A Note from Binge on Books

Hey book friends!

Judith here. I’ll be honest, this is perhaps the most difficult post I’ve ever had to write on Binge on Books. That very first post way back in 2012 was a cinch. The site was still called I Love YA Fiction then and we hadn’t met any of you or read any of these amazing, funny, sweet, reverent, sexy, and endearing books. Writing that post was the easiest thing in the world. The words flowed and everything about it was effortless. Words and emotion on paper. Fin.

Today though, it is heavy and momentous and halting. There is meaning here that can’t be put into words. Emotion I can’t even articulate.

Binge on Books is closing. I have adored and treasured all my time reading, writing, and discussing books with you here. I will miss the site but will still very much be active in the community through my work with A Novel Take PR, Open Ink Press, and my columns on Teen Vogue, HEA USA Today, and The Mary Sue.

I am so very grateful for the times we had, you and I and the books. So very grateful.

To my reviewing team past and present – I thank you. You are, all of you, amazing.

Please stay in touch. Until I decide on a new handle, you can find me on Twitter as @bingeonbooks or email and I would love to hear from you.

Best,

Judith

Please note: there might be one or two more straggler reviews that go live between now and June 30. (Alex is a reading machine!). All reviews and the site itself will stay active until further notice.


Dear friends and fellow binge readers (as if the two terms didn’t mean the same thing),

If you come to Binge On Books, I imagine you as a devourer of words. As am I.

Since I’ve joined the BoB team, I have read and shared some books I will treasure always. If you have read my reviews, thank you. If you have shared your enthusiasm for books we’ve both enjoyed, thank you. If you have pressed me to try something new, thank you. If you were brave enough to do a buddy read with me, thank you. If you happen to be Judith–amazing founder of Binge On Books and a bazillion other most wonderful things–I cannot thank you enough.

Binge On Books may be ending but I shall continue to read. I hope you will, too. Please hit me up on twitter if you want to chat about new and old finds or — better yet — need someone for a buddy read.


Binge on Books, I will miss you so much. This is the first blog I have ever reviewed on and it has been an AMAZING, invaluable experience.  I finally had a place to voice my love for queer romance and interact with people who share that love. Judith, I’m forever grateful that you gave me a chance and accepted me into BoB family. You are the kindest and so brilliant and I have learned so much from you *sends you all the virtual donuts*. To all the fellow reviewers: thank you for being such a friendly and inspirational bunch, feel free to always squee with me about books on Twitter <3
Hugs, Anya

When Judith told me she was closing Binge on Books, I completely understood. Running a blog is a lot of hard work. It requires time, energy, and organization, and even though it seems like Judith has enough of those things for ten people, apparently she’s human like the rest of us? Weird.

However, even though I understand why, I can’t help but be a little sad about it. I haven’t contributed to the blog in a long time, as life circumstances and world circumstances have significantly derailed my reading, but this blog has had an enormous impact on me, and I wanted to talk about that a little before it closes its doors.

Writing for Binge on Books introduced me to the wide world of romance writers and book bloggers, many of whom I now count as close friends. It led me back to writing and connecting with my own voice as a writer, which is a gift I thought I’d lost. Writing for BoB helped me branch out to find new authors and new genres, and to push myself outside of my own reading comfort zones. I joined BoB during a difficult time in my life, and I am immensely grateful for the home I found here, for the kindness and enthusiasm I found from Judith and from my fellow reviewers.

I’m not a long-winded person (ask Judith, when she edited my first reviews, she was always like “…maybe a little MORE? A little longer?”) so I’m going to wrap it up here. Binge on Books was a place I was happy to call home, a place I was happy to contribute to, and my work here is something I’m very proud of. I’m not sure what the next phase holds for me, but I wish Judith and A Novel Take PR the very best, and I will see you all on Twitter!

-Erin


BoB is more than a website. It’s a community of people who embrace the beauty of all genres in the reading community. For that, I am eternally grateful. Judith and the BoB team have opened my eyes to so many books and a wonderful community. Thank you for reading along with us. All great things must end but Binge on Books will always have such a special place in my heart. I am so happy I took a chance and threw my hat in the ring.
– Madison
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An open apology and BEA!

Yoohoo! Hello! Hello over there!! Can you see me? Hello? It’s me, Judith? You probably won’t recognize me and if you do, you’re all probably a wee bit pissed at me for, ya know, not blogging or reviewing or even maintaining the site really over the last few months. But don’t be. I’m here on my knees ready to grovel.

“Why’d you leave us, Judith?!” That’s the big question. Guys, I am so sorry but this dumb thing called “day-to-day life” just kept getting in the way. At first it was just asking me to make dinner and you know, clean for a bit (and by clean I totally mean put dishes in the dishwasher and nothing else). Then it started eating up my available time with homework assignments, girl scout troop meetings, working 8 hours a day, laundry…and we can’t forget that pesky husband and the never ending, extended houseguests.  It got so bad that at one point I actually considered stopping blogging altogether.

The sudden collective gasp  you guys just put out is enough to make me think, “whew!” I did the right thing by not dumping the blog.

So here’s the deal. I promise to get you guys some quality reviews over the next few weeks because me, Ellen, and Onni have been reading up a storm. I also promise not to go AWOL again.

Now, this brings me to the awesome photo montage portion of this post.

On May 28 and 29th, Ellen and I took NYC by storm (not a difficult feat considering we both live in NJ) and attended BEA 2014. It was our 3rd time and we had a blast.  We spent all of Thursday checking out the various authors and taking in the scene:

People lining up at 7:30 am to enter BEA at 9 am. Dedication!

People lining up at 7:30 am to enter BEA at 9 am. Dedication!

More line waiting at 7:30 am...

More line waiting at 7:30 am…

Waiting in line for books to be autographed

Look closely and you’ll see A.R. Kahler, author of the Immortal Circus, waiting in line too

The line up to get books signed

The lines to get books by famous authors signed

We learned that at least two of the five main cast members of How I Met Your Mother  + one member of The Office had written books!

IMG_20140530_081631

Jason Segal speaking at the Children’s Books Author Breakfast

Neil Patrick Harris in booth signing. He is so skinny!

Neil Patrick Harris in booth signing. He is so skinny!

BJ Novak signing in booth

BJ Novak signing in booth

Some of our idols of childhood:

Garth Nix, author of Sabriel

Garth Nix, author of Sabriel

R.L. Stine

R.L. Stine

And we met up with some amazing bloggers and authors from all over:

Author Michelle Mankin, Blogger Kelly Moorehouse, and Author Anne Eliot (plus me hiding behind a book on the telephone screen)

Author Michelle Mankin, Blogger Kelly Moorhouse, and Author Anne Eliot (+ me on screen)

Author T.Torrest and Blogger Kelly Moorehouse

Author T.Torrest and Blogger Kelly Moorhouse

Blogger Rebecca Peters-Golden

Blogger Rebecca Peters-Golden

Author Anne Eliot and I Love YA Fiction's Ellen

Author Anne Eliot and I Love YA Fiction’s Ellen

And the best part?! We got our hands on some new books:

I Love YA Fiction's Judith holding an ARC of Anne Eliot's How I Fall

I Love YA Fiction’s Judith holding an ARC of Anne Eliot’s How I Fall

Look at all the books!

Look at all the books!

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

So long story short: we’re back! Reviews are back! Hope you are ready for us!

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Happy, Happy, Happy—Blog-a-versary to me!

Even though Ellen has the best birthday memory of anyone ever – I swear that girl has never once in 10 years forgotten my birthday, even calling from Africa (or was it Italy?!) to sing the birthday song just for me – she forgot something very important this year: our 1 year BLOGAVERSARY! 1 year of reviews, news, rants, and swoons! 1 year of lots of sleepless nights trying to get WordPress software to just post those pictures correctly and stop being such a useless jerk! 1 year of dreamy men, strong heroines, and fantastic adventures! 1 year of trying to find that perfect way to most accurately describe the feeling you get as you read a certain book and want it to continue but dread for it to end cause it’s just that good!

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Help! Blatant pleading and searching for a reader/reviewer on I Love YA Fiction

Guys, I’m going to be honest: I can’t keep up. The

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number of books we receive daily and the

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number of books I want to read/review is just overwhelming. I think our reading queue is something like 40 deep! Poor Ellen is trying to finish out Grad School without flunking and I keep seeming to have crazy things like hurricanes and earthquakes take over my life.

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Three Things that Kick Butt: An Author Birthday Contest, One HUGE Contest, and the Comment Section

Hey guys! I’m super elated today! It could be the 4 cups of coffee I’ve had since waking up 2 hours ago…but I think it’s more because things are finally starting to get back to normal around here in Hoboken. Gone are the armored National Guard trucks patrolling the streets and here to stay is ELECTRICITY! I can sleep without needing 6 layers and 4 quilts! I don’t have to wear a headlamp to make my canned soup! Amazing stuff.

Now I have three very important things that I want to tell you about:

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It’s…a Hurricane Hiatus!!!

Hey guys! Well…so…there was this little thing called Hurricane Sandy that has severely disrupted my life. I live in Hoboken, NJ and, if you’ve been watching the news, you’ll know that my town was devastated. I haven’t had power for the last 5 days and finally had to evacuate my home.  Power isn’t going to be restored any time soon. It’s 11/2 and the last I heard power MAY be back on 11/9. May be. Yikes! Good thing is, I have great great friends who have welcomed me and my family in with open arms! I also have some truly moving photos of what happened. Bad thing is, the blog will be on a brief hiatus while I live with twelve other people in 2 bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side.  No joke.

