This one was all over the place -- I know it was an ARC I read, but it felt like a first draft with all kinds of elements thrown together. Th2.5 stars
This one was all over the place -- I know it was an ARC I read, but it felt like a first draft with all kinds of elements thrown together. The romance was just FLAT and I couldn't get into it at all....more
It’s not surprising, considering this is a Julia Quinn novel, but The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy was absolutely enchanting from the very first pIt’s not surprising, considering this is a Julia Quinn novel, but The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy was absolutely enchanting from the very first page. It was a true delight to pick up a book and right from the beginning want to dive in and get to know the characters and their situations. The Smythe-Smith Quartet has been a very fun series overall, so I suggest reading all of them, but this can easily be read as a standalone as well -- you would just miss out on the fun references to previous main characters.
There’s huge chemistry between Richard and Iris, which makes it difficult for Sir Richard to go through with his original plan. It’s semi-obvious to the reader what's going on behind the scenes in Richard's life, even before we’re completely looped in, but it's very difficult for Iris. She's completely in the dark and feeling like her husband doesn't like or want her. It was interesting to see their relationship progress, because Richard has done a fairly unforgivable thing, and Iris is so confused about what’s going on. It all leads up to a satisfying conclusion, of course, but it's the journey there that's the most interesting.
No matter what, you can expect epic swoons from a Julia Quinn book, and this one is no exception. The author is great at creating dynamic characters with massive chemistry, and secondary characters who leap off the page. While this isn’t my very favourite of hers, I still found it to be a massively entertaining read that any historical romance fan will enjoy....more
I had high expectations for this book (it just sounded epic), but it surpassed all of them. This isFirst thoughts, written January 2015:
OH. MY. GOSH.
I had high expectations for this book (it just sounded epic), but it surpassed all of them. This is a longgg read, but my attention never waned. In fact, I stayed up past 4 am (!) crying my eyes out over it -- and this is not a usual occurrence. (Reading late, yes. Actually crying over a book? No.)
Much love for Nick/Bex, so can I be one of the first to claim Freddie?? <3
Full review to come, but needless to say I LOVED THIS BOOK (!!!).
Full review, written April 2015: Oh my word!!!! This book was epically good. It put me through the ringer, made me a complete emotional mess. The Royal We took me from giddy to butterflies in the stomach to anxious to angry to heartbroken to hopeful to happy and everywhere in between. I can honestly say this is the best book I've ever read involving royalty and involving dealing with the press and paparazzi.
What surprised me most about this book is that it has some serious weight to it. Just based on the genre you’d expect a story like this to be on the shorter side, but nope, this is an extremely long book. Despite the length I could not set it down: I just kept reading and reading, which shows you how involved with the book I was.
The Royal We is a linear story with five different sections, set at different times. The story starts with Bex meeting Nick at Oxford and their friendship that becomes more. We see different stages of their courtship and all the aspects that come with that. I loved Bex and Nick together but this book made me question whether being with him was worth it for Bex: the expectations, the judgment, the ceremony, the never having a normal life. This is really the big question of the novel: is it worth giving up so much to be with someone you love? & Can you make it through the horrible and still have something worthwhile left?
This book does such a good job at showing us a royal family that we can easily identify as a version of our own, while equally making the characters different and truly themselves. It has some incredibly amazing secondary characters, some you'll love (Freddie!!! Oh gosh, I could go on and on about Freddie), some you'll loathe (Richard!! aka Evil Prince Dad), and some it's so complicated you're not even sure (Bex’s sister, Lacey). I mean, these characters are totally layered and complicated. Even Richard you can feel a twinge of sympathy for at times, though mostly he's just Prince Dick.
If I had one complaint about this book it would be that I wanted more cute Bex/Nick scenes to make up for the angst and/or a longer ending so we could see people’s reactions and how everything went down (do these things missing mean there'll be a sequel? *optimistic*). However, the way it ended was perfect too. It felt like a very Nick and Bex ending, instead of an ending for HRH and Future Duchess Rebecca.
By now it’s clear that this book made me feel So Many Feelings. I just loved every bit of it, even when I was so tense it made my stomach upset or when tears were continually streaming down my face. This is the first book in a while where I've felt SO strongly about loving it. The Royal We is an AMAZING read, one I would highly recommend to all contemporary romance fans, New Adult fans (after all, this book is truly about growing up and finding yourself, making those tough decisions), and to fans of books about royalty and/or celebs. I honestly can’t recommend this book highly enough....more
All Fall Down was a highly anticipated title for me, as I’m sure it is for a lot of people. I was so excited to start a new series from Ally Carter, aAll Fall Down was a highly anticipated title for me, as I’m sure it is for a lot of people. I was so excited to start a new series from Ally Carter, and I wasn’t at all disappointed.
Grace is a different type of heroine for Ally Carter, which I really appreciated. Grace is a lot broken. She's dealing (or not dealing) with her mom's death, she's been to a shrink, and you can just tell she’s not coping well. Grace swears that her mom was murdered, but no one will believe her, which sets up an incredibly interesting mystery.
One of my favourite aspects of the book was the setting of Embassy Row. Grace’s grandfather is the US ambassador to the (fictional) European country of Adria. I loved meeting the international kids and seeing the lifestyle there. I loved the action scenes (which we all know Ally does so well), and the conspiracy element to it.
This book has a lack of romance to it, but you can definitely see things developing in the future. That being said, it was refreshing to not have a romance plot line. I didn’t miss it at all, especially since Grace is a younger character who has way more important things to deal with. I liked that friendship was the primary type of relationship featured, especially since there was a great gang of supporting characters.
All Fall Down is a good first book in a new series. It has a whammy of a conclusion and a set up that will get you incredibly excited for Book 2. Awesome, as expected from Ally Carter. Definitely recommended....more
My first thought upon finishing The Truth About Us was “wow!!”. I found it to be a very strong book with an incredibly interesting premise and great cMy first thought upon finishing The Truth About Us was “wow!!”. I found it to be a very strong book with an incredibly interesting premise and great character transformation. I think I say this every time I read a Janet Gurtler book, but she does such an amazing job of telling stories that balance friendship, family, and romance. Those are my favourite types of contemporary YA, and I always enjoy what Janet has to offer.
Jess is the main character of this book, and she’s dealing with family issues -- or rather she’s not dealing with them. Bad things have happened and Jess feels ignored, so she just checks out. She acts out and has "friends" who she doesn't really seem to like. Jess is playing this part until she takes it too far and her uber strict dad steps in.
Flynn is someone who is so opposite from Jess in many ways, and yet he's so similar too. There’s a connection there between them that no one else seems to see. Flynn comes from completely different circumstances than Jess, and I think this book is very realistic about how differences of class can matter even now, when there's so much disparity between the two. I understood everyone being concerned about Flynn and Jess, and yet I also raged at how heavy handed people were at trying to keep them apart.
This is the story of Jess and Flynn, but it's also the story of Jess, of her finding her way back to who she wants to be. It’s the story of Jess’s family growing back into place, but especially of her mom trying to move past what's happened to her. I loved how Jess changed as she worked at the shelter, how she learned about the world and connected with people she normally wouldn't. I loved the granddaughter/grandfather banter relationship she had with Wilf, and the sister/brother and friend one she had with Flynn's little brother, Kyle.
The Truth About Us is a truly lovely book that made me feel so many things. It made me feel the butterflies of a crush and the feelings of it becoming something more. It made me feel the anguish over lost friendship. It made me feel disgust at people's horrid assumptions and rage at people thinking they knew everything and trying to control Jess and Flynn.
I highly recommend this book to all fans of contemporary YA, especially to fans of Sarah Dessen, Morgan Matson, and Emery Lord....more
My first impression of the book: I saw the cover and thought WOW!! My second impression of the book: it sounds interesting, but perhaps a bit cliche,My first impression of the book: I saw the cover and thought WOW!! My second impression of the book: it sounds interesting, but perhaps a bit cliche, so maybe I’ll wait and read some reviews. My third impression of the book: okay, but look at all those amazing blurbs from authors that I freaking adore. Decision: okay, I definitely have to read this now!!! And oh my GOSH I am so glad I read this one. It was only poor decision making because now I have to wait even longer for the second book.
Bad Romeo tells a story we may have read before, at least on the surface. It features a broken boy with emotional issues who has MAJORLY screwed up (we’re not completely sure how), but now he’s reformed (supposedly) and he wants another chance. It’s the girl-loves-emotionally-unavailable-boy story. Our main character, Cassie, hasn't been able to replace said boy (Ethan) in her bed or in her heart, but she’s understandably leery to trust him again.
