Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, that is hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion, where each week we have a discussion prompt to write about (very helpful for when you’re in a slump hahah!). This is my first time joining and this weeks prompt is “Is 3 Stars a ‘Good’ Rating?”.
For some background info here is my rating system:
5 stars – This book is going to be my next obsession for the next few YEARS. Everything was phenomenal, and there was barely anything I had a problem with. I couldn’t put this book down!
4 stars – This book was great! I really enjoyed it, and it was thrill reading it. There might have been a few things I didn’t like, but it was very minimal.
3 stars – It was good (which I will get into later on)
2 stars – This book was really disappointing , would not recommend. I probably had a million WTF moments while reading it.
1 star – It’s going in the donation pile. Not worth anyone’s time or money.
To be honest at times I consider the 3 star rating as sort of the “middle child” of the ratings. It’s not as extravagant as 4 or 5 stars, and not nearly as scandalous as 1 or 2 stars. It’s just there. I see a lot of people list 3 stars as “meh” in their rating system, and I sort of disagree.
To me, three starts represent a good book. It means I enjoyed the book, and I would recommend the books if they are looking for something too read. However, it’s not exactly a memorable book. And this is probably a me thing, but I forget books just as much as I read books. And I read a lot. So if I give a book three stars, chances are I’ll probably forget about what happened within a year or so.
Also there are so many factors that decide my rating in a book. The three main factors are: plot, characters, and writing style. But out of those three I’d say the most important is characters. Having a three star rating means that none of these three factors really impressed me. The writing was basic, the characters were not that vibrant, but enjoyable, and the plot was ok. But it was satisfactory.
Three stars is also just so dependable to me. Whenever I’m not sure too give a rating to a novel I usually give it just three stars. Sometimes books are not deserving of a four stars, but they’re definitely nowhere as bad as a two star. That’s why three stars are just so handy.
I noticed that I give a lot of over-hyped books three stars and for that I blame my high expectations. When hyped books aren’t as great as people say, but still good it’s deserving of a three stars.
Basically to wrap things up, if I were an author and I saw a rating on my book that said three stars, I would be good. It’s not the best, but at least the rating didn’t get any lower than that.
This post was so easy to write, and I hoped it made sense! What does a three star rating mean to you? Is it good or bad? If you were an author, and someone rated your book three stars would you be disappointed? What are some titles that got three stars for you?Let me know, and if you participated in this meme please link your post so I can check it out!
Let’s face it guys, as a book blogger the posts that don’t do as great are your book reviews.
It’s honestly nothing to be ashamed of and no reason to deny it either because it’s a super common thing, and everyone faces it!
But I admit, it is pretty depressing too look over at how well your other posts are doing, and then you see how low the stats are on your book review. A book review that you poured out your heart and soul on, something you couldn’t wait to show to everyone.
So today I will be talking about:
Why do our reviews flop compared to our discussion posts?
What makes ME comment on someone else’s review + how often do I do it
New formats + ways to spice up your own review
Reviews vs discussion posts
To be honest, I prefer discussion posts way better than book reviews and based on my own personal experience the general public feels the same. I get a lot more views on posts about things like disliked tropes, and sPiCy topics then I do on reviews. The reason why I think this is because discussion posts actively engage and entice the reader’s attention. It compels them too comment their own thoughts + opinions. And I love comments!
However, for a book review it’s just like… you liked that?? Cool MOVING ON! What else is a blog reader supposed to comment about. Especially if they didn’t even read the book. Which leads me too my next point
Lack of difference in reading taste
Look in your WordPress reader feed, and you will notice that you follow people who you have common interests in. It goes the same for your followers, they follow you because they have interests in your posts and most likely enjoy the things you do.
People may have already read that certain book and therefore, not really interested in your thoughts and opinions on a book they already formulated their OWN thoughts and opinions on. So why should they waste their time on something old. Especially when it comes to hyped up books, there is a good chance that I would already know what someones rating would be: 4 or 5 stars! So I’m not going to be reading that review.
Some reviews can get so boring after a while. There is only “Omg I loved this book so much… I loved the characters…I loved…I LOVED” you can take (BTW I am very guilty of that) That’s why it’s really important to actually write reviews that are not repetitive and go more into depth then just “I like… I love” It can be difficult to do because what else are you supposed to write in a review? So here are some alternatives
Stop saying I LOVE! Talk about what made that particular thing interesting but stop yourself from saying “I this, I that” and just leaving it there. For me, writing a “I” before a verb, or emotion makes the sentence much weaker which is something I’m trying to combat.
When talking about things you dislike, don’t talK, JUST RANT! I love reading rants because a) they tend to be super funny and b) IT DOES NOT SOUND LIKE SOME BORING EMOTIONLESS ROBOT! And this is totally a personal preference, if you don’t think this fits with your style, then don’t do it.
Less review, more retell
Once again, I am also very guilty about this but I love to retell everything going on the book. WHICH IS NOT IMPORTANT!! The blurb is there for a reason, I just want to hear more thoughts, then some boring retell. Not too mention, this makes the review more longer then it should be.
Interacting with book reviews
I also am guilty of not really commenting on book review posts, but when I do it’s usually because of these two main points:
Great blogging voice – I will get onto this really soon, but it’s nice too see a book review where the person is actually talking too you. Showcasing some personality is always a great plus!
The book in general – If it’s a book that I really like it and the blogger shares the same thoughts, I think I would interact. And on the flip-side if it’s a book I and the blogger don’t like, I will share my thoughts as well.
