odds and ends: starting a book blog?

Hi! Finally cleared my blog email inbox today, and I found 2 really sweet emails from you guys!! *does awkward happy dance* I’ll be embarrassed to admit the number of times I read and reread them. Blogging can be an emotionally draining hobby, it’s the people (and arguably, books) who motivate me to keep writing, thank you so much Zoe and Sharni ♥

There was a question about starting a book blog, which I’ll respond to on the blog, hope it helps!

I have just started a blog and to be honest, I have NO idea what I am doing. I started it through my Google account. Anyway, I don’t know how to get my blog out into the world. You seem to be doing really well, and I thought you might have some tips. Should I do a Google blog? Or is there another way better? I started it because, as you, I love books and I would love to talk about them. I hope you can give me a few pointers. – Sharni

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5 (impossible) reading positions

my daily battle with a book

I’d LOVE to be reading all the time, but my body can’t take it. After 30 minutes, my back feels sore, my arms get lazy and my eyes are definitely not focusing no matter HOW I sit. I twist and turn and end up attempting acrobatics with a book in my face.

In most cases, I put the book down to do something else like stretch or take a walk. BUT. There’s always a but. The real test came when I read The Lightning Thief. UMM NO WAY I’M PUTTING THAT DOWN!! I tried reading on my bed, on my chair, on the sofa, on the floor… I got desperate and thought irritably at my sore back, “How does anyone read comfortably with class??

I HAVE BEEN FOOLED INTO THINKING IT’S POSSIBLE:

1. reading, walking, and holding the book on one hand while looking like a keira knightley goddess

I used to be able to read while walking when I was younger (and had heightened senses). Now, I knock into people, trip over myself and get motion sickness all before finishing one sentence. Plus, people shoot weird judgmental looks when they see a girl too engrossed in reading to bother about walking properly.

2. flipping through a book effortlessly on the long, dreadful journey to school

I’ve tried this before, and it mostly worked except some problems:

  • I can’t look effortlessly good on the bus to school, let’s be honest. It’s 7am in the morning, there’s the prospect of school for the next 7 hours, and I’m on a bus that bounces and swerves and jerks.
  • I get motion sick (i.e. I try to hold back puke while reading).
  • I ONCE MISSED THE STOP BECAUSE I WAS TOO CAUGHT UP READING =P

3. stay in the same comfy position… and will your bookshelf to magically fill itself!

This one would be such fun! At least scientists can work on the quantum tunneling of books while I seek the mythical “one comfy position” that will last me for hours.

4. exercise + reading = double win

Multitasking is a must! My mom nags at me to “get out of the house” and “move more” whenever she sees me holed up with a book. I hear audiobooks help people to listen to books when doing chores… or maybe it’s really time to sign up for a hot yoga class.

5. shoot death glares like hermione granger at people who try to interrupt my reading 

Including this because hermione granger.

Do you ever feel like it’s impossible to keep to one reading position especially for long hours? I’d love to know how you look classy when you read… Or is it even worth trying!

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hot sun blue waves ☀ broken hearts, fences and other things to mend by katie finn

brokenhearts-katiefinnPublished: May 13th 2014 by Feiwel & Friends
Genre & Keywords: Contemporary
Other Books From Author: Top 8 series

Amazon | Goodreads | @katiefinnwrites |

So, this was not how the summer was supposed to go. Like, at ALL. Gemma was supposed to be with her boyfriend, Teddy, on their volunteering trip in Colombia- spending days helping people and nights walking along the beach. But then, out of nowhere, Teddy broke up with her in the gardening aisle of Target. Devastated and discombobulated, Gemma’s life took a sharp turn and she finds herself back in Hamptons after a five-year absence. Being there puts her at risk of bumping into Hallie, her former best friends (that is, before Gemma ruined her life). But people don’t hold grudges forever. Do they?

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Whether you’re taking a road trip, laying out on the beach, or simply chilling at home for the (remaining) summer, Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend is a fun book to cozy with. It’s got the warm sunshine, cute kisses and great bursts of energy associated with enjoying summer by the beach. The Hamptons setting is perfect + there’s ice cream! The characters are amusing, and I’d find a new reason to love them all as a new chapter goes by. Well maybe not so much for Gemma. Oh Gemma.

This book is basically about Gemma acting like an ignorant 11 year old which can be nettling. Hey girl, everyone can guess that big “plot twist” staring you right in the face, what are you doing?! Despite her pinheaded tendencies, I gradually warmed up to her. Can’t fault a girl for being too sanguine, can I? Amid the vast sea of kickass heroines who are too smart to make mistakes, Gemma is endearing precisely for her cluelessness – reminiscent of Becca from the Shopaholics series.

As you can probably guess by now,  Broken Hearts is junk food like how tumblr is junk food. That’s to say even though the plot itself is predictable and chick flick teen-dramaesque, I can’t resist.

