Discussion Post: Reviewing Books Long After Finishing Them

Top Ten Tuesday(49)

So this is actually a topic I’ve been thinking a lot about recently and just wanted to do up a discussion post and see what the rest of you think about it as well! This is almost like a poll for me since I’m genuinely very curious as to what your opinions are on this topic so please join the discussion and let me know!

This will be a shorter discussion post than usual since it’s pretty straight forward.

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Do we always have to publish a review for a book?

As book bloggers we read quite a few books and also review them on our blogs but when it gets to be too much I don’t see anything wrong with reading a book JUST for fun and not publishing a review at all. There are also instances where a book may just be too hard to review because we loved or hated it so much we can’t find the right words to properly describe our experience. I know I have certainly run into both of these problems myself.

The only time I think a review is mandatory is when you receive an ARC (advanced reader copy) because publishers gave you a FREE copy in order to review it and get some hype/buzz going about the book.


So when you do decide to review a book, how long is too long to wait?

This here is the golden question in this discussion! I know when I finish a book I may not always jump into a review right away (for the reasons stated in the first question). Then as time goes on I realize “Hey! I never actually reviewed that one….” which brings me to thinking I can either post a review now or maybe just put it off infinitely. However, many of the books I have yet to review were ones I had full intentions of reviewing and just never got around to it.

I personally like to think you can post a review for a book WHENEVER you want to! Read the book a year ago? Fine, post a review! Read it a month ago? Fine, post a review! You should be able to post reviews for books at your own leisure, with the exception of ARCs as stated earlier.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean we are all comfortable doing it whenever. I know I personally get really self conscious about reviewing books I read last year and why? Because I worry that’s frowned upon by others. But why?! Why do I care? I don’t know, but I definitely think at the same time we should post what we want, when we want!


One Last Note…..

I’m VERY curious as to all of your thoughts on this topic since I have quite a few books I read and have yet to review! So the big reason behind making this into a post is to learn whether or not you guys are still interested in reading reviews for books I read a year ago even if their mini reviews and whatnot.

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Come Join The Discussion!

How long do you wait to post a review for a book you read?

Do you always review every book you read?

Are you still interested in reading book reviews even though the books were read a while ago?

Is it alright to read a book and NEVER post a review?

Do you think it’s alright to post a review even though you read the book a while ago? Even if it’s been a month, a few months, or even a year?

What do you think of others who take a long time to post their reviews?

The Sassy

Discussion Post: Things I Want To See More of in Books

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This post is kind of a hybrid between my usual bookish lists and a discussion post so I’m not sure how to define it but I wanted to share with you guys some of my thoughts on stuff I’d like to see more of in books! These aren’t exclusively aimed toward the Young Adult genre, there are a few that are Adult books but most of them are YA just a heads up!

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Male POVs (NOT multiple POVs that have male characters)

Examples: Anna Dressed in Blood,  The Percy Jackson Series, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, & The Knife of Never Letting Go.

I definitely don’t think  there are enough YA books with male point of views, sure there are books that have multiple POVs with male characters included but there are very few (that I have read anyways) that are strictly one male POV.

I like that male main characters’ narratives generally do not focus on romances or at least they don’t focus on dresses and fluff……I think male characters are just as much fun to read about as females, so why is the balance so uneven? Is it because a majority of authors and readers are female? Who knows….


Actual Badass Female Characters

Examples: And I Darken, The Winner’s Curse, The Diabolic, Nevernight, & Stormdancer.

Sure a lot of series/books SAY their heroines are total badasses but are they really? Take for example the ever popular Throne of Glass series flaunting the “badass assassin” Celaena, now this is my own opinion based off the first book, but I did not find her badass AT ALL.  She’s all talk and no action, which seems to be the case with more than a few YA heroines.

I’d like more heroines along the lines of the vicious, calculating Lada Dracul (And I Darken) who revels in her cruelty. Or Kestrel (The Winner’s Curse) whose badassness resides in her smarts rather than in her combat skills. Heroines that prove time and again just how badass females can be!


Animal Companions

Examples: Stormdancer

For some reason I was brain-farting other books that have prominent animal companions but I got “Stormdancer”! I absolutely love when animals are constant companions in books because, come on, who doesn’t love animals? Buruu the arashitora (flying tiger/eagle hybrid thingy?) in “Stormdancer” has the most hilarious dialogue at times and is one of my favorite characters, making me crave more books with similar animal characters.