These are some characteristics and features I like in a good review
Blogging Voice – I don’t like to read reviews that sound pretty emotionless, but rather fun reviews that include a good dose of CAPS LOCKS, but still have room for some depth of the review.
Format – Reading bits and paragraphs of a review with (funny) gifs in between is way better than reading 59088 words in one sitting. Break!! Up!! Your!! Reviews!!! Add some gifs, a divider, etc… Or even add a mood board or pretty aesthetic. I also like writing in a bullet form because it makes it easier for some people too read through, and also I recently started too include a little “In Short” section. This is basically where I do a short summary of my review, because I go very in-depth about what I liked/dislikes (you can see this here).
Rating System – I use the regular old star system, but I know other bloggers who use things like flowers, bunnies, books, etc.. But it’s important that it’s consistent and well-explained. What might be a 3 star book to you, might be a 4 star too someone else.
Human connection – Sometimes in my reviews I like too talk about how I personally could relate too the book. If there is a sibling relationship in the novel, I would talk about how it was similar/different with my own siblings. If there is a problem that I related too then I mention it in my review. Basically I look for ways I can connect myself to the novel which tells my readers a little bit about me, and make the review a little more flavor.
Graphics – This goes a little along with format, but graphics are a great way too make reviews pleasing too look at! This in turn, will draw in more readers. No one can resists some good eye candy! Now in terms of what graphics too make… that it totally up too you. You can create headers, quote’s, character aesthetics etc.. I use Photoshop for mine but there are great alternatives like Canva, Pixlr, and BeFunky.
Don’t be too disheartened
If you are really bummed out by the lack of interaction on your posts just know that as your blog grows, so will the amount of comments on EVERY post. Book reviews are so important too both authors and readers, so please continue writing more regardless of interaction or not.
This concludes the end of today’s post. I hope this helped out people who need this! As always, make sure too leave your thoughts! What do you think of this post? Was this helpful? What do you think makes a good book review? Do you have a book review you’re particularly proud of?
Opinions are something that each, and every person is entitled to have. It’s something that defines our personality, and it shows your knowledge about a certain topic.
Opinions also run this blog, and a whole bunch of other review blog as well. Book reviews are compromised of the readers opinion, and what they took from the book, and many people rely on it. That’s sort of why we bloggers write them, so you can see our opinion, and it’s up too you to trust it or not.
Being in the bookish community I have garnered a lot of unpopular opinions. About almost everything, and now I’m going to share them with you 😛 .
So just sit back, and relax because I’m about to spill some real tea.
Also I hope everyone understands that this is MY own opinion, and I’m not trying to shove it down anyone’s throat, this is just for gossiping purposes only
1) I’m always a bit hesitant to read a book written by a DEBUT author
Listen, listen hear me out. When you already read a book by an established author, you already have sort of a feel for what this persons style/writing is. And that way you don’t really waste your time wondering if you are about to waste your time on a book or not.
After reading Sarah Dessen’s Along For The Ride I was so in love with it, I literally binge-read EVERY SINGLE ONE of her (YA) books last summer. And I have her latest book on hold (#brokebishlife). It’s because I trust, and fell in love with her sense of writing, and story ideas. Can I really trust a new author to the same?
Honestly I’ll admit, this is a really stupid mindset of mine (what else is new lol) because once upon a time, all authors were debut authors. And I have read some amazing books written by newbie authors (The Hate U Give, Allegedly etc..) That being said, it’s not like I always skip books written by a debut author, I always give books a chance if I find them interesting or my other friends do. Whether it’s written by a person who wrote 500 books or a person who just started, things like debut authors are not a big factor in choosing my books. Otherwise, I barely would have read any good books.
2) I have lost *some* respect for J.K Rowling
J.K Rowling obviously wrote the HP series, and you know I love her for that. I had so much respect for her, but these tweets are not cutting it.
It seems to me that she labeled Dumbledore as gay only as an afterthought, and sort of in a way to pRoMoTe dIvErSitY!!111!1 in the HP series. Which is kind of messed up?? Like we understand miss, the Harry Potter series were written in the 20th century, a time period where homosexuality wasn’t really accepted. I also remember sometime back in 2015 she posted Harry Potter’s views on the Israel situation with Palestine, and I was so confused. I’m pretty sure he is a fictional character Ms. Rowling…
3) Most Some classics can be overrated
This might be the Gen-z in me talking, but classics can be pretty boring or confusing. Maybe part of my resentment towards classics come from the shitty American public school system because all we were forced too do was read + annotate and write some essay.
In the literary world I feel like these books are so overhyped for… nothing. Like I barely got through The Great Gatsby because of how boring, and dull Nick was as a narrator. And also, Daisy was literally so annoying?? I really disliked her character!
As a literal book blogger I know I’m supposed to appreciate books, and literature. But classics? Nope, no way. I’m probably just going to fall asleep.
4) Paperbacks >>>> Hardbacks
I too, was on the Hardback Hype train back in like 2016, but THEN I REALIZED HOW MUCH CHEAPER PAPERBACKS WERE???
So before I used too always borrow books from my local library, but now I kinda buy books on my own from Barnes & Nobles and WOW! One time me and my friend went to Barnes and Nobles to buy a required book for my AP class and there were too copies left. One a hardback and the other a paperback. I went for the hardback but then the price was 27 DOLLARS!! And I snatched the paperback copy, and it was literally 18 bucks. That’s almost 10 dollars less.
Also, paperbacks are way softer, and I know they do the bendy things with the front cover, but YOU JUST NEED TO LEARN HOW TO TAKE CARE OF THEM OKAY!
