July Wrap-Up 2017

Always late to the monthly wrap-up party but heyyyyy I’m here!!! This month was slow in the reading department. I had family from Puerto Rico and we went out a lot plus I was getting ready for my first live reading event (I’ll get into that later in the post)!

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29396738-2Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie M. Liu ★★★★ 
Genre: Graphic Novel, Adult
Finally picked this graphic novel up after it being out for like a year and OMG it was great!! The detailing, the story, the illustrations, the dialogue, the poet references, yessssss!!!! I have a non-spoiler review here.

 

 

 

 

 


35558311maroon daydreams by Cheyenne Raine ★★★★★ 
Genre: Poetry
Filled with beautiful vivid imagery, this collection of poetry will have you feeling love and light by the end of it. I have a short review with some of the poems here.

 

 

 

 

 

 


22055262A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab ★★★★★ 
Genre: Fantasy
After a few years, I finally read this fantastical book and it was amazing!!! I have a non-spoiler review here. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series in September! I miss Kell and Lila Bard, plus all the Londons!

 

 

 

 

 


33509076Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel ★★★ 
Genre: YA Paranormal
This book releases September 5th and I wrote a non-spoiler ARC review here. This one was a disappointment to me, I was really looking forward to it. However, if you miss reading books like LUX and Twilight, then I would definitely recommend this one for you.

 

 

 

 

 


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I HAD MY FIRST POETRY READING EVENT AND IT WENT GREAT!!!! It was at Bluestockings Bookstore located in New York City. This even was hosted by an amazing group called La Pluma Y La Tinta. This organization is all about helping PoC writers/poets. They dedicate their events to PoC and I think that’s so great because our voices should be heard just like any other. I got to read alongside other writers!

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Special shout out to my twin Lilly @ LairOfBooks for pulling through and showing her support!!! SHE DA BEST!!!!! Check out her super amazing diverse book blog! Why did i just notice that we were both wearing stripes?! *cries laughing* TWINNING!

 

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If you want to check out clips from my reading, I did a full thread on Twitter, click here ❤

 

 

 

 


Poetry Postings:
– my love poems are ghost stories


and that is all for today’s post! i am hoping that August will be a better reading month since i have officially joined #ARCAugust! what have you book nerds been up to? let’s chat in the comments!


Instagram: @chicnerdreads
Twitter: @chicnerdreads

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab Non-Spoiler Review

Title: A Darker Shade of Magic (Book 1)
Series: Shades of Magic
Author: V.E. Schwab
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Synopsis:

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.


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Once a upon a time, the four Londons co-existed and with it, Antari, magicians that have the ability to travel from London to London. The four Londons are Red, Grey, White, and Black. In present times, a lot of people think that Black London is a myth, a story that you tell your children to scare them. Kell who so happens to be a main character and Antari, was raised in Red London as an adopted son to the King and Queen. He serves the Red London Empire and is used to travel the different Londons per duty. Each London is different in its own way and while traveling to one particular London, Kell finds that he might have to pay for the consequences of his smuggling from London to London. With those consequences comes an adventure to get everything back to the way it’s supposed to be and throughout this back and forth of London’s, Kell meets Lila Bard in a not so pleasant way. However, she might be everything Kell needed to have everything in order. A Darker Shade of Magic is the story of how balance is really important with all four London’s and getting that balance restored.

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For those who have been following my blog for a little while now, you all know that Schwab isn’t a new-to-me author. I have read The Archived, Vicious, and Monsters of Verity Duology. I am obsessed with Schwab’s writing style. Schwab has a very distinct way of writing where usually the beginning of each book is a slow build up. By build up, I mean she is building not only the world, Schwab is also letting us get to know the characters she’s created, and what the plot entails.

That is exactly what we get with A Darker Shade of Magic. Through dialogue and scenes, we are meeting the different types of London’s and obtaining their descriptions, we meet characters and where the plot may go. I thought this was perfectly executed because although it was a slow start, Schwab definitely builds everything up for the next books to come. Also, once Schwab sets her world and characters, she runs with the plot without slowing down to give us any descriptions for anything else.

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I really loved the cast of characters Schwab presented to us. Even the bad ones were creepy and well done like those Diabolical Dane Twins as I call them from White London. Schwab described them so perfectly that they made me cringe in disgust. They are evil blood suckers who are obsessed with magic and will do anything to get what they want when they want. Since we’re on the topic of White London, we meet Holland who is one of the two Antari’s left. Holland definitely gave me mixed feelings but I won’t get too much into that because I feel like that would be a spoiler.

