Shoutout!

So, some of my friends recently started there own book blogs and if you like my blog, I think you’ll really enjoy there’s.

Roses Book Nook – My friend Kendall. She has some great reviews and awesome bookstagram photos!

Night Court Reads – MY BEST FRIEND. Ana has been my best friend for 7 years now, and she was originally going to start a book blog with me, which never happened. Until now. She literally made the site 2 days ago. Her first review should be up in about a week, which will be for A Court of Frost and Starlight.

So go check out my friends’ blogs!

You won’t regret it!

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Discussion: Who Would You Pick In This YA Love Triangle?

January didn’t have a discussion, so February gets two!

Valentines Day gave me a couple good discussion ideas too which is nice.

For Valentines, my discussion post was What Makes A Good Book Boyfriend?

Keeping with the Valentines theme though its passed already, this post is all about YA love triangles. Love them or hate them, they exist quite persistently.

Here is:

Who Would You Pick In This YA Love Triangle?

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*Graphic isn’t mine, its from this great discussion –

 On the Young Adult Love Triangle Cliche


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Shatter Me

Adam vs. Warner

I read the first Shatter Me book a few years ago. And just…never continued. I didn’t own the rest and never got around to buying them. Its one of the series I most want to finish.

Juliette dates Adam, and I got the feeling that maybe he’s who she’s supposed to end up with, but I love Warner. I always like the love interests with issues/ability to be evil. They aren’t the love interest you’d pick in real life, but in fiction complicated characters are the best.


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Red Queen

Cal vs. Maven

Red Queen By Victoria Aveyard Book Review

This is another series that I’ve only read the first book, which I LOVED. I’m behind on a lot of series, I’ve mentioned this a lot.

Cal was my favorite throughout the book, with the end of Red Queen only cementing that for me. Maven misses the Bad Boy mark entirely going into Evil REAL quick.


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Throne of Glass

Chaol vs. Dorian

AGAIN, I’ve only read the first book. And Assassin’s Blade. But my best friend talks about it so much I know an amalgamation of facts from later books.

She LOVES Dorian and I like Dorian a lot, but I ship her with Chaol. I think they make the cuter couple, but I mostly feel alone in that.


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A Court of Thorns and Roses

Tamlin vs. Rhysand

I’ve read the first book and part of the second. Forgive me. My best friend hates Tamlin and loves Rhysand, though I haven’t seen much of Rhysand.

I liked Tamlin in book one until the end, when he got very very annoying. Apparently he gets more annoying, so I’ll probably love Rhysand soon enough.


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The Selection

Aspen vs. Maxon

I haven’t read The Heir or The Crown. I feel no need.

But they’re separate from this anyways.

The love triangle here annoyed me SO MUCH. She was never going to pick Aspen, obviously. It only existed to add plot where basically none existed.

Maxon deserved better than America, but the time I got to The One, I wanted to kill her.


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Hunger Games

Peeta vs. Gale

Throughout the first two books, I loved Gale. He was her best friend, and I’m a sucker for friends-to-lovers. And even at 11 years old, it felt like Peeta was guilting her into loving him initially. After Mockingly, and Gale dropping the bombs I was team Peeta all the way – which was maybe the point of making Gale an A**.

I love the fan theories that Katniss is Aromantic/Asexual one or the other or both. I think that would have been great.

A look, its a series I’ve actually finished…


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Grisha Trilogy

Mal vs. Darkling

I haven’t actually read The Grisha Trilogy. I don’t actually even know much about it.

All I know, is that most everyone who likes the bad boy love interest loves the darkling, and that I probably will too.


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Infernal Devices

Jem vs. Will

This is, hands down, the best example of a love triangle done right I can think of.

Its virtually impossible to choose who you love more, and it was resolved the best possible way.

I bow to Cassie Clare for the ending of this series.


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The Love Interest

Dylan vs. Caden

Netgalley Review: The Love Interest

This is the only standalone on the list.

This is a satire about the use of love triangles in YA fiction.

I love Dylan and Caden together, even if parts of the ending ticked me off.


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Twilight

Edward vs. Jacob

Discussion: Why I Still Love Twilight

Look, I had to include Twilight on this list. Its THE YA love triangle that comes to mind. I prefer Jacob personally, but I like Edward with Bella more than Bella with Jacob if that makes sense. I don’t think much needs to be said on Twilight, especially since its had its own discussion.


Let me know if I missed any big love triangles you’d like to mention.

Do you agree with my choices?

With the final author choice?

Let me know!


Also, I found this epic Epic-Reads quiz that inspired this post

– Which Side of the Love Triangle Would You Choose?

