24 April 2019

Whatcha Reading Wednesday - Summer of a Thousand Pies

Cute middle grade story...

Also how pretty is the cover?!

Summer of a Thousand Pies
by Margaret Dilloway




What they say: A heartfelt contemporary middle grade novel, perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish and Fish in a Tree, about a girl who is sent to live with her aunt and must try to save their failing pie shop.

When twelve-year-old Cady Bennett is sent to live with the aunt she didn’t even know she had in the quaint mountain town of Julian, she doesn’t know what to expect. Cady isn’t used to stability, or even living inside, after growing up homeless in San Diego with her dad.

Now she’s staying in her mother’s old room, exploring the countryside filled with apple orchards and pie shops, making friends, and working in Aunt Shell’s own pie shop—and soon, Cady starts to feel like she belongs. Then she finds out that Aunt Shell’s pie shop is failing. Saving the business and protecting the first place she’s ever really felt safe will take everything she’s learned and the help of all her new friends. But are there some things even the perfect pie just can’t fix?

Summer of a Thousand Pies is a sweet and satisfying treat of a novel full of friendship, family, and, of course, pie. 



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23 April 2019

Review - Romanov

Romanov
by Nadine Brandes



What they say: The history books say I died.

They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her . . .

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad... and he’s on the other.



I received a copy in exchange for an honest review!

What I say: I read Romanov a while ago so it feels like I've been waiting ages to write this review. To say I really enjoyed Romanov feels a bit strange considering what happens and the historical aspects, but I did enjoy Nastya's story in all its complicated and heartbreaking glory!

The story is about the infamous Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov (Nikolaevna) and her family and their fall from grace. We meet Anastasia, Nastya to her friends and family, in the midst of the Russian Revolution as the Romanov's face their dramatic decline and the collapse of the Russian monarchy.

If you're expecting lots of dramatic action than Romanov probably isn't the book for you because yes we see history or a version of it depicted on the pages, but the story is really about family, courage and love. Despite everything going on around her Nastya manages to find the good in people even when living in exile. 

I don't know enough about Russian history to be able to comment on the truths in the story and the elements of poetic license but I enjoyed the lighter moments and the hint of forbidden romance. As for the outcome well don't worry no spoilers here but I knew certain events were coming but I kept hoping something would change things. I remember watching the cartoon version of Anastasia years ago and always held out hope that maybe she did escape and was living freely out there somewhere. 

My favourite part of the story was Nastya. I liked her positivity mixed with realism and how she's portrayed as very different to how certain military people would have wanted her and her family to be seen.

4 Stars in my Sky!

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22 April 2019

Rereading a Fav Series - Half Bad

Every now and again (aka when I find the time) I love to reread a fav book series and this time I'm working my way through Sally Green's Half Bad trilogy!



#1 Half Bad:




Wanted by no one.
Hunted by everyone.

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world's most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan's only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it's too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?

Half Bad is an international sensation and the start of a brilliant trilogy: a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive. 



#2 Half Wild: 



"You will have a powerful Gift, but it’s how you use it that will show you to be good or bad."

In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, seventeen-year-old Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world's most powerful and violent witch. Nathan is hunted from all sides: nowhere is safe and no one can be trusted. Now, Nathan has come into his own unique magical Gift, and he's on the run--but the Hunters are close behind, and they will stop at nothing until they have captured Nathan and destroyed his father.


#3 Half Lost: 



This is the final battle.

The Alliance is losing the war, and their most critical weapon, seventeen-year-old witch Nathan Byrn, is losing his mind. Nathan’s tally of kills is rising, and yet he’s no closer to ending the tyrannical rule of the Council of White Witches in England. Nor is Nathan any closer to his personal goal: getting revenge on Annalise, the girl he once loved before she committed an unthinkable crime. An amulet protected by the extremely powerful witch Ledger could be the tool Nathan needs to save himself and the Alliance, but this amulet is not so easily acquired. And lately Nathan has started to suffer from visions: a vision of a golden moment when he dies, and of an endless line of Hunters, impossible to overcome. Gabriel, his closest companion, urges Nathan to run away with him, to start a peaceful life together. But even Gabriel’s love may not be enough to save Nathan from this war, or from the person he has become.

Set in modern-day Europe, the final book in the Half Bad trilogy is more than a story about witches. It’s a heart-achingly visceral look at survival and exploitation, the nature of good and evil, and the risks we take for love.

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21 April 2019

Am Reading - What I Like About Me

This cute story released back in Feb and I've finally found the time to read it...

What I Like About Me
by Jenna Guillaume




What they say: You know all those movies where teenagers have, like, THE SUMMER OF THEIR LIVES?

This summer is probably not going to be that.

Source: Everything that's happened since yesterday ... 

The last thing sixteen-year-old Maisie Martin thought she'd be doing this summer is entering a beauty pageant.

Not when she's spent most of her life hiding her body from everyone.

Not when her Dad is AWOL for Christmas and her gorgeous older sister has returned to rock Maisie's shaky confidence. And her best friend starts going out with the boy she's always loved.

But Maisie's got something to prove.

As she writes down all the ways this summer is going from bad to worse in her school-assignment journal, what starts as a homework torture-device might just end up being an account of how Maisie didn't let anything, or anyone, hold her back...

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20 April 2019

Cute and Coming Soon - Her Royal Highness

Aww this cute LGBTQ story releases 7th May!

Her Royal Highness - Royals #2
by Rachel Hawkins




What they say: Millie Quint is devastated when she discovers that her sort-of-best friend/sort-of-girlfriend has been kissing someone else. And because Millie cannot stand the thought of confronting her ex every day, she decides to apply for scholarships to boarding schools... the farther from Houston the better.

Millie can't believe her luck when she's accepted into one of the world's most exclusive schools, located in the rolling highlands of Scotland. Everything about Scotland is different: the country is misty and green; the school is gorgeous, and the students think Americans are cute.

The only problem: Mille's roommate Flora is a total princess.

She's also an actual princess. Of Scotland.

At first, the girls can barely stand each other--Flora is both high-class and high-key--but before Millie knows it, she has another sort-of-best-friend/sort-of-girlfriend. Even though Princess Flora could be a new chapter in her love life, Millie knows the chances of happily ever afters are slim . . . after all, real life isn't a fairy tale . . . or is it?

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19 April 2019

Coming Soon - There's Something About Sweetie

This beauty releases May 17th!

There's Something About Sweetie
by Sandhya Menon




What they say: Ashish Patel didn’t know love could be so…sucky. After he’s dumped by his ex-girlfriend, his mojo goes AWOL. Even worse, his parents are annoyingly, smugly confident they could find him a better match. So, in a moment of weakness, Ash challenges them to set him up.

The Patels insist that Ashish date an Indian-American girl—under contract. Per subclause 1(a), he’ll be taking his date on “fun” excursions like visiting the Hindu temple and his eccentric Gita Auntie. Kill him now. How is this ever going to work?

Sweetie Nair is many things: a formidable track athlete who can outrun most people in California, a loyal friend, a shower-singing champion. Oh, and she’s also fat. To Sweetie’s traditional parents, this last detail is the kiss of death.

Sweetie loves her parents, but she’s so tired of being told she’s lacking because she’s fat. She decides it’s time to kick off the Sassy Sweetie Project, where she’ll show the world (and herself) what she’s really made of.

Ashish and Sweetie both have something to prove. But with each date they realize there’s an unexpected magic growing between them. Can they find their true selves without losing each other?


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