April Wrap-Up

HOW. DID. THIS. HAPPEN.

I literally blinked and suddenly it’s the end of April! Time is just going CRAZY!

Anyway, this will be a long one so let’s not talk too much! Please enjoy my April Wrap-Up 🙂

What I Read/A Very ARC-ish Readathon

This month I read a total of 8 books! Having this book blog is helping me read a lot more than I used to which is amazing!!!

This month I was participating in the A Very ARC-ish Readathon which was hosted by Aimal over at Bookshelves and Paperbacks. The first 7 books I read this month were ARCs from NetGalley!

I made a promise to myself to not request any ARCs on Netgalley until my ratio was at least at the precious 80% (except if it’s a book that I’ve been HIGHLY anticipating). I am currently at 62% which I’m very proud of because I’ve caught up quite a bit! I still have a few books pending but I am hoping to read more of them in May and hopefully get to 80% next month! :’)

ARCS I READ

   

 

 

 

 

  • The Castaways – Jessika Fleck: This was an okay read. I had a few issues with it but overall it was a solid read! I have a review of The Castaways up on my blog and I also got the chance to participate in the Castaways blog tour and interview the author Jessica Fleck!
  • Unknown Horizons – CJ Birch: The premise of this book had so much potential but I ended up being disappointed because the whole thing just felt underdeveloped! Here is my review of Unknown Horizons.
  • The Magician’s Lie – Greer Macallister: This was described as ‘Water for the Elephants’ meets ‘The Night Circus’ and it was an overall enjoyable read! Full review is on Goodreads.
  • Slow Boat – Hideo Furukawa: I don’t know if I just didn’t understand what this book was trying to convey but I did not like this AT ALL! It was a genuinely MESSY book – letters were missing, the narrator jumped from one place to the next and I almost DNFed it! Full review is on Goodreads.

  

 

 

 

 

  • The Song of the Stork – Stephan Collishaw: This was a 4 star read for me. This was a story set during WW2 and I like reading those stories if they’re done well! And this one definitely was! Full review is on Goodreads.
  • The Space Between the Stars – Anne Corlett: This was a story set in space where a group of survivors go on an adventurous journey through space, dreaming of a new beginning. This was another 4 star read for me! A review of The Space Between the Stars will be up closer to publication (end of May). 
  • 180 Seconds – Jessica Park: This was one of my most recent reads and I’ll just link you to my blog review if you haven’t seen it yet! 😉

OTHER BOOKS I READ (that weren’t ARCs lol)

A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J. Maas: AHHHHH!!! What a LOVELY read. I wasn’t too invested in the romance because I knew how that would go in Book 2 lol but it was still amazing. I LOVED Feyre as a character – she’s so smart, sassy and just fabulous ❤

By the way, I won’t be reviewing this one anywhere because most of you have probably already read it lol. But if you HAVEN’T, I can 100% recommend it!!!!!!

 

CURRENTLY READING

  • Persuasion – Jane Austen: As you may know, I am attempting to read one classic every month. I am about halfway through Persuasion but it’s been difficult to get through – whenever I was reading it, my thoughts were wandering. I think I am putting this on hold for now.
  • Heartborn – Terry Maggert: Another Netgalley ARC – I’ve been reading this one during my 20-minute train journeys on my way to uni and it’s alright so far!
  • A COURT OF MIST AND FURY – SJM: I didn’t get very far yet BUT IM ALREADY SCREAMING AND CRYING AND BREAKING DOWN SOOOOOO :’)

BOOKS I’VE STARTED/ATTEMPTED TO READ BUT ARE ON HOLD FOR NOW

 PLEASE DON’T ASK ME WHY I’VE PUT BOTH OF THESE ON HOLD BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW!!! I wasn’t ready for the feels that hit me when I started Six of Crows and I was VERY ashamed when I put it back on my shelf 😦 Same with Simon Vs!!! I’ll return to SOC when I’m emotionally ready for the feels and have recovered from ACOMAF!!!

 

What I Watched

Pets

I’ve been meaning to watch Pets for a while! One morning I saw that it was on TV and since I had nothing better to do I watched the whole thing! It was soooooo hilarious, funny and just adorable!!! 10/10 would recommend! ❤

 

 

 

 

13 Reasons Why

I started 13 Reasons Why at the beginning of the month. Originally, I hadn’t planned to watch the series AT ALL – I wasn’t interested because the teaser trailers didn’t convince me and I felt like I wouldn’t like it. But ever since it came out, there’s just been a lot of talk and hype surrounding it and so I gave in and started it.

