Friday, February 28, 2020

5 Fandom Friday- Fictional Characters You’d Invite to Tea

Hello, all!

I love a good cuppa and I think the following characters would make for great tea time shenanigans.

1. Veronica Speedwell (Veronica Speedwell series): I wish I was Veronica Speedwell. She's intelligent, independent and has got sass for days. I would love to hear all about her adventures and what new mystery she's got herself and the swoon-worthy Stoker wrapped up in.

2. Clay Cooper (Kings of the Wyld): Granted, I would probably fill his cup with something a tad stronger than Earl Gray, but I think one of the Kings of the Wyld would be great company. He's fought tons of monsters, trekked through the unforgivable Wyld, and is hilariously real about how he was way too old for half the crap he and his band did.

3. Kvothe (The Kingkiller Chronicle series): The entire time I was reading The Name of the Wind, I was dreaming about sitting in that inn, listening to Kvothe speak about his life. The things that he's done, the stories he could tell, ugh, it'd be amazing to hear.

4. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series): I mean... who wouldn't want to grill her about life at Hogwarts? Just tell me all about the library and all the delicious food in the Great Hall, I beg you.

5. Aelin Galathynius (Throne of Glass series): Aelin has definitely had an eventful life: from starting out as an assassin named Celaena Sardothien to discovering she's a lost princess to eventually becoming Queen of Terrasen, so you know she's got a lot to talk about. When she's not fighting massive battles to regain her birthright, she likes to read and eat sweets, so I'm pretty sure we'd get along just fine.

Who're some characters you'd invite?

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

OwlCrate February Review

Hello, all!

The theme this month was "A Power Within", let's get to it.

First up was this screen cloth based on Wicked Saints dual designed by Nicole Deal and Leaford Lore. I wasn't a huge fan of that book, but this is something that'll always be useful.

Then we had these interesting metal bookmark rulers by Hey Atlas Creative inspired by Truthwitch. I've seen metal bookmarks before, but never one that could be used to take measurements as well, so that's pretty cool.

This box had so many useful objects and I'm here for it! Look at how fun this OwlCrate exclusive bento box is. The writing on top, from the alphabet in Mistborn, even spells out "OwlCrate." I've never used a bento box before, but I love seeing all the creative ways people use them to store their food.

Any Magician's fans out there? I love both the series and TV show, so I'm super excited to have this little Brakebills keychain designed by Blooming Library.

The last item was this Throne of Glass inspired playing cards designed by Jo Painter, Salome Totladze, Diana Dworak, Jana Runneck and Michelle Gray. The deck has really pretty gilded edges, and fanart from the series. I don't play cards much, but this is a really nice deck.

The book this month was All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace. Amora Montara, princess of the island kingdom Visidia, has spent her entire life training to become High Animancer-- the master of souls. While the rest of the realm gets to choose which magic they possess, it's never been a choice for Amora. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the dangerous soul magic, but after a disastrous demonstration, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a bargain with a myserious pirate: if he helps her prove she's fit to rule, she'll help him regain his stolen magic. Amora must then journey through perilous lands, face legendary monster and ruthless mermaids, and battle a rising dangerous magic or risk the fate of Visidia and the crown forever.

I've heard a lot of hype around this book, and I love a good mermaid story, so I can't wait to dive in. What do you all think of this months box?

Friday, February 21, 2020

5 Fandom Friday- Literary Heroines

Hello, all!

This week's 5FF is all about literary heroines. I've been a hardcore reader my whole life, and there's tons of characters I've looked up to, so here are just a few.

1. Luna Lovegood: There are so many amazing female characters in the Harry Potter series, but I've always had a soft spot for Luna. I've always admired how true to herself Luna is. She's not afraid to march to the beat of her own drum, and I love how loyal she is to her friends.

2. Elizabeth Bennet: Pride and Prejudice is my favorite classic, and the 2005 version with Keira Knightly is still my go to movie when it's snowing out. Lizzie is such a force: she's strong-willed and stubborn, loves her family, and can admit when she's wrong.

3. Matilda Wormwood: Growing up, I spent hours upon hours either at the library or reading in my room. Like Matilda, I always felt like whatever I was going through, I could find the answers in books. I'm still hoping I'll manifest some telekinetic powers so I can move things around while dancing in my living room to Rusted Root.

4. Arya Stark: Game of Thrones is chock full of heartbreaking and gruesome deaths, and no one has been on the receiving end of loss like the Starks. From watching her father get beheaded, to being so close to her mother and brother while they were brutally slaughtered, Arya has been dealt many hard blows. Instead of letting those moments break her down, she uses all the hurt and pain to fuel herself into avenging her family.

