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.

REVIEW: The Upside of Falling – Alex Light

45891343Title: The Upside of Falling
Author: Alex Light
Rating: ★★½

What is this book about? The Upside of Falling is about two teenagers who decide to fake being in a relationship for their mutual benefit. I mean, is there anything better than a fake-dating that turns into real feelings kind of book?

What did I like? Obviously, given my track record with other YA contemporary books, I am trash for any story featuring a fake-dating trope. So the concept of The Upside of Falling was fantastic. I also really loved that there was no unnecessary drama that moved the plot backwards or in redundant circles. Everything that happened had a purpose plot-wise.

What didn’t I like? The first major issue I had with this book is that it moves way to quickly. The plot was very, very rushed and not as flesh out as I would have like it to have been. Because of this, the story felt very superficial to me and the characters lacked depth. The book is only 280 pages which is where I think the problem lies. It really could have benefited from another 100 pages to help flesh out the story and slow down the plot.

The other problem I had with the book was that I couldn’t quite figure out the point behind the fake-dating scheme between Brett and Becca. There wasn’t ever really a good reason given on either side: the choice to pretend to date each other occurs so suddenly and randomly which made the story feel very unbelievable and pointless.

Overall thoughts: The Upside of Falling centers around two teens who decide to pretend to date each other to fool their peers. I love a fake-dating trope, and while the concept was good, the execution was poor.

REVIEW: Always Never Yours – Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

Title: Always Never Yours
Author: Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka
Rating: ★★★★

What is this book about? In each of Megan’s relationships thus far, her boyfriends end up falling in love…just not with her. Megan is looking to gain entrance to college and start her career as a film director, but the college she’s interested in requires acting experience. When she is unexpectantly cast as Juliet in their high school’s production of Romeo and Juliet, Megan begins to realize she has the chance of becoming the leading love interest of her own story instead of always the Rosalind.

What did I like? Megan is without a doubt my favorite part of this book. She’s definitely a breath of fresh air compared to a lot of other contemporary romances. She’s outgoing, unapologetically flirtatious, and “boy-crazy.” Instead of letting her past love failures turn her bitter or resentful, she’s carefree and just has fun with her dating life. Megan is also clearly a much better person than I am, because if I had found out one of my friends did what her best friend did, I would never talk to them again.

I loved watching her relationship develop with Owen! The phrase “opposites attract” has never fit a couple better. Owen was reserved and shy, whereas Megan was loud and bit brash, saying whatever comes to her mind. Their initial friendship was lovely and the transition to deeper feelings was written so perfectly that it felt very natural and never forced.

What didn’t I like? I can’t help but wish more of Megan’s situation with her family was explored. She obviously has a lot of feelings about what’s happening between her dad and his new family and then later with her mom and her mom’s boyfriend. The ending felt like it wrapped up too cleanly, and yes, I understand that some blended families do all get along and work nicely together, but I felt like Megan was too quick to accept everything and not enough communication was made between her and dad to resolve those feelings.

Overall thoughts: If I’m Being Honest was one of my favorite books last year, so I think I put off reading this because I was scared it wasn’t going to hold up. Thankfully, I was definitely proven wrong! Always Never Yours is a super fun and heartwarming contemporary romanced and I’m definitely this writing duo to my auto-read list!

BLOG TOUR: Reasons to Read Foul Is Fair

Welcome to my stop on the Foul Is Fair book tour! Thank you to Wednesday Books for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour host! 


ABOUT THE BOOK

42595554Title: Foul Is Fair
Author: 
Hannah Capin

Release: February 18, 2020
Genre: YA Contemporary

Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target.

They picked the wrong girl.

Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.

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REASONS TO READ FOUL IS FAIR

⚔️ MACBETH RETELLING – I’m all for a good Shakespearean play and I absolutely love this retelling. The elements of the book inspired from Macbeth are subtle yet extremely clever. Hannah Capin is clearly a very intelligent writer because it was amazing seeing how she worked in aspects from Macbeth into the story.

💋 MEAN GIRLS – The girls in this book make Regina George appear to be an angel. Foul I Fair draws inspiration for the vicious shenanigans and characteristics of the main girl gang from cult classics such as Cruel Intentions, Mean Girls, and Heathers. These girls are wicked and they have murders to plan.

