Love and Gelato Book Review // the perfect summer travel YA read

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title: Love and Gelato

author: Jenna Evans Welch

category/genre: YA contemporary romance

rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

book depository* // barnes & noble // bookshop


LOVE AND GELATO is perfect for fans of 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES and MAMMA MIA. Jenna Evans Welch takes readers on a journey about discovering one’s family and true love while exploring the gems of Italy!

I was in such a reading slump before I picked up this book on a whim. LOVE AND GELATO has been on my TBR for the longest time, so I decided to finally read it. I instantly fell in love with the mystery of Lina’s father that intertwined perfectly with romance. Jenna sprinkled journal entries throughout the book that kept the intrigue growing. So many times I screamed at the book to let me keep reading Lina’s mom’s journal before returning to Lina’s story. The journal entries truly brought to life Lina’s mom’s journey through Italy, and those entries brought my rating up to a five-star rating. I fell in love with both characters simultaneously.

Lina’s final love interest became quite obvious as soon as the second “love triangle” character was introduced. As Lina’s mom’s journal developed, the ending became quite clear. I still love how the romance was messy, though. Nothing was easily accepted as “Oh my gosh, I’m so in love with you! Of course we would date.” No, the romance was handled really well for allowing each character to have their space to acknowledge their feelings before discussing them with each other. I found the romance to be really respectable for Lina as well as her mother. I found it interesting how Lina’s mother explained truly being in love towards the end of the book. I hope to one day have a love similar to this book. Crazy? Perhaps.

Love and Gelato Instagram photo

I do wish the characters had more depth to them. I love a good flawed character, but most of these characters felt one-dimensional. The easy characters helped me fly through this book, but the book needed to be more character-driven than plot-driven. I am pumped Addie gets a book in the sequel LOVE AND LUCK, but I needed more from Ren and Thomas and Howard. Basically the men needed more depth for me to truly fall in love with them.

Also, the timeline seemed insane to me. While I’ve never experienced jet lag, I could not imagine being able to solve the entire mystery of who my father is within five days after landing in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language. I kept moving the timeline throughout the entire summer in my mind before timeline tags happened saying it was only a night or morning since an event occurred. I think extending the plot to occur over an entire summer would have made more sense.

Overall, I am excited to read the rest of the series. Basically, I’ll be traveling this quarantined summer through Jenna Evans Welch’s books.

What’s your favorite travel book? Do you have any places you would love to travel to in the next decade? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley

Ten Must-Read YA Retelling Books

Welcome!

I wanted to take a moment to focus on my favorite sub-genre in fiction: retold fairytales. I am always a fan of a fresh take on a classic fairytale. If you check out my Goodreads, you can check out my ‘Retellings’ shelf for a variety of stories being retold.

With the release of one of my most anticipated 2020 books being published this week, I wanted to showcase some of my favorite YA retellings. And in case you were wondering which retelling was released this week, check out this first one:

of curses and kisses by sandhya menon

beauty and the beast

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From the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes the first novel in a brand-new series set at an elite international boarding school, that’s a contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast.

Will the princess save the beast?

For Princess Jaya Rao, nothing is more important than family. When the loathsome Emerson clan steps up their centuries-old feud to target Jaya’s little sister, nothing will keep Jaya from exacting her revenge. Then Jaya finds out she’ll be attending the same elite boarding school as Grey Emerson, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime. She knows what she must do: Make Grey fall in love with her and break his heart. But much to Jaya’s annoyance, Grey’s brooding demeanor and lupine blue eyes have drawn her in. There’s simply no way she and her sworn enemy could find their fairy-tale ending…right?

His Lordship Grey Emerson is a misanthrope. Thanks to an ancient curse by a Rao matriarch, Grey knows he’s doomed once he turns eighteen. Sequestered away in the mountains at St. Rosetta’s International Academy, he’s lived an isolated existence—until Jaya Rao bursts into his life, but he can’t shake the feeling that she’s hiding something. Something that might just have to do with the rose-shaped ruby pendant around her neck…

As the stars conspire to keep them apart, Jaya and Grey grapple with questions of love, loyalty, and whether it’s possible to write your own happy ending.

princess at the midnight ball by jessica day george

twelve dancing princesses

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A tale of twelve princesses doomed to dance until dawn…

Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.

