An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard / Review

Many of you know that I am not a huge fantasy reader. I tend to stick to contemporaries anywhere from romances to thrillers to literary fiction.

However, I do enjoy a fantasy every now and then to break up my reading. I first heard of An Unkindness of Magicians a couple of years ago from Merphy Napier, who is a booktuber I really like! She mentioned that it was an adult standalone fantasy, and that peaked my interest for sure.

I’ve had it on my TBR for a while now, so I’m so happy that I finally got to it!

Goodreads Synopsis

There is a dark secret that is hiding at the heart of New York City and diminishing the city’s magicians’ power in this fantasy thriller by acclaimed author Kat Howard.

In New York City, magic controls everything. But the power of magic is fading. No one knows what is happening, except for Sydney—a new, rare magician with incredible power that has been unmatched in decades, and she may be the only person who is able to stop the darkness that is weakening the magic. But Sydney doesn’t want to help the system, she wants to destroy it.

Sydney comes from the House of Shadows, which controls the magic with the help of sacrifices from magicians.

Review

The Good:
  • The magic- I really enjoyed the magic system in this book. It was a lot darker than I had expected, but that made me love it even more. It was just really intricate in the way that it worked, especially once one of the twists was revealed.
  • Plot- As I mentioned, this book was a lot darker than I originally thought it would be, but it was oh so good. I really like any books with magical competitions, and this reminded me a bit of The Night Circus. I liked that there were a lot of hidden agendas for everything, and each chapter gave us a little bit more. And that ending? It absolutely destroyed me. Take that as you will.
  • The writing- I also liked the writing style of this book. It was easy to follow, but filled with very beautiful prose. There were quite a few quotes that really stood out to me from it, which is part of how I judge a book’s writing.

“Magic, at its heart, starts with sacrifice. You have to give up something to get something, and because magic is big, with all that it allows you access to, what you give up has to be big. It has to be meaningful.”

The Bad:
  • Character- I felt like the characters were lacking complexity for me. I love character driven novels, but this one was not the best at making me connect to the cast. There are a lot of characters introduced in the beginning, and I felt like they did not distinguish themselves enough. I got a bit lost and actually started the audiobook over when I was 3 chapters in because of that. However, once you got to know who each person was, I started to enjoy the story more.
  • Action- This was a slower moving story, which is something I tend to prefer. With this one, though, I wish that some of the challenges were described with more detail. I feel like they really could have been fleshed out to be more intense and action-packed. Those scenes were really underwhelming for me, which is unfortunate because I really liked the magic system and would have wanted to see more of it.
Overall:

This was a really solid, enjoyable read. I would definitely pick up more from this author in the future, and I’m really happy I read this one!

Rating: 4 stars

I would love to know if you’ve read this one and what your thoughts were! I don’t see nearly enough people talking about this book (or the author in general).

I’m also in need of more recs similar to this one, so if you have any, send them may way!

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon.

My Favorite Debut Books

Hello everyone! I hope you are having an amazing day. Today I want to talk about debut books. It always amazes me when I read a phenomenal book and find out that it is an author’s debut work. I thought that it would be fun to share a few of those that really stand out to me!

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

R.F. Kuang wrote the first draft of this book when she was 19. That is 2 years younger than I am, and I have never even completed a manuscript. This book is packed with so much history and culture, but told in an interesting and entertaining way. I was so invested in the story, and that is all due to R.F. Kuang’s writing style. I absolutely can not wait to get to the rest of the trilogy! If you have read or are planning to read this, I also highly recommend checking out Tiffany’s blog post that details the history that this book is based on because she did an excellent job breaking everything down.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

This book blew me away. It was written so well, and it told such a unique story. It was definitely unlike anything I’ve ever read, and it sticks in my mind for that reason. It has been raved about by many people over the last few months, so I’m sure you’ve already heard how amazing it is. If you haven’t yet read it, you need to!

