The Pros and Cons of Reviewing ARCs

books and rants dalindcy

After a bunch of people loved my post about the pros and cons of being a mood reader, I decided to have this format make a comeback, and this time we’re talking ARCs!

For those of you who stumbled on this post and have no idea what an ARC is: this acronym stands for Advanced Reader Copy, and it’s a version of a book that is often released to a very small amount of people before the actual release date. These people, often book bloggers or BookTubers, will then review the book beforehand and (hopefully) create some hype! ARCs are also sometimes given out to get feedback from readers about the actual content of the book. Think pace, characters, writing style..

ARCs usually still have some typos and other mistakes in them (it’s almost never the final copy!) and most of the times the final cover isn’t there either. I’ve been ARC reviewing for a long time. If you want to send me an ARC, please check out my review policy.

Pros of reviewing ARCs

  • You get to read the book before anyone else! Or.. almost anyone else. If you’re excited about a book, those few weeks or months make all the difference. If it’s a very anticipated release and you’re first with a review on your platform of choice, you’ll probably reach a bigger audience too.
  • Your reading makes a difference. I don’t know if this is a pro for anyone else.. but I love this about ARC reading. It just feels like my feedback and review is valued.
  • You get books in your mailbox. Christmas in July! Or.. August actually. It’s so much fun to get books in your mailbox. Sometimes I get sent books unsolicited, and although I prefer it if people let me know that they’re going to send me a book, it’s still nice to open up a little present!

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Tag: The Sunshine Blogger Award (What I’ve Learnt From Blogging, My Favorite Things About Myself and Practising Self Love!)

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August is here! I am excited, because september can’t start soon enough for me. I’m so excited about law school, as well as autumn to be here.

I was tagged by the lovely Jamie Lee Jenkins to do this Sunshine Blogger Award. Definitely go check out her blog if you’re into fitness and lifestyle related posts. Her recent post Things I’ve Learnt As An Intern is very interesting and valuable.

I don’t do tags very often, if you check out this blog semi regularly you know that. But this one was so nice and positive that I really wanted to do it!

Rules:
Thank the blogger who nominated you and link their blog so others can find them.
Answer the 11 questions which the blogger who nominated you asked.
Nominate 11 bloggers and ask them 11 different questions.
List the rules and display the Sunshine blogger award logo in your post and/or on your blog site.

Jamie’s 11 Questions: 

Who is your biggest inspiration in the blogging world?

My biggest inspiration is definitely Cait from Paperfury. Not only does she always write quality blog posts and is it a joy to come back to her blog, she also managed to get a book deal at a super young age! I have yet to read her novel, but I’m super excited about it.

When you’re feeling down what is one thing that is guaranteed to make you smile? 

It’s hard to pick one thing! Especially because as of lately, my life is going pretty well and I haven’t been feeling down a lot. For this one, I’m gonna go with the Brooklyn 99 TV show. That show always makes me laugh no matter what!

Summer or winter? Why?

Right now, I will say winter. But when winter happens, I will probably say summer! It has been incredibly hot in my part of the world in the past few weeks, and the drought has killed many plants and trees. I like sun as much as the next person, but this is a little too much. I fare the best in autumn!

What are three things you have learnt from blogging?

I have been blogging for a really long time (close to 10 years at this point). I have learnt to be disciplined because of blogging – posting regularly and fitting it in your schedule isn’t easy. I have also learnt to be proud my own space here on the internet. When I was younger I would dismiss my blog as a ”stupid hobby” or be afraid to tell people about it. Now I know that I’m a capable writer, and I’m proud of my blog and what I’ve accomplished. Last but not least, blogging has taught me that meeting people from the internet isn’t weird. I have met some of my greatest friends through blogging!

What are your three favorite things about yourself?

This is a tough one! I like my persistence. If I have a goal, I’m not one to give up on it. I’m also a very considerate person. When someone tells me their story, it’s like I can feel their emotions and in my work as a caregiver, I always try to be considerate of my clients. I also have a natural hunger for knowledge, and I’m curious about everything. I consider this one of my greatest assets.  Continue reading

This is Why Goodreads Doesn’t Allow Half Stars

why goodreads doesn't allow half starsI think we all agree that Goodreads isn’t perfect. The app is clunky, heck, the website is clunky. Even though as stats nerds, we all use and love it. But there seems to be one specific feature missing the entire book community agrees on: Goodreads doesn’t allow half stars.

