Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is a fantastic one: the best blogs to follow. I tend to follow several different kinds of blogs. I like finding other blogs that review clean books or which list content information. I think in part it makes me feel validated, and it’s always interesting to see the ways other sites break down the content information. I also like to follow what I’ll call a specialty blog, one that steers readers toward specific types of books– books about characters with disabilities, books by minority authors, etc. Then there are the good old trusty review sites where I find myself reading the reviews of books I’ve read and saying, “I know, right?!” and reading reviews of books I haven’t read and immediately adding the titles to my reading list. I should add lots of others to this list, but these are the ones far and above all others that I find myself returning to for inspiration, recommendations and ideas:
I’ve probably been following this blog the longest out of all the others on this list. I’m not sure how I found Reading Teen, but I really love this site. I guest-posted a review of Panic by Lauren Oliver which you can find here. One of my FAVORITE posts by Andye is this one about sex in teen fiction.
Compass Book Ratings
When I first discovered this site, it was called Clean Teen Reads. I don’t visit as often as I’d like, but I’ve recommended it several times to readers who are looking for more specific content than I tend to give. For instance, regarding profanity, this site will tell you which words and how many times they’re used whereas I tend to give a more general overview.
Brown Books and Green Tea
This is a recent favorite of mine. I love the focus on multicultural books, but also the way the blogger breaks down her reviews and thoughts on books. She makes me think, promotes really interesting books for deep reasons, and when she recommends something, it’s top notch.
If I’m going to be honest, I have a real love/hate relationship with this blog. I LOVE the idea: books featuring characters with disabilities reviewed by someone diagnosed with the disability. This gives a really insightful look at what a story looks like from a very specific angle. And a lot of the time, I find myself thinking, oh, wow. I never considered that. However, sometimes I get frustrated because it feels like so many of the reviews are very negative and really expect authors to capture these disabled characters with absolute perfection, and the hammer falls hard on those who fail. I think it’s truly important that we have stories that feature disabled characters, but as an aspiring writer, sometimes I wonder if blogs like this might scare writers out of trying to include them in their stories? I don’t know. Honestly, I love having the perspective the bloggers bring to the table. I think it’s a really important perspective, and I think authors should strive to accurately represent their characters, disabled or not.
I often find myself encouraged and inspired by these posts. Like her writing, Laura’s posts are very authentic, but they still manage to pull us toward beauty and wonder. I love that. I need that in my life. She’s awesome. Go read her books, too!