Broken Prince: Royal cliffhanger hangover

Broken PrinceIt’s here! It’s here!  I don’t know how you have survived the MONTHS of anticipation after the cliffhanger of a book that was Paper Princess.  The highly anticipated sequel, Broken Prince, does not disappoint.  In fact, the only disappointing thing is how hard of a book this is to review.  Not because I didn’t love it, but because I don’t want to spoil it.  And it’s not that far into the second book when you get to the first big spoiler, the first among many.  What I can say is that, thankfully, we don’t have to wait that long to find Ella.  (Hint: she didn’t get that far)  In the first book, Paper Princess, I said that book reminded me of a cross between Cruel Intentions and Gossip Girl.  For Broken Prince, I would add the TV show Revenge into the mix.  Remember that show?

Revenge

Gosh…it had the craziest story lines but you still couldn’t stop watching!  This is how I feel about this series.  Just when you didn’t think anything else could go wrong…plot twist!  Broken Prince goes Revenge in the very first chapter and just like the TV show, you have to keep watching, err reading, to find out what happens.

Revenge son of a bitch gif

           How I felt reading the plot twists.

I loved that we found out more of Gideon’s story in Broken Prince.  Although the twins play minor roles in this book, I definitely wouldn’t mind a spin-off series all to their own.  Easton is still in the mix and he deserves his own book series too.  And if you think that author Erin Watt didn’t leave you wanting more after the first book, then book two delivers a cliffhanger for all cliffhangers.

Looking at you, author Erin Watt.

Looking at you, author Erin Watt.

Fear not though, book three is due out in October.  If you are looking for a series to capture your attention in the same vein as Gossip Girl, you will not be disappointed.  Until October…..XoXo.

Revenge help us all

Till October.

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The Trouble with Paper Planes: Hint, it’s alot

The Trouble with Paper PlanesOh boy.  Where to begin? Ever read a book and things are going along swimmingly and you’re thinking “this is really good” and then BAM! WTF? WHAT AM I READING? Yeah? No? That was The Trouble with Paper Planes.  At first, this book was refreshing.  Not only is it written from the male’s point of view, but the plot was rather intriguing.  Heath, the narrator and main character of the book, is reeling from the loss of his childhood friend turned girlfriend.  She is literally lost.  Emily has been missing for five years and it isn’t until much later in the book that the reason behind her disappearance is revealed.  Heath is grieving for her loss along with their close-knit group of friends as well as Emily’s family.

Enter newcomer to the town Maia, who takes a job at Emily’s mother’s restaurant who looks eerily similar to Emily albeit with different hair color.  So much so that Emily’s mother calls Heath to warn him of her disturbing resemblance.  After meeting Maia, Heath is inexplicably drawn to Maia in a way that he has never experienced—not even with Emily.  While this may seem unbelievable, Amanda Dick’s writing allows you to actually believe that their connection is real.

“It felt like we’d missed a step somewhere along the line. Like we’d skipped a few pages in the book, or scenes in the movie. It felt both wrong and right, simultaneously. I wanted to caution myself against getting too involved, yet at the same time, I wanted to scream that I didn’t care and dive in head-first regardless. My head swam.”

Heath’s feelings for Maia are strong.  So strong that even he questions the experience himself.

“It wasn’t enough. I simultaneously wanted her to be part of me, and yet I felt like she already was. I was stricken with an extreme sense of vertigo, as if I were falling and she was holding me up. The prospect scared the shit out of me.”

Despite their strong connection, Maia remains somewhat of a mystery to Heath.  While she knows about Emily and his past, Maia reveals very little.  However, later we learn that Maia was involved in some sort of accident and has experienced amnesia.  She remembers nothing about herself, her past, or anything else for that matter.  It’s at this point that Heath begins to wonder if Maia could actually be Emily.  And this is where the trouble enters for me with The Trouble with Paper Planes.

