Wednesday, May 30, 2018

May 2018 Book Haul

Hey, guys!

    This month has been so productive reading-wise! I'm so happy with what I've read. The books I managed to acquire are so exciting and I cannot wait to read and review them. I also managed to find a new writing journal that I'm hopefully going to start writing in continuously. I really want to start outlining a future story...or at least continuously write something. 

     A couple weeks ago, I went on a book buying adventure with my friend Mallory and we vlogged it for my new YouTube channel. If you'd like to see how I acquired some of these books, take a look at that video! It will be linked below!


  1. The Forest Queen by Betsy Cornwell
  2. Soul Render by T.L. Branson
  3. First Impressions (The Jane Austen Series #1) by Debra White Smith


  1. Irish Fairy and Folk Tales 
  2. Tithe (Modern Faerie Tales #1) by Holly Black
  3. Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark by Ridley Pearson
  4. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  5. The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
  6. Confess by Colleen Hoover
  7. The Invasion of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) by Erika Johansen
  8. The Coldest Girl in Cold Town by Holly Black
  9. Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral
    • review coming soon!
  10. A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.5) by Sarah J. Maas
  11. A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.5) by Sarah J. Maas
    • review coming soon!
  12. Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber

I hope you enjoyed this book haul and the YouTube video! I'll have more videos and blog updates soon!

Happy reading!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

{Review} The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black


Page Count: 336
Published on: January 13, 2015
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction Fantasy
Source: Paperback - personally purchased
Age Rating: YA
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon
Book Depository: {click here}

My Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

Hey, guys!

      After reading The Cruel Prince, I just had to pick up another faerie book from Holly Black. Once again, I'm impressed with her books. I think her YA books are what I love the best. The Darkest Part of the Forest follows Hazel and her twin brother Ben in the town of Fairfold. In the town of Fairfold, humans and fae live and exist together. The townspeople have an agreement, the faeries do not play their cruel tricks on the townspeople and the fae may play tricks on the tourists that wander into danger. Seniors in high school, Ben and Hazel have lived in Fairfold for almost all of their lives and they know of the dangers that the fae can unleash.

     However, The Darkest Part of the Forest wasn't as good as The Cruel Prince in my opinion. This was an excellent standalone. I loved it, but there was just something missing for me. I feel like there was something missing from the overall book and I felt like there was something lacking in Hazel's character. I also felt like the ending was rather rushed and the characters didn't seem to develop as much as one would hope over the course of a novel. The relationships that developed throughout the novel were also initiated quite quickly. I really hoped that they would have developed over more time, but it just seemed very instantaneous.

      Although it wasn't my favorite, I still really enjoyed the book. The writing style was awesome. I basically devoured this book; the story was so addicting and I didn't want it to end. I really enjoyed the dark and mystifying plot and world. Holly Black managed to develop a mysterious and intriguing world that I wanted to visit within the first fifty pages. The characters and their stories were so riveting that I didn't want the book to just be a standalone. However, they also did not really develop like I would have hoped they would. During the first half of the book, I became really interested in the characters; but, during the later half, it didn't seem like they were showing the kind of growth that is usually found in a standalone. I got somewhat bored with them, but not enough to hate the story. During the last few pages, the story really picked up and I really enjoyed it. Even if the ending wrapped up too quickly. 

     Overall, this was a really good book. I really enjoyed the characters, the plot, the world, and the writing. However, the characters were missing a sort of depth that I was hoping for and the book was wrapped up too quickly. Though this isn't my favorite of Holly Black's work, I'm really excited to dive back into her other YA work. 

My Previous Holly Black Reviews:
Happy reading!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

{Review} The Princess Saves Herself In This One (Women Are Some Kind of Magic #1) by Amanda Lovelace

Page Count: 156
Published on: April 23, 2016
Published by: Createspace
Genre(s): Poetry, Feminism, Nonfiction, Anthology
Source: Paperback 
Age Rating: YA
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon
Book Depository: {click here}

My Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

"Ah, life- the thing that happens to us while we're off somewhere else blowing on dandelions & wishing ourselves into the pages of our favorite fairy tales."

A poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. The princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. Explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations.


Hey, guys!

      I've always been a fan of poetry, but this poetry anthology/collection really blew me away. I really enjoyed Amanda Lovelace's perspective and really appreciated the personalization and raw emotion that was put into this book. The amount of creativity, depth, and love that went into these poems is so evident and her desire to use her heartbreak and experiences to help those who read her work is inspiring and beautiful. I was really wary to actually read this when it first came out because of the disappointment that I experienced when reading Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. 

