Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – May 20

Here’s my weekly wrap up!

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 5 weekly blogging memes:

I also wrote about an event I attended a couple of weeks ago at the HarperCollins Canada offices, which featured the authors Joanna Goodman and Ellen Keith.

How was your week? What did you guys read?

Sundays in Bed with… King’s Cage

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This Sunday I reading King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

What book are you in bed with today?

Review: Harry & Meghan: A Royal Engagement

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Title: Harry & Meghan: A Royal Engagement
Author: Halima Sadat
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Pavilion
Source: Purchased
Release Date: February 1, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A beautifully illustrated souvenir guide to celebrate Prince Harry’s engagement to Meghan Markle
 To mark the engagement of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle, Pitkin is delighted to publish this very special new royal souvenir in celebration of a truly modern love story. Born on September 15, 1984, Harry, christened Henry Charles Albert David, is the second child of Prince Charles and Princess Diana and younger brother to Prince William. The fourth grandchild of the Queen and Prince Philip, he is currently fifth in line to the British throne. His bride-to-be Rachel Meghan Markle, known simply as Meghan, was born on August 4, 1981 and grew up in Los Angeles. She is the daughter of Thomas Markle, an Emmy-award-winning lighting director of Irish and Dutch descent, and Doria Ragland, an African American psychotherapist and yoga teacher. As an accomplished screen actress, Meghan fulfilled her childhood dream of being a television star. This is the tale of how the dashing Prince met and fell in love with the beautiful American actress. Despite their differing backgrounds and career paths, the new royal couple are united in their commitment to charitable campaigns and devotion to one another. Meghan now faces a new chapter as she becomes a senior member of the Royal Family, which she will no doubt embrace with her natural charm and elegance. With lavish illustrations and some previously unseen images, this is a souvenir to cherish.

Review:

I’m currently watching the royal wedding as I’m posting this review! I’m so excited about it, so I wanted to do a royal review to celebrate on my blog.

Harry and Meghan are an amazing couple. This book tells each of their histories, as well as details about the important royal weddings of the last century (Elizabeth and Philip, Charles and Camilla, William and Catherine). There was even a section about royal engagement rings which I loved.

The one bad thing about this book, is that it was obviously written long before there were many decisions made for the wedding. Some of the facts are dated, since we have learned concrete details in the past few weeks. However, it is a great collectible for fans. It is also a nice and quick read that is easy to pick up and put down.

I’m so excited to continue to follow Harry and Meghan’s journey! Congratulations to the royal couple!

Review: When Dimple Met Rishi

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Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Purchased
Release Date: March 30, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

Review:

I finally finished this book, just in time for From Twinkle, With Love to come out, and I absolutely loved it!

Dimple was such a fabulous character. She was so real. I love that she was interested in coding. She was also strong because she insisted on going to school instead of getting married right away. She stood her ground with her parents, but at the same time, they respected her wishes.

I also loved Rishi! He was so sweet and planned the best dates with Dimple! He was even willing to leave the camp just to please her when she was shocked that he was there just for her.

Indian culture played an important part in this novel. Dimple’s and Rishi’s parents tried to set them up to get married, because they were family friends. Dimple wanted to do a Bollywood dance for the talent show. Both of them embraced their Indian culture. I wasn’t familiar with some things, like the foods, so I loved learning more in this book!

This book definitely lived up to the hype! I highly recommend it!

Book Event: Joanna Goodman and Ellen Keith at the HarperCollins Canada office!

A couple of weeks ago, I found out about an event at HarperCollins Canada where Joanna Goodman and Ellen Keith were speaking, so I immediately signed up for it. It was so great! It was also my first time at the HarperCollins Canada offices in downtown Toronto, so that was super exciting too!

We all got copies of their books! I already had a copy of The Home for Unwanted Girls, which I bought at the book launch the previous week, but I was so glad to get a copy of The Dutch Wife!

I love hearing authors speak at these events! As a writer who hopes to one day sit in those chairs, I find them very inspiring. Ellen spoke about how she was thinking about giving up on writing when she got the call that she was going to be published! I can totally relate to that, and I hope to one day get my own work published!

Joanna and Ellen were so nice during the signing! There was a huge line and the rooms were so hot because of the glass walls, but they chatted with each person who was getting their book signed.

And finally, here are my signed copies:

I love going to author events! Who was your favourite author to meet?

Blog Tour Review: The Things We Learn When We’re Dead

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Title: The Things We Learn When We’re Dead
Author: Charlie Laidlaw
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Accent Press
Source: Reads & Reels
Release Date: January 26, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

With elements of The Wizard of Oz, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Lovely Bones, The Things We Learn When We’re Dead shows how small decisions can have profound and unintended consequences, and how sometimes we can get a second chance.

On the way home from a dinner party, Lorna Love steps into the path of an oncoming car. When she wakes up she is in what appears to be a hospital – but a hospital in which her nurse looks like a young Sean Connery, she is served wine for supper, and everyone avoids her questions. It soon transpires that she is in Heaven, or on HVN. Because HVN is a lost, dysfunctional spaceship, and God the aging hippy captain. She seems to be there by accident… Or does God have a higher purpose after all?

At first Lorna can remember nothing. As her memories return – some good, some bad – she realises that she has decision to make and that maybe she needs to find a way home.

Review:

I really liked this story. It was a unique sci-fi twist on The Wizard of Oz.

At the beginning of the story, I had no idea what was going to happen. I didn’t understand where Lorna went, but I was so curious to see what would happen. I noticed that there were a lot of things from Lorna’s life appearing around her on the ship, including her pet hamster and actors like Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant.

In the second half of the story, I found there was too much about Lorna’s life on Earth. The story alternated between her life on the ship and her life on Earth, but there was less about the ship in the latter half. I wished there was more about the ship, because it was so unusual. However, by the end of the story, I could see that the end of her life on Earth was important to the story.

I really liked this story. It ended on a cliffhanger, so I would love to see what happens next!

 

About the Author:

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I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault.  That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father.  That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.

I was brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh.  I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist.  I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.

I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries.  Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa.  What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember

Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then.  However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.

I am married with two grown-up children and live in central Scotland. And that’s about it.

 

Tour Schedule:

May 14th

Reads & Reels (Guest Post) http://www.readsandreels.com

The Lit Cottage (Review) http://shellybajwa.wordpress.com/

Valerie’s Musings (Excerpt) http://valeriesmusings76.wordpress.com

Tranquil Dreams (Review) http://klling.wordpress.com

May 15th

Insights into Books (Review) http://insightsintobooks.wordpress.com/

The Cozy Pages (Review) http://thecozypages.wordpress.com/

Touch My Spine Book Reviews (Review) https://touchmyspinebookreviews.com

Midwestern Ladies Who Lit (Excerpt) http://mwladieswholit.wordpress.com/

May 16th

What Cathy Read Next (Review) https://whatcathyreadnext.wordpress.com/

Ali the Dragon Slayer (Review) http://www.alithedragonslayer.co.uk

Speedy Reader (Review) https://speedyreadercom.wordpress.com

May 17th

Jill’s Book Blog (Review) http://www.jilljemmett.com/  

Where Dragon’s Reside (Excerpt) http://kernerangelina.wordpress.com/

May 18th

Didi Oviatt (Review) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Cover 2 Cover (Review) http://liisthinks.blog

Nesie’s Place (Excerpt) https://nesiesplace.wordpress.com

Bri’s Book Nook (Review) http://brisbooknook.wordpress.com

The Voluptuous Book Diva (Review) http://www.thevoluptuousbookdiva.com/

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Thank you to Reads & Reels for letting me participate in this blog tour.

 

 

TBR Thursday – May 17

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TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?