Predictable Fluff: All That Glitters by Holly Smale

 

My name is Harriet Manners, and I am still a geek.

Harriet Manners has high hopes for the new school year: she’s a Sixth Former now, and things are going to be different. But with Nat busy falling in love at college and Toby preoccupied with a Top Secret project, Harriet soon discovers that’s not necessarily a good thing…

Source: GoodReads

If we’re going to be honest about it, this series has gotten a bit pedantic (which seems to be the word of the week, FYI).  The good thing is if  you’re reading it with its publication schedule you’re not going to notice as much the repetition.  The bad thing is if you’re an American who has gotten tired of waiting for these things to be released in the states and decided to just buy them at the Book Depository you’re not exactly going to binge on them as I was planning…

Yeah.

The good thing though, is if the real world is being particularly hellish as it has since Biff stole Doc and Marty’s machine and somehow stole the presidency from HRC Donald Trump has become president (that sounds so wrong) this series can at least buy you some hours of peace at least another Executive Order has been dropped.

Sorry for all the current events references, it has really been hard to read or really  lately.  And really do anything else especially when all this shit has been thrown in your face on a 24/7 basis.  If you follow my Twitter feed you know I’ve been very vocal in my disdain.

Anyway, back to the book.  Its the predictable fluff that is needed right now in this world and I am grateful for that.  Honestly, I will probably be reading a lot of fluff in the coming months.  It’s needed and wanted and this book does the trick.  It’s easy to look past the faults, but they are there and it’s pretty obvious to anyone who has read this series what they are.

Harriet is a stagnent character.  She doesn’t grow, and at this point I don’t expect her too.  Most of the books center around ridiculous misunderstandings that anyone with adequate emotional skills would be able to pick up on but this is Harriet we’re talking about.  So…yeah, don’t expect her to pick up on social cues.

And to be honest, her friends are sort of shitty in this one.   I get that they want to help her, but come on.  They should know that she wasn’t going to exactly take their behavior the way she wanted them too.  And really, at this point…ugh.

The more I think about it, the more I want to pull my hair out.  But again, I don’t hate this book.  It’s sort of like the Princess Diaries series.  Sure, there was a slump in the middle of that series where all I wanted to do was deck Mia, but it didn’t make me hate or stop reading the series and I sort of hope that in the next two full installments there’s some growth with Harriet-again, don’t expect there to be but I still can’t help there is some.

As far as the romance department goes, this installment of Geek Girl is ridiculously light on that as well as the modeling stuff.  I did enjoy the modeling antics though.  I think they’re often some of my favorite parts of the book surprisingly.  Even though they are more or less the same-Harriet going to some exotic location and making a fool of herself.

So yeah, there was nothing surprising or really unprecedented about this particular installment of Geek Girl if it was a more serious series, I’d probably would give it a lower rating.  But as it stands, it did its job in getting to me forget about the crap that’s been going on in this world right now.

Overall Rating: A B- it’s flawed but enjoyable.

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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.

 

 

Is it Okay if I call this a Training Book? : Mates, Dates, and Inflatable Bras by Cathy Hopkins

Everything is changing around Lucy Loverling, and a turning point is exactly what she does NOT need. Suddenly she has to make all sorts of decisions including what she wants to be. And it seems that everyone else knows who and what she wants to be except her. Izzie has become friends with the glamorous Nesta, and Lucy isn’t certain she likes a threesome. Nesta and Izzie look sixteen, but Lucy, at fourteen, can still pass for a twelve-year-old.

But then one day Lucy sees the most wonderful boy crossing the street, and things do start to change — in all areas of her life…

Source: GoodReads

I remember gobbling these up when I was younger, so I decided it was time for a revisit.

The result.

Well, it’s not terrible.  Oh, sure I still cringed quite a bit while rereading it.  But there are worst books out there.  I just think I’ve really outgrown this series and instead of being labeled YA it should be middle grade.

Well, maybe ten years ago it was YA.

Let’s face it, the genre has matured a bit in ten years.  Used to you’d never see characters have sexual relationships with each and now..well, it’s more common place.

Dates, Mates, and Inflatable Bras isn’t really the best book.  And it hasn’t held up well over time either.  Though to be fair it was a little bit behind the times when it was first published too, Leo Dicaprio was so late 90’s book.

Whatever though.

The characters, while flat were enjoyable.  Out of all the main characters in the series, I remember enjoying Lucy’s POV the most so maybe that’s what made this one was stomach-able-Nesta I remember way beyond shallow in the series.  I think one of the reasons I liked Lucy so much was she was the most levelheaded of the bunch and out of the cliche characteristics that this bunch had, hers was the most tolerable.

Oh, sure she whines someone and is as boring as heck, but at least she’s likable.

Before I read this book I was reflecting on it, and I remembered I really liked the love interest.  But Tony is a bit of a bore to me now.  And honestly his relationship with Lucy is at best one sided insta love.

Honestly, they probably shouldn’t have gotten together in this installment.  I think a lot of my feelings for Tony were being mixed up with my feelings for Michael Moscovitz (another series that I’m planning on rereading in the next year or so).  Both of them are the brothers of the protagonist’s best friend.  But Tony is no Michael with his Leo DiCaprio face and womanizing ways.