We also meet Lila Bard who I absolutely adored. Lila is from Grey London and she does anything possible to live one more day, even if it’s thieving. Lila’s character arc really struck a chord with me and her backstory touched me. Although we don’t get much of her backstory, Schwab definitely opens up to something…if you know what part I’m talking about, you know what I mean….I really cannot wait to see what happens with her in the next books to come. The banter her and Kell had throughout this magical fantastical world was hilarious. No matter how serious things were, Lila always had me in fits of giggles.

Kell was another character who definitely warmed my heart. A Darker Shade of Magic starts with him, and through him we got to see the different London’s. He is one of the two Antari left in all of the London’s. Kell with his good intentions and good heart always means well and goes beyond to please the King and Queen, plus his brother Rhy who we meet a few times throughout the book. Rhy (pronounced like the word ‘why’) is this beautiful boy who absolutely loves his brother Kell and wants the best for him. Rhy is charismatic and charming. I feel like I’m going to see a lot of growth in the next books to come because although we met him on the surface, Schwab gave us enough to make me think.

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I absolutely loved this book! Schwab is an auto-buy author for me and I am sure that I will love the next two books. A Darker Shade of Magic was well built and I know this was only the foundation of what’s to come in the future two books. This world is dark and I love a good dark fantasy. The way Schwab wrote about magic was smooth and understandable to me. The plot was action packed and on point. A Darker Shade of Magic was definitely a page turner with very surprising elements. There were times that I gasped and was on the edge of my seat hoping for the best with some of these characters, except the diabolical dane twins, they can go straight to hell for all I care lol. Schwab created a world where if you do something that’s out of order, there will be consequences which won’t be a nice payout. And I have to admit that although some of the scenes were hard to read because I got attached to characters, I appreciate the raw honesty of it.

Overall, this a great book and this review was probably super vague but I didn’t want to mention too much..if you want to know about Black London, read the book (if you haven’t already lol)!

 

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thank you for stopping by! have you read this or plan on to? what are your thoughts? let’s chat in the comments!


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Twitter: @ChicNerdReads

Friday Reads

Hey everyone! Happy friday!! I am so happy the weekend is here because this week has been just a little too long for me. I look forward to relaxing and doing absolutely nothing lol. I finished Our Dark Duet last night and my heart is still broken, I have so many feelings and thoughts but there will be a review up for it in the next comings days.

While on my long anxious way to work, I started reading Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia. I say anxious because there were two ladies talking, more like SCREAMING, on the bus ride. And to top it all off, two more ladies stepped on the bus and it was like a screaming match on who can have the loudest conversation. Music couldn’t even save me from silencing them. Ma’am I do not care about your baby daddy situation, can I just read my book? Please and thank you.

I only got to read 20 pages of Eliza and Her Monsters because I couldn’t really concentrate with the loud mouths on the bus. However!! what I did get to read got me really excited and I cannot wait to read more tonight and this weekend.


elizasynopsis from goodreads:

Her story is a phenomenon. Her life is a disaster.

In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, she’s LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves the online one, and she has no desire to try.

Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and as he draws her out of her shell, she begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile.

But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.


i hope you all have a great weekend! have you read Eliza and Her Monsters or plan on to? let’s chat in the comments! i would love to know your thoughts ❤


Instagram: @chicnerdreads
Twitter: @ChicNerdReads

Friday Reads and a Chat

hey everyone! happy friday! i hope you are all doing very well today. i guess wanted to mix things up a bit; tell you what i’m going to start reading today and also have a chat with you. let you know what’s going on with me.

i’ve been very out of whack with blogging and life. which is why sometimes you don’t see me around as much, i’m trying to get back into the swing of things but wow my life has changed so much since April 4th (the day i released my poetry book). it’s the point where i have forgotten to take care of myself and my mind has been pulled into so many directions. i am overly exhausted but i am sorting things out.i am figuring out a schedule since i cut some hours from work in order to dedicate more time to writing/blogging, taking care of myself, and not forgetting the body that i am in. because my body and mind has taken the biggest hit of all which i won’t be going into details.