 

Discussion: What Makes A Good Book Boyfriend?

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Alternatively could be titled: Types of Book Boyfriends

What Makes A Good Book Boyfriend:

Book boyfriends are different from your OTP or preferred choice in a love triangle.

Book boyfriends are book characters YOU would date.

I have below a non-definitive list of my own book boyfriends, grouped into three types of book boyfriends – in honor of today being valentines day.

But what makes a good book boyfriend?

 – They are usually attractive (for whatever you find attractive – this varies by person)

– They have a great sense of humor usually

-They are good boyfriends to their love interest in a given book, sweet or caring, or good with kids/animals. Tragic pasts and the “ability to be evil but aren’t due to love” are also common.

– Hot, dark and brooding is also common

– Anti-hero/villain a common theme

– If you’d date him in real life – he’s a book boyfriend


Strong and Silent:

Strong and silent ones are a sort of middle between good guy and bad boy. Less snark but more guarded. Usually, they don’t want to hurt another boy in a love triangle, they have a horrific past, and really don’t want to fall in love but do. They are physically strong, and usually have training scenes. Usually, the girl is the only one to make him laugh or seem to let his guard down and just be himself. Usually in a power of duty, and very hot. Not very flirty.

Fang – Maximum Ride

Dimitri – Vampire Academy

X – The Edge of Everything

Chaos – Throne of Glass


The Bad Boy:

Some bad boy types of love interest skit the line between Bad boy and actually evil boy, but we still love them. Usually, they’re guarded, a little mean at first and very snarky/sarcastic. Usually part of a love triangle. They are funny, and almost always very very hot. Very flirty too.

Daemon – Lux Series

Jace Wayland – Mortal Instruments

Adrian – Vampire Academy Aeries

Warner – Shatter Me Series

Zach Goode – Gallagher Girls Series

Will Herondale – Infernal Devices Trilogy


The Good Guy:

The good guys are usually not love interests to the protagonist, they’re background characters etc. Some try to be bad boys but can’t pull it off. They are very sweet, caring etc. Virtually the only guy capable of communicating his feelings. They are much more common in contemporary books.

Jase – My Life Next Door

Liam – Darkest Minds

Day – Legend series.

Kenji Kishimoto – Shatter Me

Seth Clearwater – Twilight Saga

Noah Czerny – The Raven Cycle

Finnick – The Hunger Games

Jem Carstaires – Infernal Devices

Carter Blume – Bad Girls Don’t Die

Levi – Fangirl


Do you share any book boyfriends with me?

Do you disagree with any?

Do you have another type/category of book boyfriends?

Let  me know!


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Discussion: On Un-Hauling Books & How

Books –

Every book blogger faces the problem, one day or another, of having too many.

For example, my room is basically:

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Which is:

  1. Honestly probably some sort of health hazard (my shelf did once collapse and almost kill me once)
  2. Not so easy to deal with when I go to college next Fall.

My solution?

Unhaul some books.

Which is a little bit like pulling teeth, or sacrificing children. I’m sure all other bookworms can relate.


What Is An Un-Haul?

An unhaul is exactly what it sounds like. The reverse of a book haul. Getting rid of books.


What Do You Mean, Getting Rid of Books?

I know. Its sounds basically sacrilegious. But it means getting books out of your shelves/floor/closet/room/house and into someone else hands.

It can be selling to a used bookstore, donating to a library or school, selling them online, giving them away via blog, dropping them off at Goodwill…

Doesn’t matter where they go, as long as its away.

And at the end, you’ll go from a cluttered mess to:

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Book heaven. Nice, neat, shelves. Beautiful.


But How Do I Un-Haul? Its hard!

Get ready because I’m going to lay some wisdom on you.

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Step 1 )

Take a good hard look at your books.

Decide on a goal.
Clean ups a little? Light-housing keeping or deep cleaning? Complete overhaul and decimation or just clearing some of the worst of the clutter?

You need a goal, or the books might drown you.


Step 2 )

Good job!

You now have a goal. Write it down. STICK TO IT!

Figure out what you’ll do with un-hauled books. Sell or donate? Where? Make this part of your plan.

Gather boxes.

I’m trying to sell my books as you can see here: Books for Sale/Trade


Step 3 )

Take out all the book you HAVE to keep. Your favorites. The ones you have an emotional attachment too. The signed ones. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Put them in a box, get them out of the room. They are safe. But it’ll be easy to tackle the rest without worrying about your precious darlings getting caught in the cross fire.


Step 4 )

Now we get to the hard part.

The un-hauling.

Get all the books off the shelves.

They don’t go back until there are safe. This is defend your life, an annihilation round. No one left here is safe.


Step 5 )

If there are any books you’ve outgrown, consider giving them to family members. Younger siblings or cousins or nieces or nephews.

If you’re saving books for kids, either too young to read or none existent, box them up and put them in storage, a closet or garage will do.

The point is to cut down some clutter and free up shelf space.


Step 6 )

Sort. Then sort some more.

Lets go with un-read books first. Has it been on your TBR for over two years? If yes, then are you ever going to read it? If no, let it go. In a donation/sell box it goes.

Look at the other unread books. Are you going to read it in the next two years? Realistically? If not, consider letting it go. Be honest with your self.


Step 7 )

Now, the read books. If you rated it less than 3 stars, you should probably let it go. A pretty cover isn’t good enough here. If you can’t remember reading it, probably not worth keeping. If you didn’t love it, and/or aren’t going to re-read it, consider passing it on to someone who will read it. Let go.

You don’t have to follow these to the letter, its just a suggestion. Use your best judgement, and be honest with yourself. Is this worth keeping?


Step 8 )

All the books you decided to keep should now go back on the shelves. All the books you’ve gotten rid of, should be packed in boxes to do with as you’ve decided. Get them there as soon as possible so you can’t change your mind.

If you get rid of 1 book or 50 books I’m proud of you.


Step 9 )

Organize the bookshelf in a pleasing way. I have a whole discussion about it here:

Discussion: Ways To Organize A Bookshelf


Step 10 )

Plan for the future.

Where will new books go?

Book buying ban? Only buy books when you finish one? Only buy books with gift cards?

The unhaul is not an excuse to go crazy buying books.


And you’re done! 

You did it!

You survived the unhaul!

Reward yourself!

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Discussion: Where To Buy (Cheap) Books

Books.

As book bloggers, we love them, and often times, hoard them like dragons hoarding gold.

We all want to be like those book bloggers with endless shelves, and massive frequent book hauls, but it can be hard when you don’t have much in the way in disposable income for buying books.

Books are EXPENSIVE.

I’m 17, I may get an allowance, but not nearly enough to buy all the books I would want to (which is why I have 2-3 book hauls a year, generally from birthday/christmas gifts).

Without further ado, here are some of the places I find cheap books, to help you out in your book blogging, or just reading, adventures.


Local Used Bookstores

To me, this is the most fun option, because it means you get to go exploring.

If you google “used bookstores + city name” you’ll find at least one, unless your in a really small town or something (and my grandma lives in Tryon, a town so small everything is on a single street – and they have a used bookstore so…).

Exploring a second hand bookstore is super fun, especially when you find a gem hidden in the trash.

We used to have two near where I live, but both closed down recently and it makes me sad…


Book Outlet

Book Outlet is famous in the book blog world.

Basically, Book Outlet is a website where, while the selection isn’t everything/recent, it is pretty large, easy to sort through, and books – even hardcovers – can range from $1-$10 dollars.

And now they have flat rate shipping for the US and Canada!


The Strand

The Strand is a famous independent bookstore in New York (and its large and epic in person!) that has an online store.

While they do have full priced books, they have a clearance section, book sales, and the intriguing, mystical phenomenon known as “books by the foot” that I’ve never tried but I want to.

Its worth checking out.


AbeBooks

A site where people and stores can sell old books – some new, some used.

You can find some cheap copies every once in a while, and the site has a good reputation when it comes to antique and/or signed books.


Biblio

Basically the same idea as AbeBooks, but I prefer the Biblio site personally.


Half Price Books

Another famous site. As the name would suggest, they offer a pretty wide array of discounted books.


Project Gutenburg

Now, this one is a little different.

Project Gutenberg isn’t for buying books, but reading e-books for free.

Here’s their self description: “Project Gutenberg offers over 54,000 free eBooks: Choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online. You will find the world’s great literature here, especially older works for which copyright has expired. We digitized and diligently proofread them with the help of thousands of volunteers.”

Its a free site, and if you like classics and e-books, its great!


Kindle Deals

If you have a Kindle e-reader from Amazon, Amazon has deals, discounts, book on sale, etc. that changes pretty often, but is worth checking out if your looking for something new to read.


Thrift Books

Another site, similar to Half Price, etc.

You can buy both new and used copies here, and prices can vary wildly (as stores can sell old copies here like Biblio but more organized), but you can find pretty cheap copies of even popular or newer YA books here every so often.


I’m sure there are other sites like these, but these are the ones I use.

I hope this helps some of you out and that you enjoyed this!

Discussion: Reading Reviews

Writing book reviews is an integral part of book blogging. That’s pretty much a given.