5) Audiobooks are not it
I personally can’t read/finish an audiobook. My favorite thing about books is the fact that you can feel, and really see the words, and I’m much more comfortable with that. And even with ebooks which are not my preferred reading format, at least I can SEE the words. With audiobooks though… I feel like you’re not really “reading” but rather listening. Like you would with a podcast rather then an actual book.
Aslo for the life of me, I just can never really comfortable-y listen to audiobooks. I always find myself zoning out, or just not really into it. I know there are so many positives for audiobooks, they’re pretty affordable, easy to carry around etc… But you will never catch me with an audiobook.
But it’s great if you love reading audiobooks! I’m not saying that it doesn’t count as a way of reading because then that would be super ableist. There are disabled/blind people who rely on audio books too read, and that’s fine!
6) Multiple P.OV novels can be such a headache
After reading Allegiant which was written in Four’s AND Tris’s P.O.V I decided that I would never read multiple p.o.v books again.
Just kidding, I just love exaggerating.
But honestly, that book was pretty bad and so was most of the series tbh. I have read other books written in different P.OV’S and it can be pretty annoying. Mainly because the author doesn’t really know how to differentiate between the characters voices. So if it wasn’t for the name to be plastered in the beginning of each new chapter, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell
BUT recently I have read some super good ones like
Flight Season by Marie Marquardt – I just finished this book, and I AM SOBBING. This book was so beautiful, and such an important message of the unexpected.
Six of Crows by Leigh Barcudo – I think virtually everyone has read this, but if you haven’t GO BUY IT RIGHT NOW!
7) First P.O.V >>>> Third P.O.V
Speaking about point of views, I always prefer books that are written in first P.O.V (using “I”) rather then third P.OV with a narrator. I honestly don’t even know if it’s a unpopular opinion because I don’t really see people talking about it though. But the point is that when I’m reading books in first P.O.V it feels like… well… a first-hand experience. Also I feel like I can get to know the character more because I get to fully see what he/she is feeling.
I can’t believe this post reached 1.2k words, woaaah. This is how you know I talk too much about myself. Anyway, as always make sure you tell me your unpopular opinions! Do you agree or disagree with some of mine? Also, could you maybe pretty please list down hyped ya books you need me to read?? This is for a future post, and I need suggestions ASAP!
It’s pretty much a given on how important characters are to a story.
Characters are wonderful, they shape literally the WHOLE story.
It’s also a given that some authors manage too mess up characters who have the POTENTIAL to be GREAT characters. In this post I’m discussing character tropes that are undeniably my least favorite. These are btw my opinions, and not facts. so don’t attack me if you don’t agree please.
Also, if the timing of this post in weird don’t mind it. I’m experimenting with different times too see when my followers are most active. Wow I am such a #businessmogul
“Bad-ass” female protagonists who are emotionally unavailable and asshole-ish.
These characters are really underdeveloped, and basically have no personality aside from being good at kicking peoples ass. And they get super over-hyped too which just leads me to get excited over nothing. There is nothing wrong with girls who can fight, but the thing is I don’t really see how they are strong in other aspects of life. How do they deal with things like stress, trauma, relationships etc… I feel like the way people respond to those things are really what makes us different human beings. Adding in their vulnerable side, or their irrational side could help me connect with the character better, and create entertaining characters overall.
Also, this sort of creates the “I’m not like other girls” trope which is super not healthy too young girls growing up in this day and age. Characters like this shows that only being able to fight, not liking makeup or boys, and overall being what society perceives as “masculine” is what a cool, quirky girl can be. Which is not the case at all. You can like sports, and fashion at the same time. I personally relate to this because growing up I was a tomboy, and refused to go near anything close to pink, and hated fashion. I forced myself too like and play basketball (never again will I go near those orange colored demons) and all these other things because I thought this made me… “one of the boys” or “not like other girls”.
Emotionally abusive bad boys
Not only are these boys so annoying, they also show that abuse is okay and the girl should put up with it (it also can go both ways btw!). Which of course, not acceptable. Somehow by the end of the story though, he becomes a stable and emotional, heroic guy and all thanks too the girl who taught him how to be vulnerable or whatever.
Yeah I don’t think so.
SAY IT WITH ME YA’LL : NO TWO PEOPLE IN A RELATIONSHIP SHOULD DEAL WITH EACH OTHERS TOXICITY, AND IT’S NOT ANYONE’S ROLE/JOB TO “FIX” A STRUGGLING PERSON. SEND THEM A THERAPIST’S NUMBER AND THAT’S IT.
These type of relationships are so prominent in the real world as well, but when you have a choice you shouldn’t add those types of romance to a book. It’s not in the least bit cute.
She doesn’t know she’s beautiful
“I tie up my long brown wavy hair into a messy bun, and put on a plain gray tee over my curvy body. I gaze at the mirror with my starling big blue eyes. I sigh. I’m so ugly”
Sometimes when I’m reading sentences like these I can’t help but think “is this some kind of Wattpad fan-fiction??”
next thing you know she goes downstairs and finds out she got sold to One Direction
Authors make characters place so much emphasis on their looks for no reason, and it’s not even a pivotal plot to the story. And the way the author writes out the character’s descriptions YOU KNOW that this person can be considered pretty in real life.
This also usually leads to a romance with another character saying the iconic lines of “you don’t even know your beauty” or “you’re not like other girls” or some other BS variation.
Being clumsy is a character trait.
Not being able to kick a ball without falling on your butt does not give you a personality, sorry but I think we’ve all been there.
