Thursday, February 25, 2016

Post Reading: The Word for Yes - Claire Needell


Title: The Word for Yes
Author: Claire Needell
Published: 16 February 2016 by HarperTeen
Source: ARC from Publisher
Add it on Goodreads

At once honest and touching, Claire Needell's debut novel is a moving look at date rape and its aftermath, at the love and conflicts among sisters and friends, and how these relationships can hold us together—and tear us apart.

The gap between the Russell sisters—Jan, Erika, and Melanie—widens as each day passes. Then, at a party full of blurred lines and blurred memories, everything changes. Starting that night, where there should be words, there is only angry, scared silence.
And in the aftermath, Jan, Erika, and Melanie will have to work hard to reconnect and help one another heal.


The Word for Yes falls short for me because of multiple reasons - An anti-climatic ending, poor character development, lack of depth and a somewhat stilted writing style. The book itself felt like a emotionless narration of a series of events with no sense of direction.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Word Contessa - A Rebranding Story

People change. Passions change. So it's only natural that your brand evolves too as times goes on. I have been blogging for over 3 years at Say It with Books and I loved it.

Until I didn't.

Have you ever felt that way? Have you felt that your blog's theme/name/niche does not fit you anymore? That you have outgrown something that you previously loved?


In the months leading up to my third blogversary, I realized that I was simply not feeling it. This wasn't just a blogging slump. I considered spicing things up a bit and tried numerous things. I flirted with the idea of self-hosted WordPress which I tried and HATED (loved the bazillion plugins but it was not for me!). I soon realized that my issue was not going to be sorted by a simple font change or migrating to WordPress. After a good two months of going back and forth, I decided to rebrand my blog. It was incredibly liberating and motivating to rethink my content, my blogging voice, blog design and blog name.

Apart from the obvious name change and design overhaul, I have decided to clean up my categories to identify my ideal niche and to bring in topics that I like to write about.

  • Book Reviews: Pretty self-explanatory. I will be looking at switching up my review style a bit and I hope to also review more adult novels along with young adult fiction.
  • Book Talk: I like the idea of discussing the portrayal of real life in fiction so you'll be seeing more posts like my recent discussion Redefining Strong Women in YA Fiction.
  • Blog Talk: During the day I work in PR so I'd like to share my experience in blogging, social media, marketing and brand management along with some organizational tips.
  • Flash Fiction: I hope to sit my ass down and start working on my book this year so I'll be sharing some snippets, short fiction pieces as well as any anecdotes about this whole process.
  • Life: Everything non-blogging, non-writing, non-reading goes here! I hope to get to know my readers and fellow bloggers better this year so this category is the first step towards that.

Shoutout to some incredible people who helped me through this process:

  • Misaki at Three Words who helped with all my hosting + domain change queries! She was patient and brilliant during my (temporary) move to WordPress was super smooth despite me not liking the whole WordPress interface etc.
  • Adele, the super talented tumblr artist who created the gorgeous header artwork!
  • Hazel at Designs by Stay Bookish who helped with the blog layout and all my coding needs.
  • My real life besties + blogging besties + my mum who helped me throughout my blogging identity crisis, helped me pick color palettes and gave incredible feedback! Love y'all! :)