The Blogger Spotlight section highlights people in the book blogging community whose work I really admire. If you’re at all active on Goodreads, you’ve probably seen the popular reviews of “Wendy Darling.” Her insightful reviews are some of my favorites, so I wanted to feature the blog she contributes to as well! The Midnight Garden has such a fun variety of posts — like check out these DIY Queen of Shadows temporary tattoos!
You can find Wendy at:
Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Her Blog
• Tell us a little bit about your blog — what kinds of things do you post?
We review mostly YA, though we occasionally also do fun things like book tattoos, bookish snacks, author guest posts, and giveaways! We also moved our classics discussions group over to GoodReads so it’s easier to manage.
• Are you more active on one particular platform?
I’m kind of sporadic everywhere right now, honestly! It’s been a busy year. I’m probably most active on Instagram and GoodReads, then Twitter. I’m trying to be better about Tumblr and Pinterest, but sometimes I feel like I’m scrambling to keep up with everything, particularly because I try to provide different content on every site. Lately I’ve really been enjoying Litsy as well, it’s a great platform for focusing on books but not feeling too much pressure to write too much.
• Is there a specific series that made you really get into YA books?
I never stopped reading YA or children’s lit, but like a lot of adults, it was THE HUNGER GAMES that brought me back. Although weirdly, I’ve read the first book a few times but never ventured a reread beyond that, because MOCKINGJAY still depresses me.
• What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year?
It’s been a pretty spectacular reading year, but my favorite 2016 book so far is SCARLETT EPSTEIN HATES IT HERE. It’s so freaking smart and funny and feminist, and was written by a former Cosmopolitan sex editor. I also LOVED an upcoming 2017 historical fantasy by Lesley Livingston called THE VALIANT, which is about girl gladiators. (You’re sold, right? That’s all it takes.) I am super excited for people to read it.
• Which 2016 release are you really looking forward to?
Like the rest of the world, I’m looking forward to EMPIRE OF STORMS, even though the fact that it is apparently 700+ pages scares me. I have to say, this has also been a fantastic year for debuts, including REBEL OF THE SANDS and TELL ME THREE THINGS and the upcoming PHANTOM LIMBS. I love being surprised by new favorites, so I hope there will be more amazing reads I wasn’t expecting.
• If you could live in one book world, what would it be?
Lyra’s Oxford. I dearly want a daemon; friend and protector and furry blanket all in one.
• If you could be best friends with any character, who would you pick?
I think Tessa Gray and I would get along splendidly.
If the love triangle of Will-Tessa-Jem was actually a proper polyamorous relationship. They’re all perfect for each other. It’d be weird to think of Infernal Devices romances without all that glorious suffering, though. Like, what would they do all day long if they weren’t pining for each other.
• If you could hang out with any author for a day, who would you choose?
I’ve gotten to hang out one-on-one with Leigh Bardugo (always always eating and drinking) and Heidi Shulz (also eating, but my favorite was our tour of Beverly Cleary’s Portland!) and a few other authors, which has been very fun. But I’d also love to take Marcus Sedgwick for a drink, or pet goats with Maggie Stiefvater, or give Philip Pullman and uncomfortable (for him, not me) hug.
• What’s been the coolest part of book blogging so far?
Oh, man. I love helping books find an audience, particularly the ones without huge marketing budgets or the ones that will never hit the bestseller list; we’re small potatoes in the scheme of things, but I know bloggers can truly make a difference. Selfishly, I also love that over the years I’ve built a good circle of GoodReads friends whose tastes I know so I can tell whether I should pay attention if they like a book, it’s very helpful if I’m shopping at a bookstore to be able to pull up reviews and ratings instantly on the app.
• Any advice to someone looking to start their own blog, bookstagram, booklr, etc?
Be sincere. About the books, and about why you’re doing it. People ask me all the time how they can improve their reviews, and my answer is always that–for me, sincerity of feeling trumps everything else, including language or formatting or style or cleverness. As for blogging itself, I was thinking about this recently–the blogs I like the most aren’t necessarily the flashiest or most popular ones. If you sincerely love sharing your love of books with others, you’ll find your audience.
Thanks for sharing!
Thanks again for having me, Cait. 🙂