10 Things No-one Tells You About Book Blogging

Saturday, 15 December 2012

When I first started blogging I knew nothing about it but here are some things that may help new bloggers out there!

You Won't Always Have Something Nice To Say About A Book
When I first opened my blog up for business I did what most people would probably do and reviewed my favourite books. When I started reviewing every book I read I found something unsettling, I don't always love the books I read! When you are reading and not reviewing you don't notice as much but when you review a hated book all those bad feelings towards it come bubbling to the surface and spill onto the screen in the form of a rant. My first one being of Phantom by L.J. Smith.

You Will Go From Obsessed To Infatuated - Yes There's A Difference 
Two years ago I read quite a lot but not nearly as much as I do since I started this blog. I went from around 100 books in three years to 100 in one. Before I used to read books, now I devour them. You find when you read a lot you get faster at it, at most this year I've read three books in one day - this time last year that would be unimaginable.

You Will Suddenly Find Your Purse A Lot Emptier
Similar to the last point, when you start a book blog you will read a lot more - three times more in my case - and when you read more you buy more. Last year I didn't own a single book, my supply came from my library. But after a while I had read all the good books (it's a small library) so I had to look elsewhere. I borrowed them from my friend for a while since her supply seemed infinite but after a while I decided to get some of my own. Now it has got to the point that I can't leave Amazon without buying a book. I log on to buy an iPod charger, I come off with an iPod charger and five books on their way to me.

You Will Turn Into A Green-eyed Monster 
You know how it is, you log onto blogger and a list of the blogs you follow come up and I can almost guarantee that one of the top posts will be someone's 'Stacking The Shelves' or something of the like. You will then become curious and click the link only to find that person has somehow got hold of every book you have ever wanted (or that's what your irrational jealous brain tells you). You then proceed to press back as quickly as possible or leave a comment that goes something like "Well Jell, ur sooo lucky!!!" (Okay maybe I'm currently watching The Only Way Is Essex - horrible show by the way) when you're really thinking Life is unfair, why does she/he get that? Am I that bad a person??? If you go through this then there's only one solution... when you get something awesome rub it in everyone's faces and start the cycle again.

You Will Have Reading Slumps
Ah, the dreaded slump. You have work slumps of course but who would expect you could not feel like doing something you ordinarily love? I didn't. But there are many ways to get out of a reading slump, some that worked for me are:
- Rereading a book you loved.
- Reading very short books - don't attempt 400+ pages.
- Take a couple of days off from reading then you'll be eager to get back to it.

Authors Are Your Friends... But You Can't Accept All Books
I've heard so many people say they started their blogs for the free books but believe it or not but I had no idea bloggers could get free books. So imagine my surprise when I was emailed by an author asking me to review my book. I jumped at the chance without even reading the blurb. Lucky for me I enjoyed it but now I'm more careful about the books that I accept because there's some unwritten rule about giving self-published books bad reviews and I don't want to be the one to break it.

You Will Be Proud Of Your First Reviews But You'll Hate Them In A Year
I loved my first reviews, I felt totally professional  after writing it but reading back I actually cringe. I wrote barely anything, gave no book info and it just sounded so... unprofessional. I'm surprised authors wanted me to review their books looking at those reviews. I would delete them but then I'd have nothing to compare my latest too, in a year I may hate those too.

Progression Of My Reviews:
Don't ask about the gap, I'm ashamed enough about this review as it is 
This one wasn't all that long ago but it still wasn't perfect.
This is my latest review and the one I like best but as I said before, we'll see in a year...
People Wont Just Flock To Your Blog The Moment You Publish It
We all claim to know that you have to advertise your blog before anyone finds it but how many of us sit there refreshing the page ten minutes after first posting expecting followers? I would say quite a lot. If you want followers you have to market your blog. I don't have all that many followers currently because I just don't have the time (or money) to advertise constantly but when I set my mind to getting a certain amount of followers I WILL get them. My most successful follower spree got me around 40 in one night just by following others blogs. It's that easy. Other ways to get followers are buying ads (expensive), hosting giveaways and just hassling people till they follow you - not that I endorse this one of course.

It Is A Lot Of Hard Work
Most people who start a book blog probably begin by thinking something along the lines of, how hard can it be? Avid readers probably think they can write a review no problem but they don't always realise just how much work a blog can be. Some thing book blogs can include doing are: advertising, formatting  writing reviews, giving book information, sorting out giveaways, replying readers and making your blog the best it can be.

It Really Is Worth It
This point doesn't really fit the title since I'm sure most of you have been told it before but I had to put it out there. There is nothing I like more than people commenting and saying they like my post or authors saying they like my reviews so want their own reviewing. My favourites are when people say my review made them buy (or not buy) a book.

