Book Review: “Spin The Dawn” By Elizabeth Lim

I read this book with my small book club of friends and I wasn’t entirely sure of what I was getting myself into other than the fact that this is a Mulan retelling. I am not a huge Mulan fan but this was a pretty cute take on that story.

“You’re used to being underestimated, so you want to prove yourself. Don’t let that be your crutch. Accept help when you need it.”

Elizabeth Lim, Spin the Dawn

About The Book

Author: Elizabeth Lim

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books For Young Readers

Published Date: July 9th, 2019

Page Count: 392

Main Genres: Fantasy, YA, Romance

GoodReads Rating: 4.00

“I knew then that we were like two pieces of cloth, sewn together for life. Our stitches couldn’t be undone. I wouldn’t let them.”

Elizabeth Lim, Spin the Dawn

Synopsis

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Synopsis From GoodReads

“I’d battled ghosts and touched the stars. I’d climbed a mountain to the moon and conquered the fury of the sun.”

Elizabeth Lim, Spin the Dawn

Rating

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Review

I was a little worried to read this book because I am not a big fan of Mulan. However, I really loved the twist to this story. Her being a tailer was a fun story line that was pretty easy to follow along with.

I thought the characters were all very well written and well rounded. You have characters you loved and hated which made you really want Maia to be victorious.

The Romance aspect in this book was probably my favorite part. I think both Maia and Edan are made for each other and I hope things work out for them in the next book.

I rated this book a 3.5 because part two in this book felt really slow to me and made it really hard for me to want to pick the book up and finish it. While most of the romance was in part two and most of the character development, it was just really slow. I am glad I finished the book and the ending made me really want to pick up the next one to see how the story continues but I am not sure I will be doing that anytime soon.

“Seize the wind,” I whispered. “Don’t become the kite that never flies.”

Elizabeth Lim, Spin the Dawn

QOTD: What is your favorite retelling?

Book Review: “Heart Bones” By Colleen Hoover

This month I meant to focus my reading around thrillers so I can start getting into the spooky season vibe. However, I have read two Collen Hoover books instead. Sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants and you can’t tell it no, what can I say?

“I wonder what kind of upbringing is worse for a human. The kind where you’re sheltered and loved to the point that you aren’t aware of how cruel the world can be until it’s too late to acquire the necessary coping skills, or the kind of household I grew up in. The ugliest version of a family, where coping is the only thing you learn.”

Colleen Hoover, Heart Bones

About The Book

Author: Colleen Hoover

Publisher: Hoover Ink

Published Date: August 19th, 2020

Page Count: 338 Pages

Main Genres: Romance, Contemporary, New Adult

GoodReads Rating: 4.35

“People sometimes still drown in the shallow end,”

Colleen Hoover, Heart Bones

Synopsis

Beyah has been raising herself her whole life, having an absent father and a drug addict for a mother. She has just graduated high school and has a full ride volleyball scholarship to a school in Pennsylvania all due to her own hard work and determination. This scholarship finally gives her the chance to leave her life behind and start over. But when her mother dies at the beginning of the summer she has no where else to turn to except her absent father for a place to stay until school starts.

Her father has a new wife and a step daughter only a few years older than Beyah and this stings but with no where else to go she tries her best to fit in. When she meets the next door hot boy, Samson, they clearly have nothing in common on the surface but quickly learn they both have damaged pasts. Will Beyah find her place in this strange new world and can she truly leave her damaged past behind?

“Sometimes I believe personalities are shaped more by damage than kindness. Kindness doesn’t sink as deep into your skin as the damage does. The damage stains your soul so bad, you can’t scrub it off. It stays there forever, and I feel like people can see all my damage just by looking at me.”

Colleen Hoover, Heart Bones

Rating

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Review

This book has been super high on my list to read, mostly because I find the cover absolutely gorgeous! But most importantly the story was really what pulled me in. I read this book over two days and could hardly put it down!

