Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Review: See What I See


See What I See





Author: Gloria Whelan
Pages: 208
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library
Synopsis: Kate Tapert sees her life in paintings. She makes sense of the world around her by relating it to what she adores - art. Armed with a suitcase, some canvases, and a scholarship to art school in Detroit, Kate is ready to leave home and fully immerse herself in painting. Sounds like heaven. All Kate needs is a place to stay. That place is the home of her father, famous and reclusive artist Dalton Quinn, a father she hasn't seen or heard from in nearly ten years. When Kate knocks on his door out of the blue, little does she realise what a life-altering move that will turn out to be. But Kate has a dream, and she will work her way into Dalton's life, into his mind, into his heart...whether he likes it or not.

Buy the Book (The Book Depository/Amazon)


See What I See was a short but packed and refreshing read.

The story is about a girl named Kate who is applying to an art school in Detroit but can't afford a place to live so she decides to crash with her famous artist Dad who had left her and her mom. What was special about this story was the relationship between father and daughter, which felt heartfelt.

Kate is a character you can't help but at least sympathize with and at most love. She loves her mom but she's always been curious about her dad too. She's an optimist and someone who plain cares. Kate is selfless and is a character very worthy of respect. I like her. She can be rash, insecure,and she'll make decisions she'll later on regret. She's real.

Like I said before, See What I See is a story about a girl's broken and fragile relationship with her father. I thought it was real and authentic. I hated Kate's Dad sometimes but then I'd love him. No matter what he did though, I always cared for him as did Kate. Their relationship really pulls you in and it's hard not to relate with them.

See What I See doesn't end with a happily ever after. I want to thank the author so much for that. There is pain and there is joy in the ending. It is satisfying and the story is over but there is still hope. As endings go, this one was fairly well done.

All in all, a fast read that's worth it. 3.5 stars,

*** & 1/2 *

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cover Wars: Oppression vs Want

Cover Wars is when I post two covers, and you basically get a week to vote for your favourite. The winner continues on to next week, and it's kind of cool seeing which covers work and which don't. In the comments section we can discuss what we like about what cover, and it's basically some fun competition.

Last week's winner was Oppression by a very wide margin, so congratulations to Jessica Therrien! Oppression now gets to face off against another stunning cover, Want by Stephanie Lawton. The covers both have one central colour (green vs. red) and I think they're both beautiful. It's not up to me though- it's up to you guys to pick and vote for your favourite covers on the right! So let the Cover Wars... begin!!!

Oppression (Children of the Gods, #1)vsWant

Share your thoughts in the comments!

Edit: Remember to vote on the poll to the right, commenting does not count as a vote. The poll is underneath all the following options. Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Exploring My TBR (2)

This was a really successful and fun feature the first time I did it, so I'm going to try to make it semi-regular.

How it works


I'll post 5 books from my TBR list on Goodreads, and why they're there. I'll also link to Goodreads so you can add them to your TBR too.  This feature is meant to highlight interesting sounding, but not really current reads. (Btw, I realized this is kind of like The Story Siren's Books To Pine For... but some of these titles are already released, and I'm writing my own synopsis.)

Burn Bright (Night Creatures, #1)

1. Burn Bright by Marianne de Pierres

This book sounds so awesome. You have a girl trying to find and save her brother, a hypnotic, dangerous world that's not as innocent as it pretends to be. The story itself sounds really dark. I love that. I also get a very vague Uglies/Pretties world vibe from the synopsis that may not be accurate, but is still very intriguing. Plus the cover looks nice. Older followers may remember my love of black and hot pink.


Girl in the Arena


2. Girl in the Arena by Lisa Haines

Admit it: the cover made you think of The Hunger Games right? Well, me too. Gladiators, TV, fighting... this is a book with a crazy interesting premise. Only knock against it is that it has a 3.03 star rating on Goodreads. Ouch. I'm still curious about it though, and even if I don't like the story, Girl In the Arena promises to be an interesting read, right?


Jane3. Jane by April Lindner

Pretty cover... and pink! (Told you I had a thing for that.) I've never read Jane Eyre, and to be honest I really have no plans to read unless I'm required to. I haven't enjoyed any of the "classic" novels I've already read. (Granted, I haven't read anything other than what is required for school.) That being said, I love retellings. And I'm curious to read of Jane and Nico's romance.



