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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Black Friday Book Haul

This is pretty late… but I wanted to share my haul anyways.

From BookOutlet:

From OwlCrate:

From Barnes and Noble (all signed editions):

E-Reader Book Tag

I saw this tag on Allison Theresa  and thought it looked like a short, fun tag! So why not?!


What support do you use to read your e-books? An e-reader, a tablet, or the PC? 

Mostly I use my Kindle Fire (its technically a tablet, but its from a line of e-readers…so its both). I also use Adobe Digital Editions on my Mac for Netgalley arcs.

How many e-books have you read since you started the new “digital fashion”? 

I’ve been reading e-books since about the fifth grade, so I have literally no idea. Not even an approximation.

What is the language of your ebooks? 

English…

And I own Harry Potter e-books in Spanish for practicing reading in Spanish.

Buy them or take advantage of free promotions and books? 

Mostly take advantage…

Do you enjoy reading classics or new authors? 

Depends on the book. I don’t enjoy them all, but I’m willing to when it sounds interesting.

How many e-books do you have? 

SO MANY!

What is your biggest supplier of ebooks? 

Amazon. I literally own a kindle remember?

Did you completely adhere to the Digital Reading or do you still live in the Age of the Physical Book? 

I use both. I prefer owning physical books, but e-books are better for traveling and school.


I Tag:

Louise @ Genie Reads

Casey @ Adopt-a-Book-AUS

B @ Icebreaker694

Raquel @ Rakiodd Books

The Orangutan Librarian

Sophie @ Blame it on Chocolate

Alex @ Lord of the Trekkies

Kayla @ KDrew The Bookworm

The Book Blogger Insider Tag

I wasn’t tagged, but I saw this over at Drizzle and Hurricane Books and thought it looked like fun!


Rules

Answer the questions below.
Credit the creator: Camryn @The Writing Crafter.
Tag at least 5 people.
Have fun!


1) Where do you typically write your blog posts?

My desk in my room where my desktop is. Never anywhere else, though I jot down ideas in the notes app of my phone a lot everywhere else.

2) How long does it generally take you to write a book review?

Anywhere from 20 minutes to agonizing over everything for 4 hours. Generally, there is no in-between with me.

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3) When did you start your book blog?

I started this blog in January 2015. But I didn’t get serious about it until later into 2016.

4) What is the worst thing about having a book blog in your opinion?

Time.

Stress.

I have terrible time management when it comes to this blog, and the TBR pile and having to post is just another stress in the long line of things I have to be stressed about.

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5) What is the best thing about having a book blog in your opinion?

Getting to talk to people about books, meeting people, making friends, having a consistent hobby. Take your pick.

6) What blog post have you had the most fun writing so far?

There have been a few. Off the top of my head, some are:

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Things I Want To See More Of In YA

Poem: Despite Your Heart Of Gold (I’m Not The One You Need To Save)

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Things That Make Me Want To Read A Book

Discussion: Review Copies/ARCs

Buddy Read – Book Review: And I Darken

Panic! At The Disco Book Tag (Original)

Entirely non-comprehensive of course.

7) What is your favourite type of blog post to write?

I really like writing discussions and story type posts. They don’t tend to come out very good, but they feel the most personal/conversational and I like them.

I also like the Top Ten Tuesdays usually.

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8) When do you typically write?

In the morning when I have time to kill, at night when I’m avoiding some other responsibility like dishes/laundry, or on weekends while I lounge around watching TV and should be reading probably.

9) Do you review every book you read?

I try to. Sometimes it doesn’t happen, but I try to.

10) How do you write your book reviews? With a cup of coffee or tea? With Netflix? Cuddled with your fur baby?

My cat doesn’t cuddle me, he’s my sister’s. I swear she trained him to bite me.

If I’m writing in the morning I have coffee, but I don’t seek it for writing time. Usually I;m watching Youtube videos or Netflix while I’m blogging. Definitely.

11) When do you write your book reviews? Right after finishing the book? Two weeks after finishing the book?

I try my best to review books as soon as I finish them – or at least within the week. Usually I’ll write the review and schedule it for later (next open Friday on the schedule or, if its an arc, for release day).

12) How often do you post?

Lately I’ve been trying for minimum 3 times a week. Sometimes more, but thats usually it. I have a few monthly posts that I do (like Throwback Thursday) and I usually try to do a few weekly memes (T5W and TTT), but my basic schedule is a tag on Monday, a discussion or etc. on Wednesday, and a review  on Friday.

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My Tags

B @ Icebreaker694

Raquel @ Rakiodd Books

Kayla @ KDrew The Bookworm

Lashaan and Trang @ Bookidote

Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek

Sophie @ Blame it on Chocolate

Alex @ Lord of the Trekkies

The Orangutan Librarian

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?

NetGalley Review: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (But You Could Have Done It Better)

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I received an e-arc of this book from netgalley and this is my honest review.

Original Release Date:

January 10th 2017

Date I Read The Book:

March 2017

My Star Rating:

3 Stars

Official Summary:

Anonymous break up stories from men and women, old and young, serious and silly and the cartoons that inspired them. Author and artist Hilary Campbell turns the painful into the hilarious, validating emotions from forgotten middle school tragedies to relationships that ended only hours ago.

Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and cartoonist. Her films have won top prizes at Slamdance, SF IndieFest, and more. She was the co-illustrator of Jessica Bennett’s critically acclaimed Feminist Fight Club.Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, But You Could’ve Done Better is her first book of cartoons.

My Review: (Vague Spoilers)

I read through this book in about 30 minutes after finishing an essay in class and was waiting for everyone else to finish.

It was enjoyable enough, a short, pretty funny read.

The illustrations are well done and the funniest part of the book.

But several of the submissions feel flat, or were too similar to be repetitively funny. Others were very funny, but with the writing styles and lengths inconsistent, and all the stories being straight, probably unedited submissions from others, it felt like you should get more from a book you buy.

It was pretty funny, and I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t the best.

Discussion: On DNF Books And Reviews

DNF stands for “Did Not Finish” – an acronym you’ve probably heard around the book blogging community before.


People DNF books all the time, for all sorts of reasons.

Because they just weren’t liking the book.
Because they were bored.
Because they took a particular issue with the book (problematic /trope they dislike etc.).

Everyone has their own policy on this and I can’t speak for everyone.


I personally dislike DNFing books – it feels dishonest to pass judgement if I didn’t see it through.

I have only DNFed a handful of books. Generally because the content made me physically uncomfortable (like Nerdy and the Dirty) or I am extremely bored / disengaged / hitting a reading slump because of a book. Especially recently with my growing TBR.
Usually, if I put a book down, it’s with the intention of coming back later.


But why?
Why feel guilty about not enjoying a book and doing without it?
Book reviews are often subjective – what I enjoy or don’t enjoy may influence those of similar opinions – but it isn’t the end all be all of a books worth or who may enjoy it even if I don’t.


Recently my views of DNFing has changed. I think it’s okay. We read because our enjoy it, why continue if it becomes a chore. But we should explain ourselves.
Why did we DNF a book?
Something objective or something  subjective in its influence?
Could others potentially like it?
And definitely don’t bash a book you couldn’t finish – that I do see as unfair.


What do you think?

Do you agree with me?

What do you think of DNF books?

Netgalley Review: Man Vs. Child – One Dad’s Guide to the Weirdness of Parenting

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I received an e-arc of this book from netgalley and this is my honest review.


Original Release Date:

May 9th, 2017

Date I Read The Book:

May 2017

My Star Rating:

5 Stars


Official Summary:

Moms have hundreds of parenting advice books willing to tackle the more cringe-inducing questions of parenthood. But what about books for the other half of the equation: the dads? Man vs. Child is a funny, fresh take on the parenting guide, written from the dad’s perspective.

Author and popular Upright Citizens Brigade performer Doug Moe knows first-time fathers are as worried about being terrible at their new terrifying jobs as new moms are. But while most modern fathering guides center on men’s oafish parental failings, Man vs. Child forgoes condescension in favor of fresh and irreverent wit. This guide for first-time dads tackles funny but important questions, like how to be a good dad without becoming a BabyBjörn-wearing tool in the process, or what to do if your child loves your iPad more than they love you. From caring for a newborn to dealing with a kid on the verge of adolescence, author Doug Moe breaks fatherhood down into survival lessons like “Time to Decide About God” and quizzes that ask dads to reflect on hilarious parenting questions like “Is My Child Too Annoying for This Restaurant?”

Chapters include:
-Newborn: Keeping This Weird Thing Alive Awhile, Even As It Tries to Kill You
-Your Interesting Baby, Maybe the Most Interesting Baby Ever
-Man v Toddler: Does Your Toddler Want to Kill You?
-Now That My Kid Doesn’t Need Me, What Is My Life Worth?

Balancing relatable humor with heartfelt advice, Man vs. Child will appeal to any dad looking for both laughs and real guidance from a man who has had—and survived—these experiences himself. A perfect Father’s Day gift or present for a first-time dad!


My Review: 

Don’t even ask why I, a 17 year old girl with no plans to have children for – at least – a decade, has requested, read and now, reviewed a parenting book. I have a bad habit of requesting random things on Netgalley on a whim when bored.

That being said, I found this pretty funny and well written.

Man vs. Child makes no secret what it is a humor book about parenting but not really meant to offer concrete advice. There is no – or at least, very little – in the way of “scientifically this is how you care for a child” but rather a funny commentary on becoming a dad and being a stay-at-home dad raising your child. Its light-hearted, quick, and while not particularly informative, witty, well written and entertaining.

Make of that what you will when deciding to read it.

Discussion: Struggles Of A Book Blogger

Being a book blogger is weird, because it’s a hobby, at least for most it isn’t a job, and it’s fun.

But it’s also stressful like a real job – and requires a hell of a lot of effort, especially if your on your own.

Here, I’m discussing the 7 major things that can cause book bloggers stress.


Procrastination

Time management is a big thing. For most book bloggers, blogging isn’t a job it’s a hobby, which means carving out time to do it – and fun as it is, that’s not always possible. And even when it is, it can be hard to push your self to read or write when your brain is fried from real life.

Which leads to procrastination. Which is how you get the “accidental five month hiatuses” that my blog is no known for.

I deal with this by scheduling posts. Like last summer for while I was at camp, and like I have now for AP season – so I don’t have to worry about consolidating my melted brain so form a sensical string of words.

What do you do?


Stress Over Posting

Even when we do post, it brings a different kind of anxiety. Are people going to like it or hate it? Is it too over done? Is this original content stupid? Did I unleash too much of my weirdness at once? Did j say something dumb a future admissions officer will see and reject me for? (This last fear is one instilled in me by a very college oriented high school – like I needed more reasons to stress out).

These are legitimate concerns, and ones not easy to quell. This is the main reason generally behind my several month hiatuses to be honest.


Ever Growing TBR

This one is unique to book bloggers.

The ever Growing TBR.

TBR stands for To Be Read – a list of books a book blogger intends to read, and be a physical stack of book towering in ones room, can be a list online or wishlist of books to buy, can be a stack of arcs, or a massive ebook library – but the result is the same.

Sooner or later the TBR of s book blogger outgrows the reading speed – and threatens to crush them. Often this impending crushing can increase the prevalence of a reading slump and we get indecisive over what to read next and then just don’t. A vicious cycle.

Generally deadlines can get you reading again, but deadlines for reviews can bring their own kind of stress.

I myself have too many books in my TBR – a review TBR of about 50 and a physical TBR of too many to deal with.


Pressure For Content / The Look

The look of the blog matters.

Trying our best to improve the look of the blog, from graphics to the layout to the design to the domain is a big thing for us book bloggers. But when you don’t have the resources to get help and don’t have the skill to make good things yourself – it makes you feel a little behind the curve sometimes.

The pressure for the right look also applies to the content.

People like tags and memes. They are the life of book blogs. But too many and your blog is labeled unoriginal and boring.

Book reviews are a major thing. But so many discussions are being done on, really, other book bloggers don’t read book reviews – you might not even need them. But without them are you even really a book blog? But you can’t exactly churn out so many reviews since it takes time to actually read books- so what do you do?

The answer: Original content.

The elusive gold of book blogging.
It’s hard to come up with original posts consistently. And to be honest, most of us either take inspiration from or flat out copy each other (with credit unless your a terrible person). We do similar discussions and lists etc. But the continuing strive for better original content can keep you awake at night, thinking of ideas and second guessing yourself.

It’s hard to sustain.

So cut bloggers a break when there’s a lull in content okay? Okay.


Reviews / Discussions

Back to book reviews.
Every book blogger pretty much does reviews. In different styles with different frequency, but it is a staple of book blogging. (Though I read a great discussion at The Tattooed Book Geek that argues otherwise).

Reviews tend to take a long time though, so their less frequent – even if your reading pretty quickly.

Discussions are another thing – when everything seems to had been said but you still can to join in, what do you say? And how do you say t without sounding preachy or cheesy?


Role In The Industry

Sometimes other people read your stuff, and take your opinions seriously. Sometimes, I don’t feel qualified to be giving my opinion. I’m a kid! I’m 17! I have no authority! Except the fact that I’m a book blogger gives me a small amount of authority in a limited capacity – and it is occasionally terrifying.

I face this fear when I get review requests. People email me like I’m a professional. ADULTS email me asking me for my help/knowledge/influence and it’s weird. It feels like you can’t say no because, your just a kid and this is an adult. It’s a weird position, and not a universal struggle I’ll admit, just one I think about a lot.


Comparing Stats

Ah yes the stats. The thing everyone says not to worry about and yet everyone does.

But it’s hard not to.

When another blogger gets more comments or more likes then you.

When someone who’s been blogging for less time surpasses your follower count.

It’s hard to to try and measure up success. It hard not to get jealous. And want to be better than others. It’s human nature.

But sometimes being so concerned with stats can suck some joy out of blogging – that that sucks. But it’s honest.


This has been some of the struggles I’ve experienced being a book blogger – its fun, I love it, but people need to understand that it isn’t easy or quick before they start their own blogs or start getting snippy with bloggers for not posting more often. We’re only human.

Do you experience any of these?

Did I miss something glaringly obvious?

Let me know!