CONTEMPORARY HEARTS: May Mini Reviews

Book reviews are among my favorite blog posts to write. However, I sometimes struggle articulating reviews for books that I might’ve really enjoyed, but don’t know what exactly to say about them. I’ve read the following books in April and May, and they include: a book by a much beloved contemporary author, a 2018 release that hasn’t received too much attention, a vey much hyped and loved book, and a VERY current read.

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First & Then by Emma Mills

Rating: 4/5 Stars

After really enjoying This Adventure Ends, I decided to go back and read Emma Mills books in publication order. Not only was I just genuinely excited to pick up her first book, First & Then, but its Friday Night Lights meets Pride and Prejudice premise had me sold at the get-go. You’ll know from my wrap-ups that Friday Night Lights is one of my most recent all-time favorite TV shows that has transformed into a more recent obsession with football documentary series. While I wouldn’t call it Friday Night Lights, I enjoyed First & Then’s football aspect. I thought it was really accessible to readers who may or may not be familiar with the sport.

First & Then is not really a plot-driven story, but rather focuses on relationship growth. Devon is figuring out relationships with many people in her life: her cousin, Foster, who has just moved in with her family; Cas, her best friend, who she’s always had feelings for; Ezra, the star running back, who unexpectedly chooses Devon as his gym class partner. Devon also must do some self-exploration, trying to figure out if she even wants to go to college. I didn’t mind that First & Then is quiet and on the shorter side, but I felt that the plot needed more. Although this book is very much about character and relationship growth, nothing much really eventful happens aside from the formation of Devon’s one relationship. I recommend this book for readers looking for quiet YA or a quick read on a beach or pool day this summer.

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IMG_6321Tell Me No Lies by Adele Griffin

Rating: 4/5 Stars

 I had wanted to read a book by Adele Griffin for a long time. I decided on Tell Me No Lies mostly for its late 1980s backdrop, and yes, its gorgeous cover. Its mixed reviews on Goodreads made me put it off reading it for a little longer than I should have, but I am trying to somewhat prioritize books on my physical/owned TBR. Ultimately, I ended up really enjoying Tell Me No Lies! I really liked Adele Griffin’s writing style, especially for the book’s atmosphere. Our protagonist, Lizzy, rebels from her suburban and over-achiever life during her senior year and explores night life and the art scene in Philadelphia with the new girl in school.

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SUMMER READING & NETFLIX BINGEING: May 2019 Wrap Up

The unofficial start of summer has treated me so well! Fangirl-wise, I read 16 books and binge-watched Netflix shows and movies. IRL-wise, with school over for the year, I’ve had more time to relax, catch up with friends, exercise, GO TO THE BEACH, and start my summer job. At the time of this post’s publication, I am currently attending the most exciting event of May, Book Expo! I’m really excited for my June content overall, but especially because I’ll be doing wrap-ups for each day of the convention.

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Tell Me No Lies by Adele Griffin | 4/5 Stars

This was my first book by Adele Griffin. I really enjoyed her writing style and this book’s atmospheric setting.

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston |5/5 Stars

Like everyone and their mother, I freaking loved RW&RB. It’s definitely my all-time favorite new adult book and a 2019 favorite read.

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Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid | 4/5 Stars

Although I still enjoyed this book, unlike everyone and their mother, I didn’t necessarily love Daisy Jones and the Six.

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston| 4.25/5 Stars

It was so much fun jumping back into the Once Upon a Con series and I’m really looking forward to the third installment that will be based on Beauty and the Beast.

The Off-Campus Series (The Deal, The Mistake, The Score & The Goal) by Elle Kennedy | 4.5/5 Stars

I have a full series review coming for these books, but for right now, I’ll share that my favorite was The Goal (another 2019 favorite read)

Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith | 4/5 Stars

This book is tempting me to book a cross-country train trip.

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker | 4.5/5

I loved jumping into the new adult genre this month, including The Simple Wild. Also catch me planning a trip to the Alaskan wilderness.

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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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