The second and final week of I.L. Cruz’s blog tour for her second book in the Enchanted Isle’s series, A Noble’s Path, has come to a close. I want to give a huge thank you to each and every book blogger who participated in this tour.
In case you missed any of the stops thus far, you can see all the week one participants here. Everyone who made week two possible are listed below. Please be sure to stop by all their websites and social media to give them some love. We appreciated all the help they’ve given in making this tour possible.
I.L. Cruz decided to make writing her full-time career during the economic downturn in 2008. Since then she’s used her BA in International Relations to sow political intrigue in her fantasy worlds and her MA in history to strive for the perfect prologue. When she’s not engaged in this mad profession she indulges her wanderlust as often as possible, watches too much sci-fi and reads until her eyes cross. She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter and a sun-seeking supermutt named Dipper.
For the past couple of years, I’ve pledged to read 52 books in one year – that’s one book a week. I usually go above and beyond, especially since I tend to read two books a week during the summer. This year was no exception to that goal, but… I’ve been in a reading slump for practically half of the year.
I’ve gotten into reading slumps in the past but have always managed to reach my Goodreads goal. This is usually because I end up reading middle-grade level books or something of the kind. Not because they’re short and quick, but because I actually enjoy those kinds of books. It just helps out that they happen to be short and quick reads. But if they’re good and I enjoy them, then who cares how long they are and how long it takes me to read them?
I’ve always been the type of person to not rush through books. Reading one book a week is a good pace for me since I can typically read between 50 and 100 pages a day.
And yet, I’ve gone into a hardcore reading slump for the past few months. No matter what I try to do, I just don’t feel like reading. I’ve been going to the library and picking out textbooks for research on various topics so maybe I’ll review those books down the road. It’d be something different, at least. Still, I haven’t been reading the typical novel.
We’re now about a week into October which means there are only three months left in the year. My Goodreads goal still stands at 52 books and, according to my Goodreads, I’ve only read 14 books. This is because I haven’t been updating it at all and haven’t in a few months. Scrolling through the reviews I’ve posted on here this year, I have read and reviewed 26 books.
26 is half of 52, I know that math at least. I’m actually shocked that I reached at least half of my original goal.
Looking at the weeks ahead, I need to read about two books a week with two of those weeks reading three books if I were to reach 52 books this year.
I’m not saying I’m going to do this. I’ve been in a slump for so long that I really don’t want to try to bombard myself with books again all the sake of reaching a virtual goal.
But I’m also not saying this isn’t an impossible thing to do. I want to get back into the habit of reading again. Who knows, if I find a new spark with a certain book or two, I may actually just reach the 52-book goal.
Do you have a Goodreads goal? Have you met it yet? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around!
I didn’t always enjoy reading. In fact, I thought it was stupid. To me, it was just homework from teachers. All the books were always picked out for me and I never cared for any of them. In the middle of all that, I did fall in love with reading.
When I Was 11
I was in the sixth grade and Erin Hunter, a group of authors under a penname, came out with a book titled Warriors. You’ve all heard me talk about this series now and again. I’m still reading the books and catching up with the series. There are a ton of books, 37 in the main series with number 38 coming out in October 2019. The very first one that started it all came out when I was 11-years-old.
It was my sister’s book. I don’t remember how she got it. I can’t remember if it was a gift from someone knowing she enjoyed reading and animals or if she had come across it at Barnes & Noble and bought it herself. Either way, she read it and enjoyed it. When I found out it was about cats, I wanted to borrow it.
She let me and I brought it to school. I remember her telling me, “Keep it nice. Don’t dogear the pages. Don’t lose it.” There was a list. She was very particular about keeping her books nice, which is fair. So, what did I do? I stepped out of the car one morning when my Mom dropped me off at school and immediately the book slipped out of my hand and fell into the snow. Of course, my sister didn’t actually care about that. We still look back on that and laugh.
“Don’t ruin it.” (Immediately drops it in the snow.)
It Didn’t Last Long
I remember reading the first couple of books and then stopped for a long time. The books assigned to me in school throughout middle school and high school pushed me away from reading. I had too many things to read for school that if I had any downtime to read whatever I wanted, I just didn’t feel like it. I was totally turned off from reading even though I enjoyed the Warriors series so much.
