64

[LET’S CHAT] Goodreads And Why I Don’t Use It

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Lots of people use Goodreads, but I don’t.

Which is funny, because I used to use Goodreads. Like, a lot. It was basically my life for a long while way before I even started blogging, and it was the first place I even entertained the idea of starting a book blog. But, sometime during October of last year, I realized that I really wasn’t enjoying myself, so I quit, promising that I’d come back in the form of a book blog, and lo and behold, I have, and it’s been a much better experience for me.

So, I thought it’d be interesting to make a post about why I don’t use Goodreads because maybe you guys are curious (probably not, but that hasn’t stopped me before).

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The more I was on Goodreads, the more I realized that I hated looking at my newsfeed. I’d constantly mute my friends on my feed, I’d ignore it for hours on end, and I’d wish there was some sort of way to just turn it off. Nothing drives me up a wall then being bombarded with 208402 different opinions on a just recently released book that all manage to contradict each other. Sometimes, I just want to read a damn book without being influenced by anyone’s decisions, and cutting Goodreads out of my life definitely changed me for the better. I can finally go into a book blind and without influence so my opinions are my own and I can spend my time reading books that I want to.

I know there are books I gave second chances to – such as The Winner’s Curse – that I just should have left alone because Goodreads loved them SO MUCH, that I was obviously missing something. Soon, after reading the two books again and hating them ten times more than I had the first time I read them, I realized that sometimes the Goodreads community and I just don’t gel. There are only so many times I can see people trashing the books I love while reading the books Goodreads obsesses over and being disappointed before I was just done with it.

And let’s not mention people who bump their reviews 24080284 times a day just so they can get more likes. Excuse me while I try to refrain from throwing my phone against the wall as I see one of my friend’s reviews of a book I don’t care about for the tenth time that day. I WILL NOT LIKE IT, DAMN IT.

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I will say, this both helps and hurts me. I actually did pretty damn well on the reading challenges the past couple of years, and ended up always exceeding my goal pretty quickly. But, the pressure can definitely drive me crazy. I loved the feeling of finishing a book and being able to add it to my “Read” shelf, but all the pressure of it was definitely way too much for me. And I know I could just ignore the reading challenge or put down one book as my goal so I can finish it off within a few days of the new year and just focus on reading, but I’d just rather not even bother with it all.

(Not to mention that if you don’t enter a number, Goodreads will badger you throughout the entire year to join in anyway. I DON’T WANT TO, GOODREADS.)

Also, this year has been terrible for me in terms of reading, so I think it’s on point that I’ve just stopped even knowing how many books I’ve read this year. IT’S FINE, I’M FINE.

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Though Goodreads was a huge part of my life that I used to enjoy, the main reason I quit in October was because it was just too much work to keep up with. The first few months of school last year were super stressful and I was reading pretty fast, so it was hard for me to keep up with all the reviews I had to write and publish, especially as someone who doesn’t like reviewing that much. So, in the end, I quit because I was too busy with school and it was making reading a chore, not to mention that my sort of “popularity” was waning and spending time writing reviews only to get about three likes on them was pretty annoying and not worth it.

I tried again to get back on Goodreads because so many other bloggers talk about how cross-posting is a good way for publishers to pay attention to you to get ARCs, but after a week or so on being back on it, it stressed me out once again. Having to immediately log on to Goodreads and post my review and then take an extra few minutes linking back to my blog only to get little to no hits from it was a huge waste of time. And I wasn’t even going to bother trying to gain a following again on Goodreads because it was too much work. So, I quit – for the second time because of the same reason. And I still get ARCs, so I guess it doesn’t really matter, in the end!

Since I honestly don’t care too much about the whole process enough to put work into it, I realized, “Why waste so much time?”

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And, hopefully, that gave you more insight into why I don’t use Goodreads!

It’s definitely fine that there are people out there who LOVE Goodreads – I feel like I’m in the minority – but it just doesn’t work for me, and I hope this might help some other bloggers out there who are trying to figure out if Goodreads is for them or not!

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51

10 Of My Most Secretive Bookish Confessions

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So, a couple months ago, I did a post about 11 blogging confessions and it was pretty popular and very fun to write!

So, I decided it’d be fun to kick off the month of August by talking about ten of my bookish confessions, because, clearly, I have lots of things to confess.

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1. I sometimes skim.

