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August 21, 2016

Update for August/September

video
Enjoy the video update. :) Looking forward to coming back in September full force.

You can follow Ashley for quick updates (and kitten/horse videos)
Instagram: @bookz4nerdz
Snapchat: @bookz4nerdz

You can follow Brian for updates ( and anything magic related)
Instagram: @brianwei11111

We really appreciate each and every one of you sticking with us during our hiatus. Comment below what you`ve been up to during summer as well as your current read.

Be sure to follow the above sites for up to date information :)

TTFN,

Ashley & Brian

June 29, 2016

Brian Review: The Crown`s Game by Evelyn Skye

The Crown’s Game


Author: Evelyn Skye
Published On: 5/17/16
Page Count:388
Synopsis: (Found on Goodreads)
Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.
And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.
Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?
For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.
And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love... or be killed himself.
As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear... the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.


Overall Rating: 4/5
This book was worth the wait. I’ve been hearing good things about it for months, and Ashley has been dying to read it since I can remember, so I’m glad that it lived up to the hype. An all around entertaining and exciting adventure.

Cover: 4/5
I liked this cover quite a bit. The clever shaping of buildings into a crown shape, with the light and dark playing off each other to represent the two halves in the Crown’s Game itself. The picture was clever and not too cluttered. The only gripe I have is that I don’t like having quotes from reviews on the covers of books.

Characters: 4.5 / 5
Vika: One of the two potential enchanters in the Crown’s Game, Vika is the more elemental, or primal of the two. Her talents seem to focus on weather, earth, and the elements, allowing her to do all sorts of interesting things. She grows up believing she is the only enchanter, only to discover at the last minute that she has competition. I liked Vika’s character, she is somewhat sheltered, but confident in her abilities and herself. She has some reservations, but takes to the Crown’s Game rather well, all things considered.
Nikolai: Vika’s counterpart, the other enchanter in the game. Nikolai’s magic is tuned more toward machinery, crafting, and technical things like creating his own clothes and tools. Although it may not seem as overtly powerful, his enchantments seem more refined and focused. He has been raised by a woman who trained him constantly for the Crown’s Game, knowing he would have to overcome an adversary in order to become the Imperial enchanter, but nothing could prepare him for Vika. Nikolai was a lot of fun to read, he was intelligent, effective, and a bit sarcastic, which I really appreciated. He also seems to have a lot of bad luck, usually meaning well but having his plans not quite working out the way he intended. His relationship with Vika and best friend Pasha were quite relatable.
Pasha: The Tsar’s son and next in line to rule Russia, Pasha wants to do everything but be the Tsar. He tries to aid his father in matters of state, but can more often be found slumming it with Nikolai (while in disguise of course). Pasha is also immediately smitten with Vika, which causes Nikolai plenty of trouble. You can’t help but root for Pasha, he’s charming, genuine, and lots of fun to read about. It’s difficult to pick a favorite character in this book, but Pasha is definitely in the running.

Plot: 4/5

This book reminded me of a couple different stories, but took the best from them and made the magic its own. I think that overall my favorite thing about this book is how subtle the magic can be. I feel like the story could have been boiled down to a wizards duel, complete with two enchanters throwing fireballs and bolts of lightning at each other until one of them didn’t get back up (Spoiler: It’s not), but instead you really get to learn about the characters as they use their abilities to impress the Tsar and benefit the populace. It made a lot more sense to me, the idea of the Tsar actually picking an advisor and right hand, to see what all they could do, rather than how effective at killing they are. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more about these characters.

Until Next Time, Brian



June 25, 2016

Brian Review: The Beginning of Everything

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts
AKA Us Version of The Beginning of Everything

Author: Robyn Schneider
Published On: 9/1/13
Page Count: 288

Synopsis: (Found on Goodreads)
Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: In one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra's knee, his career as a jock, and his social life.
No longer a front-runner for homecoming king, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra's ever met— achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.
Together, Ezra and Cassidy discover flash mobs, buried treasure, secret movie screenings, and a poodle that might just be the reincarnation of Jay Gatsby. But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: If one's singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

Overall Rating: 4.5/5
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and have to say that it really struck a chord with me on several different levels. So much so that I needed to take a few days to process it before I could sit down and write the review.

Cover: 3.5/5
The cover was serviceable, but nothing really extraordinary. I like the duality of the two faces, it has interesting symbolism, but I think there was probably room for some improvement here. I’m also not a big fan of review quotes on the cover.

Characters: 5/5
This book really hinges on the depth of its characters. In a world where you could lose interest in high school drama, you instead find yourself hanging on the end of every chapter wanting to continue.
Ezra: The antagonist of the book, we are told the story through his eyes. Ezra was an amazing tennis player before he was struck by a car and his knee was shattered. Now he has to find his footing again in school, where he feels like he doesn’t fit in with the athletes anymore. Luckily he is able to rekindle an old friendship and spend time with a new crowd in the debate team. I liked Ezra’s character, he could have been much more self pitying and dour about his accident, but makes a genuine effort to get back into the swing of things. He is definitely sad about his loss of mobility, but tries to move on.

Cassidy: An enigma, Cassidy is the new girl in school. She is definitely an oddball, with a style all her own. She joins the debate group after transferring from another school and they all seem to recognize her. Ezra becomes interested in Cassidy fairly quickly and they go on several amazing adventures together. Unfortunately she does have a difficult past, which rears it’s ugly head occasionally to make their wonderful world not as perfect. Cassidy was a fun character to read about, but frustrating sometimes when you couldn’t understand her motives. Like Ezra, she has a lot of depth, and isn’t easily summed up in a few sentences. I felt especially drawn to her character because she reminded me a lot of Ashley. Quiet confidence, refusing to conform, and the ability to effortlessly draw me (or in this case Ezra) into her world with the desire and confidence to try things you never thought you would be able to do. Ezra can’t help but fall head over heels for her, and I understood the feeling completely.

Toby: Ezra’s childhood friend, and the face of the debate team, Toby and Ezra are able to reconnect after several years of having drifted apart. I loved Toby, and I don’t know how anyone wouldn’t. He always seems to be the life of the (nerdy) party, quick witted, and always there when you need him. We should all have a best friend like Toby.

Plot: 4.5 / 5
This book’s plot relied heavily on its characters to move it along, and fortunately they were all up to the task. The setting doesn’t change a whole lot, but everyone in the story felt like they mattered and were integral. When I found myself wondering what was going to happen to some of the secondary characters in the debate group, or why Ezra’s ex-girlfriend seemed like such a terrible person, I knew the book was well written. I got about two thirds of the way through the book and I couldn’t put it down until it was finished. I honestly still don’t know how I feel about how the story ended, but the ride was entertaining, from start to finish.



Quotes:

“And I realized that there's a big difference between deciding to leave and knowing where to go.”

“You have this maddening little smile sometimes, like you've just thought of something incredibly witty but are afraid to say it in case no one gets the joke.”

Robyn Schneider, Severed Heads, Broken Hearts

Until next time,
Brian

June 21, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday:Favorite 2016 Releases So Far This Year

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish
This weeks topic is Top Ten Favorite 2016 Releases So Far This Year

Brian
Revenge and The Wild
Jerkbait
Star-Touched Queen
Six of Crows

Ashley
The Serpent King
The Shadow Queen
Soldiers of Halla

We don`t have ten favorites so far..which is perfectly fine since we still have 6 months left of 2016. I`m hoping Six of Crows will be added to my Top Ten of 2016 as soon as i pick it up.

TTFN,
Ashley

June 08, 2016

Review: Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder

Museum of Heartbreak
Meg Leder
Overall Rating: 4/5
This is an adorable and fast read. I both loved and disliked the characters. The descriptive scenes kept me turning pages and the emotions that Pen had made me push to finish. I wanted her to have a happy ending or at least realize how awesome she could be. 

Cover: 4.5/5
This is adorable. I wish I had a cute box to try and mimic the cover. I love how each object is mentioned in the book and fits the description. 

Characters: 4/5
Penelope: Pen is frustrating to say the least. I love how she grows and starts to put together the puzzle pieces of her life. Every girl has to date that one asshole that in the long run teaches her she is way better off without him. It sucks how Pen had it happen but she acted like a normal relatable girl. My mom would only let me stay home two days before pouring water on me to get me out of bed. Relationships can suck and heartbreak hurts but you can grow and learn. 

Keats: Dude needs to figure out his priorities. I mean if you're gonna be a player at least have some manners. Why prey on girls in the same circle? Oh that's right too busy cutting class and being all rich boy judgy. 

Eph: He is who I loved from the get go. I never hated him even when he got a little angsty. This guy get beat up on my Pen, has mad art skills and gets that life is for living. 

Audrey: I've never understood a side character more than I've understood Audrey. She wants Pen to understand there is room for more than one best friend. I feel like some of the word choices Audrey uses is a little meh but could look past it. 

Plot: 3.5/5
I enjoyed reading this so you're probably asking why so low a plot score. I felt like Pen's story was meaningful but very fluffy like. I know that doesn't make much sense so let me try a different way. 

MoH
Pen meets cute boy
Pen embarrassed herself
Pen is invited to party
Pen hangs out with crush at party 
Fight with best friend 
Pen starts "dating" crush quickly 
Pens personality changes in Neg way
Pen realizes mistakes
Instead of fully apologizing she lets everyone else do it for her. 

Other Contemporaries
MC meets cute boy
MC does something stupid
MC admits she did something stupid 
MC learns from mistake  
MC grows and moves on

I'm horrible at this I'm sorry. Penelope and Keats whole relationship made me want to punch a wall. It might be because I've been the girl who was blinded by an asshole type guy but Keat was just slimy from the get go. 

Now the magazine and dinosaurs were frakking awesome. Definitely wish there were some adorable dino pictures. 

Bonus:
After finishing MoH I started thinking way things would go into my museum. 
This day and age everything is easy to just snap a picture. Here's a few things from my past that have put me where I am today. 
There will always be; ups and downs,twists and turns, and halting stops on the road of life. 
It's up to you to decide what turns to take, the speed to take the windy road but most important when to stop at off the wall attractions. 
WELCOME TO MY MUSEUM


TTFN,
Ashley

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