Bloggers who deserve more attention #4

 

orangutan list

Hello all! Wow I can’t believe it’s been two months since I’ve done one of these- time has flown by! Anyway, as always I am delighted to share some more marvellous bloggers- who you may or may not have run into!

What Jane Reads Next– Jane does such phenomenally thorough reviews. She has wonderfully varied tastes, so there’s plenty of different books to sink your teeth into. Plus, she recently did a lovely list on how to read more– which I think I can safely say will interest most bookworms, since we’re always trying squeeze every second of reading time out of our day 😉

Stephanie’s Novel Fiction– Stephanie not only has fabulous recommendations, she’s also a gem of a person and so fun to talk to. She covers all sorts of genres, most notably: mysteries, thrillers, historical fiction and women’s fic. As someone who’s taught English at university, she most certainly lends her expertise to her reviews!

Mary Drover– with awesome reviews, lists and *wonderful* writing, Mary runs such an exciting blog! Best of all, she has some really interesting discussion pieces on writing, which are particularly thought provoking. I especially liked her piece on letting go of old projects and found it very relatable!

Liis @Cover to Cover– where to start with Liis’s amazing blog? Aside from being great fun to talk to, Liis also has an EPIC collection of reviews- ranging from classics to thriller to sci fi/fantasy and MORE! I have personally found so many incredible recommendations from her over the years. This is all the cover to cover goodness you could want!

Eustea Reads– a tea lover and bookworm- a girl after my own heart! I love her extensive reviews and friendly personality! Plus, not only is she an absolute expert on talking tea, she also spilt the tea recently, writing an amazingly in-depth piece on non-fiction reading habits in Singapore recently. It gave such a fascinating point of view on assumptions made based on reading tastes (and was so well researched!)

Beware of the Reader– Sophie brings her bubbly, vivacious and enthusiastic personality to her blog- and that’s why I absolutely love visiting Beware of the Reader (also that is a great blog name, don’t you think!) She has an eclectic collection of lists, reviews and discussions- so worth visiting!

Nicole @Sorry I am bookedSorry I am Booked boast a great mix of lists and reviews. Nicole doesn’t stop there though- she also gives me plenty to mull over, exploring unusual topics of discussion, like whether reading impacts your dating life? I know that’s something many of us want to know!

Deborah @The Reading Chick– Deborah has such fun book reviews, with really excellent romance recommendations! On top of that, she also hosts the Blogger to Blogger series, which she very kindly invited me and many, many other bloggers to take part in. It’s a wonderful tool to get to know other bloggers and find out more about us!

Ali @I wuv books– I absolutely adore how Ali does the WWW Wednesday meme- I swear no one does it quite like her- she gives such incredible insights into what books she’s reading and I often feeling like I’m following along with her. I also always enjoy her riveting reviews- they’re so discerning and detailed!

Raven @Dreamy Addictions– Dreamy Addictions is a such a great place to get the lowdown on a lot of popular reads- I especially find her blog helpful if I’m trying to figure out whether the hype for YA books is real! She’s fab at finding intriguing paranormal and romance reads too!

Lotte @The Reading Hobbit– well, with a name like that, Lotte’s bound to attract people with excellent taste/fans of the Hobbit like me 😉 And of course, since she does have terrific taste, she also picks fun reads for her excellent reviews and lists 😊

That’s all for now- if you’re looking for more bloggers, feel free to check out the previous posts in this series:

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #1

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #2

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #3

Social Media Tag

Obviously there are loads more bloggers who deserve *all the attention*- so who do you think I should be looking out for? And do you know any of these bloggers? Will you be checking them out? Let me know in the comments!

Bloggers who Deserve More Attention #2

orangutan list

Hello all! A while back I did a post about bloggers I love who don’t get nearly as much attention as they deserve and I thought it would be fun to make an (irregular) thing out of it. Originally I thought it’d be great to nudge you to check out other people while I was away- buuut that didn’t end up happening (/I was busy and wasn’t blogging much of anything). Still- that’s no reason not to go ahead and do it now! Cos who doesn’t love discovering fantastic bloggers and reading awesome content? So without further ado, here’s part 2 of bloggers you should check out:

Lydia @22 is still young adult– Lydia’s reviews are just so beautiful that I always end up adding whatever book she’s talking about to my list. Not only is this blog a fantastic place to grow your tbr, I also find that if I have read the book, her reviews remind me why I loved it and make me all warm and fuzzy about it!

