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[Let’s Chat] Do You Talk About Your Blog In Real Life?

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Something that probably won’t be a surprise to all bloggers out there is the fact that we have lives outside of blogging.

I know; such a surprise, right? But, it’s always made me wonder how many of us separate blogging and the “real world,” in a sense. I know that I, for sure, compartmentalize. If you met me in real life, I’d be a totally different person than how I act on the Internet.

So, I decided I’d like to talk about my personal experiences with talking about my blog in real life. Obviously, there aren’t too many because I just don’t like doing it at all, but, hey, why not talk about it anyway.

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So, my close family does know that I blog. There’s an accomplishment right there!

I have to say, the only reason my family knows is the fact that I used to have the crappiest laptop that I got when I was, like, twelve or something, so I decided to use my mom’s, and I had to ask permission before I just spent hours and hours on her laptop (and, BOY, did I spend hours and hours on there. Not like I don’t do that now). I ended up getting a laptop a couple weeks later for Christmas that actually works and is totally awesome, which I wasn’t expecting, so it was such a grateful surprise!

I’d say that my mom is the one who cares more than my dad and my younger brother. My dad knows that I blog and doesn’t really talk to me about it (thank God), and you know how siblings work; my brother doesn’t give a damn about what I do, and same I feel the same about his interests (we’re total opposites; he’s an extrovert, and I’m an intorvert). But my mom is the one who has continually always wanted to get into my business. True story: when I used to be on Wattpad, she created her own account, and pretended to be a girl around my age in order to learn more about my stories because I wouldn’t talk to her about it in real life. And you might be thinking, “LOL, Mikaela; that sounds nuts.” BUT IT’S TRUE. Obviously, I don’t think my mom can do that now since it’s harder to start a random blog account as opposed to Wattpad, but she always keeps trying to pry information about it to me and wants to advertise it to all her friends, and I don’t want that. Mainly because I want my success to be my own, and, also, I just don’t want my mom to know everything about my blog.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’d just rather do stuff on my own regarding things I’m proud of, without the help of my parents. And I also just want one bit of myself out there on the Internet that my mom doesn’t know about much about. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a teenager that makes me feel that way, but I’d just much prefer a little bit of distance. Just a little.

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Now, regarding friends,  it’s a whole different ballgame for me. I have never mentioned to my friends that I have a book blog. Except one. And that’s basically it. 

I’ve already mentioned a million times about how I don’t really have anyone to talk to regarding books, so this place is where I like to go to express that. It’s again akin to the whole thing with my mom; I just want a little corner of the Internet that’s separate from my life in the real world. I actually had one of my friends read my Wattpad stories before I deleted them, and I always found it so amusing that she truly enjoyed reading them. It always made me nervous, but it was nice to know that she really appreciated my writing, but, for some reason, I feel totally different regarding blogging.

Also, okay, I might have a TINY fear that they might find it weird that I take pictures of books, and I consider that a hobby. Or that I have all these people following me because they think I’m cool or whatever. I’m not the only one who has those types of fears, right? RIGHT?

I have to say, sometimes it sucks when something amazing happens regarding my blog, but I don’t really feel like I can celebrate it with my friends because they don’t know about it, but remembering that I can fangirl on Twitter or on my blog and have people who truly understand me is what makes me happy and actually makes up for it, in a way.

And if my blog became public knowledge to my school?

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For me, those are the only two categories in my real life that I can talk about, but I’m sure there are other people that have some others, such as bloggers older than me who have co-workers and such.

To me, the general consensus is that I just really like to have something private that I’d like to keep to myself. Obviously, it’s not private in the way most people would say it’s private, since I’m still posting my stuff on a public blog, and also promoting it all on sorts of social media accounts, but I consider blogging something that I keep separate from the real life, and that works for me.

Also, to those who are probably like, “Where did the #DregsDiverseathon sign-up go?” I deleted it! Long story short, I wasn’t really ready to post it, but I didn’t really have anything to go up for Monday, so I made a terrible decision to post something for the sake of something. So, the readathon isn’t gone forever; I have it in my drafts, and I probably will wait to host it later this year or something! But everything’s good!

Let's Chat

Do you talk about your blog in real life? Have you had any weird experiences with that? Why do you talk or not talk about your blog in real life?

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65

[DISCUSSION] How Do You Deal With Book Blogger Envy?

File_004 (7)It’s Discussion Time!

And, of course, I decided to pick a bookish topic that’s near and dear to my heart (but really shouldn’t be) – book blogger envy and how we all deal with it.

I’m sure at one point or another, we all have been jealous of someone else’s book blog or book Twitter account or their bookstagram account or just them as a human being because they just seem to have it all. Said blogger gets all the comments, has all bloggers you admire following them, has a large following on literally all their social media accounts, has the perfect charm and blogger voice, gets to attend all the cool blogging events, is friends with all the authors, and gets the best ARCs. And even though you’re extremely happy for said blogger or you admire said blogger or said blogger is the one that inspires you in the first place, you still can’t help finding yourself extremely envious of all that they have.

