My Goings On in April:
- April was a bit better than March on the blogging front. I’m still blogging less than I used to, but I felt okay about the amount I got done, all things considering.
- Some of my homeschool co-op classes ended. My two acting classes are over, and we had our final performances. The kids did a great job! My middle school language arts class was supposed to be over, but the kids asked to keep meeting, so I gave them an optional extension (which over half the class took me up on). We’re reading Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu and comparing it to “The Snow Queen,” which it’s based off of. My One Year Adventure Novel class has just a couple more weeks to go!
- I started watching Fear the Walking Dead and A Series of Unfortunate Events while doing the elliptical. I’ve only watched the first couple episodes of each. ASoUE actually isn’t holding my attention all that well, even though it’s fun. I think it’s just not suspenseful enough to be a workout show. I switched to FtWD, and I think that works better. (Though I sometimes want to scream at the mom on the show for her stupidity—at least I’m still keeping my heart pumping!)
- My daughter started track (and is still doing swimming intermittently). Both of these sports have LONG events. Cold Saturday track meets are not fun!
Features & Discussions:
April 2018 Discussion Challenge & Giveaway – Link up any last April discussion posts here and enter to win!
APRIL FOOLS! Sunday Post & Giveaways Galore – Since April Fools’ landed on a Sunday this year, I decided to just write a wacky Sunday Post with fake news, off-the-wall pre-order giveaways, and tongue-in-cheek posts from around the blogosphere. It was great fun!
Why Is Voice in Writing So Hard? And Do You Think About It When You Read? Let’s Discuss.
Expectations About POC Names in Books. Let’s Discuss.
April 2018 Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up Link-Up – Make sure to link up your April wrap-up posts here!
My 2018 Reading Progress:
I’m still ahead of my Goodreads Reading goal! (Since I halved it this year.)
April 2018 Reviews
A few more reviews up than in March (but not many).
- Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi | Review | Rating: 5/5
- Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles | Review | Rating: 4/5
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain | Review | Rating: 4/5
- What Maya Saw by Shabnam Minwalla | Review | Rating: 3.5/5
- Picture Us In the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert | Review | Rating: 4.5/5
- The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things by Ann Aguirre | Review | Rating: 4/5
- Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi | Review | Rating: 4.5/5
- Dread Nation by Justina Ireland | Review | Rating: 4/5
April Best of the Bunch:
(Best of the Bunch is hosted over at Cocoon of Books. We link up our favorite reads of the month!)
Aru Shah was my only actual 5-star read this month (and it deserved it!).
Both Children of Blood and Bone and Picture Us In the Light were 4.5 stars, and I decided to let them share the spotlight with Aru because it’s so hard to compare MG to YA (and contemp to fantasy).
2018 Reading Challenges/Goals Progress:
If you didn’t see my update last month, I decided to stop doing most of my challenges. Priorities.
Status: 8/31-40 Discussions Posted
I should really just change my goal for the discussion challenge this year, but I’m leaving it and failing instead. Oh well.
Why Is Voice in Writing So Hard? And Do You Think About It When You Read? Let’s Discuss.
Expectations About POC Names in Books. Let’s Discuss.
Great Reasons to Get to Know Your Bookish Friends Better
Top 10 of 2017: Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2018
2017 End of Year Book Survey
My Writing & Reading Goals for 2018
My Book Outlet Weakness (& Why My Latest Haul Is All Your Fault)
Which Types of Reviews Are Most Effective? Let’s Discuss!
HOST/SIGN-UP LINK – Feed Your Fiction Addiction & It Starts at Midnight
Status: 22 points on the Rafflecopter this month
I don’t know exactly how many points I submitted this month, but it was at least 22 (probably a couple more). It was really close, so I went and added some reviews to B&N (which I don’t normally bother with). And our team actually won this month!
HOST/SIGN-UP LINK – Novel Knight
My 2018 Goals Progress:
Complete a second edit of my MG novel. Done! Attend a writing workshop. I signed up for one in June!
- Read more writing craft books/materials. Still doing okay, but I could definitely do better. Once homeschool co-op is over. (Of course, this is what I say about everything. We’ll see how realistic I’m being.)
- Finish the first draft of YA novel. I still haven’t moved back to my YA book, since I’ve been focusing on working with my CPs on the MG.
- Read one review book for every one that I request/receive. ) I got 5 review books this month (but 3 were unsolicited!) and posted reviews for 8, so that’s a big win! (So far for the year, I’ve received 29 and read 30, so I’m now one ahead! I’m chipping away at those older review books, which is great.)
