I’ve been reassessing the way I review. This blog started out as me sharing my love of books. Then I got so inundated that I ended up just reviewing books I received from publishers. I haven’t reviewed a book I bought myself in probably a year or more. What happened to that sharing? Sure there’s Instagram but it’s just a few lines, nothing that encompasses all I want to express. Top Ten Tuesdays as well don’t cover it as I only do the feature sporadically and for ones I want to do. Let’s be honest, a lot of the books I receive for review from publishers aren’t my favourite books. Don’t get me wrong, I unearth a lot of amazing gems (All the Bright Places, All Our Yesterdays, These Broken Stars, Red Queen) as well as series continuations (Throne of Glass, The Bone Season) but the majority of wonderful books I read are the ones I’ve purchased myself, binge read and then write a short paragraph about on Goodreads. My blog isn’t reflecting this.
It’s time for a change.
Firstly, I need to catch up on a lot of review copies of course and write reviews for these and post them. I think I have a short attention span because if a book doesn’t immerse me immediately, I will put it down and pick up another book… Or two… and the review copy will lie there untouched and every time I look at it guilt will eat away at me. Hence, I’m going to try to now finish these review copies or just be done with it – DNF because ain’t nobody got time for dat! I feel SO guilty when I DNF a book though because it feels like I didn’t give it a chance and I’m one of those people that always tries to finish what they started, no matter how long it takes. The struggle is real.
I’ve noticed that most blogs don’t just post reviews (and the ones that do post 4-5 reviews a week are amazing like how do you write a review for every single book you read and manage to post something like every day?) but discussions and features and rambles like this. I wasn’t sure people would be interested in my boring chatter but well… I want to post more haha and reviews ain’t gonna cut it so I’m turning to posting more bookish musings.
That being said I’m going to also introduce some features to the blog! There’s one I’ve been working on for AGES and it’s taking a lot of thinking because it requires much Photoshopping. But keep an eye out because it’s coming. This feature I’m going to introduce ties in with my aforementioned realisation that I’m not properly expressing my love for a lot of the books I read/purchased. Another feature to be is called Branching Out – while this will always be a YA blog and books in the YA age group are always going to be my favourite, I’ve been branching out to read more literature, classics, adult fiction rah rah rah. And I want to share those with you. When I was first branching out, it was really difficult because I had NO idea whose opinion to trust. As YA bloggers, we build a rapport with each other and we know who to turn to for specific genres because we know each other’s tastes after a while. That’s YA books, but what about everything else? So I’m hoping to introduce some books outside the standard YA tropes to you guys, for those of you who like my tastes, these will hopefully quench your thirst. There WILL be some YA ones though, like diversity. A few I’m thinking of however are mystery, historical fiction, literature, fantasy, poetry, classics, children’s classics. Tell me what else you want and I’ll see if I’ve read it. These posts will include 1-3 recommendations with mini reviews (hopefully).
After the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign last year and me signing up for the #DiversityDive challenge this year, I’m obviously going to try to read more diverse books. I’m going to mainly concentrate on books that deal with mental illness and characters that are LGBTQ. I’ve already read 2 of these this year! We need to get rid of the stigma that surrounds these and also characters of colour. What is “normal” anyway? I don’t think anybody is really “normal”, everyone is unique in their own way and books need to reflect this.
I want to connect with you guys more. Bloggers and non-bloggers alike. This means I’m going to be commenting on a lot more blog posts finally. I don’t usually read reviews though. You probably did a “what the shit” just now. Clarification – I don’t usually read reviews for a book I haven’t read yet. I will turn to a blogger’s opinion I trust and I will look at their star rating. If it’s 3 or more stars I will usually check the book out. I don’t read the review itself because I believe this will sway my opinion. I’ll have the reviewer’s thoughts in my head and be looking out for those things which means I don’t pay attention to other aspects as much. But yes more commenting on other kinds of posts! I’m thinking of also opening up Q&A/FAQs where you guys can ask me stuff about anything which I’ll attempt to answer – bookish, blogging, life related etc.
Welps here we are 1000 words later (my gosh I always manage to go on for a while don’t I?) and those are my aims for 2015:
- Catch up on review copies – have the guts to realise when enough is enough and DNF
- Write posts that aren’t just reviews
- Introduce some new features
- Read more diverse books
- Connect with bloggers and non-bloggers