Category «Features»

Monthly Inventory: November 2017

November 2017

As I created this post, I struggled with how to describe the month of November. It seems like just yesterday I was plotting out my NaNoWriMo story and writing the first chapter. Overall, I think the best way to describe it all is panicked.

Just before my big trip in September, I noticed that I had neglected my two challenges for the year quite a bit. October wasn’t much of a help because real life got in the way and November was the month of finishing up the various requests I had taken on. I have a new plan for each of those challenges so you can find that below.

I also went through my first major reading slump of the year in November but I quickly got out of that. Look for a post in the new year about my tried and true tactic.

One positive is that I created my reading plan for 2018 based on my experiences of the last 3 months so hopefully that works out!

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Total for November 2017: 15 Books Read + 3 Novellas Read

Last November: 23 Books Read + 2 Novellas Read

DNF’d: 1 Books

Standout Read (★★★★★)

Dance Off #1

This novel reminded me what I love in a great adult contemporary romance: sizzling sexual tension; strong leads and just the right amount of drama to keep you interested. I found a new must read author with Alexis Daria!

Biggest Let Down (DNF’d)

Reign of Shadows

I really wanted this to be the book that made me love Sophie Jordan’s works but alas, that was not the case. I DNF’d this one pretty quick and I think I’ve reached the conclusion that her books are definitely not for me.

kobostats

I thought it would be fun to keep track of my reading progress on my Kobo every month (and compare it to last year’s numbers). While I do own a Kindle now, I mostly use my Kobo for everyday reading. As per my #ShelfLove Challenge, I really want to increase the Total % of Library Complete by the end of the year.

**NOTE: I finally figured out why my Kobo stats went all wonky a few months ago. For some reason books I had reopened lost their “read” status so they went away from my stats. So after going through 30 pages of books and marking them all as read again, my stats somewhat returned! It looks like my past library reads don’t count (hence the drop from 516 to 262) but now I can keep track of the books I own at the very least!**

As of:

November 30, 2017

November 30, 2016

Total % of Library Complete

22%

19%

Total # of Books Finished

262

516**

Total # of Reading Hours

2479

2082

 

posted reviews

Most Viewed Post

 

TTT: Books I Want my Kids to Read

 

Most Viewed Review

 

DNF Series Review: Starbound

 

View this year’s archives for more posts and reviews!

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Previously posted series reviews that got updates:

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You can always get the full details on all my challenges on my dedicated page but here is a quick update:

5 Year 5 Book Challenge: 9 of 25 Titles Read

New Target: Read the last 2 titles from 2012 and repeat challenge in 2018

Goodreads Challenge: Completed as of September 6
#ShelfLove Challenge: 1 TBR Item added this month

New Target: Technically, I’ve completed the challenge since I’m in my chosen range but I would like to hit 50 books by the end of 2017 and I’m currently just 5 books short

Judge By the Cover Challenge: None — what a fail of a challenge!
Classics Challenge: None

New Target: Let’s try again next year!

View my Challenge Progress Here!

In February, I brought back my Tackling the TBR feature and announced my plan to get my Goodreads TBR down to 500 books. Here are my current standings:

  • Current TBR Shelf: 619 books
  • TBR Shelf at end of October: 614 books
  • Initial Number in February: 1205 books
  • Total # of Books Removed: 0

New Target: I hope to do a purge in December of back-listed titles and get this number closer to 500.

NaNoWriMo Update

Despite starting with one story and quickly scraping it for another I was way more interest it, I had a pretty good month of writing. While I didn’t win this year, I definitely wrote more than I have in the previous years combined! So that’s a big win for me. I created a kick ass outline that I will be using moving forward. I’m hoping to make writing a weekly thing (daily just isn’t going to work with my current work schedule) but I feel really good about how I left things despite not reaching that target word count.

I have quite a few review copies to get through these first two weeks but the rest of the month is dedicated to getting those last few titles in for my challenges. I’m excited to do my Top Picks post for 2017 (it’s going to be so tough to decide and I have new category ideas!); tweak my reading plan for 2018 and create a new monthly feature I’m excited to share with you all.

What were your biggest reading or personal accomplishments of the past month?
Leave a comment below!

