Monday, 24 April 2017

SIX OF CROWS (Six of Crows #1) - by Leigh Bardugo

SIX OF CROWS - Leigh Bardugo
Year Published: 2015 - by Henry Holt and Company.
Genres: Young adult / epic fantasy /
Pages: 462.
Source: Bought.

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he'll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist: Break into the notorious Ice Court (a military stronghold that has never been breached) Retrieve a hostage (who could unleash magical havoc on the world) Survive long enough to collect his reward (and spend it) Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done - and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable - if they don't kill each other first

I buddy-read this book with the awesome Di @ Book Reviews By Di, and we had such a blast with it! It was our first ever time reading Bardugo, and we were both blown away by her genius.
You can read Di's review HERE.

The writing is excellent. There's not a single flowery or purple sentence, and every sentence is so rich, deep, profound. The writing is bewitching and intelligent, and I was completely sucked into the story.
The world-building is mind-blowing and intricate. The atmosphere's vivid, haunting, and chilling, and the gritty darkness and seething mystery are constantly lurking in the shadows, making me close to begging for the hidden secrets not yet disclosed.  The plot's so tight and unpredictable, I found myself literally gaping at the plot twists; so cleverly had Bardugo swept my attention away from what she wanted me to see.  It was simply impossible to predict anything.  
It's not an easy read. It's intelligent and the plot's watertight, but it's not something you can afford to switch-off from. You have to focus and think, and I'm sure I'll be re-reading it sometime in the future to try and absorb what I'm confident I missed during this first read.

“Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you'll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won't matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns your heart.” 

The dialogue is witty and intelligent (almost too much so...), and sparkles with subtext and vivid characterization. It's entertaining and gripping - like every aspect of the book - and certainly not without humour. And oh the humour. I frequently laughed at the dry, sarcastic wit of the characters, and such quips also offered much-needed warmth in the otherwise dark intensity of the rest of novel.

The characters. OH MY HEART. They're all so vivid and three-dimensional and diverse, and so real. My personal favourite was Inej, but as the book progressed I fell in love with all of them - for all their different strengths and weaknesses. Nina and Kaz were probably the only ones who failed to win me over entirely, but I'm sure Crooked Kingdom will change that.
There's also a wonderful female friendship between Nina and Inej, which I LOVED.
But yeah. The characters were all so beautifully broken and real, and I loved how their backstorys slowly got revealed throughout the course of the story. They were all hiding so much, and Bardugo subtly and masterfully entwined the past with the present.  

“I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.”

I only had one teensy, tiny disappointment with the book: I wanted more inner conflict between the crew. On the blurb it says "Together they just might be unstoppable - if they don't kill each other first", but I didn't see enough of that. Yes, there was tension between Matthias and Nina, but it didn't take long for them to stop going for each other's necks. I just wanted more conflict between the group.

The ending was one of the best parts in the book and I have to mention it. Without giving spoilers, let me just say that if Crooked Kingdom hadn't been within my arm's reach I quite possibly would've started screaming.  It was the most perfect, most shocking ending ever, and my shipper heart literally exploded. I ship Kaz and Inej so much it's not even funny.

You might feel completely lost at the start of the book. (That was the case with me.) But keep going, and Bardugo will shock you, stun you, squeeze your heart and leave you gasping: in the best possible way.  
The pounding action, vivid, three-dimensional characters, superb dialogue, strong morals and mind-blowing writing made Six of Crows 100% worth the hype. 

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Weekly Round-Up: Reading and reading and more of that

I started school again this week and it's been going pretty well. Apart from maths. Grrr...

I've also been reading a LOT, which has been awesome. Di and I finished Six of Crows, started on Crooked Kingdom, and it's been SO much fun. We're both absolutely loving Bardugo, and as soon as school and blogging's done for the today, I've been letting reading consume me ;)  

Posts of the week: 

Film Review: LION

Di and I raced through Six of Crows and we absolutely loved it! Our reviews will be up tomorrow.  
Aneesa and I finished reading Heartless, and our reviews will be up this week. 