Cindy @Readctbooks– Cindy is one of those bloggers that captures the *need to fangirl* feeling! Loads of her reviews just make me so excited to pick up whatever she’s reading. I love her take on memes and fun updates-  her blog is such an entertaining place to be!

Ayunda Bhuwana– Ayunda is recently celebrating her bloggiversary and I must say she’s taking the blogosphere by storm! With her great takes on books and films, and just sharing her life and travels, she covers a lot of bases in an incredibly engaging way. I also love her slick design and am so glad she’s returned to blogging!

Sarah @Art Expedition– Sarah is one of the most talented people on this platform and her blog most certainly showcases this. Her paintings and photography are simply stunning and I really recommend you check it out- you’ll be in for a treat! She also writes very beautifully about why she chooses certain subjects and Art Expedition all round a great place to visit on the blogosphere!

Maddie @Of Reading and Random Things– the bookish discussions on this blog are always fascinating and get me thinking- which is why it’s worth checking her out! It’s always interesting to explore some of the topics she gets into- like which is better: books or video games? Or blogging vs vlogging? And if that’s not enough for you, there’s plenty of awesome book reviews and tags over there to get fulfil all your bookish needs!

The Bibliophile Empress– one of the things I like best about Kristyn is her thoughtful discussion posts- she eloquently puts forth her point of view and it’s really worthwhile to hear her out. I have to admit, as a classicist, her informative and educational mythology posts make me super excited as well!

Dragons & Zombies– not only does Sarah have excellent taste in books (I’m biased 😉 ) she also brings so much personality to her blog. I love that she covers so many different topics as well- like movies, travel and even wrestling! There’s really no other book blogger like her and I don’t know why you’re still reading this instead of going to check her out right now! 😉

Suziey @Of all the books in all the libraries– if you’re looking for varied book tastes then you’ve come to the right place! Suziey covers everything from Nancy Drew to contemporary romance to classics. Her reviews are always so in depth that you get an excellent idea of what to expect and whether to pick it up for yourself. Not to mention, she does great book hauls (which admittedly can be dangerous for us bookaholics to see 😉 ) Her blog often puts me in a great mood- especially after her upbeat tag about music today! Also, who doesn’t love the reference she’s making with her blog title?

Carolina @Fictionologyst– Carolina is one of the sweetest people I’ve met recently and is super friendly! Her personality comes across so well on her blog and I always enjoy reading her enthusiastic reviews and posts!!

Book Beach Bunny– Book Beach Bunny has such amazing reviews of TV, films and books! They’re honest and will give you the lowdown of what to add to your list- and perhaps also what to avoid. She’s really clear on what the book/film/show has going for it- and that’s really helpful to me! Plus, she has a very entertaining way of doing things and makes me laugh!

If you’re looking for more wonderful bloggers you need to look out for, feel free to check out:

Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #1

Social Media Tag

Obviously there are loads more bloggers who deserve *all the attention*- so who do you think I should be looking out for? And do you know any of these bloggers? Will you be checking them out? Let me know in the comments!

Bloggers who Deserve more Attention

Hello! I wanted to do this post a few days ago, in honour of my 3 year bloggiversary, but it’s been a crazy week so I’ve not been blogging nearly as much as I wanted to (annnd I’m totally not breaking my new rule of not apologising all the time, just explaining a little 😉 )

orangutan list

Anyway, I mentioned the other day that I owe a great deal of thanks to the lovely Zezee for basically discovering me as a blogger! If you’re not following her already- what the hell are you doing!? In honour of what she did for me, I decided to share some people’s blogs. Now obviously *everyone* on the blogosphere deserves more attention, but that would’ve taken a bit too long, and while there’s loads of blogs I talk about a lot, and who you should already be following, I think there’s a few that don’t get nearly as much attention. So without further ado, here’s some bloggers you should definitely check out!

Fran Laniado– so Fran is great at keeping up with memes, but that’s not why I love her blog! The best thing about Fran is that she reads so many different books that not a lot of other bloggers are talking about. This makes her lists very thoughtful and stands out a lot. If you’re really interested in classics and literary fiction, like I am, then I highly recommend checking her out! Plus she’s highly intelligent and has some great writing discussions that I very much enjoy.

