Sunday, April 29, 2018

April 2018 Book Haul

Hey, guys!

Today I'm bringing you my April book haul! I've managed to stress-buy so many books (for cheap prices) and I've acquired some freaking amazing ARCs and review copies from a bunch of publishers and authors. I'm so excited to read these books. Here are the books I've acquired this month! I'll link in reviews! 

I've bought quite a few books that are duplicates of what I already have. I only do this if they're cheap and if I genuinely adore the book and want a duplicate to collect. I'm an odd collector. 
You can check out my major Indianapolis excursion that I took with my friends on my Instagram page highlights!

  1. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (gift)
  2. Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
  3. Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston (signed)
  4. The Jewel by Amy Ewing
  5. North Child by Edith Pattou (special edition!)
  6. The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus #1) by Rick Riordan
  7. The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus #2) by Rick Riordan
  8. The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus #3) by Rick Riordan
  9. The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus #4) by Rick Riordan
  10. The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus #5) by Rick Riordan
  11. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Gods of Olympus #1) by Rick Riordan 
  12. The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Gods of Olympus #2) by Rick Riordan 
  13. The Titan's Curse (Percy Jackson and the Gods of Olympus #3) by Rick Riordan 
  14. The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Gods of Olympus #4) by Rick Riordan 
  15. The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Gods of Olympus #5) by Rick Riordan 
  16. Aerie by Maria Dhavana Headley
  17. Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
  18. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  19. Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women by Harriet Reisen
  20. Alanna the First Adventure by Tamora Pierce
  21. A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare
  22. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi and Mattias Ripa
  23. Persepolis 2: A Story of a Return by Marjane Satrapi and Mattias Ripa
  24. Saga Vol 1 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  25. Saga Vol 2 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  26. Saga Vol 3 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  27. Saga Vol 4 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  28. Saga #1 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  29. Rugrats #1 by Box Brown
  30. Moonstruck #1 by Grace Ellis
  31. The Wicked + The Divine #20 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson, and Clayton Cowles
  32. The Runaways #7 by Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka
  33. Jim Henson's Storyteller: Fairies #1 by Matt Smith and Dan Jackson
  34. Lumberjanes: Beyond Bay Leaf Special #1 by Faith Erin Hicks, Noelle Stevenson, Rosemary Valero-O'Connell, and Shannon Watters
  35. Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian (3 samplers)
  1. Eggsistential Thoughts by Gudetama the Lazy Egg by Francesco Sedita
  2. Gudetama's Guide to Life by Francesco Sedita
  3. West by Edith Pattou
  4. Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka
  5. The Weekend Bucket List by Mia Kerick
  6. Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win by Jo Piazza
Thank you, Simon & Schuster, HMH, Penguin, Speak, and Mia Kerick!

Number of Books Read: 25
Number of Books Unread: 15 + sampler
Happy reading!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

{Guest Review: Alex} Never, Never and Never Again by K.M. Breakey

Page Count: 563
Published on: January 4, 2018
Published by: K.M. Breakey
Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Romance
Source: Paperback- provided by author
Age Rating: sexual content - young reader advisory

Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon  

My Rating: 1.75 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Audrey is a starry-eyed Brit, Pieter a tenth-generation Afrikaner. At the height of Apartheid, they fall in love. A life of splendour awaits, but the country is shifting underfoot. The winds of change fan revolution, and Michael Manzulu’s rage boils. He is hungry, and will risk everything to destroy his oppressor.

When white rule gives way, trepidation is tempered by precarious optimism. Mandela will make the miracle happen. Or not. Twenty-three years on, South Africa has suffered unprecedented decline. The country unravels and fear is pervasive. Fear of persecution, land seizure, slaughter. Pieter and Audrey march on. They navigate the perpetual threat. They pray the wrath will not strike their home.

Recently, voices of protest cry out, none louder than the bombastic scholar, Kaspar Coetzer. World leaders cautiously take note, but will they take action? More importantly, can they?

