Perfect If You Want Something Dumb: Picture Perfect by Holly Smalle

“My name is Harriet Manners, and I’ll always be a geek.”

It’s the hilarious third book in the No.1 bestselling, award winning GEEK GIRL series!

Harriet Manners knows more facts than most. She knows that New York is the most populous city in the United States. She knows that its official motto is “Ever Upward”. She knows that 28% of Americans believe we never landed on the moon.

But she knows nothing about modelling in the Big Apple, and how her family will cope with life stateside. Or how to “become a brand”, as the models in New York put it. And, even more importantly, what to do when the big romantic gestures aren’t coming from your boyfriend…

Does geek girl go too far this time?

The laugh out loud follow-up to award winning GEEK GIRL and MODEL MISFIT will have you in stitches.

Source: GoodReads

Picture Perfect was a far improvement from Model Misfit, but I still didn’t love it as much as I loved the first Geek Girl novel and occasionally-okay, lots of times- I wanted to give Harriet a good kick in the pants.

She does some really idiotic things in this book.  Well, she really does a lot of idiotic things in all these books, even the first one.  But it’s like this character hasn’t grown any.

And while that’s annoying, at the point I read it, I really didn’t care because I wasn’t really wanting to read something heavy.  I just wanted something that was fast and easy to read during my sanctioned breaks-roughly thirty minutes after three hours of studying or so.

And that’s what Picture Perfect did, it was exceedingly easy to read.  But also ridiculously unrealistic.

And I’m not talking about in the typical YA unrealistic like way.

I’m talking about the OTT people wouldn’t act like this way.

That’s bad.

In Geek Girl, I think I mentioned how responsible Harriet’s parents were.  Or at least her step mother.  I might’ve said that her father was at least involved in her life, which is more than you can say for most YA books.  Well, here both her parents get Golden Charlies.

They are exceedingly dim and borderline neglectful.  In fact, a couple of times I thought about calling the Fictional CPS on them.  Because for reals, you don’t punish your sixteen-year-old by forcing her to stay in her room except for using the bathroom AND then forget to check on her.   Oh, and when you hire a tutor for your sixteen-year-old, it’s probably a smart thing to do a background check.

It’s just common sense.

I am not even going to go into the whole immigrating to the US thing.  Or Harriet’s lack of a work visa for modeling thing because that’s being a little too picky.  That sort of thing, I could arguably see happening in a YA book because the it’s fiction schitcion excuse (i.e. Editor ate too many Twinkies and didn’t feel like  doing any fact checking-though, to be fair to Twinkie loving editor, author has access to Google).

So I can give that thing a pass (sort of).

What I can’t give a pass to is the horrible characterization of these parents.   That and how unrealistic the set up is.

I read a lot of British chick lit-which is where Geek Girl sort of follows, but is YA.   One thing I notice about these books if they’re a series, they’ll likely have a book that takes place in America (see Shopaholic Abroad  and I Heart New York  for prime examples).   It’s sort of a right of passage for this type of series.  One thing I will give Smalle,is that she sort of twist this trope by having Harry reside in the actual suburbs rather than the city.   But while that sort of made the story more interesting, at the same time it sort of hindered it since Harriet was commuting back and forth.   I actually would’ve liked to see her falter in suburban American more than rehashing the model thing again.

While I liked the model thing in the first book, it’s run it’s course.  Harriet is and always is going to be grossly unprofessional in that world.  It’s almost embarrassing.  Much like her relationship with Nick.

Poor, poor, Nick.  I put him in the same category as I put Michael Moscovtiz in during those middle Princess Diaries books.

I really don’t know how that poor baby does it.

Anyway, as embarrassing as Harriet’s antics were and as dumb as her parents were, I still enjoyed this one.  If anything because it was a nice quick break that didn’t cause me to use any analytical skills.

Overall Rating: A generous B.  Probably most of the time it would be a B-, but hey I wanted something dumb and I got it.


