Stacking the Shelves [11]

Stacking the Shelves

 

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. Stacking the Shelves is about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves. You can include books you buy in a physical store or online, books your borrow from the library or friends, review books, gifts and eBooks.

 

I bought some books from Amazon and BookOutlet this week. I went to the library and picked up some more books. I also got a few more Netgalley approvals. Finally, I won a pre-order copy of Truthwitch and I’m posting all the books I won from the YA Scavenger Hunt that I forgot to post last week. I won the prize for the Purple Team! I’ve already gotten several books in the mail so far.

 

With that said, here are the books I’ve bought, borrowed, and received this past week:

 

Bought:

  The Assassin's Blade Throne of Glass Crown of Midnight Heir of Fire This Song Will Save Your Life How To Love Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone The Illustrated Edition The Hogwarts Library Pivot Point Split Second  Better Than Perfect Breathe Resist A Darkness Strange and Lovely The Weight of Water Shatter Me Ignite Me Promise of Shadows Mystic City Toxic Heart Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up The Paradox of Vertical Flight Wish Don't Expect Magic Who Needs Magic Such Sweet Sorrow The Secret Ingredient Til Death Sacred Flirting With Boys Immortal Orchards Out of Play Red Gated Crimes of the Sarahs Crushed Dreamland Social Club Far Far Away Fates Jane Jones Worst. Vampire. Ever Searching for Beautiful Tempo Change The Sharp Time Weather Witch Psi Another Day Belle Epoque Bog Child Relic Inside Girl Some Kind Of Wonderful Perfect Match Lucky Break Wildcat Fireflies Speed of Light Infinity Hereafter Arise ElegyTouched

 

Netgalley:

The Little Bookshop on the Seine Instructions for the End of the World Sophie Someone Stars Over Sunset Boulevard Status Update Tell the Story to Its End The Golden Braid The Rise and Rise of Tabitha Baird Under The Dusty Moon When We Were I'll See You in Paris

 

Borrowed:

Sloppy Firsts Open Road Summer The Start of Me and You None of the Above Keeping the Moon Everybody Sees the Ants Caged in Winter Tessa Ever After Beach Town Eight Hundred Grapes

 

Won:

TruthwitchHow We FallSiren's FuryAwakeningBleedCall Me GrimFinding ParisHalf in Love with DeathLove and Other Unknown VariablesLoyalty and LiesNever Always SometimesOf Delicate PiecesShutterSkyscrapingThe Angel Killerdistancebetween_final cover_4_1.inddThe One ThingThe Star CatcherUnspeakableWolf By WolfLast Year's Mistake

 

What are you Stacking the Shelves with this week? Any books you can’t wait to read?

Book Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #2
Publisher: Speak
Publication date: July 9, 2013
Pages: 338
Source: Purchased
Summary (via Goodreads): Lola Nolan is a budding costume designer, and for her, the more outrageous, sparkly, and fun the outfit, the better. And everything is pretty perfect in her life (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. When Cricket, a gifted inventor, steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

 

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Cricket made this book for me. I liked most of the other characters, but I LOVED CRICKET BELL! The book was a little slow at first, but I fell in love with this book by the end. I ended up giving it 5 out of 5 stars.

 

Lola was harder for me to relate to as a main character than Anna was, and that detracted from the story a bit for me. She’s so outgoing and exuberant that someone who’s introverted and likes flying under the radar (i.e. me) wouldn’t really be able to imagine themselves in her place. But with that said, she was still an interesting character. Her outfits were kind of outrageous, and I admired her commitment to her style. I usually end up wearing the same familiar clothes, while she never wants to wear the same outfit twice.

 

I loved Lola’s parents, especially Andy. I don’t want to give too much away, but they’re really not a traditional family. Yet they’re exactly what Lola, and the story, needed. I absolutely loathed Max. He was pretty much every bad boyfriend personified in my opinion. I wanted to punch him at least a few times while reading.

 

CRICKET! OH MY GOD! I loooooove him more than I could possibly express. He’s so sweet, so thoughtful, so adorable, so everything. He chases after Lola! Yes you read that right. A boy chases after a girl! He’s #1 on my book boyfriend list right now. I really wish there was a Cricket in real life for every girl. Cricket is more than enough reason for everyone to read this book. He’s so worth it.

