Category: Book Reviews

ARC Review: The Princess and the Fangirl

Posted March 21, 2019 / Book Reviews / 4 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 […]

Blog Tour Review & Cover Colors: Night Music

Posted March 18, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Blog Tour Review & Cover Colors: Night Music

Review I’ve gone on record to say, controversially probably, that I am not one of those people who actively seeks out books about music. I LIKE music as much as the next guy but you’re more likely to find me listening to a podcast or audiobook at this point. I don’t find new music; my music selections are probably 80% from before I was born and 20% from the 90s and early 2000s (some outliers from my HS/college years too of course). So, you could say that a book surrounding classical music would not be up my alley. That is the exact reason I decided to join this blog tour. I’ve been itching to expand my reading horizons, even within my favorite genre of YA contemporary. I wanted to learn about the classical music world I knew virtually nothing about. On top of that, I ADORED the other book by Jenn Marie Thorne that I read – The Wrong Side of Right – and was due for another of her stories. This book is about Ruby, one member of a very famous family in the classical music world, right after she decides that this world is not necessarily for her. She doesn’t feel talented enough, or that she fits in it. Oscar is the latest prodigy to stay in her house (!!) and learn from her famous father. The two fall together pretty quickly, swept away into a summer of music and attraction. The description in the synopsis of “breezy […]

Blog Tour | Book Review & Cover Colors: Small Town Hearts

Posted March 13, 2019 / Book Reviews, Cover Colors, Features / 4 Comments
Blog Tour | Book Review & Cover Colors: Small Town Hearts

Book Review The title “Small Town Hearts” and the synopsis promising a sleepy coastal Maine town were enough for me to add this to my TBR! The cute cover, bisexual main character, and coffeeshop workplace were other excellent selling points. I had high hopes for this one as a result! The story surrounds one summer, the one after graduation, where Babe encounters some ~issues~ with her friends and falls for a summer boy, while somewhat pining over an ex-girlfriend. I loved reading about her experiences with friendship and how friendships can change over the years… sometimes without you even realizing it. Her growing relationship with Lucy, her coworker, was nice to read as she learned the people who would support her and be there. (It also didn’t hurt that Lucy hated ketchup as much as I do!) Beginnings could be scary, and there was always a chance that the ending wouldn’t be pretty, but the middle was what made it all worth it… People weren’t meant to be preserved in amber. Maybe there were no happily ever afters. But there could be happiness, if I was brave enough to go for it. (ARC pg 194) Some elements of the story felt a little unlikely or uncommon, like both Babe and her friend Penny living by themselves in lighthouses and houseboats (just because they’re on coastal Maine doesn’t mean that would happen, on top of the fact that they JUST graduated high school lol)… but it honestly made the book a bit more whimsical and […]

Back to the Grishaverse | Reviews: Crooked Kingdom and King of Scars

Posted March 11, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Back to the Grishaverse | Reviews: Crooked Kingdom and King of Scars

Well folks, this has been a whirlwind. I was thinking, about a week before KING OF SCARS was released, about how excited I was to read Nikolai’s story. I suddenly panicked – were SIX OF CROWS/CROOKED KINGDOM characters going to end up in his book? What is the timeline in the Grishaverse for these stories? The fact that I kept putting off CK for various reasons, which I’ll get into later, crept into my mind. Did I finally need to read it first? The answer was, semi-unfortunately, yes. I needed to read it. One of the KoS points of view is from a SoC/CK character and the events take place after. Whoops. So now I wouldn’t be able to read one of my most anticipated reads ON release day like I planned, but I would somehow have to squeeze in a book from a different series first… one that I didn’t want to read. I enjoyed SIX OF CROWS but not nearly as much as everyone else. I met Leigh Bardugo as my first author I met in real life, got a signed ARC of the book at BEA, and was basically on cloud nine. It took me FOREVER to get into the story once I started reading though. I switched to the audiobook and liked it just fine. Everyone mentioned how CROOKED KINGDOM kinda destroyed them and I was (a) nervous about being the black sheep and (b) not looking forward to being destroyed, potentially. However, sometimes you have […]

Review Round Up | Field Notes on Love, Girls with Sharp Sticks, and Springtime at Hope Cottage

Posted March 7, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | Field Notes on Love, Girls with Sharp Sticks, and Springtime at Hope Cottage

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 WAS SO CUTE. I was determined to finish another book in February to keep up with 10 books per month, so I ended up scrambling to read this between the last two days. I read so much of it in one sitting on the 28th, both because I “had to” and definitely because I wanted to. Seriously, let me say again, it was ADORABLE. I’m a sucker for those weird circumstances where people meet, especially when traveling. In this case, Hugo was planning a cross-country train trip with his girlfriend (Margaret Campell), when she surprisingly broke up with him. He decided to continue on the trip with the one caveat that that whole thing was nontransferable and booked under HER name. He needed a new Margaret Campbell, put out an ad, and found Mae. The vast majority of the book takes place on the train. I love the idea of this kind of journey, so reading about it was almost as good as doing it myself. I didn’t find it boring or repetitive to read about them talking and spending time one-on-one. Even though the side characters weren’t IN the story that much, they felt fully fleshed out. Alfie’s siblings (he’s a sextuplet!) and cute parents, […]

Review Round Up | Archenemies, The Vanishing Stair, and Two Can Keep a Secret

Posted February 28, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Round Up | Archenemies, The Vanishing Stair, and Two Can Keep a Secret

