Book Reviews

You Have a Match by Emma Lord

Bookish Life Lesson, You Have a Match edition: If you’re getting a DNA test, know that it might reveal some skeletons in your family closet.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

But it isn’t the knowing that matters. It’s the feeling that does.

Emma Lord

It feels like I just came off the high of reading Tweet Cute by Emma Lord, so imagine my happiness when I was approved for an ARC of You Have a Match! Emma Lord has easily slipped into being a top tier YA Contemporary author, and any worries that she may have been a one-hit wonder, died out when I was reading this book.

We follow Abby Day (many a pun are made about her last name, it’s hilarious) and Savvy, the older sister she never knew she had. After being coerced into taking a DNA test by her besties Leo and Connie, Abby and Savvy’s worlds are thrown upside down in trying to figure out exactly why Savvy was put up for adoption a year and a half before Abby was born. It’s so wonderful to read this book as it unfolds. Mostly because, even though there is some romance between Abby and a certain adorable chef-in-training, the main focus of the story is on Abby and Savvy and their budding sisterly relationship. A relationship, btw, that isn’t all sunshine and rainbows despite just finding each other. They have all out fights and bickering matches that only sisters a year and a half apart could have. (Something I’m not that familiar with since my sister is 10 years older than me, we never fight, and she’s my bestie).

I particularly loved the Parent Trap-esque feel to the family dynamics as the mystery of Savvy’s adoption came further into the light. You quickly find yourself rooting for the 2 sets of parent’s to figure their shit out so they can all be one happy family. But don’t worry, if you are in for the romance, there is plenty of that too!

This book is easily recommendable for YA Fans, especially fans of Tweet Cute. I’ve already made a mental note to send a copy of it to my sister when it releases.

Book Particulars:

  • Page Count: 320 Pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
  • Edition Read – eBook, thanks to St. Martins, Wednesday Books, and NetGalley for giving me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!
  • Release Date: January 25, 2021
  • Dates Read: October 20th – October 22nd

Book Synopsis:
When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.

But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.

When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents—especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.

The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby’s growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.

But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.

Book Reviews

The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Sometimes the best heroes are the ones in your head—but that doesn’t make them any less real.

Ashley Poston

When I first read the first book, Geekerella, I fell in love with the story. It came out a in April of 2017, but I didn’t get a chance to read it until August of 2017. In June of 2017 my father passed away suddenly and I spent the following month doing what I could to keep his legacy alive. So, when I picked up Geekerella, I sobbed my way through it. I had no memory of ever connecting to a story that much. After that I tucked it into my shelf, not knowing until 2 weeks ago that it was turning into a series. Imagine my delight and happiness when seeing that the book that had gotten me through the darkest time in my life, was just a launchpad for more nerd love.

And that’s exactly what The Princess and the Fangirl truly is. More nerd love. Not just love between nerds, but love FOR nerds. The book is a love letter to those of us who live and breathe stories set in the Stars (Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate, BattleSTAR Galactica, etc). The book is littered with so many amazing pop culture references (although I do admit that could be a detractor for some people) it was like fuel for my TMORD* heart.

We follow two characters, Jessica Stone (whom we met in Geekerella) and Imogene Lovelace. The two girls are from different worlds, but look nearly identical. Identical enough that through a chain of events, Imogene goes from accidentally being mistaken for Jessica, to actually intentionally impersonating her for the duration of ExcelsiCon. There is a steep learning curve for both girls, as they realize the other didn’t have it as easily as first it appeared. I loved following both storylines, and I love how Ashley weaves LGBTQ+ relationships into her stories. They feel so natural and I ship all of them so much.

I didn’t love this one quite as much as I loved Geekerella, but I think the latter just will always have a special place in my heart because of my own life experiences at the time. If you are a fan of modern retellings and any type of nerd culture, this series is for you. But I recommend starting with the first one. While this one can be read as a standalone, there are callbacks to the first one that wouldn’t make sense otherwise.

Also – special note. Clearly Ashley has been or WELL researched cons that take place in Atlanta (like Dragon Con), because multiple times the carpet is described as memorable, and if you’ve been to Dragon Con you KNOW what she’s talking about.

*TMORD – imaginary language(?) my sister and I created and identify with: TV-Movie Over Reference Disorder.

Book Particulars

  • Page Count: 320
  • Publisher: Quirk Books
  • Edition Read: Hardcover
  • Release Date: April 2, 2019
  • Dates Read: October 14 – 20

Book Synopsis

The Prince and the Pauper gets a modern makeover in this adorable, witty, and heartwarming young adult novel set in the Geekerella universe by national bestselling author Ashley Poston.

Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed.

When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after. 

Book Reviews

Pride & Premeditation by Tirzah Price

Bookish Life Lesson – Pride & Premeditation Edition: If a man tells you that you aren’t fit to become something because you’re a woman, do it anyway.

Releases March 9, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Technically it’s 4 1/2

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a brilliant idea, conceived and executed by a clever young woman, must be claimed by a man.

Tirzah Price

A few days ago I woke up to find I was approved for an ARC from HarperCollins for Pride & Premeditation, it would be an understatement to say I quietly smiled to myself. I full on fangirl squealed. I had only read the synopsis a few days before, but I was already so in. Pride & Prejudice?! Murder?! What else does my serial killer obsessed, Jane Austen loving, retelling excited loving heart need!?

The book starts off with Lizzie already furious about something Mr. Collins has done (no surprise there). And from the first page you really feel as though Tirzah has managed to get inside the real mind of Elizabeth Bennet. She has all the wit and spunk that our beloved heroine has in the original tale, plus she has the freedom to poke her nose into cases. At least, as far as Mr. Bennet is concerned. Mrs. Bennet is, unsurprisingly, unhappy with the matter. The story itself takes place in London, but don’t be worried that your favorite places are neglected. The law firm owned and run by Mr. Bennet is called Longbourn & Sons, cleverly named after the family home in the original novel. Mr. Bingley’s company is called Netherfield Shipping, and Mr. Darcy’s law firm is called Pemberley & Associates. I love how Tirzah has also managed to weave in all our favorite (and less than favorite) characters into the story. They all pop up at least a few times, but you’ll have to read it yourself to find out in what capacity! There are also several quotations in the book that are from the original that give a delightful nod to the source material, without relying too heavily on it. And the dialog between our beloved Elizabeth and Darcy is spot on.

“Do you purposefully misunderstand everything I say, Miss Bennet?” “Do you purposefully overlook all inconvenient truths, Mr. Darcy?”

All in all I loved this book. I was only 25% of the way through when I was eagerly looking up to make sure there would be sequels. I’m a bit concerned that the sequels appear to be based on the other Jane Austen works, but I know I’ll love them regardless. But if I could get another Lizzie book, I’d be beyond happy. **hint hint**

The story takes some obvious liberties (women in the early 1800s would not have realistically been allowed to work on cases, or defend a case in a courtroom), but who cares? It’s a retelling. The point of retelling a classic work is to give it a new spin, so, if you are able to suspend that disbelief then you should 100% pick up this book. If you like strong female characters set in a time where they wouldn’t have been viewed that way, pick this up. It’s great for fans of novels like the Stalking Jack the Ripper series or the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies book. (Although I can 100% say that there are no zombies or supernatural beings in this novel).

Book Particulars:

  • Page Count: 368
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Edition Read: ebook – thanks NetGalley and HarperTeen for the ARC in exchange for my honest review!
  • Release Date: March 9, 2021
  • Read Date: October 12th – October 13th

Book Synopsis:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young woman who desires a law career must be in want of a case. So when seventeen-year-old Lizzie Bennet hears about a scandalous society murder, she sees an opportunity to prove herself as a solicitor by solving the case and ensuring justice is served.

Except the man accused of the crime already has a lawyer on his side: Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the stern young heir to the prestigious Pemberley Associates law firm. Lizzie is determined to solve the murder before Darcy can so that she can show the world that a woman can be just as good as a man. (The fact that Darcy is an infuriating snob doesn’t help.) But there’s still a killer on the loose, and as the case gets more complicated, Lizzie and Darcy may have to start working together to avoid becoming the next victims themselves. 

Book Reviews

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Bookish Life Lesson – Tweet Cute Edition: When reading a book that focuses on a Grilled Cheese themed Twitter war, make sure you have snacks on hand, so you don’t binge eat multiple Grilled Cheese sandwiches for dinner.

Tweet Cute Cover

It’s weird, how you have no idea how far you’ve come until suddenly you can’t find the way back.

Emma Lord

Every year, typically during the summer, I go on a YA RomCom kick. It’s a good palette cleanser from the typical YA/NA/Adult Fantasy binges that I go on for the rest of the year. This summer, however, it got delayed and I didn’t go in until the very tail end of September. First book up on the docket: Tweet Cute.

Tweet Cute was an adorable kick off for my month or two of RomComs. With a definite You’ve Got Mail vibe, I found myself sucked into the story easily. The two main characters Pepper and Jack engage in an all out Twitter war for their parent’s business. Pepper on behalf of the big chain Big League Burger, and Jack for his family’s small local deli Girl Cheesing. The bickering that Jack and Pepper do from the get go is great. They have such natural chemistry that you easily start to ship them from the get go. One aspect that I loved particularly, is the range of emotion that Jack presents. It’s so refreshing to see a male character cry and show emotion. Being a teenager is so raw at times, and often teen males aren’t shown having the full range of emotion, even in the privacy of their own rooms.

But every RomCom needs it’s friction, in this books case, it came from Jack’s father and Pepper’s mother. This was the only part of the story that didn’t mesh as well with me. While the explanation at the end totally wraps it up well, the build up for that area of the story felt a little over the top.

Overall, this book was a fun read, and I’m eagerly anticipating Emma Lord’s next book, You Have A Match, releasing in January 2021. I’d give this a solid 4/5 (maybe even a 4.5/5).

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Book Particulars:

  • Page Count: 362
  • Edition Read: Kindle via Libby
  • Release date: January 21, 2020
  • Read Date: September 30th – October 1st

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming―mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese―that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life―on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate―people on the internet are shipping them??―their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.