Aug 15

Review of The Unexpected Everything

Book Reviews 0 ★★★½

I picked this book up at a steal ($3.99 for the hardcover) at Books-A-Million last year, and then when I realized one of the 2018 books I was looking at – Save the Date, if anyone is curious – was by the same author I decided I really needed to pull it out and read it. Then come to find out said Morgan Matson also wrote Since You’ve Been Gone, which was EXTREMELY popular yet I still haven’t read and apparently I hadn’t paid any attention at all to who wrote it…anyway. Small book world!

Review of The Unexpected EverythingThe Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson, Морган Мэтсон
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on May 3, 2016
Genres: Modern, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 519
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Goodreads three-half-stars
one-flame

Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?

The Unexpected Everything

Cute. Fluffy. Dogs. Sounds like an awesome time, right? I adore dogs and I’ve even contemplated trying to establish a dog-walking business myself to bring in some side hustle cash, so I thought for sure I would love this book! I kind of did…and I kind of didn’t. There is one huge, glaring issue in particular, but…

Good Things First:

Dogs! Obviously.

Andie isn’t even particularly a dog person before the story starts, but after a chance encounter with one she quickly gets lured in. PUPPY LOVE! Anyone who can resist is either heartless or allergic. 😛 Anyway.

Friends! Andie and her three best girlfriends are tight. They care so much about each other, it just leaps off the page. I love the way the group texts were presented in the hard copy of the book, complete with emojis. It was awesome and hysterical and oh-so-accurate.

Cute. Andie and Clark are SO different and yet they work and are adorable together.

Andie is a sexual being and it is portrayed in a POSITIVE light. I loved this. For far too long it’s been the THING for guys to be players and have casual hookups and be cheered for doing so, while if a girl does the same she’s a slut. Not so here. Andie does have emotional struggles, which contribute to her inability (in the beginning) to connect with any of her boyfriends much beyond a fun and physical level. Even when she does begin to realize that oh hey, feelings are ok even if they’re sometimes annoying, she still enjoys the physical side of things. YES! The book doesn’t go into too much detail and is pretty tame as far as sexual stuff really, but the implications are there.

Not Great Stuff:

This book is nothing but a HUGE basketful of privilege. White privilege, rich privilege, political privilege, straight privilege…all of it. This smacked me in the face even though yes, I’m white and straight. I am not and have never been from the kind of world this book exists in – where all teenagers have their own cars, the newest phones, perfectly safe neighborhoods, huge houses, don’t NEED a job but only work one to avoid boredom…WTF. There are no characters of any other nationality or color, or sexual identity. Like they don’t even exist. WHAT WORLD DO YOU LIVE IN?!? I was extremely bothered and this aspect alone is what brings my rating down. I understand that sure, in some places, this is how people live. But the characters in this book don’t seem to have any idea of how well off they are, or that there’s anything special about their lives. I guess, maybe, that this is supposed to be a light-hearted, escapism type read…but even if so I just can’t buy it. It’s not okay and I am extremely disappointed. I’m not sure I will be trying anymore Matson books. Looking at the other reviews on GoodReads, I seem to be one of the only people bothered by this aspect…so maybe I’m oversensitive or something. But it just rubbed me wrong.

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If you really enjoyed reading and would like to show your support for future content and help keep the blog running (my goal is to make the blog self-supporting), consider using the affiliate links on this page to buy your next book, or donate to the blog using one of the links below!

 

three-half-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Aug 14

Stacking the Shelves [2]

Books/Writing 0

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I’ve decided to join in with the Stacking the Shelves meme from Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality! Probably not every week, as I often go weeks without buying books at present, but it’s fun to see what deals I’ve managed to find and what stuff I get to splurge on.

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We are all book lovers and the need to share our enthusiasm is sometimes overwhelming. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

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Again with the ebooks this week! No new NetGalleys, but I did snag quite a few freebies! A lot of the free ones are outside my usual tastes, but I like to get them so I have choices for every possible reading mood that might strike. Hehe!

