Wild Swans, Jessica Spotswood – Book Review

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27015393The summer before Ivy’s senior year is going to be golden; all bonfires, barbeques, and spending time with her best friends. For once, she will just get to be. No summer classes, none of Granddad’s intense expectations to live up to the family name. For generations, the Milbourn women have lead extraordinary lives—and died young and tragically. Granddad calls it a legacy, but Ivy considers it a curse. Why else would her mother have run off and abandoned her as a child?

But when her mother unexpectedly returns home with two young daughters in tow, all of the stories Ivy wove to protect her heart start to unravel. The very people she once trusted now speak in lies. And all of Ivy’s ambition and determination cannot defend her against the secrets of the Milbourn past….

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Okay, first of all, can I just say that this is such COVER LOVE! ❤

I really, really love the cover of this book! It is so amazing! It’s just really, really beautiful!

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And, the story is even more beautiful! ❤

This story follows the journey of Ivy as she tries to understand her family better and tries to find herself and just move on in life. The depth of her emotions and the situations she’s thrown in are just so, so real. They’re heartbreaking and sad and happy and good and bad and frustrating and what not. It’s everything that one goes through in life when they’re seventeen and confused and don’t know what to do or who to choose or what to say.

Ivy, by her very nature, is a people pleaser which puts her in a lot of tough spots throughout the story, but that’s life! It’s shitty at times and you don’t get what you want and you have to put on a brave face and take what’s handed to you and that is explained brilliantly in this story!

I love Ivy’s character. She’s not perfect, she’s so flawed. She gets jealous and feels petty and annoyed and frustrated. She’s not the goody – two shoes who has the perfect life and everything handed to her on a platter. She earned what she has and she’s put a lot of effort and heart and soul into being what she is today, but it’s never enough for her perfectionist grandfather. He keeps pushing and pushing and she succumbs, not just because she’s a people pleaser, but also because she believes that he wants the best for her and he does know best. But, during the course of the story, as circumstances unfold, she starts to understand that he isn’t as perfect as she feels him to be and he is flawed and he makes mistakes as well. She stands up to him when she feels he’s wrong and that is a huge deal because she hasn’t done that, ever.

And, then, of course, there’s her mother. The bitch. (Please, excuse my language, but that’s what she is.) She walked out on Ivy when she was only two and has come home fifteen years later, only because she doesn’t have a place to stay. What’s worse is that she has two more daughters and she’s told them that Ivy is their aunt and not elder sister. Even though she’s down to the ground, Erica (that’s her name) is still so self centered and obnoxious and just such an asshole to Ivy. She refuses to acknowledge her existence and doesn’t care about her feelings at all. But, the way Ivy handles it beautiful.

And there’s Alex, who is her best friend/could – be – love – interest – but – not – so – much because Ivy doesn’t want to jeopardize their friendship. Alex and her mother, Luisa have been like family to Ivy and her Granddad after Erica walked out and she loves them. Ivy is afraid that if they start dating but it doesn’t work out, she won’t only lose her boyfriend, but also her best friend and her family. So, understandably she doesn’t want to tread those waters but Alex does and that creates problems between them and then when Ivy starts dating Connor, oh my! That is something that is done beautifully. I love how her struggle is depicted in the story and how she tries to overcome those feelings is amazing! I love all her interactions with Alex and how she puts forth her point and how she stands her ground in what she believes.

And, of course, there’s Connor! Dreamy, swoony, amazing Connor who I need in my life! ❤

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He’s such an understanding, smart and amazing guy. He’s always there for Ivy when he needs her and her biggest pillar of support apart from her friends Claire and Abby (who just love her so very much! I adore them! Claire and Abby! ❤ You go girls! You’re amazing and beautiful and I LOVE YOU GUYS!) But, we’re deviating from the topic. Connor. *sighs* I love him. He’s just so passionate about what he wants and he goes after it and he loves poetry! Are you girls swooning yet? I know I am! I just adore him! He’s the best. The best. Seriously. So amazing.

