Thursday, September 29, 2016

Awaken (The Awakened Fate Series #1) by Skye Malone

Page Count: 248
Published on: May 29, 2014
Published by: Wildflower Isle
Genre(s): YA, Fantasy, Mermaids, Paranormal
Source: Paperback-- Sent by author
Age Rating: PG-13
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon
Twitter: @Skye_Malone
My Rating: 3.75 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Running away from home was never Chloe Kowalski's plan. Neither was ending up the target of killers or having her body change in unusual ways. She only wanted a vacation, someplace far from her crazy parents and their irrational fear of water. She only wanted to do something normal for once, and maybe get to know her best friend's hot stepbrother a bit better at the same time.

But the first day she goes out on the ocean, strange things start to happen. Dangerous things that should be impossible. Things to which 'normal' doesn't even begin to apply. 

Now madmen are hunting her. A mysterious guy with glowing blue eyes is following her. And her best friend's stepbrother seems to be hiding secrets all his own. 

It was supposed to be a vacation. It's turning out to be a whole lot more.


Hey, guys!

      The lovely Skye Malone sent me her book for an honest review. I was really excited to read this book because I was in desperate need of a mermaid book. I am always in the mood for a mermaid book, and this filled the void! Unfortunately, I didn't like this book as much as I anticipated. 
      Even though Awaken was really entertaining, it had a lot of cliche and predictable moments and some bits of the book were too convenient. The first bit of the book was really cliche and convenient and I really didn't like the beginning of the book. The side characters, Chloe's parents, were way too obvious. I think Skye was trying to be subtle, but it was just really really really obvious. It was kind of awkward and aggravating.

      Another problem that I found was that the characters weren't connected very well. Chloe and Bailey were supposedly best friends, but Chloe never acted like she trusted Bailey. Towards the end, they addressed her trust issues which was a good movie for Malone.

      Towards the later half of the book, it really picked up and got engaging. Although some of the plot points were still quite convenient, it was still really fun and interesting to read. I saw a bit of the drama coming, but I definitely did not see the very end of the book coming. I'm definitely going to read the rest of the series. I see a lot of potential in this series.

      Malone's writing is really simple but really entertaining and fun, but it was lacking the special something that makes a fantastic mermaid book. Her magical creatures are really interesting and unlike the other mermaid books out there. I'm always down for a new mermaid book, so I hope that I'm able to read her other books. 

Happy reading, everyone!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

{Story Time} My Trip To The Indianapolis Museum of Art

Hey, guys!

      This week I'm going to be discussing my trip to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. I had taken a class called the Summer Bridge Program. It prepared us for starting our first year of college and on the last day of the class we went on a field trip to visit IMA. One of the art pieces that you see right off the bat, is a beautiful exhibit that you see as soon as you walk into the lobby. The piece is called False Ceiling and it was created by Richard Wentworth. As soon as I walked into the building, I kind of geeked out and freaked out the girls I was with. They knew that I loved books and that I was a book-ish person, but it made some of my friends laugh when I would just stare at the art for at least 20 minutes. I'm so glad that I went to the museum. I definitely want to go back to IMA because I didn't get a chance to explore the gardens and see some of the art pieces, but one of the pieces that I definitely have to see in the future is Funky Bones by Atelier Van Lieshout. Funky Bones was mentioned in The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, and I've been really interested in exploring the cool things in Indiana that I haven't explored yet.

      I can't wait to visit this awesome museum again. The art was beautiful and I can't wait to immerse myself in the art that I didn't see in August. My sister took a couple pictures of me when I wasn't looking and my friend Sydney (bless her) took pictures of me from above the exhibit. I loved this exhibit so much. I still fangirl a little bit when I think about it. I actually saw a few of my favorite books when looking through the hanging books, so you might see some pictures of those too.







I should have taken more pictures, but alas! I did not. I plan on taking tons of pictures next time I got to IMA. Comment down below if you liked this little storytime posts! I may do more if this get's a good response. 

