January 2018 Wrap Up

Is doing a monthly wrap up a week after the month has gone acceptable? Is this the same as leaving Christmas decorations up till mid January? The month has just gone by so fast! I haven’t done much this month other than read a couple of books and watching a TON of Netflix, getting every dollar’s worth from the monthly fee (I’m not addicted, I’m just being cost efficient cough cough). Currently in month 3 of my 4 month post high school holiday and I’m seriously considering extending this holiday into the rest of my life… I DON’T WANT TO GO BACK TO STUDYING 😦

Reading Log

I actually read quite a lot compared to the tragic year of reading that was 2017… buuuut I didn’t write that many reviews. I read 6 books but only wrote 1 review. I have no idea how people can write more than like 3 reviews in a month, just writing one takes me a whole week! Serious question though, are you guys actually aliens who can speed read and speed review?

Along for the RideThe Chaos of Standing StillBegin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA AnthologyLove Between Enemies (Grad Night, #2)The Loneliest Girl in the UniverseDefy the Stars (Constellation, #1)

Standouts of January:
  • The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody | Just so many feels. Also the airport conspiracy theories are amazing. Check out my review for it by clicking here
  • #LoveOzYA Anthology | A lot of anthologies don’t work but this one is some quality stuff! All the stories are unique and interesting in their own ways. I love how the authors weave in diversity throughout all their stories. Can honestly say I am proud to be an Aussie because this book exists 😀
  • The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James | This books is freaking creepy and suspenseful as hell. I couldn’t sleep after I read it. That’s how I knew it was good.
  • Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray | I feel like Claudia Gray gets better with every new series she releases. Her Evernight series was average at best. The Firebird series was good and Defy the Stars is an excellent book. The romance was what drew me in but the book delivered it in a surprisingly poignant way that I can’t wait to read more about in the next book!

Netflix Log

It only seems appropriate to dedicate a part of this monthly wrap up post to my new found obsession with all things Netflix.

I got back into Doctor Who thanks to Netflix! I’ve seen all of Ninth Doctor episodes before and really enjoyed them so now I’ve been (slowly) watching the Tenth Doctor episodes. So far, my favourite has to be The Girl in the Fireplace. THE ENDING THOUGH 😦

This month has also been a lot of me watching some trashy shows/guilty pleasures. For some people, it’s reality shows but for me it’s teenage drama shows. I watched most of Backstage season 1 and finished Free Rein (you can see my rant on it here). I’m still not over how

I also watched some Japanese dramas. Mischievious Kiss was honestly just me cringing the whole way though but My Little Lover was surprisingly good! I know the title sounds super lame but it kind of works?

And right before January finished, I started Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and I’m hooked. It’s hilarious and everyone is weird which makes it even better!

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Instagram Log

Protip: taking photos in daylight is ALWAYS better than artificial light. Also paper stars are excellent filler. So happy with how these photos turned out!

Anyways, that’s my January in one post. Here’s to a great February (or what’s left of it by the time I post this lol)

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Top Ten Tuesdays | TBR books that I’ve had since dinosaurs roamed the earth

It’s Tuesday and you all know what that means! Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s TTT is the books that have been on your TBR lists forever but you still haven’t gotten around to them. top ten tues books

  • The Art of Wishing by Lindsay Ribar | Fluffly high school romance and teenage genies? Sign me up! Why haven’t I read this yet??
  • Storm by Amanda Sun | The second book wasn’t that good so I could pass on this one. Plus that cover just doesn’t match the other two at all so… NOPE YOU’RE NOT GOING ON MY SHELF
  • Rebel by Amy Tintera | All the feels from Reboot just came back into my head omg
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness | A few years ago, I read one chapter and was turned off by the writing style. Now it’s just sitting in my TBR (possibly forever)
  • Wings by Elizabeth Richards | Maybe I just have something against third books?

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  • Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson | I have no excuse. The cover is gorgeous, the blurb is mysterious and the author is amazing.
  • The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan | Heroes of Olympus was pretty bad but Magnus Chase was surprisingly good so I might pick this up? I just have to accept that no character will ever be as great as Percy first…
  • The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi | The blurb sounds really interesting and it’s does some cool mythology fusion. I don’t know, what do you guys think of it?
  • Vicious by V.E. Schwab | Or any book by V.E. Schwab for that matter because apparently all her books are amazing.
  • The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson | And to finish off another Morgan Matson book. I’ve read so many good reviews on it so I’m definitely picking it up soon!

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What was on your list this week? Am I crazy for not reading these books yet?

 

Finding Where to Find Books 101

finding books

As most of you know, Goodreads puts together a personalised year in review at the end of each year. I was flicking through my 2017 one when I realised something: I have a contemporary YA addiction. I should join a Contemporary Anonymous group or something because out of the 19 books I read last year, 13 of those were, you guessed it, contemporaries. But Prima, maybe it was a fluke (or maybe it’s just because of the small sample size, my more scientific side says)? But go back to 2016, contemporary still wins out with 34 out of 54 books. WHAT’S GOING ON?

