Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Sunday Mix (25)

It's been three weeks since my last post, so get ready for lots of really great links to check out! I had to skip over one week because last week was the Love-a-Thon, and it was blooming fantastic. I'm so grateful to every single person who signed up to participate and I'm so thankful to my lovely co-hosts Cee, Hazel & Mel!
  • S.Jae-Jones talks about writing sex in YA. I really liked hearing her perspective on including sex in YA (which I think is important and can be done in a way that's not gratuitous, and I feel like many other readers will find this interesting. 
  • How do you feel about character descriptions in novels? Cait made a fabulous pros and cons list outlining her thoughts on lengthy, specific descriptions of characters in novels. I find that I'm pretty neutral on this subject. I like getting a visual image of what a character looks like through an author's words; but I also don't mind having to conjure up an image for myself. 
  • Cait shares 8 types of romance in YA and she has a fabulous quiz to help you figure out which type is your favorite. I really just love her cheeky commentary on each type of romance! (Personally, I prefer the friendship slow burn romance and the hate-to-love romance best.) 
  • Alexandra talks about well-loved books, and what that means for you. Like her, most of my most-loved books are in pretty pristine condition, only because (a) I have very few friends in real life who borrow my books and (b) I try to take care of all my books, whether it's an actual finished copy or an ARC. But I like marking mine up with post-its, and I've taken time to start underlining passages in my books when I reread them. Do you do something similar with the books you love? 
  • I'm quite in love with this guide to book cover finishes. Sanne does a great job distinguishing between all the types of covers (most of which I'm familiar with, or have encountered at least once). I'm fond of matte covers, especially if they're embossed or have foil. What kind of covers do you prefer? 
  • I really enjoy using Instagram to share photos with all of you. (I'm @alexaysantiago on there, in case you wanted to follow me!) Josephine's post about real time versus planned content is really interesting to read. I personally go for real time photos majority of the time (which is why there are days when I don't post at all), but I've recently started going out of my way to take photos beforehand. I guess that means I'm a hybrid like she is! What about you? 
  • Lauren muses on the consequences of reading too much. While I'm consciously trying to read a little bit more slowly (to savor things, really), I still feel naked if I'm without a book (especially during the work week). So, more often than not, I read books back to back. I find that I agree with the genre burnout; sometimes, if I read too much of a genre, it all just blurs together or I get really nitpicky about it. Does that happen to you? 
  • Feel like inducing a case of swoons? You should check out Hannah's compilation of declarations of love in books. I definitely really enjoyed seeing her choices, and I definitely agree with the ones I've read as well! (I also wanted to read the ones she mentioned from books I haven't yet read...) 
  • Mel shares her thoughts on being a DUFF, inspired by the film and a few YA novels. I could definitely relate to her experience of trying to be someone I wasn't for a long time. I finally realized that what I was doing wasn't healthy or right for me, and so I decided to stick to my guns and stay true to me. Happily, it's brought me nothing but joy even though it was hard at first! 
  • I might be slightly obsessed with Lauren's songs paired with romantic tropes. It's so cleverly done, and I feel like each song (and the lyrics she's chosen) really fit their corresponding trope oh so well. I really like the Friends to Lovers, and Childhood/Second Chance pairs! 
  • Cee celebrates Galentine's Day by sharing some of her favorite female friendships in YA! Personally, I love the girls in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. And Reagan and Dee from Open Road Summer. 
  • Jamie opens up about accessibility to your heroes, specifically authors. As she really details in her post, there are pros and cons about the level of interaction readers can have with their favorite authors now. It helps makes things feel more personal, you can reach out instantly and you'll usually get some form of response faster. But it also means that authors have to be thoughtful and intentional about their online presence and responses. It's something to think about for sure, though I definitely agree that at the end of the day, you have to remember that every single person (whether author or blogger or something else entirely) is a real, breathing human being. 
  • Josephine wrote about apps that'll help boost your Instagram productivity. I'm already trying out Prime, Squarelovin and Latergramme, so we'll see how that ends up working out for me! I'd love to be able to share more of my life (bookish or otherwise) on there. Do you use any of the apps?
  • Becca asks a really interesting question: Why do you blog? I know we all do it for different reasons. As I said in my comment on her post, I do it because I love having a community of individuals to talk books with (since I don't have that in real life) and when I can and want to, I genuinely love helping an author promote their amazing books. What about you?
  • Lauren talks about how she decides on her book ratings. We have the same general approach to our ratings, as I always operate from instinct first and rate based on that if at all possible. But I genuinely spend some time mulling over the ratings I'm iffy about until I can settle it in my head. (Do you guys think I should incorporate ratings into my reviews? Would any of you appreciate that?)
  • Cait basically tells it like it is when she talks about procrastinating reading good books. I'm definitely guilty of doing this (and my ever-growing TBR pile proves), but most especially because of the first two reasons she shares! I always find it hard to let go of a series. And I sometimes find it hard to deal with the personal hype I've started in my own head.
  • There's definitely some merit to being pickier about the books you choose to read, as Bekka talks about. I personally have been having a roller coaster of a reading year. There have been some standout greats and some not-so-amazing duds. But it was in the month of February when I finally hit an actual limit and realized I was in a reading slump because I kept pushing myself to read things that I didn't feel like reading/didn't enjoy reading. So, towards the end of the month, I started going with my moods and picking my reads that way - and it really made my reading experiences better! Definitely going to try to keep sticking with that route in months to come.
  • Wendy talks about steps towards book obsessions. I must say that her observations are spot on! At least, they are in my experience. I've always found that once I become obsessed with a series I'm consumed with a need for more, for merchandise and just hungover on it for months - even if I read other books afterwards.
  • Cait is seriously one of my favorite bloggers. She details the reasons why bookworms enjoy reading painful books (as much as you can enjoy being sucker punched in the feels), and I just have to say I agree with a lot of these reasons. Perhaps all, if I'm being honest. Because books that make me feel all sorts of things are the best.
  • Seeing the Disney princesses in anime form just made my week. (Thanks for sharing, Kristin!) These are beautiful illustrations, and I honestly wish I could buy them as prints and post them on my walls!

Have you read any interesting posts this week? 

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