Sunday, July 5, 2020

The Sunday Post #5

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer and is a chance to recap bookish and non-bookish things from the past week! What you're currently reading, just finished reading, recently bought, or things going on!
So.... we got another puppy!
Again!

Yes, we still have both Pusley and Biscuit...but somehow we ended up getting another baby black pug that's a girl!
So now we have 3 pugs, two of which are girls. Can you guess what we named the new one??


*drum roll*


Wednesday!
So our two puppies are Pugsley and Wednesday (yes, like the Adams Family)!!

                                                                (This is Wednesday!)


Finished Reading:



Crimson Bound was one of the best reads this year for me so far! It was so much better than I was anticipating! What made it better was that it was a Red Riding Hood retelling!!
🌟🌟🌟🌟

A Countess Below Stairs was one I'd been meaning to read for a while, it was given to me by one of my best friends and she insisted I would love it! I...did not love it per se, but I did enjoy it. It was a humorous and very enjoyable historical romance!
🌟🌟🌟 [3.5 stars!]

Snow White and Rose Red was soo good! It's a retelling of one of my favorite (tho usually unknown) fairytales! The dialogue was a bit annoying sometimes because it was set in medieval times, but otherwise no complaints! I thoroughly enjoyed it and plan to re-read it again at some point! (Pugsley is the one in the picture!)
🌟🌟🌟🌟


Serafina and the Seven Stars by Robert Beatty

This middle-grade series is one that I've loved for years now, this is the newest installment and I've been so excited to finally read it and I was not disappointed!
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟







Currently Reading~

I recently got to go back to my beloved library and got a whole stack of books to read! Here's some of the loot!!


  I've started The Witch of Willow Hall, and it's not one I've heard about at all really I picked it up because a very close person to me read it and informed me I HAD to read it, and that she could so see me as her in the book. I was so intrigued but I had to wait for my library to open back up to get a copy!

  I've also started Avalon High by Meg Cabot, I never knew this was a book! I remember watching the movie when I was younger and though I didn't love the movie (I grew up on some different Disney movies than that lol) I was still interested in it.



  I also finally tried a free trial for Kindle Unlimited, I can't afford it so I will only have it for the month so I'll be reading a lot of ebooks this month!!

  Some of the loot:


Hot Pursuit I'm already reading and am like 90% finished!

Depths and Enthroned are retellings that I'm planning to read for reading challenges I'm participating in this month!

How has your week been??
What are you currently reading?



Have a lovely day!
~Noel Walker πŸ’—

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Vacation Romances To Read

 
Personally, I can't stand the romantic reads where it's a summer fling kinda thing.
Absolutely not.
No thanks!

 If I want to read a book with a good romance in it, I want one I can root for that is not obviously just a brief thing!

So what Noel means by ''Vacation Romances'' is this: reads where the meeting (usually) takes place on some kind of vacation/trip, but it's not a come-and-go trip, the love interest is someone that they'd be able to be around or see again outside of just however long the vacation was πŸ™„.

  I understand that there might not be a big difference to most but for me, I love to cheer on a romance that doesn't feel like a fling. And most summer romances seem to be flings...

So on that note...


The vacation romances Noel would absolutely suggest and really enjoyed so much she had to buy a copy!


Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

 *Jenn Bennett writes wonderful romcoms, but this one is a very good one to read during summer with a nice cup of iced sweet tea! It's like You've Got Mail with Tom Hanks and the reverse of Philadelphia Story! *


Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.


GOODREADS | AMAZON



Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

*One of my favorite romantic reads! From the setting in Paris, to the love interest! 😍 It's the first in a series, though I still need to read the next two books!!*


   Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Γ‰tienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Γ‰tienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?


GOODREADS | AMAZON



The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

*Probably my most favorite romcom! I discovered this read after a blogger friend reviewed it, its synopsis and cover caught my attention and I was at the bookstore...and the next thing I knew it was in my hand and I was reading it. The only book that I've bought before reading it or knowing for sure if I would love it or not!*


Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancΓ© is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of... lucky.


GOODREADS | AMAZON




Austenland by Shannon Hale

*Any fan of Jane Austen needs to read this over the summer! And then go watch the movie!!*


Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane's fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined.

Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen;or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It's all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?


GOODREADS | AMAZON



The Geography of Lost Things by Jessica Brody

*This is on my TBR for this summer actually, it's surprisingly hard to find a copy at my library but I managed and it should be coming soon! (Yes, I still can't afford to buy books often lol, so library it is!) Honestly, I've had my eye on this book for a while on Goodreads because it sounds really good to me: I love road trips, the cover is lovely, and the plot sounds super good too! Now...have any of you read it and what did you think of it??*


In this romantic road trip story perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson, a teen girl discovers the value of ordinary objects while learning to forgive her absent father.

After Ali’s father passes away, he leaves his one and only prized possession—a 1968 Firebird convertible—to his daughter. But Ali doesn’t plan on keeping it. Not when it reminds her too much of all her father’s unfulfilled promises. So when she finds a buyer three hundred miles up the Pacific coast willing to pay enough money for the car to save her childhood home, Ali can’t wait to get going. Except Ali has no idea how to drive a stick shift. But guess who does?

Ali’s ex-boyfriend, Nico. And Nico has other plans.

He persuades Ali that instead of selling the car, they should “trade up” the items they collect on their trip to eventually reach the monetary amount Ali needs. Agreeing with Nico’s crazy plan, Ali sets off on a unique adventure that is unlike anything she ever could have expected.

And it’s through Ali’s travels, through the strangers she meets and the things that they value—and why they value them—that Ali eventually comes to understand her father and how his life may not have been as easy and carefree as she previously thought. Because just like the seemingly insignificant objects Ali collects, not everything is exactly as it appears.


