Wednesday, January 30, 2019

February 2019 TBR // The BookTube Games & Contemporary-A-Thon // #TeamKetterdam

Hey, guys!

This month is going to be so busy, but I'm going to be casually taking part in a couple readathons -- The BookTube Games and Contemporary-A-Thon. TBTG takes place all month and CAT takes place from the 11th until the 17th. I'm definitely going to be busy as hell, but I definitely want to try to be active-ish when it comes to reading. 

This collective TBR is absolutely overly ambitious. I cannot promise that I will finish all of these books. I'm not betting on it. However, I will try. It isn't my top priority, but it will be something I attempt. I cannot wait until the end of the semester. May cannot come fast enough. I'm ready for the warmer weather and the free time.


Let's go over The BookTube Games

For the BookTube Games, the basic premise is that we are broken up into teams. (TEAM KETTERDAM FOR THE WIN!) During the whole month of February, each member keeps track of the number of pages that they read and their stats go toward the team's points. Whoever reads the most wins. It's really fun. If you're interested in joining, check out @TheBookTubeGames on Twitter or Myonna's channel at LittleWolfReads.

Here are the books I want to tackle this month:

Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
After finishing Geekerella last summer and reading an ARC of The Princess and The Fangirl, I have to finally pick up Heart of Iron. I have it signed and personalized and I'm definitely sure that I will adore this book. I'm so excited. 

To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandria Christo
I picked this up in early January and didn't continue (I liked it! I just wasn't in the mood at the time). I'd love to see what the hype is about for this book. I'm currently 84 pages in.

~ Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyers
It's an "East o the Sun West o the Moon" retelling. Need I say more?

~ Lost Boys by Riley Quinn
This ARC was sent to me for an honest review. It's a Peter Pan retelling, so of cours,e I'm interested!

~ Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
This is the first book that a bunch of the Ketterdam team will read. For the readathon, if you buddy read the chosen book for your group, it gets counted as double the points/pages. I'm excited to dive into this one.

~ Famous In A Small Town by Emma Mills
It's Emma Mills. I will read anything she gets published. This came out January 15 and I'd love to read it sooner than soon!

~ The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
For February, I also wanted Alex to pick a book for me to read. He's been impatiently waiting for me to read THUG, so I will definitely prioriticize reading this one. It's such an iconic book for this generation. I'm daunted by the hype, but I'm excited to experience this book.

~ Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi
I also started this in January and didn't continue with it. I was minorly spoiled and it spooked me. I'd love to be updated with this series before Shadow Me and Defy Me to come out. I ordered a Book Hangover box from FaeCrate for Defy Me. I'm so excited. I love this world and the characters. 

~ King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
This is another possibility. I plan on buddy reading this with my beautiful friends: Becky, Brooke, Alice, and Mariana. We're just waiting on all of our copies to come. I can't wait to discuss this book with them. Our IG group chat is literally titled "Bardugo Babes".

~ Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
Alex and I are currently reading this book, but we aren't very far along in it. I'm currently 38 pages into it.

Let's explain the Contemporary-A-Thon!

This is the 4th installment and I'm so excited to take part in it. I found out about this awesome readathon via Julie from Pages and Pens. She is one of the hosts and such a great person. 


Chelsea at Chelseadolling Reads: {click here}
Natasha at Myreadingisodd:{click here} Melanie at Meltotheany: {click here}
Julie {click here}

THE CHALLENGES: 1. Read your most recently acquired contemporary novel 2. Read a book with plurple (blue or purple) on the cover 3. Read a diverse contemporary (keep in mind it’s Black History Month) 4. Read a dark or taboo contemporary 5. Read a contemporary you meant to read in 2018 but didn’t get to 6. Read a contemporary in a non-traditional format. 7. Read a contemporary with a picture on the spine.

For this readathon, I plan on reading:

~ 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne (Not shown. Pre-ordered and on it's way to me)
~ Famous In A Small Town by Emma Mills
~ The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I don't plan on completing all of the challenges or actively looking to check that I'm reading my books in a fast and timely manner, but if I manage to read one of these books during that week, I will be a happy camper. 

Again, I'm being super chill and stress-less because school comes first!

What do you want to read this month?

Happy reading!

Monday, January 28, 2019

{Review} The Wicked King by Holly Black


Page Count: 322
Published On: January 8, 2019
Published By: Little Brown & Company
Genre(s): Fantasy, YA
Source: hardback - personally purchased 3 times!
Age Rating: 15+
Where To Find It: Amazon // Book Depository

My Rating: 5 stars 

Goodreads synopsis:

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself that strong.

