Jamie is a 28 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating gelato, listening to music with oversized headphones and teaching her niece how to be as awesome as she is.

A Very Handmade Holiday– Day #7

holiday-blog-giveaways

 

Hi friends! I know I don’t do a lot of giveaways on this site (not as many as I wish I could do to share the love) but I really wanted to give back to you guys. You give me so much all year round — friendship, encouragement, book recs, laughs, lovely comments and support — so I wanted to do a week of giveaways to show my appreciation. I decided to collab with some of my favorite Etsy shops and artists to give you some unique presents!

Welcome to the VERY LAST GIVEAWAY in my A Very Handmade Holiday series! I had so much fun doing this and I hope you all have discovered some new Etsy shops to bookmark!

 

Today I have Cara from Cara’s Bookish Charms! I’ve worked with her before for a Stephanie Perkins themed bracelet and she is so lovely (plus she is a Stephanie Perkins fans so instafriends!). I LOVE her shop. Seriously I want so many things. People who are fans of the following things are ESPECIALLY going to want to check out her shop: Harry Potter, Outlander, Game of Thrones, The Mortal Instruments, classic literature, Alice in Wonderland, The Princess Pride, John Green and more! Like way more. I could spend hours on her shop.

 

iusb_760x100.14669768_koac*click banner to go to her shop*

 

Here are some of my favorite items from her shop:

 

 

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THE GIVEAWAY

Cara is offering up, to one lucky winner, a necklace (a mini book cover or quote) of your choice! She also has a special code for 15% off for all my readers to her shop and it’s valid until January 31. Code is PAGETURNER15.

 

 

 

Rules:

- This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– You must be 13 years or older to enter.
– No purchase necessary to enter.
– Giveaway ends January 4th @ 11:59 EST.

Enter

 

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

10 Best Backlist Books I Read In 2014

So I’ve already shared my favorite 2014 releases (non-debuts) and my seven favorite debut novels of YA! Today I want to talk about all the pre-2014 books I read this year! So I’m defining BACKLIST, for this purpose, as anything that was published pre-2014. It’s important to me as a reader/blogger to not forget about older stuff…plus I always miss SO many things.

So here are my 10 favorite backlist books I read this year!

 

best YA books

 

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch (published 2013) : Oh man this book really got to me! Definitely an underrated one! The sisters in this story just will haunt me — everything they went through. But oh my heart had warm and fuzzies by the end of this!
If I Lie by Corrinne Jackson (2012): SERIOUSLY SUCH AN UNDERRATED BOOK! This one made me sob! It was short and I read it all in one day!
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (2011): This was one of the books on my Halloween reading list. It was not scary to me as the cover made me think it might be (creepy kids!!) BUT all of the supernatural/magic stuff was awesome and it was brilliantly written! Cannot wait to read more of this series!
Saving Francesca/The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta (2006 & 2010): I’m putting these together for one because The Piper’s Son is a companion to Saving Francesca (though it can totally be read by itself though you won’t feel as if you are visiting old friends like you do if you read Saving Francesca first). Marchetta is a genius and I’m glad now I’ve read more of her than just Jellicoe Road (which I super loved). I loved both the perspectives of Francesca and then of Thomas Mackee. HIS STORY HURT ME SQUARE IN THE FEELS.

Throne of Glass/Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas (2012 & 2013) : I’m SO happy I finally jumped on this bandwagon because it’s given me this appetite for fantasy now! Heir of Fire (book 3) made my best of 2014 releases list and these books were VERY high on my list this year of books I’ve read. OH MY GOODNESS. They just keep getting better and better.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (2013): This was definitely one of the best adult fiction books I read this year! SO FUNNY and sweet and I just couldn’t put it down!
Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas (2013): WOW. If you like thriller/mystery kinds of books, this one was just so twisty and awesome. Took a ripped from the headlines story and just kept me guessing until the final page.

