Geekerella by Ashley Poston – ARC Review

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Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

 


Review

Geekerella by Ashley Poston went on my wish list the moment I first heard about it, back in November. So when Penguin Random House asked me if I wanted an ARC I was pretty excited. Not only is this book a Cinderella retelling (and you guys all know how much I love retellings) but it is also a book that focuses on fandom! Being a pretty geeky girl, that has been involved in multiple fandoms since I was a kid, I always love reading books that have a focus on fandom. Geekerella was such an adorable, cute, and fun read. It was everything I expected it to be and more.

 

The two main characters, Elle and Darien, were both very well written and relatable. Elle, short for Danielle, is our Cinderella. She lives with her stepmother and two stepsisters, and feels incredibly isolated and alone. However instead of letting that make her weak or keep her down it motivates her to work hard and find a way out. Elle’s escape is Starfield, a Sci-Fi TV show, and she is heavily involved in the fandom. When Elle is lonely she turns to Starfield and the fandom, it helps her feel less alone and helps her to feel like she’s part of something. I really related to that aspect of Elle, as I suspect most fandom loving people will. I loved Elle as a character, she was funny and sarcastic and very well rounded.

 

Darien, our other main character and “prince charming”, is an actor starring in the new Starfield Movie. He’s also a huge Starfield fan, but his manager has him pretending that he doesn’t know much about Starfield which in turn makes him pretty disliked by the die-hard fans. Darien’s character was sweet and fun, he was definitely my favorite. There were also a few really great side characters as well, which in my opinion is one of the things that make a good book into a great book. Sage was my favorite side character, her “no bullshit” attitude and humor was really entertaining.

 

The romance between Elle and Darien was sweet and pretty cute. At first they get to know each other via texting. I wasn’t into the texting at first, but it definitely grew on me as I got further into the novel. It wasn’t a Rose and Jack level (Titanic) romance, but it was cute and perfect for spring. As for the plot, Poston managed to include all of the major Cinderella plot points in her own unique way. It was well paced and interesting. It was pretty predictable, but that didn’t bother me. After all, there are only so many things you can do with a contemporary YA Cinderella retelling.

 

My absolute favorite aspect of the book though was the fandom. Poston did such a great job creating Starfield and integrating the fandom into the story. Her portrayal of the online fandom was really accurate and well done. I also loved how real Starfield felt, and how both Elle and Darien’s love for Starfield really shined throughout the entire novel –anyone that is passionate about a particular book/movie/series will relate to just how much both of these characters loved Starfield.

 

Overall I don’t think that there is a single thing that I would change about this novel. I absolutely loved it. If you’ve ever watched the movie A Cinderella Story and enjoyed it than chances are you will enjoy this book. If you’re a geek/nerd like me and are involved in fandoms than chances are you will enjoy this book. If you’re just looking for a fun, light, and cute spring/summer read than chances are you will enjoy this book. If you’re a fan of fairytale retellings than chances are you will enjoy this book. This one was a solid 5/5 stars for me, and I definitely recommend it.

 

January Wrap Up

Before I get into my January wrap up I want to give a brief explanation, since my blog has quite a few followers that aren’t active in the book blogging/online community and won’t know what it is. So, for those of you that don’t know wrap ups are done at the end of each month, and basically you just go over all of the books that you read that month. I’ll list each book, their summaries, and my thoughts and rating, as well as when I read each book. If only one date is listed then that means that I read the book in a single sitting. Now without any further ado I’ll just jump right in.

 


 

23310751Title: First and Then by Emma Mills

Summary: Devon Tennyson wouldn’t change a thing. She’s happy watching Friday night games from the bleachers, silently crushing on best friend Cas, and blissfully ignoring the future after high school. But the universe has other plans. It delivers Devon’s cousin Foster, an unrepentant social outlier with a surprising talent for football, and the obnoxiously superior and maddeningly attractive star running back, Ezra, right where she doesn’t want them: first into her P.E. class and then into every other aspect of her life. Pride and Prejudice meets Friday Night Lights in this contemporary novel about falling in love with the unexpected boy, with a new brother, and with yourself

Date Read: January 7th, 2017

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

My Thoughts: This was a nice, quick, easy read. It was cute and fun, and had a great cast of characters. I wish the ending had been a bit more developed, but overall this is a great book to pick up in between heavier reads.

 


 

26836910Title: The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

Summary: Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The girl who has grown up by her side and who is as much as sister as a master. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire…

Date Read: January 8th, 2017

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

My Thoughts: I devoured this book, it was just so addictive. When I first started reading it I was pretty unsure, Nemesis was just so cold and calculating. But she really grew throughout the book, and ended up being an amazing character. The plot itself was fast paced and kept you thinking, and there was a twist at the end that was just so perfect. I ended up taking half a star off because of the slow start, but that is really my only complaint for this one.

 


 

26116473Title: The Outliers by Kimberley McCreight

Summary: It all starts with a text: Please, Wylie, I need your help. Wylie hasn’t heard from Cassie in over a week, not since their last fight. But that doesn’t matter. Cassie’s in trouble, so Wylie decides to do what she has done so many times before: save her best friend from herself. This time it’s different, though. Instead of telling Wylie where she is, Cassie sends cryptic clues. And instead of having Wylie come by herself, Jasper shows up saying Cassie sent him to help. Trusting the guy who sent Cassie off the rails doesn’t feel right, but Wylie has no choice: she has to ignore her gut instinct and go with him. But figuring out where Cassie is goes from difficult to dangerous, fast. As Wylie and Jasper head farther and farther north into the dense woods of Maine, Wylie struggles to control her growing sense that something is really wrong. What isn’t Cassie telling them? And could finding her be only the beginning?

Date Read: January 9th, 2017

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Thoughts: It’s no secret amongst my friends and family that I get scared pretty easily, and this book really freaked me out while I was reading it –but in a fun way. It would be a perfect book to pick up around Halloween. It was fast paced and suspenseful, and ended on a wicked cliffhanger. I laughed, I cried, I was scared – this book had it all. I loved both Wylie and Jasper, their back and forth was great and I loved watching them become friends and learn how to rely on each other. The plot had so many twists and turns, it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.

 


 

22718685Title: Joyride by Anna Banks

Summary: A popular guy and a shy girl with a secret become unlikely accomplices for midnight pranking, and are soon in over their heads—with the law and with each other—in this sparkling standalone from NYT-bestselling author Anna Banks. It’s been years since Carly Vega’s parents were deported. She lives with her brother, studies hard, and works at a convenience store to contribute to getting her parents back from Mexico. Arden Moss used to be the star quarterback at school. He dated popular blondes and had fun with his older sister, Amber. But now Amber’s dead, and Arden blames his father, the town sheriff who wouldn’t acknowledge Amber’s mental illness. Arden refuses to fulfill whatever his conservative father expects. All Carly wants is to stay under the radar and do what her family expects. All Arden wants is to NOT do what his family expects. When their paths cross, they each realize they’ve been living according to others. Carly and Arden’s journey toward their true hearts—and one another—is funny, romantic, and sometimes harsh.

Date Read: January 10th, 2017

My Rating: 2/5 Stars

My Thoughts: This book started out really promising, it was funny and interesting. But about halfway through it fell flat, the plot didn’t develop and was completely predictable, the characters didn’t grow, and the humor stopped. The only reason why I read this one in a single sitting was because I knew that if I put it down I would never pick it back up again.

 


 

22571275Title: All Fall Down by Ally Carter

Summary: Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things: 1. She is not crazy. 2. Her mother was murdered. 3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay. As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her — so there’s no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands. Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can’t control Grace — no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

Date Read: January 11th, 2017

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

My Thoughts: This book wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. It was interesting enough to keep me reading, but not interesting enough to make me want to read the rest of the series. The main character, Grace, was pretty annoying. But there were a few characters that I did really enjoy, such as Grace’s best friend. Overall is was just okay.

 


 

16069030Title: The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Summary: As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

Date Read: January 11th, 2017

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts: This was actually the second book that I read in a single sitting on the 11th, and I’m glad that I read it that day because as mediocre as All Fall Down by Ally Carter was The Winner’s Curse was amazing and more than made up for All Fall Down. I can’t even begin to explain the absolute and complete but wonderful agony that reading this book was. I was completely caught off guard by the turn it took, and the ending was absolutely amazing and horrible. I don’t even know how to explain my thoughts on this book, because I don’t want to spoil anything. But trust me, you have to read this one.

