Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January 2017 Wrap Up + February TBR

Hey, guys!

     This past month has been so busy! I've started my second semester of college, gone back to work, and I've finally gotten shelves to hold my books! I've also been going through a killer reading slump. The only upside to this reading slump is that I've started writing a novel...well I'm trying. I'm only about 5-6 pages in, but I'm really excited about where it's going. This past month I've read 4 books. I've been trying yo read all of my review books before I start my books for fun, but I've been switching back and forth. I need to find a really fantastic book that gets be back at it. 

Here are the books that I read this past month!

  1. Gemina by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman
    • 4 stars
    • Click {here} for my review!
  2. Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff
    • 3 stars
    • Review coming soon!
  3. The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles
    • 2.75 stars 
    • Review coming soon!
  4. The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak
    • 3 stars
    • Review coming soon!
  • {DNF} Picus the Thief by Robin Bennett
    • I actually may go back to this one. The premise is interesting, but I really couldn't get into it right now.
    • Stopped 50 pages in

Number of Pages Read: 1573
Favorite Book Read: Gemina
Least Favorite Book Read: The Kingdom of Oceana
Number of Sponsored Reads: 3
Number of Non-Sponsored Reads: 2

Currently Reading:

At this moment, I am reading 2 books. One actively and one that I've put off until I finish some review books.

  1. 377773230233110

~Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark #1) by Veronica Roth
-40 pages in
~City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare
-250 pages in

February (Tentative) TBR

I've decided to post a bit of a tentative TBR for this next month. I really want to keep my TBR, so I'm just going to choose 6-ish books this month. Hopefully, I get to at least one book in each category this month. I have been mood-reading lately, so hopefully, I want to read these by the end of the month. 

My Two Current Reads
  1. Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis
  2. Off the Page by Samantha Van Leer & Jodi Picoult

Hopefully I get to all of these books, but who knows? Life happens.

Happy reading and Happy New Year!

@LivTheBookNerd on Books

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman (illustrated by Marie Lu)

Page Count: 659 Published on: October 18, 2016 Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers Genre(s): YA, Science Fiction, Dystopia Source: Print: Hardback & Audiobook via Library Age Rating: YA
Where To Find It: Goodreads // Amazon
My Rating: 4 stars (overall)
Audiobook Rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The saga that began with Illuminae continues on board the space station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of BeiTech’s assault. Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter, Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum may be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival. The fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.


Hey, guys!

      It's been about six months since I read Illuminae, the first book in the Illuminae Files, but Kristoff and Kaufman's story has resonated with me for those few months. I really loved the characters and the format of Illuminae. I really fell in love with the characters that were introduced in Illuminae, so I was kind of wary to be introduced to a whole new group of characters. On top of that, I neglected to remind myself of the details that I had forgotten during the last few months. Granted, it wasn't hard to get context from Gemina, but I probably would have benefited if I had just read a spoiler-y summary before I started Gemina. That was my fault, but no big. I loved this book. 

      I'm not going to comment about the format again. I adore how unique this book is. There were so many different elements that are featured in this book that really tied the story together. I can't wait to read more.

      The audiobook was such a fantastic production. I absolutely adored it. There were so many voice actors and cool sound effects that really added a special something to the story. If your local library has a copy of the audiobook to listen to while you read, then I highly recommend that you read and listen. It's a very visual book, but the audiobook gives you so much more. I highly recommend.

      I really enjoyed the new characters that were introduced in Gemina. Hanna and Nik were so funny to read about and listen to. I really enjoyed reading Gemina and listening to the audiobook with it. Although I really loved the characters from Illuminae, I really fell in love with Hanna and Nik's friendship. Hanna was such a badass and Nik was the perfect mix of bad boy and the sensitive tough guy. Hanna, at first, seemed like a really spoiled and annoying person, but once I really got into the book I totally loved her. She was so strong and snarky. Her relationship with her father wasn't perfect, but it was so cool to see what they did together...it wasn't the typical father-daughter relationship, but her father really did love her and wanted her to be able to protect herself. I loved it. She's so gorgeous, but she's lethal. I couldn't exactly relate to her circumstances, but I connected with her. She was a very realistic character. Let's talk about Nik. Oh, Nik. He was just a fantastically well-rounded character. He is so mysterious and sarcastic. I just loved him so much. He was perfect. I don't want to reveal too much, but he was probably one of my favorite characters. I also really enjoyed Nik's cousin Ella. Her commentary was so hilarious to read/listen to. Her story was so heartbreaking to read. I wanted so much more of Ella. 

