Regal Reads Blog Tour | If I Were Trapped in a Disney Movie for a Day + Regal Hearts Season One Review

RegalReadsTour

Hey everyone!  Today I’m participating in the blog tour, Regal Reads, in honor of Regal Hearts: Season One being released in paperback! I’m super excited about this post today, because not only am I sharing an extra book review this week, but I also get to be a little extra creative.  The lovely Livy Jarmusch came up with some super creative tour ideas, and they were all so fun and imaginative! I just had to write and share with you all the things I would do if I were trapped in a Disney movie for a day.  So, without further ado, let’s get on with it!

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Book Review | Once and for All

32078787 (1).jpgTitle: Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

Pages: 358

Genres: Ya, Contemporary

Published by: Viking Books for Young Readers (June 6, 2017)

Summary

As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

Once and for All 

What I Thought

When Sarah Dessen announced she was writing a new book, I was so excited!  She is one of my favorite authors.  I absolutely adore Sarah Dessen’s novels, and I am so happy to say it was no different for Once and for All!

Like all of Sarah Dessen’s books, the characters were so phenomenal.  Louna was a very likable character for me, and I thought Ambrose, while definitely not perfect, was so sweet.  I really loved watching the relationship grow.  Jilly, Louna’s best friend was also such a great character.  She was very confident, and a great and supportive best friend.  I also want to say that while her family wasn’t in the story a whole lot, I really loved the positive portrayal of Jilly’s parents.  They were very happily married, and loved all their kids, and that is something that really isn’t shown in YA enough, in my opinion.  Personally, I would love to read a whole book about Jilly and her family and their food truck!

This story is a little heavy at times.  It deals with loss and tragedy, and the flashbacks really broke my heart.  While there is romance in this book, I feel like the real story is about Louna’s growth and learning to let others in.

Honestly, I thought the whole wedding planning theme was so much fun.  I’m so glad I’m not a wedding planner though because, whew, they are such hard workers!!  Another thing I found super fun was all the references from Sarah Dessen’s past books!  I love little things like that, and it gave us a tiny glimpse into seeing how everyone is doing.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! It was fun and light-hearted at times, but it also had its quite emotional moments.  I loved the characters and the romance as well.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a good, contemporary novel.
4 stars 2


Book Review | Eleanor & Park

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Title: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Pages: 328

Genres: YA, Romance, Contemporary

Published by: St. Martin’s Press (Feb. 26, 2013)

Summary

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Eleanor & Park

 

What I Thought

Eleanor & Park has been on my TBR since 2013, but it was just one of those books that I never got around to picking.  Finally, I read, and I am so glad I did!

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Book Review | The Unexpected Everything

17838528Title: The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Pages: 519

Genres: Contemporary, YA, Romance, Fiction, Family

Published by: Simon and Schuster (May 3rd, 2016)

Summary

Andie had it all planned out.

When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected.

And where’s the fun in that?

Goodreads

What I Thought

When I found out Morgan Matson was coming out with a new book, I just knew that I was going to read it.  I had read Since You’ve Been Gone when it first came out, and I absolutely loved it, and so I just knew I was going to love The Unexpected Everything, and it did not disappoint!

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Book Review | Into The Wild

5015408Title: Into The Wild by Erin Hunter

Pages: 288

Genres: Adventure, Children’s/Middle Grade, Fiction, Animals, Fantasy

Published by: HarperTrophy (January 9th, 2003)

Summary

For generations, four Clans of wild cats have shared the forest according to the laws laid down by their warrior ancestors. But the ThunderClan cats are in grave danger, and the sinister ShadowClan grows stronger every day. Noble warriors are dying– and some deaths are more mysterious than others. In the midst of this turmoil appears an ordinary house cat named Rusty . . . who may turn out to be the bravest warrior of them all.

Goodreads

What I Thought

After reading this book, I’ll never look at stray/wild cats the same again!  After much encouragement from my sister, I finally entered the world of Warriors, and I’m glad I did.  This book was so much fun!

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Summer Reading Goals Wrap-Up

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Hey everyone!  So, in the beginning of summer I wrote a post telling you all about my reading goals for the summer.  Well, since summer 2016 is over now (*sad face*), I thought I’d look back at my goals and see which ones I accomplished, and which goals I need to work on for next summer!


1. Read at least 15 books

I diiiid it!! From Memorial Day to Labor Day I actually read 20 books! I am super pleased with myself, and actually am very surprised that I not only reached my goal, but surpassed it!

summer-books-2016

2. Complete my library’s summer reading program

Check!  I read for all 50 days and ended up with a nifty T-shirt and a free smoothie coupon!