(Though, Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek gave a pretty great discussion on being a book blogger without being a book reviewer

Most of us write reviews, with varying frequency and styles. That’s a given.

But how many of us read other peoples reviews?

Do you read reviews before you read a book, to decide if its worth your time?

Do you look at rating and recommendations before, and save reading reviews until after you review a book yourself, to avoid “tainting” the experience beforehand?

Do you avoid negative reviews of books you enjoyed, and vise-versa? Do you seek out differing opinions?

Book bloggers help both authors and readers by writing reviews, but what do reviews mean to reviewers?

For me, it varies.

I’ll read reviews if I’m not sure I’ll enjoy a book, but avoid them if I’m certain I want to read it.

If I come across a review of a book I read, I’ll usually read it, see what others thought of it, but I don’t generally seek out reviews of books I’ve read.

This differs a lot between bloggers, and so I want to know, how do you approach reading reviews as a reviewer?


Some other great discussions I’ve seen on this are:

Sara @ Freedom Library wrote about how reviews can affect your thoughts on a book.

Hannah @ Sprinkled With Words wrote about review tainted reading.

So you should go check them out!

 

Discussion: Do ARC Reviews HAVE To Be Positive?

Aren’t you proud of me? Being all consistent and writing discussions regularly for the first time ever? I told you had a list of ideas a mile long – I’m just working through it now.

Anyways. Onto the discussion you came here for.


I’ve seen a handful of bloggers touch upon this topic and I wanted to give my own view of it. Arcs are, especially, a book blogger’s lifeblood – one of my most popular discussion posts is on How To Request ARCs.

And for many of us, they are a perk to our hobby – but they are also a responsibility.

Regardless of your stance on negative reviews in general, we have do decide if its okay to negatively review on ARC.

ARC, simply put, stands for Advanced Readers/Review Copy.

An ARCs entire purpose of existence is to generate prerelease reviews and hype, so that the book sells better. Obviously, positive reviews are whats going to accomplish this, not negative reviews.

But upon reviewing an ARC, we all give a statement along the lines of “I received this book for free but it doesn’t influence my opinion”. I think for most of us, thats not even a conscious thing to write, its a legal, automatic, robotic thing. Like a user agreement – you mark agree and proceed to ignore it.

Even if you don’t consciously tailor reviews because its an ARC, I think it subconsciously motivates us to try and like the book a bit more – we feel bad giving a negative review when a publisher/author went out of their way, and spent money, to have us review the book.

But we need to be honest – thats the only way book blogs function. If our readers can trust us, if our fellow book bloggers can trust us.

If you heartily dislike the book – and you don’t want to give a negative review, maybe contact the publisher and let them know. Give them your feedback.

Otherwise, be careful with what you request or accept – if you’re not sure about it, don’t take it just because its offered – you don’t want to get yourself in that position.

Now, if you are reviewing an ARC, and you didn’t like it, DON’T BASH IT.

Explain why did and why did not work for you – what made you dislike it, its it a personal/subjective reason? Could others of certain tastes like it? Is the writing objectively good? Even if its a low rating, can you mention some positives?

We want to promote books. We want ARCs to serve their intended purpose, but not at the sake of our integrity. Be honest – just don’t be harsh or cruel.


What do you think?

Do you agree with me?

Do you have a different stance?

Let me know!

Discussion: Unhauling Books

With ever growing TBRs and book collections comes ever decreasing shelf space.

Especially when book bloggers move houses or go off to college.
Shelf space is a hot commodity not to be trifled with.

One ever common way to deal with this is the book unhaul.

Bloggers either donate books or host giveaways for books they no longer want on their shelves.


Different bloggers have different criteria for unhauls.

Some do it periodically to rid themselves of books below a certain star rating or that they distinctly disliked.

Some giveaway arcs they’ve finished.

Some get rid of old / beat up / or multiple copies of the same books. Sometimes it’s just a book they don’t intend to reread.

This is a good thing – or spreads the book Iove and stops your shelf from killing you in your sleep.


But I think I’m incapable of it.

Over the years I’ve turned in a handful of books to second hand stores, give.
A few to my sister or cousins.
But I am overwhelmingly a hoarder.

I always have been.
I probably always will.

I should probably embrace the unhauling.
Someday.
Someday.
Maybe.

Or next year when I’m packing up for college and start feeling the urge to set things on fire so I don’t have to deal with them.


What do you think?

Do you unhaul books?

Discussion: The Great Book Format Debate – Paperback, Hardcover or E-book?

This is a discussion post virtually every book blogger ever has added to.

I felt I should to.


