Constant (Confidence Game Book 1) by Rachel Higginson | Book Review

Nerdy 
Talks'

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Fifteen years ago I met Sayer Wesley. I fell in love with him. I promised I would never leave him. I swore nothing could break us apart.

Five years ago I broke my promise. I ran away. I took the one secret that could destroy us both and disappeared.

Five days ago I thought I saw him.

I knew it was impossible. Sayer was locked away, serving a deserved sentence in federal prison. He couldn’t find me.

He wouldn’t find me. I was too good at hiding. Too good at surviving.

Because if Sayer ever found me, there would be hell to pay for a plethora of sins. The worst of which, he didn’t even know about.

Five hours ago, I told myself I was crazy.

Five minutes ago, I saw him again.

Five seconds ago, I was too late.

Date Published: November 16, 2017

Date Read: December 2017

Publisher: Reckless Siren Publishing

Series: The Confidence Game Book 1

Setting: DC /

Source: Author provided a copy in exchange for an honest review

Get your copy here: Amazon 

 

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NOT YOUR TYPICAL ROMANCE NOVEL

This is the second book by Rachel Higginson that I have read, and she never disappoints. Constant is very different from her book The Opposite of You. Rachel Higginson is a true story teller and each story is beautiful in its own right. I love how she was able to come up with something entirely different from her previous ones, truly talented if you ask me. Constant, is not your typical romance novel. Constant is the perfect combination of thrill, secrets, good romance and action. It was well-thought out and well-executed. A book that you will finish in one sitting, that’s how amazing it was.

We have our female protagonist Caro, who was running away from her dark past and protecting herself and her loved ones at all cost, and we have Sayer our male protagonist who’s trying to go back into Caro’s life and pick up where they left off. This book has been equally entertaining and gripping. It’s the kind of book that you wouldn’t be able to stop at a certain chapter and call it a night, no, it is the kind of book that you would devour bit by bit up until the inevitable end. A tip though, it ends in a cliffhanger, so if you’re not a fan of that, you can wait for the book 2 to come out. So you could binge read them in one sitting, yes that’s possible. Don’t worry you need not wait eternity for the next book to come out, good news for you by February you can sit down in a corner with a beverage of your choice and some snack and read the day away. You can thank me later.

Constant offers us a more mature take on new adult. This isn’t just the typical mushy romance novel, it is nothing like it. It is a step-up from the usual romance novels we read, which makes my heart happy. I love mysterious and dark love stories, the kind where you cling to every character’s actions and see how everything will unfold in the end. The kind of love story you’re not accustomed to reading. The kind of love story that went the extra mile. This is that book for you. It was gritty,  intense and gives you some kind of suspense vibe to it. I also love the flashbacks and how it melds perfectly into the present making a coherent and well put-together story. Caro and Sayer’s chemistry is palpable. I loved that in a book, how the two characters have this pull to each other that no amount of denial could invalidate. I loved that even though they were apart, you could tell a good romance is about to unfold between them, and yes I was not disappointed towards that ending. It was nothing super crazy, it was what the story required and it was beautiful and well-executed! Mafia romance is something I really enjoy reading, and Constant truly served its purpose. And oh I hope there would be some sort of novella for Francesca and Gus, gahhh would love to read their story too!

I really enjoy Rachel Higginson’s writing style, she evolved a lot from her book The Opposite of You and I am glad I was able to see and be a part of this milestone. She’s becoming a favourite author now. Her talent on concocting stories different from each other and the element of surprising her readers with each new release are the best characteristics of an author. I’m pretty sure she’ll be a household name in no time.

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Five years ago, I escaped a dangerous life I had always wanted to leave. I got away. I found freedom. But it cost me the love of my life.

Rachel Higginson, Constant

❗️Cover Reveal❗️ A new book from Rachel Higginson (@mywritesdntbite) CONSTANT. Suspense Romance! Ahhhh sounds so good! Lemme leave you the blurb: . SYNOPSIS: . Fifteen years ago I met Sayer Wesley. I fell in love with him. I promised I would never leave him. I swore nothing could break us apart. Five years ago I broke my promise. I ran away. I took the one secret that could destroy us both and disappeared. Five days ago I thought I saw him. I knew it was impossible. Sayer was locked away, serving a deserved sentence in federal prison. He couldn’t find me. He wouldn’t find me. I was too good at hiding. Too good at surviving. Because if Sayer ever found me, there would be hell to pay for a plethora of sins. The worst of which, he didn’t even know about yet. Five hours ago, I told myself I was crazy. Five minutes ago, I saw him again. Five seconds ago, I was too late. . . I have enjoyed The Opposite of You and been anticipating her books since then! Constant is a new book with suspense touch to it, how awesome is that! Two genres I love! This book comes out November 6th! But you can preorder as early as now! 😉 . #CONSTANT #RachelHigginson #Romance #Suspense

