ARC REVIEW: Foul Is Fair – Hannah Capin

42595554Title: Foul Is Fair
Author: Hannah Capin
Rating: ★★

ARC provided by the publisher. 

What is this book about? The premise is amazing. This is a story about a group of teenage girls enacting revenge on a group of prep boys after one of the girls was assaulted at a party. The book is a loose retelling of Macbeth, which happens to be one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, with a little bit of inspiration from Heathers.

What did I like? I really loved the Macbeth retelling angle. The nods to original play are subtle, but so extremely well done. I also really liked that Jade and her friends were unapologetically the mean girls and owned it. There was no apologies for their behavior and they didn’t have a holier than thou attitude.

What didn’t I like? The first major issue I had with the book was the writing. To put it plainly: I couldn’t stand it. The scenes were very abrupt and the way the dialogue was written felt so stilted and unnatural. My other problem with the book was that a lot of the things that happened felt very far-fetched and unbelievable. I’m supposed to be believe that a group of (barely) sixteen-year-old girls were the mastermind behind multiple murders within the span of a week? That the main character would be able to successfully manipulate a boy into doing whatever she asked of him after one meeting? If the time frame had been extended or the criminal acts less severe, I think the story would have been more impactful to me. Yes, it’s fiction, however as a reader I can only suspend my belief to a limit.

Overall thoughts: The plot is a very clever retelling of Macbeth, but considering I almost DNF’d this like three times because I couldn’t stand the way it was written, I definitely did not enjoy this as much as I had hoped.

ARC REVIEW: Undercover Bromance – Lyssa Kay Adams

Title: Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2)
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Rating: ★★★★

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

What is this book about? Undercover Bromance is the companion novel to The Bromance Book Club which I absolutely adored last year! Basically, these stories center around a group of prominent men who like to read romance novels and form a club to help each other with their love problems.

What did I like? As with The Bromance Book Club, the idea of a book club for men who unashamedly enjoy romance novels and use the “knowledge” they learn from said romance novels to better their love lives is amazing and Lyssa Kay Adams knocks it out of the park each time. I also really liked how the topic of masculinity and societal expectations is mentioned and talked about in this book!

I was pretty unsure about Mack’s character in The Bromance Book Club but I’m thankful that Undercover Bromance was his story because it totally changed my opinion about him! There’s definitely more to him under the surface of easy-going charm and we need more men like Braden Mack in the world 💕

What didn’t I like? I know she’s written to be this way for characterization purposes, but I could not stand how stubborn Liv was at times. Girl, I know you want to be independent and self-reliable but there is nothing wrong with asking for help when you need help, instead of constantly trying to do things yourself and ending up in even deeper trouble.

Overall thoughts: I highly recommend these books to any fan of romance. Undercover Bromance is a spectacularly follow-up to The Bromance Book Club and I look forward to reading whatever shenanigans these men end up getting into in the future.

ARC REVIEW: The Best Laid Plans – Cameron Lund

49366204._SX318_SY475_Title: The Best Laid Plans
Author: Cameron Lund
Rating: ★★★★★

Ladies and gentleman, I don’t believe it’s too early to say that I have found one of my favorite reads of the year. The Best Laid Plans was everything I had hoped it would be and so much more.

What is this book about? After Keely meets a cool college guy at her new job, she becomes determined to lose her virginity before he finds out how inexperience she is and drops her. She decides to enlist the help of her best friend, Andrew, a charming womanizer who has clearly been with enough girls to be able to help her out. Basically, all you need to know: CHILDHOOD FRIENDS-TO-LOVERS and UNREQUITED LOVE and delicious DRAMA and ANGST.

What did I like about this? I mean, my tastes are pretty simple. Throw me a friends-to-lovers plot with plenty of angst and miscommunications and drama-filled pages and you have yourself a winner.

Keely was amazing. Her character felt so relatable and her experiences really resonated with me. It was impossible not to read her awkward encounters and not remember the first few times I was alone with a boy in college. I suffered some serious second hand embarrassment while reading this which only meant that I was totally engaged and connected with her character.

I don’t even know where to begin with Andrew freaking Reed. Readers may find themselves thinking they know all about him–how many playboys with soft hearts do we have in YA?–but he’s SO MUCH BETTER THAN ALL THE OTHERS. I promise. Also, Keely, girl, read the damn signs!!! Ya boy is giving you all kinds of signals. I don’t say this often (never, really) but I Andrew Reed is giving Peter Kavinsky a serious run for his money as my favorite book boyfriend.

