The Royal Runaway by Lindsay Emory Review | Patronizing Heroes Need to S t o p

38532225The Royal Runaway
Author: Lindsay Emory
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Publisher: Gallery Books
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

For fans of The Princess Diaries and The Royal We comes a fun and daring novel about a modern-day princess who teams up with a spy to find out what happened to the fiancé who left her at the altar—and who just might get her own fairytale in the process.Princess Theodora Isabella Victoria of Drieden of the Royal House Laurent is so over this princess thing.

After her fiancé jilted her on their wedding day, she’s finally back home after spending four months in exile—aka it’s back to press conferences, public appearances, and putting on a show for the Driedish nation as the perfect princess they expect her to be. But Thea’s sick of duty. After all, that’s what got her into this mess in the first place.

So when she sneaks out of the palace and meets a sexy Scot named Nick in a local bar, she relishes the chance to be a normal woman for a change. But just as she thinks she’s found her Prince Charming for the night, he reveals his intentions are less than honorable: he’s the brother of her former fiancé, a British spy, and he’s not above blackmail. As Thea reluctantly joins forces with Nick to find out what happened the day her fiancé disappeared, together they discover a secret that could destroy a centuries-old monarchy and change life as they know it.

Funny, fast-paced, and full of more twists and turns than the castle Thea lives in, The Royal Runaway is a fresh romantic comedy that will leave you cheering for the modern-day royal who chucks the rulebook aside to create her own happily-ever-after.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

To give you a clue on how I felt about this book, The Royal Runaway ruined my post-Royal Wedding haze. Yes, the Royal Wedding that happened less than a week ago (per writing this review) for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle that I couldn’t escape from social media, and subsequently ended up enjoying. I really wanted to like this book – I really did. There’s a super cute cover, a tight and engaging premise, and in general just sounded like a fun ride. Instead, I get lackluster chemistry, lackluster character development, and a cardboard love interest. Around the 50% mark, I was looking at the time to see how fast I could finish it. The answer? Not fast enough.

Continue reading

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ARC Review: My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

22524101My So-Called Bollywood Life
Author: Nisha Sharma
Release Date: May 15, 2018
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

The romance of Stephanie Perkins meets the quirk of Maureen Johnson, then gets a Bollywood twist in this fate-filled debut that takes the future into its own hands.

Winnie Mehta was never really convinced that Raj was her soul mate, but their love was written in the stars. Literally, a pandit predicted Winnie would find the love of her life before her eighteenth birthday, and Raj meets all the qualifications. Which is why Winnie is shocked when she returns from her summer at film camp to find her boyfriend of three years hooking up with Jenny Dickens. As a self-proclaimed Bollywood expert, Winnie knows this is not how her perfect ending is scripted.

Then there’s Dev, a fellow film geek and one of the few people Winnie can count on. Dev is smart and charming, and he challenges Winnie to look beyond her horoscope and find someone she’d pick for herself. But does falling for Dev mean giving up on her prophecy and her chance to live happily ever after? To find her perfect ending, Winnie will need a little bit of help from fate, family, and of course, a Bollywood movie star.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

OH. MY. GOD. This book was absolutely STUNNING. Let me give you five reasons on why I’m rating this book five stars:

Preface: I know for a fact that some readers are going to say “This book had too much drama” or “This book was predictable” or “These characters were immature” or along those lines. The drama part is true, so come into the book with that expectation in mind. My main point is that this is a total rom-com, and thus, romance is a focal point to this book (as well as hella character development). What can I say? I’m weak for fluffy romantic comedies. ESPECIALLY when they feature marginalized characters. Continue reading

Blog Tour: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett Review (With the Help of Emojis!) + Giveaway

Hello everyone!

I’m incredibly excited to be on this blog tour for Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett. I’ve been following all her YA contemporary novels, and they have ALL been a hit. She’s definitely one author that you can’t miss out on! Starry Eyes brings two characters to life that you’re going to absolutely fall in love with, just like I did. There’s camping, survival skills, the cutest banter, and wonderful exploration of family dynamics. Let’s get this party started!


35297469Starry Eyes
Author: Jenn Bennett
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Get it Here:Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Indiebound | iBooks

Synopsis:

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their fami-lies are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safe-ty. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection sur-vive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Suchhhh a good YA contemporary read. Perfect for the summer: that comfortable time in-between semesters where teens have that sense of freedom and independence. Jenn Bennett always writes hit contemporaries, and Starry Eyes was no exception. There were excellent, down-to-earth characters, the most wholesome romance, and an adventurous setting. There was a bit more drama than her past books, but the atmosphere of the book overall remained light and sweet. Here are some reasons, with the help of emojis, that explain why I recommend this book. Continue reading

Book Review: Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry

35133826Say You’ll Remember Me
Author: Katie McGarry
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
When Drix was convicted of a crime–one he didn’t commit–he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the new Second Chance Program, the governor’s newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor’s daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn’t may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle’s parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix’s messy life.

But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

Fighting against a society that can’t imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves–Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence–and each other to finally get what they deserve.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I was in the mood for a feel-good contemporary Young Adult book, and Say You’ll Remember Me hit all the right spots. There’s a forbidden romance that has some insta-attraction, amazing character growth, and the exploration of familial dynamics from two vastly different point of views. I’ve only read one other book by McGarry, but so far they’ve both been successful, and I can’t wait to see what she writes next. Continue reading

ARC Review: American Panda by Gloria Chao

35297380American Panda
Author: Gloria Chao
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

An incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her squeamishness with germs and crush on a Japanese classmate.At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth–that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

“‘Sometimes I’m so proud to be Chinese, and other times I resent it so much. The obligations. Duty to family. Xiàoshùn.’”

And with that line, American Panda understood me in a way no book has before.

I’m making all my Chinese-American friends (both who read and who don’t) to preorder this book because it is exceptional. Although we only see the experience of a Chinese-American through the lense of one teenage girl, I believe there is something – whether it is stinky tofu, matchmaking, or dreams of being a doctor – that a Chinese-American teen can relate to in Mei’s story. American Panda is superbly written, with hilarious dialogue and equally witty inner monologues of Mei, a seventeen-year old who is college-bound to MIT. She’s intelligent and checks off all the boxes for Obedient Taiwanese Teen™. She’s on the premed track and meets her parents once a week (if not more) at Chow Chow, a restaurant they frequently eat at. She’s shy. She’s the child that her parents are piling their dreams on after they disowned her brother. But at this turn of her life, Mei is experiencing an internal conflict that continues to grow as she meets new people and experiences new things in college. Continue reading

ARC Review: The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

11.15.17_THEWEDDINGDATE_invite_v15

33815781The Wedding Date
Author: Jasmine Guillory
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Berkley
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend…

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other…

They’re just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century–or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want…

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I adored The Wedding Date and highly recommend it for contemporary readers who like a sweet and heartwarming story of two passionate people who meet each other in the oddest circumstance and find love through it. Alexa was a woman of my heart; she’s confident in her work environment and does her job well, but her love life wasn’t really going anywhere. Drew is the kind of guy to date a girl and break it off with her just when things were going well. They have instant chemistry and find themselves drawn towards the other, despite living across the state of California. Continue reading

ARC Review: They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

33385229They Both Die At The End
Author: Adam Silvera
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: HarperTeen
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Despite the ominous connotations of the title, They Both Die at the End is ultimately a story about life and having had lived. Silvera’s writing is striking and cuts right into a reader’s heart as we navigate through the last day that Mateo and Rufus have to live. Despite the short time, they find both fun and friendship and love with the other as each of them grow. Silvera brings two vastly different boys together and offers a close insight on their doubts and vulnerabilities, as well as strengths and love, in this beautiful contemporary that will leave you with an aching but full heart. Continue reading

Book Review: You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner

25701463You’re Welcome, Universe
Author: Whitney Gardner
Release Date: March 7, 2017
Publisher: Knopf
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.

Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.

Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I’ve had a copy of You’re Welcome, Universe for the longest time but haven’t had the chance to pick it up until now. I’m so glad I did, because this book left me with all the feels. You’re Welcome, Universe follows the first person POV of Julia, a protagonist who is as flawed as she is artistic. I adored her growth throughout the story and how her role as an angry teen evolved towards someone who understands and appreciates the love surrounding her (or, less of an angry teen). As an artist myself, I really identified with Julia’s need to release her art and emotions into the world. However, I’d also like to add that Julia does participate in illegal activity in the book (street graffiti in public places) and shouldn’t be condoned. Other than that, You’re Welcome, Universe was a beautiful exploration of art, friendships, growth, and the love that we experience in our lives. Continue reading

ARC Review: Dear Martin by Nic Stone

24974996Dear Martin
Author: Nic Stone
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Justyce McAllister is top of his class, captain of the debate team, and set for the Ivy League next year—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. He is eventually released without charges (or an apology), but the incident has Justyce spooked. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood, he can’t seem to escape the scorn of his former peers or the attitude of his prep school classmates. The only exception: Sarah Jane, Justyce’s gorgeous—and white—debate partner he wishes he didn’t have a thing for.

Struggling to cope with it all, Justyce starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But do Dr. King’s teachings hold up in the modern world? Justyce isn’t so sure.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up. Way up. Much to the fury of the white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. And Justyce and Manny get caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack. The truth of what happened that night—some would kill to know. Justyce is dying to forget.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

“Dear Martin (AKA Dr. King),
First and foremost, please know I mean you no disrespect with the whole ‘Martin’ thing. I studied you and your teachings for a project in tenth grade, so it feels most natural to interact with you as a homie. Hope you don’t mind that.”

How can I not love this book? Dear Martin is a wonderful piece of work that explores important racial discussions that take place today through its nuanced, quick dialogue and exemplary introspection of the main character, Justyce. Even though this book was short at only 224 pages, it’s absolutely unforgettable and raises relevant discussion points. I really recommend this contemporary to all readers – they will not regret picking up this small but fierce and mighty book. Continue reading

Book Review: Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett

30312700Alex, Approximately
Author: Jenn Bennett
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

The one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.

Classic movie fan Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online as Alex. Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.

Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new archnemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever it is she’s starting to feel for Porter.

And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

This fun, summery contemporary read was so delightful to read! Bennett’s contemporaries have been a success, and I do adore her refreshing writing, coupled with delightful characters who undergo tremendous growth and gorgeous settings. Alex, Approximately follows a film-loving girl on her huge move from the city to a small surfing town in California, where she creates memorable friendships and explores family relationships. With a fresh, relaxing vibe to carry out Bailey’s summer, the setting of the book was absolutely magnetic and un-put-downable – a perfect summer read! Continue reading