It’s my two-year anniversary: A look back, a look forward, and a giveaway!

It seems like just a few weeks ago that I was writing a blog post for my first WordPress anniversary, and somehow it’s already time to write one again! This blog has been around since 2013, but it’s only the second year that it’s been in its home here on WordPress. I said it last year, and I’ll say it again — moving this blog to WordPress has, quite literally, changed my life.

In this year’s anniversary post, I wanted to take a look back and everything that’s happened here on WordPress, talk a little bit about my plans for the future, and, of course, do a giveaway!

Some stats, which continue to blow my mind:

Total views: 109,586
Total followers: 2,893
Total likes: 64,024
Total comments: 12,293

My five most popular posts, by views alone:

Let’s Talk About: Planning out my (blogging) life
Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite book bloggers!
Review: Proof of Collusion by Seth Abramson
Let’s Talk About: Appropriate interactions on social media
Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Getting Lucky by Mackenzi Lee

My five favorite posts from the last year of blogging, in no particular order:

Review: The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman
Tag: Lover Book Tag (Original!)
Let’s Talk About: BookCon 2019!
Tag: Song Request Book Tag: Take 1 | Take 2 | Take 3
Review: Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju (spoilers!)

Three goals for my third year on WordPress:

① I feel like I’m always saying this any time I talk about my goals, but my biggest goal is to continue posting at least once per day. I’ve made it a point to post every day since moving my blog here, and it’s become one of those little things I can do to make myself feel accomplished.

② I’d like to get back into blog hopping with actual regularity. This is something that I was so good about during my first year on WordPress, and (mostly) because of my new job, got really inconsistent in my second year. I’m going to try to set aside some time every day, or at least every couple days, to catch up on blogs.

③ My last goal is to do some collaborations with other bloggers. I had hoped to have a grand plan for this that I could reveal in this post, but I still haven’t come up with a good idea. For now, my goal is to come up with a unique idea for a monthly collaborative post. I will definitely put up an announcement as soon as I figure this out!

As a thank you for all of your support, I’d love to buy you a book! You can click here to go to the Rafflecopter website.

The rules:

  • If you’re under 18, please make sure that you have your parents’ permission to share your mailing address!
  • The giveaway opens on March 19, 2020 and closes on March 25, 2020. I’ll draw the winner on March 26, 2020 and they’ll be notified via email.
  • One follower will win one book of their choice (up to $20 USD) from The Book Depository. The giveaway is open internationally as long as TBD ships to you!

Good luck! ❤

Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’

Blog tour (+ review!): The Babysitters Coven by Kate Williams

The Babysitters Coven by Kate Williams
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • GoodreadsB&NKoboGoogle Books
Publication Date: September 17, 2019
Source: ARC via FFBT & Netgalley

Adventures in Babysitting meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this funny, action-packed novel about a coven of witchy babysitters who realize their calling to protect the innocent and save the world from an onslaught of evil.

Seventeen-year-old Esme Pearl has a babysitters club. She knows it’s kinda lame, but what else is she supposed to do? Get a job? Gross. Besides, Esme likes babysitting, and she’s good at it.

And lately Esme needs all the cash she can get, because it seems like destruction follows her wherever she goes. Let’s just say she owes some people a new tree.

Enter Cassandra Heaven. She’s Instagram-model hot, dresses like she found her clothes in a dumpster, and has a rebellious streak as gnarly as the cafeteria food. So why is Cassandra willing to do anything, even take on a potty-training two-year-old, to join Esme’s babysitters club?

The answer lies in a mysterious note Cassandra’s mother left her: “Find the babysitters. Love, Mom.”

Turns out, Esme and Cassandra have more in common than they think, and they’re about to discover what being a babysitter really means: a heroic lineage of superpowers, magic rituals, and saving the innocent from seriously terrifying evil. And all before the parents get home.

I’ve been excited about reading The Babysitters Coven since I first saw the title and cover many months ago. Then it was compared to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, one of my favorite late 90s/early 2000s TV shows, and my anticipation went up about a hundred notches. When I saw the opportunity to join the blog tour, I knew I had to do it, and I was thrilled when I got the email that I’d been chosen to participate! So, first things first, thanks to the FFBT team, the publisher, the author, and Netgalley for making this blog tour and book review happen.

Now, onto the review.

