Love is a Many Trousered Thing by Louise Rennison

“It’s always tough to hurt someone and tell them the truth. I know that. You’re a really lovely girl. Lovely . . . mad . . . but
lovely. I’ll always like you. Don’t worry.”

Synopsis from GoodreadsThe original Sex God has re-landed, Masimo the Italian Stallion wants to be her boyfriend, and Dave the Laugh is still a regular snoggee. How will Georgia cope juggling all three boys of her dreams? Have her days on the rack of love really gone for good? Or will this just lead to confusionosity and merde?

Feelings:  I decided to once again go for the audiobook version. This book had a different narrator, so it isn’t narrated by the author. It was still narrated really well and I think this reader really captured Georgia’s personality and spirit.

Georgia always makes me laugh, but for some reason this book in particular made me laugh out loud multiple times. Literally – out loud, on my own, just laughing. For example, there’s a scene where Gee is complaining about a documentary they have to watch at school about bees. When it’s over, she’s talking about how awesome it was and how they wanted to watch two queen bees in a bitch fight a second time. So great and so classic Georgia.

Issues: The only thing I really have to say about this book is that it kind of dragged sometimes. The tempo of the story slowed down quite a bit at times, but then it would pick back up and I’d be interested again.

Characters: One thing I thought was really funny was how Georgia kept referring to her love interests as desserts. She just kept going back to that cake shop of love and switching things up – so funny to listen to. Ever since I started reading this series, I’ve mentioned I want Georgia to grow up some more. I’d say we see that in this book more so than the others, and I’m HERE for it. We’ve only got 2 books left, so I’m allowing myself to hope for some maturiosity.

I feel nothing towards Masimo. I don’t find him to be a particularly interesting character and I’m ready for Georgia to move on from him. I get that he’s foreign and has that accent…but being from Pizza-a-gogo land isn’t doing it for me. Surprisingly, I was okay with Robbie being back! That surprised me, but it’s probably mostly because I was bored by the Italian Stallion. Still rooting for Dave the Laugh, I have to say!

I enjoyed the scene where Jas puts her new found acting skills to use, role playing as herself talking to Tom. It seemed like Georgia was noticing that Jas isn’t completely useless, as she’s stated many times, but then NOPE. Back to complaining about her “best friend”.

Final thoughts: I think this is a good series and I enjoy it. It’s not deep, compelling literature for the ages, but it’s entertaining and fun. It’s also nice as a buffer between serious novels or non-fiction. Georgia lightens things up and I like that about her!

Goodreads rating: 4.15/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.7/5

My rating: 4/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

“Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his moccasins.”

Synopsis from GoodreadsThirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle’s mother has disappeared. While tracing her steps on a car trip from Ohio to Idaho with her grandparents, Salamanca tells a story to pass the time about a friend named Phoebe Winterbottom whose mother vanished and who received secret messages after her disappearance. One of them read, “Don’t judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins.” Despite her father’s warning that she is “fishing in the air,” Salamanca hopes to bring her home. By drawing strength from her Native American ancestry, she is able to face the truth about her mother.

Feelings: I remember reading this book when I was in 8th grade. It was an assigned text and while I couldn’t really recall what it was about exactly – I remember loving it. Recently, I’ve been reconsidering what books I teach in my 8th grade class and thought I’d see about this one, so it was time for a re-read. I’m SO glad I picked this book up again!

Something that really jumped off the pages to me is the way Creech writes. There’s something really poetic and magical about the words and phrases she uses. I felt myself getting swept away in her language and that’s something I really love about reading.

There are a lot of things going on in this story – a lot of really well woven together elements. In the “present”, we’re traveling with Sal and her wild grandparents and she tells us a story of the past, introducing us to Phoebe Winterbottom and Mrs. Cadaver. As she relays this story, we learn more about her as a person than we could if we were just in the present. Within this tapestry, there’s mystery and sweet young love and heartbreak and layers and layers more.

Issues: At the very beginning, I got a little confused about whether or not Sal’s mom was alive. She told us her mom was “resting peacefully”, but then talked about how the trip with her grandparents was so they could “bring her home.” I don’t know if this was something the author used to make us question intentionally, but it’s probably the closest thing I have to an issue in this book.

Characters: Making this journey with Sal made her more relatable to me. I haven’t experienced everything that she has, but because she was telling her story to us herself, I felt what she was going through. There were moments where I could tell that Sal had hardened her emotions, which is understandable, but we got to see her let people in and let herself feel. This is so powerful, especially to young readers who may see themselves in her situation.

