At the end of the year, plenty of bloggers, myself included, come up with lists of the best books we have read throughout the year. For me, this list happens to be a ranked top ten, while others may approach such a post differently. I learned that when I created my list for 2011 that Largehearted Boy, who has a site of his own that concentrates on music and books, has a collection of rankings from other blogs of book reviews throughout the year. Not only does this provide an opportunity to find different books that we may have missed and should check out, but it also provides an opportunity to discover bloggers with a common interest. One of these happens to be the very well arranged blog of Carina Olsen, who is the one behind Carina's Books.
Carina Olsen is a Norwegian book blogger whose interests include young adult fiction and middle grade fiction, primarily in the genre of fantasy. While our interests aren't exactly similar (I prefer horror fiction, thrillers, psychological fiction, science fiction, U.S. Presidential nonfiction, etc.), we do share common ground on a few books, primarily in the dark, young adult fictional category. The one thing I know for sure is that the books that Carina reviews are definitely appealing to plenty of readers in my age group. Even adults enjoy young adult fiction. I'll even admit to going back an age bracket in order to read The Hunger Games trilogy or anything written by Robert Cormier (who wrote I Am The Cheese and The Chocolate War). As for Carina's choices, her choices are slightly more feminine, but plenty of book bloggers enjoy her taste of book choices.
Carina takes part in plenty of the trends that book bloggers engage in, but truly makes them her own. One of these trends is called "In My Mailbox," which is quite an intriguing idea for someone who wants to evaluate what they hope to read (or in some cases watch) someday. While the concept was created by "The Story Siren," these weekly posts are a treat and grant you the opportunity to seek a sample of what is interesting Carina at the time. Most recently (as in the time that this post is being writing), Carina mentioned Nova Ren Suma's 17 & Gone as one of the books in her mailbox, then later went to review it, praising it for being a read that didn't disappoint. From what she had to say, I may have to check this one out.
Among the other creative segments Carina has on her blog are "Top Ten Tuesday," which are recommendations of ten books we should check out, and "Waiting On Wednesday," which are books she's looking forward to that are up and coming. While these are ideas from other blogger, Carina does a fine job making these her own in a way that makes me wonder whether or not Carina created these herself.
The best part of Carina's Books is that Carina is herself when she writes her posts. When I read reviews, I want to feel like I'm engaging in a discussion with you about a specific topic and I want to feel like it's you on the post. There are cases where the reviewer either distance themselves or follows a cookie cutter method in evaluating the subject of which they are reviewing. Carina does just the opposite. Carina is honest about her feelings toward specific parts and characters in the story and she mentions these things as she reviews it, which is exactly how a book should be reviewed.
Any young adult fiction reader should definitely check this blog out. I will go to the point of guaranteeing that this will be a blog you regularly visit once you discover it and become hooked to the fascinating recommendations she makes. Carina will surely recommend a book that you will enjoy and some point or another if you're a fantasy reader in the young adult realm. In fact, she even pulled a spark for me with her mention of Swan Song by Robert McCammon. I had this book on my shelf and never got to reading it, but heard very good things about it. Maybe this will be the year I finally get my hands on it to read. You see, Carina strikes these kinds of notes. She allows you to think deeply about books and reading and uses her blog to promote such a passion.
I surely hope that each and every year that I seek new book bloggers that I will garner the opportunity to follow. If you're looking for new books to read, new blogs to follow, a combination of the two, or you just want to do something, my suggestion would be to follow this blog. I can guarantee that you'll be on Amazon or at a Barnes & Noble within a few days time.
Here's the link to the blog: