Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May Wrap Up 2016

Hey guys!

      This month I read 9 books and reviewed and neglected my blog a bit. This month has been so hectic! I'm graduating from high school June 4th, and this past month has been full of tests, rehearsals, and studying. Unfortunately, this month was also the best month for 2016 releases. I plan on reading much more May releases, but unfortunately, I've only read one -- The Crown...my most anticipated 2016 release. I can't wait to read more 2016 releases. 

      If you'd like to check out my reviews for these books, then click on the links below! All of these books were really great I recommend that you read them. Caretaker and Karma were sent to me by the authors for an honest review, so stay tuned for the reviews! 

  1. Popular by Maya Van Wagaden ~ 4 stars
  2. This Book Is Not On Fire by Dan Howell & Phil Lester* ~ 5 stars
  3. The Heir by Kiera Cass (reread) ~ 5 stars
  4. The Crown by Kiera Cass ~ 5 stars
  5. Cress by Marissa Meyer ~ 5 stars
  6. Winter by Marissa Meyer ~ 5 stars 
  7. Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley* ~ 4 stars
  8. Caretaker by Josi Russell ~ 4 stars
  9. Karma by Nadine Nightingale ~ 3 stars
More reviews coming soon!

Favorite Book Read This Month: The Crown by Kiera Cass
Least Favorite Read This Month: Karma by Nadine Nightingale
Pages Read: 3,405

Happy reading!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagaden

Page Count: 272
Published on: April 15, 2014
Published by: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Genre(s): Nonfiction, Memoir, Contemporary, Autobiography
Source: Hardback
Age Rating: PG

Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon

Twitter: @MayaVanWagenen

My Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

A touchingly honest, candidly hysterical memoir from breakout teen author Maya Van Wagenen 

Stuck at the bottom of the social ladder at pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren’t paid to be here,” Maya Van Wagenen decided to begin a unique social experiment: spend the school year following a 1950s popularity guide, written by former teen model Betty Cornell. Can curlers, girdles, Vaseline, and a strand of pearls help Maya on her quest to be popular? 

The real-life results are painful, funny, and include a wonderful and unexpected surprise—meeting and befriending Betty Cornell herself. Told with humor and grace, Maya’s journey offers readers of all ages a thoroughly contemporary example of kindness and self-confidence.


Hey guys!

      I've had this book for quite a while, almost a year, but I had been meaning to read it. The whole premise could be a fictional story, but it is actually Maya Van Wagaden's memoir. 

      When I first started reading Popular; I thought it was kind of unrealistic, but when I go when I really got into it, it started to become believable. I really related to Maya and her shy demeanor. The overall message is great for young readers, but it also really rings true for an older reader like myself. I really liked the insight into the mentality of middle school-ers and a diverse school. The whole ending was really sweet and I gave the end 5 stars. The middle was alright, but kind of unrealistic. When I was reading the book, I had a hard time thinking that this book was based on real events, but by the end of it I was totally with it.

      Overall, this was really sweet, and really nicely written. I really enjoyed Maya's voice, and her writing style was really nice to read. If you enjoy memoirs, contemporaries, and funny novels; then you will love this book. 

I hope you enjoyed this review!

Happy reading!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Contemporary TBR & ARC TBR

Hey guys!

      I've been saving quite a few contemporaries on my TBR shelf that I've been saving to read this summer, and this is just a little post about part of my summer TBR and the books that I will be reading in the next couple of weeks.

Here are the contemporaries that I've saved for this summer!

  1. White Lightning by Minton Sparks
  2. Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer
  3. Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
  4. Boy 21 by Matthew Quick
  5. Broken Hearts, Fences, and Other Things to Mend by Katie Finn

Here are the review copies that have been sent to me in the past couple of weeks! (and some of my actual TBR)
  1. Karma by Nadine Nightingale (review copy)
  2. Phage by Mark Tamplin (review copy)
  3. Caretaker by Josi Russell (review copy)
  4. Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley (lent to me by my friend)

I also have a few more review copies coming in the mail from a couple more indie authors, so keep an eye out!

If you'd like to check out any of these books, then keep an eye for their reviews!

