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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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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WITCHLANDS RETURN: Bloodwitch Review

Summary (from the publisher):War is sweeping the witchlands and tainted magic is destroying both friends and enemies. While the Bloodwitch Aeduan is keeping one crucial secret . . .

Here, loyalties will be tested as never before . . . The Bloodwitch Aeduan and Iseult the Threadwitch race for safety, desperate to evade the Raider King. His attempts to subdue the Witchlands are gaining momentum, as his forces sow terror in the mountains, slaughtering innocents. Despite differing goals, Aeduan and Iseult have grown to trust one another in the fight to survive. Yet trust is a tenuous bond . . .

When Merik sacrifices himself to save his friends, he’s captured by the Fury. However, Merik isn’t one to give up easily, and he’ll do whatever it takes to protect those he loves. Then, in Marstok, Safi the Truthwitch is helping their empress uncover a rebellion. But those implicated are killed and Safi becomes desperate for freedom.

Perhaps if Safi and Iseult were united, their powers could bring peace. However, chaos is not easily tamed and war has come once more to the Witchlands. Fate’s knife will come for them all, and the Bloodwitch Aeduan can no longer hide from his past.

 My Rating: 4/5 Stars

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 My Thoughts:

Earlier in 2019, I re-entered the world of Susan Dennard’s The Witchlands by rereading Truthwitch and then quickly moved on to Windwitch. After really enjoying the first two installments, I knew I couldn’t put off reading the third book in the series, Bloodwitch, any longer. I took about two months in between Windwitch and Bloodwitch mostly because a.) I jumped into one of my typical contemporary moods and b.) debated if I should read Sightwitch, the series’ novella about Ryber, beforehand. Although I’ve seen many great reviews for Sightwitch, I’m not the biggest novella fan and decided to just jump into Bloodwitch. As far as I can tell, having not reading Sightwitch did not affect my reading experience.

While Bloodwitch follows each member of our main cast, this book puts the much-loved Aeduan at the spotlight. I never really didn’t like Aeduan, but his role in Windwitch made me curious to see him take center stage in this installment. Although often heart-breaking, I loved the excerpts from his past. I’m also 100% on the Iseult and Aeduan train. I really liked exploring their relationship, especially with the compliment of Owl.

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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 

Goodreads | Amazon |Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound 

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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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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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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