Jude has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were biddable. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her, even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a faerie world.


Hey, guys!

     As you guys have known, I'm a massive fan of Holly Black's Folk of the Air series. Back in January 2018, I read The Cruel Prince and absolutely fell in love with everything about it. I've been eagerly and impatiently waiting for The Wicked King to come out. In December, I traded with someone on Twitter for an ARC, but I didn't get to reading it until the day after TWK was published....I got caught up in finishing a series, okay? I didn't mean for it to take so long. Anyway, this book was even better than I could have hoped. I absolutely adore this series and I NEED The Queen of Nothing! I need it! I highly doubt that there will be ARCs for TQON, but if anyone gets one and wants to hook me up.... I'm definitely down to work out a trade or something. 

Anyway, let's discuss this FANTASTIC book!

This book was everything I could have wished for. I wish it had been longer, but that is only because I'm greedy for this series. I was honestly so upset that it ended so quickly. There were so many twists and turns that I did not expect. There were also some twists that I hoped would not happen, but they did. RIP my sanity.

The main character, Jude, is just such a compelling and intriguing main character. I absolutley love her voice throughout this book and I think she's such a dingdong sometimes, but I relate. It's obvious that Cardan (my man!) flirts with her SO MUCH during this book, but she's so focused on not being tricked that she doesn't even realize his love for her! Some don't think he loves her, but I AM CONVINCED! HE'S JUST A LITTLE BIT EMOTIONALLY BROKEN, OKAY? He's secretly a soft boy and I love him. Holly Black is a freaking goddess of a writer who writes the BEST slow burn romance. Ugh. I love her. I wish I could have gone to one of her tour stops. 

The character development in this book was so fantastic. In The Cruel Prince, we weren't given as much about our main character because it was a lot of world building and introductions to the magic and the characters. However, this book! Holly Black really brought her A-game when writing this book. I cannot wait for the finale. I need it. 

This series is already becoming one of the series that I buy multiples of each book and desperately try to find the ARCS for. I'm so blessed to have traded for an ARC of The Wicked King. 

I highly recommend this book. It's dark, it's whimsical, it's twisty, it has the best parts of fae-fiction and the YA genre. I cannot wait for more Holly Black! 

If you'd like to see me geek out about The Wicked King and The Cruel Prince, I'm sure I will not stop and will continue to gush about these books on my Instagram. If you'd like to join the conversation feel free to DM me or comment below! Let's talk about this fantastical book!

Other Reviews of Holly Black's Work:

Happy reading!

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

{Review} The Princess and the Fangirl (Once Upon A Con #2) by Ashley Poston


Page Count: 320
Published On: April 2, 2019
Published By: Quirk Books
Genre(s): YA, Contemporary, Romance, Retellings, LGBTQIA+
Source: e-book - NetGalley
Age Rating: 13+
Where To Find It: Amazon // Book Depository

My Rating: 5 stars 

Goodreads synopsis:

The Prince and the Pauper gets a modern makeover in this adorable, witty, and heartwarming young adult novel set in the Geekerella universe by national bestselling author Ashley Poston.

Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year's ExcelsiCon isn't her last, she'll consider her career derailed.

When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That's easier said than done when the girls step into each other's shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these "princesses" race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after.


I was given a copy of this book for free via NetGalley for an honest review. All thoughts, feelings, interpretations, and opinions are my own. 


Hey, guys!

I am so thrilled to be a part of the hype for this book. April 2nd cannot come quick enough. I cannot wait to see the whole layout for the finished copy. Geekerella was such a gorgeous book. When I read Geekerella last year, I didn't expect to get a sequel -- of sorts. The Princess and the Fangirl is actually a companion that follows Jess (Dar's co-star who plays Amara) and another new character, Imogen. 

TP&TF is a modern gender-bent retelling of The Prince and the Pauper. I've never actually read The Prince and the Pauper, but I am very familiar with the Barbie classic: The Princess and the Pauper. Call me a dork all you want, but the earlier Barbie movies were 8-year-old Olivia's favorite. I loved those movies. They were cliche, they weren't the best plot-wise, the music wasn't as fantastic as the kiddos of the time thought, and they weren't animated that fantastically either. HOWEVER, I really do appreciate the emphasis on powerful and capable women throughout the movies. 