 

For readers who liked Anna and St. Clair, or even those who didn’t, we get to see quite a bit of that pairing in this book. I was happily surprised by how much we did see them, because I thought we’d only see a glimpse here and there of them. I hope we get to see appearances in Isla and the Happily Ever After of both couples.

 

I made way too many updates (18) on Goodreads while I was reading. There were so many swoon/squeal worthy moments that I couldn’t resist. Some of my favorite lines were: “It’s easy to talk about things we hate, but sometimes it’s hard to explain exactly why we like something.” and “’And your tight pants,’ I add. Cricket makes a startled choking noise. OH DEAR GOD. WHY WOULD I SAY THAT?” and “‘I like being different.’ ‘And I like that about you,’ Cricket says. ‘But I like the real you best.’”

 

This is such an amazing series so far. I’m simultaneously excited to start on Isla’s story, and sad that the series will be over. I’ll definitely be rereading these books.

 

Final note: This was a great book. Cricket is worth rereading this book over and over again. If you haven’t read this series, you really should. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

5 stars

Waiting on Wednesday [12]

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly awaiting.

 

There are so many books I’m excited about, so I’ll definitely keep doing Waiting on Wednesday. With that said, here’s my pick that I can’t wait for.

 

Passenger

Title: Passenger
Author:  Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication date: January 5, 2016
Summary (via Goodreads): passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.


Why I Chose This Book:

This book sounds so amazing. I love the line “…embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents” in the summary. I haven’t really read many time-travel books, but I like branching out when it comes to finding new things to read. I can’t wait to read my eARC from Netgalley when it gets a little closer to the publication date.

 

What upcoming releases are you most excited about?

ARC Review: Touching Fate by Brenda Drake

Touching Fate

Title: Touching Fate
Author: Brenda Drake
Series: The Fated #1
Publisher: Entangled Teen Crave
Publication date: October 12, 2015
Pages: 194
Source: Netgalley
Summary (via Goodreads): Aster Layne believes in physics, not psychics. A tarot card reading on the Ocean City Boardwalk should have been a ridiculous, just-for-fun thing. It wasn’t. Aster discovers she has a very unscientific gift-with a simple touch of the cards, she can change a person’s fate.

 

Reese Van Buren is cursed. Like the kind of old-school, centuries-old curse that runs in royal families. Every firstborn son is doomed to die on his eighteenth birthday-and Reese’s is coming up fast. Bummer. He tries to distract himself from his inevitable death…only to find the one person who can save him.

 

Aster doesn’t know that the hot Dutch guy she’s just met needs her help-or that he’s about to die.

 

But worst of all…she doesn’t know that her new gift comes with dark, dark consequences that can harm everyone she loves.

 

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I really liked this book. Aster and Reese were good characters, and I even enjoyed some of the secondary characters like Leah and Jan. I ended up giving it 4 out of 5 stars. Thank you Netgalley for giving me a copy in exchange for a honest review.

 

I think Brenda did a great job with the characters. Dual POV can be hard to pull off, but she did it. I think Reese was pretty true to how a guy would think/act. My one problem with the book was that it felt a bit rushed, especially the romance part. I think if it would have been a longer book, it would have been better. That way there could have been some more suspense and more time for the characters to get to know each other.

 

The story was fantastic. I thought it was really interesting, and unique, to read about a fate changer. The execution of Aster’s journey through learning she could change fates until the end was great. One other minor thing that detracted a little bit from the book was some of the language/dialogue felt a little off to me. It felt like it was trying too hard to sound like a teenager and overreached a bit.

 

There were some loose ends that came up throughout the story, so I’m assuming they’ll be addressed in future books. I’m not sure if the next book in the series will be told from both Aster and Reese’s POVs again, but I can’t wait to keep reading. When’s the next book coming out?

 

Final note: A good start to the series. It was a little predictable and a little fast paced, but it was an interesting story. I’d definitely recommend it.

4 stars

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Author Duos You’d LOVE To See Write A Book Together

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week there’s a new topic for a top ten list.

 

This week’s topic is Top Ten Author Duos You’d LOVE To See Write A Book Together. Okay, so I’m not going to lie. The idea of two authors joining forces to write a book both excites and terrifies me. I mean I love so many authors, and to think of them working together to create some kind of super book is amazing. But on the other hand, I haven’t read many books where they’re written by two authors. I’m kind of scared their individual styles I love so much are going to be diminished, or that readers can tell that it was written by two people because it’s not as flowy as it would be if it was written by just one author. But with that said, here are some author pairings I’d consider reading.

 

1. Stephanie Perkins and Rainbow Rowell – Both authors are great contemporary romance storytellers. Readers already fangirl, squeal, flail, etc. over the romance in their books. Or at least I do. I think they could do something magical together in contemporary romance.

2. Meg Cabot and E. Lockhart   I just think this would be an interesting pairing. Meg is one of my favorite YA authors and I loved everything I’ve read by E. Lockhart so far. They’ve both written fluffier romances and also mysterious vibe-y books. I think their writing styles would mesh together pretty well.

3. Jodi Picoult and Kristin Hannah – Their writing styles are kind of similar from what I’ve seen. I’ve read all Jodi’s books, and I’ll slowly keep reading Kristin’s. But all the ones I’ve read so far are amazing, and I think they could do great things together.

4. Sarah Dessen and Gayle Forman – I haven’t read all of Gayle’s books, but I’ve read nearly all of Sarah’s. I think they’re both great storytellers, and could push each other to be even better! I’d love to see what would come out of their heads put together.

5. Sarah Crossan and Veronica Roth – I could always read more dystopian novels. I think they’d be a good pairing because Sarah wouldn’t let Veronica give her readers a crappy ending to the book or series haha.

6. Jill Mansell and Sophie Kinsella  – So I kind of lumped these two together because they’re both British and I figured it would be easier for them to write together. But they actually do have kind of similar styles, and I think they could push each other out of their comfort zones a bit.

7. Sarah J. Maas and Marissa Meyer – I think it would be interesting to see what came out of their joined brain power. They’re both great authors, especially when it comes to characters and romance.

8. Kiera Cass and Kasie West –  I love The Selection series (except the last book kind of) and I really liked the one Kasie book that I’ve read so far. I wonder what a contemporary romance book between these two would look like. I can already imagine the feels…

9. Sarah Dessen and Meg Cabot – They’re two of my favorite YA authors and I’d like to see what they could come up with together. I’d say Sarah is really focused on emotional topics for her books, and Meg is more action focused/supernatural in some of her novels. A book written together by them could be amazing.

10. John Green and Gayle Forman I haven’t read many of either of their books, but The Fault in Our Stars and the If I Stay duology were such tearjerkers. I can only imagine how much these two would make me cry if they wrote something together.

 

Another interesting pairing would be J.K. Rowling with anyone who could make her write another amazing series like Harry Potter. I love those books soooooo much.

 

Did you have any of the same pairings that I did? Any pairings you’re really dying to read yourself?

Stacking the Shelves [10]

Stacking the Shelves

 

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. Stacking the Shelves is about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves. You can include books you buy in a physical store or online, books your borrow from the library or friends, review books, gifts and eBooks.

 

I bought some books from Amazon and BookOutlet this week. I also bought some writing books for my Kindle but I won’t be reviewing them on here, so I figured I wouldn’t post pictures of those. I went to the library and picked up some books as well this week. My Netgalley approvals are finally almost done, so it’s time to play catch up on my eARCs.

 

With that said, here are the books I’ve bought, borrowed, and received this past week:

 

Bought:

   Anna and the French Kiss Lola and the Boy Next Door Isla and the Happily Ever After Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda Twilight & Life and Death Dual Edition Say What You Will The Queen of the Tearling All You Could Ask For After the Rain Another Piece of My Heart Blue Notes Breathe into Me Flirting in Italian How I Came to Sparkle Again Love Story What Goes Around

 

Netgalley:

Forget Tomorrow Paper Dolls The Sisters of Versailles

 

Borrowed:

Cress Fairest Angus, thongs and full-frontal snogging Burn for burn I've got your number Save the date The wrath & the dawn Two boys kissing Belles Something strange and deadly

 

What are you Stacking the Shelves with this week? Any books you can’t wait to read?

Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Series: Anna and the French Kiss #1
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication date: December 2, 2010
Pages: 372
Source: Borrowed
Summary (via Goodreads): Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

 

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

 

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This was my first time reading this book, and I LOVED IT! I read it in two days because I couldn’t put it down. I really liked Anna and I adored Étienne St. Clair. I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

 

I absolutely loved the Paris setting. I’ve never traveled outside the United States, and Paris is one of the places I want to see. This book made me want to see Paris even more! Even though Anna is kind of reserved/shy at first (I’d be the same in a foreign city, or any city really haha), she eventually explores the city thanks to Étienne St. Clair.

 

I did like most of the characters in the book. Only a few got on my nerves, and it was mostly minor characters and usually only sometimes. I absolutely loved reading the interactions between Anna and Étienne St. Clair. They made me smile, they made me laugh, they made me want an Étienne of my own! I also really liked the group of friends. Sure they fought amongst themselves at times, but what group of teenagers doesn’t fight?

 

Okay I’m just going to get this out of the way. I hate cheaters, but I still didn’t have a problem with this book. I mean it’s not like they’re doing it or anything. But they do have an emotional connection that’s a little too much for “just friends”. I’m not saying it’s excusable to do that, but sometimes you can’t help who you fall for.

 

Étienne St. Clair is the newest addition to my book boyfriend list. I found his character so adorable, so funny, so many other things. I loved the English accent and that he was also fluent in French. I could listen to him alternate between the two languages all day. His little quirks (crooked bottom teeth, messy bed head, nail biting, etc.) made him even more adorable. When readers get to the end, I don’t understand how everyone can’t be in love with him. After all the things he did for Anna throughout the book, besides being her best friend, I just couldn’t help myself. The last couple chapters were so great, especially the last few lines of the book. I don’t know how many times I squealed while reading this book. My heart melted, my heart soared, and did so many other things. If you haven’t read this book yet, read it!

 

There were so many great lines and moments in this book. A few of my favorites were: “I mean, really. Who sends their kid to boarding school? It’s so Hogwarts. Only mine doesn’t have cute boy wizards or magic candy or flying lessons.” and “If there were an Olympics competition in hair, St. Clair would totally win, hands down. Ten-point-oh. Gold metal.” and “Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?” But my favorite part is the last few lines of the book. I don’t want to post them here though, so you’ll have to read the book to see why I love those lines so much.

 

Final note: I loved this book. I bought the entire series after I read this book, and I can’t wait to read the other two books. Such a great romance with a healthy dose of friendship and teenage angst set in a beautiful foreign locale. What more could you ask for?

5 stars

Waiting on Wednesday [11]

waiting on wednesday2

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly awaiting.

 

There are so many books I’m excited about, so I’ll definitely keep doing Waiting on Wednesday. With that said, here’s my pick that I can’t wait for.

 

Forget Tomorrow

Title: Forget Tomorrow
Author: Pintip Dunn
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Publication date: November 3, 2015
Summary (via Goodreads): Imagine a world where your destiny has already been decided…by your future self.

It’s Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she’s eagerly awaiting her vision―a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they’re meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist.

Or in Callie’s case, a criminal.

In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in Limbo―a hellish prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she escapes.

But on the run from her future, as well as the government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all—Callie, herself.


Why I Chose This Book:

So almost all the dystopian novels I’ve read so far (Hunger Games, Divergent, etc.), I’ve pretty much loved. I have high hopes for this book just based on the summary. It sounds intriguing, it sounds twisty, it sounds like something that’s right up my alley when it comes to reading. I was given a copy from Netgalley, so I can’t wait to read it and see if it’s as good as I hope it is.

 

What upcoming releases are you most excited about?

Book Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Title: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication date: April 7, 2015
Pages: 303
Source: Purchased
Summary (via Goodreads): Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

 

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

 

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I LOVE THIS BOOK! Yes it was necessary to have that sentence in all caps. I stayed up way too late on a work night so I could read this book in one sitting. I gave it 5 out of 5 stars.

