Category Archives: Articles

Things Every Booklover Needs in their Suitcase

Hey guuuyyys! Hope everything’s okay with you all. I’ve just finished my exams! I’m recovering from the biggest book slump of my life and trying to get back into reading, blogging, vlogging etc, the whole she-bang. I really love all of the bookish communities, but it’s really hard to start back and gain momentum when you’ve been absent for so long. I’m finding it really hard. I haven’t found that book that I can’t stop reading no matter what, for a while and that is incredibly disappointing. I will find that damn book if my life depends on it. Hopefully then I will slide back into reading, especially soon as there are a lot of summer reads I want to dive into!

Speaking of Summer reads, I know a lot of you guys are going on holiday so I thought I’d put together some things booklovers will appreciate having in their suitcase:

(Yes I missed out the ‘s’ in ‘needs’. I am not making this graphic again for that.

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(From top, left onwards)

Flight/Road: Pillow|TFiOS Audio-book|Party at Gatsby’s tee|Bookish Owl Reading Blanket (hard to see above, but it looks pretty darn cool)

Beach: Phone Case| Books and Stuff bag | Carpe Read ‘Em cup| If I Stay by Gayle Forman (film coming out in August!)

Evenings: The Mortal Instruments Rune Tattoo (I know the film was pretty shite guys, but the books are still awesome and the runes look badass)| Maybelline Colour Show Nail Polish in Cool Blue| Bookish shoes (I actually have no idea where these are from, but that’s the link where I found them)| Rimmel London Kate Moss Lipstick (because Isabel Lightwood looks badass wearing it, so why can’t you?)

Tweet me, message me, comment what you’re currently reading, and what I can read to get my pulse racing and glued to a book! Hope you’re having an amazing Summer and hopefully I’ll be posting more in the next few weeks!

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Top Tips: Buying Books without Breaking the Bank {IMA BACK GUYS}

*I have not been blogging as much as I want to at the moment, because I’m about to do my GCSE’s. I’m scared, and not out of the woods yet. But, afterwards, I have an extra long Summer holiday and can hopefully blog until my hearts content. I have also been going through a huuuuge book and life slump where my motivation is null and I’m in a rut all the time. I’m still going through that but I’m trying to get myself back on track :’(  SO TALK TO ME ABOUT BOOKS*

Okay, so we all love books here, right? We all hear about them on a daily basis. “Read this, it’s the best” “OMG, THIS SERIES THOUGH.”  ”You simple haaave to read this book”. It piles up and the next thing you know you have 50 books in your Amazon basket and no idea which ones to delete. We’ve all been there. That’s the whole thing about books, you don’t know which one is going to be the better read.

Below, I have compiled some top saving tips on buying books. Maybe you know them, maybe you don’t. No matter what, it’s always good to be saving as much so we can buy more books. I know that publishers and authors etc deserve their money, but I don’t have that kind of money to spend all the time. A year ago, I relied solely on my mum’s money, but now with a part-time job my money is more flexible, thankfully. I always feel like that girl from Confessions of a Shopaholic, in books format. The books speak to me!!

Also, some of these will only apply to the UK, I’m not entirely sure how much books cost other places around the world, I would guess they’re around the same though.

Friend: Tilly, you have a freaking massive-arse bookshelf and you haven’t read half of them. Put that book down.
Me: But, it’s so pretty and I want it.
Friend: No *snatches it away*
Me: GIVE IT ME.

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Waterstones is the leading book shop chain in the UK, and it’s pretty much the only book chain there is. It’s everywhere. Books on average cost £7.99. Even the teen section which annoys me to no end. Encouraging teens to read, are we? What normal teenager has enough money to spend so much on ONE book? Amazon generally is £1/2 cheaper, and if it’s an older book, even cheaper. I know, I know, it’s not supporting bookstores, but logically, people who buy so many books don’t have that money. You do have to be careful though, sometimes it’s not as cheap as it seems when factoring in postage, so don’t get caught out.

 

twoThere are three websites that I use to look at reduced books. They are The Book People, The Works and Book Outlet In fact, I just saw they have Eleanor and Park reduced and I have been wanting that FOR AGES I’M BUYING IT NOW (it’s the pretty cover)! Similarly, shop at your local supermarkets, places like Asda have their books massively reduced, so does Walmart I hear. I bought a copy of The Immortal Rules from Asda for £1 the other day!

