Saturday, 19 August 2017

Review: Pushing the Limits by Brooke Cumberland

Pushing the Limits by Brooke Cumberland 

Publishing Date: September 16, 2015
Publisher: BC Books
Pages: 566
Romance

The Premise by the Author: "He's my art professor. I'm his student. With an electric connection and undeniable chemistry, I know it won't be long until one of us cracks. When the opportunity arises to pose naked for the entire art class, I can't help the thrill of knowing he'll be watching me. While they all look past me with their eyes narrowed and concentrated, drawing only the lines and angles of my body, he sees right through me down to my vulnerability. He sees more than just the physical aspects--he sees me. That's when I see the struggle in his features as he tries to stay in control. How do we keep our distance when everything seems to be pulling us together? What feels so right can only go wrong if we keep pushing the limits" (Cumberland).

**Recommended for 18 & above due to explicit sexual content, language, and adult content.**

My overall thoughts and review: So if you follow me on Goodreads, you will see that I've been working my way through Cumberland's backlist recently and that is because she came out of the literary closet and it's been revealed she is one part of the duo of Kennedy Fox (books that I absolutely LOVE!). I was so excited to learn of this literary reveal since that meant more books for me to read. I have two more serials of Cumberland's to read but I wanted to stop and write a review for a book I recently finished and just LOVED. To begin with, both characters: Morgan and Aspen come together with very dark and traumatic pasts. They've both experienced lost in a big way and this has affected their life completely. They also come together over their passion for art and creating art. As someone who has dabbled a bit in art history and art in my undergraduate days, I really enjoyed this aspect of the book because Cumberland was incredibly detailed with how the characters viewed art and created their own art works. It is definitely a taboo topic to touch on since it is Professor and Student relationship, but I feel like Cumberland handled it in a very nice way. There was a touch of drama added with another fellow professor involved but overall, it worked out quite nicely. I love that although their relationship was incredibly sweet and sexy, they stood on their own as very strong characters and I really loved and admired that. Aspen, who has been dealing with the death of her twin all her life, you really see her vulnerabilities and how she handles being a student and getting out of her comfort zone. Before meeting Morgan, she would only hold her friendships at an arm's length and it was nice to see her grow out of that. Morgan, on the other hand, is left to be his late brother's daughter's guardian, really handled being a single parent really well. He had a great relationship with his aunt as well and you could really see him grow into the "father/guardian" role. I loved seeing Morgan and Aspen come together through all the hardships thrown at them and become stronger for it. Overall, it was a really romantic and sweet contemporary romance that I really enjoyed. There were of course some pretty swoon-worthy sexy moments, but it was more than just a romance book in my opinion. There were so many layers to this book and I loved the character development! It touched on areas of grief/mourning, the world of academic, and family/friendship. This one definitely brought on the feels and I have to say it is my favorite Brooke Cumberland book yet! I can't wait to see what else she writes next.

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
Audible, Amazon, and Kindle

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Review: Checkmate: This is Reckless (Drew & Courtney, #1) by Kennedy Fox

Checkmate: This is Reckless (Drew & Courtney, #1) of the Checkmate Duet Series by Kennedy Fox 

Publishing Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Pages: 402
Contemporary Romance

The Premise from the Author: "Are you ready to play the game? Drew Fisher is the type of guy every girl wants. Noble police officer by day, charming prince by night. He has no idea the effect he has on women, especially me--his little sister's best friend. I'm the blonde Southern belle who lives up to the cliché, except I have my own quirks. I'm smart as a whip, can change my own oil, and recite The Pledge of Allegiance backward, but he doesn't see that girl. It'd be easier to forget him if he wasn't my roommate and if the first thing I saw in the morning wasn't his shirtless body covered in tattoos. I've crushed on him since the day we met, but he's made it perfectly clear where we stand. Just friends. I know I need to move on and accept that his feelings will never be mutual, but every day he smiles at me, I'm left dreaming of what if. He has girl issues, and I've got a crush I can't deny. We're friends, but I want more. One drunken hookup leaves us with much more than a platonic friendship. Pretending it never happened proves to be more difficult than anticipated. A crazy ex-girlfriend, a dangerous war of stolen glances, and passionate kisses leads to the most reckless battle yet. I won't be a pawn in his game, but I'll play by his rules if it will show him I'm the one worth breaking them for. Checkmate, Prince Charming" (Fox).

*Recommend for ages 18+ due to sexual content and adult language.* **This is book 1 of 2 in the Checkmate Duet Series--a friends to lovers romance. Highly recommended to read the Checkmate Duet, This is War and This is Love first, but not necessary. This can read as a standalone duet.**

My overall thoughts and review: I am seriously falling in love with Kennedy Fox books. This one is definitely up there as one of my favorites now. It follows Courtney (Viola's bestfriend who is known for her blueberry muffins, LOL I was craving blueberry muffins the entire time reading this) and Drew (Viola's brother). They became roommates after Travis and Viola got together and Courtney has always had a thing for Drew. Unfortunately "Mia Effin Montgomery" complicates things and she was seriously a psychopath that added some drama to the mix. It is pitched as a friends to romance story and I'm seriously a sucker for those. I think personally, good relationships are first built on good friendships and I really liked seeing that develop with Drew & Courtney. You get to see other couples interacting like Viola & Travis, which was nice if you as a reader came to this book after reading their duet. It was like a continuation of their story since their wedding takes place in the book and their honeymoon. You also get to see Courtney and Drew with Viola & Travis' kids: Ginny and James, which was really cute so a huge factor of family. I really liked that KF touched on Drew's worklife - the dangers of being a policeman, working with his partner Logan (AHH!).You see the risks of it really towards the end of the book. A huge step in their relationship was when Drew visited Courtney's family with her and it was really sweet. He got to see her upbringing and meet her family (she has four brothers who clearly love her!) Some of my favorite swoonworthy moments include: their texting which is adorable and just how Drew falls so hard for her. Again, I love that they were friends first which makes their relationship all the more special. They also have traditions together like drinks on Ladies Night, and watching two films on Halloween (so cute)! Like the previous Duet series, this first book does end on a cliffhanger and had me raging, so I really hope my OTP #Drewtney are ok in the next book or else I will not be pleased. I just really love both as characters. Courtney, like Viola, is incredibly strong and independent and when she loves, she loves hard.  Drew was frustrating in the beginning not seeing Mia for the manipulative person she was, really grows as an individual. He loves hard as well, but he just stands up for himself and takes such good care of Courtney and his sister, Viola.Overall, I absolutely loved this book. I didn't think I'd be swooning over Viola's brother tbh (especially after Travis King lololol), but goodness, I love this couple so much and I can't wait to see their relationship grow even further in the next book.

