Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Boy is Back (ARC) by Meg Cabot and 2016, the year from HELL!

Hello Everyone,

I know I have been absent for a few months now, since the beginning of my school semester.  And while school has been keeping me busy, there have been other things that have happened in my life.

So before I go into my last review of 2016, I want to tell you guys something that has changed my life forever.

On Wednesday September 14th around 5:30 pm my entire world was turned upside down.  My dad, at the age 46, suffered from a major heart attack.  It happened at home, while my brother and him were working on a project together.  The ambulance came, and the paramedic were able to resuscitate him; but unfortunately the damage had been done.

On Thursday September 22nd, 2016 at 6:25 pm my dad died from brain damage, caused by the lack of oxygen during the heart attack.  My dad is my hero, and will always be.  He was the most hard working person I have ever met, and he has always inspired me to go after my dreams.

To say things have been hard is an understatement.  I find myself bursting into tears all the time at the smallest memories of my dad.  I want to talk to him one last time, even if it is in my dreams.  I miss him so unbelievably much.  Losing a parent sucks.  I know, not the best description, but really it sucks.  I find myself fighting for air, it feels like a piece of my chest has been ripped out, and constantly have the most awful feeling in my stomach.  It feels like someone has punched me.  In the past, when I got this feeling, I was able to change whatever was bothering me, but now...there is no way to change these awful feelings.

However, life must go on, no matter how hard, and I know my dad would have wanted us all to continue working hard and fighting for what we want.

Back in early May, my boyfriend of three years proposed.  He has been my biggest rock.  He was by my side 24/7 during the week my dad was in the hospital.  A god-awful experience that no one should EVER have to experience.  He has continued to be there through every tear and is always there to hear any memory that pops into my head.  My dad, my fiancé, and I had started planning our wedding.  We were about to put the deposit down for our February 2018 wedding.  We were going to do a giant family trip to Walt Disney World in Florida, spend an entire week together, and end it with the wedding ceremony in Epcot in the Japanese Tea Garden in the World Showcase.  My dad was so excited!  He was going to make an entire road trip for my mom and him out of it.

But now that will never happen.

Walking down the aisle without my dad, is impossible to imagine.  However, after everything that had happened there was one thing that truly sunk in.

Life is short and can end in an instant.

So on Tuesday October 4th, 2016  my fiancé and I; with his parents, my mom, brother, family friend Mark, and my aunt and uncle who were here from Germany to help with everything; got married in an outside ceremony at the county.  While it wasn't the wedding that neither him nor I ever imagined, it turned into an almost perfect moment.

On our way home that evening, after dinner, we drove past the beach, and over the Pacific Ocean coastline there was the most beautiful orange sunset I have ever seen.  Tears came into my eyes, because in that moment I just knew that my dad was watching over us and was happy and proud of Vincent and me.

Since then, we have found ourselves settling into the married life fairly easily.  He has been the only thing keeping me going through all of this.  He encouraged me to keep going to classes, and he helped me get through this semester while still continuing the accomplishment of straight A's.

But anyway, I wanted to let you all know, because for one, I wanted all the readers to know I really appreciate all the support this past six years.  December 12th, marked 6 years of the Romance Bookie!! SIX years!!  And while life has gotten crazy, and The Romance Bookie has slowed a bit, I still appreciate all the support in the past, present, and future!

If you or anyone you know wants to help in anyway, my mom and brother can use all the help possible to help pay for the upcoming hospital bills coming our way.  My dad unfortunately did not have any health insurance, and found out while he was in the hospital that just him staying in the ICU bed each night cost us $7,100 A NIGHT.  That does not include any of the medicine, the ambulance drive, the heart surgery my dad had, or any of the other procedures that occurred during my dad's stay.  A family friend set up a GoFundMe account to help us.  https://www.gofundme.com/jensreupsch.

While I know this is probably one of the most depressing posts ever, I did not want to end this year like this.  So I decided to end this post with a review from a book whose writer has continuously gotten me out of some hard times.  She was there for me in high school when all of my "friends" abandoned me, she made my first couple of years of college a little less lonely, and she was always there to make me smile through her words.

SO here is my review of Meg Cabot's latest release, The Boy Is Back, which was sent to me back in August, but which I never got a chance to read until now.

So Meg, if you happen to be reading this, thank you again for your support, and I hope I can still receive your books in the future, but if not, you know I will be first in line to buy my copy.


From Goodreads:



From New Yorks Times bestselling author Meg Cabot comes the sweetly humorous story of a man who has to face his past in order to find his future.
Sometimes to move forwards, you have to go back...

Sometimes to move forward, you have to go back...

One post. That's all it took to destroy the care free, glamorous life of pro golfer Reed Stewart.  One tiny post on the Internet.

Then again, it's not like Reed's been winning any tournaments lately, and his uncle isn't the only one who says it's because of the unfinished business he left behind back home in Bloomville, Indiana -- namely Reed's father, the Honorable Judge Richard P. Stewart, and the only girl Reed ever loved, Becky Flowers.

But Reed hasn't spoken to either his father or Becky in over a decade.  

Until that post on the Internet.  Suddenly, Reed's family has become a national laughingstock, his publicist won't stop calling, his siblings are begging for help, and Reed realizes he has no other choice: He's got to go home to face his past...the Judge and the girl he left behind.

Becky's worked hard to build her successful senior relocation business, but she's worked even harder to forget Reed Stewart ever existed -- which hasn't been easy, considering he's their hometown's golden boy, and all anyone ever talks about.  It was fine while they were thousands of miles apart, but now he's back in Bloomville.  She has absolutely no intention of seeing him -- until his family hires her to help save his parents.

Now Reed and Becky's can't avoid one another...or the memories of that one fateful night. 

Can the quirky residents of Bloomville bring these two young people back together, or will Reed and Becky continue to allow their pasts to deny them the future they deserve?

This warm, thought-provoking book, told entirely in texts, emails, and journal entries, is as much about the enduring bond of families as it is about second chances at love, and will delight as much as it entertains.

My Thoughts:

So it's been quite some time since a new book in The Boy Series, 2004 to be exact.  I read the first three books in the series quite some time ago, I want to say back in high school, but Becky and Reed did not disappoint!

When I first read this series, I remember being a little skeptical about whether or not I would like a book written in completely text messages, emails, and other forms of media.  I ended up loving it.  The stories flowed way better than I ever expected!  All questions were answered, the story was explained in a unique manner, while still being thorough!

The Boy is Back, released 12 years after the last novel in the series, brings back a continuation of the series, that can also be a stand-alone, to bring back the flirtatious form of writing we all grew to love with the Boy Series!

Becky, Reed, Marshall, and the other lovable characters bring to life the sense of humor that I have grown to love in Meg's writing over the past 12 years.

Overall Rating:

It's Meg Cabot...enough said!  Of course I would recommend anything by Meg Cabot in a heart beat!

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year, and I hope to be back in 2017!

Love from,
The Romance  Bookie 💜





Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Perfect Panel of Authors by The Romance Bookie

Hello Everyone!

I know it has been a long while.  Things have happened in my life, that I will go further into detail in the next post.  But anyway, I was asked by Eventbrite to do a post where I describe my Perfect Panel of authors that I would love to see that a book event.  Dead or alive.

So to celebrate my just having finished my last assignment of my second-to-last semester before I receive my Bachelors Degree, I will be sharing with you my list!

The panel I would like to see is:

JK Rowling
and
Stephenie Meyer

I know I know, no Meg Cabot on this one.  But here's why:

These are last two big authors that I have not been able to meet.

Plus as much as some people do not like one of these author's books, I believe they would go good together for a panel, because they wrote two of the most popular phenomenons of all time.

Now I know there will be nay-sayers, but just keep something in mind...this is MY DREAM PANEL!  NOT YOURS!

I loved both of these series growing up!  Harry Potter I read throughout elementary, middle, and high school, until the last book came out my sophomore year.  And then Twilight came into play my senior year when I bought the first book at my school's book fair.

As much as some people have negative things to say about Twilight, and while yes, it isn't my number choice anymore, it will always hold a very special place in my heart, because that series got me out of some lonely times.

Meeting these two authors, would be achieving two goals on my list!  :)

The Romance Bookie

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Blog Tour: It Ends With Us (ARC) by Colleen Hoover (w/GIVEAWAY!)


I haven't done a book tour in quite some time.  I would say it has been at least a couple of years!  But when I was given the amazing opportunity to be a part of Colleen Hoover's latest release, It Ends With Us, I knew I had to be a part of it!  Especially since it is summer, I am home more often than during the school year, and it just couldn't have worked out better!

So time for the review! :)

Description From Goodreads:

Image provided by Publisher for Blog Tour


Sometimes it is the one who loves you who hurts you the most.

Lily hasn't always had it easy, but that's never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants.  She's come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up -- she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business.  So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily's life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, maybe even a little arrogant.  He's also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily.  And the way he looks in the scrubs certainly doesn't hurt.  Lily can't get him out of her head.  But Ryle's complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.  Even as Lily finds herself becoming the exception to his "no dating" rule, she can't help but wonder what made him that way in the first place.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan -- her first love and a link to the past she left behind.  He was her kindred spirit, her protector.  When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer.  Combining a captivating romance with a cast of all-too-human characters, It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

My Thoughts:

Wow!

WOW!

When the description says this book was "heart-wrenching", they seriously aren't kidding!  I cannot even tell you how often I felt that jump in my chest, when I was reading It Ends With Us!

The emotions going through me, as I was reading were love, sadness, happiness, then Colleen decided to reach into my chest and just squeeze my heart until it was rung out to the extreme!

This book was honestly not what I was expecting!  I was going "la la, what a nice lovely story.  Oh poor Lily as a child..." and then...

BAM!!!

Nothing is like you thought!

Now don't get me wrong, that isn't necessarily a bad thing!  In fact, with It Ends With Us it worked so well, it was really hard for me to put it down!  At times I will admit, however, that I did have to put it down.  So many feels were going through me, I was just in shock.

Colleen did such an amazing job of allowing her readers to understand why people make the decisions that they do.  I wanted to be mad so often, but as I kept reading, I was like, "Oh God, I can see why".  It was so hard to going through what these characters went through.  I can't imagine being in that situation!  When Lily was first describing her parents' relationship, I was so mad at her mom.  I couldn't believe that first of all, someone would put up with that, but second how someone could let their child be exposed to a relationship like that.  I have always thought of that when I heard about abusive situations.  But as I read on, slowly I found myself begrudgingly understanding more and more, until ultimately I was questioning the final decisions myself.  I couldn't believe it.  It was so hard for me, because I had always been set on my decisions if I ever found myself in a situation like this.

It Ends With Us really showed me that you never know until you've actually gone through the situation yourself.

My Rating:



I highly recommend this one!  I don't want to say it was a life changing story for me, but it just might have been!  It changed my views so much, that I have started questioning a lot! I highly recommend checking one out if you get a chance!

You can get your copy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, and iBooks!

You can also enter this awesome giveaway, where YOU could win a SIGNED copy of It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Romance Bookie :) 

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Defending Taylor (Hundred Oaks #7) by Miranda Kenneally

Hello Everyone!

Another review for you!

This time of the newly released Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally!

From Goodreads:



There are no mistakes in love.

Captain of the soccer team, president of the Debate Club, contender for valedictorian: Taylor's always  pushed herself to be perfect.  After all, that's what is expected of a senator's daughter.  But one impulsive decision-one lie to cover for boyfriend-and Taylor's kicked out of private school.  Everything she's worked so hard for is gone, and now she's starting over at Hundred Oaks High.

Soccer has always been Taylor's escape from the pressures of school and family, but it's hard to fit in and play on a team that used to be her rival.  The only person who seems to understand all that she's going through is her older brother's best friend, Ezra.  Taylor's had a crush on him for as long as she can remember.  But it's hard to trust after having been betrayed.  Will Taylor repeat her past mistakes or can she score a fresh start?

My Thoughts:

I love Miranda Kenneally's books!  They are seriously so cute!  Every time one comes out I order it immediately!  Defending Taylor came out last Tuesday, and while I forgot to preorder my copy, I did order it the day it was released, and thanks to Amazon prime got it by Thursday.

I am past those days where I can devour a book in one sitting, however, I did read it fast!  Especially for the fact, that in recent months it has taken me months to get through a single book!

Anyway, overall I truly enjoyed Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally!  While technically this book is a standalone, and can absolutely be read by itself, it is a part of the Hundred Oaks series.  It was a cute read that did a great job from getting me out of my head, and into one of my favorite places!  It was like a much needed vacation!

What I liked most about Taylor was that even though she was having a really hard time, I loved how confident she was and how for the most part she really stood for herself, especially around the mean-girl at her new school, Nicole.

Ezra, the love interest of the book, was interesting.  It surprised me that his secret would be such a big deal to his family, but I guess the world isn't always such an accepting place.

The character that randomly bothered me a bit was Taylor's mom.  I thought she was really judgmental and really wasn't there for Taylor when she really needed her.  And while at the end things look a little more up for Taylor, I still felt that Taylor's mom could have said something to her, like Taylor's dad did.

 Randomly I really liked Taylor's sister, Jenna.  Jenna, while having a forefront that was very mature and politically acceptable for the family, she also had her wild crass side that I really enjoyed, even though she only showed up a few times throughout the book.

This next thing has nothing to do with Miranda or her writing, it is more me talking about people in general: I know Taylor messed up big time, especially for the fact that Taylor's dad is being possibly reelected for Senator, but I just couldn't believe how unsupportive her family was!  They knew Taylor was in a bad place in her life and yet were not there for at all.  I get that they were disappointed in her, but that doesn't mean ignoring your child!

Overall rating:


I really did enjoy this one!  It was a great read to get me away from things happening in my life right now!  Just what I needed, and I really appreciated it!  I will say this though...the back of the book says that Defending Taylor is for ages 14 and up.  I personally don't agree with that.  There is some pretty strong sexual content (involving oral sex), and while things don't go into detail, it was HEAVILY implied.  I work with elementary school kids, and personally I think they know way too much than they should.  I believe a lot of that has to do obviously with the internet being so prominent (OMG I SOUND LIKE MY MOM!!!!!), but also because what the kids are surrounded by.  Books are one of those things.

While, yes I admit, I was pretty naive and innocent at the age of 14, I did not know about a lot of sexual acts, including female oral sex (I know, I know, but you aren't born with that knowledge!!!).  I just believe that if a parent were to go to the book store, find this book for their 14 year old daughter, thinking it was appropriate for a 14 year old, but not knowing there was oral sex in it, and other things, and they weren't okay with letting their daughter read that, then they would be mad.  Rightfully so!

So personally, I would put the age rating up to 16.  Which I know doesn't seem like all that much of a difference, but the maturity level between a 14 year old and a 16 year old can sometimes be pretty immense!  I may be overreacting, but I am just sad with how some of these kids are growing up knowing way too much way too early, and I'd like to keep their minds as innocent as long as possible.

However, I really did enjoy it!  It is a super cute easy read, for anyone looking for an escape!  I highly recommend it!

The Romance Bookie :)


Friday, July 8, 2016

Life, Book Blogging, and the Bad Rep it has Gotten (Random Post #15)



I realized something about myself the other day...I read when I'm sad, and going through a hard time. It's my out, when I want to get my mind off things, and just escape.

Now don't get me wrong, I DO LOVE TO READ!  Reading has helped me from hitting that low in life where you just want to give up completely.  It's always been there to cheer me up, at least somewhat, when things have gotten really tough!

But I noticed that I have always read when things were hard when I realized I had read two books in one week when I found out two loved ones in my life had passed away.

I haven't been able to read for months...heck almost a couple of years at this point!  I've been in a very happy place in my life, for the first time in...Ever.  I've always had an amazing family that was there for me, but something was always missing.  I felt really lonely for a long time, because I have always had trouble making friends who truly accept me for who I am.  But then I met Him.

I met Him (I won't be naming him on here) back in 2013.  Our relationship started off a little rocky, mainly because of some not-so-supportive friends, but also other things that I won't bring up on here, but over the course of six months turned into so much more.  It's been over three years now, and I am the happiest I have ever been.  He is the first person to truly accept me for who I am.  He makes me giddy, he makes smile every single day, and he is ALWAYS there for me, no matter what.

He was there for me a week ago when I found out some devastating news.  A VERY close family friend passed away.  I broke down when I found out.  It hurt to breath, I cried for well over an hour, before I was able to even move.  It's never easy losing anyone, obviously, but having that someone there who is there to just hold you, as you are rocking around manically trying to catch yourself, made all the difference for me.

It's been a tough week.  I've been trying to rack my brain around the fact that this person will never be  around again, at least in person.  I will never be able to hear his voice again, or his stories, or talk about how much he meant to my family.

When I was able to calm myself down enough, I did the first thing that popped to mine...I picked up a book.  I headed to my book shelf and picked out a book that I knew I would enjoy, and that would get my mind off everything going on around me.

After I finished that book within two days, I picked up another one (one that I had been reading for months now, but just hadn't had the head to finish, but finished it in an afternoon, even though I still had half of this book left).

As I was writing my reviews, I was also looking at my other posts and realized something...I read when I'm sad.

When I started The Romance Bookie, I felt lonely.  I didn't have any friends that wanted to talk about anything I was interested in.  So I read a lot.

In 2011, the first full year of The Romance Bookie, a lot happened in my life.  My grandmother passed away, my beloved dog passed, and on top of all that my parents were suffering from the aftermath with health problems of their own.  It was an AWFUL year, just one thing after another.  What made that year even more unbearable was just how alone I felt.

I read over 120 books in 2011.  That's ten books a month, and more than two books a week.  I was cranking through book after book, because it was one the thing that was giving me solace in a world where everything was falling apart.

2012 was a little better.  I started hanging out with some old friends from high school, and making new ones.  I still didn't feel 100% like a fit in, but it was great getting out, and I felt I was starting to belong at least a little bit.  I read quite a bit still that year, but not as much as 2011.

Midway through 2013 was when I met Him.  We met through friends and went on a few hiking dates before deciding to be exclusive, because we both weren't into the whole dating around thing.

Since then I've not only become a better person, but I've also found a place where I fit in.  It's like I have found a piece of me that was missing all along.  I know, I know cheesy, right?  But it's honestly the best way to explain it.

Since 2013, my reading has gone way down.  I read when I am absolutely bored out of my mind, and can't find anything else to do.  I've been on an adult coloring kick, so when I get tired of that I pick up whatever book I was last reading, and just read bits and bits, piece by piece, until I eventually finish it.  The only exceptions are books by my absolute favorite authors, because those I buy and devour immediately.

Which brings me to now...2016.

2016 has been both a super exciting year, but also a rather tough year once again.

I got to spend my first New Years living with Him.  We took a week off in January, and during that week got into a car accident, where a woman rammed into the passenger side I was sitting in.  Thank God we were fine.  The car had to be fixed, but besides that and being late for a dentist appointment we were heading to, we were thanking the stars for being ok.

A couple months went by.  And then April rolled around.  It was a Tuesday, and we were both excited for our weekend trip to get away.  We were headed to Santa Monica for the weekend to go to YALL West.  We both headed home in separate cars from my parents house, who live fairly close to our house.  I was about a minute behind, because I had had to do a K-Turn in my parents driveway, when I drove upon the unthinkable.  Him, pulled over on the side of the road, getting out of his car shaking and swerving until he sat down in the grass.  A good size, bigger car had pulled over as well, with the cars front end guts left behind in the middle of the street.  He was in shock of course.  We ended up having to call the ambulance.  I called my dad in a panic, who showed up immediately.  That meant the world to me.  He wanted me to take him to the ER, so I drove there, praying that I would get us there safely.  His shoulder was messed up.  He had rammed it into the side of the car, as the bigger car slammed into him, after running his stop sign.
The car needed a lot of fixing, but luckily it was fixed.  It's been months now, and we've been going to  the chiropractor, doctors appointments, and just anywhere he needed to go, to make it better.  It's been hard, but I've been there for him, just as I know he would always be there for me.

No matter how often I told him, Santa Monica wasn't a good idea, he insisted on going.  I had been looking forward to it for months.  I was finally going to meet one of my all time favorite authors, Simone Elkeles.  And so many others.  We went, I carried all the books that weekend, even though he tried, but I said NO!  He had to sit multiple times as I ran around from table to table trying to get all my copies signed.  He made sure I had a blast.  We got Boba drinks during the small amount of down times we got, and I made sure to get us back to the hotel by early evening, so we could calm down a bit, and order room service.

A couple of weeks after the accident, He proposed.  I said yes, of course.  The easiest question of my entire life.  Marrying my best friend???  Heck yes!!  This was the part that has made this year one of the most exciting of my life.

The next few months were spent with both of us working, and me driving him crazy with my school load.  He was there every step of the way, and encouraged me, and told me I could do it.  I did end up making it.  I finished my first year at university with straight A's both semesters.

Then it was birthday season.  The end of June and beginning of July are filled with birthdays in my family.  Unfortunately, last week is when things fell apart a little bit.

Our friend died.

That friend had been ill for a long time, but none the less, death is never an easy thing.

The day after was my birthday.  My mom took me shopping and to get our nails done.  It was a great way to get my mind off of things, but still not the best thing to have hanging on your shoulders, as you turn 25.

Tuesday was another sad day.  It was the memorial service of one of my dear friend's husband.  He came with me, and was by my side the entire time.  He didn't really know this friend, yet there was no doubt in his mind that he would be there for me during this time.

By then I had finished my second book already, in less than four days.

Two books in four days.  I hadn't done that in years.

Now I'm saying I only read when I'm sad.  But I read a lot when I'm sad.  I think deep down it is because books have always been the one constant in my life.  They have always been there to make me feel a little better.  They have always been my friends.  And while I know that that may sound pathetic, it is the truth.

The Romance Bookie has been the other constant in my life.

It has taken a lot of hard work and dedication to get it where it is today.  And while I know, it is a little run down at this point.  It is still a place I have to go when I want to get creative, and write to those that want to hear it, how the latest book I read was.

I started blogging five and a half years ago.  The Romance Bookie started off with nothing.  Literally. I had one follower for almost a year, and that one follower was me!  I did it for fun, and while yes I hoped others would read some of the stuff that I wrote, I mainly did it for myself.  It was a place to write, read, and get out in a virtual way.

Which is why it makes me sad how bad of a reputation the blogging world has gotten because of those few bloggers who don't appreciate anything, and have the wrong motives for blogging.

Doing this for free books shouldn't be the reason you blog.  It can be seen as an added perk to the job, but in reality this is a non-paying job that someone does for the pure love of it.  There cannot be motives for doing this, except that it makes you happy.


I read an incredible, yet devastatingly true post from Parajunkee.com, a fellow book blogger, and also an author.

Here is what the post looks like, via screenshot...


How sad is it that bloggers need to be embarrassed because of what other bloggers are doing??  Authors are not giving us the same respect anymore, because they have been burned so many times and publishers are being a lot more hesitant.  As they should be!!

But none the less, it saddens me to no end!

Besides the fact that I've been in a much better place in my life these past three years, I think deep down inside, a part of the reason I have slowed WAY down on the blogging is because I was tired of the hierarchy of it all.  No one is better than the other, just because they have more followers.  Most of the time, you know they got their followers that fast, because of the insane amount of giveaways they were holding at the beginning.  That isn't earning your followers!  That is buying them!  It shows that you are doing it to get some fame.  Not because you actually love what you are doing.

I stopped announcing I was a book blogger a while ago.  Especially at events.  Unless it comes up, I don't mention it at all anymore.  I used to proudly give out my business cards, not because I wanted free books, but because I genuinely wanted to meet people who I could discuss books with.  That was why I started The Romance Bookie!  I had friends who thought it was annoying anytime I brought up a book, even though that was my favorite thing to do.  They didn't accept me for who I am, so I wanted to meet people who would!  And while I have met some great people I have also met people like the crooked blogger mentioned in Parajunkee's post.  The one that will send friends from line to line, so they can cut in when they are done in their current line, to get every ARC possible, even though there are people who have waited in line patiently.  The ones who have received WAY more ARCs than anyone else, but yet complain when they didn't get that ONE that someone else got.

Oh what about the bloggers who get a bunch of followers at the beginning, and then turn their nose down when they don't recognize the name of your blog?!

Yeah I've met those people.  And yes it's made me question whether I really want to be in the book blogging community.

In the end, I don't blog for those people though.  I don't blog for anyone but myself anymore.  I do it because it's fun, I do it because I like to share the latest book I've read.  I do it because I am proud to be a reader.

The Romance Bookie :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Run by Kody Keplinger (ARC)

Hello Everyone!

I've got another review for y'all!

I was fortunate enough to get my hands on an advanced copy of Run by Kody Keplinger when I went to YALL West in May, and have been reading it slowly over the past couple of months.  It was really good, but it was a book I needed to be in the mind set to read, so that's why it took me a while.  Plus a lot of things have been going on in my life lately, it's been both an exciting and yet very sad year so far.

But anyway, finally got it done!  So here's my review of Run by Kody Keplinger!

Note:  This is an ARC review!

From Goodreads:



Bo Dickinson is a girl with a wild reputation, a deadbeat dad, and a mama who's not exactly sober most of the time.  Everyone in town knows the Dickinsons are a bad lot, but Bo doesn't care what anyone thinks.

Agnes Atwood has never gone on a date, never even stayed out past ten, and never broken any of her parents' overbearing rules.  Rules that are meant to protect their legally blind daughter -- protect her from what, Agnes isn't quite sure.

Despite everything, Bo and Agnes become best friends.  And it's the sort of friendship that runs truer and deeper than anything else.

So when Bo shows up in the middle of the night, with police sirens wailing in the distance, desperate to get out of town, Agnes doesn't hesitate to take off with her.  But running away and not getting caught will require stealing a car, tracking down Bo's dad, staying ahead of the authorities, and -- worst of all -- confronting some ugly secrets.

My Thoughts:

Run was so much different than Kody Keplinger's other releases.  It didn't have much of the humor, and fun story line that Kody's other books have had.  However, that being said, it was still a really great book!  Instead of focusing on crushes, it focused on friendship.

It had a much more serious outlook on life, and while Kody's other books had serious topics within them, they were an addition to the storyline.  In Run, the seriousness is sort of made up the storyline.

If you're a fan of Kody, then I think you will still enjoy this story.  Just be prepared that it is much different than Kody's other releases.

Overall Rating:


Run by Kody Keplinger is definitely a good read!  It's realistic and deals with both an unusual friendships, but also a disability that is not featured in a lot of books...being blind.  Kody has been pretty up front for years now about her being blind, which is something I really admire about her...that and the fact that she is only (almost) 25, has 7 published books, and had her first book published at 18!  Impressive right??!!  It was really interesting reading from the point of view of someone who can't see the world in the traditional sense, that a lot of us take for granted.  

I recommend this one definitely!

The Romance Bookie :)


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Fairest (#3.5 in the Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer

Hey Everyone!

Got another review finally!  Getting out of this reading rut has been more difficult than anticipated, but I finally got my hands on a good one, and one that I've been dying to get my hands on since its release!

Fairest by Marissa Meyer, #3.5 in the Lunar Chronicles.  This is story about Queen Levana that fans have been waiting for since almost the beginning!

From Goodreads:



In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana's story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her "glamour" to gain power.  But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived in a very different story -- a story that has never been told... until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death.  This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.


My Thoughts:

I was so stoked when I saw that Amazon had the hardcover of Fairest on sale for a little under $9! (It's unfortunately gone up now, but still only $10.58, which is still cheaper than the $17.99 that it is regular price!).  I had just gotten an unexpected settlement from a couple of Amazon's publishers, so it was the perfect time to turn some of that returned money into a new book!

Anyway, I've been really wanting to read this one since its release in January 2015, because after hearing so much about Queen Levana in Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress's stories, I knew it was time to hear side of things.

While this story does not take place during the time that the other Lunar Chronicles take place, it was interesting hearing how Queen Levana grew up and how life events had certain effects on her that we later see in the other Lunar Chronicle novels.

I actually started Winter a few months, a little after receiving it for Christmas, but for some reason I felt I was missing something while I was reading it.  I don't know what it was, but I ended up stopping, and waiting until I had some time to really get into it.

In Fairest we get to see the background story of not only Queen Levana, but also a little more background on Cinder's life, and on Winter, book #4 in the Lunar Chronicles, which was released last Winter.  Plus some of the other characters featured throughout the series come in, like head Thaumaturge Sybil Mira, Jacin, Dr. Erland (which if you look closely and remember the books enough, you'll figure out who he is.  Hint...in Fairest he is introduced by his original name).

Rating:

I loved it!!  It was like reading Wicked, and learning to somewhat understand why the antagonist became the way they did!  I will admit that I did not learn to like Queen Levana as much as I learned to love Elphaba in Wicked, but none the less I really enjoyed this storyline, and with Marissa's writing I was able to zoom through this enjoying every second!  I highly recommend this series!

The Romance Bookie :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Royal Day Out (From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess #1.5) (Novella Review)

Second book done during my summer break, and it's only week 2!!! Okay, okay, so it was a short novella, but it was a Meg Cabot novella, so of course it had to be read of course!! I finished it no time!

From Goodreads:


Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison never thought that being a real life PRINCESS OF GENOVIA could ever be boring, but with all of the news vans and paparazzi staked out in front of the palace, the whole family has been on lockdown for weeks.  So when Grandmere suggests a shopping trip to buy a small present for Princess Mia, Olivia jumps at the chance -- especially since the shopping trips comes with the promise of lunch at the Royal Genovian Yacht Club (makers of the best ice cream sundae in the world)! Surely nothing could go wrong with such a simple day out, could it?

A quick shopping trip with her royal Grandmere turns into a much bigger deal than Olivia Grace, the newest Princess of Genovia expected in this e-short edition to Meg Cabot's illustrated chapter book series From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess.


My Thoughts:

What I like most about this series is the bond between Grandmere and Olivia!  It almost feels like Grandmere has come out of this shell, and now gets to be a true grandma.  That does not mean, I don't think she was a real grandma to Mia, but she has let loose a little.  For instance, in this short, you learn that Grandmere has cut down on smoking because of Olivia telling her it is bad for her health.  She wears nicotine patches, and allows Olivia draw little dog and cat faces on them!  That is so not something that Grandmere would have allowed to happen with Mia back during the Princess Diaries days!

This was a great short read!  Only 31 pages or so!  But also just a great edition to the new series that Meg has come up with! Definitely cannot wait for more!

My Rating:

The best part of this e-short... IT'S FREE RIGHT NOW ON AMAZON!!!

Definitely check it out!

The Romance Bookie :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess: Royal Wedding Disaster (#2) by Meg Cabot

Hey Everyone!!

Oh it is good to be back!  It's Day 1 of summer break (at least from school work) and I've already finished my first book!  I'm hoping to get time to read quite a bit this summer! I've missed it, and The Romance Bookie!

Of course, since a new Meg Cabot book came out last week, I knew I had to make it my first summer read for 2016! It is sadly also the first book I have completed since February 26th!!  How sad!!

But anyway, time for the review!!

From Goodreads:



You are invited to a Genovian Royal Wedding in this second book pulled FROM THE NOTEBOOKS OF A MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCES, a Princess Diaries spin-off series, written and illustrated by New York Times-bestselling author Meg Cabot.
Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison still finds it hard to believe that she's a real live PRINCESS OF GENOVIA.  Not only does she get to live in an actual palace with her newly discovered family and two fabulous poodles (who all love her and think that she's anything but ordinary!) but she also gets her very own PONY!
Of course, things aren't going exactly like she imagined.  Her half-sister Mia is very busy learning how to take over the country while trying to plan a wedding and her father is actually getting remarried himself-to Mia's mother! -and spends most of his time "renovating" the summer palace, although Grandmere says he is just hiding from the wedding preparations.  Olivia hardly gets to see either of them.
Fortunately, Grandmere has her own plans for Mia's wedding, and needs Olivia's help to pull them off.  Just when Olivia starts to think that things are going to work out after all, the palace is invaded by a host of new cousins and other royals who all seem to be angry at Olivia (although Grandmere says they are just jealous).
As the day of the wedding gets closer and closer, Olivia becomes more and more worried.  For such a carefully planned event, it seems like a LOT of things are going wrong...Can Olivia keep this royal wedding from becoming a royal disaster?


My Thoughts:

I was extremely fortunate last year to have received an ARC copy of the first book in the From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess series, and just devoured it immediately, after having just completed the last Princess Diaries book, Royal Wedding.

I think it is great that Meg has started a new series, and even though it is a middle grade read, meaning it's targeted towards the younger readers (I would say 9 and up), it is such a cute read, for both new readers, and old fans of the Princess Diaries series, because we get see glimpses of all our old favorite characters!  They pretty much all make an appearance in this one!  Mia, Michael, Grandmere, Mia and Olivia's dad, Mia's mom, Rocky, Lily, Lana, Tina, etc.  All of our favorites!

Olivia is so cute! Like seriously! So cute!!  She reminds me so much of Mia, especially at the beginning of the Princess Diaries!  

Something that I have been really enjoying in the series is how much Grandmere has changed too!  When PD first started while Grandmere cared about Mia, she was pretty harsh and cold at times, but over the years she grown closer and closer to Mia, and now that Olivia has come around she is just getting better and better and showing emotions!  I love it!!

I also am really enjoying how much Rocky has grown!  NINE years old???!!  I remember when that little guy was BORN!!  He reminds me of my little brother, who is 14 now, and probably wouldn't want to be compared to a nine year old, but there are both wild, and love the outdoors!

I really cannot wait to read more in this series...


Unfortunately now I have to wait a year for the new one... ;(.  But luckily Meg Cabot is releasing a new book in the Boy series in October!! Can't wait to get back into that series!! :)

Hopefully there will be more later!!

The Romance Bookie :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

YALL West 2016

Hello Everyone!

Once again, it's been months!  I know, I know, but life is crazy, and so much excitement is happening in my life right now (details in a later post!).  School is finally slowly winding down, I am down to one week left of my first year at university; which means only one more year to go before I FINALLY graduate with my Bachelors!!!!
Work is crazy as ever.  I really starting to question whether I want to stay there for another year, or possibly look for something else until I graduate next year.

But besides that, there unfortunately has been no time for reading, mainly because when I actually do have a few moments to myself, I am too darn exhausted to even think about picking up a book!  However, that does not mean books have not been on my mind!  In fact, today I got the latest Meg Cabot book in the mail!


Can't wait to dig into this one, hopefully latest by the end of next week, when all my classes are over! :)

And then I also got to go to a SUPER exciting event a couple of weekends ago in Santa Monica!  YALL West!!

We decided to make a whole mini vacation out of it, and booked a hotel for the weekend of April 30th-May 1st.  We left Friday afternoon, and arrived with enough time to check out the Santa Monica Pier!





I will admit, it was rather disappointing.  I hadn't been there since I was seven, and Vincent had never been there.  It was pretty dirty and run-down.  We had dinner at this overpriced, disappointing fish and chip place.  But in the end it was an experience, that we can now say we did! And we were able to be together, and spend time together.

Saturday and Sunday were the days of excitement!

We arrived at Santa Monica High School right before the opening of YALL West!  The gates opened and the long line of people rushed in to get in their respective lines and check out all the awesome stands!



It was honestly such a cool event!  Not only were there incredible authors there, but they were selling books, GIVING AWAY books, swag, and so much randomness!  There was deliciously terrible food! We hit the Boba truck both days!  SO YUMMY!!!  Saturday we got amazing pizza, that Vincent said is the closest thing he's had to New York style pizza, since moving to California!  And then Sunday, since the pizza truck was not there, we decided to give the grilled cheese truck a chance, and I got a macaroni and cheese grilled cheese, which was pretty bomb!

Anyway now to the authors!

On Saturday, I got to meet Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy),  David Levithan (again!), Matt de la Pena, Ally Condie (Matched Trilogy), Siobhan Vivian (Burn for Burn Series, written with Jenny Han), Libba Bray (Gemma Doyle Trilogy), and Simone Elkeles!

Along with these amazing authors, I met some awesome people throughout the day!!  And even saw authors walking around, that I have already met over these incredible past years!


Richelle Mead (Vampire Academy)

Ally Condie (Matched Trilogy)

Libba Bray with Leigh Bardugo in the background!
AND FINALLY the incredible...

Simone Elkeles!! (Perfect Chemistry)
I have been a HUGE fan of Simone Elkeles, since reading Perfect Chemistry in 2009!  She is actually the main reason why I knew I HAD to go to YALL West!  She was incredibly sweet, and signed EVERY SINGLE Copy of her book! I own them all, so it was A LOT!!  She was amazing!  Thank you Simone, if you read this, because you 100% made that incredibly stressful week worthwhile!

After Simone, we got to go back to the hotel to relax and order room service in.  We were exhausted and definitely needed it!

There was a bit of a bummer on Saturday!  I had gotten conversation tickets to see Rainbow Rowell, and had thought they allowed me to go to the signing, but it turned out that was a separate wristband! So once again I was missing my chance to meet Rainbow!  I missed her in 2014 at FOB too, I had waited in line, only to find out I couldn't get my copy of Fangirl signed because I didn't have a ticket from buying the book at the bookstand at the event (I had bought mine in advance!). 
I got so lucky though, because the amazing Sara at What a Nerd Girl Says, was in line and got me my copy of Rainbow's Fangirl signed!  I wasn't able to meet her myself, but hopefully one day!! :)

Sunday was a bit more calmer!

I had to carry less books, and was able to walk around and actually enjoy some of the stands!  

I not only was able to snag a TON of ARCs, but also bought TWO books shirts, and WON another one!  I started the weekend with owning NO book shirts, and left the weekend with THREE!!!!  

Sunday I met Jennifer Niven (again!), Kody Keplinger (again!), Christina Lauren (again!), Veronica Roth (FINALLY!!), Margaret Stohl (again!), Kami Garcia, Alyson Noel, Melissa de la Cruz (again!), and Susanne Colasanti!

I can't even tell you how blessed I feel, that I was able to meet so many authors a second time!  Both Jennifer Niven and Kody Keplinger I met last year at Pasadena Loves Ya; but this year I was able to actually get my copy of All the Bright Places signed, which was sold out last year.  And for Kody, I wanted to meet her again, because she is just so much fun!  Vincent and I got SO lucky!! As we walked by one of the book tables, they were GIVING AWAY ARCs of Kody Keplinger newest book, Run, coming out next month!!  I can't even tell how stoked I was on this!! I had been so disappointed when I saw it wouldn't be available until June, because I wanted an excuse to meet Kody again!!

Veronica Roth, is an interesting story! I have actually tried getting Veronica to sign my copy of Divergent, THREE times!!  The first time being my first year at Festival of Books in 2014, the line had been RIDICULOUS!!  The second time being the day before at YALL West, but the line had been also absolutely ridiculous!!  People were standing in line for over three hours!  I was like, NO!  I was not going to waste away my day!  But Sunday, I tried again, and third time must be the charm, because not only was Vincent able to snag me a wristband for the signing line, but it wasn't nearly as long!  I ended up waiting maybe 40 minutes, and that was with having arrived twenty minutes early, before the signing actually began.  
But yes, I FINALLY got my copy of Divergent signed!!

Afterwards I had to rush to meet Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia, so I could finally complete my copy of Beautiful Creatures (I had Margaret Stohl sign it in 2014 at FOB), and my copy of Beautiful Darkness!

And then, luckily I still had enough time to run over to the Alyson Noel line to have her sign a short story I had from her!  I ended up getting an ARC of her latest book Unrivaled, which of course I got signed right away! :)

Afterwards I had a chance to walk around a bit, and enjoy some of the stands!  There I was able to pick quite a few more ARCs, which was awesome!!  During that time I was able to meet Melissa de la Cruz again, so she could sign my copy of Skinny Dipping (the second book in the Au Pairs series).  

Before heading to the last signing I ran into Jessica Spotswood (Born Wicked), who I hadn't met since 2012, when I went to Passion and Prose!

And last our weekend ended with me meeting another author I've been waiting years to meet...Susanne Colasanti!  She was so sweet! It was actually her birthday that day, and she told me how she was able to go to the beach in California (she lives in New York)! 




Jennifer Niven (All the Bright Places)

I got a photo this year with Kody Keplinger (The DUFF)!!

Got to meet Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard) again!  Had plenty for them to sign again, since the last time I met them was 2014!


Veronica Roth!!! (Divergent)
 
Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Beautiful Creatures Series)
 
Alyson Noel
 
Jessica Spotswood
 
Susanne Colasanti
So much awesome stuff that weekend!!  Not only did I meet so many awesome authors and people (including my friend Lourdes again, who I hadn't seen since 2014 at FOB!!!), but I also got to add so many awesome new books to my signed collection!  A HUGE Shout-out to Lourdes!!  Not only did she get my copy of Hollow City by Ransom Riggs signed, she also got me in line for a bunch of awesome stuff!!

Books and so many books!

My ARC haul from the weekend!

My overall signed book, ARC, and swag haul!


Got this awesome bag with John Green quote!

Got more of my Christina Lauren books signed!


Libba Bray




Added Siobhan Vivian's signature! (I met Jenny Han in 2014 at FOB)





Added Kami Garcia's signature to this one!





All my Simone Elkeles copies!

Simone even added a signed Perfect Chemistry series poster!!


The one and only book I paid for my entire weekend!



Each of these anthologies had stories from authors that were there that weekend

My ARC haul!


Managed to snag a Jay Asher ARC!





MY THREE AWESOME NEW SHIRTS!!!


I carried all of these books around that weekend!! SO MANY BOOKS!! I bought one at the event, the pile on the left I got there, and the rest I brought all with me from home!
I also got a new kindle cover before the trip, because my old one was FULL of signatures.  All of these are from YALL West weekend!  Featured are: Richelle Mead, Jennifer Niven, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Alyson Noel, David Leviathan, Susanne Colasanti, Jessica Spotswood, Simone Elkeles, Libba Bray, and Kody Keplinger.

Such a fun memorable weekend!! :)

The Romance Bookie :)