5. Nancy Drew: I've always loved a good mystery, and Nancy Drew was the queen detective. These were the first series books I ever really read, and I wanted nothing more than to go along with her on these cases as she tracked down clues.

Lemme know some of your picks!

Thursday, February 20, 2020

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep Review

Hello, all!

What bookworm hasn't dreamt about being able to bring their favorite literary characters to life? When I heard that was the premise behind The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry, it immediately went on my TBR. Big thanks to Netgalley for the copy!

Pub Date: 1-21-20
Adult - Fantasy
All his life, Charley Sutherland has been able to read characters to life. Whenever he gets deeply into a story or character, they just seem to manifest right off the page. It's a special gift that he's been trying his whole life to keep a secret. The only ones who know about this ability are his family; his older brother Rob usually being the one roped into helping Charley put these rogue characters back where they belong. Charley has always believed he's the only one in the world with this power, but he soon finds out there's another, and they have it out for him.

After discovering an entire hidden street full of fictional characters that have been read to life, Charley and Rob find themselves in way over their heads. From being attacked by the Hound of Baskervilles, to shape-shifting Dickensian villains, the brothers must join forces with a character from their past before the entire world as they know it gets rewritten.

I loved the entire premise of this story, however, I didn't love the execution. There's a ton of action in this book, yet it read like wading through molasses. I loved the idea of all these famous literary characters banding together to stop a terrible evil, and while that is basically what happens, it feels more like a master class in Charles Dickens. While I get that that particular influence really drives the main plot, I just felt it made it slightly too difficult for me to fully connect. I did still enjoy this, just not as much as I had hoped.

Rating: 2.5/5

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Blogger Recognition Award

Hello, all!

I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award by Michelle over at A Geek Girl's Guide! Thanks, Michelle!

Rules of this nomination

Thank the blogger who nominated you

Do a post to share your award

Summarize how your blog started

Give at least two pieces of advice for new bloggers

Nominate at least 15 other bloggers

Inform each nominee via a link that you’ve nominated them

How Nerdy By Nature Began

I started this blog off on a whim back in 2014 because for years I'd bored my friends with my constant nerd talking, and I figured it was time to give them a break. Also, I went to school for journalism, so I've always had a passion for writing, and I figured why not just mix the two together? I always toyed with the idea of starting a blog, but honestly, I didn't think many people would even be interested in my ramblings. So, it's awesome to see that some of you guys like it as well!

My Advice for New Bloggers

In the simplest terms, write what you know and write what you love. Writing about something that gets you excited will always come across way better than words you threw together just for the heck of it.

Also, don't write for other people. Don't change your views/opinions on something just to get more comments or anything like that. There's no fun in trying to please everyone, that's not what writing's about. Plus, it's your blog! (Just, don't be mean--No one likes a jerk.)

I also agree with Michelle's advice of pacing yourself. Brainstorming ideas for posts and setting them up can get a bit overwhelming at times. I always try to remind myself that I'm doing this because it's fun for me, and I don't need to put so much pressure on myself to create "perfect posts".

My Nominees

(I'm going to do 5)

Mariah @ Bizarre Brunette

Barb @ Hello, It's B

Emma @ Geeky Tourist

Jacie @ Come to the Nerd Side

Katy @ Oh So Geeky

Friday, February 14, 2020

5 Fandom Friday: Top Female Friendships

Hello, all!

Let's celebrate Gal-entine's Day with some of my favorite female friendships!

1. Buffy and Willow: Whether it was doing some crazy research in the library, lamenting about their relationship troubles (vampires, werewolves, you know, the usual), dying a lot or going full blown dark side, these two always had each other's backs.

2. Cher and Dionne: I was a huge fan of hanging out at the mall with friends when I was younger, and I can just picture these two being the best shopping partners.

3. The Golden Girls: I mean, come on! These gals are friend group goals. Need I say more?

4. Romy and Michele: Friends who coordinate their outfits together stay together. They invented Post-It's and have killer dance routines for cryin' out loud!

5. Daria and Jane: These two are literally me and my friend Sam. Our entire friendship is based on sarcasm and being cynical and anxious, only we do it over Chipotle instead of pizza most of the time.

Let me know some of your picks!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

A Witch in Time Review

Hello, all!

I'm a big Doctor Who fan, so I tend to love stories that have a bit of a timey-wimey aspect to them. Add in some witches and curses, and you basically have A Witch in Time by Constance Sayers. Big thank you to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 2-11-20
Fantasy - Historical Fiction
In France, 1895, sixteen-year old Juliet LaCompte is a naive farm girl who falls into a passionate, but dangerous, love affair with a married local painter, Auguste Marchant. After getting with child, Juliet's mother--a minor witch-- attempts to curse Marchant for what he's done to her daughter, but unknowingly summons a powerful demon, and binds it to Marchant and Juliet for all eternity. Now, Juliet is doomed to repeat her affair and die tragically young lifetime after lifetime as these star-crossed lovers are reincarnated time and again.

Each lifetime Juliet comes back different; different name, different age, different career, etc. The only constant in these lives are falling for Marchant, in whatever form he takes, and the demon himself, who always appears to Juliet as some mysterious, handsome benefactor just when she needs him most. The demon, Luke Varnier, also just so happens to have been in love with Juliet ever since her first lifetime, but she forgets him every time she dies. In all her lifetimes, he has to help remind her of their feelings for one another before it's too late. Each new rebirth seems to unlock powers within Juliet, such as mind control and healing. Now, on her fourth lifetime, this time as Helen Lambert, she's the most powerful version of herself yet. And it'll take all of her power to find a way to break the cycle before her time runs out.

I really enjoyed this. It was such a lush, sweeping love story throughout time. The different versions of Juliet were all fascinating to read about. I especially loved Nora's story as a Hollywood actress in the 1930s, but funnily enough, hated Juliet's. I found her a bit annoying and childish. I enjoyed how you discover it's not really a love story between Juliet and Marchant, but rather her and Luke. I liked them together, even though they could be a tad frustrating at times. I did think it was weird and not very believable that Helen's friend Mickey, who sort of went along on this journey of self-discovery with her, didn't even bat an eye at finding out his best friend is a witch who's cursed in a time loop. There were other small things like that that felt too unrealistic to me, but other than that, I liked this and would recommend if you're looking for a fantasical historical fiction read.

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Temporary Wife Temptation Blog Tour

Hello, all!

Big thanks to Harlequin Desire for letting me be a part of the blog tour for Temporary Wife Temptation by Jayci Lee!

Pub Date: 2-4-20
Adult - Romance
Garret Song is so close to becoming the CEO of his family's famous LA fashion empire. The only thing standing in his way? His grandmother refuses to let him take over the company until he marries, and she's handpicked just the woman. Not wanting to marry a woman he doesn't know, Garret enlists the help of Natalie Sobol to pose as his fake wife.

With Natalie needing a spouse almost as badly as Garret, she agrees. As the pair dives headlong into this fake relationship, they discover it's not so hard to fake the passion burning between them.

I'll be the first to admit I love a good fake dating trope, but this one unfortunately was not for me. I didn't love the characters, and just couldn't really get into Lee's writing. I found Garret and Natalie together to be meh, and the romance to be okay, but nothing really stood out for me. The book isn't that long, so you're sort of thrown right into everything and the story develops very fast. I think if it was longer and had more room to breathe and grow maybe I would've liked it more, but it just wasn't my cup of tea.

Rating: 2/5

Friday, February 7, 2020

5 Fandom Friday: Female Led Graphic Novels

Hello, all!

I'm so pumped 5 Fandom Fridays are back at The Sartorial Geek. As you know, I love doing my own Top 5's, and the topics they've chosen are so fun I just had to participate. This list was a bit hard for me to narrow down because there's so many awesome badass female led graphic novels, so here are just the first 5 that came to mind.

1. Blackbird: I originally picked this up just based on the artwork because I love Jen Bartel, but I ended up really liking the story. Nina Rodriguez is completely flawed but when her sister needs her the most, she is quick to confront her inner demons to get her back. Plus, it's all magical and gritty, and Nina takes no crap from anyone.

2. All-New Wolverine: Everyone loves Logan as Wolverine, but Laura Kinney is just as great in my opinion. I was a big fan of hers as X-23, and was so excited when she took over the Wolverine mantle. As a clone of Logan, she has all the same brutal killing aspects, but she has a way of making it entirely her own.

3. Silk: Out of all the Spidey-people in the Marvel line-up, Cindy Moon is one of my faves. Her story is so well-written and always action packed. She's also pretty funny and has all the same wit and snark that Peter Parker is known for, and she isn't afraid to get her hands a little dirty if needed.

4. Harley Quinn: Preludes and Knock-Knock Jokes: I'm a huge Harley Quinn fan. Ever since watching her on Batman: The Animated Series when I was young, she's been my favorite Batman character. She's so zany and completely out of her bird, and I can't get enough.

5. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark: This was a no brainer for me. Elvira has always been my idol and so I immediately picked this up when it came out. What's better than a sarcastic Elvira? A sarcastic Elvira jumping through time and meeting some of the biggest names in horror history! This is such a fun series and really embodies what makes Elvira great.

Lemme know some of your favorites!

Thursday, February 6, 2020

The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious #3) Review

Hello, all!

