Friday, 31 October 2014

My True Love Gave to Me by Stephanie Perkins

Title: My True Love Gave to Me
Author: Stephanie Perkins, Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de la Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Laini Taylor, Kiersten White
Published by: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication date: 9th October 2014
Pages: 355
Genres: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance/Festive
Format: Hardback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.


On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me... This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories set during the festive period, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. The stories are filled with the magic of first love and the magic of the holidays.

First thing's first I'm the realist that cover image does not accurately represent what the book looks like in real life at all. I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but let me show you how beautifully shiny it really is. Plus, the edges of the pages are pink, the book has a gold ribbon bookmark, and the chapters have cute little illustrations... *sighs happily*

My True Love Gave to Me is a collection of twelve short stories from some of YA's biggest authors, including some of my favourites, Stephanie Perkins and Rainbow Rowell. If that's not enough, I should mention that this book is Christmas. As soon as I began reading, I instantly felt excited for the festive season for the first time this year. Reading this was like lighting a cinnamon-scented candle or inhaling the smell of fresh gingerbread. Mmm.

It would take forever to thoroughly review each short story, so instead I'm just going to give you a list of the titles and my rating out of five. Luckily, there was only one story which I really, really disliked, and only a couple which were 'meh', but you'll see what they were in a second.

The wonderful:

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell - 5/5
Favourite quote: "You're a kaleidoscope. You change every time I look away."

Polaris Is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han - 5/5
Favourite quote: "Elves in motion are otherworldly. They are long and lovely and lean; when they dance they are whirling dervishes that sparkle and gleam like sun shining on snow."

It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins - 5/5
Favourite quote: "Fires crackled inside metal drums. Strings of bare bulbs crisscrossed overhead. She loved the husky green scent of the Fraser firs and the crinkle crunch of their shavings underfoot."

Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White - 5/5
Favourite quote: "Every surface not reserved for eating is covered in holiday kitsch. As if that weren't freak show enough, from the ledge above the kitchen door, a sinister elf gazes malevolently down, its head cocked at a horror-movie angle. A year ago, I stuck a tiny knife in its hand. No one has noticed."

What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Forman - 4/5
Favourite quote: "Sophie had had to say I'm kidding at least half dozen times, a trend that continued well into the term until Sophie finally realised that sarcasm was like a separate dialect, not one universally understood."

The Lady and The Fox by Kelly Link - 4/5
Favourite quote: "Inside is a scrap of rose damask, the embroidered fox, snarling; the mangled leg, the bloodied trap."

Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Peña - 4/5
Favourite quote: "When we woke up on the morning on the fourth day, it happened. Thick beautiful snowflakes were falling from the sky."

The meh:

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan - 3/5

Krampuslauf by Holly Black - 2/5

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter - 2/5

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire - 1/5

*takes deep breath* *waits for army of fangirls to kill me*

The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer by Laini Taylor - 0/5

Yes, I gave 0/5 to the story by Laini Taylor; I was surprised too. I've only ever seen positive reviews of her books and everyone always seems to be praising her writing, so I was really sad when I had to drag myself through her drag of a story. The only other bad thing about this book: it caused me to keep singing "On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me..." I wouldn't stop. It was awful for everyone involved. It was the beginning of October. 

Anyway, it was a shame the book had to end on that note, but the rest of the book, apart from the few stories which I wasn't overly keen on, was beautiful. Not many books can make me happy. They can make me sad, they can make me laugh, and they can make me think, but this book actually put me in a really good mood for the rest of the day. I don't know if it's the same with anyone else, but I hardly ever experience that solely from reading a book. Thanks to this one, and much to the dismay of my parents, I am now fully ready for Christmas. I almost wish I hadn't read this yet so I could have the experience of receiving this and reading it for the first time on Christmas day. I think I'll stop there, because now I'm just making myself sound weird... good books do that to me.

Despite the few stories I wasn't too keen on, I absolutely loved this book as a whole, and it introduced me to some new YA authors. It includes such a good and varied collection of writers, and there really is something for everyone. It's truly gorgeous.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

101 Things I Love


Today I've decided to share a list of 101 things I love. I'm considering turning this into a tag but I don't know if anyone would be interested, or if there's already something like this in the blogging world. Thoughts?

Edit: I've decided to turn this into a tag, and I tag Rita, Charli, Georgia, Cat, and anyone else who wants to join in. 

Feel free to let me know some things that you love in the comments below!