It's been a while since I wrote this post now but everything I wrote still stands, I'm glad to say. My blog progression has been added to further though so I thought I'd update my most refined look yet:

Do you think my comments here are still relevant? Do you have more to add? Please let me know!

Confessions Of A Bookaholic Is A Year Old!

Monday, 10 December 2012

A year! It seems like only yesterday when I went blog hopping and decided I wanted my own. I'd say that was quite a wise choice on my part. 'Confessions' has erased the boring days when surfing the internet is the only thing you can be bothered to do. Believe it or not sometimes I just didn't feel like reading! I have learnt a lot about book blogging that I didn't know before and I will share that with you later but first...

The Stats:
32725 Pageviews
225 Posts

Top Viewed Posts:
Clockwork Princess Teasers ~ 1189 Views
More Golden Lily News ~ 991 Views
Weekly Review Link Up (24/11/12 - 08/12/12) ~ 767 Views
Top Ten Of Worst Female Characters ~ 642 Views

Top Viewed Reviews:
Supernaturally By Kiersten White ~ 464 Views
The Future Of Us By Jay Asher ~ 189 Views
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower By Stephen Chbosky ~ 151 Views
The Forest Of Hands And Teeth by Carrie Jones ~ 145 Views
The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer By Michelle Hodkin ~  126 Views

Top Referring Keywords:
Clockwork Princess Teasers ~ 226 Referrals 
The Golden Lily Spoilers ~ 107 Referrals 
Worst Female Characters ~ 52 Referrals 
Emily's Confessions Of A Bookaholic ~ 49 Referrals 

These keywords tell me three things. One, people can't resist a teaser. Two, people love rants. Three, I'm famous!

Top Referring Sites:
www.goodreads.com ~ 1179 Referrals
www.facebook.com  ~ 140 Referrals
http://michaelcargill.wordpress.com ~ 54 Referrals
http://asidefromwriting.wordpress.com ~ 52 Referrals

Goodreads was of course a given. Facebook was a suprise since I'm not even on it. Thank you to Michael Cargill and the lovely bloggers behind Aside From Writing for directing some of their traffic my way. I hope my blog does the same for you.

So those are my stats, look out for my next post about lessons you learn when you start a book blog!

Email me at: confessionsofabookaholic@LIVE.CO.UK

Grave Mercy By Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)Series: His Fair Assassin #1
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Release Date: April 3rd 2012
Source: Won From Oh, For The Love Of Books
Overall Rating: 5/5 Stars
Cover Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Synopsis: Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf? Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others. Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

I won this book all the way back in April and I had always looked at it longingly but never been in the mood to read it because it was so thick. When I eventually started it I couldn't stop. I am a huge fan of historical fiction but I have never read such a good one. This tops every historical fiction book I've read, adult and young adult alike. The story follows Ismae who is taken into the convent of St. Mortain after fleeing an arranged marriage. There she trains to serve the convent's god, the god of Death, by becoming a handmaiden to death. In other words she's an assassin nun. When Ismae is given the most important assignment of her life she has to decide whether serving Death is really worth it when she becomes unsure of the convents intentions.

The characters I loved! I wasn't sure about Ismae at first but further into the book I saw everything I love in a heroine in her. She's independent, tough and feisty. She didn't dwell on her horrible past and get pulled into the pit of self-pity that many young adult heroines never escape from. She was totally pro-feminist and I can't help but give a point in her favor for that. Ah the main love interest, Duval. Like Ismae I wasn't sure about him at first. He seemed a bit obnoxious but further in I began to love him. His fierce determination to keep his sister, the Duchess, on the throne, his acceptance of Ismae's past. I just loved him!

The whole book was rich in description. The words flowed flawlessly and beautifully, the gorgeous imaginary and descriptions are one of the reasons that I love historical fiction so much. I enjoyed the fact that LaFevers stuck so closely to the historical background of the actual events. A lot of the events in the book actually did happen in real life and minus a few characters the book was very true to history. One way I know I love a historic book is when it influences me to look further into the time frame and events so evidently I loved this one. I was slightly disappointed to discover that the next book in the series follows a different character and wont continue Ismae and Duval's story but I'm positive that if it's anything like this one then I will love it. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy lavish description, beautiful writing and of course historical fiction.

My Favorite Quote 
“God's Teeth,' he says. 'I was only trying to wake you. You were crying out in your sleep.' '
I was not,' I say, then look from his neck to my knife. 
'When I tried to wake you, you stabbed me.' He sounds sore put out. and I cannot blame him.”

Email me at: confessionsofabookaholic@LIVE.CO.UK

My Soul To Take By Rachel Vincent

Saturday, 8 December 2012

My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers, #1)Series: Soul Screamers #1
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Release Date: July 29th 2009
Source: Bought
Overall Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Cover Rating: 4.5/5 Stars 
Synopsis: She doesn't see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally. Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next.