This usually happens when an author just can’t seem to know how to write three dimensional flawed characters so they think being clumsy is a “cute” and “quirky” sort of way too make the character seem more realistic. And these authors will probably go to the extra mile to make these characters seem clumsy. Like leave-your-sim-alone-in-a-kitchen extra clumsy.
I don’t find clumsy characters funny, in fact I will just spend half the time worrying they will trip on a pencil and suffer a long, and painful concussion.
Teenage prodigy in one second/ the chosen one
I know firsthand as a teenager, AND AS AN ACTUAL HUMAN BEING, it will take more then one freaking day to get extremely good at something. In a lot YA fantasy books, you have a teen (14/15/16) who at first is this skinny, wimp, but then is like a freaking GOD when it comes to fighting/casting magic/etc… These are skills that probably take lifetimes too prefect, and now all of a sudden you can blast fire out of your hands in one day.
Which then you find out the character is some kind of “Chosen One” hero. I’m not super annoyed with this kind of trope, but after seeing it in a number of fantasy books it starts too get repetitive, and then boring.
This trope also kind of sets a bad example for real-live kids who have to put in time and effort to be good at anything.
like me lol
Manic Pixie Dream Girl/Guy
These type of characters are usually paired with another boring, shy, melancholy character. And the MPDG starts too teach them about life, and love, and wonder blah blah blah. This trope is a) super cliche b) totally boring c) not at all realistic. It’s also kind of problematic. It reminds me of the relationship in the emotional abusive bad boy trope, where you sort of depend on the romantic int rest to “fix” you and your problems. Not okay at all.
A good example of this is Alaska from Looking for Alaska. She has a unusual name, an infatuation with daisies, smokes, and has every girl/guy on her heel. She draws out the main character from his shell, and she is definitely Quirky with a capital q.
So that was my super long rant on character tropes I really dislike. I really think I ranted a bit too much, but I! Am! Tired! of these tropes. I know I put “THAT I REFUSE TO READ ABOUT” in capital letters in the title, but I really don’t mean it. Because let’s be honest, I would then have to stop reading all together. That’s how common some of these can be. What about you guys? Do you agree or disagree with some of them? What are some additional tropes you can’t stand? Can you add on too the list? Have a beautiful day! ❤
Hey everyone! It’s been a really long time since I last updated on this blog. The last time would be sometime around April.
Two years ago.
Honestly, book blogging never really crossed my mind until a few months ago when my mom randomly popped in and was like “hey whatever happened to that geeky site you had?” And at first I was like “Mooom iT’s nOt gEeKy” in true teenager fashion, but then I was really thinking about it. Whatever did happen to Nerd in New York? It used to be my child, I used to obsess over layouts, editing, my instagram, etc… The Amena two years ago would never let this blog die out.
I admit, time really got away from me. I only promised myself a few days of blogging hiatus, but then days turned into weeks, and before I knew it, it was a whole twenty four months since I last posted on Nerd in New York. I haven’t been exactly doing much while on my blogging break, just finishing up on school and things like that (which is now finally over!!). But now, I want to come back into the blogging community, and this post was the only way I could think of to make my “comeback” here.
I’m honestly a bit scared of posting this, and making it live, because I just feel like… I’m so irrelevant? Like that never did make a huge difference, but now it kinda does. It’s been like two freaking years, I’m pretty sure all my old blogging friends have forgotten about me, and I’m way to embarrassed to be like HEY!! REMEMBER ME!! YEAH I DIDN’T THINK SO EITHER!! But back to the point of this post, being on a break made an impact on me whether I liked it or not. I learned some things about me, and are beneficial to anyone who is busy, and overwhelmed.
I don’t know how, when, and why I suddenly wanted to get back to posting on here, but I’m just glad I didn’t give up on Nerd in New York! And my WordPress Reader is soo dry right now so if you are an active book blogger link up, and I’ll check out your blog. A lot of bloggers I used to follow are not active anymore so I’m incredibly bored on WordPress.
also what happened to the wordpress layout i’m soo confused, and everything is scaring me now.
1) My stats do not define my blog
Stats don’t matter.
Everyone says this too me. And when I mean everyone, I mean everyone. Almost to the point where the meaning got lost on me, and I didn’t care about it. I was constantly thinking of new ideas, new posts that would give me new views, followers. I just wanted a whole bunch of clout, to put in 2018 teenage language.
But when I was on my break, I didn’t even spare a glance at the huge bar graph. Honestly, I didn’t even visit WordPress, and I felt great.I wasn’t obsessively checking up on my views, because I just stopped a lot of blogging activity. And in the four months that passed, I simply stopped caring.
Eventually I began to understand that numbers don’t define a blog for what it is. Not having a huge amount of followers doesn’t mean anything bad about your blog. It doesn’t matter.
2) My blogging voice is my own
These past 2 years I was trying to be something I wasn’t.
Everyone has their own unique personality, but for some reason I couldn’t find mine. For a while, I wanted to have this funny, witty, and engaging tone for my posts. I tried. A bit too much actually because now as I look back on those old posts, I was actually very cringe-y.
Than I tried to be this very aesthetic-y sort of person. Someone who looks like they have everything planned out, and everything together. I didn’t even use proper punctuation because it made me look “cool”. Except that got on my nerves, so I stopped doing that.
I was sort of trying out all new sorts of “identities” trying to see which one appealed to me, as well as my readers, and in the end this is what came out. A somber sort of tone that doesn’t really grab your attention, but I’m comfortable writing like this, and I think that’s what the most important.
3) Don’t be sorry
The first rough draft of this post began with a whole bunch of sorry’s to the point where it got annoying. I was saying sorry for everything. Sorry, I wasn’t active enough. Sorry, I can’t put up a better introduction than this. Sorry, I didn’t reply to all these comments.
I’m tired of that word, and I’m tired of saying it. I took a step back and re-evaluated. I don’t have to be sorry for anything. When I take a break, however unplanned and long it is, I won’t be sorry. Yes, it does seem like I’m unreliable and not the type of person you can work something long-term with, but in the end, I’m still not sorry.
4) Making time for myself is not being selfish
Around March-April I was studying for my spring semester mid-terms, and then I had school and all it’s clubs, and then there was blogging. If you go back to my posts around that time (please don’t) you’ll see published pieces that were created in 30 minutes or less. Yeah, they weren’t really high quality posts either.
I didn’t make a lot of time for myself, I was rushing through everything. On this break, I learned to create boundaries with time. In the midst of all the chaos that was happening a few months ago, I felt like I always had to be doing something. But by setting time out of the day just for me is one simple and easy way to make myself a priority.
5) My own definition of perfection is not the same as everyone else’s – but that’s okay.
This is pretty hard to put into words, but I’m going to try anyways.
I was trying to create a blog that was perfectly styled with perfect content and it wasn’t working and I was unhappy. I kept on comparing and looking at other blogs thinking my blog could never be as good as theirs.
I’m trying to stop that way of thinking (it’s kind of hard though), and focus on my definition of “perfect” for this blog. And to stop basing everything on what other people care about.
So what’s going on? What are some tips you would give for someone trying to assimilate back into the blogging world after two years? asking for a friend Have you ever went on hiatus, and ever regretted it? How much was your longest break from blogging?
Okay, okay, okay sooo on April 10th, 2018 marked my second year of blogging, and I totally forgot about it?? Like, I didn’t get the notification, and I only found out because I was planning out my week, and there was a star next to April 10. BUT THERE WAS JUST A STAR, SO MY STUPID BRAIN PROBABLY IGNORED IT, UGHHHHH!!
So yeah, that’s literally my life in one paragraph.
Since, I couldn’t write a whole proper, sappy post about how important this is too me I’m just going to make up for it by writing a less, sappy post about how blogging changed me.
It’s not a lie when I say that blogging has made a huge impact on me. Not just my social life (i don’t need friends anymore), but in one of the most important things too me. The way I read.
I could launch a whole separate post of what reading means to me, but since that is not the point of this post we’re not going to that. Instead, I’m going to talk about how blogging changed my way of reading.
changing the way i review books
I have joined goodreads way back in 2012 way before I even knew what a blog was, mainly because I wanted to find out good books to read. It was a wonderful platform, and when I found out you can make your own reviews I freaked out, and proceeded to write a whole bunch of reviews.
Except they were reviews that only consisted of “I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH JKDSFLIJWEEREWIWEAJIEHNWOEO” or “wow this book was amazing lajfksjljoeroaur, read it aohdlsajdla”. And tbh, I still sort of review like that, but back then I considered this professional.
Now, however, I put a lot of effort into my reviews. I make sure they make sense, try to make them funny, and most importantly make my opinion clear. This is because when I’m reading, I keep track of things I would want to use in my review. Things I would’ve never noticed or pay attention too. It made me a very critical reader which also helped me in real life.
help me discover important issues (ex: diversity)
I’ll be really honest, and I hope this isn’t considered a problematic statement, but I never did notice the lack of diversity in books until I actually started blogging. And then I realized how important this topic is, and I started to buy more books that have diverse reps in them.
And then I noticed a blog post a few days ago talking about World War II and how it affected her family. I took an interest in it, and now I’m reading The Book Thief (again), and looking at it with a different perspective.
help me discover evn more books + genres
What’s the one thing that’s better than books? MORE BOOKS!!
I was, and still am a HUGE fantasy reader. And I didn’t really like contemporary because I felt like they were pretty pointless. But then Kasie West book The Fill In Boyfriend was suuuper hyped, and I checked it out. And I was hooked. I started to read other contemporary authors like Sarah Dessen, Jeniffer Brody, Emery Lord, and soon contemporary novels are something I read regularly.
It’s crazy too think back, and see that I, disliked YA contempt. because now I can’t stop reading it.
And I figured out some really good book recs! There are so many great bloggers out there who hit me with they’re book reccs, and it’s so amzing?? Seriously, I’m tearing up rn.
Connecting with other people!
Sometimes I feel like that I’m the only one who actually touched a book in the past month when I’m with my friends. A lot of my friends don’t read books as obsessively, or happily as I do. And reading is literally, a great part of my life, and I don’t know where I’d be without it, so I don’t have a place to fangirl. But blogging of course, changed that.
I know 50+ people online who have read the same books as me, and could fangirl with me, and that’s amazing!! Now when I’m reading, I look for books that me, and my other book blogging friends would enjoy.
Happy late two years to Nerd In New York!! I hope you guys enjoyed this post! How does blogging affect you? Has it changed your life in a way?
actually SFW, I just really like the lenny face, lol
I’m an absolute sucker for those cute, fluffy, innocent, and well written romance. Almost all the YA books I have ever read, they have some type of romance. So today I’m pretending that I have a love life (I don’t), and discussing things about the charestics of a good romance.
I think this actually given, but just to get this out of the way I’m writing this. The characters, they actually have to have chemistry. The author have to write them in such a way, that it won’t seem awkward or boring.
