Tag Archives: YA

Book Title Buzzwords | DARK

Book Title Buzzwords

I love noticing title trends in the YA world (and in adult books too!) and I can also tell that there are certain words I latch onto. Book Title Buzzwords features books that I’ve read (or want to read) that follow some recent trends! 

There’s something about our nature that’s drawn to darkness. Especailly when reading, sometimes it’s fun and interesting to take a peek into the darker side of life without having to actually experience it ourselves. “Dark” is a work that’s tended to poke its way into book titles recently so here are a few dark titles for you to enjoy!

INTO THE DARKNESS

A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by V.E. Schwab | Book one in the Shades of Magic Trilogy| Tor | February 24th, 2015

Sometimes there are books you try even when you’re not a fan of the author. I ended up finally reading the Shades of Magic trilogy despite my feelings for the author and I’m really glad that I did because this really was a set of books that appealed to my favorite kind of fantasy. I’m such a sucker for anything that involves parallel or alternate worlds and I enjoyed this take on different Londons. I was worried it would be too similar to Neil Gaiman’s NEVERWHERE since I know V.E. Schwab is a huge Gaiman fan and that’s the primary premise of NEVERWHERE but the series really did stand on its own aside from that large-scale concept. I really enjoyed the whole series, although the first book, A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, remainds my favorite of the three.
Find it on Goodreads

THE DARKEST MINDS by Alexandra Bracken | Book one in the Darkest Minds trilogy | Disney Books | December 18, 2012

I really, really enjoyed THE DARKEST MINDS when I read it a few years ago! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and it turned out to be such a wonderful book. I sadly haven’t finished the series yet and I really, really need to. I was intimidated by the size of the second book and then decided to maybe listen to the rest on audio so I had been waiting for a sale to come around. Hopefully this can be something I finish this year or sometime soon because I remember how much I loved THE DARKEST MINDS, although at this point, I totally need a refresher on what happened!
Find it on Goodreads | Review


THREE DARK CROWNS by Kendare Blake | Book one of Three Dark Crowns series | HarperCollins | September 20, 2016

I started reading this book not knowing it was a series and boy. It REALLY threw me off. I was definitely interested in the concept and story but I also felt like a lot more could have happened in this first book. Once I found out it was a series (AFTER it ended), things made a bit more sense but even still, I wanted just a little bit more development from this one. Lots of people REALLY enjoyed it though which is why I’m including in my “dark” list today. I’m not sure if I’ll continue with the series but it was a big hit with a lot of people and I actually really enjoyed the way it wrapped up!
Find it on Goodreads | Review

DARKER STILL…

Dark Triumph - Robin LaFevers kara thomas 

DARK TRIUMPH by Robin LaFevers
Don’t try to put off this series by saying it’s historical fiction. Yes, it is, but I loved this series from start to finish and it is historical but the politics are amazingly worked out, the characters are wonderful, and the romances are soooooo swoony.
Find it on Goodreads | Review

THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST by Holly Black
I still haven’t read this book but I also think it’s a book I’ll appreciate more now than when I first picked it up at BEA a couple years back! I’m glad to still have it on my TBR. I wonder if the audio is good…
Find it on Goodreads

THE DARKEST CORNERS by Kara Thomas
There was soooo much hype surrounding this book before its release. I’m a big fan of mysteries and thrillers so I definitely picked it up! It was a good read from start to finish but it wasn’t as amazing as the hype built it up to be. Still very solid and I’d still recommend it!
Find it on Goodreads | Review

AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White
I’ve actually never had success with Kiersten White’s books but I thought I would give AND I DARKEN a try since it was something totally different. It really just wasn’t the kind of book for me and it was another book that took a lot of time to develop things. Combined with historical fiction (though a reimagined version), it was just not really my sort of read. I actually made it pretty far in the audiobook but ended up deciding not to finish. Others loved it but I could tell it just wasn’t a “me” book! 
Find it on Goodreads | Review


Do you like “dark” books? Are any of these books some of your favorites? Which dark reads would you recommend?

Blog Tour: The Traitor’s Kiss | Book Scents + Giveaway!

Blog Tour: The Traitor’s Kiss | Book Scents + Giveaway!

