My tips for getting out of a reading slump

Now we all have moments where we just don’t want to pick up a book. Sometimes it’s a day or a week and then we get back into reading but sometimes it’s longer and when it gets to that point I realise I’m in a real reading slump so try to get myself out of it. Today I thought I’d share some of my tips. They won’t work for everyone but they may help some.

Of course these tips wont work for everyone but they may be worth giving a go. They work for me.

1 – Don’t stress

I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve been in a reading slump and stressed out about the fact that I’m in a reading slump. Trust me, it doesn’t make it any better. Try to relax about it and remember that reading is something you should enjoy doing and not something you should feel pressured about.

2 – Take some time off

I’ve found that sometimes in order to get out of my reading slump, I simply need to give myself a few days off. This goes back to number one, if I don’t give myself some time off from reading I start to realise that I’m not enjoying reading. I’m simply reading for the sake of it and on those occasions, I don’t pay full attention to what is going on in my book.

3 – Dedicate time

Find a time of the day that you know you have free. It might be first thing in the morning before you get ready or it may be just before you go to bed. It may even be a half hour break at school/work where you know you have time to sit down and read. I like to set an alarm on my phone so that I physically can’t ignore the fact that I should be using that time to read.

I like to plan my time in advance. Generally I read before bed so I set an alarm for 10pm all week and I mentally prepare myself to read in this time frame.

4 – Pick a spot

Find somewhere comfortable to read. I’m a big fan of reading in bed because I’m generally quite restless so can’t sit on the same spot for too long. I like to move around while I read so a bed allows me to sit up if I want or if need be I can stretch or lie down.

5 – Try to turn off any distractions

Sometimes this tip is impossible (like sometimes I read while at a cafe and I can’t help the fact that there are people around me who could distract me) but try to get rid of anything that might distract you. Turn your phone onto airplane mode or silent. Turn off your TV and use the loo before you sit down to read. This way you’ll stay way more focused on reading.

6 – Work out if you prefer sound or silence.

I read more when I listen to music so putting some on in the background helps me concentrate but this isn’t the case for everyone. Some of my friends can’t read unless there’s silence while others are only able to read if there are people moving on around them. If you’re stuck in a slump and don’t know why, try changing environment to see if that help.

7 – Pick up another book if need be

If you don’t like the book then put it down and pick up something new. I’m the kind of person who has to finish a book regardless of weather I like it or not however if it’s a book that I’m just not picking up then I’ll read a a different book before finishing my current book. Sometimes all it takes to get out of your reading slump is simply a book you really love.

8 – Watch a film to get you in the mood

Don’t get me wrong, I generally don’t like to watch a TV/film adaptation until after I’ve read the book because I don’t want to ruin the ending. Sometimes however, I just don’t know what’s happening in my book and when that happens I put on the TV show or film to help myself understand.

If you’re completely against the idea of ruining the ending then try watching something of a similar theme. After watching Game of Thrones I generally want to pick up a fantasy book and after watching Disney I normally feel like reading something for a younger audience. Sometimes watching a film will help you find out what mood you’re in for a book.

9 – Go online

BookTube is my lifeline when it comes to books, watching someone talk about books they they’re excited about makes me more excited about reading in general. It reminds me how amazing books can be.

There are also a tonne of other sites and apps (Goodreads and Books Amino being amongst my favourites) forums and blogs. Luckily for us the book community is awesome and so supportive so if you’re in a slump, head over to your favourite source and someone will always be happy to chat and help you out of your slump.

10 –  Reward yourself

Cake gets me through everything so I often set a goal and if I reach this goal I will reward myself with a tasty treat. I often decide that for every 100 pages I read, I can have two chocolate biscuits. Of course your reward doesn’t have to be food, it can be anything you enjoy. Just promise yourself that you wont do it until you’ve reached your goal.

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My Favourite Book Series

I generally shy away from book series due to the fact that I have major commitment issues. I really want to read more series but instead of being excited about what they might entail, I only manage to see a pile of books that once I start, I’ll feel obliged to read regardless of how much I like them.

That said, on a rare occasion I’ll see a series that I want to read or I’ll pick up a book, not realising that it belongs to a collection and I’ll love it so much that I’ll read the rest.

Today I thought I’d share with you a few that I’ve loved and sometimes even read more than once. Yes they’re fairly obvious choices but I can’t help being generic so here is my top five in no particular order.

Side note: When I say series I mean two or more books.

The Harry Potter series J. K. Rowling

As I say, this list is in no particular order but I still wanted to start with my favourite series of all time. I know a lot of people out there will be banging their heads against they’re keyboard after seeing the most obviously predictable series but I couldn’t make this list without mentioning it. In 1997 J. K. Rowling published Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or the Sorcerer’s Stone if you’re American) and at nine year old it changed my life. I can honestly say that I doubt I’d love reading as much as I do today if it weren’t for this series. After reading the first book, I was hooked and I was first in line on release day for each book that followed.download (3)

Unless you’ve been living in a world without any source of media for the last twenty years, you will be aware that this series follows a young boy, Harry, as he goes from a mistreat child to a famous wizard who is constantly being threatened by one of the most dangerous wizards of all time.

Why do I love these books? Because they were perfect for me. I was part of the Harry Potter generation, the generation that grew up as Harry did and as his stories became more complex so did my own life. Although I never received my Hogwarts letter, I still related to so many issues within the books, they may follow a fictional world but they also tell a true story of how hard life can seem but how much easier it can feel if you have good friends along the way.

There won’t be many people (if any) who read this and haven’t read the Potter books previously but if you’re one of the few then please pick them up. I promise* you’ll be sat at your letterbox waiting for an owl to bring you some important news.

*You might not.

The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer

A series where the main character is a kick ass woman? Yes please! I was a little bit late to the party with this one. By the time I picked up Cinder, Scarlett and Cress were already released but the idea of books based on well-known tales (Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White) was enough for me to buy all three at once. Cinder stole my heart, I honestly love the character and even after the series has ended, she’s my favourite. There’s so much that I love about this series but the fact that it shows off a lot of strong women made it perfect for me.

download (4)The series starts with Cinder who is living with her step mother and step sisters in a world where letumosis, a deadly plague, is spreading rapidly. Cinder, an overworked and underappreciated cyborg, realises that she is immune to the disease and with that revelation she discovers a whole lot more about who she is and who she was before she came to live with her step family.

I couldn’t put these books down. As the series progressed I loved them more and more. The characters are all so strong and relatable and I had serious book crushes on all the male love interests. I adore the fact that although there is romance within the books, it’s not the main story, instead they focus on the protagonists and how they develop themselves based on the situations they’re forced into and the friendships they forge.

The Hunger Games trilogy – Suzanne Collins

So far all my choices have been super predictable, I’m aware, but I love The Hunger Games and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Again I didn’t read in the beginning, by the time I picked up the first book, the other two had been released already but at the time I wasn’t aware of the buzz around them and there hadn’t been any films released yet.download (5)

Again, I’m sure you’ll all be aware of the premise of The Hunger Games. In this dystopian series, every year the government host the hunger games, a game that is broadcast across the world (made up of twelve districts- but secretly there’s an active thirteenth) and forces two children from each district to partake, one male, one female. The children fight to the death and whoever is the last person standing is the victor and wins a lifetime of fame and fortune. After her younger sister gets picked to be part of the games, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her position and we follow her through the games and through the rebellion that follows after her victory.

I’ll be honest (please don’t hate me for saying this) I didn’t like the last book. I found it was a lot of running around the Capitol and hiding from the law but it doesn’t stop me thinking as a whole, it’s an amazing series. I love Katniss in book one. I love that she’s strong minded and she loves her sister so much that she’s willing to put her life at risk for her. As I was reading book two and three, I found myself starting to dislike her more and more. I found her too whiney and miserable. It wasn’t until I re-read the books that I started to appreciate this about her. I realised that yes she was miserable all the time after winning the games but then who wouldn’t be? After being forced to kill a bunch of kids they then stuck her back in another game where she had to instead kill a bunch of adults in order to survive, after she was finally away from the games forever she was forced to be the face of a rebellion that she never agreed to start.  I think I really like the fact that the books portray how real people would act under these circumstances.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before –Jenny Han

There are only two books to this but I’m still putting it in here. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was my favourite YA romance that I’ve read and I’ve read a lot!

