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.

I’m still here (and I didn’t want to ruin my blogging streak!)

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Guys, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but even though I’m still posting everyday, I’ve been kind of absent from the blog and the blogging community. I feel super bad about that, and it’s been so hard on me =/, but it has just been impossible to spend more time in the world wide web – I had comments to answer from over 2 weeks ago… I suck!

The main reason for this absence is that I decided to come to the south of Portugal for the summer, to work for the summer months, and I’m staying with my sister (and her family), which means I seldom have time to socialize without it being in person – which is in part positive. Also, I did start working… and it’s grueling. I decided that for a couple of months, any kind of work would be cool, so I accepted a job at a local supermarket, and I went from being at home working on my PhD thesis, to being on my feet for 8 hours a day, carrying boxes and serving customers.

I have to say, even though I hated it for a couple of days, it’s kind of interesting to get completely out of my academic world and contact with people who have absolutely nothing to do with it. Even though I have to admit – and I hate to sound kind of snobbish about it – but I sometimes feel like my 13 years of college education make me too qualified so this type of job… and I’m only doing it because I know it’s temporary. Still, I like being able to prove to myself that I can do it, and that I can do something a bit more physical on a daily basis – I’m guessing I’m gonna lose weight by the end of this summer… eheh.

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A great thing about being here, in  Albufeira – south of Portugal, apart from being with my sister and nephew, is that the beach views are amazing, and it is a much calmer life than in Lisbon. Also, we have someone new at the house almost every week, and that’s kind of awesome.

I will have to find a balance soon between the new work life and my internet life, also because I do need to work on my thesis… I need to do that a lot! So, I hope I’ll have some more availability in the coming weeks, and I do hope that I won’t break my blogging streak, 😀 !

EURO 2016: PORTUGAL, WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!

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What a wild ride! I’m still high from all the emotions from last night, and I still can’t believe it… I’m ecstatic. WE WON!!! If you follow football (soccer) at all, you know by now: PORTUGAL IS THE NEW EUROPEAN CHAMPION!

I suffered a lot in 2004, I’ve been suffering a lot since then, but this European championship made me suffer for a lot more than our 23 player on the field. We saw a slander campaign against us. For a whole month we endured all criticism, people saying we didn’t deserve anything, French reporters saying that our game was disgusting. They belittled our people and the 2 million portuguese immigrants living in their country. We saw coaches from another huge national teams saying that we stood no chance. They wrote articles saying how bad Ronaldo was. There was an overall lack of respect and sportsmanship in regards to the Portugal National Team.

Because of this, I have to say that our win tasted all that better.

It’s true we didn’t play the most gorgeous football ever. Yes, we went through the group phase with only draws. We played more minutes than any other team on the competition too. We also used all our player (apart from the other 2 goal keepers) because we had injuries and our scheme wasn’t settled. We also had a coach that always believed! He said from the start that they would only be back to Lisbon on July 11th, and damn him, he was right :D. We had a group that wanted it more than anything, and that had a great chemistry and relationship. We had a huge cohesion and a group that worked always towards a common goal: go through to the next phase and the next. And we had an amazing group of immigrants in France, who never gave up, who were there all along for our national team, supporting our boys and making them feel like they were at home.

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Then we had such a tough game last night. The field was in the worst conditions ever, our captain, Cristiano Ronaldo was badly injured right at the beginning of the game, and he was in so much pain that he had to leave the game.

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We suffered through the 90 minutes of the game, where Pepe and Rui Patricio were heroes. Then 30 minutes more and we finally did it. Eder, against all expectations, scored and everyone went wild. And then we did it!

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WE WON! We’re the European Champions for the first time ever.

We have a Captain that is a TRUE CAPTAIN. Something has to be said about this guy, because his dream was to win something for Portugal, but he got injured and had to leave. He still did his job even outside the field. He supported them in the half time. And he was in the bench for all the last 30 minutes, supporting them, giving directions, helping his coach. He was motivating them! HE’S THE BEST CAPTAIN EVER! (and I might have cried when Nani gave him his Captain bracelet again).

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WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS (of Europe), and I’ll be happy for awhile! 😀 A huge congratulations to these boys, they deserve this :D.

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It happened! I’ve made it to 1 year of DAILY blogging!

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This is huge for me!!! Guys! I’ve managed to post every single day for a year now! Since July 5th of 2015, I posted everyday on this blog, sometimes even more than once a day, with a grand total of 706 posts published from that day until today.

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I should mention that this roughly coincides with the time that I started book blogging almost exclusively 🙂 , so it has also been a year of intense reading 😉 .

1000 WordPress Followers + Giveaway

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Hey guys! Something pretty amazing happened yesterday:

🎉🎉🎉 I reached 1000 WordPress Followers!!! 🎉🎉🎉

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This is huge for me! It wasn’t that long ago that I was hitting the 500 mark, and I honestly just feel so happy about it all. I love you guys! Thank you! You guys are the best!!!

To celebrate I’ll be doing a Giveaway, pretty standard stuff, a book of your choice up to 20$ on Book Depository, open anywhere TBD ships to. The Giveaway will be open from today until June 18th – yep, a whole month! – so participate, and best of luck to you all. Also, hit the comments and let me know which book you would request if you won the giveaway, I’m curious like that 😉 (click on the image below to enter the giveaway).

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GOOD LUCK!!

Let’s Talk About: Are (Blog) Looks Important?

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Hey!!! Today I thought it was about time to do a small discussion on a topic that it’s important to me, and that is:

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For me they are. I have to admit that I’m must more likely to look, browse and read a blog and its posts if the looks are appealing. So, here are some things I look forward to while looking at other people’s blogs.

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I love a clean look on a blog. It helps if you only have one sidebar, if your fonts’ colours don’t clash, etc. It will make it easier to read.

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Another thing that I look forward in a blog is organization. I want to reach a blog and be able to find the right tags or sections. But most importantly, have a search bar and an about/introduction page!

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This goes with both of the above. I’m most likely to read a blog post if it looks good. Yeah, ultimately the content matters the most, but if I don’t like how a blog post looks, I might never reach its content.

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I will admit that I do love the use of images in post, whether they’re gifs, book covers, quotes, …, it doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s a break in the text. If you do long posts or tags and don’t use any visual aid, the post gets tough to get through, no matter how amazing the content is.

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People, take your minds outta the gutter here, I’m talking about font sizes! When you’re picking up a theme for your blog, make sure the font that comes with it isn’t tiny tiny small. I’ve found a few blogs that use a very small font and my eyes do not cooperate.


To sum it up this very short “discussion”, I do think that content is more important, but I can only reach it if the blog appeals to me on certain levels. I get tired of looking into a blog if I can’t find a search bar, or if the main page/blog doesn’t show their latest posts. I find graphics useful, and huge blocks of text usually send me away easily.

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