Girls of July by Alex Flinn

GoodReads Summary:
Four girls. One unforgettable July.
Britta is the bubbly drama queen. She needs to get away—and a peaceful cabin in the woods sounds like the perfect escape.
Meredith is the overachiever. She’s spent her entire life preparing for college, but at what cost? Now she’s wondering if that’s all there is.
Kate is the reluctant socialite. She’s searching for a reason to begin again after fleeing her small Georgia town—and a shameful family secret.
Spider is the quiet intellectual. She’s struggling with pain that has isolated her from her peers for much of her life.
When these four very different young women stay together for a month in the mountains, they discover that sometimes getting away from it all can only bring you back to who you really are.
Girls of JulyReview:
Alex Flinn has been an auto-buy author for me for years. She’s one of Antonia’s absolute favorite authors. So, when I saw she was coming out with a new contemporary novel, you could say I was excited. This was the first book I picked up for the Litha Witch-A-Thon because I just had to get into it as soon as possible.
In Girls of July, we follow four girls that are growing up and trying to figure out who they are and what they really want from life. They find themselves together in a cabin in the mountains. At first, they were all pretty unlikable characters except for Ruthie, the grandmother. The four girls, Britta, Kate, Meredith, and Spider, are all at points in their lives where they need change, even if they don’t know that they need it.
I really enjoyed seeing the four of them figure out how to live together and be around each other 24 hours a day. As the story progressed, they learned more about one another and became more likable characters. I really liked that they all had their own distinct voices. There was no confusion when going between the four perspectives.
We have Meredith, the Brainiac who’s not sure if she’s chasing her own dreams or her parent’s dreams. She finds romance and a new appreciation for nature. She learns that the things she thought she wanted may not have been her own dreams. The only thing I didn’t like about Meredith was that she gets a little lost in her romance. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the romance. But I thought it was going to be more of the girls being friends together.
Then there’s Kate. Southern belle, comes from a wealthy family, just trying to live up to her parents’ expectations. Except, she doesn’t want to live the future that they have planned for her. Instead, she spends the summer babysitting a little boy, giving help to someone that doesn’t want to accept it. Kate learns that sometimes asking for help is okay. I think Kate was the most likable at the beginning. She has a big heart and loves pretty freely. She struggles with family issues but comes out on top. I think she really learned the most this summer.
Britta, our Cuban firecracker. I loved that her culture was included in this story. We see her trying to teach the other girls (Spider) how to cook. She doesn’t shy away from who she is even if that is a loud and enthusiastic girl that not everyone likes. She grew the least I think. She learns that she needs to be honest with her mother. As much as I liked Britta, I was a little disappointed with the ending of her story. I would have liked a little more resolution with her mom.
Finally, Spider. She was the most unlikable. She’s the one that put the ad for roommates at her family’s cabin. But she was so grumpy and negative the first chunk of the book I wondered why she even bothered. But that question was answered. Spider is an aspiring filmmaker which is incorporated into the story. Her and Britta spend most of their time working on a short movie project and the two really bond. Spider lives with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. I think her story was such a good one. It really showed how strong she was and that she wasn’t just her illness. Spider has goals and dreams and I really grew to like her.
Overall, I liked this book just as much as I thought I would. Four girls that don’t know each other go into a cabin for a month and come out as lifelong friends. I think this story was so good. There were a diverse group of characters some rich, some not, some of color, some not, and one struggling with a lifelong illness. I also want to vaguely mention that there is talk of a female/female relationship but I can’t give too many details without spoiling anything. I love that these girls had adventures and learned things. I enjoyed reading this story so much. It’s almost five hundred pages and I read it all in one day. I would certainly recommend this to anyone that loves contemporary books. Plus, it has an absolutely stunning cover.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Beastly by Alex Flinn

GoodReads 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.
Beastly (Beastly, #1; Kendra Chronicles, #1)Review:
Beauty and the Beast has never been one of my favorite fairytales. Despite this, I always still seem to buy the newest B&tB retellings. Now, this retelling isn’t a new one but it is one of Antonia’s favorites. So, a few months ago I ended up buying all of the books by Alex Flinn that were available on Bookoutlet. I’ve been meaning to pick Beastly up for a while. I read it (part of it anyway) years ago. But the copy I had bought had a printing error and didn’t have all of the correct pages in it. So, I never ended up reading the full story.
Now that I have read the whole story, I’m glad that I did. Our main character Kyle is the most unlikable character. But as the story progresses, he learns the error of his ways. I think this was really well done. It wasn’t all of sudden Kyle was a nice guy now that he was a beast. He still struggled with doing the right things and not lashing out when he was upset. I think his development was done well.
I think the romance was done well also. Especially since this whole story is based on a girl being kidnapped. I think it wasn’t terribly cringey but also did it’s best to stay true to the original story.
Overall, this was a fun and quick read. I ended up really enjoying the romance even though I didn’t particularly like Kyle in the beginning.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Book Tag – Book Blogger Confessions

Yes bookworms, another book tag. We found this one posted by Sionna at Books in her Eyes, so go check out her answers to these fun questions.

The Rules – 

Answer the questions truthfully.

Tag five book bloggers to answer these questions next.

Which book did you most recently DNF?

Amanda- I make a point to not DNF books. So the closest I’ve come would be I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman which you can see my review here.

Antonia- Tequila and Tea Bags by Laura Barnard. I was really excited for this one but absolutely could not connect with the protagonist and couldn’t manage to get past about 30% because of it.

