It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – May 27

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

This weekend I finished Deposing Nathan by Zack Smedley.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading The Rosie Result (Don Tillman #3) by Graeme Simsion.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books?

Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – May 26

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 9 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?

Sundays in Bed With… The Rosie Result

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’m reading The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion.

Goodreads Synopsis:

I was standing on one leg shucking oysters when the problems began…

Don and Rosie are back in Melbourne after a decade in New York, and they’re about to face their most important project.

Their son, Hudson, is having trouble at school: his teachers say he isn’t fitting in with the other kids. Meanwhile, Rosie is battling Judas at work, and Don is in hot water after the Genetics Lecture Outrage. The life-contentment graph, recently at its highest point, is curving downwards.

For Don Tillman, geneticist and World’s Best Problem-Solver, learning to be a good parent as well as a good partner will require the help of friends old and new.

It will mean letting Hudson make his way in the world, and grappling with awkward truths about his own identity.

And opening a cocktail bar.

Hilarious and thought-provoking, with a brilliant cast of characters and an ending that will have readers cheering for joy, The Rosie Result is the triumphant final instalment of the internationally bestselling series that began with The Rosie Project

What book are you in bed with today?

Six for Sunday – 2019 Books I’m Excited For

This meme is hosted by Steph at A little but a lot. The weekly prompts for 2019 can be found here.

This week’s prompt is 2019 Books I’m Excited For. Here’s my list:

1. The Best Lies by Sarah Lyu

2. The Last Resort by Marissa Stapley

3. Midnight Beauties (Grim Lovelies #2) by Megan Shepherd

4. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

5. Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake #2) by Victoria Schwab

6. Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Did you write a #SixforSunday post? What was your list of 2019 Books I’m Excited For?

Review: Somewhere Only We Know

Title: Somewhere Only We Know
Author: Maurene Goo
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

10 00 p.m.: Lucky is the biggest K-pop star on the scene, and she’s just performed her hit song “Heartbeat” in Hong Kong to thousands of adoring fans. She’s about to debut on The Tonight Show in America, hopefully a breakout performance for her career. But right now? She’s in her fancy hotel, trying to fall asleep but dying for a hamburger.

11 00 p.m.: Jack is sneaking into a fancy hotel, on assignment for his tabloid job that he keeps secret from his parents. On his way out of the hotel, he runs into a girl wearing slippers, a girl who is single-mindedly determined to find a hamburger. She looks kind of familiar. She’s very cute. He’s maybe curious.

12:00 a.m.: Nothing will ever be the same. 

Review:

This was a fun story about a K-pop star getting to live a day without her fame.

It was a very fast-paced story. Most of the story takes place in 24 hours. This could be challenging, because it could make the story repetitive or boring if the same two characters are spending the whole book together. However, Lucky and Jack do so many different things in Hong Kong, so it wasn’t repetitive.

Lucky is an outgoing girl. She was making me nervous at times, because of the risks she would take. She snuck out of her hotel without her money or a phone, when she could be recognized and mobbed at any moment. She left her family to become a pop star in Korea when she was a preteen. This made her admirable, because she was brave enough to take these risks.

I loved this book! I highly recommend it for a fun, summer read!

What to read next:

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

Teen Idol by Meg Cabot

Have you read Somewhere Only We Know? What did you think of it?

Stacking the Shelves – May 25

This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I received a preorder from Indigo:

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1) by Hafsah Faizal

I was approved for a book on NetGalley from Disney Book Group:

The Fire Keeper (The Storm Runner #2) by J.S. Cervantes

I was approved for a book on NetGalley from Sourcebooks Fire:

Here There are Monsters by Amelinda Bérubé

I had a wish granted on NetGalley from BOOM! Studios:

The Avant-Guards, Vol. 1 by Carly Usdin, Noah Hayes

Thank you Disney Book Group, Sourcebooks Fire, and BOOM! Studios for these books!

What books did you get this week?

Review: The Adventures of Alice Laselles

Title: The Adventures of Alice Laselles
Author: Queen Victoria
Genre: Children’s
Publisher: Royal Collection Trust
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: June 8, 2015
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

To my dear Mamma. This, my first attempt at composition, is affectionately and dutifully inscribed by her affectionate daughter, Victoria.
 
Long before she became queen, a young Princess Victoria took a keen interest in writing during her studies with a private tutor at Kensington Palace. When she was just ten and three-quarters, she created the story of Alice Laselles as an exercise in English composition. The story is now kept safe in its little marbled notebook in the Royal Archives, and it is published here for the first time.

The Adventures of Alice Laselles centers on young Alice and her thoroughly charming companions at the highly recommended Miss Duncombe’s School for Girls. Scandalizing news soon spreads among the students that someone has brought a cat into the honeysuckled cottage. And though Alice would never dream of doing so undutiful a thing, the transgressing tabby wears a red ribbon round its neck on which is written her name. Will the mystery be disclosed and Alice’s innocence proven by dinnertime?
An enchanting children’s story written by a real princess, The Adventures of Alice Laselles is illustrated with characters created from Victoria’s own collection of paper dolls, drawn for her by her governess and delicately hand-colored by Victoria herself. It will enchant and captivate every little princess today. 

Review:

Today is Queen Victoria’s birthday. To celebrate, I’m posting a review of a book she wrote when she was 10 years old! I picked up this book a couple of years ago when I was at Buckingham Palace. I was so surprised to see it, because I didn’t know she wrote a book as a child.

This book has the story of Alice Laselles, as well as illustrations. The original copy of this story is kept in the Royal Collection Trust at Windsor Castle. The history of this story is given in the introduction by Jacqueline Wilson. Queen Victoria wrote the story for her mother, and illustrated it with her governess. There are also images of the paper dolls she created with her governess at the end of the story. They are so beautiful! I’m amazed at how she made paper dolls when she was a child, and I also remember playing with paper dolls when I was a child almost 200 years later!

This is a beautiful book. The cloth cover makes it a keepsake. The story is also quite entertaining. This book is a must read for any fan of Queen Victoria.

What to read next:

Who Was Queen Victoria? by Jim Gigliotti

My Name is Victoria by Lucy Worsley

Have you read The Adventures of Alice Laselles? What did you think of it?

First Lines Friday – May 24

This is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words, where you give the first few lines of a book to hook your readers before introducing the book.

Here are my first lines:

“People lived because she killed. And if that meant braving the Arz where even the sun was afraid to glimpse itself, then so be it.”

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya #1) by Hafsah Faizal.

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Goodreads synopsis:

People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.


Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. 

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

Have you read We Hunt the Flame? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: Secrets of a Fangirl

Title: Secrets of a Fangirl
Author: Erin M. Dionne
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary
Publisher: Scholastic
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 28, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Sarah Anne loves lacrosse, and the MK Nightshade series that everyone was obsessed over in grade school. The problem is that she’s still obsessed, which is way too nerdy for a popular kid like her. So she hides her geekiness with a set of rules meant to keep her geek and jock selves separate. 

Except when she’s offered a spot in a Nightshade fandom contest, where the winner gets to see the new movie premiere in LA. No one seems to think Sarah Anne can win, since she’s up against a pair of guys in high school–but the more she’s called a fake fan, the more determined she is to wipe the floor with her competition. As long as none of her friends or anyone at school knows what she’s doing.

Can she keep her geek identity a secret, win the contest, and manage to keep her friends even though she’s been living a lie? Sarah Anne is going to have to make some choices about what’s truly important to her and which rules she’s going to break to stay true to herself.

Review:

I loved this book!

I could really relate to Sarah Anne, the main character. She was a huge fan of a series called Nightshade, but she had to hide it from her friends. Her friends no longer thought it was “cool” to belong to a fandom, so Sarah Anne had to pretend that she didn’t like it anymore either. When she enters a contest online and wins, entering her into a fandom challenge, her secret “geeky” identity is put on display. I could relate to this because I remember in middle school and high school when liking geeky things, like fantasy book series or video games, was uncool. I didn’t even realize it at the time, but I chose to ignore the fandoms that I loved, so that I could fit in with the rest of my classmates and friends. Now that I’m older, I wear tons of fandom gear, and I’m not afraid for anyone to know what geeky things I love.

I kept cringing at Sarah Anne’s popular friends. They were mean to so many kids, just because they liked certain movies and fandoms. One boy even expected Sarah Anne to keep up her position on the lacrosse team, because he couldn’t be seen with her if she wasn’t the best. This was so sad to read about, but it is definitely a real part of school. There are always the mean kids who think they can control what everyone else does in the school. The important thing is to continue to stand up for what you believe in.

This was a great book!

Thank you to Scholastic for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Tournament Trouble by Sylv Chiang

The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet by Erin Dionne

About the Author:

Erin Dionne’s latest book for tweens is Lights, Camera, Disaster (Scholastic 2018). Her other novels are Models Don’t Eat Chocolate CookiesThe Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet, and Notes from an Accidental Band Geek.

Her novel Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking: A 14 Day Mystery, is based on the real-life Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art heist and was a 2014 Edgar Award finalist. The series continues with Ollie and the Science of Treasure Hunting. Her first picture book, Captain’s Log: Snowbound, illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler, was released in 2018 and received a starred review from Kirkus.

A graduate of Boston College (BA English & Communications) and Emerson College (MFA), she teaches at Montserrat College of Art and lives outside of Boston with her husband, two children, and a very indignant dog.

Blog Tour Schedule:

May 20th

Dazzled by Books– Promo + Bookstagram
Struck by Stories– Review
The Book Dutchesses– Review

May 21st

Kayla Reads and Reviews– Review
Musings of a (Book) Girl– Interview + Bookstagram
The Reading Corner for All– Review + Bookstagram

May 22nd

onemused– Bookstagram + Review
Kait Plus Books– Guest Post + Bookstagram
Rhythmicbooktrovert– Review + Favorite Quotes

May 23rd

The Clever Reader– Interview
Jill’s Book Blog– Review
Moonlight Rendezvous– Review + Favorite Quotes

May 24th

L.M. Durand– Promo & Bookstagram
Vicarious Bookworm– Review + Playlist
Bookwyrming Thoughts– Review

Thank you The Fantastic Flying Book Club and Scholastic for letting me participate in this blog tour.

Have you read Secrets of a Fangirl? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – May 23

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 Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff.

Goodreads Synopsis:

From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic. 

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