The First Books I Reviewed

I absolutely love reading old blog posts. Going through posts that I wrote back in 2017, my first year of blogging, just shows how much I’ve grown as a reader and writer since then. I reviewed the following books from  March through May 2017, the first three months of Fangirl Fury. Many of these reviews were written when I didn’t have a blogging routine or post schedule. I remember after waking up a few mornings freshman year writing a post then posting it right then and there. I completely admit that going some of these early reviews has been a heart-warmingly cringe-worthy experience. Where are the photos? Why did I love that shade of pink so much? newfireborder

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour (reviewed March 2017) – I’ve grown to share my thoughts and reviews on books that I didn’t love or like so much, but I am glad that my first book review was a book I truly loved. I’m still trying to figure out where the photo in this review went – I may have stripped my heart string lights from my dorm room wall and set them up a picnic table outside for a very first bookstagram.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab (reviewed March 2017) – I feel very validated in knowing that Vicious is one of the first books that I screamed about across the Internet because this book deserves all the screams and feels. Is anyone surprised that I proclaimed my love for Mitch and his chocolate milk drinking habits? Not only was Vicious one of my first book reviews, but it was my first V.E. Schwab book.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (reviewed reread April 2017) – I reread A Court of Thorns and Roses then in anticipation for A Court of Wings and Ruin’s release. Upon this reread, I noticed more of The Beauty and the Beast elements and more importantly, that Tamlin really wasn’t a nice guy (before first reading ACOMAF, guess who originally wasn’t a Rhysand fan, ha ha ha…..)

Heartless by Marissa Meyer (reviewed April 2017)- Okay, I love how I took of a photo of this book in its naked glory. But why on a bench in front of my college library?? I don’t even want to think about how I must have positioned myself to take this photo??

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ANOTHER SJM FAVE: Catwoman: Soulstealer Review

Summary (from the publisher):
When the Bat’s away, the Cat will play. It’s time to see how many lives this cat really has. . . .cs
Two years after escaping Gotham City’s slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. She quickly discovers that with Batman off on a vital mission, Batwing is left to hold back the tide of notorious criminals. Gotham City is ripe for the taking.
Meanwhile, Luke Fox wants to prove he has what it takes to help people in his role as Batwing. He targets a new thief on the prowl who seems cleverer than most. She has teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, and together they are wreaking havoc. This Catwoman may be Batwing’s undoing.

 

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

I don’t want to use the expression that I am trash for Sarah J. Maas’s books because I genuinely love her writing and stories. But frankly, I would read her grocery list! Still have to love The Fault in Our Stars for giving us readers that line. Anyway, while I am not the biggest DC extraordinaire- does absolutely loving Wonder Woman count?- I knew I needed to read one of my favorite author’s take on Catwoman and Gotham City. I also enjoyed Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer and found myself heavily addicted to Marie Lu’s Batman: Nightwalker.

Catwoman: Soulstealer reminded me why I love Sarah J. Maas’s writing so much. From the novel’s start, I found myself invested in Selina’s story, living in the slums of Gotham City and trying to support her younger sister who has cystic fibrosis. I liked how the book takes the first two chapters to set this scene, before jumping into Selina’s transformation into socialite Holly Vanderhees and yes, Catwoman. The book quickly transfers from Selina with a East End gang, the Leopards, to her returning to Gotham as Holly. I thought I would want a few chapters dedicated to her training with the League of Assassins, but I loved Selina’s return to Gotham too much. SJM also did a nice job of flashing back to Selina’s training and true to her writing style, alludes to the real reason(s) for Selina’s return. And no worries, much like Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses, she saves a few bombshells for the end.

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BOOKS FOR THE BEACH & BACKYARD: Summer 2019 Anticipated Releases

In a few recent blog posts, I’ve fangirled over the fact that I am thankful to have more reading more time with the school year over. My summer TBR will surely include the listed below summer 2019 releases, aka books being released between June and August that I cannot wait to get my hands on! Catch me with these while lounging on the beach and by the pool this season.

The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen (June 4)- I always hope that at least one of my favorite and go-to YA contemporary authors come out with a new book during the summer. I couldn’t be more than excited that this year it’s Sarah Dessen with The Rest of the Story. It’s crazy, but of course so lovely, that I’ve been reading her books since middle school and I still get to dive into new books from her! I’m also especially interested in this book because its Sarah Dessen’s first book with Balzer + Bray.

This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura (June 4)- You may make this assumption about me based on this and another book on this list, but I find something so interesting about characters who work in flower shops! Outside from its setting, I’m super intrigued by This Time Will Be Different, as CJ’s family might be selling their store to the family who swindled her grandparents when they were sent to a Japanese-American interment camp during World War II.

Screen Queens by Lori Goldstein (June 11)- You had me with The Bold Type in its premise. I love how YA books have been increasingly featuring girls in STEM, as our three female main protagonists compete to win a dream tech internship.

Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love edited by Elsie Chapman (June 18)- It’s been a while since I read a YA anthology, but I am HERE for a book centered around good. Out of the books’ many authors, I’ve only read work by Sandhya Menon, so I’m looking forward to discovering some new-to-me voices.

Queen of Ruin (Grace and Fury #2) by Tracy Banghart- Grace and Fury unexpectedly stole my heart in 2018 and I am more than ready for the sequel to this female-driven, dystopian, fantasy world.

Maybe This Time by Kasie West (July 9)- I decided to dive into Kasie West’s books in 2019 mainly because of my interest in her upcoming release, Maybe This Time. What is there not to love about a girl working for a florist? And yes, I am a massive fan of books with protagonists who have some of my summer dream jobs.

Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud (July 30)- Books about royals are on so many readers’ brains this year, including mine! How do I sign up for a summer program where I can meet a prince who wants to wisk me off as his guest at his brother’s wedding? Truly Madly Royally promises The Princess Diaries vibes—how could I not read a book that includes one of my all time favorite movies?

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker (August 6)- I still have to read K.A. Tucker’s This Simple Wild (which I have a feeling I am going to completely adore), but her upcoming release Say You Still Love Me has me similarly invested. I am all for a book about a young businesswoman who runs into her first love again.

The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee (August 13)- I don’t think I’ve ever read historical fiction books taking place during The Gilded Age. The premise of The Downstairs Girl has me hooked. By day, Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid, but by night, she’s a newspaper advice columnist for southern women.

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks (August 27)- I feel like I have been fangirling over Pumpkinheads forever now. And no worries, I won’t stop even after this graphic novel by one of my favorite author comes out. What could I not love about a graphic novel following two friends’ last season working at a pumpkin patch??

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What books are you looking forward to this summer? Share in the comments!

Cozy Read Recommendations

Do you ever crave books that make you want to curl up with a blanket and a cup of hot chocolate? Summer-type weather really hasn’t hit where I live yet, so I keep thinking about books that will keep me entertained on dreary weather days. When I think of cozy reads, I think of books that are perfect for days or time that you can fully dedicate to reading. For me, this varies from rainy days to snow days and nights in. Today, I’ll be discussing books that have made me have all the cozy feels.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

A classic in a Fangirl Fury recommendations post?? Yes, my bookish friends, it’s true! While it took me some time to settle into this story, I Capture the Castle is such an atmospheric read, mostly taking place in a castle!

Talking As Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls by Lauren Graham

I have a love-like relationship with many ‘celebrity’ books and memoirs, but there was just something so inviting about Lauren Graham’s Talking As Fast as I Can. I usually find myself just reading the parts I’m interested in, like the Parks & Rec chapter in Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, but I read Talking As Fast as I Can from cover to cover. I’m always recommending it to my Gilmore Girls-loving friends.

 The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan28372019

I think there are few things that are cozier than a bookshop, not to mention one in the Scottish Highlands. As Nina runs her bookshop on wheels, she participates in village life -including living in the guesthouse of a very handsome local farmer named Lennox.

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NEW ADULT FAVORITE: Red, White and Royal Blue Review

Summary (from the publisher): First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

If I could scream my love for only one recent read of mine, it would have to be Casey McQuiston’s Red, White and Royal Blue. Why? Red, White and Royal Blue delivered on absolutely every single element, from its plot to the romance to its humor and more.

Red, White and Royal Blue has received so much early hype and praise across the online book communities. What else would you expect from us fangirls when it comes to a book about rivals turned love interests, who happen to be the First Son of the President of the United States and the Prince of England? Alex and Henry’s relationship was so well-developed and craved every scene with them together. I obviously loved their in-person interactions, but their email and text chains we’re so easy to fall into. I have a love/hate relationship with digital dialogue, but I loved their online banter, including their email signatures. These excerpts also provided a lot of back story for both characters as they get to know one another.

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My Mom’s Favorite Books

While I owe much of why I became a reader to Junie B. Jones, I ultimately fell in love with books because of my mom. My mom is the only other true reader in my family. She constantly goes to the library and always has a book by her side. In honor of Mother Day’s on Sunday, I’ll be discussing some of my mom’s favorite reads. The following books are a mix of her recent favorites and some older reads.

Beartown by Fredrik Backman- After reading A Man Called Ove, my mom wanted to explore some of Fredrik Backman’s other titles, including Beartown. It was the type of book she didn’t think she was going to enjoy, but ultimately didn’t want to end. It was so well-written and she had been really taken with the characters. My mom is much better than me at not staying up to read, but she said she just had to stay up late and finish this one. Unfortunately, she did not enjoy the sequel, Us Against You.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara- My mom is someone who rarely buys books for herself and would much rather borrow books from the library. However, she decided to buy a copy of Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life, partially because of its long library holds list and partially because she knew it would take her a while to read this 700+ page beast. While reading other books, it took her over a year to read A Little Life, but she said it was such an awesome read. It constantly left her gasping, making her reread passages to make sure what she was reading was right.

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REVISITING PARIS: Anna and the French Kiss Series Reread

Although my TBR still quite scares me, I’ve been rereading books more and more over the past two years. As discussed in my 2019 rereading goals, I want to reread some of my favorite series this year, including Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss trilogy. I am so happy to say that I read all three books in April! During a particularly stressful month at school, this trilogy was such a fun way to de-stress, transporting me to Paris, San Francisco and NYC (with some cute boys in tow). While all these books are so atmospheric to their setting, I forgot how character and relationship driven these books are. While not necessarily a bad thing, I ended up changing what book in the series is my favorite.

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Anna and the French Kiss | Reread Rating: 4/5 Stars

Anna and the French Kiss was one of my favorite reads back in 2015. I’ve discussed this before, but Anna and the French Kiss had haunted me in my library’s YA section for a while. Its original cover kept me away. Upon discovering YouTube and the book’s gorgeous paperback cover redesign, I was called away to Paris with Anna and St. Clair. The settings and atmosphere throughout the series are perfection, but nevertheless, Anna and the French Kiss made me want to book a flight directly to a French bakery ASAP. My craving and need to try caramel eclairs and chocolate and raspberry gateaus are at all time highs. Aside from the food she gets to eat, I liked Anna for her interest in film (all the protagonists in each book have their own ‘special’ interest), making me want a more realistic trip (as compared to Paris) to my local movie theater.

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