February 28, 2019

New York Adventures, Month Nine

Fun fact: it was February 2018 when I shadowed at Bloomsbury, which led to my internship here. :)


1. Spring 2020 pre-launch! Another solid list. Can't wait for more of these titles to be announced so I can talk about them.
2. Still trying to find a full-time job...


1. Went to Laura Sebastian's launch event at McNally Jackson for Lady Smoke. She made cinnamon coffee cookies with a honey glaze for us, which was such a fun treat. And I don't know if I've said this before, but it's so ridiculously great that I get to go to so many author events now. This was like my eighth, I think?

2. Then, a few weeks later, Lizzy Mason (Publicist Extraordinaire and Excellent Author) had her launch event at McNally Jackson. There were so many Bloomsbury and other publishing people there (I was literally sitting next to Elizabeth Eulberg!!), and it was such an excellent celebration of Lizzy. <3


1. I bought macarons from the Macaron Cafe. I thought the price was pretty good (for New York and since the macarons were pretty big). And of course they tasted yummy.
2. A friend came over and helped me bake my favorite blueberry-peach pie, complete with a lattice crust. It was a bit messy (definitely wouldn't win any praise on Great British Bake Off), but it tasted pretty good and was a nice treat.

3. I finally caved and tried Dig Inn. It was pretty good, though I don't love brown rice, and I wish it were possible to get your sides...on the side. (I wanted to try the apples but didn't want them in with my salmon, broccoli, and rice.)
4. I got cupcakes at Little Cupcake Bakeshop in Soho after Lizzy's event. I tried the Brooklyn Blackout and blue velvet ones, and highly recommend both.


1. Sarah and I went to a Sofar Sounds event in the East Village. There were two indie pop type artists and then one that was more hip-hop. It was a fun, different experience.
2. The roommate came with me to the first night of the Westminster Kennel Club show at Madison Square Garden. It was 3.5 hours of precious puppers. I took soooo many pictures, but I'll share just a few below.

3. Then, a week later, the roommate and I went to see Sleeping Beauty at the NYC Ballet!


1. I went to the Whitney Museum at the very end of the month. Overall, I was a bit disappointed because they were only displaying selections from their permanent collection, and the Warhol exhibition was very crowded.

2. I saw more of the West Village and SoHo on my way to/from the Whitney, and on my way to the places I went after.

What did you do in February? Anything exciting or different? Read any good books or try any new foods? :)

February 27, 2019

Review: Enchantée

Enchantée by Gita Trelease
Grade: C
An ARC was provided by Miss Print's ARC Adoption Program in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: When smallpox kills her parents, seventeen-year-old Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic--la magie ordinaire--Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won't hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family's savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With the dark magic she learned from her mother, Camille transforms herself into 'the Baroness de la Fontaine' and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. Her resentment of the rich at odds with the allure of glamour and excess, Camille is astonished to find that her would-be suitor Lazare, a handsome young inventor whom she thought shared her dreams of liberty, is also living a double life.

As the Baroness de la Fontaine, Camille gambles at cards and flirts, desperate to maintain her place at court and keep herself and her sister off the streets. But la magie has its costs. When a scheming courtier blackmails her and Lazare's affections shift, Camille loses control of her secrets. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose--love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, reality or la magie--before Paris burns.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: While the story itself is interesting, I found myself willing to put Enchantée down for long periods of time, which is never a good sign.
I think one of my biggest issues was that I was never invested in the characters or worried for them. I knew she would be attracted to Lazare, but I wanted to feel their connection. The book stretched too long with too few emotions behind actions.
I did like learning a little more about how Versailles worked during the time of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. But the magic that seemed so vital to the story felt underdeveloped. I wasn't quite sure where magic fit into Enchantée's world, and I felt like it could have a much bigger part at the royal court.
Also, that chandler's apprentice was so random. He had the first chapter, then didn't appear again for several pages but never seemed to serve an actual purpose. I was certain he'd somehow discover Camille's secret or be connected to the Viscomte. But alas, he wasn't.
I did like the hot air balloon scenes. I think that and Lazare's back story should have been explored even more. And it just really needed more about the magic, not just Camille using it! 

Content warnings: domestic violence, gambling addictions, forced marriage, main character is drugged against her will.

The Verdict: Could've been so much better. I feel like such a black sheep about this title, honestly.

Will I be adding this book to my library?: I don't think so?

February 25, 2019

Guest Post: Just For Clicks and Being Internet Famous

Hey, y'all, I'm so happy to welcome Poppy and Claire, the main characters of Just For Clicks, to the blog today!

The Pros and Cons of Being #InternetFamous (as told by Poppy and Claire)

Poppy: Our mom is a famous fashion blogger, and Claire I have our own YouTube channel where we post hair tutorials and outfit roundups, which means we get a lot of free clothes, shoes, and products.

Claire: Like, a lot. Too many.

Poppy: There’s no such thing as too many free shoes.

Claire: Tell that to our closets, and our front room, and basically every spare corner in our house.

Poppy: Yeah. I mean, I suppose we could Marie Kondo our wardrobes. Some of it’s kind of ugly anyway.

Claire: Personally, I think the biggest pro of our jobs is the travel. We’ve visited tons of awesome places, like Europe and Cancun, because vacations are really good content. People can’t help but double tap a picture of a white sand beach.

Poppy: I should point out that most of our hotels are also free, thanks to the blog.

Claire: True, I can’t hate that. But there’s plenty of bad stuff, too.

Poppy: Here we go. (eyeroll)

Claire: I’m serious! Just imagine what it would be like to have your entire life online. Every bad school picture, every awkward haircut, every embarrassing thing you ever did—all a Google search away.

Poppy: Yeah, yeah, okay.

Claire: Or what about when we’re in public and people start talking to us like we’re best friends?

Poppy: (shrug) I like that. Most people are nice!

Claire: Emphasis on most. Not all.

Poppy: No comment.

Claire: I also hate that I’m expected to look presentable, like, all the time, just in case Mom wants to take pictures for a sponsor or something. Sometimes I just wanna wear yoga pants and no makeup, you know?

Poppy: In case it wasn’t obvious, Claire and I are very different people. But I couldn’t do this job without her, and honestly, I wouldn’t want too.

Claire: Love you too, sis.

Thanks for sharing, girls! Just For Clicks is now available for purchase. If you've enjoyed books by Morgan Matson, Rachael Allen, and Brigid Kemmerer, you need to read Just For Clicks. I've included buy links below. :)

The Book


Mommy blogs are great . . . unless the blog happens to belong to your mom.

Twin sisters Claire & Poppy are accidental social media stars thanks to Mom going viral when they were babies. Now, as teens, they're expected to contribute by building their own brand. Attending a NY fashion week and receiving fan mail is a blast. Fending off internet trolls and would-be kidnappers? Not so much. Poppy embraces it. Claire hates it. Will anybody accept her as "just Claire"? And what should Claire do about Mom's old journals? The handwritten entries definitely don't sound like Mom's perfect blog persona. Worse, one of them divulges a secret that leaves Claire wondering what else in her life might be nothing but a sham . . .

The Author

Born in the mountains and raised in the desert, Kara McDowell spent her childhood swimming, boating, and making up stories in her head. As the middle of five children, Kara entertained her family on long road trips by reading short mystery stories out loud and forcing everyone to guess the conclusion. After graduating from Arizona State University with a BA in English Literature, Kara worked as a freelance writer. Now she writes young adult novels from her home in Arizona, where she lives with her husband and three young sons.

JUST FOR CLICKS is Kara's debut novel.

February 24, 2019

Rewind & Review #129

~Went to see Isn't It Romantic. It was kind of fun, but definitely one I'd recommend waiting til the DVD/streaming services for.
~Another long weekend! This is the first time I've had Presidents Day off in, like, forever? If ever? Anyway, I used the weekend well. I went shopping, went to the movies and the ballet, and tried to read as much as possible. I was supposed to go to brunch with friends, too, but those plans fell through at the last minute.

Books I Received for Review
Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett (from S&S via NetGalley)

Books I Won/Traded for/was Gifted
From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon (via trade)

Books I Bought
The Art of Losing by Lizzy Mason

Books I Read
A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Rayborn (4 stars)
Enchantée by Gita Trelease
Wish You Were Eyre by Heather Vogel Frederick (reread)
I, Claudia by Mary McCoy (4 stars)
Inheritance by Dani Shapiro (5 stars)
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (4 stars)
Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene (DNF)
I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara (4 stars)
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas (4 stars)
Wild and Crooked by Leah Thomas
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen (reread)
Opposite of Always by justin a. reynolds (DNF)

Blog Posts You Might've Missed in the Last Few Weeks
   (from 2/11-2/16)
   (from 2/17-2/23)

February 22, 2019

Random Friday: Favorite Royalty

Want to participate in Random Fridays? Just do the following:
  • Include the above image in your post and link back to my blog.
  • Blog about this week's topic (or a variant of it).
  • Add the link to your Random Friday post at the bottom of this one.

For quite some time, I've had a quiet fascination with royal families. I would always read about them on Wikipedia every few months, and now I follow a few "fan blogs" on Tumblr that keep me much more up to date. So I figured I'd take a Random Friday post to list some of the royals I find most interesting. :)

Image result for princess charlotte and prince george 2018
1. Princess Charlotte and Prince George
She is such a perfect cinnamon roll, with so much energy and spirit, and I appreciate his sensitivity and how William and Catherine seem to be letting him be quieter and less in the public eye.

Image result for crown prince frederik and crown princess mary
2. The Danish Crown Prince Couple
They just seem so elegant and put-together and like they'll be good for the country (not that Frederik's mother has been bad for Denmark).

3. The Swedish Crown Princess Family
Crown Princess Victoria's journey is very inspiring. Plus her kiddos are precious.

4. Lady Jane Grey
If we're talking historical royals, I find the Nine Days' Queen absolutely fascinating. (Which is only helped by the YA book, My Lady Jane.)

Which royal figures fascinate you? Which do you want to learn more about? I want to learn more about basically any royal family outside of Europe (historically and currently).

February 20, 2019

So You Like... #78

Valentine's Day has passed, but if you're still looking for a perfect romance...check out the titles I'm about to recommend. So you like...


If you like hate-to-love, you should read...


If you like forbidden love, you might like...


If star-crossed love is one of your favorite tropes, you need to read...


If friends-to-lovers is your thing, you might like...


If you can't resist a love triangle, you should read...

(After reading To All the Boys I've Loved Before, of course.)

If you find costars/coworkers who fall for each other a fun trope, you should read...


If you love fake dating (I do!), you need to read...




And if you like love at first sight, you have to read the tried-and-true classic...


What's your favorite romance trope? What books would you recommend for it, or the ones I shared recs for? Let me know in the comments. :)

February 19, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved That Are Criminally Underrated

So we're gauging this by Goodreads ratings (under 2,000 is the cut-off Jana set when she gave the topic). There are some books I absolutely adore that no one seems to know about or love as much as me. Maybe this'll motivate more people to pick up these titles! Also, I was careful to pick books that have already released, just so it's a little more fair.

1. Analee, in Real Life by Janelle Milanes

2. Snow in Love by Melissa de la Cruz, Nic Stone, Aimee Friedman, and Kasie West

3. The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood

4. The Length of a String by Elissa Brent Weissman

5. The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

6. In a Perfect World by Trish Doller


8. Diamonds & Deceit and Emeralds & Ashes by Leila Rasheed
Even the first book in the trilogy comes in just above the cut-off. (And I'm sure book 3 is hurt by the fact that they only released it as an e-book.)

9. This Side of Home by Renee Watson
Why is no one reading Renee's earlier YA??? This isn't to say Piecing Me Together isn't amazing and doesn't deserve attention and accolades, but I love This Side of Home.

10. Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern

11. The Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith
Yes, it's sad, but it has a baseball-loving protagonist. So many people talk about how they want more sports in YA books. Well, here ya go!

12. Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu

Which books do you love and wish more people would read?

February 18, 2019

Review: Spectacle

Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok
Grade: C+
An e-galley was provided by Tor Teen via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Paris, 1887.

Sixteen-year-old Nathalie Baudin writes the daily morgue column for Le Petit Journal. Her job is to summarize each day's new arrivals, a task she finds both fascinating and routine. That is, until the day she has a vision of the newest body, a young woman, being murdered--from the perspective of the murderer himself.

When the body of another woman is retrieved from the Seine days later, Paris begins to buzz with rumors that this victim may not be the last. Nathalie's search for answers sends her down a long, twisty road involving her mentally ill aunt, a brilliant but deluded scientist, and eventually into the Parisian Catacombs. As the killer continues to haunt the streets of Paris, it becomes clear that Nathalie's strange new ability may make her the only one who can discover the killer's identity--and she'll have to do it before she becomes a target herself.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: This is the type of historical fiction I look for, the ones set in a time rarely touched on and about a subject most fiction doesn't cover. It was utterly fascinating to me that so many people turned out to the Paris morgue every day to see the dead John and Jane Does.
Overall, though, Spectacle suffered from a lack of truly compelling characters. I wanted Nathalie to survive, but other than that, I found myself not caring about her life or what happened to the other characters. Which is sad because her aunt, Brigitte, was a fairly tragic character who deserved better.
Also the special abilities thing went in a really weird direction that was kind of super power-esque but not really how I would've liked it to be. Things about how the powers actually came to be were very vague and confusing.
Nathalie had a crush on this guy who worked at the morgue, but there's not really a romance, although there are random little scenes that made it feel like Zdrok was writing towards one. I didn't really want a romance - with that guy at least - because he was too old for Nathalie.

Content warnings: gore, murder, stalkings, some occult-type stuff (a bit more of that than I would've liked), scenes in an insane asylum.

The Verdict: Good but not spectacular.

Will I be adding this book to my library?: I don't think so.

February 16, 2019

10 Historical Fiction Settings Besides WWII

I love historical fiction. Primarily of the YA variety, but I've ventured into adult historical fic as well. While both have their own tropes (adult hf LOVES dual narration, often in dual timelines, and YA hf has a bunch of spunky protagonists that are probably not fully historically accurate), they also have one thing in common:

Their favorite setting is World War II.

And it's kind of boring at this point. There are only so many books you can read about WWII spies or pilots or people on the homefront. Besides, WWII spanned six years. There are thousands of years of world history that we could be setting stories in. There are thousands of places besides Paris, England, and the United States' East Coast. So why aren't we writing books set in those places?

I'm going to suggest time periods and places where more historical fiction (primarily YA) titles should be set. Of course there are probably at least a few books out there already for some of these, so please tell me about them! But that doesn't mean there shouldn't be more to balance out all the WWII titles. 

1. The Glorious Revolution
Or anything having to do with the tail end of the Stuart house in power in the U.K. The new movie, The Favourite, clearly proves that there's an interest in that period. Plus, it would be a nice balance to the focus on the Tudor period.

2. 1950s-1970s America
I'd love to see more books focusing on the Civil Rights Era, school integration, and the aftermath. Maybe this is just me, since I wrote a paper about it, but the repercussions are so fascinating and the students who led the fight are so inspiring.

3. Central/South America
There's very little contemporary fiction set south of the U.S. border anyways, but imagine what rich stories there could be in historical fiction. You have Simon Bolivar, the Incan Empire, and all of Mexico, just for starters. There are so many opportunities for #ownvoices novels, too.

4. The rest of the world during the Dark Ages
While much of Europe was in upheaval, India, the Arabian Peninsula, parts of Africa, the Mayan Empire, and many other places were having Golden Ages. So many people don't realize this because it's hardly touched on in history classes and there are so few (if any) fiction books about it.

5. Muslim Spain
One of my history classes briefly touched on this period, but it brought about some of the most stunning architecture in the world and so much more.

