Tuesday, December 16, 2014

{ARC Review} Ignite (Defy #2): Sara B. Larson

Rating: 45%
Series: Defy
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Fiction, Young Adult
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: December 30, 2014
Page Count: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Edelwiess

Goodreads | Barnes & Nobles | Amazon

Synopsis: Murder, abductions, and forbidden romance abound in this thrilling sequel to Sara B. Larson's acclaimed YA debut, DEFY.

Alexa remains by the newly crowned King Damian’s side as his guard, ever committed to helping him rebuild Antion and reclaim the hope of Antion's people, despite continuing to harbor a secret love for him. However, when another threat to Damian and his kingdom emerges, and blame is cast on their newly forged allies from Blevon, Alexa knows things are not what they seem. With the fate of her nation hanging in the balance once again, will Alexa be able to protect her king and uncover the true enemy -- before it's too late?

Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I don't have the most positive feedback for this novel, but I do not wish to deter you from reading it, I merely bring up some important points for discussion about my personal reading experience with Ignite. I obviously don't spoil Ignite, but there will be spoilers for Defy which are unavoidable pertaining to the plot and other literary elements. 

What was my reaction upon finishing?
After all of that, now I HAVE to read the sequel! *stomps foot in frustration*

Background & Backstory 
The first EVER Netgalley ARC I ever received was Defy, the first book in the series. (Click here for my amateur review and thoughts on the first book) My already click-happy self saw it was on READ NOW, the plot looked interesting, it wouldn't come out for another two weeks, and I was eager to be a "big shot" with a galley to review.

Ironically, my first ever Edelwiess galley I ever received is Ignite. I was absolutely terrified of requesting anything from them because of the whole "fill in your own stats" thing. Yet, I got over my fears, and was (obviously) accepted. 

Who knows, maybe the 3rd book in the series will be my first acceptance from a brand-new galley requesting site in 2015!

Originally, I filmed and partially edited a BookTalk, but I deleted it after I realized how bad it was going between two locations with two cameras in three time periods for one 10 minute video.

Neutral | Plot: In my honest opinion, the plot of Ignite was weak. Confusingly enough, its weakness that I picked up on stemmed from one of the PROS of this novel, and that is the fact that the novel was super fast-paced. I felt that it was entirely too dependent on the action and one event happening right after another. Any lull in pace or stopping to describe something seemed to set things off balance.   

Con | Characters: There were six main character this story revolved around, three who were present heavily in Defy, one who became a more important focal-point of the story, and two entirely new ones. Sadly, I felt that the characters we already knew hadn't developed that much despite being put under all of the pressure that was given in the last book.

Alexa - She seemed almost regressive instead of progressive with who she was as a character. We saw that she was truly naive in areas such as love and large-scale decision making. Besides her ability to fight, she wasn't strong emotionally or physically. She thought either ENTIRELY with her head or ENTIRELY with her heart. When I say that, I mean that she either made a decision, damning the consequences for the sake of herself or the people around her. OR she made a decision that was seeming the "best" for her kingdom which ended up harming some of the other characters.

Rylan - There was quite an intense Team Rylan or Team Damian debate going on upon and building up to Defy's release. I never liked Rylan, and Ignite did nothing to redeem him to me. Besides accompanying Alexa on a mission or two (which could easily have been done by somebody else), he seemed to be a plot device, merely put there so friction could be visible between him, Damian, and Alexa.

Damian - You would think that a month with such a high-pressure job would making a leader stronger. Sadly, this was not the case. Damian seemed insecure, weak, and untested... just as a new king would normally appear. What I disliked about him was the fact that we as the READERS saw his weakness, instead of maybe another character picking up on his inadequacies so we could see what the other characters thought about him instead of what we actually thought.

Jax - He plays into this story and the stakes are raised extremely high BECAUSE of him. Therefore, you would imagine that, as a reader, I would feel an overwhelming amount of both sympathy and love for him. The main characters of this novel are doing so much because they want to keep him alive. Yet, I didn't feel/care if anything happened to him.

Vera/Rafe - They are huge parts of the story in a negative way. They are the villains, but instead of either of them being the "villain you love to hate," I merely felt indifferent to them. I was unfeeling for either, and felt that none of them added to the story or brought anything new and refreshing to the table.

