I kind of became the queen of hiatuses // Taking breaks from blogging: DISCUSSION

I am alive, people! (You can all exhale in relief and shower me with confetti now.) Sorry about the lack of posting and interaction this past week! </3 Things have just been so busy, and I just simply didn’t have time to write and schedule posts, or even read, really. I recently came back from a trip to Toronto, though! I visited my cousins and we all went to Niagara Falls together, which was lots of fun.

On the reading side of things, my slump has been slowly wearing off but I lack time?? I used to read on the bus but I’ve been so tired I end up sleeping. Oops. #sorrynotsorry (I NEED SLEEP.) BUT. I’m currently reading The Hate U Give* by Angie Thomas! *cue celebration* Haven’t finished THUG yet but THE HYPE WAS SPOT ON. Already love Starr and her story!

But I digress. TOPIC FOR TODAY: Hiatuses. Which I am an expert on** obviously because I’ve taken many of them and have now became temporarily queen. (Shhhh.)

*I tried to put in the link to Goodreads but it’s not working?? Oh well.

**The term expert is subjective, okay?

Why it can be totally necessary

Why I take them, basically. Queens don’t do things for no reason?? I mean, they totally could, but. Even if it’s horrible logic, there’s some logic behind decisions.

  • Lacking time. I will never have enough time?? I think the time gods up there are all conspiring against me, honestly. This is definitely one of my primary reasons for taking a break, because I simply don’t have the time to write up any posts in advance and then… well, you know the rest.
    No time = no writing blog posts = hiatus for who knows how long. QUITE SIMPLE.
  • Lacking motivation. Leads to the dreaded blogging slump! Blogging slumps can be the worst?? When you have time but not for blogging because you don’t feel like it. SIGH.
    Time + no motivation to write = hiatus (until you have time + motivation).
  •  Lacking ideas. Blogging slumps can definitely be caused by this? You have time on your hands, have the motivation to write a post, and then… FART. No thoughts, no ideas, on what to write.
    Time + motivation + no ideas = blogging slump = hiatus
  • Personal issues. Whether it be family, job, or school, we all have lives outside of blogging (GASP) and that can definitely get in the way of the blog! It happens! Some bloggers are really good at juggling their personal lives and blogging lives so that the blog isn’t affected by their personal life, others (me), perhaps require breaks to not, you know, die from all the pressure. And you come back feeling better! (Hopefully.) All’s good.
    Personal issues (do not)= hiatus but Personal issues + being overwhelmed can = hiatus
  • Reading slump. Being a book blogger, this one’s more geared to book bloggers but if you’re in a reading slump, it can definitely influence your blogging! Especially for reviews. My reading slump have led to a blogging slump previously (but that’s not necessarily the case all the time)!
    Reading slump = possible blogging slump = hiatus. 
  • Vacations. This totally goes unsaid?? Again, there are of course bloggers out there who are super committed and either write posts during their vacation, or schedule them in advance, so no hiatus in that situation, but IT’A A VACATION. Apart from the fact that you don’t have to ever justify your hiatus at all (though I’m guilty of doing so), if there was ever a time where you deserve to take a break, it’s when you’re going on a trip!

The main consequence to taking hiatuses

Let me first state: If you need/want to take a hiatus, GO FOR IT. There is literally nothing stopping you whatsoever and this little part is not meant to change that at all. The world is your oyster! And all that. Yes, there are consequences, as there is with anything else in life, but they’re most definitely not the end of the world.

  • Your stats will go down! Yes, I realize “stats/numbers aren’t the focus of blogging” yet they are something the majority of bloggers definitely think about/concentrate on. I get it! I totally do as well. But if you don’t post anything, naturally, stats WILL decrease. Speaking from a 7-month hiatus experience, although my followers have increased, my stats aren’t how they used to be during my, (for lack of a better description) peak months of blogging even after I’ve started blogging again.BUT. Most people won’t take such a long hiatus! Although you’ll have a period in time where your stats are lower, it’s not really a huge issue in the grand scheme of things. ❤
  • Your followers will miss youuuuuuuu!! (Possibly. Hopefully?) Of course, there are the followers who don’t actually visit your blog often or at all and who haven’t noticed your hiatus at all, whether it was for a week or a year, but the people you do interact will miss talking to you! I’m speaking from the context that whenever one of my blogger friends go on hiatus I definitely miss reading their posts and talking to them! #bloggerfriendsftw But on the bright side: when you return, they’ll be there to welcome you back! ❤

I wanted at least 3 for this part but my brain is like short circuiting and can’t come up with anything. Oops. But again, remember! Take that hiatus if you want to!! Don’t let my nonsensical ramblings take root in your head.

For how long can you take a hiatus?

Short answer: However long you want! It’s your life, your blog, your choice. Whether it’s a week, a month, 3 months or more, you do you!

Oh my lord that sounded so cheesy what is happening to me.

Let’s see. For me, I can’t remember exactly all the hiatuses I’ve taken, but there’s the most recent one, which lasted almost 2 weeks-ish? Wow, I didn’t think it was that long. For what it’s worth, I did try to come up with a blog post when I returned from Toronto, but it didn’t exactly work out?

Last year, I took my longest hiatus (hopefully the record will never be surpassed!) of around 7 months starting June-ish of 2016 and ending at the end of January/start of February this year. Prior to that… I may have taken a few weeks/few days off here and there? Though I have a bad habit of taking accidental hiatuses, if you will, where it wasn’t really planned and I don’t even end up mentioning it in a post or anything??? OOPS.

What was I talking about again?

Right. Length!