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll know how much I love a good who dunnit, and the Truly Devious series by Maureen Johnson is one of my favorites. (You can read my reviews on the other two here and here.) I've been eagerly awaiting the last installment, The Hand on the Wall, so I could finally get the closure I needed on the Ellingham case. I'm happy to say, it did not disappoint.

Pub Date: 1-21-20
YA - Mystery
**Potential spoilers ahead**

Stevie Bell is the resident teen detective at the remote Vermont school for the gifted, Ellingham Academy. Back in the 1930s the school garnered quite a reputation after one student was killed, and the wife and daughter of the founder, Albert Ellingham, were kidnapped. Iris Ellingham was eventually found murdered, but the whereabouts of little Alice was never discovered. It was the cold case of the century, until Stevie solved it.

After every major breakthrough Stevie had in the case, it seemed another death came to Ellingham and the surrounding area. Now, after the third death took the life of her mentor, and fellow Ellingham murder conspiracy theorist, Stevie is convinced someone is trying to cover their tracks. When a massive snow storm leads to an evacuation of the school, Stevie decides it's the perfect opportunity to catch a killer. With the help of her friends, Stevie pieces together the clues that connect the three deaths in the past to those in the present, and finally uncovers the truth behind the Truly Devious murders.

You know how there are times when you're reading a mystery, and you finally get to the big reveal, and it's just so unsatisfying? This was definitely not the case here. I loved the way Johnson wrapped it all together, and was really able to tie all the loose ends up. Despite trying my best to ferret out the clues between all the books, I had no idea who the culprit was, and I felt just as shocked as everyone else when Stevie was revealing it all in her big "Ah-ha!" moment. Like the other books, we get to see snippets from the past, and I'm always so impressed with how seamlessly Johnson weaves those in as to not detract or make the rest of the story feel disjointed. My only slight issue was that I don't love the romance between Stevie and David, but that's just because I don't really like him as a character. That aside, if you're looking for a fast-paced, binge-able mystery series, check this one out.

Rating: 4.5/5

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Cast in Wisdom Blog Tour

Hello, all!

Not surprising to anyone, but I'm a huge fantasy reader. It's one of my favorite genres to read, and I love getting lost in all the different worlds. That's why I'm excited to be a part of the blog tour for Cast in Wisdom by Michelle Sagara. For my part, I'll be giving you all a little sneak peak exclusive excerpt. Big thanks to Mira Books for having me!

Pub Date: 1-28-20
YA - Fantasy

This is actually part of the Chronicles of Elantra series, which has everything from ancient cities to buried secrets to dragon companions. This latest installment deals with a villainous Shadow power that's escaped and the desperate race to stop it before the whole of Elantra is devoured. Hope you enjoy!

“You are such a coward,” Bellusdeo said when they’d reached the relative safety of the street. The roads in and around Helen were sparsely populated at the busiest of times, which this wasn’t. They would soon join roads that were crowded at the slowest of times, but Kaylin was dressed for the office. The Hawk emblazoned on her tabard encouraged people to make space. 

Had Bellusdeo hit the streets in her Draconic form, she’d have cleared far more of it—but some of that space would be created by panic, and panic could cause both accidents and the type of traffic congestion that caused the Swords to investigate. Also, it was illegal. 
“It’s not cowardice,” Kaylin replied, scanning the windows of the buildings above ground level. 
“What would you call it?” 
“Oh, please.”
“There’s no point in arguing with them now. Sedarias thinks it’ll be months before this ridiculous command performance occurs. We have months to attempt to talk her out of—” 
“Out of expressing any appreciation or gratitude?” 
Ugh. “You know they’re grateful. This isn’t about gratitude. It’s about rubbing that gratitude in the faces of the Barrani who attempted to brand you a—an army. An attacking army.” 
“I believe the term you want is Flight.” Bellusdeo’s eyes were orange. 
Hope squawked at the Dragon. Kaylin didn’t understand what he was saying. Bellusdeo did, but her eyes didn’t get any lighter. 
“You know as well as I do,” Kaylin said, emboldened by Hope’s entry into the discussion, “that this is not the time to visit the High Halls. I’m not sure the Emperor has ever been a guest there.” 
“We visited the Halls—more or less—when they came under attack, and the Barrani needed our help.” 
“From the outside. No one invited the Dragon Court in.” 
The chorus of Barrani voices that sometimes offered entirely unasked for opinions on the inside of her head maintained their silence for half a beat. The first person to break that silence was the fieflord. His words were tinged with amusement. 
You cannot expect that the cohort would suddenly cease to cause any difficulty, surely? 
I’m almost certain that the cohort understands why inviting a Dragon—any Dragon—to attend the High Halls would be a disaster. 
For the Dragons? 
For everyone. "

More info about the book can be found here: