Tag Archives: young adult books

A Curse So Dark and Lonely [Book Review]

Rating:4/5 Stars

Genre: YA Fantasy

Format: Kindle book I own

Well, I finally read this book. I’m so happy I read it because it was much better than I expected. I tried to read it last year, but my tiny human was only a few months old so it was hard to focus on such a rich retelling. So when the chance to buddy read it popped up, I decided to go with it since it has been sitting in my Kindle library almost a year.

Harper lives a life not great because her mother is dying, and her brother has to act as a violent enforcer for someone their father owns money to. Harper sees a girl being kidnapped and intervenes. Then she ends up in Emberfall, finding out the kingdom is cursed and the only way to save the kingdom is to fall in love with the prince, Rhen.

This is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but it’s unique. I did have a hard time with the first half of the book, but once I was in the book, I couldn’t stop reading. It’s a different kind of retelling because Harper is trying to save the people she loves… her family…rather than being swept up in a castle and falling for the prince. It’s actually not really a love story, but it’s still fantastic.

Harper is a bad ass. I love how fierce she is. She has cerebral palsy, but she doesn’t let it define her. The representation in the book seems like it’s good, but I can’t speak fully since I don’t have the experience. It’s like Kemmerer made her disability part of the plot overall rather than just a plot device to make her book stand out. I adore Harper and how she wants to save the kingdom as well. She cares about Rhen, but she’s not just like omg I need to fall in love. I am such a fan of romance, but with the context of this book, the way Harper is is so perfect.

Rhen is okay. He’s the prince. There was nothing special about him. I was saddened whenever Lilith would hurt him because she was brutal to him, but there was nothing about his personality which made me root for him as a love interest for Harper.

Grey is awesome. I think he’s a well developed character, and I was never bored when he was involved. I think his perspective would have enhanced the book because of what is revealed about him throughout the story. I know many are huge fans of him, but I’ll make my choice when I read the next book and actually see his perspective.

This is such a rich fairy tale retelling, I can understand why it’s so popular. I can’t wait for the next book, and I am looking forward to reading more from Kemmerer since I am giddy over how she writes fantasy.

Did you love this book? Are you planning on reading the next one? I’d love to hear about your thoughts on this book.

Privileged by Carrie Aarons [Review]

Privileged by Carrie Andrews Genre: Romance, Young Adult Rating: 3/5 Stars Format: Read on Kindle Unlimited. Synopsis: In a world of wealth and power, the rules of love and war are nothing as they seem.

Nora Randolph never wanted a life of luxury. But when her mother falls in love with the heir to the British throne, their small-town lives are uprooted and every little girl’s fantasy becomes her reality. All too quickly, she learns the dangers of running in circles with the world’s elite, especially when she attracts the attention of Winston Academy’s resident golden boy.

Asher Frederick has known nothing but favor and fortune. The son of London’s most influential family, his future has been written in stone since infancy. But a tragic childhood loss redirects his course, and revenge has been boiling in his blood for years. When innocent and unaware Nora lands in his path, it’s as if the universe hands him the ammunition to finally drag his enemy through the mud.

But as his plan for vengeance gets more twisted, so do his feelings for Nora. And as her immersion into the upper crust dives deeper, she struggles to keep the secret she’s been guarding for eighteen years.

Heavy lies the crown, and when the ultimate betrayal blindsides her, will either of them survive the consequences that come crashing down on their heads?
This was a suggestion from Stephanie from Steph’s Romance Book Talk. Check her out on YouTube. She makes great videos! I love books about the rich and elite. Gossip Girl was one of my favorite book series when I was a teen. I also went through a phase where I was obsessed with British culture. Bearing these things in my mind, I expected to love this book. This didn’t happen, and I’m disappointed because I placed high expectations on the book which fell really flat.

There’s a book which takes place in the same universe, and I’m hoping I do enjoy it more. I even picked up a different book by Carrie Aarons because I believe I will like her other writing. Aarons can write romance well. Nora and Asher have this chemistry between them right from the start. Even though Asher wants to destroy Nora, he also seems to have a genuine curiosity in getting to know her much better. Nora is adjusting from being the daughter of a single mother to becoming royalty. Asher wants to ruin Nora because her step dad is the reason his mother is dead. There’s already a lot of tension between the pair. Nora is suddenly attending this fancy private school and living the jet set life. Asher has been privileged all his life so he plans to have fun with Nora before he crushes her heart and gets the revenge he wants so badly. Asher has a group of friends who he hangs out with, constantly getting into trouble and being teenagers. Nora is welcomed into this group, but she also knows they look down on her. There’s also Nora’s mother and stepfather who are planning a wedding while Asher’s father wants the family destroyed. Many events are happening to the pair, and it’s clear someone is going to get hurt no matter what.

Nora and Asher grow closer, but he’s only doing it because his father wants him to destroy Nora. Of course, he has feelings for her but doesn’t want to think about those when he wants the revenge for his mother even more than he craves Nora. She is happy getting close to him because she believes this will be a chance for her to fall in love, shedding her innocence and becoming a new person. Their friends know they are involved, but they both deny being a couple in the beginning because Asher is too much of a player to settle down.

Nora and Asher are spending more time together. Nora has feelings for him, but Asher convinces himself he doesn’t really feel the same for her. Asher is focused on wanting the chance to confront Nora’s step dad to share how he ruined a family.

So there’s a few issues I had with this book. It’s written in present tense, but it would switch to past tense in the same sentence. This got on my nerves so badly because I want to know why the author could not make the effort to double check her work and make sure the tenses match. It really threw me off because it doesn’t sound right when reading, and I hope someone tells Aarons she should fix this issue because it made the book harder for me to enjoy. This is literally the main reason I didn’t like the book as much.

My other issue… Nora keeps talking about how she was looked at weird in her hometown and people saw her different because of her ability. Since this was referred to in such a vague way, I kind of expected her to have a superpower. I thought she was going to be a witch or something. Turns out, she’s just a genius. And part of Mensa. Honestly, it’s just mentioned like hey I’m a genius. It’s a personality trait for her, and it didn’t really add anything to the story so I’m wondering why it was needed. Maybe the author was trying to show Nora is special, but I just see it as the character is a genius and it adds nothing to the plot. Okay then.

It’s kind of meant to be enemies to lovers. But it’s just Asher wanting revenge and Nora thinking Asher is amazing. I didn’t really buy the royal family aspect because I thought they had rigid rules, and it seems like Nora has a lot of freedom to do what she wants. I may be wrong, but I was pretty sure its inaccurate.

Asher ends up trying to get his revenge, but it just seems so rushed. He goes from I hate Nora to maybe I like her to let’s ruin her whole family. Then after he tells her step father what’s going on, the step father is just sad and is like your mother would not want you to be like this… so it’s not even dramatic. Just a life lesson where Asher and Nora fall apart.

So, I guess my takeaway is Nora is a genius and Asher is a broken man who needs to fix himself. The tension between them is great. I love how they interact and are written. I just hated how it seemed so rushed.

Nora and Asher do get their happy ending. Of course. It’s just weird the epilogue was after the book ended? I’m going to read the standalone novel in the same universe, and I’m hoping I like it more than this one.

I would say if you like books like Gossip Girl, try this one out. But beware of how annoying the tense changes are. I couldn’t get over them, and I still can’t. It’s definitely a YA read, but the author does write well. I’m planning to read Aarons other works, and I’ll make a better informed decision about my thoughts on the author.

Until I rant about books again,

First Line Fridays [September 20]

This is my first time doing this so please bear with me if I’m bad at it!

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Here’s the first few lines:

Everyone had their dirty little secret, and Darla Michaels fully intended to keep hers under wraps. She cinched the belt on her trench coat, pulled a long brunette wig over her short black hair, slipped on her Jackie O sunglasses, and climbed out of her cherry-red Mercedes roadster, which she’d parked across the street in case anyone she knew happened to drive by.

What book is this from?!! 🤔🤔🤔🤔

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Blurb:

When the beloved Farm Café in Topaz Falls burns to the ground, widow Darla Michaels comes up with the perfect plan to help her friends rebuild — a Cowboy Christmas Festival complete with a sexy bachelor auction and a benefit rodeo. But to pull it off, she has to pretend to be engaged to Ty Forrester, the irresistible bull rider who keeps testing her keep-things-casual policy.


A fake fiancée wasn’t on Ty’s Christmas list this year, but it’s the only way to get his family to visit over the holidays so his NFL-star brother can draw more tourists to the festival. The engagement wouldn’t be such a problem if Ty wasn’t starting to have real feelings for Darla. Knowing he can’t go on pretending, Ty prepares to tell his family the truth-but then he and Darla discover a precious little Christmas surprise that just might help them embrace a whole new life together.

This book is being released on October 29th so be sure to check it out if you enjoy Christmas stories and cowboys. And check back around then for my full review. I’m currently reading this book and enjoying it so far. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.

If you’re interested in reading this book, preorder through Amazon.

Until I rant about books again,

2019 DNFs [So Far]

I know book reviews and wrap ups are great. But I’m also trying to write other posts which could be interesting. I used to not be someone who DNFs books, but I have too many books to read at this point. Not to mention, I have a five and a half month old so my reading time is precious to me. I DNFd 15 (!!) Books this year. So far.

I used to push through books but now I just DNF them. That’s easier. Sometimes I just remove them completely and don’t even count them to DNF if I just read a short bit. It’s how I make my reading system work for me.

I got this book from booksirens. It was much too sci-fi for me, I just couldn’t get into the premise. I would say it would be great for YA sci-fi fans. Just not for me.

Another book from booksirens. The problem with this book is I did not enjoy the romance. I was like three chapters in and the main character was being asked by her potential love interest to show him her goodies. This was so he would agree to fake marry her. I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes so I decided no.

The dialogue in this YA book was too simplistic. It seems like it was meant more for tweens. I liked the message of being eco conscious with clothes and such. I also didn’t love the gay best friend being a stereotype.

Just another new adult romance I couldn’t get into. I think my issue was yet another cliche romance I wasn’t feeling. This seems to happen a lot with the office romance books to me.

This is about two people who meet after bad relationships and fall in love. It just was not interesting. I felt like nothing was going to happen so I just ended up being unable to finish the book at 75%.

The narrator was a mess in this book. And I just was so upset when I read reviews to see if other people shared my thoughts. I want to avoid spoilers, but I don’t understand the appeal of this book.Didn’t like the language and structure of the book. I only made it ten pages in before I gave up.

I thought this was going to be an adorable romance. It was a Christian romance though so it wasn’t for me. The story had cute aspects, but I’m not religious so the book wasn’t the right fit for me.

I read this while I was being induced and dealing with a newborn. I wasn’t about a really long book regarding dragons I found super boring so I just put it down. I am not a huge adult fantasy fan. I do love Samantha Shannon’s other series though… I can’t wait for the last book. It’s been so long…

This book was too dry for me. I also think I had issues reading it because I was pregnant with a boy at the time. Not that I’m worried about Ever becoming like the child in the book, but I just couldn’t deal with the narrator incessantly going on and on. I plan to try again in the future with this one since I have heard it’s worth the time. I will probably do it on audio.

I only tried up to page 50, but I didn’t feel any desire to read this book. I thought the forensics and setting could keep me going, but I did not care. Also, the spoilers I read about annoyed me. Maybe I’ll try this again someday, but I have other books to read so this will be a did not finish for now.

This book was annoying at the start when the main character went on and on about being a social media influencer. Then it got worse when the love interest when mmm juicy ass and she walked in on the guy just grabbing his balls while he was naked.it was supposed to be like some cute story, but I was super turned off so no thanks.

I just saw this as a bad rip off of The Kiss Quotient, but just bad. It was so dry and uninteresting. The reviews also aren’t great.

I just was not in a good mindset to read this book… it’s about homelessness and mental illness. I know it’s going to be a good book, but I have been reading a lot of romance so it just doesn’t work currently. I will probably pick up a copy from Amazon soon though.

And those are all-of the books I have put on my DNF list for now. I’m hoping the rest of 2019 is just filled with good reads but I’m currently in a reading slump so guess I shall see what the rest of the month will bring…

Until I rant about books again,

NetGalley TBR

I’ve had a lot of books from NetGalley just chilling on my Kindle, and I know I should read them. I requested them, and I’m not reading them. I probably should be though so my percentage can go up and I can get more books. I suddenly just want to read romance on Kindle Unlimited but I need to get through these eight (!) books first.

Christmas book. From Avon Books UK. Looks like it’s going to be adorable.Christmas one again from Avon Books UK. I’m feeling hopeful just from the blurb. I think it will be quaint and lovely,

I think I’ve heard good things about this book, but I’m probably thinking of a book with a similar title.

I think this is a YA contemporary or New Adult. The cover caught my attention. I’m excited this one, so I am going to stay positive.

This sounds like the Paula Hawkins book just because of the title. So I am looking forward to this even though it’s book five in a series.

My nickname is Magpie because my name is Maggie so that’s why I chose this book. I think it’s a thriller, also yet another from Avon Books UK.

YA book from Durden Press. Not sure what it’s about.

Fun beach romance. Looks like fun. I’m addicted to romance lately, I’m betting it’s going to be a good time.

…and those are the eight NetGalley books I need to get through. Wish me luck. I’m delighted for all the Christmas romances, even though I’m ready only for Halloween at this point.

Which books do you have from NetGalley? Anyone read any of these?

August Wrap Up.

