ARC Review: Scars like Wings, written by Erin Stewart

ARC Review: Scars like Wings, written by Erin Stewart
ARC Review: Scars like Wings, written by Erin Stewart

Scars like Wings by Erin Stewart

Publication date: October 1st, 2019 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 368
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

Everyone has scars. Some are just easier to see …

16-year-old Ava Gardener is heading back to school one year after a house fire left her severely disfigured. She’s used to the names, the stares, the discomfort, but there’s one name she hates most of all: Survivor. What do you call someone who didn’t mean to survive? Who sometimes wishes she hadn’t?

When she meets a fellow survivor named Piper at therapy, Ava begins to feel like she’s not facing the nightmare alone. Piper helps Ava reclaim the pieces of Ava Before the Fire, a normal girl who kissed boys and sang on stage. But Piper is fighting her own battle for survival, and when Ava almost loses her best friend, she must decide if the new normal she’s chasing has more to do with the girl in the glass—or the people by her side. 


The beautiful, life-affirming debut from Erin Stewart that’s being called the YA answer to Wonder. Perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson, Nicola Yoon and John Green. 

– My Thoughts –

There is always beauty in the ashes. Sometimes we just can’t see it yet.

Erin Stewart, Scars like wings

Scars like Wings is about sixteen year old Ava who’s severely scarred now after surviving a house fire which left her without parents and her cousin. She lives with her uncle and aunt in her dead cousin Sarah’s room. Her life has now two timelines: before the fire and after the fire; this is also how the book is written. Ava’s life after the fire is anything but normal and it certainly doesn’t help when her aunt Cora tells her that she has to go to school from now on. School meant interaction with people who’d either ridicule her or pity her, why must she suffer through all of that? While in support group for burn survivors, she meets a feisty girl called Piper who goes to her new school. After meeting with Piper, Ava agrees to go to school for 2 weeks and to her surprise, it turns out to be one of the best decisions she makes.

At first, high school turned to be the exactly the kind of nightmare she had envisioned but with her new friends Piper and Asad, Ava managed to survive and even joined the theatre club. I freaking loved Piper who didn’t coddle Ava but instead pushed her every time to enjoy life. Even though Piper seemed so vivid and full of life, she had her own secrets and problems but that didn’t stop her from supporting and encouraging Ava through everything.

The synopsis says that this book is the YA answer to Wonder and it is such a wonderful one at that! I loved all the characters; they were realistic and loveable. Cora and Glenn were wonderful guardians to Ava; even though their own daughter Sarah perished in the fire, they supported and cared for Ava exactly like their own daughter. There are some heartbreaking moments that’ll make you tear up specifically in the end when Ava goes on a roap trip with Dr. Layne. There are many moments when we see people trying to judge Ava because of her outward appearance from calling her names to “editing” her scars out in a yearbook photo. This book will make you angry, make you cry and in the end smile.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book If you want to read a brilliantly written emotional YA book about loving oneself scars and all. This is about finding love, hope and through friendship and family bonds. This is about how you can simply be there for someone and that’ll be more than enough.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

– About the Author –

Erin Stewart

For more information about the author, please visit: Website | Goodreads |  Twitter

Thank you for reading! Have you read any book recently that made you emotional? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

ARC Review: American Royals, written by Katharine McGee

ARC Review: American Royals, written by Katharine McGee
Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

American Royals by Katharine McGee

Publication date: September 5th, 2019 
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 448
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy:Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

Romance, glamour, secrets and scheming . . . Meet the Washingtons – the most scandalous royal family ever!

HRH Princess Samantha has always been a royal rebel. She’s the spare not the heir, so no one minds toomuch who she dates or how hard she parties.

It helps that her sister, Princess Beatrice, is literally perfect. She’s demure, sweet and beautiful, and she knows that the crown always comes first – no matter what her heart might really want.

But they’re not the only ones with their eye on the throne. Daphne Deighton might be ‘newly noble’ but she she won Prince Jefferson’s heart once, and she’ll do anything to get back into the court’s favour – and his bed.

If only she knew that her competition was a common nobody – plain little Nina Leon, the daughter of the king’s secretary.

Together these four young women must navigate the drama, gossip, scheming and sizzling romance of the most glorious court in the world. They’ll either be crowned in glory – or end up as shockingly royal disasters. 

– My Thoughts –

American Royals tells us the story of the American Royals: The Washingtons, better known as “The Most Scandalous Royal Family Ever”. It is set in an alternate version of America where the Revolutionary War ended up with George Washington becoming the king -not President- of America. The main characters are descendants of George Washington and are currently in line to the throne of America.

I love retellings and this is, I suppose, a retelling of sorts but it somehow seemed insensitive to me. I don’t know why but there is no mention of slavery or illegal theft of land from Native Americans anywhere in the text. Even when Beatrice, the Princess and next in line to the throne, is told about the history of her ancestors and America..these facts are completely erased and ..yes, I know, this is fiction but history should be changed for the better only, don’t you think? 

Back to the story…

There are four POVs to comb through and they are of Beatrice’s(The Heir), Beatrice’s sister Samantha(The Rebel), Nina(a commoner) and Prince Jefferson’s ex-girlfriend Daphne(Our Schemer). It could easily have been a chaotic mess but the author’s writing is easy to follow through and engaging. 

American Royals could easily have been Beatrice’s novel because her character arc seemed to be more developed than the others. She’s been groomed to be the future queen of America since she was a child; her every step was carefully monitored and it now seems that her love life will be too. As the future queen, Beatrice couldn’t really have a love life but her parents now want her to meet some potential suitors who’ll eventually become the future King Consort of America. Despite my reluctances, I did sympathize with her inability to assert any control over her own life. I don’t know how I feel about Samantha’s character since I’m an only child and I felt that her parents doted more on her sister Beatrice which made her feel left out. Jeff, their brother, and Samantha’s twin was such a nondescript character that I wondered WHY were two girls fighting over him… Nina’s is the third POV we get and she’s a commoner whose mother works for the Royal household. I would have loved to know more about her since she was the only main poc in the story but all I know are her close friendship with the twins and a huge crush on Jeff. Finally, we arrive on Daphne’s POV and the girl has got some major issues probably due to her upbringing. She’s a noble and since their break-up, she will do anything to get back together with Jeff.

Overall, I would recommend this book if you love Gossip Girls or that Royals show. If you love a book full of drama, backstabbing and a YA standalone that has a major plot twist right before a cliffhanger ending. My feelings about this book are pretty ambivalent..I would not outright recommend this book to a friend.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

– About the Author 

Katharine McGee

Katharine McGee is originally from Houston, Texas. She studied English and French literature at Princeton University and has an MBA from Stanford. It was during her years in New York, working as an editor by day and writing by night, that she began a manuscript about life in a futuristic skyscraper. The Thousandth Floor is her first novel.

For more about the author, visit her website and her Goodreads page, or follow her on Twitter.

Thank you for reading! Have you read American Royals? If not, do you want to? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Review: The Bookshop on the Shore(Scottish Bookshop #2), written by Jenny Colgan

Review: The Bookshop on the Shore(Scottish Bookshop #2), written by Jenny Colgan
Blog Tour: Three Days in Florence, written by Chrissie Manby | Review

The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan

Publication date: June 25th, 2019 
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 416
Genre: Womens fiction, Contemporary
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

A grand baronial house on Loch Ness, a quirky small-town bookseller, and a single mom looking for a fresh start all come together in this witty and warm-hearted novel by New York Times bestselling author Jenny Colgan.

Desperate to escape from London, single mother Zoe wants to build a new life for herself and her son Hari. She can barely afford the crammed studio apartment on a busy street where honking horns and shouting football fans keep them awake all night. If she doesn’t find a way out soon, Zoe knows it’s just a matter of time before she has a complete meltdown. On a whim, she answers an ad for a nanny job in the Scottish Highlands, which is about as far away from the urban crush of London as possible. It sounds heavenly!

The job description asks for someone capable of caring for three “gifted children”, two of which behave like feral wolverines. The children’s widowed father is a wreck, and the kids run wild in a huge tumbledown castle on the heather-strewn banks of Loch Ness. Still, the peaceful, picturesque location is everything London is not—and Zoe rises to the challenges of the job.

With the help of Nina, the friendly local bookseller, Zoe begins to put down roots in the community. Are books, fresh air, and kindness enough to heal this broken family—and her own…?

Trigger Warnings mention of self-harming

– My Thoughts 

“If you read…It means there are more heads to be in, more lives to be lived than simply your own.”

This is my first Jenny Colgan book and I was drawn to it because -of course- of the word “Bookshop”. Did The Bookshop on the Shore meet my expectations? Let’s find out..

The book is about Zoe, a single mother who lives in London and is trying to make ends meet. Her ex is uncaring and irresponsible and her 4 years old son Hari has trouble with speech. On top of that, she has to worry about her landlord raising prices on her already dismal but expensive flat. Soon, Zoe gets a lifeline from Hari’s aunt, her sister-in-law who has two jobs for her but they’re both in Scotland. Zoe has no choice other than pack up her stuff and leave for Scotland with Hari in tow.

Zoe finds herself overwhelmed while arriving at one of her jobs in Scotland; she’s supposed to be the eighth(or ninth?) nanny to three unruly kids with a surly father. In her second job, she meets a very pregnant and (almost)friendly local bookseller Nina who isn’t sure Zoe is up to the task. Did Zoe make a terrible mistake or is this her salvation?

The Bookshop on the Shore was not what I had expected. I wouldn’t say I liked it or hated it. It was a light read with a good pace that let me finish it within a day. The only notable things in the book were the author’s beautiful descriptions of the Scottish highlands and her evocative writing style. I liked Zoe and sympathized with her every time. Do not go into this book expecting a romance because there is little to none of it. Ramsay, our heroine’s love interest, is mostly absent throughout the book and I didn’t like the way their “romance” evolved, if it did. The bookseller Nina is the main character in the first book of this Scottish Bookshop series and she was so rude to Zoe every time that it irritated me to the point that I had to skip some of the pages she was in.

Overall, I would recommend this book if you are looking for a light read that’ll make you lust for the Scottish highlands, then go for it! There was a bit of mystery in this book too which added a nice edge to the monotony of it.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

– About the Author

Jenny Colgan

Jenny Colgan is the author of numerous bestselling novels, including ‘The Little Shop of Happy Ever After’ and ‘Summer at the Little Beach Street Bakery’, which are also published by Sphere.’ Meet Me at the Cupcake Café’ won the 2012 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance and was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller, as was ‘Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams’, which won the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2013. 

For more about Jenny, visit her website and her Goodreads page, or follow her on Twitter.
Jenny Colgan has also been published under the name Jenny T. Colgan

Thank you for reading! Have you read The Bookshop on the Shore or any of jenny Colgan’s books ? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Review: The Unhoneymooners, written by Christina Lauren

Blog Tour: Three Days in Florence, written by Chrissie Manby | Review

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Publication date: May 14, 2019 
Publisher: Piatkus(US: Gallery Books)
Pages: 400
Genre: Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.

– My Thoughts –

“When I signed up for this honeymoon, I had no idea it would involve so much nudity…” 

I finally finished reading The Unhoneymooners, one of my anticipated read of 2019. I knew that I couldn’t NOT love it because it was a Christina Lauren book but I finished it with some mixed feelings. Let’s unpack..

The story starts with a wedding gone wrong. It was Olive’s sister Ami’s wedding and as if it weren’t bad enough that Olive has to spend the entire day with her sworn enemy Ethan, who happens to the best man, the entire wedding party except for Olive and Ethan then gets food poisoning. Since Ami had won her honeymoon in a contest, she doesn’t want it to go to waste and begs Olive to go instead of her. Now, Olive has to go on a fake honeymoon with a fake husband who is none other than Ethan.

