[BOOK REVIEW] ”Careful what you ask the wind.” //The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab//

There are no strangers in the town of Near.

Until a stranger arrives. No signs. No warning. He sets foot in this old town full of old people set in their old ways and all of a sudden, the wind shifts it’s course.

Faint voices intertwined with the howling wind – as if lamenting it’s loss of attentive listeners. It wants to tell you a story. A story that’s as old as Near itself. A story of a misunderstood but powerful soul and it’s soul’s thirst for revenge.

Are you willing to listen?

I sat in the front yard – with my back propped up on one of those black chairs that my dad keep with such care, and legs straightened on the other. The wind that started in the rusting leaves found it’s powerful way into my open hair. It felt as if the driving force of the book I was holding in my hands had crawled into my world, and it was just the beginning.

The Near Witch had come.
Or had I gone to meet her?
Was I in the town of Near?
Or was it in me?

Honestly? I don’t even know. All I cared about was the fact that there was this strange music all around me – the wind was singing and the words were compelling. THAT was the power this book held over my mind, even my surroundings.

From the very first page itself, I was left in awe of the way Schwab played tricks on me – her hauntingly lyrical prose and the world she created were so convincing that for the time being, nothing existed other than me, the town of Near, and it’s people.

”Nothing good grows out of fear.”

Fear is a strange thing.

It has the power to make you act in ways you never even contemplated of. But while it may be true for some, others see it as an opportunity to finally let out all those horrible urges that they have been holding on for far too long. And that’s what happens when one by one, the children of this moor bound town start disappearing. People’s ignorance and unwillingness to at least try to understand a point of view that goes against their idea of what’s ”NORMAL” ignites the fire of chaos and fear feeds it until it becomes uncontrollably large and dangerous.

And all of it must come down to that mysterious stranger that ”vanishes in thin air.”
Does he?
Doesn’t he?
How can we know for SURE?!

”He’s a ghost.”

”No such thing as a ghost. He’s a halfling – part man, part crow.”

Rumors and lies start spreading all around and everyone decides to take the course that’s of the least inconvenience to them. And all of this – for what? JUST TO KEEP THEIR OWN PASTS HIDDEN.

Yes. A LOT of happens IN the story, as it goes on. But let me also tell you what happens OUT of it.

You see it’s one thing to follow the characters – especially such strong and determined ones as Lexibut it’s a whole another thing to actually BE them, to lose yourself in their struggles and actions that you experience the same changes that THEY go through. ALL OF THAT is what happens seemingly away from the hustle and bustle of the ongoing plot

because it happens in oneself;
it happens IN THE HEART AND THE MIND.

Lexi was someone who believed in what she did and did what she had ABSOLUTE AND UNWAVERING FAITH IN. She was so in touch with the gifts that the moor – the nature – had bestowed on her that it was a delightful experience to just BE ON THE JOURNEY WITH HER.

The way the whole story is structured and written is additive BEYOND MY EXPECTATIONS!! What started as a love affair with the cover soon made me realize that the TRUE beauty of this book lay deep within it’s heart, in it’s very core – and I could not have been more pleased!

Page after page, I could feel myself becoming more and more emotionally invested in Lexi and Cole’s relationship. Theirs was an attachment that was given time to flourish as naturally as a little rose bud spreading it’s petalled wings delicately and unapologetically FOR ALL TO SEE AND ADMIRE AND FALL IN LOVE WITH IT!

COLE, though! I fell for him. Ached for him. Rooted for him. I did it ALL for him and Lexi. AND OH MY GOD! The more I fell for him, the more I feared that he would be taken away from me! 😦

BUT WAS HE?

WHAT HAPPENED EXACTLY –
To the Near Witch that she had to unleash her wrath upon the village?
To the people of Near who were so rigidly set in their – borderline idiotic – ways?
To Lexi and Cole who were thrown into circumstances they SHOULD NOT have had to deal with so young?
AND ABOVE ALL –

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU ONCE YOU DECIDE TO PICK UP THIS GORGEOUS BOOK?

I’ll let you find all of that out o your own. But, always remember –

“Properly buried.”
“Properly kept.”
“That is the way with witches.”
“And with all things.”

And disrespected bodies often give rise to vengeful bones that lay their roots deep and infect the land with their hatred and anger.

[A BLOGGER’S LIFE] What is a POST?

[NOTE: I know the past couple of weeks I haven’t been able to respond to your lovely comments and catch up with your wonderful posts – believe me I MISS YOU GUYS! But there was just too much going on and I couldn’t manage everything very effectively. And what gladdens my heart and fills it with gratitude is that some of you STILL supported my blog and visited my posts – THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT! You guys are awesome and I am so very grateful to have met you! THANK YOU AGAIN! YOU GUYS ARE THE BESTEST EVERRR!!! LOVE YOU! ❤ ]

The guilt of not having posted according to my schedule for the past couple of weeks surrounded me. I felt a bit sad. I missed those lively interactions on my favorite blogs and their lovely posts, book-twitter – EVERYTHING.

And now, here I was, trying to find a good reason to go on with my blogging and reading schedule. I lacked proper motivation to open WordPress and ACTUALLY WRITE SOMETHING. My fingers hovered over the keyboard for a long time before it struck me – I wasn’t averse to writing, I was just irritated with the impossibly high standards I had set for myself as a blogger –

My posts MUST ALWAYS be visually appealing.

My gifs MUST ALWAYS be “out of this world.”

My reviews MUST ALWAYS be aesthetic.

All in all, my posts MUST ALWAYS be unique.

This demanding checklist left me overwhelmed which eventually burnt me out. For the last week, I had been trying and failing to catch up with my blogger friends because I was feeling STUCK in my own web of perfection.