From the beginning of the book, the parallels with Buffy the Vampire Slayer were really clear. Instead of Slayers fighting vampires, we have Sitters fighting evil, and I am 100% here for it. Esme and Cassandra reminded me a lot of Buffy and Faith.

I really enjoyed Esme as a main character. She doesn’t fall into a lot of the stereotypical YA main character pitfalls and instead comes across as a really average teenager. Even with all of this crazy stuff going on around her, she’s still worried about normal things like her mom’s illness, getting her drivers license, and avoiding the school bullies.

There were two things that really kept me from rating this higher than three stars, and they’re both things that are specific to me as a reader and I don’t think are necessarily problems in general. First, there’s a lot of modern slang in this book, and as I was reading, I imagined myself having to explain to my future child what “I was wrong AF, and now I am sorry AF” means. The only other thing that I didn’t love was how the book just kind of… ends. The action really ramps up a lot, then it’s all over with and the book is over too. I know there’s a second book in the series coming out next year, but I wish there would have been at least a little bit more closure.

All in all, though, this was a super fun book! It was cute, it was weird, and I can’t wait to see what Esme gets up to in the sequel.

About the Author


I’m a YA write or die, originally from Kansas but now living in California.

I’ve written for Cosmopolitan, NYLON and Seventeen, amongst other magazines, and worked with brands including Urban Outfitters, Vans and Calvin Klein.

The Babysitters Coven is my first novel, but fingers crossed it won’t be my last.


Follow the tour!

September 11th

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Welcome Post

September 12th

Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes
Bookmark Lit – Review + Cover Colours
TBR and Beyond – Review + Playlist + Dream Cast
The Reading Chemist  – Review
Musings From An Addicted Reader – Review

September 13th

Here’s to happy Endings – Review
Hauntedbybooks – Review + Favourite Quotes
Flipping Through the Pages – Review
Phannie the ginger bookworm  – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Bibliophagist – Review

September 14th

Confessions of a YA Reader – Review + Favourite Quotes
Ambivert words – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Art of Living – Review
Pages Below the Vaulted Sky – Review
The Book Dutchesses – Review + Favourite Quotes

September 15th

The Book Nut – Review + Playlist
Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile – Review
The Layaway Dragon – Review + Favourite Quotes
Kait Plus Books – Review + Favourite Quotes
A Dream Within A Dream – Review

September 16th

Bookish Geek – Review
Artsy Draft – Review + Favourite Quotes
We Live and Breathe Books – Review
Bookish In Bed – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Desert Bibliophile – Review

September 17th

Wishful Endings – Review
Novel Nerd Faction – Review
Lili Lost in a Book – Review
The Mind of a Book Dragon – Review + Playlist
Lost in Storyland – Review

Enter the giveaway!

Win a finished copy of The Babysitters Coven by Kate Williams!
(US Only, ending September 25, 2019)

Have you read The Babysitters Coven? Is it on your TBR? Can you think of any other witchy books you’ve read recently? Let’s talk in the comments!

Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’

Weekly Update

In case you missed it, here are this week’s blog posts:

Tags this week:

I’ve been reading:

Recently acquired:

2 things this week:

  • Did you know I’ve only finished four books so far this month? I’m not sure what kind of disaster my life is, but yikes. (For reference, I read 22 books in February.) I’m hoping April will be better.
  • My one-year anniversary giveaway ends tomorrow! There’s still time to enter if you haven’t already!

Blog hopping:

  • Gerry is celebrating her blog’s anniversary and doing an amazing giveaway!
  • Angela defined common book blogging terms!
  • Adam reviewed The Music of What Happens, which has been on my radar for a while!
  • Lotte shared some graphic novels set in space!

Song of the week:

I get such Miniature Tigers vibes from this song! It takes me back to being like 19 years old and staying up all night writing a paper. This is the kind of music I’d listen to so that I’d stay awake but still be focused.

How was your week? What’s the best thing you read or listened to? Anything interesting happening in your life? Let’s talk in the comments!

Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’

Weekly Update

In case you missed it, here are this week’s blog posts:

Tags this week:

I’ve been reading:

Recently acquired:

  • nothing this week!

1 thing this week:

  • I don’t even have anything to say this week. I feel like I just keep saying “I’ve been moving and it’s been stressful!” but hey, I’ve been moving and it’s been stressful. I’m almost done though!

