Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ask Book Chic (8) + Contest

So I have no more questions after this edition so I need more questions and therefore I'm running a contest since that seems to work the best in generating responses. I will be giving away a prize pack containing these books to one lucky winner: White Cat by Holly Black, Forget You by Jennifer Echols, and Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan and maybe also a shot at something else on my shelves! The contest will be open until Monday, August 16 at 11:59pm EST. The questions can be about anything- I'm a total open book and also, I've been blogging for over three years, so I can impart some wisdom about blogging too. So please ask me anything!

Shalena asks "What book(s) started you liking YA?"

It would have to be Meg Cabot's books. Here's how the story goes: I saw the Princess Diaries movie and loved it, saw it was based on a book, and started reading that series, then moved on to other Meg books. I did skip the first PD book because I thought it was exactly like the movie so I didn't need to read it. Also, for some reason, I thought it was mostly prose and not diary entries, so I avoided it for a while. From there, the summer before my first year of college (2004), I joined Meg's forums/book club and started branching out and reading more YA based on her suggestions. Then eventually, I started picking YA books on my own. So I have Meg to thank for opening up the world of YA to me; otherwise, I'd probably still be reading only Terry Pratchett and VC Andrews, lol.

Just_Me37 asks "When you like a certain book from an author do you read all of their novels regardless of their plots? Or do you have to like the plot of a novel to read it, even it's from a favorite author?"

YES. Before I started reading more YA in 2004 (see story above), I seriously only read certain authors. If I read one book by one and loved it, I'd check out all the others. Luckily, all the ones I fell in love had TONS of books- Terry Pratchett, VC Andrews, and Meg Cabot. Both Terry and VC had been writing since the 80s, and Meg is very prolific.

I still do the same thing now; if I love your book, I'll keep reading you as new books come out. I just have tons of variety in between now that I've got the blog.

But the reason I keep reading these certain authors no matter what is because of their style, which usually is the same from book to book. If I like an author's style or way of writing, it shouldn't matter what the plot is. Because even if it's something I may not read much of, I'll still want to read it because I want to see how that author will handle that type of story with their style. Does that make sense?

Alexa asks "Why don't you have a rating system?"

The simple answer is that I'm too lazy to try and decide how to rate a book when reviewing it. Very rarely will I give a book a grade, though it has happened, mainly to kinda show how I felt about it if the review (to me, at least) seems confusing. But I got into this to tell people my thoughts about books. I feel like a rating system just doesn't get the full point across, at least if you just do a simple star or grade rating. I do really like how The Story Siren does hers as well as other blogs who divide up a book's parts and rate each aspect (plot, characters, writing style, etc.). But that's just too much work for me on top of actually writing a full review.

What I've been trying to do more of is, at the end of each review, I say "Overall..." and write my overall thoughts on the book so that if someone were in a rush they get the gist of my review in that sentence or two. But I hope that people are out there reading my full reviews and getting my opinion that way. A star rating can kind of take away from the written review.

Does that make sense? Anyone for star ratings on blogs? I think this could be a nice little discussion topic.


  1. Thanks for answering my question and I totally get what you were saying.

    New Q: Your house is on fire and you can only save three novels you own, which ones are they?

  2. What did you do to get people to actually read your blog? I feel like no one even reads mine. Like I'm doing these reviews for no one sometimes. It's frustrating!


  3. I agree about the rating system. I get confused on goodreads when I see three star rating and then a glowing review. I want to know why not five star? Also I love different things about different books so it's hard to rate them with one system.

    Oh and I do read and enjoy your whole review :)

    Questions - 1) Why blogger? 2) Do you looks at your stats and, um, how do you do this (I know I'm such a technical genius!) 3) i=If you do check your stats does that influence what you post? 4) If you were having a dinner party which five authors would you invite?

  4. Nice questions and answers, I really like Meg Cabots recent series Airhead! I think its her best yet, I also loved Jinx

    New question: Have you ever faced any negative response for reading YA books? ( I only ask as I read them despite being 31!!)

  5. Great answers to the question! They are very thoughtful! =)

    My Question: I am new to the blogging world and I am 16. I enjoy reading YA romance and also adult romance. Do you think it's okay for a 16 year old to review adult romance?

  6. What character, from any book, would you be most willing to date?

    Meg Cabot is the author that really got me into reading as well, but it wasn't The Princess Diaries it was All-American Girl (which I've read about twenty times!)

  7. I am not entering the contest, but I wanted to tell you I totally agree about the rating system. I hate having to put that in on goodreads and library thing because I feel like the stars just don't sum up my feelings on the book I just read very well.

  8. I don't like star ratings unless the rating system is very well explained. I have seen reviews that give star ratings for several different aspects of every book, and those are more helpful, but a written review is usually better anyway.

    How do you choose which books you read?

  9. Do you see yourself blogging in five years from now?

  10. What are the five books you would recommend to a new reader?

    What is your favorite part of blogging?

    What author do you really want to meet and interview?

  11. How have your reading habits changed since you started blogging? and also what other blogs do you read/comment on?

  12. Ratings are actually something which I feel really conflicted about. I recently did a long post about them on my blog and how they definitely had their ups and downs and how I feel very torn.

    I have GoodReads and sometimes a book really jumps out as me as getting a certain number of stars, buts sometimes I have a hard time deciding. I think some people really enjoy ratings because they make it easy to skim through one's Google Reader and can provide an overall idea of how a book is being perceived in the blogosphere.