The Weekly Update: 9/4/16


Well, it’s been another uneventful week for me in “real life.” But uneventful is better than bad, so that’s ok.

Let’s see, what else… Did you all know that you can “shuffle” and “repeat” playlists on YouTube? I did not. I want to assume it’s a new feature just so I don’t feel like such an unobservant idiot, but I don’t think it is lol. I listen to a lot of playlists on YouTube though, so that repeat one will come handy. I haven’t found any new songs I love lately though, so that’s a bit of a bummer.

Aaaand that’s all I got.

Blog/Bookish Updates:

So I’ve been researching some about the seven circles of Hell in Dante’s Inferno for another book idea I have (yes, I just keep meticulously planning books but never actually writing them, DON’T JUDGE ME), and oh my goodness it is HORRIFYING. I would never wish those punishments on my worst enemies. Not that I actually have “enemies.” Does anyone in real life have legit enemies? I feel like that’s so dramatic lol.

Also, have you all seen the Twitter account @broodingYAhero? I just sat and scrolled through the tweets for a while because they are hilarious.

Also also, I’m thinking of adding review summaries to my book reviews, but I don’t know. On the one hand, it’ll make them appear even longer, which goes against the whole point, but on the other hand, it might make the reviews helpful to more readers since some readers like short ones whereas other readers like in-depth ones. Thoughts?

Also also also (I’m so good at transitions), I thought I was out of my reading slump, but I guess I’m not quite. It’s not the fault of the books AT ALL. They’ve been amazing. It’s like, I want to know what happens and get to know the characters, but I just don’t want to read period. Times when I’d normally read, I instead find something else to do. I just want to be able to absorb the stories through osmosis.

Oh! One last thing. Has anyone heard about Amazon deleting reviews if you post your reviews on Goodreads before the release date? I heard this the other day, but I don’t want to add fuel to the paranoia fire by jumping to conclusions that this is actually true.

Books I Received for Review:

Dark Secrets by Leeah Taylor | reading, books
House of Ravens by Keary Taylor | reading, books
A Triad in Three Acts: The Complete Forester Trilogy by Blaine D. Arden | reading, books

A Triad in Three Acts was kind of a happy surprise because I had come across the first “book” before on GR and been interested because a M/M/M menage with elves and old feelings and emotions and resentment to work through? Yes, please! But then I saw that it was 70 pages and was disappointed because I don’t do anything less than AT LEAST 100. Buuuuut then I saw this on Netgalley, recognized the blurb, and realized this is a combo of three “acts” that amounts to about 300 pages. So yay šŸ™‚

Books I Finished:

Wriggle & Sparkle by Megan Derr | reading, books
Unleashed by Chani Lynn Feener | reading, books

Normally I don’t like fluffy books, but I LOVED WRIGGLE & SPARKLE SO MUCH. I am bonkers excited to share my review this week. Yes, I totally just said bonkers. That’s how excited I am. I would also love to try some more of Megan Derr’s books now since I have been interested in some of them.

I had a few issues with Unleashed that I didn’t have with the first book in the series, but I still found it an enjoyable read overall.

Song of the Week:

No song this week.

In Case You Missed It:

– I reviewed A Faerie’s Curse by Rachel Morgan, another great, fast-paced book in one of my favorite YA series.
– I discussed why I don’t DNF books.
– I reviewed Animal Instinct by Stephen Osborne, the second in a light, fun M/M urban fantasy.
– I reviewed The Ferryman Institute by Colin Gigl, a fun, quirky, twisty urban fantasy adventure.

The Sunday Post Link-Up:

Once again, I’m linking up to The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer šŸ™‚


Talk to me!

Did you find any good books or music last week?
Would you find review summaries helpful or think they'd be a good idea?
Would like you also like the ability to absorb stories through osmosis?


Your Thoughts


48 thoughts on “The Weekly Update: 9/4/16

I'd love if you'd share your thoughts, too!


Reading your comments makes me a very happy blogger!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. sjhigbee

    Thank you for the recommendation – I hadn’t seen the Twitter stream for @broodingYAhero and you’re right, it’s hilarious. I could with some hilarity in my life right now. And yes – you’re absolutely right, having an unremarkable week is a plus. I didn’t know about the shuffle and repeat option on Youtube playlists, either… You’re reading week looked good – I particularly liked the look of The Ferryman Institute. Many thanks for dropping by and have a great, yet unremarkable week:))

    1. Kristen Burns

      I figured other people might enjoy it too! We could all use a good laugh sometimes šŸ™‚ And I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t know about the shuffle/repeat options. Thanks, you have a great week too!

  2. Topaz Winters

    Oh dear, I’m sorry to hear that you were unable to find any lovely new songs this week. Perhaps I may make a few suggestions? Songs that I’ve bee loving lately are “Michigan” by the Milk Carton Kids, the score of “The Spring” by Sleeping at Last, “Who We Were With” by Paradise Fears, and the acoustic version of “I Found” by Amber Run. I would love to hear your thoughts, if you choose to investigate them further <3

    In other news, Dante's Inferno is utterly terrifying. I’ve no idea what went on in that man’s head and tbh I’m not entirely sure I want to know. Good thing we have Brooding YA Hero to lighten the mood a bit, no? šŸ˜‰

    Lovely post, Kristen. Thank you so much for sharing with us. x

    1. Kristen Burns

      We must have similar taste in music because I just listened to all those songs and they were just the kind that I like! I especially liked “Who We Were With” and, oddly enough, it goes really well with the series I’m currently reading. And I already knew “I Found” but had never heard the acoustic version šŸ™‚

      I’ve never read the actual Dante’s Inferno, but yes, the circles and the punishments are just awful. Haha, another point to Brooding YA Hero!

      Thank you! And thanks for visiting šŸ™‚

  3. Deborah

    I’m not a huge user of YouTube Kristen so had no idea about the shuffle thing. Let’s decide it’s new! šŸ˜‰

    I like the idea of summaries, but I see your point. It’s more work. I’ve been tempted to introduce something which captures the review in a sentence or two. Something short and sweet. And perhaps a bit sassy.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol I’m down with pretending it’s new šŸ˜‰

      I was actually going to basically grab the first sentence of each paragraph of my review since that always seems to do a good job of summarizing, but I still don’t know. One or two sentences wouldn’t ever be good enough for me, I’d feel like they weren’t right, and then I’d just agonize over them for like an hour which really would be more work lol.

  4. Greg

    LOL about enemies. Review summaries might be nice, I don’t mind long reviews but I guess some people don’t? You could try it and see what feedback you get (and how you feel about it). I haven’t seen that Twitter account but I’ll have to check it out. And I would totally take the osmosis thing- I just want to touch a book and get all the stuff. Would save so much time- but then again maybe the time invested is part of the reward? I don’t know, but it’s a fun idea lol.

    Glad Triad worked out, I don’t mind an occasional novella but yeah it can be harder to “get” the characters or get connected with those.

    Looks like my comments are going to spam again, so maybe this will show up, and maybe it won’t lol.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I know a lot of people don’t like long reviews, but if I’m actually trying to decide on a review, I like the in-depth ones. I’m still considering trying it. And yes, you should definitely check out the Twitter account, it’s hilarious! Eh, I suppose osmosis might take away some of the satisfaction since then everyone could just do it, but, like, it would be really helpful sometimes lol.

      Yeah, I can’t really get invested in characters in novellas, so I’m glad I found this one that combines the three of them. And I think I fished one of my comments out of spam last week, so at least they shouldn’t go to spam on my blog anymore since I have now told it that you are not a spammer.

  5. Christy LoveOfBooks

    “Does anyone in real life have legit enemies?” – Yes.

    lol – omg, I can’t stop reading that broody twitter. A lot of them are hilarious!

    I’ve heard rumbling about Amazon deleting reviews on their site lately, but not sure why.

    1. Kristen Burns

      There’s a story there, I know it lol.

      That Twitter is so great, right?! I had to pry myself away and haven’t gone back since because I know I’d just get sucked in again and totally distracted from everything I need to do.

      I heard about them deleting reviews all the time for people being “friends” with authors, but this was just the latest thing I’d heard and wondered if it had any validity.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol well, if you find it interesting, by all means go research it! You won’t be disappointed, haha. It is some truly horrific torture. But it’s all good, I like books that have violence and torture and all that, so I’m not one to talk šŸ˜› You have a good week too!

  6. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    You liked Wriggle and Sparkle? I am excited for this review. I don’t always read reviews (because I am lazy and words and such) but I am checking that one out (you know, once it’s posted and such).

    Anyway, onto trying to comment on things in order (why do I do that, why do I have to respond to things in order of the post?) it sucks your bookish slump has not actually ended but I get it. Sometimes you just don’t have the motivation to read. Whenever I’m in that mood it’s not that I’m not enjoying the books I’m reading because when I read I do enjoy it but I feel little motivation to pick a book when I don’t have to. Hopefully it’ll pass with time.