(Sometimes I wonder if I’m writing an actual coherent discussion or just typing whatever comes to my mind while looking at the screen.)

I definitely don’t plan on taking more than 1 month hiatus in the future though, particularly if the hiatus is due to my poor time management skills haha. Length of a hiatus definitely varies from person to person though? A lot of people I’ve seen take maybe a few days, or a week or two?

But honestly, the short and cheesy answer is actually 100% true. Your blog, your life, your choice!


Okay so that concludes this ‘discussion’! I put it in quotations seeing how I am very skeptical of whether or not this actually makes sense?? I read it over once and… that’s pretty much it. (Don’t do this for any essay, fyi.) SO I hope this made somewhat sense? What are your thoughts on taking a break from blogging: good or bad? How often do you take them? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Side note; I am still behind on my comments, this post is currently being written at 1 AM, please bear with me haha. I love reading and replying to your comments though! I hope everyone has a great day, and I’ll talk to you guys soon! ❤

The ups and downs of blogging // 2 years blogiversary + birthday!!

Failed moment of the day: I literally spelled my blog title “Book Snakes” in an email and did not realize it for the longest time ever. Oops. (But it kind of sounds good? Is that just me…)

Hello everyone!! Ignore the above. 🙂 I meant to post this yesterday, but I got kind of caught up with things and didn’t get the chance, unfortunately. By things, I mean I turned 19 yesterday??? And it’s my 2 year-blogiversary?? It honestly doesn’t feel any different but somehow I’m older? But like I’m still not down with this whole adulting thing… #helpwhereismychildhood

This isn’t going to be a me-focused post, but a mini timeline:

I started my blog on March 20-something (let’s go with 24th because it’s around the time I started posting more often + saves me from mixing up dates), 2015. I have since then:

  • Survived high school (?!)
  • Started university (SO MUCH WORK but I suppose it’s an accomplishment haha)
  • Continued part-time work (aka I have even less time)
  • Bought too many books
  • Went to Disney World + Universal Studios (HARRY POTTER omg I CAN’TTTTT) and literally had the best time ever
  • Seriously though you can’t imagine how amazing it was.
  • I’m actually in love with Butterbeer and I even got a stuffed Hedwig I love herrrrr
  • I know I never even mentioned this until now?? lol. But I went during the week of Christmas (SO BUSY my god) and it was basically my dream come true in HP World. I adore roller coasters so much and it was heaven.
  • Written 435 posts (including this one)
  • Procrastinated on too many things

Can you believe it’s also been 2 YEARS since I started this blog??? My. mind. can’t. process. this. HOW has it been so long??? (Well, long for me, anyway, seeing how I never thought this would last this much time.) Granted, I didn’t blog for 7 months during this time, which is probably why it doesn’t really feel like 2 years, but nonetheless, it’s been 2 years since I started the blog! I wanted to take a moment to thank you guys, first of all, for sticking through my rambling inconsistent nonsense (who would have thought???), and secondly, for making this whole blogging thing SO WORTHWHILE. ❤ ❤

BUT. Blogging is HARD. I don’t think I’ve ever talked about particularly the things that are difficult, so here we go!

What I struggled with

Finding the time to blog

This is actually something I still struggle with, honestly. What is time and how do we have enough of it to do the 19876 things in our lives??? Someone please offer the answer, because I have no clue. When I first started, I tried to post everyday, and for a few months at a time, it worked. But my quality of posts were not as good, and I ended up giving up on the daily posts thing because life just gets SO BUSY. I occasionally prepare my posts in advance now, but other times, even that proves to be challenging. The posts alone can take so much of my time, it takes at least an hour for most posts, depending on the type… but then you add in making graphics, commenting, and all other blogging things… LIKE I SAID. No time. *cry face*

Writing blog posts

Finding the inspiration and idea to write a blog post–a creative, and interesting one–was actually much harder than I’d expected?? Am I the only one who thinks this?? I love writing discussions, for one, but coming up with a topic?? Can be so hard. Sometimes I’m totally struck by inspiration and it can be easy, but other times I try (and fail) to writing something semi-coherent and enjoyable to read haha. I’ve had to resign myself to this fact: there are very few ‘original’ topics. Most things (such as this pros and cons of blogging, if you will) have already been written about. But, as I learned, it’s your own take on it that makes it an interesting post! But that is hard when the topic just isn’t coming to you… *glares at past blogging slumps* Very familiar with that, unfortunately. 

Blog hopping & commenting

I adore blog hopping and commenting on other blogs!! It’s so much fun and I always love hearing from other bloggers–that interaction is what makes blogging so special, right? What I struggle with is again, time. Time, to not only reply to comments on my own blog, but also leave a comment on the commenter’s blog, and then go blog-hop on and comments on other blogs. I try my best, but sometimes I get behind on my commenting game, and reply to comments a bit late–and then also spend double the amount of time binge-blog hopping and catching up on posts I’ve missed. It’s just so time-consuming though, and I feel so bad that I can’t make it to every blog ahah. If I haven’t stopped by your blog in a while, I promise, I’m trying! 🙂

Getting caught up in the stats

I didn’t expect much when I first started blogging in terms of stats (i.e. followers, likes, comments, etc.) but I think after two years there are things I’ve come to expect from my blog, and I won’t lie, stats kind of really impacted my blogging experience in a negative way sometimes. As a human being, as a perfectionist-in-certain-areas person in particular, being ‘successful’ (in quotations because everyone has different definitions) is kind of a goal. And blogging takes so much work, and effort, that getting, say, lots of views, or lots of comments on your posts feels good, and when you don’t, it can lead, inevitably, to disappointment, which can lead later to a lack of motivation to blog. The easiest thing, I’ve learned, is to not care about the stats as much, but that’s easier said than done. It’s perfectly fine to care about the stats, just need to find that balance so that it doesn’t start to bring you down.

Comparing myself to other bloggers

Is it just me who has looked at other bloggers before “Their blog is so [successful/popular/creative/eye-catching/insert attribute here]” and subconsciously compared it to my own? There are SO MANY absolutely amazing blogs out there that 100% deserve all the praises, and I would be the first one to gush over the many fabulous qualities. I think it’s great to show that support, those bloggers deserve it so much! But then, comes in the creeping thought of “Is mine not good enough?” or “Why isn’t mine as successful?” and that’s when it gets difficult. I’ve been through it. Let me say this: YOUR BLOG IS GREAT, PEOPLE. I truly mean it. Stats, everything, doesn’t matter if you’re happy with your blog. It’s perfectly fine to love other blogs (you totally should!!) but take a moment to just appreciate your blog as well instead of comparing it because that will make you so much happier. ❤ #lessonlearned xD

What makes it all so worth it:

The blogging community

#1 reason, hands down!! My praises for the blogging community are literally endless. The limitless amount of kind, caring and such amazing people that I’ve met during my blogging years make me ask why aren’t people around the world more like them?? Legit, if the world was as lovely as the blogging community, we’d have world peace and so much more love!! ❤ ❤ Even better is the fact that through the blogging community, I’ve gotten the chance to meet and learn, about so many people, so many things, and of course, new books. It feels so great to know that whenever I have a book I adore (or a book I despise), there will ALWAYS be someone there to either fangirl or rant with me. That sense of belonging, got lost to me a few times over my blogging journey (7 months disappearing kind of does that…) but blogging again re-introduced me to the magic that I fell in love with; There is no better feeling than fangirling with another fellow human, a friend who understands you. And I know I’m verging on cheesiness-overload (if I’m not already swimming in it), but I really mean that! The amount of friends I’ve made through blogging has made all of it SO WORTH IT. All of the struggles I mentioned above? Mean nothing, at the end of the day when I think about how great all of you are. THANK YOU for being such lovely human beings. ❤ ❤

Gosh, now I’m all emotional. This is terrible for my rep, guys. Ugh. ❤

There are so many other good sides to blogging, trust me, but I’m really short on time right now and I hope this is enough aha. ❤ ❤ The blogging community is absolutely the best part though?!?


I still can’t believe it’s been 2 years. 

Okay, okay, I’ll get used to it! But thank you once again, and tell me: have you gone through any of these struggles?? How long have you been blogging, and what do you love about it? (Me, obviously, but that’s a given. :P) I love talking to each and every one of you, thank you SO MUCH for just being so supportive. ❤ ❤ A million hugs to all of you!!

Blogging Babbles: Blog design, Self-hosting and other daunting thoughts | DISCUSSION

*everyone double takes at the title as they realize it is not retelling/fairytale/Beauty and the Beast themed*

Yes, you read that right!! I will admit, yes, perhaps I was just a tiny bit obsessed with Beauty and the Beast for the past days leading up to the movie’s release, and had a few* themed posts the past week or so. I do hope you guys enjoyed it!! BUT. I am ready to move forward! My 2nd blogiversary is coming up soon**–though I need help deciding whether it counts because I didn’t blog for 7 months last year???–which means I’ve got a more blogging focus going right now. (You can tell I’m really into the “theme” idea here…).

*3, to be exact. Not very many, in the grand scheme of things. I was contemplating writing a post this time on why you should watch the movie itself, [which I adored by the way] but I figured a post of me screeching about how amazing it was wouldn’t be very helpful. So. JUST GO WATCH IT. And then come to squeal with me on the blog or on Twitter. Ahem.

**I can’t believe it’s been 2 years?????!! BUT. It’s a bit more complicated because I wasn’t sure if I was going to count this because I took a 7-month hiatus last year where I didn’t post anything??? I literally was DEAD. I’m scarred just looking at the HUGE BLANK in my blogging calendar for that time. Is my blogiversary even valid right now if technically it’s been 2 years – (minus) 7 months of blogging???? HELPPPPPP.

The topic you see here today is something that I had wondered/asked myself and was conflicted about for quite some time: Changing your blog’s design and the big question: self-hosting–Should you do it, the process, pros and cons, etc. AND I AM SO CONFLICTED. So let’s discuss! (Aka helpppppppp me I am a smol uncertain bean here)

The great self-host debacle begins!

*sigh* I make it sound so much more interesting than it is.

Why it is tempting.

My blog, has had pretty much the same look ever since I started blogging; the Visual theme offered by WordPress.com. A dark background with white lettering. What you see now is what it’s pretty much what’s always been, and there’s not really anything I can do to change its apperance. And I think that’s one of the things that has me thinking about the daunting idea of self-hosting, because it offers more freedom and control over blog design and how it looks. 

See, I still really like the theme I have now, but I’ve really been juggling with the idea of having a white background as a change instead of the dark one I have now. I do like it, because I feel like it’s unique in the sense that not many people (that I follow or have seen, anyway) have this theme, or a dark background. But even aside from that, I liked how it looked. But a light background is tempting because it feels so much more positive and uplifting than the dark one I have and also several people said they might like it better… It could bring a much-needed change to my blog?? I don’t know. *shrug*

So, I scroll through the free themes WordPress.com has to offer, preview a bunch of them, spend too much time screeching in despair, and I can’t find anything new, that suits me. I found a few themes that I like, but have been used so many times it doesn’t feel like me or feels like I’d be copying other bloggers haha. Which is silly, I know, but something in my head all the same. Others in theory are really nice but lack some of the qualities I’m looking for.

There’s also the option of WordPress.com’s Premium themes, before we hop on the self-hosting wagon. I’ve looked through some of those as well and although they’re nice, I couldn’t find anything that fit either. Shhhh I’m not being that picky. Don’t get me wrong, they’re really nice and I haven’t seen all of them, but at the moment, I’m still indifferent.

Which brings me to self-hosting! The two main reasons why it’s tempting to me at the moment: a) freedom over several things, but especially blog design, i.e. more options to play around with and b) my own blog name. Aka no “.wordpress.com” after your blog’s title URL. It’s nothing I can’t deal with, but I’d love to have my URL just be “booksnacks.com”, and self-hosting would allow me to do that.*

*I’ve also heard you can also buy your domain to get rid of the wordpress.com?? Or buy the URL?? Something like that? So it would still be WordPress hosting your site, but you can get rid of the ‘wordpress.com’?? Correct me if I’m wrong! But that’s definitely another idea as well.

The perks of self-hosting (WordPress.org), in a nutshell:

  • Full control over blog design, formatting, theme, etc.
  • More media space (I think?)
  • Option of monetizing your blog via ads
  • Basically lots of freedom.
  • Own domain (no wordpress.com)

There is a bunch more stuff about self-hosting vs not at these links, if you want to check them out: Difference between WordPress.com and .orgpros and cons, a helpful comparison.

To play the devil’s advocate…

Aka my fears and questions show their little heads

  • “What if you lose your posts while moving over to a different platform??” Okay, the earlier ones can disappear into the darkness but I have worked hard on the rest of the posts?? I poured my soul into them*, but mostly so much TIME and it would kind of suck if that all disappeared. o.O
  • “What if I lose followers/views?” I mean, it’s not that much of a big deal, but it would kind of suck if that happened?? Being a very lazy person, I like the convenience of having to only press one button in order to follow wordpress.com blogs, and the WordPress Reader is how many people find my blog so like…?? Again, not a big deal but it’s in your head all the same, you know?
  • “Do I even want to self-host?” Remember me being a very lazy person? Yeah, well seeing how switching to self-hosted would be I’d have to put in all that extra work and time keeping the blog in proper condition. And I don’t have enough time as it is…??
  • “I finally got the hang of this WordPress thing?? And self-hosting seems so much harder??” Correct me if I’m wrong, but self-hosted blog require more work, no? And definitely a lot of new things to grasp and learn about. I know there are tons of articles out there helping out with that sort of thing, but still. New. Concepts. #notime
  • “I can’t really pay for it??” I mean, I can but that’s an added expense that could’ve been spent on a) chocolate b) BOOKSSSSS c) new fuzzy socks or d) Bath and Body Works and e) MORE BOOKS.
  • Tbh why am I even having this discussion??
  • Cause the whole concept of self-hosting depends on PAYING.
  • And I just don’t have the finances for that?? #studentlife

BUT. It is still definitely that I’m interested in mostly because I want to change my theme but I can’t find anything for free that suits what I want and self-hosting would offer more freedom? As well as the fact that having a dot com url would be kind of nice. Yet WordPress.com is free and I have to do less work so. #nice And it’s also a great community and it’s easy to interact with others (via Reader)? UGH. SO MANY STRUGGLES. #halp


But what are your thoughts?? Have you thought about self-hosting? Have you changed your theme before? (Should I change mine??) If you are self-hosted, how is your experience? (Also does a blogiversary count if it’s technically been 2 years since you started but you hadn’t blogged for 7 months in that time??????)

Let’s chat!

What I love about Beauty and the Beast + Retellings | THE MOVIE IS OUT!!

Beauty and the Beast is finally OUT!! *cue screaming* Or for others, will be out very soon?!! I actually watched it yesterday and I loved it so much!! To be expected of course, but oh my gosh, the anticipation for this movie, the expectations were so high and ajrlkwjgwjgwinencksanwhenjfhsjns I’m just so glad this movie was made the way it was and MET MY EXPECTATIONS. *squeals*

And that’s perhaps a post for another time, but today, continuing my little B&B theme going on, I wanted to do a post about what I love about Beauty and the Beast! I’ve talked before about loving retellings, but I never discussed what I love about the fairytale this was all inspired by?!?? So here we go!!

1. Belle is kind of fabulous

I relate to Belle so much?? Okay, fine, I relate to her love for her books. I can’t exactly relate to anything else, but BOOKS. I love books + Belle loves books = I love Belle for loving books! I also love her dedication and love for her father, it’s really sweet! We don’t see many positive parent-child relationships in the earlier Disney princess movies–and side note: the live-action movie represented it better than the animated one in my opinion!! She’s also brave and kind, and this is highlighted even more in the live-action movie. (Whoops, this is becoming less of my thoughts on the original fairytale and more on the live-action movie!!)

2. The Beast

Okay, so he’s a total… um BEAST?? And he is quite horrible 70% of the time, but the relationship between Belle and the Beast is a pretty big factor as to why so many love the story–albeit the fact that there are definitely problematic issues with it. But he goes through a sweet journey and has nice growth #thingsreadersappreciate. No joke, everyone is fawning over the relationship between him and Belle and I’m just here like I’m glad he’s not as much of a jerk at the end #truth. But I did love the beast, don’t get me wrong haha.

3. LOVE (for the library, obviously.)

DO YOU SEE THAT LIBRARY??!?? THAT IS MY LOVE RIGHT THERE. ❤ ❤ Imagine having a library like that??! Filled with alllllllll the pretty books I adore… #goals. Booklover’s dream right here. Forget the prince, I want his library?? Give it to meeeeeee.

