Books · Diverse Reads · Graphic Novels · Review

Graphic Novel Review: The Tea Dragon Society by K. O’Neill

Synopsis:
From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.


My thoughts:

Oh my goodness, where to even begin. I don’t have the words to express how adorable this graphic novel is!

It’s middle grade graphic novel with LGBTQ+ & disability rep and the most wholesome vibes ever. Despite being for children, anyone could pick this up and enjoy it. It’s such a lovely, comforting read. Honestly, I was just in awe of the cuteness throughout.

It’s all about dragons – Tea Dragons, to be more specific. It’s such a cute and cool concept. Who doesn’t love dragons?! It’s also about friendship and love and it’s just a beautiful story about finding your place in the world. *sheds tear*

THE ARTWORK – Oh how I wish I could draw even half as well as K. O’Neill. The art is simply stunning.
Here are some examples (taken from the Amazon preview):

I am obsessed with this cutesy art style! It’s so beautiful. Such a joy to look at!

Rating: 5 Stars

Books · Review

Book Review: A Dance with the Fae Prince by Elise Kova (Married to Magic)

DOWNLOAD?~ <pdf> A Dance with the Fae Prince (Married to Magic, #2) By :  Elise Kova best selling books | by Pekahiah | Aug, 2021 | Medium

Synopsis:

She knew her hand in marriage would be sold. She had no idea a fae prince was the buyer.

Katria swore she’d never fall in love. She’s seen what “love” means through the cruelty of her family. So when she’s married off to the mysterious Lord Fenwood for a handsome price, all Katria wants is a better life than the one she’s leaving. Feelings are off the table.

But her new husband makes not falling in love difficult.

As their attraction begins to grow, so too do the oddities within her new life: strange rules, screams in the night, and attacks by fae that Katria never thought were real. When she witnesses a ritual not meant for human eyes, Katria finds herself spirited away to the land of Midscape.

Surviving the fae wilds as a human is hard enough. Katria must survive as a human who accidently pilfered the magic of ancient kings – magic a bloodthirsty king is ready to kill her for in order to keep his stolen throne – and her new husband is the rightful heir in hiding.

The power to save the fae is in her hands. But who will save her from a love she vowed never to feel?


My thoughts:

I loved this!! I was absolutely obsessed with A Deal with the Elf King when I read it last year, I have been highly anticipating this ever since. Like it’s predecessor, it’s a retelling, this time around it’s a Cinderella retelling! Which is very evident throughout. It’s draws inspiration from Psyche and Eros, which I’m not super familiar with.

I devoured this in one sitting. It’s such an easy, binge-able read!
If you’re looking for a feel good, quick romance-fantasy, definitely pick this (and the previous one) up!

The romance is force marriage and a bit slow burn. There’s a bit of tension since the love interest, Lord Fenwood, is very mysterious and reclusive. Katria tries her hardest to get to know her husband but he is reluctant. I love that kind of angsty/reluctant romance!

This one gave more worldbuilding than the last, which I was extremely happy about. I live for good worldbuilding. I am so invested in this world and learning more about it! Fae are one of my favourite fantasy creatures(?) – so I was ecstatic about the Fae of this world and seeing the differences between them and the Elves of previous novel.

The only issue I had was the pacing. It was a bit off for me, it was super quick for the most part, but toward the middle it slowed down a bit too much. It got a little repetitive at times. That being said, I still managed to read it in one sitting, so it’s not painfully slow or anything like that.

There was less romance in this one, compared to ADWTEK, this had more fantasy-quest vibes. Overall, The plot is pretty predictable but a very fun read nonetheless. Not a mind-blowing, complicated read, just simple and familiar. It’s a comforting read rather than tense and high stakes. I really enjoyed reading it, I would absolutely read this again. I can’t wait for the next instalment in the Married to Magic series!

Rating: 4 Stars

Books · Review

*ARC Review: XOXO by Axie Oh

XOXO : Oh, Axie: Amazon.co.uk: Books

Synopsis:
Cello prodigy Jenny has one goal: to get into a prestigious music conservatory. When she meets mysterious, handsome Jaewoo in her uncle’s Los Angeles karaoke bar, it’s clear he’s the kind of boy who would uproot her careful plans. But in a moment of spontaneity, she allows him to pull her out of her comfort zone for one unforgettable night of adventure…before he disappears without a word.

Three months later, when Jenny and her mother arrive in South Korea to take care of her ailing grandmother, she’s shocked to discover that Jaewoo is a student at the same elite arts academy where she’s enrolled for the semester. And he’s not just any student. He’s a member of one of the biggest K-pop bands in the world—and he’s strictly forbidden from dating.

When a relationship means throwing Jenny’s life off the path she’s spent years mapping out, she’ll have to decide once and for all just how much she’s willing to risk for love.


My thoughts:

Oh my goodness, what an adorable book!

First off, I’m not a Kpop fan, so I’m not super aware of the fandom and artists etc. However, I don’t think you have to be a Kpop fan to really enjoy this – I loved it!
If you are a Kpop fan then you will enjoy it even more probably.

It’s obviously a YA Romance – so if that’s not your thing then definitely skip this one.
The romance is forbidden lovers/secret romance – Love that trope personally. It’s also a little slow burn, which I also enjoyed. The whole celebrity/famous person with a normal person trope is such an entertaining trope. I will never tire of it. I really thought Jenny and Jaewoo were SO adorable. Although, I couldn’t relate to Jenny on a personal level, her character was so well written I was still completely invested in her story.

Additionally, the side characters were all amazing and well developed. The friendships in this book were equally as lovely as the romance. I loved seeing the friendships blossom. I loved all the side characters, but hello do we need a sequel about Sori and Nathaniel please!!

I learnt so much from reading this book. Romance and plot aside, I really enjoyed learning about kpop and South Korea, the culture, the people. Also, the music aspect. I was pretty clueless about that too. I enjoyed learning all about being a musician and the boarding school in SK was a great setting.

Even though I couldn’t relate to a hell of a lot of it, I still enjoyed all of it. The writing was really fantastic and I was invested and immersed in the culture, customs, etc of South Korea. It was all explained really well and in such a way that I am now in love with SK. It was all fascinating, I knew so little going in, now I want to just fly to South Korea.

Overall, a light-hearted, fun romance novel that is perfect for summer reading!
It’ll make you smile, laugh and feel all warm inside (that’s coming from someone with a heart of ice). Couldn’t recommend it more!

Rating: 4 Stars

XOXO is available on Kindle now, the Hardback is out August 5th.

*Book was gifted. All views are my own.
Thank you to Harper Collins for the Advance Reader’s Copy

Books · Review

The Most Unlikeable MC EVER? | Book Review: Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee

Meet Cute Diary : Lee, Emery: Amazon.co.uk: Books

Synopsis:

Noah Ramirez thinks he’s an expert on romance. He has to be for his popular blog, the Meet Cute Diary, a collection of trans happily ever afters. There’s just one problem—all the stories are fake. What started as the fantasies of a trans boy afraid to step out of the closet has grown into a beacon of hope for trans readers across the globe.

When a troll exposes the blog as fiction, Noah’s world unravels. The only way to save the Diary is to convince everyone that the stories are true, but he doesn’t have any proof. Then Drew walks into Noah’s life, and the pieces fall into place: Drew is willing to fake-date Noah to save the Diary. But when Noah’s feelings grow beyond their staged romance, he realizes that dating in real life isn’t quite the same as finding love on the page.

In this charming novel by Emery Lee, Noah will have to choose between following his own rules for love or discovering that the most romantic endings are the ones that go off script. 

My thoughts:

I really wanted to love this.
I really wanted this to be a new fave.
But it really wasn’t good.

The Good:

The Rep – Mixed race main character, trans rep, bisexual, mlm, anxiety/panic disorder

The Storyline – The story was interesting, I will give that to the author. It was very plot driven, there’s no likable characters to really latch on to. I only finished this book for the plot aspect, I’m usually more of a character driven person. It had so much potential! Fake dating is one of my favourite tropes, I wish the characters were better so that the plot worked better.

Trans joy – Yay! I’m so glad this was about trans joy instead of suffering and struggles – not to say that’s not important but I feel that joy is often left out.

Tumblr blog – I like Tumblr, like when Tumblr is included in books. I find it really relatable as someone who has been on that platform for like decade. (wow, when did I get so old?)

The side characters were way more likeable than the main character. I really liked Devin, e was the best by far. I also learned about the pronouns e/eir/em – which I had not previous come across. The topic of pronouns was discussed a few times, I learned a few things which is great!

