Discussion Post Collab: Handling Blog Comments

Top Ten Tuesday(74)

Hello my fellow book lovers!

Today’s post is a sort of Q&A/Discussion Post in collaboration with Ashley @ Inside My Minds! So be sure to head over and check out her wonderful blog!

We are going to be discussing ALL different kinds of comments we, as bloggers, may receive on our blogs! Of course being a part of the book blogging community I find that generally nice, genuine comments are the norm but there are all kinds which is why we are here to discuss them!

So come and join our discussion but please remember to, of course, be polite and respectful of other’s opinions! Now let’s discuss!

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How do comments on your blog generally make you feel?

Ashley- I would rather have comments than likes.  I could really care less about “likes.”  Comments make me feel that all the time and effort I put into a post was really worth it.

Heather- I would also much rather have comments than likes! I feel that comments are a little more genuine and mean a lot to me, it’s such a wonderful feeling knowing that someone wanted to take the time to drop by and comment on a post! Plus the reason I started book blogging was to be able to chat books with other book lovers.


How do you respond to “nicer” comments to your blog? (Long replies or shorter replies)

Ashley- It usually depends on the comment.  If it’s a nice comment that I can really build off of and generate more discussion, I’ll try to leave a longer reply.  But if it’s a short reply like “good luck” or “good job” I’ll just leave a short “thank you.”

Heather- Once again I’m mostly agreeing with you Ashley! I find that pretty much all comments I get on my blog are very, very polite and genuinely nice! If someone leaves me a paragraph sized comment that’s fantastic, I actually like long comments more, and I will try and leave an equally long reply and generally this can bring about an awesome discussion about books or other things. If I get a shorter comment that’s just “hey I loved this post!” or “ I really loved this book too!” I’ll usually just leave some sort of “thank you” comment in reply since there isn’t much more to go off of with shorter comments!


How do you handle any trolls commenting on your blog?

Ashley- I moderate every comment I receive on my blog, so I’ve been fortunate enough that I haven’t really dealt with trolls.

Heather- I haven’t had any experience with trolls really but WordPress does a great job of blocking spam (which are kind of like trolls a little bit…) and I also moderate most comments on my blog as well. So if someone leaves a comment just to be rude they’re going to go straight to the trash more than likely.


How do you respond to self promotional blog comments aka people who leave only their links with a “hey check out my blog!”?

Ashley- The majority of time I don’t even bother checking out the blog.  I also always send those comments to the trash, I don’t want them on my blog.  The only time that I will read a linked post is if I asked for in my original post.

Heather- If a link to the blog is left on a post such as “Top Ten Tuesday” or “Top 5 Wednesday” then I think it’s perfectly fine, I’ll definitely go check out the post and answers! Or if we are discussing a book etc. in comments you they leave a link to something they posted that is relevant I have no problem checking that out either. However, if someone drops by and says “hey you should really check out my blog!” or just a link I’m probably not going to go take a look since I feel that they didn’t take the time to even look at the post they dropped a link on.


How do you handle negative comments on your blog?

Ashley- I don’t want any negativity on my blog so negative comments just get deleted.  I don’t have time or patience for negativity on my blog.

Heather- For the most part I find that the book blogging community is very easy going and laid back so there really aren’t that many people who are negative or would leave negative comments. However, if I were to receive one I would probably either delete it or try and handle it in the most respectful way I can manage. I’ve always been told to “kill ‘em with kindness” so that’s how I would more than likely treat negative comments as well!


Is there any blog comment advice you’d like to give to any newbie book bloggers out there?

Ashley- If you need something clarified ask for clarification.  Also, don’t leave links to anything unless the blogger asks you to leave them, especially self-promo links.  I feel like self-promo links look desperate.  If you want to leave a comment, make sure that the comment is actually relevant to the post and not something random.

Heather- Mostly I’d say if you’re new to try and keep away from purely self promotional comments such as the “hey check out my blog” type, if you want people to take a look at your posts then try and leave polite and genuine comments and they’ll maybe come take a look! I’d also say try and be as respectful as possible with other bloggers even if you disagree with what they’re saying!

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Come join the discussion!

How do you generally handle comments on your blog? Positive, negative, self-promotional, trolls?

Do you like getting comments more than likes?

The Sassy

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Discussion Post: Reviewing New Releases vs. Backlist Books

Top Ten Tuesday(67)

I know, I know I do a lot of “versus” discussion posts but that’s just how my mind seems to work! I think of topics and boom suddenly it’s a battle of the topics! Today’s discussion post is pretty straight forward and it came up when I was looking at the stats of some of my book reviews. So of course the idea came to me that I’d like to hear your guy’s opinion as well!

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Why are reviews of newer releases more popular than reviews of backlist books?

Well this is pretty obvious……we read reviews of new releases because they’re new! We want to know what the general consensus is on a book before we buy it, right? Is that new mystery/thriller full of twists and turns, or is it a flop? Is the latest contemporary or fantasy problematic? We want to know these things before we go reading or buying a new release so we read the reviews for these more than those for books that are older.


However, does this mean reviews of backlist books are obsolete?

Definitely not! At least in my opinion. After all a backlist book is anything that was published last year or later and a year really isn’t old at all! Remember all of those new releases you bought last year and haven’t read yet? Those are now backlist books too!

I find that I care about backlist book reviews as much as new release reviews, especially if the backlist book was very popular (or still is) when it was released. I like to see if a book is worth my time no matter when it was published!


Does this affect what books we decide to read and review as bloggers?

For the most part I would say no but there are also a couple of other factors that make me say yes.

If you want your blog to grow quicker or get more views etc. I would say reading and reviewing more new releases is the ticket since they are more widely read, in which case this would affect what you read as a blogger.  Do I advise doing this just for that stats? No. You should read what you want to be reading!

Another thing to factor in is ARCs which some bloggers receive to review before the release date in which case you HAVE to read these new releases which would clearly affect what you are reading and reviewing as a blogger too.

So I’m a bit in the middle on this part because no I don’t think this SHOULD affect what you read and review drastically but sometimes it does regardless.


So what side am I on?

Both!

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Reviews of new releases and backlist books are BOTH useful because opinions are important no matter how old the book is! I personally love seeing reviews for both types of books since I’m a book addict and am always looking for new books to add.

Do I find that this affects my own personal reading and reviewing habits? No, not really. The only time I HAVE to read and review a new release is if a receive an ARC of that book but other than that I read and review whatever I’m in the mood for!

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What reviews do you like to read more?

Do you find new release reviews or backlist reviews to be more useful? Or both?

Do you find that your new release reviews are more “popular”?

Do you find this affects what you read and review as a blogger?

The Sassy

Discussion Post: Physical ARCs versus E-Galleys

Top Ten Tuesday(63)

I have been meaning to discuss in some way, shape, or form ARCs on my blog for some time, however, I just feel that I don’t have that much experience with them to properly do a post about them. That being said I’d just like to take the time to discuss with all of you, no matter your experience, physical ARCs and digital galleys.

This isn’t going to be a super in-depth discussion on my part about the pros and cons of each of these but to just kind of discuss everything about them in general depending on your experiences with ARCs as well!

I will be doing a full length post discussing ARCs and tips on how to receive them  at some point!

Of course everything I’ve written in this post is just my own opinion, I’m not trying to offend anyone by any means. Please keep that in mind while reading or commenting back! Thank you!

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What’s the big deal with physical ARCs?

Let’s face it: everyone wants physical ARCs. Don’t lie! Getting an advanced reader copy of any book in any form is awesome but as book lovers I feel a lot of us still covet those physical copies a bit more. Because they’re right there in your hands with their beautiful covers and their pure awesomeness!

Physical ARCs are a bit harder to obtain than e-galleys so getting one kind of makes you feel good about yourself and your blog, like you’re doing something right in order to have received one! It’s almost like getting a huge compliment!

However, like I said they are much harder to obtain and can therefore lead to a lot of disappointment as well and some publishers don’t offer e-galleys at all! Some publishers are easier to work with than others, some will send you ARCs and some won’t, some will email you back stating whether you’ve been approved or not and some won’t. This can get frustrating at times since most of us don’t know what we are doing wrong!

Personally, I have yet to receive any ARCs or even feedback from publishers or imprints of Penguin, Harper Collins, or Simon & Schuster. There’s also no real way of knowing what kind of stats they like to see in order to be considered either, at least not to my knowledge. If ANY OF YOU KNOW THE ANSWERS PLEASE TELL ME YOUR SECRETS!

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What’s wrong with just requesting e-galleys off of Netgalley or Edelweiss?

Nothing, absolutely nothing!

