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! ❤

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

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

 

Do Reviews Sway Your Opinion Before or After You Read a Book? | Book Snacks Babbles

BSB Description

The first discussion of March! Welcome, bookish chocolate bars. Welcome. I had been thinking of doing another blogger-related post, but since I’ve already been doing several blogger-related posts, I decided to change things up and bring out more of our bookwormishness (yes, that’s a word now) with this post. 😉

So, from my title, you obviously know what this post is about, which is: Do you let reviews sway your opinion before or after you read a book? (Lol. Yes, I know, I state the obvious. Your point is?) As part of the book blogging community, most of us, if not all, sometimes or often reads reviews of either books they’ve read, books they’re anticipating, or just a plain book they’ve never heard of. Right? Most plainly put, often reviews are to help the readers reading the review decide whether they want to read a book or not. And if a person has already read the book, well, then it’s because they want to see what the other person has thought about it.

But does reading these reviews affect our opinion, when we’ve already read the book or have yet to read it? Let’s babble!

Reading Reviews Before or After You Read a Book

‘Before’ Scenarios

Reading a positive review on a book we haven’t read

This usually leads to: building up hype and personal expectations. Obviously. Oftentimes this is the case, when I read a review on a book that either has yet to be released, or simply a book I haven’t read. Lately it’s usually the former that occurs most often for me? Though the latter occurs too. It’s kind of natural, when I read a glowing review talking about all the things this person liked in the book, all the amazing things that are all things I love to read about… well, it’s just something that happens subonciously, sometimes for me; I’m intrigued, and as I read more reviews on this book sharing these positive sentiments, I have expectations set! Behold, the power of the hype.

But you already know that, of course—I’d bet most of you can agree that you’ve felt this way before as well! 😉 This, in turn usually ends up going at least one of these two ways:

1. Having super high expectations…that ARE met.

Ahh, this is one of the most satisfying feelings, to be honest. When you have really high expectations of a book, and they actually met them (or even, surpassed them), it’s just SO AMAZING. Seriously, it’s just so nice and comforting to know that there are books that actually can live up to the awesomeness you build up in your head, especially when you think they won’t. Most of the time, having such high expectations leads to disappointment, which brings us to the next possibility (which isn’t so amazing):

2. Having super high expectations… that AREN’T met.

While the above one is absolutely amazing, this one is terrible, really! After having such an awesome idea of the book in your head, having to find that the book doesn’t meet this expectations at all really sucks. Believe me, I know. Even though you know it was a possibility, seeing how having such high expectations definitely makes it hard for books to meet them, you’re still super disappointed, you know? Or at least I am. *SIGH* (Reawakened, I’m looking at you. You could’ve been so much better, gah.)

Eeep, I’m rambling again. Basically my point is: reading a positive review on a book we haven’t read can be both great and dangerous! I guess it all comes down to hype, and expectations, really. Wicked things, our expectations. (Why does that sound like it should be said with a British accent??)

Reading a negative review on a book we haven’t read

This kind of goes the opposite of the above, really! Especially if we read several negative reviews on one book. It creates expectations, for sure… though, let’s just say they’re not that high. For me, personally, I have to say I tend to add many books-with-bad-reviews on my TBR, though oftentimes I don’t actually prioritize them? Well, I don’t prioritize them at all, really. Which isn’t actually a good thing, because, hey. Maybe it’ll end up being a book I like a lot more than the person who didn’t like it, right? But if I don’t really prioritize it, chances are I won’t be getting to it soon. Obviously. Though maybe it’ll be someday?

However, sometimes what happens is that I forego putting the book on my TBR at all, which, although basically leads to the same result as the first, just shows I don’t even really consider the thought of reading it. This doesn’t happen to me often, but I’m sure it happens a lot more for other people, perhaps? Again, it’s not a good thing either way—but what to do? Just like reading a positive review created high expectations, reading a negative review might lead to low expectations—or foregoing the book completely. :/

‘After’ Scenarios

Reading a negative review on a book we loved

Soo the other day I was eating chocolate—of course—and reading a review of Made You Up by Francesca Zappia, which happened to be a book I loved. The review, however didn’t share my sentiments—in fact it was the complete opposite. Let me get this clear: I, LOVE reading negative reviews. They’re always so interesting to read! And I’m not saying it wasn’t the case for this book, believe me, it was. Interesting to read, that is. But as I read it, (what later became the inspiration of this post, actually) it made me re-think of all the things I previously praised.. that this person is suddenly pointing out as a flaw.

And I’m not trying to say this was a bad thing. I mean, it’s great to see a new perspective on something, especially a book we’ve read. But at the same time… this wasn’t necessarily a good thing? At the back of my head, yes, of course I was intrigued on finding a perspective so different from mine, but first and foremost I was subconsciously picking out all the flaws in a book I previously loved. So. Kind of awkward. I guess it’s kind of similar to falling out of love with a book, or at least close, because really, if it’s possible for us to start concentrating on flaws of a book that we previously ignored, then what’s stopping us from changing our minds completely based on these newly found flaws? Right? It’s something to keep in mind, at least.

Reading a positive review on a book we hated

In theory, it makes sense why this scenario would result in us falling in love with said book. Seeing how it seems possible to fall out of love with a book based on a review, the opposite would be true, right? But to be honest, I kind of feel like in practice, this wouldn’t actually work out? I mean, if you go searching for reviews hoping to suddenly fall in love with a book (that you disliked before), it’s almost 100% assured that it won’t work. But even if you read a glowing review on a book you disliked, just, you know, by chance, I feel like it would be much harder for it to sway your opinion? (Sorry for all the question marks, I’m really just going by ear on this. I’m kind of totally rambling here, soo. Please bear with me!)

I don’t know. I’ve never actually fallen in love with a book I hated by reading a review, so maybe it’s that which is affecting my opinion on this. But correct me if I’m wrong; I feel like it might be easier to fall out of love with a book based on a review rather than falling back into love? Maybe it’s because for the former, we’re already aware, when we’re in love with a book, that it DOES have flaws, no matter how much we end up sugarcoating them, so when we read a review pointing out these flaws, well.. it’s more easier to be swayed, you know? For the latter, we’ve picked out all the flaws already so we’re less likely to be swayed by a glowing review when we already hated all or most of the things praised in the review, I guess. Lol.

Last minute babbling…

I think I’m going to have to say a yes for this one! You know me, I usually make no sense whatsoever throughout the whole post, and can’t always come to a firm conclusion, but for this, definitely yes. It may be a positive sway, or it might be negative, but I definitely think it’s possible for a review to sway and influence our opinions, before or after we read a book! Whether this is a good thing or not is almost always determined by the situation. It’s too bad though if reading a review before or after we read the book turns out to be not in our favour! :/


Alright, so I think I’ve ran out of steam for now! Obviously I must re-energize on chocolate, yes yes. So I’m going to be heading this over to you guys! Tell me some of your thoughts on this, I’d love to chat. Have you ever fallen into a situation where you fell out of love with a book based on a review? Or, have you fallen BACK into love with a book, based on a review? What do you think of reading reviews before you read a book? Good or bad? Do you forego books with negative reviews? What are some books that met your super high expectations? What are some that disappointed you? Whoo, that’s a lot of questions. But I’d love to know your thoughts, so feel free to ramble! Heaven knows I did, in this post. (I hope it all made sense, lol.)
Hope you’re all enjoying your weekend! ❤

Until the Next Meal, Analee

The Book Blogger’s Guide: How to Not Go Overboard On ARCs and Review Copies!

