Merry Christmas!

Hello, readers! It’s been a really long time since I’ve posted anything on this blog, but I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.70a1125e0345354b97e6ad4618b61269

See you in the New Year with (hopefully) some new reviews!

Joyeux Noël et bonne année, tout le monde

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Les Petits Bonheurs #27…

Labor Day weekend was pretty crazy this year! School and work have kept me busier than I would like, and I wish that I had the energy to read for fun after finishing work and studying. Sadly, it has been about a month since I have picked up a book for enjoyment, but that did not stop me from going crazy at Barnes and Noble this last week with buying every book and vinyl record that I could get my hands on. Yeah, call me greedy, but when there are amazing sales and 40% off the vinyl soundtrack of Disney’s”Cinderella,” one must become a little cupide, as the French say. And let me tell you, the music from “Cinderella” has never sounded better than it does on vinyl, and I just adore relaxing to this classic soundtrack!

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Over the weekend, I also decided to get another vinyl by one of my favorite artists, and I might have also bought, like, five other books. For blog related research, of course…

I’m still cringing at how much I spent, but seriously, how can a girl resist the most magical store on earth when it has a 40% coupon just calling her name? It came to the point where my battery had to die on my computer before I could stop purchasing books and vinyl albums.

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Yeah, we’re going to be paying those items off for a little bit, but it was a wild ride! Thanks for visiting my blog today, and hopefully I’ll see you soon with a new review!

Fangirl Friday #19…I’m in Love, and I Don’t Care Who Knows It

So, I know that this is technically old news, but I am extremely excited about Renée Ahdieh’s upcoming book, which is slated for May of 2017. I love Renée’s style of writing and storytelling, and I cannot wait to see what she has in store for her next series, especially since it is supposed to be a retelling of one of my favorite stories and Disney movies of all time. Oh, did I not mention yet that Renée is writing a YA retelling of “Mulan”?

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I heard the news from my sister and I was overjoyed that not only was Mulan going to get the time of day that she has always deserved, but also because Renée Ahdieh is the best author to retell her amazing story. This whole situation is LEGIT, and I already pre-ordered Renée Ahdieh’s amazing sounding book. Alright, time for the title and summary!

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Amazon summary:

“From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Wrath and the Dawn, comes a sweeping, action-packed YA adventure set against the backdrop of Feudal Japan where Mulan meets Tamora Pierce.
 
The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family’s standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.

Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she’s quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she’s ever known.”

After reading this summary, I feel like all that I am missing in my life book-wise now is a “Pocahontas” retelling from one of my favorite authors…*sighs* I’m not sure what to do with my life until “Flame in the Mist” comes out. *sits and waits 8 months for book’s release.*

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The Fairest Beauty by Melanie Dickerson

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“The Fairest Beauty” by Melanie Dickerson

3 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Young, fair Sophie has always lived with walls surrounding her; walls guarding the castle, and walls built around her by the Duchess. All her life Sophie has been a captive to the Duchess, as a scullery maid who has always been held in distain by the Duchess. Sophie has tried to be kind, responsible, and obedient, but it is never enough; love is something she will never be given by the beautiful Duchess. And she is tired of trying to be perfect, to be good enough for just an acknowledging glance from the Duchess. What Sophie wants now is to be free, to go somewhere safe and to live her life in peace. But how? When could she ever be freed from the only “home” she has ever known? Can she get out, and stay out, of this prison?

Gabehart is the son of Duke Wilhelm and the lovely Duchess, Rose. He’s never lived up to his parents expectations, Valten beating him to the punch every single time. And it’s no wonder, ever since the accident, Gabe has felt worthless, been worthless to those around him. So instead of trying to beat his older brother at a game he could never win, Gabehart has tried his hand at the game of revelry; he is quite good at those kinds of activities. But when news that Valten’s betrothed is not dead but very alive, Gabe gets an idea. Valten has been laid up with a broken leg for some time, and Gabehart knows Valten won’t go for the young lady for a while yet. But that doesn’t mean he can’t go and bring her to the castle. Maybe this was the opportunity he has always needed to redeem himself. He’ll go and be back before anyone notices and maybe then he will have beaten his brother at something other than archery. With his hopes high, Gabe sets out to retrieve the young Duchess, but he get far more than he bargained for in the girl as well as the journey.

