Review: Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

Series: Prisoner of Night and Fog #1
Publication Date: April 22, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 416 (eARC)
Source: Edelweiss
In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her "uncle" Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf's, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.

Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.

And Gretchen follows his every command.

Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can't stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can't help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she's been taught to believe about Jews.

As Gretchen investigates the very people she's always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?

From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she's ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

I want to begin this review by saying that I typically hate Holocaust literature. Why? It's really the fact that I can't stomach it. Having several Holocaust survivors in my family, the last of which passed peacefully several years ago at the age of 95, makes this a very touchy subject for me. I have trouble learning about such horrors without drawing direct parallels in my mind, and then the pain and nausea immediately set in. But this book is different. Not only is it slightly before the Holocaust, but that sick roiling in my stomach that I typically feel while reading such books stopped at about 30% in because I so quickly became engrossed in the story and was able to separate the fact that I despise literary Hitler just as much as real Hitler.

Anne Blankman truly did her research. She knows the time period leading up to the Holocaust (and by the look of the series, during the Holocaust and after it) very well. This is definitely a historical fiction novel done right. From my own knowledge, I know that nearly every character in this book is a real person, aside from our main character, her family, her love interest, and several other characters invented to make the plot move along. The fate of some characters were altered as well to fit Blankman's universe, but, hey, she does this time period justice. However, I have to take a moment to say that there was a decent amount of info-dumping in this book. At times it read like a historical encyclopedia instead of a story. I'm unsure if this can be attributed to the fact that I knew a lot of the interesting knowledge in this book prior to reading it because of my family history or because the book really feels this way.

Our main character, Gretchen, is definitely unique. She grew up following her Uncle Dolf and was Munich's golden girl after her father, Klaus, saved Uncle Dolf's life. Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler. To see him painted in such a positive light made me physically ill, but to see Gretchen transform from a naive follower to a girl (a girl, not a boy!!!!!!) who can defend herself and search for the truth was amazing. I also have to give props to Blankman for characterizing her terrifying brother, Reinhard. I despised him because he was so vile and I literally cringed several times because of things he has done. Blankman hit the nail on the head with this villain and I have to say bravo, though I still despise his very being.

Perhaps the best part of this book was the romance. Daniel Cohen, why I wish you were a good little Jewish boy that was around today. You're existence in my life would make my Dad very happy. But that's beside the point. The point is that it was so nice to see such an amazing fellow acting as a beacon for hope and uncovering the truth for the Jewish population who knew they were facing near annihilation and could do nothing about it. Just a young man, he was risking his life and carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders in order to expose the truth and save many lives. This is an amazing guy with a pure, genuine heart, and even though the world is against him and Gretchen being together, this is one star-crossed pair that I'm going to root for.

The last bit of this story worth noting is the murder mystery. As Gretchen slowly tries to unravel the night of her father's death, her view of the world is drastically changed. While he was once the martyr that saved Hitler's life, it now appears that he may have been murdered. The question is, by whom? This was a really interesting mystery, but it only really exploded in the last 30% of the book. For the rest of the book it was an on-and-off occurrence that could have been a bigger focus but instead was put aside for historical back-story and setting up the romance. I wish this was a bigger focus at times, but in the end this was a truly solid novel.

For many readers this will be a hard story to stomach, but Blankman is one of those rare authors that found a way to take a terrible time in history and turn it into a decent story that was simultaneously emotionally moving and informational. Hitler's rise and the disgusting way he used words to persuade his followers was extremely evident, as were members of all opposing political parties and supporters. Perfect for historical fiction buffs, murder mystery fanatics, and those who adore tales of star-crossed love, I highly recommend reading this book. It may not be easy, but it is so, so worth it and I am so thankful that this will be a series. As a person who identifies with the Jewish religion, I'm amazed that I've somehow managed to find a historical fiction novel that tells the true story of a horrific time in history so factually correct and in such an informational way. And as a devoted reader, I'm amazed that this book worked out so beautifully. I can't say anything else aside from: read this. I cannot stress those last two words enough.


4 stars

~*~Links~*~

FTC Disclaimer: I received no form of compensation in exchange for this honest review.

Happy Easter!

Initially a college blogging 101 post was set for today, but I actually have my best friend from college exploring my hometown with me this weekend and I want everyone to be out celebrating this holiday! Check in for The Eater of Book's College Blogging 101 post next Sunday! It's gorgeous out, go outside and have an amazing Easter!


Dye lots of eggs and go on lots of hunts and eat yummy food!

Review: The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

Publication Date: March 20, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 384 (eARC)
Source: From Publisher for Review
Soccer star Lainey Mitchell is used to getting what she wants, and when her boyfriend Jason breaks up with her for no reason, what she wants is to win him back before the start of their senior year. Lainey and her friend Bianca check the interwebz for tips and tricks, but the online dating advice is all pretty lame.

Then the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. Didn't someone once say that love is a battlefield? Jason isn't going to stand a chance once Lainey and Bee go all Zhou Dynasty on him...

Old school strategy and subterfuge meet modern-day dramarama in the story of a girl who sets out to win at all costs and ends up discovering what's really worth fighting for.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

 ...I'm going to employ the "Art of Lili" here and kindly say that if you don't read this book I may have to kick you. Hard. 

Have you ever heard of the term, "people come in and out of your life for a reason"? Whenever something bad happens to me and I find myself trying to piece together what happened, that's the piece of advice that my wise parents always give me. For a while I would just laugh and agree to get them off of my back, but eventually I realized that they were completely right. This book explores this piece of advice to live by to the fullest extent and I loved this underlying message. It made me want to keep reading as Lainey made the slow transition from a shallow, naive soccer player to an open and nonjudgmental kick-butt soccer star. Because of this I can honestly say that this book is worth reading.

I truly believe that this book is a diamond in the rough that can resonate with readers of all ages, though it certainly will mean more to teens because it paints certain expectations so realistically. It tackles the concept of cliques and popularity spot-on without it seeming cliche and controlling. It shows the naivety that comes with first love and what comes after that love is gone. Jealousy, desire...it's all there. The awesome twist of The Art of War thrown in to make sure hilariousness ensues in this super fluffy and cute read that is guaranteed to get any reader out of a reading slump.

The best part of this book is Lainey's best friend, Bee. Bee is a very solid character in the story and she's one of the best BFF's I have come across, perhaps ever. She doesn't judge, she's honest, she's always there for moral support...even if it involves a late night phone call that wakes her up. She's real and any girl today would kill to have her in their life. Lainey is very lucky, though it takes her a while to realize this. It was nice to come across a young adult contemporary novel that isn't full of a revolving door of best friends that come in and out of one's life due to petty drama, though there certainly are some drama queen's in this one. The people she meets when she starts enacting her love-war tactics make up a cast of secondary characters that cannot be rivaled. Really, all characterization (even Lainey's parents! yes!) is A+. 

And now to the grand romance! What started off as a fake-date scenario to guarantee that both parties can get their exes back eventually turned into a teenager whirlwind romance full of questions, confusions, and the possibility that a punked-out, tattooed, mohawked rocker with a secret love of cooking pastries may be perfect for the model varisty soccer star that is just now realizing she never really knew herself. Micah and Lainey, oddly enough, are one of my favorite ships of all time. He not only knows how to treat a girl, but he's one of the most sincere characters I've ever come across despite his demeanor. The fact that their coupling is hugely unconventional and unexpected makes me root for them even more. Full of hilarious banter and natural chemistry, Micah and Lainey take us on a journey that makes us question if societal norms and expectations should really rule us.

The only complaint I have about this book is that, at times, I found myself to be frustrated with Lainey's shallowness in the beginning of the book. I understand it was a necessity to show her insanely strong character growth and transformation, but anyone could see how terrible her ex and his sister were. Furthermore, her worries with getting her boyfriend back seemed slightly obsessive at times, which threw off my rhythm because I loved her as a person and didn't want her to obsess over a guy that did not have her best interests at heart and was shallow enough to be won back through jealousy tactics.