 

This book is definitely one of my all-time favorites. I can’t even describe fully how much I love this book. Yes this review is going to be a bunch of fangirling and compliments. I can’t help myself. If you haven’t read this book, READ IT! I couldn’t put this book down because of the characters. I couldn’t put it down because of the cute fluffiness that made me squeal. I couldn’t put it down because it was so beyond amazing. I cried. I laughed. I fell in love with Simon and Blue.

 

First off, I loved that this was a diverse book. A coming of age LGBTQ read that was so cute it made my heart soar with happiness. Simon is such a realistic, adorable character. I want to be his friend, take him under my wing and help him along the way. Like I said, I couldn’t put this book down. I stayed up until 2 AM so I could finish it in one night. I needed to find out who Blue was, even though I did have a couple solid guesses (one of my guesses was correct). I’m not going to spoil who Blue is; guessing was half the fun.

 

The email conversations between Simon and Blue were one of my favorite parts of the book, you know besides the romance towards the end. It was so cute watching them fall for each other, seeing the feelings progress because they truly liked each other as human beings. I absolutely adore Simon and Blue. I also really liked Simon’s family. They were pretty weird and hilarious.

 

Two other things I really loved about the book: ALL THE HARRY POTTER REFERENCES and Simon’s love of Oreos. I really felt a kinship with Simon because I’m also obsessed with Harry Potter; plus I do love my sweets. This book made me crave Oreo everything.

 

There were so many good lines, so many swoon worthy moments in this book. I love the entire book with my whole heart. One line I chuckled at and had to write down was: “So here’s the thing: Simon means ‘the one who hears’ and Spier means ‘the one who watches.’ Which means I was basically destined to be nosy.”

 

Final note: I adored this book. I can’t wait to reread it over and over again. I will repeat this statement from earlier: if you haven’t read this book yet, READ IT! Simon and Blue are the most adorable thing ever and you won’t be able to stop yourself from squealing, laughing, and crying while you read this incredible book.

5 stars

ARC Review: An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet

An Inheritance of Ashes

Title: An Inheritance of Ashes
Author: Leah Bobet
Publisher: Clarion Books
Publication date: October 6, 2015
Pages: 336
Source: Netgalley
Summary (via Goodreads): The strange war down south—with its rumors of gods and monsters—is over. And while sixteen-year-old Hallie and her sister wait to see who will return from the distant battlefield, they struggle to maintain their family farm.

 

When Hallie hires a veteran to help them, the war comes home in ways no one could have imagined, and soon Hallie is taking dangerous risks—and keeping desperate secrets. But even as she slowly learns more about the war and the men who fought it, ugly truths about Hallie’s own family are emerging. And while monsters and armies are converging on the small farm, the greatest threat to her home may be Hallie herself.

 

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I was really looking forward to this book based on the summary, but I found myself being disappointed. It was still an okay book, but it was slow and kind of odd. The last half/quarter of the book was more interesting, but I almost did not finish this one because it wasn’t holding my interest in the beginning. I ended up giving this 2 out of 5 stars. Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for a honest review.

 

The summary and the amazing cover made me request this book. A fantasy, dystopian book about gods and monsters? It sounds amazing, right? I had high hopes for this book, but it was way too slow. I’m not even sure I really liked any of the characters that much. Sure I felt bad for Hallie, but she was kind of a ‘poor me’ character. Sometimes I just wanted to shake her to get her to open up her eyes. The small town farm setting wasn’t my favorite either. There was quite a cast of characters, but we don’t really get to know a lot of them because of the farm’s isolation.

 

I thought there was way too much emotional/mental drama between the sisters, even though half the time they barely spoke. Another thing I didn’t particularly like was the fact that there wasn’t really any romance. I love romance in a book. It’s not necessary for me when I’m reading, but having it as at least a subplot, and doing it well will go a long way with me. There’s some romance but it’s very minor. And I was rooting for them, but I wasn’t that invested. I wouldn’t have been heartbroken if things didn’t work out.

 

Final note: I guess my expectations for this book were so high that it was easy to be disappointed. It was way too slow in my opinion and it didn’t really hold my interest. I know other people have liked it, so give it a try.

2 stars