Tag: Young Adult

Buddy Review: Twisted Palace by Erin Watt

Posted November 3, 2016 by Rowena & Bookish Ames in Reviews | 6 Comments

twisted-palace

Bookish Ames is one of my best friends and we used to buddy review books together all the time. We’ve slowed down on that so I’m happy that we decided to bring it back on our blogs. Our very first buddy review book is Twisted Palace by Erin Watt because it’s a book that we were both pretty anxious for and it’s a discussion worthy book so here is our review.

Twisted Palace by Erin Watt
Series: The Royals #3
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Publisher: Erin Watt
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 370
Format: eBook
Source: Bought
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

These Royals will ruin you…

From mortal enemies to unexpected allies, two teenagers try to protect everything that matters most.

Ella Harper has met every challenge that life has thrown her way. She’s tough, resilient, and willing to do whatever it takes to defend the people she loves, but the challenge of a long-lost father and a boyfriend whose life is on the line might be too much for even Ella to overcome.

Reed Royal has a quick temper and even faster fists. But his tendency to meet every obstacle with violence has finally caught up with him. If he wants to save himself and the girl he loves, he’ll need to rise above his tortured past and tarnished reputation.

No one believes Ella can survive the Royals. Everyone is sure Reed will destroy them all.
They may be right.

With everything and everyone conspiring to keep them apart, Ella and Reed must find a way to beat the law, save their families, and unravel all the secrets in their Twisted Palace.

Rowena: Twisted Palace is the third and I think, concluding book in the Royals series by Erin Watt. The Royals have certainly taken us on a crazy reading adventure and after the cliff-hanger from the last book, Broken Prince, I was really looking forward to digging into this one.

When we last left off with this group of characters, people were dying and coming back from the dead and our favorite punk ass, Reed Royal was the main suspect in a murder. There was plenty to tackle in this book and I went in without any hesitation.

So, what were your initial thoughts of the book?

Ames: To be completely honest, I was disappointed. The first two books were such guilty fun pleasures to read that I was really looking forward to see how it would all get wrapped up. Especially with the cliffhangers at the end of book 2! I was wondering who the baby daddy was going to be and I had predicted that this person was going to be the murderer. And that wasn’t the case at all! Plus with the introduction of a certain character, it really changed the dynamic of the story and took page time away from Easton and the other Royals. I would have rather seen Ella’s relationship develop even further with the Royal brothers than what happened with the new character. That’s what made the first 2 books enjoyable to me. Ella’s relationship with the brothers.

What about you, what were your initial thoughts?

Rowena: Same. This book was a let down for me because my frustrations from the first two books was completely different from my frustrations with this one. The guilty fun pleasures from Paper Princess and Broken Prince were missing in this one and there were so many things that I wasn’t a fan of. I would keep going but I would just be repeating everything you said so I’ll just say this. Ditto to everything you said. I feel the same way.

What were your thoughts on Ella?

I thought she was not the same Ella that we’re used to. This girl lived on her own, as a stripper and survived that first year of school like a boss and then this guy shows up and all of a sudden, she’s not that girl anymore. She’s this stranger with no backbone that is all whiny. No. Ella is strong and she’s very vocal about what she wants and needs. She was never about money or living off the Royals. She was very adamant about working and making her own money and the Ella that I admired the hell out of from the first two books was gone.

It was disappointing to see Ella come so far and then regress so much in one book.

Ames: I agree with you about Ella. And that’s all to blame on a certain character. He screwed it all up. And that’s the thing, with the first two books, these teenagers had little oversight from parental units and they came across as more mature and not really kids. And then bam, in this book it’s shoved in our face that Ella is a teenager and I found that hard to deal with.

The other thing? Two characters, Jordan and Dinah, that came across as real villains in the first 2 books were also changed in this installment. I missed Ella and Jordan going head to head. Ella really came out shining after encounters with Jordan and she didn’t get that in this book. Especially with her sneaking around antics…there was nothing to root for for her. Not even with the murder. Just so frustrating.

Rowena: Can we talk about how immature and bratty two grown ass men who were also NAVY SEALS were? Gosh, I wanted to punch both of them! Mostly the guy that shall not be named. He came onto the scene and just kind of took over and I hated how everyone just let him. I would have been like, “No bitch, you don’t run things here.”

The book as a whole was just disappointing to me. From Ella’s lack of spine, the other Royal brothers not getting any page time and the big killer reveal, the whole thing just felt flat and was so different from what I was hoping the concluding story would be.

I will say that my favorite thing about the book was the growth that we see in Reed’s character. When we first met him, way back in book 1, I liked him but I kind of hated that I liked him because he was such a dickhead. Especially to Ella and when they kicked her out of the car and made her walk home, I wanted to punch both Reed and Easton in the nuts. I was so mad and yet so intrigued by all of the chaos and just royally messed up characters but in Twisted Palace, Reed came full circle for me. I really loved seeing the change and just the maturity of how he carried himself in this book. Even when he was flying off the handle and beating people up, I still thought that he showed a lot of restraint. Well, more than we’ve seen from him before.