15749186In this duology, Lara-Jean has written five letters, all to boys who she has loved at some point in her life. These letters are put into a hat box and she never plans to send them but one day she finds they’ve been posted and her secrets are revealed.

The books are predictable and typically YA but I loved them. I loved Lara-Jean’s love interests, in most YA I just can’t deal with the love triangles but for once I loved it. I understood how this love triangle happened and I understood why Lara-Jean had such a hard time deciding what she wanted. She felt every bit the sixteen year old girl wanting the best of both worlds and I never once felt annoyed with her for not immediately making up her mind. Oh, I also bloody loved Kitty.

The Shopaholic series – Sophie Kinsella

Now this is a weird one because although it’s one of my favourite series, I feel a little like it’s being dragged out and that Sophie needs to just finish it.The_Secret_Dreamworld_of_a_Shopaholic

This series follows Becky, a twenty-something journalist who has a big spending problem. She’s obsessed with buying things and she really can’t afford everything she is buying. Becky meets Luke Brandon, a successful businessman who she forms an unlikely attraction to but whom she has to hide her spending issues from.

There are so far I believe there are eight books in this series and with every book I’ve come to love Luke a little bit more. If you ask me who my ideal book boyfriend is, I will always answer Luke Brandon. He’s just perfect. He’s hard working, motivated and loving. He also constantly puts up with Becky’s shit and sometimes I really don’t understand why. Up until Mini Shopaholic (book six) I really loved Becky, I felt she grew as a character and she deserved the outcome of every book but with the latest instalments I’ve started to hate her. All the hard work Kinsella did to make Becky a lovable character seems to have evaporated and Becky has become ungrateful and annoying. I’ve just finished reading the newest book, Shopaholic to the Rescue and I admit Becky redeems herself a lot and I enjoyed this book a lot more than the previous two books so I’m hoping it all just stops there while I love Becky again.

I know this doesn’t seem like a glowing review but up until Mini Shopaholic, I really love the series and I genuinely found it hilarious and heart-warming.  I love the characters and I love Sophie’s writing so I would recommend the series to anyone. Just pretend it finishes with Shopaholic and Baby.

Meet Me In Paris – Juliette Sobanet (Review)

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If there’s one thing I can’t resist it’s a book about Paris. My two great loves are reading and Paris and having already read some of Juliette’s previous work and loving it, I jumped at the chance to read her latest book, her very own memoir.


Meet Me In Paris follows Juliette (real name Danielle) through her divorce and her struggles to find what she wants from life while everything she has known as an adult begins to change.
Early on we find out that towards the end of her divorce, Juliette meets a man, also married but in an open relationship, who she begins an affair with and this plays a huge role throughout the book. At times I found this subject hard to deal with as I’ve never agreed with cheating while in a relationship but I tried to keep an open mind and understood that I shouldn’t judge a situation that I’ve never been in because in reality I have no idea what I would do. I’m glad I kept this open mind as the further I got the more I understood Juliette’s thoughts behind the affair and I began to understand why she finds it so hard to stop. I did however hate her lover more and more as the story progressed, to me it felt like a typical married man who will never leave his wife but doesn’t want to give up his lover and I struggled to empathise with him when he was upset about the affair as I felt like he knew exactly what he was doing and I couldn’t take his tears seriously.
Although the affair plays a major role in the book, I found the main aspect was Juliette’s self discovery, realising what it was that she wanted from life and I loved this theme. I think ultimately what she needed in life was to be in a city where she felt happy and surrounded by good friends and for her that place was France. Between Paris and Lyon Juliette is able to see some close friends and with there help she is able to sort through all the thoughts in her head and realise what is important to her. I loved Juliette’s version of France, her thoughts on why Paris and Lyon are so beautiful and why she enjoys spending time there so much.

