Review/ The Queen is Coming to Tea

Title: The Queen is Coming to Tea
Author: Linda Ravin Lodding
Illustrator: Constranze von Kitzing
Pub Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

About the book:
Can Ellie and her furry friends get everything ready in time for tea with the Queen?

One day there was a knock at Ellie’s door. There stood the Queen’s Footman.

“A message from Her Royal Highness.” He offered Ellie a note on a silver tray.

May I please come for tea?

Sincerely yours,
The Queen Herself

When Ellie finds out the Queen is coming to tea, she snaps to attention! With her best friend, Langley the Elephant, Ellie travels to Paris, China, Italy, and New York to make sure they have everything they need for tea with the Queen. But will the Queen patiently wait? And what exactly will be waiting for the Queen?

Its hard when your child is getting older and picture books are no longer of interest but I admit I still take the time to flip through them when I see one that interests me.

I was happy when Sourcebooks  Jabberwonky asked if I would like to be a book tour for this and they graciously provided me with a copy of the book to read for my review today.

Its a super cute book with bright and colorful illustrations and I think little girls would be attracted to the book.

The book begins with a knock on Ellie’s door asking if the “Queen” could come for tea. Ellie is excited and quickly begins to prepare for the “Queen’s” arrival. She only wants the best for the Queen so she flies to Paris for a cake, Italy for lemons, China for tea and New York City for a dress. Along the way she picks up friends to come back with her.

I loved the imagination Ellie had because the Queen turns out to be her mother and they are sitting together and having a tea party.

This was such a fun and cute read.

 

Review: Love Lies Beneath by Ellen Hopkins

Review: Love Lies Beneath by Ellen HopkinsLove Lies Beneath by Ellen Hopkins
Published by Atria Books on April 26th 2016
Pages: 320
Source: Book Bought
Goodreads

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Collateral comes a gripping novel about a woman caught in a love affair that could be her salvation...or her undoing.
Tara is gorgeous, affluent, and forty. She lives in an impeccably restored Russian Hill mansion in San Francisco. Once a widow, twice divorced, she’s a woman with a past she prefers keeping to herself.
Enter Cavin Lattimore. He’s handsome, kind, charming, and the surgeon assigned to Tara following a ski accident in Lake Tahoe. In the weeks it takes her to recover, Cavin sweeps her off her feet and their relationship blossoms into something Tara had never imagined possible. But then she begins to notice some strange things: a van parked outside her home at odd times, a break-in, threatening text messages and emails. She also starts to notice cracks in Cavin’s seemingly perfect personality, like the suppressed rage his conniving teenage son brings out in him, and the discovery that Cavin hired a detective to investigate her immediately after they met.
Now on crutches and housebound, Tara finds herself dependent on the new man in her life—perhaps too much so. She’s handling rocky relationships with her sister and best friend, who are envious of her glamour and freedom; her prickly brother-in-law, who is intimidated by her wealth and power; and her estranged mother. However perfect Tara’s life appears, things are beginning to get messy.
Writing in beautiful prose, Ellen Hopkins unveils a new style while evoking her signature poetic form that readers fell in love with in Collateral and Triangles.

Recently when I was at  Chapters I spotted Love Lies Beneath by Ellen Hopkins on the bargain table and I picked it up to read the synopsis and it peeked my interest. I don’t think I have ever read anything by Ellen Hopkins in the past. I do recall owning a book or two of hers but not reading them.

Anyways I am so happy I picked this up because I started reading it and I am enjoying it. I found the beginning a little slow but once I got about half way into the book I literally had a hard time putting it down because I just had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen. The way the second half progressed I was literally sitting on the edge of my seat reading to find out what was going on and then bam I was finished. I heard that there is a second book but no idea when its suppose to be released.

As I was getting set to do my review I noticed that there was a prequel to this called On the Rocks and its still available on wattpad for free. Which I read after the fact but I have to say that after reading it the whole story line made much more sense.

If you know Ellen you are familiar with her young adult writing which she does her whole books in verse and this is completely opposite because this is a adult fiction book written in the traditional format. I really enjoyed the writing as it was smooth and her story line was easy to follow. The list of characters were kept to a minimum so you weren’t able to get things confused.

Our main character is Tara who has wealth and privilege. She was a widow at a young age and has been divorced twice. She has no kids and no desire for kids so she lives her life the way she wants to live her life. She doesn’t have to answer to anyone and can do as she pleases. She is enjoying life to the fullest and loves the company of men.

During her annual ski trip with her sister Mel she gets in a accident and is rushed to the hospital and its there that she meets the ever so charming Dr. Cavin, who is an orthopedic surgeon. Tara has no problem calling the good dr up and inviting him out to dinner and its over the course of this relationship she begins to think that Cavin could be the next one to make her settle down.

As I was reading I was actually beginning to really like Cavin because he is that kind of character that you know you will love because he is sweet, charming and caring but then as you read you begin to think this guy is way to good he is up to something and as I was reading I kept getting feeling that something is up. He was too good to be true, if you know what I mean.

I am curious to see where this story line will lead and to discover more about Cavin and what he isn’t telling. I would difinitely read the next book in this series.

 

Review: Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy

Review: Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthyJust Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy
on March 28, 2017
Pages: 260
Source: Book Bought
Goodreads

“Ever wish that you could just fly away?”
When fifteen-year-old Lucy Willows discovers that her father has a child from a brief affair, a eight-year-old boy who lives in her own suburban New Jersey town, she begins to question everything she thinks she knows about her home and her life. How could Lucy’s father have betrayed the entire family? How could her mother forgive him? And why isn’t her sister rocked by the news the way Lucy is?
As her father’s secret becomes her own, Lucy grows more and more isolated from her friends, her family, and even her boyfriend, Simon, the one person she thought understood her. When Lucy escapes to Maine, the home of her mysteriously estranged grandfather, she finally begins to get to the bottom of her family’s secrets and lies.

I have to first begin this review saying that I am a huge Andrew McCarthy fan (he is my celebrity crush) and I was beyond thrilled when I got to meet him at BEA 2013 when he was talking about his audiobook The Longest Way Home. This was one of the panels I really wanted to attend. He was super sweet and friendly and was gracious enough to take a picture with me.

Okay enough gushing and onto my review of Just Fly Away. This is his first young adult novel. When it came out you know I had to run to chapters to pick it up and I was so happy it was actually on the shelf.

I really wanted to savour this book but I just couldn’t I literally read this in one sitting.

Lucy is a fifteen year old girl who over hears a conversation that her mother and father are having  about  an affair he had nine years ago and if that isn’t devastating she founds out she also has a half brother who is eight years old and living in the same town as them. Her father no longer has contact with the mother of the child.

Lucy is torn up because it seems like everyone has gotten over the affair. Her mother is still with her father, her sister basically couldn’t care less and this is tearing Lucy up inside. She is furious with her father and I think she has every right to be mad. Lucy tries to talk to her friends and her boyfriend but everyone seems to be okay and what is done is done.

Lucy decides she needs to get away so she runs off to Maine to visit her grandfather. I think this was one of my favorite parts of the book watching the relationship grow between granddaughter and grandfather. I think this is where Lucy truly grew up in the book. This was the healing point for her relationship with her father.

I really enjoyed reading the book even though at times it seemed a little slow. I would definitely read Andrew’s next book if one was to come out.

 

 

Review: Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse

Review: Seven Days of You by Cecilia VinesseSeven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse
Published by Little Brown Books on January 1st 1970
Pages: 325
Source: ARC From Publisher
Goodreads

Sophia has seven days left in Tokyo before she moves back to the States. Seven days to say good-bye to the electric city, her wild best friend, and the boy she’s harbored a semi-secret crush on for years. Seven perfect days…until Jamie Foster-Collins moves back to Japan and ruins everything.
Jamie and Sophia have a history of heartbreak, and the last thing Sophia wants is for him to steal her leaving thunder with his stupid arriving thunder. Yet as the week counts down, the relationships she thought were stable begin to explode around her. And Jamie is the one who helps her pick up the pieces. Sophia is forced to admit she may have misjudged Jamie, but can their seven short days of Tokyo adventures end in anything but good-bye?

I received this book for free from publisher/pr firm in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

One of the best things about working with a publishing house or with a rep is hearing about new books that you might not have heard about and this was the case with this one. I didn’t hear about the book until I was pitched and after reading the description I knew I had to read to read it.

Seven Days of You is about Sophia who currently lives in Tokyo but only has seven days left until she moves back to the USA. Seven days is not really a lot of time to say good bye to friends you have made that you love and especially a city you have grown to love.

Sophia has known for a little while she was moving back to the USA and when she found out Jamie was moving back to Tokyo she couldn’t be more happier to be leaving because the two didn’t exactly part of good terms. She only wishes that she wouldn’t have to see him before leaving but we all know that it wouldn’t be a story if that happened right?

When Sophia and Jamie meet up you can almost sense the awkwardness but yet there is a connection still there between the two of them. I have to admit I kind of liked Jamie because he always just seemed to be there and know what to say at the exact right moment.

I loved how Sophia and Jamie were opening up to each other and it just feels wrong that they didn’t have more time to explore those feelings for each other. Hmm perhaps that is for another book….

One of the things that I thought was just not needed was the drama she was having with her friends. I felt like that wasn’t really needed for the book to progress or perhaps I just wanted more of Sophia and Jamie.

I loved how Sophia was trying to figure out ways so that she could be much closer, she even reached out to her father who is know living in London with his new family and basically told her that she couldn’t go there and I just wondered how a father could do that to his daughter. I felt bad and wished that could be fixed  before the book ended.

I love the concept of books that take place within a set period of time such as over a course of a day, a week, etc they are always fun to read and they never feel rushed is that makes sense.

This is Cecilia’s debut novel and I look forward to reading future books from her because I really enjoyed this one.

Review: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

Review: The Glass Arrow by Kristen SimmonsThe Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
Published by Tor Teen on August 2nd 2016
Pages: 352
Source: Book Bought
Goodreads

Once there was a time when men and women lived as equals, when girl babies were valued, and women could belong only to themselves. But that was ten generations ago. Now women are property, to be sold and owned and bred, while a strict census keeps their numbers manageable and under control. The best any girl can hope for is to end up as some man's forever wife, but most are simply sold and resold until they're all used up.
Only in the wilderness, away from the city, can true freedom be found. Aya has spent her whole life in the mountains, looking out for her family and hiding from the world, until the day the Trackers finally catch her.
Stolen from her home, and being groomed for auction, Aya is desperate to escape her fate and return to her family, but her only allies are a loyal wolf she's raised from a pup and a strange mute boy who may be her best hope for freedom . . . if she can truly trust him.
The Glass Arrow: a haunting, yet hopeful, new novel from Kristen Simmons, the author of the popular Article 5 trilogy.

I have been wanting to read Kristen Simmons books since I first heard about them, but funny enough Chapters doesn’t have then in store and I am always meaning to order them but just haven’t done so yet but hoping that when I go to Chicago this summer I will find them in B&N and pick them up to read on vacation.

When I spotted The Glass Arrow on the shelves I chapters I had to pick it up and I am so happy that I did because I literally just finished reading it and I absolutely loved the book. Going into this I had no idea what to expect from the writing or storyline because I haven’t read the previous books. Which I think is a good thing but now its left me wanting to read her series Article 5.

The Glass Arrow is about a world that no longer views women/girls as equal in the world or with value. Women are now viewed as property  that can be sold and bought and bred. Basically girls and women are like a piece of meat. In this world girls dream about becoming a forever wife but in reality that is very rare. They are sold and resold until they are used up.

I loved the main character Aya AKA as Clover. She is a fierce girl who stands her ground and will do anything and everything in her power not to be sold. She loves her family and will do anything in her power to protect them. She vows she will always get back to them.

Aya has always lived outside the city in the safety of the moutains with her mother and a small group of women and children. But she knows she is truly never safe and is always afraid of the trackers that come looking for girls. Even with a escape plan ready and set to go can one truly be safe from the trackers?

Then the worst thing happens the trackers catch Aya and she is brought into the city and placed in the garden where she will be groomed for sale. Every chance Aya gets she sabotages the auction only to be punished but Aya is strong and lets nothing detour her. She will find a way to escape and get back to her family. She is determined to escape before she is sold. Will she be able to escape before its too late?

Aya is almost always one step a head of the game. When she is forced into solitary confinement she thinks all hope is lost until she spots a driver across the way and she hopes he will be able to help her. These drivers are mute boys who come into the city to work. He spots her and comes over but little does Aya know there is more to this boy then meets the eye and she will be shocked to discover this.

With a month in solitary confinement Aya comes up with a plan to escape before its too late. She tries everything but nothing detours her. She is strong will and nothing will break her.

Will she be able to escape and get back home?

Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Review: Geekerella by Ashley PostonGeekerella by Ashley Poston
Published by Quirk Books on April 4th 2017
Pages: 320
Source: ARC From Publisher
Goodreads

Anything can happen once upon a con…
When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.
Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

I have to apologize for the delay in getting this review up considering I read this book a while ago but better late then never right?

