March in Review // For REAL This Time

If you are one of the 36 people that saw the draft version of this post go up yesterday, April Fools, I guess? If that glaring mistake isn’t the most indicative representation of my life right now, I don’t know what is.

March was another difficult month for me professionally and personally, continuing the Reading Slump of Doom. I won’t be talking about this in detail, but I do want to share that almost two weeks ago I went on a medical leave of absence from work. Right now I am trying to focus on my health and getting better, which is why my blog hopping and replying to comments is slow and sporadic right now. I promise I will reply to all my comments as I am able and will do my best to hop as much as possible.

The good news is that I am finally reading a little bit! And even better, I am ENJOYING IT! Maybe the slump is coming to a close?


Reading

I read seven books again in March, and most of that reading was done in the last half of the month. The Year of the Slump may be ending, but it is far too soon to call it a win for me. We’ll see how April fares…

As a quick reminder, I’ve done away with star ratings on my wrap-up reviews. I’ve decided to not list star ratings on my blog reviews anymore because I don’t feel it’s aligned with my approach to reviewing in general. I am instead listing who I would recommend read the book, and am leaving the stars for the necessary evil of Amazon/Goodreads/B&N reviews.

My Favorite Read of March

Descendant of the Crane by Joan HeTo say that I loved this debut novel would be an understatement. I was a bit nervous to read it because of the glowing reviews that I read by pretty much all of my Twitter timeline. A lot of times books I have seen highly praised by my friends get so built up in my head that I set my reading experience up for failure.

This book gripped me from the first page to the very last. Descendant of the Crane is a stunning debut fantasy that delivers on the “Chinese version of Game of Thrones” comparison that I’ve seen. This is a fast paced and action packed book that you cannot miss! I am so happy that I was able to read this amazing book early with a group of blogging buddies.

📖 Read my full review

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

  • Ace of Shades (Shadow Game #1) by Amanda Foody (re-read): just as amazing as my first read and it felt like coming home to characters I love! I re-read the book to refresh my memory going into reading King of Fools. | 📖 Read my full review
  • * King of Fools (Shadow Game #2) by Amanda Foody: as one of my most highly anticipated sequels, I was so excited to receive an eARC of this book! I am still trying to sort out my thoughts about King of Fools but loved learning more about the characters, their burgeoning enterprises, and the stakes are higher than ever. Suffice to say that Foody is a creative monster. | 📖 Read my full ARC review
  • * Nancy Drew: The Palace of Wisdom by Kelly Thompson: I don’t read a lot of graphic novels but I jumped at the chance to check it out as I grew up reading Nancy Drew! This was a really fun read and I will be watching for the next issue because OH GOODNESS THAT ENDING! I loved the art style and the writing is easy to follow, witty, and full of life as the voices of the characters shine through the pages. I definitely recommend this to fans of strong female characters that aren’t all pointy (can be soft, too), mystery lovers, and those that read Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys as a kid. | 📖 Read my full ARC review
  • Shutter by Courtney Alameda: this was a buddy read with Camilla @ Reader in the Attic, and I really enjoyed reading & discussing this one with her! After falling in love with Pitch Dark last year, I wanted to read her 2015 debut. It’s obvious that she has a way with words and crafting intricate worlds that deliver on the horror, but I was left a little disconnected from the characters. | 📖 Read my full review
  • Obsidio (Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: This was a buddy read with This Mortal Squad and it took me almost two months because I didn’t want the series to come to an end (also slump). While I think Gemina is my favorite in the series, this was a fantastic end to an amazing trilogy! | 📖 Read my full review
  • You by Caroline Kepnes: I bought this audiobook a couple of months ago after Taylor and Destiny essentially yelled at me to get it, and I devoured this one in two days. I still haven’t sorted out my thoughts yet, but it was very disturbing to be in the mind of this guy but it is written so well. I plan on watching the show on Netflix soon. | 📖 Full review to come

DNF – Did Not Finish

  • None

March Statistics

Total Books Read: 7 | Total Pages Read: 2,780

Total Books Read in 2019: 21
Goodreads Reading Goal: 52


Gaming

I didn’t game that much in March, and when I did I was playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild. 12/10 would recommend it. I’ve clocked many hours and barely done any of the main plot; I love open-world RPGs.

