Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bibliophile Collection

Hello there. I have something very exciting to share with you today, if slightly different from what I usually post on here. A few weeks ago, I was approached by Sebrina Schultz who has a an Etsy store where, among other things, she sells digital paintings of books. I had a look around her shop and was really impressed with her work, so when she offered to design a custom Bibliophile Collection digital painting of up to ten books of my choice, I was super excited. 

From the picture I sent her of the spines I chose, she created this amazing digital painting:

I love how well the details on the spines turned out, especially on Daughter of Smoke & Bone and A Game of Thrones. Overall, I was really pleased with the result and so Sebrina had it printed and sent to me immediately. Only two weeks later, the finished piece arrived at my house, in perfect condition and exactly how I had imagined it. It looks exactly like in the picture she sent me and the quality of the paper and everything is perfect. Also, the packaging was really nice, with some lovely details here and there.

If you're interested in getting your own digital painting, I strongly recommend having a look at Sebrina's Etsy store. You can get the design she made for me (here) as well as many other lovely predesigned pieces. And if none of those are quite the way you'd want yours to be, Sebrina also offers custom made pieces like the one she did for me (here). You can get them in different sizes and I would recommend maybe going for something bigger than 8x10, which is the size of mine and turned out to be rather small (I know I shouldn't have been surprised but still). 

Until March 31, you can get a 20% discount on anything in her shop, using the code SCHAKARIN. Also, she's hosting a Buffalo Sale on March 10, releasing 5 new prints, so you might want to head over there then.

Let me know if you decide to order one of Sebrina's designs and what you think.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Review: The Duff

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend
by Kody Keplinger
Publication date: September 7, 2010
Published by: Little Brown / Poppy
Paperback, 277 pages
My rating: 4/5 ★

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper may not be the prettiest girl in her high school, but she has a loyal group of friends, a biting wit, and a spot-on BS detector. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush, who calls Bianca the Duff--the designated ugly fat friend--of her crew.

But things aren't so great at home and Bianca, desperate for a distraction, ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

I really enjoyed The DUFF and was positively surprised. It was exactly what I needed at the time, a light and quick read but also refreshingly different from what I expected. Unlike the regular contemporary, it was pretty straight forward overall and far less dramatic than I thought it would be (well, okay, there were some overdramatic moments but they didn't bother me that much). The story was rather predictable, as I'm sure most of you will expect from the short summary, but I still very much liked to read about the path to the expected (kind of obvious) ending. 

I could sympathize with Bianca - her life at home was a mess and with people just not talking about their problems, it couldn't be easy. Unfortunately, she herself didn't always manage to say what needed to be said and that always bothers me with main characters. Especially with how she acted towards her friends, I mostly couldn't support and understand her actions. Overall, Bianca was kind of an annoying character at times but it was easily bearable. Her way of escaping her sorrows and distracting herself from her problems was so different, unexpected and fun to read about, it made up for her less glamorous and more brain-dead moments. She surprised me more than once with her not very well thought through decisions but I kind of loved that about the book.

What I liked most about the story was that things were actually happening from the very beginning and then slowly developed from there. I liked the whole build-up and especially Kody Keplinger's writing. The relationship between Bianca and Wesley developed slowly (with some lucky coincidences here and there) and felt very real. 

I would recommend this book to anyone with a love for contemporary and in need for a fun and light read. It's perfect to lift your mood on a rainy day and small enough to also get through on said day. If you don't like predictable plots and/or characters that are terrible at making reasonable decisions, you'll probably have your issues with this book. But with the movie coming out very soon, I would recommend everyone to give it a go, because the movie looks just as fun as the book.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Well, hello there. I haven't uploaded anything to this blog in February yet and that makes me feel so bad. Worst of all, I don't even have a good excuse for why I haven't been posting for the past (almost) two weeks. So I just thought I would give you a general life updated of what has been going on here lately and maybe you'll understand just a tiny little bit why blogging hasn't been my top priority.

  • So, first of all, Uni is starting again next week, which means I am starting my second semester and big bad exams are waiting for me at the end of it (only in June but I'm already very much freaking out). That also means that I'm currently enjoying my very last week of free time.
  • My boyfriend had exams until the beginning of February and before that we didn't really have a lot of time to spend together. So we're catching up on that at the moment. Yesterday, for example, we went sledding with some of our friends and enjoyed a lovely sunny day in the snow. 
  • We currently have a dog living with us. Admittedly, this doesn't really have an impact on my blogging, but it's still exciting. Her name is Ginger and she is super cute. My sister is dog-sitting her for a week and a half and I'm just taking a lot of pictures of her and not being very helpful at all.
  • Most importantly, though, I haven't been reading a lot in February. I only finished The Bane Chronicles two days ago (finally) and then picked up The DUFF yesterday (which I also finished yesterday, so that's good). And when I'm in a little bit of a reading slump, I'm usually also in a 'blogging slump' since I do get pretty much all the inspiration for my blog from the books I read (which is pretty obvious considering it's a book blog).

Ugh, these are really bad excuses but I just didn't feel like blogging or reading or anything except being lazy and playing video games or watch movies/TV shows with my boyfriend (we are loving Outlander at the moment). I hope you can understand, I'm sure everyone is going through times like this.

BUT I obviously want to get back on track and show some more love for this blog. I might want to change a few things, though. First of all, I'm not really happy with doing Top 5 Wednesday anymore. I loved posting these in the past, but lately I couldn't really find anything for the given topics, so I just posted nothing at all. Since I do love lists and it's, to be honest, also easier to write something for a given topic, maybe, maybe I'll join Top 10 Tuesday instead. I love reading those posts but choosing ten for each topic is intimidating to me.

Also, I want to (kind of) defend myself and mention this. I haven't been slacking everywhere. On Instagram, I'm doing the #feb15bookchallenge #halfbloodvalentines challenge and post a picture every day in February for that one. Which might not be impressive to most of you, but to me it is. Let me know if you have a bookish instagram, I love to follow new people.

Okay, so that's it, I believe, for what I wanted to talk about today. I hope you don't mind me rambling about my life from time to time. 

How is your February going so far?