How To Love by Katie Cotugno (2013): This book was incredible! I tend to steer away from teen pregnancy books just because a lot of them don’t seem like my thing but this book just captivated me! Love me some complicated, messy relationships!

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay (2012): Hands down one of the most all-consuming reading experiences I had this year! This book is beautiful and sad and tragic and hopeful and OMG MY EMOTIONS.

How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford (2009): THIS BOOK is such an underrated gem! Friendship! Finding oneself! If you like quirky characters and stories, check this one out!

 

 

Tell me which backlist books you read and LOVED this year! I’m always wanting to make sure I don’t skip excellent books from years past!

A Very Handmade Holiday– Day #6 (Two giveaways in one)

holiday-blog-giveaways

 

Hi friends! I know I don’t do a lot of giveaways on this site (not as many as I wish I could do to share the love) but I really wanted to give back to you guys. You give me so much all year round — friendship, encouragement, book recs, laughs, lovely comments and support — so I wanted to do a week of giveaways to show my appreciation. I decided to collab with some of my favorite Etsy shops and artists to give you some unique presents!

 

Today is actually two giveaways in one post!!!

 

First up we have Becca from Pivot Book Reviews! She makes some awesome book-inspired handpainted totes and sells them at her Etsy shop called Pivot Book Totes. The best part is she takes custom orders and I’ve LOVED seeing what people have asked her to make and what she’s come up with from there.

 

 

Here are some of my favorite totes she’s done so far:

 

BuTuSZcIIAAFAcS

 

 Fangirl toteBvCEQxaIAAA1Wj7

 BvXVLszIUAArN9w

BtBVH1nCMAIQNaV
ByE2AT9IcAAmz1M

 

THE GIVEAWAY

Becca is offering up an Ignite Me tote for fans of the Shatter Me series — a series which I SUPER love and it came to an end this year! If you aren’t a Shatter Me series fan, I highly recommend considering contacting her for a custom tote at some point!

 

Ignite Me tote

 

Rules:

- This giveaway is US only.
– You must be 13 years or older to enter.
– No purchase necessary to enter.
– Giveaway ends January 3rd @ 11:59 EST.

Enter

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Giveaway #2

So one of my favorite places to read is my bathtub. My bathtub in my apartment isn’t the best and so I really, really miss the big ol’ tub from my childhood home these days but I STILL love drawing up a nice bath and reading to unwind. Normally with a glass of wine.

In honor of bathtub reading, I’ve teamed up with a new Etsy shop called Sustainable Stead to give you some goodies for your bath! I’m all about homemade soaps and these look lovely!

I’m really eyeing up this Rose infused goat milk soap to use in my own bath!
(ingredients: Organic coconut oil, Goats Milk, Rose essential oil, Rose petals)

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I also REALLY want to soak in my tub with this oatmeal rose soap satchet!

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Giveaway

These lovely ladies are offering up 3 soaps to one lucky winner!

Rules:

- This giveaway is US only.
– You must be 13 years or older to enter.
– No purchase necessary to enter.
– Giveaway ends January 3rd @ 11:59 EST.

Enter

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Very Handmade Holiday– Day #5

holiday-blog-giveaways

 

Hi friends! I know I don’t do a lot of giveaways on this site (not as many as I wish I could do to share the love) but I really wanted to give back to you guys. You give me so much all year round — friendship, encouragement, book recs, laughs, lovely comments and support — so I wanted to do a week of giveaways to show my appreciation. I decided to collab with some of my favorite Etsy shops and artists to give you some unique presents!

 

Today I’m featuring a shop who is brand new to the bookish Etsy scene and I think it is SUPER adorable. She does a necklace and a print set which makes the perfect gift for a bookish friend…or for yourself. Because, TREAT YO SELF.

 

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*banner will take you to her shop*

I can’t wait to see how her shop grows because the designs, jewelry and concept are adorable!!

 

Here are some of my favorite things so far from her shop:

 

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THE GIVEAWAY

 

The lovely lady at BookSphere is offering up your choice of  ONE ITEM from her shop!

 

Rules:

- This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.
– You must be 13 years or older to enter.
– No purchase necessary to enter.
– Giveaway ends January 2nd @ 11:59 EST.

Enter



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck book nerds!!

A Very Handmade Holiday– Day #4

holiday-blog-giveaways

 

Hi friends! I know I don’t do a lot of giveaways on this site (not as many as I wish I could do to share the love) but I really wanted to give back to you guys. You give me so much all year round — friendship, encouragement, book recs, laughs, lovely comments and support — so I wanted to do a week of giveaways to show my appreciation. I decided to collab with some of my favorite Etsy shops and artists to give you some unique presents!

 

Today I’m featuring a shop who makes the most darling jewelry that every book lover needs!! I mean, jewelry that lets me wear my favorite book around my neck all loud and proud? UM YEAH. Meet Tiny Book Town!

 

iusb_760x100.13696302_38ep*banner will take you to her shop*

 

Her designs are adorable — such a nice mix of classics and YA. And I really love that she has different sizes for the book charms.

 

il_570xN.680105612_ipniAll photos from TinyBookTown

 

 

 

Here are some of my favorite things from her shop:

 

 

To Kill A Mockingbird To Kill A Mockingbird necklace

Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss necklace

Charlotte’s Web!!

charlotte's web necklace

Paper Towns necklace

john green necklace

Jane Austen necklace

Jane Austen jewelry

 

 

 

THE GIVEAWAY

 

The lovely lady at TinyBookTown is offering up your choice of  ONE ITEM.

 

Rules:

- This giveaway is US ONLY.
– You must be 13 years or older to enter.
– No purchase necessary to enter.
– Giveaway ends January 1st @ 11:59 EST.

Enter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck book nerds!!

A Very Handmade Holiday– Day #3

holiday-blog-giveaways

 

Hi friends! I know I don’t do a lot of giveaways on this site (not as many as I wish I could do to share the love) but I really wanted to give back to you guys. You give me so much all year round — friendship, encouragement, book recs, laughs, lovely comments and support — so I wanted to do a week of giveaways to show my appreciation. I decided to collab with some of my favorite Etsy shops and artists to give you some unique presents!

 

Today I’m featuring a shop run by a blogger I SUPER DUPER LOVE:

 

THE ART OF YOUNG ADULT

 

Guys, Gillian is amazing. I’ve gotten to hang with her IRL and I love her blog to pieces — she’s smart and passionate and has damn good taste in books. SEEEE, proof! We were even twinning a little bit with our stripes.

 

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And did you know she is an amaaaazing talented artist?? She recently opened a Society6 shop this year and it’s AMAZING and so I’m so very happy to partner with her on this because I legit want SO many things from her shop — The Art of Young Adult.  (Also you HAVE to check out her Tumblr which has even more amazing fan art!)

 

 

 

Here are some of my favorite things from her shop:

 

Throne of Glass series mug

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If I Stay print — Mia with her cello <333

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Anna and the French Kiss phone case

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Cath & Levi (Fangirl) reading in bed

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Eleanor & Park t-shirt

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Isla & the Happily Ever After

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(All images belong to Gillian so don’t be a douchenozzle and try to use them for your own purposes)

THE GIVEAWAY

 

Gillian is offering up your choice of any item UNDER $20.

 

Rules:

- This giveaway is US ONLY.
– You must be 13 years or older to enter.
– No purchase necessary to enter.
– Giveaway ends December 31 @ 11:59 EST.

Enter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck book nerds!!

A Very Handmade Holiday– Day #2

holiday-blog-giveaways

 

Hi friends! I know I don’t do a lot of giveaways on this site (not as many as I wish I could do to share the love) but I really wanted to give back to you guys. You give me so much all year round — friendship, encouragement, book recs, laughs, lovely comments and support — so I wanted to do a week of giveaways to show my appreciation. I decided to collab with some of my favorite Etsy shops and artists to give you some unique presents!

 

Today I’m featuring a shop that I’ve featured an item from before! If you read my ten bookish things I need, you’ve seen it!

iusb_760x100.14546170_mo9w

 

I LOVE Shaileyann’s designs SO MUCH. I’m such a sucker for pretty typography and I loooove literary quotes and inspiration quotes to hang around my home! She has tons of stuff perfect for fans of Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Dr. Who, John Green and more! She even does gorgeous invites that I have my eye on for the next event I have to throw!

 

Here are some of my favorite things from her shop:

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Hank Green quote

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Eleanor & Park quote
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Dr. Who Quote

il_570xN.658374162_qn2zLooking For Alaska inspired — From the book — “Francois Rabelais. He was a poet. And his last words were “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” That’s why I’m going. So I don’t have to wait until I die to start seeking a Great Perhaps.”

il_570xN.628172434_pzmyJK Rowling quote

 

The lovely Shaileyann is offering up one free 11×17 print to one lucky winner!! You have no idea how jealous I am of the winner.

 

Rules:

- This giveaway is US ONLY (unless you are willing to pay shipping).
– You must be 13 years or older to enter.
– No purchase necessary to enter.
– Giveaway ends December 30 @ 11:59 EST.

Enter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck book nerds!!

Top Twelve 2014 Releases (Non-Debuts)

Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten Favorite Books of 2014

I decided to break up my lists because choosing 10 out of all the books I’ve read is SO HARD. For this one I chose my favorite 2014 releases (non-debuts) because I shared my top debut novels of 2014 so you should check that out. That being said Falling Into Place, Open Road Summer, Rites of Passage, and Even In Paradise SO would be on this list had I not broken it up in this way because they were DEFINITELY in my top reads of the year!

best books of 2014

AHHH and I’m a dummy and I realized that even though I read these two books before 2014 they are two 2014 releases that should be on this list: The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson and We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski: If you like fantasy, get this. If you don’t like fantasy, get this. It’s a really good series for people who aren’t really into magic-y kind of stuff. AND THE ROMANCE. THE WORDS. YOU GUYS. (and the sequel is soooo good).

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson: If I were forced to pick ONE favorite of all the books of 2014 it might be this one. Yeah, I’m pretty sure it would be.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson: Another major WIN for me with Morgan Matson. If you like contemporary YA (think: Sarah Dessen) and like reading about friendships and finding yourself, GET ON THIS.

Life By Committee by Corey Ann Haydu: Definitely the most underrated on my list! It was so thought-provoking and challenged me as a reader. Loved the plot, loved the main character (even when she was hard to like!).

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid: I want to give this to all my married friends basically! And everyone really. It personally made me think SOOOO much about my own marriage.

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins: Was so worth the wait but I’m sad to see this particular companion series be over. Excited for what Steph will do next though!

Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas: This is a third book in a series so if you haven’t read the first (Throne of Glass) make that your 2015 New Years Resolution. THIS BOOK. THIS SERIES. It’s an all time favorite.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell: Rainbow’s books just work for me so much! This also made me think a lot about my marriage and relationships. I read this before I read After I Do but they had very similar kind of themes.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: If you don’t like typical dystopian /post apocalyptic books, this is for  you. It’s very realistic but goes back and forth between the before/during the flu outbreak/twenty years with those who had survived. IT WAS AMAZING. Easily top 3 of the year for me!

The Young Elites by Marie Lu: I COULD NOT PUT THIS DOWN. Marie Lu has created an amazing start to a new fantasy series and I want to cry about the wait until next year for book 2.

Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour: This is another one that didn’t get a lot of spotlight this year but is soooo deserving of it!

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han: I loved this book so much. If you are into lighter contemporary YA and love sister relationships being explored in your books, get on it. It’s a duology and you have no idea how bad I need book 2.

<< Check out my FAVORITE DEBUTS OF 2014 — some of which were my ALL TIME FAVORITE books of this year!!>>

 

So tell me…what were you favorite books of 2014??

A Very Handmade Holiday– A Week Of Giveaways

holiday-blog-giveaways

Hi friends! I know I don’t do a lot of giveaways on this site (at least not as many as I wish I could share with you) but I really wanted to give back to you guys. You give me so much all year round — friendship, encouragement, book recs, laughs, lovely comments and support — so I wanted to do a week of giveaways to show my appreciation. I decided to collab with some of my favorite Etsy shops and artists to give you some unique presents!

 

First up is an Etsy shop that I’d been bookmarking for a while AND they also run a bookish blog!

 

iusb_760x100.10648990_eydg

 

Appraising Pages has some of the cutest literary apparel I’ve seen on Etsy! They even have some comic & tv inspired items since we book nerds tend to also have interests there too!

Now take a moment to drool with me over some of my favorites in their shop:

 

literary YA clothing

 

The lovely ladies are offering up a $30 credit to their shop to one lucky winner so you can pick out your own literary inspired clothing!

Rules:

- This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– You must be 13 years or older to enter.
– No purchase necessary to enter.
– Giveaway ends December 29 @ 11:59 EST.

Enter

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Good luck book nerds!!

Seven 2014 Debuts That Shouldn’t Be Missed

Over the course of the coming weeks I’m going to lay my favorites out for you! Yesterday I talked about my favorite new-to-me authors I discovered this year! In the coming weeks I will talk about my favorite 2014 releases (non-debuts), books that should have been talked about more and my favorite backlist books I read this year. And, like the past couples years, I’ll do a favorite of everything music/tv/movies/etc — all things not books!

I still have a couple weeks left and some debuts I’m sure I’ll sneak in before the year ends but today I want to talk about my favorite debut novels of 2014! There were some incredibly strong debuts that got high marks from me!!

Best YA debuts 2014

 

Far From You by Tess Sharpe

This emotional mystery just completely wrecked me as Sophie searches for who murdered her best friend Mina when everybody, because of Sophie’s past, chalks it up to a drug deal gone wrong but Sophie knows the truth that she’s been clean and it wasn’t random.  (My review of Far From You)

Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot

I’m telling you, the summary doesn’t do this book justice at all. This book was enchanting, heart-smashing, beautiful and bittersweet. Plus it was well written to boot. I found myself so mesmerized, like the main character Charlotte does, with the enigmatic new friend Julia and her well-to-do family with secrets of their own. (My review of Even In Paradise)

Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Adi’s debut was so impressive and beautiful. It’s about a girl on a road trip and we see her from the 4 teens that meet her in different places along the way in different circumstances.  Then we get the perspective of the girl we’ve gotten to know through the eyes of others and her viewpoint…well I didn’t see that coming. I will say I had a slow start with the beginning bc of some insta-love but then WOW. (My review of Let’s Get Lost)

Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

THIS BOOK HAD ME UP UNTIL 1AM SOBBING — a wrecking ball to the heart it was.  And I’m an old lady so you know it’s serious if I’m up that late. Quiet and unassuming and then an onslaught of emotional chaos for me by the end. I loved the beautiful prose and the unique narration and how it added to my mounting “pit-in-the-stomach” feeling while reading this one. (My review of Falling Into Place)

Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

I knew I was probably going to LIKE this one but the amount of which I FREAKING LOVED IT..I could not have predicted that. It was an all-consuming reading experience..just ask Will. I was screaming at the book and talking to it and flailing. (My review of Rites of Passage)

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Ahhh this book was a very popular debut and RIGHTLY SO. Like so totally deserving. Music, bffs, romance, road tripping it. I’m telling you…watch out for Emery Lord. She’s going to be a staple in the YA contemporary scene. (My review Open Road Summer)

Wish You Were Italian by Kristin Rae

This one was so fun but also it had serious bits in it that I didn’t expect. Kristin Rae just absolutely transported me to Italy and I did NOT want this book to be over! (My review of Wish You Were Italian)

 

Tell me YOUR favorite debut of 2014!!

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