Niki’s Book Journal [June 2018]

Niki’s Book Journal [June 2018]

This month saw the official launch (on my blog) of my Overflowing Bookshelf Challenge. Along with that went a complete library reorganization and newfound commitment to getting a handle on my overwhelming physical TBR.

Last month I complained that I wasn’t good at prioritizing time to read – something I really wanted to change. I feel as though I’ve made excellent strides by setting myself a few goals. They included a stricter “bedtime” of 11:30 (where I don’t actually have go to sleep, I just need to be in bed with a book winding down from the day). My goals also entail setting my phone out of reach when sitting down to read. If my phone is handy, I grab it. I found myself picking it up to “check something” on average every two pages because I guess my addicted brain can’t focus without extra stimulation at the point (it’s maddening). In any case, both of those things seemed to work, and I got through at least twice as many pages in June than previous months. Win.

Now if I can only bust through five times my normal, I’ll get through my collection in no time. ;)

On to the Mini Reviews:

Saint's Blood by Sebastien De Castell

Saints Blood (Greatcoats #3) by Sebastien de Castell [3.5/5 stars]

Even though Saints Blood contained my least favorite story components of the series, I still was 100% totally on board with the writing and the characters. De Castell manages to strike a brilliant balance between making you cringe at truly awful events and making you laugh at the way the main characters think about and handle them. You know you shouldn’t be laughing because of what just happened, but the Greatcoats are just so damn funny you can’t help yourself. All I can say is, de Castell has completely won me over from the rough start in book 1, and I’m genuinely excited to finish the series out (and move on to Spellslinger).

White Hot by Ilona Andrews

White Hot (Hidden Legacy #2) by Ilona Andrews [4/5 stars]

These authors continue to impress me with their ability to deliver consistently amazing stories filled with action, romance, mystery, magic, and a whole lot of fun. What I liked most about White Hot is how it advanced the overall arc of the trilogy, and how we got to dig a little deeper into what makes Rogan tick. What I didn’t care for too much in this one was the behavior of Nevada – she came off really stubborn and immature at times (a trademark of Kate Daniels is that she’s stubborn, but she usually at least acknowledges the irrationality and uses it to calculatingly prove a point… Nevada was just being petty). The dynamic didn’t work for me, but it was a small issues in the whole scheme of how much I’m enjoying this series. It’s very much on par with what you can expect from an Ilona Andrews novel, and I’m eager to devour all the things they’ve written. 

Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi

Zoe’s Tale (Old Man’s War #4) by John Scalzi [4/5 stars]

Discovering that this cheeky sci-fi series continued book 4 with an even cheekier YA POV was a bag of mixed emotions. I haven’t had the best luck with YA lately, but I loved the character Zoe. If anyone could pull off integrating this unconventional new perspective into an adult series, it would be Scalzi. Happily, I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it may have revitalized the series for me. At first I was a bit bored with it’s shared (or dual) timeline with Last Colony (book 3) because I’m not the biggest fan of backtracking. However, Scalzi quickly shifted focus to new events that actually added to the “big picture” of what happened in Last Colony and, as a result, improved my opinion of both perspectives. The end of Zoe’s Tale was particularly satisfying, and overall it reinvigorated my interest in the series. Nice. :)

Broken (Women of the Otherworld #6) by Kelley Armstrong [3.5/5 stars]

Broken was a decent bounce-back from Haunted, with the added benefit of Elena once again as the POV. I’d heard this was another Elena book before diving in, and I admit to setting some expectations that it would also be another “werewolf” book with all the same intense feels as the first two. Er… kind of not the case. If anything, I’d call this a “zombie” book – a hybrid of Elena’s great POV and the plot structure of the Paige books. Not a bad combination, because it made for a fun mystery read, but I’d be remiss if it didn’t admit I missed a little of that carnal component that was so strong in the first book (not just the sex, but the overall intensity between every character). Even so, I’m at the point in the series where storylines and characters are starting to cross and I’m loving the convergence enough to keep my enthusiasm pumped for what’s to come. As with Haunted, Armstrong incorporated a mystery based on real world infamous criminals (Jack the Ripper, in this case), and I appreciate how creatively they’re being integrated into this supernatural world. I hope this book marks the upward swing of the series. :)

Overall, I think I’m on my way to establishing good reading habits, but I still have a lot of work to do. My question for you is: when do you prioritize time to read? Is it something you have to work at?

by Niki Hawkes

15 comments on “Niki’s Book Journal [June 2018]

  1. Ahoy there matey! I actually discovered Scalzi through Zoe’s Tale. It be the book I read first and still remains me favourite. I absolutely thought he captured the voice of a young female girl well. And I loved Tick & Tock. Lovely post matey! Glad the time changes be working for ye.
    x The Captain

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Captain! :)

      ::giggles:: hickory and dickory? Haha I like tick and tock better. ;) they were my favorites too. The ending with them was killer. If I had read this book first, I think I would’ve liked it more because it wouldn’t have been a repeating storyline. As it stands, I think the first book is still my favorite with this as a close second. :)


  2. I find that I have to close the laptop and put it out of sight when reading otherwise I’ll jump on to add something at Librarything from the book and then I “have” to check this and before you know it, 30min are gone and I’ve not read a page.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Ilona Andrews’ series is soo good!!! And I’ve started the Greatcoats one, but I have read justvthe first book… I need the second!!! :)
    Usually I read between things and maybe in the evening, if I feel like it. Usually I do something at home (house-chores, blogging, watch a tv series, whatever) and when I’m done I read a little bit, and then start something else, read again, and repeat!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nice, do you find you’re able to put down distractions and read in the evenings pretty easily? I think my biggest issue is too many alternative things to do around me (like playing an inane app on my phone lol).

      Liked by 1 person

      • I often struggle with those kinds of distractions as well. Animal Crossing Pocket Camp is absorbing much of my attention right now!

        I usually just try my best to set aside any potential interruptions in the evenings. I have the best luck with reading in bed, although it can still be a challenge to leave the phone alone!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha what does it say about my bad habits that the first thing I thought was “oooh!! That sounds like an app I’d like!” Then proceeded to look it up. 🤦‍♀️ I think reading before bed is my best hope too.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s cool to hear your reading strategies! I like to listen to an audio book in the car, and I get several pages of reading done during my lunch hour at work. Cell phone needs to stay in another room though…lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I spend so much brain power thinking about reading strategies that it’s almost a physical relief to write them down. I’m glad I’m not the only one with cell phone issues haha. I just can’t manage to leave it alone if it’s near me.


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