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Yes, yes I do. It’s usually not even because I’m bored or anything, but when I read a book, I usually read it pretty quickly, depending on what’s going on around me. So, if I read a thriller in a day, yeah, I’ll sometimes skip a couple of paragraphs if they just reiterate the same facts over and over again or if I’m reading a YA book and the main character is angst-ing about somebody that’s died for the millionth time. I don’t think it’ll kill me if I just skim over the paragraph, especially if my eyes accidentally wander to the end of the page and I see something exciting happening.

2. Action scenes can bore me sometimes. 

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I owe this mainly to the fact that I’m awful at visualizing things in books. I mean, I’m weird enough that I can visualize whole story ideas in my head and see my own characters, but I suck at seeing things in my head as a story happens. So, to me, action sequences are basically nothing in my head. Not to mention that sometimes, I’ll read a couple of pages from a book but be completely out of it when I do, and that mainly happens when I read action scenes. And I’m terrible with keeping up with what’s going on during the scene, so overall, action scenes and me don’t get along.

3. I will frequently rant in my own head while reading.

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It definitely depends on what I’m reading. For instance, there have been many a thrillers where the guy is a douchebag, and I continually rant in my head about how much I hate him (looking at you, Todd and David). There are also the times I’ll rant in my head if insta-love becomes present since I hate insta-love with a passion. Or when something really awesome happens or I love a quote or I notice something, I’ll also rant in my head about how good it is. It can go both ways, for sure.

4. I suck at finishing series.

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I do. I really, really do. I’m not even going to bother to list them all, but for some reason, I have a problem with reading every book in a series except for the last one. Or it’ll be even worse and I read the first book in a series and fall in love with it, but haven’t read the sequels in the series, and now it’s been years and I forget everything. And let’s not get started on the amount of books I’m just in the middle of reading. Someone please help me.

5. Long chapters make me bored.

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I’ve definitely said this before, but they do! I think it’s mainly because I have this weird thing where I HAVE to finish a chapter before I put down a book, or else, it’s going to bother me until the end of time. I have a problem with this since I’ll continually tell myself I’m going to stop after this chapter, but then end up almost finishing the book (oops), so when I tell myself “One more chapter and then I’ll go to bed!” and the chapter ends up being forty pages long, it honestly drives me up a wall.

6. Sometimes, I’ll rate books higher because of hype.

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Yeah, I admit it. Most of the time, I do give my honest opinions and ratings on books, but when a book is really hyped up, sometimes I’ll end up convincing myself that I loved it more than I actually did. Some books this happened with were A Darker Shade of Magic, A Court of Thorns and Roses, and Clockwork Angel – these are all the first books in some of my favorite series that I originally rated four stars, but as time went on, they went to three stars. They definitely weren’t bad, but not as good as what I was expecting. Books like Shadow and Bone and The Winner’s Curse were books I also rated higher for some reason, but, unfortunately, I didn’t like those series or those books, so those ratings went from four and three stars to two and one stars. I think it happens to the best of us.

7. The more I hear about a hyped book, the more I want to scream.

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I feel like 2017 has been the year of “Everyone Keeps Recommending Mediocre-Looking Contemporary Novels That I Almost Fall Asleep When I Read Their Synopsis’.” Like, I’m glad you guys love your contemporary novels, but I literally could not care less about any of them (or maybe I could; who knows?). But, in general, I feel like I’ve been bombarded by the same hyped books over and over again this year, and it drives me crazy. Is it the influence of the blogosphere? Probably.

8. I’ll sometimes judge people on what they read.

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Yes, I know, I shouldn’t. But if someone says that a book I love isn’t good but rates five stars to every single new adult romance book that’s the same as every single new adult romance book, except with different names for the main characters? Or if they trash my favorite series while constantly talking about and praising an extremely mediocre one? Yeah, I’ll probably judge them just for that. It’s terrible, I know.

9. I don’t like reading negative reviews of books I love.

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I actually hate it. It seems like everyone always has this attitude of “I actually go out of my way to read negative reviews of books I absolutely adore!” but I just don’t. It’ll make me angry, I won’t change my mind, and it’ll just be a huge downer on my mood, so I just find absolutely no reason to go seek out something like that (and, between you on me, I don’t really believe people when they say they always read negative reviews of books they love, but that’s just me).

10. I’m brutally honest with myself regarding what I will and won’t read. 

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Literally just a couple months ago, I went through my TBR and took off probably 100+ books, and it felt really good. I know there are people who will keep a book on their TBR forever, but for me personally, if it’s been years and it’s just not happening or I realize I’m just never going to read a book no matter how much I want to, I’m totally okay with just removing it from my TBR. I want my TBR to be A LITTLE bit manageable, at least.

