When did you start blogging and what was your first review?
I started blogging about YA in September of 2011. In the beginning, Jess and I did joint reviews and the first review on the blog is for City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. My first solo review was for City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare.
Who/what inspired you to start blogging?
The blog started from Jess and I reading Cleolinda’s series on Livejournal where she sporked Breaking Dawn. We were going to do something like that with City of Bones but then we saw a call on ilovereadingandwriting.tumblr.com for book bloggers and we discovered that there were hundreds of other books blogs and we fell into the community of YA book bloggers.
My other inspirations would be Rebecca Schinsky.I met her pre-Book Riot in 2009 for a story I was doing in college about the rise of ebooks (I know, how original but it was a different time) and I had never met anyone who talked about books like she did. Also, Sara Wendelland company really inspired me to read and write about romance.
What is a blog-related goal that you have?
Like Amber I’d love to get a blurb on a book and I’d love to be on a panel/podcast where I could recommend books to people who don’t read YA/romance.
What is one thing you wish someone told you about blogging?
One thing I really wish we’d done in the beginning is not to hotlink images, which I know is Internet 101 ! So many of our early posts look off because we hotlinked all the images.
What was your biggest blog-related accomplishment?
Like Amber, I’d say how long this blog has been going. I have started so many blogs and this is the only one that stuck.
Also, a few years ago we pitched an idea for a back-to-school YA reading list to a local news website and they instead asked to do a profile on the blog, (likely because they didn’t want to pay us to write anything) unfortunately, the local news website closed a few months later but the profile is still there.
What types of posts do you enjoy writing?
I like making fun lists and cover posts, something I haven’t done much of lately.
Where do you usually blog? What does your setup look like?
I have a dining room table, a desk and a little reading nook but I usually just blog in my bed with my Bath and Body Works candle burning. If I have a lot of things I want to accomplish I’ll usually go to Starbucks or a local coffee shop and blog.
What was your last 5-star read?
The Young Elites series by Marie Lu, I am not a fantasy reader but this series is dark and crazysauce with antiheroes everywhere.
What was your last 1-star read?
I don’t have a 1 star but the lowest review I’ve ever given was a 1.5 for After by Anna Todd. I would have given it a 2 or 2.5 but the book was too damn long (600 pages) and the “reveal” ending made me rage-y.
What are three words that make you pick up a book?
What is your Hogwarts House?
I once heard John Green use the term Ravenpuff on a vlog and that seems about right to me.
What is your favorite reading environment?
I love listening to audiobooks when I’m on my commute or when I’m going out of town. It’s a nice little transition to and from work.
I also get a lot of reading done when I’m eating breakfast/brunch on the weekends.
What advice would you give to new bloggers?
You seriously don’t need ARCs to be a blogger. I feel like the ARC thing has gotten out of control in recent years what with people buying and selling them on Ebay. I haven’t reviewed a YA ARC in years and it’s been some of my best blogging I’ve done. You’d be surprised how many people will comment if you talk about a book they loved but thought everyone else had forgotten.
Also, it’s not cool or interesting to hate on what is popular. You can have opinions or not like something without hating on others for liking it.
I’m a lifelong reader who started blogging about YA books in 2011 but now I read in just about every genre! I love YA coming of age stories, compelling memoirs and genre bending SFF. You can find me talking all things romance at Romance and Sensibility.