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.
Our Last Echoes by Kate Alice Marshall
✨ 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.
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.
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.
The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He
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.
Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean
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.
Dustborn by Erin Bowman
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.
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?
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 (Celestial Trilogy #1) by Sangu Mandanna
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.
A House of Rage and Sorrow (Celestial Trilogy #2) by Sangu Mandanna
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!?!
A War of Swallowed Stars (Celestial Trilogy #3) by Sangu Mandanna
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.
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.
Dead Dead Girls by Nekesa Afia
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.
The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- March in Review | Adventure Log
- Anticipated Reads: 18 New Books for April 2021
- Review: Our Last Echoes by Kate Alice Marshall
- ARC Review: The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
- March Book Haul & ARC Mountain Update
- Guide: How to Refresh Evergreen Content for Book Bloggers | SEO Basics
- ARC Review: The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He
- Resource: What We Know About Readerly, An Independent Alternative to Goodreads
- ARC Review: Dustborn by Erin Bowman
- Discussion: My Love/Hate Relationship with Book Boxes
- Anticipated Reads: 26 New Books for May 2021
- ARC Review: Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean
- April Book Haul
- ARC Review: A War of Swallowed Stars (Celestial Trilogy #3) by Sangu Mandanna
- How Video Games Help Me Manage Anxiety ft. Game Recommendations
- Anticipated Reads: 28 New Books for June 2021
- ARC Review: The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin
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.
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?