There were other series I enjoyed as well – Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and I enjoyed my mysteries by Joan Lowry Nixon and Caroline B. Cooney. I was just never too into reading on my own. It reminded me too much of homework.
Then, when I was in high school I rediscovered the Warriors books again. I tried my best to read them in my spare time. I got really into them again. In fact, I read one of the super edition books for a book report in my freshman year.
But again, school got in the way. The book report was an easy assignment for me since we got to pick out whatever we wanted to read. The book was about 500 pages long and when I got my grade, there was a note on it from my teacher.
“Next time, maybe pick a more age-appropriate book.”
I still got a good grade and she didn’t take any points off for me reading a book that was supposed “too young” for me, but the comment still rubbed me the wrong way. I was 14 and the book is targeted at a middle-grade level. Close enough, right? I mean, I was in middle grade less than a year before that book report was assigned anyway. I enjoyed it, that’s what I loved to read, so I didn’t see what the big deal was.
I don’t even think my teacher knew what it was. All she got out of it was that it was about cats. Therefore, animal books are too young for high schoolers. (I mean, really, I’m almost 26-years-old and I already pre-ordered the next book that comes out in three months.)
College & Blogging
This was the time in my life when I really got into reading. I graduated high school in June 2011. At that point, I already had a year of college under my belt. Sure, I had to read books for college but they actually weren’t bad books. I enjoyed them. Not to mention, later down the road, I was assigned to read The Lord of The Rings and Harry Potter for one of my classes. Yes, please.
Then I started this blog in May 2012. I didn’t start reviewing books until 2015, but I still talked about them on the blog. I still read and, in a way, the blog held me accountable for reading. I met so many wonderful writers and authors through my blog while in college that I had a better appreciation for reading – despite wanting to be a writer myself.
That’s when I really started reading. Four years ago was when I started reviewing books and really getting into a reading routine while it wasn’t until 2011/2012 that I grew an appreciation and love for reading.
If You Want To Write, Read
This is a piece of advice that I had always gotten when I told people I wanted to be a writer. I think, to a certain extent, reading does help writers. However, I don’t think it’s a huge necessity. I made t this far, haven’t I? I’ve only been actively reading books for less than ten years and voila! Here I am.
When did you first fall in love with reading? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.
I’ve kept up my usual quota of around 60 books for the year. I beat last year’s reading list by one book. I fell into a hardcore reading slump this year and actually got super behind in updating my reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. I honestly don’t know how all that happened. but I’m close to getting caught up and plan on getting completely caught up by the end of the year.
I’ve listed the books I’ve read and reviewed below. The last couple of books haven’t been reviewed yet, but have been read, which is why I’ve added them to the list but they have no link.
Where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein’s world begins. There you’ll meet a boy who turns into a TV set and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.
I’ve always loved the book cover. It paints the title of the poetry collection so well. The drawing is simple and while it may seem bland to some, I find it to be perfect to go along with the illustrations inside the book.
I used to read Shel Silverstein a lot when I was a kid. I found this on my shelf and decided to read it again for old time’s sake.
This is a collection of poetry aimed toward kids. Some poems can be long, but most of them are pretty short being less than a page long. A lot of the poems have illustrations similar to the cover to accompany the poem which are all well done.
The poems are silly and completely unrealistic, but that’s what makes them great. They usually rhyme and you can’t help but read them with some sort of rhythm in your tone.
It was great to revisit Shel Silverstein again. I haven’t read his poems in a long time and I forgot how great they were. This is a must read for kids who are looking for something quick and silly.
Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein gets… 5 out of 5 cups
“If you’re a bird, be an early bird–
But if you’re a worm, sleep late.” -Shel Silverstein, Where The Sidewalk Ends
This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!
I bought all three books at Barnes & Noble.
Book 1: A story of two people determined to hold on to one another. Mitsuha, a high school girl from a town deep in the mountains, dreams of an unfamiliar life in Tokyo. Taki, a high school boy from Tokyo, dreams that he is a girl living in the mountains. As the two begin swapping lives, a miraculous story is set in motion.
