All things Read and Done in April & May | adventure log

(Last Updated On: June 5, 2021)
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The Adventure Log is my monthly wrap-up post!

Can we talk about how quickly 2021 is passing us by? Like how is it already June? How is the year almost half over? Since I wound up taking an unplanned and unannounced 3 week hiatus in May (hi, I’m back in case you missed it), I figured that a two-month wrap-up was in order since April was ALL THE THINGS and May was… nothing.

Books I Read

It’s weird to write a wrap-up of reading when you’re coming out of a slump, but the slump didn’t affect the numbers? Like, I read so much through April and the first few days of May — and then didn’t read for weeks, and then crammed three books in at the very end of the month.


Books Read


Pages Read


Average Rating

cover for Our Last Echoes

Our Last Echoes by Kate Alice Marshall

Read my spoiler-free Review

✨ Deliciously spooky and dripping with atmosphere!

Our Last Echoes is a masterpiece of horror and loss and friendship and love, and you need to read it. Kate Alice Marshall is a master of the written word and an underrated author. Please be prepared for this book to join This Mortal Coil in taking over my personality. I’m not even remotely sorry.

cover for The Hill We Climb

The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman’s inaugural poem is the reason for that hope, a lightning rod for picking ourselves back up and getting back to work. For the first time in a long time, I felt hope. But also a bit of pride for the country and what it could be if we continue to fight for all. Because there is work to be done and it is never finished.

The poem is beautiful and inspiring, and I’m happy to have a text copy (and to support the amazing poet). The bright yellow of the cover design recalls Amanda’s outfit at the inauguration; yellow is the color for hope and bright, new beginnings.

cover for Nothing But Blackened Teeth

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

FRIENDS! This novella was so good and you all should get it on your radar – it’s out in October and my full review will come a bit later.

The writing is fast-paced and engaging, vacillating between beautiful prose and a sharp vividness with ease. I know purple prose isn’t for everyone, but I think it is executed incredibly well in this novella. This is character-driven horror, so time is given to describing the setting as well as the complicated history and character relationships: this is truly a group of people who should have just let their friendships drift apart and I enjoyed the tension between the characters just as much as with the environment itself.

cover for The Ones We're Meant to Find

The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

Read my spoiler-free ARC Review

A heartbreakingly beautiful and critically important story of love, loss, and perseverance that has stayed with me long after reading.

Friends, let it be said that Joan He is a master wordsmith. Her words resonated within me, swept me into the world straight away and kept me hooked until the very end. Deliciously twisty.

cover for Tokyo Ever After

Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean

Read my spoiler-free ARC Review

Have you ever come across a book outside of your preferred genres and just knew it would be a delightful read? The Princess Diaries but make it Asian,” it’s exactly the kind of book I want to read and absolutely delightful.

Fast-paced and energetic, the narrative is full of Izumi’s spunk and sass. There’s a light and conversational tone that makes you feel like one of her friends; it reads almost like a journal entry or having your best friend recall their shenanigans to you.

cover for Dustborn

Dustborn by Erin Bowman

Read my spoiler-free ARC Review

This book has joined the ranks of This Mortal Coil as part of my personality.

Dustborn is everything I wanted it to be and will be a book I shove lovingly to everyone I know and I’m not even remotely sorry about it. This book is a must-read for fans of Mad Max and and stories of humanity’s hopeful perseverance in the face of adversity.

Top tier science fiction and I can’t recommend it enough. Bowman crafted a spellbinding story of hope, perseverance, and love for your chosen family.

cover for Better than the Movies

Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter

A book for the lover of romantic comedies, Better than the Movies is a cute and fun story of romantic expectations, chasing your dream love interest, and falling for the one who was there all along. Yes friends, this books is enemies-to-lovers fake dating.

While this book didn’t completely work out for me (first person POV felt repetitive), I really appreciate how much of the book focuses on the complicated grief from a loss of her mother in the fifth grade and how milestones are tinged with sadness because you can’t share them with loved ones who’ve passed.

The truth is that my reading’s better than it has been in probably a year and a half, maybe longer. It’s weird and exciting and tough to reconcile with my feelings and recollections. What is reality?


Books Read


Pages Read


Average Rating

cover for Lies We Bury

Lies We Bury by Elle Marr

Talk about a page-turning and well-plotted thriller! I read this in one afternoon because I just needed to know and I really enjoyed this one.

