Monday, July 16, 2018

The Black Key by Amy Ewing | Review

28512427Title: The Black Key
Author: Amy Ewing
Series: The Lone City #3
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: October 4, 2016

For too long, Violet and the people of the outer circles of the Lone City have lived a life of servitude, controlled and manipulated by the royalty of the Jewel. But now, the secret society known as the Black Key is preparing to seize power and knock down the walls dividing each circle.
And while Violet knows she is at the center of this rebellion, she has a more personal stake in it-for her sister, Hazel, has been taken by the Duchess of the Lake. Now, after fighting so hard to escape the Jewel, Violet must do everything in her power to return, to save not only Hazel, but the future of the Lone City.

-what i liked-

  • The romance. I actually didn't mind it in this book. Ash kind of got on my nerves in the other books, but he finally grew on me, I guess!
  • Violet. She annoyed me for so many books, but I liked that she was finally about to do the fighting. She even came up with the big plan by herself, which I loved. 
  • The setting shifted back to the Jewel. I kind of missed this place, even though it was messed up. 
  • There was a good ending. I feel like the characters got what they all deserved.
 -what i disliked-
  • I feel like there was so much buildup only for nothing to really happen at the end. The whole book focused on this one main event happening at the end of the book, and I feel like it happened so quickly. I expected more. 
Overall, I wasn't the biggest fan of this series. Sure, it's a quick read, but it was too much like other dystopian series I've read, so I wouldn't exactly recommend checking it out if you're a huge dystopian fan. If you're not as used to reading dystopians, then definitely check it out. 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Bookstagram/Blogging Tips & Tricks! | SBPT '18

This week, I thought it would be helpful to share some tips and tricks about blogging and bookstagram!

My blogging tips:
1. Schedule posts! I am writing this as I'm working on scheduling this very post, haha. It's extremely helpful to do this because you never know if life will get in the way. It also makes blogging way less stressful to know that you have things scheduled ahead of time. Along with this, invest in using a planner or a calendar! I just use Google Calendar to help know when I'm scheduling posts, and it works wonders. 
2. Participate in weekly features or memes! It's a great way to meet other bloggers and get involved in the book community. I always find new awesome blogs to follow through weekly features like Top Ten Tuesday and Stacking the Shelves. 
3. Love what you do! If you love reading and you love posting your thoughts, then you're already doing this. 
4. Don't obsess over numbers. It's never good to constantly check your pageviews or your follower count. I used to do this when I just started blogging, but now I don't even pay attention to it. I just love that people take the time to check out my blog and I focus on enjoying everything I post!
5. Don't be afraid to write a negative review. I used to just not write reviews for books I didn't enjoy, but now I've finally got the guts to say when there are things I don't enjoy about books. We all have different opinions, and publishers and authors know that. It's important to be honest and share your thoughts, even if other people don't agree!

Paige's bookstagram tips: 
1) If anyone proclaims to have insider tips on how the algorithm works, DO NOT BELIEVE THEM. They're in it for the views. The only thing you need to know about the algorithm is that it sucks and the best way to deal with it is to make sure you have a group (or four, no judging) of friends that you can share your photos to and they'll comment and like them. Make sure to reciprocate.
2) Network. If you stay within your group the whole time, how do you plan to reach new people? Networking can help you get new followers and new ideas. Network by going to new tags and commenting/liking a few photos, joining photo challenges, and by exploring that suggested feed you keep seeing in your activities section and your search section.
3) Reciprocate, reciprocate, reciprocate. You cannot expect to gain thousands of followers by just posting pictures. You have to appreciate others hard work too and let them know about it. And that doesn't mean like every photo in your feed. I do that, but it takes about 2-3 hours (and that's without Instagram acting out and blocking me). You can reciprocate the love you see on your photos by sharing pictures of some of your followers or some newbies to bookstagram. You can also host or participate in shoutout-for-shoutouts occasionally, go through a tag and like some photos, and commenting. Commenting has been shown to improve your photos visibility so it's a big deal. Nothing less than five words (not counting emojis) and that will boost that photo in the algorithm.
4) As I've stated before join a group (or pod as they're sometimes called) of friends or new people that you will share your photos to and who will comment and like them. They're not only tools against the algorithm, but they are also good for other tips and tricks to bookstagram. If you get a good one they'll also tell you what you need to do to improve your photography skill and when the best time to post is.
5) And finally hashtags. I can't tell you how many photos I see with no hashtags or just one or two. You get a chance to put up to 30 for one photo, USE THEM ALL. And there should always be a healthy balance between large, medium, and small hashtags you use. Use #bookstagram or #bookish for those large ones, #bookstagramallstar or #bookshelfenvy for those medium ones, and photo challenge ones for the small ones. And never stick to the same ones for long. You won't attract new people by keeping the same hashtags. Change it up every once in awhile or swap hashtags with your pod members.

Bonus: 6) If you really want to win rep searches you need to show interest before the rep search. That means following the shop, sharing their posts occasionally, liking the photos, and commenting. Don't expect you can just appear out of nowhere and become a rep. While that rarely works for some people, most people will have been friends or at least acquaintances to the shop owner before then. Be a visible, reliable force for that shop owner before the rep searches that way when they open one up and see your entry, they'll definitely remember you. Also, make sure you read the whole caption through and follow their instructions to a T. Remember that if you don't win a rep search it's not the end of the world. Don't unfollow the shop out of revenge. Show them you would have been a better rep than those they chose. If you can't afford the product, use photoshop to crop them into your pictures.

Friday, July 13, 2018

July Book Haul (2)

For review:
Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson
Salt by Hannah Moskowitz
Art Boss by Kayla Cagan

The Future Will Be BS Free by Will McIntosh
The Echo Room by Parker Peevyhouse
Girl at the Grave by Teri Bailey Black

Fire & Heist by Sarah Beth Durst
The Orphan's Wish by Melanie Dickerson
White as Silence, Red as Song by Alessandro D'avenia 

The Lantern's Ember by Colleen Houck
The Good Demon by Jimmy Cajoleas
Body Swap by Sylvia McNicoll

What books have you gotten this week?