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Nerdy Talks 2017 Mosts | Noteworthy Reads

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Hello guys! Another year has come to an end and with it a lot of books read. Let me first say what a great year it has been. 2017 was a year of self discovery and self love. Indeed I was able to know myself more, to value the moments I used to overlook before and have learned to live in the moment, and put my whole trust into God. Here’s to hoping 2018 will be just as great! Of course reading wise, it wasn’t the most spectacular for me, but I was still able to read some noteworthy ones. I am going to do it differently this year, last year I did Top 16 Books of 2016 now I am going to do 2017 Mosts, it could be the most disappointing, most beautiful or the most badass book, whatever fits into a category I made! Hope you could do this with me!

MOST BADASS: ANIMAL UNDER THE FUR BY EJ MELLOW

 

The Animal Under The Fur by EJ Mellow is a book that will take you by surprise. This book takes the Most Badass award. The Animal Under the Fur, has a strong female protagonist, think of Black Widow level of bad-assery. It is not often that you will find a strong female protagonist in books, so this one is definitely a breath of fresh air. Gone are the days when damsel in distress plagues books, this one right here needs no man to save her, she can very well fend for herself. Yes to girl power! This book is action-packed with good romance in it. You can check my full review here.

“I’ve killed more people more years than I’ve been alive. And I’m twenty-six.”
― E.J. MellowThe Animal Under the Fur

MOST EVOCATIVE: ALL MY LONELY ISLANDS BY VJ CAMPILAN 

 

“You’re trying to look for rock bottom, to that part of yourself that could no longer feel pain. But there is no such thing as rock bottom. As long as there is left to destroy in you, you’d do it. We always feel the need to sink ourselves because we keep being intolerable, because if we’re suffering then maybe people would give us a break for all the shameful things we do. You think you could impose your own penance, but it never goes away, does it? That kind of deadening that’s worse than actual dying.” ― V.J. Campilan, All My Lonely Islands 🖤 Posted my review of All My Lonely Islands by VJ Campilan. Link in bio. Please pick it up guys, if you have to take a chance on something, take a chance on this one! #AllMyLonelyIslands #VJCampilan #AnvilPublishing #BookReview

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All My Lonely Islands by VJ Campilan is a recollection of Crisanta’s life from teenager to being an adult and all that happened in between. It was the kind of book that you didn’t know you needed until you have savoured it. It was well written and you can’t help but to love the beautiful language used. The description is vivid, it is as if you are there with the characters. I was in awe after I’ve finished All My Lonely Islands. If you’re looking for a book that gives you the taste of Philippines and Bangladesh, this has got to be the one! You can check my full review here.

“You’re trying to look for rock bottom, to that part of yourself that could no longer feel pain. But there is no such thing as rock bottom. As long as there is left to destroy in you, you’d do it. We always feel the need to sink ourselves because we keep being intolerable, because if we’re suffering then maybe people would give us a break for all the shameful things we do. You think you could impose your own penance, but it never goes away, does it? That kind of deadening that’s worse than actual dying.”

― V.J. CampilanAll My Lonely Islands

MOST DISAPPOINTING: SAD GIRLS BY LANG LEAV

See you tomorrow ♥️ #LangLeav #LangLeavinPH #SadGirls

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Sad Girls by Lang Leav wasn’t what I had expected. I had high hopes for this book but it fell terribly short. The hype surrounding before its release got me so excited it was all I was thinking about, but when I finally had the chance to read it, all I could do was sigh and ponder what on earth did I just read. Don’t get me wrong, I love Lang Leav, her poems rekindled my love for poetry, but I have to say that she should just stick to writing poems than novels. Sad Girls was too all over the place, it is as if it Lang Leav wanted to put so much in it in the hopes that it would be exceptional but the result was the complete opposite. There are certainly some parts that the book can do without. It was a little messy and not well polished. There are loose ends as well. I was hoping for something that would wow me in the end but nada. The characters I understand, are flawed, but they were bordering annoying and frustrating at the same time. It was 2017’s biggest let down for me.

“Our emotions pull us in different directions. The stronger the emotion, the greater the pull. Feelings are not always practical, nor do they make any logical sense. That’s just the way it goes.”
― Lang LeavSad Girls

MOST FUNNY / FUNNIEST: I’VE GOT YOUR NUMBER BY SOPHIE KINSELLA

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Sophie Kinsella never disappoints! This book is effortlessly funny, I was in a laughing fit inside the office, the office where I should be working, yet there I was suppressing my laughter just so my boss will not be able to hear me from the other room. It was all things cute, swoon-worthy, and then some. Poppy Wyatt is the character you can’t help but love! A perfect material to be turned into a movie. Chic-lit will always have a special place in my heart. You can check my full review here.

