5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Start a Book Blog

I love my blog. Usually. Sure there are some moments when I’m stumped for content ideas and want to tear my hair out but most of the time I am pretty proud of what I have created. That being said, book blogging always feels like something I fell into rather than consciously going into. And with my years of experience I want to share 5 reasons why you SHOULDN’T start a book blog.

  1. Free Books– First and foremost. Free books. Whenever I mention I have a blog, the first thing people want to know is if I get free things. In fact I remember drawing out plans for a book blog back in ninth grade before an exam with the sole intention of getting free books. The blog never even got started but don’t be that person. Getting free books for a blog is so far off in the future that you are better off not starting a blog at all.
  2. It is hard work– Coming up with content is tough especially if you’re looking for non book-reviews content. Yes your blog can focus on just reviews but everyone does that. You want to stand out. You NEED to stand out.
  3. If you’re a bookworm, this is an expensive hobby– Here, ladies and gentleman we have the real reason I fell into book blogging. To justify my bookworm habits. No I’m not obsessive about books and fictional characters. I’m just a book blogger. For the longest while, my book blog was used as an excuse to purchase more and more books. Now I’m sitting with 3 shelves of unread books and instead of reading them, I’m watching Netflix. (They look at me with judgement in their spines and I can’t stand it).
  4. It is incredibly time-consuming– You need to generate content ideas, get graphics, draft posts and edit. Then you need to promote on social media- preferably different platforms so your work gets exposed to a different audience. I’ve been sitting here for two hours just preparing this post (and okay, occasionally checking Whatsapp but my point stands).
  5. There can be some ugliness– Trolls hating on your feed, copycats duplicating your work and passing it off as theirs and even authors just being downright shady in some cases. Google it. I don’t even want to go there but I remember a story of an author tracking down a book blogger’s physical addreses (What the ACTUAL fudge?)

In life, nothing and no one is perfect. I will always say that you should start a book blog. It’s an amazing experience provided you’re doing it for the right reasons and you know what to expect.

Do you have a book blog? Feel free to leave your link below!

Book Review: The Return of Rafe MacKade by Nora Roberts

The Return of Rafe MacKade by Nora Roberts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The town is set abuzz when bad boy, Rafe MacKade returns home. Newbie, Regan doesn’t understand the fascination. Sure he’s gorgeous but what’s the big deal?
As a kid, Rafe had a reputation as a troublemaker. Now he has returned home and plans on building an inn.
When Rafe meets Regan, he is instantly intrigued by her. It certainly doesn’t hurt matters that she runs an antique shop and he is in need of furniture for his new business venture.
It isn’t long before the two of them are involved in a casual relationship.
But like most of Nora Roberts books, casual doesn’t last long and when someone in the town decides to go after Regan, Rafe will do whatever he can to protect her.
I loved that this book was about more than just Regan and Rafe. There was an entire town of characters and I enjoyed getting to know them.
If you’re looking for a small town romance, give this a go.



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Fiction Friday: Book Review- When You Wish Upon a Rogue by Anna Bennett

When You Wish Upon a Rogue by Anna Bennett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Miss Sophie Kendall is the head of the Debutante Underground, a group of women who come together to discuss their lives and the advice column, The Debutante’s Revenge.
Their group needs a new place to meet. Somewhere in town that is busy enough for them not to be noticed but big enough to fit all of them.
Sophie finds an abandoned shop that is perfect for her meetings. But she also finds the shop’s insomniac owner, Henry Reese.
Henry Reese is instantly taken by Sophie and her bright manner. However Sophie is already engaged to someone else- an engagement she is unable to break as her family desperately needs money.
Henry and Sophie make a deal- she can have the shop for her meetings if she spends one night a week with him.
Nothing romantic- he just needs her help to sleep. Sophie agrees and sets a few ground rules to protect both her reputation and her heart. But as they spend time together, it is clear that they are both falling for each other.
I am going through a bit of a historical romance funk so I was surprised at how easily I took to this novel.
Sophie and Henry have a playful sort of relationship which I adored seeing. I kept rooting for them to get together, her family’s finances be damned.
This was a great read and I cannot wait to pick up the first two books in the series.



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Fiction Friday: Book Review: Soundless by Richelle Mead

Soundless by Richelle Mead

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I’ve had this book for about four years and somehow never picked it up (seriously, what AM I doing with my collection of books? Such a waste).
“Soundless” tells the story of Fei who lives in a village where the people mine precious metals in exchange for food from a mysterious source down the mountain where they are trapped.
When the story begins, people in the village are starting to lose their sight. Once a person loses their sight, there are left to beg for food in the town square.
When their food rations are shortened, the villagers are outraged but try to work harder to mine more metals.
One night, Fei wakes up and realizes that she can hear. But she is the only one in the village who can.
Fei teams up with her childhood best friend in an attempt to obtain more food for her villagers. But along the way, she has to battle treacherous cliffs, corrupt leaders and the fear of her own people.
I tore through this book in one setting (which surprised me because like I said, this book has been sitting untouched on my shelf for years).
I loved the story of Fei and her village and I especially enjoyed the wonder she experienced once she was able to hear.
If you’re looking for a quick fantasy read, this is definitely one to try.