What book is your guilty pleasure?

Amanda- This has to be any of the Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands. They’re creative but filthy and I love it when the new ones come out. Who doesn’t love a sexy vampire romance?

Antonia- I probably would have chosen the same as Amanda but in an effort to be different I’ll pick The Dark-Hunters series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Sexy immortals and greek mythology? Yes please.

Which book do you love to hate?

Amanda- This is a tough one because I don’t have one that comes immediately to mind. After looking at my GoodReads list of books that I’ve read, The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (review here) is definitely a book that I dislike (I don’t really hate any books) but I liked the second one a bunch, so love to hate I guess?

Antonia- I always think this questions a little weird. Usually I just love it or hate it, there’s not much in between for me.

Which book would you throw into the sea? 

Amanda- What bookworm in their right mind would throw a perfectly good book (or even a perfectly terrible book) into the ocean?

Antonia- Yeah, I agree entirely with Amanda.

Which book have you read the most? 

Amanda- Looking for Alaska by John Green. My favorite book in the world. I’ve reread it so many times it’s ridiculous. Check out my review here.

Antonia- A lot. If I had to guess though, I’d say The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. I read it at least once a year and it’s been over ten years since I first picked it up.

Which book would you hate to receive as a present?

Amanda- Well, I wouldn’t hate to receive any books for free. But I much prefer when gift givers ask me specifically what books I need or want.

Antonia- Nothing specifically. I mostly agree with Amanda; I’d rather be able to pick out my own books with the exception of a few people who know my tastes well enough.

Which book could you not live without?

Amanda- All of them? Seriously, I’m supposed to pick just one book?

Harry Potter (all of them) by J.K. Rowling

Looking for Alaska by John Green

A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas

Antonia- The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory

Beastly by Alex Flinn

The Witness by Nora Roberts

The Riftwar Saga by Raymond E. Feist

And like 5,000 others.

Which book made you the angriest?

Amanda- The Young Elites series by Marie Lu (reviewed here.) The main character of this series is absolutely infuriating, but like I also totally loved her. She just made me mad like 90% of the time.

Antonia- I’ve talked about this one before but I have to choose Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima. She killed off one of my favorite characters from the previous series and I couldn’t handle it. To the point where I refused to finish it for the longest time.

Which book made you cry the most?

Amanda- I feel like I’ve mentioned this a million times at this point but, The Air Awakens series by Elise Kova made me cry for like an hour. My husband just hugged me and asked me if I was okay like a hundred times. He definitely thought I was never going to stop crying.

Antonia- All of them. Not literally of course but there’s a lot and almost always, if a book made me cry once, it’ll make me cry every time. The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman has always been one of the worst. Most recently is probably Year One by Nora Roberts. A character dies suddenly which would be tragic enough but he has the same name as my husband so I found it harder to read than I might otherwise.

Which book cover do you hate the most?

Amanda- I just talked about this with someone the other day. I don’t have any specific book covers that I hate, but I don’t particularly love book covers with faces on them. The faces that their making are always so awkward and I just think they could have done better with something other than a random face.

Antonia- I also hate the awkward face covers. Especially when half the face is cut off. It just doesn’t look appealing to me in any way.

Tags – 

Danielle at YAAllegience 

Sara at Bookish Traveling Wife

Jess & Teagan at Fiction No Chaser

Ashley at Thrifty Bibliophile

Alana at The Bookish Chick

Feel free to complete this tag even if we didn’t tag you specifically and link back to our page! Thanks for reading bookworms.

Book Tag – Halsey

halsey book tag.jpg

Hi lovelies!

Back at it again with another book tag. I love Halsey so when I saw this book tag done on Downright Dystopian’s page I knew I had to play too! This tag is originally created by Paper Riot. Now, onto the book tag!

castle

Amanda- Aelin Galathynius for sure. She’s from Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series. She’s kickass and doesn’t take anything from anyone. She even has the choice to not become queen and abandon her throne but steps up and shows the world that she’s a force to be reckoned with.

Antonia- Definitely Raisa ana’Marianna from The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima. I just loved watching her grow throughout this series.

coming down

Amanda- I’m going to say all of the scenes written by Lynsay Sands. Sexy vampires from Atlantis? Yes please.

Antonia- Hmm… this is a tough one because I read a TON of romance. I’ll say anything by Julia Quinn because her love stories are just the best.

control

Amanda- The Darkling, for sure. He’s from Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone trilogy. I don’t know what it is, but momma loves some Darkling.

Antonia- Queen Savilla from The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. She’s the queen of the endarkened (demons) and is simply evil. I just love that she has no redeeming qualities. She’s terrifying and awful and makes a fantastic villain.

drive

Amanda- This was the hardest one for me out of all of these questions. I’ve decided to go with the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. Our main character is forever trapped in a love triangle between the (mostly) marriage material  Joe Morelli and the sexiest man alive, Ranger. I wouldn’t say that there’s a lack of communication, more like a stalemate. They communicate but not enough for Stephanie to be able to actually make a decision between the two. (Though I don’t think I ever want her to actually make that final choice.)

Antonia- Kvothe and Denna from The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. I really enjoy them together and wouldn’t mind seeing them actually get together in the future but they keep so many secrets and they’re both so mysterious that it gets in the way of them ever actually having a relationship.

empty gold

Amanda- Tamlin and Feyre from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I talk about this in my reviews for this series, linked here. Though I’m sure many people feel this way. This is the couple that popped into my head as soon as I read the question. I loved them so much in the first book and then Tamlin just, ugh.

