Liebster Award

I’ve been very kindly nominated for this award by the lovely Darque Dreamer Reads – her blog is beautiful so go check it out.

This is a fun award because we all get to learn some new things about each other and spread the blogger-love.

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The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Give 11 random facts about you.
  3. Answer the 11 questions they gave you.
  4. Nominate 11 blogs.
  5. Give them 11 questions to answer.

11 Random Facts About Me:

  1. I have never broken a bone.
  2. If I could, I would eat pizza and garlic bread every single day.
  3. I love the idea of physical books, and having them on my shelves, but I actually find reading easier on my kindle.
  4. I reallyreallyreally want to work in publishing.
  5. I’m slowly collecting and playing the Lego video games, but I only have a PS3 so options are limited.
  6. I have vitiligo.
  7. There are 36 physical books on my shelves that I haven’t read yet.
  8. I have a mild obsession with giraffes.
  9. I am in Gryffindor.
  10. My favourite colour is green.
  11. My favourite chore is doing the laundry.

Questions From Darque Dreamer Reads:

  1. Have you read a book with a perfect ending?
    I’m not sure perfect is the word in the sense that it was actually a very distressing ending, but the ending of The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell was perfectly horrifying.
  2. Does your favorite movie have a perfect ending?
    My favourite movie is Sucker Punch. The ending actually isn’t perfect in my opinion but does draw the story to a close effectively.
  3. Why did you start your blog?
    I just stumbled across some book blogs one day and thought they were a marvellous idea. If other people could do this, why shouldn’t I? (And I’m glad I did).
  4. Do you have a follower goal in mind?
    Ideally I’d love to have a huge following, but it’s not that important to me. I blog for myself and to review books – if people want to follow my blog that’s just a bonus.
  5. What advice would you give to your beginner blog self?
    Interact more with other bloggers! Make the time to go and read other people’s posts. How can you expect anyone to read your reviews if you don’t read theirs?
  6. Where is the best place you have visited?
    THIS IS SO HARD. I’ve been to some really amazing places: Italy, Paris, Costa Rica… but I also love places like London, and Disneyland is very special.
  7. Who is the most inspirational person in your life?
    Probably my mum.
  8. What is your favorite book or movie genre?
    Book = Fantasy. Movie = maybe Indie/Fantasy
  9. If you could write yourself in to a book or movie, which one would you be a character in?
    An obvious choice, but Harry Potter. Who wouldn’t want to go to Hogwarts?
  10. Do you like going to concerts?
    I like some concerts. I went to see McBusted most recently and that was absolutely fantastic, but I don’t really like crowds so it depends on the type of music and whether I think the performance would be worth seeing. Anything likely to have mosh pits is an absolute no.
  11. What is one food you absolutely hate?
    Mushrooms. Ughughugh nope I can’t.

My Questions:

  1. What was your first favourite book?
  2. Do you prefer series or standalones?
  3. What do you find hardest about blogging?
  4. If you could have any pet, what would you choose?
  5. What was the last movie you saw at the cinema? Did you enjoy it?
  6. What book should everyone read?
  7. Other than books, what is something you’re passionate about?
  8. Can you play any instruments?
  9. What’s your favourite book/movie quote?
  10. Best movie soundtrack?
  11. What is the best book you’ve read in 2017 so far?

I Nominate:

Always Trust in Books | Snazzy Books | Book Hooked Nook | The Wanderlust Reader | Boston Book Reader | That Book Gal | Linda’s Little Library

The How I Choose My Books Tag

I haven’t done a tag in a while, so thought I’d better get round to doing one I was tagged in recently. The How I Choose My Books Tag was created by The Bookish Underdog, and I was tagged by Darque Dreamer Reads. Both of these blogs are beautiful and definitely worth checking out.

1. Find a book on your shelves with a blue cover. What made you want to pick up this book?

Strange The Dreamer – Laini Taylor.

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This book was EVERYWHERE in the lead up to its publication. I’ve read some of Laini’s books before and adored them, and the pre-order version of this book came with a lovely shiny cover and blue sprayed edges. I just couldn’t resist.

2. Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy but did. Why did you read it in the first place?

The Evil Seed – Joanne Harris.