Pro | Cover & Title: There could not have been a better cover/title for this novel. The entire book was a buildup and subtle moving under the story's crust for the sequel. There was a spark that ignited with all aspects of the story such as the plot, romance, and world itself which I can't wait to read about in future. The arrow drawn back was a perfect symbol for instigating what is to come. 

Con | Originality: I felt as if Ignite was a strange hybrid mix of Throne of Glass, Graveling, Mulan, Kiss of Deception, Girl of Fire and Thorns, as well as a lot of other popular Young Adult high-fantasy novels of the 21st century. There were bits and pieces taken by all of them and thrown into Ignite. I would have definitely appreciated seeing some more creativity without some of usual tropes such as royalty falling in love with their supposedly "inferiors," as well as the oh-so-popular kidnapping occurrence.

Con | Romance: The entire love triangle I enjoyed in Defy seemed to fall apart at the hinges. It was flimsy, and unrealistic because of how obvious it was who would end up with who. Without spoiling anything, I will say that a semi-concusion was reached and it seemed like a decision made entirely in the spur-of-the-moment and will easily be taken back in the sequel. 

Con | Writing Style: My biggest issue with this novel was the writing style. It seemed entirely Disney-fied because the characters never had friction or conflict and there were so many grand-scale "happily ever after" gestures made. There were so many tropes such as "and I was whole again" throughout the novel which annoyed me to no end. 

On top of that, Alexa had an uncanny ability to detect Damian/Rylan's thoughts through their body language. It seemed entirely unneeded and excess detail. I could see it as an attempt for a rich, detailed story, maybe Larson was even going for a "June Iparis Effect." Yet I felt like her power of perception wasn't utilized properly, because it would have given them so much more of an advantage if she could sense Vera/Rafe.

Pro | Ending: I loved the ending. There was so much potential in the set-up the entire novel seemed to possess. There is going to be progression and characters put to their limits with the sequel, and although it was agonizing for a reader's feels.... it was done right.

Conclusion: I had multiple issues with this novel in writing style, plot, romance, and originality, but there is a lot of potential for the sequel.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Stay Strong & True To What YOU Want To Read; Don't Give In To All Of Those Shiny Early Releases, Enticing Blog Tours & Apparently Gripping Review Requests | One Year Blogoversary Celebration (7)

Look at these books,
Aren't they neat?
Wouldn't you think my collection's complete?
Wouldn't you think I'm the girl,
The girl who has enough books to read?

IIn the very beginning, there will be books, FREE, EARLY, SEEMINGLY PERFECT books that peopel want you to read. I'm here to tell you some cautionary tales on why you should THINK CAREFULLY about eeach and every book you request, sign up to promote, and promise to review, because you will regret it ifyou have too much on your plate.

My #1 Tip for Blog Tours is: DO NOT sign up/request ALL of the books. Because even if you are blogger one your FIRST WEEK of blogging, you will STILL be accepted for at least one or more of these promotional events. My biggest downfall/stress inducer in the first four months of blogging was the fact that I signed up for EVERY blog tour that was categorized under "Young Adult." This led to stressing out because of scheduling, feeling guilty for not reading books I want to read, and a lot of unwanted pressure.

There have been SOOO many times where I have signed up for a blog tour, lost track of time, and then the night before, I am scrambling to finish the book. I kid you not, I have stayed up into the wee hours of the morning the DAY of the tour to write my review, and I have even pressed the "publish" button at the exact second the post is supposed to be live.

On top of that, blog tour books 99.9% of the time come in an eBook and I will now promptly direct you to a post where I express my issues with reading eBooks. The bottom line is that I read eBooks at a snail's pace 5 times slower than a regular book because of lack of access during school hours. Blog Tour books 75% of the time are self-published, and it tends to be (there are always exceptions) that self-published books haven't had as much editing/revisions as books that have been professionally edited/revised. This leads to issues as a reader such as boredom, cliche tropes, been-there-read-that plots, and occasionally, bad grammar.

Until you have a firm grip on what you can handle (how many books you can read a month, how many posts you can schedule, and what kinds of books you read from different sources), I would advise that you don't sign up for blog tours, and even if you do, sign up for a maximum of 20% of the number of books your normally read until you have a firm handle on the books you can read per month on a deadline. Because even if you only get onto 1 out of 4 tours you sign up for, you may still be over your head with books to read

If Giselle from Xpresso Book Tours reads this post, she will most likely fire me permanently as a host and never put me down on the blog tour itinerary again.

The same advice follows for the two programs Netgalley and Edelweiss. I have permanently ruined my Netgalley approval ratio. It aint even funny how many books I have requested and how many (to my utter surprise) that I have been accepted for, which leads me to the worse approval to feedback ratio in the history of man kind.

Something I was so surprised with and so honored in the BEGINNING of blogging was when authors would approach me to read their books. A year later, I can count on my right hand how many review request books I have, in fact, read and reviewed. If this is even possible, all of my Blog Tour book reading issues multiply by 5 (again) when it comes to review request books because of the aforementioned reasons and the fact that authors can't (if they aren't out of their minds) give you a strict post deadline, which lets you just put off and put off their book. It has come to a point where I will only accept physical books and even so, I will rarely accept. Unless I can tell the publisher has honestly researched myself as a blogger and read my policy, I won't accept. It is so unlikely for me to give into an email that doesn't even have my name on it, if it's clearly copy-and-pasted/sent as a mass email, and if its for a book in a genre I clearly don't read.

The bottom line is, if you are click-happy person in life/shopping/Blog Tour Sign-Ups/Netgalley/Review Request, do your very best to refrain because you will sorely regret it if you flail, sink, and die in the "books I wanted to read" ocean.

What made me discover that I was a mood reader was the simple fact that I had SOOO many books coming from all these different sources, and I had no idea how I was going to read them all. If you're a mood reader, you know that you can't/won't stick to TBRs, but I would advise as the very least to know how many books you can read a month and how many different sources you have books coming in. Once you delve into the dirty details of eBooks versus Physical Book, Promotional Books vs Pleasure Books, you will have one hell of a shock. Which is especially why you should stick to not being a click-happy blogger/vlogger.

If you could possibly manage to stick to a TBR or some semblance of one, this is what I would advise
20% | Blog Tour/Review Request Books
20% | ARCs
60% | Leave it up to the reading gods (aka your mood) to decide

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

How To Translate All Of Your Bookish Feels Without Using "asdfghjkl" | One Year Blogoversary Celebration (3)

For the longest while, I had always wondered why I was so deviant when it came to my review format. Sometimes I use GIFs, sometimes I talk about specific elements of the story, and sometimes, I just ramble about my thoughts pertaining to the book (okay, this is 99.9% of the time, but you get my point). It is only recently that I came to this conclusion. As a reader, each book I finish impacts me in a different way. I have different feels, I get different things out of a story, whether it's a new perspective or just some good laughs.

Says every book EVER!
There's this theory, that whenever you get a new car, EVERYONE around you has that car as well. So... why did it take so long for you to notice the boatload of [INSERT CAR NAME HERE] driving around your town? It's called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon (according to Google). That's the same way it is with elements of fiction for me. I feel like I'm in the mood for a book with a kickass female protagonist, I snap my fingers, and PRESTO! A kickass female protagonist shows up, not just in the book I'm currently reading, but EVERYWHERE.

This also applies to my philosophy about providence and every book that you pick up is for a reason. Especially in these tumultous teenage stages of my life, I need comfort that can only be found in books and fictional characters to prove that I'm not alone. Somewhere, somehow, SOMEONE is experiencing the sheer amount of crap that I am, and even if they didn't, the author is hella good and at the very least knows about how I'm feeling at that moment and has managed to encaspulate those feelings without going through the exact thing I have just experienced.

So that's my concusion, I review all books differently, because all books are different, and if they aren't, then at least I have something fun to rant about.

In the same way that I (almost) always know how to rate a book, I know how to review it. Maybe it was the mood this book put me in, maybe it was the thoughts and ideas this book inplanted into my head, maybe it's sheer laziness because of how much I didn't enjoy it.

Let me unearth the ways
So now, I'm going to break it down into the "How to?" section of this post. Below, I have listed 5 different review styles/formats and how they're used with the appropriate feelings. If you disagree, I beckon you tell me what format/style YOU would use and why. I love learning, especially if what I'm learning is related to books because I want to make my reviews the most well-written, most succinct, most entertaining reviews possible for you to read.

