Monday, January 16, 2017

Booksta Monday #2

Welcome to Booksta Monday #2!!  

  I really had no idea what I was going to talk to you about this week.  In fact, I'm realizing that it may be hard to come up with something every week.  That being said I will do what I can to make each week original but I'm still learning and just kind of taking you on the journey with me.  I have no problem repeating something because I've learned something new.  Heck, you might be able to tell me something new and that's awesome as well.  

  Moving on.  This week I decided I would talk picture angles.  I'm sure there are very technical terms and people that could describe these perfectly but as the new girl, I shall describe them as a new girl would.  I'm going to just break it into three.  There's variations like there is with anything else but using my own shots I can give you three separate ideas and as always please keep in mind Bookstagram is a place of creativity.  Me posting these picture angels in no way says these are the right ways or the best ways.  This is simply my way and giving you an idea.  The perfect way, is the way that makes you happy.

Flat Lay Shot

  For awhile now this has been my go to shot.  Why?  I honestly couldn't tell you beyond the fact that I find it super easy to lay out.  I also really like the fact that I can basically see exactly how each shot will turn out.  There's something simplistic and yet fun about flat lay shots, I'm not sure I'll ever be able to let it go.

Angled Shot

  This is probably my newest trial.  Angled shots...  Really, I'm probably the worst person in the world to ask about angle shots.  Thus far I am enjoying them and the depth that they give to a shot but you do need to pay a lot more attention to what you have in the shot, where it is and the space in which it's from everything.

Straight Shot

  When I started this was what I did.  I didn't do it quite as well as I do now but it was my go to shot.  It was also the area I started taking shot on.  I was new and worked with what I had.  I'm not using them to break up the monotony of my feed.  This being said there are people that leave me in awe and inspire me to do better when it come to shots like this.  Basically they are also quite frequently the ones that are supporting me and telling me that I can do it.  This is becoming my second favorite type of shot again.  Though my flat lays are pretty but these show off all kinds of different things I can't do with flats.  Like Funko's!

Well this concludes this weeks Booksta Monday! Next week I'm thinking I'll
give you a tour of my supplies and what I use for my set ups!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Booksta Monday!

Welcome to the first ever Booksta Monday! 

  So remember when I said that I would be bringing my Bookstagram (book themed Instagram) here?  Well, I've decided to create my own little theme day/meme for it.  Booksta Monday!  I will post here every week a select few shots I really loved that week.  I will also post either other accounts that I loved, some behind the scenes shots (my mess as I take pictures) or anything that really goes with it.

  This week I thought I would go with challenges.  Not things that are hard on Bookstagram, but monthly challenges that people put together with helpful prompts.  I have to say that this is the best way to get yourself out there as a new account.  It is far from mandatory but it helps get you out there, be a little more social.  Think of it as an instant message and the more you message and put yourself out there the more people will notice!  They each have their own hashtag making them unique and it gives people the ability to look up the tag and see who has posted what.

  This month a bunch of wonderful ladies (I'll be tagging them later on) and myself are hosting what we call #winterbookishcolor17!  It's kind of a barrage of different color combination prompts for books!  We're having so much fun hosting it and if you're a book lover it's a must join!! Below I'm posting the name and the color combo that each called for.  However, this isn't the only kind of challenge.  As I said they're diverse and there's a little bit of everything.  Below are four challenges that I am taking a part of this month (I actually have eight in total).  Two are color challenges but the others aren't.  They kind of make me think and remember books that either I want to reread or I want to read.  Kind of makes me feel accountable and guilty for my massive TBR pile.  Anyway, here's some sample challenges:

   Honestly, this is just a sample of what is out there.  There's so much more to explore and enjoy and these are really just a small start!! There's even challenges that hold giveaways!! Oh, yes.  Bookstagram has a little bit of everything for everyone.

  With #winterbookishcolor being the challenge that I'm helping host, I thought I would share my four favorite shots from this week.  

  What I love about color prompts is that there is so much room for creativity.  You can use naked books, dust jacket on, paperbacks.  Actually, who am I kidding you can do that for all challenges.  There really isn't a limit as to what you can post.  I take creative liberties all the time because that's what works for me and there is nothing wrong with that.

