Prince Charming by Rachel Hawkins Review

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Prince Charming was a charming young adult contemporary.

Prince Charming, originally titled Royals, by Rachel Hawkins follows seventeen-year-old Daisy Winters after her sister gets engaged to a prince in Scotland. After Daisy’s ex-boyfriend exposes her to the press, the royal family whisks her away to Scotland to stay ahead of the tabloids. To keep the paparazzi at bay, the queen enlists a family friend to show Daisy the ropes of royal life.

I read the Rebel Belle series by Rachel Hawkins a few years ago. While I enjoyed the fun hook and humorous lead in the first book, the series quickly went downhill for its lack of consistency in characters and pacing. While I overall enjoyed this book by Rachel Hawkins, I think readers of the Rebel Belle series will notice some of the same issues in the second half of this book.

Prince Charming (Royals, #1)

The highlight of this book was the humor. I literally laughed out loud during some of Daisy’s one liners. There are a lot of books labeled as romantic comedies, but I think this book definitely capitalizes on the comedy part more than others. The author also adds in a lot of ridiculous, but realistic humorous moments. For example, at the beginning of the book, we learn that Daisy’s former boyfriend tried to sell their prom pictures to the tabloids.

On the other hand, I feel like some of the synopsis, and new title, does not accurately match the book which may disappoint some readers. The book’s description largely emphasizes the prince’s younger brother and how Daisy shakes up the palace. Going into the book, I expected there to possibly be a love triangle with the prince’s younger brother and Miles. While it didn’t matter much to me when this wasn’t the case, it may irritate some readers if they expected the primary romance to be with a prince. Additionally, Daisy takes a more passive approach to the royal life, often going along with any of their schemes to appease her sister. Although Daisy does argue with several members of the royal family, she doesn’t actively combat them like the description suggests.

Another minor pet peeve that I noticed in this book, which I have noticed in several other books that I’ve read recently, are how some unnecessary scenes are added to open up the story for possible sequels, which ends up rushing other parts of the story. In this book, we get moments of other characters, like the prince’s siblings, that aren’t necessarily for the plot of this book, but are only included to possibly venture into their story’s later. Particularly with Sebastian, the prince’s younger brother, this irritated me because it was all over the place. It also served as the “all is lost” moment in the story, but actually never really affected the plot dramatically. Since I found the end of the story kind of rushed, especially the romance, I wished that the author would have put more focus into this story than the stories to come.

Despite my few issues with this book, I really enjoyed reading this book. Last year was a rough reading year for me because I wasn’t having fun with the books that I read and they never fully captivated me or transported me to a new place. However, Prince Charming was the perfect easy, fun read for me. I gave this book 3.5 out of five stars.

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If I’m Being Honest Review

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If I’m being honest, I would rate this book as 3.5 stars.

If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegermund-Broka follows popular high school student Cameron Bright who always tells it like it is, no matter who she hurts. After she gets burned by a crush, Cameron takes inspiration from Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew and decides to apologize to everyone that she wronged to win back his affections. On her journey to redemption, Cameron reconnects with Brendan, who dropped to the bottom on the social ladder when Cameron gave him a less than flattering nickname.

If I'm Being Honest

I have heard about books by this author duo before, but something never clicked with me from the book’s descriptions to pick the up despite my love of contemporaries. I found both of their currently released books on sale for my Kindle during February, so I decided to pick them up since I was on a contemporary kick. While I prefer Always Never Yours over this book, this was overall a solid YA contemporary book. After reading Always Never Yours, I can see this duo becoming an auto-buy for me when it comes to contemporaries.

I saw a few reviews for this book and many of them expressed how they did not like the main character, Cameron, because she was the most unlikeable main character that they have ever read. I love reading unlikeable characters, especially popular main characters, because they rarely show up in YA fiction. I especially appreciate the two authors of this book because in both the books they read, they consistently show outgoing and bold female characters confident in who they are, which is refreshing for me in terms of YA contemporaries. That being said, I can see how Cameron can rub people the wrong way. Honestly, she is the meanest main character that I’ve ever read, especially at the beginning of the book. For people who experienced a lot of bullying in high school, I may steer clear of this one because it may trigger bad memories and it may be difficult to root for Cameron as a main character, even though she does change her ways throughout the novel.