Random GIF for your seeing enjoyment in case you didn't know what those moving picture thingys were
GIF | : Most of the time, this kind of review is used when I have ALL of the feels, but no easy way to express them I am so overwhelmed that I can't voice my words (something extremely rare in my case), and all I can do is show you pictures of Seal Memes and Guys Tripping Over Inconvenient Banana Peels. As a fellow blogger, these are fun, quick, and easy to read, I get your point ├╝ber fast, and have had fun while doing so.

Plot Element | The Rose Master: Valentina Cana: This is the kind of be-all-end-all review for the kind of reader that would like to know if the book is worth their time by doing heavy-duty research beforehand in order not to waste thheir time iwht a book they hate. This is also the most time-consuming review because (to make things harder on myself) I have come up with a total of 15 categories. They range from what characters peeved me off, how hard the case of the feels struck, if I have found any new OTPs in this novel, and even the most superficial layer of the book - The cover and the title.

Individual Plot Aspects: Peaceful Genocide: J.A. Reynolds: This is what I would like to call the "lazy person's guide to the Plot Element review." This kind of review is generally much shorter, and its where I simply discuss certain elements and aspects of the novel. Whether I pick and choose a few of the 15 categories, or whether I start rambling on and on about my hatred for arranged marriages and princesses who attempt to escape them. I'm concise about what topics I cover, yet detailed about what I did and did not like.

---- Quotes | Breaking Free: Winter Page: Occassionally, there will be a book that is lyrical, so profound, that I have to quote entire passages from it. Most often, I will list a quote, and then start to ramble about how this wonderful quote that has impacted mankind pertains to that certain aspect of the plot.

Fangirling/Rambling | This Song Will Save Your Life: Leila Sales: 100% self-explanatory. I write, and write, and write, until I can feel no more at that immediate moment (because like contagious diseases, they keep coming back). While I rarely edit my reviews (shush! Don't tell anybody), these are the kinds where I usually have to go through, add headers, maybe bold some words and try to make my review have some form of pattern or logic. When the feels are THIS intense, you're lucky you even get intelligible sentences.

Pro/Con | Butterman (Time) Travel Inc: P.K. Hrezo: At times when I am still trying to figure out what to rate a book, or, more likely, questioning my decision on what I already rated it, I will use a Pro/Con review. So it all boils down in my indecisiveness to ruling the pros and the cons of the novel, and most likely, this helps me work through my (obvious) issues, at least for the moment. Things are black and white, clear as day, and informative for people who are wondering if that particular kind of book would be good for them.

Vlog Style | : Recently, I started doing book reviews on my YouTube Channel, and it is a lot harder than you would expect. Without a synopsis someone can read/refer back to, you have to get into what the story is about, which is extremely hard for me because I don't know if I'm making the person clueless as to what I'm talking about, or actually translating the premise across. Something I do love is the fact that someone can see/hear your emotions. If you hate the book, your tone and body langauge will convey that. If you love it, they will be freaked out by how much you're fangirling, and maybe, be so inspired that they want to read this book as well. Because of the way some of my favorite BookTubers review books, I am so much more inclined to pick the book up when I see the excitement and gleam in their eyes.

So there you have it. There are multiple ways to review books, and in the beginning, all you can really do is try out these different styles. Express your thoughts whatever way you want to, and if you can articulate your feelings, whether by being informative, humorous, or a combination of both, you will feel great for spreading your love of book to another human.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Beauty Of The Internet | One Year Blogoversary Celebration (3)

The other day, my old-fashioned Taiwanese father asked me what I could possibly be doing that would require spending so much time on the computer/internet. I told him (again) that I had a blog and a YouTube Channel that needed my attending to it. He asked, "Why don't you just take a break while in this transition period of moving?" Then he proceeded on a miniature lecture in regards to cyber-bullying, video game obsession, and general addiction to the internet.

I NEED the internet!
As you can see, he is on the opposing side to the internet, World Wide Web (yes, he does still call it that) usage debate, especially when it comes to teenagers using and (in his opinion) abusing it. To sum up a long story, I lost the argument, because we are both stubborn people who are firmly set in our respective "internet versus no internet" ways. Because, "When I was a boy, I didn't have shoes." Yet, as everyone knows, times have changed.

I am here to state my argument on why internet is one of the greatest inventions since sliced bread, and how it has helped me throughout my life, with reasonings ranging from plain laziness, to convenience, to coping.

