April 2020 Wrap-Up || fighting a terrible slump

Hi friends, and happy Sunday!

So, I inadvertently and accidentally took a four-week break from blogging. It wasn’t planned, nor even wanted, but it just kind of happened. Hence why this April Wrap-Up is coming to you mid-May.

Somewhere during the last week of April and the first few weeks of May, my motivation for just about everything up and left, leaving me completely out of the loop. I couldn’t bring myself to pick up a book, even after I reached for some of my favorites; writing a blog post seemed like a far-fetched dream; and I was even getting bored by my cult-classic tv shows and movies, turning them off halfway through. Getting anything done, and being proud of what I accomplished, was some calculus equation I had no hopes of solving. I felt diminished and, frankly, I felt unmotivated to even attempt to regain my recently departed motivation.

But here we are, mid-May, and I’m determined to get out of this terrible slump I’m in. April started off pretty well, and I’m committed to getting back to that. So, without further ado, let’s wrap up April.

If self-isolation is good for something, it would be clearing off your TBR, right?

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir-★★★☆☆. I was so happy to finally check this book off of my TBR. I honestly have been wanting to read it for ages, and I really enjoyed it. The complexity written within each character, even the minor ones, was nothing short of wonderful. I was entranced by the pull and fight you could see within a few of the characters as they tried to determine if their personal future was more important than their empire’s future, and vice versa. That internal struggle was everything I’ve ever wanted. The reason for the three stars though was simply based on the fact that I was hoping to love the characters more than I did!

The Guest List by Lucy Foley-★★★★★. Okay, this book was MARVELOUS. Insane, really, I genuinely can’t talk about it without spoiling anything, but it’s a mystery that follows a private wedding taking place on a secluded island and someone is murdered. Because of the nonlinear timeline, you find that out on the first page. But the catch is, you don’t know who died and you don’t know who did it. Go read it!!

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows-★★★☆☆. I feel like when My Lady Jane first came out, it really made a huge splash in the book community. From booktubers to bookstagrammers, it felt like everyone had read this book. And, I’ve got to say, I’m really happy that I’ve finally read it. I will take a historical fiction book with heavy feminism themes any day. I just would have loved to see a stronger ending for this story and these characters. Maybe that just means that I need to read the sequel?

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella-★★★☆☆. This was another warm-hearted, great read! Mental health is the main theme coursing through Finding Audrey, and I really loved how it was represented within the characters themselves. I thought it fairly realistic, and it was a fun and easy read!

Me by Elton John-★★★★☆. I’ve mentioned it before, but some of my all-time favorite music are the tunes that came out of the 70s and 80s; And Elton John is one of my all-time favorite artists from that time. I’ve really come to love and enjoy reading the biographies of people I admire/am interested in because it gives you a whole new perspective. You’re able to learn new things that may not have been uncovered in news articles or interviews. And, with musical biographies in particular, I find that I learn more about the songs and albums than I ever could have hoped to. I loved Me in particular because Elton John didn’t only share his highlights; he shared his lows and his regrets, and I honestly just felt like I gained a better knowledge of him as an artist.

Finding Perfect by Colleen Hoover-★★☆☆☆. Colleen Hoover will always be a guilty pleasure of mine. I used to live and swear by her books years ago, and now they’ve turned into books that can either get me out of a slump or they’re books I can consume in one sitting. I never extremely love or extremely hate her books, but they’re just easy and I can’t stop reading them. That said, I don’t think that in this point of my life I would recommend a Colleen Hoover book to another reader, but they’ll probably always be a solace for me (even if they’re super problematic).

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver-★★★★★. I could scream about this book from the rooftops as if my life depended on it. First, not that we judge a book by it’s cover, but this cover is beautiful. Almost as beautiful as the story on the inside. I loved this book not only for the story it told, but what it can be for some of its readers. Focusing on a nonbinary character and written by a nonbinary author, we’re able to read from a perspective that we don’t get that often and I loved every minute of it.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab-★★★★★. I’m very very late on finally starting this series. I’ve actually owned the book for a little while now, but I’ve just now picked it up. And may I just say that Kell and Lila are fantastic characters, and I really just want to be their friends. The story itself was constructed so well; as someone new to the high fantasy realm, I was never once confused. Or, if I was, it was never a big deal. I understood the story and where the characters wanted to end up and why, and I loved it. This book deserves to be widely read for so many reasons but, if anything, read it solely for the magic that Schwab created. Wow.

Currently reading: I actually just finished a book called Freddie Mercury: A Life in his Own Words, a book in which two editors came together and complied Freddie’s interviews to create a timeline of his time as the front man for Queen. It was an incredible read but, don’t worry, I’ll definitely gush about it in May’s Wrap-Up.

me @ Kell & Lila, knowing full well that they’ll kill me if I touch them.

