Saturday, March 31, 2018

March 2018 Reading Wrap Up

Hey, guys!

Today I'm bringing you my March reading wrap up. I've read much more than I thought I would. Thank God for spring break. This month I managed to read 2 single issue comics and 11 books. I will have reviews for each book soon, so stay tuned! 

  • Summer Constellations by Alisha Sevigny
    • 4.75 stars
    • Review coming May 1
  • The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint Exupery
    • 5 stars
  • (not pictured) Blindness by Jose Saramago
    • No rating
  • (not pictured) The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace
    • 4.75 stars
  • Runaways (2017~) #5 by Kris Anka and Rainbow Rowell
    • 4.5 stars
  • Runaways (2017~) #6 by Kris Anka and Rainbow Rowell
    • 4.5 stars
  • Whisper by Lynnette Noni
    • 3 stars
    • Review coming May 2
  • (reread/first time listening) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
    • 4 stars
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
    • 5 stars
  • (not pictured) MAMA: A True Story, in which a Baby Hippo Loses His Mama During a Tsunami, but Finds a New Home, and a New Mama by Jeanette Winter
    • 4 stars
  • The Creature of the Pines (The Unicorn Rescue Society #1) by Adam Gitwitz
    • 4 stars
    • Review coming April 3!
  • The Basque Dragon (The Unicorn Rescue Society #2) by Adam Gitwitz
    • 4 stars
    • Review coming July 10!
  • A Visit to the Impossible Lands by Holly Black (short story)
    • 5 stars
  • (not pictured) Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
    • No rating - for school

# of Graphic Novels: 2 + one children's picture book
# of School Texts: 3
# of ARCs: 4
# of "fun" books: 6
Favorite Book Read: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black!
Least Favorite Book Read: Blindness by Jose Saramago
Number of Pages Read: 2,570 pages

I also managed to acquire an excessive amount of books this month. If you'd like to check those books out, you can see that post {here}. 

I'm  also currently reading way too many books. I will be posting that blog post next week. Stay tuned for that!

I'm also currently hosting a giveaway. If you'd like to enter, click {here} for the blog post or {here} for the Instagram post. 

Happy reading!

Friday, March 30, 2018

{Book Haul} March 2018

Oh my gosh, guys!!!!

      I've gone overboard this month...This past month I had a week-long break where I went out of town with my boyfriend multiple times. We went to see Les Miserables in Indianapolis, we went and sold probably 30 of my books to Half Priced Books, bought more books, and then went to a Mike Mullin signing at a Barnes and Noble in Indianapolis. It was so much fun! But I bought some books...granted, I did put myself in the position where I decided to buy books. This splurge was all because of my lack of self-control. I have no one to blame but myself. I'm quite happy with the books that I picked up. I always buy books with the intention to read them as soon as possible, but we all know it may be a bit... I'm going to separate the bought books from the ARCs, so stay tuned for my ridiculous extravagance! 

Pre-Orders and Purchases
  1. Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi 
  2. Runaways (2017~) #5 by Kris Anka, Rainbow Rowell, and Matthew Wilson
  3. Runaways (2017~) #6 by Kris Anka, Rainbow Rowell, and Matthew Wilson
  4. Saga (Single Issue- Chapter 43) by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan
  5. The Viking's Chosen (Clan Hakon #1) by Quinn Loftis
  6. The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace
  7. The Witch Doesn't Burn In This One by Amanda Lovelace
  8. The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
  9. The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
  10. Obsideo (The Illuminae Files #3) by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman
  11. Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff
  12. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  13. Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce
  14. Ashfall (Ashfall #1) by Mike Mullin (signed paperback 
  15. Ashfall (Ashfall #1) by Mike Mullin (second-hand signed hardback)
  16. Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman
  17. His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire #1) by Naomi Novik
  18. (Barnes & Noble edition) The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black 
  19. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black 

Review Copies/ARCS
  1. The Haunting of Sunshine Girl (The Haunting of Sunshine Girl #1) by Paige Mackenzie
  2. The Awakening of Sunshine Girl (The Haunting of Sunshine Girl #2) by Paige Mackenzie
  3. The Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl (The Haunting of Sunshine Girl #3) by Paige Mackenzie
  4. Me & Me by Alice Kuipers
  5. The Last Wish of Sasha Cade by Cheyanne Young
  6. Kiss Me in Paris by Catherine Rider
  7. The Leading Edge of Now by Marci Lyn Curtis
  8. The Creature of the Pines (The Unicorn Rescue Society #1) by Adam Gidwitz, Jesse Casey, Christopher Smith, and Hatem Aly
    • review coming 4/3
  9. The Basque Dragon (The Unicorn Rescue Society #2) by Adam Gidwitz, Jesse Casey, Christopher Smith, and Hatem Aly
    • review coming 7/10
  10. The Calculus of Change by Jessie Hilb
  11. The Falling Between Us by Ash Parsons
  12. Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf
Number of Books Read: 8
Number of Books Unread: 23

So, I've managed to acquire 28 books and 3 comics. That's kind of ridiculous. I really treated myself this month...and the authors/publishing houses that I'm working with have really spoiled me. I can't wait to read these books. 

What books are you excited to read?

Happy reading!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

{CLOSED Giveaway} The Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl Giveaway!

Happy Tuesday! Today I am bringing you a giveaway! Thank you @hachettebooks for asking me to host this giveaway!
In celebration of the paperback release of THE SACRIFICE OF SUNSHINE GIRL by Paige McKenzie, Hachette and I teamed up to giveaway a copy of the newly released finale of this cool series. 

I plan on binge reading this whole series this summer. I hope I can vlog it too, so stay tuned!

• R U L E S •
πŸ’€ Start: today! March 27!
πŸ’€ End: April 7 @ 11:59 PM
•This is U.S. only•

~If you are under 18, please get your parents permission. The winner will have to share their address with me. See below for details.

~I will announce the winner by the 15th on my story. I will also edit this post to tag the winner at the beginning of the caption.

🌟Like AND follow @livthebooknerd
I will check to see if both are done. You must be a public page.

1) Tag 2 interested friends in the comments!
2) Repost this post on your story OR your feed. Either works. You don’t have to do both to get the entry. You can tag me, but please DO use the hashtag #LTBNSunshineGA


Hachette will be sending out a copy of the book. I will DM the winner for their contact information and their information will be emailed to Hachette and ONLY Hachette.

Questions? Comment or DM me! Thanks, guys! I hope you enjoy this giveaway!

Enter Here! {click here}

Winner Update:

Congratulations Jesse of @jaythebookbird!

Happy reading!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

{Q&A/Review with Bailey}: Ramona's World by Beverly Cleary

Page Count: 240
Published on: August 25, 1999
Published by: Harper Collins
Genre(s): Childrens, Fiction, Realistic Fiction
Source: Paperback 
Age Rating: Young Adult
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon
Book Depository: {click here}

Bailey's Rating: 3 star

Goodreads synopsis:

Ramona Quimby can't wait to start fourth grade. With a new baby sister to brag about, new calluses to show off, and a new best friend to get to know, everything's going to be great!

Or is it? When Ramona's spelling is atrocious, her teacher, Mrs. Meacham, is firm about her needing to improve. Then a scary incident at a friend's house leaves Ramona feeling at fault. Who knew growing up could be filled with such complicated situations?


Hey, guys!

     Bailey and I finally sat down and reviewed a few books and I'm so happy with the content that we've compiled for you. Bailey is currently 9 years old and so freaking smart. She loves to read. She's so hilarous and she has the best commentary about the books she reads. 

I loved doing this interview/review with her. She's so passionate about what she reads. I hope you enjoy this review! In the next year, we're going to start writing full on reviews and get her writing skills to develop. 


Q: What is Ramona's World about? Can you summarize it a bit?

B: It's about Ramona's fourth grade year and all the ups and downs that she goes through. 

      She has a baby sister now and she falls through a ceiling at a friends house and scrapes up her legs. At the end, her classmate Susan comes to her birthday party but cries because the book her mom read was made fun of because it said that you shouldn't eat birthday cake because someone might spit on it. Which I think is offensive because it isn't the book's fault. It's the author of the book's fault not Beverly Cleary. 

Q: What would you rate this book? Why?

B: 3 stars. Because I don't like how she calls "10" 'zero-teen' and "11" 'one-teen'.

Q: What did you like about this book? What did you dislike?

B: I like Ramona, except I don't have a baby sister and she only has one big sister. I have three. I like how they call Beatrice "Beezus" and how when they're taking care of a cat named Claude that they have a two story cat tower. I like that the baby get's its head stuck in the cat tower, but Ramona helps figure out how to get the baby out without hurting her. 

