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[TAG] An Insider’s Look Into How I Blog (The Book Blogger Insider Tag)

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Yeah, it’s time for a tag!

So, I was actually tagged way back in March to do this wonderful tag by the lovely Kelly @ Kelly’s Rambles – you should totally check out her blog if you haven’t – and I thought it’d be a great opportunity to turn this into a more creative post that talks about how I blog with the questions being starting off points!

RULES:

Answer the questions below

Credit the creator: Jamie @ A Little Slice of Jamie

Tag at least 5 people

Have fun!

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Do you review every book you read?

I don’t review every book I read on the blog! Usually, I try to review all ARCs I receive, but for books I’m reading for fun, I don’t review all of them. For instance, when I’m having trouble reading books, I like to read adult M/M romance. Clearly, I don’t review that on the blog mainly because romance just isn’t a genre I want to dedicate my blog to, but I’ll probably talk about it sometime when I wrap up the year.

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

Hm, I don’t really know? I’m going to guess and say it can take about ten to fifteen minutes just for writing the review, depending on how easy it is to put all my thoughts down into words and how much I have to say about the book, but I don’t like to spend too much time because I don’t like reviewing books too much.

How do you write your reviews?

I actually have four categories for each genre I review for, so I usually dedicate a paragraph to each category and talk about the aspects of it for non-spoiler reviews. I do the same thing for spoiler reviews, but it’s usually longer just because I can discuss ALL THE THINGS.

When do you write your reviews?

This definitely depends on my mood. Sometimes, I write reviews on Saturdays/Sundays for the books I’ve read over the week, and I’m a good blogger, but other times, I’m a terrible blogger and I realize it’s been about two weeks and I STILL haven’t reviewed this book yet or I haven’t copied and pasted my review onto Netgalley. #oops

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When did you start your book blog?

I started my blog on December 20, 2016. It was definitely on a whim. I was actually planning on starting my blog on the first of January to start the new year, but I was terribly impatient and went ahead with it. I actually don’t regret the decision to start earlier now because at least I had a little bit of experience, not to mention I changed a lot of how my blog looks in that month, plus, it’s how I’m so ahead of posts. So, no regrets, really.

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

THE WORK. I mean, it’s a fun sort of work because I do love blogging, and I love all the effort I put into it, but it’s still so long. Making graphics, being active on social media, publishing my post and then promoting it on social media, actually writing the posts, coming up with good post ideas, checking over my posts a million times to see if they look good. BLOGGING IS HARDER THAN YOU THINK, OKAY?

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

I feel like everyone says this, but the community. I’m glad to have stumbled upon this wonderful group of people who understand my inane ramblings of books and things. Also, to know that I have an outlet where I can be creative (because I’m just naturally a creative person), and have other people continually come back and enjoy my creativity. And, all the awesome ARCs I’ve gotten to read before release, and getting to rave about them and make you buy them. It’s a talent.

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Where do you typically write your blog posts?

On my bed, a large majority of the time, just because no one will annoy me while I’m blogging, and I usually just like peace and quiet. Sometimes, if a TV show I want to watch is on, I’ll bring it downstairs and write, but I don’t do that too much.

When do you typically write?

I’m usually way too busy during the week, so Saturdays are usually my “blogging days.” That’s when I usually write two to three of the posts that I’ve already planned out during the week. I’m always usually one to two months ahead, which is great, and probably what makes blogging less stressful for me. Pretty much everything I’ve posted is pre-written a month ago, except reviews, which are usually recent. Right now, during the summers, I just blog on whatever day I want to! I’m four posts away from finishing my August posts, but I’m lazy and exhausted. Go figure.

How often do you post?

I post four times a week! One review on Mondays (usually, unless I’ve fallen behind on reviews), and literally anything else on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. So, Book Playlists, Tags and Awards, Discussions, Let’s Chat, Anticipated Releases, etc. The reason I do this is because since I have all these creative posts and discussions three times in a row, I think you’d guys like a break with reviews. And because if I wrote creative posts four times a week, I’d die. It’s actually funny because I’ve seen so many people say that their stats aren’t that good on the weekends, but that’s the opposite for me!

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

Pretty much any Discussion, Let’s Chat, and Monthly Recommendation post were really fun to write.

What is your favorite blog post to write?

Oh, man, there are so many! I absolutely love writing Discussions and Let’s Chat. It’s just fun to have my thoughts out there, and knowing that I’ll get that interaction from you guys is what’s also fun. I also love doing lists, because you guys usually get to learn more about me. and Monthly Recommendations as well! Even though it takes hours to plan and write those posts and I get leg cramps doing them from sitting for so long, they are just so much fun to write, and I love recommending books to people (even though it’s also a little scary, but more on that in another blog post).

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And that was the Book Blogger Insider Tag!

Hopefully, you found this post interesting and liked learning more about how I blog and such! As always with tags, I don’t specifically nominate people. If you want to go ahead and do this tag or find it interesting, feel free to do it yourself!

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What are some of your blogging habits? Do we do any of the same things?

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20

Bite-Sized Reviews | The “WTF Did I Just Read?” Edition

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Good news has come: I HAVE BROKEN MY DAMN READING SLUMP!

I thought that the reason I had one was because of reading fantasy, but I think it’s actually because of all these sequels and finales I’ve been attempting to read, but just am not in the mood for. So, at the moment, I’m going to be taking a break from sequels until I’m in the mood for them because I MISSED READING BOOKS SO MUCH.

Anyway, for some reason, I made a terrible decision to go around requesting Netgalley books over the last few months, then getting accepted for them, and then saying, “Well, the book’s not going to be published FOR MONTHS, so I don’t have to worry about it, right?” WRONG. Summer comes upon me, and I realize that I apparently ALL THE BOOKS ARE COMING OUT IN JULY. AND ON THE SAME DAY. WHICH IS TUESDAY. PUBLISHERS ARE WEIRD.

So, since I have way too many July books coming out on similar dates (seriously, there are 31 damn days in July. Why can’t they just space it out???), I thought I’d go ahead and do some mini reviews to take the load off!

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The Revenge

Genre: Thriller

Series: None

Rating: 1 STAR

Release Date: July 1, 2017

Synopsis:

Break ups can be messy. After his ex-girlfriend Hope embarrasses him in front of the entire school, Tony wants revenge. So he signs her up for online dating sites, subscriptions, and even makes the location of her phone public. And it works. A few days later, Hope calls begging Tony to stop the prank. Then Hope screams and a car door slams. The call drops.

Tony tries to keep cool. It’s just like Hope to get back at him with more drama. But when Hope isn’t at school the next day, Tony knows the joke has gone too far-and he may have lead a predator right to his ex’s door. Can Tony find Hope and save her before it’s too late for both of them?

My Thoughts

Um…WTF? This book honestly left me speechless. Like most YA thrillers I hated, the only credit I can give it is that it was addicting…and that’s basically it. The characters were completely forgettable, the writing wasn’t that good, and it was just…weird? I literally can’t put into words how much this didn’t make sense. And the ending was SO OPEN. Like, it just ended, and when I saw that there were acknowledgements, I flipped back to see if I had missed something because that couldn’t possibly have been the end. But, nope, that was it. Basically, this was the poor man’s version of Gone Girl. Like, a REALLY poor man’s version of Gone Girl.

In Summary: 

what just happened here

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waste-of-space

Genre: Contemporary

Series: None

Rating: 3 STARS

Release Date: July 11, 2017

Synopsis: 

Cram ten hormonal teens into a spaceship and blast off: that’s the premise for the ill-conceived reality show Waste of Space. The kids who are cast know everything about drama—and nothing about the fact that the production is fake. Hidden in a desert warehouse, their spaceship replica is equipped with state-of-the-art special effects dreamed up by the scientists partnering with the shady cable network airing the show.    