Right now, I am only about halfway through. Partly, because I’ve been a busy bee – visiting Munich, going away for Easter, going back to university – but also because it’s a show with very dark and heavy topics that sometimes trigger my anxiety. I could never binge-watch the show in like a day or two like some people do – I can barely get through an episode sometimes! So far I am liking it though.

SkamAlso Skam is back again! If you don’t know it (umm, have you been living under a rock???!!?!), it’s a Norwegian TV show and each season is about a different teen who struggles with certain things. It addresses very relevant topics and has some incredible characters! GO WATCH IT NOWWW!

Unfortunately, this is the last season of Skam :((((((( I’m so SAD! But they’ve made Sana the main character for this one and I’M GLAD because that’s what I’ve been hoping for! Sana is just ICONIC and A QUEEN! I didn’t really get the chance to actually watch a full episode – cue my busy life – but I hear that it’s great!

I also really need to rewatch Season 2 because I miss Noorhelm and I need to delve back into the FEELS. My sweet children. ❤

What I Listened To

To start off, I’d just like to mention my Top 3 songs of the month. I literally did not go a day without listening to at least one of these songs (if not all of them).

THE THREE MASTERPIECES OF APRIL:

            

 

PLEASE DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR AND LISTEN TO ALL THREE OF THESE ❤ They’re all incredible songs and I don’t think I’ll stop listening to them anytime soon.

Blackbear’s do re mi gives me the greatest vibes! He has also released his new album – if you’re into that R&B-ish type of music, give it a listen – it’S DOPE!!!!

Also…….. Harry Styles – Sign of the Times. GO LISTEN TO THE SONG OF THE YEAR, ARTIST OF THE YEAR, ALBUM OF THE YEAR, BEST-SELLING TOUR OF THE YEAR. HARRY IS SNATCHING EVERYONE’S WEAVES LEFT AND RIGHT!!!!!!!!

If you don’t know about Banks, stop what you’re doing and check out her music. She is just incredible. I love her sooooo incredibly much and Crowded Places is just so gorgeous – a love song to all the introverts out there ❤

OTHER SONGS I’VE ENJOYED THIS MONTH:

  • Despacito – Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee (I am a SUCKER for spanish songs!!!)
  • Slide – Frank Ocean, Calvin Harris, Migos
  • Good Life – Kehlani ft. G-Eazy
  • I Feel It Coming – The Weeknd (this has sneaked it’s way back into the playlist because it’s all over the radioooo and it gives me great vibes)
  • Love Galore – SZA ft. Travis Scott (this only just came out and it’s DOPE)

Achievements

It’s my two month anniversary here on Too Much of a Book Nerd – or toomuchofabooknerd? – I still don’t know whether to space it out or leave it all together! UGHHH. Anyway.

In these two months I managed to reach 200 freakin’ followers!?!?!!!?!?!??! WHAAAAT? I am honestly in shock and in awe and amazed and just… Shook.

Thank you guys so much – everyone who has ever followed, liked, commented, shared etc. I love you to the moon and back ❤

I know everyone always says this when reaching a milestone but I HONESTLY never ever ever expected to even reach like 50 followers and now there’s 200 of you guys and this is just NUTS! I appreciate every single one of you sooooo much and I love talking to you guys ❤

I don’t really have anyone in real-life who loves books as much as me so this blog and this whole community is PERFECT to share all my thoughts and feelings! And I made some incredible friends in these 2 months and I looove you guys! So much!

I will hopefully be able to give something back to you guys in the near future *cough* a giveaway? *cough* maybe? *cough* lol but yeah. That will probablymaybehopefully be happening soon-ish!

Thanks again to each and every single one of you ❤

here’s a Gif of my FAVVVVE to show my love and gratitude :’)

GOODREADS CHALLENGE

My original goal for 2017 was to read 30 books. I reached that goal in April and so I decided to set a new goal! I have settled on 50 books for now since uni has started again and I won’t have as much time to read as before!

