45

Most Anticipated Summer 2017 Releases

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It’s May, which means spring should start coming to a close, and summer is almost upon us (thank God, because school and track are simultaneously killing me. Also, Bookcon).

I was trying to choose between posting a Let’s Chat or this today, and lo and behold, Twitter decided that they wanted to see my most anticipated summer releases for 2017! Hold on tight, there are a lot of them. Like, a lot.

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So, much like I did for spring, I’m decided to compile a list of my most anticipated summer releases of 2017! Again, there’s a variety of genres, so I’m sure you’ll find something you like!

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The Party

The Party

(June 6)

This sounds like an awesome cross between Moriarty’s Big Little Lies and Walker’s All Is Not Forgotten (both books which I loved). AND I ALSO WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS?

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The Owl Always Hunts At Night

the owl always hunts at night

(June 6)

Last year, I read the first book in the series, I’m Travelling Alone, and loved it! I actually got an e-ARC of this one through the Penguin First to Read program, so I’m super excited to dive into this one!

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And Then There Were Four

and then there were four

(June 6)

Um, teenagers think their parents are trying to kill them??? GIMME!

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The Possible 

the possible

(June 6)

I haven’t yet read this author’s other novel, The Leaving, which is on my TBR, but this one sounds extremely interesting, especially since it seems to be combining mystery and PNR elements, which seems to be becoming a trend these days.

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Here Lies Daniel Tate

here lies daniel tate

(June 6)

I really love this trend in thrillers where people decide to con their way into families where one of the children went missing. I haven’t seen this trend too much in YA except for Cylin Busby’s The Stranger Game – which I loved – so I’m hoping this one’s good!

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He Said/She Said

he said she said

(June 6)

The summary is super vague, which I’m happy about, because it really intrigues me. I saw this one via Crime By the Book on Instagram, and I’ve been super interested in it ever since. I actually got a physical ARC of this (my first one!!!), so I’m hoping to dig into this one this month!

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The Weight of Lies

the weight of lies

(June 6)

Chealsea over at The Suspense is Thrilling Me’s review made me want to pick this one up, so a shout-out to her! This one sounds totally awesome.

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Dividing Eden

dividing eden

(June 6)

It seems to me that this will be about twins pitting against each other for one throne, so yes please. Not to mention how beautiful the cover is. Haven’t had too much luck with Charbonneau’s books before, but maybe this one will work out?

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The Sandcastle Empire

the sandcastle empire

(June 6)

Gimme that deadly island! Not to mention that this one sounds like an extremely unique dystopian/sci-fi novel, so I’m intrigued. Also, I’m clinging to the fact that there wasn’t a mention of romance in the synopsis.

(Also, there are way too many books publishing June 6. Way too many.)

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Want

want cindy pon

(June 13)

Yeah, a dystopian/sci-fi novel where the poor are trying to take down the rich! Not to mention that the cover is stunning. Praying that this book has heist-y type things going on. I have an e-ARC of this one, and, yep, I’m hoping to read this one this month!

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Our Dark Duet

our dark duet

(June 13)

Well, duh.

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Bad Romance

bad romance

(June 13)

I’m really happy to see that there are more YA books being published that talk about abusive relationships because it’s so extremely important and not talked about enough. I’m super excited to read this one, and I’ve heard great things about Demetrios’s books, so I’m pumped.

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The Marsh King’s Daughter

the marsh king's daughter

(June 13)

Okay, so this seems like a badass cat-and-mouse chase between the main character and her father, who’s the Marsh King, if I’m getting it right. Because, if so, I want this one in my hands, like, right now.

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The Lucky Ones

The Lucky Ones

(June 15)

I’ve LOVED pretty much all of Mark Edwards’ books, and I’m sure this one will be no exception. The man’s a genius, I tell you.

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

gentleman's guide to vice and virtue

(June 20)

It’s a “road” trip book with pirates and gay romance and a manhunt. What is there not to like??? Also, I’ve seen fantastic reviews for this one, and I read the sample and truly adored it, so I know this is going to be a good one.

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The Breakdown

the breakdown

(June 20)

I recieved an e-ARC of this one via Netgalley (my review will be published next month), but I decided to put this one on the list because I know there are probably some U.S. crime/thriller bloggers out there who haven’t read it yet!

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Every Last Lie

every last lie

(June 27)

I couldn’t finish The Good Girl last year, and her other two books are still sitting on my TBR…yet, I want this one because it sounds totally awesome. I can’t resist.

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Persons Unknown

persons unknown

(July 4)

I read Missing, Presumed last year, and I enjoyed it (even though I found the ending to be disappointing). I didn’t know there was going to be a sequel, so this was a pleasant surprise. One of the highlights of the book were the characters, so I’m glad to see Manon again. I actually got accepted this one via Netgalley, so I’m super excited to read this one!

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Because You Love to Hate Me

because you love to hate me

(July 11)

First off, I’m a huge fan of some of the Booktubers who provided the prompts. Second, some of my favorite authors are a part of this. And third, it’s all about villains! I love anthologies, so I’m excited.

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This Is How it Happened

this is how it happend

(July 11)

I really love different formats in books, especially ones that incorporate social media, so this one seems interesting. And I also really like the concept, since this seems to be half-contemporary, half-mystery.

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The Merciless III: Origins of Evil

The Merciless III

(July 11)

I loved the first two books in this series, and I cannot wait for the third one to come out (even though it’s a prequel and not a sequel, unfortunately)! These books are some of the better YA horror I’ve read for sure.

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The Inside Dark

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(July 11)

I actually stumbled upon this one on Netgalley, and was lucky enough to get approved for an e-ARC. This one sounds really interesting and has a lot of potential, so fingers crossed that it’s as amazing as it sounds!

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Final Girls

final-girls

(July 18)

Again, I already received an e-ARC of this book forever ago, and absolutely devoured it (my review won’t be posted until July though, unfortunately), so I highly advise you guys to go out and buy this one if you can. It’s not to be missed!

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The Lying Game

the lying game

(July 25)

I’m meh on Ruth Ware as an author (I’ve given both of her books three stars), but I find her books enjoyable, and the concept of this one sounds interesting, so, I’m going to read it.

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Little Monsters

little monsters

(July 25)

I read The Darkest Corners by this author last year, and actually enjoyed it, so I’m looking forward to this one! I loved her writing style – Thomas can create atmosphere so well – so I’m pumped to read more of her YA thrillers.

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First We Were IV

first we were iv

(July 25)

The Creeping, my first Sirowy book and one of my favorite Halloween reads, was really good, so, of course I’m going to read this. I absolutely love creepy secret societies/cults, so this should be good. I also got this one via the publisher as an e-ARC, so I can’t wait to read it!

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Daughter of the Burning City

Daughter of the Burning City

(July 25)

All I saw was the word “carnival,” and that was really all I needed.

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We Now Return to Regular Life

we now return to regular life

(Aug 1)

I’m also a huge fan of mysteries/contemporaries that observe people as they adjust to life back at home after being kidnapped, so this easily went on my list. Plus, it’s LGBTQ+, and that’s makes me super excited.

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When I Am Through with You

when i am through with you

(Aug 1)

This sounds freaking awesome. A school trip to the mountains that goes terribly wrong and people end up dying? I’m so in.

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The Wood

the wood

(Aug 1)

Originally, I thought this was a horror novel from the cover and synopsis, but then read the reviews and saw it was actually a fantasy dealing with fae and time travel, so that’s a bit disappointing, but, you know, fae. So, I’ll probably still read it.

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Are You Sleeping?

Are You Sleeping

(Aug 1)

This one sounds so amazing that I just can’t resist! And I’ve heard good things about this one, so on to the TBR it goes!

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Yesterday

Yesterday

(Aug 1)

This one just sounds like such an interesting thriller. It reminds me of the concept of Before I Go to Sleep (which I haven’t read), but this one sounds so good, especially because I love me an unreliable narrator.

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The Hearts We Sold

the hearts we sold

(Aug 8)

So, a girl sells her heart to a demon to escape her horrible life, but gets much more than she bargained for, so she joins a group of other people stuck in the same situation. I’m loving it (and the cover).

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Emma in the Night

Emma in the Night

(Aug 8)

I NEED ALL THE BOOKS THAT WENDY WALKER HAS EVER WRITTEN PLEASE.

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The Walls

the walls

(Aug 10)

I haven’t read Baby Doll yet (it’s on the TBR), but this one sounds brilliant. A woman who works on death row getting caught up in an abusive relationship and purposefully setting up her abuser to be killed. Um, can I have it right now?

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A Stranger in the House

A Stranger in the House

(Aug 15)

I’m a huge fan of books where the main character doesn’t remember what happened because I love guessing whodunnit and it always makes the book so much more fun and suspenseful to read! Though I didn’t love her previous book, The Couple Next Door, I’m hoping this one is better!

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The Arsonist

the arsonist

(Aug 22)

Two weird teenagers team up to try to solve an old mystery of the murder of a teenage girl. That premise really intrigues me, and the cover is stunning. I still haven’t read The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly yet, but this one sounds terrific.

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Girl in Snow

girl in snow.jpg

(Aug 22)

This sounds like a really interesting mix between literary fiction and mystery, and, again, major cover love. I’m really digging the fact that we’re seeing everything in three POVs, and think that’ll shed an interesting light on the novel, so I’m excited!

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All Rights Reserved

all rights reserved

(Aug 29)

Do my eyes deceive me? A dystopian that actually has an original concept that doesn’t mention a romance? Yes please. 

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Wonder Woman: Warbringer

wonder woman

(Aug 29)

Again, duh.

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And that’s my giant list of books I’m excited for that are coming out this summer!

I swear to God, I’m going to just drop dead doing one of these things because it’s so much work, it takes hours, and I feel dead by the end of it.

Let's Chat

What are some of your most anticipated summer releases? Do we share any of the same? Have I made your TBR explode?

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48

In Which I Talk About The Books That Lied to Me

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I’m sure we’ve all experienced it.

We pick up a book. We’re excited to read said book, whether it’s a stand-alone, a first in a series, the sequel to a series you fell in love with while reading the first book, or the finale to one of your favorite series. You read it. You keep reading it. And then you realize mid-way through, or maybe near the end of the book, that you absolutely hate it.

(Or strongly dislike it.)

And, of course you feel betrayed. You feel lied to. But everyone told you how good the book was? But the first book was just so good…how could the series come to this? But isn’t the sequel supposed to be even better than the first book? But the concept sounded so good once I added it to my TBR on Goodreads; what happened between now and then? BUT THAT BOOK WAS SO FREAKING AWESOME; HOLY CRAP?