Welcome to the blog tour for
The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty

I’m so excited to share today’s blog post which is my blog tour stop for THE TRAITOR’S KISS by Erin Beaty! Thanks to the amazing team at Macmillan for having me be a part of the tour and share some of my favorite parts of any book… the scents! Being a candle-maker, I’m obsessed with the different scents described in books and there were a few lovely aromas in THE TRAITOR’S KISS that caught my eye. On today’s stop, I’m sharing some of those and have a special candle giveaway too!

Before we jump into the tour, let’s take a second to check out some details about the book:

Blog Tour: The Traitor’s Kiss | Book Scents + Giveaway!Title: The Traitor's Kiss (Traitor's Trilogy #1) by Erin Beaty
Publishing Info: May 9, 2017 by Macmillan
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: April 18, 2017

An obstinate girl who will not be married.
A soldier desperate to prove himself.
A kingdom on the brink of war.
With a sharp tongue and an unruly temper, Sage Fowler is not what they’d call a lady―which is perfectly fine with her. Deemed unfit for marriage, Sage is apprenticed to a matchmaker and tasked with wrangling other young ladies to be married off for political alliances. She spies on the girls―and on the soldiers escorting them.
As the girls' military escort senses a political uprising, Sage is recruited by a handsome soldier to infiltrate the enemy ranks. The more she discovers as a spy, the less certain she becomes about whom to trust―and Sage becomes caught in a dangerous balancing act that will determine the fate of her kingdom.


BOOK SCENTS: THE TRAITOR’S KISS

Ever since I started making candles, I’ve been so much more in tune with the sensory notes in the books that I read. I feel like aromas in a book are easily skipped over and forgotten once a reader has finished because noticing and committing a smell to memory is such a unique experience that it’s harder hang onto if you haven’t experienced it first hand. I know at least for me, when a book draws on a familiar smell, I’m instantly hit with memories and nostalgia that have the potential to tie me to a book more than any other scenic description so I feel like those smells that add to the atmosphere are not to be overlooked!

Drawing upon my newly heightened awareness, I’ve started keeping tracking of specific scents described in book and how they really paint an even more vivid picture for a reader! Today on Book Scents, I’m sharing some of my favorite aromas from THE TRAITOR’S KISS! They immediately had me thinking back on what fragrances I would use to mimic each experience and I’ve included each one below. (Now how do we make these posts scratch and sniff?)

It still smelled like him. Like the pine pitch and tallow salve Father made for cuts and scrapes.

Inspiration: Sage’s father’s salve
Fragrances: Pine, outdoors, oakmoss

There were honey-colored freckles he’d noticed last night scattered across her nose and cheeks. This close, he could also smell the lavender and sage scents in her dress, which he much preferred to the floral perfumes the other women were drenched in.

Inspiration: The scents of Sage
Fragrances: Lavender, sage, honey

He smelled indefinitely better — like soap with essence of evergreen… clean linen… leather… and something indefinable that left her only wanting to breathe more deeply. 


The scent of his leather jacket mingled with the evergreen shaving lather he used.


This close, she couldn’t help breathing in the scents of leather, evergreen soap, and linen — a mix that was distinctly his.

Inspiration: The scents of Ash
Fragrances: Clean soap, pine, clean cotton, leather, musk

The scent of spearmint with a hint of orange drew Sage to her side.

Inspiration: Sage’s roommate Clare and her tea
Fragrances: spearmint, orange, earl grey tea

The Great Hall was decorated with garlands of spring flowers imported from somewhere much warmer than Tegann, and rushes on the floor released sweet scents as they were trod upon by the multitude of guests.

Inspiration: The Great Hall
Fragrances: Tulips, jasmine, tropical flowers

So what do you think?! Which scents do you think are the strongest sensory inspirations? Which are your favorites?


SECRET MESSAGE & BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

“Well-schooled, high and mighty about it”

Each blog on the blog tour also has a SECRET MESSAGE! Check out each stop on the blog tour to collect all of the messages for one final passage!!

