W..W..W.. Wednesdays

It’s Wednesday which means it’s time to tell you what I have been up to for the past week! W..W..W.. Wednesdays is a weekly meme bought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading.

What are you currently reading?

Melissa - I am doing the two book juggle again this week - I am currently almost finished with Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl as well as The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. Really enjoying them both. They’re both chunky books, so it’s proving to take a little while to make a dent in them, but I am getting there!

Kristy - The Raven Boys (The Raven Boys #1) by Maggie Stiefvater. I didn’t get to this last week as I planned :(


What did you recently finish reading?

Melissa - I had a pretty good week! I finished reading The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa, So Much To Tell You by John Marsden as well as a graphic novel - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures Vol 1. :D

Kristy - The Beautiful and the Damned by Jessica Verday (spin-off of The Hollow series).


What do you think you’ll read next?

Melissa - I am getting a little snowed under in ARC’s right now, both e-ARCs and physical ones. I really need to make a move there. I want to read Witchstruck by Victoria Lamb, The F- It List by Julie Halpern and Unbreakable by Kami Garcia.

Kristy - I will probably move onto The Dream Thieves (The Raven Boys #2) if it arrives in time (fingers crossed).


What is everyone out there reading at the moment? Share your links below!

Blogging 101: Before You Hit Publish

Good morning everyone. :D

I thought I’d talk a little bit today about staying true to yourself as a blogger, and also posting content that interests you and that you’d like to read, and not posting things you don’t necessarily care about because you think it’s expected.

Don’t compare yourself to other bloggers.

When I first started book blogging, I have to admit, I was in a little over my head. I visited a whole bunch of blogs and generally knew that in order to run a book blog, you’d need to be able to post certain things apart from reviews if you want to have a successful blog. A lot of my original posts were really trial and error.. mostly error if I am honest about it! haha

It’s very easy to fall into this trap of feeling like you have to “keep up with the Joneses”. You know what I mean - Sally posts a whole lot of author interviews, and so maybe I should post author interviews too. Or Marie participates in so many blog tours… to be successful maybe I need to also?

Stop for a minute before you go down this route and think - is this something I really want to do because I think it sounds fun? Or am I just doing it because I feel like I need to?

Find your voice.

It’s tough, especially when you’re a new blogger. I know when you first start, you want to be like everyone else, just for guidance if for nothing else. There’s nothing wrong with being different.

Every successful blogger that I know of in the book blogging community has gotten this way by being unique or unusual. There are so many book blogs out there that have the same features, and same memes and same templates and look and when you compare them to the blogs that have major followings, it’s very clear what the difference is. Owners of successful blogs are not afraid to try new things, or to do things differently to how they’ve traditionally been done. They take risks, and they post things on their blog that they find really engaging themselves. And traditionally, at least with the blogs that I follow, they’re all really good communicators. They’ve found their voice, and their niche and they’re sticking with it.

Post content that you would genuinely want to read on other blogs.

I can’t stress that enough.

I am not perfect at this, it’s easier said than done. But seriously - when you’re about to hit publish on your latest post - firsly imagine yourself going to a blog you really enjoy and respect. Imagine reading that post on their blog. Is it engaging? Is it something you would honestly like to read? Is it boring? (Not a fun question to ask yourself, but we sometimes need to ask the tough questions) Am I just posting this because I feel I have to as a book blogger?

If you cannot say 100% that you’re enjoying what you’re posting - do not post it. That simple.

And I know some of you right now are sitting back and thinking “Der.. who’s going to post something they don’t love?”, but to tell you the truth, it happens all the time.

Think about the types of posts you mostly like to read when you visit other blogs. Whatever those posts are that you enjoy, that’s the type of thing you need to post more of on your own blog. The beauty of this is that we are all different people, and things that don’t really interest me all that much are the same things that other people absolutely love - and vica versa.

Personally speaking, I know blog tours and author interviews on a general level don’t interest me, and I’ll mostly scroll past these without a second glance. That’s why you won’t come here expecting to see a lot of these on this blog. That being said, if you ever do see interviews and blog tours, it’s because something has really excited me! lol

Because I am always trying to improve and trying to do better you’ll see a lot more discussion posts, blogging tips and posts where we actually get to communicate better with our readers, because I personally know when I visit other blogs, those are the posts that I really enjoy the most.


I hope you find some of this useful! As I said last week, I will post more things like this in the coming weeks. If you have a question or something you want to know more about, let me know in the comments below, or email me at booknerdreviews@gmail.com and I might just answer your question in an upcoming blog. :)

Giveaway winner: When The World Was Flat (And We Were In Love) - Ingrid Jonach

Good evening!

A couple of weeks ago we posted about a giveaway that we were hosting courtesy of the publishing team at Strange Chemisty. One lucky Aussie reader of ours was going to win a copy of Ingrid Jonach’s book, When The World Was Flat (And We Were In Love).

Well the giveaway has now ended, and I have a winner to announce! The winner is……

Rochelle Sharpe

Congratulations Rochelle! Kristy will be sending you an email shortly to get your address details and a copy of this book will be soon on its way out to you!

Thank you to everyone who entered this giveaway and showed their support! We do currently have a new Australia Only giveaway running right now if you haven’t seen it yet, and this is to win a copy of All The Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry. If you missed out on this giveaway, make sure you enter our new one to be in the running. And international folks, we still have our epic September giveaway happening until the end of the month also.

Good luck everyone and thank you for entering!

Giveaway: All The Truth That’s In Me - Julie Berry

Australian Readers, this giveaway is for you. To celebrate the upcoming release of All The Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry, the team at Harper Collins Australia have been very generous in allowing Book Nerd Reviews to organise this giveaway.

Kristy posted her review of All The Truth earlier today, and if her review does not make you want to read this book, then nothing else will! Make sure you check it out below if you’ve not done so already. In Kristy’s words:

“This story is masterfully constructed full of suspense and twists along the way, which all leads to a chilling conclusion that will stir many emotions. There is heartbreak and sacrifice, hope and loss, some will win your heart while others will disgust you – but the courage that is shown will certainly remain with you long after you finish this truly unique story.”

Don’t just take Kristy’s word for it though, All The Truth has been receiving some amazing reviews on Goodreads also, and we’re really excited to be given the opportunity to give away a copy.

The terms and conditions are that you need to be residing in Australia as Harper Collins will be sending the winner a copy of this book directly. This giveaway will be running from today right through to September 29th.

You will all receive a free entry via the Rafflecopter widget below, and entering is super easy. You’re able to receive extra entries for tweeting, following the author and following BNR also.

