The Cruel Prince by Holly Black — Just Okay Or Worth the Hype? |Book Review

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black is a book that has a ton of hype surrounding it. I’m a sucker for hyped books, so I had to know what everyone was talking about. Plus, I had read and enjoyed Holly Black’s other book, White Catso I hoped that I would enjoy it. My feelings on this book ended up being mixed, and to be honest, I’m not quite sure I get the hype surrounding it.

Let’s start off with the good stuff, and a good chunk of the good stuff revolves around our protagonist, Jude. She is a little rough around the edges, as she is a human that grew up in Faerie. She dreams of becoming a knight for the High Court of Faerie, and deals with a ton of internal conflict thanks to her upbringing. The passages where she feels conflicted on Madoc, her “father” figure, were interesting and engaging. My favorite part of the book hands down was her adventure plot. I loved the scenes where she gets wrapped up in Faerie politics. I wish we got more scenes of her sneaking around.

Much of the plot revolves around her school life. Some of it was interesting, and relevant to the plot, but it just made the middle drag. The plot picks up at the end when Jude’s adventure plot line comes back into play. Even though I saw the ending coming, I was so invested in last third of the story and could not put it down.

Other things I liked included Jude’s family dynamic and also Prince Cardan’s story arc. I’m very interested to see how he grows as the story progresses. It looks promising. Fingers crossed it goes in an interesting direction.

Aside from Jude and Prince Cardan (and maybe Madoc and Vivi), I thought the other characters could have been more fleshed out. Taryn especially needed more character development. Some of the choices that she makes, I just didn’t understand at all. I sort of feel like the conflict between Jude and Taryn was used for drama’s sake and nothing more. It came off super melodramatic, in like a bad way.

Also, I HATED LOCKE! SO MUCH! Yes, that needed to be in all caps. I can’t go into why exactly, cause SPOILERS. If you’ve read the book, you probably understand. Just know that his whole deal pissed me off so much.

Overall, I enjoyed reading The Cruel Prince. It was a fun read, but not one that blew me away. The hype surrounding the book confuses me a bit. I get that there is an addictive quality to the book and faeries are super trendy right now, but it wasn’t OH MY GOD, AMAZING! It was just okay. This is not a story that is going to stick with me. With that being said, I will be continuing on with the series. It has serious potential to be one of those series that just gets better with each new book.

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

What did you think of The Cruel Prince? Did you think it was worth the hype? Let me know what you thought of the book in the comment section down below. 

P.S. I seriously hate Locke so much. I hope he dies in The Wicked King. Also, is it weird that I put the synopsis in the bottom? Do people care whether it’s included or not? Let me know!


Synopsis: Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

 

The 20 Questions Book Tag

It’s been AGES since I did a book tag on my blog. We’re talking more than a year here. I just scrolled through my posts now to see when exactly that was, and the last Book Tag I did was The Good Reads Book Tag on JUNE 23RD OF 2017!

God, I’m the worst book blogger. 

I promise I don’t have anything against Book Tags. They are super fun! I’m just never tagged in them, and a lazy book blogger sometimes. So since it’s clearly been forever, I thought I would do one.

I stumbled upon this one on Boston Book Reader’s site, it looked fun, so here we are. I could not find the original creator of the tag, which I feel bad about.

ON WITH THE TAG!


1. HOW MANY BOOKS IS TOO MANY BOOKS IN A SERIES?

I think it depends on the series, because some book series I want to go on forever while others I’m like, THERE ARE TOO MANY BOOKS. WHY MUST I READ ALL OF THESE BOOKS!? JUST TELL ME HOW IT ENDS!

But you want a number? I’ll give you a number. I’m going to go with more than 5, because unless I’m really into the series/world, it becomes a chore after 5.

2. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT CLIFFHANGERS?

I like them because it ends the book on a high note, and you’re left thinking “What next?!” However, it really sucks when you have to wait more than a year for the next book to come out.

Also, from a writer’s perspective they are fun to write! If I ever get published, I expect my readers to hate me for my cliff hangers.

3. HARDCOPY OR PAPERBACK?

Floppy paperback, because I enjoy reading from them more. However, some hardbacks are so beautiful, I just can’t resist.

4. FAVOURITE BOOK?

I hate when people ask me this question, because then I have to chose from my multitude of favorites. It’s not fair. It feels like picking a favorite child. If I had to pick, I’m going to go with Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare, because I still remember my experience reading that book. It was like I was on a roller coaster of emotions. Jem, Tessa, and Will still hold all of my heart, so much so that I get so happy when they are mentioned in Cassandra Clare’s other works.

