My Shadowhunters Journey

Hello my bookish people!

I’m pretty sure everyone has read a Cassandra Clare book or at least heard about the Shadowhunters series. My Shadowhunters journey began in 2013 when the movie came out. I hadn’t read the books, but my friend was a fan so she made me go with her and I said yes because who can say no to Lily Collins?!

Anyway, I loved it, so I was ecstatic when I heard they were going to film a TV show! Unpopular opinion but I was a huge fan of the show and I was so bummed out when I heard they were going to cancel it. So I thought: “hey, what best way to stay in the Shadowhunters world than read the bazillion books Cassandra Clare wrote?!”

I read City of Bones for the first time in 2019, while I was in Erasmus in Spain (best time of my life, we’ll talk about this later!) I adored it and quickly read City of Ashes and City of Glass. Then came City of Fallen Angels and oof, the rest of the series was so hard to get through for me. I only picked up City of Heavenly Fire this year because of the quarantine and because one of my friends kept bugging me to get to the “good stuff”.

And I did, I recently started the first book of The Infernal Devices, Clockwork Angel and I loved it. I mean, I missed the TMI crew but Jem, Will and Tessa are such a good trio that I wasn’t too nostalgic. And then, I read Clockwork Prince and fell into a reading slump. I loved the first book, so why wasn’t I feeling the second one? I realized it was because I felt like there wasn’t a sense of novelty and I wasn’t a huge fan of JemxTessa. So, right now my Shadowhunters journey has hit another stop but it’s a goal of mine to read all of Cassandra Clare’s books at some point.

Has anyone felt that way? What was your Shadowhunters journey like? Let me know in the comments!

Bookish hugs,

                      Giuls

The Anti-Virginity Pact – Review

Hello my bookish people!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

What started as a book about two friends making a pact about losing their virginity before college, became so much more and I’m so happy I had the lucky opportunity to read it early.

Meredith Beaumont doesn’t take risks and sometimes she wonders why she’s friend with Johanna, who’s the exact opposite of her. One night, Johanna convinces her to sign an anti-virginity pact to get her out of her comfort zone and that’s where the troubles begin. Johanna sets her mind on losing her virginity to their hot teacher, but don’t worry, you won’t get teacher-student romance (which I personally despise, so thank you Kate Wismer for that!). Meredith, on the other hand, finally convinces herself to talk again to her childhood friend Sam.

I really liked the character of Meredith, except for some poor choices she made that had me screaming: “why, why, would you do that?” The description of her anxiety was so well-done and on point and I’m grateful it’s been talked about without it being romanticized.

One of my favorite quotes of the book is:

Because when you’re quiet, you learn to speak in short, fast sentences, because you’re not sure how long people will listen to you. You get the words out as quickly as you can – sometimes so quickly, they start to slur and trip over each other, just so you won’t have to be the center of attention for too long.

As an anxious mess myself, I can’t count how many times people told me to slow down while I was speaking, because I was rushing to the end, because I believed that someone was gonna take away my spotlight soon enough.

I thoroughly enjoyed how everything was wrapped up in the end and I highly recommend this to YA lovers and everyone who ever made a pact with themselves or to a friend to experience more.

Thanks again to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an early copy!

Bookish hugs,

Giuls

Reading with anxiety and how to avoid getting distracted

Hello my bookish people!

Reading is one of my favorite hobbies, but sometimes it makes me anxious, so I had to learn how to cope with it. I became aware of suffering from anxiety four years ago, but unconsciously I have been dealing with it most of my life. At first, it used to ruin so many things for me and I would get so frustrated that I couldn’t live my life the way I wanted to, but with time I learned that it’s not an enemy I need to defeat but something I need to learn to live with. I see people on Twitter who can read for hours and can finish a book in one sitting, but that does not work with me. 

I think my biggest problem is that I struggle on focusing on one thing for too long, so I need to set up a reading time schedule, with breaks. For example, let’s say I start reading at 3 pm. I usually read for 30 minutes, then take a break for 5 minutes and then continue again for another half an hour, and so on. I need to give myself a mental schedule, so I can avoid feeling overwhelmed. It may seem weird or like too much effort for something that should be fun, but it’s been working for me so far!

Another thing that helps me focus and managing anxiety is listening to lo-fi music. I recently discovered this amazing artist called Pueblo Vista and they have a podcast with lo-fi music (no lyrics because that’s too distracting for me) and the episodes usually lasts around an hour, so it’s perfect for my reading schedule. You can find it here!

Thirdly, I mute notifications. This is so hard sometimes, because living in the digital age we want to stay connected 24/7, but it’s also important to take time for ourselves and just let go of pressures from the outside world.

Lastly, if all those above don’t work, I try not to force it too much. If I keep getting distracted, I just finish the chapter and do something else. Sometimes the best thing we can do is just leave it and come back to it once we feel more motivated.

Have you ever felt anxious while reading? What are your tips on staying focused on your book?

Thank you so much for reading!

Bookish hugs,

Giuls

Boyfriend Material – Review

Hello my bookish people!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

This book was equally hilarious and super cute, and I loved every minute of it! Let me start by saying that this is the first paragraph of the book:

I’ve never seen the point of fancy dress parties. You have two choices: either you make a massive effort and wind up looking like a dick, or you make no effort and wind up looking like a dick. And my problem, as always, was not knowing what kind of dick I wanted to be.

I mean, I immediately had to send this to my friend, who replied with “mood”, which was also a big mood. A mood-ception, if you will.

Okay, so let’s talk about the characters! We have Luc, who is a huge mess and the son of two former rock stars. He’s really into partying and self-pity and that would be just fine if he was a nobody and his drunk pictures didn’t end up all over the internet. But, when his absentee father, who spent most of his life in and out of rehab, decides to make a comeback and the public eye starts focusing on Luc more, his scandalous photographs start to threaten his job at the Coleoptera Research and Protection Program (CRAPP is the acronym, oh my god!).

All that’s left to do is find a respectable fake boyfriend, so Luc can convince the donors he’s not such a trainwreck. Bridget, aka the token straight girl (Alexis Hall’s words, not mine!) in Luc’s friend group finally has the chance to set him up with her only gay friend, Oliver, who coincidentally also needs a date for his parents’ anniversary. The deal is sealed, now they just have to get along!

So, I mentioned Luc’s friend group and honestly, they are all just hilarious. Let me just tell you that one of the many names of their WhatsApp group is QUEER COMES THE SUN!! I mean, this is just genius. Obviously, I went on and changed my own group chat title into it (don’t sue me Alexis Hall).

I can’t choose a favorite quote, so I’ll leave it up to you to decide which one is the best:

“You really do own your illiteracy, don’t you?”
“Yeah, I’m thinking about moving to America and running for public office.”

“For a gay, you are far too sensitive about your arsehole.”

“It was just a dick, looking at a dick, asking why he was always such a dick.”

This book had me cackling out loud several times and it was the right amount of funny and sweet, so I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good romcom that uses all the right tropes (there’s only one bed ftw!!)

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read an early copy!

Guest Post – New Blogger 101: A Journey into starting your book blog

Hello my bookish people!

Today I’m here with @bellerosereads who was kind enough to write a guest post for you all! She is also fairly new to the book community and she is ready to share with you all her journey as a new book blogger! So, I will turn it over to her and wish you all a happy reading!

First of all, thank you so much Giuls for giving me the opportunity to write this post for your blog, this is my first guest post ever, so i’m really excited!

In this post I will tell you everything about being a new book blogger: what made me join the community, how I do to get organized for blogging, what I like (and dislike) about book blogging and more! Let’s get started, shall we?

Why did I join the community? And why YOU should!

As I often say, I wanted a place that was my own to talk about the books that I’ve read and/or want to read, but also about the reader’s life in general, and just about anything that could be related to the book life.

I think book blogging is a great choice if you want to control one-hundred percent how people see your content, and it also gives you so many options! You can do reviews, participate on blog tours, do all the book recommendations and bookish lists you’d like, and just add your personal twist and even add original sections that can only be found on your blog. This is such a big wide world where everything is possible if you know how to make it work.

My concerns as a book blogger newbie

As I mentioned before, since the book blogging world is so big and full of possibilites, it is totally normal to be overwhelmed by everything. How do I get someone to actually read my content? Should I follow a schedule, and what the best one would be? What is Netgalley and how does that even work?

That was what was going through my mind just a few months ago, so I’ll try to answer the ones I’ve already figured out for those who are currently trying to start.

First I’d like to clarify that just because you have many questions about how everything works, it doesn’t mean you should give up. Write down all the doubts you have and then take your time to inform yourself, one question at the time. Having all that floating around your head is not going to take you anywhere, it’ll only stress you out and make you lose time.

  • How many time should I spend working on my blog before launching it?

As much as you need. I started working on bellerosereads on early February, and I took my sweet time making it a space I’d like to see for a long time. What you can do to not take forever designing your blog (and your first posts), once again is writing down everything you think you need to do before launching.

  • Do I need to be present on other social media?

Actually yes. What you don’t need is to be on every social media. I have my blog, my Twitter account and my Pinterest, and that’s about everything. No bookstagram, as I’m not able to at the time. But you need at least one social media account to promote what you post and join the book community, which takes me to point three…

  • How do I get people to read my content?

This one worried me the most. I had barely zero followers, I did not know how to make someone read my content without popping up in people’s profiles, which you should NEVER do. Later I find out Twitter has a very welcoming and kind book blogger community. For people to read your content, you need to read people’s contents as well. Engage with those blogs you love and comment on them regularly, interact through other social medias and follow other book bloggers. That’s the best way to actually do it.

  • Do I need a schedule for posting?

This, only you can answer. You’re the only one who knows if sticking to a posting schedule is what makes you the happiest or if you prefer to post whenever you’d like instead. Personally, having a schedule helps me to avoid stress and burnout.

Stay organized while book blogging

I think that when you start, it is really important to find an organizing system so you don’t find yourself stressed out by the many things you need to do to keep your blog active. I’ll share you what I do to stay organized since I started blogging on March:

  • Have an editorial calendar. Mine is in an Excel document and it includes: when will I write the post, when will I make the images for the post and when will I actually post it. Each of these under a different color.
  • Post on the same days each week. I post on Wednesdays and Sundays, and have other days to edit my images and do other things.
  • Set daily, weekly and monthly goals. So you know what you’re working towards. Do you want 100 followers by the end of the month? Writing this down will encourage you to ask yourself what you need to do in order to accomplish the goal.
  • Don’t procrastinate, but know your limits. It’s important you give priority to your mental health. If you don’t want to do something because it makes you anxious or stressed just thinking about it, then don’t. Focus on the things that make you happy and remember that what’s really important is that you find joy in what you do.

What I like (and dislike) from book blogging

I’ve loved…

  • The book blogger community. It’s full of very kind and warm people that have made me feel so welcomed. It encourages me to keep being here everyday.
  • The motivational environment. Since I’ve started, I have been thinking on new ways to improve my content and bring new things, and it makes me so motivated! I has helped me dealing with some things on my personal life and just being happier in general.
  • Discovering new books. Just when I thought I didn’t have more ways to discover new books, book blogging proved me wrong! I’ve discovered some fantastic reads that have gone straight to my TBR list.
  • Improving my english. Before starting my blog I didn’t have the opportunity to write in English as much, and now I find myself improving my English as time passes and I write more content!

I haven’t loved…

  • My Netgalley / Edelweiss experience. It kind of puts me down everytime I get denied a request on these sites, but I understand why I don’t get approved as much and i’m currently working on improving my feedback ratio and supporting read now books.
  • When life happens. You wouldn’t know this but I have some obstacles that many of those that are reading this right now don’t have, starting with the internet. No, I don’t have WiFi service right now, so you can’t imagine how harder it is for me to stay active. I have to edit and publish my posts on my phone because that’s the only way I can right now, and it’s very frustrating.

That’s all for this post! Thank you once again to Giuls for giving me the opportunity to do this for her blog. If you want to see more content made by me, you can find me in my blog, bellerosereads!

Giuls again here! Thanks again to bellerosereads for writing this amazing guest post, make sure you follow her blog and check out her wonderful content!

Bookish hugs,

Giuls

Lost Girl – Review

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Hello my bookish people!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher!

Lost Girl, A Shelby Day Novel, is a book about following your passions, kicking ass and letting yourself feel things deeply. What made this book different to me was the fact it featured a young reporter going after her dreams, despite being mentally ill. It’s so important to me to see a positive representation of mentally ill women, being one.

Shelby Day is a Jewish twentysomething suffering from PTSD who comes from a rich family, but nonetheless wants to make it on her own. That’s why, she leaves LA and her family home to pursue her passion as reporter.

In a small town where nothing important really happens, a murder of two teenage girls in their home shock the community and changes Shelby’s life. Aside from being the most important story of her career, Shelby feels a strong connection with the murdered girls and can’t let go of the story, even when she starts receiving death threats. But she must unravel the mystery fast or she will be the killer’s next victim.

I really loved the character of Shelby, her being headstrong and passionate but also incapable of sharing her true feelings. I have to say I found a lot of myself in her and it honestly feels so good when a few pages in, you can already see that you’re going to get attached to a character.

My favorite part of the book was a dialogue that Shelby was having with Jack about her mental illness. It felt so raw and real and it’s so important to normalize this and try to eliminate the stigma.

“Did something I say trigger you?”
“No, sometimes they just happen.”
“How often?”
[…] “Often enough. Meds help, but it’s always there. My whole family is the same way. I swear it’s like Jew disease. PTSD is in our DNA. We’re all carrying on the suffering of our ancestors.”
“Why’d you pick such a stressful job if you’re anxious all the time?”
“I’m a mess no matter what. Might as well do what I want.”

I’ll never stop screaming about how perfect this whole scene is. Thank you, Holly Kammier.

The story is quick paced and unpredictable, and I really enjoyed following Shelby in her adventures and seeing her finally open up to the possibility of love.

I wish we could have known more about her past, especially about her relationship with her mother, but I get that the book was relatively short and focused on her resolving the murders, rather than her past. Shelby wanted to let go of her past and be brand new, so it kinda makes sense that we only know who she is now.

To sum up, I really loved both the plot and the characters, and the writing style was fluid and it kept me hooked. I would recommend it to anyone who loves a good mystery story and badass female characters.

Click here to add it to Goodreads, I hope you enjoy it!

This was a 4-star reading for me. Thank you for reading!

Bookish hugs,

Giuls

WWW Wednesday (22.04.2020)

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhytm and is now on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Current read

I received an ARC of this book, and let me tell you, I’m loving it so much! The first paragraph had me laughing out loud and the characters are around my age (I’m 26), so they’re supposed to be adults, but they’re actually hot messes, which makes it really entertaining and validating. You’ll be getting a review soon, so stay tuned!

Recently finished

I loved this book so much, Benjamin Alire Sáenz has a knack for finding his way into your heart, you can’t help but fall for his words. (Thanks Cory for helping me with the English language lmao) I highly recommend this to any YA lovers and you can find my full review here.

Reading next

I loved Hot Dog Girl, so I can’t wait to read this! It came out yesterday, so if you’re unsure what to read now, I recommend picking this up and then telling me what you think!

Let me know what y’all are reading!

Bookish hugs,

Giuls