Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Recently Added to my Top Ten List

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.

The theme of the week is book’s I’ve recently added to my TBR list.  I decided to do a mix of new and old.  Honestly, I haven’t added a lot to my TBR list in awhile because I haven’t had time to really browse  GoodReads enough to see what I want.   So, I’ll be putting a mix of what I have scheduled for the next month and books I’ve recently added to my list.


I wasn’t terribly impressed with the first one, but I am intrigued about the sequel.  I think things could pick up.  And therefore, I am reading it.  Dmetrios is usually such a strong author, so I still have hopes that this book will rock.


I’m actually currently reading this one (edit: I wrote this post before I wrote my review for it).  I read the first one again on a slow day at work, and I started writing my review and found myself complaining (so much) about this book that I decided to revisit it to make sure I wasn’t exaggerating.  Plus, I feel like a retrospect of both books overall might be nice to do.


I actually found this one when trolling GoodReads for jinn books.  It’s not out till 2016, but it’s an Aladdin retelling and the genie is in love with Aladdin.  Alas, she is not big and blue and talks like the late Robin Williams.  But the blurb is intriguing.


Katie McGarry writes absorbing books that I can’t take out in public.  And this looks like one of those books.  To be honest, I don’t have that high of an opinion of motorcycles.  I blame it on my cousin who almost got arrested when he and his motorcycle gang (motorcycle gang is probably a stretch for Bert’s friends) invaded a Russell Stover’s factory’s parking lot a few years back.  It’s a long story.


This looks like Scandal for the YA set.  This could either be really good or not so good.


Just going to say it: Elementary did it already.


Richelle Mead makes this one buy worthy enough.  Add the fact that this one uses Chinese folklore.  Buy me.


I recently read The Princess Diaries series in preparation for the release of the new book this summer.  I’m going to do the same thing with this series later this year.


I’m suppose to get my copy soon.  USPS (the assholes that they are) decided not to deliver my copy-apparently my mail box was not adequate enough.  Needless to say, I’ve been waiting for it to be sent back.


I like how the blurb has a fractured fairytale-ish feel to it.  Almost reminds me a bit like Into the Woods.


The Good and the Bad: All-American Girl and Ready or Not by Meg Cabot

I initially was just going to review All American Girl, but I found myself referring to the sequel so much I decided to make this a double feature.


Samantha Madison is an average, cool Washington, D.C., teen: She loves Gwen Stefani (who doesn’t?), can draw like nobody’s business, and enjoys being opposite to her sister’s annoying ultra-social personality. But when she ditches art class one day, she doesn’t expect to be jumping on the back of a wannabe presidential assassin.

Soon the young hero is receiving worldwide acclaim for her bravery, having dinner with her family at the White House, and is even being named teen ambassador to the UN. As if this weren’t enough, she and David, the president’s son, strike up a friendship that everyone wants the dirt on, which starts to give her romantic “frisson” feelings.

Unfortunately, Sam thinks her sister’s boyfriend, Jack, is the true love of her life, and she makes a few wrong turns that could screw up what she’s developing with David. Will she ever stop following what she knows and start following what she sees?

Source: GoodReads

I think this book is very interesting to look to from a political perspective.  Well, like political time capsule perspective.  The early 2000’s were a very different world, politically, for America and it shows in here.  Ultra patriotism, right wing administration, pop culture references.

That is purely a Meg Cabot thing.  Not a political thing.  But still,interesting to see how things have changed in ten years. But I’m not going to bore you with that.

I really did like this book, even after all this time though.  Sam probably isn’t my favorite character, but I think for who she is, Meg did an excellent job depicting her.

I think what I love best about All American Girl is that it gives a stupid character consequences for their bone headed idiocy.  And Sam tries to make up for being a turd.

And boy is she a turd throughout a good chunk of this book.

One thing you’ll have to know going in is that this book is ridiculously dated.  There are band references that only someone who liked the same music Sam did during that time period are going to get.

I’m not a huge Gwen Stefani fan, so it sort of went over my head then and now.

