Review: Tokyo Ever After (Tokyo Ever After #1)

Title: Tokyo Ever After (Tokyo Ever After #1)
Author: Emiko Jean
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Macmillan Young Listeners
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Audiobook
Release Date: May 18, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Izumi Tanaka has never really felt like she fit in—it isn’t easy being Japanese American in her small, mostly white, northern California town. Raised by a single mother, it’s always been Izumi—or Izzy, because “It’s easier this way”—and her mom against the world. But then Izzy discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity… and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan. Which means outspoken, irreverent Izzy is literally a princess.

In a whirlwind, Izzy travels to Japan to meet the father she never knew and discover the country she always dreamed of. But being a princess isn’t all ball gowns and tiaras. There are conniving cousins, a hungry press, a scowling but handsome bodyguard who just might be her soulmate, and thousands of years of tradition and customs to learn practically overnight.

Izzy soon finds herself caught between worlds, and between versions of herself—back home, she was never “American” enough, and in Japan, she must prove she’s “Japanese” enough. Will Izumi crumble under the weight of the crown, or will she live out her fairytale, happily ever after?

Review:

Izumi Tanaka has always felt like she stood out as a Japanese American in her mostly white town where she lives with her mom. She has never known her father, but one day she finds a clue to who he is: the Crown Prince of Japan. Izzy travels to Japan to meet her father and learn about her Japanese heritage. She enters an entirely new life, with sparkly tiaras, sneaky cousins, judgmental press, and a handsome bodyguard. However, though Izzy didn’t feel like she fit in at home because she wasn’t American enough, she’s also judged for not being Japanese enough in Japan. Izzy must find a way to balance her two heritages before the weight of the new crown becomes overwhelming. 

This story reminded me of The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. That was one of my favourite series when I was a kid, so this book felt nostalgic. It’s fun to imagine that you can wake up one day and find out you’re a princess, but this story shows that it isn’t all glitz and glamour. 

I listened to the audiobook for this book and I really enjoyed it! I always find it helpful to listen to a book when it has words that aren’t in English. There were Japanese phrases and names in this book, which I wouldn’t have known how to pronounce if I had read a physical copy of the book. 

Tokyo Ever After is a fun story! I’m looking forward to reading the sequel! 

Thank you Macmillan Audio for providing a copy of this audiobook.

What to read next:

Tokyo Dreaming by Emiko Jean

American Royals by Katharine McGee

Other books in the series:

  • Tokyo Dreaming (Tokyo Ever After #2)

Have you read Tokyo Ever After? What did you think of it?

Sponsored Review: Remy vs. Rome

Title: Remy vs. Rome
Author: Bonnie Callahan
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: 113 Semper Street Press
Source: Author
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 13, 2022
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In the heart of the Eternal City, ancient secrets aren’t the only thing getting uncovered.

Heartbroken, Remy flies to Rome—the site of her first kiss—to get over her ex and rediscover herself. On her first night in the city, she jumps into her new life by agreeing to a date with a smooth-talking Italian stranger who, as fate would have it, turns out to be a jerk…and a most wanted international criminal to boot.

Implicated in the theft of an ancient amulet, Remy finds herself under house arrest and in the protection of Lorenzo Rossi, the infuriatingly handsome Sicilian detective in charge of the investigation. The case is a make-or-break situation for both of them, and together, they must solve a series of clues to track down the amulet and the bad guys—all while struggling to keep their finger grazes to a minimum and their partnership appropriate.

Their investigation takes them on an intimate, two millennia treasure hunt through Rome, where Remy digs up more than she bargained for.

Review:

After breaking up with her fiancé, Remy Campbell decides to visit Rome, where she had her first kiss as a teenager. On her first night, she meets an Italian man who offers to show her around the next day. However, after they go to a museum, Remy is approached by the police as a witness in a huge robbery. The detective in charge of the investigation is Lorenzo Rossi, a handsome and serious man. To make sure Remy is safe during the investigation, Lorenzo brings her to his apartment to stay under police guard. Remy’s knowledge and love of Rome ends up being an asset to the investigation, so she assists Lorenzo. They hunt throughout the city to find the masterminds behind the robbery and possibly develop a romance along the way. 

I’ve never been to Italy, but I feel like I have after reading this story. During her extensive stay, Remy visited all the tourist spots, as well as some more local places with Lorenzo. There were vivid descriptions of the architecture and art, as well as the wine and food, which made me so hungry!

I think the best way to describe this book is The Da Vinci Code as a rom com in Italy. It reminded me of the art mystery in The Da Vinci Code, but it wasn’t as complex and had a lighter atmosphere like a rom com. 

Remy vs. Rome is a fun story that will take you on a trip to Rome!

Thank you Bonnie Callahan and Bookstagrammers.com for sponsoring this review!

    Have you read Remy vs. Rome? What did you think of it?

    Review: In the Shadow Garden

    Title: In the Shadow Garden
    Author: Liz Parker
    Genre: Fantasy, Contemporary
    Publisher: Forever
    Source: Publisher
    Format: Paperback
    Release Date: September 13, 2022
    Rating: ★★★★★

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    Goodreads Synopsis:

    Three generations of witches must discover where their magic went wrong as secrets resurface that could solve a twenty-year-old mystery in this riveting debut, perfect for fans of Practical Magic and Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe.

    There’s something magical about Yarrow, Kentucky. The three empathic witches of the Haywood family are known for their shadow garden—from strawberries that taste like chocolate to cherry tomatoes with hints of basil and oregano. Their magic can cure any heartache, and the fruits of their garden bring a special quality to the local bourbon distillery. On one day every year, a shot of Bonner bourbon will make your worst memory disappear.

    But twenty years ago, the town gave up more than one memory for the year; they forgot an entire summer. One person died. One person disappeared. And no one has any idea why.

    As secrets from that fateful summer start to come to light, there must be a reckoning between the rival Haywood and Bonner families. But the only clue Irene Haywood has is in her tea leaves: a stranger’s arrival will bring either love or betrayal…

    Review:

    The town of Yarrow, Kentucky is filled with magic. The Haywood family has a shadow garden, where they take the bad feelings from people and feed them to the garden. The fruit from the garden goes to the Bonner bourbon distillery, though the Haywoods and Bonners don’t get along. The Bonner distillery has a festival every year where they invite people to give up one bad memory, so it’s gone from their lives. However, twenty-five years ago, the town gave up the memory of an entire summer. No one can remember anything from that summer, when a lot of life changing things happened. When the patriarch of the Bonner family dies, a stranger returns to town, sending the Haywoods on a path to remember everything. 

    This was incredible story of three families in a small town. They had a history of disputes, though the details of them were foggy. The way that everyone forgot an entire summer, when so many important things happened, was disturbing to me. Everything was explained and came together perfectly at the end, and all of the clues were meaningful to the plot. 

    This is the kind of book that it’s hard to describe without giving anything away. If you like stories of interwoven generations, you’ll love this. 

    Thank you Forever for sending me a copy of this book!

    What to read next:

    The Witches of Moonshyne Manor by Bianca Marais

    The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna

    Have you read In the Shadow Garden? What did you think of it?

    Review: The Stand-In

    Title: The Stand-In
    Author: Lily Chu
    Genre: Romance, Contemporary
    Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablana
    Source: Purchased
    Format: Paperback
    Release Date: May 3, 2022
    Rating: ★★★★★

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    Goodreads Synopsis:

    Gracie Reed is doing just fine. Sure, she was fired by her overly “friendly” boss, and yes she still hasn’t gotten her mother into the nursing home of their dreams, but she’s healthy, she’s (somewhat) happy, and she’s (mostly) holding it all together.

    But when a mysterious SUV pulls up beside her, revealing Chinese cinema’s golden couple Wei Fangli and Sam Yao, Gracie’s world is turned on its head. The famous actress has a proposition: due to their uncanny resemblance, Fangli wants Gracie to be her stand-in. The catch? Gracie will have to be escorted by Sam, the most attractive—and infuriating—man Gracie’s ever met.