Lies We Bury showed up in my mailbox unannounced twice and I gifted my extra copy to my best friend… who read it and sent me a bunch of text messages about how good it was. So naturally, I had to read for myself — what a suspenseful, twisty, and dark story.

A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna cover

A Spark of White Fire (Celestial Trilogy #1) by Sangu Mandanna

Read my spoiler-free ARC Review

Still heartbreakingly amazing the third time.

This is one of the most criminally underrated books I’ve ever read, and it is my mission to get more people to read it. You deserve this amazing story of political intrigue, complex characters,and capricious gods.

cover for A House of Rage and Sorrow

A House of Rage and Sorrow (Celestial Trilogy #2) by Sangu Mandanna

Read my spoiler-free ARC Review

Just as perfect upon the second reading!

Considering that A Spark of White Fire was one of my most memorable reads of 2018, my expectations were nothing short of astronomical for this sequel. I was simply blown away by this installment in the Celestial Trilogy. Middle Book Syndrome WHO!?!

cover for A War of Swallowed Stars

A War of Swallowed Stars (Celestial Trilogy #3) by Sangu Mandanna

Read my spoiler-free ARC Review

Beautiful conclusion to a truly stunning trilogy, but Sangu Mandanna gotta pay for my therapy bills.

Emotional devastation wormed its way into my life with the conclusion of the Celestial Trilogy and to be honest? I’m okay with that because I love these characters so much and am thankful for the time I had with them.

cover for Trouble Girls

Trouble Girls by Julia Lynn Rubin

Trouble Girls unapologetically examines rape culture through this queer reimaginging of the iconic 1991 movie “Thelma & Louise”. While I was intensely excited for this book in the #MEtoo era, unfortunately I found the story didn’t quite live up to its potential. While the beats of a truly great feminist book are present, it doesn’t reach the mark for me.

Ultimately, this book didn’t quite work for me due to the narrative style but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a future favorite for you. If you enjoy stories centered on friendship and the love between best friends who become more, truly ride-or-die friendships of strong women, this book may be for you.

cover for Dead Dead Girls

Dead Dead Girls by Nekesa Afia

Full RTC

I’m a simple gal, I see this on Twitter and immediately added the book to my TBR: “if you want a jazz age murder mystery starring a tiny, tired lesbian, look no further than DEAD DEAD GIRLS.

This was a really fun read. I adored the main character, her spunk, and the jazz age atmosphere of this historical fiction debut.

cover for The Nature of Witches

The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin

Read my spoiler-free ARC Review

The Nature of Witches is pitched as Practical Magic meets Twister, and goodness does it deliver! Action-packed but full of heart, it’s a love letter to nature and a journey to loving yourself and I adored this debut fantasy so much.

I read the book in one sitting and the ending brought tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart, I wholeheartedly recommend that you add this one to your TBRs.

2021 Goals Check-In

⛰️ keep up with comments: I did pretty darn great in April and then May happened. I’ve been focused on getting back in the swing of content creation, but plan on a comment & blog hopping spree early this week!

⛰️ decreased post frequency: Hahaha, winner! But on a more serious note, this has happened now.

⛰️ incorporating hiking/outdoors content: I have a few post ideas and excursions planned, waiting for the energy and right weather.

⛰️ new series: books & beverages I have posts plotted but of course my hiatus got in the way.

⛰️ revive reading around the globe guest post series: currently seeking interviewees. Comment or DM me if you’d be interested in taking part.

Personal Update

I got to go into Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore for the first time in 16 months and friends, I was emotional! It was so wonderful to get inside my local indie — and I had it all to myself. Let me tell you that 30 minutes in an indie left to your own devices results in a mighty haul… but I was focused! I only impulse bought one title (Every Last Fear), and I special ordered A Dowry of Blood by S.T. Gibson.

In other news, I began starting my mornings with music (a habit that I need to get back into now) and it’s such a nice way to start out the day. Been listening to a lot of Nightwish, Bad Religion, and Paramore.

Unfortunately with the pandemic and everything, every day is pretty much the same and I am cautious with what I freely share online. If a peek behind the curtain is something you’re interested in, please consider joining my Patreon. I talk a lot more freely about my personal life and struggles with my health there and the money helps support me while I’m unable to work.

Also I came across this dude on Twitter who plays classic rock on his guitar while his bird brings up the vocals. I am obsessed.

