Mini Reviews: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas, The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh, and The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: May 3, 2016


Review

My oh my. I feel like I need an ice cold bath and a nap after every SJMaas book I finish. Her books take me on such an emotional roller coaster and they keep getting steamier and steamier! For those who’ve read her Throne of Glass series, I would say that ACOMAF is similar to Heir of Fire in feel such that it is very character-driven and full of changes. Feyre is going through an incredibly transitional period in her life as she recovers from all that she endured Under the Mountain and adapts to her new life. Since I’ve come to care for her in the first book, my heart went out to her, which made her transformation all the more rewarding. She was always fierce, but now she is fierce in a whole new way. While ACOTAR took place predominantly in the Spring Court, ACOMAF takes place mostly in the Night Court. I loved deepening relationships with old characters (ahem RHYSAND ahem), meeting new characters, and exploring more of this world that SJMaas brilliantly crafted. And there was plenty that happened to set up what I’m sure will be one hell of a next book. Of course, I need it now.


Title: The Rose and the Dagger
Author: Renee Ahdieh
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #2
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: April 26, 2016


Review

*Happy sigh* This conclusion was everything I had hoped it would be and more. It was just as beautifully written, suspenseful, romantic and magical as the first one, if not more so. And I felt that the story had a strong focus on love and forgiveness which I really appreciated. It picks up right where The Wrath and The Dawn left off and expands the world considerably. Yet everything is still wrapped up nicely in the end. Shazi learns quite a few new things about herself and I enjoyed watching her develop her talents, even though it was only a small portion of the story. Most of the story was focused on breaking the curse and saving Khorasan. And while Shazi and Khalid are still the shining stars of this series, there were so many secondary characters that stepped into the limelight. One of which I particularly loves getting to know was Shazi's younger sister, Irsa who grew into quite the young woman. Everything about this book was wonderful.


Title: The Crown's Game
Author: Evelyn Skye
Series: The Crown's Game #1
Publisher: Balzery & Bray
Release Date: May 17, 2016


Review

I had so much fun reading this one… until the ending at which point all I could do was cry! The premise of two magical people competing for a place of power, with only one being able to survive, might not sound like such a novel idea. Variations of this type of story have obviously been done before. And probably 9 times out of 10, the two competitors fall in love because what a convenient layer of complexity that adds! BUT what made this book unique was the historical Russian setting and the magic that was performed, which was intricately woven into the setting and very beautiful. And who cares if the basic plotline isn’t new, it was still fun! I liked the characters and I thought their attraction to each other was sweet, even if it could’ve used more time to develop. I loved the playfulness with which they competed. And I loved the emotional turmoil they each underwent for being torn between wanting to win and not wanting to hurt the other. BUT I DID NOT LOVE THAT ENDING. I stared gape-mouthed at the end of this book not wanting to believe what I just read. I need the next book now because I need this to be fixed! And I want more magical fun.:)

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Wanderlost by Jen Malone

Title: Wanderlost
Author: Jen Malone
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 31st 2016

Summary from Goodreads:
Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe.

Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.

But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.

Review

This is the perfect summer book.  It had everything I was looking for, romance, adventure, and humor.  Even having traveled more than a handful of times, I thoroughly enjoyed all the nerve-racking feelings Aubree felt on her first trip.  She is already an apprehensive traveler and on top of that she is in charge of the safety and happiness of an elderly tour group.  I truly felt for her.

Her travel struggles had me grinning through the entire book.  The fact that new and unknown foods wig her out was so relate-able and laughable.  I know when I travel there are times when I am just like, yea no thanks, plain bread please. (I know, terrible!)

Overall, I highly recommend Wanderlost; it was a cute and fun read.  I was laughing and constantly rooting her on.  She really sees past her tour members' age and she sees past her traveling fears, truly embracing the joy exploring can bring.  She finds a new part of herself through the course of the book that really gave the story an additional layer of depth.

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Stacking The Shelves (169) - June 25th

Stacking the Shelves - hosted by Tynga at Tynga's Reviews - features books that you bought, borrowed, rented from the library, received for review, etc.

