discussion · reading challenge

My Reading so Far in 2018: I Completed my Goodreads Challenge of Reading 52 books!

my reading so far in 2018

I have never read 52 books in 4 months before in my life and I’m so excited! I honestly can’t believe that I completed my Goodreads challenge so early in the year. Since I still have so much of the year left to read, I thought it was a good idea to check my reading statistics in terms of genres, authors, diversity and some other things, and see if there was anything I wanted to change in terms of my reading for the rest of 2018. Here’s what I found:

GENRES

This are the genres I have read, the number of books for each genre and the percentage that the number of books represents in terms of my reading:

  1. Romance= 17 book (33% of my reading )
  2. YA Contemporary = 9 books  (17% of my reading)
  3. Poetry Collections= 7 books (13% of my reading)
  4. Fantasy = 6 books (12% of my reading)
  5. Sci-fi= 6 books (12% of my reading)
  6. Non Fiction (memoir) = 4 books (8% of my reading)
  7. Fiction (chick lit) = 2 (4% of my reading)
  8. Historical Fiction =1 (2% of my reading)

In other years, my two main genres were YA Contemporary and fantasy, but with time romance has climbed to the top of my list. One of the main reasons is that I’m in a fantasy slump, but also it has to do with the fact that when my mental health is not great, reading romance  really helps me. I want to try to read more fantasy again.

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OTHERS 

I used to read mainly YA, but I feel like this year that hasn’t been the case, so I wanted to check how much YA I have read this year. I tried to see how much new adult and adult I have been reading but since I read so much romance and I’m not sure how to separate which one are NA and which one are adult, I decided to stick to just YA:

Young Adult=  19 books out of 52 are young adult (36%)- I like that this % has drop because it means I have more of a balance in terms of how much YA/NA/Adult I read.  

This year I’m trying to read more new releases and I have been writing posts with my anticipated releases for each month, so I wanted to check how I was doing with that goal.

2018  releases= 11 books ( 21%) – this is not that good since I want new releases to be at least 40% of what I read, that’s the goal for this year and I need to start reading more new releases.

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AUTHORS

I have read a total of 46 authors this year:

5 male authors (10%)  VS. 41 female authors (90%)

I checked and found no information about any of the authors being non-binary or gender non-conforming.

I honestly love the fact that the majority of the authors I read are female and I want to keep it like that.

POC Authors = 14 authors out of 46 (26%)

I need to do better, the percentage of POC authors I read needs to increase! Also, I’m latinx, so I checked how many of the POC authors were latinx and I’m ashamed, only 4 authors are latinx. 

Authors that are part of the LBGTQIAP community= 8 authors out of 46 (15%)

Again, I need to do better and read more authors that are part of the LGBTQIAP community. Also, I may have missed some authors because I only counted the ones that have publicly talked about their sexual orientation.

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DIVERSITY 
20 books out of 52 (38%) had LGBTQIAP main characters or, in a few cases, love interests (that had significant roles in the story): 

1 book had a tran character

1 book had a non-binary character

3 books had asexual characters

6 books had lesbian characters

6 books had bisexual characters

8 books had gay characters

In terms of romance, out of the 37 books I read that had romance in the them: 8 books had a m/m romance, 8 had a f/f romance and 21 had a m/f romance. I just want to note that not all the m/f romances are straight couples, since a few have bisexual characters.

15 out of 52 books (28%) had POC main characters. 6 of these 15 characters are latinx. 

Honestly, I need to do so much better in terms of reading more diversely.  I haven’t been paying that much attention to what I read and I haven’t been choosing the books I read as consciously as I should have been.

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Did you set a Goodreads goal? Did you accomplish it already, are you behind or are you right on schedule?  What genre have you read the most in 2018? Are you making the conscious of reading more diversely ? 
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bookish list · discussion

The Different Types of DNF Books

The different types of DNF books

Hi guys! before we start and in case someone doesn’t know, DNF =Did Not Finish. Now that it’s clear, here we go!

A long time ago I wrote the only post on my blog that it’s about DNF’ing books. I talked about the only 3 books I had ever DNF’ed at that point (here’s the post). This may seem strange to some people because I had only DNF’ed 3 books in all my life, but the fact is that until 6 months ago or a year maybe? I finished every single book I started. If I didn’t finish it, it was because I was truly hating it or I was so bored that I fell asleep.