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44

Bite-Sized Reviews | The “Wonder Woman, Warcross, Genuine Fraud, Oh My!” Edition

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Look at me, I read ARCs!

So, I got a lot of ARCs at Bookcon, and earlier this month, I finally dived into them! I still have all of my October and 2018 releases left, but just one September release, and I thought it’d be a good idea to just review all of some of my anticipated releases in one big post! So here are five positive reviews of some books coming at you in August and September!

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wonder woman

Genre: Fantasy, YA 

Series: DC Icons #1

Rating: 4 STARS

Release Date: August 29, 2017

Synopsis:

She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

My Thoughts

I actually wasn’t really planning on reading this one, but then the hype reached me and I ended up getting a copy at Bookcon, so I caved – and I’m so glad I did! The cast of characters in this book were absolutely fantastic, especially Aila, who I found so relatable as a heroine and a character. I also loved learning more about Wonder Woman; I hadn’t watched the movie yet when I read the book, so this was my first exposure to anything about her, so it was really interesting getting to know more about her background and seeing her as a teenager. It’s pretty much impossible to not fall in love with her. This story was a journey-type story, and even though I’m not a huge fan of those types, I actually really enjoyed it in this case! Also, this book was hilarious, and I rarely find books funny, so that was definitely a treat! The ending was also really sweet; I actually teared up a little. Overall, I think people will really enjoy this one!

(Also, this book had the plot twist of the century. That’s all I’ll leave it at.)

In Summary:

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Genuine Fraud

Genre: Thriller, YA

Series: None 

Rating: 5 STARS

Release Date: September 5, 2017

Synopsis:

The story of a young woman whose diabolical smarts are her ticket into a charmed life. But how many times can someone reinvent themselves? You be the judge.

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.

Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete. 

An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two. 

A bad romance, or maybe three.

Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains. 

A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.

A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

My Thoughts

I didn’t really expect anything from this novel for two reasons: I’ve never read We Were Liars, and the summary is extremely vague. I’m so glad I had zero impressions, because I absolutely loved this book with all my heart. It was a genuinely good, mature YA thriller that seemed to be written just for me: an unreliable narrator, backwards story-telling, an addicting fast pace, a twisted female friendship. I literally could not stop raving about this book in my head while I read it. Also, to top it all off, the ending was absolutely perfect for this novel. Overall, I’m almost happy I trudged through so many meh and just plain terrible YA thrillers to get to this one – it was so worth it.

In Summary:

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they both die at the end

Genre: Contemporary, YA

Series: None

Rating: 5 STARS

Release Date: September 5, 2017

Synopsis:

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.

My Thoughts

Well, this was probably the most anticipated release of the second half of 2017 for me, and BOY, it did not disappoint. Adam Silvera has done it again. Like his first two books, I binged the entire thing in less than a day and left me completely ruined. Honestly, you can’t help yourself; it’s an addicting and intense read because you just need to know – will they both die at the end, and if so, how? I absolutely loved Rufus and Mateo as characters; both have completely different lives, and seeing them meet and watching their bond grow from being tentative acquaintances to close friends that (slowly) blooms into a beautiful romance made my heart ache. We also get to see other people’s POVs of those that personally effect them and those whose lives they have effected. The ending was so, so good, and, yep, I cried. I finally cried at a book. Overall, a powerful book that if you haven’t added to your TBR yet, you absolutely must.

In Summary:

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Warcross

Genre: Sci-fi, Thriller, Dystopian, YA

Series: Warcross #1

Rating: 5 STARS

Release Date: September 12, 2017

Synopsis: 

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu—when a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths.

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.

My Thoughts

As soon as I heard the concept for this book, I was set on getting it into my hands and reading it, so when I managed to meet Marie Lu AND get an ARC signed at Bookcon, I basically died. And, boy, did Marie Lu not let me down whatsoever. WHERE DO I BEGIN? First off, I want the Warcross game to exist in real life. I WILL FIGHT FOR IT. As per usual, Lu’s writing was absolutely terrific and was so fantastic at transporting the reader into the story. The characters were all diverse and well-rounded, and really made this story shine, even the background characters. Honestly, the concept could not have been carried out better, and I absolutely LOVED the direction Lu took it at the very end. This book actually didn’t have a cliffhanger, but it was left so open and I have so many questions! Overall, what do I have to do to get the sequel again?