      I loved that Kady and Ezra were still in this book. The little bits that they were in weren't my favorites, but I loved how the books are being intertwined. I can't wait to see what book 3 will entail. 

      Once again, AIDEN was featured in this addition to the series. I love AIDEN! He is so obliviously sassy. While I was reading and listening to this book, AIDEN's parts really freaked me out. I had to mute/skip AIDEN's parts during the audiobook. I can read about AIDEN, but the voice actor was gloriously creepy. I can't wait to see how AIDEN is incorporated in book 3. 

     Little appreciate blurb for Marie Lu's illustrations! They were so gorgeous! I had no idea that there were going to be illustrations this time around. I can't wait to see if there are more featured in book 3! Phenomenal! How have I not read any of Marie Lu's books yet? It's been added to the list of books that I should read in 2017. 

     Overall, I really enjoyed Gemina. I don't think it was as great as Illuminae, but I still loved it. I can't wait to continue the series in October. I also need to pick up some of Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman's books. I hope their writing styles are just as good apart as they are together. I can't wait. 

I highly recommend this book and audiobook!

More By the Authors That I've Reviewed:

Happy reading!

@LivTheBookNerd on Books

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

[TAG]: The Avatar the Last Airbender Book Tag

Hey, guys!

      It's that time again! I've been dying to do this tag for a while, but I just haven't had the time! I absolutely adore Avatar. It's been one of my favorite shows for years. I highly recommend that you guys watch this show because the art is fantastic, the voice actors are hilarious, the story is so addicting and captivating, and who doesn't love a fantasy world?

Created By: A Clockwork Reader
Graphics: Dreamland Book Blog


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Katara & Sokka: Best Sibling Relationship

Sabrina & Daphne Grimm from The Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley

Who doesn't love a sassy sister duo? This middle grade series is such a compelling and addicting series to read. I've been such a huge fan of Michael Buckley for the past..what? 10 years? And I'm always finding myself rereading these books. I'm actually long overdue for a Sisters Grimm reread, so that might be coming up soon! 

Yue: Favorite star-crossed lovers

Maxon Schreave and America Singer from The Selection series by Kiera Cass

If you've followed my blog for very long, you'd know about my fangirl obsession revolving around the Selection series. This series is just so beautiful, and America and Maxon just fit each other so well. I love their love story so much and I recommend this series to absolutely everyone. It's so fantastic.
Books 1-3: {click here}
Book 4: {click here}
Book 5: {click here}
The Novellas: {click here}
The Siren: {click here

Blood Bending: A book with a disturbing/unsettling concept

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

I've only just read this book for my literature class, but wow was it twisted. The Handmaid's Tale takes place in an apocalyptic version of the United States (now Gilead). In this world, women have no rights and are basically sex slaves for the government. Need I go on? Anyway, it's a really interesting novel, but totally twisted. It's one of the few books that I actually liked reading for a class.  

Review to come.

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Toph – A character who’s strength surprised you/or surprised the other characters in the book

Essie from Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis

When going into Stitching Snow, I had no idea that I would be meeting a character that was a secret cage fighter. Not only was she a cage fighter, but she is so smart and a total badass! I just loved her character throughout this book. I actually reviewed this book yesterday if you'd like to check that out. 

Review: {click here}

The Tales of Ba Sing Se – best short story/poetry collection

Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass

Okay, I'm actually not sure what to put for this one because I haven't been impressed with the short stories or poetry collections that I've read, so I'm just going to say Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass because it's a collection of novellas and I love them so much.

Review: {click here}

Kioshi Warriors: Best warrior character

Inej from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Holy cow this book was so great. I can't wait until I get my hands on Crooked Kingdom. The characters in this book were so fantastically written and I was captivated by all of their stories. The ending of this book made me gasping for more. Inej, especially, stood out to me. Her story was so tragic, but she was so strong. I can't wait to find out what happens next.

My Review: {click here}

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Zuko: Best redemption arc/a redemption arc that should have happened

How about a redemption arc that should have NEVER happened? 

Gideon from Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw

I hated Gideon in this book. I mean he could have been totally dreamy to some people, but to me he was a stuck up, selfish little brat. I never wanted Scarlett to end up with someone like him. You can read more about how I hate him in my review! 

Review: {click here}

Iroh: Wisest character

Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Even though Dumbledore is kind of controversial these days, I would still say that he is a very wise character. I really loved Dumbledore all throughout the books and films. I can't wait to see a younger Dumbledore in the Fantastic Beasts movies. I just love that this world is being revisited.

The Cursed Child Review: {click here}
Fantastic Beasts Review: {click here}

Azula: Best downfall

Clarkson Schreave in The One by Kiera Cass

I mean this is kind of twisted, but I was so glad when Clarkson was overthrown. He was so awful all throughout the books and I couldn't wait for Maxon to take over. He's such a great character.

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Appa: Favorite fictional animal

A Niffler 

from Fantastic 
Beasts and Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling

Right now it has to be a Niffer from J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. I didn't think that one of the creatures was going to steal the spotlight from Eddie Redmayne in the movie, but the niffler was absolutely precious and I can't wait to meet more beasts in the next few movies.
Review: {click here}
Image result for niffler

Aang: Purest Cinnamon Roll

Henri from The HeirThe Crown by Kiera Cass

Holy crap I love Henri so much. He is probably one of the sweetest characters I've ever read about in my life. He was so sweet to Eadlyn all throughout the books and he only wanted her to be happy no matter what and I just love him so much.
The Heir Review: {click here}
The Crown Review: {click here}

Avatar state: A stubborn character/a character that struggles with letting go

Louisa Clark from Me Before You & After You by Jojo Moyes

Louisa is probably one of the most real characters I've read in a long time. Her grief so realistic and Moyes' writing is so lovely to read. I can't wait to pick up more of her books. I just love her writing. Even though she's gone through so much heartache, she's still trying to move on and live her life like Will wanted her to. I just love Clark. She's just so lovely. 

Okay, so that's the end of the tag! I just love Avatar so much, and I highly recommend that you watch this series. It's so fun and the story is fantastic...but don't watch the movie. It is legit trash...not worth it at all. 

I tag anyone who wants to do this tag! This was so much fun, so I hope you guys have fun too!

Happy reading!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Deadline by Chris Crutcher

Page Count: 320 Published on: September 1, 2007 Published by: HarperTeen Genre(s): YA, Realistic Fiction, Sports Source: Print: Hardback - borrowed from Alex Age Rating: YA
Where To Find It: Goodreads // Amazon
Twitter: @ChrisCrutcher
My Rating: 3.75 - 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Ben Wolf has big things planned for his senior year. Had big things planned. Now what he has is some very bad news and only one year left to make his mark on the world.

How can a pint-sized, smart-ass seventeen-year-old do anything significant in the nowheresville of Trout, Idaho?

First, Ben makes sure that no one else knows what is going on—not his superstar quarterback brother, Cody, not his parents, not his coach, no one. Next, he decides to become the best 127-pound football player Trout High has ever seen; to give his close-minded civics teacher a daily migraine; and to help the local drunk clean up his act.

And then there's Dallas Suzuki. Amazingly perfect, fascinating Dallas Suzuki, who may or may not give Ben the time of day. Really, she's first on the list.

Living with a secret isn't easy, though, and Ben's resolve begins to crumble . . . especially when he realizes that he isn't the only person in Trout with secrets.


Hey, guys!

      My adorable boyfriend lent me his copy of Deadline during our Christmas break before our second semester. Deadline is one of his favorite books, so when he asked me to read it, I was pretty excited to read something that he loved. I'm not a huge sports/YA fiction reader, so this was a new subgenre for me. I really enjoyed the characters for the most part, but there were so many questions that I had that weren't really answered at the end of the book. I suppose that could be a great aspect that people love about the book, but for me, personally, it really bothered me. 

      I really enjoyed that Ben was a shorter character. I'm 5 foot 2, so it was really fun to read about a character that was noticeably short. Although I enjoyed that aspect of his character, I had a hard time connecting to Ben at all. I thought he was really gutsy and interesting, but he just came off as selfish to me. I really enjoyed Ben's voice as a character, but sometimes I found him to be really annoying and immature. But that's probably because his character was very well written. He was definitely a guy. I mean..obviously he's a guy, but sometimes guys aren't very realistic in YA literature, but Ben was definitely a normal boy...other than the year to live thing...

      I really loved Dalla Suzuki's character. She was probably one of my favorite parts of the book. She was so strong and sarcastic. I thought her backstory was really interesting. I can't really reveal much, but she's pretty much a badass...And her name is so cool! I loved it!

      I really enjoyed Ben's activism as his story continued. His teacher and his town were so stupidly ignorant of the privilege that they had. They were also very against any kind of change to their agenda. The teacher was so insanely aggravating. I kept messaging Alex about how much I hated him and I think he was laughing at me, but that was the point of his character. I also really enjoyed Ben's research about Malcolm X and the civil rights.

      Overall, this was a really good novel about life, death, and truth, but it wasn't my absolute favorite. There were some really nicely written parts that I fully enjoyed, but there were an equal amount of parts that either confused me or I just didn't connect with it. I can see why Alex enjoyed this book, but I think it's more marketed for male readers. I may be wrong, but that's just my take on it.

I look forward to finding a book that Alex and I both enjoy, so stay tuned for that! Alex has a review that will be going up next month, so stay tuned!!!

Happy reading!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant

Page Count: 276 Published on: April 4, 2017 Published by: KCP Loft Genre(s): Romance, YA, Contemporary, Source: Print: Paperback Age Rating: YA
Where To Find It: Goodreads // Amazon
Twitter: @WendyJoBrant
My Rating: 4.5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Eva Walker is a seventeen-year-old math genius. And if that doesn’t do wonders for her popularity, there’s another thing that makes it even worse: when she touches another person or anything that belongs to them — from clothes to textbooks to cell phones — she sees a vision of their emotions. She can read a person’s fears and anxieties, their secrets and loves … and what they have yet to learn about calculus. This is helpful for her work as a math tutor, but it means she can never get close to people. Eva avoids touching anyone and everyone. People think it’s because she’s a clean freak — with the emphasis on freak — but it’s all she can do to protect herself from other people’s issues. 

Then one day a new student walks into Eva’s life. His jacket gives off so much emotional trauma that she falls to the floor. Eva is instantly drawn to Zenn, a handsome and soulful artist who also has a troubled home life, and her feelings only grow when she realizes that she can touch Zenn’s skin without having visions. But when she discovers the history that links them, the truth threatens to tear the two apart.


Hey, guys!

      I was contacted by KCP Loft for an honest review and it was probably my second favorite book of the four that they sent me. This was a super fluffy and unique contemporary novel. I'm not even sure if it's a tiny bit science fiction or a tiny bit fantasy, but it was basically a contemporary/romance with a tiny bit of mysterious powers? I'm not even sure what it's supposed to be...but I loved it! I was kind of wary to actually read this book because it just wasn't what I was in the mood for, but I ended up really loving it and it was what I needed at the moment. I'm so glad that I read this book. 

     I really enjoyed the family dynamic throughout this book. The parents were actually really sweet, but they weren't as involved as parents usually are...which is pretty common in YA novels, so it wasn't really a surprise to me. I really loved the relationship that Eva had with her four siblings. It was really cool to read something that had quadruplets. I thought that was super cute. 

      I also really liked that Eva was the daughter of a pastor. I thought that would add a really interesting concept to the book, but it wasn't really mentioned as much as I thought it would be. I really love it when YA books have characters that have a faith that shapes their character. I really love religion in YA. It adds a special something to my reading experience. I suppose I connect to characters like that, because I have a strong faith as well. I just thought it would be cool. Her doubt regarding her faith was really interesting too. It was really real and I wish it had been expanded upon, but I really enjoyed the bits that I read. 

     This book kept me guessing for the majority of the book. There were a few plot twists/plot points that I really didn't see coming which I actually really liked. I was genuinely wondering what would happen next. In most of the contemporary/romance books that I had read this past year, I saw most of the plot twists before they had happened, but in this book I didn't see it coming.

      Even though I didn't go through traumatic and stressful events like Eva, I really did connect with her. I really enjoyed reading from her perspective and I really liked her character. She was a really funny and interesting to read about and I really enjoyed reading from her perspective. She was very relatable and I really liked her voice. She felt like someone I would be friends with. 

     Overall, this was a really unique and fluffy book that had almost all the best qualities of a contemporary. It wasn't the best contemporary, but it was pretty darn close to being one of the cutest. I really enjoyed the characters, the plot, and the writing. I cannot wait to get my hands on a finished copy in April. I'm definitely recommending this to my friends and to all of you guys! I highly recommend!

You can preorder this book on all major book-buying sites. Don't forget to keep an eye out for this adorable book!

Happy reading!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books