There was one particular theme that I can want to mention, Juliette meets a couple and one half of said couple is a writer who believes in reincarnation. This is something I’ve thought of from time to time but never in depth yet the subject stuck with me. They mention that Juliette will have lived lives before and in her past life she probably lived in Paris as when she first travelled there she felt a connection with the city and instantly felt at ease. This is something I understand completely as I felt exactly the same when I went to Paris, a feeling I’ve never felt with any other city that I’ve travelled to. Exploring this idea was something completely new to me. I’ve never read a book where the author talks about reincarnation in any sort of detail and I adore the fact that Juliette has the confidence to do this.

I would pre warn any potential reader that there are constant sex themes but in reality they are done so well and I never felt like they were grotesque or unnecessary, mostly I felt they were there because that is just real life. The constant reminder that Juliette and her lover would meet up and spend the majority of their time in a hotel room just made me feel even more that this relationship wasn’t going to last, I constantly felt that for her lover it was nothing more than sex even though it was portrayed to be a lot more than this.

Meet Me In Paris was a great read and I applaud Juliette for actually being able to write this because it must take a lot of courage to pour your heart into pieces of paper that you know the world will be able see. Her journey was heartbreaking at times and I can only imagine what it must feel like to have to say goodbye to a life you’ve known for years and start afresh. I thoroughly enjoyed the read and meeting the people in Juliette’s life who helped her through the tough times. If you love romance and you love Paris then I’d say to pick up a copy of Meet Me In Paris, the true story is actually quite lovely and tells a great tale of how with good friends you can make it through anything. Now all I need is a ticket to Paris.

Disclaimer – Renée Knight (Review)

It’s going to be hard to write about Disclaimer without giving anything away, the whole book is full of twists and surprises and almost every chapter shocked me.download (2)

There are two main protagonists to the story, first we meet Catherine who at first glance lives the dream, she is well known in the film industry for making documentaries, she has a husband who she loves and a grown up son who leads an independent life away from home. Next we meet Stephen, a retired teacher who has lost his wife and seems to live a solitary existence.

At first, it’s not clear how the two are linked but Catherine soon finds a book on her nightstand which, as an avid reader, she picks up to read only to find that she is the main character within the book and she realises it holds a secret to her past that if her family found out about, it could destroy them. Shortly afterwards it is revealed that Stephen is the author of the book and knows a part of Catherine’s past that no one else has ever heard.

When I started reading Disclaimer, I found it a little slow to begin with. Catherine’s chapters are in third person while Stephen’s are written in first person and I found it somewhat hard to grasp what was happening due to the chapters constantly switching between the two plots. As soon as I started to understand what was going on with both characters I was gripped. I read this on my Kindle and when I got to 30% I honestly didn’t know how there was still 70% left because I felt the story had almost been told that there was nothing more to happen. Another 5% in and I realised there was so much more to this book and I wanted to know everything.

As soon as things started to progress, I found I had more and more unanswered questions, I would find myself staying awake longer than I had meant to so I could read ‘just one more chapter’ in the hope that it would answer at least one of my questions, what I generally found however is that the one didn’t answer any of my questions, instead it usually presented me with new questions.

Of course the questions weren’t fully answered until the end, about 70% in and we start to learn the truth, questions started getting answered and I finished the last 30% in one sitting because I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep without having found out the end of the story.

Was the end predictable? Yes and no, I went through one hundred different theories in my head while I was reading so one of them was bound to be the right conclusion. When I got the answers I found that it was what I was expecting yet somehow it didn’t find it any less shocking, if anything I was gripped by the revelations. I can’t say much more about the outcome because even the smallest detail will spoil the book but I can say that it was well done and I was heartbroken by the ending (if you have read it, I was mostly upset by Stephen’s conclusion.) It wasn’t on par with Gone Girl for me, with that I honestly could never have predicted the middle; I wasn’t expecting it and was completely shocked. Disclaimer did shock me to an extent but it was the aftermath of the truth that really hit me.

