Book Blog, Bookish Tips & Lists

Bookish Tips: Beautiful Bookstagram Staging

January 20, 2016

Most young bookworms, like myself, are fascinated with bookstagram and booklr. The sheer amount of accounts that pop up daily is astounding, and I say the more, the better. The great thing about bookstagram is that almost no two accounts are the same. Even though you may see a plethora of the same books, everyone’s staging is unique. If you’re looking to start or improve your bookstagram photos, here’s a few tips I’ve learned along the way.


Have you ever taken a photograph outside and been absolutely amazed at how crisp and professional it looks? Well, natural lighting creates the same effects for your bookish photos too. If you can, go outside and take pictures. If you’re like me and live in an apartment in the big city, you may not have the space to go set up outside, so open up those windows and let the light in. (If your window is obscured by another tall building, again, like mine, you’ll get the best natural lighting between noon and 3 when the sun is the highest.)

Take a look at the two photos below. The first I took late one day after work. I really wanted to keep up with my daily book challenge, so I sacrificed natural light and did my best by turning on all the lights in my apartment. The second photo is a reshoot that I took the next afternoon, using natural light near an open window. It’s the same books, same props, same background, and I even arranged the books and props almost identically. Look at the difference. The first photo is yellow and dark and grainy, while the second photo is very light, crisp, clean, and colorful.Artificial vs Natural Lighting


Background is a little more simple. My personal favorites are either the torn out pages from an old poetry book, or a plain white background. Most bookstagrammers have a theme and they stick to it. I say try out a bunch of different themes and eventually you will find something that you love. My feed is a reflection of me, which is code for, “It’s a mess.”  But it’s my mess, and I love it.


The last key to staging a beautiful photo is choosing what props you will use, or maybe you’re going to keep it clean and simple and have no props. Popular props include flowers and candles, bookish related mugs and pillows,  postcards, artwork, and art supplies. It really is amazing the things that bookstagrammers use as props though. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to find beautiful things. All of my flowers are artificial bouquets purchased from the Dollar Tree… actually, all of my props come from the Dollar Tree or Target’s One Spot. I really try to buy items that I can and will use in my everyday life and decor, not just as props for a photo (notice that my candles have been lit).  If you are using props, especially a lot to get the messy effect like I use, try to make your props and books as cohesive and coordinated as possible. If there’s red books in the photo, I like to use my red and white flowers and props. If there are yellow books, or yellow accent in the book covers, I like to use my yellow flowers and props–you get the idea.  If you are using a background with a bold pattern or color, it’s really going to make coordinating your books and props harder though, so keep that in mind.

Most importantly, follow other bookstagrammers and booklrs that you admire. Take note of their techniques and try to emulate [but not steal] their style. Remember, to have fun! Bookstagram is a great place to make friends and discover new books. Try not to focus too much on your follower count and likes because that will just make you crazy! Bookstagram is like a field of dreams: if you post it, they will come.


Book Blog, Book Reviews

Book Review: Ignite Me

January 18, 2016

Ignite Me

Description: With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.

I am so conflicted. I feel like 3 stars is a lie, but I really, really liked the last 50-60 pages or so. It was a strong finish to an otherwise insufferable series.  Those last few amazing chapters don’t make up for how tortured I felt reading the other 350 pages of Juliette now agonizing over her feelings for Warner or her drawn out speeches about how she didn’t really love Adam after all and how she’s changed so much. It doesn’t make up for two previous books of waiting for something amazing to finally happen. (I felt compelled to finish the series once I started. It wasn’t unbearable–just enough for me to hate myself a little bit more every time I turned the page, but not enough to make me quit.) It infuriates me that this is such an amazing premise, and when there was action, it was GOOD action, but it was so few and far between. All of the characters had amazing powers that were rarely seen. The scene in the courtyard was spectacular!  I can’t wait to see that in the inevitable film or TV series this will become.  But why was there not more of that in this whole series? Why was Juliette such an unlikeable heroine?  I’m also confused about the timeline. I gave Juliette a lot of concessions because I thought she’d been locked in asylum for years. It was only 274 days? Really? The whole world had come undone in less than a year? And why was Warner more appealing as a villain than a hero? He was my favorite, and quickly became unlikeable too…though that might be just through his association with Juliette. And even as hurt and angry as he was supposed to be, it was totally out of character for Adam to be so hateful, verbally abusive, and possessive.

Reviews for previous titles in the series:

  • Original Title: Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)
  • Edition: Paperback, 338 pages
  • Published: November 15, 2011 by HarperCollins
  • Rating: 2/5

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

  • Original Title: Unravel Me (Shatter Me, #2)
  • Edition: Paperback, 461 pages
  • Published: February 5, 2013 by HarperCollins
  • Rating: 3/5

Juliette is still haunted by her deadly touch. But now that she has teamed up with other rebels with powers of their own, she’ll be able to fight back against The Reestablishment to save her broken world. With the help of these new allies, she’ll also finally learn the secret behind Adam’s—and Warner’s—immunity to her killer skin.

This is my most unpopular opinion to date, but I didn’t enjoy Shatter Me and Unravel Me. (I haven’t read Ignite Me yet.) Yes, Unravel Me was better as everyone suggested, but only marginally. The biggest complaint I have with the books is Tahereh Mafi’s writing style. I applaud the fact that she’s trying to do something new (compared to other current young adult authors), but it really is overkill. Some of her similes and metaphors don’t even make sense. And Lord knows if I have to read about the color of Adam’s eyes again, I’m going to throw the whole series in the trash! Also, I know the timeline has been several months, but Juliette is showing no signs of being less irritating or self-involved. I understand that she’s been locked away, alone, and untouched all her life, but there’s a war happening yet all she can think about is her love life? Warner is my saving grace in this series. I find any chapter with him is very entertaining. Overall, I like the story. I would love this series if it was more well written, with less focus on the “love” story, and some legit character development for Juliette.

Book Blog, Book Haul

Boxing Day Book Outlet Haul

January 11, 2016

My Boxing Day book haul from @BookOutlet has finally arrived. I’ve already read the Caster Chronicles series via Kindle, and I really enjoyed them so I couldn’t pass on having these beautiful hardcovers for so cheap! The rest of this haul is a gamble, but I hope I find a new favorite among them. I will say the J.J. Abrams book is stunning visually. I will take more pictures of it’s contents.

The Haul (Links to Goodreads):

Book Blog, Book Reviews

Book Review: Carry On

January 11, 2016

  • Original Title: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  • Edition: Hardcover, 522 pages
  • Published: October 6th 2015 by St. Martin’s Griffin
  • Characters: Simon Snow, Baz Pitch, Penelope, Agatha
  • Rating: 5/5

Description: Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

Ugh. Just finished Carry On. 5 FREAKING STARS. I never give books 5 stars! Never. Check my Goodreads. lmfao I’ve never even given another Rainbow Rowell book 5 stars and anyone following me for longer than a day knows how much I love her. I can’t. I mean, you have all the things that make Rainbow amazing–her characters are just always so amazing. Not perfect in anyway, even a little bit annoying, but you love them anyway. Okay. But then you add just a touch of magic, little bit of fantasy, a dragon fight, and boys kissing and I’m sold. And the meta! To be honest, that’s what really hooked me–a fictional book about fictional characters in another fictional book based on fictional characters. That rabbit hole is even deeper. I mean… I’m just. I don’t even know what I can read next that will fill this void.

Book Blog, Question of the Day

What’s your favorite genre?

January 10, 2016

My favorite book genre  is young adult, but specifically fantasy or anything that involves magic, witches and wizards, vampires, faerie, angels, and other creatures! I really love that you can step completely into a fantasy world and let your imagination run wild. It’s the ultimate escapism!

QOTD: What’s your favorite genre and why?

Book Blog, Question of the Day

What are you currently reading?

January 10, 2016

I’m STILL currently reading Carry On. If you follow me on Instagram, you already know I’ve been “reading” this for weeks (I didn’t pick up a book at all during my 2 week Winter Break). I’m also reading Dorothy Must Die as an eBook and The Sorcerer’s Stone though so I’m giving myself a pass for being extremely slow.

QOTD: What are you currently reading? What are your reading goals for the year?

Book Blog, Question of the Day

What was/is the first book you read in 2016?

January 9, 2016

According to my Goodreads, the first book I read last year was Eleanor & Park. I absolutely adore this novel and I would recommend to anyone who’s considering reading it! I’m bring in the 2016 with another Rainbow Rowell novel. Carry On will be my first novel of the year!

QOTD: What was/is the first book you read this year?

Book Blog, Book Haul

Book Mail!

January 9, 2016

This was my last book haul of 2015 from Book Outlet. I’m so excited to read The Devil’s Only Friend. I absolutely love John Cleaver!

Also includes Lux Beginnings and Opposition (but I won’t even start the series until I get Consequences), Afterworlds, Dangerous Creatures, and End Game: The Calling.


Book Blog, Question of the Day

What were your favorite books read in 2015?

January 9, 2016

These were the creme de la creme of the novels I read last year. They are all so beautiful and heartbreaking, so getting emotionally dragged was obviously my aesthetic in 2015. I’d recommend any one of these in a heartbeat though. There’s one more Raven Cycle novel. I’m so excited!

QOTD: What were your favorite books read in 2015? And what are you most looking forward to in 2016?

Book Blog, Question of the Day

What’s your favorite book or series?

January 9, 2016

This is my January tbr. I’m almost done with Carry On finally. (It’s so perfect!) I also plan to read The Devil’s Only Friend by Dan Wells, which I’m really, really excited for. It’s the 4th book in the I Am Not A Serial Killer/John Cleaver series. Lastly, I’m going to start rereading the Harry Potter series. I am hoping to finish all 7 books by August 4th, which is the day I see The Cursed Child. 😀

QOTD: What’s your favorite book or series?