And it’s a hit! Millions of viewers are transfixed. But then, suddenly, all communication is severed. Trapped and paranoid, the kids must figure out what to do when this reality show loses its grip on reality.   

My Thoughts

And we have another “WTF?” book, except on a totally different scale! I guess you could say that it was contemporary, but then a little sci-fi ended up being thrown in at the end, so was it magical realism? WHO KNOWS? This was basically making fun of reality shows, and I actually enjoyed how satirical it was and how it poked fun at itself! It was also formatted to include interviews and transcripts, so think Illuminae, except all the science stuff is fake? This is honestly the hardest book to rate ever, because I didn’t enjoy it, but I didn’t hate it? So, three stars it is, I guess!

In Summary:

Question Marks

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The Inside Dark

Genre: Thriller

Series: None

Rating: 4 STARS

Release Date: July 11, 2017

Synopsis:

Five days ago, aspiring crime novelist Jason Swike awoke chained to the wall of a run-down horse stable, convinced he would soon die at the hands of Crackerjack, the infamous serial killer who had terrorized the residents of Massachusetts for the past year—capturing and tormenting men, painting whimsical designs on their faces before shattering their bones and ending their lives. Just when death seems inevitable, Jason, with the help of another captive, manages to kill the madman and escape.

Hailed as a hero, Jason reaps the benefits of his newfound fame: a book deal, a possible reconciliation with his estranged wife, and reward money he can use to pay for his son’s costly medical treatments. But he soon realizes the nightmare that began in the deserted stable is far from over, as he is drawn into a twisted game where the darkest terror may not be the psychopath manipulating his every move, but what Jason may have to do to survive…

My Thoughts

I absolutely devoured this one! I was really happy that the synopsis was so vague because that’s what made the book so entertaining – you think that the book doesn’t have enough material to carry on, but then BAM! Something happens halfway through and you just can’t stop reading because it’s so tense! I enjoyed seeing all the POVs in the story, and the ending was SO GOOD. This reminded me of Jeff Strand’s Pressure (which I loved!), but if you haven’t read that book, don’t bother looking it up because the synopsis will spoil you for this one. Overall, I really enjoyed it, and I hope to get to some of his other books soon!

In Summary:

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A huge thank you to Sourcebooks Fire, HMH Children’s Book Group, and Thomas and Mercer for the e-ARCS via Netgalley!  

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71

11 of My Most Secretive Blogging Confessions

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We, as bloggers, definitely have our secrets.

So, I thought I’d jump in and talk about my blogging confessions, because they’re fun posts to read, and I hope I’m not the only blogger who experiences these types of things. I NEED OTHERS TO RELATE TO ME.

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1. I’m scared of scheduling on WordPress.

You guys are probably like, “Mikaela, that is actually ridiculous,” but it’s true! I scheduled once way back in my first week of blogging, and it was a terrible idea because it posted much later than it should have. Then again, I didn’t know that you had to set up your timezone with WordPress, and mine was completely off, so that might have been why it didn’t work out, BUT STILL. It just seems like way too much work to me, I don’t like it, and I’m also that one person who still reads over and edits my posts a minute before they go live. Yeah, I know.

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2. I probably wouldn’t be blogging a lot if I had little to no followers.

“BUT, MIKAELA, YOU’RE ONLY SUPPOSED TO BE BLOGGING FOR YOURSELF, NOT FOR OTHERS.” Quite true, BUT, I honestly probably wouldn’t be blogging that much or working as hard on my blog if barely anyone read it. I mean, I work HARD on my blog, but the reason I do is because I know there are people who will read and comment and like and share it. I probably wouldn’t be spending hours on posts and graphics if only two people read my blog. Maybe I’m the only one?

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3. I don’t like writing book reviews.

I don’t. I never really have. Which is funny, because I was on Goodreads for a full year and a half before I started my blog, but whatever. I just don’t like them because they’re hard and boring to write. And it’s funny, because I can talk about a book in ANY OTHER POST, but once it comes to a review, I don’t know what to say??? What are words???

i love you

4. I cater to my followers. 

“BUT, MIKAELA, YOU’RE ONLY SUPPOSED TO BE BLOGGING FOR YOURSELF-” Yeah, I know that, but me blogging for myself is blogging for my followers? If I think a post is going to be popular, I’ll post it. If I don’t think it’ll be popular, I’ll delay posting it. Pretty much every single time I post something that I think my followers want, I’m happy with it and I work hard on it. Other bloggers seem to think it’s terrible to do this, but I’m happy, so it doesn’t matter to me!

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5. I’m jealous of those who easily have publicist and author connections.

I’m sure we all know those bloggers that are always having the most casual conversations with authors on Twitter and are best friends with publicists and all the authors follow them, and I AM JEALOUS. I am way too much of a socially anxious mess, and getting the courage to tag an author is already hard enough, nevertheless keeping a conversation with an author. I’ll just awkwardly follow and like their Tweets, thank you very much.

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6. I wish I was better at social media. 

I failed at bookstagram because it’s too much work and am I doing good at Twitter? Who knows, because I really don’t care that much. I wish I were better at social media and could have witty things to say three times a day and easily gain thousands of followers, but that’s probably not going to happen any time soon, so I’ll learn to deal with it.

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7. I get ARC envy – like, all the time.

You got an ARC of a book that I would literally do or give anything in the world for? It’s fine, I’ll just sit here and wallow in envy and happiness for you while I wish I could get all the ARCs I wanted if I were more cool.

(I will admit, I feel less like I’m in this state after Bookcon and the combination of 2482048 e-ARCs I have to read, so yeah.)

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8. I suck at reviewing books.

Because I hate reviewing books, this leads my reviews to just be meh. I don’t know if people even like them or buy books based off of them, but once I finish writing them, I always think they’re average or I’m saying the same things or phrases over and over again. But, then again, we all look at the things we write through a critical lense, so that might be why?

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9. I want to self-host, but at the same time, I’m terrified of code and design.

Do I want to self-host on WordPress.org? Most definitely? But I don’t know anything about coding or design, and it sort of scares me that my design won’t look as good as it does now or my website will glitch and I don’t know why or how or I’ll fail to transfer all my blog stats and posts and I’ll lose everything I worked hard on. IT’S SO SCARY.

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10. I think too hard about blog titles. Like, way too hard.

I’m not even kidding. I’ve mentioned this before, but I always feel like if the title is boring or not intriguing enough, no one will click on it, so I’ll just sit around and take so long re-doing my title and wondering if anyone will even click on it or what in the world will my title even be. I’m pretty sure no one cares so much about my blog titles except for me though (or maybe I’m wrong and you guys DO care?).

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11. I get sort of annoyed at those who get ARCs because of their social media prowess.

Okay, this sounds like a terrible confession, but I will admit, when someone literally has ten followers on their blog and 3,000+ followers on their Twitter account, but still manages to get all the coveted ARCs, I’m just left sitting there as to why I’m putting hours into blogging if I can do nothing but host Twitter giveaways that require people to follow me to get a stack of books. I get bookstagramers getting ARCs because that’s actual hard work (people think it’s easy, BUT IT IS NOT) and those who have thousands of followers on all their social media accounts AND their blog, but I don’t get why publishers think large number of Twitter followers from giveaways = popular. SORRY I CAN’T LIVE UP TO YOUR UNREALISTIC SOCIAL MEDIA EXPECTATIONS, PUBLISHERS.

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And those are all of my blogging confessions!

Hopefully, I’m not the only one who shares these opinions and confessions? I’m not alone, right? RIGHT?

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Do you agree with any of my blogging confessions? What are some of your own?

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42

[THE BLOGGING DIARIES] Tips For New Book Bloggers (Ft. Other Book Bloggers)

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I am horrible at giving tips.

I really am. As soon as I got the idea for this post, I realized I couldn’t even think of any. That’s probably because I blog without even thinking of my process, and once I’m forced to, it’s hard to explain (like, writing up my tutorials was SO MUCH WORK). So, I thought it’d be better to ask my fellow bloggers what advice they’d give to a newbie book blogger, and I got a lot of it, so I decided to compile it all into one post. Hopefully, if any new book blogger stumbles across this, it’ll help them on their blogging journey! And a huge thanks to all those who gave advice!

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“Adopt your own blogging voice. Don’t copy other bloggers’ writing style. If you write elegantly, write like that. You don’t always go ALL CAPS LOCK and fangirl all the time. If you have a specific type of blogging voice, it’s easier to stand out. Don’t be afraid to let YOU shine through your blog – that’s the best bit about your blog.” – My Bookish Life

“Don’t get caught up with stats, take it at your own pace, and talk about what you want to talk about.” – Allonsythornraxxbooks

“Do it for your first: Your love for books is what started you down this path.” – Jessica’s Reading Room

“You don’t have to follow every blog that follows your blog; it will get overwhelming. Also, try not to feel guilty for not following back.” – Inside My Minds

“Don’t stress about followers and stats. If you enjoy blogging, then that’s all that matters!” – Kirsty Chronicles

“Comment on lots of posts to get yourself out there! By interacting with lots of people, you’ll get noticed quickly and find yourself gaining followers at a speedy rate!” – Book Bum

“Read books! Give your honest opinion and rant because ranting is incredibly fun to read.” – Genuine Perplexities

“Just keep posting like you have an audience, and eventually you will.” – Bella Blogs Because Books

“Don’t be afraid to get creative and use your voice – even if you think no one will ever read it, your words are never wasted.” – The Story Salve

“COMMENT, COMMENT, COMMENT! I had 40 followers for forever until I started getting more active in the blogging community and talking to people. Plus, now I have a tone of new friends!” – Write Through the Night

“Do your blog your way not the way others say a book blog should be. Just be yourself.” – The Whimsical Words of an Agreeable Bookworm

“Come up with and write content that YOU would want to read on another blog. If it’s boring to your, it’s likely boring to your readers.” – Forever and Everly

“Be passionate and don’t be afraid to speak with your unique voice. It is easy to fall into a pattern of doing the same sort of posts as everyone else, but in truth what matters is that you’re happy with what you are posting. If something is making you lose that passion burning inside you, then it’s time to lose that thing. Don’t do posts just to please the masses, but to please yourself. When you develop that loyal readership that loves the things that you love, then you know you’re doing what’s best for you and you can be proud of what you have. This community can be daunting, but don’t be afraid to speak out and contact others. Starting conversations is the best thing you could ever do.” – The Book Raven

“Keep trying. Keep reaching out to other bloggers, keep posting, keep doing what you enjoy above all else.” – Reading Every Night

“Get out there and spread yourself out there – the best way I started to connect with others was through commenting on their blogs and checking out new ones. Also, don’t forget to enjoy yourself! Don’t blog just to blog, but make sure you enjoy doing it.” – Book Princess Reviews

“Be yourself, connect, and have fun.” – Lost in a Story

“Participate in the community. Go out and comment on other blogs and share your love of books.” – Pages Unbound

“I would say make sure to post as regularly as possible and try figuring out how often you can post without exhausting yourself. And visit as many blogs as possible and get to know new fellow book lovers!” – Reading Through the Nights

“Everyone experiences the same feelings of stress and worrying about their blog, no matter how long they’ve been doing this. It’s okay to take breaks, and feel discouraged. Just don’t let it get you down! I promise you’ll find your blogging stride!” – Bookish Things and Tea

“Be patient and put in quality over quantity.” – The Suspense Is Thrilling Me

“Don’t feel stressed to post five times a week or anything. Yes, your blog does grow a bit slower if you post less, but you also don’t get burned out quickly either.” – Quartzfeather

“Try to show your personality in your posts and upload consistently.” – Bookish Sins and Wins

“I’m very new in this, but what I’m trying now is to write some posts so that the people that visit your blog could have an idea of what you do, follow fellow bloggers that you’re interested in, and try to make friends!” – Shades 0f Paper

“Just do it!” – Engrossed in a Good Book

“Be positive and open.” – Book Reader Always

“Be creative, original, and yourself. Most of all, don’t be afraid of the publish button. Mistake will happen, it’s okay. There is a lot to learn and plenty of time to do it.” – Green Onion

“Try to follow as many people as you can and comment on their posts.” – A Dance Between Pages

“Post what you want and not what others expect of you.” – Perks of Being a Book Nerd

“Don’t be afraid to start book blogging and getting your opinions out to other people. Don’t feel obligated to post either, just post when you want to or when have an idea, make a post.” – Unicorns Read Too

“Try to post regularly.” – The Underground Bookdom

“Just dive in! I spent months debating whether or not I wanted to start a blog. When I finally did, I was so mad at myself for waiting!” – Erica Robyn Reads

“Have fun! Your blog isn’t supposed to be dull and boring or something you’re forced to do.” – Autumn of 2003

“Write what you love, not what you think is popular.” – Chasm of Books

“Comment on other blogs’ posts.” – Xoodle Books

“Enjoy it!” – Book Birds

“Get involved.” – Papertrail Rambles

“Create a unique voice and look at a lot of other blogs to get an inspiration or model.” – Blots of Ink and Words

“Try to be on a posting schedule and although keeping an eye on numbers isn’t a bad thing, make sure it doesn’t affect your feelings about blogging.” – Heather’s Reading Hideaway

“Consistency is key!…and fun.” – Scribbler’s Cloud

“Be yourself and post what you’d want to read, now what everyone else is posting!” – A Biblio Love Affair

“Just do it; post things that you’re interested in and you will attract a following.” – Reading Through the Night

“Always be true to your content, and try to do the best work you can.” – Chelle’s Book Ramblings

“Ohh, there’s so much. I think my main piece of advice would be to stay genuine. It’s easy to compare yourself and fall into a path of doing what everyone else is doing, bu you shouldn’t do that. Your blog should reflect you, your personality, your interests. Even if you only get one comment on something, but you loved writing that post, it was something you LOVED and you connected with ONE person – which is amazing…Probably to not be too hard on themselves. It’s supposed to be fun. You don’t have to be strict. If you need help, ask because we’re all friendly! If you can’t figure out what to talk about, look at what other people are doing for inspiration.” – Molly’s Book Nook

“I’m still kind of a new blogger myself, but I would tell another to not get too overwhelmed! There is so much to do when building a book blog, but know it is okay to take breaks and get it all done slowly, one thing at a time!” – Books and Bling Blog

“Don’t be afraid to connect with other bloggers! And feel free to experiment with your blog (design, posts, etc.) until you find something that works for you. Do what makes you happy. <3” – Book Snacks

“It’s so easy to think you can finish a book and write a review later. The longer you wait, the harder it is to write, trust me.” – The Written Word(s)

“Make sure to have a notebook or your phone with you at all times in case you get a post idea and need to write it down. I guess to also don’t expect to understand everything in the book blogging world and to have people see your stuff straight away. It takes time and you will constantly be learning. But make sure you don’t stress too much and to ask the community for help if you don’t know how to do something! Seek other book bloggers for help!” – Stories and Spoons

“Have a list of blog ideas for scheduling. The more the better, so you can surf and pick one that suits your current writing mood.” – Liliana N Bookish Blog

