Monday, May 20, 2019

Book Review: Stepsister by: Jennifer Donnelly

Release Date: May 14, 2019
from Scholastic
Goodreads | Amazon
Source: I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher and voluntarily provided a fair and honest review.
"Isabelle should be blissfully happy – she’s about to win the handsome prince. Except Isabelle isn’t the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and captured the prince’s heart. She’s the ugly stepsister who’s cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella’s shoe ... which is now filling with blood.

When the prince discovers Isabelle’s deception, she is turned away in shame. It’s no more than she deserves: she is a plain girl in a world that values beauty; a feisty girl in a world that wants her to be pliant.

Isabelle has tried to fit in. To live up to her mother’s expectations. To be like her stepsister. To be sweet. To be pretty. One by one, she has cut away pieces of herself in order to survive a world that doesn’t appreciate a girl like her. And that has made her mean, jealous, and hollow.

Until she gets a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: it takes more than heartache to break a girl."

My Thoughts:

I am a sucker for retellings, so when this showed up in the mail, I immediately knew it was going on my TBR. I loved that this was more in line with the original darker tale and I especially loved how it took the story and gave it such a feminist take.

Our story starts off at the end of the classic Cinderella tale when Isabelle has just cut off her toes. From here we learn that there is much more to the stepsisters than we had ever known. I adored all of the characters and I especially loved how strong and different all of the women were. All of the women in this story have their own strength and flaws and personalities. Society tells them they have to be one thing, even if it’s against everything they want. I loved how Isabelle raged against that and I especially loved watching her learn what makes her great. Isabelle is fierce and bold and stubborn and refuses to back down or do what she’s told. She’s a girl after my own heart and I adored her in every way.

Other than Isabelle though, I truly loved the cast of characters. Tavi is so smart and so great. Felix is just, ugh, a sweetheart and he stole my heart. Ella is so good and kind and much more than just a pretty face. Hugo despite being well… him… won me over. And Chance stole the show. He stole every single scene he was in. I would not complain if we somehow got to see him again.

All in all, Stepsister was a fantastic feminist retelling of the Cinderella story you thought you knew. It’s the kind of book that makes you feel strong and want to rage against the world and the box it tries to put you in and then rise up and shatter that glass ceiling. It shows that women contain multitudes and can be strong in a multitude of ways and they can be more than the world tells them to be. It’s just an all-around good read and to cap this off I’m going to leave you with my favorite quote from the book.
“Go now, girl. Remake the world.”

Thursday, May 16, 2019

On My Shelf: Strange The Dreamer by: Laini Taylor

On My Shelf is a feature I started here on the blog and I'm sure there are a ton of similar ones out there, but basically I just wanted to start spotlighting some of the MANY backlist titles I have accumulated on my shelf and kindle. The idea is to spotlight an older book I have on my massive TBR. I also thought it would be a fun way to discuss these books with my fellow bloggers, get some of your thoughts and figure out which ones I need to read ASAP and which ones can wait a bit more. And if you want to join in too, I would love to see what is on your shelf! Just leave me a link in the comments.


I adored the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, so of course I had to have this one. I need to make time for this one because I am sure the writing is gorgeous and I know people have adored this book.

So tell me. Have you read it? Did you love it? Hate it? Was it meh?


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Recent Reads: Fairy Tales and Squad 312 and Healers

Recent Reads is feature here on the blog. The point is to feature books I've read recently in quick recap fashion with fun info-graphics. The info-graphics came from the Bookly app, which is a great app for bloggers. You can log quotes and thoughts and track your reading stats (and no I'm not paid for this, I just really like this app). Recently I dove into worlds of fairy tales, Squad 312, and healers.



Monday, May 13, 2019

Book Review: Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle #1) by: Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Release Date: May 7, 2019
from Knopf Books For Young Readers
Goodreads | Amazon
Source: I received a complementary copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley and voluntarily provided a fair and honest review.
"From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They're not the heroes we deserve. They're just the ones we could find. Nobody panic."

My Thoughts:

I have been in a bit of a reading funk these past few months, there just hasn’t been much that has really been grabbing me but man oh man did Aurora Rising grab me. It has been so long since I have loved a book this much and it’s easily one of my favorite books this year. This book is like Star Trek but with a band of misfits and infinitely more sass. It is everything I could have hoped for and more. 

What truly makes this book is the cast of characters. I want to join Squad 312. None of these characters should fit together or were ever meant to be a team but they just work. Tyler is just utterly refreshing as a leader. He wants to follow the rules and isn’t this brash reckless leader who can get away with being reckless just because he is great. He works hard and followed the rules all his life. But he is also willing to do what is right but he struggles along the way and I just loved him because he is such a good and smart guy and a great leader. And it is so entirely on brand for me that Kal was the favorite of them all… Kal is essentially our resident badass space elf. Kal is quiet and broody and a jackass a lot of the time so naturally I found him incredibly endearing. In Fin we have our sarcastic asshole mechanic… and I love him. Zila is quiet and ridiculously smart and in love with her disruptor. Scarlet is excellent at reading people and always has a comment and I love the bond between her and Tyler (they are twins and love excellent sibling relationship portrayal). And how could I not love Cat… always ready to speak her mind and be the badass that she is. And then we have our girl Aurora. She is fantastic. She is clearly out of her depth and nothing around her is familiar but she perseveres and fights and really comes into her own. 

This book is so hard to put down. There is so much action and drama and the characters all play off one another so well. It is the perfect kind of sci-fi where it has the true sci-fi feel but you are never bogged down by details and information that slow down the plot. The plot keeps moving and dropping more and more information as you go along. I loved all the twists and turns as the story moved along and I cannot wait to see where the series goes next.

All in all, Aurora Rising was a fantastic read and it was exactly the book I needed right now. I can’t even fully express how much I loved this book and I want everyone to read it. 

Friday, May 3, 2019

On My Shelf: Stealing Home by: Jennifer Seasons

On My Shelf is a feature I started here on the blog and I'm sure there are a ton of similar ones out there, but basically I just wanted to start spotlighting some of the MANY backlist titles I have accumulated on my shelf and kindle. The idea is to spotlight an older book I have on my massive TBR. I also thought it would be a fun way to discuss these books with my fellow bloggers, get some of your thoughts and figure out which ones I need to read ASAP and which ones can wait a bit more. And if you want to join in too, I would love to see what is on your shelf! Just leave me a link in the comments.


I kinda forgot I had this book, but I can see why I grabbed it. Sports romances are always fun and throw in a stolen good luck charm and it sounds like a good time.

So tell me. Have you read it? Did you love it? Hate it? Was it meh?


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