Waiting on Wednesday – Red Queen!

Look at this cover, y’all. Isn’t it MESMORIZING?! *sigh*

I can’t wait until February 10th when this baby debuts!

 

Image and description obtained from Goodreads
Image and description obtained from Goodreads

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

A thrilling new fantasy trilogy for fans of DIVERGENT and THE HUNGER GAMES.

The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

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Cinderella

Today I am departing from the regularly scheduled program of Man Crush Monday for a very important announcement.

Image obtained from Hallels.com  http://www.hallels.com/articles/2292/20140708/cinderella-2015-movie-spoilers-set-march-release-same-storyline-interesting.htm
Image obtained from Hallels.com
http://www.hallels.com/articles/2292/20140708/cinderella-2015-movie-spoilers-set-march-release-same-storyline-interesting.htm

Disney’s new Cinderella movie trailer has been released!!! *SQUEEEEEEEE!!!!* When I first watched it, ohmygoodness! ALL THE FEELS, people! I may have cried a little bit… Don’t judge me!

Image obtained from Fandango http://www.fandango.com/cinderella2015_167741/movieoverview
Image obtained from Fandango
http://www.fandango.com/cinderella2015_167741/movieoverview

Watch the video here!

Image obtained from bustle.com http://lovelace-media.imgix.net/uploads/169/7a5544d0-523e-0132-4202-0ebc4eccb42f.png?w=780&fit=max&q=70
Image obtained from bustle.com
http://lovelace-media.imgix.net/uploads/169/7a5544d0-523e-0132-4202-0ebc4eccb42f.png?w=780&fit=max&q=70

I loved how this new version seems to incorporate Ella’s mother more. “I want to tell you a secret that will see you through all of the trials that life can offer: have courage, and be kind.” In the classic animated movie, Ella’s mother was glossed over. Adding her into the story will bring depth, and give a reason for Ella’s strong character.

Image obtained from radiotimes.com http://www.radiotimes.com/uploads/images/Original/62303.jpg
Image obtained from radiotimes.com
http://www.radiotimes.com/uploads/images/Original/62303.jpg

One departure from the classic movie is the name change. In the animated version, the main character is Cinderella. In this one, her name is Ella, but her stepsisters taunt her by calling her Cinder Ella, since she is so filthy from backbreaking manual labor. This switch is much stronger in my opinion. Many people can personally relate with name-calling and cruel taunts, so Ella will resonate with audiences better.

Image obtained from nydailynew.com http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.2016154!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_970/cinderella.jpg
Image obtained from nydailynew.com
http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.2016154!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_970/cinderella.jpg

The stepmother and stepsisters seem to be over the top, a la Hunger Games Capital. The fashion budget for this film must be stupendous, because the glorious dresses were one of the stand out points in the brief clip. I have a feeling I’ll be swooning over the wardrobe decisions when I see this in theatres!

Image obtained from cgmeetup.net http://i1.wp.com/www.cgmeetup.net/home/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Disneys-Cinderella-Official-Trailer-1.jpg?resize=960%2C400
Image obtained from cgmeetup.net
http://i1.wp.com/www.cgmeetup.net/home/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Disneys-Cinderella-Official-Trailer-1.jpg?resize=960%2C400

The best part of the trailer, however, is the message behind the story. “Where there is kindness, there is goodness. And where there is goodness, there is MAGIC.”

Image from weebly.com http://dconmovie.weebly.com/uploads/1/1/3/9/11393763/4098531_orig.jpg
Image from weebly.com
http://dconmovie.weebly.com/uploads/1/1/3/9/11393763/4098531_orig.jpg

You may be wondering why I am gushing about an upcoming movie on a book blog. This trailer has rekindled my love for the story of Cinderella all over again!

I’m a big fan of fairy tale retellings, and stories inspired by classics. Below, find some of my favorite Cinderella stories in honor of the release of the movie trailer!

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

 

Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Being a princess isn’t all that…. You’ve heard the fairytale: a glass slipper, Prince Charming, happily ever after… Welcome to reality: royal genealogy lessons, needlepoint, acting like “a proper lady,” and — worst of all — a prince who is not the least bit interesting, and certainly not charming. As soon-to-be princess Ella deals with her newfound status, she comes to realize she is not “your majesty” material. But breaking off a royal engagement is no easy feat, especially when you’re crushing on another boy in the palace…. For Ella to escape, it will take intelligence, determination, and spunk — and no ladylike behavior allowed.

