May in Review // A Month of Reading ALL the Things

The temperatures are beginning to rise here in Northern California and I am already wishing for Fall to arrive. I honestly cannot believe that it is already June! WHERE IS THE TIME GOING?!! And more importantly, can I harness this shift in time-space so I can travel to the future and read the last book in the Empirium trilogy? I really just need some answers here.

May was another meh month for me in all regards but my reading life. I’m still on medical leave from work and doing my best to focus on my health despite a lot of IRL stressors, but honestly, my reading slump went away! I read so many books in May and enjoyed all of them??? What is this sorcery? It feels really good to have one thing going for me right now and I hope it’s a sign of things improving overall in June.

On the blog & hiatus front, I wound up decreasing my posting frequency to four posts and temporarily removing Wednesdays from the rotation for the time being. They will be back once I’m able to plan out that extra content consistently again. But I’m hoping to start blog hopping again this month! I’ve missed reading your posts!


Reading

I read ten books in May, and I think it is safe to say the slump has finally left my body! It definitely is nice to fill my time with reading because I adore it so much, and I was fortunate to read a good number of books… and I enjoyed all but one of them! The last few days of May I haven’t really felt like reading but I am crossing all fingers that it is not Slump 2: The Electric Boogaloo.

✨ As a quick reminder, I’ve done away with star ratings on my blog reviews. You can read more about my reasoning in this discussion post on ratings systems, but you can find my ratings on Goodreads!

My Favorite Read of May

Keep This To YourselfThis was such a tough decision for me because I read a couple of amazing books in May! But when I think about the book that completely enraptured me while reading and infected my mind afterwards, it has to be Keep This to Yourself by Tom Ryan!

The writing is almost lyrical, which is not something that I typically equate with mysteries. I was instantly swept away into this story where Mac struggles to let go of his pain. But after he finds a clue from Connor on the night he died, Mac embarks on an adventure to uncover the truth no matter the consequences.

This book is a testament to friendship and shows how grief is experienced differently by everyone. But it is also a twisty mystery that will keep you guessing until the last page! Seriously, I thought I had it pegged three times and I was so wrong. And as a person that is rarely surprised, I loved that.

📖 Read my full ARC review

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

  • Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2) by Taherah Mafi – I’m essentially the worst because it’s been a month since I read this and still haven’t reviewed it. I know that I enjoyed it but have some complicated feelings with the romance depiction. 
  • Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Taherah Mafi – I’m essentially the worst because it’s been a month since I read this and still haven’t reviewed it. I remember really feeling satisfied (and a little icky because of my feelings with the romance in this trilogy) with how things ended, but that’s about it. I don’t think I will continue with the second trilogy.
  • * Keep This to Yourself by Tom Ryan – this book cured my reading slump that I’ve been in essentially all 2019, friends. It’s beautiful and shocking and my favorite read of the month. | 📖 Read my full ARC review
  • Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber – It took me two years to pick up this book on my shelf, and I devoured it in one sitting. This book is magical and perfect and I loved every minute of reading it. I think if you are a fan of strong sibling relationships this is a book you shouldn’t miss! | 📖 Read my full review
  • Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber – The magical game of Caraval is about bravery and sacrifice, and friends let me tell you that the magic isn’t yet over as there are some debts to be paid. This world is so magical and ethereal that it is easy to get swept up into the narrative, and this installment of the trilogy lives up to its predecessor and shatters all notions of Middle Book Syndrome! | 📖 Read my full review
  • Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber – A solid end to a truly magical trilogy. And I am a little conflicted here because while I really enjoyed Finale, there were some things that never got explained that kind of bother me. But I am primarily here for these characters and was swept into this heartbreaking, beautiful, and magical end; a satisfying conclusion to a stellar trilogy. | 📖 Read my full review
  • Furyborn (Empirium #1) by Claire Legrand – This was a re-read for me to refresh my goldfish memory on the world before diving into my Kingsbane ARC. I still enjoyed the story and have so many questions but definitely still struggled a little with the dual POV narrative style. Also I legit wound up skipping the trials chapters because they bored me the second time around. (Note while my review is an ARC review from 2018, I have since purchased a finished copy. This is why it isn’t listed as an ARC re-read.) | 📖 Read my full ARC review
  • * Kingsbane (Empirium #2) by Claire Legrand – Let me start by saying that it’s been over two weeks since I have finished reading my ARC and still feel betrayed, heartbroken, and feverish for answers. While the POV narrative style is still difficult for me personally, I really enjoyed the character growth and plot developments in this world a lot. And considering that Jess and I are still discussing theories about this damn book, that’s saying a lot. | 📖 Read my full ARC review
  • Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1) by Emily A. Duncan – This book was a freaking struggle to get through, friends. I buddy read it with Taylor and Bex, and the only reason that I didn’t DNF this book was that Taylor said it picked up after chapter 25. And while that definitely is true, I still didn’t like this book. The pacing is incredibly uneven and the middle of the book was so arduous to read; ultimately I feel it has a lot of untapped potential in the story that wasn’t realized. I won’t be doing a full review of this book because I’m not a fan of how the author’s dismissed the feelings of her audience on Twitter.
  • * Girl Gone Viral by Arvin Ahmadi – I loved this book so much! I found it to be fast-paced and engaging, with a good balance between making me think and being about the characters. I wouldn’t call this quiet YA at all, but the characters do each deal with their own internalized struggles of wanting to be good enough and succeed. I highly recommend this one and don’t think that the technology is too advanced to deter people that typically shy away from science fiction. | 📖 Read my full ARC review