In the end, I have to say that this is one of the best contemporary novels I have read in a long time. As a huge fan of Paula's SECRETS OF THE ETERNAL ROSE trilogy, I continue to be satisfied by her amazing storytelling techniques! I definitely can't wait for LIARS, INC.

Warning: There are mentioned of underage drinking and illusions to sexual situations in this book. Would not recommend it for younger readers.



4.5 stars

~*~Links~*~

FTC Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation in exchange in this honest review.

The Broadway Review: Chicago


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Date Seen: Friday, April 11, 2014
Seating: Row 5, Rear Mezzanine
Cost of Tickets: FREE!
Ticket Source: AEMIN Trivia Contest
Rating: Neutral
A true New York City institution, CHICAGO has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you've ever seen.

No wonder CHICAGO has been honored with 6 Tony Awards®, 2 Olivier Awards®, a Grammy® and thousands of standing ovations.

It's also no surprise that CHICAGO has wowed audiences all around the world, from Mexico City to Moscow, from Sao Paulo to South Africa.

Whether you're looking for your first Broadway musical, whether you've seen the Academy Award®-winning film and want to experience the show live on stage or whether you've seen it before and want to recapture the magic, CHICAGO always delivers.
~*~Journey to the Tickets~*~

I know...you're probably look up there and thinking to yourself, "AEMIN? What's that?" Well, I'll tell you what it is! AEMIN stands for Arts & Entertainment Management Industry Network. At my college we have a major called Arts & Entertainment Management for those who want to go into such a field without being a performer. This Industry Network is obviously our school's network with the industry. To launch it's new social media pages and to make the word known of it's creation, they ran a three day contest for 18 free tickets to any student (whether they have this major or not).

You had to be able to finish song lyrics, which I happily spammed on twitter and probably annoyed a lot of you with, or answer questions about the cast and creation of when CHICAGO first made its Broadway debut in 1975. Oddly enough, I won my free ticket because I knew that CHICAGO made its debut in 1975. How did I know that? I honestly don't know, but I did!

So, if you want free or heavily discounted show tickets and want to be part of the arts and entertainment industry without being a performer, hit up Pace University!

~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

This show had a lot of good things and a few bad things that unfortunately overrode the good things. If you want my honest opinion, go into the show with a blind eye. By sheer circumstance I happened to watch the movie CHICAGO exactly a week before I saw the show and I think that hurt it in my eyes. I think the movie was slightly better, but the show is also very different. If you go in without expectations it may be doubly more enjoyable. 

I suppose the best place to start is with the characters. Roxie was so perfect. The actress that played Roxie was beyond talented and drop-dead gorgeous and she was Roxie. Adorable, stupid, naive, starry-eyed Roxie Hart. I also really loved Amos. He reminded me of a clean cut Tramp (played by Charlie Chaplin) with a sweater-vest and no bowler hat or mustache. I also really enjoyed Billy Flynn. Not only did he have the looks, but he had major talent. He, too, embodied Billy Flynn, the lawyer willing to do anything to make a little bit of money, very well. The ensemble was absolutely superb and Mary Sunshine has a set of pipes that is unparalleled. The drag queen in the show was damn good too, but you'd have to see the show to figure out who that is!

As for Velma and Mama...ouch. Velma, to put it simply, was too old. This woman while very talented was very clearly Velma about ten years ago which makes sense since she's been playing Velma since 2001. Velma, in my eyes, is supposed to be the sexy show-stealer and while this woman was very sexy for her age, the entire ensemble and Roxie were sexier then her. The age different was very visible. And Mama...oh, Mama. I love Mama's character and I was not pleased. While she had a set of pipes and made a lot of jokes (thanks to the script), I really did not like this actress. She was stationary. In her big song she could have strutted around the stage and showed sass, instead she literally stood in one place the entire time and kept pointing around wildly. Queen Latifah was a bigger woman who owned that damn stage in the movie and this actress simply could not. She was very slow when moving and either stood still or sat still the entire time.