In this book, there are so many amazing characters. Ashley Poston has such a talent for writing about characters -main and side characters, alike -- that are so well written and complex. I love it when the side characters have their own personalities and lives outside of the POV of the main characters. It adds such a fantastic depth to the overall story. I would have loved to get to know more about Imogen's moms. They were so nerdy and caring. I loved their relationship and their relationship with their kids. They seemed to be so different, but so perfect for each other. I love them.

I also absolutely adore Imogen's brother and his boyfriend. I loved getting little glimpses of their relationship. I hope that the next companion (if we get one) is about them. I definitely need that in my life. They were too freaking cute!

Let's talk about Ethan. I love him. He's definitely a Hufflepuff and I love his quirks and grumpy attitude. I'm sure that people aren't going to like him, but he reminds me too much of my boyfriend at times to actually dislike his attitude. I love his dedication to his best friend (Jess) and I love what he does when he gets stressed and worried. (I will let you find that out yourself. Please read this book.)

Speaking of Jess, let's talk about her too. She's so complex and I really enjoyed her as a character. She and Imogen are technically the main characters of this book, but I really felt like Jess was the #1 focus. She goes through so much growth over four days and I just love her growth as a character. Her behavior, at first really bugged me, but as the book continued I finally understood what all she went through as the reboot Amara. I love how Ashley Poston highlighted the positive and negative aspects of fandom culture. There are definitely wonderful and perfect moments about being in a fandom, but there are toxic behavior and toxic behaviors that come with it. This was the perfect love letter to fandom culture. 

This book was exactly what I needed during my long Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. I cannot wait to read what Ashley Poston has next. I definitely need to pick up Heart of Iron soon! She is quickly becoming a new favorite author. I need to read HOI before the sequel, Soul of Stars comes out in July. Ashley is such a badass writer! Wow! 

If you love fluffy romance novels with hate to love romance, slow burn romance, wonderful sibling dynamics, fandom references, healthy growth and badassery, sweet diverse couples, and laugh out loud/squeal out loud/scream out loud moments, definitely pick up this book! Pre-order it! It comes out April 2nd! You need this book in your life!

This is definitely a favorite of the year! 


My Review for Geekerella: {click here}

What are you the most excited for when it comes to 2019 releases?

Happy reading, y'all!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

New Adult Reviews -Colleen Hoover & Erin Watt Edition

Hey, guys!

I'm back with another group of reviews! This past year was a really great year for reading new adult romance. I really enjoyed exploring the genre and finding the authors that I enjoyed. I'm excited to see what other new adult books I pick up in 2019. Stay tuned for more reviews and maybe some rereads!


November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Page Count: 310
Published on: November 10, 2015
Published by: Atria Books
Genre(s): Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
Source: Print
Where To Find ItGoodreads// Amazon  

My Rating: 4 stars

TW: trauma, questionable advances, non-consensual sexual advances 

     I have a love-hate relationship with this book. I absolutely adore the characters - Fallon and Ben. I loved the whole concept of this book. It was really unrealistic but so addicting to read and I couldn't put it down. I really wish it had been executed a little differently, but overall I really enjoyed the story. Though I really enjoyed the concept and the characters. I also really loved how the book would make fun of itself sometimes. It was sort of meta, but also not? I'm not sure what to think. 

     With that being said, there were also quite a few aspects that were really problematic. I'm still not sure what to rate this book because of these elements. I really did not enjoy how Colleen used trauma and exploited the character's self-confidence issues to further the relationship. That really irritated me and made me feel gross for enjoying the book. Ben also really did not understand what consent meant. Some of the "romantic" scenes made me very uncomfortable and I wish they had been handled with more care. I understood what Colleen was going for, but the execution was just not stellar. 

      I think I'm going to reread this book in 2019. I'd love to mark up my book and write a longer review. I'm just so unsure at this point, but I really wanted to get my initial thoughts down. 

When reading this book, read with caution. 


It Ends With Us ~ 3 stars

Page Count: 367
Published on: August 2, 2016
Published by: Atria Books
Genre(s): Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
Source: Print
Where To Find ItGoodreads// Amazon  

My Rating: 3 stars

     I read this book while on a plane to and from Seattle, Washington and let me tell you...this was a hard book to read. The topic was incredibly impactful and very hard to stomach at times. This probably the most impactful CoHo book to date. I really did enjoy this book quite a lot. Lily is such an admirable and wonderful character. I absolutely adored reading her story. She is one of those characters that I can't help but root for and be proud of. She was raw, she was realistic, she was vulnerable, she was stronger than I could ever be. 

     The powerful message of this book is so inspirational but so heartbreaking. I love the originality of this storyline and I'm so glad that I picked this up. If you read this book, I implore that you read the author's note after finishing this book...but only AFTER, okay? It's pretty essential to the whole ending of the book. 


All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

Page Count: 306
Published on: July 17, 2018
Published by: Atria Books
Genre(s): Romance, New Adult, Contemporary
Source: Print
Where To Find ItGoodreads// Amazon  

My Rating: 4 stars

     This was another CoHo book that I could hardly put down (that tends to be the case whenever I read her books). This was another romance novel that touched on such a relevant and heartbreaking for both parties in the relationship: infertility. While reading this book, I felt so incredibly empathetic for Quinn and Graham. Their love is so beautiful and real, but when they begin to have problems having a child, their relationship and marriage are tested. 

     This story was absolutely beautiful. It is definitely my second favorite CoHo book. I can't wait to read what Colleen gives us next. 

     I'm also so glad that I got to go see Colleen during her Chicago tour stop. It was definitely an adventure to remember. 

Follow Courtney and Mallory @bookishmalpal and @courtney_ann_g


Paper Princess by Erin Watt

Page Count: 370
Published on: April 4, 2016
Published by: Timeout LLC
Genre(s): Romance, New Adult, Contemporary, Young Adult
Source: Print
Where To Find ItGoodreads// Amazon  

My Rating: 3 stars

    I'm not usually prone to reading romance novels that are solely written for those who just want drama drama drama. I'm not usually a mega fan of books that are so unrealistic and fantastical that I roll my eyes every other page, but I surprisingly was quite engaged when reading this book. It was just so mindless and fast that I couldn't put it down. I'm not sure if I'll continue the series, but we'll have to see. I might pick them up from the library. 

    This was just really fun to read. If you're looking for something mindless, potentially sexy, and full of drama..this is for you! 


When It's Real by Erin Watt

Page Count: 413
Published on: May 30, 2017
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Genre(s): Romance, New Adult, Contemporary, Young Adult
Source: Print & ebook
Where To Find ItGoodreads// Amazon  

My Rating: 3 stars

When I first started this book, I was absolutely addicted. I loved it so much, but once it hit the half-way mark I really started to hate it. Once the two love interests got together, it was just bad. I was not a fan of the romance. One of my comments was "gag me with a tuning fork". I think I said that two or three times while reading this book. 

Overall, the first half of the book was excellent, but the last half really killed it. I just really did not enjoy the cringy-ness of the relationship. It wasn't executed well.

Happy reading!

Friday, January 18, 2019

{Review} Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows #2) by Leigh Bardugo


Page Count: 536
Published On: September 27, 2016
Published By: Orion Children's Books
Genre(s): Fantasy, YA
Source: hardback - personally purchased
Age Rating: 15+
Where To Find It: Amazon // Book Depository

My Rating: 5 stars 

Goodreads synopsis:

Welcome to the world of the Grisha.

Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives.

Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties.

A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets - a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.


Hey, guys!

     It's been a hot minute since my last full review, but I'm ready to catch up on my reviews and bring you all of the hot goss on my favorite books. Stay tuned for more reviews soon!

     It's also been a hot minute since I read this book, but wow oh wow has it stayed with me during these past few months. This book was the perfect companion to Six of Crows. I absolutely love these characters and the plot is just so fantastically done. Leigh Bardugo really blew me away with this book. I cannot wait to get my hands on King of Scars on the 29th. 

    This gif has been my mood every time I think about Leigh Bardugo's 2019 releases. Ugh, I need them ...yesterday.

     I absolutely adored the focus that this book had on developing the characters and getting to see their cultures through their interactions. I loved learning about their families and their developing friendships. I need more more more! They are just so well fleshed out and developed characters. You don't usually see characters as wonderful as these and I just really need more about them in my life. I cannot wait to see which characters show up in King of Scars.

     This book was also beautifully executed. The amount of thought that went into the soul of this book is beautiful and mind-boggling. There is so much action throughout this book and I was constantly on the edge of my seat. The heist never ended and there was never a lull. I was not prepared for such a fast-paced and action-packed book. I should have been because DUH Six of Crows was just as action packed! You really cannot emotionally prepare yourself for this book. You will be surprised at every turn. 