DNF – Did Not Finish

  • None

May Statistics

Total Books Read: 10 | Total Pages Read: 4,448

As you can see, I definitely went full-on YOLO in May with my reading material, most everything that I read was a mood read for once. Also, it was a fantasy-heavy month, which means that I’ve switched gears back to science fiction for the time being!

Total Books Read in 2019: 36
Goodreads Reading Goal: 52


Awesome Community Posts

I’m definitely not back to my blog hopping mojo, but I was a lot better in May with reading posts that I saw come across Twitter when I had the energy. (AKA I saved a bunch of tabs.) Here are a few posts that really spoke to me last month!


Patreon Announcement!

After silently working on my Patreon and silently doubting my worth, I finally launched my Patreon page on May 31st! 🎉 You can find my Patreon here, but please do not feel obligated to join! Your support here on my blog is genuinely enough for me, but here’s a little bit of information about why I launched my page.

  • I’ve been suffering from health problems for the last few months that have left me unable to work my fulltime job, and my blog has been the one light that I (sometimes) have the energy for. I wanted to explore ways to offset my lack of an income that are within my capabilities right now.
  • I believe that book bloggers deserve to be compensated for the work that we do.
  • The money from my Patreon foremost will be used to offset the costs of hosting my blog, ship books for Flapping Pages out while I am not working, and of course, fund my bookish addiction.

I will not stop blogging and creating free templates and guides for you here on Reader Voracious Blog! All of my guides and templates here will continue to be free to access, and future yearly editions of the Book Blogger Spreadsheet Template will always be free.

So what will my Patrons get?

Depending on the level of support my Patrons choose, they will receive:

  • Early access to most of my blog posts on the Patreon platform!
  • Voting on a monthly post topic that will be seen here on Reader Voracious Blog (referred to as Patreon Post).
  • Exclusive discussion posts.
  • Exclusive deep-dive tutorials and video guides that take my free guides here to the next level (for instance, a video demo on Edelweiss filters is in the works!).
  • Your name and/or logo listed on my Patreon Supporter Page here on the blog.
  • Ability to request a custom spreadsheet from me.
  • & possibly more down the road!

If you sign up to support me on Patreon, know that the charges are made on the first of every month, so the first time charges are made will be on July 1. I will aim to have 1-2 exclusive Patreon posts per month at least, starting with the above-mentioned video this month!

Many thanks to my friends Michelle, Ruby, and Haley who always say that my work is worth compensation and encouraged me to take this step. It’s a lot less scary with you in my corner. 💖


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 May, let me know how your month went in the comments below!


spacer_wLet’s go on another adventure together!

47 Comments

  1. devouringbooks2017

    June 2, 2019 at 1:42 PM

    So nice to finally get out of a slump. This month I FINALLY found a 5 star fantasy after searching for what feels like FOREVER. Also I love the stats! Out of my 8 May reads I only read ONE backlist title, which is kinda nice for getting ahead.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      June 9, 2019 at 9:52 PM

      I know, I am so happy to not only be reading again but ENJOYING IT! For months it’s felt like a chore. And I am so glad you finally got a 5-star read! What was it?!?!?!

