Wednesday, August 15, 2018

{Review} The Forest Queen (Mechanica #0.5) by Betsy Cornwell

Page Count: 304

Published on: August 7, 2018
Published by: Clarion Books 
Genre(s): Fantasy, Retelling, YA
Source: Paperback - ARC provided by publisher
Age Rating: 12+ 
TW: domestic/physical abuse, elder abuse, rape, sexual harassment, suicide/suicidal thoughts
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon
Book Depository: {click here}

My Rating: 5 stars
Goodreads synopsis:

When sixteen-year-old Sylvie’s brother takes over management of their family’s vast estates, Sylvie feels powerless to stop his abuse of the local commoners. Her dearest friend asks her to run away to the woods with him, and soon a host of other villagers join them. Together, they form their own community and fight to right the wrongs perpetrated by the king and his noblemen.


Hey, guys!

      An advanced reading copy was sent to me for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you HMH/Clarion Books for sending me this fantastic book.

       In The Forest Queen, the main character, Sylvie, feels absolutely powerless when it comes to her older brother. After her brother becomes the Sheriff of their area and begins to take over management of their family estate, she becomes even more unhappy and afraid of his behavior. After John decides to marry her off to one of his friends, she has to make the decision to run away or be unhappy and fear for her life. She decides to run away with her best friend, Bird, to the woods. In the woods, she finds safety, hope, and community. Sylvie and Bird soon recruit other villagers to their ragtag group and together, they create a rebel group to insight change in Woodshire. 

      This book has quickly become a new favorite of mine. I absolutely adored every bit of this book. The characters were so well thought out, the world was lush and beautiful, the writing style was lyrical and descriptive, the pacing was perfect, and the topics and themes that were discussed in this novel were so well done. I really really loved how diverse and fun the people in this book were. It seemed that people with darker skin were in the more wealthy families, however, families also had no issue with inter-mingling so everyone had different traits from different ethnicities. Betsy Cornwell has created a literary masterpiece. 

      Sylvie, Mae Tuck, and Little Jane are such inspiring characters. Little Jane was such an inspiration throughout this book. She goes through so much turmoil and trouble and her growth as a character was so much fun to read about. I just absolutely adore her. I cannot say more without spoiling, but she is definitely a new favorite character. Sylvie! My girl! Oh my goodness I just loved her. She also goes through some intense and scary stuff, but her growth and the experiences she has really shape her positively. Her journey to fully understanding what her people went through under her brother's regime was really great to follow. Sylvie is a naturally wonderful and caring character and to see the abuse that her people were enduring was a hard blow to It was just so wonderful to follow. Mae Tuck is, honestly, a badass. She is also a new favorite character. I absolutely love how strong and accepting she is. She just held herself so well and she just tries to love everyone for who they are. 

     I also really enjoyed Bird and Sylvie's relationship. Their friendship is so lovely to read about and their blooming romance was so sweet. It was an intensely slow burn sort of romance, but I really enjoyed how their story wrapped up. Bird is such a lovely character. He wasn't as prevalent in the story for me (the strong and wonderful female characters had my focus), but I really enjoyed what he added to the story. 

    Overall, this story was freakin' fantastic. I had the best time reading it. The story was so addicting and I didn't want it to end. I'll definitely have to pick up Betsy's other books: Mechanica and Venturess. I read Mechanica when it first came out, but it's been a hot minute so I'll definitely have to eventually reread it. I highly recommend that you pick up The Forest Queen. It's an absolute gem. Please read it. If you enjoy the tale of Robin Hood, you'll love this book. 

My Review of Mechanica {click here}

I hope you enjoyed this review! Happy reading!

~Liv the Book Nerd~

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

{Short Stories/Novella Reviews} January-July 2018

Hey, guys!

     Short stories are always kind of awkward to review. Because they are so short and they aren't complete novels, I find it hard to write more than 100 words about my general thoughts. Typically, the novellas or short stories that I read are a part of other series. Because of this, the stories usually follow some aspect of the series that would spoil someone or something. This is why I won't go into too much detail when it comes to summarizing the synopsis and reviewing it. 

What I'll Be Reviewing:

Mini Review #1: A Visit to the Impossible Lands by Holly Black 

I really really enjoyed this little short story. This story focuses on the Roiben and Kaye Fierch. This story takes place both in the mortal world and the fae world. It follows the relationship of Roiben and Kaye and further develops the world that Holly has created. It also shows one of the final scenes of The Cruel Prince from their perspective. 

It was so much fun to get to know Roiben and Kaye in this little story. I absolutely fell in love with their relationship and I really really enjoyed how Holly has further developed her world. I'm so excited to read more about this world. I've had The Wicked King pre-ordered since early-April. I'm just too freaking excited to read it. I'm dying inside. I'm so impatient. 

