Blogging: Expectations vs. Reality // Wherein I get too real about the harsh truths

THE DARK TRUTHS OF BLOGGING SHALL BE REVEALED TODAY. Dun dun dunnnnnn.

Am I being a tad dramatic? Maybe. I like to think of it as preparing you for what is to come. Ahem.

Hello everyone, and I hope you guys are all enjoying your day/night/whatever time of day it is (gotta love the international aspect of blogging!).

I’m sure posts like this have been made before, but I haven’t seen many and I thought I might put my own perspective on the situation! I think almost 2 years of blogging (although I suppose the 7 months I’ve been away should be deducted) has me slightly qualified to reveal the truth behind the reality of blogging vs the expectations we (or I) have! Let’s do this.

Blogging Expectations vs Reality

Expectation #1:

“I’m going to have over 1000 followers and comments in one night, for sure! My posts are awesome.”

obviously

Reality

waiting
Waiting for followers and feedback…

Now, I don’t know about you guys, but when I first started blogging, it was way too easy to get trapped into the stats count of things. (Sometimes still is.) And the reality of it is, it is extremely rare for the stats to go sky high immediately! Having expectations such as the above will most likely not give you the results, which I learned the hard way haha. 😉 I didn’t have the exact expectation as above, but you get the idea?

Expectation #2:

“I’m going to have a perfect blogging schedule 100% of the time! I ❤ organization!”

Reality

Me trying to keep up with life and never being able to keep a proper blogging schedule...
Me trying to keep up with life and never being able to keep a proper blogging schedule…

I mean, I love organization, I swear I do! But… way too hard to keep a consistent and perfect blogging schedule ALL. THE. TIME. If you do, I swear you will find me at your feet begging you to give me your skills. As proven by my hiatuses and life in general, sometimes it’s impossible to control everything! And I’ve felt bad about leaving blogging for so long, but sometimes it’s necessary. And it’s okay. So, no, my blogging schedule was never 100% perfect, and probably never will be! And that’s okay too. 😉

Expectation #3:

“Blogging is so easy, it hardly takes any effort at all! I could do it in my sleep.”

Reality

I mean, maybe for some the above expectation *is* reality, in which case, again, I PRAISE YOU. But for most of us (I’m assuming, anyway, based on myself, haha) BLOGGING IS DIFFICULT. Lots of fun, of course! But it takes a lot of effort and dedication to run and maintain a blog, you know? Saying blogging doesn’t take effort is like saying it’s easy for me to wake up early in the morning. They’re both LIES.

Expectation #4:

“I can totally comment on all the amazing posts out there? What are you talking about, it hardly takes any time??”

Reality

If we (I) tried to keep up with commenting on all posts... also can we just appreciate this gif here?? #muppetlove
If we (I) tried to keep up with commenting on all posts… also can we just appreciate this gif here?? #muppetlove

This one still makes me sad, guys! I want so so much to be able to keep up with ALL of the great posts being posted by lovely and wonderful bloggers but it’s impossible! I love talking to other bloggers and spreading the comment love, but it actually takes a lot more time than you’d think, you know? I try to visit a bunch whenever I get the chance lately, but trying to keep up with all the posts that show up in my reader would drive me insane due to the HUGE number of them, not to mention rob me of my life haha. I do try to comment as much as I can! I love talking to you guys all. ❤

Expectation #5:

“It’s so easy to come up with new content, and my posts are so original!”

Reality

I’m not discounting the fact that there are a lot of diverse and unique material out there, but…. let’s face it, at one point, there was probably a post very similar to the one we write. It’s pretty much all been written about at some point. Sometimes it’s easy to come up with new content, sometimes not. But when it comes down to it, majority of the time, the reality is that it’s not always easy to come with new posts, or with truly original material. And that’s okay!


Okay, so this has been mostly positive expectations with a negative reality?? Let’s switch gears a bit to a more positive note for the realities, shall we? That was kind of depressing, geez.

Expectation #6:

Opposite to the “I will be so popular really fast” mentality, there is also…

“No one is going to read my posts?? I’m going to forever be stuck with 2 followers, one of which who happens to be my [mom/friend/sister/second account/whatever].”

Reality

The blogging community is huge and I promise you, as long as you interact and have good material, there will be more than a couple people interested in your blog! It’s hard to believe at first, but I guarantee it! After all, that’s exactly what I thought when I started blogging (after the realization that followers don’t come super fast) and I’ve been proven otherwise haha.

Expectation #7:

“The more experienced, “big” bloggers will probably never speak to me anyway.”

Reality

NOT TRUE. All bloggers, from my experience, no matter how long they’ve been blogging, are always welcome to chatting! Always. I haven’t met a single blogger that ignored me completely, or if I have, the number of them is so low that I can’t even recall the memory! The bloggers I have met, even the “big” bloggers (I put big in quotations because, well, it’s subjective) always manage a reply and are always super sweet. Seriously. This is the one of the biggest myths ever!

Expectation #8

“My posts have to be 100% perfect 100% of the time or else people will stop liking my posts and following me.”

Reality

Nobody’s perfect! And nobody cares if we slip up here and there. Am I right? There have been countless times where my posts have been less than great and were actually quite terrible, if I look back on them now (those archives are forbidden, guys) but it didn’t really matter? People are always so kind and it just gave me an opportunity to make my posts better for the next time.

Expectation #9:

I will never become one of those “big” bloggers! They have so many followers, oh my gosh. I’m never going to be match them.

Reality

Liessssssss! Never lose faith in your blogging abilities! I’d say not to be so occupied with stats, but it’s easier said than done sometimes. And I know how it feels to be discouraged that our blog will never be as popular as other people’s. But I mean, I never thought this blog would go past, like, 20 followers, tops? I’m not bragging, but I’ve come a long way since then and I just wanted to tell you guys, anyone who’s feeling discouraged, or just in general, don’t get discouraged. Keep blogging. Keep working. You will reach your goal! Those “big” bloggers started off at the bottom, too. And at the end of the day, it’s just a number! Don’t let it determine your value. Because you and your blog are so much more than that!

Expectation #10:

“Blogging will totally change my life.”

Reality

… You know, this is actually 100% true. In the best way possible!


Sooooo I think that wraps up the end of this post. Please comment and let me know your thoughts! Which of these do you agree with? Disagree with? Do you have any other ones to add? I’d love to know and grow my collection of blogging secrets. LOL.  I’ve also been blog hopping lately, trying to make up for my lack of participation for the past 7 months haha. Leaving a comment would make it easier for me to stop by your blog, not to mention make my day! ❤ I hope you guys enjoy your day/night. Hugs!

Until the Next Meal, Analee

These literary dads are the BEST! | Happy Father’s Day

It’s Father’s Day today! And in honor of that, I decided to take a moment to appreciate all the fictional fathers that we all secretly wish were alive–because no matter how much we love our own fathers, these fathers are pretty great!

Fictional Fathers

Atticus Finch — To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Atticus

Anyone who’s read the books know how much of a great father he is! Kind, honorable and a great role model for his kids. He’s just such a model father!

Arthur Weasley — Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter series

Ahhhh Arthur Weasley is just such a great father. I’m going to repeat that for pretty much all of these fathers, pretty much, but still. Raising 7 kids, supporting them and doing his best to keep the family going, despite the poor circumstances, Arthur Weasley is great! (And when you compare him to some of the other fathers in the series..)

Mr. Covey — To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Father to three daughters, with no mother to help, Mr. Covey totally nailed fatherhood in all sense of the word! He was so (wait for it…) yep, great. I’m totally ruining the word with my over-use of it, but shhh. It’s true! He single-handed raised three girls–that’s no easy feat!

Adam and Seth — My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi

My Life After Now

The main character, Lucy, actually has two dads, which I found to be so great (how many times have YOU seen that?)–even more so because they were 100% fabulous and supportive (particularly to Lucy’s situation). They were such great parents, raising and helping out Lucy and just all-around awesome.

Luke Garroway — Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Mortal Instruments series

Although he has no children of his own, he was a father figure to Clary, so that counts right? With Valentine being.. Valentine, Luke was so great to Clary, caring for her like she was his own. ❤ He wants to protect her, but at the same time he does what he knows is right. Go Luke!

Arthur Avery — Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl

Another single father, he had the task of raising two twins, and it was so nice seeing that connection between him and his daughters (particularly Cath). You could see he really cared about the both of them, and it was great to see that. ❤

Andie’s dad — The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

The Unexpected Everything

Andie and her dad didn’t have the greatest of relationships at first, but as the story progressed they slowly rebuilt their broken relationship, and that was SO AWESOME. Andie’s dad was so great! He really took the time to know Andie afterwards and they had so many great moments. LOVE!

Hazel’s dad — The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars

I don’t remember much of this story apart from the very big details, but I do remember that Hazel’s dad was definitely not a bad example! He wasn’t a huge part of the story, but I do believe he loved Hazel and supported her. Both Hazel’s parents were really great characters, tbh.

Arisotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle & Dante

I haven’t actually read this book yet *hides* BUT I do plan on reading it asap! I really want to read it for sure, especially after hearing all the amazing things about it. And apparently it has a great father in it too. So yay!


Wow, that was actually quite difficult, because there are so few I came up with… when it really should be difficult ’cause there are many to choose from! FATHERS SHOULD BE NORMAL, guys. At least for some books. Not just a handful! *sigh*

But either way, what do you think? Are there any fathers I missed? (Probably.) Which of these have you read? Who do you think takes the cake for best fictional father? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Anticipated Fantasy Books For The Second Half of The Year–Why is time so slow? | Top Ten Tuesday #34

How is it Tuesday again already? I swear, time passes by SO FAST nowadays. (Except when it comes to books, apparently, since it’s taking FOREVER for my anticipated books to be released. *SIGH*)

Anyway, it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! This week’s theme from The Broke and the Bookish is:

Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The Second Half Of The Year (since we did a topic about the releases we were excited about for the first half of 2016 back in the beginning of the year) Feel free to tweak it how you want to — like most anticipated fantasy for the second half of 2016 or debut authors. Whatever you want!

There are literally so many books being released in the next months that I am dying to read, so I decided to narrow it down to the top ten fantasy books I’m looking forward to–and there are STILL SO MANY I am dying. But whatever. I would die to have these books. Except not because I’d probably miss chocolate and just general good things in life too much for that. But you know what I mean.

Everyone knows lists are fabulous, so I won’t deprive you of them any longer! Let’s do this.

Top 10 Tuesday 3

1. This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab (July 5th 2016)

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I absolutely ADORE Victoria Schwab’s books. And I’ve heard so many amazing things about This Savage Song and I’m seriously dying to read it. GIMME. I have nothing else to say.

This Savage Song

2.  Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (August 9th 2016)

I haven’t read much (read: any) books by Jay Kristoff but SO MANY people adore his writing, especially with the release of Illuminae. Not to mention Nevernight seems so cool! Assassins, intrigue, and sounds of murder. What could be better? (I’m completely sane, I promise.)

Nevernight

3. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir (August 30th 2016)

Sooo like most people I thought An Ember in the Ashes was a standalone? But nope! Can’t say I’m disappointed though. Can’t wait to see what this book’s like! ❤

A Torch Against the Night

4. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (September 26th 2016)

AHHHH if you haven’t checked out this book yet you DEFINITELY should because it sounds amazing! Just read the synopsis. *nods* I must have this. I MUST.

Three Dark Crowns

5. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (September 27th 2016)

Oh, did I ever happen to mention that I LOVED Six of Crows and Leigh Bardugo’s books? No? Well, I do. Six of Crows is absolutely LIFE for me (along with all my other favourite books of course) and I NEED CROOKED KINGDOM. NEED IT. Now. I-would-trade-chocolate-for-it need. (Big deal, you guys.)

Crooked Kingdom

6. Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge (September 27th 2016)

I don’t think I’ve actually expressed how much I enjoyed Rosamund Hodge’s books! Well, technically I’ve only read Cruel Beauty from her, but I do plan on reading Crimson Bound soon enough. I hope. Either way her newest book seems so good. I will definitely be picking it up! (Just look at that cover, people. How can you resist?)

Bright Smoke Cold Fire

7. The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan (October 4th 2016)

Ah, Rick Riordan. Always popping up with new books. I definitely don’t mind though! I read and really enjoyed The Sword of Summer last year, and I am totally looking forward to continuing with the journey.

The Hammer of THor

8. A Million Worlds With You by Claudia Gray (November 1st 2016)

THIS COVER GIVES ME LIFE. Omg it’s so beautiful and I want this book so so much. That is all. (GO READ THIS series if you haven’t already though!! If only because the cover is literally BEGGING to be picked up. But also because the story is great!)

A Million Worlds With You

9. Heartless by Marissa Meyer (November 8th 2016)

If you didn’t know already, I really love the Lunar Chronicles! (It’s seriously the best.) Marissa Meyer is such a gifted writer. So a book describing the Queen of Hearts pre-Wonderland? YES PLEASE.

Heartless

10. Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes (December 13th 2016)

And last but not least, Crystal Storm which is releasing in December! (*sob* Why December??!) The fourth book in the series, Frozen Tides left me totally hanging and begging for more and I’m honestly dying for this book. I suppose I’m lucky there will be so many other good books to keep me occupied before it’s released?? XD The series started off as meh, but really got better. Woo!

Crystal Storm

OH, and I just HAVE to add this one.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling (July 31st 2016)

Do I even have to explain anything for this one?! Didn’t think so. Good. Because I have no words other than alagla;hndgrgnalsajflkdjf complete gibberish. Ahem. So excited!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

 

Honorable mentions (Pretty much most of the other books I’m looking forward to that I wasn’t able add to the top ten): Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas (September 6th 2016), Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (September 27th 2016), Frost Like Night by Sara Raasch (September 20th 2016), The Midnight Star by Marie Lu (October 11th 2016), Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst (November 22nd 2016), A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess (September 20th 2016)


SO MANY BOOKS. So many books are being released in the second half of 2016 (a lot in September, I’ve noticed!) and I’m so giddy for them all to be released! Apart from these fantasy books, there are so many other books being released as well–don’t me started on all the contemporary books I also want to read! That’s a list for a different day. (I have too many books on my TBR SOMEONE STOP ME.)

So now tell me! Which of these books are you looking forward to the most? What other books are you looking forward to that aren’t on this list? Feel free to leave your TTT link below as well, I’d love to stop by (and add more books to my never-ending TBR pile)!

Happy Tuesday!

Until the Next Meal, Analee

 

Fictional Settings I Wish Were Real | Seriously, I REALLY wish these were real.

Hello. It’s me.

(Sorry, I feel like this post warranted that. It’s been so long, and it’s so old, I know! But I had to. SHHH you know you do it too.)

I’m back today with another post, you guys! Be proud of me. I’m not exactly sure what inspired this topic, but I was making a few header graphics for some of my other planned posts and then suddenly I saw a picture that just made this idea pop into my head. Be prepared for a severe case of wanderlust guys, for these fictional places! I mean, come on, who DOESN’T want to go to these places?

Let’s do this! I apologize in advance if this post causes your wanderlust to go overboard and like me, you end up sobbing because these places don’t exist.

Fictional settings I wish were real

1. Hogwarts (Harry Potter)

YOU ALL SAW THIS COMING. I mean, come on! Even people who haven’t read Harry Potter (ps you must definitely go fix that mistake asap please and thank you) wouldn’t mind going to the utter fabulousness that is Hogwarts. And other magical places. (Diagon Alley, anyone? I WANT TO GET MY WAND and magic thanks.)

Hogwarts 2
LOOK AT IT!! ❤ ❤

2. Narnia (The Chronicles of Narnia)

Hasn’t anyone else dreamed of visiting Narnia once upon a time?! I mean, come on. IT’S NARNIA peoples. ❤

narnia-map

3. Camp Half Blood/Jupiter (Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus)

Rick Riordan’s books have always had a place in my heart, and it’s definitely a certain that Camp Half Blood found a place there too! IT’S JUST THE BEST. Someone take me there, please? *heart eyes*

Camp Half Blood

4. Luna, New Beijing (The Lunar Chronicles)

The settings in the Lunar Chronicles sound so cool! And I SO wouldn’t mind visiting Luna or New Beijing. Seriously, why can’t these places be real?!

Luna

5. Panem (The Hunger Games)

I think it makes sense to wish this was real, right? I mean, war’s over and everything and Panem just sounds SO COOL. And really pretty? Are there any tours available, ’cause sign me up please. (Yes, I realize Panem is FICTIONAL *sadly* but maybe the places where the movie took place? ‘Cause those were super great. Ahem.)

Panem

6. Ravka (Grishaverse)

Ahh, Leigh Bardugo and her Grishaverse. Can never get tired of it, really. Especially now that we have the amazing Six of Crows and the books in that series! Ravka’s world just seems so cool. And I know it’s based off Russia too (which is already on my to-visit-someday list because RUSSIA.)

