Category: Book Reviews

Blog Tour | Review: Romanov

Posted May 13, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Blog Tour | Review: Romanov

When I signed up for the Retellings Challenge this year, it was definitely intended to be an actual challenge for me. I love retellings in theory and have read a decent number of them, but I still focus so heavily on contemporary fiction. Add in the fact that ROMANOV is also historical fiction, and I knew it would be a great push out of my comfort zone. I’m a fan of the movie Anastasia of course because WHO ISN’T? so I signed up quickly for this blog tour. Killing a lot of birds with one stone! I digress. I was right: this book was definitely different than the other stories I have been reading this year! The Russian folklore/themes were a really nice change of pace for me. Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy other genres 😳 It’s clear that Brandes did a lot of research on the history of the Romanov family and what the setting would have been like during that time. The story begins with Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov and her journey, with her family, into exile. She is tasked with stealing an ancient spell (through a doll) along with them. The first half or so of the book involves their travel and the rest of the book involves the more ~magical~ elements. I loved that the spell was connected to the Russian nesting dolls I’m familiar with. It personally took me a little while to get into this, but I feel it’s for a lot of […]

Review Round Up | Fumbled, The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project, and There’s Something About Sweetie

Posted May 6, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Fumbled, The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project, and There’s Something About Sweetie

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I really enjoyed INTERCEPTED, despite the incessant internal hashtagging that the main character did. There were some parts I didn’t love about that book though, so I was slightly concerned but optimistic about FUMBLED. I really had nothing to worry about though, because this book was even better than the first! I loved TK when he made appearances in the first book so I was super excited to see that this starred him, in a second chance romance. Poppy and TK were together in high school… and TK has no idea that her nine-year old son is his. When they cross paths again at a club where Poppy works, sparks fly and she knows the truth will have to come out. I appreciated that this piece of drama was not dragged out; the honest moment happened early on instead of way-too-late like it would in most books. TK and Poppy had reasonable arguments, discussions, and conversations about everything. I loved their openness. There were actually quite a few moments where I expected there to be friction between them (about money, parenting style, etc.) that were handled perfect well and logically. It was genuinely refreshing to read in a romance novel where one person is a celebrity/athlete and […]

ARC Review Round Up | The Truth About Leaving, You Owe Me a Murder, and The Dating Game

Posted April 26, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 5 Comments
ARC Review Round Up | The Truth About Leaving, You Owe Me a Murder, and The Dating Game

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I sincerely loved Blitt’s debut and have been eagerly awaiting her next YA release! THE TRUTH ABOUT LEAVING intrigued me, as I haven’t read many books involving Jewish characters (especially ones straight from Israel, now living in the United States). I actually read this book in one sitting without planning for it; it was easy to fall into and get lost in. Blitt’s writing is easy in that way, which is a great thing. The story centers around Lucy, who is in her final year of high school and trying to balance everything – helping with her brothers while her mom is away, figuring out what she wants to do about college, getting back into her old hobbies, and that new boy in town. Dov is the aforementioned character who comes to the US from Israel for a year, transferring into her senior class. Despite the very different futures they have planned, they quickly fall for each other. While the plot itself is pretty straightforward and simple (meaning not much actually happens – just a lot of character development and “finding yourself” moments), the bigger issues are definitely covered well. They have different lives, different plans, and different family situations. I thought they had pretty good chemistry […]

ARC Reviews: Her Royal Highness and Don’t Date Rosa Santos

Posted April 22, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Reviews: Her Royal Highness and Don’t Date Rosa Santos