 


 

24565038Title: Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis

Summary: Sixteen-year-old heiress and paparazzi darling Liddi Jantzen hates the spotlight. But as the only daughter in the most powerful tech family in the galaxy, it’s hard to escape it. So when a group of men shows up at her house uninvited, she assumes it’s just the usual media-grubs. That is, until shots are fired. Liddi escapes, only to be pulled into an interplanetary conspiracy more complex than she ever could have imagined. Her older brothers have been caught as well, trapped in the conduits between the planets. And when their captor implants a device in Liddi’s vocal cords to monitor her speech, their lives are in her hands: One word and her brothers are dead. Desperate to save her family from a desolate future, Liddi travels to another world, where she meets the one person who might have the skills to help her bring her eight brothers home—a handsome dignitary named Tiav. But without her voice, Liddi must use every bit of her strength and wit to convince Tiav that her mission is true. With the tenuous balance of the planets deeply intertwined with her brothers’ survival, just how much is Liddi willing to sacrifice to bring them back? Haunting and mesmerizing, this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Wild Swans strings the heart of the classic with a stunning, imaginative world as a star-crossed family fights for its very survival.

Date Read: January 12th to 13th, 2017

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

My Thoughts: I loved Lewis’ other novel, Stitching Snow, which was a Snow White retelling. While I didn’t love Spinning Starlight as much as I loved Stitching Snow, I still enjoyed it quite a bit. The world building was interesting, and the plot itself was decent. I enjoyed the way the chapters alternated between present day and flashbacks to Liddi growing up and her brothers. Unfortunately I felt that the ending was a bit rushed, and the romance in this one felt very instant and fast, and not natural to me.

 


 

21414439Title: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Summary: In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands. Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home. Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself. In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Date Read: January 13th to 17th, 2017

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

My Thoughts: It took me forever to get into this book. I didn’t really start to enjoy it until over half way through, and up until that point it really bored me. It took me a long time to grow attached to any of the characters; the multiple POVs played a part in that I think. However once it picked up it really picked up. I ended up really liking Iseult, but Safi never really grew on me. The ending was fast paced and interesting enough that I will probably give the second book in this series a chance.

 


 

27414431Title: Nemesis by Anna Banks

Summary: Princess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king’s servitude. Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But Mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined. Sepora’s gift may be able to save Tarik’s kingdom. But should she risk exposing herself and her growing feelings for her nemesis?

Date Read: January 17th, 2017

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Thoughts: I was nervous to read this one as I had read Joyride by Anna Banks earlier in the month and hadn’t liked it. But I was happily surprised by Nemesis, and really enjoyed it. The world this was set in was richly imagined, and I fell in love with it. The characters were well rounded and interesting. The plot was solid, and the ending was the perfect set up for a sequel. I had to take a star off because this book was completely predictable, but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable. I definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a fantasy and a romance to read.

 


 

28678119Title: Paper Princess by Erin Watt

Summary: From strip clubs and truck stops to southern coast mansions and prep schools, one girl tries to stay true to herself. These Royals will ruin you. Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone. Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from. Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals. He might be right. Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.

Date Read: January 18th, 2017

My Rating: 1/5 Stars

My Thoughts: I don’t often say this, in fact I’m not sure that I have ever said this, but this book was a complete waste of paper. If you’ve read and liked this book, I’m not trying to offend you. This is just my personal opinion. There was absolutely no plot. No really, it didn’t have one. The entire book consisted of the Royal Brothers belittling, bulling, and degrading Ella and various other female characters. The characters in the book went to parties, hooked up, and fought. Then the book ended. Seriously. The characters themselves were flat, vapid, and clichéd. I really hated this book, and the only reason I finished it was because I try to never leave a book unfished, and I try not to make a final decision on how good or horrible a book is unless I’ve read the entire thing –because some books do get better the further in you get.

 


 

27969081Title: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

Summary: Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives. I fall to my knees. Shattered glass, melted candles and the outline of scorched feathers are all that surround me. Every single person who was in my house – my entire family — is gone. Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange markings on his skin. The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland.

Date Read: January 18th to 20th, 2017

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

My Thoughts: While I didn’t love this book, I did really like it. Los Lagos was really neat, and definitely had an Alice in Wonderland feeling to it. The mythology and culture of brujas was incredibly interesting, and the main character’s family was wonderful. It was also a diverse read, as the main character is bisexual and Latina. However, parts of this book just fell a bit flat for me. The main character was selfish, and the romance felt forced. Overall it’s definitely worth reading, but just keep your expectations a bit lower.