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮✮ (5/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
KennedyFoxBooks, Kobo Books, Amazon, Kindle, and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Review: Shade the Changing Girl Vol. 1: Earth Girl Made Easy by Cecil Castellucci

Shade the Changing Girl Vol. 1: Earth Girl Made Easy by Cecil Castellucci, Marley Zarcone, Ande Parks, Ryan Kelly, & Kelly Fitzpatrick. 

Publishing Date: July 18, 2017
Publisher: DC Comics / Young Animal
Pages: 144

The Premise from the Publisher: "Far away on the planet Meta, Loma's going nowhere fast. She's dropped out of school, dumped her boyfriend and is bored out of her mind. She longs to feel things. That's where her idol, the lunatic poet Rac Shade, and his infamous madness coat come in. Loma steals the garment and makes a break across galaxies to take up residence in a new body: Earth girl Megan Boyer. Surely everything will be better on this passionate, primitive planet with a dash of madness on her side and this human girl's easy life. Only now that she's here, Loma discovers being a teenaged Earth girl comes with its own challenges and Earth may not be everything she thought it'd be. Megan Boyer was a bully who everyone was glad was almost dead, and now Loma has to survive high school and navigate the consequences of the life she didn't live with the ever-growing and uncontrollable madness at her side. Not to mention that there are people back on her homeworld who might just want Shade's coat back" (DC).

"SHADE, THE CHANGING GIRL is a part of DC's Young Animal--a four-book grassroots mature-reader imprint, creatively spearheaded by Gerard Way, bridging the gap between the DC Universe and Vertigo, and focusing on the juxtaposition between visual and thematic storytelling" (DC).


My overall thoughts and review: I'm not familiar with the previous presentation of Shade, so I went into this graphic novel with no prior history. Apparently, previously, Shade was the Changing Man and in Castellucci's iteration, Shade is re-imagined as a teenage girl. It was quite confusing when it first started off because Shade steals this coat that allows her to travel across galaxies and take residence in a new body. Shade chooses the body of Megan Boyer, who is brain dead but miraculously wakes up. The reader soon learns that Megan was actually a horrible bully and now Shade is facing those consequences. She is trying to learn about what really happened the night of Megan's accident that landed her in a coma, how she was on the swim team, and who her true friends are. The art can be quite beautiful at times but I'm not a big fan of the art style to begin with. I found it really confusing to follow at times and that really slowed down my entire reading process for this graphic novel. The flip flop between earth and Shade's planet back home was incredibly confusing and it didn't take until the second issue/chapter to really learn about the jacket and how Shade stole it. The collected series, which follows issues #1-6, does resolve the mystery of the Megan arc somewhat (but what really happened that night and who did it?!?) and it appears that Shade is trying to make amends for what Megan had done which is nice since its technically not her mess to clean up. But it was incredibly unbelievable how other humans just simply accepted that Shade was now an alien in Megan's body (her parents for example) and it was hard to distinguish memories at times. Overall, I really tried to enjoy this read, but with the art style really not hooking me and the narrative confusing me more than ever, I don't think I'll continue on with this series.

My rating of the book: ✮✮ (2/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:

Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Penguin Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Review: Sparrow by L.J. Shen

Sparrow by L.J. Shen

Publishing Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Pages: 310
Romance/Suspense

The Premise from the Author: "Troy Brennan. Every Southie in Boston knows that name. The son of a dead mobster. The heart-throb with steel-blue eyes. "The Fixer" who can make or break you in this city. Oh, and my new husband. Sparrow Raynes. That's me. No one seemed to remember my name up until he barged into my life. But then he caged me. Kidnapped me. And killed every chance I had to run away from the place where we grew up. Put simply, Troy Brennan clipped my wings. I have dreams, big ones, but I doubt he'll ever let me chase them. I have no idea why he decided to take me as his wife. But I do know this: pissing off this man will not do me any good. At all" (Shen).

My overall thoughts and review: So I first started my love with L.J. Shen's writing with her book Vicious, I absolutely loved it and I'm slowly working my way through her backlist. I always have such a hard time writing reviews for books I really love because I feel like all I say is, it's good, it's good, it's good. But I really want to write a review promoting L.J. Shen's books because she is slowly becoming one of my favorite romance authors ever. I'm going to slowly write reviews for all of her books, and this one is one that I've read recently and literally devoured in a day. I had a day off and spent the entire day in bed reading this. I could not put it down and when it ended, I was pretty sad that there wasn't more. There is something about her writing that is so captivating and I'm immediately drawn into the world and the characters. The story of Sparrow has the premise of an arranged marriage between a mob boss' son. Sparrow is forced into marrying Troy, who she barely knows and has only heard some rumors about. Those rumors she heard also weren't really good and they were about Troy murdering some people. Immediately, Troy is definitely a hard-to-love character, but you can't help falling for him. Everything he even says to Sparrow, makes you as the reader, fall for him. He is so mysterious, charming, and cutthroat. He doesn't make excuses and gets right to the point which I like. I also really liked how Sparrow was because she was his equal. She didn't stand for any of his crap, and anything that he dished out to her, she was able to throw it right back. They had a slow-burn romance that I am a big fan of. I love seeing relationships develop and do a complete 180 and surprise the reader. I absolutely loved watching their story unfold and how much of their relationship began with their family and their mistakes. I will say that this story does not get a full five stars from me simply because of some questionable things that happened with Troy and also with another character, Catalina (who I absolutely hated!). Some things simply didn't sit well with me, regardless of technicalities (Sparrow and Troy weren't a 'real' couple yet, but still). Besides that, I really enjoyed this read and it is my second favorite of her books after Vicious. There are so many layers to Troy & Sparrow, and I loved that it was more than simply a relationship between a girl and a mobster's son. Shen does an amazing job at world building and making sure that her characters actually live in the narrative as opposed to simply relying on dialogue. I was definitely surprised to with a few revelations so the story is always keeping you on your toes. If you haven't been introduced to L.J. Shen yet, what are you waiting for? She mixes romance perfectly with crime and suspense.

