Title: Red, White & Royal Blue
Author: Casey McQuiston
Genre: New Adult: Contemporary
Publication Date: 14th May 2019
My rating: 5/5 stars
A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…
First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.
The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.
As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?
Ever since I heard the synopsis of this book, I’ve been so excited to read it. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint. It has a sort of enemies-to-lovers trope and it’s the cutest thing ever. I fell in love with the story and with the characters. I loved the friendship that formed between the Royal family’s children and the President’s children – Alex, Henry, Nora, June, Pez and Bea – and I found myself wanting more moments with the entire group together. I loved the familial relationships that Alex has with his family and Nora, and that he misses his biological dad but also cares for his stepdad. I feel like good parents-children relationships are rare in books, especially within YA.
This book made me smile from start to end and it gave my heart warm, fluttery feelings. Honestly, Alex and Henry are the reason I believe in love again ahahhaha. Their banter is so fun and had me laughing constantly. I also liked that Alex was still exploring his sexuality and he had a sexuality crisis mid-way through the book. It made Alex more of a real person, and I kind of related to him on that account.
The email/text messages between Henry and Alex were THE BEST. Can we have a book dedicated to their random conversations through text and emails? Because I would like that. The cast is pretty diverse and I will forever recommend and love this book.
The only thing I have to say negatively is that I understood nothing about the politics, mostly because I’m not interested in that realm. But any political discussions that came up to me were lost. But yeah that’s about it, I honestly adored this book and had so much fun reading it that they will be a reread in the future.
Title: Eliza And Her Monsters
Author: Francesca Zappia
Genre: Young Adult: Contemporary
Publication Date: 7th May 2019
My rating: 5/5 stars
“A love letter to fandom, friendship, and the stories that shape us, Eliza and Her Monsters is absolutely magical.”—Marieke Nijkamp, New York Times–bestselling author of This Is Where It Ends
Eighteen-year-old Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea, but when a new boy at school tempts her to live a life offline, everything she’s worked for begins to crumble.
Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl meets Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona in this acclaimed novel about art, fandom, and finding the courage to be yourself. “A must-have.”—School Library Journal
In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, anonymous creator of a popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea. With millions of followers and fans throughout the world, Eliza’s persona is popular. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community.
Then Wallace Warland transfers to her school and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.
With pages from Eliza’s webcomic, as well as screenshots from Eliza’s online forums, this uniquely formatted book will appeal to fans of Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. The paperback edition includes bonus material and never-before-seen art from the author.
I literally read this the day after I bought it because it sounded something that I would love. And suffice to say, I LOVED AND ADORED IT. The book is relatable in the sense that it has a lot of focus on INTERNET APPRECIATION, FANDOMS AND INTERNET FRIENDS. I think the bookstagram community is a wonderful and lovely community and I love all the internet friends I’ve made through it. I also love seeing the fanart of all my favourite characters, and love looking through stuff from fandoms I’m part of, so this book is special in that way.
I’ve previously read this author’s previous book Made You Up and really enjoyed it, so it wasn’t a surprise that I would enjoy this one too (though it took me a long time to pick it up hahah oops.) Eliza and Wallace have such a beautiful relationship, from a shy and tentative friendship, to a cute and adorable romance. I adored both of Eliza and Wallace as separate characters and I think their chemistry works well together. Eliza is this shy, anxious artist who just wants to blend in with the world, whereas Wallace is writer who looks like a football player, but is actually the cutest, sweetest cinnamon roll ever. He prefers to write over talking and it’s something I relate to in a way.
We also get a glimpse at Eliza’s webcomic and story and it’s interesting but I feel like it also made me deviate from the main plot. And though I think the story is interesting, I wasn’t really invested in her webcomic but I appreciated what it did for Eliza.
Overall, it’s such a cute and relatable story that I adore and would definitely reread and would 10/10 recommend to my friends. DO YOURSELF A FAVOUR AND READ THIS ONEEEE.
Title: We Hunt The Flame
Author: Hafsah Faizal
Genre: Young Adult: Fantasy
My rating: 3.5/5 stars
I quite liked this book, it has such a rich and complex world setting, and I loved the world building and the snippets of Arawiya’s history. I also adored the cast of characters, and my gosh the ending broke my heart. I’m praying only for good things for a certain person left behind and my heart is sobbing over another. But yes, I enjoyed their light banter and the fact that they came to each other’s aid and formed a strange sort of friendship. Altair is probably my favourite character and I want to protect him *cries*
However, I must say that this book was really slow. It honestly took me around 150 pages for me to actually start to be invested in the story. Like I did like it form the start but nothing really had me hooked enough to fall in love. There were also some good plot twists, but many of them were predictable. I also don’t know how I feel about the romance yet, but maybe I’ll like it in the sequel (it’s an enemies to lovers trope which I love so fingers crossed I’ll love this romance).
Overall, I enjoyed We Hunt The Flame. It’s such a diverse book, surrounding Arabian culture and I enjoyed discovering their culture and such. I loved the characters and the world, and the plot has finally got me hooked so I cannot wait for the sequel! This is definitely worth a read (plus we should support marginalised authors)
Have you read any of these books? They’re all recent releases in Australia and I was happy that I enjoyed them all. Red, White and Royal Blue is probably my favourite. What were your thoughts on these books, or are they on your tbr?