“Lover? I don’t know. I don’t know if she loves me. I don’t know if I love her. All I can say is, she’s the one I think about. All the time. She’s the voice I want to hear. She’s the face I hope to see.”
― Sophie KinsellaI’ve Got Your Number

 

MOST UNIQUE: EVERY DAY BY DAVID LEVITHAN

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This one is a buzzer beater. I’ve read Every Day December 28, 2017 and it made it to my my favourites. This book’s plot is just one of the most unique books you’ll ever encounter. Imagine waking up to a different body every day, pretty nuts if you ask me, but David Levithan was able to pull it off, effortlessly. The different lives A had inhabited were different yet equally important. I love how diverse it was and how David Levithan was able to highlight the essential parts of the person’s life. You can check my full review here.

“The moment you fall in love feels like it has centuries behind it, generations – all of them rearranging themselves so this precise, remarkable intersection could happen. In your heart, in your bones, no matter how silly you know it is, you feel that everything has been leading to this, all the secret arrows were pointing here, the universe and time itself crafted this long ago, and you are just now realizing it, you are just now arriving at the place you were always meant to be.”
― David LevithanEvery Day

 

MOST BEAUTIFUL: ONE TRUE LOVES BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID

Don't think that true love means your only love. I think true love means loving truly. Loving purely. Loving wholly. Maybe, if you’re the kind of person who’s willing to give all of yourself, the kind of person who is willing to love with all of your heart even though you’ve experienced just how much it can hurt . . . maybe you get lots of true loves, then. Maybe that’s the gift you get for being brave. – Taylor Jenkins Reid; One True Loves 💕 This book has got to be one of my fave reads this 2017! It was so good it killed me! I am new fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid. I have read Maybe In Another Life by her as well and loved it too! More of her please! Have you guys read any of her books? I badly want to buy After I Do and Forever Interrupted. 🤑 💕 💕 💕 #OneTrueLoves #TaylorJenkinsReid #bookstagram #bookish #bookstagrammer #igreads #booklover #bibliophile #bookworm #books #booksph #bookblogger #nerdytalks #nerdytalksbookblog #ipromotereading #literature #ink #words #bookdragon #bookish #ilovereading #ilovebooks #bookstagramfeature

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This book is so beautiful it actually hurts. This is the second book I have read by Taylor Jenkins Reid and I can say now that this book belongs to my favourite book of all time. It was so heartbreaking and satisfying at the same time. Your heart will break for the characters, it is as if you feel their pain first hand. I know the blurb of the book said it all, but you have to read it to feel the intense emotions or better yet don’t read the blurb, ignorance is bliss! One True Loves was written so beautifully you couldn’t help but ponder on everything that was said, and though it may come off as something unrealistic, the concept and the message it was trying to send across will tug every heart strings, and I think that’s what truly matters for a book to be considered a great one.  You can check my full review here. 

“Don’t think that true love means your only love.

I think true love means loving truly.

Loving purely. Loving wholly.

Maybe, if you’re the kind of person who’s willing to give all of yourself, the kind of person who is willing to love with all of your heart even though you’ve experienced just how much it can hurt . . . maybe you get lots of true loves, then. Maybe that’s the gift you get for being brave.”
― Taylor Jenkins ReidOne True Loves

 

MOST COMPLEX: RED RISING BY PIERCE BROWN

Red Rising by Pierce Brown is definitely the most complex read of my 2017, I have to admit that it was a struggle to remember every name, every terminology, so much so that I had to write some sort of a guideline just to help me understand it more. I am not big of a sci-fi fan, so it is always a challenge for me to get through one. Red Rising however, though complex was able to grip my attention. It was perfectly crafted and there are plethora of characters that you will definitely root for! I love the plot line as well, so many things could happen and each chapter will take you by surprise.

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free. That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.’
‘I live for you,’ I say sadly.
She kisses my cheek. ‘Then you must live for more.”
― Pierce BrownRed Rising

 

MOST WEIRD: PERFECT STRANGERS BY DANI ATKINS

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Perfect Strangers by Dani Atkins took the cake for the Most Weird read of my 2017. Don’t get me wrong, this is the good kind of weird. The kind of weird you’ll think for days after you finished reading it. It is a relatively short one, but it definitely packed a punch. I don’t want to divulge what made this book weird, but I hope you could include this one for 2018. All I could say is it is not your typical love story, it will somehow screw with your head. You can check my full review here.