Antonia- Ember and Riley from The Talon Series by Julie Kagawa. I wanted them to be together for the first couple books so bad then somehow I ended up loving Garret so much that I stopped wanting her to be with Riley. (I still love Riley though.) And me changing my mind about characters that drastically really doesn’t happen often.

ghost

Amanda- This may be biased because of my pregnancy hormones. But when I read the breakup scene in the Air Awakens series by Elise Kova I literally spent a solid hour crying. To the point where my husband wasn’t sure what to do with me and just hugged me while I cried for an hour. I’m pretty sure he thought I was never going to stop.

Antonia- For me, this will always be Lyra and Will’s breakup at the end of The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman. I was around twelve when I first read it and cried for days. I still cry hysterically every time I reread it.

haunting

Amanda- Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira. Every once in a while I say to myself, “you know what was a good book, Love Letters to the Dead. I should read that again.” I have recently bought it on my Kindle (I got it from the library the first time.) and I’m planning to reread it soon.

Antonia- All of them. This is actually a huge problem for me because I continue to think about books long after I’ve read them; it actually keeps me up at night. It’s why I reread so many books over and over again.

hold me down

Amanda- Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. I’m super not sorry about this either. The whole series is being written and released from Christian’s perspective. I have the first two and am waiting for the third to be released. While I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed, I will absolutely be buying and reading the third so I have all six books.

Antonia- Dark Hunters by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I actually need to catch up on this one but since I first discovered these books I’ve been a little obsessed with them even though there’s now 29 books in the series and Kenyon’s still writing.

hurricane

Amanda- If you read my posts on a regular basis you should already know the answer to this question. Looking for Alaska by John Green. If you haven’t read it read my review here.

Antonia- Beastly by Alex Flinn. This will forever be my favorite Beauty and the Beast adaptation. I reread it at least once a year and it always just gives me this light, happy feeling inside.

is there somewhere

Amanda- Every and all of the couples we find in The Shade of Vampire series by Bella Forrest. This is a 50+ book series that spans over a ridiculous amount of years, several generations, and many worlds. Every couple we meet and read about has to go through some (usually life-threatening) struggle before they get their happy ending.

Antonia- Adrian and Sydney from The Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. One of my favorite book couples but they struggle so much to keep their relationship going when both vampires and humans judge them for it. At one point Sydney’s actually institutionalized by her family for it.

new americana

Amanda- I try not to use the same book over and over when I do these tags, but I can’t help it for this. I would LOVE to be part of the Night Court squad from A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas, reviewed here. It’s from the ACOTAR series, but we don’t get to meet them until the second book, so I’m using that one.

Antonia- The Demigods from The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan. Awesome magical powers? Check. Funny and amazing and need to be my best friends? Double check.

roman holiday

Amanda- Hazel and Augustus from The Fault in our Stars by John Green. See my review here to get a more detailed post of my thoughts on this book. I love Hazel and Gus together because they’re both just kids that had to grow up too fast and spent too much time thinking about death. Then they found each other and had a bright spot in their lives, a reason to live if you will.

Antonia- Amanda and Chris from Beheld by Alex Flinn. I talked about them in my review (here) and I just loved them together so much I think I actually squealed while reading it.

strange love

Amanda- Chaol from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas is a good one for this I think. So many people hate him after certain events in the series. I understand why he did what he did and still love him even though it cost him his relationship with Celaena.

Antonia- Fire from Fire by Kristin Cashore. I’ve read quite a few reviews from people who didn’t like her which kind of astounds me because I adore her.

trouble

Amanda- Rose and Mason from the Rose Gardner Investigations by Denise Grover Swank. I wanted to put them for an OTP with obstacles, but honestly I don’t think they’ll end up together no matter how much I want them to be.

Antonia- None. Toxic relationships are pretty much an instant DNF for me. I’ve read about a lot of flawed relationships (e.g. Quentin and Margo from Paper Towns by John Green) but nothing that I would actually consider toxic. Even with examples like Quentin and Margo, I enjoyed reading about them but still didn’t ship them.

walk the line

Amanda- Shadows of the Immortals by Marina Finlayson. This series is a super interesting twist on the Gods (from all different cultures) which is a topic I really like. I couldn’t put this series down once I started it.

Antonia- Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George. This is a retelling of East of the Sun, West of the Moon and is still one of the most unique fairytale retellings I’ve read.

young god

Amanda- This one is easy. Lyss and Hal from Cinda Williams Chima’s Shadowcaster (reviewed here) are both totally falling in love (if they’re not already in love) with one another. But neither will admit it.

Antonia- Hazel and Frank from Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan. They get together later on in the series but for pretty much this entire book, they both are secretly pining for the other. It was adorable.

gasoline

Amanda- Adelina Amouteru from The Young Elites series by Marie Lu, reviewed here. I hate to even say this because I love her but I also really hate her. I guess I love to hate her. Okay, I lied. I don’t hate to say it. She’s totally my favorite destructive character.

Antonia- Edmond Dantes from The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. He’s so focused on his revenge the entire time that he ignores the chance to make a better life for himself but at the same time, his revenge plot is absolutely insane and amazing at the same time.

 

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday- Travel Bug

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week we’re given a new prompt for a top ten list of all things bookish. This week’s topic is – Top Ten Books That Awaken the Travel Bug in me. I had trouble with this one because most of the books I read don’t take place in the real world. So I came up with five books I’d want to travel to and five books I don’t.