BSB Description

Ahhhhh why does time fly by so fastttttt omg I can’t keep up. (!!) February is basically over, yet it certainly doesn’t feel like it. *SIGH* I’m growing old, people. With every day. *Moment of silence as I ponder the mysteries of time* *Awkward pause as you realize how weird and random I truly am* *And then some more awkward silence because this made no sense whatsoever*

HELLO everyone!! I hope you excuse my little weird… um whatever that was. Clearly I’m out of sorts today or maybe I’m always like this I dunno. 

Today I’m here with the start of a kind-of-but-not-really new feature as part of my Book Snacks Babbles discussion series; a book blogger’s guide on… [insert guide name here]. To start it off, I have for you a book blogger’s guide on how to not go overboard with ARCs! Come on, admit it, you’ve had to fight against going on major ARC-requesting sprees at least one time during your blogging journey. It must’ve been quite hard when you found yourself drowning in all the ARCs (or review copies), no? I speak from experience, aha, ’tis quite difficult to stay floating, I tell you.

However, lately I noticed I’ve been quite good at keeping my ARC and review copy count mostly low, which has been quite beneficial in terms of my busy schedule and, you the whole not drowning thing. But never fear, if your ARC and review copy count is rising too fast! I have come to your rescue with this post: you’re welcome. (And even if I haven’t, entertain me alright? Otherwise my reputation will be hurt. And my ego. Ehem.)

Note: I’m mostly talking about e-ARCs, to be honest? ‘Cause I haven’t yet requested books from publishers directly, hehe, sooo. Still trying to get up the nerve to do so! I think the ARC craziness happens more online anyway. But whatever. On to the (very helpful, if I do say so myself—which I do) tips! I accept your thanks in advance. Though you must give me chocolate, yes yes, thank you.

How to Not Go Overboard on ARCs
Image credit goes to Freepik, but all edits were done by me.

1. Stay away from the wickedly dangerous thing(s) called Netgalley  (or Edelweiss* and any other reviewing site).

VERY IMPORTANT!!! I cannot stress enough how important this is, for your quest on not to go ARC-and-review-copy-crazy. It can be incredibly hard to refrain from going ARC-overboard, when there are so many delicious-looking opportunities for tasty books. Believe me, I know. Hence, you stay away! Unless you have to submit a review of an ARC, don’t go surfing the site, with the excuse of “I’m just looking”, because you will most definitely cave and request at least a few ten or more ARCs/review copies. Which brings me onto the next thing…

*I’ve never actually requested on Edelweiss, but I’m presuming it works similarly to Netgalley? Correct me if I’m wrong.

2. Never request tons of review copies by making the excuse that you’ll only receive a few.

I did this so many times! Too many times to count, while on Netgalley, I told myself that oh, I probably won’t get any of these anyway, so what’s wrong with requesting them? Yeah. Can you guess what happened? I got bombarded with a bunch of books (…and one time they were all releasing in the same month?? Not my best move, oops.) Another time, something similar happened—I think this was back when I first started blogging—except with Xpresso Book Tours. So you see the pattern here!! DO NOT make excuses and think you won’t get approved—because you never know, right? Better not take any chances.

3. Only request books that are on your TBR, or books you really want to read.

I don’t know if this is the case for everyone out there, but a lot of the times, when I’m on Netgalley or something, as I’m browsing through my favourite publishers, I notice books that aren’t on my TBR, books that I find interesting, yes, but only mildly. And oftentimes? I end up requesting them. Nowadays I’ve gotten much better at being careful of which books I request. As in, I focus more towards books I’ve been eagerly anticipating, and books on my TBR, rather than any and all books that seem mildly interesting. Instead, I just end up adding said mildly interesting book on my TBR to think about another time, you know? (Unless you REALLY want to read ALL the books you find just a little interesting, in which case… uh, good luck with keeping that ARC count low!)

4. If you’re struggling against ARCs or review copies, consider the negative sides.

They do exist! Negative sides of requesting ARCs, that is. And I know it sounds weird, to think about the negative sides to try and stop you from going on a review copy requesting spree, but you never know! Maybe it’ll help your inner self to try and convince the ARC-hungry side of you to not become so hungry. Okay, lol that just sounded weird. Let’s move on, shall we?

The cons…

-How you might not have the time to read all your ARCs. Naturally, the more you request, the more you’ll have to read and so it might be difficult to read all of them—and then review them, too! It might be the better idea to keep the count low and not have as much pressure

-The pressure of meeting release date/deadline. Life happens! Things happen! And pressure happens, as you try to meet the release date for each review copy. If you have a lot of them, it might get difficult, particularly if your review copies are all slated for release around the same time. So you might want to keep that in mind!

-You might not get the chance to read as many books that you own/bought/borrowed/want to read—you know what I mean. As you spend more time on ARCs and review copies, the less time you have for books you already own! And it’s great that you’re spending time with those review copies (you kind of have to), but your other books need some love too. 😉

Okay, so there’s actually a lot more cons to requesting ARCs than you’d expect?? So really I could go on and on about this all day, but I might save that for another post. Right now my point is: keep in mind of the negative sides to ARC requesting as well as the positive sides! Sometimes it may help to dissuade you from going ARC-crazy.

5. If you receive review copy requests, remember you don’t have to accept ALL of them!

I don’t know if this is common among every blogger, but sometimes bloggers may feel that it’s an obligation to accept all or any of the requests they receive? So if you’re trying to stay on top of your ARC/review copy pile, accepting all your review copy requests (if you get any) is not exactly helpful if you’re already trying to juggle other things like Netgalley and your own books, you know? So don’t feel bad about saying no to requests! If it makes it easier, feel free to not allow any review requests, temporarily, if you wish. You do what’s good for you! Just remember that you don’t have to accept all the requests you receive.

6. Eat chocolate.

(Anyone have any for me? Chocolate, that is.)

Don’t you dare scoff at this! This is a perfectly valid reason. Hear me out here though. Maybe ‘eat chocolate’ is a bit too specific (hey, it’s what I do so don’t judge) but basically I’m trying to say occupy yourself with something else. Like eating chocolate. And some more chocolate (and hoping those extra calories disappear). And more—Okay, okay, fine; I mean, occupy yourself with other things like blogging, reading, dancing, or doing whatever else your favourite pass times happen to be. Instead of focusing on ARCs and review copies, and other temptations like Netgalley, etc. just concentrate on something else! It’ll probably help with the first tip I mentioned too.


So, I think that sums this post up! Unfortunately this post has come to an end—but do let me know your thoughts and please don’t feel shy of joining in on the conversation! To help you out, here are some prompts:

  • What are your thoughts on requesting ARCs and review copies?
  • Do you struggle with keeping your ARC count low?
  • Which of these have you tried before? (And if you have; how did it go?)
  • What other negative sides have you encountered in ARC-requesting?
  • Do you have chocolate?? (Er, of course this is valid. Why are you questioning this?? Also, which types of chocolate do you like?)
  • And, um, anything else that came to your mind?

*Inserts British accent* Now, I must bid you farewell. Good luck on keeping your ARC count low! 😀 Happy reading!

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Reasons Why You Should Venture Outside Your Favourite Genres | Book Snacks Babbles

BSB Description

It’s Tues-day, Tues-day! (Nope, doesn’t have the same ring to it.)

Helloo everyone and I hope you guys are enjoying this fine and lovely day, or have enjoyed your day, for those in North America. (I apologize for my terrible little bout of randomness above. lol.) I haven’t participated in Top Ten Tuesday for a while (I think) but I was inspired by the topic this week from The Broke and the Bookish—which is talking about top ten books we read recently that weren’t our typical genre.