If only I had realised that a post is – at it’s most basic – a record of your genuine thoughts. Of course, you can add lots of different flavours of visuals, effects, and, pretty graphics to it to make it even more enjoyable BUT it doesn’t ALWAYS need to be that way.

Sometimes you can just let all those ideas of perfection go and JUST WRITE YOUR HEART OUT, without any stress of all the work that’ll come AFTER it.

Whenever we try to chase THE IDEAL and make it the SOLE purpose, we eventually burn ourselves.

Yes, you are a blogger. But you are also a student, an employer, an employee, a reader, an author, a doctor, an engineer, a parent – you are SO MANY PEOPLE AT ONCE! And to fulfill every single one of those roles to satisfaction, you need to let yourself free from time to time or else it sucks the very joy of blogging out of it.

And that’s no fun at all.

As a blogger, the lack of motivation and reason to write and hit publish is one of the worst things ever! And to make sure that you don’t go through such a burnout – not at least on a regular basis – you just need to RELAX and allow yourself a few mistakes, a few let ups, a few missed deadlines, a few slackened standards.

Why?

Because your posts are not defined by those glitters – they are defined by their message, their content, their originality.

Allow yourselves to be a human who sometimes misses a few things, forgets others – there is fun in that. 😉

Ps: By now you must know why this post is so devoid of the usual flare. I hope you still liked it just the same. ❤

[AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE] Announcing Your September TBR //

There are soooo many blogs that I ADORE but loving them comes at a price – a delightful price THE INCREASE OF MY TBR PILE AT AN EXPONENTIAL RATE. My fingers shake as I click on their posts because although I know that their reviews will be groundbreaking-ly amazing, they will also force me to add the books to my own list which will complicate things for the already pitiable state of my ARCs. ;p

BUT….that still doesn’t dissuade me from reading them and loving them and then dying under the soul crushing weight of my tbr. AH, WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!

NOT-SO long story short, I have compiled a list of beautifully worded reviews of books (by these awesome bloggers) to read in the month of September! YAYYYY!!!

Take your pick! Take your pick! There are plenty to go around. 😉

REVIEWS

The Symposium by Plato : Lashaan read a Greek classic and we all died because of his review’s profoundness. AHHHH!!! IT WAS SO SO BEAUTIFUL, you guys! I felt like reaching through the screen, grabbing the book and start reading it ASAP! But now, I have to wait for Amazon to deliver my copy instead. NO FAIR!!! 😦

Lobizona by Romina Garber: I recently discovered Cielo’s gorgeous blog and instantly fell in love with her writing. The way she writes reviews is JUST SO ADORABLE, I AM TELLING YOU! And this gorgeous review is THE PERFECT EXAMPLE of that! ❤

MINI REVIEWS – Wilder Girls, American Royals & Laurel Everywhere : Erin writes THE MOST BEAUTIFUL REVIEWS EVER!!! Every time I read her writing, I am like…DAMN! THAT WAS GOOD. Don’t believe me? Give this beauty a read. you’ll see what I am talking about.

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown : As soon as I saw this review, I knew two things – Princess’ blog is now one of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITES + there is no fucking way I can afford to not read this one! ❤

Chaos Vector by Megan E. O’Keefe : Mads is THE SCI-FI QUEEEEEN!!!! When she recommends, YOU LISTEN! And she is head over heels in love with this book, the second in The Protectorate series! AND I AM GOING TO OBEY HER AND START READING THIS SERIES because this review is a masterpiece and I LOVE IT, OKAY? And you gotta love it too!!

The Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor : Proxy shared this absolutely gorgeous book in one of her Friday Firsts post and I instantly fell in love with it. SUCH CHAOTIC BEAUTY! ME LIKEYYY!!!! And you will toooo – just..visit her post and fall in love with it, okie?!

Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell : Although David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas was already on my tbr for this year, it wasn’t until I read Wakizashi’s gorgeous review that I actually got excited for this author’s works! I am not dying to read both Cloud Atlas AND this one AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, all because of this review! Don’t miss it. 😉

The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa : It was Star’s beautiful review that opened my eyes to even more interesting aspects of this book other than it’s cover (which was what attracted me initially) You are going to get sold on this review I AM TELLING YOU!!! It’s awesome, and the premise of this book? Mind-blowing!

You Had Me At Hola by Alexis Daria : I would not have known about this book had it not been for Priyasha’s review AND I WILL FOREVER BE THANKFUL TO HER – because now I can adorn my shelf with this beauty! AHHHHH!!! YOU GOTTA READ HER REVIEW TO FIND OUT HOW AWESOME THIS STORY IS!

How To Disappear by Gillian McAllister : Stephen writes absolutely amazing reviews, this must be common knowledge right? RIIIIGHT? Because if it isn’t then what the hell are you doing??!?! GO GO READ THIS ONE AND ADD THE BOOK TO YOUR TBR BECAUSE IT SOUNDS AWESOME! Thriller lovers – you DON’T want to miss out on How To Disappear, I am telling you!

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer : I have been waiting for this one to come out for EVERRR!!! And when I read Alexandra’s review, it took EVERY SINGLE FIBRE OF MY BEING TO NOT RUSH OUT THE DOOR AND BUY THE BOOK RIGHT THEN AND THERE! Yep, it was THAT good!

Seven Devils BY Laura Lam and Elizabeth May : A beautiful book made even more so by Octavia’s amazing review! I knew I HAD to read it as soon as I saw the cover and the urgency grew by leaps and bounds when I read this review!