 


 

28356624Title: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Summary: Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen. That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right. Half the time Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here – it’s their last year at Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up. Carry On is a love letter to love stories and the power of words – to every ‘chosen one’ who ever had more on their mind than saving the world

Date Read: January 20th to 22nd, 2017

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

My Thoughts: I absolutely loved this book… until the last 100 pages or so. The characters, world building, and use of magic were so unique and well done throughout the entire book. And then the last 100 pages… it all just kind of fell apart. At least in my opinion. It was enough for me to knock off two full stars from my rating.

 


 

17675462Title: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Summary: “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.” It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

Date Read: January 24th to 25th, 2017

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

My Thoughts: This was another book that started off slowly but got better as the book went along. There were so many great things about this book, I loved Blue and her family. Blue, the main character, lives with her mom, her mom’s three friends, and her cousin. It’s a houseful of women, and they are all physics. I loved the dynamic between all of them; it was probably my favorite part of the book. The four Raven Boys took me a while to warm up to, but I definitely grew to enjoy them as well. Blue herself was a great main character, and I loved her. One thing that I didn’t like was the constantly changing POV, it made it harder to get to know any one character because the POV kept switching. The plot of this one was a bit slow as well.


 

17347389Title: The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Summary: Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same. Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life. Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after.

Date Read: January 25th to 26th, 2017

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

My Thoughts: This was the sequel to The Raven Boys, and while I enjoyed it much more than I enjoyed the first book, it was still just okay. I did enjoy getting to know the characters more, and the plot was much more interesting than the plot of the first book. Overall it was good enough that I’ll probably read the third book at some point, but the series so far hasn’t been good enough that I feel the need to read the third book immediately.

 


 

Overall in the month of January I read 14 books, so it was definitely a good reading month for me. Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think of them?

 

 

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

Since my blog has quite a few followers that are not active in the online book community of blogging, bookstagram, or youtube, I want to start off by explaining what this post is going to be about. So for those of you that don’t know what a “tag” post is; it is a series of questions relating to a specific topic that one person creates and then “tags” people to answer. Those people answer the question and then “tag” other people to answer them, and so on and so forth.

 

This particular tag is well known; it is the Unpopular Opinions Book Tag and was created by The Book Archer on YouTube. As you have probably gathered from the name the questions all pertain to the person answering’s unpopular opinions about books. So without any further ado let’s get into it!

 

What is a popular book or series that you didn’t like?

I’m going to be extremely unpopular with my answer to this question, but one of my absolute least favorite book series ever also happens to be one of the most popular book series ever, and is therefore a perfect answer to this question. It’s The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Claire.

I know, I know. Most of you are probably throwing virtual rotten fruit at me right now. I valiantly tried to like this series, but I just never could. Cassandra Claire’s writing style was just not one that I could get into, I found the characters to be cheesy, and the plot to be predictable. In fact I hated this series so much that I have never bothered trying to read any of Cassandra Claire’s other work. Everyone has different taste, and if you loved this series then that is great! I just wasn’t able to.

 

What is a popular book or series that everyone else seems to hate but you love?

I struggled with this one a bit, because it’s hard to judge which books are unpopular as every book and series has people that love it and people that don’t. In the end I decided to go with the Dorothy Must Die series by Danielle Paige. I chose this series because I really enjoyed it, but its overall rating on Goodreads is only a 3/5 stars and most of my bookish friends didn’t like it.

 

What is a love triangle in a book or series where the main character ended up with the person you did not want them to end up with?

I’m going to start off by saying that I hate love triangles. I really hate them. It’s nearly impossible to completely avoid love triangles in YA books though since it is such a popular trope. On the occasion that I do read a book with a love triangle the main character usually ends up with the person that I want them to end up with. The only exception that I can think of at the moment is from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I don’t think I’ll be in danger of spoiling anyone by saying who I wanted Katniss to end up with, but just in case someone reading this hasn’t read the books or watched the movies I’ll just say that I wanted her to end up with the other guy.

 

What is a popular book genre that you hardly reach for?

I read a lot of different genres, but I do have my favorites and my least favorites. The genre or type of book that I usually go out of my way to avoid and hardly ever reach for though would have to be Urban Fantasy.

