Friday, May 11, 2018

What a Girl Wants with a Twist: Royals by Rachel Hawkins

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What a Girl Wants with a Twist: Royals by Rachel Hawkins
Royals
Rachel Hawkins
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Publication date: May 1st, 2018
by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

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Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond. 

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself. 
-A copy was provided by for review-

Rachel Hawkins is an auto-read author for me so I barely even glanced at the Goodreads blurb before diving into this. I just saw her tweet a bunch about it and decided I definitely needed this book in my life. Anyway, so. I dove in. Fell in love and then realized I should probably look up the Goodreads blurb. ANYWAY. SO. A book about royalty!!!! Most books about royalty feature that one character who finds themselves amongst royalty because they have fallen in love with someone who is royal except that is absolutely, 110% not the case with Daisy. Daisy’s sister has fallen in love with the Crown Prince of Scotland. This is not ideal for Daisy, not because she has royal aspirations of her own but because she really really doesn’t like the toxic media attention that comes with it. 

Rachel Hawkins is truly a queen on writing things that evoke emotions because honestly, I found myself just as frustrated as Daisy even though, technically speaking, Ellie (Daisy’s sister) was also dealing with a lot and probably much more than Daisy. She inserts the reader so directly into Daisy’s POV and you’re taken on a journey to a WHOLE NEW WORLD but also an emotional journey as Daisy really absorbs the world her sister is about to become a part of. It’s exciting to be able to relate to a character so much that their emotions basically become your own so you’re on the same emotional journey throughout the book.

Clearly, I am super excited about this book but like honestly, Rachel Hawkins always fills my need for witty characters who make snarky comments and will tell people how it is. There is a reason why I basically read Hex Hall yearly now. And it’s even better because Daisy isn’t the soon-to-be princess, she is the girl who really doesn’t want to be caught up in the mess.

This book features Rachel Hawkins trademark humor as well as some amazing friendships, some characters I am looking forward to getting to know in the sequels, parents that are both supportive and laugh-out-loud hilarious and a Miles who I won’t say much else about. It also features a complex sibling relationship which I truly appreciated and enjoyed. 

My only critique of this book pertains to a minor thing that bugged me a little. There are like 3 or 4 jokes that imply that the Scottish were colonizers??? Which is not really true?? They were colonized and have a pretty complicated relationship with the English as a result. To be clear, I don’t really expect details about that history and relationship from the book, I just wish the jokes that framed the Scottish as colonizers hadn’t been made. UPDATE: My mini-rant on this subject was based on something that was discussed in one of my classes and upon further reading I’ve come to realize that the Scottish/English relationship is completely unlike the Irish/English one? None of this is truly relevant to the book but since I made a point to rant about the non-issue, I feel that I should also come back and correct myself. SO. Um. The Scottish weren’t necessarily colonized by the English in the same way the Irish were. The Scottish also colonized some parts of the world but there is still a lot of tension b/w the English and the Scottish in terms of the balance of power and such. 

Overall, Royals is absolutely delightful and if you are any sort of human who enjoys any fun in their life, you definitely need this book on your TBR. I cannot wait to read the sequel and get to meet the character who gets all of Hawkins’ husband’s bad geology jokes.

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

Pressure of Perfection: On Diverse Authors and Readers

Pressure of Perfection: On Diverse Authors and Readers

Posted by on 05/08/2018 • 5 Comments

These past two years, we have seen a definite surge in the amount of diverse books that are focus titles. This means that they are essentially a main focus for the publisher for the season and receive more publicity and marketing that non-focus titles. I am guessing seeing a couple diverse books floating around has probably led some people to believe that all the problems in publishing and life have been solved. THE END. WE HAVE ALL THE DIVERSE BOOKS WE NEED. We’re never gonna need anymore. Well, for starters, if you take a moment to look at the CCBC stats, that is simply not true. Only a fraction of children’s literature published each year features diverse* characters and a fraction of those books are written by the people…

Diverse Books out April 2018

Diverse Books out April 2018

Posted by on 05/06/2018 • 5 Comments

Helloooooo. Look at me. I didn’t publish this post late this time. Anyway, so. Welcome to the April roundup of Diverse Releases. These roundups focus on Young Adult and Middle Grade releases with the occasional romance release (which, there are way way way better roundups out there of diverse romance books.) I do also include books by authors of color that don’t necessarily have characters of color. Anyway, let me know if I miss a book or include one with bad rep!

                     

 Any of these on your TBR? What are you most looking forward to diving into??

Fresh Batch (May 6th – 12th)

Fresh Batch (May 6th – 12th)

Posted by on 05/05/2018 • 1 Comment

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

The Way You Make Me Feel Maurene Goo Publication date: May 8th 2018by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Goodreads Purchase

From the author of I Believe in a Thing Called Love, a laugh-out-loud story of love, new friendships, and one unique food truck.

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty…

A Graphic Novel Memoir To Keep On Your Radar: Amla Mater by Devi Menon

A Graphic Novel Memoir To Keep On Your Radar: Amla Mater by Devi Menon

Posted by on 05/04/2018 • 2 Comments

I hadn’t heard of Amla Mater but when I was approached to review it, I was immediately on board. The graphic novel memoir is rich in nostalgia and the memories of the motherland. Amla Mater is told from the perspective of a pregnant immigrant. It starts with a craving. A craving for something from home and from the Mili’s childhood. Something that can transport her across time and space.

One day, her significant other brings home some gooseberries, some amla. She decided to try to pickle the amla the way her childhood best friend’s grandmother would. While she is waiting for the amla pickle to mature and be ready to consume, she reflects on her life until the moment.

We are taken on a journey that begins with Mili and her…

What I’ve Been Reading: April Update

What I’ve Been Reading: April Update

Posted by on 05/01/2018 • 5 Comments

Happy May everyone!!! New month new me?? Who knows. I ended up spending most of April in a funk. I didn’t get a lot of reading done but I am starting to feel a little bit more productive so we’ll see and hope May is a better month personally and for my reading aspirations.

Okay so I didn’t read any backlist sequels this month because again, I was in a funk but, I am counting the two sequels I did read in this update so I can give myself a pat on the back.

 

Both these books were anticipated sequels and coincidentally, both were pushed back to this year so I’ve been waiting on them for quite some time (After the Wedding for 2.5 years.) Trouble Never Sleeps…

Fresh Batch (April 29th – May 5th)

Fresh Batch (April 29th – May 5th)

Posted by on 04/28/2018 • 0 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

Royals Rachel Hawkins Series: Royals #1 Publication date: May 1st 2018by Penguin Random House

Goodreads Purchase

Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever…

OTP Playlist: Trouble Never Sleeps by Stephanie Tromly

OTP Playlist: Trouble Never Sleeps by Stephanie Tromly

Posted by on 04/27/2018 • 0 Comments

Today, I am bringing to you a playlist that I think encompasses Digby and Zoe’s relationship. This was slightly harder than I thought because well… I started off with a song in mind and like the fool I am, I never wrote it down. This hindered my initial search because all I could think about was WHAT WAS THAT SONG. Anyway. So. The general vibe Zigby & Zoe give me is fun and banter so that’s the general vibe of this playlist as well. Enjoy!

About the Book About the Author

Stephanie Tromly was born in Manila, grew up in Hong Kong, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and worked as a screenwriter in Los Angeles. She is currently on leave from her PhD program in English literature at the…