A close second is Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson, because that book was epic!

5. LEAST FAVOURITE BOOK?

Before this year I did not have an answer to this question, but now I do. It is The Testing of Luther Albright by MacKenzie Bezos. I really did not gel with this book. It was extremely slow paced and an uninteresting story.

6. LOVE TRIANGLES, YES OR NO?

Yes, but only if done well.

7. THE MOST RECENT BOOK YOU JUST COULDN’T FINISH?

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. I’m honestly surprised by this one, because The Remnant Chronicles is a well loved series. It’s not bad, I just can’t connect with the characters. I was also hoping for a more interesting plot. I do plan on finishing it at some point this year, because I was more than 70% of the way through. Maybe the end will change things for me.

8. A BOOK YOU’RE CURRENTLY READING?

War Storm by Victoria Aveyard. My cousin, Kate, and I have been binge reading the Red Queen series. I have mixed feelings on the series as a whole. On the one hand, I find the world really interesting, but I’m personally not gelling with the writing style. I don’t think it’s poorly written, but sometimes it has a slower pace. That being said, I’m really vibing with War Storm so far!

9. LAST BOOK YOU RECOMMENDED TO SOMEONE?

I’m pretty sure that it was Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson, because I am obsessed with this book! Also, the person I was recommending it to was looking for a YA Mystery Thriller. If you’re looking for a good YA Mystery Thriller, I recommend picking it up. *wink wink* *nudge nudge*

10. OLDEST BOOK YOU’VE READ?

God, I don’t know the answer to this. I think it’s The Iliad by Homer? I had to read it for AP English ages ago.

11. NEWEST BOOK YOU’VE READ?

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson, which I really enjoyed! It was a fun witchy book, that hit me right in the feels. I really liked that at it’s core, this was a book about female friendship. I also loved Mila’s narration. She had such a dry, sarcastic humor that I found hilarious.

12. FAVOURITE AUTHOR?

This is another question I hate, because I don’t have an all time favorite author. I can name a few of my favorite authors. Ally Carter, Marissa Meyer, Brandon Sanderson, and Maureen Johnson. I think Cassandra Clare too, because she’s got me hooked on her latest series and I loved The Infernal Devices trilogy.

13. BUYING BOOKS OR BORROWING BOOKS?

Both? I really like borrowing books digitally from my library, because I don’t have to worry about late fees and it’s a fun way to try out books. At the same time, buying books is an addiction. You can’t just buy one book. Plus, I can take as long as I want to read them, because they’re MINE!

14. A BOOK YOU DISLIKE THAT EVERYONE SEEMS TO LIKE?

Oooh! We love ourselves a good controversial question. Let me think. Most of the books I actively dislike are books that most people dislike. So I’m going to pick a popular book that I felt meh on instead. There are many of those. The one I’m picking is Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. I liked the characters, but I thought the author could have done a better job at building tension. The plot was uninteresting and I did not find myself incredibly invested in the story. For a book about a tragic event, I did not cry, and I am a book crier!  This just did not do much for me.

16. A BOOK YOU CAN ALWAYS REREAD?

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, since I’ve reread it at least three or four times at this point (minus Winter because I suck at finishing series). I still get so wrapped up in the story even though I know what happens.

17. CAN YOU READ WHILE HEARING MUSIC?

Yes. It’s not preferable, but I can do it. I mostly do this on the train when I want to block out the annoying conversations around me.

18. ONE POV OR MULTIPLE POVS?

Multiple POVS all day every day! I really enjoy seeing the story and world from all sides, especially when it’s a story/world that I find super interesting.

19. DO YOU READ A BOOK IN ONE SITTING OR OVER MULTIPLE DAYS?

Usually over multiple days simply for time. Most days I have a bunch of stuff to do, so it’s hard for me to sit down and dedicate a full day to just reading. That being said, if I’m super invested and have the time, I will spend all day reading a book.

20. ONE BOOK YOU READ BECAUSE OF THE COVER.

I don’t often read books purely because of the cover, but The Selection by Keira Cass is the closest thing I can think of. I mean the covers of that book has such a pretty dress, I can’t help but be intrigued.