Di and I literally grabbed Crooked Kingdom the instant we finished Six of Crows. AND IT'S AMAZING <3 

These two beauties arrived this week, and naturally I'm DYING to read them! 
But... *sighs*...I must be patient... 

Di and Uma share their Blog Squad posts: Part IX and Part 9

Angela shares thoughts for Her Dream Reading Nook

What are you reading? How's your week been? 

Friday, 21 April 2017

The Blog Squad: A Blogger Collaboration - Part 9

We are a group of three book bloggers situated on different continents but brought together by our love for books and a penchant for talking about them. We’ve joined our forces to create a collaborative series of posts about book blogging and we hope you’ll enjoy the discussions. 


What do you think is important about blog layout? How did you decide on your particular one?   

I think the most important thing about blog layout is that everything is easy to find - that you can easily navigate from page to page and that things aren’t too crowded or visually messy. The first impression that people have of YOU is your blog design and layout and if your blog isn’t visually attractive, how do you get people to actually READ your content? 

 Another important factor is making your blog easy to FOLLOW - after all, what are we all-important bloggers if we cannot be followed and have our voices heard?

 My own layout is a sort of flowing work in progress - I don’t think I’ll ever be happy with it and I change things whenever I think of something that might make my blog nicer or cleaner or easier to read.

 I have two sidebars with a central ‘content’ area to allow me to keep all the ‘important stuff’ within easy reach. Hopefully that strategy is working!

Of course there’s no fixed way as to how your layout should be or not. Go ahead, edit it and make it “you”. I think the blog design is a way of expression and it should be your very own. Of course you can be inspired by other blogs but don’t try to recreate others’ blog designs. 

 That being said, there are some things that are important to layout. Some things that readers like to see and some things that can put off your visitors. One big thing to remember while deciding your layout and design is - 

 Blog layout = easily navigable and MUST NOT HURT EYES. 

 Things about Layout and design that make yours truly cry and burn down the building
-  Finding a wonderful blog but WHERE IS THAT FOLLOW BUTTON?! 
- Sidebars dressed in flashy widgets from head to toe 
- Fonts so fancy that I have a headache! 
- I love me some graphics but WHAT IS THAT THING GLOWING AND FLASHING? “My eyes! MY EYES” (Read that in Phoebe’s voice) 

- What an amazing discussion post, let me leave a comment -*searches for comment box* - *Can’t find comment box*- *cry* 
- So graphic heavy that the page takes an eternity to load. #messingwithmytimemanagement 

 As for my layout, I went with two sidebars because I didn’t want my readers to have to scroll down for too long to get to the links in my sidebars. Also since my header is kind of ‘filling’ and heavy, I kept my background plain to even it out. And I decided on flowers because well, I LOVE flowers. Even my bookstagram looks like an explosion of flowers! (but in a good way!)(I think?)

Is there one thing you wish you’d done differently to your blog from the start? 
One thing you regret?

There’s been a couple of times (when I’m fighting with HTML or would love to install different plug-ins) that I’ve wondered if I should have gone with a WordPress based blog. I’ve also thought about the blog name itself a few times (however I’m not the most imaginative and haven’t come up with anything I’d rather use at this point!). 

 If you’re looking to start out in blogging definitely consider and research those two things carefully! And if you DO want to change it I’d recommend doing it as early in your blogging career as you can! I can imagine it would be really tough to get hundreds of followers to move over to your new site/blog URL!

Okay this is going to sound cheesy but I’m gonna say - no regrets. Sometimes, like Di, I do wonder if i should have started off with a WordPress blog but truthfully I’m content with my blog and how it looks right now. I am kind of having some technical problems with blogger currently but hopefully I can sort that out soon. 