Happy reading, y'all!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

{Q&A/ Series Review With Bailey} The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black & Tony DiTerlizzi

Published by: Simon & Schuster
Genre(s): Fantasy, Middle Grade, Adventure, Paranormal, Children's Fantasy
Source: Print: Hardback
Age Rating: PG
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon

My Ratings:
#1: The Field Guide = 4 stars
#2: The Seeing Stone = 4 stars
#3: Lucinda's Secret = 4 stars
#4: The Ironwood Tree = 4 stars
#5: The Wrath Of Mulgarath = 4 stars
Bailey's Ratings:
#1: The Field Guide = 4 stars
#2: The Seeing Stone = 5 stars
#3: Lucinda's Secret = 6/5 stars
#4: The Ironwood Tree = 4.5 stars
#5: The Wrath Of Mulgarath = 5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

It all started with a mysterious letter left at a tiny bookstore for authors Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black. Its closing lines: "We just want people to know about this. The stuff that has happened to us could happen to anyone." Little could they imagine the remarkable adventure that awaited them as they followed Jared, Simon, and Mallory Grace and a strange old book into a world filled with elves, goblins, dwarves, trolls, and a fantastical menagerie of other creatures. The oddest part is in entering that world, they didn't leave this one!


I read this series and passed it down to little Bailey to read and she absolutely loved this series. She insisted upon reviewing this series and telling you all how much she loved it. Here is what she has to say!


#1. The Field Guide 

Page Count: 128
Published On: January 1, 2003

444304Q: What is The Field Guide about? Can you summarize it?

A: It's about the Grace family finding the Field Guide, but not their mom.

Q: What would you rate it? 
A: 4 stars

Q: What did you like about it? What did you dislike?
A: I liked that it was about a family and that there was an older girl instead of two older boys. I liked how the twins were shown and that they weren't the same person. They were different. I didn't not like anything.

Q: Who was your favorite character?
A: Mallory, the older girl.

Q: What was your favorite part?
A: When they found the book and when they finished the riddle. 

Q: What was your least favorite part?
A: I didn't have one. There was no least favorite part.

#2. The Seeing Stone

Page Count: 128
Published On: May 1, 2003


Q: What is The Seeing Stone about? Can you summarize it?

A: About saving the brother from the goblins.

Q: What would you rate it? 
A: 5 stars.

Q: What did you like about it? What did you dislike?
A: I liked that they were saving someone instead of being tricked by someone like the Series of Unfortunate Events (by Lemony Snicket ---series review coming soon)

Q: Who was your favorite character?
A: Um...the hobgoblin, Hogsqueal.

Q: What was your favorite part?
A: When they Simon out of the cage. It was kind of funny how he was in a cage.

Q: What was your least favorite part?
A: When the goblins were singing about cooking the cat they captured.

#3. Lucinda's Secret

Page Count: 128
Published On: October 1, 2003

280277Q: What is Lucinda's Secret about? Can you summarize it?

A: It's about the secret that Lucinda only knew about. I don't want to spoil it so...

Q: What would you rate it? 
A: 6/5 stars.

Q: What did you like about it? What did you dislike?
A: I liked that there were sprites in it. They found out that Lucinda really liked the sprites. She only ate sprite food instead of human food which kind of made her crazy.

Q: Who was your favorite character?
A: Lucinda

Q: What was your favorite part?
A: When they found out Lucinda knew what they knew and that they knew the secret. They didn't want to tell their mom because they didn't want her to think they were crazy like Aunt Lucinda.

Q: What was your least favorite part?
A: Nothing.

#4. The Ironwood Tree

Page Count: 128
Published On: April 1, 2003

277191Q: What is The Ironwood Tree about? Can you summarize it?

A: It was about the brothers trying to find Mallory and they discovered stuff about dwarves and how Mallory can live forever when she's really old. She'll only be able to walk on leaves when she's older because she can't touch the human ground.

Q: What would you rate it? 
A: 4.5 stars.

Q: What did you like about it? What did you dislike?
A: I liked the cover a lot. Also because it's a good book.

Q: Who was your favorite character?
A: Mallory.

Q: What was your favorite part?
A: When they found Mallory.

Q: What was your least favorite part?
A: I don't have one.

#5. The Wrath of Mulgarath

Page Count: 128
Published On: September 7, 2004

277190Q: What is The Wrath of Mulgarath about? Can you summarize it?

A: It's basically the end of the story.

Q: What would you rate it? 
A: 5 stars. I liked the death.