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

This is definitely one of my favorite books of 2020. I have been raving about it for months now, and it is honestly one of my favorite YA novels ever. I actually read it during a time when I thought I was no longer interested in YA books, but this one proved me wrong. Even if I don’t relate to YA the same way I used to, this book reminded me that the genre has so much to offer and I am not done with it yet (and I probably never will be)!

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

This book is both breathtaking and heartbreaking. I don’t even have the words to describe the writing, other than saying that it was beautiful. I don’t know why, but I love sad books, and this one really brought it all. I truly hope that one day my writing can parallel Kate Russell’s in some way because I loved everything about it.

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

This is one of the cutest books ever. It was fun and entertaining, but it also had great characters and good writing. I wrote a review for this book back in January, which you can check out if you want to know more about my thoughts. I have an ARC of Emma Lord’s next release, and I can’t wait to read it and share my thoughts with you all!

Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Rory Power is one of my all-time favorite authors, and it is all because of this book. Her writing and storytelling is UNMATCHED. I admire her so much as an author, and I am in awe of everything she does. I definitely want to read more dark YA books because I haven’t picked up that many. This one made me much more interested in the genre.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

As a huge poetry fan, reading a book in verse was so intriguing to me. I’ve read a couple of others before this one, but The Poet X was the first one that I really loved. There was so much packed into this story, and it was absolutely beautiful.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Of course, this book needs to be put on this list. When I read Angie’s first novel, I was completely moved by it. Her words are so powerful and pack a punch, and it is still astonishing to me that this was her first published novel. Her second book is just as great, and I am going to be reading anything and everything she puts out for sure!

These are just a handful of the amazing debut novels I’ve read. I would love to know what some of your favorites are, so please share them in the comments!

I Turned 21?! A Birthday Reflection.

On Sunday, I turned 21.

In the days leading up to my birthday, I always like to reflect on the past year of my life. My good friend Angela asked me to share my goal setting process for my birthday, so I talked a bit about it on my Instagram already, but I wanted to share it here as well!

I always start by journaling about where I’m at currently, what I did/didn’t do over the last year, and just my thoughts in general. This really helps me to reflect and check in with myself. I journal on a fairly regular basis, and I highly recommend giving it a try!

Twenty was a weird age. More than half of it was spent trying to survive a pandemic, and the other half was pretty uneventful. I felt pretty isolated for a majority of it, and I felt like I didn’t accomplish much. I also feel like I shut myself in a bit, and I turned down a lot of experiences that I wish I had taken up.

Those are some of the things I wrote about in my journal. Then, using my journal as a guide, I created a page in Notion with my intentions for the year ahead.

Here are my affirmations/intentions:

  1. I have a positive attitude and enjoy the simple moments.
  2. I free myself of expectations and I am more creative.
  3. I make new connections and I am more adventurous.

I don’t really set “goals” in the traditional sense on my birthday because I create quarterly goals instead every year. But, I do like to create somewhat of a “to-do list” instead. Here is what that looks like for the next 12 months!

I will…

  • finish writing a book
  • give myself more breaks & stress less about school
  • start a new hobby or reinvest in an old one
  • travel somewhere new (city, state, country? whatever’s possible)
  • take a fun class (yoga? pottery? photography?)
  • start a book club with friends
  • eat more vegetables and learn to cook 5 new meals
  • start a new long-term creative project (podcast? poetry collection? e-book?)
  • pay off a big chunk of student loans
  • make 5 new friends!

That is all in terms of how I look back on my years as well as how I think about the future! It’s really strange to me that I’m already 21. I feel like I’m still in high school sometimes, if I’m being honest.

But I’m really excited about this next year of my life, and I’m pretty optimistic about it.

Do you have any planning systems surrounding your birthday?

Recently Acquired NetGalley ARCs

For those that are unfamiliar with it, NetGalley is a site where book reviewers can request ARCs in e-book or audiobook format. I have been working hard recently to keep my feedback ratio above 75%, so I haven’t requested too many new books this year. I have, however, acquired a few over the last 6 months or so, and I thought it would be fun to share them!