  1. Macarons.
  2. A sunny sky.
  3. Daydreaming. 
  4. The idea of travelling the world.
  5. Shopping (I actually prefer clothes shopping to book shopping, but shh - it's a secret.)
  6. People who give more than a one-word answer.
  7. Pretty stationery. 
  8. Walkers Worcester Sauce crisps.
  9. Watching YouTubers before I sleep. I didn't mean that to sound as creepy as it does.
  10. Sarcasm.
  11. Using hashtags outside of Twitter. #sorrynotsorry
  12. Lists.
  13. People who say "please" and "thank you." I'm old fashioned, don't judge me.
  14. Pastel colours. It's a new obsession. Am I hipster now?
  15. Telling people from other countries that I don't drink tea. "BuT yOu'Re BrItIsH." K.
  16. Making goals and trying to stick to them.
  17. Twitter.
  18. Emojis. The smirk is my favourite and probably the one I use most.
  19. Pizza. Specifically, a margherita with a tortilla base, and black olives and avocado on top.
  20. Crossing off the last thing on my to-do list.
  21. Taking photos, but I hate taking photos of books. I don't know why.
  22. Doritos and Pringles...together. I invented this a few months ago. YOU'RE WELCOME.
  23. Finding and downloading new fonts. I'm obsessed.
  24. Eastenders and Bad Education. They're the only shows I purposefully watch on TV.
  25. Binders. I don't need any more but I saw an entire wall of them in a shop yesterday and was extremely tempted to buy them all. With my non-existent money. Oh.
  26. Blogger. Wordpress can... go away. I don't know.
  27. Inappropriate jokes, not that I feel I should make them on this blog. Which is probably a good thing, for you.
  28. Hang-gliding on a Dorito.
  29. The sofa.
  30. Shipping objects together...
  31. London.
  32. Cornwall.
  33. Times when I feel completely content.
  34. MY FRIENDS. Although I prefer to call them MA FRANDS. *shrug*
  35. Avocado, preferably mashed and on toast, or on nachos. It's even better on pizza with olives, as I said before. Nomanomnom.
  36. Sketching portraits, although I haven't done this for about a year. Edit: I drew a new portrait and you can see it by clicking here. It's not the best thing in the world but I'm glad I've got back into drawing again. :)
  37. Painting.
  38. When I log into Blogger and see '[random number here] comments awaiting moderation.'
  39. When I discover someone else hates the same person I do. Not exactly positive but whatever. 
  40. Everything to do with music.
  41. Quotes. I have so many funny quotes in my head from TV shows and books. It just sucks that they're not as funny out of context.
  42. When we don't get homework. Rare, but amazing when it happens.
  43. Half terms and summer holidays.
  44. Cats. 
  45. Innocent smoothies.
  46. Driving somewhere awesome with my music at full-volume. 
  47. The fact that Christmas is only a few weeks after my birthday. I've always thought that's the perfect amount of time.
  48. ...and that I never have and never will have school on my birthday. It's in two days, by the way. ;)
  49. When you go into a supermarket expecting it to be really boring but then THERE'S A PERSON GIVING OUT FREE DONUT SAMPLES.
  50. Sleep.
  51. The TimeHop app. It's fascinating, but embarrassing, seeing my tweets/Facebook statuses/Instagram photos from the past five years.
  52. Calendars. What? It means I get to have The Mortal Instruments on my wall.
  53. When people remember something I said ages ago. It means they were listening. Ten friendship points for you.
  54. Forever 21.
  55. Homemade blueberry muffins.
  56. The fact that my school timetable this year pretty much means I have a weekend in the middle of the week in addition to the normal weekend.
  57. When hard work pays off.
  58. The Bookseller. Not that I'm subscribed to it (moneh) but it looks awesome.
  59. Lorde.
  60. Pretty collars on clothes. I accidentally joined the trend. Oops.
  61. Days where absolutely nothing goes wrong. 
  62. My guitars. 
  63. Looking at photos from good times.
  64. Unicorns. Sloths. I appear to have started a trend.
  65. Sims. I'm not overly obsessed (I've only ever played Sims 2 and Sims 3) but when this post goes live I've probably played Sims 4 too. So excited for it to arrive! Edit: IT ARRIVED AND IT IS MAGNIFICENT. 
  66. When someone I know offline stumbles across my blog or Twitter and doesn't say it's lame.
  67. The colour blue. I don't know if it's my favourite colour but sometimes I'll go shopping, come home, and realise everything I bought was blue. This has happened many times. I don't know why it happens.
  68. When I sneak food into the trolley successfully without anyone noticing. 
  69. Fairy lights. Everywhere. When I move out I think my house will look like Santa's grotto. Meh.
  70. Getting book post, or any kind of post really, as long as it's not boring like a bank statement or something. Ew.
  71. Saying "ew."
  72. Ikea. *shrug*
  73. Stickers.
  74. When I randomly meet famous people in person. I once met Gordon Ramsey outside King's Cross. This is one of the highlights of my life.
  75. Making people laugh.
  76. People who can make me laugh.
  77. Funny movies.
  78. CHRISTMAS.
  79. Food?
  80. Being ahead of my Goodreads goal. Unfortunately that hasn't happened once this year.
  81. Writing yearly wrap-ups.
  82. VW Campers and Beetles (I can't stand the modern ones, though. Sorry.)
  83. When I haven't spoken to an author since I first started blogging and then they randomly talk to me and REMEMBER ME. This happened recently and it was so cool.
  84. Polaroids.
  85. Finding cute new DIY projects on Pinterest. 
  86. Fandom merch. 
  87. Honesty. I don't care if you're telling me you hate me with a million reasons to go with it. I've always thought honesty is the best policy. 
  88. When it comes up in conversation that I'm vegetarian and the reply isn't, "Do you eat chicken?" Wow, I don't know, what do you think? Vegetarian. VEGetarian. V E G.
  89. When I walk into a book shop and see books I have for review. I don't know why but it's exciting.
  90. When I listen to a song for the first time and instantly know it's my new favourite.
  91. Roadtrips, especially the one to Cornwall, because I get to listen to my epic fourteen-hour playlist. And I get McDonalds. Yay.
  92. When I'm in a book slump for ages and then randomly pick up a book again and get through it in a couple of hours. It's a beautiful moment, I'm sure you'll agree.
  93. When a review book comes with postcards/bookmarks/sweets/other stuff. It's like an extra Christmas every time.
  94. Flipping through art journals.
  95. When you listen to a song and the lyrics seem to perfectly describe your life.
  96. When my eyeliner is symmetrical. WHY AM I SO STEREOTYPICAL. *headdesk*
  97. Getting good news! That's pretty obvious but...meh.
  98. Lindt chocolate. 
  99. When authors I've actually heard of do an event locally, although I'm pretty sure that hasn't happened since Jacqueline Wilson came to town six or seven years ago.
  100. Journalism.
  101. Going into a pen shop and writing a random message on the bit where you can test out the pens. Is that weird? ...You don't have to answer that.
What do you love?