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3. Reread some old favorites

This is one goal I still need to work on.  I am currently rereading Twilight, so maybe this one half counts…or maybe half of a half…or not. lol  It’s just so hard for me to reread books when there are so many books I haven’t read yet, but then I really do want to revisit my old favorites…! #thestruggleisreal

4. Read more classics

My goal was to read at least 2 classics each month.  I ended up only reading 1 classic a month, but hey, at least I stayed on track for the Classics Challenge!  Also, I truly enjoyed all three of the classics I read.  So, even though I didn’t read as many classics as I intended to, I still feel like I sort of achieved this goal.  I’d say this one half counts, though! 😉

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10 points if you know who Wishbone is! 😉

5. Conquer my TBR…or at least tame it…

I feel like I achieved this goal.  Obviously, I still have a huge TBR pile, but I ended up reading some books that I’d had for quite a while.  Also, I didn’t really buy very many books, and I only checked out 4 library books all summer – which is unheard of for me!  I really wanted to focus on reading the books that I already owned this summer, and I feel like I did that.

thumbs up shaun the sheep movie lgtm looks good 2016 oscar nominations

 

6. Participate in the Hedgeathon 2016

The Hedgeathon was a summer read-a-thon, and it was created by Natalie at Books and Quills.  I just narrowly managed to finish it on time, but it was so much fun!  I actually wrote wrap-up post specifically for the Hedgeathon.  If you’re interested, here it is!

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Well, that wraps up my reading for summer 2016!  Overall, I had a pretty great summer, and I hope you all did, too.  I’m super sad summer is over, but I admit, I am looking forward to fall now.  Nothing is cozier than a nice cup of tea (or a Pumpkin Spice Latte, if that’s more your style 😉 ), a warm blanket,  and a really good book.

season fall autumn seasons first day of fall

Book Review | Beastly

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Title: Beastly by Alex Flinn

Pages: 304

Genres: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Retellings

Published by: HarperTeen (January 1, 2007)

Summary

I am a beast.

A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.

You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll stay this way forever—ruined—unless I can break the spell.

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and the perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly . . . beastly.

Goodreads

What I Thought

I was pleasantly surprised with this book!  Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from it.  I had heard about Beastly, and I knew there was a movie, but I hadn’t heard a lot about what people actually thought of it.  All I knew was that it was a modern-day, Beauty and the Beast retelling, and its cover looks like it was designed for fans of Twilight.  I recently saw this book at the thrift store, and at only $0.40, I figured I had nothing to lose!

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#ReadThemAllThon Update #3

ReadThemAllThon

Last week was the last week of the read-a-thon, and while I wasn’t able to actually complete the entire challenge, I think I did pretty well, and I had so much fun!

Badges Earned

ReadThemAllThon-Badge01-Boulder

The first book I read this week was Into the Wild (Cat Warriors #1) by Erin Hunter.  My sister has been a huge fan of this series for a while now, and since we both love cats so much, she knew I would like it, too!  I did not manage to get a review written in time to count for the read-a-thon, but be on the look out for one soon. 🙂

ReadThemAllThon-Badge05-Soul

The second book I read was Beastly by Alex Flinn.  It was a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and I ended up enjoying this book a lot more than I expected to.  You can look forward to a review for this book in the coming weeks as well. 🙂

CP Earned

Dance of Fire Review | +20CP

Into the Wild |+28CP

Boulder Badge | +20CP

Beastly | +30CP

Soul Badge | +20CP

Tweets | +20CP

My pokemon’s final CP is at 338!  He didn’t make it into a Venusaur this time, but maybe for the next read-a-thon. 🙂

pokemon-trainer-card-4


This read-a-thon was so, so much fun!  Overall, I ended up reading 4 really great books.  I may not have been able to finish all 8 books, but I know if it weren’t for the challenges, I probably would not have read any of these books yet, and they would have just sat on my TBR pile for who knows how long.

I just wanted to say thanks again to Aentee from ReadAtMidnight for creating the #ReadThemAllThon, and for all the hard work and thoughtfulness she put into it.

I hope you all have enjoyed seeing what I’ve been reading! 🙂

Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram to continue to stay updated on what I am reading in between blog posts.

Book Review | Dance of Fire

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Title: Dance of Fire by Yelena Black

Pages: 321

Genres: YA, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance

Published by: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (March 12th, 2015)

Summary

All dancers dream of the chance to try out for the Royal Court Ballet Company. Only two dancers from the elite New York Ballet Academy will have this honour. Vanessa is one of them. She dances with grace and elegance, and a fury that is unmatched. Justin – strong, sexy and caring – will be her partner. But the thrill of travelling to London for this once-in-a-lifetime competition is shrouded by their past and the demands of an ancient organisation. The Lyric Elite needs them to win the contest and to infiltrate the Royal Court Ballet in order to seek out a dark society of Necrodancers. Vanessa will dance like she has never danced before, but not for them. Vanessa is there to find her missing sister, Margaret, and she won’t let anything get in the way of that …Fierce rivals, dark forces and hidden motives weave together in a gripping thriller for fans of Black Swan and Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments.

Goodreads

What I Thought

First, you should know that this book is the sequel to Dance of Shadows.  You can check out the review I did for that by clicking here. 🙂

I read Dance of Shadows back when it came out in 2013.  It wasn’t a super hyped up book, but, of the few bloggers I knew back then, people talked about it.  There was definitely some media hype, and as a dancer, I just new I had to get that book.  So, after finishing it, it was quite clear there was going to be a sequel.  So, I kept waiting, and waiting, for any type of information concerning the next book in the series.  Finally, Dance of Fire was quietly released in 2015, straight to paperback, and only available in the UK (I bought my copy from The Book Depository).  I’m saying all of this, because I feel like this book is highly underappreciated, and I want to know why there were absolutely no announcements or hype about the release of this book.  In fact, the only way I found out about its release is because I had marked it on my to-read shelf on Goodreads, and one day there was a release date on it.  That was it.  This book was good!  Was it the best book I ever read? No.  That being said I really did enjoy it, and I cannot figure out why its release is so quiet and shady.  Okay, random, mini-rant over; I’m going to talk about the actual content now!

Dance of Fire had a different vibe than book 1, and I think that worked really well for it.  In this book, Vanessa is in a new location, with new characters – and a few old ones – and everything just felt very fresh and new.  The dancing, as always, was super fun to read about, and I loved how Yelena Black incorporated the paranormal aspect of the novel in the actual dancing.  I loved getting to know Vanessa’s mom in this one, because I don’t remember her in Dance of Shadows very much, if at all, too.  I also found myself liking Justin’s character a lot more than I remember.  I did miss Vanessa’s friends though.

Something I did not necessarily care for was the dual perspective.  In this book, it alternates between present day, and Margaret’s diary from 2 years ago.  I appreciated the insight from the past, but sometimes things felt a bit disjointed because of it.  Overall, this book just did not feel as strong as the first.  I also found this book struggling in the same way Dance of Shadows did.  The beginning was exciting, and the ending was great, but the middle was a bit lacking at times.  I felt like things should have been progressing more, when nothing was really happening.

I really did enjoy the ending though.  I thought it really tied the two books together, and wrapped up the mystery well.  It also left just enough loose ends open for the series to feel complete, but also stay available for more sequels in the future, if the author decides to do so.

Overall, while I did not enjoy this book quite as much as the first one, Dance of Fire was a very entertaining, mysterious read.  I would recommend this series to anyone who is a lover of both dance and the paranormal.

Also, can we just appreciate that gorgeous cover?! *heart eyes*

 

 

 

 

#ReadThemAllThon Update #2

ReadThemAllThon

Reading wise, this week was not great.  I only finished one book.  However, I had a super busy, fun-filled week, so that is okay!

Badges Earned

ReadThemAllThon-Badge06-Marsh

This week, I only earned my Marsh Badge, with Dance of Fire by Yelena Black.  For some reason, it took me forever to read this book – I only just finished it today!  I had planned on having it finished early last week, and the review would have been up for sure last Saturday, but that, obviously, didn’t happen.  You can look for the review to be up in the next day or two!

Like I said, I didn’t get that much time to read this past week.  However, I am okay with that, because I had a really great last week of summer break! 🙂  My family and I bought week passes to the fair, and so I ended up going 5 times this year!  I always have so much fun at the fair, and it’s really nice, because we have a trailer we go camping at in the summer, and the campground is literally right next to the fairgrounds.  So, my family and I went camping there a couple of times last week, and then we would walk over to the fair, too.

Because of my lack of reading, however, I realize the chances of me being able to complete this read-a-thon are now super slim!  So, my goal now is to just complete at least 2 more books, which would bring me to at least the halfway mark.

CP Earned

Dance of Fire | +32CP

Marsh Badge | +20CP

Tweets | +2CP

My Pokemon is now at 150 CP, which means he can finally evolve into an Ivysaur, gaining me an extra +50CP, which brings us up to 200 CP!

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Okay, so like I said, my goal for this final week of the #ReadThemAllThon, is to read at least 2 more books.  I also want to have all my reviews for these books, as well as Dance of Fire, written and posted before the read-a-thon is over.  Wish me luck!! 🙂

Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram for more day-to-day updates!