Review of Save the Date by Morgan Matson

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Title:
 Save the Date
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher:
Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

Release Date: June 5, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

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Synopsis:

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.


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You guys, am I broken? I didn’t love a Morgan Matson book and I feel like I let myself down. I went into Save the Date with so much hope and high expectations. I loved the premise of a wedding bringing a huge family together, but OHMYGOD there was so much drama and mishaps . . . AND GAH, I had such a hard time processing a 432-paged story with so many characters, very little romance, so many feelings, and just SO MUCH drama. And with so many characters not fully developed, I could not connect with any of them. But even though Save the Date didn’t work for me, there were a few “RAVES” I would love to highlight. Although this wasn’t the summer rom-com I was hoping for, I’m sure other contemporary readers will enjoy the wedding shenanigans that pursue.

RAVES

-There’s a cute dog named Waffles.
-The Grant family is very unique (and large), and I loved that a comic strip, created by the main character’s mom, is showcased throughout some chapters.
-The wedding planner’s nephew is a breath of fresh air whenever he shows up in the book.
-There are hidden Easter eggs and references to Taylor Swift, Stranger Things, and some characters from Matson’s previous books make a cameo appearance.
-J.J., one of Charlie’s three brothers, is hilarious, and I think he needs his own book.

1-star-rating

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Note:   I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in exchange for a review. I bought this book (and two other copies, lol) with my own funds, and I reviewed the book at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine. 
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Waiting on Wednesday: The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Title: The Boneless Mercies
Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Publication date: October 2, 2018
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis

A dark and gorgeously drawn standalone YA fantasy about a band of mercenary girls in search of female glory. Won in a major six-house auction!

Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa are the Boneless Mercies—girls hired to kill quickly, quietly, and mercifully. But Frey is weary of the death trade and, having been raised on the heroic sagas of her people, dreams of a bigger life. 

When she hears of an unstoppable monster ravaging a nearby town, Frey decides this is the Mercies’ one chance out. The fame and fortune of bringing down such a beast would ensure a new future for all the Mercies. In fact, her actions may change the story arc of women everywhere.

Full of fierce girls, bloodlust, tenuous alliances, and unapologetic quests for glory, this elegantly spun tale challenges the power of storytelling—and who gets to be the storyteller. Perfect for fans of Maggie Stiefvater, V.E. Schwab, and Heidi Heilig.

 

Goodreads Amazon | Barnes and Noble

 

Top 5 Tuesday: Character Driven Books

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Bionic Book Worm

Today’s topic: Top 5 Character Driven Books

Click on my photographs to be linked to my review or the book’s Goodreads page.

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I love the main character Mim so much in Mosquitoland. She is feisty, honest, and holds nothing back. 

IMG_8046Obviously, Alice drives this story and plot to the very last page. 

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I adore the The Winner’s Trilogy (it’s probably my favorite trilogy EVER), and Kestrel and Arin are the two main forces that drive this fantasy with so much soul and longing and heartache…GAH I love their journey so much. 

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JUNE…in a story filled with grief and loss,  Jack “June” O’Donnell IV provides the much needed humor to make this novel so heartfelt and comforting. With June’s quick wit and humor, this book is like receiving the most welcoming hug and a much-needed cry to get through any sorrowful situation.

IMG_8043As a bildugroman, Jane Eyre speaks through the pages, allowing her reader to follow her progressive footsteps to being an orphan then a governess and then to a Victorian woman with financial means to support herself. Through every page, Jane is fierce and bold, and she never gives up on doing what she feels is right.

What are some of your favorite character driven books?

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I’ve Read In 2018 (So Far)

Formerly hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl


This week’s topic is…

Best Books I’ve Read In 2018 (So Far)

(CLICK ON THE BOOK COVER TO BE LINKED TO MY REVIEW OR ITS GOODREADS’ PAGE)

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Review of My Plain Jane

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Title:
 My Plain Jane
Author: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
Publisher:
HarperTeen
Release Date: June 26, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Retelling, Historical, Fantasy

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Synopsis:

You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!)

