What is “The Book Vortex”

Apparently there has been some confusion on what this website is. Not from other book lovers like me, but from people who are completely unaware of what a book blog even is! Keep reading as I try and explain it a little for you.

1) Book Reviews
A book blog gets books to review. This can come from many places. The library, bookstore, friends, Netgalley, publishers, and sometimes even authors themselves. It is a book reviewers job to give an honest and helpful opinion on a book. Honest obviously means telling exactly what you felt about the book good or bad. Helpful means don’t flame the author. That means a reviewer can critique the merits of the book. What parts of the book did they not like, what parts of the writing technically were bad, what overall story points did not make sense. This does not include ever, ever, EVER critiquing the author personally. It is our job to talk about the books not the author. Kind of like if you don’t like a TV show you criticize the show itself and NOT the personality or the lives of the actors. You talk about, praise or critique, the actual piece of work.

2) Book discussions
That’s what this post is. It’s a discussion on things happening in the book world. Discussion posts are when you discuss either a certain aspect of books (for example my post on Villains a while ago) or talk about the book world (like announcing when an author has signed for a new book). These are just posts where the blogger (me) will talk directly to the reader (you).

3) Writing
This is not something that all of the book blogs have, however, some of them do include it. This is a type of post where I discuss my own personal journey in the writing world so that I may relate to other readers who are also writers. Writing can seem like a very solitary journey sometimes and so it is always nice to get to communicate with others who share the same passion as you.

4) Guest Post
We have several guest posts here on The Book Vortex. They are all my friends or relatives. I have two friends, Eline and Priscilla, who have shared their thoughts on here. There are also two relatives of mine, Paul and Cathy, who are sharing their thoughts on books. They can either be discussion posts like I have already discussed or reviews.

5) Blog Tours
Blog tours are online promotional tours for authors and their books. Traditionally they include author interviews, character interviews, and guest posts from the authors as well as reviews. Here on The Book Vortex I participate in Blog Tours as well as organize them.

That about sums up what a book blogger does. Hope that is helpful for those out there who aren’t sure exactly what it is I spend my time doing.

The Did Not Finish Pile

Every once in a while as reviewers we all get those books we can’t finish. The first time I ever had a book so bad that it was painful to read was in August and I had no clue that we were allowed to mark it as DNF. It took me forever to finish reading that book and eventually I just started skipping huge sections of it and when I finished I felt like I had lost days of my life and could never get them back. Like my life force had just been sucked out of me and I couldn’t move because my brain was scarred for life. Luckily that has only ever happened once.

Today I am going to talk about two other books that were DNF for me. I am going to tell you what they are because I feel like this, it’s my job to let you know what I thought of books and I have to tell it honestly even if it means telling you about books I couldn’t get all the way through. The two books I am going to talk about were not horrid books. They were both well written and put together and for the most part (aka the part I actually got through) the story and characters flowed very nicely together.

Book Number One:

This is the second book in the Lies Beneath series. The first book was Lies Beneath and I gave it 3 stars. That says that it was okay. To me that means I didn’t love it, but at the same time I did not hate it. It was an okay read and others should give it a shot before they put it down. The series is about mermaids, which at first was something I thought would be really cool. I love The Little Mermaid and the Disney movie The 13th Year so I thought this one would peak my interest too. Plus it happens on Lake Superior, one of the Great Lakes, and since I am from the Great Lake state I thought it would pull me in even more. I was able to make it through that book, but when I was reading the second book, even though it had a good story going for it, I just couldn’t get sucked in enough. I had to make the decision to not commit myself to reading the rest of it because chances are I would have given it a bad rating and bad review because it just didn’t peak my interest. I am writing about it on here today because I believe both of these books have a good writing quality and a good storyline, it just wasn’t for me.

Book Number Two:

This book was sent to me by the author for review. I was very grateful to receive this book. I like the premise of the book. A boy falls in love with a girl online and the girl just happens to be his best friend in real life. Interesting concept. I was reading this book from an e-reader and I am not sure if it would have looked differently in a printed version or not, but my eyes crossed a little because of the set up. Some of the passages are formatted to look like emails and IM’s back and forth between the characters. Sounds cool in theory, but as I was reading that was something that drove me a little nuts. Other than that it was an alright read, however like Deep Betrayal it wasn’t something that pulled me in enough to keep me reading. Also a reiteration from before the writing itself was good and there are tons of other people who I know would love it. That’s why I am sharing this.

I have been learning over the past few years of reading and since starting this website that my taste in genres is not as large and open as I once thought it was. A contemporary has to be amazing in order to really pull me in. Same with urban fantasies, whatever element in the story that makes it fantasy really has to stick out. It has to be special. I have learned that I much prefer fantasy books or historical fiction even some alternate history. Books with no magic or sword fighting not so much. So while these books did not drag me into the pages head first I know that for some of you they will! Give them a shot and let me know what you think!

June 30 Event Questions

The ForeverYA Event on June 30 is just around the corner! Leave a question for the authors in the comments and I’ll be sure to put it on the list to ask them!

As a reminder here are the authors participating!

Sharon Cameron author of The Dark Unwinding and A Spark Unseen

Kristin Tubb author of The 13th Sign and Selling Hope

Courtney Stevens author of Faking Normal

Heather L Reid author of Pretty Dark Nothing

Author of The Survivor Series including The Survivors and Point of Origin

Throwback Thursday June 27, 2013

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books

It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

You don’t have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don’t have a blog at all, just use the comments to tell us about a book you remember fondly.

There are several publication dates listed, but Goodreads says that it was first published in 2004. That makes me 13. I can remember the day I bought this book I came home from the bookstore with several books. I remember leaning against my bed and spreading all of the books out in front of my on the floor. I marveled at the beauty of the cover for The Cup of the World .
This book has a great mysterious opening and follows a teenager named Phaedra who receives mysterious dream visits from a handsome man. We get to follow Phaedra as she betrays her father and leaves her home to follow this man who has been haunting her dreams. As a thirteen year old I thought that this was an incredibly brave move by Phaedra. She was doing something that she believed in and made hard to decision to leave everything she ever knew behind to support that believe. Almost a decade later I scream a little inside at Phaedra. How stupid could she have been!?! Following a stranger who invaded her dreams and deceived her, convincing her to leave her father and marry him. Nowadays I would call that extremely creepy and maybe even kidnap.
I must admit though I haven’t read this book in a few years so maybe my kidnapper observation is a little extreme. This book is definitely worth a second read though and obviously a first read by anyone who hasn’t read it yet.