Hump-day Highlight: Dani Reviews Things!

Dani Reviews Things is a super awesome blog that, well… reviews things! She does tons of other things too, but before I go into detail about my favorite features on her blog… Let’s get to know a little bit more about her!

danireviewsthings

Who are you?

My name is Dani and I’m a nomad from South Africa, currently living in Oxford, England. I grew up in international schools in China and Japan, so no one ever guesses where I’m from when they hear me speak. Despite studying a healthcare degree, I have somehow ended up working in IT and bossing older men about during the day. But by night, I’m a reader and reviewer of ALL THE BOOKS. Well, mostly YA and fantasy…and YA fantasy.
What is your favorite book or series? Why?
This question is SO HARD to answer. Of course, I am a Potterhead, but everyone uses that. Then I’ve read Pride & Prejudice many times over. Lizzie is my role model of wit. But that’s also cliche. I also majorly binged on The Hunger Games the weekend after I finished my last exam at university, so that has a soft spot in my heart. No, this is TOO HARD!!! I can’t do it.
Is there a particular book or series that has changed your life?
I’m going to talk about a series now that some may scoff at, but it’s been so influential that I am going to stand by it. The Twilight Saga. I know, I know. It’s not the best series ever, but it was just what I needed when I discovered it in 2007, a junior in high school and in my first year of the IB. The IB is hard work. I didn’t have a lot of time for fun reading, but when I discovered the series, I binged through the first three books. I became a serious Twihard. But why do I say it’s changed my life? Well, because of Twilight, I…
  • went to my first movie premiere and saw my first celebrities in person (in Japan)
  • discovered many alternative/indie bands, my now preferred genres of music
  • started to appreciate classical music (See! Culture! My favourite composer is Rachmaninov, FYI.)
  • discovered fan fiction (I became a beta reader of fan fiction for a bit as well!)
If I hadn’t obsessed over Twilight, then who knows what I’d be listening to now! 😛
How has reading in general impacted your life?
Reading has been my escape and my pastime for so, so long, and it’s meant different things to me at different times.
When I was a kid, the school librarians knew me by name, since I’d be in there almost every day to check out another book. Reading was especially useful when my family went back to South Africa for the summer holidays. Because we left when I was 6, I didn’t have friends to go back and see, and we’d spend most of the holiday at my aunt’s house in Calitzdorp (AKA the middle of nowhere, surrounded by ostriches). With little to do, I read.
Nowadays, reading is my way to destress and remove myself out of my daily life. In combination with blogging and Twitter, it’s led me to make some amazing friends, some who have to tolerate me daily on Snapchat!
Also, from a practical standpoint, reading generally helps develop language comprehension and writing skills, so thank you to books for my ability to write fairly well. My boss now gets me to read through any customer-facing emails and documents before they get sent out. 😛
If you could spend a day with any author, who would it be, and what would you do?
Well, it may come as no surprise to my Twitter followers, but I’m obsessed with Elise Kova, the author of Air Awakens. She is so cool, and we have a lot in common. I think. I’m sounding like a crazy stalker now.
What would we do…? I’d pick her up from the airport, and on the drive back to Oxford, we’d sing along to Disney music. I’d take her around Oxford, like a good hostess, then we’d come back to my house with some drinks and Dominos in tow. We’d watch musicals all evening and late into the night. Hopefully I’d get her to spill on some Vhaldrik secrets with enough wine… VHALDRIK FOREVER!
How did you begin reviewing books?
Back in March (2015), I read The Bone Season and Mime Order by Samantha Shannon. I was so desperate after reading Mime Order for the third book that I immediately looked up Samantha’s website. She’d recently posted that she’d be attending YALC, or the Young Adult Literature Convention, in London in July. So then I looked that up and found out about book blogging…somehow. The details are now fuzzy.
I’d just come to a tough realisation that I was working too hard, and it was starting to really stress me out. I needed to take a step back from work, so I decided to turn back to reading, something that I’d loved as a kid but felt guilty about doing too often as an adult. (All free hours should be spent on self-improvement! Gah.) I figured I’d use book blogging to encourage me to read more…and it’s working! I’m reading more, I’m making amazing friends and I’m going to events that celebrate books! I wish I’d started sooner…
What character can you most relate to? Why?
Hermione. Again, a cliche answer, but I’m serious. I loved school. You know that meme of the three types of exam-takers? I killed at exams. Well, maybe not essay-writing ones, but I was good at school. I felt right in school. I miss high school, guys!!! Plus, I work with a bunch of guys, and I’m always right. XD
————————————————————————————————————————————————————First of all, SHOUT OUT to her wonderful use of two of my favorite “old school” emoticons. 😛 and XD Were my go-to for expressing via email before *old lady voice* all the youth got to usin’ these emoji things. Don’t get me wrong, I love emojis (just look at any or all of my social media), but I still have a soft spot for the others. 😛
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let me just say that this lady has awesome taste in books! Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, and…dare I say it…Twilight. I totally agree with Dani about the book series Stephanie Meyer is so infamous for. I adore those books; the movies on the other hand, really ruined the experience for a lot of readers.
I am also in awe of her many cultural experiences.
Lastly, I totally relate to her relation to Hermione which is super awesome and makes us like best friends immediately.
Okay, so now that we know more about Dani, let’s talk about her blog! When you get to the home page, which can be found here, you instantly see her super fun headline which is not only cute, but memorable! Her navigation bar pretty much highlights all of the awesome stuff Dani does on her blog! Guys- there is literally a section labeled “Fun Things”, so we can all pretty much agree this is the most awesome and chill blog ever. Is that what the kids are saying these days? Chill? Chill. So, out of the many awesome fun things she does, my favorites include her book hauls and read-a-thons! Both are awesome ways to include her blog followers in her reading activities which is super important.
As a book blogger, she also does reviews. I’ve seen tons of different review style in just my few months of being a book blogger, and I’ve yet to even develop my own style, but it’s very clear that Dani has a method and it’s working! First, we get a cover picture of the book, along with an about section. It includes basic information about the book, some links to places like Amazon and Goodreads, and her rating out of five stars. Then comes the part I got really excited about: a two part review! First we have a quick review, which sums up how she feels about the book in about a paragraph. Then, we get the not-so-quick review, which gives a more in-depth view of the book itself and how Dani felt while reading it. This is pretty much brilliant because sometimes it’s so boring to shift through the longer reviews looking for pertinent information. I love, love, love, love, love this feature of her blog.
So, if you like books and fun things, and people who also like books and fun things, you’re going to love Dani and her blog!
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