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Top Ten Tuesdays: Books I Want my Kids to Read

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Top Ten Tuesdays: Is a weekly meme feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish where bloggers post their Top 10 List for an assigned topic! I will not be participating every week, but I will occasionally take a shot at it! You can always find these lists (past, present and original) on my Riffle Page!

This Week’s Topic:

Top Ten Books I Want my Children to Read

This list is a weird mixture of books I read in my childhood and books I’ve bought with the intention of sharing with my (someday) kids. Since 2011, my book purchases have been mostly eBooks but if there is a book or series I particularly love, I make an effort to buy it for my personal collection. So all these books on the list below are books I own (the exception being the Legend Series but that’s next on my list to buy!) and am holding on to with the hopes of sharing and passing on one day.

Why did I pick these books?

Well the classics from my childhood are Franklin, Bernstein Bears and Arthur. I spent countless hours as a kids reading those books with my family over the years. Nancy Drew is the ultimate classic–most of the Nancy Drew novels I own are from my mother’s childhood collection so they share a special place in my heart. I also adore mystery (my whole family does) and that’s something I want to pass on.

The rest (Legend, Winner’s Curse, Vampire Academy, The Mortal Instruments, Hunger Games and The Infernal Devices) are some of my favourite YA series ever! They each feature strong characters, amazing worlds and brilliant plots. They helped shape my reading world and I want them to do the same for my kids one day.


Do we share any books? What’s your criteria for sharing books with your children?

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Leave a Link to your TTT in the comments below!

Monthly Inventory: October 2017

October 2017

I can’t believe October has come and gone!

This month just flew by! It definitely helped that I spent a majority of it on vacation. I managed to get more books in than I expected–and in particular sequels for novels I’ve been putting off for awhile–so I always consider that a positive! My blogging lacked a little but I’ve got more time on my hands this month so I’ll be making up for lost time.

NaNoWriMo is happening again and I’m going to try my best to participate again this year. I’m not sure what story (I have two from the last two years I’ve started but not completed) I will be writing but I’m hoping this event will help instill in my the everyday habit of writing a little bit. If you participate and want to be buddies, here’s my profile.

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Total for October 2017: 16 Books Read + 0 Novellas Read

Last October: 15 Books Read + 4 Novellas

October 2017’s DNFs: 1 Books

Standout Read (★★★★★)

NSFW

Ever since I finished Play last year, I’ve been waiting for Charlie’s story. AND BOY, IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT! I loved every minute of that book.

Biggest Let Down (DNF’d)

Fallen Isles Trilogy #1

I just found this book to be terribly slow. I was more than 60% in and not invested what-so-ever; which is not a good sign. So perhaps proceed with caution if you want to pick this up.


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Previously posted series reviews that got updates:
 

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You can always get the full details on all my challenges on my dedicated page but here is a quick update:

5 Year 5 Book Challenge: Currently Re-evaluating
Goodreads Challenge: Completed as of September 6
#ShelfLove Challenge: 1 TBR Items added
Judge By the Cover Challenge: None
Classics Challenge: None

View my Challenge Progress Here!

 

In February, I brought back my Tackling the TBR feature and announced my plan to get my Goodreads TBR down to 500 books. Here are my current standings:

  • Current TBR Shelf: 614 books
  • TBR Shelf at end of September: 612 books
  • Initial Number in February: 1205 books

I blame some really good eBook deals for the sudden spike in my TBR numbers…

November is for Reading Challenge Catch-Up!

Since August, I’ve really failed with my personal reading challenges. My Goodreads one is easy because it counts everything I read but my challenges that are a little more specific have gone by the wayside.

In theory, I have more than enough time to salvage my 5 Year 5 Book Challenge. I have 15 books to read if I don’t count the sequels to get through by December 31st. I also have to finish 5 books for my #Shelflove Challenge as well. Completely do-able.

However, I went a little review copy crazy for the first half of November and this morning I got a little request happy at my library and took out 3 books that do not work for my challenges. I’m hoping with the time I have off from work in the next week, I can power through some novels and get myself in shape! Even if I get 3 books finished this month from my challenge, I can dedicate December to only challenge reads!


What were your biggest reading or personal accomplishments of the past month?
Leave a comment below!