I love how issues are subtly tackled in here. There’s abandonment and LGBTQ+ themes thrown in in a good measure in a subtle yet empowering manner and I love that! I am so happy that all these issues are addressed and the way Jessica does it is amazing. I love it!

As you can see, there’s little I hate about this book. One of them being that Ivy comes off as a little whiny in parts, but those are easily overlooked because her character is strong and real and gritty and all of us whine at times and we don’t even realise it.

All in all, Wild Swans is an amazing, amazing story about self discovery and standing up for yourself and just doing what you believe in. You should read this!

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I love books, board games, football, feminism, & Earl Grey tea. I live in Washington, DC with my playwright husband and a cuddly cat named Monkey. My other job is working as a children’s library associate for the DC Public Library. I’m frighteningly enthusiastic.

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#WattpadWednesday – The Wattpad Block Party

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HEY GUYS!

Yes, I know, the #WattpadWednesday hasn’t been happening for a very long time now and I am sorry! Seems that it won’t be happening again in the future as well!

But, there is exciting news and I want to share it with you guys!

THE WATTPAD BLOCK PARTY SUMMER EDITION II IS COMING YOUR WAY!!!

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For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s a month long celebration on Wattpad hosted by the totally amazing Kelly Anne Blount, where all these kickass authors give you sneak peeks, behind the scenes, interviews, spin off stories and what not! Like, it is so action packed and you get a look into the writer’s life! Plus, there’s GIVEAWAYS! How cool is that? You get everything from chapter dedications to writing advice to getting a character named after and a so many ebooks and what not!

Doesn’t it sound AMAZING?!?!?!?!?

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And, get this, I AM A PART OF THIS! YES, I HAVE A FEATURE FOR THIS BLOCK PARTY! It is such an honor to be among all these accomplished and amazing writers and I AM SO EXCITED!

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I MEAN I CANNOT PUT INTO WORDS HOW EXCITED I AM!

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So, please come see us! The party goes on all AUGUST! RIGHT THERE ON YOUR PHONE/COMPUTER!

 

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The Wattpad Block Party

I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU THERE! THANK YOU! 😀

 

 

Grin and Beard It, Penny Reid – Book Review

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233378631Sienna Diaz is everyone’s favorite “fat” funny lady. The movie studio executives can’t explain it, but her films are out-grossing all the fit and trim headliners and Hollywood’s most beautiful elite. The simple truth is, everyone loves plus-sized Sienna.

But she has a problem, she can’t read maps and her sense of direction is almost as bad as her comedic timing is stellar. Therefore, when Sienna’s latest starring role takes her to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park she finds herself continually lost while trying to navigate the backroads of Green Valley, Tennessee. Much to her consternation, Sienna’s most frequent savior is a ridiculously handsome, charming, and cheeky Park Ranger by the name of Jethro Winston.

Sienna is accustomed to high levels of man-handsome, so it’s not Jethro’s chiseled features or his perfect physique that make Sienna stutter. It’s his southern charm. And gentlemanly manners. And habit of looking at her too long and too often.

Sienna has successfully navigated the labyrinth of Hollywood heart-throbs. But can she traverse the tenuous trails of Tennessee without losing her head? Or worse, her heart?

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Okay, so, anyone who knows me, knows that I absolutely adore Penny Reid. I mean, I just completely, absolutely, totally, irrevocably love her and her work. She is JUST THE BEST!

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There is a absolutely no two ways about the fact that she’s a brilliant author and all her books are just so very amazing. They’re just so, so, so freaking good. Like, I literally have a case of heart eyes when I read her books. I just want more and more and more and more!

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It’s just because her books are so very amazing. She has such a way with words that you cannot help but love her. Her books are smart, funny, quirky, lovely, full of amazing slow burn romance and so much fun and laughter! I LOVE THEM! (Like I already mentioned 10000 other times!)

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Okay, now, I guess we’ve spent a lot of time fangirling over Penny, so we should dive into the review!

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So, let me start by saying SIENNA DIAZ IS THE WOMAN! GOSH, I LOVE HER!!!! I LOVE HER SO MUCH. She is absolutely freaking shit brilliant.