Book 2: No longer being able to swap bodies, Taki desperately searches for any traces of Mitsuha.
Book 3: To save Mitsuha and all of Itomori from the comet Tiamat, Taki joins up with Saya-chin and Tesshi to evacuate the town. But Mitsuha’s father is stubborn and refuses to listen…
I find all the book covers to be absolutely gorgeous. The backs of the covers are super pretty with landscape art. The character designs are well done too.
I came across the first book at the bookstore and the blurb intrigued me. I’ve always wanted to read more manga and graphic novels. The other two books were there as well, on sale, so I bought all three at once.
Each book has its own plot, of course. The first book shows the two characters trying to get use to each other’s bodies and lives. They try to figure out why they’re swapping but they enjoy it, so they don’t really complain. In the second book, Taki searches for any traces of Mitsuha when they no longer swap bodies. He discovers something awful and then the third book they try to spot it.
The overall story is pretty clever and it’s a fun, sweet read. I enjoyed where the plot went and I was always surprised by something.
All the characters were well written and interesting to read about. Of course, my favorite characters were Taki and Mitsuha. They were great protagonists to follow and read about. I also loved Mitsuha’s little sister. She had a sassy personality which was just great.
Being a manga, a lot of the story is told through the pictures. The art style was great. Although, I’m not used to reading right to left so I think I messed up some of the pages and had to re-read them. But that’s just me.
Overall, it was an easy read and all three books were quick to get through.
The story was engaging and the characters were great to get to know. I believe it’s just the three books and the ending was so wonderfully satisfying but I still want more.
Your Name by Makoto Shinkai and Ranmaru Kotone gets… 5 out of 5 cups
“You’re weak, but you’re always so quick to fight.” –Makoto Shinkai, Your Name (Book 1)
This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!
I received a free digital copy from the author’s publicist in exchange for an honest review.
Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic is the thrillingly cryptic fourth installment of the exciting Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series featuring the intrepid teenage seaplane pilot Kitty Hawk and her various adventures of mystery and intrigue as she follows in the footsteps of Amelia Earhart on an epic flight around the world. This fourth book in the series brings Kitty to the emerald hills of Ireland where she meets a handsome stranger and is quickly swept up in a perplexing hundred-year-old family treasure hunt involving secret codes and puzzling clues that lead her on a fast-paced adventure that carries her from Dublin to London – from the decks of the ill-fated ocean liner Titanic to the temples of ancient Egypt and the streets of Jack the Ripper – until she finally unlocks the mystery and discovers the long-hidden treasure. Much like the earlier books in this series, Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic is a perfect book to fire the imaginations of armchair detectives of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history the reader will find themselves immersed in brand new worlds that are brought to life before their very eyes as Kitty Hawk experiences the stories and history of a doomed ocean liner and unravels the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic.
As always, I love the cover. The art style is cool and I love the colors in this one.
I’ve read the first three books and enjoyed them so I was happy to read this one.
Kitty is on another grand adventure as she continues her flight around the world. This time, however, her detective skills get hired rather than her eavesdropping on someone.
This book felt different than the previous ones, which I liked. The mystery started right away and we got the background information throughout the investigation. The only downside was that Kitty’s plane didn’t have as big a part like the previous books, which was something I missed.
I enjoyed all the characters in this one. They were fun and quirky as they all tried to solve the mystery together. There was even a red herring character which was pretty clever. The antagonist was great too and I enjoyed each and every scene he was in.
This is a quick read being a little over 200 pages. The pace is steady and there’s plenty of dialogue and description alike. There were plenty of tense moments throughout.
I’ll admit the ending surprised me. The mystery wasn’t solved quite like I was expecting and I wanted to know more.
This was a great read and another great addition to the Kitty Hawk series. It’s a fun, educational mystery and I’m looking forward to reading the last book.
Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (Book 4) by Iain Reading gets… 4 out of 5 cups
“Some have argued that the owners and builders of the Titanic never actually claimed that the ship was unsinkable, but rather that she was practically unsinkable or designed to be unsinkable. It’s just a matter of words at any rate.” –Iain Reading, Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic
Book reviews are important for authors. It’s good for their sales and it gives them valuable feedback. Authors seek out book bloggers to send copies of their books to in exchange for honest reviews.
