Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday #105

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine which spotlights highly anticipated upcoming releases.

Title: Royally Endowed
Series: Royally #3
Author: Emma Chase 
Genre: Adult, Romance, Contemporary 
Publisher: Emma Chase, LLC 
Publication Date: August 14, 2017 

Logan St. James is a smoldering, sexy beast. Sure, he can be a little broody at times—but Ellie Hammond’s willing to overlook that. Because, have you seen him??
Sexy. As. Hell.
And Ellie’s perky enough for both of them.
For years, she’s had a crush on the intense, gorgeous royal security guard—but she doesn’t think he ever saw her, not really.
To Logan, Ellie was just part of the job—a relative of the royal family he’d sworn to protect. Now, at 22 years old and fresh out of college, she’s determined to put aside her X-rated dreams of pat-downs and pillow talk, and find a real life happily ever after.
The Queen of Wessco encourages Ellie to follow in her sister’s footsteps and settle down with a prince of her own. Or a duke, a marquis…a viscount would also do nicely.
But in the pursuit of a fairy tale ending, Ellie learns that the sweetest crushes can be the hardest to let go.
Logan St. James grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, in a family on the wrong side of the law. But these days, he covers his tattoos and scars with a respectable suit. He’s handsome, loyal, brave, skilled with his hands and…other body parts.
Any woman would be proud to call him hers.
But there’s only one woman he wants.
For years he’s watched over her, protected her, held her hair back when she was sick, taught her how to throw a punch, and spot a liar.
He dreams of her. Would lay down his life for her.
But beautiful Ellie Hammond’s off-limits.
Everybody knows the bodyguard rules: Never lose focus, never let them out of your sight, and never, ever fall in love.

Find Royally Endowed online 

Why I'm waiting on Royally Endowed this Wednesday: While not my favorite series from Emma Chase, I still really enjoy these books and characters! I'm excited to get Logan and Ellie's story, and also very much looking forward to catching up with the characters from the previous two books.  I've always been interested in Logan so it will be a lot of fun to get a story all about him!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?  Have you read this series or any other book written by Emma Chase? I'd definitely recommend this series if you're a fan of romantic books about royal families!  Let me know what you all are waiting on today in the comments below!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Top Ten Best Beach Reads!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish in which we share out top ten lists relating to the bookish topic assigned that week.

This week's topic is...

Top Ten Best Beach Reads!






Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick 
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han 
Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne 
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson 
Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven 
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell 
Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum 
Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes 

My list is mostly romantic contemporary reads, which are my favorite beach reads!  They're all fairly light -- nothing that's going to send me into a crying fit.  I'd love to hear what books you like to read on the beach! Leave a comment down below and leave a link so I can check out your posts!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Title: Always and Forever, Lara Jean 
Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #3
Author: Jenny Han 
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Source: Bought 

Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.
Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.
But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.
When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

Find Always and Forever, Lara Jean online!
THESE BOOKS.  They are just so, so good.  Every time I read one, I'm just in a constant good mood.  They're good mood books and just so genuine.  They don't add angst just to add angst and they don't throw in unnecessary, annoying drama.  This book was much the same.  I'll admit, I was a little nervous going into it because the second book ended so well and this one wasn't even originally planned; I was worried there would just be drama that didn't feel real or purposeful like with the other books.  But I needn't fear!  Jenny Han made this book just as wonderful as the first two. 

While this novel was a little less plot driven than the others, I really appreciated the chance to see more of these characters.  They're all so dynamic and interesting and just plain wonderful -- it was so satisfying to see how much they'd grown throughout the series and get to kind of reap that reward.  So often, especially in romance novels, we only get to see our couple get together, we don't get a chance to see them actually be a couple.  Reading this and getting to see Lara Jean and Peter together felt like a special treat -- like I'd finished dinner and a slice of cake was placed in front of me.  I just love spending time with these characters and reading about their lives and the adventures and growth they experience.  

Like I said, this novel was a little less plot driven than the others.  At times it felt like it wasn't totally going anywhere, we were just reading about the characters (which I don't mind one bit).  However, there was still an overarching goal and journey that Lara Jean went through in this book, and I really appreciated how it was handled.  Jenny Han did a good job of showing the reality of life as a senior in high school; the problems that Lara Jean and Peter faced felt important and real.  Plus, a lot of strings that had been left loose at the end of the last book were neatly tied up in this one, and I appreciated that a lot.  