Thursday, 23 October 2014

THE 2014 HALLOWEEN GIVEAWAY


We're getting to that time of year again when tiny vampires, witches, and devils line the streets, laughing and screeching, on a long hunt for sweets. Or maybe you'll just be watching loads of horror movies with the hugest bowl of popcorn ever. Yep, that sounds much better. And if it feels like you've watched all the horror movies ever released to date, don't worry, because there are some pretty awesome ones coming out later this month, and the first one I'm going to feature is based on a book!


The first I've found is Horns, based on the novel by Joe Hill. It stars Daniel Radcliffe (and doing an American accent, too... should be interesting) and Juno Temple, among others. Horns sees Radcliffe's character turn into the devil incarnate, with the ability to drive people to confess their deepest darkest secrets. And it's out the day after my birthday, on October 29th - just in time for Halloween!

Don't worry, though - if you prefer books to movies, like me, I'm giving away three copies of the book Horns is based on! There will be three winners each receiving a copy of the book, and it's only open to those in the UK and Ireland. Just enter using the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Next up is Extraterrestrial, which is also out in cinemas on October 29th. A group of friends decide to stay at their vacation cabin, which is pretty normal except, after a fireball descends from the sky and explodes in the nearby woods, they discover the remnants of a spaceship. Advertised as a 'terrifying teen shocker with out-of-this-world scares and brutal surprises', I'm not going to pretend it's a movie I would usually go for, but it has Freddie Stroma (Harry Potter and Pitch Perfect) in it so I'm sold.