We’ve reached the end of the tag, and I don’t know what to say because I’m bad at concluding things…but this tag was fun! No. It really was so much fun! I love answering random questions about books.

I am not going to tag anyone specifically. Mostly because I’m not sure who has done this already, but if you haven’t and you want to after reading my post consider yourself TAGGED!

Please let me know if you agreed or disagreed with any of my answers down in the comment section below. Also, if there’s a tag you would like to see me do let me know down below as well. 

P.S. I started doing this because I thought it would be an easy post. It took me at least a week to write this. Turns out answering 20 Questions is harder than it looks or I’m just lazy. Def just lazy.

Top 5 Books I’ve Read So Far in 2018!

We’ve reached July, which means that half of 2018 is already gone! So far this year I have read 22 books. While I am currently behind on my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 50 books, I still feel like I’ve read a good amount. I thought it would be fun to go through those 22 books and pick out five of my favorite reads so far. I love reading/watching these kinds of posts from other bloggers and Booktubers. It’s always so interesting to see what people are loving this year.

So here’s what I have been loving in 2018. These books are in no particular order, because I decided to save myself the pain of having to put them in order.


Nevermoor

1. Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend (Nevermoor #1)

We’re going to start off with this book, which is the only book I’ve given 5/5 Stars so far this year. I’m really stingy with my 5 star ratings, but I loved everything about this book. The characters, the story, the world, the pacing, so basically everything. Honestly, the best word to describe this book is fun, because it was so much fun!

I don’t read a ton of middle grade. It is not a genre that I gravitate towards, but this book makes me want to try some more books from that genre. The second book in the series is coming out in September, and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy!

 

The Diviners

2. The Diviners by Libba Bray (The Diviners #1)

Everyone in the book community always talks about how The Diviners is such a underrated series, so of course the hipster in me had to pick it up. There’s nothing that I love more than underrated books.

I’m just kidding, mostly. What also drew me to this book is the fact that it is a supernatural murder mystery that takes place in 1920s Manhattan. There is something about period supernatural/urban fantasy books that I love, and the 1920s is a time period that I’m fascinated by. This is where most people will blame The Great Gatsby for that, but I’m going to blame Thoroughly Modern Millie (the musical). There’s just something about speakeasies, flappers, and jazz that is fun. Also, I love books that are set in New York, mainly because I love New York (city, in case you need that clarification. The New Yorker in me refuses to call New York NYC).

The Diviners definitely does an excellent job capturing the atmosphere of New York in the 1920s. I loved all the lingo that was used in the description and the descriptions in general, something I don’t think I’ve ever said before. On top of the atmosphere, I loved the diverse cast. I did not realize that this book had an ensemble cast going in, but I loved it, and really appreciated the fact that we got to see this story through different lenses. The only thing that didn’t wow me was the ending, but I thought this was a great series starter, and I can’t wait to continue on with the series. I did a full length review for this book, so if you want to hear more of my thoughts be sure and check that out!

 

Nice Try Jane Sinner

3. Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke

Boy did this book surprise the crap out of me. Saying that, I picked it up thinking I would enjoy it. I’m constantly looking for more books that take place in college, as I am writing a contemporary that takes place in college, which is why I picked it up. Once I started reading it, I could not put it down! I was immediately hooked for a lot of reasons, the main one being Jane.

Jane, our main character, is just awesome. This book follows her personal journey. She was kicked out of high school due to a personal crisis, and her parents push her to attend a high school completion program at their local community college. Jane agrees, but only if she can move out. To tackle her housing problem, she signs up for House of Orange, which is a student run reality show (think Big Brother). Jane has such great wit that comes off in her narration. I laughed out loud multiple times, which is something that doesn’t happen often. I’m honestly more likely to cry than laugh when reading a book. Comedy is something that I don’t think many authors nail well, but Oelke did!

I loved the way that the book talked about serious topics such as depression and religion. It felt very genuine. I think the comedy also aided in talking about these topics in an approachable way. Nothing felt too preachy, and I found the conversation interesting.

This book was honestly so good. The only thing I have mixed feelings on is the writing style. It is told in a journal/screenplay style that takes some getting used to. Once you do get used to the writing style, it is such a fun ride. I’m still sad that this is a standalone, because I just want another book with Jane.

 

Truly Devious

4. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson (Truly Devious #1)

This book was the one that made me realize that I really love Maureen Johnson’s writing. Like she’s reached “One of My Favorite Authors” status, because wow. Just wow. There was so much good stuff in this book.

