Posts Tagged: events

Shattering Stigmas Wrap-Up 2017

October 15, 2017 miscellaneous 4

Today is the last day of Shattering Stigmas 2017! What a great two weeks it has been. There’s been an unbelievable number of guest posts, discussions and reviews about mental health these past weeks, and I’m amazed by your general response and openness. Talking about mental illness isn’t always easy and sharing your own story can be incredibly hard – thank you all for being so truly awesome and supportive of each other.

Shattering Stigmas graphic

Shattering Stigmas is a two-week blogging event focused on mental health in literature and mental health generally – check the tag for guest posts, reviews and discussions around mental health.


If you haven’t been able to follow along, here’s a handy list of all the Shattering Stigmas posts on my blog:

Thank you so much to my guest posters for contributing such relevant, informative, and important posts to the discussion!
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Review: Under Rose-Tainted Skies (Shattering Stigmas)

October 13, 2017 books, reviews 7

This is the last Shattering Stigmas post before the wrap-up on my blog, and it comes from yours truly. We’ve had some great recommendations these past two weeks, so I thought it was time for a review! I was inspired to read Under Rose-Tainted Skies during Shattering Stigmas, and it came highly recommended by my blogging friends. I’m happy to say I’ve finished it in time to share this review with you.

Shattering Stigmas graphic

Shattering Stigmas is a two-week blogging event focused on mental health in literature and mental health generally – check back for guest posts, reviews and discussions around mental health.


under rose tainted skies cover

At seventeen, Norah has accepted that the four walls of her house delineate her life. She knows that fearing everything from inland tsunamis to odd numbers is irrational, but her mind insists the world outside is too big, too dangerous. So she stays safe inside, watching others’ lives through her windows and social media feed.

But when Luke arrives on her doorstep, he doesn’t see a girl defined by medical terms and mental health. Instead, he sees a girl who is funny, smart, and brave. And Norah likes what he sees.

Their friendship turns deeper, but Norah knows Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can walk beneath the open sky. One who is unafraid of kissing. One who isn’t so screwed up. Can she let him go for his own good—or can Norah learn to see herself through Luke’s eyes?

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[Guest Post]: Coping While Fighting The Stigma (Shattering Stigmas)

October 11, 2017 books, miscellaneous 6



Another guest post today: it’s my absolute pleasure to introduce Jessica Sankiewicz to the blog! She is the author of several YA/NA books and will be addressing the difficulty of coping while fighting the stigma surrounding mental health. Thanks very much to Jess for sharing – make sure to show her some support in the comments!



Shattering Stigmas graphic
Shattering Stigmas is a two-week blogging event focused on mental health in literature and mental health generally – check back for guest posts, reviews and discussions around mental health.

Jessica’s Post

As someone with anxiety and depression, I want nothing more than to be able to talk freely about mental illness. However, in a society that views any sort of MI as either a weakness or a figment of the imagination, that makes openly discussing it difficult. In turn, those of us with a mental illness tend to hide them, suppressing our feelings and making things worse.

I like to believe that someday we’ll have a more open society, willing to talk about these things. But I know it will take some time for that to happen. In the meantime, there are other ways for us to cope with the stigma we face daily.
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[Guest Post]: Shattering Sensitivity – High Sensitivity and Overstimulation (Shattering Stigmas)

October 9, 2017 miscellaneous 5



I’m very pleased to welcome Taylor from Frayed Books to the blog today. Taylor has a strong interest in mental health and is currently pursuing her degree to become a clinical mental health counselor. She is going to tell us about the high sensitivity trait and how to better deal with overstimulation in her post. Thank you for sharing, Taylor!



Shattering Stigmas graphic
Shattering Stigmas is a two-week blogging event focused on mental health in literature and mental health generally – check back for guest posts, reviews and discussions around mental health.

Taylor’s Post

Sensitivity.

You may think you know what this means, or what society defines being sensitive as. One definition defines it as “easily hurt or damaged; especially easily hurt emotionally”. And, while being sensitive does mean this, being highly sensitive means something completely different.
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Self-Esteem and Mental Health (Shattering Stigmas)

October 6, 2017 discussion, miscellaneous 15



Today’s Shattering Stigmas post is going to be a bit personal, but I guess I can’t ask people to share their stories without doing so myself! I’ll talk about how self-esteem and mental health are related, and I also tried to come up with some book recs and tips to boost your self-esteem. Hope you enjoy!



Shattering Stigmas graphic
Shattering Stigmas is a two-week blogging event focused on mental health in literature and mental health generally – check back for guest posts, reviews and discussions around mental health.