Reading books outside our favourite genres, outside our comfort zone, is oftentimes a bothersome and uncertain experience. Most of the times we find ourselves unwilling to reach outside our comfort zone for fear of not enjoying a book from a genre we’re not as used to. Well, at least it’s the case for me, (sometimes). But when (or if) we do, it usually goes two ways: you love it and decide you must read more from the genre and become more open-minded to other-than-your-favourite genres OR you hate a book, and vow to never pick up a book from any outsider genre again (okay, slight exaggeration, but you get the point).

In the case of the former, yay! You’ve decided to branch out from your typical genre, good for you. But if in the case of the latter, well.. that’s what this post is here for. If you’ve encountered an unpleasant experience with a book outside your genre, or maybe several books, and hold an extreme prejudice against books outside your favourite genre, well, in this post, I shall try and convince you why you should get rid of that prejudice! Also known as I shall give you reasons as to why you should read books outside your comfort zone. And if you’re not against reading outside your comfort zone, or don’t care, well, all the more possibility for discussion, am I right? Woot, woot! Let’s do this.

Venture Outside the Comfort Zone

1. You have the opportunity to discover hidden (or not-so-hidden) gems.

Just cause it ain’t something you usually read, doesn’t mean it can’t be good! This is the most obvious reason, to me, seeing how finding well-written books that you might love is always a tempting reason when choosing a book outside your comfort zone. Especially if it’s a hyped book. Like, if you don’t usually read fantasy yet everyone is hyping up An Ember in the Ashes, or Throne of Glass, if you do pick it up, you might find that it’s a book you really love! If you skipped out on them because you don’t read usually fantasy, well, you missed out. 😛

2. You have more reading material.

As you continue branching out of your comfort zone, the amount of reading material grows! If you were limited to favouring only one genre, soon you’ll probably run out of books in that genre to read—and even if you haven’t, you’ll probably get tired of it because there’s only so many unique ideas in books. So if you slowly, branch out of your comfort zone, whether it be one specific genre, two, three or four, soon you’ll be comfortable with a variety of types of books, and hence more new books to read!

3. You’ll (probably) become more flexible about your reading choices.

When you reach outside your comfort zone, the more flexible you become about your reading choices. After you’ve read books that are not of the typical genre you read, and enjoyed them especially, you become more releaxed about your reading material as you start to get to used to other genres. It’s especially great because it means (well, in general, at least) that you’ll also be getting more reading material options—as you can see, I mentioned this point right above. Becoming more flexible about the genres we read can definitely be useful and is definitely a good thing!

4. You’ll be able to come across a variety of styles and stories.

Obviously, different genres require different styles (whether it be in the writing in general, the narration, and whatnot) and obviously, different types of stories. Restricting yourselves to one or two specific genres not only takes away the many other reading options you could have, but also prevents you from being introduced to what may be a collection of engaging stories that you write off without giving a chance to see what it’s about. It can definitely be hard, reading a new genre, but it’s very important to give other genres a shot, for it will most definitely aid in showcasing the many different styles of writing and stories there are.

5. You can learn new things.

You never know how much you might like something until you’ve tried it, am I right? Of course I’m right. In our situation, for example, you can’t say you don’t like fantasy, if, well, you’ve never tried any books in the genre. And even if you’ve read a few and didn’t enjoy them, you still learned something new! Probably. It might even be little things like; you’ve realised you’re not a fan of so-and-so kind of writing, or not a fan of so-and-so plot trope, you know, or other things. Point is, if you don’t reach out of your comfort zone at all, you lose the chance to discover more about your reading preferences—not to mention it’s always good to try out new things. Just ’cause you didn’t like one, doesn’t mean the rest are all bad too!


Okaaay. So. I’ve offered my two cents on venturing outside our comfortable little homes of familiar books and genres… I’d love to hear from you! I know this week’s theme was on books outside your typical genre that you ended up enjoying—feel free to tell me those below, or even, books that are in your typical genre that you hated! Whatever comes to mind. What’s your favourite genre(s)? Least favourite genres? Do you like to reach outside your comfort zone, or would you rather not? Are there any reasons I missed? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! ❤

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Signs You’re Falling Out of Love With a Book (Or Already Have) | Book Snacks Babbles

BSB Description

Yay! Another discussion post! XD I hadn’t thought I’d be able to find the time to write this one for today, but I’m glad I did, because it was lots of fun to write this one. Let’s get into it…

If you’re a bookworm, chances are you’ve fallen in love with a book before. You know; the book you can’t help but squeal about TO EVERYONE (and I mean everyone), the book you relentless and consistently defend against haters, the book where you refuse and ignore to see the flaws, your go-to book for everthing—basically the book you forever love. (Don’t even deny it! You all probably have at least one book that fits this description.) One would think that once you fell in love with a book, persay, you’d forever stay in love with that book, right? Well… not exactly the case.

The ideal situation would be that you suddenly wake up one day and realize that you no longer adore a certain book that you had loved, and after a few minutes, you’ve accepted it. But alas, that’s not the situation most of us find ourselves in. Most of the time we don’t even realize when we’re falling out of love with a book—or if we already have. Am I right? Even right now, most of you are probably thinking in your subconcious, What?! This is ridiculous, I have never fallen out of love with a book. Well, either you’re in denial.. or you just haven’t realized (or maybe you’ve just been really lucky). Not matter what your case may be, here are some signs that you might be falling out of love with a book—or if you already have. You’re welcome. You may give me chocolate as payment.

Note; The Book refers to the book you fell in love with (but may be falling out of love with). Not sure if that makes enough sense, but just roll with it. Yes.

Signs That You're Falling Out of Love With a Book

Signs you’re in the process of falling or have already fallen out of love with a book.

1. Thinking about The Book doesn’t make you feel as happy anymore.

You know those times where you’re absolutely adoring something, whether it be a song, an outfit, a specific desert, and every time you think about it, you feel, I don’t know, happy? Cheerful? Excited? It makes you feel a positive emotion, let’s say. This positive emotion is what you associate with the thing you’re loving. In our situation, a specific book. One of the key signs that you’re NOT in love with a book anymore, is that, obviously, you no longer associate a positive emotion with The Book. Whether it be because you replaced the positive emotion with a negative one, or because… well, I don’t know, either way, the book is no longer your go-to for happiness, you know? Or whatever emotion that it made you feel before. (Sorry, I hardly make any sense in these discussion posts sometimes.)

2. After re-reading The Book, you either feel…

a) Indifferent OR b) relief at finishing the book and being done with it. Both emotions signify that you’re no longer in love with this book. Ahem. If you tell yourself otherwise, well… TIME TO FACE REALITY, MATE.

Just kidding. It’s perfectly fine it this is the case, but really, common sense dictates that once you no longer feel deliriously happy (exaggerating a bit, but you get my point) or excited finishing your re-read of The Book, and instead you feel indifferent or simply glad because it’s over, then… you’re not exactly in love with the book anymore, now are you. (Well, I might be wrong, but most of the time when you’re in love with something, you don’t usually… well, feel.. INDIFFERENT to it. But you know, I might be wrong.*

*Pff, as if. I AM ALWAYS RIGHT. Well, almost always. And this is one of those times where I am. Yes.

I Just Don't Care gif
If you end up like this after you read The Book, something’s definitely going downhill.

Or…

3. You no longer feel the urge to re-read The Book, period.

Okay, I know some people might play the whole ‘well, I’m not a re-reader’ card, but I doubt that if anyone seriously loves a book, they wouldn’t ever re-read it. Like, no. When you love a book, most of the time you end up re-reading it, for whatever reason. But maybe that’s just me.

POINT IS. You know you’ve fallen out of love with a book when you no longer want to read it. I mean, come on. I don’t have to explain the reasons behind this, right?? Good, because I have no idea what else to say. I think it’s pretty self-explanatory.