Bitterblue (Graceling Realm, #3)
4. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

*SQUEE* I got this book the other day!!! *coughs* Since I still haven't got to it, I'll still include it here. Bitterblue is a book that I've wanted to read for over a year now. I loved Graceling and Fire, and I'm not even that into fantasy so that really tells you how exciting I find this series. I'm curious to see how Bitterblue does as queen, and the synopsis sounds really good but way too hard to condense into a single sentence. Anyway, this is a must read and I will read this book soon.

Illusions (Wings, #3)
5. Illusions by Aprilynne Pike 

I should have read this book ages ago. Seriously, two or three times I saw the book and was this close to reading it but something always got in the way. Wings is a really interesting series because it looks at faeries in a completely unusual way. I've always liked Laurel and I've always had fun reading this series so of course I want to read this book and see how Laurel saves Avalon from this new faerie threat.



Well, that's it folks.  Thanks for reading, and let me know if you've read any of these books and what you thought of them. Did you like them? Any I should get to sooner than others? What overlooked books do you have on your TBR lists? Happy reading! 









Saturday, May 26, 2012

Review: Once Every Never


Once Every Never





Author: Lesley Livingston
Pages: 312
Publisher: Penguin
Source: Library
Synopsis: Clarinet Reid is a pretty typical teenager. On the surface. She’s smart, but a bit of slacker; outgoing, but just a little insecure; not exactly a mischief-maker… but trouble tends to find her wherever she goes. Also? She unwittingly carries a centuries-old Druid Blood Curse running through her veins.


Now, with a single thoughtless act, what started off as the Summer Vacation in Dullsville suddenly spirals into a deadly race to find a stolen artifact, avert an explosive catastrophe, save a Celtic warrior princess, right a dreadful wrong that happened centuries before Clare was even born, and if there’s still time—literally—maybe even get a date.


This is the kind of adventure that happens to a girl once every… never.


Buy the Book (Amazon/The Book Depository)

I have just finished (edit- this review was written in August) the awesome book that is Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston. This book had it all- action, romance, history, war, time travel, geeks... everything. And all those elements together worked to make the kind of story that always keeps you guessing and that you'll love.

Clare (Clarinet Reid- I feel so bad for her having that name) is smart but not as smart as all the geniuses in her life. She's spunky and funny, plus a great friend. I had a lot of fun reading from her perspective. Clare talked like a real teenage girl which I loved. Books usually have smarter, vocabulary-wise characters. I like that Clare got distracted and her arguments with Al were awesome.

The characters were the best kind- quirky, nice, and you know they're going to go somewhere. They're like "the gang" of lovable characters. They support each other and have strong friendships. The romance is good too! It's an easy kind of romance, no need for it to be epic but more natural. That is so refreshing.

Clare can do this weird thing that she calls "shimmering" which basically means she goes to the past. Time travel. I really liked that part. I've never been too much into time travel but this book was different. It was like reading a historical book that had ties to the future. I loved reading about the Iceni and I thought everything was really well done.

There was magic too! Blood magic! And Druids! I would have liked more explanation of the. consequences of magic but I suspect that will be discussed in future books. The magic felt like a natural addition to the story.

The plot was so twisty and whimsical. There was so much action and something was always going on. I never wanted to stop reading and when the inevitable happened and I finished the last few pages, I was satisfied with the story. I know this is going to be a trilogy or something but this book could easily have been enjoyed as a standalone.

All in all, if you're looking for your next fun read with adventure, fighting and huge stakes, definitely check out Once Every Never. It's a very unique story that's not quite like anything else. 4 stars,

****

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children


Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine #1) 





Author: Ransom Riggs
Pages: 352
Publisher: Quirk Books
Source: Library
Synopsis: A mysterious island.


An abandoned orphanage.


A strange collection of very curious photographs.


It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

Buy the Book (Amazon/The Book Depository)

Presentation is so important in a book. It excites the reader and puts them in a better mood which helps them happily enjoy the story. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was a good book, but what made it great was the phenomenal presentation.

I wasn't entirely in love with any of the characters. Without spoiling, I'll say that I disagreed with many of the choices made. While the reasoning wasn't beyond my understanding, it wasn't the choice I would have made which made me disconnected to the characters. Jacob was an average character. He dealt with a lot and I feel like I only got a brief look at his character before everything happened. And what I did see didn't pull me in too much. The best part of Jacob was the love he had for his grandfather.

The plot was interesting. There were always surprising twists and I never knew where the story would go. Seriously, there were some shocker moments which I enjoyed seeing as I realized I would never have guessed what would happen ever. The idea is original and quirky so I liked it. There were some plot points I found unnecessary and I wasn't as taken with them (I was frankly a bit annoyed) since they were expected in YA novels. I was not happy with the romance. I wasn't ever really bored but the story didn't live up to its full potential, in my view.

The photos were the best part of the book, which is a good and bad thing. Good because they were so interesting and I loved seeing every one of them. Bad because after a while, I kept reading in the hopes of seeing more photos. That kept me reading more than the plot did. Which isn't very good at all. I do have to say the photos were fabulous and it was really cool how Mr. Riggs created such a comprehensive plot from them. It was very creative.

Overall, I liked this book a lot but I didn't love it. I felt off on some parts and that is probably just me because everywhere I look I see glowing reviews of this book. It's very peculiar (come on, I had to use that word at least once didn't I?) and unique. I recommend you check it out and have fun reading it! 3.5 stars,

*** & 1/2 *

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Return of COVER WARS

One of my favourite features on my blog is Cover Wars. It's also one of the hardest covers to keep up, but that doesn't really matter since I think it's one of the most fun too. Gushing about pretty covers is always cool. So since it's been a really long time, I have to say goodbye to the old covers and we're starting afresh!

Basically, for all of you who don't know, Cover Wars is when I post two covers, and you basically get a week to vote for your favourite. The winner continues on to next week, and it's kind of cool seeing which covers work and which don't. In the comments section we can discuss what we like about what cover, and it's basically some fun competition.

This week's battle will be Reached by Allie Condie vs Oppression by Jessica Therrien.

Reached (Matched, #3)vsOppression (Children of the Gods, #1)

I think they're both really pretty covers in different ways. They both have cool font though, and have circles. Which is your favourite cover? Vote now on the poll to the right, and let me know what you think in the comments!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Book Blogger Confessions: Memes



An awesome meme by Tiger's All Consuming Media and For What It's Worth. Check them out!


Memes. Love em' or hate em'? How many do you participate in? Which kinds do you like best? Do you feel like there are too many?


I've been away from blogging for a long time so obviously, I haven't been too involved in memes. Even now, I kind of am trying to keep with more original-ish content. 


I've done Follow Friday, Book Blogger Hop, Waiting on Wednesdays, In My Mailbox, Teaser Tuesdays, and of course, one of my favourites, Book Blogger Confessions. 


Waiting on Wednesdays, Teaser Tuesdays, IMM and BBC are the kind of memes I like best. They're about books, and they have the same general idea, but they leave a lot open to bloggers so that they can put in their individuality. I don't go to blogs for memes- I go to them because each blogger has their own unique views and personality, and I want to see them talk about books in their perspective. 


The only thing I kind of don't like about memes is when they're too popular. You ever look at your dashboard and notice about 15 blogs with the exact same topic? I like reading about different stuff on different blogs, and 15 teasers doesn't really interest me. That's basically my only complaint about memes. 


I don't think there are too many memes. You don't need to participate in every meme, but there is a nice variety available. Rather than memes, something I really enjoy are the little features individual to every blog. Some people have a wrap up post every week, others have a post about a non bookish topic, and others have really cool discussion topics. Those are what I try to have, and what I prefer infinitely more than memes. 


As always, thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Spotlight on... The Dark Unwinding

Spotlight on... is a very random feature about anything and everything, though it usually pertains to books. It's basically about something I want to give attention to. 

As I was Goodreads searching books, I came by a list of 2012 releases. I haven't been around for much of 2012 yet, but I want to know what books to look out for, so I decided to look at the list. The first titles were books I was really excited for, and they were all familiar. But I wanted to see books I haven't heard about yet, so I went to the last page of the list where I saw a title that piqued my interest: The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron. 

The Dark Unwinding

My initial thoughts when I saw the cover was that it looked like my type of read (you know, paranormal/dystopian/action type book). I honestly am not the hugest fan of the cover (I don't like the colour combination, or the fonts) but I think it will look way better in person. 

Anyway, it's the synopsis that intrigues me. Inheritance? Steampunk? Eccentric family members? Why not? 

Here it is: 

A spine-tingling tale of steampunk and spies, intrigue and heart-racing romance!

When Katharine Tulman's inheritance is called into question by the rumor that her eccentric uncle is squandering away the family fortune, she is sent to his estate to have him committed to an asylum. But instead of a lunatic, Katharine discovers a genius inventor with his own set of rules, who employs a village of nine hundred people rescued from the workhouses of London.

Katharine is now torn between protecting her own inheritance and preserving the peculiar community she grows to care for deeply. And her choices are made even more complicated by a handsome apprentice, a secretive student, and fears for her own sanity.

As the mysteries of the estate begin to unravel, it is clear that not only is her uncle's world at stake, but also the state of England as Katharine knows it. With twists and turns at every corner, this heart-racing adventure will captivate readers with its intrigue, thrills, and romance.

Sounds interesting, huh? I've generally liked most steampunk, with one of my favourites being The Girl in the Steel Corset  so I'm totally interested in reading about this book. It has a lot of potential and the plot sounds really original. I also like the idea of a twisty plot, with adventure and a bit of romance. This is definitely a must read. 

Remember, the book releases September 1st from Scholastic. So far, there aren't many reviews on Goodreads but lots of positive star ratings.

Some more cool stuff: 

This website.  Seriously, I love the little animation and the wind! Probably one of the coolest author websites I've seen. 

Some extras about her book including a teaser, some photos about her inspiration for the setting, and some videos of automatons! 

Sharon Cameron won the 2009 Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. I haven't heard of that, but congratulations to her anyway! Since she won it for this novel, it better be good, right? 

What do you think? Sounds good? Any other 2012 recs for me? 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Review: Kindred


Kindred




Author: Tammar Stein
Pages: 272
Publisher: Knopf
Source: Library
Synopsis: Miriam is an unassuming college freshman stuck on campus after her spring break plans fall through. She's not a religious girl--when pressed she admits reluctantly to believing in a higher power. Truth be told, she's about as comfortable speaking about her faith as she is about her love life, which is to say, not at all. And then the archangel Raphael pays Miriam a visit, and she finds herself on a desperate mission to save two of her contemporaries. To top it all off, her twin brother, Mo, has also had a visitation, but from the opposite end of the good-evil spectrum, which leaves Miriam to wonder--has she been blessed and her brother cursed or vice versa? And what is the real purpose behind her mission?


Buy the Book (Amazon/The Book Depository)

Kindred was an okay read. I expected much more and there was so much potential. I just didn't feel like I read anything special.

After an encounter of the angelic kind, Miriam is appointed a mission. When she doesn't exactly succeed 100% in her mission, Miriam begins to weaken and gets sick. She moves from college to a small town in Tennessee and gets a job at the local newspaper.

I thought Miriam was okay. She was a really nice girl but a bit too timid. I mean that she never got angry about the stuff that happened to her even though some awful things did happen. I was surprised at that. She's a much better person than I am. I didn't really connect with her and I found her a bit plain.

Her twin brother, Moses was a much more interesting character, in my view. While Miriam's encounter was angelic, Mo's was demonic. Most people think "No, I'd never side with the devil. Only bad, awful psychopaths would do that." I liked that Mo wasn't shown to be bad. He had issues but he was more charming and ambitious. He had big dreams which I can understand, but loose morals. While what he was doing was wrong, it wasn't unthinkable. I liked that there was that gray area. I would have loved to read the story from his perspective.

What turned me off the story was the religious aspect. Miriam's father was Jewish and her mother Catholic so there was a lot of focus on religion in her life. Specifically about God. There were many questions about God and while that would be perfect for a youth group to discuss, it wasn't really the entertaining, light read I had in mind. I'm only mentioning this because it may put some people off the book.

The plot was interesting enough though kind of slow for the most part. There was some romance that I liked (and it was unusual. I liked the character and wanted more romance for once!), there was some mystery, etc. There was a certain storyline that I found very interesting. Something that happened to Miriam and that I would have been curious to read about more than the angel/demon thing. That part was well done and I was surprised when I read of it. (Sorry for being vague but I don't want to spoil it... it is an important plot point for the book.)