She’s Still Got IT: Remembrance by Meg Cabot

In REMEMBRANCE, the seventh installment of the Mediator series, all Susannah Simon wants is to make a good impression at her first job since graduating from college (and becoming engaged to Dr. Jesse de Silva).

But when she stumbles across an ancient murder, old ghosts—and ex-boyfriends—aren’t all that come back to haunt her.

REMEMBRANCE will be the first ever adult installment of the Mediator, published by William Morrow, the adult division of HarperCollins, the company that brought you the YA books in the series.

Source: GoodReads

The Mediator series is sort of my gold standard series for YA.  It has a strong feminist main character who’s bad ass while dressed (tastefully) in Kate Spade and it has one of the best heroes in YA to date.  Plus, a love triangle that doesn’t want me to gouge my eyes out.  How can one not love the Mediator series?

Yeah, thought so.

To say the least, I was excited but a bit weary when I heard that Meg Cabot was publishing a seventh book.  The sixth book, after all, ended on such a wonderful note.  I was really scary what would happen after that.  I mean, how can you top Suze doing a Marty McFly and saving Jesse’s life.

Well, you really can’t.  But never the less, Remembrance was a delightful nostalgic read.

It does have a few quirks, but those quirks were very easy to overlook when reading the book as a whole.

First and foremost, Suze’s voice is still as authentic as ever.  She’s still sassy, not afraid to kick ass, but realistically matured.  I really enjoy that the essence of her character was kept.  One of my problems with Missing You  (the adult-ish sequel to Meg’s 1800-Where-R-U seires was I thought Jess lost a bit of her punch).  Suze, not so much.  There were some choices she made that had me raising my eyebrows a bit-for spoiler purposes I won’t go into them, BUT as a legal professional who worked in family law I was just like really Suze-but it fit with the character enough.

Jesse is swoon worthy as ever, but the character is a little more complex in this installment which is a good thing and very understandable since he’s alive now and dealing with the aftermath of being a NCDP (see, Suze I’m using your term-it’s admitedly catchy).  I liked these added layers.  Also, other characters are further developed such as Suze’s stepbrothers.  I didn’t see some of the twists involving their lives coming (i.e. David), but it was refreshing.

If you’re a huge Paul Slater fan, I don’t know how you’re going to feel about how Paul turned out as an adult.  Personally, I have a love hate relationship with this character.  When I read or wrote fan fic it was usually Paul/Suze, but that hardly means I wanted him to end up with her in cannon or find the character to be redeemable in cannon.  He’s admittedly slimy, but there’s something about him that makes for an interesting character to explore.  And like it or not, Juze shipper or not, you have to admit that Paul and Suze share some great banter.

The banter is still there, though admittedly Paul is dumbed down a bit in this installment.  Where in the previous installments he is decisive in his actions, here he isn’t on his feet as much in the previous novels.  He’s still an antagonist, but not an as worthy one as in past installments.  To be honest, if anything he comes off as borderline pathetic.  And I was more than a little disgusted with him by the end of this book.  Does this mean, I’ll stop reading Pauze fan fics (hardly), but it makes my cannon ship stronger.

It’s sort of sad though, that Paul has destroyed his brain cells.  I like him better when he’s smart evil than quasi dumb evil.  Though, he and Suze still did share some great banter.

The ghost mystery was okay.  Luisa is not my favorite or my least favorite ghost in the series.   I’d say the ghost mystery is comparable to either book two or three.  Better than books one or five, but hardly the zenith of the ghost mystery in book four or the time traveling adventure in book six.  Though, Suze did kick ass.

The wedding scenes and other fluff scenes were also well done.  But really, Jesse.  Really.  I feel sorry for Suze having to…okay, not going to say it for spoilers.  But come on!

Overall, if you’re a fan of The Mediator you should pick this book up.  It’s a nice nostalgia trip down memory lane which is pretty true to the characters.  Unless, you’re a huge Paul fangirl I think you’ll enjoy this one.

Overall Rating: A solid A.

Remembrance will be released on February 2, 2016.