4. You start noticing more flaws… or start judging them when you didn’t before.

One possibility is that you’ve suddenly become a hella of a lot more perceptive and judgmental.. but if not the case, the alternate possibility is that, of course, you’re falling out of love with The Book, or you already have. Oftentimes, I’ve found, through my own experiences and what I’ve read and heard of others’, even if you’re generally critical about a book and hard to please, when you fall in love with a book, all the potential flaws that you would’ve noticed otherwise suddenly go unnoticed, or at the very least, not cared about. So when you start to pick up on the flaws, the things that aren’t so perfect about The Book (when you hadn’t before), you can probably take that as a sign that maybe you’re not loving The Book as much as you may have been before. Or maybe you just taught yourself how to be more critical when reading. I dunno. Depending on the situation, it’s most likely the former.

If this is you all of a sudden when reading The Book… you know what it means, right?

5. You become less defensive of The Book against haters.

So if someone was, say, talking about how much he/she disliked The Book, for example, maybe instead of secretly being defensive or miffed that someone didn’t like the book you loved (come on, admit it, this has happened to you before), suddenly you don’t care as much. Perhaps this isn’t the strongest sign out there (maybe someone just happens to not care much about what other think), but if you’re a person who generally takes others’ opinions to heart, and you’re suddenly not as defensive of The Book as you were, you can credit that to the fact you’re falling out of love with The Book.

“Haters gonna hate.” is your new motto!

6. You don’t NEED The Book anymore.

With so many books, it’s hard to pinpoint which of them you actually NEED. As in, the books that you love so much that you can’t live without. And if The Book is no longer one that you consider to be a part of the list, well… let’s use our brains here; you’re not in love with The Book anymore. It can be hard to accept—and the question why definitely comes to mind. Why does this happen? Why do we fall out of love with books? Well, that’s the next thing to talk about.

When you don’t absolutely need The Book… Well, you know by now what it means. LOL.

Why do you fall out of love with books?

Ah, the million dollar question. Why and what causes readers to fall out of love with books? It’s hard to pinpoint all the reasons, but I suppose there are a few I could come up with:

  • The reading tastes might’ve changed. This is definitely one of the biggest causes. The types of books we read and the style we like is always subject to change, especially if we’re in the age where we’re transitioning from young teen to adult. For example, as a teen someone might’ve adored Twilight, but when they got older, their taste in books might’ve become more sophisticated or refined. I don’t know. But our changing reading tastes are definitely one of the biggest reasons for why we fall out of love with books, don’t you think?
  • The reader has been separated from the book for too long. Maybe this will sound silly, but like, if, say, we forget about The Book for a long time, maybe afterwards when we go to pick it up again, a while later, since it’s been such a long time since we read it, we might no longer be interested in it, which will lead to falling out of love with the book. Unfortunate, but I think it’s one of the possibilities/causes.
  • Too old. I suppose this kind of ties into the first point. With age, the types of things we read (sometimes/possibly) changes and this can definitely affect the falling in/out of love thing. When you get older, you find that there are a few things that you don’t like anymore, things that you perhaps liked as a child or something, but aren’t interested in anymore. So being too old for a specific book is definitely a reason I think.

Last minute babbling…

The important thing is, when (or if) you fall out of love with a book, don’t deny it! It’s okay when it happens. And now you have a few ways to identify how far out on the scale you are. XD Basically, if all of the signs I mentioned above apply to you, well.. hate to break it to ya, you’ve fallen in love with a book. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing! I mean, sure, you don’t love a book as much as you did before, but it happens. Especially if the ‘why’ of the situation is related to reading tastes, well, there you go, that’s even more measurement that it’s okay because our reading tastes CAN CHANGE. And that’s fine. I promise.


So what are you waiting for??! What did you think? Do let me know any other signs you can think of, if I haven’t mentioned it already. I’d love to know! Also, do any of these signs apply for you—AKA, have you ever fallen out of love with a book? (What book?) What do you think are some other reasons why people fall out of love with a book? Do you think it’s okay? I’m afraid I’m going to have to end this off here because this post is growing to be very long, but I hope you enjoy your Thursday everyone—oh, and happy babbling! ❤

What Makes a Good Romance? | Book Snacks Babbles

BSB Description

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow! Hence another themed post for today—this time a discussion… about romance. Hey, what can I say? I like to get in the spirit of things! (…When I’m not being a sour lemon, that is. Which I like to think is not often, but I guess I’m kind of biased.)

So, it’s been incredibly clear, throughout the Young-Adult genre, romance is definitely one of the most common components. Am I right? Come on, you kind of have to admit it. For every one book without romance, there’s like, 20+ that have it. And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. But I’ll be leaving the pros and cons of having romance in books for a discussion on another day. Today, I was thinking more along the lines of what makes a good romance. There’s so much romance in our books these days, why not talk about the ones that we love? Get comfy, and let’s babble!

What Makes a Good Romance?

*Clears throat* Ahem. There are a few things a good romance should and should not be, in my opinion. And, because it would be the most efficient way for me to share them with you, let me list them!

The things that make a good romance (in my humble opinion):

  • They (usually) take us on some kind of adventure. And I don’t mean, an action-filled war and battle kind of adventure (although I suppose it could be). It could be as simple as conflict that prevents a couple from getting together, or an obstacle that the characters need to overcome, you know? (Although when you think about the conflict or obstacles aren’t exactly ‘simple’ but you know what I mean.) A romance—unless we’re talking about insta-love, I guess—should have the emotions, and obstacles that comes with falling in love, and that in turn becomes our little ‘adventure’, don’t you think?
  • A good romance makes us feel things. No duh! There’s little point to a romance, to be honest, if the readers aren’t able to connect or feel things for the romance. Whether it makes us laugh, squeal or fan ourselves, there should be at least a semblance of feels involved! And admit it, the emotions we go through when reading romance are one of the best parts of the whole experience. It shouldn’t be limited to only one kind of romance either! Be it a sweet romance, a steamy romance, or a slow-burn, let’s bring on the emotions! Yes, please.
  • They focus on character personalities, not only hotness level. Ever read those books where, say, the girl falls for the attractive, mysterious and moody, oh, and did I mention attractive, love interest? Uh yeah, you must have. And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, nor that these kind of books aren’t good books. BUT for me, a romance is worth more and holds a bit more value and emotional investment, when I can see a character’s, well, character, not only attractiveness. Like, okay, I get he/she’s hot. Anything else? ‘Cause if not, well.. no offense, but you ain’t anything special. But having said that, that’s not always the case!
  • Doesn’t overwhelm the plot. This doesn’t exactly apply to romance novels, seeing how the focus of romance novels is, the romance. But in genres such as fantasy, dystopia, sci-fi, etc, I’d prefer it if romance doesn’t, like, take up the whole plot—when it’s not what I’m there for, you know? That isn’t to say that books that do have romance-focused plots are bad, but it’s just that sometimes the romance can become slightly too distracting and does more harm than good, if you know what I mean (especially if it detracts from the purpose of the story).
  • A good romance usually has enjoyable characters. Whether characters determine the level of enjoyability (yes, that is a word now) for every romance is hard to say, but just as it’s hard to like a story without liking the characters, it’s hard to like a romance without liking the characters involved in the romance, no? Of course this means that some readers might enjoy a romance based on the characters whereas another reader might not, so I suppose it’s kind of difficult to judge whether ALL ‘good’ romances have to have enjoyable characters. Because it’s also possible that a reader ends up liking a romance despite not being a fan of the characters. It’s not common, but it’s possible!
  • They usually have satisfying resolutions. Ahhhh isn’t it just the worst when you feel as if the romance is ruined because of how it ended? Whether it be that the characters didn’t end up getting together, or a character died, or something..? Or perhaps the character got together with the person you didn’t want he/she to be with? I don’t know, I’m kind of just listing possibilities. But still. When the ending is ruined, it often feels as if the romance was ruined too, hence why happy endings are most common with romance novels. That isn’t to say you can’t have a good romance without a happy endings, but… happy endings are happy endings! They’re happy and that’s what most people look for.