Onward. It’s no secret here that I’m a big Disney fan. Like, major Disney fan. And, if there’s one good thing that has come out of everything closing down is the fact that movies that were meant for theaters are now available on streaming services, like Onward. Genuinely, I didn’t think that I would fall in love with Onward as much as I did. I thought that it was just going to be a cute and enjoyable story about loving the family that you do have. I didn’t expect to become attached to the characters and to be crying by the end of it. The story itself broke my heart and filled it at the same time, and I related to the characters far more than I ever expected to. This has easily become one of my new favorite Disney movies.

The Schitt’s Creek Finale. I’m so sad. I’m so, so sad. How am I supposed to watch a TV show without David Rose now? Or how am I expected to love a sassy sister character that doesn’t say “ew David” every two seconds? Joking aside though, this show was incredible and I’m heartbroken that it’s over. It was sarcastic and witty and fulfilling in every way a TV show should be, and you’re seriously missing out if you haven’t watched it yet.

The final two Harry Potter movies. This has been a long time coming. I started my Harry Potter journey a solid two years ago, when I read the first book for the first time, and that journey has finally come to a bittersweet end. The Deathly Hallows movies were wonderful and everything I wanted them to be. I had a whole lot of thoughts about them though and, luckily for you, I wrote them all down in this post if you’re interested.

Potterless. Because I’m sad about my Harry Potter journey ending, and based on a recommendation from a wonderful friend, I have been sucked into the Potterless podcast. Considering the podcast is just a guy documenting his first time reading Harry Potter as a 24-year-old, I couldn’t relate more even if I tried. Bonus points of reliability for the million Vine references.

me watching the series finale.

Ellyn over at Allonsythornraxx recommends books based off of your favorite Disney movies. Again, I can’t get enough of Disney movies, so I will surely be binging some of these recommendations!

Margaret from Weird Zeal, as a supporter and employee of an independent bookstore, shares how we can helps independent bookstores in a time when the stores have shut down. I particularly fell in love with this post because it shows that even in a time when it feels like we have very little control, we can still support the businesses that mean a lot to us.

Clara at the bookworm of Notre-Dame recommends three musicals to listen to this spring. I personally love listening to musicals, and Clara always has the greatest recommendations for the season! I will also always openly support anything in regards to Dear Evan Hansen.

Sophie from Me And Ink wrote the most lovely post about what the world would look like if Hufflepuffs reigned. As a proud Hufflepuff myself, I loved seeing all of the reasons why the world would be so fantastic if we ruled.

I want to take another quick second and apologize for going MIA for four weeks. I’m attempting to work through this slump and find my motivation again because I’m desperately missing the book blogging community. But, in the mean time, thank you for your patience and for sticking around! ❤️

So, what do you think? How was your April? Did you meet any new characters you loved? What movies and shows have you been watching? Let’s chat!

14 thoughts on “April 2020 Wrap-Up || fighting a terrible slump

  1. I’m sorry that you went through such a rough period of unmotivation 😞 But I love your determination to get out of it! Just remember to take care of yourself first ❤

    HOORAY I’m so happy that you loved I Wish You All the Best!! That’s one of my favorites and I will happily join you to shout about it from the rooftops 😀 And I’m so glad you’re enjoying the Shades of Magic series so far! You are in for a wild ride, my friend.

    Ahhh yes, I feel exactly the same about the ending of Schitt’s Creek. I’m gonna miss it so much! (Also omg I think I may have used that exact same gif when I talked about Schitt’s Creek in my April wrap up?? 😂) And hooray for Potterless!! I had a feeling you would relate, and I’m very glad you’re enjoying it 😀

    Thank you so much for sharing my post!! I hope your slump goes away quickly and that the rest of your May is wonderful ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Margaret ❤️️

      It was such a great book! So easy to read, but the topics that were discussed can feel really heavy in real life; I’m so, so happy that books like that exist now. And I don’t know if I’m quite ready for that wild ride..😂

      That’s kind of fantastic if we used the same gif. I mean, it’s hard not to; Patrick and David are wonderful human beings and I wish them all the best (such a lovely full circle we have here). And yes, yes, yes! Thank you so much for recommending Potterless to me!


