Sunday, August 19, 2018

Q [5] What was the first book you read and reviewed?

Now, without looking... do you remember your very first book review? What was it? I recently realized my one-year blogoversary was coming up, so I was double checking the exact date when this question popped into my head. I started reading some of my reviews from a year ago, and it was like I was seeing them for the first time. It had been so long since I'd written them, I'd almost forgotten what they said!

My first book review was The Winter King (Weathermages of Mystral, #1) by C.L. Wilson. I remember loving the book and immediately pre-ordering the second! It's still sitting on my shelf (unread), but I've already made plans to read it soon. Re-reading my review made me want to start it right away!

Another post I did in the beginning was Bitten at BEA. A few years ago, when I attended the Book Expo of America, a women bit the flark out of my arm (on purpose) at one of the book drops. Karen from For What's It's Worth mentioned the incident on her blog, and when people started asking questions I decided to write a post that explained the entire thing in detail.

What about you? Did you write something really amazing when you first started blogging that you feel didn't get the attention it deserved? How did you feel after re-reading some of your older reviews? Do you think your method for writing reviews has changed? Is there anything you wish you'd done differently from the beginning?

Let's do something fun! Please leave a link to the very first review on your blog, and also any really old posts that you think deserved more attention than they received.  We all know that starting a blog is a lot of work, and it takes time to build relationships and make friends, so it makes sense that our blogs received very little love in the beginning. Were there books that you enjoyed and still want others to read? Share those reviews here! I want you to dig deep and find those long-forgotten posts that are in need of a little dusting.

I know some of you have been blogging for years, so it'll be interesting to see what you come up with! You can add your link below, or just paste them into the comments. Be sure to list the title of your post (since you can leave more than one) and your blog name -- that should make it easier to locate specific posts and who wrote them.

57 comments:

  1. LOL, I remember the Bitten at BEA post so well - I was one of the people who asked about the "incident" when Karen mentioned it, and that's how me and you (virtually) met.

    This is a great idea! I went and linked to 3 of my old reviews, not out of greed for stats and comments, but because I want more people to read those books! To be honest, "Remember Me" is an (old) classic, but it was my very first review (and I love Christopher Pike! plus that was the book that got me into YA...at a ripe age LOL). But the other two are severely underrated IMO. "Deadgirl" is first in a series, while "Luna-C" is a wonderful, evocative standalone contemporary (and if I say "wonderful" about a contemporary, it sure means something...).

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    1. I'm happy we met! Can you believe that was almost a year ago?

      Thanks! I'm happy you left three links, and I cannot wait to check them out! I've heard of Remember Me and Christopher Pike, but I haven't read any of his books. I also love hearing about underrated books, because sometimes those are the very best! Have you ever read Kissed by an Angel by Elizabeth Chandler? It's one of my all-time favorites, but I've never met anyone else that's read it. I need to do a re-read soon and write a review for it. <3

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  2. wow I have a really bad memory so I really don't know. I think I see the cover and the name as Jay in it and well that's all. Stacey Jay maybe

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    1. You could always go back and check! I was only seeing if you could remember without looking. ;)

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  3. I was reviewing books on Goodreads a few years before I started a blog and we had to do book reviews for school (ugh!) so I don't remember my very first one! The reviews on my first blog were dreadful! Messy, lacking graphics, hardly any info...*shudders* I'm glad to say there has at least been an improvement!

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    1. I have a degree in Education, and one of our projects was reading 50 books (from a list) and writing individual reviews for them all. Then we had to make a portfolio for them, and explain why they would be relevant to children (that portfolio will haunt me until I die). It was a long time before I could look at a children's book without cringing.

      I had another book blog before this one (Books, Sweets, and Other Treats), but stopped blogging when I had kids. There just wasn't any time for it! I regret that I deleted everything and lost all those reviews/the contacts and friends, but at the time I never thought I would need them again. A few of the friends I made back then are some of my best friends now. We keep in touch via text messages and emails. The bookish community is one of the best!

      Having a blog before this one helped, but I've also changed a lot over the years. I like to think that my blog reflects that and is better because of it. :)

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  4. What a fun post! My first review was for "Code Name Verity," YA historical fiction. Now that I look at it, it is so short! It should really have been a mini-review!

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    1. Code Name Verity sounds so familiar... almost like I've read it, but don't remember reading it, haha. Was it made into a movie? Maybe? I don't read a lot of historical fiction, so I'm not sure.