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I probably experience this, like, three times a day? Maybe four?

But, seriously, I envy and admire so many awesome bloggers, some who pushed and inspired me to start my own little blog in the first place. And it’s not even a vicious sort of jealousy where I don’t think they deserve the things said blogger has, because they definitely do. It’s the sort of jealousy that sometimes makes me feel a little bad about myself. Even if I’m proud of my posts and I get a lot of likes and comments and I get a crazy good amount of page views sometimes or I see all the strides I’ve made, and I haven’t even reached six months yet, I can still get down on myself sometimes, because I’m just not like them. I don’t get those coveted ARCs that I would absolutely die for, a post I was excited about doesn’t do too well, or it just feels like everything is moving so slowly regarding the entire blogging process, even if I work super hard to make it there.

I think the most frustrating jealousy I have is towards people who just get into it so quickly. You know, those people who start around the same time you do, or in a lesser time, and manage to be more successful in terms of posts and stats and followers – and this goes for more bookstagram and blogging, because nothing can be more frustrating then feeling like you’re moving forward, but then seeing someone get to 100 Instagram followers within a matter of weeks while you’re still stuck on 82, and it’s been months, or if some other blogger that started only a month ago already has over 100+ followers and a consistent following, and you’re barely getting views at all, and you’ve been around for four months. I think that’s the most trying, because at least with big bloggers, you can just rub it off by saying they’ve been around for years, so of course they’re doing better, but with someone that’s been doing the same thing around the same time as you, but still being more successful is what hurts the most.

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Honestly, I won’t pretend like I have a solution to this.

I’m approaching my six month blogiversary, and I still can’t really figure out how to stop being jealous of other bloggers, or even how to quell my own jealousy, but that’s never stopped me from giving tips anyway, has it?

(The answer’s no.)

1. Observe what they do. I mean, even if we love that person’s blog, really, when we admire someone, we’re also sort of learning from them, in a way. I’m not going to say to start copying their blogger voice or all the blog posts/general ideas, because that sort of borders on plagiarism, but there’s definitely nothing wrong with seeing how they interact with other people or where they draw their inspiration from or what they’re doing that attracts readers and a huge following. Because, clearly, they’re dong something right. I do it all the time, which is my blog is not a catastrophic mess right now. #Facts

2. Remember that said blogger probably had to work hard, and so will you. When I envy big bloggers for what they have, I have to step back and realize that they didn’t reach their achievements from absolutely nowhere. That person probably worked hard, probably for years, to get where they are today. It always reassures me to know that maybe if I work as hard as they did, that maybe I can be at their level someday.

3. Be proud of your own achievements. Look at your own stats. Look at the blogger friends you’ve made. Look at your comments and followers across the board. Look at all the mini achievements you’ve reached. Be proud of that. You did that. You reached those rewards. You work hard. Even if some days or months or weeks just might not be yours regarding stats or follower counts or whatever, just remember that if you’re proud of what you’ve done, really, that’s what should matter the most.

4. Work hard. Let that jealousy you have push you to strive for greatness. Help it to improve your blog posts or maybe push you to brainstorm some better ones. I know that when I had lacking content back in January where all I did was tags and reviews, I looked to all my favorite blogs for inspiration and brainstormed a large majority of the ideas I have now. Those posts I made are what pushed me to churn out content that people actually enjoyed reading, and I enjoyed writing. Seeing all these gorgeous photos on bookstagram is what pushed me to re-start my own account and what finally got me to get creative and think up my own photo ideas  (and then eventually move on to include bookish photography)!

5. Know that everyone feels this way. I mean, I’m not going to claim I know for sure, but I truly believe that even big bloggers are jealous of some other bloggers. And just know that there’s probably someone out there that’s as jealous of your book blog just like you might be jealous of someone else’s. So don’t feel bad for ever feeling jealous, because I honestly think that we all suffer from it, and we all will no matter what.

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And, yes, jealousy will still prevail.

I know it does for me, and I like to think of myself as lucky, because all the things I have now regarding blogging, I definitely didn’t think I’d get in a year, nevertheless in five months. I’m incredibly thankful for what I have, and I’d like to take a moment to thank all of you who follow me or read my posts or comment on them. It means the world to me; it really does. But, hopefully, we can all get a little bit better at it.

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How do you deal with book blogger envy? And what are some of your favorite blogs that inspire you or you draw brainstorm from?

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54

[LET’S CHAT] What Makes An Original Book Blogger?

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Ah, yes, one of the biggest questions when you enter the blogosphere: do you have to be an original blogger?

I feel like that’s something that every blogger sees as some sort of requirement. Even in my own post when I talked about what makes me follow a book blog, I said that I really liked seeing original content that would continually inspire me. And, also, who wants to see a blog that looks like pretty much every other blog? We don’t just push creativity and non-conformity in the blogging world, but pretty much everywhere. How many times have you heard someone say that they’re tired of superhero movies and sequels and want an original movie? Or someone saying a song is overrated because it sounds like every other song on the radio? Or someone complaining about how a TV show is using the same old tired cliches?

But, is it necessary to be completely original as a blog? There seems to be a sort of look-down on people who just post memes and tags and awards, and even some people who have pretty much sworn off all of those things in favor of original content. So I wanted to talk about my experiences with all those things, because I am the blogging queen.

(Just kidding, I am 100% not the blogging queen.)

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So, of course, you’ve probably heard of these things called weekly memes, and contrary to what I used to think, memes aren’t just those things that get popular on Twitter and become annoying after a day. Basically, there’s a concept, and you’re supposed to pick books relating to that concept. Some of the popular ones I’ve seen around are Top Ten Tuesday, Saturday Situation, WWW Wednesday, and Waiting on Wednesday. There are definitely a lot more out there, and several for pretty much every day of the week.

If you’ve been around since the very beginning, you’ll know that I used to do WWW Wednesday for the month of January. Eventually, I realized that I wasn’t really enjoying them, and, surprisingly, they weren’t really doing too good in terms of stats (even though I’ve seen so many people say they’re memes do the best in terms of stats), so I ended up quitting. It’s definitely worked for me, since I’ve now opened up a spot that’s been taken in favor of more original posts, but I know that might not work out for everyone.

I’ve definitely seen a general consensus that seeing too many memes when you first stumble upon someone’s blog makes it less likely for them to stay, and I’ve also seen some people say that they just straight up avoid their Reader on Tuesdays and Wednesdays because of the amount of memes. I definitely get it; I feel like with WWW Wednesday and WoW, it’s hard to really say something other than, “Oh, cool; I loved those books, and that one’s on my TBR! Here’s my link!” and “Yes, I’m super excited to read that book as well! Here’s the link to my post!” With TTT, I can definitely find something to comment about, because I’ve seen several people turn those posts into something creative (like what Cait @ Paper Fury does), but even if it’s just a list, I can always find something to relate to!

I don’t know if it’s a way to meet new people, but I have seen lots of people say that’s how they got their outreach when they were first starting out, so I can see why new bloggers like me jumped on the train! Personally, I don’t think I was really discovered by my WWW Wednesday posts, but I guess it might depend on what type of meme you’re doing.

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I guess you can say it’s mixed regarding tags and awards. On one hand, I feel like they’re fun and easy to do, especially if you don’t have something to do that day, and it’s always fun being tagged in an award. But, I’ve also seen some bloggers say that they think that they can get boring every once in a while, which they definitely can be, depending on the tag. There are some tags that I’ve managed to turn into full-blown post ideas, so they’re not completely useless.

I used to do tags a lot, and those who’ve been here around since the beginning, again, know that all I used to do were tags and reviews, before I got sick of it and opted to do more original content. And, as you guys know, I’m a huge planner when it comes to my blog, and even though I’ve been nominated in so many blogging awards and tags, only about three or so tags are on my agenda until August of next year, and don’t even get me started on blogging awards. I just feel like I’d rather post a Let’s Chat or a recommendations post or a list over a blogging award, because even though they’re nice, I don’t get excited about posting them. So, I decided that since I’ve been nominated for so many, why not just combine them all into one huge Q + A post? That way, I don’t have 248028 awards to do, and it’s fun and creative!

I’ve seen some people say that they don’t do tags and awards anymore, which I can totally understand if you want more original content on the blog. I think some tags are definitely fun to do since they reveal more about yourself, and same with blogging awards because you usually have to list facts for those, but I feel like they’re best in moderation, so I reserve them for every once in a while or when I just have nothing to post (which will probably never happen, so there’s that).

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As you guys probably know, I freaking love lists. Basically, for me, what falls under the “List” category are Monthly Recommendations, Anticipated Releases, Monthly TBRs and Wrap-Ups, and Book Playlists can be put under this category.

I did a lot of lists in February when I was trying to branch out in terms of more original content, and I was very happy to see that it gained so much popularity. I thought it was not only a great way to try something new on my blog, but I also got to share a lot about myself (my favorite ships, my favorite series, some facts about me, etc.), and I love doing that since it reminds everyone that there is a human being behind the blog. I also got a lot of comments from those types of posts, so they obviously push people to talk and share about themselves as well!

I’ve never done monthly TBRs, and I have an entire post dedicated to that whole subject that you can find right here if you’re interested. But, you’ve probably noticed that I don’t do much in regards of Wrap-Ups anymore. I realized during the month of March I really didn’t feel like doing a Wrap-Up post, and I realized that I don’t HAVE to do them at all. It’s my blog, and I can do whatever I want with it, so I chose to just skip out on it and just continue on with the month with more original content that I was really excited for. I like seeing other people’s wrap-ups, but it’s just something that I don’t really like doing, so I decided I wouldn’t.