i miss the shit out of blogging and going through all of the other blogs. i miss posting book related post and poems. i just miss all of you *cries*
I AM READING AGAIN THOUGH!! whoop whoop!! while writing my book, editing, drafting, etc. i had read slim to nothing because my mind was just focused on all of that. especially since i am self-published, i was doing everything by myself. but i literally reaped what i sowed because the book community has had my back and i will forever be grateful. the amount of love, reviews, people telling me the sweetest things about my book…omg here come the water works lol.

so yeah, i probably still won’t be on much while i’m trying to figure out my schedule but i hope you don’t go anywhere! i have a few ideas and discussions for things ❤


to the reads:

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i recently finished A Court of Wings and Ruin (ACOTAR #3) by Sarah J. Maas, which i will definitely be doing a .gif review for because i have a lot to say about this one. i won’t say much right now but that i am disappointed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


our dark dueti am going to start reading *drum roll please* Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2) by Victoria Schwab WHICH I HAVE BEEN HIGHLY ANTICIPATING SINCE LIKE FOREVER!!! oh my heart please be still! I definitely plan on starting this one later on today.

and what i love that is only a duology!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


haven’t heard of This Savage Song, the first book in Monsters of Verity? i have a non spoiler review of it here filled with .gif’s and aesthetics. the synopsis from Goodreads:

23299512There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.


and that is it for today! have you read any of these books mentioned or plan on too? what’s your read for the weekend? i would love to chat in the comments!


Instagram: @chicnerdreads
Twitter: @ChicNerdReads
Goodreads: Gretchen (ChicNerdReads)

December and January Book Haul

Many months ago, I had stated that I was only going to do seasonal book hauls because I don’t buy much books. Well my friends, that was a mothereffin lie. I have so many physical books/ebooks to show you. I can’t believe I acquired 22 books in only two months. I need to stop!!!

*the title of each book will lead you to the Goodreads page

Physical Fiction Books:

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Physical Poetry Books:

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  • Uncaged Wallflower by Jennae Cecelia
    Uncaged Wallflower is for those who feel trapped in the thoughts their minds produce, unable to express them with the rest of the world out of fear of critique or disagreement. For the people who need an extra dose of positivity in their day. This is not a poetry book for you to read and relate to in a sorrow filled way. It is for you to read and say yes, I can be better, and I will.
  • Bright Minds Empty Souls by Jennae Cecelia: 
    Bright Minds Empty Souls is for the hopeless romantics and those who need a friend to comfort their late night thoughts. It’s a book made with love about falling in and out of love with yourself, and others. Enjoy over 60 poems from Jennae’s second edition of, Bright Minds Empty Souls.
  • The Chaos of Longing by K.Y. Robinson
    The Chaos of Longing is a prose and poetry collection draped in raw honesty, ache, and eroticism. The collection explores trauma, love, heartbreak, and the realizations from it all. 
    The book is divided into four sections. “Inception” briefly examines formative years and its effects on how one loves. “Longing” reflects on love and sexuality. “Chaos” explores toxic relationships, unrequited love, and heartache. After chaos, there is order with self-love and healing poems in “epiphany”.
    Some content may be triggering.
  • Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook
    In Alicia Cook’s second poetic effort, designed in the style of an old mixtape, she sets her thoughts to a nostalgic tune. There is no Table of Contents. Instead, there is a “Track List,” making it easy to refer to them to your friends with a, “Hey did you read track seven?!” There are no chapters. Instead, the book is divided into two parts, or as one would say in the 90’s, two “sides.” Side A holds poetry that touches on all aspects of the human condition like life, death, love, moving on, evolving, growing up, hometowns, family dynamic, life after trauma, and make-ups and breakups. Side B holds the “remixes” of these poems, in the form of blackout poetry, also known as “found poetry.” Side B gives the material a fresh twist by creating new poetry out of Side A. There is also a very special surprise at the end of each track. Alicia decided to self publish this effort after leaving her publishing house. She views this book as her “independence” and official separation from that venture.
  • Rest in the Mourning by R.H. Sin
    The calm before and after the storm. Rest in the Mourning is a steady and profound stream of conscious thoughts and emotion. Documenting unhealthy relationships and why the heart ends up in the hands of those deemed unworthy. It speaks to the heart’s ability to hold on to relationships that no longer deserve our energy as well as what happens when we are ready to let go. Rest in the Mourning is about self-care and self-love.
  • Whiskey Words and a Shovel II by R.H. Sin:
    Real and raw, the voice of R. H. Sin delivers gritty, impassioned truths on matters of loving, living, and leaving in his second book of poetry.  Sin’s first book is a bestseller and continues to delight his one million followers.
    R.H. Sin’s second volume continues the passion and vigor of his previous publication. His stanzas inspire strength through the pure emotional energy and the vulnerability of his poems. Relationships, love, pain, and fortitude are powerfully rendered in his poetry, and his message of perseverance in the face of emotional turmoil cuts to the heart of modern-day life.
  • Broken Flowers by R.M. Drake
    “And you will go on / searching for the best of you / and you will never find it, / but that is the point.” This stunning collection of poems asks readers to keep on seeking – the journey is the destination. In this fifth installment from Robert M. Drake, the poet meditates on the subtle beauty of brokenness.
    I have a non spoiler book review here.

