Review: American Royals

Title: American Royals
Author: Katharine McGee
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Random House
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

What if America had a royal family? If you can’t get enough of Harry and Meghan or Kate and William, meet American princesses Beatrice and Samantha.

Two princesses vying for the ultimate crown. 
Two girls vying for the prince’s heart. 
This is the story of the American royals.

When America won the Revolutionary War, its people offered General George Washington a crown. Two and a half centuries later, the House of Washington still sits on the throne. Like most royal families, the Washingtons have an heir and a spare. A future monarch and a backup battery. Each child knows exactly what is expected of them. But these aren’t just any royals. They’re American. And their country was born of rebellion.

As Princess Beatrice gets closer to becoming America’s first queen regnant, the duty she has embraced her entire life suddenly feels stifling. Nobody cares about the spare except when she’s breaking the rules, so Princess Samantha doesn’t care much about anything, either . . . except the one boy who is distinctly off-limits to her. And then there’s Samantha’s twin, Prince Jefferson. If he’d been born a generation earlier, he would have stood first in line for the throne, but the new laws of succession make him third. Most of America adores their devastatingly handsome prince . . . but two very different girls are vying to capture his heart.

The duty. The intrigue. The Crown. New York Times bestselling author Katharine McGee imagines an alternate version of the modern world, one where the glittering age of monarchies has not yet faded–and where love is still powerful enough to change the course of history.

Review:

This book definitely lived up to the hype!

I loved this reimagining of America. It shows what it would have been like if the United States had a monarchy instead of the government. It was a unique revision of history.

There were four different narratives of girls who are part of the royal family. Two narratives were of the princesses, Beatrice and Samantha. The other two narratives were about girls who were on the outside of the royal family but were very close friends of the family, Nina and Daphne. All of these perspectives gave a complete picture of the life of the royal family.

The only thing that bothered me about this story was how boy crazy the girls were. They were all strong, independent women, yet they spent all of their time worrying about the boys they liked. The multiple relationships made for some intense scenes, because no one was ending up with the person they loved. However, I wished the women were able to live without depending on those men.

I loved this book! I hope the story continues because it left on quite a cliffhanger!

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Royals (Royals #1) by Rachel Hawkins

Have you read American Royals? What did you think of it?

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Review: Permanent Record

Title: Permanent Record
Author: Mary H.K. Choi
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Emergency Contact, which Rainbow Rowell called “smart and funny,” comes an unforgettable new romance about how social media influences relationships every day.

On paper, college dropout Pablo Rind doesn’t have a whole lot going for him. His graveyard shift at a twenty-four-hour deli in Brooklyn is a struggle. Plus, he’s up to his eyeballs in credit card debt. Never mind the state of his student loans.

Pop juggernaut Leanna Smart has enough social media followers to populate whole continents. The brand is unstoppable. She graduated from child stardom to become an international icon and her adult life is a queasy blur of private planes, step-and-repeats, aspirational hotel rooms, and strangers screaming for her just to notice them.

When Leanna and Pablo meet at 5:00 a.m. at the bodega in the dead of winter it’s absurd to think they’d be A Thing. But as they discover who they are, who they want to be, and how to defy the deafening expectations of everyone else, Lee and Pab turn to each other. Which, of course, is when things get properly complicated. 

Review:

I really enjoyed this new novel.

Pablo straddles two different cultures, Korean and Pakistani. Since he is part of two different backgrounds, he doesn’t really feel accepted by either one. He hasn’t even travelled to either of his parents’ birthplaces, making him feel even more left out. This affects the rest of his life, leaving him unable to finish school and even abandoning his job.

I loved how realistic this book felt. It felt like I was reading about someone’s real life. Pablo has a pretty ordinary and unexciting life until he meets a pop star and they begin a relationship. Even though this extraordinary event happens to him, he is drawn back to his real life. The ending was perfect for this ordinary boy.

This is a great young adult novel!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Have you read Permanent Record? What did you think of it?

Review: Dear Haiti, Love Alaine

Title: Dear Haiti, Love Alaine
Author: Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Co-written by sisters Maika and Maritza Moulite, and told in epistolary style through letters, articles, emails, and diary entries, this exceptional debut novel captures a sparkling new voice and irrepressible heroine in a celebration of storytelling sure to thrill fans of Nicola Yoon, Ibi Zoboi and Jenna Evans Welch!

When a school presentation goes very wrong, Alaine Beauparlant finds herself suspended, shipped off to Haiti and writing the report of a lifetime…

You might ask the obvious question: What do I, a seventeen-year-old Haitian American from Miami with way too little life experience, have to say about anything?

Actually, a lot.

Thanks to “the incident” (don’t ask), I’m spending the next two months doing what my school is calling a “spring volunteer immersion project.” It’s definitely no vacation. I’m toiling away under the ever-watchful eyes of Tati Estelle at her new nonprofit. And my lean-in queen of a mother is even here to make sure I do things right. Or she might just be lying low to dodge the media sharks after a much more public incident of her own…and to hide a rather devastating secret.

All things considered, there are some pretty nice perks…like flirting with Tati’s distractingly cute intern, getting actual face time with my mom and experiencing Haiti for the first time. I’m even exploring my family’s history—which happens to be loaded with betrayals, superstitions and possibly even a family curse.

You know, typical drama. But it’s nothing I can’t handle.

Review:

This story had it all! It had romance, mystery, drama, and a little bit of magic. Each of these parts worked seamlessly together.

I fell in love with Alaine immediately. She was hilarious and confident. I loved that she would go to extremes to get her point across, even when it backfired on her. I got so comfortable with her character that I was as shocked as her when she received some devastating news at about a quarter of the way through the book. I had a hard time putting this book down because I needed to know how it ended!

Another thing I loved about this story is that it was told using various different forms of writing. There were letters, texts, emails, and diary entries. I love stories that are told through many forms like this because it gives different perspectives of events.

This was a fabulous book! I can’t wait to read what the Moulite sisters write next!

Thank you HarperCollins Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Have you read Dear Haiti, Love Alaine? What did you think of it?

Review: Fan the Fame

Title: Fan the Fame
Author: Anna Priemaza
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Indigo Fall Preview
Format: Paperback
Release Date: August 20, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Equal parts Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl and Jennifer Mathieu’s Moxie, this fiercely crafted feminist YA novel takes on fandom, accountability, and doing the right thing. Even when it hurts.

Lainey wouldn’t mind lugging a camera around a video game convention for her brother, aka YouTube superstar Codemeister, except for one big problem. He’s funny and charming online, but behind closed doors, Cody is a sexist jerk.

SamTheBrave came to this year’s con with one mission: meeting Codemeister—because getting his idol’s attention could be the big break Sam needs.

ShadowWillow is already a successful streamer. But when her fans start shipping her with Code, Shadow concocts a plan to turn the rumors to her advantage.

The three teens’ paths collide when Lainey records one of Cody’s hateful rants on video. Because she’s determined to spill the truth to her brother’s fans—even if that means putting Sam and Shadow in the crosshairs.

Told through three relatable voices and arriving on the heels of the author’s widely praised debut novel, Kat and Meg Conquer the World, this sophomore novel is a nuanced and timely story about followers, fame, and fighting for what’s right.

Review:

This was a great story!

This story drew a lot of attention to problems in the online gaming community. Lainey wanted to take her brother down from his high position in the community by proving that he is a misogynist and a racist. At the same time, ShadowWillow has to fight for her position in the community even harder just because she is a woman. ShadowWillow even comments on how the panel of all girls at the convention was in the morning, at the least popular time slot.

The character SamTheBrave had a disorder that caused him to pick at his skin. He was bullied because people couldn’t understand his disorder. Even his family bullied him about it. Even if a disorder doesn’t have a “pretty” image, it is important for it to be present in fiction, because it is present in real life. I really liked that Sam had this uncommon disorder, to bring awareness to it.

One thing that would have made this story much more effective was if there were people of colour and LGBTQ characters represented in this story. People of colour in the gaming community were mentioned briefly and there were some very minor LGBTQ characters, but I think there should have been some more representation because they are also part of the community.

I really loved this story!

Thank you Chapters Indigo for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza

Have you read Fan the Fame? What did you think of it?

