#CritYourFaves Sign Up Post

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Introduction:

Often, it’s too easy for us to turn a blind eye to the flaws in our favourite books or series. Although there is no such thing as an objectively perfect work of fiction, it’s difficult to confront issues in the things we love. While it may be uncomfortable, or at times painful, I think it’s essential to point out lack of representation or perpetuation of harmful tropes and themes – no matter what kind of media you consume.

The #CritYourFave blog event encourages you to post discussion throughout the month of October, analysing your favourite book or series through a more critical lens. It’s not my intention to tell you to stop the things you love, but to acknowledge any misgivings they may have. If this sounds like something you would like to do, then sign up below!

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When?

Sign up will open from now until the end of September. You can post from any time between the 1st – 31st of October.

I will be posting a link up at the start of October with the names, blog links, and subject for all those who signed up, so anyone interested can keep an eye on their blog for their discussion post.

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What Do I Need?

Anyone can sign up as long as they have some sort of platform to post their discussion on, be it blog, tumblr, or vlogs. Please use the hashtag #CritYourFave when you promote the post on social media so that others can find your post.

A twitter account is not necessary, but I will be hosting a twitter chat during the month of October. I will also be retweeting and promoting everyone’s post on my own twitter.

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Prompts

Here is a list of possible discussion topics, but of course, you can choose one of your own.

  • The lack of diverse representation in a book series
  • Problematic faves and how to deal with it
  • Discuss a series you love and what issues you had with it
  • Discussion of a harmful trope and how it’s detrimental to the book and its readers e.g. woman in the fridge, racial stereotypes, toxic masculinity
  • Tokenisation in book(s)
  • Post-series revelations (e.g. Dumbledore being gay, Hermione could be black) and why they are not good enough
  • Queer baiting in fiction
  • Unhealthy romance in fiction

I really could go on, but anything goes here! The only thing I ask is to AVOID AD HOMINEM. Please critique and analyse the work, not its creator or authors. Encourage honest discussion, but avoid personal attacks.

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Sign Up

Just fill out the Google Form below.

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If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to throw them my way. For now, happy reading!

Potterhead July: Tales of Beedle the Bard and the Power of Stories

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First of all, I would like to thank you to every single person who has contributed a post or commented on a Potterhead July post – you’ve made July truly magical. We have less than a week left until the release of The Cursed Child, and I hope we will all love it as much as we loved the adventures of Harry Potter.

Here’s my own entry for the Potterhead July festival, admittedly several weeks late because I am horribly disorganized and got consumed by Pokemon GO. I also wanted to chance to finish rereading The Tales of Beedle the Bard before I completed this post because I wanted it to be a truly informed and comprehensive discussion on the function of fictional works – both within our real lives and within the world of Harry Potter.

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I remember my initial excitement over The Tales of Beedle the Bard, and how it made me felt closer to Harry Potter’s fantastical world. It felt right that young witches and wizards would also fall asleep to bedtime stories, and that these repeated stories should be more powerful than they seem. After all, isn’t this exactly what happens in real life? I have always loved books about stories, especially the ones that hid truths in plain sight or became more powerful with each telling. The Tale of the Three Brothers will eventually go on to become a fine example of this fact.

The wizarding’s world lack of fictional books prior to the reveal of Beedle the Bard have always struck me as odd. Here was a group of people living amongst the magic we Muggles could only dream of, yet they seemed utterly devoid of fictional imagination. Where was their equivalent for Tolkien, or Jane Austen, or J. K. Rowling? Entire generations of children grew up to be obsessed over Quidditch and love potion, where people poured over gossips penned by Rita Skeeter, yet where were the people in love with fictional universes? Hermione Granger, our resident bookworm, mentions only non-fictional biography or textbooks. Even Gilderoy Lockhart’s wildly fictitious accounts were based on the real life and works of other witches and wizards.

Naturally, the lack of fictional works in the world of Harry Potter had a very obvious explanation: it’s a gap in JKR’s immense world-building. To an avid fantasy reader like myself (and like most readers of Harry Potter), it’s an absence that made the wizarding world less believable – simply because I think a civilisation cannot exist in the absence of stories. Do wizarding folks simply not need fantasy because their life is literally magic? Do they not need grand legend and tales because, for them, Merlin and the philosopher’s stone are real? Somehow, I doubted this. When Tales of Beedle the Bard arrived, it saved me from a wizarding world identity crisis. It’s OK, everyone, they also grew up with stories, they also know of their power. Continue reading “Potterhead July: Tales of Beedle the Bard and the Power of Stories”

Discussion: Why Shipping Is Important To Me

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Divider-ArrowsI have always been a shipper, and will always proudly admit to that. My first reading experience was manga such as Detective Conan – where I began rooting for Shinichi and Ran to get together, even at the tender age of 6. Similarly, I became overly invested in the mysterious and thrilling romance between Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask. It seems that whenever I care about a work of fiction, my emotional investment lead me to root for these characters and their relationships. Continue reading “Discussion: Why Shipping Is Important To Me”

Discussion: 7 Things Bloggers Should Almost Never Apologize For!

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In my experience, being apologetic over the way you blog is the first step on a fast track towards misery. Ever since I reached my 6 months milestone in blogging, I have been taking a step back and putting things into more perspective. Personally, I want blogging to remain first and foremost a hobby. In the previous months, blogging was increasingly taking a toll on other parts of my life, I have yet to learn time management. I found that the surest way to stop stressing over my hobby was to quit apologizing for imaginary flaws. This is more a post to myself, but I hope that others will find it relatable. Continue reading “Discussion: 7 Things Bloggers Should Almost Never Apologize For!”

