29 Dates: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

cover art for 29 Dates by Melissa de la CruzJi-Su is an average student in her prestigious school in Seoul filled with overachievers. Hoping to help her stand out in college applications both in South Korea and abroad, Ji-Su’s parents decide to send her overseas to San Francisco.

There isn’t even enough time to say goodbye to her two best friends before Ji-Su is on a plane to California. Being so far from home doesn’t that mean Ji-Su is completely free to focus on her photography and having fun though. Instead Ji-Su is expected to focus on her schoolwork (which she would do anyway) and continue going on the seons (blind dates) that her parents have set up for her through a matchmaker.

Usually adults go on seons when they’re ready to settle down. But as far as Ji-Su’s mother is concerned it’s never to early to find your perfect match. Ji-Su doesn’t put much stock in the seons but it seems like an easy way to keep her parents happy and maybe even make some friends.

Just when Ji-Su starts to think she is getting the hang of being at a new school in a new city (and maybe even seons) she realizes that all of that is easy compared to falling in love for the first time in 29 Dates (2018) by Melissa de la Cruz.

De la Cruz’s latest contemporary has a unique perspective in Ji-Su’s first person narration. Each of Ji-Su’s twenty-nine seons are detailed between chapters. These are fun exchanges though their structure as dialogue only is jarring compared to the traditional prose in the rest of the novel.

The blend of romance and humor is tempered well with Ji-Su’s focus on school as she works on college applications and has to decide what to do as she ends up waitlisted at some of her schools.

29 Dates is a super cute romantic comedy perfect for fans of the genre. Recommended.

Possible Pairings: I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills, Lucky in Love by Kasie West, The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Hub Booklist: Read-a-Likes for Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

I have a new booklist over at YALSA’s Hub blog!

Are you ready to go big or go home with self-proclaimed fat girl, reluctant beauty queen, and all-around icon Willowdean Dixon of Dumplin’ fame?

Have you read Julie Murphy’s delightful novel about Willowdean and its companion Puddin’ already? Have you been watching the trailer for Netflix’s movie adaptation starring Danielle Macdonald  and Jennifer Aniston?

If the answer to any of those questions is “Yes!” then look no further for some read-a-likes to keep you busy while you wait for the movie to drop.

You can head over to YALSA’s Hub blog to check out the full booklist.

#CruelPrinceReadalong Week One: Chapters 1 through 7

Thanks for joining me for my re-read of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black.

This week everyone started the book and read through Chapter 7.

Remember you can also follow the hashtag cruelprincereadalong on Twitter at 4pm EST on Sunday December 9 for a live chat about the book so far.

What do you think of it so far? Any favorite scenes or characters?

Leave a comment with your thoughts and reading progress. (No spoilers if you’ve read ahead or are re-reading please!)

Week in Review: December 8

missprintweekreviewThis week on the blog you can check out:

Don’t forget! #CruelPrinceReadalong is happening all this month!

Plot twist: The cold I had since November turned into a sinus infection. I’m about halfway through my antibiotic regimen and I’m feeling so much better (in addition to feeling dumb for letting myself be sick for so long).

I’m going to try to really take this as a wake up call to take better care of myself and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this is my only “big” illness this winter.

I entered a Rep Search on instagram. I don’t know if my account is fancy enough, but I’m proud of my entry and staying optimistic. If you are on instagram and haven’t given it a like yet, I’d be so grateful if you would:

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Today I have something a little different. This is my entry for @uppercasebox’s first ever rep search. ▪️ Uppercase is my favorite bookish subscription service (and one I already recommend constantly!) so as soon as I saw that they were hosting a rep search, I knew I had to enter. ▪️ I love Uppercase’s model with a monthly box including a book, swag that isn’t tied to super specific fandoms, and best of all a monthly reading experience bookmark with exclusive author content to discover while reading the book of the month. These items always feel special like getting a monthly care package from a friend (whether or not I’ve already heard about the book of the month). ▪️ I’ve been a monthly subscriber for a while because Uppercase is so versatile with prepaid options as well as monthly subscriptions (with options to add on items) and one-time purchases for full boxes or book only options. It makes it really easy to fit Uppercase into my budget and to recommend it to people who don’t want to spend a fortune each month. ▪️ As a longtime book blogger and a more recent bookstagrammer, I’d love to be a rep for Uppercase and help officially spread the word about your fantastic subscription service. #ucrepsearch18 #yalit ▪️ #instabooks #currentlyreading #amreading #instareads #bookgram #bookworm #bookblogging #bookblogger #bookstagrammer #bibliophile #booklove #bookphotography #instabook #reading #reader #booktography #bookstagram #beautifulbooks #booksofinstagram #goodreads #bookaholic #bookish #bookishfeature #bookstafeatures #bookstagramfeature #readersofinstagram #unitedbookstagram #uppercasebox

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Here is my favorite post that I shared on Instagram this week:

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How do you take care of yourself? ▪️ I ask that today with a picture of Carry On (and some sweet wands I borrowed from a coworker) because I think Simon and Baz are really bad at it too. This is something I struggle with. ▪️ I do a great job of taking care of my mom (she’s elderly and disabled and I’ve been managing her medical care and supporting her with varying levels of responsibility for ten years) and I wouldn’t change anything about that ever. ▪️ But when it comes to taking care of myself it always feels easier to just put things off or ignore them. Which is partly why I’m currently on antibiotics for a sinus infection. ▪️ So tell me your secrets: how do you make time to take care of yourself? ▪️ #instabooks #currentlyreading #amreading #instareads #bookgram #bookworm #bookblogging #bookblogger #bookstagrammer #bibliophile #booklove #bookphotography #instabook #reading #reader #booktography #bookstagram #beautifulbooks #booksofinstagram #goodreads #bookaholic #bookish #bookishfeature #bookstafeatures #bookstagramfeature #readersofinstagram #unitedbookstagram #carryon #rainbowrowell #rainbowrowellbooks

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How was your week? What are you reading?