E-Books:


thoughts???? let’s chat in the comments! any of these on your TBR or on your read shelf?


Instagram: @chicnerdreads
Twitter: @ChicNerdReads
Goodreads: Gretchen (ChicNerdReads)

January Wrap-Up 2017

HI EVERYONE!!! How’s your day treating you so far? How about month? How’s the new year so far? Cause here in the USA we’re going through it and we need a miracle like yesterday. K thanks lol. Anyways, I read 3 books and 1 I’ve DNFed. Let’s jump right into what I’ve been reading and up to =)

What I Read:

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Broken Flowers by R.M. Drake ★★★★
Genre: Poetry
This is my second R.M. Drake. I love his writing and he talks a lot about loss and brokenness within yourself and relationships. I have a non-spoiler review with even some of the poems here.

 

 

 

 


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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern ★★★★★
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
My favorite of the month!! What a magical world I got to live in for the days that I read this. This circus is everything I would love to visit and more! I have a full non spoiler book review here. I would love to reread this one day in the future and may be even see it as a movie adaptation. This one definitely deserves all the hype!

 

 


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Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1) by Vic James 
Genre: YA Fantasy/Dystopian
This is the one I DNFed. Not because it’s bad cause trust me, I was really liking it. However, with everything that is going on in the country I live (USA) which is very much like a dystopian novel at the moment, it was affecting my reading experiencing with this one. So I decided to put it down till I am ready to pick it up again.

 

 


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The You I’ve Never Known by Ellen Hopkins ★★★★ 
Genre: YA, Verse, Realistic Fiction, LGTBQ+
Definitely a heart wrenching novel about two girls that don’t even know each other but eventually cross paths. About knowing yourself, relationships, and family dynamic. I have a non spoiler review for this book here.

 

 

 


Poetry:
Another month where I know I didn’t post much poetry. And I’ll explain all of that in another post I have coming on Friday. Here’s what I did post in January though:
People I Once Knew – Part 15
so what do you think?
People I Once Knew – Part 16
women’s march
looking at human’s on my train ride
and we’re all just entertainers


Memes of the month:
I participated in some meme’s this month that mention other books that I’m excited for!
Waiting on Wednesday – The Seafarer’s Kiss
WWW Wednesday
Top Ten Tuesday – Graphic Novels


Exciting News!

I FINISHED MY FIRST DRAFT OF MY POETRY BOOK COMING THIS SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! I literally cried once I typed up the last poem. I cannot wait to share with you all more details in the next coming months! I can’t believe this is happening. I didn’t even have this book in mind till I was a few poems in and thought that I should just make a book out of it. I know I’m being vague but just give me some time, I will eventually share the synopsis, links, and all that good stuff coming in a few weeks. I’m still working on some things and haven’t set an official date but it’s looking like June =)

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what have you all beautiful human beings been up to? did you read any of these books? let’s talk in the comments!


Instagram: @chicnerdreads
Twitter: @ChicNerdReads
Goodreads: Gretchen (ChicNerdReads)

 

WWW Wednesday

Hi everyone! I thought I would participate in WWW Wednesday today. This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. You can link your blog post to Sam’s website that way we can interact and find other bloggers =)

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The questions are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?


What are you currently reading?

30258320I am currently reading Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1) by Vic James. So far I am really enjoying it and I’m hoping to finish it by (tomorrow) Thursday. Thankfully I got a ARC at NYCC/BookCon, this book is due to release on Valentines Day.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England’s grandest estate lies a power that could break the world. 

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England’s most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family’s secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price? 

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi’s brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution. 

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?


What did you recently finish reading?

13330943I recently finished The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. One of my favorite reads of 2017. This book was magical and beautiful. The world was fascinating and wonderful. I also love that it’s a standalone! I have a full non spoiler review for this book here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


What do you think you’ll read next?

30312837Ellen Hopkins came out with a new title “The You I’ve Never Known” which was released yesterday (1/24/2017) and since I took the day off as a “self care day”, I decided to hop into Barnes and Noble to buy it! I was going to read something else after Gilded Cage, however, I know myself. My mood instantly changed and I cannot wait to start The You I’ve Never Known. Ellen Hopkins is queen of writing in verse and writing about hard hitting topics in YA. Hopkins isn’t your lovey-dovey magic happy ending type of writer. I love that about her.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

How do you live your life if your past is based on a lie? A new novel in both verse and prose from #1 New York Times bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins.

For as long as she can remember, it’s been just Ariel and Dad. Ariel’s mom disappeared when she was a baby. Dad says home is wherever the two of them are, but Ariel is now seventeen and after years of new apartments, new schools, and new faces, all she wants is to put down some roots. Complicating things are Monica and Gabe, both of whom have stirred a different kind of desire.

Maya’s a teenager who’s run from an abusive mother right into the arms of an older man she thinks she can trust. But now she’s isolated with a baby on the way, and life’s getting more complicated than Maya ever could have imagined.

Ariel and Maya’s lives collide unexpectedly when Ariel’s mother shows up out of the blue with wild accusations: Ariel wasn’t abandoned. Her father kidnapped her fourteen years ago.

What is Ariel supposed to believe? Is it possible Dad’s woven her entire history into a tapestry of lies? How can she choose between the mother she’s been taught to mistrust and the father who has taken care of her all these years?

In bestselling author Ellen Hopkins’s deft hands, Ariel’s emotionally charged journey to find out the truth of who she really is balances beautifully with Maya’s story of loss and redemption. This is a memorable portrait of two young women trying to make sense of their lives and coming face to face with themselves—for both the last and the very first time.


what do you think of these titles? do you plan on reading any of them or have you? let’s chat in the comments!


Instagram: @chicnerdreads
Twitter: @ChicNerdReads
Goodreads: Gretchen (ChicNerdReads)

December Wrap-Up 2016

Hello there! The last month of 2016 was filled of so many ups and downs but I am grateful that we have started a new year with new expectations and goals. I am very satisfied with how I ended my year in reading. I read a total of 5 books and 1 I DNFed (did not finish). Let’s get onto the books and what I’ve been up to this month!

What I Read:

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Midnight Hour by C.C. Hunter ★★★★★
Genre: YA Paranormal
Midnight Hour is the 4th book to the Shadow Falls: After Dark spin off series. I wrote a full non spoiler review for that book and you can check it out here! This is one of my favorite series and I still cannot believe that it is over.

 

 

 


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Replica by Lauren Oliver ★★★★★
Genre: YA SciFi
This is the first book the Replica series. A book all about clones and two girls that are linked in all of this somehow. One of my favorite reads of 2016. I definitely would recommend this. If you want to read a in-depth non spoiler review, then click here!

 

 


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RoseBlood by A.G. Howard
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling
This is the book I DNFed. This is what I wrote on Goodreads: DNFing at 80 pages. I really thought I was going to love this book but I found the story too slow paced for me and a little all over the place with the elements involved. Nothing was really making sense and things got a little repetitive already.

 

 


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The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden ★★★★.5
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Adult
A Russian Folklore that will have you wanting to read every single word and will make you feel like you are there in the village with the family. I have a full spoiler free review here. Definitely a book worth reading.

 

 


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we carry the sky by McKayla Robbin ★★★★★
Genre: Poetry
A poetry collection about femininity, identity, violence and healing. One of all time favorite poetry collections. I have a spoiler free review that includes some of the poems here.

 

 

 


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Black Butterfly by Robert M. Drake ★★★★★
Genre: Poetry
A poetry collection about the transformation and rebirth of life and death. r.m. drake wrote this for all the people who have lost someone either living dead. I have a full non spoiler review that includes some of the poems here.

 

 

 


Poetry:
I know I didn’t post much poetry this month and that was because since the holidays were around I didn’t want to post dark things during happy times. I decided to back off a bit on it but nevertheless I did post and in case you missed it:
not what you say i am
a question and a question and a question
People I Once Knew – Part 14
untitled; a teaser from the book i’m writing
it’s not that easy.