First Touch by Teyla Branton : A fantastic review by Purvasha – one of my new fav bloggers! This seems like one of those hidden gems I probably would not have found out about if it hadn’t been for this amazing blogger. PLEASE GIVE THIS REVIEW ALL THE LOVE! ❤

Every Single Shakespeare Play EVER! : Naemi’s posts are so gorgeously written that I feel like crying EVERY SINGLE TIME I VISIT HER BLOG! And this one is no different. HER ONE LINE REVIEWS of Shakespeare’s plays are so cuuutteee that I DEMAND YOU GO AND READ THEM! ❤

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Allen Oh : Oh, Oh, OHHH MY GODD!! I AM SURPRISED THAT ALMOST NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS GORGEOUS BOOK! I am glad Kay is though! Her reviews – as most of you already know – are absolutely brilliant and I am so glad she decided to share her thoughts on this beautiful book with all of us., YOU GOTTA READ THIS POST RIGHT NOW!

MINI REVIEWS – Deck Of Omens & With The Fire On High : It’s one of Marie’s reviews! You know what that means right?! It’s full of beautiful graphics and meaningful thoughts. I swear every time I read one of her posts I FALL IN LOVE! She writes some of THE MOST gorgeous reviews everrr!!!!!

The Good For Nothings by Danielle Banas : I am pretty sure I would NOT have known about this one if I hadn’t read livia’s amazing review of it! SERIOUSLY THIS BOOK SOUNDS ALL KINDS OF WEIRD AND AWESOME!!! AND I AM DEFINITELY ADDING IT TO MY TBR! Are you?! 😉

Pride by Ibi Zoboi : Everyone who knows me knows that I am a Pride and Prejudice addict. So NATURALLY I added it to my tbr as soon as I saw it on Amazon. But I am SO FUCKING GLAD I DID NOT BUY IT THEN. Because, according to Kate’s honest and amazing review, this one’s rather MEH! So I’d urge you give Kate’s review a good read before you got for this book, yeah? I included it because you need to know what to avoid as well, OBVIOUSLY! *rolls eyes*

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston : This book has been stalking me. I see it at least thrice a week on the internet! I AM NOT KIDDING. I was actually excited to read it before it started to feel like it was haunting me or something. But the excitement is back, I am glad to say – ALL BECAUSE OF Gianna’s BEAUTIFUL REVIEW! Thank you so much, hon! I LOVE YOU FOR THIS GORGEOUS POST! ❤

The Grishaverse Trilogy BY Leigh Bardugo : Macey + the written word = ART! I AM NOT KIDDING! She writes so beautifully that I just want to keep reading forever… WHY, MACEY! WHY DID YOU SHORTEN YOUR MUSINGS ON THIS ONE?!?!?! I loved it to pieces! ❤ You guys – GO. READ THIS GORGEOUS POST. Now. PLEASE?

Drowned Country by Emily Tesh : Look at that cover! It’s pretty, right?Not prettier than the review, though! It was very hard to pick only ONE of Lisa’s reviews since I adore every single thing she writes. BUT I AM SO IN LOVE WITH THIS SERIES NOW. I have decided to pick this one up. And you will too as soon as you read this review! ❤

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin : I requested and was rejected for this book. But Tessa wasn’t THANK GOD! At least I got to live the story – even if just a little bit – through her beautiful review! THIS ONE IS A MUST READ, YOU GUYS! And if you don’t believe me, then fine. YOU WILL BE CONVINCED ANYWAY ONCE YOU READ THIS POST. HAHAHAHA!!! *evil laughter*

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas : I will read any book that our bee queen suggests. And this one sounds like the perfect tear jerker! And E has reviewed it most perfectly. YOU GOTTA READ THIS POST RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin : Sarah is back with her awesome reviews and I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER!!! This one by the author of The Night Swim seems like THE PERFECT THRILLER with an exciting premise. I am SO SO excited to read this. YOU WILL BE TOO IF YOU’LL JUST DO YOURSELVES A FAVOR AND HEAD OVER TO SARAH’S AMAZING REVIEW, YEAH?! 😉 ❤

The Backstagers vol. 2 by James Tynion IV : I can’t tell you much about this book – I will leave that honor with the royal duchesses of the blogosphere. What I WILL tell you though is that YOU SHOULD NOT MISS OUT ON THIS ONE – it sounds way too much fun!!

The One That Got Away by Egan Hughes : I never knew I would end up loving thrillers SO MUCH! And Jules’ reviews are one of the reasons why! SHE CONSTANTLY RERADS AMAZING, SPINE-CHILLING THRILLERS that make me want to drop everything else! This one was just like that. You’ll know when you read this review. It sounds like a must read! ❤

Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar : I had been SOOO excited for this one to release. The Book Twitter seemed to be blowing up with anticipation and the gorgeous cover only added to it! And then I read Ahana’s review! DAMNNN!!! I FELL IN LOVEEEE WITH IT! And you will toooo!! Just give it a read. It’s honest and it’s BEAUTIFUL!

A Ruined Girl by Kate Simants : Yeah! AS IF THAT GORGEOUS COVER WASN’T ENTICEMENT ENOUGH! Kelly had to kill us with her review as well!! Honestly, sometimes I feel like you go out of your way to write awesome reviews JUST TO TEASE ME BECAUSE…I JUST…*ugly sobbing* I am…*more ugly sobbing*…I GOTTA READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!

A Declaration of The Rights of Magicians by H.G. Parry : Kat’s reviews are one of my absolute favorites! AND NOW THAT SHE IS OFFICIALLY BACK TO BLOGGING, I am sooo excited to start hoarding ALLLL the books that she recommends – starting with this one. It’s absolutely gorgeous and going by Kat’s wonderful, wonderful review, it’s contents are no less wonderful! Visit the post to find out more! ❤ ❤

An Unreliable Man’ by Jostein Gaarder : I LOVE N’s reviews soo much! They are short, sweet, to-the-point, and beautifully written. She always reviews hidden gems and when I read this post, I knew I had to make time for this book this year! IT SOUNDS UNMISSABLE! Please give this post a read and show N’s amazing review the love it soooo deserves!