This bird is my new favorite vocalist

Patreon Update

As always there’s no pressure to join but if more behind-the-scenes blog content, reading vlogs, and extra essays are something you’d be interested in – for as little as $2 a month you can support me & my content, along with some cool features that are in the pipeline.

April Patreon Update | May Patreon Update for a more personal update, content schedule for the month, and more!

By popular demand, I’m now accepting customization requests if you would like for me to ✨ personalize ✨ your copy of my 2021 Reader & Blogger Spreadsheet Template! This is something I’m now offering to all patrons for free, or for a one-time $3 tip.

My Patrons half want to torture me…

The Summer 2021 TBR Control Poll is up for all patrons to cast their vote on which book on my TBR that I have to get to read this summer. It’s currently tied so if you’re a patron and haven’t voted yet… please do!

Posts on Reader Voracious

I normally would link the post headers here but there are so many posts somehow (I was busy in April!), so have this slightly uglier list instead. I’ll be replying to comments & blog hopping over the next couple of days.

Posts I loved

I’m so sorry but at this point I’m too far behind and the anxiety feels insurmountable. I’ll get back to hopping and including links to other posts in the community this month.

Let’s Chat!

It’s super weird but despite the three week hiatus and slump, the numbers kinda don’t lie. Statistically speaking, I had two good reading months and posted a lot of content. This is in part to my returning in the last few days of May to power read and post as much as possible to get caught up. 0/10, do not recommend that method!

💬 How were your April and May? Did you do anything fun?

💬 What books did you read and enjoy?

💬 Any new books you want to screech about?

Let’s go on another adventure together!


  1. Esther @BiteIntoBooks

    June 6, 2021 at 1:02 AM

    Recently I went into one of the biggest and most beautiful bookshops in The Netherlands. It was my first visit in a year and I also felt very overwhelmed, excited and so happy. I came home with 8 books …..

    Have a great June… Time flies!

    1. Kal

      June 13, 2021 at 8:17 PM

      AHHH, I’m glad you were able to get into a bookstore again and I hope you got some awesome books on that trip! Happy reading, Esther.

  2. Caro @ bookcheshirecat

    June 6, 2021 at 3:32 AM

    It’s truly strange how fast the year is flying by 😱 I’m very happy to see that you loved The Nature of Witches so much, as it has been one of my most anticipated releases and now I’m even more excited for it!! 🥰 A book I loved last month was Other Words for Home a MG book about immigration, it’s written in verse & the audiobook was fantastic ❤

    1. Kal

      June 13, 2021 at 8:19 PM

      It’s honestly disturbing at how quick this year is going, especially since I’ve done basically nothing?? Not fun to have life pass you by. But YES I hope you adore The Nature of Witches as much as I did! I’m glad you enjoyed Other Words for Home, I’ve heard good things about that one. Happy reading, Caro!

  3. CJR The Brit

    June 6, 2021 at 4:34 AM

    That cover for Blackened Teeth is scary!!! 7 books is amazing, that’s more for me than a normal month 😂

    1. Kal

      June 13, 2021 at 8:19 PM

      I love how creepy the cover is, definitely sets a great tone for the book hahaha. And 7 books is the most I’ve read in so long! I hope you have a wonderful reading month.

      1. CJR The Brit

        June 14, 2021 at 8:32 AM

        Thanks, and you 😁

  4. Kate @ Your Tita Kate

    June 6, 2021 at 6:28 AM

    I’m so excited to read Nothing But Blackened Teeth and A War of Swallowed Stars!!

    1. Kal

      June 13, 2021 at 8:20 PM

      Both of them are SO GOOD, Kate!!! I can’t wait for you to read AWoSS and cry at me lol

  5. Epsita

    June 6, 2021 at 7:22 AM

    You read so many awesome books! I am keen to read all of them!

    1. Kal

      June 13, 2021 at 8:21 PM

      Yea I had a really good reading month, it’s a lovely change of pace haha. I hope you have a wonderful June!

  6. Nicci

    June 6, 2021 at 9:43 AM

    Nothing But Blackened Teeth scares me silly. I’ve never outgrown this but horror books make me want to crawl under the bed, geez. I love the recommendation for the Celestral Trilogy, and Dustborn. Space Opera is my jam. They are now on my TBR list.