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    2. Read your review: It's always a bummer when characters don't seem to fit their time period, or feel over-the-top, but it's great that the story was able to surprise you in the end. :)

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  5. I think it's sort of funny that my first blog review was for a fantasy book, because contemporaries dominate my TBR, but hey, I did really like the book.

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    1. I love a good fantasy, so I'm going to add Labyrinth Lost to my TBR! I'll be sure to read your review a little later, too. I enjoy stepping outside of my comfort zone/normal reads and being pleasantly surprised. :)

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  6. Do you remember what your first review was for your previous blog??

    I had to dig deep - mine is from 2009!! lol All the Stupid things by Alexandra Diaz. She was also the first author I met through my blog.

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    1. Um, no! That was what... 5-6 years ago? There's no way for me to check, but it was probably something obscure that I stumbled across working at a book store. Geez, I'm trying to think... no, there's no way to know. Karen! It's going to bug me, lol.

      2009?? You go girl! I haven't heard of the book or the author, but it's lovely that you met them through your blog. One of the first authors I met through blogging was Inara Scott. I hate that she stopped writing (she was in the middle of two series) to focus more on her job (teacher/lawyer). I can understand her reasons, but my reader-heart is broken. The Candidates was one, but I think they changed the name later to The Watchers when they redid all of her covers... there was lot going on that I didn't understand, but she did write an ending of sorts on Wattpad for us. I haven't read it yet... can't make myself do it knowing there will never be a book to hold in my hand or add to my shelves. The rest of the series is just sitting there... waiting...

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  7. I remember! It was the Twilight series. I didn’t like those books. I eventually deleted my reviews because they felt mean and unnecessary. I think all of the negative things about that series have already been said. I didn’t need to say them again.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I'm sorry you didn't like the series. It's actually what got me back into reading after high school. I used to enjoy reading books until it became required work... it sucks the fun out, you know? It wasn't until college that I got back into reading and found my passion again. A friend I worked with was reading the series and encouraged me to do the same -- really enjoyed them overall. I think the first two were my favorites of the series, things get pretty weird after that (her obsessive behaviors, the baby, the imprinting), but I'll always be grateful they brought me back to books.

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  8. I don't remember... On Sunny Buzzy Books, it'd be easy to check (still don't remember) but as I blogged 4(+) years on The Book Lovers Codex before quitting blogging (ha! that lasted) I really don't remember and can't check. :/

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    1. We're in the same boat! I had another book blog before this one (Books, Sweets, and Other Treats), but it was 5-6 years ago. There's no way for me to check that one... I stopped blogging after having kids -- no time! I've only recently gotten back into reading and blogging again, because I really missed the stories and the community. Books are so much better when you can share and discuss them with others.

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  9. I've been blogging since 2005. I looked back and posted a link to the first review I wrote back in 2010. I didn't write reviews before then and I didn't post a lot. I mostly talked about my kid and her crazy friends. lol

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    1. 2005? That's amazing, Mary! Congratulations! I'm happy you eventually started writing book reviews, too. You read and review a lot of books I never would have found on my own, and I'm always happy to add them to my TBR. :)

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  10. Ha ha. I need to go look now. I have to idea what my first review was. Very fun idea.

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    1. 2011 -- The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

      I've never heard of the book or the author, but I laughed out loud when you said, "I don't know whether to be concerned or impressed that an older man from Canada can write so well about an 11 year old from England." You also apparently hate synopsis'. ;)

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  11. OH MY GOODNESS, LINDSI!! I can't believe you were the girl who got bit! I went to ALA with my husband in June and told him about that LOLOL you poor thing!

    Also, i love this post! It's so fun to reminisce!

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    1. Yes! That was me! I went to another book event the following year and people were still talking about the "infamous girl who was bitten at BEA," haha. I opted not to say anything, because it's more fun listening to everyone else's theories and hearing how the story evolved over time. <3

      I thought it would be fun to reminisce! We're always thinking about what we're going to review next, and we rarely think about what we've reviewed in the past. A few of my older posts are some of my favorites (like the BEA one).

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    2. The Secret Year is a book I've been wanting to read for years! I love that the author sent you a bookmark after you read and reviewed the book -- so sweet! Have you had a chance to re-read this one since you originally posted a review?

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  12. Omg, someone BIT you?! On purpose?! That's insane! I've been blogging for 11 years this month, so I have NO clue what my first post was...or what book I reviewed first. LOL I like the idea of giving new love to really old posts though. :)

    Oh, and congrats on one year!!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. Thanks! Also, yes. An old lady bit me so she could reach past me for some books. It was insanity! 11 years?? Wow! Congrats! Is there any way for you to go back and check what your first review was?

