Tuesday, November 28, 2017

{Bookish Subscription Box} Owlcrate #1: October 2017: Find Me In the Forest

Hey, guys!

      My beautiful boyfriend bought me an Owlcrate box for my birthday and wow was it awesome. I really want to have a long-term subscription, but that probably won't happen until I graduate and have a full-time job...tragic, I know. 

Anyway, here is what was in this adorable box!


The Process:
  • The Owlcrate team reads tons and tons of manuscripts of upcoming novels and select the very best to include in their boxes.
  • Each box contains a brand new hardcover YA novel and 3-5 bookish items.
  • Each box follows the monthly theme and includes special goodies from the author.
How It Works:
  • Subscribe! There are plans from 1-6 month increments. 
    • 1 month: $29.99 USD + shipping
    • 3 months: $86.98 USD + shipping (charged every 3 months)
    • 6 months: $167.94 USD + shipping (charged every 6 months)
  • Owlcrate delivers
  • Enjoy your book and goodies!
*Past boxes are also available for purchase in limited quantities

***Owlcrate also has a wonderful box specifically tailored for readers ages 8-12. I bought my little sister a box for her 9th birthday and she loved it.***

October Theme: 
Find Me In the Forest

The Book Featured:

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
(exclusive OwlCrate cover)

Goodreads synopsis: 

Love grows such strange things.

For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.


Author Goodies:

signed bookplate

Wild Beauty themed Forget-Me-Not seeds

***the box also included a beautiful letter from the author, but I couldn't manage to take a picture that didn't have a glare*


Bookish Goodies:

A Princess Mononoke print by

“All Good Things Are Wild and Free” Coaster

Cabeswater Candle from InTheWickofTime
(inspired by the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater)


Where the Wild Things Are Magnetic Bookmarks from craftedvan

Sherwood Forest Earl Grey and Sweet Blueberry Tea from Riddle’s Tea Shoppe and Curiosities



Harry Potter Mug designed by Cara Kozik

OwlCrate Find Me in the Forest Pin

       I loved this box. I'm so excited to read Wild Beauty. It sounds so fantastic and I've only heard great things about it. The goodies that came in this box are so beautiful. I adore the Harry Potter mug the most, but every one of the items that were included are so gorgeous. I love that there are items I'll use all the time and not just random things.

Happy reading!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books Amino

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

{Review} Soul Siphon (Soul Stones #0.3) by T.L. Branson

Page Count: 23
Published on: October 2017
Published by: Amazon Digital Services
Genre(s): Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: ebook
Age Rating: 14+
Where To Find It: Goodreads // Amazon // Book Depository

My Rating: 3 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Alexander Drygo, king of Sunbury, is reeling from the loss of his wife. Despite his best efforts using an incredible power, she is no longer among the living.

When a rival kingdom seeks to take advantage of this delicate time in Drygo’s life, he is thrust into a battle for the future of his kingdom.

Can he save his people where he could not save his queen?


Hey, guys!

I was sent this novella for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and are in no way swayed by others.

      First of all, thank you T.L. Branson for sending me your book. It's definitely going to be one of those series where you get consumed by the intricacies of the world and magic system. I'm definitely going to have to pick up the future additions to the series. 

      This novella follows Alexander Selenius Drygo, the King of Sunbury. Alexander is despondent because of the death of his wife and when his kingdom is attacked by a neighboring kingdom, he must rise from his grief and defeat his enemies to save his people.

      I really enjoyed the basics of this story, however, there were a few things that I felt were lacking. That may be because of the length of the novella/short story, but I do think they could have been included or somehow alluded to in order to fully flesh out the story. 

      First of all, I really did not care for the main character's voice and narration style. I found the way he narrated what was happening to be kind of arrogant and obnoxious. He would constantly switch from first to third person and refer to himself as "the king" which was just annoying. I also really like Alexander's name, but it's quite long and complicated to pronounce. That's to be expected with a king's name though. This novella reminded me a bit like the political vibes of the show Reign and the Throne of Glass book series. 

      Second of all, because this book was not a full fledged book and was a prequel to what is to come, I felt like I was not introduced or immersed into the world that I was introduced to. I felt like I was just dipped into it without enough context. I think that will be remedied in the future additions, but I honestly would want more from the (technically) first piece of the story. It's kind of odd to start with the third novella of a series instead of just starting in the beginning. I also felt like the the magic system that Branson attempted to establish in this short story/novella wasn't fully explored or fleshed out enough in order for me to fully connect to the story and get behind what Alexander is doing.

      Although I don't think that this book is as epic as I would have hoped, I do think it is a promising start to an enjoyable series. I really do look forward to seeing what Branson has in store for readers. 

You Can Acquire A Free Copy of Soul Siphon {here}!

Happy reading!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books Amino

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

{Bookish Subscription Box} Book of the Month #4: October

Hey, guys! 

I'm coming back to you with another Book-of-the-Month-Club monthly unboxing! I decided to treat myself after my birthday and get a couple books from the October box... I know. You've probably seen my Fall 2017 Book Haul and you've laughed at me. My birthday "treat yo'self" mantra really got out of hand, but I am so excited to read these books. They look absolutely fantastic. I have never read a Stephen King novel, so Sleeping Beauties (or The Gunslinger) should be a really great way to dive into his work. 

What Is The Book Of The Month Club??

Book of the Month is a monthly book subscription box. Each month, 5 curators pick out their favorite new hardcover books, and you can choose which one you want to receive on the first of the month. You can also add up to 2 additional books for only $9.99 each.

How It Works:

1. New selections are chosen each month. On the 1st of the month, the site announces the 5 books that they chose for the month.
2. Choose your book! Choose by the 6th, or skip the month.
3. The boxes are shipped and you get a beautiful BOTM box and book!

Shipping: U.S. only (apologies to my international readers!)

Overall Product: Subscribers will receive a hardcover book from the books that were selected that month. You can add up to 2 extra books for $9.99 each plus BOTM goodies for an additional fee.


October Picks:
  • Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
  • The Power by Naomi Alderman
  • The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey
  • Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance: A Novel by Ruth Emmie Lang
  • After the Eclipse A Mother's Murder, A Daughter's Search: A Memoir by Sarah Perry
  • Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King & Owen King
  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

My October Box:

About Sleeping Beauties:

In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place. The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied, or is she a demon who must be slain?
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.83 stars (10,528 ratings & 1,380 reviews)
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Genres: Horror, Fantasy, Fiction, Thriller
Page Count: 702


About Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance:

Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.

That tornado was the first of many strange events that seem to follow Weylyn from town to town, although he doesn’t like to take credit. As amazing as these powers may appear, they tend to manifest themselves at inopportune times and places. From freak storms to trees that appear to grow over night, Weylyn’s unique abilities are a curiosity at best and at worst, a danger to himself and the woman he loves. But Mary doesn’t care. Since Weylyn saved her from an angry wolf on her eleventh birthday, she’s known that a relationship with him isn’t without its risks, but as anyone who’s met Weylyn will tell you, once he wanders into your life, you’ll wish he’d never leave.

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance tells the story of Weylyn Grey’s life from the perspectives of the people who knew him, loved him, and even a few who thought he was just plain weird. Although he doesn’t stay in any of their lives for long, he leaves each of them with a story to tell. Stories about a boy who lives with wolves, great storms that evaporate into thin air, fireflies that make phosphorescent honey, and a house filled with spider webs and the strange man who inhabits it.

There is one story, however, that Weylyn wishes he could change: his own. But first he has to muster enough courage to knock on Mary’s front door.

In this warm debut novel, Ruth Emmie Lang teaches us about adventure and love in a beautifully written story full of nature and wonder.

Average Goodreads Rating: 4.26 stars (991 ratings & 327 reviews)
Release Date: November 14, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Magical Realism, Fiction, Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Page Count: 352

My Other BOTM Club Blog Posts:

These books sound so fantastic and I can't wait to read them. I'm especially excited to read Sleeping Beauties. These are on my immediate TBR, but who knows when I'll have time to binge so extensively. 

Happy reading!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books Amino

Friday, November 10, 2017

{Review} Whichwood (Furthermore #2) by Tahereh Mafi


Page Count: 368
Published on: November 14, 2017
Published by: Dutton Books for Young Readers/Penguin Random House
Genre(s): Fantasy, Childrens, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Source: ARC/Hardcover -- Provided by Penguin
Age Rating: 10+
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon // Book Depository

My Rating: 4.5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

A new adventure about a girl who is fated to wash the bodies of the dead in this companion to Furthermore.

Our story begins on a frosty night…

Laylee can barely remember the happier times before her beloved mother died. Before her father, driven by grief, lost his wits (and his way). Before she was left as the sole remaining mordeshoor in the village of Whichwood, destined to spend her days washing the bodies of the dead and preparing their souls for the afterlife. It’s become easy to forget and easier still to ignore the way her hands are stiffening and turning silver, just like her hair, and her own ever-increasing loneliness and fear.

But soon, a pair of familiar strangers appears, and Laylee’s world is turned upside down as she rediscovers color, magic, and the healing power of friendship.


This book was sent to me for an honest review. 

Hey, guys!

      Penguin contacted me a few weeks ago about being on the blogger tour for Whichwood and holy cow was I excited. This book was absolutely fantastic. I think I actually enjoyed this more than I enjoyed Furthermore. This book was whimsical, magical, morbid, and so beautifully written. I adored the connections to Furthermore and the new characters we got to meet. This Persian folk tale was absolutely stunning. 

     I adored how dark this book is, however, I do not think kids as young as 10 years old would actually appreciate this book for what it was. I think some kids would even get terrified of this book. This book became really dark towards the end and I honestly do not think that my 9-year-old sister would be able to handle it. I, as a 20-year-old, really appreciated this book. The whole theme and message behind it were just fantastic. I adore the characters, especially Laylee.

     Laylee, our main character, is a mordeshoor. She and her ancestors before her were in charge of ensuring safe passage to the underworld for the dead. Laylee washes the bodies of the dead. How rad is that! After her mother dies and her father leaves to find Death, Laylee is left alone to was the dead of Whichwood. Laylee was such a relatable and complex character. She goes through so much growth and self-discovery in this book. I loved how she grew closer to Alice and Oliver. Their friendship was so sweet and I love how they became so close. 

Let's talk about Ben. He is such a sweet and interesting character as well. I loved his relationship with the bugs an how he used his abilities to help, rather than to terrorize those who rebuked him. His mother is such a cool lady too. She was probably one of my favorite characters too. She and Ben are the greatest. I love how they became closer to Laylee, Alice, and Oliver.  

     The magic system that develops throughout this book is just fantastically and wonderfully done. I cannot believe how mind-blowingly magnificent this book was. I adored how the magical aspects of Furthermore intertwined with Laylee's mordeshoor magic. It just created the perfect story. I cannot wait to reread this duology. 

Tahereh Mafi's writing has just gotten better and better. She has this magical ability to create fantastic worlds and stories that you cannot help but devour. 

Tahereh Mafi Reviews:

Happy reading!

@LivTheBookNerd on Books Amino

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Fall 2017 Book Haul

Hey, guys!

     I've managed to acquire about 30(ish) books these past couple months...I know ridiculous. October was my birthday month and I also ended my book-buying-ban....so I splurged...I'm awful. I actually did a big purge of my read and TBR shelf last night, so...it's not all bad... I'm also on another book buying ban until Christmas, so that's a thing. I've also already broken it...so I'm awful. I'm totally done buying books! The only exception is for gifts for others! That's it! Okay here are the books I bought and received this month!

  • Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
  • Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase & the Gods of Asgard #3) by Rick Riordan
  • Shadow Scale (Seraphina #2) by Rachel Hartman
  • Quests for Glory (The School for Good & Evil #4) by Soman Chainani
  • Victoria by Daisy Goodwin
  • And I Darken by Kiersten White
  • BOTM Box Extra: Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King & Owen King
  • BOTM Box Pick: Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang
  • Of Mice & Men by John Steinbeck
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling [FIRST EDITION!!!]
  • The Orphan Queeby Jodi Meadows
  • A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas
    • Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdom #1) by Morgan Rhodes
    • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
    • Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V. E. Schwab
      • one for me one for Julia
    • The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
    • Throne of Glass coloring book (not pictured)
    • Bloody Jack (Bloody Jack #1) by L.A. Meyer
    • Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady (Bloody Jack #2) by L.A. Meyer
    • Under the Jolly Roger: Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber (Bloody #3) by L.A. Meyer
    • [SIGNED] Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) by Sarah J. Maas



    Shoutouts to:

    • Alex for spoiling me 💗
    • Sarah for being a rad sister
    • Penguin Teen/Penguin Random House for also spoiling me and sending me an ARC & a finished copy of Whichwood 
    • Entangled Teen for sending me Haven & Never Apart
    • Chris Africa for sending me his book
    • Bethany House Publishers for sending me Where We Belong
    # Bought: 22
    From Authors/Publishing Companies: 8
    # Gifted: 8
    Number of Books I've Read: 11
    Number of Books Unread: 27

    Happy reading!

    @LivTheBookNerd on Books Amino

    Wednesday, November 1, 2017

    October 2017 Wrap Up

    Hey, guys!

          This month has been really productive for school and for reading. I've managed to read 2 books for fun/leisure and 4 books for class. School has really sucked up the majority of my time, so I'm really happy with what I've read this month. October is, actually, my "birthday month", but I also had to do my midterms which took up the first two weeks of October. I had a 4-day break from school and it was mainly taken up by homework catch up. I've mainly read for school this month, but there were a couple books that I read that were really great. Here are the books I read this month:

    • Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney
      • No Rating? I might rate this if I review it, but I don't know if I will yet.
    • Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle
      • I hate philosophy. I think I skimmed this book and read the sparknotes really seriously. I'm still not sure I understand.
    • Ruby & Olivia by Rachel Hawkins
      • Super cute! Check out my review!
    • Filter Bubble: How The New Personalized Web is Changing What We Read & How We Think by Eli Pariser
      • This wasn't awful, but I wouldn't read it for fun.
    • Red Hood & the Outlaws, Volume 1 Redemption by Scott Lobell, Kenneth Rocafort, & Joshua Williamson
      • This was so rad. I bought this for Alex for our 10 months and he let me read it after him over night. I'm intrigued.
    • Whichwood (Furthermore #2) by Tahereh Mafi
      • Love love loved this book. Review coming soon!
    • Grendel by John Gardner
      • This was pretty good too. There were some chapters where I was just sooo confused. But overall, I really enjoyed this story.
    Number of Pages Read: 1,591
    Favorite Book Read: Whichwood! (Penguin Teen just sent me an advanced finished copy!!!)
    Number of Sponsored Reads: 2
    Number of Non-Sponsored Reads: 4

    Number of School Texts: 4

         Overall, I spent the majority of my reading time on school texts, but I did manage to read a couple of great books. I'm currently reading too many books at once for school and a couple for fun. I hate reading so many books at once, but when you only have a little time to actually read for fun, you've gotta read what you're in the mood for.

    Happy reading!

    @LivTheBookNerd on Books Amino