    Within the first few pages of this book I was blown away by her experiences. The poems were gorgeous and her message was so encouraging. I felt really empowered by these poems and I think that this book would be very important to those who share similar stories to Amanda. I know for a fact that this book, and Amanda's other work, has inspired my friends and positively influenced them. Though I cannot directly relate to all that she wrote on, I know that this book has the capability to empower and help those who do share her experiences. 

Other Verse Novels That I've Reviewed:


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

{Review} The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black


Page Count: 370
Published on: January 2, 2018
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre(s): YA, Fantasy (Fae/Fairy/Fairies/Faeries), High Fantasy, Romance
Source: Hardback- personally purchased
Age Rating: YA
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon
Book Depository: {click here}

My Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.


Hey, guys!

     The Cruel Prince was one of the first books that I purchased in 2018. Unfortunately, I put off reading it until March. Man was that a dumb idea! Oh my gosh this book was so stunning! I'm obsessed! The world building, the characters, the conflict, the Faerie court, the whole plot, the political intrigue!!! Everything was done so fantastically! This book has become one of my new favorite books. I love love loved this book! I'm going to try to write a review that you all can understand, but it is going to be so hard not to gush in this review because I loved it so much

     The Cruel Prince follows Jude. When Jude was seven, her parents were murdered and she and her sisters were stolen away to live in the High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude just wants to belong in the Faerie Court, however; she is basically treated like a glorified pet and is rebuked because of her mortality. Jude becomes deeply engrossed in her desires to fit in and begins to become embroiled in the political schemes and intrigue that is frequent in the Faerie Court. Jude has to make the choice to risk her life to save the people that mean the most and the least to her. 

     Before reading The Cruel Prince, I really was not a fan of Holly Black. Her work just did not impress me. A few years ago, I read her Spiderwick Chronicles and I wasn't overly impressed. I then I tried to get into her Magisterium series that she writes with Cassandra Clare and I really wasn't impressed. However, this book has introduced me to her YA writing and I'm in love! I love her fae worlds so much! In my opinion, her YA writing style is so much more compelling than her middle grade. I cannot wait to dive into her other work and I definitely cannot wait to read The Wicked King. The Cruel Prince has definitely become one of my favorite books of 2018 and probably one of my new favorite books of all time. Yeah. It's that good.

     Let's dive into the characters in this book because... spoiler alert! I loved them all. They were just so incredibly complex and interesting. I absolutely adore Jude. She's very flawed and almost annoying at times, but I honestly loved reading from her perspective. She's sarcastic, she's fierce, she's strong. I just loved her character overall. I just loved how she rose above her tragedy and worked to make her life more fulfilling. Her goals for her life were so interesting and her story was so addicting. I cannot wait to see what she does next. Her relationships with her family and adopted family were so fascinating. I can't help but wonder what she'll do next in book two. Her relationship with Cardan was also so strange. I'm not sure how I feel about what happened at the end of the book. I just desperately need the story to continue so I can see what happens next. 

     I'm just going to flat out admit that I loved Cardan. I think he's just as complex and intriguing as Jude. I think that his character is one of my favorites. His history and personality are just so thought provoking. He is a complete d-bag, but wow...he has a story to tell. I cannot wait to continue read more about him in The Wicked King. He has so many LAYERS! Call him Shrek, because the dude is just wow. I have no words. I just cannot wait to continue his story.

     Holly Black has a talent to write whimsical yet dark magical worlds with dark and mysterious fey people. The world was so twisted and her world was so fabulously written that I did not want the book to end. The book was just so immersive and addicting. I loved how there was a larger focus on the political intrigue rather than the potential romance. The romance is somewhat woven throughout the story, but it definitely is not the focus. I adored that. Her faerie world that she has created is so different from the whimsical fae that I'm familiar with. I'm so excited to read more of Holly Black's work. 

    Overall, I just adored this book. I cannot wait for the sequel or the finale. I need it in my life and I will continue to impatiently wait for January. I'm just honestly hoping that my pre-order will come at least a day in advance from Amazon, but I doubt it will happen. I'm just so in love with this book. I recommend it to everyone. It's just wonderfully done. I'm so impatient for more! 

My Previous Holly Black Reviews:

Happy reading!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

{Guest Review: Courtney} My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

23604559Page Count: 370
Published on: June 16, 2015
Published by: Washington Square Press
Genre(s): Fiction, Fantasy, Contemporary
Source: Paperback- bought
Age Rating: YA
Where to Find: Goodreads // Amazon // Book Depository
My Rating: 4.75 stars

Goodreads Synopsis:
Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa's best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother's stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

When Elsa's grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa's greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother's letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

Hello Livthebooknerd readers!

It’s Courtney, back with a review of Fredrik Backman’s My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell you She’s Sorry. Last month (April), Liv, Mallory and I traveled to Indianapolis and visited three book stores where I gladly spent my paycheck on some books right before our finals began. Liv managed to talked me into purchasing this book at one of the three Half Priced Books stores we visited. I’m not going to lie, I was afraid to read this at first because I was extremely close with my grandmother who passed away last summer but I am so glad I did.
I related to Elsa so much in this book. Growing up I did not have many friends, I was the brunt of unwanted teasing in school, and I was an outsider.  Likewise, I was also very close to my grandmother like Elsa, and I consider my grandmother to be my superhero. Elsa’s grandmother was described as eccentric, nutty and very independent. My grandma was very independent but unlike Elsa’s grandmother she was not shooting paint balls at people from her balcony. Her grandmother may seem out there from the surface but when you get to know her you discover so much more. Granny loves Elsa with all her heart and would do literally anything for her. Granny is able to show Elsa what it means to love others, and to be loved, and gives her the gift of friendship.
This book takes place in two worlds, our world and the world of Miramas. Miramas is where Elsa and her grandmother go to quite often throughout the novel. Miramas is located in the Land of Almost Awake and it becomes a very complex kingdom that, I admit, had a hard time following at times. Granny and Elsa live in an apartment complex together shared by an array of characters. In the beginning I thought I knew who the characters were, but by the end you realize there is more than meets the eye. The book teaches you not to judge a person by who they may seem to be if you do not take the time to get to know them first. Backman is able to link their stories together is such a fantastic way and we soon realize there is more than meets the eye and their stories will break you. Their stories make the fairy tale part of this book so much easier to understand.
Elsa’s granny does unfortunately die in the beginning of the book and Elsa is forced to take on the world without her superhero by her side and we follow her on her journey through grief. This book would have been perfect to read last summer after losing my grandmother as I was able to relate to what Elsa was feeling because my grandmother was also my superhero. This book helped me remember memories with my grandmother and at times it had me crying my eyes out at work and other times it had me smiling from ear to ear.

Fairytales are not just for children like we think they are, anyone at any age would enjoy this book and it is one I am so glad I decided to read.

Thank you guys for reading! Courtney {Instagram}

Thursday, May 17, 2018

{Review} Language of Thorns (Grishaverse #0.5, #2.5, #2.6) by Leigh Bardugo

Page Count: 281
Published on: September 26, 2017
Published by: Imprint
Genre(s): YA, Fantasy, Retellings, Anthology, Short Stories
Source: hardback -gift
Age Rating: YA
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon // Book Depository

My Rating: 4.75 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Love speaks in flowers. Truth requires thorns.

Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid's voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy's bidding but only for a terrible price.

Inspired by myth, fairy tale, and folklore, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Leigh Bardugo has crafted a deliciously atmospheric collection of short stories filled with betrayals, revenge, sacrifice, and love.

Perfect for new readers and dedicated fans, these tales will transport you to lands both familiar and strange—to a fully realized world of dangerous magic that millions have visited through the novels of the Grishaverse.

This collection of six stories includes three brand-new tales, all of them lavishly illustrated with art that changes with each turn of the page, culminating in six stunning full-spread illustrations as rich in detail as the stories themselves.


Hey, guys!

     Back in December, my boyfriend's lovely family gifted me this book for Christmas. I was so excited to read the stories and be re-immersed into the Grisha world. This book totally lived up to the hype and my expectations. The stories were fantastic, the writing was A+ as always, the illustrations were stunning, and the book itself was just amazing. I love these stories so much. I couldn't find anything that I didn't like about this book. It was just straight-up awesome. Cue the excessive gushing and lack of critical analysis. 