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Mini Reviews: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows, And I Darken by Kiersten White,

Title: My Lady Jane
Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: June 7, 2016


Review

My Lady Jane will no doubt put a smile on your face and, if you are anything like me, even make you laugh quite a few times (the horse jokes were amazing). It is just FULL of personality. The characters are charming, the relationships are full of heart and the plot was just plain fun. Readers will especially relate to Jane and the great lengths she will go to for her beloved books. I really liked how her relationship with Gifford developed - – they were an adorable pair - and I really enjoyed the magical twist on this story. I don’t know much about this period of history or if any of it rings true, but it was definitely interesting AND entertaining. I could easily have rated this book 4 stars but If I had to guess why I withheld half a star is that maybe this book read a little young. Or maybe because it failed to live up to its potential just a teeny bit. But if you are a fan of any of the authors on their own, you should definitely read this book. Their voices really shine through.


Title: And I Darken
Author: Kiersten White
Series: The Conquerors Saga #1
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: June 28, 2016


Review

THIS BOOK WAS SUCH A PLEASANT SURPRISE. It wasn’t really even on my radar (granted that’s not saying all that much considering how MIA I’ve been) but then I was looking up reviews for some books I had on my shelves to help me decide what to read next and this book was getting some serious attention so I decided to read it. First, I am so so glad that I did. Second, this book deserves all the praise. It’s a slower moving book, and I wasn’t really sure where the plot was going while reading most of it, but god damn was it captivating. It’s very character driven and Lada is such a different character than we are used to seeing. She did what she had to do to take care of herself and those she loved even if it made her appear cold and distant to those around her. She always thought two steps ahead and didn’t really let her emotions cloud her judgment. She also battled with being considered equal to men. She constantly resisted and fought back against the limitations that were placed on her by society for being a woman. Another thing I loved about this book was the political focus and "conquer or be conquered" theme. There was really so much I loved about this book and I honestly can’t do it enough justice. Just read it. You won’t regret it.


Title: The Dark Days Club
Author: Alison Goodman
Series: Lady Helen #1
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Release Date: January 26, 2016


Review

My feelings for The Dark Days Club is definitely a case of, “It’s not you, it’s me”. Or maybe we can take joint responsibility, I don’t know. There was nothing overtly wrong about this book - it even had quite a few surprises that impressed me while reading it. But overall, I think I’ve either outgrown this type of story/time period (and I mean preference wise, not age wise!) or I just wasn’t in the mood for it. It felt like a story I had already read countless times and there was very little about it that marked it as different. As a result, I started getting restless to finish the story and almost didn’t but I realized I was close enough that I might as well just power through. I felt very little for the characters so I highly doubt I will continue with the story. But if you want to read about Historical London and underground Demon-fighting clubs than you should give it a shot.

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All the Feels by Danika Stone

Title: All the Feels
Author: Danika Stone
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Source: ARC received from Publisher in exchange of an honest review (thanks Swoon Reads!!)


Summary from Goodreads:
College freshman Liv is more than just a fangirl: The Starveil movies are her life… So, when her favorite character, Captain Matt Spartan, is killed off at the end of the last movie, Liv Just. Can’t. Deal.


Tired of sitting in her room sobbing, Liv decides to launch an online campaign to bring her beloved hero back to life. With the help of her best friend, Xander, actor and steampunk cosplayer extraordinaire, she creates #SpartanSurvived, a campaign to ignite the fandom. But as her online life succeeds beyond her wildest dreams, Liv is forced to balance that with the pressures of school, her mother’s disapproval, and her (mostly nonexistent and entirely traumatic) romantic life. A trip to DragonCon with Xander might be exactly what she needs to figure out what she really wants.


Review

What I enjoyed most about All the Feels was the fandom premise. This is the book's most obvious draw in my opinion. As avid readers, we all likely belong to several fandoms and we GET it. We've  waited hours for our favorite books or to meet our favorite authors. We've suffered those book hangovers. We've cried over those soul-crushing deaths, or breakups or whatever. And we've fangirled and vented with our friends via text and over the internet. SO much about this book was relatable. AND geek-tastic. Especially the Dragon-Con experience during the last third of the book. It was fun reading a book that really speaks to readers.

BUT.... it felt a little too over-the-top. Liv grieved for her fictional hero like I might grieve for one of my closest family members and that felt a little wrong to me. I've shed many a tear for some of my favorite characters and yes, at times it might've feel like there was a Dementor sucking away all of my happiness but I moved on because it is fiction and I am a sane and functioning human being. Whereas, Liv basically let her entire world crumble. But if I overlook that, I enjoyed Liv's passion for vidding and being a part of the Starveil community. The cosplay and SpartanSurvived movement was fun. 

My second favorite part of the story was Xander. He was such a unique character with his steampunk obsession and old-world demeanor. And  he was SO SWEET.. I have a pretty good picture in my head of that boy and YUM. I loved Liv and Xander's easy way with one another and the slowly building attraction between them. Their happy ending was well worth the wait.

Other than that, there was an even balance of nice-touches that I appreciated and things I that I thought were unnecessary and only added for dramatic effect. For a little bit I was even leaning towards a 2-2.5 star rating because the scales were tipping towards the unnecessary but the ending made up for it. So we get a nice even 3 stars. I don't think this book is a MUST read but it had it's merits and is a pretty quick one if you are looking  for some geeky relatable fun.

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Mini Reviews: Ruined by Amy Tintera, The Chapel Wars by Lindsey Leavitt, and Maid of Wonder by Jennifer McGowan

Title: Ruined
Author: Amy Tintera
Series: Ruined #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 3, 2016


Review

I had a lot of fun reading this book! I love plots that involve infiltrating enemy territory and Em was a total badass despite her perceived weakness among her people for having no power. I love how Tintera proved that there are more ways to be useful and powerful besides what is expected. I was also a total sucker for the romance. It might not have been THAT moving and sure, it was a trope that I had seen before but it just worked for me. I liked Em, I liked Cas, and I liked Em and Cas together. I also loved the ending to this book. Like LOVED. The last third was non-stop action and holy hell, Em’s sister is a force to be reckoned with. I can’t wait to see what mayhem she causes in the next book.


Title: The Chapel Wars
Author: Lindsey Leavitt
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: May 6, 2014


Review

The Chapel Wars wasn’t quite the book I hoped it would be but since I had been meaning to read this book for over 2 years now my expectations probably got the best of me. I expected MORE from it – more laughs, more playfulness, more war, more romance – so what I got fell a teeny bit flat. Sure, it had it’s cute moments and I think it was interesting. I also think Leavitt handled some important topics well – like divorce and first love and all the fun growing up that comes with those teen years. But it didn’t leave that strong of an impression on me. And while I appreciated the honesty of the ending, it kind of let me down at the same time. Points for uniqueness though! The Vegas Wedding Chapel premise was a great idea!


Title: Maid of Wonder
Author: Jennifer McGowan
Series: Maids of Honor #3
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: August 25, 2015


Review

Unfortunately for Maid of Wonder, it is the 3rd book in a series and the previous two books are, what I consider, some of the best YA Historical Fiction has to offer. So while Maid of Wonder had its merits, it paled in comparison, impression-wise. I enjoyed learning more about Sophia and her Seer abilities. And I enjoyed being back in this world and diving even deeper into the bigger picture. But unlike the previous two books, the mystery wasn’t quite as captivating, the romance wasn’t quite as shippable, and the overall emotional response I had to the writing wasn’t quite as strong. Also, Sophia herself just wasn’t as dynamic of a character as Meg or Beatrice. So this is why I didn't love it, only liked it. But I do still hope that S&S publishes the final book about Jane or I am going to be PISSED.
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The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Title: The Star-Touched Queen
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: April 26th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:
Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

Review

I am still quite bummed out by this review and my reading/listening experience with this book.  I wanted so much to just love and devour this book but unfortunately it did not work for me.  I opted to listen to the audio book version of this book.

Ultimately what did me in was the fact that at about the 50% mark I just still did not care what happened to the characters.  I could not immerse myself into the world and I just was not feeling any emotions towards Maya or any other character.  It was not until the last 75% of the book where I started to feel like I was interested in the plot.

The narrator felt rather monotone and just lacked the spark I felt that was necessary to get me into the Otherworldy realms.  There is a lot going on in this book and I can see why other readers did enjoy it, but for me, it just was rather slow and uneventful.  The fantasy aspects and unique world definitely provided promise and could be enjoyed by other readers.

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Everland by Wendy Spinale

Title: Everland
Author: Wendy Spinale
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: May 10th 2016
Source: Audiobook from Scholastic Audio. Thank you Scholastic!

Summary from Goodreads:
Forget the story of Peter Pan you know. Because in Everland, the only way to grow up is to survive.

London has been destroyed in a blitz of bombs and disease. The only ones who have survived are children, among them Gwen Darling and her siblings, Joanna and Mikey. They spend their nights scavenging and their days avoiding the ruthless Marauders -- the German Army led by Captain Hanz Otto Oswald Kretschmer.

Unsure if the virus has spread past England's borders but desperate to leave, Captain Hook hunts for a cure, which he thinks can be found in one of the survivors. He and his Marauders stalk the streets snatching children for experimentation. None ever return. Until the day they grab Joanna. As Gwen sets out to save her, she meets a mysterious boy named Pete. Pete offers the assistance of his gang of Lost Boys and the fierce sharpshooter Bella, who have all been living in a city hidden underground. But in a place where help has a steep price and every promise is bound by blood, it will cost Gwen. And are she, Pete, the Lost Boys, and Bella enough to outsmart Captain Hook?

Review

I listened to the audio book version of Everland, it was fantastic, I love multiple narrators, especially ones with British accents.  The chapters are either told from HOOK or Gwen's point of view, which is a nice change since you do not always get to hear the story from the villain's POV.

Everland is a unique and dark re-telling of Peter Pan just without the fantasy and fairy tale aspects. This story is a darker more post-apocalyptic version of the original fairy tale.  London has been plagued with a disease and there is only one cure that both Pete and Hook are after.  It was fun to pick out all the subtle and some  less subtle traces of the original story in this creative retelling.

Everland is a very plot-driven book with a focus on the search for a cure and hope in saving those that are sick.  Parts of the story line were easily predictable but that never took away from my overall enjoyment of the book.  I definitely recommend Everland if you are look for a fairly romance free but high adventure story!



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The Sleeping Prince (The Sin Eater’s Daughter #2) by Melinda Salisbury

Title: The Sleeping Price
Series: The Sin Eater's Daughter #2
Author: Melinda Salisbury
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: May 31st 2016
Source:ARC from the Publisher. Thank you Scholastic!

Summary from Goodreads:
Return to the darkly beautiful world of The Sin Eater's Daughter with a sequel that will leave you awed, terrified . . . and desperate for more.

Ever since her brother Lief disappeared, Errin's life has gone from bad to worse. Not only must she care for her sick mother, she has to scrape together rent money by selling illegal herbal cures. But none of that compares to the threat of the vengeful Sleeping Prince whom the Queen just awoke from his enchanted sleep.

When her village is evacuated as part of the war against the Sleeping Prince, Errin is left desperate and homeless. The only person she can turn to is the mysterious Silas, a young man who buys deadly poisons from Errin, but won't reveal why he needs them. Silas promises to help her, but when he vanishes, Errin must journey across a kingdom on the brink of war to seek another way to save her mother and herself. But what she finds shatters everything she believed about her world, and with the Sleeping Prince drawing nearer, Errin must make a heartbreaking choice that could affect the whole kingdom.

Review

Goodness, The Sleeping Prince might be an even stronger book than The Sin Eater's Daughter.  The stakes are higher, the romance is more forbidden, and the war is now upon the kingdoms.  This story is told from Errin's point of view which gives the readers access into a different part of the  story's world and a different view of Lief. It further enriches the vivid setting and add a layer of depth the the overall story.

There is SO much going on in this book, there are appearances from various book one characters and many new characters as well.  Since the stakes are higher and the Sleeping Prince is awake, the tension throughout the book was much higher then the first book.  I felt like I had to get through to know what was going to happen because towns were being pillaged, people were dying, and there was an overall sense of havoc.

There is some hint of a love interest but overall the romance elements take a back seat in this book and let the suspenseful magical war drama ensue.  I was engaged up to the very last page and was kept on my toes with new surprises and unexpected turn of events.  I highly recommend this book and this series if you want to dive into a darker almost fairy-tale-like world full of living stories and old myths.
   
 
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Blog Tour: Roses and Rot by Kat Howard




Title: Roses and Rot
Author: Kat Howard
Publisher: Saga Press
Release Date: May 17th 2016

Summary from Goodreads:
Imogen and her sister Marin have escaped their cruel mother to attend a prestigious artists’ retreat, but soon learn that living in a fairy tale requires sacrifices, be it art or love.

What would you sacrifice in the name of success? How much does an artist need to give up to create great art?

Imogen has grown up reading fairy tales about mothers who die and make way for cruel stepmothers. As a child, she used to lie in bed wishing that her life would become one of these tragic fairy tales because she couldn’t imagine how a stepmother could be worse than her mother now. As adults, Imogen and her sister Marin are accepted to an elite post-grad arts program—Imogen as a writer and Marin as a dancer. Soon enough, though, they realize that there’s more to the school than meets the eye. Imogen might be living in the fairy tale she’s dreamed about as a child, but it’s one that will pit her against Marin if she decides to escape her past to find her heart’s desire.