“The Fairest Beauty” by Melanie Dickerson was a very enjoyable read. I had read the first book in this series, “The Healer’s Apprentice” a while ago and really enjoyed it. So when I heard that she was coming out with a third book (I haven’t had a chance to read Melanie’s second book) I was very excited, and then I saw the cover, and well, I have a weakness for pretty covers (yes, I am vain). I’ve wanted to read it forever it seems like but never got around to purchasing it. But thanks to my awesome older sister who was super sweet and bought it for me, I now have been able read it. Better late than never, I think? “The Fairest Beauty” is so darling, and is a great read for those who love fairy tale retellings.

I thought that the writing was good and the story itself was really enjoyable. The characters were well written and I thought that they had pretty good depth for it being such a short story. But my favorite part was the dwarves; there are a few that are really sweet and endearing, and they become friends and protectors of “Snow White.” Over all I think it was a very good book, but my only problem with it was that the book didn’t delve that deeply into each character; I felt a little distant from Gabe and Sophie. I liked them and thought they were good people, but I didn’t feel super attached to them; they were developed well, but I didn’t really “grow” with them, if that makes sense. I liked them, but I wanted a little more from some of the characters and their moments together. Other than that, I thought that “The Fairest Beauty” was a cute and enjoyable read.

I hope this review was helpful.

Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter (Heist Society #3)

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“Perfect Scoundrels” by Ally Carter

5 out of 5 stars.

Katarina and her crew are the newly famous thieves who broke into the Henley without detection, and who also successfully stole (and re-stole) the Cleopatra Emerald. Now they are up for their biggest heist yet: steal back one of their own. The stakes are high now that their one and only Hale has been misused, by his own family no less, and Kat intends to get to the bottom of this caper before she loses her friend and romantic interest completely.

Hazel Hale is W.W. Hale the Fifth’s grandmother. Well, that is until she dies. Mass chaos erupts in Hale’s family after grandma Hale passes away; not because of her passing but because Hazel was the sole owner of Hale Industries. The billion dollar question is: who will the company be passed down to? The answer to that question is the young, and underage, W.W. Hale the Fifth. Hale is completely taken aback by this announcement and so is the whole Hale family. Even more unexpected is when Marcus, Hale’s chauffeur and caregiver, comes to get Katarina. She is surprised when they arrive, instead of at her own home, at Marcus’ and his sister’s house. But Marcus hasn’t invited Kat for tea and crumpets. No, the older gentleman has a proposition for her: find the real, original will of Hazel Hale.

Marcus’ sister, Marianne, had worked for Hazel for over half a century and the two were fast friends; servant and mistress, but equals, too. Mrs. Hale had promised Marianne that she would take care of her for the rest of her life, even if Hazel went first. Marcus became suspicious when Marianne was not mentioned in the will that was read just hours before. Hazel Hale would not promise then not deliver. She was known to be a woman of her word, and something, someone must have tampered with the respected lady’s will to make Marianne disappear from it entirely.

It is Katarina Bishop’s mission to find out the truth about Hazel Hale’s will, but can she get to it before someone else does? And what about Hale, what’s happened to her Hale, and who is this stranger that has replaced him? Can Kat deliver what she has promised to Marcus and to herself, and can she mend the broken ties between her and Hale’s relationship? Can the rift cause by the lies of family, man’s greed, and the dishonesty between friends be mended? And will Katarina and her crew be able to take down this new, formidable foe that has the gall to take on the entire Bishop family?

