This week I caught up with Kimberly Costa, A.K.A. The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, to learn a little more about her site, how she reviews and what she loves to read.
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads everything fiction in YA, NA, and Adult. She is a self-professed Whovian, Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie; She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat…
Can you tell us a bit about your site: how long have you been reviewing and why did you start?
Hello Margot, thanks for inviting me to chat with you. I have always been an avid reader but I did not begin blogging until August of 2011. A friend suggested I start a blog and I moved from chatting about books on book forums to blogging about them. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and began just talking about books as I read them. Since then I have honed my skill, and have a great time sharing and connecting with other readers.
What kind of books do you review?
I have a very eclectic taste when it comes to books and read different genres in YA, NA and Adult. I read and listen to books, so there is something for everyone.
What’s your reviewing process?
I am a scheduler and accept review books and audios. I use a calendar and accept 8-10 books a month that I read/listen to along with my own haul. Typically, I am working 6-8 weeks ahead. I format the top portion of my posts and add links before I begin reading. Then I completely lose myself in the book. I do not take notes with the exception of odd names, places etc. I do mark quotes if they move me or make me giggle. After I have finished a book, I live with my thoughts for 24-48 hours. I think about what I liked, disliked and ultimately how a book made me feel. I use several formats when writing a review.
- Straight Up Review touches on world, plot, characters and feels
- Coffee dates with book. I break the book into three dates and share my feelings. These are typically romance novels.
- Caffeinated Breakdown reviews. I break things down (generally for new fantasy series)
- Caffeinated Aspects/Decaffeinated Aspects where I show likes and dislikes
- Coffee Pot Reviews are usually for series where I share my spoiler free thoughts in the length of time it takes to brew a pot of coffee
- Espresso reviews are usually for novellas
- Five Caffeinated Reasons– why you should read the book
I usually let the book decide what type of review I will write.
How do you share your reviews and connect with other bloggers?
I encourage readers to follow Caffeinated via email, but I do share links to my posts via Twitter, Facebook, Tsu, Tumblr, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest. I also post portions of my reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. Followers can also get my RSS feed on Bloglovin’ and Feedly.
Do you post anything other than reviews on your blog?
Yes. I love mixing things up and regularly share Blogger Tips and Tricks, Discussion posts, Recipes and a Book Recommendations, and Nonna’s Corner where I share children’s books. I also host community events throughout the year that encourage readers. Take Control of Your TBR pile in March and Clean Sweep ARC Challenge in May. In October I co-host Blog Ahead and in November the Ho-Ho-Ho Read-a-thon. I am also the host for a weekly meme called The Sunday Post. I wanted a meme that not only featured new book arrivals but also shared events and happenings both on the blog and in the community. It is wonderful getting to know other bloggers and I love the personal approach the meme encourages. I also host a book of the month club on Facebook.
How do you decide what to read next?
Because I blog ahead I have plenty to choose from. Generally, I look over the books in the month I am working on and pick from those and my personal TBR pile. I never read the same genre back to back and typically have an audiobook I am listening too and a book I am reading. Of course there is something to be said about spontaneity and I will randomly drop everything and pick up a must read or spur of the moment find.
What are three key things you look for in a good story?
Regardless of the genre, I need to believe, feel and connect. To me the best types of stories are the ones where I slip into the story and the outside world slips away.
What do you love most about reading, and why is it important?
I love slipping into new worlds. I want to believe in impossible love, be the hero in a zombie apocalypse, explore space and do magic. Reading allows me to sail on the high seas in the morning, thwart an alien invasion in the afternoon and solve a mystery before bed.
Why are book reviews are important?
A good review can inspire you to try new books, authors and genres.
What’s been your favourite read so far this year?
*grimaces* This question is such a difficult one particularly because I read and listen to so many genres. YA – Winter, NA – Chasing River by K.A. Tucker, Adult Romance – Sustained by Emma Chase Audio – The Martian by Andy Weir. Gads there are so many more. I post “Top 10” posts in different genres each December on the blog.
What five books should everyone reading this add to their TBR pile?
- Red Rising by Pierce Brown
- Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
- ‘Newsflesh’ Trilogy by Mira Grant
- Anything Ilona Andrews writes
- Written in Red by Anne Bishop
If you could live inside a book, which one would you pick?
The world of Harry Potter. I think we all want to attend Hogwarts and believe in magic!
Which three fictional characters would you most like to meet and why?
Charley Davidson from Darynda Jones’ Charley Davidson series. The girl is crazy and I am sure the encounter would be memorable and of course, there would be coffee.
Who is the one character you’d never want to run into in real life?
There is not a particular character that comes to mind but whiney, needy characters need not apply.
What advice would you give to new and aspiring reviewers?
Read what you love, be honest but fair and most of all have fun!
What advice would you give to emerging writers?
Write about what you love, ignore the trends and above all listen to your characters.
For more about Kimberly and her reviews, head over to The Caffeinated Book Reviewer and seek her out on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and at the Caffeinated Book Club.
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