Nonetheless, that has change and now I won’t keep reading a book that I’m hating, that I’m bored reading or that I’m not really enjoying. This doesn’t mean that all the books that I stop reading  are the same type of DNF books.  I feel like there are levels that go from I’m just not in the mood for this book to I won’t ever pick up this book again and no one can change my mind. Here are the types of DNF books I encounter often: 

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1. The “I’m just not in the mood” type of DNF book

These books are the ones you read the first 5, 10 or 15 pages and you know that it would be unfair to keep reading the book because you are not in the mood for it and no matter how good the book is, you would simply not enjoy it. It’s particulary common to find this type of DNF books in the shelves of the mood readers around the world. These are the books that you know you’re gonna pick up later when you are in the mood. So it’s kind of a temporary DNF.

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2. The “I gave it a real chance & didn’t convince me” type of DNF book

These are the books that from the very beginning you have reservations about, there’s something about them that doesn’t convince you; maybe the writing style, the characters, the world building… a lot of times you’re not even sure what it is, you just know that you have to convince yourself to pick up the book or maybe it takes you hours to read a few pages, until finally you accept that it’s not the book for you and stop reading it all together.

With this type of books, you may be persuaded to pick them up again. Maybe if you weren’t that bored with them or if it was just one small element that didn’t convince you or if someone says that the book gets a lot better.

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3. The “I was enjoying it but it lost me at one point” type of DNF book

These are the books that you were loving, you thought you were gonna give them 5 stars, there were exactly what you wanted, what you were expecting… until suddenly, everything begins to go down hill and the very promising start goes to waste because the book doesn’t deliver what it promised in those amazing first pages. These books may be great for the first 30%, 40% or maybe 50% of the book and then they fall apart and let you brokenhearted. These are some of the most disappointing books for a bookworm, they play with our emotions making us believe we have a new favorite book and then they crash and burn.

Again, with this type of books you may be persuaded to pick them up again, if someone says that it picks back up after a little bit or if someone says the ending is great or if it’s a series and someone says the next book is amazing.

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4.The “I’m not picking it up ever again & no one can change my mind” type of DNF book

These are the books that you know for sure you are not gonna finish. Maybe because you didn’t like the writing style, maybe you found them boring, maybe you hated one of the characters, maybe there were so many plotholes that you couldn’t stand it, maybe there was ableist/racist/homophobic/discriminatory content in the book that hurt you or made you angry …there’s so many different reason why you would stop reading a book and know with absolute certanty that you won’t pick it up again and no one is gonna convince you otherwise and these are the definitive DNF books.

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Ok, so those are the types of DNF books I encounter often. Now tell me about your experience with DNF’ing books in the comments! Do you DNF books often? What books have you DNFed recently? What type of DNF books do you encounter more often?  What other type of DNF book have you encounter? 
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Reading Habits I Wish I Could Change

Reading habits I wish I could change

Lately  I have been thinking a lot about my reading experience and my reading habits and I have found that there’s some aspects that I would like to change. I have actually tried to change some of these things in the past, but I have discovered that when I go against these habits I end up not enjoying books – that otherwise I could have liked- as much, or I end up in a reading slump.

So, here are some reading habits that I wish I could change but that I have come to accept:

Mood reader 

I’m a complete mood reader and my moods are not easy to satisfy, because they are very specific moods. It’s not like “Oh, I’m in the mood for romance”, nope! It’s more like I’m in the mood for romance where there is modern royalty, diverse characters and there’s a  friends to lovers relationship. Again, very specific.

Other times, being a mood reader for me means that I’m in the mood to read but I don’t know what genre or what book I’m in the mood for, and you may be thinking “oh, that means you can read anything” well, again, nope! This means I end up reading nothing until I know what I’m in the mood for, because I don’t enjoy most books I pick up without being in the specific mood for them.

“I wish I wasn’t a mood reader” 
Can’t stick to a TBR 

This one is connected to being a mood reader. I never make TBRs for the month because I know the probability of reading any book that it’s on that list is close to 0%, because I never know what I’m gonna be in the mood for. That’s why I always fail at readathons, readalongs and all those types of events.

“I wish I could stick to a TBR” 
Knowing before reading

This is another one that it’s connected to the fact that I get very specific moods, because that means that I can’t go into a book knowing nothing about it, I need to know what it’s about so I can see if it fits my mood. But also, not only do I need to know what the book is about, I need to know what people think about a book, so I need to read reviews before reading a book. I literally can’t read a book without reading reviews, I think it’s mainly because people’s comments help me decide if the book is something I would enjoy or not.

I wish I could go into a book without knowing anything about it and let myself be surprised” 
Pay too much attention to negative reviews

As I was saying, I can’t read a books without reading reviews. It’s a habit I have not been able to break and I ctually wouldn’t have a problem with this habit, if it wasn’t for the fact that I tend to pay more attention to negative reviews. If I read 10 reviews ofa book and 2 are negative reviews, what I will remember the most are the negative reviews and it’s very likely that those 2 negative reviews will make me not want to read the book.

“I wish I could pay more attention to positive reviews instead of the negative ones” 

Those were some of the reading habits that I wish I could change -that I have tried to change without being succesful- but that I have come to accept as part of my reading experience.

What are some of the reading habits that you wish you could change? Let me know in the comments! 
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bookish list · discussion · How to

How to Fall Back in Love with a Genre

how to fall back in love with a genre

For as long as I can remember Fantasy has been my favorite genre, especifically, Young Adult Fatansy. Nonetheless, I have not been reading that much YA Fantasy in the last couple months, because it got to a point in the middle of 2016 where I felt like I was reading the same book every single time I picked up a YA Fantasy book. There were a lot of aspects of the books that felt repetitive to me. That, off course, is totally a personal feeling and I’m not implying that they aren’t unique books in the genre.

I know that falling out of love with a genre is something that happens to a lot of people. Because of that, I decided to put together a list of things I have been doing to try and fall back in love with fantasy and that I think can be applied to fall back in love with any genre you used to love and now you don’t. 

1. Give it a bit of time

This may seem a bit obvious but I definitely think that if you are feeling frustrated, bored or disappointed with a genre, the best thing you can do is stop reading that genre for a little bit. I think this aplies especially to genres that you love a lot, because it gives you time to miss what that genre made you feel or think or whatever that genre gave you and that way you remember the things that you used to love about it.

2.Try reading diverse books in that genre

I feel like the reason we fall out of love with books a lot of times is because we feel like the books in that genre become repretitive and I think that happens because most books are told from the same perspective (a white, straight, able-bodied, cisgender character). In that sense, reading a book that has diverse main characters or was written by diverse author gives you a chance to explore different perspectives. You get to read from the point of view of someone who thinks, feels and experiences the world in a different way.

3.Try reading books in that genre directed to other age ranges

My favorite genre is YA Fantasy, what I have been doing is reading new adult and adult fantasy, because those books are directed to other age ranges or have main characters in other age ranges, which means that- a lot of the time- they bring new elements to the genre  and that stops me from feeling like the books are repetitive.

If you like YA contemporary, YA historical fiction or any other genre, try reading the middle grade, new adult or adult version of that genre. That can help you if you are feeling bored, frustrated or  like the books are repetitive. The same things goes for any of the other categories: middle grade, new adult or adult. If you like a genre in any of those categories try to read that genre directed to any of the other age ranges.

4. Re-read your favorite book or series in that genre

I think that re-reading your favorite book or series in a genre reminds you of the reason you love that genre, what it makes you feel, what it makes you think about, what that genre means to you. For me, remembering all of that makes you more willing to give a genre another chance.  It spotlights the good and it makes you focus on that, instead of being focused on the things you are bored with or frustrated with or disappointed about.

5. Follow other bloggers that love that genre

Reading about someone else’s love and excitement about books or series in a genre that you used to love is a great way of getting excited about that genre again. You may feel disappointed about it, but if someone else points out the positive things about that genre or about a particular book in that genre that may motivate you to start reading it again.


Have you ever fell out of love with a genre? Do you want to fall back in love with a genre? Do you have any advice to someone who wants to fall back in love with genre? Let me know in the commets! 

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discussion

Choosing a Reviewing Style | Discussion

Choosing a Reviewing Style

I want to start by saying that this is not a post about the ‘right’ or ‘best’ reviewing style, it’s about how everyone has a different style when it comes to writing reviews. I have been meaning to talk about this for a while because I have tried multiple reviewing styles in the time I have been blogging, but I still haven’t found MY reviewing style, the one that’s right for me. That’s why I wanted to discuss it with you guys, to see what you thought about it.

When I talk about reviewing style I’m talking about several things:

1) The type of review

There’s so many different types of reviews, you can review books by making a list of reasons to read a book, a list of likes and dislikes or pros and cons, a long text or a short text, a review with different sections, a bullet point list, you can make reviews so many differents ways. None is better than other, it’s a matter of personal preference.

This first item on the list is the one that’s more independent, because the next few items are closely interconnected with each other. Still, it’s a very important part of the review! Here are some examples of the types of reviews that I have written since I became a blogger:

List of Likes and Dislikes: The Deal by Elle Kennedy 

Reason to Read: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson 

Review with Different Section: The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

Long Text: How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

2) The review focuses on your experience with a book in a implicit or explicit way. 

When you are sharing your opinions about a book, it’s clear that those opinions are related to your experience reading the books, but you can choose how much of your experience makes it to your review. By experience I mean everything from how you felt ot what you thought while reading, stories about why you decided to read a book or about why a book is relatable to you and other things like that.

When you talk about a book, your experience reading that book can be implicit, for example, ‘the characters were well developed’ or ‘the pace was off’, even when you don’t say it your opinion is based on your experience while reading the book.  Other times, when you talk about a book, your experience can be explicit, for example, ‘I waited to read this book until the series was completed because I’m always scared that the last book in a series will suck’.

This point is the one I have the most trouble with when I’m writing my reviews. Sometimes I feel like the experience can overtake the review and it can push the book to a second place.  I feel when this happens the review ends up not being that helpful to someone deciding whether to read a book or not. At the same time, I love reading reviews when people manage to drop little bits of their experience in the review. 

Examples on my reviews:

The experience is explicit:  The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski 

The experience is implicit:  When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez

3) You use first person or you don’t.

This is related to what I was talking about in point 2, if your review is focused on your experience with the book, then you tend to use first person and if it isn’t focused so much on your experience, you tend to not use first person.

What I have noticed is that most people, when they are writing a review,  tend to write in first person; they say things like I think, I feel, I thought, I felt (This different use of verb tenses is adressed in the next point).

Examples on my reviews:

Example of using first person: Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Example of not using first person: Review of God Smites by Ishara Deen

4) The verb tenses you use to write your review

Mainly, people use past or present tense when they are writing their reviews. The decision of which tense to use is related to the second point in this list, because when people focus their review on the experience they had while reding the book they tend to say ‘the book was great’. Instead, when the review is more focused on the book as a things that exists and not a things that one has already experienced they tend to use present tense, for example, ‘the books is great’. Nonetheless, this is not always the case!

Examples on my reviews:

Present tense: If the Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman 

Past tense: The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

My reviewing Style

How I used to write reviews: almost always there were lists of some type, especially lists of likes and dislikes; my experience while reading the book was always explicitly present in my reviews; I wrote in first person and past tense.

How I’m writing my reviews now: I have been writing just text and not other types of reviews;  my experience while reading the book is always implicit;  I don’t write in first person and I write in present tense. I made this change because I wasn’t happy with the way I was writing reviews, but even when I feel like my reviews are better written lately, I feel like I have less fun writing them. I think my experience while reading the book needs to be explicit more often.

What I want to try next: I want to mix up the way I write reviews again and try to find the reviewing style that suits me. But I want to know your opinions first. Tell me about your reviewing style!  Do you write in first person or don’t? What types of reviews do you write? Do you write in present tense or past tense? Do you make your experiences while reading the book explicit or not? I would love to know all your opinions and comments about this! 

This got really long.  If you read it all, thank you! If you read a part of it, thank you too!

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bookish list · discussion · How to

How to Get Out of a Blogging Slump

how-to-get-out-of-a-blogging-slump

A few days ago, I participated in the #BHPChat on Twitter and one of the questions was if we had any tips to get out of a Blogging Slump. A lot of the people participating in the chat tweeted me saying my answer was really helpful or that they agreed with what I said. Today, I decided to share those tips and a few others here on the blog.

1. Change the design of your blog

You can either completely redesign it or just make small changes, depending on how much you like the way your blog looks. The last time I was on a blogging slump, I moved my blog from blogspot to wordpress and completely redesign it and since then I have been super excited to blog and I  have been doing it  more constantly.

Sometimes appearances do matter, if you don’t like the way your blog looks then you may feel less incline to blog. Also, if you feel that the plataform you’re using isn’t working for you then you may also feel less incline to blog (that was my case with blogspot). Sometimes you may love the way your blog looks but it has had the same design since the beginning of time, then that can affect your excitement when blogging as well.

Whatever the reason a new appearance may give you the motivation you need to start blogging again.

2. Visit you favorite blogs 

A lot of the time, the thing that inspires me the most to keep blogging is reading amazing blog posts because I feel the desire to write an amazing blog posts of my own. When I’m on a blogging slump, I visit my favorite blogs and I start to feel motivated to be as good as the bloggers behind it are. It’s not about copying anyone, it’s about wanting to write great post in your own personal way.

3. Write a list of ideas for blog posts

Even when you don’t feel like writing a blog posts, if you write down ideas for things you want to blog about in the future, you are going to start getting excited about them. If you write down, for example, ‘discussion about book bloggers and different types of social media’ in your notebook, bullet journal, a draft on your blog, and then you see a twitter discussion or a booktube video that relates to that or gives you more ideas for that post you want to write, then your gonna get excited about writing it and once that happens, you are gonna be on your way out of a blogging slump.

When we have concrete ideas we want to blog about in the future, it’s easier to find inspiration everywhere we look and then the excitement begins and the blogging slump ends.

4. Get involve with other parts of the community. 

Blogging isn’t the only way to participated in the online book community. If you don’t want to write blog posts, you still can participate in Twitter chats or post pictures on bookstagram. There’s so many other things you can do that are related to books, that way your gonna get excited about talking about books again and, let’s be honest, a lot of time 140 characters or a comment in a photo are not enough and that’s when you start to feel the itch of blogging again.

Also, a lot of the time when you are on Twitter or Instagram you see people talking about their blogs or sharing blog posts and you are going to get jealous (in this case that’s good!) and you are gonna want to have something to share as well. That’s when you start blogging again! Or maybe you won’t get jealous, you will feel sad and nostalgic and you are gonna start to remember how fun blogging was or how proud you were of your blog posts and that way you get out of a blogging slump.

5. Read the blog posts you’re more proud of

Here’s the thing, everyone has that blog post or those blog posts that make us proud, the ones we want to share with everyone or we can’t stop talkng about them, and reading them reminds you of that feeling of being proud and happy because something you blogged about and that feeling is one of the best feelings in the world. Remebering that feeling makes you want to feel it again and that why you get out of a blogging slump.

 That’s it! Those are my 5 tips to get out of a blogging slump.

Have you ever been on a blogging slump? How did you get out of it? Do you have some tips to get out of a blogging slump? 

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discussion

An Awkward Conversation About YA Books & "Money Grabs"




I’m not a person that likes controversy and that’s why I have always stayed away from the “money grab” conversations that happen sometimes in the bookish community on twitter. But it has gotten to a point where it’s not only annoying and frustrating, but also incredibly sad because there’s this feeling that a lot of people seem to share of being ‘taken advantage of’, it’s feeling like something they love is being used against them in some way, and that sucks. That’s definitely not something I want to see in this community. I want to clarify that I’m only talking about YA books, because that’s the genre that I read the most and the people I follow on twitter read mostly YA books as well.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about with the whole “money grab” situation, let me tell you. I think “money grab” started to appear in a lot of conversations about book series having cover changes at some point after the first book (whether it’s the second book, or in the middle of the series or  with the last book). A lot of people felt like these cover changes were a “money grab”, a strategy to make us buy the book twice, because it was either staying with covers that didn’t match (which a lot of people, me included, hate) or re-buying all the books that were already out with the new covers. These cover changes have happened a lot of times in the past and lately there has been a really strong response against it from the community. I don’t know if you heard about  the cover change for The Winner’s Curse trilogy by Marie Rutkoski, but the bookish community responded with a lot of frustration and thanks to how strong the reaction was, the publishers decided to release the last book with the original cover (even if they also released all the books in the new covers).

That’s definitely not the only time that “money grab” has come out in conversations about YA books. The fact that there are YA versions of adult books that are being released (like the Da Vinci Code) has being thought to be a “money grab”, because it’s not necessary at all, YA readers are perfectly able to read the Da Vinci Code in the adult version. Also, the fact that there is gonna be 3 editions of the same book with the same cover just because each edition is gonna have a different bonus chapter has also generated a lot of conversation about being a “money grab” because if you want the 3 bonus chapters you have to buy a copy of each edition even if it’s the same book (if you don’t know that’s what’s gonna happen with Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas).  Lastly, there was a conversation about the necessity of a book being release with 3 different covers in the same day, even if they are all beautiful, there was some people talking about it being a “money grab” (it was a conversation about the Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake).

Here are some really important disclaimers: I actually enjoyed all of the books mentioned above (except Three Dark Crowns, because I haven’t read it yet) and Sarah J. Maas is one of my favorite authors, so I’m not talking badly about the books or the authors. What I’m trying to do is think about the publishing industry beginning with the fact that I understand that it’s an industry and it’s looking to make money out of the books it publishes. I also want to think about the fact that situations like the ones I just mentioned are becoming more and more common and I think it has to do with the fact that the popularity of YA books keeps increasing.
Even if I understand what I say before, the ‘business’ side of the publishing industry, it still makes me incredibly sad to have to think about books that way, and the thing is, we don’t get a choice because we know this books are coming out and we are faced with the 3 editions of the same book and we realize that we can’t have all the bonus chapters (I know some people can, but I think I’m talking about a majority here) because that means spending three times more money for the same book. So we are confronted with the ‘business’ side and I’m not gonna lie, at least for me, it ruins the magic of books a little bit.

This is not the kind of post were I can offer solutions or think about ways around this. Honestly, I wasn’t really trying to make a point with all of this, except that it sucks. I don’t know what else to say.