Thursday, December 29, 2016

Keeping the Beat by Marie Powell & Jeff Norton

Page Count: 368
Published by: KCP Loft
Published on: April 4, 2017
Genres: Realistic Fiction, Romance, YA, Contemporary, 
Source: Paperback ARC– provided by publisher
Where To Find Them: Goodreads // Amazon

Rating: 3.5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

It was supposed to be the best summer of her life. Instead, seventeen-year-old Lucy finds her best friend, Harper, shot dead in an LA swimming pool. How did things ever go so wrong? The story circles back to trace the steps that led to this disaster.

Only Harper McKenzie could have taken five girls from their school and reinvented them as Crush, the top prospect to win the international talent contest Project Next. As soon as the band finds its footing, it scores a huge win in the UK semifinal. Next stop, LA! 

The girls will spend a luxurious summer in Hollywood, living as reality TV stars while they prepare for their performance in the Project Next final. With a mansion to themselves, they’re the toast of the town … living every girl’s dream come true. 


Hey, guys!

          The newly formed publishing company, KCP Loft, contacted me for an honest review. They sent me a large package with their four spring releases and I started Keeping the Beat right after I moved into my new house. We don’t have Wi-Fi, and I managed to bring most of my review books that I needed to read, and Keeping the Beat was the first of the KCP Loft books that I dove into.
      Keeping the Beat follows five young girls from England as they begin their rise to fame as a girl band. As these young girls begin their journey to stardom, each character is fleshed out and their point-of-view is given as the story progresses. Each character has their own story and their own struggles throughout this book and each character added a unique perspective to the overall story. The writing style of this novel was very compelling and made it very fast paced. I managed to read this book in a day.

      While the characters had very compelling, but they were very annoying too. Each character has such major issues with their new lives, but they don't handle them at all. They don't see reason when their mentors give them advice, and their personalities got kind of warped from their fame and they got even more annoying. I originally enjoyed most of the characters, but towards the end, I only enjoyed Lucy's attitude. I didn’t like Harper’s character from the beginning, and her actions throughout the book were just shade-y. I didn’t her as a person at all. Iza was super cute, but she would just act so stupid and out of character. The girls are between the ages 16 and 17 and they would always be drinking. As a 19-year-old, I just found it insanely stupid to allow such young girls to be drinking so excessively. I know that society has kind of okayed underage drinking, but I think it’s just dumb. I totally understand the changes to their characters, but it was just kind of annoying. It’s just very hard for me to understand why young girls would be totally fine and willing to blatantly act like imbeciles. Overall, I understand the changes to their characters because it’s a pretty realistic representation of how fame changes young people, but the characters just weren’t my cup of tea for most of the book. I really did enjoy their changes towards the end of the book, but I guess I’m just an old-fashioned person?

      I really liked the relationship between the band members for most of this book for the most part. They drifted apart very naturally for a section of the book, and I really enjoyed how their relationship was healed. The romantic relationships were kind of rocky for me. Iza and Luke were cute, but I didn't see as much development as I would have liked to read throughout the book. The relationship between Lucy and her guy was also another case of insta-love. Their relationship wasn’t very believable, the attraction was there, but it definitely wasn’t love. It has the potential to be really cute, and I’d love to see how their relationship progresses, but it was not love. Overall, each character had a relationship with someone, but it really wasn’t needed! Harper and her man were just doomed from the beginning. Harper was just a self-destructing character, and she never listened to reason. Her circumstances were pretty tragic, and I liked her at the end, but I wasn’t too thrown by her demise. The killer, on the other hand, was a complete surprise. That threw me for a loop. I’m not even going to comment about the drama with their manager guy. That was just…wow. Drama. I liked how it was written and handled, though. Strange, yet interesting. I also really loved Lucy’s relationship with their musical producer. It was great to see an adult that actually loved what he did and actually wanted to help the girls do their best and survive the fame and music industry. It helped that he recognized Lucy’s passion and helped her harness her abilities to help her do the best she could. I loved that aspect to the book.