BLOGGER BLOG DATE CONTENT
Brittany Smith http://www.bookaddictsguide.com 20-Apr Scented Candle
Flo Kizza http://www.booknerdsacrossamerica.com/ 22-Apr List of Favorite Literary Female Spies
Becky Vosburg http://www.storiesandsweeties.com/ 23-Apr Guest Post: Intro to main characters with pics
Katie Bartow http://mundiemoms.blogspot.com/ 24-Apr Guest Post: Top 10 Things All Spies Need
Crystal Leach http://bookiemoji.com/ 25-Apr Top 5 Reasons to read The Traitor’s Kiss
Rachel Clarke http://www.fiktshun.com/fiktshun/ 26-Apr Guest Post: Favorite & Most Challenging Scene to Write (and Why)
Mandy Curtis http://foreveryoungadult.com/ 27-Apr Guest Post: YA “matchmaker”
Beth Edwards http://www.yabookscentral.com/ 28-Apr Guest Post: What gave you the inspiration for this book?
Michelle Adams bookbriefs.net 29-Apr Guest Post: Top 5 Things You Didn’t Know about Sage & Quinn
Amy Thau http://www.trippingoverbooks.com/ 30-Apr Mood Board
Michelle Bucud http://darkfaerietales.com/ 1-May Guest Post: What’s the most daring thing you would do for a mission?
Sarah Fletcher https://whatsarahread.com/ 2-May Mood Board
Jennie Cresswell https://booklovingnut.com/ 3-May Playlist
Liza Rodriguez http://quitethenovelidea.com/ 5-May Alternate Cover
Kelly Gunderman http://www.herestohappyendings.com/ 6-May Q&A
Brooke Goldetsky http://brooke-reports.blogspot.com/ 7-May Sage Character Interview
Michelle Santiago http://booksandmakeup.blogspot.com/ 9-May Fancast

GIVEAWAY

Because of the scent inspiration of today’s post, I’ve actually taken one of these concepts and turned it into a candle! The candle giveaway is for one 8oz tin called “Forest of Ash”, inspired by male lead in THE TRAITOR’S KISS with a play on the evergreen scents that are constant throughout his scent. This candle smells like clean pine, cotton, and leather with hints of masculine musk. Open to US entries only. Must be 13 years of age or older to win. Candle giveaway open from 4/20/17 – 4/27/17. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2) – Alwyn Hamilton

Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2) – Alwyn HamiltonTitle: Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2) by Alwyn Hamilton
Publishing Info: March 7, 2017 by Penguin
Source: Received from the publisher for review purposes
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: March 17, 2017
Related Posts: Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands #1)

Rebel by chance. Traitor by choice.
Gunslinger Amani al'Hiza fled her dead-end hometown on the back of a mythical horse with the mysterious foreigner Jin, seeking only her own freedom. Now she’s fighting to liberate the entire desert nation of Miraji from a bloodthirsty sultan who slew his own father to capture the throne.
When Amani finds herself thrust into the epicenter of the regime—the Sultan’s palace—she’s determined to bring the tyrant down. Desperate to uncover the Sultan’s secrets by spying on his court, she tries to forget that Jin disappeared just as she was getting closest to him, and that she’s a prisoner of the enemy. But the longer she remains, the more she questions whether the Sultan is really the villain she’s been told he is, and who’s the real traitor to her sun-bleached, magic-filled homeland.
Forget everything you thought you knew about Miraji, about the rebellion, about Djinn and Jin and the Blue-Eyed Bandit. In Traitor to the Throne, the only certainty is that everything will change.

bookreview1

TRAITOR TO THE THRONE was one of my most-anticipated reads of 2017. I absolutely loved REBEL OF THE SANDS when I read it last year and it wasn’t just an enjoyable book for me — it was one of my favorites from the entire year. I was so incredibly excited to read and ended up being quite intimidated by its size. Before I get into the actual review, let’s talk about some THINGS. The book is over 500 pages long and REBEL was only about 300 (320? Something like that) so 200 extra pages right off the bat was a LOT. Don’t get me wrong — I love long books. They’re amazing when you get lost in them and there’s so much an author can do with so many pages… but I didn’t think TRAITOR needed that many pages. There was a lot of pressure to read this for many reasons (anticipated read, long book, reading for a blog tour, reading on a time crunch, not having finished a lot of books recently and then starting a long book) and that did affect my read a little bit BUT I know that if I’m really enjoying a book, I’ll save something that is lengthy and not dread how much more I have to finish.

TRAITOR ended up being more intimidating than enjoyable and I reached a point where I didn’t feel like things were moving forward. The book is over 500 pages and it spent a lot of time in the same places with not a whole lot of plot moving forward. Some of it I really felt like could have been handled in a few chapters and then we could move forward with really anything. As I’ve said in many reviews before, I don’t “need” action to enjoy a book but this felt like the plot was stagnant. I didn’t feel like the story was moving forward and I really think it could have progressed in far fewer pages. I enjoyed REBEL in part because it was concise and didn’t add extra pages for the sake of drawing out a fantasy novel. Sadly, TRAITOR fell victim to the extra pages and I wonder if that’s because of the success of REBEL. If it was moving, I don’t doubt that I’d want to read all 500+ of those pages but it just didn’t seem to go anywhere.

This is where it will get minorly spoilery. Still just plot points, nothing like reveals or deaths or anything, but WARNING WARNING if you want to avoid any potential spoilers, skip to the next paragraph! 
Soooo I did not like where this book went. At all. Amani ends up being captured and taken prisoner in a harem which felt like such an easy direction to take this book and something I’ve already read so many times. I’m tired of girls being trapped by men, especially when sexually persecuted (although not particularly Amani, but that’s the general idea of being trapped in a harem) and just no, no, no. Amani was FIERCE. She was one of the guys! She was strong! She was independent! She was getting stuff done and JUST discovering her abilities in the first book! All of that got taken away for at least 50% of TRAITOR and I was just so disappointed. Why build up a power to have it taken away in the next book? Why create an awesome, strong female to have her become helpless and trapped? Literally, could not help herself. I guess in the end, she makes some stuff work, but that took for-ev-er to happen. The harem was literally half of the book so I definitely struggled for a long time.

Really when it comes down to it, I just didn’t feel like this was the same tone as the first book at all. The squad is all over the place so there’s a serious lack of squad goals. The author chose to do that book two thing where the couple is split up for half the book, even though the swoons and banter were such a big reason why I loved the first book. There are so many characters on top of the ones that were in the last book so I started to get lost with everyone. As with any series, I kind of got lost with some of the secondary characters since it had been a year since I read the first book and the addition of even more characters started to really lose me. The book also started six months after REBEL so those six months were just kind of summed up and I didn’t get to experience them. Things happened and I had to hear it secondhand… and a lot of stuff had happened. I can deal with time after the first book but it really felt like it was picking up in a whole different place and didn’t quite continue the first adventure.

I’m not sure if I’ll read the third book in this series which is such a shame. Once I hit this point, it’s kind of hard to go back to the point where I had loved this experience. So much of the middle could have been cut out or condensed and TRAITOR could have stayed as action-packed as the first, minimized time apart from Jin, and kept me way more interested. I just don’t even know what to feel about this series now so I guess I’ll wait until the third book comes around and reassess then. As of right now, I just don’t see it happening though.

addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: Not much. You know, it’s sad when I don’t even know what the highlights of this book were for me. I just keep remembering my disappointment and struggle.
Left Me Wanting More: Plot movement. This just need to be far fewer pages and keep the characters more together.

Addiction Rating
Try it

I can’t tell if I’m the black sheep on this one or it really did suffer from second in a series syndrome.

book_recommendations1

BOOKS LIKE TRAITOR TO THE THRONE

(Click the cover to see my review!)

    THE WRATH AND THE DAWN

Top Ten Tuesday: April 11, 2017 – Top Ten Most Unique Books I’ve Read

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic: 
Top Ten Most Unique Books I’ve Read

This is actually a really fun concept because I ended up checking out my same post with this topic from three years ago. Here are the books I listed in 2014:

    

    


I’ve read a LOT of different book since 2014. It’s hard to imagine that that was three years ago! I’ll actually still have some of the same selections but there are also a lot of reads that I’ve chosen since then that I really went outside of my comfort zone to read. Here are my selections, three years later: 

The Raven Boys - Maggie Steifvater

THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater | The Raven Cycle is still one of the most unique series I’ve ever read. Is it magical realism? Fantasy? Paranormal? None? All? It’s a little bit of everything with adventure, danger, magic, and love. I still can’t quite describe what transpires in this series but it’s best if you read it yourself anyway!


BONE GAP by Laura Ruby | BONE GAP was another very cool book that blurred a lot of genre lines and there was a VERY interesting concept/twist that I thought was so well done!


A GOOD IDEA by Cristina Moracho | This book was unique in a way that I wouldn’t normally pick out as unique, but it really did grab me with its differences. I liked the placement set back to the 1990s so everything isn’t always in the present-day. I also liked that this wasn’t a typical murder-mystery or thriller. Essentially the “killer” was already revealed and the characters and readers had to decide what they believed and what was true.


YOU by Caroline Kepnes | This book was… messed up. But it was also really interesting! The book is sort of told TO the character who is the love interest (hence, “you”) and the narrator is Joe, who is 100% messed up and yet you almost really start to understand and sympathize.