Captivating from start to finish, Jessica Day George’s take on the Grimms’ tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses demonstrates yet again her mastery at spinning something entirely fresh out of a story you thought you knew.

house of salt and sorrows by erin a craig

twelve dancing princesses

house of salt and sorrows by erin a craig book cover

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

tiger lily by jodi lynn anderson

peter pan

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Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair…

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Peaches comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn’t grow up.

the goddess test series by aimee carter

persephone and hades

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Every girl who had taken the test has died.

Now it’s Kate’s turn.

It’s always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate’s going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear that her mother won’t live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he’ll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he’s crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she’ll become Henry’s future bride and a goddess.

nevermore by kelly creagh

edgar allan poe

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Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

His life depends on it.

a study in charlotte by brittany cavallaro

sherlock holmes

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The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.

From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

cruel beauty by rosamund hodge

beauty and the beast

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Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

hunted by meagan spooner

beauty and the beast

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Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

a curse so dark and lonely by brigid kemmerer

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Fall in love, break the curse.

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Swoonworthy OTPs: Valentine’s Week 2020 Edition

Welcome!

For this week’s ‘Top Ten Tuesday‘ hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, I decided to do a list of books with my favorite couples to celebrate the love theme. I have fallen in love with so many romances lately in books, and I can barely contain my excitement for any of them! Let’s jump right in to the love.

Lou and Reid (Serpent & Dove)

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin flatlay with pumpkin candle

I have definitely raved about Lou and Reid for months now, but the recent cover release for Blood & Honey amped my love for them back up! Lou and Reid complement each other so well with their banter and how they allow the other person to open up different ways. I absolutely adore their chemistry developing into a love throughout Serpent & Dove, and I can’t wait to see them grow stronger together in Blood & Honey.

Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky (To All the Boys)

Alright, I know Lara Jean and Peter have been everyone’s OTPs for a while now, but with all the hype for the P.S. I Still Love You movie, I have found myself defending this OTP against all the movie fans who love John Ambrose. If nothing else can convince you, just think of all the little things Peter does for Lara Jean without a second question.

Penny and Sam (Emergency Contact)

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Full honesty moment: I didn’t love Penny and Sam together until the end of Emergency Contact. This book fully develops Penny and Sam as friends first before delving into a romance with them, which I love to a point. I didn’t realize how invested I was with this OTP until the last 50 pages of the book when Penny and Sam acted on their feelings. A squeal may have escaped me in the final chapter.

Ana and Daniel (Fountains of Silence)

Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys Instagram post

I love this OTP, I do. Ana and Daniel have such a tense romantic energy through the entire book until the time jump where they’re in their thirties when they finally get together. Reading about these powerful characters growing together in such a dark and curious era brought me got me invested in their stories separately as well as together. The dual POVs helped me see how the couple thought and cared for each other. 10/10 recommend!

Camille and Lazare (Enchantée)

Enchantee by Gita Trelease Instagram post

You may be a bit surprised by this OTP since I haven’t raved about this book in quite some time. I fell in love with Enchantée after reading it in one sitting during a sick day. I literally could not set it down. And then Gita Trelease plops in this amazing romance between a scientist-royal-man and enchantress-esque woman which sealed the deal for me. I couldn’t resist Lazare as a balloonist, but put him in as a royal… boy, oh, boy.

Puck and Sean (Scorpio Races)

Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater Instagram post

This past November, I listened to the Scorpio Races for the first time (I read it physically before.) and fell in love with Puck and Sean all over again. I literally would sit in my car on campus just to listen to this beautiful work. And just hearing about how Sean and Puck fall in love with each other in such a high-stakes environment hits me deep in my heart.

Deja and Josiah (Pumpkinheads)

Pumpkinheads graphic novel by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

From the moment I started this story, I shouted from the rooftops about how badly I wanted Deja and Josiah to be together. While Josiah may have ran around the pumpkin patch searching for a different girl, I could not be happier about the entire journey. I love how supportive they are for each other in their own adventures for love and food. Also, if anyone knows of a pumpkin patch that’s like this one, please send me the address ASAP.

Annaleigh and Cassius (House of Salt and Sorrows)

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

This book definitely messed with my mind. The atmosphere and plot twists played with whether or not I actually liked Cassius, but I couldn’t let him go. Cassius and Annaleigh, together, were my favorite couple. I couldn’t get behind any other potential romance with Annaleigh.

Tessa and Weston (100 Days of Sunlight)

Abbie Emmons' Instagram post for 100 Days of Sunlight
Instagram: @makeyourstorymatter

If you haven’t read Abbie’s book yet, what are you waiting for? I was lucky enough to write for her blog tour, but I don’t think I properly raved about Tessa and Weston. First of all, Weston is literally a dream. He pushes a stubborn Tessa to look (pun not intended) at the world in a new light. I fell in love with Weston and Tessa’s adventures and them together. I don’t think I could find a more wholesome OTP on this list.

Sweetie and Ashish (There’s Something About Sweetie)

Okay, I was definitely pushing for Sweetie and Ashish this entire time. Ashish loves on Sweetie so much and literally thrives at being able to show the rest of the world how amazing she is. Sweetie works through so much in this book and overcomes her insecurities with Ashish by her side. I loved being able to see a different side of Ashish than we see in When Dimple Met Rishi.

Who is your favorite OTP on this list? Do you have any OTPs that didn’t happen? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley

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Ten Books I Want to Read For the First Time Again

Welcome!

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Google Images

In the spirit of Groundhog’s Day, I thought it would be fun to talk about which books I would love to experience for the first time again! If you have been around for a while, then you may know that I don’t tend to re-read books. At least, I didn’t use to re-read them. Now? I’m much more open to the idea since I’ve read literal hundreds of books at this point in my life. I definitely fell in love with returning to my favorites since I spent an entire summer reading Sarah Dessen’s books. Speaking of which…

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

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I would give everything to be able to read this book for the first time all over again. I read Sarah Dessen when I was in middle school. If I was able to read Dreamland for the first time today, I would love this book even more if possible. The impact of the story on my first time reading it would be 1000 times more than it was when I was younger. The reality of the story is disturbing, but this book made me look at all of Sarah’s books in a different light.

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler

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This book escaped me for years, literally. I hadn’t recorded the title or author of this book, so when I wanted to find it again, I couldn’t. I vaguely remembered which shelf at the library I had found it on and what the cover looked like. I couldn’t remember any of the character’s names. All I could tell you was the cover had a blue heart of sea glass with one red piece in it. And it made me cry after the third chapter. If I could read this book for the first time, I would still cry but actually remember the book’s title to find it again.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

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I would love to be able to fall in love with this series again. I read this series during spring break when I was sick, and I couldn’t move from the couch. If I could read this series again, I would savor each chapter, romance, and character. I will say that I changed which characters I cheered for so many times originally. I just remember falling in love with Adrian and never wanting to look back.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

As I’m reading Chain of Gold right now, I have been reminiscing on the first (and only) time I read Clockwork Angel in middle school. My parents gave me the book for Christmas one year since it looked like something I would read. No one in my house knew Cassandra Clare or anything about the Shadowhunter world. I devoured this series and read The Mortal Instruments, too. I even got my mom hooked on this world. While I haven’t been its biggest supporter through the years, I will always recommend The Infernal Devices trilogy to anyone looking for a good historical fantasy.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

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This book will forever be on my recommendation list. I haven’t read this book for a while, but the power of the story still sits in me. I remember being so upset by the ending because it wasn’t the typical ‘happy’ ending I was used to reading with contemporaries. This book is quite literally an emotional wrecking ball. But reading about someone experiencing the same day again just to try to figure out how to become the best versions of themselves for those around them really hits a teenager HARD. When I watched the movie last year? I still bawled my eyes out as an adult.

