Monthly Archives: May 2011

Who am I? Sitting pretty in my armchair!

Click the logo to the right to go the Armchair BEA page.

Well well well! This is my first ever Armchair BEA, and I am very excited!

I read, review and blog about Young Adult books. The reason why I read YA is pretty simple – I am a YA! It’s aimed towards me, and I love reading it.

I am 16, and live in Scotland, so going to BEA is pretty much the least likeliest thing ever. Also, I have important exams, so missing them would be a little silly!

Where is my armchair, in which I will be participating in BEA? Well, lay your eyes upon the most amazing, the most wonderful chair you will ever see….

The screen shows this post, 7 minutes ago…

I really hope to meet some new bloggers, get to know them, and bloggers I know already, and basically have an awesome time!

Why do you read the genres you blog about? What’s your armchair like? 

WordPress vs Blogger

This is my first discussion post. I thought it was about time that I ventured into new territory, and what’s best than to start some debate posts!

The first topic will be the most popular talked about in the book blogosphere.

Which is better, WordPress or Blogger?

There are many reasons why every blogger chooses either one, and I hope to try to post as many of these reasons, pros and cons of each, in this post!

First of all, Blogger is ridiculously simple to use. It’s perfect for people who are first timers to blogging, and even the internet.

It’s also the “hub”, the most popular. This is good because it means if you want to network, the majority of other book bloggers are on Blogger.

One of the reasons why I miss Blogger is that you can use Google Friend Connect. It’s a simple way to see how many followers (readers) you have, and is a status symbol to show how popular your blog is. WordPress does not have a widget like this, or even Google Friend Connect, so book bloggers who use WordPress are not able to connect as easily as other bloggers who use Blogger. However, WordPress.org users can install a Google Friend Connect plugin, only the free users of WordPress.com can’t.

Personally, I think WordPress is more aesthetically pleasing than Blogger. When I was first trying out both, I felt Blogger was not as nice to look at.

However, Blogger wins when it comes down to free customization. You can actually edit your CSS without paying, so for bloggers who are new, or without experience in that field, it isn’t too hard to make your blog unique.

It might not be used a lot for book blogs, but the different users available for team blogs is really good in WordPress. From the most powerful to least, there is Administrator (control over everything), Editor (edit and accept/reject all posts), Author (write and edit own posts) and Contributor (write posts, must wait for approval to get published). In Blogger, there is only the options of Administrator and Non-Administrator.

Stats on WordPress are limited to referred links, most popular posts, searches (which lead yo your blog) and links on your blog that were clicked on the specific day. Blogger stats shows a lot more information, so is more useful, overall.

I’ve never tried other blogging platforms, like LiveJournal and TypePad, if someone uses that, tell us why you chose it over the other, more prominent ones!

Please comment on this post with your opinions, I’d love to hear them! 🙂

Which do you prefer, WordPress or Blogger? Why (not)? Have you tried both of them?

Let me know if you have an idea for the next discussion post!

Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors

Title: Mad Love
Author: Suzanne Selfors
Published: 6th June 2011 (UK)
Format: Finished Paperback
Pages: 336
RRP: £6.99
Rating: 13+

When you’re the daughter of the bestselling Queen of Romance, life should be pretty good. But 16-year-old Alice Amorous has been living a lie ever since her mother was secretly hospitalised for mental illness. After putting on a brave face for months, time is running out. The next book is overdue and the Queen can’t write it. Alice needs a story for her mother – and she needs one fast. That’s when she meets Errol, a strange boy who claims to be Cupid, who insists that Alice write about the greatest love story in history: his tragic relationship with Psyche. As Alice begins to hear Errol’s voice in her head and see things she can’t explain, she must face the truth – that she’s either inherited her mother’s madness, or Errol is for real.

The main character, Alice, is far too busy making sure everything is alright to actually have a social life, as her mother is affected by bipolar disorder, and currently in rehab. However, her mother is the Queen of Romance, has churned out thirty romance novels, and has a huge amount of adoring fans. Alice has to keep up with the charade, and it means that no one except her two close neighbours, Mrs Bobot and Reverend Ruttles (and his lovely roommate Archibald) know. It involves writing letters and calling back the publishers letting them know the next book is on the way (even though her mum’s last book was 3 years ago), answering fan mail and signing books for events!

I really loved Alice as the main character and heroine. She was a great mix of confidence and sweetness, and I could easily relate to her. I particularly liked the character of Tony, who skateboards past her house every morning, 9.30am on the dot. He was such a gentleman!

I thought Alice’s relationship and behaviour in regards to Errol, the strange hooded guy who is pretty determined for Alice to write his story, were very realistically portrayed. For a lot of the book she was very suspicious of him.

There was a lovely message in the story, and that it was important for Alice to realise that she doesn’t have to fix everything, she doesn’t have to do everything for everyone else, and how it’s important to know you don’t have to hide things like that from people, even though Alice thought it would have negative effects.

I really loved the writing style, and overall the quality of the writing was good too. The characters, especially Mrs Bobot, Realm (Mrs Bobot’s granddaughter), Archibald, Tony and the Reverend were all really fantastic characters.

I think that even though the book was based on a classic love story, it felt really unique, it did not feel like it had been done before. I think the developed characters were the soul behind this book, and it made me feel really connected to it!

Rating
Plot: 8/10
There was no really plot, but lot’s of events and things happening that made it really interesting.
Writing Quality: 9/10
The writing quality was brilliant.
Originality: 9/10
It felt really original to me!
Characters: 10/10
I loved the characters, they were divine.
Descriptions: 8/10
I didn’t feel like there was an overdose of descriptions, but I really loved the setting, I could imagine it well.

44/50 = 88%

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Thank you to Bloomsbury for providing the review copy.