TTT

 

Places that Awaken the Travel Bug in Me

 
1. Beastly by Alex Flinn- This is the only book that’s ever made me want to visit New York City even though it barely even takes place there. (The characters rarely leave the house.)
2. Paper Towns by John Green- ROAD TRIP. Their crazy, headlong trip up the East Coast (including pit stops timed to the second) just seemed like so much fun.
3. Friday Harbor series by Lisa Kleypas- I immediately wanted to visit this cute little island off the coast of Washington. I actually now live on another cute little island off the coast of Washington so I plan to visit Friday Harbor sometime soon. (It’s just a ferry ride away.)
4. Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy by Nora Roberts- Ireland has always been at the top of my travel list but I’d love to visit almost all the settings from Nora’s books.
5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen- Yes, I know this takes place in the past. However, the regency era books are the ones that always made me want to visit England.

Places that Don’t Awaken the Travel Bug in Me

 
1. Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout- I loved this series but most of it takes place in West Virginia which, no offense, but I have no interest in going to.
2. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead- I also loved this series but I’m definitely more of a beach girl. The desert just sounds awful.
3. Chasing Fire by Nora Roberts- This one takes place in Montana and I have never in my life thought to myself, “I’d like to go there”. (Again, no offense to Montana.)
4. Year One by Nora Roberts- Fantastic book. However, I could really do without two-thirds of the world’s population dying.
5. Maximum Ride by James Patterson- For me, this one’s mostly included because so many negative things happen to the characters that it skewed the way I thought of all the places they went to.

 

Well these are my answers for this week. I’d love to hear what everyone else came up with. Thanks for reading!

-Antonia

Beheld by Alex Flinn

Summary:Featuring retellings of favorite fairy tales such as “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Rumpelstiltskin,” “East of the Sun and West of the Moon,” and “The Ugly Duckling,” Kendra’s adventures in Beheld are filled with fresh fairy-tale fun from beginning to end.

Since she first beheld James over three hundred years ago, Kendra has tangled with witch hunters and wolves, helped a miller’s daughter spin straw into gold, cowered in London as German bombs fell, and lived through who knows how many shipwrecks.

But her powers have limits, and immortality can be lonely. Kendra isn’t ready to stop searching for the warlock she met centuries ago.

With the help of her magic mirror, Kendra will travel the world to reconnect with her lost love—and, of course, she can’t help but play a hand in a few more stories along the way.

Review:
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- I love Alex Flinn’s books.
They can be quirky, funny, sad, frustrating but mostly they’re just really unique twists on fairytales. This book (like her previous book titled Bewitching) mostly consist of a few different stories narrated by the immortal witch, Kendra. In this case it’s Little Red Riding Hood, Rumplestiltskin, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, and The Ugly Duckling. Between these stories, you see Kendra’s struggles over the course of three centuries to reconnect with her lost love James (also immortal).

First, let me talk about Kendra. She first appeared in the book Beastly (one of my all-time favorites) and I immediately loved her character. Beheld is the fourth book she’s appeared in and I only love her more. Yes, she’s a badass witch and completely unapologetic about it, but I think what I like about her most is that she’s also deeply flawed. You see it most in some of the stories in Bewitching but one of the main points throughout these books is that Kendra tries to use her magic to help but magic rarely works the way you want it to. She’s failed- alot. She’s vain and a little impulsive and things don’t always go the way she plans. I just really love seeing a character, especially an immortal one, who’s allowed to have flaws and it’s not the end of the world. No one’s perfect and she’s not trying to be. I was also really excited that after seeing her helping others find happy endings for so long that she finally got her own love story.

Next I’ll talk about each of the stories individually. I can honestly say the first is probably the most unique version of Little Red Riding Hood I’ve ever read. One, it takes place during the Salem Witch Trials. Wait, what? Yeah. Growing up in Massachusetts I’ve heard A LOT about the witch trials but have never seen them tied to a fairy tale. Flinn managed to keep a lot of the historical accuracy while twisting it with Little Red Riding Hood in a way that I thought worked very well.

Rumplestiltskin was always a story that intrigued me though I can’t say this version was my absolute favorite. Don’t get me wrong it was still enjoyable to read, I simply didn’t love all the characters. The prince Cornelia falls in love with pretty much just fit that stereotypical playboy-noble-messing-around-with-farmgirls mold. I liked Cornelia except where it concerned the prince. I mostly just sat here the whole time like “You know he’s a jerk right?”. Rumplestiltskin I DID like. He was sweet and had a cute little backstory that I enjoyed learning about. Overall this story was good but fell fairly close to the original fairytale.

East of the Sun and West of the Moon is one of my favorite fairytales. Maybe because it’s not one I ever heard growing up so it always feels so different to me. I really liked the way Flinn went about this one, tying the setting into World War II. I liked the story and the characters; my only complaint would be that I would’ve liked to have seen more of them as this story seemed a bit shorter than the rest.

Finally we have The Ugly Duckling. I would have been happy with a book just about this one. It’s about Chris and Amanda, two awkward kids who become friends in kindergarten and eventually fall in love. I know, it’s been done a thousand times. Usually I’m really sick of this trope and I was even a little annoyed when I thought that’s where it might be going; until I wasn’t. For once I didn’t feel like I’d read this story before. The characters and their friendship were so fun and unique to me that this ended up being my favorite part of this entire book. It wasn’t just this weird foreshadowing to the romantic side of things, it was an actual, healthy, well-rounded friendship that you get to see evolve over the years.

Overall, this book was an entertaining, quick read that I’d recommend to anyone who likes fairytale retellings or YA in general.
-Antonia

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. To play along, answer the following three questions and share a link to your post in the comments on her page. Enjoy!

www wednesday picture

What are you currently reading? 

Amanda- I’m currently reading nothing sadly. I am in between books and honestly haven’t decided what I want to read next because I have so many new books. I’m torn between Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth or rereading Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch. But that might change because I’m getting a delivery of books when my parents come to visit this weekend.

Antonia- I’m reading Master of Magic by Linsey Hall. It’s the fifth and final book in her Dragon’s Gift: The Valkyrie series. There are three series previous to this one that all connect and I really love seeing Bree’s story finally.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I finished reading A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas a few days ago. The review will be available as soon as I post the reviews for the books that come before it in the series.

Antonia- I just finished Beheld by Alex Flinn. I absolutely loved this book and will be posting my review of it tomorrow. (Review here.)

What do you think you’ll read next?

Amanda- Next I’ll be reading whatever I decide to pick up. Like I said above, I’m super torn between what I want to invest my time in next. I recently got my book collection back from being in storage  after moving all over. So it’s like having a whole new collection of books. I also bought a few new released as well as more books that are coming to me this weekend that were new when I bought them and just haven’t read yet. Someone come choose what to read for me because I just can’t make up my mind!

Antonia- Next I’ll be rereading Talon by Julie Kagawa. I read the first three books in this series years ago and now that books four and five are out I’ll be reading and reviewing all of them.

 

Tell us your answers to these questions and as always, thanks for visiting our blog.

Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday- Beach Reads

I’m not really big on “beach reads” For me a beach read is usually just whatever I’m currently reading (as long as it’s not super depressing because I don’t need to cry in public). So I’m just going to try to direct my list more towards lighthearted reads that go well with beautiful summer days.

4b6b0-toptentuesday

  1. Anything by Julia Quinn- Forget her story lines. Forget her strong, witty characters. What I love most about Quinn is how funny her books are. Like laugh-out-loud-and-make-strangers-stare-at-you funny. It’s fantastic.
  2. Beastly by Alex Flinn- This one isn’t the most lighthearted book but it’s a pretty fast read that you could probably finish in one sitting. And it’s my favorite so I always recommend it.
  3. The Bride Quartet series by Nora Roberts- This is one of her series’ that revolves a great deal around the friendships between her main characters. I just love how Nora can take romance novels and make them more about badass women being badasses together than about love.
  4. The Bay of Sighs by Nora Roberts- This is the second book in her Guardians Trilogy which comes out June 14. This series has a little bit of everything; magic, a treasure hunt, even a mermaid. To me it’s a perfect beach read.
  5. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson- I read this one years ago and would love to read it again. It’s a great coming of age, summer adventure story.
  6. The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson- I didn’t even know this book existed until about an hour ago and I would absolutely love to see where the story goes next.
  7. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer- These aren’t lighthearted or beachy in any way. They’re just amazing books and I highly recommend them.
  8. The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh- This is another book I learned about very recently but immediately decided I want to read. It’s not often you find books based on A Thousand and One Nights.
  9. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss– I’m not really sure this fits into what people normally consider a beach read but I’ve recently had several people recommend it to me and I’d like to finally get around to reading it.

Sorry there’s only nine this week. I managed to delete my entire post after I’d already written most of it out so I lost a lot of my motivation the second time around. Anyway, these are some of the books I plan to read this summer or just think you should read. Thanks for reading and let me know what your top ten are in the comments.

-Antonia

 

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. To play along, answer the following three questions and share a link to your post in the comments on her page. Enjoy!

WWWWWhat are you currently reading?

Amanda- Technically I’m not currently reading anything. I haven’t started it yet, but I’m going to start Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith tomorrow. It’s the third in the Cormoran Strike series. I loved the first two, so I have high hopes for the third.

Antonia- I’m currently in the middle of two books. Beastly by Alex Flinn is one of my all time favorites. I can’t even count how many times I’ve read it and I never get sick of it. It’s an amazing modern adaptation of Beauty and the Beast and if you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it. You can read my review of it here. The other book I’m reading is Soundless by Richelle Mead. Mead is one of my favorite authors and her newest book is unlike any of her others. I fully expect this one to be a new favorite of mine.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I recently read Zeroes co written by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan and Deborah Biancotti. You can read my review HERE. I really enjoyed this book. I’m still very upset I have to wait until September for the next to be released.

Antonia- I just finished reading A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn for the second or third time. As you can tell, she’s one of my favorite authors. This one is an adorable, unique retelling of Sleeping Beauty.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Amanda- Honestly, I haven’t thought that far ahead. I keep looking at my shelf trying to decide. Im torn between a few different choices; The newest Stephanie Plum, Tricky Twenty Two, by Janet Evanovich, The Heir by Kiera Cass, or rereading one of my favorites, The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks.

Antonia- I’m not sure yet because I never really decide until I pick one up and start reading it. But I recently read the first book in J.D. Robb’s In Death series and I can’t wait to find out what happens to the characters next.

What are your answers?

