Solace in Reading 2.0: Addressing the Blog

Hello everyone! Happy Friday! I once again decided to restart my blog for the second and final time. “But Isabella! You had a lot of posts! Did you just delete all of them? How are you going to address what happened with HOV?”

Yes, I deleted all but four. I even deleted my drafted posts. The four I kept are all related to The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang. I will be publishing those over time since my Rin Analysis post got me the second highest amount of views ever. (Rin’s power knows no bounds.) It was easy for me because I didn’t care about these posts. Of course, I want to promote books I love. However, my book blogging experience was tainted when I did not proof-read my post for HOV, where I stated incorrectly that the protagonist of a book was Taiwanese American. She is Thai American. I’m not going to say “oh, I am a teenager, so I didn’t know” because I even wrote in my notes for the post that Winnie is Thai American. From now on, I will be re-reading my posts multiple times before publishing.

I am remaking myself while still acknowledging when I messed up. I also didn’t really think about whether I trusted HOV Tours or not because it was the first time I worked with them. After my mistake, I saw that other bloggers/online book people were negatively impacted by HOV (ex. not getting ARCs on time and a lot of other issues). From now on, I will only be working with tour companies that I 100% trust and also know the leaders of these companies. For example, I’ve been following Shealea @shutupshealea for a little over a year. I have always had great experiences with Caffeine Book Tours. (Watch out for my posts for Iron Heart and Spell Caster!) Also, Shealea is super kind and does so much work for this community.

Also, Colored Pages Book Tours: I know and follow two of their team members, who I’ve always had great interactions with. Fanna @ Fannatality and Rameela @ Star Is All Booked Up are both amazing bloggers, bookstagrammers, and people. They are always kind and transparent. I am on their tour for We Are Not Free, so also look out for that post! Even though I just started following them this year, I still trust them 100% because their website is very clear about their privacy policy AND the representation included in books.

One person who I’d like to shoutout is CW @artfromafriend, who recently said in a Tweet that “from now on, i’m going to stop calling my book recommendations ‘diverse book recs’ and just call them ‘book recs’. you may correctly assume ALL my recs are for diverse books.” I agree! It’s so important to be specific, and also to “normalise recommending diverse books because they’re good books, not just because they are diverse.” ALL CREDIT TO CW!! I need to start doing this, and instead of saying “This book has x rep” first, I will mention that I liked the plot, characters, more specific info, etc. And then I will mention the representation at the end.

Switching to another fact: I am an adopted Asian American (Filipino American, specifically). Therefore, I sometimes feel like an imposter when reading books with Asian American mcs’ because my parents who adopted me are white. I am still learning about my Filipino heritage, and started in sixth grade because I wrote an essay about the Philippines during World War II. In freshmen year, I did a project about Filipino women during WWII, and in sophomore year, I did a project about Filipino immigration to the U.S. from the time of the U.S.’ unjust colonization to the 1970s. While I may not have the same experience as first generation Asian Americans, I can still teach myself about my culture. Also, do not ask me if I think I was “stolen.” Do not ask any adoptee that. Adoptees are not a monolith, for example, I was born and adopted here in the U.S., which is different from being adopted from another country. For personal reasons, do not ask me about my adoption “story.” Families are not a monolith. Thanks!

Ok. Let’s get to the point: I need to make some changes on my blog. Here are five changes in a short list that I will expand on in another post:

  1. Post 3-4 times a week (or at least twice). I have one Dual Enrollment class and 3 AP classes. I do not have time to post everyday.
  2. Write more reviews.
  3. Re-read my posts before publishing them!!!!!
  4. Follow more blogs that I actually like. I love the blogs I follow!
  5. Be myself. For a while, I tried being someone I was not: I am a teen! I have a lot of my life ahead of me, and spent a lot of time in school worrying about grades. No more,

Ask me a question? I want to do a post where you get to know more about me that will go up in late September!

Meet the Blogger: Version 2.0

Hello everyone! Recently, I learned that there are certain times every month when I should not be on my Instagram or blog. I also learned that I need to edit my posts before I publish them. However, this is not a post on what I am going to change on the blog. Those posts will be published on tomorrow and Wednesday. This is a post about me, Isabella @solaceinreading_ on Instagram, because I feel like a lot of people I would like connect with don’t know me (you can’t really know someone through the Internet anyway, but I can at least make the step of connecting postively with others). Here are five facts about me, five facts about my everyday life, and five facts about me and books:

Me

  1. I am a TEEN blogger!
  2. I could not live without any noodle/pasta based dish.
  3. I was adopted. Born in the U.S. and raised in the U.S. I don’t want to talk about this too much because it is a very personal subject, but I think people should know in case they want to recommend me a good book with an adopted Asian American main character.
  4. I am Filipino American. Even though the parents who adopted me are white, this doesn’t make me any less Filipino American and Asian American.
  5. I get very stressed over tiny things and tend to make things bigger in my head than they actually are in real life. (That is why I will be taking a two to three day break every month. Also, high school.)

My Everyday Life

  1. Yes, this is pre-pandemic: I used to row everyday from Monday to Friday from 4:15 to 6:15 and on Saturdays from 7:00-9:00 (I was a coxswain because I am five feet and one inch tall (154.94 centimeters)). I quit rowing for personal and pandemic reasons.
  2. I am a part of the Model United Nations club at my school. I have never won anything, but I am part of this club to have fun! I’ve learned a lot and am very sad that there might not be any in-person MUN events this year.
  3. I am very active in my school. Even though I mostly take classes with the grade above me, I still want to make my school the best it can be. Last year, I was a representative for my grade for Student Government, and hope to do it again this year! I also like volunteering for open houses (online this year, sadly), and setting up for dances.
  4. I love eating out in my city.

Me and Books

  1. In 2018, I started to broaden my reading tastes beyond a lot of problematic authors. Books like The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and Love, Hate, and Other Filters introduced me to the online YA book community.
  2. In 2019, I read more books by authors of color that don’t have to do with social events. I’ve learned that while stories about pain are needed, there should be as many, if not more, about joy and happiness and fantasy worlds.
  3. In 2020, I set my reading goal at 100 books I never read before, with the intent of at least 75% being by authors of color. So far, 16/76 have been by white authors, so that means 79% of the books I’ve read this year have been by authors of color.
  4. I changed by bookstagram name from @lives_in_ya_books to @solaceinreading because I read more than YA (yes, The Poppy War trilogy by R.F. Kuang changed my reading tastes forever). I read a bit of middle grade because I think I grew up too fast and was very serious and cautious as a child.
  5. I started my bookstagram in December 2018. I have met so many amazing people and made some online friends who I’d love to meet in person someday. (I will for sure try to attend Book Con 2022 since that is when I will be a *senior!*)

Any other questions for me?