Thursday, November 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday Review: Boundless by Cynthia Hand

Some of you may know that I originally had my own blog, Beauty but a Funny Girl, prior to joining Bookish (now Bookish Lifestyle). I was thinking the other day about all those reviews I left behind when I transferred and thought they should get some love too - no matter how badly written and newbie they come off! So I present to you: Throwback Thursday Reviews! Every once in a while I'll post an old review from Beauty but a Funny Girl, unedited in terms of content, with the exception of any spelling or grammatical mistakes. It's definitely going to be fun and interesting to see how my tastes and writing style have changed over the years!

Unearthly #3
Young Adult, Romance, Angels, Paranormal
Publication.Date:January 22, 2013
Pages:438 (ARC)
Published By:  HarperTeen
Website:Cynthia Hand 

Radiant on Goodreads
My review copy:

Where to get:

The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.

Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California - and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.

As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfill her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.

In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.


Originally posted May 18, 2013 on Beauty but a Funny Girl

t's all over now. That's it. No mas. The end. But it was a good ending and I can't complain about that.

I have been putting off this book for quite sometime. Not because I didn't want to read it, but because I didn't want it to end. Now that I've read it, I'm content. Hand handled (ha!) things very well and I think she might have just about pleased everybody. Well, I'm sure there are some Team Tucker or Team Christian (I say both because I'm not giving away who are dear Clara ends up with), who are not happy, but I see the reasoning and it's perfect. That's all I'll say about that aspect of our triangle.

One of the aspects I really liked was that Clara was on her own for part of the novel. Angela was doing her own issues, Christian was mad at her, Tucker was mad at her, and Jeffery was Jeffery. I don't mean I liked this in a bad way, but it was nice to see her stand on her own two feet and become somebody she could rely on.

Her dad also played a bigger part in this novel as well. He trained Clara and Christian on how to fight using a glory sword, which I thought was pretty cool. I kind of want to learn to sword fight, too. In fact, sometimes I wish we still lived in an age where people walked around carrying swords. Now that I think about it, never mind. Moving on... Of course, when her dad said she had some trials ahead of her and he wouldn't be able to interfere, I knew this happy story was not going to stay happy for very long. And it did not.

Surprisingly, well not so much actually, Samjeeza wasn't our big bad. What Clara gave to him at the end of book two was perhaps one of the smartest moves she has ever made. That being said, I liked the big bad and his minions. Surprises at every turn, folks!

And one of my favorite moments was near the near the end of the book when Clara is at her "thinking spot" and she gets a surprise visitor. So awesome.

I don't know what I can say about the last very chapters of this book except that I cried, I cheered, I frowned, I grinned, I ran through so many different and conflicting emotions that I'm pretty sure my boyfriend was close to having me committed.

I can't say enough good things about this book. It was the perfect ending and the epilogue wasn't cheese - unlike some series endings I can think of. If you did what I did - put of the inevitable - stop, pick up Boundless and just read it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

ARC Book Review: Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas

Young Adult, Retelling, Fairytale, Romance
Publication.Date:September 15, 2015
Pages:464 (ARC eBook)
Published By:  HarperTeen
Website:Sarah Prineas 

Ash & Bramble on Goodreads
My review copy:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Where to get:

When the glass slipper just doesn’t fit…

The tale of Cinderella has been retold countless times. But what you know is not the true story.

Pin has no recollection of who she is or how she got to the Godmother’s fortress. She only knows that she is a Seamstress, working day in and out to make ball gowns fit for fairy tales. But she longs to forsake her backbreaking servitude and dares to escape with the brave young Shoemaker.

Pin isn’t free for long before she’s captured again and forced to live the new life the Godmother chooses for her—a fairy tale story, complete with a charming prince—instead of finding her own happily ever after.

Sarah Prineas’s bold fairy tale retelling is a dark and captivating world where swords are more fitting than slippers, young shoemakers are just as striking as princes, and a heroine is more than ready to rescue herself before the clock strikes midnight.


Inspired by Nikki @, instead of reviewing a book I have chosen to DNF, I will do something more along the lines of a discussion. I love how Nikki approached this rare occurrence with a Q&A rather than a full out review and, with her blessing, adopted it as my go-to method for DNFs.

So, you added Ash & Bramble to your DNF pile. How much of it did you read - did you really give it a chance? 

Always, always. I read 25% (essentially 116 pages) of Ash & Bramble. I normally tap out around 50 pages, but since this one was rather long I felt I needed to give it a bit more time to pull me in.

What made you pick up it in the first place? Were you looking forward to it or did it just pop up by chance?
I'm a huge sucker for a good retelling, especially a Cinderella one. I've heard good things about it so I was excited to try this one out too! Plus, that cover is pretty (even if the model's proportions seem a bit off) and I'm always drawn in by a well made cover.