Ravka

7. Trollus (Stolen Songbird)

I haven’t squealed about this book and the series enough, tbh. There is SO MUCH going on for this book and oh my gosh, the world building is most definitely one of the best parts!! Trollus just seems SO AMAZING (I’m saying that for literally every place on this list, but SHH. They’re all so amazing.) and I really want to go visit! It sounds really dark and cold and everything but beautiful with lights and hidden treasures. ❤

Trollus
I found this on Pinterest and it LOOKS SO PRETTY

8. The Fae Courts (A Court of Thorns and Roses)

If there was one thing Sarah J. Maas didn’t blotch in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, it’s the world and descriptions! I absolutely adore the idea of the Courts (Spring Court, Summer Court,etc.–SO BEAUTIFUL) and it would be SO COOL if they were real (apart from the part where there’s a whole war going on… details, details.)

acotar-map1

9. Khorasan (The Wrath and the Dawn)

Set in the middle-east, The Wrath and the Dawn duology is probably one of my favourite books, for like EVER. Seriously, I love this book series SO MUCH. (So basically, if you haven’t read this yet, LEAVE. AND DO SO IMMEDIATELY. Ahem.) And the setting was so cool!! I would definitely not mind visiting someday… (except I can’t *sob*)

TWATD Map

10. Primoria (Snow Like Ashes)

Primoria

Can I just squeal about how much I adore the world in Snow Like Ashes? It’s based on the seasons, and there are 4 kingdoms (each based on a season) and it’s just asjksfhkdhgolehtogrehgaernglekg. Seriously. I have no words. The descriptions and everything was all SO PRETTY AND MAGICAL. I just really want to go. Pretty please? PLEASEEE.

Bonus: Multi-Londons (Shades of Magic)

london-map

I suppose you can count this technically as a real setting, because, hello? LONDON? But this world as a whole is (to my dismay) fiction so. SOB. Who doesn’t want to visit multiple Londons? Red London, Grey London, White London. They’re all SO COOL and I severely want to visit!!!


So.

*offers you tissue box*
Anyone else facing the struggles of being (too) attached to fiction? I am seriously SO SAD that these places don’t exist for us bookworms to visit… (With the exception of Hogwarts, kind of, since we can visit at Universal Studios? BUT IT’S NOT THE SAME *sobs harder* [I’m totally okay, guys. Totally sane. I’m usually not this emotional, sorry. 😛 But can you blame me?]
ANYWAY. Join me in my sobbing wanderlusting! (That sounds kind of weird..) Which of these places do YOU wish were real the most? (Obviously ALL of them, but if you had to pick. (a horror, I know! I apologize in advance.) Which of these books have you read? TALK TO ME, please. (I’m very desperate and it clearly shows.) Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend! ❤
Until the Next Meal, Analee

Reasons why fantasy is one of the best genres ever | Top Ten Tuesday #33

Hola mi amigos! Don’t ask what that was, I have no idea. (My long-ago Dora days are kicking in.) Anyway, it’s been a LONG TIME since I’ve participated in a Top Ten Tuesday, and it’s about time, don’t you think? Making lists is one of my favourite things to do, so I’ve been quite sad that I have been depriving myself and the world of said lists. Ahem. ANYWAY. Rambling a bit there.

This week’s theme from The Broke and the Bookish is “Ten Reasons I Love Xcould be a certain book, character, author, your indie bookstore, a fandom, a tv show, reading, a hobby, a genre. Honestly anything you want to gush about.” As you know, I went with reasons why I love the fantasy genre! Let’s do this.

Top 10 Tuesday 3

1. It lets us escape into a different world.

Some people can argue that this applies to other genres as well (pretty much anything that’s fiction when you think about it) but I feel like it applies most strongly to fantasy? It generally tends to actually create a whole new world which is what makes it so magical and intriguing to read about. Sometimes reality just doesn’t cut it, you know? Whenever an escape from reality is required, fantasy is always such a good choice. What better way to escape than into a world completely different from yours?

Hogwarts
I can’t be the only one who loves Harry Potter because of the world, right?

2. It takes us on an adventure.

It’s not even necessarily a physical adventure, though that’s what it is most of the time. It might be an emotional adventure too, where the events lead to an emotional roller coaster (that happened so many times… my feels were overwhelmed). We love to read books because of all the feelings we go through and going on an adventure alongside the characters definitely brings out all sorts of emotions, am I right? *cough* Percy Jackson *cough* Harry Potter *pretty much all my favourite fantasy books*

3. We get to use our imaginations.

One of the best parts of the fantasy genre is the amount of freedom authors have to spin their story. No boundaries of real life, nothing but their own creativity and it’s SO GREAT to read. There’s just such a thrill in being carried into a story of someone else’s imagination, in a completely new (and fictitious) world. So many new ideas, and tons of creativity. How can you not fall in love with all that?

dragon-fantasy-4
DRAGONS. (Unfortunately they don’t exist in real life, soooo.)

4. Childhood memories

This seems like an odd reason with no correlation whatsoever, but remember those times back when you were a child, and you believed in everything, from fairytales to unicorns to dragons to fairies? Now, grown up we no longer believe in such things, but fantasy is now allowing us to go back to those times when we thought they existed, and read about them. Maybe this isn’t such a huge reason but for me at least, whenever *I* hear of a book about fairies, I can’t help but remember those days… 😉 There’s just something that feels so… I don’t know. Child-like, when it comes to fantasy despite it being the opposite of such. (Please tell me I’m not alone here?? I feel crazy right now. o.O)

5. There is a strong emotional message/theme.

You know how people enjoy contemporary a lot of the time because they’re able to relate and sympathize to the characters and their situation? How there’s a strong emotional theme (to the good books, at least)? Well, that’s not only for the contemporary folks. In books of the fantasy genre, there are tons that despite their out-of-worldness and fantastical elements, actually have an emotional theme that we’re able to relate to. That attachment, paired alongside the intriguing idea of a different world, is what makes fantasy such a gem for me. It’s like such a great mix between relatable and unrelatable? If that makes sense.

6. It puts things into perspective.

I mean, I suppose a lot of books across a variety of genres does so (considering how the characters’ lives always seem to be so much more worse and dramatic than ours in real life..) but especially in the fantasy genre. I mean, no matter how bad your life might be, when you compare to the lives of all the suffering characters in books, I’m sure it won’t seem as bad. Am I right? Like, you try comparing your life with Celaena Sardothien in the first book… um yeah. I doubt your life’s that bad. Just saying. 😛 (You should be glad, tbh.)

7. Options are endless.

The fact is, there are an infinite amount of ideas in fantasy. The options are actually endless. As such, it actually kind of makes me disappointed when I see that some fantasy novels are so similar because there are SO MANY things that fantasy can touch on. As long as you have imagination, fantasy can never die out of lack of ideas. And there’s just something so wonderful about that. ❤ There’s just something so comforting knowing that no matter what, fantasy is there and ready for us to delve into. Does that sound crazy? Probably but humour me.

8. Gives us something to root for.

When it seems like there’s nothing left in real life that seems worth rooting for and you’re just dead and lost all motivation for anything, pick up a fantasy novel! More often than not you’ll find something you root for, whether it’s the characters, their cause, a romance, and who knows what else. Sometimes it’s just that hope and rooting for something (even if it’s fictional) that helps us feel good.

9. (Usually) crushes our emotions and kills us.

Only partially joking about the ‘kills us’ part. Usually I find that fantasy always has me so drained after reading because me emotions always go through such a roller-coaster. And is it just me, or does it seem like fantasy is the genre where cliffhangers are used most often?? And let me tell you, those are absolute deathhhh. Agh. And then I typically fall into this state of shock and hangover where I cannot do anything but just sit in awe of the book. So. I still love these books even though they turn me into such a mess? #logic

pyEOCvV
Me, pretty much? <.<

10. It’s fun!

So I may or may not be just out of steam for now and grasping at straws for the last one, but I do feel like this counts. Fantasy is fun. It’s enjoyable. One of the main reasons we read at all is for fun, and fantasy provides exactly that. Fun! And who doesn’t like that? It’s entertainment, guys. No matter what emotional havoc it caused and all the turmoil and tension we go through while reading it, it all shows just how easy it is to get hooked into a fantasy novel (well, any genre of novel really, but for the sake of this post I’m making it more specific). I’d be lying if I said that I don’t pick up fantasy novels for entertainment. 😉


Alright, so I think that’s it! I think I covered most of the important reasons why I love fantasy, for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! I have been considering making a similar list like this for contemporary, feel free to let me know if that’s something you’d be interested in. What are your thoughts on this? Are you a fan of fantasy? Did I miss any other reasons? Or is fantasy not your thing? I’d love to know your thoughts! Feel free to leave a link to your own Top Ten Tuesday as well if you want. I’d love to stop by!

Enjoy your Tuesday, guys! Sending you lots of cake and chocolate. You’re welcome. ✌️ I know I need it! (Who doesn’t is the question.)

Analee 5

Re-reading! Library books! Woo! | WWW Wednesday #47 (April 20th)

Hey everyone! I think this post was actually supposed to go up earlier, but I guess there was a glitch and it didn’t. (Technology can be a bother sometimes.. *sigh*) But anyway here I am with this week’s WWW Wednesday! I actually managed to get A LOT of reading done, by some kind of magic witchcraft. And I enjoyed basically all of them, so yesss. Success right there! Alright, so let’s get into the what of everything.

WWW Wednesday

Currently Reading

I started my re-read of The Raven Boys yesterday! I’m hoping to have this and at least the second book finished before the release of The Raven King (which I can’t wait for, by the way). I don’t actually talk about this series much (or ever), I’ve noticed, but I actually do like it! Re-reading it now is making me enjoy it more than the first time, I think. Just a little.