    And I have seen that twitter account. Isn’t it awesome? You find yourself browsing through and nodding your head with how accurate it is! It’s a favourite of mine just because it makes me smile and then I try and relate things to YA books I’ve read.

    I always like the idea of review summaries because then it’s like a bitesize review for those who want to take a glance. I know one blogger used to do a post it note of points about a book which I liked. It depends if you’re willing to but that extra work in and it’s a question of where you put that summary for people to read? I don’t know, give it a go and see if people like it. I liked it on books I wanted to read because I could get an idea of thoughts on things without risking any spoilers.

    1. Kristen Burns

      PLEASE DO READ MY REVIEW! It’s going up on Thursday šŸ˜€ And you wanted to know how the tentacle porn was, so you of all people have to read it even though there’s only like one sentence in my review about that lol.

      This reading slump is super aggravating. And that’s exactly it, I am enjoying the books, but I can’t seem to bring myself to actually pick them up again every time I put them down.

      That Twitter is so accurate!

      It wouldn’t be that much extra work since I was just going to copy and past the sentences from the full review that gave the main points, but now I don’t know if that’s a good idea for SEO -_- And trying to write a whole mini review from scratch would be more work. And I was also wondering where to put it, before the full review? After? Why is reviewing so complicated??

      1. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

        I am working my way through my blog feed and I’ve seen your review on it so I will be reading this weekend and I am so excited!

        And that’s how reading slumps work. They frustrate you so much that you just want to give up reading (but don’t because you’d really miss it if you did). I sometimes think it’s a sign a reading break is necessary but why is it reading slumps arrive when you least want them to?

        And I wish I could offer helpful reviewing advice but I just don’t know. I mean, maybe at the beginning so people can flick and see your main points but it runs the risk they won’t scroll to the bottom and comment. Ugh, where is the book review guide that’s what I want to know! Step by step tutorials on how to blog properly so I know all the rules to break.

        1. Kristen Burns

          Yay šŸ˜€

          Ugh but see I don’t want to take a reading break. 1) I have too many review copies and books in general and would get stressed out that I’m falling behind. 2) I don’t know what else to do with my time? Lol. There are certain times, like while laundry is going or while waiting for my food to cook or before going to sleep that reading it just what I do during that time, you know?

          And seriously, reviewing is hard. That’s what I considered, putting it at the beginning, but eh. I’m starting to just kinda feel like people who like in-depth reviews can read mine, and I guess the people who like short reviews can just find other reviews to read. Not sure the summaries are worth it.

  7. Laura

    I discovered that Brooding Hero Twitter account this week too, and it is so funny! And actually makes a lot of good points about how cliched hero characters can be.
    And I’m in a bit of a reading (and blogging) slump myself right now, so I definitely wish I could absorb stories through osmosis!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha I love it, and I so agree with most of the tweets about the cliches. Some of them I’ve noticed before, but some I didn’t even realize until I read the tweets.

      Ugh, these reading slumps suck! The osmosis thing would definitely be helpful.

  8. Samantha

    Dante was one seriously twisted dude. My high school seniors have to read parts of his works and it is seriously disturbing! They realize quickly that he makes Stephen King look like a children’s book author!
    I hadn’t heard that about amazon; I don’t have any of my accounts linked with amazon though because honestly, I don’t want them to know anything about me or who I am friends with/what I post!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Seriously, those forms of torture are just horrific!

      I have my GR linked and I like having it linked for some reasons, but now I’m wondering if it’s better not to link them, what with all the crazy stuff I’ve heard.

  9. Melissa @ Quill Pen Writer

    Oh my goodness that twitter account is pure gold. XD I think I’ll be laughing for hours now; thanks for letting me know about it! Hmmm…I haven’t found any new songs I love this week, but I’ll always be a fan of NF’s music. šŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol I figured other people might enjoy it as much as I did when I found it! I’m not familiar with NF though, is that the artist, or an acronym for something?

  10. tonyalee

    I don’t read summaries in books reviews. Either they are redundant or spoilery so. But to each his own! lol

    I didn’t know what about YouTube but I am not a seasoned user either. But still, that’s interesting! Have a great week!

  11. Literary Feline

    I’m so lost when it comes to You Tube. I’m still figuring out how to subscribe to certain people. One of these days I’ll figure it out. šŸ™‚ The punishments in Dante’s Inferno are pretty horrific. Enemies . . . I don’t think I have any. There are people I don’t especially like, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call them enemies.

    I thought I had heard somewhere that Amazon wasn’t allowing pre-release reviews, but that was on Amazon itself, not on Goodreads. That doesn’t mean they aren’t deleting those too. I just haven’t come across it. I wouldn’t be surprised though. Nothing they do really surprises me anymore . . .

    I can’t say I have a strong opinion one way or another about review summaries. I know some bloggers who do it, and others who don’t. I haven’t, although sometimes I state up front my opinion of a book. It’s something I’ve considered doing too, although more in passing. I’ll be curious to know what you decide and if you do give it a try, how it works out for you.

    And yes, I would like to absorb stories through osmosis. Imagine that amount of reading we’d get done! Of course, that might defeat some of the purpose. I find myself going through phases like that too–wanting to read, but unable to motivate myself to do so. It’s easy to explain away when it’s the book’s fault, but can be frustrating when it’s not.

    I’m so behind on everything blogging related. I need to read your post about not DNF-ing books still. You always have the best discussions!

    Have a great week, Kristen! Off to check out @broodingYAhero . . .

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha, I only use YouTube to watch videos and listen to music and make playlists for myself. I don’t subscribe to people or comment or anything, so I’m definitely no expert. But oh, yeah, there are definitely people I don’t like or don’t get along with or whatever, but I wouldn’t call them “enemies.”

      It’s not even possible to leave early reviews on Amazon from what I’ve seen. But I wouldn’t be surprised either by anything they do. It would just be a really weird move if they started deleting reviews of ones that were also posted early on GR since that would ultimately end up hurting themselves when books don’t get as much buzz.

      I still haven’t quite decided what to do about the summaries. Part of me feels like, eh, people who like short reviews can just find other reviews to read, and mine will be for the in-depth people lol.

      WE WOULD GET SO MUCH READING DONE IF WE HAD OSMOSIS. But then yeah, everyone would be able to read hundreds of books and maybe we wouldn’t appreciate them as much? This reading slump is just super annoying.

      Aww thank you! You have a great week too šŸ™‚

  12. AngelErin

    I just added review summaries to my reviews!! To make sure I don’t do that and then have even longer reviews I did “short review summary” and then I did just one sentence that sums up the review. If you check out my review for The Leaving you will see what I mean. Good luck and oh yes I knew that YouTube had where you can shuffle and repeat playlists. LOL! Don’t feel bad though, I miss stuff like that ALL THE TIME. šŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      I looked to see the review summary, but I could never limit myself to one sentence because I’d feel like it either wasn’t doing the book justice or wasn’t including everything I want it to include… I drive myself crazy just trying to figure out what to put in the tweets when I promote the posts lol. Damn you though for already knowing about the shuffle/repeat and killing my delusions that it wasn’t there all along! šŸ˜› I really can be unobservant sometimes, so I’m not surprised I never noticed it before lol.

  13. Lola

    Uneventful definitely is better than bad. I usually don’t do much with playlists on youtube. I just pick one song to listen to and let youtube pick the next ones. I have a nice list youtube created for me that way that I often listen to. Not even sure if it’s an official list or just related songs to the previous one that youtube picks. I don’t understand much of youtube.

    At least you have already done the research for those books, that’s always helpful. Although I do hope you actually write some of the book ideas you have.

    I personally always add summaries to my book reviews. It feels like a good way to sum up my thoughts and those who like short reviews can just read that and the rest can read the whole thing. It works for me. But on other people their blog I usually just read the whole review, so if there would be a summary i would just read that as well, but not skip the rest of the review.

    I usually focus more on other hobbies when that happens and I don’t feel like reading. Luckily I’ve been in this reading mood lately, where I just want to read all the books and feel like I can’t get through them fast enough.

    I haven’t heard of Amazon deleting review for that reason, but I would be very careful what to believe about amazon deleting reviews as it seems there is a lot of misinformation/ paranoia/ etc out there as well. If your review is against their policy/ terms of service they will delete it. Things like mentioning if you got a book for review or not is one of the rules they have. Besides that I figure I just post my review were I do and if they delete something it’s too bad, but not much i can do about it.

    I hope the triad in three acts book is good, it sounds promising. I actually like short stories and will pick them up if they sound good. I am looking forward to your review of Wriggle and Sparkle! And that Unleashed cover screams love triangle to me. I hope it’s a good series! Have a great week!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I do that sometimes too, letting YouTube pick the songs. That’s a nice feature. You can listen to other people’s public playlists, but if you just click on a video, then I think it’s just related songs.

