ARC Review: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Blackhearts by Nicole CastromanAuthor: Nicole Castroman
Genre: Young adult, historical fiction
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: February 9, 2016
384 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster for letting me read this!

My first update on Goodreads while reading BLACKHEARTS was “This. I like it.” And that’s pretty much the perfect way to sum up my thoughts on this book. I liked BLACKHEARTS. A lot. I fell completely head over heels for Teach (Edward Drummond, the man who becomes Blackbeard). In fact, my other update on Goodreads while reading was this: “Teach, all day every day.” I mean, serious heart eyes over here, you guys. I DARE you to read this book and not love him.

And then there’s Anne, who’s a complete and total badass. She’s had a super tough life, but she’s fighting hard to make her own way, even if it means stealing. She wants to get out of the life she’s been stuck in and see the world – and on that note, I could relate to her so well. I enjoyed seeing her journey throughout the book, as well as her and Teach’s relationship going from something resembling unease and distrust to a beautiful rapport and mutual understanding. SWOON.

I think Nicole’s imagining of how Teach became a pirate, the life and actions and events that lead to him stepping on to that ship to take on the seas, is so very believable, and that’s probably my favorite part of the whole book (followed closely, of course, by Teach himself). She’s been so creative but she hasn’t tried to explain his reasoning in an inauthentic way. It’s very convincing.

The bottom line: Give me more, Nicole. Please? I also want to point out that some people might not like this ending, and I’ll admit I got a bit grabby hands at the end (you can ask Nicole), but I think it’s an absolutely perfect ending.

Rating: 8 – freaking fantastic

Also, check out Nicole’s guest post on the blog: 8 Reasons for Writing BLACKHEARTS.

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Blog Tour | The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker | Review, Interview, & Giveaway

Hi, everyone! I am so excited to be part of THE GIRL WHO FELL blog tour! Today I’m going to be sharing my review of TGWF as well as an interview with Shannon M. Parker, who wrote this dark, wonderful story. But first, some information about the book!

The Girl who Fell by Shannon M. ParkerABOUT THE BOOK

The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker

Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse | March 1, 2016

Synopsis:

His obsession.

Her fall.

High school senior Zephyr Doyle is swept off her feet—and into an intense relationship—by the new boy in school.

Zephyr is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College.

But love has a way of changing things.

Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.

Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and…terrifying?

But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.

So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.

If she waits any longer, it may be too late.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble Book Depository | Kobo

MY REVIEW

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse (plus the lovely Brittany from Brittany’s Book Rambles for inviting me to participate in the tour) for letting me read this.

Yikes. This book. I felt like I was holding my breath the whole time I read The Girl Who Fell. From the very beginning, it’s like your gut clenched (the beginning is terrifying and mesmerizing in the best/worst way). You know from the beginning that something is wrong, that the person Zephyr is falling for is just wrong, so you’re terrified to find out how Zephyr will get from falling in love to being hurt.

Spongebob anxiety GIF

Alec is bloody terrifying and creepy and it’s so hard to understand him – though I don’t think I really want to. Even though I wanted to reach into the book and just SLAP Zephyr, I could see why she fell and why she let her guard down. And Zephyr is such a great character. She finds herself throughout the story and realizes she’s someone to fight for. I just loved her, especially in the end. I loved how despite everything she’d been through, there was a hope for a better future. It’s never too late to move forward.

Shannon did such a fantastic job with this topic, which is so so important. Physical and emotional abuse is scary, but Shannon handled it so well. Alec is believably manipulative and I liked seeing how this relationship affected Zephyr but also how it affected her friends and family.

My one complaint is that it’s a bit insta-lovey and they just move so fast, but that’s really part of the point of the book, so even though you guys know I am NOT an insta-love fan, it didn’t really hinder my experience.

The bottom line: The Girl Who Fell is a well-written, fast-paced novel about an important topic. Zephyr (and all of the characters, really) are well developed and distinctive. It’s easy to understand what happens to Zephyr even as you are wishing she’d realize what’s happening to her and put a stop to it. You’ll feel like you’re breathing for the first time in hours when you turn the last page.

THE INTERVIEW

Hi Stefani! It’s so nice to be here!! Thank you for inviting me today and thank you for your incredible blog! *fangirls a bit* Okay, a lot.

Describe yourself in three words: Lover of love.

Describe your book in three words: Dark kissing book.

I saw on your website that you’ve been to a TON of places around the world. If you had to choose, what is your favorite place in the world?
My favorite place in the world is standing next to my husband. Especially when he’s in Queensland, Australia.

What would you say is Zephyr’s motto?
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)

What is the best memory from your journey to becoming an author?
When my teen son said, “Mom, I’m so proud of you. You worked really hard for this.” That made me cry. A. Lot.

Other than your own, who is your favorite fictional character?
There are so many, this is impossible to answer! But I will say that one of my all-time favorite books is The Secret Life of Bees. So, Lily Owens. She’s spunky, clever and filled with pure love (and loss).

I also made several graphics with quotes from the books for the tour, and I’m really excited to share two of them here (the second of which is my favorite quote from the book). Make sure you check out the rest of the tour to see the others!

The Girl Who Fell Quote     The Girl Who Fell Quote

ABOUT SHANNON

Shannon M. ParkerShannon Parker lives on the Atlantic coast with a house full of boys. She’s traveled to over three dozen countries and has a few dozen more to go. She works in education and can usually be found rescuing dogs, chickens, old houses and wooden boats. Shannon has a weakness for chocolate chip cookies and ridiculous laughter—ideally, at the same time. The Girl Who Fell is her first novel. Find her at www.shannonmparker.com

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

THE GIVEAWAY
One signed hardcover of THE GIRL WHO FELL and swag

CLICK HERE TO ENTER

blog tour banner - the girl who fell

CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE TOUR

Tuesday, Jan 12: Blessie @ Mischievous Reads Dreamcast
Wednesday, Jan 13: Emily @  Emily Reads Everything Review
Thursday, Jan 14: Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles Tour Group’s Favorite Quotes
Friday, Jan 15: Tika @ Fangirl Confessions Movie Playlist
Saturday, Jan 16: Kristen @ My Friends Are Fiction Review
Sunday, Jan 17: Melanie @ One Less Lonely Blog Review + Interview
Monday, Jan 18: Cyra @ Rattle The Pages Review + 5 Reasons You Need to Read TGWF
Tuesday, Jan 19: Jocelyn @ Novels and Necklaces Interview
Wednesday, Jan 20: Cat @ Let the Pages Reign Review
Thursday, Jan 21: Aentee @ Read at Midnight 5 Ways TGWF Destroyed YA Tropes + iPhone wallpapers
Friday, Jan 22: Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles Review + Interview
Saturday, Jan 23: Joey @ Another After Thought Review
Sunday, Jan 24Stefani @ Caught Read Handed Review + Interview
Monday, Jan 25Hanna @ Two Sister’s Blogging Review
Tuesday, Jan 26Michella @ YA Books Girl Review + Playlist
Wednesday, Jan 27Michelle @ Dreaming of Alba Review
Thursday, Jan 28Jamie @ Books and Ladders Review + Interview
Friday, Jan 29Eileen @ BookCatPin Review
Saturday, Jan 30Brian @ Brian’s Book Thoughts Review
Sunday, Jan 31Sarah @ The YA Book Traveler Review + Interview

ARC Review: Persuasion by Martina Boone

Persuasion by Martina BooneAuthor:  Martina Boone
Genre: Young adult, paranormal
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: October 27, 2015
464 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

NOTE: I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Simon Pulse for letting me read this!

I read and loved the first book in this series, Compulsion, earlier this year. I really enjoyed the southern gothic feel, the mythology, and Watson’s landing. All of which were things I still loved in this sequel.

One of my favorite things in Persuasion was the new magic that Barrie discovers once she comes back to Watson’s Landing. She meets a man named Obadiah who may or may not be strictly human. He wants her to find something that will let him break the Colesworth curse, but because he threatens to take away her ability if she doesn’t find it, she must go behind everyone’s back and lie to those closest to her in order to do so. Even though I really liked Obadiah and thought he was that perfect kind of magical, creepy character, he created the biggest problem I had with this book.

Barrie lies in this book. A lot. She “has” to because she thinks it’ll save those closest to her and not get them involved with whatever Obadiah will do should he not be satisfied. But because of this, her relationship with Eight was a lot of “I love you, but I want to protect you, so I’m going to push you away” but then she’d be right back in his arms making out. Then arguing with him and pushing him away. Then making out. UGH. It felt very toxic and not as adorable as they were in the first book. In addition to this, I also was a bit bored in the middle – partly because of that back and forth I mentioned above but partly because it was just a bit too long. There was a lot of history and…these flashbacks that were a bit overwhelming.