KILL THE BOY BAND by Goldy Moldavsky | So this isn’t 100% unique, no one’s ever done this concept before but I feel like satire and dark comedy isn’t done a lot in YA. It’s unique in the sense that I think not a lot of authors are doing it right now and I really had so much fun with it!


MY LADY JANE by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows | Speaking of satire, this book is more Monty Python meets The Princess Bride and it was HILARIOUS.  Magic meets history meets comedy, and it all just worked.


ILLUMINAE by Aime Kaufman & Jay Kristoff | I mean, have you SEEN these books? They’re the first books I’ve seen to really incorporate so many different forms of “files” (hence the series title) including allllll kinds of artwork. Schematics, doodles, chats, letters, pictures, you name it — it’s in here.


trial by fire book cover

TRIAL BY FIRE by Josephine Angelini | I still need to finish this series (maybe the audiobooks are good? Anyone?) but I enjoyed the first book! It actually starts out a little cookie-cutter but I really enjoyed the fanta-sci aspect once I wrapped my brain around it. It was kind of hard to do but also very cool.


MIDWINTERBLOOD by Marcus Sedgwick | This book was beautiful and so incredibly unique. I literally don’t know any other book like it and it’s just one you really have to read to appreciate from start to finish.


WALK TWO MOONS by Sharon Creech | You know what… I’m going to go with an oldie but a goodie. This was one of my FAVORITE books as a kid/pre-teen and I haven’t read anything else that’s given me the feelings that this book has. I re-read as an adult and just SOBBED at the end.


So there are my ten! I actually could keep going but I’ll stop here for now. It’s interesting to see how many different kinds of books I’ve been reading and how my tastes have evolved throughout the years! What are some of your favorite unique reads?

A Good Idea – Cristina Moracho

A Good Idea – Cristina MorachoTitle: A Good Idea by Cristina Moracho
Publishing Info: February 28, 2017 by Penguin
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: February 14, 2017
Related Posts: Althea and Oliver

Can the right kind of boy get away with killing the wrong kind of girl?
Fin and Betty’s close friendship survived Fin’s ninth-grade move from their coastal Maine town to Manhattan. Calls, letters, and summer visits continued to bind them together, and in the fall of their senior year, they both applied to NYU, planning to reunite for good as roommates.
Then Betty disappears. Her ex-boyfriend Calder admits to drowning her, but his confession is thrown out, and soon the entire town believes he was coerced and Betty has simply run away. Fin knows the truth, and she returns to Williston for one final summer, determined to get justice for her friend, even if it means putting her loved ones—and herself—at risk.
But Williston is a town full of secrets, where a delicate framework holds everything together, and Fin is not the only one with an agenda. How much is she willing to damage to get her revenge and learn the truth about Betty’s disappearance, which is more complicated than she ever imagined—and infinitely more devastating?

bookreview1

A GOOD IDEA was interesting from start to finish but my passion for it sort of went in waves. The beginning was interesting but I wasn’t sure where it was going yet. The middle was thrilling and I tore through the book (well, I would have it I wasn’t listening to an audiobook and was forced to read at a level pace). The ending culminated well but got a little out there in regards to how things tied up. I liked the way that the book ended and yet the circumstances as to how the characters resolved the “case” was a little bizarre.

I was excited to pick up A GOOD IDEA because I had loved Cristina Moracho’s debut, ALTHEA & OLIVER. This book was quite different — a mystery/thriller versus realistic fiction — but I do love that both books took place in the 90s. It wasn’t really a “period piece” but I’m guessing that was Moracho’s time as a teen since it’s been revisited twice and I do like that “write what you know” concept in this case. I also enjoy things NOT set in present day because the slight throwback allows for less technology to get in the way. The concept of no cell phones (or at least no smart phones) really breaks that form of constant communication and allows plot to wander instead of technology making things unrealistic. Everyone is not a quick phone call or text away and people don’t have cameras attached to their hips. I appreciate the break from technology and allowing the book to run away with an idea!

This is another book that may aim towards a more mature young adult audience with consistent drug usage, language, and sexual activity. I read a few reviews that felt like these things were overboard but for small town Maine (or small town anywhere) and a lack of technology (not like I know what the 90s were like as a teen), I didn’t think anything was really out of bounds. It wasn’t my personal experience as a teenager but that doesn’t mean it’s unrealistic.

