Weekly Round Up: June 5 – 18

From what I bought, to what I loved and hated, these are what caught my eye last week.

What I Read

30724132Anything can happen once upon a con…

When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.

Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

What I Thought

5 Stars – Wow. This book was adorable. I love all things geek culture and cons are one of my favorite things to attend. Also, cosplay? Yes, please.

This was a refreshing take on Cinderella. The reason for Elle’s stepfamily treating her the way they did (though not justified) felt real. It’s hard for families to merge, sometimes families just can’t. Whether one side won’t put in the effort, or it just doesn’t work. It was nice to see an actual reason for the hatred and mistreatment, instead of just a blind hatred like in the Disney Cinderella.

Darien? Swoon-worthy. He had real-world problems and seemed like a real person. It was also a nice reminder that actors are people, that they had lives before they were in the spotlight. I loved the split POV of this book and both voices were strong and needed. One didn’t seem to carry the weight of the story. It was really cute to watch them react to each other and the switching of POV’s was seamless.

This is a must-read for anyone who loves fairy tales or being a geek.

30653719Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?

What I Thought

4 stars – Wow. This beauty was a magical ride start to finish. I absolutely love all the lush words Meagan Spooner creates, the Starbound Trilogy being one of my faves. I honestly didn’t even read the synopsis. I saw Meagan Spooner and beauty and the beast retelling and dove right in.

I love anything and everything beauty and the beast. This was rich and even put a new spin on the classic tale. It was a little too slow in the beginning, however, hence me deducting one star. I loved the family dynamic. The side characters were fleshed out and felt real. They definitely brought a lot to the story. I love watching Yeva change and evolve throughout the book.

The little chapters from the Beast’s point of view were a great addition. They let us into his mental state and even gave us little clues about who he was. I figured out who the Beast was about halfway through, and was surprisingly right.

I wish there was a bit more exploration of Beast’s word because the glimpses we got had me falling hard. They felt very Grisha to me and I really want more about that world. Otherwise, this is a delightful retake on a classic tale.

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