A girl with a mouth almost as big as her TBR list

Monthly Archives: January 2017


DNF stands for ‘did not finish’ and is a way book bloggers label books that they stopped reading and didn’t pick up again.

Within the book blogging community, there is a whole spectrum of opinions on choosing to DNF a book. Some people are all for it and believe it’s the only way to ensure you get the most of your reading whilst others don’t like it and feel as though you have to keep going to fully try out the book. Now I’m not quite sure how I feel. This post is prompted by the latest book I read and rated 2 stars. Multiple times throughout the book I wanted to put it down and not ever pick it back up but for some reason I kept pushing through and finished the book. Maybe it’s because I watched to give the book a chance or because this is my third book of 2017 and I want to stick to my Goodreads reading goal or maybe a combination of both. Even now it’s finished I don’t know whether I’m glad I kept reading or not.

So this debate about to DNF or not to DNF is all very well and good, but what about when the book in question is an ARC or a book that you’ve been sent to review? How does this change our feelings on DNFing? Luckily I have never yet had this problem. All the books I’ve been sent to review, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and finished but I know of other bloggers who have DNFed books they’ve been sent and that must have been a tough decision to make. I certainly think if I’d been sent a book, it would make me more likely to keep going with the book but I honestly don’t know what I’d do if I really disliked the book.

Another query that comes along with DNFing books is whether or not you qualify the book as part of your total number of books read in a year. The vast majority of us set a Goodreads reading goal for the year and are really determined to reach it, so are we allowed to qualify DNFed reads as part of that total? Personally I wouldn’t choose to qualify a book I DNFed as part of my total but I know that others do. I cant certainly see the appeal of doing so if you’ve spend ages reading a book, only to put it down 75% of the way through.

So where have we got to, now we’ve asked all these questions? Have we reached a conclusion about DNFing? I certainly haven’t! I think all I can say is it’s up to you! I’m going to try and be less afraid of DNFing so I don’t waste time on books I quite frankly am not enjoying.

What do you think? Do you DNF books? What about books you’ve been sent to review? And how do you feel about counting DNFed books in your yearly total? Let me know in the comments!

I am so excited that SOULMATED by Shaila Patel releases today and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Shaila Patel, be sure to check out all the details below and have a read of my review, which you can find here!

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a Perfectly Posh, Posh To Meet You Set ($20 value), US Only courtesy of Month9Books. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


soulmatedSome info about The Book:

Title: SOULMATED (Joining of Souls #1)

Author: Shaila Patel

Pub. Date: January 24, 2017

Publisher: Month9Books

Format: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 300

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | TBD

Two souls. One Fate.

Eighteen-year-old Liam Whelan, an Irish royal empath, has been searching for his elusive soulmate. The rare union will cement his family’s standing in empath politics and afford the couple legendary powers, while also making them targets of those seeking to oust them.

Laxshmi Kapadia, an Indian-American high school student from a traditional family, faces her mother’s ultimatum: Graduate early and go to medical school, or commit to an arranged marriage.

When Liam moves next door to Laxshmi, he’s immediately and inexplicably drawn to her. In Liam, Laxshmi envisions a future with the freedom to follow her heart.

Liam’s father isn’t convinced Laxshmi is “The One” and Laxshmi’s mother won’t even let her talk to their handsome new neighbor. Will Liam and Laxshmi defy expectations and embrace a shared destiny? Or is the risk of choosing one’s own fate too great a price for the soulmated?



My mind wandered to a vision of what Laxshmi’s eyes would look like if I kissed her. It caught me by surprise, making me cough. Grand. Now I was the one with the concentration problem. If I kept this up, I’d have a hard time blocking out my classmates’ feelings. I stretched my legs a bit and tugged at my jeans. Jaysus.

Was I thirteen again?

Keeping other people’s emotions out of my head was like blocking calls on my mobile. Normally, most empaths had about a ten- to twenty-foot reading range, so it wasn’t too taxing on me, having been an empath since childhood. Unless my concentration was shot to hell, blocking was as simple as breathing. Soon, staying open to Lucky meant she’d have her own ringtone in my head, and I’d be able to lock on to her feelings without having to do anything at all.