A huge thank you to our friends at Harper Collins Australia for allowing this to happen - and good luck to everyone who enters! x

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: All the Truth That’s In Me - Julie Berry

Release Date: October 1st 2013
Published By: HarperCollins Australia
Pages: 304
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Synopsis: Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years later, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by her friends and family.

Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to her childhood friend, Lucas. He is the boy who has owned her heart for as long as she can remember - even if he doesn′t know it.

But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose - to continue living in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever.

Told in a voice that is achingly raw and intimate, this remarkably original novel will haunt and stay with you. It will fill you with Judith′s passion and longing, and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last one.

Review: Thank you HarperCollins Australia for the advance reading copy of All the Truth That’s In Me by Julie Berry.

All the Truth That’s in Me is original, powerful and haunting. This is a one of a kind book that you really need to read for yourself, as its depth cannot be captured in a review.

Four years ago both Judith and her best friend Lottie disappeared. Not long after their disappearance Lottie was found dead, but Judith returned home two years later, mutilated and unable to speak. Since her return home, Judith has had to endure so much - the townspeople say she is cursed, her brother ignores her and her own mother won’t even say her name. Judith seems to have accepted her fate, and her status as an outcast, until a series of events are put into motion that will change her life forever. This suspenseful story will have you eagerly flipping the pages while Judith faces her demons, as secrets are uncovered, as friendships are formed and as heartbreak and death seem inevitable … will Judith be able to find her voice and save more than just herself?

Julie Berry displays an extraordinary writing talent that is rarely found. The contrast between Judith’s resilience and the prejudiced behaviour of those that surround her is outstanding and the injustices and persecution within this story is exceptionally executed. I will admit that I did find it a little confusing to begin with - it is told by Judith in small scene/chapter like entries where she is addressing Lucas (but it isn’t a letter as far as I can tell, but yet it isn’t quite second person narrative either) and the time-frame does flip a round a bit, however once I got into that rhythm, I found the storyline to utterly compelling, and I felt the emotions that Judith was experiencing. The historical setting was a welcome surprise for me, and it entirely fit the storyline. Due to the beliefs of the society this is set in, you see that even though Judith is unable to speak, no one really wants to hear her anyway. I found this aspect equally intriguing and appalling.

This is Judith’s story - the story of her courage and strength while she is shunned by family and friends, her longing for her life-long friend and her desire to be accepted. Judith’s voice (although she cannot speak) is one of the strongest I have come across - it is raw, honest and utterly mesmerising. You cannot help but fall in love with Judith, the strength she shows while she withstands the sneers and rejection is astounding, and her longing to be accepted will tear at your heart.

Most of the story is focused on Judith’s life two years after she has returned from her disappearance; however you do get flashbacks of her life before and during her disappearance. These flashbacks show snippets of the past to ensure that story flows at a great pace and that you are kept guessing along the way as well as enabling the plot to come beautifully together in the dramatic conclusion.

Judith has been to hell and back, but yet she is a passionate and caring (but still flawed) character and her courage and determination is astonishing. A lot of her strength is show within her relationships, including her strained relationship with her mother, the sibling bond she shares with her brother, her new-found friendship with Maria, and with the subject of her long standing desire - Lucas. As much as I admired Judith’s strength, I despised her mother’s weakness and hostility - I found this to be truly heartbreaking. For me, Judith’s mother, rather than her captor and mutilator, is the villain of this story. However, there were a lot of other wrong-doers in this story - most of the town treats Judith with contempt and I could not find anything redeeming in their prejudiced mindset. The way Judith endures all of these tribulations is nothing short of inspiring.

This story is masterfully constructed full of suspense and twists along the way, which all leads to a chilling conclusion that will stir many emotions. There is heartbreak and sacrifice, hope and loss, some will win your heart while others will disgust you - but the courage that is shown will certainly remain with you long after you finish this truly unique story.


“I don’t believe in miracles, but if the need is great, a girl might make her own miracle.”

“You must live, even if your marriage means my heart’s death”

“You took my hand and held it. It occurred to me that I should feel startled, but it was only peaceful”

“This will be a new amputation. You’ve been a part of my flesh, underneath all my skin. Your removal will bleed and leave me lame for a time.”

Cakes Inspired By Fiction #1 - Harry Potter

OMG what?! Where did the tattoos go? Don’t worry, they’ll be back - I was googling and got side tracked by yummy cakes (so typical of me….) and then I found a whole bunch of awesome Harry Potter cakes and I needed to share them with you!! This might be a feature we interchange every now and then with the tattoos and even nail art (from way back in the day), just to change things up every now and then. I won’t be held responsible for any cake cravings you might have after viewing the noms below! :P

Stacking the Shelves #53

Morning! Have you had a good week? I’ve had a huge week - I started my new role at work and I can say I’m learning so much, but it’s exhausting learning so much! haha I definitely made the right decision going for the job.. it’s going to be awesome!

I actually had a huge week in books this week. Kristy had a quiet week but still received 1 ARC (I have a feeling next week Kristy is going to have a huge week and I’ll have a quiet week after this one. Usually that’s how it goes!)

Stacking the Shelves is bought to you by Tynga from Tynga’s Reviews. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!


In Mel’s Mailbox this week:

Into The Still Blue (Under The Never Skye #3) - Veronica Rossi

I completely fan girled when I received this ARC from Harper Collins this week. I love this series, and I am looking forward to what I hope is an epic conclusion. This one is out on January 28th, so keep you eyes peeled for a review closer to this date.

Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it’s time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won’t even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn’t just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he’s also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.


Through The Zombie Glass (White Rabbit Chronicles #2) - Gena Showalter

I received this ARC from Harlequin Teen and I am so excited about this book. I absolutely loved Alice in Zombieland and I’ve been anticipating this second book ever since I read the first. So big thank you to the lovely folks at Harlequin Teen Australia. This one comes out on October 1st, so I’ll be reading it SOON!

Inspired by the childhood classic Alice in Wonderland, this harrowing and romantic story features teen zombie slayer Alice Bell who has lost so much—family, friends, her home. After a strange new zombie attack, Alice fears she may be losing her mind as well. A terrible darkness blooms inside her, urging her to do wicked things. The whispers of the dead assault her ears and mirrors seem to come frighteningly to life. She’s never needed her team of zombie slayers more—including her boyfriend, Cole—than she does now. But as Cole strangely withdraws and the zombies gain new strength, Ali knows one false step may doom them all.


The Last Girl - Michael Adams

Thank you to Allen & Unwin Australia for this ARC not out until October 1st. Keep your eyes peeled because Book Nerd Reviews will be interviewing Michael Adams in the near future and we will talk about The Last Girl!

