Review: The Ugly Stepsister - Aya Ling

I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling 
Published: 06/12/15 
Pages: 452
Format: ARC ebook, Netgalley
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Indigo

Goodreads Description: 
When Kat accidentally rips apart an old picture book, she's magically transported into the world of Cinderella--as Katriona, one of the ugly stepsisters! Life turns upside down now that she’s a highborn lady and must learn how to survive the social season, including how to get through the door in a huge metal hoop skirt. To get back, she'll have to complete the story, right to the end of happily ever after. But the odds are huge: the other stepsister is drop-dead gorgeous, the fairy godmother is nowhere to be found, and the prince, despite being insanely hot, openly dislikes balls. Can she ever return to the modern world?

My Thoughts: 
Yup, I loved the shit out of this book. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did which makes the reading experience even better. This book is like when Pride and Prejudice meets Cinderella. It is a retelling of Cinderella but it is a version of Cinderella similar to Ever After (the movie) and less of the original tale. Kat, our leading lady, is a avid reader and makes hilarious references to books we all know and love (aka Harry Potter, Narnia, Jane Austin's). 

There was little that I didn't like about this book. The first I felt like the pacing at the beginning was very rushed but I didn't mind since that got us into the retelling super quick and that's what I was really there for. My biggest issues was the pretences that Kat was brought into "Story Land".  The book was made by goblins so when she broke it she was transported into the story. To get home she has to complete the story, I just found this a bit weird but I could overlook it for what actually happens during the story.

Now, what I love is everything else. I think I just love royalty but I  ship Prince Edward so hard it hurts. Kat describes him as Mr. Darcy but better looking. He is most definitely swoon worthy. There is a slow burn romance that literally killed me. My heart still hurts and I might have had a huge lump in my throat at the end. The romance is everything, and it hurts. 

The characters are all interesting and I really liked that it took place during the Social Season with all the ladies looking for suitors/husbands. There was also a good political subplot that gives this books so much more than just your basic retelling. I really loved this version of Cinderella. Highly recommend! 

Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Genre: YA Contemporary 
Published: 03/1/12 by Amulet Books
Pages: 295
Format: Paperback
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Goodreads Description: 
Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

My Thoughts

I couldn't resist reading a book that will be a movie that is going to give me more Nick Offerman GIFs. I was so excited to read this book and it's been on my TBR for years now. So I picked this one up on my weekend vacation and was super excited to get into it.

I wasn't let down by Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. It is my perfect kind of humour and I really clicked with Greg, our leading man. He seems like a normal dude, a bit weird, but could be a real person. I feel like we would get along in real life. However, I can see how this type of humour isn't for everyone and you often feel second hand embarrassment for Greg. But Greg isn't perfect, which makes the story feel more realistic. He says dumb things and can be a jackass, but he's also a nice guy and can really care about others. However, this book didn't blow me away. It was very enjoyable but didn't change my life. Definitely worth the read if you love a little humour in your contemporary.  It does have the cancer aspect so if you're a crier expect a few tears. 

Conclusions: 2 thumbs up. Excited to see the movie now. 

Review: From A Distant Star by Karen McQuestion

I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance
Published: 05/29/15 by Skyscape 
Pages: 272 
Format: ARC e-book, Netgalley
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars 

Goodreads Description:
Seventeen-year-old Emma was the only one who hadn’t given up on her boyfriend, Lucas. Everyone else—his family, his friends, his doctors—believed that any moment could be his last. So when Lucas miraculously returns from the brink of death, Emma thinks her prayers have been answered.

As the surprised town rejoices, Emma begins to question whether Lucas is the same boy she’s always known. When she finds an unidentifiable object on his family’s farm—and government agents come to claim it—she begins to suspect that nothing is what it seems. Emma’s out-of-this-world discovery may be the key to setting things right, but only if she and Lucas can evade the agents who are after what they have. With all her hopes and dreams on the line, Emma sets out to save the boy she loves. And with a little help from a distant star, she might just have a chance at making those dreams come true.

My Thoughts
This book is essentially E.T. but if E.T. took over your boyfriends body. So essentially the alien, Scout, gets stuck inside Lucas and has to find a way to "Phone Home".