In Summary:

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Genre: Contemporary, Fantasy, YA

Series: None

Rating: 4 STARS

Release Date: September 19, 2017

Synopsis:

Adam Thorn doesn’t know it yet, but today will change his life.

Between his religious family, a deeply unpleasant ultimatum from his boss, and his own unrequited love for his sort-of ex, Enzo, it seems as though Adam’s life is falling apart.  At least he has two people to keep him sane: his new boyfriend (he does love Linus, doesn’t he?) and his best friend, Angela.

But all day long, old memories and new heartaches come crashing together, throwing Adam’s life into chaos. The bindings of his world are coming untied one by one; yet in spite of everything he has to let go, he may also find freedom in the release. 

From the New York Times-best selling author of A Monster Calls comes a raw, darkly funny, and deeply affecting story about the courage it takes to live your truth.

My Thoughts

Look at me, I’ve finally read a full Patrick Ness book! After finally reading A Monster Calls last year and loving it, I told myself I’d read more of his work, and I’m so glad I did! I absolutely loved Adam and was so sympathetic to his situation since terrible thing after terrible thing kept hitting him. I could totally feel for his really crappy day, especially since I know I have those days as a teenager myself where it just seems like the only place I could go is down. This was quite the fast-paced book, especially since it was so short, and I really liked the frank way the book dealt with sex, especially since I feel so many YA books can deal with it in the most unnecessarily cheesiest way possible and it seems completely unrealistic to boot. This book has an open ending, so if you don’t like those types of endings in contemporary novels, you’ll probably hate this book. My one complaint was probably the magical realism. It follows a character mentioned in passing in the beginning of the novel, and, unfortunately, the parts were just so boring and didn’t make any sense until the end of the novel. I ended up skipping over them since Adam’s story was much more compelling then hers. Overall, I need to read all the Patrick Ness books!

In Summary:

i feel you

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81

[LET’S CHAT] How Do You Find New Blogs to Follow?

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A couple months ago, I suggested that the book blogging community might be more clique-y than we think it is.

Of course, I launched the Big Blogger, Little Blogger project, BUT, writing the post also made me realize that I’m terrible at finding new blogs to follow myself, especially since I follow such a low amount. So, I thought I’d go over the methods of how people might find new blogs to follow, and how I find new blogs myself!

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So, there’s several ways to find blogs through Twitter! Twitter chats where people leave their links at the end of it, asking for links to blog-hop or to specifically find types of blogs, or even just scrolling through certain hashtags! I know there are lots of people who find blogs through Twitter, but I rarely do. But then again, Twitter just isn’t the place where I hang out often, so that might be why.

I have yet to participate in any Twitter chats (mainly because they look stressful as all hell) or asked for links to blog posts (which I do want to do sometime). I’ve definitely asked for help from other book bloggers via Twitter, and it’s been helpful so far, so I really want to branch out soon!

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When I was Instagram, I rarely found new blogs to follow. Instagram is one of those places where I feel like it’s really hard to promote your websites or blogs if you’re not already established as a brand, but that might just be me! 

I know I did stumble across some blog links from time-to-time, but nine times out of ten, they wouldn’t really be updated consistently or seemed to be completely inactive, so it was really pretty much a lost cause for me! I know there are some people who find a lot of blogs this way, though, so power to you guys!

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I do use Bloglovin’, and even though it felt pretty useless in the beginning, my account has grown recently over the months, so it is very useful! I know that a lot of blogs that are WordPress, but not necessarily on WordPress.com and Blogger blogs follow me on there, and I keep up with blogs on there, so it’s helpful!

I actually find it really hard to find new blogs on the site, despite it sort of being a place where I’m SUPPOSED to find new blogs. I think that’s mainly because Bloglovin’ tends to push the most popular book bloggers my way, whether it’s checking out the “Film, Music, and Books” category is trending (which is always filled with posts from bloggers with 800+ followers – even if their post only gets one save or one comment) or checking out the “More Blogs Like This” tab (which no matter what book blog you’re at, will always show you the bloggers with 1,000+ followers). So, I never really find new blogs to follow that way.

I will say, I always check out who follows my blog, and that can end up leading me to some lesser-know book blogs, so that’s nice!

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I feel like I’ve talked a lot about Books Amino on here, but it’s basically an app where you can talk about books and such! I like to think of it as “blogging-lite” and I got started out posting on there before sort of ditching it to start blogging. I do know it’s great for promotion, though, and I’d highly recommend it!

There have been a lot of blogs that I’ve found on the app, and I know there are lots of bloggers who’ve found me on the app! Some of my closest blogging friends and I met through the app, so it’s definitely been a huge help. 

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I know for sure that if a favorite blogger of mine makes a list of favorite bloggers, I’ll be there paying attention and making notes. Even if my favorite bloggers don’t really MAKE a post about it, some bloggers have blog rolls somewhere on their blog that show me who they follow or who their faves are.

It can definitely be a sort of hit or miss – just because that blogger is my favorite doesn’t mean I necessarily will love or be interested in all the blogs they love, and that’s totally fine! But I do know that I’m more likely to check out a blog if it’s recommended to me by someone I trust!

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I can definitely say this is where I found most of the blogs I follow! I’m that one person who totally stalks the comment section of a post that can be years old and see how many people are still blogging to this day. I know, it’s weird.

There can definitely be pros and cons to this! As I mentioned in that post I linked to earlier, it’s really easy to see the same people to pop up in the same people’s comments sections and can get old quickly. Even I’ve noticed over the last couple of months that there are people I expect to comment on all of my posts and do so – which is great – but it’s so hard to stumble upon new commenters. There are some days where a new person comes along, and that always gets me excited because it shows that my blog is truly growing!

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And those are all the ways you can find new book blogs to follow!

My main way of finding new blogs to follow is definitely the comments sections, though I know there are people who are more social media savvy than I am who find blogs that way! It really doesn’t matter how we find the blogs we follow as long as we’re part of the blogging community, right?

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63

[LET’S CHAT] What Makes You Comment On A Blog Post?

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Let’s continue this wonderful series of “Let’s Chat” posts that could only be titled “Mikaela Is The Only Person In the World Who Cares About This.”

I’ve done posts on what makes me follow a blog and also my opinions on blog commenting, but I realized that I’ve never really combined the posts together into an interesting discussion. I’ve never really seen a discussion in the blogosphere about this, but I thought it would be a fun post to write because I realized this is a question I ask when I scan my Reader: what am I compelled to go read and comment on?

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I feel like before we can get into a deeper analysis as to why we comment on certain posts, I wanted to talk about why I’m compelled to comment on blog posts in general! I feel like there are three main reasons why I usually comment on someone’s post.

1. When I have something to say. I would usually apply commenting like this for when someone makes a list of books or recommendations, and I’ve read the books before or the blogger and I share the same books on our TBR or we share the same opinion on a character or series. I feel like these are easier and shorter comments.

2. When I relate to it in some way. I mainly use these on discussion posts I read because I apply it to my reading or blogging life in some way and talk about how I do things.

3. Because I want and/or need to. Usually, I fire these off when I’m tired or lazy, so they’re pretty short overall and not as long as I’d like them to be. This usually happens when all the posts in my Reader have stacked up over a couple of days, and I just can’t keep up with them all.

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I definitely feel like how we comment is definitely geared towards which types of posts we’re commenting on. Or maybe that’s just me. I know when I look at my Reader, I scan the title of the post, and from that, I can figure out whether I’ll like and comment on the post, or if I’ll just like it out of courtesy.

1. Reviews. I think we can all agree that it’s really hard to comment on reviews unless you can relate to what’s being talked about. I know if it’s a book I’m not interested in or haven’t read yet, I’m probably just going to skip out on the review. If it’s one of my anticipated reads, I’ll probably give it a glance and like it. And if I’ve actually read the book, then I’ll probably leave a like and a comment discussing my thoughts on it! Really, it all depends on what book is being reviewed. I tend to not really comment on reviews at all, to be honest, though.

2. Memes. These are a pretty easy post to find SOME way to relate to. I think it depends on what meme you’re doing – I find Top Ten Tuesday and Top 5 Wednesday to be the easiest to comment on – but there are some that are, in all honesty, just filler. I mean, what can you actually comment on a Teaser Tuesday post unless you’ve read the book they’re teasing? Some are definitely better at drawing in comments over others, in my opinion.

3. Wrap-Ups, Weekly Recaps, TBRs, and Book Hauls. I feel like these are definitely hard to comment on. I usually skim through these types of posts, and unless I have something to relate to that doesn’t seem like filler – like “Oh, yeah, I enjoyed that book, too!” – I usually just like them and leave. In my opinion, they can be sort of boring (which probably explains why I don’t write them), but that’s definitely a me thing!