 I think blogging is a learning process and while some things like blog name, platform among others must be decided right at first, it’s perfectly okay to plan everything else as it comes. For example, I didn’t know about Bloglovin until quite later and I learnt a bit of CSS when I had some problems with my layout. Do I wish I’d known about these beforehand? Maybe. Do I regret not having known them? Nope.

What is the next item on your blogging ‘To Do’ list?

Other than finding more time to actually devote to blogging and being able to visit lots of blogs all the time, the thing that I’d really love to complete is my blog roll page. At the moment I have a small blog roll in my sidebar but I want to devote an entire page to the blogs that I love and love to follow. Unfortunately I don’t want this JUST to be buttons and a description but I also want it to contain links to the latest posts and graphics etc - so it’s not as simple as it might have been! I also want to create a Reviews Archive page listing all of my previous reviews. Hopefully 2017 affords me the time to get all of the above accomplished!

Writing more discussion posts, posting more about writing, and exploring the blogosphere more! I’ve been posting only twice a week lately due to having exams and once that’s over I hope to get back to posting 3-4 times a week. I also want to find new blogs and make more friends. Hopefully I’ll get to accomplishing all of these in the summer holidays!

If you'd like to read my answers, hop over to their collab posts! : 

 We hope you’ve enjoyed Part 9 in our series of discussion posts! Please talk to us and let us know YOUR answers below. What do you think of our responses? If you have any specific questions you’d like us to address in the future, please let us know in the comments section below. Stay tuned for next week’s questions!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

LION (film) was full of heart and left me sobbing

LION - 2016
Cast: Nicole Kidman / Dev Patel / Rooney Mara / Sunny Pawar
Director: Garth Davis.
Content Rating: PG 13 for thematic material and some sensuality.
Source: Rented.

A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia. 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.

I would never have picked this movie up if it hadn't been for its Oscar buzz and Patel's win.  But I'm so glad I did see it, because Lion is one of those movies that has such incredible heart that it only takes a few minutes for the tears to come. (It took me seventeen. Then I was sobbing on and off for the rest of the film.)

The scenography was brilliant: the props and the incredibly well-proportioned scene sets were so completely on point, and each scene was thoughtful and elegant. The musical score and frequent lack of music was equally superb - adding great depth to each scene and setting the tone perfectly. It's intelligent, thoughtful, and beautiful.
The cinematography was excellent, and there were some truly breathtaking shots. Whether I was watching the heart aching scenes of poverty on India's streets or the stunning sweep of the surrounding landscape, it was immensely powerful. For example, I particularly loved the scene on the train where Saroo's alone and lost: not only was the scene intelligently and exquisitely presented in terms of design, but the cinematography showed this to its stunning, gut-wrenching potential.

The pacing was perfect. In addition, the flashbacks contributed effortlessly and profoundly to Sarro's present day situation and not for one minute were they boring. They were perfectly placed and also displayed some clever parallels to the current story, which allowed me to appreciate the current story even more.
My only criticism of the pacing is that the middle sagged a bit. It wavered, lacked focus, and needed a strong incentive to keep the story going. Thankfully however, the film did manage to pick itself up after the dip.

There was some solid character development, especially with Kidman's character. At first I was worried that they would leave her back story in the dark, but thankfully there was a powerful scene towards the end of the film that explained a great deal about her character's motivation and situation, and which allowed me to understand her better.

The acting's absolutely brilliant and so, so natural. Kidman was mind-blowing and Patel was powerful, and the supporting cast was strong. Rooney Mara was breathtaking whenever she was on screen, but that wasn't often. Unfortunately, her character also felt like "just a love interest" and didn't add much to the story.
But it was Sunny Pawar, as young Saroo, who stole the screen. Just......WOW. Most of the time I was sobbing simply because of the heartbreaking look on his adorable face. He was incredible, and apart from being an absolutely adorable, lovable, and gorgeous little boy, he was a superb child actor whose facial expressions were poignant and whose acting was natural and realistic.

