Second Star Spoiler Free Review

Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel is a YA retelling of Peter Pan.

The book follows Wendy Darling as she looks for her brothers John and Michael, who are presumed dead after their beat up surf boards are found by rough water. Wendy doesn’t believe that they are dead so she spends the summer going to beaches where the surfing is good hoping that her brothers will be at one of them. She meets and befriends Pete and ends up going to spend several weeks with him and his friends up at their abandoned house on the cliff. She also meets Jas, the bad boy from the other side of the beach. After returning home, Wendy begins to realize that maybe all is not as it seems.

I enjoyed all the Peter Pan elements. The Darlings, Wendy, John and Michael, even Nan the dog. Pete and the lost boys, as well as Belle. Jas as Hook, and even that the author incorporated Pixie Dust into the mix. 

There were some aspects that I thought were pretty risky for a Peter Pan retelling. The fact that Jas is a drug dealer who deals Dust. The price to enter one of his parties is to take some of the Dust. Even though I thought it was a little dark for a YA book, I also think it worked for the overall story. 

I loved how Belle was sort of a brat and showed jealousy towards Wendy and Pete. That’s how Tinker bell should behave! I enjoyed the love triangle between Pete, Wendy and Jas and I actually had a hard time choosing who I was rooting for, which I liked. I thought that the whole event surrounding Wendy’s brothers turned out amazing. There were things that I predicted and others that I was completely surprised by.

I’m a little unsure of how I feel about the ending. On one hand I thought it was perfect and such a cool way to end the story but then at the same time I felt a little let down. I still had some questions and it felt like it was a little bit of a cliffhanger.

For the most part, I really enjoyed Second Star. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads and recommend it to anyone who loves Peter Pan and retellings so definitely check it out.

Keep reading…Lola

Caraval Spoiler Free Book Review

Caraval by Stephanie Garber follows sisters Scarlet and Tella, who live on an island they have never left with their abusive, ruthless father. Scarlet has an arranged marriage coming up and her hopes for seeing Caraval are seemingly over, until her invitation comes in the mail. Caraval is a once a year performacne where the audience participates. With the help of a sailor they just met, Tella comes up with a plan for them to go to Caraval. Once there, Tella is kidnapped by the organizer, Legend and whoever finds her first is the winner.

First of all I hated the father. His punishments were so horrible and the fact that he used one sister to suffer the consequences of the other was just disgusting.

I loved the sisterly bond that Scarlet and Tella had. You could tell that they genuinely loved each other and would do anything for the other. The ending had me in tears a little bit.

I liked the character of Julian. I think he added something extra to the story. I would love to have a prequel of Julian’s story and what happened to him in his life before meeting Scarlet and Tella. The book goes into his history some but I would love a complete book.

I enjoyed the romance in the story but I wish there was more of it. It was just one of those sweet, non rushed romances that had you rooting for them. At least I was.

I loved the whole Caraval experience. It reminded me a little bit like Wonderland, where everything isn’t how it appears and there is a whimsical, magical feeling to it. I loved imagining what everything looked like as I was reading.

I liked the overall plot. Things seemed to just flow and everything moved at a good pace. There were a lot of things going on throughout the book but I never had a hard time following along, which sometimes happens when I am reading something with a lot of things going on.

The mystery aspect was really well played out. There were times when I thought I knew who Legend was and then something else would happen and I would think it was someone else. In the end I wasn’t expecting what happened at all. There were some surprises and then surprises on top of those.

I am very happy that there is going to be a sequel and I’m excited to read that. I can’t wait to see what else is in store for these characters and to learn more about this world.

I gave Caraval 5 stars on Goodreads and very much recommend it.

Keep reading…Lola

A To Z Book Tag

Today’s blog is going to be a book tag. I just love them and think they are so fun. This A To Z Book Tag was created by The Perpetual Page-Turner on YouTube.

A~ An author you’ve read the most- Laurell K. Hamilton. I have read all but the last book of her Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series. There are 25 of them plus I’ve read multiple short storis as well.

B~ Best Sequel- This was so hard to answer because I’ve read a lot of good sequels but I’m going to go with At First Sight by Nicholas Sparks. I have a review up from a while ago if you’re interested.

C~ Currently reading- I am reading Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.

D~ Drink I have while reading- During colder months tea and during warmer months water or iced tea.

E~ E-reader or physical- I have both and like both but I prefer physical. I love the smell of new books.

F~ Fictional character I would have dated in high school- This was a hard one to answer as well but I’m going to go with one of my new favorite male characters, Jase from My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. 

G~ Glad you gave it a chance- My life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I had heard so much about it on BookTube but didn’t plan on reading it and then I saw it on BookOutlet and decided to pick it up and I loved it. Review will be up probably in the beginning of July.

H~ Hidden gem book- Promise Bridge by Eileen Clymer Schwab. Such an amazing book about the beginning of the underground railroad. I have a review up of this as well.

I~ Important moment in my reading life- I can’t think of one specific moment, but just being introduced to reading in the first place. I remember when I was in second grade and some kids were slower at reading so they had to take home what was called a book in a bag, which was a book, a journal and a pencil in a zipock bag with handles type thing and they had to do extra reading at home and I would pretend I was having trouble just so I could take a book home and read more. They did catch on!

J~ Just finished reading- My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. Review to come.

K~ Kinds of books I won’t/can’t read- I try to give any book a chance if it’s something that I think I might like so I guess the only books that I can’t read are ones that I start and can’t get get into.

L~ Longest book I’ve read- Probably Winter by Marissa Meyer. I don’t think I’ve read a book that’s over 830 pages or whatever that one was except Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy but that one I half read and half listened to the audio book.

M~ Major book hangover- Any book that’s emotionally draining, like anything by Nicholas Sparks.

N~ Number of bookshelves- I have three.

O~ One book you read multiple times- A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks.

P~ Preferred place to read- In my bed.

Q~ Quote that inspires you- “Though she be but little, she is fierce” by Shakespeare. I’ve always loved that one.

R~ Reading regret- Anna Karenina. I didn’t like it at all.

S~ Series you started and didn’t finish but all books are out- I’m going to say The Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella. I’m not sure if any more are coming out but I think it’s the only series I haven’t finished and I have all books released so far.

T~ Three all time favorite books- The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, The Hazards Series by Alyssa Rose Ivy.

U~ Unapologetic fan girl for- Twilight back in the day!

V~ Very excited for this release- Wires And Nerve Volume Two by Marissa Meyer and the Caraval sequel by Stephanie Garber.

W~ Worst bookish habit- Sometimes not being able to put a book down until it’s finished, even if it means I’m up until 3am and have to work in the morning.

X~ X marks the spot, choose the 27th book from the top left- The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory

Y~ Your latest book purchase- I am on a book buying ban right now so I haven’t bought any new books, I have received some books from subscription services but those were prepaid so I don’t count them, but the last ones I got were,  For The Win by Cory Doctorow and The Kid Table by Andrea Seigel. Unboxing blog coming soon.

Z~ zzz Book that kept you up all night- Alot of books have kept me up all night so I’ll just go with the last one which was My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. Again, this must have been a My life Next Door blog!  

So that’s the tag. I tag anyone that wants to do it. Have fun!

Keep reading…Lola

Breathing Underwater/Diva Spoiler Free Book Review

Breathing Underwater and Diva are young adult books written by Alex Flinn. 

Breathing Underwater follows Nick, a sixteen year old boy who is going to anger management classes after he beats up his girlfriend, Caitlin. The novel is told from Nick’s perspective as he writes in a court ordered journal and goes to anger management classes. There are also flashbacks of his relationship with Cailtin from their first meeting until their breakup.

Diva follows Caitlin as she goes to a new school, a high school for musically gifted kids and tries to move on from Nick and everything that happened.

Breathing Underwater covers a serious topic. I think Alex Flinn did a good job of portraying how an abusive relationship is. In this case, the manipulation, control and abuse on the males part and the fear, guilt and shame on the females part. Nick is in denial about his behavior. He doesn’t want Caitlin to hang out with her friends, just his, he tells her what to wear and calls her fat. He won’t even admit that he beat her up, he only says that he slapped her once. Caitlin loves him and makes excuses everytime he yells at her, she feels bad for him because his father is abusive to him, she does everything he asks to keep him from getting angry and when he does get mad at her, she blames herself because of course it has to be her fault.

