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Today is MINI BOOK REVIEW DAY!

Which is a day kind of like mini pizza day*, but, unfortunately, not as tasty in your mouth. I'm doing only mini reviews, instead of going the whole hog, because I wasn't particularly fussed on a lot of these books. I don't have copious thoughts about them! SO. I'll give you the low-down and you can decide whether to eat** or not.

Thank you Scholastic, Hardie Grant Egmont, and Hot Key Books for the review-copies!


* This isn't actually a blog thing yet, but it totally could be. I could eat pizza and then blog about it.
** It's lunchtime as I'm writing this and I'm freakishly hungry, okay?? Food is on my brain.



Followers by Anna Davies


Firstly, the blurb is wrong for this book. So don't read it too closely because...it just doesn't happen in the book. Secondly, where are the police?! I believe but who knows, maybe I'm completely wrong when there are suspicious, multiple deaths, the police should look into the case. BUT NO! There is not one cop asking questions in this whole book.  The attitude is "Oh, dead body? Clean up on aisle 12." THAT IS SO VERY WRONG AND NOT EVEN LOGICAL OR REALISTIC. 

Plus, after the first girl dies, no one even cares. NO ONE. They say, "Oh well, it was just her." Like, good thing it wasn't an important character. It made me kind of sick how complacent everyone was in the face of death. Is everyone a psychopaths? I think, yes.


This is how they talk about the dead girl: 
"Andi. Yes. That was unfortunate." (pg. 108)
Then there was Briana's psychotic parents. I believe her mother was just supposed to be a very pushy, animated person who was eager for her daughter to be an actress. But, I'm sorry, I think the mother was psychotic. (Although this was never ever fleshed out or addressed.) There was this scene:
description
I felt like I did when I was a kid and learning how to swim when my mom had pushed me into the water. I remember sputtering, trying to breathe, feeling the liquid all around me. I'd finally kicked my way to the surface when I felt two strong hands underneath my armpits. "What were you doing?" Dad had yelled angrily. "She needed to get out of her head," Mom had replied. "See, she's fine when she doesn't think."(pg. 166)

Mm..yes, your daughter is fine when she's drowning in a pool and not thinking. Should you be in a straight jacket, woman?



I was absolutely not okay with this book.  It wasn't scary. It wasn't well written. And frankly it was frustrating with contradictions and illogical events.


Wickedpedia by Chris Van Etten


Again, the blurb doesn't sum up what actually happens. That really bothers me, okay?! Blurbs aren't supposed to lie!  This one is actually grisly. Blood everywhere, style. Horrible? Yes. Scary? Not really. Most of the deaths were insanely random and unbelievable at times...and seriously gross. I wasn't impressed, but at least it was legitimately horror.

The term "death" still doesn't mean anything, though. 
Oh someone died? Eh. Who cares?

The killer? GUESSED IT.
My deducing skills are obviously amazing. I just have this knowledge of things. That or it was super obvious and that's a shame. I only have one question: aren't there people moderating Wikipedia so spammy pages can't exist? Maybe I'm wrong...but I always thought it was hard to write rubbish and not have it edited out. But what would I know? I'm a good person and wouldn't write lies on the internet. Also, tip for future reference: if you want to make a spammy user name, probably don't anagram your real name, okay?


Circus of the Unseen by Joanne Owen


If you're looking for a creepy circus book that won't traumatise you but will definitely make you shiver: here be it. The story was dark, but I felt the tone was quite placid and light that it could probably be an MG. (I searched for an actual age of Rosie, but couldn't find one. She felt 13??)

It's got all the trimmings of the freaky carnival. You know the drill...weird clowns, freaky witches, creepy children, death defying tricks. There are 3 parts. At the beginning of each is this snippet of a Polish fairy tale about Vasilia and her magical doll. I loved those bits. It felt like Cinderella, but with this magical/creepy doll doing all the work instead. 


It's an interesting book, but not very memorable. It feels like it followed the trail of any Creepy Circus Book. The Polish influences were awesome. The writing felt a little bland, and most of the side characters were actually more intriguing than the main-character, Rosie. But the cover? I LOVE IT. 