    If it means getting the money she needs for her mother, Gracie’s in. Soon Gracie moves into a world of luxury she never knew existed. But resisting Sam, and playing the role of an elegant movie star, proves more difficult than she ever imagined—especially when she learns the real reason Fangli so desperately needs her help. In the end all the lists in the world won’t be able to help Gracie keep up this elaborate ruse without losing herself…and her heart.

    Review:

    After Gracie Reed is fired by her inappropriate boss, she’s left wondering what’s next. She needs to make money to get her mother with Alzheimer’s into a better nursing home. One day, she’s approached by China’s golden couple of cinema, Wei Fangli and Sam Yao. Fangli offers Gracie a fortune to act as her stand-in for events since they look nearly identical. Gracie accepts, and must be escorted to events by Sam Yao, the most attractive man she’s ever met. However, living the life of a world famous superstar isn’t as easy as it looks. Gracie must navigate the life of an actress while dealing with a possible romance and the paparazzi. 

    I love stories with a twin theme and a fake element. Though Fangli and Gracie weren’t twins, they looked so much alike they could have been. It adds so much tension when someone is pretending to act as someone else, especially someone they don’t know personally. It was also fun to see the lifestyle of a famous movie star, that wasn’t actually so glamorous on the inside. 

    The ending of this story was adorable. There was a twist that I didn’t see coming but it tied the story together very well at the end. There was lots of fun and tension throughout the story but it had a sweet, heartwarming ending. 

    The Stand-In is a fun rom com!

    What to read next:

    Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto

    Have you read The Stand-In? What did you think of it?

    Review: The Witches of Moonshyne Manor

    Title: The Witches of Moonshyne Manor
    Author: Bianca Marais
    Genre: Fantasy, Contemporary
    Publisher: MIRA
    Source: Publisher
    Format: Paperback arc, Ebook
    Release Date: August 23, 2022
    Rating: ★★★★★

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    Goodreads Synopsis:

    A coven of modern-day witches. A magical heist-gone-wrong. A looming threat.

    Five octogenarian witches gather as an angry mob threatens to demolish Moonshyne Manor. All eyes turn to the witch in charge, Queenie, who confesses they’ve fallen far behind on their mortgage payments. Still, there’s hope, since the imminent return of Ruby—one of the sisterhood who’s been gone for thirty-three years—will surely be their salvation.

    But the mob is only the start of their troubles. One man is hellbent on avenging his family for the theft of a legacy he claims was rightfully his. In an act of desperation, Queenie makes a bargain with an evil far more powerful than anything they’ve ever faced. Then things take a turn for the worse when Ruby’s homecoming reveals a seemingly insurmountable obstacle instead of the solution to all their problems.

    The witches are determined to save their home and themselves, but their aging powers are no match for increasingly malicious threats. Thankfully, they get a bit of help from Persephone, a feisty TikToker eager to smash the patriarchy. As the deadline to save the manor approaches, fractures among the sisterhood are revealed, and long-held secrets are exposed, culminating in a fiery confrontation with their enemies.

    Funny, tender and uplifting, the novel explores the formidable power that can be discovered in aging, found family and unlikely friendships. Marais’ clever prose offers as much laughter as insight, delving deeply into feminism, identity and power dynamics while stirring up intrigue and drama through secrets, lies and sex. Heartbreaking and heart-mending, it will make you grateful for the amazing women in your life.

    Review:

    Queenie, who is in charge of the witches who live at Moonshyne Manor, hasn’t told the other witches that they are behind on their mortgage payments. She made a deal with Charon, the ferryman of Hades, and if she can’t produce what he wants on time, they will lose their home. Meanwhile, all of the witches are awaiting the return of Ruby, who has been in prison for the past thirty-three years. They think that Ruby’s return will solve all of their problems, but she’s not the same person that went into prison. Teenage Persephone arrives on their doorstep one day, ready to learn from them and help them fight the patriarchy. These witches have to use their special sisterhood to save Moonshyne Manor. 

    The witches who live at Moonshyne Manor are all in their eighties. I loved this, because there aren’t many novels that have elderly characters. The story has been described as the Golden Girls meets Practical Magic, and that’s the perfect description. Though these women were older, they acted youthful and took charge of the problems in their lives to proactively solve them. 

    The witches were also modern and open minded. One of the witches had a fluid gender identity as part of their magic. None of them married or had children, defying society’s expectations for them. They also acknowledged when they needed help from a younger mind. Persephone was able to find solutions that they didn’t think of. I loved how unique the characters were in this story. 

    The Witches of Moonshyne Manor is a fabulous witchy novel!

    Thank you HarperCollins Canada for sending me a copy of this book.

    What to read next:

    Small Town, Big Magic by Hazel Beck

    The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna

    Have you read The Witches of Moonshyne Manor? What did you think of it?

    Review: The Unique Lou Fox

    Title: The Unique Lou Fox
    Author: Jodi Carmichael
    Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary
    Publisher: Pajama Press
    Source: Publisher via NetGalley
    Format: Ebook
    Release Date: August 9, 2022
    Rating: ★★★★★

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    Goodreads Synopsis:

    Award-winning author Jodi Carmichael, who has ADHD herself, affirms and celebrates those who struggle with their uniqueness and triumphantly discover its gifts

    It isn’t easy being Louisa Elizabeth Fitzhenry-O’Shaughnessy—especially with dyslexia. She prefers Lou Fox, the dream name she’ll use one day as a famous Broadway playwright. In the meantime, Lou is stuck in fifth grade with Mrs. Snyder, a total Shadow Phantom of a teacher who can spot a daydream from across the room but doesn’t know anything about ADHD. Mrs. Snyder’s constant attention is ex-cru-ci-a-ting. If only she would disappear.

    Fortunately, life isn’t all a-tro-cious. There’s The Haunting at Lakeside School, the play Lou is writing and directing for her two best friends. And soon she’ll be a big sister at last. Nothing could ruin the joy of those things…right?

    Review:

    Fifth grader Louisa Elizabeth Fitzhenry-O’Shaughnessy dreams of being a playwright and changing her name to Lou Fox. She has dyslexia and ADHD, and she thinks that her teacher, Mrs. Snyder, doesn’t understand her at all. After getting in trouble one day, Lou wishes Mrs. Snyder would disappear. Then, Mrs. Snyder gets very sick and can’t come to school. Lou worries that her wish came true, especially when her pregnant mother falls ill, after she wishes she wasn’t going to have a younger sibling. Meanwhile, Lou is struggling to keep up in class and starts bossing her friends around as they plan to perform the play they wrote together. Lou must figure out how to use her strengths and embrace the ways that she’s unique. 

    This is a fabulous children’s novel! Not only is it written about a main character with dyslexia, but it was printed with consideration for readers with dyslexia. The text was set in Helvetica and the headers are in OpenDyslexic, so they are easier to read for children with dyslexia. I didn’t know that these fonts make it easier to read, so I appreciated this detail in the story. 

    There were also parts of this story that are universal. Lou had a lot of misunderstandings because she didn’t communicate her feelings. She thought her wish made her teacher ill, even though that’s not possible. Lou was understandably jealous when she found out that her mother was pregnant. Once she talked to her parents about it, she felt much better. Lou also had some conflicts with her friends which were cleared up after talking about her feelings. These are universal lessons that everyone can relate to. 

    The Unique Lou Fox is a great middle grade story!

    Thank you Pajama Press for sending me a copy!

    What to read next:

    Family of Spies by Jodi Carmichael

    Harvey Comes Home by Colleen Nelson

    Have you read The Unique Lou Fox? What did you think of it?