 

The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey

The beloved fantasy author turns traditional fairy tales on their heads with this new tale. “Putting a fresh face to a well-loved fairytale is not an easy task, but it is one that seems effortless to the prolific Lackey.”–”Publishers Weekly.”

 

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

At birth, Ella is inadvertently cursed by an imprudent young fairy named Lucinda, who bestows on her the “gift” of obedience. Anything anyone tells her to do, Ella must obey. Another girl might have been cowed by this affliction, but not feisty Ella: “Instead of making me docile, Lucinda’s curse made a rebel of me. Or perhaps I was that way naturally.” When her beloved mother dies, leaving her in the care of a mostly absent and avaricious father, and later, a loathsome stepmother and two treacherous stepsisters, Ella’s life and well-being seem to be in grave peril. But her intelligence and saucy nature keep her in good stead as she sets out on a quest for freedom and self-discovery as she tries to track down Lucinda to undo the curse, fending off ogres, befriending elves, and falling in love with a prince along the way. Yes, there is a pumpkin coach, a glass slipper, and a happily ever after, but this is the most remarkable, delightful, and profound version of Cinderella you’ll ever read. Gail Carson Levine’s examination of traditional female roles in fairy tales takes some satisfying twists and deviations from the original. Ella is bound by obedience against her will, and takes matters in her own hands with ambition and verve. Her relationship with the prince is balanced and based on humor and mutual respect; in fact, it is she who ultimately rescues him. Ella Enchanted has won many well-deserved awards, including a Newbery Honor.

 

Ashes of Roses by Christine Pope

The Emperor of Sirlende finds himself without a bride when his betrothed, a princess of a neighboring kingdom, dies unexpectedly in a terrible accident. Weary of the unacceptable but “royal” alternatives his advisors suggest, he instead decides to take matters into his own hands. All ladies of gentle birth between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two are invited to five days of grand feasts, hunts, tournaments, and balls so the Emperor might choose the lady of his heart, and not an unknown foreign princess. Ashara Millende was born the only daughter of a landed gentleman, but had her inheritance stolen from her by her unscrupulous stepmother. A servant in the house that should have been hers, she dreams of escaping the drudgery of her life and finding someone who will love her for who she truly is. She is offered assistance by a woman hiding a few secrets of her own, a woman who will give Ashara the chance to win her heart’s desire — if only she is bold enough to take the first step. The story of Cinderella takes on fresh new life in this retelling, set in the world of the Latter Kingdoms.

 

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The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight Review!

Do you love contemporary romance? Do you enjoy travel? Do you believe in serendipity? Then you’ll love this book! (Please note that this review was first posted on my Goodreads account) Elizabeth enjoyed this book so much, Oliver ended up as a Man Crush Monday!

 

Image obtained from Goodreads. Isn't this cover LOVERLY?! I just want to curl up with it and gaze at it adoringly...
Image obtained from Goodreads. Isn’t this cover LOVERLY?! I just want to curl up with it and gaze at it adoringly…

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight chronicles twenty-four hours in the life of Hadley, a girl on her way to London to participate in the nuptials of her father to a woman she has never met. When she arrives at the airport four minutes late and misses her flight, Hadley ends up on the next available flight, sitting next to a good looking British boy named Oliver.

Chatting during the long plane ride, the two find themselves drawn to each other as they talk about their families, their interests, and general random nothingness. In the chaos of customs and baggage claims and crowds of tourists, Hadley and Oliver are separated upon arrival. Is the connection they shared in that brief encounter enough to get them both through their respective familial turmoil?

I loved, loved, LOVED this book! It made me want to book a flight to London just so I could fall in love with a cute, snarky British chap en route. While difficult to describe, the dialogue between Hadley and Oliver, and Hadley’s flashbacks to various points in her family history, are what made this book more than just a fluffy romance about love at first sight. It is a story about heartbreak, hurt, and betrayal when a family falls apart and parents’ divorce. It is about forgiveness, and letting go of the bitterness of the past to make way for the joy and happiness of a new future.