Oh, Yes, You Are Internet
I've always been that girl that was somewhat.... different. I may not have aquarmarine hair and horns (I just finished reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone), but I do love writing, reading, and just plain sitting around to think about life. My interests are different from my friends, my way of approaching problems. Therefore, while my friends love and respect me for who I am. I put up with them discussing anime while they tune out my fangirling.

This is totally me!
Yet, as a person that would like to discuss her interests with the people around her -I say discuss because my desire to socialize with people is pretty minute- I always wanted to meet and talk to someone who was like me. Someone I could have stimulating conversation with about Joya de Arena, Ravka, and Adaralan. Someone I could swoon with over the hottest boys of Young Adult Fiction.

Be my friend?
The internet, has given me those people. I am able to communicate with people I never would have otherwise. People from Australia. People from England. People of different races, different ages, different backgrounds. Tall, short, white, black, all of the above. I have gained some invaluable friendships and common bonds between people who live on the other side of the country.

Most commonly, in the news, you will hear horror stories about cyber bullies that have invented different online identities and have done a lot of damage because of it. For my personal situation, it's the exact opposite. I act the way I act when I'm among my friends, and the way I act is different. At the end of the day, when I come home and log onto social media, or begin to compose a blog post, I become purely who I am. All of this word vomit and ramblings go on a direct journey from my brain to my fingers.

The internet is a glorious place, and I have carved out a little section of my own. Those twelve-hundred something twitter, three hundred Instagram, three hundred blog followers are something I can call my own. I have worked hard, whether its formulating my thoughts on the newest New York Times Bestseller, or adding a vintage filter and setting up the proper angles for a Bookstagram photo, or coming up with something witty in less than 140 characters.

Through blogging/vlogging, I have had some astounding opportunities. I own books that won't come out for the next four months. I am up to date on the biggest trends and franchises. I have learned self-discipline, prioritizing, and time management from a 100% self-imposed hobby. I have created a brand and a name for myself.

The beauty of it all is that ANYONE can do this, with basic computer skills/access and adequate knowledge of a language, someone who has never had a voice before.... now does. Even if one person reads your blog post and comments, you will know that you have effected someone in some small way. They took time out of their day, to read/watch the content you have worked so hard to produce. They may share it with their friends, or think about what you have said throughout their day. 

With this technology, human interaction is no longer limited to being face to face. And is something done over a computer screen really less meaningful than something done in person? If it's possibly to quote unquote "fall in love with" a celebrity that you have never met and willl most likely never have a real conversation with, why is it not considered as real of a connection with someone you have talked to, shared with, and confided in, and the only operative factor is the fact that this happened online.

Of course, life is not a box of choclates and there are PLENTY of safety precautions/issues with the internet, but if you use it in a safe, responsbile manner, it can be a wonderous thing that has forged bonds, connections, and relationships that would never have happened. People you may never have crossed roads with before are now small parts of your life.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of these GIFs, nor do I claim to.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

{Book Review} The Rose Master: Valentina Cana

Rating: 72%
Series: None
Genre: Historical Fiction, Gothic Thriller, Mystery, Romance, Young Adult, Fiction,
Publisher: REUTS Publications
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Page Count: 200
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

Goodreads ~ Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis: "Cano does a fine job of setting mood and atmosphere, and her characters dance around one another with relentless industry and brooding allure, fighting their inevitable attraction." — Publishers Weekly


The day Anne Tinning turns seventeen, birds fall from the sky. But that's hardly the most upsetting news. She's being dismissed from the home she's served at since she was a child, and shipped off to become the newly hired parlor maid for a place she's never heard of. And when she sees the run-down, isolated house, she instantly knows why:

There's something wrong with Rosewood Manor.

Staffed with only three other servants, all gripped by icy silence and inexplicable bruises, and inhabited by a young master who is as cold as the place itself, the house is shrouded in neglect and thick with fear. Her questions are met with hushed whispers, and she soon finds herself alone in the empty halls, left to tidy and clean rooms no one visits.

As the feeling of being watched grows, she begins to realize there is something else in the house with them--some creature that stalks the frozen halls and claws at her door. A creature that seems intent on harming her.

When a fire leaves Anne trapped in the manor with its Master, she finally demands to know why. But as she forces the truth about what haunts the grounds from Lord Grey, she learns secrets she isn't prepared for. The creature is very real, and she's the only one who can help him stop it.

Now, Anne must either risk her life for the young man she's grown to admire, or abandon her post while she still can.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Who Would I Recommend This To?