Another aspect of this book that I enjoyed was Cameron’s relationship with her mom and dad. This relationship is extremely complicated and affects many aspects of Cameron’s life in a realistic way. I enjoyed watching Cameron’s relationship with her mom grow and change. In the beginning of the book, Cameron sees all of her mother’s actions as extremely weak. Eventually, Cameron recognizes that while her mother may not be perfect, all of the decisions that she saw as weak were actually moments that her mother was strong to provide the best life for Cameron. The moments at the end where they began to reconcile their relationship almost made me cry and were some of my favorite parts of the book.

For me, my least favorite part of the book was the connection to Shakespeare. In Always Never Yours, I felt the Shakespeare connection was included more naturally and had more of a clear connection and message to the story. In this book, Cameron bounced around in her interpretation of Katherine’s character in the play, which they read and debated in class. While Cameron finally acknowledges that how Petruchio treated Katherine was not okay, but Katherine still could be honest without being cruel, I thought this could be done in a more direct way.

Overall, If I’m Being Honest is a solid YA contemporary. The emotional moments, especially between Cameron and her mother, made the book an above average contemporary for me, which is why I rated it as 3.5 stars.

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Kindle Book Haul: February 2020

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During January and February, there were some anticipated releases and Kindle deals that I just couldn’t pass up. As a result, over the last two months, I have collected almost 15 books from the Kindle store. To really explore why I chose to purchase these Kindle deals and to give a brief summary, I have spread this haul into a few posts over the next several weeks. Here are my first four purchases:

  • The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory
The Wedding Party (The Wedding Date, #3)

A couple of years ago, I read The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory and really enjoyed it. As a result, I put The Wedding Party on my TBR list shortly after, but never got around to reading it. The Wedding Party was nominated for a Goodreads choice award, so it appeared as a Kindle Daily Deal in January. Unfortunately for me, The Wedding Party did not meet my expectations. See my full review here.

In The Wedding Party, Maddie is invited to be part of the bridal party in her friend’s wedding along with Theo, a man that she despises. After several encounters, Maddie and Theo find that the other person may not be as terrible as they seem.

  • The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient, #2)

I have actually already read The Bride Test through my local library. However, I enjoyed it so much, I wanted my own copy in case I wanted to re-read it! This book appeared on one of my end of the year favorites list, so I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, adult romance.

In The Bride Test, single mother Esme Tran relocates from Vietnam to the United States after a woman asks her to to woo her single son. Seeing it as a good opportunity for her family, Esme agrees. However, once in the United States, Esme struggles to win the affections of her potential husband.

  • First & Then by Emma Mills
First & Then

I have read one other books by Emma Mills, Famous in a Small Town. While I enjoyed the emotional ending, it was an overall average read for me because the beginning moved incredibly slow. I wanted to try another book by this author, since she is considered a favorite in the contemporary genre by many people in the bookish community. For me, First & Then yielded the same results. While I enjoyed the emotional ending, the initial set-up was just too slow for my tastes. See my full review here.

First & Then follows Devon Tennyson, whose cousin recently moved in with her family. When Ezra, a star football player, recruits her cousin for the team, Devon goes into protective mode. She never expects, however, to develop feelings for Ezra along the way.

  • Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
Tweet Cute

Tweet Cute is a highly hyped contemporary in the book community at the moment. Out of all the books on this list, it is the only one that I actually paid full price for on the Kindle store. From the description, Tweet Cute sounded like a fun contemporary (my favorite!), so I couldn’t resist after all the positive reviews. Although I overall enjoyed this book, there were a few minor issues that made me end up giving this book four out of five stars. See my full review her.

