Book Blogger Resources: Stuck on How to Review That Book? Here are 63 Prompts to Help You Write That Book Review!

Text: 63 Prompts to help you write that book review! Image: xiaolong the axolotl wearing a purple flower hat, holding a piece of paper, and thinking with a pencil in her other hand.

Writing book reviews is hard.

Book blogging is a fast-paced activity. Blog posts that you may spend hours and hours on may generally have a life span of only two to three days – and sometimes, not even that. This can make book blogging tricky, and can put bloggers under immense time pressure. The truth is, although book bloggers give a lot of thought to their book reviews, consistently reading and churning out thoughtful and well-written book reviews can be a big challenge – and sometimes the task of writing one can feel so immense that it turns you away from doing it.

To help the amazing book bloggers out there, I created a resource to help you write those pesky book reviews! Read More »

The Pond News Issue #5 – Scrumptious Bites, Time Travelling & Amazing Bloggers!

Text: The Pond Book News; Issue 05. Scrumptious bites, time travelling, and amazing bloggers! Image: An illustration of Stella the dragonfly, wearing a newsy cap, behind a stand and holding up a roll of newspaper.

Welcome to Issue #5!

Hello, lovelies! It feels like it’s been so, so long and I am so happy to be back! stella 1

Last week, I didn’t feel very well so Xiaolong kindly took over for me! Her costume was so adorable and very convincing – hehe!

This week I went on a little adventure through the dandelion forest and up the mossy hills of the mosquitoes. They were very friendly and invited me for tea where they kindly told me some of the book news they had heard from the bumbly bees of bumble. It was so lovely visiting them and I can’t wait to share the book news they told me to you! I hope you enjoy!

❤ Stella

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Underdog edited by Tobias Madden – A Powerful and Relatable Collection of Stories About Australian Teens

Underdog, #LoveOzYa Short Stories. [Authors:] Sophie L Macdonald, Tobias Madden, Felicity Martin, Stacey Malacari, Sofia Casanova, Cassi Dorian, Kaneana May, KM Stamer-Squair, Sarah Taviani, Vivian Wei, Michael Earp, Jes Layton
Blurb:

Short tales from the Australian writers of tomorrow.

#LoveOzYA celebrates the best of new Australian writing for teenage readers. It has grown from a humble hashtag into a movement, reflecting the important role young-adult fiction plays in shaping our current generation of readers. This anthology collects, for the first time, some of the tremendous work from the #LoveOzYA community.

Featuring a foreword by award-winning Australian novelist Fleur Ferris (Risk, Wreck, Black and Found), Underdog celebrates the diverse, dynamic and ever-changing nature of our nation’s culture. From queer teen romance to dystopian comedy, from hard-hitting realism to gritty allegory, this brilliant, engrossing and inspiring collection of short stories will resonate with any teen reader, proving, yet again, why there is just so much to love about #LoveOzYA.

My review:

I am floored, friends. When I was given the opportunity to read Underdog, an YA anthology of debut Australian writers, I was excited. But now, having read all the stories and being immersed in such incredible narratives, inspired visions, and powerful voices, I am ecstatic to tell you all about this anthology and its brilliant stories. From dystopia to comedy to explorations of grief and love, Underdog promises something for everyone – and you will definitely find a new favourite short story within this anthology.

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We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal – Great Ideas, but Shallow Execution

Text: We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal.

Blurb:

People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

CW’s review:

Picture me heaving a deep sigh. That’s me right now, having finished reading We Hunt the Flame and now having to review it. Despite its promises to be a sweeping YA fantasy and a compelling story about two very different characters that fall into the same journey and destiny despite being enemies, I didn’t feel that the book delivered. Unfortunately the ideas of We Hunt the Flame were wonderful and riveting, but its execution was lacking. And I’m incredibly disappointed, because I so wanted to love this book. The truth is, however, I just simply did not.

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The Pond News! Issue #4 – Food, Dragons, F/F, and Sisters; An Exciting Week of New Books!

Text: The Pond Book News; Issue 04. Food, dragon, f/f, and sisters; an exciting week of new books! Image: An illustration of Xiaolong the pink axolotl, dressed up as Stella the dragonfly behind a booth, holding up a roll of newspaper.

Welcome to Issue #4!

Oh? You walk up to ‘The Pond Book News’ stall, expecting to see your friend Stella the Dragonfly for your weekly update of book news, except… it isn’t Stella! It’s Xiaolong, dressed up as Stella!

Xiaolong the pink axolotl, dressed up as Stella the Dragonfly; wearing a purple newsy cap, dragonfly wings, and holding up a roll of newspaper.“Hello friend!” she greets, handing your roll of book news to you. “Here’s your book news for this week!”

“Where’s Stella?” you ask as you take your weekly copy of The Pond Book News.

“She’s sick,” she says, her gills a little droopy. “She’s been working so hard, so I decided to help her with the book news this week! I bet you almost didn’t recognise me with my amazing dragonfly costume. I guess we’re just such good friends that you knew right away, didn’t you friend?”

Uhhhh. Yes Xiaolong. That’s the reason why.

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