I haven’t blogged since February. That’s almost eight whole months. I’ve been busy, life has been hectic and I’ve thought more than once about giving blogging up. I even went so far as to delete the Twitter account attached to this account, but I’m not sure I can do it. I love blogging. Most days I didn’t feel very good at it all but I love connecting with other readers and sharing my love for books.
So I guess this is an apology, a promise and a new start all in one. First of all, I’m sorry for just completely abandoning this blog. I haven’t picked up a book in months and couldn’t find the motivation to blog, so one day I just stopped. It’s taken me a while to get back to it, but upon receiving an exciting parcel, I was reminded about the joy of reading and the thrill of sharing it with this community.
I’m promising not to pull the plug on the blog just yet. I can’t promise to post every week or even every fortnight but I am promising not to give up on it. I’m going to keep blogging and I’m going to get a new Twitter account. I love chatting with you guys, so please leave me a comment letting me know how you’re doing and what books you’re loving at the moment.
As for a new start, I guess this is it. I haven’t posted in months but over the next few weeks, I’m hoping to get stuck back into reading and writing for you guys and should have some exciting new content soon!
My Twitter is back again at @opinionful so send a message or a follow my way and we can reconnect!
This month I received many an exciting book, so keep an eye out for my book haul which should be up within the next few days. I’m sorry it has taken me so long to get this post up, I haven’t been involved in the blogging community for the past two weeks because I’ve been so busy! I’m really hoping to stick at blogging this year, but this past few weeks have shown me I might not be as successful as I had hoped. Anyway, let’s get to the wrapping up, shall we?
This month I read:
Long Way Home (5 stars)
Textrovert (4 stars)
The Memory Book (4 stars)
This month I posted:
February really wasn’t too bad and I had a great time taking part in the Love-a-thon! It’s an event I’ve taken part in before and I had even more fun this time, though sadly I was away so I didn’t get to do quite as much as I hoped.
How was your February? Send me a link to your wrap up!
For this Loveathon challenge, I decided to pick a song for each of the leading men in my five highest rated books so far in 2017. The songs I have picked for each of them represent their relationship with the leading lady and the romantic journey they have throughout the novel
Liam (Soulmated) – Starving (Hailee Steinfield and Grey)
Jasper (Kiss Cam) – Photograph (Alex Goot)
This is the first challenge of Love-a-thon 2017 and it involves coming up with something for each of the prompts below and then filling them into the story to create your own crazy fairy tale! I can remember doing these as a child so I’m really looking forward to this throwback and I can’t wait to see how my story turns out.
Here are the prompts!
1. LOCATION – Italian restaurant
2. CHARACTER (example: assassin) trainee hairdresser
3. TYPE OF STORE newsagents
4. BODY PART (plural) toes
5. ITEM mop
6. ROYALTY (any title you can think of) Princess
7. REPEAT ITEM FROM #5. Mop
8. ACTIVE VERB (example: running) strolling
9. ANOTHER LOCATION radish farm
10. AN EMOTION hanger
11. MUSICAL INSTRUMENT tambourine
12. PIECE OF FOOD dumpling
13. NUMBER 12
14. TYPE OF HOUSE terraced house
15. VOICE ADJECTIVE gravelly
16. DESCRIBE A SOUND (ending with –ing) creaking
17. ROOM IN A HOUSE kitchen
18. OBJECTS door knobs
19. DESCRIBE AN OUTFIT a stunning ball gown of the deepest crimson, sparkling with the light a thousand tiny crystals
20. INFINITIVE VERB, activity to dance
21. REPEAT MUSICAL INSTRUMENT from #11 tambourine
22. A JOB firefighter
Here is the fairytale you can fill in with your chosen words!
Once upon a time, in a far away Italian restaurant , there lived a smart trainee hairdresser. It lived alone in a newsagents, where it had grown up with the deceased owner. It had beautiful toes, and it was known for its shiny red mop, the only thing it had left of its parents.
Alas, the princess of the country became jealous and wanted to own this mop. So, it became a wanted person and had to flee into the forest to find a place to hide. After strolling around for hours, hungry and tired, it stumbled upon a radish farm.An old lady appeared, offering it shelter from the bitter cold. She looked at it with hanger and said: “I will protect you, but I need your help first. Years ago I lost something precious and I want it back. You need to climb into the sky and get my tambourine back. Here is a magical dumpling, throw it into the earth, sprinkle with water and it will sprout a beanstalk. You have 12 days to return before the stalk withers.”
It followed the instructions given to her, and lo and behold, a beanstalk grew and grew and grew all the way up to the clouds. After an exhausting climb, it saw a huge terraced house. It walked to the door and knocked. A gravelly voice said: ‘Fee-fi-fo-fum, who dares to come and enter my house?” It was not afraid and said: “My name is Jamie and I’ve come to collect an item.”
The door made a/an creaking sound when it opened and revealed a large kitchen filled with golden door knobs. It stepped inside and walked towards the spiraling staircase, where a figure moved, cloaked in darkness.