My Rating: 5 stars

Other Holly Black Reviews:
The Cruel Prince {review}
The Darkest Part of the Forest {review}
Spiderwick Chronicles #1 {review}
Spiderwick Chronicles #2-5 {review}
Bailey's Series Review: The Spiderwick Chronicles #1-5 {review}
The Nixie's Song (Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles #1) {review}

Mini Review #2: The Demon in the Wood (The Grisha Trilogy #0.1) by Leigh Bardugo


Goodreads synopsis:

Before he became the Darkling, he was just a lonely boy of extraordinary power. Get a look into the past that forged a brutal and brilliant leader.


Oh, my goodness. This was so wild. I absolutely loved being in The Darkling's head when he was a young child. He's honestly so wonderful and I still really love him. I just really want more from him. I'd love to just read all of The Darkling's history. I just loved this novella. I highly recommend that you read this if you adore the Grisha world. 

My Rating: 4.75 stars

Other Leigh Bardugo Reviews:
~ Shadow & Bone {review}
~ Siege and Storm {review}
~ The Tailor {review}
~ Six of Crows {review}
~ Crooked Kingdom {review coming soon!}
~ Language of Thorns {review}

Mini Review #3: The Mirror & the Maze (The Wrath & the Dawn #1.5) by Renee Ahdieh


Goodreads synopsis: 

The city of Rey is burning. With smoke billowing, fires blazing and his people fleeing, Khalid races back to defend his city, and protect his queen. But Khalid is too late to do either. He and his men arrive to find the city in ruins, nothing but a maze of destruction, and Shahrzad is gone. But who could have wrought such devastation? Khalid fears he may already know the answer, the price of choosing love over the people of Rey all too evident.


Okay, this was free on Kindle, so of course, I had to pick it up. I absolutely adored The Wrath and the Dawn, but I really was disappointed by The Rose and the Dagger. I also wasn't too impressed with The Mirror and the Maze. I was kind of bored and unimpressed. Though the writing was gorgeous, the story was just too short to completely impress me. I absolutely adore Khalid. I love him so much, but I was just bored. It probably doesn't help that it's been a hot minute since I read TW&TD and TRATD

My Rating: 3 stars

Other Renee Ahdieh Reviews:
The Wrath and the Dawn {review}
The Rose & the Dagger {review}
Flame in the Mist {review}

I hope you enjoyed this blog post! If you'd like me to write more reviews like this, let me know! 

Happy reading!
~Liv the Book Nerd~

Thursday, August 9, 2018

{Comic Series Review // GN Reviews #12-18} The Wicked + The Divine #1-6 + Christmas Single Issue by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, & Matt Wilson


Single Issues #1-33 of the series

Number of Pages (total): 1,000
Genres: Sequential Art, Graphic Novels, Comics, Fantasy, Fiction, Mythology, Action
Where to Find Them: Goodreads // Amazon

My Rating: 5 stars
Single Issue: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis (volume 1):
Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.

Back in January, I found these amazing graphic novels on the Hoopla app through my local library. After reading the first few single issues, I absolutely fell in love with this series. The art style is absolutely stunning, the characters are so much fun, and the story is sooo addicting. I am so impatient for volume 7 to come out. I also haven't read the single issues that take place in the past either, so I'm really excited to get my hands on those too. This graphic novel series is one of those that I will continue to keep my interest as time goes by. I basically binged the first 6 issues within a week, so I'm going to die when the series is completely over. I will not be a happy book nerd. 

If you haven't checked out this series, I highly recommend that you do. It's absolutely fantastic. The cast is so beautifully diverse and the relationships between the gods were just so much fun to read about. They're just a fantastic bunch of characters. I cannot wait to see how the story continues. If you enjoy other graphic novel series like Saga, Moonstruck, Lumberjanes, 

I hope you enjoyed this review! I will have more graphic novel reviews and graphic novel series reviews coming soon!

Happy reading!
~Liv the Book Nerd~

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

{Review} Confess by Colleen Hoover


Page Count: 306
Published on: March 10, 2015
Published by: Atria Books
Genre(s): Romance, New Adult, Contemporary, Fiction
Source: Paperback 
Age Rating: 18+
TW: teen death, domestic abuse, emotional abuse
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon
Book Depository: {click here}

My Rating: 3 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Auburn Reed is determined to rebuild her shattered life and she has no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to become deeply attracted to the studio’s enigmatic artist, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is hiding a huge secret. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything Auburn loves most, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it—but can she do it?


Hey, guys!

      I've been on a Colleen Hoover kick for a little while now. This past weekend, I actually got to go to Cincinnati, Ohio to meet her on one of her tour stops. It was very very cool. Colleen Hoover is such a cool person and she's so freaking nice. However, I've had to come to terms that Colleen's books are sometimes a hit or miss for me. As you'll see from my future Colleen reviews, sometimes I'm just not the biggest fan of her books or I'll just absolutely love them. 