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I wasn’t sure about this book to begin with. I really wasn’t keen on the cover, but it’s about vampires so there was hope (I like vampires). I’d read some Joanne Harris before and really loved it (Runemarks and The Gospel of Loki – both based on Norse mythology so very different subject matter) and I needed to add a bunch of cheapish books to my kindle before I went on holiday. The Evil Seed was 99p at the time so I figured I’d just give it a go. Glad I did.

3. Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick up a book at random. How did you discover this book?

Heartland – Lucy Houssom.

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I saw TorUK tweet about this book (coming soon), along with a new cover for the first in the series. I had never heard of it, but I really loved the look of the cover so I sent them a cheeky tweet and ended up being sent a copy of each! So I have Tor to thank for helping me to discover this.

4. Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you. What did you think of it?

American Gods – Neil Gaiman.

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After I enjoyed Good Omens so much, my dad recommended this one for me to try next. My parents got me the massive illustrated version for Christmas and I managed to get it read before the TV adaptation started. I. Loved. It. I thought it was meaningful, thought-provoking and (obviously, being Gaiman) brilliantly written.

5. Pick a book you discovered through book blogs. Did it live up to the hype?

This Is How It Always Is – Laurie Frankel.

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I saw a lot of reviews of this book before I managed to get my hands on a copy. When I did I had very mixed feelings. On one hand, I was thrilled because the proof copy I had was shiny, gold and pretty. On the other hand, I was a little sceptical because there was A LOT of hype. It did live up to it though.

6. Find a book on your shelves with a one word title. What drew you to this book?

Defender – G.X. Todd.

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I saw a giveaway for this book on Facebook and, after looking up the synopsis, decided it sounded really intriguing. It didn’t have a cover at the time, but the blurb was enough to gain my interest. I entered the giveaway and won a limited edition hardback!

7. What book did you discover through a film/TV adaptation?

The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien.

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This is the only book (that I can think of) that I’ve read after seeing the film of first. However, I have a couple more lined up because the films were or look fantastic: Before I fall by Noah Hawley, and A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.

8. Think of your all-time favourite books. When did you read these and why did you pick them up in the first place?

The Call of the Wild – Jack London.

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This has been my favourite book since childhood. My mum must have given me this to read because I read it very young and the copy I have was most definitely not new.

Now You See Me – Lesley Glaister.

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I picked up in a bookshop in my early teens when my dad took me in and told me I could have any one book I wanted. The title drew me in first, and then so did cover and blurb. The story is emotional and beautiful.

Good Omens – Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

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My family recommended this book to me and I absolutely loved it. I’ve re-read it a few times since, and I even persuaded my boyfriend to read it (he doesn’t read much).

I Tag…

City of Novels // Rustling Reads // Lots of Livres // Bibliophile Soprano // The Bookish Baker // That Book Gal // Serial Bibliophile // Reading with Lori // Between the Pages.

 

Sunshine Blogger Award

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Thank you Jenaca for the nomination, very sweet of you! Everyone should check out her blog over at Jenacidebybibliophile and also her post for the Sunshine Blogger Award here.

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Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write then 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Questions:

  1. Dogs or Cats or Hamsters and why?

    DOGS. DOGSDOGSDOGS. Always dogs. I have one and she’s adorable, I am not a fan of cats, and I’ve never had much of an opinion on hamsters.
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  2. If you could live in any period and any place in time when and where would it be?

    I would choose either right here, right now, or the time of cavemen because it strikes me as a much simpler time.

     

  3. What is the last book you hated and why?

    I don’t hate many books, so probably Fifty Shades of Grey because it’s essentially abuse disguised as a romantic love story. Also TERRIBLY written.

     

  4. Favourite author and favourite book (not necessarily by the same author)?

    Favourite author is Joanne Harris because she’s super talented and her books are really diverse (she’s got vampires, Norse mythology, French romance, etc, etc). Favourite book is The Call of the Wild by Jack London. I just love it.

     

  5. What is something you wish people knew about you?

    I wish people knew that I’m actually pretty friendly. And that all employers knew I’d actually be a fantastic employee so HIRE ME.
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  6. How long have you been blogging?

    Just over one year.

