Bookish talk · Discussion · Personal thoughts

8 Things I’ve Learned Since I Started Blogging

Some people do “Things I’ve Learned in my First Year of Blogging” posts, but I want to do one now. There’s no special occasion or anything. I’ve just been thinking about my experiences while blogging.


8 Things I’ve Learned Since I Started Blogging


Side note: When I first thought about starting this blog, I spent weeks reading advice posts on different blogs. Not only book blogs, but mommy blogs, lifestyle blogs, any blog you can think of.

I wanted to know everything I needed to do. Because research.

8 Things I've Learned Since I Started Blogging @ Chocolate and Chapters

(I ended up learning a lot and then getting super overwhelmed so I started without feeling like I was really prepared anyway.)

So when you see the words “I read a blog post” throughout this post, you’ll know what’s up. Because I’ll say it a lot.


1. First of all, blogging is a constant doubting-yourself game. 

Not trusting yourself, not believing in yourself, and so on. I had no idea. I thought having a book blog would mean slapping out some book reviews and people would love it, just like that. Not so.

Anyway. I’ll go into more depth in my points below.


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Book review

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee book review

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and VirtueThe Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars ★★★★
Genre: Historical, Young Adult
Source: Purchased, received in SpearCraft book box

Eighteen year old Henry “Monty” Montague is the privileged and very badly behaved son of an English Duke. After being kicked out of his last boarding school, his father is allowing him to go on one last “Tour” across Europe in the hopes that he’ll grow out of his lewd and outrageous ways and come home to manage the family estate. Monty has no intentions of any such thing. He’s interested primarily in partying it up as much as he can, and he’s not thinking beyond that.

Along for the ride is Monty’s best friend Percy and his younger sister, Felicity. After Monty makes some silly and impulsive decisions, the three of them are thrown onto a wild ride that carries them all across Europe.

This book is essentially a mash-up of two things we know and love: Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean. (I’ve been reading a lot of if-these-two-things-were-mixed books lately. At least this one was successful.)

Anyway, I’ll explain:

Let’s pretend that Harry Potter was actually set in 18th century, non-magical England. Hermione is exactly the same, but Ron is less goofy and Harry is very sexually promiscuous. Through no plan of their own, they are thrown into a wild adventure that takes them to many different places, meeting interesting people and coming into harm’s way more often than they’d like. Oh, and Harry and Ron have the hots for each other.

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Bookish talk · Discussion · Personal thoughts

Why I hate real people on book covers

I’m sure most readers have opinions about the appearance of the books they read. Some people complain about cover designs, quotes on the covers, those “permanent” stickers.

I have forceful opinions about beautiful titles, but I also feel strongly about something else: Photos of real people on book covers.

I will elaborate…

When I read a book that I love, it’s almost as if I’m seeing a movie in my mind. When the characters are speaking to each other, running for their lives, laughing, etc., I see it…

Why I hate real people on book covers @ Chocolate and Chapters

I love that while the same characters are described in books, the characters see are probably different than the characters you see. Even if we’re reading the exact same book.

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Bookish talk · Discussion · Personal thoughts

5 of My Favorite Books Since I Started Blogging

I have read so many good books lately. Of course, I’ve read some ehh or pure awful books, too. But the good ones have been really good. Here are some of them, for your TBR-adding pleasure!


5 of My Favorite Books Since I Started Blogging


1. The Last to See Me by M. Dressler

My Top 5 Favorite Books Since I Started Blogging @ Chocolate and Chapters

Ahh, this book was so good. It’s a story of a haunted house, but from the viewpoint of the ghost herself. So different and so interesting. And perfect for Halloween. Read it, I’m telling you!

Read my full review here.

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Personal thoughts · sunday post

The Sunday Post – September 10

The Sunday Post - September 10 @ Chocolate and Chapters

Happy Sunday, everyone! 

I’m merging “The Sunday Post,” hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer and “It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?” hosted by Book Date. Because I do what I want.

These handy little posts are a place to share what you’ve been reading and what’s coming up next. And to add books to your own TBR pile, of course!


First of all, in my real life… 

1. In the biggest news right now… Hurricane Irma is coming.

I am usually the person who sits back when natural disasters are forecasted, thinking, “Why is everyone freaking out…?” But I am not happy about this hurricane at all. They’re saying it’s the strongest hurricane in recorded history (which is insane) and it’s leaving “unprecedented” destruction behind. Ugh. It looks like it might be passing by us in Eastern North Carolina.

My thoughts are with those who are being affected. 😦


I recently binge-watched “The OA” on Netflix. It was really good, but I have so many questions??? And I have a feeling that my questions won’t be answered, even if there’s another season. Like, what was the deal with needing to leave the front doors open?

It was very interesting and good, though. Don’t let my confusion scare you away.


3. I often tag the authors and publishers of the books I post on Instagram. It’s always so cool when they see it and comment! 😀

i shallif the creek

4. This is teeny tiny potatoes for some (most?) of you, but I reached 100 followers on my blog last week! So 100+ people get an email every time I hit Publish. That’s an awesome feeling. Thank you to everyone who visits, comments, and remembers me enough to come back. You are majorly appreciated, my homies.

i love you


Onto the books!


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Book review

The Saturday Evening Girls Club by Jane Healey book review

The Saturday Evening Girls Club: A NovelThe Saturday Evening Girls Club: A Novel by Jane Healey

My rating: 2 of 5 stars ★★
Genre: Historical
Source: Purchased, received in Once Upon a Book Club box

Caprice is the daughter of Italian immigrants who dreams of opening her own hat shop. She attends the Saturday Evening Girls Club with three of her best friends, all of whom also come from immigrant families. As the four girls try to make their way and discover who they are in an ever-changing America, they find that the tradition of their families is difficult to escape. They navigate love, education, family, and dreams, all while attending the Club and supporting each other through it all.

Sigh. This book is essentially the less-good version of what you’d get if you took a huge pot and mixed together the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding and the book The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

And if you’re like me, naming those two (My Big Fat Greek Wedding and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) as “similar” might give you hope. But unfortunately, this book is missing all of the fun and relatability of those two stories. It’s actually quite dull.

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