The Bad:

To balance out the joy there was toxicity.
Toxic relationship between Drew and Noah, they are an awful combination.
But then again even though Drew was a terrible boyfriend, Noah was an awful person… so *sips tea*

The Ugly:

Noah.
When I say Noah is the most insufferable character to ever exist, that is an understatement. I don’t mind unlikeable characters, as long as they’re interesting and their motives and behaviours are founded.
Noah is just an entitled asshole. Very little character development happens. Noah lacks self-awareness completely and is just awful to everyone around him. He’s a brat, spoiled and thinks he’s too good for everything and everyone. I don’t think I’ve ever found a more annoying character to read from in my entire reading history. Noah is the literal worst!

It makes me laugh that the synopsis says, ‘In this charming novel by Emery Lee’ – when in fact it is not charming at all.

Rating: 2 Stars

Most disappointing read of the year so far.

Books · Review

Book Review: Mister Impossible by Maggie Stiefvater (Spoiler free)

Mister Impossible (Dreamer Trilogy, #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

*Mild spoilers for Call Down the Hawk
If you’ve not read it, check out my review here!

Synopsis:

The stakes have never been higher as it seems like either the end of the world or the end of dreamers approaches.

Do the dreamers need the ley lines to save the world . . . or will their actions end up dooming the world? As Ronan, Hennessy, and Bryde try to make dreamers more powerful, the Moderators are closing in, sure that this power will bring about disaster. In the remarkable second book of The Dreamer Trilogy, Maggie Stiefvater pushes her characters to their limits – and shows what happens to them and others when they start to break.

My thoughts:

I love Ronan, always have since TRC. I now love all the Lynch brothers.

This book was kind of a filler book. Am I mad? No? Maggie Stiefvater’s writing is just so lovely, dreamy, if you will. It’s just nice to read, so while this book was slow, so very slow, it wasn’t painful. It was flowery and metaphorical, as you would expect a Stiefvater book to be. Emotional, funny, witty – just everything. As I was reading I thought to myself, ‘Wow, I wish my writing was this magical’.

The plot – pretty slow.
A lot of filler, not a lot going on, however, not boring. I still enjoyed the story, I’m not typically a fan of a slower pace but Maggie Stiefvater always makes it work for me. It did pick up towards the end and holy shit, the twists. I did not expect some of the twists and turns. It was seriously good. Mind blown.
THE ENDING – what was that how am I supposed to wait a year for the next one…
I felt empty after finishing. Completely empty.

The characters are everything. As with Call Down the Hawk and TRC, it’s very character driven, if you don’t like the characters you won’t enjoy it at all.

Ronan – Such interesting character development, I really didn’t think Ronan would be the way he is in this one. So different from TRC and CDTH. I was very surprised. He’s just as entertaining as always, but a bit more broken. I find Ronan very relatable, I know a lot of people don’t. I can see Maggie Stiefvater has woven in her own experience with chronic illness into Ronan and his dreaming and feelings.

Declan – Who would’ve thought I’d end up loving Declan…
I am so invested in him and Jordan, I don’t even know how to put it into words. I ship them. I said in my review of CDTH I was interested to see where his story would go, I was talking about him and Jordan. They’re amazing. hey didn’t disappoint. It has been so great to learn more about Declan as a character and this book only made me love him more.

Hennessy – I’m not overly keen on Hennessy for the most part. I don’t hate her nor do I love her. I do find her interesting though. She’s not a super likeable character, maybe she’s supposed to be like that.

Jordan – I feel like Jordan got all the best parts of Hennessy. It was nice to see her character development, from feeling like she was stuck with Hennessy to being more independent and claiming her own identity. I also like the bonding between her and Matthew about being dreams, that was sweet to see. Like I already said, her and Declan *chef kiss*

Farooq-Lane – Still meh. Still my least favourite storyline.

Matthew – Bless him. Such a sweetheart!!! I just want to hug him.

BRYDE – The driving factor of this book. After the ending of CDTH I knew I just had to pick up Mister Impossible because ~Bryde~
I had so many theories about him – they were all wrong. I did see some hinting in this book to his origin. But I got it wrong. However, all my questions were answered and now I have new ones.

Rating: 3.75-4 Stars

Books · Review

Book Review: Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

Call Down the Hawk: The Dreamer Trilogy eBook: Stiefvater, Maggie:  Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

You are made of dreams and this world is not for you.