Or does she?

Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights.


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My Plain Jane is a unique story that combines a quirky retelling of Jane Eyre with a hint of ghost-hunting shenanigans. The book does have some funny moments, but I think the supernatural and ghost-busting were my favorite elements of the novel. I also thought it was clever that the authors took a Victorian classic and used the plot to subtly hint at a lot of our current political and cultural events/people.  

As some of you might know, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is my all-time favorite book. As a Victorian fanatic and anglophile, I love Jane Eyre for so many reasons. I love Jane’s proto-feminist attitude. My favorite scene of the novel takes place among the foggy moors. I love that the original novel incorporates the supernatural and some creepy laughing in Thornfield Hall. But I also like the brooding Mr. Rochester and the chaos that haunts his life. My Plain Jane incorporates a lot of the characters and events found in the original classic, and by focusing on the Gothic elements of the original novel, the authors of My Plain Jane add their own twists and fates to the characters. 

All of the characters are unique with their own set of flaws, and even though My Plain Jane is a “supernatural” story, the characters made the story seem realistic. If I had to pick a favorite character, I would go with Charlotte Brontë. Her character is determined, bold, and smart. I love that she is not afraid to show her witty side and her epic “can-do” attitude. I also characterized her as the “Veronica Mars” throughout the story, because she is so good at sleuthing. 

Overall, I found the My Plain Jane to be a fun and quick read. If you’re in the mood for a Jane Eyre retelling, some sleuthing, and a band of ghost-busting misfits, give My Plain Jane a read. It definitely has a Jane Eyre meets Scooby-Doo feel.   

3 star rating

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Note:   I was not provided a copy of this book by the author or the publisher in exchange for a review. I bought this book with my own funds, and I reviewed the book at my own discretion.  All statements and opinions in this review are mine. 

Waiting on Wednesday: Keeper of the Bees by Meg Kassel

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

 

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Title: Keeper of the Bees
Author: Meg Kassel
Publication date: September 4, 2018
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Synopsis

 

Dresden is cursed. His chest houses a hive of bees that he can’t stop from stinging people with psychosis-inducing venom. His face is a shifting montage of all the people who have died because of those stings. And he has been this way for centuries—since he was eighteen and magic flowed through his homeland, corrupting its people.

He follows harbingers of death, so at least his curse only affects those about to die anyway. But when he arrives in a Midwest town marked for death, he encounters Essie, a seventeen-year-old girl who suffers from debilitating delusions and hallucinations. His bees want to sting her on sight. But Essie doesn’t see a monster when she looks at Dresden.

Essie is fascinated and delighted by his changing features. Risking his own life, he holds back his bees and spares her. What starts out as a simple act of mercy ends up unraveling Dresden’s solitary life and Essie’s tormented one. Their impossible romance might even be powerful enough to unravel a centuries-old curse.

Goodreads Amazon | Barnes and Noble

 

Top 5 Tuesday: Naked Hardcovers

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Bionic Book Worm

Today’s topic: Top 5 Naked Hardcovers

Click on my photographs or book cover to be linked to my review or the book’s Goodreads page.

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The UK edition of Caraval has five different mystery “under the covers,” which include a dress, clock, tent, rose, or top hat.

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While trying to collect different versions of The Night Circus, I found this beauty.

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I can’t find a personal picture that I have taken of the naked hardcover of The Cruel Prince, but if you ever lift up the jacket–behold the beauty!

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I am currently collecting all four “under the cover” hardcovers of Legendary. My favorite so far is the Shattered Crown edition.

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Once again, I cannot find a personal picture, but you guys, trust me, the naked hardcover of The Wicked Deep is beautiful. If you ever find a copy, the hardback has a moon and stars foiled into the hardback. I love it.