When the class bell rang, Lucky bent to pick up a small pile of textbooks from the floor. I hoped she wasn’t one of those geeks who carried her books around with her all day. Then again, maybe she was avoiding her locker because of me. The thought left me frowning.

As she got ready to leave, I waited for her. “Going to your locker?” I pointed at her books.

Her surprise came over to me in a gentler ripple than had her other emotions. The gentleness reminded me of a calm day on Galway Bay—the sand, small waves nipping at my toes, and the sun, glorious on my back. The surprise felt like a warm ocean spray I hadn’t been expecting.

“Yeah,” she said with a sheepish grin.

“Brilliant. I’m heading there too.”

She bit back a smile, her excitement feeling like a frothy surf tickling my toes.

When we approached the door, she rushed to catch it before it shut, almost dropping her books. Most girls would’ve stood back and waited for me to make a dash to open it, making sure I was being attentive. Lucky didn’t seem to want any such nonsense, and I felt a bit off, like I’d put my trainers on the wrong feet. I couldn’t shake the feeling of being in unchartered waters.

She stepped to the side and held the door open for me—for me—and I had to dive forward to help her steady the load of books threatening to fall.

“Here,” I said. “I’ll help you carry these—”

“No. I mean, that’s okay. You’ve got your own to carry.”

I sensed a genuine concern from her, as if she were afraid to be imposing on me, not something I’d been expecting. I stepped closer, meaning to convince her to let me help, but then her eyes snapped up and met mine. The softness and sincerity in them froze me to the spot. Lighter and more vibrant than the other brown eyes I’d forced myself to stare into—all in the name of being romantic— her eyes drew me in like a kaleidoscope, with amber and black flecks peppering her irises. A soft gasp escaped her lips, and I understood how she felt. With each blink of her long eyelashes, it felt like an eternity before I’d see her eyes again. I had a strange urge to brush my finger over the tips of her lashes.

I swallowed against the dryness in my throat. “I–I just have one book. In my bag.” Jaysus Christ. What is she doing to me? I couldn’t get sucked in. I wouldn’t. If I expected anything, it’d only turn into another disappointment.

shaila_photo_purpleAbout Shaila:

As an unabashed lover of all things happily-ever- after, Shaila’s younger self would finish reading Cinderella and fling her copy across the room because it didn’t mention what happened next. Now she writes from her home in the Carolinas and dreams up all sorts of stories with epilogues. A member of the Romance Writers of America, she’s a pharmacist by training, a medical office manager by day, and a writer by night. She enjoys traveling, craft beer, and teas, and loves reading books—especially in cozy window seats. You might find her sneaking in a few paragraphs at a red light or connecting with other readers online at: http://www.shailapatelauthor.com

Find Shaila:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

Giveaway Details:

(1) winner will receive a Perfectly Posh, Posh To Meet You Set ($20 value), US Only.

(10) winners will receive a SOULMATED Swag Pack, US Only.

The Giveaway:









Two souls. One Fate.

Eighteen-year-old Liam Whelan, an Irish royal empath, has been searching for his elusive soulmate. The rare union will cement his family’s standing in empath politics and afford the couple legendary powers, while also making them targets of those seeking to oust them.

Laxshmi Kapadia, an Indian-American high school student from a traditional family, faces her mother’s ultimatum: Graduate early and go to medical school, or commit to an arranged marriage.

When Liam moves next door to Laxshmi, he’s immediately and inexplicably drawn to her. In Liam, Laxshmi envisions a future with the freedom to follow her heart.

Liam’s father isn’t convinced Laxshmi is “The One” and Laxshmi’s mother won’t even let her talk to their handsome new neighbor. Will Liam and Laxshmi defy expectations and embrace a shared destiny? Or is the risk of choosing one’s own fate too great a price for the soulmated?

I received an eARC of this book from the author but that does not affect my views in any way. All my opinions and thoughts are completely my own.