Some people see book blogging as fun and easy because you sit there and read before typing up your thoughts. But there’s a lot a more to it that people don’t realize. It’s hard work and it’s time consuming.
Read Our Reviews/Review Policy First
If you want to ask a book blogger to read and review your work, you need to read their work first. Make sure you’re happy with the way they do their reviews and also make sure they review the kinds of books you write. Sure, it never hurts to reach out and ask if you have a question, but chances are the answer is already somewhere on their blog.
Be Personal And Professional
I mean, I’m not one to be too professional. I enjoy a good smiley-face in an email once in a while but a professional tone is nice. I like it when I get personalized emails using my name and talking about my own blog – not a general blog.
No Means No
I personally hate saying no to books. However, if I don’t think I’m going to enjoy the book or if I just have too many in my queue at the moment, I may not accept your request. If that’s the case, don’t keep emailing asking when I can accept your book or letting me know that you’re cool with waiting a while.
Don’t Send Too Many Emails
Speaking of waiting, if I accept your book I’ll let you know how long the wait will be. I don’t need you emailing me every week asking if your book is coming up next in my queue. I will get to it in the near future, otherwise I wouldn’t have accepted it.
Don’t Ask For A Good Review
Some reviewers don’t post reviews if they’re a certain low rating, but most reviewers post the review whether the rating is low or high. The point is, the reviewer is giving their honest opinion in exchange for a free book. If the book didn’t turn out to be their cup of coffee, they have the right to post the review no matter what. Remember, it’s just one person’s opinion.
Don’t Ask For The Reviewer To Pay For The Book
Sales are important and authors need to make a living, but asking for a reviewer to do you a favor and then have them use their own money just doesn’t fly. Book bloggers are doing you a favor so the least you can do is give us a free book in return.
Share The Review Around
Once the review of your book is up, please share the post around with your own followers and readers. As the book blogger is helping you by reviewing your work and sharing the review around, you can help the reviewer out by sharing the review too. It gives you exposure and it gives them exposure for their blog. It’d a win-win for everyone.
Say Thank You
Book bloggers live to read and review because we love the written word and we know how hard authors work. Most of us don’t expect anything in return and don’t charge for our book review services. So, after writing a review it’s always nice to get an email (or even a comment on the review) from the author afterwards with a simple thank you. Even if the reviewer gave the book a low rating, it feels good to get a thank you from the author.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I always feel bad giving a low rating – but the book just wasn’t my cup of coffee. So when I receive a nice email from the author afterward, appreciative of my work, it makes me feel good as well. I know my hard work was acknowledged and I’m sure I’ll be working with that author again in the future.
This goes especially for authors going through publicists. I’ve gotten most of my review copies from publicists and never hear from the author at all. I don’t mind working with publicists, but it’d be nice to know if the author themselves are reading my reviews of their books and not just trying to get a stack of reviews going.
Do you agree? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.
I’ve changed the way I write book reviews over the years. I used to write a quick blurb about what I liked and didn’t like about the book and that was it.
Then I discovered Goodreads and realized that there’s a lot more to book reviewing than I thought. I took the biggest components of a book and put them together in a review – plot, characters, and writing style.
Now I do it a little differently and I’ve added more to my reviews.
My review consists of six parts – Book Cover, First Thoughts, Plot, Characters, Writing Style, and Overall, a conclusion.
I talk about the book cover and my thoughts on how I like it and how it fits with the story itself. The book cover is the first thing people see. They say not to judge a book by its cover, but… come on, we’ve all done it.
In this section I mention why I bought the book or why I decided to read it (if I get a free copy). I talk about what intrigued me about the book at first glance.
This one speaks for itself. I don’t typically summarize what happened in the book, but I discuss what I thought worked well for the plot and how unique the plot made the genre it’s written in. I say my thoughts on how well I think the author executed the plot.
Characters are what drive the story forward and are, in my opinion, the most important part of a story. In this section I discuss the protagonist, the antagonist, and any supporting characters. I talked about which characters I enjoyed and related to, and I also talk about how well they developed throughout the course of the story.