I’ve also been working on my poetry book and I posted a couple of Waiting on Wednesdays, Top Ten Tuesday, Standalone Sunday, and Series Saturday. If you want to check out my memes then please click here. I hope you’re all having a lovely new year. Have you read any of these books or plan on too? Let’s chat in the comments!


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Friend me on Goodreads: Gretchen (ChicNerdReads)

The Bear and The Nightingale Spoiler Free Book Review

Title: The Bear and The Nightingale (Book #1)
Series: according to Goodreads it doesn’t have a name yet
Author: Katherine Arden
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Adult
Publisher: Del Rey
Format: ARC received at NYCC/Bookcon
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.


*Trigger Warning: Rape Culture
**There is a glossary in the back of the book for Russian word meanings/translations

Summary/Plot:

The Bear and The Nightingale is filled with Russian Folklore, Religion, Culture, and Fantastical Elements. We follow the family of the main character Vasilisa first before she is even born and we get to grow up with her also. The book starts off with kids being huddled together to hear the story of Frost, the blue-eyed demon, during a winter storm. While the mother of Vasilisa was carrying her in her belly, she always knew that Vasilisa was special and both her husband and the nurse told her to not have this baby. But she did and the day Vasilisa was born was the day her mother died. While Vasilisa is growing up, her father, Pyotr, decides that it is time to marry again because he feels that his daughter needs a mother in order to be tamed. Little do they know that the new wife wants nothing to do with them, she cannot stand Vasilisa, and she wants them to stop honoring the spirits. Then comes along a new priest, Konstantin, who also forbids the town to honor these spirits and puts the “fear of God” in the people’s hearts. Without the people knowing this starts to cause havoc in the forest, crops aren’t growing like before, evil creatures are coming around, the house spirits are moody. And Vasilisa’s stepmother wants nothing to do with her so it’s either marriage or going to a convent. But what no one knows is that Vasilisa’s gifts are growing and her nurses tale is slowly coming true.

Writing:

The writing was phenomenal. It was atmospheric in the most beautiful way. It had almost  a fairy tale vibe going on. Every time I picked up the book, I was sucked into the world and forgot my surroundings. I will admit that it is a tad bit slow paced which is why I bumped it down to a 4.5 rating. The story did drag a bit at the end. However, it was lyrical and even though it is being told from months before Vasilisa is born, it was a smooth transition from that time to her adolescence. I found myself drawn to each word that was being told.

The story is told in third person and I loved how we get perspectives from all the characters and we know what is going on with everyone as a whole. This worked out really well because all the characters involved in this story play an important part in the story/plot.

Characters:

We get to meet many different characters in this book, therefore I will keep this part short.

Vasilisa the main character who is this ugly girl. I loved how fearless she is and brave. The protector of her family. She’s wild and never cared for what people told her. Someone always told her how to behave and she would rebel against that. She was her own person, unstoppable. We also get to meet the forest and household creatures (spirits) which I COMPLETELY loved because they get their own voice. Alyosha, Vasilisa’s brother was so caring and while he heard the rumors that his sister was a demon and devil like, he ignored them all and still believed in her. Dunya the nurse, I also loved her character because she like Alyosha was filled of love and care. I also loved how she definitely gave us that “grandmother” sort of feel. Frost, the winter demon, I won’t say much about him but that I loved his character.

Thoughts:

This story is one that I will keep recommending to a lot of people. When I read that the author was making this into a trilogy I got excited because I was left with questions after the story ended. And I felt a connection to Vasilisa’s soul that I was just left with wanting more of her character. Although this is a short book, there were many times that I would put it down to just think. I liked how culturally heavy this book is and how the author did not hold back with portraying situations. I also really loved how Katherine Arden didn’t romantically involve Vasilisa with anyone, she was solely her own person.

The setting was great too. This is set in Northern Russia and the majority of the year in this book was filled of winter and snow. This book definitely gives you the “let’s grab a warm blanket and drink some coffee/tea” feel.

And lastly, I have to compare Frost the Winter Demon to the white walkers from Game of Thrones. If you love Game of Thrones, you know those scenes where the white walker is in the middle of the forest full of snow? That’s pretty much what you get in this book.

Grab this book and read it! This book will be released January 10, 2017


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