I know that a lot of people (namely, me) love the whole opposites attract thing, and I think it’s because of the way they’re personalities work together, and fit in a beautiful way, despite expecting them to clash. I love the dynamics of a snappy, sassy heroine, and the sort of aloof hero.
My favorites character tropes/dynamics
Enemies to lovers!! – I love these so much because it’s so fun watching/reading the characters realtionship go from hatred to dislike to tolerable to BAM! Lovers. It’s so cute.
Oppisites attract – Relationships where person A is super bright, perky, while Person B is mostly remote, and quiet are my favorite thing ever! And I know it’s so cliche, but it isn’t it so heartwarming (I’m trying to find synonyms for cute, lol).
My not so favorites
Best friends to lovers – I’m pretty sure that I’m on the minority for this one, but ehhh. I don’t know, I guess I don’t find it incredibile realistic, and would make a boring realtionship?? Like, they know everything about each other, what would make it more intresting or something?
It’s 2018, and if I see yet, another problematic relationship I will erupt, and destroy everything in my path. Some (not all) books have this relationship where one character practically forces their S/O to do whatever they want. Or basically mentally or physically abuse them, and some people call it “love” or “cute”. It honestly disgusts me, and I hate reading book like that, and end up giving them a one star *cough* *cough* When Dimple Met Rishi *cough* *cough*.
I liek seeing realtionships that cute, and healthy. Where thye both have each other backs, support each other, and get each toher despite differences. Those are the ones that make my heart warm, and make me smile, and go like
Just overall, a healthy, caring relationship in which, both parties are genuinley happy with each other!
Conflict to get things interesting.
Also known as ANGST!! I just love reading books that have heart wrenching, tear inducing angst. I honestly don’t know why I’m like this, but I can’t be the only one?? I feel like it’s here where the romance becomes interesting, and not just some senseless romance.
Some of my favorites are when:
the characters get into an aurgument because of a misunderstanding, and it’s up to one of them too reconcile the other.
The cheesy kdrama story line in which, the parents of the character A tries to tell Character B that they can’t be with each other because of social classes or something.
They are actually enemies on the oppisite side, and not meant to be in love (ahflkjafhas I absolutely LOOOVE THESE)
Character A convinces themselves that they can’t be with Character B because they are worried they will hurt them.
Love Triangles!! – Most people don’t like this either, and I totally agree with them. I find them so boring, and pointless, and sooo predictable. And also I suffer from second-lead syndrome
I like angst when it’s temporary, like there will be a happy ending. Because if it doesn’t lmfao goodbye my heart.
This doesn’t even have to be about a romantic relationship. I like reading about friends or people who changed person A’s life somehow. It makes the whole romance seem more important, and not senseless.
Lot’s of fluffy moments!!
It’s pretty self-explanatory, but just a relationship filled with backhugs, forehead kisses, hand holding, blushing, and dID I MENTION FOREHEAD KISSES?? And it doesn’t even have to be just touching. But heart-to-heart conversations late at night looking up at the stars… Just overall, sweet things.
The Art of Feeling by Laura Tims – I’m telling you this is such an underrated book, and the cover is so plain, and it’s nothing like the actual pages! I loved this book so much, I gave it five stars!! Eliot, and Samantha are just such a good couple, and not only that they make good friends too. Eliot has a condition where he can’t feel any pain, and has very self-destructive tendencies. Samantha is recovering from an accident, to which she lost her mother too. Samantha is such a caring person!
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia – This book wasn’t as highly hyped up as the authors other book (Eliza and her Monsters),but I actually liked this better than her other book. Miles has a similar personality too Eliot from The Art of Feeling, and Alex has a mental illness ( schizophrenia). Their romance is something that I will remeber for a long time because I seriously LOVED THIS.
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson – Honestly, anything by Morgan Matson is pure gold, but I really loved this book becasue of the character development. And not to mention the awesome friendships! Andi, and Clark had such a meet-cute moment.
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli – CUTE, CUTE, CUTE!! I think mostly everyone has read or at least heard of this insanely, good book. And if you haven’t stop living under a rock. This book has it all: diversity, excellent romance, and cameos from Simon vs The Homosapiens Agenda!
Simon vs. The Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli – Okay, so this whole post was low-key inspired by Love, Simon. Which btw, sounds so cute, and wonderful, and too bad I’m too broke to go to the theatres. But this book was like the gay version of The Upside of Unrequited. And it is insanely good. I devoured the whole book in one whole sitting.
P.S I LIKE YOU by Kasie West – Kasie West is my go-to author for cute, original love stories, and P.S I Like You is, in my opinion one of her best works!! The concept of this book is actually really intresting, because it aslo focuses on family, not just romance.
So that’s it for this post! I’m planning on updating two times a week, and it’s going well so far!! But anyways, what do you think makes a good romance? Do you focus more on the plot or the characters? What are some good YA romance books you have read in the past??
When I first started Nerd in New York, I really had to sit down, and think about a lot of things. Blogging sounds much easier said than done. There are a whole bunch of factors that I grew to learn about during my first month of blogging. And one of them was blogging with my real name or not.
If you can’t already tell, I obviously chose to blog under a pseudonym because of… various reasons (which I get into later on), but now as my 2 year blogiverasry is approaching I’m sort of regretting that decision. And they’re many reasons for that.
P R O ‘ S
Honestly, the whole reason why I chose too make a pseudenoym in the first place was because of I didn’t want anyone to find out about this blog anyway. It’s a little ashaming to say, but I was pretty embarrassed. There were so many reasons to judge me because of this blog because it didn’t seem like naything a regular teenager would do. So having a fake name was like a security blanket. No one would associate this blog to me.
