My Bookstagram (Do Over) and a Giveaway!

go explore

Hello there! This is really random but I just wanted to post about my recently made over bookstagram! I’ve been bookstagramin’ for quite a while now since I first had my book-related Instagram account even before this blog (I started on January of 2015, I just checked), but then, I haven’t really “established” my profile for various reasons. So, I decided that a little do-over might change things up. 🙂

Before everything else, let’s take trip down to memory lane and see the evolution my Instagram account…
I first started with the username @readescape_ /@read.escape
(Check out my 1st bookstagram pic!)

atbp

The reason behind that name is by that time, I only just discovered the world of reading and it has become my “escape” from reality, hence the name. But aside from that, I picked a username that didn’t include my name because I didn’t want anybody to know that I have a book-related Instagram account. I kept it a secret to my friends and family. I guess I didn’t want to be judged or something? I always had to take pics when no one is around and it was very difficult. The funny thing is that my mom eventually discovered it, (I still don’t know how) and even said I take good pics! Silly, silly me.
Eventually, I changed my name to @beatricereads after I made a blog and a twitter account. But then I stumbled through an “identity crisis” when I couldn’t settle for a theme. I always kept a theme for my feed since the beginning stage of my account because I wanted my feed to organized and pretty looking like all the other accounts I see and of course, I wanted to gain followers too.
I kept changing themes, trying something different then deleting everything again until I just got tired and decided, that’s it. I need to make up my mind!
I checked out a lot of different accounts on bookstagram and got some inspration on how to be creative on taking great photos. I also downloaded photo editing apps that most bookstagramer use. For my photos, I first edit them on Snapseed (Thank God for Snapseed!) and add filters with VSCO. You don’t need to edit much if you have great lighting so I always take my photos during day time. Shoutout to my favorite bookstagram accounts (@ejmellow, @readingoncloud9@alice.in.wonderbookland, @alybooksandcoffee, @aenteereads)
And now, here’s a glimpse of my new Instagram feed! I promise that I’ll try to keep it like this and maintain it as it is.
What do you think? 🙂
Another thing, I have an ongoing giveaway on my bookstagram to celebrate my birthday! I decided to celebrate it on IG since it’s where my bookish world journey began! Head over to my Instagram account (@beatricereads) for full mechanics. Open INTERNATIONAL. Ends 7/27 (MY BIRTHDAY!)

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Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. Comment below your bookstagram accounts!

Author Interview | Jessica Spotswood ft. Wild Swans + Giveaway!

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“One of my favorite quotes from the book is: If you’re not any good, what’s the point? Milbourn girls don’t do mediocre. Because that’s messed-up thinking, but it’s also so relatable, I think.” shares Author Jessica Spotswood as she shares some personal experiences that inspired some scenes of her new book, Wild Swans. Read along and find out more!

qna

Tell us something about your recently published book, Wild Swans!
Wild Swans is a contemporary YA novel about a complicated family, fierce female friendships, and first love, set on the Chesapeake Bay. Ivy Milbourn has been raised by her granddad after her mom walked out when Ivy was two. Now, the summer before Ivy’s senior year, her mom is coming back home with the two half-sisters Ivy’s never met.
How different is this book from your previous works?
It’s a contemporary book with no magical elements, whereas my anthologies are historical fiction and fantasy and my trilogy, The Cahill Witch Chronicles, was historical fantasy. But I think readers will find similar elements. There’s still a mix of sibling rivalry and love, a diverse cast of fiercely loyal girl friends, and a bookish boy (this time he’s a biracial poet with tattooos of poems). My new heroine, Ivy, is like the CWC’s Cate in that she’s struggling against high expectations and often doubts her abilities – but the stakes aren’t whether Ivy will be hung for witchery, it’s whether she’ll succumb to the mental illness and addictions that her mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother struggled with.
How did you come up with the book’s title? Is there a meaning behind it?
The title is based on the poem “Wild Swans” by Edna St Vincent Millay. To me, the poem really fits Ivy’s mom, Erica, who is desperate to escape this small town, her father, and the family legacy that she finds suffocating.
Are there certain personal experiences you’ve drawn from that inspired some parts of the book?
Absolutely. I’ve written very openly about feeling like my trilogy didn’t live up to the publisher’s high sales expectations and how that made me feel like a failure for a while. I absolutely used that experience to write Ivy. Because the women in her family have all been incredibly talented artists, and because her granddad pushes her to discover her own extraordinary talent, Ivy feels like she’s not enough. One of my favorite quotes from the book is: If you’re not any good, what’s the point? Milbourn girls don’t do mediocre. Because that’s messed-up thinking, but it’s also so relatable, I think. For instance, it’s so easy in the publishing industry to compare your career to other writers’ and feel inadequate if you’re not a bestseller, with a movie deal, with a book tour, etc. But, like Ivy, I’ve learned to try to focus on what I want for myself and not let others’ expectations be the measure of my self-worth.
Which character from Wild Swans do you particularly see yourself in? Why?
Ivy! She’s such a perfectionist and desperate to please, and that’s something I struggle with, too. I think a lot of girls do, because we get a lot of pressure from society to be nice and put other people first. We’re taught that putting ourselves and our own needs first is selfish, but that’s so untrue! Over the course of the book, Ivy starts to stand up for herself more, starting with telling her best guy friend (who has a crush on her) that she can kiss whoever she wants and he doesn’t get a say in that, to eventually standing up to her mom and her granddad.
How did you celebrate Wild Swans‘ pub day?
It happened to be my birthday as well as my book birthday, so I spent a lot of time online thanking everyone for their good wishes! Then I went out to dinner with my best friend and my husband, and had a cocktail and some really great Brussels sprouts. (I am super into Brussels sprouts lately!)