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SERIESous Tips: My Favourite WordPress Plugins

One of the biggest draws to being a self-hosted blog (besides the graphics freedom) was the ability to add plugins. Plugins are these great little add-ins or apps you can use to make your site easier to run and/or have really cool features. While a lot of the plugins I use are the basic foundations of keeping my site running (like Jetpack and Akismet), there are a few that make my blogging experience super efficient and save me a lot of blog maintenance time.

Below you’ll find some of my favourite plugins, what they do, what I love and what I dislike. When you click on the title, you will be taken to the Plugin homepage where you can learn more.

**These links and comments are not affiliated with the respective plugin creators/companies! It is simply my take on using the services over the last year! I found posts like this extremely helpful for finding plugins for my blog in the past and wanted to contribute in my own way.**

My Favourite WordPress.org Plugins

(in alphabetical order)

CommentLuv

What it Does: Allows comment-ers to link-back to their most recent posts when they enter their URL when commenting.

What I Love: I totally thought you had to pay for this plugin and so it was always on the back-burner for what to add next. But it is free for a basic version with minimal features. It’s great for a blogger like me who comments back on blogs who comment on mine so I can immediately jump to their most recent post.

What I Dislike: I get a ton of spam in my comment spam folder now. Which isn’t a huge deal because it is easy to clear but it’s a little annoying.

Featured Image from URL

What it Does: Instead of uploading an image to your own site for your featured image (what appears in the blog roll page), you can use a URL from another site (like Goodreads).

What I Love: Now that my blog theme actually requires me to set a featured image for my blog roll page, I had to find a plugin that would save me time and not require me to upload a ton of cover images daily. I know that there are a lot of reasons why you should upload book covers yourself instead of using the image URL from another site but I find it tedious! Because I already add the image in my review post, it’s so easy to paste it in the side widget on my post creation page.

What I Dislike: I have noticed that the image I set as my featured doesn’t show up when I view my blog on the WordPress Reader. I’m not sure if that is just WordPress itself picking an image at random but I find my featured image varies on my out-sourcing platforms. It also doesn’t format nicely on my blog roll page once I did an update but I think I just have to play with the code a little more.

Hello Bar

What it Does: Creates a pop-up link bar on your blog.

What I Love: One of the biggest learning curves to my self-hosted blog was trying to figure out ways to make it easy for people to follow. Eventually I got a WordPress widget but when you go into the world of self-hosted, email subscribers are your main “follower” crew. But I find few people actually use emails to follow blogs, especially when you have sites like Bloglovin that create a nice feed for you to scroll through. The Hello Bar is created for email subscriptions but it does let you customize it for whatever link you like and so I choose Bloglovin! And since I started using it, I’ve noticed an increase in my Bloglovin’ followers.

What I Dislike: Not much really. It’s super customizable, they send me weekly updates on my stats (which you can unsubscribe to) and it’s FREE!

Revive Old Post

What it Does: Reposts old posts on Twitter, Facebook, Tumbler, etc. with hashtags.

What I Love: I’m all for a little self-promotion on social media but I don’t want to bombard my followers with old posts every hour on the hour. I love Revive Old Post because you can set how many tweets (what I use it for) go out and how many hours between them. You can add hashtags, select what categories get sent out and more.

What I Dislike: You gotta play around with it a bit to get what you want but it’s very easy to customize.

Smooth Slider

What it Does: Creates an image slide show that can be a widget or a feature on your site.

What I Love: I originally had this on my old theme as a way to feature my recent posts on my homepage. Now, it’s a widget on my site for the same thing. I really like that I can set it up when I create the post and it lets me set a date when it will automatically expire from the slider so my most recent content is always on display. It also works really well with my Feature Image from a URL plugin which I worried about at the start as some plugins clash.

What I Dislike: I was having some issues with the expiry aspect but it just took some playing around. I also had to play around with the image sizing but the code is pretty easy to figure out.

Post Index

What it Does: Creates an archive of posts for a particular category on a page.

What I Love: I’m not sure how many people used my old post archive back in the day but it was something I did manually using both cover images and text. It was so tedious to update and one of the first plugins I looked for was an archiving one. This one does everything itself, creating a beautiful list with anchored links throughout the page.

