Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Ravens and Writing Desks turns THREE! // cake! and games! and giveaways!

Today is officially the day that this little blog turns 3 years old! Let me just gasp in disbelief like a fish out of water because that sounds both way too long and way too short. I feel like I just started blogging, and still don't know what the crap I'm doing, but I also feel like I've known all of you for wayyyyy more than three years. 

Last year, I forgot about my blogoversary (it comes during a usually-busy end of school time, because I decided to make it on the first day of summer break after junior year of high school). And the year before that, I just had one sad little recap post. So, to make up for both of those, this year we're partying IN STYLE. Which means GIVEAWAYS and GAMES and GLITTER. (well maybe not glitter because that gets all over everything and my grandmother will get mad)

Of course, I really want to first say THANK YOU TO ALL YOU LOVERLY PEOPLE who read and comment on my posts (despite my rather irregular posting schedule). You all are worthy people deserving of chocolate and if I could I would give each of you a mountain-full.

Here's the thing. I have crappy memory (like seriously, so crappy), and I really want to do a list of shoutouts to my favoritest people but there are so many of you and I'm really scared of missing someone. So I'm going to do my best, but - know that you are in my heart even if you're not on these lists.

Bloggerly Inspiration

Cleopatra @ The Classical Carousel - my first bloggly friend! I'm sorry I don't visit you often now at all - I'll stop by soon, I promise!
Kayla @ The Thousand Lives - she's not blogging anymore, but she was THE first YA blog I followed (see below).
Cait @ Paper Fury - One of my biggest bloggly role models. She always makes me happy with her comments on my posts.
Emily @ Loony Literate - Her blog is so chill and yet so well put-together.
Bennett @ My Sky of Paper and Ink - her blog is private now and I was on a hiatus when it happened so now I don't know what to do! But she was the first person who said that MY blog inspired HER to start blogging! SO HONORED OMG

People that comment ALL THE TIME

Masanobu @ All the Pretty Books
Morgan @ Gone with the Words
Skye @ Ink Castles
Windsprite @ Writingcorner


Katie @ Spiral Bound
Annie @ Curious Wren
Brett @ Book Squirt
Brianna @ StoryPort
Hannah  @ Plottinger Twist
(And Cait too, but she already got a shoutout. Who does she think she is, Queen of the Universe or something?)

On this momentous occasion, I think it's time to look back and see what started me blogging in the first place, and what's changed and what stayed the same.

Essentially, I started blogging because my parents got tired of me fangirling at them so instead I decided to fangirl into the void of the internet and hopefully find some people to fangirl with me. But I didn't really realize exactly how HUMONGOUS the book blogger community was. I started out with a humble little blog that rambled on and on about mostly classic books, because that's what I read.

There's a fantastic classics community of book bloggers out there, and a thing called the Classics Club, and that's where I first started making my bloggly friends. But soon, I started meeting people online who were not classics bloggers.

They were YA BLOGGERS. (dun dun)

Let me explain to you that when I was a child, I was an adorable tiny book snob. My literary diet consisted of 98% classics (both children's and adult's), and I rarely stepped foot into the "Teen" section of the library. And I'm really glad that I was a tiny adorable book snob because it laid a strong foundation for me in the classics. And I still really love the classics (even though I may have taken a bit of a hiatus from them at the moment?).

But let me also tell you that I once wrote an essay when I was 12 about why "Chick Lit" was bad literature and what I called "Chick Lit" was literally just YA.

So when I stumbled upon the YA book blogging community (which is, let's be honest, like 99.57% of the book blogging community in general), I was hesitant. But here's the thing.

I read classics because I don't like wasting time on books I don't like. And classics are books that have continually, time and time again, proved their worth. If so many people liked them, there's a bigger chance that I'd like them than I'd like a random book I picked off the shelf.

So when I started reading reviews of YA books, and actually thinking about which I'd enjoy and which I wouldn't, I realized my hesitation was entirely the result of not wanting to waste my time. So I dove in, with the reviews of bloggers with similar tastes to mine and NOW I AM A CONVERT.

(Though I still love my classics babies. You'll always be my first loves *kisses*)

So I know stats don't Matter in the Long Run, but I think it's kind of fun to see how my blog has grown over the years.

1 year totals:
Pageviews: 7,052
Followers: 15

2 year totals:
Pageviews: 27,585
Followers: 80ish? Don't have exact stats.