Basically, at the end of the day, I just want to enjoy romance, and be able to connect with a story and its characters. Romance is often used as a device to rend the story more interesting—and I guess that’s what I look for in a good romance; entertainment. (And of course, another opportunity to ship bookish characters…As if I didn’t have enough ships already, oops.)


As much as I’d love to go on, I think I’m going to stop there! However there are plenty more things, I’m sure, which makes up a good romance, so please feel free to comment on them down below! Again, happy pre-Valentine’s Day, I hope, even if you’re without a bae like I am, you still enjoy V-Day tomorrow. 😉 I suppose there are always books to keep us company, right?! I would love to continue this discussion though, so don’t hesitate to let me know your thoughts down below!
Hugs, and lots of love!!
Until the Next Meal, Analee

You Don’t HAVE to Write Discussion Posts…Right? | Book Snacks Babbles

BSB Description

Whoa, the first month of 2016 is over already?!! Yep, it is! I swear, time flies by so fast these days. I had meant to post on the last day of the month (yesterday), but I kind of didn’t manage to do so… oops! So I hope your January had been good, and your February is off to a good start. 🙂 So, to kick off the month, I’ve decided to present you all with a discussion post!

Ahem. Let me guess what you’re thinking right now, as you look at the title of this post; Is she writing a discussion post… about writing discussion posts? Right? You can’t deny it. Even if you weren’t, you are now, so ha. Point still proven. I don’t blame you, either way! I’m not gonna burn you at the stake, don’t worry. Because yes, I am indeed writing a discussion about writing discussions. Why? Well, most of you must’ve noticed by now the uphill trend of discussion posts among book bloggers (and other bloggers too, maybe, but I wouldn’t exactly know) these days. At the very least, you’ve probably read and have seen at least a few bookish or blogging discussions across the book blogging communities. Right? If not, well now you know and your subconscious will probably keep an eye out for them now.

The thing is, it seems to me, there’s become a sort of expectation, a sort of requirement, for all, or at least most, bloggers, to write discussion posts. Maybe that’s just me?? It’s often noted that discussions, being very popular among readers and interesting to read, bring more traffic to your blog—and I’ve noticed that this factor often causes other bloggers to feel as if they HAVE to post discussion posts (in order to get views or popularity, and whatnot). Again, maybe that’s just the pesky little imaginative side of my brain talking and I’m seeing this all in my head, but… no harm in talking about it, right? LET’S DISCUSS!

5

When thinking about any of this, about discussion posts in general, and whether it’s a requirement or not, one of the first questions that came to me is; why are they so popular, anyway? After all, these are the kinds of posts that usually get the most views or comments (depending, of course, on many other things) and the fact that they’re popular are probably one of the major things that make bloggers want to write them. (Not the ONLY reason, mind you, just one of them.) So, a very helpful list, off the top of my head of why discussion posts are popular—I’m sure Cait @ Paper Fury would agree that’s the right way to do this. 😉

  • They provide exactly what their name says: opportunity for DISCUSSION. Duh!! This one’s so obvious, it’s basically staring me in the eye. Discussion posts are meant for discussion, and discussion is always fun! It opens up new perspectives and different ideas, and that’s definitely one of the big reasons why they’re so much fun and so interesting to read. For me, anyway.
  • Sometimes they talk about things you’ve never thought of. This one kind of ties in with the first point, in that discussion posts open up different ideas. Because it’s true. There are times where I come across a discussion post where I’m like, whoaaaa, that’s so true, how come I never realized this before?! This has actually happened to me several times and I know I for one appreciate this quality in discussion posts.
  • They can be helpful (sometimes). Just hear me out here. Not all discussion posts are written in the objective of helping readers with something. Obviously the primary objective is simply to discuss a topic. But they can be helpful and I feel as if that’s one of the reasons readers may like them as well. Whether it’s a discussion about ereaders vs physical books, or ARC envy, or anything of the sort, even a little thing in the discussion posts can be helpful.

Okay, obviously there’s way more reasons why discussion posts are so popular, but since this isn’t even the main topic of discussion (You all probably have seen by now how bad I am to stay on one topic…) and those are few of the biggest ones I’ve come up with, I’ll just leave it at that. But let me know if you have any more!!

BUT anyway, about the fact that discussion posts seem to have become a must for (some) bloggers. The thing is, it’s clear that the reasons why discussion posts are so popular are definitely justified. There are many reasons why they’re so appealing to readers. But the question still remains: with so many readers wanting to read discussion posts, does it put pressure on bloggers (who perhaps think they aren’t that good with discussion posts) to write them? And is that a good or bad thing? Well, because I’ve recently become very fond of lists… here’s another one for you, this time on the pros and cons of writing discussion posts!

Pros

  • They bring traffic to your blog. Whether this is an important or not is completely personal, but from what I’ve noticed for other bloggers, and for myself, discussion posts are pretty popular, and generally well-recieved by readers. But the fact over whether this is important or not is completely your own idea!
  • More interaction with other bloggers! If your discussion post provokes, well, discussion, then it’s all the better for blogger relationships. You get to learn more about the preferences of other bloggers and their opinions on a topic, and that’s (usually) not a bad thing.
  • It can be a great way to rant, ramble or even both! Discussion posts are your own way of expressing your thoughts, whether it be that you’re ranting about cover changes in the middle of a series (AKA ME ALL THE TIME) or if you’re rambling on the uses of ebooks and physical books. I don’t know. But either way, discussion posts are a great outlet for any thoughts you may have. (And fortunately, most bloggers like to read them! :P)

CONS

  • Sometimes, it’s not so easy to write them…hence you feel forced to write them (or don’t write them at all). THIS IS NO GOOD. Believe, I’ve been in this situation before—mostly in the time before I started writing discussion posts—where I was like, agggghhhhh this is so hard, I don’t know what to write, how to write it, etc etc. Then soon I just lose the motivation to write it at all because I simply couldn’t find the inspirtation or the how-to of writing one. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who was in this position before, right?? If you don’t WANT to write a discussion, that’s one thing. But a definite con of discussion posts in general is that it can be hard to write, sometimes, at least. And that can cause, say, a sort of grudge toward writing discussion posts, you know?
  • After a while, the discussions might get repetitive anyway. Maybe this is a weaker argument?? Possibly?? But if EVERYONE and their mothers start posting discussion posts… well, there’s only so many ideas they can come up with. However, obviously everyone has different opinions, but it might get repetitive to read about. (Although that doesn’t mean I’m trying to say that we should stop writing discussion posts!)
  • Ehhhhh… I can’t really think of anything right now. Oh! Wait! Another con (although this may be a small one) is that they can become time-consuming. Blogging in general is time-consuming, but specifically, discussions take lots of time! Good discussion posts don’t just pop out of nowhere! Time needs to be put into it and sometimes that’s something that not everyone has all the time. (ALSO ME, because SCHOOL, UGH.)

So… do you have to write discussion posts or not?

Obviously everyone says, ‘You don’t HAVE to do anything, do what you want.’ And I agree with this statement whole-heartedly. Because you most certainly DON’T have to do something you don’t want to. Noppity nope nope. Definitely not. However, you know what they say; if there is a will, there is a way, so if you want to write discussion posts, go for it! If you just put a little effort into it, you can most definitely come up with something that readers will enjoy. After all, no blogger can have absolutely no opinion on anything, that’s kind of ridiculous. So if you think you don’t have a good idea, just take one of your opinions, whether bookish or otherwise, and turn it into a post where you can share that opinion… and voila! That’s at least a start. 😉 BUT AGAIN. I emphasize the fact that you do not have to write discussion posts. You can, but that’s totally up to you.


So. TALK. Please. (I hope the ‘please’ makes me sound less commanding haha.) Do you write discussion posts? What are the reasons you write them? Do you believe every blogger should write them? What other reasons do you think there are for writing discussion posts? Let me know what you think below!! This Monday is boring as it is, let’s get it a bit more interesting, haha. XD

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Do You Need to Review ALL the Books You Read? | Book Snacks Babbles

Book Snacks Babbles is a discussion feature here at Book Snacks where I talk about all things bookish & bloggish! For more info, check out my intro post here

Book Snacks Babbles Header

Hello! Welcome back again to another Book Snacks Babbles discussion post! Like last week’s discussion post, today’s post is another reviewer-type question—the question is directed more towards book reviewers. But, anyone can offer opinions!

Ever have those times where you fall into, say, a reviewing slump? No? Well, it’s one of the times where even though you’re still reading books, you don’t feel like reviewing them. I’ll be honest with you; this has happened to me before—unintentionally, of course. I’m reading, reading, working on schoolwork, reading, and suddenly I don’t feel like finishing the reviews of the books I recently read. Soon one becomes many and, well.. you probably know what that leads to (a very exasperated and frustrated Analee, if you didn’t know… oh, and a lot of books to review.) Which is how this question sprung to me… do we, as book bloggers, have to review each book we read? Well, get comfy and let’s babble!

Do You Have to Review ALL the Books You Read?

Reviews have a few purposes, I find. One, of course, is for yourself, to either rant about a book or have a record of how you felt about a book. The second is for others. Because reviews are when you write down your thoughts on a book and with that other readers can make the decision on whether THEY want to read the book as well.

But… what are some reasons we wouldn’t want to write reviews? Because those are the causes for this question to occur at all, right?

Well, I’m gonna answer my own question here and name off a few (with a few tips on how to deal!):

1) Sometimes, it just takes too much effort. I can’t really say for sure how this one works because this was never a situation I found myself to be in, but I can definitely understand it. Just like blogging and reading slumps, sometimes it’s just too hard to take the effort to write reviews.

Tip: Nothing to do for this one other than find motivation! Read some reviews of other bloggers, check out their style and see if it inspires you to come up with your own. 

2) Not enough time. I know some people might think of this as a poor excuse, but it’s really not! I think EVERYONE can agree with me when I say there’s not enough time to read/blog these days. Well, it can be the same for reviews! So many to write (depending on the books you read), but not enough time to write them—we’ve all been in some kind of similar situation I’m sure.

Tip: I’ll get back to you on this one…! LOL, just kidding. This one is definitely one I’m subjected to, so right now I’m failing at offering any useful tips other than try to find time on the weekends! Hopefully you’ll be better at finding time on the weekends than I am. If any of you have any other tips though, I’m all ears!

3) ‘Uhhh… I can’t remember what happened in the book.’ Ah. Those pesky reviews that you have avoided writing since 6 months ago have finally caught up with you! In this situation,  since you’ve forgotten what happened in the book and your thoughts on it, you’ve abandoned writing the review, am I right? 😛

Tip: If you know you’re going to have a hard time remembering things in the book, take notes! How you felt at a specific moment, a quote you liked that reminds you of the story, etc. If you’re not much of a notes-while-reading person, I recommend just quickly making notes after you read to keep track of your thoughts for later.

4) Sometimes, there’s just nothing to say ABOUT the book. Oooh, this one can be tough! When you feel indifferent about a book or found it boring, it can be hard to find something to say about the book, hence you put off writing the review on it.

Tip: Dig deep and see if there’s anything, anything, anything at all you can say about this book, whether positive or negative. No book is without some merit!

Okay, so I’m going waaaay off topic now. All this is good and well, but the question still remains; do you have to review each book you read? Well, it’s time for a pros and cons list so we can find out!

Pros of reviewing each book you read

  • Great for future reference. By reviewing each book you read, you have more records of your thoughts on different books, so if you ever need to remember how you felt on a book (like for first book in a series or something) then you can always look back to your review.
  • Practice makes perfect! Through writing reviews of each book you read, you’re getting more chances to experiment with your reviewing style and practice using the one that suits you and your voice best. And that’s always a good thing, right? 🙂
  • More reviews! Yay! A well-thought out review is always fun to read, especially if you’re reviewing a hyped book. It opens possibilities for discussion and different perspectives to be seen, and that’s definitely a pro.

Cons of reviewing each book you read

  • It becomes more of a requirement (at times). When you start to review each book, there becomes this expectation for you to do a review for ALL the books.. and if you’re anything like me then you know once you start something, you don’t want to stop because it’ll ruin the pattern (even if you want to or should stop). SIGH. My own personality if working against me.
  • Less time to read (and maybe do other stuff like school.. sigh). Now, this isn’t always the case, but as with any kind of activity, the more time you spend on it, the less time you have for other important stuff (also known as READING)!
  • More reviews to organize in your review index! (ugh.) Yes, this is a valid reason. (Unless you don’t have one.) Most of us know how bothersome it can be to update our review index(es) with newer reviews! Once you forget to update it for a while and then have a huge pile of reviews, it becomes quite the time-consumer.

I’m sure there are much more pros and cons to add, but I’ll leave it at that. (But feel free to suggest some of your own down below!)

So… do we HAVE to review ALL the books we read?

Personally, I say no! Even though my (pitifully small, I admit) pros and cons list are basically even, at the end of the day, it’s your choice and your choice only. If you don’t want to review a book, don’t! If you do, go right ahead. It’s all up to you.


What do you think? Do you have to review ALL the books you read? Do you ever fall into a reviewing slump? What is the cause for it? What are some pros and cons do you think I missed? Let me know whatever thoughts you may have below! ❤

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Why It’s 100% Okay to Write Negative Reviews | Book Snacks Babbles

Book Snacks Babbles is a discussion feature here at Book Snacks where I talk about all things bookish & bloggish! For more info, check out my intro post here

Book Snacks Babbles Header

Hello everyone and welcome! As part of an attempt to follow one of my resolutions for this year (to write at least 1 discussion post per week), I’m back here today with another discussion post for you all! This topic was actually pretty unplanned; I was going to go with another topic for this week, but I decided to do this one instead because writing negative reviews is generally something of a gray area for me, and I find it to be a pretty interesting debate. It’s always kind of hard writing them, especially when it’s a book that a) you REALLY wanted to like, and/or b) it’s a VERY popular book loved by the nations—but then, it could also be kind of fun. If you’re looking for some inspiration or motivation to post that drafted negative review, read on for today’s post will be dedicated to why writing negative reviews is totally OKAY!

Why Negative Reviews Are Okay

1. They offer a different perspective on a book.

Whether the book is popular or not, negative reviews are useful and essential because they show us the other side. The side where it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, you know? Particularly in the case of a hyped book; it’s refreshing to see an opinion of the book where the less-than-perfect aspects are shown. And I’m talking from personal experience; whenever I see a more negative review of a very hyped book, it’s interesting to see why the reviewer didn’t like it. It gives me the opportunity to really judge if the book is a good fit for me or not, among other things. So if you’re ever worrying about the response your negative review might get—don’t sweat it! The bookish community is always really understanding and will instead appreciate the fact that you shared your thoughts on it, even if they were less than stellar.