Hardcover:

Pros-

  • Looks a lot nicer on a shelf.
  • Tend to have nicer covers.
  • Surprises under dust jackets.
  • First to be released.
  • More satisfying to possess/smell/feel/read usually.
  • The classic form of a book.

Cons-

  • Heavy
  • Hard to carry around / hold up to read for extended periods.
  • Dust jacket can get messed up or lost.
  • Way more expensive usually.
  • Take up a lot of space in one’s house/room.

Conclusion:

Hardcovers are preferable for looks but sometimes impracticable and expensive.


Paperback:

Pros-

  • Easy to read and carry than a hardback.
  • Cheaper and still physical for display and collection.
  • No dust jacket anxiety.
  • Easier than hardback to read for extended periods.

Cons-

  • They can take long to be released (over a year past the hardcover at times).
  • Usually have worse covers.
  • Get damaged easier (bent spines)
  • Don’t look as nice on a shelf.

Conclusion:

Easier, cheaper, but not as pretty.


E-books:

Pros-

  • Easy to carry around.
  • Doesn’t take up room/house/shelf space.
  • Generally the cheapest.
  • The modern book format.
  • No worries about loss or damages.
  • Don’t have to worry about being intimidated by book size.

Cons-

  • E-books can be tricky, because depending on the reader you have ( as in iPad vs. kindle vs nook vs app vs desktop vs what ever else exists) can make a big difference on the experience.
  •  Some books, especially image or formatting specific ones usually become unreadable in the best of times.
  • Can’t be lent to friends.
  • No physical shelf to be prideful of.
  • Have to buy a device that can cost $80+

Conclusion:

I love reading on my kindle – when I have mobis, PDFs only work on the desktop and I never have time to read there. Adobe Digital Editions gets tedious.

I’ve been using e-books since early middle school, as its easier to carry around in a bookbag and on vacations, and long books seem less intimidating. Also, decreasing shelf space.

E-books as a preference or option varies greatly by device and by the person.

E-books are the cheapest, easiest, and least satisfying.


Audiobooks:

Despite this discussion being ever popular, audiobooks are never included it seems. They always get a separate rave or rant. Its a book format like any other, only far it gets included. Hell, I made a rant about them in my first ever discussion.

Pros-

  • Easy to read on the go/ when multitasking.
  • Lets people who don’t usually have time to read, read.
  • Can be inexpensive.
  • Fun to listen to voices for the characters (on the better or full cast ones at least).

Cons-

  • Can be hard to focus on.
  • Can take longer to listen to than actually read.
  • Quality of audiobooks in narration varies drastically.
  • Makes it difficult to imagine characters for yourself.

Conclusion:

Audiobooks have less objective pros and cons, they mostly fall down to personal preference. I don’t abhor them or anything, but I prefer to read for myself. They I may have to listen to some that are full cast narrations, as those sound fun!


Overall Conclusions:

I will continue to prefer hardcovers, and only buying paperbacks when I’m desperate for a physical copy/at a second hand store.

My e-reader will continue to be for arcs.

Really there is no conclusion to be reached in this sort of discussion, I just wanted to make my pros and cons lists.


What do you think?

Which do you prefer?

Do you agree with what I said?

Let me know!

Discussion: Reviewing Non-Novel Reading Material (Short Stories / Comics / Manga etc.)

Last month I wrote a Discussion on What You Review.

But, I wanted to expand on what I said when I saw a great discussion on How Does One Review Manga and Comics @ RakioddBooks. (And really, check out her blog!)

Because I’d love it if more book bloggers reviewed comics/manga/ etc.

In my discussion, I had mentioned reviewing non-books, but hadn’t gone into detail.

And when commenting on Raquel’s post, I thought I had enough to say on my own views that I’d make my own discussion post as a sort of response. Get my insight out to my own followers.

Here is what I commented:

I haven’t really read enough manga/comics recently to be thinking about how to review them, but I think I’d use a similar system that I use for short story collections.

As you finish a short story (or manga/comic volume) write a mini review, then, when you’ve read enough (5-10 depending on length I’d guess – or even once you’ve finished the series), you can post all the mini-volume reviews in one post with an overall conclusion on your thoughts of the series.

That way, you don’t have to worry about either not having a long enough review or forgetting details of the series as you review.

I’ve reviewed short stories before – I review the collection as a whole with mini-reviews for each individual story in the same post.

I think a similar approach works for manga and comic volumes.

That way you can track your thoughts on each individual issue for your followers, without forgetting details by reviewing at the end, or getting annoying with two sentence reviews posted separately for the whole series/run/etc.


What do you think?

Should they be reviewed differently?

Do you have your own thoughts on it?

Or do you think book blogs should only review books?

Because I like seeing reviews of other types of material.