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. 
discussion

The Complicated Art of Rating Books | Discussion



I have been thinking about writing this for a long time. I feel like my reading taste and the way I rate books has changed so much over time, and  the ratings I give to books depends so much on my mood, that sometimes I feel bad when I rate them. I feel bad because sometimes books I like so much more than others end up with the same rating or with a lower rating, because I read them at different points of my life or because I read one of them when I was in a reading slump and the other when I was not, or because I rate genres differently. It’s just that there are so many things that affect the rating of a book that have nothing to do with the book, and sometimes I feel like I’m being unfair. 
Ratings get harsher as time goes by
I feel like I’m more critical when I rate books now, than, let’s say, when I started to rate books on Goodreads. Being older has come with changes in the way I see the world, the things I consider important, I have also had time to read more and learn what I like and what I don’t. The change in the ratings has to do with a lot of things, and sometimes I feel like it’s not fair to some books. This situation has got to the point were I have been tempted to go back and change the rating I gave a book I read years ago. The thing is I think that’s not fair either, because even if now my reading taste has change or I have read more and I can see that maybe that book wasn’t as good as I though it was back when I first rated it, I think  it’s not fair to the book that I change the rating after years, when I don’t even remember the book so well, and I don’t remember how I felt when I read it or what I thought when I read it. 
Ratings are different for different genres 
Also, I feel like sometimes I ask more of some genres and  I go easy on some others. Fantasy is my favorite genre, and I have read some amazing fantasy books and I even have some categories that I rate when I’m read this genre. Sometimes, I’m really harsh with some fantasy book, simply because I have read great fantasy! On the other hand, I read YA contemporary and new adult, and I rate them mostly based on the level of entreteinment they provided. Sometimes, fantasy books that I liked more than some contemporary or new adult book, get the same rating. 
For example, I read Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes and I gave it a 3 or a 3,5 stars. I felt like it wasn’t as good  and I had a lot of little problems with it. Nonetheless, I still feel like I liked it more and it gave me more than a lot of the new adult books I have read and that have the exact same rating. Nonetheless, I also know that books from one genre and from the other are trying to accomplish different things, and that’s why sometimes I’m more critical with some book than others. 
Ratings depend of other things as well 
The thing is, in the example of Falling Kingdoms, I didn’t rate the book only thinking about the genre it belong to. When I read the book, I was in the middle of a reading slump, so that affected the way I felt towards the books and it affected the rating it got. And that’s my last point, there are other factors, like mood and life situations, that affect the way I rate books and there’s not really anything I can do about that. Sometimes I use reading as an escape and I read when I’m in a bad place with my family or with school, and that affects the rating the book gets, but I’m not gonna stop reading because of that. And this can go both ways, sometimes my life isn’t in a good place, and a book helps through that and it makes me feel better, so it gets a higher rating. 
So…

That’s why sometimes I feel bad rating books. After thinking about it, I feel like I need to rate books based on what they intended to do (entertain, make you think, confront you with something, make you believe in the impossible), and that includes rating books according to the genre they belong to (because the authors have to do different things depending on what genre they are writing). I have not found a definitive solution to this problems I found while rating books. Nonetheless, what I have been doing lately is trying to give books more especific ratings, not only giving  3/ 3.5/4, but also 3.7 /4.2/4.7. It just something I’m doing to try and say more with my rating, and it actually has help me calm my anxiety over this issue. I don’t if it would work for anyone else, but for me it has help a little. 

Let me know your thoughts about this, I really woud like to know! how do you rate books? what external factors affect your ratings?  If you have made blog post discussing how you rate books or anything related to the subject, let me a link!