Genre: Contemporary


Friday, May 11, 2018

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

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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

What a Girl Wants with a Twist: Royals by Rachel HawkinsRoyals by Rachel Hawkins
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 1st, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
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four-stars

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. 

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.

four-stars

4 Hot Espressos

The Summer of Jordi Perez and Rashika’s Favorite Burger Place

The Summer of Jordi Perez and Rashika’s Favorite Burger Place

Posted by on 04/10/2018 • 3 Comments

The Summer of Jordi Perez was everything you can ask from for a summer-y read. Romance, friendship, identity and just a little bit of food-fun, Jordi Perez was truly a package. Also Jordi Perez is the name of the love interest and she was delightful as well.

I always complain about this because I am a whiny baby but it is SO HARD to express feelings in a review for a book you really really enjoyed and Jordi Perez is SUCH A FUN READ. I’ve had a really rough month and a half and have read almost no books this month but Jordi Perez cheered me up when I needed it.

Summer is not going how Abby Ives had thought it would. It’s the summer before senior year and all…

Adventurous and Swoony: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Adventurous and Swoony: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Posted by on 03/30/2018 • 1 Comment

I’ve been reading Jenn Bennett for half a decade now and she’s been one of those authors I basically just read anything by. I don’t need a summary or acclaim, I JUST NEED BOOKS BY JENN BENNETT. This book had the added advantage of having an enemies-to-lovers/friends-to-lovers romance trope and an survival-esque story so like… yeah.

Unsurprisingly, I loved this book but I also got to buddy-read it with a close friend which made my experience reading it all the more better. But as anyone knows, loving a book doesn’t make writing a review any easier. It probably makes it a lot harder.

Zorie and Lennon used to be the best of friends and were on their way to becoming something more when something goes wrong. Now they go out…

An Emotional 24 Hour Journey: I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman

An Emotional 24 Hour Journey: I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman

Posted by on 03/26/2018 • 0 Comments

I Have Lost My Way was my first book by Gayle Forman even though I’ve wanted to read a book by her for the past 5 years. I guess I am just going to have to go back and read more because I am in love with her writing style. I finished I Have Lost My Way feeling satisfied and warm gushiness from the good vibes in the book. However, upon hours of reflection, I can see that this book is not perfect for a number of reasons.

For starters, I was slightly uncomfortable with the way Forman wrote Harun’s story. Harun is a gay Pakistani-American. Throughout the book, we see his struggle with those identities and I felt like that struggle wasn’t really Forman’s to write about? I felt like she did…

All Five Stars: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

All Five Stars: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Posted by on 03/08/2018 • 4 Comments

I am a finnick-y asshole when it comes to rating books 5 stars which isn’t necessarily because I don’t love books but I want to reserve that 5 stars for a book that is something that I am going to remember for a long time after I close the last page shut. The Poet X is just one of those books you are gonna come out of feeling something. I don’t share the same identities as the main character and yet the way Xiomara navigates her diaspora completely moved me. The way her story was told made me feel seen and validated.

The Poet X is told in verse and yet it tells an overarching story that I am not sure prose could have done justice to. Acevedo is incredibly talented to…

Blog Tour: Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes

Blog Tour: Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes

Posted by on 02/23/2018 • 0 Comments

Occasionally, when a book is written in verse(partly in this case) and I need to review it, I break out my incredibly rusty poetry skills and write a review in verse too. I usually try to imitate the style of verse in the book but you know, it isn’t always successful.

This Book

Between the Lines follows the story

of eight teens.

It seems like a lot and is occasionally overwhelming 

and yet . . . 

Nikki Grimes has somehow found the balance so it isn’t

too much.

Between the Lines is so ordinary and yet extraordinary in the way it tells the story of

eight different children and how they come to embrace the power

of poetry.

The story of these eight different children is bound

to take you…

The Royal Romance I Didn’t Know I Needed: A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole

The Royal Romance I Didn’t Know I Needed: A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole

Posted by on 02/15/2018 • 2 Comments

If you have ever read or enjoyed a romance novel, this book needed to be on your TBR yesterday. I was over the moon when I was approved to read an advanced copy and the book held up to every single one of my expectations + more.

REASONS TO READ Naledi Smith is in grad school studying to be an epidemiologist Spam emails that aren’t really spam from the assistant of the Prince of Thesolo Cocky Prince who doesn’t really know how to function outside of a castle but learns to impress a girl Some cooking experiments when said cocky prince is trying to impress Ledi Angst but like good angst Swoony romance with hate-to-love vibes. Discussion of socio-economic privilege Discussion of what it’s like to live in a non-western…

Review + Giveaway: The First to Know by Abigail Johnson

Review + Giveaway: The First to Know by Abigail Johnson

Posted by on 02/06/2018 • 12 Comments

Abigail Johnson is a new-to-me author so I had no idea what to expect but The First to Know blew me away. It’s a heartfelt family drama and totally worth it.

Dana Fields just wants to do something nice for her dad for his birthday. What starts off as a heartwarming gesture soon turns into Dana’s worst nightmare. In her search for her father’s family, Dana discovers that she has a half-brother her age that no one knew about.

When she confronts her half-brother, he wants nothing to do with her. With no one she can really turn to, she does what she really shouldn’t, she turns to her half-brother’s cousin (she and the cousin aren’t related by blood.)

I know, I know. This all sounds like…