Book Review

ARC Book Review: Far From Normal by Becky Wallace

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 240 pages
Author: Becky Wallace
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Release Date: September 22nd, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From Stealing Home author Becky Wallace comes a Devil Wears Prada-inspired YA romance, in which “normal girl” Maddie must repair the image of Major League Soccer’s bad boy to ace her internship. A perfect read for fans of Morgan Matson and Miranda Kenneally.

Maddie McPherson is sick of Normal—both her hometown of Normal, Illinois and being the ‘normal’ sibling. But when she lands a summer internship with a sports marketing firm, she finally has a chance to crawl out of her genius brother’s shadow. Not to mention, a glowing letter of recommendation could secure her admission to her dream college.

But Maddie’s nickname is “CalaMaddie” for a reason, and when the company tasks her with repairing the image of teen soccer phenom Gabriel Fortunato, she wonders if she’s set herself up for embarrassment. Gabriel is a tabloid magnet, who’s best-known for flubbing Italy’s World Cup hopes. As Maddie works with him to develop “pleasant and friendly” content for social media, she also learns he’s thoughtful, multi-talented, and fiercely loyal—maybe even to a fault. Falling for a footballer is exactly how CalaMaddie would botch this internship, but with the firm pressuring her to get the job done, perhaps her heart is worth risking?

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an eARC. All opinions are my own!

UTTERLY ADORABLE.

I basically read this in one sitting because of how flippin’ precious it was. I was completely smitten with this book and am going to sing its praises in this review.

Originally concerned about the length (under 300 pages), I didn’t know what to expect for my first book by Wallace. BLOWN AWAY sounds about right now. I found this quick, fast-paced young adult rom-com exactly what I needed at the time and had me grinning and laughing throughout. Don’t let the length deter you, this is an absolute gem.

Madeline was a great main character. She was under some intense pressure from multiple forces in her life and at only 17! I liked the way she handled herself, but also still felt like a teenager. It was a great combination that made me feel for and understand Madeline’s motives.

Now the precious soccer player, Gabe? I am SO HERE FOR bad boys with a heart of gold. I’m easy to please when it comes to books with this nature. Gabe and Madeline’s relationship moved well and the pace was steady and absolutely sweet. I love the little dates they went on and the support they were both giving each other.

I love the Devil Wears Prada aspects and started to see them more after I finished it when I sat there unable to think about anything else. There’s plenty of allusions that are fun and quirky that make me think this should be a movie, and that I also need to re-watch TDWP.

AH. I am just in love with this book. Think its the perfect, sweet, YA rom-com you should definitely read if you’re even the tiny bit curious. I can’t wait to read more books from her!

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Contemporary Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: bike crash

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: The Last Ten Books That Gave Me a Book Hangover

Happy Top Ten Tuesday!

Had to think about this one a bit. It’s like the book hangover happens, then I find another book and keep going. I ended up scrolling through my reads from most recently til about last summer and found a great list of books that definitely gave me a book hangover.

I will recommend these books up and down all day. If you haven’t read them, YOU SHOULD.

A Court of Mist and Fury (ACOTAR #2) by Sarah J. Maas

This may be the…fifth? time I’ve read this book since its release and still every dang time, I get a book hangover. I love it so much and I know I subconsciously compare fantasy romance books to it because Rhys and Feyre are forever favorites.


The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

I recently re-read these in just the last month and book two WILL ALWAYS BRING A HANGOVER. One so bad that I feel the immediate necessity to read book three and I know exactly what happens. That’s an amazing series.


Faking Under the Mistletoe by Ashley Shepherd

Review to come in March!

BEST CHRISTMAS READ EVER. I have plans to read it again in December because I loved it so. An indie author that deserves all the praise. This enemies to lovers book is just that fantastic.


New Orleans Rush by Kelly Siskind

You know what’s my favorite? This book is my favorite. Magical and romantic with a solid plot. I can’t wait for her new book this year!


If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka

I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. It is one of the best YA Contemporaries I have ever read. I love the character arc, the sweet romance and the real feel of high school. It has all the things.


Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin

Top debut of 2019. Yup, I said it. THIS WAS AMAZING. I love a good forced marriage plot line. And the romance is MMM SO GOOD YES. Book two is sure to be one of my favorites of 2020.


The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1) by Danielle L. Jensen

Were you waiting for this one? I have made my love for this book KNOWN. I’m even listening to it for a third time in preparation for the sequel. And I’m getting giddy all over again!


The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

Ooooo yes. I read this book in one sitting. ONE SITTING. And an actual I started it in the evening and didn’t go to bed until I had my ending. I loooooved this second chance romance. It left me dazed in the best way.


Air Awakens Series by Elise Kova

I also have a very clear obsession for this series. I binged this all within two months because I couldn’t get enough. Fire Falling probably gave me the worst hangover. The entire series itself was such a masterpiece.


All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

Hoover’s ability to take real and utterly raw emotions of the human condition and make them a beautiful romance that makes you want to cry and cheer all in the same breath is unbelievable on it’s own. And that very long sentence is all this book needs for me to hopefully convince you to read it.

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Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: November 2019

My birthday month is over. And I’m a bit sad about it. BUT NOW IT’S ACTUALLY CHRISTMAS SEASON. Yes, I only truly dive into the Christmas holiday AFTER Thanksgiving. Because that’s how it works.

Put the Christmas tree out yesterday, played some Christmas music and am currently rounding up the gifts I’ll need for this year. Happy Holidays everyone!

Lots of good reading this month. I did DNF three books (Hidden Huntress, The Rage of Dragons and Truth or Beard) which is unheard of for me. I still managed to make it through 20 books though so YAY.

All reviews will be coming out in the next few weeks. I’m ahead of posting reviews vs. monthly wrap-ups. Stay tuned if there’s a book that sounds good to you! (Or ask me in the comments!)

  • Be the Girl by K.A. Tucker – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell #3) by Deanna Raybourn – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Storm and Fury (The Harbringer #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout – (☆☆☆)
  • Imber (Thanatos Trilogy #1) by Tyffany Hackett – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Supernova (Renegades #3) by Marissa Meyer – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga #1) by Elise Kova – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker – (☆☆☆☆)
  • New Orleans Rush by Kelly Siskind – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka – (☆☆☆☆)
  • One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns #2) by Kendare Blake – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Valiant (The Valiant #1) by Lesley Livingston – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Green Rider (Green Rider #1) by Kristen Britain – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1) by Lyssa Kay Adams – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Queen of Nothing (Folk of the Air #3) by Holly Black – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Give the Dark My Love (Give the Dark My Love #1) by Beth Revis – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] The Raven and the Dove (The Raven and the Dove #1) by Kaitlyn Davis – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Rebel (Legend #4) by Marie Lu – (☆☆☆☆)

Favorite books this month: Supernova, New Orleans Rush, The Bromance Book Club & The Raven and the Dove

Least favorite book this month: Storm and Fury

How was reading for you this month? What was your favorite book? Have you read any of these? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

Book Review: Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy
Length: 528 pages
Author: Shelby Mahurin
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 3rd, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

REID & LOU: NEW OTP.

In recent memory I can easily say that this was a book that actually lived up to the hype. I LOVED IT. Barely 50 pages in, I was hooked, and I wanted to savor the rest of this amazing story.

Loved this setting. Loved the writing. Love these characters.

Speaking of, REID y’all. I love how passionate he was (and rather stubborn too), but also very tender and had a big heart beneath it all. I liked the influence his religion played on all of his decisions and emotions. He stayed true to who he was, but also learned to be open and adapt to previously misleading information. He was SO CUTE and I adore him. His love scene with Lou was also unique for YA and I found it absolutely amazing and well done (and that’s all I will say on that to avoid spoilers, but you’ll understand if you’ve read it!).

Lou was a great MC too. I love how much she chooses love. Lou wanted more out of life than what she was handed and sought after those things and I applaud her for it. Her growth was immense and she learned a lot about herself too. It was so appealing to have both Reid and Lou see outside their boxes to learn and understand about one another.

Best friend alert: Ansel & Coco. OH MY GOODNESS. The side characters were fabulous! I loved this just as much as the MCs. They had a lot to offer and actually brought something to the table. Ansel was my sweet baby and I just want to love him forever okay? I beg the universe not to kill him off in the next book, I might shatter. HE WAS PERFECT. Coco was her own fiery beast that I would so be BFFs with. Easy to love, sneaky, loyal, yes yes yes. Beau was a great addition towards the end too. I’m very curious how he’ll play a part in book two.

Lots of action and intrigue in this book. The pacing kept me constantly intrigued. There was a steady flow of things happening, to slowing down a bit, and to not notice that this book was 500 pages is a stellar job all on it’s own. I enjoyed the villain immensely more than I even considered I might. They threw in some twists I didn’t see coming and were seriously, heinously evil. I will clap for that because I hate a wishy-washy bad guy.

BOOK TWO, I NEED YOU.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: strong language throughout
  • Romance: kisses, make-outs, a detailed love scene
  • Violence: magical, blood magic, physical, knives, swords, poison, paralysis via drugs, torture, arrows

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