A book is only read well when it’s written well. The writing style section talks about how well the book flowed, the pacing and tension, as well as the POV and length of book.
This is the conclusion to the review. It’s a wrap up, just a sentence or two summarizing my overall thoughts before I give it the rating.
The actual review isn’t the only part of the book review post. Before I write my actual review I mention how I got the book and show the book cover along with its genre and publication date. I add in the summary of the book and then dive into the review.
At the end of the review, I post the rating – I use a 1-5 rating scale. After that I add in my favorite quote from the book which can be a funny line, a line that struck out to me for some reason, a great piece of description, or something inspirational. Anything, really.
Then I end the review with buy links to the book and an author bio, if provided.
It’s a much bigger process than it seems and it can be pretty time consuming. But this is the best way I’ve come up with writing my book reviews and it works for me.
How do you write your book reviews? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.
As a writer, when I read a book that I don’t particularly care for, I feel bad giving it a “bad” review. As a writer, I know how hard an author works on their book. I know the blood, sweat, and tears that go into it. I understand how time consuming it is, how much hard work and dedication gets thrown into the book.
Yet, as a book blogger, I’m obligated to be honest – but fair – in my book reviews. Especially if I get the book for free from the author.
So, what do you do when you don’t care too much for a book you read?
What is a “bad” book review?
To me, giving a book a “bad” review means giving it a 1- or 2-star rating. Of course, everyone’s rating system is different, but I typically go by the Goodreads rating system. To me, a 1 or a 2 means that I didn’t like the book that much and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.
Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever given a book a 1-star before, but I know I’ve given a couple books a 2-star rating before. As I said in my intro, I always feel bad doing this because I hate telling something I didn’t like their creative work.
But that just means it wasn’t my cup of coffee.
Not everyone reviews the books they read and book bloggers review books because they truly enjoy reading.
Reviews are super important to authors. It really brings the hype to their books and the feedback is wonderful for them.
Yes, it’s disappointing and disheartening when someone posts a bad review about their work, but you can’t please everyone. We all have different tastes in things, different likes and dislikes. I’ve come across a couple book bloggers who refuse to read books written in first person. It’s all a matter of perspective and opinion.
Should book bloggers published “bad” book reviews?
The short answer? Yes.
The long answer? Yes, because it’s the job of a book blogger and reviewer to be honest and give feedback to the author. The review serves two purposes: it shows potential readers of the book what to expect (if they read reviews before deciding to read the book) and it also gives the author feedback on their writing – what worked in their story and what didn’t.
As I said, you can’t please everyone. One person might have hated the protagonist, but three other people might have loved the protagonist. It’s a matter of opinion and now two people read the same story. It’s all perspective and what the book meant to them.
Remember to be honest, but fair and polite.
Just because you didn’t like it, doesn’t mean other people didn’t either. It also doesn’t mean the author doesn’t have feelings.
Every time I’ve given a book a 2-star rating, I always try to balance the review with the things that didn’t work with me along with things that did work well, but just wasn’t enough to do it for me. I also end the review with a recommendation.
Just because I didn’t like the book, doesn’t mean you won’t. If you thought the summary sounded intriguing to you, give the book a try.
What if you don’t want to give a bad review?
I’ve seen plenty of people say they won’t publish their review if it’s under 3 stars. Most authors prefer to not have the review published because they don’t want any low ratings. I understand that, but I personally don’t think it’s practical because not everyone is going to enjoy your work. It sucks, but it’s true.
So, if you don’t want to give a bad review, let the author know and tell them your feelings on why. There was a book I couldn’t finish one time and I explained why and deleted my free copy. That book wasn’t poorly written, but I couldn’t connect with the characters and the content of the book was pretty heavy on a topic I didn’t care to read about.
With that said, while I still post “bad” reviews, it’s okay to not review the book at all. As long as you email the author, if you got the copy for free from them, and explain to them why giving them your feedback privately, there’s nothing wrong with that.
It’s all up to you.
Some people don’t mind posting bad book reviews and others do. Just like the books themselves, it’s all a matter of opinion and whatever you feel is right.
Do you usually post a review for every book you read, no matter if it’s a high rating or not? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.