     This book was just gorgeous! I'm so in love with the stories that Leigh Bardugo created for this world. Each story was so hauntingly beautiful and the language and imagery that they created were just so imaginative and stunning. I'm so pleased with both the physical look of the book and the actual content itself. The illustrations throughout the book were just so intricately done and the detail that went into their making is just astoundingly beautiful and perfectly reflected the stories and their spooky vibes. Each story was intricately crafted in a way that left you desperately wanting more, yet still satisfied with how their ending was summed up. 

      Each story in this Grisha anthology is inspired by common known and lesser known fairy tales, myths, and folklore. The five stories each represent the five areas/countries in the Grisha universe. The stories are such a fantastic representation of the Grisha world. Each story adds more to the world building and reveals a more in depth look at the history of the world.

Other Grisha Reviews:

Happy reading!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

{Review} Whisper by Lynette Noni

Page Count: 320
Published on: May 1, 2018
Published by: KCP Loft
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Paranormal
Source: Paperback ARC - provided by the publisher
Age Rating: YA
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon
Book Depository: {click here}

My Rating: 3 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

“Lengard is a secret government facility for extraordinary people,” they told me.

I believed them. That was my mistake.

There isn’t anyone else in the world like me.

I’m different. I’m an anomaly. I’m a monster. 

For two years, six months, fourteen days, eleven hours and sixteen minutes, Subject Six-Eight-Four — ‘Jane Doe’ — has been locked away and experimented on, without uttering a single word.

As Jane’s resolve begins to crack under the influence of her new — and unexpectedly kind — evaluator, she uncovers the truth about Lengard’s mysterious ‘program’, discovering that her own secret is at the heart of a sinister plot … and one wrong move, one wrong word, could change the world.


Hey, guys!

    Whisper follows Jane Doe. Jane has been locked in a secret facility for two years, six months, and fourteen plus days.  Jane's resolve to not crack under the pressures of the facility as she begins to uncover the history of the program that she was put into. The truth reveals a sinister plot and a sketchy group of people that will control Jane's fate and future. 

    This book has a really nice, solid start and a really intriguing premise, however, it seemed very very similar to Tahereh Mafi's Shatter Me series...almost too similar for me. The characters in this book were not my favorite kinds of characters, but they were still very intriguing and fun to read about. Lynette Noni's writing style is so fast-paced and fun, but it does not make up for the things that I think the book lack. Although this book isn't my favorite of the KCP Loft releases of the past two years, it is still one of my favorites that they've sent me. I cannot wait for the sequel. I loved the ending of this book. 

     The characters in this story were all so interesting, but so eerily similar to Tahereh Mafi's characters as well. The main characters, Jane, is just so similar to Juliette and Ward is so similar to Warner. I cannot get past that. It just seems too convenient. I just did not enjoy that, but that's just me. I also really did not like Jane all that much. Her character was just so melodramatic. Granted, her backstory is so tragic and upsetting, but her attitude and narration style really made me annoyed and uncaring about her plight. It just became so unbelievable or underwhelming. The choices that she made throughout the book constantly caused me to roll my eyes 

      Although Jane isn't my favorite, I still really enjoyed her story. The plot of this book really intrigued me and genuinely did not really see the twists and turns that occurred coming. I really enjoyed the supernatural/paranormal aspects of this book. It was very similar to Shatter Me, but there were still some differences that set it apart. Her true name wasn't very awe-inspiring or interesting. I was a bit underwhelmed, but whatever. It's a name. 

      Although I wasn't completely impressed with this book, I was still really entertained. I did genuinely enjoy this book, but it wasn't my favorite. I do want to read the sequel. I think that it will stray away from the similarities to Shatter Me, but I cannot completely disregard the possibility that it may just be another Shatter Me retelling in Australia. The similarities between the two were the main cause for my discontent, however, I am still intrigued to continue on with reading Noni's writing. I really enjoyed it as a whole. 

Reviews for Books Mentioned:

Happy reading!

Friday, May 11, 2018

{LivTheBookClub} May 2018

Hey, guys!

If you follow me on Instagram, or any of my other social media, you'll know that the book club is BACK ON! Julia and I have decided to officially make the Liv the Book Club a summer book club. We have announced the summer reading picks for each month {here}. 

In May we are reading:

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang!!!


Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.

Page Count: 288
Release Date: February 13, 2018
Publisher: First Second
Goodreads Average Rating: 4.47 stars

Author Twitter: {@alooghobi}
Author Instagram: @wangstagram
Author Website: {click}

Book Club Goodreads Discussion: {click here}
Discussion Start Date: May 13-May 29

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- COMING BACK SOON!]: {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}