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Ah, yes, the real money-makers. It seems to be that everyone in the book blogging community agrees that discussion posts are what’s really good for your blog and are what rake the numbers in, which is definitely true. When I posted my first ever discussion post – which I was incredibly nervous to do – I was blown away by how many likes and comments I received from it! And I realized how much fun it was to write that discussion, so I thought, why not keep doing this?

People seem to worry a lot about the topics they discuss, though. Some people never know where to get their ideas from or don’t really know how to get their thoughts into a blog post. Some feel like so-and-so topic has already been talked about by SO MANY PEOPLE, that their input will mean nothing in the long run. But, I definitely don’t think you SHOULDN’T talk about something just because someone else already has, and I don’t think that you have to be completely original to write up a discussion.

Personally, when I started out blogging, after getting frustrated with my lack of original content in January, I ended up brainstorming. So, really, pretty much all the discussion topics I’ve come up with have been thought up months ago. I don’t think I’ve ever thought up a discussion post the month of, basically. I use Discussions to talk about things that I don’t think too many people in the blogosphere have already talked about, and Let’s Chat is more for topics that have already been discussed by a range of people, but I just want to put in my own two cents anyway. Obviously, I post several Let’s Chat posts a month, but only one Discussion per month, and that works for me. They tend to get noticed a lot, and also generate conversation, which I love.

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So, that’s basically all the categories I can think of.

Hopefully, there aren’t many more than that. For me, the answer to the question is no, you don’t HAVE to be a completely original blogger. It’s pretty hard to come up with an idea that someone hasn’t already thought of and written down. But, it does seem like the general consensus is that bringing something new to the table can push your blog to several heights and even get better stats!

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What are your thoughts on each of the categories? Is there one you prefer over the others? What do you think makes an original book blogger?

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14 Bookish Pet Peeves That Make Me Rage Inside

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Hooray for complaining!

I’m sure we all have our personal pet peeves regarding books, you know, like things you hate to see in books or annoying authors or unpopular opinions, etc. I’d thought it be fun to make an entire post dedicated to my bookish pet peeves, so I hope you enjoy!

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Insta-love

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If you’ve been around here for a while, you guys probably know how much I HATE insta-love. I’m personally a huge fan of relationships that take time, especially the ones where the development takes place over several books. Remember the days of Percabeth and Romione where it takes them a good five-to-seven books to get together? So do I.

Douchebag Love Interests

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I’m looking at you, Jace Herondale and Noah Shaw. I’m just not a huge fan of those teenage boys who are total players and act rude and like they don’t care, but all that they needed was this ordinary girl that doesn’t  know she’s beautiful to come along and change their temperament. Barf.

Last Book Sex

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I don’t know if this annoys everyone else, but I really hate how YA series seem to have this thing where couples kiss in the first book, go to third base in the sequel, and then have sex in the last book, and it bothers me SO MUCH. It’s probably why I appreciate Sarah J. Maas normalizing the idea of female characters not only not being always being virgins from the very beginning of the series and not being considered “sluts” for having sex before finding “The One,” but also that there’s not some weird “waiting period” where couples have to be together for some number of books to have sex.

Long Chapters

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Okay, this makes me sound like I have a super short attention span (and I probably do, to be honest), but I just can’t stand long chapters. When your chapters are pushing past 20 pages, at that point, I’ve stopped paying attention to what’s going on, and more on wHEN WILL THIS DAMN CHAPTER END?

Love Interests Smelling Good

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Wood. Pine. Cedar. Mint. Toothpaste. Man. Apparently, boys smell like this, and I’ve completely missed out on this phenomenon. Not to mention that this is AFTER these boys have gotten into a fight/been stabbed/been injured/run/literally any physical activity.

Overly Long Descriptions

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You guys know that I LOVE Cassandra Clare, but, man, I could read one of her books, and it could be two pages later, and 90% of the time, I’d still be reading a description about the building Clary just entered! I mean, great description, but I’m the worst visual person on the planet. Unless there’s a movie adaptation of the book, all the characters look like shapeless blobs and all the settings in my mind look the same, so it’s just a waste of time, from my point of view.

When a Plot Twist Makes Zero Sense

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As a huge thriller reader, this is a huge peeve of mine. Nothing annoys me more than when I read a YA or Adult thriller, and out of nowhere, there’s this huge plot twist that’s just there for shock value and has zero evidence backing it up or just straight up doesn’t make sense with the plot.

When Nothing Happens for 90% of the Book, Except for the Last 10%

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It always seems like the books with the most awesome concepts always tend to do this or sequels fall victim to this. Nothing will happen a majority of the time during the book, but then we hit the last ten chapters, and ALL THE THINGS ARE HAPPENING AT ONCE. Like, at least have SOMETHING else happen besides boring romance angst or characters sitting around having disagreements.

When I Have to Sit Through 10 Exposition Chapters When the Synopsis Has Already Told Me What Happens

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This isn’t really anyone’s fault, but I really hate it when a synopsis is like, “When Maria’s mother dies, a Grim Reaper arrives and asks if she’d like to die in place of her mother to save her.” (I made that up on the spot.) And then I start the book, and I have to sit through all this exposition for 100 pages even though I already know what’s going to happen and I just want to move on.

Ian Somerhalder Being Cast As Every Love Interest Ever

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STOP DOING THIS. I swear to God, if a love interest is in any way angst-y or has a dark past or whatever, everyone will be like, “Ian Somerhalder for casting!!!” Stop ruining all of my book boyfriends! I’m probably the only person on this very earth that finds him unattractive, so it just bothers me.

People Hating on Adam Parrish

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Again, this is more a personal thing, but when people hate Adam Parrish, it hurts my soul. I care about him so much and he deserves so many hugs, and, yeah, he makes some stupid decisions and says some mean things, but he is a human being who’s been constantly abused and is poor and just wants a better life for himself. HOW COULD YOU HATE HIM?

The Anxiety You Get When You Talk to People About What You’re Reading

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I always get into a total panic when someone asks me what I’m reading, mainly because I suck at summarizing what in the world happens in the book. Like, if I explained a V.E. Schwab or Pierce Brown book to you guys, you’d probably get it, but if I told my mom, she’d probably wonder what the hell I’m reading.

People Judging What You Read

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Okay, I’m horrible at this because I do it all the time, but I’m trying to get better at it! I personally hate it when someone judges any of the books I read, so I try not to do it at others (even though it’s hard to when they love a book you consider trash and hate a favorite of yours, but I’m tRYING).

People Whining About Harry Potter’s Kids’ Names

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Anybody who is still whining about this a literal decade after the book has been published is bordering on being unhealthily obsessed at this point, in my opinion. Does it really matter what the fictional character named his kids? Does it really matter that the kids’ names are not Rubeus Remus Hagrid Lily James Sirius Dobby the Third? DOES IT REALLY?

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And that’s it for all my bookish pet peeves!

I’d probably have even more if I listed every single one of them, but I’m going to refrain from doing so to make this post longer.

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What are some of your bookish pet peeves? Do we share any of the same ones?

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[TAG] In Which I Share My Unpopular Bookish Opinions

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Hey, look; it’s been forever since I’ve done a tag! So, let’s do that!

I’ve decided to do the Unpopular Opinions Book Tag, mainly because I love talking about my unpopular opinions and finding people who agree with me. I am the Queen of Unpopular Opinions, and I will fight you for the title. But, seriously, I do have a lot of unpopular opinions – not even just in books, but life in general – and I thought a tag would be a fun way to share them!

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1. A Popular Book or Series You Didn’t Like

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HAHA, where do I start? I actually have a whole list of my least favorite series – which I’ll be linking to here – so I’m not going to re-list them all, but probably my top unpopular opinion regarding series is The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski. I thought I’d love this one, but the romance was just too much, and the sequel bored me to death. Kestrel is just too good for Arin. And for book, probably The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson. I literally can’t find one single soul who didn’t love this book, but I thought it was just meh. It was over-saturated with plot twists that got annoying after a while, and I was just missing something, I guess? I thought the ending was pretty good, though!

2. A Popular Book or Series That Everyone Else Seems to Hate But You Love

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Funnily enough, I also have an entire post dedicated to unpopular books I like, which you can find right here! BUT, for the purpose of this question and not wanting to repeat my entire list again, I think my number one is probably The Cursed Child. Everyone literally hates it and found it SO disappointing – but I read it in a day and cried and I loved it. And this book also proved that my Albus and Scorpius ship that I’ve been sailing on since 2013 has solid concrete evidence, so, there’s that.

3. A Love Triangle Where the Main Character Ended Up with the Person You Didn’t Want Them to End Up with OR an OTP That You Don’t Like

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Fortunately, I’ve never lost a love triangle (MWAHAHAHA), so I decided on an OTP I don’t like. And that’s Mara and Noah from the Mara Dyer trilogy. Honestly, I just really hate Noah and think he’s a pretentious jerk, so he could just disappear and all would be solved and make me ten times happier, to be honest. But everyone seems to love him apparently??? Ew.

4. A Popular Book Genre That You Hardly Reach For

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I usually read a little something from every genre because I’m usually pulled in by synopsis’, not genres, but contemporary is probably the answer for this one. Especially the phrase “cute contemporary.” Whenever someone says that a contemporary book was “adorable” or “cute” or “fluffy,” I’m just never going to read it ever. Maybe I’m a masochist who likes death and torture and sadness and panic, but I just get bored reading about people falling in love in the real world with real problems. And I don’t think I’ve ever liked fluff??? Basically, I’m a monster.