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

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I believe this book may have been one of the first historical fantasy books I ever read. When I was younger, I loved reading historical fiction books to learn about different time periods (mainly World War Two). I never thought that magic and history could be mixed together. While I haven’t enjoyed much of Libba’s other books, I hold A Great and Terrible Beauty close to my heart. The entire series really showed me the power of a good story.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Laini Taylor quickly became one of my favorite authors after reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Her ability to create worlds from simple words amazes me. The chemistry between her characters and the complex histories just make me smile and warm my heart. For years, I thought she was an under-appreciated author until I found Holly (@hollyslittlebookreviews) who literally has Laini’s words tattooed on herself.

A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers

If I read this for the first time again, I would read the second book immediately after finishing the first book. The day of torture I put myself through between finishing the first book and picking up An Echo in the Darkness literally killed me. I may have spent it calling both my best friends to cry about this book. This book made me realize that not all Christian fiction is cheesy and overdone. Francine Rivers is my favorite Christian author.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

If I could tell myself one thing before reading this book, it would be to give myself some time before finishing it and going to see the movie. Five hours of sleep and barely anything for breakfast does not cut it as time either. I was a legit mess going to see this movie after reading this book in one sitting into the early morning hours. I love this book, believe me, but I needed more time to process all my emotions after the ending. I’m just glad my friends also ugly cried in the theatre.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

Now that I’m looking back at reading this book, I realize how much I desired a group of friends like in this book. I think I found them, too. But at the time I read this book in such a lonely place. I was with people that I didn’t really connect with and far away from my best friends and family. If I could tell myself one thing before reading this for the first time, it would be to take notes on how to be a good friend because, in a few years, I would be in this group of friends.

Which book do you wish you could read for the first time again? Do you have a favorite book to re-read? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley

my ten favorite 2020 book covers

Welcome!

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, I decided I would share my favorite 2020 book covers for the ‘cover freebie’ seeing as how I will be staring at the gorgeous shelves with these books on them for the entire year. I’m going to keep this post short and sweet, so we can all spend our time admiring the beauty of these covers. 2019 brought the year of snakes onto covers, and I could barely look at any books for an entire year. 2020 is bringing wonderful covers full of illustrations and people! I literally cannot stop staring at these gorgeous covers.

Note: Whenever I could credit the cover designers/artists, I did as well as linked to where I found the information. If you know of the cover artist, comment below, and I will edit as required to provide full credit. These cover designers are often overlooked despite our praise on their gorgeous designs!

chain of gold by cassandra clare

i’ll be the one by lyla lee

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Epic Reads wins at crediting their cover designers and creating full articles on the design process. The designer is Molly Fehr, art director is Amy Ryan, photographer is Michael Frost, and the cover model is K-Pop dancer Isabel Jones.

the henna wars by adiba jaigirdar

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The artist, as credited on the author’s own site (!!!) is NABIGAL-NAYAGAM HAIDER ALI. I absolutely adore the detail in this illustrated cover. The henna is gorgeous as well as the placement with the lettering! I can’t wait to dive into this book just from the cover representation.

clap when you land by elizabeth acevedo

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It is so cool that I was able to find credits to the artist and designer under every image in articles, but I wish they would have been talked about in the actual articles. The artist is Bijou Karman and designer is Erin Fitzsimmons. The impeccable collaboration skills used to create this masterpiece… oh my, I love it!

of curses and kisses by sandhya menon

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I will definitely be keeping an eye out for me gorgeous covers by Sarah Creech, who is part of the Simon Pulse imprint.

tweet cute by emma lord

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woven in moonlight by isabel ibañez 

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Isabel actually designed her own cover for Woven in Moonlight, which astounds me! Imagine being able to actually create the cover and have a say in what represents your story. I applaud you, Isabel!

the night country by melissa albert

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Melissa thanked her cover designer Jim Tierney on Twitter, which I thought was so sweet! His designs are impeccable.

loveboat, taipei by abigail hing wen

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Note: I found this article on EpicReads about the creation of this cover, including credits. Artist: Janice Sung; handlettering: Jennet Liaw.

dark and deepest red by anna-marie mclemore

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Do you have a favorite cover for this year? Which cover trend is your favorite: people, illustrations, lettering, etc? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley

Disney Book Tag

Welcome home!