In short, Kindred is a nice enough read. It's just not my kind of read. It's a unique, different kind of book that will probably be a hit or miss. For me it was more of a miss. 2 stars,

**

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Copyright Laws and Images on the Internet

Recently, the book blogging world started to talk about plagiarizing. You all know what happened, but it got me thinking about something else: using online images.

You know when you have a post and it looks so plain and boring, so you go on Google and put an image there to spice it up. I always thought that was okay. I wasn't pretending the image was mine, and I wasn't reselling it or anything. 

Because of all the talk about plagiarizing, I decided to do some research on the topic. There I learned stuff that impacts a lot of bloggers. I'm going to post some of it because it's really relevant to bloggers. Some people may have already known all this stuff, but others may learn something. 

The copyright laws I found were those of the US (which will be relevant for most readers). I'm Canadian and from what I could find, the rules have the same general idea. If anything I say about any law is wrong, please feel free to email me and let me know. 

Basically, everything anyone creates is copyrighted. You don't have to get some special permit or anything, you have the right to your own work. 

That means that when you're searching Google for the perfect image, you're violating the copyright law unless the image is available for free public use (and it expressly says so). Linking back or giving credit doesn't stop you from being in trouble. If the creator if the image sees the image you took, they are justified to send you a cease and desist letter, as well as sue you for copyright infringement. 

However, you're allowed to use some stuff. We're bloggers and we use images of books all the time. That goes under something called "fair use" so since we're using the image of the book cover as a means of educating others and critiquing the work, we're allowed to use it. 

Images used to make a blog look pretty though do not fall under this category. Just remember to either research where the image is coming from and how it can be used appropriately, or find a free and legal source for images. 

For more, way better explained information visit Social Media Examiner, Saving for Someday, and Daily Blog Tips. I totally admit this post is inspired by them. 

What I've done to "solve" this issue is joined a pretty good site, http://www.sxc.hu/ which lets you find photos. Most of them are free to use but make sure you read the image rules. 

My question to you all is, did you know about the rules? Do you have any tips on making sure you follow the rules? Is there anything you think I should know (cause at this moment I don't know too much)? Any sites you use for free images? Anything you want to discuss?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Review: Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution


Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution




Author: Michelle Moran
Pages: 446
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Source: Review Copy- Thank you!!
Synopsis: Smart and ambitious, Marie Tussaud has learned the secrets of wax sculpting by working alongside her uncle in their celebrated wax museum, the Salon de Cire. From her popular model of the American ambassador, Thomas Jefferson, to her tableau of the royal family at dinner, Marie’s museum provides Parisians with the very latest news on fashion, gossip, and even politics. Her customers hail from every walk of life, yet her greatest dream is to attract the attention of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI; their stamp of approval on her work could catapult her and her museum to the fame and riches she desires. After months of anticipation, Marie learns that the royal family is willing to come and see their likenesses. When they finally arrive, the king’s sister is so impressed that she requests Marie’s presence at Versailles as a royal tutor in wax sculpting. It is a request Marie knows she cannot refuse—even if it means time away
from her beloved Salon and her increasingly dear friend, Henri Charles.

As Marie gets to know her pupil, Princesse √Člisabeth, she also becomes acquainted with the king and queen, who introduce her to the glamorous life at court. From lavish parties with more delicacies than she’s ever seen to rooms filled with candles lit only once before being discarded, Marie steps into a world entirely different from her home on the Boulevard du Temple, where people are selling their teeth in order to put food on the table.

Meanwhile, many resent the vast separation between rich and poor. In salons and caf√©s across Paris, people like Camille Desmoulins, Jean-Paul Marat, and Maximilien Robespierre are lashing out against the monarchy. Soon, there’s whispered talk of revolution. . . . Will Marie be able to hold on to both the love of her life and her friendship with the royal family as France approaches civil war? And more important, will she be able to fulfill the demands of powerful revolutionaries who ask that she make the death masks of beheaded aristocrats, some of whom she knows?

Spanning five years, from the budding revolution to the Reign of Terror, Madame Tussaud brings us into the world of an incredible heroine whose talent for wax modeling saved her life and preserved the faces of a vanished kingdom.


Buy the Book (Amazon/The Book Depository)

I'd like to start off by saying that while Madame Tussaud is not a YA novel, it's a book that can appeal to many teens (like me). My experience with historical fiction is limited, but I do have to say that Madame Tussaud is now one of my favorites.

It starts with the writing- so easy to read and matter of fact. There's never a pointless scene as in every page you learn a bit more about Marie and her world, from the Salon de Circe to Rose Bertin. It's not hard to get engrossed in the story and I often almost missed my stop when I read this book on the bus. (Seriously, that happened at least three times before I decided to stop reading on the bus.)

The story itself is very interesting. Marie is a strong woman that I easily liked and related to. She's had a really hard life and her strength always shined through. I was shocked at some of the events that took place in this novel. It's about the French revolution- something I don't know much about but I found that I learned a lot later on.

While the historical aspect of the novel was really strong, I didn't feel like it took precedence over the story. There was a masterful blend of history and fiction that made the little jumps of time feel more natural. I wasn't offset by the jumps of times (sometimes entire months passed by between chapters). At the same time, I feel like I learned a lot about the French revolution.

One of my favorite parts of the book were little passages from the actual revolution at the beginning and during the chapter. I thought it added authenticity and it reminded the reader that most of the events taking place were more or less true. I also did think a little about the characters and their motivations later on, which is always good. The more a book sticks with me, the better it is.

I'm really happy to have read this book. I kind of like that the main character, Marie, was older and not prone to all the insecurities teens usually have. I found that refreshing. There isn't much content that isn't appropriate for teens, except maybe that a lot of the stuff that happens is horrible so this isn't a light, fun read. The best compliment I can give this book is that after finishing it, I immediately decided to read every other historical fiction the author, Michelle Moran, has written.

Overall I enjoyed this book. There were many elements of it I liked, from the characters to the world, but in the end I liked it because it's the unique story of a real, strong woman and I think it's a memorable read. 4.5 stars,

**** & 1/2 *

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Where I've Been and What I've Learned

You may have noticed I was away for a while. It's because the screen of my computer cracked in January, and until now, May, I haven't had a fully functioning computer. (The horror!) I didn't do all I could to stay dedicated to my blog though, I'll admit that straight up. I could of tried to post weekly... even monthly. I didn't.

This post is just to update anyone on where I've been and what I learned. And you totally weren't expecting that, eh?


1. Discovering New Interests. 


Blogging is incredibly time consuming. All bloggers should have medals or something for being so awesome. It takes serious dedication and time to manage to post even every other day. Without being able to blog (and finding that I couldn't comment using Google Reader on my phone), I had to find new stuff to do. I got into sports a bit (but that's over now... *sobs*) and I did a bit of photography (though I still don't fully understand Instagram). I even tried to be a more active tweeter and wrote some articles for Teen Ink. Anyway, I experimented and ended up really enjoying some things. But I missed blogging. It's something I've always been proud of and it felt weird, but also relaxing, to just get away from it all.

Old red... 2

2. Healthy Expectations 

Last year I read over 300 books. That is a crazy amount and what's even crazier is that I thought I could do it again. You see, after a while I got picky. I'd read books because I had to and less because I wanted to. There were always so many books that it was overwhelming picking and choosing. This year, I'm lucky if I can get to 200. And that's okay, reading should never be a chore. I feel like my "vacation" stopped me from getting permanently burned out. 

Another expectation I had was to post every day. I really wanted to give my readers the best content I could, but it's hard. The more time on the blog, the less time reading. Less reading means less on the blog. I'm trying to temper my expectations now by creating a new goal. I'll post at least once every two days. It's more realistic for me, and from then I'll evaluate how it went.

3d text 1

3. It's JUST a blog


I know some people pour their lives into their blogs. That's great- but I can't do that. I'm in high school. I have a lot to do and I'm probably never going to give my blog everything I have. Reviews are important to me, but please forgive me if I can't get it done in time. Followers mean a lot, but I don't blog for followers, I do it for myself (though I absolutely love it when people comment). 

Page views and stats... I need to take a step back from that. Honestly, as long as someone comments I'm completely happy, but if they don't comment I don't need to be upset. I need to focus on content more than context, and at the end of the day blogging is just something I do for fun. Putting pressure on 'fun' is ridiculous, so I'm really, really going to try to take a step back and focus on me. 

Being a blogger is something really cool. I don't plan on giving that up any time soon. 



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