ARC REVIEW: Perfect on Paper – Sophie Gonzales ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ½

Title: Perfect on Paper
Author: Sophie Gonzales
Rating: ★★★★½

ARC provided by Wednesday Books through NetGalley.

It’s not often that a book meets all of your expectations so superbly, but that’s exactly what Perfect on Paper managed to do. From the protagonist, to the romantic tropes, to the excellent writing, this book was a wonderful little story that made me giddy with happiness.

Darcy Philips was the star of the book and I don’t have a single complaint about her characterization. She was relatable, flawed, remarkable, stood up for her beliefs, and had such tremendous growth throughout the novel. How could you not root for a heroine like that? I also really loved Sophie Gonzales’ commentary on the erasure of bisexuality when dating a member of the opposite gender. I’m not a member of the LGBTQ+ community and therefore have no authority on the matter, however, I thought the way the issues were brought up and handled were brilliantly done.

The romance was impressively written. Perfect on Paper somehow managed to combine my love of the fake dating trop a lá To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before with the sweet, slow-burn that starts as friendship that made me love If I’m Being Honest so much. I love watching a romance unfold through characters’ thoughts and actions and not just being told, and that’s exactly what we are given in Perfect on Paper. In short, it was spectacular.

Perfect on Paper checked all of the right boxes to make this a tremendously heartwarming and satisfying novel. I think this book will appeal to a lot of readers and I highly recommend picking it up in March!

ARC REVIEW: You Have a Match – Emma Lord ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Title: You Have a Match
Author: Emma Lord
Rating: ★★★★½

ARC provided by Wednesday Books through NetGalley.

Emma Lord is beginning to become an auto-add author in the world of YA contemporary books. Tweet Cute was a stellar debut and–dare I say it–You Have a Match was even better. Her sophomore book was full of heart and put such smile on my face!

You Have a Match had some serious Parent Trap vibes and I was loving it. The story is about two sisters who find out about each other accidentally through a DNA ancestry site. They decided to team up at summer camp and do some digging to find out what secrets their parents are hiding from them.

The book is full of all kinds of drama which made it such an entertaining read. From the familial drama, to the unrequited pining between best friends, to the camp shenanigans, there was enough happening to keep me coming back for more. I really loved Abby and Savvy’s storyline and the friendship they build between each other, despite the strange circumstances.

You Have a Match was a sweet, heartwarming book about family and friendship. This book is perfect for fans of Tweet Cute and other YA contemporary books! If that sounds like you, definitely give this book a read when it releases.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Love to See on Netflix

Hello everyone! Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week the theme is books we’d love to have adapted in a Netflix movie or series. I was working on a blog post very similar to this theme so luckily I had already put in some good thought into which books I would love to see on Netflix!

Netflix romcoms are the best, and I’m not even sorry about it. There are so many great YA romantic comedy books that I think would make a fantastic movie, but one of the one’s I’d love to see adapted the most (and that I think would be a huge hit) is If I’m Being Honest

278336702. DARK MATTER
“I would love to see a movie adaptation of this, because if done correctly, I think it would be a big hit,” –Me, in my review. 
This book is a complete mind-fuck. It would make such a tremendous thriller movie because the reader is taken on such a wild ride throughout the book. 

438856733. 10 BLIND DATES
When I read this book, I said that it was perfect for anyone who enjoys holiday Hallmark movies. But you know what? It would also make a great holiday movie. It’s cute, it’s heartwarming, and it would be the perfect feel-good story for the holidays. 

256144924. SALT TO THE SEA
I would absolutely love to see a movie adaptation of this book. The story is based on the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustlaff, which had the largest loss of life of any maritime disaster in history. Never heard of it? Neither had I until I read this book. It gets hardly any attention–especially compared to the Titanic–so I would love a movie adaptation or at the very least, a historical documentary. 

350687055. THE POPPY WAR
Listen, if I could choose any book or book series to be made into a Netflix series, it would be this one. PLEASE NETFLIX, GIVE ME THIS ADAPTATION. Honestly, if these books were ever adapted into a movie or series, I would literally die (just like [redacted] in the burning god 😩). 

This would make such a good World War II film! It’s an amazing book and I would love to see it adapted into a movie. Historical fiction movies always tend to do really well and I believe this book as all the makings for a real hit. It’s got romance, suspense, action, friendship and a message of hope and perseverance.

49366204._SX318_SY475_7. THE BEST LAID PLANS
Another YA romantic comedy that I think would be a fantastic candidate for a Netflix adaptation. Like I said in my review in February, “If I could choose only one book from this year to have made into a movie it would be The Best Laid Plans (@Netflix I’m looking at you).”

52894698._SX318_SY475_8. GODDESS THE MACHINE
Only the first book has been released, and already I know this would make an amazing sci-fi/apocalyptic Netflix series. The book is perfect for fans of The 100, which is in its last season, so this is the perfect opportunity to fill in that gap and pull in those who loved the show with something new, yet similar. 

