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April Wrap-Up and May TBR

Hi everyone! What a crazy few months it has been! It's been a struggle to adjust to being the sole caretaker of two little beans, and unfortunately, blogging kind of fell by the wayside. But I'm back! Maybe? In any case I've been reading a lot more now that I've developed a routine with the kids and a custody schedule with the ex. So now I actually have things to blog about. I read a really good amount this month, so let's get into it.

 Unfuck Your Habitat: You're Better Than Your Mess by Rachel Hoffman 🌟🌟
This was fine, I guess, but definitely not for me. It had been sitting on my shelf since it came out so I thought I'd go ahead and read it really quickly, just to finally mark it as Read, you know? Honestly, there wasn't even that much actual cleaning content. It was mostly about who needs this book. Seriously, it was so repetitive and there was very little information in here at all.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Listened to this on audio and it was excellent. The author herself narrates it, so we get to hear it in the actual flow and cadence she intended. I loved the story and thought the poems were beautifully written. I do wish there was more of the sibling relationship but that's okay.
Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Another audio listen. I've been anticipating this for ages and it really lived up to all my expectations! It was funny and thoughtful and witchy and the friendships were perfection. I can't wait to read more of Anderson's work because this was excellent. It's honestly PERFECT for Halloween if you haven't read it yet.
Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke 🌟🌟🌟
Look at that, yet ANOTHER audio. I really, really liked the narration in this one and without it I don't know if I'd have even finished the book. I think I'm being pretty generous by giving it three stars. But the sense of dread and anticipation were great. I just wish I knew what the point was. Have you ever been there? You finish a book and you're just like, why? That was me.
Voices: The Finals Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott 🌟🌟🌟
It's cool that there are a few YA books about Joan of Arc coming out. I don't know why there aren't more, honestly. This was pretty good, but I didn't feel closeness to Joan or any kind of emotion from her. If it hadn't been written in gorgeous verse, it would have been pretty dry. But the writing was amazing, especially when you look at all the different poetry styles the author used. 
For Everyone by Jason Reynolds 🌟🌟🌟
 I rated this 3 stars, smack in the middle, because I really just don't know HOW to rate it. It was a quick half hour audio book that I listened to while nursing Lachlan. It was sort of motivating and did leave me feeling better about what I've accomplished at my age and my idea of "making it" but I don't know. There's not a lot here, even if it was well written.
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
That's right! After having this on my TBR for like half a year, I finally, finally sat down and read this. I haven't seen any of the show and I was only ever spoiled on a single (significant) death in this first book, so it was especially exciting. Surprising no one, it was amazing, I absolutely loved it, and I've started book 2 already.
How to (Un)Cage a Girl by Francesca Lia Block 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
A quick reread of some of my favorite poetry. There's one at the end written for her daughter that just brings me to my knees every time I read it. I love FLB and will forever love this collection. I just wish I didn't relate to it half as much as I do.


A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
This is priority number one for this month. The ex takes the kids every other weekend and one of those weekends is pretty extended, like four days, so that's when I'll tackle this bad boy. I can't wait.
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
Randomly picked this up because it was free Prime Reading. I am loving it. It's so good. I can't believe I put this series off for so long. 
Geekerella by Ashley Poston
With the recent release of The Princess and the Fangirl, my excitement for this book jumped up quite a bit. I'm listening to the audio here and there and really enjoying it. I just haven't had time to really commit to it yet.
Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus
I really, really did not like her first book but the premise of this intrigues me too much to pass up. I hope it's better because you all know how much I love a good YA thriller/mystery.

Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl
This week we're talking about things that make us pick up a book

1. Hate to Love Romances
If I know two characters hate each other but WANT each other, I am 100% there. It's my go-to romance trope and it always, always works for me. 
2. Vampires
I am what I am. I was 6 years old when I first watched Interview with the Vampire on VHS and I've been hooked ever since. It looks like vampires are making a comeback in YA this year and I am so pumped for it.

3. Witches
Witches of all kinds! Wicca practitioners, brujas, flying on brooms, eating babies, reading the stars, fantasy witches, real life witches, all witches all the time. They're my absolute favorite.

4. Lost Princesses
My favorite fantasy trope, whether it's the main character who is the princess herself or the main characters are searching for their monarch. I know so many people hate it but I love the romance of it all. Who didn't dream of actually being princess to a beautiful kingdom when they were little?

5. Bisexual Characters
Especially in SFF. If I find out the MC is bisexual I am like 99% more likely to pick it up, no matter the plot.

  6. Sisters
Especially twins. I guess it's that I'm a decade or more older than my siblings, so I didn't have that type of relationship growing up. Whatever it is, I find it fascinating. 
7. Retellings
Retell anything, I don't care, I'll probably want to read it. Especially Beauty and the Beast or Hades and Persephone. I also really love reading retellings of stories I don't know, so then I get to discover a new fairy tale or myth.
8. Alternative Formats
I love epistolary novels. Diary entries, files, emails, texts, pictures. I love it all. I am like a thousand times more likely to pick something up if I find out it's written in a different sort of format.
9. Fandom
I don't read a ton of contemporary anymore, but when I see that a contemporary novel has a fandom element to it, I get excited. I haven't read a ton of it though, so I definitely need more!
10. Written in Verse
I know it's not for everyone but I love it. If done right it can be so evocative and give such a sense of voice. I want mooooore. There's simply not enough.

Where Have I Been?

Oh my gosh, I cannot believe it's been so long since I blogged. So much has happened, so much has changed. I feel like it would take forever to detail exactly what has happened since I last regularly blogged. Plus, I don't think anyone wants to read the insanely long post that would come out of that.

You might remember that my family and I were preparing to move way back in November. We had just found out that our landlord was selling the house we were living in. A couple days after that bombshell, my grandmother and her husband offered to help us buy a home. So, now we were in a semi-frantic search for a new home-all the while, my cardiac health is just getting crappier and crappier by the day.

It didn't really take that long for us to find "our home" but when we were actively house hunting, it certainly felt like it would take forever. I lived under constant stress and anxiety over finding a home, going through escrow and closing before the lease termination date. On December 10th, our offer was accepted and we were in escrow. We were lucky to be able to do a 30 day escrow, and everything went so smoothly. We closed the 2nd week in January and then spent the rest of that month packing like crazy, but also going back & forth to the cardiologist for me as I was not doing well. Big moving day was January 25th, just 6 days before the lease termination date.

We thought we'd be able to relax and unpack after that day, but my health was getting worse and worse. I was convinced that my complex ovarian cyst was growing and I was in so much pain, I could barely keep anything down. Finally, on February 17th, I told my mom that I needed to go to the ER the next day. I didn't want to go that night because it was late and I knew I would be competing with the drunks who sliced their hands off their wrists or something like that.

The next morning I went to the ER. It was still busy, but I got there at a decent time. I had bloodwork done, then a CT of my abdomen. There was so much fluid in my abdomen that they couldn't even SEE my ovaries. Then, the ER started to think it was related to brain surgery that I had had YEARS ago. So I had a head CT and x-rays of a pathway they needed to look at.

By that time, it was early evening and Neurology & Cardiology wanted me admitted. They couldn't decide where I should go at first, but the availability of a bed on the Neuro floor made the decision for them. I was cleared the next day by Neuro, but Cardiology was filled to the brim, so I didn't get moved to the Cardiology floor until the following day.

Now, came the hard work. All that fluid? That was due to acute onset congestive heart failure. I was already IN heart failure, but it just got really bad over a very short period of time. So I spent 8 additional days in the hospital trying to get stabilized. 10 total days. No cardiac tests were even run until I got most of the fluid off me.

When I was finally released on February 28th, I felt better than I had in a LONG time. I've had 2 visits with my cardiac team since discharge. There's still no answer as to why things worsened so quickly. I will be having a heart catheterization, which is the best way to look at the heart without surgery. We are hoping to get some answers from that.

Now that I am feeling better, it's time to return to books!