Top Ten Tuesday: ARCs I’m Behind On

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Hello, welcome back to another Tuesday. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week there’s no theme, because the TTT is on hiatus until next week. But I didn’t want to skip it, so I came up with something to share with you guys.

I have a lot of books on my Netgalley shelf, books that I requested sometimes long ago and for one reason or another I haven’t read them yet. But I want to! And I will. So I thought I would share with you some of those books, so maybe if you’ve read any of them, you could tell my why I should up them on my reading list. 😀


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Latest NetGalley Pending… (that I’ll probably be denied for)

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My first post was about my latest approvals on Netgalley that made me feel accomplished. The second one was about denied requests, that made me super sad. So, to continue the sad wave, I’m gonna show you some books which requests are still pending, but experience tells me they will be denied too.

Check it out…

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When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon is one of the most talked about upcoming releases, and I want to read it, though I’m a bit on the fence about the arranged marriage thing, but either way, I’m probably not getting it.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him — wherein he’ll have to woo her — he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.


The Heartbeats of Wing Jones by Katherine Webber is everywhere and I want it so bad! I’m crossing my fingers on this one.

Wing Jones, like everyone else in her town, has worshipped her older brother, Marcus, for as long as she can remember. Good-looking, popular, and the star of the football team, Marcus is everything his sister is not.

Until the night everything changes when Marcus, drunk at the wheel after a party, kills two people and barely survives himself. With Marcus now in a coma, Wing is crushed, confused, and angry. She is tormented at school for Marcus’s mistake, haunted at home by her mother and grandmothers’ grief. In addition to all this, Wing is scared that the bank is going to repossess her home because her family can’t afford Marcus’s mounting medical bills.

Every night, unable to sleep, Wing finds herself sneaking out to go to the school’s empty track. When Aaron, Marcus’s best friend, sees her running one night, he recognizes that her speed, skill, and agility could get her spot on the track team. And better still, an opportunity at a coveted sponsorship from a major athletic gear company. Wing can’t pass up the opportunity to train with her longtime crush and to help her struggling family, but can she handle being thrust out of Marcus’s shadow and into the spotlight?


I asked this one on a whim, but I’m so interested in it… Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza.

Empress
Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.

Fugitive
Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he’s forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life.

Madman
With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.

A saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.


Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan sounds so interesting. I want to read this one. Are you listening to me, publisher?

A Pakistani-American Muslim girl struggles to stay true to her family’s vibrant culture while simultaneously blending in at school after tragedy strikes her community in this sweet and moving middle grade novel from the award-winning author of It’s Ramadan, Curious George and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns.

Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.” Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.

Amina’s Voice brings to life the joys and challenges of a young Pakistani American and highlights the many ways in which one girl’s voice can help bring a diverse community together to love and support each other.


 I’ve requested Rebels Like Us by Liz Reinhardt a long time ago, but it’s still pending…

“It’s not like I never thought about being mixed race. I guess it was just that, in Brooklyn, everyone was competing to be exotic or surprising. By comparison, I was boring, seriously. Really boring.”

Culture shock knocks city girl Agnes “Nes” Murphy-Pujols off-kilter when she’s transplanted mid–senior year from Brooklyn to a small Southern town after her mother’s relationship with a coworker self-destructs. On top of the move, Nes is nursing a broken heart and severe homesickness, so her plan is simple: keep her head down, graduate and get out. Too bad that flies out the window on day one, when she opens her smart mouth and pits herself against the school’s reigning belle and the principal.

Her rebellious streak attracts the attention of local golden boy Doyle Rahn, who teaches Nes the ropes at Ebenezer. As her friendship with Doyle sizzles into something more, Nes discovers the town she’s learning to like has an insidious undercurrent of racism. The color of her skin was never something she thought about in Brooklyn, but after a frightening traffic stop on an isolated road, Nes starts to see signs everywhere — including at her own high school where, she learns, they hold proms. Two of them. One black, one white.

Nes and Doyle band together with a ragtag team of classmates to plan an alternate prom. But when a lit cross is left burning in Nes’s yard, the alterna-prommers realize that bucking tradition comes at a price. Maybe, though, that makes taking a stand more important than anything.


Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh I’m sure I won’t get, but hey, I requested it… 😀

The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place — she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort — a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.