About Kat Howard

Kat Howard lives in New Hampshire. Her short fiction has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, anthologized in year's best and best of collections, and performed on NPR. Roses and Rot is her debut novel. You can find her on twitter at @KatWithSword.

Also, Shane Leonard took her photo, and she's super grateful.


Review


Roses and Rot was everything I was hoping for yet at the same time nothing I was expecting.  The cover gives the reader this mysterious almost haunting vibe and without fail the book provides that but it also brings the reader into this magical dark world of tithes and faeries.  A world that while at times haunting it was also intriguing and desirable. The characters are passionate, full of talent, and ready to immerse themselves in their art.  The setting perfectly matched the overall mood and writing style.

The writing style did take me a bit to get used to, each sentence and word choice felt intentional. I had to slow down my reading and really take in everything that was written, after a while I really appreciate the lovely prose.  The plot is interwoven with narratives from Imogen's writing - dark brutally honest and harsh fairy tales.  The fairy tales that don't always bring a smile to your face and do have true evil in them.

There was so much going on with the plot, between the secondary characters' development, the flashbacks, and the magical world of the faerie,s the plot never dulled.  I truly enjoyed being kept on my toes, nothing really transpired how I guessed it would. While there is romance in the book, the real love is the love between two sisters and what happens when that love challenged.   Roses and Rot is filled with magic, surprises, and dark fairy tales up to the very last page! 

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:
6/6: Such A Novel Idea - Playlist
6/7: Cosying Up With Books - Review
6/8: That Artsy Reader Girl - Art History Post
6/9: The Quiet Concert - Review
6/10: Fiction Fare - Q&A

Week 2:
6/13: No BS Book Reviews - Q&A
6/14: Curling Up With A Good Book - Guest Post
6/15: Lilybloombooks - Review
6/16: Reads All the Books - Review


Giveaway:

1 Finished Copy of ROSES & ROT (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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Burning by Danielle Rollins

Title: Burning
Author: Danielle Rollins
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Release Date: April 5th 2016
Source:ARC from the Publisher. Thank you Bloomsbury!

Summary from Goodreads:
After three years in juvie, Angela Davis is just a few months shy of release, and she'll finally be free from the hole that is Brunesfield Correctional Facility. Then Jessica arrives. Only ten years old and under the highest security possible, this girl has to be dangerous, even if no one knows what she did to land in juvie. As strange things begin happening to Angela and her friends that can only be traced to the new girl's arrival, it becomes clear that Brunesfield is no longer safe. They must find a way to get out, but how can they save themselves when the world has forgotten them?

Review

Well that was an interesting read for sure.  Burning had such a unexpected blend of thriller, mixed with crime, mixed with supernatural elements that really worked at times.  Even though the book was blending so many elements I was intrigued and read almost the entire book in one sitting.  It had this eerie almost scary movie vibe to it that just drew me in.

About 75% of the way through the book I was thinking it was going to be a 4 star book for me but unfortunately the ending felt rushed and left me wanting more but not in a good way.  I still enjoyed the craziness of the story but felt like by the end there was some lack of direction on how it should conclude and what should happen to the characters.  Angela's ending was open but a bit predictable and Jessica's ending was really not what I wanted to happen at all.  So ultimately I felt rather let down.  That is to say though, others might enjoy the dramatic ending.

If you are in the mood for a slightly creepy, slightly eerie story about a girl in juvie who meets a very special and uniquely talented new inmate and their dangerous situation, then check out Burning!

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The Crown by Kiera Cass

Title: The Crown
Series: The Selection #5
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 3rd 2016

Summary from Goodreads:
When Eadlyn became the first princess of IllĂ©a to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.

Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.

Review

The Crown was a great conclusion to an entertaining and fun read.  Eadlyn has come quite far from the first couple chapters of The Heir; she is more aware of other feelings, open to love, and slowly maturing.  (I felt like I wanted to strangle her less ;) ) Overall she became a more like-able and respectable leader and main character.

My main reservation with this final book is that it felt a tad rushed.  Part of the selection process drama and the introduction to a new character felt like it was forced and merely used as a plot point not really adding much to the overall enjoyment of the story.  One of the candidates dismissals felt hasty, while I understood the reasoning it just seemed to be done rather quickly disregarding their recent past interactions.

In the end, Eadlyn picked the guy I was rooting for so that did make for a cute ending.  (I don't typically pick the guy that ends up getting the girl). I did enjoy that this book did not try to be a dystopian to the extent that the first three books did.  There are elements that linger from the first three books, and politics that do come into play but they merely are additions to the romance heavy plot.  Ultimately, The Crown for me was a easy read in this Bachelorette like drama filled love story!

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Jumping Genres Hop


Jumping Genres Giveaway Hop! 

Winner get's their choice of book from image below!




GIVEAWAY RULES:
- US residents only (sorry International friends :()
- Ends June 19th, 2016
- Fill out the Rafflecopter to enter
- Winners will have 48 hours to respond before someone else is selected
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit Some of the other Blogs on the Hop!

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Defending Taylor (Hundred Oaks) by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Defending Taylor
Series: Hundred Oaks #7
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: July 5th 2016
Source:E-ARC from the Publisher. Thank you Sourcebooks Fire!

Summary from Goodreads:
Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor’s always pushed herself to be perfect. After all, that’s what is expected of a senator’s daughter. But one impulsive decision—one lie to cover for her boyfriend—and Taylor’s kicked out of private school. Everything she’s worked so hard for is gone, and now she’s starting over at Hundred Oaks High.

Soccer has always been Taylor’s escape from the pressures of school and family, but it’s hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival. The only person who seems to understand all that she’s going through is her older brother’s best friend, Ezra. Taylor’s had a crush on him for as long as she can remember. But it’s hard to trust after having been betrayed. Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?

Review

Thanks to my OTSP Secret Sister, it is official, I am a Miranda Kenneally fan for sure.  Defending Taylor was yet another great Hundred Oaks book!  Taylor made one mistake that drastically changed her senior year.  Having to transfer your senior year of high school cannot be an easy thing and Kenneally does not portray it as one.  The difficulties and challenges in trying to make friends with classmates that have known each other for years can be challenging and frustrating at times.  The drama surrounding her expulsion and then her integration into public school while a bit intense fit the characters and the story line. The side characters are always a welcome addition, the girl friends that Taylor makes help her embrace the change in her life.

The sports and romance were great!  While I only played soccer when I was super young, it is definitely a sport I get and really enjoyed reading about.  The dynamics between the players and the sometimes ball hogs was easy to relate to.  The love interest and romance were on point; I loved the older brother long term crush interest.  The romance and chemistry between the characters was well developed and progressed naturally throughout.

I love that Taylor embraces her desires both in her love interest and in her education. She works hard and studies her butt off to get where she wants to go.  Even though she makes a mistake she does not let it rule her and she overcomes it with the help of soccer, family, and friends.  Defending Taylor  has soccer drama, an older brother's hot best friend, and a super smart motivated main character; I definitely recommend it!


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Jesse's Girl (Hundred Oaks) by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Jesse's Girl
Series: Hundred Oaks #6
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: July 7th 2015
Source:Purchased

Summary from Goodreads:
Everyone at Hundred Oaks High knows that career mentoring day is a joke. So when Maya Henry said she wanted to be a rock star, she never imagined she’d get to shadow *the* Jesse Scott, Nashville’s teen idol.

But spending the day with Jesse is far from a dream come true. He’s as gorgeous as his music, but seeing all that he’s accomplished is just a reminder of everything Maya’s lost: her trust, her boyfriend, their band, and any chance to play the music she craves. Not to mention that Jesse’s pushy and opinionated. He made it on his own, and he thinks Maya’s playing back up to other people’s dreams. Does she have what it takes to follow her heart—and go solo?

Review

I have a soft spot for books and movies that focus on a famous person falling for a non-famous person and Jesse's Girl does the popular trope justice!  Jesse is a swoony guitar playing, songwriting, country music star and Maya is a high school student wanting to be a musician.  I was immediately hooked; Maya and Jesse started off on rocky grounds because of his apprehension to new people who might be after just his fame.  It is easy to understand and feel the distrust Jesse feels.

Maya is faced with trusting a person who has trust issue all while dealing with a failing band, an ex boyfriend, and a strong desire to keep playing music.  I appreciate the choices and drive Maya exudes throughout the book. Maya wants to work for her goals even though she befriends Jesse.  She has dreams and is willing to fit for them while trying to juggle a new complicated friendship.  Jesse though, ahhh yes, he is gorgeous rock star that loves his family and wants to make Maya smile.  The friendship and courting are on point, I love the cute gestures and mix of rockstar-like dates and fun average dates.

Jesse's Girl has adorable dates, spontaneous concerts, and an unlikely pair that put together make a fun music-filled read!

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