Cameron Graham @Here be Wyverns– not only is Cameron *super smart* and his content realllly detailed and interesting (really recommend his discussions on mythology– it’s phenomenal!), but I gotta say, he frequently makes me laugh and is absolutely hilarious. So head on over there and say hi to his dragon Ivan!

Lucinda is reading Lucinda is just lovely, sweet totally approachable, really funny and very clever. Her review style is always so varied and tailored specifically for the book! Every review is unique and interesting. Plus she reads a great variety of books so you can’t go wrong! Plus, she agrees with me about not liking Gormenghast, so she must be amazing if she’s on the same page as me there 😉

K L Kranes– I had to include her just for how *awesome* her discussion pieces are- seriously, if you’ve not checked out some of those- you are seriously missing out! They’re really thought-provoking! She talks about writing, reading, grammar, tv, travelling and tons of other things.

Eva O’Reilly– Eva has done something on her blog I could never do: a lot of daily content! I am always so impressed when people blog every day or nearly every day, but what makes Eva more impressive is that her content is often profound and strikes a relatable cord for any writers out there! She talks a lot about writing, life, and just check her out okay!?

Joelendil’s Kingdom of Books– I really love the type of books that Joelendil reviews (a lot of classics and SFF!) and he always gives such a clear picture of his impressions and what to expect. Plus, there’s the added bonus of his reviewing  the type of books that aren’t the run of the mill books you see on the blogosphere.

Lost Art of Reading– speaking of reviews, I had to include Lost Art of Reading on this list, simply because she always writes such top quality, thorough reviews- particularly on books you might never have heard of otherwise. Plus, she’s really friendly and great to chat to!

Simply a book drunkard– Milou does such a fantastic variety of content, it’s hard to pin down a single reason why you should go follow her! Her reading is eclectic and if you’re into sci fi/fantasy and graphic novels in particular, then she’s definitely someone to check out 😀

Wordaholics Anonymous– I really can’t mention Milou without giving a shoutout to her other half as well! I highly recommend you check out both regardless, because he does really interesting reviews on fantasy books, has cool music taste and shares some of his awesome poetry.

Angelica @Dreaming of Fiction– Angelica runs a really varied blog and I think this comes from the fact she’s completely unique on the blogosphere- I mean, I defy you to find another geeky opera singer in training! So her content is a mixture and I really enjoy reading about her bookish and music tastes!

Bookwyrm Knits– if you’re into discussions, reviews and weekly memes, then you’ve definitely got to hop on over to Bookwyrm Knits (and I know most of you answered yes to all of those 😉 ) Plus, she also shares her knitting WIP, and I know from my Reverse Q&A that a fair number of you are knitters, so you should definitely have a look! 😉

And that’s all for now! And because I want to spread the love around a bit, I think it would be great if you could share some more bloggers who deserve more attention in the comments! 

3 Year Bloggiversary! Things I’ve Learnt as a Blogger

3 year bloggiversary

Hello all! Well, according to the powers that be over at WordPress, this just so happens to be my third bloggiversary! (well the anniversary of when I got the domain name- we’ll get to what a lousy blogger I was when I started out in a mo 😉 ). To mark the occasion, I took inspiration from Laura @LFBook‘s fantastic “Things I’ve Learnt as a Blogger” series (really recommend checking it out) and decided to share what I’ve discovered about blogging in the last three years!

thoughts orangutan

Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Before I even started, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t hold back. Aside from being a pretty frank person, I will admit that a lot of this came from being told what I could and couldn’t say IRL. Because I’m a contrarian I decided to stick two fingers up to the busybodies who wanted to tell me what to do 😉 And you know what, even though I’ve touched on some controversial topics over the years, some of which have made me nail-bitingly nervous, I’m glad that I did it. Granted, sometimes I have had to deal with people less than pleased about what I have to say- and you know what? That’s okay. I can deal with it, I’m a big monkey 😉 (also, I have bananas and I’m not afraid to use them 😉 )

On the flipside, I don’t regret the things I didn’t say. Yes, that’s right, I can actually bite my tongue sometimes 😉 As I mentioned in my Drafts, Drafts and More Drafts post, there are posts I’ve decided to shelve for various reasons. It can be good to weigh things up- for instance “will this gripey whiny post about some schmuck annoying me make me feel better?” If the answer’s no, I might just leave it.

