Genre: Young Adult

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 / 2 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 […]

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 / 7 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 / 4 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 […]