Synopsis:

Ronan Lynch is a dreamer. He can pull both curiosities and catastrophes out of his dreams and into his compromised reality.

Jordan Hennessy is a thief. The closer she comes to the dream object she is after, the more inextricably she becomes tied to it.

Carmen Farooq-Lane is a hunter. Her brother was a dreamer… and a killer. She has seen what dreaming can do to a person. And she has seen the damage that dreamers can do. But that is nothing compared to the destruction that is about to be unleashed…

My thoughts:

I was super excited to get back into this world and be reunited with these characters!! I absolutely loved The Raven Cycle, I don’t know why I put off reading this for so long. I even pre-ordered it… Alas, in hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t read it when it first came out because now I already have the sequel in my hands instead of waiting.

Anyway onto the plot
It was a slow start. Not going to lie, at first I was think oh no, I’m not going to like this one. It did pick up and I was soon invested. I started it when I was editing my final assignment for university, so I read around 100 pages over 3 days. Once my assignment was done, I binged the last 360ish pages in an evening! I was addicted. I became so invested in Ronan again and the new characters. The plot was weird, sometimes I stopped and I was thought I have no idea where this is going (but in a fun way). I love Maggie Stiefvater’s weird and wonderful stories.

The writing style – As always, beautiful. Magical and amazing. I wish I could write as amazingly as Maggie Stiefvater. I just adore her writing so much. I had forgotten what a joy her writing is, it has been ages since I’d read anything by her.

Characters:
Ronan – Love him. Always have. He’s such a mood; so grumpy and angry. He’s such a complicated character and so much more than he lets on.

Adam – Having Ronan & Adam together made me miss the Gangsey so much. He’s not in it much, obviously, he’s away at college. It was nice to have a glimpse and see some Pynch. *my heart*

Declan – It was nice to see more of him. I didn’t expect to like him much, but I did. I enjoyed getting to see him more and get to know him. I’m looking forward to reading more of him and a certain storyline in the next one.

Matthew – Again, nice to see more of him. He’s such a sweetheart. It’s lovely to see how the Lynch brothers work and how both Declan and Ronan adore Matthew.

The new characters

Jordan Hennessy – I loved this new character. I didn’t know what to expect really. I did think how am I going to take to these new characters. I actually really like her. I won’t say much as it will spoil.

Farooq-Lane – The character + storyline I liked the least. I understand it’s an important part of the story, of course. But meh. I didn’t take to her much. Every time it was her chapter I was like ugh, give me Ronan or Hennessy!!

Bryde – Mysterious. So interesting. I was dying (and still am) to know who he is…

Books · Review

Finally, a 5 Star Read! | Book Review: Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Sorcery of Thorns: Amazon.co.uk: Rogerson, Margaret: Books

Goodreads Synopsis:

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.


My thoughts:

I had low-ish expectations going into this book. I had tried to pick up it a few times but uni got too busy and I put it down.

I read An Enchantment of Ravens last year and found it seriously disappointing. I loved the writing but everything else just didn’t work for me. I’d heard great things about it and ended up not liking it. So, I was pretty nervous going into this one…

However, plot twist – I loved it. Everything.
I devoured most of this book in one evening, stay up late reading, which I haven’t done in a very long time. I even got up the next day and immediately kept reading and finished the book. I put off my uni work to finish it.

I loved the world, the characters, the writing – I personally cannot fault it. Everything that was lacking in Enchantment, was here.

The writing style – I really love her writing style. It’s the main reason I picked it up. It was one of the very few aspects I enjoyed in An Enchantment of Ravens. Rogerson writes such lovely prose, it’s beautifully written and wonderful to read.

The world – this world felt so much more developed and interesting.
I was so much more immersed in this world than I expected to be. It was perfectly described, I found it easy to imagine.
The library setting was just incredible! I mean, what book lover doesn’t love a good library?! I loved that the books talked and had personalities. It was such an interesting take on a magical library.

The characters were all amazing.
Each character was very distinctive, none were alike.
Elisabeth and Nathaniel were well written and well developed.
I loved Nathaniel’s sarcastic personality in contrast to Elisabeth’s slightly more serious personality. They had some wicked banter. I found it really funny, not even just amusing, full on laugh out loud funny. As for Silas – the best side character. I LOVED him!! Never thought I’d love a demon so much but here I am.
I was so invested in all the characters and their relationships.