I feel very satisfied after finishing this book -- while the series can stand without it, it was an amazing surprise and a a story that, despite the fact that it wasn't originally planned, fits beautifully in with the rest of the series.  I'm so looking forward to seeing what else Jenny Han has for us.  I can't wait to read more from her!

“Being vulnerable, letting people in, getting hurt... it's all part of being in love.”

Five Teapots

Friday, May 19, 2017

Judging Books By Their Covers -- Contemporary Reads!

Everyone says you shouldn't judge books by their covers, but -- admit it -- we all do it!  In these posts, I do exactly that. 

This judging session, we're judging contemporary YA covers! 

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon 
Ohhh, I LOVE THIS.  The contrast between the clean white of the top of the cover and the chaotic, colorful bottom is so relevant to the novel but also so subtle.  I think this fits perfectly with the arch and themes in the novel. 
Rating: Relevant and Beautiful.  Love.  

Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes 
This book was great and I really like the cover.  It's relevant to the story with the girl laying on the tennis court, too!  And while I don't totally understand the choice of the orange color, I'm not complaining because it'll be perfect if I ever try to do a rainbow bookshelf.  
Rating: Semi-relevant and bright. Will look great in a rainbow bookshelf.

Magnolia by Kristi Cook 
I'm not a fan of this cover.  Mostly because of the two supremely awkward looking people on it.  It just looks so . . . posed.  But I'm not a huge fan of having models on covers anyways.  I do really like the background though -- the stormy skies against the green trees!  I'd love to be there. 
Rating: Background is nice but awkward poses ruin it. 

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson 
Okay, so this cover is totally an exception to my no-models-on-the-cover rule.  It doesn't look awkward at all.  I can totally see something like this in the real world.  Plus, it gives me major summer vibes and makes me desperate for the sun and lemonade and ice cream.
Rating: Give me summer now, please.  

ANOTHER example of a cover with a model on it that I actually like.  I'm really disproving my no models rule this post.  This book cover makes me want to redo my whole room and make everything look amazing and establish a beautiful aesthetic.  Plus, it totally feels like Lara Jean -- and I love that she's writing a letter (totally relevant). 
Rating: Whoever designed this cover, please come and redo my room.

What do you guys think of these covers?  I think my favorite out of all of them is The Unexpected Everything.  I just can't help it.  Maybe it's because we're so close to summer and I'm craving it so badly! Either way, that is the winner of this post!  Let me know what you guys think!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review: The Book Thief

Title: The Book Thief 
Series: N/A
Author: Markus Zusak 
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: March 8, 2016 (first published 2005)
Source: Gifted.  Thank you!

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul. 

Find The Book Thief online!
I've seen this book around for years; ever since I really began reading YA, it's been a constant presence on the shelves at book stores but I never really picked it up or learned what it was about.  Having finally picked it up and read it, I'm happy I waited so long.  I don't think this book would have affected me the way it has if I had read it when I was younger.  

This book was just . . . amazing.  So brutal and honest and hopeful and sad.  I swear, I was just crying the entire time.  I loved the perspective that it was told from -- our narrator was Death but he focused mostly on the life of Liesel, a young German girl during WWII.  It was eye opening to see Liesel participate in groups such as the Hitler Youth without really understanding what it was about or what was happening in the world.  As she grew up and saw what exactly was happening, her anger and resentment toward Hitler and the war steadily grew.  

The book was really slow burning and not a lot happened very quickly but it was addicting.  I couldn't put it down, desperate to know read about what happens, despite knowing exactly what happens.  That was almost harder than not knowing -- from the very first chapter, Death informs the reader exactly what will happen to the characters in the end and yet, I still found myself hoping Death was lying.  I just wanted everything to be alright; I wanted to take all of these characters and keep them in a nice, cushioned room with lots of books to keep them safe.  

I'm so, so, so happy I read this book when I did.  It hit me, guys.  And I don't think I'll soon forget the impact that it's had on me.  I already want to reread it, even though I know it will 100% send me into a crying fit.  It's such an important book to read and it gave me a new perspective on the second world war.  I just love it, and I think everyone should read it. 

“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.” 

Five Teapots 

Imagination Designs
Images from StarCityDesigns