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Mini-reviews: Ash Princess + Stay Sweet

pub 4/24/18 by Delacorte Books
Young Adult - Fantasy
Received from pub via Edelweiss
Ash Princess had all the makings of a fantasy novel I’d love: a heroine fighting against a world that’s been cruel to her, a motley crew trying to make things right, espionage, magic and romance. But it all felt so.. standard. I can’t say anything in the plot shocked me, which I don’t necessarily need to like a book, but I was unable to fully connect to the characters either. I certainly felt for Theo’s plight. She was only six years old when her mother and Queen of Flame and Fury was killed right in front of her. She was taken in as a ward by the enemy only to be subjected to constant abuse and ridicule as the “Ash Princess”. She decides just to bear it until an event makes her realize she needs to do something. She conveniently finds rebels to align herself with and their plan is have Theo seduce the Kaiser’s warrior son and prince to her side. Unsurprisingly, turns out he’s actually a good man which only confuses her further. It’s an internal struggle as she decides between how she feels and the queen she believes she needs to be in order to save her people. And while I was curious enough to see it through to the end, I don’t feel invested to continue with the series.

Do I recommend? While it wasn’t for me, I can see why other people would enjoy it! But if you read a ton of fantasy like I do, you may feel the same way I did.


pub 4/24/18 by Simon & Schuster
Young Adult - Contemporary
Received from pub via Netgalley
The first line in the description says: “A summer read about first love, feminism, and ice cream.” I mean.. if that isn’t a recipe for Rachel book bait, I don’t know what is. It was my first time reading something from Siobhan Vivian and I’m glad I started here. Small town Sand Lake is renown for its Meade Creamery, an ice cream stand started in the 1940s by Molly Meade. It began as way to comfort herself and fellow girlfriends who were waiting for their boys to come back from the war. But it becomes so much bigger than that and in the present, it’s been run exclusively by the local girls who view it as THE summer job to have. Amelia and Cate are best friends who have been working at Meade for three years and this year, Amelia is “Head Girl”. But on opening day, Molly passed away leaving Amelia unsure of what will happen next. Then Molly’s grandnephew Grady shows up to take over but it’s clear he’s got a lot to learn despite his many ideas. He and Amelia end up working together (and then some) but it’s through this endeavor that see the type of person Amelia is. Loyal, smart, dedicated. She’s flawed but always has the best intentions. I adored her as a heroine and seeing her come out of her shell was my favorite part of the book (and the ice cream!).

Do I recommend? Yes! It’s a very cute book and perfect if you’ll like to pretend it’s summer right now. (I know I do.)

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