I had low self-esteem as a teenager, but I didn’t realise it. I thought all teenagers are unhappy and feel like they don’t belong, because that’s the stereotype, right? Being stigmatised as lazy, undisciplined and undesirable due to being obese didn’t help. It took an event that made me feel particularly horrible to do some googling, and then I stumbled upon this post: I’m Not Good Enough – The World Through a Low Self-Esteem Lens. Reading it, I had a real lightbulb moment. The description fit me to a tee, and I suddenly felt so much better, because I realised what the issue was, and so I was able to work on it. Of course it wasn’t done in a day – in fact it’s still a work in progress – but I was able to improve my self-esteem a lot over the last few years.
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[Guest Post]: On Writing a Character With Anxiety + Mental Health Book Recommendations (Shattering Stigmas)

October 4, 2017 books, recs, writing 7



I’m absolutely thrilled to welcome Marie Landry to the blog today! Marie is an author, and she is going to tell you about her writing process and how much of herself she puts into her own characters in this post. She will also give you a couple of book recommendations for YA/NA books discussing mental health. Make sure to check out Waiting for the Storm and Marie’s other books. I’ll let Marie take over from here.



Shattering Stigmas graphic
Shattering Stigmas is a two-week blogging event focused on mental health in literature and mental health generally – check back for guest posts, reviews and discussions around mental health.

Marie’s story

When I started writing my YA book Waiting for the Storm five years ago, I didn’t intend for it to be about a girl with anxiety. Initially it was about a girl, Charlotte, who had finished high school at home while taking care of her terminally ill mother. After being shut away for almost a year, she had become anxious and jumpy, afraid of things that never bothered her before, and unable to cope with her emotions. As I continued writing and Charlotte became more fully formed in my mind, her actions – things like jumping to conclusions and overreacting – seemed familiar.
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Shattering Stigmas: Mental Health in Literature – Welcome and Giveaway!

October 2, 2017 books, psa 14

Welcome to the third round of Shattering Stigmas! You might have heard of this event before, or you might be new to it this year, but basically Shattering Stigmas is all about mental health, literature, and the fabulous readers, authors and bloggers involved.

Shattering Stigmas graphic

Dealing with mental health issues can often be an isolating experience. The stigmas surrounding mental health can keep people from looking for help and confiding in the people close to them. As the name suggests, this event exists to shatter these stigmas by talking about mental health in general and mental health representation in literature in particular.

The lovely Shannon from It Starts at Midnight came up with the idea for Shattering Stigmas three years ago, and it’s still going strong. This year Shattering Stigmas is taking place at It Starts at Midnight, Of Wonderland, Stay on the Page, The Fox’s Hideaway, Flipping Through Pages (youtube, yay!), and of course here.

So what can you expect during the event?

– Well, first of all there’s a giveaway! Each of the hosts will be picking a winner – I’m giving away a mental health book of your choice up to 10€/12$, INTL as long as book depository ships to your place.

– Secondly, there will be guest posts! I’m very excited that a number of authors and bloggers have written fantastic posts I can’t wait to share with you.

– Of course you’ll get some book reviews and recommendations!

I’m not going to be posting daily (because when do I ever) but you can expect updates a couple of times a week. Do make sure to check out the posts on all the other blogs/vlogs, because we all have unique content and guest posts for you to enjoy. Let’s get started!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


If you want to share your own posts and/or thoughts with us, feel free to use #ShatteringStigmas

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Shattering Stigmas: Call for Guest Posts

July 28, 2017 psa 4

Shattering Stigmas graphic

I’m very happy to announce that I’m participating in Shattering Stigmas as a host this year! Shattering Stigmas is a mental health awareness event focused on mental health generally and mental health in literature in particular.

Shattering Stigmas was created by the lovely Shannon. This is the third edition, and it’s even bigger than the last few years. You’ll find posts on It Starts at Midnight, Of Wonderland, The Fox’s Hideaway, Stay on the Page and, last but not least, Flipping Through Pages. I know all of us have planned some exciting posts, and we can’t wait to share them with you!

If you would like to join in as a guest poster, I would love to have you on my blog! All the info is below. I guest posted about Humor and Mental Health on Shannon’s blog last year, and it was a great way to have discussions and meet new people.

In Short:

What: Shattering Stigmas!
When: 2nd-15th October 2017
Deadline for Posts: 25th September 2017
Who Can Participate: Anyone! Blogger, Author, Reader – as long as you want to write a post (create a video, etc.), you’re welcome

Posts can be about anything related to mental health – personal experiences, book/movie reviews, discussions, interviews, you name it! If you need some inspiration, you can find a lot of previous posts right here and also here.

If you would like to write a guest post for Reviews and Cake, just comment below this post, send me a DM on Twitter, or let me know via email at reviewsandcake@gmail.com – I would love to feature your post on the blog! Videos and other formats are also very welcome.

Comment below if you’d like to write a guest post! Or, you know, if you just want to wish me a good day or something, that’s also fine.

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International Women’s Day: My Favorite Books by Female Authors

March 8, 2017 books, recs 14

Happy Women’s Day! In celebration of the many women shaping literature as we know and love it, I thought I’d celebrate some of my favorite female authors with this list today. Obviously, it’s hard to narrow it down, because so many of my favorite authors are women, but I can recommend all of these books from the bottom of my heart. I will be focusing on books that I’m not currently seeing everywhere, which is why you won’t find series like Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab or The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer on this list, but know that I love those just as much. Hope you find something you like!

The Binti series by Nnedi Okorafor



Nnedi Okorafor is one of the most imaginative authors I’ve read. I originally found this, because it was recommended by John Green in a video. I think he pitched it as something like “girl who travels through space to attend university” (paraphrased), which sounded pretty awesome to me. Now I think his description is underselling the work, but I also find it hard to come up with a good one myself, because you really just have to read this one for yourself. As far as I can tell, it’s a trilogy of novellas (according to goodreads, the last one is set to be released this September), so it’s not a great time commitment, but there’s enough worldbuilding for longer books. I feel like this book is more relevant to my Cross-Cultural Communications degree than most of the academic texts I read (don’t tell my lecturers). I’ve seen a few authors mention these novellas, but I haven’t seen them on many book blogs, so get reading, people!
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Fantasy Favorites: An Introduction

June 25, 2016 books, fun, miscellaneous 17

Hello everyone!

I’ve participated in the fantasy favorites read-a-thon last year, and it was so much fun that I decided to do it again this year! It’s all about fantasy books and this year there are three series we’re going to focus on – Throne of Glass, Grisha, and Percy Jackson – but you can read anything you’d like to read. There will be lots of fun posts and challenges, and if you’d like to join we’d love to have you!

fantasy favorites read a thon graphic on reviews and cake

Since there may be some new people visiting this blog over the course of the event, it’s time to reintroduce myself!

1. Who are you?

i am iron man gif

What? I could be. You don’t know what I do with my free time.

Starting right with the difficult questions, are we? I feel like someone should write a coming-of-age story about me that I could read, so I can answer this question. Fine, I’ll stop being annoyingly philosophical about this and give it my best shot:

I’m Vlora and I blog about books, TV shows, movies and everything that catches my interest. I’m also currently a student and I work part-time, so I blog between 7 days a week during holidays to one time a month during busy times, but I’m usually around on twitter, because I like shouting my witty (or so I say) 140-character insights at people. I live in Germany, but will probably-hopefully-almost definitely move to England in September to do my postgrad there (and so I can frequent Waterstones, but that was only, like, 49% of the reason). I like writing, drawing, travelling and wearing my pajamas all weekend. And by pajamas I mean sweatpants and a random t-shirt, because I’m not fancy enough to own pajamas.

I’m a professional procrastinator, which is the only reason I have a smidgeon of baking skills, because I like to bake when I should be writing term papers. I also have a horrible sense of direction, but I make up for it by being too socially akward to ask people for directions. In addition to this blog, I have a YouTube channel, which I use very sporadically (meaning I haven’t made a video in months, because I forgot how to edit, but I still pay for the Adobe Creative Suit, so I at least feel guilty about it). When I’m obsessed with something I talk about it incessantly on twitter and secretely read fanfiction until I can’t justify neglecting everything else anymore. Currently, I’m loving Hamilton, so let me know if we have that in common. Sometimes I remember this blog is public and potential employers/my friends and family can see it, but most of the time I choose to ignore that fact.

Right, that was probably more than you ever asked for or wanted to know, so let’s move on.

2. Why are you joining the read-a-thon?

I love fantasy, and I really enjoyed taking part last year, so I jumped at the chance to participate again. There also haven’t been too many posts on this blog lately, because I’ve been busy, so this is a good opportunity to come back with a bang. Or at least quietly sneak back in and pretend I’ve been there all along.

3. Which books do you intend to read?

I’ve read the original Percy Jackson series and I’m listening to the Heroes of Olympus audiobooks at the moment, so I’m good on that front. I’ve read Throne of Glass, but I didn’t love it (I actually named it as my least favorite fantasy in last years introduction post – oops?), so I never moved on to the sequels, and I don’t plan to, which leaves the Grisha series. I’ve heard of the books before and they sounded like I might enjoy them, but I never got around to reading them. When I looked them up on amazon a few weeks ago, I saw they were all 99c on Kindle, so I bought all three books in preparation for the read-a-thon. I am a terrible mood reader though, so we’ll see what I’ll actually end up reading!

4. How many pages do you think you’ll manage?

No clue! I’m writing my Bachelor thesis at the moment, but I’m hoping to hand it in at the beginning of the read-a-thon, so I should hopefully have some time to read. I’d like to read the first book of the Grisha series at the very least, but I may end up reading more. My goal last year was 10 pages and I read 240, so I’d say let’s meet in the middle and go for 11 pages this year. (Unrelatedly, here’s another fact about me: I suck at math.)

5. What’s your favourite thing about the fantasy genre?

I love delving into new magical worlds and reading about high stakes adventures. It’s not that I don’t like contemporary books, but I feel like there’s always an extra sprinkle of awesome when there’s magic involved. I mean an argument may be interesting to read about, but an argument where people may end up throwing fireballs at each other? Much more exciting, you have to admit.

6. Which fantasy books do you always recommend?

A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows! Seriously, go read those books!!!!! If you don’t know me, you may not know that this excessive use of exclamation marks is out of character for me, but it IS and you can trust my excitement about this series. I love the writing and the world is just magical AND THE CHARACTERS OH MY GOD THE CHARACTERS (capslock on the other hand is NOT out of character for me, so get used to it). And like last year, I can’t believe I have to say this but: if you haven’t read Harry Potter, read Harry Potter. Seriously. Just do it, jeez.

7. Which fantasy books are you dying to read?

A CONJURING OF LIGHT. It doesn’t come out until next February.


8. If you could travel to one fantasy world, which one would it be? (I know it’s hard, but try not to say Hogwarts.)

The Harry Potter world. There, I didn’t say Hogwarts, you’re welcome.



And that’s it for introductions! I’m looking forward to meeting you all, and I hope everyone who isn’t participating will still appreciate that there will be more posts than usually. Later, gators! (obnoxious greetings and good byes are also a trademark of mine, sorry not sorry.)

Why do YOU love fantasy? What do you like to do when you procrastinate? I need to know these things, so I can encourage you in your bad habits.

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How Do You Write Like You’re Running Out of Time?

May 19, 2016 miscellaneous 12

Cake Conversations Banner Kopie - Kopie

What’s New?

It’s easy, Burr. You just actually run out of time. I MEAN HELLO, PEOPLE OF THE INTERNET. It’s time for the monthly update I never fail to deliver, because I’m reliable like that. As you may be able to guess by my title and introductory words, I’ve been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack. And by ‘listening to’ I mean ‘it has taken over my life and my roommate has accused me of being obsessed even though she’s not even here to hear me sing along to it all day long, but my other roommate is and I’m sure he appreciates it’. PLEASE tell me someone else thinks it’s as genius as I do, because I HAVE OPINIONS.

In a stunning turn of events I find myself in an airport, I’m busy writing something for university. Only this time it’s my Bachelor thesis, so I actually have to be, like, serious about it.



So far I’ve procrastinated for a few days and looked for some literature to use. Last time I had to write something long, I spent a month watching Great British Bake Off, baking Christmas cookies and sewing a mishappen sleeve for my Kindle. I think this is the perfect time to take up some new hobbies.
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BLOGGER FRIENDING MEME

September 5, 2015 fun, miscellaneous 40

This meme is inspired by three things:

  1. You guys have been asking for more interactive content, and I LOVE interactive content
  2. I also love the book blogging community and finding people I have stuff in common with
  3. I used to be on livejournal and friending memes were fairly common over there

SO. This might be common in the “regular” blogosphere as well, but I’ve mostly seen it in fandom-related contexts. Even if someone else has done it, it’s not like one more is going to hurt. I’m not very active in the fandom community anymore, but I MISS all the fun comment fests, which is why I decided to start one myself. Without further ado, I bring you…

…The Blogger Friending Meme!

blogger friending meme

One of the best things about blogging is the interaction with other like-minded people. This meme is to actually find them and connect with them, so you can share your excitement. I’m most active in the book blogging community, but this is for every blogger who wants to participate. Here is how it works:

  1. Fill out the form below and post it as a comment. You can skip questions you don’t feel comfortable with, or add your own.
  2. Check out other people’s comments and reply to them if you feel like you have stuff in common. Check out their blogs and/or social media links!
  3. You can participate if you’re a blog reader and don’t have a blog, but it probably helps if you have some sort of social media presence, so people can connect with you.
  4. The number one rule of the internet obviously still applies: don’t be a jerk.
  5. Remember to check back to see more comments!