It was interesting to see Finley dig into the past by stirring up questions about her best friend Betty’s murder. Betty “disappeared” and everyone knew she had probably died but without actual evidence, no one really wanted to actually admit it. With a confession in the air (not a spoiler — we know this from the beginning) that didn’t stick, Finley needs to prove that the confessor is actually guilty and that they’re punished for taking her best friend’s life but loyalty gets in the way and made things even more dangerous for Finley. It was really interesting to have an answer from the start and have the characters race through a series of theories and scenarios. Was this confession really what happened? How much more is there to the story? Is it a lie? Is it a cover up for something else? Is Betty even really dead? These are all questions that the characters ask themselves and as the reader, I really started to question everything as well. The obvious answer is presented to the reader at the very beginning, but is it the CORRECT answer?

The ending got a little strange and maybe a bit too dramatic for my tastes. The beginning was pretty realistic, focusing more on the internal struggles of each character that added to the drama and confusion of the overall mystery. The ending got a little too villain-y for me (also not a spoiler because that’s not even in relation to the final answer of the mystery) and it just really sadly turned me off for just a bit. BUT I did like how the very, very end wrapped up and the solid conclusion left me satisfied with the book overall.

Oh, and we also really did find a bathtub in the woods on a hike.

addiction_factor1

Kept Me Hooked On: Books set in the 90s. This book wasn’t really about the 90s but I love the concept of being slightly removed from present day. I wouldn’t call the 1990s historical fiction but I enjoy that there’s a little bit of nostalgia and lack of technology. I’d love to see more books set in the 80s and 90s!
Left Me Wanting More: Realistic endings. Things were so gritty and real and then then ending got a little bizarre for me. I mean, it’s a book so I’m not saying it never could have happened but it just didn’t seem like it would happen.

Addiction Rating
Try it!

This was a really interesting book and I really enjoyed the way it was put together! I liked that it was a mystery and yet the answers were there the whole time, and I thought the character development was really great too.

book_recommendations1

BOOKS LIKE A GOOD IDEA

(Click the cover to see my review!)

    THIS IS OUR STORY

Geekerella – Ashley Poston

Geekerella – Ashley PostonTitle: Geekerella by Ashley Poston
Publishing Info: April 4, 2017 by Quirk Books
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Date Completed: January 16, 2017

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.
Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?
Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

bookreview1

GEEKERELLA, as its name implies, is a play on the classic Cinderella story and that’s one of the things that first attracted me to the book! I’m actually not a big Cinderella fan (I like it just fine but it’s not my favorite fairy tale or Disney movie), but throw “geek” in the title of anything and I am there! I also loved the concept of a contemporary adaptation of a fairy tale because I’ve read so few modern, non-fantasy/sci-fi retellings and Ashley Poston really did a great job of pulling this one off!

Firstly, I loved the characters. They were true to the Cinderella archetypes in many ways but also so uniquely themselves. I loved Elle and her geeky past (and present) growing up watching Starfield reruns with her dad. Her dad loved the show so much that he and her mom would cosplay and they started a whole conference for it, which ends up being a big part of the book. I adored THE GEEK’S GUIDE TO UNREQUITED LOVED, half because it had a con in it and it was amazing. Having attended Book Expo (and other book cons) the last handful of years, the concept has grown close to my heart and I loved seeing book characters enjoy the same things! Connected through the con (amongst other things), is Darien, heartthrob actor and… totally normal dude. I LOVED that Darien was this really big teen actor and just wanted to be a normal, geeky guy. He ends up being cast in the Starfield movie and everyone things he’ll screw it up because he’s known for being a totally different character and no one knows his nerdy side. (Which publicists and media people, whoever you are, let us see the geeky side!!! Don’t suppress it!) Anyway… these two are just adorable on their own and I had a hell of a time shipping them throughout this book!

Elle’s family was truly horrible but I did like that there were some gray areas. She does have an evil step-mom and some awful step-sisters but then there are times where readers realize things aren’t just in black and white. Some villains are still villains but others have a story behind their actions or are just along for the ride. GEEKERELLA was a book about everyone getting a chance to be them — whether each character seized that opportunity was up to them but I really appreciated that they all had the chance to stand up for what they believed in and what the loved.

GEEKERELLA is described as “part romance, part love letter to geek culture” and this is 100% true. Every nerd is geeky in their own way and I love that TV fanatics, comic book nerds, book-lovers, and more can appreciate the general nerdiness of this book and see themselves reflected in the characters. It was a positively delightful reading experience and I find myself gushing about it even more as I’m writing the review. It’s a book that sticks with your feels long after the end!