Fans of the Madman's Daughter Trilogy (Megan Shepherd), Cruel Beauty (Rosamond Hodge), Beauty and the Beast, and Jane Eyre

Background & Backstory

I'm going to admit that my requesting of The Rose Master by Valentina Cana on Netgalley was a COMPLETELY click-happy decision. I remember being apprehensive because it wasn't an ARC coming out, but one that was already out in the general public. Yet that cover that was so beautiful and so relevant (thankfully) to the story just drew me in and made me request the book.

I was not actually planning on reading this book at this point in time either because I had just finished a blog tour book, it was pretty late, and sleep seemed like a good idea. Yet I was on a reading high and wanted something to quench my thirst, so I flipped through my Netgalley books (you know, so I can get my ratio higher than the pathetic 25% it is now), and The Rose Master just jumped out at me.

What Was My Reaction Upon Finishing?

*round of applause for a standalone book well written and wrapped*

Jane Eyre/Beauty and the Beast Retelling: Everyone knows the story of Beauty and the Beast and has read or at least watched the movie (*raises hand*) Jane Eyre. I was extremely surprised to see how accurate that "X meets X" comparison was. We had the creepy mansion with a brooding (somewhat stern in appearance) master of the house who had a dark past wrapped up with magic and roses. We had the gradual storyline of master and servant falling in love in the English countryside. Despite these strong elements taken from both stories, Cana did them justice with her execution and unique flare with which she wrote the plot.

Anne Tinning: She was not a protagonist who blew me way by any means, but she did hold her own in the story and was likable despite not having any apparent kick-ass qualities about her. She had just enough spirit to head a household (in terms of servantry) and just enough vulnerability for her character's arc to develop throughout the course of the novel. She reminded me a lot of Jane Hawking (I just watched The Theory of Everything) in the way that she took charge and took care of Lord Grey in the motherly/wifely duties of the time period.

Strong Magic System: The Rose Master was surprisingly short, and while not much time was spent describing/dwelling on magic and how it worked in the story, it was well developed and I had a clear understanding of it despite the overall book's short length. I do however think the story might have been better if the strange elements of the story did not have explanations, but were left a little more unexplained without the magic incorporated into the story to make it more mysterious.

Cover: This will basically be feels-filled about how much I love this cover. It has so much poetic justice and different symbolism in the book that is visually stunning. There's the raven and the skull, and the rosessm abd the bleak, desolate background. The font is just so cool, and  this cover is perfect for the story.

Ending: It wasn't until the very end of the book that I realized this was a standalone. Of course, there will always be threads left untied by the author, but I was shocked with how nice and neat everything came toogether. There could defintiely be a companion novel, but the ending was so perfect.

How Likely Is It That I Will Read Another Book By Valentina Cana?


I'm aware that Cana has other books published, but I'm not DYING to research them because of how much I liked The Rose Master and how satisfied I was. Yet if a promotional opportunity arises for another spooky/gothic thriller written by her, I will definitely read or promote it.

Conclusion: The Rose Master was well-written, beautiful, with a subtle romance, and solid ending.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Once You're Known.... There's No Going Back | One Year Blogoversary Celebration (1)

Welcome to my first day of blogoversary shenanigans. Aka. "Sofia thinks she can actually write advice when she has no idea what she's doing herself. 

" Those five words mean a lot to both me and my brand. They're in my Blog/BookTube Channel URLs, they're what people refer to when wanting to contact or mention me, and I've been addressed to as "Loving the Language of Literacy" by quite a few spam-filled review request emails.

Why Loving the Language of Literacy?

Despite being the self-proclaimed "Queen of Backstories," my reasons for this name aren't long and dramatic. On Friday, December 6, 2014, I made the conscious decision that reviewing books JUST one Goodreads wasn't enough. I needed to kick it up a notch and create my own blog name. Right now, I'm just thanking the heavens that my amateur blogger mind did not choose "Sofia Li" as my name. 
My Goodreads Reviews
What I did want, originally, was an alliteration, USING my last name. Of course, my first name would have been more convenient, but I learned within the first thirthy seconds of my thesaurus searching that there were a heck of a lot more literary-related adjectives starting with the letter "L" versus the letter "S." 