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5 Useful Skills You Pick Up as an English Major

English majors are always portrayed as struggling to find a job. While majoring in English may not be the best idea financially (especially in South Africa and especially now), there are some handy skills you pick up that you are able to make use of in any job.

Graduation
  1. Reading (and actually understanding what was read)- This sounds like something so simple but you would be surprised at how many people cannot read. It’s not that they never learnt or lack the ability. Their minds are incapable of reading and making sense of what it is. As someone who works in Customer Care, this drives me crazy and leads to lots of (unnecessary) back and forth emails. Another perk related to reading is that as an English major you probably developed the skill of speed-reading. Yay you!
  2. Research Skills- Always necessary in any field whether you’re looking for information that is academic in nature or even just information on basic skills such as Microsoft Office.
  3. Effective communication- As an English major, you learn how to communicate effectively via both verbal and written communication.
  4. Working with deadlines- Being an English major means learning how to manage large chunks of work in a short amount of time. Since graduating uni, I always say that deadlines are not a thing for me. It’s now a habit for me to get things done before deadlines.
  5. Understanding other’s point of view or opinion- As an English major you learn that 1) there is never one correct answer and 2) how to see things from other people’s point of view.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Thorn by Intisar Khanani

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Alyrra is a princess with a cruel family who take delight in tormenting her. When a King comes to visit with the intention of marrying Alyrra to his son, Prince Kestrin. No one understands why he wants stupid Alyrra instead of someone prettier with a richer kingdom.
Eager to be rid of her, Alyrra’s family encourage the engagement and plans are made for Alyrra to leave home.
On her way to her betrothed’s Kingdom, Alyrra is robbed of her identity by a sorcerer who wants to kill the royal family.
Forced into the role of a goose girl, Alyrra is pleased to not have to follow the rules of court. Her days are her own and she can do what she wants with them.
However the more time that she spends as a commoner, the more faults she begins to find with the kingdom and it’s twisted view on justice.
It isn’t long before Prince Kestrin seeks her out, suspicious about his wife-to-be and her personality which seems selfish and spoiled (not at all like the “honest” woman he had expected).
As Alyrra learns more about Kestrin and his kingdom, she is forced to make a decision between her old life and new.
I loved that this book was about so much more than romance. Alyrra has to chose to either live the free life she wanted as a goose girl (and risk leaving thousands of people at the mercy of a justice system that does nothing to help them) or take up her role as Princess and make a difference in other’s lives.
However as much as I did love that this was more than romance, I was sad that I didn’t get the happy ending that I expected. I loved reading “Thorn” and devoured it in a day, sacrificing sleep and food to finally get to the ending.
The writing was good and the world building was brilliant and easy to follow.
This book left me wanting more and I really hope that there is a sequel.



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Life in the Time of Corona

My alarm goes off at 5:20AM. I ignore it and drift back to a half-asleep state. It doesn’t matter if I’m late. There’s no traffic. My mother wakes me up at 5:30AM and this time I finally get out of bed.

I stumble to the bathroom with my eyes half-closed and pick up my toothbrush. I brush my teeth with one hand and with the other I check the news sites for anything related to Covid-19.

This is an everyday routine. This is our new normal. When we went back to work three weeks ago, I was worried I wouldn’t be able to adjust after more than a month at home but surprisingly it took me a short while to accept our new world.

I leave home at 6:50AM, careful to ensure that I have a freshly washed mask. Our company provided us with three black ones but I have been starting a collection of infinitely more colourful options.

Once I get to work, it’s time for our temperature check. The drive to work is only twenty minutes but I make sure to arrive early just for the temperature check. The lines can get long and I hate waiting even with social distancing.

The lady checked my temperature, has me sign attendance and then sanitizes my hands. I still have to go in the building and press the button for the lift which still creeps me out. The lift reeks of disinfectant but all the same, I am careful not to touch any part of it.

When I get to my desk, it is either already cleaned or in the process of being cleaned. Desks are cleaned daily and the entire office has a night cleaning with extra strong chemicals (allegedly. I’ve obviously never seen these people but I feel pretty good about our cleaning routine).

I sit down at my desk and use the sanitizer given to us by management to clean my hands again after using the lifts. I start up my pc and make small talk with the staff.

We are all spaced apart on the floor and if anyone is approaching you for conversation, masks are required.

There is a limit on the number of staff allowed in areas such as the kitchen and seating areas (the same goes for stores).

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that there’s a pandemic going around. We have adjusted to the rules pretty well.

Life has been going on as normal. Sure you can’t see friends and family nor can you touch them.

But you can go to work, go to the store and almost live your life as normal.

It makes me wonder was I wrong in freaking out when this all started? It has been 3 months since we were first hit with the virus. Our numbers are 20 000+ confirmed cases and 300+ deaths. All things considered it seems like South Africa is handling the virus relatively okay.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- A Heart So Fierce and Broken (A Curse So Dark and Lonely #2) by Brigid Kemmerer

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review (and then abandoned it for like two weeks when I realised Rhen was going to be a small pawn in this big book. Yes, I’m a fickle reader. Also I didn’t really care about Grey. I found him boring. Please note the past tense).
“A Heart So Fierce and Broken” has a brief mention of Rhen and his kingdom before moving on to the two main characters, Grey- who has been in hiding since he found the truth about his magic and Lia Mara, daughter of the bloodthirsty Karan Luran.
Circumstances find Grey and Lia Mara on the run together. Lia Mara wants to reunite her kingdom with Emberfall and believes that Grey is the key to doing that.
Grey just wants things to be the way they were. He has no desire to rule. However it soon becomes clear that Prince Rhen has a viciousness of his own after Lilith’s curse.
Grey can walk away and leave the people of Emberfall in Rhen’s hands or he can stand up and take his place as ruler to the throne.
Like I said before, I had no interest in boring Grey or a book that was obviously going to paint poor Rhen as a villian. I love him and he is amazing. However from the first start of the book it is clear that his fear over magic was going to spoil things for him.
It took me a while to warm up to Grey and Lia Mara but once I was hooked, I couldn’t stop reading.
They are an unusual pair but I loved them regardless.
Three stars instead of five because I had a book hangover while reading this and yes I am still a bit sulky at the lack of Rhen in this book.
I cannot wait for the next book in this series!
#TeamRhenandGrey #TeamRoyalMalesofEmberfall

***
SPOILER ALERT

THAT ENDING!!!
WTF
I AM DEAD.DEAD!



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Fiction Friday: Book Review- Manage Your Money like a F*cking Grown Up: The Best Money Advice You Never Got by Sam Beckbessinger

Manage Your Money like a F*cking Grown Up: The Best Money Advice You Never Got

Manage Your Money like a F*cking Grown Up: The Best Money Advice You Never Got by Sam Beckbessinger

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I’ve said time and time again that nothing in school prepares us for “The Real World.” We don’t have a class to teach us how to save, why we should save and how blowing your entire credit card in one month is a bad idea (though most of us have already heard stories about why we shouldn’t do
that last one)
“Manage Your Money Like a F#cking Grown Up” is the book we all need. It is filled with useful, practical advice on money, spending and saving.
There are some lessons in this book that I have had to learn firsthand for myself and others that I won’t have to thanks to Sam Beckbessinger’s advice.
This book is written in normal plain English so there’s no big words that make no sense. This is like sitting down with your older, wiser, more financially mature friend to discuss what you should and shouldn’t do with your finances.
While this book is great for anyone who wants to take control of their finances, I strongly recommend it to people entering their twenties or those who are already in their twenties.
Trust me, this book is everything we wish we knew about money.



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Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Flatshare by Beth O’ Leary

The Flatshare

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


When Tiffy’s crappy on-again, off-again ex boyfriend demands that she moves out of their apartment, she struggles to find a new place. And then she comes across an ad for a flatshare.
Leon works night shift and needs quick cash. His other choices for house guests were eccentric so he agrees to Tiffy’s offer…even though he hasn’t actually met her.
The two of them live together and start a correspondence via post-its (idk I think that is the cutest thing ever). They even build a sort of friendship through their post-it notes despite having never met.
I kept hearing great things about this book so I was really excited to read it.
But it took forever for Tiffy and Leon to meet/move in together which annoyed me. It kind of felt like a chore because I kept waiting for any sort of interaction between the two and I almost gave up twice on this book. But I pushed on and boy was I glad I did.
The agonizing wait for Tiffy and Leon to move in together was simply to build a story about their friends and family. Once I was fully immersed in the story, I got over my irritation quickly.
They have a pretty colourful cast of supporting characters which I always enjoy seeing in a book. I especially enjoyed how unexpected this plot was.
This book was well-written, romantic and oh so cute.
If you’re looking for a light read, I cannot recommend anything better!



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