The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke {ARC Review}

I received The Girl with the Red Balloon from edelweiss in exchange of an honest review. This in no way influences my opinions. 

34448522.jpgWhen sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin, she’s caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall—but even to the balloon makers, Ellie’s time travel is a mystery. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie must risk everything—including her only way home—to stop the process. 

After following Katherine Locke on Twitter for quite a while, I was pretty excited to read The Girl with the Red Balloon. I’d just like to say now that this book definitely did not disappoint.

All of the characters were so wonderful. Although the book mainly follows Ellie, we also do get multiple P.O.V.s. Multiple P.O.V.s are generally something I shy away from, but I ended up really loving it in this book. It helped make the magic behind the red balloons a bit easier to understand.

With that being said, I did feel that at some points it was still pretty difficult to understand. I really didn’t understand the magic behind the balloons until 30% into the book. The book is ‘magical realism’ which makes some details pretty difficult to comprehend. After I grasped it all, I really enjoyed it! It was just trying to make it through the confusion.

The Girl with the Red Balloon is definitely not a light-hearted read. It deals with heavy-but relevant-topics such as antisemitism, Holocaust, racism, war, etc. If you are triggered/upset by any of those things, people take precaution before reading Girl with the Red Balloon. 

What everyone is probably wondering: are there diverse characters in this book? YES. And I love them all dearly. Kai (arguably the love interest) is a Romanian boy from England. Ellie (our beloved main character) is a Jewish American. Mitzi is a German Lesbian. Basically, there’s representation across the board and it’s WONDERFUL.

Overall, I really liked The Girl with the Red Balloon. It surely wasn’t perfect, but it was still an enjoyable read. I really hope you decided to pre-order/pick it up on Sept. 1!

So, what do I rate The Girl with the Red Balloon?

★★★★/5 STARS

Have you read or pre-ordered The Girl with the Red Balloon yet? What did you think of it? Are you normally a fan of magical realism? 

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Room Tour of August 2017!

Hello everyone! If you haven’t read my recent blog posts, then you may not know that I recently moved! I moved from Oklahoma to Pennsylvania in July. My room is significantly larger than my old room, so it’s a bit more ‘me’ than my old room. For that reason, I wanted to do a room tour to show you guys! Let’s get started!

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My room’s approximate size is 11×12.

Here is an overview of my room! Two of the walls are blue and the other two are white. All of my furniture is from Ikea except the cat tree.

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The Gemina ARC is actually a friend’s that I still need to return…Oops.

When you first walk into my room, you’ll see this small drawer table. It was initially suppose to be my bedside table, but there wasn’t enough room for it. Now it holds my socks and extra knickknacks.

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The little backpack hooks are dog butts 🙂

These things are hanging above the side table! The poster is from London when I visited in June. The backpack on the left will be my school bag, and the brown one on the right is my everyday one. I’ve carried it every day since 2014, and it’s holding up quite well!

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This is my bed! My bed frame is from Ikea along with my duvet. It’s a twin size. I could’ve gotten a queen, but yo girl wanted bookshelf space. I’m only 5’4 so having a smaller bed in order to have more furniture in my room doesn’t really bother me.

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Can you spot Gretchen from chicnerdreads?

This is my strand of polaroids hanging above my bed! I don’t have too many polaroids because I got my camera only a few months ago. The twine and the miniature clothes pins are from Michaels.

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The alpaca’s name is Steve.

These are the pillows on my bed. I actually bought the bear in London when I visited, and the llama I’ve had since I was twelve. Baymax I bought at Disneyland a few years ago.

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This is probably my favorite part out of my entire room.

My playbill frames! Truthfully, I’ve only seen five out of the seven shows. The other two I bought on eBay.

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(left to right) Phillip, Dolokov, Moritz, Pearl, Gabor, and an un-named one! I’m unsure what to name one).

This is my plant stand! I usually keep all of my plants on here, but my cats try to eat them. Usually I leave the plants somewhere on my bookshelves. I also call it my ‘cat crib’ because one of my cats loves to sleep in it.

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My pride and joy.

Let’s be real: this is the only reason everyone clicked on this post. My bookshelves! They’re identical Billy bookshelves, and I’m super happy with them. In my old room, I didn’t have enough room for two shelves. I’m really happy to actually have the space for them.

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I have an obsession with postcards now. They’re so underrated! Like $.50-2 to take a little piece of the place you visited with you? Heck yeah!

This is the wall above my desk! I tried to be a bit more simplistic than my old room which had pictures E V E R Y W H E R E. I’m pretty content with the little things I have up.

