Why Do We Blog?

hana- Book- Talk

Ask any book blogger what their favorite part of blogging is and nine out of ten of them will say the community. But I feel as though the community is something that bloggers happen upon unexpectedly, as a surprise perk. It makes me wonder what reasons people start blogging at all.

When it comes to me, I have a couple of reasons for continuing blogging after all these months.

1) I blog to find new books.

Before becoming a blogger, I’d walk into a bookstore and browse for hours for something that I thought appealed to me just right. Nowadays, I can walk into Barnes & Noble and recognize every book I see in the YA section, as well as knowing what it’s about and what my friends thought of it. It really makes the process of finding a book much easier.

2) I blog out of laziness.

This is the case when it comes to hype. It may be bad of me, but I simply don’t have the time to sort through a million books to find a good one. Reading books that are hyped by bloggers garuntees me a book that is, at the least, well written. Some of my favorite books have been hyped.

3) And yes, I blog for the community.

That’s pretty much a given once you start. I was not expecting the blogging community to be so chipper and kind when I started, but now I don’t think I could blog without the community. I mean, what would be the point?

But is there more to blogging than that? Until a little while ago, these three reasons for blogging would have been the only ones I needed, until a fellow blogger asked me the question, “Don’t you feel a duty as a blogger to reveal lesser-known novels?” At first, it sounded ridiculous. I blog for me, not for the authors. They sometimes benefit from my blogging, and I benefit from their ARCs, so why would it by my duty to do anything else for them? (Gah, it sounds selfish when I type it out like that.)

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But then I thought of Monsters of Men. My absolute favorite series, the Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness, wasn’t hyped. I have no clue why, as I thought it was absolutely amazing, but it seemed to slip under the radar of blog hype, which is a sad thing because it is by far the most amazing thing I’ve ever read. And it’s YA! A lot of people have heard of Patrick Ness, sure, but I know a lot that wouldn’t read his books because they only read hype. And sadly, I usually fall into that category when it comes to other authors. Is there a gigantic world of amazing books we’re missing out on out there because we’re all busy reading the same fluffy things?

Maybe there is. And although I don’t like the idea of sorting through a bunch of books I don’t like when I can just pick up a hype book, maybe it’s about time to read something new. After all, if you’re a blogger of my genre, you’ve heard of A Court of Thorns and Roses. You’ve decided already whether or not you’re going to read it if you haven’t already, I’m sure, and reading my review on it does absolutely nothing for you. But you HAVEN’T heard of Future Winds. And if I can convince one person to read a book they’d love but otherwise not notice, wouldn’t that be worth it? Isn’t that why we blog at all?

Anyways, this one’s dragging on a bit, so I’ll turn it over to you. What do you think? Why do you blog? Do you think bloggers have any sort of duty to reveal good books to the world? Drop your thoughts in the comments section!

Review: The Vegetarian by Han Kang

25489025Before the nightmare, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary life. But when splintering, blood-soaked images start haunting her thoughts, Yeong-hye decides to purge her mind and renounce eating meat. In a country where societal mores are strictly obeyed, Yeong-hye’s decision to embrace a more “plant-like” existence is a shocking act of subversion. And as her passive rebellion manifests in ever more extreme and frightening forms, scandal, abuse, and estrangement begin to send Yeong-hye spiraling deep into the spaces of her fantasy. In a complete metamorphosis of both mind and body, her now dangerous endeavor will take Yeong-hye—impossibly, ecstatically, tragically—far from her once-known self altogether.

A disturbing, yet beautifully composed narrative told in three parts, The Vegetarian is an allegorical novel about modern day South Korea, but also a story of obsession, choice, and our faltering attempts to understand others, from one imprisoned body to another.

Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion

 

 

 

 

Super Short Synopsis:

A very plain woman refuses to eat meat. Then she goes crazy. Then everyone else goes crazy.

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Book Review: I Take You by Eliza Kennedy

22237470Meet Lily Wilder: New Yorker, lawyer extraordinaire, blushing bride. And totally incapable of being faithful to one man.

Lily’s fiancé Will is a brilliant, handsome archaeologist. Lily is sassy, impulsive, fond of a good drink (or five) and has no business getting married. Lily likes Will, but does she love him? Will loves Lily, but does he know her? As the wedding approaches, Lily’s nights—and mornings, and afternoons—of booze, laughter and questionable decisions become a growing reminder that the happiest day of her life might turn out to be her worst mistake yet.

Unapologetically sexy with the ribald humor of Bridesmaids, this joyously provocative debut introduces a self-assured protagonist you won’t soon forget.

I received I Take You from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 

My Thoughts:

A cute cover, interesting premise, and feature in one of my favorite magazines had me really excited to read I Take You, and I wasn’t disappointed. Although Lily Wilder is incredibly irresponsible, childish, and slutty, I didn’t hate her as much as I anticipated. The entire book was set in the first person with Lily as the narrator, and when I started reading I thought “oh, well if it was third person that’d be fine, but spending an entire book in this nutjob’s head? That’s not going to work out.” But somehow, Lily’s shallow, irresponsible thoughts didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the book. Tangled in disaster as it was, I Take You had a very light and enjoyable tone, and it was exactly what I was looking for when I picked it up.

I think the worst thing about I Take You was its believability. I went into it already not expecting realism (because I like to think that all brides-to-be are loyal, faithful, responsible adults,) but there were some points in the book where I was thinking “absolutely no way would that ever happen.” Especially with the convenience of the ending; it was just too much of a coincidence! Actually, Lily’s whole relationship with her fiance was a coincidence. But, again, I wasn’t expecting to believe in this book, so all of this is forgivable.

My absolute favorite thing about the book was Freddy, Lily’s best friend. She breaks the trend of so many shallow, stupid, bookish best friends (a real pet peeve of mine) and was not only nonjudgmental to Lily’s behavior, she was always looking out for Lily and gave her amazing advice. Usually in a book, you get a smart, quirky, interesting main character that has a boy-crazy, fashion-obsessed, very basic best friend, but this book actually reversed the two roles, which made it very interesting for me.

Overall, I Take You was an enjoyable and cute read, and I’d be interested to see what others thought about it!

Three Stars

Three Stars

Review: We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

24041443From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Language of Flowers comes her much-anticipated new novel about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds.

For fourteen years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now fifteen, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life.

Navigating this new terrain is challenging for Letty, especially as Luna desperately misses her grandparents and Alex, who is falling in love with a classmate, is unwilling to give his mother a chance. Letty comes up with a plan to help the family escape the dangerous neighborhood and heartbreaking injustice that have marked their lives, but one wrong move could jeopardize everything she’s worked for and her family’s fragile hopes for the future.

Vanessa Diffenbaugh blends gorgeous prose with compelling themes of motherhood, undocumented immigration, and the American Dream in a powerful and prescient story about family.

 

My Thoughts:

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Review: The Girl with All the Gifts (Could we be ANY more misleading?)

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Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her “our little genius.”

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

Melanie loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favorite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

Add it to Goodreads

Buy it on Amazon

 

 

 

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Review: A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

8621462The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

 

 

 

Find it on Goodreads

Buy it on Amazon

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Series Review- The Giver Quartet by Louis Lowry

I just finished Son, the last book in The Giver series by Louis Lowry. I don’t think I need to add a synopsis, because it feels like by now everyone’s already heard of the series, so I’m just going to do a few short lines of mini-review as a nod to Louis Lowry, and for others to consider if they want to continue the series or not. Sure took me long enough, huh?

8309278 I think the most remarkable thing about The Giver Quartet is actually its simplicity. In most cases, during all of the stories, what is discussed- what happens to make up the meat of the novels- is simply everyday life. Lowry spares no details making a world that is so unlike our own and yet so immersible. By the end of the quartet, it’s likely that an observant reader could go into any of the mentioned societies- even the strict-ruled community- and fit right in. But somehow, this attention to rules and everyday life is not boring. In fact, I’d argue that watching how these people live is the most interesting part of the stories. Foreshadowing is greatly used, so while you’re enjoying all of these little activities, you still have a sense of curiosity and unease that will keep you reading. It’s so well done, really, it’s no wonder that this series is so well loved.

 

 

 

 

15816557Gathering Blue follows the life of Kira, a newly orphaned cripple in a cruel society that finds flaws a justifiable reason for murder. This was probably my favorite book in the series; I loved Kira and Matty and the theme of the impending song. Ultimately as a series, one of my biggest disappointments in The Giver Quartet is that the plot in Gathering Blue wasn’t really elaborated on. In fact, this book seemed to have no importance at all in the grand scheme of things. Had you taken Gathering Blue out of the series, the reader would still be able to perfectly understand everything that happens. Sure, you wouldn’t know Kira as well, but Kira wasn’t important at all in any book except for this one, unlike Jonas, Matty, and Gabe. Not to mention that the main conflict here was left completely unresolved? Not a prize-winner. It makes me wonder whether Lowry had a different direction in mind when she wrote Gathering Blue, but chose to scrap all of that by the time The Messenger came out. It’s actually pretty disappointing, since I’d say Gathering Blue was my favorite book in the series.

 

 

 

9834117Loved this one! I was happy to see Matty grow into a good young man. Lowry has a talent in writing about conflict without violence or direct reproach. I was happy when Trademaster was further explained in Son, and what impressed me most about Messenger was the flow. Lowry’s books were easy to read, and I got the idea that the world was so developed in her mind that they were easy to write, too. These novels are easy to lose yourself in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

13324841And lastly, the big finale. We get to once again delve into the black-and-white world of the community in Son, and it was nice to see Jonas’s story from a different side. I think people that loved The Giver will love Son more than the other two books in the quartet. Has anyone else noticed that Lowry has a thing for wise adults taking care of children in her books? The Giver cared for Jonas, Annabella cared for Kira, Seer cared for Matty, and Alys cared for Claire. Somehow, despite the fact that all of these books seem to have the same wise parent-figure and different variations of the confused young’uns, it just doesn’t get old for me.

 

 

 

 

 

What about everyone else? What did you think of the ending? Did you like some books in the series more than the others? Did the writing style resonate for you as well as it did for me? I want to know your thoughts!