  Bookstagram challenges are really more than getting yourself out there, they're fun. I have had a blast since creating a challenge with such wonderful partners! If you have Instagram I highly recommend that you follow each of these ladies!  I'm going to share one of each of their color prompt photos from this week as well!  They're amazing co-hosts and I totally couldn't do it without them.  Not even for a minute!  As you can tell their accounts are also all beautifully different <3

  Tara (@spinatale) was one of the first new people that I connected with <3  She's a complete sweetheart and you should totally check her out!  She has the top left shot 😀

  Monique (@mo_the_bookish) was another of the very first ladies that I connected with.  She's beyond supportive and so much fun to talk with!  Mo is the top right shot 😀

  Tara (@tarasbookshelf) is such a sweetheart.  You will find a lot of positive people but Tara really stands out.  She always has a kind word and is willing to go out of her way to put a smile on your face! 😀

  Charli (@charli_the_book_princess) has a darker style to her shots that I really love.  She's fun to chat with and always doing fun shout outs 😀

  Next week we will talk props and diversity in pictures!!  If you have an Insta account that you'd like me to check out, drop me a link in the comments.  I will be featuring different accounts as I progress through this Monday event and I'm always happy to discover new accounts to obsess over ;)

Monday, January 2, 2017

December Haul & January Goals

  So I thought I might start out the month with sharing what I got last month.  Typically I will share this on the last day of the month but seeing we're off to a new start I thought I would share now.  That and now you have an idea of what you are in for.  It may seem chaotic but it's organized chaos in my head lol

  That Owl Crate box will be unboxed in a post at the end of this week!! I will be sharing everything I got in their own little pictures with my thoughts.  This book box is an honest to goodness addiction that you will see monthly.  When I acquire the funds to purchase other ones I'll share them as well.  Well, I may share a couple other ones that I have gotten in previous months but I don't know yet.  They would be helpful for people looking at other options?  I dunno...

   I'll list the books I got in December in a second, but I have a total confession first.  This is not everything that I got in December.  I have candles, bookmarks, mugs, totes and more to share with you.  However, I don't like to crowd my pictures and am happy to share these for now.

Bought (Gift Cards):


For Review:

  This is actual a decent haul for me.  I also have books that I ordered going on next months haul because they didn't quite make it here on time to be a part of this months.


  Below you will find my potential January TBR List.  I say potentail because I am beyond horrible at sticking to what I say I'm going to read.  I'm a mood reader and I blame that little fact for my inability to stick to it.

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken
Asunder by Jodi Meadows
Infinite by Jodi Meadows

and last but not least

Unnatural Deeds by Cyn Balog

  This is still just tentative...  As I said, I have good intentions but I'm a mood reader so this could change.  I also want to read more than this, making this not everything anyway.  I know, I know, I'm so indecisive.

What did you get in December?  What are you planning to read in January?  I'd love to hear or if you have your own post link me up!!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year, New Plans, New Blog! Aka Lets Talk...

  Though I am thankful for my hiatus in December, I found myself thinking frequently of where I was going to go with blogging.  I had discussed blogger burn out and though the reality is real I hadn't considered many other factors.  As I pulled myself from my reading slump, I never considered the repercussions of reading and hitting a reviewing slump.  So, I reached out and looked for another outlet.  I returned to Instagram.  Now an huge outlet for book lovers, aka Bookstagram.  I mean I hit a bump here but still love being a part of this community and wasn't ready to throw in the towel.  So, for a few months I kept up on here and on Bookstagram.  Then I realized that I had slipped out of blogging and took my hiatus to be creative and think over the future of this blog.  I have struggled blogging on my own and keeping up with posting daily, feeling pressure from myself to do more, do better.  I tried doing three posts a week but, this didn't feel true to me either.  I love a full blog and need change.  So, I've thought a great deal about this and I hope that I will find support in my new decision and direction for this blog.  I've found a solution that I believe will allow the love I have for this blog, and the new creative love of Bookstagram to flow together.

As of now you will find that I wont just be posting reviews and memes.  I will also be posting about what I am doing on Bookstagram.  This means sharing some of my favorite shots lately, any tips that I have either figured out or been given and random stuff like that.  I will admit that I adore taking pictures of books and am super excited to start combining the loves of my bookish life.  If you wonder what these pictures will be like, the picture behind the graphic is one that I took.  You will notice the style is ever changing but that is the great thing about these pictures:  everything is always changing.  I will also be doing some bookish product reviews.  Some I will buy and some have been sent to me as part of being a rep for that company.  You will see unboxings of the book boxes I buy (I'm trying to venture into videos), candles and many other products that I have discovered and have come to love recently.