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Rewind

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week we post our Top Ten for the weeks topic. This week’s is a rewind so we get to pick a topic we missed or wanted to revisit. I chose to do my top ten book I wish I could read again for the first time. Antonia chose a different topic, but also liked this one so her top ten is here along with mine. We hope you enjoy!
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Amanda’s Top Ten:

1)Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling– I’d like to be able to re read this whole series for the first time because well, it’s Harry Potter and I love them.

2)Looking for Alaska by John Green– This is my all time favorite book ever. I would love to be able to read this for the first time again. It was an amazing book and I’m going to try to put it on as many Top Ten’s as I can.

3)Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn– I read this book when my older brother was in school and he had to read it for one of his classes. I’m really glad I got to read this book and it’s one that I’ll keep rereading forever.

4)Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich– I would like to read this book for the first time again for purely x rated reasons. This is one of my favorite books in the now twenty book series.

5)Exit Here by Jason Myers– This is another book that has made it to my favorites list. I’d love to read this again for the first time so that I can fall in love with the story all over again.

6)Burned by Ellen Hopkins– Ellen Hopkins needs to be on this list somewhere. Burned is my favorite of her books.

7)The Book Thief by Markus Zusak– This book was amazing. I did just recently read The Book Thief, but I’d love to read it again and again.

8)Twilight by Stephenie Meyer– I know, haha. I put Twilight on this list because this saga was a huge part of my younger years and I read it so many times I could almost recite it to you. If I could read these books over for the first time, I wonder how I would feel about them.

9)Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith– I put this on this list mainly because I would love to be able to sit down with all of the books and just go crazy reading the whole series for the first time.

10)The House of Night Series by P.C. and Kristin Cast– This is also on the list because now that the whole series is out I would love to be able to have all of them and read them all for the first time. I think I lost interest in this series because I couldn’t keep waiting for the next one to come out.

Antonia’s Top Ten:

1)The Outstretched Shadow by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory– This is a given for me. It’s my favorite series of all time and I wish I could meet the characters all over again.

2)The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima– These books made me feel so many different emotions. I wish I could experience that all over again.

3)Twilight by Stephenie Meyer– I wish I could love this series like I did when I was fifteen before the movie and all the twihards ruined it for me.

4)The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis– I wish I could feel all the feelings these books made me feel before they ruined my childhood by ending.

5)The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks– It’s one of my favorite love stories ever. I wish I could read it again without knowing how it ends.

6)Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead– I wish I could fall in love with Dimitri again without knowing what happens to him.

7)The Shack by William Paul Young– This book literally ripped my heart out, stomped on it with steel toe boots and shoved it back into my body. As masochistic as it sounds, I wish that could happen again.

8)The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling– I shouldn’t have to explain this one to anyone.

9)The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini– I wish I could read all four of these books consecutively for the first time. So much time passed between the release dates that I ended up forgetting too many details between reading them.

10)The Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout– I only wish I could read all of these consecutively for the first time, after the last book comes out this summer. I had so many feelings for all of these books.

These are our top ten books we’d love to read again for the first time. What are yours?

Towering by Alex Flinn

Goodreads Summary: At first, I merely saw his face, his hands on the window ledge. Then, his whole body as he swung himself through the window. Only I could not see what he swung on.
Until, one day, I told my dream self to look down. And it was then that I saw. He had climbed on a rope. I knew without asking that the rope had been one of my own tying.

Rachel is trapped in a tower, held hostage by a woman she’s always called Mama. Her golden hair is growing rapidly, and to pass the time, she watches the snow fall and sings songs from her childhood, hoping someone, anyone, will hear her.

Wyatt needs time to reflect or, better yet, forget about what happened to his best friend, Tyler. That’s why he’s been shipped off to the Adirondacks in the dead of winter to live with the oldest lady in town. Either that, or no one he knows ever wants to see him again.

Dani disappeared seventeen years ago without a trace, but she left behind a journal that’s never been read, not even by her overbearing mother…until now.