     

  7. What is your favourite type of character in a book?

    I love a villain, of course, as long as they’re either really sassy or super evil (think Hades from Disney’s Hercules or President Snow from The Hunger Games). I also love a strong female lead BUT ONLY IF she’s not whiny, irritating, or involved in any love triangles.

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  8. What is your favourite TV show?

    I love TV so there are a few. To pick just one I’d go with Gossip Girl. gossip girl michelle trachtenberg georgina sparks the world needs gossip girl GIF

     

  9. What is your favourite holiday? Why?

    Disneyland. 100%. I’ve only been to Paris but I imagine the American ones are also fantastic. Otherwise, somewhere with sunshine, things to see and great food (i.e. Italy).

     

  10. What 3 famous/fictional people, living or dead, would you want at your fantasy dinner party?

    To be honest I’d probably pick people like Joey Essex, The Rock and Anna Kendrick because I just think we’d have a hilarious time.
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  11. What’s your pet peeve(s)?

    PEOPLE TALKING TO ME WHILE I’M READING. I’m sitting here, minding my own business, reading my book. Please, just leave me alone.

I nominate…

  1. The Introverted Book Nerd
  2. I Should Read That
  3. The Book Raven
  4. Boston Book Reader
  5. Rimpysreads
  6. Linda’s Little Library
  7. Beaucoupbooks
  8. The Bohemian Bookworm
  9. Fantastic Book Dragon
  10. Susanlovesbooks
  11. Keeana’s Korner

I’m not going to write a new list of questions because I’m feeling lazy so, if you want to do the tag, answer than same questions as me!

The Liebstar Award

Kee @ Kee the Reader nominated me for this a while ago and it’s taken me so long to get round to it! (Full disclosure: I forgot) So thank you for the nomination 🙂 Better late than never!

The Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 11 questions they gave you.
  3. Nominate 11 blogs.
  4. Give them 11 questions to answer.

Favourite Genre?

I’m honestly not fussy about genre, but I guess fantasy (dragons please).

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Favourite book quote?

“A teller of tales will never die, but will live on in stories – for as long as there are folk to listen.” – Joanne Harris, Runemarks.

Ebook or Physical books?

I prefer having a physical book to hold and to put on my shelves, but ebooks are so handy, I love them too,

Book you’ve bought because of its cover?

Almost every book – I’m terrible for judging a book by it’s cover. Most recently, the hardback edition of Strange the Dreamer with the blue pages because it’s beautiful.

Would you rather Hang with the Dregs from Six of Crows or the Night Court crew from ACOMAF

I actually haven’t read either of these yet (I know, I’m so behind) so NEITHER THANKS.

Favourite Author?

Joanne Harris is amazing.

What book would you want to be made into a TV series?

I think the Stephanie Plum series would be a really fun TV show.

What are you currently reading

I’m reading an ARC of Sweetpea by CJ Skuse and honestly I am not loving it (very violent and unpleasant).

Best book to movie adaption

Lord of the Rings was basically flawless.

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Favourite Middle Grade book

I’m from the UK and am not sure what Middle Grade actually constitutes, and am not sure I’d have read any for a very long time anyway.

Favourite book about mental illness

Now You See Me by Lesley Glaister. It’s so beautiful I love it.

I nominate:

Emma @ Afterbutterflyrain
Tiffany @ Tiff the book nerd
Emma @ What Emma’s Reading
Megan @ Bookslayer Reads
Alex @ WhimsyPages
Danielle @ Books, Vertigo and Tea
Krysti @ YA and Wine
RedheadedBookLover
Hayley @ Rather Too Fond of Books
Chelsea @ The Suspense is Thrilling Me
Sue & Imogen @ Doddy About Books

Your questions:

  1. What colour book do you own the most of?
  2. TV adaptations or movie?
  3. Favourite fantasy world?
  4. Reading indoors or outdoors?
  5. Book that has disappointed you recently?
  6. How old is your blog?
  7. Do you have a blogging schedule, or post when you want to?
  8. Vampires or werewolves?
  9. What’s your favourite under-hyped book?
  10. How do you organise your books?
  11. YA heroes or heroines?

The Sunshine Blogger Award

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I was tagged for this award by the lovely Jess @ BeacoupBooks – Thank you!