4. Discussions. These are definitely the easiest to comment on! No matter what’s being discussed or said, all people reading the post will have some sort of opinion on the topic and want to express it! You can always probably find something to relate to, whether you disagree or agree on the blogger’s opinion, and a good discussion usually asks questions and is open for your thoughts and opinions, so it’s always much more personal! I know I usually comment on most discussions that pop up in my Reader, especially if they’re really interesting and well-written!

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And those are my opinions on commenting on certain posts!

I’m sure all of you guys will have different opinions on what makes you comment on a post and why you even comment on posts, so I’m definitely curious about hearing your thoughts on what makes you comment on which types of blog posts!

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Bite-Sized Reviews | The “It Is NOT A Cult!” Edition

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And I’m back with another edition of Bite-Sized Reviews! 

Tomorrow, two books are coming out that deal with very similar themes, but one ended up disappointing me and one ended up being a fantastic book! I decided to just go ahead and review the both of them today!

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The Marriage Pact

Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Adult

Series: NONE

Rating: 5 STARS

Release Date: July 25, 2017 

Synopsis: 

In this relentlessly paced novel of psychological suspense, New York Times bestselling author Michelle Richmond crafts an intense and shocking tale that asks: How far would you go to protect your marriage?
  
Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.
            
The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact. And most of its rules make sense. Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . .
            
Never mention The Pact to anyone.
            
Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples.
            
And then one of them breaks the rules.
            
The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life. And The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule.
            
For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.

My Thoughts

I was originally going to give this one four stars, but I don’t even remember why I took off a star, so five stars it is! I was really intrigued with this one mainly because the synopsis tells you next to nothing, and I am a very nosy person, so I needed to know what was going to happen! I definitely liked seeing from Jake’s point-of-view, since I rarely ever read a thriller from a guy’s point-of-view. I was definitely intrigued with the whole cult-ish vibe of The Marriage Pact, and this book was extremely addicting, especially since it took a lot of twists and turns I really wasn’t expecting. Not only that, but I ADORED the writing. It was very formal, but not so pretentious, you don’t know what’s going on. I’ve just never read a thriller like that before. Also, this one inserted a bunch of facts about marriage, so I learned things! And I also really loved the ending. Basically, this was like Fates and Furies, but with a cult.

In Summary:

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first we were iv

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, YA

Series: NONE 

Rating: 2.5 STARS

Release Date: July 25, 2017

Synopsis:

A group of friends start a secret society in this out-of-control thriller from the author of The Telling and The Creeping that examines the all-consuming love of lifelong friendship—and what someone is capable of when they’re afraid of losing it.

Izzie loves nothing more than her three best friends, Viv, Graham, and Harry, and the bond the four of them share. And she’s terrified of their friendship falling apart next year when they go off to college. To bind them together, she decides to create that will belong only to them, a special thing that they’ll always share between the four of them. And so they dream up the Order of IV, a secret society devoted to mischief that rights wrongs and pays back debts. At first, it works like a charm—but when the Order of IV’s escapades get recognition beyond their wildest expectations, other people start wanting in. And soon, what started as a game of friendship is spiraling into something dangerous and beyond their control—and before it’s over, they’ll pay the ultimate sacrifice.

My Thoughts

Hm, I was sort of disappointed by this one. I absolutely loved The Creeping, so I was really excited for this one, but it was just meh. First off, I thought this book was going to be about a girl gang when I read the synopsis, so I was already let down when there were two boys in the group, especially since these two boys end up being the heart of a mini love triangle – probably the dumbest one I’ve ever seen. It also had this weird feminist slant where they stand up to sexist dress codes and girls can masturbate, too, but we also have girl hate THE ENTIRE BOOK since our main characters are outcasts and the people they hate are popular, so what was the point? I also thought the whole IV thing was dumb. I am a teenager, so I highly doubt teenagers would get up to this. They’re cutting themselves to bleed on a statue, dancing around in their underwear, going out until the early morning to dump blood on people’s houses and throw rocks at their window, and I’m supposed to believe teenagers would do this why? All because of the murder of some girl they didn’t know that they found the dead body of as kids? And I’m not even going to bring up the lack of parenting that goes on as well. It just seemed really far-fetched and dumb. I will say, this was an addicting book and it was very dark, and that’s not seen much in YA, so I’ll give it that! But, overall, I was disappointed. Hopefully, The Telling is better.

In Summary: 

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A huge thank you to Ballantine and Simon and Schuster’s Children’s Publishing for the e-ARCs via Netgalley!

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