Phoebe is a PILL. Sometimes I wanted to tell her to shut up, but I never got so annoyed by her that I skimmed over her dialogue or hoped for her life to fall to pieces. I certainly wanted her to appreciate her mother more and I think she was well on her way there by the end.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of this story was spending time with Sal’s grandparents. I’ve lost beloved grandparents and reading about her travels made me imagine laughing with my family, too, and that’s a precious thing to me. Their love for each other and for Sal was really sweet and a dynamic that I think YA literature is missing the mark on more and more.

Final thoughts: This is still one of my favorite books even after all these years. I’ve been reading so much modern YA lit lately that it was nice to pick up a book that was written more than 10 years ago and see how different stories were. (Because they may have had a lot of similarities, but there are for sure a lot of differences!) I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for something a little bit different.

 

Goodreads rating: 3.95/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.7/5

My rating: 4.5/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

Then He Ate My Boy Entrancers (audiobook) by Louise Rennison

“What in the name of Beelzebub’s stamp collection are you on about?”

Synopsis from GoodreadsHilariously funny author Louise Rennison’s fabby sixth book of the confessions of crazy but lovable teenager Georgia Nicolson. Guaranteed to have the nation laughing their knickers off! Laugh your socks off at Georgia’s tales from her trip to Hamburger-a-gogo land, and her attempts to entice Masimo, the Italian stallion. Can Georgia become the composed sex-kitten she aspires to be!? Surely not!

Feelings: Once again, I chose the audiobook. I’m just finding it to be more enjoyable! 

I have to say…I’m getting “over” wanting Georgia to mature. She’s experiencing some very real realities of growing up (as well as some really extreme and weird situations.) When I decided to stop analyzing these books like they’re classic literature, I found myself really…finally enjoying the story. It’s like I’m really starting to get it: the appeal and draw of Georgia. And I’m a fan. 

Issues: I think the only part of this story that I had an issue with was when Robbie showed back up again. It seemed like we were headed towards two other love interests, but then the Sex God poked his head back in and reminded Georgia he existed. So now she’s got 3 guys in her life and a lot of feelings to navigate through. I don’t know…I guess this is a stretch for “issue”…it’s more like a personal annoyance. 

Characters: In both this book and the one before it, I found myself enjoying Georgia much more. I thought it was really funny how while planning out her trip to America, she thinks it should be simple to get from Memphis to Manhattan so she can track down Massimo. There are multiple problems there, but her teenage girl mind doesn’t see them. I was also really happy to see her having a very real moment with her mom and actually enjoying herself! Hoping mom’s advice plays out in Georgia’s favor!

We started to see a different side to Jas when she and Tom decided to take a break, but she was almost unrecognizable in this book. She was so down in the dumps! But then she started to come out of it, but I’m glad she experienced this. It’s good for her. 

Narrator: If you missed my review of book five in this series, I talked about how the audio books are narrated by the author, Louise Rennison, and it makes ALL the difference. Obviously, nobody understands her characters the way she does so she hits everything on the head. In this book, she does some American accents and it’s pretty hilarious.

Final thoughts: Again, I’d recommend the audio versions of these books. They’re just really fun and enjoyable. However, the print copies of these books are still good reads. The style it’s written in makes it easy to read. As for Georgia herself, I’m enjoying her more and more and I’m ready to continue on with her adventures…which is good because we’re only halfway through!

 

Goodreads rating: 4.09/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.1/5

My rating: 4/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2017

Earlier this year, I listed out 10 books I was looking forward to from the first half of this year. (You can see that post HERE.) I included 5 books that are part of a series and 5 stand-alones that were released through the month of June. Now it’s time to look at the second half of this year, which I cannot BELIEVE it’s time to do. For each book, I’ll include the release date and the synopsis from the book’s Goodreads page. The first 5 are either the first book in a new series or a continuation of an existing one, followed by 5 stand-alones.

The Last Tudor (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels #14) by Philippa Gregory

Released August 8 — The latest novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory features one of the most famous girls in history, Lady Jane Grey, and her two sisters, each of whom dared to defy her queen.
Jane Grey was queen of England for nine days, dying on the scaffold for her faith. But few people know about her two sisters, cousins to Elizabeth I who also faced imprisonment and death sentences for treason.  Katherine Grey was the beauty of the family who earned the lifelong hatred of her cousin Elizabeth I when she married for love. Mary Grey was an extraordinary little person known as a dwarf in Tudor times, who defied convention to marry the tallest man at court in her own secret love match.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Released August 29 — Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world. Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery. Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6) by Sarah J. Maas

Released September 5 — Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken. His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them. But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

One Dark Throne (Three Dark Crowns #2) by Kendare Blake

Released September 19 — The battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail? With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

Renegades (Renegades #1) by Marissa Meyer

Released November 7 — The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew. Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

 

The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marise Wiseman

Released July 25 — On a summer evening in 1931, Lilly Blackwood glimpses circus lights from the grimy window of her attic bedroom. Lilly isn’t allowed to explore the meadows around Blackwood Manor. She’s never even ventured beyond her narrow room. Momma insists it’s for Lilly’s own protection, that people would be afraid if they saw her. But on this unforgettable night, Lilly is taken outside for the first time–and sold to the circus sideshow.
More than two decades later, nineteen-year-old Julia Blackwood has inherited her parents’ estate and horse farm. For Julia, home was an unhappy place full of strict rules and forbidden rooms, and she hopes that returning might erase those painful memories. Instead, she becomes immersed in a mystery involving a hidden attic room and photos of circus scenes featuring a striking young girl. At first, The Barlow Brothers’ Circus is just another prison for Lilly. But in this rag-tag, sometimes brutal world, Lilly discovers strength, friendship, and a rare affinity for animals. Soon, thanks to elephants Pepper and JoJo and their handler, Cole, Lilly is no longer a sideshow spectacle but the circus’s biggest attraction… .until tragedy and cruelty collide. It will fall to Julia to learn the truth about Lilly’s fate and her family’s shocking betrayal and find a way to make Blackwood Manor into a place of healing at last.

Solo by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess

Released July 25 — Solo, a YA novel in poetic verse, tells the story of seventeen-year-old Blade Morrison, whose life is bombarded with scathing tabloids and a father struggling with just about every addiction under the sun—including a desperate desire to make a comeback. Haunted by memories of his mother and his family’s ruin, Blade’s only hope is in the forbidden love of his girlfriend. But when he discovers a deeply protected family secret, Blade sets out on a journey across the globe that will change everything he thought to be true.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Released September 5 — On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

Released September 19 — Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions. Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family’s island mansion called Tu Reviens. Jane remembers her aunt telling her: “If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you’ll go.” With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn’t know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Released September 26 — One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted. International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.

What books are you looking forward to for the rest of 2017? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

The Royal Treatment by MJ Summers

“…finding a single, dependable, decent man is as likely as finding a payphone these days…”

Synopsis from GoodreadsTwenty-eight-year-old Tessa Sharpe, a.k.a. The Royal Watchdog, hates everything about Prince Arthur. As far as she’s concerned, he’s an arrogant, lazy leech on the kingdom of Avonia. When he shocks the nation by giving her the keys to the castle in an attempt to boost his family’s dismal public approval ratings, Tessa has no choice but to accept and move in for two months. It’s lust at first sight, but there’s no way she can give in to her feelings—not if she wants to have a career or a shred of pride left when her time at the palace ends. Ultra-private, ultra-hot Crown Prince Arthur has always gotten by on his charm. But that won’t be enough now that the Royal Family is about to be ousted from power once and for all. When Prince Arthur has to rely on the one woman in the kingdom who hates him most, he must learn that earning the love of a nation means first risking his heart…Can two natural enemies find their forever in each other’s arms, or will they ruin each other to save themselves?

Feelings: This book had me from the very beginning. Seriously, from the author’s note on page 1, I was hooked. It was really fun to follow Tessa in her adventure living basically every girl’s dream. The writing style was really engaging and I loved the way it all came together in the end. I’m always drawn to stories of princes and princesses, castles and ruling families. These kinds of stories, though, with the regular person getting a crack and the handsome prince…they’re my lifeblood. Plus, the narrators bring up the movie Speed, Arbonne products, Prince Harry, and uses the phrase “gaggle of dukes”. I’m sold.

Issues: There were a few moments where I felt like I was reading a different story: Beauty and the Beast, basically all the Prince & Me type stories, and a couple of Hallmark movies. It wasn’t like the whole book was a copycat, so I was kind of okay with it. Plus, the characters seemed to acknowledge any familiarity to other stories, which was kind of funny.

It felt pretty unrealistic that the crown prince would get to invite a member of the press to live in the palace for two whole months, especially one who’s so openly against the monarchy. It was especially weird that he announced it in a press conference before he or his people ever approached her.

Why does the prince have a pet pig? I mean…so, so random. I don’t hate it, though.

Characters: Straight up – I wasn’t expecting character development. I mean…a prince and a pauper getting together..I was just expecting romance. But we saw both main characters grow and change throughout the course of their story. The prince grew into his title and embraced change, while the “commoner” came to grips with her reality and stood up for herself and others. I think I read the second half of the book in one sitting because I was just so INto what was happening with these people. They felt really real to me and I was invested in how things turned out in the end. That’s my favorite kind of writing. I was really excited to see that this is just the beginning of a new series! Also, I’m a fan of when narrators speak to the readers. We get to see their personalities in a different way, and these two were fun to follow in that way.