⚰️ REVENGE – The crux of this story revolves around the main character, Elle, and her friends getting revenge on the boys that sexually assaulted her at a party. It’s dark, it’s violent, and it’s totally satisfying. Get it girl.

💞 #FRIENDSHIPGOALS – As much as I’d love to say I’d help my best friends plan and execute the demise of fuckboys, I would have some reservations and definitely would not fall into the plan as wholeheartedly as Mads, Jenny, and Summer. Those girls redefine #friendshipgoals with how unquestionably they supported one another. 


Hannah CapinABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Hannah Capin is the author of Foul is Fair and The Dead Queens Club, a feminist retelling of the wives of Henry VIII. When she isn’t writing, she can be found singing, sailing, or pulling marathon gossip sessions with her girl squad. She lives in Tidewater, Virginia.

 

 

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram


 

Favorite YA Contemporary Romances

Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤️ I think I’ve mentioned before that I hate Valentine’s Day, but you know what I don’t hate? Romance. And Books. Specifically romance IN books. Recently I’ve really gotten into reading more and more YA and adult contemporary romances, and I think it’s because they’re such feel-good stories and provide a sense of hope for the reader. So for this year’s Valentine’s Day post, I decided to share all of my favorite YA contemporary romance novels! Enjoy! 💋


TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE

15749186I mean, I couldn’t start this post without beginning with this book, which is basically the gold standard to which I hold all YA romances. First of all, fake dating is one of the best romance tropes out there. Please reference this post if you don’t believe me. Also, Peter Kavinsky is the best book boyfriend ever and I dare you to convince me otherwise.


THIS BEST LAID PLANS

49366204._SX318_SY475_Oh BOY are you guys in for real treat once this book is released. Prepare to be swept off your feet by Andrew Reed who is completely swoon-worthy and gave me a series case of the butterflies. I stayed up all night to read this after literally only getting 3 hours of sleep the day before because I worked a 16 hour double overnight. Basically, this book > sleep and it needs to be on your TBR!


THE DUFF

6931356When I first read this book I was not expecting how vastly different it would be from the movie, and it such a good way! I read the entire thing in one sitting with zero regrets. A secret enemies-with-benefits relationship in which one or more parties develops feelings for the other? Sign me the f**k up. And besides the romance, the book has a really important message about the power of words and the meanings we give them.


IF I’M BEING HONEST

IIBH_Reveal.inddThis story revolves around the main character, Cameron, enlisting the help of someone she once ridiculed to help “tame” herself for the boy she’s been crushing on. On top of the amazing character growth she experiences, I absolutely loved watching opposites attract as Cameron and Brendan reluctantly form a friendship, and then watching that friendship blossom into love.


ALEX, APPROXIMATELY

30312700This is apparently a twist on the movie You Got Mail, which I can neither confirm nor deny since I’ve never seen that. However, I can confirm that this book is a magical, heartwarming story about two characters that meet in real life, after unknowingly talking to each other online for months, and slowly falling in love. This book makes an absolute perfect summer read so if you’re looking for something fun for the warmer months, this is for you!


ALWAYS NEVER YOURS

AlwaysNever_BOM_4p.inddWherefore art thou, Romeo? Ignoring the fact that Romeo and Juliet is arguably the worst of Shakespeare’s plays, this book was amazing. I loved that Megan was unapologetically flirtatious and “boy-crazy”. Every relationship she’s been in ends with her boyfriend finding the love of his life while they’re dating, and instead of being bitter and feeling sorry for herself, Megan is carefree and just has fun with her dating life. Which makes it even more special to see the bond that develops between her and Owen.


1O BLIND DATES

43885673Reading this made me immensely glad that my big meddlesome Italian family is not as meddlesome as Sophie’s. This book gives readers warm and fuzzy feelings and is reminiscent of those wholesome, heartwarming Hallmark movies. It’s impossible not to cheer for Sophie and hope she finds the perfect New Year’s Eve date. Definitely recommend this for anyone who wants to read a cheerful story about family and friendships with happy endings.


TWEET CUTE

45045129I needed a trip to the dentist after finishing this book because it was so sweet and fluffy. Is there anything more fun to read about than two people engaging in Twitter warfare over the internet but falling in love in real life after learning how much they have in common with each other? The answer is no. And of course the fact that Pepper and Jack started out as unfriendly classmates and had a bit of animosity between them at the start of the story made it that much sweeter.