“That’s the trouble with bodies … they have an annoying little habit of giving away far too many secrets.”

― Dani AtkinsPerfect Strangers

 

MOST EMPOWERING: WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST BY CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE

We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists – Loving these Melon Drops. Hihi thanks @ricasj ♥️ also you san still use my code "NERDY" to get 15% discount at @danielwellington 🖤 #danielwellington #chimamandangoziadichie #weshouldallbefeminists #kindle #kindlepaperwhite #amazonkindle

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We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie should be a required reading. If there’s one book I have to shove everyone else’s throat, this is that book. The author was able to explain fully what Feminism is.  Often times we get the wrong connotation of what Feminism really is, but this book was able to put it into something profound yet easily understandable. It was insightful and empowering. Now go watch her Ted Talk! You’re welcome!

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieWe Should All Be Feminists

So there you have it guys, my noteworthy reads of 2017.  I hope my 2018 reading year will be more awesome than 2017. Here’s to discovering new favorite books, new authors and an even better reading year for all of us! Happy New Year! Read on!

phonto

 

 

 

Every Day by David Levithan | Book Review

Nerdy 
Talks' (1)

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Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

Date Published: August 28, 2012

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Date Read: December 27, 2017

Source and Format: National Book Store / Paperback

Setting: Maryland, USA

No. of Pages: 322

Get your copy here: Book Depository, Amazon

 

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WHY DID I WAIT FOUR YEARS TO FINALLY READ IT? DON’T BE LIKE ME, I NEVER KNEW I WAS MISSING OUT ON THE GOOD STUFF FOR FOUR FREAKING YEARS!

Every Day is the book you never thought you needed, thinking how could you go on with your mundane life when there is something so beautiful is palpably lacking in it. Good god, why did I even wait this long to crack open this book, I must have been possessed or have been so ignorant all this time. The party was over and I just arrived. Please tell me I am not the only one. And then I remembered I have this thing about hype books where I let the hype die down before I join in the bandwagon, clearly a big mistake in this instance. I had this book for the longest time, so much so that my copy already has yellow spots on the pages, but I kept on buying new books, and kept reading new releases that Every Day literally took the back seat. A huge mistake, I am perfectly aware of that now. It was because of the trailer which recently came out that prompted me to finally read it, I didn’t watch the trailer as I wouldn’t want to have preconceived notions of the characters and how will the whole story progress. I am the kind of reader who wants to imagine things on her own terms, and that’s what I did. I read the book first then watched the trailer. To say I am excited for the movie would definitely be an understatement, but of course you have to manage the expectations since there are obviously some changes for the movie, but that topic is for another time. Let’s proceed to the review.

Every Day is definitely one of the most unique books out there, it was well-thought out and the writing was flawless. I have loved David Levithan’s way of writing in his book Lover’s Dictionary it was innovative and unique, much like his style in Every Day. I have not read anything like it before and honestly I am in awe at how the author was able to concoct such beautiful story. A true story-teller if you ask me. I love how Every day was a cut above the rest, never mediocre. The story introduced us to different lives, which was so clever and so beautiful because the book was able to show plethora of experiences and how all lives seemed different yet they are the same at the same time. It was a glimpse of lives of other people and how they go about it each day. I loved how the feeling of love wasn’t caged into one definition, it is encompassing and knows no size, race and gender. This what I commend most about this book, its power to see past the physical appearance and focus on what’s inside. It was complex yet you can’t help but be sucked in. This book is worthy of every praise it has been getting and more. I loved how it made me ponder on life itself and how it was able to hold that much power over me that I didn’t know possible. I loved how the author was able to present the book in such raw yet captivating tale, the attention to details, the perfectly curated plot, it is everything good and then some.

The different characters, the lives that A inhabits each day, made the book very appealing, and what’s more beautiful about it is, these bodies can very well be real people we encounter day in and day out. I loved how A was able to at least separate himself/herself from the lives he/she has been living, but also sad at the same time for he/she can’t have what these lives have. I also commend how David Levithan took his time to put essence into each of the lives A had inhabited, how he presented each lives with such regard and respect it deserved. I loved Rhiannon’s character as well, she’s open minded and mature to handle what was going on. I loved how she respected each body A had inhabited. And though there are times that she was off about it, she handled it really well. She’s the kind of character you’ll love instantly.

I was sobbing at the end of the book, the good kind of hurt, if that’s even possible. To be honest I was hoping for some explanation how A had to live like that. I had a lot of questions, but then I was still satisfied how it ended. I will definitely be reading the next book, just so I could find the answers I needed, but for now I could live with the lesson this book had imparted in me. This book is truly a gem, and Every Day has been a reminder why I love Young Adult. There is some sense of simplicity and rawness that YA genre can give that you can’t find in any other genre. How it makes an impact on an adult like me will always be a refuge I will take anytime of the day.