However, I really loved the voodoo magic and the ghosts and the southern charm and the mystery. I think Boone is really skilled at creating a magical-feeling world with a lot of mystery. The magic, the voodoo, the curses, and all that is what really makes these books shine, and I was not disappointed in the slightest on that aspect of Persuasion.

The bottom line: Despite the fact that I wasn’t quite as impressed with this one as Compulsion, I’m still excited for the next one. Here’s hoping Barrie and Eight’s relationship gets better. That cliffhanger at the end gave me the grabby hands though.

Rating: 6 – good, but not great

Waiting on Wednesday: Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Blackhearts by Nicole CastromanPublisher: Simon Pulse

Author: Nicole Castroman

Release date: February 9, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything. This is their story.

Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There’s just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents’ deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she’s stuck in England? 

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay.

Why I’m excited: It’s a freaking Blackbeard origin story. Do you really need me to say anything else? I’ve always been interested in pirate lore and mythology, so I’ve, of course, heard and read a lot about Blackbeard. This book is so exciting because it’s about who Blackbeard was before he was the terrifying pirate we know now. I just…I need this, you guys. It sounds incredibly interesting and creative. I’m super pumped that I was approved for an e-ARC of this one on Edelweiss! AND I met Nicole at the Decatur Book Festival and she is so wonderful. Even more excited to read it now!

Book Review: Our Song by A. Destiny and Elizabeth Lenhard

At the beginning of September, I was at the Decatur Book Festival, where I moderated two panels, including Thicker Than Water with Una LaMarche, Katie M. Stout, Elizabeth Lenhard, and Marie Mardquart.
Our Song by A. Destiny and Elizabeth Lenhard

Author:  A. Destiny and Elizabeth Lenhard

Genre: YA, contemporary

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Publication Date: July 7, 2015

240 pages, paperback

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

Our Song is a super quick, light read. Nell doesn’t want anything to do with her family’s business – her family is “folk music royalty” and everyone at the camp she’s sent to knows it. She’s rebelling against her family and trying to figure out who she is. And then Jacob shows up – he’s a fellow musician at the camp, and through their interactions, Nell realizes she might be more in love with her family’s ways than she thought (but in her own way), and quite possibly in love with Jacob.

This book was cute, you guys. It has that distinct summer-book feel with its light story, cute romance, and summer camp shenanigans. I read it quickly and laughed a lot. Nell and Jacob’s banter was adorable. I really enjoyed the focus on music – Elizabeth includes a lot of musical sounds in the book; in fact, Elizabeth described her book is these six words: Grumble; Stutter; Clang; Sigh; Sizzle; SING! How cool is that?

Our Song also has a distinctive focus on family. Nell may be rebelling against her family and everything that means, but throughout the book, she also comes to realize that they might mean more to her and who she is than she originally thought. I loved this. The book may have a few clichés and such, but it was cute and I enjoyed it.

Rating: 7 – pretty good

Waiting on Wednesday: The Stars Turned Away by Lisa Maxwell

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

The Stars Turned Away by Lisa MaxwellPublisher: Simon Pulse

Author: Lisa Maxwell

Release date: February 2, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

For as long as she can remember, Gwendolyn Allister has never had a place to call home—all because her mother believes that monsters are hunting them. Now these delusions have brought them to London, far from the life Gwen had finally started to build for herself. The only saving grace is her best friend, Olivia, who’s coming with them for the summer.

But when Gwen and Olivia are kidnapped by shadowy creatures and taken to a world of flesh-eating sea hags and dangerous Fey, Gwen realizes her mom might have been sane all along.

The world Gwen finds herself in is called Neverland, yet it’s nothing like the stories. Here, good and evil lose their meaning and memories slip like water through her fingers. As Gwen struggles to remember where she came from and find a way home, she must choose between trusting the charming fairy-tale hero who says all the right things and the roguish young pirate who promises to keep her safe.

With time running out and her enemies closing in, Gwen is forced to face the truths she’s been hiding from all along. But will she be able to save Neverland without losing herself?

Why I’m excited: DID YOU READ THAT SYNOPSIS? You guys, seriously. A retelling of Peter Pan and Neverland in a world where that story is known and the place Gwen and Olivia are brought to is nothing like it – it’s dark and evil and strange. There’s fey and “flesh-eating sea hags” and shadowy creatures. Seriously, could someone please invent time travel so I could hop over to February 2016 and read this already? I need it yesterday. I mean, that title? THE STARS TURNED AWAY? What a perfect reversal of the meaning of stars in Peter Pan.

Waiting on Wednesday: We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

We Are the Ants by Shaun David HutchinsonPublisher: Simon Pulse

Author: Shaun David Hutchinson

Release date: January 19, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Henry Denton doesn’t know why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.

Since the suicide of his boyfriend, Jesse, Henry has been adrift. He’s become estranged from his best friend, started hooking up with his sworn enemy, and his family is oblivious to everything that’s going on around them. As far as Henry is concerned, a world without Jesse is a world he isn’t sure is worth saving. Until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.

Why I’m excited: Because this sounds absolutely brilliant, that’s why! Freaking ALIENS and artists and self-discovery and world-destruction. We Are the Ants sounds exactly like a book I’d like, and I’m really looking forward to checking it out. I HATE that January is so far away!

Waiting on Wednesday: Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah BiancottiPublisher: Simon Pulse

Authors: Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti

Release date: September 29, 2015

Synopsis from Goodreads: Ethan, aka “Scam,” has a way with words. When he opens his mouth, whatever he wants you to hear comes out. But Ethan isn’t just a smooth talker. He has a unique ability to say things he doesn’t consciously even know. Sometimes the voice helps, but sometimes it hurts – like now, when the voice has lied and has landed Ethan in a massive mess. So now Ethan needs help. And he needs to go to the last people who would ever want to help him – his former group of friends, the self-named “zeros” who also all possess similarly double-edged abilities, and who are all angry at Ethan for their own respective reasons. Brought back together by Scam’s latest mischief, they find themselves entangled in an epic, whirlwind adventure packed with as much interpersonal drama as mind-bending action.

Why I’m excited: It’s Scott Westerfeld. Is that answer enough? No? Okay: superpowers, gorgeous cover, dystopian, super interesting premise, and Scott Westerfeld. Is that better? I’m a little hesitant of co-authored books, but this one sounds really cool and I’m definitely looking forward to it.

Book Review: Compulsion by Martina Boone

Compulsion by Martina BooneAuthor:  Martina Boone

Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Publication Date: October 28, 2014

433 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

I’ve been excited about this book for months, but I just never got my hands on a copy. So when my #ReadingMyLibrary Challenge rolled around, I couldn’t wait for Compulsion to come in so I could check it out!

Let’s do a things I liked and things I didn’t like list. I’m in the mood for a list today.

Things I liked:

– Watson’s Landing. I’m a sucker for an amazing setting, especially if it actually affects the events within the story, coming alive almost as if it were its own character. Watson’s Landing is like that. A meandering river, surrounding forest, old plantation home that’s falling apart and being put back together. *sigh* I loved it. Boone did an incredible job of bring the place to life.

– The names. Maybe this is a silly thing to point out, but I loved the names. Barrie’s name is actually Lombard, “that served as a reminder of Lula’s bitterness. Lombard, after San Francisco’s crooked street, and in memory of Wade Colesworth, Barrie’s crooked father (page 53).” Yessss. Also, the other family that Barrie’s family was close to are all named the same, so instead of being called their name, they’re called “Seven” and “Eight”. I LOVE this.

– The mythology. I can safely say that I was not going into this book expecting Native American mythology, but there it was. From the Fire Carrier who unspools fire like yarn to the yunwi, little ghosts who behave like children, running around Barrie’s feet and wreaking havoc across all of Watson’s Landing. Very, very cool and super interesting.

– The supporting characters. From flamboyant and fabulous Mark, to solitary and sad Aunt Pru, to falsely sweet cousin Cassie, Boone’s cast of supporting characters are interesting, developed, and far from perfect, which I liked.

Things I didn’t like:

– The book was a little long, coming in at over 400 pages. There were times when I felt the book was dragging a little bit, and it took me like 3 days to read the first 100 pages. But then I did race through the next 200 pages of the book at work, so I’m not really complaining that hard, am I?.