All throughout the book, Heath’s friends, and Emily’s family make comments on the remarkable likeness of Maia and Emily.  Mannerisms are pointed out as similar, although their personalities are different.  I find it unfathomable that if Maia and Emily look so strikingly similar that Heath or Emily’s mother Bridget, wouldn’t look for some defining physical characteristic to link the two together such as a mole or a scar.  We all have those.  This was a gaping plot hole for me that I couldn’t wrap my head around.

And then the author decides to take this book way into left field so much so that I’ve spent too many days returning to this post to try to finish this review.  To be honest, I’m not even sure I understood what I read.  I felt like I missed something really big but the plot twist was so surprising, and terrible, in my opinion, that I didn’t even want to go back and reread it.  I immediately had to tell two people how incredibly bizarre the ending was.  It was that kind of book.

Which leads me to my next question…do you look at reviews for a book before you read? I rarely look at the reviews.  I don’t want the book to be spoiled and reviews can often contain major spoilers.  I came across The Trouble with Paper Planes as a suggestion from Amazon based on other books I like.  After the super surprising ending, I immediately jumped on GoodReads to see what others thought.  It’s always surprising to me how different reader’s reactions can be to the same book.  Surprisingly, a lot of the reviews were positive, however, I did feel validated that there were several that had the WTF feeling just like me.  With that being said…read at your own risk.

What was the last book that you read that left you feeling like WTF?

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An Unrequited Love Story: Unbreak My Heart

 

To say Unbreak My Heartthat I couldn’t put down this book is an understatement.  I read it in a day and that was in between taking breaks because I was stopping myself from throwing my Kindle against a wall.  Unbreak My Heart is the epitome of unrequited love.  Katie develops feelings for her childhood friend Shane who then falls in love with Katie’s college roommate. Shane then marries Katie’s friend all the while Katie still harbors feelings of love and resentment to Shane.  While Shane is deployed overseas, Katie helps her best friend with raising their children and playing surrogate parent.  However, Katie’s best friend dies in a car accident leaving Shane with four children under the age of 8 and desperately leaning on Katie.

I’m sure you can figure out where this is going.  Refreshingly, it was not insta-love between Katie and Shane.  However, their journey together is about as crazy and infuriating as insta-love.  Through a series of very unfortunate (or are they fortunate?) mistakes, Katie becomes so entwined in Shane and the kids’ lives that lines are blurred not only among the kids but between Katie and Shane as well.  Despite Shane relying heavily on Katie to become the surrogate parent, his feelings of Katie’s role in the kids’ life and his own are conflicted.  He subsequently makes a series of mistakes that will leave you (remember from above?) wanting to throw your e-reader.  Despite this, I couldn’t stop reading to find out how Shane was going to redeem himself and if he even wanted Katie to forgive him.  Although he his grieving for the loss of his wife and while some of his actions could be blamed on that grief—there is only so much Katie can take.

Unbreak My Heart will undoubtedly break your heart in the process of reading this book.  For me, the angst in this book is the perfect kind—the kind that makes want to keep reading into the wee hours of the night to get through it.  Although some will argue that Katie is too forgiving, I was surprised that Nicole Jacquelyn did not tie things up into a pretty bow at predictable parts in the book.  Instead, the story and drama between Katie and Shane unfolded throughout the course of the book and developed over time. This added to the believability of the story and halted the sometimes eye-roll worthy moments of plots of this nature.  However, there were a few plot holes for me.  For one, I couldn’t understand Shane’s actions toward Katie later in life could happen if they were so close in high school as the author lays out.  Secondly, although Shane’s actions could certainly be blamed on grief, it did not seem that the book covered enough grief—through Shane, Katie, or the children’s actions. Despite these few problems, Unbreak My Heart surpassed my expectations and gave great angst!

 

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A Sweet Read: The Problem With Forever

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Don’t you love the cover of this book? The book cover, coupled with the book description, made me immediately intrigued. The Problem with Forever follows Mallory’s journey as she is adopted out of foster care after suffering a horrible tragedy. As a method to cope with her PTSD, Mallory no longer speaks and is homeschooled. In an effort to prepare for college and assimilate to being in public, Mallory enrolls in a public high school for her Senior year. Facing her fears and anxiety of being in public, along with the typical high school pressure, Mallory is fighting an uphill battle.

Mallory’s journey takes a turn when she unexpectedly finds herself in class with a boy that has strong ties to her time in foster care. When Mallory reunites with Rider, her childhood protector, things do not go as planned. Jennifer Armentrout weaves a story that is slowly revealed over time. Some would argue that perhaps this book was too slow. I found the story to have major angst potential although, in reality, the angst was very mild. Mallory’s connection with Rider is obviously very strong and one that lasts over time and tragedy that unfolds throughout the novel. However, some parts of the story felt unbelievable to me. Coupled with a few plot holes, if you are looking for a young adult high school based novel with mild angst, The Problem With Forever is a cute read that will do the trick.

 

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Happy People Who Read and Drink Coffee Should Not Read This Book

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Happy People Who Read and Drink Coffee—isn’t that a great title (aren’t you thinking “that’s me! That’s me!”)? Intriguing right?  My hopes were so high for this book.  They’re making a movie out of this book.  It’s experienced international success.  A US publisher picked up the rights to this book.  All of this, including the books description, has all the makings of a great read.  And, in fact, the first half of this book had great potential.  The story building was there.  The plot intriguing–Diane, the novel’s protagonist and Parisian owner of the bookstore Happy People Read and Drink Coffee, finds herself in the depths of grief after her husband and young daughter are killed in a car accident.  After wallowing in her pain for a year and becoming a recluse, Diane decides to move to a remote town in Ireland in order to save herself.

While in Mulraney, Ireland, Diane befriends her new landlord and makes enemies with her insolent neighbor who is as much as a recluse as Diane. What ensues is a series of meetings between Edward and Diane that eventually evolves to a tentative friendship followed by love.  Read the book if you wish, but I found the relationship between Edward and Diane to be full of plot holes and many, many things that left me scratching my head, if not a little mad at the main character.  The only part that I was happy about was the fact that this book was so short—you should be able to read it in the time it takes to drink a few cups of coffee.

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For fans of Gossip Girl: Paper Princess

Paper PrincessIf Cruel Intentions and Gossip Girl had a literary baby, it would be Paper Princess.  If you are in the mood for a snarky, treacherous, young adult/new adult novel, look no further.  Paper Princess will leave you entertained in the best possible way.

Paper Princess, much like Gossip Girl, follows the lives of the super wealthy elite at an upper-class high school.  Ella Harper is plucked from her life slumming it in the public school poverty, or a “casual” as they are referred to in the book, and finds herself living with a super wealthy family.  What entails is full of high-school drama, mild angst, and the wildly indulgent actions of sexually charged teenagers.  This book will leave you thankful that you did not attend an upper-class high school, or in some cases, it will make you wish you did.  (In some ways, this book reminded me of the Fallen Crest High Series but with better writing).  But fair warning, this book ends on a major cliffhanger.  The next book in the series comes out in July so it’s not that long of a wait.  XOXOGossip Girl

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Eligible: A modern Pride and Prejudice, worthy of a read

Eligible

“….the characters and the plot line were very entertaining.  At the very least, Eligible will leave you yearning to reread Pride and Prejudice, which is always a great idea.”

Eligible is a modern day retelling of Pride and Prejudice complete with the original cast, including swoon-worthy Mr. Darcy.  Eligible follows the Bennett family as they navigate their seemingly endless array of problems—some recognized and others not.

Liz Bennett is a late thirty-year-old who is still trying to get her life together along with all of her other family members.  Her mother, a well to do (or so it seems) lady who lunches, is oblivious to her surroundings which fit her conservative and prejudicedviews and simply wishes for all of her four daughters to be married.  Mr. Bennett is full of snarky one-liners and hovers just on the periphery of his family’s life and offers very little support in the way of participating in solving his own problems.

The sisters-Lydia, Mary, and Jane- each come with their own set of problems.  In fact, Eligible was full of never ending problems for the Bennett family and problems that Liz sought, either willingly or unwillingly, to solve herself.  Jane, the eldest, and frankly, the most level headed Bennett sister finds herself desperate for a child but lacking a male counterpart.  Lydia and Mary, the youngest Bennett sisters, find themselves still living at the Bennett family home, neither married nor with careers—unless you count their affection for Crossfit (If you have ever done Crossfit, like myself, or been around people who Crossfit, and let’s face it—you have and you know this because they tell you—you will appreciate the snark and Crossfit-laden humor throughout the book).

Interspersed throughout Eligible, Mr. Darcy makes appearances and you find yourself longing for more interaction between Darcy and Liz Bennett.  Perhaps this was what kept me interested in the book the most.  Although you know from reading Pride and Prejudice that Darcy and Liz are paramours, Eligible’s modern retelling of their story is different enough, and modern enough, to keep you wanting to know more.

Curtis Sittenfeld’s style of writing was unique and took some getting used to. Perhaps it was because of the ode to Jane Austen, but the overall style of Sittenfeld’s writing was very reminiscent of more classical works.  Sittenfeld also had drastic differences in the length of his chapters—some were as short as two paragraphs while others lasted for pages.  This was intriguing to me and I’m not really sure I enjoyed it as a reader.  It was almost as if you were watching a sitcom and you got brief segments of what was going on with the main characters.

Eligible was a fun, playful read.  It largely reminded me of the readership experience of Big Little Lies, a quick read, and one that you could imagine turned into a movie. There was no major angst or strong emotions with Eligible, but the characters and the plot line were very entertaining.  At the very least, Eligible will leave you yearning to reread Pride and Prejudice, which is always a great idea.

 

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First Book of 2016

F*ck LoveHave you ever read a book synopsis, fell in love, and then after the first couple of chapters think…wait, what is this, I didn’t sign up for this. F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher has the makings of a great book. Girl falls in love with her best friend’s boyfriend and then must decide what to do about her feelings. However, Helena, the main character does not discover that she is in love with her best friend’s guy over time, but wait for it….in a dream. A time travel dream. And she lost me….

But wait…I should give the book a shot, expand my horizons, right? Ok, I powered through and am so glad I did. This book was unlike anything I thought it would be, both good and the not so good. What I thought would happen (ie. the typical plot) did not happen, but what did happen was…good.

Tarryn Fisher’s writing style is witty, funny, sarcastic. Almost as if you know instantly that you and she could be friends.

Someone once told me that it was on of Oprah’s favorite restaurants, but seriously, Oprah has a lot of favorite things—it all sounds like lies at this point.

F*ck love explores not only the ups and downs of love, but female friendship too.  Helena’s constant struggle with her best friend, Della, is one that all women can relate to.  The roles that both women play in the friendship, some willingly and some not so willingly.

I love Della, God I love her.  I’ve known her since we didn’t have real personalities, and we relied on Tiger Beat to tell us which boys to have crushes on…

On her quest to find love with Kit, Helena ultimately is on a quest to find herself.  Some of her choices are puzzling, and some didn’t make sense, but one thing I am happy about is that this was not a story that was wrapped up  nice and neat.  No, this story was developed.  I found myself surprised when I looked to see how far I was in the story thinking that the obvious end was coming and I was only at 56% (Kindle reader).

F*ck Love has all the elements of a great book in my opinion.  Great writing, unique characters, witty banter, a love story, and angst.  I loved the process of reading this book.  I literally couldn’t put it down.  It’s one of those rare finds that makes you remember why you love reading…to find out what happens next, what becomes of these characters, etc. However, the last 15% of the book was all over the place. The book felt as if it had too many elements and plot twist that made the ending lack luster.  One thing that isn’t lackluster is Fisher’s way with words:

Contrast is important in life.  We understand what light is because we can compare it with what we know is dark. Sweet is made sweeter after we eat something bitter.  It’s the very same with sadness.  And it’s important to experience sadness, to embrace it in order to truly know happiness.  

 

 

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