The romance, of course, was wonderful.  When is it not in a Meg Cabot novel?  And I really liked the portrayal of Lucy, a popular girl that is not a jerk but a good person.  And I liked how Cabot basically threw it in Sam’s face that she was wrong about her sister.

You hardly ever see that in YA.

If you’re looking for a sweet little book that’s a nice reminder of the past, give All American Girl a try.

Overall Rating: B+ nice fluffy fun.

Top ten things Samantha Madison isn’t ready for:
10. Spending Thanksgiving at Camp David

9. With her boyfriend, the president’s son

8. Who appears to want to take their relationship to the Next Level

7. Which Sam inadvertently and shockingly announces live on MTV

6. While appearing to support the president’s dubious policies on families, morals, and yes, sex

5. Juggling her new after-school job at Potomac Video

4. Even though she already has a job as teen ambassador to the UN (that she doesn’t get paid for)

3. Riding the Metro and getting accosted because she’s “the redheaded girl who saved the president’s life,” in spite of her new, semipermanent Midnight Ebony tresses

2. Experiencing total role reversal with her popular sister Lucy, who for once can’t get the guy she wants

And the number-one thing Sam isn’t ready for?

1. Finding out the hard way that in art class, “life drawing” means “naked people.”

Source: GoodReads


To be honest, I had no plans on reviewing this one until I started reviewing the first (see introduction).

Was it as horrible as I remembered?

Well, yes and no.  I didn’t like how blatant it was essentially a sex ed book.  But at the same time I can’t completely fault it for trying to give out relevant information for teens who’s sex ed classes pretty much consisted of having sex will make you go to hell.

Then I guess that means everyone’s birth parents are going to hell.

I digress.

Ready or Not came out roughly ten or so years ago, when Conservative Christians were the bread and butter of the Republican party.  Lots of measures that are now found by mainstream America to be appalling were considered a-okay.  And honestly, some of these measures still exist-i.e. taking away a woman’s right to choose.  While Ready or Not doesn’t exactly go in that direction (thank God), it does discuss the whole birth control issue. And it’s the first book to address the annoying trope known as slut slamming.

Grant it, it was done in an over the top and cringe worthy way.

Might I just add, I really, really, hate message books.

Even ten years ago, when I was a member of the targeted audience this is the sort of thing that drove me insane.  Now, I just rolled my eyes throughout the reading experience.

And to be frank, it was like Cabot phoned this one in.  I think I read somewhere that originally this story was conceived as a Lucy centric companion sequel (however, upon looking for the blog entry where I think Meg mentions it, it looks to be scraped or I just imagined reading it).

That would’ve been awesome.

But people whined and we got this sorry sequel.

I’m sorry, but I did not care to listen about Sam complain about how everyone doesn’t like her sorry dye job and how she obsesses in a Mia Thermopolis type of way about having sex.

It’s just boring.

Lucy is a character I wanted to explore more.  And I couldn’t even really get into her side romance with Harold because it was pushed to the side for moaning about Ebony Midnight Whisper Hair Dye.

My advice with this one, unless you’re inanely curious skip it.  I’ll only be recommending it for those assholes who frequently use the slut slamming trope.

Overall Rating: This is the one Cabot book I’ve ever outright gave a failing grade to (F).

This Book Has DID:The StorySpinner by Becky Wallace

Drama and danger abound in this fantasy realm where dukes play a game for the throne, magical warriors race to find the missing heir, and romance blossoms where it is least expected.

In a world where dukes plot their way to the throne, a Performer’s life can get tricky. And in Johanna Von Arlo’s case, it can be fatal. Expelled from her troupe after her father’s death, Johanna is forced to work for the handsome Lord Rafael DeSilva. Too bad they don’t get along. But while Johanna’s father’s death was deemed an accident, the Keepers aren’t so sure.

The Keepers, a race of people with magical abilities, are on a quest to find the princess—the same princess who is supposed to be dead and whose throne the dukes are fighting over. But they aren’t the only ones looking for her. And in the wake of their search, murdered girls keep turning up—girls who look exactly like the princess, and exactly like Johanna.