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Kept Me Hooked On: Geek Chic. I created a bookshelf on my Goodreads account called Geek Chic simply for those adorably nerdy books. This is definitely on there.
Left Me Wanting More: On-screen swooning time. Elle and Darien take a while to actually get together and it was kiiiiilling me. I wished we had seen just a bit more of them together before the book ended.

Addiction Rating
Read it!

If you love cute romances and/or geeky books, GEEKERELLA is totally for you! It also was not like A Cinderella Story and yet it was (a contemporary take on Cinderella and the texting, I guess) so I had happy teen memories while reading it too!

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BOOKS LIKE GEEKERELLA

(Click the cover to see my review!)

    THE SUMMER I BECAME A NERD

Top Ten Tuesday – April 4, 2017: Ten Grishaverse Candles You Need To Own

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TOP TEN TUESDAY
April 4, 2017

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic was fandom related and with the mention of merch, I immediately went to candles!

The other day for a #bookstagram photo prompt, I ended up photographing my Dregs-inspired candles, which is a lot and a little all at the same time! Leigh Bardugo is one of my favorite authors and so I tend to collect a LOT from her books (other editions, candles, etc) but since I’m candle-crazy, I thought it would be fun to share some that I have and some that I still want! (Because I have to eventually get them all…)


KETTERDAM | In the Wick of Time 

This Ketterdam candle smells like the wafting coffee scents from the Crow Club to entice people inside. I own a mini version of this and it’s delicious!! Plus that label is gorgeous. I definitely need to own more candles from Kaylan’s shop!


MAKE ME YOUR VILLAIN | Icey Designs

Ugh, look how gorgeous. These candle labels are seriously to die for! There are so many Dregs/Six of Crows candles out there now that I’m still looking for more Grisha Trilogy candles to add to my collection too.


NO MOURNERS, NO FUNERALS | Lumiere Candle Shop

I’ve had my eye on this one since this shop opened but still haven’t shelled out the money for it yet. I love the darkness and the crows on the label. Let’s be honest, the book it was inspired by and the label are a vast majority of why I buy a candle!


KAZ | Seven Hearts Wax Co

I always need more Kaz and this candle looks divine! I love this candle shop too — I have one inspired by Ollivander’s and can’t wait to get more! This one is definitely on my list.


KAZ BREKKER | A Court of Candles

I recently did a candle exchange with Nali from A Court of Candles and I’m so glad I did! She actually sent me minis of Kaz AND Inej so now I have TWO more candles for my collection!!


KAZ | Wick and Fable

Wick and Fable has some gorgeous label images and I love this smoky crow for Kaz. I recently purchased one their monthly boxes and was so impressed! I definitely want to try some more candles from this shop.


MATTHIAS | Nerdwicks

Matthias is pretty much my favorite character in the Dregs duology. I loved him from the first book and need all the Matthias candles!


MALYEN ORETSEV | Fragranced Fandoms

I love that Fragranced Fandoms makes a Mal candle! I’m not personally a shipper of Alina with The Darkling and I’m a sucker for friends-to-more romances so I may need this Mal-inspired candle!


HEARTRENDER | Meraki Candles

Meraki Candles has an amazing selection of the candles of my heart. Look at this gorgeous Heartrender candle!! And it has a waffle on it! Ugh, I just love it.


DIRTYHANDS | The Melting Library

Raquel from The Melting Library has so many ingenuous candles and Dirtyhands was actually the first candle that I got of hers that wasn’t included in a subscription box. I love the way it reminds me of Kaz and has a little bit of a masculine scent on top of the scents as a whole. They blend together really well!


THE WRAITH | Novelly Yours Candles

And of course, I can’t leave you without a plug for my own candle shop. (Maybe only a little bit sorry.) I wanted to come up with a candle that was unique and there weren’t any Inej candles out there when I came up with The Wraith! Inej doesn’t really have a scent since she is the Wraith and all so I selected the scents from the story from her childhood. They were actually inspired by her mother but they’re all of Inej’s favorite scents so they combine for a lovely soft, floral and earthy mix in this candle.


Which fandom candles are you dying to own? As if I wasn’t already series-obsessed, these candles really bring each series to life even more and as long as these shops keep making them, I will keep buying them for my collections!