Win a Lillytales Bookmark International Giveaway

We love giving away stuff at Diva Booknerd and one of our favorite things are the incredible Lillytales bookmarks available from my fellow Aussie, Nook & Burrow. To celebrate the upcoming silly season, we're giving away your choice of bookmarks from the Lillytales range, including their coloured bookmark range (excludes custom designs).

To check out the full range visit Nook & Burrow.


Entries close at midnight Australian daylight savings time on November 30th 2015. The giveaway is open internationally, all you need to do is follow the prompts. Your bookmark will be sent directly from the fabulous Nook & Burrow. If you're under the age of sixteen, please ensure you have your parents permission to enter. Winner will be verified.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

The Wrath and the Dawn
The Wrath and the Dawn: Book One
Written by Renee Ahdieh
Fantasy, Young Adult, Retellings
Published May 12th 2015 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Add to Goodreads
One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Shahrzad is a young girl on a mission to avenge her best friend, Shiva. In a twisted tale of curses and slaughter come Khalid - the eighteen year old boy king of Rey. Khalid is notorious for killing a bride every dawn, amongst those murdered at dawn are Shiva. Finally having enough of the mad king, Shahrzad volunteers to be Khalid's next bride. However, her goal is not to be another dead girl at dawn. No, Shahrzad intends to get revenge for the death of so many innocent girls. Unfortunately, setting out on a mission to murder the boy-king is harder than imagined.

Despite how hard she tries, Shahrzad is quickly pulled into a war of wills. She finds herself falling for her best friends murderer despite all Khalid has done. Now she must not only kill a monster, but a man she has grown to love. Amidst falling in love with a monster, another boy arises from Shahrazad's past. Tariq is on a mission to save the girl he has loved since childhood. Both Shahrzad and Tariq's missions collide into a web of betrayal, heartbreak and longing of things neither of them can have.

kynndra's thoughts

Wow. WOW. Now I can completely understand the hype that surrounds this book. Please note that I am writing this at nearly 2 A.M. directly after finishing said book. I was going to wait until the next day to review, but I just couldn't. My feels need to be explored and vented about The Wrath and the Dawn, 'cause holy son of mother that was one hell of a book. ONE HELL OF A BOOK I SAY.

Beware, this is more gushing than anything else. But I can't be bothered.

Let me start with the bad. Ha! Just kidding, there is no bad. Just a personal issue. It took me a good eighty or so pages to adjust to the rich culturistic aspect of the story. Every time I'd come across a term I didn't know I'd have to google it because I'm a curious little moose and have to be able to envision what I'm reading. Unfortunately I didn't realize until the end that there was a glossary, so incase you read this book and you're thinking you won't understand a few terms or objects then yee just turn to the back and BAM your issue is solved. In the end I really loved that the story had a prominent bit of Persian culture mixed in. I learned a lot of things and was able to have a colorful imagination while reading!

I have no idea what the original story is - I've never read the tale that The Wrath and the Dawn was birthed from but I sure as hell want to. Although, I'm kind of glad I wasn't familiar with the story because everything was a surprise. Let me start by saying that I wasn't sure at first if I would like it. I was doubtful, I was foolish. I waited too long to read this book. The story was brilliant and enthralling. I was fascinated as to why this young king would take a new wife every day, only to kill her at dawn. I had to keep my nimble little fingers from flipping to the end to find out. But UGH THE FEELS WHEN I DID. I loved every second.

The plot kept me on my toes, I genuinely can say I was clutching my phone (which I read on) 85% of the time struggling to stay calm. It was a whole bucket of frantic desperation and panic. Plus the writing was simply breathtaking. There's so many quotes that made me incredibly happy or thoughtful. Renee Ahdieh is a poet, a weaver of nothing but beautiful prose.

“What are you doing to me, you plague of a girl?” he whispered.

“If I’m a plague, then you should keep your distance, unless you plan on being destroyed.”

“No. Destroy Me.”

THE ROMANCE was my everything. It's all I need. No insta-love. Just a good old heartbreaking romance that clutches on and doesn't let go. Khalid had my heart since page one, and Shahrzad quickly followed suite. A damaged boy falls for a girl who gives him air. I DON'T GIVE A DAMN WHAT HE'S DONE. I ship these two more than what is probably considered healthy. I adore both of these characters for different reasons. There's so many moments between these two that was pure PERFECTION.

