Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, especially since I didn’t really try getting attention for this blog for the past year and a half or so, but I’ve technically been blogging for four whole years! Four years ago yesterday (this post took a little too long, so I wasn’t able to finish it on the anniversary – but I worked on it on the anniversary date!), I started up my Livejournal version of this blog, and last January I moved to WordPress and got a bit more serious about blogging and networking. Despite the number of years I’ve been at this, though, I’m not really in a position to do a giveaway or something else that requires money or whatever, which seem to be a common celebration for blogging anniversaries. So, instead, I’m going to highlight some of my favorite things that I’ve done, read, and such since I began blogging!
There have been plenty of reviews that I write simply because I feel an obligation to do so, but there have been other reviews where I pour all of my emotions and thoughts into them and they end up kind of rambling on and on until I finally say everything that popped into my head. These reviews tend to be the ones I remember the most, the ones that I’m the most proud of because they feel so personal. One of my first and most memorable of these posts was my review of The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler, an author I have an up-and-down history with (loved Fixing Delilah, really disliked Twenty Boy Summer, and was kind of “meh” about Bittersweet). The book felt kind of personal for me, and thus the review ended up feeling pretty personal as well.
Favorite Discussion Post(s)
I looked through all of my discussion posts (four pages of them! I feel so proud, because that’s a year and a half’s worth of discussion posts since the move) and really did try to narrow it down to one favorite discussion, but I’m just going to have to go with my top five – it’s too hard to narrow it down more! We’ll start from the beginning and work our way to a pretty recent discussion…
Back when I first started doing discussion posts, my titles were a lot less interesting and long, but I think I had some great topics that I’m really proud of anyway. There was Best Friends in YA, where I talked about my unfortunate aversion to many best friends in YA books as well as some of the best friends that I did loving reading about, which was unfortunately a small number (that has luckily grown since then!). I later turned to Being Blonde in YA, a post that was in reply to another about being brunette; in this post, I looked at how brunettes were often the smart but dull ones and therefore blondes got stuck with being the dumb, mean ones, which was unfair to both hair colors and girls in general when they’re judged. Hair color changed to body shape with Girls Without Curves, where I then talked about how unrealistic is seemed when the “geeky,” “dull” (often brunette – see, some tropes keep popping up!) protagonist was always flat and wishing for a bigger bra size. I might want to revisit that topic since I have some new thoughts about it (namely, that large breasts too often equal slut, which is an awful trope to teach young readers).
There are plenty of other discussion posts I liked in between these earlier posts and more recent ones, but I kept coming back to two recent and emotional posts anyway. A few months ago I talked about how I’m a Very Emotional Reader – But It’s Totally Fine if You Aren’t, which is something that seems to be quite divisive in the YA community – you’re either crying at every remotely emotional scene (like I am) or need to find a very special book in order to even tear up. And then, much more recently, I talked about The Many Emotions of the DNF, because I think DNFs are also a complicated issue in the book blogging community and one that I’m constantly flip-flopping back and forth on.
I hope to have many more amazing discussion posts, as well as some that reflect upon and add to old ones, but for now these are the ones that I love the most!
Favorite Non-Discussion Post
While I was looking through all of my discussion posts, I was also skimming through my discussion-esque feature, Common Archetypes, which are filed under the same category. These kinds of posts are the ones where I try to include many different examples and GIFs, some fun things to set them apart and such. They take a while to write up and complete, so I don’t post them too much, but when I do, I look at different tropes and archetypes that annoy or interest me. So far, I’ve done four of these posts (I definitely need to do some more soon), but my favorite remains the first one I ever did: The Broody Couple and Fun Friend. I used Teen Wolf GIFs and looked at some of the books I had just read at that point (mainly, Unravel Me and Siege and Storm). It was a fun and new feature and I was having as much fun as I could with it while still being informative and interesting.
Favorite 2014 Challenge Books
I’ve read many different books for the Debut and Sophomore Author Challenges this year so far, but these are my favorite ones so far. There’s a mixture of 4 and 4.5 star ratings, but all of these are pretty memorable and have me quite excited for future books from these authors!
I recently used this in a post, but I decided to reuse it in case you missed it (and because I’m being a little lazy). I have my bookshelves basically ordered by my love of each book, although it’s very common for them to be switched up as my interest changes. There are a lot of books on this shelf that have been there pretty much as long as I’ve had the bookshelf (it used to be my parents’, but it became mine when I switched rooms about six years ago), such as Impossible and the Darkest Powers trilogy, and some that I recently bought, like Smart Girls Get What They Want and My Life Next Door.
Favorite Books Recently Purchased
I don’t buy many books, but I do have gift cards and coupons and visits to Half Price Books that I like to take advantage of by purchasing books. Usually I buy books I’ve already read and enjoyed, like Wicked Lovely, The Boy Book, The Reece Malcolm List, and Smart Girls Get What They Want, but sometimes I take a chance on books that I think I’ll quite enjoy but haven’t read yet, like Ink is Thicker Than Water and What I Thought Was True. I recently purchased Since You’ve Been Gone and have yet to read it, but I hope that it joins the ranks of “glad I took a chance on you!” books.
These are just a few of my favorite book- and blog-related topics, but there are plenty more, and I hope to explore them all in the years to come! Here’s to doing something great and spectacular for year five!