I had this fun idea to predict my rating for a book before I read it, so that’s what I’m going to try to do today. I’m going to pick 5 books on my TBR that I want to read really soon, and I’m going to try to estimate what my rating will be based on the synopsis. And then, hopefully, after a month or so, I’ll do another post comparing my estimated rating to my final rating! I’m really curious to see how well I know my own reading tastes and how well I can predict what I will love and what I don’t. So let’s get started!
I think we’ve all done things we rather not admit we did. In this post, I’ll be confessing some of these things (but only the book-related ones :P).
This tag is created by my wonderful friend Jenn from Jenniely. Thank you, Jenn! I highly recommend everyone to check out her blog because she’s amazing and so dedicated to her blog! The only rule to this tag is to go through the list and tick all the one’s you’re guilty of and tag 10 people to do the same!
Simon Teen has this amazing action this December in which you can read 25 books for one day only. So far, I’ve gotten through both Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds and Autoboyography by Christina Lauren. I’m also currently reading WANT by Cindy Pon. Anyway, I’m going to review these two books!
I won NaNoWriMo! It feels good to write that! For everyone that has cheered me on, helped me in any way, did word sprints with me (Ilsa thank you <3), or whether you just chatted with me, thank you alllllll!
During NaNoWriMo I’ve struggled a lot, but I pulled through and ended up with 50,060 words (I honestly don’t understand because MS Word counted 50,054 words, I don’t know where those final 6 words came from). I’ve made most of it up as I went. I had an outline, but I haven’t even looked at it in the final half. I knew most of it by heart though and there wasn’t much work put in the outline.
If you look at my stats, it seems like I had a pretty relaxed month, but that’s not really the case. I’ve had pretty bad days on which I barely wrote anything, and on other days I wrote 3k, but I wrote something on every single day.
I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while now, and with the recent developments with Netgalley and Goodreads, I think it is the perfect time to talk about this. I won’t be going into depth about the developments on Netgalley and Goodreads because it has been talked about a lot already, and I don’t want to repeat the same things.
As you probably know, I’m not from the US. In fact, I’m from the Netherlands (you know that small country in Europe with clogs and cheese? except that there are barely any clogs to be found in the entire country). Since our native language is Dutch, there are already a couple of disadvantages to reading English books. But more about that later. This post is in no way supposed to come across as if I’m ungrateful for anything, or that I would be entitled to things other bloggers do get, or anything like that. I just wanted to talk about how for internationals, it can be a bit harder to get access to the same things others get easy access to.
Since NaNoWriMo took place in November and I was busy writing 50 thousand words (which I managed, yay), I haven’t had a lot of time to read. So I’ve been reading a little less than I normally do, but I don’t really mind. Not at all, actually. I think I’m going to try to not read as much as I normally do, is that a weird thing to say? I’ve been reading ~10 books per month for this entire year and it’s a bit crazy. I love reading but I’m constantly trying to push myself to read more, and that’s just not a good thing.
This month I’ve read 6 books, which is a really good amount!
- Truth or Dare by Non Pratt ★★★.5
This book was fun and I really liked one of the main characters and the story, but the other main character I hated and I also didn’t like how halfway through the story, you went back in time to the start and had to read through all of it again before you finally found out what happened after the cliffhanger.
- Weave a Circle Round by Kari Maaren ★★★
This was mind-boggling and a bit fun too, but sooo weird. I just couldn’t make sense of what was going on at all. I think it’s just not for me. But if you don’t get confused very often or don’t mind being left in the dark, and like books that are a little crazy and all over the place, I think you could really enjoy this! (review)
- Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff ★★★★★
Gemina, oh Gemina… I never thought that after Illuminae, Gemina would be able to make me feel all the same things all over again. Illuminae was amazing, Gemina did it again, Obsidio will be the end of me but I can’t wait to let it rip out my heart. This book (this series) is so creative and original, there’s honestly nothing I’ve ever read that was this beautifully made. The characters are so real, the writing style so original, the story so mind-blowing, this series is just a whole new experience. There’s nothing like it.
- All The Ways To Here by Emily O’Beirne ★★★★
This is the second book in the duology about Finn and Willa. It was an adorable f/f romance with wonderful characters! The romance was so cute and I loved how it continued on from the former book. I would highly recommend this book if you like diverse romance with a focus on family! But definitely read Future Leaders of Nowhere first! (review)
- The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed ★★★★★
This book is so amazing and important! The Nowhere Girls tackles rape and feminism in so many ways, I loved it so much! The characters were amazing and the story was great and I think everyone needs to read this book. (review)
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern ★★★.5
Oh boy, I’m going to disappoint people now. Sorry if I’m going to ruin your favourite book for you, but THIS ROMANCE PLOT-LINE WAS SO PROBLEMATIC. I loved the writing style, the way different timelines were interwoven, the magical and mysterious vibe to the story, and most of the story itself… but I hated the romance. And that ended up having such a big role in both the story and the ending that it ruined the book for me.