Diversity

Examples: Labyrinth Lost, Timekeeper, The Wrath & The Dawn, & Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer

Of course this is a HUGE one and I think we can all easily agree with it as well! We need more diverse books, unproblematic ones too since there seems to be about as many with problems as there are without at the moment. Generally I’d just love to see an onslaught of books with LGTB characters and characters of different races being represented correctly.

The examples above are just a few books I enjoyed and as far as I know haven’t proved problematic with their representation of diversity. If there are please let me know so I can be aware of any problems!


Unique Formatting

Examples: Illuminae & The Dead House

This is kind of a new one but I absolutely loved the unique formatting in both of these books and they proved to be quite the reading experience because of it. It just makes reading so much more interesting and fun when the formatting contains journal pages, drawings, interviews, and more. I’d definitely love to see more unique formatting in books!


More Dark, Twisted Atmospheres

Examples: Anything by Gillian Flynn, Alice, & Night Film

I absolutely love when authors take us a step further into their stories by making the general atmosphere dark, grungy, and completely mind consuming. They basically twist and turn and make you FEEL the darkness and the terror! I love it and I’d definitely love to see more books as dark and messed up as the examples I used above.


BFF Friendships

Examples: Truthwitch, The Raven Boys, & The Harry Potter Series

I feel like friendships in books (especially YA) are extremely underrated, sure the characters might have friends but they usually aren’t shown very often or don’t prove to be very important. I love reading about friendships in books, true friendships where they’d do anything to protect each other and not just use a friend as a plot device.

Some great examples of true, real feeling friendships are the above books where I thought they did a fantastic job of showing how friends should be represented in books.


Morally Ambiguous Characters

Examples: Vicious, Six of Crows, & This Savage Song

This is probably my favorite type of character, morally ambiguous, because nothing is ever black or white. They make for such interesting plots when characters aren’t truly good or bad and are somewhere in between so the consequences for their actions aren’t quite set in stone.

The BEST example for this type of character is “Vicious” but the other two are great as well, these books show characters that aren’t exactly goody-goody but aren’t necessarily “bad guys” either. It keeps things interesting and I just feel like we don’t truly see these types of characters that often.

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So what are some things YOU’D like to see more of in books?

Do you agree with any of these listed?

Have you read or do you know of any other books that fit the things I listed?

What are your general thoughts on what I listed?

Let me know in the comments, I’d really love to hear some discussion on these!

The Sassy

Discussion Post: (The Great Debate) E-Readers vs Physical Books, What Side Are You On?

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I feel like this is an age old debate but I’d like to not only give my two cents on it but hear from you guys as well! I’m going to be sharing my opinions from both sides since I do enjoy both eBooks and physical books, there won’t be any bashing on my part since there are pros and cons to each side.

So let’s just get right into it!

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What are some of the pluses to owning an E-Reader?

For the most part I find that eBooks are cheaper than physical books, like I said…for the most part. This isn’t always true of course but you do find some really great deals on books if you have a Kindle, Nook, or other eReader such as $0.99 or $1.99 books. That’s awesome! Who doesn’t love getting super cheap books?

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E-Readers are easier to carry around than physical books and are more convenient when traveling. E-Readers are pretty small and slim which obviously makes it a little nicer to carry around in your purse or backpack, much nicer than say…a physical copy of “Illuminae” or “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” am I right? Also I know us book lovers LOVE to have more than one book when we travel ya know….in case we finish the one we are currently reading. In which case having an e-reader gives you a lot of options to choose from since you can have loads of books on there and just one little device to carry them around on.

For those of us who book blog it’s also nice to have an e-reader to be able to read digital ARCs on. Digital ARCs are a lot easier to get a hold of than physical ARCs so it’s definitely nice to have a way to read them that isn’t just on your computer screen (unless that floats your boat, in which case, float away my friends!).

No flashlights or page holders necessary with an e-reader(this may or may not be me just being lazy). A small thing to be sure but sometimes it’s just nice to lay in bed with no lamps or flashlights on and still be able to read your book before going to sleep. It’s also really nice when you’re trying to multi-task and not have to worry about finding something to hold your book open while you read and do your hair or whatever else you’re trying to do (yes I have tried doing my hair and reading at the same time and it never ends well).

You can also download books in the blink of an eye on an e-reader and not have to worry about waiting for your books to get shipped to you. Another thing you can do is use your e-reader to download ebooks from your local library which is fast and easier than taking a trip into the library.


What are some of the downsides to owning  E-Readers?

Ebooks aren’t always cheaper than physical copies, as I mentioned briefly above. Honestly, there are times where the eBook is either more expensive than the paperback version or near the same in which case it’s your own choice on which you’d rather spend your money on. I find it a little frustrating when an ebook is $10.99+ because why pay that much when I could just get a physical copy?

Ebooks don’t have pretty covers to line up on your bookshelves because obviously they are not physical books. You can’t touch them or hold them or sniff them….

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E-Readers do need to be charged and it’s kind of a big investment right away. As you all very well know e-readers can be spendy and they’re certainly more than the cost of a few physical books but depending on how much you’ll use it it will be worth it. Also depending on what kind of e-reader you get they don’t really need to be charged that often but they do still need to be charged which can be annoying when you’re using it to have your reading interrupted.

You can’t lend ebooks out to your friends or family. I’m aware that in some cases you are able to do this with certain e-readers but it isn’t with every book and I’m not sure if there’s a way to share at all on Kindles. It’s really disappointing when you really want someone to read a great book you have and are unable to loan it to them.


What are some of the pluses of physical books?

Physical books have gorgeous covers and are fun to collect and put on display in your home on your bookshelves. Also who doesn’t love the touch and feel of paper pages and hardcovers? And the smell…..we all love the smell of physical books old or new. This is probably the biggest plus of owning physical books.

You can lend physical books out to friends and family when you want to force your favorite books on them.

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You never need to worry about a physical book running low on battery power.

Bookmarks! With physical books you get to use all of the adorable and stylish bookmarks you want ( I horde bookmarks like there’s no tomorrow).

If you’re looking to get rid of a few physical books you didn’t enjoy you can always give them to others, donate to the library, or sell them to a used bookstore (and feel good about yourself).

When shopping for physical books you get to go into bookstores and what book lover doesn’t love going into a bookstore for hours on end?


What are some of the downsides to physical books?

Physical books can be lost. When you own an e-reader and ebooks you’re always backed-up but you know what happens when you lose your physical copy of a book? It’s gone for good and you’ll have to buy another, no one’s got your back on that one.

Physical books are also easily damaged, they’re poor fragile creatures. Spines get cracked, pages can be torn, ink can be smeared, and the worst of all is they can be spilled on! Also if you loan out your books there’s also a good chance they’ll come back to you with any amount of these blasphemous damages.

Books can be kind of spendy with the norm being $9.99 for paperbacks and $18.99 for hardcovers. This really adds up when you’re looking to get a few to add to your collection.

They can be heavy and inconvenient to carry around with you everywhere you go. Also as mentioned it can be a bit of a hassle trying to take more than one book with you when travelling. Physical books also take up quite a bit of space when you don’t have enough room to store them in your home.


My Opinion

I sort of stated my opinion in all of the above comments but…..

With all of these pros and cons in mind I have to say that I like e-readers for their cheap books, they’re a lot nicer to travel with, and if you want to read the next book in a series NOW you can download it right away.

However, I will always prefer physical copies over ebooks because they’re fun to collect and show off, hold and smell, and they’re more aesthetically pleasing.

To be perfectly honest though I love both my Kindle and all of my physical books!

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Come Join The Discussion! 

Do you agree/disagree with any of my points?

What are some of the pluses/downsides to owning an e-reader/physical book for you?

What is your favorite part about e-readers or physical books?

Ultimately would you choose ebooks or physical books?

The Sassy

Discussion Post: DNF Reviews

Top Ten Tuesday

I have quite a few thoughts on DNF reviews and I’ve seen a lot of other people’s opinions on them as well so I figured “Hey let’s see what everyone else thinks of DNF reviews!” So here we are. This is going to be a little short for a discussion post (I apologize!) but I really want to hear some opinions on it!

Most of you might already know but for those of you who don’t here’s a little explanation. A DNF Review is a review for a book that you Did Not Finish, pretty simple.

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So what’s the positive side to writing a DNF Review?

 When a reviewer can’t finish a book they should be able to DNF it and write a quick review explaining why they did so. I feel that an opinion on why someone couldn’t finish the book is just as valid as their opinion of the book if they had finished.

If a book is that bad a reviewer should have every right to stop reading it, what’s the point of pushing onward and tormenting yourself right?

So on the positive side: some people find DNF reviews to be just as informative as normal book reviews.

So what’s the down side to writing a DNF Review?

Some people feel that you shouldn’t write DNF reviews because you didn’t actually finish the book and it feels unfair for you to rate it without reading the entire thing. I understand this side as well because it’s true with a DNF review that you didn’t finish the book and who’s to say it doesn’t get better at the end? Why judge a book by it’s first few chapters?

However, is it really fair to be mad at someone for writing a review for a book they didn’t finish because they weren’t enjoying it?

So on the negative side: some people don’t think DNF reviews are fair since you aren’t sharing an opinion on the entirety of the book.

My Opinion

I actually really like DNF reviews and I enjoy them just the same as normal book reviews. I personally don’t DNF many books (and I try not to) therefore I don’t write many DNF reviews. When I do though I feel that it’s perfectly acceptable to write a review for a DNF’d book and explain why I wasn’t enjoying it.

So say the book gets better at the end, I don’t really care. If it was so hard to push through half the book then honestly the ending wouldn’t be worth it for me.

I also really appreciate anyone who does write a DNF review because you’re taking the time to review a book you didn’t finish to tell us why you didn’t like it. People don’t have to write a review for reading half (or less) of a book, but they still do and I (as a reader and blogger) really do appreciate it!

So in my opinion, don’t force your way through a book if you don’t want to! DNF reviews are perfectly acceptable!

My DNF Reviews

“Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

The only reason I wanted to read this was because I wanted to go see the movie but honestly you couldn’t pay me to read through this. I have zero interest in reading the original “Pride and Prejudice” and this book was what I imagine the original was like with very little zombie action. All I wanted was all the badass zombie killing I was shown in the movie trailer!

“Once Upon A Dream” by Liz Braswell

Everything about this was….bad. The writing, the narrative style, the characters, and the plot were all unfathomably boring. There was nothing redeemable about this book.

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Come Join The Discussion!

What is your opinion on DNF Reviews?

Do you believe in DNF-ing books?

Do you think it’s unfair to write a review for a book you didn’t finish?

Do you think it’s okay to write a review explaining why you couldn’t finish the book?

Do you appreciate bloggers who write DNF reviews?

Do you find DNF reviews just as informative as normal book reviews?

The Sassy

Discussion Post: Tackling That TBR Pile

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This is my first discussion post! Yay! Also meaning please bear with me because I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing…..


Being a bookworm or part of the book blogging community you all probably have dreadfully huge TBR (To-Be-Read) piles. A lot of the time our TBR piles can be a source of overwhelming stress due to their sheer size I mean they’re like a black, never-ending abyss of books.

The pressure to finish and read all of these books can be tough sometimes I know I get stressed with my TBR. It definitely feels like you’ll never get half the books you put onto your TBR read, doesn’t it? Plus there are always new books coming out and you’re constantly finding new books to add as well, it’s just a continuous cycle.

I know that my biggest point of stress concerning my TBR is when I’ve bought the books and have yet to touch them let alone read them. I mean I spent money on those things and they’re just sitting there! It’s like I went and put $20 piles on a shelf and left it there untouched! Then when new books come out I tell myself I can’t buy any because I still have all of these other books I did buy that need to be read before spending more money.

Also for those of you who have them, ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) on your TBR can add some stress. Normally with ARCs you have a deadline (the release date) to read and review them and this can either hurt or help you. Having a deadline will help you read more and knock some of those books of your TBR but as I’m sure you all know sometimes a deadline makes you feel rushed and panicky.

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So just how do we deal with those TBR piles and the stress they sometimes cause?

Firstly I think we should all take a deep breath and relax because you’re always going to have a large pile of books to be read, it’s just how we bookworms are. There isn’t ever going to be any getting ahead but you can get your TBR under control, there is hope!

One thing you can do to tackle your TBR is to pick out a couple books that have been sitting on your shelf and read them (obviously, haha). Leave your newest purchases alone for a while and read some books that have been there waiting a while, they’re probably lonely!

Another way to tackle that TBR (something I do personally) is pick out 3-4 books that you’ve purchased and read them before buying anymore new books. I find this to be pretty helpful (even though I cheat sometimes) but it allows me to finish books I’ve already bought and make room to buy new books! Because we all love getting new books right?

Concerning those of you who have ARCs I think the best advice to handle those is to remember not to over-request. Only request what you really want and only what you have time for because you may get swamped with too many ARCs and have to speed through them leaving you with zero time to enjoy your own books. Also give yourself plenty of time to read the ARCs before their release date, I’ve procrastinated a few times and had to rush through the book to finish!

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How do you deal with your TBR pile?

Do you ever get stressed out because of your TBR? Why?

Are any of my tips above something you do to handle it as well?

Do you try balancing your book buying and TBR reading?

***Please join this discussion in the comments below! I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions!***

The Sassy