Dear reader, (letter from my soul)

part one: introduction

Hi, I'm Jenn, and I'm the blogger at this lonely, neglected YA book blog.

 Reintroduction because it's been MONTHS since my last post. I'M SORRY. ;u;

But I'm officially a second semester senior, which means I'm cruising through life, haha. Or at least until May with IB and AP exams, right? Also officially Cornell 2016 so if you're there/going to be there, give me a shoutout and we can hangout and talk YA! //life goal fulfilled

Just a quick update for now because I PROMISE PROMISE PROMISE that I will post up at least one review this week. Some publishers have been amazing and have still sent me some 2012 releases that I was salivating over last year. Though, for some reason, I've been in a reading rut since my last post... I think I've read a grand total of four YA books since then?

It's the first time I've ever had a reading block this bad but I just read the Goddess Test by Amy Carter yesterday and it kind of reminded me why I loved/love YA. So hopefully that's a sign that I'll move past it soon, but I'll make a conscious effort over the next couple days. Partially because I want to put up some reviews, mostly because it feels good to rediscover something you love, right? :)


part two: ramblings on who I am & blogging

This break and the relief from college worries really makes me look past at my past posts in a new light. My review style constantly changed because I wasn't sure if I wanted to be a more polished or more personable reviewer. I get inspired by so many things - which also applies to my art - and it just doesn't work with my personality; I want to be good at everything, even if I'm not the best. My tragic flaw, hm?

My new resolution is thus to just be ME when I review. I think my favorite format is taking notes while I read and sticky beautiful quotes - when I happen to have stickies nearby, haha. That way I can really separate the experience and my analysis of the book's objective merit. And, you know, the latter isn't all that fun sometimes. So I'm not entirely sure what I'll be doing, but probably look for reviews in a much less structured, less formal format. Hopefully you're used to my endless brain babble by now so it won't be too much of a culture shock.

Another or maybe just more general resolution of mine is to relax in general. I still love, love, love YA but I have the shortest attention span ever, lol. When I get too immersed in something, I fizzle out quickly. And whenever I take a break from blogging and want to come back, I feel like it's jumping in an ice cold river. The YA blogosphere is amazing in its dynamic nature - but it's also slightly intimidating sometimes, keeping up with the latest hype, the upcoming releases, and the newest crushes. In the past, when I returned from a hiatus, I really RETURNED. Yes, in caps. To be a "good" blogger (take the "good" how you will), I stalked other blogs obsessively and was always planning some way to make my blog better for readers. But isn't that a good thing? I think so - in moderation. Not when I'm literally spending every evening, the entire evening minus maybe a half an hour of schoolwork and two hours of instrumental practice, on doing those two blog-related things. That's just my personal opinion though, and I greatly respect the amazing bloggers who are able to chug endlessly with that kind of dedication. But that's just not me, and this cycle of complete dedication to disinterest to re-dedication applies to all my other interests as well. Gaming, drawing, watching dramas. Cycle between all of those and you have my hobbies for a year. Can I balance them? I'm trying.

I'm not sorry to be who I am, but I'm sorry if I can't be the blogger you would like me to be. By "you," I don't mean anyone who's reading this, but this omnipresent "you" that I've felt through my scant years of blogging. This constantly watchful "you" who always pressures me to be better.
Do you have that "you" too?


part three: the summary

If you just read that huge wall of text, you probably know me better than some of my friends too. Honestly, this post started as a quick update but instead took an hour to type.

And that's good. That's what blogging should be, in my opinion. A catharsis and a place for sharing our love of books. It's just been a hard journey for me to truly realize that and not just pay it lip-service. Don't get me wrong, Books At Midnight HAS been those two things for me; it and its amazing-lovely-can-never-compliment-enough readers have been here supporting me through difficult times (oh you, teenage angst) and I love all the discussions and the swooning over eye candy. But it's also been a quest to be better, and while I still hope to become better as a reader and a blogger of useful/enjoyable/both reviews, I want to drop the part where it's a quest for numbers or a quest for acknowledgement. Yeah, I like knowing that people read and appreciate what I have to say, but having a YA-interested friend is so much more important. So thank you so much, Books At Midnight and my faithful readers/followers/friends/companions on this YA journey.

I LOVE YOU GUYS AS MUCH AS EDWARD LOVES BELLA. Which is a whole lot, okay.

... while I'm coming clean, I made this blog to get FREE BOOKS. Don't lie, who doesn't like them? Some people say that don't start a blog to get books. But when you're 13 and broke, it's hard; I get it. Or maybe you're 28 or 96 and you just like free things. I can understand too. So while you may start a book blog just (or mostly) for free books, don't continue blogging just for free books. The time investment isn't worth it. What IS worth it is if you can move past that and blog because (or mostly because) you truly love YA. And I do so, so much. And it's so, so worth it.  
//end cheesy advice that probably everyone knows


part four: other stuff

EMAIL: if you emailed me over the past who knows how long, I've probably missed it. I'll probably respond to more recent emails (maybe, probably), but if you'd really like to contact me and I haven't responded, please email again. Sorry! Additionally, I probably won't be actively seeking interviews or guest posts as much anymore, so if you'd like to be featured, shoot over an email! That being said, I'll probably also be accepting less to review, but it's all up in the air at the moment.

And when I say my email is open to anything book-related, I mean it. So don't be scared to email me because I'm a lonely, lonely person who just sits at home all day and grows fat and watches my invisible cats.

And now I must really get back to math project that I should have been doing during this time, lol. Do these personal glimpses make me feel like a person, or do they just feel weird?
Either way, I'll be an adult this year and AH THE WONDERS OF MATURITY that have driven me to right this soul-baring, embarrassingly long, somewhat redundant, and extremely rambling letter.
I will probably look back at this and want to hide under a rock. But I'm not going back to reread (and thus edit, agh) it because I want this to be an honest divulging of my thoughts. 

If you just read that entire thing, I am in eternal awe.

Happy Chinese new year! I've posted an art piece I did for Chinese new year below just to prove I haven't been ENTIRELY slacking - just kind of. And to truly wish everyone a new zodiac year filled with joy, prosperity, yummy food, and great books!

Your forever silly yet devoted blogger,