Where do I begin with this book? There were so many unique and different aspects to this book that made it a step apart from all the other urban fantasies that I’ve read.
The first thing I loved about this book was the different cultures it portrayed. One of the main characters Laxshmi is an Indian American that is trying to balance her Indian identity with her American one. Whilst the other main character is Liam, an Irish boy who has spent almost half his life in America, looking for The One. They both come from such different backgrounds which I thought were portrayed wonderfully in Patel’s writing. I personally found it so interesting to be immersed in a culture so different from mine and see how Lucky combined both cultures to make her who she is. Both of these teens face pressure from their parents in different ways and for different reasons. Lucky’s Mum wants her to either get married or go to Medical School, whilst she dreams of becoming a dancer. Liam’s parents move him from city to city in hope of him finding The One when he just wants to give up. These pressures both stem from the cultures they come from yet together they are able to escape these stresses whilst also embracing the people they are. I felt like Patel wrote Lucky’s POV better than Liam’s though that is probably due to the fact she knows more about her culture and can relate more to her, however both points of view were entertaining and a good read.

Aside from the main two characters, there was a wonderful cast of supporting characters such as Lucky’s Mum, a hardworking and traditional Indian parent who only wants the best for her daughter, Liam’s Dad an Irishman who wants the best for his son in a world of complex empath politics and Liam’s Mum a woman who is so keen to hear about her son’s love life and meet her future daughter in law. The only character I found a little lacking was Jack, Lucky’s best friend who got annoyed when the new boy arrives. He just seemed like a bit a stereotype and didn’t really get that much character development other than being jealous of Liam.

Another aspect of this book which I really enjoyed the idea of being an empath and the powers that came with that. In urban fantasies you so often see the same paranormal creatures again and again but this is something I’ve never seen before. These people aren’t great fighters or strong warriors but instead they’re in touch with their emotions and those of the people around them. It does contain the classic trope of the heroine not knowing of her powers until she meets the hero but it is refreshingly different when combined with the other elements of the story.

The only thing I wish this story did contain was more information about the society of empaths and how it works. I’m someone who always wants to know more and hear the whole backstory. You get lots of hints and subtle references throughout the book but you never get to know the full story which bugs me a little however I suspect you will get to know more in the next book so I am eagerly awaiting that!

Overall it was a entertaining blend of diversity, originality, romance and the supernatural resulting in a great read for any YA fan!

Now, I don’t claim to be an expert at this blogging thing at all, in fact after 2 and half years I still feel like I’m stumbling about in the darkness some days. However one thing I would say I’m almost an expert of is blogging slumps. I love blogging and books and reading yet every so often I just stop completely and can’t bring myself to blog or read or join in with the community at all for over a month. But, despite all these blogging slumps I’m still here and I love blogging as much as ever so I thought I’d share some of my top tips for how to get out of a blogging slump.

  1. Don’t feel guilty. This is the most important one. It’s ok if you need to take a break or don’t feel up to blogging for a while. Blogging is a hobby so it shouldn’t feel like a chore. If you take a break, the book blogging community will still be here to welcome you back with open arms when you want to come back. We all understand and probably most of us have been through exactly the same thing.
  2. Remember why you started blogging. If you don’t feel like blogging, think about what caused you to choose to start blogging in the first place. Look back at your first post and when you read it, I’m sure you’ll be able to hear the excitement. Take trip down memory lane and look at your proudest blogging achievements and favourite comments.
  3. Get involved in the community again. Visit other people’s blogs, get involved in conversations on Twitter, message some of your best blogging friends, do whatever you want to be part of the community. For so many of us, the community and the people we get to meet are the reason we keep blogging. Chatting with these people might encourage you to start blogging again.
  4. Think of something you want to write about and write it. Don’t be held back by reviews you need to write or memes you have to take part in. Don’t worry about what you think you should write or what your readers want to read but write something you’re interested in. Sometimes as bloggers we can get carried away by what we think our responsibilities are, when really we should just be writing posts that we would like to read.
  5. Pick up an old favourite. Reread a book that you loved, whether it’s from last year or when you were a kid, there’s nothing like reading a book you know you will enjoy, to get back into the reading and hopefully blogging spirit. Then if you’re feeling it, you could write a post about this is a book you love and want to reread

These are just a few of my tips, but that’s not to say they’ll work for everyone. Each person is different and has different ways of dealing with stuff so share your best tips for getting out of a blogging slump. What do you do get yourself back into blogging?