6. Colonial America
Colonial America is ripe for book settings, since it came with so much unknown and adventure.

7. Japan
Most calls for East Asian books focus on China and even Korea to an extent, so I'd love to see more, especially historical fiction, set in Japan. (Bonus points if it's written by #ownvoices authors.)

8. Universities
I guess this would have to be more historical fantasy-based than historical, because I want to see all the super cool ladies studying at universities and changing the world in history-inspired settings. For example, it's highly likely that Fatima al-Fihri founded the oldest university in the world. Why is that not being used as fodder for more novels??

9. Other wars
Like I said, most historical fiction seems to focus on World War II (and even World War I). What about the Vietnam War, all the revolutions in Europe during the 1800s, the Boer War, the Thirty Years' War, the Sino-Japanese Wars... if war is such an interesting starting point for fiction, then writers need to be more creative and pick something other than the World Wars.

10. The things I don't even know about
Despite minoring in history and being a self-professed history geek, there's still so much I don't know. So authors, use your niche knowledge to create awesome historical fiction set some place and some time other than WWII, WWI, and, for the most part, England, France, and the United States.

What time periods and settings would you like to see more of in historical fiction?

February 14, 2019

Twenty 2020 Reads

It's here! The latest post in my favorite series. I know it's barely 2019, but here are twenty books that are (hopefully) publishing next year that I think sound great. (Although, with my track record, at least half of these will be pushed to 2021 lol.)

1. Fall Like Thieves by Marie Rutkoski
Y'all should know I love The Winner's Curse, and apparently this new book is going to be set in the same world!

2. My Calamity Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
Sad that this is the last book in the companion trilogy (of sorts), but I'm excited to see what the Lady Janies do with Calamity Jane!

3. Muse by Brittany Cavallaro
Alternate. History. Chicago. World's. Fair.
I'm basically one giant heart-eyes emoji.

4. Descendants by Tracy Deonn Walker
King Arthur with Southern Black girls. Sounds fresh, new, and great.

5. A Pho Love Story by Loan Le
Vietnamese-American rom-com?? I'm back to being a heart-eyes emoji.

6. The Summer I Learned Chinese by Lindsay Wong
2020 (and 2019) are giving us all the Asian-American rom-coms, and I am 100% here for it. Plus I love a good "Anna and the French Kiss meets..." pitch.

7. Eventide by Sarah Goodman
The orphan train diaries were my fave back in the day, so this sounds like the YA upgrade I need.

8. Unscripted by Nicole Kronzer
I'm hoping this brings lots of humor and feminism.

9. The Silence of Bones by June Hur
A murder mystery set in 19th century Korea is everything I didn't know I needed.

10. Splinters of Scarlet by Emily Bain Murphy
More historical fic (my love), this time with magic and a Downton Abbey-esque pitch.

11. What I Like About You by Marisa Kanter
Y'all know I'm a sucker for any You've Got Mail-esque story.

12. Anna K. by Jenny Lee
A modern-day Anna Karenina? I'm intrigued.

13. Most Likely by Sarah Watson
I love plots that keep you guessing. Plus this one sounds promising for strong female characters.

14. The Sound of Summer by Veera Hiranandani
Middle grade in the aftermath of Loving v. Virginia? Yes, please.

15. Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
Like I said for What I Like About You, if it's a You've Got Mail-like story, I'm all in.

16. The Sun, the Moon, and the Truth by Kasie West
This one was originally supposed to come out years ago, but that publisher folded. But now HarperCollins has acquired it, and Kasie has confirmed it'll be her 2020 book!

17. Meteor by Tehlor Kay Meija and Anna-Marie McLemore
Ugh, what a power duo. This sounds like delightful magical realism fun.

18. Truly Devious #3 by Maureen Johnson
Already lusting after the final book in this incredible mystery series.

19. Not Up for Debate by Tiana Smith
Like I said, every You've Got Mail YA story.

20. Rebelwing by Andrea Tang
I'm always nervous about sci-fi because it often isn't my thing, but this one has a dragon.
The Hobbit Dragon GIF

Did any of these books pique your interest? Let me know if you added them to your TBR.