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
Amazon, Kindle, and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Links for L.J. Shen: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram 

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Review: Checkmate: This is Love (Travis & Viola, #2) by Kennedy Fox

Checkmate: This is Love (Travis & Viola, #2 of the Checkmate Duet Series) by Kennedy Fox 

Publishing Date: November 30, 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Pages: 432
Contemporary Romance

The Premise from the Author: "Viola Fisher is the epitome of perfection. She despises my one-night stands and mocks my less-than-classy habits. She’s smart, beautiful, and too good to be true. And I want her. If she were anyone else, I’d have made my move years ago, but considering she’s my best friend’s little sister, she’s always been off-limits. Not to mention how much she loathes my very existence. Hating me is her religion, but needing her is mine. Her sexy curves and filthy smart mouth make me want her even more, and I’m more determined than ever to change her mind. I’ll prove I’m done playing games. But until then, we’ll continue to play by her rules. Viola Fisher may have won the battle, but the war isn’t over yet. Checkmate, princess" (Fox).

*Recommend for ages 18+ due to sexual content and adult language.* **This is Love is book #2 in the Checkmate Duet series. You must read This is War first.**

My overall thoughts and review: So I'm starting to learn that KF likes to end books on cliffhangers which leave you wanting the next book immediately. This is Love takes place right after This is War, so after Travis' accident with Mia. Gosh, if you didn't hate Mia before, you will really hate her in this book. She just loves stirring up trouble for the sake of it. Viola tries her very best to trust Travis and it was incredibly frustrating when he didn't just say what happened and what didn't right from the beginning. You also see more of how Drew is being treated by Mia which is incredibly frustrating, but it's a nice set-up for the next duet of books. In terms of Travis and Viola... you can see they still had their banter this book but the strong all-consuming-rage they had before definitely simmered down, so it was nice to see them just be them. There was still some really intense sexy moments because it is team #Traviola of course, but you also got to see some really sweet moments too. You got to see a lot more of their past again and things do get complicated when Mia finally ~tells~ Drew her messed up version of what happened. Drew also learns about Viola & Travis in the process which doesn't really end well. A big thing happens that separates them and instead of having them just sit and wallow over not being together, you really see both Travis and Viola step up in this moment. Travis finally stands up for himself at work and refuses to take anymore crap that he's had to, and Viola really shines at her new internship job. The best thing about this moment in the book was that they stood as their own individual characters that as a reader you come to love and admire for their strength, and when they worked out their differences and came together, it was really quite sweet. I'm glad things wrapped up nicely for the both of them. Once again, Kennedy Fox includes all the amazing Harry Potter references which makes my heart so, so, happy. It was equal parts sexy and sweet and I definitely can't wait to read the next few books in this series. I love Fox's writing already! They bring together strong and sassy female leads with sweet counterparts, a good dose of drama (MIA EFFIN MONTGOMERY), and a well-rounded aspect of family and friendship. KF are quickly becoming my favorite romance writing duo! ;)

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
KennedyFoxBooksKobo BooksAmazonKindle, and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Review: Checkmate: This is War (Travis & Viola, #1) by Kennedy Fox

Checkmate: This is War (Travis & Viola, #1 of the Checkmate Duet Series) by Kennedy Fox 

Publishing Date: September 18, 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Pages: 414
Contemporary Romance

The Premise from the Author: "*An enemies to lovers romance* Travis King is the worst kind of asshole. He taunts me for being a good girl and mocks my high standards. He’s cruel, crass, and has enough confidence to last two lifetimes. And I hate him. It wouldn’t matter so much if he were avoidable. But considering he’s my older brother’s best friend and roommate, I see him more than I’d ever want to. His sculpted abs and gorgeous eyes are a waste on such an egotistical man, which makes me hate him even more. Even though I’ve had a crush on him since I was ten, the feelings weren’t mutual and he’s always made that very clear. He’s always loved getting under my skin and one night against my better judgment, I let him in my bed.  I’ve succumbed to his manwhore ways, but that doesn’t change a thing. Because the King is about to get played at his own game—and lose. Checkmate" (Fox).

*Recommend for ages 18+ due to sexual content and adult language.*

My overall thoughts and review: I kept seeing Kennedy Fox books all over my instagram feed and fellow blogger Amanda at Brains, Books, and Brawn is a big fan of the books so I decided to check them out. Kennedy Fox is a writing duo and this is their debut series. I love how close they are in terms of publication date so you don't have to wait incredibly long for the next book in the series. And similar to Christina Lauren, the characters have a group of friends and that is explored in the other books in the series. This duet of Travis & Viola has the premise of a enemies to lover romance, so hate to love trope. I'm sometimes into that and I'm sometimes not. If they can convince me by the end of the book that the guy is redeemable, I'm all for it. So that's what happened in this case ;) When you first meet Travis, he is hooking up with the daughter of the CEO of his company, so immediately, he feels like a player and just the way he spoke about women in general was a bit of a turn off. We learn that Travis & Viola have a history, and Travis is Drew's (Viola's older brother) bestfriend. So obviously them getting together would be problematic. They hate each other and they are known to spew hate at one another, but there's clearly some underlying sexual tension between the two of them. In flashbacks, we learn that Travis befriended Viola when they were younger until something happens that makes Viola hate him. They are forced to spend a week together at Travis & Drew's home and things start to heat up. Of course a hookup isn't simply a hookup and there's years of pent-up emotions and feelings. Things get complicated when they don't properly communicate with one another, and Drew's girlfriend, Mia, is an absolutely train-wreck that complicates things even further. The first book ends on a major cliffhanger but what I really enjoyed was how much I grew to really like Travis towards the end of the book. I loved both characters. Viola is a strong and independent character who puts her career first, and can definitely hold her own against Travis, but we also see Travis be more than the persona he gives off, as he comes to terms with his feelings for Viola, and seeing him handle his work life. Travis King truly treats Viola like his queen, and you can really see how much he loves her. This book has some pretty sexy and swoony moments and there were so many Harry Potter references that made my heart happy. I immediately jumped into the next book after this (review to come shortly). If you are a fan of swoony and steamy romance with strong and sassy female leads, this is definitely the series for you!

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
KennedyFoxBooksKobo Books, Amazon, Kindle, and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Review: History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Publishing Date: January 17, 2017
Publisher: Soho Press
Pages: 304
Young Adult Contemporary

The Premise from the Publisher: "When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course. To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart. If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life" (Soho Press).

My overall thoughts and review: This was my first Adam Silvera book, and I decided to go with the Audible version. Well done, Tom Picasso, for bringing the characters of Griffin, Theo, Jackson, and Wade to life for me. I just knew from the premise that I was getting into a book that did not have a happy ending, since it begins with Theo's death. I definitely got emotional a few moments listening to this book, so prepare yourself for the feels. Griffin, Theo, and Wade, were a trio of friends, and things got a bit complicated when Theo and Griffin confessed their love to each other and started dating. They were each other's first loves, and things got complicated when Theo was accepted early into university. They broke up, and thinking they both would be endgame, things didn't seem that bad, until Theo met Jackson. The story is told from two perspectives: present time & history. We slowly learn about Griffin and his relationships, while simultaneously seeing him deal with grief and mourning the death of Theo. Things get complicated when Griffin decides to befriend Jackson, because he wants to learn the truth of what really happened that day that Theo drowned. He also feels like he can ~be~ with Theo by learning about their experiences. At the same time, Griffin is also dealing with the fact that he has compulsions which lead to dangerous and destructive choices. His family is so incredibly supportive. I especially loved his father's loyalty to him. Even though Griffin does agree to get help and go to therapy towards the end of the book and work through his compulsions, I felt like this component could've been explored a bit further in the book. I would've liked to learn more about Griffin's recovery. His destructive choices were questionable and I found it really difficult at times to feel empathy for him, but it just shows that everyone deals with grief in their own way. I also really liked the friendship dynamic with Wade and just how there was a lot of friendship themes going on (Jackson also had his own problems with his friends). It really stresses the importance of friendship during dark times. The book did take a few twists that I did not expect, so kudos to Silvera for surprising me there! I really enjoyed the book and I felt genuine concern for these characters. I got to see them at their best moments and worst moments and I loved how authentic the entire story felt when it comes to death and mourning. I also really liked all the nerdy references throughout the book like Harry Potter & Star Wars. Overall, this is a lovely story about falling in love for the first time, coming out, and dealing with the loss of a loved one. I am already anticipating Silvera's next book They Both Die At End and I can just sense from the title of that one that it will once again bring all the feels!

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
Chapters/IndigoAudibleKobo BooksAmazon and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Blog Tour: Wesley James Ruined My Life by Jennifer Honeybourn - Review and Author Q&A

Wesley James Ruined My Life by Jennifer Honeybourn

Publishing Date: July 18, 2017
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Pages: 256
Young Adult Contemporary

The Premise from the Publisher: "Quinn is having a rough summer. Her beloved grandmother has been put into a nursing home, her dad's gambling addiction has flared back up, and now her worst enemy is back in town: Wesley James, former childhood friend and life ruiner. So when Wesley is hired to work with her at Tudor Tymes, a medieval England-themed restaurant, the last thing Quinn's going to do is forgive and forget. She's determined to remove him from her life and even the score for once and for all-by getting him fired. But getting rid of Wesley isn't as easy as she'd hoped. When Quinn finds herself falling for him, she has to decide what she wants more: to get even, or to get the boy" (Swoon Reads).

My overall thoughts and review: I first heard about this book at the Raincoast Preview and we got to hear Jennifer talk about her book a bit. I was immediately interested because I loved the idea of working at a medieval English-themed restaurant, and I love ~enemies~ to lovers narratives. I will say that you don't learn how Wesley ruined her life (according to her) immediately, so the pacing of that was a bit interesting. I liked how there was build up for it and it was revealed at a good moment in the text. Also back to the setting: Tudor Tymes is basically Medieval Times and I'm not going to lie, I had a desire to go to Medieval Times the entire time I was reading this. Quinn's big obsession with all things England and her desire to work hard and save up for a trip to England stems from her relationship with her Gran. I really appreciated learning about the moments they shared together. For example, when Quinn spoke about them staying up to watch the royal wedding together, it definitely reminded me of my relationship with my mom and aunt. Wesley also had a relationship with Quinn's grandma and they kept in touch, so it was nice learning how big of a role Gran had in both their lives. Other family members included, Quinn's father and he has a gambling problem. I know that it was more about Quinn & Wesley, but I would've liked to see that addressed a bit more. Especially how to handle that since it just seemed like he was ~getting better~ but then not. I also didn't really enjoy the introduction of Wesley's girlfriend, Jolie,  which was definitely strange and came out of no where. I feel like the book could've worked fine without that added drama. Quinn was definitely frustrating at moments putting so much emphasis on what Wesley did, but I'm glad that Wesley persevered through for the sake of their friendship. He's such a dorky character and I have to say he is definitely my favorite from the book. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I'm glad the cover choice of the food truck finally made sense towards the end of the book. I was so confused from the get-go going how does food trucks fit with Tudor Tymes (LOL). I would highly recommend this adorable, summer read to anyone who is a fan of Stephanie Perkins and Rainbow Rowell. Honeybourn writes similarly to them with strong female protagonists, a swoony romantic interest, with the perfect amount of family and friendship themes included. I can't wait to see what she writes next!

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
Chapters/Indigo, Kobo Books, Amazon, and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Author Question and Answer
1. Which character are you most like? Quinn or Wesley?
I am definitely more like Quinn. She and I share some similar personality traits, although I’d like to think that I don’t hold a grudge as long as she does. And I wouldn’t plot to actually get someone fired. I did give her my love of London and I was also close with my grandmother.

I wish I was more like Wesley, however — laid back, lets things roll off his shoulders, doesn’t really stress about much. I aspire to be more like him. 
Links for Jennifer: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram 

Thank you so much, Jennifer, for taking the time to answer my question. I definitely feel more like Quinn as well! Be sure to check out the other stops on the blog tour to check out more awesome reviews of this book and to see what other questions other bloggers have asked Jennifer. 

Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Raincoast Books for participation in the book tour. All opinions of the book are my own. 

Friday, 14 July 2017

Review: Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren

Dating You/Hating You by Christina Lauren

Publishing Date: June 6, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Gallery
Pages: 368
Adult Contemporary Romance

The Premise from the Publisher: "Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire. But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals—so why can’t they act like it? Can Carter stop trying to please everyone and see how their mutual boss is really playing the game? Can Evie put aside her competitive nature long enough to figure out what she really wants in life? Can their actor clients just be something close to human? Whether these two Hollywood love-hatebirds get the storybook Hollywood ending or just a dramedy of epic proportions, readers will get to enjoy Christina Lauren’s heartfelt, raucous, and hilarious romance style at its finest" (SS).

My overall thoughts and review: So if you follow me on goodreads or twitter, you will know that I've been on such a romance kick lately. I devoured the Beautiful series by Christina Lauren and I have one more book left in the Wild Seasons series by Christina Lauren as well. Christina Lauren is the combined pen-name of two awesome writers: Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. I have to say that are my favorite romance writing-duo because they write such strong and empowering female protagonists with male interests that are just swoon-worthy. I love that they have just the right amount of sexy and romantic scenes but also bigger themes like friendship, family, and work. When I learned that they were coming out with a stand-alone romance book, I knew I instantly had to read it. The premise of this story follows Carter and Evie, who hit it off at a Halloween party (they both dressed up as Harry and Hermione! HP references FTW!) but soon realize that they are competing for the same job which complicates their blossoming relationship. They pull some hilarious pranks on one another. The coffee keurig cups being swapped as one of my favorite moments. I laughed so much at the scenarios of Carter without coffee. There were a few sexy moments which Christina Lauren really know how to write, but Carter simply didn't make me swoon as much as the other CL male leads (he is no Will or Ansel unfortunately). That being said, I really enjoyed that CL gave us an inside look into the ugly business of Hollywood drama and the competitiveness that took place in firms of agents. The character of Brad was so horrible, and I wouldn't be surprised of people like him actually existed in real life. I loved that other characters stood up to his misogynistic ways! I also really loved how the characters engaged in text message chats and emails and the reader got to see those. Overall, I just loved seeing Carter and Evie find their path together, but also alone. They found what worked for them relationship wise, but also career wise. You can have both, and you shouldn't have to choose one or the other. I love that CL made this point clear in this book. I really enjoyed this summer read and it had me laughing out loud in many moments. I also want to take a moment to swoon over the adorable couple of Steph and Mike, they are #couplegoals. If you are a fan of other CL books, you will definitely enjoy this one!

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
Chapters/Indigo, Kobo Books, Amazon and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. All opinions of the book are my own.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Review: I Found You by Lisa Jewell

I Found You by Lisa Jewell 

Publishing Date: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 352
Family Life & Suspense

The Premise from the Publisher: "A young bride, a lonely single mother, and an amnesiac man of dubious origin lie at the heart of New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell’s next suspenseful drama. In a windswept British seaside town, single mom Alice Lake finds a man sitting on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, and no idea how he got there. Against her better judgment, she invites him inside. Meanwhile, in a suburb of London, twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one. Then the police tell her that her husband never existed. Twenty-three years earlier, Gray and Kirsty are teenagers on a summer holiday with their parents. Their annual trip to the quaint seaside town is passing by uneventfully, until an enigmatic young man starts paying extra attention to Kirsty. Something about him makes Gray uncomfortable—and it’s not just that he’s playing the role of protective older brother. Two decades of secrets, a missing husband, and a man with no memory are at the heart of this brilliant new novel" (Atria Books).

My overall thoughts and review: I love a good thrilling read especially with a family dynamic. So many of the books today are focused on a love relationship, and while that's nice, I like seeing family dynamics at work as well. When I first read the premise of this book, I knew I wanted to read it since it had similar elements to Broadchurch (one of my favorite shows ever) with a mystery to be solved and of course, a seaside town setting. I was also really intrigued by three story-lines happening at once, and like I said, there seemed to be a focus on family with the story-line of Kirsty and Gray. I must admit that in the beginning, it was a bit hard to follow all the different narratives (I think that's why it took me so long to finish, since I read it super slowly to catch all the details), but soon it became evident that somehow each story had a mystery: who was the man sitting outside her house, for Alice - Lily was missing her husband, and the siblings, Gray and Kirsty, were trying to figure out what this mystery character, Mark, really wanted. I really liked that the story of the two siblings took place 23 years earlier, so whatever had happened to them is linked to the present time. Even though it comes down to two possible outcomes for the ending, I really did enjoy it and I have to admit, I thought the ~other~ outcome was going to happen for the most part. I was genuinely surprised but also sad to learn of the truth of everything since it's absolutely heartbreaking what happened. I will say that the story resolves itself quite nicely and it's a nice departure from the regular open endings of thriller novels. It was also paced nicely, but unfortunately the reason why this book only gets 4 stars from me is simply because I wasn't too invested in the story-line of Lily. I just was not interested and did not really care much for the character, and I think because in contrast to Alice, she was in a way, too dependent on another character (she begins to rely on her husbands friend and it just becomes too much imo). My favorite character was definitely Alice and seeing her dynamics with her kids. She is genuinely a good person and I really liked that she owned her flaws in a really empowering way. I really enjoyed this book and it is in the same vein as Clare Mackintosh's I Let You Go; so if you loved that, you will love this one! It's my first time reading something by Lisa Jewell, but it surely won't be the last :)

