Review: Verona Comics by Jennifer Dugan

Review: Verona Comics by Jennifer DuganVerona Comics by Jennifer Dugan
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on April 21, 2020
Pages: 352

From the author of Hot Dog Girl comes a fresh and funny queer YA contemporary novel about two teens who fall in love in an indie comic book shop.

Jubilee has it all together. She’s an elite cellist, and when she’s not working in her stepmom’s indie comic shop, she’s prepping for the biggest audition of her life.

Ridley is barely holding it together. His parents own the biggest comic-store chain in the country, and Ridley can’t stop disappointing them—that is, when they’re even paying attention.

They meet one fateful night at a comic convention prom, and the two can’t help falling for each other. Too bad their parents are at each other’s throats every chance they get, making a relationship between them nearly impossible…unless they manage to keep it a secret.

Then again, the feud between their families may be the least of their problems. As Ridley’s anxiety spirals, Jubilee tries to help but finds her focus torn between her fast-approaching audition and their intensifying relationship. What if love can’t conquer all? What if each of them needs more than the other can give?

Oh, man. This book. I don’t even know where to start. It was just.. SO good. Both Jubilee and Ridley were incredibly relatable characters for different reasons. I adored them both as individual characters and as a couple. Their banter was great and truly entertaining to read. I loved the brief two person love triangle trope – something I’ve only recently discovered and that has very quickly become one of my favorite tropes.

I knew this book was going to be a bit heavier than most rom-coms when I went into it, but the angsty parts definitely hurt. I loved the way Jennifer Dugan handled the mental health aspects of the story. And though I was a bit disappointed in the ending, it was also realistic and very fitting for the story, and I don’t think it could have ended any other way.

I also really loved the nerdy comic-con and fandom elements of the story. So fun!

Overall, I loved this book and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to read a book that has romance, a discussion on mental health, and nerdy/fandom elements.


Review: Royals by Rachel Hawkins

Review: Royals by Rachel HawkinsRoyals by Rachel Hawkins
Series: Royals #1
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 1, 2018
Pages: 296
Format: Hardcover
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Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.

I was a HUGE fan of Rachel’s Hex Hall series, and am DYING to read her Rebel Belle series. So, of course, from the moment I heard about this book, I HAD to have it. Not only will I read basically anything Rachel writes, but (as you all know) I’m OBSESSED with books about royalty. Sadly, I was a bit disappointed with it. It had some really adorable moments, but overall, it was just… meh.

My biggest issue with this book is that I wanted MORE: More of the story (296 pages wasn’t enough); more of Daisy in Scotland; more of Daisy and Miles; more of… everything. I was temporarily excited when I saw that there IS a Royals book two listed on Goodreads, but it kind of sounds like it’s a different main character, so… temporary excitement tempered.

I really liked Daisy in all her nerdy, sassy glory. I love how relatable she was, and the way she wanted NOTHING to do with the royal life. In most books, the main character glamorizes the idea of being royalty. And let’s be honest, as much as we all want to be royalty, it does come with some drawbacks. So this was a refreshing attitude to see. But once she was drawn into royal life and Scotland, I LOVED it and wanted her to embrace it more. Unfortunately, she didn’t.

Miles was… I loved the “hate to love” trope and I loved the “fake dating” trope. But I’m really torn on how I felt about Miles in general. By the end of the book, he had me swooning and shipping him with Daisy. But still… I wanted more (as I keep saying).

Alexander and Sebastian felt like caricatures of William and Harry. Alexander was the absolute perfect golden boy, and Sebastian was the bad boy who got into fights, etc. Sebastian was completely unlikeable – what he did to Daisy in the beginning… Are you serious?? And I despised his confession near the end, and what it meant for everyone involved. I’m trying really hard to find a redeeming characteristic for him, but I just can’t think of any…

I couldn’t keep track of half the characters in this book, even if my life depended on it. It was just such a huge “friend” group. I really don’t feel like we even learned enough about any of them to make me care about them.

The end was really cute and romantic, but I really wanted Daisy to STAY in Scotland, not the other way around. So that was kinda weird.. Sorry for the confusing vagueness, I’m trying to avoid major spoilers as best I can.

Overall, I’m still excited for book two, I just hope we get more Daisy and Miles. I still loved the overall plot, and Rachel Hawkins is an epic writer, so I’m still excited to read her Rebel Belle series, and everything that comes after. I’ll admit, some of what happened in this book went AGAINST the typical tropes, and that was a bit refreshing, but it just needed MORE. So, with book two, I hope we get that MORE that this book lacked.

I highly recommend this for those who love books about royalty, and the “love to hate” and “fake dating” tropes. Also, those who loved Rachel’s other books will likely enjoy this one.


Review: Alex and Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Alex and Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la CruzAlex and Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz
Published by GP Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on April 11, 2017
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: the publisher
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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Witches of East End and The Descendants comes the love story of young Alexander Hamilton and Eliza Schuyler.

1777. Albany, New York.

As battle cries of the American Revolution echo in the distance, servants flutter about preparing for one of New York society’s biggest events: the Schuylers’ grand ball. Descended from two of the oldest and most distinguished bloodlines in New York, the Schuylers are proud to be one of their fledgling country’s founding families, and even prouder still of their three daughters—Angelica, with her razor-sharp wit; Peggy, with her dazzling looks; and Eliza, whose beauty and charm rival that of both her sisters, though she’d rather be aiding the colonists’ cause than dressing up for some silly ball.

Still, she can barely contain her excitement when she hears of the arrival of one Alexander Hamilton, a mysterious, rakish young colonel and General George Washington’s right-hand man. Though Alex has arrived as the bearer of bad news for the Schuylers, he can’t believe his luck—as an orphan, and a bastard one at that—to be in such esteemed company. And when Alex and Eliza meet that fateful night, so begins an epic love story that would forever change the course of American history.

In the pages of Alex and Eliza, #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz brings to life the romance of young Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler.

Though I haven’t seen Hamilton (yet), I’m a HUGE fan of Melissa de la Cruz and historical fiction. So this book has been on my radar for a LONG time – and it definitely didn’t disappoint! It was amazing, adorable and full of ships and feels!

I loved Eliza! She was defiant, feisty, sassy and snarky! I really loved how amused she was by her own efforts to rile Alex up. I completely cracked up during these scenes! One of my favorite quotes from her is this:

“She had to hand it to him. He was GOOD, this Alexander Hamilton. Under other circumstances, she might actually like him. But right now she had about seven more minutes of his time, and she was determined to make them as difficult as possible.”

Alex’s personality was so multi-faceted. On the one hand, he was this sweet-talker who charmed the ladies and “knows what he’s doing.” On the other, he was a gentleman who rattled SO easily, like when Eliza told him to watch where he put his hands and he stumbled over an apology. It made him really likable. Also, despite having not seen Hamilton on Broadway, I completely pictured Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hamilton the whole time I was reading!

I – obviously – 100% shipped Alex and Eliza right from the beginning. They were adorable together and they gave me SO MANY swoons and feels!

Another character I really loved was Aunt Gertrude!! She was pretty progressive, considering the time period she’s living in. I loved her fierce attitude and desire to protect and care for Eliza.

I really enjoyed the writing and atmosphere – though I fully expected to, since (as I mentioned) I adore Melissa de la Cruz. She always does an amazing job creating epic worlds and characters, and this book was no exception!

I definitely recommend this to fans of historical fiction, Melissa de la Cruz and Hamilton!