Are you on Steam? Feel free to add me as a friend, I am kalventure on Steam! I am always down for a game of Town of Salem, DST, or Uno, so hit me up!


Awesome Community Posts

Here are some amazing posts that you have missed from the blogosphere this month!


Thank you

Thank you, everyone, so much for visiting, liking, commenting, and sharing your bookish thoughts with me last month! Thanks for helping to make a bad month a little brighter!

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


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50 Comments

  1. brittanythebookguru

    April 1, 2019 at 7:30 AM

    I absolutely love that you left “INTRO BLAH FUTURE KAL CAN TALK ABOUT HOW MARCH WAS OVERALL” in here 😂 I’m sorry that you were having a hard time. I felt the same way this month, so I understand. I am SO proud of you for continuing to push forward and advocate for yourself though. Sometimes it can be so hard to do that because it’d just be easier to let things be and crawl inside yourself for the time being, but you’re amazing and continue to move forward. Before I started book blogging, I never knew that I could be so proud of practical strangers, but I’ve discovered that friends created in the blogosphere are friends nonetheless! I hope April treats your mind & mentality better.

    As far as your books, 7 is still great! That was actually my count as well.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 2:44 PM

      IT WAS AN ACCIDENT LMAO! I accidentally scheduled the post for April 1 instead of 2, and it went up in draft form. Embarrassing! But it’s fixed yay. Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement! It is really hard to put myself first, but it’s been nice. You are also amazing and I am crying now, hehehe! <3 I hope this month is going well for you!

      1. brittanythebookguru

        April 19, 2019 at 7:08 AM

        OMG!! I totally thought it was on purpose and actually thought it was a super cute addition to the post haha 😂 But yay, I’m so glad you’re putting yourself first! I hope that your hiatus has gone well. If you ever need a friend to talk to, I’m here! ❤

        1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

          April 19, 2019 at 8:52 PM

          Hahahaha no worries, it is something I would do to satirize myself now that I think about it. Thanks so much for your kind words and offering your support!

          1. brittanythebookguru

            April 22, 2019 at 7:50 AM

            Of course; you’re very welcome!

  2. Tiffany

    April 1, 2019 at 7:34 AM

    I’m so glad you liked the fever king this book is on my tbr for this month!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 2:44 PM

      It was SO GOOD! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

  3. Jaymi at OrangeCountyReaders

    April 2, 2019 at 11:53 AM

    Aww you’re not alone – it’s been a rough 2019 for lots of us! Hope you’re recovering and taking care of yourself. Btw, I LOVE that you’re not doing starred reviews, I have been thinking of doing the same thing!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 2:57 PM

      Thank you so much, and I definitely have noticed 2019 hasn’t been great for a lot of us. 🙁 I hope it improves for everyone soon! And YAY, I have been really happy with doing away with star ratings on the blog.

  4. Katie Jane Gallagher

    April 2, 2019 at 2:09 PM

    Hope that you are able to recover with good health!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 2:59 PM

      Thank you so much for the well wishes, it means a lot!

  5. Jessica at Booked J

    April 2, 2019 at 3:51 PM

    Oh my gosh, I have done the accidental draft posting thing before. I remember it like it was just last week. Which it was. I look forward to the years of flashbacks that will surely follow. I am sorry to hear about your difficult month and the reading slump you’ve been in. If you need to talk about anything (your health and medical leave) feel free to reach out to me, okay? I know it’s probably very tough and time consuming and all, but I still wanted to make sure you had that option if you have the chance and need to just rant at someone. That being said, I hope your health gets better and that April, and onward, brings you nothing but good. Fingers crossed.

    Omg, random note, but I just went to click the scrollbar and accidentally unfollowed and refollowed you in like one second? I AM A MESS.

    I like what you’re doing re: star ratings! I think it’s great. ALSO, I’m soo excited to read Descendant of the Crane and am stoked you enjoyed it like you did! It sounds brilliant. I think my favourite of March was White Rose by Kip Wilson OH, and how am I only just now hearing about a Nancy Drew graphic novel????????? I NEED.

    AGAIN, I hope April treats you well.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 3:02 PM

      The accidental book draft thing is SO EMBARRASSING, but I am glad it at least happened on April Fools Day so I could play it off. Hahaha. I hope you caught yours quickly! Thanks so much for your kind words and I definitely will remember that I can reach out to you! I have been feeling rather hermity lately, but it is really nice to know that so many people are here for me.

      I’ve really liked not having star ratings anymore, it makes me happy for some reason. I HOPE YOU LOVE DESCENDANT OF THE CRANE AS MUCH AS I DID! The book is a masterpiece! Also that Nancy Drew graphic novel is awesome

  6. Merline

    April 2, 2019 at 5:50 PM

    Kaleena, I am sorry to hear about your difficult month. I hope your health is on the mend and April fares better. I’m sending you positive vibes and a virtual hug. ❤️

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 3:03 PM

      Thank you so much, Merline! I feel the positive vibes and hug! I hope you are having a lovely April.

  7. Isabelle @ BookwyrmBites

    April 2, 2019 at 6:04 PM

    [to the tune of “Rain, Rain, Go Away”]
    slump, slump, leave Kal alone
    don’t come back another day
    all bookdragons want to read
    slump, slump go away!

    it looks like the books you got to in March were all amazing reads, and that’s so awesome to see! and seriously, take all the time you need to focus on yourself and your health, we’ll still be here whenever you’re feeling better and ready 💕

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 3:06 PM

      Thank you for the song, I think it is trying to clear the slump from my life! I read a book in one sitting last night, so maybe that was your doing!!! ily and thanks for the well wishes

      1. Isabelle @ BookwyrmBites

        April 18, 2019 at 3:57 PM

        that’s so awesome, look at you go!! 🎉

        1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

          April 19, 2019 at 8:45 PM

          I’m on a rolllllllll, because I just read another one in one sitting!!!!!!

          1. Isabelle @ BookwyrmBites

            April 19, 2019 at 8:49 PM

            pandarolling.gif 🎳

  8. John J. Siefring

    April 3, 2019 at 8:37 AM

    Glad you are recovering and feeling better!

  9. Marie

    April 3, 2019 at 11:37 AM

    I’m sending you a lot of love and hoping for a better and brighter April for you and sending you all the positive, healthy vibes <3 take your time with blogging and everything, we'll always be there, take care of yourself <3
    I'm so happy you managed to read a lot this month, that's so great! I'm glad you loved Descendant of the Crane, I've heard so much about this book.
    Thank you so, so much for sharing my post! <3 <3
    Sending you all the love xx

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 3:09 PM

      XOXOXO
      Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Marie! I hope you are doing amazingly well and having a lot of great reading, my break is rejuvenating me slowly!

  10. waytoofantasy

    April 3, 2019 at 4:31 PM

    Above all, take care of yourself, Kal! <3

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 3:09 PM

      Thank you so much, Lisa. I am trying!

      1. waytoofantasy

        April 18, 2019 at 5:32 PM

        Hope you are doing a little better!

        1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

          April 19, 2019 at 8:48 PM

          I’ve had a good couple of days, which is a really good sign!

  11. Jenn @ the Bibliofile

    April 4, 2019 at 6:02 AM

    So sorry weren’t feeling well — feel better! Also I added you on Steam! 🙂

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 3:11 PM

      Thank you so much, and yay for new Steam friends! 🙂

  12. Maggie Stewart (@maggiereadsya)

    April 4, 2019 at 11:10 AM

    So sorry to hear you haven’t been well! I hope you find yourself on the mend soon. I am so excited to see you have mentioned Ace of Shades – I have that on my (currently huge and not getting any smaller) TBR!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 3:14 PM

      Thank you so much for the well wishes, it means a lot! Ace of Shades was literally one of my favorite books of 2018 and it was just as awesome during my re-read. I hope you get to it soon and love it as much as I did!

  13. lightofthebookworm

    April 4, 2019 at 12:13 PM

    LOVE the use of pie charts lol!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 3:16 PM

      Thank you so much, I love data and charts! I don’t know if it would be of interest to you, but they are from my book blogger spreadsheet template that’s free to use.

      1. lightofthebookworm

        April 18, 2019 at 4:07 PM

        Ooh I will have a nosy! Thank you 💚

  14. thewolfandbooks

    April 4, 2019 at 2:38 PM

    I listened to audiobook preview of You and it was SO creepy to hear his voice in my head. I don’t know how you did it! haha

    I hope you feel better. <3

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 3:17 PM

      It honestly was SO CREEPY and it made me incredibly uncomfortable??? But it was also so captivating, like a car crash that you can’t help but look at. It’s a really good book and executed well for creep factor, and way better than the tv show on Netflix.

      Thank you so much for your well wishes!

  15. northernplunder

    April 5, 2019 at 4:17 AM

    im glad to hear youre starting to feel alil better i hope april brings some more good reading and feeligns for you!! <3 < 3< 3

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 3:26 PM

      Thank you so much, Lauren! ❤ ❤ ❤

  16. I Should Have Read That Book Tag – Siobhan's Novelties

    April 5, 2019 at 5:36 AM

    […] | Alexia | Kaleena | Vanessa | Eline | Merline | Sahi | Kat | JoBeth | Misty | Norma & Brenda | […]

  17. The Diverse Reader

    April 5, 2019 at 5:53 PM

    I love the detail of your wrap ups. I plan on not doing the star aspect on my reviews because it doesn’t feel compatible with my reviews. But, the mention of that Nancy Drew graphic novel made me head straight towards my library to search for it. I plan on reading your review after I finish! You read so many books in March. I can’t wait to hear about your future reads.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 3:28 PM

      Thank you so much for your compliment, it means a lot! It has been really nice to stop using star ratings on the blog because it just doesn’t work for me — I need to explain it more, and I find star ratings so objective anyways. I hope you love the Nancy Drew graphic novel when you read it, and thanks for stopping by!

  18. Phantom Paper

    April 7, 2019 at 1:25 AM

    I do hope your health and reading slump recovers 101%! A break is refreshing and healing. 💓💙💚💛💜

    I’m pondering on whether I should employ the same tactic now that you and someone on Twitter, I forgot who, has put this no-rating thought in my head…I might or I might not 😁

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 3:35 PM

      Thank you so much for the well wishes, love! It has been nice to focus on myself a bit without so much stress (even though the anxiety is hard to turn off).

      Honestly, I love the no-rating on my blog reviews! I personally find stars so arbitrary and reading experiences are so personal, so it is really hard to just look at that and get an idea if the book is for ME. You know?

      1. Phantom Paper

        April 27, 2019 at 12:11 PM

        YES, I don’t know of what other stress-causing stuff you’re going through right now but to have blogging on top of everything? It’s like a part-time job half the time!

        Hahaha, I get you 😄 I’m even more tempted now to ditch it. The only thing keeping me is that ratings give a quick summarization of how much I liked a book, so if it were a 3 I’d…you know what, I just realized that even if a book was 3-starred I’d still read the review to see WHY it was given that rating. Basically, I’d be reading the review anyway…hmm…but then let’s say I see a review in my feed and neither the title nor the cover catches my attention but I see that it’s got 5 stars then I’d be curious and click in, whereas in a rating-less one I’d have passed it. Looks like I gotta mull this over a bit more 😂

        1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

          May 13, 2019 at 7:35 PM

          YUP! I love blogging so much but it is like a second job for sure. It’s been hard to step back but it’s been wonderful to have some downtime to focus on everything else. And don’t feel the need to do away with your ratings if it works for you!

  19. Norrie

    April 7, 2019 at 4:39 AM

    Hope you feel better soon 🙂
    And here’s to a better April! <3

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 3:35 PM

      Thank you so much, Norrie, and I hope you are having a wonderful April! (I almost said August and lolol my mind has time traveled)

  20. theorangutanlibrarian

    April 7, 2019 at 9:12 AM

    Gosh I hope your reading slump of doom is coming to an end! (that sounds ominous) So glad you liked obsidio!! Wow CW’s post sounds like quite the endeavour! Awesome wrap up!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      April 18, 2019 at 3:42 PM

      Thank you so much, the Slump of Doom has been an utter nightmare!!! Obsidio was such a good book and I am so sad the series is over… can’t wait for the Memento novella!

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