“Perfect Scoundrels” by Ally Carter was fantastic. It was fun and new, and I loved the fact that there was more of Hale and Kat together. It had some really good moments, some sad moments, and some funny ones, too. The cast and crew were great as always and “Perfect Scoundrels” took me for a few interesting loops. I really liked it, and I do believe this and the first are my favorite books in the series so far. “Perfect Scoundrels” was the perfect pick-me-up on an uneventful weekend, and every moment spent reading its pages was lovely.

One of the things I liked about “Perfect Scoundrels” was how Kat and her family came together to protect and help Hale out; in this book, he really needed it! I also enjoyed seeing Hale’s and Katarina’s relationship grow, and how this book shows what lies and greed can do to even close (and not so close) families. It was heartwarming and fun, and just enjoyable fluff for when you’re feeling down. My only problem with “Perfect Scoundrels” was that Kat still does not know Hale’s full name. I’m still kind of shocked over that fact. Other than the whole name game, I loved this book and hopefully you will, too. “Perfect Scoundrels” was wonderful!!

iiiHale, just tell me your naaaaaaaame!!!!!!

gusYeah, it’s just that good.

Heist Society by Ally Carter (Heist Society #1)

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“Heist Society” by Ally Carter

5 out of 5 stars.

“Heist Society” begins with Katarina Bishop getting kick out of Colgan School for something she did not do; she’s done a lot of things but putting the Headmaster’s Porsche on top of a fountain… really? First of all she wouldn’t have been caught on camera committing vandalism, and on top of that the whole job was just too cliché for her, much too obvious for her style.

Kat would have been just fine with taking the fall for something she had done, but to be framed… so not cool! Katarina would have liked to have told Colgan School the truth but that would have implicated her in a completely different way; forging your way into the most prestigious school in the United States might be slightly incriminating. All Kat had wanted was a fresh start, away from the family business. But for poor Katarina, it seems she will never be able to get out of the net her family has so intricately wound around themselves and her.

Back on the road with her friend and billionaire, Hale, Kat finds herself in the middle of something for more dangerous and mysterious than your average pick pocket job. With her family’s and friends’ lives hanging in the balance, Katarina must pull off the biggest heist in her family’s history: rob the Henley museum in England, and return the stolen paintings to their own who just so happens to be a mobster… No big deal right? But there is more than meets the eye to this heist, and can Kat finish this job and move on with her life, or is she forever doomed to steal instead of own her own destiny? And how can she leave her family if she decides to quit the business? And what about Hale, her best friend who seems to have become much more to Kat than she ever thought possible?

Wonderful. Fabulous. Amazing. These are three words I would use when describing “Heist Society” by Ally Carter. I have waited forever for a new, fabulous and amazing book like this; I was getting a little scared that I wouldn’t have another book for quite a while to write a review on. But alas, there finally came along a book that absolutely surpassed all my expectations; they may have been significantly lowered from waiting for so long, but that is completely beside the point. The “Heist Society” is well written, entertaining from beginning to end, and was the perfect kind of fluff. Just what the doctor prescribed. I enjoyed every minute of this endearing and fun story, and look forward to future installments in this series.

“Heist Society” was so wonderful. I just sat down and read the whole thing in one sitting. It was interesting, fun, and I thought the travels as well as the bits of history woven throughout the story were fantastic. I found the whole history of the Nazi’s stealing different peoples’ art pieces fascinating and it really opened up my eyes to just how horrible they were to anyone who disagreed with their philosophies. It is a very interesting history lesson that they don’t go into too much depth on when you’re in school.

I also really enjoyed Kat as a character. I haven’t found a nice, funny, intelligent heroine in ages, if ever, and that was absolutely refreshing! Kat was awesome, and her and Hale together were just great; the whole gang in general was so much fun, and they all were thoroughly entertaining. “Heist Society” might not be for everyone but I know that I LOVED it. This book was just pure, clean, enjoyable fun. I think that if you like a little mystery, a sprinkle of romance, a bit history, and a lot of fun and well written fluff, than I think you would really enjoy this YA book very much.

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