Blog hopping:

  • Shruti posted a satirical job opening for a YA lead.
  • LaRonda talked about how she tabs her books.
  • Laurel shared Leslie Knope’s TBR.

Song of the week:

I don’t think I’ve shared this as a song of the week yet. I am, quite honestly, obsessed with the way she counts down in the lyrics of this song.

is there a reason we’re not through?
is there a 12-step just for you
our conversation’s all in blue
11 “heys” (hey, hey, hey, hey)
ten fingers tearing out my hair
nine times you never made it there
I ate alone at 7, you were six minutes away

How was your week? What’s the best thing you read or listened to? Anything interesting happening in your life? Let’s talk in the comments!

Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’

It’s my one-year anniversary: I’m answering questions and doing an international giveaway!

I have been blogging about something or other for the last fifteen or so years of my life. I’ve been blogging about books since 2013. But, most importantly, today is the one-year anniversary of moving this blog to WordPress! I’m not even exaggerating when I say that it was one of the best decisions of my life.

One year ago, I never would have believed that my little book blog would be nearing 2,000 followers. I never would have believed that I’d have made so many friends. My life is so different than it was one year ago today and I have this website and some of the people I’ve met here to thank.

First things first, I want to say thank you to my followers, both new and old, for supporting me. I honestly never thought that so many people would like and comment on and care about my rambling thoughts on the books I read! To say thank you, I’m doing an international giveaway. The details are at the bottom of the post.

But before we get to that, I was so surprised by the number of questions I got! Every single question made my day so much. Thank you to everyone who asked a question!



from Smudged:

How do you choose the books you read and review? I typically choose books I think will make me feel or think or those that are just a great thriller.

Way back when, I used to download any books that were free for Kindle in the hopes of someday reading them. A lot of those turn into my snarky one- and two-star reviews. These days, I mostly choose books that I’ve seen getting good reviews or that sound really interesting to me. I’ve also been known to pick up a book because it has a great cover.


from Bibi:

How do you organise your blog posts? Do you have a set number per week? Or do you just go with the flow?

I organize all of my posts in a big planner that I keep next to my bed. I do one post per day and sometimes add in a tag if I have time.

Do you plan your posts ahead of time?

Yes! I plan my posts really far in advance. I usually have an idea of what I’ll be posting about at least a month ahead of time and sometimes even more than that.

Do you ever buddy read? Or do you prefer to read by yourself at your own pace?

I have done a few buddy reads!

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff | buddy read with Leslie
Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff | buddy read with Leslie
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger | buddy (re-)read with Daniel
Scythe by Neal Shusterman | buddy read with Kelly

The buddy reads have been a lot of fun, but I feel like I’ve been in an extended slump for the last several months of my life and it’s probably not the ideal time for a buddy read. Sometimes I surprise myself by reading an entire book in a day, and other times it takes me a month to finish something that’s 200 pages. I don’t want my buddy to have to put up with that!

When will you share more pictures of your fur baby?

Right now! ❤ I’ll take any excuse to share pictures of my cat.


from Jackie Holmes:

Have you ever thought about writing a book? Or would you ever like to? What kind of genre would you consider writing?

So I don’t really consider myself a writer at all. I don’t have trouble with the writing part, but I do have trouble with the idea part. That said, you’ve just reminded me about a project that I hadn’t thought about in a while! If I were ever to write something, it would probably be romance since that’s my favorite. 🙂


from Laura Beth:

Is there a single book that made you fall in love with reading?

I don’t think there’s one single book, but my grandma used to read me a pile of Golden Books every time she’d babysit me, and I think that has a lot to do with my love of reading. 🙂

How did you get into the world of book reviews?

I’ve been blogging about one thing or another since I was in middle school. I think I even briefly had a book review blog when I was like 13 years old! (I cringe to think about what might be on there… thankfully, I remember absolutely nothing about this brief venture.) My book reviewing really started when I moved from Wisconsin to New Jersey several years ago.

In what some might consider a silly decision, I decided to pack up and move myself halfway across the country to be closer to the guy I was dating at the time. I was 22 and figured that if there was any time in my life to make a decision like that, it was right then, after finishing college and before finding my first “real job.” Honestly, I’m not sure where I’d be in my life right now if I hadn’t made that decision, so I can’t really be too mad at myself about it.

