Throwback Thursday- The Princess Diaries

On my thirteenth birthday, I was gifted with Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries, and my love for young adult literature was born.

An assortment of the Princess Diaries series I've collected over the years. Plus, my comfy reading chair in my home library :)
An assortment of the Princess Diaries series I’ve collected over the years. Plus, my comfy reading chair in my home library :)

How can you help but like Mia Thermopolis? She’s quirky, she’s klutzy, she’s awkward… Maybe I’m the only one who finds her relatable. I’m disappointed that Disney altered the storyline so much in the movie version, because the book series is AWESOME!

Meg Cabot is a brilliant writer, and through the character of an accidental princess tackles real life issues- first loves, jealous friends, parents dating, school drama, friends growing apart, first sexual experiences, pressure to succeed, self-image issues, and more.

Written in diary format, I love the chance to get into Mia’s head as she feels ALL THE FEELS! Not only is she a teen with typical teenager angst and embarrassing moments, she’s also a princess enduring princess lessons from an evil Grand’Mere. She gets into all sorts of mischief and awkward situations, and it is entertaining to read how she handles each circumstance with humor, sass, and self deprecation.

There is so much laughter, and so much character development over the course of the series. While I started the books the day I turned a teenager, I kept reading each subsequent installment right up through college. Whatever your age, you will enjoy this series.

What? A princess??
Me??? Yeah, right.
Mia Thermopolis is pretty sure there’s nothing worse than being a five-foot-nine, flat-chested freshman, who also happens to be flunking Algebra.
Is she ever in for a surprise.
First Mom announces that she’s dating Mia’s Algebra teacher. Then Dad has to go and reveal that he is the crown prince of Genovia. And guess who still doesn’t have a date for the Cultural Diversity Dance?

 

**Photo and description of the novel obtained from Amazon**
***I am not paid by authors or publishers for my reviews. I may receive a free copy of a book in exchange for a review, but reviews are 100% my personal, honest opinion! I do, however, receive a small commission when purchases are made on Amazon through our site. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way. ***

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Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday Shopaholic Version

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Every week, book nerds everywhere gush about upcoming books we CANNOT WAIT to come out!

Ahhhhh!!! I’m so excited! Becky Bloomwood is back! Sophie Kinsella hasn’t published a Shopaholic book since Mini Shopaholic debuted in 2011. It’s been far too long! Kinsella’s next book about our favorite chick lit heroine looks super fun. She comes to MY state, Hollywood, CA, and becomes a Shopaholic to the Stars.

From Amazon.com: “#1 New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella returns to her beloved Shopaholic series with Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) newly arrived in Hollywood and starry-eyed. She and her two-year-old daughter, Minnie, have relocated to L.A. to join Becky’s husband, Luke, who is there to handle PR for famous actress Sage Seymour. Becky can’t wait to start living the A-list lifestyle, complete with celebrity sightings, yoga retreats, and shopping trips to Rodeo Drive. But she really hopes to become a personal stylist—Sage’s personal stylist—if only Luke would set up an introduction. Then, unexpectedly, Becky is offered the chance to dress Sage’s archrival, and though things become a bit more complicated, it’s a dream come true!

Red carpet premieres, velvet ropes, paparazzi clamoring for attention—suddenly Becky has everything she’s ever wanted.

Or does she?”

Head on over to Amazon to pre-order your copy today!

**Description Credit: Amazon.com**
***I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews- they are 100% my personal, honest opinion! I do, however, receive a small commission when you purchase a book through Amazon by clicking on the link above. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way. ***

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Third Book Challenge Update #RRSS14

Hello again! As you know, we here at Chick Lick Chickadees are participating in the ReReadathon and Shelf Sweeper 2014 book challenge (Our Original Post Here) hosted by Beauty and the Bookshelf (Original Post Here) and Shea Lit (Original Post Here). We each committed to reading 8 books each this month in order to sweep our shelves! So with the challenge ending at the end of this month- which is in three tiny days, how are we doing?

