Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger (ARC)

Hey Everyone!!

Yay!! Finally a new review!!

I'm super excited to say that I got an early copy of Kody Keplinger's latest novel (out today!!!) from the publisher a while ago!

Life once again took over, work, school! So my free time has been mostly saved for loved ones.

But anyway, I finally finished Lying Out Loud!!!!

So anyway!! Let's get to the review!!

From Goodreads:



Kody Keplinger returns to the world of The DUFF in this brand-new companion novel!

Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend's house every night because she has nowhere else to go.

Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with— secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross.

Ryder's the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can't stand—a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed.

But without meaning to, Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And to her horror, she realizes that she might actually like him. Only there's one small catch: he thinks he's been talking to Amy. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate scheme to help Ryder realize that she's the girl he's really wanted all along. Can Sonny lie her way to the truth, or will all her lies end up costing her both Ryder and Amy?

My Thoughts:

I'm so excited that Kody Keplinger has come back to the world of The DUFF!!

It's so awesome, because two of my favorite book characters make an appearance in this one.  It was just so great to be able to catch up!

In Lying Out Loud we get introduced to Wesley's sister, Amy's, best friend, Sonny!

Sonny has honestly had a crappy life!  And because of the secret's she feels she has to keep through that crappy time, she has become a little bit of a crappy friend.

However...trust me when I say it gets good!

One of my favorite things about this book was getting to know Amy a little more.  She's come along way since The DUFF ended.

We find out that Amy and Wesley's parents have come back into their lives, and they are really amazing!  In fact, Sonny has people around her that love her and care for her.  Something she definitely needs in her life.

Ryder...I'll be honest and say he isn't my favorite male character Kody has written.  I had a hard time getting past his pretentious demeanor.  But he ended up getting better as I read on.

And now to Sonny!  Sonny was a difficult character at first, because I saw from the beginning that she definitely appreciated what Amy and her family did for her, and that really loved Amy as her best friend, she did, however, take Amy for granted a lot.  Some of the things she made Amy do for her, were pretty bad.  And I'll be honest it really bothered me sometimes.

However, I really did like Sonny.  She felt...real.  Which I know is a pretty plain word to use to describe a great character...but it made her so relatable!

Kody has this great way of writing characters that people fall in love with and can absolutely relate to!

So overall rating:



Kody has done it again!  Lying Out Loud is sure to be a must-read for The DUFF fans!  While I had to get used to Sonny and Ryder, personality reasons, I did end up liking them by the time I finished LOL!

So I definitely recommend it!  And it is available today!! You can get your copy on Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

The Romance Bookie :)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Meg-A Readers 2015 Sign-ups!!!

OMG I can't believe it's that time again!!!!!  And this year we have a lot of celebrating to do!!!!


Diana (Little Miss Drama Queen) and I am happy to announce the FOURTH ANNUAL MEG-A-READERS for 2015!!!!!!!!!!!


Isn't our banner amazing!!!!  Thank you Diana!!


From Monday May 11th until Friday June 12th we will be celebrating Meg Cabot!  My absolute favorite author ever, Meg Cabot, has been on my book shelf since 2005, when I started reading The Princess Diaries.  Which marks the 10th anniversary of when I first read my first Meg book!!  I can't even tell you how excited I have been about this, because Meg is not only releasing ONE amazing new book, BUT TWO!!!!!!!!!!  And not only that, but one of them is one that I, along with many many other twenty something year olds have been waiting for, for many many years!!!!

Six years ago Mia Thermopolis got back together with the love of her life, Michael, and graduated high school.  Since then, all of us fans have been waiting ("very" patiently) for them to finally tie the knot.

Well it's happening!!!!!! The biggest event of the year (in my opinion, at least)!

Mia and Michael are getting married!!!!!!!!!!!!


Royal Wedding (the eleventh book in the Princess Diaries Series, and first adult book in the series) will be out June 2nd!

But before June 2nd even arrives, we will be introduced to a totally new character in Meg's life...Princess Mia's long-lost half-sister, Olivia Grace, in From the Notebooks of a Middle Grade Princess, which hits shelves on May 19th!

Yes, it's honestly a dream come true!!!! Meg is releasing TWO new books less than a month apart!!!!!!!!


So anyway, it's time to call bloggers/Meg Cabot fans over!!! Because Meg-A Readers 2015 is going to begin on May 11th and we need sign-ups!!!  


Sign-up with the link below, and Diana and I will contact you before the event begins so that we can get your preferred dates, during the event, and then things can really get going!!!

If you don't know what you would have to do...well, it's honestly very simple!

The options are endless!  You can write about how you first came across Meg Cabot.  You can write a review of any of your favorite Meg Cabot books, or one you haven't read.  Do an interview with your favorite character (I did an interview with Mia the first year, which was super fun!).  Really so many options!  And if you have an idea for a post, just email me at:

romancebookie@yahoo.com

and we can discuss it! :)

So let's get that sign-up list going!!


The Romance Bookie :)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Erin: A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

Hi Everyone!

Today, I've got A Darker Shade of Magic to share with you! It's a new book by V.E. Schwab-otherwise known as Victoria Schwab!

From Goodreads:


Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London - but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure'.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.
 


Erin's Thoughts:

I heard a lot of good things about A Darker Shade of Magic and so I looked forward to this book a lot! I'll start by saying that while Victoria Schwab also writes young adult (and middle grade, too, if anyone was wondering), A Darker Shade of Magic is actually an adult book! That said, it is a book that has a lot of YA crossover potential! While it most definitely is an adult book (tone-wise, pacing-wise), I feel like a lot of YA readers actually will enjoy this a lot!

I think I heard someone compare this book to Garth Nix's Sabriel series and as soon as I heard that, I thought, YES! That's exactly how I would describe the feel of this book.  Granted, it's been a long while since I've read Sabriel, but I really do think it's a good comparison.  It's got that same tone and same feel.

A Darker Shade of Magic is such a unique book! While the plot itself sort of reminds me of Lord of the Rings, the world building in the book was so amazing!  The different worlds that V.E. Schwab has created is so awesome and so vivid.  Though it's based in London, it's completely different and unique to that of what you'd expect.  The magic is very well done and different without being confusing.  I also just love the idea of these people that are able to travel between these parallel Londons.  I think it's such a beautiful concept and it really was done well!

Kell and Lila were awesome characters as well.  They are such different people that it's fun to see them interact together and I like that they compliment each other as well as their similarities and how they work together quite well.

Because I knew it was a series (a trilogy, I think), I had some expectations about the book that were completely overturned! I didn't expect the story arc to be what it was -- and while that's neither good or bad, I was pretty surprised.

And for those who are wondering, A Darker Shade of Magic has a pretty conclusive ending -- meaning, no cliffhangers!  If I hadn't known, I would have thought it was a standalone! Which is great because you're not completely dying, but also makes you seriously wonder what's going to happen in the sequels (I have an idea what they're going to be about!)

Rating:



A Darker Shade of Magic is a great fantasy book! There has been a lot of buzz surrounding this book and I really do think it is warranted.  I had such a fun time reading this and V.E. Schwab's writing is wonderful! I think a lot of people are going to enjoy this and I would recommend it to fans of Sabriel and Lord of the Rings (or other books like that!)

Erin @The Romance Bookie :)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Amazing Kody Keplinger GIVEAWAY!!!! (USA ONLY!!)

Hey Everyone!

So if you're like me, and a huge Kody Keplinger fan, then you are probably gearing up for the much anticipated release of her latest novel Lying Out Loud!  Well, we are less than 2 weeks away!!!  That's pretty darn exciting!!

And in honor of the release, thanks to New Leaf publishing, I am hosting an AMAZING Giveaway, for one SUPER lucky USA (SORRY International Readers!!!) Winner!

If you win, you will receive:

-the COMPLETE set of Kody's Hamilton High books in HARDCOVER!
-a download code for the audiobook of "Midsummer's Nightmare"
-AND a SIGNED ARC of Lying Out Loud, out April 28th!!!


All you have to do to enter is fill out of the Rafflecopter below, and if you're picked I will email you, and you will have 48 hours to email me your US mailing address, so we can send you this awesome package! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks Everyone!!

The Romance Bookie :)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Erin: The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Meadows

Hello!! I have a review for The Orphan Queen for you!  I love Jodi Meadows! She is such a sweet person and so, so kind to readers!  She's absolutely amazing and I adore her! That said, The Orphan Queen was one of my most anticipated reads of 2015 and I can say that it certainly lived up to my high expectations!


From Goodreads:

Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others.

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.

Erin's Thoughts:

The Orphan Queen is awesome!!! I had such a great time reading it! It's got everything you could want:  thieves, vigilantes, spies, princesses! I mean, what more could you ask for! I loved it! The Orphan Queen was great! It's a really well-done high-fantasy with lovely world building and amazing characters!

I loved Wil! She's such an awesome character.  She's tough, she's fierce, while remaining warm and affectionate to her friends.  She's really relatable despite the fact that I have nothing in common with her, really!

And Black Knife? Ah! You do find out who he is toward the end of the book! And while I see it coming (yay!! I guessed right!), it was still great.  It kept me on my toes and I kept waiting for the reveal to see if I had gotten it right and what would happen after Wil found out and so on!

And aaaah!!! I loved the tension between Wil and Black Knife! It was just so well done! You get to see how their relationship evolves from strangers into friends and then more.  Plus, the mystery of "who is Black Knife?" made everything all the more exciting! There are also clues that Jodi Meadows put in to hint at who he is and I loved seeing it! I loved being excited about who Black Knife might be and I loved guessing who he might be!

Also, the dialogue was phenomenal! It was so sharp and witty while staying realistic and not forced at all.  I don't know how she did it, but the dialogue was just so good! After reading, The Orphan Queen, I read some other books and it only highlighted how awesome the dialogue was (not because the other books had bad dialogue, but because The Orphan Queen was just that amazing!)


Rating:

I'm really looking forward to the sequel, The Mirror King, as well as the four Black Knife Novellas that are going to be coming out!  Ugh, Jodi Meadows is killing me! I can't wait until they come out!!

I highly recommend this book to fans of high fantasy (say, Throne of Glass lovers?) It's an exciting read with a great story and a lot of action! And like I said, SO MUCH FUN to read!

Erin @The Romance Bookie :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Erin: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Hey Guys! Another contemporary read. This book was recommended to me by a friend who told me it was her favorite book of the year.  I can truthfully say that this is one of the most powerful books I've ever read.  It really hits you in the gut and takes your breath away.


From Goodreads:



The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!
 
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
 
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
 
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.
 
This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.


Erin's Thoughts:

That said, I don't think I can talk about this book honestly without any spoilers, so now's the time to look away!!!

***SPOILER ALERT***

I was wholly unprepared for this book.  I was expecting it to be a serious, but overall happy book that would end well-- where the protagonists end up saving each other.  And, unfortunately, it wasn't what it turned out to be (to a certain extent).

I was really mad.  I got to the part where it happened and I was in complete denial.  It was like I didn't want to see it coming -- I ignored all the signs that were there.  Do you ever do that thing where you hope someone isn't really dead?  Like, you hope against all hope that the character has somehow survived even though it's basically impossible? Yeah, that's kind of what happened to me.  I hoped against hope that I was wrong.  That somehow Finch wasn't really dead, but hiding somewhere until he could come out safely.  I even briefly imagined that it wasn't his body they found, but he had murdered someone and was hiding up in the church.  That's how completely delusional this book made me.

I think this was the first book I've read where I wanted to throw the book against the wall.  The minute I read that sentence about Finch's body being found all bloated and swollen, I immediately thought --No, that's not him.  It was just absolutely crazy.  I was so mad that I didn't see this coming, that this completely took me by surprise and I hated that.  I've read enough books to usually be able to predict a lot of the plot points and I hated that it didn't turn out the way I thought it would.  But thinking back, I should have known.  And I feel like if I had known, it would have somehow made everything easier -- like, I would already be in acceptance of his death before it happens.  That said, this book hit me hard.  not that I haven't read books like this before, but for some reason, this one was especially impactful...


I'll be honest.  A big reason why I don't like reading too many books like this, you know, kind of heavy material, is that it bums me out -- and not to say that in a bad way.  I fully believe that books should make you feel if they've done their job right regardless of whether that's joy or pain.  I know it's supposed to be realistic and book can't all be happy endings, but...you know?  That said, I don't regret reading this book or any other book that has a significant death in it.  I do think it's important to read stuff like this because it means something.  To the author and to the readers.  I guess I just wish I had been more prepared.  I was totally blindsided.

***END SPOILER ALERT***

Overall rating:

I guess the reason it's four bookies and not five is that I didn't really feel sucked in the book like I've felt with some others.  But in terms of "feels" this one is like a ten jillion.  Granted, I will admit it's my not usual type of book (as you may well know) which is the main reason my rating isn't a five, but I know tons of people are going to love this book and live it so much.

Sorry the review's a bit of a mess and kind of all over the place, but I literally just finished the book and ran over to my computer to write these thoughts down.

I suggest All the Bright Places to readers who loved The Fault in Our Stars and/or Me Before You.  It's an incredibly powerful book.  I also encourage everyone to read the Author's Note at the end because this book has a special meaning to Jennifer Niven and I think it's important that everyone reads it.

Erin @The Romance Bookie :)