So, tell me guys, did you request any of these titles?
Were you approved? denied? Also pending? Talk to me 😀

Latest NetGalley Denials (that made me feel like I failed at blogging)

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My first post was about my latest approvals on Netgalley that made me feel accomplished. But we all know that denials are a part of life on the site. One third of my NG requests resulted in being denied, and this especially true in the YA category. And I’m not even going to talk about Edelweiss, because I never get approved for anything there.

So, check out some of the books I was denied access recently, which made me super sad, but I still want to read them all.

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I knew I was going to be denied for The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli, but it still hurt a little bit, eheh.

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness —except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. 

Right?


Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse has such an interesting blurb… that’s why I requested it TWICE! And was denied… TWICE!

Sophia has seven days left in Tokyo before she moves back to the States. Seven days to say good-bye to the electric city, her wild best friend, and the boy she’s harbored a semi-secret crush on for years. Seven perfect days…until Jamie Foster-Collins moves back to Japan and ruins everything. 

Jamie and Sophia have a history of heartbreak, and the last thing Sophia wants is for him to steal her leaving thunder with his stupid arriving thunder. Yet as the week counts down, the relationships she thought were stable begin to explode around her. And Jamie is the one who helps her pick up the pieces. Sophia is forced to admit she may have misjudged Jamie, but can their seven short days of Tokyo adventures end in anything but good-bye?


Built on Bones by Brenna Hassett is the only one on this list that isn’t YA. This is actually non-fiction and I want it so bad, because it relates in part with my PhD and field of study. So… I might be persistent and write to Bloomsbury USA and beg for it.

Humans and their immediate ancestors were successful hunter-gatherers for hundreds of thousands of years, but in the last fifteen thousand years humans have gone from finding food to farming it, from seasonal camps to sprawling cities, from a few people to hordes. Drawing on her own fieldwork in the Mediterranean, Africa, Asia, and beyond, archeologist Brenna Hassett explores the long history of urbanization through revolutionary changes written into the bones of the people who lived it.

For every major new lifestyle, another way of dying appeared. From the “cradle of civilization” in the ancient Near East to the dawn of agriculture on the American plains, skeletal remains and fossil teeth show evidence of shorter lives, rotten teeth, and growth interrupted. The scarring on human skeletons reveals that getting too close to animals had some terrible consequences, but so did getting too close to too many other people.

Each chapter of Built on Bones moves forward in time, discussing in depth humanity’s great urban experiment. Hassett explains the diseases, plagues, epidemics, and physical dangers we have unwittingly unleashed upon ourselves throughout the urban past–and, as the world becomes increasingly urbanized, what the future holds for us. In a time when “Paleo” lifestyles are trendy and so many of us feel the pain of the city daily grind, this book asks the critical question: Was it worth it?


I’m so sad that I wasn’t approved for Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett. I loved her previous book, and I was so excited when I saw this one on Netgalley… oh well… This was another book that I’m pretty sure I was denied to because of the country restrictions.

In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams — she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life — or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth — a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.


Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley… funny thing… I’ve requested this book 3 times already on Netgalley. Yeah… and guess what? It keeps getting denied 😦 . It makes me so sad.

Fifteen-year-old Aki Simon has a theory. And it’s mostly about sex.

No, it isn’t that kind of theory. Aki already knows she’s bisexual — even if, until now, it’s mostly been in the hypothetical sense. Aki has dated only guys so far, and her best friend, Lori, is the only person who knows she likes girls, too.

Actually, Aki’s theory is that she’s got only one shot at living an interesting life — and that means she’s got to stop sitting around and thinking so much. It’s time for her to actually do something. Or at least try.

So when Aki and Lori set off on a church youth-group trip to a small Mexican town for the summer and Aki meets Christa — slightly older, far more experienced — it seems her theory is prime for the testing.

But it’s not going to be easy. For one thing, how exactly do two girls have sex, anyway? And more important, how can you tell if you’re in love? It’s going to be a summer of testing theories—and the result may just be love.


I was super excited about Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin, but again… DENIED!!! 😦

“Troubled.” That’s seventeen-year-old Genesis according to her small New Jersey town. She finds refuge and stability in her relationship with her boyfriend, Peter—until he abandons her at a Planned Parenthood clinic during their appointment to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. The betrayal causes Gen to question everything.