I plan on keeping at least two bookish reviews a week and one or two memes as well.  I am trying to make sure that I joining tours and releases as well.  This is something I had avoided for awhile but only because I didn't want the time constraint.  Now, I feel like I need that discipline and commitment.  I will also occasionally post about what I plan on doing, or just thoughts on blogging.  I don't ever want to complain to your guys because you have been amazing and stuck with me over the years, I do however, want to keep you informed.  I want to remain open and discuss things with you.  This is what I miss the most about blogging, is talking to everyone.  There is also the intention of organising my Indie Girl event this year.  It's a lot of work but is also something that completely inspires me, because indie authors inspire me endlessly.  

At first I thought that maybe this would be taking the easy way out but when it comes down to it, it isn't.  This is my way of working on ensuring I no longer experience a burn out of any kind (or at least avoiding it the best that I can).  It's also my way of starting to incorporate social media once again.  I have found without all of my original contact and time that social media requires and I know well that social media is needed to promote anything now a days.  I'm going to start making my way back onto twitter as well but I find it gives me anxiety most days lol.  However, I hope to make a little bit of time each day to try and make an effort at least!

Hope you have all had an amazing New Year and I'm looking forward to this year with all of you!! If you are on Instagram you can follow me at @tiff_holme (clicking my name will take you right there), and make sure you comment with your Insta name if I don't already follow you!  Also, I would love to hear your thoughts on the changes I'm going to make!!

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle Page (Review)

YA, Retelling, Fantasy
Publication Date:March 31, 2015
Published By: Harper Collins
SeriesDorthy Must Die #2
Review copy:Purchased
Buy it:
Amazon ~ B&N ~ Chapters

In this dark, high-octane sequel to the New York Times bestselling Dorothy Must Die, Amy Gumm must do everything in her power to kill Dorothy and free Oz.

To make Oz a free land again, Amy Gumm was given a mission: remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain, take the Lion’s courage, and then Dorothy must die...

But Dorothy still lives. Now the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked has vanished, and mysterious Princess Ozma might be Amy’s only ally. As Amy learns the truth about her mission, she realizes that she’s only just scratched the surface of Oz’s past—and that Kansas, the home she couldn't wait to leave behind, may also be in danger. In a place where the line between good and evil shifts with just a strong gust of wind, who can Amy trust—and who is really Wicked?

  Once, I had been an angry, righteous little ball of fire.  Now I was something else.
  But what?
"Remember   don't be wicked.  Unless you really have to!"  Parting words, I guess.  It was good advice.  I promised myself that I would try to follow it.
If it were a movie, the strings would have come in at the very moment that our lips met in a passionate, do-or-die kiss.
  But it wasn't a movie.  Instead, we held each other for a few seconds before awkwardly breaking apart and standing there, not quite looking at each other.

  The Wicked Will Rise was a quick read for me.  It wasn't hard to get into and

    There was this constant battle waging in me when it came to the plot in this one.  The pacing was just right for where everything went, but also so much and so little happened in such a short time.  Maybe this was because I had this preconceived idea about what was going to happen, or maybe more happened than I had expected.  There's a good possibility that the random (I'm sure thoroughly planned out) twist threw me.  I can honestly say that the plot was plugging along when if suddenly did a 180 and left me gaping.  We all love those unpredictable moments but honestly there wasn't even an indication.  There were some other little things that twisted in one direction or the other but nothing a massive as the one moment that changed everything that had made sense for basically two books.

  Amy Gumm remains to be the thing I love most about these books.  She is not your conventional heroine and her growth in each book is fun to read.  She is not the bad guy, but honestly does that make her the good guy?  Even Amy herself isn't sure of this.  She believes that she is doing the best that she can and what's expected of her.  However, she also knows that power corrupts and there is a chance that she could slip.  Heck, she's not even sure the people she helps have good intentions because the good are wicked and the wicked are good.  It's a backwards and inside-out world where there is a very good chance that doing the right thing can mean doing the wrong things.

  I think the missing element is... Well, it's the extra something.  I'm not saying it has to be romance because it doesn't but it does have to be there.  I think in Dorthy Must Die, it was not just the slight element of romance but more the extra people in the journey.  I missed the people that filled the pages instead of having Amy seemingly walking circles.  Well, she wasn't walking circles but she was more on her own than not in this book wondering where everyone that was supposed to be on her side was.  We got glimpses of some of the Wicked and others but it wasn't the same.  I'm not even sure if this makes sense to anyone but me but there is something missing and I think just maybe it was the quirk of the other characters.

  Will I continue on with this series?  Absolutely!  This author has created a female lead that I adore for many reasons, and a twist on what happens after that is wholly original.  I have no doubt that when I pick up the next book it will easily be devoured.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Review)

YA, Dystopia
Publication Date:April 2, 2012
Published By: Harper Collins
SeriesDelirium #1 
Review copy:Purchased
Buy it:
Amazon ~ B&N ~ Chapters

In an alternate United States, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the Cure. Living with her aunt, uncle, and cousins in Portland, Maine, Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. She watched love destroy her mother and isn't about to make the same mistake.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena meets enigmatic Alex, a boy from the Wilds who lives under the government's radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

  The deadliest of all deadly things:  It kills you both when you have it and when you don't.
  And then i'm frightened.  That's how it starts.  Even if he is cured, even if he is safe   the fact is, I'm not safe, and this is how it starts.
  Gracie's life fell apart because of a single word: sympathizer.

  My world exploded because of a different word: suicide.
  Correction: That was the first time my world exploded.
  Take it from me: If you hear the past speaking to you, feel it tugging at your back and running its fingers up your spine, the best thing to do   the only thing   is run.
  Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge.  That's what it is: an edge; a razor.  It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two.  Before and after.  The rest of the world falls away on either side.

  What a beautifully and wholly original read.  I can't believe that it sat on my shelves as long as it has because I enjoyed every last moment.  This book is so much more than a pretty cover with an intriguing synopsis and I loved every minute of it.  I think in a way I enjoyed this more because of the length of time I waited to read it.  The hype had died down and I had nothing but my own thoughts and opinions going in, giving me a better chance not to consider any possibilities of being let down.  There was so much to enjoy that I'm not honestly sure how I'm going to pack it into one review, but I will try.

  I think a part of me had expected the plot to go roughly like it did, but there was also a few really good surprises along the way.  It's more about the twist and turns and the gradual development for me than anything when it comes to plot in dystopia reads.  There is always a general expectation from the synopsis when opening the pages, but it's how the author executes it that matters.  There was a great original development of Lena, her world and why she was the way she was.  There was something about the consistent pace in the way things were set up that slowed and yet carried pace throughout the rest of the read.  My attention never wavered and  the picture only became more vivid, more movie like as I read on.  I guess you could say that the pacing was damn near perfect.

  Lena wasn't the rebel right from the start.  She wasn't the girl that questioned how things were done, or really looked at anything beyond what she was told.  Heck, she did everything in her power to be the model citizen because her family had carved a name that made her constantly have to worry.  I think that I didn't form a connection in the start but I did find myself understanding her.  In a world with so little control actually allowed to you and such swift and potentially deadly measures taken against those that may have 'the disease', I could understand her.  No one wants to live life being judged by their family and their actions, but more so no one wants to risk the little choice they have being taken away by questioning.  Though I will admit that something wonderful happened when Lena made the choice to question things.  Made the leap into not having a few choices picked out for her but seeing that there is a choice beyond everything she has been taught to believe is true.  Honestly, I think I could go on and on about Lena and her development but to cut it short, she had spectacular and clear development.

  I think with the synopsis it was fairly obvious that there would be some sort of romance.  Alex was both what I had expected and not.  When thinking about it he really was just what Lena needed to snap out of the haze that she lived in.  When thinking about it to write this, I can't say if actually adored him but I loved what he did for Lena and that it wasn't rushed.  That is what made the romance for me in this.  It wasn't rushed, it was paced really well making it almost perfect.  Of course it wasn't perfect because they live in a world where love is a disease and that isn't a thought that disappears overnight.  No, it took time to figure out if what Lena felt was a disease, or if it was something that was worth any loss.  This isn't something that happens overnight and Alex had to jump through a lot of hoops to even get Lena to take a chance, take a look past what had always been drilled into her.

