Monday, December 10, 2018

2018 Let Downs: Reviews and Gripes



Hey, guys!


     There are quite a few books this year that have let me down. Some of these books are well-loved by others, but I personally did not enjoy them as much as I had anticipated. All thoughts and feelings are my own. Most of these books got a personal rating of 3 stars or lower. I was originally going to write individual reviews for each of these books, but I just didn't have enough to say about these books individually, so I hope you enjoy this new reviewing format!



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Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard ~ reread


Page Count: 383
Published on: February 10th, 2015
Published by: Harper Teen
Genre(s): Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopian, Young Adult, Romance

Source: Print

Where To Find ItGoodreads// Amazon  
My Rating: 2 stars

~~~
I first read this book when it came out in 2015 I really really enjoyed it. Here is my original review from 2015: {click here}

When I picked this back up, I was surprised how much I disliked this book. The main character, Mare Barrow, was so whiny and obnoxious. She just really annoyed me. I really did not like the Princes and I struggled just telling them apart. They had one or two things that distinguished their characters...their distinguishing characters were so similar, however, that I still do not remember who is who. 

Overall, this book was just underwhelming. The world building was semi-intriguing but the annoying and obnoxious characters really ruined that for me. After about half-way, the characters and plotline just fell flat.

I will not be continuing on with this series.

~~~

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That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston

Page Count: 330
Published on: October 3, 2017
Published by: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Genre(s): YA, Science Fiction, Alternate History, LGBTQIA+, Fiction

Source: Print

Where To Find ItGoodread // Amazon  
My Rating: 2.5 stars

~~~

I adore E.K. Johnston's writing and storytelling in A Thousand Nights, but this book really was not the best. I really really really do not ever want to read this again. I was just really disappointed by this story. Julia and I originally bought this book in January and we were very excited to get to it. 

I honestly hated the ending. The ending really ruined the story for me. It ended and wrapped up, literally, in three pages! I just was not a fan. It just wasn't satisfying. I thought that the resolution was unhealthy and unkind. There was absolutely no discussion. 

I did like: 
~ The world building - alternate 
~ The slow burn romance
~ The diverse cast
~ The LGBTQIA+ representation

I did not like:
~ The ending
~ The angst
~ The overall plot - it got really slow halfway through


~~~

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Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Page Count: 324
Published on: August 5, 2014
Published by: Atria Books
Genre(s): Romance, New Adult, Contemporary

Source: Print

Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon  
My Rating: 2.5 stars

~~~

Okay. I went on a CoHo reading binge this summer and I was really hoping for more when it came to this book. So many people absolutely adore this book, but I was just disappointed. 

Here are my basic thoughts that I had provided on Goodreads:

• lacked a solid plot line
• kinda annoying female MC- she never stood up for herself EVER
• the main dude had so much emotional depth
•last 5 chapters made the book
• really great sexy scenes -CONSENT WAS THERE! HALLELUJAH
• I LOVE CAP
• potential to have a great dude friend group
• too focused on the romantic relationship. Needed more of a focus on friendship and family and anything other than the romantic relationship.


~~~

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Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Page Count: 352
Published on: January 28, 2014
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Genre(s): Fantasy, YA, Romance, Retellings, Fairy Tale Retelling, Mythology

Source: Print

Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon  
My Rating: 2.5 stars

~~~

This book was just a hot mess. There were too many confusing elements to this story that did not mesh well together. I was really interested in diving into a story that meshed the stories of Beauty and the Beast and the Hades/Persephone myth. I just really did not like how this book was executed. The transitions throughout were very choppy and the story just did not flow well. The character relationships were very sketchy and I honestly barely remember how the story even ended. Overall, I was just disappointed. 

~~~

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Black Bird at the Gallows by Meg Kassel

Page Count: 309
Published on: September 5, 2017
Published by: Entangled Teen
Genre(s): Fantasy, YA, Romance, Paranormal

Source: Print - via #booksfortrade

Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon  
My Rating: 2.5 stars

~~~

I was quite excited to read this series when I first acquired this book via Twitter. I was originally sent the sequel by the publisher, but I wanted to read the first book before diving into Keeper of the Bees. Unfortunately, I really did not enjoy this book. The plot was a bit of a letdown and the characters just really bore me. When the story came to the climax, I literally wanted to throw my book. I was just so mad at the main character. I was just super irritated. I don't think I will continue on with the series. I just didn't like the writing style, the paranormal aspects, or the characters. 

This book and its sequel are in my pile of unhauled books if that tells you anything...


