Thursday, May 24, 2018

{Review} The Princess Saves Herself In This One (Women Are Some Kind of Magic #1) by Amanda Lovelace

30075802
Page Count: 156
Published on: April 23, 2016
Published by: Createspace
Genre(s): Poetry, Feminism, Nonfiction, Anthology
Source: Paperback 
Age Rating: YA
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon
Book Depository: {click here}


My Rating: 4 stars









Goodreads synopsis:

"Ah, life- the thing that happens to us while we're off somewhere else blowing on dandelions & wishing ourselves into the pages of our favorite fairy tales."

A poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. The princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. Explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations.
 



~~~

Hey, guys!

      I've always been a fan of poetry, but this poetry anthology/collection really blew me away. I really enjoyed Amanda Lovelace's perspective and really appreciated the personalization and raw emotion that was put into this book. The amount of creativity, depth, and love that went into these poems is so evident and her desire to use her heartbreak and experiences to help those who read her work is inspiring and beautiful. I was really wary to actually read this when it first came out because of the disappointment that I experienced when reading Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. 

    Within the first few pages of this book I was blown away by her experiences. The poems were gorgeous and her message was so encouraging. I felt really empowered by these poems and I think that this book would be very important to those who share similar stories to Amanda. I know for a fact that this book, and Amanda's other work, has inspired my friends and positively influenced them. Though I cannot directly relate to all that she wrote on, I know that this book has the capability to empower and help those who do share her experiences. 

Other Verse Novels That I've Reviewed:

Olivia
~LivTheBookNerd~

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

{Review} The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black

26032825

Page Count: 370
Published on: January 2, 2018
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre(s): YA, Fantasy (Fae/Fairy/Fairies/Faeries), High Fantasy, Romance
Source: Hardback- personally purchased
Age Rating: YA
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon
Book Depository: {click here}


My Rating: 5 stars







Goodreads synopsis:

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.


Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.



~~~

Hey, guys!

     The Cruel Prince was one of the first books that I purchased in 2018. Unfortunately, I put off reading it until March. Man was that a dumb idea! Oh my gosh this book was so stunning! I'm obsessed! The world building, the characters, the conflict, the Faerie court, the whole plot, the political intrigue!!! Everything was done so fantastically! This book has become one of my new favorite books. I love love loved this book! I'm going to try to write a review that you all can understand, but it is going to be so hard not to gush in this review because I loved it so much

     The Cruel Prince follows Jude. When Jude was seven, her parents were murdered and she and her sisters were stolen away to live in the High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude just wants to belong in the Faerie Court, however; she is basically treated like a glorified pet and is rebuked because of her mortality. Jude becomes deeply engrossed in her desires to fit in and begins to become embroiled in the political schemes and intrigue that is frequent in the Faerie Court. Jude has to make the choice to risk her life to save the people that mean the most and the least to her. 

     Before reading The Cruel Prince, I really was not a fan of Holly Black. Her work just did not impress me. A few years ago, I read her Spiderwick Chronicles and I wasn't overly impressed. I then I tried to get into her Magisterium series that she writes with Cassandra Clare and I really wasn't impressed. However, this book has introduced me to her YA writing and I'm in love! I love her fae worlds so much! In my opinion, her YA writing style is so much more compelling than her middle grade. I cannot wait to dive into her other work and I definitely cannot wait to read The Wicked King. The Cruel Prince has definitely become one of my favorite books of 2018 and probably one of my new favorite books of all time. Yeah. It's that good.

     Let's dive into the characters in this book because... spoiler alert! I loved them all. They were just so incredibly complex and interesting. I absolutely adore Jude. She's very flawed and almost annoying at times, but I honestly loved reading from her perspective. She's sarcastic, she's fierce, she's strong. I just loved her character overall. I just loved how she rose above her tragedy and worked to make her life more fulfilling. Her goals for her life were so interesting and her story was so addicting. I cannot wait to see what she does next. Her relationships with her family and adopted family were so fascinating. I can't help but wonder what she'll do next in book two. Her relationship with Cardan was also so strange. I'm not sure how I feel about what happened at the end of the book. I just desperately need the story to continue so I can see what happens next. 

     I'm just going to flat out admit that I loved Cardan. I think he's just as complex and intriguing as Jude. I think that his character is one of my favorites. His history and personality are just so thought provoking. He is a complete d-bag, but wow...he has a story to tell. I cannot wait to continue read more about him in The Wicked King. He has so many LAYERS! Call him Shrek, because the dude is just wow. I have no words. I just cannot wait to continue his story.

     Holly Black has a talent to write whimsical yet dark magical worlds with dark and mysterious fey people. The world was so twisted and her world was so fabulously written that I did not want the book to end. The book was just so immersive and addicting. I loved how there was a larger focus on the political intrigue rather than the potential romance. The romance is somewhat woven throughout the story, but it definitely is not the focus. I adored that. Her faerie world that she has created is so different from the whimsical fae that I'm familiar with. I'm so excited to read more of Holly Black's work. 

    Overall, I just adored this book. I cannot wait for the sequel or the finale. I need it in my life and I will continue to impatiently wait for January. I'm just honestly hoping that my pre-order will come at least a day in advance from Amazon, but I doubt it will happen. I'm just so in love with this book. I recommend it to everyone. It's just wonderfully done. I'm so impatient for more! 

My Previous Holly Black Reviews:

Happy reading!
Olivia
~LivTheBookNerd~

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

{Guest Review: Courtney} My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

23604559Page Count: 370
Published on: June 16, 2015
Published by: Washington Square Press
Genre(s): Fiction, Fantasy, Contemporary
Source: Paperback- bought
Age Rating: YA
Where to Find: Goodreads // Amazon // Book Depository
My Rating: 4.75 stars









Goodreads Synopsis:
Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa's best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother's stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.


When Elsa's grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa's greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother's letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.
 ~~~


Hello Livthebooknerd readers!


It’s Courtney, back with a review of Fredrik Backman’s My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell you She’s Sorry. Last month (April), Liv, Mallory and I traveled to Indianapolis and visited three book stores where I gladly spent my paycheck on some books right before our finals began. Liv managed to talked me into purchasing this book at one of the three Half Priced Books stores we visited. I’m not going to lie, I was afraid to read this at first because I was extremely close with my grandmother who passed away last summer but I am so glad I did.
I related to Elsa so much in this book. Growing up I did not have many friends, I was the brunt of unwanted teasing in school, and I was an outsider.  Likewise, I was also very close to my grandmother like Elsa, and I consider my grandmother to be my superhero. Elsa’s grandmother was described as eccentric, nutty and very independent. My grandma was very independent but unlike Elsa’s grandmother she was not shooting paint balls at people from her balcony. Her grandmother may seem out there from the surface but when you get to know her you discover so much more. Granny loves Elsa with all her heart and would do literally anything for her. Granny is able to show Elsa what it means to love others, and to be loved, and gives her the gift of friendship.
This book takes place in two worlds, our world and the world of Miramas. Miramas is where Elsa and her grandmother go to quite often throughout the novel. Miramas is located in the Land of Almost Awake and it becomes a very complex kingdom that, I admit, had a hard time following at times. Granny and Elsa live in an apartment complex together shared by an array of characters. In the beginning I thought I knew who the characters were, but by the end you realize there is more than meets the eye. The book teaches you not to judge a person by who they may seem to be if you do not take the time to get to know them first. Backman is able to link their stories together is such a fantastic way and we soon realize there is more than meets the eye and their stories will break you. Their stories make the fairy tale part of this book so much easier to understand.
Elsa’s granny does unfortunately die in the beginning of the book and Elsa is forced to take on the world without her superhero by her side and we follow her on her journey through grief. This book would have been perfect to read last summer after losing my grandmother as I was able to relate to what Elsa was feeling because my grandmother was also my superhero. This book helped me remember memories with my grandmother and at times it had me crying my eyes out at work and other times it had me smiling from ear to ear.

Fairytales are not just for children like we think they are, anyone at any age would enjoy this book and it is one I am so glad I decided to read.

Thank you guys for reading! Courtney {Instagram}

Thursday, May 17, 2018

{Review} Language of Thorns (Grishaverse #0.5, #2.5, #2.6) by Leigh Bardugo

34076952
Page Count: 281
Published on: September 26, 2017
Published by: Imprint
Genre(s): YA, Fantasy, Retellings, Anthology, Short Stories
Source: hardback -gift
Age Rating: YA
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon // Book Depository



My Rating: 4.75 stars





Goodreads synopsis:


Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid's voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy's bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.



~~~


Hey, guys!

     Back in December, my boyfriend's lovely family gifted me this book for Christmas. I was so excited to read the stories and be re-immersed into the Grisha world. This book totally lived up to the hype and my expectations. The stories were fantastic, the writing was A+ as always, the illustrations were stunning, and the book itself was just amazing. I love these stories so much. I couldn't find anything that I didn't like about this book. It was just straight-up awesome. Cue the excessive gushing and lack of critical analysis. 

     This book was just gorgeous! I'm so in love with the stories that Leigh Bardugo created for this world. Each story was so hauntingly beautiful and the language and imagery that they created were just so imaginative and stunning. I'm so pleased with both the physical look of the book and the actual content itself. The illustrations throughout the book were just so intricately done and the detail that went into their making is just astoundingly beautiful and perfectly reflected the stories and their spooky vibes. Each story was intricately crafted in a way that left you desperately wanting more, yet still satisfied with how their ending was summed up. 

      Each story in this Grisha anthology is inspired by common known and lesser known fairy tales, myths, and folklore. The five stories each represent the five areas/countries in the Grisha universe. The stories are such a fantastic representation of the Grisha world. Each story adds more to the world building and reveals a more in depth look at the history of the world.

Other Grisha Reviews:


Happy reading!
Olivia
~LivTheBookNerd~

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

{Review} Whisper by Lynette Noni

34020950
Page Count: 320
Published on: May 1, 2018
Published by: KCP Loft
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Paranormal
Source: Paperback ARC - provided by the publisher
Age Rating: YA
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon
Book Depository: {click here}


My Rating: 3 stars








Goodreads synopsis:

“Lengard is a secret government facility for extraordinary people,” they told me.

I believed them. That was my mistake.

There isn’t anyone else in the world like me.

I’m different. I’m an anomaly. I’m a monster. 


For two years, six months, fourteen days, eleven hours and sixteen minutes, Subject Six-Eight-Four — ‘Jane Doe’ — has been locked away and experimented on, without uttering a single word.

As Jane’s resolve begins to crack under the influence of her new — and unexpectedly kind — evaluator, she uncovers the truth about Lengard’s mysterious ‘program’, discovering that her own secret is at the heart of a sinister plot … and one wrong move, one wrong word, could change the world.



~~~

Hey, guys!

    Whisper follows Jane Doe. Jane has been locked in a secret facility for two years, six months, and fourteen plus days.  Jane's resolve to not crack under the pressures of the facility as she begins to uncover the history of the program that she was put into. The truth reveals a sinister plot and a sketchy group of people that will control Jane's fate and future. 

    This book has a really nice, solid start and a really intriguing premise, however, it seemed very very similar to Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me series...almost too similar for me. The characters in this book were not my favorite kinds of characters, but they were still very intriguing and fun to read about. Lynette Noni's writing style is so fast-paced and fun, but it does not make up for the things that I think the book lack. Although this book isn't my favorite of the KCP Loft releases of the past two years, it is still one of my favorites that they've sent me. I cannot wait for the sequel. I loved the ending of this book. 

     The characters in this story were all so interesting, but so eerily similar to Tahereh Mafi's characters as well. The main characters, Jane, is just so similar to Juliette and Ward is so similar to Warner. I cannot get past that. It just seems too convenient. I just did not enjoy that, but that's just me. I also really did not like Jane all that much. Her character was just so melodramatic. Granted, her backstory is so tragic and upsetting, but her attitude and narration style really made me annoyed and uncaring about her plight. It just became so unbelievable or underwhelming. The choices that she made throughout the book constantly caused me to roll my eyes 

      Although Jane isn't my favorite, I still really enjoyed her story. The plot of this book really intrigued me and genuinely did not really see the twists and turns that occurred coming. I really enjoyed the supernatural/paranormal aspects of this book. It was very similar to Shatter Me, but there were still some differences that set it apart. Her true name wasn't very awe-inspiring or interesting. I was a bit underwhelmed, but whatever. It's a name. 

      Although I wasn't completely impressed with this book, I was still really entertained. I did genuinely enjoy this book, but it wasn't my favorite. I do want to read the sequel. I think that it will stray away from the similarities to Shatter Me, but I cannot completely disregard the possibility that it may just be another Shatter Me retelling in Australia. The similarities between the two were the main cause for my discontent, however, I am still intrigued to continue on with reading Noni's writing. I really enjoyed it as a whole. 

Reviews for Books Mentioned:

Happy reading!
Olivia
~LivTheBookNerd~

Friday, May 11, 2018

{LivTheBookClub} May 2018



Hey, guys!

If you follow me on Instagram, or any of my other social media, you'll know that the book club is BACK ON! Julia and I have decided to officially make the Liv the Book Club a summer book club. We have announced the summer reading picks for each month {here}. 

In May we are reading:

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang!!!


34506912


Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.

Page Count: 288
Release Date: February 13, 2018
Publisher: First Second
Goodreads Average Rating: 4.47 stars

Author Twitter: {@alooghobi}
Author Instagram: @wangstagram
Author Website: {click}

Book Club Goodreads Discussion: {click here}
Discussion Start Date: May 13-May 29

Connect with our social media here:

Book Club Links:
Goodreads: {click here}
Twitter: @livthebookclub
Instagram: @livthebookclub
Facebook: {click here}


Liv's Social Media:
Twitter: @livthebooknerd
Instagram: @livthebooknerd
YouTube Channel [ON HIATUS- COMING BACK SOON!]: {click here}
Blog: {click here}
Bloglovin: {click here}
Tumblr {click here}
Book Depository Affiliate Link {click here}


Julia's Social Media:
Twitter: @jujuthereader
Instagram: @jujuthereader
Goodreads: {click here}

~LivTheBookNerd~


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

{Author Interview + Teaser} Mary Ting the Author of ISAN





Page Count: 330 
Published on: June 5, 2018
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Genre(s): YA, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Romance
Age Rating: YA
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon // Book Depository


Goodreads synopsis:

The world has changed.
Scientists warned it would happen.

Meteors devastated the Earth. World Governments developed plans to help surviving citizens. The United States disbanded and salvageable land was divided into four quadrants—North, South, East, and West—governed by The Remnant Council.

Struggling to survive, seventeen-year-old Ava ends up in juvenile detention, until she is selected for a new life—with a catch. She must be injected with an experimental serum. The results will be life changing. The serum will make her better. To receive the serum Ava agrees to join a program controlled by ISAN, the International Sensory Assassin Network.

While on a mission, she is abducted by a rebel group led by Rhett and told that not only does she have a history with him, but her entire past is a lie perpetuated by ISAN to ensure her compliance. Unsure of who to trust, Ava must decide if her strangely familiar and handsome captor is her enemy or her savior—and time is running out.

~~~

Hey, guys!

I got the pleasure of interviewing the lovely Mary Ting about her upcoming release, ISAN! I'm so excited to read this book! Interviewing Mary was so much fun.She's an amazing person! I love what she stands for!

~~~



LTBN: What inspires you to write? When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
MT: I’ve taught kindergarten for almost 20 years. I began writing when my grandmother passed away and based the first book, Crossroads, on dreams I had in high school. Never did I wanted to be an author. It happened by chance. Writing helped me grieve the loss of my grandmother, so in a way, I feel like it was a gift from her. Now I have about 30 books under Mary Ting and my pen name for romance, M. Clarke.
         LTBN: Do real people or real events inspire your novels?
MT: Yes. Crossroads is based on my dreams from high school. Chapters one and two are based on true events. Most of the characters in that novel are based on people I know or have passed away. Some of my books are set in places I had visited.
LTBN: What was your favorite part of writing this novel?
MT: Am I allowed to say everything? LOL. I love the characters, especially Ava and Rhett. I have to have action, mystery, and for sure romance in my stories. I write a story I want to read.
LTBN: What is your favorite genre to write?
MT: I love fantasy. Under M. Clarke, I write New Adult romance. I enjoy writing them, but fantasy is what I love to write the most.
LTBN: In your author biography, I saw that you tour with the Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy. Why do you think literacy is such an important topic and how does literacy impact the communities you visit? 
MT: Having an experience of being a teacher for almost 20 years have opened my eyes to different communities and the lack of early childhood education. They need to be exposed in the early years … I believe from the time they are born. They are a sponge ready to soak it all in. Many families didn’t have a single book in their homes. This knowledge crushed me. Some parents would say … my child doesn’t like to read.  No, not true. They just need to find the genre they love. We are all different, with different taste. Thank you!



   


~~~~~~ Teaser: ~~~~~~

“Would you like my assistance? Or you can just stand there so I can stare at you a bit longer.”
Startled, I whirled toward the sound of a familiar, seductive voice. Sniper stood by the walk-in closet in a cool, relaxed manner with his hand braced on the door. His hair was slicked back, looking polished and debonair. My heart pummeled, but not in fear.
Was I crazy to be attracted to him? Mesmerized by the black tuxedo forming to his perfect body, I stared at him and wondered if I’d dreamed him up. His presence confirmed I hadn’t imagined him above the stairs earlier. Then I wondered if he’d come alone.
“How’d you know I was here?”
Unnerved, I gritted my teeth. He hadn’t heeded my warning to stay away. I should scream or plan an escape out of the bathroom, but I couldn’t move or think. His presence stirred my curiosity and I wanted answers, especially when the lunatic thought he knew me.
“It doesn’t concern you,” he said.
His nonchalant tone caused me to raise my voice. “The hell it doesn’t.”
“I’ll explain later.”
I scoffed. “Are you here to try to kidnap me again?”
I might not have Helix, but I had my heels and months of training backing me up. If there was one thing I was good at, it was bringing a person to their knees. Courage grew inside me and I dropped my dress.
Sniper snapped out of his stupor and his amber eyes grew darker. “Where are my manners? I admire the dress, but I like what you’re wearing now so much more.” He waggled his eyebrows. “You look absolutely beautiful tonight.”
No. Don’t say that.
I became breathless when he closed the gap between us. Why was I letting him? When Sniper raised his hand, I flinched. My heart galloped faster when he cupped my face and ran his thumb ever so tenderly along my cheek.
“I wish I could’ve been your date tonight. We could’ve danced together. Dancing with me always made you happy.”
I closed my eyes for several seconds, hypnotized by his voice, by his touch. I pictured us slow dancing, not because it had happened, but because I desperately wanted the happiness he described.
Then I came to my senses. Leaning into his caress, I pretended to enjoy it, which wasn’t hard. Moving slowly, I raised my knee …
~~~~~~

Happy reading!
Olivia

~LivTheBookNerd~