Where Suze Gets a Sparkly Diamond on Her Finger: The Proposal by Meg Cabot

The last place Suze Simon expects to find herself during Valentine’s Day is a cemetery. But that’s what happens when you’re a mediator – cursed with the “gift” of communicating with the dead.

That’s how Suze has ended up at the graves of a pair of NCDPs – Non-Compliant Deceased Persons – whose drama didn’t end with death. It’s Suze’s job to make sure they move on—for good.

But the NCDPs aren’t the only ones with problems. The reason Suze is spending her Valentine’s Day with the undead instead of her boyfriend, Jesse, is because he’s having so much trouble adjusting to life after death . . . not surprising, considering the fact that he used to be an NCDP himself, and now his girlfriend busts his former kind for a living, while he tries to cure his kind of what used to ail him.

Can Suze use her mediating skills to propose a mutual resolution, and bring all these young lovers together – including Jesse and herself – especially on the night Saint Valentine declared sacred to romance?

Or will she end up alone—and possibly undead—herself?

Source: GoodReads


Honestly, I have to say after reading Remembrance, The Proposal was a bit of a disappointed.  It wasn’t bad.  It was a good novella, but it suffered from the pitfalls that many novellas suffer from.

I.E. it focused on having too much of a novel plot, and became overwhelmed by the size it was given (roughly 100 or so pages-though for some reason it felt a lot shorter).

Honestly, the whole ghost mystery plot wasn’t my favorite in this one.  It seemed like a rehash of book three really.   Except, the ghost wasn’t as homicidal as the Angels and Jesse was alive.  Oh, and Suze wasn’t as stupid as she was in that book.  But…

The relationship between Suze and Jesse, works as it always does but they really took a back seat to the ghost mystery and that’s a shame because the ghost mystery really wasn’t my favorite-again, revamp of book three.

Did that mean I hated this novella, hell no.

It gave me another must need Mediator fix and I probably would’ve enjoyed it better if I hadn’t already read Remembrance.  But it was definitely flawed.

And I’m not talking about in that four year degree community college with dorms type way.  Okay, really, maybe it’s just the part of the states I lived in but community colleges are usually two year or trade school programs and I only know one community college offering campus housing.   Most of them don’t.  Hence, the word community.

But hey, I’m not going to be picky because I’m just going to remain calm and Mediator it on.

Because that’s what Suze would do if she wasn’t throwing a punch at a ghostie baddie.

Surprisingly in this book, Suze is a lot more weaker than she was in Remembrance.  Again, this shouldn’t bother me as much as it did, but I just had a hard time seeing Suze in the predicament she got herself in.

But whatever.

God, I am really bitching in this review, aren’t I?

Blame bar prep.

I will say though this was a nice and very time etiquette break.  As much as I’m complaining there were a few nice scenes between Jesse and Suze and I really enjoyed the story behind the ring it’s just….

I feel this novella’s story was greater than it’s page count and it suffered for it.

Overall Rating: A generous B+.  I really should give it a lower rating, but come on, it is The Mediator.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Recently Added to the TBR Pile

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

This topic is not a favorite of mine because to be honest, I’m never sure if I should do books I just added in my physical pile or books on my GoodReads list.  This time I’m doing physical pile because these are books that feasibly I will read at some point because I own them.   Unlike my GoodReads list, which has a lot of junk on it (sad to say).


When I get done with the Bar I plan on reviewing a lot of different stuff and cookbooks are one them.  I’m sort of a picky eater and since I can’t eat wheat, it makes eating things even more difficult.  I have visited this blog a few times and the recipes are fairly easy and look gourmet-y when they’re really made at someone who has my cooking skills (zero).   Of course I have to adjust all the not so gluten free friendly recipies but so is life.


I’m nervous about this one.  My sister is a professional classical musician, so if they fucked up that aspect I will be cussing and spewing.   It’s one of the reasons I haven’t watched Mozart in the Jungle, besides the fact that I sort of know some of the people that some of the characters were based off of IRL.