Tariq can piss off. I don't care about him, not one bit. Other than him, the secondary characters brought a lot of life to the story as well. My personal favorite is Despina (Shahrzad's handmaiden) who was a complete gift to the world. Full of sass and snark which enhanced my love even more when the girls became friends. God, I can't emphasize how much I enjoyed the secondary characters.

In short, I just need the second as soon as I possibly can. I know I say it a lot, but I NEED THIS SEQUEL ASAP. Such a treat this book was.

in conclusion

The Wrath and the Dawn was an unexpected gift upon the literary world. With its enchanting plot, mesmerizing writing and a passionate romance it will surely be an unforgettable retelling for ages to come. The world and the characters were a rich pleasure. Adding a dash of magic and mystery produced a fantastic retelling of The Arabian Nights by the gifted Renee Ahdieh. I simply cannot wait for its sequel, The Rose and the Dagger. May could not come sooner.

Kynndra is currently reading After the End by Amy Plum, and squinting at her computer screen since she only has one contact in.


Jack Mason... Wonderful Steampunk Middle Grade

The Lost Sword
A Jack Mason Adventure Book Five
Written by Darrell Pitt
Middle Grade, Adventure, Steam Punk
Published August 26th 2015
256 Pages
Thank you to Text Publishing
Add to Goodreads
Book One Review
Book Two Review
Book Three & Four Reviews
As the dark clouds of another war loom, Jack, Scarlet and Mr Doyle travel from grimy streets of London to neon-bright metropolis of Tokyo.

They’re on a mission for the British government: to locate the Kusanagi sword, an ancient relic believed to have magical powers. If they can find the sword, the Emperor of Japan promises to keep the peace between his nation and the allies.

But in Tokyo, they soon discover that the Nazis are after the sword, too. And they will stop at nothing for world domination, putting the team’s lives in terrible danger.
Now fifteen years old, Jack Mason has been travelling the world with his mentor and guardian Ignatius Doyle, the famous and eccentric detective who had rescued Jack from the orphanage he was placed in after his parents both passed. Along with his fellow protégé Scarlett, the trio are off to the bustling downtown Tokyo where invention is coming along in leaps and bounds. While investigating a case of a missing ancient sword on behalf of the British government, Mister Doyle is invited to be the keynote speaker at the Darwinists symposium with an international field of experts in innovation. But finding the sword will be no easy task, with the Nazi hunters determined to find the sword and wield it against the world.

With their lives in terrible danger, the Darwinist League on the verge of collapse and an old friend who seems to have his own agenda, this is one mission that even Jack may not be able to complete.

Kelly's Thoughts

I've adored the Jack Mason Adventure series, it's a brilliant middle grade read that blends mystery, steampunk and a touch of humour that preteen and early teens will absolutely adore. Over the course of the series, we've seen the lonely orphan Jack rescued from a children's home and taken in by the eccentric and well travelled detective Doyle. It's there in which Jack meets the illustrious Scarlett Bell, the daughter of an international businessman who the detective has also taken under his wing while her father is away. Their dynamic was lovely, detective Doyle as a father figure to the two teens, readers seeing both Jack and Scarlett grow into well developed and intelligent young adults, now both fifteen years of age. The series is set in a world powered by steam, where the trio travel from their London home around the world solving international crimes. 

A modern day Nancy Drew, Scarlett is an incredible young woman, a voracious reader and advocate for women's rights. I loved her quiet determination. Detective Doyle is incredibly eccentric and charming, giving the impression of incompetence when nothing could be further from the truth. He carries an endless supply of lint covered cheese in his pocket and has a story about a former case for every situation. He's kind and treats the two young protégés as if they were his very own. His character is consistent and added comedic relief that children will really enjoy.

In The Lost Sword, we see both Jack and Scarlett grow as individuals and not unlike Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and The Olympians series, see our two young trainee detectives realise that they have feelings for one another beyond the close friendship the two now have. It was such a lovely storyline to see Jack come to terms with how he felt about Scarlett. The main storyline involving the Darwinist League introduces readers to new inventions beyond those powered by steam. Most were outrageous, like sea transportation inside of a whale which was not only bizarre, but brings to the front line a discussion about animal cruelty, even fictionally. I just couldn't imagine it.

Overall, it felt a little too busy. Too many new inventions and innovations introduced and the storyline of the missing sword was lost within the new world. I loved exploring the brilliantly bright lights of Tokyo during the steam age and the world building once again was brilliant, especially for a middle grade title.

the final verdict

Although not as engaging as previous series releases, The Lost Sword was an innovative finale for the middle grade audience. The series is fantastically written and instills a sense of wonderment and adventure in readers who will adore seeing Jack's character growth. Why hasn't this series been optioned for film or television rights? It would make for the ideal children's series with it's wacky and endearing characters and outlandish adventures.  

I adored it and it's only furthered my love for middle grade.

White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

White Hot Kiss
The Dark Elements: Book One
Written by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance
Published February 25th 2014 by Harlequin Teen
Add to Goodreads
One kiss could be the last.

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne… it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

Layla was born into a world of chaos. Being half demon, and half gargoyle makes life tough for the seventeen year old girl. She'll soon discover that she is also one of Hell's most wanted. Being raised by Wardens (gargoyles) has its ups and downs. She's protected but hated by most of her family - all except her adopted brother Zayne, who she may or may not have a crush on. However, Layla has earned the gift of being a soul sucker due to her demon blood. This means she cannot be with anyone who has a soul.

Cue the entrance of sexy and sarcastic Roth, an Upper Demon who is tasked with looking out for Layla. Despite her being raised to despise demons, Layla takes to Roth - and how fortunate for her, Roth has no soul. Ignoring the values she has been raised with, she confides and trusts Roth for she can be her one true self with him. Together Layla and Roth must discover who is hunting her and why, which leads the two down a path more sinister than either of them ever expected.

kynndra's thoughts

I think that it's safe to say that one does not read a novel by Jennifer L. Armentrout for some mind blowing story that will knock you out of the universe. At least I don't. I read JLA's novels for the sarcastic characters, the swoon worthy boys and the exciting climactic scenes - which in its own right makes for a pretty fantastic read. I fell in love with JLA's work when I read the Lux series; which to this day still makes me incredibly happy (sidenote: did you all know it's being made into a freaking movie! I can't wait). But when I eventually picked up White Hot Kiss I had my reservations. I had no idea if I would like it.

Well I am happy to report that I didn't only like it, I loved it. What I don't love are JLA's damn book covers. But that's beside the point.

The characters are really what make White Hot Kiss enjoyable. Layla is a genuinely likeable character, I had no qualms about her. She was easy to understand and I enjoyed her voice - other than her blatant jealousy at some points she's pretty fun. I'm excited to see her grow in the next two books. Zayne (Layla's adopted gargoyle bro she kinda has a thing for) was a sweetheart, but I'll be honest he was a dull flicker compared to the flame that Roth was. I don't know how you can read this without COMPLETELY swooning over Roth. I like to call Jennifer L. Armentrout the Queen of Swoon. She has a true gift of creating sarcastic and charming boys - and you know what? I fall in love with them every damn time.

Swoon worthy boys aside, the plot was actually pretty thrilling. It's really a race against time. Layla is a magnet for attracting danger. Being on Hell's hit list makes it so that everywhere she turns, she winds up bloody and being saved by a chivalrous boy - I'm not complaining. I'm all about female badassery but sometime I like a dose of boy saves girl, or really whenever any character does whatever they can to save the one they care about. Which is something we get, a lot. But fear not those who detest such things. Layla is not useless, not one bit.

I think the creatures: gargoyles, demons and living tattoos were remarkably unique. I loved that aspect of White Hot Kiss. It was brain food imagining the fearsome beasts within the story.

The only thing I hated about White Hot Kiss was the love triangle. Usually I'm okay with love triangles if they're done right. Unfortunately this one isn't - at least from what I've read thus far (it is the first book afterall). In my own opinion, it's all too obvious which boy Layla will choose - there's no contest, no tugging of the readers heart to which boy it should be. If it weren't for that, the book would have been really great.

in conclusion

White Hot Kiss is a fun and light read. It has all the right ingredients to make an enjoyable YA paranormal series while also remaining original. The characters, especially one hot demon adds an all time high of swoon. Jennifer L. Armentrout throws you into a chasm of treachery, excitement and thrills with this one. AND THAT FUCKING CLIFFHANGER, I NEED TO READ THE SECOND AS FAST AS MY LITTLE SELF CAN. Definitely recommend it to those who want an entertaining and easy read.

Kynndra is currently reading The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, and still swooning over a sarcastic ass of a demon boy.


The Next Together by Lauren James

The Next Together
Written by Lauren James
Contemporary, Time Travel
Expected Publication November 1st 2015
356 Pages
Thank you to Walker Books Australia
Add to Goodreads
How many times can you lose the person you love?

Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again, century after century. Each time, their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated.