Recently Finished

The Winner’s Curse was the book I had been reading last week, and, well, I finished it! It was a re-read, and I loved it just as much as when I read it the first time. ❤

It’s a Wonderful Death was a surprise read for me, actually. I hadn’t planned on reading it, but I got it from the library the other day and since it seemed like a quick read, I decided to read it! And gosh, I loved it. It was such an insightful yet fun read!

A Step Toward Falling was another library book I got. At first I wasn’t that into it, but by the time I reached the end, I really enjoyed it! I’m definitely going to be trying out Cammie McGovern’s other novel, Say What You Will, sometime as well.

And finally, I also read What We Left Behind. I’ve been really into the library and contemporary books this week, it seems! This, as well, was a really good read. Full of diverse and interesting characters, I had so much fun reading this, especially since the author dealt with the LGBT themes so well.

Read Next

So, I finished my re-read of The Winner’s Curse the other day (it was sooo good!) and am currently planning on writing up a review on it. I’m kind of debating whether to just do a series review once I finished The Winner’s Kiss? If I do then I can go straight ahead to The Winner’s Crime but otherwise I have to wait ’till I’m done writing my review… I’m quite indecisive right now. So.

Moving on, I’m currently re-reading The Raven Boys in anticipation for the release of The Raven King, and obviously, once I finish it I’ll be moving on to The Dream Thieves, the second book! I really must finish my re-read of the series soon, for the fourth book is being released quite soon. I think?

And, now, here’s a confession: I haven’t read The Moth and the Flame or The Crown and the Arrow yet! (They’re novellas set in the world of The Wrath and the Dawn, in case you didn’t know.) I know, I know. But I’ve been a busy little chocolate bar, and I just thought I might as well wait–The Rose and the Dagger is being released soon, after all, and these novellas might be useful to jog my memory as to what happened in TWATD.

Finally, I’ve decided to add Tell Me Three Things to this list–is it just me, or did that book seem to appear everywhere for a while? Those blog tour people sure know how to attack us with book publicity! But maybe that was just me. So. Anyway, I am mildly intrigued and definitely want to check it out!


So there we have it for this week! What books on here have you read? What book do you think I should pick next? How has your reading been this week? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! I hope you’re all enjoying your Wednesday. ❤

Until the Next Meal, Analee

The dreaded reading slump has been defeated! | WWW Wednesday #46 (April 13th)

It’s been a while since I did a WWW Wednesday post (3-4 weeks, I think?) but to be fair, I hadn’t really read much in those weeks… or at all? Like, maybe one book. So. I was in a major blogging and reading slump–thankfully those dark days are over! *dances around with chocolate* But I’m back this week to catch up a bit on what I’ve been reading, what I plan to read, etc. Yes, yes, I know, you missed me and these posts. Probably not but hushhh.

WWW Wednesday

Currently Reading

Some of you may recall, how I started Illuminae.. maybe three weeks ago? Even longer? Yeah. Well, I haven’t made any progress with it! :/ Which makes me really sad, actually. It’s just I haven’t been in the mood to read this AT ALL. I couldn’t bring myself to pick it up and read it, even after my reading slump was over. Which is why I’m thinking right now just to leave it? Not leave it forever, but, like, pause reading it? I don’t want to force myself to read it and end up enjoying it a lot less than I could have otherwise. So. I’m confused.

The Winner’s Curse is actually a re-read for me, since I read it a year ago or something? And since the third book has been released, I decided to start rereading the first two books! I kind of was unwilling to reread because there are SO MANY other books I want to read, but it’s been so long since I read this. So. So far I’m really enjoying it! Arin and Kestrel… ❤

Recently Finished

I actually don’t even know what spurred me to read The Impostor Queen–but what I do know, is that it managed to jarr me out of my slump! I started it and I think I finished it, in like, less than two days. It started off kind of ‘meh’, decent, but nothing too great, but then it really became something amazing. I really loved the fantasy world it created, with magic based around fire and ice and everything. Loved it!

My friend actually had a copy of The Glittering Court (I was kind of surprised, tbh) and since I was kind of wary of whether I’d like it or not, I just borrowed it from her. I wouldn’t say it was a bad read, but… it wasn’t amazing either. I mean, I liked the concept well enough, but I wasn’t always the biggest fan of the characters, which really put down the enjoyment factor. :/ I wished I liked it more, though I did still like it.

The book that followed The Glittering Court, however, made up for more than my partial disappointment over TGC. The Sky is Everywhere blew away all and any of the expectations I had! If you haven’t read this book already, guys, I’m telling you, you must. (At least if you’re into contemporaries.) A book with themes of sisterhood, coping with grief and of course, love, The Sky is Everywhere is such an emotional and fabulous read–READ IT.

Read Next

What We Left Behind has been on my TBR since last year, when it was released, but I never got around to reading it! I’ve been kind of wanting to read another contemporary after The Sky is Everywhere, but I ended up starting The Winner’s Curse instead. Once I finish that I might read this?

The Winner’s Crime, of course, is the sequel to The Winner’s Curse. I’ll also be rereading this, obviously. I’m not going to read it directly after Winner’s Curse (a la binge-read fashion) because I do want to write up a review of it before moving onto the second book. 🙂

The Raven King will be releasing this month, and to prepare for it I decided I want to re-read the previous books in the series, starting, of course, with The Raven Boys! I’m really in a rereading mood this month, LOL. XD I blame this on you, publishers, for making books in a series so spread apart!

Alright, this book isn’t a reread, as I’ve been meaning to read this for SO LONG you know this; Red Rising! I’ve heard so many amazing things (but then, don’t I say that about nearly every book? Oops.) and I can’t wait to read it. Fingers crossed!


Erm, are we missing anything? Nope, don’t think so (though I wouldn’t mind having some chocolate right now.. I’m kind of hungry.) so I guess that means it’s time for you guys to talk to me! Because you all know I need your opinions and approvals. XD So leave any of your thoughts below! I’d love to hear them. And feel free to link your own WWW post below!

Happy Wednesday!

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Tons of new books, as usual! (The Rose and the Dagger is coming out–YES!) | 2016 April Book Releases

Okay, so I’m like 8 days late on this? Oops. But oh well, rather do it late than never.. these posts are as much for me as for you guys, and I must admit this can be very useful for me when I need to remind myself of the books I want to look out for? XD (THERE ARE SO MANY I CAN’T KEEP TRACK omg) Though for this month I feel like the number of anticipated books I have is lower than usual..? But still, lots of books. *grabby hands* (Also, The Rose and the Dagger is being released this month–which, honestly, would be enough just on its own, I’ve been waiting for this book for SO LONG. AHHHHH.) Anyway, let’s get onto the books!

2016 April Book Releases

April 1st

April 5th

April 12th

April 19th

April 21st

April 26th

April 28th


See what I mean? So many books. Of course, in the back of my mind I’m feeling depressed that I can’t own these all, but mostly I’m just in awe of all the pretty covers! Oh and the interesting books. (But mostly the covers. #bookwormtruths) And of course, you all know I’m super psyched for The Rose and the Dagger (it’s like chocolate-level amazingness for me right now, even though I don’t know how it will turn out yet), though I also can’t wait for many other books like The Glittering Court, The Raven King, When We Collided, etc etc. SO TELL ME. What books are YOU looking forard to the most? Let us squeal over these books! Because, ahem, they look stunning. Oh, and they all seem amazing. So. Fangirling time!
I hope you guys all have a great Friday! You can bet I’ll be gobbling up chocolate to celebrate (any excuse to eat chocolate is fine by me, obviously) the arrival of the weekend…

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Signs You’re in a Blogging Slump + How to get out! | Book Snacks Babbles

Oh. my. gosh. It’s been SO LONGGGGG since I last posted–or was last alive, to be honest. The past couple of years weeks have been busy (like, really busy), yes, but I also must admit it was also due to pure laziness tinged with exhaustion that this blog went abandoned for such a long time. I might be exaggerating about the length of my unplanned hiatus, but not really..seeing how I don’t usually take such unprecedented hiatuses for this amount of time? But whatever. Life and school..and life, but mostly school, has been unmerciful on me and I was absolutely swamped these past couple of weeks, by either tons of work or bouts of exhaustion and moments of utter zombieness. I had tons of post ideas in my head, but I just couldn’t find the a) time-common excuse, I know, but true–b) motivation, c) strength, or d) the will to get away from my chocolate bars, you know? #sorrynotsorry

SO. All that combined to a very unsuccessful March, in terms of blogging, AND reading too. Le sigh. *cue internal sadness* *grabs chocolate to cure sadness* But I have missed you guys!! I’m currently really really slow with catching up with all your blogs but I am trying, I swear. I spent time yesterday blog hopping (which really cheered me up, actually) and if I have time today I’ll definitely be doing so again. 🙂

Though moving on to the real purpose of this post: having been in a kind-of blogging slump these past two weeks, and finally attempting to restart my inspiration and motivation to blog (so kind of getting out of the slump), obviously I consider myself a total expert* on this subject! 😉 So I’ve decided to become a helpful little chocolate bar–as I always am, of course–and give you guys a list of signs you’re in a blogging slump. If you know the symptoms you can better ward them off, after all. Kind of. Or at least recognize them? And I shall also advise you on how to get out of a blogging slump–you’re welcome.

*Major exaggeration here, folks. Pff, me, an expert? But still. It sounds better this way, sooo. Oh, but I need you guys to correct any of my mistakes! Add your own ideas, tell me what you think, etc etc. Chocolate for you if you contribute! 😛

Signs You're in a Blogging Slump


Reasons We Fall Into Blogging Slumps

Let’s go through some background info. What causes the dreaded blogging slump to present itself? Here’s a quick list (because lists are fabulous–Cait‘s list loving tendencies are contagious!)

  • Life gets in the way 24/7. Blogging is something that takes TIME. And boy, does it take lots of it. In an ideal book blogger world, life is merciful and stress-free, and does not try to prevent you from doing the things you actually enjoy. In the real world, well… life is more likely to attack you with a truckload of things you have to do–and it doesn’t include blogging.
  • Stats are low. Although everyone repeats, time and time again, that stats don’t matter, to some people they might be quite a large factor in their enjoyment of blogging. To me, I feel concentrating on stats doesn’t really get you anywhere other than down the road of sadness and disappointment, but sometimes low stats can get to be quite discouraging–which, of course can cause a slump.
  • Too much pressure. When you start feeling like you have to blog, as if it were a job, it makes it a whole lot less fun! And then the pressure of having to blog (when you might not be feeling like it or in the mood for it) definitely doesn’t help matters.
  • You feel like you have no more interesting post ideas. Although in basically all situations this is 100% false in reality, when in your head you feel as if you’re out of ideas, well, you’re not going to want to reach out to your computer to blog. (And so then the slump occurs, obviously.)
  • Not enough time. A seemingly empty excuse (and a common one at that), this is definitely one of the big reasons why someone might fall into a slump! Like, sometimes life just gets really busy, and when that continuously happens, there’s just not enough time for you to blog. There just isn’t. (*cue sadness*)
  • Tiredness. Sometimes, even when we do have time, simply exhaustion or laziness after a long day causes for us to not reach for the computer to blog. And when this tiredness continues to occur often, well, say hello to the blogging slump. (Erm, I’m kind of guilty of this.. I blame school. And life. But mostly school.)

  • Expectations are not being met. Whether this be in terms of stats, or comments, or anything, really, any expectation that someone may have had for blogging, when it isn’t met, it can be very discouraging (much like the low stats thing). And we all know where that can lead.
  • We run out of chocolate and therefore spend many many days huddled in a corner and crying. (This is totally legit, what are you talking about?)

I think those are the top ones? At least that I could think of right away. I know there are tons more though–so if there’s a reason (or several reasons) you fell into a blogging slump that I haven’t listed, TELL ME. Because I must know all the reasons and become an all-knowing blogging slump master. Yes yes.

Anyway, moving on to the actual…

Signs that a blogging slump is on the way or has reached you

  • You start to be constantly ‘not in the mood’ to blog.

Omg. #1 sign, I tell you. #1. Or at least in the top 10. When you keep making those same “I don’t feel like it” or “I’m not in the mood to blog” excuses, you know. And if you didn’t recognize the sign until now, well, you’re welcome.

Tip: Read blogs that inspire you! Your favourite blogs, favourite posts, whatever. Even if you don’t feel like blogging, looking at other posts that you like might help you to become back in the mood to blog. It’s simple in theory, and most of the time, it also works.

Tip: Taking a break from blogging is 100% okay when you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or just don’t have time. It really is. You don’t have to be worried about taking a break. But when you stop blogging for reasons that are more based on laziness or moodiness, well.. my one tip is to push yourself a bit more to blog. Not so much that it puts tons of pressure on you, but enough so that you

  • You’re having more fun doing anything except blogging.

It’s a fact to most people that blogging is hard work. Yes, it can be fun, but the amount of time and effort that has to go in to make a good, quality post is insane. Most people know this yet they still continue blogging. Why? Because they enjoy it. When you no longer enjoy blogging, well, you won’t feel like doing it, now will you? When that happens, you know what it means..

Tip: Taking a break can definitely help in this situation! Though that’s just a temporary solution. To really cure this, one of the things I recommend doing is making a list, or reading a list, about the things you love about blogging. When you focus on the positives, maybe it will help you enjoy it once again. Do what you enjoy about blogging, instead of focusing on what you don’t really enjoy.

  • Blogging becomes a chore/an unwanted reminder of something you have to do.

*SIGH* Blogging. Right.

It’s never a good sign when the thing that was supposed to be a fun, light, hobby, and what used to make you happy, becomes the thing that makes you frown or sigh in frustration. Never!

Tip: Really, I feel like the same tips can help with multiple things. Finding things you love about blogging (mentioned above) can really help for this. When something that was previously associated with positive ideals, becomes associated with negatives, it really helps to have a reminder that the thing (in our case, blogging) isn’t truly something that bad! It’s hard, but it’s generally something we love to do, no? I hope all that made sense, oops.

  • You purposefully spend your free time doing other things even if that time could be spent blogging.

“Oh, I finished all my homework/household duties/whatever other requirements you have! Hm, I think I’m going to go surf the channels on TV, even though I know there’s nothing good on.” A bad example (but maybe it’s possible?) but you get what I mean! This is definitely another obvious sign that a blogging slump is either on its way or has reached you.

Tip: Push yourself a bit more to use that free time to blog! I doubt there’s ever going to be a time where after you write a post (instead of watching boring TV, for example), you’re going to be like, “I wish I had watched that old TV sports show that I don’t like!” or something. You know?

  • You no longer prioritize blogging or really care so much about posting on time/at all.

Another very obvious sign that you’re soon to be a victim of a blogging slump, this one can make it hard to get back into blogging once you fall into a slump. When you stop making blogging a priorty, or really caring much about it, well, you have more of a ‘it doesn’t really matter’ attitude, you know? Which can make things difficult.

Tip: Try and find new post ideas! Inspire yourself. Motivate yourself so that you’re able to get rid of the ‘I don’t care’ attitude, because, let me tell you, that ain’t gonna help anything. This seems like a very ‘bad’ thing to fall into, but all it really is is an effect of falling into a blogging slump. If inspiration just isn’t coming to you, then sometimes also just taking a break, being disconnected from the blog and everything, might help. Chances are the bookworm in you (if you’re a book blogger) won’t be able to resist squealing about the newest 5-star book your read. 😉

Last minute babbling…

I will forever back the statement of taking a break when you need one. (98% of the time, at least.) Sometimes it’s what it takes for you to get back your blogging game, you know? However, I also believe in a good balance. Yes, life can be a real bully to us little people, and yes, so is time. It is SO DIFFICULT to blog when we have to constantly battle the force of real life. I get that. I really do. But sometimes, another part of it is just us sitting around and choosing not to do it–which leads to being a blogging slump most of the time rather than being a productive hiatus. Lol.  Sometimes it’s good if we push ourselves a bit more. I’ve been in a blogging slump for almost 3 weeks now? It was tempting to just leave this post in the drafts, along with all my other ones, but I found that when I finally pushed myself to write up a post, it really felt good and satisfying. Reading other blog posts and reminding myself what an amazing journey blogging has been for me is two of the things that pushed me out of my blogging slump–so I definitely recommend those two tips the most! Blogging slumps are seemingly impossible to get rid of, but if you try, I promise it’s not that hard. 😉


Okay, so that turned out to be a lot more rambling on my part than I had expected–sorry for all that, guys. I do hope it all made sense.

But now, I’d love to hear your opinions! I’ve missed talking to you all SO MUCH, so please don’t leave me hanging, lolll. Have you ever fallen into a blogging slump? How did you get out? What other reasons are there that cause blogging slumps to occur? Has anyone else felt the pain of running out of chocolate??!! #honestquestion Oh, and what helps you the most when attempting to escape a blogging slump? Leave any of your thoughts below!

Until the Next Meal, Analee

I read Lady Midnight… and it was AMAZING. | WWW Wednesday #45 (March 16th)

Hey everyone! It’s Wednesday once again, which of course means, a WWW Wednesday post! The biggest news I have really is the fact that I read both Lady Midnight and A Gathering of Shadows, both of which I absolutely loved! Though agh, I’m still reading Illuminae. Oops.

Alright, let’s get to the actual books!

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On a World of Words), where we answer the following questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

WWW Wednesday

Currently Reading

Okay, yes, I realize I have been reading this for almost over a week now, and yes, I realize that I have been giving priority to other books instead of this one BUT I swear, I’m actually going to focus on this now. (Well, I’ll try. And that counts for something, right?) I really do want to finish this book!

Recently Finished

I (shockingly) managed to find time to finish the rest of the Tales from Shadowhunter Academy ebooks! I couldn’t help it; I really wanted to move on to Lady Midnight, but I wanted to finish the tales first. And I’m glad I did–I really enjoyed them!

A Gathering of Shadows was so, so, SO good. But that cliffhanger! Aghhhhh it’s too painful. My emotions were all over for this book, my heart got stomped on, I had some near-screeching moments where characters made unintelligent moves, my heart got stomped on–you know, the usual. It was such a great sequel to the already fantastic ADSOM–It was amazing!

Okay, so my last read for this week was the hugely anticipated Lady Midnight! *Cue fangirling shrieks* Once I finished the Tales from Shadowhunter Academy, I decided I couldn’t wait and dived right into Lady Midnight. And oh. my. god. I cannot even express my feelings of love right now since they’re so intense. I literally devoured this whole book and it was so amazing, just simply fantastic. If you’re hesitating about reading this, I’m telling you, READ ITTTTT. NOWW.

Read Next

Red Rising is on my list once again this week–and I’m hoping to get to it soon after finishing Illuminae! I’ve been looking forward to jumping on the Pierce Brown bandwagon for a while now. 🙂

The Rest of Us Just Live Here has been one of those books I kept telling myself I’d read, yet never got around to. I’ve put off putting it on my Read Next list for some reason? But now I’m finally going to try and read it. It’s not that I don’t want to.. it’s just I’m scared of my expectations? So.

I’ve been meaning to read The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender (woo, that’s a mouthful) for a while now, due to its intriguing synopsis and the things I’ve heard about it. I doubt I’ll actually be able to read this, but I do plan on reading it sometime!

Unlike the rest of the above books I mentioned, Vicious isn’t technically part of my March TBR, but I’ve decided that I most definitely want to read it this month! It’s been on my TBR FOREVER and now, having read ADSOM and AGOS, I’m craving for another novel by V.E. Schwab.


Alright so that’s it for this week’s WWW Wednesday! It’s been a busy week, though not as much as usual, but I’m still quite shocked I managed to get through so much! Lady Midnight and A Gathering of Shadows both were quite long novels, haha. Though totally worth it!

What books have you been reading recently? What do you think of the books this week? Anyone else out there who’s read Lady Midnight or A Gathering of Shadows? I’d love to chat, so leave all and any of your thoughts in the comments! ❤ Hope you’re enjoying your day!

Until the Next Meal, Analee

 

Things I Wish I Knew/Did as a Newbie Blogger — Newbies, take notes! | Book Snacks Babbles

BSB Description

It’s been a long day, without you, my friends.

Sorry, that song has been stuck in my head for some reason. But hi, hello! I know it’s Tuesday, and I swear, I had really meant to do a Top Ten Tuesday post, but it’s felt like a while since I posted the last discussion, so I thought, why not write up another one? I promise I will be doing Top Ten Tuesday posts once again sometime, but today is not that day! As the title dictates, for this post, I’m going to be talking about things I wish I knew or did back when I was a newbie blogger. In many ways I still consider myself to be one, to be honest, (there’s new things I learn everyday!) but I suppose technically, since I’ve been blogging for a year now, I’m not as much of a newbie anymore–at the very least, I have the basics of the whole blogging thing down. 😉 But back in the day, when I first started blogging, there were many things I didn’t know! So, now, to walk down memory lane, I’ve decided to think about those things and reflect on the things I know now–that I wish I had known before. Oh, also, warning: this is a no judgement-zone! Mine is a fragile ego. XD (LOL jk but entertain me, why don’t you.) If you judge you shall get no chocolate. And that’s a horror you don’t even want to consider, right? Right. Exactly. *nods*

Alright, now that we got that cheerful little thing out of the way, let’s get on to it, shall we?

Agh, sorry for the terrible image. I totally rushed this! I'll be editing this later, haha.

1. I don’t have to post everything on one single day.

Erm, I hope I’m not the only one who thought this? Back when I first started blogging, I was under the impression that I had to write several posts in one day. And can you guess? I wrote many posts, for one day. Uhhhh, nope. I was most definitely mistaken! Firstly, there’s no requirement for anything. If I wanted I could post nothing on a day, or 10. Who knows. Secondly, there’s really no point in posting everything in one day (though if you wanted to, of course, that’s all your choice). So. Once I noticed that I was just wasting time posting so many posts in a day, it became much better, yes yes. Which brings me too the second point:

2. There’s this magical thing called a scheduling button.

Okay, so I knew I had the option of scheduling posts, like, many weeks (perhaps months, I dunno really) after I started blogging? (Hush hush, no judgement here, remember?) But I (in a move that boasts of utter ridiculousness, to be honest) kind of ignored it for.. oh, I dunno. Months, definitely. Lots of months. I don’t even know why? Maybe it was just paranoia that it wouldn’t work, or… I really don’t know. Once I actually took the big step and used it (like, 10 thousand years later. Well, slight exaggeration, but whatever.) it turned out to be great and quite useful! So yeah, I most definitely would’ve wanted to have use it before. XD Again, I don’t even know what kept stopping me from using it? What can I say, I’m a confusing person. We’ve established this.

3. I don’t have to be worried about putting my personality out there.

I think it’s kind of natural, at the very start of blogging, that our personality isn’t, perhaps.. as clear? Okay, okay, I know that explains nothing whatsoever, but like, I mean.. aghhh sorry excuse my moment of utter failing-at-lifeness there. Basically what I’m trying to say is that I feel like when I first started blogging, in the back of my mind, I might’ve been more reserved in terms of letting my voice and my personality show through my writing. Now, as I am more comfortable with blogging and everything, I think I make more of a conscious effort to be ME in my posts, and show more of who I am than before. And I love it? It makes the blogging experience so much the more genuine and I wish I hadn’t been so worried about my voice and personality and what other nonsense had been going through my head back at the start, lol. 😉

4. Creating graphics is nothing to fret over!

Back when I first started blogging, I had been in awe of all the amazing graphics I saw on other people’s blogs. When I saw that the blogger himself/herself created the graphic, I was in even more awe! Yes, I know I know. Hush children. No judging, remember? XD Come on, I can’t have been the only one in this situation, right? But anyway, yes, I was in awe. And then I became confused as to what I would do in terms of graphics. I love design and appreciate art (though I’m terrible at art like drawing, music and the like) After all, pictures always make everything so much the more interesting! But as I discovered later on, creating graphics is not too difficult! After searching online (because duh, Google has basically all the answers. LOL) I found many helpful graphic design websites, like PicMonkey, Canva, among others. My only wish was that I took the initiative to find out how to make graphics much earlier! It’s not that difficult, really, when you have the right tools.

5. It takes time to get successful stats and followers.

Although the definition of success depends from person to person, the universal key to remember is that everything takes time–especially stats and followers. Building up a successful following takes a while (most of the time). Having the types of expectations that you’ll get 100 followers in a day sadly holds no weight and will get you nowhere. For me, I wouldn’t say I had such an expectation, but it did take a while to accept that I won’t be receiving tons and tons of likes, comments, and followers in just a little bit of time. 😉 I did end up accepting it in the end (it might’ve been hard to find amusement in blogging if I hadn’t) but I do wish I knew this when I first started blogging! The first couple of weeks can be tough (lol), when you kind of find that no one is actually reading your posts and you’re talking to yourself. XD But the important thing is not to be worried or stressed out! It’ll happen eventually.

6. It’s okay if I have to go on hiatus.

This is something which I still don’t like to do very much, LOL, but it is especially something I wish I knew back when I first started blogging! I was in grade 11 when I first started, and at times (lol, who am I kidding, almost all the time) it became tough to juggle so many things at once; school, reading, blogging, there’s only so much time you have to spend for each. And sometimes taking a break is what we need to balance everything, you know? I know that now, but it would definitely have helped if I had known that before. 😀 I think, it felt like if I took a hiatus and didn’t blog, for, I don’t know, even a week or something, I’d lose followers, and people would forget about my blog, and whatnot. It’s a worry that’s long gone now, but as a newbie, I couldn’t help but think that way, lolllllll.

7. Other bloggers don’t bite!

As a newbie in the book blogging community, where I was surrounded with a bunch of other bloggers who had so many more followers than my humble, like, 10 (lol I don’t actually know how much I had back then) it definitely could be intimidating to actually find the courage to talk to them! Now, I know it’s ridiculous to think that way–bloggers don’t bite! They’re just as human and just as friendly as the rest of us, and it’s 100% okay to talk to them. Thank goodness I ended up talking to other bloggers in the end after all; or else I’d be quite a hermit and quite lonely, lolllll. XD Talking to these bloggers back at the start, and even now, created such lovely friendships and it’s the greatest. Truly. ❤

8. It is impossible to read each and every single blog post that appears in my blog feed.

Truer words have never been spoken, if I do say so myself. I mean, have YOU been able to read every blog post that arrives in your Reader? Didn’t think so. But back then, I tried quite hard to do so (and comment too!) which, proved to be quite futile in the end save for the posts I actually did manage to read and comment on. I followed quite a lot of blogs back then (and even more now!) and there were SO MANY posts appearing all the time. It’s impossible to read them all! Don’t fret if you can’t read/comment on each post; I doubt it’s even possible unless you follow, like, less than maybe 10 blogs. Which I doubt is the case? I did (and still do) put an effort into commenting and reading at least some of the posts that appear in my Reader, but it would’ve definitely saved me a lot of time had I not attempted to read all, or almost all, of the posts that I find. 😉

9. It’s okay to be different.

Whether it be in terms of what you post, what your blog looks like, how you talk and how you fangirl, it’s okay if it’s not like everyone else. Normal is overrated! Be unique, be yourself, and that’s all that matters. I think, when I first started blogging, I wanted more to be like the other bloggers? Kind of? A smidge? Not that I was afraid to be different, but more that I felt like I should be like everyone else. Wrong! Totally wrong. There is no need whatsoever for you to be like everyone else, and when I accepted this, it became so much more fun for me and more, I don’t know, free. It’s partly the reason why I’m still holding on to the theme I currently have (light text on dark background), despite thinking about changing it. It’s a lot more uncommon, as far as I’ve noticed!

10. I’m blogging for MYSELF first and foremost.

Perhaps one of the most important things I wished I knew as a newbie blogger, this is one that I still remind myself about. When blogging gets tough and we get caught up in the stats game and it becomes, you know, less of a hobby and more of a job, this is the best thing to think of! We blog for ourselves and no one else, and that’s what matters. (LOLLLL notice how all the other ones I ramble about FOREVER yet this one I spare three sentences. This says nothing about importance or anything! I’m just lost at what other things to say. :P)


Alright, so that’s it for this post! The 10 things I wish I knew as a newbie blogger. Don’t leave me hanging; do let me know your thoughts in the comments! ❤ I’d love to know which of the YOU wish you knew as well, when you first started blogging. Feel free to let me know all and any of your thoughts! I’d love to chat. Oh, and just a little note; I might be disappearing, in and out for the next couple of weeks! It’s getting super busy and it’s incredibly difficult to keep up with blogging sometimes. But I will still be around!

Anyway, I hope you guys are enjoying your Tuesday! ❤

Until the Next Meal, Analee

 

Book Snacks is 1 Year Old…! | Blogiversary/Birthday Giveaway Time! Plus a survey. And a game. Yay!

Giveaway

Hiiii! Not so long ago (or was it long ago?? I don’t remember. Roughly 2 weeks ago?? Maybe? Whatever. You know what I mean) I reached my 1-year blogiversary, and mentioned a giveaway on the way, am I right? Well, I’m here to keep good on that promise! I cannot stress enough how grateful I am for all your support; you guys have all become my friends, and I only want to give you guys something back for all the things you have given me! Okay, yes yes I know I’m sounding extra cheesy today—but hey, don’t judge. I’ll be back to the fangirling-yet-unemotional chocolate bar you all know soon enough.

Point is: I’m celebrating with a giveaway! And it happens to be my birthday near the end of this month, so I guess I’m celebrating that too, lol. So. My birthday isn’t till the 24th of this month, but whatever, right?? My blogiversary was a couple of weeks ago anyway. I know you’re all eager for the giveaway, but there are a few things I must mention first…

Blog Survey

This is totally optional, but I’d love to get some feedback on my blog! I created a survey, and I’d appreciate it so much if you guys took the time to answer. You can also get a few extra entries for the giveaway by doing so! Only some of the questions are mandatory, but, of course, I’d love it so much the more if you completed the whole thing! Here it is:

(If that doesn’t seem to work for you, you can get the link to it here.)

Thank you SO MUCH in advance!! ❤

Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt?? You ask. Why yes. Basically you just have to copy and answer the 5 questions in a comment below. To find the to the questions, you’ll have to scavenge around my blog! You don’t have to do it, of course, but you get the chance for more giveaway entries if you play the game.

Though, just a little disclaimer: this game can’t be credited as my idea. I actually scavenged it off from other blogs who’ve done something like this before, like Cait @ Paper Fury and a few other bloggers. (Haha, get it? Scavenged? Scavenger hunt? Okay, okay, I’ll stop.)

Some of these questions may have more than 1 right answer, by the way. You all know how bad I am with questions requesting only one answer! Are you ready for this? Okay, here they are:

  1. A book I read in 2016 that I rated 5 stars?
  2. A book that released 3 days ago (March 8th) that I can’t wait to read?
  3. One of my favourite genres?
  4. One (or more) of my 2016 bookish/bloggish resolutions?
  5. A book I often fangirl about?
  6. *Bonus: Something I’m scared of (it’s an animal, by the way.)

If you’re able to answer these questions without scavenging too much, good for you! Though I think they’re pretty easy to answer? Kind of? Either way, good luck! May the force of books and chocolate be with you. (I haven’t ever watched Star Wars, btw *cue gasps of horror*—yes, I know—so I hope that reference makes sense?)

*This actually will only be having one answer? I mentioned this A LONG time ago, in a post–so maybe if you’ve been here for awhile you might know it? Otherwise, you can always scavenge for the answer! 😛

Aaaaaand, the giveaway!

So, what you’ve all been waiting for! But before you guys go clickety-click and start entering entries, here are a few rules and things to remember:

  • One winner gets to choose a book from The Book Depository up to a value of $25 (in Canadian dollars).
  • Open internationally as long as Book Depository ships to your country. (Details here.)
  • Giveaway begins today (March 11th, 2016) and ends in around 3 weeks on April 1st, 2016 (Don’t worry, if you’re the winner, this won’t all be an April Fool’s joke. XD)
  • After the contest time I will be randomly choosing the winner through Rafflecopter. (On April 2nd, 2016)
  • Winner has 48 hours to respond before I choose another winner.
  • You must be 18 years of age to enter or have parental consent to provide me your mailing address.
  • Winner’s personal information will be kept private and will not be publicized or used in any way other than to ship the book.
  • Entries will be checked and deleted if they’re don’t qualify—so no cheating please!

Now, time for the giveaway! Here it is. Gobble it up, guys. You’re welcome. 😀 Now talk to me in the comments: what book would you like to receive, from TBD? Oh, and here’s some chocolate if you participate in the scavenger hunt or do the survey. ❤ Hope you guys are all enjoying your Friday!

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Lady Midnight has been released and I still don’t have it! *Cries* | WWW Wednesday #44 (March 9th)

Okay, sooo firstly, let me just freak out over the fact that Lady Midnight came out yesterday!! *Dies* Ahhhh I’m heading over to buy it soon, definitely. I’d have pre-ordered it but eh. For some reason I’m not a big fan of pre-ordering? Call me crazy, but yeah. I can’t wait to buy it, omg. I still don’t have it though.. SOB.

BUT that’s not the point of this post, ah yes. Apart from Lady Midnight news, I started A Gathering of Shadows! I posted my review of the first book on Monday and I started the second book now, I’m so excited!! But let me share the rest of my bookish on-goings…

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On a World of Words), where we answer the following questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

I started Illuminae several days ago.. but I haven’t made much progress with it? I know, I know, I really have to get going with it but in between I started Frozen Tides and I finished that and then so I unintentionally went on a pause from Illuminae, and then.. well, point is, I still have a lot to go on this, agh. But it’s not bad so far!

After writing up my review on A Darker Shade of Magic, I didn’t waste any time starting A Gathering of Shadows! In hindsight it might’ve been better to have finished Illuminae first, but… temptation bit hard. So far it’s really good–and I can’t wait to read more of it!

Recently Finished

The Accident Season was SO GOOD! It was so entertaining to read, not to mention I loved the writing and the characters were very well-written. Ahhh. And there were so many little things that I loved! The whole magical realism thing going on was super cool too. Definitely recommend for those who don’t mind a little creepiness and are looking for a contemporary/magical realism crossover-type book!

I started Frozen Tides while in the midst of reading Illuminae, as it was the last book to read for the Falling Kingdoms read-along (the next books in the series haven’t been published yet) and it was amazing. I could not put it down and it was absolutely addicting! I found myself loving the characters and everything a lot more (although critically, it wasn’t as good as how much I enjoyed it.)

Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy and The Lost Herondale are both books part of the Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy series, and *gasp* I hadn’t read them yet, so with the release of Lady Midnight, I decided to read them! I absolutely can’t wait to read Lady Midnight, but I’m hoping to finish the 10 novellas in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy first. (Apparently there are characters in it that will appear in Lady Midnight too?)

Read Next

I ended up taking off Lola and the Boy Next Door, which was on my list last week, to add again another time. Right now I’m too much in a fantasy and action-type mood to pick up anything else, though I might change my mind.

So, after The Lost Herondale comes The Whitechapel Fiend followed by Nothing But Shadows! I’m hoping to get at least those two read, and maybe even more so I can start Lady Midnight as soon as possible. 😉

Red Rising has been on my TBR for quite some time, and although I doubt I will be getting to it this week, I’m adding it to the list, just to make sure I remember to read it at least some time soon. Hopefully. I can’t wait!

And of course, Lady Midnight is on my list once again. I know I mentioned I’d read the Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy before I read LM, and I’m hoping to do that, but I might just give in to the temptation and read this as soon as I get it. Lol. Do I even need to say I’m excited? It would be an understatement anyway.


Alright, so that’s it for this week! I’m still crying over the fact that I still don’t have Lady Midnight, but I’m calmed (like, by 0.000000001%) because I started A Gathering of Shadows—which I’m so excited to read!! I’m hoping to complete Illuminae as well, I’ve heard so much about it and I feel bad for kind of neglecting it in favour of other books, haha.

How has your week gone? What books on here have you read? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! ❤

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Another month has passed.. what?? | 2016 February Wrap-Up

Ahhh I honestly wonder sometimes; will it always feel like a month passed, in like, a week?? ‘Cause it’s been happening to me since forever, and every time I still can’t believe it. Kind of like how it feels like my chocolate stash always seems to go from a lot to, like, a crumb in a day? (There’s much less of a mystery of how it happened in that case though, lol. #shhthechocolatemonsterisme)

But anyway, case in point: time flies! And I thought I might as well reminisce of how my month of February went, to cling to the past a bit before another month starts to fly by. XD Let’s get on to it!

2016 February Wrap-Up

Books Read

  • Truthwitch by Susan Dennard: I kind of succumbed to the hype with this one?? There were so many glowing reviews and the premise just had me so intrigued. I’m going to have to add to the hype now; it was quite entertaining, despite the flaws! I loved it. ★★★★☆ (4 stars)
  • Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes: To be honest, this was leaning more towards the 3 stars range in terms of the critical aspects (plot, characters, etc.) but in terms of entertainment it’s more of the 4-stars range for me. By no means amazing, but still decent! Hence a final rating of: ★★★☆☆ ½ (3.5 stars)
  • Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales: I think it’s best to go into this one without knowing too much? At least, it worked out fine that way for me. So I’m not going to say much about this other than this book was so entertaining and really worth the time for me. Such an unconventional love story! ★★★★☆ (4 stars)
  • Passenger by Alexandra Bracken: I was debating whether to give this one a 3 vs 3.5 stars—I went with 3. But it was by no means a bad read! I just think in my head, I hyped it up a bit too much, and it turned out to be good, decent, and entertaining, but didn’t live up to MY personal expectations. So. :/ ★★★☆☆ (3 stars)
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: So adorable, this one! I don’t know why I put off reading this for so long. It was really sweet, and great for a light fluffy read. I have the link to the review below, if you want to check it out! (Flawless self-advertising, guys, and I’m not even sorry.) 😉 ★★★★☆ (4 stars)
  • Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstorm: Haha I seem to have hit on the great contemporaries this month. Despite the difficulty I had at first to get into it, NISUF was delightfully refreshing read that I really loved. It was so interesting reading from the POV of a blind protagonist! ★★★★☆ (4 stars)
  • Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard: Ahhh the rating for this was such a struggle! I SO wanted to love this, but… there were a bit too many flaws for me to rate this higher than a 3. Unfortunately. I mean, 3 stars isn’t bad, believe me! But in this particular case, 3 is almost stretching it. :/ ★★★☆☆ (3 stars)
  • Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes: To be honest, I think this could very well be the same rating I gave for Rebel Spring, but I decided to add another .5 for entertainment. This book was, as the rest of the books, filled with drama, tension and action, and although maybe critically it wasn’t the best, it was still addicting to read! ★★★★☆ (4 stars)
  • More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera: Ahhh THIS BOOK. Oh my gosh. My heart literally got stomped into a thousand tiny pieces and it was not okay! Yet I absolutely loved this book. #bookwormlogic. You all should definitely read it! ★★★★☆ ½ (4.5 stars)
  • Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin: I had no idea I’d love this book so much! Although I had read many glowing reviews on it prior to reading it, I had my expectations set medium-ish, and WBW totally surpassed them! Full of action, suspense and even some romance, this book was truly a great read. ★★★★★ (5 stars)
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab: I can’t decide between 4 and 4.5 stars right now, so I’ll just leave it at either or. Because although I really adored this book (it was seriously so good), there were parts that I was more meh about that I can’t ignore, so… but overall absolutely fantastic! ❤ ★★★★☆ ½ (4-4.5 stars)
  • Stars Above by Marissa Meyer: Ahh, the bind-up collection of the Lunar Chronicles novellas were a pleasure to read! A few I’d already read seperately, but a few I hadn’t and those were great. ★★★★☆ (4 stars)

Hm, looking at this I’m kind of wondering if I’m being too generous?? I don’t know, my ratings seem so high—Lol, I know I make it sound like a bad thing, but it’s really not. Just… gah. I don’t know. A thought to be talked about another time, I guess! But for now, I guess I’ll just leave it at I have had a pretty good month in terms of book ratings! XD

Books Reviewed

Well, I’d been hoping to write reviews for at least half the books I read… but something’s better than nothing, right? *attempts to make self be optimistic* *fails* *goes off in search of chocolate to cure my sadness*

Book Tags

Woo, love-themed book tags! Who’s surprised I did these this month? XD

WWW Wednesday

Book Snacks Babbles

Yayyy I’ve actually been pretty successful with my discussion posts this month! I had so much fun writing them, eep! Definitely hope to continue the trend March too. 😉

Other Posts


Yayyy that was a successful month! Which calls for chocolate! (Success means chocolate. Yes.) February was actually more of a low-key month for me in terms of schoolwork too, which probably explains why I’ve actually been posting quite often. Though now that I’ve said that, watch March be the complete opposite… *SIGH* But anyway, success for now! 😀

So, how had your February gone? Successful? (HAVE SOME CHOCOLATE.) Unsuccessful? (ALSO HAVE SOME CHOCOLATE.) Let me know in the comments, along with any other thoughts you might have! ❤

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Ahhh ADSOM was SO GOOD. | WWW Wednesday #43 (March 2nd, 2016)

Hey everyone! I still can’t believe it’s the beginning of March, omg. But it is! And it also happens to be the time for another WWW Wednesday post—so since I know you guys are probably just interested in the books, let’s get to it!

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On a World of Words), where we answer the following questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

WWW Wednesday

Currently Reading

I had meant to finish The Accident Season last month, but I only started it yesterday. Oh well. So far it’s really good, though I’m not too far into it yet. I can’t wait to read more of it! ❤

Recently Finished

Ahhhh the hype has most definitely not been wrong for Wolf by Wolf!! It was absolutely spectacular, guys, if you haven’t read it already, I’m telling you, you absolutely should! Even if you’re not a fan of historical fiction, I assure you this book is amazing.

A Darker Shade of Magic is SUCH A HYPED BOOK, especially with the release of its sequel! And so yes, I finally read it, and god, I’m asking myself now, what on earth took me so long to get to it??! Although there were a few things that I wasn’t a huge fan of, this book had me hooked from start to finish and I loved it.

Stars Above wasn’t exactly a planned read, but I recently got a copy of it from my library (agh I want to buy it so badly though *stomps angrily*) and I got started on it right away! I loved reading the novellas, though kind of feeling nostalgic now since it was the last of a book with the characters from LC, haha.

Read Next

I took off one of the other reads I had planned to read next—Aristotle and Dante—I think I’d rather read it later on, during spring or summer? I know, I know. But I WILL read it someday!

The Falling Kingdoms read-along is soon moving on with the 4th book in the series, Frozen Tides, this Friday! I really enjoyed reading Gathering Darkness, so I can’t wait to see how the fourth book turns out.

As you tell from my squealing over ADSOM, I can’t wait to read the sequel, A Gathering of Shadows! And so that’s exactly what I have on my read next. I want to try and get a review on ADSOM before I start it though, so we’ll see how it goes.

Illuminae is on my list again, but I have no idea when I might be picking this up. It’s such a huge book, so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to fit it into my schedule, especially with my other planned reads! Ahhh time is so hard to get these days. :/

And then finally, I have Lola and the Boy Next Door once again, though I doubt I’ll be able to read it this week, as much as I’d like to. And like I mentioned before, I’m thinking of postponing it until later anyway? I dunno. It’s a possibility. Any suggestions?


I hope you guys are enjoying your Wednesdays! ❤ Let me know your thoughts in the comments, I’d love to chat. Have any of you read Wolf by Wolf or A Darker Shade of Magic? Did you enjoy them as much as I did? What books on here have you read? Which books should I read next? Happy reading!

Until the Next Meal, Analee