If you like the sound of this, I'm giving away a few pairs of tickets to the exclusive screening, which will take place in London on October 26th, so there isn't much time to enter! This giveaway is happening over on Twitter, so instead of filling in a Rafflecopter you just need to retweet this tweet. Two giveaways in one post... you're welcome. ;)

More details about the event can be found here.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

My Favourite Bookshop

October is the month of Books Are My Bag, a campaign to get more people buying and reading books. If you've seen a sea of orange tote bags outside your local bookshop, that's why. As part of this year's event they have asked everyone to talk about their favourite bookshops. I did a post about the campaign last year, and this year is clearly no different, because today I'm going to tell you about my favourite.

Unfortunately, my local bookshop - and I use the term 'local' loosely - is just a tiny Waterstones with an even tinier YA section, and I'm pretty sure they haven't hosted a decent book event for seven or eight years. So, being the unfortunate countryside blogger that I am, whenever I want to go to a book signing I always have to go to London. And that's where my absolute favourite bookshop is.

Waterstones Piccadilly, London, isn't the most original choice, but it's honestly the best bookshop I've ever been in. The first time I went was for a Rainbow Rowell signing a few months ago, which you can read about here.

  • There are six floors to explore.
  • It's the largest bookshop in Europe.
  • They have the best book signings. If an author announces a UK tour, you can almost guarantee they'll be stopping off at Waterstones Piccadilly.
  • It's next to a Costa and a Paperchase. Enough said. *love heart eyes*
  • They have really comfy armchairs dotted around, so you can just chill and read.
  • They have a bar on the fifth floor with amazing views of the city skyline.
  • There is an incredibly awesome YA section.
  • It's so big you could probably get away with doing a #waterstonestexan and hiding until after the store closes. You'd have plenty of time to read and to build a book fort... 
What's your favourite bookshop? Let us know in the comments, or use the hashtag #thisbookshop on Twitter!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle

Title: Famous in Love
Author: Rebecca Serle
Published by: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication date: 23rd October 2014
Pages: 309
Genres: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.


Fame comes before a fall...

When Paige Townsen gets picked to star in the movie adaptation of a blockbuster book series, her life changes practically overnight. Within a month she's thrown into a world of gossip, rumour and deceit. The only people who know what she's going through are her two male costars, but her feelings for them are getting complicated. Paige knows it's a mistake to fall in love on the set of a movie, but days of on-screen romance start to change her mind. The question is, can she keep what happens behind the scenes a secret when the world is watching her every move?

Famous in Love is one of those books that you finish and think...'okay, I'm done. Now what?' In other words, it was good and I enjoyed reading it, but it was lacking whatever it is that makes a book completely and utterly amazing. After finishing the book I didn't feel any strong emotions towards it; to me it was just another page turned.

I think the main issue I had with this book was the love triangle. I usually have no problem with them, and generally I enjoy choosing who to ship (because if you know me, I ship everyone and everything) but I've discovered it really, really sucks when a love triangle is the plot. Famous in Love had some great points and I'll get to those later, but there wasn't much of a story outside of the love triangle - it was just Paige trying to pick between Rainer and Jordan, and obviously this got pretty tiring after a while.

Luckily there was something I really loved about this book: the fact that it's about a normal girl who auditions for a role in a YA book-to-movie adaptation. We didn't get to go as in depth with this as I wanted to, but obviously I'm a fan of the fact that it was simply there - this is a YA blog, after all! - and I found it really fun to read about the process of shooting a film. One of my favourite scenes was when Paige and Jordan went to a signing event at Barnes and Noble:
"That's when I hear it - the screaming. It's sharp at first - a few voices - and then louder and louder, like a stereo system that's been cranked up to full volume. But it's not melodic. It's manic. Loud and shrill and high and raging. I suddenly have the desire to jump under my seat and beg Scotty to turn the car around. But he's outside, too, and before I can dive into the trunk, my door opens."
We fangirls can be very loud! It made me wonder how stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Shailene Woodley felt when they were told they'd got the parts of Katniss and Tris. They weren't hugely known before The Hunger Games and Divergent, just like Paige and the fictional 'Locked' trilogy, and even though Famous in Love obviously isn't a true story it was really insightful.

Unfortunately, not only did I not agree with what Paige did in the end, but I also felt that the ending was extremely rushed and a bit confusing. It was very disappointing and underwhelming, so much so that I just had to deduct a star from the rating I'd originally planned to give.

Do I recommend this book, though? That's a tricky one. I'd say if you're interested in seeing behind the scenes of film-making and experiencing fame from the point of view of a complete newbie then you'll enjoy this as it's really detailed (understandable, with Serle's own experience of being on a film set), but if you're not keen on love triangles and slight insta-love then I don't think this is for you. Always worth a try though, right?