Netgalley is very easy to navigate and getting approved is fairly easy there, Edelweiss on the other hand is a little less user-friendly in my opinion and also a little harder to get approved on. But I digress…….

E-galleys are great for many reasons such as: they’re much easier to request and obtain, you get access to them a lot quicker, and there’s no adding to the clutter on your shelves!

However, one of the biggest drawbacks to e-galleys (at least in my opinion) is that if you request them on Netgalley you have a feedback ratio. Which I understand helps publishers to see if you actually read and review they galleys they give you but also it can hurt bloggers as well. Let’s say you’ve read and reviewed maybe 30 books on Netgalley and you’re always good about reading and reviewing the ARCs you request, well if you receive let’s say 4 or 5 ARCs your feedback ratio will immediately drop below the wanted 80% before you send feedback in. (PLEASE DON’T JUDGE MY MATH TOO BADLY, I’M TERRIBLE AT IT)

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It’s kind of a bummer! Some bloggers are more than capable of handling multiple ARCs but maybe won’t be approved for them because their feedback ratio is slightly below 80%. It’s just sort of annoying sometimes.

My slight irritation with this came from my experience last week emailing and requesting a few physical ARCs. I was told by the publisher that they would send me these if they could but that I should request them off of Netgalley which is problematic for two reasons: one being that if I request them off of Netgalley will I end up getting an e-galley and a physical ARC of one of them? You said you’d send them if you could but to also re-request them? Makes no sense to me.

And reason number two being that if I requested the 4 ARCs I wanted off of Netgalley and somehow got approved for them my feedback ratio will drop, potentially stopping me from getting approved for any other ARCs until I finish these. Which as we all know ARCs have different release dates, we are more than capable of reading and reviewing ARCs with differing release dates.

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Join The Discussion!

What are some of your experiences with physical ARCs or e-galleys?

Do you prefer one over the other? Why?

Do you find it easier to obtain physical copies or e-copies?

What do you think of Netgalley’s feedback ratio?

Are there any pros or cons to either that I didn’t list?

Do you have trouble requesting or being approved for physical ARCs?

Are there any publishers you find easier to work with?

Do you know the answers to the SECRETS I mentioned above? (If so I’d appreciate it!)

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Discussion Post: Self-Promoting Blog Comments

Top Ten Tuesday(59)

I actually had this come up this week and tweeted my slight irritation about it on Twitter and I was actually surprised that a lot of you had problems with it before! Thank you so much to all of you who replied to that tweet and inspiring this post: Michelle @ Book Adventures, Swetlana @ Reading Through The Nights, & Joce @ Write Through The Night!

So of course that gave me the idea to bring the discussion over to my blog and hear from the rest of you as well!

Of course everything I’ve written in this post is just my own opinion, I’m not trying to offend anyone by any means. Please keep that in mind while reading or commenting back! Thank you!

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What Exactly Do I Mean By “Self-Promoting Blog Comments”?

Just to clarify what this whole discussion is I’m talking about other bloggers who leave comments on our blogs that are only self-promoting their own blogs. For example those comments that are: “Hey check out my blog!” or “Hey, nice blog check out mine!” or even “I have a blog, bookstagram, booktube channel please follow them!” or literally just a link to their blogs and it goes on and on and on.

Strictly any comments that don’t discuss the content of your blog or post at all and only discuss their own blogs and material.


So What’s So Bad About It?

To be blunt it can get pretty annoying and down right rude at times. We all put a lot of effort and time into our blogs and posts and to have someone just comment on it to self promote themselves and not acknowledge YOUR content at all  is a little impolite. I mean I’m sure they wouldn’t like it if we went over and commented “Hey check out my blog!” on THEIR posts would they?

When it all comes down to it we are all here, blogging, to chat with other people with similar interests ( in this case mostly books!) and it’s hard to do that when some bloggers only care about getting views by leaving comments all over the place self-promoting themselves. I think the phrase “what goes around comes around” really applies to this because if you don’t LEAVE genuine comments then you probably aren’t going to GET genuine comments either.


When Is It OK To Leave “Self-Promoting” Comments?

There’s a very fine line between ONLY self promoting yourself like in the examples I’ve used and leaving a link to your blog or post while also leaving an appropriate comment on the other blogger’s post. I personally am 100% fine with you dropping a link to one of your posts if it’s relevant to mine or what we were discussing! I will be much, much more likely to check out your blog if you leave a more meaningful comment!