If you’re interested, here’s a little glimpse into my world.

This was my view Tuesday morning:

And here it is now:

Hang in there friends…when we’re back, I will finally be able to give you that 300 Facebook Followers Book contest I promised and  my back log of YA books will be reviewed in full force! And seriously, I’ve got nothing but time on my hands right now so I’m reading up a storm.

Stay safe, friends! And any sort of encouraging words are most appreciated 🙂

xoxo

Judith

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A big fat THANK YOU aka You love us, you really love us!

Guys. I don’t say this enough: Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We started this blog only 6 months ago as a means of simultaneously venting about and relishing some truly exceptional books. Little did we know that anybody would actually read it. But you did, and still do, and for that we’re grateful. You guys are the bomb!

And now this: we’re up for a blogging award! I know, right? Woah! That’s so neat and totally unexpected. As two people who have never been nominated for anything, this is validation of the best sort. I mean, I kept hoping in high school that I’d at least get voted Best Hair or Most Likely To Succeed. “Someone will surely recognize the superiority of my silky soft locks,” I would say to myself. But it never, ever happened and now, only a few years later, we’re nominated for our quick wit and snarky words. In short, it’s amazing. We’ve come so far after only 6 months and it’s all thanks to you. Here’s to 6 more!

If anyone wants to nominate any of the other fab blogs out there or you know, nominate us over and over ad nauseum which is totally acceptable and not at all crazypants – ha! – here’s the link to the 2012 Bloggy Awards! http://thebloggyawards.blogspot.com/

BTW: yep, that’s totally me giving

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you two thumbs up! And no, I don’t normally walk around with a helmet on my head.

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Do you want to be a guest blogger on I Love YA Fiction?

Why, hello there. Are you thinking that I’ve been reviewing less than usual? Seem a bit lackluster? You would be correct in both those regards because my blogging buddy extraordinaire, Ellen, is away for the next two weeks. Luckily for her, she’s back just in time for my birthday. If she wasn’t I’d be looking for more than just a guest blogger let me tell you…anyhoo, while she’s gone I’m in need of a guest blogger! This is the part where

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you ooh and ahh and scramble to sign up. I’m looking for someone who is willing to read and review two YA novels. One review to go up next Wednesday and another the following Wednesday. You must be: snarky, witty, intelligent, easy-going, playful, dreamy, willing to drink while reviewing, keep an eye open for that swoon factor, and like to use grammatically correct sentences in addition to correct punctuation and spelling. If these don’t apply to you, please don’t ask for the job. If interested, please leave me a comment on this post and I’ll get back to you via email. Bonus points if you already know exactly which books you’re going to review. Thanks! Happy blogging!

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No, really, I do read other things beside YA fiction…but really I don’t.

So the other day, my husband’s niece asked me, “How come you don’t do anything but read? I mean, you’re always on your kindle.”

I stared at her, dumbfounded. The kid is four so her idea of always is a little skewed. And how the heck does she know what a kindle is for that matter? “No, I’m not,” I said and even to myself it sounded a bit shrill. “I have plenty of other interests.”

“Like what? You’re always reading something.”

As my husband smirked at me from the couch, I realized that she was a) far too perceptive for a four year old and b) 100% correct. I am always on my kindle. It’s beside me when I wake up; it follows me to the coffee maker; is my constant companion as I get ready in the morning (hell, I even read the thing while blow drying my hair!); and it’s the last thing I see before drifting off each night.

Now, don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing wrong with reading but if I were to tell everyone around me that all I do is read YA fiction, they’d probably smirk like hubby and tell me to get another hobby. Because hobbies like knitting or skeet shooting are somehow more acceptable these days than reading a feel good book where the main character is generally a spunky, intelligent girl who over the course of the story learns and grows from various mistakes while either winning or losing the guy. Case in point: A friend of mine recently tried to coerce me into giving up the password on my kindle so he could check out what I’m reading. He’s evidently some sort of highbrow, book snob because when I mentioned it was a YA novel, he dropped

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the thing as if it were covered in anthrax. He just didn’t get it.

YA fiction is good. Okay, better than good. It’s fantastic. And I’m hellbent on spreading the word and making converts of us all. I use a highly scientific review system that examines the following:

How much did I like the heroine:

How much did I like the love interest:

How believable is the plot:

How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc:

How much did I want to keep reading:

****The droolworthiness of the main love interest has been known to add bonus points to a review. Likewise, the amount of self-worth the main character places in her relationship with a love interest subtracts points (Yes, Bella Swan I’m pointing a finger at you!)

Enjoy!

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