Updates, Explanations, and Oversharing – Why I Disappeared

updates, explanations, and oversharing - caitsbooks.com

Hi.

You might have noticed I’ve been a little absent these past few weeks. And by a little, I mean I practically dropped off the face of the Earth. I didn’t want to just go back to my normal posting schedule without an explanation, but I also didn’t want to spend to much time talking about it, so hopefully this post will do.

Basically, I just had the perfect storm awfulness. So much for enjoying spooky season.

My mom got really sick last month. She’s okay- she had an exasperation of a chronic illness she’s had for years, but because of it she has been in a lot of pain. Between school, work, theater, and trying to help her however I can, plus some family stuff that I won’t go into details on, I was very, very busy. However, what really kept me from posting as much as I wanted to, was my mental health.

I try to be as open as possible about my struggles with mental illness. It’s my small way of trying to fight the stigma against it. That said, it’s much easier to be open about it when I’m stable and my mental health is under control. That really hasn’t been the case for the past month or so.

A combination of anxiety, depression, and insomnia really hit me hard, and I lacked pretty much all motivation to do anything. I was getting no sleep (I broke my record for the least amount of sleep I had in a week at 12 hours, which isn’t exactly a positive, but it made sleep-deprived me laugh so I wanted to mention it), having frequent panic attacks, and I felt pretty hopeless. I didn’t even have the motivation or energy to read (I know, sacrilege), let alone write reviews or discussions. I really missed doing it, because this blog brings me so much happiness, but I was just in such a bad place that I couldn’t feel happy about anything.

But look: I’m posting! I’m definitely not completely better. I’m barely even a fraction of a percent better, but I’m not getting worse. I count that as a win!

I can’t promise I’ll be back to my reliable posting schedule immediately- things are still shaky and might be that way for at least a few weeks- but I just want you to know that I haven’t given up on you guys, and I’m still here.

I have some fun things in the works. There were a lot of things I wanted to post in October that I didn’t get the chance to. I still have a half-written draft of my New York Comic Con wrap up that I need to finish up! I also have some fun things up my sleeve for November that I can’t wait to share with you! (Anyone interested in a giveaway? Stay tuned to my blog this week for more details!)

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting my top 8 November 2019 book releases, and I have a couple of reviews that will be up in this next week. I also plan on having my October favorites and November TBR posted this week as well. Expect a post-heavy and fun-filled bookish week from me!

So… yeah. I’m not dead. I’m not yet okay, and I won’t pretend to be, but I’m working on it and I’m getting there. I’m just so grateful for everyone who’s been there for me, and for all of you guys who brighten my day by talking about books and fandoms and all of those things. You are part of the reason I’m fighting so hard to get better.

Thank you.

This is usually where I ask you guys a question, then plug my twitter/insta/etc. I feel like that would be weird here, but I want some semblance of normalcy sooooo…

What are some great things that have happened to you lately? I want to hear how you’ve been doing and what awesome things have brightened your month!






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The Lightning Thief Musical – Broadway Reviewers Hate Teens (Review + Rant)

Alright, I’m not going to pretend I’m not upset here. I spent this morning reading some of the reviews of the Broadway production of “The Lightning Thief Musical” and just found myself really frustrated.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Not everyone likes the same things, and that’s completely fine. However, I noticed a trend in the negative reviews for this show, and I wanted to talk about it (plus give my thoughts on the show as well).

I’ve seen versions of “The Lightning Thief Musical” three times now. I saw the reunion concert after the off-broadway premier in 2017. I saw the off-broadway tour when it came to NY last March. And just last month I saw “The Lightning Thief Musical” in previews on Broadway.

Needless to say, I think I’ve seen it enough to have an opinion on it. And unlike the reviewers who have been trashing it, I’ve also read the source material and seen previous adaptations.

I love this musical. It’s charming, cute, funny, and even able to bring a tear to your eye (don’t talk to me about “Tree on the Hill”- I will cry). It’s very faithful to the books and will make you completely forget about that mess of a movie. That said, “The Lightning Thief” may not be for everyone. The source material is a middle grade book series. It’s target audience is young, and you can tell. However, this story can be just as compelling for adults as long as you go into it with an open mind.

Also, I just want to mention how amazing this cast is. It’s a small cast, with only 7 people. All but 2 of them (the actors playing Percy and Annabeth) play multiple roles. They embody these characters in a way I never thought could be possible. Each member of the cast is absolutely fantastic. Chris McCarrel (Percy), Kristen Stokes (Annabeth), and Jorrel Javier (Grover) portray the nuances of their characters so well, I honestly can’t imagine anyone else playing them. The rest of the cast is equally stunning, each of them adding so much to the show.

Read more to see me address specific complaints I’ve noticed
(I’m looking at you, New York Times and Theatermania reviews)

[ Related: Preparing Rapunzel & Anastasia for New York Comic Con – Cosplay Check In ]

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Writing Reviews – My Rating System

Writing Reviews: My Rating System (caitsbooks.com)

The longer I’ve been writing book reviews, the more confused I get with my own rating system.

Rating are hard. I really struggle with them. Since I use Goodreads a lot (shameless plug- add me as a friend), I wanted to keep things consistent and rate every book out of 5 stars. However, with so many people rating books from 1-5 stars, everyone now has their own meaning behind what a 5 star/3 star/1 star book is. Even my own meaning has changed.

So, for the sake of clarification, I want to explain what my ratings mean, and give some examples for each!

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Disney-A-Thon Wrap Up!

Disney-A-Thon Wrap Up (caitsbooks.com)

Disney is kinda my brand (outside of books, that is). I’m known at work as the girl who always wears Disney dresses, I cosplay as Disney Princesses, I’m a Disney Vacation Club Member and I visit Disney World almost every year, and my house was literally designed after Disney.

Needless to say, I was excited to do this Disney-A-Thon.

Especially because I was going to Disney this month.

However, I’m awful at sticking to TBRs, and readathons scare me, so I knew this would definitely be a challenge. Not to mention, I set up pretty high goals for myself for the month.

If you haven’t seen my Disney-A-Thon TBR, here’s a link to catch up!

Read more to see if I actually managed to reach those goals, or if I crumbled under pressure!

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Tips for Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World – Visiting Batuu + Building A Lightsaber

Galaxys Edge Tips and Tricks

I know this blog is usually only about books, but I just went to Disney World in Florida and I need to talk about it.

I’m a die hard Star Wars fan, and I’ve been counting down the days for Florida’s Galaxy’s Edge to open since it was announced. So naturally, when I had the opportunity to go to the Annual Passholder Preview Event- I jumped.

If you’re planning on going to Galaxy’s Edge after it opens, read more for some tips to make the most of your visit to Batuu.

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