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)

Available for purchase at:
Chapters/Indigo, Kobo Books, Amazon and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Simon and Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. All opinions of the book are my own.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Aberfoyle Antique Market - #Canada150 Long Weekend


So this is definitely a departure from my regular posts. I mentioned a while back about wanting to add more personal posts on my blog to go along with bookish things. I also really love seeing blogs that format photos and very minimal text, and posts that highlight travel adventures. So here is my first one: during the Canada150 long weekend, Jeremy and I headed up to Guelph with his parents and we stopped by the Aberfoyle Antique Market. I haven't visited an antique market in what feels like forever, but I felt like I was back to being little and exploring the St. Lawrence Market stalls looking for skeleton keys. I didn't end up purchasing anything but a lemonade, but it was a beautiful day and we saw a lot (including some adorable pooches in strollers). I highly recommend giving this place a look if you want to find some old vintage finds and be sure to bring good shoes (because you will be walking a lot) and pack on that sunscreen if you go on a sunny day! 

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Review: The Truth About Happily Ever After by Karole Cozzo

The Truth About Happily Ever After by Karole Cozzo

Publishing Date: May 16, 2017
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 320
Young Adult Fiction/Romance

The Premise from the Publisher: "Everything was supposed to be perfect. Alyssa has a job she loves, working as Cinderella at her favorite theme park; a fantastic group of friends; and a boyfriend who will no longer be long distance. But as the summer progresses, her prince becomes less charming and more distant, and Alyssa's perfect summer falls apart. Forced to acknowledge that life is not always a fairy tale, Alyssa starts working to pull her herself back together. Fortunately, she doesn't have to do it alone. With her friend Miller's support, she's determined to prove that she's more than just a pretty princess. And with his help, maybe she's finally ready for something better than dreams. Maybe she's ready for something real" (FF).

My overall thoughts and review: When I first read the premise of the book, I was all for it, since I love the idea of the theme park as the setting. The theme park is of course a nod to Disneyworld and instead of Disney, you get the Dominion/Enchanted, but the same characters seem to make an appearance. The main protagonist, Alyssa, plays Cinderella at the theme park. Cozzo speaks about "look-overs" which I'm not sure actually happens irl, but how each employee has to have a look-over to make sure they are in perfect condition for their role (i.e. weight), really made me cringe and the fact that Alyssa took it so incredibly to heart made me sad. I understand that Alyssa loved her job and at the end of the day, she found something she is passionate about and pursued which is great, but it's just so messed up, the entire concept of "look-overs." I also felt that Alyssa's calorie counting and constant need to work-out were red flags, despite her saying time and time again, that she did not have an eating disorder. I did like that a character named Miller, did intervene at one point and brought it up and offered his support (there should be more people like Miller in the world), but still, I felt it was handled really poorly in terms of how body image issues and the possibility of an eating disorder was woven into the plot. Towards the end of the book, Alyssa finds her footing, so to speak, where she works out because she wants to, not because she has to, and actually eats full, hearty meals without feeling the guilt. But a part of me wishes that her body image issues were addressed more fully and weren't simply: she met Miller and her brought out the best in her, so now she is all good. I know this is a Swoons Read title, so obviously, even when her original prince charming, Jake, becomes awful, another love interest does step in. I appreciate when characters grow not because of a love interest, but rather are able to pick up the pieces on their own. But goodness, what Jake did was completely awful and he really did owe Alyssa a proper apology. I did like that Harper gave her the truth and attempted to make amends with her. But Harper kept saying 'it was like fate' was bringing her and Jake together really made me cringe. Sorry, but that's just an excuse to make herself feel better for the entire situation. I don't usually take this long to read YA novels, but I think the reason why it took me forever was I just really disliked Jake and how he handled things and I would get so frustrated reading anything with him.

Despite what I've said earlier, there are parts that I really did enjoy about the book. I really did like Alyssa as a character despite all her faults, and it was nice seeing her come into herself in a way. She demonstrates a ton of strength throughout the book and I just really appreciated her resilience. I also really loved how friendship was a strong component of the book. Miller had Yael, and Alyssa had her princess girls and sorority girls. She had an amazing support system, even from people that are 'prickly' at times. One character, named Camilla, although harsh, tried to go out of her comfort zone at times and was the voice of reason in some scenarios. I really liked her and wish that there were more scenes for her. Also back to the love interest: Miller. He is such a sweet character and an all around good guy. He is just a lovely character and how he seems to lighten up a room definitely made me swoon. I enjoyed the book at the end of the day. I think the parts that got me excited before reading, ended up disappointing me, but other things that I was not expecting, genuinely surprised me (in a good way). Overall, if you are a fan of Disney and want something fuzzy in the romance department, this read is definitely for you!

My rating of the book: ✮✮✮.5 (3.5 stars) 

Available for purchase at:
Chapters/Indigo, Kobo Books, Amazon and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)

Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions of the book are my own.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Book Bloggers Recommend Summer Reads | 2017 Edition

Hi everyone! I hope that you are all enjoying the beautiful warm weather we are having in Toronto right now. I felt like it was time for another Book Bloggers Recommend post, since the last one was really fun to collaborate on! If you haven't seen the other post, I asked a few of my bookish friends to recommend some good Valentines Read here! This time around we are recommending summer reads/books you'd read by the beach/lake, or simply something you'd read outside (or inside) during the sunshine!

Michele at Just A Lil' Lost recommends...
"When Christine asked me to be part of another blogger collab, this time about beach/summer books, I immediately thought of On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves. It's been 5 years since I first read this novel but the story had stayed with me. On the Island is about Anna, a 30-year-old teacher who gets stranded on an island with T.J., her teenage student. When rescue seems less and less likely as the days, months and years go by, Anna realizes that the boy she first washed ashore with is becoming a man. The pairing may seem a bit shocking or taboo but the way their circumstances form their companionship is a compelling story."