Discussion: When Your Favourite Book Is Problematic

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If you’ve spent any amount of time reading about reading books on the Internet (as you do!), you’ll know exactly the feeling I’m talking about. That moment when blissful fangirl happiness curdles when someone, somewhere, points out that the book isn’t nearly as perfect as you believe. Even worse, it has problematic elements – whether it be social or cultural. How do you deal with this? Take a deep breath my friend, it’s OK – you’ll get through this, and you’ll still be able to love your book at the end of it. Continue reading “Discussion: When Your Favourite Book Is Problematic”

Discussion: The Integrity of Book Blogging

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Honesty in my reviews and interaction is something I have always strived for as a book blogger. As a community, book bloggers seem to value sincerity above all. With so many factors potentially influencing our opinion of a book, I personally find it easy to lose sight of my own opinion on a book. I’ll be working through my thought processes in this post, and I hope you can help me! Continue reading “Discussion: The Integrity of Book Blogging”

Discussion Post: Who Am I Blogging For?

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In some ways, thus post is a continuation of the one I wrote last week regarding blog posts I enjoyed as a non-blogger. Writing it made me re-evaluate why I started and continue to blog. According to WordPress, this will be my 100th post on the blog, so I wanted to recap and review my own journey as a blogger. As with all my discussion posts, I don’t have a concrete answer – but would love to hear your side of things, too!

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It goes without saying that I blog for myself first and foremost. I initially started this blog as more of a book journal, one that I never expected or wanted anyone to read. It meant that most of what I wrote was book reviews, they were a way for me to keep track of the books I read. It also helped motivated me to read more books – I went from someone who read maybe 2 books a month to a crazed devourer of 4 books a week! Continue reading “Discussion Post: Who Am I Blogging For?”

Discussion: Posts I Loved Reading As A Non Blogger

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Although I began blogging four months ago, it feels a lot longer, and the direction of my blog has changed a little. There are a lot of dialogue floating around about ‘blogging niche’ and ‘finding your target audience’. I’ve always written about things that directly interested me, which I find is increasingly more blogging-related rather than bookish-related. I started wondering if my past self, the non blogger – would even bother reading my blog if she stumbled upon it?

As bloggers, it’s very easy to get caught up in our little circle and forget about other potential audience. Today, I take a step back, for the sake of my past self! Continue reading “Discussion: Posts I Loved Reading As A Non Blogger”

Discussion: Authorial Intent VS Reader’s Interpretation

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You guessed right, this post is partially inspired by the immature Teen ‘article’ condemning Teen Wolf fanfiction that made its way across twitter yesterday. It’s also an issue that’s crossed my mind in a few times during my recent reads, especially ‘Fangirl’ by Rainbow Rowell.

This is a question that we as fans debate again and again, whether it’s about a new or ongoing series, whether it’s books or other forms of media. Once an author has placed their book out there into the world, they cannot control how readers react, nor can they stop their fandom from coming up with head canons, from dreaming up subtexts and themes.

As a reader, I used to feel bad about ‘going against’ the author’s wishes. While I accepted that other fans may have different opinions and will always respect them for it, I viewed the canon as ‘law’. My thoughts on the matter has changed a bit lately.Divider-Ice

Characters & Their Development

This is more obvious with series, where characters grow and change with each book (as they should!) When I was younger, I often rolled with it when characters changed – even if it was not in a direction I particularly liked. For example, Harry of Book Five bugged a lot of people, myself included – but I recognised why JKR took him in that direction.

However, there are two recent examples of character development that have bafffled me. Firstly, Chaol of Throne of Glass – and secondly, Theron of Snow Like Ashes. I won’t elaborate on how they have changed, to spare you all spoilers – but I know I’m amongst the majority when I say that they feel like completely different people. Is it still good development when I can’t see HOW they became who they are? Yet, who would understand a character better than their own creator – who spend years in their head space? As fans, are we right to feel disappointed when the characters we love end up unrecognisable?  Continue reading “Discussion: Authorial Intent VS Reader’s Interpretation”

Discussion: 4 Common Book Blogger Insecurities (And Why They Don’t Matter!)

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Today, I discuss things I used to, and still do, worry about as a book blogger. I’m my own harshest critic and I have so many insecurities about my style of blogging.  I also discuss how I got over them. I would love to hear your own thoughts and experiences!

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Being a book blogger is an expensive hobby, especially when you have to shell out for each book yourself. As a new blogger, I also felt that no one would want to read my posts unless I was reviewing the hottest new releases. After all, that’s what all the big bloggers I look up to are talking about!

Why It Doesn’t Matter:

  • Review copies are a double edged blade, not having them actually means you have more freedom to read what you want!
  • Even as a new blogger, you can sign up to get eARCs with great success from either Netgalley or Edelweiss. I got quite a few off Netgalley even when I was a fledgeling blogger with 5 posts under her belt.
  • There are plenty of other ways to access books: via the library, via trading e.g. #bookfortrades or #ausbooktrade, via borrowing from your friends.
  • The book will eventually be released! I was so envious of everyone who read Six of Crows early – I bought and finished the book last week. Does it make me any less of an ardent fangirl? NOPE.

Continue reading “Discussion: 4 Common Book Blogger Insecurities (And Why They Don’t Matter!)”