Monday, 13 October 2014

Why I Don't Participate in Blog Memes

Someone asked me a while ago why I don't do blog memes so I thought I'd answer their question in a blog post.

In my first couple of years book blogging I think I did a few blog memes but I always found them such a chore (if you think I'm lazy as a fifteen year old you don't even want to know how lazy I was at eleven.) There were the book haul memes like In My Mailbox which I tried to do every week but I always forgot, and then it stressed me out trying to catch up. Also, I could never be bothered to take the photos required; told you I was lazy. To see one of my ancient, disastrous In My Mailbox posts you can click here. Cringe.

It wasn't long before I stopped with In My Mailbox because I wasn't enjoying it, although kudos to the person who started it in the first place because that thing got massively popular.

But why haven't I participated in others?
  • Most bloggers do the same memes, and I'll admit it's a bit disappointing when I open up Bloglovin' and discover a long list of people doing exactly the same thing. 
  • I can't stick to a schedule, hence why I don't have one. I just make sure I have a blog post up every few days, and I think if I was to try with a strict schedule it could result in this blog ending altogether. I like doing tags because they can be done at any time, but memes... nope.
  • I wouldn't dream of publishing a post that I hadn't enjoyed writing because, y'know, that would suck. And at the moment there just aren't any memes that stand out for me - although do feel free to recommend some!
That's not to say that I'll never participate in blog memes because maybe one day I'll discover one that instantly inspires me and somehow gets me to commit every week/month/whenever. But for now I'd rather publish other things, and hopefully none of you mind!

Which blog memes do you enjoy participating in? Or are you like me, not doing them at all?

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Title: Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Published by: Harper Collins
Publication date: 1st March 2011
Pages: 262
Genres: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought.


"In the dark beside me, she smelled of sweat and sunshine and vanilla, and on that thin-mooned night I could see little more than her silhouette, but even in the dark, I could see her eyes - fierce emeralds. And not just beautiful, but hot too."

Alaska Young. Gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, screwed up - and utterly fascinating. Miles Halter could not be more in love with her. but when tragedy strikes, Miles discovers the value and the pain of living and loving unconditionally.

Nothing will ever be the same.

Looking for Alaska was an impulse buy after my friend fanboyed at me for a good half an hour about it. The conversation ended with him saying "you should buy it" and me buying it, because I don't give in to peer pressure at all. Nope. Never.

To be honest, I wasn't sure I would like it, despite having loved all of John Green's other books, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised. I really don't know why I hadn't expected much, but it turns out my friend was absolutely right: this book is stunning. It almost reminded me of a Rainbow Rowell novel because the writing style was so similar, and I fell in love with the book instantly. The foreshadowing, the setting, and the people were just brilliant. I even loved the ending, and you know how hard I am to please when it comes to book endings!

Another thing I loved about this book is that Alaska is a huge bookworm, and she reminded me of myself a lot of the time, especially her bedroom which consisted of her 'Life's Library' - stacks and stacks of books covering the floor and lining the walls. If I remember correctly, I'm pretty sure my exact thought at that point was "Why is my room in this book?"

Then there was Miles. Everyone knows characters are generally supposed to develop throughout the book and experience new things or learn from mistakes, but a lot don't, and we all know how irritating that can be. Luckily, this wasn't one of those times.

I loved Miles' friends, Colonel and Takumi, too. I thought when it was mentioned that Miles would have a roommate that he would have to live with some evil, manipulative bully because that's usually the way these kinds of stories go, but John Green, thankfully, did his own thing as usual, and the fact that Miles' roommate wasn't some frustrating bully was a refreshing turn of events.

All in all, I'd say this is John Green's best book; yes, even better than The Fault in Our Stars. This is about friendship, death, and learning to live with the rubbish life can throw at you, but also learning to appreciate every good thing, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant it may be at the time. I'm so glad I read it and if you haven't then you should too, because this may be the most underrated of his books but it's definitely the best I've read in a long time.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

20 Signs You Follow Too Many Bookworms on Instagram


1. Due to the book-on-white-sheets trend you've seen more girls' bedsheets than Jace Wayland has.


2. You're shocked when a selfie appears in your feed, and even more shocked when there aren't any books in the background. WHAT IS THIS MADNESS.

3. You spend more time making your desk and laptop look pretty to show you're #blogging and #reviewing than actually writing your blog post.

4. You've seen more book selfies than ordinary selfies.


5. You pop a DSLR onto your wishlist because there are so many photos of booktubers' cameras before they start filming their latest haul. 

