If you're like me, then you have an ever-growing list of books, and when it's time to choose your next read, you don't know where to start. That's where the popular blog Feed Your Fiction Addiction comes in. This book blog provides everything you could ever need to choose your next book in the YA (young adult) or NA (new adult) categories, participate in reading challenges, and even learn about writing your own book reviews.
Homeschooling mom of three Nicole Hewitt took her love of fiction and her own talent for writing and turned it into a website offering book reviews on YA and NA, writing and editing services, and much more. Since beginning her blog five years ago, she's won a number of top book blog awards in the blogosphere and is in GoodReads' top 1% of reviewers. She's dedicated to her craft, and her passion for reading and writing shows. Her familiar and friendly writing style invites you in, making you feel like you are chatting with your girlfriends at a book club, or talking with your sister over coffee.
I learned about NA fiction while reading Ms. Hewitt's blog. NA stands for New Adult, which was a new category to me! It means the protagonist of the book is between the ages of 18 and 30. This developing genre often focuses on issues important to young people, especially women, including moving out, sex, education, and starting a career. It's considered a crossover category from YA fiction, appealing to the older crowd that is still into YA fiction. Ms. Hewitt's blog is part of the growing movement in popularizing these books and this category and is helping to create the community that surrounds this type of book.
Ms. Hewitt has blogged over 700 fiction book reviews with thorough, thought-provoking commentary which helps the reader truly understand not only the plot summary, but also the highs (and sometimes lows) of each book. She lays out each review in an easy-to-read fashion, with the book cover, her rating system, and a plot summary. Then she explains what she liked, didn't like, and what she was neutral about as she read the book under her signature "My Take" section. She also includes a button that allows you to add the book to your own GR TBR (that's your GoodReads To-Be-Read list in book blogger lingo! For more on that, check out Ms. Hewitt's awesome list decoding book blogger acronyms and slang).
Her reviews are easily searchable and you can view her list of reviews by author, title, or rating. She also takes the time to respond to nearly every comment on her blog, answering questions and creating a fun dialogue after each blog entry. Her pure volume of entries is another feature to be applauded. She is truly dedicated to reading and blogging.
I love her "bite-sized reviews" concept, in which she offers several short reviews in one blog post, focusing on similarly-themed books. They're a great way to get a quick snapshot of many different books and get some help choosing which YA or NA book to read next.
Because of Ms. Hewitt's expertise in teaching her own children, she also offers a spotlight on books for middle grade students (around ages 8 through 12). She had a fully dedicated blog that reviewed middle grade-focused books, but it appears this merged with her main blog sometime in 2017. Therefore, her blog also includes many reviews on books of this genre, which is great because many of the women reading NA fiction have children who are reading the middle grade genre.
Design and setup
Ms. Hewitt's logo is adorable and her name is catchy, cute, and appealing to her demographic. In her drop-down menus, all the entries in a category are listed out and easily searchable using the Find function of your browser. She also has a search function on her blog itself, which is helpful. I used it to search for blog entries on a particular topic and I got some terrific relevant entries that I couldn't find myself.
Reading and writing challenges
One of the most popular activities in the reading/writing blog community is participating in challenges. Reading or writing challenges encourage the participants to read a certain number of books or to write a certain number of blogs within a given time frame, for example. On her blog, Ms. Hewitt has collected, categorized, and summarized hundreds of reading and writing challenges, with a quick link to join. Challenges that interest each individual reader are easy to find thanks to her category system, listing challenges under headings like Location-Based Challenges, Blogging Challenges, and Topical Challenges. This list is helpful for readers and bloggers alike, and it seems like everyone loves to participate in these. She also keeps track of her own progress in reading challenges, such as Bookopoly, which is a Monopoly-themed reading challenge. Each square on the Bookopoly board asks the reader to choose a book based on a common theme (e.g., a book with a yellow cover, a book featuring an animal). The goal is to check off each game square throughout the entire calendar year, and it looks like Ms. Hewitt never fails!
By reading Ms. Hewitt's blog, it's obvious that she's a huge supporter of her blogging community. She keeps a calendar of fellow bloggers' birthdays and blogoversaries (their blog anniversaries) and promotes fellow bloggers in many of her entries and through her giveaways. It's clear that she's important to the community of YA and NA bloggers and enjoys being a part of it.
Her feminist slant is inspiring and brings this community together. The YA and NA categories are powered mostly by women writers and readers, so it would be hard to not be a little bit feminist. She's constantly promoting female fiction writers as well as female bloggers, so you can see why young women who read this genre would look up to Ms. Hewitt and her blogging counterparts.
She touches on controversial topics that are interesting to her demographic, including celibacy shaming (the opposite of slut shaming), books about the abortion debate, Banned Books Week (and her unpopular opinion on reading banned books), LGBT books, and her Christian faith. She's unafraid to voice her opinion on these topics and is interested in stirring up conversation, even if not all of her readers agree. She's respectful and thoughtful about the point of view of others, which allows her readers to truly open up and become part of the discussion. It's inspiring to see a corner of the internet where these topics can be discussed in a civil manner and where everyone leaves the table as friends. For example, she highlights the discussion of her faith and states that she's never known about a reader or a follower she's lost due to her faith. If you delve into the comments, you will see commenters of all faiths (and nonfaiths) letting her know they're proud of her for discussing the topic on her blog and that they enjoy reading about her personal beliefs. Not only is she invested in her blogging community, but they're also invested in her.
Fun featured posts
Aside from book reviews, Ms. Hewitt provides her take on many different book-related topics on her blog. A favorite feature of her readers is Top Ten Tuesday — on various Tuesdays throughout the year, she highlights a new topic, listing out her 10 favorites in categories like quick reads, hidden gems, and books she's highly anticipating. This exciting feature gives readers a glance into what's new and next in the fiction world.
Ms. Hewitt also features giveaways on her blog. Thanks to her partnership with some publishers, she has special book-related giveaways. Her current Valentine's Day promotion is especially adorable, with giveaways of Macmillan Collector's Library Editions of some of their classic love stories like Emma, Jane Eyre, and Wuthering Heights. Many of the monthly giveaways are geared toward other blog writers, requiring entrants to link to their own current blog post in order to win. Yet another way she's a champion of the book blogging community!
Ms. Hewitt's Let's Discuss feature touches on many different topics for readers and bloggers alike. She really likes to get the conversation flowing in the comments, responding and replying to the thoughts of everyone. Some of these posts have upwards of 75 or 100 comments! She writes on topics for readers like how to deal with a lapse in your reading habits, as well as topics for bloggers, like how to write a "quick" blog post.
After reading through Ms. Hewitt's blog, it's easy to become enamored with her fun and witty writing style. It's also easy to envision yourself doing what she does — writing a book blog seems like so much fun! But if you're just getting started, it may be difficult to come up with topics or to decide what books to blog about. Well, Feed Your Fiction Addiction has you covered. Ms. Hewitt has an extensive list of blog post topics, ranging from your favorite hobby outside of book blogging to what book character you would want as a boyfriend. Her creative and interesting topics could make any reader want to start his or her own blog. You can also have your birthday and blogoversary easily added to her calendar — a great place to shop your link to the book blogging community since she does seem to have a great amount of traffic to her site.
It's clear that Ms. Hewitt's blog is a hot spot for those in the YA and NA reading and blogging community, and it's not hard to see why. She's an enthusiastic and voracious reader who enjoys chronicling her journey through books and blogging, sharing her stories with many along the way. It's an inspiring read, so give it a bookmark if you're into YA or NA fiction!