      Overall, this was a pretty good book. I really enjoyed the characters for the most part, and their character arcs were really great to read. I really enjoyed the drama, even though I saw it as unnecessary. This is probably the closest to reality TV as you can get in young adult literature. It was addicting, fast paced, and I didn’t want to put it down. I pretty much finished this book in a few hours. I don’t have TV or Wi-Fi right now in our new house, so this was basically my reality-TV-fix for the week. I’m excited to see the other books that KCP Loft puts out next year.

Happy reading and happy holidays!

@LivTheBookNerd on Books

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

[GIVEAWAY] Insidious (The Marked Mage Chronicles) by Victoria Evers

Title: Insidious

Series: The Marked Mage Chronicles, Book #1

Author: Victoria Evers

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Release Date: January 6, 2017

Giveaway: enter through rafflecopter widget below


All Kat Montgomery wanted was a fun night out on the town. What she got was a death warrant. As it turns out, the quaint little hamlet of Mystic Harbor, Maine houses more than sandy beaches and adorable B&B’s. Beneath the New England charm rests a deadly world where shifters, demons, vampires, and angelic hunters all vie for power.

A world where magic is the greatest weapon.

Magic that Kat now possesses.

After that one fateful night, she can feel the changes beginning to take hold of her. Only problem, she doesn’t even know what she’s turning into. With threats hiding in plain sight, deciphering the lines between friend and foe is nearly impossible. As if things couldn’t get any worse, Kat learns her only real ally rests in the one person she can’t stand: Reese Blackburn, an insufferably handsome magician whom the town fears most.

Kat’s very soul is at stake, and destiny doesn't seem to be playing out in her favor. Can these two unlikely partners challenge fate itself before it's too late?


Curiosity got the better of me as I looked over my shoulder, only to find the last human being I ever wanted to see heading towards the back of the store. That familiar knot formed in my stomach, as it always did anytime Reese Blackburn was near. I rocked back and forth on my heels, trying my best to keep my patience in check as the old guy in front of me continued buying virtually every lottery ticket available.

Come on, come on, come on. I needed to get out of here. PRONTO.

Footsteps started making their way to the counter from the back of the store, and I immediately deflated, knowing a confrontation was now inevitable.

“Montgomery,” spoke a silvery voice directly behind me.

I regrettably turned to face the ass-hat in question, giving him my best artificial, Pan Am smile. “Blackburn.”

The guy always looked like he’d just waltzed off the set of a Tim Burton movie, and tonight was no different. He was dressed in his typically peculiar attire, sporting a gothic knee-length horseman’s jacket laced in chains, a pair of black slacks, a silk tapestry vest, and dark brogue boots adorned with skulls on the metallic buckles.

“Never thought I’d see you south of Providence Street,” he remarked in the sarcastic fashion he always saved for me. “Get lost on your way to the country club?”

“No, I was actually out looking for your heart. Should’ve known better that it’s long gone,” I retorted. “And what about you? Never thought I’d see you out in public on a full moon. Get lost on your way to your cult meeting in the woods?”

“That’s later in the evening,” he chuckled, flashing me that dimpled smile and perfect set of pearly whites. Such infectious, boyish charm seemed misplaced, considering he was stab-worthy. It really was a shame, because Reese wasn’t half bad looking.

And by ‘half’, I mean not entirely.

Sure, he had cheekbones that could cut glass, not to mention bedroom eyes so amber they looked to be stowing flames inside them, but still… Okay, okay. Even I had to admit, Blackburn was hardly an eyesore.

Even with my heeled boots, I still stood a good half foot shorter than him, but his lean frame thankfully made him less imposing.

The old guy in front of me started ordering cigarettes as well, causing my fisted fingernails to start biting into my palms. Knowing how quickly our conversations always descended into verbal smack downs, I grasped at anything I could think of to divert us back to small talk until I could move to the register.

“Did you go to the game earlier?”

Reese shrugged. “I considered it, but then I started thinking of other excruciating things I’d rather do, like have a root canal, and I decided to pass.”

“You heading to the bonfire?” I tried again. He merely cocked a brow, and I realized how ridiculous I sounded. “Oh, that’s right. You don’t do anything fun. How could I forget?”