#CruelPrinceReadalong Week One: Live Chat This Sunday!

Hey everyone! This is a quick post for anyone participating in my Cruel Prince readalong.

I’ll be hosting a live chat on Twitter this Sunday at 4pm EST for participants to discuss their thoughts on chapters 1 through 7 of the book.

You can search the hashtag #cruelprincereadalong to join and also follow me @miss_print on Twitter.

See you there!

Realm of Ruins: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

“Please let me be powerful.”

cover art for Realm of Ruins by Hannah WestTrouble follows Valory Braiosa wherever she goes.

Raised in Calgoran during the Age of the Accords, Valory is surrounded by elicrin magic and elicromancers. As a descendant of the legendary Queen Bristal and King Anthony, everyone assumes Valory will become a powerful elicromancer herself. But now she is almost at the end of her time at the Academy with no signs of power manifesting. With her chances of receiving an elicrin stone from the Water dwindling, Valory is forced to consider her greatest fear: a life without magic or power.

Touching the Water is no guarantee of receiving an elicrin stone. Even with careful vetting from the Academy candidates may still be deemed unworthy and drowned in the Water, their bodies lost forever. Valory’s attempt to save her cousin from such a fate proves disastrous. In the aftermath her cousin is dead, the Water is gone, and Valory now has dangerous power no one understands and which Valory can’t control.

Branded a murderer and a rogue, Valory is forced to travel far from home to try and clear her name. Across Nissera it’s apparent that a dark presence is rising and Valory might be the only one powerful enough to stop it. As danger mounts and loyalties are tested, Valory will have to embrace her power to face this danger. But all power comes at a price and this time the cost may be steeper than Valory can pay in Realm of Ruins (2018) by Hannah West.

Real of Ruins is the second book in West’s Nissera Chronicles which begins with the companion novel Kingdom of Ash and Briars.

Realm of Ruins is set one hundred years after the events of West’s debut novel Kingdom of Ash and Briars and follows a new generation of characters. An elaborate family tree at the start of the book and sly asides throughout offer nods to events of the first book although this novel can easily be read as a standalone. (A companion short story, Fields of Fire, can also be read for free online.)

Valory is as pragmatic as she is reckless. Although the implications of her new power are obvious she is still quick to jump to conclusions and easily falls prey to the manipulations of others while she tries to understand her dramatically changed circumstances.

Her efforts to clear her name are soon sidelined as she learns about the emergence of a dangerous new threat known as the Moth King or the Lord of the Elicromancers. Drawn into a hunt to stop this new enemy Valory plays a part in side plots that draw heavily from elements of Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. West manages a convoluted and sometimes bloated plot admirably bringing diverging threads together to explore larger themes of power, collective memory, and the dangers of both if left unchecked.

While Valory is initially a slave to circumstance, forced repeatedly into reactive positions as her situation shifts from bad to worse, Realm of Ruins is largely about agency and choice. It is only when Valory chooses to embrace her power–and the difficult decisions she must make about how to wield it–that she is able to regain control of her fate and try to claim what she sees as her rightful power in the realm.

Realm of Ruins is an intricate and original fantasy. West blends her unique magic system with a vivid world and fairy tale elements to create a story that is entirely fascinating. Recommended for fans of fairy tales, high fantasy, and bloody revolution.

Possible Pairings: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, Frostblood by Elly Blake, The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao, Reign the Earth by A. C. Gaughen, For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig, Furyborn by Claire Legrand

*A copy of this title was provided by the publisher for review consideration*

Kingdom of Ash and Briars: A Review

cover art Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah WestBristal’s life changes forever when she is kidnapped. Her humble life as a kitchen maid ends the moment she survives touching the Water and receives an elicrin stone.

Now Bristal is an elicromancer—one of only three people over the centuries to have survived the Water intact.

Immortal and able to wield powerful magic, Bristal is meant to take her place as a peacekeeper and kingmaker. With so much potential power at her command Bristal will have to accept her magic and embrace her destiny despite the dangers in Kingdom of Ash and Briars (2016) by Hannah West.

Kingdom of Ash and Briars is West’s debut novel and the first book in the Nissera Chronicles which continues in Realm of Ruins. (A companion short story, Fields of Fire, can also be read for free online.)

Kingdom of Ash and Briars introduces a richly layered world with a unique magic system. West’s novel is informed by numerous fairy tales (most notably Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty) positioning a reluctant Bristal in the role of fairy godmother.

Bristal’s ability to shape shift and disguise herself informs much of the story as she begins to change her appearance to manipulate individuals and, indeed, entire courts pushing Nissera toward peace and prosperity. These secondary stories play out on a larger stage as Bristal comes to terms with her newfound immortality and learns to control her magic while facing an elicromancer who would rather rule over humans than serve and protect them.

While not as all-seeing as her mentor, Brack (a character I wish we had seen more of in this novel), Bristal is patient and introspective willing to put in the time and sacrifice to do what is needed for Nissera. Her thoughtful planning and analytical nature are nice counterpoints to an otherwise frenetic plot and an often predictable villain. Romance enters the story late in the game with a lasting impact for generations to come.

Kingdom of Ash and Briars is a rich and original fantasy with a memorable world readers will want to revisit. Recommended for readers who enjoy complicated plots, wheels within wheels, and unlikely heroes.

Possible Pairings: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust, The Brilliant Death by Amy Rose Capetta, The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer, The Keeper of the Mist by Rachel Neumeier, Snow Like Ashes by Sarah Raasch

*A copy of this title was provided by the publisher for review consideration*