This book features two incredible main characters. Cassie from then and Cassie from now are so deliciously the same character and yet so deliciously not. I'm not sure I've ever read a better instance of character growth, where you can see how life experiences and the hurt Cassie has been through has changed her inner monologue. Another thing I loved about Cassie is that college aged Cassie was a virgin who was also very sexual. I don't think we see this type of character enough. So often, even in romance novels (the books which should be celebrating all versions of female sexuality), you've got the simpering virgin with no experience OR the fully sexually empowered woman. There doesn't tend to be many characters in between. Cassie may be lacking in orgasms, but she freely talks about masturbation and watching porn. She's a virgin who (gasp!) has sexual urges and knows what she wants. Cassie is, in fact, the initiator in almost every sexual encounter with Ethan.
Ethan is also a character who changes and evolves. He's a real jerk at the beginning of the book, where in real life it would be like "see you later, jackass" but in the book he has enough charming vulnerability for you to say "get it, girl!". You cling to the good parts of the character and really want him to be the best version of himself, which definitely comes out in present Ethan. Ethan from now is charming and cocky and delicious, minus the crippling emotional issues of Ethan from then.
Basically, I loved (loved loved!) this book, and considering there's very little actual sex going on it's a surprisingly sexy and steamy read. I absolutely loved this story, but I am a bit disappointed that it ended on a cliffhanger. It felt like with another 30 to 50 pages we could have had the whole story, rather than drawing things out into a sequel. Of course since this book was so good in general I’m really hoping that the second book will give us a great full story rather than dragging out the will they/won’t they for another novel. Bad Romeo is an absolutely amazing read, and I can’t wait for more from this author....more
All Played Out is an entertaining novel featuring a very sweet romance. Nell and Mateo don't make a lot of sense at first glance and yet they make absAll Played Out is an entertaining novel featuring a very sweet romance. Nell and Mateo don't make a lot of sense at first glance and yet they make absolute sense: they balance each other out perfectly. Nell grounds Torres, opening him up to his real self, and Torres lets Nell get outside herself, focusing on something besides school and rigid plans. I loved how the romance grew between these two characters. I liked their flirting and how they worked together on Nell's list. One of my favourite parts of a romance novel is seeing the two love interests grow together by spending time with one another, and those scenes in All Played Out were truly lovely.
This is a very easy, fun read, but an emotionally satisfying one as well. I liked that even though there were hurdles and issues it wasn't super angsty or drawn out. Basically, All Played Out is a super enjoyable, sexy read. This is a very addictive series, and I'm excited to see where things go next with Stella's book....more
Was hoping it would be a celebration of geek culture, and it some ways it was, but there were a few things that I just didn't care for. Not i2.5 stars
Was hoping it would be a celebration of geek culture, and it some ways it was, but there were a few things that I just didn't care for. Not inherently a bad novel, but not one I cared for either. Review to come....more
The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is a beautiful novel about finding your voice: it’s about standing up for yourself and others; about doing what is righThe Summer of Chasing Mermaids is a beautiful novel about finding your voice: it’s about standing up for yourself and others; about doing what is right, but also what is true for you. The main message in it is basically “you do you”, and I love that. Elyse’s journey is a beautiful one to experience and she was a lovely character to read about.
One fabulous aspect of this book is the breaking down of gender stereotypes. I loved, loved, loved Sebastian and his mermaid obsession. His character was a really positive example of accepting people how they are and believing that there aren't girl things and boy things. Along the same train of thought was Elyse entering the pirate regatta, even though she's told that only guys can enter.
Christian and Elyse’s romance was steamy, lovely, and fun. I loved how they got to know one another, how there was respect, and how when it came to sex there was a conversation about consent. I loved how Elyse had sexual thoughts and sexual agency and that Christian gave her a voice in these matters. It’s not that anyone deserves a medal for doing the right thing, but I still liked seeing that example put out there for teens to read. I also liked how their relationship was a mixed race romance and that no one in their group made a big deal of it.
There are a lot of great things about this book. I liked experiencing Elyse’s culture, with her being from Trinidad & Tobago. I also liked the sailing element, with Christian and Elyse fixing up the boat before sailing in the regatta. The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is a gorgeous contemporary YA novel, and I highly recommend it....more