6. You don't even watch or read book hauls anymore because you've seen all the books already on Instagram, minutes after they popped through the letterbox.

7. You start to feel like the only person in the world who doesn't like tea, coffee, or hot chocolate. You consider pretending just so you can take a photo of your hot drink next to your #currentread.


8. You completely understand when a photo of a single bookshelf gets over 1K likes. It is beautiful. 

9. Your heart aches from seeing so many photos from your favourite author's book signing which you're not attending. 

10. You see so many photos of Game of Thrones with sticky-noted deaths that you're genuinely surprised when you pick up your own copy and it's completely free of sticky notes.

instagram.com/sunnydayrealestate1988

11. You consider buying a MacBook just so you can join in with the white desk/white sheet/white laptop photos.


12. You also decide to actually step foot into the big wide world so you can take a photo of your favourite book in the grass.


13. When you're by the pool you forget about reapplying your sun cream because you're too busy taking a photo of the book you're reading, making sure to get your legs and the pool in the photo too. It's not every day a bookworm actually ventures out into the daylight, after all. 

14. You just added over fifty books to your wishlist just by scrolling down your feed once.

15. You feel like some kind of criminal when you post a photo of the sunset instead of a book.


16. The cause of your death is actually jealousy from seeing so many pretty photos of books next to bowls of berries, like a true hipster.

17. You've spent more time looking at photos of Theo James and Shailene Woodley than revising for your exam next week. You blame the people you follow. Not yourself. 

18. When you scroll past so many photos of bookshops that when you look up from your phone you're surprised you're not in a bookshop yourself.


19. You've decided to take up your bedroom carpet so you can take photos like this.


20. When Instagram shows there are BEAUTIFUL FOREIGN EDITIONS OF YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK TO BE BOUGHT. "Did you really need to buy another copy?" "SHH I'M LEARNING LANGUAGES."


All photos included in this blog post are from Instagram and each photo belongs to the user credited underneath the corresponding photo. If you decide you no longer want your photo included in this blog post at any time, please get in touch and I will remove it immediately.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Doing What Makes You Happy

"Do what makes you happy" is a line which has been said to me a lot over the years, and it's a line which I've said to other people too. It really does seem like the key to a good life. Obviously, there are going to be times where you can't do what makes you happy, but if there's ever the opportunity, do it. I left my old school in the middle of an important year, even though I knew it would mean leaving my friends behind and having to pick new, less-awesome subjects for my exams. I quit my old blog which I'd had for years to start this one. They were both huge decisions, but I have never regretted either of them.

When it comes to blogging, other bloggers will probably agree with me when I say we love getting feedback. Chances are you've seen lots of us doing surveys where we get to know what you really think. I did too, and the results were really interesting. Most were positive, there was one extreme negative, and a few pieces of constructive criticism. Most of the constructive criticism was really helpful, but some really wasn't. For example:

"Your reviews are too short. You should make them longer."


I appreciated the feedback but I don't want to flesh out a review with unnecessary words just so I can reach a certain word count. How boring would that be? I can just imagine someone sat there reading it and thinking, "Come on, get to the point." Similarly, if anyone has ever told you your reviews are too long and you should make them shorter, don't listen to them! If your reviews are long you clearly have a lot of thoughts on the books you read, and that's so helpful when trying to decide whether to buy a book or not. Basically, write how you like - that's the important thing.

There's also a lot of pressure in the blogging world to join in with memes or have your own feature, but you never have to do these things if you don't feel like they're for you. You never have to do anything in book blogging and no one should be forcing you into doing posts about this or reviewing books like that. Just do what makes you happy, write about things you would like to read about yourself, and have fun doing your own thing. Who cares about doing what's popular, or what someone else thinks you should be doing? Any awesome person will respect you for doing what you want to do, and being yourself means you'll get completely like-minded people reading your posts. Yay for like-minded people.


Now this post has a Friends GIF and a Dan and Phil GIF, I think I can wrap this up. Primarily, you are always blogging for yourself. It's freaking amazing that other people decide to read your opinions on things too, but if you're not writing what makes you happy then you're not going to have a good time. And this post doesn't just apply to blogging, either.

I just realised how deep this post turned out to be, so here is a random cactus to inject silliness because now I feel awkward. I don't know if anyone else will agree with what I wrote but hopefully it will resonate with at least one person.

And now I'm going to go, because I've rambled.