 

threeAt all the sites I shop at, the prices can vary by not much money, but considering the amount I buy it might be worth it to take the extra time and look around other sites to compare prices. It’ll take two seconds.

 

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As much as you can, there are always great books out there. Especially YA at the moment–it’s everywhere.

 

 

fiveIt’s easy to want a book RIGHT NOW. That’s fine. But most of the time, I buy books and add them to my never-ending book tower. If a book has just released or is in hardback, it’s going to be expensive. If you like hardbacks, fine, but for people like me who don’t care either way, it’s better to wait. Also, I cannot tell you how many times I’ve bought a book on Amazon, only to find it at a charity shop, or reduced somewhere, which is SO frustrating.

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The cover may be pretty and look nice on your bookshelf, but if it has a 2.45 rating on Goodreads, it’s probably not worth it.

 

Thanks for reading guys, it feels good to be back! Come and talk to me as I miss talking about books. Recommend me a good one, I haven’t read a decent one in a month and it’s making me so so sad. *Cries* I’m going insane.

I have not forgotten about your blogs! I have been reading them and will make the effort to comment very soon! <3 <3

Beautiful Bookends

I wanted to post a DIY bookend video/post, and I was looking for some inspiration. I can’t wait to show you what I’ve made and how you can make it! I’ve been wanting to do DIY videos/posts for ages!

Anyway, here are a couple that I saw and really liked:

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(Links to buy on the numbers below)

1. I thought it was funny and creative!

2. Trees can be really pretty and they represent life, so I like how the books would be in the middle, because you live a lot of lives while reading.

3. Elephants are wise and gentle.

4. Star Wars! This one really makes me laugh, it’s so funny and creative, whoever made it is awesome.

5. This Marvel one is also really funny. I’d love to put some Marvel comics between them.

6. I think this would be really cool if you could put all of your romance books inbetween.

7. I love this one! It’s a nice fairy tale symbolism, with the girl and the frog. I have one that my brother got me that’s similar. I adore it!

8. Birds are pwetty.

9. These are so imaginative and DIY. I think they’d look really awesome and artistic on a shelf.

I hope you liked the bookends I picked out! There are some really inventive ones out there. I can’t wait for you all to see my DIY bookend post, and what I choose to make. Do you guys have bookends, or do you simply use bookshelves?

 

ALL THE BOOKS

The Ultimate TBR Pile of a Book Blogger

As a book blogger, I accumulate a lot of books, as the book bloggers reading will agree. Publishing events, signings, buying them ourselves, receiving them for review, they are everywhere! Avid readers will probably understand as well. If you’re active in the bookish community, whether it be blogs, vlogs, or book clubs in real life, we get recommendations. People rec us stuff. We want it. ALL THE TIME. Furthermore, I have a book buying problem. After getting a part-time job, I now have more money to buy books, and I have no restraint to stop me.

Perhaps some of you have seen my Instagrams, or book hauls, with my TBR list in different photos. Well, I thought I’d show you all my Ultimate To-Be-Read List. As in, aaaalll the books I haven’t read that I own. Note: I don’t have many classics on there because I read them on Kindle, and there will be some not in the pictures that are either lost in my room, or also on Kindle.

Without further ado:

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Those are all of them together^^

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What do your TBR list look like? Do you have less or more? Do you keep buying more books, or read the ones you have?

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The Perfect Valentine’s Day Reads

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Crash into You: People should know by now how much I loved this book. It gives the bad-boy image a shake-up and there’s an awesome drag racing plot-line, which I’ve never come across before.

Romancing Mr Bridgerton: There are no words for this series. It’s amazing! This is really the only Historical Romance I’ve ever read (although I’ve dabbled), and this is my favourite book in the Bridgerton series. If you want to try out HR or you’re looking for a new HR series–this is it. They’re so sweet and simply brilliant.

The Distance Between Us: The witty heroine in this really takes the cake for me. The main guy is rich, the main girl is poor. Together they deicide if love conquers societies constraints caused by money differences.

Anna and the French Kiss: This is so fluffy it filled me with warmth and fluffy goodness! Perfect Valentines read if you want a hilarious main character and *swooon* overload. (Plus a romantic setting in Paris!)

Skin Deep: If you want something emotional, thought-provoking and real. The main girl is scarred from a car accident and is living with the emotional effects. People treat her differently now…but not Ryan.

My Life Next Door: Literal boy next door. That is all.

Just One Day: A book in which accidents happen, and the main character goes on a journey of self-discovery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Contemporary Kick!

I was never a major Contemporary fan. Before I started blogging I though it was boring, depressing and uninteresting. I liked to stick to Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy and all the Paranormal books in YA. I’d read Contemporary before and found it so disappointing.

Last year however, this all changed. Other bloggers started recommending me books outside of Paranormal, and I started to read out of my comfort zone. I was really surprised, because I found I was enjoying myself! Even though I read so much more Contemporary last year than I ever have, I still wouldn’t say I read it regularly. However, this year (even though Paranormal will always be my fav!) I have been in a complete Contemporary kick. I’ve read so many more than I usually do; including Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt, Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller and so many more. Mostly they have romance in them, because that’s the way I like them, but it’s still surprising for me.

I will continue to read this genre until I get bored, and I’m really enjoying all of the recommendations people are giving me! It also makes me want to read some Adult Contemporary, something I’ve read but never enjoyed. This just leads me to think that I haven’t found the right book yet. There is still a lot in Contemporary that I’m not ready to try yet, books that I might never like, but as long as I’m stretching myself, I’m okay with that.

Do you have manic phrases where you read loads in one genre? Can you give me some Contemporary rec?

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Favourite Books of 2013

I actually have a ton of 2013 reads on my TBR at the moment, so I’m interested to see if any of those reads could join this list. This is my 2013 list of the best books released in 2013. As you will see, a lot of these are Dystopia and Paranormal, because those are my favourite (sub)genres. However, if you want to see a list with a bit more Contemporary, check out my Favourite Backlist Books of 2013 post that I’m publishing next week and there will be quite a few there.

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Honourable mention: Geek Girl by Holly Smale, The Elite by Kiera Cass, The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead, Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout and Stir Me Up by Sabrina Elkins.

 What are your faves of 2013?

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In Conversation with L.A. Weatherly (Author of the Angel series)

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GoodreadsAmazon UKAmazon US

On 31st of October, I had the privilege of meeting L.A. Weatherly, who was signing her books (notably her latest release of Angel Fever) at Waterstones. Angel Fever is the third and last installment in her Angel trilogy. I managed to get a quick interview as well, and I had a great time talking about desert island reads, and information about her upcoming series.

I had to write the answers to these questions in a notebook (lesson learned: I cannot write as fast as I want to) so I’m reluctant to quote the interview, and I’m para-phrasing, but these are her general answers.

I asked Weatherly who her inspiration was to write books and she replied that her parents were big readers, and she grew up in a supportive family. Everyone was really excited when she decided she wanted to be an author. One of her first memories is being aged 5-6 and trying to write a book. She also wrote as a teen, but got serious in her 20′s as an adult.

In the YA genre, it can depend on what sub-genre is currently getting a lot of attention to how well someone’s book is going to be received. The First book in the Angel trilogy–also called Angel–was released in 2010, when the release of the Twilight films triggered massive hype in the Paranormal YA sub-genre. Weatherly said she wasn’t aware of the hype at first and nearly abandoned the idea of Angel all together, but was glad she didn’t. She had the idea in her head for a long time, had even formed half of the story. Then saw a display of non-fiction books about angels and wondered, what if angels weren’t what we thought they were?

On the fun round, Weatherly revealed she prefers (dark) chocolate to cheese (I have to agree), and her favourite TV Show at the moment is Game of Thrones. The first episode drew her in, and she currently on series 2. I hope she enjoys it, I’ve only watched the first couple of episodes and need to catch up!

If L.A. Weatherly could only take four books on a desert island, she would take: Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkein, a really good anthology of poetry, and of course, the Complete Works of Shakespeare.

As I asked what mythical creature she’d like as a pet, I gave examples of  unicorn or perhaps an elf. Weatherly was quick to remind me that keeping an elf as a pet is cruel. Duh! It would be like Dobby all over again. Anyway, she would choose the tiny dragons from Game of Thrones. How cute!

I cheekily inquired if we could have any information on what she’s currently working on. Unfortunately, she can’t release much information at this time. However, it’s being published by Usborne, it’s going to be another epic series and will be released in 2015. This mystery series is not going to be Paranormal, but Weatherly assures us that readers of the Angel trilogy will still enjoy it.

I hope you enjoyed the interview, I had a lot of fun interviewing and writing it up. Thank you so much L.A. Weatherly for taking the time to be interviewed, and pausing at the right moments when I was scribbling down your answers!

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Beautiful Book-Related Jewellery From Etsy

Etsy is an online shop that sells mostly handmade things, and is very famous for it’s jewellery based on Young Adult books. I surf but I’ve never bought anything (I have no money), but here is my wishlist for the beautiful jewellery that I gaze at longingly every so often. Click on the picture to go to the link.

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

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I think these pieces of jewellery are lovely and simple!

Divergent by Veronica Roth

 

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Isn’t that tree gorgeous? I am so envious of people this talented.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

 

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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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My friend bought me an awesome Mockingjay broach for Christmas, and if you can’t get access to Etsy, I recommend buying one, they sell them at local bookshops. Especially with Catching Fire releasing soon, they should be selling them everywhere.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein

 

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My friend has the ring and she wears it almost everyday as her lucky charm, I think the small inscription in Elvish is awesome.

The Fault in our Stars by John Green

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There are so many quotes I can pull from The Fault in our Stars that I love, but one of my favourites is ‘I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once’. 

 What book-related jewellery do you love? Give me you recommendations and tell me your favourite from my list!

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There is no Such Thing as Unproductive Reading…Right?

Obviously I love reading, unfortunately, I’m a slow reader and can only read so many books in a month. Also, I’m a busy person and have homework, after-school commitments and music lessons that I have to keep up with! Like most bloggers, I receive books that I’d like to read from publishers, Netgalley and authors. All of these books are always in the back of my mind because I need to read and review them.

However, there are some books that I haven’t managed to read and would love to get the chance to, some are classics, some are series I want to finish and some are books I just never got the chance to even look at.

Except, because I’m such a slow reader and can only read so many pages a day, every time I pick up the book I have been waiting to read, it feels unproductive. I start reading To Kill a Mockingbird, and then look at my long TBR list and feel like I’m not using my reading time wisely—which is stupid.

I’m trying to set myself a goal of reading at least two books a month, that may not be creating the biggest buzz in the book blogging community, but is something that I’ve always been wanting read. Two may not seem a lot, but as someone who struggles to read six books a month, it’s definitely enough for me.

I may not be able to write reviews on these books for publishers, but hell, I want to read them for myself! Of course I delight in being given review copies, but it does put a certain pressure on me as a blogger to deliver a review in a period of time—and a well-thought out review at that.

Sometimes I can get so caught up in the popular books “I simply MUST read” or books publishers give me, that I don’t think about books that I want to read. Not for review purposes or blogging purposes, but because I like reading.

Do you ever feel this pressure to read books, and sometimes don’t get to read books you’ve been wanting to, or feel unproductive when you do?

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How Much Would You Pay For A Book?

In England, books are usually priced at £8.00 and with the amount of books I read, that adds up. Especially considering that I can’t get an official job until I’m 16. It is a bearable price, however I end up borrowing quite a few books from the library and from friends.

Except, the other day I was trying to find the book The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, a book I’ve heard so much about. Needless to say, WHSmiths, Waterstones and my library didn’t have this book, and there is no where else I can shop. Waterstones has put most other bookshops out of business–B*******.

Where do you go when you can’t find a book in shops? Online, Amazon specifically, where I found the book is £11.00! Considering that I was buying this book among two others (Angelfall by Susan Ee and City of Bones Postcard set), which were £4.00 each. The Darkest Minds was £7.00 more! Of course, there was no other way for me to read the book that was easily available, so I bought it.

My question to you guys is, how much do you think is acceptable to pay for a book? At which point do you start feeling ripped off?

I understand authors slave away writing their book day after day, and I have no problem supporting them and buying their books. However, what percentage of the profits is actually going to the author and how much is going to Amazon and the publisher?

In addition, why can’t I pay for a box set that is not extortionate? There is an Amazon book set for The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare for £50.00. Which is ridiculous considering I could buy all three separately for £24.00. If they sold all three for £20.00 then I would buy the entire set, but why spend £26.00 more than I have to?

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My 7 Must-Have Plugins

A lot of bloggers are getting tired over Google’s power over their blogs, with the click of a button, Google can decide to remove your blog. This means a whole lot of people are moving over to self-hosted WordPress blogs. I’m most certainly not an expert on this platform, however I’ve been self-hosted since February and I can give you my plugin recommendations. Plugin’s can be a whole lot of fun, or a whole lot of hassel, to help you guys along a little, here are my top 7 plugins to get you started.

