MY BABY BLOG TURNS THREE THIS WEEK I’m still a little bit in denial over the fact that I’ve been around for that long? I mean, it’s not a super long time in the grand scheme of things, but it’s long to me, because I’ve never been able to stick with a project for over a year, let alone two and now three with no end in sight. So, to celebrate I asked y’all for questions since it’s been a while since I’ve done a Q&A. and here are my answers:
1- What was the first book you remember loving?
It’s this fairytale collection book I still have to this day. My mom used to read to me from it before I could even read (so around age two) and I was OBSESSED with it, I didn’t want to go to sleep without having her read from it.
2- What are some of your childhood favourite books?
When I was a kid, I did not know English, so all my faves from that time are written in French. Some of which are the aforementioned fairytales but the ones I remember reading for myself are Le Club des Cinq and Fantômette.
3- Have you found any new favourites authors this year?
As in 2018? Because so far in 2019, I’ve only been rereading all time favourites haha. But last year, I discovered:
- Elizabeth Acevedo
- Talia Hibbert
- Somaiya Daud
- Alisha Rai
- Alyssa Cole
- Emily X. R. Pan
4- If you could change the ending of one book, what would it be and how would you change it?
Mmm…I honestly have no idea? There must be a book I’m unhappy with the ending of, I just can’t think of any right now.
5- If you could get every teen to read a book, what would it be?
Oh good question! Girl Made of Stars. BUT while baring in mind the heavy content it contains and the trigger warnings it needs. This book tackles rape culture in a teenage context so head on, while taking good care in showing the mental and emotional repercussions sexual assault can have, not only right after the fact but even years afterwards. And it resonated with me so deeply that I encourage every teen who *can* read it, to do so.
6- What are some books you don’t mention a lot on your blog but you love?
- Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
- The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury
- Pride by Ibi Zoboi
- The Reader by Traci Chee
- Like Water by Rebecca Podos
7- If you could have dinner with a fictional character, who would it be?
EVELYN HUGO!!! I didn’t even need to think about this one. She has so much life experience and so many life lessons to give that I would just gape at her while she talks. I would also just want to sit there and listen to her narrate her life story.
8- Did reading make you more openminded?
Oh boy! It’s not reading that made me more openminded (I’ve been a reader my whole life) as much as reading diverse books. They made me a better person and shaped me into the person I am today. I’ve changed drastically in the past three years and for that, I’ll forever be grateful.
9- Have your reading preferences changed since you started blogging?
Yes! Believe it or not, I did not read Fantasy books at all before blogging, I was told it was for boys and even though I saw my cousin reading them, they never appealed to me so I stuck with my romance and contemporary. Look at me now, it’s one of my favourite genres. I also just generally started branching out of my comfort zone a lot more because of everyone’s recommendations.
10- What are three books that made you who you are today and why?
I’ve never thought about this to be honest and I don’t think there are any three specific book that shaped me into the person I am today. It’s more that I am the sum of all the books I’ve read throughout my life, they’ve all impacted me in some way or another, either positively or negatively.
11- What are three books that represent different aspects of your identity really well?
Not gonna go into detail about each one of these but:
- Mirage by Somaiya Daud
- Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
- Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
14– What are you favourite audiobooks?
- The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
- Pride by Ibi Zoboi
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
15– What are some of your favorite books featuring mental health representation?
- The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (Anxiety)
- More Happy than Not by Adam Silvera (Depression)
- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (PTSD)
- The Reader trilogy by Traci Chee (PTSD)
- The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan (Depression)
- Wrong to Need You by Alisha Rai (Anxiety)
Long story short, I need to read book with other mental illnesses as well. I have a few on my TBR but I KEEP GETTING DISTRACTED!!!
16– What are some of your favourite books with bisexual representation?
*unrolls list that I keep in my back pocket*
- How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake
- Girl made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
- Sweet on the Greek by Talia Hibbert
- Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
- Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie Mclemore
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
17– What are some books you picked up because of people in the community? Did you end up loving said books as much as whoever got you to read it?
Besides all of them? I pick up most of my books based on recs from other bloggers or people in the community, and most of the time they did not disappoint. Here are some, off the top of my had:
- Under A Painted Sky by Stacey Lee, recommended by cw @ The Quiet Pond.