Lion was a captivating, heartbreaking film infused with emotion and passion and swept along by its intelligent production and strong cast. It's a beautiful film, even if the emotion's in your face the whole time and the pacing suffers from Middle Movie Syndrome. 
I highly recommend it. (But bring tissues). 

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #29: BRAVE NEW GIRL - by Rachel Vincent

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme originally hosted by Breaking the Spine and now taken over by Wishful Endings that highlights upcoming book releases we're excited to read. On my blog, I include movies as well.

Publication Date: 9th May 2017. 

We have brown hair. Brown eyes. Fair skin. We are healthy and strong and smart. But only one of us has ever had a secret. Dahlia 16 sees her face in every crowd. She's nothing special—just one of five thousand girls created from a single genome to work for the greater good of the city. Meeting Trigger 17 changes everything. He thinks she’s interesting. Beautiful. Unique. Which means he must be flawed. When Dahlia can't stop thinking about him—when she can't resist looking for him, even though that means breaking the rules—she realizes she's flawed, too. But if she’s flawed, then so are all her identicals. And any genome found to be flawed will be recalled. Destroyed. Getting caught with Trigger would seal not only Dahlia's fate, but that of all five thousand girls who share her face. But what if Trigger is right? What if Dahlia is different? Suddenly the girl who always follows the rules is breaking them, one by one by one. . . .

I've never read any of Vincent's books, but they look so good. I also love this cover, and the premise sounds so interesting - not particularly original, but definitely interesting. I really hope to read it sometime soon!

Anyone else excited for Brave New Girl? 

Monday, 17 April 2017


The Assassin's Blade - Sarah J. Maas
Year Published: 2014 - by Bloomsbury Childrens.
Genre: Young adult / romance / epic/high fantasy /
Pages: 448.
Source: Library.

Celaena Sardothien is Adarlan's most feared assassin. As part of the Assassin's Guild, her allegiance is to her master, Arobynn Hamel, yet Celaena listens to no one and trusts only her fellow killer-for-hire, Sam. In these action-packed novellas - together in one edition for the first time - Celaena embarks on five daring missions. They take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, where she fights to liberate slaves and seeks to avenge the tyrannous. But she is acting against Arobynn's orders and could suffer an unimaginable punishment for such treachery. Will Celaena ever be truly free?

(This is going to be a mini-review, since the majority of what I think of Maas's writing and Celaena's world has already been said in my previous reviews of the rest of the Throne of Glass series).

What I Liked: 

- The world-building was excellent, as can be expected. The descriptions are vivid, vibrant, and wholly three-dimensional. The dialogue's witty, rich with subtext, and showcases the characters' individual personalities expertly.

- Maas gets inside Celaena's head so thoroughly that the narrative was effortlessly told and strongly characterised by Celaena's own vivid personality.

- A lot of what was left vague, unexplained, or in subtext in Throne of Glass was explained here, and I came away with a much deeper understanding of the world and the characters. I highly recommend reading this book before Throne of Glass, as it will allow you to appreciate what's to come in a much more thorough sense.  I personally enjoyed this book more than TOG, and I thought the writing was miles better. Maybe that's because - since they're novellas and they have to be short and concise and to the point - the plot didn't drag or get boring, as I found was the case with some of the TOG books. In The Assassin's Blade, it wasn't just Celaena who was at the top of her game, it was Maas. And I thought this collection of novellas showcased her exquisite talent to its utmost potential.

- The romance was the best thing about these novellas. The relationship between Celaena and Sam was absolutely excellent, and the banter between them was brilliant. I loved their conversations - overflowing with subtext - and to see their romantic arc develop was incredible. I loved watching them fall in love with each other, and when they finally kissed it was so much more than a kiss: it was them, two equals, two friends, accepting each other and confronting their long-suppressed feelings. It was what had been building for the last 100 pages or so, and it couldn't have come at a more perfect time or in a more perfect way.  I loved the side of Celaena that Sam brought out, and that's probably the closest I've come to liking her.  I also really loved how they were so equal and capable, and yet were still so protective of each other and could rescue each other.     
Their romance so realistic and so gorgeously slow-burning, and it completely overwhelmed my heart. Yes, I love Dorian and Chaol, but Sam was amazing too. Maas had me swooning and then sobbing, and I will always ship Celaena with Sam.
Which brings me to......
- That ending. I knew it was coming and I knew it would break me, but a silly part of me was hoping it wouldn't happen; that there would somehow be a happy ending for Celaena and Sam. My heart was literally aching the whole of the book as I anticipated what was coming, and when it did I was sobbing so much I contemplated not finishing the book. It's such a hopeless ending, such a heartbreaking one, that I almost need to read TOG again just to know there's happiness ahead - or some degree of happiness - for Celaena. I felt so broken for her, and it literally sucked the life out of me to see how she ended up at the end of the book.
- The last novella - The Assassin and the Underworld - was the best of the collection, I thought. It played out like a movie in my mind, and apart from having *insert swoon* more Sam and more romance, it was the most gripping of the novellas and was the perfect climax to everything that had been building from the start.  

What I Didn't Like: 

- Why does Maas always make her guy nip at the girl's ear and growl as he kisses her? SERIOUSLY?! It's creepy, and comes across like he wants to eat her. Not romantic at all.

- Some descriptive phrases were very overused.

The Assassin's Blade was Maas at her best: vivid characters and descriptions, excellent dialogue, pounding dark action, and of course, a beautiful ship that has to go down.    
Sam and Celaena's relationship was the best part of the book, and I've already re-read their first kiss more than three times ;)     

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Weekly Round-Up: Happy Easter!!

He has risen!  

I hope you all have a glorious Easter and enjoy celebrating Jesus' resurrection. I'm going to my grandparents for lunch, and tomorrow we're having a family picnic with my cousins and more family members ;) And we'll have an Easter egg hunt with them - although with my family the competition is rather fierce and tends to get "violent". It's hilarious, cause while I'm not competitive at all, some people take it so seriously. It's so fun to watch what chocolate - or the lack of chocolate - can do to a person!      

Last night I saw the film Lion, and I'll be reviewing that in a week or so. 

Posts of the week: 

Book Review: DARKTHAW
Film Review: ARRIVAL
Book Review: FROSTFIRE

I bought some book photo props this week, and I'm so happy to be back at taking bookish photos!

Today I'm gonna start buddy-reading Six of Crows with Di @ Book Reviews By Di, and I am SO excited to read this book that I've been dying to read for ages

I'm also still buddy-reading Heartless with Aneesa @ A Crave For Books, and so far our feelings have been very similar and very mixed. 

I received some beautiful book mail this week that I AM BEYOND EXCITED TO READ. 

Caraval is a book I never thought I'd be fortunate enough to get my hands on, and now that it's sitting on my shelf, surrounded by my other babies, it's still so surreal. I am SO HYPED to read it! 

I got The Assassin's Blade out the library, and WOW I knew what was coming, but still WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY. 
I'll write a review in the next few weeks - after I've pieced my heart together again. If that's even possible.  

I'm also starting a new feature on my blog - called Writers' Words - that will encompass all writing posts from now on. And I'm planning to make writing posts a regular thing on my blog.  

Di and Uma share their Blog Squad posts - Part VIII and Part 8 

How's your week been? What are you doing for Easter? 
Hope you have a fantastic rest of the day and eat lots of chocolate!  

Saturday, 15 April 2017

FROSTFIRE (Kanin Chronicles #1) - by Amanda Hocking

FROSTFIRE - Amanda Hocking
Year Published: 2015 - by St Martin's Griffin.
Genres: Fantasy / young adult / paranormal / romance
Pages: 321.
Source: Thank you to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!