The Rules:

1. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator.
2. Nominate 11 blogs.
3. Ask them 11 questions

Jess’ Questions:

1. Which book are you currently reading?

Right now I’m reading Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh.

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2. Favourite book cover?

Oh gosh. There are so many, how do I choose?!

3. What was the happiest moment of your life?

I can’t answer this without looking like a complete melt. Plus there are so many, I wouldn’t say there’s one single happiest moment.

4. What’s the last movie you watched? Did you like it?

I watched The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Lets Do The Time Warp Again (the 2016 remake) – I thought it was really good, but you can’t beat the original!

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5. Who’s your OTP? (if you have one)

Probably Jean-Luc and Vic from London Belongs to Us. They’re actually cousins but they come as a pair so I think it still counts as an OTP.

6. Favourite fictional villain?

Hades in Disney’s Hercules. He’s so sassy I LOVE him.

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7. What’s the longest book you’ve ever read?

Probably got to be one of the later Eragon books, by Christopher Paloini.

8. Something you hate that everyone else seems to love?

So so so many things. Bookwise, John Green. His books are just not for me.

9. What’s the last novel you gave your highest rating to?

London Belongs to Us by Sarra Manning. It was a fun, eventful story with fabulous characters and settings.

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10. Which fictional character do you relate to the most?

I don’t even know. It would have to be a side-character since I’m not really one for spontaneous adventures.

11. What’s a book you think everyone should read?

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Its my all time favourite book and I don’t see how anyone could possibly not love it.

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I tag:

Danielle @Books, Vertigo and Tea
Jasmine @How Useful It Is
Kee @Kee The Reader
E.C @YA Book Blog
Emma @What Emma’s Reading
Danielle @Books, Vertigo and Tea
Sue & Imogen @Doddy About Books

My questions are:

  1. Who is your all-time favourite author?
  2. Vampires or werewolves?
  3. What’s your favourite TV show right now?
  4. Where would your ultimate holiday be?
  5. How do you spend your time (when not reading or blogging, obviously)?
  6. What was/is your best subject at school?
  7. Would you rather live without books or without clothes?
  8. Favourite band or musician?
  9. What job would you really like to have?
  10. Who is the last person you spoke to on the phone?
  11. If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?

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The Goodreads Book Tag

I saw this a while ago on Amanda @ Hangingwithamanda’s blog and loved it – been meaning to do it for ages – so here we go!

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What was the last book you marked as ‘read’?

Another Day, Another Dali by Sandra Orchard.

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 Best book title ever. It was fab, take a look at my full review if you want to know more.

What are you currently reading?

The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel.

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Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren’t.

Now, ten years later, Ruby is single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There’s barely time for a trip to England for her little sister’s wedding. And there’s certainly not time to think about what it will be like to see Ethan again, who just so happens to be the best man.

But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can’t help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago. Because there is nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past . . .

What was the last book you marked as TBR?

The Unbroken Line of the Moon by Joanne Hildebrandt.

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In this grand saga of love, war, and magic set in the tenth century, young Sigrid is destined to be the mother of the king of the Nordic lands that would become Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and England.

A devout believer in the old Nordic gods, Sigrid is visited regularly in her dreams by the goddess Freya, who whispers to her of the future. Though Sigrid is beautiful, rich, arrogant, and matchlessly clever, her uncanny ability to foresee the future and manipulate the present guides her through dangerous politics as a bloody war between Vikings and Christians rages on.

Sigrid’s father wants her to marry Erik, a local king, to secure the peace between the Goths and the Swedes. Thinking she is doing Freya’s will, she accepts the marriage offer, only to find that her destiny lies not with Erik but with Sweyn, a warrior who dreams of dethroning Harald Bluetooth, the legendary ruler of Denmark. Will Sigrid sacrifice her will for the greatest Viking kingdom of all time, or will she follow her heart at the risk of losing everything?

What book do you plan to read next?

I plan to read Once Lost Lords by Stephan Morse next. The author sent me a copy to read and review, and it sounds so dark and exciting. I love supernatural fantasy.