I wanted to celebrate the week of the Disney+ launch with a fun Disney book tag! While I haven’t subscribed to Disney+ (yet), I love all the Disney fun I have been seeing online. Let’s jump right in!

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The Little Mermaid

a character who is out of their element

I’m Not Dying with You Tonight by Kimberly Jones

This book follows two high school students from different backgrounds who are forced together by their circumstances after a high school football game goes south. I read this book for the Barnes and Noble YA book club this summer, and I loved how the story brought characters out of their comfort zones and discuss difficult topics in today’s society.

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Cinderella

a character who goes through a major transformation

Enchantee by Gita Trelease

I’m taking this one quite literally, but I absolutely adore this book! I read this book within a day when I was sick, but I would have definitely devoured this book without being sick, too. Camille, the main character, physically changes herself to fit into the world of Versailles, and she quickly falls in love with the idea of transformation.

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Snow White

a book with an eclectic cast of characters

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

I re-read this book in September via audiobook because I felt like it was the perfect time for fall. The cast of characters could not be more unlikely to be together, but somehow they work well. I can’t wait to listen to the rest of the series in the following months.

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Sleeping Beauty

a book that put you to sleep

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Technically, this was just from my college mid-terms week, but I fell asleep reading “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe. Anytime I tried reading it before bed, I would legit feel my eyelids drooping. But as soon as I picked it up to read during lunch, I did not want to set it down.

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The Lion King

a character who had something traumatic happen to them in childhood

The Folk of Air trilogy by Holly Black

If you have been a part of the YA book community online, then you have definitely heard of The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King in the past year. After reading only the first chapter of The Cruel Prince, you know just how traumatic Jude Duarte’s childhood was for her with her parents being murdered in front of her and being stolen away to the land of fae. Jude’s childhood sets her up for such an amazing life in fae, though. I can’t wait to dive into Queen of Nothing and see what happens next.

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Beauty and the Beast

a beast of a book that you were intimidated by but found the story to be beautiful

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Y’all, this book stole my heart. I also read this book for Barnes and Noble’s YA book club, but I did not expect to fall in love with the story as quickly and deeply as I did. The magic system in Serpent and Dove is unique to itself with consequences which always adds tension to every scene where magic is involved.

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Aladdin

a character who gets their wish granted, for better or worse

Again, But Better by Christine Riccio

If I could go back and read this book for the first time again, I would fall in love all over again. I read this book quickly for a buddy read with my friend, but I still love how the story brought me back to my childhood pop culture. The premise of this book is a mixture of time travel (the wish) and some magic, too. This combination works perfectly.

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Mulan

a character who pretends to be someone they are not

Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo

Technically in this book, both characters are pretending to be someone they are not. I have heard this book as a sort of Roman Holiday parody/retelling. The two characters spend their day exploring Hong Kong while simultaneously both using the other to either escape their circumstances or get a story. If you haven’t checked out Maurene Goo’s books yet, I definitely recommend them for a great escapist read.

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Toy Story

a book with characters you wish would come to life

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks

If Deja and Josiah were real, I would want to be their best friend. This book is such a great graphic novel about friendship, fall, and the feeling of senior year. I loved the graphics that are full of color and action, and the changes in the graphic boxes kept me moving easily through the story.

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Disney Descendants

your favorite villain or morally ambiguous character

Warner from the Shatter Me series

Warner will forever and always be my favorite villain. Well, he will always be in my top favorites at least. I still need to read the second installment of books in this series, but from the first three books, I fell in love with Warner. Books with morally ambiguous characters are my go-to favorites.

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Which Disney movie is your favorite? Which books would you have chosen for this tag? If you do this tag, comment below with a link to your post! I love seeing others’ choices for tags.

xo,

Charley