As Gen pushes herself forward to find her new identity without Peter, she must also confront her most painful memories. Through the lens of an ongoing four act play within the novel, the fantasy of their undying love unravels line by line, scene by scene. Digging deeper into her past while exploring the underground theater world of New York City, she rediscovers a long-forgotten dream. But it’s when Gen lets go of her history, the one she thinks she knows, that she’s finally able to embrace the complicated, chaotic true story of her life, and take center stage.

This powerfully immersive and format-crushing debut follows Gen from dorm rooms to diners to house parties to auditions—and ultimately, right into readers’ hearts.


So, tell me guys, did you request any of these titles?

Were you approved? Or also denied? Talk to me 😀

Latest NetGalley Approvals (that made me feel accomplished as a blogger!)

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One of the first things I did when I became a book blogger, was signing up for Netgalley. I went into a frenzy at the beginning and requested a bunch of books that was sure I wouldn’t get, but some time has passed, and after 197 approvals and 103 denials, I have some sense of the books I’m going to get approved or not as soon as I request them. I still request them even if I think I won’t be, because miracles do happen, right?

So, I thought I would share with you some of the books I was approved for lately that really made me feel “oh wow, I guess I accomplished something as a blogger!“.

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The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz was one of my latest requests on NG, and I was SURE I wouldn’t get approved for it. I read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe in 2015 and really enjoyed it, so I was ecstatic when I got the approval email.

Sal used to know his place with his adoptive gay father, their loving Mexican-American family, and his best friend, Samantha. But it’s senior year, and suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and realizing he no longer knows himself. If Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?


You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner was another one I requested with a certainty that it would come my way. Mostly because it has been in everyone’s lists for awaited diverse reads, and when a book is that hyped right off the bat, it’s really tough to get eARCs from it.

When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural. 

Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.

Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off — and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.

Told with wit and grit by debut author Whitney Gardner, who also provides gorgeous interior illustrations of Julia’s graffiti tags, You’re Welcome, Universe introduces audiences to a one-of-a-kind protagonist who is unabashedly herself no matter what life throws in her way.


Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor was yet another one that I thought was a long shot, and I can’t wait to delve into it.

This heartbreaking, humorous novel is about three teens whose lives intersect in ways they never expected.

Reggie Mason is all too familiar with “the Three Stages of Depression.” She believes she’s unlocked the secret to keeping herself safe: Nobody can hurt you if you never let them in. 

Reggie encounters an unexpected challenge to her misanthropy: a Twizzler-chomping, indie film-making narcissist named Snake. Snake’s presence, while reassuring, is not exactly stable—especially since his ex-girlfriend is seven months pregnant. As Reggie falls for Snake, she must decide whether it’s time to rewrite the rules that have defined her.


Noteworthy by Riley Redgate just sounded so interesting that I couldn’t resist asking for it. I didn’t read her previous novel, but I heard good things about it.

It’s the start of Jordan Sun’s junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts. Unfortunately, she’s an Alto 2, which — in the musical theatre world — is sort of like being a vulture in the wild: She has a spot in the ecosystem, but nobody’s falling over themselves to express their appreciation. So it’s no surprise when she gets shut out of the fall musical for the third year straight.

Then the school gets a mass email: A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshiped … revered … all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.


Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde. I fell in love with the title and the cover, before I even read the blurb or started seeing the book on diverse books lists. So glad they approved me.

When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever. 

Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Jason Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.


Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner. I haven’t read his previous book, but Kat loved it, and I trust in her opinion. So when this book showed up on Netgalley, I requested it, and then I requested it again (one of those requests was denied…).

Can a text message destroy your life?

Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident and even worse, there could be a criminal investigation into the deaths.

Then Blake’s grandmother asks Carver to remember her grandson with a ‘goodbye day’ together. Carver has his misgivings, but he starts to help the families of his lost friends grieve with their own memorial days, along with Eli’s bereaved girlfriend Jesmyn. But not everyone is willing to forgive. Carver’s own despair and guilt threatens to pull him under into panic and anxiety as he faces punishment for his terrible mistake. Can the goodbye days really help?


So guys, have you been approved for any of these? Are you excited for any of them?

In your time requesting ARCs, was there any you got that you thought “YAY, I MADE IT“?!

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.