I’m quite sure I’ve mentioned this before; multiple times. But it warrants repeating. I absolutely adore Alex Flinn. Each time I read a new book of hers I think I couldn’t possibly love it as much as the previous one. And once again she’s proved me wrong. Towering may be one of my favorites of hers for a few different reasons. One: it’s a fairytale adaptation which is an auto-buy subject of mine. What I love about Flinn’s adaptations is that they’re modern versions. It seems like that would be difficult to accomplish but I think she excels. She changes so many details in order to make it work better in modern times but also to make it her own unique story, and still manages to retain the themes from the originals.
I had no idea how she’d manage to convince me that a girl could be locked in a tower in the middle of nowhere. It turns out it took two things: murderous drug dealers and one very eccentric and paranoid old woman. These twists were ones I absolutely did not see coming and I ended up loving them. It was something new and different that I haven’t seen in a fairytale.
I couldn’t even begin to describe how much I admire Flinn’s ability to incorporate modern themes and technology with magic and happily-ever-after love into a story that sucks you in and makes you fall in love with the characters. One-dimensional characters were something that always left me feeling that fairytales were incomplete. I love that in these stories I get to see the characters as individuals and not just a couple who meet and fall in love instantly. The details and background gives more life to the story and I think they’re the reason I’m so infatuated with these books.
Sometimes I thought Rachel was just silly and spoiled. A girl who did what she was told because she was afraid to think for herself; and then she did. When the moment came for Rachel to act against Mama’s wishes for the good of someone else, Rachel doesn’t hesitate. She’s terrified and knows she’s risking so much to leave her tower, but she’s such a strong character that she pushes all her fear aside in order to save a strangers life. I didn’t realize who Rachel really was until that moment and it made me admire her character so much. And as soon as she understands what she can accomplish when she thinks and acts for herself, she doesn’t hold back and becomes the heroine I hadn’t expected her to be.
As for Wyatt, sometimes I loved him and sometimes I didn’t. I really enjoyed seeing all the reasons he’s the person he is. At the beginning he seemed a bit like a jerk. I thought he was an annoying teenager who’s moody for the sake of it but once I saw events from his past and occasionally the present, I could understand who he was better and that knowledge gave me such compassion for him. He couldn’t save someone in his past and that makes him think he needs to save Rachel when she’s the one who needs to save him.
The only thing I really didn’t like about this book was the love at first sight. I didn’t completely hate it. It’s something I almost expect from fairytales and I think Flinn gave enough reasons i.e. their mental connection, their personalities, and the life threatening first meeting, for it to be plausible in a fairytale. However, I would’ve liked it better if it didn’t seem quite so much like they were just blindly doing it.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. When I was looking at other reviews for it, I was completely taken aback at how many people didn’t like it. I respect everyone’s opinions, but it seemed like most people’s reasons for not liking it were that it was unrealistic. You know what I have to say to that? It’s SUPPOSED TO BE. It’s fiction. In my opinion, fiction isn’t meant to be realistic. It’s meant to be relatable, yes. But the last time I checked, Towering didn’t fall under the genre Realistic Fiction. It’s just Young-Adult Fiction. As far as I’m concerned, it means it’s probably going to be implausible and that’s something I’ve always especially liked about fiction. That’s what makes it entertaining. I’m not saying everyone’s opinions are wrong. Just try to lighten up, guys. It’s not a textbook. There is no one right answer.
I would love to know what you thought of this book. Also, I am so sincerely sorry I haven’t posted in awhile. I’ve had a lot going on and just haven’t made the time for it. I will try as hard as I can to post more regularly.
-Antonia

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!

WWW Wednesday


WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. To play along, answer the following three questions and share a link to your post in the comments on her page. Enjoy!

What are you currently reading?

Amanda: I’m currently about to start reading Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. The newest book in the series recently came out so I’m re-reading the first two before I start on the third.

Antonia: I’m reading Once Upon a Tower by Eloisa James.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda: I just finished Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, so expect a review on that soon.

Antonia: I recently read Towering by Alex Flinn. She’s one of my favorites and I just had to buy Towering when it came out.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Amanda: Depending on how into Clockwork Prince I get I’ll read Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare next. But I might let myself get distracted with either The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey or The Great Escape by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.

Antonia: I’ll probably read Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts, another new book I’ve picked up.

What have you been reading?

-Amanda and Antonia.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Rewind

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week we post our Top Ten for the weeks topic. This week’s is to pick a topic we missed or wanted to revisit. I chose to do my Top Ten Favorite Book Quotes. Antonia chose a different topic, but also liked this one so her top ten is here along with mine. Enjoy!

Amanda’s Top Ten:

1 – “True love will triumph in the end – which may or may not be a lie, but if it is a lie, it is the most beautiful lie we have.” –John Green, Looking for Alaska. This is one of my absolute favorite John Green quotes and there was no way I would leave it out.

2 – “When I look at my room, I see a girl who loves books.” –John Green, Looking for Alaska. Basically my life.

3 – “I’m in love and I like how that feels. And I hate how that feels. Because love is an invention of fiction writers” –Ellen Hopkins, Identical.

4 – “One must always be careful of books, and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.” –Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel. There has never been a more accurate quote.

5 – “Everyone has choices to make; no one had the right to take those choices away from us. Not even out of love.” –Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes.

6 – “You have slipped under my skin, invaded my blood, and seized my heart. You have poisoned me.” –Maria V. Snyder, Poison Study. If you’ve read the book you know why I love this quote.

7 – “Anyone else feel like that? Like your life’s a big act. Like you’re trying to be a man when you’re just a scared kid, trying to keep under control when you really want to scream, cry, or maybe hit someone. Ever feel like you’re breathing underwater and you have to stop because you’re gulping in too much fluid.” –Alex Flinn, Breathing Underwater.

8 – “I wasn’t dating anyone. I was fornicating with Batman.” –Janet Evanovich, Hard Eight. oh Ranger, I love you so much.

9 – “It’s fucking hard to be classy.” –Janet Evanovich, One for the Money. The perfect quote to describe myself and Antonia here at Classy as Fuck Book Reviews.

10 – “People come, people go – they’ll drift in and out of your life, almost like characters in a favorite book. When you finally close the cover, the characters have told their story and you start up again with another book, complete with new characters and adventures. Then you find yourself focusing on the new ones, not the ones from the past.” –Nicholas Sparks, The Rescue.

Antonia’s Top Ten:

1) “If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be, and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.” Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte. I don’t think I need to explain any of my Wuthering Heights quotes. They just stuck with me years after finishing the book. I don’t usually remember quotes from books, but these wouldn’t leave me alone.

2) “Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living. You said I killed you–haunt me then. The murdered do haunt their murderers. I believe–I know that ghosts have wandered the earth. Be with me always–take any form–drive me mad. Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! It is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!” Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte.

3) “It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him: and that, not because he’s handsome, Nelly, but because he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same; and Linton’s is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.” Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte.

4) “In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen. *Swoon* Enough said.

5) “End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take.” Return of the King, J.R.R. Tolkien. I adore Tolkien and every word he wrote in these books.