Happy reading!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

This Amazing Book Is Not On Fire by Dan Howell and Phil Lester

Page Count: 224
Published on: October 13, 2015
Published by: Random House
Genre(s): Nonfiction, Humor, Biography, Autobiography, Memoir, Contemporary, Comedy
Source: Hardback (NOT SPONSERED)
Age Rating: PG-13

Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon

My Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Hello reader,

In this book is a world. A world created by two awkward guys who share their lives on the internet!

We are Dan and Phil and we invite you on a journey inside our minds! From the stories of our actual births, to exploring Phil's teenage diary and all the reasons why Dan's a fail.

Learn how to draw the perfect cat whiskers, get advice on what to do in an awkward situation and discover which of our dining chairs represents you emotionally. With everything from what we text each other, to the time we met One Direction and what really happened in Vegas...


Hey guys!

      If you know me or follow me on any of my social media platforms, you would have noticed my deep love for Dan and Phil, DanIsNotOnFire & AmazingPhil on YouTube, and how excited I have been for TABINOF. Dan & Phil have been in the U.S. for a couple of weeks now, and I hadn't read TABINOF completely through. My sister received the book when we turned 18 in October, and she received a signed copy! Anyway, I just didn't have the time to read the book all the way through, and I guess I just didn't get to it once I got the time. One day, I was hanging out with the high school librarian during my study hall and we were talking about the new books that would be placed in the library this summer, and TABINOF was one of them. I totally geeked out, and I just sat in her office...on the floor... and read the bits that I hadn't read before. I mean I skimmed some of it because I didn't want to read it all in one go because it's absolute gold! I don't want to ruin it! 

      Dan and Phil are just so funny! Reading TABINOF was like having one of their videos in your head. I could hear their voices in my head (Dan's laugh and Phil's giggle too!) and it was just such a fantastic experience! Their little quizzes and games and pages based on the major events that had occurred within the Phandom...hilarious and kind of sad...they could make you a bit nostalgic about a few...yeah..

     This book screamed "TUMBLR" and it screamed "Dan and Phil"...I have never read anything like this, and it was so fun to read. I actually kind of think this type of set up is really genius. Dan and Phil are really really intelligent and all of their content is really original and real. When my sister and I watch their videos, there is never a time where we do not laugh or smile. The same goes with their book! Hilarious and original! Their personal stories weren't forced or potentially fake like other autobiographies, but they were equally embarrassing and hilarious and very Phan. Their fanfiction (which was recreated with fanart on their channels) was so original and hilarious too. I loved reading it again. 

I highly recommend this book and their videos!

Book Related Videos:

Dan's Channels:
Phil's Channels:
Dan & Phil's Channels/Channels They Are Involved In:

**All links to their social media platforms are on the about tabs on their main channels**

Other YouTuber Book Review by Me:

I hope you enjoyed this review! If you would like more reviews of YouTuber books comment down below! 

Happy reading!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday {#14}: Intimidating Reads (from my shelf)

Hey, guys!

      This week I am going to discuss the books on my TBR that intimidate me the most. I have quite a few books on my TBR shelf, but there are a select few that I really want to read, but totally intimidate me when it comes to picking them up and reading them. 

Here Are The Books That Intimidate Me:
  1. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
  4. The Help byKathryn Stockett
  5. The Chalice & the Blade by Tara Janzen
extra #6: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

      The Game of Thrones, Outlander, and Pride and Prejudice are all quite difficult for me to read, I mean the first two aren't written to be difficult to read, but I just found them to be really long and overall really detailed and...adult. I've attempted to read P&P, but I got very confused and stopped half way through. The Help is not hard to read at all, but I've just not gotten to reading it. The Chalice & the Blade was an impulse buy, but it just sounded so good. It helped that it was a penny on Amazon :D 

      LOTR, the extra book, well it's actually a trilogy...kind of...I'm not even sure anymore. But I had attempted the first book in the Lord of the Rings before, and I just couldn't get through it. That was 3 years ago, so hopefully I can get to reading it sooner rather than later.

Those are my most intimidating books on my shelf! Woo! Comment down below which books on your shelf freak you out the most!