Influence by Sara Shepard and Lilia Buckingham: This first book is one that I have been super interested in reading! If you don’t know, Sara Shepard is the author of the Pretty Little Liars books, which I’ve never read, but I loved the show. This book is a mystery that involves social media superstars, and I am super intrigued by it! I’ve seen quite a few good reviews of it, too, which makes me even more excited to read it!

Release date: January 5th, 2021

You Have a Match by Emma Lord: About a year ago, I read and reviewed Tweet Cute by Emma Lord and I thought it was amazing. I have been anticipating a new release by her for many months now, and I’m so excited to have an early copy of this book! This is a book about a girl who finds out she has a sister through a DNA testing service! If it’s anything like her last book, I know that this one will be very fun and full of action.

Release date: January 5th, 2021

Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein: This one initially attracted me because of the cover—it’s so beautiful! All I know about it is that it takes place at a boarding school, and that is one of my favorite settings for contemporary novels! I’ve seen VERY mixed reviews of it, though, so I’m a bit worried going into it.

Release date: April 27th, 2021

Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales: Sophie Gonzales wrote Only Mostly Devastated which released early this year. It’s one that I’ve heard good things about but haven’t read myself yet. I’m really excited about it, though!

Release date: March 9th, 2021

The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon: Rachel is a popular YA author who is now making her debut in the adult world (if I’m correct), and I could not be more excited! This is about two radio hosts who give relationship advice live on the air. The twist? They are enemies in real life! I have only read one book by Rachel, but it was such a good surprise. It’s definitely up there as one of my favorite reads of the year, so I’m really excited about this one.

Release date: January 26th, 2021

What 2021 releases are you looking forward to? Have you gotten any exciting ARCs recently? Tell me about them in the comments!

A Guide to Jenn Bennett’s Books!

Today is the release of Jenn Bennett’s newest contemporary novel, Chasing Lucky! The release was originally scheduled for May, but got pushed back due to Covid. BUT, because of that, I did share my review with all of you quite early!

I wanted to make sure I put this one back on your radar now that it’s officially released, and I thought what better way than to make a whole guide for Jenn Bennett’s books?!

You guys know I’m a fan of all of her books, and since I’ve read quite a few of them now, I feel qualified to share this post! If you would like me to do more like this (for other authors or genres), let me know!

Where to start

Alex, Approximately: This is my personal favorite of Jenn Bennett’s, and it’s where I started with her stories! I think it’s a great way to get into her work because it’s a You’ve Got Mail retelling, so if you’re familiar with that one, this may be perfect for you. Also, it’s one of her more popular ones, so that also might make it easier to find!

  • Film references
  • Secret identities
  • Museums

The Anatomical Shape of a Heart: This is Jenn Bennett’s first standalone contemporary, so for that it’s also a great place to start if you are looking to read in publication order! Before this book, she also wrote some paranormal fantasy romances, but I haven’t read any of her earlier work, so I can’t speak for it! This is actually the most recent book of hers I’ve read, and I think it holds up well! You can definitely see improvement in her later novels, but I think this was a fantastic read that is a great example of what she has to offer!

  • Art
  • Anatomy
  • schizophrenia representation (though I can’t speak to its accuracy)

If you want a magical adventure…

The Lady Rogue: This is the only fantasy by her I’ve read, but I absolutely adored it! I’ve also written a review for this one, if you want more in-depth thoughts. Basically, it is a fun and adorable adventure story! You will get all of the witty banter and cute romance scenes that Jenn Bennett is known for but in a historical/fantasy-ish setting (there are a few fantasy elements)! This one ended up surprising me a lot and it is definitely a must-read for me!

  • Treasure hunt
  • Rescue mission
  • Slight magical twist?