I know right *flips hair*
I think I searched up "Random Blog Name Generator" or SOMETHING like that, and found a website that gave me a bunch of random adjectives/synoyns. So through around 15 minutes of avid investigating, I came up with "Loving," "Language," and "Literacy." What I figured out at this point, was that adding my last name somewhere in there (most likely, Li Loving the Language of Literacy) would make an already too-long blog name.... too long. Therefore, Loving the Language of Literacy was born. 

Are You Happy With This Blog Name?

To be honest, I am. I completely lucked out on this aspect of blogging, as I am still loving the language of literacy a year later. This love proved to bbe extra handy when it came time to creat my BookTube Channel, because all I had to do was usee the same name, that I was already known by and had already created a brand for. Literally, my ONLY regret is that Loving the Language of Literacy is a heck of a lot to type out. Plus, it proved challenging when trying to create my brand elsewhere. 

Why Would I Advise a *Slightly* Smaller Blog Name, Character/Word Wise?
Amy Poehler says so too! PS: I just read her memoir :)
When you're tryign to create a brand, you want it to be consistent amongst ALL of the social medias. This includes Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. This proved to be the biggest problem with Twitter and Instagram, because, as you know, there are character limits on Usernames. Loving the Language of Literacy is THIRTY-ONE characters long. Waaay too long for a Twitter/Instagram Handle/Username. Plus, it is a pain in the you-know-where to try to fit into character-limited tweets. Plus, if you're lazy like me, you don't want to write all of that out each and every time you sign up for a blog tour. 

I've Already Made My Brand Known & My Blog/BookTube Channel Name is Too Long, How Do I Make My Brand Consistent?

Learning of this character limit tragedy early on, I decided to use my other name that I was known by on some small, dusty corners of the interwebs. @sslluvsbooks Having a short & sweet username, maybe with your name (SSL are my initials), what your brand specializes in (books), and maybe a verb (luvs) helps a ton.

Why Might You Want To Be An Independent Blogger, At Least When It Comes To Your Brand?

Or a Man... If that's what you are
I am in no way trying to insult you, I was so close to making hte same mistake myself, but DO NOT, I repeart, DO NOT, add the words "book" or "read" to your blog name. There are too many of us out there with htat, and you will be indistinguishable from everyone else, plus your lack of creativity (something I am fully guilty of) will show. Three of the most popular, most distinct bloggers/vloggers out there are Nose Graze, Parajunkee, and PolandBananasBooks. With those three names, would you guess, in a million years (minus the books) that any of these channels/blogs have anything to do with books? No, you don't. Wile this might slightly hurt your SEO at first, in the long run, it will make you distiinguishable on the interwens, and even at real-life events (not that I know what those things are).

Why May You Want a Brand Name That Is Related, But Does Not Spell Out What the Majority of Your Content is About?

Post ALL of the Things!
The answer to this is simple - You may want to post something non-book related. Maybe you want to post about a really great race you had, or your latest writing project, or your newest vegan friendly recipe. Having a flexible blog name gives you the freedom to expand a little, if wanted. Of course, if your blog has the words "cooking" and "food" in it, and you start posting about pro-wrestling, you might want to consider starting a new blog because the two audiences don't mingle too much. Lately, I have become so thankful for Loving the Language of Literacy because it doesn't spell out books or reading. Language and Literacy have positive connotations that could relate to writing, so I feel the freedom to post about my NaNoWRiMo Adventues, school assignments, and random writing pieces I want to share with the world.

Of course, these are all pure ramblings from someone who is, in no shape or form, an expert when it comes to brand name-site traffic correlation. This is just my two cents on the matter and my personal experience. 

Fun Fact: When I was first considering creating a BookTube Channel and when pondering what I would name my blog if I had to start all over, I considered changing my name to "The Language of Liteture." This sounded so much more posh and professional, yet it's probably a good thing I chose not to change it for SEO reasons AND because of hose posh it sounds. "Loving the Langauge of Literacy" has a nice sound that rolls of the tongue, "The Langauge of Literature" sounds a bit too uptight, which is the opposite of how I want to come off to people. I want to be a reprieve from school, not an annoying reminder taht it exists. Plus, the word literature is somewhat exclusive to books and the written word. The word "literacy" is about competence with reading and writing. So in the end, I am basically saying the most unoffensive, but still snarky way possible, "I Only Love People Who Are Competent In Language And All Of You LOL-ers need to take a hike." 
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