Fifty Fifty by Steve Cavanagh : Nicki’s reviews are always a delight to read. They are on point and clearly written. I TRUST HER JUDGEMENT IN BOOKS and so I will be adding this one to my tbr! And if you don’t want to miss out on some amazing reads, you better go and check her review out as well! Just sayin’. 😉

Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume : WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN WITH THIS AWESOME BLOGGER? Emer writes her reviews sooo passionately that they never fail to impress me. EVERY SINGLE WORD IN THIS REVIEW IS BRIMMING WITH HER LOVE FOR THIS BOOK AND I AM 10478397567507809248% IN LOVE WITH IT! You better go and check it out for yourselves as well!! ❤

Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver : Julie is ONE OF MY MOST FAVORITE BLOGGERS EVERRR!!! She is kind, sweet, AND WRITES AMAZING REVIEWSSS!!! A few more and I might have to make a separate list for her recommendations! 😉 This one was just as awesome. The book’s premise is soo interesting and Julie’s awesome review seals the deal!!!!

Night Of The Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones : Reading this review, I was so angry at myself! WHY THE HELL WASN’T I FOLLOWING Tammy ALREADY?!?!??! This review is BRILLIANT! I LOVE THIS SO SOOO MUCHHH!!!! And you gotta read it tooo!!! I have already the book to my tbr – now it’s YOUR turn. ❤

What If It’s Us by by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera : If you guys aren’t already following Poulami THEN WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! She writes THE LOVELIEST REVIEWS EVERRR!!! And this one is the proof – soo cutteee!!!! LOVE IT SO MUCHH! And you will too, I PROMISEEE!!! *heart eyes*

AND NOW FOR SOME AMAZING LISTS!!!! YAYYY!!!

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS | STANDALONE BOOKS EDITION :  Sofii’s blog is the one to visit whenever you want to soothe your eyes BECAUSE HER POSTS ARE ALWAYS THE PRETTIEST! I mean I don’t even know how she does it! DAMNN!!!! And here she is, with another one of beautiful posts FULL OF BOOK RECS! What more can you even waaaaaant??!?!?!?

Deat Endless Streaming Services, Please Aadapt : Gemma is here with her list of beautiful books that you probably did NOT know about! AND YOU ARE GONNA FALL IN LOVE WITH THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE SO SOOO PRETTYYYY!!! *heart eyes* Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful list with us, hon! 🙂

Short, Fun & Easy-to-Read Non-fiction Book Recommendations for Beginners : Do you hate to read Non-Fiction too??!! BECAUSE I DOO!! No. WAIT! I USED TO!!!! Nikita is here with her clever list of pretty non-fics that are sure to entice ANYONE – a fan or not! THESE ARE AWESOMEEE!! You cannot afford to miss out on this post, you guys!

Railhead by Philip Reeve : The amazing Sabrina at Paper Plane Nomad has generously shared with a list of reasons why she adored Railhead and I AM SO SO GLAD SHE DID. Honestly, everything she writes is just…I LOVE IT, OKAY? And you will be missing out if you don’t read this review as soon as you can. READ IT NOW! ❤

Women in SFF – 10 Fav Female Authors : Alex, the writer behind the awesome website – MARTIAN CHRONICLE – has compiled a list of female science fiction authors and I am 100000000% here for it! Added almost all of the books featured in this one. Science ficiton lovers, you better go and check this one out ASAP. ❤

Contemporary Romances you GOTTA read! : This list by Alex features some lesser known but ABSOLUTELY AMAZING romances that YOU JUST CANNOT LET SLIP THROUGH YOUR RADA!!! *furiously adds all of them to my tbr*

Books That Should Be Adapted Into Netflix Shows/Movies : Are you following Hsinju’s Lit Blog yet? Because if you aren’t then you NEED TO CORRECT THAT ASAP! WHY? Well, apart from the fact that Hsinju is one of the sweetest bloggers around? Well, you can just go and read this amazing post listing some of the awesomest Sapphic books that YOU NEED TO READ and the Netflix directors NEED TO ADAPT. 😉

My Favorite Book Covers for Each Color : Allison is here with her minimalistic post featuring GORGEOUS BOOK COVER in (almost) every color!! *heart eyes* And it is JUST TOO PRETTY FOR WORDS. I am sure you are going to find some awesome books for your September TBR in this post! ❤

WOOOHOOO!!! SOOO MANYY AWESOME BOOKS!!! I am so fucking proud of this list! EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE REVIEW IS A GEM! So you better read them – you owe it to yourselves – YOU ARE SO SO AWESOME and you deserve beautiful books! 😉 ❤

I really hope you liked this one! I have been compiling these the whole month!

So….which ones are you adding to your tbr?!
Have you already read some of these?
Do you recommend?
Do you wanna add to the list?!

TALK TO MEEE!!

[A BLOGGER’S LIFE] Are You Setting the Bar WAY TOO HIGH?// The Perfect Recipe for Disappointment//

You – yes, you, sitting behind that computer screen looking all kinds of beautiful and confident 😉 – tell me, what was your most popular post?

You know the one where you were getting crazy hits moments after hitting publish. People were commenting like nothing else mattered. I bet you felt like A GOD, didn’t you? You were able to help them in some way. Either by making them laugh, or maybe sharing some tips, or maybe just a feel-good post? BUT PEOPLE RELATED TO IT, DIDN’T THEY? Those moments are still seared in your memory – THAT FEELING OF BEING VALUED; THAT FEELING OF A POST TAKING OFF. *heart eyes*

You were on top of the world – the blogging world at least – and there was no limit to your happiness. It was all worth it that day, wasn’t it? The hard work, writing even when you didn’t feel like it, those long hours searching for EXACTLY THE RIGHT GIF, man THAT’S a real pain!

Still, the appreciation makes it ALL WORTH IT. It’s heartwarming to know that you aren’t screaming into a void; that people are actually listening to you. Nothing pumps up the spirits of a blogger kinda like those appreciative comments, those crazy shares, those increasing stats. (Own it now! DON’T BE SHY ;))

But nothing lasts and you too shall fall down. It’s the law of nature. AND GRAVITY. *shrugs*

You climbed up the mountain. It was hard. It was time taking. But it’s a fucking peak. Sooner or later, it’s gonna poke a hole through your goddamn shoes and you’re gonna have to climb down. If you don’t – a snowstorm might do the trick nicely. BUT COME DOWN YOU SHALL.

But, does it mean that you will start measuring every little success on that scale? Does it mean you will stop enjoying life’s simple pleasures just because they don’t provide the same kind of exhilaration that climbing a fucking mountain does?

I am sorry but that’s just too dumb for words. Yes, I said it.

When you write a post, you should do it ONLY BECAUSE YOU WANT TO WRITE. Not under the pressure of staying at the top. Because that attitude will definitely – DEFINITELY AND SEVERELY – affect your writing process, I am telling you.

Just yesterday I was going through all the posts I made during the last year. And I was surprised by how well a couple of them performed. It came as a shock, to be honest. Plus this realization brought with it a desire, a hunger to reach those heights again. I quickly opened my notepad and decided to write something EXACTLY LIKE THOSE POSTS – setting the bar way too high in the very beginning! I put so much pressure on my mind that the creativity muscle just kinda –

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I was forgetting one little thing, though – not every post I’ll write will be a masterpiece. Not every single post will do well. Not every single post will have people raving all about it all over the internet. AND THAT IS OKAY.

You see when you think about it – it’s just as it should be, really. If you’ll give serious thought to how this whole writing process works, it’ll become evident to you that it’s a perfect balance of odds the more you write, the more chances you create of writing something awesome. But expecting every single word to be like that? I am sorry but that is just not possible.

It’s a process. You practice with the practice. It’s not like you’ll sit in meditation for an hour once a week and the right idea will just flow through your mind and onto the paper. NOPE. How it ACTUALLY goes is you write and write and write and then one day, while writing, some words will JUST CLICK and VOILA! There is your next blockbuster post.

BUT until THAT happens, remember to enjoy every single word you write because it’s helping you and your craft – whether you can see it right now or not.


Now, I wanna hear your thoughts on the topic: do you agree? Do you have any insights that all the rest of us could benefit from?
Or maybe any such experience when you felt forced to give in to the pressure of ”famous topics” or ”viral posts”?

LET’S CHAT! ❤ ❤


[A BLOGGER’S LIFE] Is Blogging REALLY Worth It?

It’s such a beautiful day out there. Clouds covering the vast sky like a lover trying to shield his beloved from all harm. I long to go out – feel that wind on my bare face, allow it to fill my whole body like something pure. I want to feel carefree, careless. undefined

 But alas! I have to write. Write, because without it my blog will be empty. Edit, because without it my posts will be ugly. Make graphics, because without it my writing will seem boring. Whoever said Blogging is effortless was lying. Lying through his fucking teeth. Nothing that’s new to you is ever going to be effortless. And the back-bone of blogging – the written word – certainly doesn’t come easily. Neither does the part that follows it. There is a lot of effort that goes into blogging which makes even the best of us wonder, at some point or another – “Is it even worth it?” What would all that hard work achieve?” “Why does it involve so much effort? I thought following your passion was supposed to be a cake in the walk, cake while walking, or a cake walk, Either way. ;).”

Well, let’s answer your questions.

It’s worth it if you value your writing.

Writing is an ever-evolving skill. The way you write today is different from yesterday. And so it’ll go on forever.

You don’t learn and THEN write. You learn AS you write.

It’s something that keeps on getting better and better, provided that you nourish it with enough practice. Practice comes from habit. And habit is formed with consistency. Would you be so naive as to hope to read every single book on writing before you ever write a single word and then hope to spout a masterpiece the moment you pick up the mightiest sword – THE PEN? I hope to god you wouldn’t because that would be foolishness at its fucking peak!  

It’s worth it if you value friendship

When I started blogging, I used to think of it as just sharing my thoughts and be done with it. I didn’t have THE SLIGHTEST INKLING that I would make SUCH AWESOME FRIENDS HERE!

All the beautiful bloggers that I met, interacted, and made friends with HAVE BEEN THE BEST PART OF BLOGGING, not gonna lie! YOU GUYS ARE AWESOME! YOU ROCK!

I LOVE YOU!!! You have made my blogging experience richer and more fun and I WOULD NOT HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY!! ❤

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It’s worth it if you want to build your readership.

And by that I don’t mean blindly increasing the number of followers.

I mean establishing good and healthy relationship with those who read your blog, you comment on it, who value value your posts.

THEY are the ones who will give you GENUINE feedback on your writing, who will support you and your blog will be better for it. You will learn how to converse with your readers, what they like to read, what they jump at and it will definitely help you in bettering your own writing as well. Blogging isn’t only about punching the keys, IT’S MAINLY ABOUT INTERACTION and that really helps you in building a network of good and honest readers.

WHO THE FUCK WOULDN’T WANT THAT??

It’s worth it if you can manage your ever growing TBR

OKAY THAT’S ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT BLOGGING! I don’t think I’d have read and discovered as many masterpieces as I have now without this little blog.

I mean whenever I visit any of my fellow bloggers posts and reviews, I always come out with a TBR that is sky high.

And it always amazes me how you guys manage to read so much. I mean WOW. You give me the inspiration to experiment with genres, something I’d not have done otherwise. I don’t think I’d have the courage to climb out of my comfort zone without reading and believing in YOUR experiences!

SO THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT! ❤

In the end, all I’d like to say is this:

Blogging has changed my life – the way I read, the way I write – EVERYTHING. And I am happier for it. And I am sure you guys have had the same experience. Sure it is hard work at first but it’s ALL worth it.

Blogging is THE BEST and anyone who says otherwise deserves a firm smack on the head, you know to put the wiring right. 😉

[A BLOGGER’S LIFE] Comment for Comment – A FAULTY SYSTEM

When you follow a blog, what expectations do you have?

🌸 You’ll get a regular supply of awesome content and make friends with the amazing blogger behind it

OR

🌸 Yay! More people to comment on my posts! 

If the former, more power to you! But if you think the latter, then you aren’t the only ones making this awful, awful mistake.

The story starts two years back – when I was still very new to book blogging and everything was like a shiny toy. I was very helpful, friendly, and true of heart. (Not that I am not these things now..🤣)

My sole purpose used to be sharing my writing and making friends in the community. I used to enjoy talking with them about my interests, loved reading about their own – it was the golden era of my blog. 

Of course the problem started when I started trying to copy the famous blogger’s writing style in the hopes of gaining more followers because THEIR content matter seemed to get more famous than mine. But that’s a different story.

Little by little, I started to replace those pure feelings of joy in reading others’ content with an intense desire to get more and more comments. And towards that goal, I’d try to find and follow AS MANY BLOGS AS I COULD. I didn’t wait to think whether I REALLY liked their content, whether it was my kind of tea or notI just wanted to make them feel appreciated so that THEY WOULD MAKE ME FEEL APPRECIATED AS WELL. (I wish I had only focused on the ”making THEM feel appreciated” part! 😦

Such an awful, awful trend isn’t it?

And although I have come out of it now – because within the first few months of doing so, it started becoming WAYY TOO EXHAUSTING and so I shifted my attention back to following and reading content I actually love – it’s still very prevalent among other bloggers.

And I kinda hate that, not gonna lie.

Really?
Are you just going to comment on mine if I comment on yours?
Does that arrangement seem uplifting to you?
How is it helping though?

Really, HOW will you EVER know if your writing is ACTUALLY worth reading? By the number of comments? Oh, but they comment on yours because you comment on theirs. *shrugs* NOW what you have to say for yourself, huh?

The fault in this system is that:

🌸  It encourages too much selfishness which is neither good for you, nor for the others.

🌸  It comes in the way of making friends and the overall fun of reading a blog, because all the time, you are just think about YOURS, not REALLY appreciating THEIRS, do you see?

Hey, don’t get me wrong – blog hopping and supporting new bloggers is really important but the intention behind it shouldn’t be selfish. And I am not talking about you turning into an absolute saint here! 🤣 No, no, don’t do THAT. You have a responsibility to grow your blog as well. And doing some things SOLELY for that reason is COMPLETELY FINE. I do it too.

But when you start commenting on other blogs only because you expect them to comment on yours, it’s a disservice to their content, to be honest. 

Support and show them love without any expectatons. Try doing it – just for a month – review the blogs you’ve followed and actually give thought to their writing. Do you REALLY love it? Or was your follow just a bait – for them to visit your blog and follow you as well? 

Give this a serious thought and try an unconditional approach for a while.

It will be beneficial for both you and them in countless waysthe most important being the friendship that’ll form out of your love for their content. And out of that will come everything that you want as well – yes, yes, the comments and the follows (ugh, look at YOU! No change! 🤣) 

Give love because you feel like giving it, not because you expect they’ll love you back as well and see your world shift – towards a happier and more meaningful blogging experience. 

Because this“I’ll comment on yours only if you’ll comment on mine.”  – is a very mean practice. And one day, you’re going to get tired of it. I know. I did too. And THAT day you’ll realize who your ACTUAL FOLLOWERS ARE.

You’ll stop chasing those bribed comments soon enough. You’ll realize the importance of actual readership, of REAL followers who won’t leave you NO MATTER WHAT. 😉

[A READER’S LIFE] The Crazy Book-Girl //Things I did as a kid that earned me this title// PART-2

Having had WAY TOO many crazy bookish moments in my childhood, I have been wanting to share this post ever since I wrote the part one. 

My childhood was full on crazyI’d slap someone four years older than me and then get into trouble for that, took a few things too and hid them in a place where nobody could find them and then watched everyone panic – a classic example of this was when I took my aunt’s gold ring and kept it in my room.

In my defense I was only 5 years old and that ring was very fucking shiny – it had a peacock engraved in it. IMAGINE THAT!

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Yeah, so I took it – in innocence – but when she got mad at her own girls, I was afraid of telling her that it wasn’t them, it was me. And so, I didn’t speak out for the next three days – until my mum found it while looking for something in my bag. 

But, hey, THAT’S ANOTHER THING!! 🤷🏻‍♀️ Right now, I just wanna talk about some other things I did as a child that earned me the label I now wear with much pride and respect – “The Crazy Book Girl”

Let’s begin, shall we? 

undefinedGuilty of Stealing 

Ladies and Gentleman, we are gathered here today to witness the public shaming of this girl – who goes by the name RAIN.

Look at her. Just look. So innocent, isn’t she? Well, don’t be fooled by her little face because behind that innocent smile is the heart of a very heinous criminal who can and WILL destroy everything you hold dearmainly books.

The Local PD, Bookishton

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Yep. They are absolutely fucking right. I did steal someone’s book once. 

Hey, hey, HEYYY! Before you come at me with torches and swords, let me explain dude.

It was the year 2005 and I was merely 9 years old. By that time, I had already fallen head over heels in love with books – those pretty little books hiding those pretty little stories! 

This one time my ”friend” – let’s call her P – brought her recently rand new social science book to school. Okay, I admit that the content wasn’t very exciting but THOSE PAGES – glossy and smooth as butter. HARDCOVER. Pretty drawings. IT WAS THE VERY DEFINITION OF BEAUTY. 

And I was jealous. And SHE FUCKING KNEW IT! That’s why she kept showing it off whole dayy! 

Well, I got mad and decided I wanted that book. And so, when she went to the bathroom – I took the book out and put it in my bag. It wasn’t too big so nobody noticed me doing so.

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The first few moments I felt awesome but it soon converted into guilt. As that feeling started to overpower me, I decided to out it back in her bag but she came back right at that moment and since it was the last period, I couldn’t do it that day! 

When she went home, she must have cried a lot because her new book was missing. AND I FELT AWFUL TOO! And so, the next day – since I usually arrived in class before everyone else – I put the book on the very back seat and sat on my own bench.

The boy who was sitting there noticed the book in the first period, read her name and gave it back to her and that was that.

P, if you are reading this, I HOPE THIS TEACHES YOU NEVER TO FUCKING SHOW OFF! 

NOW GO AWAY. You were a mean bean in the later years and I HATE YOU! 😡

undefinedIt’s all about them stickers

As a child, I had a LOT of picture books. My mum used to bring me new ones every year from the book fair. IT USED TO BE ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED DAY OF THE YEAR. And then, she used to give them to me at the end of every academic year – in March.

It was a lovely tradition and it helped in cultivating my reading habit. And so, I always prized those books and kept them decorated. With lots of those puffy stickers.

One of those books was titled – ”The Best Classic Fairy Tales’‘ –  It was very pretty orange colored and puffy and it had some of my favorite stories like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Beauty and the Beast.

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I loved it and of course during those first few months of owning it, I would take it to school everyday, not to show it off though LIKE THAT P! 😡 Just to make sure that it’s alright, safe with me. 

I never took it out of my bag in the class. Never except that one time – in the social science period. Our teacher – with her typical short hair and mean eyes – noticed it and took it from me, asking me to give it back at the period’s end.

I waited impatiently for the bell to ring and as soon as it did, I was the first one off my seat and in front of the teacher’s desk. But she decided to troll me instead, saying that she wanted to borrow the book for a day – so that her daughter could read it.

I couldn’t very well refuse her, EXAMS WERE NEAR, worse luck! And so I nodded. 

The next day, however, when she returned the book, I was shocked to see what her daughter had done – torn off ALL OF MY STICKERS, leaving the pages looking ugly with all those white patches. Like this: 😦

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And you know what? She pretended as if that was always the case – as if it was like that when she took it from me in the first place!

LIKE WHAT THE FUCK?! An apology would’ve been nice. 

From that day, I started being rude to that particular teacher and she’d purposefully cut my marks off for the MOST RANDOM MISTAKES.

Oh well.

undefinedHide your sweaters from me if you are a rude ass punk. 

Some of you who have read the part one of this post already know that I once beat up a guy for stealing my book. Well, that wasn’t the only bookish beating I executed.

There was one more. Just one. But this one is VERY important and I AM STILL VERY PROUD OF IT. 

I must have been around 11? years old when this happened. You see, I used to sit with this guy from my class in the bus while going back home. He and I used to read comics. The seats used to be really small so we would sit very close to each other and read from the comics – just random cartoons or something, I don’t even remember their names now.

And this other classmate of mine, call him Hasshole, he used to make fun of that. He used to gossip about us, that mean boy gossip you know, it makes me laugh now that I think about it. 

But boy did he cross his limit when he snatched the comic from us this one time and crumpled it (they used to be very thin) and started laughing like the Hasshole he was! 

He shouldn’t have done that. I got so fucking angry that I went to him, pinned him to the back of the bus, and tore his sweater a bit, starting with it’s v neck. You get the idea, yeah?

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He cried and cried until his stop came and unfortunately, it was the same as mine. When his mum, standing there to pick him up, saw this she asked him about it and he told her everything.

She scolded me and took me to my mother, who then scolded me again and I wasn’t allowed to go out to play FOR A WEEK!

 FUCK THAT ”HASSHOLE.” I HATE HIM! 


*SIGH* Well, THAT was a fun ride, wasn’t it? 😉
These are some of THE MOST memorable moments of my childhood, makes them laugh to even think about them now. And I have this vague idea that THESE ARE NOT ALL – maybe I’m forgetting something?!

I GOTTA GO ASK MUMMA!

Until, next time then?

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[A BLOGGER’S LIFE] Things I still NEED to learn

Apart from possessing the ability to churn out fresh content by the week, responding to comments on a timely basis, blog-hopping consistently, and of course, spreading love in the community, there are a few other things that a blogger needs to understand and I seem to lack in those.

I used to think that I was a kick-ass blogger. I don’t now.

Why?

Well, let’s find out:

🌸The Power of Habit

I made a post last year – titled – “What makes a Good Blogger” 

I followed every single point I made in it. But THEN, because of JUST A LITTLE BIT OF DIFFICULTY – I let it all go down the drain – MONTHS OF HARD WORK – all went away! Just like that.

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Ugh. Me and my hypocrite self.

The point is, when I had that accident and decided to take a little break from blogging, I didn’t know what effect it would have on my habit of writing every day, one that I had had a LOT of difficulties cultivating in the first place.

We fickle human beings fail to recognize a little fact – our mind is ALWAYS trying to find ways to go back to being a lazy-ass dump of nerves. You can’t argue with that! 🤣

And when you decide to take those – unplanned breaks – you give it THE PERFECT AMMUNITION TO LIGHT THE FIRE IN YOU LIFEburning the good habits (that you took a LOT of time to form) to the ground. 

Well, do you disagree?! DO YA?!