Got a galley of this.  Must say I am intrigued.  I probably would’ve read it already, but you know Bar and when you’re studying eleven hours a day you really don’t have much time to do anything except lament about how Elle Woods got it done in a montage and you have to suffer with a hideous head injury and all (long story short, I whacked my head pretty good last week and now have an unsightly bandage on it so I’m crabby and injured-joy).


You’re probably saying that everyone and their mother has this on their list.  Yeah, well, me too.



This book looks like it was made for me.  Politics.  Kidnapping.  I am so there after this stupid test.


A random quick buy.   I always like contemporaries with travel.


Pretty cover.


So excited about this one.  The premises sort of looks like it’s a reverse on the Chosen One cliche.  Fun times.


Because I have to get my historical romance fix.


This one comes on the Kindle the day I publish this post.   Honestly, I don’t know when I’ll get to it.  I’m highly tempted but Louisiana Civil Procedure is a terrible beast.  So, I think I might have to wait till after the test to enjoy this beauty.

Get On With It: The Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev

Mili Rathod hasn’t seen her husband in twenty years—not since she was promised to him at the age of four. Yet marriage has allowed Mili a freedom rarely given to girls in her village. Her grandmother has even allowed her to leave India and study in America for eight months, all to make her the perfect modern wife. Which is exactly what Mili longs to be—if her husband would just come and claim her.

Bollywood’s favorite director, Samir Rathod, has come to Michigan to secure a divorce for his older brother. Persuading a naïve village girl to sign the papers should be easy for someone with Samir’s tabloid-famous charm. But Mili is neither a fool nor a gold-digger. Open-hearted yet complex, she’s trying to reconcile her independence with cherished traditions. And before he can stop himself, Samir is immersed in Mili’s life—cooking her dal and rotis, escorting her to her roommate’s elaborate Indian wedding, and wondering where his loyalties and happiness lie.

Heartfelt, witty, and thoroughly engaging, Sonali Dev’s debut is both a vivid exploration of modern India and a deeply honest story of love, in all its diversity.

Source: GoodReads
I had a weird relationship with A Bollywood Affair a part of me did like it better than Dev’s other book, The Bollywood Bride, but on the other hand it suffered just as much if not more than her latest book.
I want to start the review positively so I will state that I did enjoy the premises.  It explored child marriages, something you don’t see in Western culture and I liked looking at all the various facets of such an issue.  I also liked that the book focused on Eastern not Western culture and that there was no culture appropriation in the book, that’s something very hard to find in books these days.  Especially romances.  And I did feel like I learned a bit, if only on the surface about India, Bollywood, etc.
However, while this book had a wonderful premises it failed on a lot of other avenues.
The pacing was just wretched.  Pacing is a difficult thing to do, especially in romances but here I was just shaking my head.   A lot of time is spent on buildup but the resolution is minuscule at best.   For such large problems, they are resolved fairly quickly.
Also, the character development seemed to be blah to me.  I liked the two leads,but I didn’t feel like either of them quite reached their potential.  In fact, Samir still came off as a jerk to me at the end of this book.
It was easy to look over those flaws though because of that premises.  At least when I was reading it, but after I finished I sort of felt deflated.
I think I would still recommend this one, but with some major reservations.  I liked the fact that it took a look at a culture that is often diminished in Western culture and I liked the set up, but there was much needed work here.
Overall Rating: A C+ likable, but just not that good.

Top Ten Tuesday: 2015 Leftovers

Jan 12th Publication

My 2015 TBR list is larger than ten books but here are the ten books I hope to wipe off my list first.  As always, Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.


This one has been sitting on my shelves for months.  I like this series and want to get to it, but I just haven’t really been in the mood for it-since I was sort of spoiled about the big choice.  Not that I mind the choice, but this is one time where I’m sort of meh-ed by the spoiler.


This one looks really intriguing to me.  But somehow I just didn’t pick it up last year.  I think it was released in May and there were a lot of releases I had ordered in May and it probably just ended up sitting in the pile because of that and the move.


This concept really intrigues me and I really need to get on this one.  It’s always in my short stack, but somehow it keeps getting preempted.


I love Beauty and the Beast retellings and I really like the premises, I think the fact that it’s middle grade has sort of scared me away.  I need to get on it though.  I’m saying that a lot in this post.  Will try to refrain to prevent redundancy.


Seems a bit of a fractured fairytale.


I was really looking forward to this book, but somehow I just sort of forgot about it when it arrived in my mailbox and it has just been collecting dust like most of the books on this list.  Anyway, World War 1 fascinates me because I don’t know as much as I’d like about it.


I gave Switching Snow an average rating, but it sort of grew on me after I finished reading it and I’m excited to read what Lewis has to offer next.  Fairytale sci-fi mash ups are always exciting for me to read.


There’s quite a story behind why I didn’t get to this one.  A lot of it dealt with it being lost in the mail for practically a month because the mailman was too lazy to carry the package to my door and sent the package back to Texas.  But whatever, it’s here and I should read it since it contains orphan queens and all that good stuff.


This was one of the contemporaries I was most excited for last summer.  Yet, I never got to it.  Will need to remedy taht and hopefully shortly.


Okay, there’s a part of me that wants to read it.  But the premises just sort of borderlines on creepy and horrific.

A Review With a Snazzy Chart: Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick

A teen is forced to make a fresh start after witnessing a violent crime—but love and danger find her anyway in this novel from Becca Fitzpatrick, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga.

Stella Gordon is not her real name. Thunder Basin, Nebraska, is not her real home. This is not her real life.

After witnessing a lethal crime, Stella Gordon is sent to the middle of nowhere for her own safety before she testifies against the man she saw kill her mother’s drug dealer.

But Stella was about to start her senior year with the boyfriend she loves. How can she be pulled away from the only life she knows and expected to start a new one in Nebraska? Stella chafes at her protection and is rude to everyone she meets. She’s not planning on staying long, so why be friendly? Then she meets Chet Falconer and it becomes harder to keep her guard up, even as her guilt about having to lie to him grows.

As Stella starts to feel safer, the real threat to her life increases—because her enemies are actually closer than she thinks…

Source: GoodReads

The dog has reviewed a truly bad book in the past week, so I am not forcing her to review this subpar excrement but I wish she was.

It blew.

My first DNF of 2016.  It might be in part that I’m studying for another bar exam-yes, becuase when you move states your license doesn’t transfer right over.  They force you to take another soul eating exam.  And the God forsaken state I moved too doesn’t even have the multi-state portion so I can’t use all the mad skills I acquired the last test for them (though to be honest, they weren’t really that great).

Anyway, you’ll probably notice a decrease in posts since I am mostly studying these days save for the time where I sleep and decide to have an hour or two of Me Time that doesn’t involve showering or eating.

You’ll be surprise how very little time that is.

It will only get worse too before the test is over.

Yeah…you probably don’t want me to post that much.

Anyway, talking about Dangerous Lies is sort of difficult.  To be frank, I should’ve known better.  Fitzpatrick and I don’t mix.  And it’s just not that crappy “let’s be nice” chat she had back in the day.  It’s the fact that her stuff has this weird misogynic undertones to it.

Yet, somehow I made it through all of the Hush Hush series.

Don’t ask me how.

It was a very painful experience filled with alcohol.

I decide though to spare my liver and skip Black Ice, but Dangerous Lies interested me if anything because it involved witness protection.

And witness protection set books are something I’m always interested in (I blame that USA show In Plain Sight-which was fairly decent for it’s first few season.

If you think about it the subject matter makes perfect sense for a YA book, since it allows a character to really reinvent themselves which is the premises for a lot of those makeover YA books.

Of course, having characters in Witness Protection can make things ore interesting especially if it involves a bad ass marshall who the teen has an inappropriate crush on.

That doesn’t happen here people.

Instead, we get a whiny teen who gets sent to live with this lad who basically could be Kim Davis’s long lost sister in Nebraska where she continues being sanctimonious and self righteous despite you know…not having access to her trust fund.

Oh, wait, we’re told she doesn’t have a trust fund.  But her mother is getting a nice chunk of child support, so call her Your Poor Little Miss Upper Middle Class.

Estella was what drove me not finish the book.  Well, her and her caretaker who annoyed me.

I kept making a chart which one annoyed me more.  In the end, Stella (or Estella) did.  But it was really a close call (she toppled Carmela–aka Kim Davis- in the Whiny Bitch Moment Category (don’t worry Carmella, I still hate you).

Estella vs Carmela: A Highly Scientific Chart of Annoyingness

Name Imposing Moment on A-Holeness Self Righteous Fuckery Whiny Bitch Moment Dick Move
Stella (Estella) Making ass-sumptions about everyone. Or anytime she breaths. Mocking a pregnant girl because…she’s pregnant and making assumptions about her sex life. Whining about how she doesn’t want a job—does anyone really? Basically stealing Carmela’s car and acting like it was no biggie because she was “borrowing” it.  Try telling that to the judge, bitch.
Carmina Forcing Stella to go to church with her. Um, hello, she might not worship your God Carmela’s reaction to wearing shorts: You’re wearing cut offs.   How dare you wear cut offs, you slut. Not really whiney so much as sanctimonious. Though she does lose it a bit over the car. I give her a pass over that one though. I’d be pissed too. Telling Stella to get a job after she wakes up traveling half way cross country and forcing to shed her foul identity. True Stella needs to learn responsibility because she is a privileged brat, but she just arrived in Nebraska at least allow her to unpack.


Highly scientific if I do say so myself.

Really though, there is nothing special about Dangerous Lies.  At best it was pretty cliche, I could already see what was coming without finishing the book and I didn’t care to finish it.  I could already see that we were going to get the quasi evil city slicker goes to rural America and learns some true life lessons.  That Kim Davis’s long lost sister and her church going ways has a heart of gold and is going to cause STEEELLA (sorry, I had to put in one reference to Streetcar Called Desire in here, I mean you just have to with that name) to lose that chip on her shoulder and warm up to the country boy next store.  Who is turn is really going to change Stella, but of course she’ll face danger and he’ll rescue her and at the end of the day she’ll stay in nowheresville like they always do in Lifetime movies.

Oh wait, not Lifetime movie, it’s a Fitzpatrick book.

But same difference.

In the end, I couldn’t finish it to see if I’m right.  Stella was insufferable and I hated the community she was in-even though I’m pretty sure it was supposed to have the desired effect on her that I described before.   Maybe it’s because I currently reside in a small town and can only say it sucks.

I am not learning lessons for the yokels, or want to for that matter.  It’s not an idyllic place because not being able to get a Starbucks sucks.  Not being able to buy decent produce sucks.  And yes, I know this book is fiction and that it’s just a plot point but….grrrr…does it have to be cliche?

Overall Rating: A DNF.  Fitzpatrick and I don’t mix, don’t think we ever will.  Some might like it though, but there was nothing from the hundred some odd pages I read that really made it that exciting or interesting of a read.

Blimey, That’s Foul: The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright

Family can be complicated. Especially when skeletons from the past pop up unexpectedly. For American Evie Gray, finding out her deceased mother had a secret identity, and not one of the caped crusader variety, was quite the surprise. Evie’s mom had a secret life before she was even born, one that involved tiaras.

In this modern day fairytale, Evie is on a path to figure out who her mom really was, while discovering for herself what the future will hold. Charged with her late mother’s letters, Evie embarks on a quest into her past. The first item on the list is to attend Oxford, her mom’s alma mater. There, Evie stumbles upon a real life prince charming, Edmund Stuart the second Prince of England, who is all too happy to be the counterpart to her damsel in distress.

Evie can’t resist her growing attraction to Edmund as they spend more time together trying to unravel the clues her mother left behind. But, when doubts arise as to whether or not Edmund could ever be with an untitled American, what really ends up unraveling is Evie’s heart. When Evie uncovers all the facts about her mom’s former life, she realizes her mom’s past can open doors she never dreamed possible, doors that can help her be with Edmund. But, with everything now unveiled, Evie starts to crack under the pressure of new family responsibilities and the realization that her perfect prince may want her for all the wrong reasons.