      Thanks, I too would like to actually write some of these books at some point lol, but I’m having too many issues figuring certain things out. And I’ve only just started doing a bit of research for this one.

      I do like in-depth reviews, but I know some people don’t. But I was thinking of putting it under a separate little header so that people could choose which to read. I still don’t know.

      I agree, it does seem there’s a lot of misinformation and paranoia which is why I didn’t want to jump to conclusions. But at the same time, they do do a lot of weird things when it comes to deleting reviews. So who knows. I try not to worry about it too much, but it really only concerns me because I know a lot of publishers/authors will only give ARCs to people who post on Amazon as well as GR.

      Thanks! I am happy that I’ll end up getting to read the Triad book. And I’m so excited to post my Wriggle & Sparkle review! How funny that you mention the Unleashed cover because as I was writing the little closing paragraph on my review I said to myself, “I really don’t need to mention the love triangle again since even if someone missed the mention in my review, they’ll know just from looking at the cover” lol. I’m not sure how I feel about the third book yet, but I’m afraid I might be a little disappointed. It’s not bad, but so far the 2nd and 3rd haven’t quite lived up to the 1st. You have a great week too!

  14. Charlie @ Girl of 1000 Wonders

    The first few days of school I showed my students pictures of my dog, and one night I took a hilarious photo I emailed out to the entire staff for Hump Day. One of my coworkers in my hall who legit helped me survive the hell that is first year teaching showed her class, and one of her students asked her if we were frenemies. We were both shocked. She told the student, “We don’t have enemies on our campus.” However, I do have some legit enemies IRL. Softball and small towns, SMH. I include the Goodreads summary in all my reviews, and sometimes they absolutely suck, so I started also including my own shortened version of what readers REALLY need to know about the book. This actually helped me land that as a gig for an author to update all of his summaries. It does make the review longer, but I think it’s also relevant to the readers. Of course, you don’t need both. If the Goodreads summary is fine as is, I’d just use it. But if it really doesn’t do a whole lot, I’d write my own.

    1. Kristen Burns

      That’s so strange that they asked if you were frenemies. But huh, I’ve never had a legit enemy. Then again, I don’t live in a small town!

      Oh, I always include my own book summaries, but I’m also considering including summaries of my actual reviews for anyone who likes shorter reviews since mine are usually so long. That’s so awesome that it landed you a gig though!

  15. roro

    I have a new twitter account to follow. Thanks .My week has been decent. My family and i removed paint of doors in our house and painted them. I got 4 books in the mail. I love the cover of that m/m/m book. Have a great new week , Kristen

    1. Kristen Burns

      No problem, I figured other people might like it as much as I did! Hmmm, painting doors doesn’t sound that much fun, but I’m sure they look great now! And bookmail is always a plus. I also love the cover of that Triad book. There was no way I could request both the interesting sound story AND a cover that gorgeous! You have a great week too!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Well if you were only going to follow one account, you chose a good one!

      I was just going to basically copy and paste the sentences from the full review that gave the main points (since my intention is for people to read one or the other, not both), but now I’ve realized that might not be good for SEO or something since it’ll be repetitive :-/

  16. Amber Elise @ Du Livre

    Amazon is deleting reviews?! I heard they were deleting reviews from authors, but that’s crazy. Isn’t the point of early reviews to create buzz?

    And yes! YABroodingHero is one of my FAVE accounts!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Oh I constantly hear about them deleting reviews from people, not just authors, but this is the latest reason I’ve heard. And I agree, if they do it for this reason, it’ll hurt reviewers, authors, publishers, etc. because yeah, the point is to create buzz.

      Haha, Brooding YA Hero is so funny!

    1. Kristen Burns

      No problem! It cracked me up too, I wanted to share the laughs! And is the reading slump spreading?? Maybe we all just need a break lol. Thanks, and I will šŸ˜‰

  17. Jessica

    I haven’t read Dante’s Inferno. But I have been wanting to. That book is the main reason I wanted to start using Overdrive in the first place. And I still haven’t read it yet. It is on my list, though. I just finished listening to Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. This afternoon I’m going to listen to City of Glass by Cassandra Clare.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I haven’t actually read it either, just been reading about the different punishments in each other circles and whatnot. I’m sure it’s interesting though! I haven’t read either of those other books either, but I’ve heard lots of great things about Cassandra Clare books. Hope you enjoy the audiobook!