Whole new me! – Creating a new name was like creating a new person – for me- anyway. Balie is supposed to be a confident, funny, smart, and above all, a good blogger. And after a while, it worked. I loved this online persona I made, and I guess 769 other people did too
I am a shy smol bean – Gosh, I’m so shyyyy I have about 8 friends total. I’m not lying when I say I’m a HUGE introvert. So when I made this blog revealing my name was out of the question. It would freak me out to know that people on the internet read, and commented about my opinons online
C O N ‘ S
So much pressure!! – Blogging under a pseudonym meant I have to create two versions of almost EVERYTHING. Creating a new email, new social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook Tumblr etc…) , and then making sure that I don’t accidentally mix the two up. One time my IRL friend asked me why my instagram name was Balie, and I freaked out. I realized that I followed her under my bookstagram because I’m dumb , and forgot to switch accounts.
I’m really proud of what I had accomplished so far… – Getting books BEFORE they even come out, having a large following, able to communicate with people, discuss about major things. Those are just a few golden sides too blog blogging. I’m so proud of what I have accomplished so far, and I literally want to climb on top of the mountain and scream it to everyone. Did ya see that development right there? I went from being embarrassed about my blog, to being super prideful about it
Blogging under a fake name takes away some credibility for what I have done so far, because people will automatically thing that it’s not me, but someone else. I don’t want that too happen. I want my IRL friends too see this, and think “damn my friend is a genius” (because coding is super hard okay).
Creating a whole new image – So I know I listed this as a pro as well, but it can also be a con. After a while, I was tired of Balie. It didn’t really feel… me. I didn’t feel authentic. Balie wasn’t me, which I guess was the point of creating a fake blogging name. Over time, I didn’t like this name for me, it sounded so generic, and boring. And I was favoring my real name more. And this led me too this new decision:
I have decided to actually reveal my actual identity!
I mean it’s super obvious from the actual title that I would do this but whatever.
Hi, I’m the main blogger behind Nerd In New York! My name is Amena!!
So from now on when any of you guys tag me, comment, or address me please make sure to use my real name!
I understand that it might be a bit weird, but hopefully we could get used to it.
Here are some facts about me
I’m Bengali (a country almost right next to India, but NOT IN INDIA)
I’m a Muslim teen (turning 15 soon enough)
I’m really scared of dogs (I was traumatized when a German Shepard tried to bite ,y hand off)
I have a weird shaped birthmark near my elbow which looks like a crescent moon
I have an unhealthy addiction to drama (lol)
I also listen to kpop, and watch kdrama’s (if you want me to listen/watch anything comment down below!!)
Ahem… so I get that could get really weird. I’m literally changing MY WHOLE FREAKING NAME! But like it’s okay, I guess. So what are your thoughts on using a pseudonym in the blogging community? Have you ever used one? Would you ever use one?
the bookish community is considered golden in my eyes. it’s such a strong community that binds people of all race, sexuality, and gender through just books. and the bookish community is most definitely not afraid to voice out opinions on something problematic.
but i’m sure it has crossed all our minds once or twice, what makes a problematic book so problematic? whats the difference between books that are just bad, and books that should definitely be avoided? i had my fair share of books being problematic, especially concerning diversity. and since there was so much discussion about the realistic representation in books, of course problematic books were mentioned.
signs of a PB
using a diverse character as a plot device – this is basically when a diverse character is just placed in the book too just further the plot. and not in a more impact/important way. it’s like they’re just there to provide help to a protagonist quest/journey. and they usually die early on. this is absolute BS because why make the diverse character seem so irrelevant, and unworthy. this can sort of be seen in most movies today using a black person as the one with sass, and attitude.
cultural appropriation – the act of using one cultures, and representing it in a way that does not show or respect said culture in anyway. like say, a white girl with dreads, or having a character named Jin, but does not fit the charestics of a jin (*looks at Rebel of the Sands*)
stereotypes – might be the easiest one to look for. a book that has stereotypes like “all Asians are smart”, and “all Asians have tiger-strict parents”, as well as “the gay best friend”. these irk me to no end, because they’re not true!! i think i’d prefer a non-diverse book than a book that has diverse characters, but representing them inaccurately.
“____ is Asian” –
allow me to bring up a map of Asia.
how am i supposed to know how this character looks like if there are more than 40 countries in Asia. Are they Bengali, Indian, Korean, Japanese? most people typically believe that the largest continent is made up of THREE COUNTRIES.
“____ is pretty for a ___” – what is that supposed to mean? they’re pretty regardless of their race/ethnic group. they are pretty PERIOD.
using wrong pronouns – stop. when it comes to transgender, gender-fluid, or non-binary YOU MUST RESPECT THE PRONOUNS THEY ARE COMFORTABLE WITH. don’t simpily choose it based on the genitals they were born with. this is so, so, so important because of the lack of representation concerning LGBT community. if you haven’t already noticed the recurring theme in this post, it’s to REPRESENT ACCURATELY.
degrading ethnic group/race/sexuality – big red alert here! this can be anything from the use of slurs (which should never be used), to using them as villains in a book (Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth)
_______ is suffering from [insert disability] – i honestly never likes that term because of the word suffering. it makes it seem like disability is such a bad, and “weird” thing. authors should write other alternatives such as “______ has been diagnosed with [insert disability] when she was X years old”.
adjectives such as “exotic”to describe people – an example of this is when people describe Asian woman exotic. factually, this is wrong considering, that Asia has 48 countries. there are more of Asians than white’s, so technically, white people are the exotic one. and also, why exotic?? we are not some rare fruit, or spice. we are people!!
