February 22, 2017

Mini-reviews: The Wish Granter, Seven Days of You + The Song Rising

pub 2/14/17 by Balzer + Bray
Young Adult - Fantasy
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The Wish Granter is C.J. Redwine's spin on Rumpelstiltskin and just like its predecessor, The Shadow Queen, she does an amazing job of bringing this fairytale to life and making it her own. Ari (the heroine) and Thad Glavan are the bastard twins of Súndraille’s king and running for their lives when their mother is murdered. To protect them, Thad makes a deal with the Wish Granter, Alistair Teague, but it costs him his soul and the crown. The royal family suddenly dies, Thad is the king and for the first time in Ari's life, she has to act like a proper princess. But she knows something is up. When she realizes what Thad has done, she enlists the help of weapons master, Sebastian Vaughn, and the story is pretty much up and running from that point on. It's a seriously fast read that had me engaged every step of the way. Ari is this mix of stubbornness, determination and snark (she made me laugh!). Once she puts her mind to it, there's no stopping her, which was my second favorite thing about her. The first? The bond between her and her brother. Even though there's romance (totally shipped it!) and friendship, at its core the story is about a brother and sister willing to risk everything to take care of each other.

Do I recommend? Yes! I'm a big fan of this series and I'm looking forward to seeing what other fairytales Redwine decides to tackle.

pub 3/7/17 by Little, Brown Books
for Young Readers
YA - Contemporary
Received ARC from pub
In seven days, Sophia will be moving back to the States and she isn't ready to leave. She has a life that's filled with her crazy best friend Mika, David who she's crushed on for years and Tokyo itself. This last week is then made even harder when Jamie, the ex-friend she refuses to talk about, moves back to Japan and back into her circle. His arrival and Sophia's leaving basically blows up every relationship in the book as they miscommunicate and love triangles ensue. Now, I don't mind angst or teenage drama (I love YA after all!) but there's a lot going on for seven days. I felt like there was this expectation to feel for the history of all the characters without truly getting to know them, which made it hard to care about the friendships and romances in question. I wanted to care but it was difficult to connect to anyone. Same for the romance. It had sweet moments but it moved too quickly and too superficially for me to truly root for them. I have to say the best thing about Seven Days of You is undoubtedly its setting. I don't know if the author has been to Tokyo personally or just did a lot of research, but I loved her descriptions of the city, their food, night life (karaoke!) and more. If nothing else, this book made me want to book a trip ASAP.

Do I recommend? It's cute and if you love Tokyo, this book often felt like a love letter to the city but it fell short of my expectations.

pub 3/7/17 by Bloomsbury
Adult - Fantasy
Received ARC from pub
What can I say about The Song Rising that isn't a spoiler? Well, Paige is awesome, which shouldn't be a surprise. She's now the Underqueen  and basically kicked ass on every freaking page. I wasn't sure how she would take to this new role but she totally owned it. She made hard decisions for the good of everyone and I really loved seeing her rise up to be a strong leader, even when facing opposition. That said, she's got a lot to deal with. She's continuing to work with the Ranthen and Warden but the biggest hurdle she faces is the introduction of Senshield, tech that puts all the voyants in danger. It's up to her to stop it and the book is one fight after another as Paige struggles to save them all. And by her side are those loyal to her, including Warden. More than any of the other previous books (IMHO) is that we get to see the relationships between these characters. Paige and Nick's friendship was so moving to me this time around, given their history and loyalty to one another. Likewise, Paige and Warden continued to give me the feels and break my heart all at once. But given how the book ends (amazingly FYI), I'm even more excited for how this world is going to expand in Book 4.

Do I recommend? Yes! I thought the pacing of this book was solid and I loved diving back into this world.

February 20, 2017

Table for Two #2

Alexa of Alexa Loves Books and I have teamed up to bring you a collaboration that involves two of our favorite things - New York City and food. We're proud to introduce Table for Two, where the two of us will be highlighting restaurants and dessert spots in New York City. You'll be hearing our personal opinions on the place and the food, as well as where you can go to try it out for yourself.
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For this month's Table for Two, I'll be chatting about Sweet Churros and Alexa is featuring Izakaya Mew.


It was so much fun exploring K-town that night! Both places we went to were spots that are easily missed unless you're purposely seeking them out and I'm glad we did. Sweet Churros (also known as Coffeed) is part of a food court filled with desserts (my kind of place). The coffee and tea selection is extensive. They have all the usuals plus marshmallow lattes (which I got and loved), tiramisu lattes (Alexa's choice) and plenty more. Then the churros are made fresh right there and then. They have a sample box which is great if you want to try a little bit of everything but we knew exactly what we wanted. I got the matcha green tea churro and Alexa got the strawberry one. It was absolutely delicious and they're best eaten while warm with a cup of coffee. It was a bit of a long wait that night but as soon as we got our order, we sat down and devoured it all. It's definitely a place I want to revisit again (and again!). 

You can find Sweet Churros on 32nd St, between 5th and 6th Ave., Food Gallery 32. Let us know if you check it out!