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! As usual, it took me a long time to read this one. The combo of me reading less physical copies AND the fact that this book was a million pages? Yeah, I spread this shit out. Luckily my book club was on the same page as me! We decided to read half of the book for our January meeting and finish the other half to chat about in February, just because we knew we’d struggle to finish. We procrastinate… it is what it is! After the first meeting on the 22nd, I kind of spread the rest of the book throughout the final 9-ish days of the month, reading a set number of pages per day. Interesting developments started happening near the halfway point too, which made me eager to read it… finally. (I got caught up a little bit trying to prepare for KING OF SCARS by reading CROOKED KINGDOM but I still managed to get this one done for the end of the month.) While it IS a long book, the story is super easy to read. I think this primarily speaks to the writing style of Marissa Meyer. Even though I enjoy her writing a lot, this book could have used a lot of […]

ARC Review: Daisy Jones and the Six

Posted February 22, 2019 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
ARC Review: Daisy Jones and the Six

I still have one more TJR book to read that I’ve been holding on to for years now, just in case of emergency, but I still managed to read two books by her in 2018. I read her short story and this… I knew I couldn’t wait until closer to the release date. The vibe of the book seemed to be more in line with EVELYN HUGO than her traditional contemporary love stories like AFTER I DO, so I was pretty optimistic. I’ll be honest – the first 30% of the book felt a bit generic to me. I was getting nervous but had faith she’d turn it around, like I knew she could or would. The story goes back and forth, introducing Daisy and tho other band members in The Six. There was a lot of “background” information and then stereotypical rockstar stuff. Sex, drugs, drama – the usual. I wasn’t overly impressed or excited but again, I was optimistic. The “generic rock star” bent didn’t really improve or change THAT much but I’ll admit that things did get more intricate The stories from each of the members of the band, plus some staff/crew mixed in, blended together seamlessly to show where every single one of their heads were at. It’s like a successful version of All of This is True – people sharing their perspectives in an interwoven narrative. I love the format of “piecing together” a book through emails, lyrics, interviews, and more… It’s such a fun […]

ARC Reviews: The Au Pair and I Owe You One

Posted February 14, 2019 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Au Pair and I Owe You One

I’ve been requesting and reading an absurd about of books from Berkley / Berkley Romance lately. I can’t stop myself. EVERYTHING they put out has an adorable or intriguing premise, a cute cover, and/or a lot of buzz. I was initially interested in THE AU PAIR but held off on requesting it (somehow)… then I saw Cristina’s review. I don’t have a lot of success with mystery/thrillers in the sense that I don’t always rate them highly. I love reading them, but my expectations are always higher than reality. I’m going to include a snapshot of her review because it perfectly describes how I feel about this genre and my struggles/wishes: In today’s over saturated world of mediocre thrillers, it can be hard to find one that simultaneously manages to surprise me and that’s well written. So many thriller novels I actually find work better for me in a movie format, so I’m always on a hunt for a solidly written mystery/thriller that manages to create an unsettling, atmospheric world on the page. That’s exactly what I experienced with The Au Pair to my delight, and found myself completely immersed in a mystery that not only enveloped me in its setting, but actually had an ending that I didn’t foresee in advance. – The Au Pair review at Girl in the Pages I actually enjoyed a somewhat mysterious (more contemporary-ish, but you get the point) book earlier this year that was also set in England AND involved some kind of castle/huge house… so this […]

ARC Review: Just for Clicks

Posted February 7, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: Just for Clicks

Initial Excitement & Summary I was sold on the premise of this one right from the beginning because it’s weirdly something I think about a lot. Let me first say that people can make their own decisions and this is just MY opinion – but I can’t imagine sharing so much about my children online without their consent. I can see posting some pictures or talking about a few things, but having them reach a certain level of fame before they’re old enough to make their own decisions? That’s hard for me to figure out. One of my favorite YouTubers has said that she won’t feature her children on her channel until they’re old enough to understand and decide for themselves, which is probably what I’d do (aside from some pictures here and there). But I digress! The storyline fascinated me because it’s definitely going to be an area of contention going forward, as more and more people live SO much of their lives online. This book focused on twin daughters of a famous fashion blogger and how they were essentially pressured into creating their own vlog channel and following in their mother’s footsteps. Story & Characters I like that this story was both fluffy and young while also having some more serious topics involved. Claire is struggling with her identity because her life has been shaped by her mom’s blog. She’s famous because she’s a twin and is forced to participate in vlogs and Instagram posts all the time… […]

Rose Gardner Mysteries

Posted January 30, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Rose Gardner Mysteries

As you saw in my recent post about cozy mysteries and September TBR, I’ve been itching for books featuring small-town heroines solving murders and being annoying too innocent. The first series I embarked on was the Rose Gardner Mystery books, novellas, and eventually spin-off series. I don’t want to do full-blown reviews like I have in other series binge reviews, so here are some highlights on the whole thing.    |  |      |  |    |  |  These books did somewhat remind me of the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries movies that I love so much, but the town, local job, and main character don’t have the same appeal to me. I appreciated getting to know more about Rose and others in the town throughout the series though. Overall, the entire series got more and more interesting, complex, and BETTER with each story. Main characters Rose was overly innocent and naive, especially in the first book. She was under her mom’s thumb like nobody’s business and then went in the complete opposite direction when she was murdered (this was a good thing overall – her independence). The books were quite southern, which is generally not my cup of tea for whatever reason, but I was able to get used to it. I don’t know how to describe it but I was often frustrated by Rose as a character – her dialogue, interactions with people, and the way she was written overall. If I wasn’t determined to read this series and give […]