February 7, 2016

Reading What I Want vs. What's Popular

This post has been in draft status since early December. I can't find any way to come clean. Some would think I'm reading less YA and others think I'm reading too much. Am I steering away from YA? Am I discovering new genres that I never read in the past? Am I reading from lesser known authors? All of the above are true. 

Over the past few weeks I've been looking through my bookshelves. I'm getting new ones soon so might as well look through the sea of chaos right now! Throughout my searching, I saw so many YA titles that I'm never going to read or am not interested in reading but I bought them anyway! At the time, they were popular and I didn't care for reading the synopsis. I just thought, hey, other people liked them so why not me? Now what am I supposed to do with these 20 books that I have no interest in picking up but spent a lot of money on? (hint hint giveaway in the near future). 

This isn't to say that I'm leaving the YA genre. Are you kidding? I'm only 15! That would be totally bonkers for me to say, "Hey guys I'm only 15 but I'm already steering away from the YA genre and getting into more New Adult romances!" I love YA, don't get me wrong. YA will always be a part of me that never fades. I just feel that nowadays some books are very cliche and receptive. Before I pick up a YA book, I usually ask myself have I read something like this before? Some really cliche and repetitive themes I've been seeing are superpowers, witches, dystopian societies, robots or some kind of alien taking over and apocalypses. I guess you could say I'm going to be a little more picky on the YA books I read.

 But you're still going to get your daily dose of YA, don't worry! 

I'm writing this post today to give others the confidence I didn't really have in the beginning of blogging. Don't buy a book (same goes for requesting ARCs) that doesn't immediately catch your eye. When people are out there requesting the most popular ARCs in the book world, I'm sitting here on the side going through Sci-Fi and Mystery releases. I do extensive research in the books that I request from publishers. Take Arena by Holly Jennings for example. It's not an insanely popular book that everyone's talking about but after doing some research, I realized that it's very similar to a book I've read before and really enjoyed. It also highlights some concepts that I think are intriguing and would love to know more about. 

So what is The Book's Buzz? It is now a book blog in general that specializes in, probably not the most popular books, but definitely some unique ones that are worth the read, whether it be NA, MG, or YA. Don't hate me for this guys! I just want to read and talk about books that really intrigue me. I hope you all understand and start to notice the change in the books I review or talk about! 

January 31, 2016

A Little About ARCs

For those who don't know, I'm Alex from The Book's Buzz! I just wanted to clear that up because I know a lot of people probably don't know that I co-blog here. I'm about to go into a pretty sore topic in the blogging world so I would like for everyone reading to know who I am. Also note that I'm not bragging because, no, I don't get the most popular ARCs on the market but I get enough of the ones I want and request that I'm completely satisfied. I also recently did a post on the illegal selling of ARCS on my blog here. This post is different where I'll just be going into what ARCs are and how to get them. 

What are ARCs?

ARCs, commonly known as advanced reader copies, are given to bloggers, authors or other social media outlets by publishers in hope that the book gets some early praise and coverage. The purpose of their distribution is to make people excited for the upcoming release by allowing the book reviewers to lay down their thoughts. Plus preorders are a good thing and the more preorders, the greater chance there is going to be some type of preorder promotion. They can come in any shape or size. They can also be either e-ARCs or print copies.

Receiving an ARC is like getting the one thing you've always wanted for Christmas. That's what it feels like! ARCs are a privilege and the publisher is, by no means, under any obligation to give it to you. I would think that publishing companies have a system of choosing who gets one and who doesn't but I'll talk about that later. ARCS are extremely limited and because you've received one, you should feel some sort of pride and accomplishment. Also revel in the fact that you're reading a book before most people get to read it!

How do I get one?

Well, that's the big question isn't it? How do bloggers get ARCs? If you're blogging in hopes of receiving ARCs for free, you really don't know what you're in for. Thinking that you're going to get free books from authors and publishers if you start blogging is also a stupid way to think of it because it won't get you there! So how do bloggers get ARCs?
  • Blogging for a certain amount of time. Publishing companies and authors want to see devotion. They want to see that you're sticking in for the long run because you love doing it, even though nobody may be reading what you write. I would say 6 months is a good time to start asking for some ARCs. 
  • Show genuine interest. When you go to write an email requesting a book, the publishers almost always want to know why you want that book. Is it because the author is an auto-buy author for you? Is it because the synopsis really intrigues you to the point where you're just pining for it from the sidelines? Or is it because the book has a lot of diversity and you're looking for more diverse books to share with your followers?
  • Followers. I'm not saying it's all about the followers but authors and publishers want to see that people are responding to what you post about. It's common sense that if you have a more popular blog, you'll be able to request most of the popular books. The easiest way to get more followers is to start interacting on other social medias. Instagram, one of my favorite platforms, is a well-know way to get more followers directed to your blog. 
  • Interaction on Twitter, Instagram and any other social media outlets. 
  • Request directly from publishers. 
  • Connections. If you're a reader with a special family or friend connection to a publisher, well damn lucky you :P 