“If you call watching a bunch of drunken idiots gyrate around and trash a field while you suffocate from smoke inhalation ‘fun,’ then yes—I don’t like fun.”

“It wouldn’t kill you to be normal, ya’ know.”

“Maybe, maybe not. Haven’t tried it.”

“So, Mr. High and Mighty, what superior plans do you have this evening?”

“Test my alcohol limits, take off my clothes, and harass innocent bystanders.” He thumped the side of his head. “Oh, wait a minute. No, that’s your friends.”

“At least I have some.”

He stole a look outside and leered. “With friends like that, I consider myself grateful that I don’t.”

“Bite me.”

“I probably shouldn’t. Wouldn’t want to get rabies.”

“I beg to differ. Foaming at the mouth would probably be an improvement for you. Anything to get you to stop talking.”

He smirked.“Touché, Princess.” 

Purchase Today

$0.99 Pre-order Sale!!!

Also Available in Kindle Unlimited


VICTORIA EVERS is a debut paranormal fiction writer who feels really awkward
referring to herself in the third person.... When she's not vacationing
in Narnia, you’ll probably find her reading, watching horror movies,
spending time with her AMAZING family, or daydreaming about the newest
story in her head. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

My True Love Gave To Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

Page Count: 321
Published on: October 14, 2014
Published by: St. Martin's Press
Genre(s): Short Stories, Holiday, Fantasy, YA, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Print: Paperback
Age Rating: PG

Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon

Twitter: @naturallysteph

My Rating: (overall) 4.5 stars
-individual reviews below

Goodreads synopsis:

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year's there's something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love. 


Hey, guys!
I managed to nab a copy of this book from my local Books-A-Million when it was put on the $10-&-below shelf. I got a hardback copy for $6! Not only was it a bargain, it made sense to buy it during this time! I have been putting off grabbing a copy of this book just because it’s a holiday-themed anthology. I really didn’t want to buy it and then not read it for months and months because it wasn’t the proper time. Anyway, I really enjoyed the short stories in this anthology.

They were all so nicely done and festive. Each story had these characters that were really compelling…you wanted to know what their story was about. Some were longer than others, but they were just as great as the shorter ones. Each story was completely unique and special. I enjoyed every one of the stories. There were at least 3, however, that have stuck with me as I’ve finished it.

·       ~Rainbow Rowell’s Midnights
·       ~Stephanie Perkin’s It’s A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown
·       ~Laini Taylor’s The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer

Special Mentions!

·   ~Holly Black’s Krampuslauf
·   ~Ally Carter’s Star of Bethlehem

Not only are these stories written by a few of my favorite writers, but (in my book) they deserve the “best story” label. This is just my opinion, though, so don’t take my word for it. There is definitely a story for everyone in this anthology. I’m really happy with the diversity in this anthology. It wasn’t just Christmas stories. They were a bit of everything! I just really liked this aspect to the book.

I actually rated all of the short stories so that I could get a feel of my full feelings for the anthology. None of them were below a 3-star rating, so that says quite a bit to me. I’m really proud of Stephanie Perkins for starting this anthology. I’m really excited to read Summer Days and Summer Nights, the summer-y themed anthology that was published earlier this year.

·        Midnights: 5 stars
o   This story was the first one that I read (it was the first one, anyway) and it was just the perfect story to get me in the mood.
·        The Lady and the Fox: 4 stars
o   This was so cute, but the ending is kinda weird for me. I wasn’t sure what to think
·        Angels in the Snow: 3 stars
o   I enjoyed the whole aspect of this story. The cat really tied it all together.
·        Polaris Is Where You’ll Find Me: 4 stars
o   This was really cute, but I didn’t like how it ended. It was somewhat satisfying, but not what I wanted.
·        It’s A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown: 5 stars
o   This was just adorable. Another masterpiece from Stephanie Perkins
·        Your Temporary Santa: 3 stars
o   This was adorable as well, but I didn’t connect to it like I hoped I would. I wasn’t a fan of the narration style.
·        Krapuslauf: 4 stars
o   This was creepy and absolutely loved it. I need to read more books like this short story. The perfect blend of creepy and heartwarming.
·        What The Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth?: 3 stars
o   I’m not sure how I feel about this one either. Not a fan of the narration style and I didn’t really like the characters.
·        Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus: 4 stars
o   I loved the forgiveness in this story. It was so funny and clever. I loved this one.
·        Welcome to Christmas, CA: 4 stars
o   This was pretty cute. I loved the cooking-aspect to this. It was mysterious and kind of magical. I loved the characters, and the ending was so great. I want more from Kiersten White.
·        Star of Bethlehem: 4.5 stars
o   This was the last story that I read from the anthology, and I think it was the perfect ending for this anthology (for me).
·        The Girl Who Woke the Dreamer: 5 stars
o   This was the second story that I read from the anthology, but I’m so glad that I didn’t save it for last. It was so different from the other stories, but very festive at the same time. I love how different Laini Taylor’s writing is. I can’t wait to get back into her books. I’ve put them off for far too long.

      I can't wait to immerse myself in more short stories like these this summer. I'm really pleased with this anthology. I've found some new authors to try out, and I'd call that a success. 

Happy reading and happy holidays!

@LivTheBookNerd on Books

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase & the Gods of Asgard #2) by Rick Riordan

27904311Page Count: 471
Published By: Disney-Hyperion
Published On: October 4, 2016
Genre(s): Fantasy, Mythology, Middle Grade, YA, Adventure,
Source: Hardback
Age Rating: PG

Where To Find It: Goodreads // Amazon

My Rating: 4.75

Goodreads synopsis:

      Thor's hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon--the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn't just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can't retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer's return is the gods' worst enemy, Loki--and the price he wants is very high.


Hey, guys!

I’ve always been a huge fan of Riordan’s writing, but he really delivered in The Hammer of Thor! The Hammer of Thor is the second book in Riordan’s Magnus Chase series and it was even better than The Sword of Summer. I can’t wait to see where Riordan goes with Magnus’s story. The ending of this book really killed me emotionally. I really cannot wait for the third book. I desperately need that book.

The Hammer of Thor follows Magnus and the gang a couple months after the end of The Sword of Summer. Magnus and his friends are sent on a quest after they get a lead regarding to the missing item that must not be mentioned lest the giants start Ragnarok. In this book, new characters are introduced, older characters develop as people, more Norse mythology baffles the readers mind, and it’s just a great time.

There are multiple occasions throughout this book that make you literally laugh out loud. Riordan has the ability to make his readers feel absolutely immersed in the world that he is weaving as he’s writing. His characters are so hilariously relatable and even though it’s very fictional, it almost seems realistic. Not only are his main characters hilarious and amazing, but the side characters are just so fantastically written and unique. Riordan introduced us to Alex who is gender fluid. You can rarely find any good books with LGBTQA+ characters, not to mention gender fluid. Rick Riordan is always breaking walls when it comes to this series. He’s such a fantastic writer.

The only issue that I had was that I wish that there were more interactions between Hearthstone and Blitzen. I think that they are absolutely adorable, and I need more of their relationship in my life. I can’t wait for book three!

My Riordan Reviews: 

Happy reading and happy holidays!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

My Dream Book Conference Panel

Hey, guys!

      I was contacted by Eventbrite to share my dream author panel and answer a few questions pertaining to this cool project. Eventbrite is the largest self-service ticketing platform in the world that helps people find and plan events. Eventbrite has been working on a project where they encourage bloggers and online writers to share their favorite authors and create their own panels.

      If you would like to create your own panel, then there's no need to wait to be contacted by Eventbrite! You can create your own panel! This was such a fun prompt and this was so fun to write.

      I've actually created a panel that is separated into 5 genres that include 2 authors for each genre. I suppose it's a huge panel of authors that would be separated into 5 smaller panels where the authors would talk about their writing processes, their favorite characters, etc.

For this genre, I had to choose two of my favorite high fantasy authors. These two authors have taken over the literary world with their addicting writing and intriguing characters. I had to choose J.K. Rowling & Sarah J. Maas

Of course, I've read all of J.K.'s writing, but I've yet to finish all of Maas's released work. I'm totally obsessed with the Harry Potter series if you couldn't tell from my previous blog posts.

I had read some of Sarah J. Maas's writing a few years ago, but I hadn't kept up with her Throne of Glass series because I'm going to wait to binge-read the series once it's finished. I did start her Court of Thorns and Roses series this past year and I've totally fallen in love with it. The installments to this series are definitely going to be my most anticipated releases for the next few years. I'm so excited that this series is being extended to 6 books!

J.K. Rowling Reviews {click here}
Sarah J. Maas Reviews: {click here}

Image result for jk rowling

If you've followed my blog for very long then you probably know of my deep love for contemporary and romance novels. I have select few authors that I will always read, but these two authors are just wonderful and I would love to listen to them speak about their writing. I had to pick Morgan Matson & Rainbow Rowell.

Granted, Rainbow Rowell's most recent novel was a fantasy novel, but it was the fanfiction from her amazing novel Fangirl. Fangirl is probably one of my all-time favorite books. I relate to Cath so much and I just adore Rainbow's writing. I can't wait to see what she comes out with next. I'm dying for my fix.

Now let's talk about the lovely Morgan Matson. She is such a fantastic writer. She writes these amazing contemporary novels that have the perfect amount of romance, family, and friendship that leave you dying for more. Her latest novel, The Unexpected Everything, was absolutely fantastic. I couldn't handle how cute that book was. I can't wait for her next book. 

Morgan Matson Reviews {click here}
Rainbow Rowell Reviews {click here}

Image result for rainbow rowellImage result for morgan matson

A good chunk of my middle school years was taken over by the dystopian genre after The Hunger Games trilogy became so popular. I had to pick Kiera Cass and Tahereh Mafi for this catagory. They aren't necessarily the typical dystopian writers, but they do write some of the best dystopian YA fictiona around. I'm absolutely obsessed with Kiera Cass's Selection series and Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me trilogy. I can't wait to read more of their books. 

Kiera Cass Reviews
The Selection series #1-3: {click here}
The Selection series #4 {click here}
The Selection series  5: {click here}
The Selection series novellas: {click here}
Tahereh Mafi Reviews
~Shatter Me {click here}
~Unravel Me {click here}
~Ignite Me {click here}
~Unite Me {click here}

Image result for kiera cass   Image result for tahereh mafi

I couldn't exclude the middle grade genre! I've been reading middle grade for most of my life, and I plan on reading much more of it, even as an adult. I've always been a fan of Michael Buckley and I've recently become a fan of Soman Chainani. Michael Buckley wrote the Sisters Grimm series which I have been reading and rereading for years. During the summer of 2015, I picked up The School For Good and Evil by Soman Chainani and I couldn't put it down. The whole series was fantastic! I can't wait for the final book in the series, Quest for Glory, to be released next year. 

The School For Good & Evil {click here}
A World Without Princes {click here}
The Last Ever After {click here}

Image result for michael buckleyImage result for soman chainani

These two authors are a couple of my favorites, but they have been deceased for quite some time. However, it would be an absolute pleasure to even listen to them speak, not to mention meeting them. L.M. Montgomery and Louisa May Alcott are probably two of the greatest writers, ever. I mean, that's my opinion, but their books are absolutely wonderful. Their writing styles are fantastic and I love the stories that they have created. 

Questions I Would Ask:

  • What inspired you to write your books?
  • Do you use real events and real people as inspiration for characters and scenes in your book?
  • Do your stories stay prominent in your mind even when you're not writing?
  • How do you document ideas when you're not near your laptop/pencil?
  • How do you write? Laptop? Paper/pencil? 

I thought this was such a cool concept. I'm really honored to be apart of this project. Comment down below the authors you would love to see on a panel and the questions you would ask! If you feel inspired to make your own dream book conference panel come to life check out Eventbrite's conference management tools to help planning a conference super easy!

Happy reading!

@LivTheBookNerd on Books