I enjoyed the first book in this series. I think it’s because, despite my overall grumpiness about all things royal, the main character matched those sentiments. I was able to relate to Daisy and get accustomed to this kind of royal-meets-normie tale. I became excited for the f/f companion novel, even though this one directly involves an actual princess, and hopped to it right away. This ended up being super shippy and mostly wonderful. Flora and Millie were an excellent pair. I loved the kind of hate-to-love situation that developed, with Flora being Flora aka not the nicest person on earth? Millie was cute with her love for her dad, love for geology, and general love for Scotland without ever going there. As usual, I would have loved even more family feels, but she had a really nice backstory. This ship sailed its way into my heart for sure. My main issue is how abrupt the ending was. In general, the whole second half-ish of the book was a bit rushed? I could have done with like 50 more pages interspersed in the second half of the book, both around building the ship and chemistry and toward the end. I would venture to say that the pacing here was relatively terrible, with the inevitable fight/breakup/tension (and the usual things that follow) WAY too close to the end of the book. Overall though, a worthy companion to the first book! Give me a book about Seb now PLEASE. I was really […]

ARC Reviews: The Bride Test and Meet Cute

Posted April 18, 2019 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Bride Test and Meet Cute

HOW DOES HELEN HOANG DO IT? This was perfection. Hoang writes such unique romances in just about every way, but especially the circumstances in which the characters get together (an “arranged marriage” here and the whole “male escort” thing KISS QUOTIENT). When Khai’s mom heads to Vietnam to essentially hand-pick a woman for her son to marry, she finds that Esme, who is working in the restroom, would be the perfect match. She is hesitant at first because she has a young daughter, mother, and grandmother to support. Her mother insists that she comes to California for the summer to try to make things work with him. She can also try to find her father, an American on business who never knew he got her mother pregnant. She eventually agrees for those reasons – why not give it a shot? Khai, on the other hand, just decides to appease his mom, live with Esme, and see what happens. He was obviously in for a surprise when he found himself instantly fascinated by her. I was completely charmed by both Esme and Khai; they were totally lovable in their different ways. Esme talked a lot while Khai would just take it all in. They were opposites but complementary. Watching them open up to each other was so entertaining and heartwarming. They didn’t just grow as a pair, but absolutely grew as individuals too. Esme learned about her own interests and goals while Khai opened up to the fact that he DOES have […]

Review Round Up | The Goose Girl, The Cottingley Secret, and Everything Must Go

Posted April 12, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | The Goose Girl, The Cottingley Secret, and Everything Must Go

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! When planning out my books for the retellings challenge this year, I knew I needed to attempt THE GOOSE GIRL. This is a classic fantasy novel that everyone seems to love. It reminded me a bit of ELLA ENCHANTED or STARDUST when it got started, with the princess/girl heading out on some kind of adventure/quest/etc. It honestly took me a little while to get into this and see what all the fuss was about, but it was worth it. I should also mention that I started with the audiobook, which has a full cast (!!) and was pretty adorable as a result. The latter half of the book was pretty fantastic, honestly. I’m glad I wasn’t fully aware of the original Brothers Grimm story, or else I wouldn’t have gasped as much as I did LOL. I didn’t see certain things coming and was honestly on the edge of my seat, deciding to finish the book off as an ebook instead of an audiobook. Ani was a great character to watch grow up and learn about life outside of being a princess. Her experience as a goose girl definitely shaped her into a more well-rounded person. I loved the bit of romance, even though it definitely wasn’t […]

Blog Tour Review & Cover Colors: Last Girl Lied To

Posted April 10, 2019 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments
Blog Tour Review & Cover Colors: Last Girl Lied To

Review I was a huuuuge fan of Flynn’s debut novel, FIRSTS, so I was super eager to find out what she’d be writing next. She started with a contemporary and then, for her sophomore novel, moved into mystery. I could totally see her knocking this kind of book out of the park, along with a new-ish pen name to match the new genre. Needless to say, I signed up for this blog tour so quickly! This book was incredibly addicting. There’s something about her writing that makes you want to keep reading until the book is over; I remember the same feeling with FIRSTS and reading it in 1-2 sittings. It also helped that the chapters were often really short and easy to breeze through, eager to see what would happen next. Fiona recounts the night Trixie supposedly walked into the ocean and various points of their friendship, while living her life in present day, trying to figure out what happened that night. I liked that the book was mostly about Fiona’s relationship with herself (and her body image issues), trying to remember who she was before and during her friendship with Trixie, in order to figure out who she actually is without any friends influencing her too much. There was a common pattern where she’d mold herself into whatever her friends needed her to be, which caused her to lose sight of things she loved (like fashion and making clothes). As I said, she’s also trying to figure out what […]