With dukes, Keepers, and a killer all after the princess, Johanna finds herself caught up in political machinations for the throne, threats on her life, and an unexpected romance that could change everything.

Source: GoodReads

This book has made me realize that I’m going to take a sabbatical from high fantasies for awhile.  It’s  not that I don’t like fantasies, it’s that I truly believe the market is becoming overly saturated with them and I really just need a breather.

The Storyspinner wasn’t a terrible book, but it was just so cliche.  And it didn’t help that it had five million points of view.  So, yeah, I DNF’d it.  And here are my top ten reasons why I DNF’d it and I guess why I’m taking a sabbatical from all the YA fantasy books for now.

10)A Lost Princess: Really, why must there always be a lost princess?  Why is it such a necessity?  Never mind that monarchies have had multiple problems throughout the years, and have caused their countries severe problems.  The long lost princess will fix everything (snark).  Whenever I see the Long Lost Princess cliche, like in Storyspinner, I start to feel my eyes twitch.  And I usually need to make myself a stiff drink to get through the reading process.

9) Snail Pace: Often fantasies move at a snail’s pace.  This is no exception.

8) The Poverty Cliche: One of our main characters has be dirt poor.  Bottom of the totem pool and of course they come in contact with the wealthy class.  Usually because of quest of that person in extreme poverty is the Chosen One or something else mundane.  Here the Poor Character is caught trying to hunt on Rich Character’s property.  It’s enough where they can come together and I’m sure serve some purpose in three books.

7) The World Is Different Than It Used to Be: We hear this vaguely, in some POVs, in others it just seems like life has been this way forever.  So, I’m even confused about how the utopia turned to shit when some character are acting like everything is a-okay.

6) Unpronounceable Names: At least The Storyspinner tries to route it’s own language in Portuguese, the book is a Brazilian inspired fantasy, but still I don’t like having to try to figure out how to say a characters name.

5) Girls in Drag for No Reason: I like the Mulan trope more than anyone, but when it serves no purpose I get annoyed.  Plus,I get annoyed that short hair and pants are enough to convince a guy that the girl in front of him is a guy.  Short hair and pants.  SMH.

4) Mysterious Prologue IS Important You MUST Read It, Even Though You Won’t Understand It: The prologue was obviously very important to the world building for this book.  And as usual, the prologue read like a cliche.  Parental/Close Relative/Close Friend tells MC something important and then croaks.  Sometimes there’s variants on this prologue. Like maybe the parents dies when the Important Character isn’t cognitive and leaves something behind, but not the case here.

3) Mysterious Group You Could Care Less About But Will Be the Info Dump Group: I really could care less about the Keepers.  I don’t know what they really were, other than trying to find a long lost princess.

2) Romantic Cliches that Make You Think This Romance is So Forced: The love/hate relationship is very common in fantasy,it doesn’t help when you’ve read five thousand of these.  And I really couldn’t care for Rafael at all.

1) Five Million Billion Points of View: I like multiple points of view, but the various view points in The Storyspinner was excessive and it ultimately was what lead me to DNF it.  Some people might like this element of the story more than I did.  For me though, it left me feeling a huge disconnect with the characters.  I couldn’t even pinpoint most of the characters.  It was as if this book wasn’t even sure of itself.

Overall Rating: I DNF’d it.  On the DNF end of books I’m giving it a more it’s me than you rating for why I DNF’d it.  Other people will like this book a LOT better than me.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books From My Childhood and Teen Years I’d like to Revisit

Rereading can be so sweet.  I’ve been having a semi regulated feature called The Book Nostalgia Project where I’ve been reading books that I loved in my childhood and teen years and I guess it’s time to do a list.  Top Ten Tuesday, of course, is hosted by the fabulous The Broke and the Bookish.


I remember getting really annoyed with these even at a young age.  I think it was then I learned I hated books with ‘morals’.


I read Jane Eyre for a senior project I did on it, The Color Purple, and The Princess Diaries.  The theme of the paper was female empowerment.  I got an A, but older me now looks at it in horror.


