For What It's Worth

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Tell Me Something Tuesday

Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging.

Question: How do you keep going when blogging feels like too much?


I’ll be blogging for 10 years this December so I’ve been through the full range of blogger emotions and seismic shifts in the community.

I made a conscious choice a few years ago to go back to treating this as a hobby. I was suffering from burnout and felt like I lost my voice in trying to keep up with all the hype and time commitments. It was either quit or change.

So, in short, I just don’t worry about it anymore. I blog when I feel like it or have something to say and take breaks when I need to. I've also started reducing arc's and any time sensitive posts.

There’s something about blogging that feels more like a job than other hobbies. In particular, book blogging – I guess because it’s ruled by hype and release dates – you get serious FOMO if you aren’t staying on top of things. And feel guilt if you can’t. It's also very tied up in our self worth. Like if you fail - as if it says something about you, personally.

Like I said, I can’t worry about that and continue anymore. I do this for free and I’m not going to let it take over my life to the point that I can’t do it.

Now the thing that weighs on me more is the drama. All the this is the right way to read/review threads. It’s so exhausting. I avoid most of it but I also feel one day/week/month away of getting caught in something with my next review. Some people don't just take it as one person's thoughts about a book.

And the authors and publishers treating reviewers like crap, the assuming we’ll do the heavy lifting for free or that we have some hidden, greedy motivation for blogging. Yes…yes….I spend at least 40 hours a week of my own time reading, reviewing, formatting, downloading photos, navigating SM, spending my own money for props, finished books for a free review copy. MUAH MUAH…you uncovered my master plan for book world domination.


That’s one of the reasons I’m shifting more to library books over arc’s.

But I guess that’s a different post lol

I get through those moments but DM’ing with other bloggers and venting and MUTING on Twitter.

The mood usually passes in a day or two because I have the best group of followers and commentators that are drama free and are still here because we have a passion for books, reading and mutual respect for how difficult this is.

How to you make it through slumps or feeling overwhelmed with blogging?

Monday, June 24, 2019

My Monday Musings...

I was on a roll last week with blogging – 4 posts!

Of course that means I burned bright and don’t have anything for this week lol

So here’s a little recap of what I read and what I’m reading now and have coming up.


American Dreamer (Dreamers #1) by Adriana Herrera – narrated by Sean Crisden ~ Goodreads

Olivia from Olivia’s Catastrophe reviewed book #2 in the Dreamers series – American Fairytale. It sounded like my kind of romance so I checked the library and they had the series on audio so I decided to start with book #1 and it’s fantastic!

This was a multi-cultural, interracial, M/M romance that did such a beautiful job of bringing these men together while giving them fulfilling jobs (a food cart owner & a librarian) friends and (in Ernesto’s case) family.

The conflicts added just the right amount of tension and the story really allowed us to see how the couple functions when things aren’t going right.

So many romances are just – we’re in love! – and that’s enough. Nesto and Jude had a few rough patches and had to find ways to communicate better.

Also, Nesto screwed up real bad but gave good grovel 😉I plan on continuing with this series and on audio. Sean Crisden’s narration was perfection for me, a very picky audio-book listener, especially with romances.


Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young ~ Goodreads

“Part Wonder Woman, part Vikings – and all heart.”

I’ve had this arc for a year but I just started it on audio. It has mixed reviews but it’s action packed and fun so far.

Courting Darkness (Courting Darkness Duology #1) by Robin LaFevers ~ Goodreads

I started this a few weeks ago but haven’t gotten very far. No reason – what I've read is good – just getting distracted by other things. This book is a honker and I don’t want to start reading again until I have time to really make a dent.


A Small Zombie Problem by K.G. Campbell ~ Goodreads

I don’t do a lot of book tours these days but this offer came up last week and it sounds too adorable!

I’ll be reading it soon and posting a review on July 8th.

What are you reading this week?

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Review: The Girl in Red by Christina Henry

the girl in red book cover
It's not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn't look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.

There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there's something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined.

Red doesn't like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn't about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods....~

Source: e-arc provided in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley

Review: I was sure this was the book for me - a dark YA retelling of Little Red Riding Hood but the writing style was really frustrating for me.

The things I liked:

- It is dark! Henry pulls no punches about what it's like to survive post apocalypse. YA usually holds back a little or softens the edges (especially by adding a romantic interest) and The Girl In Red does not. Survival is probably 20% about the cure (or killing zombies or whatever) and 80% outwitting/avoiding your fellow survivors. Red has a family and she cares about them but it's not all sunshine and roses - they fight, they disagree, they make tough choices.

- Red watches lots of movies and knows all the common traps people fall into and she IS NOT going to be one of them. I think we all have watched enough post apocalypse movies and tv shows at this point that we yell at the TV for how stupid people act. Red vocalizes what we're all thinking. It's funny and it gives her a plausible reason for her survival skills.

- Red is an amputee with a prosthetic leg and I like how it was written as something that doesn't deter her in any way but isn't ignored either. I think a lot of survival stories tend to either completely ignore disabilities thinking (wrongly) the people wouldn't be able to survive or add some suped up ability - like a prosthetic leg or arm that can be turned into a weapon or something like that. I have limited knowledge in this area but it seemed well done.

The not so much:

- Red has a huge chip on her shoulder. HUGE. She thinks she knows everything about everything and isn't afraid to let you know that she thinks she's smarter than everyone. Red does not have to be nice, or even likable - the girl is trying survive - but she's put herself so far above everyone else that it's difficult to to make an emotional connection to her when she does show feelings of loss or grief. The impact just isn't as great.

- As I said Red knows everything! And this is more about the writing than Red as a character - but the author felt the need to explain, in great detail, how she knows these things:

Performs a defensive maneuver -  learned that during that one self defense class she took.

Discusses the rules of succession with a soldier (and is sure to school him) - because she took a social studies class once.

Doesn't want to eat candy - discussion ensues about the dangers of artificial sweeteners and chemicals and cancer and how the government once lied about arsenic in wallpaper.

Knowing the right antibiotics to choose at an abandoned store - she had read all the fact sheets that WHO posted on their website - long before the apocalypse.

Again. I'm not talking about Red being smart or wanting to learn things. that's awesome! I'm talking about how the author wrote it - making Red that smart - then needing to explain every bit of knowledge.

Like this for example:

“He looked, Red thought, like a refugee from The Outsiders (which was not a film she would normally watch but her eleventh-grade English teacher had done a Book vs. movie term and that was one of his selections).”

This really made the flow of the book slow waaaay down for me.

The premise is cool - I think the author was more than willing to take this to where it needed to go to show the terror, loneliness, hardships and confusion - with an interesting twist that I won't spoil.

There's no romance, there are severe consequences for dumb behavior and a heroine who is tough and smart. I loved that she was a loner - rather than the typical group dynamic in these kinds of books where there always has to be a group. But the writing just felt bogged down in facts and opinions (inner monologue) on everything from guns to artificial sweeteners. I think this could have all been incorporated more seamlessly to an otherwise cool story.

Even though it didn't really work for me, I would recommend this one to readers who like darker YA, no romance, tough heroines.

I should also point out that this is VERY loose retelling. Her name is Red, she's wearing a  red hoodie and on her way to grandmother's house but that's about it. The *wolf* is more mankind in general but with a twist...

For another point of view – check out Lindsi from Do You Dog Ear’s review