April in Review // A Month of Slump and Meh

(Last Updated On: June 19, 2019)

Well, April was a month that had thirty days in it. I spent much of it not reading or working on my blog and decided to go on hiatus to focus on my health. I had a couple of good days and expected to be fully back to my five posts per week schedule come May, but if I am being honest I’m not ready. I’m still on leave from work and need to focus my energy on getting better for now; I hope you all understand!

Before I get into what I read last month, I want to express my eternal gratitude for this community! I have been overwhelmed with messages and well wishes, and it really means a lot to me. More than I can express right now.

Honestly, I think my highlight of the month is finding this screenshot on my laptop while cleaning up some files. This is funny for a couple of reasons: 1) despite being in the ideal demographic for NKOTB and other 90s boy bands, I was a punk rock girl; and 2) of course I would “go viral” with something that is so off-brand for my musical tastes.

That One Time Donnie Wahlberg Retweeted Me
This cracks me up and I honestly need to make this picture my laptop’s background. If you haven’t seen this music video yet…what are you waiting for? The Boys in the Band by New Kids on the Block


I read five books in April, and most of that reading was done in the last half of the month. I definitely was too optimistic last month in thinking that the slump was ending. The weird thing is I feel like I read more this month? I don’t know how that even works. What is reality? Inquiring minds want to know.

As a quick reminder, I’ve done away with star ratings on my wrap-up reviews. You can read more about my reasoning in this discussion post on ratings systems.

My Favorite Read of April

Storm of Locusts by Rebecca RoanhorseI enjoyed every book that I read this month, but when I think about them there is one standout. Storm of Locusts is an incredible follow-up to The Sixth World series, providing some much desired character development while still maintaining the fast-paced urban fantasy feel & raising the stakes even higher for our characters.

We also learn a bit more about the world after Big Water, and I love that we got to see what’s become of the world beyond The Wall. Characters new and old feel three-dimensional and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time! I really need the next book now, because that ending.

๐Ÿ“– Read my full review

ARCs/copies from author or publisher are noted below by an asterisk *

  • * The Dark Game by Jonathan Janz – I’ve read a lot of Janz since last fall, and his latest novel pulled no punches! After reading a lot of his re-released work sinceย The Siren and the Specter, I can see a lot of Easter eggs in the narrative to his other works and parallels in storytelling. I enjoy his work more and more! | ๐Ÿ“– Read my full ARC review
  • Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse (re-read) – I am really glad that I re-read this book before diving into my eARC ofย Storm of Locusts because I literally forgot almost everything other than the fact that I liked the book. My goldfish memory strikes again, but it was just as good the second time! | ๐Ÿ“– Read my full review
  • * Storm of Locusts (The Sixth World #2) by Rebecca Roanhorse – This book was an incredible follow-up to Roanhorse’s debut. Storm of Locusts is action packed, fast paced, and full of heart with a lot of character development. If you’re a fan of witty banter and found families, this sequel (and series) is definitely for you! | ๐Ÿ“– Read my full ARC review
  • * Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoffbuddy read with Bex! – I honestly still can’t believe that I received an eARC of this book. This is a book that I simultaneously wanted to devour and savor; Squad 312 is magnificent and I can’t wait for you all to meet them. I’m still sorting through my thoughts but expect my review before publication day! | ๐Ÿ“– Read my full ARC Review
  • Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafibuddy read with Clo! – I’m going to be honest: I have a lot of complicated thoughts about this book that I haven’t fully sorted through yet. I enjoyed this book well enough, the story is interesting despite the characters feeling a bit flat to me and Mafi’s writing style is absolutely captivating for this book. But the problem with reading a series so long after and knowing about future ships made this an… interesting reading experience for me. I liked this book but am really uncomfortable? | ๐Ÿ“– Full Review to Come

DNF – Did Not Finish

  • None

April Statistics

Total Books Read:ย 5 | Total Pages Read: 1,722

Total Books Read in 2019: 26
Goodreads Reading Goal:ย 52

Awesome Community Posts

I’m really sorry to not have posts to share this month, but I haven’t really been blog hopping due to my hiatus. Hopefully, I will be able to share a bunch in my May wrap-up!

Thank you

Thank you, everyone, so much for visiting, liking, commenting, and sharing your bookish thoughts with me last month! Words cannot express how much this community means to me, and I appreciate all the love that’s been sent my way as I deal with health issues.

I hope that you had a fantastic April, let me know how your month went in the comments below!

spacer_wLet’s go on another adventure together!


  1. Kayla @ Books and Blends

    May 1, 2019 at 8:38 AM

    Even though you didn’t read a lot, you still read some great books. I’m excited for Aurora Rising.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      May 13, 2019 at 9:05 PM

      Thank you so much, and I was really lucky to have good reading experiences for sure! I hope you enjoy Aurora Rising as much as I did!

  2. mahmarino

    May 1, 2019 at 9:07 AM

    I hope you feel better โค๏ธโค๏ธ
    Focus on you and on your health and itโ€™ll be alright ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      May 13, 2019 at 9:06 PM

      Thank you so much, love!!!

  3. Katie Jane Gallagher

    May 1, 2019 at 9:18 AM

    Really hope you have a lovely, relaxing May! <3

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      May 13, 2019 at 9:12 PM

      Thank you so much, and I hope you have happy reading!

  4. Isabelle @ BookwyrmBites

    May 1, 2019 at 1:14 PM

    “what is reality” is such a mood tbh, perception is a tricky tricky thing. and also how are we already so close to being halfway done with the year when did that happen.

    quality over quantity as always, your 5 enjoyable reads might objectively comprise an overall better reading month than my 14 reads which were all over the place ๐Ÿค” *tries not to get distracted formulating a customizable algorithm to quantify how well a reading month went because wow we love numbers and data if it’s not for school*

    I’m #10 on the library waitlist for Aurora Rising and so so so so sososososososo excited! hyped reads can be hit or miss for me, but I love space and I love a good squad story and I AM READY. also oooooh I love when authors include Easter eggs to their/their friends’ other books, Sarah Dessen and Cassie Clare are the big examples that come to mind but I’m sure lots of them do it that I haven’t noticed because I get wrapped up in each individual story while I’m reading it lol

    I hope your May is full of good days, though of course you should only do as much as you feel up to! life is a strugglebus, and blogging and reading on top of that can really take it out of you as I’m sure you know. you’re doing awesome, Kal ๐Ÿ’ช

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      May 13, 2019 at 9:20 PM

      I literally had a mini existential crisis the other day when I realized that we are almost halfway through the year. Like WHAT. When the hell did that happen?!

      You are totally right, I am really glad that the five reads I read in April were so enjoyable for me!!! I am really lucky because that hardly ever happens. I hope you enjoy Aurora Rising as much as I did! I know what you mean about hyped titles being hit or miss, and I hope it’s a hit. Easter eggs are legit my favorite; pop culture references often date a story but they way that Kaufman and Kristoff do it it’s so fun and not dating.

      Thank you very much for your kind words, Isabelle! Life is a strugglebus and I am getting better at putting myself first. I hope to have many good days coming up!

  5. Tammy

    May 1, 2019 at 2:26 PM

    I’m reading Aurora Rising right now and loving it! I’m looking forward to your review๐Ÿ˜

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      May 13, 2019 at 9:21 PM

      AHHH I am so excited to hear you were digging it and I will have to watch out for your review! I hope you are doing well, Tammy!

  6. Meaghan @ Words Gremlin

    May 1, 2019 at 8:27 PM

    Hey, I’d say reading only five books but for the most part really like them is a good thing! And if you read five instead of fifteen so you could focus on your health, then that’s great too.

    I hope you feel up to blogging again soon, but also that you take all the time you need to get back on your feet again. โค๏ธ

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      May 14, 2019 at 5:07 PM

      You are totally right, five GREAT books is better than terrible ones or not taking the time for myself & health! Thanks so much, and I hope to be around consistently again soon! xoxo

  7. ivysbooks

    May 2, 2019 at 1:59 AM

    Oh wow! Thatโ€™s so cool that she replied to your review! I canโ€™t wait for Storm of Locusts. Amazon tells me itโ€™s arriving today! ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿ˜ Im so glad you lived it. It makes me very exited about it ๐Ÿ˜

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      May 14, 2019 at 5:08 PM

      I know, I was so surprised! I really love it when authors and publishers respond and boost the positive reviews they receive, as a reviewer it means so much to me. I hope you love it as much as I did!!!

  8. Kelsey @ There's Something About KM

    May 2, 2019 at 3:38 AM

    Happy to hear you had a few good days in April – I hope you have many more in May! ๐Ÿ’ซ

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      May 14, 2019 at 5:09 PM

      Thank you so much, Kelsey! May is looking up a little as of now but I am trying to just take it one day at a time. I hope you are having a great month and some happy reading!

  9. Sophia (Bookwyrming Thoughts)

    May 2, 2019 at 5:20 PM

    I remember seeing that on Discord and it was the greatest but also super funny (also it’s the Kal brand, therefore it’s on brand for sure. ;)). And I want to know what reality is as well… tell me when you find out.

    *pat pat* Kal Kal, you take all the time you need because your health is numero uno priority and I’ll support you no matter what. <3 I hope May will be good to you throughout the month in health and blogging! <3 April has been a struggle bus for sure, though.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      May 14, 2019 at 5:11 PM

      I think reality is nothing but an illusion.