At the beginning of his classes, Nick says he didn’t do anything and that he doesn’t belong in the class, but at the end of the class he realizes that he has a problem and needs to get the help so that he can fix it. He also stands up to his dad and tries to put his friendships back together. My only issue with the book was the way it seemed that Nick changed so quickly, that part just didn’t seem realistic to me.

Diva takes place after Caitlin breaks up with Nick and gets a restraining order on him. She applies to go to a high school for musically gifted students, in part to get away from Nick. This novel is all about Caitlin and told from her point of view. She writes a blog telling about Nick and leaving her old school and starting her new school. She ends up making a couple of close friends and tells them about Nick and they are supportive. 

Nick makes a couple of appearances in Diva but not enough to really know if he has made any real changes. That’s one of the things I disliked about the book. I would have liked to see if Nick really was trying or if it was just talk. I also wish that this book told more about Caitlin’s experience and what it wad like for her to be in that relationship. I would love to have a Breathing Underwater from Cailtin’s point of view. Another thing I didn’t like was that Caitlin had a crush on a student at her new school and was open to starting a new relationship. The whole time I was thinking “you just ended a relationship with a boy who beat you up, why would you want to jump into another one so soon?” I just can’t see that happening in real life, but I’ve never been in an abusive relationship so maybe it is possible?

For the most part I really enjoyed the books and liked reading something of Alex Flinn’s that wasn’t a fairytale retelling. I gave both books 4 stars on Goodreads. 

Keep reading…Lola

If The Creek Don’t Rise Spoiler Free Review (ARC)

If The Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss is a novel that is being released on August 8, 2017. I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The story is told from multiple perspectives. There is the preacher Eli, his sister Prudence, pregnant teenager Sadie, the local witch named Birdie, the new school teacher, Sadie’s husband Roy and Roy’s friend Billy.

The novel follows Sadie, she is 17 and pregnant and has been married to Roy for fifteen days. Since they have been married, Roy has been beating her regularly. The town knows but they just look the other way. She loves Loretta Lynn and carries around a magazine with her on the cover but she can’t read. The new teacher in town tells her that she’ll help her learn to read and Sadie begins to wonder if there’s more to life than being Roy’s wife. Each new perspective has their own story but Sadie weaves into each one. The town witch wants to help her get rid of Roy, the teacher wants her to learn to read so she has more options in life and Roy’s friend Billy has always had a crush on her and wants to be with her himself. 

I thought that I would hate the book because of all the different perspectives but it kind of read like short stories that all came together in the end. At least that’s what it was like for me. There were certain perspectives I liked more than others but I was expecting that.

I really enjoyed the characters. I thought they were all realistic. They could be your next door neighbor. I loved Birdie and hated Roy. 

I thought the ending was a little abrupt and I would have liked to see it unfold a little bit more. I also would have loved to know what Sadie would be doing a few years later.

The novel reminded me of Where The Heart Is by Billie Letts at some points. The pregnant teenager, the loser boyfriend, the woman who wants to help, etc. 

I really enjoyed this novel, a lot more than I thought I would. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads. Definitely look it up and check it out if it’s the kind of book you enjoy.

Keep reading…Lola

June Book Of The Month

This is my favorite month for BOTM so far I think. I’m really excited for all of these books.

White Fur by Jardine Libaire is a romance novel about two people from different backgrounds who come together and have this intense love.

A Million June’s by Emily Henry. This novel is about forbidden love. The Angerts and the O’Donnells are families with a long standing hatred for each other but one day, two of them find themselves falling in love.

Into The Water by Paula Hawkins. One summer a single mother and a teenage girl both drown in a river that runs through town but not everything is as it seems.

I can’t wait to dive into these!

Keep reading…Lola

June TBR

These are the books that I am hoping to get to in June. 

On The Fence by Kasie West. This will be the third Kasie west book that I’ve read and I’m hoping that I’ll like it as much as the others. This one is about neighbors who have conversations at their shared fence and then and romance blooms.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I have heard so much about this book on BookTube and it seem’s to be right up my alley. I also believe that this is about two neighbors who fall in love.

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. This book follows Amy, who is moving from California to the East coast. She needs to drive the car cross country but hasn’t driven since her father died, so a family friend decides to lend a hand.

And We’re Off by Dana Schwartz. I think I am most excited about this one. It’s about a teenager who goes on a summer trip, paid for by her grandfather, and at the last minute her mother decides to join her.

Hopefully I have a better reading month in June than I did in May. What’s everyone else reading?

Keep reading…Lola

May Wrap Up

I only read four books this month. I read them pretty quickly and then went into a little but of a slump at the end of the month. Hopefully June will be better for me.

Diva by Alex Flinn. This is the companion to Breathing Underwater and I will have a review of the duology posted soon.

The Last Star by Rick Yancey. This is the final book in The 5th Wave trilogy. I was expecting  to do a review of the trilogy when I finished this book, but then I finished this book! I gave it 4 stars but I didn’t like how it ended at all so I’m not sure if I’m going to review it or not. Maybe sometime down the line.

Just Breathe by Heather Allen. This is a mermaid romance story and the first book in a trilogy. I really enjoyed this one and once I’m off my book buying ban I’m going to read the other two.

Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel. This is a Peter Pan retelling. I’m not done this book yet but by the time this post goes up I will be. I will probably have a review up in the next couple weeks.

That’s what I read this month. How did everyone else do? Hopefully I’ll have a better June!

Keep reading…Lola

Rapunzel Collection

Rapunzel is my favorite Disney Princess and Tangled is my favorite Disney movie so I have several books and Funko POPS in my Rapunzel collection. Here it is…

This version of Rapunzel is by Paul O. Zelinsky. It’s a Caldecott Medal winner and the pictures are stunning. I also have the Rumblestiltskin one as well because these versions are so beautiful. 

This one is by John Cech and illustrated by Fiona Sansom. The inside end pages are my favorite part of this book. It’s Rapunzel’s braid covering both sides.

This is Rapunzel as well as other fairy tales by The Brothers Grimm. I just fell in love with the cover.

I love this version of Rapunzel. I think it’s so different from the other versions. It’s not even the prettiest to me but there is just something about it that I love.

This is Tangled, the Disney version of Rapunzel. I love the artwork in this. It goes by the story of the movie but the characters are slightly different in appearance. 

This is The Art Of Tangled. I think this is my favorite. It has pictures of the beginning stages of the movie, sketches and ideas, set designs, etc. I also love the cover under the dust jacket of the floating lantern sun design.

This is also a Tangled edition. This one follows the movie as well and the artwork is absolutely beautiful, it’s just like watching the movie in book form.

This version is just The Brothers Grimm Story. It’s very short and the pictures aren’t that pretry but I wanted a copy of just Rapunzel alone so I had to add this to my collection.

These are the Funko POPS that I have. Rapunzel with her hair down and Pascal, Maximus and Rapunzel with a braid and flowers, which is my favorite one.

That’s my Rapunzel collection, and although I have many, I can’t wait to add to it!

Thanks for reading…Lola

Geekerella Spoiler Free Review

Geekerella by Ashley Poston is a YA Cinderella retelling set in the modern world.

I received an ARC of this from Netgalley and then mixed it up with another book so I didn’t read it before it came out but I read it last month and I really enjoyed it.

This novel had all the Cinderella vibes, the evil step mother, the two step sisters, the ball where she meets her prince, the curfew, even the pumpkin dequised as a food truck! 

There were also some modern day twists on the classic as well. The prince, Darien is an actor who has taken on the lead roll of a film based on a popular TV show (Starfield) from back in the day. Elle works on a food truck and hopes to win a cosplay contest so she can get an invitation to ExcelsiCon and meet the actor playing Federation Prince Carmindor.

I loved the Starfield fandom within the book. Elle is a die hard fan of the show that she watched with her father when she was younger. Now as a teenager she even has a blog dedicated to the fandom. I also thought it was cool that her step sisters had a vlog channel. I loved how the author brought modern technology into it. I enjoyed the romance in the story as well, even though it was a bit predictable. I found myself laughing out loud during some of the texting conversations Elle had with Carmindor. I also really liked the friendship that developed between Elle and Sage. It was fun to see what they became after how they started out.

I hated Darien’s father. He was more interested in making money then he was about his  sons’ feelings. I also really hated Darien’s friend, I think his name might have been Scott but I just did not care for him and didn’t even memorize his name. 

The writing was very well done and I loved how everything came together in the end. I only wish we had a little more of the romance. 

I gave Geekerella 4 stars on Goodreads and really think everyone should check it out.

Keep reading…Lola