Spanning the Crimean War, the Siege of Carlisle and the near-future of 2019 and 2039 they find themselves sacrificing their lives to save the world. But why do they keep coming back? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace?

Maybe the next together will be different...
Kate and Mathew share a love than spans beyond the realm of a lifetime, with each circumstance ending in the same outcome. Death.

It's 1854 and orphan Kate has been living as alter ego in young boy Kit for the past two years, her only means of survival which is predominantly a man's world. Being the house servant of a wealthy general, Kit has able to teach herself to read and write and now being sent on a mission to the front line of the Crimean War to work for a man reporting on the war effort. Matthew works for the Times, in an effort to depict the brutality of war and not just the minor victories. Posing as a young boy, there the two meet under the toughest of conditions only to still find solace in one another.

Kate was a young lady in waiting, born to English nobility at a time when England faced invasion and a rebellion uprising was gaining momentum. The year is 1745 And the town of Carlisle is on the verge of surrender when Kate meets lowly coach driver Mathew. A scandal if the two are discovered consorting, Kate and Matthew discover a tentative friendship while on the brink of invasion.

Forward to the year 2039 and both Kate And Matt find themselves at the University of Nottingham, chasing careers within the science field. Drawn to one another for some inexplicable reason, it isn't long until the two discover their namesakes, the latest known recorded pair recorded being married the couple Katherine and Matthew, who were tragically killed under the accusation of biological terrorism. But it's more than just similarities they share with their namesakes but a rich history of war, lineage and a romance that will span several lifetimes, each tragically ending in much the same way. To prevent history from again repeating itself, they must investigate the circumstances in which married Katherine and Matthew were killed in the year 2019 and clear their names to stand any chance of living in the now.

kelly's thoughts

The Next Together was a clever contemporary blending time travel and science fiction to create what is ultimately a romance across the ages. Told through a series of perspectives, it ultimately follows the story of Katherine and Matthew, two entities destined to navigate towards one another no matter what era they share. It's the year 2039 and Matthew has just strolled into Kate's science class at the University of Nottingham and instantly find themselves attracted to one another. Kate feels a sense of déjà vu and searches online to see where she may have seen Matthew before. But Kate finds more than she bargained for when not only Matthew's but her own namesake reveals a slain couple who are accused of terrorism by the very scientific laboratory in which they both worked. We only see snippets of their relationship through journal entries and notes between the married couple, Katherine is fun loving and jovial and the straight laced Matthew loved her deeply.

That's where I found myself starting to feel overwhelmed. It wasn't the flashbacks of a past era, but how Matthew, Katherine and their doppelgänger selves were connected. Those around them seemed to be aware of the phenomena but Kate and Matthew only experienced dreamlike flashbacks to eras neither could make sense of. I never really felt a sense of who Kate or Matthew was in any timeline and as much as I loved both 1746 and 1854 versions of themselves, it only complicated the storyline further. From what I gathered, each Katherine and Matthew live within the same era with one or both to die only to be reborn or appear in the next lifetime together. Aspects of the storyline seem to suggest that Kate and Matthew's multiple lives are one in the same, but as one dies another can take his or her place. In one scene when 2039 Kate is confronting her grandmother about her namesake, I was also under the understanding that 2019 Katherine was a close relative simply by how the circumstances were briefly explained. Confused? Me too.

I loved the whirlwind romance of 1745 in a time of war and invasion. A forbidden and tentative romance between the society elite in Kathrine and her stagecoach driver in Matthew. It was the the only relationship between the two that appealed to me and allowed me to invest in both characters. The Kate and Matt of 2039 felt as though they had very little connection and were sexually swept away with the thrill and unease of their investigation into clearing their namesakes of 2019. I just couldn't invest in their plight, not because of the whimsy and far fetched nature of their scenario, but neither were developed enough to care about sadly.

The final verdict 

I have no doubt that I'll be within the small majority who wasn't enamored with the romance between Kate and Matthew that spans lifetimes, but sadly I couldn't connect with either character. The back and forth between characters and eras felt disjointed and I couldn't see the connection between the various namesakes beyond sharing the same name and perhaps Katherine's sense of humour. I enjoyed it for the unique premise but the ending felt messy and far more complicated than necessary. This is definitely a case of it's not you, it's me, where The Next Together is concerned and I expect this will become a favorite of readers of every genre. Just not myself unfortunately. 

Kelly is currently reading Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray and fangirling over Tahereh Mafi Tweeting her kisses.


Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Sleeping Giants
Themis Files: Book One
Written by Sylvain Neuvel
Science Fiction, Adult, Thriller
Published April 26, 2016 by Del Ray
ARC obtained through Netgalley
Add to Goodreads
A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near her home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square-shaped hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved—the object’s origins, architects, and purpose unknown. Carbon dating defies belief; military reports are redacted; theories are floated, then rejected.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the relic they seek. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unraveling history’s most perplexing discovery—and finally figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

The day a young girl falls through a hole in South Dakota is the day the world changes forever. Years later, that same girl who first fell into the mysterious giant hand is back. She is now the lead physicist on a project dedicated to recovering and reassembling the pieces of what is believed to be a metal giant.

An unknown figure invested in the project is behind the screen, questioning the main characters as the story is told in interview segments. Following the projects lead participants: Rose, Kara, Vincent and Ryan is an exciting ride as together they slowly reassemble an ancient old artifact. However, they may be in over their heads as what they soon discover is that this is not a man made machine.

kynndra's thoughts

Sleeping Giants is quite honestly something I've never read before. I went into it knowing relatively nothing. You see, I've been going through a phase where the idea of extraterrestrial existence is not only intriguing but exciting. So when I saw this beauty on Netgalley I was quick to request it. I'm happy that I did, for it's one of my favorites this year. The novel is told in a unique interview/files format between a mysterious figure and those involved with recovering the Giants pieces. This worked better than I originally thought it would as it makes you feel like you're in on this highly classified job.

The story flowed really quickly, I think part of that is due to how it's written. Neuvel made sure the interviews were to the point - there's no beating around the bush here which is something I really appreciated. However, it also was a page turner because of how thrilling it was. As a reader, just like the characters, you're both so obsessed with finding out what exactly it is that they've stumbled upon and what this obscurely large artifact is doing buried across the globe.

"I'm just saying, these things are buried in the dirt. The reason for that might be slightly less romantic than what we're all hoping for..."

As for the characters, they too were a treat. All involved with the reassemblage of the Giant were dedicated to their mission while also remaining unique in their own way. They each had their motives and their own voice. The interviewer had to be my absolute favorite. He's an asshole, but is someone I found to be cheeky and appealing. I'm happy that that the Themis files will be a series as I need to find out who the hell he is.

In the beginning I kept envisioning something similar to Transformers - you know when the man falls through the ice and discovers the robot in the Arctic? And BOOM they all come to life and start wrecking havoc? No, nothing to that magnitude, but let me assure you it's still very exciting. The entire time I was transfixed, waiting for the next big discovery. Sylvain Neuvel certainly has a knack for capturing and holding his audiences attention. I have a feeling that this series will become something HUGE. It has the qualities a book needs to have to be made into a big budget movie or even a television series.

I realize I'm being very vague.. but as I'm writing this review, I realize I can't say much partially because this book is about the discovery and it just wouldn't be the same if I emphasized more on what happens during the course of the plot. Sleeping Giants doesn't come out for nearly half a year, although I hope when it does you'll all pick it up - or rush to Netgalley and request a copy ASAP!

in conclusion

Sleeping Giants was an absolute thrill ride that leaves the reader wanting more. You'll be flipping through the pages with a frantic need to know EVERYTHING. Sylvain has created something believable and brilliant here. The story was unpredictable, and even more important - something exciting. It makes you wonder what hides beneath our home planets soil, and just maybe - we're not alone, maybe we never have been. Sure to be a hit amongst all who enjoy exploring the unknown.

KYnndra is currently reading The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon, binge watching The X-Files and pondering the possibility of aliens.


You're The Kind of Girl I Write Songs About

You're The Kind of Girl I Write Songs About
Written by Daniel Herborn
Contemporary, Romance
Published May 1st 2015
345 Pages
Purchased. Available from Harper Collins Australia
Add to Goodreads
Tim’s a young singer songwriter with a guitar case full of songs and dreams of finding an audience to embrace his tunes.

Mandy’s obsessed with music and a compulsive dreamer. She’s longing for something more fulfilling than daytime TV and cups of tea with best friend Alice, something like the excitement and passion of rock ’n’ roll.

When their eyes meet at a gig, sparks fly across a crowded room and hope burns in their hearts.

But in a city of millions and a scene overrun with wannabes, can they ever get it together? Will Mandy’s nerves doom their romance before it even starts? And where does the darkness in Tim's songs come from? This is a story of Sydney's Inner West, of first love, crush bands and mix tapes, of the thrill of the night and what happens when the music stops.