Before you go off and do your merry mingling: share that ish, tweet that ish, blog about that ish. This is only going to work if people know about it and participate, so make sure to get the word out. :)

Alright, I’ll start. LET’S HAVE A BLOG PARTY, PEOPLE!

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Awesome Authors and a Bout of Productivity

September 4, 2015 books, miscellaneous 32

Cake Conversations Banner Kopie - Kopie

What’s New?

Edit: I’m having a blog party! Check out my blogger friending meme :)

If you’re on twitter, you probably already know this unless you’ve been living under a REALLY heavy rock, but there’s some SERIOUS charity stuff going on over there. Patrick Ness, author of The Rest of Us Just Live Here (which has been on my to-read for a while now) and some other books, started a fundraiser to collect money to give to Save the Children for refugees, because he was tired of only tweeting about it. He offered to match the first 10.000 pounds, and then John Green jumped in and said he’d match the next 10.000, and suddenly it all gained momentum.

SO MANY authors (and Hank Green, but I hear he’s writing a book, so…) participated that we all raised 400.000 pounds (~600.000 dollars) in only 36 hours. Obviously this wouldn’t be possible without all the people who keep giving, so please consider stopping by and giving some money yourself – every little bit helps! I love when humanity actually does something good, and this makes me proud to be a part of the book community. If you’re also a nerdfighter, this whole thing kind of feels like Project for Awesome, but on twitter.


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All About That Bass

March 24, 2015 books, fun, miscellaneous 9

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Today’s post is all about music and books! I love music; I love books; what could go wrong? This is for the Fantasy Favorites Read-A-Thon prompt, and one of the books I chose is even fantasy. I hope you’re all proud of me.

fantasy favorites read-a-thon on reviews and cake

The Playlist


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European Nerdfighter Convention!

January 14, 2015 fun, miscellaneous 5

I know there are some book bloggers, who are also nerdfighters, so I’m just going to put this out there.



EXCITEMENT. I haven’t decided whether or not to go, but I’m definitely considering it. I’ve never been to a convention, and it always seems like all the fun ones are in the US, so I’m THRILLED there’s something like this happening.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a vlogbrothers fan, and I’ve read all of John Green’s books, so I suppose I’d consider myself a nerdfighter. Even though I start running in the other direction when I see the Okay? Okay. combination because ARGH HYPE. Just kidding. I don’t run.

I can’t find much information yet, so I’m going to wait before I spent all my money (oh, right… I should probably get some of that first), but I’M KEEPING A CLOSE EYE ON THIS. There will be an indiegogo campaign soon, so make sure to check that out if you want this to happen. Even if the convention for some reason sucked, I’d still like to go to Brussels because I’ve never been before. I have no clue what the organizers are planning for this event, but I suggested they better invite some book bloggers in their survey. :D

Sooooo… Anyone thinking about going?

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Link up! How do you read?

January 7, 2015 books, discussion, fun 10

I was going to do a post on reading habits, but since it would have only consisted of me going on and on and on, I decided to do this survey-style thing instead! I’ll answer the questions myself, and if anyone feels like doing the same, I included the questions and a link up at the end. Just link back to the post, or tag someone or whatever else floats your boat. I’m sure there are tons of memes and tags about the exact same thing, but I’m bored so humor me. ‘Kay? Kay.


1.) When do you usually read? Before bed? During long bus rides? Whenever possible?

These days, I usually read before I go to bed. After my reading slump, I got into the habit again because it’s a nice way to wind down and relax my eyes after looking at artificially lit screens for too long. The only problem is that I’ll keep reading “just until the end of the chapter” when a book is good and… well, you know how the story ends. I almost never read when I’m in a moving vehicle, partly because it can cause me nausea and partly because I like to get comfortable when I read and public transportation just doesn’t compare to my bed. If I’m in a café, a restaurant or even the university cafeteria all by myself (cue power ballad), I’ll also get out a book.

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Frankfurt Book Fair 2014

October 10, 2014 books, fun, miscellaneous 2

I went to the Frankfurt book fair yesterday! It was a semi-spontaneous decision. As you may remember (or not if you’ve never been on my blog before, in which case: hey, there!), I took a weekend seminar on what an editor does two weeks ago. The editor who held it recommended to go the Frankfurt book fair to make connections and possibly talk about internships. We decided to go on a Thursday because the fair isn’t open to private visitors during the week and we thought we’d have more of a chance to talk to people. I even got in for free because I accidentally signed up for press accreditation and my blog qualified, which I thought was pretty damn awesome.

Book License Advertisement Penguin Group
book rights advertisement

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