      In Confess, Auburn is desperate to find a job. When she sees a "help wanted" sign in front of an art gallery, she applies and meets Owen. Owen owns the studio and is an up and coming artist. This story has a lot more depth than you would expect for a romance novel. There's a fairly nice focus on family, confessions, and moving on from the past. I really enjoyed the twists in this book, compared to some of the others. Most I didn't predict, but the few that I did predict weren't too disappointing. 

      Overall, Confess was just okay for me. Toward the middle, I got kind of bored. I also wish that the story had more of a focus on the family relationships rather than on the romantic relationships. The romantic relationships also seemed way too insta-love-y for my taste. It just didn't develop very naturally and it was kind of awkward sometimes. It just isn't my favorite CoHo romance. It just wasn't my cup of tea. Owen just acted like he was so entitled to the affections of Auburn and it just got really annoying. Colleen has a way of writing flawed but super fun characters that you cannot help but love. Sometimes the angst in the relationship was just annoying to me, but I think that's just a personal preference. 

      Auburn was such a realistic character. Her actions were never really irresponsible or annoying. She always tried to do what was best for the ones she loved and she often sacrificed her own happiness in order to do what was right. I really enjoyed that about her. Colleen also did such a fantastic job creating a truly horrible antagonist. Trey is just a flat-out dirtbag. He was just the worst. I love finding characters I can just hate. He's definitely hate-worthy. 
      Colleen did such a great job of creating a terrible antagonist. Trey is such a blatantly terrible character that I loved to hate. 

      There were so many elements to this book that made up for the slow and annoying bits. I really enjoyed the friendship that Auburn had with Emory. Emory was probably one of my favorite characters. I'd love to read her story. She's so fun. I also really enjoyed the artwork that was scattered throughout the novel, along with their corresponding confessions. It was just so beautifully done. I also really enjoyed the flashback elements of this story. They really gave an extra "oomph" to the end of the book that I really enjoyed.

      However, the end of the story seemed to be resolved too quickly. I really wish it had been expanded upon a little bit more. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the ending. This story was really nicely done, but it still had flaws that didn't make it a 4 or 5-star book. I do think this book is something that others will enjoy. If you like Colleen's other books, I recommend you check out Confess

Other Colleen Reviews:

I will have more reviews coming soon! I've read so many of Colleen's books, so I can't wait to share my thoughts with you all. 

Happy reading!
~Liv the Book Nerd~
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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

{Review} The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

Page Count: 440
Published on: February 6, 2018
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Genre(s): Fantasy, YA
Source: Hardback- personally purchased
Age Rating: 14+ TW: sexual assault 
Where To Find ItGoodreads // Amazon
Book Depository: {click here}

My Rating: 2.75 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.


Hey, guys!

       For this round of the book club, we read The Belles in June! I'm just going to be honest. I really wasn't impressed with this book. I felt like it was somewhat fast-paced, BUT it was also full of annoying characters and predictable twists. This just wasn't the best fantasy book in my opinion. I easily could have DNF'd this book, but I just kept pushing through because I was just barely interested enough to push through to see what happened at the end. 

    This story really had promise. I really enjoyed the world that Clayton created, however, the characters were just not fleshed out enough. I really wanted even more world building and the Victorian-esque style and more complex characters. I loved how it kind of took place in an alternate New Orleans. It was just super lovely to read about. The teacup animals were so fun. I really would love to see those animals in real life (without endangering their health or happieness, of course).

    The magic system in this book was really intriguing and terrifying. The people of Orleans are born grey and colorless with red eyes and straw-like hair. The Belles have the capability to completely reshape the people of Orleans. 

    Overall, I really didn't like Camille as a character. She was super whiny and super annoying. I just could not get behind her behavior. She just really rubbed me the wrong way. She has a major superiority complex and she just has a nasty attitude that I don't appreciate. 

    The romance aspect of this book was just cringe-y and unbelievable. I was just unimpressed and unconvinced. There was no chemistry between the characters and their personalities were just polar opposites. The actual "romance" that developed seemed forced and annoying. 10/10 would not recommend. 

     The mystery aspect of this book was also just so boring. I really wanted to be interested in it, but there was just so much more happening in the book and I got bored. It just wasn't incorporated as well as I would have hoped. It just seemed like an afterthought to Camilla. She just got so caught up in everything else. I wasn't a fan. 

    While it seems like I'm just bashing on this book, I will say that I really enjoyed the villain that Dhonielle Clayton created. She was truly the worst. I haven't openly hated a character in so long. She was so fun to root against. 
    Overall this book had promise, but I wasn't a fan. I don't think I'll continue on with the series. It would take a bit for me to read more of Dhonielle Clayton's future work, but I'm totally game to eventually read more of her stuff. Who knows. 