At the last update (here), Elizabeth had read The Little Lady and The Prince by Hester Browne and The Moment Between by Nicole Baart. The latter’s review is written here. Number three was Matched, her favorite of the challenge books so far! Review is written here. She realized she had read the next book on her list already, so substituted book number 4 with Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch. While on vacation, she read Perfected and will be posting a review in the next week or two.

photo 2

Reading on the way to Catalina Island and Mexico. Can you tell it’s a cruise cabin?

Then, she loaned the book to my sister, who read it out by our Anaheim, CA hotel.

photo 3

 

Did you know we won a contest put on by the author of Perfected, Kate Jarvik Birch? She sent us a copy of the book to be the “traveling book” and see how far Perfected could go. It’s been to Northern California, Southern California, Catalina Island, and Mexico now!

The next book on the list is Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult and she is about 1/3 of the way in. It shouldn’t be difficult to finish it before the challenge ends, but Elizabeth probably won’t get to all 8 books- shooting to finish the current one and be at 5 or possibly squeeze in another one and be at 6. This is mostly due to a recent influx of authors requesting read for reviews and those went to the top of the priority list. However, even if the challenge isn’t fully met, Elizabeth read a lot of books she would’ve kept putting off and considers it a successful endeavor in that regard! :)

Lindsey, however, fails at life and this reading challenge in particular. She only managed to finish 3 out of the 8 books aimed for. Those 3 books have already been mentioned- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Looking for Alaska, and A Great and Terrible Beauty.

Of the 3 books she finished, her favorite was hands down Looking for Alaska, explaining why she chose Pudge as her last Man Crush Monday.

Lindsey has no good excuse for why she failed this challenge so epically. She chooses to claim that she is a wild thing, a hippie love child meant to roam where the reading whimsy winds blow her. A predetermined, stagnant list of must read books is far too stifling to a creative mind such as hers. Or so she says, anyways.

She deviated from the reading challenge plan and read Midnight Thief, which she found bitterly disappointing. (Be sure to check out her review on August 3rd!) Then, one night when she couldn’t sleep, she busted out The Secret Countess by Eva Ibbotson. Since it was merely ok, and only meant to induce sleepiness, it probably won’t be featured here on the blog.

Finally, she DID meet the spectacularly snarky and hysterical author, Maggie Stiefvater at an event in the Bay Area, so she feels that ought to count towards the reading challenge somehow. Basically, she’s grasping at straws here.

I MET MAGGIE STIEFVATER!!! I MET MAGGIE STIEFVATER!!! #fangirling
I MET MAGGIE STIEFVATER!!! I MET MAGGIE STIEFVATER!!! #fangirling

How did y’all do on your reading challenge? Think you’ll make it in these last couple of days?

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Man Crush Monday- Peeta

Man Crush Monday- Peeta

Katniss in front, Peeta is far right, and Gale is far left. Who would you pick?

I love Peeta from the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins! There were two love interests in The Hunger Games for main character, Katniss- Peeta and Gale. Gale was Katniss’s friend growing up. She and Gale grew up together and sneaked off to hunt in the woods frequently. Katniss went to school with Peeta, but had only had one encounter with him before The Hunger Games.

Why do I looooove Peeta???? Well, the first experience Katniss had with Peeta was when he was working in his parent’s bread shop and he saw her outside starving. Peeta purposely burns bread so he can throw it out to the pigs, but throws it to Katniss instead. This wasn’t shown in the movie, but Peeta is physically punished by his mother for burning the bread. Before they even had any sort of relationship, he sacrificed himself for her. Awwwww….

Peeta never stops sacrificing for Katniss. After they both end up in The Hunger Games, Peeta’s main goal is not to save himself, but to save Katniss. Peeta is the definition of true love- putting the other person before yourself. It takes Katniss a while to learn this kind of love. When she joins the Games, she is only concerned about getting herself out alive. She is suspicious of Peeta for a while, believing he is only looking out for himself as well. But that’s not who Peeta is and Katniss grows to learn that. Peeta’s love and sacrifice for her shows her what an amazing, saint-like person he is and she becomes devoted to making sure he lives because she believes he is a better person, therefore the world needs him more.

