Friday Favorites: Jen @ YA Romantics

Friday Favorites is a weekly meme hosted here, that spotlights a favorite author, book, series, publisher, cover, blog, etc. Basically whatever bookish thing that you love, recommend, and want to tell others about. Just pick one and link up to my post each Friday to share. You can use the graphic I used above, the other one here, or your own.

For the next three weeks I'm going to be spotlighting three of my favorite bloggers. I've been following blogs for a couple of years now and I feel like some of the things I do were influenced by them. They definitely have influenced my reading choices. Most of you probably are already familiar with these blogs, but if you're not I definitely recommend checking them out! :)

I first remember coming across YA Romantics, Jen Ryland's blog, in spring of 2012. I got to her blog via a blog giveaway hop and ended up winning her giveaway. The book I won, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight ended up being one of my favorite reads from last year. I've been following ever since.

Why do I love Jen and her blog? Well, because:

1. She reviews my favorite genre, YA.
2. She has really great reviews and I almost always agree with her opinions on books.
3. She adds these little tidbits in her posts. Sometimes it's that a book reminded her of these other books, or of a movie, or song. Sometimes it may be something just funny that she mentions. Sometimes she has some randomness, such as the time she did a Google search on something and then told what her results were.
4. She has fabulous giveaways.
5. She doesn't post too much. Yes, it can be bad to post too much. I even do that sometimes. I think the ideal is really to only have one or two posts a day. Too many posts just means that I don't have time to read them.
6. She welcomed me and helped me out when I first started blogging. :)
7. She is great in responding to questions and comments. This is HUGE. It definitely builds a connection with her followers and is probably the biggest thing I have taken from her and applied on my own blog.
8. I can call her my friend, even though she lives on the opposite side of the country (US) from me.

Blogger Interview:

I want to welcome Jen today to my blog! She's been super nice to answer a few questions for me.

Would you tell us just a little bit about yourself? What your interests are, favorite authors, favorite subgenres, something unique that we may not know about you?

Reading is probably my favorite thing to do. I read all different types of books but I’ve concentrated on different genres during different times of my life. In college I was an English major and read a lot of classics. During a tough time in my life, all I could read was romance. After that, I went through a huge mystery phase. For the past four or five years, I’ve been reading YA. I think I’m feeling the need for change and that YA evokes the feeling that anything is possible. Weird fact about me: it's almost as easy for me to read upside down as right-side up!

Lol! Love it! That is a serious talent reading upside down. :) I completely relate to reading romances during tough times. That was me when my husband was working full-time and attending night school.

How long have you been blogging and why did you decide to start a book blog?

I started blogging in late September/early October of 2011. I’d been reading YA for a couple of years and didn’t have anyone in my regular life to discuss it with, but found great new book friends online. Many of them were bloggers, and they inspired me to join them.

If you could take one book with you to live on a secluded island, what would it be?

Tough question! I want to pick something that is long, inspiring, and that bears re-reading. Maybe The Odyssey? Odysseus is good at escaping from islands...

Ha, ha! ;) I think your English background definitely comes through a little with that answer. That is a good choice.

What is your favorite book so far this year, or three (I can never pick just one)?

It's hard for me to keep it to three – I will be doing a longer Favorite YA of 2013 list soon. Okay, three YA books that really resonated with me this year were The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee; The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr; and The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater.

I am really, really looking forward to that list! I'll be doing a list too, but mine won't be strictly YA. I can't believe I haven't read any of these!!! I do have one of them waiting for me on my Kindle though.

I can’t tell you how much you welcoming me this year as a new blogger and your willingness to answer questions meant to me. What words of wisdom would you give to other new bloggers?

It was my pleasure! When I was brand new, a lot of bloggers generously answered my questions, people like Jen of Literally Jen, Karen of For What It’s Worth Reviews, and Cristina of Princess of Storyland.

My blogging wisdom is really the same advice I give my kids: be open to new ideas but have the confidence to decide what’s right for you. That applies to following blogging “rules” or choosing books or writing up reviews. Have fun and do what works for you.

What do you love the most about blogging?

That’s easy – all the wonderful friends I’ve met, either online or in person. Once in a while I’m busy and tired and the blog feels like one more item on my to-do list. But then I go online and, without fail, I find a funny or thought-provoking comment on my blog or an interesting review on another blog or a spirited exchange on Goodreads. Those things put a smile back on my face!

Yes, I have to say that blogging does make you feel like you're part of a big community who all have one similar interest: books. Thank you, Jen, for letting me interview you!

It was fun – I really hope we can meet in person one day!

Me too! I will get that way eventually. :)

About Jen
(from her blog) 

I've been reading reading YA since 2008.

In college, I majored in English.  I'll try pretty much anything that's well-written and keeps me turning the pages. Not crazy about zombies or high fantasy. But I make exceptions -- a good book is a good book.

Reading or writing are the only things that get me to sit still. Otherwise, I'm walking the city streets, looking for inspiration. Kid and/or dog-wrangling. I'm a professional eavesdropper. Standing in lines drives me crazy. When I was little I dreamed of being a detective.

Okay, I'm amazed you're still reading this. But if you really are interested in me, I've posted about myself twice. Because I had to. Here and here.

You can find Jen here:
Blog - Goodreads Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest - Google+

Do you have a favorite to share this week?

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