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“The moment you fall in love feels like it has centuries behind it, generations – all of them rearranging themselves so this precise, remarkable intersection could happen. In your heart, in your bones, no matter how silly you know it is, you feel that everything has been leading to this, all the secret arrows were pointing here, the universe and time itself crafted this long ago, and you are just now realizing it, you are just now arriving at the place you were always meant to be.” 
― David LevithanEvery Day

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Poems That Lose by Akif Kichloo | Book Review

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Synopsis from Goodreads: From Akif Kichloo,  author of The Feeling May Remain comes this deeply personal and poetic account of a troubled life. A nowhere man, with or without god, a quintessential mental nomad, omnipresent in his mistakes, exploring mental illness, identity, family, sexuality, god, love, childhood, and purpose of life, Poems That Lose brings forth questions all of us wrestle with but either avoid asking ourselves or miserably fail answering almost every time. Kichloo navigates brilliantly from the deeply personal to the universal to the extinct, paving the way for a rare new voice in contemporary poetry, a poet who is more than wanted; he is desperately needed. These poems will slip off your tongue, creep under your skin, and live there.

Date Published: September 27, 2017

Genre: Poetry

Publisher: Read Out Loud Publishing

Date Read: December 2017

No. of Pages: 104

Source: Provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Grab a copy here: Amazon

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Poems That Lose tackles different facets of life from the point of view of its author, laying things raw and vulnerable. And though the reader and the author had nothing in common, the poems unite both into universal commonality, into that shared understanding of how life was, is and what it is ought to be. The poems were an effective means to send the message it was trying to convey. What I admire most about this collection of poetry is how it did not sugarcoat things, how it was able to present reality not dressed in fancy clothes but reality in its truest and most vulnerable state.

I loved how most of it was a poem about or directed to a father, how relationship differ and how it affected every decision, every characteristic and every perspective may it be towards life, love and other equally important matters. I also commend how this collection was a perfect place to start for new poetry lovers. It was digestible and relatable without losing the personal touch of the author. This poetry book is something you savor, something you don’t rush into, for its beauty comes from the readers appreciation of how each poem presented a figment of their own reality reflecting the written words and the messages conveyed.

The book was saying everything you wish you were able to enunciate yourself. It was this connection that despite having experienced life in an entirely different circumstance the book was able to resonate to you in a level of understanding you didn’t know possible. The book presented life in an entirely different light that you wouldn’t have considered looking at it in that perspective. It was more of life’s affirmation through the eyes of another and along the process you realize that no matter where life’s tribulations lead us, we go back to being human and accepting it with grace because that is how life is ought to be lived.

Dumbbells in a gym never made a man.

Learning to shoot guns never made a man.

Staring contests with friends, undressing

Women on the streets never made a man.

There can be no peace in this world until we

teach men to hold books as preciously as they

are taught to hold back their tears.

Mothers, allow your sons to cry.

Fathers, ask your sons to lower their gaze.

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How I Edit Photos for Bookstagram | Nerdy Talks

Hey guys! This has been a long over due post! I’ve been meaning to make a blog post about this for god knows how long already, but don’t worry, I am here now. Thanks to the update of my phone I was able to record the step by step process on how I edit my photos, makes it easier to show you guys how I do it!

Well for starters, and I’ve been stressing this a lot, you don’t need fancy props to take a good bookstagram photo. Use whatever is available, be resourceful, be creative! Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Here’s what I usually use:

  • Fake flowers (yup those white Crysanthemums were not freshly picked each time they appear on my photos. Got them for less than a dollar, haha perfect table ornament whenever I don’t use them. Mom is happy, I am happy, visitors are happy, everybody happy!)
  • Paper Flowers – they are super easy to make, just search “how to make paper flowers” on Youtube and you’re all set. Don’t worry it’s not rocket science!
  • White bed sheet / white background – I am obsessed with white on my photos. Looks crisper and cleaner. I am aiming for minimalist look so less props the better for me!
  • Cute mug or tea cup – okay these are cheap too. Use whatever you have, remember, be resourceful!
  • Funko Pop – Okay I am going to stress this out. YOU DON’T NEED TO BUY A FUNKO POP to be a legit bookstagrammer. Hear me? Okay good. Personally, I just like pops, I am a collector so might as well throw them in some of my bookstagram photos. But again, YOU DONT NEED TO BUY A FUNKO POP TO BE A LEGIT BOOKSTAGRAMMER. Okay? Okay!
  • Eyeglasses – it is a reader’s curse really, having poor eyesight is the price readers pay. Why do we have to be punished for reading too much? Anyway, yes I use my eyeglasses as props, and it goes well with anything!

Okay so we have covered the props department, we go to lighting. I always always use natural lighting. You can never go wrong with natural lighting, imagine the great effect of a perfectly cast shadow of a beautiful afternoon. Good right?

Now you’re set with props, lighting, we go to camera. Again, I’ll be stressing this one out. YOU DON’T NEED A FANCY CAMERA TO TAKE THAT BOOKSTAGRAM WORTHY PHOTO. I just use my iPhone7+ and I am pretty satisfied by the outcome of my photos. Before this phone I used Samsung J7 which is a good one too! The magic comes with the editing! So without further ado, here is the step by step process how I edit photos. I use Snapseed and VSCO.

Let’s edit this photo, shall we:

Snapseed

Easy peasy right, now we go to VSCO!

VSCO

Pro tip for VSCO: You can just use the option “Copy Edit” then paste it using “Paste Edit” option to newly uploaded photo, makes it easier to edit it and saves the time of going over each edit options. Also it makes all your photos have the same edit combination.

Here’s the finished product:

Hope you’ve learned a lot. It is not really rocket science, you see, you just have to have passion and creativity! And also I am not by a long stretch of imagination a photographer, so don’t look down on me. Haha! Tag me in your photos and wanna see if you’ve applied this process! I wanna see! What else do you want to know about bookstagramming?

Holiday Gift Ideas for Book Lovers!

 

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Cue the Christmas songs! Christmas is upon us, it is the season of gift giving and what better way to celebrate it than getting your loved ones what they truly like? I know you would love it if you’ll receive something so unique and well-thought out, right? Makes the spirit of the holidays more meaningful and special! So I have compiled some gift ideas for yourself and for your loved ones! Everyone happy! Merry Christmas!

  1. BOOKS

I mean come on, haha this has got to be your first consideration when you think of what to give to a bookworm. “But I don’t know what books she wants?” Well do some investigation, peruse every social media, he or she is probably running a bookstagram account and you can gather from there what new book he or she might be eyeing for quite sometime now or check twitter he or she might have dropped some hints for you to find out. Use your detective skills! Plus points if you are able to snag him or her that one book he or she wanted for like, you know, forever.

Book Depository is an online shop that could help you out with the predicament of lining in the mall and what is great about them is they offer free shipping wherever you may be! You can even address it to the person you want to receive it! Talk about convenience! And they have one of the best customer service, I kid you not!

Book Outlet  is another online book shop with readiculous deals! Majority of my books came from there. However Book Outlet only ships in the US and Canada, so you might need some magic to be able to acquire books if you’re outside US and Canada. I’m from the Philippines, and we use LBC Shipping Cart to fulfill our overwhelming need for new reads. If you are from the Philippines, you can shoot me an email on how to successfully use LBC shipping cart and be able to acquire items in the US!

2. BOOKMARKS

Every bookworm loves a bookmark, in fact their bookmarks might be more than the actual number of books they own, secretly stashed away so no one would judge them of this crazy need to acquire bookmarks every chance they get! You can easily make a personalized bookmark, but if you are feeling extra and feeling fancy why not up your gift giving game to these bookmarks:

We create the most unusual bookmarks in the world. It’s not just a bookmark, it’s fun, craziness and perfect topic-starter! Just imagine cute little legs sticking from your book! And get ready that your book will appear in the center of everyone’s attention! – MYBOOKMARK TEAM

MYBOOKMARK’s bookmarks are well-crafted ones made out of sturdy materials with such attention to details showing off craziness and playfulness. I can swear by these bookmarks how awesome and worth the money they are! Perfect gift for your book lover and while you’re at it get one for yourself as well! They ship worldwide for only 5$ plus they are having 10% discount on their products this holiday season!

And here’s something more exciting! I have a giveaway going on on my Instagram! You can win a bookmark from them shipped straightly at your doorsteps! I know you wouldn’t want to miss it! You have until December 10 to join, just follow the simple rules and you are qualified! Best of luck!

🎄GIVEAWAY CLOSED CONGRATS @abdulia_ortiz 🎄 Hello guys! Exciting news! I have partnered with @mybookmark for an awesome giveaway just in time for Christmas! (Watch out for my blog I am gonna be posting something awesome there, too) Before I go straight to the giveaway, would just like you to know that @mybookmark is offering 10% off their bookmarks this Christmas season! Best time to buy for yourself and a loved one. And now let's proceed to the giveaway! You can win one of these bookmarks (pictured above): ♥️The Magician ♥️The Wicked witch ♥️Cat in Garland just follow the rules below: . 🎄Like this post 🎄Follow me and @mybookmark (I really check) 🎄Comment where you are from. City and Country. (1pt) 🎄 Tag 2 friends. You can do this 3x (each will earn you a point, so you'll get 3 pts) 🎄Optional: Post this on your IG story and don't forget to mention me and @mybookmark so I would know. (1pt) 🎄Optional: Repost the photo and use the hashtag #NerdyTalksXMyBookMark (1pt) 🎄Giveaway ends on December 10th! . ••• #MyBookMark #Giveaway #bookmark

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Her Mad Library  bookmarks cater to every fandom needs! They customize too! Their products are printed on 300gsm paper with laminated pearl finish, so you are definitely getting your money’s worth. And did I mention, the bookmarks are very affordable with perfectly curated designs to match all your fandom and bookish needs? Major plus is, Cath the owner is such a sweetheart!

 

Page Anchor is another classy bookmark that’s not like any other out there. It comes in Signature Gold and Winter Platinum which makes every reading experience quite extraordinary, you need not hold your book for it to be in place, Page Anchor does the trick for you! Page Anchor is a small metal pin that easily slides in to your book to prevent the pages from closing. Made out of high quality material, it sure is a perfect addition to your bookmark collection! It comes in an elegant box and a cloth to wipe it and make it shiny all the time! Page Anchor makes reading classy and elegant!

For a limited time only you can get a 15% discount if you use my code nerdy15. That’s quite an awesome deal if you ask me plus they ship worldwide!

They also offer Gift Bundle! Get both lovely bookmarks for a discounted price plus you can apply my discount code! Definitely worth its price!

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3. BOOK SUBSCRIPTIONS

There are already tons of book subscriptions to choose from, there are some focused on YA books, but there are also book subscriptions that caters every bookworms’ needs, may it be of the classic genre, literary fiction, sci-fi, name it this book subscription box I am going to share with you got it and so much more, yes even cook books!

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They have everything and I mean everything – even a tote bag, and what’s even more amazing is it is delivered right at your doorstep. The Willoughby Book Club is not just one of the best book subscription box out there, I love how it provides for what every reader wants and not just solely focused on one genre. Pretty amazing if you ask me! And because I love you guys, you can get 10% discount if you use my link, just follow link here: NERDY TALKS.

All FAQs can be found here, but the most common question is: Do they ship worldwide? YES! Prices for international delivery can be found on the product pages. All international items are sent by priority delivery, which takes between 3-7 days to arrive. This has got to be one the best gift you could give a bookworm!

BOOK OF THE MONTH  is another amazing subscription box that will provide you with the newest releases each month. Here’s how it works:

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I can personally vouch for Book Of The Month, not only they provide diverse reads they also let you in some exclusive perks about new books that are yet to be released! They also have amazing deals each month so always check what they have in stored for you! And did I mention that all books come in hard covers for such affordable price, bet you could not find that anywhere! However, their services are only open to the US, but I was told they are trying to expand it worldwide, hopefully next year! Let’s cross our fingers!

 

 

4. BOOKISH MERCHANDISE

From mug, throw pillows to T-Shirts and tote bags, every book worm loves some bookish merch to match with their books and to brandish to the world their love for reading, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones and every fandom ever existed!

Red Bubble is an amazing online shop that provides you with wide array of selection from throw pillows, duvet covers, clothing items even notebooks and journals. They have everything you need, and what’s more fun is the beautiful designs by talented artists across the globe! There are thousands and I mean thousands of designs to choose from!

Here are some stuff I have designed! Check it out here!

 

5. SOCKS

You might not have noticed but socks is an essential part of a bookworm’s life. Why you ask me? Well, curling up in bed with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate can’t seem to be complete with some cute socks, they are basically what curling up with a good book entail! Plus you’ll be doing your bookworm a huge favor because you’re supporting the #SockSunday game! Come on, #SockSundays are fun, and do not tell me otherwise!

So to help you out pick the perfect socks, here are some trusted shops:

You may have seen Happy Socks on your feed a lot, that’s because they are one of the most trusted shops out there. They cater to everyone’s need and they have cute and funky designs to choose from. You’ll never ran out of options! Plus they offer free shipping too! I am personally a fan of Happy Socks and I swear by their products!

 

Tabi Toes probably is one of the cutest socks, and I mean the CUTEST! With colorful hues and quite different appearance, this will surely put a smile on anyone’s face! Plus it’s comfortable too, you might get weirded out by how it looks but it is comfy, just like that trusty gloves for your feet! And the designs, so kawaii! They offer free shipping on all US orders and free shipping international if you buy 3 or more pairs!

