Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January 2018 Reading Wrap Up + Currently Reading

Hey, guys!

     This month has been a crazy productive reading month.. but not really. I've been working on reading Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo for the longest time, but I've also managed to procrastinate everything with graphic novels! Hooray! I've also managed to finish 2 books for my classes and read too much boring textbook stuff. Today I'm going to share with you what I'm reading and listening to and about the books I read this month!

  1. Quests For Glory (The School For Good & Evil: The Camelot Years #1) by Soman Chainani
    • 4.5 stars
    • Review coming soon!
  2. Rebel With A Cupcake by Anna Mainwaring
    • 3 stars
    • Review coming soon!
  3. A Good Cry by Nikki Giovanni
    • 3 stars
    • This was an ok poetry and prose anthology, but there were only 3 poems that I actually liked enough to be excited about them.
  4. Turn of the Screw by Henry James 
    • I will not review this book. It would be a giant bash fest + uneducated psychological assumptions. 
  5. Friendship to the Max (Lumberjanes #2) by Noelle Stevenson
    • 4.5 stars
  6. Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy Volume 1 by Chyna Clungston Flores
    • 4.5 stars
  7. The Faust Act (The Wicked & The Divine #1) by 
    • 5 stars
  8. Fandemonium (The Wicked & The Divine #2) by 
    • 5 stars
  9. (The Wicked & The Divine #3) by 
    • 4 stars
  10. (The Wicked & The Divine #4) by 
    • 4 stars
  11. (The Wicked & The Divine #5) by  
    • 5 stars
  12. (The Wicked & The Divine #6) by  
    • 5 stars
  13. Chip Zdarsky 
    • 4 stars
  14. A Terrible Plan (Lumberjanes #3) by Noelle Stevenson
    • 4 stars
  15. Two Worlds, One Cop (Sex Criminals Volume 2) by Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarksy
    • 3 stars
  16. Don Quixote Book 1 by Cervantes
    • I DON'T LIKE THIS BOOK EITHER! This was for class.
    • I will not review this book. 
      I'm really behind on reviews, but I'm working hard to get some churned out. School takes up all of my time and I barely have any time to read at all. The only reason I could read this much was because I took a 5-hour break to binge the graphic novels. I really should have done my homework that day... Oops...

Currently Reading:

I also really wanted to show you guys the books I'm currently reading. There are quite a few and most are for classes, but whatever. Here they are!

  1. Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
    • CR // 91/169
    • I've already read half of this book for my second literature class and I actually really enjoy it. This book instigates a great discussion on mental health and mental health in the 1960s. 
  2. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
    • CR// 246/546
    • I've been reading this since the beginning of January, but school has stopped me from fully allowing myself to be immersed in it. I really want to continue, but every time I continue, I get irresponsible and want to just sit down and read instead of doing homework. I looove it though. I can't wait for a break to finish it. 
  3. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
    • CR// 0/329
    • I'm starting this book this weekend for one of my literature classes, so hopefully, it was better than Don Quixote... 
  4. Sass & Sorcery (Rat Queens Volume 1) by Kurtis J. Wiebe & Roc Upchurch
    • CR// 46/128
    • I started this today to pass the time before my hair appointment and I'm intrigued to say the least. 
  5. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
    • CR// 305/374
    • Reread + first time listening buddy read with my boyfriend
These don't include the books that are on my currently reading shelf that I've put on hold. I'll get to them, but I'm still waiting.

I'm really excited to finish these books. 

What did you read in January? What are you going to read next?

Happy reading!
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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

{DNF Review} Secrets of the Tally by Halie Fewkes

Page Count: 330
Published on: August 22, 2015
Published by: Tally Ink Publishing
Genre(s): Fantasy, YA
Source: hardback via author
Age Rating: YA
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon // Book Depository

My Rating: DNF 

Goodreads synopsis:

Meet Allie: she's just woken up in an empty forest with blood on her hands and everything she's ever known wiped from her mind. In her survival-oriented world, people are hunted by vicious predators and it quickly becomes clear that they are specifically hunting her. 

Allie's friends and sister have no insight as to why she's a target, and her only clue is a list of tally marks she finds tucked away, detailing how many lives she's saved and how many deaths she's caused. Judging by the amount of ink slashed across the page and the fact that nobody seems to know about it, Allie knows she used to have secrets that need to be recovered. 

Without knowing whom to trust, she finds herself drawn to a new stranger in the caves they call home, and even though he won't talk about his own past, he's ready to help Allie recover hers. 

The problem now is that Allie's instinct to survive is the only thing strong enough to bring her memories back. Flashes of her old self will only surface to save her from life-threatening danger, so if she wants to avoid living as an echo of her former self, danger is what she must seek.


Hey, guys!

     I was sent Secrets of the Tally for an honest review by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own. See my review policy for my policy on review copies and DNF'd books.

    The premise of Secrets of the Tally had such promise but I, unfortunately, did not enjoy this book at all. I had quite a few problems with the book, but I really wanted to love it. I'm really disappointed that I did not enjoy this book. I adore Halie Fewkes, her Instagram feed, and her journey to being published is so inspiring. I can only wish her the best in her future endeavors. Unfortunately, her book was just not for me.

     Secrets of the Tally follows Allie who has woken up without any of her memories. She soon realizes that no one really understands her past fully and that she has to rely on her survival skills and intelligence to figure out who she truly is. She finds out that her memories only come to her when she's in true peril, so she has to seek out as much danger as she can.

      I initially started this back in May of 2017, but I really wasn't in the mood for it, so I set it down for a bit. I was starting to get into a slump and I felt like it wouldn't be fair to Fewkes if I read it when I wasn't in the mood. Well, at the end of the year, I was finally in the mood to read the book, but unfortunately, I just didn't like it. I was just really bored throughout the book and I couldn't even get through it. The plot was just so slow and the events were just so predictable or just so random. On top of that, I felt like the characters were really two dimensional and boring. I didn't connect to any of them and they were just so irritating and annoying. 

     There were a few instances where the story got interesting, but within a few pages, it just got boring again. I just could not get behind it. Many of the scenes that happened were just so irrelevant and annoyingly random. The whole plot was just so inconsistent and boring. I really did not enjoy the magic/fantasy element of this story. Within the first half of the book the system wasn't really adequately explained. I was just confused. I originally thought it was going to be really interesting, but I really didn't get anything from it. 

    Overall, I felt like this novel lacked development. I really wanted to love this story, but it wasn't for me. I was just bored and annoyed with the characters and plot. The concept was really intriguing, but this book just fell flat for me. 

Happy reading!
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Monday, January 29, 2018

{Cover Reveal} Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

Hey, guys!

     I've been asked to help with the cover reveal for Entangled Teen's most highly anticipated YA novel Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf! This series has been listed by Publishers Weekly as "one of the most anticipated YA's of 2018!" NYT bestselling author Sara Wolf delivers a fast-paced, gritty fantasy sure to thrill fans of Holly Black, Sabba Tahir, and Sarah J. Maas.

Here is the gorgeous cover! 


Zera is a Heartless—the immortal, unaging soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger ever since she saved her from the bandits who murdered her family, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum: if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy Zera’s heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him—every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him—until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.

This book comes out on June 5, 2018!

I am so excited to read this book! It sounds fantastic and right up my alley! 

Where To Purchase/Preorder:


About Sara Wolf:

Sara Wolf is a twenty-something author who adores baking, screaming at her cats, and screaming at herself while she types hilarious things. When she was a kid, she was too busy eating dirt to write her first terrible book. Twenty years later, she picked up a keyboard and started mashing her fists on it and created the monster known as the Lovely Vicious series. She lives in San Diego with two cats, a crippling-yet-refreshing sense of self-doubt, and not enough fruit tarts ever.

Goodreads |||||   Twitter   ||||||  Facebook


I hope you guys are as excited about this book as I am! I can't wait to get my own copy and read and discuss it with all of you!

Happy reading, everyone!
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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

{Reading Challenge} A-Z Reading Challenge

Hey, guys!

     I originally saw this challenge on Instagram, but it's been so long that I'm not sure where it originated. There was a similar challenge on Goodreads, so I'll link that below!

Original Goodreads Challenge: {click here}

I didn't actively try to complete this challenge throughout the year, but I found this towards the beginning of November. I thought it would be fun to fill out the list and see how I did this past year.

The Goal: 
✩ Read 26 books in which titles begin with the letters of the alphabet. 

The Guidelines: 
✩ Articles like "A", "An" and "The" at the beginning of the title can be ignored.
✩ For the letter "X", it's acceptable to use any book title with the letter "X" in it. 
✩ Feel free to join the challenge any time during the year. As long as the books were read in 2017, you can go ahead and backdate. 
✩ Have fun! Be sure to check out the lists of other's a great way to find new TBR's!

Here are the books that I read that fulfilled this challenge!

G - (The) Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
J -
M - Moral Tribes by Joshua D. Greene (no review)
V - 
X -
Y -
Z - 

20/26 Books Read!

I think I did pretty good for not really trying. I don't think I'll actively try to complete all 26 letters in 2018, but I think this could be really cool to fill out again at the end of the year. This just kind of shows how different my reading taste gets over the year. 

My 2017 Goodreads Year in Books: {click here}
My Full 2017 Reading Wrap Up: {click here}

Happy reading!
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Thursday, January 18, 2018

My Prioritized TBR for Early 2018

Hey, guys! 