Beyah and Samson just have this natural connection that really makes sense by the end of the book. These two were meant to find each other and I was really wanting them to end up together in the end despite the challenges they go through together. I think they had super great banter even though they are both pretty soft spoken

I also really loved the sisterly bond Beyah and Sara developed over the course of the book. Beyah really needed someone she could trust and talk to and really just become best friends with and Sara helped her with all of those things. This was a very important relationship in this book and honestly one of my favorites.

The pinwheel is a major symbol in this book talking about turnings ones luck around. I have seen many people get the pinwheel tattoo for this book and I was so curious as to why and now it all makes sense. I might be getting one of my own now thanks to this beautiful book!

“I think when you’re the worst of people, finding the worst in others becomes a survival tactic of sorts. You focus heavily on the darkness in people in hopes of masking the true shade of your own darkness”

Colleen Hoover, Heart Bones

QOTD: What is your most meaningful tattoo? If you don’t have one what would you get?

Book Review: “Ugly Love” By Colleen Hoover

This is my third book by Colleen Hoover and to say I am a fan of her writing would be an understatement! So far I have read Verity and It Ends With Us and they were both my top two favorite books! Lets see how Ugly Love stacks up.

“When life gives you lemons, make sure you know whose eyes you need to squeeze them in.”

Colleen Hoover, Ugly Love

About The Book

Author: Colleen Hoover

Publisher: Artia Books

Published Date: August 5th, 2014

Page Count: 337 Pages

Main Genres: Romance, New Adult, Contemporary

GoodReads Rating: 4.23

“Ugly love becomes you. Consumes you. Makes you hate it all. Makes you realize that all the beautiful parts aren’t even worth it. Without the beautiful, you’ll never risk feeling the ugly. So you give it all up. You give it all up. You never want love again, no matter what kind it is, because no type of love will ever be worth living through the ugly love again.”

Colleen Hoover, Ugly Love

Synopsis

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

Synopsis is pulled from Goodreads

“Love isn’t always pretty. Sometimes you spend all your time hoping it’ll eventually be something different. Something better. Then, before you know it, you’re back to square one, and you lost your heart somewhere along the way.”

Colleen Hoover, Ugly Love

Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review

I listened to this book on audio and I typically don’t do full book reviews for audio books but I have all of my other Colleen Hoover books here on my blog so I figured why not?

I convinced my boyfriend to read this book with me and he is still in the middle of the book but I plan on sharing his thoughts as well.

I gave this book 4 stars because the writing was not exactly my favorite compared to Verity and It Ends With Us. I just feel like her earlier books might not be my favorites and I feel like that is to be expected because your writing will really progress the more you write and publish your work.

I feel like my least favorite part was the narrator for Miles. I really didn’t love his voice. However, Miles was my favorite part of the story. His background is so tragic and I can completely understand why his character is so grumpy and sad all the time.

I am a sucker for the grumpy sunshine trope but I wouldn’t quite say that is the trope of this book because Tate is also a grumpy character. I almost wish this was a book only about Miles and Rachel. But it wasn’t and over all Miles and Tate had a complicated love story that in the end I did end up falling in love with.

“I know the thought of confronting your past terrifies you.It terrifies every man. But sometimes we don’t do it ourselves. We do it for the people we love more than ourselves.”

Colleen Hoover, Ugly Love

QOTD: What Colleen Hoover books have you read?

Book Review: “The Roughest Draft” By Emily Wibberley

I recently became a VIP for The Once Upon A Book Club Subscription Box and this was my first book from their subscription box. I immediately dove into this book because I was excited to read it and find out what the gifts were that came along with the book and I was not disappointed!

If you would like to order your own book box from Once Upon A Book Club please click this link for a discount!

“…sometimes relationships don’t die. They just don’t grow. Kept from sunlight, from nourishment, they never flourish.”

Emily Wibberley, The Roughest Draft

About The Book

Author: Emily Wibberley

Publisher: Berkley Books

Published Date: January 25, 2022

Page Count: 317 Pages

Main Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction

GoodReads Rating: 3.68

“Forever is about reaching into the future, into years far away and unknowable. Always is about every second of every day. It’s as far reaching as forever, it just starts sooner.”