Final thoughts: At the time that I’m writing this post, this book is available on Amazon.com for Kindle for just $3.99. Not sure if that’s a sale or if that’s its set price, but check it out! Again, I really enjoyed this book and I’m really looking forward to the next one!

Goodreads rating: 4.59/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.7/5

My rating: 4.5/5

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review. All opinions are my own.

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

June 2017 Wrap Up

Hey friends! I’ve been a bit inconsistent with my posts lately, which I’m letting myself be okay with. After 2 years of posting 1-3 times a week, I’m not going to beat myself up over a few missed posts. I’ve been in and out of wifi for the last couple of weeks and low on reading motivation. But I’m hoping to get back at it this next week! Thanks for being patient and for understanding! – Caitlyn

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This is what I was able to read in June…I read 4 books, read 1 short story, listened to 0 audiobooks, and read 0 graphic novels, for a grand total of: 5!

My Fairy Godmother is a Drag Queen by David Clawson

  • Different. Funny sometimes. Could have been better.
  • My rating: 2 stars

Kindred Spirits (short story) by Rainbow Rowell

  • Just long enough. One of my favorite authors. Interested in a follow up.
  • My rating: 4 stars

Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

  • Weddings. Multiple love stories. Classic Dessen (in a good way).
  • My rating: 4 stars

Knocked Out by My Nunga-Nungas by Louise Rennison

  • Georgia is still kind of mean. Poor Angus. More Dave the Laugh
  • Around the World in 80 Books Challenge: Scotland
  • My rating: 3.75 stars

The Royal Treatment by MJ Summers

  • Cute romance. Felt like a few other stories. New series.
  • My rating: 4.5 stars

What did you read this month? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy reading! – Caitlyn

Knocked Out by My Nunga-Nungas by Louise Rennison

“[Angus] is really sad without Naomi. I know how he feels, every minute without the Sex God seems about sixty seconds long.”

Synopsis from GoodreadsGeorgia Nicolson is now the girlfriend of the Sex God (aka Robbie), and things are wonderful. Except her loony parents are dragging her off to Och Aye land (aka Scotland), and the Sex God’s band’s chance at a record contract has left her something of a “pop widow.” Then up rears temptation in the form of old flame Dave the Laugh. Is Georgia about to become a shameless vixen?

Feelings: One thing I continue to enjoy about this series is how easy the books are to read. This particular book was about 150 pages and I read it in one quick sitting. The plot picks up right where we left off in book 2 and thankfully, it doesn’t end the same way as the two previous books. The conflict in this series got multiplied quite a bit here, too! We went from one boy or the other to OMG ONE OR THE OTHER. And Georgia is starting to have to really think about what kind of guy she wants, so that’s fun to read.

Issues: I can’t decide if this is an actual “issue” I have or just something that catches me off guard…but Georgia’s parents are both very…open. And in-Georgias-face about their love and attraction towards each other. Georgia’s dad is pretty hands on and Georgia witnessed it a few times in this book. That may be normal for some people, but it was kind of different for me.

Why is it not totally awful that Georgia’s cousin is coming on to her again. And not just like flirting with her…but touching her in unwanted ways. Is this not an issue that Georgia’s going to deal with? Or are we just sweeping it under the rug? Then when Georgia mentions it to Jas, her best friend blames it on HER. Like it’s HER fault. Like she’s sending out a signal to guys for them to touch her inappropriately.

Characters: Why is Georgia so mean to everyone? This is book three and it hasn’t gotten any better and I’ve stopped making excuses for her. I mean, her voice is so hilarious to read and her POV is spot on, in terms of life as a teenage girl. But dang. Girl is rude. Jas annoyed me when I first started this series, but now the tables are turning for me. She’s trying to be a good friend to Georgia, but Gee is straight up shutting her down. I hope she gets herself together, because I don’t want to keep reading if she’s going to just get worse.

DAVE THE LAUGH RETURNS. Now, the way he returns is alarming and I hope he and Georgia can get their stuff figured out, but still…I love that guy. He’s the most realistic character in this series so far to me and I want more. Little less Robbie and a little more Dave, in my opinion. I’ll take the Laugh over the Sex God any day.

Final thoughts: I think what Georgia experiences is relatable to a lot of girls, whether they’re teenagers or 55, so I enjoy that aspect of this series so far. If you’re looking for a super quick and easy read that’ll most definitely make you laugh out loud, this series is a good pick. I do have some hopes for very real development in the next book or two, though!

Goodreads rating: 3.97/5

Amazon.com rating: 4.1/5

My rating: 3.75/5

Happy reading! – Caitlyn