And other than being pretty, I don’t get Lucy’s attraction towards him.

I think they only interacted for about ten pages.

Still, I’ve read worse though.  I think I more or less view this book as a training book (yeah, there was some sort of parallelism to the bra on the cover there and I know it was a really lame joke).  It’s not that great, but it gives you just  a taste of what’s out there so you’re interested in reading better books.

That’s why I’m not going to be too hard on it for its extreme underdevelopment or lack of a plot because I view this as a gateway book.  It’s not supposed to be taken seriously and to be honest I think it’s packaged in a way where people aren’t going to be expecting much.

It’s just in retrospect, it’s really a bit of a bummer.

Overall Rating: C+ while I wouldn’t read it now, I appreciate it for what it was in the past.  Younger readers who want something lighter and clean should give this one a whirl.  Just don’t expect much a decade later.

#DorkOn: Adorkable by Sarra Manning

Welcome to the dorkside. It’s going to be a bumpy ride…

Jeane Smith’s a blogger, a dreamer, a dare-to-dreamer, a jumble sale queen, CEO of her own lifestyle brand and has half a million followers on twitter.

Michael Lee’s a star of school, stage and playing field. A golden boy in a Jack Wills hoodie.

They have nothing in common but a pair of cheating exes. So why can’t they stop snogging?

Source: GoodReads

What I wanted to initially do with this review is just make it a series of fake Tweets.  However, since I don’t think I can limit my thoughts for the entire review to 150 characters or less.  I’ll only be making the headers for this review faux Tweets.  And be using a lot of K-Drama gifs because it’s been awhile and I could so imagine this book being a K-Drama (it just has that vibe for it cute, over the top, and you could imagine all the swoon-ish moments it would obviously  have).

@Adorkable you really know how to bring the fluff.

I rarely ever say that to anyone though.  But book you bought the feels in a way that’s not the typical feels of YA.  I felt that the relationship between Michael and Jeane was surprisingly real.  And cute.

Usually when realism is added to a novel it sort of takes out the fluff.  However, I think the realism of the romance added to it here.  I liked that things weren’t perfect with these characters-both emotionally and physically.  Honestly, their sex scene was one of the more realistic ones I’ve seen written in YA.

And (gasp) both of them aren’t virgins.

And the fact that one of them experimented is not a huge deal it’s just acknowledged.

Can we have more of this in this genre?

Honestly, the relationship between these two characters is sort of the relationship I wanted when I read the synopsis to  such as Isla and the Happily Ever AfterIt really gives a realistic depiction of a relationship.  And it’s not all bunny rabbits and roses.  And this relationship is definitely not instant love.

@Adorkable Michael is adorable.  And I love the fact that he’s not a WASP #diversity.

Michael is mouthwater worthy.  And he’s not a WASP.

Bonus points.

What I really like is that he’s a diverse character and for the most part (with a few exceptions-cough, almond eye description, cough) Manning doesn’t rely on cultural  stereotypes when describing him.

Thank the lord.

One thing I did like about this character is that he’s resound-idly grounded, but he does evolve as the story progresses. I liked how Manning made him look past his own prejudices and accept Jeane for who she really is.

Plus, he has an adorable family which he actually hangs out with (they watch the Muppet Christmas Carroll together willingly)  and that in itself equals more bonus points.

So yes, Michael you have gotten a place on my list of delicious YA male leads.

@Adorkable what the hell is wrong with Jeane #badlifechoices?

Oh, Jean.  There were times I wanted to hug you, but a lot of the time I wanted to slap you.

You closet makes less sense than Lola Nolan and you have a tendency to be a little (okay, a lot) self righteous.

And really, you think you’re going to be able to succeed without a high school diploma.

Successful blog or not, you’re no Grumpy Cat, Jeane.

Also, I had a really difficult time believing over five hundred thousand people would follow you.  Well, maybe to tell you off.  I know I wanted to do.  Maybe.  Once.  No twice.  No ten million times to reading this book.

But here’s the thing, even though I found you to have less social skills than Sheldon Cooper, I felt bad for you.  You were neglected. Had a shitty home life.  Were abused.   Lived in squalor.  But still girl…

Some of your choices?

You are in desperate need of more intervention from those adopted dads of yours.

@Adorkable sometimes you bring me reals and sometimes I’m like whaaat?

As realistic as the relationship between the two characters might’ve felt, and the depictions of the characters.  What I had a hard time believing was Jeane’s blogging success.

Maybe if more foundation was built about how she started built up her blog, I could’ve bought it more.  But as it was, I had to suspend belief.

Just like I had to suspend the whole impromptu New York trip.  While fun and romantic, once again unrealistic.

Additional little details in the novel had me just shaking my head.  But what I find so strange about them is that apart from these details the story does feel oddly realistic.  So, it just gives the story almost a weird vibe.

@Adorkable why can’t I quit you even though you know how to bring the ridiculous.

Overall Rating: This book and I got along pretty well.  While I might’ve had some conflict with Jeanne’s rather strong personality, she grew on me.  And Michael is just adorbs.  Overall rating, a very solid B borderline B+