Every month I share the books that I read that month. July started out slow, I was on vacation with my family and I only read one book during the first half of July. Last week was The Reading Rush which helped me read quite a few books! Let’s get into everything I read in July.Read More
Okay. Where to start?I really really wanted to love Red, White & Royal Blue more than I did. And while I did enjoy a lot of things about it, there were other parts that I didn't love so much. I'll start with what I didn't like as much and then share what I really enjoyed.
Things I struggled with:
I didn't love all the politics. I didn't realize when I picked this one up that we would follow so much of Alex's mom's campaign trail, but we did. It felt like it overwhelmed a lot of the story and it wasn't all that interesting to me to read. I don't love politics much in real life (though I do try to stay up to date) but I didn't really love being so involved in these fictional politics. I felt we could have skipped a lot of the political stuff and focused even more on the romance.At the beginning of the book, it feels like it's going to be a really fun hate to love romance between the first son and the prince. And that is what it is at first, at least for about 10-20% of the book. They basically hate each other and then their making out (which was fine) but I did wish that the hate to love tension had lasted a little bit longer.It also felt like the main characters were a lot younger than they actually were. It read like a YA novel where the protagonist is 16 instead of in his early twenties.The last thing that I struggled with throughout the book was the POV. This was written in 3rd person present tense and while it works some of the time, there were parts that really felt clunky while I was reading it and I didn't love that.
What I did enjoy:
The dialogue/banter. It was hilarious and so much fun to read. This kept me going through some of the political parts that I didn't really care for. But I loved the snarky conversations and it was just done really well.I also liked how Alex goes through his own coming out during the book. He has this huge realization that he's Bi and he has to figure out what that means for him and his relationship. I thought this book had great queer rep.The relationship between Henry and Alex was also fun to read about, at least most of the time. I loved how sweet Henry was and how much he knew what/who he wanted and how he was willing to give up everything in order to have that love. I did feel like a lot of the relationship was "oh look here you are, let's have sex." Which I realize happens a lot in books, but I wanted more emotional connection too. Thankfully, you do get more emotional connection as the book goes on which I really appreciated.This book wasn't my favorite, but it did have some good parts. I will say I liked the first 30% best, as the last half of the book did get more political. But all in all, it was a fun read and while I wished there hadn't been as much politics, it was still fun.
About Red, White & Royal Blue
A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends...First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him. As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?
This post contains affiliate links. This means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase. I only share books and products that I love and know you will love! I read the first few pages of The Cruel Prince last March. At the same time I picked up another book (that I can't remember) but that I didn't love. Then I spent the last 10 months not liking The Cruel Prince because I thought it was that other book. I decided to pick up The Cruel Prince again because The Wicked King just came out and everyone seems to adore this series! I thought that I could give it another try and I am so glad I did! The Cruel Prince follows a mortal girl, Jude, who's taken from our world into the land of Faerie because her mother had run away from Faerie with Jude's older sister. Jude then grows up in Faerie but is considered less because she's a mortal. I LOVED this book so much. Everyone is so morally grey and you hate them and love them all at the same time. The world was fascinating and I want to go to Faerie, even though it isn't the greatest place for morals. But I still want to go :) The Cruel Prince had me captivated from the very beginning. The main character Jude is one that you'll love and also hate, and the same goes for Prince Cardan. I feel like I can't say a lot about this book because I went in not knowing a lot and it made the story so much better! But I will say that there is death and murder and love and magic and all the best things you need for a fantasy novel. I definitely recommend The Cruel Prince if you've been looking for a great fantasy world that you want to escape too. The Cruel Prince will pull at all of your emotions in the best (and worst) ways. And then you'll run to pick up The Wicked King because you'll need to know what happens next. I can't wait to dive into The Wicked King.