What I Dislike: I title my posts with a “Series Review” or “Fresh Fridays”, etc heading, and in an ideal world, the plugin I use would be able to omit that and sort whatever follows the colon. I did find one that did that, but it was more of a search result listing order than an actual page with the full list of my posts.

404 Page

What it Does: Creates a “broken link” page where readers can learn why that page is unavailable.

What I Love: My old theme had the ability to create my own 404 page but my new one doesn’t. I do keep an eye on broken links but they happen. Especially when you move post scheduling dates around a lot like I do. I think it’s just a nice way to tell people what’s up and why something they want to read may not be available right away.

What I Dislike: This is super easy to use and set up so no complaints.


What plugins do you love?

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Monthly Inventory: September 2017

September 2017

This was a weird month.

In terms of reading: This wasn’t a very good month, but I always knew that would be the case. I spent half of the month on a much deserved vacation that had me reading only a couple pages every few days. I made up for some of that time on my many flights but it was nice just to see the world and not worry about getting books finished. However, I did pledge to only read sequels for the Month of September and in that respect, I did succeed. AND, I completed my Goodreads goal for the year which means the rest of the year is just a bonus for me.

In terms of blogging: While on vacation, my blog went down and I didn’t even know it! It seem to be a problem with my host who was moving servers so my site was down for a couple of days. I did have some scheduled posts though so be sure to check out my blog feed to see if you missed one!

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Total for September 2017: 10 Books Read + 0 Novellas Read

Last September: 23 Books Read + 3 Novellas

September 2017’s DNFs: 0 Books

Standout Read (★★★★★)

Black City Trilogy

I’m embarrassed that it took me this long to finish this series! What a phenomenal series (I gave every book a 5/5 which is quite the achievement!). This series always delivered and the finale was no different.

Biggest Let Down (★★ )

A Wicked Thing #2

I should have DNF’d this novel way before the 30% mark but my curiosity got the better of me. One of the slowest novels I have ever had to endure. I swear, 90% of this book was just rehashing things we had already discussed in the previous novel OR, even worse, in the previous chapter.

kobostats

I thought it would be fun to keep track of my reading progress on my Kobo every month. While I do own a Kindle now, I mostly use my Kobo for everyday reading. As per my #ShelfLove Challenge, I really want to increase the Total % of Library Complete by the end of the year.

As of:

October 9, 2017

August 31, 2017

Total % of Library Complete

10%

19%

Total # of Books Finished

120

124

Total # of Reading Hours

2445

2418

Don’t ask me how I lost 4 finished books in the last month. This new Kobo update is really killing my stats!


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Previously posted series reviews that got updates:

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You can always get the full details on all my challenges on my dedicated page but here is a quick update:

5 Year 5 Book Challenge: Took September off

October’s 5Y5B picks: The LoopMaid of Secrets

Goodreads Challenge: Completed as of September 6
#ShelfLove Challenge: 0 TBR Items added

Judge By the Cover Challenge: None
Classics Challenge: None

View my Challenge Progress Here!

 

In February, I brought back my Tackling the TBR feature and announced my plan to get my Goodreads TBR down to 500 books. Here are my current standings:

  • Current TBR Shelf: 612 books
  • TBR Shelf at end of August: 606 books
  • Initial Number in February: 1205 books

 

November is Catch-Up!

I’ve really let my personal challenges fall to they wayside. But with my hours at work being reduced and no other commitments, I’m really going to use November to catch-up on series and novels I’ve let fall through the cracks. I really want my 5 Year 5 Book Challenge to be complete (or mostly complete) by 2018 and I would love to see a change in the percentage of my Kobo library that is finished. And it would be a fantastic bonus if I could get my TBR on Goodreads to be much closer to the 500 mark that I so desire.


What were your biggest reading or personal accomplishments of the past month?
Leave a comment below!

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SERIESous Tips: How to Start Scheduling Your Posts

Last year, I posted a Tips Post about Scheduling Posts. I’ll admit, it wasn’t the most helpful post ever: I mostly focused on why scheduling works for me and how I keep track of my schedule. Not a lot of sage advice.

I schedule everything well in advance–months usually–and I love it! It makes everything so much easier for me as a blogger. And when I tell people that, I get a lot of questions of “how do you schedule so far in advance”?

So I wanted to create a post with some tips/ideas on how I think you can get started. You don’t need to do all of these but I think one or two can get you on the right track!

