Friday, May 31, 2019

May Mini Reviews

I haven't been reading very much this year, but I did get to some very wonderful May releases!

*****

Title: Red, White and Royal Blue
Author: Casey McQuiston
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: May 14th, 2019!
*eARC kindly provided by St. Martin's Press*

Find it on Goodreads.


My Review!
I really was going to write a longer review, because this book just means so much to me. But then I found that I could not properly put into words how much I love it. It's so personal because I could relate to BOTH of the main characters. Henry and his depression, the way that he grieves, him feeling as if he has to hide who he is because his family would be ashamed to learn he's gay. And with Alex, I'm not nearly as bold or loud as he is, but his bisexual awakening so closely resembled my own that it was so hard not to feel as if this book was just written FOR ME. And I'm totally sure that's why Casey wrote it. Not for any other reason than to peer into my life and pull out all the bits that make up who I am. That's why I love this book so much. But also it's such a great study on politics, queerness, and PEOPLE. And I fucking loved June and Nora and Pez as well. I would gladly read another book or two about these same characters. Because I don't want to leave them yet. 😭
Rating: 5 Paw Prints!


Title: Don't Date Rosa Santos
Author: Nina Moreno
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: May 14th, 2019!

Find it on Goodreads.


My Review!
I ADORED this one!!! Rosa Santos is my favorite, and I love her to pieces. She's bi, stubborn, always looking out for others and helping them. She's such a big part of this community that she grew up in, and you can tell that she loves this home as much as she loves Cuba. I loved how culturally-infused this book was and how Port Coral felt like a real place, like somewhere I could go and hangout with friends and eat good food. I also completely adored Rosa and Alex's sweet romance, and almost every single character in this book. They + the relationships are just so fucking GOOD. However, the reason this isn't 5 stars (which is what it should have been), is because of what happened with her abuela. I thought it was unnecessary, and it kind of just seemed to derail the story. I love that it brought Rosa home to Cuba, but I didn't love why she got there. I might be in the minority about this one, but yeah. Don't Date Rosa Santos is absolutely precious, and I would die for my girl. 
Rating: 4 Paw Prints!


Title: The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient, #2)
Author: Helen Hoang
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: May 7th, 2019!

Find it on Goodreads.


My Review!
Oh, this was SO good and so sweet! The ending felt rushed, and I wish Khai's realization had come a bit sooner, but oh boy, do I love these two characters so much. Esme was so brave and determined, and she refused to accept what was. She had many insecurities, and she felt such shame over her life back home and how poor she and her family were, but she wanted to do better for herself. And for her daughter. And I LOVED that she found new dreams to dream in the process. And oh Khai, the sweetest boy. His autism had always been treated as a sickness, as a hindrance, because people didn't really take the time to understand him and accept that his brain and heart just worked a little differently from other people. But he was so, so good. He didn't always know what to say, or understand emotions and socialness, but he tried so hard and when he loves someone? He does not let them down. The two of them worked so well together, and I ADORED that we got so much of Quan and the rest of Khai's family. And a Michael and Stella cameo!! I'm such a fan of Helen's, and I cannot wait for ALL the books from her. :D
Rating: 4 Paw Prints!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Cover Reveal Roundup #19

Love doing these posts! I didn't share all the covers I found, but here's the fall/winter lineup from Sourcebooks Fire! :D

Ohhh, I like this one a lot!

Pub date: January 14th, 2020!

*****


oh, this is CUTE! I love the yellow and blue, and the way that the MC is outside the party but wanting in.

Designer: Kerri Resnick
Pub date: April 21st, 2020!

*****


omg this one is CUTE too!! And I'm so excited for this book.

Pub date: January 21st, 2020!

*****


I don't love it, but then, I don't like most covers with this kind of theme? I don't even know how to explain it.

Designed by: Alison Impey
Pub date: January 7th, 2020!

*****


I really, really don't like this one 😬

Art: Ada Buchholc
Designer: Olga Grlic
Pub date: February 4th, 2020!

*****


Oh, I LIIIKE.

Design by: Kerri Resnick
Pub date: January 1st, 2020!

*****


DEFINITELY an intriguing one! Love the foggy woods and the still water at the end of the pier. So atmospheric.

Design by: Vanessa Han
Pub date: January 1st, 2020!

*****

I like this one! And I love how there're tiny details about the books in the title.

Pub date: March 3rd, 2020!


I think my fave of this week is Tweet Cute. What's yours? :)

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Cover Reveal Roundup #18

A new week = a new roundup! :D

This is cute, and I'd never heard of this book before, but it sounds SO good!

Pub date: January 28th, 2020!

*****

I REALLY don't like this one, but I still wanted to share it because 

Design: Jamie Stafford-Hill
Photograph: Yuri Arcurs/E+/Getty Images

Pub date: March 3rd, 2020!

*****

Oh, I adore this one! I have no idea what's going on with this series (it's #8!) but it looks really great! haha

Design: Karin Poprocki
Pub date: November 5th, 2019!

*****

Oooh, I like this!

Art: Shane Rebenscheid
Design: Sheila Smallwood
Pub date: October 8th, 2019!

*****


I don't love this, but I'm here for the fat rep!

Illustrated by: Lisa Tegtmeier
Designed by: Hana Anouk Nakamura
Pub date: September 24th, 2019!

*****


Oh, I love this cover! It's so blue and yellow and illustrated, I think??? I'm a fan.

Pub date: January 14th, 2020!

*****


I don't love this, but omfg this book sounds so fucking good, I can't wait!

Pub date: January 14th, 2020!

*****


This is just very generic and kinda meh, honestly? So wah after the great covers of her previous novels.

Pub date: February 25th, 2020!


I don't really have a favorite here, but if I had to pick one, it would be Saving Savannah. What about you? :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

If Books Were Cake Tag

I sadly don't know who to credit for this one, so my apologies! But I couldn't NOT do the tag because hello, cake and books? They're two of my favorite things! :D

*choosing recent reads, ala 2018-2019*


CHOCOLATE: A dark book that you absolutely loved
The Dragon Republic and its predecessor are both super dark. Wars and villainy and murder and awful characters who do awful things, sometimes for good reasons and sometimes just because they can. They're hard to read, but I LOVE them! Especially the sequel. No second book syndrome here!


VANILLA: A light read
Starry Eyes is SO CUTE. And while it does handle some ~bigger~ stuff, it's really light and about a girl and a boy who rekindle their relationship after it tore apart.


RED VELVET: A book that gave you mixed emotions
A Curse So Dark and Lonely is definitely a good book, and a lot of people have loved it. But, I don't know, it just didn't hit the mark for me. And I was shipping the wrong couple, because the author wove a subtle second love interest in there. (I swear she did, and I don't trust her when she says there's not a love triangle in the sequel). Plus I didn't always care for the direction the story went. So yeah, a lot of mixed emotions on this one!


STRAWBERRY: A sweet book
I'm cheating a bit here because this is a graphic novel. But Heartstopper could almost give you a toothache with how sweet it is. And I LOVED it!


CHEESECAKE: A book that you would recommend to anyone
Red, White and Royal Blue is a damn near-perfect romcom, and I highly recommend it if you love sweeping romances, funny characters, amazing friend groups, and boys who email queer love letters to each other.


COFFEE CAKE: A book that you started but never finished
I never say never with some books, but the last one I set aside and don't know if I'll get back to it was Mistress of Rome. I love books set in Ancient Rome, so it was probably more mood-based at the time, so I'm kind of hoping to pick it up again!


CARROT CAKE: A book with great writing
Blanca y Roja, and every book by Anna-Marie, will always be some of the most beautiful writing to me. She's just so good with words 😭


If you've read any of these books, would you also put them in these categories? Are you a lover of cake? Let's talk! :)

Monday, May 13, 2019

From the Den: April Edition

From the Den is a feature to showcase the books that I don't post reviews for on the blog, whether I liked them or not. I read so many books that never make it onto The Fox's Hideaway, so I wanted a feature where I could still tell y'all about them. :)

*****

I've been even more moody lately with reading (which is why I'm ~currently~ in the middle of like 5 different books right now), so I keep hopping around. I mostly read the two Poppy War books and the Splintered series, but here's what else I got to!

A Underwhelming Thriller
stop using mental illness as a convenient backdrop for your edgy thrillers 2k19. Ugh, it was bad, and I didn't care for the voice or the main character. Yes, he was unreliable, and I wanted to know where the story was going, but I just didn't find it compelling at all. I thought this wasn't really any different from anything I've read in this genre. The abrupt, long ending was kind of weird, because Annabelle and Sean never actually fell in love so I didn't believe it. And the plot twist didn't surprise me, which is kind of key for stories like this. This was SUCH a disappointment.
Rating: 2 Paw Prints!


A Shakespeare Novella
To be honest, The Tempest is one of my least favorite Shakespeare plays that I've read. I've never really liked it, and I don't remember a whole lot about it. But I wanted to read this because of the f/f romance (!!), the fact that it's a Shakespeare retelling, and because I did remember a bit about the original play. At least the main characters, and some of the main events. So I don't know if this is part of the play, or if it starts directly after that ends. But I quite liked it a lot! This story about a sheltered girl with an abusive, controlling father, and a past she doesn't understand. Miranda wasn't afraid to take back her life, though, and make her own decisions, and she chose to put her own happiness first, when she had never been given leave to do so. The romance was sweet, the mystery kept me curious throughout, and that ending was wonderful! 
Rating: 3 Paw Prints!


A Schwab Graphic Novel
I tried to read the first issue, via kindle, and that went so poorly that I knew I'd have to wait until the volumes were out. I still kinda want to collect the issues themselves, but we'll see, because this isn't completely to my tastes. The artwork IS really lovely, but sometimes it's hard to follow. But god, I love this series and its world, I need to know ALL OF IT.
Rating: 3.5 Paw Prints!


What books did you end up reading in April? Have you read any of these yet? What'd you think of them? Let's talk! :)

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Cover Reveal Roundup #17

As always, I feel like I'm missing some book covers, but I just cannot keep up with my feed during the week while I'm at work. But here is what I did catch! :)

Whoa, okay, this is the best cover in the series, imo. I still haven't read the books yet (whoops), but I love it!

Pub date: November 5th, 2019!

*****

omg THIS IS SO FUCKING CUTE!!!

Illustrated by: Patrick LΓ©ger
Designed by: Danielle Ceccolini
Pub date: February 4th, 2020!

*****

I LOVE IT!!! It's very reminiscent of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue but it's different and better, imo.

Pub date: November 26th, 2019!

*****

Okay, so I'm not a huge fan of the font or how the title is placed, but I LOVE the colors and the butterfly!

Pub date: October 1st, 2019!

*****

I don't love these covers, but there is something about them that draws me in. (I tried to get into the first book once, but couldn't. I think it was mood, so I want to try it again).

Pub date: November 14th, 2019!


I think my favorites this week are Gentleman's Guide and The Gravity of Us! Which one(s) is yours? :)

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Aurora Rising Launch with Jay Kristoff and Susan Dennard

I'm always completely over-the-moon when I hear about a bookish event happening in Grand Rapids. If you've followed me for awhile, you know I hate driving. Even more, I hate driving in cities; it makes me anxious, and that doubles when it's somewhere I don't know. So I never go to book events unless they're at Schuler's in GR. Already I was excited, but then JAY FUCKING KRISTOFF would be there!!! Susan Dennard too, but I'd never met Jay before, and I always wanted to but he's in Australia and his tours are never around where I live. So I couldn't even deal with how excited I was.

But I had some shit go down on the drive up. From not being able to take my car because it got stuck in the grass/dirt at home and I could not move it no matter how hard I tried, an intersection light that wasn't working (and that I would not have been able to get through if people hadn't stopped for me), and almost getting in an accident, I was DONE. Like see, here, this is exactly why I hate driving. And the city is worse, and people are stupid, and like. I JUST HATE DRIVING!! However, it's always still worth coming up because it's not that far from me and I get to meet authors.

Anyway, that was awful. But I got to sit for a little bit and read (Agrippina: Empress, Exile, Hustler, Whore by Emma Southon) and Theresa was kind enough to save me a seat. I got to see Sarah (The Book Traveler) and meet a few new people (Mandy and Megan), including one of the booksellers because we started fangirling over The Raven Cycle series. πŸ˜‚ All in all, it was super fun! Jay started the night off by having us all say hi to Amie in a video because she was sad she couldn't make it (I was also sad because I would've LOVED to meet her too).

Here are some of the highlights of the talk!

  • Amie wrote Susan a letter and wanted to ask Jay questions. One of them was if he'd been forced to sit in regular-sized seats on the airplanes, and he was like YES. Multiple times. He also got randomly searched 3x. LOL
  • Jay said making Amie cry is one of his goals (but in a good way 😁)
  • When asked about his writing processes with soloing it vs. coauthoring, Jay said he makes it up as he goes more often on his own. But when he's with Amie, they tend to plan 100 pages at a time. They like to go to pubs to do it, where Amie eats fries and Jay has drinks. Then they write their POVs and send them to each other.
  • Susan plans a lot, and she has a general idea/the ending, but she tends not to know what she's actually going to do until it happens. Which SAME.
  • They both love it when the story surprises them, and when they end up making genius things happen without even thinking about it. Haha.
  • Susan actually figured out a plot point/bad guy to her story when she overheard a conversation between readers while on tour.
  • When asked if he needed time between books or if he could jump right in, Jay said that he and Amie will block out big chunks of time so they can each do different things while the manuscript is with the other.
  • Neither Susan nor Jay can keep writing if they know they need to fix something behind them. (SAME SAME SAME).
  • Susan had to write Bloodwitch in 2 months (!!!) and while she loved it looking back, she never wants to do it again. LOL, I don't blame her.
  • Susan can cut scenes with very little issues, because she thinks about it in the context of it making the book better. She cut a whole character POV in Bloodwitch, which is super hard but she said she could basically make a novella about the person now. And she likes keeping them because it's extra, bonus content too. (Jay mentioned that you typically know when something's not working too, which I agree with). 
  • Jay also said that cutting darlings when you're coauthoring is easier, because he and Amie have mad respect for the other's decisions. They don't really even argue. He did talk about the time they got into it at a writing retreat (with other authors) over the ending of Obsidio though. Jay leans dark and Amie leans light so they had ~fought~ over that. It was so bad that everyone else cleared the room. LOL. (Amie won out).
  • Someone asked how to decide if something should be YA or adult, and both the authors said that it pretty much depends on age, but that the lines are blurring so it almost doesn't even matter. YA just makes more $$. So they told the reader to write what they want, and let the labels come second. (Really loved this advice, and also love how Jay made a little snark toward Sarah J. Maas πŸ˜‚)
  • Jay originally killed off his main character in this first book (Stormdancer) but his publisher was like hey, maybe let's NOT because we can make more money if this is a series.
  • When asked what made her want to write, Susan said that she's always loved telling stories, as far back as she can remember. She told them to her sister, and said bless her heart. So then Jay was like WAIT, is that the nice bless your heart or the other one? She's from Georgia so she knew exactly what he was talking about and said it was genuine and that you KNOW when it's not.
  • Jay worked in creative advertising, which was a big reason why he ended up writing books. But he was also a storyteller in D&D (He and Susan geeked out over Dungeons and Dragons for a few minutes).
  • Amie is really great with conflict resolution, and she's basically a lie detector. She gave Jay a tip once and said that if someone looks to the right, that means they're lying. (Because if they look to the left, they're accessing memories). He also said this is why she wins all the arguments. πŸ˜‚
  • They talked about names too, but all I remember from that is that Amie really loved Kady for a kid, and she used it for the Illuminae series. :D
  • Lastly, it only took Jay like 30 seconds before he started dropping fuck into the conversation. HAHAHA.

One thing that made this talk with them so great is that you can tell they're friends. Amie is one of Susan's favorite people as well, and she and Jay were actually in the same debut author group (the 2012 Apocalypses). So it felt organic, energetic, and they asked a lot more audience questions than normal because they thought that would be more fun for US. Then it was time for the signing, which took a bit, but I didn't mind since it told me that they were giving everyone a chance to meet them. When it was my turn, I basically forgot stuff that I wanted to say and didn't really know how to talk to Jay, BUT I got some fabulous pictures!
Susan recognized me, that's always flattering and lovely 😭

I NEVER KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MY HANDS

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

(121) Top Ten Characters Who Are Basically Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that was started by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's topicCharacters That Remind Me of Myself

1. Kiko
Kiko is awkward and shy, has social anxiety, is a middle child and a dreamer/creative type, and lets the starfish in her life have too much power over her (but is learning how to change that). So completely and 100% me.

2. Elisabeth
Bookish, a bit naive, but willing to do what is necessary even when it's hard. And also so compassionate and kind toward others. Ugh. I'm quite like her a lot! Honestly I'm A LOT like Nathaniel too actually. Must be why I'm loving this book so much 😭

3. Lucy
I could have picked another Emery character, but I felt most connected to Lucy because of her faith, and the questioning of it. And the way that sometimes you just want to scream and yell at the unfairness of it all, instead of accepting what is. Plus she's so quiet and stubborn and willing to do her absolute best.

4. Lila
To be fair, I'm not as cool as Lila is. However, her sense of adventure and her stubborn spirit and her wishing for more in life and going after it because she refuses to take anything less than what she deserves... ugh, my queen.

5. Taylor
Taylor is shy and quiet and doesn't quite think she fits in. And she doesn't think super highly of herself. But she's also willing to demand more and ask better from people, and she is such a NERD. 😁

6. Molly
This. This is a book I could have used back in high school. There was so much about Molly, from her insecurities and weight issues to her anxiety and thought processes that I could relate with so hard.

7. Tom
Tom Mackee. It's no surprise that a Marchetta character is no this list, but it was hard to pick The One. But when I read this book, I cried so much and just felt so many feelings because I understood Tom on such a huge level. Because I *am* him. Angry and sullen, difficult and immature at times. He is a me from a few years ago, more than now, but it was such a revelation reading his story.

8. Hermione
Gotta put my girl on here because I am a complete and total Hermione. Someone who probably could have been Ravenclaw, but who ended up in Gryffindor instead because at her core, she's a true lion. :D

9. Claudia
Quiet, awkward, nerdy Claudia who just wants to make some friends, damn it!

10. Henry
It's weird because you'd think being bisexual would mean that I relate to Alex more, and I do in that regard, but Henry is the quiet one. The one who just wants the world to accept who he is, who just wants his family to. The one who loves fiercely, and who grieves deeply, and who tries so hard to live with his depression without it ruining his relationships and his hopes and dreams. Ugh, he's MY BOY.


What characters made your list this week? :)