If you want a cozy and warm story…

Serious Moonlight: This is the perfect book to pick up during the fall and winter seasons. I mean, just look at the cover! This one follows two characters as they go on an adventure to figure out the reason for a mystery man’s meetings at the hotel they work at. It was just such a fun and cozy book.

  • Hotel mystery
  • Seattle
  • Homeschooled main character!

If you want enemies to lovers…

Starry Eyes: This is the perfect summer read (for all of my southern hemisphere friends), but it’s also just a cute book to read all year round—especially if you want to revisit the summer! I also know that tons of people love the enemies to lovers trope (and this one is childhood friends to enemies to lovers, what could be better?)! And, I have a review for this one, too!

  • Camping trip gone wrong
  • Overthinking and over-planning main character
  • Lots of witty banter

If you want summer vibes…

Chasing Lucky: Finally, we have a super fun summery read! This is Jenn’s latest release, like I mentioned, and it comes out TODAY! I really enjoyed it for its small town vibes, lots of summer activities, and fun plot line.

  • Small town
  • Childhood best friends (to enemies? to lovers?)
  • Family owned bookstore

Have you read any of Jenn Bennett’s books? Which one is your favorite? Are you going to pick up a new one now?

Thought Collective #5- How I Feel About Social Media

It’s not secret that I have been trying to spend more time away from my phone for the last few months. I even wrote a whole post about going off the grid (sort of) for a week, and that experiment was really eye opening for me.

Since then, I have really been paying attention to the way I use social media and how much of my time I spend on it.

Before I get into the darker side of the internet, I want to acknowledge some of the good that is has brought me! Social media is a wonderful tool, one that I am so grateful for.

Because of it, I…

  • found a community of like-minded readers
  • made amazing friendships
  • discovered new passions
  • became informed on topics that I otherwise would not have ever heard of

I would not take back any of these things that social media has given me.

However, I think it’s also equally as important to talk about the bad, too. We all know that social media affects us tremendously. It has been the cause of anxiety and depression for me, given me FOMO, triggered unhealthy perceptions of my body, and overall just helps me waste time.

I think that what I’ve realized about social media is that you need to remember that it is a tool. You are supposed to be in control of it, not the other way around.

I am much more conscious of how I use social media now. I use it for interaction with friends and fellow readers. I use it to share parts of my day that I think others will be interested in. I use it to stay informed and to inform others. I use it for inspiration. And that’s it.

I don’t use it for mindless entertainment the way I used to. I don’t use it to compare myself to others. I don’t use it to follow petty drama.

And I have truly seen a huge improvement in my mood.

I thought that I would share some things that I did that really helped me break my social media addiction of mindless scrolling.

  1. Don’t be afraid to unfollow: I know that it may seem harsh to unfollow someone, but I think if you are not benefitting from their content, you don’t enjoy their content, or you’re just not interested in it, you should not feel guilty for unfollowing. You are allowed to curate your space for yourself! I regularly go through my following lists on various social media sites and unfollow accounts that don’t align with my values. When I do scroll through my feeds, I only see content that I am genuinely interested in!
  2. Set limits: When I first began shortening my time online, I found it super helpful to implement the downtime feature on my iPhone. From 9:30 pm to 8:00 am, I set a control that blocked all of my apps! I no longer use it now, but I conditioned myself not to go on my phone for the first hour after waking up, and I try to get off of it at least 30 minutes before I go to bed. There are other ways to set limits, too. You can allow yourself to go on social media for one hour a day. Or you can delete the apps on your phone and only check it on your desktop. Or you can schedule specific times throughout your day that you will check it. Figure out what works best for you!
  3. Decide what you want to use and figure out your why: Having a ‘why’ for spending less time on social media is really effective. What can you accomplish in the 5 hours that you don’t spend on your phone? Maybe you can pick up a new hobby. Maybe you can improve a skill or learn something new. Maybe you can use that time for self care or to spend time with your family! You don’t realize just how much time you are spending on social media if you don’t pay active attention to it. It also helps to know which apps you actually want to use. For instance, I spend much more time on Instagram than Twitter now, and I deleted TikTok entirely a few months ago. I only use Snapchat for sending videos/photos to friends, but I otherwise don’t go on it. Again, decide what works for you!