~~~

I hope you liked this reviewing method! I've gotten really behind on reviewing this year, but I personally enjoyed reviewing in little groups. I think I will continue on with this method to get through the monumental amount of reviews that I need to write.

Happy reading, guys!
Olivia
~Liv the Book Nerd~
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Saturday, December 8, 2018

November Reading Wrap Up + mini reviews


Hey, guys!!

November has been a whirlwind of school work and actual work. I've barely had the time to read, but I did manage to finish my favorite book of the year during my Thanksgiving break! I'm so freaking excited to have a few weeks to read and catch up on blogging! Stay tuned for a lot more content!


This month I finished 2 books, a novella, and I'm temporarily DNF-ing a book. 

Here are the lovely books I read!

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~ Percy Jackson and the Singer of Apollo by Rick Riordan

Rating: 3 stars
Page Count: 28 pages
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publishing Date: November 14, 2017
Format: ebook - Kindle app
Where To Find It: Amazon // Goodreads

This wasn't Rick's best short story, but it was a great example to use for one of my creative writing assignments where I had to mimic the style of another author. I loved revisiting Percy and Grover. I love love love thier friendship and the mythology that was incorporated into this piece was so much fun. I absolutely adore Rick's writing and I can't wait to catch up with his Apollo and Magnus Chase series. He's a big literary inspiration for me. 

~ Dumplin by Julie Murphy

Rating: 4 stars
Page Count: 384 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publishing Date: September 15, 2015
Format: audiobook via Hoopla / ebook via Hoopla / physical copy via library
Where To Find It: Amazon // Goodreads

I absolutely adored this book. The characters were so well done and the story was so freaking addicting. I love love love Willowdean. She's such a well rounded and realistic character. I loved reading about her growth and struggles. I really loved the secondary characters in this book. I love how Julie incorporates their own personal friendships with Willowdean. It really added a lovely depth to the story that most authors don't accomplish well. In including each character through their different sort of friendship with Willowdean, it just made it so intriguing and fun to see their growth throughout the book. 

Reading this book was so dysfunctional -- only because I made it that way. I started this book via audiobook and got about 40% through that way, then I read it on my phone via ebook, and then my school's library had it on the shelves, so I picked it up physically, and finished it up via ebook. I don't regret it one bit. All three formats were so much fun. I do recommend any of them.

~ {Temporary DNF} Now I Rise by Kiersten White

Rating: temp DNF (@ 25%/ pg. 118)
Page Count: 471 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publishing Date: June 27, 2017
Format: ebook via Kindle
Where To Find It: Amazon // Goodreads

I was originally excited to read Now I Rise after finishing And I Darken, but after reading KOA, I just didn't think it was the right time for me to pick up this book. It was much slower paced than what I wanted and I just wasn't interested. Radu also began to annoy the heck out of me. I know that Whitney (aka WhittyNovels) really really loves these books. I hardcore trust her opinions, so I'm just going to wait and give it another go sometime.

~ Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7) by Sarah J. Maas



Rating: 5 stars!!!
Page Count: 992 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Publishing Date: October 23, 2018
Format: physical hardback - I BOUGHT 5 COPIES OF THIS BOOK GUYS!
Where To Find It: Amazon // Goodreads

I will be writing a complete review for this book after my last final, but I just want to say that this book completely blew my mind. I absolutely adore adore adore this book! I cannot handle how much I loved this book. I already miss the characters so much and I'm just dying for more of Sarah's work. I can't wait for her 2019 releases to come out.

READ THRONE OF GLASS!


Number of Pages Read: 1,522
Favorite November Read: Kingdom of Ash (duh)

Happy reading, guys!
Olivia
~Liv the Book Nerd~
Twitter // Instagram // Tumblr // Goodreads // YouTube // Bloglovin // Book Depository Affiliate Code


Monday, December 3, 2018

November Book Haul


Hey, guys!

This past month has been such a whirlwind of school work and coffee. I've basically spent my month working on homework in Starbucks. It's been a heck of a time. This month I managed to acquire 10 new books. I'm so excited to read them. 

I will be finishing all of my final projects and exams by the 10th of December. I plan on reading as much as humanly possible and putting out a ton of reviews! Stay tuned!




Purchases

Trades via Twitter

ARCs/Review Copies
  • Valiant by Merrie Destefano (Thank you, Entangled Teen!)

Which of these books should I prioritize after finals?
Happy reading, all!

~Liv the Book Nerd~


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

2018 Poetry Novel Reviews {#1-3}

Hey, guys!