I remember picking this one up when I was really into Chit Lit YA, they don’t have a lot of that now.


This was such a fun series.  I was worried for awhile that there wouldn’t be an end to it.  But luckily, there’s an e-book finale.


Um, yeah.  Read it.  Impacted me.  Obviously.  Not much more to say about this one.  Other than duh.


Yes, I read The American Girl books when I was younger.  Molly had the most interesting stories, Samantha had the best clothes, and Kristen was just downright boring.


I don’t remember much about this book except I read it a lot when I was younger.  It’s funny how you can’ t remember the details all the years later.




I went through a phase where I read all of Barthe DeClements books.  I think in part because of her name.  When your a kid, a name like Barthe can really get you to read a book.


I really remember liking this one.  It gave me particularly unrealistic views about Vegas.  And about rock star boyfriends.


Probably the series that really got me into Meg Cabot books.  This series of books is still up there ten years later.

I Didn’t Know You Could Die on the Oregon Trail Via Book: Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee


A powerful story of friendship and sacrifice, for fans of Code Name Verity

Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.

This beautifully written debut is an exciting adventure and heart-wrenching survival tale. But above all else, it’s a story about perseverance and trust that will restore your faith in the power of friendship. 

Source: GoodReads

If you haven’t ever played Oregon Trail this review probably isn’t going to resonate as much as if you had.  I’ll be referencing several things that happened in the game-such as catching dysentery, over hunting, and my favorite themed parties (oh yeah, you could either use the programmed in names like Charity, Obadiah, and Francis or come up with your own party-I was partial to using  boy bands).

For this book our party leader is Samantha, better known as Sammy.  Not Sam.  Sammy much like the beloved Days of Our Life character.  Save for the fact that this Sammy is extremely boring despite killing her attempted rapist in the first chapter (that is the best and only some what bad ass moment in this book).    Because I am the reader of this book, I am keeping a log.  Much how your computer would make a log for you when you played Oregon Trail.

Really, if you weren’t an 80/90s baby and missed out on this game, I feel for you.  You should totally play it. 

Okay, now to the actual review (log):

Hour One of Reading:

This is actually a fairly decent opener.  The character was pretty bad ass if defending herself.  And she’s a non-WASP.  It’s actually interesting reading about a person of Chinese decent in the 19th century.  And I see potential with the secondary protagonist (Andy) as well.

Fifteen Minutes Later:

Character development is sorely lacking.  I have real issues with how Andy would so willingly help Sammy.  They barely know each other.  And I hate the use of dialect.  I get that Lee is trying to show the character, but it seems so stereotypical and gives me that nasty feeling.

And when are they going to go on the trail?  Don’t they need to buy supplies, oxen, those sort of things.  I get they’re on the run.  But shouldn’t they prepare more.  That one time I forgot to buy food on the Oregon trail my whole party ended up dying before we reached the Kansas River.


Thirty Minutes Later:

I am tired of knowing everyone’s Chinese zodiac sign and what it means.  If I wanted to know that I’d look at my Chinese Astrology book.  Pss, and stop acting like rabbits are all promiscuous.  And I really hate that this is how the character is shown as being diverse.  All my friends who come from a Chinese background do not talk about being born in the year of the snake.  For instead, one of my friends just talks about  their obsession with Eddie Redmayne.  I don’t think Eddie Redmayne has anything to with the Chinese zodiac.  And besides, fi I was Sammy I’d be much more concerned with how they’re going to get across that river.  They better not have the oxen ford the river.  You always die when you do that in the game.

Ten Minutes Later: 

These cowboys are not hot.  And they’re bland.  Also, someone spent a little bit too much time on and has given us a play by play on what basic Spanish means.  Will someone just get dysentery already?

Five Minutes Later:

Seems like Andy is a bit of a Bible thumper.  Dear lord…please for the love of God do not let there be slut slamming.  Measles?  Cholera?  Bandits?  Or can someone just go over kill with the buffalo shooting already?

Ten Minutes Later:

You know what, I’m going to rest for the night.  It seems to cure cholera on the trail, so maybe it will cure reading boredom.

Day Two:

I am sad to say that I died during Sammy and Andy’s Oregon Trail experience.  They made me DNF them because they were so boring, were stereotypes, and those cowboys of there’s were just plain stupid.  I am going to play Oregon trail now and input their names in there and purposely kill them off much like I used to to the cast of Step by Step and Full House*. 

Overall Rating: DNF and there’s nothing remotely redeemable here to give it an extra star.  If my postage situation here wasn’t so awful, I’d be returning it.

*Note, if you play a game of Oregon Trail on my Gateway 2000, you’ll find Michelle Tanner’s grave next to Patrick Duffy’s character on Step by Step.  Both of them got it around Fort Laramie.  Or maybe the Snake River, I forget.

The Almost Quaterly Report: Seriously, That Time Again

This year has been going by fast.  I think in part because I started a new job in another state and had to move.  Anyway, let’s get down to business and look back at the books I’ve read this quarter:

Total Count:

As of March 21st I have read thirty-six books.  It will probably even out now that I started my new job and my reading time is limited to lunch, after work, and weekends.  However, I do think (knock on wood) I’ll get through my reading goal this year.

Biggest Surprise:

I though the blurb was too good to be true, but this is a really well written book, guys.  You should totally read it.   It should be a lot more hyped than it is.

Biggest Disappointment:

I like character driven books, but this one is just boring.  I’m sorry.  Nothing happened till the end.  It was a snore fest.

Most Diverse Book:

Yes, a new category, but I think diversity is a very important factor in YA and I want to acknowledge a book that shows diverse characters.  I really applaud IW Gregorio’s efforts with None of the Above while there were some issues with the supporting  characters in the novel, the intersex issues and the intersex character were well well done.

Best Contemporary:


This one I put on here at the last minute, but boy is this book worth it.  If you are looking for a good YA contemporary that hits all the feels.  Pick.  This.  Book.  Up.

Worst Contemporary:

Ugh.  Ugh.  Ugh.  I hated this book.  It was unrealistic on so many levels and really did not go into the meet of the issue-intersex and transexual issues.  Plus, it didn’t distinct that the two things ARE completely different (cough, read None of the Above for a good book about intersex issues, cough).

Best Paranormal:

Yes, it’s a little cheesy, but Mead writes some damn good YA paranormal.  And at it’s best, I think YA paranormal is a little cheesy.

Worst Paranormal:

Just a big fat cliche which is  a shame because tons of potential there.

Best Fantasy:

There’s just something about this fantasy series that makes it stand out.  Yes, it uses a lot of the lciches but there’s no long lost princess and the politics are actually not politics.  Not about long lost forbidden magic.

Worst Fantasy:

A lot of people really loved this one, but it was just the epitome of YA fantasy dystopia cliche.  No thank you.

Best Retelling:

This is one series that gets better and better with each installment.  I am really looking forward and dreading Winter because I don’t want it to end!

Worst Retelling:

Ugh, I DNF’d this one.  It’s one of those books where the main character seems way too young and stupid.  And the plot is nonsensical and not even existent.  Plus, there’s major women hating for absolutely no frickidickity reason.

Best Overall Book:

I want to say duh, but I think it would be a little rude.  Plus, after I started this post I read The Wrong Side of Right and it really was a contender for this reward.  But Fairest was masterfully done.  I really liked this small novel.  Because it doesn’t try to white wash Levana’s actions.  Instead, it builds on what a psychopath she is and you can see through the layers but not you know…want to say she misunderstood.  I think I really appreciate it after the disaster that Once Upon a Time has turned into.  I like Regina, but man don’t try to make Snow White look evil because she told on her about her secret boyfriend.  She was nine.

Worst Overall Book:

For a book that could’ve been so poignant, this book was ridiculous and insulting.   I really recommend that people read IW Gregorio’s book,  None of the Above, rather than this shit fest.  That book is very educational, this book is sensational.

