Friday, 25 October 2019

Red, White and Royal Blue by: Casey McQuiston

Genre: New Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: May 14, 2019 by: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 421
Rating: 5/5 stars

Alex Claremont- Diaz is the quintessential golden boy. He is handsome, charming, and his mother just also happens to be president of the United States. There's only one problem though, and that is that Alex has an extreme distaste for England's golden boy, Prince Henry of Wales. When Alex and Henry get into a controversial fight at a high-class gathering, the US and UK both agree to stage a friendship between the two boys to ease tensions. However, this pretend friendship soon blossoms into something more, and with his mother searching for re-election, Alex must decide if this love is truly worth it.

This book was on my radar as soon as I realized it was coming out. I needed a fluffy romance in my life, especially during the summertime. Mix that with my interest in the British royals and American politics, and I got myself a great read!

This book has the classic enemies to lovers trope. I absolutely love this trope because the romance tends to be slow-burn, and thus means so much more in the end. I really got to see Alex and Henry's relationship develop, and it was really adorable to see. Also because they're enemies at first, there are a lot of sarcastic quips throughout the novel that just makes their relationship so darn lovable.

The secondary characters are also awesome throughout the book. Alex's sister, the vice-president's daughter, and even Henry's sister were all so iconic! There are some strong female characters throughout this book that I really enjoyed reading about.

This book is extremely diverse. There are bi-racial characters, bi-sexual characters, gays, lesbians, the whole works! I think these details make the book so awesome, because every character has something unique about them. This isn't a cookie-cutter romance. It is an adorable novel that doesn't fetishize gay relationships. It's also more NA than YA, so it's a little bit more mature and realistic to the stage in life that I am in right now. Overall, I loved every second of it.

Have you read Red, White and Royal Blue? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 11 October 2019

Slayer by: Kiersten White

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Published: January 8, 2019 by: Simon Pulse
Pages: 404
Rating: 4/5 stars

Nina has constantly lived in the shadow of her twin sister Artemis. Growing up in the Watcher's Academy, the girls are taught to be guides for vampire Slayers. However, Nina has never been interested in the craft like her sister is. Instead, she stays in the background, and uses her caring nature to be a healer. That is, until everything changes. Suddenly, Nina discovers that she is the Chosen One, the last Slayer. With her watcher-in-training Leo, she will be forced to battle demons and all forces of darkness, all while dealing with the Watcher's Academy's resentment for Slayers, especially the most famous one: Buffy

When I heard that there was gonna be a YA Buffy the Vampire Slayer story from Kiersten White, I was very excited. That show remains in my top three favourite tv shows of all time, and I just knew I had to give this book a go. It did live up to my expectations (though my reading slump made me take forever to get through it). Still, I thought it did the tv series justice.

I really liked the setting of this novel. The prestigious boarding school of the Watcher's Academy had a very regal feel to it, and I enjoyed reading about all the different characters who live in it. I thought Nina was a great protagonist. I could relate to her in a lot of ways, and I found her to be resilient, but also very humorous. The book has a lot of sarcastic quips in it which I enjoyed.

I liked that this book had some Buffy easter eggs in it to keep me entertained. It more focuses on the history of the Watcher's, and goes a bit into the family tree of some notable ones, such as Wesley Wyndam-Pryce and of course, Rupert Giles. That being said, I think I would have liked a bit more info on the main notable characters from Buffy. Besides expressing multiple times the Watcher's distaste for Buffy, I wanted to know what these characters thought of Faith, Willow, and other important characters. My favourite character of all-time from the series is Spike, and a bit from him in there would have been awesome!

Overall, I was expecting this book to have more recognizable stuff from the Buffy world, but at the end of the day, this is not a re-telling. It is simply placed in the same world as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I think that it did satisfy my love for the series, through some great character development and an awesome setting. I think that this book is perfect for the Fall time, as it has enough supernatural elements to keep an interesting plot and a creepy atmosphere. However if you are a big fan of the series, don't expect it to be crawling with your favourite characters.

Have you read Slayer? What did you think?

Emily @ Paperback Princess

Friday, 4 October 2019

The Grateful Boys by: Francoise DuMaurier Blog Tour

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Published: October 1, 2019 by: Clink Street Publishing
Pages: 328
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

*thank you to Clink Street Publishing for providing this copy in exchange for an honest review.

Hailey is a bi-racial teen, who has just recently moved to the small country town of Corpus, Georgia. What she doesn't know, is that Corpus has been the site of some strange, mystical happenings, including some gruesome murders. When residents start seeing strange, winged creatures, the town's first African-American sheriff must start laying down the law. But Hailey is growing increasingly close to a mysterious boy named Percy who just happens to be a vampire, and she grapples with this new found love, and her own identity during a time of racial unrest.

I didn't really know what to expect when going in to this book. I thought it would be really high fantasy, with little realistic elements. However, I was very impressed with the author's ability to weave real life issues into a fantasy-like setting.

I labelled this novel as urban fantasy because the supernatural elements take place inside the real world. I actually really do love urban fantasy because I find that supernatural figures often serve as metaphors for reality. I loved DuMaurier's intertwining of racial issues in the deep South, along with the issue of the threat on the town. It was a great balance between fantasy vs. reality.

The characters were also quite lovable. I loved Hailey, her little brother Mason, and her love interest Percy. I thought that Hailey was a very relatable character. She seemed like a normal teenager to me, and wasn't overly mature or "done up."

I found the novel to have a lot of Stranger Things elements to it, which was very much appreciated. The whole small town setting, with a frustrated sheriff and some really creepy happenings, really worked. I thought that this novel was perfect for the current spooky season we are going in to right now, and I am always down for a novel that takes place in small town. I think the smaller the setting,  the more interesting things get!

The only thing I think could be improved for this book, is that I just wanted more romance between Hailey and Percy! I am a sucker for a good romance in stories like this, and while I found the two to have great chemistry, I would have liked even more from their relationship. That being said, it was a great addition to the story that didn't feel like insta-love.

Overall, this novel is perfect for Halloween, as it is perfectly spooky, but also semi-relatable at the same time. I will also add that it is #ownvoices, which is a huge positive element for me. Even if you don't like vampire stories, there are enough real-life issues in this book to grapple with.

Thanks to Clink Street Publishing for the copy, and be sure to check out the other posts in this blog tour!

Emily @ Paperback Princess