Peeta continues to sacrifice himself throughout the trilogy and put Katniss first. Their personalities are very different; she is so intense and he is so calm. While she is hardened by their circumstances, he is optimistic. I don’t want to say who Katniss ends up with, but I was rooting for Peeta from the beginning! That’s why he is this week’s Mancrush Monday!

            

 

***The photos above are from Amazon.com. I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews- they are 100% my personal, honest opinion! I do, however, receive a small commission when you purchase a book through Amazon by clicking one of the links above. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way.***

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Strange Sweet Song Review

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Strange Sweet Song by Adi Rule

Published on March 11, 2014 by St. Martin’s Griffin

Genre: YA, Fantasy, Gothic

Pages: 336

“Outside Dunhammond Conservatory, there lies a dark forest. And in the forest, they say, lives a great beast called the Felix. But Sing da Navelli never put much faith in the rumors and myths surrounding the school; music flows in her blood, and she is there to sing for real. This prestigious academy will finally give her the chance to prove her worth—not as the daughter of world-renowned musicians—but as an artist and leading lady in her own right.


Yet despite her best efforts, there seems to be something missing from her voice. Her doubts about her own talent are underscored by the fact that she is cast as the understudy in the school’s production of her favorite opera, Angelique. Angelique was written at Dunhammond, and the legend says that the composer was inspired by forest surrounding the school, a place steeped in history, magic, and danger. But was it all a figment of his imagination, or are the fantastic figures in the opera more than imaginary? 


Sing must work with the mysterious Apprentice Nathan Daysmoor as her vocal coach, who is both her harshest critic and staunchest advocate. But Nathan has secrets of his own, secrets that are entwined with the myths and legends surrounding Dunhammond, and the great creature they say lives there.” (Description from Amazon.com)

Holy Wow, People! What a book!

Creepy and haunting, on more than one occasion I got goose bumps from the chilling yet lyrical writing of this story. Definitely a Gothic tale with mythology sprinkled throughout, I loved the story of Sing (Yes, the female MC, who is trying to become an opera star, is named Sing. At first I was irritated by this, but then quickly got over it.) as she faces fears and insecurities to determine what she really wants, and goes after it.

The pressure Sing’s parents placed on her was infuriating. I mean, even her NAME weighs down on her with the ultimatum to succeed! Everywhere she goes, the reputation of her father and the legend that was her mother proceeds her. Never is Sing simply Sing. She must always practice, must always excel, must always perform.

When Sing enrolls at a noteworthy music conservatory, she finds more on her plate than just music lessons. Juggling new friendships, a flirtation with the cutest guy in school, competition with the resident Diva, struggles with her bewildering vocal coach, and an inexplicable pull towards the haunted woods and the mysterious creature there… Is there any wonder that Sing feels pulled in several directions?

Still, she finds solace in music. As she diligently prepares herself for a dream role, she realizes that the neat picture she had painted of those close to her may be inaccurate portraits after all. With the mounting pressure to succeed, will she have the strength to discover what she truly wants? Or will she fail at everything, and lose herself in the process?

My favorite part of this story was Daysmoor. That’s all I’m going to say. I don’t want to ruin it for those who haven’t had a chance to read it!

On the flip side, I was not a fan of how some of the secondary characters were not fully developed. The same effort that was put into Sing, the Felix, the conductor, and Nathan could have been applied to other characters for a richer story. Also, sometimes the shifting point of view was confusing. Typically, I enjoy dual POV! In this book, however, some transitions were more successful than others.

That being said, if you are a lover of excellent writing, a creative plot, and a hint of creepiness, then you will LOVE this book!

 

**I do not get paid by authors or publishers for my reviews. They are 100% my personal, honest opinion! I DO, however, recieve a small commission from Amazon when you purchase a book by clicking on the link above. **

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