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Celebrating My 6 Month Blogiversary!

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So, today, I’m here to celebrate my six-month blogiversary!

Some people might not think of that as a huge deal, but I’ve achieved so much that I really didn’t think I would in such a short amount of time! I’m so surprised that my blog has grown so much – I honestly thought I’d be lucky enough to get 100 followers in my first year, so you guys are all wonderful, obviously! I wanted to share some stats, mainly so when I finally hit that first year, I’ll be able to compare. I LIKE COMPARING MY STATS, OKAY.

  • 555 Followers
  • 13, 853 Overall Page Views
  • 5,997 Overall Page Visitors

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Jordz The Bibliophile asked:

“What’s the number one thing you’ve learned from blogging?”

How to organize myself better and plan earlier for sure! I’m a huge procrastinator in real life and in school, so it’s genuinely surprised me how much better I am regarding blogging! Obviously, I should start putting it to the test since I’m going to be a junior this year (I’M FINE; TOTALLY FINE).

Amalia C. Reads asked:

“How do you listen to music (like on shuffle, an album start to finish, through playlists, etc.)?”

Ooh, such an interesting question! When I listen to music on Spotify, I usually just skip around on albums and different songs. I’m one of those people that gets obsessed with certain albums and songs and only listens to those albums and songs before I get involved with new music and the cycle starts all over again. Usually, during long car rides or when my family drives somewhere for vacation, I tend to binge through entire albums.

Camillea Reads asked:

“What’s your blogging schedule like? How do you plan what to write in advance?”

My schedule is Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays! I post reviews on Mondays, and something else bookish related (or not bookish related) on the other days! I’ll be having a whole post about my blogging schedule next month! I usually plan in advance by writing down a bunch of ideas one day. When I decided to plan for a month, I pick and choose which posts I’m going to write for that month, and then I write them! If you want a full tutorial about how I plan ahead, you can check it out here!

“What would you like to see more of in books?”

I actually have a post coming up about this next month, so I’m not going to spoil the surprise! But it’s a lot.

“Do you write fiction?”

I used to, but I don’t anymore! I still have my old laptop and journals that I used to write in, and I am planning on writing a post where I take a look at some of my old writing, which is going to be both cringe-worthy and entertaining.

“What’s your favorite character trope?”

If unreliable narrators are a character trope, then that’s mine. I can never turn down a good psychological thriller with an unreliable narrator at the forefront. And I also am totally in love with snarky anti-heroes. GIVE ME ALL OF THEM.

Maddy’s Digital Diary asked:

“Top 5 favorite books?”

YOU KNOW I CAN’T CHOOSE. I wouldn’t even know where to start, to be honest.

“If you could meet one author (alive or dead) who would it be?”

J.K. Rowling for sure! I don’t know if anyone has even met her in real life (and if they have, I hate them), but it’d be so nice to get to talk with her and get my books signed by her!

“What do you love most about blogging?”

Definitely the sense of community! Nothing makes me happier than getting notifications and new followers and getting better stats every month, especially since I work SO HARD on all my posts! You guys are awesome!

Misty’s Book Space asked:

“What’s your favorite thing about blogging?”

Besides the sense of community, I also love improving on things! My graphics and pictures from when I first started blogging weren’t too good, but as time has gone by, I’ve improved more and more. I’m hoping this means that if my blog lasts for years, I would be the Graphics and Bookish Pictures Queen, but it’s only a dream!

“What’s your least favorite thing about blogging?”

HOW MUCH TIME IT TAKES. It kills me how long it will take to make certain posts – I spend hours on my Most Anticipated Releases posts. HOURS.

“How do you plan out your blog posts and how do you keep up with it?”

I talked about how I plan out my blog posts in another question, but I usually keep up with it using Planner Pro and the Notes app on my phone. Planner Pro is an awesome app that I’ve talked about in a post I reference above, and that’s where I schedule things for each day. The Notes app is where I dump all my ideas for blog posts and my outlines for posts. It’s organized for me, though if I showed you them, you’d probably be like, “What the heck is going on here???” I usually try to write two posts a day when I’m free so I can make it through a month’s worth of posts easier.

“What is your all time favorite book that you could never get tired of?”

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Hm, I don’t know if I have an all-time favorite book, but that’s mainly because I suck at keeping favorites. I think my top choice would be The Order of the Phoenix since that’s my favorite book in the series.

“What is your biggest disappointment (book wise) so far this year?”

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Easily The Love Interest! It wasn’t terrible, but after hyping it up so much and then reading it, it definitely didn’t reach its full potential. It really sucks that I didn’t like this one more, but looking at the Goodreads reviews, it seems I’m not the only one.

Bridget and Books asked:

“I was wondering how you manage to come up with your blogging discussion topics? How do you find the inspiration that makes you go ‘ya know, that’d be a great discussion topic!’?”

I actually covered this recently in my tutorial in how to write a discussion post, which you can check out here! Hopefully, this will help you!

“What is your routine prior to sitting down and writing a post? Do you have to light your favorite candle or open your window or listen to music?”

Nope, none of those things! I write my posts on my laptop, so I usually just sit on my bed and type, type, type! I’m one of those people that has to write a blog post all in one go, or I don’t do it all, so there’s that!

My Booky Life asked:

“What’s one bookish superpower you want?”

The power to read all the books on my TBR, obviously.

“If you could change anything about the blogosphere, what would it be?”

Hm, I don’t know. I honestly can’t think of anything on the top of my head. I’m pretty satisfied with the blogosphere!

“Shoutout your favourite blogs!”

Molly’s Book Nook, It Starts At Midnight, She Latitude, Read At Midnight, Inside My Library Mind, and Sparkling Letters are most of my biggest blogging inspirations! I’ve linked to most of them in my post about what makes me follow a book blog, which you can check out here!

Beaucoup Books asked:

What are your hobbies outside of blogging?

Uh, not many? I’m not a very hobby-oriented person. I do run track, but I don’t like it and the only reason I do it is because my parents think it’ll look good on my college resume. So, yeah.

What are your career aspirations?

I want to work in publishing! Not sure where yet, but it’s something that’s been interesting me lately. I really want to work somewhere related to books, and publishing seems to fit best for me.

Favorite blogs or blogs you look up to?

I already listed them above, so I won’t do it again! So many of you guys asked this question, so I’ll just refer back to the first time I was asked!

Forever and Everly asked:

“What are some blogs you want to check out? (Like if you’ve heard any blogs but haven’t been able to look at them yet.)”

Hm, I don’t really have any that I’m itching to check it out, but I guess I could count some of the blogs that have been commenting on my posts that I have yet to check out!

“How has blogging changed you?”

I’ve become more involved in social media, I’m totally failing at reading, and I spend probably way too much time writing posts. Honestly can’t tell if any of these are good or bad things.

“What genre do you want to read more of? What genre are you getting tired of?”