3 year totals (now!):
Pageviews: 46,929
Followers: 171

Also, this past month I hit 100 followers on Bloglovin', 50 followers on GFC, and am soon going to hit 1000 on Twitter! I AM IN SHOCK.
I think it's time for games now, yes? Yes.

So I made a quizzy guessing game! You've got to guess the book that the cropped bit of cover belongs to - but here's a hint: they're all THIRD books in series. (Haha aren't I so clever, it's my third blogoversary, so i have a third-books-in-series quiz, yes so clever)

(and actually I'm not sure how much that tip helps because all the multiple choice answer options are third books too so...)

(basically this is my first time making a quiz and it might be super easy or it might be super hard so bear with me because I'm really a baby beginner at this stuff)

The game should pop up below, but if for whatever reason you can't access it, click here, and that should work. And then share in the comments what you got! (and if the quiz was too hard or too easy)

So what comes after games? Giveaways, of course! And I have MULTIPLE.


(there's a pattern here, you see?)

The first is in homage to my classics beginnings. I don't know how many of my old classics bloggly friends still read Ravens and Writing Desks, but if you do, I really promise I'll come back to the classics world soon! I REALLY PROMISE. (I've just been catching up on all the YA books I neglected when I was actually the intended audience.)

So this giveaway is of one of my favorite classic books with one of my favorite classic heroines - Jane Eyre. And hey YA people? I think you should give it a shot, even if you don't read classics. It'll appeal to you if you like romance, brooding love interests, creepy mysteries, and quietly badass heroines.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My next giveaway is one of my favorite YA books, and one of the only books ever that has made me cry unapologetically in public - Rose Under Fire. (The other one was The Book Thief, if you were wondering.) It is technically the second in a series, but works as a standalone 100%. You can read my review for it here. YOU WANT TO READ IT BECAUSE IT WILL DESTROY YOU.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And my last giveaway is INTERNATIONAL! (US-ers are still welcome to enter.) The winner of this giveaway gets an Amazon e-book of their choice from the list of all the books I've reviewed on the blog! (see list here)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So go! Enter! Win!

How did you like the festivities? How did you do on the quiz? Was it too easy? Too hard? (plz tell me) And TELL ME YOUR BLOGGING ORIGIN STORY! And oh, before you leave, you can't refuse...


  1. I got all the questions right! Oh and happy blogoversary! I think I celebrate my third year blogging sometime at the end of 2016/start of 2017, because I started blogging at the end of 2014. If I won the e-book giveaway, I'd choose Scarlet Undercover by Jennifer Latham.

    1. Opps I meant my second yea blogoversary.

    2. WOO WOO *showers you with glitter* good job on the quiz! Thank you for the good wishes and for entering my giveaway - good luck!

  2. Happy Blogversary! I started blogging because I found out I could get free books from publishers for writing reviews. (No shame.) But now, it's just a place to write about myself and things. :)

    I first started reading due to my mom and my grandpa. Both encouraged reading and would read to me. My grandpa even told me I'm his favorite grandchild because I always read. ;)

    1. Thank you! And hey, free books are not a bad thing at all :-P

  3. YAY. Happy Blogoversary! (Btw really super sorry I haven't been commenting...I promise I have been silently stalking your posts still though ;) )

    I actually don't cry over books a lot. Weird because I cry so easily for movies. But... I can't remember the last book that I cried. >.<

    1. Thank you! And don't worry, we're all super busy (look at this reply comment, it's super late, oops). Yeah, I used to rarely cry over books, but then somehow over the past two years or so I've been getting more emotional with what I read. Hormonal changes? Who knows :-P

  4. Congratulations! I'm one of those Classics followers but I've enjoyed your YA stuff too... you are how I found Code Name Verity, which I loved. :)
    Only book that made me cry was Bridge to Terebethia when I was a kid. I'd love to see if Rose Under Fire could do the same!

    1. I'm back in the classics world woo woo! My next review will be a classics review, AND one from my classics club list to boot!

      I really need to reread Bridge to Terebithia. And I'm pretty sure you'll at least shed a few tears with RUF. It's way more emotional than Code Name Verity, which is saying a lot.