In case you don’t know what urban fantasy is here is a definition from Wikipedia; urban fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy defined by place; the fantastic narrative has a modern urban setting and is the opposite of regular fantasy which is set in an entirely fictitious world.

 

What is a popular or beloved character that you do not like?

There are quite a few popular or beloved characters that I didn’t like, in fact there are so many that I could probably make a separate post just listing them all. But for the sake of this post I tried to limit myself to a single one, and finally decided on Bella from Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series.

One of the main reasons I didn’t like Bella was because of her inability to function without Edward. It’s not romantic, it’s pathetic. Women all over the world have to live without their significant other every day. There are countless main characters in books that I have read that live through similar situations and continue on (Hermione Granger from Harry Potter comes to mind). There are other reasons why I didn’t like Bella as well, such as the fact that she has the personality of a potato.

 

Who is a popular author that you can’t seem to get into?

Once again this is a question that I could give multiple answers to. Cassandra Claire is the first one that comes to mind though. As I mentioned before when I talked about her Mortal Instruments series, I just don’t like her writing style. She has several other series and I haven’t been able to get into any of them.

 

What is a popular book trope that you are tired of seeing?

Since I already mentioned love triangles in this post I’ll go with the dystopian and/or futuristic world with a corrupt ruler trope. It’s been extremely popular in the last few years, and I’ve enjoyed many books with this trope in it. But it’s gotten to the point where I need a break from it, like that song you love that gets overplayed on the radio.

 

What is a popular book or series that you have no interest in reading?

I have no interest in reading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. On the surface it has everything I would normally be interested in, but for some reason I just don’t have any interest in reading this series. It’s long, which can be daunting. I also attempted to watch the TV show and did not like it at all, which is probably did not help with the whole not wanting to read the books thing.

 

What is a movie or TV show adaption of a book or series that you like more than the book/s?

This one is incredibly easy to answer. I absolutely love the Game of Thrones TV series. I’ve read the books as well, but the TV show is amazing and I love it. The books are full of detail and complicated plot lines which I think translate onto the screen really well. If you love fantasy, action, adventure, and epic storylines you absolutely need to watch the series or read the books.

 

 

And that is all of the questions for this tag! I decided not to include pictures or summaries for any of the books I talked about since this post was already getting quite long, but if you don’t recognize any of them and want to know more about them just let me know! Also, I’ll be posting regularly again now. I took a month and a bit long hiatus over Christmas and this month to just relax and pre-write some reviews. But I’ll be back to posting on a regular basis now.

By Your Side – ARC Review

30256248In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

 


 

Review

By Your Side by Kasie West was sent to me by Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review. Now, if you’re a fan of YA Contemporary Romance then  chances are you’ll have heard of Kasie West because she is the queen of YA Contemporary Romance. I’ve read, and loved, every single one of her books –so I had high hopes for By Your Side and it did not disappoint.

 

If you’re looking for a lighthearted, warm, fun, and cozy read then look no farther, because By Your Side is all of that. The premise of the book is simple, a boy and a girl from opposite ends of the social spectrum get locked in a library together over the weekend. The plot was straightforward and simple; troubled boy and popular girl start out hating each other and slowly start to bond and fall in love. It’s a tried and true plot, so while it was predictable it was no less enjoyable.

 

The main character, Autumn, was very relatable. Autumn was kind, obedient to her parents, afraid to stand up for herself to her friends, and suffered from anxiety. She was an extremely likeable character, and I think it will be easy for almost everyone to find an aspect of Autumn to relate to. The focus on anxiety was one of my favorite things about this book, having suffered from anxiety since I was a teenager I always enjoy books that have a focus on anxiety and panic disorders. Autumn’s anxiety played a key role throughout the novel and plot, and was very well written.

 

Dax, the romantic interest, was your typical “bad boy that is secretly really sweet” type of character, and although it is an overused and clichéd character archetype I still loved Dax. Although, I did find the plotline involving his mother to be a bit unnecessary. As for the other characters, I loved Autumn’s brother and the relationship between the siblings. On the other hand I found Autumn’s friends to be, for the most part, frustrating, selfish, and annoying.

