November 11, 2020

Friends with ARCs | Chasing Lucky + Rebel Rose

pub 11/10/20 by Simon Pulse 
Young Adult Contemporary
Received e-ARC from pub for review
There's something consistently warm and enjoyable about Jenn Bennett's books even though I'll admit, they don't end up becoming favorites. (Truth be told, my favorite book of hers is still The Anatomical Shape of  a Heart). In Chasing Lucky, Josie Saint-Martin and her single mother are finally returning to their New England hometown to run the family bookstore after years of living like vagabonds. Josie doesn't expect they'll stay long and instead of focuses on her dream of moving to the West Coast to pursue photography. But coming home has this unexpected effect. She reunites with a cousin she hasn't seen in years. She has a run-in with her former childhood best friend and current town bad boy Lucky Karras who acts like he doesn't want anything to do with her. But when Josie impulsively acts out, he's the one to step in and take the blame for it. As she tries to make it up to him, they learn about what each has been up to during the years apart and before you know it, they become friends and then more. I'm a sucker for the childhood friends to lovers trope so I did find their relationship very sweet once they got past the drama. In fact, that's probably my main complaint about the story overall. It was overwrought with too much drama, which ranged from the incident with Josie to family issues to small town prejudices and the list goes on. I think one main point of conflict with maybe a side plot would've sufficed. Because since it was a bit all over the place, it was hard to really connect to Josie and the different relationships she had in her life (familial and otherwise). I would've liked to see a lot more of her family come into play instead of rushing it at the end and more growth from Josie as well.



Favorite non-book photo you've taken in 2020?
| My favorite photo is this one I took from Kingsland Park over the summer. I was determined to use my mirrorless camera more and to visit a new-to-me park and I was so happy with the photos I captured. This one in particular makes me feel like I'm in an enchanted forest (I've watching a lot of Once Upon a Time, don't mind me!). 


pub 11/10/20 by Disney-Hyperion
Young Adult - Fantasy/Historical
Received e-ARC from pub for review
I'm starting this review with those dreaded 7 words — I really wanted to like this book. It had all the makings of a great story. It's about what came after the happily ever after for Belle from Beauty & the Beast. It's fantasy mixed with historical fiction and best of all, it takes place primarily in France during a major revolution and Belle has a chance to assert herself as a heroine beyond just saving the Beast. But that tale never really comes to fruition in the epic, badass way I had hoped for. After breaking the Enchantress' curse and restoring the beast to his human form Lio, along with the rest of his kingdom, it's time to join the real world again. Most of the outside world doesn't know what they all suffered in their province of Aveyon so the vast majority of the book is spent navigating politics and Belle refusing to accept that in order to make the changes she wants, she also needs to accept her true role of becoming a Queen. Far too much time is spent on Belle feeling self-doubt, waiting for her Prince to return, and quite frankly, denying reality. It made the book very slow moving as a result.  Not to mention, it was far less magical than I expect and more historical instead. 

If you had a magical object in your position, what would it be? | Again, I think the recent episodes of Once Upon Time are clouding my brain but I wouldn't mind a magical pair of shoes that could take me anywhere I wanted with just a click of my heels. I had shoes like that I'd totally be in Paris right now. 


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Collaborative feature with Alexa. We read ARCs together and post our reviews on the same date.


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