I’m hoping that since Big Little Lies is such a huge hit on HBO, one day my dreams will come true and The Husband’s Secret will also be adapted as either a movie or series. I actually love this book way more than Big Little Lies. When you finally learn the husband’s secret and everything that goes along with it? 🤯

18781110. THE MEDIATOR
These books were hot shit when I was in middle school/high school. To this day, they remain one of my favorite series of books. They would be so much fun adapted to a Netflix series! A smart, snarky teenage mediator who can balance schoolwork, hot boys, and sending murderous ghosts back to the beyond? Suze could be the next Buffy if given the chance. 

ARC REVIEW: Majesty – Katharine McGee ⭐️ ½

Title: Majesty (American Royals #2)
Author: Katharine McGee
Rating: ★½

ARC provided by Random House Children’s through NetGalley.

Buckle up kids, you’re in for one hell of a review.

If I was going to predict my biggest disappointment of the year, Majesty would never have even crossed my mind. I’m a huge fan of Katherine McGee’s books: they’re full of delicious drama, juicy secrets, complex characters, and angsty romance. I absolutely adored American Royals and I was really looking forward to reading this sequel. Reading Majesty felt like I was in the Twilight Zone. This book was not anything close to what I had been expecting and I’m still not sure what the fuck I read.

I’m going to try to try to keep this as spoiler free as possible, but I have to divulge some major plot points in order to explain what went so wrong with this book. So if you want to go into Majesty completely blind, I would just skip this review altogether.

The first major issue with the book are the romances. If you, like me, think you are going to go into this book with the expectation that the characters are going to work through the angst and mend the relationships left broken by the end of American Royals, you will be extremely disappointed. The characters basically play roulette with each other’s partners. This is one of the most frustrating things to me when reading a sequel. Why spend the first book developing relationships and building up the reader’s interest in those relationships only to completely dissolve them all? I’ve already become invested in the relationships introduced in the first book, so not only am I going to be upset with the sudden change of heart, but I’m going to spend my entire time reading actively rooting against them.

My second issue was with the characters. I felt like they all had a major personality make-over. As with American Royals, this book is also told through the four POVs of Beatrice, Samantha, Nina, and Daphne.

Beatrice – I really loved her in American Royals. I could not stand her in Majesty. In the first book, a majority of her chapters were focused on her struggle between her desires and the expectations of her. All of her chapters here were dedicated to her swooning over Teddy. I will never enjoy reading about a relationship in which the character suddenly develops feelings for their sibling’s ex. Like, it’s a Big No for me when I read. So reading her chapters and her blooming relationship with Teddy was just nauseating. I skimmed most of them.

Samantha – Opposite of her sister, I actually enjoyed her chapters much more this time. In fact, I would argue that her POV was probably my favorite. I was definitely more sympathetic towards her and began to better understand her as a person. Of all the romances introduced, hers was the only one I enjoyed.

Nina – She honestly felt so, blah. There was nothing to her character in this book. First of all, she barely had any page time. And whatever page time she did have was solely dedicated to her romantic feelings. She was my favorite character in American Royals, but I hardly gave her a second thought her because she was scarcely present. 

Daphne – The only character who remained the same. She’s still horrible. I still hate her. I’m still waiting for her conniving, scheming self to be revealed to everyone who holds her in such high esteem. And her last chapter? What the fuck kind of ending is this? Her shenanigans are never addressed and basically she gets everything she ever wanted?

Jefferson was basically nonexistent. You honestly could have replaced him with a doormat and it would have made no difference to the story. And when he did appear, he pulled a complete 180 towards the end of the book. After everything he went through to be with Nina, now all of a sudden he believes himself in love with Daphne. Gag me. 

And last but not least: the fact that apparently this is the last book? I was under the impression that this was a trilogy, not a duology, but the author herself stated that this was the final book. If this was only the second book of a trilogy, a lot of my complaints wouldn’t seem so severe. However, as a conclusion to the series Majesty feels grossly incomplete, underwhelming, and lacking. I am shocked that this was written the way it was to be the final book. Nothing has been wrapped up plot-wise. There are multiple loose ends, things left unsaid, broken relationships, and incomplete storylines. The reader is left with so many questions.

2020 really did me dirty with this book. Reading Majesty felt like I had wandered into a parallel universe and read a completely different story. Who are these characters? Who are these romances? While I still encourage anyone who enjoyed American Royals to read this for yourself to form your own opinions, I would caution you to curb your enthusiasm and check your expectations.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Abandoned

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week the theme was books that we’ve abandoned or lost interest in. I actually did this theme a couple years ago but I thought it would be fun to do an updated version! When I’m not feeling a book, I always have an internal struggle whether I should DNF or just push through. Usually if I end up quitting it’s either because I was really, really bored or there was something I really, really hated. Here are the top ten books I marked as DNF (Did Not Finish)!

411472791. AGAIN, BUT BETTER
I had so many grievances with this book, which is a shame because as someone who studied abroad their senior year of college, I was really looking forward to this! In addition to the disjointed writing and super awkward semi-autobiographically feel to the story, this book literally centers around two horrible human beings: a girl with a crush on a boy with a girlfriend that doesn’t understand boundaries, and said boy engaging in light cheating with her throughout the story. And without spoiling too much of the huge twist, once I found out what the second half of the book was about I knew I had to dip.  DNF @ 63%  [review]

42867745._SY475_2. HUSBAND MATERIAL
The most ironic part of this book is the title because the “love interest” is most decidedly not husband material. I had to quit reading this for two reasons: the unnecessary and  overly descriptive writing, and the character that is supposed to be the “love interest.” The man set up to be Charlotte’s next great love is a thief, a liar, and a terrible person!! I can not for the life of me figure out why in the world anyone would find that attractive let alone fall in love with them? I’d be putting suing his ass and sending his to jail.  DNF @ 58%  [review]

260741813. THE CROWN
This book is a mess. I enjoyed the other books in this series, including the predecessor to this one, but then this happened. Randomly in the middle of the book, I started to notice a weird shift in the plot/characters that seemed very out of place so I spoiled myself the ending. The romance takes a complete one-eighty and literally comes out of nowhere. I mean, these are two characters that have absolutely no chemistry, had no meaningful build-up through the course of the two books, and spoke less than a handful of times to each other. Overall, this book was a huge disappointment and a terrible waste of time.  DNF @ 58%  [review]

400765374. TIME OF OUR LIVES
My most recently DNF. Had I known going into this that the main character would already be in a committed relationship and remain so for literally half the book, I never would have picked it up. Not only does Juniper start the story with a boyfriend, but her chemistry with him completely outshines whatever “chemistry” she is supposed to be having with the love interest. Which brings me to my second point: Fitz. He completely annoyed me and honestly, I found his weird semi-stalkerish obsession with Juniper really creepy. Whatever “feelings” they had between for each other felt contrived and unconvincing.  DNF @ 50%  [review]

360099115. DAWN OF LEGENDS
It’s hard for me to explain exactly why I did not finish this book without giving away major spoilers, but most of my issues have to do in how the romances were handled and the character regressions. First of all, the love triangle that was resolved in the previous book comes back full swing and then makes a one-eighty in the other direction. Second, two platonic characters’ friendship turns romantic without a single hint in the three previous books leading up to this one. Lastly, my favorite character gets a shitty ending in which he’s unhappy and still pining for someone else years later. For the last book in the series, this is a huge clusterfuck and a giant disappointment.  DNF @ 23%  [review]

I feel like everyone enjoyed this book except for me. The plot would have been interesting had I not been so bored while reading. And I probably would have finished the book if that was the only issued, but it wasn’t: the main character was. She was insufferable. She’s selfish, immature, judgemental and mean. She makes crude, tasteless remarks throughout the story. There’s really no other way to put it: she’s just a bitch. She was completely unpleasant to read about and I couldn’t bring myself to care one iota about her, her equally rude family, or her story.  DNF @ 34%

I was really looking forward to reading this Chinese retelling of The Evil Queen told through the point of view of the eventual villain. Reading about morally gray characters and villain background stories are always so intriguing. However, this book absolutely dragged. I had to literally sit down and force myself to read another chapter. I really wanted to finish it and find out how it all ends, but I could not force myself to go on further. Life is too short to read books that bore you to tears.  DNF @ 62%

299390488. ROAR
If you notice, I DNF’d this super early but that was all the time I needed. This book features the epitome of a badly written and unnecessary love triangle. Love Interest #1 is introduced almost immediately (within pages), and Love Interest #2 enters the story only a handful of chapters later. Although both the love interests were only briefly featured in the small amount I read, enough was revealed about their characters for me to determine I wouldn’t find much to like about either of them; they were both domineering, possessive, and controlling. Despite what many YA authors would have you believe, those are not cute or romantic qualities.  DNF @ 15%  [review]

301636619. SPINDLE FIRE
The concept and synopsis of this book was unique and interesting, but unfortunately the writing and execution was poorly done, and ultimately caused the story to fall flat. When I read fairytale retellings, I want to be mesmerized and enchanted by the story. The writing was choppy and it felt like someone was just explaining the events of the story to me, instead of being able to read about them happening. This book tried too hard to be like other Young Adult fantasies for it to be enjoyable: instalove, no world-building, info-dumps, and a plot that become a little too far-fetched and ridiculous.  DNF @ 50%  [review]

*dodges tomatoes* Listen, I loved Six of Crows, but this was so painful to get through. The plot was super slow-moving and I found it hard to get through. And then while I was struggling to get through this, I accidently say the spoiler of all spoilers regarding a certain character’s death at the end and that kill all motivation to finish. I was so upset about both the (unnecessary) death and being spoiled, that I couldn’t bring myself to continue reading it for a couple days. And those days got longer and longer until I finally became honest with myself and realized I didn’t want to finish it. I love Leigh Bardugo, but I don’t find this series the “be all and end all” that everyone else seems to think it is.  DNF @ 65%