Little Lillie Reads Turns One!

Can you believe it's been a year already? It seems like just yesterday, I was sitting in a hotel room in New Mexico planning out my blog. It started with the author list for YALLFest. I was so excited with all the new books I bought in prep of the big festival. Then, I created an account on Goodreads so I could keep tabs on all of my reading and my thoughts. Finally, I realized I didn't just want to post my reviews Goodreads. I wanted to create a website of my own mind - imbed bits and pieces of myself into a blog that was simply me. That's exactly what I did. It took me about five minutes to think up a blog name (I guess the alliteration of my name was easy enough to go along with). and so, Little Lillie Reads was born.

In this post, I'd like to spend the time to give my thanks, discuss my achievements, and what I plan for the future. Without further ado ...


My Thanks:

to Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles: you were the first book blogger that reached out to me. I really look up to you and your blog, and consider you one of my biggest inspirations. you've been a great mentor to me and an even better friend. thank you!

to Nori @ ReadWriteLove28: thank you for being the blogger mom to everyone in the community. you are an incredible blogger (I honestly don't know how you keep up with everything you do) and an amazing person. If I ever feel lost, I know I can look to you for advice in blogging and even in life.

to Gee @ A Book and A Cup of Coffee: I know I can rely on you for anything. you've been one of my best friends since junior year and I'm really going to miss you this coming fall. you are incredibly talented and I know you're going to make it so far in this world - I can't wait to witness it. don't forget about me while you're up in tally and may our boba/book dates live on. go gators // love you.

to Alex @ Fiery Reads: you are such a light in my life. I can talk to you about anything and everything, and know you're listening regardless of whether it's serious or not. you're one of the sweetest people I know in this world. dimple twins!! your blog is seriously one of my favorites and one that I looked up to when I first discovered it. thanks for being one of my best friends - love you!

to Joel: boy, you are such a force to be reckoned with. thanks for all those times you listened to me and made me smile; you're another person I can trust with anything. you are hilarious - I'm so happy you picked me out of all those people to talk to! I'm glad I have you to talk about comics and I can't wait for you to get me into DC. you're one of my best friends, b!!

to Jess @ Princessica of Books: I have so many things to say about you and our friendship. the fact that a tiny DM spurred this entire thing is beyond anything I could've imagined. I can rely on you for advice on any subject and matter, and I hope you know you can do the same. you are one of my favorite people on this entire planet, no matter what. thanks for being honest with me and helping me with my blog (espec. that review policy that took me months to make). you're my best friend and no I'm not crying, you are. I love you!

to my readers: if you've ever read my blog even once, you have helped me get where I am today. I take your comments and feedback seriously, and always look forward to them. to anyone who has ever just said a single "hi" to me, I appreciate you. if any of you ever need to talk, I am always here to listen. thank you to every single one of you, I am so grateful for everything. here's to the future.

My Achievements:

  • July 27th, 2015, Little Lillie Reads was born
  • I attended YALLFest in Charleston, South Carolina and met all of my favorite authors including Marie Lu, Leigh Bardugo, and Alexandra Bracken.
  • I joined Sunday Street Team which is ran by Nori and works to promote upcoming releases. 
  • Little Lillie Reads hit 300 followers!
  • I've collaborated with fellow bloggers and worked with authors.
  • I started a bookstagram despite my inability to stick to an aesthetic/theme.
  • I attended the ALA Conference in Orlando and met up with some of the best bloggers I know.
  • I received my first ARC from a publisher!

My Goals:

I really hope to attend the ALA Midwinter conference in Atlanta, Georgia this coming January, and return to YALLFest for a second year. I want to start featuring more authors on my blog, as well as other bloggers! I'd love to finally attend a book launch, but they're always so far from me. maybe this year? I hope to continue making connections with other bloggers and publishers, while continuing to nurture my blog. I want to write more discussion posts and finally not be afraid of speaking my mind. It's my goal to have Little Lillie Reads reach 500 blog followers. Hopefully, my blog will continue to grow and I, along with it. 

I've had the greatest year of blogging and could not have asked for a better experience. Here's to the future and what it brings both me and my blog. As a token of my gratitude, lo and behold: a giveaway 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Potterhead July: Marauder's Era

Welcome to Potterhead July! Courtesy of Aentee at Read At Midnight and in honor of the release of Harry Potter and the Curse Child! All month long, people have been sharing their experiences and memories, and favorite parts of and about Harry Potter. Today, I'm going to be sharing with all of you, one of my favorite parts of the Harry Potter universe that isn't covered all that often: the Marauder's Era.

We all know and love the characters of the Marauder's Era. Remus Lupin, Sirius and Regulus Black, Lily and James Potter, the Longbottoms; even the Malfoy's and Bellatrix Lestrange. Each of these characters are so vital to the development of the hp timeline. Without these pioneers, our precious trio would be nowhere. These characters are so important, yet we know near to nothing about them! So today, I'm just gonna spend some time discussing my favorite character of the Marauder's Era.

Remus Lupin:
I respect Remus so incredibly much for his bravery and strength. As it should already be known, Lupin was bit at the young age of five by Fenrir Greyback out of an act of vengeance. After being diagnosed with lycanthropy, Dumbledore (being the light he is) made special accommodations for Remus at Hogwarts. He was sorted into Gryffindor house, where he would meet James Potter, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew. In order to protect himself and ensure the safety of his fellow classmates, Remus was allowed to visit the Shrieking Shack once a month for his transformations. Thought to be the sounds of wailing ghosts, the villagers of Hogsmeade dubbed the building the Shrieking Shack.

Though Remus fought long and hard to keep his lycanthropy a secret, his friends were eventually able to put two and two together. During their second year, James, Sirius, and Peter all agreed to learn how to become animagi in order to help their friend through his transformations. By their fifth year, James had learned to become a stag, Sirius a dog, and Peter a rat. With their presence, Lupin was able to control his urgencies a bit more. This is the type of friendship everyone in the world should have. Having your friends accept you for who you are, and help you through whatever you're struggling with, is one of the greatest things you could ever wish for. I can only imagine the distress Remus endured when his three best friends were taken from him, but he was able to carry on through the darkness and find the light.

Lupin has one of the most interesting backstory's out of the entire cast of characters, and a charismatic personality that makes for a wonderful character. Ever since I read Prisoner of Azkaban, Lupin has been my favorite character. I would reread PoA over and over again, just because I enjoyed having him in it and having the past brought to attention. Remus is compassionate, smart, and intuitive, even a prankster at times, but definitely the most mature of the four Marauders. I thought he was the best Defense Agains the Dark Arts teacher and definitely wished he was in the series more, as he gave each moment a bit more pizzaz. His complex background and dynamic personality is every bit of a reason to love him.

ARC Review: Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

5/5 Stars
Published by Thomas Dunne Books
Published August 9th, 2016

Synopsis: In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?

Have you ever read a book before and had no words to describe the emotional turmoil you just endured? because that was me and this book. Nevernight is a brilliant, brilliant, book that can only be described as a masterpiece. To me, this is Jay Kristoff's best work. His writing style is eloquent and elegant, yet dirty and explicit at the same time, making it the eighth wonder of this world. From the moment this book begins, you're lured in with captivating visualizations, beautiful writing, and a set of characters with layers upon layers of baggage. Somehow able to make you feel safe and at home even in the presence of bloodthirsty killers, Jay Kristoff is a master manipulator of feelings. You will be blindsided, enraged, and distressed, but regardless of the fact, you will be content and in love. 

I love this world so much. The descriptions are so elaborate and the history is so well thought out. From the beginning of the book to maybe a little before the halfway point, the pages are annotated and the backstory is explained in the most clever ways possible. There's an element of mythology that is introduced and revisited all throughout the story, and I could not get enough of it. The origin of Itreya is so fleshed out, nothing is left to your imagination. If you have a question, I can guarantee you it's answered in the annotations. While I was reading, I could just picture myself walking the streets of Godsgrave or sneaking out of my room in the Red Church. Every aspect of this world has something special about it and I cannot wait to see what parts of Itreya we explore in the sequel.