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I’ve had this desk for five years, and it’s just now starting to break. Go Ikea!

Finally, my desk! I actually don’t have a desk chair yet, so I mainly use it as storage right now. I will get one eventually, so I’ll actually be able to use this desk.

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This is my entire room! I hope you enjoyed this not-so-book related blog post. I’m really proud of my room, and I’m happy to have a place to call my own that I’m proud of.

Do you usually watch/read room tours? Have you ever posted one? If so, leave it in the comments! I’d love to watch!

-Liv

THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO by F.C. Yee Release Week Blitz (Excerpt + Giveaway!)

Hello everyone! I am so excited that THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO by F.C. Yee is available now! It’s one of my most anticipated reads this year, and I can’t wait to pick it up. If you haven’t heard about this book (where have you been??), be sure to
check out all the details below!
 
This blitz also includes a giveaway for 5 finished copies of the book and a bookmark courtesy of Pique and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post!
 
Title: THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO
Author: F.C. Yee
Pub. Date: August 8, 2017
Publisher: Amulet Books
Pages: 336
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes sixteen-year-old
Genie Lo’s every waking thought. But when her sleepy Bay Area town comes under
siege from hell-spawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are
suddenly and forcefully rearranged.

Her only guide to the demonic chaos breaking out around her is Quentin Sun, a
beguiling, maddening new transfer student from overseas. Quentin assures Genie she is strong enough to fight these monsters, for she unknowingly harbors an inner power that can level the very gates of Heaven.

Genie will have to dig deep within herself to summon the otherworldly strength that Quentin keeps talking about. But as she does, she finds the secret of her true nature is entwined with his, in a way she could never have imagined…

 

Read An Excerpt 

“GREETINGS,” HE SAID, HIS ACCENT THICK BUT HIS VOICE LOUD and clear. “I
have arrived.”
 
Now, I’d done my best to describe this guy to the police. They pressed me
hard for details, as apparently this wasn’t the first group mugging in recent
weeks.
 
But I’d let Officers Davis and Rodriguez down. Nice eyes and a winning
smile weren’t much to go by. I was too frazzled to notice anything before,
which meant this was my first decent look at the boy without the influence of
adrenaline.
 
So a couple of things.
 
One: He was short. Like, really short for a guy. I felt bad that my brain
went there first, but he wasn’t even as tall as Mrs. Nanda.
 
Two: He was totally okay, physically. I didn’t see how anyone could be up
and about after that beating, but here he was, unbruised and unblemished. I
felt relieved and disturbed at the same time to see there wasn’t a scratch on
him.
 
And his mint condition just made Point Three even more obvious.
 
He was . . . yeesh.
 
Nothing good could come of our new classmate being that handsome. It was
destructive. Twisted. Weaponized. He had the cheekbones and sharp jawline of a
pop star, but his thick eyebrows and wild, unkempt hair lent him an air of
natural ruggedness that some pampered singer could never achieve in a million
years of makeup.
 
“Argh, my ovaries,” Yunie mumbled. She wasn’t alone, judging by the soft
intakes of breath coming from around the room.
 
“Arrived from where?” said Mrs. Nanda.
 
Quentin looked at her in amusement. “China?”
 
“Yes, but where in, though?” said Mrs. Nanda, trying her best to convey
that she was sensitive to the regional differences. Fujianese, Taishanese,
Beijingren—she’d taught them all.
 
He just shrugged. “The stones,” he said.
 
“You mean the mountains, sweetie?” said Rachel Li, batting her eyelashes
at him from the front row.
 
“No! I don’t misspeak.”
 
The class giggled at his English. But none of it was incorrect, technically
speaking.
 
“Tell us a little about yourself,” Mrs. Nanda said.
 
Quentin puffed out his chest. The white button-down shirt and black pants
of our school’s uniform for boys made most of them look like limo drivers. But
on him, the cheap stitching just made it clearer that he was extremely
well-muscled underneath.
 
“I am the greatest of my kind,” he said. “In this world I have no equal.
I am known to thousands in faraway lands, and everyone I meet can’t help but
declare me king!”
 
There was a moment of silence and sputtering before guffaws broke out.
 
“Well . . . um . . . we are all high achievers here at SF Prep,” said
 
Mrs. Nanda as politely as she could. “I’m sure you’ll fit right in?”
 
Quentin surveyed the cramped beige classroom with a cool squint. To him,
the other twenty-two laughing students were merely peons on whom his important
message had been lost.
 
“Enough wasting of time,” he snapped. “I came to these petty halls only
to reclaim what is mine.”
 
