

I will catch up with all of your posts and comments as soon as I get some free time in the next day or two. 🙂 I hope you had a great weekend!

In case you missed it;
Book Haul|| May.
Friday Finds #81.
Book Tag||Book Addiction.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Book Haul|| May.

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Hey!

I can’t believe it’s already the end of May and already time for another book haul post! I got quite a few books this month, because I couldn’t resist deals and I had a couple pre-orders release this month. I was also sent a few books from publishers, which was exciting! You can check out a full list of the books that I own over here. There’s links to different pages on my blog that show my e-books and one for my physical books. I last updated the pages in April. All book titles below are linked to Goodreads.

Books I Bought:

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Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
Hope and Other Punch Lines by Julie Buxbaum
Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff/Amie Kaufman
Girl Gone Viral by Arvin Ahmadi
Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King/Owen King

I’ve been wanting Serious Moonlight for awhile now and when I seen it only $8 on Amazon, I couldn’t pass it up. So happy to finally have it. Hopefully I’ll actually get around to reading it ASAP! Hope and Other Punch Lines was also a little over $8 on Amazon too and I needed it because I love Julie’s books! I feel like everyone probably got a copy of Aurora Rising this month. I didn’t want to feel left out, so I got it. I also really love the cover. I’m not entirely sure how to feel about going into reading it though, because I didn’t really like Illuminae, which was written by Jay & Amie. So I guess we’ll see what happens with their new book. I love books about social media, so I was really stoked about Girl Gone Viral. Plus that cover is amazing. I seen Sleeping Beauties at an outlet store for $3 and it sounded good, so I got it.


Books from Publishers:

We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra
The Liars of Mariposa Island by Jennifer Mathieu (September)
Beyond the Black Door by A.M. Strickland (October)
All-American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney (November)

I was sent a copy of We Contain Multitudes from The Novl and I was so stoked when I seen it in my mail box. I absolutely loved this book so much. You can check out my review here. I also received a Fall ARC package from Fierce Reads, which contained the following books: The Liars of Mariposa Island, Beyond the Black Door, and All-American Muslim Girl. I am really excited about these three books. There’s I believe four packages you can choose from and I chose this one because all of these books sounded really good and it was also the one with the least amount of ARCs. I didn’t want to go crazy and have so many ARCs to read, because toward the end of the year reading usually slows down for me with the holidays happening and I didn’t want to end up falling behind on my ARCs.

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Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky (October – Netgalley)
Virtually Yours by Sarvenaz Tash (June – Netgalley)

I was so excited when I seen there was a new book from Stephen Chbosky! I was approved on Netgalley for Imaginary Friend and I couldn’t be more excited!! I notice that it’s 720 pages (according to Goodreads) and that makes me nervous though, haha. BUT I am really looking forward to reading this one closer to October/Halloween. 😛 I was also approved for Virtually Yours, which I completely forgot about the request because it was awhile ago that I requested it and didn’t hear back. It releases next week, so I figured I wouldn’t be getting it by now. I’m excited for it though. Hopefully I’ll be reading that soon since the release date is coming up June 4th.


E-Books:

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The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Priest of Bones by Peter McLean
I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo
Everything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee

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F*ck Marriage by Tarryn Fisher
Mirage by Somaiya Daud
Run Away by Harlan Coben
LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff

Getting LIFEL1K3 is again me trying to give Jay Kristoff another chance. I actually DNF Nevernight by him. It was only $1.99, so I thought might as well. I am really excited about all of these other e-books as well. I’ve been waiting for them to go on sale, so I’m happy they finally did. I think I mentioned it before how I have an Amazon wishlist of all the books that I am waiting for the e-books to go on sale, so I check it every day to see if any do. 😛

What books did you get in May? Have you read any of the books that I got? Feel free to link me to your book haul posts, so I can check them out.

My May wrap up should be posted in the next couple days. I am a little over halfway through my current read (Olivia Twist) and I really want to try to get it finished before the end of the month. I am determined to make this happen. Hopefully nothing comes up that gets in the way of my reading time over the next couple days!

In case you missed it;
Review|| Going Off Script.
Friday Finds #81.
Review|| We Contain Multitudes.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack

Review|| Going Off Script.

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Going Off Script by Jen Wilde
4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Description: Seventeen-year-old Bex is thrilled when she gets an internship on her favorite tv show, Silver Falls. Unfortunately, the internship isn’t quite what she expected… instead of sitting in a crowded writer’s room volleying ideas back and forth, Production Interns are stuck picking up the coffee. Determined to prove her worth as a writer, Bex drafts her own script and shares it with the head writer―who promptly reworks it and passes it off as his own! Bex is understandably furious, yet…maybe this is just how the industry works? But when they rewrite her proudly lesbian character as straight, that’s the last straw! It’s time for Bex and her crush to fight back.


I received an ARC of Going Off Script from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It was just released last week (May 21st).

I have never read a book by Jen Wilde before, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect with Going Off Script. I loved the way it sounded in the description and that cover is pretty amazing, so I was excited when I received a copy from the publisher. I had a lot of fun reading this book! I ended up really liking it  a lot.

There were so many diverse characters in this story, which was really great! Some of the things talked about throughout the story are so relevant to today as well, which was another great point. I think so many people will find Going Off Script relatable. I really liked the characters and loved all the different friendships & relationships throughout the book. I think Bex struggled a little bit when she moved to LA, but she had so many good people in her life to help her though it and she was able to start living as her authentic self. It was also interesting getting a glimpse into Hollywood life and what happens behind the scenes of writing and producing TV shows.

Overall, I really liked Going off Script. I thought it was fun, cute, and super relatable. There are so many diverse characters and it deals with a lot of pretty important things. I am really looking forward to reading some other books by Jen Wilde, because I thought she did a terrific job with this one. I definitely recommend checking it out.


Sorry for the mini review! I did really enjoy this book though. 🙂 I will hopefully have my May book haul and May wrap up posts up in the next few days. I’m trying to finish one more book and an audiobook before my wrap up post goes up. Crossing fingers! I am also planning to do a picture update post too, because it’s been awhile since I’ve done one of those. I hope you guys had a great weekend!

In case you  missed it;
Friday Finds #81.
Review|| We Contain Multitudes.
Book Tag||Book Addiction.

I hope you have a great day!

ashleyblack