I have a special place in my heart for assassins, but an even more special place in my heart for one Mia Corvere. Mia is the perfect main character and an excellent badass. She's driven by her past and her thirst for vengeance, which hones her instincts - making her as sharp as a blade. Though Mia is now amongst the ranks of the deadliest killers, she's beyond much more than just another sword wielder. First and foremost, she's a teenage girl. So besides her thirst for blood, Mia has feelings that are completely understandable, but they also make her different from her "companions." Another assassin that has a special spot in my heart is Tric. you guys, I love Tric. He adds a light humor to the dark theme by cracking jokes and poking fun at Mia, which added to the dynamic of this book. Together, Mia and Tric are a great team and know how to watch out for each other, despite the inevitable consequences. 

y'all, this is currently my favorite read of 2016, so if you don't get on it, I don't know what I can do to convince you. Jay Kristoff is so amazing at what he does. Nevernight is going to murder you (which quite frankly is funny because it's a book about killers haha), but maybe in the best way possible. I honestly do not have a big of enough vocabulary to describe the beauty I saw in this writing, nor do I think I ever will. For a story set in the light of three suns, Nevernight is of the darkest themes and deepest sorrows. It's a book driven forward by the force of anger and loss, and about reaching into your darkest shadows to find yourself. By the time you think you've built a mutual trust between yourself and this book, the rug will be pulled right from under you. I can only imagine what the future holds for Mia Corvere, but from the looks of that epilogue ... we're in store for something great.

Geeky Con 2016

Woop woop! GeekyCon 2016 is right around the corner!! Thankfully, this jam-packed, all fandom inclusive convention is right here in my backyard of ye old trust Orlando, Florida. I first heard of GeekyCon back in 2014 when it was named LeakyCon and focused primarily on Harry Potter. Now, LeakyCon has spread it's branches and now includes events for all of your favorite things. Potterheads, whovians, sherlockians, gleeks, marvel fans, etc and etc - you're all invited to attend this awesome convention that brings together people of all ages and followings.

GeekyCon is a three day event (July 29-31st) with a schedule filled to the brim with marvelous things. You could spend your morning meeting your fellow house mates (caw caw, Ravenclaw), your afternoon in a Hamilton meet up (which is where you'll catch me), or your evening playing Quidditch. GeekyCon has panels, Q&A sessions, concerts and live performances, and a marketplace merch store that's probably full of your favorite items. Within this three day event, you can meet your favorite writers, actors, youtubers, podcasters, you name them - they might be there!
"GeekyCon is a place where fans can be their amazing, passionate, geeky selves. We are a community of old friends, and new - a celebration of stories, the people who love them, and the people who create them." 
One of the best things about GeekyCon, is that you don't have to pay extra money to attend photograph and autograph sessions. I know at events like Wizard World, you could be spending up to $100 dollars for a photo with your favorite movie star. Here, it is all inclusive with your admission ticket! You bet I'll be waiting in line to meet Joe Moses, aka Snape from A Very Potter Musical.

The best part for me about this convention, besides being surrounded by fellow Harry Potter and Marvel fans, is that I'll be meeting some amazing authors. Those I'm most excited for who are attending the convention are Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood and Three Dark Crowns, Renée Ahdieh, author of The Wrath and The Dawn, and Becky Albertalli, author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. Included in the lineup is Julie Murphy, Cindy Pon, Sona Charaipotra, Dhonielle Clayton, Kat Zhang - and the list goes on! These authors will be participating in tons of discussion panels that I cannot wait to attend!

If you're interested in attending GeekyCon, tickets can be purchased here! If you're attending the convention, please let me know!! I would love to meet up with you guys! & thank you GeekyCon, for providing me with the press pass to enter - I know this next weekend will be full of fun and new memories to make.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Midnight Star

Here is where I share with you my anticipation for upcoming books! Breaking the Spine has introduced me to this and I am super excited to get to participate. Please feel free to comment what books you are looking forward to as well!!

Synopsis: The thrilling finale to the New York Times bestselling Young Elites series from “hit factory” Marie Lu.

There was once a time when darkness shrouded the world, and the darkness had a queen.

Adelina Amouteru is done suffering. She’s turned her back on those who have betrayed her and achieved the ultimate revenge: victory. Her reign as the White Wolf has been a triumphant one, but with each conquest her cruelty only grows. The darkness within her has begun to spiral out of control, threatening to destroy all that she’s achieved.

Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds when a new danger appears, putting not only Adelina at risk, but every Elite and the very world they live in. In order to save herself and preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger.

You guys have no clue how excited I am for this book. Marie Lu has been my favorite author since my freshmen year of high school, when Legend first entered the game. Since then, I've followed everything she has done and admired her brilliant work. Her writing and stories have gotten me through so much stress and anxiety, and I am just so thankful for her and her books.

Alright, sob fest over. The Midnight Star is the epic finale to Marie Lu's The Young Elites trilogy. I have been long anticipating this since I read the last line of The Rose Society, and have been driving myself crazy with every snippet Marie tweets out. I cannot wait to see what is in store for these characters - especially Adelina. There are a ton of ways this story could play out and I am ready for any of those possibilities.

The Midnight Star comes out October 11th, 2016, so make sure you preorder it now!! 

Ten Books Set Around The World

This meme was created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday there is a new list that involves all things books!

ten books set around the world

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
is set in Germany

And I Darken by Kiersten White
is set in the Ottoman Empire, present day Turkey

A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith
is set in Japan

Blood Red, Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick
is set in Russia

Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider
is set in Hawaii

A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry
is set in Puerto Rico

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman
is set in England

Origin by Jessica Khoury
is set in Brazil

Into The Dimby Janet B. Taylor
is set in Scotland

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
is set in Scotland

what are some books that I missed that are set around the world? which ones are your favorite?

Mid-Year Freak Out Tag

Jess brought this tag to my attention and I thought it was the perfect time to do it! I've done a good bit of reading this year, and would love to share with all of you my favorites so far. Feel free to participate!

Best Book(s) You've Read in 2016


The Raven King (review) by Maggie Stiefvater is one of the greatest series enders I've ever had the pleasure to read. Maggie knows her craft and knows how to keep her readers engaged till the end. the gangsey's wellbeing was my main concern going into this book, but Maggie knew how to toy with your emotions till the very end! I loved Maggie's writing throughout the series, but this fourth installment felt darker and more real. 

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff was so amazing. I just finished this and was wowed by how great this was. The writing is so beautiful and excellently crafted. I felt so connected to this story the whole way through. Jay Kristoff knows how to torture his readers. Reading this book was a roller coaster of emotions and developing deeper feelings for these characters I grew to love. I need the second book now.

Best Sequel You've Read So Far in 2016


A Court of Mist and Fury (review) by Sarah J. Maas. If you know me, you'll know I had the best time reading this sequel. I loved the direction this story took and the introduction of new characters, settings, and feelings. acomaf is brilliant overall and I cannot wait for acotar #3. 

Gemina (review) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I loved Illuminae with all of my heart. When I was able to get my hands on a copy of Gemina, I was so incredibly happy. Speeding through it, I was presented with the same magic I found in the first book. The storyline was fantastic and I loved the additional characters that now make up the Illuminae group. I cannot wait for the third book. This is one of my favorite trilogies by far.

New Release You Haven't Read Yet But Want To

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard. This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, but I still haven't read it! I have it waiting patiently on my shelf for when I come home and I swear I'm gonna read it this summer. 

Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year


I am so ready for The Midnight Star, but not ready for the end of The Young Elites. I love the character diversity featured in this trilogy and the intensity that is presented and amped with every book. Marie Lu is one of my favorite authors, so obviously I'm always ready for her work.

Six of Crows was one of my favorite reads of 2015, so clearly I am so excited and in need of Crooked Kingdom. After the way Six of Crows ended, I've been in dire need of the conclusion. Leigh Bardugo is another one of my favorite authors, so I'll be signing away my soul twice this fall to both of these beautiful ladies.

Biggest Disappointment

This Savage Song (review) by Victoria Schwab. sigh I felt like I was obligated to really love this, but I didn't. It was really slow to me, compared to the synopsis. I was expecting fast paced, with monster fighting and sick action, but half of the book was spent at snails pace. This isn't going to stop me from reading her other books, but I was definitely let down (maybe because of all the hype).

Biggest Surprise

Tell Me Three Things (review) by Julie Buxbaum. I really did pick this one up on a whim, not expecting to be as pleased as I was. I loved this book and now recommend it to everyone in need of a fast, cute read. 

Favorite New Author

Emily Henry! She knocked it out of the park for me with The Love That Split The World (review), and now I know she will be one of my favorite authors for a long time. Her writing really struck a chord in me and I cannot wait for her future books. Besides being a wonderful author, she is the sweetest person. I've had the honor of speaking to her many times online and can confirm that she is a ball of light. 

Newest Fictional Crush

I love Julian Blackthorn so much. Lady Midnight (review) by Cassandra Clare is one of my favorite reads of 2016 and gosh I cannot wait for Lord of Shadows. Julian is just the sweetest, fiercest, most beautiful boy and I'm so happy this fictional boy is in my life.

Newest Favorite Character

I loved and greatly appreciated the sorcerer gang in this book. A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess introduces you to a wonderful group of boys who kick butt and I loved them so much. Also, strong ass female lead, which made me love it even more. 

A Book That Made You Cry


A Book That Made You Happy


As you know from above, or from following me on twitter, you know The Love That Split The World (reviewby Emily Henry really impacted me. 

Dreamology (review) by Lucy Keating was just so cute and fun, I loved it so much. As soon as I finished I felt so happy and full of life - I need another book like this.

Favorite Post You've Done This Year

My discussion post "Body Positivity in YA!" I thought it was incredibly important to write, nothing only for myself, but for others.

Most Beautiful Book You've Bought This Year

I really don't know which was the most beautiful book I bought this year. I'm just gonna say Lady Midnight, because I love that cover, but I'm not home and can't look at my bookshelf to decide the final answer. 

What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year



and there you have it! this was tons of fun to write up and I hope you had fun reading through my favorite reads of 2016 so far. did you write up a mid year freak out tag? link me to it here! 

Ten Facts About Me!

This meme was created by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday there is a new list that involves all things books!

ten facts about me! (bookish and other)

1) I've been dancing for 13 years and though I'm moving away from my studio and precious arts school, I'll be continuing my dancing career at college this coming fall! Tap is my specialty, but I've been trained in pretty much every style (except hip hop, you will never find me pop, lockin, or dropping it). 

2) oh college - I'll be attending the University of Florida and studying pre professional biology! Go Gators!!

3) I played a mean second base on the softball team. I don't know how long it'll be until I pick a bat and a glove up again, but maybe if I bring glove and bat to my dorm it'll give me some initiative.

4) I am the biggest marvel fan. I love the comics, I love MCU, I love the dang funko pops - me and marvel just go together like peanut butter and jelly. 

5) I have an annual pass to Disney and Universal, so they are both pretty much my second homes. I was raised as a huge Disney baby, and Harry Potter is my favorite series, so I get the best of both worlds right here in my backyard. 

6) My blogiversary is in 11 days from this post. crazy right? to think a year ago I was sitting in a hotel room and decided I wanted to make a blog. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

7) seven is my favorite number.

8) My primary travel goal is to visit Alaska. Anyone who knows me, knows I love Alaska. I enjoy cold weather and snow more than the average person, despite living in Florida and developing that thin skin to accommodate for the heat. One day I shall visit Alaska, but until then I live through your photos.

9) I love performing so much. Nothing beats that feeling of standing behind stage, by the wings, waiting for your cue. Giving so much of yourself - months and months of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears - in your performance, is a feeling thats indescribable until you've experienced it. Like I said before, I've been dancing for 13 years, so I've been performing for a good amount of my life and the feeling never changes. I also gave musical theater a shot, which was a lot more nerve wrecking because words had to come out of my mouth, but I still loved it nonetheless. I still hope to participate in musical theater on the side during college.

10) I'm Eurasian!! I got the best of both worlds when it comes to food, culture, and everything else basically. 

Tell me a little bit about yourself! What's one fact about yourself you want everyone to know? 

ARC Review: Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

5/5 Stars
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published October 18th, 2016

Synopsis: Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

I love this trilogy so freaking much. Though I jumped on the bandwagon for Illuminae a tad bit late, I jumped nonetheless and fell so deeply in love with this world and its story. After finishing Illuminae I thought "how on earth can they top this?" It seemed an impossible task to up their game after producing a masterpiece, but I can confirm now that these two wonderful authors have just produced another masterpiece. Gemina is just as intense and mind boggling as its predecessor. The content is executed unlike anything I've ever seen or read; bringing forward new formats than those in Illuminae, but returning familiar layouts. Though I was disappointed at first with the news that Kady, Ezra, and the Hypatia crew would not be the main characters in this book, I was still so impressed and happy with the new characters. This book is an amazing sequel and definitely makes the first book even more worth picking up.