Before anyone could stop him, he hopped onto Rachel’s desk and stepped
over her to the next one, like she wasn’t even there.
 
“Hey! Quentin!” Mrs. Nanda said, frantically waving her hands. “Get down
now!”
 
The new student ignored her, stalking down the column of desks. Toward
mine.
 
Everyone in his way leaned to the side to avoid getting kicked. They were
all too flabbergasted to do anything but serve as his counterweights.
 
He stopped on my desk and crouched down, looking me in the eye. His gaze
pinned me to my seat.
I couldn’t turn away. He was so close our noses were almost touching. He
smelled like wine and peaches.
 
“You!” he said.
 
“What?” I squeaked.
 
Quentin gave me a grin that was utterly feral. He tilted his head as if
to whisper, but spoke loud enough for everyone to hear.
 
“You belong to me”

 

F. C. Yee grew up in New Jersey and went to school in New England, but has called the San Francisco Bay Area home ever since he beat a friend at a board game and shouted “That’s how we do it in NorCal, baby!” Outside of writing, he practices capoeira, a Brazilian form of martial arts, and has a day job mostly involving
spreadsheets.
                       
 
 

Giveaway!

5 winners will receive Genie Lo prize packs—complete with a finished copy of the book and a special Genie Lo horoscope (that doubles as a bookmark!), US Only.

Enter Here!

Have you read THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO YET? Have you at least bought it and it’s on your TBR?

-Liv

July Wrap-Up

Hello everyone! I actually read a decent amount this month! I wish I could have read more, but I am proud of myself for what I have done. I read six books this month; let’s get into the books I read and what I did in the month of July!

 

Books I Read in The Month of July

  • They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera ★★★★★/5 Stars
  • Because You Love to Hate Me by Ameriie (in collaboration with many Authors and Booktubers)  ★★★★/5 Stars
  • The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (re-read) ★★★★★/5 Stars
  • Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde ★★★★/5 Stars

What Did I Do In The Month of July?

  • I moved from Oklahoma to Pennsylvania!
  • We stayed at my Grandma’s house for a week in between houses.
  • We closed on our house July 6th. We didn’t get our furniture from the movers until the 27th.
  • I participated (and failed) in both 24 in 48 hour read-a-thon and book-tube-a-thon! I have had a hard time reading a lot, so it gave me a little bit of motivation!

What’s In-Store for August? 

  • I’m going to New York City to see The Great Comet with Gretchen from chicnerdreads! 🙂
  • I’m also going to Oklahoma to help my brother move in for college.
  • My mom and I are also seeing Ed Sheeran in concert while we’re there 🙂
  • I start school August 22nd *anxiety increases*.

What (Might) I Be Reading In August?

  • Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
  • The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

How many books did you read during July? Do you have anything cool planned for the month of August?

-Liv

Traveling Books: What Is It and How To Host One

Hello, everyone! I’m sure you’ve seen the phrase ‘traveling book’ thrown around online. You may be wondering what exactly that is. So, what is a traveling book? A traveling book is one book that is sent around to a number of people (the number can be however many you want!). Each reader can write, highlight, doodle, etc. inside the book. As someone who has been a part of one book and hosting one right now, I thought it would be fun to give my advice on how to do it. Let’s get started!

Hosting a Traveling Book

1. Decide which book you’re going to do

Personally, I would recommend a short/medium size contemporary to use as a traveling book. Contemporaries are generally short, easy reads which are good if there are people in your Traveling Book’s path that aren’t very fast readers.

2. Decide who your book is going to go to

I would recommend sending the book to Twitter mutuals/close friends. Basically, I would send it to people who you can hold accountable.

3. If you have a time limit, send it out 4-6 months in advance

Allowing 4-6 months for the book helps give it commute time and the ability for everyone to read it. By time limit; I mean if you’re giving it to the author at an upcoming signing, if you want the author to sign it when you meet them, etc. Pretty much, as far in advance as you can, the better.

4. Keep track of the book during its travels

Regularly check in to see where your book is. Possibly make a groupchat of everyone that the book will go to.

5. Ask everyone to be rather minimal with their commentaries

Depending on how many people you’re sending it to, ask everyone to be light with their notes and highlights. You want everyone to be able to give their opinions, and they can’t if three readers’ notes take up most of the book.

6. When you finally get the book back, read through the notes

It’s so much fun to read through the comments. In the traveling book I’m hosting, some of the readers even doodled in the margins.

Have you ever participated in a traveling book? Did you even know what it was before this post? Do you have anymore questions about traveling books? Leave them in the comments, and I’ll try to reply!

-Liv

Blog Tour: Q&A with Jesse The Reader and Victoria Schwab

Hello,everyone! I’m ecstatic about the two guests I have today on my blog. In honor of the release of Because You Love to Hate Me, Victoria Schwab and Jesse George from Jesse The Reader are going to be answering a few Q&A questions!

 Jesse George’s Q&A

  1. Was Because You Love to Hate Me your first experience writing? How different was it to working on your BookTube channel?

    It wasn’t necessarily my first dip into the writing pool, but it was my first experience working with an editor. I tend to exercise a lot of writing for my videos whether that be during the brainstorming process or during the script writing process. Not all my videos are scripted, but my sketch videos tend to be. The primary difference in writing a piece for BYLTHM and working on my BookTube channel lies in the tone. My BookTube channel is more on the happy go lucky side of things, where as my BYLTHM piece dives into a bit of a darker topic. I’m excited for people to read the piece, though, because I feel like it’s different than what they’re used to seeing with me.

  2. Out of all fictional villains (books, movies, TV shows, etc), who would you be and why?

Without a doubt it would be Count Olaf from A Series of Unfortunate Events. He’s a villain that I love to hate. I find him ridiculous, outrageous, and completely over the top, which if you’ve seen my videos, you’ll know that a majority of them contain all of those things. My videos just lack the evil that Count Olaf brings to the table and I plan to keep it that way! 

  1. After Because You Love to Hate Me, do you think you’ll continue writing? Any specific projects you want to work on if so?

I’m currently working on two different writing projects! I won’t go into detail, because I’m terrified of jinxing myself, but I definitely hope to put out a book in the future. I’m in no rush, because I want to make sure I put out a piece of work that I’m proud of. I’m well aware that it’s going to take time to get to that point, but I’m looking forward to what the future holds. 

Victoria Schwab’s Q&A

  1. Was working on Because You Love to Hate Me  similar or different to writing your novels?

Writing short stories is a totally different art from writing novels, but I’m apparently even slower at it. It took me nearly 4 MONTHS to write “Death Knell” from first idea to finished draft. I had such a specific style for it in my head (I wanted it to feel like a folk song), and it became a matter of getting the execution just so.

  1. Out of all fictional villains (books, movies, TV shows, etc), who would you be and why?

I like to think Magneto from X-Men. My favorite villain is one who has a compelling backstory and a belief in what they’re doing. Anarchy is fun (see: Harley Quinn) but in the end, righteousness is more compelling. Plus, the ability to bend metal is pretty badass. So maybe this is more about who I’d WANT to be than who I would be.

  1. What advice would you give to someone who wanted to be an author/start writing?

Honestly, get to “the end” of whatever you’re trying to do. You can’t fix a blank page, and making something better is easier than making something from scratch.

Purchase Because You Love To Hate Me

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Barnes & Noble

Book Depository

Amazon

Indiebound

Books-A-Million

 

 

 

Check Out The Other Tour Stops!

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Giveaway!

Win a copy of Because You Love to Hate Me! Click Here to Enter!

 

Have you purchased your copy of Because You Love to Hate Me yet? Who is your favorite literary villain?  Thank you again to Jesse and Victoria for the Q&A Answers!

-Liv

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera {ARC Review}

I was sent a physical Advanced Reader’s Copy through Kristina Boling through Twitter. This in no way influences my opinion.

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On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.

I think I may have said this in every review I’ve done, but They Both Die At The End may be one of my favorite books of 2017. If you have yet to read an Adam Silvera novel, it’s better late than never. He’s an author that you need to have on your ‘auto-buy authors’ list immediately. One thing about Adam Silvera novels is that they are inexplicably sad; They Both Die At The End was no different.

When you pick up They Both Die At The End (notice I say When and not If), prepare a special box of tissues. You’ll be doing quite a lot of crying. You probably already assumed that from the title of it, though. In my opinion, this book was probably the most heart-shattering out of all Silvera novels.

This book really hit close to home for me. Silvera opens the book with a small message about how his books are very personal to him. He wrote that They Both Die At The End was more about the opportunities he’s missed versus an actual experience. I really needed to read this. I may have talked about this briefly, but I will be at a new high school this year. I’m really anxious around new people. TBDATE really made me realize this: I have one life. I have one life to live, and I can’t sit around and let it pass by me.

Emotions aside, let’s talk about the book. I really didn’t expect to fall in love with these characters as much as I did. Mateo and Rufus (my sons)  are now some of my favorite characters in YA. Both of them were very flawed and felt very real. The character development is quite phenomenal in this book even though it takes place in a 24 hour window.