Have a lovely day everyone!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Reluctant Duchess by Roseanna M. White


Page Count: 389
Expected Published: April 5, 2016
Published by: Bethany House Publishing
Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Adult, Romance, Christian Fiction
Age Rating: PG-15

Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon

Twitter: @RoseannaMWhite

My Rating: 4.25 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Lady Rowena Kinnaird may be the heiress to a Highland earldom, but she has never felt good enough—not for her father, not for the man she thought she’d marry, not for God. But after a shocking attack, she’s willing to be forever an outcast if it means escaping Loch Morar and the men who have jeopardized her life.

Brice Myerston, the Duke of Nottingham, has suddenly found himself in possession of a rare treasure his enemies are prepared to kill for. While Brice has never been one to shy away from manor-born ladies, the last thing he needs is the distraction of his neighbor, Lady Rowena, who finds herself in a desperate situation. But when the moody Earl of Lochabar tries to trap Brice into marrying Rowena, Brice finds he’s not as opposed to the idea as he expected to be.

Rowena wanted to escape the Highlands, but she’s reluctant to resort to marrying a notorious flirt just to gain his English home. And when she learns that Brice is mixed up in some kind of questionable business with a stolen treasure, she ’fears she’s about to end up directly in the path of everything she was trying to avoid.


Hey guys!

      Bethany House sent me this book for an honest review. This book follows a young woman named Lady Rowena who experienced a horrible attack. Rowena must escape to England with the Duke of Nottingham. The Duke of Nottingham, Brice, possesses a priceless family heirloom that a rival desperately wants, and will do anything to get. This book is full of family and social intrigue, faith-based doubt, and cute romance. 

     One of the main things that I really wished I hadn't missed out was the first book in the series. This is the second book in a companion series called The Ladies of the Manor series, and even though I had no idea what happened in the first book, there were quite a few hints about what had happened in it. I think that this factor alone brought down my rating because I got so confused about the characters and some of the back stories. I really wish I had read The Lost Heiress because from what I got from the hints in The Reluctant Duchess, I think it could be awesome. 

      I did like the characters, but I feel like I couldn't connect with them as much as I want. I feel like if I had read the first book, there would have been some cool character development. I also thought Brice was kind of unrealistic. His relationship with God seemed to be kind of fake...I mean I think that the faith he was written with was really cool, but I'm not even sure if it's believable. I am definitely not an expert on Christianity, but I do think I have a strong faith...I'm just not sure...

      I also really enjoyed Rowena's character. Even though I felt kind of distanced from her, I really did like her. I mean she was really naive, but she was really sweet and she meant well. She was sheltered for most of her life, so I totally get it. 

      If you have the desire to read this book, I recommend that you read The Lost Heiress first. You will most likely get confused like I did, so yeah...read the first book.

If you would like to check out more of my Bethany House sponsored reviews, then here they are!

Bethany House Books That I've Reviewed:
I hope you enjoyed this review!

Happy reading!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Top 5 Wednesday {#13}: Biggest Book Hangovers

Hey guys!

     Its time for another Top 5 Wednesday! This week we will be discussing my top 5 books that have caused my worst book hangovers. There have been quite a few books that have caused me to get a book hangover. It was actually kind of hard for me to pick my top 5, but I guess I've managed it well enough. Here are a few of them!

  1. The Selection (series) by Kiera Cass
  2. Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
  3. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  5. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
All five of these books have given major book hangovers. The Harry Potter series alone made me obsessive and somewhat depressed over the ending. Each of these books are some of my all time favorites. If you've read my reviews for these books, you will know that I am absolutely obsessed with all of these books/series. The Selection series....Oh my goodness...If you knew how much I was obsessed with this series...you'd think I was nuts. To be honest I'm not quite sure how to write this post, because if I had to go on a long schpeal about these books, then I'd probably babble...

If you'd like to read about my thoughts on these books then check out my reviews! They are linked below!
I hope you end up picking up these books, because they are some of my favorites. If you end up checking them out, tweet me/message me/tag me in something! I love to discuss these books! Don't hesitate to ask questions either! 