What ultimately made you stop reading after 25%? Was there anything you liked about the book?

I just wasn't really drawn into the story. I felt like the first part dragged (when Pin and Shoe are in Godmother's factory) and I was hoping once she got into the Cinderella portion of the story I'd be more into it. Unfortunately, I wasn't.

However, I really enjoy Sarah's writing and story telling. She does weave a rather interesting story with the Godmother and how fairytales are made / given their Happily Ever After. I think she has a really interesting spin on fairytales and not just on Cinderella.

Would you still recommend it to anyone?

I always recommend books I don't finish. Just because it's not my thing, doesn't mean it can't be yours. I see the appeal and I think a lot of readers out there will really enjoy Ash & Bramble.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Book Review: Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen

Scarlet #2
Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Retelling, Romance
Publication.Date:February 11, 2014
Pages:320 (paperback)
Published By:  Bloomsbury Childrens Books
Website:A.C. Gaughen

Lady Thief on Goodreads
My review copy:
Personal Library

Where to get:

Scarlet’s true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet’s love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood. But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet’s past even she isn’t yet aware of. Forced to participate at court alongside her ruthless husband, Scarlet must bide her time and act the part of a noblewoman—a worthy sacrifice if it means helping Robin’s cause and a chance at a future with the man she loves. With a fresh line of intrigue and as much passion as ever, the next chapter in Scarlet’s tale will have readers talking once again.


Much stepped forward, looking into my eyes and I looked down. "Scar," he said soft. "Scar," he repeated, until I looked at him. "You learned to use your hands to fight for you. And you learned to trust the band to be at your back. You may have even learned to let Rob save you. But you don't need a damn one of those things. Your power, your great gift, is that you never give up. When something fails you make a new plan, and another, and another. You never accept defeat. You never give up."
"I won't perform for you," I said, pushing the words careful through my teeth. God knows they weren't natural to on my mouth. "Perhaps you think me a fool, and who could blame you, as I sit here and listen to you call me a wild animal, a peasant. But I am wise enough to know when my words will only be met with derision and scorn." I looked to the side a small bit. "So no, my prince, I would prefer not to regale you."

My husband's hand settled on mine, his fingers clawing and cutting. I didn't much dare to look at him, to breathe.
A big body stepped in front of my path, and a warm arm came around my shoulders. "Need a hand?" Much asked, keeping me behind the shield of John's back.

He raised his stump with a grin and I frowned. "Terrible humor, Much."

He shrugged, his grin still fixed. "Nobody thinks I'm very funny."

While dealing with repercussions of Scarlet, namely Rob's night terrors, the band learns that Gisbourne is on his way back to Nottingham, along with Prince John and the royal court. Gisbourne, being the cunningly evil man that he his, offers Scarlet a deal. If she stays with him while Prince John is in Nottingham and act the part of a lady and dutiful wife he will give her an annulment. After much consideration, Scarlet accepts his terms and sets in motion events that will lead to the revelation of a secret not even she could have prepared herself for.

We see a lot of our favorite characters that we met in Scarlet, along with a few new additions: Prince John, Princess Isabel, and (my favorite) Queen Eleanor. Yes, Eleanor of Aquitaine. I love what A.C. has done with these real life characters. She's turns Eleanor, an amazing woman of history, into an integral figure in Scarlet's life and brings her alive.

Scarlet is still a strong figure, but what I also like about her is she comes off genuine. She breaks down throughout the novel, whether through fear or lack of hope, but pulls herself together to do what is right both for her and the people of Nottingham. She isn't a perpetually strong and holier than thou character, she has moments of weakness but also has moments of tremendous strength, all of which adds up to a rather relateable individual.

And the romance! Ugh, I thought Scarlet gave me feels, but this . . . you guys. If you didn't ship Rob and Scarlet before you'll definitely join that bandwagon while reading Lady Thief. Such. Feels. These two genuinely care about one another and they're fighting for a chance to be truly happy. I cannot tell you how much I am rooting for these two crazy kids to find that happily ever after. Just one more book to go, kids!

The language can be a bit tricky for some. Scarlet doesn't speak eloquently, but it's quick and easy to get used to. Within a chapter or two, you won't even realize the grammar mistakes and the words will just flow like normal.

A.C. likes to kick us where it hurts - but it hurts so good! - so the ending is naturally a cliffhanger. And it's a biggie. A fact I both love and hate her for. Luckily, the paperback had a sneak peek of Lion Heart and I got a nice little fix before the long-long wait of its paperback release and I've been sated. For the time being anyway. (You guys know how nuts I am about reading a series in the same format regardless of release date and cliffhangers.)

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