“To have fun with it! It sounds cliche but that’s the most important thing to me.” – Beaucoup Books

“Don’t quit. I started numerous blogs before this one, and always gave up on them. This is the first time I’m truly enjoying my content. Just stick with it and be persistent.” – Inside My Library Mind

“I’m a booktuber, but one piece of advice I would have for anyone joining the community would be to make friends.” – GABBYABOOKS

“Don’t stress with posting everyday. Just have fun with it. Never compare your blog with others. Just do your blog for yourself and have fun.” – A Bella Fairytale

“My biggest tip is to not overload on posts and ARCs. Posting a couple of times a week is best!” – LILbooKlovers

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Do you have any blogging advice for new book bloggers that you don’t see? Feel free to share it in the comments!

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43

Celebrating My 6 Month Blogiversary!

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

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

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

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Jordz The Bibliophile asked:

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

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

Amalia C. Reads asked:

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

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

Camillea Reads asked:

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

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

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

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

“Do you write fiction?”

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

“What’s your favorite character trope?”

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

Maddy’s Digital Diary asked:

“Top 5 favorite books?”

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

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

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

“What do you love most about blogging?”

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

Misty’s Book Space asked:

“What’s your favorite thing about blogging?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

harry-potter-and-the-order-of-the-phoenix-cover-image

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

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

the-love-interest

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

Bridget and Books asked:

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

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

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

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

My Booky Life asked:

“What’s one bookish superpower you want?”

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

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

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

“Shoutout your favourite blogs!”

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

Beaucoup Books asked:

What are your hobbies outside of blogging?

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

What are your career aspirations?

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

Favorite blogs or blogs you look up to?

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

Forever and Everly asked:

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

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

“How has blogging changed you?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Cathy Read Next asked:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lost In A Story asked:

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

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

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

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

“What’s your guilty pleasure read?”

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

Allonsythornraxxbooks asked:

“Least favorite book?”

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

“Do you ever regret reading a book?”

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

“Currently watching?”

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

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

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

“Do you like candles?”

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

Molly’s Book Nook asked:

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Coffee or tea?”

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

Reading Every Night asked:

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

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

What has been your favorite post so far?

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

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

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

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

they both die at the end

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blots of Ink And Words asked:

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

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

“What makes you instantly like a book?”

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

Let's Chat

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

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41

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

File_000 (68).pngYeah, a tag!

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

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

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

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

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It’s Kind of a Funny Story:

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

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I’ll Give You the Sun:

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

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Fangirl:

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

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

acowar cover

Current Read: A Court of Wings And Ruin

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

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Last Read: ???

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

Reading Next: ???

I’M IN A SLUMP OKAY.

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

Regarding series:

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The Winner’s Trilogy:

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

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The Shatter Me Trilogy:

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

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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer Trilogy:

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

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The Wrath and the Dawn Duology:

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

The Darkest Minds

The Darkest Minds Trilogy:

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

Regarding stand-alones:

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An Abundance of Katherines:

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

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The Couple Next Door:

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

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The Kind Worth Killing:

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

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With Malice:

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

The Bird Tribunal

The Bird Tribunal:

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

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

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

5. Which book are you saving for retirement?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ALL THE FEELS.

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8. Which book character would you switch places with?

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

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

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

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The Hunger Games:

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

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe:

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

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

cassandra_clare_city_of_heavenly_fire_book_cover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

15. Used or brand new?

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

16. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

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

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

Mrs. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Poster

Mrs. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children:

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

I Am Legend Movie Poster

I Am Legend:

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

Man on Fire Movie Poster

Man on Fire:

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

gone-girl-movie-poster

Gone Girl:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(But I wrote it anyway.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Example: How To Plan a Full Month of Blog Posts

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

Example: How Do You Deal With Book Blogger Envy?

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

Example: Should Book Reviews Be Subjective or Objective?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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