Princess Diaries Fans of the World, Unite!

As we all know, in June, Meg Cabot is releasing Royal Wedding, the adult sequel to her wildly successful (and awesome) series, The Princess Diaries. Also, as we all know, I’m freaking out about this because:

1. More Michael Moscovitz

2. It’s Adult so there really could be more Michael Moscovitz.I don’t need too many details, but if there’s a tiny bit more steamy kissing than usual, I’m not going to complain.

3. There’s a wedding, hello

4. I’ve missed Mia. I really have (not that I don’t obsessively reread the series over and over again. But still).

Unfortunately, we still have to wait SIX MONTHS for the book, but today we’ve been given a special treat. We get a look at the cover:

Adorable

Adorable

Aaaaaaaand, drumroll, we get a very cute excerpt in which not only is Michael’s sexual prowess discussed (I am not making this up, I swear!), but we get to see our Mia doing one of the things she does best–freaking out.

Here’s the link. Enjoy.

Also, if you aren’t following Meg Cabot on Pinterest, she has a funny board related to the wedding (including Grandmere’s preferences vs. Mia’s). It’s pretty cute.

Hope that brightened your day!

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OMG It’s Been a Month

Sooooo, it’s been a while. I’m sorry. I haven’t fallen off the face of the planet. I’m still reading, still writing, still love blogging, but I’ve definitely fallen behind.  One thing I didn’t spend this past month doing? NaNoWriMo. Nope. Didn’t happen. As I mentioned previously, I did do something kind of funny: I reread Twilight.

Twilight

Yep.

It had been about five years since the last time I’d picked it up. Before that, I’d read it about three times. Back then I was like most people; I was sucked in. I loved Edward, I was engrossed in the whole love triangle, and I hated Bella and Jacob in equal parts (Bella, you can’t be in love with two people. You can’t). So, imagine my surprise when I caught a showing of the film version of my least favorite book in the series, New Moon, over the Halloween season, and I said I’m going to read that series again! It was a strange desire, but hey, I went with it.

Twilight First Kiss

Here’s what I learned: I still hate Bella. Really, she’s so self-deprecating and such an Edward worshipper that I feel she and I could never truly be friends (it’s essential that I at least respect all of the heroines in my books). I don’t hate Jacob yet. In fact, I forgot that I…wait..liked him in the first book. He was sort of endearing and sweet. I still felt super-wrapped up in the whole who is this crazy hot Cullen dude who keeps staring at Bella like he simultaneously wants to kill her and make out with her? That was fun to read again. Not fun? Bella’s snore-inducing descriptions of her nightly dinner-making. Seriously, how did I get past that five years ago? How did no one see fit to cut that out of the books? I still really liked Alice (when she hugs Bella and comments that “she does smell good”, LOVE). But the rest fell short for me. It wasn’t because I knew what was going to happen (hello, I spend half of my time rereading books to the point that I can practically recite them. It’s about the build up sometimes and not solely the outcome), it was more or less because Bella really has no personality. And Edward–it hurts me to say this–he felt a little blah. A completely, stalkery, devoted blah, but blah just the same.

So that’s my reread take.

But then I reread a fabulous book I hadn’t picked up in about two or three years, Jellicoe Road. Now, hold up. I’m not comparing the two books. Even I know it’s unfair to compare a Melina Marchetta book to anything else because she is vastly superior to most writers…but I am comparing experiences. Like I said, I’ve read Jellicoe Road several times, but it had been a couple of years for me since the last time. I am happy to report that this one did not disappoint. In fact, I had the same love–if not a deeper love, a more profound connection–with it this time around. Of course, that is due in part to the ever spectacular

JONAH EFFING GRIGGS

but it’s also because of the magnificent writing, because of the beauty of the story, the angst, the pain, and the humor. Taylor Markham is everything a protagonist should be: flawed and frightened, brave, smart, and equipped with a beautiful heart. She’s a total, crazy enigma at times. She feels so real. She’s broken and yet she embodies such strength and character. I love her connection with Jonah, not just the romantic one (le sigh), but their history, their intensity. And I love the friendships in this story, both the ones in Hannah’s manuscript and the ones Taylor forges. My copy has so many dog-eared pages, and in re-reading it I found that I cried in all the same parts, I swooned in all the same places (maybe more), and I sat on the edge of my seat still waiting and hoping for all to turn out well. I was, once again, truly sad when it was all over again. This is one of those rare books I wanted to climb inside and relive again and again.

Jellicoe Road

Now, I think books like Twilight and Jellicoe Road both need a place on my shelf. And I fully intend to reread the rest of Bella and Edward’s story, as well as all of Marchetta’s work. They’re different stories, different depths for different moods, but I found it interesting to read one after the other. In one case I was wondering why I ever loved it (I still like it, despite how much I make fun of it at times), but in the other, I wondered how I could go even two years without reading it. It left a little hole in my heart, as though that book belongs to me and me alone. It was a reminder of all I loved about it and more…all I love about reading.

 

Biggest Flirts

Biggest Flirts (The Superlatives #1) By Jennifer Echols

 

Biggest FlirtsTia and Will’s lives get flipped upside down when they’re voted Yearbook’s Biggest Flirts in this sassy novel from the author of Endless Summer and The One That I Want.

Tia just wants to have fun. She’s worked hard to earn her reputation as the life of the party, and she’s ready for a carefree senior year of hanging out with friends and hooking up with cute boys. And her first order of business? New guy Will. She can’t get enough of his Midwestern accent and laidback swagger.

As the sparks start to fly, Will wants to get serious. Tia’s seen how caring too much has left her sisters heartbroken, and she isn’t interested in commitment. But pushing Will away drives him into the arms of another girl. Tia tells herself it’s no big deal…until the yearbook elections are announced. Getting voted Biggest Flirts with Will is, well, awkward. They may just be friends, but their chemistry is beginning to jeopardize Will’s new relationship—and causing Tia to reconsider her true feelings. What started as a lighthearted fling is about to get very complicated…(Goodreads)

 

The Story:

Tia is the party girl with a bit of a rep. Will is the new guy everyone wants to know about (and, you know, he’s hot, so that never hurts). These two meet up at a party just before school starts, they have some steam, and then they form a bond later the next day during band. Because Tia is known as such a major flirt, and because she and Will spend pretty much every moment talking when they aren’t supposed to, smiling at each other, laughing, and ogling each other, they earn the honored class title “Biggest Flirts.” Truly, there could not be a more fitting description of them. Tia doesn’t want anything serious, so Will moves on and the whole flirty thing doesn’t sit well with his new lady. And of course, his new lady doesn’t really sit well with Tia. She really likes him but after watching her sisters make terrible, awful decisions pertaining to love, she’s afraid to make the same mistakes. She and Will’s friendship (or more) hangs in the balance because they both want something but they can’t seem to find common ground.

My Thoughts:

I have only read two other Echols books, both good, both with a slightly darker edge (slightly), but I’m not a huge Echols fan. I say this not to disparage her, but to let you, the reader, know in advance that I’m not a built-in fan destined to love anything she writes. But I really adored this book. It was absolutely, perfectly fun and it made me laugh out loud in many parts. In fact, I’m so thrilled it’s going to be a series.

The center of this story is Tia. I have to tell you, at first description, I had no idea I’d love her the way I ultimately did. Tia wants few ties or romantic entanglements. She’s okay with being a friend with benefits, making out with one of her best guy friends because they have an understanding, and she prefers to be with a guy for a fleeting moment rather than falling in love. Despite this, Tia is about as loyal as a friend can be. She goes to great lengths for the ones she loves, and she is honestly so sweet-natured, despite the reputation. And this girl is so funny. She has a habit of being very chatty and she says the funniest things. All of this just endeared her to me. I seriously adored this girl. If she were real I’d want her as my best friend.

Will is great because he isn’t perfect. He has a bit of a temper, he has that bit of mystery being that he is the new guy in school, and he is extraordinarily devoted to Tia, even when he’s dating someone else. Together their flaws are somewhat heightened, but it somehow makes them that much cuter. And the banter! I’m such a sucker for fun, witty banter and Echols nails it with Tia and Will.