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Twice As Good Book Review

Book Review

Title: Twice As Good

Author: S. Hartley

Pages: unknown, ebook only

Published: Self-Published

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This book was better than most self-published books I have read. The novel is mainly about Maxi, but her two friends, Lily and Jana, are also a large part of the novel. I could see them having their own books later as sequels. Maxi is divorced and the book begins with her receiving a ceramic bulldog’s head from her ex-husband as a put-down toward the football team Maxi loves. Maxi goes a little crazy with rage and basically trashes his house. This isn’t the first threatening note she has gotten, but it’s the first he signed. Of course, her ex says that’s the only thing he ever sent her.

As the book goes on, Maxi keeps receiving more threats and the danger increases with each encounter. She and her two friends are fixing up a building to turn it into their own business entitled, “Twice as Good.” Ross Mercer, Maxi’s old high school crush, is the architect for the project and Maxi finds out she still hasn’t gotten over her crush. There is also a subplot involving Lily and Maxi’s brother.

The characters in this book were not what I was expecting. These southern girls cuss constantly and have somewhat crude conversations, which was a bit annoying, but didn’t ruin the book for me. They have a tight friendship, but almost reminded me of guy friends because they were constantly ribbing each other. For these reasons, they didn’t really feel like real characters to me and that made it hard to relate to them.

I liked the love story and it being a chick lit, kept expecting a misunderstanding or other hiccup to happen. I guess I can’t say if one did happen or not for spoiler purposes! The main plot was trying to figure out who was behind Maxi’s threats, which I pretty much figured out early on in the story. Still, I was interested to see how it all played out.

This book also had some funny moments. It was hilarious to visual Maxi tearing her ex’s house apart, for example. It was a very easy-to-read style, even though it was third person. The story also moved pretty quickly. I think I would be more interested to see a book where Lily is the main character because I felt like I could relate to her more. She seemed more mature than her other friends. This book was just okay for me when compared to all the books on earth, but for a first self-published book, it was better than most. 3 out of 5 chickadees singing!

***Buy link 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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Seven Days and Six Worst-Case Scenarios: A Humorous Romantic Mystery (Victoria Douglas Vacation Mysteries Book 1)

Seven Days and Six Worst-Case Scenarios: A Humorous Romantic Mystery (Victoria Douglas Vacation Mysteries Book 1) Book Review

 7 Days 6 Worst Case Scenarios Leslie Huggans

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. This book was incredible! I loved everything about it- the mystery, the adventure, the incredible wit, and the diverse characters.

Main character Victoria and her best friend Julie are headed to the Caribbean for a relaxing, well-deserved vacation. They quickly meet taxi driver Mr. X, who is one heck of a character. In the police station to get a driver’s license, Victoria witnessed a criminal escaping, attacking a female police officer on the way out. She responded by hitting him with a folding chair. The next day or so, Victoria and Julie find his dead body. They are suspected in his murder and soon realize someone is trying to frame them. Meanwhile, Victoria’s ex boyfriend from college, Alex, is also on the island and it turns out, somehow involved with the case. 

As I said, this book was just fabulous. I loved Mr. X’s personality. He was probably my favorite character. He refers to himself in the third person and does a bunch of random stuff to make money- selling Mary Kay and charging tourists to pose with his drunk monkey. Julie and Victoria were both smart and feisty in their own unique ways. I think it’s fascinating that Victoria had a job envisioning worst case scenarios and it’s fascinating to read about how she can’t “turn it off.” Alex was your typical mysterious, flirtatious, good-hearted love interest. He wasn’t my favorite character, but no complaints. His clumsy, clueless friend, Ben, provided a lot of laughs as well. 

The mystery was well-written and believable. It keeps your attention the whole time. I felt like the book was longer than most, but I never lost interest in it. There were some plot twists as well. The girls were put in some crazy situations, but never lost their senses of humor. Seriously, this book was witty! I would highly recommend this book to fans of mystery, comedy, and chick lit! This is worth much more than the $2.99 it costs on Amazon. I will definitely read the sequel!

Author Leslie Huggans: ???????????????????????????????

***Photos given to me by the author. Buy link 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 book purchases are made through the provided link. This does not impact the authenticity of my reviews in any way.***

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