- The Reader by Traci Chee, recommended by Laura @ Green Tea and Paperbacks.
- Like Water by Rebecca Podos, recommended by Jessi.
- An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, recommended by Brittany.
- Every favourite romance book of mine, recommended by Em.
18– What are some of your favourite and least favourite tropes?
Favourite tropes: Found family, person finds they have powers and has no clue what to do with them, best friends to lovers, roommates and grumpy meets softie when it comes to romance. I’m sure I have more but I always forget about them when I get asked this question.
Least favourite tropes: Not like other girls (I DESPISE IT), insta-love (not to be confused with insta-lust, which i love), drama for the sake of drama, girl hate, romanticizing mental illnesses, abuse, etc… and the list could go on.
1- If you could represent you/your blog using a couple of books, which books would they be and why?
I already chose three books for me up there, but as for my blog…I HAVE NO IDEA! What do y’all think? What books represent my blog?
2- How did you get into reviewing?
None of my friends IRL are as hardcore of readers as I am, and the one friend who’s also a reader, doesn’t read the same books I do so I never had anyone to scream to, to share my opinions with. Then I joined goodreads where I started sharing just a few sentences about every book I read, after which I started following blogs and the idea of starting one of my own sounded very appealing to me. I sat on it for few months and then VOILA!
3- Tips on writing better reviews?
I think this depends on the person but what works for me is:
- STRUCTURE: This is the most important one to me. I might make an updated post about it, but basically ALL my reviews follow this general structure, with some genre variations of course: Introduction – Writing – Worldbuilding – Plot and Pacing – Any relevant themes the book discusses – Characters – Relationships – Conclusion.
- TAKE NOTES!!!! I highlight relevant quotes and excerpts if it’s an ebook, and tab them if it’s a physical book. Then I write down my thoughts as they come on my Evernote app on my phone (which syncs with my laptop so it makes writing reviews easier). It might sound like it disrupts your reading flow but once you get used to it, it becomes second nature.
- PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT! My first few reviews weren’t all that great, but the more you write them the better you get at them, especially as you figure out your own reviewing style as well as what works for you and what doesn’t.
4- What is your advice for being as consistent as possible with blogging?
I get this one A LOT, everyone is like “You’re a medstudent, HOW DO YOU DO IT?” and friends, this is where being an obsessive organizer comes in handy. It also sometimes comes at the expense of my health but I DON’T RECOMMEND THAT, and I’m better at balancing things out now. I wrote a post about it last year but my approach changed since then so I might write another one soon. But basically, I’m the type of person who has to be doing something even when resting (unless i’m really exhausted), so I maximize the twenty four hours I have in a day.
If I don’t have A LOT of studying to do, which is only at the beginning of the semester (like now), I sneak in one post or one part of a post in the evening before dinner. But most my blogging is done during the week-end for the following week. What I found helps is having a schedule, that way i already have a solid idea of what types of posts I’ll be writing up and can brainstorm/outline them during the week either on my phone or in my brain (99.99% of the time in my brain let’s not kid ourselves).
Bottom line is: Organization, scheduling and actually making time for it. There really isn’t a magical receipe. That being said, I’ll definitely dedicate a post to it, in the next couple months, especially with this being my last semester of classes, I think I’ve gathered a few tips and tricks.
5- What’s the best thing your blog has brought you?
FRIENDSHIP! I didn’t even have to think about it, but thanks to my blog I’ve met some of my best friends.
6- The best post you’ve written so far?
JUST ONE? I’m proud of quite a few posts I’ve written, and here are a few from the past few months:
- 22. Twenty-two things I learnt this past year.
- Navigating the community as a Person of Color.
- #Ownvoices: its purpose and limitations.
7- What are some of your blogging goals?
- REACH 2000 FOLLOWERS!!! I’m a little over 200 away, and it would mean the world to me, especially with me falling in love with blogging all over again, I’m determined to make it happen this year.
- Re-launch #DiverseBookBloggersDiscuss. I keep procrastinating this because it takes a lot of organizing and coordinating but I really want to have it up and running again in march.