But hey, that’s not to say that we can never take breaks. It’s just that there is an art to it, one that needs learning.

🌸The Art of Taking Breaks

WITHOUT ruining your habits, I should add.

As I said, the mind is a lazy-ass fuck who keeps yearning to go back to his old ways of procrastination and laziness.

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And we need to find a way to tread that sensitive ground with care. Think Katniss trying to hop her way around those mines to blow up all the ammunition. 🤷🏻‍♀️

So, it all comes down to this: Finding time to make sure you are engaging in writing at least a few minutes EVERY DAY – it can be just a little paragraph – but you do it daily

When you’ll do it every day, going back to blogging won’t seem THAT MUCH OF A MONSTER TASK – because you’ll have tidbits of content at your fingertips – ready to be converted into full-blown posts should you feel the need.

And that’s EXACTLY what I need to learn as well. Boop.

🌸Visit Your Blog Regularly

Yes. Okay, I know, I know. This one seems irrelevant. But, hear me out, alright? 

Whatever’s in front of your eyes on a regular basis becomes the dominant thought of your mind, doesn’t it?

Well, that’s the principle that will be activated when you form the habit of regularly visiting your blog yes, even on hiatuses. 

Just visit it. Don’t interact with anyone if you don’t want to. Don’t reply to comments yet, if you don’t feel like it. Don’t comment on others’ posts if you’d rather wait until you are officially back.

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BUT, visit your blog regularly nonetheless. Because by doing that:

•  You’ll keep reminding yourself what absolute fun blogging actually is and how much you love it.

•  You’ll also be reminded of how much effort you’ve put into it so far and what a waste it would be if you were to abandon it all of a sudden.

And both of those realizations will keep you from falling into laziness and inactivity. 

They surely would have helped me had I visited my blog regularly. And I am sure it’ll help you as well. 

 

🌸Never Forget

Okay, this is an extension of the last point but I think it’s too important not to repeat:

You must NEVER – under ANY circumstance – forget all the hard work that goes into maintaining the blog. 

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You put other things on hold to make your blog the prettiest, the coolest, the wittiest, the BESTEST! 

And all that work goes to waste if you stop giving attention to it all of a sudden. I mean, it’s like a house. A house becomes a home when you clean it every day, decorate it in your likeness, make sure that it reflects YOUR personality, your likes, and dislikes, YOUR habits.

BUT that same cozy and comfortable home turns into a cold and unwelcoming structure of bricks when you stop living in it, stop giving attention to it – doesn’t it?

Well, the same thing happens with our blog as well. It needs a similar kind of nurture and care – and that too REGULARLY.

🌸Keep in mind the people that you leave behind.

It isn’t only about writing and getting comments, is it? Blogging is also about the wonderful and welcoming communitythose friends that you make, that confidence that you build with them, their faith in you, and your faith in yourself.

Remember how much time it took you to form that?

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Well, don’t leave THEM behind just because you couldn’t keep your wandering mind under a leash. THEY are the ones who make your blogging experience so fucking wholesome and fulfilling. 

And you’d do well to remember that before you decide to leave your blog – a child of your mind – unattended the next time.

Yes, I AM TALKING TO YOU RAIN! ️ I swear to god you can be so fucking difficult sometimes. UGH! 

Well, I hope that these few points will help you as I am sure they’d have helped ME as well before I decided to fall into that same cycle of procrastination.

Until next time,

RAIN 

A BOOK REVIEWER’S Prayer + Promise + Warning.

YOU MUST NOT READ MY REVIEWS for I will let my heart judge the words, without any inhibitions.

When I am holding a book, my mind is no longer the master. For it is my belief that once you let too much reason in, it muddies the effect the story has on you on a much deeper level. 

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Having read a book, I will jump straight into the review with emotions hanging over my head like a sword, threatening to destroy me lest I pour them out on the paper. It pains me to not be able to talk about what I read right away so I will always be very passionate and most insistent while talking about the merits and the faults of a story.

I will not be led by anything other than what my feelings dictate.

There will not be one shred of dishonesty in what I write. Everything will be in strict accordance with the feelings invoked and the thoughts reflected upon during the course of the reading. So you can imagine that it will, sometimes, prove to be a daunting read. And I am okay with that.

When the reader is wholly invested, in a book nothing but a true account of every movement of their mind, owing to the story, will ever give them satisfaction. So that’s what I do. My reviews are much too intense and hold true to only what I thought about the book, not influenced by anyone or anything else. In that way, they will be brutal, and forgiving accordingly.

You must not be in a delusion that you will be told a detailed account of what happened with whom, who did what, and how it all ended for them. No. The only things you will find in my reviews are what moved me, what incited feelings of passionate hate or ardent love, of ignorance and indifference or that of continuous awe. That’s all I can offer you by the medium of my humble writings.

But frankly, why would you want to know anything else anyway?

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Isn’t the real reason why we read book reviews to know what the reader FELT about it? Not what happened, but their REACTIONS to the said events? THAT’S the beauty of every single review out there, isn’t it? Their singularity, their originality.

You must not read my reviews for they will be an honest account of my shattering heart and all the reasons behind it.

They will be raw, overflowing with emotions, and you might then be inclined to suppose that I am blind to the faults of the book. I am not but to think so is your choice.

You must not read my reviews because then, you will HAVE to read the book concerned with as much an open heart and suspended belief as I did, to experience, IN IT’S FULLNESS, the story those pages hold.

YOU MUST NOT READ MY REVIEWS IF YOU ARE UNWILLING TO DO THAT.
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Such are my thoughts on review writing, how they should be and why a reviewer must NEVER be forced to do otherwise. Doing justice to a book, according to our opinions on it, is all we are required to do and THAT’S ALL WE WILL DO.

EVER.