The end of the world happened quickly. The sun still shone, there was no explosion - just a tsunami-sized wave of human thought drowning the world in telepathic noise as everyone’s inner-most secrets became audible. Everyone’s thoughts, that is, except sixteen-year-old Danby.

The end of the world happens in the blink of an eye.

When The Snap sweeps the globe, everyone can instantly hear everything that everyone else is thinking. As secrets and lies are laid bare, suburbs and cities explode into insanity and violence. What might have been an evolutionary leap instead initiates the apocalypse.

Sixteen-year-old Danby Armstrong’s telepathy works very differently. She can tune into other people but they can’t tune into her. With only this slender defence, Danby must protect her little brother and reach the safety of her mother’s mountain retreat. But it’s 100 kilometres away and the highways are blocked by thousands of cars and surrounded by millions of people coming apart at the psychic seams.

Danby’s escape is made even more dangerous by another cataclysm that threatens humanity’s extinction. And her ability to survive this new world will be tested by a charismatic young man whose power to save lives may be worse than death itself.


Death Sworn (Death Sworn #1) - Leah Cypress

I received this ARC from Greenwillow Books, thank you very much for this copy - this book is due out for release on March 4th. I absolutely love the synopsis of this book!

When Ileni lost her magic, she lost everything: her place in society, her purpose in life, and the man she had expected to spend her life with. So when the Elders sent her to be magic tutor to a secret sect of assassins, she went willingly, even though the last two tutors had died under mysterious circumstances.

But beneath the assassins’ caves, Ileni will discover a new place and a new purpose… and a new and dangerous love. She will struggle to keep her lost magic a secret while teaching it to her deadly students, and to find out what happened to the two tutors who preceded her. But what she discovers will change not only her future, but the future of her people, the assassins… and possibly the entire world.


Salvage - Alexandra Duncan

I received this book from Greenwillow Books, thank you again. Salvage is due out for release on April 1st and I’ve heard some really good things about it so far.

Ava is the captain’s daughter. This allows her limited freedoms and a certain status in the Parastrata’s rigid society-but it doesn’t mean she can read or write or even withstand the forces of gravity.

When Ava learns she is to be traded in marriage to another merchant ship, she hopes for the best. After all, she is the captain’s daughter. Betrayal, banishment, and a brush with love and death are her destiny instead, and Ava stows away on a mail sloop bound for Earth in order to escape both her past and her future. The gravity almost kills her. Gradually recuperating in a stranger’s floating cabin on the Gyre, a huge mass of scrap and garbage in the Pacific Ocean, Ava begins to learn the true meaning of family and home and trust-and she begins to nourish her own strength and soul.

This sweeping and harrowing novel explores themes of choice, agency, rebellion, and family and, after a tidal wave destroys the Gyre and all those who live there, ultimately sends its main character on a thrilling journey to Mumbai, the beating heart of Alexandra Duncan’s post-climate change Earth.


Brooklyn Girls - Gemma Burgess

Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me this copy for review.

Pia is living the dream: fresh out of college and sharing a house in Brooklyn with her best friends. So why is everything so complicated?

A drunken indiscretion has led to the loss of her boring office job, while her love life is a dizzy mess of accidental hook-ups and heartbreak…

Her parents don’t trust her and, if she doesn’t sort her life out soon, they’re going to make her move back in with them…

But all that’s nothing compared to the kind of trouble she’s about to face.

At least she can rely on her friends - Coco, Angie, Julia and Madeleine. But how much can she really expect them to put up with?


Wanderers (Wasteland #2) - Susan Kim

I received this book from Harper Teen, thank you very much for this copy. This one is not out until March 25th, and since I haven’t yet read Wasteland (but I want too) that gives me a little bit of time to go out and buy a copy and then I’ll review both of them closer to March. It looks great!

The former citizens of Prin are running out of time. The Source has been destroyed, so food is scarcer than ever. Tensions are rising…and then an earthquake hits.

So Esther and Caleb hit the road, leading a ragtag caravan. Their destination? A mythical city where they hope to find food and shelter-not to mention a way to make it past age nineteen.

On the way, alliances and romances blossom and fracture. Esther must rally to take charge with the help of a blind guide, Aras. He seems unbelievably cruel, but not everything is as it seems in the Wasteland.…

In this sequel to Wasteland, the stakes are even higher for Esther, Caleb, and the rest of their clan. They’re pinning all their hopes on the road…but what if it’s the most dangerous place of all?


Battle Magic (Circle Reforged #3) - Tamora Piece

Thank you to Scholastic Australia for this copy. This looks like a GREAT book. It seems like it’s a part of a bigger series that Tamora Piece has written. I haven’t read any of her other books, but I am thinking I should after looking at how enthusiastic and hardcore her fans are. That being said, does anyone know if this can be read stand alone? Hmm.

On their way to the first Circle temple in Gyongxi, mages Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy pay a visit to the emperor’s summer palace. Although treated like royalty when they first arrive, the mages soon discover that the emperor plans to invade Gyongxi, posing a fatal threat to the home temple of the Living Circle religion. Accompanied by one of the emperor’s prize captives, the three mages rush to Gyongxi to warn its citizens of the impending attack. With the imperials hot on their trail, Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy must quickly help the country prepare for battle. But even with the help of new allies, will their combined forces be enough to fight the imperial army and win the war?


In Kristy’s Mailbox this week:

Made of Stars - Kelley York

Kristy received this book from Netgalley - it’s due out for release on October 1st! Looks like a great read.

When eighteen-year-old Hunter Jackson and his half sister, Ashlin, return to their dad’s for the first winter in years, they expect everything to be just like the warmer months they’d spent there as kids. And it is—at first. But Chance, the charismatic and adventurous boy who made their summers epic, is harboring deep secrets. Secrets that are quickly spiraling into something else entirely.

The reason they’ve never met Chance’s parents or seen his home is becoming clearer. And what the siblings used to think of as Chance’s quirks—the outrageous stories, his clinginess, his dangerous impulsiveness—are now warning signs that something is seriously off.

Then Chance’s mom turns up with a bullet to the head, and all eyes shift to Chance and his dad. Hunter and Ashlin know Chance is innocent…they just have to prove it. But how can they protect the boy they both love when they can’t trust a word Chance says?

That is all from us this week, what did you receive in your mailboxes? Let me know - leave your links in the comments section below!


Feral Friday - Downfalls to great reads

It’s Feral Friday! And we here at Book Nerd Reviews thought we would discuss a topic that really sends us feral.

