Review: The Trouble with Destiny by Lauren Morrill

18982137Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: December 8th, 2015
Series: N/A
Pages: 272
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:

It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey…

With her trusty baton and six insanely organized clipboards, drum major Liza Sanders is about to take Destiny by storm—the boat, that is. When Liza discovered that her beloved band was losing funding, she found Destiny, a luxury cruise ship complete with pools, midnight chocolate buffets, and a $25,000 spring break talent show prize.

Liza can’t imagine senior year without the band, and nothing will distract her from achieving victory. She’s therefore not interested when her old camp crush, Lenny, shows up on board, looking shockingly hipster-hot. And she’s especially not interested in Russ, the probably-as-dumb-as-he-is-cute prankster jock whose ex, Demi, happens be Liza’s ex–best friend and leader of the Athenas, a show choir that’s the band’s greatest competition.

But it’s not going to be smooth sailing. After the Destiny breaks down, all of Liza’s best-laid plans start to go awry. Liza likes to think of herself as an expert at almost everything, but when it comes to love, she’s about to find herself lost at sea.

my rambles

Special thanks to Delacorte Press and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy of this book for review!

I requested The Trouble with Destiny on NetGalley way back in the beginning of the year because I had recently read Lauren Morrill’s other book, Being Sloane Jacobs (pardon the old post formatting). I knew that at some point during the year I would be in need of a cute contemporary, and after really enjoying BSJ, I thought this was a good choice. While I didn’t love The Trouble with Destiny as much as BSJ, I still found it to be a sweet, quick, and fun book.

There are two main focuses to the story: the main character Liza’s school band, and her love life. I liked both aspects, but neither left me with a lasting sense of amazing after reading the book. There’s a lot of drama and cheese, which makes me feel like this would be a bigger hit with the younger end of the YA spectrum. There are tons of lines that you just can’t help but grinning because they’re so adorable. It’s a classic case of the girl having a crush on the wrong guy, finding out the guy she likes is a jerk, and then falling in love with the guy that’s been there all along but she’s neglected to notice. While I’ve seen the storyline before in tons of other contemporaries, I still just can’t help but enjoy them anyway!

The setting of a cruise ship did spice things up a bit, but again, I wasn’t awestruck by the story. It was fast-paced, but some of the scenes were a little too over dramatic. Liza acted young for a junior in high school, but her voice wasn’t too annoying to take away from the book.

Clearly this isn’t going to be the book you pick up for a heavy, emotional contemporary romance. But, give it a try if you’re looking for a book to, say, take on a cruise? It’s a bunch of fun and the ending is REALLY REALLY CUTE OKAY?

I say give this a try if you’re a younger YA reader. And even if you’re older you could still get enjoyment and a smile from The Trouble with Destiny!

3.5 hearts

xo

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Stuff Those Stockings! | 2015 Holiday Gift Guide #2

The holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year, and what better way to celebrate here on the blog all season long, than by curating my very own (bookish) gift guide for you! Stay tuned for these posts once a week or so until a few weeks before Christmas (which will be here before we know it)! I put prices for every item and all links bring you to the item’s website to purchase. If you don’t like exactly what I have shown, feel free to use these ideas to create your very own personalized gift for that special bookish someone!

Today I’m featuring gifts for…

THE FAIRY TALE LOVER!

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  1. Cinderella (2015) DVD ($17.99) — If you like fairy tales, odds are you like Cinderella. I love this new live action version! Starring Lily James and Richard Madden (swoon), it’s such a sweet movie that everyone will enjoy.
  2. Love is the Most Powerful Magic Art Print ($13.75) — A quote from Once Upon A Time, I think this print is the perfect thing to hang up on the wall, whether you watch the show or not. This artist’s Redbubble shop is full of other pretty typography prints, so be sure to check her out there!
  3. Dainty Arrow Necklace ($22.00) — Not only do arrows remind me of fairy tales and badass heroines, but they’re super chic to wear as jewelry now. This particular one is small and delicate, and completely sterling silver.
  4. Enchanted Forest Coloring Book ($10.07) — Adult coloring books are all the rage. This one features beautiful designs to color that are all in the realm of fairy tales. Not only is this a coloring book, but it also features hidden objects and mazes for an added bit of interactiveness!
  5. Funko Pop! Disney Peasant Belle ($9.99) — The perfect bookshelf buddy, these figures are so fun to collect. I’ve already started and am getting addicted to buying and placing them on my shelf. I chose to highlight my favorite Disney princess, Belle, but of course you’re open to any of the other Pop! figures.
  6. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh ($17.99 from publisher) — Possibly a lesser known fairy tale, TWATD is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights. I read this one earlier in the year and freaked out because it’s AH-MAZING. Being that it’s a 2015 release, it’s likely the person you’re planning to gift it to hasn’t yet read it (unless they’re super active in the book community)!

Synopsis from publisher:

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

That’s it for my second post in my 2015 Holiday Gift Guide series. Have a specific genre you want me to curate gifts for? Let me know! And be sure to check out my first post, featuring gifts for the FANGIRL in your life!

xo

Thank YOU!

Thank You!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I wanted to take the time to let you all know just how thankful I am for everything and everyone the book community has given me. Before I started blogging, I didn’t have anyone in my life that shared the same level of excitement about books, reading, and fangirling as I did. Thanks to blogging I’ve made some great friends, read some amazing books, and have enjoyed every minute of it!

I want to first start out with the Bloggers and BookTubers that I discovered and introduced me to the online book community. Through them I discovered Goodreads, and the rest is history. Although I didn’t start blogging immediately after discovering the community, those bloggers and vloggers are what started it all for me.

Next I want to thank all of my blog readers and friends. Chatting with you on this blog, and your own (and Twitter) is lovely. You’ve become my place to turn when I need to fangirl, rant, or just talk all things bookish. Your comments always bring a smile to my face! Seriously, though. I was replying to comments and multiple times my mom has asked me what I’m smiling about. You really do make me so, so happy. I’m glad there are people like you guys around!

Now on to the authors that write the books I love. If it weren’t for you, what would my life even be like? I don’t even want to think about it. Keep writing stories, because us book lovers will never stop reading them.

I want to thank the amazing and incredible publishers for giving me the chance to read and review so many of the books that you publish. I genuinely love reviewing, and without you, I’d have missed out on so many amazing books. Thanks for taking a chance on me when I was still a little blogger, and for those publishers that still consider me a little blogger, thanks for STILL taking a chance on me. I try my best to bring about as much attention as I can to your books, because I love them so much! The surprise that land on my doorstep, mailbox, and inbox, still make my heart happy and extremely excited!

And I want to thank YOU, reader, one more time. Without you I wouldn’t be where I was today in the blog and book world! If you’re thinking of starting a book blog or book channel on YouTube, DO IT! You won’t regret it, because the connections you make, lessons you learn, and experiences you have will not be like any other.

I hope this post wasn’t too sappy…yeah, okay it probably was. But I hope you all of a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, and good memories. And a good book of course! To those that are not in the US or don’t celebrate, than just have an extra special day! Love you all!

xo

A Quick Way to Extend the Life of a Book on NetGalley

NetGalley_Logo

I am by no means an expert on NetGalley. I’ve only been using it consistently for about a year now. But recently I’ve discovered something really helpful, that you may or may not already know, and thought I should share!

The one thing that’s more stressful about reading electronic ARCs than a physical ARC is the time restraint. eARCs expire, and you only have a set amount of time to get them read, or else you either don’t get to finish the book, or start it at all. This all ends up affecting your Feedback to Approval Ratio (which is recommended to be kept at 80%).

Recently, I was on hiatus, and was nervous about getting a book read in time before the archive date (for those of you wondering which book, it was These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly). But what I discovered is, you don’t need to get the book read before the archive date. As long as you download a copy of the eARC to your eReader or Adobe Digital Editions program before the archive date, you still get 54 days to read the book. This was a huge stress reliever for me. No longer do I have to get a book read by its release date (often the archive date). If I download the book a day before the archive date, I still have 53 days left to get the eARC read after that date.

Maybe this is old news to seasoned NetGalley users, but I found this to be an awesome revelation. Of course I’m still planning to try and stick to getting the book read and reviewed before the release date. But, if I ever get into a reading bind, I know that I can (kind of) extend the life of my eARC for a bit longer!

So, did you guys know about this? Or is this news to you? Any other little-known NetGalley tips you’d like to share? Let me know!

xo

Review: The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Release Date: September 15th, 2015
Series: N/A
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:

The Palomas and the Corbeaus have long been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for more than a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows—the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find.

Lace Paloma may be new to her family’s show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she’s been taught since birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it’s a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace’s life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees.

Beautifully written, and richly imaginative, The Weight of Feathers is an utterly captivating young adult novel by a talented new voice.

my rambles

Special thanks to Thomas Dunne Books for providing me with a copy of the book for review!

I’m going to declare right now that The Weight of Feathers is one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year. This book and I go further back then when it landed on my doorstep, though. I can’t even remember when I first heard about the book, but the cover blew me away with its simplistic, magical beauty. And with a closer look, Sabaa Tahir’s (author of An Ember in the Ashes, which I still need to read), blurb made me request it from the publisher.

“A gripping, beautifully rendered story…and a fantastical world as captivating as that of The Night Circus.”

UM, YES PLEASE. For those of you that don’t know, The Night Circus is one of my all-time favorite books. So, as I mentioned, that book name dropped sealed the deal, and I eagerly requested it. It landed on my porch, I did a happy dance, and then life got in the way and kept me from reading it until now. OH MY GOSH, GUYS. THIS BOOK IS ALL THINGS BEAUTIFUL AND SENT ME ON AN EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER. My eyes leaked throughout the book not only because of its beauty but also because THE FEELS.

It’s SO MAGICAL. There’s two feuding circus families, and fantastical elements that you can’t really tell if they’re just stories or if things are really happening. The Palomas are Spanish and they perform as mermaids, but they’re not really. The Corbeaus are French and they perform as birds, and they actually have feathers growing out of them underneath their hair. Enter the forbidden romance between Lace Paloma and Cluck Corbeau, and yup, there go my eyes leaking again at the beauty through which this story is told…

THE ENDING WAS JUST SO PERFECT, I WASN’T EXPECTING THIS PERFECT ENDING BUT I’M SO HAPPY I GOT IT. Everything just fell into the perfect place, and that all just added to the perfection that already was this book BEFORE I got to the ending!

I could go on forever telling you about just how beautiful this book is (let’s not count to see how many times I said beautiful in this review), but really you just have to read it for yourself. PLEASE. If you like fantasy books that are magical and *cough* beautiful *cough* then you MUST read this book. I will now read anything that Anna-Marie McLemore ever writes because MY GOODNESS THIS BOOK. THE FEELS. I JUST. NOPE. My eyes are almost leaking again just thinking about it.

Do yourself a favor and just read this book. You won’t regret reading one perfect page of it.

9

5 hearts isn’t really enough, to be honest. Infinite hearts to this book.

xo