Do's and Dont's

  • DO. You need some way to structure your review requests. Here is how I structure my emails and it's worked out pretty great so far! 
Hello Name of Publishing Company
I'm Name, a YA book reviewer at my blog Name of Blog! I'm emailing in regard to a book that hasn't been released yet but one I'd be interested in reviewing early on my blog and other social media outlets. I'm interested in reviewing this book because Reason for wanting to review the book early. Along with posting reviews on my blog, I also post on Goodreads and on all retailer sites where the book is going to be sold. I really hope you consider my request :D 

Blog Link: 
Bloglovin Followers: 
GFC Followers: 
Unique Visitors:
Youtube Channel Link:
Youtube Subscribers: 
Instagram Followers: 
Twitter Followers: 

Book I'd Like to Review:
Name of Book and Author
Date the book is going to be published
Book Imprint
ISBN # (Optional)

Shipping Address: 
Put your address in the email to make things easier!

Thank you so much for reading! I really hope I'm considered :D 
  • DON'T. DO NOT REQUEST FROM THE AUTHORS DIRECTLY. I swear to you that your email will just be put in the author's spam box. Authors are busy people and they don't even control who get ARCs and who don't. Please don't bother them. Contact the publisher of the book you're requesting directly, never the author.
  • DO. Speak politely when emailing to a publisher. Never get mad at them if they can't supply you with an ARC or never reply. That's horrible! If you never get a reply, just accept it! 
  • DON'T. Don't request books that you're not interested in. Please don't do this. If you request a book that you have no interest in but it's insanely popular and you end up not liking it, you're going to be in for hell. You're going to depend on the only viable option, which is to lie and say you enjoyed the book because you feel bad that they gave it to you as an ARC. Take my advice and don't do it! 

What else do you want to know about ARCs? Comment below with questions and I'll do my best to answer them!

January 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #24

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme created by genius Jill @Breaking the Spine. Alex and/or Diamond (Dee) will participate in this meme when we feel especially excited for an upcoming book release! Leave a comment with your WoW link / tell us if you’re excited or what you’re excited for. :h

Diamond’s Pick

by April Genevieve Tucholke

Length: 352 Pages
Expected Publication Date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Dial Books

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.
Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.
What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

Why Dee's Waiting: 
I love this author. She writes quirky. She has a strong, unique voice. And that cover is gorgeous! I love the title, the blurb is excellent. I mean, it sounds like such a good mystery. And I don’t even read mysteries that much >.< To be honest though, all of her books are on my TBR, ever since I read and LOVED :L Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. I can’t wait to read this one.

Are you planning to read it? Have you read her books before? Comment below! 

*these are not affiliate links* 

Alex's Pick

by Victoria Schwab

Length: 464 Pages
Expected Publication Date: June 7th, 2016 
Publisher: Greenwillow Books

The city of Verity has been overrun with monsters, born from the worst of human evil. In North Verity, the Corsai and the Malchai run free. Under the rule of Callum Harker, the monsters kill any human who has not paid for protection. In the South, Henry Flynn hunts the monsters who cross the border into his territory, aided by the most dangerous and darkest monsters of them all—the Sunai, dark creatures who use music to steal their victim’s souls.
As one of only three Sunai in existence, August Flynn has always wanted to play a bigger role in the war between the north and the south. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate Harker, daughter of the leader of North Verity, August jumps on it.When Kate discovers August’s secret, the pair find themselves running for their lives and battling monsters from both sides of the wall. As the city dissolves into chaos, it’s up to them to foster a peace between monsters and humans.
A unique, fast-paced adventure that looks at the monsters we face every day—including the monster within.
Why Alex is waiting:
If you're wondering why I'm waiting for this book then you probably haven't read a V.E. Schwab book before. Earlier last year I read A Darker Shade of Magic and thought it was an exceptionally well-done story with great writing and even greater characters. Her stories are also really unique. Who would have thought to write about a traveler that can travel through parallel Londons? Like Brandon Sanderson, the ideas behind the magic system are explained in full and there's barely any confusion.

If you would like to read my review it can be found here!

What books are you waiting for? Tell us! 

January 25, 2016

My [Sample] of The Forbidden Wish (I wish I had the whole book)

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

Source: eARC via Netgalley
Date of Publication: February 23, 2016
Publisher: Razorbill

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars :star :star :star :star :star

*I received a sample of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

NOTE: This is just a review of the first part of the book, not the whole book ;)

Okay, wow. First of all, you guys know I avoid samplers like the plague. Ever since, well, the last one I actually read was for The Young Elites and wow that fucked me up. Seriously. It was so good and then it just cut off and I Felt like, I HAVE TO HAVE THIS NOW. It was bad. I swore I’d never do it again. Then, I see this gorgeous cover on Netgalley and I see its just a sampler so I swear I’ll wait at least until its published so I can secure a copy before I read it. Did I do that? NO, of course not xP

After all, I am obsessed with genie / djinn / jinni books. Of all kinds. Set in the Middle East, concerning mythology of my ancestors? Yes, please! I mean, my reviews of Exquisite Captive and The other one…The Fire Wish tell you more if you are interested in a middle eastern person’s perspective on the writing of our mythology in YA ;)

Anyway, to the story! The story started off pretty “meh.” I say “meh” not because it was bad just because it was very ordinary YA trope book we have the scene set and the heroine blah blah. A boy approaches… blah blah.. she’s locked in a cave for a thousand years blah blah… she keeps referencing someone named “habibi” (means my love, in Arabic). By the end of the sampler, we kinda of know who that is, but we don’t know what went down between them.

Of course there’s a princess. A rebellion. A theif (think: Aladdin but immature af). And the jinni who may or may not have kind of backstabbed her best friend in the past? It’s unclear but I definitely want to see how this story plays out.

[Yeah, if anyone has a copy of this they want to trade for please let me know! You can tweet me @DiamondCronen]

So, there you have it. So far it’s a fun book that sunk its hooks into me and now I’m biting my fingernails waiting for February 23rd…  ^_^

January 24, 2016

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo | NO MOURNERS, NO FUNERALS

Title: Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Pages: 465 pages
Published: September 29th, 2015
Source: Hardcover from Barnes &amp; Noble
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Rating: 5/5 stars
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price-- and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction-- if they don't kill each other first.

Buy it now! 
Six of Crows has been the January book pick of the month for The Readers of the Round Table. I was, unfortunately, praying that this book wouldn't be chosen as the readalong choice because I had previously had some bad blood with Leigh Bardugo's books. Her Grisha trilogy did not live up to the hype for me and was kind of a disappointment. That may be the reason for my disbelief as I'm writing this review. My mouth is wide open and I'm shaking because despite how I thought this book was going to turn out, I am completely flabbergasted right now. 

You guys are lucky. You're getting a fresh review (which means I finished the book yesterday and have had one day to collect my thoughts and sit down and write). The book follows 6 main characters that are all apart of a heist to retrieve a man from an impenetrable ice fortress. This man is responsible for creating a formula that can alter a Grisha's powers and make them 10x more formidable and dangerous. Therefore, he needs to be retrieved and kept away from those who want to use the formula to create an army or experimentation. Wait, I know what you're thinking. 6 point of views? Holy s*** that must be hella confusing. Nope, it wasn't. Leigh Bardugo intertwines 6 unique and diverse point of views flawlessly and once you read a line of a new chapter, you immediately know which character is speaking. It's kind of brilliant! 

BEWARE AND WARNING (it's not a spoiler). You will be shipping super super hard in this book. Ughhhh. I can't even. The one thing that I actually liked in Shadow and Bone (Book 1 of the Grisha trilogy) was the romance. It was captivating and torturing, just as it is in Six of Crows. Leigh Bardugo has such a way with her character's dialogue. She can make you hate a character in one instance and then hate him/her a second later. It was such an incredible feeling, and if only you could have seen all the faces I made while reading this book.
"No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for 'good luck'." 
- Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows
Six of Crows is fast-paced and action-packed. You won't find yourself in a dull moment with info dumping, which tends to appear in a lot of YA fantasies. The cast of characters alone bring the story to life without the author needing to add action or a story to tell. And oh boy, there is such a diverse lot of characters. The best stories are those written by the characters themselves. Haha, I just made up that quote right on the spot! You can quote me if you'd like. 

Final verdict: Go. Put the book you're reading down and read Six of Crows! You won't be sorry. And for those of you that are wondering-- I'd recommend reading this one first before starting the Grisha series.