2. They offer an amazing opportunity for discussion. 

Just as positive reviews (of hyped books, especially) bring out great discussion, negative reviews do the same. Why? Well, it’s kind of obvious; in a negative review, there are usually several aspects of the novel that the reader perhaps did not enjoy, and those aspects generally provide for interesting topics of discussion. For example, perhaps you didn’t enjoy the plot of a novel because it dragged out too much. Topics like the types of plots you usually DO enjoy, or ways the book could’ve been better, are things to talk about. For hyped books, you may be even more worried about the negative review. But never fear! If you didn’t enjoy a popular novel, write about it! Don’t be afraid to post that negative review, for it might just open up the gateway to many new ideas and conversation with other bloggers.

3. They give you the chance to RANT.

Everyone likes a long little rant every once in a while, right? And there’s nothing more satisfying sometimes, to simply let out all your frustrations over a book. Of course, it’s important to still remain respectful to the author and to people who did enjoy the book, but your opinion stays the same, yes? It’s useless to keep your opinion on a book to yourself just because you didn’t like it—by sharing it, you’ll be able to accept the parts of the book that made you mad or frustrated (if there were any parts like that).

4. You will most likely be able to find someone else who shares your opinion.

The best thing about the book blogging community is the fact that there’s so many people out there, there’s almost no chance of you NOT being able to find someone sharing similar ideas as you. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! In sharing your negative review, it opens up the possibility that people who share the same idea will see it—and you will no longer be the only black sheep! (Not that there’s anything wrong with being a black sheep, mind you.) Believe me, it always feels better when you find someone else who also didn’t enjoy the book! You have nothing to lose by posting a negative review, really. Unless you count gaining a new bookish friend as a loss…which you really shouldn’t! 😛

5. What you found to be negative, might be someone else’s positive.

Everyone isn’t the same! Say, your tastes in books might be different from the reading tastes of your next-door neighbor. A person across the country in, say, Antarctica might hate the exact books you love, or vice versa. You might hate the love triangle in the book you read, but someone else might love that kind of thing. You never know! Just because you disliked a book doesn’t mean everyone else will, and in sharing your thoughts on it, who knows? Maybe a fellow blogger will stumble upon it and find that the book you seemed to dislike seems to be right up his or her alley. So really, you’re doing yourself and others a favor by posting a negative review.


Aaaaaand, that’s a wrap! There are tons of more reasons to name for why writing negative reviews is perfectly fine, but we’d be here for hours if I were to list them all! Which means it’s now up to YOU all to continue the discussion. Here are some questions to get you started!

  • What do you think of writing negative reviews?
  • What other reasons are there as to why writing negative reviews is perfectly fine and useful?
  • Have you ever had those times where you were unsure over whether you should post your review or not?

Even if you’re not a reviewer, you can still join in the discussion—in fact, you should! 🙂 How do you feel about reading negative reviews? Do they do more harm than good? What do you love most about negative reviews?

Let me know whatever thoughts you may have below! Discussion is always lots of fun, so don’t hesitate to join in! 

Until the Next Meal, Analee

Is YA Fiction Too ‘Dark’ For Young Adults? | Book Snacks Babbles

Book Snacks Babbles is a discussion feature here at Book Snacks where I talk about all things bookish & bloggish! For more info, check out my intro post here

Book Snacks Babbles Header

Say hello to the first discussion of 2016!! Woot woot! After starting my discussion feature, Book Snacks Babbles, last year, I severely lacked in keeping up a consistent schedule, but for this year, I’m hoping to have more of them written! They’re lots of fun to do, and it’s always great to have conversation with other bloggers, so fingers crossed I’ll have more free time to do them.

SO. This question kind of stemmed from when I was reading the controversial Wall Street Journal article by Meghan Cox Gurdon about how YA is too risky and too dark for the targeted audience. And I know many people argued back against this, but I’ve decided to join in as well. I mean, Gurdon does have a point… about how YA is becoming more and more dark, that is. In the quest to get more diverse books out there, there are books talking about all sorts of topics judged as ‘dark’: suicide, murder, cancer, and many more. So yes, I do acknowledge the fact that YA books can and do have more ‘darker’ content. But is that necessarily a bad thing? In my opinion, definitely not—and let me tell you why, in a very helpful list, if I do say so myself. Get comfy, and let’s babble!

Note: Please, I must ask that comments be kept respectful. I understand that this is a more controversial topic and may be subject to different opinions—and I’m all for discussion!—but please, no rude or disrespectful comments.

Is Ya Fiction Too Dark For Young Adults-

What is Dark YA anyway?

I know some of you may be asking this question to yourselves—and if you are, I don’t blame you. Really, there is no specific words to describe what it really is, but I’ll try anyway.

According to most people, and specifically Gurdon, dark YA are books that include topics that are generally considered inapporitate for the intended audience of 12-18. Things like abuse, violence, suicide, cancer, even vampires, included in the novel. I know that’s a pretty small definition—and I’m sure there is a much better way to explain it, but I’m assuming you all get the gist of it, right? If anyone has anything to add to it, feel free to tell me below.

The Importance of Dark YA

Truthfully, I hate calling books that deal with what people deem as risky or inappropriate as ‘dark’ but for the sake of shortening things down, that’s what I’m going to use. But really, just because a book deals with suicide, or murder, or cancer, or anything like that, it doesn’t mean it’s ‘dark’. It’s a part of YA fiction, and life, at that. But I digress.

One of my biggest arguments about this whole topic is how dark YA is important, essential, even, for readers. Teens, and adults, read young-adult fiction to fall in love with a story, to read about different characters, yes, but also to explore and learn about the things that fascinate or even scare them, in a way. Death, murder, suicide. Books dealing with social and personal problems are ways to show readers that there are ways to cope. The world isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, and in the world we’re in today, it would be naive to believe that people are oblivious to that.

Reading about these supposedly dark topics, represent and answers those questions teens and older people will inevitably ask to themselves. Books about death aren’t just about death, they answer questions surrounding the topic, about how to cope. Books about suicide aren’t trying to encourage it, they’re trying to explain. I can’t account for ALL the books out there talking about these topics, but I can believe in my heart that no author would intentionally be trying to encourage the behavior in their novels. In reading books surrounding ‘dark’ topics, younger and older readers alike aren’t corrupted (as far as I know), but instead is given a way to relate their own lives with the lives of others—even if the ‘others’ is fictional.

Reasons Why I Love Dark YA

It’s important that dark YA exists, but there are a few other reasons why I enjoy reading it:

  • It’s an escape from reality. And I know some of you might be wondering, why would you want to escape into a reality that may (or may not) be worse than yours? Well, I can’t give you an answer for that any more than the answer you’d give for why you read a dystopian novel whose world is at war. Because yes, it’s true that perhaps our reality might be better than what happens in the book, but it’s that difference, that makes it an intriguing read. Also, I guess sometimes, when reality becomes too much, reading about how another person copes with a reality much worse than ours puts things into perspective, and in a way, is comforting (as odd as that may sound). Yes? (I hope that made sense..)
  • Because it’s a glimpse into a different life. At the base of it all, fiction lets us imagine the life of another person. Just as with any other YA book, dark YA fiction tells a story about another person. The only difference (in most cases, at least) is that it includes a more sensitive story—and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Instead, in seeing this story, this different life of a character, is enlightening and thought-provoking.
  • It pushes me outside me comfort zone (sometimes). From time to time, I find it to be helpful if I read something that really makes me think, you know? Yes, it’s something that I don’t usually read, (and we all know how difficult it can be to accept a kind of story you’re not used to) but that’s what challenges me to reconsider my opinions and to see things from another point of view.

So… IS YA Fiction Too Dark For Young Adults?

Maybe it’s a matter of opinion, maybe not. But for me, I’d say no. At least not for the majority of it. As a general statement, I don’t believe dark YA is meant to corrupt young adults—or anyone. Adults and teens alike are old enough to realize what books suit their fancy, and just because books deal with more sensitive topics does not mean it’s bad or inappropriate for teens. These days, people deal with a variety of problems and situations. Bullies, violence, suicide. If there weren’t books representing both the good and the bad, then it wouldn’t be the truth. With so many causes of problems out in the world, the last thing anyone needs is a lack of books that represent those problems, right?


So what is your opinion? As I mentioned at the start of this post, please keep comments respectful! I’d love to know what you think: What IS dark YA, really? Do you stay away from it, or accept it? Does it seem to you that YA fiction is becoming too ‘dark’? Let it be open for discussion!

Until the Next Meal, Analee

What Makes a Good Love Triangle? | Book Snacks Babbles

Hello and welcome to the first, official Book Snacks Babbles discussion post! I’m so excited to finally have started this new feature here on Book Snacks.

(Although, you can check out the first unofficial BSB post here.) I was planning on starting off this series waaaay earlier (the start of this month, actually) but after continuous changing of discussion topics, it took me quite some time!

Nonetheless, today I have a question that has been festering in my mind for quite some time: What makes a good love triangle? I know there are plenty of readers out there who say they’re sick of love triangles, but really, I think it would be more accurate to say ‘sick of *bad* love triangles’. Because when love triangles are written well, they can be entertaining and even advantageous to a story. So what are the things that makes a good, quality love triangle? Only one way to find out...Get comfy, and let’s babble!

Book Snacks Babbles Header


I’m going to start this off by saying: I don’t hate love triangles (although I think most of you must’ve guessed or realized that by now). I actually enjoy them, to be honest. But if they’re written well. The sad part is that they usually aren’t, which is one of the main reasons for the hatred against them from other readers. But there are so many ways authors can make quality love triangles, so many things I wish were in books more often. That’s what I’m going to share today. I don’t claim to be an expert on writing though, these are just personal thoughts and observations, on what should be done to make a quality love triangle:

  • Make the love interests appealing, interesting and unique.

    If you’re going to have a heroine (or hero, but I’ll be going with heroine for the sake of examples) torn between two guys, make it easy for the reader to see why she’s torn between them. And I’m not talking about simply “who’s the hotter one” kind of things. I want to be able to root for one (or both!) of the love interests based on who they are and how they act together with the heroine. I want to see valid reasons for why the heroine is struggling, and one of the first steps to that is to have love interests who I can root for; love interests who are appealing and interesting. (And swoon-worthy, of course.) What do they like to do? What are they like? Focus on the tiny things; that’s how we get to know the love interests the most.
    Examples: Will from The Infernal Devices, Chaol from Throne of Glass, Dorian from Throne of Glass, etc.

  • The love triangle should be more than just choosing between the two love interests.

    As in, make sure the main character’s choice is not just a decision between Hot Guy #1 and Hot Guy #2. Doing this not only does nothing to set the love triangle apart from all the other ones out there, it also adds no depth to the characters and basically only proves that the main character is shallow. Although these can sometimes turn out to be fun to read about, to get a unique love triangle it’s better to go the road-less travelled, am I right? Have the main character be conflicted between one guy who reflects who she herself is, and one who brings out the best in her. Make it a choice for the main character, of who she thinks is best for her, in terms of personality, in terms of what she wants her future to be like. There are just so many questions to be considered! Just make it a true choice, not a beauty pageant of superficiality.
    Example: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

  • Make sure there’s not too much competition between the love interests.

    Some competition is bound to be there, and it can be entertaining to read about (depending on the situation), but since we see it so often in YA, it’s rare that the average YA reader will be over the moon about an overdose of testosterone over a girl. XD A little competition is fine, but if you’re to the point where Guy #1 is about to punch Guy #2 because he was hanging out with the Heroine (who isn’t even Guy #1’s girlfriend)…It gets to be a bit too much, if you know what I mean.
    Note: An interesting way I’ve seen this be controlled in other books is making the love interests have a close-knit relationship with eachother. (Like in The Infernal Devices, how Jem and Will are parabatai, more close to eachother than even a sibling connection.) There are of course many ways to handle the competition side of the love triangle, this is just one way that I found I really liked. 

  • Get rid of over-excessive angst.

    I’m not saying that the choice should be easy to make, that the main character hardly has to think about who she wants; naturally some confusion, sadness and heartbreak is expected. But I personally do not always enjoy a book where 80, or 90% of the story the main character is in constant angst over who she wants to date when there is (usually) much more going on to think about. Unfortunately this is pretty common in YA, so it would be really great to see a healthier and better way of handling things.

  • Don’t use a love triangle as an excuse to create unnecessary conflict.

    One of the worst things is when a love triangle creates superficial conflict; usually frustrating tension that was caused by a misunderstanding that really does nothing for the plot and is mostly a filler. (Example: guy #1 caught girl hugging/talking to guy #2 and got jealous. Trust me, I’ve actually seen this one before.)  Of course, there may be times where the conflict created by the love triangle is required, for perhaps a character’s development or whatnot. And that’s fine, but it’s just important to make sure not to overstep the lines to the point the love triangle just becomes an empty plot device.


So that’s some of my most important ideas on how to make a quality love triangle. After all, it’s all about how the love triangle is written, that determines its value, no? What do you think? Join in the discussion!

  • Do you like love triangles, as I do, if they’re well-written?
  • What are some of the things you think makes a good love triangle?
  • Do you think love triangles are bad, period? Why?
  • Which love triangles from books did you like? Which ones did you dislike?

There’s no right or wrong opinion here, I’d love to know your thoughts on love triangles and what you think makes them well-written. Let me know in the comments below!

Until our next babbling discussion,

Analee 10

Translation & Literature | Book Snacks Babbles

Hi! Recently I’ve discovered a company called Smartling, a translation software company that translates website content into many languages so that businesses can effectively communicate with their audience. This company raised several thoughts in my head. After all, there are so many books that have been translated, to and from so many different languages! How would the world be today if these books hadn’t been translated? Completely different, wouldn’t it be?

I recently finished re-reading Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, and I loved it! I might even consider one of my favorite childhood books, but how would’ve I read this if it had not been translated from German to English? I wouldn’t have, and I would’ve missed out on a quite wonderful story. Another example would be Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier, a book also originally written in German. I quite enjoyed this story, and I would’ve missed out on it had it not been translated. For other good examples, you should check out Poulami’s post

Translation is wonderful, in allowing us to have access to pieces of literature and novels that we wouldn’t otherwise have access to. As translation is so crucial in sharing literature with the world, there are of course several issues that must be addressed. When I read books translated from another language, I often worry about whether the same story has been translated, and whether the writing style will remain the same. After all, a different language means for a whole different way of communication, and there are of course language slip-ups that happen when translating a whole story. I know from my personal reading as well as from other readers’ opinions that translated books do not always provide satisfying reading experiences. If this issue could be resolved, translated books would have a larger value and would reach more readers.

So those are my thoughts on translation and literature! We all know the value of the written word (or so I hope!), and the world would definitely be different if books hadn’t been translated; they wouldn’t be accessible to many people today. What are your thoughts on translated books? Do you agree with me? Disagree? Let me know in the comments below!

Analee 10