So, over this weekend, we had the winter mini bloggiesta and I achieved some stuff!

My To Do List for this Bloggiesta is:

  1. These Vicious Masks Review
  2. Soulmated Review
  3. Blogging Slump Post
  4. Powerful women Post – started
  5. Start reading my next book
  6. Update info on my blog
  7. Set up my bullet journal
  8. Comment on every participant’s blog – 13/26

I have never once finished an entire to do list during a bloggiesta but I’m one of these people who cuts her losses and simply celebrates the things I have managed to achieve! As well as all the things I crossed off the list, I also participated in the Twitter chat, which was great fun and an opportunity to discover some awesome new blogs and make some new friends.

I’ve already put the next (full length, week long) bloggiesta in my bullet journal and you should add it to yours! It’s the 20th-26th March and I will be there, I hope you are too!

If you joined in with bloggiesta, I hope it went well for you and if you didn’t I’d recommend you do next time!


I just saw this on Twitter this morning and decided to sign up! I have participated in many a bloggiesta before and they’ve always been so helpful so I’m really excited to get started with this one!


But wait! What is a bloggiesta?

In short, Bloggiesta is a blogging marathon revolving around ticking off those items on your to-do list and improving your blog while in the good company of other awesome bloggers doing the same thing. Our awesome mascot Pedro (Plan. Edit. Develop. Review. Organize) is ready to break out the nachos, enchiladas, drinks, mariachi music and whack a pinata or two! It’s nothing short of an awesome fiesta!

Click on the link to find out more!

My To Do List for this Bloggiesta is:

  1. These Vicious Masks Review
  2. Soulmated Review
  3. Blogging Slump Post
  4. Powerful women Post
  5. Start reading my next book
  6. Update info on my blog
  7. Set up my bullet journal
  8. Comment on every participant’s blog

I think that’s everything I want to achieve so let’s get started and see how I do! Best of luck to anyone else also doing bloggiesta!

As I mentioned I’m just starting my bullet journal so if you have any advice or tips, I’d love it if you shared them with me! Thanks!

I know this is supposed to be top ten Tuesday, but I’ve only got 6 books on my list today, which I think actually emphasised how keen I am to read these Ines! So without further ado, let us begin!
Lady Midnight – I even preordered this book but since it arrived just before exam season, I didn’t dare start it and then somehow I just never ended up reading it despite my excitement for the book. Perhaps that’s because it’s just so big so I couldn’t take it with me anywhere and it was too intimidating to just pick up in 5 minutes of spare time.

A Court of Mist and Fury – This is another one I preordered but didn’t actually get round to reading due to exams and a number of other things going on in my life. I did enjoy the first book and I’m a fan of Sarah J Maas so I’m interested to see how this second one turns out. Fingers crossed I’ll get to it soon! court-of-m-a-f

A Torch Against the Night – I read the first book in this series as part of the Dewey’s 24 readathon and absolutely loved it. Sadly I didn’t get to the sequel last year so it’s on the top of my TBR list for 2017. I’m certain it will be a great read and in excited to see what’s going to happen next.

A Study in Charlotte – There was quite a bit of hype in the bookish community before it came out but I can’t remember reading any reviews or hearing anyone’s feedback on the book. Nevertheless the concept of the book sounds awesome – a teenager female Sherlock Holmes? Sounds awesome to me! study-in-charlotte
The Star-touched Queen – This one sounded really awesome from the get go but for some reason I just didn’t ever get round to buying it so I didn’t read it last year. However I’ve seen it on a lot of people’s Too Ten Books of 2016 list which reminded me how eager I was to read it.

This is Where It Ends – There’s been a lot of hype around this book and I recently bought in on my Kindle for a bargain price so I’ll definitely be trying to get this one read at the beginning of 2017. I’m really interested to see how the authors deals with the issues that come up in this book so I’m looking forward to reading this.


It gives me hope for the future and keeps me going. Yes, there is a lot of negativity on Twitter and plenty of trolls, but I also see so much kindness, support and love from the book blogging community on Twitter. I can see the fact that the book blogging community is changing however Twitter gives me hope that it’s not for the worst and I can expect so many more great things from everyone
It points out my prejudices to me. If you asked me, I, like many others would say that I’m not racist, ableist or prejudiced in any way. However sadly that’s not true. As a privileged white straight middle class girl from England, I am often unaware of my own unconscious prejudice. Twitter has helped to educate me and ensure I am less prejudiced than I was when I first joined. By pointing out my prejudices Twitter allows me to change them.

It helps me to feel confident expressing my opinions and have discussions. Twitter is a great place to have discussions and hear or express opinions. I’ve learnt so much about so many different things just by listening and reading what others have to say. In order to learn, sometimes you just need to be quiet but other times it’s a great opportunity to get into a discussion and share what you think.

It makes me more politically aware. 2016 was a huge year in politics with #EUReferendum and #Election 2016 being two of the most popular hashtags of the year. Being on Twitter has allowed to listen to and be part of conversations about these political issues that didn’t happen in my everyday life. Twitter helped me to become more fired up about politics and although I was disappointed by the result of both votes, I’m now more excited than ever for when I have the right to vote!

It allows me to meet and chat to people that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to otherwise. In my day to day life I meet a lot of different people but at the same time I attend school 5 days a week. Twitter allows me to talk to people I don’t get the chance to in my daily life, whether they’re different ages, nationalities, religions or just have different opinions to me. This is so important because it gets me out of my little bubble and allows to experience more from the world and people around me. 

As we’re starting a new year, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect and look back at last year’s resolutions.
Reading ones

Read 64 books – I 100% did not achieve this one, I read less than half of this number of books. However I did have big exams and then a very busy summer before starting A levels, all of which was super time consuming leaving sadly no time for books! I think looking back, I was perhaps a little optimistic so for 2017, I’m aiming to read 52 books, which is 1 book per week, which should hopefully be more manageable and achievable for me, bearing in mind everything that’s going on in my life. 

Read 3 classics – Hahahahahahaha, no. I miserably failed this one, unless you count the French classic I’m being forced to read for A Level French and am approximately 75% of the way through. This is one that I’m not that bothered about. I’d love to read some of the classics that are already on my shelf but I don’t feel the need to force myself to read books because others feel they are ‘better’ than my usual YA.

Join in with some reading challenges –  I joined in with some reading challenges, I didn’t do very well at the #RockmyTBR challenge or any of the bingos I signed up for, however I did take part in the Dewey’s 24 hour readathon, where I read a lot and had great fun. Overall I’d say I managed this one but I need to commit to longer challenges rather than just 24 hour ones! 

Request ARCs sensibly and read and review them in time – Since I didn’t really read or blog that much during 2016, I obviously didn’t really request many ARCs but I think I managed to review the ones I did within the time. That means I think I succeeded at this resolution however that’s only because I didn’t read many ARCs so I couldn’t forget to review them! 

Review half the books I read this year – Since I didn’t read many books this week, this one should have been easy, however I didn’t quite manage it. I did make a conscious effort to review more books so even though I didn’t quite manage this, I didn’t do badly.

Blogging ones:

Post twice a week – Looking back, this one is almost laughable. I don’t know how I thought I might manage to post twice a week but I definitely didn’t manage this one. For 2017, I think I’ll set an aim of posting at least once a week, a target I think is much more attainable for me yet still a bit of a challenge.

Always reply to comments – This one I started off well at however once I took long periods off blogging I wasn’t replying to any comments. I tried to go back and reply but I’m not sure I managed to respond to every single one. This resolution will be one I will be remaking and trying even harder to keep. I love every single comment I get and they really motivate me so I want to ensure I reply.

Join in with blogging events – This is perhaps the only one that I think I was particularly successful at. I joined in with 2 bloggiestas and the Love-A-Thon as well as the Dewey’s 24 hour readathon, all of which were great fun so I look forward to doing even more great events with the blogging community.