abouttheauthor
jsJessica Spotswood is the author of the contemporary novel WILD SWANS and the historical fantasy trilogy The Cahill Witch Chronicles. She’s also the editor of the feminist historical anthology A TYRANNY OF PETTICOATS. Jess grew up in a tiny, one-stoplight town in Pennsylvania, where she could be found swimming, playing clarinet, memorizing lines for the school play, or—most often—with her nose in a book. Now she lives in Washington, DC, where she can be found working as a children’s library associate for the DC Public Library, seeing theatre with her playwright husband, or—most often—with her nose in a book. Some things never change.
www.jessicaspotswood.com
Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

27015393The summer before Ivy’s senior year is going to be golden; all bonfires, barbeques, and spending time with her best friends. For once, she will just get to be. No summer classes, none of Granddad’s intense expectations to live up to the family name. For generations, the Milbourn women have lead extraordinary lives—and died young and tragically. Granddad calls it a legacy, but Ivy considers it a curse. Why else would her mother have run off and abandoned her as a child?

But when her mother unexpectedly returns home with two young daughters in tow, all of the stories Ivy wove to protect her heart start to unravel. The very people she once trusted now speak in lies. And all of Ivy’s ambition and determination cannot defend her against the secrets of the Milbourn past….

Cut Both Ways

Purchase links for Wild Swans:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | IndieBound

Giveaway!
Win 1 of 3 swag pack (sets of bookmarks for the Cahill Witch Chronicles, A Tyranny of Petticoats, & Wild Swans plus signed bookplates) from Jessica Spotwsood!
Open Internationally!
Enter via Rafflecopter (click here or the image below) and/or Twitter!
3 winners will be randomly picked – 2 from the blog and 1 from Twitter.
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Blog Tour | Anything You Want by Geoff Herbach [Review + Giveaway]

9781402291449_9b451Title: Anything You Want
Author: Geoff Herbach
Publication: May 3rd 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire
Format: Advance Reading Copy
Source: Provided by the publisher via NetGalley
ISBN: 9781402291449

How Hard Can Love Be? (Normal, #2)


synopsis

Expect a bundle of joy—er, trouble—in this hilarious, heartwarming story from the award-winning author of Stupid Fast Geoff Herbach.
Taco’s mom always said, “Today is the best day of your life, and tomorrow will be even better.” That was hard to believe the day she died of cancer and when Taco’s dad had to move up north for work, but he sure did believe it when Maggie Corrigan agreed to go with him to junior prom. Taco loves Maggie- even more than the tacos that earned him his nickname. And she loves him right back.
Except all that love? It gets Maggie pregnant. Everyone else may be freaking out, but Taco can’t wait to have a real family again. He just has to figure out what it means to be a dad and how to pass calculus. And then there’s getting Maggie’s parents to like him. Because it would be so much easier for them to be together if he didn’t have to climb the side of the Corrigans’ house to see her…

review

I received a digital review copy of this book from Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley for my participation in this blog tour. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
Anything You Want is nothing like some other books I’ve read before that deals with teenage pregnancy/parenthood. The proof of it’s rarity lies on the MC.
Never have I encountered such a character like Taco. His name already says says a lot. Well, not literally… but his personality is full of “character”. The first thing I noticed about this book is the way the story is being narrated. It clearly reflects Taco’s personality; naive, unique and optimistic. Seriously, the narration is just bursting with personality and I love it. I’ve had enough of the brooding YA male narrators and that makes Taco a breath of fresh air.
In terms of the plot, I wasn’t expecting anything at all when I picked up this book and that’s why I’m surprised with the depth and message it tries to get across the readers. Anything You Want is not a light contemporary YA. It deals with serious issues like teenage pregnancy, abandonment, depression and a lot more. There were parts where I felt exhausted reading what Taco is experiencing because it’s almost like a cycle of problems that seems to never end but that made me feel more for his character. His journey is truly inspiring. Overall, I really recommend Anything You Want to every YA reader out there.
Today is the best day of your life. So is tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the next. No matter what happens, every day you have is the best day of your life.
Rating:

4


abouttheauthor

geoffI am the author of the YA title, Stupid Fast (June 2011 from Sourcebooks Fire). I also wrote The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg, a Novel from Three Rivers Press. When I’m not writing books, I’m writing for Radio Happy Hour or developing ridiculous musical bits.

When I’m not writing, I’m teaching writing at Minnesota State, Mankato, which means I write a lot of comments about writing on student writing.

Writing a lot of writing and reading about writing and writing on reading.

www.geoffherback.com
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Giveaway!
Win (1) of (4) copies of ANYTHING YOU WANT by Geoff Herbach
Open Internationally.

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Blog Tour | The Girl I Used To Be by April Henry [Review + Excerpt + Giveaway]

23018249Title: The Girl I Used To Be
Author: April Henry
Publication: May 3rd 2016 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Format: Advance Reading Copy
Source: Provided by the publisher via NetGalley
ISBN: 9781627793322

How Hard Can Love Be? (Normal, #2)


synopsis

When Olivia’s mother was killed, everyone suspected her father of murder. But his whereabouts remained a mystery. Fast forward fourteen years. New evidence now proves Olivia’s father was actually murdered on the same fateful day her mother died. That means there’s a killer still at large. It’s up to Olivia to uncover who that may be. But can she do that before the killer tracks her down first?

review

I received a digital review copy of this book from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group via NetGalley for my participation in this blog tour. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
I really like books where the title alone already tells something about the story, especially when it comes to mystery reads. And that’s exactly what The Girl I Used To Be did for me.
Olivia Reinhart is an emancipated teen, but prior to that, she was little Ariel Benson, daughter of Naomi Benson and Terry Weeks. She never had a real family after her mother was murdered some 14 years ago, and it was believed that her father did it and fled. But when a new evidence resurfaced that her father was also a victim, she sets out to Medford, the town where her mother grew up, to find out what really happened to her parents.
The Girl I Used To Be was a quick and easy read in terms of the writing style. Although, there were two things to consider why it is so. First, it only has 240 pages. Second, it’s obviously a page turner, (almost every mystery/thriller book is). The chapters were kept short which I really liked, but the pacing was a bit slow. I keep turning each page waiting for something to happen but there really wasn’t much going on.
There were also some things I noticed that bothered me a little bit and it’s how Olivia easily has access to everything she needs to know. All she had to do is ask around and the people will just tell her willingly. She’s a total stranger who’s hiding her real identity for crying out loud. You don’t just answer to people when they ask you about your friends or a murder of a friend, do you? So that’s just some rant. Anyway…
The mystery  in this book is ever present. I like how it didn’t take long to tell what I’m supposed to be uncovering. The book drops the bomb right at the beginning, but as the story goes on things just plateaued out. The suspense was just lacking for me, most of the story is just Olivia trying to figure things out.
Speaking of figuring things out, something I noticed about mystery books is that when it comes to the MC’s hunt for whodunit, they’re always pressing the suspicion on a particular character that is obviously some red herring. And of course, The Girl I Used To Be used that in the plot. The good thing is that it did not spoil the surprise when it comes to the actual reveal. My heart was actually beating so fast when the moment came. But I have to admit, it didn’t last long. I’m not saying I’m disappointed. The Girl I Used To Be is actually a good mystery book but it just lacked in some aspects.
Rating:

3h


excerpt

The Girl I Used To Be
by April Henry
Copyright © 2016 by April Henry
CHAPTER 1
SCATTER MY BONES
The only sound I can hear is my own panicked breathing. I’m running flat out through the forest. Then my toe catches a root, and suddenly I’m flying.
Until I’m not. I come down hard. With my hands cuffed in front of me, I can’t even really break my fall. Despite the plastic boot on my left leg, I’m up again in a crazy scrambling second, spitting out dirt and pine needles as I start sprinting again.
Running like my life depends on it. Because it does.
Three weeks ago, I was living in Portland. Working in a supermarket deli. Slicing turkey breast and handing out cheese samples on toothpicks.
Now I’m hurtling through the Southern Oregon woods, being chased by a killer. And no one knows I’m here.
Because of the handcuffs, I can’t pump my fists. Instead, I have to swing them in tandem. Trying to avoid another fall, I lift my knees higher as the ground rises. I can’t hear my pursuer, just my own panting breath.
If I don’t come back, will Duncan ever know what happened to me? These woods can hide things for years. Will animals scatter my bones, plants twine around my remains?
When I reach the top of the hill, I don’t slow down. Instead, I try to lengthen my stride. It’s impossible to maintain a rhythm. I leap over a log, splash through the silver thread of a creek. My mouth is so dry. It tastes of dirt and the bitterness of fear.
A Steller’s jay startles up from a branch, squawking. If only I could take wing and fly. But I’m stuck here on earth, legs churning, staggering over this uneven ground.
I can’t stop or I’ll die.
The reality is that I’m probably going to die anyway. And if that’s so, I’m going to go down fighting.

abouttheauthor

aprilI write mysteries and thrillers. I live in Portland, Oregon with my family.
If you’ve read one of my books, I would love to hear from you. Hearing from readers makes me eager to keep writing.
When I was 12, I sent a short story about a six-foot tall frog who loved peanut butter to Roald Dahl, the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He liked it so much he arranged to have it published in an international children’s magazine.
My dream of writing went dormant until I was in my 30s, working at a corporate job, and started writing books on the side. Those first few years are now thankfully a blur. Now I’m very lucky to make a living doing what I love. I have written 13 novels for adults and teens, with more on the way. My books have gotten starred reviews, been picked for Booksense, translated into six languages, been named to state reading lists, and short-listed for the Oregon Book Award.
I also review YA literature and mysteries and thrillers for the Oregonian, and have written articles for both The Writer and Writers Digest.
www.aprilhenrymysteries.com
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Win (1) finished copy of THE GIRL I USED TO BE by April Henry
Open to US/CAN Residents Only.
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Blog Tour | Unforgivable by Amy Reed [Review + Giveaway]

9780062299604_e5ed6Title: Unforgivable (Invincible #2)
Author: Amy Reed
Publication: May 3rd 2016 by Katherine Tegen Books
Format: Advance Reading Copy
Source: Provided by the publisher via Edelweiss
ISBN: 9780062299604

How Hard Can Love Be? (Normal, #2)


synopsis

In this raw, gut-wrenching, and beautifully written sequel to Invincible, Marcus continues Evie’s story of their intense romance, a la Gayle Forman’s Where She Went, after saving her life only to find his life—and their relationship—falling to pieces.
Marcus knows pain. The kind that swallows you like a black hole. His brother committed suicide, his mother left him, and his dad mostly ignores him. Relief only seems to come from drugs, alcohol, and secret acts of self-destruction.
Until he met Evie. Together, they lived in the moment. They fell in love—hard—creating their own beautiful world. But they each had their own secrets, their own pain, hovering like a thick fog, suffocating them in a world too small to share.
Unforgivable takes off where Invincible left us—with Evie drowning in San Francisco Bay. Marcus finds her just in time, but her survival is not the happy ending he was hoping for. Forbidden from seeing Evie by her parents and unable to reach her, Marcus learns of a pain that might break him completely.
Marcus spirals into an even deeper darkness and is forced by new events to face the demons of his past. The pain of losing Evie becomes tangled with the loss of his mother and brother, and he must finally face the ghosts he has been trying so desperately to outrun or risk losing Evie forever.

review
I received a digital review copy of this book from HarperCollins via Edelweiss for my participation in this blog tour. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
While Invincible was a bit too dramatic and heavy for my taste, Unforgivable makes up for it. This time, the story is told in Marcus’s point of view. Although the story is still full of “heavy” emotions and grief, there’s also something about it that make the readers hold on to a glimmer of hope.
What really stood out for me were the chapters. Marcus’s narrations were told in three ways. There were the “you” chapters then there’s the “here” and “there”. The you chapters were Marcus’s thoughts about Evie. I actually found it poetic and deep and heartfelt. I’m always looking forward for these chapters every time I turn to the next page because of the feelings that bleeds through the book. It’s also told in the 2nd person POV (which is something new for me) and I loved it, it made Marcus’s emotions more raw and personal. On the other hand, the here chapters were about what’s happening in present time and there was more on the past and Marcus’s memories about his brother, David and his family.
The ending was perfect. I love how Marcus picked himself up and saw things in a different light. It wasn’t an easy process and the book as a whole showed his struggles and how it changed him. It’s a great conclusion to Evie and Marcus’s story.
All in all, Unforgivable is an emotional book that just hits the spot with its poetic writing. It’s a beautiful book about letting go and looking in to hope.
Rating:

3h


abouttheauthor
amyreedAmy Reed was born and raised in and around Seattle, where she attended a total of eight schools by the time she was eighteen. Constant moving taught her to be restless and being an only child made her imagination do funny things. After a brief stint at Reed College (no relation), she moved to San Francisco and spent the next several years serving coffee and getting into trouble. She eventually graduated from film school, promptly decided she wanted nothing to do with filmmaking, returned to her original and impractical love of writing, and earned her MFA from New College of California. Her short work has been published in journals such as Kitchen Sink, Contrary, and Fiction. Amy currently lives in Oakland with her husband and two cats, and has accepted that Northern California has replaced the Pacific Northwest as her home. She is no longer restless. Find out more at amyreedfiction.com.
www.amyreedfiction.com
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GIVEAWAY!
Win (1) of (3) finished copies of INVINCIBLE by Amy Reed
Open to US Residents Only.

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Blog Tour | Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake [Review + Dream Cast + Giveaway]

23197843Title: Suffer Love
Author: Ashley Herring Blake
Publication: May 3rd 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Format: Advance Reading Copy
Source: Provided by the publisher via NetGalley
ISBN: 9780544596320

How Hard Can Love Be? (Normal, #2)


synopsis

Hadley St. Clair’s life changed the day she came home to a front door covered in slips of paper, each of them revealing the ugly truth about her father. Now as her family falls apart in the wake of his year-long affair, Hadley wants everyone-her dad most of all-to leave her alone.
Then she meets Sam Bennett, a cute new boy who inexplicably “feels like home” to Hadley. Hadley and Sam’s connection is undeniable, but Sam has a secret about his family that could ruin everything.
Funny and passionate, Suffer Love is a story about first love, family dysfunction, and the fickle hand of fate.

review

I received a digital review copy of this book from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group via NetGalley for my participation in this blog tour. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
Suffer Love is one of the books I’ve set my eyes upon on since last year and I’m telling you, it’s worth the wait! This book is definitely my kind of contemporary. It really didn’t take a lot of chapters for to get me hooked on Hadley and Sam’s story. I instantly knew that I wouldn’t be able to put it down.
The storyline, the continuity and how things are interconnected like a perfectly woven tapestry in this book is one of the things that I find laudable about Suffer Love. I didn’t mind the amount of coincidences long as it brings our two characters together.
There is no denying that I’m already going crazy over Sam’s insta-attraction towards Hadley, the chemistry between the two is just too strong. And thank God, there wasn’t a hint of insta-love. But what really made my heart explode for containing too much feels is the slow-burn romance. I can still feel everything fresh from the book. I can’t even compare their love story to Romeo and Juliet simply because it’s epic in it’s own.
But more than just the romance, this book is also about family and dysfunctions. Hadley and Sam both have issues in their families. With Hadley’s parents struggling relationship and Sam’s father abandoning them, it shows how these issues reflect on the characters’ personality and how they deal with it in different ways. It is really evident on how these family issues affect everyone and plays a major role in everyone’s lives. I appreciate how these “dysfunctions” where utilized in the plot to highlight a lot of different aspects and not just something to add to have a bit of drama.
I also love the dual POV that’s alternating between Hadley and Sam. They sound really different in these narrations that I can really feel every word and it pierces through me. I can’t even pick which POV I prefer because enjoyed reading in both.
There’s no reason to even put this book down once you start reading it. The narration will get you engaged, the plot is captivating and gripping and heart breaking… and the characters are just real and raw. I hope that’s enough to make you pick up this book and add Suffer Love on your shelves. Because, I am not kidding when I say that you need to read this book. It’s the perfect read especially for contemporary lovers.
Rating:4h

sufferlovecast


abouttheauthor
ashleyAshley Herring Blake is a poet, teacher, and YA novelist. Her debut novel, SUFFER LOVE, follows two teens as they attempt to wade through an intense relationship complicated by their parents’ infidelities. Ashley lives in Nashville, TN.
www.ashleyherringblake.com
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Win a SUFFER LOVE swag pack
Open Internationally.
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Suffer Love Blog Tour hosted by
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Blogiversary Celebration | Author Appreciation + WINNERS Week 1

winnerweek1Alas! It’s been a wonderful month celebration. But, before we get to the part that everyone’s been waiting for, let me first say thank you to the amazing authors who made this month of celebration possible.
Thank you Ms. Paula, Ms. Ann, Ms. Jenn, Ms. Stephanie & Ms. Kate for your contribution as I celebrate my 1st year of blogging! Sending all my love from my side of the world to yours!!!

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