Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Platonic Relationships In Books

Hey reader friends!  Welcome to another round of Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl!

This week, we're talking about Platonic Relationships in Books!  So, here are my favorites:

Maurene Goo's books I Believe In a Thing Called Love and The Way You Make me Feel have main characters that have THE BEST relationships with their dads! 

Desi in I Believe in a Thing Called Love and her apa are just so cute and they love to watch K-Drama together.  They talk about lots of stuff (except how Desi is using K-Drama to get a guy.)  They have so much fun in the way they talk to each other.

Clara and her dad in The Way You Make me Feel are even funnier than Desi and her dad!  They joke around with each other so much, and are so honest with each other (usually), and they have just tons of fun together when they are working on the KoBra - even though Clara is there because she got in trouble.

Hagrid and Ron, Harry, and Hermione.  Hagrid can be a little rough around the edges, but I mean, he loves those kids and they love him - and the four of them do have some awesome, crazy times and adventures together. 

Monday, November 19, 2018

Save the Date - Morgan Matson

Title: Save the Date
Author: Morgan Matson
Format: E-Book
Rating: 1 Star (And that's just because I feel bad for the author.)

Charlie Grant's older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can't wait for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster. There's the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won't stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren't speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo. Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner's nephew is unexpectedly, distractedly cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she'll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.

I don't even feel like there are enough words in the English language to adequately describe how much I hated every single second of this book.  Frankly, it's a miracle I even made it to the end.  

In this book, Charlie's older sister Linnie is getting married - and literally every single thing that could go wrong during the weekend of her wedding did. Every. Single. Thing.  Her brother Mike showed up even though he hadn't been home in 18 months.  Her brother Danny brought his girlfriend home even though Danny didn't RSVP for a plus 1.  Danny's girlfriend acted like a spoiled obnoxious brat the entire weekend.  Mike didn't even stay with his family - he stayed with his best friend Jesse (we'll get to that story in a second).  The family got a dog for the weekend (because they had a dog in the family comic strip and GMA is filming their family on Sunday), and the dog won't stop howling.  The alarm won't stop beeping all weekend long.  The wedding planner quit, the absentee wedding planner was charged with embezzlement, Charlie ruined the wedding cake, the groom got the wrong suit, the friend who was supposed to marry them couldn't because you can't be ordained online in Connecticut.  There was so much more - I mean at some point, you just want to keep reading to see how much more outrageous and ridiculous this could get.  There is NO WAY that all these things and more could possibly go wrong at one person's wedding - there just isn't.

It got to the point where I wanted to look at the author and every character and just scream out: 


Let's start with Charlie.  This child is just about as mature as I would expect from a fucking 5 year old.  I didn't believe that she was someone who was just finishing high school and about to go off to college in a few months.  For starters, it's May and she still hasn't notified the colleges she got accepted to where she wants to attend. She keeps saying she wants to go to Stanwich, but she keeps thinking about Northwestern - all the time.  So go to Northwestern!  (She keeps saying she won't because her parents are selling the house, and she doesn't want a new house, and a new city within just a couple months.)  Charlies is also so rude to Brooke, Danny's girlfriend.  Now, I can't stand Brooke, but she was a guest in the Grant's home and Charlie treated her like crap.

Charlie's siblings are about as mature as she is, which is just sad, because Linnie, the oldest, is 10 years older than Charlie!  They all act like the world revolves around them - and take very little consideration for people outside themselves and their little nuclear family.  J.J. spends the entire time bemoaning the fact that he claims he RSVP'd for 2, and doesn't have a date, and talks all weekend about how the new wedding planner is named Billiam - because that's obviously what Bill is short for, right?! BILLIAM!  I wanted to reach out and strangle him if he said Billiam one more time. 

Anyway, I'm ranting.  So let me be a bit more concise about this.

1. Is Charlie something else?  I just wonder, because at one point she makes a comment about how the puppy actually managed to walk and howl at the same time.  She's amazed that a dog can walk AND howl at the same time?! CAN YOU WALK AND TALK AT THE SAME TIME, CHARLIE?! 

2. Do you really expect me to believe that every single chapter is going to end with a huge, we need all hands on deck type disaster?!  Look, reader friends - I know there needs to be some tension and drama in books to help them move forward.  But this was just over the top.  Not only did each chapter end with disaster, there were mini problems on every single page.  First, the alarm keeps going off.  Then the crew from Good Morning America shows up Friday, with a dog, to get everything set for Sunday morning.  Then Charlie's uncle Stu shows up at the house wanting a place to stay because he's too cheap to pay for a hotel - AND he makes Charlie's dad pay for the cab.  Rodney's suit gets misplaced because the dry cleaner gave it to someone else, the power goes out the day of the wedding, they can't find a new wedding officiant - and when they do, he's wearing Rodney's suit.  They drop donuts on the floor, J.J. scoffs by saying the word scoff, and enters in Chapter 3 already pissed because he never told anyone to get him at the airport so nobody picked him up!  I just can't even with the drama. 

3. Why didn't Charlie even suspect that her parents might be getting a divorce?  She's the one who still lives at home. She even saw that once they sold the house, they stopped fighting!  Just stopped - that was the end of the fighting - and she never figured a damn thing out.  She just figured everything was peachy keen.  Now, I know teenagers are sort of hardwired to think about themselves a lot - but most teenagers aren't so selfish they couldn't stop to figure out about their parents marital problems.

4. The characters are all so one-dimensional.  They are not fleshed out or well-developed.  It got tiring reading after a while because they were all just stuck in their sameness and one-dimensional selves.

5. The story was about as well written as a name in a pair of underwear.  There were so many things in this story that were just unbelievable - I didn't for a second believe that everything that happened in this book could happen in 48 hours.

If you have a paper copy of this book, the only thing I could recommend is using it as toilet paper.  It's not worth the time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Author: J.K. Rowling
Format: Paperback
Rating: 4 Stars

Harry Potter is midway through his training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup. He wants to find out about the mysterious event that's supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn't happened for a hundred years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he's not normal - even by wizarding standards. And in his case, different can be deadly.

Hey there reader friends - y'all know I've been re-reading my way through the Harry Potter series.  I am through book 4 - The Goblet of Fire.  Disclaimer: This is the 11th time that I've re-read this book (I've read the first three just as many times!)  That being said, I couldn't believe how much I forgot was different compared to the movie.  I feel like a terrible potterhead!

Anyway, let's get down to brass tacks.

Things I Love About This Book:
1. Hermione being such a hardcore advocate for elf-rights!  You stand up for those house-elves, Hermione.  I get the feeling that Hermione would be the type to stand up for all sorts of oppressed people - she's just awesome like that.   (Although I admit SPEW is a goofy name for her group, but I get it!)

2. The actual Tri-Wizard Tournament!!!  I mean how crazy and wild, amiright?!  I mean, they do make a bunch of teenagers fight dragons and dive underwater into the black sea, but the tournament was groovy because it was a chance for wizards from different countries to get to know each other and learn more about how other wizards do things.  (Also, how funny was it watching Fred and George try to find a way to enter the tournament.)

3. The Quidditch world cup!  There were some awesome scenes and some really crappy scenes (not poorly written, just sucky) throughout the event of the Quidditch world cup.  We go from them sitting in the top box, seeing veela for the first time, watching Krum do his awesome flying stuff, meeting Winky and hanging out in those huge tents; then to them seeing the dark mark in the sky and running from death eaters - and I loved it all! 

4. J.K. Rowling really ramps up the tension and drama in this book.  Cedric dies, Voldemort returns - officially, Mad Eye Moody gets taken over by Barty Crouch JR.  Things start to tie together a bit more, and the story really starts to come together.  This book is also just as well written as the first three, and Rowling makes everything work so well, even with this book being a lot longer than the first three books.

5. The characters are just as spot on in this book as they are in the first three.  Rowling introduces a lot of new characters in this book - Madame Maxime and her students, Igor Karkaroff and his students, Mad Eye Moody, and more!  She does her usual great job at giving each new character their own distinct personalities and quirks, and keeps her old characters true to who they are.  Each character develops well throughout the story and keeps growing and maturing as teens should.

6. I hate Rita Skeeter, but I also love her!  I think she adds some stuff to the story, and gives people a good laugh. I know there are a lot of people who take what Rita Skeeter says so seriously, but did anyone else find her so ridiculous when she did things like dragging Harry into the broom closet at the weighing of the wands.

7.  The Yule Ball - watching everyone try to get dates was great!

8. That awkward moment when Ron asked Fleur Delacour to go to the Yule Ball with him!  Oops!

9. Harry trying to figure out the egg! 


Things I Didn't Really Like:
1. Mad Eye as a Hogwarts Professor.  Look: maybe Moody was a great Auror.  In fact, he was!  But that doesn't mean someone who is basically bat crap crazy should be a professor.  Just because you caught a lot of dark wizards doesn't mean you are fit to be a teacher! 

2. Snape.  I hate him in every book.  He's abusive and a class A douche.  I don't care the he always loved Lily. I don't.  He is a jerk who treats Harry like absolute crap just because Harry is James's son.


As with the three previous books, the world building continues its excellency in this book.  J.K. Rowling adds new characters and plot lines so well.  She develops new characters as well as the old characters, and continues to add more depth to the characters that have been around a while. 

The story is well written, just like it's predecessors, and everything that happens fits so well within this book and the three that come before it.  If you've read the series, you also know that each book sets up the next book so well - this book is no exception.

I appreciate that this book, as the book with the most story to it (this book is over 400 pages, to it's previous three being a bit over 300), this book adds so much more to the world and the story of Harry Potter and Voldemort.  You learn so much about Voldemort's return, about his back story, about his history with Harry, and that's awesome! 

So, reader friends, tell me what your favorite (or least favorite) things are about The Goblet of Fire. - And if you've never read it, what on earth are you waiting for?!
Reviews of the Rest of the Series:
(Click the Picture to read the review)




Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Fat Girl On a Plane - Kelly deVos

Title: Fat Girl on a Plane
Author: Kelly deVos
Format: E-Book
Rating:1 Sstar


High school senior Cookie Vonn’s post-graduation dreams include getting out of Phoenix, attending Parsons and becoming the next great fashion designer. But in the world of fashion, being fat is a cardinal sin. It doesn’t help that she’s constantly compared to her supermodel mother—and named after a dessert.

Thanks to her job at a fashion blog, Cookie scores a trip to New York to pitch her portfolio and appeal for a scholarship, but her plans are put on standby when she’s declared too fat to fly. Forced to turn to her BFF for cash, Cookie buys a second seat on the plane. She arrives in the city to find that she’s been replaced by the boss’s daughter, a girl who’s everything she’s not—ultrathin and superrich. Bowing to society’s pressure, she vows to lose weight, get out of the friend zone with her crush, and put her life on track.


Cookie expected sunshine and rainbows, but nothing about her new life is turning out like she planned. When the fashion designer of the moment offers her what she’s always wanted—an opportunity to live and study in New York—she finds herself in a world full of people more interested in putting women down than dressing them up. Her designs make waves, but her real dream of creating great clothes for people of all sizes seems to grow more distant by the day.

Will she realize that she’s always had the power to make her own dreams come true?


When I finished this book, I had high feelings for it.  However, the more I've thought about it. the more I've realized this book is not everything it's cracked up to be.

At it's core, this book sounds like it has a good premise: young woman advocates for fat people and makes clothing for larger women.  What we really have is a spoiled, selfish brat who thinks that every single problem she has is caused by her weight.

Cookie Vonn, daughter to a supermodel and doctor, is about 330 pounds at the beginning of this book.  She has struggled with her weight her entire life - and after having trouble getting a ticket on a plane, she decides she wants to lost weight.  She also wants to keep designing clothing for larger people.

This is all great in theory, but when the book turns into Cookie spending all her time judging everyone around her and making assumptions about people, it gets a little old.

This book is told in alternate timelines: FAT and SKINNY.  Cookie spends each timeline talking about either her weight loss journey or what life is like as a skinny person.  The thing that I find bothersome about Cookie and her journey is that every single bad thing that could possibly happen to her happens while she is fat.  Every. Single. Bad thing.  She can't buy two plane tickets (big fat lie, by the way - you can just buy two plane tickets. In fact, if you are over a certain weight, most airlines require you to buy two seats.).  She never has love because she's fat and people don't think she's attractive when she's fat.  She gets treated rudely by people just because she's fat.  It never occurs to her that her lack of confidence might be the reason she doesn't have a boyfriend, or that her bad attitude towards others might be the reason people don't care much for her.

There is one person, Kennes Butterfield, who does treat Cookie poorly, and that is a problem.  BUT, BUT BUT, once Cookie is skinny, guess what?!  KENNES is all of a sudden apologetic and nice to her, because people are always nice to skinny people, right?!

Now, can we just take a minute to talk about Cookie's friendship with Tommy!?  Tommy does do some good stuff for Cookie, but 98% of their relationship is him treating her like crap and her just putting up with it and forgiving him because he lost 30 pounds and now he is so adorable and cute!

Tommy does some truly terrible things.  He starts dating Kennes, and when Kennes bullies Cookie, Tommy turns it around and tells Cookie she should just brush it off.  Everyone tells Cookie to just brush it off. Because being bullied is not big deal, RIGHT?!  And Kennes has such a hard life - that's the implication, coming from so many people.  Things in Kennes life aren't perfect, so that makes it okay her her to treat other people like crap?  No.Just stop now - just because things might be rough for you, doesn't mean that you get to drag all your crap out and dump it on other people.

Another just downright shitty thing Tommy does - he lets Cookie take the fall for a whole host of stolen lego sets that she tries to return for him.  True - he and some "friends" have become part of a ring where they buy lego sets at certain stores, and somehow also get their hands on stolen lego sets, then try to return ALL the lego sets to get a ton of money. So, Tommy calls Cookie saying he needs her help, sends her into a store with a receipt and more lego sets than are on the receipt - and she tries to return them all and ends up getting a court date and community service.  AND TOMMY NEVER TELLS HER HE'S SORRY!  He also never, not even once, thinks about taking the blame for what he did - and he says that the reason he got involved in this scam is because he's dating Kennes, and Kennes is used to nice things that cost a lot of money!  So, it's okay to get your friend in trouble because you like a girl and want to spend money on her?!  Give me a freaking break.

My advice to both Tommy and Cookie: 

 I had a big problem with the relationship between Cookie and Gareth.  For starters, he hates fat people - which is super apparent based on his speech at the beginning of the novel. But Cookie brushes that off, because he's hot and a fashion designer.  Nevermind the fact that he's 31 and she's 19.  Nevermind that he hates fat people and would never have looked twice at her when she was fat.

I know that 12 years is not a huge age difference, really, except that when you are 19, it really is!  Cookie is so immature, and has so much learning and growing up to do.  And Gareth is a jackass. He consistently puts down other people by doing things like making fat jokes (in front of Cookie), and talks about her like she isn't even in the room - they just want to use her to make it look like they care about her and others. She should not have ever even considered dating him -especially considering that Cookie even says he's a jerk and not a nice person right from the beginning of the book. BUT SHE STILL DATES HIM!

So, to sum it up: The characters are terrible, don't actually care about others (or themselves) very much, and the story is full of hatred toward fat people, even though this is supposed to be a fat positive and body positive book.

There are some great reviews of this book that even further explore all the issues with this book:
Ang's review on Goodreads
Laina Has Too Much Spare Time 

Read these reviews instead of this book! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

October {2018} Book Haul

 Hey reader friends!  I have a humongous amount of books to share!  My library had a huge book sale all month long in October.  Plus, I got seven books (the ARCS I shared here) for free!  I bought one book - Seraphina - at full price.  That means I spent just over 20 bucks for all these books!  Here's what I got!

Young Adult