My Ideal Boyfriend is a Croissant

My Ideal Boyfriend is a Croissant by Laura Dockrill

Summary

Bluebelle, BB, is a sixteen-year-old with a mind of her own. She loves herself, loves her body, and she’s unapologetic with who she is. But, when she goes to the doctor and is told she needs to keep a food diary she’s hesitant. BB not only lists the food she eats, but she treats the journal like a personal diary as well. Telling of her family, friends, love, and her desires.

BB also makes a deal with her mother: she can quit school if she maintains the food diary, gets an apprenticeship, and joins a gym. Her mom hopes it’s a way for BB not only to stay in shape, but also become accountable to herself. This story follows Bluebelle as she faces tragedy, a host of firsts, and overcoming her biggest obstacle: herself.

Summary

This is a quirky story with a strong-willed female lead. I love stories that do not center on “typical” protagonists. BB’s unapologetic nature is contagious. She reminds us that confidence comes from within and you can feel beautiful even if you don’t meet the traditional standards of beauty. At the same time, she’s constantly aware of herself and her body. She has bruises from constantly misjudging the width of tables; she takes note of the way her body fits in clothes, she notices the marks on her body from her tight-fitting undergarments. BB is real and represents the struggles that many people face every day. 

My one problem with this book was the way a tragedy was treated. I don’t want to spoil the novel, but the twist that shifts BB’s eating habits feels like poor way out. The author uses a disability as a means to jumpstart BB caring about her body. She loses her appetite because she’s in shock: I don’t fault the author for this aspect. Each of us grieves in our own ways, and loss of appetite seems normal. But BB becomes ashamed of what has happened and is afraid to share with her friends and people who care about her the most. 

Overall, I enjoyed this story. It is uplifting and has a happy ending for everyone involved. BB grows up over the course of her journaling. She admits that she was quick to jump to decision about quitting school, but one lesson we all learn—characters and readers alike—is that it is okay not to have all of the answers. My Ideal Boyfriend is a Croissantis the perfect summer read—it has romance, summer days, a supportive family, and a main character we could learn a thing or two from. This is a must-read for every lover of contemporary YA fiction. 

Rating: 4/5

My Ideal Boyfriend is a Croissant will be available on July 16, 2019.

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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The Wicked King

The Wicked King by Holly Black

Summary

The Wicked King picks up where The Cruel Prince left off. Cardan has been crowned King but he’s still subject to Jude’s true rule. The Kingdom is in turmoil. Some support Cardan, some are slow to accept his crown, and others want to use this time of pandemonium as an excuse to usurp Cardan. Jude must find a way to protect Cardan and his supports. But there are threats from all sides. In this second novel, the main characters are faced with some tough decisions. Whether they should follow their hearts or play the game that has been set in motion.

Characters

Most of the characters I covered in my original review of The Cruel Prince. There are not many new players in this book, but we do get a closer look at the Undersea. I liked seeing the new underwater creatures, but they were not memorable.

Review

I struggled with this book. At every turn, I was left wanting more. I was waiting for Jude to take charge. I was waiting for Cardan to defy Jude. I wanted Taryn to stand up for herself. But we didn’t see any of that.

Jude panders back and forth. While it is true no one listens to her commentary and observations, she could do more to have a commanding presence. She may be the right hand of the King, but she does not have a strong voice. She does not take charge, and I constantly find myself rolling my eyes at her predictable actions.

Cardan just comes off as spineless. He did take an oath to listen to Jude and be under her control, but he’s supposed to be intelligent and is capable of tricking her. What happened the the Cardan everyone talks about? The one that finds loopholes and thwarts Judes plans or wishes. I will say that the ending of this book FINALLY had be cheering for Cardan, but it was not a plot twist.

Overall, I don’t think this is a bad story. It’s a quick read and things feel like they start to come together. I feel like Holly Black has A LOT of explaining to do in this next book, Queen of Nothing. But again, the events of this book are predictable. And I wanted to see more of the Fae Realm and its creatures. Sure, we got to see the merpeople in the Undersea, but I still feel like there was not much description. It felt like an event to rush through.

Rating: 4/5

Haunted in Hollywood

Haunted in Hollywood by Loey Lane

As a general preface, I have no idea who Loey Lane is because I have not watched her YouTube channel or seen her social media. I didn’t know her name until I saw this book. I picked it up on a whim because I was looking for a light book to read after finishing a dense nonfiction book. This did the trick and refreshed my reading palate.