2018 seems to be the year of graphic novels, but I've definitely read way more poetry collections and novels than last year. I've discovered a couple of new favorite poets and I've also come to terms with disliking different forms of poetry. Lots of revelations -- all the time. Anyway, here are three poetry novels and collections that I've read so far this year. I originally had four, but I realized I had DNF’d it. Three doesn’t seem like a lot, but compared to the last couple years, I’ve read a lot of poetry! 


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Algedonic by R.H. Sin

Page Count: 128
Published on: December 12, 2017
Published by: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Genres: Poetry
Where To Find It: Goodreads // Amazon

My Rating: 4.5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Bestselling poet r.h. Sin, author of the Whiskey, Words, & a Shovel series, presents a poetry collection that illuminates the transformative power of emotional pain.

Algedonic is an aesthetic outlook on pain and pleasure. Complex emotions simplified into poetic interludes as only r.h. Sin can express. With his trademark of giving simplicity to some of the hardest of emotions, Sin reminds us all that there are often two sides to an emotional story and sometimes the pain transforms into something beautiful, something less problematic and maybe something that reignites a feeling of pleasure.

~~~

My best friend, Maddie, lent me her copy of this book at the beginning of the year. I absolutely fell in love with R.H. Sin's writing style and the overall theme in this poetry book. His poems are so beautifully written and I can't wait to read more of his work. Maddie and I actually convinced my mom to read Algedonic and she just hardcore related to this book. I'm so glad that she could find poetry to connect to and I'm so excited that I got bond over Sin's poetry with her. 

~~~

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The Sun & Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

Page Count: 256
Published on: October 3, 2017
Published by: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Genres: Poetry, Feminism, Nonfiction
Where To Find It: Goodreads // Amazon

My Rating: 2.5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

From Rupi Kaur, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of milk and honey, comes her long-awaited second collection of poetry. A vibrant and transcendent journey about growth and healing. Ancestry and honoring one’s roots. Expatriation and rising up to find a home within yourself.

Divided into five chapters and illustrated by Kaur, the sun and her flowers is a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. A celebration of love in all its forms.

this is the recipe of life
said my mother
as she held me in her arms as i wept
think of those flowers you plant
in the garden each year
they will teach you
that people too
must wilt
fall
root
rise
in order to bloom
 

~~~

My friend group and I have been passing this book around all year and I honestly was really disappointed by this poetry book. I just don't think that Rupi Kaur's style vibes with me. I don't enjoy how she formats her poems and I don't particularly like how she formats the different "themes". I felt like most of her sections weren't cohesive and some of the poems just didn't fit in their section. I don't think I'll be reading more of Kaur's work. I might listen to her poetry, but i definitely do not enjoy reading it. 

~~~

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A Good Cry by Nikki Giovanni

Page Count: 128
Published on: October 24, 2017
Published by: William Morrow
Genres: Poetry, Nonfiction, Cultural, African American, Autobiography, Memoir
Where To Find It: Goodreads // Amazon

My Rating: 3 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

One of America’s most celebrated poets looks inward in this powerful collection, a rumination on her life and the people who have shaped her.

The poetry of Nikki Giovanni has spurred movements, turned hearts and informed generations. She’s been hailed as a firebrand, a radical, a healer, and a sage; a wise and courageous voice who has spoken out on the sensitive issues, including race and gender, that touch our national consciousness.

As energetic and relevant as ever, Nikki now offers us an intimate, affecting, and illuminating look at her personal history and the mysteries of her own heart. In A Good Cry, she takes us into her confidence, describing the joy and peril of aging and recalling the violence that permeated her parents’ marriage and her early life. She pays homage to the people who have given her life meaning and joy: her grandparents, who took her in and saved her life; the poets and thinkers who have influenced her; and the students who have surrounded her. Nikki also celebrates her good friend, Maya Angelou, and the many years of friendship, poetry, and kitchen-table laughter they shared before Angelou’s death in 2014.

~~~

This was one of the first books that I read this year. My favorite professor is actually friends with Nikki Giovanni. I think that it is so freaking cool. I really enjoyed Giovanni's work, but I felt like it the right poetry for me. I found quite a few poems that I absolutely adored, but I wasn't completely wow'd by the whole book. 


What is your favorite poetry novel? Comment down below!
Happy reading!
Olivia

~Liv the Book Nerd~



Wednesday, November 14, 2018

{Book Haul} October 2018



Hey, guys!

      This past month has been an absolute whirlwind. I've read much more than I did in September and I've still managed to acquire an obscene amount of books. 

      This month I've done so much. I've continued on with college, I've written so many papers, and created a new story idea that I'm so freaking excited to work with. 

      I've also....wait for it....gone to a Sarah J. Maas tour event. YES! It was sooo freaking great. Expect a blog post about it soon! I can't wait to tell you all about it. I've been compiling notes and lists and things, so it should be a long'un. Stay tuned! 

      This month was a fantastic month for releases. The final installment in the Throne of Glass series came out: Kingdom of Ash! I'm currently reading it, so stay tuned for a review and my final thoughts! Spoiler alert! I love it!

      This month I've acquired 17 books. I've arranged them into different categories depending on how I got them. A huge shout out to my friends for fueling my book addiction. You guys are seriously the best. 

Here are the books I purchased, received, and preordered*!
*some books fit into multiple categories




Signed Books:

  • What If It's Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera
  •  Thank you Target book section!


  • A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi
  • Thank you @GoodChoiceReading [website]


  • Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7) by Sarah J. Maas
  • An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green 
  • Gifts:


  • The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke

  • Thank you very much to my Bardugo Babes on Instagram. Y'all are a true blessing and I'm so excited to read The Boneless Mercies. 

    My babes have such amazing Instagram feeds and they are such kind souls. Head on over to Instagram and give them a follow. 💗

    Mariana ~ @booksbymyshelf


  • Little Women - the 150th Anniversary Edition by Louisa May Alcott

  • My girl, Mallory is such a freaking pal. She had heard so many freaking gushes about Little Women from me and I can't believe that she bought me this beautiful edition of Little Women. It has the absolute best illustrations and it's just SO PRETTY! Thank you sooo much, Mallory! 💗
    Follow Mallory everywhere!
    Instagram - @bookishmalpal
    Twitter - @mallory4251
    YouTube - mallory4251


    Review Copies

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    • Toxic by Lydia Kang
      • Thank you Entangled Teen for sending me this book. I hope to get to it very soon!


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    Other Purchases

    • Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
    • City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
    • Josh & Hazel's Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
    • 9 From Nine Worlds by Rick Riordan
    • Dear Evan Hansen by Val Hemmich, Steven Levenson, Ben Pasek, and Justin Paul
    • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
    • Now I Rise by Kiersten White

    Pre-orders

    Sarah J. Maas

    Full disclosure, y'all...I purchased 5 copies of Kingdom of Ash this month. There were so many editions with special content, so I just had to. You all should know about my lack of self-control when it comes to her work. It's a given that I'll buy all of her books. 
    • KOA [Target edition]
    • KOA [Books-A-Million/Indigo edition]
    • KOA [Barnes & Noble edition]
    • KOA [SIGNED Tour edition]
    • KOA [UK paperback - technically arrived November 3rd)

    Which of these books should I prioritize? Leave the titles down in the comments!

    Happy reading, y'all!
    Olivia 

    ~Liv the Book Nerd~
    Twitter // Instagram // Tumblr // Goodreads // YouTube // Bloglovin // Book Depository Affiliate Code


    Tuesday, November 13, 2018

    October 2018 Reading Wrap Up


    Hey, guys!

          October was a fairly great reading month! I actually read some books! I'm so happy! This past month was just soo busy! I turned 21, I went to Chicago, I went to the Sarah J. Maas event in Chicago/Naperville, and I read 7 books! 

          In the last week of October, I became SOOO  busy with school. That is why my wrap up and book haul are going up so late. I'd just like to apologize for my weird posting schedule. I've been trying to keep up, but I don't think I'll catch up while I'm in school. I just have so much to do for the last stretch of the first semester of my junior year. There is no way that I'll be able to post consistently. I'm definitely going to try, but it will be hard. I just wanted to be completely transparent with you all. Thank you for reading my blog posts guys!


    Here are the books I read this month!



    • The Lost Sisters (The Folk of the Air #1.5) by Holly Black 
      • read via preordered ebook
      • 5 stars
    • Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) by Sarah J. Maas 
      • 5 stars
    • Saga Volume 9 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples 
      • read via ebook from Hoopla through my public library
      • 5 stars
    • The Wicked + The Divine 7: Mothering Invention by Kieron Gillen 
      • read via ebook from Hoopla
      • 4 stars
    • And I Darken (The Conquerors #1) by Kiersten White 
      • read via personally purchased ebook & physical copy
      • 4 stars
    • City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab 
      • read via audiobook through Hoopla
      • 4.75 stars
    • Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman 
      • buddy-read with Alex via audiobook through Hoopla
      • 4.5 stars 

    Favorite of the Month: Tower of Dawn by SJM (who's surprised, though?)
    Number of Pages Read: 2,177

    I will have reviews for these books up very soon!

    What are your favorite recent reads?

    Happy reading, guys!
    Olivia
    ~Liv the Book Nerd~
    Twitter // Instagram // Tumblr // Goodreads // YouTube // Bloglovin // Book Depository Affiliate Code


    Thursday, November 1, 2018

    {Graphic Novel Series Review #19-24} Saga Volumes 4-9 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

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    Total Pages: 916
    Genres: Sequential Art, Graphic Novels, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Fiction
    Where to Find Them: Goodreads // Amazon

    Series Synopsis:

    When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. 

    ~~~

    My Rating (overall): 5 stars
    Volume 4: 5 stars
    Volume 5: 5 stars
    Volume 6: 5 stars
    Volume 7: 5 stars
    Volume 8: 5 stars
    Volume 9: 5 stars

    Hey, guys!

    It feels like it's been ages since I first read the first volume of Saga, but I feel like this story just gets better and better with every volume. I'm still reeling from volume 9. Vaughan and Staple's characters have this fantastic complexity and intensity that just resonates with me. Their fantastical story is just so well written and the full-color illustrations that tell the story are just absolutely stunning. The author and illustrator just do a fabulous job with this story. I've never really been bored while reading these books. They have captured my attention throughout and they have thoroughly captivated my heart. I absolutely recommend this series to everyone. 

    Trigger warnings for gore, sexual content, NSFW content, intense violence, death, drug abuse, PTSD

    Other Saga Reviews


    I hope you guys pick up these graphic novels. They are just so freaking fantastic and deserve all of the praise that they receive. If you love incredibly written characters, an action-packed storyline with amazing story/character arcs, and fantastic romance and humor; then this is the series for you!

    Happy reading, guys!
    Olivia 
    ~LivTheBookNerd~

    Tuesday, October 16, 2018

    {Review} West (East #2) by Edith Pattou

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    Page Count: 528
    Published On: October 23, 2018
    Published By: HMH
    Genre(s): Fantasy, YA, Romance, Retellings
    Source: paperback ARC provided by the publisher
    Age Rating: 12+
    Where To Find It: Goodreads // Amazon // Book Depository

    My Rating: 4.5 stars 











    Goodreads synopsis:


    In the sequel to the beloved high fantasy East, Rose sets off on a perilous journey to find her true love when he goes missing in a thrilling tale of danger, magic, adventure, and revenge.

    When Rose first met Charles, he was trapped in the form of a white bear. To rescue him, Rose traveled to the land that lay east of the sun and west of the moon to defeat the evil Troll Queen. Now Rose has found her happily-ever-after with Charles—until a sudden storm destroys his ship and he is presumed dead. But Rose doesn’t believe the shipwreck was an act of nature, nor does she believe Charles is truly dead. Something much more sinister is at work. With mysterious and unstoppable forces threatening the lives of the people she loves, Rose must once again set off on a perilous journey. And this time, the fate of the entire world is at stake.


    ~~~~

    Hey, guys!

    I was graciously sent an ARC of West by Edith Pattou for an honest review. West is one of my most anticipated releases of 2018. The first book, East, came out about 15 years ago and it is one of my all-time favorite books. It's so beautiful. All thoughts and feelings surrounding this book are my own. Thank you HMH for sending me an ARC.


    ~~

          Reading West was so much fun. It gave me so many nostalgic vibes. I absolutely adored reimmersing myself in Edith Pattou's writing style. She writes so beautifully. It's very much like a traditional fairy tale. In East, Rose has to travel east of the sun and west of the moon to rescue her White Bear, Charles, from the Troll People. West follows Rose and the White Bear's story soon after their happily ever after. However, their lives are soon turned upside down when Charles's ship goes missing and he is reported dead. Rose is convinced that he isn't dead, so she goes on another adventure to find her White Bear. 

         West is a lovely combination of lyrical writing, a plot imbued with Scandinavian legends/myths/fairytales, fantastical adventures, and lovely characters that you cannot help but love. Rose is a such strong, independent, and inspiring character. It was so nice to get to spend time with her again. She's one of my all-time favorite characters. 

          I absolutely adored the multiple perspectives throughout this book. It was so nice to get to read from Neddy, Rose's Mother and Father, and Charles' perspectives. It was also so nice to get to know Rose's children. I love their family dynamic.  I also really love how the characters have developed since the ending of East

    East will always hold a special place in my heart. Though West isn't as good as East, it is well worth the read. I'm so excited to have gotten to read it. Thank you so much HMH and Edith Pattou for sending me an ARC. I cannot wait for my finished copy to come in.

    Don't forget to pick up the new edition of West too! I will be posting pictures of my preorders on my Insta-stories this next week once they come out. 



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    Happy reading!
    Olivia
    ~LivTheBookNerd~