Source: GoodReads

Warning: To all anglophiles ignore the brilliant looking cover.  And carry on and watch something on Acorn (might I recommend Doc Martin).   Or if you like British “royalty” stories just watch What a Girl Wants.  And now I turn the blogging over to my dearest sweetest coblogger, Patricia Cake Beagle.

A new year and a new book for me to review.

How was your Christmas?

Mine sucked all I got were a lot of Christmas bows tied around my neck while the yappy Chihuahas and terriers got a Bark Box subscription.

Patty Bows

They suck.

Like this book.

I still don’t get why I have to review the sucky books.  I should be reviewing something fun like that Lucy the Beagle series-though it should’ve been called Patty the Beagle because that would’ve been a lot more interesting.  I mean, I know my life isn’t as interesting as certain Beagle Youtube starrs (come on, MJ, get me a ball pit already you know it would be spectacular), but I deserve better than this book.

It is a travesty to my Beagley English heritage.

The premises looks exciting.  I mean, it’s something I can relate too.  Finding out that you have this wonderfully spectacular hidden legacy that is so me.

And yeah, it hasn’t technically been revealed that I’m related to Uno or Ms. P but it’s bond to happen one day.  Much like little Miss Evie found out she’s related to a duchess.

Note, my name used to be Duchess  before MJ’s mom changed it.  She said it made me sound like I worked at a brothel in one of the Catherine Coulter books that she used to read in the old west.

As if.

You’re probably seeing a pattern of digression in this review, it’s because this book was so boring and just poorly written. Basically it can be summed up like this: Evie falls in love with a Prince Harry wannabe-who’s hair in blonde and lacks personality.  And, oh yeah, she might be related to British royalty.

The thought that she might be closely related to Eddie never pops in her mind.  Obviously, someone needs to get their AKC papers-or would it be UKC since she’s in the UK in this book-and have them checked before they do any breeding.

Again, digressing.

The point is this is a book that focuses on how the girl gets the guy, even though Edmund slobbers over her for most of the book and has a personality like a stoned Chow Chow.

Seriously, he’s not that big of a catch.  Not like my current crush who is king of his dog park.  And has his very own ball pit.

I bet Eddie doesn’t have his own ball pit.

To be fair, Evie, doesn’t have much of a personality either.  For a character that is supposedly smart enough to get into Oxford-as a transfer undergrad for that matter-she should be a walking brain.  But instead, she acts like one of those girls on I want to Marry Harry.

So stupid.

Can I have a Milkbone and go back to sleep now?

Apparently not.   This reviewed has been deemed “insufficient” by my ingrate of an owner.  I am supposed to talk about how arcane the book is when it comes to women and womens’ relationships with each other.  Because apparently, the main character likes to insult other women about their boobs.  Having boobs=evil.  Which doesn’t make sense to me because doesn’t the main character have boobs?

I am so confused now.

I am also to discuss the lack of research about Britain their education system, and how the aristocracy works.  But whatever.

Long story short, don’t read this if you actually care about this sort of stuff.  It is a nice decorative book though, so that has to count for something.  Right?

Overall Rating: A big fat F it is so bad the Beagle had to review it.



The Only Twilight Worth Acknowledging: Twilight by Meg Cabot

This time it’s life or death.

Suze has gotten used to ghosts. She’s a mediator, after all, and communicating with the dead is all in a day’s work. So she certainly never expected to fall in love with one: Jesse, a nineteenth-century hottie. But when she discovers that she has the power to determine who becomes a ghost in the first place, Suze begins to freak. It means she can alter the course of history… and prevent Jesse’s murder, keeping him from ever becoming a ghost – and from ever meeting Suze.

Will Jesse choose to live without her, or die to love her?