Q: Are you going to continue with more Ramona books?
B: I already have. Ramona books are good. I've read Ramona Forever, but I don't remember anything and I really want to read it and I'm screaming! AHHH!

Q: Do you have anything else to say to the people reading this?

B: I like chickens. If a chicken and a dragon had a baby I'd call it a Cragon and it's name would be Ramona or Roberta...depends....maybe even Beatrice. I don't know. I'll figure it out....

(Bailey is looking through Ruby and Olivia by Rachel Hawkings) "WHAT IF I CUT YOU!"

Happy reading!
Olivia & Bailey
~LivTheBookNerd & Beetle~

{Q&A/Review With Bailey} Ruby & Olivia by Rachel Hawkins


Page Count: 240
Published on: October 24, 2017
Published by: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre(s): Middle Grade, Mystery, Paranormal
Source: Paperback ARC - via publisher -- given to her by me
Age Rating: PG
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon // Book Depository

Bailey's Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

A spooky middle-grade story that's full of fun, friendship, and humor--perfect for fans of Ingrid Law and Lisa Graff.
Ruby is best friends with Emma, but she and Emma's twin sister Olivia are definitely not friends. Unfortunately, Emma will be away for the summer, while Ruby and Olivia are going to be stuck at a community service day camp for troublemakers--together. 
To kick off the spirit of service, the campers are outfitted with bright pink polka-dotted t-shirts with smiley faces on the front, then tasked with cataloging the contents of an abandoned mansion. Sorting through objects in an old house sounds boring, and working with each other is that last thing the girls want to do, but the stuff is actually pretty cool. There's everything from mink stoles to golf clubs to stuffed deer heads . . . and . . . wait . . . is that stuffed deer head watching them? 
When the taps run freezing cold and doors slam inexplicably, Ruby and Olivia wonder if the other campers are having a bit of fun, or if the abandoned mansion is looking for new residents. To solve the mystery, Ruby and Olivia will have to put their grudges aside and figure out how to be a team with or without Emma.


Hey, guys!

Today Bailey and I are bringing you an amazing Q&A review for Rachel Hawkin's Ruby and Olivia. Back in late October, I recieved an ARC for Ruby and Olivia and I reviewed it. It wasn't one of my absolute favorite middle grade novels and Bee wanted to read it, so I just gave her the ARC. In the past few weeks, Bailey has read and reread this book...she loves we had to review it! I hope you love this review. We worked really hard to make this great and I'm so proud of how far she's come. Enjoy!

My Review of R&O: {click here}


Q: What is Ruby & Olivia about? Can you summarize it a bit?

A: It's about these kids who go to a mansion because Olivia's sister, Emma, is shoplifting and steals lipstick and Olivia takes the blame. Ruby did a prank at a different school where she did something with glitter in the hallways, so both of them are sent to Camp Chrysalis. They are sent to the Live Oak House mansion to clean up and they went to creepy rooms and creepy things kept happening, like a kid got bit by the house. 

      The reason that it's called the Live Oak House is because the house is built around a live tree. The tree actually almost killed Ruby and Olivia because it was kind of possessed by the spirits of Mr. Rexhall's dead twin sisters. 

Q: What would you rate this book? Why?

A: 5 stars. It's a good book! I like how it has an actual plot and the characters are cool. I like how it's a one of the kids' hands gets bit and it was the end of the chapter!...I was like.... (holds up hands in awe) woah, I gotta keep reading! Olivia reminds me of you because she's respectful and well behaved and you might take the blame if Sarah stole a cactus or something. I don't think she would, but if she did I think you'd take the blame so she could go to a cool camp. 

[Sarah is actually my twin sister. She's a lover of plants, baking, and skincare. She would never steal anything, but she sure does love plants.]

Bailey continued to reread passages of this book to creep me out. She succeeded and I had to take the book from her so we could finish this interview review. 

Q: What did you like about this book? What did you dislike?

A: I liked that there were creepy dolls involved. That is the best kind of story. [Me: why??] I just like creepy dolls. I like their horrifying faces. It reminds me of when I look in the mirror.  [GUYS I'M NOT KIDDING SHE LITERALLY SAID THAT AND GIGGLED! WHO IS THIS CHILD???]

I didn't like how silent Wesley is. He barely said anything. I don't like it when other people give other people the silent treatment in books...and I don't like how he hides behind his hair. 

Q: So this book is a standalone. If it had a sequel would you read it? Do you think it needs a sequel?