  I embraced this story.  Each page, every word, every turn became more real and pulled me in that much more.  It's hard to say what exactly drew me in to start but I know by the end that between character development, and perfect pacing that I would be hooked.  This is one of those books that you sit and simply find yourself lost withing the pages, routing for characters to figure out a better way.  I know many people feel that dystopia novels have a pattern an expectation, and I guess all of the little things are there that are expected but there are some wonderfully original points throughout the read.  I know I am late to the punch in reading these books but I can say after reading just this one that I regret not picking them up sooner.  If you enjoy a good dystopia read I can recommend this one without a single hesitation.  Lauren Oliver has created an addiction for me with this one.

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (Review)

YA, Fantasy
Publication Date:May 3, 2016
Published By: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
SeriesA Court of Thorns and Roses #2 
Review copy:Purchased
Buy it:
Amazon ~ B&N ~ Chapters

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

  It was all I could do to keep from screaming, to keep from shattering into ten thousand pieces as I sank onto the marble floor, bowing over my knees, and wrapped my arms around myself.
  He'd trapped me; he'd trapped me; he'd trapped me   
  I had to get out, because I'd barely escaped from another prison once before, and this time, this time   
  And I realized I was in a free fall with no end.  I had been for awhile.  From the moment I'd stabbed that Fae youth in the heart.
  I didn't look up at him again as i devoured the food.
  "So I'm your huntress and thief?"
  His hands slid down to cup the backs of my knees as he said with a roguish grin, "You are my salvation, Feyre,"

   Okay so I am at no point going to promise that this review will be spoiler free.  I have told anyone that will listen that upon finishing this book my life is ruined.  Maybe ruined is a little much but my soul is screaming for an undefined number of reasons.  This is the kind of book that you pick up and when you put it down everything has changed.

  For some reason I was under this impression that I could pick this book and the story would continue on its merry little way.  Why?  Why did I expect this?  I'm starting to think it was because I'm a blind fool.  Nothing ever stays the same long and obviously with a new book comes a new conflict, but this was indescribably so far from what was anticipated.  However, with all the change and the progression of the plot there was never a dull moment and ample amount of emotions.  There was not a single moment where I was not reeling from one thing or another.

   Feyre was and still isn't a weak character, but something in her has changed.  Well, she believes something about her has changed and I guess you can't go through what she went through without carrying some baggage.  Thing is I am not really sure what I expected of her beyond what I got because she was still as bad ass as always.  Regardless, for awhile I was feeling let down and wanted something more or less of what I was getting.  Turns out that something more was only brought on by the wanting and being trapped.  Then when things started to change with her I kind of rebelled.  I couldn't help but think she had once again become unrecognisable and yet something was the same.  Feyre is kind of like a phoenix, reborn from her own ashes and though she is the same she is completely different.  I don't know maybe I am failing at nailing what I want to portray but I was honestly floored in both good and bad ways by her in this book.  Honestly, she is so very much of everything that I want in a character, the very few things that irk me are forgivable.  Heck maybe they make her a better character... Ya they probably make her a better character.

  Here we go with the potential spoiler...  The romance.  For the love of all things why?!  Okay I admit that something wasn't right with the entire Tamlin thing but WHY?!  Okay, I mean ya Rhysand is awesome and you know he is like a damn onion with his layers but WHY?!   No, I do not mind a triangle or a potential one, but the damn romance here had me reeling and rebelling like a freaking toddler in a temper tantrum half the time.  THIS ROMANCE RUINED ME!!!  And maybe it shouldn't have.  Maybe I should have been like the mass of people that anticipated this, or wanted it... but I wasn't. I wasn't... I was conflicted and irritated and then I settled into this acceptance that was like a calm/happy.  Then what happens you may ask.  Then... Well, then Maas blew everything apart like a grenade in a paper factory (no one is injured in the factory of course but the paper isn't doing well).  I was legit torn.  I was torn and raging on the inside and couldn't believe after that entire ride and reluctant acceptance, I was thrown right back into the place in where I want to scream about this happening.  Of course there is some happy thrown in there but I don't even know what to tell you.

  Maas surely crafted this book and its changes to everything to rip us readers apart and leave us to put the pieces together in whatever fashion we can.  I have not had a hangover like this from a book in awhile and I don't even know what to do about it.  This is either going to be a book that people absolutely adore or want to scream about.  Maybe the responses will be one in the same because it's all kinds of amazing and I don't see anyone not loving it no matter their feelings throughout it.  If you are fan of Maas you seriously need this book in your life, or if you haven't tried...  YOU NEED TO!  These books are an obsession that you don't want to miss out on.

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