"Never, Never and Never Again" is a story of vengeance, greed and corruption. A story the world ignores, but a story that must be told…before it’s too late.


I was sent  Never, Never and Never Again by the author, K.M. Breakey, for the purpose of reviewing the novel. This is the second novel I have reviewed for Breakey. My review for Johnny and Jamaal can be read here. As with the first review, minor spoilers ahead.

Never, Never and Never Again follows the Van Zyl family from the 1970s to 2018. The first section of the novel follows Afrikaner Pieter Van Zyl as he charms and marries English Audrey Hudson. This first section dabbles in racial tension and conflict during Apartheid, but focuses on the romantic relationship as it unfolds.

The second section jumps to the end of the 20th century. Pieter and Audrey have two children and Nelson Mandela is elected President. The parents are worried about the end of Apartheid and a future with Black government.

The final section takes place in 2017-2018. The Van Zyl’s son moved to Canada and is returning home for his parents’ 40th anniversary. He brings his 4 year old son and coworker to see his homeland. South Africa has become hostile to White citizens and the family faces the effects of decades of social change.

I enjoyed the chapters of the book that talked of things other than the Van Zyl family more than the rest of the book. Overall, the novel is decent and brings up a topic that I didn’t think much of until recently. Part of my ignorance on South Africa came from a lack of information presented in high school World History classes. I appreciate Breakey’s desire to write on subjects that are often ignored by the general population. Breakey also writes out his character’s dialects when they are speaking. It was easier to read than in Johnny and Jamaal and I appreciate the balance between worldbuilding and legibility.

Unfortunately, that is more or less where the positive feelings end. The novel has a blatant right-wing, Pro-White/Anti-Black tone. The degree of political feeling doesn’t really have bearing on whether the novel is good or bad, but the characters that are clearly admired by the protagonists are comfortable with making fun of liberals and left-wing ideals. Rather than be professional, the “savior” in the story attacks people and not ideals. Repeatedly in the novel, the protagonists talk of how Blacks were happy under Apartheid and would still be savages if not for the Afrikaner settlers. In the last section, Breakey uses the characters to criticize Western governments for taking in non-white refugees and the danger they bring to those countries.

Apart from political and racial issues with the book, Never, Never and Never Again devotes too many pages to romances that feel forced. Pieter and Audrey fall in love over what feels like a month and are married approximately 13 months after their first meeting. Then, in the third section, the Van Zyl’s daughter falls in love with her brother’s Canadian coworker after maybe a month as well. This pairing feels especially forced and has awkward sex scenes and hurried romantic interactions.

Both criticisms could have been written better. I feel that if they were, I would not have issue with the book and would rate it much higher. But, the readers are clearly meant to like the protagonists and share their racial/political views that are, to be frank, problematic and unhealthy. The romances came across as awkward as well.

I could be completely wrong in how I read the book. It took me a few weeks to read it, only finishing it because I did not want to give up halfway through. I was disappointed with Breakey’s latest release, especially compared to Johnny and Jamaal. I may go back and reread that novel to compare the two.

I would love to hear other opinions on this novel, as I could have grossly misinterpreted it.

Recommendations by Alex:
Happy reading,

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

{Liv the Book Club 2018} Summer Reading List

Hey, guys!

     I've already helped announce the reading list on the Instagram, Twitter, and the Facebook page! I think it's time to announce it here! This summer, the book club is meeting back up again and we are reading 3 books! August is currently under discussion because we are unsure if we all will be able to keep up, but we will be reading the three books mentioned below! We hope you enjoy these books! More information will be posted in a couple weeks. Until then, connect with us on the book club social media! 

Happy reading! This summer is going to be the best session, yet!

Stay tuned to meet our newest members! 

Book Links


The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
Released: February 13, 2018
Goodreads link: {click here}
Purchasing Links: {Amazon} {Book Depository


The Belles (The Belles #1) by Dhonielle Clayton
Released: February 6, 2018
Goodreads link: {click here}
Purchasing Links: {Amazon} {Book Depository}


Save the Date by Morgan Matson
Released: June 5, 2018
Goodreads link:{click here}
Purchasing Links: {Amazon} {Book Depository}

What do you think we should read in August? 
Tweet us, DM us, or message us!

Connect with our social media here:

Book Club Links:
Goodreads: {click here}
Twitter: @livthebookclub
Instagram: @livthebookclub
Facebook: {click here}

Liv's Social Media:
Twitter: @livthebooknerd
Instagram: @livthebooknerd
YouTube Channel [ON HIATUS]: {click here}
Blog: {click here}
Bloglovin: {click here}
Tumblr {click here}
Book Depository Affiliate Link {click here}

Julia's Social Media:
Twitter: @jujuthereader
Instagram: @jujuthereader
Goodreads: {click here}

Happy reading!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

{Review} Quests For Glory (The School For Good & Evil: The Camelot Years #1) by Soman Chainani


Page Count: 568
Published on: September 19, 2017
Published by: HarperCollins
Genre(s): Fantasy, Children's/Middle Grade, YA, Romance
Source: Hardback -personally purchased
Age Rating: PG

Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon // Book Depository 

My Rating: 4.75 stars

Twitter: @SomanChainani

Goodreads synopsis:

With every end comes a new beginning in the fourth installment of Soman Chainani’s New York Times bestselling School for Good and Evil series, Quests for Glory. Join Sophie, Agatha, Tedros, and the other students as they begin a new era in the Endless Woods—The Camelot Years—where Evers and Nevers alike must move beyond the bounds of school and into the biggest, boldest adventures of their lives.

The students at the School for Good and Evil thought they had found their final Ever After when they vanquished the malevolent School Master. Now, on their required fourth-year quests, the students face obstacles both dangerous and unpredictable, and the stakes are high: success brings eternal adoration, and failure means obscurity forever.

For their quests, Agatha and Tedros are trying to return Camelot to its former splendor as queen and king. For her quest, Dean Sophie seeks to mold Evil in her own image. But soon they all feel themselves growing more isolated and alone. When their classmates’ quests plunge into chaos, however, someone must lead the charge to save them...

Hey, guys!

    If you've followed my blog for a while, you'd know of my love for Soman Chainani's books. I've been such a huge fan of the School For Good & Evil series since mid-2015 and when I found out that Soman was releasing a new trilogy that takes place right after The Last Ever guys have to know that I hardcore fangirled. This series is so fantastically written. I can't wait to tell you all what I think of Quests For Glory. Let's get into it! 

     I think that this book is a wonderful re-introduction to the characters. It's been a bit since I read The Last Ever After and a little bit less of a bit since I read the Handbook (if that makes any sense). The pacing was a bit slower compared to the original trilogy. I did enjoy this book, but it was harder to get back into this book. 

     We are once again intertwined in the lives of Sophie, Agatha, and Tedros. I really enjoyed how their stories continued in this book and how their characters have developed since the last battle in The Last Ever After. 

     I adore how Tedro's character has developed in this book. He goes through so much conflict and turmoil for a kid his age. He goes through an amazing amount of inner conflict and turmoil that I felt was just so realistic. His struggles really touched my heart and after reading this book, I really do love Tedros even more. I think he is much more dynamic and interesting compared to his behavior and character in the first three books. In QFG he's had to go through so many adult decisions and he's so much more responsible...or rather, he's desperately trying to be. His effort and genuine desire to do well for his people is so beautiful and commendable. I was worried that he would not live up to the expectations that one would hold for the new king of Camelot. He is a kid!!! I just desperately want him to heal and listen to his friends and family. He's just so caught up in his stuff and he's panicking and floundering...I just hope the situation improves for him. He's such a good kid.

     Agatha is my girl. I adore her so much. The struggles that she and Tedros face in this book, both romantically and through their adventures, was so great to read. I love the way their relationship is going...they're struggling. Hardcore. So many books make long-term relationships (especially in a fairy tale setting) seem easy and magical. I love that Soman has further developed this relationship and continued to make their relationship somewhat of a struggle bus. So many relationships are written in a way that makes it seem easy when in fact, maintaining a relationship is actual work. I just really enjoyed the struggle that these kids went through. 

     Their struggles and worries were so realistically frustrating. I genuinely worried for their mental health. Their lack of communication was so realistic for their ages. Teens and young adults are kind of stupid when it comes to relationships. We don't think things through..especially when we're stressed and worried about the relationship. I just adore how real their interactions were. 

    The political subplot and themes in this book were fantastic. I love how the world building was further developed through the use of political intrigue. I love love love the conflicts that this new villain caused. The struggle that Tedros and Camelot continued to face was so fascinating. I just love the conflict. 

     I'm so interested in seeing what is going to happen with the Quests. I was already intrigued by the whole concept, but wow-oh-wow is this going to be fun. The last few action bits the last few fights and battles were so rad. They were a magical and action-packed roller coaster of emotions. The focus on Good & Bad and Truth & Lies were absolutely riveting. It was extremely relevant to what this world is currently going through. 

     This book really made me think and wonder about the outcome. I truly did not know what would happen next. I could not pinpoint the outcome of any of the twists. No one was safe! I was literally freaking out about every death. Soman is taking every risk and he doesn't seem worried at all! I really did not expect the deaths that occurred. I'm still reeling... I did not want their deaths to be real. 

     Can we also appreciate the format of this book? I just adored the multiple perspectives! I'm so glad that we get to be in so many different characters heads. Nicola of the Woods Beyond is going to be a fantastic addition to the gang. I love love love her. AND HORT! HELLO! So much dynamic character growth! I adore that he's beginning to see the flaws in Sophie. She really has not grown as a person or learned from her mistakes (I hope she does!). I feel so much for Hort's character in this book. In my Goodreads reading updates I went on a small (spoiler-y) tangent about his character and about how I love him now (but let's face it before he was hot he was a sweetheart. Kinda gross, but he means well.)

    Overall, this book was absolutely delightful. It was frustrating, it was hopeful, it had such fantastic character development. I cannot wait for book 2 of The Camelot Years. This spinoff series is going to be great! 

My SFG&E Reviews: 

Happy reading!


Thursday, April 5, 2018

{Review} Rebel With A Cupcake by Anna Mainwaring

Page Count: 216
Published on: April 3, 2018
Published by: KCP Loft
Genre(s): Romance, YA, Contemporary
Source: hardback via author
Age Rating: YA
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon // Book Depository

My Rating: 3 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Jesobel Jones is bold and brash, the daughter of a hand model and a washed-up rock star. Jess sees no need to apologize for her rambling house, her imperfect family, her single status ... or her weight. Jess is who she is. She makes her own cupcakes and she eats them, too. No regrets.

That is, until Own Clothes Day rolls around at school. Jess and her friends dedicate the requisite hours of planning to their outfits, their hair and their makeup for the one day they are free from school uniforms. But a wardrobe malfunction leaves Jess with a pair of leggings split open at the worst spot, and a mean girl calling her the one thing that's never bothered her before: fat.

The encounter shakes Jess's formerly iron-clad confidence, and she starts to wonder if she's been just a little too comfortable in her own skin. When the boy of her dreams invites her to a party, she must decide whether to try to fit in for the first time in her life or remain true to herself --- whoever that really is.

Debut author Anna Mainwaring is a teacher by day, and her understanding of teenage life shines through on every page. This book is laugh-out-loud funny and captures teen girl life with all its ironies and contradictions.

Rebel with a Cupcake also explores important questions around body image, fat shaming, and self-confidence.


Hey, guys!