Geekerella is a retelling of Cinderella. I am trying to think back but I am pretty sure that this is my first retelling I have read and not quite sure why because there are so many out there and I really do like the modern day retelling of all those great classics I grew up loving.

As I was reading this I instantly thought of the movie A Cinderella Story with Hilary Duff and Chad Michael Murray. As you read the book you almost get the feel that those characters could totally play these characters in the movie version.

I have to say I loved Elle and she was completely relatable in my opinion. Her father introduced her to one of her favorite shows, StarField growing up and she is a blogger. Not a book blogger but a blogger just the same. For Elle all she wants to do is get through life and cherish the memories she has of her parents but her step mother makes it very hard for her to do so. I loved how as the book progressed Elle began to stand up for herself and every step of the way I was rooting for her to do so.

Elle is not quite sure how to feel about her beloved Starfield being turned into a movie and she is quite vocal on her blog about it especially the main male character Prince Carminder being played by Darien Freeman, who is Hollywood’s newest heart throb but little does Elle know but Darien is truly a fan of Starfield and he thinks its a honor to be playing the Prince. Elle things that Darien is going to ruin the movie and not do it justice for the fans who love it.

When Darien discovers that he will have to attend ExcelsiCon (which just so happens to be the con her father has put together)  to promote the movie he is less then thrilled and tries to back out by texting a number he thinks is for the con and texts but its actually Elle’s number (the phone was her father’s) as the two converse they begin to flirt not knowing who each other really is. What will happen when they both discover it?

Geekerella is told in both Elle’s and Darien’s point of views. I have to say that I really do enjoy when this happens because you get both sides of the story.

I really enjoyed reading this and its  inspired me to hunt out other retellings and read them. Have you read a retelling that you really enjoyed?

 

Review: Crazy House by James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet

Review: Crazy House by James Patterson & Gabrielle CharbonnetCrazy House by James Patterson, Gabrielle Charbonnet
Published by Hachette Book Group on May 22nd 2017
Pages: 368
Source: ARC From Publisher
Goodreads

No one gets out alive.
Seventeen-year-old Becca Greenfield was snatched from her home and thrown without reazon into a hellish prison known as the Crazy House. To avoid execution, she’s told to shut her mouth and keep her head down.
Becca was never really good at either.
Her only hope for survival is for her sister, Cassie, to find her—that the “good twin” will stop following the rules and start breaking them, before it’s too late. Because the jailers at Crazy House soon discover they made a mistake that could get both sisters killed…

I received this book for free from publisher/pr firm in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

When I was first pitched Crazy House I admit my first instinct was that I had to read it because a) its a James Patterson book and he never disappoint and b) because it sounded it like it was going to be a wild and crazy read and I have to say it was crazy and a page turner.

Crazy House is a thrilling young adult read told in the perspectives of Cassie, Becca, Ms. Strepp, and Nathaniel.

Crazy House takes place in a world where teenagers are taken and imprisoned and forced to fight for their survival. The world of Crazy House is divided into cells and depending on what class you are dictates where you live and the Provost who is ruled by the governement dictates what happens. Teenangers go missing daily and no one seems overly concerned about this but  Cassie is determined to find out what happened and where did Becca go to.

Cassie’s and Becca never had and easy life. The Provost took their mother a few years ago for “mood adjustment” and were told she would be back soon but she never returned. Their consumed with loneliness decided that he would kill himself  but now he is in a hospital comatose waiting for death to take him. The SAS (system assisted suicide) has approached the girls numerous times to allow their father to go but the girls have refused.

Cassie wakes up one more to discover Becca is missing. She is determined to find her. Cassie is frantic at first because she doesn’t want her sister to get into trouble but when she questions her friends only one says that they spotted her crossing the boundry which is strickly forbidden and against the law.

Before Cassie realizes it she is expelled from school and labelled a bad citizen. Once again she is approached by SAS. Once you are labelled a bad citizen you are cut off from everything and that means her father’s care as well.

Mean while with Becca she has actually been kidnapped and put into a maximum security death row prison. This is not your typical death row prison because its housed with teenagers and everyone entering the prison is put to crueling test on various subjects and are trained to fight each other. The winners move on and the losers are killed.

Its during this process that the Ms. Strepp from the prison discovers they have taken the wrong sister and set out to make it right. What will happen when Ms, Strepp is determined to make it right? Can Cassie remain out of the prison or is she willing to risk it all for her sister?

I really enjoyed reading this and I was literally finished this within three days. The ending left off like there could be another book and if there is I would definitely read it.