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She’s smart. She’s beautiful. She’s humble. She is absolutely freakin’ hilarious! (Well, she has to be. She is after all an A – list comedian.) She kind of reminded me of Rebel Wilson. Which is all sorts of awesome because I ADORE REBEL WILSON!

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But, she is seriously so amazing. She’s like my new role model. She stands up for what she believes in. She doesn’t take shit from anybody. She always speaks her mind. She is determined and hard working and she loves her job. She’s always trying to be better at what she does and she has an amazing passion and drive for the things she loves. Yes, she is like the perfect woman. Now you know why I love her so much!

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She is also a closet romantic. On the outward, she says she doesn’t want to settle down, but she does crave a family, a partner and her life to be filled with a lot of love. Which, makes absolute sense because she has so much love to give.

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While she maybe a hopeless romantic, she still is a little cynical and a whole lot sarcastic. Seriously, there are so many facets to this woman’s characters that I could talk the whole day and still not scratch the surface. She is just this multi dimensional, loving, kind, complex, giggly girly woman who is just about everything awesome in the world.

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Now, talking about Jethro. He is such an amazing BOOK BOYFRIEND! Like, make room ladies, your latest, probably the most amazing one as of late, Book Boyfriend has arrived. And, he is all sorts of amazing.

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I can hear you sighing all the way from here, woman. Keep it down! I know he’s absolutely amazing, but, yeah. Put a stop to it!

So, Jethro. He’s done a lot of questionable things in his past, but one incident changed his life forever and since then, he’s been the best version of himself. He gave up all his vices, turned his life around and became this absolutely wonderful, wonderful man.

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He is also a hopeless flirt. He’s charming and sexy and gorgeous and his mouth just spits honey. So, yeah, he just flirts without even trying. It makes him all the more desirable, though.

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He’s also kind and caring and beautiful. He just gives and gives and gives. He’s such an amazing man. Always ready to help anybody, keeping his best foot forward, just being this amazing, amazing person. He never hesitates to help anybody, is always running around, trying to make others happy. I love that about him.

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And, he seriously has a way with words. He just knows the right things to say at the right time. I mean, I swooned more than once just listening to him. He is absolutely perfect. Just so, so, so very amazing.

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Yeah, swoons, right? I just absolutely adore him. There aren’t words enough to tell you guys how much I adore him. He is absolutely friggin’ perfection. Just absolutely, completely, amazingly, perfect.

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Now, coming to the story! It is so, so well written. Penny promised us some slow burn in this one and did she deliver?!?! Oh my! I was just so invested in the characters from the very beginning and they were just getting lost in their heads and trying to maintain a distance and what not, and I was just like, GET TOGETHER ALREADY!

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That was my thought process for most of time they were skirting around each other and I just wanted to bash their heads together and make them understand that they’re totally perfect for each other! There was so much anticipation and build up that I CANNOT EXPRESS HOW I FELT WHEN THEY GOT TOGETHER! I just celebrated!

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It was just so fulfilling, like I’d achieved my purpose in life! Then, their relationship took off and the book got even better than before, even though I didn’t think that was possible! They were all cuddly and smoochy and cutesy. Like this adorably sexy amazing couple and I just swooned so much. And dreamed about them being together forever.

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And then they fell in love and things got even better and so much more interesting and there was so much drama and love and happiness and longing and anxiety in those last 5 chapters where they made their way to their happily ever after that I JUST LOVED IT!

It just put fuel to the fire and made their final meeting so, so much better. Just, more of that intensely amazing slow burn came into play.

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So, after all the swooning, I don’t think there is much left to say! Thank you, Penny, for writing this amazing book!

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It is one new amazing feather in your amazingly awesome hat. Just keep being awesome and writing all these beautiful stories! YOU MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE!

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Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level-headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life.

His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…

But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.

Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?

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SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

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(PS : None of the images are mine. Thank you, Pinterest. <3)

Happy Readings, you guys! 🙂

And, please tell me about your favorite Penny Reid novel! Did you read Grin and Beard It? Did you like it? Hit me in the comment section! I love to talk to you guys! 😀