A: Definitely. There is no way I'm saying no to a sequel. I think it needs a shorter sequel or something. You can't just end the story with the house disappearing. What happens next? I need to know!

Q: Do you have anything else to say to the people reading this?

A: I think this book was amazing....and I like chickens. 

Q: Why do you like chickens??? Why???

A: They supply you with food and they make noises like "quak" or "BOCK"


Thanks for reading this review! We hope you enjoyed it!

Happy reading!
Olivia & Bailey
~Liv & Bailey the Book Nerds~

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

{Review} Laura & Emma by Kate Greathead

Page Count: 280
Published on: March 13, 2018
Published by: Simon Schuster
Genre(s): Fiction, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Chick Lit
Source: Paperback ARC - provided by publisher
Age Rating: YA-Adult
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon
Book Depository: {click here}

My Rating: 2.5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

A tender, witty debut novel about a single mother raising her daughter among the upper crust of New York City society in the late twentieth century from a nine-time Moth StorySLAM champion.

Laura hails from the Upper East Side of Manhattan, born into old money, drifting aimlessly into her early thirties. One weekend in 1981 she meets Jefferson. The two sleep together. He vanishes. And Laura realizes she’s pregnant.

Enter: Emma.

Despite her progressive values, Laura raises Emma by herself in the same blue-blood world of private schools and summer homes she grew up in, buoyed by a host of indelible characters, including her eccentric mother, who informs her society friends and Emma herself that she was fathered by a Swedish sperm donor; her brother, whose childhood stutter reappears in the presence of their forbidding father; an exceptionally kind male pediatrician; and her overbearing best friend, whose life has followed the Park Avenue script in every way except for childbearing. Meanwhile, the apple falls far from the tree with Emma, who begins to question her environment in a way her mother never could.

Told in vignettes that mine the profound from the mundane, with meditations on everything from sex and death to insomnia and the catharsis of crying on the subway, a textured portrait emerges of a woman struggling to understand herself, her daughter, and the changing landscape of New York City in the eighties and nineties.


Hey, guys!

This book was sent to me by Simon & Schuster for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions, and feelings are my own. 

      I read this book a couple weeks ago in the midst of midterms madness and my crazy school schedule. This book follows a single mother as she raises her daughter among the upper tier New York elite throughout the 1980s and early to mid-1990s. This book was pitched to me as something similar to the show Gilmore Girls. Of course, I was intrigued. I love stories that center on family and parental relationships. However, as you can see from my low rating, I wasn't too impressed with how this book turned out. 

      Overall, this book was fairly entertaining. I really enjoyed the vignette format that the story was told in, but I really didn't enjoy the overall story as much as I would have hoped. I think that the story and the overall premise was fairly entertaining and if I had had the time to read this book when I wasn't swamped, I would have read the book in a day or even in one sitting. The vignette format made it a very quick read and I really liked the format overall. The characters, however, were not that great. 

      Though the premise of these characters stories were really intriguing I feel like all of the characters lack substance. I didn't connect to any of the characters, I had a hard time empathizing with them, and I just feel like they were blah characters. I wanted to like them, I kept reading because I was hoping to like them...but I just don't. They were boring and hard to love. The relationships in this book were just so forced and I never felt like Laura had a genuine relationship with anyone she encountered...even with her daughter. She tried, but I never felt like she really tried. 

     Not only do I feel like the characters lack substance, I feel like there was nothing resolved in this book. I usually like a good family-drama novel, but this one just was so unsatifying. The endig just lacked everything, there were no satisfactory character or relationship arks, the conflicts that had been building between the family members were never resolved, and I ended up just not liking Emma or Laura. I'm all for an open, artsy ending, but this book was just not my cup of tea. I did not like it. 

      I've probably ranted enough. I don't think that this book is something that I'll read again. It's not my type of book (although I wish it was). I think the main reason that I still read YA is because I've never really related to adult characters. As a 20-year-old who grew up with fantastical fantasy stories and character-driven YA books, I find it harder to connect to more adult protagonists. Laura was just not my girl. If you love adult novels with family angst and drama then you might like this. 

Happy reading, guys!

Friday, March 16, 2018

{Author Interview} Sara Wolf || Author of Bring Me Their Hearts (June 2018)

Hey, guys!

      Today I'm bringing you an awesome interview that I had with the talented New York Times bestselling author Sara Wolf! Her novel Bring Me Their Hearts. This is her latest release and it is the first book in a fantastical fantasy trilogy about an immortal soldier girl who is sent to steal a prince's heart. I'm very excited to read this book. I hope you guys enjoy this interview with Sara!