I really enjoy Adam Silvera’s writing style, and it was no different in TBDATE. Throughout the course of the book, there are a few different points of view. They mainly talk about others’ last day. They’re all important to the story, though, so please don’t skip them!

The one caution I’d like to address is this: if the talk of death or mortality makes you uncomfortable/gives you anxiety/etc., I would proceed with caution when reading They Both Die At The End.

Overall, this book was perfection, and I was not disappointed at all. I urge you to pick up They Both Die At The End on September 5! Also, the book’s setting is Sept. 5, so it gives you even more reason to binge read it the day it’s released. 🙂

So, what do I rate They Both Die At The End?

★★★★★/5 Stars

Were you able to score an ARC of They Both Die At The End? Did you enjoy it? If not, have you preordered it yet?

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The Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag

Hello everyone! I’ve seen this tag circling the book community, and I thought I’d join in the fun! I don’t believe I’ve been tagged, but I’ll just do it anyway! My reading count for this year has been sadly low, but I’m still going to do this tag! Let’s get into the questions:

320756711. The Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2017

To be honest, I’ve read some amazing books in 2017. It was super hard to narrow it down to only one; I really wish I could just have a list for all of then. If I had to pick one book, it’d have to be The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I wrote a book review about T.H.U.G. if you’d like to see my full thoughts on it! Just know this: it was an absolutely beautiful book and if you haven’t read it yet, you need to.

2. Your Favorite Sequel of 2017

I’ve only read one sequel in 2017…Oops. I guess my answer for this has to be The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig! I mainly only read stand-a-lones for this part of the year.

3. A New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde! I feel like I may be the last person on the planet who hasn’t read this book yet! I have only heard wonderful things about it, so I’m really excited to read it soon!

4. Most Anticipated Read For The Second Half of The Year

For this question, I decided on 27 Hours by Tristina Wright. I have heard nothing but wonderful things from the ARC readers so far. 27 Hours is being released October 3 through Entangled Teen!

 

5. Your Biggest Disappointment

To no one’s surprise, my biggest disappointment was a book I needed to read for school: Lord of The Flies by William Golding. This book was one of the worst books I’ve ever read.

6. Biggest Surprise of The Year29414576

One book that came as a surprise for me was Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee. I was highly anticipating this book, but I was very fearful that I would be disappointed (I’m not sure why). It was a wonderful, hilarious, and touching read featuring an Ace protagonist. Tash Hearts Tolstoy was one of my top reads of this year.

7. Fave New To You Or Debut Author

One author I finally read in 2017 is Becky Albetalli! I seriously can’t believe I just read her this year because she is now one of my favorite authors of all time.

8. Your New Fictional Crush

Speaking of Albertalli’s books, Reid from The Upside of Unrequited is one of my new fictional crushes. He’s so soft and sweet. He’s a pure human.

9. New Favorite Character29283884

New favorite character has to go to Monty from The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee! He gives off very ‘Will Herondale’ vibes who was my 7th grade fictional crush. He’s just all around an awful, flawed, but hilarious character.

10. A Book That Made You Cry

They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera. I’m guessing most people probably figured out just why it made me cry by the title. 

11. A Book That Made You Happy

For this question, I think I’m going to go with When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon! This book was so adorable, and I think I was smiling the entire time I read it.

12. Fave Book To Movie Adaption You’ve Seen This Year

I don’t have an answer for this because I don’t watch a lot of movies. I don’t think I’ve seen a single one this year.

13. Fave Book Post Published This Year

My favorite post this year is the post I did about the 13 Reasons Why TV show and how it can be harmful. I got quite a lot of feedback from it, and I’m quite proud of it!

14. Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought/Received9780525425892

The book I chose for this answer is We Are Okay by Nina LaCour! Not only is the cover/format of the book stunning, but the content inside is very poignant novel. It’s really hard to put my feelings into words. Just know that it is absolutely wonderful but very sad.

15. What Are Some Books You Need To Read Before The End Of The Year?

I’m going to do a bullet list of the ones I need to read because there are A LOT.

  • A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
  • Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee

I Tag…

Have you done the Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag? If so, leave your link in the comments! I’d love to read them. 

-Liv

 

June Wrap-Up

My life needs to SLOW. DOWN. so I actually can accomplish the things I want to during each month. My life has been such a whirlwind the past few month; I’m hoping to get back into reading and blogging in the month of July. In the month of June, I read four books. Let’s get into what I read!

Books I Read in The Month of June 

  • The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson ★★★★/5 Stars
  • Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee ★★★★★/5 Stars
  • The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee ★★★★★/5 Stars

What Did I Do In The Month of June?

  • I went to London! It was a trip with my Grandma and Mom. London was such a beautiful city, and I’m hoping to go back someday.
  • While in London, I saw Les mis and Phantom of The Opera! They were both such amazing shows.
  • I went to a book panel in Irving, TX on June 15th! It was absolutely hilarious and one of my favorite panels I’ve ever watched.
  • I moved from Oklahoma! We’re closing on our house in Pennsylvania the first week of July, so we’re staying with family in the meantime.

What’s In-Store for July? 

  • The completion of our move to Pennsylvania! I’m so ready to be in my new house.
  • I’m trying to take a day trip to New York City to see a few Broadway shows!
  • That’s it! I’ve had such a busy past few months I’m ready for a chill(er) month.

What (Might) I Be Reading in July ?

  • Because You Love to Hate Me by by Ameriie (and many others)
  • Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman
  • Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
  • The Girl With The Red Balloon by Katherine Locke

How was the month of June for you? How many books did you finish? Did you go to any cool book events?

-Liv

Blog Tour: Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee {ARC Review}

Hello everyone! Today, I’m reviewing Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee through the Sunday Street Team for its release on June 27th. Without any delay, let’s get into the review!

I received the ARC through Edelweiss in order to review it for the blog tour. This in no way influences my opinion. 

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father ha29283884ven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Witty, romantic, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a sumptuous romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.

How can I even form words to describe the joy I felt while reading Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue? If you don’t already have this book on your radar, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

I really didn’t know what to expect going into the book. I thought that it would maybe be a fluffy, historical fiction novel written like a typical contemporary. I thought maybe there’d be some romance sewn in between. Flat 4/5 stars. OOOHHH NO. Not at all! I was totally wrong.

First off, the writing style was wonderful. Mackenzie Lee’s writing style was magnificent. It fit very well within the world; it especially worked well with Monty’s narration. Monty is constantly plotting mischief and being sassy 24/7 and the writing DEFINITELY showed that. The plot was very thought out and surprisingly intense! I really thought that it would be like a contemporary (minimal plot, mostly driven by characters). Again, I was very wrong because there were many times where the suspense was so strong I just had to keep reading.

Speaking of characters, LET’S TALK ABOUT THE CAST OF GENTLEMEN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE. They each had very distinct personalities that really worked well together. The dynamic between the main three (Felicity, Monty, and Percy) really made me enjoy the story. Felicity, Monty’s sister, is now one of my favorite characters. The story definitely didn’t let her step out of the spotlight behind Monty and Percy, and I really loved that.

The cast of characters were also very diverse (racial rep, disability rep, and more that I know I’m forgetting). It was woven into the story really well. I thought the rep was really well researched, but I’m not within these marginalization (if you are, please leave your review in the comments! I’ll add the links here).

The only issue and I say issue very lightly is that the beginning was a bit slow. I really think, though, that that was my fault more than the novel’s. I took my time reading it towards the beginning, and I feel like it made the book feel a bit slower before the 15% mark.

Overall, I LOVED Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. It is definitely a book you need to keep on your radar of upcoming releases.

So, What Do I Rate Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue?

★★★★★/5 Stars

Buy Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Amazon- US || Amazon – UK || Barnes & Nobles || The Book Depository

About The Author

mackenzi-lee

Mackenzi Lee is a bookseller, history nerd, and the author of THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE, THIS MONSTROUS THING (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins), and the forthcoming SEMPER AUGUSTUS (Flatiron Books, 2018). She holds an MFA from Simmons College in writing for children and young adults. She loves Diet Coke, sweater weather, and Star Wars. On a perfect day, she can be found enjoying all three. She currently calls Boston home.

Website: http://www.mackenzilee.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/themackenzilee

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7327341.Mackenzi_Lee

Pinterest: https://in.pinterest.com/themackenzilee/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/themackenzilee

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themackenzilee/

Tour Stops for Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue Blog Tour

6/4 Tour Blogs Stops

Character Profiles – Blame It On The Books

Review –  Bookishly Thinking

Review –  Charmingly Simple

Interview – The Hermit Librarian

6/11 Tour Blogs Stops

Review – Tween to Teen Book Reviews

Interview – Sarcasm and Lemons

Unique Post (Ships to Travel With) – Roecker Reviews

Interview –  Books Buying Beauty

Review – The Ultimate Fangirl

6/18 Tour Blogs Stops

Review – Books and Ladders

Interview –  Book Stack Amber

Review –  YA and Wine

Review – A Thousand Words A Million Books

Unique Post (Characters in Social Media) – Live Love Read YA

6/25 Tour Blog Stops

Interview – Hopeful Reads

Review – Olivia’s Catastrophe

Review – Bayy in Wonderland

Review – Curly Hair Bibliophile

Unique Post (Mood Board) – A Book and A Cup of Coffee

Have you preordered Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue? Or were you able to read it as an ARC?