 

Yep, you read that right! A personalised socks, how cool right? And they don’t just offer socks, they have sweaters, underwear, T-shirts, slippers and scarves too! Talk about all the good things in one shop!

6. EYEWEAR

Another perfect gift to give a bookworm is a pair of classy and trendy eyewear! Check TIJN and choose from the myriad of designs perfect for every face shape! A good pair of eyeglasses more than its essential use has become a statement piece, bookworms are fashionable too! TIJN offers free shipping worldiwde and 10$ off for your first pair if you use the code 10free.

 

 

I will not pretend. Photo by @dortasphotography Frame name: Noa in Tortoise

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Set for Monday☀ Photo by @_coffeeandthingsdiary Frame name: Mathias in Black

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Which is the real Harry Potter?👀 Photo by @maw_reads Frame name: Laura in Black-Gold

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So there you have it guys! Hope I was able to help you out decide on what to get a bookworm friend, sister, brother, husband, wife, mother, father or hey yourself! Have a meaningful holidays everyone! Let’s spread happiness and love! Merry Christmas!

 

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COVER REVEAL and BOOK RELEASE: The Shores of Our Souls by Kathryn Brown Ramsperger

THE SHORES

The Shores of Our Souls

By Kathryn Brown Ramsperger

 

UNIQUE LOVE STORY DEFIES CULTURAL BOUNDARIES
 

“Pitch perfect writing. More than a romance, more than a cultural exploration, this novel helped me better understand our complicated world.” Author Tami Lewis Brown, The Map of Me

On any given day, we’re inundated with negative portrayals of Muslim and Islamic cultures which have fed an atmosphere of distrust. But recent studies have shown that reading literary fiction improves empathy. Positive portrayals of these and other marginalized groups helps change perceptions. Reading about meaningful relationships between characters of different cultures based on trust and confidence while maintaining different beliefs has a lasting impact.

Author Kathryn Brown Ramsperger believes, that despite cultural differences, love is the answer to any conflict facing the world today. In her new novel, The Shores of Our Souls

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[TouchPoint Press, August 1, 2017], Ramsperger directly addresses cross cultural relationships and how powerful a connection can be. The story specifically follows Qasim, an Arab Muslim U.N. official fleeing family obligations in war-torn Lebanon, and Dianna who’s escaping her rural Southern roots to become a researcher at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Taking the reader from New York City to the bucolic beauty of the Carolinas and into the salons of Beirut, The Shores of Our Souls juxtaposes the personal and political landscape of fledgling lovers. While multiple factors try to destroy the immediate connection between Dianna and Qasim, including his own political ties and powers and her untrusting housemate who continues to plant doubts in Dianna’s mind, the couple faces the challenge of overcoming societal judgement and cultural boundaries. Is love enough for the lovers to sidestep history in order to make peace with eachother and themselves?

 

 

“Call it whatever you want, love is love. The whole point of my book is that love con quers all. It can lead to mutual understanding and help us resolve conflict. Every conflict we face teaches us about each other and the world we’re living in, but only if we try to walk in the other person’s shoes,” Ramsperger states. “My novel is a love story, not a story about Arab conflict and terrorism. It differs from other love stories in that it’s told both from an American Christian female point of view and a Lebanese Muslim male point of view. This gives audiences a better understanding of both of their cultures, backgrounds, and values that drive their characters and relationship.”

A dazzling, well-researched work of fiction from an exciting new voice, Ramsperger’s debut is a not-to-be-missed addition to the bookcases of fans of Barbara Kingsolver, Khaled Hosseini and Carrie Brown.

 

Ramsperger Headshot

KATHRYN BROWN RAMSPERGER’S literary voice is rooted in the Southern tradition of storytelling and is informed by her South Carolina lineage. She began her career writing for The Roanoke Times and The Gazette newspapers, and later managed publications for the Red Cross and Red Crescent in Geneva, Switzerland. She wrote for both National Geo-graphic and Kiplinger.

A graduate of Hollins University, Ramsperger studied under several esteemed writers in-cluding Pulitzer Prize winner Henry Taylor, her mentor Richard Henry Wilde Dillard, and Guggenheim recipient and poet Dara Weir. She holds a graduate publications degree from George Washington University, is the winner of the Hollins University FictionAward, and her current novel is a semifinalist in the Faulkner-Wisdom literary competition.

Kathryn currently lives in Maryland with her husband, two children, and two cats.

Connect with Kathryn Brown Ramsperger at ShoresOfOurSouls.com as well as on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Goodreads.

The Shores of Our Souls is available August 1, 2017, and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

 

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