Paper Planes by Joanne Owen


This book is perfect for 10-12 year olds and is pretty educational about the Bosnia war in the 90s. I've read a LOT of Historical Fiction books aimed at this age category (I kind of grew up on them), so I wasn't opposed to reading a book that was "technically" too young for me. It was written very clearly and easily. 

My real problem was the narrator: Niko. The kid was 12, but he honestly felt 9 or 10 years old. What kind of 12 year old boy doesn't know what shrapnel or snipers are??! He seemed entirely clueless about everything. He was supposed to portray innocence, I get that, but I felt (for his age) he was too clueless. He was also a victim of the whole book. Niko does nothing that affects the future, like most kids' HF books I've read. (Like I Am David for instance or The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. They have active roles in their books.) He was a victim of circumstance the whole time and it was uninteresting. 

State of Grace by Hilary Badger

This was a really different book. It just took me a while to get with the flow. It's like The Program meets The Giver meets Searching for Sky. Instead of "dystopian" it's "utopian"...they're trying to make a perfect world. OKAY. COOL. But since it was all so heavily based on their religion (their god is "Dot") and weird phrases (like instead of "bad" they say "pregood") it took me the first 50% to even feel involved. 

The narrator, Wren, only ever talked about hooking up. ARGH. She literally had no other wish in life. Just happiness, swimming, and sex. I totally get what the book was doing, and I guess that definition (sex and swimming?) is happiness to some people. But I just got tired of Wren looking at every boy with two legs and thinking, "Maybe I'll hook up with him? No...maybe him!" 


But it was still a very interesting book with intensely thought-provoking concepts. How far would humans go to get happiness?

okay, my fantastic fishy friends, have you read any of these? thoughts? preferences? if you're at all interested in them, I still recommend checking them out! just because I didn't like it, doesn't mean YOU'LL agree with me. and 3 of these books are rather horror themed. since it's halloween for those who do it tell me: what makes a GOOD horror to you? do you prefer psychological or gory? and, the BIG question: do you like mini pizzas?

Cait feels bad for not particularly liking any of these books. She wants to like ALL THE BOOKS. But these ones particularly sunk her boat. She is currently (as you know already) thinking about lunch and sandwiches and also NaNo, which is in, like, 1 day. She is prepared, but November is looking to be a VERY busy month so...it's concerning. Currently, she's reading CITY OF LOST SOULS and thinks Jace needs a slap.

A delicious part of book blogging is looking forward to books.

Let's face it: books make our mouths water. And with 2014 wrapping up, our brains are straying to next year's YA releases and wondering what the trends will be.

Although my opinion on these things is (obviously) fabulous...I thought it'd be nice to swim through the blogosphere and ask other bookish bloggers what they think 2015's trends might be. They humoured me greatly. They are the nicest friends. And I accumulated a glorious post of our predictions!

The Opinion of Yours Truly:

I think 2015 is going to be the year Fairy Tale Retellings (which makes me insanely happy because retellings are my favourite). Sure I'm a teeny tiny bit worried they'll explode (like vampires) and everyone will write a retelling and we'll lose the quality...but for now? I'm enjoying it!

Movies definitely inspire people to read and, on the film front, we have Into The Woods and Pan and Disney's new Cinderella. Then coming from 2016 onwards is Pinocchio (played by RDJ!) and The Huntsman and Beauty (with Emma Watson).

But for the bookish front we have (of course) the retelling queen, Marissa Meyer, with Fairest and Winter. Then A.G. Howard's Alice in Wonderland retelling concludes with Ensnared. Danielle Paige brings us Dorothy Must Die #2 with The Wicked Will Rise. OH and let's not forget Rosamund Hodge's Crimson Bound! There's also A Wicked Thing (Sleeping Beauty) and Beast Charming. Phewf. Is that enough? WAIT LET'S SQUEEZE IN ONE MORE! How about Sarah J Maas' new retelling of Beauty and the Beast with A Court of Thorns and Roses?!! WHO IS EXCITED FOR THIS?