So, I thought it’d be fun to talk about those books; those books that make you excited, or make you really downtrodden because you could have been so much better! Let’s get started!

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Second Book Slump

Do you ever have those moments where you’re fresh off the reading the first book of a series? The first book was either a really great start to the series, and you need to start the sequel, like, now, or the first book was just meh to you, and the only reason you’re continuing on is because your friends are insisting the series gets better; THEY SWEAR. So you decide to read the sequel, and it starts out okay (like most bad books do).

And then you realize, right in the middle of reading it, “Why am I still reading this? I’m bored out of my mind.”

Independent Study, Rebel Springs, and The Winner’s Crime are all culprits of this. For the first two novels, I enjoyed the first books in the series – The Testing and Falling Kingdoms, respectively – but while reading was really let down. For Independent Study, it was too much of a copycat of The Testing for me to enjoy it; for Rebel Spring, the book was SO BORING (though Gathering Darkness totally made up for it).

For The Winner’s Crime, I wasn’t a huge fan of the first book, and went into the second book for another chance because everyone said it was SO GOOD. I didn’t like it the first time, and the second time around, I DNF-ed it. So, that was disappointing.

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WTF Finales

“I’ve been waiting for this book for so damn long! I can’t wait to read it!” you say as soon as you purchase the finale to one of your favorite series and curl up in your reading space to get ready to read it.

“What the actual hell did I just read?” you say once you close the book and realize how disappointed you are.

For me, those three books were The Last Star, The Retribution of Mara Dyer, and Ignite Me. Out of all three of these, The Last Star was probably my biggest disappointment. I loved The 5th Wave, and though The Infinite Sea wasn’t perfect, I still enjoyed it. But I remember being so upset after finishing The Last Star because so many things were left open, the romance was terrible, and it was just a completely unsatisfying ending.

For The Retribution of Mara Dyer and Ignite Me, I didn’t like the first couple books in the series too much, but I was actually good at binging series at that time, and I also wasn’t a huge DNF-er, so I went ahead and finished the series, because why not? Unfortunately, the finales just ended up finalizing that I hated both series, mainly because they were so disorganized and boring and just didn’t line up with the rest of the series in terms of plot and resolution.

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The Hype Machine

Ah, yes, the dreaded book hype. You read all the reviews praising the book on Goodreads, you see all these five stars, you see the book on everyone’s favorite list, the books have such a huge fandom, so you think, “Obviously, I’m going to enjoy this one as well!

False.

There are so many books with lots of hype that everyone loved except me, but I decided to just lessen it to four books: The Darkest Minds, The Winner’s Curse, The Wrath and the Dawn, and Under the Never Sky. Pretty much all of these books sold me with their interesting premises, gorgeous book covers, and all the amazing reviews.

And I didn’t like any of these books. I hated most of them in fact. Oops. Either too slow, just didn’t click with me, I didn’t like some of the characters, the world-building was awful, or I thought that the actual story didn’t reach the full premise it could have. The hype machine can do incredible things, but sometimes, it just completely misses the mark for me.

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Knocked My Socks Off

These are the books I didn’t think would surprise me or I thought would just be my ordinary reading experience, but totally and completely took my surprise in the best possible way. Whether with an awesome plot twist or fantastic character development or gorgeous writing – all paired with a stunning cover to boot – it just makes for an unforgettable reading experience that you wish you could have all over again.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Golden Son, and Crown of Midnight were definitely these types of reads for me. The first time I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I didn’t enjoy it too much, but the second time around, I fell in love with the prose. Golden Son and Crown of Midnight were sequels that were the exact opposite of second book slump and enhanced the series for me and launched it to my “Favorites” list.

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And those are some of the books that outright lied to me.

(Hopefully, I can avoid these types of books in the future, except the last category. Those can stay.)

Let's Chat

What are some books that you felt like lied to you? Have you experienced any of these categories? Do we share any of the same opinions?

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50

[LET’S CHAT] What’s the Most Effective Social Media For Your Blog?

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So, there’s a constant message around the blogosphere that social media is a big must for your blog and promotion. I think that’s definitely a true statement.

Though you can definitely go without social media and still do well (trust me, I reached 100 blog followers in a short amount of time and wasn’t using Twitter or Instagram at the time), I have found that it’s a really awesome place to promote my posts.

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Social media can definitely be time-consuming.

I mean, even waking up in the mornings, I usually check my e-mails and Bloglovin’ first, then Twitter, then the WordPress app, then Instagram, and then I end with Books Amino. Obviously, that takes a while, but I will say, it’s really fun to look through all my feeds or wake up to new comments, likes, and followers.

There are definitely people out there who are total social media wizards, who can fire off clever tweets five times a day, post three gorgeous pictures, organize an entire Pinterest board, interact on Faceboook, and then manage to answer all their blog comment. I am not one of those people. I’d say that my handling of social media is average, and I do prefer some social medias over others (Instagram over Twitter any day), but I try, and it’s really the thought that counts.

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Twitter 

So, I consider this one to be the best way promote your posts! A large majority of book bloggers are on Twitter, and it’s probably the easiest since you can actually hook up your Twitter account to WordPress to promote your posts (which was  godsend when I figured out I could do this).

Personally, this isn’t even my favorite social media. I literally spend probably three minutes scrolling through my timeline, then I leave, which I’m sure is odd to some people who say they’re addicted to Twitter. I’m just not. But I’d recommend this one the most just because it’s not as hard as keeping up with other social medias, because most of them require work while you can fire off a Tweet in like, five seconds.

