READING, REREADING & MORE: April 2019 Wrap Up

This April was especially busy for me, as I finish up the spring semester of my junior year. Despite the craziness, I still managed to read 9 books this month, keep up with my Netflix binges, and start preparing for Book Expo week.

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Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (reread) | 4/5 Stars

I recently published my 2019 reread goals, including the Anna and the French Kiss trilogy. As someone who always says she wants to reread books, this year I am determined to actually do so! While I’m still very much in love with its settings and atsompshere (including all those French desserts), I actually didn’t love Anna and the French Kiss as much as I did the first time around. I’m going to have post dedicated to rereading all three books, but I found Anna to be more immature than I remembered and I wasn’t in love with some of St.Clair’s actions.

We Were Beautiful by Heather Helper | 4.5/5

Heather Helper wrote of my most memorable first YA reads, The Cupcake Queen, so I was very excited to read her latest release. If you’re looking for a read about self-discovery, friendship, and all the sweet treats, We Were Beautiful is the one for you, as Mia spends her summer after facing a terrible tragedy in NYC.

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We Were Beautiful Review & Inspired Recipe ft. Giveaway

Summary (from the publisher): It’s been a year since fifteen-year-old Mia Hopkins was in the car crash that killed her older sister and left her terribly scarred. The doctors tell her she was lucky to survive. Her therapist says it will take time to heal. The police reports claim there were trace amounts of alcohol in her bloodstream. But no matter how much she tries to reconstruct the events of that fateful night, Mia’s memory is spotty at best. She’s left with accusations, rumors, and  guilt so powerful it could consume her.WWB-Cover

As the rest of Mia’s family struggles with their own grief, Mia is sent to New York City to spend the summer with a grandmother she’s never met. All Mia wants to do is hide from the world, but instead she’s stuck with a summer job in the bustling kitchens of the cafe down the street. There she meets Fig–blue-haired, friendly, and vivacious–who takes Mia under her wing. As Mia gets to know Fig and her friends–including Cooper, the artistic boy who is always on Mia’s mind–she realizes that she’s not the only one with a painful past.

Over the summer, Mia begins to learn that redemption isn’t as impossible as she once thought, but her scars inside run deep and aren’t nearly so simple to heal … especially when Mia finally pieces together her memories of the night Rachel died.

We Were Beautiful by Heather Helper 

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My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

Like many readers, I hold the Scholastic Book Fair close to my heart. One of the reasons why? At one of these middle school book fairs, I found one of my most memorable first YA reads, Heather Helper’s The Cupcake Queen! That being said, I was more than excited when I had the opportunity to read Heather Helper’s latest release, We Were Beautiful.

Like The Cupcake Queen, We Were Beautiful features plenty of baking, as Mia spends her summer as a baking assistant at Brunelli’s Diner in New York City. Brunelli’s Diner may be one of my favorite new YA settings! Nonna and the rest of her Italian family were utterly charming. I loved how they welcomed Mia into the family from the very start, and as someone who very much loves cannolis, even I was a bit envious of Mia getting to learn how to make them from Nonna! From apple turners to cinnamon rolls to cream horns (don’t worry, there’s more), this book will seriously give you all the sweet cravings.

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Top Five Wednesday: Rainy Day Reads

I am a firm believer that almost any book can be the perfect companion on a rainy day, especially those books that you can’t part from for too long. The following books for today’s Top Five Wednesday are a mix of reads that scream at you to stay inside with coffee on standby, have rainy settings, or will inspire your own waterworks.

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History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Adam Silvera’s History is All You Left Me definitely falls in the ‘there will be water following down your windows and face” category. My favorite Adam Silvera book, I was captivated by History is All You Left Me’s story and writing style. There were plenty of moments that sent rain drops falling from my eyes and ones that would make me grateful to be able to stay inside and read all day.

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FLUFFILY ROYAL: Prince Charming Review

9781524738259Summary: Sixteen-year-old Daisy Winters is ready for a summer in Florida, working at the local grocery store and fangirling over her favorite book series with her best friend. But when her older sister gets engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland, Daisy is soon transported across the pond and into the relentless royal spotlight. With the dashing Miles tasked to teach her the royal etiquette and Prince Sebastian stirring up scandal wherever he goes, Daisy may not be turning into the perfect lady. Instead she’s rewriting the royal rule book.

 My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

 My Thoughts:

Blame it on the fact that The Princess Diaries and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement are two of my favorite movies, but I love books about royalty. Rachel Hawkins’ Prince Charming, previously titled Royals, has received so much attention among my fellow bloggers that I knew it was time to pick this one up.

If you’re ever in the mood for a fluffy read, Prince Charming is sure to please! The book follows sixteen-year old Daisy Winter’s summer adventure in Scotland after her sister gets engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Prince Charming was a very quick read for me, having reading it over the course of a day. I think it would be the perfect read for readers who love eating books up in one sitting.

Prince Charming has the perfect blend of everyday girl living in Florida and everyday girl transported to the Highlands. I liked that the book’s first few chapters follow Daisy’s life in Florida before and after her sister, Ellie, drops her royal engagement to Alex. Isabel was a great friend and support for Daisy. I loved their bond for all things bookish and fandom. Daisy’s parents were absolutely hilarious and again acted as the perfect comical support for our main character.

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LOVE & POLITICS: The Wrong Side of Right Review

download.jpegSummary: High school junior Kate Quinn’s life becomes all the more unexpected when she meets her birth father in her aunt and uncle’s living room. In light of her mother’s death, Kate’s year has been a reality that she never thought possible. Not only does Kate have a father, but he happens to be a very powerful senator who running to be the President of the U.S. Suddenly, Kate is moving in with a family she’s never met, joining a political campaign she hardly does anything about, and finding herself in love with a boy everyone tells her she should not be associating with.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

The Wrong Side of Right is one of those books that I can’t believe didn’t pass through my TBR radar until 2019. I even consider myself to be a connoisseur of my local library’s YA section, where this book has been since 2015! Shoutout to one of my favorite BookTubers, Kristin of Super Space Chick, for sharing this gem in her ContemporaryAThon TBR.

Although I haven’t read too many books that involve the subject, I really enjoy books that feature politics. The Wrong Side of Right  reminded of Morgan Matson’s The Unexpected Everything. While Andie gets out of her father’s political spotlight inThe Unexpected Everything,  The Wrong Side of Right is quite the opposite, as Kate is thrown into her father’s presidential campaign for the summer.

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Books That Will Make You Hungry Recommendations

Blame it on my love for baking (we’re working on cooking), but books that feature characters who work in cafés or restaurants or have a love for making food are my absolute jam I haven’t heard the term ‘foodie’ used lately, but it definitely can apply to this fangirl’s reading taste. Food pun both unintended and intended. Listed below are my favorite books that instill the best kind of cravings. You’ll be inspired to get creative in the kitchen (or just raid the refrigerator).

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Love à la Mode by Stephanie Kate Strohm

I absolutely love my sweets and desserts, but I have never felt more inspired to eat a pastry or two until I read Love à la Mode. I am in desperate need to try an authentic (or at least well-executed) pain au chocolat.

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Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian

We all scream for ice cream here at Fangirl Fury, and I will certainly never stop screaming my love for Siobhan Vivian’s Stay Sweet! I never really thought about how much effort and time goes into making ice cream before reading this book. Amelia’s many trials and tribulations trying to recreate Home Sweet Home, the Meade Creamery classic flavor, made me consider buying ice cream making supplies!

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SPOOKY SPRING READ: The Devouring Gray Review


devouring graySummary (from the publisher):
Branches and stones, daggers and bones,
They locked the Beast away
After the death of her sister, seventeen-year-old Violet Saunders finds herself dragged to Four Paths, New York. Violet may be a newcomer, but she soon learns her mother isn’t: They belong to one of the revered founding families of the town, where stone bells hang above every doorway and danger lurks in the depths of the woods.

Justin Hawthorne’s bloodline has protected Four Paths for generations from the Gray—a lifeless dimension that imprisons a brutal monster. After Justin fails to inherit his family’s powers, his mother is determined to keep this humiliation a secret. But Justin can’t let go of the future he was promised and the town he swore to protect.

Ever since Harper Carlisle lost her hand to an accident that left her stranded in the Gray for days, she has vowed revenge on the person who abandoned her: Justin Hawthorne. There are ripples of dissent in Four Paths, and Harper seizes an opportunity to take down the Hawthornes and change her destiny-to what extent, even she doesn’t yet know.

The Gray is growing stronger every day, and its victims are piling up. When Violet accidentally unleashes the monster, all three must band together with the other Founders to unearth the dark truths behind their families’ abilities—before the Gray devours them all.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

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My Thoughts:

Christine Lynn Herman’s The Devouring Gray has received much love and excitement from many bloggers and BookTubers I follow. As much as I love my contemporary reads, I’ve been trying to add in some other genres into my TBR this month. The Devouring Gray is hard to categorize as a genre, but I think it falls in between fantasy and thriller. The town of Four Paths could be any upstate NY town, but its magical past and present begs to differ.

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