What didn’t I like? Okay, I’m just gonna come right out and say that I wish we had been given more of that last ~scene~ with Andrew and Keely. With all of the build up and tension from earlier in the book, I honestly felt so disappointed. I can’t say too much because of spoilers but I think it would have been so much more meaningful and to have been able to witness their thoughts/conversations/feelings in the moment.

Overall thoughts: If I could only choose one book from this year to have made into a movie it would be The Best Laid Plans (@Netflix I’m looking at you). And I say that barely two months into the year. I had been looking forward to this book since the first time I came across its synopsis and it was everything I had hoped for and more. Highly, highly recommend for lovers of YA contemporary and the beloved friends-to-lovers trope!

BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY: All the Stars and Teeth – ARC Review

Welcome to my stop on the All the Stars and Teeth book tour! Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour host! 


ABOUT THE BOOK

44280868Title: All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1)
Author: 
Adalyn Grace

Release: February 4, 2020
Publisher: Imprint
Genre: YA Fantasy

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

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Review

What is this book about? Amora has been training her whole life to become the leader of her kingdom, Visidia. The story follows her journey to regain her place as heir and prove herself after her demonstration goes horribly awry. Amora joins forces with a mysterious pirate, a vengeful mermaid, and unexpected passenger to stop the destruction of their kingdom.

What did I like? I loved all the adventuring! This book was not short on action, that’s for sure. And the pacing was executed perfectly. It never felt like the plot was stalling or that unnecessary pages were spent on passages of time: the author deftly moves the reader from Point A to Point B flawlessly. The world building was also written really well. There was enough information to figure out how the magic system and kingdom works, but without long info dumps or confusing terminology.

What didn’t I like? The cast of characters was so fun! I really loved being on this journey with Amora, Bastian, Ferrick, and Vataea, however, I didn’t feel as connected to Amora as I thought I should. I also felt like we only skimmed the surface of these characters, so I’m looking forward to hopefully some more depth for them in the sequel.

Overall thoughts: All the Stars and Teeth is a fun, adventurous story about the heir to a kingdom joining a cast of vastly different characters in order to prevent an evil force from destroying their world and regaining what they’ve all lost. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and I look forward to checking out the next book!

★ ★ ★ ½


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

AUTHORAdalyn Grace graduated Summa Cum Laude when she was 19-years-old. She spent four years working in live theater, and acted as the managing editor of a nonprofit newspaper. During and after college, she studied storytelling as an intern on Nickelodeon Animation’s popular animated show, The Legend of Korra (sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender). She was a participant in Pitch Wars 2016, and is a former literary agent intern for an established agency.

Adalyn splits time between San Diego and Arizona with her bossy cat and two dorky dogs, and spends her days writing full time while trying to find the city’s best burrito.

She has several projects in the works, and hopes to continually push the boundaries and explore the limits of upper young adult fiction.

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GIVEAWAY

Win a finished copy of All the Stars and Teeth (US/CAN only).

✨ ENTER HERE ✨


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ARC REVIEW: The Kingdom of Back – Marie Lu

34213299Title: The Kingdom of Back
Author: Marie Lu
Rating: ★★★½

ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.

“And then one night you realize that you have given him so much of yourself that you are nothing but the curtsy and the smile and the quiet. That you are nothing.”

What is this book about? The synopsis is definitely a bit misleading (at least to me). I was expecting a fantasy story with musical aspects something along the veins of Wintersong. However, The Kingdom of Back is a historical fiction focused on the bond between siblings with some fantasy elements mixed in. The book follows the Nannerl Mozart and her relationship with her brother as they discover and cultivate their prodigious musical talents together.

What did I like? I’m a big enough person to admit that prior to this book, I was unaware of Wolfgang Mozart’s equally talented sister, Nannerl. Once I had read up about her on Wikipedia, I was able to better appreciate Marie Lu’s story. She gave such an important voice to Nannerl and I loved how true to history the book’s events were. Even the mention of the Kingdom of Back was really well done and did a great job giving insight to the possible thoughts and emotions Nannerl might have had about her success and place in the world compared to her brother’s.

What didn’t I like? The Kingdom of Back was a lot slower paced and longer than I had anticipated. Because it was lacking in action and focused more on Nannerl’s inner monologue, I struggled to push through parts of the book.

Overall thoughts: The Kingdom of Back was a totally different type of story than I had been expecting: the book is more historical fiction than fantasy. Marie Lu’s lyrical writing focuses on music and sibling love, however the book’s slower pace and lack of action failed to keep my attention.