I didn’t read a lot in August because we got Hulu so I’ve been watching way too much of that recently. I can’t really blame the baby because he’s pretty chill. I’m still getting used to having a blog, and I do enjoy when people like my posts. It can be a little discouraging as well, when I don’t get any views so I worry I’m doing something wrong. But this is so much fun, and I can’t wait to keep growing and writing more.

So here are the few books I’ve read last month and an update of what I’m reading for September Swoons along with the books from August I’m still reading.

We moved so I pulled out my trashy books. 4 stars. I will eventually complete the series. I don’t know why I like these books when they are the same again and again,with the same overused plots and incest.This was a Review book, I gave it 4 stars. It’s about witches and a town where witchcraft is illegal. I’m curious to see how the relationships will develop. This series definitely has potential. Goodreads review here. This book was from the Facebook group, Young Adult Book Stop.

I adored this book a lot. I’m looking forward to the other two. Academy books are a genre I didn’t even really know I loved til now. This was a solid 4 stars. Got this book from the author in the Facebook group, Young Adult Book Stop.4 stars. A NetGalley book that comes out next year. I’ll be taking about it more closer to the release date.

5 stars. I still don’t have words.


The rest of these are reviewed on Goodreads and my blog so I’ll just be leaving the rating and the links for the reviews to avoid repeating myself.4 stars. Review Here. Definitely a unique read. Procured from Young Adult Book Stop.4 Stars. Review Here. Read for Hello Sunshine Book Club Reading Challenge.4 Stars. Review Here. NetGalley from Avon Books UK.

3 stars. Review Here. NetGalley from Avon Books UK.

4 stars. Review Here. Read for Hello Sunshine Book Club Reading Challenge.

4 stars. Review Here. Yet another book I got from Young Adult Book Stop. The author gave me the first two to read as well so the series makes sense.

I’m still reading

Frankenstein is slow going so I picked up the audio book from the library so I can finish it.

I loved the other two a lot, but I’m having issues finishing it. I think it’s a little boring.

I’m hoping to read more in September with my September Swoons so wish me luck. What have you read recently? Let me know.

Stuck With You Spotlight Post

I’m so excited to be featuring a spotlight post for a book tour on my blog. It sounds like an amazing book everyone should check out. I can’t wait to order my own copy and read this great book!

 

 

Tour Date:

 

Sept 2-6

Link to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/47566283-stuck-with-you

 

Purchase Links:

 

Amazon | Amazon Australia | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

 

 

Link to Tour Schedule:

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/tour-schedule-stuck-with-you-by-christina-mandelski/

 

Giveaway Details:

 

 One (1) winner will win a signed copy of all 3 books in the First Kiss Hypothesis series by Christina Mandelski

 

<a class=”rcptr href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c08c9e8e772/&#8221; rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”c08c9e8e772″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_ry27t1me”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

 

 

 

Link to Giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c08c9e8e772/?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stuck with You by Christina Mandelski

Publication Date: September 2, 2019

Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush

 

 

When Caleb Gray heads to the Texas coast to mentally prepare for a future he isn’t sure he wants, the last person he expects to see is Catie Dixon. Yeah, their mothers have been planning their wedding since they were born, but he and Catie are most definitely not friends. He can’t see her as anything but the annoying kid who followed him everywhere. Except, it’s really bothering him that everyone is staring at her in that bikini…

 

Catie got over her crush on Caleb ages ago. So why can’t she see past his ripped body or how unsettled he seems? She’s got her own problems, though. Her future has been set for years and now she’s dreaming of pulling the plug. A week at their families’ beach house is just what she needs to pull herself together, and she has no intention of letting Caleb back into her heart…which would be a whole lot easier if he’d put on a shirt.

 

But a forced week of togetherness full of beach parties, waterslide mishaps, bonfires, and roller coasters sparks more than an understanding. What do you do when the person standing in the way of your future is the one person you grew up hating…but now don’t?

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

 

Christina Mandelski was born in South Florida, where her love of reading was cultivated in a house full of books. Stories like The Little House series, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, Island of the Blue Dolphins and The Secret Garden, filled her imagination and fueled her dreams to be a writer. That dream came true when her first young adult novel, THE SWEETEST THING, was published in 2011, and she’s beyond thrilled about her upcoming series for Entangled Crush. Chris lives in Houston with one handsome husband, two beautiful daughters, and two freakshow cats. She has a fondness for the beach, her family and friends, and she still loves to read (especially curled up with a good cup of coffee!) She also enjoys shopping, traveling and eating, especially cake. Always cake. When she’s not doing these things, you can find her holed in a cozy spot with her laptop, writing. Visit her at www.christinamandelski.com.

 

 

Website | Twitter | Goodreads  

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