What I added to my TBR
Girlhood by Cat Clarke seems like a dark contemporary/mystery and I’m going to buddy-read it! I received an eARC of By A Charm and A Curse by Jaime Questell (February 2018), which is a circus romance story? I think? I’m really not in the mood for that after reading The Night Circus haha. I bought a few ebooks, Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Bernard, Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley (which seems like an impactful story about racism) and Never Always Sometimes by Adi Alsaid. Lastly, I got an eARC of Furyborn by Claire Legrand (May 2018)!
How was your reading month? Got any exciting plans for December? Any of these books you’ve read? What did you think? Any recommendations on what to read next?
Buy any of these books (or other books) with my bookdepository affiliate link and I’ll get a 5% commission!
If you’ve been following me on my twitter, you’ve probably noticed at least one of the aesthetics I’ve been making the past few weeks. I love making aesthetics and I’ve made several for both published books and people’s NaNoWriMo projects (of course I’m not procrastinating nooo). And people have been asking me how I made them, so here I am explaining in a step-by-step guide how to make aesthetics. So you can now become as awesome as I am 😛
Aesthetics are just collages of pictures that look pretty together and fit a theme. This theme, is for me usually a book or story. It can, however, be anything you want! To illustrate every step, I will be showing you exactly how I make an aesthetic by making one as I write this post.
I had this story idea a few days ago that apparently everybody loved so I’m going to use that. It’s a contemporary Alice in Wonderland retelling about Alice who suffers from psychosis and works in a hat shop, it also features a therapist in training (who is constantly high…), a mom that bakes cakes that taste like magic, and a very cute cat!
Step #1: Fantastic pictures and where to find them
For your collage you, of course, want the best pictures. And you’re not going to find them on google images, you might try but it’s surprisingly hard. Instead, you can use Pinterest and WeHeartIt. Both are completely free and work quite similar to each other.
WeHeartIt is a personal favourite of mine but it can be quite hard to find pictures you love. I’ve been using it for many many years and have saved (or ‘hearted’) many beautiful images I use constantly.
Pinterest is much more accessible for beginners, and searching something in the search bar will usually not leave you feeling unsatisfied.
Both platforms allow you to save pictures on boards/in collections, which makes it easy to look at all the things you’ve saved and collect pretty pictures.
Step #2: how to find them
Finding the pictures you love has only a few tricks. You need keywords, things that are related to the theme of your collage. If this would be for example Six of Crows, keywords could be: crows, Amsterdam (Ketterdam is based on Amsterdam), thieves, heist, playing cards, magic, etc. Usually while looking for pictures, you’ll get inspired for new keywords.
So the best tip there is, is to add “aesthetic” after your keyword when you search for it. It’s a little thing but can improve your search results so much!
When looking for pictures, it is important to keep in mind whether you want a color scheme. Having a color scheme often improves your end result a lot!
So my search terms would be: cat, Alice in wonderland, chess, red roses, mental illness, psychosis, baking, and so on. I am sticking to a beige with red/orange color scheme.
And then you just download all the pictures you want! You better have too many than too few!
Step #3: What’s next
So you’ve found your pictures, what’s next? It depends on what you want but an aesthetic collage could have four pictures up to however many you want. You can make them square and have 2×2, 3×3, 4×4 squares etc, but you can also make rectangles of 2×3, 2×4 and so on.
I really love the 3×3 square so that’s what I’ll be using. For this one you need 9 pictures (obviously).
For making collages I always use ipiccy, which is completely free and online software.
You can press “add images” and add all your images and then comes the most fun part!
Step #4: Making it look nice
Now that you’ve found your pictures and uploaded them to wherever you’re making your collage, you can drag them to your collage! You can do them randomly of course, but there are a few tricks to making it look nice!
- Don’t make it too busy, if you add a lot of busy pictures, it can get quite overwhelming. For example the picture on the right. It is quite pretty, but it is a bit too busy, with many pictures and colors all asking for your attention at the same time.
- Adding quotes: I love using quotes because they are calm and make the aesthetic in general look more pleasing. You can find quotes on pinterest as well.
- Using a checkerboard layout: meaning you alternate pictures that have a similar color or feel to it. If you have two colors, you can alternate them. I usually also try to alternate quotes or at least not have only quotes in one row. As you can see in the picture below, having the five pictures forming a cross have the same colors and tones, and having the other four pictures having similar colors, gives it a nice balanced look. Another trick is to use symmetry to your advantage, as you can see the picture in the top left and the bottom right are very similar, so are the picture on the top right and bottom left.
- Play around, try different things and see what works well.
- Once you’re satisfied with your layout, you can also do some post-editing if you like. I usually use the photo editing software from my laptop (I don’t know what it’s called, but it was already on my laptop when I got it). I use hue, saturation, and temperature to make it seem a bit more similar. It gives it a bit more atmosphere and gives it overall a more coherent feeling.
The final result
I have decided to go with this design, but of course tastes differ so don’t take my tips as rules but just as guidelines. You can do whatever you want with your aesthetics. This post is just to help you along the way!