Emily Wibberley, The Roughest Draft

Synopsis

Katrina and Nathan wrote a best selling book together four years ago and haven’t spoken since due to some writing fallouts that led to Nathans divorce and Katrina’s writers block. Still having a contract to write one more book together they are forced to reconnect and knock out another bestseller in two months. Will they be able to put their rocky past behind them or will they let their contract fall to pieces?

“Fiction comes from truth. It is a wonderful, imaginative, flourishing thing grown from a seed of real feelings, real desires, real fears. No artist ever creates from nothing. We work from what we’ve experienced, inspired by the unique piece of the world we see. It’s why art cannot be replicated.”

Emily Wibberley, The Roughest Draft

Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review

As said above I got this book from Once Upon A Book Club and so after this review I will be showing you what came in the box. These are gifts for you to open as you read the book. Please only scroll all the way to the bottom if you are ok with spoilers!

This book was a slow burn but it was really worth it! You feel the connection between the two characters immediately and you are just rooting for them to get together from the start.

I really enjoyed the characters in this book. They both had silly little quirks they had to overcome throughout the book that really added some much needed contrast to the writing and characters. Chris’s character was easy to hate which I thought was perfect for this books over all story because we needed something to despise while reading.

The thing that I hated and loved the most was the ending. It was super fast which flowed really well but I was left wanting more of their relationship. Overall this was a really fun read that I think you will really enjoy.


“There’s no truth to these pages, but the trick of fiction is to make you think there is. I let myself fall for it as often as I can.”

Emily Wibberley, The Roughest Draft
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Book Review: “Things We Never Got Over” By Lucy Score

Now that I have finished this book I have officially reached my 2022 reading goal of 40 books! In all of 2021 I read 35 books so I am already killing it this year and I still have four months to go! I would also like to point out that I read this 500 paged book in less than a week along with listening and finishing an audio book so I have been really on top of my game.

“There’s a difference between taking care of someone because you love them and taking care of someone because you want them to love you,”

Lucy Score, Things We Never Got Over

About The Book

Author: Lucy Score

Publisher: That’s What She Said Publishing

Published Date: January 13, 2022

Page Count: 568 Pages

Main Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Adult

GoodReads Rating: 4.31

“Sooner or later, you have to accept that you’re not responsible for other people’s choices. Worse, sometimes you can’t fix what’s wrong with them.”

Lucy Score, Things We Never Got Over

Synopsis

Naomi is a runaway bride on her way to the smallest of small towns to save her twin sister from some kind of trouble yet again. But instead of finding a warm welcoming town she is faced with a grumpy Viking of a man who thinks she is her no good twin sister Tina, here to stir up more trouble. After putting the man in his place she quickly finds out that Tina set her up to steal her car and a bag full of cash and left her with an 11 year old niece she didn’t know she had.

Naomi is now the sole guardian of her niece in a small town with no money where the only person she knows is a Grumpy man who already got on her nerves. She is quick to lay out a plan on how she will make a life for her and her niece but is she truly ready to be a parent?

“I’d lost myself while trying to convince someone else that I was what he wanted. I’d forgotten who I was because I’d let someone else take over the definition.”

Lucy Score, Things We Never Got Over

Rating

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Review

This book has been all over my Bookstagram and Booktok so I have been super excited to read this for quite sometime. I received this as a gift for my birthday last month and I am so grateful!

This book hooked me from the first chapter! I read this while at the beach and sped through the first half of the book in one sitting! I read the rest today on my day off under a nice shady tree and loved every moment of it. I truly believe the hype for this book is well deserved and I don’t see a reason why you shouldn’t pick it up yourself.

One thing that I struggle with in steamy books are the sex scenes. 90% of the time they talk way too much and it just feels awkward and strange. Maybe I don’t have enough experience reading steamy books and maybe I like less steam. To be honest me and my boyfriend just laugh at the words being used to describe things. Like being milked gets talked about several times in this book and that is not a sentence I would ever say.

My favorite part of this book was Naomi’s relationship with Waylay, her niece. They just fit like glue and became the best part of the book. I love Waylays smart mouth and the love Naomi automatically has for her. Just over all the whole community of this book was much needed and I love the found family trope that is so strongly presented in this whole book.


QOTD: How is your reading goal going this year? Do you even have a goal or do you just read for fun?

“When you trust someone to see you for who you really are, the betrayal is a thousand times worse than if you hadn’t handed them the weapons in the first place,”

Lucy Score, Things We Never Got Over

June Wrap Up

June has been a crazy month full of packing and putting final touches on our home so we could move. We are officially moved into my childhood home and now all that is left is finding room for all of our stuff. Now that we are moved I am hoping to have more time to read next month but if I am honest this move has exhausted me and I am not sure how much brain capacity I have for reading right now.

As always I will post the link to my reviews for you to read those. I don’t post full reviews for audio books so my thoughts will be next to those books here. I mostly listened to audio books this month while we packed so this could be fun.


Physical Books

“Read Between The Lines” By Rachel Lacey

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Rosie’s whole life has been centered around books. She grew up in her moms bookstore surrounded by all the stories she loves. When her mom passes away Rosie takes over the shop which has so many wonderful memories of her childhood and special moments with her mom. All that Rosie is missing is her own romance story, But she thinks she has found that too when she strikes up a conversation with her favorite author Brie on Twitter.

Everything feels like the stars have aligned until the day Rosie gets a letter telling her that the Bookstores lease will not be renewed and that she has till December to find a new home for her beloved store. Rosie pushes love to the back burner in hopes to save her store but why can’t she have it all?

“Loveless” By Alice Oseman

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Georgia is about to head off to University never having the chance to have a relationship let alone her first kiss. She felt like she was falling behind in the romance category but she believed that was all about to change when University started. This was her time to find the love of her life.

Arriving at University she finds out that she has a roommate who seems to have relationships all figured out. This gave Georgia hope, thinking she could learn a thing or two about relationships and sex. However, this just caused her more confusion than anything. Why is romance so easy for everyone but her?

Throughout the course of University Georgia has a chance to find her true self but this will turn out not to be an easy task. Will Georgia be able to find love?


Audio Books

“The Charm Offensive” By Alison Cochrun

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I have seen a lot of amazing reviews for this book and I heard it was basically The Bachelor. Because of these things I was super excited to listen to this book. The beginning was super cute and I was hooked but the longer it went on the more I just felt meh about the whole thing. Charlie and Ben both really annoyed me and I never really cared about their relationship. The big romantic gesture happened two hours before the book ended and so once that happened I was just done. The ending really fell flat overall.

“Written In The Stars” By Alexandria Ballefleur

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This book was Highly recommended to me by many Bookstagrammers and I was super excited to read this one. I think I was pretty distracted while I was listening to this book because I can’t remember much that happened, I did listen to it 30 days ago but still. I know I loved the first part of the book, The middle and all the animosity between the characters really made me feel meh and the ending just felt rushed. I have never liked enemies to lovers so this rating doesn’t surprise me but I do think I would have enjoyed it more if I actually read the book.

“Meet Cute Club” By Jack Harbon

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was a super cute story that I think every book lover dreams about. I really enjoyed this book and the characters relationship. However I did not like the narrator and so I probably would have given this 5 stars if the narrator was better, he just took me out of the story more than I would have liked.


Favorite Quotes

“Give your friendships the magic you would give a romance. Because they’re just as important. Actually, for us, they’re way more important.”

From Loveless

“She’s happy with who she is. Maybe it’s not the heteronormative dream that she grew up wishing for, but… knowing who you are and loving yourself is so much better than that, I think.”

From Loveless

“Never trust your fears. They don’t know your strength.”

From Read Between The Lines

“Life would be a lot better if we all spent a little more time staring at the stars.”

From Written In The Stars

June Thoughts

I read a lot of the books I thought I would read this month which I am super happy about! I am also in the middle of reading “Ace” but this is one I am taking my time with to mark and annotate so I can really gather my thoughts.

We have officially moved so I think life will be less busy here soon so I really hope to read and post more in the near future!