– Barrie’s whole backstory is a little convoluted. Her mother just died and revealed that she has this whole family she never knew, including her aunt who never knew she existed either because Barrie’s mother was thought to have died in a fire 18 years ago during which her father actually did die. And that’s not even half of it. It takes a while to get it all.

The bottom line: I’m looking forward to the next book. I’m ready to learn more about this deep-rooted family feud, these lonely ghosts, the intriguing mythology, and Barrie, a girl who’s just now figured out who she is.

Rating: 7 – pretty good

Book Review: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Scott Westerfeld’s new novel Afterworlds alternates between good and great.

Afterworlds

Author: Scott Westerfeld

Genre: Young adult, fantasy

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Publication Date: September 23, 2014

599 pages, hardcover

Check out the synopsis on Goodreads.

 

This book is LONG. Yes, it’s 599 pages, which is a somewhat long page length, but I read long books all the time. It was just long. It took me almost two weeks to read which is a long time for me. How many times do you think I can say long in the first paragraph? I think part of the problem was that it took me a while to get into it. Once I did, I suppose it didn’t take too much time to finish. As this book is told in alternating chapters of Darcy’s real life (which reads much like a contemporary novel) and Darcy’s novel about Lizzie (which is very much fantasy), I think I should break up my review into two sections: Darcy and Lizzie.

Darcy’s chapters:

Darcy’s story was my favorite of the two. She’s written and sold a book she wrote during NaNoWriMo and has high tailed to NYC with her outrageous earnings to live for as long as she can there while rewriting her novel Afterworlds. She’s just graduated high school so is somewhat naïve and a bit of a newbie, but as she lives in NYC, meets authors, falls in love, gets her heartbroken, and rewrites, she grows up. I really enjoyed her character growth and seeing this side of the publishing industry in a book. I have a Master’s degree in Publishing Studies so I’m really interested in this, and I don’t think most people get to see what this side of the books you read looks like. I don’t know too much about the writing side so seeing Darcy’s book evolve throughout was really cool.

I especially enjoyed being able to see things that Darcy and Imogen (another writer) would discuss that would then show up in Darcy’s novel. Seeing Darcy change the novel from conversations she has gave an insight into how writing works, which I liked. I also really liked the romance between Darcy and Imogen, and even though they got together really quickly, I don’t think it felt like instalove. It felt genuine and organic.

Lizzie’s chapters:

Lizzie is the main character in Darcy’s novel Afterworlds, who after surviving a terrorist attack at an airport, finds out that she can now enter the afterworld (or the flipside as she eventually comes to call it), a place that is just like our world but gray and which renders her invisible to the living. When she first entered the afterworld, she was greeted by a boy named Yamaraj, a psychopomp or a guide to the dead. After returning home from the attack, she meets Mindy, her mother’s best friend from childhood who is eleven years old and dead. She was abducted, murdered, and buried in her own backyard, and Lizzie promises to seek revenge as she comes to care for Mindy. I really liked Mindy’s character and how she was both still a child and a little bit grown up. She was still deathly (hehe) afraid of the bad man who’d murdered her and hid in the closet where she felt safe. I won’t give anything away, but what happened later in the novel in regards to her character was fascinating. Very cool idea.

Unlike with Darcy, I really hated the romance in Lizzie’s chapters. It was exactly like instalove and even though it’s explained that Yamaraj hasn’t really aged and is still very much like a teenager, any kind of romance between someone who is really thousands of years old and someone who is actually 17 is creepy (*cough*Twilight*cough*). They jump into a relationship way too quickly, especially after Lizzie has come through something so horrible. On that note, I think Lizzie’s reaction to everything happening to her is…well, it’s pretty much nonexistent. She doesn’t really react to almost dying or to the fact that she can see ghosts or that she can now visit the land of the dead. It was weird.

I did really enjoy the whole idea and plot and story behind Afterworlds though. The thing that gets me though is the fact that it reads like a debut novel even though it was written by Scott Westerfeld. This is either an account of how awesome a writer he is or is not really a good book (Darcy’s novel, I mean). I can’t tell so I’m not sure how I feel about it.

The bottom line: I really, really enjoyed the chapters that centered on Darcy and her road to publication. I liked the idea behind the chapters from her novel but had my reservations when it came to Lizzie’s romance and her reaction to what happened. Overall, it was good but not great. I liked it but didn’t love it.

Rating: 6.5 – between good but not great and pretty good