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Instagram

Though I love Instagram with all my heart, it’s probably the worst way to promote your blog posts. To me, it feels like a total different entity, especially since bookstagrammers are now seriously considered as people to send ARCs to, even if they don’t have blogs, while Book Twitter is sort of for the “average Joe” if that makes sense.

Instagram doesn’t allow links in captions, only in the “Website” space for your bio, so that makes it harder for people to actually find your site since most people aren’t going to take the time to go from their newsfeed to your bio. Not to mention that even though I had people who had blogs who followed me on Instagram, they didn’t follow my actual blog, and vice versa; there are people whose Instagram accounts I followed, but not their blogs. So it’s all very disconnected. It’s a lot of work, and that’s probably why I quit last month, so there’s that.

But if you really want to put effort into it since it takes a lot of work and if you love pretty pictures of books like I do, feel free to use Instagram! But I just feel like it sucks promo wise, no matter how much I try. I do love looking at pretty pictures, though. I feel like just getting an account again just to follow my faves and like their pictures. I MISS YOU, INSTAGRAM.

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Facebook

Honestly, I don’t know if it’s a good way to promote your posts or not. Personally, I don’t have an account at all, and never had. But, funnily enough, I get a pretty good amount of views from the site, and I’m guessing it’s because someone is cross-posting my stuff on there? Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t tell you when someone cross-posts your stuff somewhere else, so I have no idea who is doing it or what posts they’re advertising, but thank you Mysterious Facebook Poster. Your work is appreciated. Feel free to reveal your identity in the comments.

Though in my millenial (or Generation Z because I was born in the 2000s – I can’t keep up with these stupid generation things) mind, I feel like FB is totally outdated, I’m well aware that it might work for someone else, especially since it gives me a good amount of views.

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Bloglovin’

I will say, this is a pretty great site to use to follow blogs, especially if you want to follow Blogger blogs or blogs that require you to sign up via e-mail, if you really hate it. I tend to only follow WordPress blogs and a couple blogs outside of that on the site, so I definitely need to work on branching out more.

You’ve probably heard about that whole controversy a couple months ago where people were saying that Bloglovin’ was stealing your views; here’s a post from Ashley @ Nose Graze about the whole thing. Personally, I didn’t care that much at the time because I don’t have too many followers in the first place, nor a lot a views on my posts. Also, I think I have a good amount of views on my posts on WordPress that I just really don’t care if I miss out on 6. But I’m sure there are some people out there who have a large amount of followers and have all their posts go viral on Bloglovin’ that it really bothers them. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those popular users.

I’ve actually started to get a lot of traction from Bloglovin’ the last couple of weeks, which is pretty awesome! My followers and interaction has grown a lot, so this one isn’t actually too bad!

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Goodreads

(Does this count as social media? I’m counting it.)

So, if you’ve been living under a rock for a while, you’ve probably not heard of Goodreads, which I’d probably say is the biggest book-reviewing site out there. Mostly what people do on the site is review books, but you can also gain Friends, keep track of your reading, join groups, etc. 

I tried to re-start a Goodreads account a couple months ago, but it was just so much work, that I gave up (again). Since I was only on there for a couple of days, I can’t say if it’s good promotion or not, but you can definitely join groups dedicated to finding book bloggers and gaining more of a readership, which is always great! Personally, I feel like Goodreads is more of a way to advertise to publishers that you cross-post on other places, and I don’t necessarily think a large readership on there translates to blog readership, but someone probably knows more than me who actually uses the site!

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Pinterest

I feel like this is another meh way of promoting posts. I mean, you can add your stuff to Pinterest, but unless you have a large amount of followers, I feel like it’ll get lost. I mean, if one of your pins gets extremely popular, that would be great because it gets the top search and gets spread a lot, and maybe people will go ahead and visit your blog? But, I feel like this is more for people who write a lot of “Help/Blogging Tips”-like posts and also have gorgeous pictures as graphic headers to draw people’s eyes to actually check it out.

I have a personal account that I basically haven’t used for pretty much a year (I should delete it, but I don’t really care enough to do it), and I actually made one for my blog for, like, a week, and even though I actually got two or so referrals (I don’t even know HOW), it just seemed pretty useless and no one repinned my stuff. I did it for only a couple of weeks, though, so I’m not a good resource. I’m impatient; don’t blame me.

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Books Amino

You’ve probably never heard of this app before in your life, but I absolutely love it! I’d say this app is sort of like blogging-lite; you ask questions, do fun quizzes, create polls, post your writing, write discussion posts, review books, etc. And it’s very easy to link other posts and web pages and insert pictures and format things.

I used to do full-blown posts on the site, but after I started blogging, I’ve basically just linked to my posts, which does well for me. Unfortunately, since Books Amino isn’t as big as Twitter and Instagram, WordPress doesn’t calculate their views, so I can’t find out how many views I’m getting from there, but people comment on the app, so that means people there are obviously reading! I actually have found some other book bloggers on the site, not to mention that I have over one thousand followers on there, so it’s sort of my biggest platform.

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And, that’s it!

I think I covered a lot of the social media platforms that can correlate with blogging, though I feel like I might be missing out on one or two because there are JUST SO MANY. But I tried as hard as I could to talk about all my experiences with all of them and impart some of my ~wisdom~.

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Separately, this is the last time I’m going to promote Project Big Blogger, Little Blogger! I’m so surprised from the response I’ve already received (I thought for sure this would flop and I’d only have, like, two responses)! I’ll be closing the link tomorrow morning and sending out e-mails this week, so don’t miss your window of opportunity if you want to hop in! The link to the Google form is right here, so fill it out if it’s something you’re interested in! And if you want to learn more about the actual project, the post is right here. Feel free to share or join in!

Let's Chat

What social medias do you use for your blog? Which one do you think is the most effective way to promote your own blog or posts?

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91

[LET’S CHAT] The Complexities of Blog Commenting

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I’m going to assume that most bloggers love comments.

I know that I love comments! Nothing can put a smile on my face faster than replying to all your thoughts and hearing your opinions and seeing if we share any of the same interests. And the feeling you get when someone who hasn’t commented before finally does is like a small victory.

In the short time I’ve been on the blogosphere (it’ll be five months on May 20. WHERE DID THE TIME GO???), I’ve noticed that there seems to be a sort of commenting etiquette for book bloggers. This is another one of those things that we as book bloggers always talk about, and it seems like no other niche-type blog does. But, I wanted to talk about some of the “commenting etiquette” rules it seems like have been established and dissect them a little!

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(Also, the people who voted on Twitter voted for this post, so yeah! Don’t worry, the other post is slated for a week from now, so it shall arrive in due time.)

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Rule #1: Commenting is key to growing your blog.

I can confirm that this one is definitely true! Reaching out and commenting on blogs was what got me my first couple of followers (shout out to Janel and Chelsea!) and I continued to grow time and time again because I commented on so many blogs. I know that I definitely find a lot of people through the comments sections of posts, which is probably how I started following most of the bloggers I follow today! Or maybe I’m the only one who stalks the comment sections of old posts more often than I should.

Basically, the more effort you put into your comments and into commenting on other people’s post, the more your name is out there, and the more likely people will probably end up checking out your blog if they see your name everywhere. This doesn’t mean you have to comment on ALL THE POSTS OUT THERE. I know for sure that I get busy or I’m just straight up lazy and don’t feel like commenting on all the posts of ever, which is totally fine. Hopefully, people will understand you have a life outside of blogging.

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Rule #2: Bloggers MUST reply to comments.

This is somewhat true, I’d say. I know there are some people who can quickly get irritated if a blogger just refuses to reply to comments – there’s a difference between a late response and just never getting a response ever, after all – and it’s sort of weird having a public blog that anyone can comment on, and never bothering to actually interact with anyone or start a conversation, because why keep the blog public at that point, but who knows what everyone else is thinking?

I will say, as someone who frequently stalks the comment sections of old blog posts, I HAVE seen comment sections where the blogger only responds to about six or seven of the eighty comments they get and they’re still super popular. Who knows, that blogger might choose to just to go to a commenter’s blog and comment on one of their posts instead of replying to their own comment sections, which is fine as well! It might help downplay the amount of stress and work you have if you just choose to go to their blog instead of replying to all the comments on your own.

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Rule #3: Commenting back is compulsory and advised.

I was honestly quite confused on what “commenting back” meant when I was a smaller blogger. I thought it meant that I replied back to comments on my own blog, which I already did, but then I learned that what it really meant was visiting the blog of someone who commented on your post!

And, honestly? I’ve never intentionally done it and I feel like I should start doing it??? I’ve never done it mainly because a large majority of the people who comment on my blog are people I already follow, but I know there are some people out there who have been loyally commenting and I’ve just never visited your blog before, which totally sucks! I’m hoping to try and improve on this over the summer when I have more time and I’m just basically lazing around and doing nothing.

I’d like to say my blog is still growing pretty well and people still comment on my posts even if I’ve never commented back ever, so I wouldn’t say it’s something that would be detrimental to growing your blog, but if it’s something you want to do, I suggest you do it! I’ve heard it’s good for blog growth (but I wouldn’t know, though, so, there’s that).

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Rule #4: Comments meant to promote your blog are rude.

I can agree that I really don’t like these types of comments. You know, the ones that are some variation of a generalized comment that could go to any blog, and then, “Check out my post!” with a link. Nine times out of ten I don’t click on the link because why should I when most of the time, promo comments are just straight up spam.

One time, I actually got a comment where it was literally just a link to their site – nothing more, nothing less – and, thankfully, since I turned on the feature where people who’ve never commented before have to be approved by me, I just marked it as spam and moved on with my day. I do always feel a bit awkward when I get a comment, and it’s basically just, “Nice post! I tagged you in this thing!” and then a link to the post they tagged me in. You can tell that, in a way, it’s genuine, but it’s just so awkward when you’d rather they just linked you in their original post so I could get a ping-back.

Overall, I think I’d just rather have no links in my comments section unless I ask for them in some way, but everyone’s different!

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Rule #5: Short comments aren’t really good enough.

I feel like most people seem to prefer longer comments than shorter comments, which is perfectly fine, because who doesn’t like receiving so many long comments because your post inspired them to talk that much! But then I also see people say that they don’t like short comments or that short comments aren’t as meaningful as long comments, which I don’t think is true.

Though there are definitely people who comment on my blog that prefer to start their own mini discussion, which I absolutely love, I do cherish the shorter comments I get! I personally don’t see shorter comments as meaning that the blogger who commented doesn’t care, but maybe they’re just not a wordy person. In all honesty, the fact that anyone even bothers to comment on my stuff totally astounds me, so long or short comment, I’m grateful that I get any at all!

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And those are just some thoughts on blog commenting and how damn complicated it all is! 

Obviously, we all have different systems of commenting and commenting back and which types of comments we prefer because we’re all different types of bloggers. But I definitely do love and appreciate all the comments you guys leave me, and I love responding to them!

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 I’m going to promote Project Big Blogger, Little Blogger once again!  Right now, I’m needing some more “Big Bloggers” to line up because I have more “Little Bloggers,” so feel free to sign up if you haven’t! The link to the Google form is right here, so fill it out if it’s something you’re interested in! And if you want to learn more about the actual project, the post is right here. Feel free to share or join in!

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What are your opinions on commenting and commenting back? What are your favorite types of comments to receive? What’s your commenting system?

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12

[2] Book Playlist • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

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Yesterday, A Court of Wings and Ruin finally released into the world, so I had to commemorate it. Obviously.

Anyway, I wrote this playlist up on my Books Amino account last year, and since it gained so much attention, I just knew I had to put it on my blog, especially since I worked so hard on it, and I really loved making this playlist, so why not share the love?

This time, since I was just doing one book instead of an entire series like I did for my first one, I decided to split it up into the three parts the book is split into. The House of Beasts represents Feyre finally escaping her abusive relationship and her character development, the House of Wind explores Rhysand and Feyre’s blooming relationship, and the House of Mist is the culmination of that relationship (*WINK, WINK*) and the eventual downfall.

(Also, I don’t apologize for the abundance of Ariana Grande. Or the Weeknd.)

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Ariana Grande – Why Try

My Everything

Selena Gomez – Same Old Love

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OneRepublic – Apologize

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Ellie Goulding – I Do What I Love

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Lorde – Bravado

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Bea Miller – yes girl

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Ariana Grande – You Don’t Know Me

My Everything

Sia – Elastic Heart

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Zayn – LIKE I WOULD

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Selena Gomez – Revival

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Junkie XL, Ellie Goulding – Tris

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Ariana Grande – Into You

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Alessia Cara – I’m Yours

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David Guetta, Emeli Sande – What I Did For Love

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Dirty South – The Unknown

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Halsey – Is There Somewhere

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The Chainsmokers – Inside Out

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The Weeknd – Wicked Games

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Zayn – BoRdErSz 

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Ariana Grande – Dangerous Woman

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Zedd – Done With Love 

Zedd-True-Colors

Dirty South – With You

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Skylar Grey – Addicted to Love

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Halsey – Not Afraid Anymore

fifty shades darker soundtrack

Ariana Grande – Touch It

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Zayn – sHe

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The Weeknd – Often (Kygo Remix)

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Zayn – TiO

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Zedd – True Colors

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Sohn – Carry Me Home

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Troye Sivan – Wild

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Selena Gomez – Nobody

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Skylar Grey – I Know You

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Alessia Cara – Overdose

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The Weeknd – Earned It

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Junkie XL – A Friend

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Joseph Trapanese – You’re Worth It

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Troye Sivan – Talk Me Down

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Ariana Grande – Thinking Bout You

dangerous woman ariana grande

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And that’s it for my book playlist of A Court of Mist and Fury! I’m pretty sure that my eyes are pretty much glazed over at this point. Yep.

Again, much like my first playlist, if you guys want me to compile all these songs into a playlist on Spotify, just ask me, and I’ll find the time to do it and tell you guys my username! 

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Also, reminder that Project Big Blogger, Little Blogger is still open for sign-ups! I know there are some people who said they’ll sign up and still haven’t done so yet, or haven’t discovered the project, but my announcement of what it is can be found here, and the Google Form for sign-up can be found here. So far, the numbers are actually pretty equal, which is good, because I was low-key terrified I’d have way too many of one sign up. Thanks so much to all who have participated so far!

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Do you like the playlist? Do you think these songs give you ACOMAF ~vibes~? ARE YOU READING ACOWAR BECAUSE I AM AND I AM DEAD?

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15

[ARC REVIEW] The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

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Genre: Contemporary, Thriller, LGBTQ+

Series: None

Rating: 3.5 STARS

Description:

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

My Thoughts: 

If you’ve been around here for a while, you know I was SUPER EXCITED to read this book. I’ve probably mentioned it only 28498282 times on my blog. So, like, a small amount. I requested it on Netgalley expecting to be turned down because I requested from them twice before and was declined both times, but imagine my surprise when on a really crappy Friday afternoon, I got an e-mail saying I was approved for one of my most anticipated releases. I screamed (in my head, of course, because I was in class, but it was a loud scream in my head). And then I read it in two days. Duh.

So, I guess that’s why I was a little disappointed. Just a little. This book wasn’t terrible by any means, but there were some things that I wanted to happen or I just wanted more of, and it sucks, because I wanted to give it five shiny stars, but then I wouldn’t really be honest with myself! But let’s actually get on to the review!

First up, the stuff I loved! The characters were absolutely brilliant and all three-dimensional and wonderful. We have our main character, Caden, who was so funny and I just loved being in his head and hearing all his thoughts. He’s basically assigned to be a Nice, but he doesn’t really consider himself that way (which I definitely feel because I don’t think I’m a nice person, but maybe other people feel differently). We also have Dylan, the boy that Caden’s competing against, who’s supposed to be a Bad, BUT IS SUCH A SWEETHEART OH MY GOD. I wanted to hug him so hard. Then there’s Juliet, the girl they’re fighting over, who is super smart and wants to be a scientist when she grows up and literally has MADE HER OWN INVENTIONS AND WEAPONS because why not? I didn’t expect to care about her so much, but it was so wonderful to see such a smart girl at the helm of a book! We also have Natalie and Trevor, who dressed up as Hazel Grace and Gus from TFIOS, so they immediately win everything in my books.

The world was also so, so creative! I just loved the way this book continually addressed cliches and the whole background of how everything worked and why it was done was just so well done. Also, in my opinion, this book definitely didn’t suffer from any horrible info-dumps; the world was continually built on as the book went on, and it was just so nice to learn more about the inner workings of the world and the mini details.

Also, this book was hilarious. I’m not one to laugh too much while reading books – funnily enough, the most times I laugh are while watching Youtube videos; go figure – but this one was just so funny and natural while doing it; there was no sort of forced humor. Caden is just a naturally hilarious character, and the fact that it’s so clever at making fun of YA tropes I’m sure we’re all tired of is what makes it so great.

Now on to the things I didn’t love so much. I know this might be hard to believe for some of you guys who’ve been around here for a while, but…I actually wanted more romance. Yep, I said it; I wanted more of a romance in a YA non-contemporary book. I mean, was this a kissing book? Duh, of course it was (and the kissing was amazing, by the way). BUT, I just wanted WAY more of it. This is more of a slow-burn romance – and I’m a huge fan of that sweet, sweet slow-burn – so I thought a lot of it was more focused on the bonding and the friendship and not the ~actual romance~. But, then again, romance is completely subjective for every reader, so it might be different for you!

Also, I felt like the ending moved way too fast. I had the same sort of complaint with Gone Without a Trace, which was also a thriller – a domestic thriller instead of a spy thriller, though – but Part 1 and 2 of The Love Interest were a bit slower-paced and had more of a contemporary feel, I’d say, and then Part 3 comes along, and it turns into more of a dystopian/spy thriller, and without a smooth transition between the two, the change of pacing and such was quite jarring for me. A lot of stuff happens and a lot of things are revealed and it just has such a different feel than a large majority of the book that, to me, it felt a bit all over the place.

But, the book did make up for itself a little bit just for the simple fact that the epilogue was TO DIE FOR. Excuse me while I casually drown in all the feels it gave me and flail all over the damn place.

Overall, though this one didn’t live up to my expectations, this is totally a subjective viewpoint, and you might think differently. I would actually still recommend this book to anyone who wants to read it because it was definitely entertaining!

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A huge thanks to Macmillan Children’s and Fierce Reads for giving me an e-ARC of this book for free in exchange for a review! No matter what I say in this review, it definitely made my day to get accepted for this one, so thanks a lot!

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I just wanted to take the time to thank everyone who has signed up for Project Big Blogger, Little Blogger so far! It means so much to me that you’re as excited as I am! For all my posts this week, I’ll be linking to my announcement explaining everything – which can be found right here – and the Google form for sign-up – which is right here – because I know there are some people who don’t read all my posts (which is perfectly fine!) or new followers who I don’t want to miss out on this! Feel free to join in, or promote my project in any way you can!

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Are you interested in this book? If any of you have had the chance to read this early, how did you feel about it? What are some of your favorite LGBTQ+ reads?

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95

[DISCUSSION & ANNOUNCEMENT] Is the Book Blogging Community Too Clique-y? (Introducing My Blog Project)

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Woohoo, it’s that time of the month again where we talk about a blogging and/or bookish things! Okay, it’s more like, I talk for 1000 words, you guys read it, and then we talk in the comments section, but, you know, same difference.

Anyway, I talked about something that I can’t decide if it’s controversial or not, but I wanted to talk about it anyway: how, sometimes, book bloggers can be clique-y, which definitely isn’t a good thing or a bad thing, but just a simple observation.

(Also, I’m going to be announcing a project at the end of this that I’m hoping you guys will participate in so please, stay tuned!)

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This post was mostly inspired by Karen @ Kissin’ Blue Karen’s discussion where she talked about how she visited 365 different book blogs in the course of a year (which is a crazy accomplishment).

One point she made was that book bloggers seem to run in the same circles, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, and I agree. Most of the so-called “cliques” I wormed my way into, are really nice people that I would consider my friends and people I always trust. 

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I will say, I’ve been around the internet in two different websites: Wattpad and Goodreads. Both of them had cliques that I wanted to be a part of (now, looking back on it, I cringe).

For Wattpad, I tried as hard as I could to cater my stories to their “type,” because I knew that if the leader of the clique liked it, commented on it, and added it to her reading list, it’d blow up. For Goodreads, I tried so hard to friend all the most popular users and comment on all their reviews, but that proved to be ten times harder than trying to fit in on Wattpad. Basically, I tried as hard as I could to belong.

Blogging was different. I wouldn’t say that the cliques on Goodreads and Wattpad were cold-hearted or anything – it’s just hard for anybody to open up their tight-knit group of friends to somebody else, whether on the Internet or in real life, even if you really want to do so, or you don’t even mean to do it in the first place. But there was just something about the book blogging community that was so welcoming. I remember being shocked when popular book bloggers, ones who’d been around for forever, decided to follow me. Sure, there are some who haven’t even interacted with me since doing so (that sounds like I’m bitter or something, but I’m not, I swear, because I have so many awesome people that enjoy my posts), but some of them went on to like and comment on a large majority of my posts, and now some of those people I admired from afar, are people who I’d call blogging buddies.