It was really nice to see some new songs in this show that aren't in the movie, but few of the performances left me truly breathless. My absolute favorite performance was Both Reached for the Gun. I went in expecting this because it's one of my favorite performances in the movie, but myself and several of the people I was with agreed that this was the best performance of the night. Another enjoyable one was Roxie not only because of the singing but because the actress playing Roxie Hart had so many great antics in this one. She has a beautiful singing voice and speaking voice, but when she's joking around she gets this really deep and entertaining voice full of accents that totally appeal to the audience. She knew how to work us and she sure did! Amos's only song, Mister Cellophane, was applaud worthy and Mary Sunshine's operatic voice in her few bits was mind-boggling. 

Otherwise, the songs were simply satisfying. I think this was partially due to sound issues. See, the set-up on the stage is that the orchestra is actually on the stage for our viewing pleasure. The show takes place in front of it and throughout it since there are staircases and entrances and the exits are off to the sides. The instrumentals often overpowered the singing and if there were two people singing at once, you'd be lucky if you could make out one of them. I don't know if this is attributed to poor sound quality or the fact that acoustics may not be as good in the rear mezzanine, but I think they need to make certain microphones more powerful and certain microphones less powerful.

I was so excited to see this show because of the vaudeville aspect of it. The dancing was perfect, straight out of Classic Broadway, as was the exaggerated hand movements and speaking to the audience. They interacted with us through their characters and it made it enjoyable. But I can't say I loved this show, and I think my experience was slightly diminished because I went in with such high expectations. Don't do that like I did and you'll love it so much more. Several of the people that I was with that have not seen the movie for a while would have given this show one thumb up. At this point, I simply can't. I'll have to sleep on it.

Tentative half a thumb up though! Too bad that rating doesn't exist on this specific scale.

Have a good day, guys! And remember, stay away from jazz and liquor!

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Read my other Broadway Reviews here!

To learn more about CHICAGO, check out the musical's website here.

Please note: this is a new feature dependent on audience feedback about whether you want me to continue it or not.

Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren't Books) That I'd Like To Own


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

I think this was my favorite topic yet...Enjoy! In no particular order...



1. I want this rug, desperately. Just look at it! I love fairytales and I need a rug. It's perfect, no?!





 





2. This awesome mirror because it can go with the theme of my future house, duh.
















3. Honestly, I feel like it would be impossible not to sleep well under these covers. I would need more color to make it pleasing to the eye though. I don't want purely white bed sheets.














4. My own library is essential to when I live on my own. I will honestly take any of these. (:











5. This is a Les Mis book scarf! I will take any book scarf in general, but the fact that this is Les Mis does make it infinitely cooler.













6. You know how everyone has that blanket that they curl up under to do work, not their duvet on their bed? I want this to be my new work blanket.











7. This is an origami crane mobile made from the pages of books and my future child must have this.











8. I am always on the hunt for new book ends. Right now my book hands are hands that "clap" together when they're no longer holding up books, but these look really fun and cute.














9. If this was real I would want it since I collect snow globes.














10. This is pretty much a book lamp. You choose the color of the wood panel cover and then when you open it and lay it on it's side it's like the open pages of a book fanning out. It's so freaking cool! kljfglkdjfgdfg






 
 Don't forget to share your thoughts and TTT posts below!

Review: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Publisher: Poppy
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 352 (ARC)
Source: From Publisher for Review
Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

This is my second Jennifer E. Smith novel and I think that Smith pretty much guarantees absolute cuteness and fluffiness no matter what. While this one was not a complete grand slam the way THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT was, Smith easily hit it out of the park. She has solidified herself as one of my go-to feel-good authors.