    1. Kal

      June 13, 2021 at 8:22 PM

      Yea… Nothing But Blackened Teeth’s cover is horrifying and I don’t blame you for wanting to hide under the bed. Horror definitely isn’t for everyone! AHHH I am so glad I got Celestial Trilogy and Dustborn on your TBR — happy reading!

  7. Wendy Williams

    June 6, 2021 at 10:24 AM

    So glad you enjoyed The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman, she is so inspirational. I will have to get her book too. And the guy with the guitar and bird is a HOOT! Thanks.

    1. Kal

      June 13, 2021 at 8:23 PM

      Amanda Gorman is incredibly talented and I look forward to reading her upcoming books. Thanks for stopping by, Wendy!

  8. Fadwa @ Word Wonders

    June 6, 2021 at 1:13 PM

    Glad to have you back 💜

    1. Kal

      June 13, 2021 at 8:23 PM

      Thank you Fadwa, it’s good to be back!

  9. Inah

    June 7, 2021 at 6:26 AM

    Gosh, the past two months I’ve just been reading comic books. I subscribed to Marvel Unlimited again so there goes my free time hahaha! But I enjoyed reading a bunch of novels too, off the top of my head: Arsenic and Adobo, Cool for the Summer, and All Last Summer are some that I really enjoyed reading recently.

    1. Kal

      June 13, 2021 at 8:26 PM

      It’s cool that Marvel has a subscription service for comics! Ooh, I’m glad you enjoyed Arsenic and Adobo because that sounds super good.

  10. Macey @ Brine & Books

    June 7, 2021 at 12:53 PM

    Sometimes, a break is really very necessary!! I didn’t end up blogging at all in May, and while I missed it immensely, I don’t regret the impromptu rest. Outdoors content sounds so interesting; I’m looking forward to seeing that in the future! I read the Emily of New Moon series back in April, and I only wish that I had read them sooner. They were too marvellous for words x

    1. Kal

      June 13, 2021 at 8:27 PM

      Yea breaks are so important, and I would probably benefit from having some scheduled down time to avoid the sudden burnout & flee method I’ve got going on. I’m glad you were able to recharge last month. I haven’t heard of those books, I am going to have to check them out!

  11. Sanah

    June 7, 2021 at 9:45 PM

    I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed The Ones We’re Meant to Find! I’ve been wanting to read it for a while, and that cover is soooo beautiful I think I’ll order a hardcover. Lovely post!!

    1. Kal

      June 13, 2021 at 8:29 PM

      The hardcover for The Ones We’re Meant to Find is so pretty — if you’re able to nab the B&N edition, it’s got bonus content and stunning end papers. I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did, Sanah!

  12. Clo @ Cuppa Clo

    June 8, 2021 at 2:47 AM

    I’m not over how we’re halfway through year already, I swear I blinked and we went from February to June xD At least that what it feels like haha. Eeeeek I am so excited to eventually read Dustborn and The Nature of Witches! My copy of A Spark of White Fire arrived this month so I’m excited to dive into that, though I think Soph and I are planning on buddy reading it. The only book I read was Shadow of the Fox which I absolutely adored and will be ordering a ton of bubble wrap to protecc Yumeko and Tatsumi *sobs*

    Sending you so much love Kalkal 💜

    1. Kal

      June 13, 2021 at 8:30 PM

      Yea I am for sure not pleased with 2021 flying by so quickly. I can’t wait for you to read A Spark of White Fire, The Nature of Witches, and Dustborn! ily cloclo

  13. Kristina

    June 14, 2021 at 4:55 PM

    Wow, so many pretty books! I’ve been wanting to read better than the movies already, and you got me adding Lies we bury onto my tbr — the cover is gorgeous, and looks absolutely good!

    Aww yay for finally going back to bookstores!! Same, crazy how we are mid-june already.. i’d need to create my July spreads in my bujo soon .-. Time really becomes a blur and pass so insanely quick as you age, eh..
    Have a good end of June, & happy Reading xx

    1. Kal

      June 15, 2021 at 2:50 PM

      Lies We Bury was such a surprise in the best of ways, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

      I went to my bookstore again this weekend — this time with friends! AND IT WAS WONDERFUL! I hope you have a lovely June… and yea, time flies more the older I get. And I hate it.

  14. Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts

    June 15, 2021 at 4:23 PM

    No, I don’t want to talk about 2021 zooming quickly ahead of me. I’m still in 2020. 🥴

    I’m proud of you for the reading you did and for the goals you’ve accomplished! ♥️

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