Tweet Cute follows Pepper and Jack, two high school students who run the Twitters for their respective family business. When Big League Burgers, the chain restaurant owned by Pepper’s family, steals a recipe from the menu of a Girl Cheesing, Jack’s small family deli, their war on Twitter gains national attention. In the process, Pepper and Jack start to develop feelings for each other, much to their surprise.

  • Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller
Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate King, #2)

I read Daughter of the Pirate King a couple of years ago, but like with The Wedding Party, I added it to my TBR but never made it a priority to read. I will most likely have to read the first book again before this one, but I think this could be a fun, fantasy romance to read in the summer.

Daughter of the Siren Queen continues Alosas’s story. Since she has all the pieces of the map to a hidden treasure, she now races other pirates crews to find the treasure first.

What books have you purchased recently?

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ARCs in my TBR Pile

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This reading year, I’m focused on reading fun books that make me enjoy my reading experience. Last year, I found myself in a reading rut where I struggled to finish books because I wasn’t invested in what I was reading. In my 20 books to read in 2020 list, I detailed 20 books that generated some excitement in me to pick up this year.

Luckily for me, I was approved on Netgalley to receive eArcs of two of these books! I feel incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to read these two books early to share my excitement with other readers and I am eagerly anticipating their release dates to discuss my opinions with other readers. While you can expect a full review of these books to be posted closer to the publication dates, here is a synopsis of each book and why it is one of my most anticipated releases:

  • 10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon
10 Things I Hate About Pinky (Dimple and Rishi, #3)

I was recently approved for 10 Things I Hate About Pinky on Netgalley, which is the third book in the When Dimple Met Rishi companion series. In this book, Pinky goes on summer vacation with her family. To convince her family that she makes good choices, she asks Samir to join her family at the lake as her fake boyfriend. Since Samir’s summer internship fell through, he is more than happy to volunteer if Pinky puts in a good word with her mom, a powerful attorney looking for a winter intern.

Sandhya Menon typically delivers fun, YA contemporaries which are right up my alley. I received an Arc for There’s Something About Sweetie earlier this year and it became my favorite book by Menon. I’m crossing my fingers that I will enjoy this next installment of the companion series!

  • Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett
Chasing Lucky

Chasing Lucky was another recent Netgalley approval for me and I am so excited to read. Along with 10 Things I Hate About Pinky, it appeared on my 20 books to read in 2020 list. In this book, Josie Saint-Martin is an aspiring photographer who returns to her hometown and clashes with the local bad boy, Lucky Karras, who used to be her best friend.

I have read two other books by Jenn Bennett, Alex, Approximately and Serious Moonlight, both of which I received eArcs for via NetGalley. While Alex, Approximately was only an average read for me, I really enjoyed Serious Moonlight and was hooked from start to finish. After Serious Moonlight, I wanted to check out more Jenn Bennett books as was delighted to see she had an upcoming release in 2020. Chasing Lucky sounds so much fun with the friends to enemies to lovers trope, but likes Jenn Bennett’s other novels, I’m sure it also has a lot of heart and character growth.

What upcoming releases are you mot excited for?

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February Reading Wrap-Up

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February was a solid reading month for me. During the shortest month of the year, I managed to read four books, which averages to a book a week. This month, I found myself drawn to romance books due to Valentine’s Day and all the contemporary romances on sale for my Kindle due to the holiday. Here’s what I read (full reviews will be linked to book titles):

  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (★ ★ ★)
The Unhoneymooners

The Unhoneymooners had a fun, interesting premise that drew me in, and after seeing many positive reviews, I decided to buy it. Although my experiences with books by Christina Lauren had only been average, The Unhoneymooners sounded right up my alley with the enemies to lovers trope and a vacation to Hawaii. While there were some aspects of this book that I enjoyed, the execution fell a little flat for me.

  • If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberely and Austin Siegemund-Broka (★ ★ ★)
If I'm Being Honest

If I’m Being Honest is the first book I read by this author duo, but it definitely won’t be the last. I actually gave this book 3.5 stars, although the stars above only show three because I enjoyed how vastly Cameron Bright differed from the typical YA protagonist and enjoyed how the main character’s relationship with her mom grew and changed throughout this novel. While I don’t think everyone will enjoy the main character of this novel, she completely embodies the popular mean girl trope, I recommend this book for anyone who loves books inspired by Shakespeare or unlikeable protagonists.

  • Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberely and Austin Siegemund-Broka (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)
Always Never Yours

Always Never Yours is my second book read by this author duo and it is the book that makes me extremely excited for their next book to be released later this year, Time of Our Loves. Typically, I am not a fan of books that involve acting or school plays, but I absolutely loved this one. Like with If I’m Being Honest, I enjoyed how the main character in this book, Megan, was outgoing and confident in herself. I also enjoyed how seamlessly all aspects of Shakespeare blended into this novel and how it strayed away from the typical Romeo and Juliet retelling in favor of focusing on Rosaline.

  • Prince Charming by Rachel Hawkins (★ ★ ★)
Prince Charming (Royals, #1)

Prince Charming is another book that looks like three stars on my list, but I would really consider a 3.5 star book. Although many books may be labeled as a “romantic comedy,” I never find myself laughing out loud. That wasn’t the case for this book. There were many moments were I found myself laughing and heard other people laughing while reading this book after I recommended it to them. I also appreciated how this book took place in Scotland, as opposed to England where many royal YA romances take place. If you’re a fan of the Rebel Belle series, you will definitely enjoy this book because it contains many of the same elements. Unfortunately, it does mimic the Rebel Belle series in the way that the plot and pacing becomes inconsistent at the end.

What was the best book that you read in February?

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P.S. I Still Love You Inspired Haul (Francesca’s, Sephora, and Funko Pop)

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About a week before P.S. I Still Love You premiered on Netflix, I was online shopping and came across some To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before/P.S. I Still Love You merchandise and inspired merchandise. I love contemporary romance books and I feel like the popularity of these Netflix series has brought back a lot of the romantic comedies that disappeared as dystopian and fantasy books consumed the market after the success of The Hunger Games.

I read through this series while I was in college, however, I wished that I read it while I was in high school because I greatly relate to the main character, Lara Jean. Her style is right up my alley and I wish that I had her guidance on girly fashion and hair accessories when I was in high school. Lara Jean’s interests, hobbies, and fashion, as well as the concept of the book itself, are very inspiration for a lot of merchandise. Since many of my interests, hobbies, and fashion align with Lara Jean’s, I was obviously extremely interested in all the merchandise that was released recently. There are several makeup products in this haul, so I will make sure to do a follow-up post where I detail how the products work and if they are worth the money since Sephora products fall on the pricey side. Here’s what I bought.

This first item that I bought is the only object that wasn’t part of a merchandise line for the actual movie. However, it is reminiscent of an outfit Lara Jean wears in the first movie and prompted me to seek out merchandise created for the movie. This pink varsity jacket from Francesca’s reminds me of the jacket that Lara Jean wears when she sets forth rules for her fake relationship with Peter. While the jacket I purchased and the jacket Lara Jean wears are different textures, they have the same light pink color.

After I purchased the varsity jacket, I remembered that Sephora released several products in collaboration with several brands for the P.S. I Still Love You movie. While most of these products are not unique to brand, they include packaging inspired by the movie or reflect items that Lara Jean owns in the movie. Since I received a Sephora gift card for Christmas that I hadn’t spent yet, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to pick up some items that I usually don’t buy from Sephora.

One of the items that interested me the most from this collection was the hat box with various hair accessories. This hat box looks similar to the hat box that contained all of Lara Jean’s letters in the movie and features items that look like accessories Lara Jean wore in the movie. The set includes floral bow scrunchie, a satin bow clip, star ball rhinestone bobby pins.

These accessories are from the brand Kitsch and the box retails for $25. While I believe this is a steep price for only a few hair accessories, the box could be a collector’s item for people who really love the series. I can see myself keeping the packaging and using it to store many of my hair accessories.

In addition to these hair accessories, I also purchased the two scrunchie sets that Kitsch also released. Each set contains a sequin scrunchies and a furry scrunchie. The first set contains a rose gold sequin scrunchie and a pink furry scrunchie while the other contains a blue sequin scrunchie and a blue furry scrunchie. Each set retails for $12. If you went to Target, you could probably pick up two scrunchies for $6, but since this is Sephora, I’m not surprised that this is around double that price.

At first, I only planned to pick up the rose gold set. This set seemed more Lara Jean to me, but then I remembered one of Adler High’s colors are blue, so the other color choice eventually made sense to me. Eventually, I decided to choose both sets because I enjoy wearing scrunchies around my house on the weekends, so I know I will get use out of both sets. Plus, I frequently wear sequin scrunchies around the holidays.

Next, I purchased a makeup set from Kaja that retails for $35. All of the products in this set already exist in the Kaja line, so it you only want to purchase one or two items in this set, it would be possible. This set, however, does have packaging for the movie if that interests to you. although not my favorite packaging of all the sets that Sephora offered for this collaboration.

In this set, there is a lip gloss stick, a Cheeky stamp bendable blush, and an eye pigment in Moon Crystal. According to Google, Kaja is the first K-Beauty brand co-developed with Sephora. Since Lara Jean is half-Korean, I really appreciated that this brand was selected for the collaboration. Lara Jean’s makeup in the movies is more minimal which is more reflective of Korean beauty trends rather than western beauty trends and the colors in this set look like colors that Lara Jean would pick, so this was definitely one of my most anticipated purchases.

Another makeup set that I purchased from Sephora was the Milk Makeup set priced at $26. This set included my favorite packaging as well as two glow lip + cheek oils. I have on the fence about this set, but these looked like products that I would enjoy, so I added them to my cart.

I haven’t tried Milk Makeup, but it has become increasingly popular as trends in the beauty industry are moving to more dewy and minimal. While this isn’t a K-Beauty brand, this brand focuses on more sheer and and minimal makeup like Kaja. As a result, I do think it’s a brand that Lara Jean might wear.

The last item that I picked up from Sephora was a straightening brush my Amika for $35. This set also includes a mini dry shampoo. Just as a warning, the dry shampoo makes the whole order be considered Hazmat for mailing, so it will be a ground delivery for all items in your order.

In the product description, it does suggest using this product for touch-ups or bangs, so if you want a straightener then this product may not be what you want. While this product is geared towards all hair types, I think people with hair that leans on the thin, slightly wavy side will probably have the most success with this product. Keep in mind, this is also a mini-product, so it may be used better with shorter hair or bangs.

My hair is very thick and wavy, so I typically don’t straighten it because it takes forever and never stays straight. However, from the reviews, I saw that some people said this helped eliminate some frizziness from their hair, which is something that I need in my life.

My biggest draw to this product was the writing on the hairbrush. It was references to the series. It is also pink, which is my favorite color.

When I was on the hunt for merchandise inspired by this series, Google recommended me Lara Jean and Peter Funko Pops which are inspired from the first movie. While Google initially took me to Hot Topic for these Funkos, I actually ended up purchasing them from Barnes and Noble because I could spend less money for free shipping, so I ended up buying the Funkos and pre-ordering a book from my TBR. However, on Hot Topic’s website, I also found some other merchandise for the series, including shirts. While I am a little too old to wear an Adler High shirt with Kavinsky on the back, this could be cute for younger fans of the series.

Although I promised not to buy any more Funkos because I have no more room where I store them, I couldn’t resist how cute these Funkos would look on my Pastel book shelf. I’ve always wanted to replace my current Funkos on my shelf with my couple Funkos (I have Anna and Kristoff from Frozen and Danny and Sandy from Grease already), so these made the perfect additions to my collection.

Typically, I’m not a bookish merchandise person. In the past, there was only one other time where I found myself with an abundance of book merchandise: when the Hunger Games released during my junior year of high school almost seven years ago. For me, I appreciate the practicality of this merchandise because I can support a series that I love with products that I can use every day.

What bookish merchandise have you purchased recently?

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Always Never Yours Review

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To read or not to read, that is the question… and when it comes to this book, ‘read’ is the answer!

Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka follows Megan Harper, an aspiring director and shameless flirt, who inadvertently lands the starring role in her high school’s produc

Always Never Yours

tion of Romeo and Juliet to earn an acting credit for the college of her dreams. However, Megan isn’t Juliet material, in her opinion she’s more of a Rosaline since every guy she dates finds “the one” after they break up. With the help of Owen, who will help her land her new crush if she helps with his play, she may break the curse once and for all.

I’ve recently read two books by this author duo, Always Never Yours and If I’m Being Honest and this book. If I had to choose a favorite Always Never Yours would win. While I’m typically not a fan of books that involve plays or acting, I thoroughly enjoyed Always Never Yours (I couldn’t put it down!) and can see it landing on one of my end of the year favorites list.

In both this book and If I’m Being Honest, I enjoyed that the authors decided to create a main female character that is bold, outgoing, and completely confident in herself. While I definitely identify more with shy and introverted characters, that is the typical YA main character in a contemporary novel, so it’s a refreshing to see a character like Megan, who doesn’t fit that mold.

In this book, I also really appreciated how the author incorporated Shakespeare and the school play. Like I mentioned previously, I always find myself underwhelmed and unimpressed with book that focus on this topic. However, the authors completely nailed what it’s like to be in a school play. I also liked the whole Rosaline idea and how it expanded outside of Megan’s romantic relationships and related to how she felt in her new family situation as well.

One aspect of the book that irritated me was one hypocritical action Megan takes in the story. Megan learns in the book some harsh truths about a past relationship where her boyfriend wasn’t faithful to her like she expected. Obviously, this makes her angry. However, it doesn’t stop her from making advances at Owen, who has a girlfriend. While Owen definitely isn’t innocent in this situation either, Megan brushes off any come ons to Owen because she pretends that he made up this girlfriend from a summer camp. The author probably included this for Megan to feel like the cast off girl again, but I found it completely unnecessary to the story. While I did like Megan and Owen together, this part of their story bothered me because it didn’t need to be included and left a sour taste in my mouth.

Despite some minor issues with this book, I overall really enjoyed Always Never Yours. I read this book from start to finish in one day because I couldn’t put it down. For me, this book made me put these authors on my auto-buy list for contemporaries in the future. I give Always Never Yours five of five stars.

First & Then by Emma Mills Review

This book wasn’t quite a touchdown for me.

First & Then by Emma Mills is a young adult contemporary book that follows Devon Tennyson who searches for some extracurriculars to boost her college applications, harbors a (not so secret) crush on her best friend Cas, and attempts to steer clear of her annoying freshman cousin, Foster.

First & Then

First & Then is the second book by Emma Mills that I have read, Famous in a Small Town was the first. In Famous in a Small Town, I was put off by the initial slow start. While I appreciated the emotional ending, for me, it felt like a lot of work for a little reward. As a result, it only ended as an average read for me. My experience with First & Then was fairly similar.

One of the aspects of this book that I enjoyed were the complexities of the relationships between the characters, specifically Devon and her cousin, Foster. I liked how their relationship grew and changed throughout the novel and how they influenced how each other grew and changed individually. While I do think some characters individually needed a little something extra to make them memorable, Emma Mills is always successful when creating meaningful and realistic relationships between characters.

One of the issues I had with this book was the pacing. While some people may not mind a lot of groundwork for emotional pay off at the end of the book, it isn’t my favorite style of pacing. This seems to be a trend in books by Emma Mills, and personally, it isn’t a structure that I enjoy but other readers may enjoy. Although the emotional impact the ending of her books has makes me want to boost my overall rating higher, when I look back, I don’t remember that same feeling that I had during the first half of the book.

