March 01, 2024

Offbeat Offline: February 2024

Welcome to Offbeat Offline, where I bring you up-to-date with what went on in my life during the month just gone, give you a sneak peek of my next shenanigans, and share my favourite posts of late!

What happened last month to yours truly? A beloved series got a new installment...and my husband finally ventured out of the bed (but don't get too excited - he's only taking a few step inside per day to build up strength at this stage, with very meager results). I'm trying to conquer the to-be-read-and-reviewed pile, and though I've had little success for now, at least I seem to have gone past the "I don't wanna" or "man, this stuff is SO hard" stage...words seem to flow better. Let's hope it sticks...

πŸ“š THE PROBLEM WITH ARCS. OK, it won't sound like I'm making much progress with my TBR pile based on the numbers, but the fact is...every ARC I manage to read and review is promptly replaced with another. And real life is a bitch. Anyway, as I said, I'm feeling more hopeful - I think I'm getting my reviewing mojo back (or maybe just coming to terms with the fact that I HAVE to do my homework LOL). I only managed to read 2 books in February, and I still have 7 ARCs to read and review, but I'm not actively trying to avoid the reviewing part, so I'll call it a win? Anyhow, here's a rundown of my bookish activity for the month... 

Approvals (2+2):
  • We Ate the Dark by Mallory Pearson (Adult, supernatural/afterlife/multiverse - not really an approval, because it was Read Now on NetGalley)
Five years after Sofia Lyon disappeared, her remains are found stuffed into the hollow of a tree bursting through the floorboards of an abandoned house in the woods. The women who loved her flock home to the North Carolina hills to face their grief.
Frankie, Sofia’s twin, is in furious mourning. Poppy is heartbroken. Cass has never felt more homesick. And Marya knows something the rest of them don’t. Determined to find Sofia’s murderer, they share more than a need to see justice done for their friend. Each woman is haunted, bound to the next by something both cruel and kind, and now stalked by a shadowy presence they’ve yet to understand. Only to question, and to fear.
As Sofia’s secrets unravel, so do those of the woods, and the women soon realize that Sofia might not be who they thought she was at all. And that whoever—or whatever—killed her is coming after them.
  • Deadgirl; Daybreak by B.C. Johnson (YA, afterlife - again, not really an approval, because I got it directly from the author)
The final year of high school approaches, and Lucy is ready to break. Too many of her friends have died. Too many monsters have taken their bite. And now Lucy must face her greatest challenge of the end of everything she knows. With high school disappearing and the world before her, Lucy must make her choice on what's to come. But with the rise of an old enemy who's been stalking her for three years–and a rapidly dwindling supply of allies–can Lucy even make it to graduation? And more importantly, does she want to?
Senior year. No going back. No coming back.

Two years ago, Riley visited the abandoned and allegedly haunted religious reform school Dominic House with his boyfriend, Ethan, and his best friends, Colton and Vee.
Ethan never came out. Colton’s leg will never quite heal, Vee is branded as hysterical, and Riley has horrific scars as a reminder of that night.
Now, at eighteen, Riley hasn’t exactly moved on, but he’s kept away from all things paranormal.
Until legendary ghost chaser Jordan Jones shows up with an offer: return to Dominic House with her to film an episode of her Spirit Seekers TV show.
Riley may have vowed never to return, but he has unfinished business at Dominic House. With a reluctant Colton and Vee at his side, Riley is determined to find out what happened to Ethan once and for all.
But as the night wears on, Riley realizes he isn’t just revisiting the most terrifying night of his life— he’s reliving it.
  • Tidal Creatures (Alchemical Journeys #3) by Seanan McGuire (Adult, supernatural)
All across the world, people look up at the moon and dream of gods. Gods of knowledge and wisdom, gods of tides and longevity. Over time, some of these moon gods incarnated into the human world alongside the other manifest natural concepts. Their job is to cross the sky above the Impossible City―the heart of all creation―to keep it connected to reality.
And someone is killing them.
There are so many of them that it's easy for a few disappearances to slip through the cracks. But they aren't limitless.
In the name of the moon, the lunar divinities must uncover the roots of the plot and thwart the true goal of those behind these attacks―control of the Impossible City itself.

