Last Week’s Reads (and DNFs), Currently Reading, and My First Audiobook

For this month, I’ve decided to avoid a set TBR and just read whatever I feel like reading.

It’s going pretty well, so far! There’s two sides to it, though. On the upside, I love not having to force myself to read a book I’m not in the mood for. When I pick up a book I’m in the mood to read, I enjoy the story so much more. On the downside, there are some days when I can’t figure out what the heck I’m in the mood to read, so I read nothing….

Last week was a bit of a doozy for me. I haven’t DNF’d a book in about a year. UNTIL NOW.


Finished

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By Your Side | Kasie West

Initial Thoughts:Β I thought this was a pretty cute book. I liked the main characters (their friends, not so much) and the romance was sweet with a side of fluff and hardship. It wasn’t the perfect contemporary but I like how it included a character that suffered from anxiety and another character caught up in the foster system. Both of those issues weren’t fully fleshed out, but they were present and added a bit of diversity to the story. I was also a bit surprised (and slightly disappointed) at how short the library segment was in comparison to the rest of the story. I’d still probably give the book 3.5 to 4 stars!

DNF'd

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Bluescreen | Dan Wells

I was really excited to read this book for two reasons (1) Look at that cover. SO COOL. (2) I haven’t read a cyberpunk novel but I’m a fan of the genre because of movies I’ve watched like Total Recall (1990), Blade Runner, Ghost in the Shell, and Matrix.

I had to DNF this book once I realized that after 100 pages, I didn’t like ANY of the characters and I could care less about their well-being. The plot was really slow and the depiction of Mexican and Mexican American culture and language/slang felt really…insincere? Caricatured? It didn’t sit right with me. Felt like the author was google translating phrases and was leaning into Mexican stereotypes pretty hard.

It’s not a total bomb, though. The cybernetic diction and world-building were pretty good. Other than that, I had to pass this one up.

Currently Reading

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Cold Summer | Gwen Cole

I’m only a few chapters in but I’m really enjoying it so far. I love time travel and I’ve always been interested in the World Wars. I’m excited to see these two elements combined!

My First Audiobook: Initial Thoughts

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Red Sister | Mark Lawrence

I’ve never listened to an audiobook before and I didn’t really know where to start. I’d heard a lot about this book in particular from some bloggers that I follow but I didn’t really pay attention because I don’t read adult fantasy often. But I was at the library, saw an audio version of the book, and thought, what the heck. It’s not a book I’d buy or read anytime soon, so I thought I’d listen to it!

It’s taking me a while to get used to. I don’t know what to do while it’s playing. I can’t focus on any other activity other than cleaning while I’m listening to it, so I just awkwardly sit in bed at night. Is that weird? And the narrator is slightly ridiculous with the way she changes her voice for different characters. I really can’t take her seriously when she tries to affect a male’s cockney accent, an old woman, AND a very young girl. It’s too much. But the story’s good enough for me to look past that!

I’m only a few chapters in but I can tell the writing is phenomenal as are the characters. I think this’ll be a good experience by the end. I’ll update y’all on my final thoughts once I get through it all πŸ™‚


All right then! That’s all for now! Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see ya soon!Β 

Azia Sig

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30 thoughts on “Last Week’s Reads (and DNFs), Currently Reading, and My First Audiobook

  1. It’s always kind of disappointing to DNF a book after a long time, especially when you were excited to read it! Thankfully I have loved most of the books I’ve read in a while, except the ones set by my university course. I wasn’t excited about those tho so it’s okay πŸ˜…

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    1. It really is haha. I haven’t done it for so long because I’ve been lucky to be picking up some really fantastic books lately. So it was surprising to finally set a book aside. I usually try to push through, but I thought, what’s the point lol. Glad we’ve had luck in the majority of the books we’ve read! Some university books turn out to be pretty interesting! Most don’t though LOL. I definitely feel your pain haha

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  2. Ooh girl, for a hot minute I was like “You DNF’d BY YOUR SIDE?!” That sweet summer squash of a book got me into contemporaries again, and I haven’t seen anyone give it less than 3 stars yet, so I had a moment of shock there. I haven’t heard of Bluescreen before, but with those thoughts you’ve got, I doubt I’d like it. If I can’t click with the characters I can’t click with the book as a whole, in my experience. I’ve heard some things about Cold Summer, mostly positive, but not very much hype. I’m glad to hear you’re liking it. I plan on getting around to it one of these days, haha.

    Red Sister sounds like it’ll be a great experience. I know the first time I listened to an audiobook (Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews) I couldn’t stop laughing at the super-thick Southern accent RenΓ©e Raudman used for Derek, or the growl-y voice for Curran. I’ve listened to all 9 books in that series + two other novels read by RenΓ©e, and you get used to the voice changes after a little while as you get sucked into the story. It did take me a while to figure out what to do with myself when I wasn’t in the car (which is where I listen to the majority of my audiobooks) but I ended up doing puzzles, especially Picross, or coloring while I listen to the books. That way I’m not sitting and staring at nothing, and doing something simple like coloring while I read allows me to zone out and put most of my attention into listening. Maybe that’ll help you! Also, if you still feel weird about the voices for multiple characters, I highly suggest trying a book with an ensemble cast, such as Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. That one in particular is my favorite, with 166 narrators including Nick Offerman (and his wife Megan), Julianne More, Jeffrey Tambor, Carrie Brownstein, Rainn Wilson, Susan Sarandon, and many more. Every character has their own unique voice, which makes it easier to distinguish between them. Check out the clip at the bottom of this link to hear what a regular chapter sounds like: http://ew.com/books/2017/02/08/george-saunders-lincoln-in-the-bardo-the-greatest-audiobook/

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    1. I’m not sure how ANYONE could DNF By Your Side!! It’s so cute! πŸ˜€ It’s not my perfect contemporary but it sure is sweet. Dax is adorable! I love characters like him. And Autumn was adorable, too! I really liked how she wanted to play games while they were in the library. Bluescreen isn’t a complete disaster but I can’t really recommend it. The characters are just so…*imagine me with a crazy face, making the throttle gesture with my hands* Cold Summer was really good! But I don’t think it lived up to its fullest potential :/ I had some qualms with it, but none too serious. It’s a pretty good YA time travel book!

      Red Sister is going great so far! I’ve taken your advice and now I work on my coloring book and do word seek puzzles while listening. I feel so much better doing something while it’s playing in the background haha. I’ve slowly gotten used to the voice changes. There are some changes in there that still crack me up, but most of the time it doesn’t bother me too much πŸ˜€ Not quite there yet. So, I might just check out Lincoln in the Bardo. I can’t believe there are that many narrators!!! I think having different narrators for different characters is much more believable than one narrator trying to affect several different characters’ voices. But I’m definitely getting used to it. Thanks so much, Diana! I’ll definitely listen to that chapter and get back to you on my thoughts!

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  3. Oh I’m sorry to see you DNFed Bluescreen. I’ll admit the blurb sounds quite interesting and I like the idea of the cyberpunk genre as well, but given you haven’t enjoyed it I doubt it’ll be one I pick up anytime soon. I read one of Dan Wells other books, Partials, and quite enjoyed it but haven’t gotten around to any of his other releases. I am glad to see you enjoyed By Your Side though, and I hope you enjoy Cold Summer. I’ll be looking forwards to your reviews for both! πŸ˜€ ❀

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    1. That’s all right! I really wanted to like Bluescreen but I think it’s great that I allowed myself to DNF it. I usually don’t do DNFs and try to push through to the end. I’m tired of forcing myself to read books I’m not interested in, though. I heard Dan Wells had some pretty good books before Bluescreen. I might still give them a try. I heard Partials was one of the good ones! Cold Summer is pretty good, so far. A little slow but not unbearably so. I might do a flash review for it when I’m done! πŸ˜€

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      1. Oh god yes, no point reading a book you’re not interested in, part of me thinks that’s what leads to reading slumps when you force yourself to finish a book you’re not enjoying. I can’t remember much about Partials, I think it was a decent book but I never finished the series so not very stand out for me you know? πŸ™‚

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      2. I definitely think reading books you don’t want to read lead to reading slumps haha. I’ve learned that the hard way LOL. And if that’s the case with Partials, then I might not read it. I’ll read a few more reviews on the series to see if I really want to add it to my TBR! πŸ˜€

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      3. Honestly I haven’t experienced it that much. For me I’m never sure why I’m in a slump but when I am no matter what I’m reading in just not interested in. It’s why it took me years to finish Prodigy. πŸ™‚
        I’d definitely check out more reviews. I read it so long ago I can’t remember a lot about what happened, or what I thought you know?

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      4. Ah, I see. Sometimes those blogging slumps just come along because they feel like it haha. My slumps usually come from lack of books I’m excited to read or I have stress overload from work or school. That might change now that I’m out of school, but once I start working, I expect those clumps to come creeping back LOL
        Ah okay. Yeah, I’ll definitely have a review party for one and see if it’s going on the TBR or not πŸ™‚

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      5. Ah okay. There seem to be quite a few mood readers than I ever knew about haha. I’m just so used to reading with a strict TBR, I forgot there were other types of ways to read LOL. And glad you dodged that slump! Always sucks to be in one 😦

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      6. I’m actually starting to think mood readers are the most common, too. Most of my friends are mood readers. I was the only one going by a strict monthly TBR lol. Now I’ve become a bit of a mood reader myself! Might just stick with it for a while πŸ™‚

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    1. Good interesting or bad interesting? LOL I’ve read those books, so it might not hurt to try listening to an audio version of them! It’s taking me a while to get used to audios but I’m getting there πŸ™‚

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    1. I haven’t read that many NA books! Might just try it out on audio one day πŸ™‚ I’m really getting used to an audiobook! When I’m done with Red Sister, I’ll probably try a book by James Patterson lol. And thanks. I hope I come to love audios, too πŸ™‚

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  4. Sorry you didn’t enjoyed By Your Side much. I liked that book.. the him being a distraction part is cute. I was only disappointed that she got stuck in the library but she doesn’t like to read any books.

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    1. I enjoyed By Your Side, just not as much as I hoped to. It was still very cute, though! I’d read it again πŸ™‚ Lol, yeah it was a bit frustrating she didn’t read any of the books. Thought she and Daz would connect over literature but it didn’t happen that way, LOL

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