I have nothing against other YA genres. In fact, I used to be so into YA fantasy when I was younger. Escaping into these fantasy worlds was an adventure. But as I grew older, I was more drawn to emotions and relationships in the books I read. I just found fantasy to be too cookie cutter most of the time. But I want to diversify my reading list this year and that means finding out where to find books. I know it’s kind of like making a plan C before plan B, but that’s how serious I am. There’s only so many cutesy but cliche rom com like books that I can read before actually turning crazy 😁

Finding Where to Find Books 101

Book blogs/ your friends (or maybe your friend who’s a book blogger)

Book blogs are great for finding those hidden gems. With tons of bloggers with different book preferences, you’re guaranteed to find a good read. Plus people can personally vouch for the book (you can thank/fangirl with them later 😉) Same goes for friends. I actually started Percy Jackson because my friend gave me the first book as a birthday present. I was kind of reluctant to start it because the cover (she got me the movie tie in version) was so weird and seemed like a boy book… keep in mind I was like 11 ok! 6 years on and PJO is still one of my favourite series.

ARCs will save you (and your money)

Funnily enough, when I was thinking of the ways blogging has made me read more I thought of the eARCs that I got approved for. I’ll be honest, I’m not that particular about what I request. If someone gives me free reads, I’ll take it! This really exposed me to a greater variety of genres and styles, kind of like buying a book at random. I did this a lot in 2016 so I ended up reading books I would normally never pick up

Buying/borrowing books at random

I still love going to the shops and staring at their book offerings. There’s just something about seeing all the book spines lined up that makes it so easy to pick a book at random and go for it. The books with pretty spines always win this way (yes Mortal Instruments, I’m looking at you. Why do you make me second guess whether I need double copies of the same book???)

Goodreads???

The multiple question marks are there because I don’t feel like Goodreads is necessarily the best tool for finding books. I know it’s great for socialising with other book nerds but they don’t really do much to help you find books. Also their recommendations are pretty bad, let’s be real.

What is the weirdest way you’ve found a favourite book? I’d love to hear your stories!

Hello World… Again!

After my fail of book blogging over the past year and a half – that is the total lack of posting – I think it’s a good time to re-introduce myself.

Hi! My name is Prima. I’m 17, fresh out of high school. Since my final exams finished a very long 2 weeks ago, I’m in a permanent “What now?” mood. After 2 weeks of sleeping in till midday and staying in bed until the afternoon watching Youtube, I’m finally ready to regain my love of reading and blogging.

Confession time: over the past year and a half, I’ve kind of grown out of my fascination with YA.  Honestly, I’m sick of the tropes and the ships, the expected romances but for some reason all I can read is YA. Refer to my Goodreads Reading Challenge for proof.

Reading has always been fun for me until high school just made it…. well those who are in and have been in high school know what I mean. The constant analysing of textual integrity, author purpose and literary techniques shattered my enjoyment of reading trashy rom com books. However, it did open me up to the idea of reading for something other than enjoyment, for understanding of humanity and the power of language.

So I’m back but with extra deepness and realness. Before I sometimes wrote posts in a way that seemed really unnatural to me and I’m going to try to express everything in a way that is truthful to me. Honestly, I’m just warning you for the awkwardness and bad jokes you might feel through my future posts 😀

Where am I going with Panda Hearts Books? I’ve always wanted to do more bookstagramming and now I have a decent phone camera, now’s a good time as any! I’m also going to figure out a solid theme (hopefully soon) and how to use Twitter (hopefully also soon) (also follow me on Twitter… is this how you self promote lol). Will try and get into the hang of regular posting.

Anyways, first thing I’m going to tackle is my currently reading list, on which some books have been on for months:

  • All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
  • Warcross – Marie Lu
  • Renegades – Marissa Meyer
  • Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo
  • The Impossible Vastness of Us – Samantha Young

Looking for some other great books to read. Comment down below some of your recent faves!

♥ Prima

Reading Slump Pity Party

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(Source)

And here we are again at my annual reading and blogging slump, 2 (or is it 3 now?) months and counting. I can solve one of those problems by posting so here’s a post 😀

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Welcome to the first session of the Reading Slump Pity Party. While other blogs may provide some actual helpful advice on reading slumps, we here on Panda Hearts Books are here to sit next to you on the floor and cry with you. I know it’s tough but we can all get through it if we stick together. Yes, there might be tears and blood shed along the way, but it’ll be worth it. Let’s discuss the 5 stages of the reading slump:

1. Denial  | The “I’m just in the middle of a slow bit, it’ll be over soon” stage

Take for example Passenger by Alexandra Bracken which I started in March and still haven’t finished. To this day, I will swear on my right hand that I’ll finish it. Ah, yes the taste of sweet sweet denial.

2. Anger | The “WHY AM I STILL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SLOW BIT?” stage

Ok, so a month later and the book still hasn’t been read. Just stay calm, it will happen. UGH THIS IS PAIN! I SHOULD BE FLYING THROUGH IT LIKE I NORMALLY DO!!

3. Bargaining | The “Ok, I’ll watch some Youtube then read before I sleep”

We all know you ain’t coming back from Youtube, it’s a deep dark hole.

4. Depression | The “I’m a terrible reader. I’ve let down the whole book community” 

Maybe in between this bookish existential crisis you read a couple of books but you just hate all of them… ALL OF THEM! How is that even possible? And then you go back into the crisis and just lie on the floor.

5. Acceptance | The “Yes, I am in the middle of a slump” stage

Say it with me “I am undergoing a slump and that’s ok.” Ask your friends for some recommendations, scan your Goodreads for something to read and say you’ll pick up a book soon. Good. Now you can go back to lying on the floor again.

… But seriously, in need for books that give me feels.

♥ Prima