4. Belle and Beast’s Relationship

I’m not here to discuss the Stockholm Syndrome debacle and all, because a) I don’t feel qualified haha and b) that’s a whole other issue that is not the point of what I’m trying to say haha. What I love about their relationship is the growth and the development, and the beauty in finding the beauty within. Don’t judge a book by its cover and all, right? Seeing the Beast change and become more caring, and less beastly haha, and Belle falling for his kind side (and not the abusive side, mind you) was actually very sweet!! ❤ (And it was so lovely in the live-action movie!!!!)

5. Lumiere, Cogsworth, etc give me life.

I’m kind of in love with all of them?? Haha they’re just so much fun and adorable and growing up, they’re definitely one of the reasons I loved the movie. Call me childlike if you want, but they’re just as precious and just as much part of the story as anyone else!!

6. Tale as old as time.

Such nostalgia! Such memories! Beauty and the Beast (and just Disney in general) was such a big part of my life growing up haha and there’s just that emotional attachment! They all have this aspect of magic to them and I just think, that, paired with all the other elements, makes it so memorable–and so beloved. The theme, the characters, the story, all of it, is just so special.

Retellings for your Beauty and the Beast cravings!

Okayyyyy so confession!! As much as I’m obsessed with Beauty and the Beast, and obsessed with retellings, I haven’t actually read many retellings of it? I know! #sad BUT. I shall read more of them!! And I have collected a bunch of them, as many as I could find, for future reference and for you all to either a) add them to your own monstrous TBR, b) screech at me to read one of them that you adored or c) join me in my despair as we realize the lack of B&B in my life *the horror!!*

Read

  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: An obvious pick, much? Haha. One of the most popular B&B retellings out there, I think. It’s New-Adult, I believe, and has some steamy scenes, but that’s the extent of it! I really loved this one.
  • Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge: I liked this one! I think?? It’s been a while since I read it and I’m not exactly sure anymore haha. It definitely had its issues, though (like any book) but it was still pretty good! The main character, Nyx, was kind of annoying, but I liked the world and the concept.
  • Beastly by Alex Flinn: Aha… um okay. Well. Didn’t like this one very much. Or at all. Which is so sad!! Because it’s Beauty and the Beast and everything but like…. I couldn’t connect to the characters much at all? The narrator, the Beast, was actually SO ANNOYING and didn’t get any better, and I just didn’t care about him at all. So disappointing!

Unread

  • Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay: I haven’t read this one, but it sounds really good?? It  was released 4 years ago, and I’ve heard really great things.
  • Hunted by Megan Spooner: This was released a few days ago, I believe, and I can’t wait to read this one!! Out of all the retellings, I think this is the most recently-released and most anticipated one for me.
  • As Old As Time by Liz Braswell: This one actually seems really good as well! I definitely want to pick it up sometime.

That’s it for this post! I LOVE Beauty and the Beast so much, and I just wanted to share a few reasons why, though I suppose a lot of it goes unsaid! 🙂 By the way, the movie was AMAZING and I now am going to squeal at all of you to go watch it!! If you couldn’t tell by my blog posts recently, I’m obsessed with this and the movie was so great as well so basically I’m screeching in happiness.
But I digress!! What do you love about Beauty and the Beast? What are you *gasp* not a fan of? (It’s okay, I can take it. Mostly.) What retellings of it have you read/recommend for me to read? Have you watched the movie/plan to watch the movie (the correct answer to the latter is a solid yes btw)? Let me know in the comments!!
Lots of love!

Diversity, friendships, and more! | Dear future authors: pretty please include more of these things in your books (!!!)

Hey everyone! I hope you guys are all doing well. ❤ My blogging schedule is as unpredictable as ever, but I’m back today with another post; this time with a list of things I wish I could see more in the books I read. In this case, it would be YA, but honestly, no matter what the intended audience is, we should have more of these things. YA books are great, believe me, they are. Are they perfect? No, of course not. Every book has its set of problems. However, there are things that totally deserve more attention and should totally appear more in books, which is what I want to discuss today. Let’s do this.

Things I Wish Were in More Books

1. Girl + Girl Friendships.

(Aka fromances.* Just fyi.) Beth’s wonderful post talking about girl on girl hate in YA books inspired this one–it’s something that was always in the back of my mind, but reading this post made me realize how little female friendships there are in YA fiction. We have our bromances, which are AMAZING, but the fact that I cannot think of many examples of  YA books with strong female friendships is SO problematic. So many of YA’s readers are female, and no matter what the age, every single one of them deserves to recognize and relate, and fall in love with a strong female friendship because that is part of our lives. Female friendships exist, and are so, so important. They are a HUGE part of my own life–and I will bet yours as well–and it makes me so sad that I don’t see many books reflecting that in the lives of their characters. Female friendships (fromances!!) can be one of the strongest bonds ever, just as much as the bromances or the romantic ships. They are one of the most prevalent relationships in the lives of girls everywhere, so why are the majority of our YA books lacking this friendship in the characters’ life?

*Hey, there are bromances, why can’t there be fromances? THIS IS NOW A THING. Do not judge.

2. Male-female friendships.

Continuing on the theme of friendships, I would totally love to see more male-female friendships. I recently read The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, featuring an AMAZING, completely platonic, strong friendship between Sal, the main character, and his best friend, Sam. Their friendship was SO sweet and I loved it so much–but I’ll save that for the upcoming review. Point is: yes, there are definitely boy-girl friendships already that are great. But it only goes on to show that they should totally be in more books as well, because hey! News flash: boys and girls can be just friends. Everyone knows this. It’s always great to see a developed, boy-girl friendship in books to chip away at the idea that boys and girls can only be interested in each other romantically. And honestly, what harm is there melting a reader’s heart with a beautiful friendship? Friendships, in general, are awesome, and we totally need more of them. 