Bryn Aven is an outcast among the Kanin, the most powerful of the troll tribes. Set apart by her heritage and her past, Bryn is a tracker who's determined to become a respected part of her world. She has just one goal: become a member of the elite King’s Guard to protect the royal family. She's not going to let anything stand in her way, not even a forbidden romance with her boss Ridley Dresden. But all her plans for the future are put on hold when Konstantin– a fallen hero she once loved – begins kidnapping changelings. Bryn is sent in to help stop him, but will she lose her heart in the process?

LET'S JUST TALK ABOUT THE COVER PLEASE. Isn't it just gorgeous?! Hocking always has the most amazing covers for her books, and I'm already half in love before I even start the book.
Seriously though. The covers are amazing. And thankfully I also rather liked the book, too...

The world-building was excellent. It's strong, realistic, and easy to fall in love with. And I just LOVE LOVE LOVE anything to do with ice and snow; it creates such a beautiful backdrop for fight scenes and kissing scenes and AHHH there's just so much potential with snow and ice. I loved the world.
The story/plot was strong and intricate, and although the book ended with a lot of unanswered questions, I'm sure they'll be resolved in the next book or the last one. The plot was clever, tight, kept me guessing, and was only slightly predictable.  It also had a darker, more chilling undercurrent than the Trylle series, and I really liked that.
Unfortunately, the story also dragged - till about the last quarter of the book. It wasn't boring exactly, but not much happened. Considering that Bryn's a tracker (a bodyguard), I was expecting a lot more action and physical fights, but there was hardly any of that. The plot was clever and tight for the most part, but it needed a lot more action. That said, the scenes without Ridley and Bryn together and without some physical action suffered greatly.

With the exception of Bryn, Ridley, Ember and Tilda, the characters weren't brilliant at all. But Bryn was an awesome heroine - stubborn, flawed, realistic, brave, vulnerable, and capable. She was unique and strong, and I really felt for her. Her aim in life wasn't guys or love, but instead her job, and that's created gorgeous potential for the books to come. Ridley was also awesome: so swoony and so hot and so right for Bryn (and me, FYI).
The romance was AMAZING. Every scene between Bryn and Ridley was burning with sexual tension and chemistry, and I ship them so hard it hurts.  They were equals, they were capable, they were brilliant characters on their own, but together they were magical.  The scene where they first kiss was the most beautiful scene in the book and definitely the best written one. It was spellbinding, gorgeous, haunting, and overwhelming. I loved it.    
There are hints of a love triangle to come, but I really hope that doesn't happen. I love Ridley and Bryn too much <3

Some other things I found disappointing:
While Frostfire was easy-to-read and enjoyable, Hocking's sentences were far too long and there was too much telling and not enough showing. The long sentences killed the drama, and Hocking's insistence to explain nearly everything after it happens got annoying and just plain unnecessary. A lot of drama was killed because of that, and it was infuriating.
The prologue was also a very bad start to the book, and the cliffhanger at the end of the book was frustrating.    

Frostfire was entertaining and addictive reading, and its beautiful romance and strong lead characters made up for the the dragging plot and infrequent action. It wasn't amazing, but it was a wonderful escape into a mysterious world. 
It also improves upon the Trylle series (which I didn't like at all) and I highly recommend this book over Switched

Friday, 14 April 2017

The Blog Squad: A Blogger Collaboration - Part 8

We are a group of three book bloggers situated on different continents but brought together by our love for books and a penchant for talking about them. We’ve joined our forces to create a collaborative series of posts about book blogging and we hope you’ll enjoy the discussions. 


Should reviews have spoiler alerts? Or be spoiler free?

For the most part I think reviews should be as spoiler free as possible however I do understand that there are times when there just HAS to be a spoiler as we can’t help talking about something! In this case I personally prefer the spoiler to be hidden when possible and definitely tagged! 

 If the spoiler would totally ruin the book if someone accidentally saw it I would say just don’t include it.

I mostly write spoiler free reviews but I think it’s totally fine to have the occasional spoiler BUT please do give readers a spoiler alert! No one likes being spoiled for a book they’re yet to read. Sometimes I NEED to talk about something in a book because it was so freaking awesome/ horrible/ appalling. At times like those I use this - *SPOILERS AHEAD* to warn my readers. IF i’m adding a spoiler, I make sure to add it at the end of the ‘Plot’ section in my reviews with proper spoiler alerts.

Do the endings of books affect your rating or overall opinion?

In short - YES! Definitely. 

 If something happens at the end of a book that I really can’t stomach then I do try to step away and rate the book overall - however often this will still bring the book down a half star or more. The same way that a good ending can possibly increase the stars I rate a book. 

 Because I don’t give a ‘technical rating’ but rather rate on a gut feel and the overall enjoyment of a book, a bad ending has a really negative impact on my rating and I can recall a couple of times when I’ve really had to NOT rate a book immediately but rather try to step back to digest it a little more and see how the flavour matures in my brain. ;) 

 I do have to clarify though that if the plot is headed in a direction I didn’t think it would or if characters I shipped don’t work out - THIS doesn’t normally change my rating. But bad endings are bad endings!

That depends! If the ride was wonderful, a little jerky end isn’t too bad and I don’t think it would affect my ratings but I ABSOLUTELY HATE it when there is no closure to mysteries. Like I’ve read a couple of books where the author builds up this huge suspense but never gives the answers! Sometimes it’s worse when the author does provide an answer but a really unrealistic ones. 

 I never lower my ratings because of cliffhangers in series. It’s a series! Authors have cliffhangers so we’ll pick up the next book. BUT I don’t like it when authors force in a cliffhanger. That might affect my rating as forcing in an event in a rough manner translates into bad plotting. Also if there is this super huge series with so much going on and even at the end of the series there are no explanations. ANNOYING AND DISAPPOINTING.  

But even in the cases where I do lower my ratings due to the ending it’s not much. At the most I might lower it on star/heart; not more than that! But I certainly do mention my disappointment in the review.

How long should a review be?

I’m really starting to see that I’m more of a ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants’ blogger and reviewer. I’m not very formulaic with ANYTHING! I don’t have a set system of ratings, nor do I have a set layout for my reviews! This means that a review might be anywhere from a couple of paragraphs long up to - well, whenever I decide I should really be more concise because it’s getting ridiculous! 

 Unless I’m really interested in a book and or really want to see what other people have said about it (confession time!!!) I kind of scan the review to look for the important parts. Just to clarify - if I come to your blog and comment on a review - I’ve read the whole thing, but when I’m browsing on Goodreads to check out books I want to add to my TBR or something I”m not going to sit and read hundreds of pages of reviews!

TRICKY TRICKY QUESTION! I don’t think there’s a specific length? But I sure as hell wouldn’t be able to read a review that goes on and on like Jack’s beanstalk! BUT that doesn’t mean I’ll be satisfied with a two line review either. I think the trick is to find the perfect line in between (I know that’s not helpful!) 

 I have a particular format for writing reviews that works well for me and keeps my reviews a somewhat similar length. I split my review up into 6 parts - CHARACTERS, PLOT, WRITING, WHAT I LIKED, WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE, CONCLUSION. The last three are there to give readers a quick overview of important points and my overall feelings towards the book. I know people might be busy and they just want to know how I liked the book and these three totally help!

If you'd like to read my answers, hop over to their collab posts! : 

 We hope you’ve enjoyed Part 8 in our series of discussion posts! Please talk to us and let us know YOUR answers below. What do you think of our responses? If you have any specific questions you’d like us to address in the future, please let us know in the comments section below. Stay tuned for next week’s questions!