Overall Thoughts:

A lot better start to books than I had in 2014.  I think in part because I’ve become more selective in my reading choices.  Though a part of me is hopeful that this year is a better reading year than 2014-looking at my GoodReads challenge I had a really sucky first quarter last year.

Books I’m Looking Forward to Next Quarter:

Um, yeah.  Obviously.  I want this one NOW!!!!!!! Yeah, I’ll act like a greedy little kid about this one and probably be unproductive the day it comes out and everyone will hate me, but you know what I won’t care.  Because Mia and Michael.

Hodge was one of my favorite debut writers in 2014, so I’m really looking forward to her next book.  The funny thing about this one is that you’d think it’s a companion novel to Cruel Beauty but it’s not.  Bad cover designers, bad.  Though it’s another fairytale retelling so you can’t exactly blame them.  And it’s gorgeous.

Prisoner of Night and Fog was a dark horse favorite of mine last year.  Really looking forward to what the sequel offers.

The Crime of Not Shipping the Ship: The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

Source: GoodReads

Ah, The Winner’s Curse probably one of the most over hyped books in 2014 and I’ll admit it was good.

In the world of cliche high fantasy, it stood out.  The world building was fantastic and the ship was palatable and longing worthy.

The world building was still fantastic in the sequel, but did not like the ship as much.  It wasn’t horrible, per say  But it played on the misunderstanding cliche a bit for me to like.  Plus, Arin needs to get off his high horse.

I think a lot of issues I have with the romance is that both leads are such strong characters.  And this is a good thing to a degree.  Strong characters mean stronger story lines.  The thing is, strong characters sometimes don’t work that well together especially when they’re both very stubborn strong characters.  I feel like one of the characters has to give up part of themselves so that they can be together and I feel that’s what is ultimately going to happen to the ship here.

But it doesn’t mean I outright hate Arin and Kestrel, I just don’t ship them the way others do.

The world building in this installment, was enough for me not to really give a flip about how I no longer get the ship.  More dimensions were given to the characters and the world they live in.  I like how side characters in this installment embellished the world building.

There was also many parts of the world shown in this installment, unlike the first installment.

One of my favorite aspects of this installment was how Kestrel met her match with the emperor.  The character was complex on so many levels.  I’m not sure you’d call him so much of a villain or really just a politician.  Sure, his actions weren’t the kindest, but I don’t think he’s exactly a typical Big Bad.

Then there was the relationship that Kestrel had with her father and her future husband (the emperor’s son).  Both of them were complex and well done too.

Rare I can ever use a parent fluff gif.

Parent fluff in YA books is always good when you can get it (it rarely happens), so to see a father daughter relationship here was refreshing.  The same goes for the relationship between Kestrel and the emperor’s son.  This is NOT a love triangle, guys.  It’s an alliance turned friendship, which I find refreshing.

While developing side relationships, the political aspects of the novel (aka the plot) also developed as well.  You could see that the politics of the novel were effected by the character’s relationships and vice versa.

The thing about this series is that it somehow stands out amongst the various high fantasies out there in YA.  It’s true it shares several similar attributes, but there’s something about it the cream of the crop.  I think it’s in part because the setting in this story isn’t a quasi dystopia.  The Ancient Rome inspired world that Kestrel lives in is at its height of power.  There’s no lost queen and magic too, which helps immensely as well.

If you are into high fantasy in YA, you should give this trilogy a try. It’s not exactly the most unique trilogy out there, but there are enough parts in there to grab your attention.

Overall Rating: A-.  While I didn’t feel the ship, the other relationships and world building were quite excellent.  And.  That. Cliffie.

Oh, How Right It Is: The Wrong Side of Right by Jenn Marie Thorne

Fans of Sarah Dessen and Huntley Fitzpatrick will enjoy this smart debut young adult novel, equal parts My Life Next Door and The Princess Diaries—plus a dash of Aaron Sorkin.