What was your favorite thing about the book? Did you have any? 🙂

Ames: Reed did show some improvement. But how tough was that to read about all the people saying things about him? I hated that but it shows how he’s changed from that guy he used to be. But still at the core he didn’t change that much, he’s still a badass and don’t you dare say anything about those he loves!

So even though the main plot disappointed me, I still found Twisted Palace readable and I wanted to see what happened to all these characters. What I truly enjoyed was how Ella was growing a circle of friends who were truly there for her. She came from nothing and having to rely on herself to opening up and learning that there are people who will have her back, no matter what. I liked that.

Rowena: Yeah, that was nice. Seeing Ella realize that she’s not alone in the world anymore was nice. I just wish Jordan wasn’t really a part of that in this book. They spent so much time being enemies that I really hated that she would help Ella in any way…even if it was to show her dumb ass roots to further her popularity.

I didn’t have any trouble reading the book so it was definitely readable, I just didn’t like a lot that happened in the book aside from seeing the guy Reed has become. The authors were correct in that this series did ruin me and in a really good way, I just wish that this book had lived up to the hype that I had going for it in my head. Oh well, you can’t win everything.

Rowena’s Rating


2.5 out of 5

What would you rate it?

Ames’ Rating


3 out of 5

Ames: I would have to rate it a 3 out of 5. I still found it engrossing even though it wasn’t what I expected. I love the Royals!

Author News

Erin Watt has more YA goodness coming our way soon. The cover reveal dropped on Happy Ever After that their new writing adventure is a contemporary YA featuring a rock star and the girl he pays to be his girlfriend. Check it out here.

when-its-real

When It’s Real by Erin Watt
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pre-Order the Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

From #1 New York Times bestselling author duo Erin Watt comes the addictive contemporary tale of a teen rock star in need of an image makeover and the teen girl hired to be his fake girlfriend.

Meet Oakley Ford-teen celebrity, renowned pop star, child of famous movie stars, hottie with millions of fangirls…and restless troublemaker. On the surface he has it all, but with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry, and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley’s team decides it’s time for an intervention. The result: an image overhaul, complete with a fake girlfriend meant to show the world he’s settled down.

Enter seventeen-year-old Vaughn Bennett-devoted sister, part-time waitress, the definition of “normal.” Under ordinary circumstances she’d never have taken this gig, but with her family strapped for cash, she doesn’t have much of a choice. And for the money Oakley’s team is paying her, she figures she can put up with outlandish Hollywood parties and a team of publicists watching her every move. So what if she thinks Oakley’s a shallow, self-centered jerk? It’s not like they’re going to fall for each other in real life…right?

Rowena: I’m so going to be reading this one. It sounds like another fabulous story!


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Mini Review Round Up (1)

Posted October 13, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 12 Comments

Each week, I’ll do mini reviews of the books I’m reading to keep everyone who doesn’t read my other blog up to date on my thoughts on the books that I’m reading. Enjoy!

PS I Like You
P.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Release Date: July 26, 2017
Publisher: Scholastic, Point
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 330
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

This should have been a really fast read for me but I was in a weird reading funk so it took me quite a while to finish this one but it was super cute. It’s not my favorite from Kasie West but it was still really good. The main character, Lily, was a little hard to take at times with her constant assumptions where the love interest was concerned but she came around and she apologized for being a punk so I didn’t hold any grudges. I thought the love interest (which I spotted a mile away) ended up being really cute and I really liked him.

Kasie West really shines writing contemporary young adult romances and I hope she never stops writing books because she’s one of my favorite contemporary YA authors. P.S. I Like You was cute and fluffy and perfect for when you want something light instead of something deeper and all angsty. I’m super looking forward to reading her next release, By Your Side.

My Rating


4 out of 5

Hating Game
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Release Date: August 9, 2016
Publisher: Harper Collins, William Morrow Paperbacks
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Debut author Sally Thorne bursts on the scene with a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game?

I wanted to read this book because it sounded good and early reviews were very positive but then I read a review that made me not want to read it. I talked that over with my friend Ames and she gifted me the book so I could give it a try (she really liked it) but I didn’t read it until last week and holy cow am I glad that I didn’t let that one bad review stop me from reading this one because…I really liked it too.

I loved seeing the change in both Josh and Lucy’s relationship. I loved that it was a gradual change and not that insta-love business. I enjoyed their bickering, their games and then seeing them have eachothers backs. My favorite scenes in the book were probably the office paintball competition and then Lucy letting Josh’s Dad have it. When she went on Xena Warrior Princess on Josh’s Dad, I wanted to stand up and applaud.

The romance felt real, the feelings that crept up for both characters made me laugh and then happy sigh so you know that I enjoyed this one. I did catch the things that the bad review complained about but they were such small parts of the story. The thing that kept throwing me out of the story was the authors use of CVs instead of resumes. I thought the story was set in the US so when Lily and Josh talked about updating their CVs, that threw me off because I don’t know of anyone in the US that refers to their resumes as CVs but then Ames told me that the author is from Australia and that made sense. Still, this was a great book and I will definitely be reading more from this author.

My Rating


4 out of 5


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