GOODREADS | AMAZON



Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

*While I have not read this Jenn Bennett book yet (my library hold got delayed so it may be another week or so sadly), everyone has insisted this is a perfect summer romance read. And I personally have not been disappointed by Jenn Bennett's books yet, so I'm still looking forward to reading it soon!*


Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern-day Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?


GOODREADS | AMAZON



Beach Read by Emily Henry

*This is very much on my 'Must Read This Summer List/TBR'', I haven't heard a lot about this book but one of my friends suggested it big time to me and insisted I had to read it this summer! And honestly, the description sounds like something I would love!*


A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They're polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they're living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer's block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She'll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he'll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.


GOODREADS | AMAZON

Have you read any of these? What did you think of them??

What's your perfect summer read??



Lots of love & Thank you for reading!!
~Noel

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The King's 100 | Sci-Fi Drama with a Secret Identity


Title: The King's 100
By: Karin Biggs

Published: July 21st, 2020

Genre: YA | Fantasy

GOODREADS


  Synopsis:   Sixteen-year-old Piper Parish, princess of the loveless, STEM-only kingdom of Capalon, is a disappointment to her citizens and to her older sister, the queen. When Piper receives an anonymous note stating her mother is still alive and living in the enemy kingdom of Mondaria, Piper chooses to risk death in effort to prove once and for all that she's not just the queen's defective little sister. With the companionship of Chip, a piece of tech embedded in her wrist, Piper flees Capalon and enters a world where love and emotional expression are unrestricted.

Posing as a singer for the enemy king’s court of performers, the King’s 100, Piper risks death if she is revealed to be the Capalon princess, but discovers that living a life without the freedom to love might actually be the most dangerous risk of all.

The King’s 100 is a glittering and mysterious love story woven among the camaraderie singers, drummers and magicians in a future world by debut author, Karin Biggs.

*I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own!*


   The cover of this book really caught my attention, so it piqued my interest recently. I requested to review it after reading the synopsis and finding it was a fantasy read which just sealed the deal for me really.
 When it's summertime, I find myself craving fantasy or sci-fi reads more.

Let's see, where to start...

  The novel starts by introducing us to our main character, Piper, who is a princess in a complex and very interesting kingdom (if not also downright pitying, I would NOT want to live there!). It was hard to not have instant compassion for the main character after seeing her life and the people in it that she had to deal with. While still being herself and mourning her parents!
  Goodness.
 Piper's parents died not long ago, and so her older sister became queen. However their kingdom is ignorant of everywhere else in the world really, and instead, its people pride themselves on being oh-so-intelligent and cold. They do not let emotions or sentiments have a place in their lives.

So the fact that Piper, their princess, grieves for her parents still and believes her mother might be alive is a big no-no to them.
 Right after that was all made clear, I was all for Piper to go on an adventure to find her mother and get out of that suffocating kingdom!


  While I use the term ''suffocating kingdom'' it was still intriguing to read about. Their technology in the story and everything had me thinking it was a sci-fi novel and not a fantasy after all. I checked and it is in fact listed and marketed as a fantasy novel, but I digress.
 

 I initially thought the novel was slow, and that it took forever for things to pick-up and get to where things actually happened. But once it did, crud, I was not putting it down!
 Okay, admission: I'm a sucker for romance. So when that was introduced I HAD to finish it in one sitting. But anyway...back to the plot πŸ˜‚

While it did take a bit for things to start picking up, somethings picked up a little too much towards the end...
 

   Piper finds herself in her enemy's kingdom looking for her mother and evidence she is still alive. To do so she poses as a singer in the king's court. (The King's 100 if you want to be exact.) She changes her name to Paris (which I personally loved, but I also have a All-Things-Paris-Obsession), and I loved some of the side characters in this part of the story.
  Some of them I strongly disliked, and some of them I really could've cared less if they even died in the story (which would explain why I don't remember if they even did die or not...).


 While I liked Piper, she made some very...not quite stupid, but close, decisions. And honestly, that would be because the last half of the book was really just...drama.
  Romance was in the air, which of course I was rooting for because I really liked her love interest, but Piper lost sight of why she even went to the other kingdom. She was so focused on the emotions she was caught up in while telling herself she couldn't have those emotions for these people.
Which lead to some needless things happening in the plot, that while they weren't bad, they just weren't necessary. They were pretty much filler scenes.


I did like some of the friendships that Piper made and the interactions were sometimes so funny!


The ending was very good and made me enjoy it all again. I wished there'd been more to the conclusion, but oh well.
Though...the last two pages or so definitely has some explaining to do. But good news: I heard the author is planning a sequel!


One thing I still have a little bit of a hard time with is rather hard to discuss without spoiling, but I will try. The climax and big reveal/discovery part, that I'd waited for the whole book with anticipation was rather a let down to me.
Yeah, it still is.


What I really enjoyed:

- The romance
- The original plot was intriguing (though the author rather strayed from that a bit sadly)
- The side characters and the main character (if I don't care about the main character, there's a problem)
- the secret identity part, lately I've been on a kick for that in stories and movies so when I find one done well... bravo! πŸ‘


ALSO NOTE: While it is listed as a fantasy novel, I personally did not see many 'fantasy elements', and really I saw more sci-fi than anything else. Though that also wasn't in all the book... so while I'm calling it a sci-fi, Goodreads says different.


My Rating:
Have you heard of this book or read it?? What are your thoughts?

What have you been reading lately??



Thank you for reading, & have a lovely day!
~Noel πŸ’—
P. S. Biscuit and Pugsley say hello! :)