The Blogger Positivity Campaign: A Letter to Jessica Burkhart!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Hey everyone and welcome to the second post of a super exciting project that I am apart of started by the lovely Jillian over at Jillian's Books, the Blogger Positivity Campaign! Last week, I answered some questions about myself and blogging. This project is to help spread blogger positivity and get to know more people! This week, I am writing a letter a person or book that inspired me to read! Based on the title, you can probably tell that I am writing an author who wrote this super long series of books about a group of girls in a boarding school and they are equestrians. I read this series when I was in 4th and 5th grade and a little going into sixth and it was such an addicting series. I could finish one book on an afternoon and just love it. The series is over, I haven't read the last book but I know that if I ever got a chance I definitely would. Now, letter!

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Dear Jessica Burkhart

Dear Jessica Burkhart

First of all, thank you so much for writing such an addicting series. I loved all the books you wrote, especially the books in Sasha's perspective. I enjoyed all the drama, and secrets that all went down but also the friendship aspects. How not everyone will be your best friend forever and how you can be friends with people that you don't exactly agree with, you just have to try. 

I remember one summer, I was basically on a Canterwood Crest binge and my summer reading log was all Canterwood Crest, Canterwood Crest, Canterwood Crest, because damn I really enjoyed it. It was just so fun to read about the girls because they were also equestrians and the only experience I had with riding horses was those places that had horses just so people could ride them for a couple dollars per ride. In my opinion, it was awesome to read about characters who jumped and did all this cool horse stuff because I had always seen horse riding to be sooo fun.

And if it wasn't for the romance as well! I mean, everything was honestly such fluffy romance at times and I loved how Jessica didn't write fully fluffy romance, there was definitely some hurdles between the characters and that all just caused for boyfriend drama WHICH would then be stacked upon friend drama AND THEN be stacked upon the stress of school. I mean at some points I would feel so bad for the characters because they had tough times.

Jessica Burkhart and her writing has definitely affected and inspired my love for reading and I really thank Jess and her books for that.
~Kaitlin

Check out the other people doing this campaign!

So tell me: What is someone/something that inspired your love for books?

Olivia's Experience with Being Her Own Blog Designer

Hey everyone and welcome to another fabulous guest post! Today, I have Olivia here from Fictionally Obsessed. Today she is here to talk about her blog design, what it is like to be her own designer, and also advice to people who are going to be creating their own blog design. She runs her own design shop, which has such awesome templates, so definitely check that out!

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Hello everyone, I’m Olivia from Fictionally Obsessed! I also run a design shop at Fabulously Chic Designs.

When I first started blogging, the word “blog design” didn’t exist in my vocabulary. I don’t think I cared much about the appearance of my blog until a few months after blogging when I started to discover more blogs and came across amazing blog designs. It wasn’t until then that I realized the importance of a blog design.

In my opinion, the blog design is as important as the content of a blog. As intriguing or amazing the content of a blog could be, the blog wouldn’t attract as much attention as opposed to if the blog itself looked aesthetically pleasing. The design and the content is like bread and butter, and bloggers should definitely put thought into the appearance of a blog.

Let me tell you guys a bit about the story of my blog design. At first, I wanted to hire a blog designer, but I really wasn't sure whether I'd be totally satisfied with the final design, since a lot of blog designers have this "one design only" policy (and moneyyy). After that, I started to experiment and play around with Blogger, and soon enough became familiar with the coding and the graphics aspect of blog designing. At that point, I could practically manipulate the design as much as I wanted.

BUT for me that wasn’t necessarily a good thing. I started spending  a lot of time on my design, changing it so often that I started to neglect the content of the blog. It's even worse especially for an indecisive person like me and being a blog designer.

I want my blog to look good, but I couldn’t seem to accept that I can only have so much. Every time I finished a design, I’d say to myself: "okay, this is the FINAL design, and I'm never changing it." And then after a few months or so, I would decide that it's time for change because of an awesome design for the placement of the slider, a fabulous place for the header, a unique background that matches with a graphic or whatever reason.

The moral of the story is that while the design of a blog is as important as the content, don’t neglect one for the other! While custom made designs can be expensive, a premade design is always an option. Or you could try to learn how to code and design graphics by yourself, and while this option is pretty tedious at first, it definitely is VERY rewarding in the end.

Personally, I’d read any blog that has an uncluttered design, the most important thing is that your blog design is unique, easy to read and navigate. It doesn’t have to be super fancy, sometimes less is more, but keep in mind that you want your blog to leave an image. If I had to give one piece of advice to people aspiring to design their own blog, the little things definitely matter a lot. Things such as page dividers, a signature, and just creative aspects on the blog make the reading experience a lot more fun and satisfying.

Thanks so much to Kaitlin for having me on her lovely blog!

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Thanks so much Olivia for being here today on the blog! What are your thoughts on her story and did you /do you plan on hiring a designer for your blog or are you going to do it yourself? I would love to know!

Things You Should Know When Starting A Bookstagram

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Hello and happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all have a great day filled with friends and family and food! Today, I have another excited guest post that is about bookstagramming and basically a one stop post to everything one would need to know when starting to take beautiful book pictures. I took a few tips from this post myself. Hikari, Instagrammer at Folded Pages Distillery is here to talk about her favorite apps, tips, and tricks! Hope everyone enjoys and picks up some new tips!

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I’m excited to be a guest blogger today and to share with you a little bit about my experience with book photography on my blog and Instagram page, Folded Pages Distillery.

I’ve decided to note here some of the most important lessons I’ve learned about book photography and keeping my account something fun and original for me to do.

Photography

My book photos have seen a real evolution in the last year since I started my Bookstagram account. There are a few reasons for that, but I narrow them down to two:

1. I didn’t really have a vision for my account.
When I first started my account, I only viewed it as another way to get my blog book review posts out there on the web. I didn’t realize that it could be a creative opportunity.

No matter what your style is, or what kind of effort you want to put into your photos, I have found that it’s easier to maintain an account if you have a theme or purpose.

Once I decided that I wanted my account to be geared towards book reviews, recommendations, and a place to have conversations about books, the rest fell into place.

2. Photography experience
When it comes to photography, I will never be able to get technical with you. I’m just a girl with a smartphone taking pictures. But I have learned through taking pictures a little about lighting, which has made all the difference for me. You can get photography tips online, I’m sure, but since this is about my experience, I say: “practice makes perfect” AND “lighting = everything.”

So. Let’s talk about lighting.

Many people have asked me if I use fancy photography equipment. The answer is no. I only use my phone (iPhone6 Plus), a white tablecloth, and my kitchen table pushed up underneath a window.

Photographing under the window gives me lots of good light. I have learned what times of day I have the best light through those windows and that’s when I try to photograph. At the same time, I’m a mama and I have a job, so I’m not always able to take photos during those golden hours. If I need to take a photo during a time where there is hash light coming through the window, I hang up a white sheet, so the light still comes through, but it’s muted. Some times I set up a photo at night, go to bed, and take the picture in the morning when the lights is good.

If I’m photographing outside, I try to photograph in the morning or in the evening when the light isn’t directly above me. I have been known to hold an umbrella over my shot to reduce the light and glare, and that works well for me. (umbrella = ultra fancy photography equipment.)

Find a spot with good natural light, then practice taking photos there during different times of the day. You’ll learn quickly which times are best for you to shoot there.

Editing apps


VSCO app:
Filters can do some pretty amazing things for your photos. You can pump up the color, mute the color, brighten, or make it look like you’ve used a professional camera. I am sure there are many different filtering apps out there, but I only use VSCO because I love it so much. There are a variety of free filters in VSCO you can use that are excellent, or you can purchase other filter packs for $1.99. I have only ever used the free filters, and love them.

PHONTO app:
Phonto also provides different filters, but I only use it to add text to my photos. I like to have my Blog and Instagram name on my photos so people know they are mine. Phonto is the easiest I’ve used. It’s very straightforward, incredibly easy to use, and free.

Photographing on my phone, and using only these two editing apps makes my process easy and quick. I can do it all from my phone, and that’s important to me. Once you find the apps that work for you, posting can be a quick and easy thing.

Ways to make Bookstagramming fun and not get burned out:


I have had a lot of Bookstagram friends get burned out or delete their accounts altogether after awhile. They felt a lot of pressure to take fancy or extremely curated photos. It’s hard not to get sucked into that mentality every now and again. So:

1. Pick a theme that is sustainable for you:
If putting tons of things and arranging them in a photo is a lot of work for you, don’t do it or don’t do it all the time. Pick a style or theme that pushes your creativity, but remains doable. There is no one “best” way to take photos. Find a style that represents you and own it.

2. Make friends:
I have made many good friends on Instagram. Just by commenting on other photos, or responding to comments on my own photos, I’ve made some very good internet friends— some of whom have turned into real life friends. It is so fun to be in a community where you can talk about books and your opinions on stories with others who enjoy it too.

3. Use the library
Bookstagram is not about owning lots of books. Over half of the books I photograph are from the library. I only buy books that I really really love. Libraries are a great way to read books without spending money. Just because your personal bookshelf isn’t packed with books, doesn’t mean you can’t get your hands on plenty books to photograph and share!

4. Use book tags
Whenever I am stumped on creativity, I use book tags. Book tags are hashtags that are prompts to what you can put in different pictures. Most people think that I come up with all my ideas on my own. But in reality, I really rely on book tags to help me curate a photo. When I first started Bookstagramming, I never ever considered putting any props in my photos. But after getting tagged in things like #bookandmakeup, #bookandnecklace #bookandootd #bookandwatch #bookandtreat I realized that my home was filled with fun props.

5. Post when you can
Post however much you like, but don’t feel like you need to post several times a day. Keep it to one post or one every couple days. That way you’re still engaged, and not burning yourself out quickly.

I love the Bookstagram community. I love taking pictures of books, pushing my creativity, and talking about books with people who love them as much as I do. I hope that some of these tips and suggestions help you make the most of your Instagram account!

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So tell me: Did you get any tips from Hikari's post? I know I did!

Happy Thanksgiving and Giving Thanks.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!
Hey everyone, Happy Thanksgiving! I just wanted to write up this quick post saying thanks. Thanks to everyone that follows me, reads my posts, comments on my blog, tweets me, I see y'all! I do. I never expected to ever be at this place, right here with a blog and internet friends, and especially followers. Just want you all to know I am super grateful for every one of you, and I hope you have a fabulous day stuffing your faces with food. Now, go! Give thanks :)

Book Buddies: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Book Buddies is a discussion-style review that takes place with Lauren @ Bookmark Lit. (Learn more and see past reviews here) We both read the book and then have a private discussion about it. We post our discussion as a review on the last Wednesday of each month. You’ll be able to see our similar/different opinions on the overall book, characters, writing style, etc. – just like a regular review. The first half our discussion will take place right here, and the second half will be on Lauren's blog! (Link at the bottom)

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The Raven Boys

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Pages: 416
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: September 18th 2012 
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.” It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore. From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before. 

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If you would like to read the other half of the discussion click here to go Lauren's blog!

(There are some spoilers in this discussion so be cautious!)

​​1. This book talks a lot about "ley lines" and energy and stuff. Did it confuse you anyway as you were reading the book? What are your thoughts on the author's use of these kind of things?
L: I really wish I googled ley lines the second they were mentioned, because I stayed pretty confused throughout the beginning of the book! I think the concept is really unique; I had never heard of them before, let alone heard of them being used in a book. There are so many common elements in fantasy or paranormal books, like werewolves, vampires, or other creatures... but this topic was brand new to me. To be honest, I'm still reeling a little bit from this plotline! I still don't fully understand Gansey's motivation for the ley line quest and want to go back and reread that part.

K: It is definitely a new concept and I have not ever seen it in the small amount of paranormal books I have read. They do seem a bit complicated once you start reading about them but the more I read about ley lines it started to make a bit more sense to me. I can guess they play a pretty big part throughout this series so I am really looking forward to reading more about them and why Gansey is so interested in them!

2. Which Raven boy is you favorite, can you relate to the most, and did you want to see more of from this book?
L: Hmmm, I don't think I have a favorite yet! I think I'm mostly interested in Gansey and Ronan, because there's probably so much more in their history that we haven't found out yet. I feel like there's a LOT more going on with Ronan than meets the eye. Adam was interesting but he seemed the closest to a "regular guy" in this book. Noah was... different. I wasn't sure what to think about him before we found out the THING we found out, and even less sure about afterwards! Why did he stick around with them? How did they not know?! Anyways, I think I'll give the edge to Ronan as of RIGHT NOW because I'm intrigued by him.

K: Based on the synopsis of The Raven Cycle, Ronan is definitely a super interesting character. I mean he definitely knows more about things that happened in his past and I am excited to find out about those secrets sooner later. I wasn't able to name a favorite boy yet because there really wasn't much to them so far. Ronan was definitely interesting but I do want to know more about Noah and I am interested to see what happens to Adam throughout this series. Noah was super surprising to me and the boys definitely didn't notice anything, which is weird because if I don't see any of my best friends during school, I would certainly try to find them. Why he still sticks around? Don't know but I do want more Noah in these books.

Waiting on Wednesday #29

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Breaking The Spine.

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Blackhearts

Author: Nicole Castroman
Pages: 384
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: February 9th 2016
Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything. Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back. Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to CuraƧao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England? From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

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Why I'm Waiting...

A love story! Taking place is a historical fiction kind of setting? Yes please sign me up! I am super interested to see how this kind of situation will be handled within these two characters because when you have a relationship between a rich dude and a maid of this rich dude, things don't get easy and there are definitely many ways one could screw it up or handle it incorrectly. I am also looking forward to see how Nicole will handle the situation and she takes this plot. There are so many things that could happen to Anne and Teach and I am excited to find out what.

So tell me: What are your thoughts on this book and have you heard of it?

Top Ten Tuesday #12

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme held over at Broke and Bookish. Each week there is a topic and we list off our top ten items based on that topic.

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Top Ten Ships and Characters I Would Like to Have Thanksgiving Dinner With

1. Katniss and Peeta | The Hunger Games
With the newest and final Hunger Games movie just coming out, having dinner with Katniss and Peeta would probably be the moment when I can properly say goodbye without spilling so many tears (but let's be real here, if I had dinner with them I would pretty much cry anyway.) I mean this franchise has been in my life for 4 years and when you're still a very young teenager, 4 years is a hell of a lot of time! The Mockingjay Movie just killed me and I am honestly sooo not ready to let this series go and still am in disbelief that it's over. 

2. Chaol and Celaena | Throne of Glass
Okay, these two were the cutest when I had read Crown of Midnight and I still very much ship them. I love both Celaena and Chaol as two individual people and getting to have dinner with them would be awesommeee. Honestly, if I mention them as a couple, not only do I get to have dinner with Chaol and Celaena, BUT I SAVE SPOTS AND MINIMIZE SPOT USAGE! (Now...I can add another person :D)

3. June and Day | The Legend Trilogy
I don't know if these two have a ship name but whatever because I love these two. I feel like I talk about the Legends trilogy on my blog a lot and I am honestly too shameless about it. I MEAN THIS TRILOGY IS JUST SO GOOOD. If I got to have a meal with the two main characters, I would fangirl all through the night. June and Day such very different people but I love how well they are able to work together.

4. Mal and Alina | The Grisha Trilogy
I love these two together. Not only are they great people together but I love them as individual people! Alina is such a badass Grisha and I just love Mal's loyalty to her when time comes to worst.

5. Nickolai | The Grisha Trilogy
WELL IF IT ISN'T MY NICKOLAI. I would be crazy to not put his name on my list! He is my absolute fave in the Grisha Trilogy and I just really love him soooo much. Like this guy is the best. Sassy, badass, but he may seem tough but HE IS AN ABSOLUTE CINNAMON ROLL SOMETIMES OMG.  

6. The Darkling | The Grisha Trilogy 
This would be the only villain sitting at the table and I don't really mind that as long as he doesn't eat all the mashed potatoes. Oh! And start a fight with Alina, Mal, and Nikolai. But the potatoes. The Darkling is such an elegant villain. Like he really is this dark guy but nevertheless, I don't entirely hate him. Yeah yeah he has done back things but he also has the ability to be a good person as well.  

7. Harry | Harry Potter
Harry Potter, one of the books that really got me into YA! Meeting Harry Potter would definitely something I would love to do and to have a meal with him? YES! It would definitely take me back to my Harry Potter days and reading all about him in books. 

8. Ron and Hermione | Harry Potter
If I invite Harry Potter, I have to invite Ron and Hermione as well right? I mean the three of them were such great characters and I do love each character. Getting to talk with Hermione would be awesome and gushing over the Thanksgiving food with Ron? Yes please!

9. Percy and Annabeth | Percy Jackson and the Olympians
I love Percy and Annabeth. They are both so badass in their own ways and I honestly love that, plus they're both so cute together! I would love to have great conversations with Hermione and Annabeth but also talk to Percy about his adventures and what it is like to be a son of a greek god!

10. Finnick | The Hunger Games
Oh Finnick. Because of Finnick ended up in the end of Mockingjay, getting to talk to him would be an awesome final goodbye because his movie goodbye was too much for me and I am not ready to leave him just yet. I would definitely invite him to dinner and let him have a proper goodbye to Katniss and Peeta as well.

So tell me: What are your ships or characters that would love to have over for Thanksgiving dinner?

Three Ways You Can Improve Your Book Photography

Monday, November 23, 2015

Hey everyone and welcome back to another exciting guest post! First, I want to apologize for the absence. No I have not been busy doing NaNoWriMo unfortunately but I had a huge project due last Friday and I basically spent the week stressing out on it. Yeah, I am back though and here to finish off this month strong! Today I have Alexandra, from Twirling Pages who runs a book blog but also an amazing instagram page just filled with books. She is here to talk about ways one can improve their book photography so I hope you guys enjoy and make sure to check out her blog!

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three ways you could improve your book photography

hiiiiii! i’m so excited to be on kailtin’s blog today. (she’s one of my favorites *hugs*) if you don’t already know, i’m alexandra and i blog at twirling pages! *releases confetti* i joined the book community over a year ago, and it was actually because through bookstagram (books on instagram) that i sparked my interest to start a blog. and so… here i am! i’ll be sharing a few tips on how to improve your book photography. (because admit it: i’m the QUEEN of book photography) (that was sarcasm, if you couldn’t tell. it’s hard to tell through the inter webs.) (no, but seriously, i have some awesome tips.)

LET’S GET THE PARTY STARTED. *cracks knuckles*

BE SO CREATIVE THAT IT BECOMES WEIRD
you know the saying, “think outside of the box”? well, the same goes for book photography (or any photography, really). it’s hard because there are only SO MANY THINGS you can do with a book in terms of photography. you can stack them, uncover them, open them… and it kinda ends there. let your creative juices flow and think of weird and fantastic things to do to your books! you never know; you might become a trendsetter in the process!

HAVE A CONSISTENT AESTHETIC
i like to have my photos look clean and cute. whatever you decide, stick to it! if it’s gruge-y, you go! if it’s vibrant, own it! if it’s desaturated, do your thing! i want people to look at my photos and think, “wow, that’s is so nice!” then think, “it must be twirling pages!” because of the way it’s set up/is.

DON’T SETTLE FOR LESS
be picky with yourself! if the photo’s blurry, take it again. if the composition is weird, fix it. you should have a criteria for you pictures. don’t just take pictures “just because.” i mean, you CAN do that but i can’t guarantee they’ll all be nice.

are you snapping at books already? (have you TRIED snapping at books?) (warning: it becomes strangely addicting.) if not, GO TAKE PICTURES OF BOOKS! it’s fun, challenging, ad ultimately satisfying.

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Thank you Xan for being here today and I hope you enjoyed the post. Let me know if any of Xan's advice helped you if you have an instagram page!

The Blogger Positivity Campaign: Intro!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Hey everyone and welcome to the first post of a super exciting project that I am apart of started by the lovely Jillian over at Jillian's Books, the Blogger Positivity Campaign! This project is to help spread blogger positivity and get to know more people! So, without further ado, here are some questions that I am to answer.

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Introduce yourself and your blog! Okay so, hi! My name is Kaitlin and this is my blog, Next Page Please! I live in the Bay Area and really enjoy the nice weather here! (This is getting of to an awkward start...) I started this blog back in May of 2014 and at that time, it was on Weebly and my blog name was Kaitlin's World. I then did some moving around with my blog and more fun stuff and in February 2015 I went to blogger and here I am! So yeah, I talk about books and my thoughts on them.

Where do you blog from? There are so many answers to this question. I blog from my laptop. I blog from California. I blog from my desk chair. I blog from my mind and these are just my published thoughts. Many responses, you choose which answer you want to go by! :)

Who or what made you the reader you are today? I have to give a big chunk of my love for reading to my cousins and Mom. My mom would buy books for me off the Scholastic Book Orders (remember those?) and I loved reading. She got me into books like the Ramona series, the Tales of Fourth Grade Nothing Series and more fun stuff. My cousins, however, were the ones to encourage me to read Harry Potter and that is when I really got into YA. I mean I had read Hunger Games before Harry Potter but Harry Potter really sparked my love for reading. 

Who or what made you decide to create a book blog? I wasn't originally going to blog about books. I started my blog to be a life blog but it had soon morphed to be a big focus on books. Now that I think about it, life blogging probably wouldn't have lasted long because um my life isn't very eventful haha.

What are your thoughts on the blogosphere today? I haven't been in the blogosphere as long as many other people have but I do really love it. Everyone is so welcoming her, willing to help, but also so knowledgeable. Really love talking to different people about different things and having so many friends!  

5 random facts about you? This is always so hard for me but let's do this:

1. I recently reorganized my bookshelf
2. I cannot function in a messy environment
3. I love mushrooms
4. I have been playing the piano for seven years
5. I am right handed.

5 favorite books you’ve read and loved? Good thing this question isn't only asking for one, because that would be way too hard.

1. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
2. Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
3. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
4. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
5. Dumplin' by Julie Murphy

5 favorite book bloggers! I honestly want to list every blogger I know.

1. Xan @ Twirling Pages. Xan is the first person I would ever think of if you told me the word "aesthetic." Okay, she is the aesthetic queen. She loves all aesthetically beautiful things and not only that, she has a beautiful blog and I do love reading her posts and looking at her beautiful photography.

2. Bella @ Ciao Bella!. Bella blogs about everything. Food, fashion, books, everything and I honestly love reading the different posts in her blog. Her blog is beautiful too! I personally love her book reviews and baking posts. Also, her organization tips? (YES)

3. Aneeqah @ My Not So Real Life. I love Aneeqah's book and writing blog. The posts she has are so diverse and I really do love reading her discussions. I am a sucker for good blog designs as well and Aneeqah has just that!

4. Jessica @ Bookish Serendipity. I really enjoy reading the different and clever posts that Jess writes. She always has such great ideas and topics to talk about for posts and I always enjoy reading them!

5. Grace @ Words Like Silver. Grace is my goals for writing and time management. I honestly don't know how this girl can write such great blog posts, edit a whole bunch of writing, take great pictures, write great pieces, and then on top of that she has school and lacrosse. *dies* Her reviews are so well written and put together I feel like I'm reading a poem every time I come across one of her reviews. 

Check out the other people doing this campaign!

So tell me: Are you excited for more of this project? I am!

Guest Post from Ashley at Nose Graze!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hello everyone! Welcome to the first of few guest posts that will be going up within the next two weeks. Because I was going to slow down the blogging this month, I needed some posts to go up and guest posts was the perfect thing. Plus, I have never really done lots of guest posts from bloggers before so here is the start! Today, I have a very exciting guest, Ashley from Nose Graze! Ashley runs a blog with basically everything I would love. Book reviews and web design tips and tutorials. Yes. So today, Ashley has a post regarding books and color palettes! Perfect if you want to redesign your blog and need a color palette! 

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Picking a good colour palette for your book blog is tricky business, so today I want to inspire you!
I've chosen 10 books that I've recently read or am hoping to read soon and created colour palettes based on the cover art. Feel free to love them, drool on them, or use them when you next redesign your blog.

1) The Martian by Andy Weir


Colour palette for The Martian by Andy Weir
The colour palette of Mars! This one has dusty, firey colours (Which is funny, because Mars is actually very cold.)
Also, this book is insanely awesome if you're into science and nerdy technical stuff like I am.
Add to Goodreads

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2) Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch


Colour palette for Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch
Speaking of fire... here's Ice Like Fire! This one has a smoky, almost cold volcanic feel to it. Is cold volcanic a thing?
Sadly when I read this one I couldn't stand Mather's chapters. Booooring.
Add to Goodreads

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3) Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Mid-Month Reading Update #9

Hello everyone! Welcome to November's Mid-Month Update! I hope you all have had a pretty okay November so far and are excited for Thanksgiving which means, a shit ton of food, Black Friday, and no school. I know I am. Now? To the update?

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The Rose Society

Author: Marie Lu
Pages: 395 
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 13th 2015
Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all. Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her. But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?

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What I Have Read...

  • The Rose Society
  • The Raven Boys
  • The Truth About Lies
  • Hunter
  • Dare to Dream
  • For the Record
  • Diamonds are Forever
I am not too upset about my progress with this month's TBR but really I kinda am. Currently half way through The Rose Society. I probably wouldn't be too upset with that if I wasn't SO BEHIND ON MY NANOWRIMO (will get more into that...). Anyways, I definitely think that I will be able to finish the other four books before the end of November. It does kind of frustrate me though because sometimes I take a whole week on a book and I don't even know why. I mean I'm not a super busy person so there is definitely something wrong here if it takes me a week to read a 300 page book. 

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What's Been Happening

Feel like there isn't going to be a lot in this section but we will definitely see how that goes. Well, if you didn't know, I am doing NaNoWriMo this month! That is why there has been a lack of reviews is because I am trying to do NaNoWriMo. How is that going for me? I don't know that this point. I am sooo behind on writing I don't know if I will ever catch up. 13k words behind so during Thanksgiving break when I will be home all day, I am going to try really hard to catch up and hopefully end this NaNoWriMo victorious! 

So if you didn't know, I sprained my knee about two weeks ago. Yeah, it was pretty bad. I mean I did something to it on Tuesday during PE and couldn't walk by 10am on Wednesday. Went home and got meself some crutches Thursday. It has definitely healed and I can walk on it but I am still using the brace because it is not fully healed. First time I have ever had to go to the hospital for an injury though... Funny story. When I was at the hospital and on my way for an x-ray I was rolled past people, old people may I mention and they had canes, and they would give me dirty looks as I, a healthy looking girl, rolled past them in my wheelchair thing.

sometimes old people need to understand that we young people are not infinite. 

So tell me: How is your month going?

Blog Tour: How We Fall by Kate Brauning (Guest Post and Giveaway!)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Hello everyone and welcome to my stop of Kate Brauning blog tour to promote the release of her novel, How We Fall, in paperback! I hope you all enjoy her guest post and make sure to enter the giveaway to win a copy of How We Fall.

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How We Fall

How We FallAuthor: Kate Brauning
Pages: 303
Publisher: Merit Press
Release Date: November 3rd 2014
| Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound | Walmart.com | Books-A Million | Book Depository | Powell’s | Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk |
Ever since Jackie moved to her uncle's sleepy farming town, she's been flirting way too much-- and with her own cousin, Marcus. Her friendship with him has turned into something she can't control, and he's the reason Jackie lost track of her best friend, Ellie, who left for...no one knows where. Now Ellie has been missing for months, and the police, fearing the worst, are searching for her body. Swamped with guilt and the knowledge that acting on her love for Marcus would tear their families apart, Jackie pushes her cousin away. The plan is to fall out of love, and, just as she hoped he would, Marcus falls for the new girl in town. But something isn't right about this stranger, and Jackie's suspicions about the new girl's secrets only drive the wedge deeper between Jackie and Marcus. Then Marcus is forced to pay the price for someone else's lies as the mystery around Ellie's disappearance starts to become horribly clear. Jackie has to face terrible choices. Can she leave her first love behind, and can she go on living with the fact that she failed her best friend?

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Guest Post

Hello, readers! I'm so pleased to be here with Kaitlin for How We Fall's paperback release blog tour. Though my book is shelved in YA romance or YA contemporary, or even with thrillers, I see the genre as romantic suspense. It's about 70% romance and 30% suspense/thriller, which is much more common in adult fiction than in YA, for some reason.

In addition to being romantic suspense, it's rural romantic suspense. I set the book pretty much exactly where I grew up-- in sparsely populated, hilly northwest Missouri, on the county line between the two poorest counties in the state. Jackie's family moved to this area, like my family did, rather than being one of the local, multiple-generation families to farm the area. It's a gorgeous part of the state, full of winding blacktop highways, rolling hills, rivers, creeks, and little ponds. Oaks, hedge trees, maples, and scrubby brush pepper the hills. The view is hard to beat.

I set the book there because I knew the area well, but also because rural suspense is so different from urban suspense, and I wanted the particular dangers of an isolated, rural area.

One of the elements of rural suspense is the sparse population. With occasional family farms spread across the county, and tiny towns ranging from populations of ninety-five to a few hundred, there's a good chance that if you get into trouble, no one will be around to see. If your car breaks down, you might have to wait a long time for someone to drive by, and you'd have to walk possibly ten to twenty miles to find a house. Cars have been found in ponds or lakes years after they wrecked. Witnesses to a crime are few, if any.

Another danger is how far away emergency services can be. When the closest police station, fire department, hospital, etc., are twenty to thirty miles away, that makes accidents, break-ins, and the like even more dangerous. When my sister badly burned herself, it was faster for us to drive her to the hospital than it would have been for an ambulance to come get her (and it was a horrifying situation for everyone).

Yet another issue is spotty communication. Though this depends a lot on the area and the service provider, dead spots are common, and your phone not working in a sparsely populated area with long response times for emergency services can make a bad situation so much worse.

And of course, all the small town truths apply here, too-- rumor mills, insular cultures, insider versus outsider mentality, strong sense of community pride, power struggles among community leaders, family feuds, unwavering community support, and the determined backbone of a small town can make rural suspense such a rich, fascinating, evocative genre. It's so different, specific, and has so much vitality that I love writing it, and am working on my 3rd book that could be considered rural suspense.

Have you read anything else you think fits into this genre? Any recommendations for me?

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Sunday Street Team: For the Record by Charlotte Huang (Review and Giveaway!)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Hello everyone and welcome to my Sunday Street Team stop for Charlotte Huang's For the Record. I have a review for you guys today so I hope you enjoy that and make sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post. This tour was hosted by Nori @ ReadWriteLove28!

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For the Record

Author: Charlotte Huang
Pages: 320
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: November 10, 2015
If Almost Famous were a YA novel... a raw, honest debut celebrating music, friendship, romance, and life on the road. Chelsea thought she knew what being a rock star was like... until she became one. After losing a TV talent show, she slid back into small-town anonymity. But one phone call changed everything. Now she’s the lead singer of the band Melbourne, performing in sold-out clubs every night and living on a bus with three gorgeous and talented guys. The bummer is that the band barely tolerates her. And when teen heartthrob Lucas Rivers take an interest in her, Chelsea is suddenly famous, bringing Melbourne to the next level—not that they’re happy about that. Her feelings for Beckett, Melbourne’s bassist, are making life even more complicated. Chelsea only has the summer tour to make the band—and their fans—love her. If she doesn’t, she’ll be back in Michigan for senior year, dying a slow death. The paparazzi, the haters, the grueling schedule... Chelsea believed she could handle it. But what if she can’t?

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I got this book via NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. None of my thoughts are affected by that.

I always get excited about reading books that include a character being famous in some sort. Chelsea may not be the most famous person in For the Record but I still enjoyed reading it. It was definitely not what I had expected, and I say that in a positive way. I really enjoyed the plot line and characters that Charlotte wrote about. The one thing that brought my rating down was how annoyed I got with some of the characters at one point. Other than that, For the Record was a fun book that takes you on a huge emotional roller-coaster and leaves you speechless by the end of it.

Chelsea, our main character, was a pretty okay main character considering the fact that she does become famous and blah blah blah. Some of her actions definitely made me really annoyed with her but overall she was a pretty good character who was famous but not snobby and annoying 100% throughout the book. She had definitely learned a few lessons throughout this book and that had caused a small amount of character development for sure. It wasn’t a huge change in her character but I loved how much more confident about performing because she did get a lot of chances to get used to performing. You could definitely see the change in her performances with Melbourne and I loved that.

I enjoyed the plot the most when it comes to For the Record. I mean, like I said, this book was not what I expected. I was expecting a dramatic book filled with annoying snobby characters and I can say I definitely got different from that. I loved how it basically told the story of Chelsea’s time with Melbourne. It was interesting to see because rarely do I ever feel like I know what it’s like to be living as a celebrity on tour and For the Record definitely gave me a glance of that. Now I know what it is like to live on a tour bus and eat packaged oatmeal with ten other people! The ending was something I enjoyed the most about this book though. The tour had been such a huge part of Chelsea’s summer and leaving the tour was bittersweet. The ending just left me so speechless though and I am just excited to see where Chelsea goes next with what she has when the book ends.

I gave this book 4 stars because I really enjoyed the character and especially the plot but some of the characters did annoy me a bit.

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Spoilers Ahead!

I cannot even start to beginning with my annoyance with Lucas. I mean he was just so clingy and annoying I really just could not stand him. He was a super famous actor, didn’t he have better things to do than follow around his girlfriend when clearly no one wanted him around and he was hurting Melbourne. I’m surprised no one asked him to leave. Also, as for Mandy, she definitely handled the “getting fired” situation horribly. I mean she acted like Chelsea was the blame for her firing and got made at her when she was fired anyway. She should have just not have slept with Malcolm and then accept the damn fact that she was done already because Pem is stubborn AF.

Beckett and Chelsea’s was a really interesting one. I liked how it was always there and they both really liked each other but they really just brushed it off until the end. It wasn’t like they were kind of playing hard to get at each other but you could definitely see their feelings and jealousy for each other. Plus, the author didn't make Chelsea and Beckett's relationship and feelings for each other until the very end which is something I liked because the focus was more on Melbourne's tour, not Beckett.

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Blog Tour: The Lies About Truth by Courtney C. Stevens

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Lies About Truth

Author: Courtney C. Stevens 
Pages: 336
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: November 3rd 2015
| Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | The Book Depository |
Sadie Kingston, is a girl living in the aftermath. A year after surviving a car accident that killed her friend Trent and left her body and face scarred, she can’t move forward. The only person who seems to understand her is Trent’s brother, Max. As Sadie begins to fall for Max, she's unsure if she is truly healed enough to be with him — even if Max is able to look at her scars and not shy away. But when the truth about the accident and subsequent events comes to light, Sadie has to decide if she can embrace the future or if she'll always be trapped in the past. 

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When I first read the synopsis for this book, I could pretty much tell it was a finding yourself novel and if it’s anything I love, it’s a good finding yourself novel. The Lies About Truth is a new one I can gladly add to this list of good finding yourself novels. I really enjoyed how much character development Sadie goes through but also the unknowing to this book about the accident and how readers don’t get to know more about the accident until they kept reading to finally know what really happens. (Because, you know things just aren’t that simple these days.) The Lies About Truth was an emotional, fun, and very well written story about a girl who is just starting a new chapter in her life, and I enjoyed every page of it. 

This book starts about a year after the car accident that had killed one of Sadie’s best friends, Trent. Not only did it kill Trent but also leave Sadie with a whole bunch of scars and Max, Trent’s little brother, with a problematic vocal cord. Sadie has been through a lot within the past year. She lost her best friend and is now left with all these scars and it really does take a toll on her personality. There were flashbacks in this book and I could really see how much the accident had changed her and being able to read about Sadie’s growth in this book is an example on why I do love these types on books. The character development that went on in this book is golden, basically. I loved how gradual it was but am also really proud of Sadie. The position she is in by the end of the book is what she has always wanted to achieve since the accident and you could really see the change she goes through comparing the beginning and the end. 

This whole plot was what I really love about this book. It had the perfect mix of fun and sob scenes. I definitely don’t mind a sad emotional book but having light and fun moments are always a great touch. The plot line really supported Sadie’s development and adjustment to her new life and also allowed Sadie and her friends to really get closure on the whole accident and Trent’s death and that is sooo important with moving on with life: closure. That is honestly why I really love the ending because it was such a perfect and satisfying ending. It really wrapped this part of Sadie’s life and I am so excited for her for the rest of her life.

The one thing that brought my rating down a tiny but was the fact that I felt like the pacing got a tiny bit slow. Didn't really affect my enjoyment too much though.

I gave this book 4.5 stars because I really loved everything about it and it is definitely a new favorite of mine but the pacing was a bit slow at some point.

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Spoilers Ahead!

The road trip Gina, Gray, Max, and Sadie all took to The Fountain of Youth was a huge step to getting closure with Trent. It's somewhere he has always wanted to go to and being able to see that place where Trent never got to visit was so sweet and I really loved that aspect of this book. Also, loved Max and Sadie's relationship and how they were really able to understand each other because they were both pretty affected by the accident.

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