Kate Quinn’s mom died last year, leaving Kate parentless and reeling. So when the unexpected shows up in her living room, Kate must confront another reality she never thought possible—or thought of at all. Kate does have a father. He’s a powerful politician. And he’s running for U.S. President. Suddenly, Kate’s moving in with a family she never knew she had, joining a campaign in support of a man she hardly knows, and falling for a rebellious boy who may not have the purest motives. This is Kate’s new life. But who is Kate? When what she truly believes flies in the face of the campaign’s talking points, she must decide. Does she turn to the family she barely knows, the boy she knows but doesn’t necessarily trust, or face a third, even scarier option?

Set against a backdrop of politics, family, and first love, this is a story of personal responsibility, complicated romance, and trying to discover who you are even as everyone tells you who you should be.

Source: GoodReads

Warning: this is going to be a bit of a fan girl review.

Because I freaking loved this book.

I know, I hardly ever say that on this blog unless it’s opposite day and the author bribes me with lots and lots of Belgium chocolate.

There was no Belgium chocolate bribing here, this was just a really well executed book that hit a lot of the MJ book squeal options.

Let’s talk about the plot.  It’s a bit like The Princess Diaries meets What a Girl Wants with maybe a little bit of All American Girl thrown in there for pleasure.  You can’t go wrong with two Meg Cabot books and a Colin Firth movie.

You really can’t.

Unless the characterization is crap.

But it’s not here.  I think the characterization was what made this book.  I really felt for Kate and her struggle to be herself and deal with the campaign.  I loved Andy.  I thought her father was fairly realistic.  I liked her mom.  The campaign staff was realistic.  And the best friend was NOT a cliche.

So, props there.

I also liked how it depicted the Republican party.

Full disclosure, I’m not a Republican.  More than likely I’ll vote blue, but I always hate how the GOP is depicted in YA.  Generally speaking, they’re betrayed as being weirdo religious extremists who sane people would run away from.

Why the GOP reared some of its ugly head in this installment, at the same time it was much more humanized, and while I didn’t necessarily agree with all the choices that were made, it was at least realistic.

And at least Kate’s dad was a moderate republican.

I really don’t know if I could handle if he was a tea partier.

Just saying. I used to live and Texas and had to deal with Ted Cruz’s sound bites on the local news like every day (those were scary things).

Okay, I probably could’ve handled it because this book really did depict the characters as real people.  Politics included.

And I really liked how Thorne depicted Kate’s father.  Because his reaction did seem fairly normal given the situation.  It actually reminded me a lot of how Colin Firth reacted in What a Girl Wants to be honest.  Which was good, because having Colin in my head eliminated the sleazy politician image I might’ve otherwise had.

The romance also really worked.  It’s not instant and there’s some definite banter.  This is where the All American Girl similarities come in.  That’s how good the romance was.  It was Cabot caliber.  Kate and Andy aren’t Sam and David though.  There’s lots of differences there, and I like how we get to see a different perspective of a first kid relationship.

I am highly recommending this book.  It is probably the best contemporary I’ve read so far in 2015.  If not one of the best books.  A lovely debut that fully explores the emotions and turbulence of being a politician’s daughter The Right Side of Wrong is a must read.

Overall Rating: A freaking plus (doesn’t happen very often).

Fictional Face Offs: The Battle of the Evil Queens

Welcome, to another battle of Fictional Face Offs.  Last week the Dowager Countess beat Grandmere (big surprise there, one look from Maggie Smith and it was obvious who was going to win).  This week I thought it would be nice to have a battle of the queens.  Evil Queens that is.  As always, the winner is chosen by you (vote).


Queen Levana

Who is She: The current evil despot  ruler of Lunar, Cinder’s aunt, Winter’s stepmother, and a bonafide psychopath. Grant it, she provided no dark curses.

Claim to Evil: Forcing a guy to marry her.  Trying to kill her niece.  Trying to force another man to marry her.  Trying to take over the Earth.  Destroying her own planet (essentially).

Secret Weapon: Mind control.  Evil minions.  A plague.   In other words, if Regina tried to take her heart, Levana would be making her take her own herat.