 Michelle at Musing Wallflower recommends.. 
"When I think about summer reading, I think about picking up a book and sitting under my favourite tree at the park and enjoying the fresh air. And the book I'm recommending you bring to the park with you is Lost & Found by Brooke Davis.Very reminiscent of Pixar's Up, Lost & Found follows three protagonists - Millie, Agatha and Karl - who are all coping with a serious loss in their lives. Agatha and Karl, both having lost their spouses, accompany seven-year-old Millie on her adventure to find the mother who abandoned her at a department store, but the three of them end up finding companionship with one another. Despite the dark themes, the book is very funny and quite sweet. A light, uplifting read to bring along on a quiet, breezy day!"
(Michelle has also written a full-review on her blog here!)


Amanda at Brains, Books and Brawn recommends... 
"The honour of my being named my favourite beach/pool/park side summer read is a toss up between Morgan Matson's The Unexpected Everything and Laura Silverman's Girl Out of Water. They're both set in the summer (easy points won here) and capture the vibe of the season so well it almost hurts. I loved the stories and main characters in both as well. Of course there are also adorable summer romances to make you swoon and ship and fail. What's summer without cute stories?! Not to mention that the covers are so beautiful for outdoor bookstagram...if you can stop reading long enough to take a picture!"

Ambur at Burning Impossibly Bright recommends...
"I have a few books summery books that I absolutely adore, but the one that I always turn to is Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. Prior to reading it, I mostly read paranormal and fantasy YA, but Amy and Roger opened me up to the wonderful world of contemporary, and I haven’t looked back since! I also just love that it’s the perfect catch-all summer book. You’ve got a road trip, a summer romance, great playlists, camping, and some crazy shenanigans! What’s not to love?! Other honourable mentions include: The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen, Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt, and because I can’t talk about books lately without bringing up romance, I’d also recommend Sweet Cheeks by K. Bromberg!"

Sarena & Sasha at The Writing Duo recommends...
"Our summer pick is a new YA by a great Canadian author, SK Ali. Saints and Misfits is both light-hearted and deals with heavy subject matter; but like the author says, it shows the humanity in Muslims, and also shows the woes of romance and being a 15-year-old, something most people can relate to. I loved reading Janna's journey to finding her own kind of empowerment among her family and friends. Seriously, this cover SCREAMS summer--and you want to read this book with a cone of ice cream, enjoying the summer breeze!" 

Jessica at The Paper Trail Diary recommends..
"I am not really a re-reader – my TBR pile is too big, watching over me, and I feel like it would judge me if I went back and spent more time on books. I know this is absolutely silly, but at least the books that I would re-read keep a special shelf of love in my heart. So when I think of a book that I would read outdoors in the summer, I think of The Museum of Heartbreak. It’s an adorable YA novel about a girl who has some growing up to do, and I think back on it fondly. When I think of it, I think of walking around Central Park and taking a moment to lie down in the grass in the shade. And because it is so sweet, it feels like sunshine. I also do like it when I read books in the summer that take place in the summer, for some reason that feels like a tall glass of lemonade (even when YA books that take place in the summer mean the MC is about to go through some life changes). In the past, I’ve recommended it as a great palette-cleanser read, especially after a string of darker books. It’s light, airy, and fun, and sweet like a ginormous ice cream cone. This kind of book is exactly the kind of thing I like to read in the summer."

Tiff at Mostly YA Lit recommends...
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"For me, the perfect beach or summer read has to have that sense of slow, hot days and nights, but also be captivating and sweet enough to hold my interest against the gorgeous outdoors. The two books that always put me in a summer mood are Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (actually read in a cabin by the lake in British Columbia), and Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. While both these authors have written other summery books, the road trippy, swoony feelings that these books embody - along with just the right amount of healing, friendship, and transformation - make them perfect to whip through in a summer afternoon by the beach or lake."

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I want to take a moment and thank all these fantastic bloggers for participating in this collaboration. They've recommended some amazing titles that I haven't read yet and that I'm already adding to my ever-growing TBR pile. I hope that you will find something enjoyable from their recs to pick up during this sunny and warm weather! Please be sure to show them some love on their blogs and check out their other social media links. 

Do you have any summer reads that you simply love and are perfect for a read in the sun?
Let me know in the comments below! 

Friday, 23 June 2017

The New Disney Princess Book Tag

I haven't done a book tag in what feels like forever, so it was a nice surprise when the lovely Flavia of Flavia The Bibliophile Blog tagged me in a Disney Princess Book Tag. I'm a big Disney fan and this book tag is simply amazing. I love seeing everyone's unique answers and seeing the newer princesses included in the content. 

The Rules 
1) Mention where you saw the tag/thank whoever tagged you (Thanks, Flavia!) 
2) Tag Zuky’s and Mandy’s posts so they can check out the wonderful Princess fun throughout the blog world (Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews & Zuky @ Book Bum)
3) Play a game of tag at the end!

The Tag: 

SNOW WHITE
THIS BOOK (LIKE THE MOVIE) STARTED IT ALL
Favorite Debut Book From an Author 

This is really hard for me to choose because I've read so many incredible debut books from various authors. So is it ok if I list more than one? I definitely loved Saints & Misfits by S.K. Ali, which I have a full review of here! I also really loved Our Little Secret by Roz Nay, which I also wrote a full review for here! Both were simply amazing debut novels and I'm honestly so excited to see what both actors write next! 