Tip #1: Not Posting Everyday

This is just a personal preference for me but there is no way I could create enough content to post everyday (props to those that do!). Part of the reason has to do with Tip #2 below but the other reason is that I like time between my posts. I try to have at least 1 day between posts, ideally two.

One reason is that I don’t check my blog everyday for some reason or another. In turn, that means I only get to browse my subscription feed a couple times a week. When I do browse the feed, I see posts from the last 2-3 days anyways so I don’t see the need for me to post everyday to make sure people see my posts. Again, this is just a personal preference and I know everyone has a different thought of this!

Idea: Keep a calendar of when you plan to post! That way you can see what you are posting and when.

Tip #2: Schedule Certain Posts on Specific Days

This is the main reason why I’m able to schedule so many posts in advance. When I created my blog 4 years ago, I knew I wanted to focus mainly on book series. But I also knew that I wanted to post standalone and new series reviews–just not all the time. And so, I created Single Sundays & Fresh Fridays respectively. That means I only post standalone reviews on Sundays (unless it’s a promotional post) and I try to alternate them every other week. So, if I write 4 standalone reviews in a month, I have posts for almost 2 months (4 posts for 8 weeks). Pretty Sweet!

Idea: Weekly memes are a great way to get some day-specific posts or create your own feature that is weekday specific!

Tip #3: Spend a Day Writing Posts

I know that’s hard to do for some people but one of the reasons I schedule so many posts is that I get these spurts of inspiration and just churn out the posts. I then use my don’t-post-everyday & day-specific guidelines to schedule them throughout the upcoming weeks. I consider it an investment of sorts that pays off later when I go away on vacation (like I did with this post) or am going through a reading slump and I don’t have to worry about posting.

Idea: If you are a lengthy writer, try breaking the post up into segments or separate posts  (and post over a couple of days) to get more content!

Tip #4: Write Posts on Your Hiatus

People go on hiatuses for many reasons. I went on a lengthy one my first year of blogging simply because I didn’t have enough material to be posting consistently. So while on hiatus, I would write posts and schedule them for after my slated return. My reasoning: no one was expecting new posts during that time I was away so I didn’t need to use my newly crafted post immediately.

I know that this can be hard to do depending on your motivation for the hiatus, but this could even be a week randomly in a month where you focus solely on writing posts and not publishing them right away.

Tip #5: Draft, Draft Draft!

The drafting feature on WordPress is my favourite! Rarely do I have enough time to compose a post from start to finish. But I can often spare an hour or less everyday working on something for my blog.

I also like having those drafts started so when I do feel inspired to blog/write, I can just finish something I already started instead of creating something from scratch.

Pro-Tip: Make sure you leave notes to yourself so you can pick up where you left off! It’s easy to forget your train of thought if you write something over days instead of in one setting.

Tip #6: Get Comfortable with Blogging a Week (or more) Ahead

One of the downsides to scheduling posts is that you don’t get that instant gratification from publishing something you just wrote. That post you were so excited to share won’t be out there for days (or more) and it’s hard to contain your excitement sometimes.

For me, it doesn’t help that I have such a crappy memory either. So when that post I wrote two months ago finally publishes, I’m not entirely sure what I wrote. BUT, that gives me a great excuse to read over my post with a fresh set of eyes. I catch a TON of typos and mistakes when I do. Sure, it sucks that I already shared it but I like revisiting those posts and reliving the idea all over again.

My point though with this tip is that you have to focus on the week(s) ahead and not just the current week. That can be a hard change to get used to but it’s worth it. Especially when you can’t guarantee that you will have the time to create fresh content that week.

Pro-Tip: Instead of focusing on my posts for the current week (because they are already done), I instead get to spend more time blog hopping and doing site maintenance when I check on my blog.


Scheduling blog posts is an adjustment that needs to happen over time. Like any habit, you have to do what works best for you and that can mean you have to try a few techniques out before you find one that is perfect for you.

I hope that you find some of these tips helpful 🙂

Anything I Missed? Do You Schedule Your Posts?

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#ShelfLove Discussion: My Trope Addictions + Dislikes

One of the main reasons I picked the #ShelfLove Challenge this year was the seasonal discussions it had. It’s a fun aspect and one I think will help keep the challenge fresh throughout the year for me.