Set in the cafes pubs and dives of Sydney's Inner West You're The Kind of Girl I write Songs About is a ballad to that time of your life when you are trying to work out who you are, what it is you want and what will it take to get you there.
Eighteen year old Tim is in his final year of school for the second time, moonlighting as a suburban Sydney dreamer while chasing a music career. It's up on stage where he'll always remember the moment he locked eyes with Mandy, the dark haired beauty allowing Tim to feel something more than being a failure.

The tea sipping, sandwich artist and music aficionado Mandy has seen it all. With best friend and part time pixie Alice by her side, Mandy seems to have lost her way and moves to wherever the music takes her. Fate has brought them together in a whirlwind romance of music, late night trespassing and finally finding the one person who makes you feel complete. But behind the music lies a troubled young man and a life before Mandy threatens to tear the two apart.

Kelly's thoughts

You're The Kind of Girl I Write Songs About is a lovely coming of age about finding yourself and finding that person that makes life suck a little less. Told in dual points of view and both being heavily involved within the Sydney independent music scene, both Mandy and Tim are surprised neither of them have met before. Mandy is a barely employed sandwich artist, preferring to spend her day sleeping or watching mindless daytime television. While Tim was likable, I think everyone has had a Mandy in their life. She was unmotivated and stuck in a monotonous routine that is so incredibly hard to shake. Although meeting Tim isn't her saving grace, it allowed her to break out of her former life and find a sense of meaning again.

Tim is still at school and repeating his final year, the reasons behind his downfall are obscure and mysterious at first. He lives with his uncle and the two share a gruff but easy going relationship in which he has just officially adopted Tim and now his legal guardian. Tim's character was nothing short of lovely. He's creative and gentle and almost the polar opposite to Mandy.

There was something utterly charming about the early stages of their burgeoning relationship. It reminded me of my own teen years, finding likeminded friends and bonding over music. Not being the biggest fan of independent music, so many of the bands didn't resonate with me apart from Jeff Buckley. If you have no idea who he is, you really need to reassess your life choices and head over to watch him here. I loved that there was no excess drama that is generally associated with teen contemporaries. Tim's character, although he wasn't as transparent both with Mandy and readers, his revelation wasn't manufactured and not something that is brought up generally in conversations. But considering the nationwide conversation that's ongoing in Australia at the moment, it's an important discussion to have. It added an extra dimension and depth to a fluffy and funloving storyline that I wasn't expecting.

The final verdict

You're The Kind of Girl I Write Songs About was superbly entertaining and overall, a lovely and fluffy feel good read. Although I couldn't connect or relate directly to the independent Sydney music scene, I loved it regardless. Daniel Herborn lends such a raw honesty to his characters and has crafted an engaging and gentle storyline that I couldn't help but immerse myself in. A brilliant debut from a wonderful new voice in Australian young adult fiction. Excited to see what he's working on next.

Kelly is currently reading Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray and eagerly awaiting the new season of The Walking Dead.


Greetings! It is I

Hello once again, dear friends. Some of you may recognize me from my past endeavors. But at last, I feel like I have found my home. For those that don't know me, my name is Kynndra-jo. I have come far and wide to get here. Truly, some may call me a blog hopper - but that name shall be no more!

I first began my journey as a co-blogger at Sporadic Reads. I stayed apart of that team for half a year and learned my baby steps. But like all babies, we grow up into teenagers and think we know it all. So, I decided to set off on my own. From there came Booknadian - my own fancy, shiny blog. I had a good groove for maybe two and half months but soon enough I felt lost. I'm not sure if I can explain it, but I doubted myself and my worth as a blogger. Id began thinking, what's even the point to all this? Is blogging a waste of my time? These questions rolled around in my head for quite awhile. As much as I loved reading, I just couldn't bring myself to review or write anything. I lost the appreciation I had for blogging, and decided to delete Booknadian.

That is until my lovely little Aussie pulled me aside and offered/asked me if I would join her blog. She'll tell you she begged me, but the truth is - I couldn't have been happier to accept. I'm ecstatic to begin this new chapter with such an amazing human being that Kelly is. I feel confident that this is the right move for me, the right place.  You know when you just know? That's how I feel, which I've never really felt before in the aspect of blogging.

Henceforth, I like to think of myself as Diva Booknerds little dust bunny. I won't be a HUGE presence, but I'll be here every few weeks with reviews.