Reads (2):
  • We Ate the Dark by Mallory Pearson (see above)
Judging from the Goodreads average rating (which I saw after downloading the book), I expected it to be a mess...but frankly, though it's packed with metaphors (and a number of them are over the top or don't make complete sense), I found many reasons to like it...
  • Deadgirl; Daybreak by B.C. Johnson (see above)
Be still my heart.

Reviews (3):
On the blog in a few days.
  • Deadgirl: Daybreak by B.C. Johnson (see above)
You might remember I already posted my review last month. The 5-star streak for this series continues...
  • We Ate the Dark by Mallory Pearson (see above)
On the blog soon.

Here are my scheduled reviews for this month:
  • The Haunting of Velkwood by Gwendolyn Kiste (on Mon. 4th);
  • We Ate the Dark by Mallory Pearson (on Sun. 10th);
  • Floating Hotel by Grace Curtis (on Mon. 18th - if I like it enough to write a full review, that is, otherwise I'll include it in a mini-review round on the same date). 
  • Colossus by Leslie Ryan (on Tue. 26th...if I manage to finish it in time).

Reviews aside...nothing. I'm so behind on ARCs that I must concentrate on reading and reviewing them, so I'll skip the Tell Me Something Tuesday meme this month (what's new?), though I might do a recap post later where I reply to all the March/April questions in brief...also because I'm planning an April hiatus, since April and May are the only months for which I don't have any ARCs to review for now, and I need to get a headstart on the June/July ones. We'll see if I manage...In the meantime, here's the TMST prompt list for the months of March and April, in case you want to join in:

  • March 5th: Describe yourself in three words (a question I submitted)
  • March 12th: Which book genres do you tend to avoid?
  • March 19th: Where would you like to travel? (a question I submitted)
  • March 26th: Will you start a series if you know it probably won't be finished?
  • April 2nd: Are you fluent in more than one language? (a question I submitted)
  • April 9th: What have you been watching? Share your TV show or movie picks
  • April 16th: What new-to-you authors have you enjoyed in the past 12 months?
  • April 23rd: TBR update: How is your list coming along?
  • April 30th: Social media: Where can you be found these days?

πŸ˜“ THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD. My husband got his new prosthetic and tried to get up and walk...not like it went well so far. It's not just that he's been in a bed for one year and a half - the situation is made extra hard by his having to use crutches. I mean, he's got chronic pain in his arms at this point from having to rely on said crutches for so many years already, and all these months in bed haven't helped either, because every time he makes the transition from bed to chair, he uses his arms to give himself a push, which generates muscle strain. The first day he took a few steps in the kitchen and we were feeling hopeful, but the two following days he was barely able to get up from the chair I use to move him around.'s rougher than I thought it would be, and here I wasn't feeling so optimistic to begin with...
This is pretty much it. No sign of the money we're waiting for yet (assistance allowance, pension, severance pay). It shouldn't be long though, at least for the first one...


None this month.




That's it for now. My next post will be up on March 4th, and it will be the review for The Haunting of Velkwood I mentioned above.

So, what were your highs/lows in the past month?


  1. Reading two books that you enjoyed is a good thing. I don't let the due dates get me down. You will get them read. I believe in you! I am so sorry to hear about setbacks in the husband's recovery. ((HUGS)) to you both.

    1. I will get them read...but reviewed? That's the real problem LOL. Thank you though! For the hugs too πŸ’š.

  2. Did anyone send a physical therapist to help your husband getting up and down and building more endurance or anything? I know they would have done that here but I don't know about where you live if they do that. I hope things get better.