ARC Review: Serious Moonlight

Posted April 3, 2019 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
ARC Review: Serious Moonlight

Initial Excitement & Summary I’m a huge fan of Jenn Bennett. Seriously, huge. All of her books have been major successes in my eyes. She always creates somewhat unique situations for romance and develops her characters in wonderful ways. Her three releases before SERIOUS MOONLIGHT each earned 4.5 stars from me… so clearly I’m a fan. From an overall plot perspective, with the mystery solving and quirky settings across Seattle, this had the right setup to be another favorite by Bennett. Birdie and Daniel meet under interesting circumstances and find soonafter that they’ll be working together during the night shift at a famous Seattle hotel. They move past the awkwardness of their first meeting to solve a mystery together – an author, who remains anonymous and uses a pseudonym, is staying at their hotel each week, and they want to confirm his identity. Birdie is big into mystery novels and hopes to be a detective of some kind someday. Daniel loves magic and has a talent for woodworking. Both of them also have secrets they’re hiding from each other… Storytelling & End Feels I’ve never been to Seattle but I can say with certainty that I want to visit even more now! I know the hotel was made-up but the rest of the city felt real to me. I’d love to take a ferry to the island and explore the market on the other side. There were so many cool shops, like the bookstore (mysteries!) and magic shop, that made […]

Review Round Up | The Fairest Kind of Love, Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee, The Winter Sister, and I’ll Be There For You

Posted March 27, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Round Up | The Fairest Kind of Love, Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee, The Winter Sister, and I’ll Be There For You

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! This series is something I would call a guilty pleasure if I believed in that term. I genuinely don’t. BUT it’s a whimsical, short, breezy, easy, and cute series. There isn’t a lot of substance involved but I love the magical beings and seeing what Amber gets up to next! This is the final book in the series, I believe, and it’s one I’ve remained loyal to over the past few years of new releases. I saw it on Hoopla and immediately downloaded it, of course. Amber is gearing up to meet with a matchmaker to determine a few things – can she get her powers back and functioning properly? AND, is Charlie her soulmate? Since her abilities have gone haywire, she’s been trying to figure out how to get them back and move on with her life after graduating high school. I liked that this installment involved fairies, my fave magical creature, and some of the classic elements you’re familiar with (like wishing using fairy dust and having to be very specific about what you want!). This one felt cheesier than the last two. I’m not sure if it’s just because there’s been enough time in between where I forgot what they were like, or if […]

ARC Review: The Princess and the Fangirl

Posted March 21, 2019 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
ARC Review: The Princess and the Fangirl

Initial Excitement & Summary I adored GEEKERELLA and was SO excited to see a companion sequel. I already need there to be a million books in this series. The first book was basically a love letter to being a fan, attending cons, and geek culture as a whole. I’m not QUITE as into fandom things (for anything really) as many of my friends, but I totally get it. While the first book was a Cinderella retelling, this was a Princess and the Pauper retelling – the classic situation where two people look like each other and switch lives for a few days. In this case, the actor who plays Princess Amara in Starfield (Jess) switches place with Imogen (a Starfield fan and leader of the “Save Amara” movement). The two switch lives so Jess can track down who leaked the new Starfield script. Storytelling & Characters Just like the first book, this was filled with geeky references that I loved. (Sometimes it feels like a little too much, but not bad! – I liked that Jess was not really a geeky character so the references were only during one of the POVs.) The Princess and the Pauper trope was really well done and super fun to follow in a con setting. I enjoyed both Jess and Imogen as main characters. Jess was hard to get used to in the beginning because she didn’t like Starfield; it was off-putting to hear her grouchy inner monologue. This definitely changed throughout the book […]