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Tour de blogosphere: A special guide to Ottawa’s literary blogs (Part 4, young adult book reviews)

By Catherine Brunelle on September 4, 2015

This is your tour guide to Ottawa’s online literary world, blogosphere style. In coming posts, expect champions of poetry, stories of small press, writers seeking writers, book clubs to notice, online journals, recaps, reviews and more.

Today we take you into the online world of Young Adult book reviewers – whether they’re taking you into the worlds of steamy romance, paranormal, corsets and duals, real life realities, or sharing top ten picks, it’s clear they don’t just love the book they read, they want to discuss them with everyone who will listen. These book reviewers blog with passion and engage their book in a way that somehow goes beyond the standard review. Take Lost at Midnight, for instance, and how its blogger created a month-long event around a favourite book, inviting invited folks from all over to share their stories on rape culture. Read on, peruse their lists, and enjoy!

Feeling a Little Bookish

by Meaghan Nicolaiff

If the term ‘ARC’ gets you excited, then you’ll love Feeling a Little Bookish by Meaghan Nicolaiff. She’s an Ottawa-based book reviewer with a love for both YA and adult literature. With publishers sending her soon-to-be-released ARCs (advance review copies), her reviews are fresh and you’re bound to find some new titles to consider.

Meaghan’s site is nicely organized with each review giving the 411 on book publishing details, followed by a Goodreads excerpt, followed by her personal review. It’s high on the readability scale for organization, design and delivery of the reviews. If you are looking for a few book suggestions to pick up from Chapters, this would be the place to go. With top ten lists, videos, author interviews and personal posts mixed in, Meaghan’s site strikes a nice balance between reviewer and friend. She’s also on Twitter @alittlebookish.

Pingwing

by Kimmy McKerracher

Next stop on our tour is the bookish blog Pingwing. Kimmy was a lonely bibliophile before setting up her book review blog. Through the site she’s met other book lovers, and you could be one too if you go and say hello. Amongst her discussion of TV shows, video games and more, you’ll find many book reviews stretch cross genres to include supernatural and paranormal to science fiction and fantasy – with a pinch of YA and adult fiction thrown in.

Go join her in conversation, and bring your favourite books too. “When I’m not reading or working, I’m watching TV, playing video games, painting my nails, and hanging out with my husband. I am always looking for more book recommendations!”

Emilie’s Book World

by Emilie Couture

You get heaps of YA coming of age and steamy lit picks when you head into Emilie’s Book World. Just click on the link that says “Review Archive” and marvel and the number of titles Emilie has covered in the lifespan of her review blog. Emilie also has a really interesting series on her blog called “On the Topic Of” found under her Features section. Here she reflects on different aspects of the novel including series endings, new adult as a genre, cheating in books, her own YA experiences, and more.

Once again, this is a charming spot on the internet to find your next read. There’s something about these book reviewers – they know how to style a website! If you love YA or just talking books, don’t miss this stop on our literary blog tour.

Lost at Midnight

By Ciara Loader

Last on this leg of the journey, we arrive at Lost at Midnight, a YA blogging site run with interesting lists such as ‘Top Ten Auto-Buy Authors”, “Top Ten Tuesday,” an impressive review archive, and more.

It’s Loader’s ALL THE RAGE project that really caught this tour guide’s eye. This project took the novel All the Rage by Courtney Summer, and used it as a based to discuss rape culture. Lost at Midnight held a call-out to online for women to share their stories, and organized an event where this took place. What is striking here is that Loader didn’t just review the book, she engaged with on another level.

“ALL THE RAGE APRIL was the most challenging feature I’ve ever had on my blog. It was also the most rewarding.

I started brainstorming ideas for it months in advance. There was a lot of sitting and staring at my blank notebook, lots of scrapped ideas and reworked plans until finally I decided to just do a month long celebration of All the Rage. Once I had a set idea, I put a call out on Twitter for participants. The response blew me away. I had so many people wanting to help, and many others wanting to spread the word. I could barely keep up with it all! I spent many long nights sending out many long emails to many wonderful people. When April finally rolled around, I was a bit of a mess but also really excited to finally show everyone what we’d been working on. The guest posts were incredible and powerful. Women sharing their stories and thoughts on how their lives have been affected by rape culture, and how All the Rage is so important in fighting this problem. I’m still so grateful to everyone who participated/tweeted/commented/etc. because the month would never have been as amazing without it.

There’s a few reasons why I did this. The first is pretty simple: Courtney Summers is my favourite author, and I will promote her books as much as I possibly can. I love having a platform (as small as it is!) to talk about the books I love and, hopefully, get them into the hands of readers. The second reason for doing this is also kind of simple: her books are important. Courtney Summers always books about difficult subjects with grit and emotion. These are the kinds of books that can change lives. That can tell people they’re not alone, they’ll be okay, and to keep going. All the Rage was her most powerful novel to date, and it tore me apart to read. But, I also know how important it is. I wish I could just hand it out on street corners, shout about it from the rooftops. Instead, I settled on spending a month promoting it on my blog.

This was my way of contributing to the greater conversation. It may have been small, but I hope it helped.”