3. FOOD.

This might be affected by the fact that I am very very hungry right now. But nonetheless!! FOOD. Oh my gosh. So important, guys. I am always mildly shocked in the back of my mind when I read a book, and the characters go so long without food. No mention of it, nothing. There are books who do, definitely (and they understand me on a spiritual level*), but it is something that could totally be added to more books. See, food makes a book a) more realistic, b) more relatable c) more eat-able (book talks about food = book becomes said food?? Bet that’s how it works.) and d) overall more interesting because FOOD. I mean, I probably wouldn’t remember any of the descriptions of food past two seconds, but it’s in the moment, you know?

Ugh, this isn’t helping my hunger at all. I need to go restock my snack storage. Brb.

4. All the family.

CAN WE HAVE MORE FAMILY PLEASE? Thankfully I’m not dying of deprivation (yet) thanks to the select few wonderful books that have amazing moms and dads and siblings. ❤ Seriously, those books are actually the best and especially special because there are such few healthy familial relationships in YA, which is why they’re on this list. A healthy father-child bond or mother-child bond, or parents-child bond can be so impactful and so wonderful to read about. Is having parents who are present, caring, concerned and responsible too much to ask for? It really shouldn’t be. I get that, in many circumstances, absentee parents are a device for sympathy, plot, development, and who knows what else, but that does not mean we can’t have books with realistic and healthy portrayals of family because that is equally important in our lives and totally deserves more rep.

5. Little to no romance.

I’m aware of the fact that there ARE in fact many books without romance, don’t worry. I mean, I could list a few, definitely not as many as I would like, though. Because as much as I love romance in YA books (Ships yay), sometimes it’s nice to have books without, seeing how a) it gives us a break between all the emotional havoc our hearts go through the other 99% of the time, b) shows that romance isn’t everything! Because it really isn’t. See above friendships and family. ❤ and c) who has time for romance, anyway? Jk. But I definitely wouldn’t mind reading more books with little to no romance! Because hey, it’s all a part of life. Realistically, a lot of people don’t meet their one and only love in high school anyway aha. 😛

6. Slow-burn romance.

Does it make sense that I put books with no romance and books with slow-burn romance? Shhhhhhh, of course it does. Just as much as no romance books are important, I doubt YA fiction is going to kill off romance easily, which, I don’t mind because there are some really great books out there with them! Honestly, there is an endless array of books to choose in the YA romance area. But, specifically, I love slow-burns. Fantasy novels are usually quite good at this, and their romance doesn’t completely overwhelm the story, which is great for readers not looking only for romance. It would be great for more contemporary novels to have a developed and slow-burn romance too! Insta-love, for example, is not something I’m a fan of in books, which seems to appear a lot, which is why I’m advocating for more developed romances because those are so great to read, and offer a lot more to the characters and plot-wise in my opinion.

7. DIVERSITY.

This is probably the one most everyone will agree on, which is great because diversity is so important. Whether it be featuring POCs, people of the LQBT+ community, people suffering from mental illness, people with disabilities, people of different religions, etc. There are so many different people around the world–and, not just cis, white people featured in so many YA books. I have nothing against those characters, but it is a disservice to the beauty of this world, and the many wonderful, wonderful people who don’t get that much representation in the books they read. We aren’t all the same, and getting those books with characters who are similar to you can be so empowering. However, I firmly believe that if you are going to include diverse characters in a book, please, please, you have a responsibility to do it right. YA fiction, is, of course, fiction, but when it comes to diversity and representation, whether it be a race of people, or people with disabilities, or the LGBT+ community, or a culture, or anything, it’s more offensive and disrespectful to misrepresent them, including them in books but having them reduced to clichés, stereotypes. Which, is another reason why the #ownvoices movement is so great. Diversity, fortunately, is something that is being publicized more than ever, which means there are TONS of amazing diverse books out there (YAY), but I will forever be an advocate for more diverse books because it’s something that should be the norm, as well as celebrated. Why do I want–need–more (accurately represented) diverse books? For all the people who deserve to see themselves represented. For everyone so they can be educated on all the different people of the world. For everyone because they are important. Case in point: We all need diverse books. We will never not need more of them. ❤


WOW that last paragraph was longer than I expected. There is so much to say on the topic! But anyway. Friendships, diversity, family, food, these are all things I adore to see in books, things that are SO important to me and so passionate about. Can we please have more of them in YA?! Pretty please??

Sincerely, 

a deprived bookworm

Until the Next Meal, Analee

P.S. Until my plea is answered, let’s discuss! Don’t leave me hanging here, I spent a lot of time on this. 😛 Which of these do you want to see more of? What do you think about the whole diversity debacle? Any other things you want to see in YA books? ❤

My favourite bookish bromances | Because romantic relationships aren’t always everything.

Hello everyone! I hope your Monday has been amazing, and, for those of you in Canada celebrating family day, I hope that has been great as well. 🙂

So, as you guys all know, I love my romantic relationships in books. But that’s obviously not the only type of relationships there are; say hello to friendship/bromances, which are so amazing.  The platonic relationship, the friendship that is so strong, it just has to have its own title.

Why are bromances so awesome?

I shall tell you.

  • There is literally all the banter??! I love banter between characters so so much and bromances basically mean wit and sass 98% of the time which is so great AND very relatable–but mostly just VERY fun to read. Ahem.
  • So much platonic, beautiful, sibling love!! Without being siblings. The amazing brotherly bonds the characters form is so so wonderful and it makes my heart into a gooey mess just as much as our fellow romantic ships. Seriously, this love is so beautiful it can even totally be better than the romantic kind.
  • No complications of love triangles! There are so many times where a love triangle creates oh so unnecessary problems that cause readers much grief and frustration, and just in general, romantic relationships can be so angsty and whatnot (don’t get me wrong, I love them, but it’s still true!) but with bromances, there’s no such issue which makes the relationship even more awesome. The love and the feels without the pain? Fine by me.
  • Realistic, and relatable relationships. I suppose it depends on the book (most of us aren’t super close with a prince or have a buddy for a super dangerous journey or whatever the circumstances are) but a lot of the time, we read about romantic relationships that may or may not be something we’re familiar with. Most of the time, for me, I’m not familiar with it, but I love to read about them for that reason (and the feels, obvi). But despite that, it’s nice to see how valued platonic relationships are because those are the majority of the relationships I’m going to have. Apart from romantic love, friendships are one of the biggest aspects of my life, and most likely yours as well. It’s important to have that rep, you know?

So you can see how they are just as important, just as amazing, as my OTPs! Which is why I decided to make a separate post to list my favourites! I think I’ve rambled long enough, let’s get to the list!

favourite bookish bromances

Percy and Grover

“Meat!” he said scornfully. “I’m a vegetarian.”
“You eat cheese enchiladas and aluminum cans,” I reminded him.
“Those are vegetables.”

~Percy Jackson & the Olympians

As much as I love the trio here, and later the group of 7, I really wanted to focus on Percy and Grover, because these two were such a highlight of the Percy Jackson series! Their banter, their friendship gave me so much life and I was so sad when Grover no longer showed up as much later. #bringbackgrover2k17

Arin and Roshar

“You could offer her a seat,’ Arin said.
“Ah, but I only have two chairs in my tent, little Herrani, and we are three. I suppose she could always sit on your lap.”

~ The Winner’s Curse series by Marie Rutkoski

winners-curse-series

You must know my love for Arin and Kestrel, but to shine a light on my other favorite pairing: Arin and Roshar are SO AWESOME. There’s of course, the banter (love love love), but they have each other’s back in such a way that is so inspiring and makes me so happy ahhhh. Although there are tense moments between them (like any friendship), we know it’ll work out because they’re such an awesome pair.

Will and Jem

“Remember when you tried to convince me to feed a poultry pie to the mallards in the park to see if you could breed a race of cannibal ducks?”

“They ate it too,” Will reminisced. “Bloodthirsty little beasts. Never trust a duck.”

~The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare, book 1

We can’t have a bromance list without these two lovelies! Ahhhhhh aside from the fact that I love them both as love interests for Tessa, these two have their own connection (they’re parabatai, a term for two Shadowhunters who fight together as warriors, bonded for life under an oath) which is so beautiful. I love Tessa, but these two, form a ship that’s much stronger than anything I can describe! They just go on to show that romantic relationships aren’t necessarily everything.

Ron and Harry

“He must have known I’d want to leave you.”
“No, he must have known you would always want to come back.”

~Harry Potter series, book 7

Ron has a reputation for being the sidekick (which, I’ll admit, is pretty true), the humorous one (also true), and the dumber one (not true) in the Golden Trio. And although the movies did a pretty accurate job on recreating the books, in the books, Ron and Harry had a strong relationship that is kind of underdeveloped in the movies. They had their fights, their problems, but at the end of the day the both need each other, and they both are very close friends. Bromances for the win!

Darrow and Sevro

“You tell anyone I cried, I’ll find a dead fish, put it in a sock, hide it in your room, and let it putrefy.”
“Fair enough.”

~Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown

Red-Rising-Trilogy-by-Pierce-Brown

Oh my gosh, the amount of love I have for Sevro and Darrow is UNREAL. Seriously. I would go even as far as to say I love them even more than Darrow’s romantic ship?? Sevro and Darrow’s friendship was formed earlier on and developed more and more throughout the series, so maybe that’s why, but seriously. I adore these two so so so much aghhhh I just can’t. ❤ ❤

The Raven Boys

“I never taught him to break his thumb.”
“That’s Gansey for you. Only learns enough to be superficially competent.”
“Loser,” Ronan agreed, and he was himself again.”

~The Raven Cycle by Marie Stiefvater

My beautiful Raven boys!!! ❤ ❤ I love each and every one of them so much. I haven’t finished the last book in this series yet (I will soon promise) but each and every book I’ve read so far has me loving their bond. All the characters individually are so wonderful, and seeing their connection as a whole is just so sweet and killllllllls me. So awesome. Now I shall go hide because I still haven’t read The Raven King and squeal over the Raven Boys because they are so great, ahhh.

Kell and Rhy

“A fine idea,” said Rhy. “But no. We must go out, you see, because we’re on a mission.”
“Oh?” asked Kell.
“Yes. Because unless you plan to wed me yourself—and don’t get me wrong, I think we’d make a dashing pair—I must try and find a mate.”

~Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab, book 1

shades-of-magic-series

Let me first pause to say A CONJURING OF LIGHT IS BEING RELEASED TOMORROW!!! And I am. freaking. out. Ahem. Apologies. But I’m so ready for this book, for more Kell, more Lila, more Kell and Lila, and definitely more Kell and Rhy! Kell and Rhy have the most amazing bonds ever and I love them to death. Seriously, they are my absolute favourites right now and ahhhhhhhhhh I can’t describe how beautiful their brotherly bond is. ❤ You just have to read it.