And to an extend, I agree. How often does it happen to you that you read a book, and it’s more than a three star rating, but definitely not a four star rating? It happens to me a lot. And these are the moments that I despise Goodreads’ star rating. Because damn, why wouldn’t you allow half stars?

Here’s why
This will be a fairly practical answer. And although Goodreads has never put out a specific statement on this matter, goodreads founder Otis Chandler is among the people who are not fans of half stars.

From a marketing standpoint, half stars are usually not a good idea. The more choices you have, the more you will feel confused about what it is you have to choose – it causes a specific type of stress. Humans will mostly describe thing as something that they disliked, liked, loved or hated. Now categorizing those emotions so clinically into numbers isn’t such an easy feat. For a site to be popular and widely used, it needs to make the user access as convenient as possible. It needs to please the general masses. And there are people who don’t care about cumbersome rating and review systems. Continue reading

Five Factors That Make Me Want To DNF A Book

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I’ve talked about getting comfortable with DNF’ing books on this blog before. In that post, I wrote about why it’s hard to DNF books and how to deal with the guilt that comes along with it.

In this post, I want to dig a little deeper. What are my personal dealbreakers when it comes to reading books? When do you I decide it’s time to stop? And most importantly, let me know about your dealbreakers in the comments below!

Bad writing
One of my major dealbreakers when it comes to quitting books is bad writing. Of course, what this actually entails is subjective. I can get real technical about it: inconsistency in terms of verbs, passive voice, paragraphs or dialogue that doesn’t flow and/or that’s unrealistic. I appreciate style, but when I read a book and I constantly get annoyed by the way it’s written, I just quit.

Having trouble understanding a character’s motive
I always preach that I do not need to ‘relate’ to a character – I actually think it’s amazing to read about characters who are vastly different from myself – but I do need to understand a characters motive. WHY do they feel the way they feel, and how did that happen? If the author fails to make that clear, I just stop caring about the story.

Slow moving plots
I admit, I get bored easily. There are a lot of character-focused novels that I enjoy, but I do notice a trend: books with very slow moving plots are not my favorite. When I’m halfway through a book and I still don’t know anything about what’s going on, nor do I feel like the characters have really gotten anywhere, there is a big chance that I will just quit. At that point, it is no longer ‘suspense’ and I just stop caring. This is why I DNF’d The Raven Boys.  Continue reading

Mid Year Reading Goals Update: How Am I Doing?

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Does anyone else LOVE reading about other people’s reading goals? It’s just so fascinating to me.

At the beginning of the year, I wrote a post about my (somewhat unconventional) reading goals for 2018. Since we’re halfway through the year, I thought I’d update you on every single goal to see how I’m doing. I thought I was doing pretty well, but I’m not so sure now..

Goal 1: Stop worrying about how much I’ve read, or haven’t read
In 2018, I wanted to get rid of the feeling of competitive reading. As I said in my original post, I sometimes feel pressured to read ”x amount of books” and it can stress me out. I’m really trying to let this go, but it’s hard. I set my GoodReads goal for 52 books at the beginning of the year, with the idea that this was a ”loose” goal. But now if I look at it and I see I’m ‘only’ two or three books ahead of schedule, I want to read more because I don’t want to fall behind! This is stupid, because I should be proud I already read 29 books this year. In short, this is something I’m still working on.

Goal 2: Read more classic novels
This goal is going pretty well! So far, this year I read the following books that could be considered classics:
– 1984 by George Orwell
– Animal Farm by George Orwell
– The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
– Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I’m quite happy with this list, and for the second half of 2018 I want to try to expand this to at least 10 books. I’ve found it very valuable to (re)read these classics now that I’m a bit older, as I feel like I can grasp the symbolism and meaning of the story much better. Continue reading

Collecting Books and Being Conscious of The Environment: is it Even Possible?

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I will be the first to say I’m not a fan of ecosmugness, but I am a fan of being ecoconscious and ecofriendly. But is it even possible to be ecofriendly as a (mostly physical) book lover? Shouldn’t we all just buy an ereader?

According to The Guardian, Using an Amazon Kindle to full storage capacity means you will offset the emissions caused by its manufacture in a year. Keep it longer and you save 168kg of CO2 per year (the amount produced by 22.5 real books, and we know us book lovers read much more than that). It’s said that those who swapped to an ereader between 2009 and 2012 cumulatively prevented release of 9.9bn kg CO2 emissions in total.

According to the same article, it’s estimated that the US book industry consumed approximately 30 million trees in a single year. This had a carbon footprint of approximately 12.4m metric tons of carbon dioxide. Shocking numbers? I thought so too.

Sooo.. I should probably buy an ereader now?
Hold on, not so quick. A study done by the New York Times found that one ereader requires the extraction of 33lb of minerals. This includes Coltan, a metallic ore that is in part derived from Congo, where the production has helped fuel the war. Add about 300 litres of water (79 gallons) and 100 kilowatts of Fossil Fuels to that, and you got an ereader. Books only need a fraction of those resources, and no Coltan at all.  Continue reading

The 5 Most Forgettable Books I Have Ever Read

We’ve all read them – books that we once read and liked (or disliked..) and now don’t remember ANYTHING about. I have books that I read over a decade ago that I still remember a lot about now, and some books I’ve read a month ago and I can’t even remember the main character’s name.

If a book doesn’t stay with me, that is usually an indication of how much I enjoyed it, and how original the story was in my opinion.

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The Manifesto on How to be Interesting
by Holly Bourne
Yeah… so what is this book even about? I remember a few girls that were in a group or something, and there was a blog.. or is that Holly Bourne’s other book? The problem I have with her books is that the characters don’t feel very distinctive. They’re all kind of the same in my head.

 

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Cress by Marissa Meyer
So, I love the Lunar Chronicles, but this one I barely remember! I remember that Cress lived on a spaceship.. I think? And she had long hair, which is obvious considering she is supposed to be Rapunzel. But I don’t remember anything about her character or the relationships she had. I am actually planning to reread the series as a whole, but I haven’t been in the mood for reading in general. (Great, I love reading slumps). Continue reading

7 Things I Want to See More of in Young Adult Fiction

YA fiction favorite tropes

A while back I wrote a blogpost titled Why I Dislike Most Young Adult Books and it sparked a lot of interesting discussion in the comment section and on Twitter.

Young Adult fiction is very well loved in the book community and although I don’t hate all YA books – some of my all-time faves are YA books – I’ve become very picky with them. There are a few things I really love in YA fiction that almost instantly make me enjoy a book that much more. If you know of any YA books that utilize these tropes in a good way, don’t hesitate to recommend them to me in the comments!

Great family dynamics

The family dynamic in The Hate U Give was my favorite part of the book. I love a good family-oriented book in which the main character receives support from their family. Still too often do I find books that kill off a family member just to make the plot work, or the main character does not have a great relationship with their family, usually as an excuse as to why no one tells them they need to go to school instead of leading a revolution.

Books without romance

To piggyback off of my wish for more great family dynamics, I would like to see more books without romance. Instead, let me see platonic friendships! Let me see how a character goes through change all by themselves, without the romance taking credit for some (if not all) of it!  Continue reading

My Favorite Books About Books

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In my opinion, nothing can quite capture my love for books like a story that has books as one of its central themes. Even as a child, I loved books, but there was no one in my immediate surroundings who shared that love.

Luckily that has changed! But because of that, I started seeking out books that explored this love for books within the stories, and some of them ended up being my favorites!

Schermafbeelding 2018-05-10 om 17.08.30The Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. If you know one thing about me, it’s that The Shadow of the Wind is one of my all-time favorite books. It’s gorgeous, flowery writing, Barcelona setting and coming-of-age story will never be boring to me. This book, and the entire series, revolves around something called the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. This library is tended by Barcelona’s guild of rare-book dealers as a repository for books forgotten by the world, waiting for someone who will care about them again. Our main character Daniel gets a book from this cemetery, and completely falls in love with it – something we can all relate to.

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Inkheart
by Cornelia Funke. Oh boy, do I remember loving this series as a kid. Inkheart is the story of twelve-year-old Meggie. Her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can “read” fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service. Inkheart is a middle-grade (or Young Adult on the ‘young’ side of the spectrum) novel, but don’t let that stop you. The story is complex and the characters are well fleshed out!  Continue reading