Monday, August 8, 2011

Giveaway Winners and Review-a-Thon!

Thanks to everyone who played the Name That Book game for a chance to win a book.  It's definitely not the most popular feature out there, but I have a lot of fun coming up with the puzzles and hopefully some of you enjoy guessing them.  Before I announce the two winners, here are the answers for those who are dying to know:

Book 1: The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima
Book 2: Divergent by Veronica Roth (I got a good kick out of this puzzle)
Book 3: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Book 4: Supernaturally by Kiersten White (another fun one, I thought)

The first person who got all the answers right was:

And the random choice winner from those who got them all correct was:

I've contacted both of you and your book choices will be wending their way to you shortly!

Now on to some details of my review-a-thon participation!  Thus far, my plan is to post two reviews a day this week.  One will go up in the morning and one in the afternoon/evening.  There are also some mini-challenges and other fun stuff that the Review-a-Thon hosts (The Book Monsters) are planning (see below for the first one).  Thanks again for stopping by my blog!

Mini-challenge #1:

1. Are you happy with your review format currently?
I'd say for the most part, yes.  I do get a bit tired of the same old same old.  I'm planning to do a post with several short reviews sans the usual items like ratings and like/dislike, like the cute twitter-style reviews other blogs do.  We'll see if that ever happens. 

2. Scrutinize it a little more, maybe compare it to other blogs you like, anything you think you might change?
I think if I were to change things, it would be adding more info about the books and authors (# of pages or links to author websites or stuff like that).  I like having ISBN, though I wonder if anyone else cares - especially since its only for one specific printing.  I also still really struggle with the summary.  I have such a hard time coming up with non-dreadful summaries and I wish could write short, witty one or two liners.  I tried for a while, but ended up becoming long-winded again.  Thoughts?

3. Implement some basic changes and tell us what you think. Or, you can tell us one or two aspects of your reviews that you like.
I'm rather fond of my like/dislike dichotomy.  I think just knowing I write reviews like that helps me notice things about books that I both like and dislike.  Though, sometimes I think it makes me seek out stuff I don't like about a book and I'm not sure I like that.  I'm also happy with the read-alikes.  Not sure I'll make any changes at this point, unless they're very minor. 

Anyone have suggestions to improve my review format?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. Thanks for posting the answers! I seriously couldn't figure out any of them. (Actually it took me awhile to get some even with the answers... it must be Monday) :)
    That was such a creative contest idea.

  2. I have a hard time with summaries too! Ah well. I love your like/dislike reviews. Sometimes that's the best way to break it down. But I have a much easier time finding things to dislike in books. ;)

  3. kathy, thanks! Hope they eventually made sense :)

    Jenny, I do like your reviews because they don't dance around stuff you didn't like.

  4. okay, those were great book titles!! I could get 2 and 3 so I didn't even try. :( Sorry for being a loser. But I love what you came up with for clues!!

    I love your review format. I use it to find appropriate stuff for my middle schooler. I'd love more detail when it comes to the MRG factor, but I can understand how hard that would be. I just read Shiver and while your ratings were right on, I'm so glad I read it before suggesting it to my daughter. I would not want her reading it.

    Keep up the great work. I really appreciate it!

  5. Des, thanks for your kind comments! I completely agree with your assessment of my mrg-factor. It is really difficult for me to put ratings on that stuff (especially without being a bit graphic in describing it)! It is a really broad and vague concept and everyone has different opinions on what's ok and what's not. Mostly it's a heads up for books with really heavy content. So glad there are parents out there who still read the books first - good for you! :)

  6. Maybe instead of doing a summary in your own words, maybe just do book tags, or words that describe the book and set a word limit. Like - 5 words that describe this book: ...

    I like the idea of short reviews twitter style, I've seen a few of those crop up and find them fun.

    Keep up the good work!

  7. Kristen, that's a really interesting thought. I'll have to give it a try in some drafts and see how it goes. Thanks!


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