Usually I read an authors young adult series before trying their adult ones but for this one it was the other way around. I absolutely love Vincent's Shifter series so I was eager to get into this one. This author is full of firsts for me, I usually much prefer young adult to adult books but I found that I didn't like this book as much as her others. The story follows Kaylee has the ability to sense when people are about to die but it's not one of those cool powers where she could act like a hero and swoop in to save the person. No she can do nothing but scream. Kaylee has tried to cover this up all her life and is doing an okay job of it until girls start dropping dead for no reason and the 'hottest guy in school' creepily knows more about her than she does herself.

I found the characters entertaining but quite two-dimensional at times. Kaylee, our heroine, started off okay but I just found her a bit boring. I am hoping we get to know her more in the next book though because she doesn't seem all that bad. Nash the guy whose description I put in inverted comma's earlier was the same, he started well and seemed to live up to the description but then we met someone else (who I'm guessing will probably be a future love interest - of Kaylee not Nash, just to verify) who overshadowed him. Todd, he is a Reaper. I'm sure you're all thinking, "How can you like a grim reaper? They're all black hoods, non-visible faces and Scythe's" but no. In this book Grim Reapers are normal people who take souls - the title makes sense now right? - and can turn invisible. His personality was way more interesting than Nash's plus he has a less weird name.

The story was very original but seemed to fall flat part of the way through. That being said, I still really enjoyed the book and will be investing in the rest - even if it's just to see more of Todd. I did find the Banshee element of the book quite interesting because it is not often you find a book about them and I have always found them very interesting.  This book was quite fluffy but had too sharp an edge to describe it as a light read. I would recommend this to people who want an original look on the myth of Banshee's and Grim Reaper's.

My Favorite Quote:

“His name's Nash." 
Aunt Val took a butter knife from the silverware drawer. "What year is he?" 
I groaned inwardly. "Senior." ...here we go ... 
Her smile was a little too enthusiastic. "Well that's wonderful!" Of course, what she really meant was "Rise from the shadows, social leper, and walk in the bright light of acceptance!”

 Email me at: confessionsofabookaholic@LIVE.CO.UK

Weekly Review Link Up (09/12/12 - 15/12/12)

Last weeks linky was a huge success so here's this week's.
Feel free to spread the word since the more people who link up, the more people that are likely to read you're reviews. You don't need to follow me in order to link up but I would love you too since ultimately this is something to get everyone more followers and comments. I will post a new linky every Saturday which will become active at 12am on Sunday and remain active for a week.
Please read the guidelines before linking.

Guidelines for linking up: 
ONLY link to book reviews, no interviews, guest posts etc.
ONLY link reviews published this week - 09/12/12 - 15/12/12
ENSURE the link goes directly to your review NOT your blog, example:
Incorrect: http://emily-confessionsofabookaholic.blogspot.co.uk/
Correct: http://emily-confessionsofabookaholic.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/legend-by-marie-lu.html
(I noticed a lot of people linked straight to their blogs last week and I'm not going to delete the links since it was the first week but this time please make sure to do it right)
ENTER the name and author of the book as well as your blog name, example:
Confessions Of A Bookaholic - City Of Bones By Cassandra Clare 
DON'T put your links in the comments, only the linky please!

Happy linking!
Email me at: confessionsofabookaholic@LIVE.CO.UK

Legend By Marie Lu

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Legend (Legend, #1)Series: Legend #1
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Romance
Release Date: November 29th 2011
Source: Bought
Overall Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Cover Rating: 3/5 Stars
Synopsis: What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem. From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

I wasn't sure whether I would like this book. I had read very mixed reviews but eventually I decided to give it a go. I'm glad I did. Legend was quite a thin book but it managed to pack a lot in there. The dystopian world that it was set in wasn't particularly original but Marie Lu managed to craft it into something that I didn't recognize. It was very much politically orientated like most dystopia's but there wasn't one dull moment. Personally I think dystopian novels are a great way of getting teenagers into politics. The story follows June and Day. Day fights everyday just to survive and not be caught by the authorities. June lives a life of luxury and is the prodigy of her republic. Both of their lives become hopelessly entangled when June's brother is murdered and Day, being the most wanted person in the republic, is the main suspect. June goes hunting for him but when they meet, neither knowing who the other one is, the spark is undeniable.

At last, a book where I love both the hero and the heroine! As the book is told in alternating points of view, I got to know them pretty well. June was a great heroine, she was badass, could fight and wasn't afraid to speak her mind. I mean the girl when hunting her brother's murderer alone so of course she's tough. Day was amazing! He put himself in danger regularly to get his family supplies, he takes care of an orphaned girl and he's wanted by the government, what's cooler than that? I loved the chemistry between June and Day. They are at completely different ends of the social spectrum but at the same time they are so similar.

Overall, I loved this book. It kept me on the edge of my seat and I couldn't predict anything that happened. She managed to create an exciting plot, an amazing story world and likable characters. If that isn't talent I don't know what is. I would recommend this book to those who enjoyed Divergent or are fans of dystopia. Actually I'd even recommend it to those who don't usually enjoy dystopia, it's that good.

My Favorite Quote:

“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything's possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time. You try to walk in the light."

“I don't know if anyone's ever told you this", he begins. He doesn't blush, and his eyes don't dart away. Instead I find myself starring into a pair of oceans - one perfect, the other blemished by that tiny ripple. "You're very attractive." 
I've been complimented on my appearance before. But never in his tone of voice. Of all the things he's said, I don't know why this catches me off guard. 
But it startles me so much that without thinking I blurt out, "I could say the same about you." I pause. "In case you didn't know." 
A slow grin spreads across his face. "Oh, trust me. I know.”

“My mother used to hope that I would rise up from my humble roots. Become someone successful  or even famous. I'm famous all right, but I don't think it's what she had in mind.”

Email me at: confessionsofabookaholic@LIVE.CO.UK

Weekly Review Link Up (24/11/12 - 08/12/12)

Saturday, 1 December 2012

I have noticed around the blogosphere that it is very difficult to get people to read your reviews, so I have decided to do a weekly link up so that everyone can share their reviews. Feel free to spread the word since the more people who link up, the more people that are likely to read you're reviews. You don't need to follow me in order to link up but I would love you too since ultimately this is something to get everyone more followers and comments. I will post a new linky every Saturday.

Guidelines for linking up:
ONLY link to book reviews, no interviews, guest posts etc.
ONLY link reviews published this week (since this is the first week I will allow you to post reviews published between the 24th of November and the 8th of December
ENSURE the link goes directly to your review NOT your blog
ENTER the name and author of the book as well as your blog name

Email me at: confessionsofabookaholic@LIVE.CO.UK

Numbers By Rachel Ward

Numbers (Numbers, #1)Series: Numbers #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Release Date: November 8th 2008
Source: Bought
Overall Rating: 1.5/5 Stars
Cover Rating: 2/5 Stars
Synopsis: Since her mother’s death, fifteen-year-old Jem has kept a secret. When her eyes meet someone else’s, a number pops into her head - the date on which they will die. Knowing that nothing lasts forever, Jem avoids relationships, but when she meets a boy called Spider, and they plan a day out together, her life takes a new twist and turn. Waiting for the London Eye, she sees everyone in the queue has the same number - something terrible is going to happen.

I did not like this book. I had reasonably high expectations since the premise sounded quite interesting but I actually found that the synopsis is very misleading. I fully expected the story to revolve around the London Eye tragedy that Jem knew was going to happen. I thought she'd do something to try and save the people there but I was very wrong. In fact, the only reason why the London Eye is mentioned is because she runs away from it, is spotted suspiciously running away and then goes on the run because running is apparently now illegal in Britain. Sure I understand why it might seem suspicious but it would've been explained away so easily! For example "I was late for a meeting," or "there was an emergency at home," but no, she goes on the run because they are of course going to blame a fifteen year old for a bomb attack because she happened to be running at the time.

One thing I found totally unbelievable was that people were recognizing them while they were on the run from a description that could fit anyone and a blurry CCTV camera.
This is the incriminating description:
“London is reeling after a massive blast ripped apart the London Eye…seven dead and many more injured…police are looking for two youths: one black and very tall, the other shorter and slightly built.”
That could be anyone but somehow everyone recognizes them.
Another thing that annoyed me about this book was how racist Britain was made to look. Sure there are some racist people here, like everywhere, but this book exaggerated it enormously. Spider was given dirty looks by everyone and automatically blamed for anything that happened, because he was black. I know it happens sometimes but they traveled halfway across Britain and it happened everywhere, I'm not sure that's accurate.

Ugh. I hated both characters. Jem was annoying, her cold behavior seemed way too forced and she was much to stereotypical. Spider was the same but male, their relationship was much too 'insta love out of necessity' for my liking. Jem's big gift seemed awesome at first but then it was boring. The gift seems more like a catalyst put there to begin the story nothing more. Spider's bad boy persona and actions was the same, just something to fill the pages and add substance to an otherwise flat story.

I really did dislike this book and I'm beginning to be put off the publisher, 'The Chicken House'. I never judge a book by it's publisher except this particular one. Of the five books I've read from this publisher I've hated all but one and that, in my opinion, is not good statistics. I may steer clear of it for a while. I would reccomend this book to people who don't mind huge plot holes and prefer fluff to substance. I can say for certain I will not be reading the next book, it's called Numbers 2 for goodness sake!

My Favorite Quote:
“My best day ever. Got up. Had breakfast. Came to school. Bored, as usual. Wishing I wasn't there, like usual."

Email me at: confessionsofabookaholic@LIVE.CO.UK
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