    I can only gush about this book. It's dark, it's action-packed, it's heartbreaking, it's hopeful, it's funny, it's so freaking engaging! I cannot wait to read more from Leigh. She's such a masterful writer. I can only hope that I can meet her someday. I wish I could tell her how much I adore her books. She deserves every nugget of praise that she receives. She is a master wordsmith. 

I definitely recommend this book! Please read it! Let's talk about it!

My Other Reviews for Leigh's Books:
  • The Demon in the Wood (Grisha #0.1) {review}
  • Shadow & Bone (Grisha #1) {review}
  • Siege and Storm (Grisha #2) {review}
  • Ruin & Rising (Grisha #3) ~ review coming soon!
  • The Tailor (Grisha #1.5) {review}
  • Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) {review}
  • Language of Thorns (Grisha #0.5, #2.5, #2.6) {review}

Happy reading!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

My Prioritized TBR for 2019

My Current Reads/ Books I'm Currently in the Middle Of:

2018 was the year of starting and putting books down instead of finishing them before starting another book. I would switch between reading formats and switch between different books depending on my mood. I'm currently reading quite a few books, but I know I'll be finishing them in 2018. I just don't like forcing myself to read books that I know I'll enjoy eventually, but I'm not in the mood for now. 

  • Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi
    • I did a really quick reread of the Shatter Me series and I managed to burn myself out after finishing the first 3 books and the novellas. I will be picking this book up soon. Juliette's voice is just something I'm not interested in consuming at this moment. 
  • To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandria Christo
    • During my break, I've become more interested in romance-based stories, so this whimsical and dark fantasy is not something I'm into at the moment. The first little chunk that I read, however, was really great so I'm excited to read this when I'm in a fantasy mood.
  • Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd
    • This was so much fun to start, but for some reason, I put it down. Alex really enjoyed reading this book in October and he's quite excited for me to finish this book in the future.
  • Vicious by V.E. Schwab
    • I started this while on a trip with Alex and I was in another romance/contemporary mood. I'll get back to this soon.
  • Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal
    • I'm currently listening to this book while I drive and do my chores around the house. I'm really enjoying this book and I cannot wait to see what happens in the last 40%. I'm pretty sure that Alex read this on the plane ride home from Seattle this summer or he read it right after we got back from our trip. He really enjoyed it and I'm excited to finish it. 
  • The Summer Palace by C.S. Pacat & The Adventures of Charls, the Veretian Cloth Merchant by C.S. Pacat
    • These are the last 2 novellas/short stories in the Captive Prince series by C.S. Pacat. I'm really enjoying the characters in this story. I originally really enjoyed the politics and world-building in this series, but the second and third books got really intensely into the politics and it really slowed down the pace from the first book. I'm really enjoying the series, but I was just disappointed how slow it got at times. 

2019 Releases I'm Going to Read Soon

  • The Wicked King by Holly Black 
    • I already have an ARC for this book. It's on the top of my list of books that I'm going to read next. I really don't want to have to draw it out as the semester starts. School has already started when I post this, so hopefully, I finish it within the first week of school. I really want this book in my life before my work consumes my life.
  • Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer
    • This was described to me as another retelling of East o the Sun West o the Moon and I am so here for it. I absolutely adore that story and I cannot wait to dive into this book. I have the preorder swag for this book already and I cannot wait to put my signed bookplate into my book. 
  • A Curse So Dark & Lonely by Bridget Kemmerer
    • This is a lovely fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast . The story follows a character who has cerebral palsy who tasked with saving a kingdom from a terrible curse. Beauty and the Beast (and the cultural variations) is my favorite fairy tale ever. I cannot wait for this book to be released. It's being hyped up by all of my favorite people. I need it today.
  • Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills 
    • It's an Emma Mills book. I just need it ASAP. 

ARCs I Need To Read Soon:

  • Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith
    • This gorgeous book was sent to me by HMH Teen and I cannot wait to dive into it. The story sounds so compelling and right up my alley.
  • Toxic by Lydia Kang
    • I haven't read much sci-fi lately, but this sounds so amazing. Thank you Entangled Teen for sending me a copy of this book!
  • To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin
    • This was traded to me on Twitter. After reading Dumplin, I had to get my hands on more books that follow plus-sized characters. This is going to be amazing. 
  • Valiant by Merrie Destefano
    • Another sci-fi novel, but with a dystopian setting! This was also sent to me by Entangled Teen for an honest review. I cannot wait to dive into this one. It sounds so intense and just right for my growing sci-fi mood.

I hope you had a great reading year!
~Liv the Book Nerd~