Another aspect of this book that slightly annoyed me were several cliches that we see a lot of in young adult fiction. I thought this book would have been written in 2010 for all of the tropes that existed in this book. I got a big “not like other girls” vibe from Devon and I didn’t like how she talked about the freshmen girls. While every senior expresses their dislike for freshmen, she particularly focuses on the girls and states that they look like “prostitots” as they look young, but tie their shirts up and use a lot of makeup to feel older. This isn’t a passing joke, as she uses the term throughout the novel, even as she gets to know some of the girls. Devon is a huge Jane Austen fan, occasionally mentioning what Jane would think. This was also huge back in the day in YA, but for me, it really didn’t go with Devon’s personality. Plus, it led to that moment where the love interest reads a Jane Austen book to impress the lead, which is too overdone for me.

Overall, First & Then was an average book for me. While I liked the relationships between the characters, the characters themselves didn’t wow me. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne Review

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The Hating Game by Sally Thorne is a contemporary new adult novel which follows two rival employees at a publishing company. Lucy Hutton, a spunky executive assistant (and slight push-over) to one of the company’s CEOs, despises Joshua Templeton, the company’s other executive assistant who appears cold-hearted and ruthless approach to other employees. When a promotion opens up, both Lucy and Joshua want the new prestigious position. However, through their competition, Lucy and Joshua find that they may not hate each other as much as they once thought.

This year, I wanted to branch out and read about more characters who are my age. While I love young adult books, I’ve found more and more that I can’t always relate to their experiences. However, it’s been difficult finding new adult books or adult books that aren’t hardcore romance books or about characters significantly older than me and dealing with parts of life that I haven’t experienced. I think The Hating Game was a great read because it is like a contemporary young adult read, but for an older audience  which is what I hope to see more of in new adult books.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I couldn’t put it down! This book is an easy to read book that reads like a romantic comedy. I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw this book turn into a movie in the near future. The characters, who although change their hearts a little too quickly for me, are likeable and have funny back-and-forth comments throughout the novel. Though is book contains tropes typical in similar books, I still found myself smiling throughout the story and not thinking about reading similar books to this a few times before.

That being said, there were a few minor changes that I think could have made this book better. While most of Lucy and Joshua’s banter was cute and funny, there were a few instances that were really uncomfortable to read for me. Additionally, I was really put off by the ending. I felt like there was really no resolution to the competition between them so the ending was a little bit of a cop-out.

The Hating Game is a great stepping stone for people looking to branch out of young adult books, but not dive into the adult world yet. I would recommend this book to people who enjoyed I’ve Got Your Number or My (Not So) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella, since both feature young professionals and focuses their life experiences as well as romance. I give The Hating Game four out of five stars.

Walk on Earth a Stranger Review

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Walk on Earth a Stranger falls short of the gold.

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson, the first book in the Gold Seer trilogy, follows Lee Westfall, a girl who can sense gold. After her parents are murdered, Lee is on the run from their killer dressed as a boy heading west for the California Gold Rush. However, the journey isn’t as easy as the reports promised.

Before reading Walk on Earth a Stranger, I heard that the book moved quite slowly but was a nice introduction to the series. After reading this book, I definitely agree that it moves incredibly slow. However, I didn’t find it do be a great introduction to a new series that makes me wants to read the next book.

I think one of the biggest problems in this book would have to be the character development. The characters fall into two categories: they are either so bland it’s hard to pinpoint who they really are or their character clings onto one stereotype and never develops further. I found this to be especially true with the diverse characters and the antagonists in the story. Lee’s best friend is half Cherokee, but it seems his identity never develops past that. On the other hand, Lee’s uncle is the typical western villain, but never really delivers anything but a looming threat over Lee’s journey.

Another issue with this book, as mentioned earlier, would have to be the pacing. I was really impressed with the first few chapters of the book, but then it went downhill from there. Especially during Lee’s trip west, the story seems to drag on and on while repeating the same information over and over. I was particularly disappointed with the ending of the book. There’s always the threat of what will happen when Lee runs back into her uncle again. However, when this finally happens, there’s just another looming threat given without any action.

While this book possessed an interesting premise, for me, it failed in its execution. Since I didn’t really care about any of the characters and I spent the entire book waiting for something huge to happen just to be disappointed, I didn’t really enjoy reading this book. I give this book two out of five stars.