 

Overall this was a quick and enjoyable read. It’s the perfect kind of book to read on a cold winter night when you want something that will be warm and fuzzy. This one is a solid 3.75/5 stars for me. I really enjoyed it and wanted to give it 4 stars, but had to take off 1.25 stars for clichés used in abundance throughout the novel. Don’t let that put you off though, there may be a lot of clichés but the book was still very cute and enjoyable to read.

 

Black Flowers, White Lies – Book Review

28695529Her father died before she was born, but Ella Benton knows they have a supernatural connection. Since her mother discourages these beliefs, Ella keeps her cemetery visits secret. But she may not be the only one with secrets. Ella’s mother might be lying about how Dad died sixteen years ago. Newfound evidence points to his death in a psychiatric hospital, not as a result of a tragic car accident as her mother always claimed. After a lifetime of just the two of them, Mom suddenly feels like a stranger.

When a handprint much like the one Ella left on her father’s tombstone mysteriously appears on the bathroom mirror, at first she wonders if Dad is warning her of danger as he did once before. If it’s not a warning, could her new too-good-to-be-true boyfriend be responsible for the strange occurrences? Or maybe it’s the grieving building superintendent whose dead daughter strongly resembles Ella? As the unexplained events become more frequent and more sinister, Ella becomes terrified about who—or what—might harm her.

Soon the evidence points to someone else entirely: Ella herself. What if, like her father, she’s suffering from a breakdown? In this second novel from award-winning author Yvonne Ventresca, Ella desperately needs to find answers, no matter how disturbing the truth might be.


 

Review

Black Flowers, White Lies by Yvonne Ventresca was sent to me by Sky Horse Publishing in exchange for an honest review. When I first read the summary for this book I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. This book is a paranormal thriller, and definitely did not disappoint.

 

The main character, Ella, was quite likeable. She was a caring and kind character, sometimes almost too much so. There were times when I found myself thinking that nobody could be that nice all the time, and I do wish that she had been a little bit more… stronger. Well stronger might not be the right word, but stronger of character as I found her to be a bit bland. But nonetheless I did like her, and couldn’t help but be engrossed in her story and cheer for her.

 

There were a ton of other really great characters in this book too. Ella’s mom was one of my favorites; she was a well-rounded and very realistic character. Ella’s step brother, Blake, was another favorite of mine. I loved how Blake and Ella really got along, as that doesn’t happen often in YA stories between step siblings! Gavin, the love interest, and Grace, the best friend, were also really great well-rounded characters. I loved the storyline between Grace and Ella in particular, as they start to drift apart throughout the story –which is something that I think everyone can relate to.

 

One of the major themes in this book is trust, and Ventresca did a brilliant job in executing this theme. The idea of who to trust, and if you can trust someone, is present throughout the whole novel, and no character is safe from mistrust –not even the main character herself. Ella, and the reader, can’t trust a single character in the book –not even herself. Ventresca purposely lays conflicting clues and evidence for the reader, and includes so many twists and turns, that in the end I truly didn’t know what to believe.

 

The plot itself started off slowly, which I quite liked. I’m not a huge fan of books that jump head first into a heavy plot, so I really enjoyed the fact that Ventresca took some time to build up the characters and plot before really diving in. The plot itself was fast paced and full of twists. A couple of the twists were predictable, but a lot of them were not which was great. My only major complaint about this book is that the ending really left the reader hanging. To me it felt like there wasn’t nearly as much detail in the end as there was throughout the rest of the book, and the ending felt a bit rushed to me.

 

Overall I really enjoyed this one, and would definitely recommend it if you’re in the mood for something spooky and fast paced that will keep you on your toes. I wanted to give this one five stars, however because of the ending I just couldn’t. I’m giving this one 4/5 stars.

 

Ten Years Later – Book Review


 When New Jersey-based sports radio producer Carla D’Agostino receives a save-the-date for her ten-year high school reunion, she’s thrown into a tailspin. She’s miserably single, living at home with her old-school Italian-American family, and miles away from her dream job as a sports talk radio host.


She voices her discontent to her closest friends, the stunning Andrea, cheerful Katie, and playboy Dante, and they encourage Carla to stand up and fight for the life she wants.


Inspired by their words, Carla sets her plans in motion. She enlists the help of a personal trainer, tapes a sports commentary demo with Dante for her unconventional WSPS boss Dan, and gets back into the dating game for the first time since her heart was broken by her first love.


