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!


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 :)