Have you read this one? What did you think? I know this is can be a hit-or-miss for many, so if you haven’t read it, does this book feel like something you’d be into? I’d love to hear your thoughts (*^▽^*)

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once upon a time ❂ daughter of smoke & bone by laini taylor

dosab-lainitaylorPublished: September 27th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre & Keywords: Fantasy
Other Books From Author: Days of Blood and Starlight (BOOK 2), Dreams of Gods and Monsters (BOOK 3), Dreamdark series, Goblin Fruit, Spicy Little Curses

Amazon | Goodreads | @lainitaylor |

Blue-haired orphan, Karou, doesn’t know where she comes from. On the one hand, she’s a 17 year old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature in ‘Elsewhere’, Brimstone, the closest thing she has to family. She has never understood Brimstone’s dark work – buying teeth from hunters and murderers – nor how she came into his keeping. Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought.

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Reading a fantasy novel is unlike reading a contemporary. You can’t simply exclaim, “YAY let me pick up this book and read for 10 minutes!!” It takes a truckload of patience to understand a world different from where we are now but you HAVE TO GIVE IT A CHANCE. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a fantastic story once you get used to it. Laini Taylor went to great depths in crafting and weaving the ancients lore into the story so by the time everything clicked in the story, I was utterly blown away. Laini’s lush prose is hauntingly beautiful and perfect in enveloping this tragic love story. I’m a sucker for gorgeous prose.

To be fair, many things about this book is pretty weird, especially Karou’s family of chimaera, yet these half-creatures felt more human to me. Beneath their grotesque appearance is a family I wish I could have known better. Same can be said about Akiva & Karou’s relationship. Yes, it’s considered insta-love. Yes, it’s not-quite-right. The thing is: here is a love story bigger than 2 people. They are the figurehead of an unending war with no choice of their own. Even if the romance may not have been the greatest, I totally bought the tragedy.

Karou is a confident young lady who draws the most imaginative and otherworldly things, but she doesn’t have a core purpose in this story. I closed one eye this time in favour of the extra time spent developing the nuances of this world, which I enjoyed far more than I had expected to!

Have you read this? Did you like it? I LOVE all the DoSaB fanart :) I’d love to hear your thoughts (*^▽^*)

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only if the other person is cricket ★ lola and the boy next door by stephanie perkins

lola-perkinsPublished: September 29th 2011 by Dutton
Genre & Keywords: FUZZY CUTENESS
Other Books From AuthorAnna and the French Kiss (Book 1), Isla and the Happily Ever After (Book 3)

Amazon | Goodreads | @naturallysteph | graphics source |

Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighbourhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

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Picture this: You are walking down the school corridor right next to your crush. Remember those crushes? The boy you were obsessed with but never confessed your love to? Imagine yourself walking beside that special someone, trying to act natural when really your heart is beating TOO LOUD TOO FAST. And then just by coincidence, his hand brushes softly against yours.

Now bottle that feeling, and put it into a book. There. That’s Lola and the Boy Next Door.

Ladies and gentlemen, here before your eyes is fluffy YA contemporary at its best. Am I even worthy to talk about Lola like we are equals?! Seriously if Lola were a person and we ever met, this is how it would go:

Lola and the Boy Next Door: *smiles gorgeously*

Me: OMG ASDFGHJKL; TOO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After finishing the Stephanie Perkins series, I can safely say that Lola will always remain my irrevocable favourite. Among all 3, my love for the characters in this book crushes everything in its path– quirky, independent Lola, adorable dads who open a bakery (DROOOLS), a real BFF, and Cricket Graham Bell.

“So do you believe in second chances?” I bite my lip.
“Second, third, fourth. Whatever it takes. However long it takes. If the person is right,” he adds.
“If the person is… Lola?”
This time, he holds my gaze. “Only if the other person is Cricket.”

Now I know I have Stephanie Perkins to blame for my impossibly high standards for boys. Guys, I LOVE CRICKET BELL. He is awkward, geeky, and—this word has never been more appropriate—completely adorkable. It’s painfully obvious he’s desperately in love with Lola, but he respects she has a boyfriend. He’s sunshine. He’s simple. He’s good. He’s sweet and funny, and kind. He’s as quirky in his own ways as Lola is in hers.

Swooning aside, I think the coolest thing about Lola and Cricket is that they aren’t perfect. In fact, Lola’s quite often a mess. She makes mistakes, and she hurts the people around her. She lies—often—but she’s not malicious. She’s sweet, bubbly, caring, and she’s completely herself. So when both her and St. Clair find themselves in the position of “cheating”, I could sympathize with Lola more.

There are some people in life that you can’t get over.

What do you think? Are your feels similar or different from mine? If you were so-so about Anna and considering *maybe* reading this, you have my thumbs up. I’d love to hear your thoughts (*^▽^*)

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