Source: GoodReads

What I Remember: 

I tore into this book on a Mediator binge read back when this book was released.  I think it might’ve been the first time I’ve binge read a series.  I rapidly tore through the pages wanting to read what was next.  And the result it made me laugh, cry, and just have so many feels.

Upon Reread:

I am still getting the feels from this book roughly eleven years after the last one was published-God, I don’t like thinking that this book is that old.

It still holds up pretty well though.  In some ways, it’s holds up better than a lot of Cabot’s older titles.  I think it’s because rather than relying on a lot of pop culture references and jokes that other Cabot titles rely on, it really focuses on the story.

And the story is really aw-ing, although there are some plot holes that I noticed on reread.  But I try not to think of them.  Because we all know time travel is a very strange thing thanks to the Doctor, and it’s better to NOT try to make it logical.

Twilight ties up the series very nicely.  So nicely in fact, that when I heard there was going to be a new book, I was a little nervous.

Because Twilight ends just perfectly.

That last chapter, every single time I read it I just tear up.  It makes some one a little weary seeing how things are going to progress with these characters.

Especially since there was a point in time where Meg said that no one would want her to write a sequel, since bad things would happen to the characters.

Who knows though?

All I know is that Twilight is pretty much the perfect book.  While I wouldn’t say it’s as action packed as Darkest Hour, there is a lot of action in it AND more importantly it’s a very emotional book.  Things are nicely tied up in this installment and can’t help but make you cry with tears of happiness.

Overall Rating: An A+

Slow to Start: Unveiled by Courtney Milan

Ash Turner has waited a lifetime to seek revenge on the man who ruined his family – and now the time for justice has arrived. At Parford Manor, he intends to take his place as the rightful heir to the dukedom and settle an old score with the current duke once and for all. But instead he finds himself drawn to a tempting beauty who has the power to undo all his dreams of vengeance….

Lady Margaret knows she should despise the man who’s stolen her fortune and her father’s legacy – the man she’s been ordered to spy on in the guise of a nurse. Yet the more she learns about the new duke, the less she can resist his smoldering appeal. Soon Margaret and Ash find themselves torn between old loyalties – and the tantalizing promise of passion….

Source: GoodReads

I have mixed feelings about this book, it started out really slow but once I got into it I really couldn’t put it down.  It had a lot of good things going for it.

After this book, there’s no doubt that I’m a fan of Courtney Milan’s historical romances.  She manages to side step many of my pet peeves when it comes to romance novels-i.e there are no jerky heroes and the main characters are realistic women.  However, there were a few times I was like “come on”.

Grant it, that might be a common reaction to the genre.  A lot of the scenarios you see in historical romances are unrealistic but that’s just part of  the genre.

Unveiled has a lot of tropes that I am a fan of: secret heirs, hidden identities, horrible families (yes, I like the horrible family trope), brotherly love, and  dark deep secrets.  The thing is, often these tropes can seem soap-ish, BUT Milan always makes it appear relatively realistic.  The characters are always dead on in how they should be acting emotionally.  And while there is romance and fluff, underlying issues of the period are highlighted too.

Unveiled touches on several issues such as mental illness, illiteracy, inheritance rights, and the treatment of the classes.  It’s not done in a heavy handed lesson of the week type of way either.  The issues flow within the story.  The lack of care for the mentally ill effects several of the characters motivations.  Class issues effect the way characters understand and interact with each other.

This all in all, is a good book.  But damn, it was slow in the beginning.

While I was able to read this novel rather quickly-a good chunk on an hour long plane ride and one night at home-it took awhile for me to really get into it.  There’s a lot of set up that as to take place for the novel to get going, and while it worked in a lot of ways.  I didn’t totally buy Margret and Ash as a couple.  I think because in a way the attraction seemed almost too fast-at least when it came to one party.

Not that I ended up really minding it at the end.  These two had some cute scenes together, but the initial attraction seemed a little forced.

Overall, Unveiled is a cute read with a few issues.  However, not the typical issues you would see in a historical romance.

Overall Rating: A solid B.  Maybe borderline B+.