      1. devouringbooks2017

        June 10, 2019 at 6:41 PM

        The first book in the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson! I was SO happy, but that ending KILLED me. It was my first Brandon Sanderson read, I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on his books all this time.

        1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

          June 12, 2019 at 7:31 AM

          OOOH! I have been meaning to pick up his work but just haven’t gotten around to it yet!

          1. devouringbooks2017

            June 12, 2019 at 3:02 PM

            I think that you would LOVE this series.

  2. Amanda @ Between the Shelves

    June 2, 2019 at 5:38 PM

    Wow you had such a fantastic reading month! It seems like May was a good reading month overall, I got to a lot of books I’ve been wanting to read too! 🙂

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      June 9, 2019 at 9:54 PM

      Thanks, Amanda! It was nice to finally be reading & enjoying reading again after so many months! Glad you also had a good one, and happy reading!

  3. Annemieke

    June 2, 2019 at 10:49 PM

    You devoured some series. Go you! I really wanted to read Wicked Saints but after the latest and some of the comments she’s made on her twitter, I am going to step away.

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      June 10, 2019 at 10:45 AM

      I honestly don’t think you are missing anything by skipping Wicked Saints… it was an under-realized concept that was like pulling teeth for me to read. I just wish I hadn’t wasted my time on it now that she ran her mouth on Twitter…

  4. Cam @ Camillea Reads

    June 2, 2019 at 11:56 PM

    What a great list of books! On your recommendation, I started Anna Undreaming this morning! I was supposed to keep it for the Indie Reading Challenge but the cover was calling to me, Kal! I just couldn’t.

    May sounds like it had been a great month for you! Congrats on your Patreon! It’s something I’ve been thinking of creating as well, but let’s see!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      June 10, 2019 at 10:52 AM

      AHHH! What did you think of Anna Undreaming?!?! I hope you loved it as much as I did.
      Thanks so much for the congrats, and I definitely encourage you to make the leap to Patreon! I think the only way that it will be normalized for book bloggers to be compensated is if we normalize it ourselves.

  5. THE SUMMER BUCKET LIST BOOK TAG – Camillea Reads

    June 3, 2019 at 2:01 AM

    […] 🌺 Kaleena from Reader Voracious Blog […]

  6. Dia @ Novelishly

    June 3, 2019 at 5:27 AM

    I have been wanting to get into Caraval series for a while but maybe I will try it now the final book is out.
    Congrats on your patreon❤️

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      June 10, 2019 at 10:59 AM

      I highly recommend it, Caraval is so magical and I loved it so much! And thanks so much!!!

  7. Kristina

    June 3, 2019 at 7:23 AM

    Oh yay for the slump to having went away !
    Now you can relax on this time off work with books along with gaming xx

    Temperatures as also been on the rise since June started over here too – though we’ve had some rain, i’m feeling so much better already than I was in crappy weathered may! I’m so happy!

    YAY for patreon !! You work really hard on your blog and community, you certainly deserve it ! I wish you the best on that side xx

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      June 10, 2019 at 11:01 AM

      I KNOW, time to celebrate the end of slumps!!!

      I miss the rain so much, hahaha. I don’t like the heat very much at all. But I am so glad you are happy with the weather!

      And thank you so much! It’s scary to make this step but exciting all at the same time!

  8. Rain

    June 3, 2019 at 8:17 AM

    AAAHHH THANK YOU FOR FEATURING MY POST! My May was absolutely meh in terms of blogging and reading. I’m having a full-on creative slump and I’m still trying to get out of it. I hope June treats me well.

    I hope your health gets better, Kal! Love ya. I hope we can make that Jade City buddy read happen soon 💕

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      June 10, 2019 at 11:02 AM

      OF COURSE, your post is AMAZZZZIINNNG!!! I am sorry your May was slumpy and not great but I am hoping that June and beyond will be good to you since you graduated!

      Thanks so much, love. And let’s aim to read Jade City in July!

  9. Marie

    June 3, 2019 at 11:31 AM

    I’m so happy you got out of your slump, yay! I also read Girl Gone Viral recently and really enjoyed it, it was such a fun read and the world-building was quite fascinating just as well 🙂
    Congratulations on launching your Patreon, this is such an amazing step and I’m certain that so many people will want to support you, your work deserves compensation and all the love, for sure, you’re doing so much for this community and I admire that so much. I also believe that book bloggers deserve compensation and I’m so happy to see you and other bloggers slowly taking that step towards it. (even if I personally am too scared to take that step ahah aerm).
    I hope that your health will get better and that June will be beautiful and bright, Kal! Sending you love <3

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      June 10, 2019 at 11:07 AM

      I am so glad you also enjoyed Girl Gone Viral, Marie! The worldbuilding was so cool and honestly, it was such a fast paced & fun read for me.

      Thank you so much, Marie! Launching Patreon is very scary but I really do think that book bloggers deserve to be compensated for the work that we do, and I think the only way that will happen is if we normalize it. You should definitely make the step, too! I look up to YOU so much and you deserve support!!!

      Happy reading this June, love!

      1. Marie

        June 11, 2019 at 10:38 AM

        I agree with you and I’m so glad to see a couple of book bloggers making that step. You’re way too sweet, this honestly means so, so much thank you😭😭😭
        Have a beautiful beautiful June!! <3

  10. Laurie

    June 3, 2019 at 11:33 AM

    I’m glad to read that your slump has been kicked ass! However, I hope you will be continuing to feel better this month and that your helth will be better as well. Fingers crossed!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      June 10, 2019 at 11:09 AM

      Thank you so much, Laurie, and happy reading!

  11. BLOGGERS IN THE ATTIC: Reading Slumps – Fictionally Sam

    June 3, 2019 at 1:22 PM

    […] With Ben 9th – Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward 11th – Sagey @ Sage Shelves 13th – Kaleena @ Reader Voracious 18th – Rain @ BookDragonism 20th – Lara @ Naija Book Bae 24th – Isabelle @ […]

  12. waytoofantasy

    June 3, 2019 at 1:52 PM

    Looks like a fantastic reading month. I do hope you are doing well, glad to hear that your reading slump is behind you though, that’s great!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      June 10, 2019 at 11:11 AM

      BYE BYE SLUMP, don’t come back! Thanks so much, Lisa. Taking each day at a time, but I am optimistic! Happy reading.

  13. Avery @ RedRocketPanda

    June 3, 2019 at 3:15 PM

    I’m sorry to hear about your leave from work, but I’m happy to hear you had such an amazing book month! <3

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      June 10, 2019 at 11:13 AM

      Thank you so much, Avery! It’s been almost three months at this point that I’ve been on leave, and I am definitely just frustrated. But hopeful that things are on the upward trajectory & that June will also be a good reading month! Happy reading to you!!!

  14. Reading Slumps | The Bloggers in the Attic – Northern Plunder

    June 3, 2019 at 5:32 PM

    […] Ben 92th – Anthony @Keep Reading Forward 11th – Sagey @Sage Shelves 13th – Kal @Reader Vocarious 28th – Rain @Book Dragonism 20th – Lara @Naija Book Bae 24th – Isabelle @Bookwyrm […]

  15. Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea

    June 3, 2019 at 8:58 PM

    I’m soooo happy that your year long reading slump has been cured! And Keep This to Yourself sounds amazing! Wicked Saints was a book that I was anticipating since last year, but I recently took it off of my tbr because of the mixed reviews, and the fact that the way the author behaved on twitter this month irked me a lot. Congrats on your Patreon launch! I definitely agree that you and other bloggers should a hundred percent be compensated for their work! And I wish you all the best when it comes to your health!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      June 10, 2019 at 11:16 AM

      GOODBYE SLUMP! Keep This To Yourself was an incredible read, I am still thinking about it!!! Honesty I had a lot of awesome reads last month, I was really lucky. Wicked Saints… was not one of them, though. And the author’s attitude makes my stomach boil; I won’t spend any more money on her work. Don’t worry — you aren’t missing anything but an underdeveloped story that didn’t realize its potential.

  16. Jennifer Pletcher

    June 4, 2019 at 1:34 AM

    Great reading month!! Another great review for Caraval. I have to move that one up further on my TBR list

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      June 10, 2019 at 11:17 AM

      Yesss, read Caraval and get swept away into its magical world!

