Skip to main content

Happy Second Birthday!


I can't believe that another year has already gone by! My second blogging anniversary was on Monday, but I wanted to do a post to properly celebrate. I can't wait to share some things about me, blogging, and what's coming next for Reading, Writing, and Me. Last year, I wrote the anniversary post about the things I learned, and I think all of those things still ring true.
This year, I'm going to start with an interview with myself since my focus this year is to promote and interview as many authors as I can!


What's Your Favorite Part About Blogging?

I love being a part of a community. While reading has always been a major part of my life, it was a solitary activity. I used it as a way to escape, but, in the end, it's provided me a new place to connect. I have so much fun interacting with authors and other readers here and on social media. It's provided me with an endless resource to find books, and it's amazing to work with authors that I've admired for so long! 

What's The Hardest Part About Blogging?

While I love Bookstagram and social media, it's definitely the hardest platforms to grow. I've learned a lot, and growing my reach and connection on those areas are my major goals this year. Instagram with it's algorithms and culture makes it hard to expand, but I'm working finding new ways to utilize it. 
If you love reading the blog, I encourage you to follow me on Instagram and Twitter to get updates, extra content, and more information. Creating special extras for Instagram is a major focus of mine for the year! 

What's Your Favorite Bookstagram Pictures You've Taken?
There have been a couple that have made me do a little happy dance. Thinking of pretty, inventive, and relevant book pictures is hard, but I love working on them. I've put the pictures throughout the article. Let me know in the comments which are your favorites!


What Are Your Favorite Books You've Gotten To Review?

My favorite story about finding books is about Erin Hahn's You'd Be Mine. I was going through NetGalley, and I thought, "I guess I'll try this out." It's now one of my favorite books ever (and I get to chat with Erin next week!). Two other books I found in unconventional ways are This Is Not A Test and To Kill A Kingdom. I found This Is Not A Test on a list of books about mental illness. Mentions of zombies had me a little weary, but it is an amazing book! I found TKAK at a Book Con. I don't read a ton of fantasy, but, after Allie Christo started describing it, I knew I had to have this Little Mermaid retelling. 


What Are Your Tips For Those Starting Out?
I have a lot of tips in my one year anniversary post. Beyond that, my biggest tips would be 1) use your library and 2) don't be afraid to put yourself out there. Libraries kept me with new books to read for a long time. I still love my library, but it's an especially great resource before you have access to ARCs. Definitely don't feel like you need to be able to buy books to start your blog or bookstagram. 
Also, try new types of posts or photos. The biggest thing that's helped me is realizing that trying things doesn't mean that they have to be forever, and, if you reach out to someone, the worst they can say is no. Within a reasonable degree, taking a leap of faith has a lot of chances to pay off. 

What Do You Want To Learn In The Future?
When I finish my classes for senior year, I'll be diving into everything I want to explore in my gap year! A lot of those things are skills I can hopefully apply to the blog. The first two areas I want to learn about first are digital art and graphic design. I'm making no promises, since I might totally crash and burn, but I'm hoping to find cool ways to integrate these things into interesting blog posts! Beyond that, I'll be working on new and even more frequent content here and on social media. 

How Do You Read So Many Books?
I spend a lot of time doing it! I also do read a bit faster than average, which, I'm not going to lie, definitely helps, but if your a slower reader and really busy, you can still read tons of books. I read in every spare moment between school, writing, and working on the blog. When I get up, I read before breakfast and then I sneak in some reading time before lunch and then again in the evening. When I have free time, I ask myself "Could I be reading?" Sometimes, the answer is no, and I'll unwind to a podcast or YouTube after a long day of school, but I treat it like a job, because, now, it kind of is. I don't watch much TV or see many movies so I apply that time to reading because that's honestly what I tend to enjoy more.

What Other Bloggers/Bookstagrammers Do You Love To Follow?
My favorite fellow blogger is Vicky of Vicky Who Reads. Beyond being a wonderful person, she has awesome book reviews and her Twitter thread is always on point. I love connecting with other teens making their voice heard in the YA world since it's a genre for teens dominated by adults. 

What's Coming Up on the Blog For The Year?

