Book Review: The Last Boy and Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian

Genre: 

Young Adult, buy  Contemporary

Pages: 

320 pages

Part of a Series?:

Standalone

Release Date: 

April 26th, prescription 2016

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

What if your town was sliding underwater and everyone was ordered to pack up and leave? How would you and your friends spend your last days together?

While the adults plan for the future, box up their possessions, and find new places to live, Keeley Hewitt and her friends decide to go out with a bang. There are parties in abandoned houses. Canoe races down Main Street. The goal is to make the most of every minute they still have together.

And for Keeley, that means taking one last shot at the boy she’s loved forever.

There’s a weird sort of bravery that comes from knowing there’s nothing left to lose. You might do things you normally wouldn’t. Or say things you shouldn’t. The reward almost always outweighs the risk.

Almost.

It’s the end of Aberdeen, but the beginning of Keeley’s first love story. It just might not turn out the way she thought. Because it’s not always clear what’s worth fighting for and what you should let become a memory.

My Review:

I didn’t love this book. I liked it but I didn’t love it. I haven’t become a Siobhan Vivian fan yet, and I really wanted to become a fan after this book but it just didn’t have that wow factor that keeps me coming back for more.

Here’s what the book did right: I think that there was so much about it that was incredibly realistic and genuine and familiar. I felt like the reactions of the characters, the way there were so many different outcomes to this situation, and that everyone sort of tackled it in different ways…that all felt so real. I think she captured what a scary and traumatic event this would be. It was intense and you could feel the way this town sort of started to shut down once they realized they were basically condemned. I think that was beautiful, the way Siobhan captured how different citizens reacted, how some broke down, some fought back and some found a way to find the bright side of it.

I also think she captured something so true about friendships. I think there are so many amazing books that write fantastic stories about friendship but its rare to see characters sort of grow apart and fall apart. I’ve had amazing friends in my life, and I’ve grown up and moved apart and grew apart and lost friends and its always incredibly sad but also sort of bittersweet. Its really hard to stay friends with someone forever, I think its incredible when people stay friends for so long, and I think Siobhan does a fantastic job at writing very real friendships that can crack under pressure. Even the best friendships have their cracks and can fall apart and I really loved that part of this story.

What really didn’t catch me was the main character herself. Keeley sort of drove me insane at times. I know that she was trying to do what she kind of always did, find the light in the dark, find the good in the bad but at times it just felt like she was ignoring the inevitable and hurting a lot of people in the process. She was so determined to find the good and to stick by her father’s side, that sometimes she failed to miss what was right in front of her. While I also think this is incredibly true of teenagers and, well, people in general, it was just so hard to relate to her and Jesse Ford. I really wanted to hit them a lot and it was incredibly frustrating to me. I just think I had a really hard time connecting to her as a character. I don’t think this is a fault of the character or the book or the author and I think there are probably plenty of people that will love the book but it didn’t speak to me enough personally and even though it is one of few books I’ve managed to read this year, it probably is one that will set on my shelf and won’t be reread.

 

Rating: 

3.75 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Heartless (ARC) by Marissa Meyer

Genre: 

Young Adult, drugs  Fantasy, search Fairy Tale Re-Telling

Pages: 

416 pages

Part of a Series?:

Standalone

Release Date: 

November 8th, 2016

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king’s marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.

Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

My Review:

I can’t even begin to describe how much I absolutely loved this novel. I was blown away from page one. As soon as the book opens, with Catherine baking and conversing with the Cheshire Cat, I knew it was going to be an absolute win. It felt like watching the Disney movie or reading Lewis Carroll’s original story. I’m not even that huge of an Alice fan but I immediately fell into the nostalgia of these stories. Marissa takes the world that we’ve gotten to know in the original book and the movie and just blows it to pieces. She widens its, makes it breathe and live in every single page and makes it sound like the most wonderful and yet most awful place. So much good and so much bad, just the way Alice felt when she fell down the rabbit hole.

Catherine is just a fantastic character and even though you know her fate, you have a really hard time believing that this is the girl that could become that queen. She’s young and bright, clever, talented and hopeful. She tries so hard to please everyone while at the same time, trying so hard to find her own place in the world, one that she can forge herself. Even though you know that her fate has already been decided, this being a prequel and all that, it is so hard not to root for her, to hope so hard that she can open her bakery and live happily ever after with Jest, and this is what keeps you reading from beginning to end, that hope. I fell madly in love with Catherine as a character and I wanted so badly for her to get everything she desired and I had to know what could have changed this sweet girl to make her the harsh Queen of Hearts.

The only downfall I would say about the story is that you already know the end. You know that Catherine becomes the Queen of Hearts, therefore marrying the King of Hearts. You know, no matter what happens, this is what is going to happen. Its like watching Titanic; no matter how much you wish you could change that ending, you just can’t. The ship sinks. But I don’t think that it necessarily changes the fact that it is such a great story. Even knowing the end, I was compelled by the beautiful picture that Marissa painted with her words. She creates this beautiful fantasy world in Hearts and she makes all of our favorite characters come to life and she surprises us at every turn, taking things we know so well and twisting them and I think that is what makes her so good at these fairy tale retellings. She’s so good at both bowing to them and also taking them and forming them to her own will and it just ends up in a fantastic, fantastic story.

This book doesn’t release until November but I’m already counting down the days until I can get my hands on a gorgeous finished copy because it was an absolutely fabulous book. Marissa really outdid herself with this one. She wrote a romance and a tragedy and a fantasy and just an all around quick and witty and clever novel that I really think audiences are going to LOVE this coming fall.

Rating: 

5 out of 5 stars

Book Review: Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Genre: 

Young Adult, visit Contemporary

Pages: 

336 pages

Part of a Series?:

Standalone

Release Date: 

April 5th, order 2016

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

 

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Just when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

My Review:

 

  1. I SUPER LOVED THIS NOVEL
  2. Any novel that takes place in California in some way is always a win in my book (I am so biased)
  3. I can’t wait for Julie Buxbaum to write another novel.

I started this book while lounging around in the pool. I was house sitting for a friend and was totally taking advantage of the fact that she had an epic pool. I was about to participate in BFest, the first ever nationwide Barnes and Noble teen book fest, and Julie would be on my panel that day. I literally started the book when I got into the pool and nearly finished it by the time I got out. From opening line to the closing sentence, I was hooked, hooked by her writing, her stories and all of her incredible characters. As someone who grew up in California, and went through some hellish years in high school, this felt like reading my own high school diary. I knew so much of what Jessie was going through and I loved every bit of her story.

What I think makes Julie’s book so freakin’ good is the fact that it feels so incredibly real and genuine. She captures that teen voice so well, while also making Jessie feel different and unique at the same time, which is a hard thing to do, both in writing and in life, especially when you’re in high school and trying to fit in. Jessie is someone that you both completely relate to and also wish was your best friend. She is dealing with so much in this book; the death of her mother, the remarriage of her father, a new stepmom and stepbrother, a new school, a mysterious friend, and she just charges forward, even when she wavers, she’s still strong as hell and its what makes me root for her so hard.

I also love that you’re not quite sure where the book is going to go. I know that I kept jumping back and forth on who I hoped Somebody Nobody was! She has you guessing again and again, and it sent my head spinning and made me turn the pages faster because I was just dying to find out who exactly it was. And when I did? I was so happy with the results. Julie wrote a serious page turner, that’s funny and sad, and addicting all at the same time and I FLEW through this book and I really urge all of you to go pick up a copy because I think this book just might be one of my favorites of the year!

Rating: 

5 out of 5 stars

Book Review: My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul

Genre: 

Young Adult, shop Contemporary

Pages: 

336 pages

Part of a Series?:

Standalone

Release Date: 

April 5th, 2016

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Despite the best of intentions, seventeen-year old, wisecracking Hank Kirby can’t quite seem to catch a break. It’s not that he means to screw things up all the time, it just happens. A lot. Case in point: his attempt to ask out the girl he likes literally goes up in flames when he spells “Prom” in sparklers on her lawn…and nearly burns down her house.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Peyton Breedlove, a brooding loner and budding pyromaniac, witnesses the whole thing. Much to Hank’s dismay, Peyton takes an interest in him—and his “work.” The two are thrust into an unusual friendship, but their boundaries are tested when Hank learns that Peyton is hiding some dark secrets, secrets that may change everything he thought he knew about Peyton.

My Review:

I absolutely loved Robin’s debut release and I am so grateful for the Ontario TBF for introducing me, yet again, to awesome authors. I’m afraid I would have never picked up Robin’s book if I hadn’t met the lovely lady herself at TBF.

Moving on, I think Robin wrote an absolutely compelling debut novel. From page one to the very last, I was completely hooked. I think, lately, there has been a sort of repetitive nature to contemporary YA and I’ve really strayed from it because I feel like I’m reading the same stories over and over again, and that the trope of the manic pixie dream girl is starting to just drive me absolutely nuts. It was so refreshing and perfect to have a unique story with two equally awesome characters. It was great to read a story where I really wasn’t sure at all where we’d end up at the last page and I love a story that can surprise me and keep me hooked the entire story. Robin has a fresh voice and a fresh story and this is what will keep readers coming back for more.