I hope you enjoyed this review!
Happy reading!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

July 2018 Book Haul

Hey, guys!

Okay. I'm so excessive. I didn't mean to acquire so many books...but it happened. Oops. My bad? I'm still really excited to read these books. I managed to acquire almost 30 books, but I've read a good chunk of them. Overall, I'm really excited about these books. Which books did you acquire this month? Have you read any of these?

  1. The Ancient Magus Bride Volume 1 by Kore Yamazaki & Adrienne Beck
    • 4 stars
  2. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
  3. Roomies by Christina Lauren
  4. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
    • 2.5 stars
  5. Alienated by Melissa Landers
    • 4.5 stars
  6. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
    • 4 stars
  7. Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover
    • 4.5 stars
  8. Losing Hope by Colleen Hoover
  9. {ARC} This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills
    • 5 stars
  10. {ARC} Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills
    • 5 stars
  11. {SIGNED finished copy} Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills
    • 5 stars
  12. {SIGNED finished copy} A Torch Against The Night by Sabaa Tahir
  13. Prince of Wolves (Grey Wolves #1) by Quinn Loftis
    • 4.5 stars
  14. Blood Rites (Grey Wolves #2) by Quinn Loftis
    • 4 stars
  15. Just One Drop (Grey Wolves #3) by Quinn Loftis
    • 5 stars
  16. Out of the Dark (Grey Wolves #4) by Quinn Loftis
    • 5 stars
  17. Beyond the Veil (Grey Wolves #5) by Quinn Loftis
  18. Fate & Fury (Grey Wolves #6) by Quinn Loftis
  19. Sacrifice of Love (Grey Wolves #7) by Quinn Loftis
  20. {ARC} Zenith by Sasha Alsberg & Lindsay Cummings
  21. {Book of the Month} Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
  22. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
    • 5 stars
  23. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
  24. To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandria Christo
  25. Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
  26. {won on @literallylenny's IG page} My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, Brodi Ashton
  27. When It's Real by Erin Watt
    • 4 stars
Okay, guys. You're probably aware of my passionate love for my beautiful boyfriend. He is so supportive of my nerdy book love and my obsessive love of all things Sarah J. Maas. Not only will we be going to Chicago in October to see Sarah J. Maas, Alex gave me the sweetest gift ever. He's literally the best. I love him so freaking much. Okay, without further ado, here is what my wonderful man gave me:


God has truly blessed me with this man. The book also included pictures from the signing and Alex wrote me a beautiful note that made me nearly cry. He's so wonderful. 

Number of Books Read: 15/28

What wonderful books did you get recently?

Happy reading, guys!
~Liv the Book Nerd~
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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

July 2018 Reading Wrap Up

Hey, guys!

July has been SUCH a productive reading month. I've done 3 read-a-thons, I've traveled across the country, and I've DNF'd 2 books and I've read 18 books! I'm honestly so proud of myself. This month I read some pretty good books. I've found a few new favorite books, and I'm pretty happy with the other books I've read too. 

Here are the books I read this month!

  1. Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake Volume 1 by Natasha Allegri, Noelle Stevenson, Kate Leth, Lucy Knisley
    • 3.5 stars
  2. The Sun & Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur
    • 3 stars
  3. Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo
    • 4.75 stars
  4. {DNF} City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare
    • No rating: did not finish
  5. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
    • 5 stars
  6. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover 
    • 2.5 stars
  7. Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
    • 3 stars
  8. The Ancient Magus Bride Volume 1 by Kore Yamazaki
    • 4 stars
  9. Persepolis #1 by Marjane Satrapi
    • 3 stars
  10. Paper Princess by C.S. Pacat
    • 3 stars
  11. Mirror & the Maze by Renee Ahdieh
    • 3 stars
  12. Save the Date by Morgan Matson
    • 5 stars
  13. Lumberjanes: Beyond Bay Leaf Special #1 by Faith Erin Hicks, Noelle Stevenson, Rosemary Valero-O'Connell, and Shannon Watters
    • 4 stars
  14. Runaways #7 by Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka
    • 4 stars
  15. Jim Henson's Storyteller: Fairies by Matt Smith & Dan Jackson
    • 3 stars
  16. Persepolis #2 by Marjane Satrapi
    • 3 stars
  17. The Demon in the Wood (Grisha #0.1) by Leigh Bardugo
    • 4 stars
  18. When It's Real by Erin Watt
    • 4 stars
  19. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
    • 4 stars
  20. Kiss Me in Paris by Catherine Rider
    • 3 stars
  21. {DNF} The Witch Doesn't Burn In This One by Amanda Lovelace
    1. DNF review coming soon!
Favorites: Save the Date & The Kiss Quotient 
Least Favorites: City of Glass, The Witch Doesn't Burn In This One, & Ugly Love

Number of Pages Read: 4,313

Happy reading!