Hi! My good friend, JM From Book Freak Revelations agreed on my bugging since last year to answer my blogger spotlight questions and it so happens that he already sent it way back in February and I forgot. Let me take this time to apologize to you, Michael! Thank you so much for huge understanding.
What book introduced you to fiction novels? Can you name 5 of your favorite books or series?
The book I’ve read that helped me develop my love for reading was Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. I read it way back in 2011, and I’ve been reading ever since. Some of my favorite books are listed below, albeit in no specific order.
- The Sun Is Also A Star and Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
- All The Bright Places and Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven
- The Lunar Chronicles Series by Marissa Meyer
- More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
- The Selection Series by Kiera Cass
How did you start to like reading as a habit? Do you have any other habits aside from reading novels?
I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember, but it was only after I had a rough experience at college that I started reading regularly. It became my solid past time, an escape to forget about how depressing it was to lose friends during a time I needed them most. It was Jennifer Niven’s All The Bright Places that pulled me out of that dark phase. After that, I just kept on bringing books to school, reading them while I was on lunch breaks.
If you are going to date someone, fictional or not, dead or alive, who would it be and why? What are the things that you are going to do on your date?
I honestly want to go on a date with Theodore Finch, if given the chance. He’s one of the main characters from the YA book, All The Bright Places, and you’ll only get why I want to go on a date with him if you’ve read his story. I also just want to give him a hug, that’s all.
Name some of your favorite authors and give them a brief description of why are they your favorites.
Oh, good. A question in which I don’t have to choose. Ha! Let me give you 5 names:
- Nicola Yoon – If you’ve read her novels, you’d know how amazing she is at writing stories about diverse characters, Oh, and have you seen her family? They’re the perfect example of DIVERSITY.
- Jennifer Niven – If you haven’t noticed yet, Jen writes stories that are easy to love mainly because she writes them with feelings, taking some of her personal experiences and incorporating them into her books, ensuring it to be personal and a lot more heartfelt.
- Adam Silvera – Adam writes stories that are unbelievably heart wrenching, but also brutally honest. He’s one of the few authors who choose to tackle sensitive themes, and he always pulls it off.
- Becky Albertalli – If you’ve read Simon V.S. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, you’d know how light, fluffy, yet, utterly impressive Becky writes. She has this way of telling stories that will tug on your heartstrings, leaving you wanting more.
- Sarah J. Maas – Sarah has an amazing talent when it comes to narrating high fantasy stories, and I believe that spending an afternoon with her could make me forget about life’s problems.
- If you are going to give advice to your 10-year-old self, what would it be?
Oh boy. If only I knew then all the things I know now, that would’ve saved me from a lot of heartbreaks. *sobs* but maybe, the only advice I will give to my 10-year old self is
“Take a chance on everything. Take risks, and be open to trying new experiences. This will expand your life’s background. Be unique, but at the same time, be humble. This will save you a lot of pain and heartaches.” 🙂
What made you start blogging about books?
Well, at first, I just wanted a platform wherein I can share my thoughts about my current reads. I didn’t want to really “blog” back then. I just felt like I needed some people to talk to about the books that I read. Facebook didn’t really feel like an appropriate site where I can share my detailed thoughts, so I decided to sign up for a free website over at WordPress, with inspiration from a few established bloggers.
After sharing quite a few reviews and meeting a couple of new people, I decided to be a little more active and post maybe three times a week. That was when I realized that blogging might just be the platform that I was looking for. Everything fell right into place after that.
What was the most difficult part of book blogging?
Well, to me, time management must be the most difficult part of book blogging. A universal example for this is being on an unwanted hiatus for a long time. Sometimes, life just happens. You get more responsibilities (i.e. School, a full-time job, etc.) and you get to a point where you just can’t balance your time enough to at least publish a post once a week. Right when you’re in the middle of a hiatus, you begin to realize that there’s a possibility that you’re missing out on a lot of things. You start to lose touch with your friends, and you have to admit, this is pretty much a tad bit depressing.