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  13. Omg... you were bitten. That is crazy... I am very new to blogging. My first review ever is just cringy haha. It is for The King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard. It is just 1 paragraph or review and I believe it got like 10 views total LOL!

    Elle Inked @ Keep on Reading

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    1. My first review received a single comment from an old friend, so enjoy those 10 views! It takes a long time to build relationships and establish your blog. This is actually my second blog (had one a few years ago in college), and I still feel like I'm always learning new things, and discovering ways to improve.

      I haven't read The King's Cage, but I have heard of the author. I'll look into it!

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    2. Oh, and yes... I was definitely bitten over a book. It's something I doubt I will ever forget, haha. Even the author of said book got in touch with me to make sure everything was okay. <3

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  14. I started blogging this year, so I think it was actually Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones.

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    1. I'm starting that one soon! I'll have to check out your review (but probably after I've read it myself). I don't like to have any expectations when I start a book, and reading other reviews always puts thoughts in my head. It's why I wait so long to read a book that's getting a lot of hype and attention. ARCs are different, because I usually try to read those before there are any other reviews.

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  15. Oh my gosh, this is so fun! My first review is a bit cringe-worthy! ha!

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    1. Lumberjanes! I adore the name of that graphic novel, haha. I didn't think your review was cringe-worthy. You explained what you liked and why, and gave me a good idea of what the story was about. I'm interested in the lost world and how it correlated with what was happening elsewhere.

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  16. I love this! I didn't even have to think about what my first review was. The Hunger Games is the whole reason I started blogging so many years ago!! I just HAD to talk about it.

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    1. I really enjoyed The Hunger Games series! I think the movies did a decent job of portraying the story, too. However, I'm not a big fan of the ending, and I'm still upset about Finnick. He quickly became one of my favorite characters, so... ugh.

      I agree with something you said in your review, too. It's weird to think about teens reading about kids killing kids. I'm not sure when I would recommend this series to my own children, but I do want them to read it eventually. I just want them to be mentally prepared for some of the brutality and violence.

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  17. Oooh it looks like my first book one on mine was The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf :) This is fun :D

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    1. Haha! I haven't heard of that one, but I love the title! I'm going to look it up on Goodreads so I can add it to my TBR. I think I'm in the mood for something paranormal, and a werewolf without clothes sounds like just the thing. ;)

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  18. Fun idea! I've been blogging for a looonnngggg time, so it's hard to remember, but I'm pretty sure it was one of the Temperance Brennan books by Kathy Reichs. Now I'm going to have to go see if I'm right ...

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    1. Your link took me to The Peacegiver, which isn't something I've read or heard of until now. I like that you and your husband read this simultaneously and both took away different things from the story. It's so fun when you can discuss what you're reading with a significant other. It somehow makes the story more impactful.

      As for the Temperance Brennan books... isn't that what the series Bones is based on? My husband and I binge-watched every season a few years ago. It was one of our favorites!

      Also, 2006? Nice!

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  19. What a fun post! I gotta go back and look and link something up. :)

    It's funny how some of my old reviews make me cringe, and others I kinda like.

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    1. 2013? Wow! I really like the cover for Letters from Skye. I think it's really creative and eye-catching! <3 I really like how you said, "Parents and children can know each other so well, and yet at the same time know so little about each other. Parents have years of history before their kids come along, and the memories they take for granted- youth, high school, romances- their kids know nothing of." It's so true! I feel like I lived an entire life before my kids, and now I'm living a second one with them. There's no way for me to tell them everything I've been through or experienced, and I think that's why they get a condescended, highlighted version.

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    2. Exactly! I was thinking of that when I read that book-and I feel the same way. My own kids often think I'm boring and behind the times, and I sometimes think if you kids only knew lol! But that's the thing- they don't. and same with my parents- I realized one day they had entire lives before me, and I knew next to nothing about them. I knew them as PARENTS, but they're more than that. We spend every day with these people but there's so much that only THEY (or WE) experience, and it's kind of mindblowing!

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    3. Right?? We're not boring! We just exist in an alternate/parallel universe. ;)

      I've only recently started hearing more stories about my parents and their childhoods. My mom smoked pot in college and didn't think that was relevant information to share with her teenager. She was also sexually active, something she denied until like a year ago. My parents are religious-ish, so sex before marriage is frowned upon. I just think that if they had shared those stories with my and my brother as we were growing up, we would have had similar experiences and their knowledge would have been beneficial. It's crazy what people hide because they think it's "for the best."

      I know them as parents, and by the examples they set during my childhood, but that's not really who they are. They are so much more than the 17 years I spent with them. They had lives before and they will have lives after. If I've learned anything from that, it's to share what I know and my experiences with my children as often as I can. I want them to have a better understanding of who I am as a whole. I also want them to know that I have gone through what they are going through, despite what they may think.

      It really is mind-blowing. It's like we start living two separate lives once we have kids, and I know it's unintentional. We have to make a conscious effort to bring those two worlds together.

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    4. I was nodding all the way through this. Same here. Just in the last few years I've learned a few things about both my parents that I never knew. They divorced when I was 18 and my dad passed a couple years ago, but it's amazing the stuff I didn't know about both of them. And when I think of all the things my kids don't know, that's kind of amazing too!

      I had a lot of freedom as a kid, no curfew and came home when I wanted, my parents trusted me (maybe too much!) so I have to balance sharing that with how I raise my own kids now. There's some things I haven't shared lol, but I agree- it's best to be as open as possible, we WANT them to really know us after all! And how are they going to if we don't share with them? So true.

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    5. My parents were the opposite... they were crazy strict. I wasn't allowed to go anywhere with anyone unless they knew every single detail. Of course that made me rebellious, because what teenager wants their parents to know where they are every second of every day? We didn't get along well then, and our relationship is still strained now. They thought I was being ungrateful and acting out, but really it was just me trying to figure out who I was without them. They didn't think college was important (just get a job and get married), and I thought having an education was extremely valuable. They were willing to pay for my brother to go to college, but I was expected to marry well and procreate.

      I would like to think that a more open relationship would have helped, but I really don't know. I knew early on that I didn't view the world the same way my parents did, and that's okay. The fact that we're vegan has always been an issue, too. They accuse me of being "different" because I didn't agree with what they expected of me. I wish they had allowed me more freedom to make my own choices and mistakes, but we can't change the past. I can only learn from it and apply my knowledge to how I raise my children.

      We've started communicating more recently, and they've started sharing more about themselves that I was unaware of in the past. I think it's nice that those conversations are happening, but I also cannot help thinking it's too little too late. It's still interesting! My parents were... complicated. I didn't know I had a half-sister until a few years ago. Crazy, right?

      You're absolutely right! They aren't going to know anything about us unless we share it with them. They might ask specific questions, but we have to share a lot on our own as well. This has turned out to be quite the interesting conversation, Greg! :)

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    6. I've had friends with crazy strict parents too, and I think their experience was similar to yours? Like teens are trying to spread their wings and if we stifle them too much, of course they're going to rebel! It's practically in their DNA to do so! It's funny, I was reading a book last night and a character was thinking about her daughter and she thought isn't that the point of being a parent- to help them need you less and less? I stopped and thought about that, and it makes damn sense. So yeah...

      I'm sorry your relationship is strained with them, though. "marry well and procreate" I'm sorry, I know that's not funny but just the way you said it. :) But yes our parents have strange ideas sometimes, don't they? I keep hearing how millenials have such different attitudes than the older generations, and how demographic changes and more liberal attitudes are going to change America, and it's fascinating.

      Same here. I love my parents but I was SO different, my interests. I'm in the process of going vegetarian, something I've thought about for years, and I'm sure my mom doesn't get it. :) I mean she's knows it's healthier but otherwise... she just grew up eating whatever. And that's all you can do, a lesson I've learned too. Take my parents' mistakes and try not to repeat 'em, cause I'm gonna make my own!

      I've learned a few things about my parents that were rather disquieting too, so I can kinda relate. Not exactly of course, but... yeah. Have you met or have any interest in meeting your half- sister? I imagine that has it's own set of emotions and feelings involved!

      And yes I agree! :)

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    7. That does make a lot of sense! We want to hold on to them and protect them (the idea of my son starting school make me cry), but at the same time we're supposed to be encouraging independence. They need to be able to survive without us one day, and 18 years really isn't that long.

      It's okay. I know from an outside perspective it seems ridiculous. The "marry well and procreate" mantra I was taught my entire life. I never wanted to get married, to be honest. It just sort of happened. We didn't do anything fancy, just went to the courthouse, and then continued on with our lives. It meant something to us, and that's what was important. I wish my parents had wanted more for me than they did, you know? I wish they had seen my potential, and my desire to be more than a housewife, and encouraged me. Regardless, I am who I am today because of it, so...

      I'm very curious how millennials and future generations will shape the world! It's going to be different, I think.