The way the two narratives came together and slowly started to unravel a story, was beautiful to me. Although at times the story was complex, I found the book in whole really easy to read and would certainly describe it as a page turner. On top of the two main narratives, at times we got to hear from lesser talked about characters which added excellent insight and new perspectives.

If you’re looking for a book that has an interesting plot but is still easy to read then I’d highly recommend Disclaimer.

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My Top 5 BookTubers

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Like many, I get a lot of inspiration to read from YouTube. When I have no idea what I want to read, I log onto my favourite channels and see what they’re reading and even when i’m in a reading slump, it helps me out of it.
I could have given you a list off at least fifty channels that i subscribe to and check daily but i thought I’d share my top five channels, the ones I first check when i need some reading ideas.
Peruse Project
Regan is probably my first go to channel. She posts videos regularly and I trust her reviews completely. Her channel is a mix of book hauls, book reviews and favourites mixed with the odd book tag. Regan is a self-confessed lover of fantasy which is a genre I am generally terrified to pick up but she’s always honest with how she found a book and she’s not scared to say if she hated a book meaning that when I’m browsing book shelves I feel a little more confident in what I’m buying.
A Book Utopia
I simply adore this channel; Sasha is always full of energy and her energy comes through in her videos. Having only just read the Harry Potter series, she’s a newly converted super fan and being a fan makes me like her and trust her more. She has a great range of videos, she has the usual collections of hauls, wrap ups and TBRs but she also constantly posts fun tags and she’s not scared to take her camera out and about with her when he visits book stores/goes travelling. On top of this she hosts a read-along with Regan where each month they chose a book for their book club PeruseUtopia which I generally try and read along with.
Heart Full of Books
Twins, Bee and Maddie, are girls after my own heart, they love young adult fiction and they’re not ashamed of it. They’re currently in their first year of uni and they’ve took their YouTube channel with them. Again they have the usual host of videos (hauls, TBR’s, etc.) but they’re the go to girls if you want to know more about young adult or romance.
Lucy The Reader
I first came across Lucy’s channel when I was trying to find information on books about anxiety, when I found her channel, I was hooked. Lucy is a fan of young adult and classics but she also explores subjects which many people wouldn’t touch upon. I’ve seen videos on her channel about anxiety, feminism and menstruation to name a few. I have a massive respect for her given that she is happy to openly talk about those topics, reaching out to a younger audience who could possibly feel embarrassed or reserved about these subjects. Lucy also has a monthly video in French, which I understand none of but appreciate she is reaching out to a wider audience. I believe she is currently writing a book where the main character suffers anxiety and as soon as it’s out, I’ll be there waiting in line to buy it.
Read By Zoe
Zoe’s reading choices are exactly like mine. I’ve lost count of how many books I’ve seen her review that I loved already or books that she’s reviewed and I’ve completely loved as a result. She mostly posts the usual videos but she spent a year studying in England and I loved following her adventures over here. Zoe generally reads a mixture of young adult and romance and I constantly feel I can relate to her book emotions.
If you like the sound of any of these channels, please check them out. There are so many more that I could have mentioned but these five I just relate to that little bit more.

February Book Haul

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That time of year has rolled round again… I’ve turned a year older and it’s becoming less and less acceptable for me to love young adult literature as much as I do.

Once again, my family and friends have been very generous and I’ve received a few books which I’m extremely excited to read so I thought I’d share them with you and prepare you guys for my reviews in the coming months.

So here goes, these are what have been gifted to me/I’ve bought with my birthday money:

Quidditch Through The Ages (J K Rowling) – Unless you have been living in a cave for the last ten year or you have no interest in books (and if so why are you reading this?!) image5then you’ll be familiar with the Harry Potter series and the fictional sport of quidditch. This book is a recreation of a book that the characters read throughout the Potter series and it quite simply tells the history of the sport

Down The Rabbit Hole (Juan Pablo Villalobos) – I’ll be perfectly honest when I tell you that I don’t know much about this book. I know that it has been translated from Spanish and that  it’s only 70 pages long. Both these facts are appealing to me. From what I know, the story follows a young boy, Tochtli, who is the son of a Mexican drug baron and shows how an innocent boy lives in a corrupt society. Like I say though, I don’t know much about it so this could all be wrong.