That said, in the process of moving a thousand miles away, I left behind a lot of friends and family that I’d been able to talk to about books. Since I didn’t know anybody (except my then-boyfriend) in New Jersey, I started reading about ten times more books than before, and I just needed somewhere to talk about them! I started my book blog on Tumblr in 2013 and after five years of shouting about books into the void, I moved to WordPress in 2018. The rest is history!

If you could meet three authors, who would you pick, and why?

  • Jenn Bennett, because she just seems so great.
  • Jay Kristoff, because I bet he’s hilarious.
  • R.S. Grey, because I want to ask her how she consistently writes such amazing books.

Do you have a book or novel that you dream of reading?

I dream of someday reading every single book that I’ve bought for myself over the years! I don’t know if I can really get more specific than that since there are so many books that I’m so excited to read.

If you could travel anywhere in the world to spend 48 hours lost in books, where would you go?

One of the most relaxing places I’ve been is Playa Hermosa in Costa Rica. There’s not a ton of stuff to do there other than sit on the beach and relax, so I wouldn’t feel too guilty about “wasting” my vacation.


from AJ:

If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, which book would it be?

I think at one point, I would’ve said The Hating Game, but today I’m really feeling like Anything You Can Do by R.S. Grey. I love that book so much and it has so much of what I love in a romance novel! It’s funny, it has great characters, there’s great sexual tension, and it’s just steamy enough without being over-the-top.


from doubticanpaint:

Do you like taking part in big readathons? What are the main pros and cons with whatever your answer is. xx

You know, I’ve never done a readathon! I think it would be a lot of fun if I had a day off and nothing else to do (like a day where my job closes because of the weather) but I think if I tried to fit it into my normal schedule, I’d just end up stressing myself out.


from Jordz:

How do you motivate yourself to read when you’re super busy/in a reading slump? 🙂

Great question! In the past, I’ve turned to audiobooks, but lately, graphic novels have been my go-to! They’re usually really quick reads, so I can finish them in one or two sittings even if I’m super busy or if I just don’t feel like reading. Usually I’ll feel like reading something else after successfully completing a few graphic novels.


from GoodeyReads:

How did you grow your followers/blog?

I think there are two reasons that my blog/followers grew as quickly as they did.

First, I post really consistently. It took me years of trial and error to get to this point, but I think I’ve finally found a system that works for me! I’ve had at least one post a day since I moved to WordPress.

Second, I try really hard to set aside time every day for interaction. (This is often while I’m bored at work.) I read, like, and comment on as many posts I can from blogs I follow. If there’s time left, I try to do the same for blogs I don’t follow!

I really have a hard time believing that my blog has grown as much as it has. In my mind, it’s still a tiny little blog that nobody read!

What made you start blogging?

Expanding on what I said in my answer to Laura Beth’s question, another big reason I started my blog was that I’d won a book in a Goodreads giveaway and I wanted a place to post my review!


from Susan Crosby:

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the first year?

Honestly, I think my biggest accomplishment has been the connections I’ve made! I really stepped out of my comfort zone to start interacting with other bloggers (and some publishers!) and it’s made all the difference in the world.

What do you see being your biggest accomplishment in year two?

Oh goodness. I guess I’m hoping to continue to build those relationships. I’d like to step out of my comfort zone even more to do some collaborations with other bloggers and maybe get more involved with publishers.


from Laurel:

Did you know about the book blogging community before you started blogging?

I knew that a book blogging community existed since I followed some book blogs like Perpetual Page Turner and Cuddlebuggery before I started my own blog. I never knew that the book blogging community was this amazing, though, until I moved over to WordPress!

Have you ever second-guessed what you do blog-wise?

Yes, absolutely! I definitely get in moods where I second-guess everything that I’m doing and wonder why I spend so much of my time talking about books on the internet. I also deal with impostor syndrome all the time.

What are your blogging goals?

Like I said in the answer to Susan’s question, I would love to do some collaborations with other bloggers or even authors and publishers. Other goals are just to keep posting at least once per day and interact and blog hop as much as I can.

Do you see yourself blogging when you’re 80? ^_^

Haha, probably! The idea of not blogging anymore makes me kind of sad. Who knows what the blogging world will be like in 2070, though!


from bibliogyan:

What have you learned in the one year you have been blogging?