“Who are you? Step in to the light, so I can see your face.”
The beast growled angry. “Why did you come here? I just want to be left alone.” Still, it moved and stood in front of it. There were three horns on his head, and hair all over his face and his mouth was filled with large teeth. He wore a stunning ball gown of the deepest crimson, sparkling with the light a thousand tiny crystals.
“What happened to you?” It reached out to touch one of the horns, but the beast flinched. “Many years ago I was cursed by a witch. I have one year left to dance so I can break the spell, but I’m not brave enough.”
“If you give me the mop, I will help you.”
In keeping its promise, the beast and it worked for a few hours and that afternoon, the beast transformed into an ordinary older guy. “I can’t wait to return to my job as a firefighter in the normal world. Can I come with you?” Together they climbed down the beanstalk, carrying the instrument for the old lady. The moment she saw the guy and her beloved instrument, she started to weep.
“My husband, you have returned!” They hugged and looked at it.
“We have to tell you something,” the old lady said. “You are our child. We were separated after the curse, but now we are reunited!” From that day, the three of them lived together in the forest, happily ever after.
So, there we have it! My beautiful fairy tale! Did you do one too? How did yours turn out? Let me know in the comments!
1. What’s your name? Where in the world are you blogging from? I’m Emily and I’m blogging from the North of England.
2. Tell us your history with reading. Were you always a reader? Were you a reluctant reader? Was there a book that convinced you to become a reader? I’ve always been a keen reader from a young age because I’m in the lucky position of being part of a family that love reading. My grandmother was a librarian and I can remember as a young child going on trips to the library with her when we went to visit. Both my mum and auntie are also avid readers – and still both get from and give me book recommendations.
3. How did you get involved in the online book community? I’m not really sure. About two and a half years ago I was reading loads of book blogs and watching a lot of BookTube so I just decided to give it a go and start my own book blog one night when I was babysitting.
4. How did you choose your primary platform (blog, Instagram, YouTube, etc)? How did you come up with your blog name? Again, I’m not really quite sure. I think for me , blogging seemed like the most realistic and easy way of sharing my love of books! I didn’t have a nice camera or any fancy filming equipment so I figured a blog was the best medium for me. How I came up with my name? I was babysitting one evening, and the kids had gone to bed. I’d been toying with the idea of book blogging for a while and decided just to go for it! Always Opinionated Girl was one of the few ideas I had and I reckoned it fit me and my personality pretty well so that was how my humble blog was born!
5. What’s your favorite thing about the online book community? I can learn so much from them! In the past 2 and a half years the online book community has taught me so much! I’m a privileged middle class white straight girl and the online book community has helped me tolook beyond myself and think about bigger issues.
6. What sort of posts can readers expect from you? They can expect a whole array of things – from book reviews, to interviews, to discussion posts. I try to keep things varied and I don’t always talk just about books, I’ve talked about issues that come up in them too, for example feminism and mental health.
7. What book genres do you talk about most? I’m not sure I really have genres I talk about most. I only really talk about YA but I think I’m quite varied within YA as to which genres I read.
1. Favorite food? Beverage? Food is probably chocolate and beverage would have to tea!
2. Favorite color? Blue in almost any and every shade.
3. Favorite things to do apart from reading? Probably sleep or eat!
4. Favorite tv shows? Scorpion, Arrow, The Flash, Zoo, The Last Ship, Agent Carter, The Musketeers, Shadowhunters, The Shannara Chronicles, The Royals. Is that enough?
5. Favorite movies? This is a tricky one! I like so many different films, how I can pick just a few to list here? I’ll just have to go with the first few that pop into my head – The Da Vinci Code, Mulan, the Harry Potter series, Big Hero 6, and so many more!
6. Favorite musical artists? I don’t really have favourite artists, as I like a range of stuff. I more like individual songs than whole albums from an artist.
7. Favorite places to shop? Online! It means I can do it in my pyjamas and have a cup of tea at the same time.
1. Favorite childhood books? I can remember adoring Enid Blyton as a child. Malory Towers, The Famous Five, The Secret Seven. She was definitely my favourite author as a child and I devoured everything I could by her.
2. Favorite books read in the last five years? How on earth do you expect me to be able to pick that? I struggle to pick a top ten books for each year, so you’re looking at 50 books at least. The other dilemma is that before I started blogging I didn’t record the books I read, I’m sorry but I’m unable to answer this question.
3. Favorite genres? YA. After that, I’m not too picky. I don’t like horror or anything too gory but other than that. I like contemporary, fantasy, paranormal and historical and everything else in between.
4. Underrated book, series or author you love? I loved both Taylor Longford and her Greystone Series and Quinn Loftis’ Grey Wolves series. Both are indie authors and write funny, entertaining YA novels which I would definitely recommend!
5. A book you want to see made into a film or tv show? I think I’m going to go with The Revenge Playbook, a feminist book I read last year and absolutely adored. As it has different storylines weaving together to make one big plot, I feel like it would transfer very well into a TV show.