6) “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you might be swept off to.” The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien. This quote just always gave me this nice, happy feeling.

7) “Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.” Inkheart, Cornelia Funke. Books are the love of my life. I don’t need to explain book quotes to you guys, do I?

8) “Books loved anyone who opened them, they gave you security and friendship and didn’t ask for anything in return; they never went away, never, not even when you treated them badly.” Inkheart, Cornelia Funke.

9) “If you would change a thing, first understand why it exists.” Outstretched Shadow, Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory. I’m not sure why. I just really love this quote.

10) “And infatuated be damned. He was near to being blinded by his attraction to her. He was in love, damn it all. He disliked her, he resented her, he disapproved of almost everything about her, yet he was head over ears in love with her, like a foolish schoolboy. He wondered grimly what he was going to do about it. He was not amused. Or in any way pleased.” Slightly Dangerous, Mary Balogh. I love Wulfric. He’s fantastic and tries so hard not to love Christine. He reminds me a lot of Mr. Darcy which might be the entire reason I love him.

These are mine, but I love hearing new quotes so don’t be afraid to share your favorites too!

-Antonia.

Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday – Before Blogging Favorites


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This weeks Top Ten is favorite books before I became a blogger. These are my Top Ten favorites. There in no particular order. Let me know what you think.

1. Looking for Alaska by John Green – Looking for Alaska has been my favorite book for almost four years now. And I don’t see that changing anytime soon. You’ll actually be getting a review on this book in the near future.

2. The Ugly Duckling by Iris Johansen – I can’t even explain in words how much I love this book. The Ugly Duckling is the book that pulled me into the reading obsessed world. It was suspenseful and full of action which I’ve come to expect from Johansen. Reading this gave me a thrill that never went away.

3. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder – I’m putting this on my list of favorites because when I finally decided to read this series I immediately fell in love. I don’t usually read fantasy type books but this book sucked me in so quickly. I didn’t out it down until I was finished.

4. Identical by Ellen Hopkins – The first time I read this book I was a mess by the time I finished. This book shocked me, made me think. I couldn’t put it down. I love everything about this book. You should too.

5. The Next Always by Nora Roberts – The Inn Boonsboro books are a fantastic read. The first is my favorite because, basically, Claire. I fell in love with Claire and her three boys and her bookstore very quickly. Read this book now.

6. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey – I’ve read this book a few times and it’s on my favorites list because the truth of this story blew me away. The powerfulness of this man’s struggles really got to me.

7. Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich – I love the Stephanie Plum series because they’re enjoyable and seriously funny books. Eight’s my favorite because lots of things happen with my favorite characters. Along with the new characters that are introduced and the crazy things Stephanie gets herself into.

8. Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn – This book was shown to me by my brother which, if you knew him, you’d know that he doesn’t belong in the same sentence as the word book. I didn’t know what to expect from a book my brother recommended but I gave it a shot. I’ve read many of Alex Flinn’s books and this is by far my favorite out of all of them.

9. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter will forever be a favorite of mine. That’s it. End of story.

10. Nobody’s Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips – I have read so many books by her and I love them all but this is my favorite. It’s hilarious, heart breaking and suspenseful all at the same time.

Love them like I do, read them all.

Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Goodreads Summary: 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.


If I had to choose ONE book as my favorite. Just one. Yes, I know. An impossible task. Especially for me because I rarely dislike a book. I can count on one hand the number of books I’ve read that I actually hated. And I’ve read a lot of books. But if I had to choose one, it would be Beastly by Alex Flinn. I’m not sure of half the reasons why I love this book so much. I think most of it stems from my love of Beauty and the Beast. It’s my favorite fairytale and Flinn does a wonderful job of portraying a modern version of it.
What I love most is watching the main character Kyle/Adrian grow as a character. At the beginning, Kyle is, quite frankly, a spoiled fucking brat. He is so ridiculously annoying. He feels entitled because his father has money, he treats girls like shit because he’s attractive, and he uses stereotypes to bully anyone who doesnt fit into his idea of how people should think, look, and act. I absolutely hated him for the first part of the book. However, his curse, his father’s inattention, and Lindy’s fantastic personality all force him to reevaluate how he views himself and everyone else. The thing I love most about this book is watching, step by step, as Hunter becomes a better person. And I think the progression of his feelings is fairly realistic as well.
I also love the modern adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. Flinn does a really good job of mixing the original fairytales with modern ideas. (If you haven’t read her other fairytale books, you really should. They’re all great.)
And lastly, I absolutely fucking adore Kyle and Lindy’s relationship. I think they really complement each other and they help each other to grow and be better people just by being together. It’s one of my favorite love stories.
I 100% recommend this book. I can’t even count how many times I’ve read it. If you haven’t and enjoy fairytales or YA paranormal (Slightly. There’s some magic. And a witch. But that’s it.) then definitely put it on the to-read list. At the top. Better yet, just get off your computer and go get it right now.

As a side note, I have seen the movie. I didn’t particularly like or dislike it. I didn’t think it followed the book very well and if I hadn’t read it I think I would have liked it more. If you saw the movie, whatever your opinion about it, it’s very different from the book so please don’t base wanting to read it on the movie. Golden rule: Never judge a book by its fucking movie.
-Antonia

*Please be aware that the book cover on this post is a link to purchase this book through Amazon. Feel free to purchase with our affiliate link (just click on the book cover) to support us!