      Go vegetarian/vegan is a process, and a lot of people don't understand it. It's nice to have people in your life, friends or family, that feel the same way. It makes it easier to make the transition and to keep living that lifestyle. It took us an entire year to become completely vegan, because we cut things out slowly. Dairy was the last thing to go! It's just normal now. :) My mom came to visit once and brought her own groceries so she wouldn't have to "eat like a cow," so that was fun. I swear she dumped a cup of butter into her spaghetti one night.

      Truth. We try to avoid making the same mistakes out parents made with us, but we inevitably make our own with our children. Hopefully, they will learn from them and so on!

      I haven't met my half-sister, but I would like to. My parents said she was around when I was a baby, before the divorce was final, but they never thought to continue the relationship afterwards. It made me view my dad differently... she's his daughter, yet he has little to contact with her. I always thought the same could easily happen to me, so I wish he'd made more of an effort to be a part of her life. He's always done whatever makes my mom happy, which is likely what happened there, too. I hope to maybe meet her one day, but I don't know if it's something that will ever happen.

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    8. Aww, well I hope you get a chance to meet her someday. And right! Our instincts are to protect our kids, it feels weird to train them to GO or be independent, so it's definitely a balancing act! I think that's why that quote moved me so much. It got me thinking differntly. :)

      It's hard when we look back and wish our parents had done more or been more supportive. You mentioned they were religious- did that have something to do with the just get married thing? My mom was pretty laid back when I was growing up, hence my freedom I guess, but NOW she's gotten very religious, which is fine, but she sees things a lot differently now and frankly it's caused us to disagree a bit. So I'm coming to terms with that. I mean I have beliefs but we come at things from such different angles, you know?

      Thanks for the tips! I decided to go vegetarian instead of vegan because I still eat cheese and fish. I LOVE cheese oh my gosh that would be SO hard for me to give up. I don't really eat dairy other than that, but I guess that's enough. :) I have a ton of respect for people who can do that though, so go you guys! Your mom sounds like a trip lol. Don't worry, mine is too...

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    9. I hope so, too. We live in completely different states, and I have no way of contacting her, but maybe someday.

      I don't think their religion had anything to do with it. We lived in a small town, and I think it was just what they expected me to do. Hmm... it's always different when people start being religious later in life. It's like they take it more seriously because they're older, or maybe to make up for lost time, I don't know. My parent and I don't agree on that either. They're racist and homophobic, and they use the Bible to justify their reasons, and I just can't do that. I don't think people are evil because they choose to live their lives differently. Like you, I have my beliefs, they just don't match up to theirs.

      I looove cheese! It's taken me awhile to find decent alternatives, because I missed pizza and ice cream. The ice cream was an easy find, because more companies are making vegan options, but the pizza was harder to replicate. There's a place around here called Mellow Mushroom, and gods they make good vegan pizza. Calzones, too!

      My mom is definitely a trip... haha. She's very stubborn and stuck in her ways. She wasn't the best mom growing up, and I think it's because she tried to be my friend and not my parent, but who knows. It is what it is.

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  20. Hmm I am not sure. I think maybe Love Letters to the Dead or maybe Delirium??? It's been 3 1/2 years and I can't remember what I made for dinner last night lol!! My reviews were so long too. Now I write much shorter ones. Great post!

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    1. Thanks! I have trouble remembering what day it is, haha. It's understandable that you don't remember something you did years ago! I vaguely remembered the book, but I had no idea what the review said until I read it again. I think my reviews have actually gotten longer since I started -- maybe once I found my groove.

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  21. You were bitten?!!!!!!! Was it that crazy ARC stealer woman who sells them on Ebay? 😱

    I'll look at my first review and then I'll decide if I want to link it or not. 😂😂😂

    Great idea! 👍✨

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    1. I was! It was an insane experience. I don't know if she's the same woman you're referring to, but she did grab more than one book. Once she let go of my arm, I just stared at her. I couldn't believe what had just happened, and she glared at me before walking away. Who does that??

      I don't see your link?! Don't make me stalk your blog to find it. ;)

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  22. Happy almost 1 year! How fun! I do remember my first (series) I reviewed. I did a handful of Rachel Caine's young adult series. They were a lot different than they are now (6 1/2 years have passed lol). But that's okay ;)

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    1. Thank you! I actually own some of the Morganville Vampires series, but I haven't read a single one... should I? I like how you ended with "2 books down. 273 to go," hah. They're on my list, so maybe one day...

      How would you say they've changed over the years?

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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless