I am back with another “asking bookstagram” post! Last month I did one and it was actually quite successful and people loved the idea so I want to keep this going as a monthly thing!
I just love to be able to mix the platforms. I love bookstagram so much and I also love writing this blog so this is the perfect way to mix the things I like! Also, I love to hear everyone’s thoughts on things!
This time I asked all my followers on Instagram……..
“What is your favourite romance/ contemporary romance and why?“
I figured I would start off by naming my top 3 fav books in these categories!
Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane
Josh and Hazels Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
The Little Bookshop of Love Stories by Jaimie Admans
“My recent favorite us lie to me by Natasha Preston because it’s so genuine. It’s funny. It’s clever. And witty. But it’s also deep, sincere, and rational. It’s mysterious and suspenseful. It’s sexy and steamy. It has everything I could ever want in a romance and it was so hard to keep away from. I was buddy reading it. Couple chapters a week and I read ahead twice because I couldn’t stop. I finished it in tears. I’ve read many good and even great romances, but I feel like even though I just finished it, its definitely one ill recommend and remember for a long time! The writing is amazing and the characters were so likable.”
So, I saw this post on the goodreads blog the other day which was talking about The Hunger Games and how that book was a real starting point to how popular those types of books have become. They then go to list some of the MOST popular YA dystopia series since The Hunger Games. The link to the posts is here if you want to check it out!
Now – I LOVE good YA book and have always been a fan of YA Dystopia books. Of course, like many of you, I read The Hunger Games and was just amazed by it, loved it, fan girled over it. I agree that The Hunger Games was a turning point for this genre of books!!
I looked at the list the Goodreads blog listed as most popular YA Dystopia series from the last 10 years and, well….. I don’t totally agree? I mean they went off ratings from Goodreads so I suppose I may be an unpopular opinion? I am going to go through the list and name the ones I agree with first:
The Maze Runner
So – here we are. I totally agree with these ones. I have either read them or seen them everywhere. Also, not that this totally matters, but Divergent and The Maze Runner were made into movies….. again, not like that proves popularity or anything but I think it shows any overall interest in the stories!
The ones I did not really agree with/ haven’t heard much about (so could be wrong about):
The Darkest Minds
Under the Never Sky
Blood Red Road
Please don’t hate me if I just said your most favorite book is not popular 😂 I am simply saying that I don’t totally agree that they are the TOP MOST POPULAR YA Dystopia books for the last DECADE. I think they are probably popular and maybe even great books – I just don’t see it. Please enlighten me on these books if they are super good though because I love new books!!
Now, here I go throwing my opinion all over the internet. I am going to share some YA Dystopia books from the last 10 years that I think would be good fits on this list. Again, this is just me giving my opinion, but its what I think 🤷♀️
The Selection -Kiera Cass
Gone – Michael Grant
The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey
Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard
Reboot – Amy Tintera
The Eye of Minds – James Dashner
What do you guys think? Do you think the goodreads blog was right picking those ones? Are there others I didn’t mention that would be better fit? Chat with me in the comments 😊
Goodreads is currently celebrating the best mysteries and thrillers! I read through a lot of their articles and looked at the book recs. I thought one article in particular was interesting! They broke it down into the different mystery/thriller tropes that are popular like amnesia, the locked room, etc.
I found that really only one of their listed tropes was one I really enjoy – the inheritance trope. I love a good mystery or thriller about a mystery family member leaving a large inheritance to the character. The character always finds out something crazy about the family member and starts to piece together a mystery that goes back generations! Love those ones! I find I like those tropes in scary movies as well.
However, I feel like I like so many others that the goodreads article didn’t mention which got me thinking about it. What do I like? I started looking though all my books and seeing which ones I liked vs. didn’t like and WHY!
So this is what I came up with + some recommendations 😊
Sherlock Retelling Mystery
So these may be the all time favorite types of mysteries. I love a good mystery and I just really gravitate towards Sherlock style mysteries. I think maybe this is because I like the fast paced, kind of eccentric detective. I love how Sherlock does deductions about everything and is so genius when it comes to solving mysteries!! The books below are all retellings and have so many of those amazing Sherlock aspects to them 🔎
A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes #1) by Brittany Cavallaro
Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1)by Maureen Johnson
A Study in Scarlet Women (Lady Sherlock #1) by Sherry Thomas
I LOVE historical fiction so it would only make sense that I really like mysteries that are set in some time in history! When it comes to these types of mysteries I find myself reading more women led stories. I really enjoy the mysteries that are in history where women take the lead (when they maybe shouldn’t be) an go against the status quo. These books I listed do exactly that! They are such fun mysteries that focus on a historical period and the women are the main characters! 💃🏻
A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwall #1) by Deanna Raybourn
A Spy in the House (Agency #1) by Y.S Lee
I feel like a lot of people like cozy mysteries but wont admit it haha. I love these style of mysteries. They are light and fun but always have a really interesting, different mystery. I recently watched a booktube video about tropes and cozy mysteries were mentioned. I liked what was said about not having to have murder and gore to be a good mystery. While a lot of cozy mysteries are total murder mysteries they are not super descriptive or completely focused on murder. I always like to have a cozy mystery to read! (Also – if the mystery has some kind of paranormal or magic aspect to it, it’s even better!) 👻
Mimi Lee Gets a Clue (A Sassy Cat mystery #1) by Jennifer Chow
Witch is When it All Began (A Witch P.I mystery #1) by Adele Abbott
Night of the Living Deed (A Haunted Guesthouse mystery #1) by E.J. Copperman
As I mentioned above, this trope was in the goodreads article. I totally agree that this is a popular theme for mystery books and movies. I do love these and always find these ones to be more spooky for some reason. I like to solve the mystery with the character and I find these types of mysteries to be so much more complicated! They always keep me on my toes which is a big reason I enjoy these ones so much!! 💰
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson
What do you like in a mystery? Do you like lighter ones or do you go for the super detailed, gory murder mystery? Have you read any of the books I posted about?
What is the deal with middle grade books? Why are there posts all over the internet about these books and WHY are adults other than teachers reading them?? These are the questions I have been asking myself for the last little while. I haven’t thought about these types of books in a very long time and for the most part just labeled them as children’s books and just went right by without a second glance (oops). If you are like me you are probably also thinking – yes, why do adults care about these books? After all, they are for children. So, I did some reading (a lot of reading). I hunted for articles and blogs written about these books and searched for why they are some popular with seemingly all ages. This is what I found out:
The most popular middle grade books are ones we have ALL heard of and probably read! These include Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Narnia… some big name books! However, I have to admit… I didn’t think these were “middle grade” or maybe my problem is I was not understanding WHAT middle grade books really were!
This grouping of books is difficult to understand I think. First off, I found myself just assuming that “middle grade” meant “children’s” like for small children… I don’t know why?? Now I am seeing that really, while they are meant for kids (not little ones by actually 8-12 year olds) they are actually very much like YA books just written in a more simple way!
SO this is where my ultimate confusion comes in… I didn’t realize Harry Potter books were targeting 8-12 year olds? As I remember the books are massive and forgive me if I’m wrong because I did not read them…. BUT the books (based on watching the movies) seem like kind of violent, focus on some really difficult and serious topics, and seem overall kind of inappropriate for an 8 year old? Maybe I’m being crazy. Or maybe the books are not quite like the movies? But I’m sure you can see where I am coming from when I say – when I found out Harry Potter was “middle grade” it changed my whole perspective!
I have been reading so many posts about middle grade books and before I just didn’t bother with them because I thought ‘why would I, and adult, want to read a kids book?’ And now, I am so sad because I’m seeing that there are SO MANY interesting, amazing, and well written middle grade books. I feel like I have to make up for lost time to be honest. I did not really read many (if any?) middle grade books when I was younger. I think I just skipped right over that entire thing which is unfortunate!!
I am realizing something very important about middle grade books which is – they are really meant for everyone. They have some many important themes and topics. They focus on friendship, adventure, and growing up. They are very similar to YA books!!! They just take out the more inappropriate things and keep the fun, action packed, fast paced, exciting parts! They really sound like a lot of fun and based on what I’ve read and reviews I seen, they seem TOTALLY WORTH reading as an adult.