Page Count: 400 
Published on: June 5, 2018
Published by: Entangled Teen
Genre(s): Fantasy, YA
Age Rating: YA
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon // Book Depository

Goodreads synopsis:

A lush, unique new fantasy trilogy about a girl tasked with stealing the prince’s heart…literally, from the New York Times bestselling author of the Lovely Vicious series.

Zera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing 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 her 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.



Interview with Sara Wolf:

O: What inspired you to write? 

S: Believe it or not, when I was young I was hugely into fanfiction writing. I wrote about pretty much everything - from X-Files to Pokemon to Harry Potter. My longest fanfic ended up being 1k pages long and 700k words! Releasing a fanfic chapter every week really trained me to write a lot, edit later, and always keep a riveting story in mind. The cool part is if I ever need a warm up or I'm feeling really writers-blocked, I'll dive into my favorite fandoms (right now it's Final Fantasy and Star Wars!) and churn out a fanfic or two. It really helps to get my creative thoughts flowing. 

O: Are your characters inspired by real people? If so, who, and how did they influence the people you create?

S: Honestly, I'm not very good at getting into other people's heads. I'm much better at getting in my own head, so a lot of my characters are aspects of my personality refined and concentrated. Lucien, for instance, is the very protective and fair part of me - the part that always wants justice and to defend the underdog. Zera is the part of me that jokes around and doesn't want to take anything seriously, for fear of having to face her own feelings, but she's also got a bit of my tendency to self-sacrifice; martyrdom, self-blame before anything else. Malachite is sort of the strong and yet very straight-forward and casual person I've always wanted to be, and Fione is the part of me that hides her feelings behind a smile, who burns hot with (sometimes misplaced) revenge, and who puts on an outward show of obedience only to rebel every chance she gets. It sounds a bit arrogant, but my characters are me, my children in a way.  

O: What is your writing process? How do you plan out your stories?

S: I'm usually TERRIBLE at plotting out stories. I hate outlines with a passion, mostly because as I'm writing the book it tends to veer off and never really stay on the outline's track. A great joy of writing for me is to see where the story takes me, without knowing or guiding it, just sort of letting the characters and the world take the wheel instead. Of course, this sometimes doesn't make for a great story, which is where I step in. I had to rewrite BRING ME THEIR HEARTS four whole times before the characters and I finally agreed on how it came out. And by rewrite, I mean from scratch. And all the drafts were 100k words and above. Phew!

O: Do real events influence your writing?

S: I think real events usually subconsciously influence my writing - I tend to put what I want to see in books instead of what is actually happening in the world. But the themes of the real world are still very much present; engines of hate such as fascism, homophobia, and racism are what I modeled Archduke Gavik's entire character upon. He's not a good man, and he uses religion and fear to both control and mislead people. He's possibly one of the worst bad guy characters I've ever written - writing him at points made me sick to my stomach. But that's all the more reason to cheer as Zera, Lucien, Fione, and Malachite oppose him.   
O: That's kind of hilarious. I feel like that kind of how I write too. Is this your first time writing in this genre? If so, how is it different from your other works? Did it require a new planning style?

S: This is my first time writing fantasy, yes! Fantasy is pretty different from contemporary in the sense you can't make pop culture jokes (something I love and adore), and a lot of convenient things we take for granted in writing become unavailable. For example, I couldn't use the word 'devil' in this book, at all. Devilish, etc. That's because this world doesn't have the concept of 'the devil', or 'being devilish', because their religion has no devil. Things like that, that are very basic in the real world, turn out to be a huge hassle in fantasy. You always have to reinvent concepts like that to fit into the world you're writing. I had great influences though - Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen was really the catalyst that set me off into writing this book - she makes writing fantasy look so simple when it's actually SUPER HARD!

O: What was your favorite part of writing Bring Me Their Hearts?

S: My absolute favorite part was writing all four characters together. Zera, Lucien, Malachite, and Fione really mesh well and I love their antics together - I really want to explore their friendship as the books progress. Their hilarious banter cracked me up more than once, and I loved watching them grow and learn together. Another of my favorite parts was writing about the food, considering I'm SUCH a huge sucker for food. Food is life. It was great fun to think up foods for the Vetrisian court since it's such a huge part of any culture in general. 

That's amazing! Thank you so much, Sara for doing this interview with me. I truly appreciate it! I can't wait to read Bring Me Their Hearts and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors!

Happy reading!


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

{Review} Someday Somewhere by Lindsay Champion


Page Count: 280
Published on: April 3, 2018
Published by: KCP Loft
Genre(s): Contemporary, Young Adult, Mental Health, Romance
Source: Paperback - provided by publisher
Age Rating: Young Adult
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon
Book Depository: {click here}

My Rating: 3 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Dominique is a high school junior from a gritty neighborhood in Trenton, where she and her mom are barely getting by. 

Ben is a musical prodigy from the Upper East Side, a violinist at a top conservatory with obsessive talent and a brilliant future.

When Dom's class is taken to hear a concert at Carnegie Hall, she expects to be bored out of her mind. But then she sees the boy in the front row playing violin like his life depends on it --- and she is transfixed. 

Posing as an NYU student, Dom sneaks back to New York City to track down Ben Tristan, a magnetic genius who whisks her into a fantasy world of jazz clubs and opera, infatuation, and possibility. Each sees something in the other that promises to complete them.

As Dom's web of lies grows, though, so does Ben's obsessive need to conquer Beethoven's famous Kreutzer Sonata. But Ben's genius, which captivates Dominique, conceals a secret, and the challenges of her life may make it difficult to help him.

Alternating perspectives and an unreliable narrator create suspense and momentum, romance and heartbreak. Author Lindsay Champion's deep roots in theater and music are evident on every page --- structured like a sonata with hints of West Side Story, her debut novel hits all the right notes.


Hey, guys!

     This book was sent to me by KCP Loft for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Thank you, KCP Loft, for sending me this book. 

      When first starting this book, I had no idea how much mental health would play into this story. I thought this would be a cutesy and artsy little contemporary that follows fun musicians as they fall in love in New York. This was not the fluffy romance that I anticipated. I was actually hoping to get some Your Lie in April vibes, but oh my gosh I got the heavier end of that stick. This book was much heavier and I really did not know what I was going into when I started this book. After reading this, I had one of my friends read this book to see if my opinions were just insensitive or something, but she thinks that my feelings are valid and her thoughts on this book really helped me put the events of the book into perspective. 

     Initially, I really did not like this book all that much. I thought the characters were obnoxious and annoying. I thought that Dom was kind of fake and manipulative and I thought that Ben was pretentious and crazy. After reading the book, I realize that those generalizations were flawed and close-minded. I was being bitter and mean towards a situation that I didn't know much about. Above in the synopsis, it says that the narrators are purposefully unreliable, but I really did not know that, to begin with. I feel like there should have been a way for me to know that they were kind of unreliable going in? Maybe? Then again, not knowing much added to the confusing aspect of the book. Maybe I'm wrong. 

Let's just get into my thoughts.

    Let's talk about the characters. At first, I really liked Dom. I thought she had an interesting perspective and I liked that she was a kind of underdog that could represent those who have to work really hard to move up in life. I thought that would be a great message to incorporate into YA. She and her mom's situation was so raw and real. I really loved their initial dynamic. Not to mention, Dom and her friend Cass' friendship. I loved Cass. He was probably the best character in the book. I adored him. I'd read a book all about Cass if I could. Overall, Dom had the potential to be a fantastic character. She's smart, she's beautiful, and she has the capability to be so much more than she is....but then she started lying...about everything. I just could not get behind it. 

    Ben was an even bigger piece of work. He could have been so sweet and romantic, but he became obsessive and strange and intense. Dom didn't see it. She was so caught up in the romanticism of it instead of following her instincts. He started to get scary and his behavior literally made me sit at the edge of my seat and actively worry about his and Dom's well being. After reading the last few chapters of the book, we find out why he's acting the way he is, but while reading the events as they were happening I was getting so mad at him for what he was doing. He wasn't taking care of himself, he was constantly lying and being mean to his family and friends and classmates. He was being super sketchy and weird. I just didn't like him. After reading the last bits of the book, I just worried about him. I wouldn't wish that kind of mania on anyone. It's not that I pity him, it's that I can empathize with him. I feel like he and Dom are actual people. 

     These characters have left a mark on me. I didn't like the book very much, but boy do I appreciate the message and representation. This was a beautifully written debut. Champion did a great job at representing these teens. They were so real and...annoying. I think in the best way. I'm still salty about their recklessness and I don't condone their behavior at all, but wow... it was a ride. 

Happy reading!