Book Review: Paper Princess – Erin Watt

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Title: Paper Princess (2016)
Series: The Royals – Book 1
Author: Erin Watt (Elle Kennedy, Jen Frederick)
Publisher: Everafter Romance
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary
Extent: 370 pages
Release Date: April 4, 2016
Rating: ★★★★☆

Goodreads Description

Ella Harper is a survivor—a pragmatic optimist. She’s spent her whole life moving from town to town with her flighty mother, struggling to make ends meet and believing that someday she’ll climb out of the gutter. After her mother’s death, Ella is truly alone.

Until Callum Royal appears, plucking Ella out of poverty and tossing her into his posh mansion among his five sons who all hate her. Each Royal boy is more magnetic than the last, but none as captivating as Reed Royal, the boy who is determined to send her back to the slums she came from.

Reed doesn’t want her. He says she doesn’t belong with the Royals. He might be right.

Wealth. Excess. Deception. It’s like nothing Ella has ever experienced, and if she’s going to survive her time in the Royal palace, she’ll need to learn to issue her own Royal decrees.

Review

I picked up Paper Princess on something of a whim. Though the cover is really pretty, the summary has tropes I don’t like, and I kind of prematurely assumed that it would be vapid, shallow, and utterly frustrating. But. But. This book turned out to be a complete surprise, because what it was is actually addictive and wickedly entertaining. 😊

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Book Looks: Enter Title Here – Rahul Kanakia

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Title: Enter Title Here (2016)
Author: Rahul Kanakia
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Description:

I’m your protagonist—Reshma Kapoor—and if you have the free time to read this book, then you’re probably nothing like me.

Reshma is a college counselor’s dream. She’s the top-ranked senior at her ultra-competitive Silicon Valley high school, with a spotless academic record and a long roster of extracurriculars. But there are plenty of perfect students in the country, and if Reshma wants to get into Stanford, and into med school after that, she needs the hook to beat them all.

What’s a habitual over-achiever to do? Land herself a literary agent, of course. Which is exactly what Reshma does after agent Linda Montrose spots an article she wrote for Huffington Post. Linda wants to represent Reshma, and, with her new agent’s help scoring a book deal, Reshma knows she’ll finally have the key to Stanford.

But she’s convinced no one would want to read a novel about a study machine like her. To make herself a more relatable protagonist, she must start doing all the regular American girl stuff she normally ignores. For starters, she has to make a friend, then get a boyfriend. And she’s already planned the perfect ending: after struggling for three hundred pages with her own perfectionism, Reshma will learn that meaningful relationships can be more important than success—a character arc librarians and critics alike will enjoy.

Of course, even with a mastermind like Reshma in charge, things can’t always go as planned. And when the valedictorian spot begins to slip from her grasp, she’ll have to decide just how far she’ll go for that satisfying ending. (Note: It’s pretty far.)

Read an excerpt… 

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Book Looks: Girl Against the Universe – Paula Stokes

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Title: Girl Against the Universe (2016)
Author: Paula Stokes
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Description:

Maguire is bad luck.

No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.

It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought.

Read the first lines…

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Book Review: What I Thought Was True – Huntley Fitzpatrick

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Title: What I Thought Was True (2014)
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Extent: 422 pages
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Goodreads Description

Gwen Castle has never so badly wanted to say goodbye to her island home till now: the summer her Biggest Mistake Ever, Cassidy Somers, takes a job there as the local yard boy. He’s a rich kid from across the bridge in Stony Bay, and she hails from a family of fishermen and housecleaners who keep the island’s summer people happy.

Gwen worries a life of cleaning houses will be her fate too, but just when it looks like she’ll never escape her past—or the island—Gwen’s dad gives her some shocking advice. Sparks fly and secret histories unspool as Gwen spends a gorgeous, restless summer struggling to resolve what she thought was true—about the place she lives, the people she loves, and even herself—with what really is.

Review

What I Thought Was True is the story of Gwen, who is unsatisfied with her life at this small, coastal town and wants better for herself. I picked it up after I finished (and loved!) Huntley Fitzpatrick’s other books, My Life Next Door and its companion/sequel, The Boy Most Likely To. I expected this book, like the other two, to be character-driven, more mature than the typical contemporary YA, and overall a good, solid story. Unfortunately, it succeeded on the first two counts, not so much the third. Let’s get to why. 🙂

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Book Review: The Way to Game the Walk of Shame – Jenn P. Nguyen

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Title: The Way to Game the Walk of Shame (2016)
Author: Jenn P. Nguyen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Extent: 336 pages
Release Date: June 7, 2016
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Goodreads Description

Taylor Simmons is screwed.

Things were hard enough when her single-minded dedication to her studies earned her the reputation of being an Ice Queen, but after getting drunk at a party and waking up next to bad boy surfer Evan McKinley, the entire school seems intent on tearing Taylor down with mockery and gossip.

Desperate to salvage her reputation, Taylor persuades Evan to pretend they’re in a serious romantic relationship. After all, it’s better to be the girl who tames the wild surfer than just another notch on his surfboard.

Review

Before starting this review, I’d just like to say one thing: I really, really, really didn’t like the title of this book. I think The Way to Game the Walk of Shame is about five words too long and a complete mouthful. I also don’t think it’s catchy, despite its rhyme, and I think ‘Walk of Shame’ would’ve made a nicer title. But hey, what do I know! 😛

Okay, now that I’ve got that out of the way, this book is exactly what the blurb suggests — nothing more, nothing less. There’s two main tropes at play here: pretend relationships (my favourite, let’s be honest) and Bad Boy and Good Girl (something I’m kind of meh about). There are no deep, dark secrets, no heavy, tearful family conflicts, no forbidden romance or anything like that.

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