So, hear I am – listing some middle grade books that I have added to my list to read. I am hoping I can get to them sooner than later. I feel like I have just opened up a can on worms here with my forever growing TBR hahah I just entered a whole new world of possibility. Very exciting!!
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
ARE YOU A GIFTED CHILD Looking for special opportunities? When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear listener, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they have no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all? Welcome to the mysterious benedict society.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a perfectly normal boy. Well, he would be perfectly normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the world of the dead.
There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard: the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer; a gravestone entrance to a desert that leads to the city of ghouls; friendship with a witch, and so much more.
But it is in the land of the living that real danger lurks, for it is there that the man Jack lives and he has already killed Bod’s family.
Miss Ellicott’s School for the Magically Minded by Sage Blackwood
Chantel would much rather focus on her magic than on curtsying, which is why she often finds herself in trouble at Miss Ellicott’s School for Magical Maidens. But when Miss Ellicott mysteriously disappears along with all the other sorceresses in the city, Chantel’s behavior becomes the least of her problems.
Without any magic protecting the city, it is up to Chantel and her friends to save the Kingdom. On a dangerous mission, Chantel will discover a crossbow-wielding boy, a dragon, and a new, fiery magic that burns inside her—but can she find the sorceresses and transform Lightning Pass into the city it was meant to be?
Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price.
Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN.
Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.”
Ghost and Bone by Andrew Prentice
Oscar Grimstone is a normal kid–aside from his secret Curse. Whenever he touches something living, like a flower or his classroom goldfish, they always seem to die. But then Oscar discovers an even bigger secret: even though he is very much alive, he has the ability to transform into a ghost.
Just when he thinks things can’t get any stranger two ghosts show up at his home in a skeleton carriage and he winds up joining them on a journey beyond the real world to a place he never knew existed–the city of ghosts. There Oscar will discover a place where people go once they die, before they aboard a ship to the The Other Side. But will he find out who he really is?
As you can see I have a “type” for my middle grade book interests! I am leaning towards fantasy, mystery, horror type books… I think this is because they take you on a ride away from reality! These books seems really entertaining, I’m excited to read them!!
Have you read any of these? What are your thoughts on middle grade books?
Hi there everyone! Welcome to my comfy corner of the internet where I can share my deepest darkest secrets (just kidding)! But really, this is the place where I can share my thoughts with people who might actually care which is PRETTY COOL!
So, as many of you know, I am also on IG (check me out I am fun and love to chat with people)!!
On IG I see people hosting giveaways all the time!! For a while I was like “what is this” and “why are people spending their own money to give things away.” Like most of you, I love to enter in the giveaways and obviously hope I win!! When I first started my IG I entered any one I could and ended up following a ton of people who never followed me back or interacted with my posts. So, slowly but surely I started to unfollow these accounts and stopped entering in so many giveaways – I will get more into this after.
There are like probably a million blog posts about how to do giveaways and why they are soooo amazing. I have read many of these posts in order to do my own giveaway and learned that people do these giveaways mainly for more followers and really no other reason. I wondered does this really work and if so, how well?
Something I learned: I did not realize that some of the accounts on IG “partnered” with other accounts and publishers in order to do the giveaways. This did not even cross my mind when I started!! Silly me!
I found I was looking into how these accounts were partnering with publishers and trying to figure out how they were hosting so many giveaways. To be honest, I never really found the answer I was looking for other than they have a lot of followers and publishers may contact them to feature the books/ other accounts contact them to partner on the giveaway to boost their followers. (This seems so obvious but little new bookstagram me had no idea).
My own giveaway: So then when I reached around 1500 followers I decided I would join in and try this giveaway idea. I wanted to see if you gain a lot of followers and honestly I started to connect with a lot of cool people and it felt nice to give back to them especially since I won a few giveaways from them!
So, I searched high and low for the best way to host a giveaway. Do I pick a specific book, do I let the winner choose, do I go with a gift card or care package, do I surprise them with a book…… The options are endless. I decided to go with good old Book Depository and let the winner choose the book they wanted! This ended up being the best option in my opinion because that seems to get people more excited!
Did I get more followers? So, this question is difficult. Yes, I temporarily got more followers. NOT A LOT, but some. I’d say about half of those new followers were gone once the giveaway winner was picked. So, I don’t think it is really any better of option than simply following people and interacting with them on their pages. Maybe I simply don’t have enough followers for a giveaway to be super successful. I wouldn’t say it was a flop though. I would do one again but it wouldn’t be for the purpose of gaining followers 🤷♀️
What I like about giveaways: I think if done correctly, the giveaways are such a fun way to further connect with your followers and to give back to your friends. They can be relatively inexpensive or even free if you giveaway a copy of a book you already have. I enjoy when publishers do giveaways for ARC’s and newer books. I like to follow publishers anyways because of their announcements and different things they post!! So it works out!
What I don’t like about giveaways: I don’t like when a giveaway is hosted by several accounts and then I have to follow like 5 different accounts to enter for 1 book. 99% of the time those 5 accounts won’follow you back so now you end up just following a bunch of people for no real reason. The same goes for the accounts with 20k followers hosting giveaways. I follow a few big accounts because I truly enjoy what they post and enjoy their updates. However, I don’t want to follow someone who will have no interest in following me back just to enter a giveaway (like those 20k accounts who actually only follow 100 people…. no thanks).
Or, some giveaways require you to “repost” their post which I just simply won’t do because I like to keep my feed somewhat uniform with my own unique stuff! I don’t want to repost a giveaway post 🤷♀️
Overall – my thoughts on giveaways are somewhat positive. I like the idea of them because who doesn’t like to win things?? Especially if it is something you want or enjoy. But, all the following and unfollowing that comes with it doesn’t seem totally worth it to me.. maybe if you are able to partner with a publisher and get the book for free then why not, but spending your own money for a few extra followers just isn’t my cup of tea!
I will continue to interact with my people and gain followers the old fashion way – by being consistent and working hard! May take longer but that’s okay, I’m not here for the followers, I’m here for the community (but followers are nice too haha).
What do you think about giveaways? Have you hosted them? Do you think they helped your follower count? Chat with me in the comments 🙂
Do you find your TBR grows and grows and seems like it is basically a huge mountain that just wont stop growing?? I sure do. When I first started my Goodreads account I added a lot of books that seemed in anyway interesting. It became obvious that it would take me years to actually read any of these goods and honestly probably longer because new books come out constantly!
I tell myself that I will get to them and I don’t want to take them off my list because WHO KNOWS when I might want to read it and god forbid I forget about it and it slips into the book abyss… I have a hard time parting with my list 😂 So, instead of deleting some books and being realistic… sorry not sorry… I am going to tell all of you wonderful people about my very long list and pick out some of my top “to reads” as well as a few that have been on there for, well, a long time!
My top “to-reads” right now:
Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore
A Good Girls Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
If I Never Met You by Mhairi MacFarlene
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
Wilder Girls by Rory Power
House of Salt and Sorrow by Erin A. Craig
Josh and Hazels Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
So, as you see this is a decent list of some newer books that have made it to the top of my list! I desperately want to read them all and I just need more time during the day to do this haha stupid working schedule!!! So, with all these wonderful books popping up to the top of my list, lets see which books have been getting shoved down….
My backlist “to-read” books:
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
The Hive by Barry Lyga
How To Hack Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway
Gravemaidens by Kelly Coon
Good Girls Lie by J.T Ellison
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Now Entering Addamsville by Francesca Zappia
Hello Girls by Brittany Cavallaro
Honestly so many good ones are on my backlist and so many more are pushed even further down the list haha. I need to go through my goodreads and do a massive clear out and be realistic but it is SO HARD!
What is your TBR like? Are you like me with a forever growing list with the backlist just stacking up to never ending heights??
As I’ve mentioned in past posts – I recently started using netgalley and I have some thoughts!
First off, I think the idea of netgalley is so cool and I wish I would have been using it sooner! I feel cheated by all the books I missed out on! I thought before that I didn’t have enough followers and figured that they wouldn’t accept me. However, I feel like that wasn’t true and I should have at least tried. But I am happy now that I’m using this awesome website and couldn’t be happier!
Now, I am learning all the ins and outs. Some things are still confusing 🤷🏼♀️ I find that sometimes I’ll get approved for a book almost right away and then others sit there for a month… THEN I will randomly get approved for it when I’ve already requested 4 others! Of course, once you request way too many books they all get approved at the exact same time! Just lovely!
I’m starting to see the feedback ratio now that I’ve had a few books and have inputted my reviews! Super interesting. Also though confused about why the feedback ratio has to change each time you get a mass approval of books?? Maybe that will change with more time, I’m unsure!
I’m starting to wonder how I got by before without netgalley to be honest… I have SO MANY MORE books now haha I am constantly reading! Since I’ve only been requesting books I’m interested in I haven’t really struggled to prioritize them, however, I could see this being a problem for people!!
Now for all the books I have requested and what the outcome has been!
1. Mimi Lee Gets A Clue by Jennifer Chow – approved 2. The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow – approved 3. The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles – approved 4. The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass by Adan Jerreat-Poole – approved 5. The Dark Contient by Scott Reardon – approved 6. Death at High Tide by Hannah Dennison – approved 7. Love Sold Separately by Ellen Meister – approved 8. Havenfall by Sara Holland – pending 9. The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune – approved 10. Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston – pending
I am trying to be super organized and keep track of the pub dates and post the reviews when the publishers want! It is a lot to keep track of and I am still learning! Any tips??
As I’m sure most of you know – this week is “Banned Books Week.” I was debating if I wanted to do a blog post on this mostly because I was not fully educated on the subject. So, I did a little reading on it and found out that I have read and owned a handful of books on this banned and challenged list. The more I read about the books on the list and the reasons they have been banned or challenged, the more I was just totally confused and just speechless to be honest.
Banned Books Week (September 22-28, 2019) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools. It brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers of all types — in shared support of the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.
From the ALA website
I did not realize how many schools and libraries have actually taken books out of the curriculum or the libraries because people are offended in some way by them. I have always held the same belief and don’t think I’ll ever change – If you don’t like something…. don’t read it/use it/look at it! That may be harsh, but in reality, not everyone is going to like something and chances are, someone will always feel offended or uncomfortable, so it seems much easier for a select few to just ignore the material than to actually remove it from everyone (within reason of course- if something in very inappropriate or hurtful then it should be removed, but not just because the subject matter makes people uncomfortable).
Okay – my rant is over haha. I wanted to share with you all some of the books that are on the Banned Book List and the reason they are banned. And I also want to share the books I’ve read that are on the list (I was honestly shocked by all of them… I also had NO IDEA that they were banned/ challenged until I read the list lol).
Check out the ALA website for more info about this week, the banned books, and the movement for intellectual freedom!
Top 5 Banned/ Challenged Books of 2018:
George – Alex Gino
Reason: because it was believed to encourage children to clear browser history and change their bodies using hormones, and for mentioning “dirty magazines,” describing male anatomy, “creating confusion,” and including a transgender character
A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo – Jill Twiss
Reason: for including LGBTQIA+ content, and for political and religious viewpoints
Captain Underpants Series – Dav Pikey
Reason: challenged because it was perceived as encouraging disruptive behavior, while Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-A-Lot was challenged for including a same-sex couple
The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
Reason: banned and challenged because it was deemed “anti-cop,” and for profanity, drug use, and sexual references
Drama – Raina Telgemeier
Reason: banned and challenged for including LGBTQIA+ characters and themes
Books I have Read & Owned on the List:
James and the Giant Peach – Ronald Dahl
Hop on Pop – Dr. Seuss
The Giver – Lois Lowry
Junie B Jones (series) – Barbara Park
Harry Potter (series) – JK Rowling
Goosebumps (series) – RL Stine
The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
Twilight (series) – Stephanie Meyer
The Diary of Anne Frank – Anne Frank
Charlottes Web – EB White
There are probably more books that have been challenged or banned that I have on my shelf or have read over the years. But that is all I can find as of right now.
How many banned books have you read? What are your thoughts on banning books at all?