Happy reading everyone!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

{Review by Courtney} Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira


Page Count: 323 Published on: 2014
Published by: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux Genre(s): YA, Coming-of-Age, Romance, Realistic, Contemporary, Death, Family Source: Print: Paperback Age Rating: P-13; R TRIGGER WARNING, Sexual Abuse, Family Violence, Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Where To Find It: Goodreads // Amazon
My Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:
It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person.

Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to the dead—to people like Janis Joplin, Heath Ledger, Amelia Earhart, and Amy Winehouse—though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating the choppy waters of new friendships, learning to live with her splintering family, falling in love for the first time, and, most important, trying to grieve for May. But how do you mourn for someone you haven't forgiven?

It's not until Laurel has written the truth about what happened to herself that she can finally accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was—lovely and amazing and deeply flawed—can she truly start to discover her own path.

In a voice that's as lyrical and as true as a favorite song, Ava Dellaira writes about one girl's journey through life's challenges with a haunting and often heartbreaking beauty.
Hey guys!
It is Courtney and I am and I'm back with a review of Love letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaria

I've been in a really bad reading slump the last month or so. I have also walked passed Love Letters to the dead for months on the shelf and never decided to pick it up. Everything changed about a week ago. Recently one of our beloved school recourse Deputy Carl Koontz was killed while executing a warrant. His death has impacted our hole community and it changed a lot of things around our small town. I was close to him and spent many hours with him talking about things in my life that were bugging me. Things that I couldn't tell most. When i walked into Barnes and Noble one Friday night I walked up to Love Letters and for some reason I knew I needed to take it home. I'm so glad I took it home too. This book is now on my top 10 list of all time books. This book inspired me to write my own love letters to Deputy Koontz and it has given me a part of my life back. I know giving part of my life back sounds weird but it is true. I no longer dwell on what I can't tell Deputy Koontz and now I just write to him every night before bed. Life is starting to feel normal again- something I never thought I'd be able to say.
To start off I do want to warn you that this books is HEAVY. There is sexual abuse, family abuse, suicide, and drugs and alcohol involved with this book. This book will weigh heavy on your heart. I knew none of this going into this book and it caught me off guard. So here's a friendly warning of what I'm about to talk about.
Sky: Laurels love interest who also happened to know May. Sky and Laurel go through some very rocky relationship issues. The romance between them may not be the main focus but it adds to the book. Sky is very mysterious and no one really knows much about him and I think this is what drives Laurel close to him. She wants open up. He teaches Laurel how to do this. He is always there to rescue her too when she needs it.
Natalie and Hannah: Natalie and Hannah are Laurels to best friends who end up being a couple in the end. Hannah doesn't want to accept her feelings so she sleeps around with men. Her brother is a big reason she won't come out. He is abusive towards her and eventually she moves out from her grandparents house. In the end they get their happily ever after.
Laurel: our main character and my favorite character. She is asked to write a letter to a dead person for an English assignment and it turns into her coping mechanism. She was with her sister May the night she died. She blames herself for her sisters death. This is weighing on her. It's eating her up inside.In the beginning we don't really know much about Laurel and in the end her story hits us like a ton of bricks. Her character has helped me grow as a person and there will always be a special place in my heart for her.
May: Laurels sister who recently die. Laurel has always looked up to her sister. May was always told that she was the reason who parents stayed together. So when her parents divorced she felt responsible. We never really get a true answer as to how she died, did she jump? Or did the wind blow her off the bridge. I think it's left up for the reader to decide. I personally think she jumped. She had always been told she was brought her parents together and they are separated. She always wanted to protect her sister and she just found out her boys friends best friend was sexually abusing her. She was drunk, she walked on the handrail over the bridge. It was windy. It is left up to us to decide if she jumped or if the wind and her drunkenness lead to her death.
Laurels mom: Her mother leaves her and runs to California to follow her dreams. She essentially abandoned her child a very hard time in their lives. I understand we all grieve differently but I don't understand how you can walk away from your own kid. Because of all this Laurel has a lot of contempt for her mom and to be honest I can't blame her. In the end they work it out. They reconnect and they tell each other how they feel.
Laurels Dad: from the beginning of the book we can tell that her dad is depressed and an absent parent. He is struggling to deal with his others daughters death. The only time we really see him happy is when Laurel brings other people into the house.
Aunt Amy: Laurels moms sister. Laurel spends her time living with her aunt and dad. Aunt Amy is a strong believer in God and she is in love with a man Laurel calls "Jesus" Man. This man in the end turns out to be after Aunt Amy's money.
Likes and Dislikes:
Dislikes: There were no chapters. This made me want to keep reading and I never knew when to stop.
Liked: Even if you had no clue who Kurt Cobain was (if you don't you're missing out on something) or any of the others she writes to you could still follow the story. She incorporates her story in with theirs and she gives the readers a back story of these famous people. You will soon realize she writes to each person for different reasons
There is a playlist in the back of the book (or at least my copy) and I highly suggest listening to it while reading this. It will not disappoint.
smile emoticon