This week, we’re talking about the bad things about a really good book:

Kristy’s say:

There is nothing better than a really good book! I mean, who doesn’t want to read a great book? That is something all booklovers want to do! But reading a really great book can be bittersweet - it is both wonderful and terrible.

I love the emotions you get when you read a book that you love and that you really connect too; the adoration, the joy, the anticipation, the tears, the shock, the happiness, the fear, the horror, the torture, the anxiety, the love, the hate, the utter desire to jump into the pages and never leave.

Reading these books gives you feelings like no other. I love the way it makes you feel when you are totally absorbed into this amazing new world and you never want it to end; the desire to be utterly lost in it, the staying awake all night to read it, the eagerness of flipping the pages to see what happens next, the pounding heart, the annoyance that you feel when someone interrupts you from reading such an amazing story and the absolute NEED to finish it no matter what.

But, the thing is… once you have finished this terribly wonderful book; those feelings are something that you can never get back.

You will just never experience this again. As much as you love a book, those feelings will not be that intense ever again. You can re-read a favourite book a million times but you will never have that amazing experience of reading it for the first time. You may still love the book, and thoroughly enjoy it, but it will never be as great as the first time you got lost in its pages. Some of its magic is lost when you read the last word, and it can never be recaptured.

My favourite book is one that I have read multiple times, and I really do love it every time I read it. I still get totally captivated and I adore every word, but it is just not the same as the first time I read it - I have experienced this amazing world before, I know the characters, I see the twists and turns coming, my heart does not pound as hard, my anxiety levels are lower and I am not quite as eager to flip the pages. Don’t get me wrong, my experience of reading this book is always enjoyable, and I will always love reading it, but I wish I could get that feeling back that I had the first time I devoured it.

I think reading a really great book is like eating a really good cupcake - the first bite is like heaven when you taste its delicious combination and experience the wonderfulness of this intricate creation, but even though you still really enjoy eating the cupcake, it will never be as delicious and delectable as that first bite.

Melissa’s say:

Mmm I am really hungry now… I want cupcakes! ;) haha On that same note though Kristy, my feelings are similar but slightly different. Since we’re talking cupcakes… for me, I am loving every bite of the cupcake, but it’s the sadness I feel when the cupcake is gone that I equate my emotions to when I finish a good book.

Not that I sit around moping when I’ve finished a fantastic book, but I think we’ve all been in a similar place before. You’ve enjoyed a really fantastic book… it’s engaged you, you’ve been submerged in this amazing world with these larger than life characters that you feel so connected to. Characters in books are a true emotional investment. We have very real emotions for them. You’ve gone on a journey with them right from the start…

And then it all ends. Just like that.

There’s a certain degree of mourning when you’ve finished a good book I think. I have closed a book and felt amazing because of how incredible that book was, but torn at how lost I feel the second that book is finished. And multiply that feeling when it’s the end of a good SERIES because then your feelings are usually intensified.

Like Kristy said, no matter how many times you go back to that book to relive the experience and emotions, whilst you’ll always love that book, it’s never going to be the same. You know all of the surprises around every corner. You know what to expect. The experience isn’t a new one anymore. And this ladies and gentlemen is why I actually have never sucessfully re-read a book. I know. I hear people gasping from their computers as I type this. But I just don’t have the patient to re-read a book when I know what’s going to happen… NO MATTER how much I loved it the first time. I’ve tried… and got to chatper 3. lol It’s just not for me. Plus, then there’s the thought of “Why am I wasting time re-reading when I can be discovering new worlds and falling in love with even more books unknown to me?”

Mourning over the end of a good book or series… I am certain this doesn’t apply to just me. Which book or series broke your heart when you finished it? And do you re-read books? Let us know in your comments below!

Review: The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #2) - Julie Kagawa

Release Date: October 29th 2013
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 304
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Synopsis: In the real world, when you vanish into thin air for a week, people tend to notice.

After his unexpected journey into the lands of the fey, Ethan Chase just wants to get back to normal. Well, as “normal” as you can be when you see faeries every day of your life. Suddenly the former loner with the bad reputation has someone to try for-his girlfriend, Kenzie. Never mind that he’s forbidden to see her again.

But when your name is Ethan Chase and your sister is one of the most powerful faeries in the Nevernever, “normal” simply isn’t to be. For Ethan’s nephew, Keirran, is missing, and may be on the verge of doing something unthinkable in the name of saving his own love. Something that will fracture the human and faery worlds forever, and give rise to the dangerous fey known as the Forgotten. As Ethan’s and Keirran’s fates entwine and Keirran slips further into darkness, Ethan’s next choice may decide the fate of them all.


I’ve had to sit down and have a real serious think about this one. I rate Julie Kagawa as one of my favourite authors. I have read all her books. I always come back for more - yet I struggle with each and every one of them at the mid way point. It’s ALWAYS the incredible endings to the book that inevitably change my perception of the book and of course I look back on the book loving it and wait for the next one.

It’s hard for me to explain, but if I liken it to four quarters of football for a second (stay with me…). The first quarter I am excited, motivated to find out what happens next and engaged. I fly through it and wonder where time has gone.

The second quarter I start out with a bang but then start to get a little tired half way through this. I slow down… pages aren’t turning as fast as they were. I am re-reading the same paragraph that I have read 3 times already. I am becoming easily distracted.

Third quarter and I am still pushing through albeit slowly. Half way through this quarter though and I see a little light at the end of the tunnel… things are starting to pick back up and I am getting back on track.

And then the last quarter, and I am really getting a sense of what the overall story is. I am loving how everything ties together and I can see end in sight. And at the end siren, I am FLOORED just like that. Right up until the last page I didn’t see it… and then she hits me. On the last page, the whole game changed. And now I am dying for the next book.

How does this happen? It only ever happens whenever I read one of Julie Kagawa’s books. And I realise this could be interpreted as a backhanded compliment. And perhaps it is. But sometimes I find there’s a lot of fluff instead of getting to the point. It’s probably me as a person, but I don’t do fluff, so I find the middle parts tedious and drags at times. But I will give Julie credit. She tells a good story overall, and I will be back for any others she writes.

I can’t fault the characters, I really enjoy Ethan and Kenzie’s dynamics. I think they’re quite innocent and cute together. Ethan’s protectiveness over Kenzie, making sure she was always safe was endearing rather than dominating. I didn’t connect quite as much to Kierran and Annwyl, however I could still see that what they had was special. Given the title, I had figured out in the early chapters what was going to happen, but was still shocked at how quickly it happened… it’s intrigued me to want to know more about the next book!

Really good to see part of the “old team” back together with Puck and Ash! It’s at this point, almost nostalgic. :)


“What? I never make things worse,” Puck replied, stepping forward to deal with another eddy swooshing in from the side. “I make things more interesting.”
“Yeah, my foot is about to have an interesting encounter with your ass.”

“Bout time you joined the party, ice-boy!” Puck yelled from somewhere overhead. The Summer prankster appeared on the monster’s head again, grinning down at us. “I was wondering if Furball would ever find you. Hey remember that time we fought those hill giants throwing boulders at us down Redwater Gorge? This is so much worse than that!”

Puck dropped to the monster’s snout, right in front of its glowing eyes, grinning cheekily. “Hey ugly, lookee here! I’m doing the Macarena on your nose.”

W..W..W.. Wednesdays

It’s Wednesday which means it’s time to tell you what I have been up to for the past week! W..W..W.. Wednesdays is a weekly meme bought to you by MizB from Should Be Reading.

What are you currently reading?

Melissa - I am currently reading two books - The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa, which I have been super slow with.. I have this thing with Julie Kagawa books… I absolutely LOVE them. But I always read them at a snails pace? Not sure why this is, because I am always in love with the story. I think it’s the small print I struggle with. I am also listening to Beautiful Creatres by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl and I am half way through this (BIG audio book!). Enjoying both of them at the moment. I am going to be trying to get through a number of audiobooks in the next few weeks.

Kristy - The Raven Boys (The Raven Boys #1) by Maggie Stiefvater. Although I have a lot on at the moment, so I am not sure how reading I will be able to fit in this week.


What did you recently finish reading?

Melissa - I finished reading The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes last, which was a little while ago. I’ve been starting my new role at work after being promoted and this has left me a little depleted each night and not wanting to read. I’m getting there!

Kristy - The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1) by Alexandra Bracken which I reviewed this week and the novella for this story: In Time (The Darkest Minds, #1.5). I also read Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between, #1) by April Genevieve Tucholke, which I am really torn about.


What do you think you’ll read next?

Melissa - Next on my TBR is The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon, which I now have the book AND audiobook. I also received The Last Girl by Michael Adams this week and wanting to read this soon.

Kristy - Ummm, I am debating between Delirium (Delirium, #1) by Lauren Oliver or Divergent (Divergent, #1) by Veronica Roth. But I am really not sure. I might pick a standalone?


What is everyone out there reading at the moment? Share your links below!

Blogging 101: Ways To Increase Traffic to Your Blog

Hey readers!

I thought I’d start a post on Tuesdays (where possible) with some tips for bloggers (and I know there’s a lot of you out there) based on things that Kristy and I have tried, that we find works really well.

I don’t profess to be any sort of expert when it comes to this type of thing, but I can say that in the two and a half years that this site has been running, I’ve experimented a lot with different things via the trial and error method. I’ve fallen on my face sometimes, and then gotten back up and tried something new, and through process of elimination I have a better idea of what my readers respond to, as well as what tools work really well for our site and what software we prefer to use over 0thers.

Over the coming weeks, I’ll talk about different topics depending on what it is you’d like me to talk about, and the aim is that you find this information useful and not have to waste as much time as I did figuring this out yourself!

This week I am going to share with you some very real ways to increase traffic to your blog

As a book blogger, you might not care about the amount of traffic that comes to your site. Or you might. For me, it’s not about being a popular blogger, but it’s more to do with myself. I always try to out do myself. If you’re not constantly striving to do better, then in my mind, you’ll never improve. Self-improvement is absolutely huge to me, both in the blogging world, but offline also. I am always enrolling in new courses or trying to learn as much as I can about anything I can, so it’s natural that my online self would be the same! Over time there’s been some days that I have done things differently and as such you’ll get more visitors to your blog.

1. Post more than once a day.

I don’t know how you’d go long term doing this, because between Kristy and I we have plenty of content for each week, but probably at this stage, not enough for multiple posts per day. That being said, on days where we HAVE posted more than once per day, the traffic goes through the roof. This is due to the blog being hooked up via networkedblogs.com (There are plenty of these types of services out there - wordpress even will do this for you if you want, but I use Networked Blogs). Basically what that does, is anytime Kristy or I post, Networked Blogs will pick up the new post via our feed, and will automatically update my twitter account and facebook account letting our readers know we have posted. And if people are interested, they’ll wander over. The more you post, the more of these alerts go out to people and logically, the more visits you’ll receive.

2. Post original content regularly

Probably the one thing that people can start doing immediately. By original content, what I mean is that memes will only drive a certain amount of traffic. Don’t be afraid to be selective about the ones you want to participate in. Kristy and I currently only participate in two memes out of the we will post in a week. The first, Stacking The Shelves, is one we really enjoy because people are genuinely interested in seeing the books that other people receive. I know that I love seeing other people’s hauls and so this one is a really good one to partipate in. The other one is WWW Wednesday. Now I’ll be honest. We don’t get a lot of hits out of this meme. But I continue to do it, because I really enjoy it. It’s good to know what your bloggers are reading, have read and are planning on reading coming up. Bloggers do this in different ways, but we do ours on Wednesdays.

The posts we do every other day of the week are original content. We aim for two reviews a week (Mondays and Thursdays). Tuesdays have always been a little up in the air, but I feel like this post will be a regular feature on a Tuesday. Fridays is our Feral Friday discussion day, where Kristy and I discuss a burning topic. And Sunday is our original feature Tattoos Inspired by Fiction.

If you aim to post at least once a day, and original content that can’t be found elsewhere, you will build on a loyal readership. People like coming to places where they know they’re going to read something a little bit different.

I can tell you now, that just in the last 8 weeks since implementing Feral Friday and Tattoos Inspired by Fiction, we had an extra 2,000 hits to our blog last month alone. Not solely because of those two features, but I can see they had a huge part to do with it.

3. Giveaways

I know not everyone can afford to have a giveaway on their blog, especially the type that comes out of their own pocket. They ain’t cheap! But let’s get real. Giveaways = hits. You may not like this, but it’s the truth. Since implementation, BNR has pretty much always had a monthly giveaway at any time. I pay for those giveaways each month, which works out anywhere from $40 - $60 a month in prizes. I am fortunate enough to be in a position where I can afford to run these, and I genuinely enjoy being able to giveaway free books to people that do continue to support the site. And in return, I get a lot of the same people coming back, and not just for the giveaways, but they become really loyal readers of the website, and of course, this means traffic.

Now if you’re not in a position to offer giveaways due to financial issues, it’s not all lost. If you have good relationships with publishers, there’s no harm in asking if they’d be willing to help you host a giveaway, you might be surprised with what they say! Kristy and I have some amazing relationships with the Aussie publishers, and from time to time they’ll allow us a giveaway on the site, but usually they come with terms and conditions, like that it’s available in your country only, which is fair enough. This might be an avenue you can explore!

4. Consider a co-blogger

I bought Kristy on board this year, not for hits (I didn’t realise it would even have an impact)… but because I was going through a terrible reading slump that threatened the existance of this site. I was about to close the doors in May but thought about this avenue first. And the unexpected thing that has come out of this is that our readership has grown. It makes sense when you think about it. Two twitter accounts, two goodreads accounts. Two people posting reviews, commenting, networking….. twice the readership in theory.

I think it’s actually been a wonderful experience having Kristy on board. Kristy and I have a lot in common but also two different voices and interests… and this has only added to the diversification of this website. Not everyone is going to love me and my “online voice”, and by having Kristy around, she’s appealed to people who previously wouldn’t have visited this site. It’s definitely something to consider! The added benefit is that with two people working on the blog, you have more time to put into posts like these. ;)


So there’s just some tips that you can consider. Some things you can implement immediately and some things you could consider if you’re ready to go to the next level. I will post more things like this in the coming weeks, and I’ve got lots of other ideas about things I’d love to share. But more importantly, if you have a question or something you want to know more about, let me know in the comments below, or email me at booknerdreviews@gmail.com and I will address the things you want to know more about in upcoming blogs!

Review: The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) - Alexandra Bracken

Release Date: December 11th 2012
Published By: HarperCollins Australia
Pages: 488
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a government ′rehabilitation camp′. Ruby might have survived the mysterious disease that killed most of America′s children, but she and the others had emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now on the run, she is desperate to find East River, the only safe haven left for kids like her, and she joins a group of other runaways who have escaped their own camps. Liam, their brave leader, is falling for Ruby, but she can′t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all Liam. But there are also other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government.

Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice - and one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living

The Darkest Minds begins with Ruby in a government rehabilitation camp (Thurmond), but it is not immediately clear what has happened to her or why she is there. But as the story unfolds, we get to find out more about this world where a mysterious illness is killing children or resulting in survivors to manifest unexplainable abilities - and any child who demonstrates these abilities must be sent to a “rehabilitation camp” such as Thurmond. We also get to learn more about Ruby, her abilities, how she is as much a mystery to herself as she is to us, and how she just trying to survive. Then Ruby’s world is flipped upside down when she is broken out of Thurmond - however the people who helped her escape are not all that they seem to be. Ruby flees from her rescuers and comes across three other kids on the run and she soon develops a strong bond with Liam, Chubs and Zu. We then follow their journey as they struggle to find East River - a place where kids are kept safe from the authorities, can live life without torture and where their abilities are embraced. However, if things seem to be too good to be true - they normally are.

This book is intriguingly dark and twisted - showing a world filled with fear and where children cannot trust those who are supposed to be caring for them. A world where panic and fear of the unknown have driven adults to allow themselves to believe in the lie of “rehabilitation” and to allow children to be kept in an environment where they are not being helped, but in fact are receiving nothing but abuse (both physical and emotional). Most children have no real understanding of their powers, and are punished if they accidently use them, all the while dealing with the knowledge that those who are supposed to love them actually fear and hate them and have sentenced them to this life.

The main characters in this story all have their own strengths and weakness, they all have their place within this story, but more importantly, they all have their own hopes for some kind of future in this terrible world. Ruby of course being our protagonist is the one we get to know the best. She starts this story scared, confused and with little self-worth, but gradually she builds into a loyal and strong character. Her past slowly unravels into the story, and as you understand this part of her, you learn why she is so scared of herself - and her story is equally intriguing and heartbreaking. Even though there were times I wanted to scream at her for being so naive or for a making a stupid decision, I generally understood her actions.

Her 3 new friends are all very strong characters in their own right. Liam is caring, goodhearted and selfless. He is the eternal optimist, but he is also willing to fight for what is right. He instantly shows compassion for Ruby and is willing to help and protect her in any way that he can. Chubs however is not as willing to accept Ruby into their little group - he is very guarded and fiercely protective, but as the story moves along we get to see that he witty, loyal and caring. We also have Zu, who becomes like a little sister to Ruby - and even though she is mute, she has an inner strength that is to be admired.

The romance in this book is not the main focus of the story - which is something that I really liked. This relationship developed slowly as Ruby feels she can’t trust herself to become close to anyone. But, when this romance starts to pick up, it is utterly adorable. The focus was more on the friendships that were formed, and I really enjoyed learning about these characters, as they all have their own stories to tell and their own demons. While we did learn a lot about Liam, Chubs and Zu, there is still a lot to learn about their past, and their future.

There are two particular scenes in this book that I really want to talk about - but since this is a spoiler-free review I can’t say too much… but I still need to mention them. The first is at the end of a shower scene (no, not that type of scene). At what happened here, my was heart pounding, I was in shock, and I, like Ruby, just stared and thought “No, no, no, nonono” - Ms Bracken, you crushed me, and you totally deserve to be punched in the arm for that! (no, I am not condoning abuse against authors - never ever abuse an author - this is something that Ruby would have done in this situation if she could).

The second scene I need to mention is the ending. Although so much happens in this story, and you see so much heartache along the way, you will not be prepared for the utter devastation of the ending of this book - filled with fear, hate, love, courage, loyalty, sacrifice and heartbreak. It will leave you breathless, gutted, shocked and yearning for the sequel.

The Darkest Minds is fantastically written, slowly unveiling a world with lots of suspense, dread and hope. Alexandra Bracken has built an amazingly dark, violent and scared world where there is no shortage of dangers to be faced. This terrifying (and terrified) world is built piece by piece, with the pacing just right to enable you to understand this world and its characters, showing the best and worst of human nature - strength, innocence, betrayal, weakness, friendship, loyalty, fear, hope and courage.



“The Darkest Minds tend to hide behind the most unlikely faces.”

“We’ll just have to try to make better mistakes tomorrow.”

“Did you know…you make me so happy that sometimes I actually forget to breath?”

“He’s so busy looking inside people to find the good that he misses the knife they’re holding in their hand.”

“When a girl cries, few things are more worthless than a boy”

“Ruby, give me one reason why we can’t be together, and I’ll give you a hundred why we can.”

Tattoos Inspired By Fiction #10 - Peter Pan

Welcome to another week of tattoos inspired by fiction. This week I’ve been a little cheeky in picking Peter Pan, a classic book. I say cheeky because of course Disney picked this up as an animated movie and so all the tattoos below are really from the movie adaptation - however as this is called tattoos inspired by fiction, I figure this is still definitely passable! I really like some of the smaller ones below.. and this weeks came about because I saw the one behind the girls ear of Peter and the kids flying and it’s stuck with me ever since! Love it. :)

Stacking the Shelves #52

Good afterrnoon! It’s been a bit of a day - if you’re Australian and you’re over 18 you would have had to go to the polling booths today to vote for our next Prime Minister. Tough choice! But we are not here to talk about politics (Thank God), we’re here to share with you the books we received this week! I hope you all had a great week for books! Kristy and I didn’t do a STS post last week, so these are the books we received in the last two weeks.

Stacking the Shelves is bought to you by Tynga from Tynga’s Reviews. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!


In Mel’s Mailbox this week:

The Last Forever - Deb Caletti

I received this book for review as an ARC from Simon Pulse, thank you very much! This one isn’t out till next April, but I am looking forward to reading this!

Endings and beginnings sit so close to each other that it’s sometimes impossible to tell which is which.

Nothing lasts forever, and no one gets that more than Tessa. After her mother died, it’s all she can do to keep her friends, her boyfriend, her happiness from slipping away. And then there’s her dad. He’s stuck in his own daze, and it’s so hard to feel like a family when their house no longer seems like a home.

Her father’s solution? An impromptu road trip that lands them in a small coastal town at Tessa’s grandmother’s. Despite all the warmth and beauty there, Tessa can’t help but feel even more lost.

Enter Henry Lark. He understands the relationships that matter. And more importantly, he understands her. A secret stands between them, but Tessa’s willing to do anything to bring them together—because Henry may just be her one chance at forever.


Poor Little Dead Girls - Lizzie Friend

I received this ARC from Netgalley, thank you to the publisher for approving me for this read, due out December 18th this year.

Perfect people aren’t just born. They’re made.

The first time she is blindfolded and kidnapped, star-athlete and posh boarding school newbie Sadie is terrified. She wakes up in a dark room surrounded by hushed whispers, hooded strangers, and a mysterious voice whispering not-so-sweet nothings in her ear.

But once the robes come off, she realizes it’s just an elaborate prank designed to induct her into the group that’s been pulling the strings at Keating Hall for generations. The circle has it all-incredible connections; fabulous parties; and, of course, an in with the brother society’s gorgeous pledges.

The instant popularity is enough to make Sadie forget about the unexplained marks on her body, the creepy ceremonial rituals, and the incident that befell one of her teammates the year before. So the next time Sadie is kidnapped, she isn’t scared, but she should be. The worst of Keating Hall is yet to come.


Finding Home Lauren K. McKellar

Thank you to the publisher for allowing me the ARC copy of Finding Home from Netgalley.

Moody, atmospheric, and just a little bit punk, Finding Home takes contemporary YA to a new level of grit…

When Amy’s mum dies, the last thing she expects is to be kicked off her dad’s music tour all the way to her Aunt Lou in a depressing hole of a seaside town. But it’s okay — Amy learned how to cope with the best, and soon finds a hard-drinking, party-loving crowd to help ease the pain.

The only solace is her music class, but even there she can’t seem to keep it together, sabotaging her grade and her one chance at a meaningful relationship. It takes a hard truth from her only friend before Amy realises that she has to come to terms with her past, before she destroys her future.


I had a bunch of credits available on audible.com this week as well (8 credits to be exact), as I pay a monthly subscription to the site and haven’t bought any audiobooks in AGES (4 months!). So this week I went all out and bought a whole heap of audiobooks as well. Instead of doing a write up of all 8, you can see what I bought below, and the Goodreads links below the image. (Also, I already own The Bone Season thanks to Bloomsbury, but I thought I’d buy the audiobook to accompany for something different!)

The Bone Season - Samantha Shannon
Siege & Storm - Leigh Bardugo
Doll Bones - Holly Black
Life After Theft - Aprilynne Pike
The Boyfriend App - Katie Sise
What I Didn’t Say - Keary Taylor
The Maze Runner - James Dashner
The Nightmare Affair - Mindee Arnett


In Kristy’s Mailbox this week:

Ashes to Ashes - Melissa Walker

I received this book from HarperCollins Australia - thank you so much! Due out in December, I am really looking forward to this book :)

If I Stay meets the movie Ghost in this first book in a teen duology about a teenage-girl-turned-ghost who must cling to the echoes of her former life to save the people she left behind.

Ashes to Ashes is author Melissa Walker’s sweeping, romantic, and emotionally rich story about the things that torment and tempt us, even from the Great Beyond. This book is perfect for fans of Die for Me andImaginary Girls, and its breathtaking ending will leave readers anxiously awaiting the series conclusion, Dust to Dust.

When Callie’s life is cut short by a tragic accident, she expects to find nothingness, or maybe some version of heaven.

Instead, her spirit travels to the Prism, an ethereal plane populated by the ghosts she thought were fictional. Here she meets a striking and mysterious ghost named Thatcher, who is meant to guide her as she learns to haunt and bring peace to the loved ones she left behind.

However, Callie uncovers a dark secret about the spirit world: The angry souls who always populate ghost stories are real, dangerous, and willing to do whatever it takes to stay on Earth, threatening the existence of everyone she ever cared about.

As she fights to save them, Callie will learn that while it may no longer beat, her heart can still love-and break.


Heartbeat - Elizabeth Scott

I received this book from Harlequin TEEN via Netgalley – thank you very much. This book is due out in January 2014 - so I won’t be reading it immediately. This book has the possibility to be both heartbreaking and breathtaking, and I am looking forward to reading it a little closer to the release date.

Life. Death. And…Love?

Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with.

But Emma can’t tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her.

Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn’t have interested Old Emma. But New Emma-the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia-New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge.

Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death-and maybe, for love?


Monsters (Ashes Trilogy #3) - Ilsa J. Bick

I recieved this book via Netgalley. This is due out this month, but I have to read the first 2 in this series before getting to this one (they are both on my TBR pile)

The Changed are on the move. The Spared are out of time. The End…is now.

When her parents died, Alex thought things couldn’t get much worse-until the doctors found the monster in her head.

She headed into the wilderness as a good-bye, to leave everything behind. But then the end of the world happened, and Alex took the first step down a treacherous road of betrayal and terror and death.

Now, with no hope of rescue-on the brink of starvation in a winter that just won’t quit-she discovers a new and horrifying truth.

The Change isn’t over.
The Changed are still evolving.
And…they’ve had help.

With this final volume of The Ashes Trilogy, Ilsa J. Bick delivers a riveting, blockbuster finish, returning readers to a brutal, post-apocalyptic world where no one is safe and hope is in short supply.

A world where, from these ashes, the monsters may rise.


Bellman and Black - Diane Setterfield

I received this book from Netgalley from Atria/Emily Bestler Books. This book is due out in November.

As a boy, William Bellman commits one small, cruel act: killing a bird with his slingshot. Little does he know the unforeseen and terrible consequences of the deed, which is soon forgotten amidst the riot of boyhood games. By the time he is grown, with a wife and children of his own, William seems to be a man blessed by fortune—until tragedy strikes and the stranger in black comes. Then he starts to wonder if all his happiness is about to be eclipsed. Desperate to save the one precious thing he has left, William enters into a rather strange bargain, with an even stranger partner, to found a decidedly macabre business.


Also this week I receieved a very generous package from Simon & Schuster Australia containing: This Girl (Slammed, #3) by Colleen Hoover, Twisted Perfection (Perfection, #1) by Abbi Glines, Never Too Far (Too Far Trilogy #2) by Abbi Glines, Wallbanger by Alice Clayton, Up In Flames by Nicole Williams and Naked (The Blackstone Affair, #1) by Raine Miller.


That is all from us this week, what did you receive in your mailboxes? Let me know - leave your links in the comments section below!


Feral Friday - Other bloggers

It’s Feral Friday! And we here at Book Nerd Reviews thought we would discuss a topic that really sends us feral.

This week, we’re talking about our feelings for other bloggers:

Kristy’s say:

I must start by saying that other bloggers do not make me feral - in fact, quite the opposite. I love visiting other blogs and delving into another bloggers world and finding out about their thoughts, feelings and opinions. I admire so many bloggers for different reasons; every blogger has their own style, their own likes and dislikes, and each one brings something different to the table.

Some bloggers have similar likes and dislikes to me, who I always trust to steer me in the right direction of a great new book. Some I trust to lay out the good and the bad aspects of a book or a series. There are other bloggers that I enjoy as they are so passionate about certain books that I feel the need to pick up the book straight away. Others I enjoy because of their individual style: some are funny, sarcastic or blunt to the point that they could be used as weapon (I am happy with blunt, just not personal attacks against authors).

But obviously, I cannot agree with every bloggers opinion about everything - and that’s okay! I actually like hearing others opinions that differ from mine - I enjoy hearing about a book that I liked (or didn’t) from a different person’s perspective. Naturally their opinions will not change my own, however I do find it enlightening to see it from another angle.

But whether I agree with their opinion or not, as long as reviews are honest, I respect a blogger for taking the time to write it. I think it’s amazing that there are people who love books so much that they are willing to spend time writing a review, provide updates about upcoming/new books and up keeping their blog - and even go out of pocket for giveaways which often costs the blogger themselves.

But, is there blog rivalry or jealousy amongst bloggers? Possibly, but I can honestly say I have never seen it. All the bloggers that “met” have been nothing but lovely to me and I am also in a very fortunate position by coming into such a wonderful blog, have an amazingly supportive co-blogger and we have the best followers, so why would I need to be jealous of anyone else?

While the little green monster has not reared its ugly head with me when it comes to other blog(gers) - I will admit that there are some bloggers that are such lyrical reviewers that I sit back and say “wow, they are such amazing and thoughtful writers, I wish I could write like that” - but the simple fact of the matter is; I don’t - and if I tried, I wouldn’t be myself. So while I admire them for their skill, I cannot try to be them.

I image the biggest cause of jealousy when it comes to blogging would be ARCs. Sure, there have been times that another blogger got an ARC that I wanted - and while I would have loved to have received it, I am still happy for them, and I really look forward to their review of that book. However, I will not rule out the possibility the day will come where I will be sick with jealousy of another blogger. :) I will admit that I am a little envious of bloggers in the US as they seem to have so much more access to ARCs, authors, book tours and expos - and that makes me a little green as a blogger and a booklover. But that is nothing against them - that is solely the advantage of them living where they do.

So, to all the bloggers out there: I like you! I really do! And I appreciate all the time and effort you put into your blog so that I (as a booklover) can enjoy your reviews and updates - I will try to comment on your blogs more often (I am really bad at doing that). And a special thank you to all of you who have been kind to the new kid on the block - I really appreciate it!

(And to Melissa - thank you for everything! You always were and always will be my girl - you rock!)

Melissa’s say:

I’ve never had a run in with a blogger before. I’ve felt at times excluded (more on that later), but not actually involved in any type of drama. Maybe because I am a little older than a lot of other bloggers I often stay away from these types of things or maybe it’s because I pick my battles.

I’ve seen other bloggers have feuds with other bloggers, and in turn, I’ve definitely seen how nasty some bloggers can get. I’ve also seen cliques formed and been on the “outer” of these at times too. I used to care about it when I first started blogging. I used to wonder why they wouldn’t let me into their inner circle, and what was it about me that they didn’t like? I used to try and do everything to be accepted by these people… and then I realised I didn’t really care and wondered why I was trying so hard in the first place.

Something happened this year that really cemented this for me and that was when I welcomed Kristy as a co-blogger to BNR. Kristy and I have become really good friends. We text all things bookish and I love having her as a friend.

It’s made me come to realise that I don’t need validation or acceptance from other bloggers. Don’t get me wrong - I LOVE meeting new bloggers and making friends… the more the merrier is my philosophy as far as that is concerned. But I don’t need validation. When it comes to the cliques, I realise now that perhaps they felt threatened by a new blogger on the scene… someone that they felt they had to compete with for ARC’s (not my intention at all), and someone to compete with for traffic. I’ve moved past it now, and still say hello to these bloggers from time to time (because there’s no point in having grudges).

That being said, I can certainly say I am not perfect and I have suffered from the green eyed monster from time to time. I would catagorise myself as being a confident extraverted girl, and proud of what I have accomplished since starting BNR. But I definitely have had times where I have felt overwhelmed by how amazing other bloggers are. I read a lot of blogs, and have often read fantastic posts by other bloggers and often at the end I sigh, and sit back and think… “That was amazing. Why can’t I write like that?” And then I have to remind myself that I am who I am, and love me or hate me (which I am hoping if you visit here you don’t!) I have my own individual voice and I need to trust my own instincts.

I think that as bloggers we push each other to be at our best. I see so many inspiring, well thought through posts that are so well articulated and it often drives me to want to be a better blogger like those out there that I admire so much.


We would really love your opinion on this - what are your thoughts about other bloggers? Do they drive you to be a better blogger? How do you feel about blogger fueds out there and do you stay out of it? Let us know in your comments below!