Amanda @ Book Badger

I'd think I could confidently say, based on what people have enjoyed in 2014, and the film adaptations that have come about within the last year, that there could be a surge in the amount of Mystery/Thriller novels next year. Looking at how well novels such as Don't Look BackDangerous Girls/Boys and Gone Girl have done within 2014 and the constant and need and want for more criminal based reads, I don't think it would be a far cry to expect novels like The Dead List by Jennifer L Armentrout and Liars Inc by Paula Stokes to do very well. I also think with the craze brought on from the ending of The Lunar Chronicles, that 2015 could prove a good year for retellings too, with Crimson BoundMechanicaA Wicked Thing and the start of Rick Riordans fourth mythology series, Magnus Chase and The Gods of Asgard, but to mention a few, and of course, the release of both Fairest and Winter by Marissa Meyer - it really shouldn't be surprising that other authors would jump onto a genre/sub-genre that has pleased an awful lot of readers lately. I, for one, am most interested in reading The Dead List and The Fill-In Boyfriend, as well as finishing The Lunar Chronicles and The Unknown Assassin series' and I hope I'm not let down.

Asti @ Oh, The Books!

So wait, Cait, I tell you I have these supernatural powers, that I can see into the future and know what is to come, and you waste my powers on this piddly task? For shame. ;)

In all seriousness, I think it can be somewhat hard to tell what exactly readers will want. Let’s face it, if it were something we could easily predict, then the publishing world wouldn’t be so difficult. (Or maybe it would be, because what if anyone start publishing the books we wanted but then we were so overwhelmed by all the choices within our desires and then ended up being turned off! WE JUST CAN’T WIN!)

While this isn’t a genre, I think the reading area that will be (or should be) hot in 2015 is VILLAINS! Personally, I find it fascinating when we are able to see the villain’s point of view in a story. To understand why he or she is motivated to do such horrible things in the world and if there is ever a chance for redemption is a really intriguing thing, and I think with so many horrible things happening in the world daily there is a certain desire I think to understand why people fall into such desperation situations. Plus you have movies like Maleficient and books like The Young Elites and Vicious, which have received great interest from readers proving there is a desire for this type of story.

That all being said, I am sure you can guess which book I am most excited to read in 2015 – Fairest by Marissa Meyer, the “bridge book” between Cress and Winter in the Lunar Chronicles where we get to see Queen Levana’s side of the story. I haven’t actually read Cress yet, but I plan on doing so soon because I want to read Fairest as soon as it comes out! 


Kelly @ Diva Booknerd

Personally, I think magic realism will be one of the main genres in young adult next year. In the past few months we're seeing a trend of authors mixing generic teen contemporaries and fantasy, which doesn't always result in a compelling read. Overall, I'm not a fan of the genre, and I'd prefer to see apocalyptic make a comeback. Not necessary dystopians, but natural disasters that show characters fighting to survive. And more standalone novels, because sometimes I don't want to invest in an entire series that could have been wrapped up within one book.
The books I'm most excited for are Conspiracy of Blood and SmokeThe Winner's Crime and most importantly Ensnared. Because honestly, who doesn't need more Morpheus in their life.



Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

To be honest, I think fantasy will be a popular genre come 2015. After the success of series such as Throne of Glass and Shadow and Bone, I have a feeling that authors will find this to be a "go-to" genre in terms of marketing.
And only one or two?!? GAH! THAT'S SO HARD! *thinks deeply* I'm going to have to go with Winter by Marissa Meyer and the untitled 3rd book in the Starbound trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner.

Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

So I've seen a few different YA genres rise and fall over the past few years, it's amazing how short lived they usually are. First it was paranomal with the VA and Twilight craze, then paranormal books became boring and substandard. Then we saw the dystopian trend rise up after The Hunger Games, with many, many clones of it in it's wake. 2014 was the year of contemporary, I can't count how many different contemporary books I've read this year. From the heart-wrenching, to the light and funny, to the meaningful and thought provoking, it was a great year of YA contemporaries. On the wake of These Broken Stars, the Lunar Chronicles series, Dissonance and A Thousand Pieces of You, I can see YA sci-fi being the next big thing! Which is awesome, because it combines some amazing technological concepts with futuristic worlds. 

I just CANNOT WAIT until WINTER is out by Marissa Meyer! I mean this series is the best fairytale based sci-fi story I've ever read. I ship most of the couples in here too, especially my favourite Cinder and Kai. 


Jen @ The Starry-Eyed Revue

Retellings have always been a thing, but it does seem like they're gaining momentum here lately, and I anticipate that we're going to see even more of them in the coming year. I've already added several to my TBR: two from Marissa Meyer -Fairest and WinterA Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge, and A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas.

I also think criminals and crime families are going to be an oft-seen trend in YA lit in 2015, one I'm delighted about, if I'm being completely honest. After loving The Curse Workers series by Holly Black, I've been hoping for similar stories to see the light of day, and it's like someone heard my prayers...just look at all of the new crime-related stories arriving next year: Liars, Inc. by Paula Stokes, All Fall Down by Ally Carter, Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt, and Lies I Told by Michelle Zink.

I really hope this influx of historical fantasies continues, as well. You know the ones: set in a historical backdrop but steeped in fantastical elements. One such that I'm REALLY looking forward to is An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. I would do unspeakable things to get my hands on a copy of that book right now. =)

Charnell @ Reviews From a Bookworm

I think contemporary YA will be on the rise, which seems silly because how could it get even bigger than it is now. But with the success of the TFIOS adaptation, we're beginning to see more YA contemporaries turned into films. That's always good for the book genre because those books begin to sell like crazy and then publishers are looking for the next big thing in contemporary. So I would put my money on contemporaries being the biggest thing next year. I'm excited for the release of All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven because, even though I've already read and loved it, I can't wait for everyone else to get to read and experience it. They need to feel the joy and pain too. The other genre I hope to see on the rise is YA fantasy, which I definitely feel will be the case next year. I might be basing that solely on the fact Sarah J. Maas has not one but two books releases next year. And, to me at least, she is the YA fantasy author. 

Releases I am most excited for: Throne of Glass #4, A Court of Thorns and Roses and All the Bright Places

Haymitch (and coincidentally, me too) approve of EVERYONE.

Thank you so incredibly much to all the bloggers and their fabulous opinions!

I love this post. (Just sayin'. I do.) But you know what I also would like? YOUR OPINION. I want to know your predictions, blogglings...and also want to know your verdict on ours. A lot of us are hedging bets on Marissa Meyer bringing retellings to shine in 2015...but we're also voting on crime and contemporary quite a lot too.

So your opinions on trends for 2015? Comments! LET US DISCUSS.

Oh, my marvellous blogglings, do I have a treat for you today! Firstly, we get to chat with an author (yes, cue fangirling...an author!!!) and secondly you get my fantastic thoughts on her book -- and wait! it's not all! -- then there is a giveaway!

Calm down, yes, calm down. We can get through this together without screaming our heads off. Are you ready?

Let's do this. I'm excited!

Interview with the author, Rachael Craw!

Rachael Craw: reader, dreamer, joker, singer, believer, writer and lover of words.

I grew up in Christchurch, New Zealand, studied Classical Studies and Drama, became an English teacher and dabbled in acting. I even auditioned for Shortland Street. Spark is my debut YA sci-fi/crossover novel, the first in a trilogy being published by Walker Books Australia.



What was the process behind coming up with the title for Spark?

RachaelOh boy, I love this question. I don't think anyone has asked me that in an interview before! Good one, Cait!

Way, way back 5.5 years ago, my first saved document for the manuscript was titled 'Borders' because much of the story is about crossing/transitioning from one state of being to another. The synthetic gene lurking in Evie's DNA is activated and she goes from being a regular girl to a human 'Shield', a crossing over and she can never go back. Also one of the important landmarks in the story (both physically and symbolically) is the 'Border River'. I toyed with another title: 'Beside the Border River' but felt it sounded too much like a romance novel and while there is a romantic thread through the story it isn't the main point and I wanted something edgy that would give a hint of the sci-fi element. 

Then the title changed to The Keeper - that's what I originally called Shields. So, The Keeper lasted for about 4 years until Walker Books Australia picked it up and the rather brilliant marketing team suggested this term/title was a little over used and tired sounding. I agreed. As I started brain storming for a new title it inspired my desire to change the names of all the genetically engineered roles. Keepers, Seekers and Triggers became Shields, Strays and Sparks. 'Spark' became the official title and I love it because it indicates the chief thread of the storyline, saving Kitty and it also suggests a beginning, the ignition of the story and also the spark of first love.

Ooh, it certainly went through a few name changes, eh?! I LOVE Spark! It's so powerful. Do you have a favourite quote from Spark you can share with us?

RachaelWowsers, Cait! Another fantastic question I have never been asked before! I have a couple. Probably this one (part of it appears on the back cover blurb):


...I want to cry for him, for me, for the loss of innocence that comes with the blood in our veins. Killers by design. "You think God has a loophole for people who don't have a choice?""Hope so," Jamie says. "Otherwise we're screwed."


Yay, I'm glad you like my questions! So can you tell us a little about how you went from finished manuscript to book deal?

RachaelI suppose there were 4 steps over 4 years. I wrote a first draft that was longer than the bible. Seriously. It was the most wandering, bloated beast of a thing over 150,000 words. Next step was finding some professional help. I had the MS professionally assessed through TFS (Total Fiction Services). Barbara Else (author of The Tales of Fontania series) gave me lots of good feedback highlighting strengths, problems and advice plus a great list of books on writing. I reworked the MS and had 2 more assessments with Barbara and then had a year of mentoring with Chris Else (Author of River Road and other novels). We worked through the MS every word, every page from Feb-Nov. At the end of this process Barbara and Chris offered to represent me as Literary Agents. It took about a year. I had one no and then a beautiful big YES from WBA. <cue happy dance>

I shall happy dance with you!! I'm still so gobsmacked by the brilliant twist at the end! Did you know how you wanted the finale to work straight away? Or did it come to you as you wrote?

RachaelThis is so tricky to answer without dropping spoilers. First, thank you! I'm so pleased you enjoyed the twist. Amy Daoud, who designed the gorgeous cover for Spark, told me she shrieked and threw the book across the room when she hit that part of the story and let out an almighty WTF! LOL! So, it's certainly had a powerful reaction. Yes I knew I wanted those things to happen from the get go and it was very hard for me to tell if I had provided enough scaffolding for the reader to accept the outcome without making it all super obvious. I wanted it to be a big surprise and then for the reader to look back and say, yeah, that makes sense. Thankfully I had a great editor who was able to reflect back to me and help me keep perspective

Oh you got the balance perfectly. What's your favourite part of the writing process? Drafting, rewriting, editing...eating chocolate, etc.?

RachaelI love the thrill of writing fresh, first draft rush, sitting at the laptop with no clue what's going to come tumbling out on the page (I'm a pantser). However, I also love the craftsmanship element, the hard work of finding the best combination of words for the perfect image. I get pretty obsessed and I love wallowing in it.

I absolutely love how approachable (and fabulous!) you are on twitter. What are your views on hanging out with your readers? Do you worry about criticism or accidentally reading negative reviews?

RachaelI'm naturally a social media creature so there is no 'effort' or 'work' involved in hanging out on Twitter/FB. I love it. It's fun. I would love to be super cool and claim I never read reviews or don't care when someone writes a negative review but that would be a big fat lie. I read it all. I am stoked when people love my work and disappointed when they don't. However, I also completely understand that everybody brings their own filters, sensitivities, issues to the reading of a text and that not everybody will 'get' where I'm coming from. I bounce back pretty quick after criticism and for the most part people have been tremendously kind and positive about Spark.

Can we beeeeg any news about the sequel(s)?!

RachaelStray continues the story close after the finish of Spark. It is still told from Evie's POV and focuses on a dilemma that sets her at odds with the Affinity Project and places her relationship with Jamie under tremendous strain. A significant part of the action takes place in the Affinity compound and you get a close up look at the workings of the organisation and you met several new colourful characters Evie must learn to work with. It is a much darker story and a lot heavier on the sci-fi. OMGosh just talking about it makes me nervous! lol

I AM SO EXCITED FOR IT. Okay, and last question! Since Spark has a superhuman flair, can you make a (terribly difficult) decision and tell us your favourite Marvel Avenger?