So if you wanna drop a link to your blog or post, do it! As long as you are also leaving a genuine comment on our posts as well and not JUST trying to get views and visitors to your blog.

Tip To New Bloggers: If you want to converse with other bloggers and maybe have us check out your new blog then all you have to do is like what I said above! Leave a more meaningful comment and maybe explain that you’re new and looking for other bloggers to talk to and we will be much more inclined to go over and check it out!

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What are some of your experiences with this?

How do you deal with self-promotional comments on your blog?

What are your thoughts on bloggers leaving self-promotional comments?

Join the discussion and let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Discussion Post: Unwanted Review Requests

Top Ten Tuesday (14)

This is a discussion post I’ve been wanting to do for a while and this may be viewed as bloggers requesting to review a book that isn’t what I’m looking at today, what I am looking at is authors requesting reviews from us when we don’t want them.

I could easily do another post on handling review requests when you get the book and actually read it but like I said today’s discussion is all about those unwanted review requests. If that sounds like something that might interest you, let me know in the comments too!

I’m definitely curious to see what your thoughts are on this!

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Do You Accept Review Requests From Authors/Publishers?

I personally do not most of the time and usually my Review Policy page states I am not accepting any at all. Why? Because I find that when I do receive requests they aren’t anything I’d be interested in. (which I will get to in my next point…) Am I grateful? Of course! But my reading time is precious to me and I just don’t like wasting time with books I won’t enjoy.

I find it a lot easier to just request books I want to review myself.


Do Authors/Publishers Even Read Review Policy Pages?

***First off before I get too far into this one, of course there are people out there that do but in my experience it seems that generally people do not! I’m not trying to say everyone ignores the review policy pages! ***

While it isn’t essential to have a review policy page on your book blog it probably is a good idea when it comes to receiving and or accepting review requests. It lets authors or publishers know if you are even accepting review requests at the moment and if you are what kinds of books you will accept and in what format. Just makes sense right? This way your time is not wasted and neither is theirs! However, this only works when PEOPLE ACTUALLY READ THE REVIEW POLICY PAGE!

*Cue Rant*

This right here is the reason I quit accepting review requests: because generally people do not read what books I accept or if I’m even accepting any at the time. Then they proceed to send me requests in genres I have absolutely no interest in and send them when I specifically stated I am not accepting ANY at the time.

I’m sorry but I find it pretty annoying when I get sent requests for Adult Fiction when I mostly read and blog about YA Fiction. I wrote down exactly what genres I accept and it seems I get sent nothing but the opposite of those. That really makes me lose hope in accepting review requests.

What is even worse than that is when I get emailed the full book in a PDF format along with the request!

“Hey I was wondering if you’d read my book! Here it is, read it!”

Um, excuse me? I’m sorry but that, to me, is downright rude. I get that you want to promote your book but sending a review copy when it was not approved is not okay. It’s one thing to send me a review request when I’m not accepting any and it’s a completely different thing to just send me a copy and expect me to read it.


How Do You Handle Unwanted Review Requests? 

Honestly? I just ignore them. At first I’d email back and politely tell the requester:

“I’m sorry but as you can see on my review policy page I am not currently accepting any review requests at this time.”

That went fine as most people apologize and were polite back but THEN I started getting some people that would tell me they “didn’t see that on my page”. Um yeah sorry but….it’s at the top in bold and red type so if you didn’t read that you didn’t read my policy at all. So if you didn’t read what I accept then why bother sending me a request?

So my conclusion was that most people requesting reviews from me didn’t bother to read my review policy page and just plain ‘ol didn’t care. So if you don’t care why should I care to email you back at all? Which lead me to just ignoring unwanted requests.

Of course as I said not everyone was like this but my experiences so far have just lead me to not accept requests at all, I get tired of telling people no. Maybe one day I’ll go back but not for a while.

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Overall I hope this didn’t sound too incredibly negative! I wasn’t trying to go into full on bitch mode but this is something I get pretty frustrated with as a book blogger and hopefully some of you can relate!

Do you ever accept review requests? 

What are some of your experiences with unwanted review requests?

How do you deal with unwanted review requests? 

Do you ever get sent unapproved review copies? 

Do you get requests for books that aren’t on your review policy? 

Do you ever get frustrated with unwanted review requests? 

Come join in on the discussion! 

The Sassy

 

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