I recently caught up with fellow Aussie bibliophile, Elle from Elle Biblio, to talk reading and reviews. Elle is studying literature and writing at uni. and reads mostly YA with some historical fiction, fantasy and literary fiction thrown in for good measure. Here’s a little more about her site and some of her favourite reads:
Can you tell us a bit about your site: how long have you been reviewing and why did you start?
I’ve always loved reading and I started reviewing books through Goodreads giveaways and for Allen and Unwin in 2012 but I didn’t start my blog until April 2015 after discovering the huge book-loving community online.
What kind of books do you review?
I typically review young adult literature, but I also often write reviews of the books I study at university, including classics and adult literature.
What’s your reviewing process?
I always like to approach the book I’m reviewing with the attitude that I’m not reading it to review, but simply because I want to. Otherwise, I find that I spend the whole book looking for things to analyse without actually enjoying and experiencing the book as a whole. I then sleep on it before writing up my review where I discuss the book overall as well as the characters, setting, plot, and writing.
How do you share your reviews and connect with other bloggers?
I started my Bookstagram before I started my blog, so I mostly Instagram to promote book reviews and posts on my blog as well as contact other bloggers.
Do you post anything other than reviews on your blog?
About half my posts are reviews, but I also do themed recommendations, report on bookish events, and do fun posts a bit like Booktube tags but in written form.
How do you decide what to read next?
I study English literature and writing at university so I don’t get much choice about what I read during the school year. Same with review books (which I try to read ASAP). But when I do get to decide for myself, I’m more of a mood reader and also a binge reader; if there is a series I want to read, I’ll read all the books together.
What are three key things you look for in a good story?
- Characters who are realistic and relatable (I also have a thing for female protagonists)
- An issue/problem that is really obvious from the beginning (I don’t like my books to drag on)
- A little bit of love
What do you love most about reading, and why is it important?
You can escape anywhere, anytime… it also helps me to relax and increase compassion and understanding for others.
Why are book reviews are important?
I love reading book reviews mostly to see if I’m going to enjoy the book but I think it’s great to read reviews that you don’t agree with to open up discussion. Book reviews also help to promote reading and how wonderful it is. I think everyone should read!
What’s been your favourite read so far this year?
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein absolutely stunned me! I literally couldn’t put it down and after I finished, I just had to sit there for an hour thinking about it. I still can’t stop thinking about it!
What five books should everyone reading this add to their TBR pile?
(besides the aforementioned Code Name Verity)
- Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen
- Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
- Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
- Touch of Power by Maira V. Snyder
- Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpartick
If you could live inside a book, which one would you pick?
It would have to be The Luxe by Anna Godbersen. I would love to get dressed up and attend the beautiful balls and flirt with handsome young men in 1899 New York!!
Which three fictional characters would you most like to meet and why?
Who is the one character you’d never want to run into in real life?
Probably Celaena Sardothien because she is so stylish, skilled, and sassy that she would make clumsy ol’ me look like a complete idiot! Who, me? Jealous? As if!
What advice would you give to new and aspiring reviewers?
Sometimes blogging and reviewing can become like an unpaid full-time job and it feel like a chore to do anything, so try to make it fun and enjoy yourself!
What advice would you give to emerging writers?
Just keep writing, writing, writing! And also: writing is rewriting; your first draft should never be your last draft and try to be open to change.
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