So that concludes my list for today! Valentine’s Day is long gone, but I wanted to showcase these bookish bromances, because this form of relationships deserves so much love and appreciation, which I feel as if it doesn’t get enough with so much attention on the romantic ships.

What are your thoughts? Which of these bookish bromances do you absolutely love? Do you prefer romantic ships or platonic ships–or both? Let’s chat!

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Discussion: The value of ships in books | Book Snacks Babbles

BSB Description

Valentine’s Day is almost here! And in case you guys missed it from my February posts last year, I love doing themed posts in honor of this celebration (i.e. my way of making up for my lack of celebration in real life ahem)! If you want some more V-Day posts, you could check out the ones I did last year; Valentine’s Day bookish gift guide, 7 romance tropes we love or hate, books to read for Valentine’s Day, Rip it or Ship it Book Tag, what makes a good romance, types of male love interests, and there are a couple more in my February 2016 archives. (#self-promo oops)

But amidst all of this, we’re missing something very crucial, which, hint hint, is in the title of this post. Something that’s very dear to my heart when it comes to romance in books: SHIPS. We all have them and we all recognize what it is and the feelings that come with having our bookish ship be canon and having an OTP (one true pairing)–basically over-the-moon joy and lots of excited fangirling, for me. But I don’t think we ever actually stop to think or recognize how important they can be, in terms of romance in a book. So let’s do that!

For reference:

Shipping, initially derived from the word relationship, is the desire by fans for two or more people, either real-life people or fictional characters (in film or literature) to be in a relationship, romantic or otherwise.

(Thanks, Wikipedia)

The Value of Ships

1. It can cause you to start or continue with a series.

Not gonna lie, there were times where I was totally putting a book or series on my TBR because of a ship that everyone seemed to love, or perhaps two ships that people were conflicted about. This happens with TV shows too for me haha. When people talk about a particular couple they loved from a book, it makes me curious because it means they got invested in a book and its characters to care about them and support a relationship. And so I pick up that book. And sometimes, we can continue a series because of a ship; for example, even if I may not particularly enjoy certain aspects of the book, if there’s a couple I ship strongly, I would more often than not persevere through the rest of the series to see how they end up. The power of ships is strong!

2. Invokes passion or support for the characters.

If I have an OTP in a certain book, you can bet I love those characters to death. It’s a must, for me, in order to ship two characters, that I like them, aka see chemistry, feel their development, or the slow-burn that I love in a romance. Makes sense, right? I’m not saying without these aspects I won’t feel passion or support for the characters, but if a book does have a ship that I love, it means I’m invested in the characters in a way I might’ve not been otherwise. You know? What I’m trying to say.. imagine your favorite book that has a ship you love… and then imagine if they were no longer a ship. It would be different, you know? Having a strong ship can create a lot of passion for the characters, which can be such an important factor on whether the book is a hit or miss.

3. Can make you super emotional.

I love my happily ever afters for my ships, and fortunately most times I get them (yay!). Other times, I don’t, which basically leads me to be a huge sobbing mess. Ahem. But even in the happily ever afters, the amount of pain my poor children (my ship) has to go through can leave me a huge sobbing mess as well (aka most fantasy novels). And, naturally, this book becomes a favorite (or close) because THESE EMOTIONS ARE IMPORTANT. It means I’m super invested in the characters and the story, which is always a plus!

4. Creates hype.

Series like Throne of Glass, A Court of Thorns and Roses, The Infernal Devices (or anything Shadowhunters tbh), all have huge fandoms–and a lot of that is centered on the ships. In the case of Throne of Glass’s love pentagon-thing going on at one point, it definitely caused a lot of discussions (some bad, some good; shipping wars are terrible, but more on that later), as well as the Tamlin vs Rhys debacle for ACOTAR. I, for one, adore the ships in Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunters books. And I know I’m not alone because of the amount of HYPE that is created with each of these series! Strong fandoms are be created due to ships, and that, in turn, is great publicity. The only downside is if a book just uses romance as a publicity maneuver and the ‘ship’ is just in there because it draws readers–but the romance is actually poorly developed and not very shippable at all…

5. Brings you closer to other people.

Have you ever bonded with someone over a ship? If you have, you know how amazing it can be aha. Bonding over books, in general, is so totally awesome, but I especially love it when I learn that someone has the same ship as me because I can trust that they love the book and characters as much as I do. And that’s such a great feeling! ❤ It’s also so easy to do that, in the blogging community. There are so many people passionate about the same thing as you, that it’s not a challenge at all to find a person who loves a ship as much as you and bond over ships haha. Basically, guys, you should totally hit me up in the comments to discuss ships. Ahem. Just saying. 😉


All in all: I’m a firm believer in the fact that not all YA books must have romance or a ship to be a good book/series–and in fact, I totally support there being more books without romance because we don’t have many of those in my opinion–but I do believe that ships are super super important and a very powerful addition to a book/series if written well. I’m definitely an avid shipper and could not imagine not having my ships! They can be so perfect to draw me into a series or continue one, and most importantly, get me to love the characters/story and talk to other people.

Though, side note; having shipping wars occur is definitely not something I love. A friendly debate or discussion or disagreement is perfectly fine, but having arguments over a ship is totally not warranted and when they get out of hand it can get very hurtful. Agree to disagree!! But I digress. What are your thoughts on ships? Do you love ’em? Hate ’em? Or do you prefer other non-romantic focused ships? Friendships maybe? (Gotta love those too!) What ships do you love to death? What ships do you despise? How important are ships, to you? 

Until the Next Meal, Analee