How do you feel about social media? It’s definitely one of those things that’s in the gray area. It’s neither good nor bad. Again, I think it all depends on how you use it!

I hope this post was helpful, though, and that you took something away from it! I would love to know what you think.

October Wrap Up 2020

Before we start the post, I want to acknowledge that today is election day, and I know that this day is stressful. Please take care of yourself. I hope that this post can provide some distraction from the events of the day.


Another month has gone by, just like that. And we are slowly coming to the end of 2020 (thank god, right?).

In terms of reading, this has been another one of those slower months for me. I read 7 books, which is one more than last month, and I read some really good books! So, let’s take a look at them :)

5 stars

  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: My first read of spooky season was definitely a successful one! This book was so eerie and it reminded me a lot of The Yellow Wallpaper and The Fall of the House of Usher. If you like gothic literature, this is definitely the book for you!

4.5 stars

  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo: This book was PHENOMENAL! I really enjoyed this, and I have a whole review up on the blog, so I won’t go into detail now. But it was a really great read, and I can’t wait for the next book to come out!
  • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang: I am completely in awe of the fact that R.F. Kuang wrote a book this complex when she was 19?!?! That is phenomenal. This was a really great read, though it was a longer book, but I am so looking forward to picking up the next one!

3.5 stars

  • The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman: This was an enjoyable read! I found the story really interesting, but I was hoping for some more character development. It was a creepy book for sure, and I am definitely going to check out the next book.

2 stars

  • Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee: Some of you who have been following me for a while know how much To Kill a Mockingbird means to me. It is no longer one of my favorite books, but it still holds a special place in my life. I have been putting off the sequel to it for many years, mainly because my junior year English teacher told me I should wait until I’m a little older. I finally read it, and I understand why he wanted me to wait. I also wish he had just told me not to read it at all. It was a really disappointing read for me. It did not have the same impact that TKAM had at all, and it left me angry at the characters. I really wanted more from it, and I’m sad at how the story played out in it.
  • Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer: This was a whole 600+ pages of nothing. I honestly don’t know what I was expecting from this, but I really didn’t end up enjoying it. I was bored throughout most of it because it felt like I was just re-reading Twilight, but it was much slower. When I first started it, I really considered DNF’ing the book, but I got myself to power through solely because I had preordered it, and I felt like it would have been a waste of my money if I didn’t finish it.

1 star

  • Instructions for a Funeral by David Means: This was a short story collection that I was actually looking forward to reading, but it was really disappointing. The stories felt so disjointed, and I could not see the point to any of them. The author seemed to be going for those “slice of life” type of stories, but the actual writing did not work at all for me.

That’s all for my wrap up! I read some really good books and a couple of not so good books, but overall I’m happy with my reading! How many books did you read this month?

A Look Inside My Notion Pages!

I know that everyone has been talking about Notion lately, but I still wanted to share how my pages are setup because I’ve been using Notion for nearly a year now and have figured out a system that works really well for me!

I want to start out by saying I don’t use Notion for daily planning, or even weekly/monthly for that matter. I do track a few things weekly/monthly, but my daily schedules and to-do lists are done physically in my planner!

Alright, let’s get into it!

Home

First up is my home base! I keep track of some weekly and monthly goals that I want to accomplish, usually related to school or blogging. I also have a spot for ongoing tasks- it’s a place for me to brain dump things I want to get done that don’t have a specific due date.

Underneath that, I have a list of mantras. This is just nice to see every day. It’s a good reminder to stay present and mindful during my day. I’ll change these out every few weeks or so.

Finally, I have a list of daily habits and my ideal morning routine. This is not something I always stick to, but seeing it laid out makes it easier to remember.

Overall, this page is just a grounding page to keep my head clear!

Mind Space

The next page I have is called ‘mind space.’ Here is where the majority of my actual notes are! I use Thomas Frank’s template, which basically consists of three parts:

  1. Notebooks: This is where all of your actual notes live! You can create as many as you want. I have four, and I’ll go into each in more detail later!
  2. Status Dashboard: This is a database of all of the notes in each of your notebooks! It allows you to see all of your notes at a glance, which can be very helpful at times. I personally don’t make too much use out of it, but you can use it to assign a status to each note (open, urgent, or archived), as well as assign a category for each note as well. If you want to use Notion to keep track of projects for school or work, this feature would be perfect for that!
  3. Inbox: The inbox is basically a quick note! If you are trying to quickly create a grocery list, you can just click the “new” button, write your list, and then when you have a chance, you can just drag it into the notebook it belongs in!

The first notebook I have is for all of my life stuff, and it’s the notebook I use the most! Some of my pages include my workout routine, my monthly budgets, a wish list, and a grocery list. Basically, I just keep a lot of lists here!

Then, I have a page for school stuff, but this is more so just school planning- I have a page for all of my Thesis notes and sources. I also have a page for me schedule & requirements for the rest of my time in undergrad, and I have a list of potential grad schools! I don’t keep actual class notes on Notion- I do those on Word!

The next notebook I have is for blog stuff! I mainly just use it to keep track of some book notes, post ideas, and my favorites for my quarterly favorites post!

Finally, I have an Inspiration page! Here, I keep track of my quarterly goals and I have an “impossible list,” as well as a five year plan. This is one of my newer notebooks, so there isn’t much in it yet, but I plan on keeping track of my favorite quotes in here, creating vision boards, and saving anything interesting I find!

Archive

The final page I have is just an archive of past notebooks that I no longer use, but that I don’t want to lose completely. For instance, I have some notes from a PR course I took over the summer that I may want to look back on in a few months, so I have them stored here.

Do you use Notion? What are some ways you organize your pages?

What other organizational tools do you use?

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo // Review

I finally read it. After owning a copy of the book since release week (roughly a year ago from now), I finally picked up the book and read it!

And I’m so glad I did.

Ninth House was everything I was looking for. I know that it’s gotten many mixed reviews, and it’s definitely not a book for everyone, but I thought it was phenomenal.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Galaxy “Alex” Stern is the most unlikely member of Yale’s freshman class. Raised in the Los Angeles hinterlands by a hippie mom, Alex dropped out of school early and into a world of shady drug dealer boyfriends, dead-end jobs, and much, much worse. By age twenty, in fact, she is the sole survivor of a horrific, unsolved multiple homicide. Some might say she’s thrown her life away. But at her hospital bed, Alex is offered a second chance: to attend one of the world’s most elite universities on a full ride. What’s the catch, and why her?

Still searching for answers to this herself, Alex arrives in New Haven tasked by her mysterious benefactors with monitoring the activities of Yale’s secret societies. These eight windowless “tombs” are well-known to be haunts of the future rich and powerful, from high-ranking politicos to Wall Street and Hollywood’s biggest players. But their occult activities are revealed to be more sinister and more extraordinary than any paranoid imagination might conceive.

My Review:

Where do I even begin? First off, I went in with very few expectations for this book. I didn’t know much about it going into it, so it was really a pleasant surprise all the way through.

The book starts off very slow, and for the most part, it continued on with a slow pace for the majority of the story. That’s not to say that it was boring or lacking action, though. Quite the opposite actually. This book was full of mystery, murder, and morally grey characters. The entire time I was trying to figure out what was going to happen alongside our main character Galaxy “Alex” Stern.

Speaking of Alex, she is not a warm and kind character in the slightest. From the start, she is portrayed as cold and calculating, but I loved that about her. She had her guard up a lot, but once we found out why, you really start to feel for her.

Another character I loved was Pammie, or Dawes. We see her more towards the second half of the book, but she made a huge impression on me. She is quite the opposite of Alex, but the two made a great pair!