Review: Red, White and Royal Blue

Title: Red, White and Royal Blue
Author: Casey McQuiston
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him. 

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

Review:

This book definitely lived up to the hype!

I loved this parallel universe with a queer romance between a prince and a first son. They were such a cute couple! It really didn’t feel that far off from the future. Things are changing everyday, and I can imagine these kinds of changes in these historical institutions. However, it was heartbreaking that these two boys, who were perfect for each other, could have been kept apart because of some people’s prejudice.

Some of the parts were predictable, but that’s what I loved about the story. I could tell that Alex and Henry would get together, because of the tension between them. I also predicted that they would be caught in some way because that was the danger of their relationship becoming public.

I’m so glad I read this story! I loved it!

Thank you St. Martin’s Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Royals (Royals #1) by Rachel Hawkins

Her Royal Highness (Royals #2) by Rachel Hawkins

Have you read Red, White and Royal Blue? What did you think of it?

Review: My Ideal Boyfriend is a Croissant

Title: My Ideal Boyfriend is a Croissant
Author: Laura Dockrill
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: July 16, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

This honest, laugh-out-loud novel brimming with body positivity, bite-sized nuggets of feminism, and commentary on eating will have readers rooting for sixteen-year-old BB as she navigates her world while maintaining her plucky zest for life even in the most trying of times.

It’s a food diary. I have to tell the truth. That’s the point.

Sixteen-year-old Bluebelle, also known as BB or Big Bones, lives her life unapologetically. She loves life! She loves food!

When BB has a worse-than-usual asthma attack, her mom insists she go to the doctor. There, she is told that she is overweight (no surprise) and prediabetic (big surprise) and must lose weight, move more, and keep a food diary. To get out of this immediate health crisis, she agrees to make an effort.

Then a tragedy occurs in the family, and things get seriously complicated. Suddenly, losing weight and moving more are the least of her worries. As for the food diary, though, BB doesn’t just document what she’s eating, she documents what she’s feeling–and she has a lot to say!

Review:

This story was both hilarious and heartbreaking.

Bluebelle is told that she is obese and needs to lose weight after a serious asthma attack. A nurse gives her a food diary to keep track of her diet. The diary ends up turning into a journal where she talks about everything in her life. It takes a serious accident for her to rethink her life choices.

There was so much delicious food described in this book! This is definitely not a book to read when you’re hungry. There was a paragraph that described toast, which made me crave it. I’ve never read toast described in such detail before!

The only thing that bothered me about this book was the cover. The character is supposed to be so obese that she is unhealthy, or at least that is the way she is described. However, the girl on the cover looks like she’s a healthy body weight. I wish her size was represented with a more appropriate model on the cover.

I really enjoyed this story!

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Ordinary Girls by Blair Thornburgh

Have you read My Ideal Boyfriend is a Croissant? What did you think of it?

Review: Please Send Help (I Hate Everyone But You #2)

Title: Please Send Help (I Hate Everyone But You #2)
Author: Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: July 16, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this hilarious follow-up novel to the New York Times bestseller I Hate Everyone But You, long distance best friends Ava and Gen have finally made it to the same time zone (although they’re still over a thousand miles apart).

Through their hilarious, sometimes emotional, but always relatable conversations, Ava and Gen are each other’s support systems through internships, relationship troubles, questionable roommates, undercover reporting, and whether or not it’s a good idea to take in a feral cat. Please Send Help perfectly captures the voice of young adults looking to find their place in the world and how no matter how desperate things seem, you always have your best friend to tell it like it is and pick you back up.

Review:

This story follows Ava and Gen during their first jobs/internships. They finally live in the same time zone, but different ends of the country. Neither of their lives really work out in the way they had hoped, with one getting fired and the other getting an STD.

I love the two voices of Ava and Gen in this story. They’re both hilarious and relatable. Unlike other stories about two best friends, these ones have fights and hurt each other’s feelings. They’re realistic, which makes them relatable.

I loved this fun story! I hope they write another book in this series.

Thank you St. Martin’s Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Giant Days by Non Pratt

The Twitter Diaries by Georgie Thompson and Imogen Lloyd Webber

Have you read Please Send Help? What did you think of it?