First, we have to talk about the duel timelines, because the way that this story is written is easily my favorite thing about it. Truly Devious takes place at Ellingham Academy, a famous private school for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. When the school first opened, the founder’s wife and child were kidnapped. They were never found and the case remains…UNSOLVED! Fast forward to present day, where Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy. She is obsessed with True Crime and is determined to solve this famous cold case. However, the past starts coming back when Truly Devious seems to have returned. DUN DUN DUN! The story flips back and forth between both timelines, and it’s crafted so well. Both mysteries had me hooked, and I cannot wait to see how they further connect and intertwine.

I could not put this book down once I started it. The pacing was excellent, I loved the characters, especially our main character Stevie, and I just need to know what happens next! Curse you Maureen Johnson and your awful cliffhangers!

 

Lady Midnight

5. Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (The Dark Artifices #1)

This is my most recent read, and I absolutely loved it. Hence why it’s on this list. I really enjoy the Shadowhunters world, but some books I love more than others. I was a little nervous going in, but as soon as I started it, I could not stop reading it.

My favorite thing about the book is the characters. The Blackthorn children and Emma are precious, and I love them so much. Christina is also great! I love that Emma has like a close female friend that she can talk to about stuff. If I had to name a favorite character, it might be Mark, because he’s equal parts interesting and hilarious. Seriously, some of the things he says are just so funny.

Another thing I really enjoyed about this book was how Clare explores the messed up shit in the Shadowhunter society. It’s hard to go into detail without spoiling the book, or the end of the final book in The Mortal Instruments series, City of Heavenly Fire. The lines of what’s right and wrong are blurred and I’m a sucker for that stuff.

For a 600+ page book, it did not feel like one, and I can’t wait to continue on with the series. I’m reading her books in publication order, so next up for me is Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy. I’m hoping to get caught up in time for the release of Queen of Air and Darkness.


It was surprisingly a lot easier to put this list together than I had originally thought when I first started writing this post. I think I have read many books in the okay to good range, but only a few have really blown me away.

I think/hope the second half of the year will be better, if only because some of my most anticipated releases are coming out. Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake and Muse of Nightmares being at the top of my list.

What have been the best books you’ve read so far in 2018? Do we share any favorites? Let me know down in the comment section below. Also let me know if you’ve read any of the books I mentioned!

P.S. I’m reading War Storm by Victoria Ave right now and I’m surprised at how much I’m loving it. That’s another post for another day.

October Wrap-Up!

Hello fellow booknerds! It’s been a while. Sorry that I dropped off of the face of the earth, but October was an incredibly busy month for me. Not only was I swamped with theater and improv stuff, but I have started a new creative project which has been exciting. I will tell you guys all about that creative project in another post.

This blog is all about the books, so let’s get into those books. Even though I was super busy this month, I was able to read a decent amount. It wasn’t my best reading month, but certainly not the worst.

1. One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake (Three Dark Crowns #2) — This was the first book that I dove into. I was highly anticipating it after finishing the first book, Three Dark Crowns, in July. Three Dark Crowns blew me away, so I definitely had some high expectations for the sequel. I’m happy to say that I was not let down. One Dark Throne was just as exciting and addicting as its predecessor. I read the book in three days. Things just kept happening and I needed to know what happened next. Unlike most people, I think I enjoyed Three Dark Crowns just a hair more. I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but my favorite aspect of Three Dark Crowns was the fact that the plot constantly kept me on my toes. When I was reading One Dark Throne, I was able to see more of the twists and turns coming. That being said, I really enjoyed this book and I can’t wait for the next installment. For more of my in depth thoughts, check out my review! Warning, it does contain some spoilers for the first book so I recommend only reading it if you have finished Three Dark Crowns(Rating: 4/5 Stars)

2. Lucky in Love by Kasie West — I picked this up because I was in the mood for a fun light read. That’s exactly what a Kasie West book usually entails so it was a good choice. She writes mostly cute YA contemporaries. This one was no different. It follows Maddie who randomly wins the lottery. Once she comes into money, it changes how people interact with her so we see her deal with that. There’s also this cute boy that she works with, Seth, who is unaware that she’s won the lottery. She likes that he just treats her the same and wants to keep it that way. I enjoyed reading this and thought it was cute. This book was nothing mind blowing, but just a fun read. I loved Seth and thought he was the best part. Not only was he super adorable (seriously, I think I fell in love with him), but I appreciated the fact that he was Asian American. I feel like it’s so rare to see a non-white dude as the male lead, especially in YA contemporary. I also think Asian American men are not often shown as sexy or attractive in American media. Seth definitely doesn’t follow the typical Asian American stereotypes and he just felt so real. Overall, this book was adorable. As I said nothing mind blowing, but not super cringy either. (Rating: 3/5 Stars)

3. The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn #2) — I decided to finally continue on with the Mistborn series this month. I absolutely fell in love with this world when I read The Final Empire back in May. I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to read this sequel, but I took the plunge this month. The book absolutely blew me away. I mean Sanderson is known for being such an excellent writer, so I shouldn’t be surprised, but still! After loving The Final Empire I was worried that the second book wouldn’t live up to the first, but it totally did. The Well of Ascension is definitely a slower paced book, but everything continues to build and build as you read until you reach the end. God, the ending was so good. It’s the kind of ending that just whacks you over the head and makes everything come full circle in a way. I’m still not over it. Needless to say that I will be picking up the final book in the trilogy a lot sooner than this one! I cannot wait to see how Sanderson wraps everything up. If you are a fan of fantasy and haven’t read this series yet, please, I urge you to pick it up! (Rating: 5/5 Stars)


Those are all of the books that I read this past month. The Well of Ascension took up most of my time since my copy was a whopping 776 pages. It was easily my favorite read of the month so I can’t be mad at it.

I wish I was able to read more, because I’m slowly falling behind with my goal of reading 50 books this year. I need to get it together somehow.

Anyway I would love to know what everyone has been reading recently! What was your favorite book you read in the month of October? Have you read any of these books? Let’s talk about all things books in the comment section down below. 

Top Ten Hidden Gems in Contemporary

Hey guys, it’s been a while. Sorry, I’ve been a little MIA. I just have been feeling kind of down and exhausted lately, and it put me in a blogging slump. I needed to take a break to rejuvenate and relax. Now that I’ve done some of that, I feel more motivated to keep up with this blog (and all of the other things I have going on).

Anyway, what better way to celebrate my return than with a Top Ten Tuesday. I’m so excited that The Broke and the Bookish are back with this meme, I certainly have missed it!

This week is all about finding the Hidden Gems in a genre of your choice. I picked YA Contemporary because it is the genre that I have read the most from. It’s a wide range of books and there are definitely a ton of throwbacks on here. Some of them may lean more on the “popular” side, but I put them on my list because I don’t see them talked about enough in the Book Community. Anyway, on with the list!


1. This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila SalesThis Song will save your life

 

I randomly stumbled upon this book a few years ago. I was drawn in by the cover, the title, and the premise. As a music enthusiast, I’m sucker for books that involve music in their plot in any way. I ended up loving this book! Elise was such an awesome character and I really related to her (even though I’m not secretly a DJ, sorry guys). If you pick up any book from this list, I think it should be this one.

 

 

2. Sorta Like a Rockstar by Matthew Quick

Sorta Like a Rock Star

This was on my syllabus for a YA Literature class I took in college. I had never heard of it, but was really blown away. Amber, our main character, was one that leaped off the page and I loved her voice. I also really loved all the quirkiness that was in this book, but don’t let the quirkiness deceive you. This book pack’s a major punch. I need to reread it, because I remember loving it but it’s been a while. It was such a solid book though and an underrated one at that. Also, if this author sounds familiar it is because he wrote The Silver Linings Playbook.

 

3. How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standifordhow to say goodbye in robot

Okay, so this book is a hidden gem for a couple of reasons. One, you probably haven’t heard of it. I certainly hadn’t until my YA Literature class. This book was another great one on our syllabus (my professor picked some really awesome books). The second reason why this falls perfectly in the hidden gem category is because this book is not a romance. Yes, I repeat, THIS BOOK IS NOT A ROMANCE! I know, the pink cover is misleading, but this is really a story about the friendship between Bea and Jonah. It is so rare to see a book about a boy and a girl who don’t fall in love with each other. I’m also pretty sure that they’re both heterosexual (please correct me if I’m wrong), which makes it even rarer. I really enjoyed this, because it was quirky and hit me in the feels. It’s been a while since I read this, so it’s definitely due for a reread.

4. The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

The conspiracy of us

If you know me, then you know that I really enjoy reading unrealistic realistic fiction. Basically, books that are set in the real world, but the things that happen in them don’t necessarily happen in everyday life. This book definitely falls under that genre as it follows Avery West who gets caught up in this secret society called the Circle. Apparently, she is the key to some ancient prophecy, but this is the first time she’s hearing of all of this. While this book did take me a while to get into, once I did get into it I could not put it down. I needed to know what happened next, which of course, led to more questions. This definitely gave me a bit of National Treasure (yes, the Nicolas Cage film) vibes too, which I liked. It was such a fun read, and I definitely plan on continuing on with the series.

5. The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The fixer

Okay, so this is another great book that also falls under that category of unrealistic realistic fiction. On GoodReads, the synopsis claims that it is a mix of Scandal and Veronica Mars in YA Thriller form. That statement is so accurate and should make you want to pick up this book immediately. I have read another novel by Barnes and really enjoyed her writing style. This book is definitely my favorite by her, and it is not talked about enough! I don’t hear anyone talking about it and it makes me so sad! If you pick up a second book from this list (after This Song Will Save Your Life), it needs to be this one! There is also a sequel that I need to get my hands on asap.

6. Airhead by Meg Cabot

airhead

Airhead is another strange contemporary novel that is so good. Basically, our main character Em gets into a bizarre accident that changes her life completely. I won’t say exactly what happens to her, but you may be able to gather that information from the GoodReads synopsis. The concept of this book definitely scared me a little, but once you accept certain aspects it’s so good and addicting. Airhead is the first book in a trilogy, by the same name. I flew through all of the books, they were so good. Quirky and weird, but also fun and good.

 

7. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

a study in charlotte

I would describe this book as a YA Sherlock retelling with a female Sherlock. Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are descendants of the famous detective duo you’ve probably heard of. They first meet at Sherringford, a prep school in Connecticut. Things start to go awry when a student dies and they’re sort of being framed for the murder. There’s not enough love for this book. I’ve seen a few people talk about it here in the Book Community (especially since the sequel, The Last of August, came out in February). I really enjoyed reading this, and thought it was super unique. I mean how many YA Sherlock retellings do you come across?

8. Megan Meade’s Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian

megan meade's

You may be familiar with this author. She wrote the Private series and the Shadowlands Trilogy. This book was super popular when it came out back in the mid 2000s (this book was published 2006). It was the first book that I remember really falling in love with when I was a teenager. It holds a special place in my heart, and definitely is part of the reason I love YA contemporary romances so much. I included it on this list, because nobody talks about it anymore even though it was such a good book. If you’re looking for a great throwback, I think you should pick this one up. I hope to reread this one day, and see if I love it as much as I did then.

9. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

this lullaby

Okay, so you’ve probably also heard of this author. She just had a book come out and is considered a queen of YA contemporary romance. This is probably my favorite book that I’ve read by her and I’ve read most of them. Since it is an older book, it does not get talked about as much (hence why it is on this list). I think what stood out for me was the romance between Remy and Dexter. Also, Dexter is a guitar player and in a band, which makes him even more swoon worthy. As we have established previously, I’m such a sucker for books about music and this is another one of them.

 

10. The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak

The heartbreakers

Speaking of books that involve music and romance, this is another one I really loved. I’m a sucker guys, what can I say. I’m especially a sucker for the celebrity falls for a regular person trope. This book does that trope well, and satisfied all of my needs. It was just such an adorable romance and a perfect summer read. I believe this is the first book in a series. The other books revolve around the romances of the other members in the boy band that is featured. I definitely plan on continuing on and seeing how Novak handles that without writing the exact same story but with different characters.


Those are my favorite hidden gems in the YA Contemporary genre. As I was typing up this list, I realized that a good chunk of these books are in desperate need for a reread. If you see one of them pop up on a future TBR, you will know why.

Please let me know if you’ve read any of the books I’ve listed. We can gush about these awesome books in the comment section togehter  Also if you have a favorite YA Contemporary that is completely underrated and not on this list, let me know down in the comments. Always looking for more unknown books to read. 

August TBR and Goals

Hey guys! I don’t know about you, but I way behind on my ARCs. This month, I’m hoping to catch up with them. Or at least try to. Thankfully, they are not too long, so there is hope for me. Let’s get into my reading plans.


August TBR

1. I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo — This is the book that I’m currently reading. I only have about 40 pages to go, so it will get finished tomorrow. This book is about a girl who uses the K drama formula to find love. I will talk more about my thoughts when I finish this book. It’s cute though.

2. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (ACOTAR #3) — Bella over at Bella Blogs  Because Books is just about to finish her re-read of A Court of Mist and Fury, which means that it is finally time for our buddy read! I’m so excited to dive into this book, especially after loving the second book in this series so much. If you’re unaware, this is the third and (sort of) final book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. If you’re a fan of Maas, I would definitely recommend trying this series out. You might have to trudge through the first book, but the second makes it all worth it.

3. Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller — I was supposed to read this last month, but it got away from me. This is one of the ARCs I absolutely need to get to, as it comes out at the end of this month! I’m hoping I enjoy it, I mean our main character is a thief so I’m in. Also, this book features a gender fluid main character and I’m excited to see this representation. I’m hoping it’s good, I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews for it.

4. The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke — I was so excited to get approved for this book, because it features time travel! I am obsessed with books that involve this theme. I just think the idea of traveling back in time is so cool. This book follows a girl who accidentally time travels back to 1988 East Berlin by a red balloon. Yeah, you read that correctly, a red balloon. It’s sort of a mystery how she managed to do that. There are apparently elements of fantasy in this as well as time travel. I just can’t wait to get to this, it sounds so good and right up my ally. The book comes out September 1st, three days after Mask of Shadows.

5. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman — This is the final book on my official TBR for the month. It makes the cut because it is my book club’s Book of the Month. My friend Kim picked this, because she found a copy at a discount bookstore and thought it sounded good. I don’t know much about the book, except that the film adaptation was nominated for an Oscar in the foreign film category. Also, it’s giving me some Clint Eastwood vibes so we’ll see. Grumpy old men can be funny.

Writing Goals

Aside from my reading goals for the month, I thought I would also share with you my writing goals as well. Some of these writing goals are blog related and some of them concern my creative writing. I thought it would be fun to keep track of these things over the month and see what I can accomplish.

Blog Goals:

1. Post at least 1 review a week — I’ve been really shitty at posting reviews. It’s not that I don’t enjoy writing them, they just take me a little longer to write. Also, I sometimes struggle to remember what happened in the book since I’m so behind on reviews. I’m hoping by posting at least one a week, I will be able to catch up quicker. I’m planning on releasing these reviews on Sundays, just fyi.

2. Try and come up with discussion topics — Discussion posts are some of my favorite to read and I’ve wanted to write some of my own. The problem is I just don’t know where to start. I don’t want to copy some of the great discussion posts I’ve seen, I want to try and come up with my own. The only idea I have regards adaptations, because I’m into that and I know I have a very different opinion on the subject. However, beyond I have no idea what to write about. If there is anything you’d like me to discuss, please let me know down in the comment section below.

3. Post at least 3 to 4 times a week — Posting more frequently on Book to the Becky is something that I’ve been trying to be better about. Sometimes I struggle to come up with content and other times I’m just lazy. This month I’m going to try and stick to a schedule, and be more creative. Another feature I’ve thought about introducing is one where I talk generally about writing. I’m not an expert writer, so I’m not really sure how I will be able to pull that off, but it’s on the table. We’ll see what happens though.

Creative Writing Goals:

1. Finish a full chapter — When I say a full chapter, I mean one that I’ve started and finished in August. I’m a scene away from completing the chapter I’m currently working on. The next chapter is one I’ve been looking forward to writing and it’s going to be a long one. I want to have it completed by the end of this month, so that I only have one more chapter to write before I reevaluate things. I really want to just get to this point, that way I can go back and figure out some things. There are major issues I need to address, like figuring out the world my characters live in. My characters live in the real world and all go to college, but I need to flesh out the college dynamics more.

2. Come up with a sketch idea — I’m a very comedic writer, no matter what medium I am writing. Sketch writing is something that I got into a few years back, and would like to continue doing. Especially since I want to get more involved in the comedy scene in New York. I’m hoping to crank something out this month.


Those are my reading and writing goals for this month. Hopefully, I’ll be able to accomplish most of the things on this list, especially my TBR. The five books I listed are ones that I actually need to read, otherwise my book club, Bella, and the publishers who sent me ARCs are going to kill me. Wish me luck!

What is on your TBR for this month? Are you planning on reading any of the books I mentioned? If you have any writing goals, please feel free to share those as well. Let’s chat about all of the things in the comments.