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Back when I was a newbie blogger in late December of last year, when I had literally just started out, I remember following all these popular blogs, and often browsing through usernames in the comments section.

Most of the time, blog-hopping around from those usernames, I noticed a lot of the same people commented on a lot of the same people’s posts. I’d go to one person’s comment section, and then another person’s comment section, and it only took me a little while before I realized I saw the same people commenting on the same people’s blogs within the same circle – and most of the bloggers just happened to be popular.

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And it wasn’t even just that. When I searched on some of the more popular blogs I admired for what their favorite blogs were or some of the blogs that inspired them, I remembered not being surprised by many of the favorites. Usually, a large majority of the time, I’d already heard of the blog or was already following the blog, and 99% of the time those people were part of their “clique,” as in I’d see them in most of their comments sections. Even if those blogs weren’t on their comment sections, most of the time, those blogs were already popular, established book blogs that had a lot of followers and had been around since the dawn of time (just kidding, I’m exaggerating), not anyone who was new, or had just started out. Even in monthly wrap-up posts, where some bloggers link back to some interesting posts/discussions they’ve found, those bloggers were already popular ones that had a lot of attention on those posts, and, often, I’d hop from one monthly wrap-up to another to see that two bloggers had already mentioned the same post.

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So, as a newbie, it was pretty daunting. I remember thinking, “How in the world is anyway going to even find/read my blog when there are so many people that are constantly advertised everywhere?” Obviously, it was silly. I ended up commenting on some of those blogs I found inspiring. And, for some reason, some of them were kind enough to check out my posts and comment back and even follow me (it’s been almost four months, and I’m still not over it). Some of them tagged me in tags and awards, and it surprised me so much because it meant that they had noticed me. That even if these bloggers got 394480 comments a day (estimated number), apparently, I stood out. 

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So, really, is the book blogging community a bit too clique-y? I’d say yes.

There are definitely times where I feel like we’re so caught up in the people we usually interact with and mention, that we fail to ever get the chance to discover new book bloggers that aren’t even doing anything wrong, they just aren’t part of the “group,” so to speak. But, is the fact that we’re sometimes a bit clique-y bad? Definitely not. As a newbie, you will definitely feel a bit intimidated, because why would any of the “big” bloggers follow you or pay attention to you? But that’s false. Immediately get out of that mindset if you’re a newbie yourself. Most of the “big” bloggers are the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. We all love books in the end!

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Would I say that I have some sort of solution as to how we can branch out? Well, that’s where I introduce my blog project.

I’ve noticed that among my followers I have a mix – some book bloggers I’d consider “big,” and some that are just starting out, or I’d consider smaller book blogs. So I’d thought this would be a good idea to bring the two of you together – introducing Project Big Blogger, Little Blogger.

Basically, much like being a Big Brother, I thought it’d be nice to pair up a bigger book blogger with a smaller book blogger. For the purpose of this project, I’m considering a smaller book blogger one that has less than 100 followers, while a bigger book blogger will have more than 100 followers. The bigger book blogger will support the smaller book blogger in any way they choose for a month. Some suggestions might be liking their posts and leaving comments, sharing their posts on social media, giving them a follow – whether on their blog or on a different form of social media, linking back to their posts in weekly/monthly wrap-ups, etc. I’m sure you guys are much more creative than I am.

Once the month is over, the bigger book blogger will dedicate a whole blog post to their Little Blogger, much like a guest post. You could have them on as a blogger interview or do some sort of blogger spotlight or let them guest post about a certain topic, etc. so other bloggers who follow you can have a chance to learn about this Little Blogger.

Once every Big Blogger participating has done their blog post, I’ll compile them all in a masterpost of some sort and post so then there’ll be even more promotion for said bloggers. Hopefully, this will push all of us to find new bloggers and promote these newbies. I know when I was a small blog, it was the help of some of my blogging buddies and those bigger than me that really propelled me forward, and I want others to have that opportunity.

If you want to sign up for this, the Google form is right here. The form is open to both Big Bloggers and Little Bloggers to sign up for. Feel free to share this post on social media or repost this post on your own blogs or promote it in any way you can because I really don’t know how big my reach is. I’ll be leaving the sign-ups open for all this week and will close them on Sunday night, which is May 7. Throughout the week, I’ll be pairing people up and sending e-mails to you guys so you know who you’re partnered up with. On May 14, the project will begin, and will go on until June 11. After that, I’m giving all the participants the rest of June to create a post dedicated to their Little Blogger, and in July, I’ll hopefully have the Masterpost up on the blog!

Hopefully, this won’t flop terrifically, but I’m really excited for this project, and I hope you guys are too! If you have any more questions, feel free to leave them in a comment down below!

(Also, the reason I ask for a piece of advice you’d give a new blog is because of a blog post I’m doing, if you were wondering.)

Let's Chat

Do you think the book blogging community is clique-y? To the established bloggers, how do you find newer, smaller blogs (like mine all those months ago lol). To newer/smaller bloggers, do you feel like you matter in the community? Will you join in on the project (hopefully, you will)?

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