I love that you asked this question because I was thinking about including a list of things I’d learned in this post! I’ve learned a ton of things in my first year on WordPress, but here are my top three:

  • Interact as much as you can: I don’t even know how many times I’ve mentioned this in the answers on this post, but I can’t say it enough. Like, comment, participate in tags, just get your name out there. It’ll help you grow your following and it’ll also help you build great relationships.
  • Remember it’s just a hobby: If something about your blog is stressing you out, just take a step back. This is your hobby, not your life. Maybe you’re worried that you’re not putting enough posts out. You’re doing just fine. Maybe you see other bloggers doing these amazing discussion posts and you think, “hey, should I be doing that?” Well, the answer is “only if you feel like it.” Or maybe you’re like me and the sheer amount of notifications you get on your phone is making you anxious. TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS. I swear, it’s one of the best things I’ve done. Blogging should be fun. If it’s turning into a hassle, then something has to change. ❤
  • Pingbacks are so important: Okay, so let me start this by saying that over on Tumblr, where I first started my blog, pingbacks were not a thing. When I moved to WordPress and found the wondrous world of book tags, I wondered why nobody was responding when I tagged them! Turns out I had no idea how pingbacks work. If you want another blogger to see that you’ve tagged them, link to a specific post on their blog (not their main page and not a link from the WP reader) and they’ll get a notification letting them know. Personally, I love seeing pingbacks in my notifications. 🙂


from Paige:

How do you plan your posts, like the topic, when to post it, etc?

I did a big post about how I plan out my blog posts, but here are the basics:

  • I keep a planner next to my bed where I write down any posts, reviews, Top Ten Tuesdays, etc. that I want to do. I write them on sticky notes so that I can move them around if I need to!
  • I try to write as many blog posts in advance as I can. I think right now I have 22 posts scheduled. I like to have at least one post a day, so if something happens and I don’t get to whatever I had planned, I can really easily take a post that was originally for a later date and post it right away.
  • I’ve experimented a lot with the timing of my blog posts, but I’ve found that I get the most interaction when I post reviews at 7am EST and tags/discussions at 1pm EST.
  • If I get an idea for a post, even if it’s nothing other than a title or just a vague topic, I’ll create a draft so I don’t forget about it.
  • This is only semi-related to your question, but I also email myself anything I’ve been tagged in so I don’t forget about it, and I also email myself posts that I really enjoyed reading to put in the blog hopping section of my Weekly Updates.

How do you do your book reviews (I need tips because I’m struggling so much here)?

For the formatting of my reviews, I use the same standard HTML in all of them. It took me a while to figure out how to do this the easiest way with the new WP editor, but I do a custom HTML block and just end up making a copy of my last review so that I don’t have to find this HTML every time.

<div class="entry-content">
<img class="alignleft" src="IMAGEURL" width="188" height="300" />
<div style="border: none; width: 95%; padding: 1px; text-align: left;"><strong>TITLE BY AUTHOR</strong>
Series: <em>Series #__</em>
Rating: ★☆
Links: <a href="AMAZONURL">Amazon</a> • <a href="TBDURL">TBD</a> • <a href="GOODREADSURL">Goodreads</a>
Publication Date: DATE
Source: ARC/Purchased/Library</div>
<div style="max-width: 80%; margin: 20px auto; padding: 12px 25px; background-color: #f3f3f3; -webkit-border-radius: 20px; -moz-border-radius: 20px; border-radius: 20px; text-align: justify;">
<p style="margin-top: 5px;">SYNOPSIS</p>

As for writing the actual reviews, I’m kind of all over the place. Sometimes I write my thoughts on sticky notes as I’m reading. Sometimes I type thoughts into a draft on WP. Sometimes I just read and hope I remember what I thought about everything when I’m done.

& pictures of your fur baby please!

If you insist! 😉


As a thank you for all of your support, I’d love to buy you a book! You can click here to go to the Rafflecopter website.

The rules:

  • If you’re under 18, please make sure that you have your parents’ permission to share your mailing address!
  • The giveaway opens on March 19, 2019 and closes on March 31, 2019. I’ll draw the winner on April 1, 2019 and they’ll be notified via email.
  • One follower will win one book of their choice (up to $20 USD) from The Book Depository. The giveaway is open internationally as long as TBD ships to you!

Good luck! ❤

Find me all over the internet: Goodreads | Twitter | Bloglovin’