My reading routine

Around the time I became inactive with my blog, I also stopped reading regularly. Maybe it was because I was burnt out from the blogging part of it, or maybe it was because I found myself occupying my time with a lot of other activities, but I just couldn’t get myself to read much anymore. It was about a year of taking a “reading break” that I finally missed reading. It wasn’t that I had completely stopped. I just wasn’t obsessing over getting as many books read as possible. And that changed everything.

At first, I decided to pick up a random book and give it a go. It took me months to get through it. I’d read a few pages every few days, sometimes not touching it for weeks. Then a couple months ago, I finally decided to start a new book and try and get through quicker, but no pressure. Again, it took me much longer than “normal” for me to get through it. But towards the end of the book, either it got a lot more interesting (which it didn’t, really, actually) or I finally got back into my reading groove. Either way, I’ve finally gotten back into a routine that involves me reading regularly. And it’s really nice.

Some people find it weird, but I can have cereal pretty much every day for breakfast. That’s just the way its been for years and I haven’t gotten tired of it yet. Of course I mix it up by changing up my cereals ;) But while eating breakfast, instead of scrolling through my phone or watching TV or even doing something else while eating, I’ve been reading. Normally this means I’ll sit at the table for longer than it takes me to eat and I manage to get about thirty minutes of reading done. And that’s really nice too. Thirty minutes might not seem like a lot to many of you readers out there, but for me it’s pretty perfect. Sometimes before I go to sleep at night, I also read a bit more. That’s a whole 30 mins+ more of reading! That’s kind of amazing for me considering I haven’t been reading at all in about a year. Some days when I have more time, I do read a little more.

The point is that it no longer feels like an obligation the way it did towards the end of my blogging days. Which didn’t end either because I would still come back every once in a while a post a review. And today I happened to miss blogging too, so I decided to take myself to a local coffee shop and write up a post. Otherwise, I would’ve sat at home watch The Office (which is sort of a current obsession of mine, which is really weird for me to admit) and now that I’ve done this, I remembered that I used to love doing this when I had no pressure to meet deadlines or post daily, etc. Know what I mean?

Do you have reading routines also? Do you ever feel like blogging takes away from the magic of “reading for fun”? 

Review | Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Review | Mockingjay by Suzanne CollinsMockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games #3
Publication: Scholastic Press on August 24th 2010
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
one-half-stars
My name is Katniss Everdeen.
Why am I not dead?
I should be dead.


Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans--except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay--no matter what the personal cost.

I’m not even sure if I was expecting Mockingjay to be any good because I loved The Hunger Games and Catching Fire so much. But I know I wasn’t expecting to be so disappointed either. The first two books gave me all the feels and I expected no less from the third. While there were some parts that were redeeming, for the most part, I didn’t like Mockingjay.

The best thing about the first books, for me, were the characters. I loved Katniss and fell in love with the boy with the bread, Peeta, with her. I adored her sister Prim and wanted nothing more than to run away with Gale, but Mockingjay was different. While we spend a considerable more time with the main people in her life, I didn’t love them the same way.

Maybe the author’s writing changed, or maybe because the setting was so different from the first two or maybe it was because Katniss was such a weak character in the third book, but my love for the characters was altered and I just read the book to finish it. It took me a lot longer than the others to get through too. But once I was done, I tossed it to the side and thought “Well that sucked,” and moved on to the next book.

So unfortunately my love for The Hunger Games ended there. I still love the first two books but I have to think of them separately from the third which is lame.

one-half-stars

The time I decided to keep my blog.

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A few weeks ago I considered deleting my blog. My five year blogoversary had come and gone and I had completely missed it. It didn’t even cross my mind until a few weeks later.

I realized a few things then.. 1) I didn’t really care about this little blog of mine like I had in the past and 2) regardless of that, I didn’t want to delete it. There are a few reasons why. While I may have never been really active or popular or a fast reader, it has been a place for me to keep track of my books. That was one of the main reasons why I even started incorporating books into my blog when I first started. At Barnes and Noble I had picked up a book journal to keep track of what I was reading and how I liked it, but I decided that keeping an online journal of that was much better. Also, I have worked pretty hard with all the reviews and such that I have stored away so I can’t just delete them.

Does this mean this is the end for my blog and I won’t be posting anymore? Nope. I like writing up my thoughts about books for myself. I never requested review books and that was never the purpose of my blog. I know is is for some book blogs, but not mine. In fact, I’ve never really been able to call myself a “reviewer” because I never felt like I was one. I was just reading books and blabbing about them here.

So there. I’m not gone but I don’t expect you to stick around. You can stop by and say hi sometime, but you don’t have to. This time, this blog is for me.

xoxo,

Cindy

P.S. I have deleted most of my social media accounts — Instagram for the blog, my personal Facebook and for the blog, personal Twitter, all Tumblr accounts, and both Pinterest accounts. I am debating deleting my Twitter for the blog..but then how will you ever get ahold of me?

 

Monday Missions #1

A weekly feature created by Daisy from A Thousand Lives of Daisy where I share the books I plan on reading for the week.

This weeks TBR:

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Feed by Mira Grant
The Raft by S.A. Bodeen

Review | Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Review | Catching Fire by Suzanne CollinsCatching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games #2
Publication: Scholastic Press on September 1st 2009
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
five-stars
Sparks are igniting.
Flames are spreading.
And the Capitol wants revenge.


Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol - a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

I’m not exactly sure where to start with this one. I can begin by saying I was dreading it. Dreading to continue The Hunger Games series and find out what happens next and where it was going. I steered clear of any reviews of  Catching Fire because I learned my lesson when I read the first book ( I accidentally read the first few lines of the synopsis of Catching Fire while in the middle of The Hunger Games so I knew how it would end!) and I didn’t know what to expect. I’m just happy to say I wasn’t disappointed. Catching Fire still left me with too much love for all the characters involved and I didn’t know what to do myself after I was done reading it.

I had no idea what to expect when I finally picked up Catching Fire, had no idea where the story was going. I began reading it shortly after the movie trailer aired for the first time and I refused to watch it because I had no idea what was going to happen. I find that’s also really difficult to write my thoughts on this without sharing every possible detail about the book, and I hate spoilers!

So let me keep this simple: Collins writing was just as good, if not better, in Catching Fire and I was captivated not only by the plot, but by the characters development, the pace and everything that was happening. The book takes off quickly and things start rolling along so fast, that I was literally shocked and glued to the book. Also, there are so many twists in this one! The romance, of course, is still there and crucial in the story’s development. We were able to see a lot more about the relationships between Katniss/Peeta/Gale, but we also learn a lot more about these characters and I really loved them so much more.

There is not much else I can really say except that I loved Catching Fire. I can’t say I loved it more than The Hunger Games (because it will always have a special place in my heart) but I do maybe love it just as much.  Definitely a great sequel in the series and I recommend it to everyone who has already read the first book in the series and is hesitant like I was to continue.

 

five-stars