If you liked The Cruel Prince, you might also enjoy:
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About The End Begins
When your beliefs are at war, does love stand a chance?Bookstore owner Meryn O’Reilly and Army Captain Jesse Christensen are on opposite sides of a battle. After a series of terrorist attacks in 2053, martial law has been declared in Canada and the military has taken over. When a radical Christian group claims responsibility, Jesse and his platoon are sent to Meryn’s city to keep an eye on the Christians and ensure they are not stepping outside the confines of the law.Fiery and quick-tempered, Meryn chafes under the curfew and other restrictions to her freedom. Jesse is equally amused, intrigued, and terrified by her spirit. She could find herself in prison if she shows defiance to the wrong soldier, namely Lieutenant Gallagher.Jesse watches out for Meryn when possible, although she wants nothing to do with him. His worst fears are realized when she commits a crime he cannot protect her from. Now they both face an uncertain future and the very real threat of losing everything, including their lives. With time running out, Jesse works feverishly to convince the authorities to show leniency to Meryn. And to convince her that love can overcome any barrier that lies between them.
I was pleasantly surprised with The End Begins. This was the first book I've read about Christian persecution. I thought the book was written well, and it gave me WWII vibes with the soldiers and the Christian people (in relation to the Jews during WWII.) The End Begins takes place in 2053 and I feel like it is something that could happen in our world. It felt realistic and that made me more intrigued. And made me wonder what I would do if I'd been in Meryn's shoes. Throughout the story, you follow the perspective of both Meryn, who is a Christian woman at a time when Christians are being watched carefully after some terrorist acts. And Jesse, who is part of the Army. While I liked Meryn, I loved Jesse. I loved his growth throughout the entire story and I can't wait to see how he continues to grow in the rest of the trilogy. Overall, The End Begins kept me captivated as I wanted to know what was going to happen next. Looking back now, I feel like some things were stretched so that it could be a trilogy, but while I was reading it, I never had a problem with the pacing. I did struggle with a few of the scenes near the end, when I felt as though Meryn and Jesse both acted out of character (who they'd been the entire book) and that sort of put a damper on some of my thoughts. I gave The End Begins 3/5 stars. I received a copy of The End Begins for free from the publisher + author in exchange for an honest book review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Today on my Bookstagram account there is a giveaway if you're interested in winning a copy of this book + an Amazon gift card! Add The End Begins on Goodreads
Have you read any good books lately? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!
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About Teal Paisley Tights
Life post-graduation was supposed to see the launch of Jadyn’s art career, or at least an art gallery showing one of her watercolor paintings. Instead, this Pittsburgh native is locked into a low-paying consultant position with an impossible boss. When another coworker is fired, Jadyn inherits an extra workload, including the company’s biggest client. If she loses him, she’s fired.
Evicted from her apartment because of a small spending problem, she is forced to move in with her know-it-all sister. While everyone else plans a neat, buttoned-up life for her, Jadyn longs to paint professionally. Stretched like canvas between responsibility and dreams, she must choose.
My thoughts + Review
Teal Paisley Tights was a really fun read. I struggled to get into the book at first but ended up really enjoying it.
We follow the main character, Jayden, as she navigates life after college trying to make it on her own. She works for an ad agency as a consultant. Jayden likes her job but doesn't love her boss, and she's got a few too many projects and feels overwhelmed by all the work she needs to get done. Plus, she's about to get evicted.
When I first started Teal Paisley Tights I was expecting a romance, and while there was some romance in the story, the real focus was on Jayden as she figures out how to be an adult and chase her dreams all at the same time.
We need more books like this.
I feel like there are so many coming of age stories for teenagers (with characters right around 18-19) but I haven't read many about young adults (20-25) who are fresh out of college. At least, if there are books like this, direct me to them because I am loving them.
This is such a tricky time, you've finished college and chances are you're either looking for work or you've started out at some company and life isn't everything you thought it would be. I loved reading about Jayden figuring out how to manage her money better (cause she got evicted, that's a good wake up call) and how much she grows as she realizes that the job she's doing isn't what she wants in the long run.
I thought this was a great coming of age story and I gave it 3/5 stars. (I'll be doing a post explaining my rating system soon) but this means that I enjoyed the book, there were things that I didn't like (mainly how scenes would just jump from one to another without too much cohesiveness) Overall I thought that Teal Paisley Tights was a good read and I recommend it if you're in the mood for a coming of age contemporary.
+ it's clean (and Christian) which I always love.
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What have you been reading recently? If you need some suggestions, grab a copy of my Reading Challenge to help you pick your next read!