First Lines Friday – December 7

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:

“On the morning we are to leave for our Grand Tour of the Continent, I wake in bed beside Percy. For a disorienting moment, it’s unclear whether we’ve slept together or simply slept together.”

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores. 

Have you read A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue? What did you think of it?

Holiday Readathon

I’ve decided to participate in the “Tis The Season A Thon!” It sounds like a great holiday reading challenge! It takes place from Dec. 3-9, so I’ll do my best to get the challenges done in time!

I found this readathon on Amy’s blog A Court of Crowns and Quills

The four challenges are:

  1. Read a book with red or green on the cover
  2. Read a book while listening to holiday music
  3. Read a warm and fuzzy book
  4. Read a short book
  5. Read a holiday themed book
  6. Bonus: Read the group book: Snow in Love by Melissa de la Cruz, Nic Stone, Aimee Friedman, and Kasie West

The “Tis The Season A Thon” is hosted by:

I’m so excited to start this readathon! Are you participating in this readathon or another one for the holiday season?

Review: ttyl (Internet Girls #1)

Title: ttyl (Internet Girls #1)
Author: Lauren Myracle
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: February 18, 2014 (first published April 1, 2004)
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

On the first day of tenth grade, best friends Maddie (mad maddie), Angela (SnowAngel), and Zoe (zoegirl) vow not to let school stupidness get them down… or split them apart. But as the weeks pass and the instant messages accumulate, it’s clear that tenth grade will be a roller coaster ride of boy temptation, math torture, donut emergenices, and Queen Bee encounters.

Then a jerky boy sends peppy Angela into the dumps, tough Maddie makes a mistake that has the whole school talking, and good girl Zoe gets in over her head with a flirty teacher. Will the winsome threesome make it through the year? 

Review:

I remember seeing this book in the bookstore when it first came out, but I never read it. After reading the book Upside Down Magic, which is coauthored by Lauren Myracle, I decided to give this series a try. Since I knew this book was published 14 years ago, I was shocked at all of the current references. The girls watched Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy. These references actually really confused me at first, until I read that it was actually an updated version if the book with current popular culture references! This makes the book relevant for today’s teens. I really enjoyed this story. It is told in a unique format, because it is only told through texts between three friends. They have to summarize some things they do outside of the texts so the reader knows what’s happening. The subject matter of the story was very serious at times. One of the girls has an inappropriate relationship with a teacher while another is bullied once an explicit video is posted online. These are realistic issues that can come up in any high school. This is a great book! I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

What to read next:

ttfn (Internet Girls #2) by Lauren Myracle

Kissing Kate by Lauren Myracle

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

TBR Thursday – December 6

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 The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Collecting books can be a dangerous prospect in this fun, time-traveling, fantasy adventure from a spectacular debut author.

One thing any Librarian will tell you: the truth is much stranger than fiction…
 
Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it’s already been stolen. 
 
London’s underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos-infested—the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something—secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself.
 
Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And failure is not an option—because it isn’t just Irene’s reputation at stake, it’s the nature of reality itself…

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


Review: Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies (Pottermore Presents #1)

Title: Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies (Pottermore Presents #1)
Author: J.K. Rowling
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Pottermore Limited
Source: Purchased
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

‘Minerva was the Roman goddess of warriors and wisdom. William McGonagall is celebrated as the worst poet in British history. There was something irresistible to me about his name, and the idea that such a brilliant woman might be a distant relative of the buffoonish McGonagall.’ – J.K. Rowling

Pottermore Presents is a collection of J.K. Rowling’s writing from the Pottermore archives: short reads originally featured on pottermore.com with some exclusive new additions. These eBooks, with writing curated by Pottermore, will take you beyond the Harry Potter stories as J.K. Rowling reveals her inspiration, intricate details of characters’ lives and surprises from the wizarding world.

These stories of heroism, hardship and dangerous hobbies profile two of the Harry Potter stories’ most courageous and iconic characters: Minerva McGonagall and Remus Lupin. J.K. Rowling also gives us a peek behind the closed curtains of Sybill Trelawney’s life, and you’ll encounter the reckless, magical-beast-loving Silvanus Kettleburn along the way.

Review:

This is a great collection of stories from Hogwarts. It is part of an ebook series created by Pottermore. This book gives some details of characters, which do not appear in the Harry Potter series.

The book begins with Minerva McGonagall’s life story. It wasn’t until I started reading it, that I realized we don’t know much about her past from the series. She faced many hardships in her early adult life, but they shaped her into the strong woman she was as professor and headmistress of Hogwarts.

The second part was about Remus Lupin, so it was definitely a tear jerker. J.K. Rowling even said it was an emotional story to write. He is one of my favourite characters in the series, and he had a tragic life.

The book ends on a lighter note with stories about Sybill Trelawney and Silvanus Kettleburn. They were minor characters, and Kettleburn doesn’t even appear in the original series, but their stories were entertaining.

This is a great start to the Pottermore series, which is a must read for Harry Potter fans!

What to read next:

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists by J.K. Rowling

Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide by J.K. Rowling

Have you read Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – December 5

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Rick Riordan Presents Yoon Ha Lee’s space opera about thirteen-year-old Min, who comes from a long line of fox spirits. But you’d never know it by looking at her.

To keep the family safe, Min’s mother insists that none of them use any fox-magic, such as Charm or shape-shifting. They must appear human at all times. Min feels hemmed in by the household rules and resents the endless chores, the cousins who crowd her, and the aunties who judge her. She would like nothing more than to escape Jinju, her neglected, dust-ridden, and impoverished planet. She’s counting the days until she can follow her older brother, Jun, into the Space Forces and see more of the Thousand Worlds.

When word arrives that Jun is suspected of leaving his post to go in search of the Dragon Pearl, Min knows that something is wrong. Jun would never desert his battle cruiser, even for a mystical object rumored to have tremendous power. She decides to run away to find him and clear his name.

Min’s quest will have her meeting gamblers, pirates, and vengeful ghosts. It will involve deception, lies, and sabotage. She will be forced to use more fox-magic than ever before, and to rely on all of her cleverness and bravery. The outcome may not be what she had hoped, but it has the potential to exceed her wildest dreams.

This sci-fi adventure with the underpinnings of Korean mythology will transport you to a world far beyond your imagination. 

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: Fairest of All (Whatever After #1)

Title: Fairest of All (Whatever After #1)
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The first installment of Sarah Mylowski’s New York Timesbestselling series!

Be the bravest of them all . . . 


Once upon a time my brother and I were normal kids. The next minute? The mirror in our basement slurped us up and magically transported us inside Snow White’s fairy tale. 

I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true.

But hey — we’re heroes! We stopped Snow White from eating the poisoned apple. Hooray! Or not. If Snow White doesn’t die, she won’t get to meet her prince. And then she won’t get her happy ending. Oops. 

Now it’s up to us to:
– Avoid getting poisoned
– Sneak into a castle
– Fix Snow White’s story

But Snow White’s REAL happy ending might not be quite what we expected . . . 

Review:

I was so excited to read this series. I’ve always loved retellings of fairytales. The girl who I babysit has recommended the Whatever After series for years, and when I found out what it was about, I was dying to read it. In the series, Abby and Jonah enter fairytales through a magical mirror in their house, but something always goes wrong in the story. They have to find a way to fix the fairytale so the main character still gets a happy ending. 

This story is based on Snow White. When Abby and Jonah arrive in the fairytale land, they prevent Snow from eating the poisoned apple from the wicked witch. This means that she does not die and Prince Charming cannot save her with a kiss. The kids have to find a way to fix the story in a unique way. 

This is a great series! I love the way Sarah Mlynowski writes. Everything moves at a fast pace. Even though the series is written for a middle grade audience, I really enjoyed the story! I’m excited to read the rest of the series!

What to read next:

If the Shoe Fits (Whatever After #2) by Sarah Mlynowski

Upside-Down Magic (Upside-Down Magic #1) by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Miracle, and Emily Jenkins

Have you read Fairest of All? What did you think of it?