A Monster Calls (Patrick Ness) – I’ve heard a lot of people talking a
bout Patrick Ness and a lot of those people rave about him so when I saw A Monster Calls for £1.00 in Oxfam I thought I may as well pick it up. I have a vague idea what the book is about, it follows Connor, a kid who has a sick mother and through all the stress and worry about having to look after her he begins to have nightmares. One night Connor meets a ‘monster’ which forces him to face and confront his daemons. Now I have no idea what the monster is but I’m assuming it’s not an actual monster and with all the amazing reviews, I’m expecting it to be something pretty special.

All The Birds In The Sky (Charlie Jane Anders) – Again I don’t have too much knowledge on what this is about. I was in Waterstones with my flatmate who saw the cover and thought I would find it pretty.  I did. She then read out the blurb and I like the idea of the image4book a little more. We have two main characters in this novel, Patricia and Laurence. Patricia can communicate with animals and Laurence has created a time machine. Something happens that puts the future in danger and it is up to Patricia and Laurence to team up and save the future.

Lorali (Laura Dockrill) – I was watching videos on YouTube where someone was doing their own book haul and they mentioned this. They also mentioned that it has mermaids and that’s when I realised I’ve never read a book about mermaids. Rory turns sixteen and finds a naked girl washed up under a pier but he soon comes to find out there’s more to it. More strange people begin to turn up and Rory finds himself trying to protect the girl, Lorali, who was washed up. Who also happens to be a mermaid by the way…

I’ll Give You The Sun (Jandy Nelson) – Twin sisters, Jude and Noah, were once close but a tragedy strikes and it tears the sisters apart. Once again I don’t know much more about this but I’m looking forward to finding out what tore the family apart and if they will eventually come back together (it’s young adult, they probably will.) The book has been likened to John Green and Rainbow Rowell, both authors I have read and loved so if this is even half as good as their novels then I’ll be happy.image3

The Beginning of Everything (Robyn Schneider) – A typically young adult book, from what I can gather Ezra is popular in school but gets in a car accident where his leg gets crushed and shattered, his girlfriend also cheats on him meaning that he becomes less popular and he finds himself sitting with the misfits at homecoming. Ezra meets Cassidy. Ezra and Cassidy fall in love but will tragedy strike again?

Anna and the French Kiss (Stephanie Perkins) – Now I love Paris, in fact I love it so much that I have an Eiffel Tower tattoo so if anything is set in Paris I will buy it, I will read it and I will love it. I don’t care if it’s awful, I will love it because it has Paris. Anna and the French Kiss is the first instalment in a trilogy, it tells the story of Anna who moves to Paris for a year to go to boarding school.  When she’s in Paris, Anna meets Etienne, a beautiful French boy who is unfortunately taken.  I’ve had people tell me that this book has one of the best image2relationships in young adult lit so I’ll be reading ASAP. I mean Paris and French boys? What’s not to love?


Me Before You (Jojo Moyes) –
I wanted this only because the film is coming out and I wanted to read the book before I see the film. Lou is in an unhappy relationship and she meets Will who has been in a motorcycle accident and has no will to live since he lost the use of his legs. When Will and Lou meet, they’re determined to change each other’s lives. Lou wants to show Will that he can live a happy life and Will wants to show Lou that she is bigger than the small town she lives in. I’ve been told to have the tissues ready for this one.

Grace & Style (Grace Helbig) – Now I’ve been following Grace on YouTube for years, since she was vlogging for My Damn Channel and before she wentimage6 solo. I’ve loved her since the first video I watched her in. I appreciate her humour has never changed and she has always done what she wants to do, making her YouTube channel relatable and fun. When Grace released her first book, The Art Of Pretending to Be A Grow- Up, I rushed out to buy it in order to support her. The first book was charming and fun so when book two, Grace & Style, came out I once again rushed to buy it. This book is full of advice (fashion and probably a bit of lie) direct from Grace.

If you’d like to see any of these books reviewed, please comment below 🙂