Emotions – I was ridiculously emotionally invested in this. I won’t go into details because spoilers, but I almost cried at certain moments.

The only downside is that it ends. I wish there was more! It’s a standalone, which is nice but damn do I wish it was a series!! The world is amazing, the characters, I didn’t want it to end.
ALSO, that ending?? Bit odd for a standalone, it almost sets up for a sequel…

All in all, thoroughly enjoyed myself. A new fave. Will definitely be rereading in the future!
I will also be picking up Margaret Rogerson’s new book when that comes out later this year!

Rating: 5 Stars
First 5 star rating of the year (that wasn’t a reread)

Books · Review

Book Discussion/Review: *Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses by Kristen O’Neal

Goodreads Synopsis:

Teen Wolf meets Emergency Contact in this sharply observed, hilarious, and heartwarming debut young adult novel about friendship and the hairy side of chronic illness.

Priya worked hard to pursue her premed dreams at Stanford, but a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease during her sophomore year sends her back to her loving but overbearing family in New Jersey—and leaves her wondering if she’ll ever be able to return to the way things were. Thankfully she has her online pen pal, Brigid, and the rest of the members of “oof ouch my bones,” a virtual support group that meets on Discord to crack jokes and vent about their own chronic illnesses.

When Brigid suddenly goes offline, Priya does something out of character: she steals the family car and drives to Pennsylvania to check on Brigid. Priya isn’t sure what to expect, but it isn’t the horrifying creature that’s shut in the basement. With Brigid nowhere to be found, Priya begins to puzzle together an impossible but obvious truth: the creature might be a werewolf—and the werewolf might be Brigid. As Brigid’s unique condition worsens, their friendship will be deepened and challenged in unexpected ways, forcing them to reckon with their own ideas of what it means to be normal. 


My thoughts:

Okay, so I really enjoyed the plot and the characters.
I love Teen Wolf, so when this was pitched as TW x Emergency Contact (a book I’d like to read) I was like perfect, I’ll accept it for review.

However, upon researching I realised this book has problematic features. So I’ll discuss those first:

The main character is a disabled Tamil/Indian American.
– The author is neither of those. So this is not an own voices novel, despite the cover and blurb kind of hinting towards that.

I cannot speak for the Tamil/Indian American community, as that is not my place. But it is clearly culture appropriation. It really wasn’t necessary to the story. The author is white and it would’ve totally been fine to have a white character? I’m not sure of the author’s though process on this. I don’t know why they felt the need to take a culture they are not familiar with and write about it. Those elements of the book were scarce, so why not leave it out although?

The side character is a werewolf, which is on the cover, above the main character. This has been noted as racist by some own voices reviewers. They said having a werewolf above an Indian is racist as it perpetuates the idea of the ‘hairy brown person’.
I wanted to clarify – the werewolf is not the main character who is also on the cover. It’s side character. The cover does kind of hint that the main character might be a werewolf but she’s not, it’s her friend and that’s her friend on the cover. Obviously, again it’s not my place to say whether or not it’s racist, but I feel like there’s some context missing from some of the comments I’ve seen. A lot of the own voices reviewers have not read the full book and are going off the cover and synopsis alone. (I believe, correct me if I’m wrong)

Chronic illness side – I can actually speak from personal experience on this one.
Although the author isn’t chronically ill (I think) – the rep isn’t too bad. I think the novel does a decent job as representing what life can be like with chronic illness, particularly the loneliness. The group chat that is made in the story for people with chronic illnesses to connect was actually lovely to read.

As for the story itself,
I really enjoyed it. I thought it was fun and engaging. I liked the characters and the character interactions. I love werewolves and I thought it was a really interesting take to make it like a chronic illness, having negative effects on the body etc. It was a cool idea.

I liked the main character, Priya. I found her character to be relatable in some ways and I enjoyed reading from her perspective.
I loved her friend Brigid – what a cool character. She was just great, funny, one of the best parts of the novel.

Spencer – Amazing side character. I really liked his introduction and sort of being forced into the werewolf stuff. It was nice to see the friendship bloom between him, Priya and Brigid.

Overall, the book is good – it’s a shame it’s tainted by problematic elements.

I recommend you check out the reviews over on Goodreads where more own voices reviewers have left their thoughts.

*This book was gifted to me by Quirk Books. All opinions are my own.