There are still deeper emotions to this story, issues with Tia’s family, questions about who each of them are and where they want to be, but the book never feels heavy. It feels just right:perfectly fun and happy with a romance that’s sexy without being a cheesy. There’s some off the charts swoonworthiness here, but it all feels real.

Crush Intensity: 4.5 I just loved this book. It made me smile… and you can’t ask for more than that.

Thank you to Edelweiss and Simon Pulse for providing me with an e-galley in exchange for an honest review.

Top Ten Tuesday- Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

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Well, it’s feels like forever since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday. I know, I’m sorry. I’ve been lacking in the list-making department.  But never fear. Today I’m ready to tackle this week’s subject: My Reading Wishlist. This can be regarding more from a particular author, certain issues tackled, etc.

So let’s get to it!

I Heart MM1. You know what’s coming, right? But I have to say it. Have. To.

Michael Moscovitz. I want more of Michael Moscovitz Fake Man of My Dreams. So this goes out specifically to Meg Cabot: I need more Princess Diaries. I know the series has wrapped, but I reread it a couple of times a year in its entirety, then I pick up individual books from the series at random (so pretty much, I’m always reading a PD book). I need more.

love to laugh2. Funny Books- I love books that make me laugh out loud. I respect the fact that most authors say it’s more difficult to make someone laugh than it is to make them cry. I believe that. But I want to laugh. I want to giggle. I want to read smart funny, witty funny, silly funny, goofy funny…just funny.

kissing books3. More kissing books- There really isn’t a shortage here, I just like them and will never tire of a sweet romance. NEV- EEEER. And can we take out that whole thing where Good Girl is paired in Bio labs with Bad Boy/Mysterious Hot New Guy in School? It’s been done. I’m open to anything else though.

boarding schools4. More Boarding School Settings- I probably never would have survived boarding school, but I like to think I would have been the Frankie Landau Banks of any school I attended. Humor me here (because it’s so NOT true. I am a rule follower all the way).

Hermione5. Speaking of Frankie, I’d like more girls who kick butt. I don’t just mean physically tough girls (those are great too), but girls who outsmart everyone. We need more girls like that.

Clueless6. Best Friend Stories- I love a good romance, but sometimes I just want to read a girl story about the ups and downs of friendship. Not boy/girl friendship (which I also love, hello adorable), but tried and true BFFs who share makeup and have sleepovers and who know everything about each other. I’d love to see more of that.

Paris7. Fish out of Water Stories- I love books about people adjusting to life in a new place (like Anna and the French Kiss). I can’t move to a new city. In fact, I’m a stay at home mom; I can’t fly to a new city. I want to visit a new place, get to know it like a local, all through the eyes pf my protagonist.

Harry P8. Wizards- I know there’s no one who can do it like JK Rowling, but I’d love more books about wizards. I’m not a huge genre Fantasy fan, but I could get behind a good wizard story again.

Boys in Books9. Boy’s POV- I really love a boy’s perspective. I especially love it if it’s a love story. Alternating perspectives, his and hers versions, work for me too. I just really enjoy getting into a boy’s head. If it’s done well it’s fascinating.

ryan_ya10. Contemporary YA- I love YA, obviously. I love everything about it. We’ve seen our vampire stages and fallen angels stages and plenty of mermaids, and dystopias. There has been good (and bad) in every facet of YA, but I can never get enough stories about normal girls, ones without superpowers or a wolf fetish (because really. I still don’t get it. It’s like falling in love with your dog) or who live in worlds that have survived some kind of apocalypse. These are all great, interesting things, but show me a girl who has a funny after school job and a crush on her co-worker, let me get to know a girl whose just lost her best friend or whose life has been rocked by tragedy, and I’ll get sucked in almost every time.

And what about you? Anything you’re wishing for?

Top Ten Tuesday- Character Names I Love

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

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This week we are discussing awesome (or weird…but I’m going with awesome) character names.  I mean, there are sooo many bad ones. The Evers and Havens and Echos of the world can all nod in agreement because they know their names were selected from the Soap Opera Cast Off Book of Baby Names.

But some books have good names, ones that make up for all the others.

Luna1. Luna Lovegood, The Harry Potter series- Right?

2. Sirius Black, The Harry Potter series- Well, yes, we could go on for days listing characters from these books, true, but I’ve always particularly loved Sirius because it brought to mind a sort of dark, hot smart-ass (as wonderful as Gary Oldman is, no, that is not how I pictured him, even as an older guy).

Blue Bloods3. Jack Force, The Blue Bloods series- No question about it. Everyone wants to make out with a guy named Jack Force, even if there is definitely a creepy vibe with his twin sister.

Atticus4. Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird- Wow, I love this guy, love his name.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone5. Karou & Akiva, The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series- I couldn’t choose between the two and they so clearly go together.

Jellicoe Road6. Jonah Griggs, Jellicoe Road- Oh yes, you knew that was coming. No list would be complete without Jonah Effing Griggs. Also, another Melina Marchetta honorable mention: Finnikin. What a good, strong name.

Frankie cover7. Frankie Landau Banks, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks- Her real name is Frances, but I prefer Frankie, just the same.  She fared better than her sister, Zelda.

Sweethearts8. Cameron Quick, Sweethearts- Breaks my heart every time I see his name.

9. Augustus & Hazel, The Fault in Our Stars- I couldn’t choose because I love them both.

Sky Paperback10. Lennie Walker, The Sky is Everywhere- Named after John Lennon. How perfect is that? Also, her boyfriend, Joe Fontaine (bat bat) sounds like a fifties movie star to me. Love them both.

Forever Princess11. Michael Moscovitz, The Princess Diaries- Totally biased. Yep, that’s me. That name brings me such happy thoughts. And you know what else does? The ever loyal best friend to Mia, Tina Hakim Baba. Gotta love that name.

Happy Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday- Best Sequels Evah!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

TTT3W

ZOMG, I love this week’s topic, Top Ten Best Sequels Ever. I will try my hardest not to squeal.

Siege and Storm1. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha series)- Oh, Shadow and Bone was phenomenal and it was hard to imagine that any sequel could live up to that…but this was a pretty stellar book. I should probably review it. It’s just that I loved it so much I’ve actually had a difficult time putting into words. All I’m coming up with is OMG OMG OMG OMG, so you know, that’s cool but not really well crafted. I’ll get there though.

 

Forever Princess2. Any of The Princess Diaries sequels by Meg Cabot- I especially love Princess in Love (because you guys,  he made her a computer program) and Forever Princess (seriously a perfect ending to the series). Have you read this series because if not you are missing out on some awesomely funny, witty, Michael Moscovitz-y perfection.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince3. Any of the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling- I love them all, but I especially adored The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Half Blood Price, But seriously, they’re all pretty freaking awesome and they all build upon each other.

 

Unravel Me4. Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi (The Shatter Me series)- Chapter 62. That’s all I’m sayin. Read it and have a ciggy.

 

Catching Fire5. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games Trilogy)- For all the griping there is about Mockingjay, WOW was Catching Fire amazing. It was my favorite in the series.

Monsters of Men6. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (Chaos Walking Trilogy)- What an amazing ending to a stellar series. These books rocked me, made me fist pump and cry like a baby. Read them, read them, read them.

Where She Went7. Where She Went by Gayle Forman- I loved the first book, If I Stay, but I think I actually love book two even more. Hearing the story from Adam’s POV made me love him–and Mia– all the more. This is easily one of my all-time favorite books.

We'll Always Have Summer8. The Summer Books by Jenny Han- I loved both sequels to The Summer I Turned Pretty, but the last one, We’ll Always Have Summer, especially got to me. Again, reading portions from Conrad’s POV absolutely slayed me (but in the best way possible).

Insurgent9. Insurgent by Veronica Roth- By the time I read this I’d heard there were some people who felt let down here. Perhaps this lowered my expectations. Either way, I was so into this book. I really loved the opportunity to fully see Tris as Divergent–seeing her strengths in all areas, even when she seemed stupidly self sacrificial– and I loved watching the struggles she and Four faced as a couple. And okay, they had some super-hot kissing scenes.

The Elite10. The Elite by Kiera Cass- Maxon, America and Aspen all annoyed the crud out of me here, but man I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN. And that’s all I need really, to love a book so much I can’t stand to close the cover.

 

ruby oliver11. The Ruby Oliver books- Love them because they make me laugh. End of story.

 

The Lightning Thief12. All of the Percy Jackson sequels- These are the cutest stinking books ever. The concepts, the problems, the mythology never got old to me. I loved Percy and I wanted him to be my son.

Happy Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday- I Wish There’d Been a Sequel

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

TTT3W

Whoa Nelly! It’s been a couple of weeks since I participated in a TTT (yeah, I’ll be honest. I’m lazy. And I’ve been falling behind on that whole thing wherein I finish a book and then actually take the time to review it). I love this week’s topic though, so I had to jump on it.

You know those books and characters you love so much you feel like you just can’t bear to say goodbye to them? You know those stories that leave you with such a terrible book hangover you feel you may never truly recover? Honey, I’ve been there. And this happens with series, it happens with trilogies and it happens with stand alones. For me, even if a book ends perfectly I’ll take any tid bit–a deleted scene, a reread, anything–to give me another taste of a book I love.

Here’s a list of the books I wish could have had sequels…or novellas…hell, I’d even take a deleted chapter or two:

Sky Paperback1. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson- Shocker, right? I know. This book is perfection, but I could live in those pages, drink up Lennie and her Grams and, um, yes, Joe “Bat Bat” Fontaine endlessly.

the truth about forever2. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen- At this point, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may be feeling psychic. I’m just very loyal to certain books and this is one I adore. Again, the ending was just right, but I would love to read more about Wes and Macy and the gang and hear how they grapple with their lives, with grieving and with love. Sa-woon!

Past Perfect3. Past Perfect by Leila Sales- It’s no secret that I love Sales’ quirky, funny style and this book just make me smile. It made me laugh out loud and snort in a very unladylike manner. I’d enjoy more antics of life at Essex Historical Colonial Village. I mean hello, how hilarious is that job?

How to Save a Life4. How To Save a Life by Sara Zarr- Oh, man. Something in this book touched a nerve in me. I loved, adored, practically wanted to have babies with the end of this book. It was so well-done. I’d be so content to be a fly on the wall and check up on Jill and Mandy and the baby.

sea of tranquility5. The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay- Another book that burrowed itself deep in my heart. Oh, the love I feel for this one! The last line totally gave me chills and smiles and tears, so much so that I had to text my blogging besties about it. But I think there is a long, beautiful road ahead for those beloved characters, Nastya and Josh, and I’d gladly read more.

E&P6. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell- Be still my heart, this book was perfection. But that ending. I know what will happen, I just want to see how it all unfolds, how these two amazing souls will go on their journey and circle back to each other.

Jellicoe Road7. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta- I almost, almost think a sequel would spoil this one but let’s be honest: I’m all about Jonah Effing Griggs. I think he has his hands full with Taylor and together they are a powerhouse–but there are issues there, things they’re both aware of, things that are no fault of either of them but that they need to individually work through and I would love to see where that leads them as people and as a couple. And Hannah and Jude. They deserve some happiness after everything.

Frankie cover8. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks by E. Lockhart- After everything Frankie pulled as a sophomore in high school, I’m pretty sure she can kick the crap out of college. That’s the story I’d like to see. Where is she now? No doubt she’s somewhere being AWESOME, but I want to know more about it.

Sweethearts9. Sweethearts by Sara Zarr- Cameron Quick, you freaking broke my heart! You better work out your family issues and get your butt back to Jenna.

I'll Be There10. I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan- I think originally there were rumors that Sloan may continue this story. I’m not sure if that’s still a possibility (and I’m too lazy to find out), but these are characters who are truly just beginning in life. They’ve all overcome this major hurdle and found love in all forms. I think there is so much more to tell as Sam and Riddle become a part of Emily’s family.

The swoon potential within these pages is overwhelming. Can't wait!11. Classics- I think it goes without saying (but here I am saying it) that I’d eat up any sequel to a classic, especially Pride and Prejudice or Emma. I’d prefer a sequel straight from the source but since this is physically impossible unless some crazy, previously unpublished Austen manuscripts are unearthed, I’ll take one of the modern retellings, or sequels so many people seem happy to write.

Happy Tuesday!