5. A Popular or Beloved Character That You Don’t Like

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Jace Herondale from The Mortal Instruments Series! I mean, I love all of Cassandra Clare’s books TO DEATH, but both times I read The Mortal Instruments, I was greatly annoyed by Jace. I mean, he probably wasn’t a trope when this book was published (way back in 2007), but after so many years of YA, I’m tired of sarcastic jerk-ish bad boys who have daddy issues and are using their sarcasm as a shield for how sweet they are. PASS.

6. A Popular Author That You Can’t Seem to Get Into

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This one’s easily Lauren Oliver. I read Before I Fall and LOVED IT – it’s still one of my all-time favorite contemporaries – and every single one of the books I’ve read from her after that have been total duds and I’ve DNF-ed them all. I only have Vanishing Girls left from her, but I love a good YA thriller, so, hopefully, this one’s good?

7. A Popular Book Trope That You’re Tired of Seeing

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I don’t even know if this counts as a book trope (it probably doesn’t), but when it comes to thrillers, YA or Adult, I’m getting really tired of the “OH MY GOD; YOU LITERALLY COULD HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS COMING BECAUSE IT MAKES ZERO SENSE AND IS IN NO WAY GROUNDED IN REALITY” plot twists. I feel like all the thrillers I’ve read this year so far have either been amazing, or they’ve fallen flat because of this strange need for a random plot twist that doesn’t have any evidence built up behind it. I’m going to blame the popularity of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train for this since everyone is trying to be the “next big thing,” but it only works the first couple of times before I get tired of it.

8. A Popular Series That You Have No Interest in Reading

Following the cute contemporary trend I mentioned earlier, I’ll probably never read a Kasie West book, a Morgan Matson book, a Jenny Han book, or any of the books in the Anna and the French Kiss series. I know everyone loves these authors and their books to the moon and back, but I literally get bored reading the synopsis’ of these books. I DON’T LIKE FLUFF. I’M SORRY.

9. The Saying Goes, “The Book Is Always Better Than the Movie,” but What Movie or T.V. Show Adaptation Do You Prefer More Than the Book?

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The Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children movie for sure! I read the first book of the series and really enjoyed it, but then read the second book and was so bored by it that I DNF-ed it. But the movie was actually SO GOOD, and I loved how Burton completely changed the plot because it made for a much entertaining movie. And, personally, I always thought that this series should have just been a stand-alone, and the movie’s storyline expressed it perfectly, so there’s that!

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And that was the Unpopular Opinions Book Tag!

I hope you enjoyed reading about all the things I like and don’t like that are totally unpopular! You guys really seem to like reading about my unpopular opinions because those used to be some of my most popular posts when I was a bit of a smaller blog.

Regarding tagging people, I never really tag specific people for these things, I just leave it open so anyone who wants to do this tag may do it! So, go ahead, and have fun with it!

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Do we share any of the same opinions (please say we do)? What are some of your unpopular bookish opinions?

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[LET’S CHAT] What Do You Blog For? A.K.A. Blogging Success

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So, I know this is probably a topic that’s been talked to death already (the woes of entering the book blogosphere late so all the good ideas are taken), but, hey, maybe I might have something awesome to add to the discussion.

I wanted to ask the question: what do you blog for? An alternate title could be: how do you determine blogging success?

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So, it seems to me that the book blogging community has lots of things you shouldn’t blog for.

For example, the amount of times I’ve gone to a post titled “How to Get ARCs” and it says in some form, “Don’t blog just to get ARCs” is a lot of times. So, apparently, we as book bloggers frown upon people who want to blog for the free books. And, as I discussed in another Let’s Chat last month, there’s a lot of stigma and taboo around people who blog for popularity or based off of numbers and good stats. But book bloggers do think that blogging for the love of the community and for yourself are good reasons to blog, which makes me wonder is there really a “good reason” to start a book blog.

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We’ll start with the whole controversy around ARCs first.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve yet to stumble upon a book blog that solely blogs for ARCs. I mean, how could you even really TELL someone is blogging for ARCs just by looking at someone’s blog? I say that mainly because blogging takes a lot of someone’s time and you have to put in SO MUCH EFFORT. Are ARCs worth it for all the time I put into the blog, whether e-ARC or physical copy? Definitely. But for someone who just starts a book blog because, “Hey, free books!” it might be a hard process. It’s not just trying to make your blog look pretty, reading enough books to write reviews, thinking up good content, and then actually writing that content. It’s also maintaining several social media accounts, having the time to do other non-blogging things, and then actually get people to read, comment, and like your posts, which is an effort in and of itself. And then you have to look at other people’s blogs and comment and make a presence. I mean, you have to get a good amount of stats before asking for ARCs. Sure, you might get lucky, but if you have 10 blog followers, and virtually no people reading what you write, you’re more likely to be declined than anything.

BUT, is it wrong to blog for ARCs? I guess some people see it as a greed sort of thing, but as I said earlier, I love being rewarded for my hard work not only with followers and comments and shares and likes, but also being blessed enough to get to read a book early and hype it up for others. It always feels good to know a publisher or a publicist looked at my blog, and thought I was good enough to read their book early. Since book blogs aren’t as big as fashion blogs, food blogs, parenting blogs, etc. – where they can make serious money off of it – and because sponsored reviews are so frowned upon in the book community, really, we’re “paid” in awesome stats and free books. And I have to say, the allure of getting to read a book early is totally awesome. Just saying.

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And then there’s the frown upon of people who blog for popularity.

Again, bloggers seem to have this mindset that we should never, ever care about our numbers, which I don’t think is true. I mean, seeing all these super popular book blogs and hoping to get on their level someday shouldn’t be something that’s looked at as bad. I sure wish that I could be that one blog that has all the followers across all the social media accounts and the one that people mention and others go, “Oh, yeah, I love her blog, too!” Probably because I’m quiet in real life, and “Internet fame,” in a way, would be much easier to handle. And, to me, a successful blog is the one where all the popular bloggers comment on, and they get all the ARCs, and they handle social media perfectly, and they’re on everyone’s favorite lists, and they always inspire people. Other people might look at a successful blog as one that just has a good enough readership and lots of comments because that person wants a sense of community. Success is different to different people, and I don’t think there’s any “wrong” way to go about it.

BUT will blogging just for popularity become frustrating? Indeed it will. Personally, I’m very impatient. Like, about everything. I’ve talked several times about how I quit things, and I feel like the reason I so often do is because I always build up these unrealistic expectations in my head – on Wattpad, my story is going to blow up and I’m going to be spotted by a publisher; on Goodreads, I’m going to make the best reviews and become super popular like Emily May and have all the friends and followers – and then I’ll peak in success and get super excited, but as soon as that peak slowly descends, or I’m not doing as well as before, I start to get deflated and lose interest. I don’t want that to happen with blogging (and, so far, it hasn’t!). I’m one of those people who starts things, puts a lot of work into it, and then waits for success to come to me RIGHT NOW, even though there’s a part in my head that’s telling me that it’ll take time before I reach that status. So, for someone like me, it’ll be rough to start out and realize that you could work so hard on a post, and only one person likes it. The road to popularity success is a bumpy one, but I don’t necessarily think that you’ll crash and burn because of it.

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Then we move on to the “good reason” for book blogging – the community.

And not just the book blogging community in general, but just a community of bookworms. This could apply to blogging, to Book Twitter, to Goodreads, to bookstagram. It’s awesome how there’s an endless amount of platforms to talk and share our love about books nowadays! I’ve said this before, but in real life, I don’t know too many people who read. So, it’s always a little disheartening when I finish a great book, and I have nobody to talk to about it. Hence one of the reasons why I started this blog – I wanted to talk about books, but I also wanted to talk about other bookish-related topics, as you can see by my word-y Discussion and Let’s Chat posts. So, for me, book blogging seemed to be the best way to go, and I haven’t looked back since.

I’m guessing the main reason why this is seen as a “good reason” to start a book blog is because it’s less greedy, in a way? Like, I’m sure to others, blogging to get free books or to gain some form of popularity makes you seem like a vain person, but you’ll think better of a person if they say, “I started blogging to join the wonderful community,” if that makes sense?

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I’m not saying that people who say that are fake in any way, because I said it just earlier, but why does it seem like I can’t blog for all three reasons?

I blog because I love the community and I love sharing my thoughts with people who will finally understand me. I blog because I like to be rewarded for all the work I put into my blog with free early copies of books. I blog because I’d love to be an inspiration or a favorite to others. I blog because I don’t feel comfortable expressing my feelings all the time in real life, and knowing that there are people out there who listen and like those thoughts always warms my heart. I blog because even though a comment might be super long, it’s always nice to know that someone thought my post was worth it enough to leave one. I blog for all these reasons, and that’s why I like to think my blog is successful. Not just because I’ve met so many awesome people, but because I get to read some amazing books early and for free and I know that there are people out there who care enough about what I have to say. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever blog for just ONE reason. And I think that’s okay.

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Also, just wanted to take a moment to say that I’ve sent out e-mails to all the Big Bloggers as to who you’re assigned to! The project starts today (YAY!), and I hope you guys are as excited as I am about the whole thing! I have three book blogs that I’ll be supporting, so that’s fun! I just wanted to let you guys know in case you happened to not get an e-mail or something. But feel free to ask me any questions or if you haven’t gotten an e-mail in your inbox!

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What do you blog for? Do you consider your blog successful and why? What is a successful blog to you? Any blogs that immediately come to mind when you think “successful” (just because I’m interested if anyone picks the same person lol)?

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[LET’S CHAT] The Pros and Cons of Writing Book Reviews

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Yeah, it’s time for another edition of Let’s Chat! This one centers around a pretty interesting concept to me, and some thoughts I’ve been having.

I really got this idea from a super old discussion post from Briana @ Pages Unbound, where she talked about some blogs considering running without book reviews (obviously, I highly recommend checking it out).

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This honestly got me thinking because confession time: I don’t like writing reviews.

Yes, some of my reviews are easier to write because I have a lot of feelings – whether those feelings are positive or negative is up to how I feel about the book – but what do I do for books that are just meh? Or if I continue a series, and I feel as if I’m repeating the same things about each book over and over again? Or for an ARC I DNF?

As you guys know if you’ve been around for a while, I still do reviews! I post reviews once a week, and then something non-review for the other three days. Personally, this schedule has worked for me, and I will probably continue with this schedule unless something changes or I do something drastic with my blog out of nowhere. But I wanted to look at some reasons as to why people would give up doing reviews and some reasons why people would continue doing reviews (a.k.a. I basically sort out my thoughts through writing).

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Keep Writing Reviews

1. I want ARCs. I’m sure everyone in the book blogging community knows about Advanced Review Copies, and, as you can tell, you sort of have to review them. I can’t imagine publishers are going to be too happy if you request a book, and they find out that you don’t even write or publish reviews anymore. And, yes, I love getting ARCs via Netgalley, and I’d love to eventually delve into the world of physical ARCs, and I have to review books to get there. I know; I’m shallow.

2. I want bookworms to broaden their horizons. Really, this can mean anything. Personally, my reason for starting to blog was the fact that I wanted to sort of bridge the gap between YA and Adult, since I’ve seen so many people see they’re tired of YA, but don’t actually go out to read adult books, because they don’t know where to start. So, I’m here to read and review some blog posts since I took the plunge last year and haven’t looked back. I don’t know if anyone has ever read said books because of my reviews, but if you do, that’s awesome! For other people, I know it’s reading fantasy or dystopian if all they usually read is contemporary, or maybe reading some YA after reading so many adult novels.

3. We want to share our love of books (or rant). I mean, nothing is more fun than raving about a book that you feel isn’t getting enough attention, or reviewing an ARC that you’re so excited to come out so everyone can get their hands on it. And there’s also the other side, where you get to rant about a book that really disappointed you or you want to warn someone else about something that you know that person won’t like, such as the dreaded insta-love.

4. It brings the book community together. I always anticipate posting reviews for popular books everyone has read except for me (which happens so often, and way more than it should) because I can finally gush about all my ~feelings~ without sounding weird to everyone else. In real life, I don’t know too many people who are fans of books, so this is pretty much one of the few places where I feel like I can talk about books, and people understand what the heck I’m talking about. How else would I be able to talk about horrible cliffhangers or heart-breaking deaths or how good a book is.

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Stop Writing Reviews

1. I can still get ARCs. I know I said this in the previous part, BUT you really don’t have to have a blog anymore to receive ARCs. If you have a large enough following on Instagram, for instance, you can receive boxes of book mail and early releases, and a large majority of those people don’t have a blog at all. I will say, I think it’s ten times harder to get over 50k followers on Instagram than it is to get some traction on your reviews. In fact, I think Instagram is the hardest place to get connection and interaction, because you can do literally nothing wrong, and six people could unfollow you overnight, so there’s that. But, still, you could do it!

2. No one really reads reviews. I know there’s sort of a stigma in the book blogging community that people don’t really read reviews. I will say that this sort of rings true. Honestly, unless it’s a book I’m anticipating or I’ve heard a lot about, I’ll probably just like it and move on. And, personally, reviews are the least interesting thing on blogs for me. I do follow some blogs that primarily do nothing but reviews, but those are mostly niche ones – thrillers and mysteries, to be exact – and I think it’s a bit harder to do that for YA books and keep people coming back, probably because there’s a larger audience. I’m a bigger fan of advice posts, discussions, recommendations, etc.

3. I don’t like writing them. Like I said earlier, I just don’t like writing reviews. I can do them, of course, but I’d rather spend my time writing any other type of blog post, and it’s definitely something I have to be in the mood for. So, I can definitely understand if someone just stops doing reviews, because if they hate writing them, and only 20 people are actually reading them, then why continue writing them?

4. You have to be reading. I think a problem for some people is the fact that they might not read too fast, or they could read a book and not find it good enough to review, but don’t have anything else to write about or can’t think up any good ideas. Of course, you could totally take a break from reviewing, but for some people who want to have a couple of reviews up per week or the ones that their entire blog is dedicated to just reviews and blog tours, it might be a challenge finding the time to read a book and then finally write a review for it.

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These are probably some of the more basic pros and cons for continuing to write reviews.

In the end, though, I’ll probably still keep on writing reviews, and, honestly, I’ll probably mainly do it so I can at least have a shot at getting ARCs. And I occasionally enjoy blabbing about my thoughts as well.

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How do you feel about reviewing books? Would you still keep up with a book blog that doesn’t review books at all? What are your reasons to review books?

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