6. Book boyfriend/girlfriend? Book BFF? Book family? Wow, you guys are packing no punches with the questions this year! I don’t know how I can possibly pick just one book family or boyfriend or BFF! The one thing I can say is that Hermione would be one of my closest friends because she is genuinely one of my all time favourite book characters.
7. Books you want to read in 2017? I want to read a whole lot of books in 2017, including quite a few 2016 releases that I didn’t get round to last year such as A Study in Charlotte, Lady Midnight and more. My full list can be found here.
Since today is Valentine’s Day, this week’s theme is all about romance tropes so I’ve decided to list my top five favourite romance tropes in YA novels and my top five least favourite romance tropes in YA
- Hate to love – This is one of my all time favourite tropes because the bickering is just so cute. I love seeing the relationship grow and build over time and how their fights turn from genuine and angry to just adorable banter between them.
- Best friends to lovers- This one is just so cute because they already know all about each other, so they know they’re perfect for each other, it just took them a while to figure it out. They share their past and have so many inside jokes and such a long story to tell and it’s just adorable.
- Star-crossed lovers – These two are in love but they can’t be together for whatever reason. Whether it’s their family, their social status or fate itself, something is trying to stop them, but they love each other so much they’re willing to fight and do whatever it takes. It’s so cute!
- Soulmates – This one (if done well) can be something I really enjoy. It shouldn’t be an excuse for instalove but can be a clever way to spark a connection between two people and can often have all sorts of cool supernatural bonuses like being able to speak to each other in their minds.
- Pretending to date – This one always promises to be a lot of fun. It starts out as merely an agreement but it ends as true love! Sometimes it can get a little cringey but it’s usually good fun. Awwww, how cute!
And now for what I reckon are the more interesting four. After all, hating is so much more fun than loving!
- Love triangles – I think almost everyone in the YA world is stick to death of love triangles. Genuinely, I am so done with these. These are (mostly) a lazy plot device and create needless conflict.
- Insta-love – This is another one that is just downright annoying. There are very few situations in which this actually works so 99% of the time it just looks like the author can’t be bothered to write a romance that develops over time.
- Romance solving all – Romance is not and should not be a cure for all problems. Even if you have the best significant other in the whole universe, you will still have problems and it is unrealistic to expect romance to solve them.
- Lack of communication or honesty – This one is so frustrating yet it seems to be such a popular way for authors to create conflict in relationships and usually ends with me screaming at the characters to just talk to each other!
So those are my favourite and least favourite romance tropes for Valentine’s Day! What did you do for your Top Ten Tuesday? What are your favourite and least favourite tropes? Let me know in the comments!
Some of the searches that have led to my blog have been confusing, amusing or just downright odd. I thought I’d share my 8 favourite search terms with you guys.
- alia bhatt coloured hair – This girl was part of my Alienated fan cast that was guest posted on my blog as part as SBPT but I’m not quite sure how her hair and its colour featured as part of that. I feel like the searcher must have scrolled through thousands of pages to eventually get to my blog.
- teen nudist blog tbr –This one disturbs me a bit – I mean, how an earth do you get from this search term to be my perfectly respectable, fully clothed book blog? And also who is out their blogging about their life as a teen nudist? I guess I just have to be glad that the nudist understands the importance of having a TBR.
- thrones – This one is ambiguous and intriguing. Who is googling thrones? Why are they googling thrones? Are they planning on taking over the world and ruling over us all? Who knows, but I hope they found what they wanted when they googled thrones and that they are a kind and just ruler when they take over.
- “nerd but hate math”-This phrase describes me perfectly and makes me laugh. I’m definitely a nerd but I’m a nerd about languages and books not maths or science. This search probably led to my blog because I think in the first post I ever wrote, introducing myself I mentioned this.
- celaena sardothian wig – Let’s be real, the majority of us have dreamed about having the fabulous hair that she does on the book covers but I certainly never looked for a wig of her hair. I imagine it would come in handy if you’re trying to cosplay or just fancy looking fabulous. I’m not quite sure how this led to my blog as I certainly don’t sell wigs.
- I love messy broken things – Okay then… I’m not quite sure what to say about this one. It’s certainly an odd thing to type into a search engine, but who I am to judge? This search term must have got to my blog through my review of Beautiful Broken Things.
- sweet boty – This one made me laugh the most! Someone made a typo and ended up at my blog when this is clearly not what they were looking for! I imagine they wanted sweet booty, but instead they ended up with the final ‘sweet’ sixteen of my book of the year (BOTY) brackets. I’m not sure if it’s a shame or a bit of good luck for them but oh well!
- murder mystery percy Jackson fanfic – Sorry, I don’t write fanfic. Though this does sounds like a good idea! However I’m not sure Percy would end up solving the mystery, it seems much more likely Annabeth would sweep in and save the day. He would however be good fun at a murder mystery party like I said.