    Review: Berani

    Title: Berani
    Author: Michelle Kadarusman
    Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary
    Publisher: Pajama Press
    Source: Publisher
    Format: Hardcover
    Release Date: August 16, 2022
    Rating: ★★★★★

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    Goodreads Synopsis:

    An honest and stirring novel about the choices made by young environmental activists, and the balancing act between consequence and triumph 

    Malia has had a privileged upbringing in Indonesia, but since her Indonesian father died, her Canadian mother wants to return to her own family on the other side of the world. Malia is determined to stay. Indonesia is her home, and she loves it. Besides, if she leaves, how can she continue to fight for her country’s precious rainforests?

    Ari knows he is lucky to be going to school and competing on the chess team, even if it means an endless round of chores at his uncle’s restaurant. Back in his home village, he and his cousin Suni dreamed about getting a chance like this. But now he is here without her, and the guilt is crushing him. As if that weren’t enough, he’s horribly worried about Ginger Juice, his uncle’s orangutan. The too-small cage where she lives is clearly hurting her body and her mind, but where else can she go? The rainforest where she was born is a palm oil plantation now.

    In Berani, Governor General’s Award finalist Michelle Kadarusman spins together three perspectives: Malia, who is prepared to risk anything for her activism, Ari, who knows the right path but fears what it will cost, and Ginger Juice, the caged orangutan who still remembers the forest and her mother. The choices the young people make will have consequences for themselves, for Ginger Juice, and for others, if they are brave enough—or reckless enough—to choose.

    Review:

    Malia has lived a privileged life in Indonesia, but after the death of her father, her mother wants to return to her home of Canada. If Malia leaves Indonesia, she can’t continue her activism to stop deforestation. However, when a school project backfires and puts her future in jeopardy, Malia wonders if moving to Canada is a good idea after all. Meanwhile, Ari moved in with his uncle to have the opportunity to go to school and compete in chess tournaments. At his uncle’s restaurant, an orangutan named Ginger Juice has been kept in a cage since she was a baby. After finding out that it’s illegal to keep an orangutan as a pet, Ari wants to get some help for Ginger Juice, but that means going against his uncle and maybe getting him in trouble. 

    Malia and Ari had to face moral dilemmas in this story. Malia gave a presentation and passed out a petition without her teacher’s permission which put her teacher’s job in jeopardy. Her teacher could get her job back, if Malia admitted she was wrong, but she was conflicted about going against what she believes in. Ari wanted to get help for Ginger Juice, but he didn’t want his uncle to get in trouble for holding her in captivity for so long. Luckily their stories had positive outcomes, but these are moral dilemmas that kids can face once they learn about issues in the world. 

    This was a touching and emotional story. Ginger Juice’s had a narrative which told her perspective from in the cage and from the rainforest before she went to live with Ari’s uncle. It was quite disturbing to hear her talk about how her home was destroyed and she was taken away from her mother to live in captivity. Though it was hard to read, it’s important to read these types of stories because they reflect real world problems. 

    Berani is a beautiful middle grade story. 

    Thank you Pajama Press for sending me a copy of this book!

    What to read next:

    Music for Tigers by Michelle Kadarusman

    Girl of the Southern Sea by Michelle Kadarusman

    Have you read Berani? What did you think of it?

    Sponsored Review: Vanishing Girls (Detective Josie Quinn #1)

    Title: Vanishing Girls (Detective Josie Quinn #1)
    Author: Lisa Regan
    Genre: Thriller, Contemporary
    Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
    Source: Author, Bookstagrammers.com
    Format: Paperback
    Release Date: January 17, 2018
    Rating: ★★★★★

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    Goodreads Synopsis:

    She was close enough to see that the girl had written a word on the wall in bright, warm red blood. Not a word, actually. A name…

    Everyone in the small American town of Denton is searching for Isabelle Coleman, a missing seventeen-year-old girl. All they’ve found so far is her phone and another girl they didn’t even know was missing.

    Mute and completely unresponsive to the world around her, it’s clear this mysterious girl has been damaged beyond repair. All Detective Josie Quinn can get from her is a name: Ramona.

    Currently suspended from the force for misconduct, Josie takes matters into her own hands as the name leads her to evidence linking the two girls. She knows the race is on to find Isabelle alive, and she fears there may be others… 

    The trail leads Josie to another victim, a girl who escaped but whose case was labelled a hoax by authorities. To catch this monster, Josie must confront her own nightmares and follow her instinct to the darkest of places. But can she make it out alive?

    Fans of Angela Marsons, Helen Fields and Robert Dugoni will be utterly gripped and sleeping with the lights on once they discover the first in this unputdownable new crime thriller series.

    Review:

    The small town of Denton gathers together to search for missing Isabelle Coleman. While they’re searching for her, Detective Josie Quinn finds another girl who she didn’t realize was missing. However, that girl is wearing a tongue piercing that matches the one Isabelle wore. She then discovers another missing person’s case which was later determined to be a hoax, but that determination doesn’t sit right with Josie. She has to investigate a string of missing girls and women, which is a lot more extensive that anyone could have imagined. 

    This was a very fast paced and thrilling story! It was so well plotted. I couldn’t piece together what was happening, but it made sense by the end of the story. It was quite clever, the way everyone was connected to the plot and the mystery. Based on the many twists at the end, I’m curious to see where this story goes in the rest of the series. 

    There were many scenes in this story that dealt with difficult issues. There was human trafficking, rape, sexual assault, child abuse, suicide, murder, and abduction. It was honestly difficult to read at times because the scenes were emotional and graphic. Unfortunately, there are things like this happening in the world every day. Though this book had some disturbing scenes, I am giving it five stars because it was a cleverly crafted plot. 

    Vanishing Girls is a heart-pounding thriller!

    Thank you Lisa Regan and Bookstagrammers.com for sending me a copy of this book!

    What to read next:

    The Girl With No Name by Lisa Regan

    Have you read Vanishing Girls? What did you think of it?

    Review: Are You Sara?

    Title: Are You Sara?
    Author: S.C. Lalli
    Genre: Thriller, Contemporary
    Publisher: William Morrow
    Source: Publisher
    Format: Paperback arc
    Release Date: August 9, 2022
    Rating: ★★★★★

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    Goodreads Synopsis:

    Two women named Sara each get into a rideshare. . . but only one makes it home alive. Which Sara was the real target?

    Law student Saraswati “Sara” Bhaduri holds down two jobs in order to make her way through school, but it’s still a struggle. She’s had to do things to pay the bills that most people wouldn’t expect from “a nice Indian girl.” It seems like an ordinary busy Tuesday night at the local dive bar until her boss demands Sara deal with a drunk girl in the bathroom.

    The two become fast friends. Why? Because they both have the same name. And despite their different circumstances, the two connect. When they both order rideshares home, they tumble in the back of the cars and head out into the night.

    But when Sara awakes in her rideshare, she finds she’s on the wrong side of town—the rich side—and she realizes: she and Sarah took the wrong cars home.

    With no money, Sara walks back to her apartment on the shady side of town only to discover police lights flashing and a body crumpled on her doorstep: Sarah.

    Was Sarah Ellis or Sara Bhaduri the target? And why would anyone want either of them dead?

    In this smart, twisty novel about ambition, wealth, and dangerous longing, the layers are peeled back on two young women desperate to break out of the expectations placed on them, with devastating results.

    Review:

    Sarawati “Sara” Bhaduri works at a dive bar while attending law school. One evening, her boss asks her to help a drunk customer out of the bar. That girl is also named Sarah, and they spend time together, waiting for their rideshares to arrive. When Sara’s ride let’s her out, she realizes she’s on the wrong side of town. She had gotten into the other Sarah’s ride by accident. Sara makes her way across town to her home, where she finds the police and the body of Sarah on her doorstep. Now Sara has to wonder why Sarah was killed in front of her house, and if she was the real target. 

    This was the fastest book I’ve read in a long time. I read it in a day! I couldn’t put it down. The chapters were short and many ended on a cliffhanger, that kept me reading. It alternated between a few different timelines: Sara in the present, Sara in the past, and Sarah in the past. All of these storylines were fast paced. 

    The premise of this story was terrifying and realistic. It would be quite a coincidence, but it’s believable that two people with the same name could get into the wrong rideshares in real life. That part was just the beginning of the story. The rest of the story was about the events that led to them both being there at the same time, as well as Sara investigating the murder on her own. The premise drew me to the story and the exciting plot kept me reading!

    I highly recommend Are You Sara? for a fast paced thriller!

    Thank you HarperCollins Canada for sending me a copy of this book!

    Have you read Are You Sara? What did you think of it?

    Review: Accomplished: A Georgie Darcy Novel

    Title: Accomplished: A Georgie Darcy Novel
    Author: Amanda Quain
    Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Retelling
    Publisher: Wednesday Books
    Source: Publisher via NetGalley, Raincoast Books
    Format: Paperback arc, Ebook
    Release Date: July 26, 2022
    Rating: ★★★★★

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    Goodreads Synopsis:

    Georgiana Darcy gets the Pride & Prejudice retelling she deserves in Accomplished, a sparkling contemporary YA featuring a healthy dose of marching band romance, endless banter, and Charles Bingley as a ripped frat boy.

    It is a truth universally acknowledged that Georgiana Darcy should have been expelled after The Incident with Wickham Foster last year – at least if you ask any of her Pemberley Academy classmates. She may have escaped expulsion because of her family name, but she didn’t escape the disappointment of her big brother Fitz, the scorn of the entire school, or, it turns out, Wickham’s influence.

    But she’s back for her junior year, and she needs to prove to everyone—Fitz, Wickham, her former friends, and maybe even herself—that she’s more than just an embarrassment to the family name. How hard can it be to become the Perfect Darcy? All she has to do is:

    – Rebuild her reputation with the marching band (even if it kills her)
    – Forget about Wickham and his lies (no matter how tempting they still are), and
    – Distract Fitz Darcy—helicopter-sibling extraordinaire—by getting him to fall in love with his classmate, Lizzie Bennet (this one might be difficult…)

    Sure, it’s a complicated plan, but so is being a Darcy. With the help of her fellow bandmate, Avery, matchmaking ideas lifted straight from her favorite fanfics, and a whole lot of pancakes, Georgie is going to see every one of her plans through. But when the weight of being the Perfect Darcy comes crashing down, Georgie will have to find her own way before she loses everything permanently—including the one guy who sees her for who she really is.

    Review:

    Georgiana Darcy should have been expelled from Pemberley Academy last year, after her boyfriend Wickham was caught selling drugs out of her dorm room, but she wasn’t because she’s a Darcy. Now everyone at Pemberley hates Georgie because she’s responsible for getting Wickham expelled. Georgie wants to gain back her friends and reputation by becoming the perfect Darcy. She changes all of her classes to AP, focuses on playing trombone in band, and even tries to match her brother Fitz with his classmate Lizzie. With the help of her friend Avery, Georgie attempts to be the perfect Darcy, until she can’t handle the pressure. 

    This was a great retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I haven’t read an adaptation that focuses solely on Georgiana. She’s an interesting character who wasn’t featured much in the original story, but she’s important to the end of the plot. 

    While Georgie’s story was happening, the romance between Fitz and Lizzie was brewing at SUNY Meryton. I liked that this story was happening simultaneously. If you know the story of Pride and Prejudice, you can figure out what was happening between Fitz and Lizzie, with some help from Georgie. 

    I appreciated the discussion of privilege in this novel. Georgie and Fitz had a lot of privilege because of their name and money. One benefit of their privilege was that Georgie didn’t get expelled when anyone else would have. Their privilege wasn’t a fault of theirs, but it did give them opportunities that they wouldn’t have without it.

    Accomplished is a great contemporary Pride and Prejudice retelling!

    Thank you Raincoast Books and Wednesday Books for sending me a copy!

    What to read next:

    The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet by Bernie Su and Kate Rorick

    Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon

    Have you read Accomplished? What did you think of it?