2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge
Jackie has
read 31 books toward
her goal of
50 books.
hide

 

 

Some awesome posts by fellow bloggers

SORRY THAT THIS GOT SO LONG BUT APRIL WAS A GREAT MONTH FOR MEEEE 😀

Once again, thank you guys sooooooOOO much! For everything ❤

Alllll the love,

Jackie x

NOW! How was your April? Successful? Or not so much? How many books did you read? What was your favourite read of the month? What movies/TV series did you watch this month and can you recommend anything? Which SONGS did you particularly enjoy? (Feel free to rec me as many as possible lol I love music) Are there any posts that you published this month that you’re particularly proud of? Feel free to leave a link down below and I might highlight them in a future post! Let’s chat in the comments below :’)

Review: 180 Seconds by Jessica Park | Spoiler Free

Title: 180 Seconds

Author: Jessica Park

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Published: April 25th 2017 by Skyscrape

Pages: 300

Rating: 4 Stars

*I received a free ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my opinion in any way!*

Blurb via Goodreads: “Some people live their entire lives without changing their perspective. For Allison Dennis, all it takes is 180 seconds…

After a life spent bouncing from one foster home to the next, Allison is determined to keep others at arm’s length. Adopted at sixteen, she knows better than to believe in the permanence of anything. But as she begins her third year in college, she finds it increasingly difficult to disappear into the white noise pouring from her earbuds.

One unsuspecting afternoon, Allison is roped into a social experiment just off campus. Suddenly, she finds herself in front of a crowd, forced to interact with a complete stranger for 180 seconds. Neither she, nor Esben Baylor, the dreamy social media star seated opposite her, is prepared for the outcome.

When time is called, the intensity of the experience overwhelms Allison and Esben in a way that unnerves and electrifies them both. With a push from her oldest friend, Allison embarks on a journey to find out if what she and Esben shared is the real thing—and if she can finally trust in herself, in others, and in love.”


!CONTENT WARNING! While this is a cute contemporary novel, it also mentions/deals with some heavy topics such as death, cancer, rape and sexual assault. If you get triggered by any of these, I suggest not reading this book or to read carefully and at your own risk.


180 Seconds is a New Adult contemporary novel about how 180 seconds literally changed Allison Dennis’ life.

Allison is a foster child and has been sent from one home to the next. She never felt like she belonged anywhere and with every passing year she grew wary of trusting people. She was finally adopted by a loving, gay, single father but the past experiences still left their mental scars.

Allison is an introverted, anxious girl who isolates herself and avoids social situations like the plague – the only time she ever leaves her dorm room is to go to college classes or study at the library. She doesn’t let people get too close and hides away in her room most of the time She doesn’t display emotional or physical affection and she has a hard time trusting people.

And that certainly shows in the first interactions we see between Allison and her father.

Her adoptive father Simon is a very sweet, kind and loving man. He respects her boundaries and makes her feel loved and cared for at all times. Being the insecure and scared girl that she is, Allison still believes that her adoptive father has made a mistake with her and thinks he regrets adopting her because of her social awkwardness and isolation. But he never fails to reassure her that he loves her, he showers her with gifts, teases her and is always there for her when she needs him.

Their father-daughter relationship is AWESOME and I especially loved how it developed throughout the story as Allison grows as a person. At first she has a hard time forming a close connection to her adoptive father – she still calls him by his first name, she doesn’t open the packages he sends to her dorm every other week and just doesn’t let him get too close to her.

By the end of the story, Allison and Simon have formed a very tight and strong bond. She learns how to trust him and she starts telling him about exciting things that happen in her life and you can really tell how happy that makes Simon. She even starts calling him Dad and she finally feels like they’re a real family. I just think the development of their relationship was so beautifully done and it has even made me tear up a couple of times! :’)

And Simon is just #dadgoals.

“If I could throw an invisibility cloak over myself and attend college that way, I would.”

The only friend that Allison has is Steffi whom she has known from foster care. They’re polar opposites – Steffi is a tough and confident girl who doesn’t mind being the center of attention while Allison would love nothing more than to hide in her room 24/7 – but it works well for them and they’re best friends.

Steffi is the only person that knows everything about Allison’s past. She’s the one person that Allison can turn to when things aren’t going so well and Steffi will always give her a good pep talk! Sometimes I wish I had a friend like that who kicks my butt and gets me to take risks and get out of my comfort zone!

The thing I loved the most about this book was Allison’s wonderful character development that was exerted so perfectly. She turns from an introverted outsider into a confident and happy young woman with newfound friends and a great family support system.

One person who is probably the catalyst of her development is Esben Baylor – popular social media star and the guy she shares a very passionate kiss with after staring each other down for 3 minutes for one of his social experiments.