I have a lot of must read and must avoid tropes. So this was a hard topic to narrow down. But I did! I’ve selected 3 tropes I adore and 3 tropes I could leave in the dust! Coincidentally, I listed my favourite tropes for a Top Ten Tuesday list earlier this year so feel free to check that out and two years ago I did one for tropes I could do without.

For 2018 I plan on doing more with book tropes in a new feature so be on the lookout for that in a few months!

Tropes I Can’t Get Enough Of

Slow Burn Romance

This is a trope that is new to my “fave trope” lists. These are usually harder to find unless I read reviews before hand but sometimes, a slow burn romance is what I need to remind me why I love romances. All that sexual tension and anticipation is fantastic!

Trope Winners: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me |  Chasing Red

Forbidden Love

I love sexual tension and forbidden romances provide that in spades. You’ve got all that risk and you can’t wait for the reward. And I just love when love defies the odds.

Trope Winners: The Forbidden  |  Queen of Blood

Rockstar Romances

This is probably my favourite New Adult Romance genre. I will pick up any romance if it mentions a rockstar/musician love interest. I just can’t get enough of them!

Trope Winners: The Heartbreakers  |  Mayhem

Tropes That Can Drop off the Face of the Earth

Multiple Love Interests

Usually I’d say love triangles here (and I still do detest them) but lately, I’ve had to endure books where the lead has multiple people trying to win their heart. I’m talking love squares people! Apparently, the lead is so desirable that they can attract 3 significant others simultaneously! Ugh.

Trope Offenders: A Wicked Thing  |  Blood Rose Rebellion

Alpha Males

I can’t stand the men who think they can control their female counterpart. I like my romances to be a partnership where they can function as independent individuals but are stronger together as a pair.

Trope Offenders: BreathlessIndebted

Love At First Sight

I can understand instant connections but you need to elaborate on those for me. I want to see the romance blossom into something more than some unsaid connection. Physical chemistry is great but can these two hold an actual conversation? That’s what I like to see!

Trope Offenders: Real  | A Week for Love to Bloom

What tropes do you love and hate?

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SERIESous Discussion: Not Reporting Assaults in Novels


SERIESous Discussions: Every once and awhile I will post my random ramblings about a bookish or blogging topic. Feel free to join in by making a comment below or linking back!


I got inspired to write this post after reading a particular book (which I won’t name because it is a bit of a spoiler but I will vaguely recap the situation). After a scene where the heroine is sexually assaulted in the novel and decides not to press charges, I got really upset.

Here are some statistics:

From Statistics Canada:

  • Of every 100 incidents of sexual assault, only 6 are reported to the police
  • 1 in 4 North American women will be sexually assaulted during their lifetime
  • 11% of women have physical injury resulting for sexual assault

And a lot of women don’t report it because:

Some felt young and powerless, or ashamed, or they blamed themselves or just wanted to move on. Many felt reporting would do little good.

(Global News Article)

That’s an unfortunate fact of sexual assaults and one that has been the focus of change for years. However, things don’t seem to be changing anytime soon.

So why are assaults rarely reported in fictional novels?

While I’m a firm believer in letting fiction be fiction, I also think it can be a vehicle to start discussions. But I’m very alarmed by the  “letting it go without consequences” trend I’ve been reading in novels lately.

See, in the book I was reading when I was inspired to write this post, the girl gets assaulted at a club when the guy she was dancing with takes her outside. He started to undress her and it stops when a classmate walks back, causing a distraction. The “hero” does the right thing by using his phone to subtly call for help. In the end, the club manager arrives along with the police and asks is she wants to press charges. Her response is “no” because she 1) doesn’t like the attention it brings (which I understand because it is a part of the larger plot of the novel–even if I don’t necessarily agree with it) and 2) feels that the fact that there will be a police report (meaning the police showed up) is enough to prevent the assailant from doing it again.

Um Excuse Me?

No, it won’t. Because who’s to say the next time he tries something like that, the girl won’t feel the same and reach the same conclusion? Add to that, the fact you’ve just subjected another girl to the same horrible situation as you and this time, there might not be some “hero” to help save her.

And thus a cycle of abuse continues.

I can’t help but feel like this is normalizing the situation. It makes it seem like it is an event that you can easily portray as a one-off and forget. That isn’t the case at all. There are a ton of New Adult novels that focus on what sexual assault can do to a person’s psyche after the fact. There are a ton of real life stories too that remind us of that. Nor are you a hero for taking it in stride or letting him/her off the hook for their actions.

This isn’t to say that assault is always ignored in novels.

I can think of a few great examples I’ve read over the years. Deeper by Robin York focuses on a heroine who is trying to remove revenge porn her ex posted of her online via the legal system. Veronica Mars not only dedicates an entire TV season to a sexual assault storyline but it also has it as the focus in one of the spin-off novels as well. You Against Me by Jenny Downham focuses on the rape trial of the female lead’s brother against the male lead’s sister and the affect it has on everyone in their family and community as a result. But they seem to be few and far between lately.

In Conclusion:

I do understand that not all sexual assault cases are cut and dry. It’s easy to sit on the outside of the situation looking in and say “you should’ve done this or that” without being fully immersed in the situation. It’s a deeply personal situation.

However, I can’t help but feel that in the world of YA fiction–especially ones toted as realistic fiction–you should have the leads make those hard choices. Set an example for those younger minds who are reading these novels they probably relate to in some way or another. You don’t need to sugar coat the outcome; trials are hard for all parties involved. You don’t necessarily have to follow through in legal detail either. Just be a part of that movement to standardize consequences for your actions instead of just brushing them aside like it’s no big deal.

Because the reality is: it is a big deal and we need to treat it like that.

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Monthly Inventory: August 2017

August 2017

Where has the summer gone?

Normally at this time of year I’d be preparing to head back to school for the umpteenth time like many of you probably are. However, I’ve finally finished school (!) and am a productive member of society and it feels great.

Well, most of the time.

This August I really felt the struggle to keep up blogging and reading. There were days where I didn’t look at my blog and my reading was simply one chapter before I fell asleep. I felt like I was getting nothing done. Thankfully, I’ve got a great blogging schedule and had my posts for the summer scheduled wayyyy in advance so it looked like fresh content was always on the horizon.

So maybe I bit off more than I could chew for the month of August but I had a great time with the various readathons I participated in and blog hopping when I could.

September is going to be an interesting month. First, I’m taking 2 weeks of much deserved vacation at the end of the month (though I foresee very little reading time besides the flight). And second, I’ve decided to only read sequels for the month. More details on that below!

thoughts

Total for July 2017: 17 Books Read + 4 Novellas Read

Last August: 17 Books Read + 27 Novellas

August 2017’s DNFs: 2 Books

Standout Read (★★★★★)

Leave the Night On

When I learned that there would be a new books to the Cottonbloom Series, my summer was made! This series has everything I love in a solid adult romance and Trentham did not disappoint with this new sequel!

Biggest Let Down (★★ & DNF)

The Changeling

I think my 2 star rating is very generous considering I didn’t enjoy a single thing about this book. Have you ever read the synopsis and thought you were getting one story but when you started you get something else instead? The synopsis for this one was grossly misleading and the book itself was terribly dull. It’s a shame because the idea is really interesting–but who knew you could make it so boring?

kobostats

I thought it would be fun to keep track of my reading progress on my Kobo every month (and compare it to last year’s numbers). While I do own a Kindle now, I mostly use my Kobo for everyday reading. As per my #ShelfLove Challenge, I really want to increase the Total % of Library Complete by the end of the year.

Unfortunately, with Kobo’s latest update they’ve changed the way they calculate statistics and it has drastically altered mine. It seems like they only count Kobo books now for total # of books finished (they used to include the eBooks from the library that I would add). But for some reason, that has changed my total % complete as well. At least my total # of hours seems to have stayed.

As of:

August 31, 2017

August 31, 2016

Total % of Library Complete

10%

19%

Total # of Books Finished

124

500

Total # of Reading Hours

2418

2007

thoughts

Previously posted series reviews that got updates:

thoughts

You can always get the full details on all my challenges on my dedicated page but here is a quick update:

5 Year 5 Book Challenge: 8 of 25 Titles Read — DNF’d 1 title

September’s 5Y5B picks: The LoopMaid of Secrets

Goodreads Challenge: 21 books added
#ShelfLove Challenge: 5 TBR Items added

September’s #ShelfLove picks:  & Legacy

Judge By the Cover Challenge: None
Classics Challenge: None

View my Challenge Progress Here!

 

In February, I brought back my Tackling the TBR feature and announced my plan to get my Goodreads TBR down to 500 books. Here are my current standings:

  • Current TBR Shelf: 606 books
  • TBR Shelf at end of June: 611 books
  • Initial Number in February: 1205 books

 

discussions

You can still join in on these discussions:

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Make Me Read It: August 2017

I didn’t meet my goal this year of reading 4 books but I really enjoyed the ones I did get to! The ones that are sequels are on my list for my Sequel September plan.

Shadows in the Silence (Angelfire, #3) Phoenix (Black City, #2) Hitched: Volume One (Imperfect Love, #1)

ARC August

This was my first time participating in the classic summer event hosted by Read. Sleep. Repeat and I really enjoyed it! I powered through these at the start of the month and only have two left for September so I call that a success! Here’s what I read:

Leave The Night On (Cottonbloom, #4) Zero Repeat Forever (The Nahx Invasions #1) His Ex's Little Sister (Insta-Love on the Run Book 1) The Thirteenth Gate (Dominion Mysteries, #1)

Sequels for September!

When your blog is dedicated to book series, you keep an extra eye on what ones you have to finish and which ones need a little more attention. And lately, I’ve noticed I need to get some sequels under my belt! This summer, I’ve been really good at starting new series but not so great at finishing them. I’ve got quite a few series reviews in my draft folder just waiting to be finished and I have lots of Fresh Friday posts that need some updating.

So for the month of September, I’m only going to be reading sequel novels for series I have already started. Now, there are a few exceptions. I do have a standalone ARC I need to read this month and I will likely have to start a new series for audiobooks so I can entertain myself on the way to work. Otherwise, I’ll be taking a break from my 5 Year 5 Book Challenge so I can focus on getting those sequels read!


What were your biggest reading or personal accomplishments of the past month?
Leave a comment below!

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Release Blitz: When the Scoundrel Sins by Anna Harrington


Last summer, I discovered the greatness that is Anna Harrington. I read, devoured and absolutely adored her novel If the Duke Demands. It was a highlight of my summer and I was desperate for the sequel, When the Scoundrel Sins.

It didn’t disappoint! Catch my review of the series so far here!

 

Below you will find a link to an exclusive excerpt as well as a giveaway for a copies of the first book (If the Duke Demandscourtesy of Forever Publishing. So if you’d like a chance to win (and why wouldn’t you?!), enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post!


Title: When the Scoundrel Sins

Author: Anna Harrington
August 29, 2017
Publisher: Forever
Format: Mass Market Paperback & eBook
Find it: Goodreads // Kobo | Amazon

Six years ago, a childish prank perpetrated by the reckless Quinton Carlisle ruined Annabelle Greene’s reputation and any chance she had at securing a successful marriage.  Incensed, she moved to her beloved estate on the Scottish border and has reveled in the solitude…until now when the contents of a family will are revealed.  Suddenly, Belle’s single status may cost her the only home she’s ever known.  Now, with her only marital prospect a horribly greedy and completely undesirable man, Belle knows just the person to rescue her-the one person who owes her for his bad behavior…

There’s nothing Quinn Carlisle wants more than to get out from his older brother’s shadow and make a name for himself abroad. So when a mysterious letter arrives, promising adventure, he rushes to the Scottish border…only to find that Belle laid a trap for him.  The awkward, shy bluestocking whom he so enjoyed tormenting is gone, replaced by a graceful, elegant woman who ignites a desire in him he can’t resist.  Can Quinn help her save her home-and win her heart in the process? 

Add: Goodreads // Buy: Amazon // Barnes & Noble // iBooks // Google Play // Kobo

Read an Exclusive Excerpt Here!

 

Anna Harrington

Anna Harrington fell in love with historical romances–and all those dashing Regency heroes–while living in London, where she studied literature and theatre. She loves to travel, fly airplanes, and hike, and when she isn’t busy writing her next novel, she loves fussing over her roses in her garden.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Trust me, this was worth the wait!

Full Series Review Found Here!

What about you? Are you excited?

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