Q: What did you like about it? What did you dislike?
A: I liked that the mother was there to see the death of the evil creature and that Jared killed him with a really big sword that he could barely lift.

Q: Who was your favorite character?
A: Mallory.

Q: What was your favorite part?
A: I liked that Mulgarath died and it was a really good death scene. 

Q: What was your least favorite part?
A: When they were tricked.

More Questions For Beetle:

Which of these books was your favorite?
A: Lucinda's Secret

Who is your overall favorite character?
A: Mallory

Favorite creature(s)?
A: Hogsqueal & the sprites


      I love sharing amazing books with Bailey. Her excitement for these books was adorable to witness. I have had the first book in the series for a while and I gave it to Bee a couple months ago and she was basically foaming at the mouth for the next book. I finally found the other four books at Goodwill for a really cheap price and bought them for her. She finished them within a week and a half and even reread a couple of the books. I'm so glad that she's finding books that she loves to read. Someday, we will do video reviews so that you can see how excited she is about reading, but until I acquire a camera, you'll have to be satisfied with her Q&A reviews. 

If you love middle-grade fantasy & The Spiderwick Chronicles you will love:

Happy reading, y'all! 
@LivTheBookNerd on Books

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Drowning of Arthur Braxton by Caroline Smailes

The Drowning of Arthur Braxton (Paperback)
Page Count: 371
Published on: April 1, 2013
Published by: 4th Estate
Genre(s): YA, Contemporary, Fantasy
Source: Paperback: Provided by publisher
Age Rating: PG-15- triggers for rape, abuse, bullying, and mature language and subject matter

Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon

Twitter: @Caroline_S

My Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

An urban fairy tale from the acclaimed author of 99 Reasons Why.

Arthur Braxton runs away from school.

He hides out in an abandoned building, an old Edwardian bathhouse.

He discovers a naked woman swimming in the pool.

From this point on, nothing will ever be the same.

The Drowning of Arthur Braxton is an unflinching account of the pain and trauma of adolescence and of how first love can transform the most unhappy of lives into something miraculous. It is a dark and brooding modern fairy tale from one of our most gifted writers.


Hey, guys!

      I was sent this book for review from 4th Estate to read and review The Drowning of Arthur Braxton to prepare for the launch of the new cover design that was redone for the film that Luke Cutforth is filming and directing. Luke Cutforth is an amazing YouTuber that has been raving about Arthur Braxton forever. I've been really intrigued by The Drowning of Arthur Braxton for a while, and when 4th Estate contacted me about reading and reviewing it, I was so excited. The Drowning of Arthur Braxton follows a young man named by Arthur Braxton who had run away from school and hides in an abandoned building. He encounters a strange young woman and his life will never be the same.

      Overall, this book was super interesting and the characters were really fleshed out and fun to read about. The chapter formats were really interesting too. The book was separated into different sections that were written in the characters perspectives, but the coolest part was that each of the perspectives was written differently (dialogue only, full narrative, conversations). Each character was really unique and really well developed. The plot and the writing style really sucked you into the story and I couldn't put the book down. Towards the last fourth of the book, though, I started getting really irritated with the main characters and I didn't enjoy the book as much as I thought I would. 

       I kind of avoided the big descriptive reviews of this book because I really wanted to go into it without a solid idea of what it was about. I think that was a good idea, but I should have figured out what genre the book was because once the book got into the fantastical elements of the book I was really confused about whether it was actual magic or whether it was symbolic. Once I got into the book and actually checked the genre list on Goodreads I understood what was going on. This isn't your typical fantasy book. It reads like a contemporary, the pace of a thriller, and the magical elements in it made it a really interesting read. This book was so eerie and mysterious and kept me on the edge of my seat. I went to bed pretty late when it came to staying up and reading this book...

      Every character in this book had their own personality and their own intricate backstory which was such a joy to read about. This book is really character driven - which I love. I loved how Smailes wrote throughout this book. I especially loved reading from Laurel's perspective. She was definitely my favorite character to read about. 

