Happy 4th Blogiversary to My Tiny Obsessions!!!!

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People! My blog turns 4 years today!!!

4thblogiversary_1Last year I explained a bit how and why I decided to start a blog, but My Tiny Obsessions only turned into a book blog in the middle of 2015. I still try to have more diverse content, such as posts about music, TV and movies, but I’m not watching that much TV lately, so I’ve been lacking on that department.

Let me just make a few comments on how the last year of blogging went here, ok?

  • In the past year I had over 100,000 views from over 50,000 viewers (my total is now 255k views and 149k viewers);
  • I gathered over 22,000 likes and over 9,000 comments (which brings my total to 34k likes and 18k comments!);
  • I wrote over 600 posts during the last year, which means I have over 1600 posts on this blog;
  • 1,782 WordPress followers and 2,625 total followers (last year I had 763 WP and 1,230 total followers);
  • I started reading a lot more Romance and Contemporary and I like it;
  • I got eARCs from some of my favorite authors this year, and again, I liked it!

Overall, it was a good blogging year for me, and I hope I keep doing this for a long time to come.

A huge THANK YOU to all my followers and blogger friends!
you make this worthwhile :D.

Pushing the Limits (Katie McGarry)

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“I won’t tell anyone, Echo. I promise.” Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. “You didn’t do that-did you? It was done to you?” No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked. 

So wrong for each other…and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.


I read this book as a buddy read with  Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too, so go to her blog on the next few days to check out her review of this book.

Pushing the Limits was yet another book that had been sitting on my kindle for a long long time, and this December was the perfect time to finally get to it. I’m glad I did, but apart from the fact that this a contemporary YA romance, I knew next to nothing about it.

I really enjoyed the writing, the book is told in dual POV and I think that McGarry was able to capture the internal struggles of each character perfectly, giving them two very distinct voices. There was also humour within the very serious storyline, and I really appreciated that.

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I liked both main characters, and there were some things that I thought they weren’t being exactly fair, but they were 17, so they very much acted their age. Both their stories are tragic, and I felt for both Echo and Noah, but I think that Echo’s story would have been a little worst?! Have you read this book? Maybe you know what I mean…

But in spite of loving the 2 main characters, I pretty much hated a lot of other characters in this book, and I wish that Echo would have been more her person, because she took a long time to see that some people were not good for her. But I did kind of understood her dad…

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The romance was sweet, Echo and Noah together were cute as hell! I thought it was amazing how much they both grew during the book, and how much they helped each other get to a better versions of themselves.

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Overall, I really did enjoy this book. It’s not an easy read, and it has some heavy elements, but it’s so well done. I have to admit that maybe I was expecting a little bit more, but the book didn’t WOW me, even though I really liked and want to read the rest of the series.

2017 New Adult Reading Challenge Announcement

Guys, check this out! Cátia is hosting a New Adult Reading Challenge for 2017. Go check it out and sign in 😀

The Girl Who Read Too Much

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Hi guys! It’s the end of 2016 and with the end of the year comes new reading challenges. If you know me or follow this blog you know that I love reading new adult. If you follow me you also know that I’ve tried to do the Popsugar Reading Challenge for 2 years straight and failed both times. One of the reasons is because some of the categories are completely out of my comfort zone. Because of that I decided to host a 2017 New Adult Reading Challenge. This means that in 2017 I’ll try to read as many new adult books as possible and you can join me if you want. Either you already love new adult or you want to start reading it you’re welcome to participate in this reading challenge. But before you decide either you want to participate or not let me explain how everything…

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It’s been almost 2 weeks, and I still can’t believe it… Yes, I’m talking about that stupid election…

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It has been a few days since the election results came out, and I think I’m still in shock. It’s hard to wrap my head around this and how it happened, my brain can’t compute it.

I’ve been feeling the need to vent out my thoughts on the matter since day one, but I’ve also been unable to actually form them coherently, but I don’t care, I need to talk about it, I need to share why it’s such a disturbing idea to me.

First of all I think I’ll give you some context about me. I’m not a member of any minority. I’m a middle class, heterosexual, white woman. I’m “normal” by any western standard. But I was lucky enough to have been born in Portugal, in a free time, after the revolution. My next door neighbours while I was growing up were black people from one of the Portuguese old colonies. My mom and 2 older brothers were born in Angola. I was lucky enough that I lived in a huge city and in small villages, and I learned the life in the city and in the country. I started to travel at a young age, first with my dad, then alone and with my mom. I got to know different cultures, places and people. I’ve been to several places in Europe, I’ve been to Africa, I’ve been to Northern and Southern America, and I’ve been to Asia. I was raised with the knowledge that as a woman I could do anything. I decided to go into Science and I’m doing a PhD in an area where women dominate. I have several mixed race people in my family. My first boyfriend was from indian ancestry. My mother and brother live in Africa.

With everything said above, I’m a very open minded person. I never truly dealt with racism. I was never in a situation where someone told me I couldn’t do something because I was born a girl. Heck, my dad is the one cooking and cleaning in our house! I was never put down because of religion, or my lack of. I’m not saying racism, bigotry, xenophobia and chauvinism don’t exist in this country, because they sure do, I’m just saying that I was never that exposed to them.

So for ME, the result of the 2016 General Elections in the US is heartbreaking.

I’ll start by saying that I do understand somewhat why it happened. People wanted change, the process of globalization forgets a huge part of the population, and the system in the USA politics was in dire need of change. I understand that people are scared. I get all that. I really do. But how people thought that electing Donald Trump was the answer to their problems, it’s beyond me.

I have to say I don’t understand most of the criticism to Hillary Clinton. You might think that she wasn’t adequate for the job, but my problem is the “why” that people give for this fact. People call her corrupt, and again, why? People don’t trust her, why? The emails? Benghazi? People say that she’s an ice queen, she’s cold, and I wonder, would they think a cold man wouldn’t be good enough to hold office?

But still, no matter what your opinion of Hillary is or was, the question is:

HOW COULD ANYONE THINK THAT DONALD TRUMP WAS A BETTER OPTION?

We’re talking about a man who’s first message was about racism and xenophobia. A man who talked about deporting migrants and called Mexicans “criminal and rapists”.

A man who encouraged Islamophobia saying that all Muslims should be registered, and that they should be subjected to special kinds of checks. And their entering the US should came to a halt.

This is a guy who incited violence in his rallies!!!

A man who defended the use of torture and the killing of civilians.

This is a man who bragged about sexual assaulting women. And then when accused of it, his defense was “did you see them? they weren’t pretty enough for me to sexual abuse them“.

A man who feels the need to score a woman’s looks each times he talks about them!

A man who made fun of disabled people.

Who said that women should get punished for getting abortions.

Insulted war heroes and veterans!

A man who is supported by the KKK!

I don’t know guys, I don’t understand how this happened. How money came before human rights. How 42% of women voted for this awful awful person. How minorities still thought that voting for this abhorrence was better than to vote for someone who fought for women’s and children’s rights all over the world.

Trump wants to defund planned parenthood.

He said that the solution to the school shootings, was to allow children to carry firearms. CHILDREN!

This is a guy who publicly said that global warming is a stunt created by the Chinese!

HOW DID SOMEONE WHO LIED THROUGHOUT HIS ALL CAMPAIGN STILL WON?

He did though… don’t ask me why, because I’ve been waking up since November 9 still thinking that this is just a bad dream that I’m gonna wake up from at any time, but he did. Now what’s to be done?

In all honesty, from someone sitting from the outside, I don’t believe that anything can keep him from office. But people need to keep questioning everything. And exposing everything.

Protests are great, and I agree that people should express their feelings – it’s their right and this is an important issue – but they will solve very little, unfortunately. People will need to be vigilant in the upcoming years.

People need to actively show that they don’t support Trump’s views.

We don’t need silent shows of support to the issues regarding minorities. We need unequivocal ones.

Stop getting your news through Facebook, and if you do, make sure they come from a reliable source, because 39% of the “republican news” during the campaign were FALSE! Pure lies. So support real news teams. Subscribe to actual papers.As John Oliver so well put it, donate to the institutions that will need founds more than ever in the upcoming years.

But now that several days have passed, the reality of what it means for this man to become the president of the United States keeps getting scarier. He chose Michael T. Flynn for National Security Adviser, a guy who said that “Fear of Muslims is RATIONAL.” and defends strong ties to Russia. His Attorney General will be Jeff Sessions, who defends strict immigration laws and made a few racist remarks a few years back. Then we have Steve Bannon as Chief strategist and senior adviser, and there’s just no way around this one, because he’s a white supremacist.

And Mike Pence as his VP! This is a person who defends conversion therapy and said that if abortions were allowed for rape victims, then all women would want to be raped in order to miss work!

This is beyond scary!

At this point, and even though this is looking worse by the minute, it doesn’t even matter if he does something while he sits in the White House, because he’s already done more than enough. He made people afraid.

The fact that this piece of shit was elected, legitimized and validated hate crimes all over the country, because hey, if a guy who says those deplorable stuff gets elected, it means that the other people can do it too, right?

This is sickening. It’s disgusting. I can’t rationalize how a person like him, with his ideologies, with his lies, was able to convince so many people to vote for him.

I’m worried for everyone who lives in the US. I’m worried that some European countries will try to follow suit. I’m scared for what this could mean to women’s and LGBT’s rights. I’m afraid that this will be normalized.

This is NOT normal!

Dear Trump Supporters

Read it!

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You did this.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully forced this country to take a giant step backward.

You’ve handed one of the most powerful countries in the world over to a man with 0 political experience.

You’ve just elected a president that ran their entire campaign on hatred and insulted millions of people along the way.

Many of the the people that I trusted the most and looked up to in college identified as gay, bisexual, or gender non conforming. Your vote for Trump told the LGBTQIAP+ community that you don’t believe that they should have basic human rights, like marrying the person they love or having protection from discrimination. Is that how you make America “great” again?

One of my best friends from high school is Muslim. Your vote for Trump told Muslims that instead of seeing what the majority of people who follow Islam believe, you will continue to falsely…

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Let’s Talk About: Problems of Being an International Reader & Blogger… ARCs

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Hey people! Last week I started this whole “Problems of Being an International Reader & Blogger” thing talking about the difficulties we have accessing books. But did you know that we also have a major drawback when it comes to obtaining ARCs? Yep… so let’s see what’s up with that, shall we?


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This is as much as a common problem to us, international book bloggers, as not being able to access a published book whenever.

If you’re just starting out this whole book blogging thing, you might be a little clueless, because I know I was when I first started out. Heck, I didn’t even know what an ARC was. And just to clarify (in case there is someone out there doing this o_O), ARC stands for advance reading copy, and it’s a copy of the book given to librarians, booksellers, bloggers, etc, to create a buzz around said book and get the reviews going.

So, back on topic, if you’re like me, you’ve probably already gone to google and typed out “how to get ARCs” or any variation of those words, and you’ve come across a bunch of amazing posts telling you exactly what to do, who to write to, how to word your request, …, everything. Those posts are awesome! Except for the fact that they don’t really apply to us, international peps.


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You’ve read those tips, and they all tell you some important points, like you should blog frequently and for a few months before attempting a request, you should review books frequently on said blog, you should have an X number of followers and daily views, etc. When I first read this, I jumped and down from excitement, because I ticked all those boxes at the time.

So I kept following their advices, like explaining to the publisher why you want to review that specific book, and so on. I then gathered a list of books I was dying to read (and knew the arcs were starting to make their way out), compiled the mails, wrote and rewrote my email to them, and then clicked “send”. I repeated the whole process a few times, until it dawned on me that every single blogger I had seen with physical arcs came from the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Philippines.

I was dismayed!

The right thing to do here would be to write the publishers from YOUR country and ask them for those ARCs, but again, most books don’t make it out of the English speaking market, and those few that do, take time to do it. Also, that would mean that I would have to read in portuguese or spanish and I don’t have enough brain cells for that.

Now, I’m not saying that they NEVER send out physical ARCs to international bloggers, because I’m sure they do. I’m just saying that said bloggers will have to have worked 5 times harder, have 5 times the following, and so on, to even make it worth their while.

And while I do get it, because for publishers the goal is to market the book where it will actually be sold, it sucks big time nonetheless.

International Bloggers, raise hands if you ever got a physical ARC from the publisher! Go ahead, tell me!


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You’re probably thinking: “yeah, that kind of sucks, but there are other ways to get physical ARCs”, and sure, you would be right.

Events like BEA are huge in the US. And there are similar things going on around some other countries. Not here though! So when the whole commotion starts around the conventions time, or the “selling” drama starts on twitter, we are left wondering what would it be like to actually stand in line and grab an upcoming book, because we have no clue.

There are some other ways to get one, like several contests and giveaways, but those are random and some of them don’t even apply to us either.


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Resigning myself that I would probably never get a physical ARC, I focused my efforts on getting digital galleys. Netgalley is probably the paradise for us International people who love to read and review, given that they are a little more flexible on the whole “where the heck you’re from” thing. But still, have you’ve ever been denied because you don’t live in the US or UK? I know I have! Look at some examples:

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I mean, I’m not saying that they can’t have refused me because of other factors, but it’s pretty clear in some cases that the problem is that you simply do not live in some places.

I remember back in March I was denied for two ARCs from the same publisher, telling me that the country was the culprit. This bugged me at the time because I had reviewed the previous books by both authors just a couple of months before through Netgalley too, and from the same publisher, of course. So, what the hell, right?! I really wanted both books, so I went ahead and wrote to them, and in no time I had the two widgets on my email. With this I’m saying that it’s not that they’re not allowed to allow for international reviewers, it’s just that it’s completely random sometimes.

It’s very hard to do your best, when the decision factors are a random mess.

In several cases I was denied, I went through the trouble of writing to them, because people… I have a reasonable number of followers, I do OK in views, I mean, these are my Netgalley stats:

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… so I think I do ok, right? I post everyday. I try to post at least 3 reviews per week, both in YA and NA, so unless we’re talking about a pretty sought out book, I would think that I would manage some more approvals. Still, approvals for titles from bigger publishing houses never come, and it’s really hard to get books that I’m dying to read.


Sometimes I feel like there are totally different standards for ARCs approvals depending on where you’re from. And while I understand the different countries’ rights, I also think that if we are all blogging in the same language and putting up much of the same content, it doesn’t make sense for someone with 400 followers and who blogs twice a week, to receive an ARC that I won’t be allowed to read. When in reality, we’re targeting the exactly same audience.

Hey guys, so, this is nothing against US/UK/… bloggers. Just the opposite! Also, no ARC envy here. I’m just pointing out how unfair it is for us international people, ok?

So, hit me. Tell me your experience with ARCs as a blogger, international or otherwise. I wanna know if I’m alone in this :P.

Let’s Talk About: Problems of Being an International Reader & Blogger… Access to Books

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It’s been awhile since I’ve had the time to delve into a discussion post, but I reckon it’s about time I did it. It’s kind of a good timing to talk about this theme, because I think that the difficulties of being an international reader and blogger and lost on a lot of people, not because they’re understand it, but because it’s not their reality, you know?

I will start by the one HUGE problem of being an INTERNATIONAL READER: ACCESS TO BOOKS!

Yeah yeah… scoff away… it’s ok. Before I became a voracious reader, I would scoff too. But then I wanted to read The Mortal Instruments, and I could only find book 1 and 3 at my nearest (HUGE) bookstore, and I realized that it is a problem.


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If you don’t live in the US, UK or Australia, you might have come face to face with this problem: You don’t have access to the books you want. Sure, it can happen to anyone, but you can find the more popular books anywhere in the US, you can find them in supermarkets in the UK, and I’m guessing it’s not that hard in Australia either.

So, what are the problems in the rest of the world? Let’s talk about it a bit, ok?


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The first logical way to buy a book is going to a bookstore and just get it, right?

But if you live in, say, Portugal or Spain – my experience – I can tell you that buying a physical book can be tough. I mean, not if you’re looking for Harry Potter, or the latest thriller that’s on the cinema at the moment, but you won’t be able to find a new release… anywhere.

You can even facilitate things for yourself and read in english (that’s what most of us bloggers do, right?), but even then, where do you buy it?

I can tell you ONE chain store in Portugal that carries YA books in english, but they only get the new releases a few weeks after, and even so, it’s not a certain thing. Where I was living in Barcelona it was slightly easier because I found an all-english bookstore, and they carried a lot of new releases, from all genre, so that was very cool. And in either place you can simply order it, and the store will get it for you. The problem? THE PRICE!

While books in english are WAY CHEAPER than their translated counterparts, the import increment makes them inaccessible sometimes. For instance, see the example of Fangirl, and its prices in physical stores. Look at that difference!

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Of course, you can counter it by ordering online, and there you have places like The Book Depository or Amazon, and you can get better competitive prices. Still, while TBD doesn’t charge you for shipping, the delivery times are iffy, at best, and the timings depend a lot on where in the globe you are located. Then you have Amazon, and if you’re lucky to have one in your country, you might be able to get free shipping too, and let me tell you: I LOVE THIS. Spain has Amazon, and has free shipping for book orders over  19€, which we all know it’s not hard to get to.

Still, keep in mind that I’m talking about difficulties in two developed european countries, I can’t even fathom the difficulties that some readers from more remote locations might face.

With all of this in mind though, spending even 10€ on paperback is not easy, when you go through them in a day or two. I had months of reading 20 books, and even working, it would have been impossible for me to sustain that on a regular basis.


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Which leads me to the other great option that international readers have: the ebooks!

Let me tell you, my life changed when I bought my kindle, and it changed again when I found the kindle app for my phone. Kindles rock! Pure and simple.

Still, picking the example of Fangirl above, do you know that the kindle edition costs around 11€ in the US kindle store? YEAH. 11€!!! That’s a lot for an ebook, right?

See, buying in the kindle store takes time and patience if you don’t want to spend the big bucks. You can wait for deals, which is usually what I do, and get the books at a much more attractive price, BookBub is great for this hunting down of deals. But this means you won’t have the books you want, when you want them. Decisions… Decisions…

Because I read a lot of New Adult, finding free kindle books, or great kindle deals, is easier, and even the full priced books are not usually terrible expensive, because most of them are self published. But if you read YA, fantasy or sci-fi, buying ebooks might end up being as expensive as buying the physical copies, the only difference is the no-waiting period to enjoy your book.


disc_4By this time you’re probably wondering: “Ok Cristina, buying is expensive, we get that, but what about libraries?“.

Well… keep in mind that most of the world countries do not speak english as a first language. Ok, now think about this: most books out there are published in english. YA is not a popular genre in some countries, and others ban certain subjects on principal. So… do you think our libraries carry a lot of those books or new releases? Either in english or the translated edition?

Think again… they don’t.

Here in Portugal, most libraries have a huge technical books’ collection, or didactic books. Most will have all the classics, then all the books that have become big movies, like Harry Potter or The Hunger Games… they might even have 50 Shades of Gray. But they won’t carry Simon, or Fangirl, or even The Mortal Instruments. They won’t have Sarah J. Maas or contemporary reads about mental illness or disabilities.

And I can bet that this is true for most countries where english is not the first language.

So, how can we, international readers, depend on libraries for our reading necessities? Very simply, we can’t.


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Borrowing physical books is out of the equation, so what about ebook libraries? Or lending services?

This would be the perfect solution, right? If we could have one giant online library that would serve the world, which allowed us to borrow ebooks for a limited time… yeah…

Platforms live OverDrive, that allow you to connect to online libraries all over the world, doesn’t work all over the world. I know. I tried. Most services and platforms like this don’t actually work outside of the US.

Then there’s the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which I think it’s awesome, because if I spent money on this book, why can’t I lend it to my friend? We do it with physical books all the time. I was even lucky enough to be the receiver of Deanna @A Novel Glimpse‘s books, she lent me the whole Falling series by Ginger Scott through the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (THANK YOU FOR THAT DEANNA!!!). But while this is really great, I can’t ever do the same. Why? Because I live outside of the US, and while you can lend your US books to foreign friend abroad, said friends cannot return the favor. Heck, I can’t even lend my kindle books to my next door neighbor.

It came to the point that I wanted Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much to read a lot of my kindle books, so I her borrow my KINDLE device. Yeah, Aelin is with Catia… I trust her ;-). Still, we could do this because we live in the same city and I trust her. I wouldn’t be able to do this with anyone else.

This is clearly a problem. 

Our local libraries suffer from the same problem as mentioned above, they just don’t have the titles in their collection, so even if they have the ebook lending system, they won’t have the titles you’re dying to read.

Kindle Unlimited or other platforms like this might solve your “book quantity” problem, but by now, will you really be surprised if I tell you that I can’t access this feature?

I use the US kindle store, because Portugal doesn’t have one, and the US one is the cheapest one, so it’s the one for me. But it recognizes that I’m not physically in the US, so it tell me “NO CAN DO!”. So when I am living in Spain, I can actually access their platform, but I will need to change my base store to the spanish one, and I’ll be losing most of the kindle deals and the prices will be higher. Not an easy choice, right?


So, after reading all this, you know that being a reader sometimes isn’t easy. You might be lucky and be able to fill your bookshelves, and that’s honestly awesome. Or you might adapt your reading habits, and be super attentive to all the kindle deals out there. Or, like me, 80-90% or your reads might be ARCs from Netgalley or kindle free books.

But one thing’s for certain: having access to books is not easy in some places of the world.