Sunday Street Team: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

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Before Reading:

The book gods have been very good to me this year despite my ridiculousness. I am not very consistent this year, I have to admit. But in terms of books, I feel very lucky because the selection that I do want to read is the only thing that I read. The moment they dropped the summary of this particular book that I will be talking about today, I was immediately hooked. I was sold in a heartbeat. It was a young adult historical fiction book that I never knew I needed. I did almost everything that I could to read it early, but those efforts failed. I almost gave up, and I accepted the fact that I will have to wait until the release date to read it. And then the opportunity came knocking in. Now, here I am to gush about this wonderful book. Hold on to your seats, because this will probably be a bumpy ride.

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29283884Title: The Genteman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Author: Mackenzi Lee

Genre: Young Adult, Historical, Glbt, Fantasy

Date Published: 27th of June 2017

Series: None

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Buy it on: Amazon- US | Amazon – UK| Barnes & Nobles | TBD

Summary:

An unforgettable tale of two friends on their Grand Tour of 18th-century Europe who stumble upon a magical artifact that leads them from Paris to Venice in a dangerous manhunt, fighting pirates, highwaymen, and their feelings for each other along the way.

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Witty, romantic, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is a sumptuous romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.

After Reading:

Well, that was certainly… different. I mean it in a positive way as well. Though my expectations and what the book delivered somehow made a contrast, we were able to meet halfway. I adored the story in it’s entirety, and it was the historical fiction that I needed to read to satisfy my thirst for history. Monty, Percy, and Felicity were all such badass characters. And here I thought it was just Monty and Percy touring throughout the entire story… well they did tour. But in a much more adventurous way, if you know what I mean.

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is the 18th century LGBT novel that I never knew I needed. It tackled a lot, and it was quite a hefty book. But in a good sense, it still speaks out to relevant issues that we have today.

Plot-wise, GGTVAV had a zigzag pace. It was a bit slow at first, but the pace went up and down when the crew started encountering trouble. It was all in a zigzag pace from there, and the down pace felt like a calm before the storm. It was a solid plot, and it was filled with these teeny tidbits that are the best to imagine. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue had everything. Snogging, sassy viscounts, alchemy, pirates, and a few badass ladies. How Mackenzi Lee managed to cram all of that in to create the coolest tour ever blows my mind. To be honest, I did not expect the following factors to be present in the novel. But realization struck me that a lot can happen in a tour. The period where the story took place still had highwaymen present. What was I supposed to expect? Despite the book being one of my most anticipated reads of 2017, I kept my expectations low and I let the novel blow me away on its own. And it was a good decision to boot.

Character-wise, the book centered on Monty. This is where my love for male lead MCs came in. Despite being the epitomy of a privileged ass, Henry “Monty” Montague managed to capture my heart. I know that we don’t fit because he likes lads more than ladies, but he developed into this character that learned about his self-worth through the most twisted version of a European tour. He became a man who stood on dangerous grounds, driven by the people who mattered to him the most. And that is what I loved about him. Sure, he can be annoying and his actions are rather rash. But inside that smooth-talking bastard lies a true gentleman.

Percy and Felicity on the other hand, were amazing people to be with on a one-of-a-kind tour. If anyone would attempt to steal the spotlight from Monty in this book, it would have to be Felicity and Percy’s fiddle. She is such a badass lady, dowgraded by the system of the 18th century (yes ladies, be grateful that you were born in this century). But she defied people who made her sit still and look pretty. She read books that made her more knowledgeable, despite people frowning on her because it is not ladylike. Her defiance was my saving grace. I lived for her sass. (Percy’s fiddle on the other hand, was ridiculously present. That is all I have to say about that.)

So why did I only give it 4 stars?

While it was an entertaining story that kept me on my toes at best, this may not be the book for people who have a hard time imagining historical settings. While Monty is fascinating, I felt like Percy was just there. Sure, he raised certain issues that were prevalent during the given setting, but it was like he was just there. I wouldn’t want to spoil the story for everyone, but I felt like Percy as a character was underdeveloped.

But overall, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue has an amazing adventure underneath its pages. It is mesmerizing to read, and the sense of history within can really stick to you. It is filled with unexpected twists and turns, and a tour unlike any other. A proper gentleman was born, and with sass, grace, and a boot to your face, Monty will sweep you off your feet. I honestly recommend you read this when you feel like you are underestimating yourself. Because as Monty discovered, a person is more than the expectations placed on them. Prove them wrong, and surprise them with more than that.

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mackenzi-lee

Mackenzi Lee is a bookseller, history nerd, and the author of THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE, THIS MONSTROUS THING (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins), and the forthcoming SEMPER AUGUSTUS (Flatiron Books, 2018). She holds an MFA from Simmons College in writing for children and young adults. She loves Diet Coke, sweater weather, and Star Wars. On a perfect day, she can be found enjoying all three. She currently calls Boston home.

Connect with Mackenzi!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads| Pinterest

Huge thanks once again to the Sunday Street Team for letting me be a part of this amazing tour. As I said earlier, it is just amazing to read this book before it comes out to the world. I’m just so happy to be able to gush about it. Now my list is complete, as I have completed a certain goal. Thank you so much for making it happen.

If you want to know more about the Sunday Street Team, click on the image below.

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So are you excited to read The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue? I hope so. I cannot wait for you all to meet Monty and I have high hopes that you will enjoy the tour.

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PH Blog Tour: The Upside of Unrequited

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Hello everyone! Welcome to your first stop for The Upside of Unrequited PH Blog Tour hosted by Jasmine at Jasmine Pearl Reads. It is an honor to be the first one to review this book in all of its glory. So let’s start this tour with a bang.

The upside is that I believe that this book stood out as a book that matters, especially in the society we live in today. I want to stress that in this review. But first, a few fangirl moments.

Before Reading:

BLESSED BE THE BOOK GODS. The news is too good to be true! I get to read The Upside of Unrequited early. And why do I feel like it is the story of my unrequited life? Wait… should I prepare tissues? I’m not ready for this. But no… I AM. Let’s just get to reading.

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Cover-Reveal-The-Upside-Of-Unrequited-LargeTitle & Author: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Year Published: 11th of April 2017

Series: None

Publisher: Balzer & Bray / Harper Teen

Source: Paperback, provided for the tour

Rating:  4.5/5 stars

Buy it on: Amazon | TBD

Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

After Reading:

Yes, you can say there were tears. AND IT WAS BLOODY 3 AM. Do you know how hard it is to render 3D animation misty eyed? No, it’s not hard. It’s just that the progress bar is all blurry. BUT STILL. THIS BOOK. MOLLY, YOU ARE LOVELY. ALWAYS BELIEVE THAT.

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The Upside of Unrequited is a character-driven story that focuses on Molly. She is a big girl who is insecure and careful. But because of that factor, it makes her real.

Why does The Upside of Unrequited matter?

It matters because it lays pressing issues on the table. First, is the feeling of what it is like to have someone you admire returning your feelings back. (I know, I said feelings a lot.) Conveying the depth that lies within the unrequited is no easy task, but the beautiful prose within was enough to tug heartstrings. I can testify to that, since compared to Molly’s 27, I am probably in a predicament that is much worse. The emotions were swirling, and it felt human. I wanted to just jump in that universe and give Molly the biggest hug. Having the feeling of something unrequited is probably one of biggest pains anyone can feel. But yes, this book has the upside to it all.

It matters because it doesn’t shy away from presenting a modern family. The representation presented in Upside is natural. It felt like they were real people that did not have a single hindrance on living as themselves. The Peskin-Suso family is the sweetest. Nadine and Patty were the coolest moms who offer the most solid advice and support to Cassie and Molly’s troubles. They honestly deserve all of the happiness that was given to them in the latter part of the book. That being said, seeing Molly grow as her own person throughout the story may have been a bit of a pain especially if you know the feeling too well. But looking at the bright side, it will feel so good once you see how her actions affect her family as a whole.

It matters because it teaches the reader to love themselves. It conveys the message that through loving yourself, you can have the confidence that other people love you to the moon and back. That was the message that reached me, and as someone who is probably in the same department as Molly, it goes without saying that I felt that this book represented me. No more, no less.

*I loved the Easter eggs in the book. It can make any Oreo lover scream. 😉

What mattered to me is that The Upside of Unrequited made me feel that I was worthy to be a young adult heroine. Big girls like Molly get to be happy, and it gives a glimpse of hope to see a character like myself as happy. To be honest, nothing warmed my heart more than reading about Molly’s happiness. The way she grew out of her comfort zone and became her own person is one story that can put the biggest smile on your face.

Why read The Upside of Unrequited?

Like it’s older brother Simon VS. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, The Upside of Unrequited is a cute story about self-love and finding love. It also proves that seeing your family happy is the best. But what takes the cake (or rather, the cookie dough in the mason jar) is the love that you gain for another book that will make you want to love yourself. Highly recommended on a summer day while eating Cadbury Mini Eggs and in the mood where you just want something sweet.

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View More: http://thedecisivemoment.pass.us/becky-headshots

Becky Albertalli is a clinical psychologist who has had the privilege of conducting therapy with dozens of smart, weird, irresistible teenagers. She also served for seven years as co-leader of a support group for gender nonconforming children in Washington, DC. She now lives with her family in Atlanta.


To Becky Albertalli,

Since May is the month for moms, I want to thank you for the two lovely books that you have. It is truly lovely, and one can say that one them is like the story of my life. At one point, I almost wanted to just go ahead and call you “mom” on Twitter. The reason being is that you just shine and you’re so amazing.

Truly, no words can express how blessed I felt to have read your novels. The Upside of Unrequited really has a special place in my heart. You are a gem. I hope you are aware of that. Thank you for making me feel that I am represented. You are the best. 💙


Huge thanks to Jasmine at Jasmine Pearl Reads for letting me join this blog tour. Honestly, this gave me the boost that I needed to make myself believe that 2017 is better than 2016. All the love. 💙

Follow the rest of the tour:

Nicka at Read by Nicka [Review]

Inah at The Bibliophile Confessions [Review]

Fay at The Bibliophile Soprano [Review]

Josiah at The Bookish Fanboy [Review]

JM at Book Freak Revelations [Review]

Jasmine at Jasmine Pearl Reads [Review]

Now, have you read The Upside of Unrequited? How many crushes have you had? What body positive books can you recommend to me? Let’s chat! It’s been a while. 😉

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PH Blog Tour: Goodbye Days

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Before Reading:

I have always had this soft spot for heartbreaking contemporaries. I do not care at all, because for as long as it hits me right in the kokoro (heart), I am all for it. Jeff Zentner made a lot of buzz last year because of The Serpent King. But sadly it was one of the books that I did not have the opportunity to read, given the killer time frame. But I thank the book gods for being so good to me, and PH bloggers for taking a chance on me. I don’t know what to expect really. I just know that this book will probably make me get a bucket. You know, so something can catch my tears and make me less of a mess. Kidding.

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9781783445516Title & Author: Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

Genre:  Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction,

Year Published: 7th of March 2017

Series: None

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

Source: Paperback, provided for the tour

Rating:  4.5/5 stars

Buy it on: Amazon | TBD

Summary:

What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost?

One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.

The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.

Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.

Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a Goodbye Day with her to share their memories and say a proper goodbye to his friend.

Soon the other families are asking for a Goodbye Day with Carver, but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses, or will these Goodbye Days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown or—even worse—prison?

After Reading:

Tears, tears, tears, all of the tears. I just want to cry and hug all of my best friends. Especially my weird friends from high school. This book made me miss them so bad. Jeff has this weird way of getting you invested in his book because I was hooked when the tears started flowing. I knew I should have had that bucket ready. That was a bad move.

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It was probably because of a recent loss that made me resonate with this book so much. Maybe? Or maybe not. Goodbye Days is mainly a book that tackles grief, and the guilt that every person feels when someone dear dies. This book emotionally drained me, but it also gave me the feeling of redemption.

It is hard enough to lose someone, let alone the people that matter the most to you. Losing a second family can mess anyone up. And that is how I came to understand Carver’s pain. (Actually I am more comfortable in calling him Blade. The only problem is that I might cry just a little bit.) Goodbye Days captured the essence of grief: the long process of letting go and going on with life without the ones we love. In that grief, we encounter people who we can lean on. The people who understand the pain and who can help with the healing process.

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The book also contained slight glimpses of the past, in which the reader can picture what is was like when Blade’s friends were still there. It may have added to the heart-pulling, but it brought out one of the most beautiful friendship dynamics that I have read in a while. The Sauce Crew was the ultimate group, and like I said earlier, it made me miss my friends very much.

What I loved the most about this book is that it kept on reminding me that Blade was not alone in his journey. He may have had a few people breathing down his neck (but I mean, even I understood where those people are coming from), but at least he had a support group. Not only was his sister the best and essentially the most badass sister role model around, he had parents who will do anything for him no matter what happens. A friendship was lost, but another friendship was gained in the form of Eli’s girlfriend, his therapist, and Blake’s Nana Betsy, where the Goodbye Day surfaced.

To be honest, a Goodbye Day sounds like a good way to reminisce and let go of a loved one. But let’s be real here: if you ever plan to read this book, it is mandatory to have tissues with you. Also, please consider investing on a tear bucket.

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Jeff Zentner

Jeff Zentner lives in Nashville, Tennessee. He came to writing through music, starting his creative life as a guitarist and eventually becoming a songwriter. He’s released five albums and appeared on recordings with Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Warren Ellis, Thurston Moore, Debbie Harry, Mark Lanegan, and Lydia Lunch, among others.

Now he writes novels for young adults. He became interested in writing for young adults after volunteering at the Tennessee Teen Rock Camp and Southern Girls Rock Camp. As a kid, his parents would take him to the library and drop him off, where he would read until closing time. He worked at various bookstores through high school and college.


Want to win a copy of Goodbye Days? Click the photo below!

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Hugs and kisses to Jasmine at Jasmine Pearl Reads for letting me be a part of this lovely blog tour! Thank you, for now I am a converted Jeff Zentner fan. Huge thanks as well to PRH Global for the review copy for the tour.

You see, I haven’t read The Serpent King yet. But I know I’m in for a ride. I’m not ready to have my feels to be messed up again, but I hope I could get to it really soon. But what about you? Have you read Goodbye Days or The Serpent King yet? On a scale of 1 to 10, how is your heart? Let’s talk about it!

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Book Review: Zac and Mia

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This book will not follow my usual review format because this one is a special case.

Have you ever wanted to read a book so badly… and be devastatingly disappointed? Well, it just happened to me. And I am one sad fangirl.

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20256715Title: Zac and Mia

Author: A. J. Betts

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction

Date Published: 24th of July 2013

Series: None

Publisher: Text Publishing

Source: Paperback, bought from Fully Booked

Rating: 3.72/5 stars on Goodreads

Summary:

The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this tough and tender young adult novel that’s a lot about love (and a little about cancer).

“When I was little I believed in Jesus and Santa, spontaneous combustion, and the Loch Ness monster. Now I believe in science, statistics, and antibiotics.” So says seventeen-year-old Zac Meier during a long, grueling leukemia treatment in Perth, Australia. A loud blast of Lady Gaga alerts him to the presence of Mia, the angry, not-at-all-stoic cancer patient in the room next door. Once released, the two near-strangers can’t forget each other, even as they desperately try to resume normal lives. The story of their mysterious connection drives this unflinchingly tough, tender novel told in two voices.

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There was something off. Flying through the book felt like a breeze, but it was a hot steam kind of breeze. The book has the fair share of pros and cons, which I will gladly lay down.

Pros: It discussed a heavy topic in a lighter mood. Hard-hitting illnesses such as cancer is messy to deal with, if not done properly. Yet this book managed to deliver it in a manner where it’s targeted audience could understand it, and it still leaves room for further research. The writing was made for young adults to learn something, and it is commendable that the author has shed more light unto such topic.

Cons: There is too much angst. This comes in the form of Mia, one of the main characters. Depending on the reader, her attitude will probably be on a hit or miss basis. There was so much hate that I could not stand while reading. It pains me to say that the anger is normal, but it can be frustrating.

Pros: The family that sticks together. This comes in the form of Zac’s family (and Mia’s, in the latter part). His family is downright supportive, especially his mom and his sister. The story has other characters who talk about the realities of the world, and it built up this “Everything is okay.” environment.

Cons: The unnecessary romance. It can be said that Zac and Mia are polar opposites, but the story could have centered more on a friendship aspect. I admit that I smiled when they had a cheesy moment. Yet it feels like something was off. One minute, it was bursting rage. Then in the next one, they say uplifting things sounds cute. But then you cut to Mia, who will suddenly burst your bubble. Zac is too nice, and he is a devoted friend. Mia on the other hand, is just angry.

Pros: The uplifting POV. This comes in the form of Zac. You get that he is having a bad time, as he weighs the chances. He is a character that will uplift and question at the same time, similar to that of Craig from It’s Kind of A Funny Story. The book started in his perspective, and I thought that it was going pretty well until;

Cons: The “I hate everything” POV. This comes in the form of Mia. Despite the message that Mia needs to learn how to love herself, it was painful to read rage. It went downhill from there.

Zac and Mia is a beautiful book full of aspiring thoughts, a cast of characters that find themselves, and a beautiful setting. I am probably at fault for raising my bar too high because despite the beauty of the prose, it felt flat for me. It was an easy read, and it is digestible for such a heavy topic. But if I had to drag myself to finish it then sadly, this book is not for me.

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AJ

AJ Betts is an Australian author, speaker, teacher and cyclist. ZAC & MIA, her third novel for teenagers, won the 2012 Text Prize, the 2014 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, and the 2014 Ethel Turner prize for young adults at the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards. Inspired by her work in a children’s hospital, ZAC & MIA is available in 14 countries. AJ’s other novels are WAVELENGTH and SHUTTERSPEED (both with Fremantle Press). She’s lived in Perth since 2004.

Connect with A.J. on her:

Facebook || Twitter || Official Website

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Book Review: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

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Before Reading:

This has been one of my most anticipated reads of 2016. I have never read a Richelle Mead book. (You can all gasp now.) I grew out of my vampire phase when I first heard of her Vampire Academy series. I started to notice when I heard that Soundless was coming out, but when I heard that she was writing about a book that mixed The Selection with history… I lost it. I started flailing and cried “Please please please”. I really wanted to read the book badly.

So guess who rushed to the bookstore and made grabby hands to get her own copy, but still ended up reading from an e-book instead?

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Books-Richelle MeadTitle: The Glittering Court

Author: Richelle Mead

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Historical Fiction

Date Published: 5th of April 2016

Series: The Glittering Court #1

Publisher: Razorbill

Source: e-book

Rating: 3.45/5 on Goodreads

Buy it on: Amazon

Summary:

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…

After Reading:

Wait… that was it? What happens next? Are you telling me that the next book will just be in Tamsin and Mira’s perspective? Wait… Okay. How convenient.

Final Thoughts

In all that is fair, The Glittering Court delivers a fetching story that ignites beauty and friendship.

The world of Osfrid (or Uros-topia, as I like to call it) and Adoria was greatly mixed. I love how it was derived from the UK and the US, despite the timeline difference in the book. The world of Osfrid felt like it was in the Tudor era, while Adoria was in the middle of the gold rush. Being a history freak, this would have made me queasy since those are two conflicting timelines. Yet Richelle Mead delivered a wonderful historical fiction novel that connected the two as a whole. This setting was spectacular, and imagining those places will give future readers a wonderful time.

In terms of characters, Richelle Mead delivered three kick-butt heroines who are graceful and confident in their own rights. I am in a state of conflict on what I feel about Adelaide though. It was like the world was meant to be for her. Everything was just perfect. The world was literally her oyster and the story that revolves around her is basically a fairy tale. When something goes down, it goes up. Yet in contrary, her character developed into this lady who need not to depend on anybody to survive, and she knew she wanted anything but the noble life she had in Osfrid. I will make sure to watch out for Tamsin and Mira’s perspectives, since both ladies practically steal the scene when Adelaide mentions them.

I found the romance between Adelaide and Cedric different from some of the YA fictional couples that I have read in the past. It was like a slow dance from the tension to the personal sharing that they had. Let’s just that it was a lucky strike that this book was not on the insta-love side. When considering the time frame, it was a long time before they even admitted the feelings that they have for each other. Their relationship was also on a philosophical era because of the banter between religions (similar to that of Puritanism and Christianism/Anglicanism). I could say that they had a healthy relationship, although I still fear how Adelaide will adapt with everything going on around her.

If you have not read anything by Richelle Mead yet, I suggest you start with this book. The historical fiction aspect had me sold, but it was the overall glamour and positive reinforcement that has won me over. The Glittering Court is not just all about girls in sparkly dresses, but it branches out to heavy topics like religion, belief, fate, and decisions that could change one’s life in a heartbeat. But I still hope I would enjoy the next book in the series as much as I enjoyed this one.

Rating:

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Author

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Richelle Mead has written over twenty-five novels for teens and adults. She is the author of the international #1 bestselling Vampire Academy series and its spinoff series, Bloodlines. A lifelong reader, Richelle has always had a particular fascination with mythology and folklore. When she can actually tear herself away from books (either reading or writing them), she enjoys bad reality TV, traveling, trying interesting cocktails, and shopping for dresses to wear on tour. She is a self-professed coffee addict, works in her pajamas, and has a passion for all things wacky and humorous. Originally from Michigan, Richelle now lives in Seattle, Washington, where she is hard at work on her next novel.

Follow her on social media!

Facebook || Twitter || Website

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 That’s it for my review! How about you guys? Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Comment below. 🙂

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Book Review: Simon VS. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Book Review

Before Reading:

Circa not blogging yet, Becky Albertalli’s book was the most anticipated book of April 2015. As much as I wanted to read her book, I was not able to buy it till January 2016. So when I finally had my free time last April, I picked it up and never looked back.

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19547856Title: Simon VS. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT

Date Published: 7th of April 2015

Series: None

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Source: Paperback, bought from Fully Booked

Rating: 4.27/5 on Goodreads

Buy it on: Amazon

Summary:

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

While Reading:

I have to include this bit. While I was reading the book, I shamelessly live-tweeted Becky Albertalli. I was so giddy while I was reading it, plus I had these thoughts where I need to know what Simon looks like. Becky, the oh-so supportive fangirl that she is, was so generous and kind enough to answer my queries. It was a first for me, but I have no shame. Simon is love. Simon is life.

After Reading:

Basically, I gobbled this book in a day. I had a personal read-a-thon and this was the second book that I finished. And it was just the right one. Hands down to Becky Albertalli. She is definitely the queen of fluff. I cannot stress how much I need a Simon Spier in my life right now. I was smiling like an idiot. I was actually spoiled for this book because I searched for fanart, and it was caused by my own carelessness. Just remember not to Google fanart if you still don’t know who Blue is. But even after those events, I still ended up loving every single bit of this book.

Final Thoughts

Simon VS. The Homo Sapiens Agenda is like the Oreo version of a young adult novel. It’s the sweetest thing that you will ever read. Once you have read it, you will always look for it and want it. The aftertaste is equally sweet that it will give you a fluffy feeling because of the satisfying ending. It was the perfect helping of Oreo that you need.

In all that is good in the world, Simon Spier is the cherry on top. He is an admirable male lead who is generally a good guy with a big heart for his family and friends. He finds himself when he meets Blue, and the book is all about Simon’s journey to finally come out. On a scale of 1 to supportive, Simon is off the charts. Just by reading the book, you would have to wonder why anyone would want to antagonize Simon’s life. (looking at you Martin)

You can expect a lot of sweet moments. Basically, Simon’s life is in this huge pool of hug-worthy personas, mainly: Blue, his family, and his friends.

Blue is another whole bag of unicorns and rainbows. His identity is very intriguing, considering the fact that Simon goes all giddy for him. The truth about Blue’s identity will keep you at the edge of your seat.You can say that Blue will steal some scenes of the book, but I can assure you that Simon’s voice is powerful enough to remind you that he is still the main character.

And of course this review is not complete without mentioning the great family aspect involved. Simon has the most loving parents and siblings, especially since they support Simon in what he does. Same with his friends, who I would have to say seem to have a world of their own. In my world, I would love Leah to have a book of her own.

I highly recommend that you read this book if you are down in the dumps, and if you need something to lift your spirits up. It is very easy to fall in love with Becky Albertalli’s writing, because it just so darn fluffy. Not only does it speak to young adults, but it also gets in your heart very quickly. It also gives an important lesson that your family and friends are a good support system. This book has a solid place on the male leads corner. Simon is basically a king next to Charlie. Just pick up this book already if you haven’t yet. Solid 5 stars all the way.

Stars

Author

View More: http://thedecisivemoment.pass.us/becky-headshots

Becky Albertalli is the epitome of awesomeness. No words can describe her greatness is writing fiction, and she is as sweet as an Oreo.

Becky Albertalli is a clinical psychologist who has had the privilege of conducting therapy with dozens of smart, weird, irresistible teenagers. She also served for seven years as co-leader of a support group for gender nonconforming children in Washington, DC. She now lives with her family in Atlanta. SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA is her first novel.

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Hello everyone! I’m back! How are you all doing?

Brb

ARC Review: The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

Book Review

Before Reading:

At a glance,  you won’t know what hit you. That is what I felt before reading The Darkest Corners. I saw that it was available on NetGalley, so I took the opportunity to request for it. While eagerly waiting, I began to see some related bookish shenanigans about it. I saw it on Bustle’s article about First in Line, where this particular book was featured as the read for March. Then, I read a few teasers and I got hooked immediately. Basically, deep inside me: “Omg give me this book I will read it asap.”.

And as if the book gods have heard my cry of help, and also a cry for a 5 star read this 2016; NetGalley approved my request to read it. Thus, an adventure begins.

Book

25639296Title: The Darkest Corners

Author:Kara Thomas

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Mystery

Release Date: 19th April 2016

Series:None (but dang, I hope there is)

Publisher:Delacorte/ Random House

Source:e-ARC, provided by NetGalley

Rating:  Stars

(Click the book to go to its Goodreads page)

Summary: The Darkest Corners is a psychological thriller about the lies little girls tell, and the deadly truths those lies become.
There are ghosts around every corner in Fayette, Pennsylvania. Tessa left when she was nine and has been trying ever since not to think about it after what happened there that last summer. Memories of things so dark will burn themselves into your mind if you let them.
Callie never left. She moved to another house, so she doesn’t have to walk those same halls, but then Callie always was the stronger one. She can handle staring into the faces of her demons—and if she parties hard enough, maybe one day they’ll disappear for good.
Tessa and Callie have never talked about what they saw that night. After the trial, Callie drifted and Tessa moved, and childhood friends just have a way of losing touch.
But ever since she left, Tessa has had questions. Things have never quite added up. And now she has to go back to Fayette—to Wyatt Stokes, sitting on death row; to Lori Cawley, Callie’s dead cousin; and to the one other person who may be hiding the truth.
Only the closer Tessa gets to the truth, the closer she gets to a killer—and this time, it won’t be so easy to run away.


After Reading:

I have been cured. I have finally found my first 5 star read of 2016. I practically cried because I thought 2016 will be a bad reading year for me. Apparently, I just needed to wait for this particular read for me to finally drop that bomb of a 5 star rating. My drought is over. It will only go uphill from here. Amazing in so many levels. I wish someone would just gush about it with me. I was not disappointed.

Final Thoughts

It was an exhilarating ride of emotions. Right from the start, I already had this notion that it was going to be a ridiculously good book. It immediately gave me that feeling of wanting to start asking questions. Which is what a great mystery thriller is, right? The writing makes you think. Who did this? Who did that? There are a lot more questions but it might give away what happens. The story captivated me, because of how I must be alert. The killer could be anyone. There’s that thrill. Anything could happen at the least possible moment. Major bombs came dropping, and everything was not what it seems. It keeps you on your feet, eagerly awaiting any clues of what could lead to the next thing that our lead character is searching for.

In the town of Fayette, we have our lead Tessa Lowell. She is quite reserved and seemed like she lived her life as normally as she could. But with one step ahead, her being inquisitive took her to stay in Fayette in more days than planned. Tessa thinks logically, which is a quality that characters in most of the books I have read so far lacked. She knows what was needed to be solved, and she thinks swiftly. You can feel the eagerness in her perspective. That characteristic alone made me enjoy reading the book in Tessa’s perspective. I normally dislike a female’s perspective, but I would have to say that Tessa is special. She had a few faults here and there, but it was enough for me to root for her till the end. And to be able to keep one’s sanity despite having a few bumps on the road to find the killer is a big kudos. How I wish I was as cool as her.

As for Callie, I can say that she knows her place. But she was lost. Her attitude vastly improved when she was with Tessa more, and it definitely made her more human. They were in this together. Which is only appropriate when all the ends were finally tied. I just wish she did not disappear that quickly (somewhere in the book). Nonetheless, all of the characters in this book were practical and they made sense. Quite honestly, it helped because it makes the reader belong in the scenario. You can sense the humanity, and how fragile everyone is when it comes to the aspect of murder.

I love how Kara writes with finesse and fine detail. Her writing style is this unique bomb that you will immediately learn to love. She writes so beautifully that she was able to absorb me. I went in a world where anything could happen, because I don’t know what will happen. I felt like I was in Fayette myself. It was unusually easy to visualize what was in the book. And that is all because of the vivid vision of Kara Thomas.

Author

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Kara is the author of THE DARKEST CORNERS, coming April 2016 from Random House/Delacorte. She is also the author of the Prep School Confidential series from St. Martin’s Griffin under the pen name Kara Taylor. Kara has written for Warner Brothers Television and currently writes full-time on Long Island, where she lives with her husband and rescue cat.


Yes, you got that right. I love this book to bits and I cannot wait for everyone else to read it. Catch it in your local bookstore by April 19, 2016. Join in the search for the infamous Ohio River Monster. But just remember that everything is not what it seems. And some secrets from the past can still haunt you in the present.

Now, who has read this book? Or has my fangirling affected you in any way? Let’s talk about this marvelous piece of literature.

Brb