1. Back-up to Dropbox

I highly recommend this, because it stores everything about your blog. All you need to do is set up an account and link it to your WordPress blog. It saves settings, plugins, and most importantly: posts. This means if something awful happens and your posts get deleted, all your hard work will not have been for nothing.

2. Blogger Importer

When I started, a friend set it up for me, but that was it. I was kind of left with everything new shoved in my face and this was the only plugin he downloaded. I have no idea if there is a better way of doing it, but this has been an incredibly easy way of importing both comments and posts without doing it manually.

3. Askimet

This already comes pre-downloaded—and for good reason. When I was using Blogspot, I probably got 1 spam comment in my entire time on there, however, as soon as I moved to self-hosted WP, I got a whole lot of spam comments. Askimet stops you from getting as many spam comments, and it saves a lot of aggro.

 

3. Google Analytics/Jetpack

Self-hosted blogs don’t automatically count your stats. I learnt that the hard way, and didn’t realise until 1 month had passed. I thought maybe there was a page that I couldn’t find. There isn’t. I recommend these two, because I had a major problem with one called StatSurfer, which messed up my entire blog with malware and deleted all the stats it had recorded in  2 months. Yes, in all, I lost 3 months of stats. There are a *lot* of stat plugins, but the more established ones, are the ones you should really go for.

Personally, I recommend Google Analytics, because it’s an entirely different site, and it’s reliable. If you lose your WordPress account, you will still have a Google Analystics account. Google is a large company, not some man who one day decided to make a statcounter plugin. GA has a lot of things that it records, you put a special code onto your blogs sidebar (which no one can see) and presto, you’re done.

Jack at The Book Stop recommends Jetpack, which also has a stat counter. We both hate what the other loves, it’s all about personal preference. The one thing I will say about Jetpack, is it has a whole load of other useful things that come with it, so you should probably download Jetpack even if you don’t want to use it for statistics.

5. Broken Link Checker

This is very useful to check broken images and links, it helpfully informs you on your dashboard.

 

 6. Social Buttons

You’ve got this new-looking blog, and now you want people to connect with you. There are so many of these plugins it’s unreal and I’ve downloaded a lot of them. I recommend Social Stickers and Shareaholic, be careful though, with so many plugins, blogs can end up looking alike, and I recommend getting a plugin that you can change the appearance to make your blog more original.

 

7. WordPress SEO

This is one confusing plugin, but it’s really useful. It helps you get search engine optimisation, getting your page to come first when someone searches something in a search engine. I don’t understand a lot of it, but the things I do understand help a lot.

 

If you need any more help with plugins or anything to do with WordPress, let me know in the comments and I shall answer! I can’t guarantee I’ll know the aswer, but I may be some help. If have WordPress, let me know the plugins you can’t live without!

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Fictional Characters from The Morganville Vampires I wish went to my school

I sit in my classroom at school, quite bored and thinking about books. This is probably in Maths, because I’m so bad at it! Anyway, I was reading Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine (Morganville Vampires #13)  and I couldn’t help but think school would be so much more interesting if some of the fictional characters in this series I love so much, came to my school.

Claire is geeky and really intelligent–maybe she could give me the answers for the Maths questions! Being her friend would involve a lot of studying and a lot of fun, because I like her sense of humour. She’s the kind of person you’d want to be best friends with once you got to know her.

Also in The Morganville Vampires is Mynin, who is a pretty crazy vampire. He wears vampire bunny slippers and floppy hats, he would be hilarious and entertaining to have in class. I actually searched for the slippers and found some, I’ve been pondering buying them ever since! He’s insanely clever as well and the best mad-scientist vampire ever. Although, he has a pet tarantula called Bob. Needless to say I wouldn’t let the thing near me!

Shane and Michael would be very interesting because Michael is an attractive blonde musician, so he would be quite popular. Shane is an attractive athletic and I imagine he would back-chat teachers a lot.

Monica would be the Queen Bee and horrible, she’s probably the only one I’d hate to go to school with. Monica and her gang of friends would bully everyone in the school. She is Claire’s main nemesis throughout the series, and what I enjoy about her character is the depth. She goes through a lot and you see her vulnerable side. She’s not simply black-and-white evil, because that would be boring.

As for Amelie and Oliver, I simply cannot imagine how they would act as teenagers at school. They are hundreds of years old!

Are there any fictional characters you wish went to your school, or did when you went?