RachaelOh crumbs that is such a mean question!! How on earth can I choose? I am a huge Avengers fan and a devotee of Joss Whedon. In the movie I lean towards Tony Stark (Ironman) and love his relationship with Bruce Banner (Hulk) but my eyeballs love Thor.

I am an Iron Man sort of person myself too! Thank you so much for chatting with us, Rachael! It's been awesome!


RachaelThanks SOOOO much Cait for reviewing Spark and giving time and space on your blog to promote it! I so appreciate it.

Here Are My Glorious Thoughts Upon The Book

Evie doesn’t have a choice.
One day she’s an ordinary seventeen year old, grieving for her mother. The next, she’s a Shield, the result of a decades-old experiment gone wrong, bound by DNA to defend her best friend from an unknown killer.
The threat could come at home, at school, anywhere. All Evie knows is that it will be a fight to the death.
And then there’s Jamie. irresistible. off-limits.

I really loved this book and I have 2 very large opinions about it.

Opinion #1: It balanced delicately on the verge of superhero stereotypes...but....
Opinion #2: It had a GLORIOUS AND BRILLIANT plot twist that exploded my mind and made me tackle hug the entire 450-pages and promise to read all sequels forever and ever amen. 


It's basically a superhero story.


I love superheroes! I do! Spark followed this concept of 3 types of people with modified DNA: type #1 wanted to kill people, type #2 needed protecting from the killers, and type #3 were the protectors. Awesome, right? I loved that. 

The characters were fabulous! It's narrated by Evie who has to protect her BFF, Kitty. Kitty has a twin brother called Jamie who is hot (of cousre). Evie and Jamie had a "thing" when they were younger, but it rekindles when the story takes off. I liked Evie and Jamie's relationship and the smushy scenes were balanced with the kick-your-butt-to-the-other-side-of-the-planet scenes. Although Kitty took a backseat the whole time. I'm sad. I like it when best-friends take the front row. And Evie sure fainted a lot. Regular wilting daisy.



My only frustration came at the huge emphasis on physical beauty.

When Evie gets her powers, she basically turns "beautiful" by shallow standards. She grows to supermodel height, grows massive boobs, and (with a few weeks training) turns athletically gorgeous. Um...okay then. This bothered me because it was really emphasised. All the people with powers were BEAUTIFUL. By these standards. I thought, in today's modern era, we'd be embracing different forms of beauty. 

But let's not forget the explosion of AWESOME at the end.

I did not see that plot twist coming and it built into something that clearly will be explored in the sequel. I'm excited! Bring it onnnnnn.


Giveaway!

- Australian only!
- Prizes sent directly from Walker Books
- You totally have to strike a superhero pose before entering. I'm just sayin'. You do.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Book blogging can be extremely boring if no one reads your posts.

Especially if your reasons for blogging are a) discuss books with other likeminded worms*, b) make friends to flail over books with, and c) want to be famous.**

You need to connect with people. 

That's where social media comes in handy.


* I say "worms" instead of "bookworms" because it's easier and I'm definitely an efficient person. Plus I want to call people worms and get away with it.
** No shame, friend, no shame.

There are many social media sites that are useful for book blogging. 

Facebook. Pinterest. Goodreads. Google+. Bloglovin'. Twitter. Instagram. Phewf. It can get a little exhausting. And different people like different sites, so if you want to hook them ALL into your glorious blog: YOU MUST DO THEM ALL!

Do you? Really?

Not to be Rip Van Winkle or anything, but I like to sleep occasionally and I don't physically have time to maintain all the social media sites. I also don't want to.

When I started blogging seriously (about a year ago...before that I mainly loafed) I signed up to all the things and proceeded to maintain them. After all, the tips for "how to increase your blog audience" said to. After doing it all, I humbly disagree. Yes, they do increase your blog audience, but there's more to that story (which could be a whole post, actually).

When donning your One Ring To Rule Them All through social media, I think the key is to pick a few outlets and maintain them consistently. 


Now you definitely want to know what I do, don't you? Of course. And I'm always happy to please my little blogglings.

Twitter is my favourite way to promote my blog. Although I usually forget to tweet my links...

So how does that make twitter a good blog promo?!

Hopefully: entertainment. I like to tweet funny things. I like to tweet about my fandoms, what I'm researching (like, you know, brain surgery), which superhero is best, random life thoughts, and how passionate I am about a book I'm reading.

If people know me and think I tweet interesting things in 140 characters, they're more likely to click on my blog posts!









Facebook is one I don't use anymore. Yes, we're on there, but I haven't updated it in a year. When my "pageviews" were around 12 people per post? I mean...what is the point?!! Facebook messes with the stats too much and I got too angry. BUT. The page is there if I want to revive it.

This is how mean facebook is to me, despite having 100+ likers.

Pinterest is amazing. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. And, while I'm an insane fan and have 3,300 followers...I don't actually use Pinterest for my blog. I might pin a post of mine once a month? If that. There is, however, a direct link to my blog in my pinterest profile. Very important. Always do that.

So I suck at promoting my blog through pinterest...but still. I have done literally nothing on there but pin for my book ideas and KABOOM. Followers.


Goodreads is LIFE. I cannot even begin to sum up how much I love goodreads. (I pick it over facebook any time, because there are less people posting annoying things...and all anyone wants to talk about is BOOKS. It's heaven.)

Again, I don't actively post links to my blog in my goodreads reviews, but my profile has all my updated blog information and direct links. I have 700 friends. I know a lot of people don't like a lot of goodreads friends...but I figure if my reviews show up when they look for a book? That's positive! And gosh, I only post reviews every second day. (I read a lot, okay?!)


Bloglovin' is my number #1 source of followers now, with 800+! It took me a while to sign up to it...but I'm extremely glad I took the plunge.

If you're not familiar with bloglovin'. It's basically a blog-feed site, to replace Google Reader (which was rumoured to close down at one stage). You can follow ANY blog/website through it! It's awesome to smush wordpress and bloggers together because bloglovin' doesn't discriminate between the two.


I'm very new to Instagram! I like it a lot, but I often forget to update it (probably because I'm still very new). I have nearly 250 followers but don't have a lot of interaction with the comments yet (again: I'm new). My profile has a link to my blog, but because it's designed for a phone, it's incredibly hard to leave links just anywhere. Which actually makes finding people's blogs through instagram HARD. But whatever. It's fun.

Out of all the social media sites, I use...um...3 properly. 

Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads are ALL I use for my blog. So I am not a social media queen. I am not an expert. But, I:

a) have fun
b) am doing okay

Maybe I would do better if I utilised facebook and pinterest properly, and added in tumblr and booklikes and google+. BUT I DON'T BECAUSE I ONLY HAVE ONE BRAIN. And this brain doesn't like to be stretched all over the place.


I don't think we should feel pressured to upkeep ALL the sites.

Be consistent. Have fun. And don't just promote. Those are my top tips. Promotion is what it's there for, but I think people are more likely to click on your links if they think you are a) interesting, b) prone to be surprising, and c) fabulous. Be fabulous. It will solve all your problems.

okay, peoples, your turns! which social-media sites do you upkeep? which ones do you prefer? and (let's be honest) which ones do you suck at? for me, it's absolutely facebook. i never remembered to link to it even when I was trying to use it. do you have any advice about using social-media efficiently/properly/fabulously? 

Cait has made the executive decision to take this week off writing and read up before NaNo begins. Her TBR is huge. If she lets it fester by itself, it may fall and kill innocent bystanders (like herself). She's going to tackle The Spook's Apprentice next and perhaps The Death Cure. And some Roald Dahl. She is not too old for Roald Dahl. 

I hereby decree it: City of Flails Weekend!

There are copious reasons for this including a) Sarah J Maas cover reveal ajdfkalsdfa!!!! b) Age of Ultron, and lastly c) my ownership of many City of Awesome books. I am a huge Cassandra Clare fan. I know, I knooow...her series was so 5 years ago. But I'm catching up, okay? I am a wild, wild fan.

[Made For You - thanks HarperCollins!]
[Circus of the Unseen - thanks Hot Key Books!]
[Spark - thanks Walker Books!]
[City of Bones - City of Ashes - City of Glass - which I am squeaking over because I got 3 of them as a box set for $5 at a garage sale!* My collection is now only missing one book!!]
[City of Heavenly Fire - thanks Walker Books again!]