Haunted in Hollywood follows aspiring model, Loey Lane, to the set of Marilyn Monroe’s most iconic photoshoots. Loey is supposed to be a young Marilyn in a cover spread as a tribute to her greatest and most memorable moments. But when Loey arrives, things don’t seem right. The model she’s replaced has mysteriously disappeared. Everyone says she’s checked out, but she left her makeup in the closet and Loey believes there’s something greater at work. Then, Loey comes encounter with a pink mist and bouts of electricity. She believes that a ghost is after her and calls in the rest of her LitSquad to help solve the crime. But things do not go as planned, and Loey’s enemies, the Grimm Brothers, show up at the hotel and stop up some trouble of their own.

Take this book at face value: it is a short fictional story about a young millennial girl who wants to become a famous model. With the help of her friends and some unlikely allies, the hauntings are solved! The characters are young and predictable. The plot twist you can see coming from a mile away. And this story is littered with millennial slang and hashtags galore. But the story is a little charming and delivers what it promises. I do recommend this book for anyone that wants a quick read and an easy distraction.

Rating: 3/5

The Dead Queens Club

The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin

Synopsis:

If your school’s homecoming king had a little too much in common with Henry VIII, would you survive with your head still attached?

You’d think being the new girl in a tiny town would equal one very boring senior year. But if you’re me—Annie Marck, alias Cleves—and you accidentally transform into teenage royalty by entering Lancaster High on the arm of the king himself? Life becomes the exact opposite of boring.

Henry has it all: he’s the jock, the genius and the brooding bad boy all in one. Which sort of explains why he’s on his sixth girlfriend in two years.

What it doesn’t explain is why two of them—two of us—are dead.

My best friend thinks it’s Henry’s fault, which is obviously ridiculous. My nemesis says we shouldn’t talk about it, which is straight-up sketchy. But as the resident nosy new girl, I’m determined to find out what really happened to Lancaster’s dead queens…ideally before history repeats itself.

Review

The description of this book drew me in, on goodreads, someone mentioned that this book was a cross between Henry VIII and Mean Girls. I think I went in with too high of expectations because of this, or maybe the writing was too convoluted to understand. Either way, I was not impressed by this one.

Cleves is obsessed with her best friend Henry. He’s everything she’s not. Henry is cool and popular and people are inherently drawn to him. Perhaps because he oozes charm, or he’s good looking, or people just seem to trust Henry. But Henry also has a bad streak with his ex girlfriends. They always seem to cheat on him or break his heart. So Henry enlists the help of Celves to get back at them, through pranks to embarrass the girls. 

But Cleves is uprooted to Henry’s town and thrown into his school and inner circle. Cleves becomes torn between what Henry has told her and what her new friends tell her about events in their small Indiana town. 

There is a lot of back and forth in this book, but it is not done well. You get confused because there are not distinct chapters distinguishing the past and the present. Instead, flashbacks are in the middle of chapters and you have to pay attention to what is taking place. 

This book is also a giant cliche, every high school troupe you can think of rears its head at some point. From the girl swooning over her best friend, to the popular jock getting together with the cheerleader. If you like (pointless) high school drama, then this is the story for you. 

I don’t believe that there are any twists or turns in this book. You can see the ending coming from the beginning. There are attempts at high-stake action, but they all fall flat. The characters are predictable and this makes the plot seem boring. But, everything also feels drawn out. I stopped reading so many times because I was either bored, not invested, or rolled my eyes so much I got a headache. I cannot recommend this book. 

Rating: 2.5/5

The Dead Queens Club has an expected release date of January 29, 2019.

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

Bring Me Home Review

Bring Me Home by Bree Howland

Synopsis:

While Kailey was growing up, she was sure of two things:

1. She wanted to devote her life to helping animals.
2. She would never be without her best friend Cole Martin.

When her father had them pack up and move two provinces away two years before graduation, it felt like the rug was pulled out from under her.

Now she’s in college, finally pursuing her interest in veterinary medicine. Even better, Cole is at the same school. But Cole has changed and so has she. Gone was the innocence of childhood friendship and easy conversations.

Between new friends, unexpected feelings, and a road trip, Kailey’s first year in college will be more eye opening than she ever imagined.

Review

I LOVED this book. I want to start out by stating that I am usually not a romance reader, but this is a story that should be on everyone’s TBR list. It’s not cheesy and it will not make you roll your eyes into oblivion. It is a sweet story that will make you believe in love and happy endings. I binge read this book in one sitting because it was that good. I suggest curling up in a warm blanket and settling in while reading this book, because you will not want to put it down.

Kailey (Kail) and Cole are wonderful characters. Their friendship and love feel real and in no way forced. All of Howland’s characters have great chemistry. You can picture yourself in college along side Kail and her friends and you can easily fit into the friend’s adventures and witty banter.

This is a beautifully written story that will leave you wanting completely satisfied. There’s friendship, true love, cute animals, and an atmosphere of pure delight. Whether you’re an avid reader of romance stories or a fair weather fan, you will find something in the story to connect to or believe in. I cannot recommend this book enough!

Rating: 5/5

I received this ARC from the author, Bree Howland, in exchange for an honest review

Bring Me Home will be available on January 1, 2019 

Preorder Links!

*Bring Me Home is also available on Kindle Unlimited!

About the Author

Bree Howland lives in Atlantic Canada with her husband and two fur children, two finicky felines. When she’s not working, her life revolves around reading, writing and taking care of her foster cats. You will more than likely find her curled up somewhere quiet with a book or scrolling aimlessly through Twitter.

Be sure to check out Bree’s website and social media pages: Website; Twitter: Instagram; Goodreads

Fortunate Felines Rescue

If the story alone is not enough to convince you to buy and read this book, all proceeds from Bring Me Home go to the Fortunate Felines Rescue. If you would like more information about this organization, check out their Facebook or Instagram pages. 

Be sure to check out all posts on the Bring Me Home Blog Tour!

My Life Next Door

**Spoiler Free Review**

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

I am torn about this book. The first half has the making of a wonderful teenage love story. While the latter half does not seem to fit with the rest of the story. Because of this, I had a hard time enjoying the book.

Samantha and Jace are from the same neighborhood but seem to come from different worlds. Samantha’s life is organized and her house is pristine. Samantha’s mother prides herself on being well kept at all times. Jace’s family is loud, big, and close-knit. The children’s toys are spilling out onto the front lawn. Samantha’s mother forbid her form having anything to do with the family next door because those are the “kind of people” who run down property values and give a neighborhood a bad reputation. While Jace’s family prides themselves on being a good family who is willing to go to any lengths to protect the ones they love.

This is your classic forbidden love young adult romance story for the first half of the book. Jace and Samantha slowly start to fall in love when Samantha is asked to babysit one of the children from next door. Samantha has always admired the family next door from afar but is quickly thrown into their crazy world. Over time, Samantha starts to question why her mother forbids her from seeing the neighbors. But she hides her secret from her family. As their young love blossoms, Samantha starts to see her world differently. From her best friend’s unethical practices to her mother’s tactics in doing whatever it takes to win a political campaign. Samantha learns that her old life wasn’t perfect but her time with Jace seems to be.

The story slowly builds until a paramount event that throws both Samantha’s and Jace’s worlds into a tailspin. Samantha is torn between her love for Jace and his family and protecting her own family from a big secret. And the more that secret weighs on Samantha’s conscious, the more she seems to unravel. Samantha slowly starts to realign herself and comes to terms with what matters the most, even if it hurts someone she loves.

My Life Next Doorhas some cliché moments of young love, but it is a cute story. The “big moment” or turning point in the story, reads a little bit too much like a soap opera for my tastes, though. I also don’t feel like it fits well with the first half. Everything feels happy-go-lucky until it’s not. And when one aspect of the story starts to get real, everything does. It feels like everything begins to fall apart at the same time. And the characters you thought you knew begin to surprise you.

This is a good read to get you in the mood for summer and great to binge if you feed off of young love, but I would not categorize it as a “must read.” This is a good book to pick up if you have nothing else around or want to fly through a quick story.

 

Rating: 3/5

Leah on the Offbeat

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

*Minor Spoilers*

In the anticipated spin-off to Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, Becky Albertalli delivers a funny, heart-warming, and romantic story. Leah Burke is the spunky, stubborn, and sarcastic best friend we all need in our lives. But as the group of friends we grew to love grows closer to graduating high school, the teenagers learn what means the most to them. Some relationships won’t last and others begin to bloom unexpectedly.

If you were wondering, Simon and Bram’s relationship is still going strong and the sweet moments between the two of them will make your heart melt. BUT they are not the focus of this story because Leah Burke has a lot to share with the world.

Leah is still a little displeased with Nick and Abby’s relationship. Not because she’s jealous, but because they’retoo cute and it’s annoying. Abby also starts this thing that seems like she’s flirting with Leah. But that can’t be because she’s happily in a relationship with a boy.

In a twist of events, Leah and Abby take a road trip together to visit UGA. Both girls are certain that YGA is the college they want to attend in the fall, and it makes sense to visit together with both girls having busy family members. And Abby has a connection with a friend whose apartment they can borrow for the weekend.

As Leah’s story unravels, she questions whether or not she can admit her bisexuality to her friends. She’s certain they’ll accept her, especially after Simon coming out the previous year. But it doesn’t seem like the right time for her. Her mother knows and accepts her, and she has nothing to fear. But she just can’t go through with it.

Leah on the Offbeatis an upbeat story with moments of comic tragedy. So don’t expect the same waterworks that Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda gave you. Instead, this story is emotionally devastating in a new way. Your heart may break and be re-healed, but Leah’s victorious moments will make you silently cheer her on.

Becky Albertalli remains true to her characters and delivers a phenomenal story. I am thrilled to see Leah tell her tale and I loved watching Leah, Simon, Abby, and the rest of the gang grow and come together during their final months of high school. I highly recommend this book!

Rating: 4.5/5

Fashion Victim Review (Spoiler Free)

Fashion Victim by Amina Akhtar

*Spoiler Free Review*

 Fashion Victim is a fast-paced campy thriller about one woman’s experience in the fashion world and just how cut throat the industry can truly be.

Anya St. Clair is a fashion editor who is obsessed with her co-worker, Sarah Elizabeth Taft. Anya has looked up to Sarah ever since she was young. Following Sarah in magazines and news articles, Anya has wanted to be like Sarah for as long as she can remember. Now that they are both working at La Vietogether, she wants to be Sarah’s BFF, dress like Sarah, and have Sarah’s approval on every aspect of her life. Anya goes to any lengths necessary to stay in Sarah’s good graces, and does not hesitate to take out her competition along the way.

Anya and Sarah are pitted against each other for a promotion. Sarah already embodies what it means to be a “La Vie Woman”—tall, blonde, thin, and well liked. Anya has to work to lose weight under the supervision of her boss, dealing with daily weigh-ins and constant jabs at her appearance. There are also others in the office who do their best to ensure that the truth about Anya gets out. Anya will not stop at anything short of achieving her goals of becoming the perfect La Vie Woman.

Rating: 3.5/5

Fashion Victim will be published on September 11, 2018

*I received this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Fashion Victim is Amina Akhtar’s first novel. If you would like more information about the book or author, you can start here.

The Upside of Unrequited Review

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

*Minor Spoilers*

When it comes to love, “…you have to be your own heart’s goalie.”

The Upside of Unrequited is an adorable story. Molly Peskin-Suso is a seventeen year old girl who ahs experienced a lot of crushes, twenty-six in fact. Each new crush has a story, some short, and some a little more complicated. However, Molly has never had a boyfriend or kissed a boy. This is a story of first love, relationships, and understanding. It is beautifully written and captivating.

The characters are relatable. I feel like I was Molly at seventeen. I never had a relationship in high school and sometimes boys/significant others felt overwhelming to me. I completely identified with Molly’s multiple crushes. Molly’s twin sister Cassie is someone we all knew. There was a friend that got so caught up in a new relationship that they forgot that their friends and/or family members were there. But that’s okay. A first love is something special, but we need to remember not to get carried away with it. We’ve also met a Mina, Max, or Will. The kids that were “too cool” for our typical social circles. The ones who are overly artistic or just ooze awesome. Olivia and Abby are the kind of friends we were always grateful to have. The ones you could share everything with and knew what we were thinking without saying a word. Finally, there’s Reid. The boy who is a little nerdy but owns it and doesn’t care what other people think. Secretly, I think we all strive to be a little like Reid.

There are some deep topics covered in this book as well. There are undercurrents of dealing with self-image and the impressions of others. Molly compares herself to her skinnier sister. She’s afraid of what people might see under her clothes. Self-image issues are common for teenagers and I think Albertalli deals with them well. Molly has a grandmother who nags about her weight or makes snide comments. Cassie and their moms come to Molly’s defense and tell the grandmother that her comments are uncalled for. But slowly, Molly learns to see herself as beautiful even when she’s not trying—like with rumpled pajamas and unbrushed hair. There are moments that we all find ourselves beautiful, and those are the ones to hold onto. There are also quite a few LGBT relationships. Cassie and Molly’s moms are getting married; Cassie gets a girlfriend; and even the caterer Molly once had a crush on has a boyfriend. I love that most of these relationships are nonchalant because love is love. But there is also a component of a homophobic aunt, but even this issue is overcome.

I LOVED this book. It has been on my TBR since it came out but I couldn’t bring myself to pay retail prices for it and the waiting list for the library was driving me insane. Then, fate brought this book to me because I found it at my favorite used bookstore for a more than reasonable price. I devoured this book in one night, staying up too late and falling in love with the characters.

 

Rating: 5/5

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