      At first, I really liked Arthur, but as I continued reading from his perspective, I got really annoyed with him and I didn't like him as much. He was such a boy. He was vulgar. He was clueless. He was so real! I really appreciated how honest he was, but towards the end of the book, I started to think he was a total idiot. He never asked questions, he just accepted the strange happenings and never questioned the abnormal behavior of Delphi or Laurel. He just blindly accepted it, which was really strange. I wish he would have questioned things more. I also didn't appreciate his behavior towards Delphi at the end. He was such an ass, and I didn't like him at all at the end of the book.

      Let's talk about the end of the book...even weeks later, I'm not sure how I feel about the ending of this book. It's so eerily beautiful but completely messed up. One of the main questions that I had was "What about Arthur's dad?" He was "better" but he was just picking up the could Arthur do what he did and you know. 

Can someone comment down below and start up a discussion about this book? I'd love to have a discussion about this book. I'm not sure what to think. Let's rant about this book haha.  

Favorite Character: Laurel
Favorite POV: Laurel

(I just loved Laurel)

Happy reading, everyone!

@LivTheBookNerd on Books

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Eliot Rosewater 2016-2017 Nominees

Hey, guys!

      This week I will be discussing the books that have been nominated for the Eliot Rosewater Award. This mainly pertains to high school students in Indiana (USA), but I have had a personal connection to Rosie books for the past 4 years. For the past 4 years, my high school encouraged the high school students to read with the promise of a pizza party & free books at the end of the year if you read 5+ Rosie books. These books are also displayed together in the library on a special rack up front. As a library assistant my senior year, I saw that the rack had a positive impact on student reading. Most students would look at the rack and pick a book to read and most of the books were checked out most of the time. Most students didn't really care about the pizza party reward, but the fact that the books were out there for them to be seen and recommended definitely caused some students to read. 

What is the Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award?
The Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award (Rosie Award) is chosen annually by students across Indiana in grades nine through twelve. Students at participating high schools and public libraries who read any of approximately 20 nominated books are eligible to rate each book they've read. Ballots are available on the Rosie website. The votes are tabulated each May, and the winner is announced.
The author of each year's award-winning book is invited to receive the Rosie Award in person at a special event sponsored by the Association for Indiana Media Educators and the Indiana Library Federation.
The purpose of the Rosie Award is to encourage high school students to read for fun. It also promotes cooperation between school administrators, media specialists, teachers and public librarians in broadening reading programs. Rosie promotes reading across the curriculum.
Who is Eliot Rosewater?
Eliot Rosewater is a recurring fictional character in Kurt Vonnegut's novels, including God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. Vonnegut is a famous Hoosier author who grew up in Indianapolis. This award was named to honor him and all Indiana writers. The award is often referred to as the "Rosie Award" or "Rosie."

      This past year, my friend and high school librarian took me along to a meeting where students and librarians discussed the Rosie nominees and voted on which 25 books would be nominated for the 2016-2017 school year. It was an honor to help chose these awesome books. I can't wait to announce them to you. So here are those books!

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
The Beginning of Everything
Dear Killer
Don't Look Back
Fake ID
Faking Normal
The Family Romanov
Gabi, a Girl in Pieces
Half Bad
In Real Life
Kiss of Deception
The Naturals
One Man Guy
Shadow and Bone
Since You've Been Gone
Some Assembly Required
Through the Woods
A Time to Dance
*Pictures & graphic from Rosie site
  • All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
  • Avalon by Mindee Arnett
  • The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider**
  • Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
  • Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell
  • Don't Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Fake ID by Lamar Giles
  • The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming
  • Gabi A Girl In Pieces by Isabel Quintero
  • Half Bad by Sally Green
  • In Real Life by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang
  • The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
  • The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Next by Kevin Waltman
  • Nil by Lynne Matson
  • Noggin by John Corey Whaley
  • One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva ~ 4.5 stars/ no review
  • Positive by Paige Rawl with Ali Benjamin 
  • Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo**
  • Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
  • Slated by Teri Terry
  • Some Assembly Required by Arin Andrewes
  • Through the Woods by Emily Carrol
  • A Time To Dance by Padma Venkatraman
**Reading & reviewing soon

      As you can see, I've read a few of these books in 2015 & 2016, but I haven't read them all. If you would like to review any of these books (or any book), then you can CONTACT ME through any of my social media to figure out how we can collaborate together. 

2015-2016 Winner: Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley
2015-2016 Runner Up(s): Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas & The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Happy reading!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books