Category: Let’s Discuss

May 24
Why Rating Middle Grade (and Sometimes YA) Is So Darn Hard for Me! Let’s Discuss.

Why Rating Middle Grade (and Sometimes YA) Is So Darn Hard for Me! Let’s Discuss.

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I have a MG review that’s scheduled to go up tomorrow (for Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee) and I really loved the book. Not only is it adorable and well-written, it highlights a middle grade girl who discovers that she has a crush on another girl (after having a crush on a boy), which is a topic that middle graders need to see. And let me tell you, this book was so hard for me to rate! Here’s the issue that plagues me: I am (obviously) not a middle grader. So sometimes I’ll find “issues” with a book that probably wouldn’t be issues at all if I were an actual middle grade reader. For instance, in this particular book, there was a focus on the romance in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. There was discussion about whether or not Romeo was actually in love with Juliet, and the main character defended the instalove in… Read more »


May 20
What You Need to Know Before You Open a NetGalley Account

What You Need to Know Before You Open a NetGalley Account

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NetGalley is an incredible way to start receiving review copies of books. In general, getting approved for a book via NetGalley is much more likely than getting a physical ARC of that same book. Which makes sense—publishers can afford to give out digital ARCs a lot more freely than physical ARCs. Sometimes bloggers are scared to jump into NetGalley, but if you follow a few simple guidelines, you’ll see that there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. Opening a NetGalley account is incredibly easy, but I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times I’ve seen bloggers who talk about all the mistakes they made when they first joined (including me!). Most of us joined without really knowing what to expect and without understanding the “rules” (both written and unwritten) that apply to NetGalley. I haven’t written a post like this before because most of my readers aren’t just… Read more »


May 12
Meet a #BroodyBFF! My Foray Into Street Teams. Let’s Discuss.

Meet a #BroodyBFF! My Foray Into Street Teams. Let’s Discuss.

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(This little guy is totally going to grow up to be a Brooding YA Hero. Just look at him—he’s already got that piercing heartthrob stare going on!) In my four years of blogging, I’ve only joined a few street teams. I kind of have to feel obsessed with the author to feel like I want to be a part of that author’s promotion. I’m a part of Evelyn Skye’s Tsar’s Guard because I’ve been a huge fan of Evelyn ever since she wrote an amazingly powerful short story in an anthology I reviewed, back way before The Crown’s Game was even a thing. The only other street team I can think of that I’ve joined is Australian author C.J. Duggan because I adored her Summer Series and I wanted to have the opportunity to review all of her books (since she’s an Australian author, ARCs are a little harder to… Read more »


May 05
Do You Ever Add to Your Posts After You’ve Published Them? Let’s Discuss.

Do You Ever Add to Your Posts After You’ve Published Them? Let’s Discuss.

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I was recently reading Becky @ A Fool’s Ingenuity’s post about The Fear of Not Having a Post Queue, and it (once again) made me realize how random and disorganized my blogging really is. If I manage to have a post or two in my drafts, it’s a miracle. Most of the time, I write my posts on the fly and hit Publish thirty seconds after I’m finished with them. For the most part, I’m fine with my haphazard blogging style. I’ve never been big on planning, and I often find that my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants methods give me flexibility. The only reading and blogging I ever schedule is for blog tours, and I’ll admit that I’m often finishing those books last minute (though I’m actually very conscientious about getting everything up on time—I’m disorganized, not irresponsible!). Still, at times like this, when I have a lot going on (editing, homeschooling, etc), it would… Read more »


Apr 21
Graphs Make Me Happy! Let’s Discuss.

Graphs Make Me Happy! Let’s Discuss.

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I was recently reading the 1st Blogoversary post over at Sparkling Letters and I realized something: Graphs make me happy! They just do. Seriously, if I see a post that has graphs in it, I just have to read it—and I gobble them up. I see graphs in someone’s wrap-up post and I perk up and take notice. Even though I’m a completely disorganized person, somehow data in a graph calls to me. It almost doesn’t even matter what the graphs are showing. (Okay, it does matter. I’m not crazy enough to love graphs about boring stuff like the stock market. Butif the graph has anything to do with books, I’m sold.)  Somehow putting the information into a graph makes it fun and interesting. Also, adding color to the graphs automatically makes the information that much more exciting. Case in point: I thought I’d look through my Goodreads stats for… Read more »


Apr 08
Why Everything I’ve Ever Told You About Book Blogging Is Wrong (and Also Right). Let’s Discuss.

Why Everything I’ve Ever Told You About Book Blogging Is Wrong (and Also Right). Let’s Discuss.

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Have you ever gone back and looked at your old posts and realized just how much you’ve changed your book blogging habits, opinions and processes? I’ve been blogging now for four years, and I can definitely say that I’ve grown—both as a reader and as a blogger. It can make me cringe just a little bit when I look at some of my baby-blogger posts and think, “Why on earth did I think that?” This is especially noticeable to me when I look at posts that give “advice.” Sometimes I look back at those old posts and I feel almost hypocritical because, while the things I was suggesting were great for me at the time, I’m no longer following my old advice at all anymore. Either I couldn’t stick to it, or it just stopped working for me as my blog grew. Does that mean the advice was bad? Should I go… Read more »


Mar 24
Watching Bloggers Come and Go. Let’s Discuss!

Watching Bloggers Come and Go. Let’s Discuss!

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So, now that my blog has been around for four years, I’ve noticed something—a lot of blogs (and bloggers) have disappeared over these four years. I know it’s the natural progression of things—people move on to new hobbies, new stages of life, new life goals, and blogging gets pushed the side—but it still somehow surprises me when I go through my Bloglovin’ or my Twitter and see so many blogs that have been inactive for months. Sometimes the blogger has posted a goodbye message and sometimes the blog has just sort of faded away … forgotten. Every once in awhile I’ll run across a blogger name that brings back memories and I’ll think, “Hey, I haven’t seen so-and-so around in awhile. I should go check out what’s happening with them.” It makes me a little bit sad when I find that their blog is dusty and abandoned (which, I guess explained… Read more »


Mar 17
My Haphazard Reading Habits. Let’s Discuss!

My Haphazard Reading Habits. Let’s Discuss!

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The other day, I was reading a fun post on Read All the Things where AJ lists what she calls her Reading Process. She has a really organized and solid approach to choosing books to read, determining what to read next, reviewing, etc. This post made me laugh, not because AJ is funny (though she is—you should totally go read all of her monthly wrap-ups because they’re always hilarious), but because AJ and I are apparently polar opposites when it comes to reading! I thought it might be fun to compare and contrast our styles. Below are AJ’s steps for her Reading Process. I took these titles directly from her (with her permission, of course) so that I could directly compare our reading habits. Make sure that you read AJ’s original post to get the full effect of how opposite we are! Step 1: The Hunt. AJ: She finds lots… Read more »


Mar 10
Is There Such a Thing as a “Quick Post”? Let’s Discuss!

Is There Such a Thing as a “Quick Post”? Let’s Discuss!

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This post has been linked up to the Book Blog Discussion Challenge. Every once in a while, I convince myself that I have a great idea for a “quick” blog post—something that I can whip right up that won’t take me long at all. After all, the ideas are flowing and I’m feeling inspired! … Three hours later, I’m finishing up said blog post, feeling exhausted and wondering how in the heck I managed to take so darn long! Thinking about it, I’ve come up with several time-extenders that seem to get in the way of a “quick post”: Searching for gifs. How do people find so many fun and perfect gifs? I often sit for an hour staring at pages and pages of randomness trying to find that gif that says exactly what I want to say. And then a lot of times the one I end up with… Read more »


Mar 04
Two (Free) Tools that Have Transformed My Replying and Commenting Back

Two (Free) Tools that Have Transformed My Replying and Commenting Back

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This post has been linked up to the Book Blog Discussion Challenge. In the past couple of months, I’ve been trying out two new tools that have really helped me with replying and commenting back (though there are a few drawbacks as well, which I’ll tell you about). I’ve been using the Comment Not Yet Replied To plugin (which, obviously, only works for WordPress self-hosted blogs) and Pocket, a tool that allows you to save. I thought I’d share how I’ve been using these two tools in conjunction with each other, and it’s made me so much more organized! (If you know me, you know this is quite an accomplishment!) By the way, this isn’t a marketing post or anything—I don’t get anything if you use these. (I know my title seems kind of “markety”—I was going to change it but I liked the slanty “Transformed” and I didn’t end… Read more »