How did you get so many followers? And is there something you want to say to your followers?
I like to think that I don’t have as many followers as you’re implying, but as I’ve mentioned, when I first started blogging, I never thought about getting followers. A few people that I might share the same opinions with, yes, but not actual followers who turned into friends. And to be honest, I don’t know how people from all over the world stumbled upon my small space of the internet. But I hope they know how thankful I am for their love and support. For their unsolicited comments and for the effort that they put in making me feel welcome in the book blogging community. I am so very thankful for everything. Honestly.
What do you think is the disadvantage of book bloggers?
Naturally, bloggers have that feeling of being pressured. Book bloggers get review copies in exchange for actually reviewing them. Some are even invited to events in exchange for a recap, or something. I think that’s one of the few disadvantages of being a book blogger. Whether it be for a deadline, or for anything else that includes the blogger feeling pressured.
Mention some Book Blogging Friends that you would love to see in person!
Honestly, ever since I met International Book Bloggers online (Australia, Canada, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, etc.), I started dreaming of going to an event where I can meet all of these lovely people at once. Perhaps Book Expo America? (Who am I kidding, right?) But I would love to meet my friends Kevin at Bookevin, Joey of Another Afterthought, Jenna of Reading With Jenna, Aentee of Read at Midnight, CW of Read, Think, Ponder, Jenna Jesse of Books at Dawn, Bayram of Never Ending Books, Sarah K. of The Book Traveler, Yvonne of A World Between Folded Pages, Mish of Chasing Faerytales, Reg of Shelatitude, and a hell of a lot more!
Name some of your favorite authors according to your genre preferences.
I think I pretty much covered this with the first question, but for YA romance contemporaries, my favorites are books by Nicola Yoon, Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera, and Jennifer Niven. For the YA fantasy genre, on the other hand, books by Marissa Meyer, Sarah J. Maas, Marie Lu, and Stephanie Garber do me justice. That’s basically it, but right now, I’m exploring Philippine Literature (ahem, #romanceclass), and I’ll try to get back to everyone once I discover new favorites. 😉
How do you pick the books that you are going to read next?
I’m basically a mood reader, which means that I read whatever I want, whenever I want to. I usually have a hard time following a TBR in the past, so I decided to just be a reader who buys tons of books and reads them whenever I feel like reading them. Weird, I know. *laughs*
SHOW US YOUR BOOKSHELF! Describe it.
My bookshelf’s pretty much filled up right now. I have 3, one big shelf, and 2 small ones. They’re all crowded as of the moment, and they’re already double-stacked. I like to think I have a pretty diverse set of books on my shelf from contemporaries to fantasies, from Young Adult to New Adult books. What I don’t have much of are classics, and non-fiction novels.
By the way, I’m looking at saving for a shelf that could hopefully hold all of my books: Hardcovers, Paperbacks, etc. Have any suggestions as to where to buy one?
What are the books and authors that influence you as a reader?
Well, Nicola Yoon’s a pretty diverse author who lives a pretty diverse life, and I like to think that she inspires me to read books about POC, and ever since I started reading her books, I made it a point to read and promote diverse books. Oh, and the same goes for Angie Thomas, author of the star-studded The Hate U Give, coming out on February 28!
What is your one ultimate favorite quote from a book and why?
To be honest, I have plenty of favorite quotes from various books about plenty of stuff: About life, love, friendship, family, and a whole lot more. But I think it would be best to end this interview with one that struck me the most, and it’s from one of my most favorite books of all time. “You are wanted. Big, small, tall, short, pretty, plain, friendly, shy. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Not even yourself.”
Thanks for having me, Raf!
JM is a 21-year old book blogger from Manila. He has a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Managment mainly because it was too late when he discovered that literature and publishing is his true calling. Whenever JM has the time to spare, he usually reads romantic contemporaries and his favorite tropes are about best friends turned lovers and/or second chance love stories. He also blogs about the books he read over at Book Freak Revelations. And most importantly, he is also an active advocate of the LGBT community.