I did enjoy this book. It was fun and I did find it to be a fresh story (besides it's similarities to E.T.). However, if you are looking for romance, you are not going to find a lot of it here. It is more a story of friendship between Emma and Scout and trying to find a way to get him home so she can have Lucas back. It does take some interesting turns and I'm the kind of girl who loves a good alien conspiracy theory so this book was up my alley. 

I did have a few issues with this book. First, I am a pessimist when it comes to teenage relationships (likely because I had one crazy and burn). I find it hard to believe that Emma and Lucas are "soulmates" or whatever. They have only been together a year, which isn't very long in the grand scheme of things. Which also bothered me because if they have only been together a year, how long did Lucas have cancer? It could have been a very fast moving cancer but I still find it hard to believe that he went from perfectly healthy, doing all those things with Emma to dead in less than a year. I know it happens but I feel like it's a short timeline for them to be that in love before he got sick.

But most people can overlook those kinds of things, and there was an interesting adventure to try and get Scout home. I also really enjoyed how the first chapter was told by a dog. It was adorable. You also get a few chapters in Scouts POV which really helped for you to get a feel for his world and situation. 

Conclusions: Besides me being a pessimist to young love, this book was enjoyable. It wasn't perfect but it's a cute quick read with a Extra Terrestrial twist. If you enjoy contemporary books and E.T. then this book is for you.  

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Oh man, this was definitely fun and a pretty good start to a new series. A Court of Thorns and Roses, is a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast but instead of a standard "Beast" there is faeries. This books has been everywhere and everyone seems to love it. However, in the beginning it took me some time to get into and I wasn't 100% sold on this novel. 

I found the first 100 pages quite slow, and it took me a decent amount of time to become invested in the story. But I do understand the need for a slow build. It is the first in a new series so you do need to set the stage for the rest of the books. Once the story, got going it didn't take a lot of time to get invested in the characters. 

And the characters in this book are pretty awesome. Our lead, Feyre, is "a normal human". I did like Feyre, she is strong and quite sure of herself. I enjoyed how she wasn't self conscious and remained true to herself and her feelings. The leading man in this book is Tamlin. I had a hard time picturing Tamlin, but I think I just wanted him to be tall dark and handsome instead of blond and etherial. However, there was some steamy scenes between Feyre and Tamlin. 

ACOTAR is classified as "New Adult" so there definitely is steamy. But I was a little let down and was expecting more steamy. I feel like I missed the part where Feyre went from hating Tamlin to loving him because I totally forget why it even happened. However, I think I just find the Beauty and the Beast story a bit far fetched to start with. 

The best part of this novel is end. I love the turn that the story took and how the Beauty and the Beast story intertwines with the story of the faerie kingdom. However, I am not sure about the potential love triangle that may be introduced. It may not happen but it may. I feel like what Feyre went through for Tamlin means they are meant to be together. 

(cough cough, this means you Rhys) 

Conclusions: Solid start to a new series and it's definitely enjoyable. Slow to start but the ending makes up for that. A solid steamy romance and lots of world building/politics. I can see this becoming a fantastic series with 2 more badass books. 

Rating: 4/5 Stars 

Review: Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

I did it, I read Gone Girl but if you don't already know Gone Girl follows the story of Nick and Amy Dunne. When Amy disappears suspiciously, Nick becomes the main suspect in her disappearance. It's a mystery/thriller that doesn't exactly go as you think it would. 

I REALLY enjoyed reading this book. All of the characters are so messed up and I was on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what happens. I normally don't read a lot of mystery/thrillers so this was a great step into that world (and might ruin a lot of others for me). What I loved about this books was the characters. I always wanted to like Nick, but he was total fuck up. He is your average everyday lazy dumbass husband. But somehow I still wanted to believe him. But Amy, Amy was psycho. When you thought she couldn't be any more messed up, it went a step further. 

I was fully entertained by the characters, I did kind of guess some of twists but there where so many that there is always something there to surprise you. I really enjoyed Gillian's writing and wasn't bored during any part of the story. The only thing that I wasn't completely sold on was the ending. I think I was just looking for more justice, but I do understand why it ended like it did. I'm off to watch the movie now soon!

Conclusion: Deliciously messed up. 2 thumbs up!!
Rating: 4/5 Psycho Stars

New Video: May 2015 wrap Up

Uploaded my first video on Youtube today. Check it out and see all the books that I read this month.