Told from two perspectives, THE GEOGRAPHY OF YOU AND ME follows a young love story across the globe. Both Owen and Lucy have very strong voices and they were easy to root for due to the fact that I was immediately invested in their stories. Both were experiencing sad moments in their lives and they were brought together by, oddly enough, an apocalyptic-like power failure spanning the entire East coast into Canada. I found the descriptions of New York City during the blackout to be very interesting and entertaining because of the fact that I live here. So, for any New Yorker out there, there's some instant entertainment here for you. For those of you who aren't New Yorker's, there's a small dystopian-like aspect to this book in the very beginning that I think many will enjoy.

But back to Lucy and Owen. It was very easy to identify with Lucy because of the fact that she tended to be an introvert who loved to wander. She preferred the company of her brothers or that of a good book before anything else. She reminded me a lot of me, and for that I will always love her. Owen is also easy to love because he's broken. Not in one of those broody types of ways, but his heart is truly broken over the sudden and unforeseen loss of his mother. He doesn't want to brood, but his life is at a standstill and he doesn't know how to dig himself and his father out of this rut. One catastrophic twenty four hour black out altered both of their lives unexpectedly after spending a mere thirty minutes stuck in a really hot elevator.

A huge aspect of this story that I adored was how the parents of our main characters were painted. I think that it's become a common (and hated) young adult cliche to have bad parents in stories. While Lucy's parents are slightly absentee in the beginning, it is explained and throughout this story that spans a year, we get to watch her relationship with her parents grow and become something really beautiful. I loved seeing Lucy and her mother begin to foster a true mother-daughter relationship. I also loved reading scenes with Owen and his Dad. Owen's father suffered really badly in the first half of the book, but watching him come to terms with the early passing of his wife and begin to be a father once again to Owen, his only son who loves him more than life itself, was genuinely touching. It was very realistic and I applaud Smith for making such solid families with believable emotional struggles.

The world traveler in me is also extremely satisfied with the huge amount of places covered in this story between both characters. Off the top of my head we were taken to New York City, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Pennsylvania, Portland, Seattle, Edinburgh (Scotland), London (England), Paris (France), and Prague. And every place felt different then the others. Smith really put detail into her descriptions and if I closed my eyes and imagined things, I could see myself there. Her usage of post cards to describe huge landmarks but also as a way for Owen and Lucy to communicate was very adorable as well. Not only did it remind me of how I communicate with my parents when I am overseas without them, but it made their relationship foster and grow in a really unique and cute way--just adding to the fluffiness, I tell you! I was rooting for these two from the get-go.

My one complaint that makes this story fall just short of perfection was that I was able to put it down multiple times. When I put my mind to it I finished it with ease, but there were parts where I struggled to focus. I actually walked laps around the seaport at one point because I wanted to keep reading but I couldn't bring myself to do so because we were at a lull in the story. A solid portion of the book easily held my interest, but I had to trudge through certain parts in order to get to those at times.

If you are a fan of fluffy and adorable contemporary reads with a flair of unusual dystopian-like circumstances and powerful stories of self-discovery, this is a great book for you. Jennifer E. Smith can really do no wrong.
 


 4.5 stars

~*~Links~*~
|Amazon|Goodreads|Book Depository|Author's Website|

FTC Disclaimer: I did not receive any form of compensation in exchange for my honest review.

College Blogging 101: Don't Let The Memes Eat You Alive!!!


College Blogging 101 is a weekly meme hosted by Lili's Reflections where a variety of hosts answer questions and give advice in regards to blogging in college. The purpose of this is to help upcoming college students and to create an open discussion forum. If you would like to write a guest post, please fill out this form. If you have a question you want answered, please fill out this form.
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The title pretty much says it all. Don't let the memes eat you alive!

In college, your blog is bound to change. It's hard to keep posting as many reviews as you did before and to keep blogs active, people tend to resort to memes. Now, there's nothing wrong with memes. I love memes! I post a top ten tuesday nearly every week and whenever I actually do get books I throw up that stacking the shelves post like nobody's business.

But the issue is that since some memes can be put together in a mere ten minutes (waiting on wednesday immediately comes to mind), they tend to take over some blogs. Sure, your blog is active, but do you really want your blog to be all memes with only a few reviews scattered throughout the month?


I say use the memes to your advantage to create discussions. I'm guilty of throwing up two memes a week (STS and TTT) and occasionally a third (WoW) if I happen to be low on content that week. My personal belief is that any more than three memes a week is a little excessive, but that's an opinion that varies from blogger to blogger.

My best piece of advice to avoid a meme meltdown and the subsequent lack of accepted review requests and high statistics that tend to follow such a catastrophy is this...

Create New Content!!!

As bloggers, we are all creative people. Odds are that we have a lot of ideas floating around in our heads and it just took a while for them to form. If you have an idea that you want to put into effect, do it! Don't allow anyone to hold you back! You can, surprisingly, find that you are greeted with open arms and a huge support-system. Those memes that you once relied on? They were created by people looking to have new content for the blog once too!

This post that you're reading right now? It's part of a series to help my blog have new content while staying up to date. It was started on a whim and look how successful it is! Not only do I have many guest reviewers that help out because they enjoy such content, but I have supporters and readers who genuinely are learning from this quasi-advice column/discussion weekly forum I've got going. It's a great feeling to put up posts that I want to put up instead of a post I feel obligated to to increase blog traffic. I've got something being posted every Sunday and a lot less stress about when that next review will go up because there is active and unique content on my blog.

So...the best way to create new content? Have a discussion!

On top of these posts, I throw up a casual discussion post on a topic I've been thinking about or a rant that I've been wanting to go on whenever I feel like it. This typically happens once or twice a month when I realize that I just didn't have enough time to finish a book that I wanted to review that week and I want to put something else up in that review's place. Nearly every blogger does this. If you have a follower base, they obviously care about your thoughts. This is your time to shine! Take the opportunity to create new content and throw up a discussion post on that bookish itch you just can't scratch and get your followers talking!

It's a good feeling!
If the average discussion post doesn't satisfy your need to create new content...then go above and beyond! Bring your other passions into your blog and share them with the world!

My favorite new feature that I have is The Broadway Review. As a New York City college student, I often find myself going to Broadway shows for heavily discounted prices. Here's my place to share my thoughts with you while helping tourists find ways to get cheap tickets and enjoy Broadway too. It's a win/win for everyone! I'm creating new and original content while my readers get something new and refreshing to read.

Other bloggers often bring their other hobbies (aside from reading) into their blog as well. One of my favorite examples of original content is from Gillian at Writer of Wrongs. She has a feature called "Baking the Books" where she bakes something that encompasses her favorite books. My favorite one was the one I helped out with entitled "Cinder Fortune Cookies!" You can find that here.

My other favorite example of real life hobbies brought into the blook blogosphere is Betty's feature about being eco-friendly entitled, EcoBetty 101! Found at Book Rock Betty, she takes the time to share her thoughts on living eco-friendly in a variety of ways because it is something she is passionate about. Her passion shines through in her posts and it's such a success because her readers see that.
Why oh why do you have a fire bra, lady?
Lady Gaga up there is right. Be proud of who you are! If you have another passion aside from books, let it shine! Don't allow the fact that your blog was initially intended for books hold you back. Be honest with your readers and allow them to see another aspect of you. Original content that connects us to who you are makes us even more interested in what you have to say. Believe it or not, we really do want to hear your opinions and thoughts.

Such ideas will make blogging seem like less of a chore when you experience a blogging slump. It makes you want to create new content and keep the blog active because you're posting about a passion instead of posting about obligation. New content that comes from the heart allows you to post happily about something you love and are eager to share. Trust me, you can't type that post out fast enough!

So sit down and think...what do I want to start doing that I enjoy? Blogging is for your enjoyment and any posts thrown up are first and foremost for you. Share your own original content with the world and see what happens!

However, make sure it is original! Don't take another person's idea without giving credit where credit is due, then things can just get a little messy and nobody really wants that.

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What are some examples of your favorite types of original content? Does any blog you know about have a unique feature that you've never seen before? Please comment below with your thoughts! Every comment is greatly appreciated!