” ______ is Desi” – it’s almost like point 4, but i just want to point out that Desi is a political term that not everyone from South Asia refers themselves to. Desi doesn’t mean South Asian, it’s not interchangeable and so people should say South Asian if that’s what they mean.
how to deal with it
Spread the word, but provide backup – first put you review up on twitter, or goodreads, and then add evidence of how this book was being problematic. you can add direct quotes from the book, and explain why that was so problematic. paste your review in almost every platform available. And do not recommend this book at all.
IF YOU ARE AN AUTHOR DO YOUR RESEARCH – there are plenty of resources available. the library, schools, other people! try not to spread messages of of sexism, racism etc…, and closely evaluate your work. this might be a taboo opinon, but i feel like if you’re (meaning the authors) not sure about your topic, and don’t feel like you have done adequate research, i don’t recommend to include it in your story. this is better than hurting, and misrepresenting other people. but as long as you have researched well enough, it’s okay!! *shields myself from rocks*
so that my frend is how you spot a PB book! what are some problematic books you have read in the past? what are some other sings you can spot in a problematic book? also what are some good dark fantasy reads, because i just finished the cruel prince, and it jUST SET ME IN A MOOD
reviewing is based on your opinion, and how you feel about the certain something. while stating your feelings sounds so easy, i came to realize that it’s not. it’s waaaay more complicated than that. especially if it’s negative, or a negative review amidst the sea of super popular ones.
why writing negative reviews can be scarier than taking a chem final
i lied nothings scarier than taking a chem final you didn’t study for
scared of backlash – when i was writing a review for when dimple met rishi, it involved important topics like sex, and diversity. i read that review 10x to make sure i wasn’t writing anything that can offend anyone. i rewrote every line that remotely looked like i was trying to say something bad. why? because i was scared. i was scared of being seen as someone who doesn’t support such an important thing, and someone who is percieved of being racist. it’s embarassing, and sad to be thought of someone like that.
being the black sheep – confession time: way, way, way, back when i first started blogging (like i used to use blogger instead of wordpress) and i read hyped up books that let me down i changed my rating on goodreads so it could seem like i “fit in” with all the other positive reviews. i didn’t write a whole review because anyone with a brain could’ve seen how fake i was. i don’t do this anymore, and i won’t do it anymore especially if a book is representing something in a very problematic storyline.
being sued – okay this sounds of a bit of a stretch, but believe me when i say, i was super scared of writing anything negative about a product, or ANYTHING after i found out you can be sued. i read a blog post about someone getting sued 350,000 for writing a bad review, and lord help me, i don’t need to be so broke that i end up in the negative values.
authors can be scary?? – please read this, as well as this to figure out what i’m talking about.
so while we have that side let’s look on the side where it’s important to posting a negative review, and we shouldn’t be scared of it
to start off, there may be people who actually agree with you. and may think you’re helpful because you just saved them a lot of time, by crossing of that book of their TBR.
some authors will take the criticism in a good way, and hopefully use it later on to improve on their later books
it’s part of book blogging. reviews are pretty much the heart, and soul of a book blog. it’s the second (after goodreads) people look up to for a review on a book. you wouldn’t want to spread false statements on your book reviews.
fourth, and most important it’s your opinion., everyone has a different outlook on books, or things in general. so why should a negative opinion be considered in valid?
tips on writing negative reviews
try to relay your opinion in a calm, and polite way
unless it’s extremely problematic you don’t want to immediately start bashing on an author. blood, sweat, and tears (bts reference!!!) have gone into these books, and the author will probably be upset, and a little pissed off to be bombarded with deragatory words.
DON’T: this book was just soo stupid, i don’t even know how the publisher allowed this to be published! my eyes were literally burning with each sentence. the author made very character sound so stupid. how was this even the final draft??? my grandmother could’ve wrote better than this, and she didn’t even go to school!!
i think i went a bit overboard
DO: to start off, the characters were more or less developed, and i found them doing something that should really need some looking-over. there were a lot of grammer mistakes, that didn’t help with the already, broken writing
look at other peoples unpopular opinions
if you are unable or unsure of how to express your opinion (or if you don’t even know your opinion), you could look at the other reviews to help you out a bit. some people might see this as copying. that’s not the case. if you are quoting someone then of course credit them.
DON’T: *looks at famous blogger* *starts to write the same exact way, WITHOUT crediting them*
DO: as another reviewer, ________ said, “lot of plot holes, and dumb characters”. and i totally agree with that…
try to be sassy!!
if you try sugar-coating, but you sound like a 40 year old professor, try to make you reviews more entertaining! i love reading, may’s, julianna, or cait’s reviews because they manage to tell if something is not wroth the time, but still make me laugh. i try (key word try) to be funny, but no. i am not.
DON’T: everything about this was so stupid. for example in page 131 paragraph, 6….
if you calm down enough, you might find something that was remotely good about the certain book. i remember when writing When Dimple Met Rishi, i was so engrossed in writing away all the bad things about the book (which were a lot surprisingly) i forgot to focus on the one good aspect. which was the diversity, because it was so spot on.
I like to think that made me seem less like a angry, rambling, crazy, bitch, and made my conscience feel a bit better.
and one final reminder: it’s okay to post a negative review. you are your own person so by that logic, you have your own DIFFERENT opinions. so what your favorite types of review? were these tips helpful? what are some other tips you can add on? are you comfortable sharing negative review online? let me know!