But the universe has different ideas for Carla than she has for herself, and she suffers setback after setback: Dan gives the afternoon host position to a Los Angeles import, and, worse yet, offers Dante a gig, which he accepts, much to Carla’s hurt and dismay.


More determined than ever, Carla continues to throw herself at life with gusto, and a series of surprises, both good and bad, lead her straight into the arms of a love that never really left.
Review:



10 Years Later by Lisa Marie Latino was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. When I was givin the chance to review this book I was pretty excited because the  main character, Carla, was in a very similar position in her life to where I myself am right now.

Carla, the main character, was approaching her 10 year reunion and hadn’t yet achieved or reached the goals/place in life that she had hoped she would. Personally, I found the situation to be extremely relatable -probably because it is the point in life where I myself am. But I don’t think you need to be at this point to relate to Carla and the situation she finds herself in.

As a main character Carla was quite enjoyable. She was determined and down to earth. I loved how she really grew as a person in a significant way throughout the course of the novel. There were aspects of Carla that frustrated me though, like how worked up she got about certain things.

 
This book was filled with lots of great characters though, and I thoroughly enjoyed most of them. However there were a few characters that I just couldn’t stand, for no real discernible reason other then I just did not click with them. Dante was one of those characters for me, I think what bothered me the most was that he took the job from Dan despite being one of Carla’s “best” friends.

 
Now as for the plot itself, it was just alright. It was a pretty standard rom-com plot, with no surprises, no twists, and was utterly predictable. With that being said, one doesn’t pick up a book like this for suspense and plot twists, so the predictability and cliched nature of the plot did not bother me too much.

 
All in all this was a nice light read. It was like mind candy; it tastes good but hold no nutritional value. I struggled with what rating to give this book, and in the end I settled on 3.5/5 stars. It was just okay for me, and isn’t the first book I would think to recommend to someone. That combined with the plot made this one a 3.5 for me.

What Light – ARC Review

29093326Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it’s a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb’s past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

What Light is a love story that’s moving and life-affirming and completely unforgettable.


Review

What Light by Jay Asher was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. I was super excited to receive What Light because I absolutely loved Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher and was excited to read another book by Asher. And let me just say, What Light did not disappoint.

 

I absolutely love Christmas, and this book came in just the right time of year. If you’re like me and you love all things Christmas, then you’ll love this book. It is a light quick read compared to Thirteen Reasons Why, and nowhere nearly as impactful. But it wasn’t any less enjoyable. The plot was sound, and a pretty standard run of the mill YA plotline: Girl meets troubled boy. But I don’t mind clichés, and I especially don’t mind Christmas-y clichés.

 

The main character, Sierra, was very relatable. Sierra was a kind and happy main character, which I loved. All too often main characters are brooding and full of angst. One of the things that I loved the most about Sierra was the fact that despite the fact that she had two homes, two sets of friends, and basically a Christmas life and her regular life, she never really favored one above the other.

 

The love interest, Caleb, was your typical good looking YA guy with a troubled past. I did find it kind of frustrating that Caleb was still dealing with the backlash of what had happened in his past (I won’t say what as I don’t want to spoil anyone!) years later. The level of backlash he was dealing with seemed slightly excessive to me, yes he would still be dealing with the consequences but this was set years later – I can’t help but feel that people wouldn’t be treating him as if it had happened yesterday.

 

Now my absolute favorite part of the book is probably the thing that would frustrate the most people; the ending. I absolutely loved the ending. It was realistic; it didn’t tie a perfect pretty bow over everything. But it also didn’t leave the reader hanging. Overall this book was the perfect light and fin holiday read, and I would definitely recommend it if you enjoy these types of books. This one was a solid 4/5 stars for me.

 

Double Review: Covalent Bonds and Tales of Krampus

30627093Covalent Bonds is an anthology of nine stories edited by Trysh Thompson. I was sent this ARC in exchange for a honest review. This collection of stories focuses on romance between geeks, and I loved each story.

 

It doesn’t matter what kind of geek you are – gaming, hacking, comic books, Dungeons and Dragons, cosplay, fandoms- this anthology has something for everyone! One of the things that I like the most about a book like this is that I can read one story every night. They are the perfect length to read before bed and there is never a cliffhanger.

 

Every story in this anthology is well written, and interesting. Each story brings something different to the table, and is full of well-rounded and likeable characters. Some of the stories are pretty steamy, while others are on the sweeter side.  As a self-proclaimed geek (and proud of it) I really enjoyed this book and definitely recommend that you check it out when it comes out in February 2017.


 

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He Sees You When He’s Creepin’: Tales of Krampus is another nthology that was sent to me my World Weaver Press in exchange for an honest review. This collection of twelve stories edited by Kate Wolford focus on Krampus, the Anti-Santa Clause if you will.

 

I was worried that this collection might be too scary for me, as anyone that knows me will tell you I scare ridiculously easily. However, I was presently surprised because this actually had a great mix of fun, hilarious, and a touch of horror.

 

I enjoyed most of the stories in the one, however there were a couple that I wasn’t too fond of. My favorite by far was the one including Cinderella. These stories were well chosen, and this anthology is perfect for those of you that like Nightmare Before Christmas and other Halloween/Christmas crosses. This one is worth checking out if you like unique and interesting stories.

Army of Fire – ARC Review

32183844Army of Fire by Jennifer L. Kelly was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. This story takes place in a future where earth has been completely devastated and humans now live on another planet. It is a SciFi and Dystopian novel about a girl named Ka that, according to the society in which she lives, must choose one of the five elements and live her life based upon that element. This decision catapults Ka into an epic adventure to retrieve one of the five elemental stones and defeat the Army of Fire.

 

Jennifer did a great job of writing an absolutely captivating novel. The prologue hooked me in, and the story only got better and better from there. Jennifer’s writing style is engaging with the perfect balance of description, plot, character interaction, and action. I loved how Jennifer really throws her reader right into the world she has created and we really hit the ground running, so to speak. Jennifer weaves the world building seamlessly into the story itself, which isn’t easily done. All too often in YA authors will throw all of the information and world building at the reader all at once, rather than slipping all of the necessary information throughout the novel.

 

Ka, also known as Kata, was a really strong female main character. You guys know I love it when the main character is strong and not a damsel in distress and Ka definitely fits the bill. She is relatable, and really grows throughout the book. She’s not the only great character though! Jennifer has filled this book with really great secondary characters, and does a great job of keeping each and every one of them well rounded and not clichéd. Sloan in particular was a favorite of mine.

 

Now let’s talk about the plot. This book is action packed, and a real adventure. However there is some romance peppered in, which breaks things up quite nicely. This is a story that has a prophecy/legend element to it, so there is a certain amount of clichéd or overused elements relating to that particular genre. But Jennifer did a great job of putting her own spin on these common prophecy tropes, and the few clichéd aspects did not detract from the story for me. I’ll also mention that this book wasn’t always predictable; there were a couple of things that genuinely surprised me which doesn’t usually happen to me.

 

All in all if you love dystopian books like Divergent you’ll love this book. I’ll be eagerly awaiting the sequel! This was a solid 4/5 stars for me.

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Somewhere in the Shallow Sea – Book Review

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I was sent Somewhere in the Shallow Sea by the author, Dennis Macaraeg, in exchange for an honest review. This book was relatively short, only 213 pages, but Macaraeg managed to pack a lot of action into it. This is a suspenseful thriller about a couple that must race to save their friend that has been kidnapped and taken to the jungles of the Philippines.

 

One of the things that I enjoyed the most about this novel was the setting. I’ve never been to the Philippines, but Macaraeg described the Philippines in such great detail that it has definitely made me want to go there and explore. The main characters travelled all over the Philippines, and I enjoyed the descriptions of the various locations.

 

The two main characters, Danny and Helen, were fairly well written. Danny was by no means a perfect character, and his flaws definitely kept him well rounded and believable. Danny spent the entire book striving to do the right thing, and that was one of the things that I enjoyed the most about him. Helen on the other hand was a very strong female character, and I loved that she wasn’t the type of female lead that needed to be rescued. One thing that didn’t really click for me was the romance between the two of them. The romance was well written, but I just couldn’t feel the chemistry between Danny and Helen.

 

Now as for the plot, it was well written and solid. It was suspenseful, and action packed. There weren’t any real plot twists, which made it somewhat predictable. But personally the predictability did not make it any less enjoyable, it was like a good action movie –you know what’s going to happen but the action and suspense keeps things interesting.

 

This one is a 3.5/5 stars for me, it was a good solid book. It is great for those times when you’ve just read something big, complicated, or intense and need something light and easy to dive into.