     I know this is pretty late, but I just wanted to update you on what I plan on reading. These next few months will be really busy with school and work so my blog posts will be somewhat sporadic for the next few weeks. However, I'm working on getting back into a good reviewing schedule, so please be patient with me. My focus this semester is to do well in school, so I appreciate any feedback I can get during the next few semesters. 

I'm always looking for new guest reviewers. I'll also be reading a lot for class, so who knows how my "fun reading" will go. Please be patient with me. 

Here are the books I'm hoping to read really soon!

  • Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) by Sarah J. Maas
  • Wonder Woman Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
  • Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo
    • currently reading
  • The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelly
    • for school
  • Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
  • Spring Girls: A Modern-Day Retelling of Little Women by Anna Todd
  • Summer Constellations by Alisha Sevigny
  • The Angelica Touch by L. J. Sedgwick
  • First Came Forever by Annie Woods
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
  • Geekerella by Ashley Posten
  • Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
  • Laura & Emma by Kate Greathead
Books I Hope To Buddy Read With Julia:
  • This Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston
  • Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills
  • Renegades by Marissa Meyer
Not Shown (Last Minute Picks):
  • The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase & the Gods of Asgard #3) by Rick Riordan
  • The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo #2) by Rick Riordan
I'm so excited to read these books. I know I'll be busy with a lot of reading for class, but I'll definitely be trying to keep up with my reading.

Happy reading! 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

{Guest Post} Education & Espionage by Hannah Carmack

Hey, guys!

Today we will be discussing education and espionage. Hannah Carmack, the author of Seven-Sided Spy, wrote an amazing essay on the subject. We hope you enjoy!

Education and Espionage 
~Hannah Carmack~

Up until high school, I was not the best student. While a majority of my peers went into freshman year with a handful of AP course recommendations and impressive honor-roll records. I was going in seemingly lost. All my friends were smart enough for the excelled-English courses and excelled-mathematics, while I was stuck in entry-level classes. My grades usually lingered around a C/Low-B range, and I was never interested in the content being covered.

Now, pedagogy scholars could argue for days over whether the school was failing me or I was failing myself, but that’s not the point here. What matters is that I didn’t stay that way. Very early on in my freshman year of high school, I made the choice to take an AP History class against my academic advisor’s recommendations. This class is only reason my novel SEVEN-SIDED SPY is able to tote its historical fiction tag so proudly.

While some kids found their passion for biological chemistry in our Life Science class, or others their love of political science in AP Government, I found my love for espionage and international affairs in AP World History. SEVEN-SIDED SPY focuses on the intertwining story of seven intelligence agents –all from varying parts of the world – in 1963. We enter the book at the height of the civil rights-era, the beginning of the free-love moment, and the earliest days of the Vietnam war.
As you can imagine, the pressure was on. I found myself constantly repeating the mantra, fact-check yourself before you fact-wreck yourself. The time spent researching this project was endless. Even as we sent things off to the proofer, we were still looking up what the inside of a 1962 Corvair would look like, and figuring out if you could cram three adults into the back of a Karmann Ghia- the answer is yes, but not without sacrificing a couple arms and maybe a leg. We just recently caught a reference to cup holders. A major inaccuracy since cup holders didn’t show up in automobiles till around the 80’s. Then you’ve also got all your spy-tech, slang, political affair references to double, triple check. It made for a daunting project, easily softened by a love of history and a strong education system.
I’m not afraid to admit that this book wouldn’t be nearly as accurate or as seeped in its time period without having built a love of history early on. I wouldn’t have even known what inaccuracies to look for had I not been sitting 45 minutes a day listening to my teacher and peers discuss the history of intelligence work and the political tone for 1963.
That’s not to say all historical fiction needs to be written that way, more than I wouldn’t have been able to write historical fiction without it. For me, it was love at first sight with history classes. Things were easy to understand, while also spellbinding. History is the novel of past and the foreshadowing of our future –as it seems we are destined to repeat ourselves.  

Here is more information on Hannah's debut novel Seven-Sided Spy!

Published on: January 15, 2018
Published by: NineStar Press
Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Young Adult
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon 
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.8 stars (18 reviews)


In the midst of the cold war, the CIA’s finest and most fatal female agent, Diana Riley, vanishes. Kidnapped by the KGB and taken to the backcountry of North Carolina, she and her team of unsavory partners are forced to undergo illegal experimentation.

But, when the experiments leave them horribly deformed and unable to reenter society without someone crying monster, the previously glamorous and high-maintenance spies must escape KGB captivity and avoid recapture at the hands of Nikola, a ruthless KGB agent with an intense and well-justified grudge against her former flame.

Seven-Sided Spy is out now in eBook format!

Happy reading!
@LivTheBookNerd on Books Amino

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

{Review} Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas

Page Count: 693
Published on: September 6, 2016
Published by: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Genre(s): Fantasy, High Fantasy, YA, Romance
Source: Hardback - personally purchased
Age Rating: YA
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon // Book Depository

My Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius as war looms on the horizon. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don't.

With her heart sworn to the warrior-prince by her side, and her fealty pledged to the people she is determined to save, Aelin will delve into the depths of her power to protect those she loves. But as monsters emerge from the horrors of the past, and dark forces become poised to claim her world, the only chance for salvation will lie in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

In this breathtaking fifth installment of the New York Timesbestselling Throne of Glass series, Aelin will have to choose what—and who—to sacrifice if she's to keep the world of Erilea from breaking apart.


     I'm not going to get too into detail when discussing this book because I'll just start rambling and fangirling and that doesn't help anyone figure out if they should read this book. Not only that, I have to refrain from spoiling the first 4 books of this series. 

    First of all, I'd just like to say that this book was a roller coaster of emotions all throughout. The relationships and continual world building were just absolutely fantastic. The characters are all just so wonderfully fleshed out and they naturally grow with the series which is so delightful to read. I really loved the dual perspective aspect of this book. It made the story so much more vibrant and well rounded. Each perspective of every character added a kind of depth that I usually don't read in fantasy novels. Maas's writing style and ability is just so wonderful. I adored every bit of this book.

    As I've continued on with this series, I've grown to love these characters like they are my own children. Each one's story is just so rich and different and their personalities are just so fascinating. They clash, they click, and some just cannot get along. That's what I love about these characters. They aren't the typical characters and they aren't perfect at all. Their actions never seem to be written specifically to move the plot along. The events that occur are just perfectly written and the story just flows so nicely. The constant twists and turns and additions to the overall plotline are just so cleverly done. I rarely guess what happens next. 

    This book blew my mind. I finished this book and I was absolutely crushed. Sarah J. Maas always seems to tear me apart with her books...I should just accept it and anticipate it, but I'm always hoping for some semblance of a happy ending...nope! We get a cliffhanger! Every time! I need TOG #7! I need to know what happens to Aelin and Rowan and the gang next! Give me Aelin or give me death! (No. Just kidding...but seriously...I need her back.)

     I'd like to gush about the character and relationship development...just for a bit. Feel free to skip these if you'd like, but Julia hasn't gotten to Empire of Storms, so I'm dying to gush. Each relationship has progressed so naturally and so beautifully. I cannot wait to see where these relationships go. I cannot imagine how everything will be wrapped up in October. 

     Rowan and Aelin grow so much in this book. I just adore how their relationship has blossomed. Their emotional and physical bond is just so inspiring and their vulnerability with one another is magical. I cannot believe how much I love them. I only want what's best for them. I just want them to live happily ever after. If SJM kills them off or kills one of them off in the next book I will break. I'm sure of it. 

     Although Dorian was my least favorite character in this book, I feel like he's growing back into his sassy and strong character. He seemed to kind of fly under the radar in EoS, but I think that is because of his experiences in the previous books. A lot of people have been discussing his rapid character change, but I actually understand how his character has been changing. He's gone through some emotional and physical trauma. He's trying to move past it the best he can. I support him and I hope that he and Manon get together in the end. I think she's good for him. I think they are thoroughly adorable!

On that note...Manon. My queen. The light of the Witch clans. The most badass witch that will ever be (probably). This chick is just so fantastically written. The amount of development that she goes through is so wonderfully done. I cannot wait to see how her character grows in TOG7. I love her developing relationship with the gang, I love her bond with Elide, I love her with Dorian. I love her whole character. I'd definitely read a prequel series about fact, I'm sort of demanding it. I need more backstory on Manon!

    Elide. What a strong little cinnamon roll. I love her so much. I cannot wait to see how her character grows. After the trauma that she's gone through, she's shown such immense strength in the face of danger. I love her. I love her. I love her. She is a strong independent
 and healing woman. She deserves every happiness and all of the answers to her questions. I hope that she and Lorcan get together and are happy. I need that in my life. They are precious. 

    Lorcan. Oh my goodness, his development was probably one of my favorite parts of this book. I love him, I love his character development, I love his loyalty, I love his flaws, I love his bond with Elide, I love how he's questioning his past decisions, and I just want him to be happy. Oh my goodness, the events that went down in the last chunk of the book literally broke me. LORCAN JUST DESERVES ALL OF THE HAPPINESS! 

     Aedion. Oh this man just goes through so much in this book. Mainly emotional, but wow oh wow...He deserves all of the happiness...

      I know I've basically said that they all deserve all of the happiness, but they do! These characters are just so near and dear to my heart. They deserve all of the happiness!

    This book was just absolutely fantastic. I highly recommend this series. If you didn't enjoy the first couple of books and didn't feel the sparks like you anticipated, push through to Heir of Fire and the rest because the amount of depth and dimension in these sequels are just out of this world. 10/10 would recommend forever. 

My Other Maas Reviews:

Happy reading!