Oh, I suppose I should tell you a little bit about me. I'm eighteen years old, hail from Canada (as of this post I currently live in America, but will be going back to Canada soon), and I love to read. I typically read YA, but won't shy away from Adult Fiction if it peaks my interest. Two of my absolute favorite books are The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers and The Secret History by Donna Tartt but I have a hundred more that I love. I'm also obsessed with space and TV shows. What can I say? I'm a hermit.

I also tend to make some simple edits for the books I read. I enjoy turning what I read into a visual experience; it helps me picture and envision the characters and the world. I mainly do this on my TUMBLR since it's one of the greatest outlets for those apart of a books fandom to express themselves.

Here are two I've done, both being edits of Adam Parrish from Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys. 

I hope to do more of these types of edits!

I feel like I have written a longer than needed hello, but yes here it is. I couldn't be more happy with the spot the Kelly has given me and I can't wait to begin this new adventure with you all.

MAAAAGNUS! Magnus Chase and The Sword of The Summer

Magnus Chase and The Sword of Summer Book One
Written by Rick Riordan
Fantasy, Adventure, Mythology
Published October 6th 2015
528 Pages
Thank you to Penguin Teen Australia
Add to Goodreads
Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother's mysterious death, he's lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he's tracked down by an uncle he's never met, a man his mother claimed was dangerous. His uncle tells him an impossible secret, Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die...
The formidable streets of Boston is where sixteen year old Magnus Chase calls home, since the death of his mother two years prior. The city is cold and unforgiving but with close friends and homeless duo Blitz and Hearth taking the teen under their wing, Magnus still manages to feel a sense of home and security. Until he's violently accosted for a heritage he knows nothing about. Magnus is the offspring of a Norse God, killed fighting a Fire Lord and transported to an afterlife hotel by what seems to be an apparition on a Pegasus. Magnus isn't having a great day.

Ragnarok is brewing. An otherworldly war in which the gods of Asgard will contend against monsters who are hell bent on destroying the world. Like all heroes that have paved the way, the responsibility rests upon the shoulders of one Magnus Chase who just may have died in order to save the world.

Ponderings of a booknerd

Ever since discovering the wonderful world of Camp Half Blood and Percy Jackson, I've been an avid Rick Riordan fan. He's a phenomenal author who creates a wanderlust within readers to explore magical new worlds. Magnus Chase and The Sword of The Summer brings back the delight of discovering a new series that has the makings to be on every young adult bookshelf. It's funny, sassy and shows why Rick Riordan is one of the world's best modern day authors for the young and young at heart.

The characters are incredible and incredibly diverse. From Valkyrie Samirah, or Sam as she's better known. Sam is a feisty Muslim girl who breaks down the stereotypes of how western society sees and depicts her culture. She's the offspring of Norse god Loki and recruits heroes into the afterlife where they prepare for war. Until she meets Magnus... And it seems she may have made a terrible mistake. But Sam isn't a love interest for Magnus, she's betrothed to someone else and it makes an incredible dynamic between the two. By far my two favourites were Blitzen and Hearthstone, the duo posing as two homeless men in order to keep Magnus safe. Blitz is a dwarf with a keen eye for fashion while Hearth is an Elf who uses sign language to communicate. Both characters bring such a lightheartedness and warmth to the storyline, comparable to Grover's character in Percy Jackson and The Olympians.

For some reason, Blitz had donned a broad brimmed hat and sunglasses along with his black trench coat, so he looked like a grungy, very short Italian priest. In his gloved hands he wielded a fearsome wooden dowel with a bright yellow sign that read make way for ducklings.

And of course Annabeth Chase. For those who are yet to discover Riordan's world, Annabeth is the heroine from Percy Jackson and The Olympians series and cousin of Magnus in which her minor cameo appearances will be sure to delight fans.

I really enjoyed it. It felt a little more mature than Percy Jackson and The Olympians but still preserved that unique and cheeky humour that we've come to expect from Rick Riordan. The references to his former series really add a warm familiarity throughout the storyline. As much as I loved The Sword of Summer, it just felt as though there was something missing. The pacing felt a little off towards the latter half of the book but only a minor objection to what truly was an incredible read.

the final verdict

A realistic hero. Norse mythology. Humour, sarcasm and sass. The Sword of The Summer really is a brilliant adventure fantasy young adult read. Riordan is back to his best, weaving an incredible storyline with likable characters who are as diverse as they are developed. Entertainment in it's purest form and I'm so incredibly excited to see where Rick Riordan takes the series.

Illuminae... Aussie Epicness!

Illuminae The Illuminae Files Book One
Written by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Science Fiction, Space Opera
Expected Publication November 2015
608 Pages
Thank you to Bookworld Australia and Allen & Unwin
Add to Goodreads
One moment, Kady Grant and Ezra Mason have nothing bigger to worry about than each other. Specifically, avoiding each other in the wake of their messy break-up. In the next second, their entire world falls apart.

The year is 2575 and one of the mega corporations that control much of deep space has just fired the opening salvo in an intergalactic war, destroying Kady and Ezra's planet. Forced to flee on a small fleet of crippled rescue ships alongside thousands of other refugees, the fear of enemy warships chasing them down is at first all consuming but soon becomes the least of their worries. A deadly plague is ravaging the refugees on the ships, the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be an enemy, and High Command is refusing to acknowledge that there may be a serious problem. As Kady plunges into a tangled web of data in search of the truth, she realises that Ezra is possibly the only person who can help her save the refugees before it's too late.
Seventeen year old Kady Grant was still at school when the first explosion signaled the beginning of the intergalactic war, the sky raining fire down upon the illegal mining community of Kerenza. Kady knows the settlement must evacuate, even if former boyfriend Ezra Mason is standing in her way. To survive the deadly BeiTech strike, Kady finds herself on board the scientific vessel in Hypatia, escaping into the dark reaches of outer space. BeiTech are determined to destroy any survivors, having unleashed a deadly bio weapon with the potential to kill mankind. Their fleet has taken on heavy fire and the journey to a jump port to reach a populated core system is months within reach, with BeiTech still in pursuit.

The Alexander is a battle carrier transporting refugees from Kerenza, recruiting civilians in plight for survival. The Alexander is armed with an Artificial Intelligence Defense Analytics Network that has been severely damaged during their escape, shutting down the on board amenities and overriding personnel. Kady is the brains, Ezra the brawn and through a series of infiltrated accounts, surveillance and documents, together they will uncover a series of deception, conspiracies and a deadly plague that threatens to kill what's left of the survivors.

ponderings of a booknerd

Fucking incredible.

Illuminae is one of the most unique and incredible experiences that I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Presented in a series of documents, security footage and instant communications, it tells the story of Kady and Ezra and what is ultimately the evacuation of their home planet in Kerenza after it was attacked. Their world is blow apart by BeiTech, a mega corporation who have overtaken the small planet Kerenza to mine for resources while killing it's inhabitants in the process. Both Kady and Ezra managed to escape and now on board space vessels who are looking for a safe passage into another galaxy, with the in pursuit BeiTech warship determined to ensure no survivors remain alive. What ensues is a phenomenal science fiction story with an intense romance that will leave readers feeling exhilarated.

"Am I not merciful?"

The unique format is nothing short of brilliant. The storyline is told through a series of documents, interviews, images and various forms of correspondence presented as a inquiry portfolio. The illustrations, the recorded email and messages recorded only heighten your experience as a reader. It left me utterly breathless.

As a reader, you're thrust into what is an internal inquiry on board the survival ships, in order to understand what happened prior to boarding. With resources low on board both vessels, civilians are recruited to fight against the pursuing hostiles. Ezra will join the assault while Kady finds herself in intelligence training on board the Hypatia, allowing her access to online network communications. It soon becomes apparent that any information inhabitants are given is little more than propaganda, and Kady uses her position to access the secure communication system in order to find answers.

It's within the system where she communicates with Ezra while a deadly plague threatens to wipe out all on board. AIDAN, the artificial intelligence that commands the vessel is dysfunctional at best. Through the turmoil, emerges a tentative friendship between Kady and Ezra, repairing their relationship and trust in one another once more.

The storyline was intensely fierce and Kady an extraordinary heroine while Ezra was charismatic and charming. Although told through the perspective of being a bystander, the in depth reports, interviews and conversations allow readers to immerse themselves within the storyline effortlessly, observing what is essentially conspiracy theories and witnessing Kady expertly working her way through a series of digital breadcrumbs. I had expected a well written space opera, but what I found was an intelligent and brilliantly written science fiction thriller that far exceeded my expectations. Tenfold.

the final verdict

Mind fucking blown. Believe the hype. Every. Fucking. Word.

Illuminae is a visual masterpiece. Blending engaging characters with a unique format and explosive storyline was nothing short of breathtaking. Both Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff have created a phenomenal and flawless narrative that will captivate readers until the final page is turned. Strap yourself in for one hell of a ride.
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