Horror! I feel like I haven’t been reading too much of it lately! And I don’t really think I have a genre I’m tired of, but I do feel like I’m in a fantasy slump, and really haven’t been able to finish any fantasy books yet this year, so there’s that!

“What do you want to be known as in the blogosphere?”

The Queen of Blogging, obviously. Have I achieved it yet???

“How would you change the world, if you could?”

Get Donald Trump out of office??? Dismantle systematic racism and sexism??? Fix the justice system??? Get rid of all sorts of terrorism??? Get rid of evil in general??? Stop global warming??? THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS I CAN’T EVEN.

What Cathy Read Next asked:

“What’s the thing you most wished you’d known when you started blogging?”

Probably that it would take all my time. And that I have to be patient before success will come to me. I almost gave up on blogging in the first month because I felt like I was going nowhere, but I just really had to be patient (which I suck at, for the record).

“When you look back at your first blog post, what do you think of it now?”

My first blog post was the Book Blog Newbie Tag – you can find it right here! It’s not the best post in the world, but it’s actually not as bad as I thought it’d be! It is very boring and plain, though, and has a totally different feel than the posts I have now.

“What plans/objectives have you got for your blog for the next 6 months?”

I think my main objectives are usually just to grow my blog and social media accounts! Getting new followers and readers and commenters and growing via Twitter and Bloglovin’ are usually my goals every month. I honestly don’t really have super specific goals for my blog – I’m just happy with the achievements I manage to make along the way.

Lost In A Story asked:

“Which character would you steal from their fictional world? (He/she wouldn’t be able to go back and he/she would have to live in this world)”

I want to be super selfish and steal Rhysand or Rowan because those are my go-to, BUT I don’t want to be that one person who separates my favorites from two of my favorite ships. I’m not that cruel. I’m choosing Katniss because, obviously, she needs to get out of that cruel world she lives in.

“If you could make two characters (from two different fictional worlds) meet each other, who would it be and why?”

Rowan and Rhysand because I’m curious of how it would go down. And because I think if they struck up a friendship, it’d be sort of cute? And they’re both hot.

“What’s your guilty pleasure read?”

I don’t really HAVE guilty pleasures, but I’ll occasionally read M/M romance novels! I don’t review them on my blog or anything, and I typically read them quickly and because they can get me out of reading slumps if I’m in one.

Allonsythornraxxbooks asked:

“Least favorite book?”

Ooh, probably a tie between The Winner’s Crime and The Retribution of Mara Dyer. I hated both books for different reasons, but they both annoyed me.

“Do you ever regret reading a book?”

No, not really! I like ranting about books I don’t like! Is that a bad thing?

“Currently watching?”

I’ve been watching a lot of movies lately, and I’m not going to bother listing them all because that’d be too many pictures, but it’s been a lot of action movies and thrillers. Regarding TV, I’ve been getting back into Supernatural (I MISSED IT SO MUCH) and I’m planning on finishing Hannibal and probably re-watching Queer as Folk for the fourth time. I also finished season 2 of How to Get Away With Murder recently, AND CONNOR AND OLIVER GIVE ME LIFE. I’m so ready for season 3.

“Do you multitask when you write your blog posts?”

I do! I actually write my blog posts while listening to Youtube videos or movies in the background. Usually, I watch things I’ve already watched before so I can just listen and focus on typing. It’s become a huge part of my blogging routine.

“Do you like candles?”

No, not really! I don’t have any money to spend, and when I do, it’s on books and that’s it. I’m not really one for candles.

Molly’s Book Nook asked:

“Which book character would you want as your best friend?”

I’m going to cheat and say a four-way tie between Hermione, Annabeth, Feyre, and Aelin. We’ll form a badass girl gang together, obviously.

“What is a one-week blogging schedule for you?”

I already talked about my blogging schedule in an earlier question, but regarding writing posts, now that it’s summer, I aim to write two posts every day! I don’t keep TOO strict to that nowadays since I have SO MUCH time to write all my August posts, but I’m doing it any way because I’m bored.

“What time of day is your favorite time to read (morning, afternoon, night, before bed, etc etc)?”

I don’t think I have a particular time to read, I just do it if I’m in the mood. I have the tendency to just read in the afternoons, though!

“Coffee or tea?”

Neither! I’m not interested in drinking them (I KNOW, THE SCANDAL).

Reading Every Night asked:

“Aside from reaching six months on WordPress what has been your best blogging achievement?”

I’d think 500 followers in 6 months was a pretty great achievement! I was really not expecting to get 500 followers in this short amount of time, to be honest. I was shocked to get 100, and as the number grows, it blows my mind.

What has been your favorite post so far?

I really liked my post about the evolution of my blog, my first ever discussion post, twenty-five facts about me, my list of favorite TV shows, and recommendations based off of TV shows!

Is there anything you discovered through WordPress, a book/genre/other, that you don’t think you would have discovered had you not started blogging?

No, not really. Is that a bad thing? I feel like that’s mainly because I haven’t been reading too much this year. I do think I know way more about release dates than I think I should.

What to-be-released book would you give anything to have in your hands right now?

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I pretty much got all the books I was begging for at Bookcon, so none right now, to be honest! But if I had to choose one book from my haul that I’m excited for, it’s They Both Die At the End. Adam Silvera is a national treasure.

If you could recommend one book to the world what would it be and why? 

I’m going to recommend two books because I’M A CHEATER, and they’re going to be Finding Jake and I’m Thinking Of Ending Things. Finding Jake is a literary thriller from the POV of a stay-at-home dad where a school shooting takes place at his son’s school and his son is one of the few kids who doesn’t walk out, making him wonder if he raised his son wrong to the point where he was the shooter. IT WAS SO HEART-BREAKING. And I’m Thinking Of Ending Things is a psychological thriller that’s very strange and unsettling, and once you finish it, you’ll sit there in shock. You will not predict what happens in this book. It’s so good and doesn’t get enough love.

If you could travel to any place, real or fictional, where would you choose?

Since Hogwarts is too obvious, it would be the Night Court, obviously.

What three wishes would you make if you came across a genies lamp?

To have all the guaranteed time to read all the books on my TBR, to be able to concentrate better when I read, and to be able to have some sort of ability where if every single person in the book world is raving about a book that I could care less about, I can stop hearing about it. That sounds cynical.

Blots of Ink And Words asked:

“How has your outlook on blogging changed since you started?”

I didn’t really have any outlook on blogging before I started – I didn’t even really read other blogs until a week or so before I started. But I certainly thought it’d be much easier, that I’d be writing posts in ten minutes and publishing them and everyone would come to me easily. HAHAHAHA NO.

“What makes you instantly like a book?”

I don’t think I really have anything that really makes me instantly like a book. As long as I’m deeply into it, I’m involved with a book. I don’t really even think about if I like or dislike a book unless I’ve had super strong emotions while reading it (whether they’re good or bad).

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Thanks so much for those who asked me questions! I very much appreciated it and all of you guys’ support!

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[TAG] In Which I’m Dared…To Talk About Books (The “I Dare You!” Book Tag)

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This one has been making its rounds among the book blogging community, and I thought, “Why not do it?” I was tagged by Kelly’s Ramblings and Mixed Margins to do this one!

(Also, I don’t have a review prepared for today, so ACCEPT THIS BACK-UP POST.)

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1. Which book has been on your shelf the longest?

So, I had this HUGE contemporary phase in middle school, so there are a couple of books belonging in that genre that I STILL haven’t read yet. They’re still on my TBR TO THIS DAY. Yes, it’s been four years. STOP JUDGING ME.

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It’s Kind of a Funny Story:

I don’t even remember why I bought this, to be honest? I think it may have been because it got really good reviews on Goodreads, so I decided to go ahead and get it. I actually read half of this, but wasn’t in the mood to read the rest of it. But what I read of it, it was really entertaining, and I really want to finish this one!

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I’ll Give You the Sun:

I purely bought this because I read the summary on the inside flap of the cover, and I had money to buy it because it was after Christmas and I had a lot lying around, so, I bought it. And I haven’t picked it up since. #oops

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Fangirl:

I’ve literally picked up and attempted to read this, like, four times. And it’s not like I don’t like the book – I love it – but everything gets in the way every single time I try to read this book. Like, I get further and further each time I read it, but I NEVER FINISH IT. Why? I don’t even know. Someone help me.

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

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Current Read: A Court of Wings And Ruin

At the time I’m writing this post, I’m reading the finale of the ACOTAR trilogy. Obviously, I love it, and I predict I’ll give it 2208028 stars because Sarah J. Maas wrote it, so, I’m unashamedly biased. #sorrynotsorry

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Last Read: ???

IT’S BEEN SO LONG, I DON’T EVEN REMEMBER.

Reading Next: ???

I’M IN A SLUMP OKAY.

3. What book(s) did everyone like, but you hated?

Regarding series:

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The Winner’s Trilogy:

A book that fell into the depths of romance even though it could have been a really good fantasy novel. I’m still disappointed about all the wasted potential this book had. And I also hate Arin and his possessive nature. Ugh.

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The Shatter Me Trilogy:

Unfortunately, these books got progressively worse and worse, and the finale was basically just a hot mess. Am I glad that Juliette and Warner are together? Yes. Am I satisfied with the shoddy, rushed ending I was given that left more questions than answers? No.

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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer Trilogy:

Again, a book that wasted its potential. I’ve seen people say this book is scary and has an unreliable narrator? Yeah, no, it’s just another boring paranormal romance. And Noah deserves to be thrown off a cliff. Just saying.

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The Wrath and the Dawn Duology:

Personally, this book was just boring to me. And I felt like it was missing this spark that really made me want to fall in love with this book. It impressed so many people, but it just fell…flat for me.

The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds Trilogy:

Incredibly, unnecessarily slow-moving. And I also really hate road trip books. I mean, objectively, I feel like I should love it because it’s one of the stronger dystopian/sci-fi YA novels, but I just couldn’t bring myself to love it.

Regarding stand-alones:

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An Abundance of Katherines:

I love John Green, I really do. But this book is probably one of the worst stand-alones I’ve ever read. It was super boring and dabbled way too much into math for my taste. And, again, the whole road trip books thing. Not a fan.

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The Couple Next Door:

Just a bit too crazy and unbelievable. And I hate Marco.

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The Kind Worth Killing:

WAY too many plot twists to the point where it was plain gimmicky. I felt like this could’ve been better and maybe developed the characters a little bit more since the reader is jumping from one point-of-view to the next, but I seem to be the only person alive who doesn’t like this book.

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With Malice:

I’m not one to call out plagiarism or anything, but this was basically a low-key rip-off of Dangerous Girls. Like, even the tiniest details were the same. So, this book was incredibly boring and predictable, because I’d already read it when it was done well. So, yeah.

The Bird Tribunal

The Bird Tribunal:

Literally EVERYONE loved this book, and I just don’t get it. It’s short, yes, but it was the most predictable thriller I’ve ever read. I knew what the ending would be, and was waiting for some sort of twist, and, nope, it was what I knew it would be. Nothing surprised me, and I was bored.

4. What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t.

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Yeah, I’m probably never going to read this book. I’M SORRY!

5. Which book are you saving for retirement?

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I honestly don’t think the world will even be around for my retirement, to be honest? So, I’m attempting to read everything I’m interested in right now. I’m currently failing at it, but I’m trying, and isn’t it the effort that counts?

6. Last page: read it first, or wait till the end?

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I’ve seen people say that they literally read the last page first before they even start the book, and I still don’t get it??? WHY WOULD SOMEONE DO THAT? Literally the only time I did that was with Crown of Midnight, and that was because I wanted to see how many page numbers the book had, and my eyes accidentally wandered and read the last sentence of the last page (which is a huge spoiler, if you guys don’t know). NEVER AGAIN.

7. Acknowledgments: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

I honestly don’t read acknowledgements that much, but one that’s really stood out to me is the one for A Court of Thorns and Roses. If you guys don’t know, Susan Dennard (the author of Truthwitch) is one of Sarah J. Maas’s best friends, and I thought her acknowledgement was adorable:

 Susan Dennard, my jaeger copilot and Threadsister, the Leonardo to my Raphael, the Gus to my Shawn, the Blake to my Adam, the Scott to my Stiles, the Aragorn to my Legolas, the Iseult to my Safi, the Schmidt to my Jenko, the Senneth to my Kira, the Elsa to my Anna, the Sailor Jupiter (or Luna!) to my Sailor Moon, the Moss to my Roy, the Martin to my Sean, the Alan Grant to my Ian Malcolm, the Brennan to my Dale, and the Esqueleto to my Nacho: I literally don’t know what I’d do without you. Or our inside jokes. Our friendship is the definition of Epic – and I’m pretty sure it was written in the stars. (Like a thousand years before the dinosaurs. It’s the prophecy.)

And in the same Acknowledgements of the same book, to her husband, Josh:

And lastly, to my husband, Josh – this book is for you. It’s always been yours, the same way my heart has been yours from the moment I saw you on the first day of freshman orientation at college. Considering the way our lives mysteriously wove together before we ever set eyes on each other, I have a hard time believing it wasn’t fate. Thanks for proving to me that true love exists. I’m the luckiest woman in the world to get to spend my life with you.

ALL THE FEELS.

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8. Which book character would you switch places with?

It’s a tie between Feyre and Aelin. And, no, it is NOT because I love Rowan and Rhysand and would give anything to be with them! What are you talking about?

(Okay, I lied; it’s totally about getting to Rowan and Rhysand.)

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9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time)?

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The Hunger Games:

I received this book as a present in the fifth grade for my birthday, and this was the first YA book I ever read, so it basically started it all, really. I remember this was back in my phase where I was obsessed with romance, so I literally flipped through the entire thing for Peeta and Katniss to kiss. What even was my younger self?

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe:

I actually bought this book as a graduation gift (it was probably some irrelevant graduation, too), and I literally read this book in probably five hours? I was just so into it, and I only put it down once, and then read the rest of it when I picked it up again. I don’t even know why, but I was just addicted to it. And it easily became one of my favorite contemporaries of ever. So, I always remember this as the first book I read in less than a day!

10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

cassandra_clare_city_of_heavenly_fire_book_cover

So, FUNNY STORY. When this book came out, I was dying to get it. I mean, Malec had broken up in the previous book, AND I NEEDED MY SHIP TO GET TOGETHER AGAIN. This girl on my track team was also a huge fan of the series, and after she finished it, she was kind enough to lend it to me to read. I actually ended up reading this 700+ page book over the weekend because my brother had an all-day track meet that lasted until late, late at night, and I literally had nothing to do. I was planning on giving it back to her once I returned, but it was near the end of the school year, and the girl decided to leave school early (she was transferring to another school the next year). I never saw her again, so I now have a permanently borrowed special edition of City of Heavenly Fire. Oops.

11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?

No, I haven’t, because I’m a selfish person and want to keep all my books. UNLESS, you count that one time where I gave a friend of a friend my copy of The Scorch Trials a week before school ended, and on the last day of school, told me that she forgot the book at her dad’s house over the weekend. Then, yeah, sure.

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12. Which book has been with you the most places?

Um, pretty much all of them? I mostly read e-books nowadays, and I carry my phone everywhere, so, like a lot of my books.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

Well, I’m STILL in high school, so the question technically isn’t applicable, but in middle school, we read this book called Tuck Everlasting, and though I thought it was meh when I was twelve, I might like it much more now! Not like I’ll re-read it to find out or anything.

14. What’s the strangest item you’ve found in a book?

I think I once found a bookmark just left in the middle of a book I bought once. That was a nice surprise! And I always remember when I buy a book from Barnes & Noble and I find those magnets in the middle of the book.

15. Used or brand new?

Brand new! I’ve never bought used because it takes forever for shipping on Amazon, and I just prefer new books!

16. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

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And I probably never won’t. I’m not interested in his books, to be honest.

17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?

Mrs. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Poster

Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children:

I didn’t like the rest of the books in this series that much, and I thought this was actually a pretty good movie! No, it wasn’t faithful to the book, but it didn’t really matter too much to me, and I thought that it was still done well enough that it could have been incorporated into canon.

I Am Legend Movie Poster

I Am Legend:

I actually haven’t read the book of this one yet (but it’s on my TBR), but the movie gave me so many emotions and was so well done that it’s actually become one of my favorite movies! At least, the one with the second ending.

Man on Fire Movie Poster

Man on Fire:

I watched this movie on a whim because I was on an adrenaline rush for action movies, and I didn’t know this was a book until after I watched it, BUT THAT’S OKAY, I WANTED MY EMOTIONS TO BE CRUSHED. I’m pretty sure every movie with a Gruff Old Man helping out a Little Girl has gotten an A+ from me. IT’S MY WEAKNESS.

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Gone Girl:

I can never sing enough praises about this movie! It still wins for the best book-to-movie adaptation I’ve seen so far. The cinematography was great, the casting was fantastic, and pretty much everything was faithful to the book as much as possible. And even if you haven’t read the book or don’t care about it, the movie stands well on its own. This is one of the few adaptations I think is equal to the books (even though I like the book a little bit more).

18. Is there a book you think never should have been published?

Nope! No matter what, I don’t think a book should not be published that already is. That starts to get into some censorship issues, and those are never really good.

19. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks excluded?

No, unfortunately not. I don’t think I’d want to be hungry while reading a book, though, so that’s okay!

20. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

Hm, I honestly don’t really HAVE a person, but I guess if I had to choose, it’d be one of my best bookish friends, Taylor! We met via Goodreads and have been friends ever since, and I don’t think I’ve met someone who’s as crazy for Sarah J. Maas as I am (and I can always whine and rant to her about anything, and she’ll 100% agree. TWINS).

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And that’s it for this overly-long tag!

Hopefully, you enjoyed it! As you guys know, when I do a tag, I don’t specifically tag people; I leave it open for anyone who is reading this tag! So tag away!

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[THE BLOGGING DIARIES] How to Write the Perfect Discussion Post

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“Yeah, a tutorial about how to write a discussion post written by Mikaela!” said nobody.

(But I wrote it anyway.)

Some of you guys apparently think I have really good discussion posts, which is extremely flattering, so thank you; I try! And I know there are always people out there who WANT to write discussion posts, but don’t even know where to start. Hence why I’m here to give you a tutorial on how to write a discussion post for the Blogging Diaries!

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Well, obviously, before you even start writing, you have to have an idea of what you’re going to write. I know there are some people who wonder where I even GET my ideas, and it’s usually one of three places:

1. Other Blogs. There will be times where I’ll stumble upon a really interesting discussion post or topic or even just a random post in general that can really get me inspired, especially looking through the comments of said post. Sometimes, a random comment left will spark an idea. Usually, when looking at a post, I get my ideas from thinking about what my take on the topic would be or wanting to explore an angle the blogger hasn’t. So, who knows: maybe going on that blog-hopping session you’ve been putting off will inspire you!

2. Books. You don’t even really have to be reading 20+ books a month to be inspired by one. My first ever discussion topic discussed the whole trend of authors adding on prequels, novellas, spin-offs, or any other additions to their original series and why bookworms were so tired of it. All of that came from the whole flurry around The Cursed Child. So, if you’re scrambling from ideas, grab the last ten books you’ve read and choose an element to expand on. For example, if I chose The Hate U Give, and talked about diversity in books. Or book hype. Or what makes a good main character. Or what makes a good contemporary novel. Or your opinion on books that take a political stance on something. Or your opinion on #ownvoices novels. There’s a lot of topics to choose from!

3. Shower Thoughts. You might be like, “What the heck are shower thoughts?” but I basically mean when you’re doing nothing, and an idea comes to you. They’re totally random. I know probably a large majority of my ideas come from this, which is probably why my response to people who ask me how I came up with this idea is, “I don’t know.” But, MAKE SURE TO WRITE IT DOWN. I know there are tons of random ideas I think I’m going to remember and then don’t, and I get annoyed because it was SUCH A GOOD IDEA. So, write it down.

Once you have an idea, you can make an outline (which I do) or you can just start writing and edit it once you finish! Usually, I start writing with the…

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Basically, I consider it anything before the first arrow I insert in my blog post. Some people might not have such a weirdly strict formula, but I do, so we’re going with it. Usually I have my blog graphic, a witty opening line (or what I think is a witty opening line), and then I blab for a paragraph or two introducing the topic and going over what I’m about to cover. 

So, for example, if you’re going to write about hyped books, you could start out by talking about how you were inspired to write the post. Or maybe you could talk about a hyped book that impressed or disappointed you. Or you could talk about how it’s a common problem for bookworms. Or you could define “book hype.” Basically, there’s loads of ways to introduce your discussion, and it doesn’t have to be overly long.

After that, we’re getting to the meat of the discussion, which is the…

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Obviously, this is the most important part of the whole discussion post. This is where you pour all your thoughts and opinions out there. For me, I think there are five different types of ways to arrange your word vomit into a discussion post people will enjoy that I personally engage in:

1. Lists. Obviously, this type of discussion is in a list format. I usually use these types of discussions to list reasons – why you should or shouldn’t do something; why I do or don’t do something – or types of a certain topic you’re going to talk about. Going back to the book hype example, you could use a list to talk about why you don’t read hyped books. Or you could list why people should read hyped books. Or you could list types of book hype. Or books that were hyped, and which ones let you down and which ones exceeded your expectations.

Example: Do We Need to Set Monthly TBRs (And Why I Don’t)?

2. Tips. Basically, if there’s a general blogging thing you want to talk about – for instance, social media or which blogging schedule is the best for you – or if you think you’re good at a specific blogging thing – like taking photos or web design – then you can make a discussion post that lists tips. It doesn’t HAVE to be a tutorial (I like to think of those as more step-by-step), you can just give tips that are specific to you that might help someone else. So, for book hype, you could give out tips about how to review hyped books or how to find the perfect hyped book for you.

Example: How To Plan a Full Month of Blog Posts

3. Problem/Solution. This one’s pretty self-explanatory: present the problem to the reader, then give solution or advice of that problem. You can do this for just one topic within the discussion or through multiple topics within the discussion. For book hype, you could talk about the problem with book hype, and give some solutions to that. Or you could talk about the problem with people disregarding books just because of the hype, and some ways to prevent it from happening.

Example: How Do You Deal With Book Blogger Envy?

4. Pros and Cons. Basically, you present a question that has both positive and negative reasoning behind both sides, and then present the pros and cons for each answer fairly. I typically use these directly for questions I have, and these are best if you have a lot of reasoning behind both sides. Bringing back the book hype example, you could talk about the pros and cons of hyping up books before they’re released. Or you could discuss the pros and cons of reading hyped books.

Example: Should Book Reviews Be Subjective or Objective?

5. Methods. These are some of my favorite to write! You take the topic you’re discussing, and talk about the way YOU handle or deal with it. This is best for those who don’t think they’re good enough at something to do tips or tutorials, but still want to share their experiences with something. For book hype, you could talk about how you go into a hyped book. Or how you review a hyped book. Or how you choose which hyped books you’ll read, and which ones you’ll ignore.

Example: How Do You Balance Blogging, Books, and Life?

After you’re done writing the content of the post, you’re at the…

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Much like doing a book report or any sort of report, for that matter, I usually summarize what I talked about in the intro. If you feel like you have anything else to add near the end of the post, feel free to add it! If not, you can just move on and include whatever you include near the end of the post. I know I usually have two sections – “Let’s Chat” (this is where I ask questions and invite conversations) and “Follow Me” (this is where I leave my social media links).

It’s also a really great idea to ask questions at the end of the post! You wrote a discussion post to get discussion (hopefully), so get what you worked hard for! I usually ask people’s opinions on the subjects or how they do things or what they would choose. It really all depends how you arranged your post. Usually, questions can get people who don’t know what to comment to comment because they have something to bounce off of.

After finishing with the conclusion, the writing process is complete once you’ve given the post a…

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Personally, I feel like I obsess over titles WAY too much, but maybe that’s normal for everyone else (probably not). Usually, I ask a question in the title of the post because I feel like I’d be more inclined to click on a title that asks something rather than states, but it’s all up to you! You can be broad with the title – “Let’s Chat About Book Hype” – or you can be specific depending on what you chose – “The Pros and Cons of Book Hype”; “Why I Don’t Read Hyped Books”; “The Problem With Book Hype”; “How I Review Hyped Books”; “How To Find the Perfect Hyped Book For You.” I usually try to summarize the entire post in the title, but that proves to be difficult sometimes.

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And that’s the formula to writing a good discussion post (or, at least, how I write my discussion posts). 

Hopefully, you enjoyed this post and got something out of it! These tips can also help those who are just trying to formulate a blog post in general, so there’s something for everyone, I guess!

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Also, another reminder that we are in Phase 2 of the Big Blogger, Little Blogger Project, and if you need a reminder on what that is, the link to the original post is here! Whenever you do it, please link back to one of my posts so I know you did it, and make sure it’s done at least sometime in July because that’s when I’m posting the masterpost! 

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How do you write your discussion posts? Was this helpful for you?

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47

[LET’S CHAT] You Don’t Need to Follow All the Blogging Advice

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I know what you’re thinking.

“But, Mikaela, you’re giving all this blogging advice this month! What are you talking about???” But, here’s the thing: all blogging advice does not work for everyone. I know that. In the (almost) six months I’ve been blogging, there’s been some helpful advice I’ve taken or should’ve taken sooner, and there’s been some advice that I just ignored. And I survived.

So, I wanted to talk a little about some of the advice that helped me in my blogging career, and some of the advice that I had different experiences with or just aren’t “me” things, because I love talking about my experiences just in case someone else is panicking about these things and doesn’t feel alone, I guess? But let’s get to it!

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1. You must comment back to create relationships.

I have never commented back. Like, ever. And even though I want to work on doing it more, I know that I probably won’t do it ALL the time. I know that, if I’m being honest with myself, commenting back just isn’t my thing. And I know there are some bloggers that consider commenting back as sacred, which is great for them, and will look down on bloggers who don’t do it all the time, and oh well! But, I feel like I’ve made a lot of close blogging friends and created great conversations in my own comments section without feeling like I’m obligated to go comment on someone else’s blog just because they comment on mine. I just prefer thinking that people comment on my blog because they WANT to, and not because they want to add me as a number in their own comments section, but that’s just me!

2. To get on all the social media accounts.

Before blogging, I was anti-social media. I had zero social media accounts. Zero. So, I was really worried when I saw so many bloggers say that to get your blog out there, you need to promote on social media accounts, and listing all the ones you could use. And it was just SO MANY. So, for the first couple of months of blogging, I had no social media. And I got over 150+ followers and pretty good stats and e-ARCs from Netgalley that I was dying for. So don’t feel like your lack of social media means that your blog will never thrive.

3. To ask for ARCs at the 6-month, 500 followers deadline.

I know when I wanted to request physical ARCs, I was SO NERVOUS. I read, like, probably hundreds of “How To” posts, and so many of them said that you should wait until you’ve been blogging for six months and have at least 500 followers. I ended up requesting for physical ARCs after three months, and probably a little over 200 followers. Though I ended up only getting e-ARCs of some of the physical ARCs I requested, I DID end up getting my first ever physical ARC from St. Martin’s Press, and that was He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly! So, don’t stress about it. Who knows what will happen?

4. Do memes to reach out as a newbie.

Lots of veteran bloggers usually recommend doing memes to reach out, and I tried to do that, but, unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy it! And I was bored with checking out other people’s WWW Wednesdays. And I didn’t even really meet any fellow bloggers that way. So it’s perfectly fine to not want to join in on the meme hype if you’re a newbie blogger. I gave up on it after posting just a couple of them every week in favor of more original content, and, eventually, it increased my readership to what it is today, so it works out in the end!

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1. Make a blogging schedule.

I’m going to talk about this more in a separate post next month, but when I first started out, I didn’t have a blogging schedule. I just posted sporadically, at different times every day, and it was a terrible idea. I once posted three reviews three days in a row, and the third day I posted, my review only conjured up 5 views. 5 VIEWS. It wasn’t until March where I created a blogging schedule, and it wasn’t until mid-April that I created one that I really enjoyed, and I still keep up to till this day! Personally, it’s something that’s really worked well for me, especially as a planner and one who likes to get ahead.

2. Be consistent.

Again, was definitely not consistent when I started out. Oops. But I know that I really prefer posting things that people expect on the days that people expect them. And I know I’m more likely to follow and pay attention to a blog where I know how many posts I’m expecting from them each week or month. It’s always personal preference, because I know there are some people who are sporadic and that’s just who they are.

3. Write a lot of discussion posts.

Okay, not A LOT. But some. Or maybe even one a month. But discussion posts are not only my favorite posts to read and comment from other bloggers, but pretty much everyone can relate to them, and, it’s true, they do a wonder for your stats. I personally love writing them, and I love the discussions they produce, and I probably won’t stop.

4. Get on Twitter.

I resisted getting on Twitter forever because as someone who’s not on Twitter, just letting you know, it’s viewed as a cesspool (other people’s words, not mine!). BUT, I went ahead and did it. Still not my favorite social media, but it’s a very nice platform for sharing things and getting things out there for other bloggers!

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And those are just some of my experiences with blogging advice!

But, really, you don’t need to! Even with my advice you don’t need to listen to it and do EXACTLY what it says, unless you feel like it’ll work for you. It’s YOUR blog, therefore you can do whatever you want with it, whether other people like it or don’t – which is totally awesome.

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Just another quick reminder that we are in Phase 2 of the Big Blogger, Little Blogger Project, where we dedicate an entire post on our own blog to the Little Blogger we’ve been supporting! If you don’t know what I’m talking about or aren’t very clear about it, the link to the instructions is here! Whenever you publish it, just link it back to one of my posts so I can see it and take note of it! I’m hoping to post the masterpost sometime in July, so hopefully you can get them done in time!

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How do you feel about blogging advice? What are some pieces of blogging advice that you followed or didn’t follow?

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[ANNOUNCEMENT] Ask Me Your Burning Questions For My 6 Month Blogiversary!

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So, next Tuesday is my six-month blogiversary!

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I can’t believe that everything has gone by SO FAST. It feels like just yesterday when I pre-maturely started my blog even though I was planning on waiting until January 1. Whoops. (I mean, looking back on it, it was a good decision, but still. Premature.)

But I’m going to be talking about my stats and achievements next Wednesday! For this post, I thought it’d be fun to have a Q and A on my blog to celebrate, so I’m going to be asking you guys to ask me any questions that you have, whether they’re related to blogging, books, reading, music, movies, TV shows, etc. As long as it’s not something like, “What’s your address?” Because, no.

I’ll be leaving this open probably until Tuesday since the blogiversary post is going up Wednesday, and it’ll probably take a while to write it! I’ll also be accepting any questions via Twitter if you want to shoot me one there (my account will be linked at the end of this post)!

I’m very excited for this, so feel free to comment away with as many questions as you have! 

Ask away

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Also, I wanted to mention that Project Big Blogger, Little Blogger is over! I know, it’s so sad! But, that means it’s now time to enter Phase 2 of the project, where we create a post highlighting our Little Blogger in some way! A couple of you guys have already started, and I’ve taken note of that, which is awesome! Just whenever you make the post, link back to me in some way so I know to check it out! I’m hoping to have the masterpost up sometime in July, so just make sure it’s not TOO late. If you have any more questions, all the details are in the original post!

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5 Reasons Why You Should Be Adding WANT To Your TBR

 

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Genre: Sci-fi, Dystopian, YA

Rating: 4 STARS

Series: Want #1

Release Date: June 13

Synopsis:

From critically acclaimed author Cindy Pon comes an edge-of-your-seat sci-fi thriller, set in a near-future Taipei plagued by pollution, about a group of teens who risk everything to save their city.

Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits, protecting them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.

With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.

Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is, or destroying his own heart?

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I will say, I didn’t even really have this book on my radar until I was so intrigued by the cover, I caved and decided to add it to my TBR, then went ahead and requested it. I’m so glad I was accepted for this one because I can only say that I freaking loved it.

1. The romance was amazing. So, we have this angst-y, forbidden, sexually tense romance between Daiyu and Zhou, and before you roll your eyes and groan, this romance was incredibly done well. There was absolutely no insta-love (in fact, they never say they love each other AT ALL. What is this sorcery?), and it’s all wonderful slow-burn and sexual tension. And when they finally get together, it’s like magic. I’m usually not one to get heart eyes over a ship where the both of them are on different sides of the track, but I loved it.

(Sidenote, I also ship Lingyi and Iris SO HARD. I would not be against a book entirely dedicated to the two of them being cute. Just saying.)

2. The characters were amazing. First of all, this book had a gang at a center of it, and I’m a sucker for any sort of gang or squad – think the Dregs from Six of Crows or the Night Court from the A Court of Thorns and Roses Series – so I was into it. But I absolutely loved all the individual characters and what they brought to the table!

We have Zhou, our wonderful main character who decides to act as the spy, Victor, who is sleek and sauve and hilarious, Arun, who is the scientist, Lingyi, who is the hacker, and Iris, who reminds me so much of Black Widow, and I love her, so it was great. And Daiyu, who isn’t part of the gang but is Zhou’s love interest who is strong and smart and stands on her own. I’m loving this rise of smart girls over ones who can kick ass 24/7 (even though I love those as well). I WANT THEM ALL TO BE MY FRIENDS. I just loved the interactions and relationship between Zhou and the gang, especially near the end.

3. It had great world-building. First off, this book took place in Taiwan, which I’ve never really seen as a setting before, so it was really awesome to have a book take place somewhere different and diverse. I also thought that a world that’s falling apart because of pollution and global warming was pretty much right on the nose considering the fact that Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement a couple of weeks ago, so it was interesting to see a sci-fi future like this.

4. It was a perfect sci-fi novel. I’ve definitely become more obsessed with sci-fi over the last year, but I haven’t read enough it, and I’m SO glad I had the opportunity to read this one. This one was more of a cross between dystopian and speculative sci-fi (which is my favorite type of sci-fi), and did a fantastic job of holding up a mirror to things such as privilege, class, and taking care of the environment. It was just done SO WELL, and I applaud Pon for it.

5. Basically, it was amazing. If I had to describe this book in any way, it’d be Six of Crows meets Red RisingSix of Crows because of the characters and the aspect of them being in a group and Red Rising because of the whole “lower class goes undercover in the upper class” ruse, which I totally love. So, it was two of my favorite series in one, and I couldn’t be happier. Not to mention that even though this had long chapters, the pacing was still perfect and kept me addicted. AND I WANT MORE. I saw on Goodreads that this might have a sequel, which I’m eternally thankful for. I NEED ONE.

Basically, you will not regret adding this book to your TBR. It’s definitely worth it, and I highly recommend it, obviously.

A huge thanks to Simon and Schuster for giving me an e-ARC of this book, especially since I enjoyed it so much!

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66

I Went to Bookcon 2017! | Recap and Haul

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As you guys know, I was in New York for Bookcon earlier this month!

It was so much fun. SO. MUCH. FUN. Okay, it had a bit of a rough start on Saturday, but everything ended up working perfectly on Sunday, AND I got every single book I wanted (and more)! So, basically, I’m really proud of myself, and definitely will be attending next year (or BEA? It’s up in the air at the moment).

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So, my family and I woke up bright and early around six on Saturday morning because I wanted to be one of the first in line to get to the show floor! I wanted to be there by eight, but we ended up being a little later than that, which was perfectly fine! We were immediately led to the queue hall for getting into the show floor, where we waited for two whole hours. It was so amazing to see the hall fill up with SO MANY book nerds, though! I’ve never seen so many in my life. While waiting in the hall, I was alerted of two things via Twitter: one was that they were giving away ARCs of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black by saying a password and another was that Penguin Teen was giving away a Penguin Teen Game Changers box every top of the hour throughout the day, and whoever said the password first won it. If you don’t know about the whole Game Changers campaign, basically, Penguin Teen is releasing five YA titles back-to-back five weeks during September-October in different genres that they call “game-changers” of its respected genre. AND I WANTED THEM SO BAD.

As soon as it hit ten, we were all allowed to go to the show floor. As soon as I got there, I tried to find the Hachette booth for The Cruel Prince which took FOREVER to find. Once I found it, I said the password, got the book, and was also handed a Novl tote bag. And they had ARCs of Invictus on display and up for grabs, so I grabbed one, of course. I then rushed with my mom and brother to the Harlequin Teen booth for some author signings of their latest ARCs, but the line was capped, and I couldn’t make it. That was disappointment number one of the day. My mom ended up learning that they were doing a galley give-away at three, so we planned to see if we could go to that!

The I Read YA breakfast wasn’t starting for another hour, so I ended up going to the Penguin Teen booth and waiting for the password on Twitter so I could win their box. At eleven, I went straight to one of the attendants, told her the password, and she said I won, which was exciting! On my way there, though, I saw another girl who was handed the box, and once I got there, they said that they had actually given away the prize to another girl because she was in a different area of their booth than I was, and there was nothing they could do. This was AFTER they specifically told my mom and I that we could be ANYWHERE around the booth and go to any attendant to say the password, but now they’re saying we had to be at a specific spot. Disappointment number two.

After that, we raced to the I Read YA breakfast where I got to meet Maggie Stiefvater and get a signed ARC of All the Crooked Saints, which is one of my most anticipated releases! She was so sweet and so nice and I can’t believe I got to meet her face-to-face.

Shell-shocked after meeting one of my favorite authors of all time, I went back to the Penguin Teen booth to try to win the Game-Changers box. Again, no such luck. Twitter notifications failed me and decided to send me the Tweet with the password a full minute after everyone had already screamed it out loud. Disappointment number three. Luckily, my mom was vigilant and complained to the Penguin staff about how I was the real winner of the second box, and one of the ladies was nice enough to give us a card with her e-mail on it and said that if we didn’t win it at Bookcon, we could e-mail her about it and probably get it that way, which lifted my hopes a little bit.

It was around twelve at this time, and all three of us were tired from walking around and were super hungry, so we decided to leave the Javits Center and walk around New York to find something to eat, and stumbled upon Five Guys (which I’ve never eaten from before), and then walked back to the Javits Center. My legs were pretty much dead at this point, just in case you guys wanted to know.

We sat and ate for a moment before getting up and entering the show floor again because Harper was dropping four ARCs at their booth, and one of them was They Both Die At the End by Adam Silvera, which I would literally give anything for, so I raced there, and my mom and brother went to the Harlequin Teen booth for their galley drop. Harper Teen was really strict about not making a line, so basically there were a cluster of people just waiting until two hit so they could push and shove in line, and push and shove they did. I was near the front of the booth, but ended up having to be in the back of the booth because so many people were shoving their way in front of me. So, that was annoying. Then, I basically waited in line for a full hour, and when the giveaway finally started, by the time I got up there, all the ARCs of They Both Die At the End were taken, so I ended up getting my second choice, Release by Patrick Ness, which wasn’t too bad since I wanted it as well!

After that debacle, I met up with my brother and mom, and was really happy to find out they had snagged me ARCs of All Rights Reserved and Daughter of the Burning City, which I was trying to get signed that morning! We ended up wandering around the Penguin Teen booth because they were going to be giving away tickets for Marie Lu’s signing of Warcross, and I just HAD to get one. All the attendants were screaming at everyone to keep walking around the show floor and to stop loitering, so my mom made a plan to make my brother stand in the back of the booth, and my mom and I near the front. Once they started lining up for the signing, we realized that our mob was being pushed to the back, so my mom and I bombarded my brother with texts to GET IN LINE NOW, and, thankfully, he did! We managed to be number 78 in line, and if he hadn’t been in the back, I would’ve missed out on Marie Lu because my mom and I were so far back in the mob, so a big thanks to my little brother.

I ended up waiting in line for probably an hour and a half before I actually got to meet Marie Lu. YES, IT TOOK THAT LONG. While waiting in line, my mom and little brother were kind enough to actually WIN THE GAME-CHANGERS BOX FOR ME. I was so happy, and then just a couple minutes later, I got to meet Marie Lu. She was absolutely wonderful and it was so great to tell her face-to-face that I absolutely love both of her series and can’t wait for her newest book!

(Ah, a blurry picture of my face!)

After that, we went back to the hotel because my legs were actually dead at that point and I was way too tired to go see the Booksplosion Booktube panel. Though Day 1 of Bookcon was rough, it ended up being a really good time! Here’s a picture of my full Day 1 haul:

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Again, my family and I woke up at around six! Because we knew what we were doing this time around, we ended up getting to the Javits Center at 7:30, and was in a pretty good place in line outside, which was awesome. As soon as the doors for the queue hall opened, we sent my brother to coat check to drop off the suitcase, and my mom and I walk-ran to the queue hall line. We were so fast that we ended up being SUPER close to the entrance to the show floor, which was awesome.

Because of the chaos of Saturday, my mom and I planned to the T what times we should be lining up for all the signings and ARC drops I wanted to make it to. You might think, “It’s not THAT big of a deal,” BUT IT WAS.  I kid you not, people would line up two hours early for a signing.  THAT’S how hardcore Bookcon was. We found out early that morning via the amazing Bookcon app that ARCs for Zenith were dropping at the Harlequin Teen booth as soon as Day 2 of Bookcon started, so when the show floor was open, my mom and I rushed to the Harlequin Teen booth. My mom was much faster than me and ended up getting the seventeenth place in line. In line, I talked to two other girls who were super sweet, and the girl in front of me also wanted Zenith, and we both ended up nabbing a copy, which was awesome! It meant that I didn’t have to go through waiting for the mob that would be the signing (especially since I had two other events around that time to line up for)!

After getting my copy, I went to the Penguin Teen booth to meet up with my mom and brother. They were about to give out tickets for E. Lockhart’s signing of her ARC, Genuine Fraud, which I was looking forward to! We all divided and conquered into different places around the booth (and I guess this is where I mention that Penguin Teen actually got security guards because their booth was just THAT popular and crazy once signing tickets were given out the previous day). My brother ended up being in the right line, and got me a fantastic spot for the signing! I took his place and chatted with these other two girls who were awesome while my mom and brother went to the Autographing Area to hold my place for Nic Stone. After meeting E. Lockhart and getting Genuine Fraud signed, I went to the Area and jumped in line with my family.

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There ended up being a bit of a mishap because apparently, something happened with the box of ARCs of Dear Martin, so Nic Stone only signed bookmarks while the lady managing her signing took down our address so she could send the ARC to us at a later date. She was so sweet and pretty, and it was great to be able to tell her how excited for her debut novel I was!

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(Ah, a clear close-up of my face! And probably the worst picture of me, too.)

We then went to go find the Entangled Teen booth because I didn’t want to miss out on Tristina Wright’s signing of 27 Hours. Once we found the booth, we quickly found out that people had ALREADY STARTED FORMING A LINE even though a signing was already still going on at their booth, and Wright’s signing wasn’t even for another two hours. Like I said, Bookcon is hardcore. I had to charge my phone at this point, so my mom stood in line for me for a while as I got it charged, and then I had to go back and get my spot while my mom went to Harper’s booth to get ready to line up for the ARC drop of four books, one of them being This Darkness Mine, which is one of my most anticipated releases.

It was a long, long wait for Tristina Wright, so I passed the time by re-watching Buzzfeed Unsolved videos (totally worth my time, by the way), until she arrived. I was one of the first few people in line, so I ended up meeting her fairly quickly, getting the opportunity to tell her I loved her hair and was excited for her debut novel, and got 27 Hours signed by her!

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I then went and met up with my mom and brother at the Penguin Teen booth because tickets for Leigh Bardugo’s signing of Wonder Woman: Warbringer were about to be handed out, AND BOY IT WAS INSANE. The best way I can describe it is by saying that it was basically like a mosh pit and a mob simultaneously. My mom handed me the ARC of This Darkness Mine she had gotten and stayed near the back while my brother and I were near the side of the booth. We anxiously waited for the tickets to be handed out, and they actually didn’t even hand them out on time, but about ten minutes late. THANKFULLY, my mom was near the back where they were handing out the tickets first, and managed to get one, which made me jump for joy because I WAS MEETING LEIGH BARDUGO. My mom changed places with me and then raced to the Harper Teen booth for the second drop of four ARCs, which included They Both Die At the End.

I waited in line for a LONG TIME. My phone battery was low, I hadn’t eaten or drunk anything since that morning (and it was around three in the afternoon), and my legs were dead from standing and walking since six in the morning. I can’t say it enough, you guys; BOOKCON IS HARDCORE. But it was all totally worth it to meet Leigh Bardugo face-to-face and tell her the Six of Crows duology was one of my favorite series ever and that Jesper was my favorite character and get a copy of Wonder Woman. Unfortunately, they didn’t allow any photos because the line was so long and it’d take too much time, but I have the memory with me.

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After that, I walked over to the Harper Teen booth. My mom was pretty close to the beginning of line, but they hadn’t started the giveaway yet, so I waited around until it happened. It was a super tense few minutes, let me tell you, because my mom was bunched up with a whole lot of people, and They Both Die At the End was going away quickly (they only had about twenty-five copies of each book), but, by the grace of God, my mom managed to snag a copy for me! And with that, my tight schedule for Bookcon was over. I got every book I wanted and every signing I wanted and I was ready to eat and get some water.

After we all ate and drank, we went back to the show floor, stress-free because it was the last hour of Bookcon and we had accomplished everything. Earlier in the day I had seen a girl in line for 27 Hours with an ARC of The Belles, which I wanted SO BAD, so we headed to the Disney-Hyperion booth, and they were all gone. Of course, I was upset (especially since Disney said that the author was only signing a poster and giving away an excerpt of the book, AND NOT THE ARC), but not too upset since I literally got every book I wanted. Since so many people were trading ARCs on the Bookcon app, I decided to advertise the double copy of Warcross I’d won from the box on the app in exchange from The Belles. We visited a couple more booths and my mom bought me Roar for only ten dollars at the Macmillan booth, but with no one responding, we went back to the hotel.

Of course, while on our way back, someone said that they had The Belles and would be happy to trade. My mom was nice enough and said we could meet up with them somewhere, so after dropping off my brother with the suitcase full of books, we walked around New York for a while looking for the meeting place, and then I ended up trading Warcross for The Belles, which I’m eternally grateful for Jennifer for trading for!

And with that, Bookcon was officially over! Here’s my Day 2 haul if anyone is curious:

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So, I decided to go into detail about all the books I got from Bookcon (and one I got from The Strand when I visited there)! The Goodreads links to the books will be found under the pictures of the books! This doesn’t include Dear Martin, which is hopefully being sent to my house as I write this, but I have all the other books!

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Daughter of the Burning City

All Rights Reserved

Wonder Woman: Warbringer

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Things I’m Seeing Without You

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Warcross

There’s Someone Inside Your House

Jane, Unlimited

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Release

Genuine Fraud

They Both Die At the End

Invictus

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This Darkness Mine

27 Hours

All the Crooked Saints

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The Cruel Prince

Zenith

The Belles

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Roar

The Possible

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And that’s it for my recap and book haul of Bookcon! If you made it through the entire post, a huge congratulations to you!

Anyone, I have no idea what I’m doing next year! I really want to go to BEA next year because I’m a blogger and I’d love to attend one year (and there are way more ARCs, which yes please), but it’s super expensive for my parents, so I might just go to Bookcon. IT’S UP IN THE AIR. But I can say that I’m 98% sure I’m going to Yallfest this year, so yeah for that!

Let's Chat

Did you go to Bookcon? If you did, what was your experience, favorite moment, what books you hauled, etc.? And if you didn’t, which of the books I got do you find the most interesting/do you most anticipate? SHARE WITH ME!

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