-Liv

Blog Tour: Interview with Sierra Abrams (Author of The Color Project)

Hello everyone! Today, I’m thrilled to have Sierra Abrams on my blog today in honor of The Color Project‘s blog tour! There will be more information about Sierra and The Color Project towards the end. Let’s get into the interview!

1. Hi Sierra! Before we start the interview, can you briefly introduce yourself and The Color Project? 

Hi Liv! Thank you so so much for having me on your blog today! ❤ I’m Sierra and I wrote a book called THE COLOR PROJECT. It’s about a charity in a small town and how it affects the local community, as seen through the eyes of a girl experiencing her own personal tragedy while she volunteers at the charity.

 2. What was your inspiration behind The Color Project?

So many things that happened to me as a teenager. Most of them are spoilery things, but I can say that I wanted to read about more books set in San Diego!

 3. What is Bee’s Hogwarts house and why?

Bee is like me in almost EVERY respect….except her Hogwarts house. I’m a Ravenclaw, but she’s a Gryffindor. You wouldn’t think she is at first – she’s afraid of a lot of things – but I think that’s exactly what makes her a Gryffindor. She learns to do the hard, scary things anyway.

4. What is your writing process like?

A hectic, chaotic swirl of mad cackling, scribbling, drinking the tears of beta readers, and stirring my cauldron.

5. Which character was your favorite to write? Why?

I think, from this book, Suzie was my favorite to write. Suzie is Levi’s mom – you meet her about 1/4 of the way in – and she is just a LOVE BUG. She’s pushing through her sadness over her divorce in her own unique way that made me both laugh and want to join in. And she’s the BEST mom to Levi. Almost everything she said just clicked with me.

6. How long does it take you to write a first draft?

First drafts are a wild card in the sense of time. Some are 5 weeks. Some are 365 days. I never, ever know.

7. What inspired you to become a writer? Have you always enjoyed books as a child?

I fell in love with books at age 2, but I didn’t start reading for myself until I was 8. I got a set of HEARTLAND books for my birthday and just about melted out of love for them. I had already started writing, however – and I was taking it seriously, might I add – so this only fueled me to want to write more.

8. Do you have any upcoming projects that you’d like to talk about (if you can)?

I do!! I can’t say much about it, but I recently announced my second novel in my newsletter. It’s a New Adult contemporary set to release in the Fall of 2018, and you can already add it to Goodreads. 🙂 Thank you again so much for having me!! ❤

Thanks again to Sierra for such a wonderful interview!

Check Out The Color Project

Bernice Aurora Wescott has one thing she doesn’t want anyone to know: her name. That is, until Bee meets Levi, the local golden boy who runs a charity organization called The Color Project.

Book Cover
Goodreads

Levi is not at all shy about attempting to guess Bee’s real name; his persistence is one of the many reasons why Bee falls for him. But while Levi is everything she never knew she needed, giving up her name would feel like a stamp on forever. And that terrifies her.

When unexpected news of an illness in the family drains Bee’s summer of everything bright, she is pushed to the breaking point. Losing herself in The Color Project—a world of weddings, funerals, cancer patients, and hopeful families that the charity funds—is no longer enough. Bee must hold up the weight of her family, but to do that, she needs Levi. She’ll have to give up her name and let him in completely or lose the best thing that’s ever happened to her.

For fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson, THE COLOR PROJECT is a story about the three great loves of life—family, friendship, and romance—and the bonds that withstand tragedy.

Links To Buy The Color Project

Amazon    Barnes & Noble   Book Depository  

About The Author

Author PicAt 7 years old, Sierra Abrams decided that one day she would publish a book. For over a decade, in between exploring other career options, she kept coming back to that very first dream. Now her life consists of writing books of all kinds… Kissing books, angsty books, killing books, whimsical books, and sometimes books that are all of the above. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, traveling, consuming sushi, or daydreaming about Henry Cavill.

Check Out Her Social Media Links 

Giveaway: Win a The Color Project Tote Bag

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Click Here to Enter The Rafflecopter Giveaway

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday June 19
In The Morning at 8:00 AM EST – Interview – Brittany´sBookRambles

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST – Review – ReadsandThoughts

Tuesday June 20
In The Morning at 8:00 AM EST – Excerpt of The Color Project – TheYABookTraveler

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST – Review – TheHermitLibrarian   

Wednesday June 21
In The Morning at 8:00 AM EST – Review – YAandWine

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST -Guest Post – LimeLightLiterature

Thursday June 22
In The Morning at 8:00 AM EST – Review – AvdReader

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST – DIY: The Color Project Bookmarks – LoisReadsBooks

Friday June 23
In The Morning at 8:00 AM EST – Excerpt of The Color Project – TheReader&The Chef

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST – Mini Review & Favorite Quotes – TheLifeOfABookNerdAddict

Saturday June 24
In The Morning at 8:00 AM EST – Interview – CurlyHairBibliophile  

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST – Mood Board – WonderfullyBookish

Sunday June 25
In The Morning at 8:00 AM ESTReview – MorrissaReads

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST – Guest Post – AThousandWordsAMillionBooks

Monday June 26

In The Morning at 8:00 AM ESTWays To Support Your Favorite CausesTalesOfTheRavenousReader

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST – Review – InkDin

Tuesday June 27

In The Morning at 8:00 AM ESTReview – ILoveBooksGirl

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST –  Interview – Brooke-Reports

Wednesday June 28

In The Morning at 8:00 AM ESTBook Hangover  – FablesandFae

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST –  Guest Post – Tiffthebooknerd

Thursday June 29

In The Morning at 8:00 AM ESTReview – BookWyrmingThoughts

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST – Excerpt – SimplyNicollette

Friday June 30

In The Morning at 8:00 AM ESTReview – LittleRedsReviews

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST –  Creative Post – LostInEverAfter

Saturday July 1st

In The Afternoon at 1:00 PM EST –  Interview – ANewLookOnBooks

Do you have The Color Project on your TBR yet?-Liv.jpg

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee {ARC Review}

I was sent an e-ARC of Tash Hearts Tolstoy in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influences my opinion. 

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After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” 

Zelenka finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust into the limelight: She’s gone viral.

Her show is a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina—written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the forty thousand new subscribers, their gushing tweets, and flashy Tumblr GIFs. Not so much the pressure to deliver the best web series ever.

And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with Thom Causer, a fellow award nominee, suddenly has the potential to become something IRL—if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual.

Tash wants to enjoy her newfound fame, but will she lose her friends in her rise to the top? What would Tolstoy do?

How can I describe my absolute admiration for this book? Tash Hearts Tolstoy exceeded all expectations I had. I’m actually having a difficult time writing this review because I just don’t know how I’ll describe it. I apologize in advance if this review is a bit jumbled.

I have fallen madly in love with Tash Hearts Tolstoy. It is a fluffy, YA contemporary that needs to be added to your TBRs IMMEDIATELY.

One thing unique about this novel is Natasha–Tash–is asexual. I have personally never read a book that features a asexual protagonist. I wrote a thread about Tash Hearts Tolstoy and what it means to me if you’d like to read it.   

I really can’t express how much I enjoyed this book. Tash Hearts Tolstoy talks about many issues, not only Tash’s sexuality. It also discusses friendships, rising to fame, family, and relationships. While Tash’s asexuality is very present in this novel, it is not the focal point. The book also explains that you can be in relationships and have romantic feelings if you are ace which is a myth that gets tossed around quite frequently.

Tash Hearts Tolstoy is just so much fun. The book is set while Tash and her friends are working on a web series. All of the characters were unique and easy to remember which is a problem I have frequently.

Tash is definitely not a perfect character which is something I really liked. In books, the characters are often seen as perfect beings. That isn’t how real humans work, though. They make mistakes and sometimes let emotions get the best of them. Tash definitely felt real. She didn’t always do or say the right things, but Tash learned from her mistakes and had strong character development by the end.

The storyline was adorable. Honestly, it reminded me of a Wattpad story in all the best ways. It was addicting and somewhat realistic but a bit idealistic. The writing style was also simple but still having the addicting style like I said before. There were many parts that were so funny I literally laughed out loud. It was overall just a heart-warming, wonderful novel.

After reading this review, you can probably tell that I LOVED Tash Hearts Tolstoy. You need to buy it as soon as you can. Read it. Love it.

So, what do I rate Tash Hearts Tolstoy?

★★★★★/5 Stars

Have you read Tash Hearts Tolstoy? Is it on your TBR yet? 

-Liv