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Humanity hasn’t been alone for almost two thousand years. Elves, wolves, vampires, all joined together with mankind to eradicate the ‘darker’ races and maintained a tentative peace until modern times. Society adapted, everyone has rules that help keep the peace in this modern era. Yet, absolute genocide is impossible when talking about creatures beyond the pale. Some hid, some buried, other were re-purposed.

Some, like Jay Fields, pass for human with a little bit extra. His abilities didn’t belong to one of the major races, but any information was buried along with the long dead boogie men. All Jay cared about was those closest to him and a job that let him hit people. He used to be a bouncer at a bar, a part-time enforcer for a loan shark, and even a fight club champion. That was four years ago, before betrayal by someone close sent him packing.

Now he’s back and trying to recover a life he left behind. Questions of origin aren’t his only problems. His ex-girlfriend is a vampire. His part-time boss doesn’t think he’s up to snuff anymore. There’s a missing elf who might have some answers, and Jay’s best friend is caught up in something dangerous…

Do you use the star rating system?

Although I don’t star-rate on my blog, I do use the system on Goodreads. It’s a super easy way to rate books – especially ones I read a while a go and can’t remember in enough detail to write a full review.

Are you doing a 2016 reading challenge?

I’m not. I got into this blogging malarkey mid-year, and didn’t use Goodreads much before then. I figured it wouldn’t be best to start a challenge halfway through.

Do you have a wish list?

My to-read list is a wish list of sorts. And my Amazon wish list is getting pretty extensive book-wise…

What book do you plan to buy next?

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison. I’ve wanted this one for ages (just been waiting for the price to drop enough that I can afford to buy it!)

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Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviours, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…

Do you have any favourite quotes? Share a few.

“The dead know everything, but they don’t give a damn.” – Runemarks, Joanne Harris.

“It’s painful to see that people prefer a bad guy who looks like an angel to a good guy who looks like a demon.” – World After, Susan Ee.

“Those unwilling to look beyond their own little world will be left in the dark.” – The Light of the Fireflies, Paul Pen.

“For the record, a life without kissing is no life at all.” – Stealing Snow, Daniella Paige.

Who are your favourite authors?

Joanne Harris and Lesley Glaister. Definitely. They both have such a diverse range of books and, though I haven’t read all of them yet, I have yet to find one I didn’t love. They’re both amazing writers.

Have you joined any groups?

I did join the Goodreads Reviewers’ Group , but to be honest I haven’t interacted much yet.

Who do you tag?

As I got this from Amanda’s blog (I wasn’t actually tagged), I won’t be tagging anyone either. If you wanna do it, do it!

Blogger Recognition Award

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Thanks so much to Emma @ Afterbutterflyrain for nominating me (her blog is fabulous – you should definitely check it out)! I really appreciate the tag.

Rules:

  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to.

How my blog started:

I started this blog for three main reasons: to keep track of my reading, to interact with other book-lovers, and to create evidence of my love of books for when I send out job applications to publishing houses. I cannot for the life of me remember where the I got the idea. I hadn’t particularly looked at other blogs or done much research. I didn’t expect anyone (other than my family) to read my posts and I didn’t expect it to be so much fun. The origin story of my blog isn’t terribly exciting, is it.

My advice for new bloggers:

1: Interact with other bloggers. Take the time to find and communicate with other book bloggers. There’s a really friendly community out there, and liking and commenting on other posts will help to create more traffic on your own blog. Plus you might make friends, which is always nice. I’ve picked up a few really loyal followers, but it’s a two way street and I always try to support them as much as they’re supporting me.

2: Don’t be afraid to ask for ARCs. For those that don’t know, an ARC is an advance readers copy of a book (pre-publication). There are some great website (my favourite is NetGalley) that are free to join where you can request copies of books to review. It’s up to the publishers to decide who gets a copy, and as long as you meet their criteria there’s no reason why that can’t be you. I’ve read a huge number of posts about how there’s supposedly some rule about having a certain number of months and followers behind your blog, but I was completely unaware of this when I started out. As soon as I heard about NetGalley I signed up and was approved for 3 or 4 books within a few weeks. I must have only written a few reviews at that point, but I was still approved for some ARCs.

I nominate:

(Sorry if you’ve already been tagged or don’t want to be).