- Read more middle grade. One of my eleven reviews was MG. Not too bad, but it could be better. I’ve read one more that I haven’t reviewed yet and I have another one started. (I’ve reviewed 5 MGs so far this year.)
- Work out! I actually did a little better on this in April. I really need to get serious about this because I think I’ve gained like 15 pounds in the past year or two. I don’t want to keep going in the wrong direction!
Don’t forget to link your April wrap-up posts up to the Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up! And check out the giveaway, which will be posted here on Feed Your Fiction Addiction right around the 7th!
It looks like you had a successful month! I read Dread Nation and really liked it, too. Hopefully I’ll get to read more middlegrade in May because I have that same goal. Happy May!
I’ve been really enjoying MG lately!
It feels good to be back as well. I’m hoping the spontaneous hiatus will be well behind me by now. But who knows?
I hope your May will be just as awesome as well.
I hope you’re feeling refreshed after your break!!
I’m glad to see both Children of Blood and Bone and Picture Us In The Light in your favorites for this month – I really want to read both and can’t wait to get my hands on them 😀 And congrats for being on top of your reviews, that’s the goal for me aha 😀
I hope you will have an amazing May! 🙂
I am actually really surprised I managed to keep on track with the review books, but I’ve been trying hard to be good about not requesting many!!
Congrats on being ahead of your Goodreads goal! I hope the weather warms up a little bit in time for some future track meets 🙂
It’s been much warmer here lately, so hopefully that bodes well for us!
I never thought about putting my point total for Beat the Backlist on my Monthly Wrap-Up, that’s a really good idea but I don’t know if I could be trusted to remember to see the final points on the last day of the month lol! And the more I think about it, I definitely see myself failing ha! Way to go for reading through a lot of your backlist last month and for being ahead of your Goodreads goal, that’s awesome!
I have to sort of estimate because I keep all my books on a spreadsheet and I keep my BtB entries on there too, but I don’t note which month I entered them. I’m fairly certain I had this correct, but it could be off my a couple.
I really want to read Aruh Shah! I happy to see it was worth a 5-star rating! <3
Don't feel bad about how much you blog or don't blog! People appreciate what you're able to do, and they understand when you need a break/have something else going on.
Yay! You're doing Beat the Backlist, too! I'm a Dewey Dragon. 🙂
Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?
So now I know you’re the competition and I should try to beat you at all costs!! (Okay, not really. It’s a fun challenge, right?)
Madison gets less annoying in Fear, I promise! Actually, I find her story arc quite fascinating- I like that the woman gets the focus in this one (and is hands DOWN a better leader than Rick Grimes could dream of being).
Does your daughter do the distance events? As a distance swimmer, I always loved when people complained about the long events because I was like- um hey, person over here who has to actually DO the thing? ?
UGH I feel you with the exercise! I had been making some progress, had lost weight, and then my life came crashing down and okay I guess yay that I didn’t gain it back but that isn’t good enough! I really wish I had time or money to go to a gym- really a pool, honestly, but alas! You’re doing awesome, keep up the great job 😀
I’m glad to hear that Madison gets better. I was fine when she walked up to the first dead guy all concerned-like, since she didn’t know what was going on. But when she did it AGAIN with the next zombie she saw, I was yelling at the TV, “The last guy tried to EAT you! Stop trying to take care of the zombies—you’re not their mom!!”
Danielle doesn’t run distance. It’s not the actual events that are long, it was the fact that we were there for eight hours (for her 1 minute or so of running and then the time it took her to do the long jump) and it was COLD outside! Swimming events can be long too (especially when we used to have to go to both sessions because the kids were in different age groups), but I much prefer that because we’re either indoors or outdoors on a nice day. Anyway, I suck it up and go to all of it because I love my kid. 🙂
The weight thing is sneaky—it creeps up on you. And I feel like every time I lapse, I get a little bit heavier, which isn’t good of course. This school year was just sort of brutal and I fell out of all my good habits. I need to build them up again!
Beat the Backlist sounds like a fun challenge! I’m only doing the Goodreads Reading Challenge this year, and despite setting my goal to its lowest number ever, I’m still behind, lol. Hope you have a great May!
I had to cut WAY back on challenges. It just makes sense for me right now.