      Thanks so much for being so supportive and understanding, it has been really wonderful to have you & everyone be supportive of me stepping back a bit. I am definitely glad April is gone, and I hope you are having a month of happy reading, Soph!

  10. Phantom Paper

    May 2, 2019 at 11:28 PM

    Wow, they retweeted you?!! That’s so COOL!!! Haha, 5 is a good amount especially since you’ve been on a break! There doesn’t have to be a set amount of books we gotta read, right ๐Ÿ˜

    I wanted to get Trail of Lightning but borrowed 8 books already this time so I’ll get it on my next trip. Are you going to keep the ratings for your ARC reviews? I noticed you only said wrap-up reviews. And I didn’t miss the ratings, haha. Could tell how much it’d have been just from your summarised thoughts!

    I hope you get well soon! Also, maybe you could reduce your post frequency to lighten the load. 5 a week sounds like a lot! I didn’t even know you did that!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      May 14, 2019 at 5:18 PM

      YES and I am still like WHAT HAPPENED!?!?! It was so weird too because all of a sudden my phone started blowing up with notifications and I was like “WHAT IS GOING ON” and it took awhile to realize what happened hahaah.

      I hope you are able to read Trail of Lightning soon, it is really a great book and Storm of Locusts is one of those rare sequels that is better than the first book! I actually am not putting ratings at all on my blog reviews, but they are on my goodreads reviews if you are ever curious!

      I did wind up reducing my frequency to 4 posts (bye bye Wednesday posts) for the time being, which has helped. I am now scheduled about a week ahead thanks to some productivity so hopefully this is a good sign.

      1. Phantom Paper

        June 1, 2019 at 12:18 PM

        Hahaha, wow, that must have added some sunshine to your day! They actually have Trail of Lightning at the library, surprisingly seeing as it’s not talked about in the blogosphere. I wonder how they choose the books. One thing I hate that a lot of the series books aren’t whole. Like, if you don’t get the later books I can understand but not getting the previous ones? ๐Ÿ˜’ At least there’s way too many books that I don’t even have the time to read ๐Ÿ˜

        What did you usually post on Wednesdays? My goodness, 4 posts! I struggle just to post 2! Productivity always makes me feel good!

        1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

          June 9, 2019 at 9:40 PM

          I am so glad your library has Trail of Lightning, and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts once you read it! And I agree with you on series — I recently wanted to start a series but my library only had books 2+??? Like what???

          Wednesdays tended to be my discussion post/guide/tag post between T/Th reviews, but I never really adhered to a “this day is when I post X” kind of schedule. 4 posts is much more doable for me right now, but 2 is still amazing!!!

  11. Jess @ A Book Addict's Bookshelves

    May 4, 2019 at 6:28 AM

    I can’t wait to read Aurora Rising! It sounds so good ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      May 14, 2019 at 5:18 PM

      It was SUCH A LOVELY BOOK! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when you do get a chance to read it!

  12. Gerry@TheBookNookUK

    May 4, 2019 at 1:30 PM

    Big big hugs to you!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      May 14, 2019 at 5:20 PM

      Thank you, Gerry! I hope you are doing well!

  13. Kelly | Another Book in the Wall

    May 5, 2019 at 9:49 AM

    5 books is still super impressive, Kaleena! I hope your hiatus has been treating you well! *hugs* <3 I honestly had a lot of mixed thoughts about Shatter Me, and unfortunately I don't think it was quite my cup of tea. It's great to hear that you enjoyed Aurora Rising though! I've heard such great things about it and a, REALLY excited to pick it up soon! I hope you have a lovely May, sweets!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      May 14, 2019 at 5:25 PM

      Thank you so much, Kelly! And you are right – 5 books is amazing considering everything else! The hiatus has been good and needed; there are good and bad days.

      I agree with you on Shatter Me to be honest. I finished the first three books and still haven’t reviewed them because I am honestly VERY conflicted. There’s something about reading a book series long after it’s release and knowing a bit about the future ship… in this case I knew that Warner was going to be a love interest and that knowledge while reading book 1 is lowkey disgusting. And then book 2 slowly starts the redemption arc and it made my stomach queasy, and then I was a little converted & very uncomfortable about it??? Like WHAT. I don’t know my friend but I have a lot of thoughts still and it’s been almost a month.

      I hope you enjoy Aurora Rising as much as I did when you have a chance to read it, and happy reading this May!

  14. TheCaffeinatedReader

    May 6, 2019 at 2:55 AM

    It’s always a good month when you enjoyed all the books you read! I’ll need to read your Aurora Rising review soon! I preordered it solely for the cover if I’m honest lol but I love sci-fi. And I have to say…I have to avoid your Storm of Locusts review until I read Trail of Lightning, damn you tbr!!! But I’m saving it so I can read it when that day happens! For some reason Shatter Me just doesn’t sound like something I want to read but I can’t put my finger on why! I think I’ll have to read your view and see if I can gain some more insight!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      May 14, 2019 at 5:43 PM

      I know, I am REALLY lucky to have enjoyed everything I read last month! The Aurora Rising cover is GORGEOUS and I honestly have pet the cover a handful of times since my copy arrived hahaha. I like when they are shiny and reflect light because I am a little holosexual. I have a lot of feelings on Shatter Me and am still really conflicted about that reading experience to be honest. Someday I will review those books, lol. I hope you can get to Trail of Lightning soon!

  15. Jayati

    May 6, 2019 at 3:08 AM

    I hope youโ€™re feeling better and that you keep getting better Kal!
    I canโ€™t wait sit there I hear your views inn aurora rising since Iโ€™ve heard so much about it.
    I have heard a lot about shatter me too and I read it a long time ago when it was just released so I donโ€™t remember much about it but I canโ€™t wait to see how you like it and the rest of the series sandbox if I Gouldโ€™s continue it or not….

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      May 14, 2019 at 5:44 PM

      Thank you so much, Jayati! Shatter Me… was an experience. It’s been like a month and I am still conflicted and confused about my feelings ahaha.

  16. Para

    May 6, 2019 at 6:21 AM

    Take all the time you need โค๏ธ Health always comes first. Hope your May is better! And honestly, 5 books is more than I read in April ๐Ÿ˜‚

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      May 17, 2019 at 7:02 PM

      Thank you so much, Para! And I hope you are having an excellent reading month!

  17. Kristina

    May 6, 2019 at 6:45 AM

    Aww of course, take all the time you need !
    it’s good you atleast got some reading done – Take may to take care of yourself and relax xx

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      May 14, 2019 at 5:47 PM

      Thank you so much, Kristina! I am definitely trying to relax, but I am for sure taking care of myself. xoxo

  18. Annemieke

    May 6, 2019 at 7:43 AM

    Take your time dear. I went back to work way too quickly and it ended up dragging on for YEARS. It is okay to take steps back. Blog on days that you feel like it. Read whenever you want, when it feels good for you. No pressure from any of us. <3

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      May 14, 2019 at 5:49 PM

      Oh my gosh, I am so sorry to hear! I am honestly really nervous about that happening to me and I am really fortunate that my doctors are so supportive to me and extending my leave. I am just taking it one day at a time now and working on not beating myself up for not doing things I feel like I “should”. I hope you are having a wonderful May!

  19. Nandini Bharadwaj

    May 6, 2019 at 9:33 AM

    I knew you were on hiatus but I had no idea it was for health reasons? Or maybe I did and forgot. I hope you slay your reading slump in May and feel a lot better! A lot of good vibes and positive energy your way, Kal! ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–
    Wow, all the books you read in April sound absolutely amazing! On my TBR are Rebecca Roanhorse’s series and Aurora Rising. I don’t know when I’ll actually get to them but I’m really excited for them! ๐Ÿ˜Š

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      May 14, 2019 at 5:51 PM

      Aww no worries at all Nandini! I haven’t really been talking about my health stuff that much so it isn’t surprising you missed that information. The good news is that the beginning of May was THE DEATH OF SLUMP! But then I got into a book hangover so it might be back lol.

      I hope you enjoy Trail of Lightning and Aurora Rising when you are able to get to them, and happy reading to you this month! xoxo

      1. Nandini Bharadwaj

        May 14, 2019 at 6:34 PM

        Yay for defeating the slump! ๐Ÿ˜ Which one is responsible for the hangover? ๐Ÿ˜… Happy reading to you as well! โ™ฅ๏ธ

        1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

          May 15, 2019 at 6:41 PM

          Finale destroyed me and I have been unable to read since!

          1. Nandini Bharadwaj

            May 17, 2019 at 6:59 AM

            Uh-oh, I just bought the entire series and planned to binge read them. *prepares for a book hangover*

  20. waytoofantasy

    May 6, 2019 at 11:26 AM

    Take it one day at a time and don’t feel you have to dive back into things full throttle. And I know we don’t really know each other well but know I am always around to chat if you need a listener. <3 Hope you are feeling better soon! (Also, I can't believe that tweet got picked up by Donnie Wahlberg hahaha, that's amazing.)

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      May 14, 2019 at 5:54 PM

      Thank you Lisa, and learning to take things one day at a time has definitely been at the forefront for me. It’s been really frustrating because I am an all or nothing kind of person, so stepping back from literally all responsibilities in life for months is weird. But really important. (And I know, I still am like amazed. All my friends in their 30s realize how “big” and weird that is ahaaha.)

      1. waytoofantasy

        May 14, 2019 at 7:46 PM

        I totally get it because I’m very similar in my approach to things and it’s tough! <3

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