  5. OMGGGG CAAAAAAKE. I mean, ahem, wait. I was going to start off by singing "happyb logversary" very loudly in your ear, BUT THAT CAKE GIF GOT ME AND NOW I'M SO DISTRACTED OMG. Ahem.
    HAPPY BLOGVERSARY YOU ADORABLE 3 YEAR OLD!!!! :D *sprinkles confetti in your hair* AND OMG YOU MENTIONED MEEEEEEE. TWICE! It must be my evil overlord mind control. :') I am so proud.
    (And we're like practically TWINS...well, sort of? My blogversary is o the 27th!! But I'm turning 5. HOW DID I GET SO OLD. Ahem.)
    Also I just wish to say that I got 9/10 on the quiz so clearly I am a GENIUS. (Because I totally got that one wrong on purpose just to fit in with the mere mortals. *nods*)

    1. HAPPY BLOGVERSARY TO YOU TOO! I still need to catch up on all your posts and go sprinkle confetti in YOUR hair, since I've been gone so long :-P But thank you for the well-wishings and the <3s. You are the LOVELIEST <3

      And yes of course you have to conceal your genius or we will be too overwhelmed. I understand.

    I think my second is coming up soon...maybe?
    I can't keep track of these things, I'm a maths major.

    The quiz was PERFECT!! I got 8 out of 10.

    *throws confetti at you and eats your cake*

    1. Thank you! And happy blogversary to you to, whenever it is. Hey, mathematics is not arithmetic, so you're excused. :-)

  7. Happy Blogversary! I think Fangirling is a great reason to start a blog.

  8. I would love a bit of that cake!? GEE THANKS. NOW I'M HUNGRY. But anyway, happpyyyy blogoversary! ~bursts into a rousing chorus of song~ Sadly I am not US ONLY, but I already own RUF and have read JE so it's not too much of a disaster! XD I would like to reread JE, soon, though, it's been too long ...

    I love your story about origins! Mine is just that my friend had a blog and was like yo Emily, start a blog, so I did. Though at the start I had no clue what was going on. But I love your classics story. It's so true. My average Goodreads reading is like 4.something, and there are so many other bloggers with like average 3.12, and I'm like, friends, READ CLASSICS AND YOU'LL PROBABLY LIKE THEM. It confuses me so much, people are like "well, I picked this book up and I thought it'd be yet another sappy faux-fantasy love triangle and it was!", and I'm like, well, try Austen?!!!

    *ahem* That was a bit of a rant, sorry. But thank goodness for YA bloggers, eh, to do the sifting of the sappy faux-fantasy love triangles for us, and leave us with the gold. If I'd not started blogging I might never have heard of Maggie Stiefvater or We Were Liars, and that is a horrifying thought.

    1. Thank you! *sings along with you* And yes, people seem to think that classics are old and dry and boring, but if they were, why would they have made such a name for themselves in the first place? And there are so many of them that anyone can find something in their interest areas.

      But yes I don't know what I would have done without Maggie Stiefvater or Elisabeth Wein or so many others (though I haven't yet read We Were Liars and I WILL SOON). There are so many good YA authors, you just need to do a little more work to find them :-)

  9. Happy Blogoversary Sophia! (glitter is indeed dangerous). I got 7/10 on the quiz, but it was very fun :) I never planned to be a YA book blogger... it just happened? I really want to read Rose Under Fire, so I'd probably get that? I can't get it here, and I LOVED code name verity. And Jane Eyre was very good, and I have a copy already so I'm not missing out too much *consoles self* anyway, HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY YOU ARE SO COOL BUT DON'T GO CRAZY WITH THE GLITTER.

    1. THANK YOU <3 You are so lovely! I'm glad you liked the quiz!

  10. YAY HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY. I love your origin story (especially since this is the THIRD day of my summer break after 11th grade) Also thanks for the giveaway (book depository doesn't ship to India so I'm glad it's an ebook from amazon instead) I think I would like six impossible things, because I've read other books at the same school by Fiona Wood. Or maybe Scarlett Undercover. I'm so glad you're spreading the classics love because I also love classics (especially Jane Eyre!) I need to read more classics. YA bloggers are the best. You're awesome *glitter and cake*
    Shanti@ Virtually Read

    1. AHA THE THREES CONTINUE! (Have a fabulous summer break btw!) Both Six Impossible Things and Scarlet Undercover are fabulous books, so good luck! And if you ever need classics recommendations, feel free to ask me :-)

  11. Ah dang, I only got a 70% on your quiz. In my defense, I'd only read like 1 or 2 of those books! Anyway, happy blog birthday & thank you for hosting this giveaway. I'm a Classics Club person, too, so I'll have to stick your blog in my bookmarks to pop in now and again. :)

    1. WOW for only having read a couple of the books 70% is pretty excellent! Congratulations :-)
      And I haven't been Classics Clubbing for a while, but I've finally returned to my list lately, so you've come at a good time! :-) Thanks for entering and good luck!


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