Another thing I’ve learnt is to expect the unexpected. Not a lot of people know this, but the first three months of blogging this site was like a virtual graveyard. I’m pretty sure we all go through that at some point tbh. And it’s not like I was expecting anything to grow out of it- frankly the whole project started as a way for me to *shout into the void*. But man, I have to admit that when I started interact more, it became *so much more awesome*. Massive thank you to Zezee for being the first ever person to tag me in something and consequently share one of my posts (yes, I remember that sort of thing 😉 )  I was staggered after that when people started reading, commenting and actually enjoying the content. Which leads me onto…

Blogging is only as fun as you make it! Like I said, I was a lousy blogger when I started and while I had fun writing the posts, it got SO MUCH BETTER once I started to relax and try out new things. I really love making people laugh and if I can make just one person crack a smile, then that’s a good day 😀 I realised how much better blogging is when other people can get something out of it.

Speaking of my early days as a blogger, people are not lying when they say consistency is key. I mean, of course I started out doing that wrong as well 😉 And I may sound really thick for stating the obvious, but I took a while to figure out that when you post more, more people are likely to read *mindblown* 😉

Now I have to say to take that last one with a pinch of salt- because obviously IT IS OKAY TO TAKE BREAKS. (And yes, I’m writing that in capitals, cos I still sorta need to learn that one!) The thing is, blogging can be stressful, we all have lives beyond our blogs and heaven knows we can’t be online as much as we’d like to. In fact, I know that I’m going to have to take a break soon. And that’s *okay*. I still have to keep reminding myself not to apologise at the start of every blog for some misplaced guilt, cos contrary to what my British-brain thinks, constantly saying “sorry!” can be a bit of a pain.

Also, ARCs are not the be all and end all. I can’t be the only person that didn’t have the faintest idea what an ARC was when I started. But when I found out, it would have been easy to get swept up in the allure of *advanced review copies*. That said, I’m really glad I didn’t immediately jump on the ARC train. And, when I found out, I didn’t immediately jump on the ARC train. I let myself think about it for a whole year, before deciding that, yeah, I could fit about one a month into my schedule. Everyone does ARCs differently, which is cool, but I’m very selective cos of that. Even with this small number of requests (combined with how often I get rejected lol) I *still* manage to fall behind in the reviewing side of things, so I’m glad I have this strict rule in place. Especially cos it means that I do a happy dance every time I get an ARC 😉 Which brings me to…

Celebrate every milestone. Sure, I may not shout about everything all the time on here, but I guarantee that I’m SCREAMING WITH JOY INSIDE. Watching this teeny corner of the internet grow has been amazing and I so appreciate each and every one of you that’s makes the blogosphere the most wonderful place to be! And I wanted to say a personal thank you to everyone who nominated and voted for me in the Annual Book Blogger Awards. I’ve been too busy to get involved but it made me feel very honoured. And with that, all that’s left to say is…

party on dudes.gif

What have you learnt from blogging? Let me know in the comments!

3000 followers? Reverse Q&A!

So a couple of days ago I hit 3000 followers and I’m still in a state of shock to be honest. It still amazes me that anyone reads my blog at all! Massive thank you and much love to you all!

 

I wanted to do a fun little post in celebration and since I’d like this to be more about *you* than me- which is why I’m doing a reverse Q&A. I’ve devised some really important questions as well 😉 Starting with:

  1. What’s your favourite kind of cheese?
  2. Are you more of a DNFer or a power-through-to-the-end kind of reader?
  3. If you were the world’s worst superhero, what would your superpower be?
  4. Who is your biggest bookish hero?
  5. What movie mashup would you most like to see?
  6. What’s the best thing about summer?
  7. What would your perfect summer day be like?
  8. And finally, don’t think, tell me the first summery book that pops into your mind!

Let me know your answers in the comments!

Drafts, Drafts and More Drafts

It’s been a slow week for me online…So I’ve been thinking a lot about all the things I haven’t done on my blog and I thought it might be fun to do a chill post, where I discuss some of the ideas I’ve had over the years and posts I’ve written that I’ve never shared. Some of these I may be persuaded to share one day (probably not though because polishing them up into half readable pieces would be more work than starting from scratch). Anyhoo, here are some of the ideas that have been left on my computer going stale for eons and eons:

(oh and *disclaimer*, as always, not for the easily offended)

Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher's_Stone_Book_CoverMy Thoughts on Harry Potter– this was inspired by some comments on my Monstrous Confessions piece, where I talked about having some criticisms (I also have plenty of praise, before peeps get their panties in a twist 😉 ). The reason I haven’t shared this yet is simply because I was waiting for a time when I could/wanted to reread the whole series-it’d be quite good to give a sense of before and after- only trouble is I’m a mood reader and the desire to reread HP hasn’t quite struck me of late. Oh well. One day…

strike outStrike Out Tag– now I usually have a never say never attitude when it comes to tags HOWEVER as grateful as I was to be tagged for this one, I honestly felt these questions were a tad personal. And frankly it also got a little dark. To give you a snippet of what I mean, it had questions like “have you ever gone fishing” next to “have you watched someone die”- yikes! Still, it’s been taunting me in my drafts for ages, gonna have to delete it.

monkey typewriterDrafts, Drafts and More Drafts– the original post by this name- I know, how meta is this post getting? Originally I used this opportunity to gripe about something blogging related. Unfortunately it got a little confused and I can’t really follow the train of thought, so I abandoned that idea in favour of this! Speaking of the blogging related…

smaug burningHow I Blog– such a pleasant title, such a crap would-be post. There was a part 1 and 2 as well and it was ready to go. BUT I was super cranky when I wrote it and it was basically a response to trolls (as I pointed out in my Me In Book Characters Tag I’m somewhat hot-headed), so when I took a breather and cooled down, I lost all desire to share (really it was a lousy post, you all had a lucky escape 😉 )

shudders.gifTriggered by Trigger Warnings– this will remain in draft form- partly cos I’ve more or less used that title for Gaiman’s book, mostly because the current document stands at 10000 words and counting. Somehow I don’t think this post is ever coming- it’s wayyy too long and complicated. One of the things that inspired me to write it was reading all the uninformed pieces online- yet while what I’ve written benefits from actual *citations* (*geeky shudders*) I do think that another inexpert view probably won’t be productive. I’m also frankly a little bored of the topic by now. Oh well, it was a good learning curve for me anyway.

Gulag Archipelago, 3 volumesA Post on the Gulag Archipelago– again, lack of qualification comes into it, but also HOW ON EARTH DO YOU SUMMARISE A BOOK LIKE THIS- ARGHHH?! (Genuinely asking cos I don’t have a clue) Also it was painful enough reading this let alone analysing (not cos it’s bad, it’s excellent, but it’s reallllly not a fun read). The thought of going through all my notes doesn’t exactly fill me with glee. That said I will try to put *something* together for it- even if it’s just an “I read it, you probably should” post.

communist manifestoSnarking on the Communist Manifesto– yes, you read that title correctly. This was something I actually just did for fun- yet reading it back got a chuckle, so I thought about sharing it- but no, this is so weirdly niche, even for me. (Plus it’s ridiculously long, cos it’s more or less line by line)

 

delete cybermenAre the Markets Really Free– WTF was I actually thinking with this one?!?!? What on earth!! Seriously I *am not* an economist. DELETE.

 

 

funny-facepalm-gifThe White Heteronormativity of Classics– bahahahahaha not touching that one with a bargepole. What made me write it was an exceptionally daft comment (someone criticising Austen for being white and heteronormative *face palm*) yet it could basically be summarised in two words: *context matters*. Dear dear dear, moving on…

Bettleheim and Child Psychology Theories– not a terrible idea for a post, but to be honest, I think people would be better served just reading his work. Not saying it’s all spot on- only it gives an idea of why children’s literature evolved in a certain direction in the 20th Century (he talks a lot about what children can cope with in terms of violence etc)

form50027So one thing I’ve learnt from doing this exercise is I’m somewhat temperamental… although let’s be honest, all the banana throwing was kind of a clue. I guess I should invite more trolls to come on here and write the daftest, most-insulting comments and they can be safe in the knowledge that I’ll probably write a response to it that I’ll never publish. Come at me bro! 😉

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Anyhoo- what do you think of these post ideas? Any of them catch your eye? And do you have any post ideas that’ll never see the light of day on your blog? Let me know in the comments!

Why I’m Happy to be Negative Sometimes

Hello all!! I’m feeling awfully chipper today cos I’m gonna be talking about negativity! Lately, I’ve been dropping a fair few negative posts, and that, together with your comments and an *amazing* post by Uptown Oracle, got me thinking… Why am I happy to be negative on my blog? Especially when so many people aren’t…

Well brace yourself, because I’m gonna deep dive into my monkey brain and tell you all why I put on my grouchy pants from time to time and why I’m willing to sling the odd banana peel at things I don’t like.

  1. I had to suffer through the book dammit! Consider this my very cheap form of therapy. If I suffered through 300+ pages of bilge and was made utterly miserable by a book, then you can be jolly well sure I’m gonna need to vent!!

better out than in shrew

  1. Also, let’s be honest, it’s fun!! Nothing is more cathartic than a good rant- so of course I’m having fun writing these posts and I hope you’re enjoying reading them. Plus, you all get to laugh at my pain. And who doesn’t secretly take pleasure from that? 😉
  1. Honesty is key! I started my blog to share honest opinions about books and that (in my humble opinion) is the best way to have a positive experience and the key to any sort of success. I’m not gonna lie to you, it’s not always easily- some people will say the opposite, but anecdotally I can say my follower count takes a hit when I say something mean about some movie or book I don’t like- and as tempted as I am to follow after the person yelling “come back!” like Rose at the end of Titanic, I know that it’s for the best that I parted ways with someone who can’t take hearing a differing opinion. So I take it as a win anyway 😉 And while we’re on the subject of trust…

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  1. I’m gonna be blunt– I don’t trust purely positive reviewers- I just don’t. If I go on someone’s page and find nothing but a sea of stars, I’m gonna get suspicious. And if I read a negative review and then the person gives the book upwards of 4 stars, there’s no end to my suspicion! The only way you can trust that I’m giving all my bananas out fairly is if some books don’t get too many. Plus- I love my bananas and only give them away for a good reason- so if I’m giving a book 4-5 bananas it has to be well earned.

terry pratchett banana quote

  1. Besides, rating systems are on a scale for a reason. Books make me feel all sorts of emotions, ranging between AHHH THIS IS AMAZING to UGHHH THIS IS TERRIBLE- so naturally I need a system that reflects that. Talking numerically, if I refuse to go below 3*, I’ve suddenly skewed everything upwards and made 4* books average and now I can’t give 5* sparingly and… arghhh- do you see how confusing this is!? That’s why I have a clear system:

banana rating

  1. Even worse- without clear rating systems, the reader might be misled over whether it’s worth investing time and money in a book. Book reviewing serves a purpose and as much as we may hate to admit it, we *need* to discriminate against books sometimes, because (unfortunately) we don’t have money trees and as much as we would like to personally finance every author/publishing house/book shop on the planet, that is simply not possible. As it is I’m shopping on AbeBooks, scanning every amazon bargain and hopping over to the library once a week (highly recommended practices 😉 ) Contrary to popular belief, our tbr’s don’t just want to be fed all the time- they want to be starved a little as well (okay they’ll never go hungry- but maybe we should put them on a diet). The fact is, we’re not just reading reviews to have our own opinions confirmed or to hear how every single book is just excellent and we need to read it- we need to know whether we should read something or not. If there’s a reason I really shouldn’t be wasted my hard earned cash on something- I want to know about it. And if that means my tbr will get shorter, so much the better!

monster book of monsters

  1. It’s a challenge! Call me crazy, but seeing a negative review for a book I love is like throwing down a gauntlet (and vice versa). It’s great to have perspectives challenged and see things from another point of view- and nothing makes you think more critically than seeing an opposing opinion. Naturally this doesn’t mean you have to agree with the reviewer- sometimes hearing someone’s arguments can actually help you bolster up your own views as you think of counter arguments and you can go away with your opinions intact- but this just shows it doesn’t hurt to hear another point of view, it can only help.

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So there you go- those are my reasons I’m happy to be a negative nancy from time to time. What do you think of sharing negative opinions? Let me know in the comments!