Weakness: Herself.  Vanity.  Lack of self esteem.  All Regina would need to do is hold up a mirror.

Why She Rules: Because she is Queen Levana and no one else can rule.


Queen Regina



Who Is She: The Evil Queen in the show that does NOT make any sense, but everyone watches any way for its amazing costumes (Once Upon a Time).

Claim to Evil: Destroying an entire population by sending them to another realm, tormenting Snow White because she can’t keep her trap shut, and trying to be good….seriously.  That might be her most evil act of all since it’s ruining the freaking show.

Secret Weapon: Magic.  She’ll pull out your heart or give you a poisoned turnover. Levana probably has food tasters, so she’ll be okay in that regard.

Weakness: Becoming good.  Her dweeb son who only exists as a lame plot device that makes EVERYONE related. All Levanna would have to do is get mind control over Henry and she’d totally own Regina.  Or she could release the plague that would work too.

Why She Rules: Because Rumplestiltskin lets her.


Coming Up Next Week: The Fuentes Brothers (from The Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles versus The Breaking Bad crew-I think we all know who’s going to win this one). 



Confessions of Skipper!: To All the Boys I’ve Loved by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

Source: GoodReads

Hi ya’ll!

I’m Skipper!

You know, Barbie’s less pretty and less talented sister.  The one Ken never notices because my boobs are a little more anatomically in proportion though I don’t have optional zits or cellulite like Lammily  (or as Barbie calls her Lame-y) and have waay better clothes than her too.

So there.

Still though, it reeks that I can never get Ken. Even though he really has nothing down there-when your plastic it doesn’t really matter.  Or for that matter, really get noticed because I’m not as fully enhanced as one Barbie Doll.

Recently, I read this book that totally got to me down to my inner plastic core. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before could totally be my story ya’ll.

Remind me to write letters to Ken and have Kelly send them out the next time Barbie decides to be a bitch and dump his ass.

He’ll totally want me then.

But then a new guy will come, like an Iron Man doll who’s all snarky and then I’ll be in a love triangle and it will just be great and I’ll be like.  How do I choose?

Like Lara Jean.

Lara Jean is my idol.

Most heroines in YA are too nasty.  But Lara Jean is as sweet as sugar and you can totally tell she’s never had to deal with an actual boyfriend before or really anyone before.  She doesn’t even know how to drive without freaking out which means she’s totally age appropriate to every demographic TM!

She probably doesn’t even have boobs (like moi) which makes her even more appropriate than Barbie.

Take that Lame-y.

And yeah, she talks sort of young but who cares…I might be technically forever fourteen but that doesn’t mean a four year old can’t play with me.

Four year olds would love to play with Lara Jean and Joshy.


That’s so cute that she calls her Ken Joshy.  I must start calling Ken, Kenny!

Maybe he’ll like me better than Barbie then.


A girl can only hope.

This book is really like one big wish fulfillment for girls like me.  I can just imagine how wonderful it would be to be like Lara Jean and discover once your prissy sister goes to college that all the boys like you.

Never mind if you’re leftovers.

I really liked how this book kept pointing out how Lara Jean was half Korean in the most superficial of ways.  Because who cares how your culture effects you.  Just dress as Cho Chang for Halloween, eat Korean food, and talk about how being Asian sucks because your short.

Those are the things that matter.

In the Barbie world that spells out diversity.

I have to say while I loooooooooooooooooovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeee Joshy, I really didn’t like Peter.  He just seemed too realistic-y for me.

So snarky and he cheats on a test way back in the seventh grade.

I’d never want to be with a boy like that.

Especially since everyone thinks Peter plays fast.


Boys playing fast.

We don’t do that at the Barbie Dream House.  And neither does Lara Jean which made this book even better.

If you’re like me, made out plastic, and have had no life experiences whatsoever you’ll really like Lara Jean.  If not then, well, obviously you don’t belong in the dream house.

Overall Rating: C a horrible main character, but a decent love interest and an easy going enough plot.  Don’t know if I’ll get the sequel though.  I’ll probably library it.