  17. Ally Writes Things

    June 4, 2019 at 7:54 AM

    Thank you so much for sharing my post, Kaleena! 💖 I’m so glad your slump has (mostly) gone away, and I hope you start feeling better health-wise soon, too!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      June 10, 2019 at 11:29 AM

      Absolutely, I loved your post! Thanks so much and I hope you have a great June!

  18. northernplunder

    June 4, 2019 at 2:47 PM

    good luck w patreon, if anyone deserves it, its you!
    also i hope ur health gets much better <3

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      June 10, 2019 at 11:30 AM

      Thank you so much, Lauren! 😭

  19. TheCaffeinatedReader

    June 4, 2019 at 3:12 PM

    You and Sam vanquished the dreaded slump and kicked some serious tail this month! I’m so glad May was a good reading month for you and believe me when I say you definitely made a great decision in going with Patreon, you do so much work and it should be rewarded!…And really, I added most of your books this month to my tbr, your reviews were all on point, damn you lolol

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      June 10, 2019 at 11:32 AM

      BEGONE, SLUMP! ⚔️ Thank you so much for your support of me and encouraging me to sign up for Patreon, it means so much to me! And I wish I could say sorry for ruining your TBR… but I’m not. LOL

  20. Gerry@TheBookNookUK

    June 5, 2019 at 7:18 AM

    Yay, I’m glad you have finally purged the slump! I really hope that lasts for you.

    I agree re. Wicked Saints. I actually don’t have any inclination to read it anyway just because I’m not interested in the story but ugh, I am a silent Twitter lurker and honestly… I don’t think I can stand the author at all. Sorry to say this but I don’t think she’s as big and as relevant as she seems to think she is? I think maybe a debut entering the NYC Bestseller list and a lot of praise and an audience may have gone towards inflating her ego but she may need to be a tad more gracious to her audience if she wants to have longevity because she’s just one in a sea of hundreds of YA authors!

    Yay for taking the leap to Patreon, I only anticipate wonderful things for you!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      June 10, 2019 at 11:40 AM

      ⚔️⚔️⚔️ I AM THE SLUMP SLAYER!!! ⚔️⚔️⚔️

      Emily Duncan definitely has a big edgelord ego on Twitter, which tbh kind of belongs in 2004 Xanga. I have a real problem with people disregarding their audience like that and continuing to clap back; her “bye to two sales” comment when someone suggested teens would boycott her was the last straw for me. You are writing YA. Sure, adults may also read YA but you should not dismiss your targeted audience! Like I know that no two people read the same book, but Wicked Saints was a slog.

      Thank you so much, Gerry!

      1. Gerry@TheBookNookUK

        June 10, 2019 at 2:21 PM

        Send me your slaying powers, I need them!

        Oh yes, I also saw that ‘bye to the sales’ comment. I just…. I don’t know if this is an edgy persona she’s adopted to try and go with the whole ‘I write dark and edgy books that are just a representation of my soul’ vibe or if she’s genuinely that arrogant. I sadly think it’s the latter and I just don’t have time for that at all.

        I wonder if some authors get into YA because they think it’s the market that they can make the most money in but at the same time know that adults read a lot of YA. If it were a brilliant work of prose I wouldn’t necessarily excuse the attitude but at least I could say well she’s not a mediocre writer at least but someone who is both a mediocre writer and a douche nozzle? Hard pass.

        1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

          June 12, 2019 at 7:25 AM

          My slaying powers might be nonexistent as I think my slump is back…

          You might have something there, but I think that gender plays a big role. YA fantasy and science fiction is largely predominated by female and nonbinary authors (as well as AOC). Adult SFF has been dominated by white, cis men for decades even now. I am not sure if YA tends to be where the opportunity or readership is, or if it is because of the style of storytelling, but it is interesting to consider. I largely read YA because I find it more fast-paced overall and there’s more diversity there. But I agree… hard pass on douche nozzles!

  21. The Bloggers in the Attic: Reading Slumps – Keep Reading Forward

    June 9, 2019 at 7:24 AM

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  22. theorangutanlibrarian

    June 11, 2019 at 7:22 AM

    Can’t believe it’s June either! Glad you’re over the slump! Such a shame about wicked saints. Great wrap up!

    1. Kaleena @ Reader Voracious

      June 12, 2019 at 7:43 AM

      And now June is almost half over! WHAT!~?!? Thank you so much, and I hope your month is going well!

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