I also really loved learning more about Darlington. Although we do not see too much of him, he is central to the story.

The storyline was also so compelling. I didn’t want to put the book down, but at the same time, I needed to process certain scenes. Reading about the magic and the secret societies was really fascinating to me. I do wish we got to learn a little bit more about them and see more of the characters outside of Lethe. I’m hoping this gets fleshed out more in the next book!

The writing was also incredible. I loved the way we switched between timelines. It worked really well for this story, and it aided in many of the plot twists and shocking surprises we see.

Just a fair warning, this book is dark. Very dark. That is part of what drew me to it, but I know that not everyone is able to read books like this. It is gory and graphic, so proceed with caution.

TW: drug use, overdose, addiction, detailed rape (not romanticized, but pretty graphic), murder, gore, sexual assault, racism, and more that I may have forgotten.

All in all, I think this was a really solid adult debut from Bardugo. I am so excited to see where the second book goes!

I have now read all of Bardugo’s books (aside from her novella), and she is easily one of my favorite authors. The funny part is, it took me so long to finally pick up her books—it wasn’t until last year that I read Shadow and Bone, and I just finished SoC & CK this year!

That being said, she has pulled me in time and time again, and I will forever be reading her books.

If you’ve read this book, let me know what your thoughts were on it!

The Book Blogger Oldie Tag

Hello everyone! Today I am excited to be sharing another tag with you all. This is one that I saw Holly do based off of the Booktube Oldie Tag created by Monica Kim!

I have been blogging for quite a while now, so I would definitely consider myself an oldie. I knew I wanted to eventually getting around to doing this tag, and here I am, finally getting to it!

1. How long have you been part of the book blogging community?

As of September, I have been blogging on this site for 5 whole years! I still can’t believe that. You can read my 5 year thank you post here :)

2. What was your biggest misconception before starting a book blog?

Truthfully, I didn’t have any misconceptions because I sort of started book blogging…by accident? I began my blog as a lifestyle/beauty blog, and then slowly started making more reading-related content. Eventually, all of my content became centered around books, which is what got me here today! Basically, I just started writing about books and was already in the book blogging community before I even realized it.

3. How do you think book blogging has changed since you first started?

It is a lot more inclusive now, for sure. Back when I first started, I remember mainly seeing posts about super hyped books (John Green, Cassandra Clare, Sarah J. Maas, etc). Obviously, many books that are talked about now are still ones that are hyped many times, but I’ve also seen the community grow to more niche-based bloggers who post books outside of the traditional YA sphere.

Publishing as a whole has become much more diverse (though there is still a long way to go), but many people have now made an effort to include more representation in their reading (myself included).

4. What is your favorite book blogging memory?

My favorite memories have to be any time that I met a blogger friend in real life! The fact that I’ve been able to make such genuine connections online and then translate them to the real world is incredible to me! I wish more of my blogger friends lived near me so I could see them more often.

5. What are some books that you were introduced to because of book blogging?

Oh wow, there are so many. Prior to book blogging, I honestly didn’t really pay much attention to new releases. I would go into Barnes and Noble or the library and just pick a book that caught my eye based on the cover and synopsis. I miss those days a little bit, but I’ve also found so many incredible books because of bloggers.

Some that immediately come to mind:

  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
  • Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

6. What is something that frustrates you about book blogging?

It’s frustrating that we are still not treated with the same respect as the rest of the book community. I understand that blogging may not be as popular as Booktube anymore, but book bloggers are truly the foundation of the book community. I just wish that more people would recognize it as a valid and genuine platform because it has such a huge impact on a lot of people.

7. What is your hope for the future of book blogging?

I hope that it will continue to be more inclusive and diverse, that people will be friendlier and more welcoming, and that it will continue to improve every single day!

That is it for this tag! I had so much fun writing these answers, and I hope that some of you will join in and do the tag yourself!

See you next week :)