     

The Captain’s Bluestocking Mistress (free) – a bluestocking is something like a scholar, so I’m intrigued. When I feel the need for a romance I might pick this up.

Conjure (The Hoodoo Apprentice #1) (free) – hmmmm. Pirates, soul eating, demon dogs?

The Replacement Crush (free) – IT’S ABOUT A BOOK BLOGGER. Therefore I must read it regardless of content. I don’t think I’ve heard of any other books about book bloggers specifically!

Royally Screwed (Royally #1) – I’ve wanted to read this ever since it first came out. But I’m too embarrassed to carry around books with shirtless men on their covers…so I finally bought the ebook.

Mountains Beyond Mountains – I was turned onto this book in my anthropology class last semester. A medical doctor who travels the world learning and caring for other cultures? Sounds like a role model to me.

A Morbid Taste for Bones (Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #1) – because it was on sale for $1.99, and I occasionally get a burning need for cozy mysteries.

Flight of a Witch (Felse Investigations #3) – see above reason. Also,  did NOT realize this was #3 of this particular series when I bought it. Whoops.

 

And that’s it for this week! Yes, I’m a couple of days late posting…oops. Oh well. What sort of deals and steals have you found for your shelf lately?

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If you really enjoyed reading and would like to show your support for future content and help keep the blog running (my goal is to make the blog self-supporting), consider using the affiliate links on this page to buy your next book, or donate to the blog using one of the links below!

 

 

 

 

 

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Aug 13

Review of The Royal Runaway

Book Reviews 0 ★★★

Review of The Royal RunawayThe Royal Runaway by Lindsay Emory
Published by Gallery Books on October 9, 2018
Genres: Modern, Romance
Pages: 304
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Goodreads three-stars
one-half-flames

For fans of The Princess Diaries and The Royal We comes a fun and daring novel about a modern-day princess who teams up with a spy to find out what happened to the fiancé who left her at the altar—and who just might get her own fairytale in the process.

Princess Theodora Isabella Victoria of Drieden of the Royal House Laurent is so over this princess thing.

After her fiancé jilted her on their wedding day, she’s finally back home after spending four months in exile—aka it’s back to press conferences, public appearances, and putting on a show for the Driedish nation as the perfect princess they expect her to be. But Thea’s sick of duty. After all, that’s what got her into this mess in the first place.

So when she sneaks out of the palace and meets a sexy Scot named Nick in a local bar, she relishes the chance to be a normal woman for a change. But just as she thinks she’s found her Prince Charming for the night, he reveals his intentions are less than honorable: he’s the brother of her former fiancé, a British spy, and he’s not above blackmail. As Thea reluctantly joins forces with Nick to find out what happened the day her fiancé disappeared, together they discover a secret that could destroy a centuries-old monarchy and change life as they know it.

Funny, fast-paced, and full of more twists and turns than the castle Thea lives in, The Royal Runaway is a fresh romantic comedy that will leave you cheering for the modern-day royal who chucks the rulebook aside to create her own happily-ever-after.

Fluffy. A little bit funny, a lot ridiculous. Requires much more suspension of disbelief than my usual picks, but even still it was entertaining enough to finish. The title feels a bit misleading, as Thea never really seems to run away…she just sort of flounces off and disappears for a few days but doesn’t really go far. But anyway…

The plot is a bit…farfetched. Hence the required suspension of disbelief. The locale is obviously based on England, but the author has invented another country (I suppose so no one can say she’s dissing the actual British royal family?) and culture. Said country and culture is pretty much England…except England is also mentioned. Color me confused, for the first few chapters until I gave up trying to understand and just rolled with it. Then there is the issue of Princess Thea’s fiance’ abandoning her at the altar, and all the other super-secret-squirrel-stuff…and then there’s the other guy, who, yes, sounds hot, but in a very generic sense. Oh well, it was still cute.

I struggled a bit to really connect with and feel for the characters. Both Thea and Nick are just kind of…flat. Not in an annoying way, there just didn’t seem to be a lot there other than Nick’s oh-so-attractive-secretiveness about his past life and Thea’s terribly, exhausting choices between family duty and her heart’s desires. Oooookay, first world problems much? That is, at least, pointed out in the book. Thea needed a backbone. Nick needed to think more with his big head instead of his little one, all James Bond style.