Books · Review

Book Review: The Dog Share by Fiona Gibson

The Dog Share: Amazon.co.uk: Gibson, Fiona: 9780008385996: Books

Goodreads synopsis:

Suzy Medley is having a bad day…

… when a shabby terrier turns up at her door. Just like Suzy, Scout has been abandoned, although only Suzy has been left with a financial mess and a business in tatters thanks to her ex.

Suzy takes Scout in and her chaotic world changes in unexpected ways: strangers have never been more welcoming and her teenage kids can’t wait to come home to visit.

Then a chance encounter on a windy Hebridean beach makes things more complicated, because Suzy isn’t the only one who needs a friend.

Scout has plenty of love to go round… but does Suzy?


My thoughts:

First things first, the cover and title are a tad misleading.
I expected this to be heavy on romance. The cover makes the story seem like it’ll be a romance between people who dog share. It’s not. The romance is very very very minimal. I didn’t read the synopsis prior to reading, but it was marketed as a romance which I feel is pretty wrong.

There is a strong focus on family friendship – which I’m not mad about. Friendships are awesome and it’s great to read about people developing friendships. Family centred stories are great too. However, the cover doesn’t suggest that whatsoever.

That being said, I did enjoy it for the most part.
It was slow going at first – it could’ve benefited from editing down the beginning. I felt like the story took a while to take off. It was a little too slow for my taste.
It picked up around the 50% mark, the second half then flew by! It was a lot more interesting and didn’t drag as much.

I really enjoyed the setting also. A picturesque Scottish island sounds like a dream right about now. I wish I could just escape and have an adventure on some lovely island. I like learning about the island’s community and how close knit everyone and everything is. It was lovely!

As for characters, I can’t say I loved anyone of them. I didn’t feel overly connected to any of them, I wasn’t disinterested however. Main characters Suzy and Ricky were just fine. I wish there was more between them. I wanted more flirting and romance and there just wasn’t any.

Obviously, the best part was the dog. Who doesn’t love dogs?
Scout was definitely the star of the show (or book). He was adorable. Why am I in love with a fictional dog? I want a lil Scout for myself. However, despite the title, the dog sharing wasn’t really a big part of the plot. The dog sharing was mostly between Suzy and a her friend.

Rating: 3 Stars

Books · Diverse Reads · Review

Book Review: *Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli | Bookstagram Tour

*Mini review on Instagram. Full review below*

Goodreads Synopsis:

Contrary to popular belief, best friends Kate Garfield and Anderson Walker are not codependent. Carpooling to and from theatre rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient. Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment. Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway.
But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off-script. Matt Olsson is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson.
Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship.


My thoughts:

I’m going to be honest, the first half had me worried I wasn’t going to like it. It was slow and I struggled to be invested initially. The second half though!! Complete flip. I was hooked.

It’s a fun book. The teenage drama with crushes and such is always interesting to me. It’s so different to my teen years, I can’t relate but it’s interesting to read. I like the books focus on friendship rather than romance. I thought this would be romance-heavy, to my surprise it was more of a tale of friendship.

The setting of the theatre was interesting. I have never read anything that’s centred around theatre kids or school plays/musicals. The story is full of theatre kid antics, which is entirely new to me. I have never been a theatre kid, not even sure we had them in my school. The difference in schools and teenagers is so crazy to me. It all seems very fictional and not relatable. I guess that’s the culture difference between the US and UK.

The characters themselves, although completely unrelatable for me, were fun to read. It has a great cast of diverse characters, all were very unique and different. Each of the side characters were developed enough for me to know each one individually. I actually ended up enjoying some of the side characters more.

Kate is a bit of an annoying teen, as is Anderson… (am I becoming too old for YA?!) I didn’t hate them, but I didn’t love them. I did like their friendship though.
However, Kate, Anderson and their general group of theatre friends come across as so snobby! It was quite jarring. Very judgemental, they reminded me of ‘popular’ kids.

Even though Noah was supposed to be the annoying one, he was the star. I wish there was more of him. He was such a great side character!

My biggest complaint: the way these teenagers speak. f-boy/fuckboy. JUST STOP. It was AWFUL. It was so very overused. It was cringeworthy and could’ve been left out.

Rating: 3 Stars

*Disclaimer: Book was sent to me by Penguin/ PrideBookTours in exchange for a review/Bookstagram post. All opinions are my own.