  2. I’m sorry you haven’t been feeling motivated and had a lack of energy. I definitely understand the feeling and it is the worse !! I wish you all the best (like the title of the book you read 😉 ) for the rest of the month and onwards (I did it again, haha. I’ll stop now)
    I’m glad you liked getting to read Ember and if you decide to carry on I feel like you get to know the characters a little better which I personally enjoyed !! I’m so glad you enjoyed Me as I would like to pick that up at one point, I liked that you get to see the highs and lows. I love that personal touch !! I’m glad you found some favourite books as well in April. I read ADSOM in April as well and it was a great read !! I can’t wait to continue with the series !!
    Thank you so much for sharing our post about Hufflepuffs, I’m so glad you enjoyed it !! ❤ I hope you are having a great May !! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sophie; and that’s an INCREDIBLE tie-in on the book. I’m really loving that, especially because you managed to do the same thing with Onward 😂 That’s honestly some major talent. Ah! I love hearing that about Ember. I felt so interested by the characters and really wanted to learn all that I could, so I’ll have to pick up the sequels sometime! And oh my goodness, I can’t wait to hear everything you think about Me when you do pick it up. It was really insightful to a lot of Elton John’s songs and what period of his life he was in. There are definitely more sensitive topics in the books, considering his career kind of bloomed in the 70s and 80s, but I think it’s worth it. I’m SUPER excited that you’re excited about continuing ADSOM! That’s awesome that we’re reading them at the same time!

      Happy May! 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved reading this post! I’ve heard so much about Potterless so I’d love to give it a go. My current Harry Potter podcast of choice though is Swish & Flick which is so amazing! I’m rereading the books along with them and they go into so much detail about the wizarding world which is so fun! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Emme! You’re always so kind, and it means the world to me! I do hope you enjoy Potterless if you ever get it a listen! They definitely focus on how sassy Harry is, and they’ll occasionally make him even sassier, and I kind of live for that. And I love that! I will definitely have to look into Swish & Flick because it’s always so interesting when people do a deep dive into some of your favorite books.

      Thank you for the recommendation! 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  4. i can definitely understand the struggle of being in a slump-y mood. i’ve now officially completed 65 days of quarantine and i don’t even know if i remember what the outside world looks like anymore, hahah. the saddest part is that we are not even *close* to leaving this situation where i live. brazil has one of the worst cases and the curve is showing no signs of slowing down. it’s been a struggle keeping myself motivated! but i’m wishing you positive vibes so that we can both pick it up again!
    i’m glad you enjoyed an ember in the ashes so much! i remember really loving this first book and i think the characters are really cool and unique too. and me, by elton john too!!!! i loved that book. i listened to the audiobook and the narrator was AMAZING. but there are a lot of stories in that book that resonate with me to this day. i remember laughing out loud when he talked about performing in russia and having the guards hit on him, hahah.
    i’m glad you loved i wish you all the best!!! i really want to read that one ASAP.
    i have yet to watch onward, but now that my mom has signed amazon prime, i think it’s more likely to happen! i wasn’t initially thrilled because the premise sounded sort of meh, but i’ve heard a lot of great things, so maybe it will be better than i expect. i had never heard of potterless, but i’m for sure going to check it out now! it sounds so cool. as i’ve been re-reading harry potter, i think it’s the perfect timing.
    hope you’re having a great may! 💞

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally get that and fully agree; I think not being able to see much of the outdoors is a huge helping hand in my slump-y mood! I’m ready for both the pandemic and my slump to be over. I’m so, so sorry to hear that the curve isn’t showing any signal of slowing down in Brazil. I’ll be thinking of you and your loved ones that it’s all over soon! We’re seeing some loosening of the rules here, but I’m living in a stricter state of the country that’s pretty much still on lockdown. It is nice to see the light at the end though as other areas are slowly opening back up!

      And SO jealous you read the audiobook of Me! I can’t even begin to imagine how incredible that was to hear!! I have no doubts that the narrator was incredible as it was Taron Egerton, and that man is a gift. UGH! Love when books make you laugh out loud!!

      I hope you love I Wish You All the Best! I actually think that was the last book I read before my slump, fun fact. And I really, really hope you love Onward as well. I wasn’t too keen on it at first when I first saw the previews, but it really did steal my heart.

      I couldn’t recommend Potterless more! It’s just so fantastic to hear a snarky 24-year-old discuss the stories. I think you’d love it!

      Thank you so much, Lais. I hope your May is treating you good as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. thank you so much, lauren! your kind words mean a lot!
    also, i watched onward this month and i loved it. i almost cried at the end there, not gonna lie, and it was very relatable as i am as terrified of driving as ian, hahah. it really is an amazing one!


  6. Oh my gosh, I just started watching Schitt’s Creek and it’s truly the best! Without realizing it, I started imitating Alexis Rose in real life and just say “ew David” at basically everything. I really hope that May ended up being a better month for you. Don’t beat yourself up too much about not having the motivation — if anything, this is the time to recollect and figure out next steps and taking it easy. Can’t wait to hear how your May went 🙂


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