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Get to Know the First Look Club: Meet Katya

Get to Know the First Look Club: Meet Katya

What do you do outside of the First Look Club?

I’ve been a bookworm all my life, but when I’m not reading—for the First Look Club or otherwise!—I’m a copywriter at an advertising agency in BGC. I’ve been in the ad industry since 2014! Outside of work, I’m an avid D&D player, currently playing in campaigns set in Ravnica and Tal’Dorei.

How did you get into reading and writing?

I’ve been a reader for as long as I can remember! My parents read to me a lot when I was young, and I eventually ended up reading way more than they do. Falling in love with writing also came naturally; I wanted to tell my own stories as a kid, and even wrote stories with my best friend in kindergarten. I still write for fun to this day!

What is your review-writing process?

I love reviewing books for the First Look Club, but it’s tough as hell. After receiving my review book on the 15th every other month, I read it and jot down my initial thoughts and feelings, often on my phone’s Notes app. Then I read the book a second time to appreciate the foreshadowing or details I didn’t catch the first time around—and that’s when the review-writing really begins. My first draft is always long, rambling, and very strongly worded, and I revise it until it’s clear and concise (and fair!) enough for my standards. It usually takes me three to four drafts until I’m happy with a review, then off to Hannah it goes.

How did your First Look Club application go?

I found out about the First Look Club when Fully Booked posted its first ever call for applications in April 2017. At the time, I had just finished You by Caroline Kepnes and needed to talk about it with someone—but since I didn’t know anyone who’d read it yet, I ended up writing all my confused, rambling feelings on my Notes app!

Writing down my thoughts and feelings helped me organize my thoughts and appreciate You so much more. So when Fully Booked posted that applicants would have to review a book they felt strongly about, I thought, ‘Okay, I’m definitely talking about You.’ I mean, I already had a head start!

After submitting my application, I forgot about the First Look Club for a while. So it was a welcome surprise when, close to a month later, my friend Reina—yep, Reina from the First Look Club!—messaged me to tell me I’d gotten in! I’ve been a part of the First Look Club ever since.

What advice can you give other bookish creators?

If there’s anything I’ve learned from the First Look Club, it’s the importance of being open to all kinds of books, characters, and perspectives. Going out of my comfort zone on a literary level has been really exciting; so many of my review books are books I wouldn’t have picked up myself, and I ended up loving them! Make sure to know yourself and the genres you love—and read, read, read!—but be open to picking up, and learning from, new authors and genres, too. Happy reading!

Read Katya’s reviews here.

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