The end was a little rushed, but it tied up all the loose ends nicely. All in all The Royal Runaway was a light, quick and easy read but without a whole lot of substance – which sometimes is exactly what is needed.

Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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If you really enjoyed reading and would like to show your support for future content and help keep the blog running (my goal is to make the blog self-supporting), consider using the affiliate links on this page to buy your next book, or donate to the blog using one of the links below!

 

three-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Aug 08

Ask a Reader Tag

Books/Writing 0

I decided to play along with the Ask A Reader tag from Charis Rae over at Reading. Writing. Wandering. I saw this a couple of weeks ago and it reminded me of WHY I got into blogging in the first place – because I love books and reading, pure and simple! So here we go.

      1. What sparked your love for reading?

I have literally loved books for as long as I can remember. My mom and dad taught me to read when I was three years old, and I remember the first “real” book I read being some little easy reader about a little boy and a snowman or a snowstorm. Sadly I have no idea what book it was! But I was off to the races and I’ve never stopped ever since!

        2. Where do you get your books?

Anywhere I can! If I’m buying, usually Amazon, but I much prefer to support my local bookstore when it’s not something I need right here right now. I do hate that local stores are usually more expensive…I’m pinching my pennies so paying an extra $2 makes me cringe…but I do really try!! My ebooks are all from Barnes and Noble since I have a Nook.

         3. Where do you read?

My favorite place is in a comfy reading chair, in a secluded corner of my house. Or in my bed. Or in a porch swing on a warm day with a slight breeze and lots of sunshine.

         4. When do you read?

Whenever I feel like it and DON’T feel guilty that I should be doing something else!

         5. What genres do you read?

Mostly YA at present. Within that I enjoy fantasy, historical, steampunk, mystery, and occasionally some contemporary. I also enjoy historical and mystery novels in general.

         6. What are your favorite childhood reads?

This is a hard question. My reading choices were severely limited growing up (yay fundamentalist cult…the fear of ideas is a powerful thing and it’s one of the reasons I’m so passionate about the Read Banned Books projects). I did read Johanna Spyri’s Heidi over and over. Also Anne of Green Gables. I got my hands on some of the American Girl books at one point, but my mom quickly decided those were giving me “rebellious ideas” and they got taken away. Harry Potter was burned in one of the church groups my family was in…I didn’t read those until I was in my late 20s. I still feel like I missed a huge chunk of childhood.

         7. What are your favorite books?

Oh god, this question. So many. The Raven Cycle, the Lunar Chronicles, Dublin Murder Squad, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings…here, just look at my favs shelf on GoodReads! LOL

         8. Do you read fast or slow?

Pretty fast. I just don’t have enough time to do it!

         9. Do you set reading goals? What are they?

I usually set a numbers goal every year (52 for 2018), and I try to participate in some challenges. I’m not always successful, haha. I have more luck with just the numbers.

       10. How do you track your reads?

Just on GoodReads, really. I catalog my physical library on LibraryThing.

       11. Do you binge-read?

Not really anymore! I used to. Sometimes I get the urge, but again, time.

       12. Do you fall in love with characters?

Oh hell yes. Jamie Fraser, Rhysand, Ronan Lynch, Mr. Knightley…

       13. Do you buddy-read?

I really don’t! I feel like it’s so much pressure. What if I take forever to finish the book, or if I finish waaaaay before them…what if we have vastly differing opinions…gah.

       14. Do you re-read?

Absolutely. Re-reading is the best comfort food available.

       15. What’s the best thing about being a reader?

Getting to see the world from someone else’s viewpoint, experiencing to some extent different places in the world, seeing that people are people regardless of their religion, sexual orientation, or color.

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Well, that was fun! I hope you enjoyed reading my version of the Ask a Reader tag. If anyone is reading this and wants to join in and reminisce about all the reasons we love reading, consider yourself tagged. 🙂

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Aug 06

Review of the Upside of Unrequited

Book Reviews 0 ★★★½

I was looking forward to this book SOOO much! I had such high expectations and hopes…some of which panned out, some of which didn’t. Regardless, I hope you enjoy my review of The Upside of Unrequited.

Review of the Upside of UnrequitedThe Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Published by Balzer + Bray on April 11, 2017
Pages: 336
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Goodreads three-half-stars
one-flame

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

Molly is a mess. A shy, self-conscious, boy-obsessed mess. She’s seventeen, has never had a boyfriend or even kissed a boy, and she hates it. She has had twenty-six crushes, none of which panned out for her. She thinks and worries (and people often comment along the same lines) that she is fat, too fat to be attractive to any boys.

First of all – geez louise! I know I was definitely more relationship and (in my case) boy obsessed when I was sixteen, seventeen, or eighteen years old than I am now or have ever been since, but DEAR GOD ALMIGHTY it is literally all this girl thinks about. She has a couple of other interests, but appears to have never given even a slight thought to what she wants to do with those interests after high school. College is mentioned, but only as an annoyance, because of adults asking what colleges she has applied to. Goals? What are goals? It seems so odd to have little to no interest in one’s future. I also remember that four years felt like an eternity at seventeen, or even at twenty-two. So I get some of that – but not all. Molly just seems so extremely focused on boys, their attractiveness, their potential to be boyfriend or hookup material…it seems excessive and concerned me. If she was a friend of mine I would be staging an intervention, not trying to goad her on or set her up with whatever eligible guy I could find.

That said, of course most people want to be a relationship of some kind, with another person or people. There are many different kinds of relationships – MANY of which are modeled in this book, hurray! Everyone deserves to be happy and to be loved. However, I think it’s very unhealthy to look to a relationship for one’s happiness. Another person can never make you happy if you are unhappy with yourself – as Molly definitely seems to be, despite her moms and other friends constantly trying to build up her self worth. However, Molly tends to be very selfish and focused inward, only looking at situations from the point of view of how they effect HER.

Molly especially struggles with her twin sister’s new relationship. She becomes jealous of Cassie’s girlfriend and all the time they spend together. Just like we have all had the friend who started dating someone new and fell off the face of the earth. Eventually she does realize that this is a season, and that things will change throughout their lives, and she comes more to terms with her sister having a life separate from her.

We might see each other every day. We might see each other once a year. Maybe it will ebb and flow and change with the decades. Maybe we’ll never pin it down. I think every relationship is actually a million relationships.

^Best quote of the book, there. Not that Cassie is an angel, by any means. While Molly clearly adores her twin, Cassie also takes advantage of her in a lot of ways and is rather insensitive to her feelings.

GOOD STUFF:

Lots, and lots of diverse representation – LOTS! Molly has two moms, one of which is bisexual, there are gay, lesbian, and pansexual characters, as well as people of all different ethnic backgrounds. It made my heart happy.

Mental health treatment. Molly takes medication for her mental health. It’s not made a big deal of, it is just NORMAL, and I think that is so important.

Excellent writing – the style was entertaining and easy to read. I read this in less than 3 hours, not counting breaks. Will definitely pick up another of Albertalli’s books.

I just could not get on board with Molly, even while I did understand that some of what seemed to be selfishness was really anxiety. Anxiety can sometimes makes people appear to be selfish when really what they’re worried about is taking care of someone, or worried they will offend or hurt someone. I felt bad for her, but I was horrified by the implications of the conclusion, even if it was sweet and made me say “Awwwww!” for a few seconds. The content and conclusion are what really made me lower my rating, the writing itself was quite excellent. So, I’ll give the author another try and see.

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If you really enjoyed reading and would like to show your support for future content and help keep the blog running (my goal is to make the blog self-supporting), consider using the affiliate links on this page to buy your next book, or donate to the blog using one of the links below!

three-half-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Aug 04

Stacking the Shelves [1]

Books/Writing 0

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I’ve decided to join in with the Stacking the Shelves meme from Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality! Probably not every week, as I often go weeks without buying books at present, but it’s fun to see what deals I’ve managed to find and what stuff I get to splurge on.