    1. Alas, if you want one, you have to pay. PT is only free if you're discharged from a hospital after an operation. It use to be different, but right now, our NHS is a mess 😬.

  3. I'm reading s olittle. No matter how few you read, you're ahead of me. Anyway Tidal Creatures- I have a thing for the moon, so look what pops up. And the author. And Floating Hotel- yes I HAVE to know.

    Best of luck to your husband. That's going t obe a long and tough road, sounds like, but sending lots of suppotive vibes your way that it goes well.

    Oh come on. Join my Discord! No pressure haha. I'm thinking of doing a McGuire readalong over there. The doorway series.

    1. I don't have a problem with reading though...I have a problem with reviewing LOL. Anyhow, I'll keep recommending awesome books up your alley, and you'll HAVE to cave someday πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‰.

      Thank you...yep, it's tough πŸ˜“.

      Eh...maybe when I'm caught up with the tons of books I have to review, I will join your Discord...but don't hold your breath. It would be nice, but I have to be realistic...I don't think I can fit yet another internet activity into my schedule. Best of luck with the Wayward Children readalong though!

  4. I'm glad your husband was able to get out of bed and take a few steps. I'm sorry it's taking more out of him that you both realized it would. It must feel so frustrating and take away any hope that it'll get better. I'm sorry. I'll keep sending healing thoughts and positive vides. Hopefully, he'll be able to get up and move around a bit better as he continues to try. *hugs*

    1. Thank you! He still has to get some adjustments done to his prosthetic, so maybe he'll be able to feel more confident and make more progress after that (that is, starting on Tuesday).

  5. I think it's better to have a lot of books to read or none at all. I barely read in February. I think finishing 2 books is a win. Thanks for sharing my links.

    It's hard enough worrying about normal things but money worries seems worst. I hope you get the assistance you need.

    Have a lovely day.

    1. I hope you'll find a renewed enthusiasm for reading...or at least better-suited books that will reignite your spark!

      We finally got answers about the assistance allowance - it will arrive in a couple of weeks or three. Next up is the pension.

  6. Well, YEA for the small things including a few steps and enjoying your books. Have you tried shaking up how or when you write reviews? Maybe try something radical like pick 10 words to describe the book? or the ever popular "What I loved, What I liked, What didn't work"? I hope you find some mojo for those reviews!

    1. Eh...I love my review format too much for that LOL. It's unique enough to make my blog recognizable...But I seem to be getting that mojo back nevertheless.

  7. I'm sorry things are not going well with your husband's health. It's so bad the way one body part breaks, so then you have to rely more on another part, but doing that just causes that one to break too... Still, fingers crossed that it'll get better for him.

    You still managed to read more books than I did in February, so good job! Lol. Maybe we're both getting our reading/reviewing mojo back now? That would be a good thing.

    1. Thank you!

      I'm always in the mood for reading, but then I procrastinate on my reviews, so I forbid myself from starting a new book until I've reviewed the latest one I read. That accounts for the small number of finished books. I guess it's different for you - more of a fatigue thing. I hope you start to feel up to reading and reviewing more, or struggle less with the whole process πŸ’š.

  8. I was looking back at old videos of when my grandfather began to walk again after taking a nasty fall... I totally understand where you and your husband are at and how difficult even a few steps could be!

    1. He's extra challenged too, what with being an amputee...

  9. I totally get the "replace one read ARC with a new one" lol. It looks like you're starting to post more reviews, so thats a good thing. Glad to hear your husband is up and about, at least a little😁

    1. I don't know how you manage to read AND review so many books LOL. I mean, you write thoughtful and detailed reviews...

      Thank you - it's hard to get back to normal, but, baby steps...literally πŸ˜“.

  10. Take a break - I'M doing TMST now lol

    Keep on keeping words of wisdom for the month :-))))

    1. You stick with TMST and baking and mini reviews, while I do the long ones πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‰.

      We might just as well try this words-of-wisdom thing, where everything else failed...πŸ˜‚ 😭


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