Review: Nicole Williams’ Trusting You and Other Lies

Title: Trusting You and Other Lies
Author: Nicole Williams
Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Publication Date: June 20th, 2017
Crown Books for Young Readers

Disclaimer, I was given a copy of this book via Netgalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

I was a little iffy of this book at first, the whole idea of a family—including the parents—going to camp for an extended time (anything beyond a weekend or week really) didn’t really click with me. I don’t know, I was just like ‘don’t they have responsibilities, and why would they even want to go?’ That and the description gave it a sort of family counseling camp vibe and I was worried it would get a little too preachy or something.

But I had no reason to fear. Trusting You and Other Lies really hits the sweet spot of contemporary—it’s realistic and emotional while also having that cute camp experience and dream romance that makes it the perfect summer read.

Phoenix’s family situation is really screwed up and has really screwed her up. Two years ago, her father lost his job—her mom never worked—and he has yet to find one since. And in that time her parents have become totally absent, only being present when they’re fighting. This has made Phoenix into really the only reliable force and role model in her younger brother’s life. Continue reading

Books Released This Week: June 26 – July 2 2017

Here is an update on some of the releases this week. All of these descriptions are from Goodreads. Now I Rise is an anticipated sequel for a lot of people, but The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue also sounds like a great read coming out.

Now I Rise (The Conqueror’s Saga #2) by Kiersten White
Published June 27, 2017 by Delacorte Press

Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she’s always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn’t getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There’s no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her.

What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu’s subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople—and it’s no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines. Radu longs for his sister’s fierce confidence—but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself—but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him?
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Monday Motivation: A Study in Charlotte

How are all of you? I can’t believe this month is almost over and that like it’s really summer. As of now (when this is being pre-written and scheduled) I don’t totally know what I’m doing with myself post-summer. My lease is up in like two months and then without a full-time job I guess I’m going home. Still not too stressed, I know sometimes it takes a while to get life together post-college. Let me know what you all need some motivation for this week in the comments!

“Truth be told, I liked that blurriness. That line where reality and fiction jutted up against each other.”

Bookish Twitter?

Hey everyone, so this is something I’ve been thinking over for a while and wanted all of y’alls opinion first. Should I make  Twitter for the site?

Right now I have my personal Twitter on the side bar of the site as well as  the display icon on the right linked to it. But I was wondering if I should make an @paradisbooks specific account. 

The thing is, I don’t post my post links on any of my personal accounts. I did for a little bit then felt I was spamming my friends. The @paradisbooks account would be a place where I could link to my posts as well as gush about book stuff. 

Let me know if you guys have a separate blog social account, what you post about, and how you manage it. Do y’all think it’s a good idea?

Review: Maurene Goo’s I Believe In a Thing Called Love

Title: I Believe in a Thing Called Love
Author: Maureen Goo
Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Y’all this is going to be a pretty brief review, but I just wanted to share with you this super sweet, kitchy, summer read.

Desi Lee is cute and totally me from high school. She does student government, plays soccer, all these other extra curriculars, and basically runs the school but isn’t necessarily the popular girl . The one thing she doesn’t excel at is talking to boys, she always ends up having all these accidents—like having her pants fall down.

So when she meets the handsome new artistic boy in school, she creates a plan to keep her from embarrassing herself—with steps taken from her father’s favorite K-dramas.

I don’t know a lot about Korean culture—or K-dramas for that matter—so it was really great to get a peek of it in this novel. I just loved picking up some diverse young adult this month.


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My Summer TBR

The first official day of summer was this week so I decided to put together my summer reading list! During the summer I’m a real contemporary reader, but there are some series out there I’m dying to read or finish so they snuck on here as well. Let me know what you plan on reading this summer in the comments!

Once and For All by Sarah Dessen

I’ve said this a billion times but Sarah Dessen is the contemporary queen, and I love me a good contemporary in the summer. Plus this ones about weddings, which I love. One of my best friends actually just got engaged and so I have my first “friend wedding” in the next year or so!

The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Huntley’s books just scream summer. This book is a companion to My Life Next Door, focusing on a different but known couple of characters. 

Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

These books are supposed to be so good and have been sitting on my shelf too long. And it’s a finished series and only two, which is exactly what I’m looking for right now. I have so many started series where I’m just waiting for the next book. 

The Winner’s Curse trilogy by Marie Rutkoski

I started this series last summer but only had the first book at the time. I’m hoping to do a reread, knowing nothing besides it was great and ended on a cliffhanger, and then read the last two. 

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

I love Emery’s contemporaries, I’ve read all of them besides this one–her newest. This book takes place at camp, which is all I need in a summer book. And I believe there’s a cute crush as well as some spiritual undertones. 

The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

This is your typical “average” girl and popular bad-boy story. The reviews are iffy, but it’s a contemporary and has been on my shelves forever. 

The Conspiracy of Us series by Maggie Hall

I love this series and feel it doesn’t get enough attention. It’s like a teen Jason Bourne/Indiana Jones, something you’d see on the CW. But the third and final book comes out in July so I’m doing a series reread. 

The Raven Cyle by Maggie Stiefvater

I’m so behind the bandwagon on this series.  I currently have the last two books but not the first so I’m gonna have to work that out. 

There are some new releases coming out that I’ll probably read as well, and a festival that I plan on attending in September that has some authors I want to read first so we’ll see. 


Review: C.J. Redwine’s The Shadow Queen

Title: The Shadow Queen
Series: Ravenspire
Author: C.J. Redwine
Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Publication Date: February 16th, 2016
Balzer + Bray

As some of you might know from my reading history as well as a previous post I did—’Retellings I Want to Read’—I love retellings, so I was really excited about picking up The Shadow Queen. It’s actually been on my radar since it came out, I just never really thought to order it till I saw it on sale.

Snow White isn’t my favorite princess/movie even though the storyline is interesting. I just feel like the OG Disney-version of the character lacks. She is so meek and doesn’t really do much—and her voice gets on my nerves. So I was really hopeful that with this book I could get a version of the character that I actually liked.

The storyline differs a bit in some key parts, but I actually liked it. There isn’t too much to the original tale, and the changes made it a lot more interesting and offered some background and depth.

First, Lorelai—AKA Snow White—has a brother in this tale. The whole relationship between the two is really sweet, they fled together when their step-mother killed their father and took control of the kingdom. But really, they’re best friends and she’s super protective of him and I love good sibling relationships. He’s also funny and charming which plays off her a bit tougher exterior well. Continue reading

First Lines Fridays: June 23rd

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? I’m kind of using this as a way to keep track of what I want to read next or at least soon. Follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

So here it is:

One month from today,
I’ll wake up to a team of
makeup artists—
buzzing outside my door. 

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