Tons of new things (I hope!) I already have a schedule full of interviews with amazing authors through the fall including Kathleen Glasgow, Jen Dugan, L.D. Crichton, and so many more throughout the summer! I would love to keep growing my Into YA section and guest posts. If you are an author or know one who might be interested, please reach out at readingwritingandme@gmail.com!

In addition to this, I'm hoping to maybe add a fourth day to the schedule some weeks. Let me know in the comments if you'd like to see more discussion posts! I also have a couple ideas I'm not quite ready to announce yet, but keep watching this space and @readingwritingandme on Instagram and @readwriteandme on Twitter to hear about these. Also, please use these channels to reach out and tell me what you want to see more or less of. With more time on my hands, I'll be looking to make this year the best year yet, and I'm hoping you'll all enjoy and keep sharing the blog. 

Most of all, I want to thank all of you for supporting, contributing, and following me for these last two years. I never really thought I'd have much of an audience. I just wanted to talk about book, but seeing it grow, and meeting all of you has turned it into something that's so much more! I've had a blast, and I can't wait to see what's to come!

Mentioned In The Post...
Into YA
Happy First Birthday

Links of Interest:
Five Feet Apart Movie: Review Here
Five Feet Apart Review: Review Here
Into YA with Lilli Vale: Here
Small Town Hearts: Review Here

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Books I'm Looking Forward To: April

Everything feels extremely uncertain right now, and authors are rightfully concerned about their books that are debuting in the coming months. Right now, Amazon is delaying book shipments, bookstores are being forced to close, and libraries are not providing in person services. While none of that this good news, it doesn't mean that books will be forgotten during this time. If anything, we need books and the arts in general more than ever. We've all turned to Netflix and reading and music to take our minds off of the situation, and these artists need our support too.
Luckily, there are tons of ways to do this. While authors aren't getting to hold traditional book launches, many are transitioning them to places like Instagram Live, so make sure you follow the authors you love on social media. Continuing on the social media theme, it's now more important than ever to talk about the books you enjoy online and leave reviews on Goodreads and Amazon to spread the word.
Anoth…

Fear of Missing Out

Fear of Missing Out by Kate McGovern 
Overview: Astrid has a form of brain cancer called astrocytoma that causes a star shaped tumor to form near her brainstem. Though she was in remission, two years later, the cancer comes back, and Astrid becomes convinced that she won't beat the disease. She starts to pursue options that will allow her to have a life in the future, namely, cryopreservation. After essentially freezing her body, she hopes to wake up when there's a cure for her cancer so she can rejoin the world and see some of the milestones she fears missing.
On the road trip to tour the Arizona facility, though, Astrid makes other realizations about her life and eventual death that alters how she sees her original plan. Overall: 4 

Characters: 4 Astrid is relatable. She has a touch of dry, witty humor that makes her relatable. She loves her friends and family deeply, but she also has a conviction to follow what feels best for her. I appreciated how she always tried to stay ho…

Soooo... The World Is More Than a Little Scary

I'm not sure what exactly I want to say with this post. It feels like there's nothing left to say in a way. Over the last few days, the United States has come to realize just how serious COVID-19 is. It's a reality that people in Europe and Asia grasped long before most Americans. I think that we're all starting to realize just how much our lives are fundamentally changing. How long this will actually impact us.
I've seen a lot of different reactions on Twitter. Understandably, there's a lot of heartbreak over lost vacations, concerts, and book tours. A lot of us were using things like this to keep motivated. It's entirely understandable why these choices have been made, but it doesn't make it any less hard. So, I guess what I wanted to say first is don't feel bad for feeling bad. Yes, there are people losing much more from this, and we should be doing everything we can to help them through this time, but beating yourself up for being disappointed …

What If It's Us

What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera (448 pages)
Overview: Ben and Arthur meet at the post office during a flashmob. Well, Arthur followed Ben into the post office because he thought he was and, and, just as they started talking, in true form with Arthur's New York fantasy, a flash mob erupted. When the boys and split up, Arthur loses his chance at connecting with Ben, but when he can't stop thinking about him, he explores ways to reconnect even in a city of a million empty faces like New York. Even if they can find each other, with Arthur going back to Georgia at the end of the summer, will it even be worth it? Overall: 4/5

Characters: 4.5 I'm not sure what to say about the characters. I liked them enough, but I didn't feel any real attachment to any of them. I liked the cast of friends, but they all lacked a certain weight that would give them a stronger sense of reality. My favorite relationship in the book was the friendship between Dylan and Ben.…

Guest Post Claire Bartlett: Unpacking Fairytales

This week I want to welcome author Claire Bartlett to the blog to talk about the fascinating history of fairy tales throughout culture and how they play a role in her new book, The Winter Duke (out March 3). I've been a huge fan of fairy tales my entire life (I even wrote a giant paper on the Brothers Grimm for a school project once), so it was so much fun to read about the history of a couple tales that Claire uncovered in her research. If you missed the last time Claire was on the blog to promote her debut, you can find that post here.


I always wanted to write a fairy tale retelling, and it only makes sense to me now that I'd combine fairy tale, history and fantasy to create The Winter Duke. Fairy tales have long been intertwined with history, and in fact it's now estimated that fairy tale tropes go back thousands of years, being retold and reworked to fit audiences. Many of them were somewhat cemented in the public mind after being written down by the Grimms, among oth…

Nice Try, Jane Sinner

Nice Try, Jane Sinner Lianne Oelke (420 pages)
Overview: Jane wants to forget the past. Forget the high school that expelled her. Forget the people that watched her fall from grace. Forget her family who thinks that prayer is the answer to everything. Facing community college at Elbow River as a last resort graduation option, she signs up to be on House of Orange, a new web reality show, to solve her housing problem. Though she knows to expect the unexpected, House of Orange and its inhabitants test Jane in ways she never imagined. Maybe the year won't be as bad as she imagined. Overall: 5

Characters: 5 I LOVE Jane. There are very few main characters I can say that I appreciated more. Her sarcasm, dry humor, and outlook on life echoed my own thoughts, and I loved how she was so introspective. It is fascinating to listen to Jane work through her own thoughts and recognize her behaviors as masks for other feelings. I also thought that Oelke did a wonderful job with her depiction of Ja…

Starry Eyes

Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett (417 pages)
Overview: Glamping should not include getting stranded in the middle of the woods with your ex-best friend. But life doesn't always go as it's supposed to. When Zorie agrees to go with her friend Regan and her crew on a summer camping trip, she doesn't know Lennon will be there, and she's certainly not expecting the group to abandon the two of them in the middle of the California wilderness, forced to complete a multi day track back to civilization. It turns out, though, that an adventure in the woods might be just what they need. Overall: 4.5

Characters: 5 I thought that all of the characters, including the adults, were given dimension. I loved the parental dynamic between Lennon and his moms as well as Zorie's relationship with her step mom who never considered Zorie less than her own daughter.
Lennon and Zorie are also awesome characters. Zorie has to battle her intense anxiety and relinquish control while she's stuck in…

Top Reads of 2018

This year's best of 2018 list has tons of new categories to fit all of the amazing books I read this year. I've had the chance to read so many advanced books and recent releases, so most of what I read were books that came out in 2018. I mostly choose contemporary, so I've started with my favorite debut as well as the best books in other genres I've ventured into. After that, I have smaller categories in the contemporary genre. I hope you find new books to love and give to your friends and family for the holidays. If you're interested in learning more about the books on the list, click their titles to go to my reviews. Let me know if these are some of your favorites in the comments, and tell me your favorite books!
Best In Genre Top Debut
Nothing Left To Burn by Heather Ezell Nothing Left To Burn gave me the craziest book hangover. I was so immersed in the story, and I couldn't stop reading to do anything that I actually needed to be doing. There is a toxic relat…

March 2020: A Month In Review

Congratulations everyone! We have made it to the last day of the longest month any of us have ever experienced. We've all been through a lot in the last couple weeks. Everyone's world looks totally different now than it did in that first week, and that's really hard to process. We're not only dealing with the weight of living through a global pandemic, but it's also uncertain how long our lives will be on lockdown. The only thing that is clear is that social isolation is the only way that we'll get through this any time soon. Regardless of what your official local guidelines are, please follow self isolation protocols and only go outside for the most essential needs if you are not a required worker. This is a global group project, and the only way to get results is for everyone to strictly adhere to the guidelines. Do it for your health, your future, your grandparents health, your parents, health care workers, or anyone you love.
While I know we all want a lit…