There is a place on her website where you can write your own letter to a dead person and read others.
Before I go I want to address the whole "this book is coping The Perks of being a Wallflower" I've seen a few times. While there are similarities in these two books they are COMPLETELY two different books. I can see why some people think they are alike because they do deal with some of the same subjects they are told very different ways. If you hated PERKS I'd pick this book up. If you loved PERKS I'd pick this book up.

Other Reviews by Courtney:

Thank you guys for reading this review
smile emoticon
Until we meet again,
{Instagram // Twitter}

I hope you all enjoyed this review! I plan on reviewing this book too, because I read it right after Courtney, so keep an eye out for that too!
Happy Reading!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Darkest Lie by Pintip Dunn

Page Count: 256
Published on: June 28, 2016
Published by: Kensington Publishing
Genre(s): Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary
Source: Paperback: PROVIDED BY AUTHOR: ARC
Age Rating: PG-15

Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon  

Twitter: @pintipdunn

My Rating: 4.5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

“The mother I knew would never do those things.

But maybe I never knew her after all.”

     Clothes, jokes, coded messages…Cecilia Brooks and her mom shared everything. At least, CeCe thought they did. Six months ago, her mom killed herself after accusations of having sex with a student, and CeCe’s been the subject of whispers and taunts ever since. Now, at the start of her high school senior year, between dealing with her grieving, distracted father, and the social nightmare that has become her life, CeCe just wants to fly under the radar. Instead, she’s volunteering at the school’s crisis hotline—the same place her mother worked.

      As she counsels troubled strangers, CeCe’s lingering suspicions about her mom’s death surface. With the help of Sam, a new student and newspaper intern, she starts to piece together fragmented clues that point to a twisted secret at the heart of her community. Soon, finding the truth isn’t just a matter of restoring her mother’s reputation, it’s about saving lives—including CeCe’s own…


Hey guys!

     I was contacted by Kensington Publishing to read and write an honest review on Pintip Dunn's new book, The Darkest Lie. This book is about a girl who's mother committed suicide after being accused of sleeping with one of her students. Cece wants to just fly under the radar and get done with school. She ends up volunteering at the school's crisis hotline where her mother worked. A bunch of crazy events happen, and then a bunch of different shenanigans occur, and you'll just have to read it to find out what happens next....

     I thought this was a pretty good contemporary/mystery/thriller. I really loved Cece as a character, and the whole plot was really intriguing and fun to read. Cece's feelings are so complicated and they way that she dealt with her grief and when she starts to discover what was ignored, she doesn't naively deal with the new information, she keeps an open mind and works hard to figure everything out. As she digs into her past, and her mother's past, she soon is threatened by a mystery person and it eventually escalates...With the help of a super cute and inquisitive boy, she pieces the story together and the truth is revealed. Cece wasn't a perfect character, but I think that's why I liked her so much. She just wants to get on with her life, and she doesn't have a perfect life, but she's doing the best she can.

     This book will keep you guessing, and even though it deals with some controversial topics (suicide, inappropriate affairs/harassment/bullying), it is written really well, and I just really liked it overall. I really felt for Cece, and I was really invested in her story. I really shipped Cece and Sam, and their relationship was really sweet.

I hope you all enjoyed this review!
Happy reading!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books