A lot of emotions wash over Allison in those 3 minutes – anger, pain, hurt, betrayal – and an unexpected connection develops between the two of them.

And that 180 seconds scene. WOW. Reading that was so intense and powerful and MAGICAL, I was so fully invested in that particular scene. I don’t know how else to explain it – other than it literally left me shook. It took my breath away. It was so incredible to read like wow. Just wow. I encourage everyone to read this book simply for that one 180 seconds scene! 😛

And I know what you might be thinking – “they shared a kiss and now they’re dating/in love?! *cough* INSTA-LOVE *cough*” – but that’s not how it is!!! After they kissed, there was a connection and they felt drawn to each other so they started going on dates. And isn’t that how it happens for a lot of us? They date for a few months before they really define their relationship and take it a step further!

The development of Allison and Esben’s relationship felt very realistic. It developed at a slow pace and they both took their time to really get to know each other.

For the first time in her life, Allison opens up to someone about her past and how the whole foster care experience made her feel. She literally tells him everything about her and explains how the experiences influenced her and how she came to be so socially awkward and introverted. She believes that this will scare Esben off because they’re both so different and she genuinely can’t fathom why he would even go on a date with her.

But Esben was a sweetheart ❤ He doesn’t ever make Allison feel bad or embarrassed for her past and being the way she is. He caters to her, shows a genuine interest and treats her with the utmost care and respect. He is a genuinely a good guy and their interactions especially at the beginning were super adorable and cute and I couldn’t help but AWW out loud a lot!

Being with Esben, who is so open, social and popular both on campus and online, challenges Allison. She finally realises that she can’t stay locked up in her room forever and has a change in attitude.

“You can’t reach what’s in front of you until you let go of what’s behind you.”

She learns to open up to people, how to socialize and that you can actually trust people! Her character development from anxious, socially awkard girl to loving and almost confident girl with a close circle of a few friends was amazing to read/bepart of.

I felt like I could relate to Allison a lot and she is generally a very relatable character if you’re an introvert.

I am usually ‘the shy one’ and I find it difficult to open up to someone and really be myself when I first meet new people. And yes, who doesn’t prefer staying curled up in bed all day with a good book over feeling anxious and uncomfortable in social situations!

And feeling so similar to Allison and seeing her grow into this happy and open young girl – who keeps a circle of a few, but very close friends – can be very inspiring. It was delightful to read about her personal growth and I feel like it could inspire people out there who feel the same way!

I did have a few small issues with some parts of the book – nothing too major though!

At first, I didn’t really know where the story was going to go plot-wise after the first contact between Allison and Esben – was it going to be insta-love and then they marry and have kids or what? But before I knew it, I was halfway and then all the way through the book! So the plot definitely moved along quickly! (I don’t want to say anything about it because spoiler-alertttt :D)

The writing definitely helped with that and it flowed very nicely.

Some passages of the book were a little weird to read. There were some lines of the dialogue that were VERY dramatic and metaphorical and there were things said in some of the dialogues that felt unnatural and they weren’t things that I would say in a real-life conversation.

Generally, the whole story turns very cheesy and dramatic around 2/3 into the book and some things were getting a tiny bit predictable. There were some scenes that felt repetitive because they were so similar;

  • Allison believes Esben stood her up at a date but his phone died and his car needed a jump. This basically happens twice – once at the start of the book and once at the end.
  • And the situations where Esben randomly meets new people and promotes their shops/ideas etc on his social media channels felt too repetitive after like third person!

But those things didn’t bother me too much and absolutely did not turn this into a bad reading experience.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and I particularly loved the first half because it was so nice to read about the adorable-ness that was Allison and Esben’s relationship!

180 Seconds is a very cute romantic contemporary novel about love, loss and heartbreak with a good amount of cheesiness and fluff, finding your place and yourself, coming out of your shell and finding love in the most unexpected situations.

⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 out of 5 stars)


Goodreads / Amazon US (currently 45% off!) / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble (also 45% off)


I honestly don’t know where this review got so long lol this must be my longest one yet with almost 2000 words! Oopsies! Anyway, thanks for sticking around if you read it all until the end! And even if you didn’t, thanks for skimming through this or just liking it! 😀

LOVE YAAAAA! ❤

Jackie x

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Are you comfortable around people and being the center of attention at times? Or would you rather stay curled up in bed all day? Do you feel like you could relate to Allison? Let’s chat in the comments!