- Blurb a book. Is this a blogging goal? EITHER WAY, I WANT IT! I’ve actually already blurbed one this year and I’m EMOTIONAL about it (Soft on Soft by Em Ali which you should definitely read if you haven’t). But I’d love to blurb at least another book.
8- Are there any bloggers you look up to?
SO MANY. You can find ten of them in this post here, and I will be making a part 2 soon, so look out for that!
9- Who are your favourite booktubers?
This is another post that’s coming lol but in the meantime here are a few:
- Kav @ x reading solace x
- Hannah @ A Clockwork Reader
- Chelsea @ Chelseadolling Reads
- Joce @ Squibbles Reads
- Madalyn @ Novel Ink
10- Five things you wish you knew before starting your blog?
Another blog post idea I have cooking up hahaha, okay but here are five:
- How time consuming it is, seriously I had no idea.
- That I can burn out and fall out of love with it for a bit, especially if I prioritize it over my mental health.
- That it can get disheartening and be lonely even with the huge number of other bloggers out there.
- Stats aren’t everything, they do matter to an extent but I shouldn’t let them affect my enjoyment.
- That it’s not a race to the latest release. I can read the books I read and review them and I’ll still find my audience.
11- What the most surprising thing to come out of blogging?
The community, for sure. When I first started I thought that there were just blogs, booktube channels etc… and you commented on each other’s posts and that’s that. I had no idea there was such a huge community of readers to talk to on a regular basis and befriend online, especially on twitter.
12- Has any reader gotten too close for comfort/sent weird messages? If so, how did you deal with it?
My first reaction when I read this question was “TF! I’m not some public figure???” but then I gave it a second and remembered that yes I’ve had a few encounters and interactions that left me very uncomfortable to say the least. People who inquired about my personal life and got mad when i refused to share (just because I open up on here about certain things, doesn’t mean I *have* to share everything), or people asking for free labor, etc etc… and honestly, all I can say is that the block button is your best friend. I usually have no qualms telling people when they’re crossing a line I’m not comfortable crossing but if they don’t get it BLOCK. You are entitled to your own personal space and if someone isn’t respecting it then block them.
1- What are you most looking forward to this and next year?
BEING DONE WITH CLASSES FOREVER!!! I won’t be done with medschool but at least exam stress and theory classes will be over and I’m so looking forward to it because it’s really taken a toll on my mental health and life quality in general. So I’m really looking forward to being free at the end of this academic year.
2- What do you like to do outside of reading and blogging?
You mean I’m allowed to have a life outside of this??? WHAT? fdjkjz I’m just kidding! I love drawing and painting, working out, hanging out with my friends and going out in general, I also enjoy travelling A LOT!
3- What is something you’re proud of you accomplished recently?
This is going to sound weird but it’s getting myself out of a toxic relationship at the end of 2018. It was a long time coming and no matter how much I wanted to make it work, it just wasn’t working and was giving me a lot of anxiety. It was hard and painful but I know that it’s better for me in the long run because nothing was changing.
4- Where is one place in the world that you would want to be right now (location, time, weather), and what would you be doing?
I miss my best friend so much and we always have the best time when we’re hanging out. So I’d probably be with her in France (where she studies) exploring the city during the day and dancing at night… Sleep who?
5- What is your dream travel destination?
Greece! It’s been a dream destination of mine right after Italy for as long as I can remember and I’ve literally been having dreams about it the last few weeks. And since I already made Italy happen, then Greece is next in line.
6- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Umm… This time frame scares the crap out of me, because the plans I have for it will change my life drastically and uproot it if they fall into place. And it’s something that’s still so up in the air that I don’t like talking about it in fear of jinxing it, but one thing I can say for sure is that I will hopefully be a doctor and doing my residency. Also happy, I hope I’m unbashedly happy in five years and that I have my mental health under control.
7- Can we see a snippet of one of your poems?
gifkdlsmz NO!! They still feel like such a fragile thing that I can lose a hold of at any minute, and I spill so much of my guts and personal experiences into them that I’m not ready to share them quite yet. But I can tell you that I will share them at some point!
AND THAT IS A WRAP!! I always have so much time doing these Q&A posts (eventhough they take so many hours to put together), here’s to another year of blogging and maybe another Q&A? BYE!
That’s it until next time!
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.