Sunday, June 2, 2013

Armchair BEA: YA Lit and wrap up

I really enjoyed Armchair BEA, but I didn't manage to get a themed post up every day. Sometimes I felt daunted or lazy, but I do feel bad about not posting yesterday so I want to talk about that topic now and then wrap things up.

The first topic of yesterday was 'keeping it real', and to be honest I'm not quite sure what that's supposed to mean. It's about growing an audience and keeping blogging fun.
I'm not sure I'm really doing that much in terms of marketing my blog. I'm doing this for the books and because I enjoy interacting with other bloggers and authors. Of course the ARCs are a plus, but they also put quite a bit of stress on me. The audience growing kind of happened 'naturally' over time, through participating in memes and, I admit, giveaways, though I didn't actually participate in all that many hops. But after my first one I suddenly had over 200 GFC followers, which kind of creeped me out because I felt like I had to step up my game or I'd embarrass myself in front of 200 potential readers.

I feel like content-wise, I'm currently stagnating a bit. I started having discussion posts, which is something I really enjoy, but I really want to get more reviews up and I'm struggling with that. I want to branch out and be more interactive, but it just takes so much time, time that I could spend with friends or writing my own stories or watching movies or reading my huge pile of books. I feel like I'm just sort of stumbling along at the moment and I need to find a way to catch up with things and be more active on twitter again.
So yeah, ramble end. I hope people enjoy what reviews I manage to put up and won't abandon me when my introvert tendencies show ^^'' I promise that for my blogoversary in 2 weeks, I'll put together something cool!

The second topic I wanted to get to was Children's and YA literature. I can't say much about children's lit because I don't read anything below YA at this point, but YA really is close to my heart. I'm a little above the intended age group at 24, but I see no point to be ashamed of reading what I read, and besides, lots of adults do (it's still weird to think of myself as an adult). I hear a lot of people saying they do it because there wasn't much of a YA market back when they were in their teens, but that's not true for me. Maybe it's a German vs. English/American thing, but there were plenty of great books, both fantasy and contemporary, around for me to read when I grew up. I read adult books too though, mostly borrowed from my mum.

I had a phase when I read a lot of adult fantasy /UF/paranormal, but I can't quite pinpoint when I went back into the this 'new' wave of YA fantasy. It had something to do with when I went from reading German books to reading only English ones, but I can't say which book triggered it. I think it was before Twilight. One reason why I enjoy YA so much is that in adult lit, there aren't all that many topics that interest me unless it's a fantasy book. It's all about careers and getting a guy and marrying and babies whatnot, unless it's a crime novel and those bore me. I don't care about the problems of 30-something people. I hope that once I reach that age, I will have different problems, a different life.

YA is just... fresher. It's more familiar. I remember what it was like to be a teen. There are a lot of great voices, and voice is the aspect of a novel I probably enjoy most. It makes the book feel alive. YA is open to so many different issues and genres (I see MG, YA, NA and adult as categories rather than genres). There are books about social problems (poverty, addiction, illness), there is fantasy/paranormal, there is self-discovery, figuring out who you are and what you want, figuring out relationships. Things are moving, happening. I feel like as an adult, I have started to stagnate (one of my biggest fears as a teen) and reading YA makes me want to shake myself up and be more active (Divergent almost made me run out and do something reckless or get another tattoo. I  was so close!).

In this post, we're supposed to list books that we think below on every kid's shelves or otherwise give recommendations, but to be honest I don't feel comfortable telling people what they're supposed to read. That I enjoyed it is no guarantee someone else will. Also, I could list way too many books.
So instead, here's a grid with some of the books I rated 5 stars on goodreads:

Carmen's bookshelf: read

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
The Sea of Tranquility
Blood Rights
The Assassin and the Empire
The Assassin and the Underworld
Clockwork Princess
Where She Went
The Replacement
Just One Day
Marking Time
If I Stay
The Assassin and the Desert
Grave Mercy

Carmen's favorite books »

So, to wrap things up...
Unfortunately for me, this weeks was so busy that I didn't have as much time to interact with other bloggers as I would have liked, but one of my highlights was meeting another Swiss blogger, Lexxie from (Un)conventional Book Views. I also enjoyed the discussion on Classics, and reading about other bloggers' experiences about blog ethics. Since I was mostly absent from twitter though, I think I missed quite a lot of the action of what was actually going on on the real-life BEA convention, as well as a bunch of awesome giveaways *sigh* Anyhow, I don't regret taking part in Armchair BEA, since it raised a lot of fundamental blogging questions for me that sort of get swept under the carpet in the day-to-day mechanics of keeping up.

Your turn! What do you do to keep blogging real and fun? What's your take on YA literature? Do you have highlights from the week to share, or was there a post of mine that you liked in particular (or one that you thought was a waste of web-paper)?


  1. I was once participating in a hop and also got 200 followers. I couldn't believe and yeah it was creepy at the moments. Also I see many books on these that I've rated with 5 stars! Blogging is a great thing and you really get to meet some amazing bloggers :) Great post :)

    1. Awesome that we've some of the same 5 star books :) I agree, you get to meet such great people from all around the world! But sometimes the idea that anyone could read your thoughts is a bit weird...

  2. Interesting points - I've never participated in Hops & Tours, but I would be a little creeped out too! And I read YA too, but also Adult - I don't read much contemporary though (neither Adult or YA).

    Tanya Patrice

    1. I also enjoy both YA and adult. I need a bit of variety there :) And I'm still fairly new to contemporary after about 10 years of reading only fantasy ;) Thanks for commenting!

  3. Oooh cool, you got to meet Lexxie! I really like her too, I would have loved to join you guys (even though I'm not Swiss >.< - you guys would have welcomed this lonely little Canadian, right? Right!?

    Oh and your 5-star book shelf made me ache at all the awesome books I am *still* missing out on - like Throne of Glass, Night Circus, Grave Mercy, the Lux Series, The Mortal Instruments, The Immortal Rules, VA (i own book 1 in all those, in my defense LOL)... Venom, Soul Screamers & In the Shadow of Blackbirds. I need Time Turner or TARDIS or something!

    Loved this post girl, thanks for sharing the awesome ♥

    1. Oops, I didn't mean 'meet' as in real-life meet ^^' Just, you know, online discovery ;) It would be cool to meet for real though, the three of us! :D

      Time Turner!!! I was looking for what Hermione's thingy is called in English (it's Zeitumkehrer in German) lately because that's what I thought would be perfect for me to have a chance in hell at catching up with my TBR... or even just all the books I already own but haven't read.