I did okay with backlist books in April, but I’m hoping to get more in this month. We’ll see! I’m also hoping to work out more, and just focus better on eating well. I’m slowly getting more on track. You can do it too!!! 🙂
I do need to focus on eating better too. My Starbucks habit definitely doesn’t help!
Glad to hear April was a bit better! You definitely have a lot going on! I get seasonal blogging slump because how passionate I get at first with setting goals and all that and then because spring is usually so busy then I can totally achieve everything I wanted 🙂 Glad to hear the kids did great at their final performances! I didn’t like A Series of Unfortunate Events the book so I was hesitant to watch the series but many people are loving it [my sister among them] so I may still give it a try.
I was so looking forward to Dread Nation! My second most anticipated releases of 2018! I started reading it and I was loving the writing but then a blogger friend brought up to many attention something about the author and now I’m torn and down about it 🙁
I’m definitely not giving up on ASoUE. I like how quirky it is, but it wasn’t enough to motivate me to work out. 🙂
I need to read that Roshani book! You’re the second person to mention it!
You definitely should!
You had a great month! When my review books slow down, I hope to read Aru Shah and Picture Us in the Light. Both look wonderful.
It’s so hard to balance review books with all the other books we want to read, right?
Well, these are some good books you’ve read last month! I loved Aruh but I wasn’t very impressed by Children of Blood and Bone. Anyway, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed them 😀
Sorry you weren’t a fan of CoBaB. I think the narrator for the audiobook really enhanced the experience for me.
I had Picture Us in the Light in my hand when I was in Barnes & Noble yesterday. Came so close to buying it but ended up putting it back and telling myself I would check my library for it. I just know I need to read that book!
Well, definitely pick it up at the library! 🙂
You were a busy bee! Big ups for being ahead in your Goodreads challenge. I have set mine at one book the last two years to use as a page counter. Ha ha. I need to read Children of Blood and Bone. I didn’t get approved for an ARC, so I am waiting to borrow it from the library. I hope I love it because I want to buy a hardcover for my shelves. Here’s to another great reading month.
That’s a great idea to basically just use your GR goal as a page counter. I cut my goal in half this year so I wouldn’t stress about it and I’d be able to focus on other things.
You are BUSY, Nicole!
I got my daughter an OwlCrate Jr. subscription for Christmas, and she just got Aru Shah and the End of Time. I’ll have to swipe it from her.
I remembered to put in a bunch of my Beat the Backlist points in too, and we’re on the same team, so yay us for winning this month! I hardly ever read releases, but I also hardly ever post reviews on retail sites, so I rack up one point at a time.
I’m at a writing retreat right now, and I’m trying fiction for the first time. Since I don’t know how to write fiction, so far it’s mildly altered memoir, but that’s okay. I just need to stop telling myself I can’t do it and give myself permission to write some crappy stuff so I can learn.
You definitely need to just WRITE and remember that it’s not going to be perfect at first. I’m still struggling with that—I don’t want to write that junky first draft, but you HAVE to in order to get to the good stuff!
So good to see you liked Aru Shah so much. I still have to get that book at some point but all the good things I hear about it make me very excited.
It was fantastic! Highly recommend that one!
I have Aru Shah and the End of Time on hold at the library. I’m glad to see you really enjoyed it. It makes me even more excited to read it. I’m terrible at remembering to post my points for Beat The Backlist, I think including it in my wrap up might actually help me remember. Also good job on still being ahead on your goodreads goal!
Beat the Backlist is the only challenge that I was being good about keeping up with. This year, I have a spreadsheet that I’m posting my books in as I read them, and I include BtB in that, so that helps a lot!
The cover of Aru Shah is so cute! XD <3
Glad you’re feeling more positive this month and well done on the books in/out ratios. This is something I am stressing about right now so I need to follow your example!
The review book ratio is definitely one of the biggest challenges of blogging!
Good luck with your writing, sounds like your doing well with your goals for the year – editing an MG and attending a writing workshop. If it’s coming up in June, that’s not long to go. Enjoy! Awesome that you’re moving your body, but I definitely find what I eat is what makes the difference. And it’s not about starvation and diet, but good whole foods. Love the cover for Aru Shah! I hadn’t heard of it until now but will look it up as it earned your 5 stars. Tyler Johnson Was Here sounds amazing, so I’ll have to check out your review.
Yeah, I’ve been trying to eat better too. We’ve been making sure to hit the fruit and vegetable sections of the grocery store. We find that if we leave stuff out on the counter, it magically disappears so we leave as many fruits and veggies out as we can.