I also will say that I laughed so much in this book. There are moments of seriousness for sure, but the voices of Hank and Peyton felt like best friends and they both had moments that had me literally laughing out loud, not just an lol ;) These two are just fantastic and Peyton’s character alone is what kept me addicted to this book from beginning to end.

I think that Robin writes a fantastic debut novel that has all the wonderful things that comes in a really great contemporary YA novel. She makes me laugh, she makes me think, she makes me wonder what is going to happen next, she makes me remember high school, she makes me remember my bad days and how I pushed through them, she makes me remember the first time I fell in love and it felt like the most overwhelming, encompassing feeling in the world. I think that a book that can make you feel all of that is something that you should pay attention to. :)

Rating: 

4 out of 5 stars

Blog Tour: The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love and Sarvenaz Tash Guest Post!

Hello everyone! I am so sorry that I’ve been so MIA lately, adiposity I’ve been working so hard on the sequel to The Awakened that I’ve neglected you a bit! But today I’m here with an awesome spot on Sarvenaz Tash’s blog tour for her brand new book. I absolutely loved this book and I’m so excited to host her here on my blog!

First let’s jump in and meet Sarvenaz!

About Sarvenaz Tash!

Sarvenaz Tash was born in Tehran, more about Iran and grew up on Long Island, NY. She received her BFA in Film and Television from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. This means she got to spend most of college running around and making movies (it was a lot of fun). She has dabbled in all sorts of writing including screenwriting, copywriting, and professional tweeting. Sarvenaz currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

You Can Find Her:

Her Website / Her Twitter / Her Facebook / Her GoodReads / Her Instagram / Her Tumblr

ABOUT HER BOOK

Definitely add it on GoodReads and order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble now! 

Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy…
Archie and Veronica…
Althena and Noth…
…Graham and Roxy?

Graham met his best friend, Roxana, when he moved into her neighborhood eight years ago, and she asked him which Hogwarts house he’d be sorted into. Graham has been in love with her ever since.

But now they’re sixteen, still neighbors, still best friends. And Graham and Roxy share more than ever—moving on from their Harry Potter obsession to a serious love of comic books.

When Graham learns that the creator of their favorite comic, The Chronicles of Althena, is making a rare appearance at this year’s New York Comic Con, he knows he must score tickets. And the event inspires Graham to come up with the perfect plan to tell Roxy how he really feels about her. He’s got three days to woo his best friend at the coolest, kookiest con full of superheroes and supervillains. But no one at a comic book convention is who they appear to be…even Roxy. And Graham is starting to realize fictional love stories are way less complicated than real-life ones.

Check out the Other Blog Tour Stops

Mon. 6/6        Beauty and the Bookshelf

Tues. 6/7       Prose and Kahn

Wed. 6/8        Read. Breathe. Relax

Thurs. 6/9     The Hiding Spot

Fri. 6/10         The Reading Nook

Mon. 6/13      Adventures of a Book Junkie

Tues. 6/14     Green Bean Teen Queen

Wed. 6/15     Word Spelunking

Thurs. 6/16   Andi’s ABCs

Fri. 6/17         What a Nerd Girl Says

The Guest Post!

Seeing as how Graham’s story takes place at New York Comic Con and all the craziness that goes into it, it only made sense for me to ask Sarvenaz what her favorite con experience has been. Read on to hear her story!

I’ve been lucky enough to get to attend New York Comic Con over the past several years. Naturally, those experiences directly influenced The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love (which takes place at NYCC) with some of my funniest and favorite moments directly correlating to moments in the book.

But when I had to think of my absolute favorite con experience the one that came to mind was the one I accidentally happened upon…in a foreign country, no less.

The story goes like this: When my husband and I were coming back from our honeymoon, by a cruel twist of fate, we happened to be booked on a 23-hour, 3-flight trip from Croatia to New York. The first of our two layovers was a 10-hour one in Dusseldorf, Germany. Being a fairly frequent budget traveler, I was no stranger to long, restless hours sitting uncomfortably in airport chairs around the world. (N.B. Sofia, Bulgaria has the worst of them; Amsterdam’s airport was one of the best). My husband, however, wisely suggested we try and get a hotel room in Germany so that we could at least sleep for a few hours before getting on two more flights. Brilliant man.

Not so brilliant was the fact that despite having Wi-Fi for the entirety of our two-week trip, it wasn’t until the airport in Croatia that we realized that maybe we should have booked said hotel. Then again, hindsight is twenty/twenty.

Since the Dusseldorf airport is a huge hub, I figured that it should be easy to grab a room at a nearby hotel. I even saw the hotel as we landed because it was, quite literally, next to the airport. After a quick dinner, we followed the signs for it, ready to call it a night in preparation for our 6 AM flight the next day.

But as soon as we exited the airport, we noticed that there were throngs of people congregating near the front door of the hotel. I caught a glimpse of some leather, and some spandex, but didn’t think much of it.

And what’s when we saw it. The guy who strolled out of the hotel’s front door in a full Starship Enterprise uniform and Spock ears. Immediately, my husband grabbed my arm, glee in his eyes, and asked me: “Do you know what this is?!”

Yup. We had somehow managed to wander into a huge sci-fi convention in the middle of the Dusseldorf airport hotel. And not just any convention: FedCon. Europe’s largest Star Trek convention. We wandered around in a daze as we saw Star Trek and Syfy booths, lots of happy geeks, and a very amused concierge when we asked if there were any rooms still available.

Now, I blame the fact that I was tired and that we had an epic travel day still ahead of us, to me muttering some curses under my breath. Something like: “Come oooooon, geeks. I mean, you’re my people, but seriously?! The Dusseldorf sci-fi convention is today?!”

But while we were waiting for a cab to take us to another hotel (which the concierge graciously provided us the name of), my husband took my arm and said, gently, “I know it’s inconvenient but, seriously, can we just take a moment to realize how amazing this is.”

I looked around at the costumes, let myself soak in the excited chatter taking place entirely in German—which of course made everything sound extra vital—and realized, he was right. It was amazing. Or, more accurately, wunderbar.

And a con moment I will never forget.

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Thank you so much Sarvenaz for joining me here on What A Nerd Girl Says and thank you so much for writing such an amazing book! For all of you, make sure to get out there and get your hands on a copy of The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love!

Until next time, happy reading!

 

 

Happy Blog Birthday to Me! 4 Years and Counting!

I’m sitting here, shop writing this, and its hard to believe that this little baby is four years old. Four years ago, I thought to myself…I should start a blog. I should share my opinions. I should share my love for the nerd girl life. What started off as a place for me to go and be passionate about the things I love ended up being one of the most important aspects of my life.

Seriously.

Four years ago, I was in college, struggling, wishing I was anywhere but there. Four years ago, I had a boyfriend that wasn’t always the most supportive or loving or affectionate person. Four years ago, I didn’t have many friends. Four years ago, I didn’t feel like myself or really know who I was.

Now? Now, I am constantly surrounded by friends, amazing friends that I’ve met through this blog and my love of books and my love of fandom and nerd life. I have this confidence in myself that I certainly never had before. Yes, I have my bad days, and I struggle with mental illness, but I am sure of who I am and where I am going. I know that no matter what happens, its going to be okay. That’s so huge for me. And now, after so much work, after so much rejection and discouraging days…I am a published author.

It’s incredible. Its hard to believe that the 24 year old girl that started this blog turned into the 28 year old that I am now. I’m so proud of myself. I’m so proud of myself. I have met so many amazing bloggers and readers and librarians and authors and booksellers and book lovers and so many of them have become my friends and you have all been so invaluable to me. Some of you are ones that I’ve met at book signings and fest and some of you I’ve only met online, but you are all so important and I thank my blog for all of you, and I thank you for being part of what has made my life, and my extension, my blog, so freakin’ awesome.

I’ve done so many great things and met great people and I’ve not stopped pushing myself since the creation of What A Nerd Girl Says. This blog is my baby, my little four year old child that I have poured so much of myself into. I started this as a hobby, something so small, and what has come of it has truly blown my mind.

Since last year, I’ve gone on my first road trip, gone to more conventions, had two books published, a novel and a novella, met a ton of authors, camped out for the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood. I’ve moderated my first panels and signed my first books and I’ve had an incredible year since celebrating the third year of What A Nerd Girl Says.

I don’t know what the future holds. I know that the blog has slowed down quite a bit since the publication of The Awakened back in December. Between writing The Survivor and The Sanctuary and doing events and all of that, I’ve just been so busy. I’ve tried to get up on this blog as much as possible because I love it so much.

And no matter what happens in the future, how often I blog or not, this blog means absolutely everything. I would not have the life I have or be the person that I am or the writer that I am without this blog. Nothing about that is even up for debate. What A Nerd Girl Says holds a big big part of my heart and that won’t ever change.

And I’m hoping to be celebrating year five next year for sure!

For now, though, let’s celebrate with a giveaway! I love throwing lots of love and books and nerd stuff your way because you guys are here and support me and read my blog and its a huge part of why this still exists!

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There are four super awesome prizes up for grabs. Head to my instagram to enter, and find the photo above. You’ll find all the instructions there. It’s open until May 31st AND it is international, which I hardly ever do, so definitely make sure to check it out!

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