They plan to stay far away from each other and enjoy their time in Maui but all their plans go haywire when they find out all the activities booked for them are for couples and on top of that, there are encounters with a new boss and an ex-girlfriend. What could go wrong with one bed, being fake newlyweds in a honeymoon destination with old and new acquaintances in proximity?

“An eight-hour flight, and there’s no movie,” I say to myself, glaring at the screenless seat back in front of me. “Maybe they’re hoping your life flashing in front of your eyes will be distraction enough.” 

Let’s talk about the positives first. I love a book with the combination of enemies to lovers + fake romance + forced proximity. The sexual tension is palpable and the banter between the characters is -as usual- brilliant. The situations they get into are downright hilarious and I had no trouble finishing the book in a day. However, I had problems with how the conflict unfolded between Ethan and Olive. Ethan was so blinded by his affection for his brother that he refused to cut Olive any slack. It broke my heart seeing Olive receive so much flak from her sister and Ethan and when the time came for resolution, I felt that Olive forgave too soon. Let’s talk about the positives first. I love a book with the combination of enemies

Overall, I would recommend this book if you are looking for a funny and relatable summer romance with a beautiful setting. If you’re a sucker for fake dating/marriage tropes with forced proximity, lots of drama, hilarious dialogues and great banter, then get your hands on this ASAP!!

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

– About the Author –

Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced fourteen New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 30+ languages. (Some of these books have kissing. Some of these books have A LOT of kissing.)

Website | Goodreads |  Twitter

Thank you for reading this far! Have you read The Unhoneymooners or is it on your TBR? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Review + Giveaway: Truly Madly Royally, written by Debbie Rigaud

Blog Tour: Sea Witch Rising( Sea Witch #2), written by Sarah Henning
Review + Giveaway: Truly Madly Royally, written by Debbie Rigaud

Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud

Publication date: July 30, 2019
Publisher: Point 
Pages:
 304
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Buy:
Book Depository | Wordery | Amazon

Fiercely independent and smart, Zora Emerson wants to change the world. She’s excited to be attending a prestigious summer program, even if she feels out of place among her privileged, mostly white classmates. So she’s definitely not expecting to feel a connection to Owen, who’s an actual prince of an island off the coast of England. But Owen is funny, charming…and undeniably cute. Zora can’t ignore the chemistry between them. When Owen invites Zora to be his date at his big brother’s big royal wedding, Zora is suddenly thrust into the spotlight, along with her family and friends. Everyone is talking about her, in real life and online, and while Owen is used to the scrutiny, Zora’s not sure it’s something she can live with. Can she maintain her sense of self while moving between two very different worlds? And can her feelings for Owen survive and thrive in the midst of the crazy? Find out in this charming romantic comedy that’s like The Princess Diaries for a new generation.

My Thoughts

Truly Madly Royally was like a mash-up of The Princess Diaries, The Prince and me and of course, the story of Harry and Meghan. I loved our protagonist Zora, who was smart, driven, kind and compassionate. Zora falls for our prince charming Owen while she was studying at a prestigious college and the rest is, as they say, history. The romance was way too fast and unbelievable for me. The problem I had was with Owen; he was such an unrelatable character that every scene of him with Zora made me cringe.

Overall, this was a light rom-com which can be enjoyed during the summer or whenever you’re looking for a quick read.

Thanks to The Fantastic Flying Book Club and the publisher for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author:

Debbie Rigaud

YA author Debbie M. Rigaud began her writing career covering news and entertainment for magazines. She’s interviewed celebs, politicians, social figures and “real” girls. Her writing has appeared in Seventeen, CosmoGIRL!, Essence, J-14, Trace, Heart&Soul and Vibe Vixen, to name a few. Her first YA fiction writing was published in the anthology HALLWAY DIARIES (KimaniTru Press/September 2007). Her first standalone YA book–a Simon Pulse romantic comedy titled PERFECT SHOT–is due out in the Fall of 2009

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

Tour-wide Giveaway:

Click the button below to enter a US-only Giveaway! Open until 7th August ’19

Tour Schedule:

Click on this link to read the rest of the blog tour posts!