CINDERELLA
A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH
Just Like Cinderella, You Either Didn’t Expect Much Out of This Character in the Beginning But Turned Out to Be a Total Gem 

I've got to say Kitty Pong from the Crazy Rich Asians series. I was not in love with her when she was first introduced, but I loved how much her character grew in the second book. I kind of flip-flopped with her again in the final book, but in the end, she did turn out to be a total gem and did something  redeeming which I admire! Full review for: China Rich Girlfriend & Rich People Problems


AURORA
SLEEPING BEAUTY
A Book That Makes You Sleepy or Just Could Not Hold Your Attention

This book is definitely going to be The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara. I did not enjoy this book one bit. It made me so sleepy and bored at a lot of moments, but also made me incredibly angry. I listened to it on audiobook and I definitely slogged through it for months. I do not recommend this book at all. It's a shame. I do hope that Yanagihara's other books are better. 


ARIEL
UNDER THE SEA
A Book With a Water/Ocean Setting

I'm going to say Salt to The Sea by Ruta Sepetys. This book takes place on a boat and is incredibly heartbreaking. I had all the emotions and more while reading this book. It takes place in WW2 setting and introduces the reader to a story that many are not familiar with. I loved it so much and I  immediately went out to buy Sepetys' other books.Would highly recommend if you are looking for something historical fiction.



BELLE
BEAUTY AND THE BOOKS
Name a Book With the Best Bookworm/Book Lover

Ok, I think this one is obvious, but how could I not choose Hermione from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series? She is the obvious choice and heck, Emma Watson went on to play Belle in the new live-action version which is some inception if you ask me ;) She made reading cool again, and I loved that she always had her head in a book. Another would be Henry in Words in Deep Blue


JASMINE
THE THIEF AND THE PRINCESS
Name Book with an Unlikely Love Story (Either in Terms of Romance or a Book You Didn’t Expect to Love So Much)

For this one I'm going to say Taylor Jenkins Reid's The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I won't say too much but this book definitely fulfills both categories: there is an unlikely love story which I did not see coming at all and I absolutely loved. I also knew that her books were popular, but I did not know just how much I would love it. I'm still swooning over it and I'm itching to sit down and reread it this instant! 


POCAHONTAS
THE REAL LIFE PRINCESS
Name a Book that is Based on a Real Life Person You Want to Read/Have Read

I read a ton of Non-Fiction and I always love a good memoir/biography. I often pick up these usually knowing a bit about them before hand. My most recent one that I've read and loved is digital influencer/Youtuber: Anna Akana's So Much I want to Tell You: Letters to my little sister. I knew I wanted to get it right away because I've been a fan of Anna's for a long time and reading this only reaffirmed my admiration for her as a human being and content creator. 


MULAN
THE PRINCESS THAT SAVED HER COUNTRY
Name the Fiercest Heroine You Know

This one is easy! I will definitely say Celaena Sardothien from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas - she is so incredibly badass and I just love how fierce she is. She's a train assassin and does not back down easily. Another character created by Maas is definitely Feyre in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. I loved her seeing her come into herself and really transform into a strong individual.


TIANA
THE PRINCESS WITH THE COOLEST AND MOST DIVERSE CREW
Name a diverse book whether it is a diverse set of characters (like Tiana’s group of Naveen, Louis, Ray, and more) or just diverse in general

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas! This book is not only incredibly diverse, but just such an important read for our time. The characters are amazing and I just love the dynamic of the entire group. There's Starr (the protagonist), Chris (the boyfriend), Maya (one of the bestfriends), Seven (her brother).. and more! I loved those characters in particular but the other family members were also really lovely and made a huge part of the book.


RAPUNZEL
LET YOUR LONGGGGGG HAIR DOWN
Name the Longest Book You’ve Ever Read

I really can't name the longest book I've ever read off the top of my head, and I don't have my full book collection with my currently. From what I can remember, I believe Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the longest one, coming in at 816 pages and for school, I've read James Joyce's Ulysses a few times, and that is about 1056 pages (depending on which edition). For more recent, going on what I've read in the past few years, Sarah J. Maas' A Court of Mist and Fury was quite long, coming in at 656 pages. 


MERIDA
I DETERMINE MY OWN FATE
A Book Where There is No Love Story/Interest or Isn’t Needed

So I have two Victoria Schwab titles for this category. First is Vicious, there isn't a love story in this book at all. It is simply about two incredibly evil individuals and their rivalry with one another. Sure, you can ship characters, but it isn't explicit in canon. I really liked that it focused more on the questions of good and evil, and did not force a love story in there somewhere. Another book by Schwab that follows this is This Savage Song. Imagine Romeo and Juliet, but without the romance. The boy and girl are from opposite sides and it's really interesting to see the dynamic between the two. There's a possibility for romance, but the narrative does not hinge on that and can stand on it's own. I really admire Schwab's writing because she doesn't require a love story to make her books. She is so amazing at character building and world building that it is simply all you need and all you want.


ANNA/ELSA
FROZEN HEARTS
A Book in a Winter/Cold Setting

This one was quite hard. I believe one of the Tahereh Mafi books took place in the winter and if I'm remembering correctly, it was Unravel Me? I also think of The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, which I read growing up, and C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I also think of holiday & Christmas books when I think of a Winter setting so basically any book that mentions Christmas or snow ever :P


MOANA
HOW FAR I’LL GO
A Character That Goes on a Journey

For this one, I'm going to choose Stephanie Garber's Caraval. In this book, the main character, Scarlett, and her sister, Tella go on a journey to Caraval, a once-in-a-lifetime performance/experience. They have to go on a boat and once there, it is like another journey throughout Caraval itself. This trip really allows Scarlett to explore her strengths as a character but also uncover the hidden secrets of the mysterious Legend. I loved following along with both characters as they embarked on their journey and make through this strange wonderland/circus world. I found myself wanting to travel to Caraval as well as I was reading and I think that is a sign of a good journey in the book, if the reader wants to come along as well on the trip ;) 

Well, we've reached the end! Thanks for sticking around and reading all my picks for each category. It was definitely hard to choose for some of these, so I hope you don't mind that I may have put multiple answers for some categories. I definitely feel like I need to go sit down and watch Disney movies on loop for a while now after doing this tag and I must admit, I haven't watched Moana yet, so I must rectify that situation. Thanks again to Flavia for tagging me! It was a ton of fun. And before I go, I just want to play the game of tag, so.... 

I'm tagging: