Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With

Y’all, I am on the struggle bus for today’s Top Ten Tuesday!

I had a hard time deciding on anyone I’d switch places with and consulted my entire read shelf on Goodreads to help me decide.

I finally came up with a list though!! And have made it another week. Let’s go.

As usual, in no particular order:

America || The Selection Series

Someone messed up and I feel like I missed my calling as a Princess. I clearly was in the wrong place at the wrong time to ever meet a Prince (but don’t tell my husband).

Elizabeth Bennett || Pride and Prejudice

“You have bewitched me body and soul and I love, I love, I love you.” I have a lot of book boyfriends and they are definitely motivating my choices in this line-up.

Asha || The Last Namsara

I really want a pet dragon. Asha has a pet dragon. I would like to switch places with Asha.

Feyre || A Court of Mist and Fury

Another book boyfriend, my High Lord, Rhys. Yeaaaaaah. I’d switch places with Feyre easy, he’s mine.

Lara Jean || To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Peter K. is a precious cinnamon roll who is too much of a sweet-heart for his own good. I also would love to spend a lot more time baking than I do. I can smell the cookies now…

Lira|| To Kill a Kingdom

Yes, I know she’s a siren but I am highly obsessed with mermaids and all things beach related. I was a mermaid in another life, I am sure of it.

Max || Where the Wild Things Are

Ohh, to have the imagination of a young child. I would love to feel that way again and to be Queen of the Wild Things.

Belle || Beauty and the Beast

I WANT THE LIBRARY. THAT IS ALL.

Also, now that I looked up more about the original story (the cover above) I am interested in reading where the phenomena came from.

Nova || Renegades

I’m not quite sure I would specifically want Nova’s never sleeping power, BUT I think it would me major fun to have some sort of super power. There’s so many to choose from in this series!

Anna || Anna and the French Kiss

I can’t be the only one who has had a fantasy about going off to a foreign country and meeting someone. And how absolutely precious is Etienne St. Clair?

All finished! Would you consider switching places with any of the above? Let’s talk in the comments!

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Tag

Book Tag: Beauty and the Beast

Book Tag Saturday! I saw this over on Justine’s blog (Bookish Wisps) and since Beauty and the Beast is one of my top Disney movies ever, I couldn’t resist!

Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Mention the creator → Kirsty @ Kirsty and the Cat Read.
  • Match a book to each of the songs/characters below.
  • Tag as many people as you like.

“Tale As Old As Time” – A popular theme, trope or setting you’ll never get bored of reading

Enemies to Lovers. I will never not love the hate and angst that turns into crazy passion between characters. I LIVE FOR IT.

Belle – A book you brought for its beautiful cover that’s just as beautiful inside too. 

I LOVE watermelons and thought this cover was gorgeous and clever. And the book itself was the same way. It’s about a young girl struggling to understand her Mom with schizophrenia. The portrayal of mental health is poignant.

Find my review here!

Beast – Book you didn’t expect much from but pleasantly surprised you.

I just finished this book a few days ago and it definitely was a pleasant surprise. I was afraid it might be on the shallow side, but the darker portions really brought out the deeper meanings of the story.

Gaston – A book that everyone loves that you don’t

While this isn’t my biggest unpopular opinion, it is one that I know may seem crazy. I didn’t hate this series, but I never felt totally connected to the plot and characters. I think the slower pace kept me from falling in love with them.

Lefou – A loyal sidekick you can’t help but love more than their counterpart

SEVRO! I love Sevro so much. He is one of my favorite sidekicks ever. I do love Darrow, don’t get me wrong, but I love everything Sevro says and does.

Mrs. Pott, Chip & Cogsworth  – A book that helped you through a difficult time or that taught you something valuable

I think the reason I love this book so much (and the series) is that it helps me through difficult times every time I pick it up. It’s the first book I go to in a reading slump, when I am feeling really down and a hundred other reasons. Feyre’s emotions remind me often of my own dark places and how she finds her happy ending reminds me that I have one too.

“Something There” –  A book or a series that you weren’t into at first but picked up towards the end

I read the first book in the series and liked it, but didn’t think about looking for the second book.

Fast forward a year or two and I saw the second book at the library, thought, “why not?,” and LOVED it. Then I was able to snag book three, The Winter of the Witch, from Netgalley and fell even harder.

This is now one of my all time favorite series. If you’re looking for a fantasy book, seriously, pick these up. They won’t let you down.

“Be Our Guest” –  A fictional character you’d love to have over for dinner

Rhys, The Most Handsome High Lord. This needs no explanation. I know I’m not the only one that would want this.

Not tagging anyone, but feel free to do this!

Instagram || Goodreads

Publishing Day

Happy Publishing Day: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (ACSDAL #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

Happy publishing day to an inventive and dark Beauty and the Beast retelling! I was immersed in the story and am excited for the second book. Plenty of monsters, romance, strong heroines, and overcoming barriers that will keep you on your toes.

Thank you again to Bloosmbury and Netgalley for the e-ARC.

Book Summary:

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Find my original review here and make sure to add this to your TBR!

Book Review

Review: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

Rating: ☆☆☆.5
Audience: Young adult fantasy re-telling, no language, a little love, some violence, disability rep
Length: 496 pages
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Expected Release Date: January 29th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin. 

*Note: I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Bloomsbury YA, for the opportunity to read A Curse So Dark and Lonely. Publication date, length, etc. subject to change.

OVERALL, PRETTY GOOD.

I think the hype from this book did get me a little. I did really enjoy it, and got through it fast, but it wasn’t everything I expected it to be. I was completely pulled in for the first few chapters, and it’s comforting “knowing” (since it’s a re-tell) what’s going to happen and reading the take the author spun on it.

I’ve read a good handful of B&TB (Beauty and the Beast) re-tellings. Everywhere from a loose interpretation (like ACOTAR) to much closer lines (such as Hunted by Meagan Spooner). This falls in the latter category of a very parallel story line.

Some awesome points are the disability representation in the main character, Harper. She has high-functioning cerebral palsy. Harper is capable and strong-minded. Her disability does not define her and she takes it with grace and resilience to still do whatever she wants too. Double points for her love interest, Rhen, never talking down about her either.

I’m not sure that the contemporary aspect (Harper is kidnapped from D.C.) is truly necessary. There wasn’t enough back story to her family, lifestyle, etc. We only know that’s where Grey takes the girls from. I think it could’ve all been done in Emberfall and would’ve still been a unique take on B&TB and would have dampened the “kidnapper vibe.”

I was totally crushing on the castle, y’all it made food every day. Always having food prepared and music to listen too, yeah I could’ve stayed there. Beast or no beast.

Grey should’ve had his own POV. It appears that this is a series (did not know that originally) and he’ll get one in the next book, but a lot of ACSDAL was focused on him, he needed a bigger spotlight. I might have liked him more than Rhen most of the time. He seemed to have a more interesting history that I wanted to know more, more, more of. The twist for him was thrown in so randomly I was thrown off, then realized that must be the set-up for the next book. So I get it, and I love Grey enough to read the next book.

Jake and Noah are a cute addition that I think would be fun to explore their relationship more. Jake was in my face a lot and annoyed me. I think Noah was the real takeaway winner for me. I do think it was a bit convenient that Noah was a doctor *shrugs,* but it worked out fine.

The evil enchantress, Lilith, is cheesy and typical. Her reasons for cursing Rhen were a bit dramatic and petty. Lilith tried too hard and I love to hate corrupt characters which made it disappointing to deal with her.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy, B&TB re-telling
  • No language; Excessive use of the phrase “my lady” though
  • Romance: some kisses
  • A lot of violence: knives, guns, attempted suicide
  • Trigger warnings: discussion of suicide, and attempts
Book Review

Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty

 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy, kiss & love scenes, minor violence, no language
Length: 352 pages
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: January 28th, 2014
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

A RETELLING FOR THE WIN.

I’ve heard for awhile now about this book, but didn’t know if I would like it so it sat on my TBR for a loooong time…

I wish I would have read this sooner!! It is definitely Beauty and the Beast-esque. And this was my favorite part.

While the vibe is definitely there, the story played out a long a much different line. The Kindly Ones (somewhere between Fae and Demon), Hermetic language, and Romana-Graecia period were all unique. There is a lot of talk about gods and their dynamic. This confused me a bit because most of it was superfluous. The stories that were necessary I glossed over and wished I had spent more time understanding them to fully unearth the story. But it was too heavy in the folk-lore for me.

“I knew better: there was no power I could buy or steal that would save me from my own heart.”

I adored Ignifex. SO MUCH. I’m a sucker for sass. Especially sass filled evil with a heart. He reminded me of the Darkling (Leigh Bardugo fans out there?). Nyx also held her own. Corrupt hearts was a big theme and the soul of the book. The acknowledgement and appreciation from the main characters for the malice that lies within everyone made for a dark tale. I loved the idea that there’s two pieces to each of us.

Some of the side characters are easy to push off a cliff. Not very remarkable and stand there convincing you to hate them more. Astraia is the most worthy of a good side, but she still annoyed me a lot too.

Without being a spoil-sport this book is not a love triangle. Even if you’re convinced it is. If I had known that beforehand it would have helped me a lot because I almost put the book down. There are also instances of insta-love. While not great, I get it. The book is a standalone. You don’t have the time to make a little more angst of it all. It still played off well and I was able to enjoy a good love story.

A Young Adult book filled with fantasy. No language and the very seldom love scenes are completely glossed over, keeping it appropriate for younger teens. Minor violence, nothing with gore.