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We are all book lovers and the need to share our enthusiasm is sometimes overwhelming. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

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This week everything I got was an electronic version! Which is absolutely fine, I love stockpiling my Nook and of course NetGalley copies are always fun. If a copy was free or a review ARC I’ve noted it – no guarantees the ebooks will STILL be free, but they were when I got them.

The 19th Wife – Have wanted to pick this up, at some point, for a very long time. One of these days I’ll get around to reading it.

The Crooked Path – This just sounded interesting at the time.

The Bonesetter’s Daughter – I’ve wanted to read something by Amy Tan for ages! Now I have no excuse other than there aren’t enough hours in the day.

Ella, The Slayer (free) – Errrrm…so sue me, I thought the cover was pretty. Also I can’t resist free ebooks.

More Than Friends (free) – This sounded like a cute, fluffy read, so I snagged it even though it’s the second in a series. All the reviews I read said it wasn’t necessary to read the first.

Annie on My Mind – Planning for Banned Books Week. Apparently this book just caused people to go apoplectic.

Beneath a Highland Moon (free) – You never know when you might need a good bodice-ripper.

The Royal Runaway (review) – This sounded cute and funny.

Toil and Trouble (review) – And THIS, sounded awesome! I can’t wait!

Improper Cross-Stitch (review) – I love to make ALL the things, and quirky cross-stitch is one of my favs. Super excited to read this.

Fizz, Boom, Bath! (review) – Again, making stuffs! I actually got to try one of the bath bombs these girls made for a long ago OwlCrate, and it was amazing. I really should learn to make my own.

That’s it, folks! Kind of an odd mashup, and not my usual YA fare, but interesting books nonetheless. I hope you enjoyed seeing what I’ve added to my shelf recently. Any of these on your TBR?

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If you really enjoyed reading and would like to show your support for future content and help keep the blog running (my goal is to make the blog self-supporting), consider using the affiliate links on this page to buy your next book, or donate to the blog using one of the links below!

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Aug 02

Review of The Girl in the Tower

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★★

I loved Katherine Arden’s debut, the first book in this series, The Bear and the Nightingale. Absolutely gorgeous. Heartbreakingly amazing. You can check out my review of that book here, and this review does NOT contain spoilers for the first book! I’m catching up on reviews a little, as I actually read this one back in September from an ARC.

 

Katherine Arden is to date one of my favorite authors, and I have high hopes that she will keep it that way. I was thrilled to see that she has a middle-grade novel coming out in September, called Small Spaces. I don’t read much MG but it sounds deliciously spooky and exactly like the kind of thing I loved to read at that age, so it’s on my list!

 

 

Review of The Girl in the TowerThe Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy, #2) by Katherine Arden
Published by Del Rey on December 5, 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 363
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Goodreads five-stars

The magical adventure begun in The Bear and the Nightingale continues as brave Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

“There were no heroes,” said Vasya between her teeth. “There was only me.”

The Girl in the Tower continues the story of Vasya, the child called a witch and shunned by her own rural village. This time it takes place mostly in Moscow, and at last we are able to continue the stories of some of Vasya’s other family members as well. A great evil is stealing across the land, stealing the daughters of the people, and someone must do something about it. The lords are growing restless and angry with the tzar for not keeping their people safe.

The detail and atmosphere in the story have once again managed to amaze and enthrall me. Arden manages to blur the line between fantasy and fiction in such a way that, while the mind “knows” that these things could not happen as written, perhaps…perhaps…perhaps they might have, or could. Taking old stories, and superstitions and tales that are Russian in origin, but often familiar in some form across the globe, the tale told is one that resonates on a deep level and often sends chills down the spine.

Witch. The word drifted across his mind. We call such women so, because we have no other name.

Vasya is still my sister from another mother, with spunk and intelligence far beyond her age. She refuses to be discouraged or held down by societal expectations, choosing instead to carve her own path in the world. It’s a difficult way, but one that sets her soul on fire. She is growing older in this part of the story, coming into womanhood with all of its medieval troubles, which typically far outweigh its charms.

The plot does seem to be a little slow, but that only occurred to me later after I finished reading. While I was reading I was so immersed and entranced by the Vasya’s world that I did not care. There is action, emotion, and worldbuilding in this book and all are artfully done. Highly recommend.

Many thanks to Del Ray for providing an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.

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If you really enjoyed reading and would like to show your support for future content and help keep the blog running (my goal is to make the blog self-supporting), consider using the affiliate links on this page to buy your next book, or donate to the blog using one of the links below!

 

five-stars

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Jul 24

Changing Things Up

Books/Writing, Life 0

Yes, the blog is coming back to life! You can look for more regular reviews and profiles starting in August, but for now here are two big changes:

An Actual Email Newsletter

I’m super excited about this! I’ve had this as an idea kicking around for QUITE some time, but just hadn’t had the time to put into setting it up. NO MORE! There will be a weekly or less newsletter (so less e-mails than if you subscribed via WordPress), also with exclusive content that won’t appear on the blog. You can, of course, still subscribe to the blog feed through WordPress, or Bloglovin (links in the sidebar over there>>>), but this way will have all the barebones info about reviews, profiles, and giveaways in one place – and you can always click through to the blog for more details. So make sure you subscribe. 😉 Look for the first newsletter around August 1st!

Disqus Commenting

I’m giving the Disqus comment system a try. Kind of by accident…something happened when I did some updating and reformatting, and suddenly Disqus was the only comment system there. Whoops. BUT, after doing a little research, I decided to keep it! At least for a few months. I like the CommentLuv system for sharing posts with comments, but it seems finicky (I only get it to work on other blogs, for myself, about half of the time), where Disqus seems much more dependable and consistent – AND, you don’t have to have an account. It’s nice to have one, because then you can see all your comments, along with any replies to them, in one place! Let me know what you think, and what other comments systems you like.

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Jul 23

Review of Finding Fraser

Book Reviews 0 ★★★

Review of Finding FraserGenres: Romance
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Goodreads three-stars
one-half-flames

Sometimes searching for true love can be a little...Outlandish.

I met Jamie Fraser when I was nineteen years old. He was tall, red-headed, and at our first meeting at least, a virgin. I fell in love hard, fast and completely. He knew how to ride a horse, wield a sword and stitch a wound. He was, in fact, the perfect man.

That he was fictional hardly entered into it.

At 29, Emma Sheridan's life is a disaster and she's tired of waiting for the perfect boyfriend to step from the pages of her favorite book. There's only one place to look, and it means selling everything and leaving her world behind. With an unexpected collection of allies along the way, can Emma face down a naked fishmonger, a randy gnome, a perfidious thief, and even her own abdominal muscles on the journey to find her Fraser?

I bought this book when it came out from Baker about three years ago, due to Diana Gabaldon’s mention of it on her page. Fanfiction approved by the author? Intriguing. Could be great. Could be really freakin’ awful.

This is me at the end of the book. This is a huge improvement over the me in evidence about 60 pages in, which was more like:

Let me explain.

Good things first. The writing is smooth, descriptions are detailed but not too much. I could see the places Emma was going in my mind, I could picture the people she was meeting. Great! Also I love all things Scotland, but I try really hard to keep a real and not touristy view of the country, and I think Dyer did a great job of bringing this out in the book. The story – once a certain amount of suspension of disbelief was applied – was amusing. I laughed out loud several times. The author is good at making even secondary characters different enough to remember (even if a couple of them turn out more caricature-like than I would prefer).

It’s a fluffy, fast read. Actually, this is the first non-academic book I’ve finished in months, and I finished it in one evening (stayed up almost three hours past my usual bedtime to do so). So, if fluffy, ridiculous, entertaining books are your thing or you need a break from your usual thing, this book might do it for you. Please bear in mind, it pretty much reads like a fanfiction. Because…well, it is! It was approved/allowed by Diana Gabaldon, due to the heavy influence of her Outlander books on the writing. Ahem. I.e., FANFICTION. If you haven’t read at least the first Outlander book, much of this one will make absolutely no sense and no doubt engender even more eye-rolling than it did for me (I love the Outlander series with a passion).

Now the reason for the Anger. Please excuse my undeniable urge to use caps.

WHAT THE EFF CENTURY ARE WE IN, THAT OUR MAIN CHARACTER DEDICATES HER ENTIRE LIFE TO FINDING A MATE?!? Are you freaking kidding me right now?!?

I think Emma needed a counselor more than she needed a trip to Scotland. She was clearly suffering from a horrible lack of self worth due to constantly comparing herself to her highly successful (and younger) sister, and by a chronic tendancy to derive her self worth from the amount of male attention she received or could obtain.

What, exactly, has Emma been doing with her life? I tried to figure it out, as just because one works at Starbucks at the age of 30 does not mean one has wasted one’s life. Things happen, circumstances change…maybe I just missed it, but Emma seems unable to have pursued anything other than boyfriends with any real vigor.

No. Just no. Okay, so I still love a good HEA and cutesy romantic stuff as much as the next person…sometimes. When it is warranted. In this case, I chose to finish the book and suspend by disbelief/outrage/horror at Emma’s underlying reasoning for “searching for her Jamie,” and was able to somewhat enjoy the rest.

I gave three stars because of the quality of the writing, but I wouldn’t read it again. Give me a book with a female MC with LIFE GOALS, not man goals.

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three-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Jul 19

2018 Books I’m Dying to Read

Books/Writing 0

This year has not been a great one for my reading! I’ve been reading…but reading required stuff for school. I had sort of forgotten about that aspect of college classes. 😛 Very inconvenient, that. So basically, all these fabulous new books have come out and I HAVEN’T READ A SINGLE ONE. Not even the ones I pre-ordered!

I keep reminding myself that this is a temporary – albeit going to be a VERY long temporary – season and one day I will have time to read all the things I want again. I’m actually enjoying school very much and it’s going very well! I just have to prioritize my time and energy and…well. I care too much about my GPA to put anything except my family in front of it. That said, AUGUST IS COMING. And with August is coming a month-long break from classes.

I have SO earned it, people. Hopefully during that month, I will get to at least a handful of these amazing-sounding new 2018 books! All covers link to GoodReads.

 

 

THIS BOOK. Viking shield-maidens, betrayals, forbidden love? YES PLEASE. On my shelf since release, it’s coming with me on vacation. It sounds amazing and I keep seeing new great reviews for it!

 

 

 

 

Another one already on my shelf. This one seems to turn ALL the stereotypes for historical and even alternate history books on their respective heads. I can’t wait. It, also, sounds amazing! Sorry, you’ll have to bear with me repeatedly using that word because these are all just making me squeal with anticipation like a little kid.

 

 

 

 

 

Yet another one that is already on my shelf…still unread. Ahem. I had to get this one because I loved Marsh’s YA debut, Fear the Drowning Deep. Necromancy, bisexuality, and monsters…sign me up. Must. Read. Faster.

 

 

 

 

 

I have been waiting for this book since I finished When Dimple Met Rishi – which was fabulous, and I am sure this one will be just as fabulous. OMG. Why can I not have a 48 hour day? And keep my sleep needs the same, thankyouverymuch.

 

 

 

 

 

EEEEEEEEE!!! It’s finally here, it’s finally here! I snickered and guffawed my way through My Lady Jane, so I am delighted to read these awesome authors’ take on Jane Eyre. I’m convinced it will be just as amazing, lighthearted, and fun.

 

 

 

There are TONS more books that sound phenomenal out this year. If you want you can check out my entire 2018 release list on GoodReads, and please share some of your favorites – whether you’ve read them already or still waiting – in the comments!

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[Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you click on a link and purchase something I’ve talked about or recommended, I’ll receive a very small percentage of the sale. Please see my disclosure policy for more info.]If you really enjoyed reading and would like to show your support for future content and help keep the blog running (my goal is to make the blog self-supporting), consider using the affiliate links on this page to buy your next book, or donate to the blog using one of the links below!

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