    I was sent this book for an honest review by KCP Loft. Thank you KCP Loft for this lovely book! If you'd like to see me unbox packages and haul the books I acquire randomly, then follow me on Instagram! I post them live the day I get them! {click here to follow!}

     This debut by Anna Mainwaring was a roller coaster of sass and body positivity. Overall, I thought this was a cute summer-y contemporary, but there were some aspects that really let me down. There were some character issues, some pacing issues, and some personal opinions that got in the way of this books 5-star rating. 

      I originally really enjoyed Jess's character, but she kind of went downhill and annoying. However! I do think that her attitude throughout the book was a good representation of how young girls allow their insecurity get to them. I think that this was a good representation of how the opinions of others can lead the strongest and carefree girls to allow themselves to become something they aren't. However, the changes that Jess went through were just so fast. Because it was so fast, I felt like it was a bit counterproductive because the drastic changes that she went through were just so quick. 

      Granted, I'm sure some girls are capable of going through drastic and quick changes, but it almost seemed unrealistic in this book. If the changes to her physical self was actually over a longer period of time, I felt like the book didn't convey it well enough for me to actually figure that out. It just felt so fast.This book is just short enough that I thought that it would have been more clear if the time change had been more clear. I just found it really unrealistically paced. 

     I just want to put it out there that I loved Jess. I think she's a pretty great character. She's realistic, she's spunky, she has a fantastic sassy attitude, and she has great friends who care about her. Her narration style is so fun to read and I basically read Rebel With A Cupcake in a couple sittings. I loved her so I wanted to continue the story. She was just so fun to "be" with. I loved how she stood up for herself and how different she was from the YA contemporary MC mold. However, the other characters in the books were just so easy to forget. I actually forget all of their names. They weren't as fleshed out as Jess was and they were just there. I wish the charcters in the book were more memorable. I think that would have added to the story. They were just very cliche and two-dimentional. 

     Overall, this book was average but it had a great message about mental health and body positivity. It wasn't my favorite YA contemporary, but I'm glad that I read it. If you love books about body positivity, books with great sassy characters, and fun coming of age stories, then this is for you!

~ Rebel With A Cupcake is OUT NOW! ~

Happy reading!


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

{Cover Reveal) Star-Crossed by Pintip Dunn

Hey, guys!

Today I'm bringing you a late cover reveal for one of my favorite authors that I've worked with before. She is the amazing author of the Forget Tomorrow trilogy, The Darkest Lie, and Girl on the Verge. I really enjoyed her two stand-alones, Girl on the Verge and The Darkest Lie so I cannot wait to see what she's done with Star-Crossed! Stay tuned for the reveal of this gorgeous cover!

Thank you Entangled Teen for reaching out to me and asking me to help with this reveal!

Goodreads synopsis:

In a world where nutrition can be transferred via a pill, and society is split into Eaters and Non-Eaters, seventeen-year-old Princess Vela has a grave dilemma. Her father, the king, is dying, and only a transplant of organs from a healthy Non-Eater boy will save him.

Vela is tasked with choosing a boy fit to die for the king, which is impossible enough. But then Carr, the boy she's loved all her life, emerges as the best candidate in the Bittersweet Trials. And he's determined to win, because by doing so, he can save the life of his Non-Eater sister.

Refusing to accept losing the boy she loves, Vela bends the rules and cheats. But when someone begins to sabotage the Trials, Vela must reevaluate her own integrity—and learn the true sacrifice of becoming a ruler.

This book comes out: October 2, 2018!!!

You can Pre-order it here:

About Pintip Dunn:

Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. Pintip's debut novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. In addition, it is a finalist for the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, the Japanese Sakura Medal, and the MASL Truman Award. THE DARKEST LIE was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her other books include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, the novella BEFORE TOMORROW, and GIRL ON THE VERGE. She lives with her husband and children in Maryland.

You can learn more about Pintip and her books at
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon | 
Entangled Publishing

Happy reading!