After I ate the library last week, I'm being conservative. (I have already read the first 3 Cassandra Clare books but I have delicious rereading to look forward to one day. You know. When I've caught up with the millions of books of the world and have time to reread. HA HA HA.)


* Being a handy translator, as I am, I believe Americans refer to garage sales as "Yard Sales". Or "car boot" sales? Or "jumble sales"??! I don't even know. 

What happened this week?

Monday: I spill aaall about my NaNoWriMo novel. It involves ghosts and coffee shops.
Tuesday: I reviewed The Sky So Heavy and told you all with my apocalypse survival plan.
Wednesday: Here are 10 series I want to start...mostly because of their gorgeous covers.
Friday: I have ALL the tips for you to write 10,000-words in just one day this NaNo!
Saturday: I wasn't so fussed on Conjured...but it was creepy.


These Are The Books I Ate:


The Discworld Graphic Novels: I was scared to try Terry Pratchett...so I took the picture book option. It was awesome. [4-stars]
Second Star: I love Peter Pan. That is all. [4-stars] 
Spark: Superheroes done right...and I also may have a super secret awesome surprise concerning this book coming soon. [4-stars]
The Ghosts of Heaven: Well. I did not get this at all. But it's pretty to look at. [3-stars]
Circus of the Unseen: Um. Creepy but cliche. Bit of a fail for me. [3-stars]
City of Fallen Angels: WELL THIS WAS THE BEST CASSANDRA CLARE BOOK YET. I HAVE FEELS FOR THESE ADORABLE SHADOWHUNTERS. [5-stars]
The Intern: It's like a paperback chick-flick movie, including Catastrophic Coffee Spill. [3-stars]


Also, I would like to point out that a) I read very diversely across the genres yes I am fabulous, and b) I'm preparing the creative juices for NaNo! And also don't want to be...flattened by my TBR.
This is basically me all of October. PREPARATION. 

Elsewhere, other bloggers made glorious creations.

Emily @ The Loony Teen Writer is celebrating her 2nd bloggy birthday! Showers her with cake and confetti.
Kelley @ Oh The Books asks if you keep your blogging and internet life separate?
Sophie @ Ravens and Writing Desks recaps meeting awesome authors. Which makes me sufficiently jealous! 
Jeann @ Happy Indulgence talks about accepting when people don't like your favourite book.

Also. Did You Hear? The Internet Exploded.

Many many things went down this week on the internet. Some glorious. Some shockingly painful. 

You've probably heard of the Author-Kathleen-Hale-Stalks-And-Harasses-Blogger debacle, haven't you? It took me a while to catch on because noooo one would link to the article! FAIR ENOUGH. It doesn't deserve more pageviews. But if you're super curious, you can read the article here.  I'm absolutely sickened by the whole thing and will not be supporting the author. Um...ever. If you want to read some response articles, I recommend:

Amanda @ Book Badger lists all the laws Kathleen Hale broke.
Amanda @ Elfswood went through the article really logically (I admire this!) and I loved her thoughts as well.
Nichole @ YA Reads posted her side of the story...she got caught in the middle.

But there are happier things that also exploded the internet...

HYDRA LEAKED THE AGE OF ULTRON TRAILER!!!! IT'S OKAY. WE CAN FLAIL ON THIS AND FOR ONCE NOT HATE HYDRA. It is so so brilliant I'm just going to shriek, okay?


And Sarah J Maas' new series, A Court of Thorn and Roses (it's a Beauty and the Beast retelling!) had it's cover revealed. IT IS GORGEOUS BEYOND BELIEF. And we have to wait until May to read it...such pain. Such agony.


And Lauren DeStephano is my new hero after this tweet:


I'm linking up with these memes: Because they're awesome.

The Sunday Post

so, phewf. exciting week, huh? what do you think about the fiasco with an author stalking a blogger? and WHAT ABOUT THE AVENGERS 2 TRAILER?!! flail with me, blogglings! oh and tell me what series you're crazy about at the moment??