Book Review: “The Forest Queen” by Betsy Cornwell

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D E S C R I P T I O N

“When sixteen-year-old Sylvie’s brother takes over management of their family’s vast estates, Sylvie feels powerless to stop his abuse of the local commoners. Her dearest friend asks her to run away to the woods with him, and soon a host of other villagers join them. Together, they form their own community and fight to right the wrongs perpetrated by the king and his noblemen.”

Rose-Worthy Features     

While reading this book I LOVED all the original Robin Hood references like instead of Little John it was Little Jane, and even Mariam showed up in one of the scenes. Sylvie’s brother was the sheriff and was abusing the commoners just like in Robin Hood. There was even a robbery scene, even if it was only one.

Probably the best part of this book was the GIRL POWER! With Sylvie being the ultimate girl boss. She helped so many people and was the ultimate supporter. She had so many moments where I felt proud of her, whether it was her sticking up for self against her brother or comforting her new friend Little Jane, there was always some girl power that needed some proud recognition.

Thorny Features     

I’ve noticed that throughout my years of reading, I’m not the biggest fan of books with slow plots, and the plot in this book was slow. I was bored for most of the book because there wasn’t an exact direction where this book was going in. It just kind of flowed. Even when the plot did pick up, it wasn’t that exciting.

There were a few ‘gory’ scenes like Sylvie and Little Jane splitting and eating a heart together, and I’ll be honest, those scenes are just not for me. Even the first chapter is pretty descriptive when it talks about Sylvie hunting and killing a deer. Just a little warning, this book does contain mention of rape, suicide, and assault.

If you’ve been following my blog for long, you know I love romance, well not in this book. I feel like Sylvie and Bird just kind of ended up together at the end, there was no build to their relationship. I would have preferred if, throughout the book, it showed their relationship developing, even a few short scenes would have made a difference.

Final Thoughts     

Overall, I rate this book a 3 out of 5. I loved the idea of this book, but this book just wasn’t for me. There were too many little things that just ruined the book for me. I liked the darker twist to Robin Hood as well as the women empowerment, but I don’t know if I would read this book again. I would recommend that you at least try reading this book because there were some nice qualities to this book. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, you’ve just been reviewed.

Buy The Book

✰ ‘The Forest Queen’ by Betsy Cornwell

Book Review: ‘On The Fence’ by Kasie West

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D E S C R I P T I O N

“For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she’s spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can’t solve Charlie’s biggest problem: she’s falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.”

Rose-Worthy Features

I actually enjoyed the characters in this book, surprised gasp. I feel like the for the past couple blog post I haven’t really liked the characters in books. Charlie was charming. She was nice (most of the time), she had a fun personality. Even though Charlie’s life seems well-made, Charlie has a problem expressing her emotions. At the end that comes and bites her in the butt.

Charlie’s brothers were hilarious, especially Gage. They were friendly, but also protective over their little sister. I loved reading scenes with them in it because the brothers always made me smile. 🙂

The story was engaging. I liked reading about Charlies ‘double life’. While she was at home, she’s this crazy tomboy, and at work, she’s this girly model. Charlie starts to do more of the girly activities and slowly starts to change herself from who she really is to what a boy might like. Which becomes one of the conflicts as the book goes on.

Something that I loved was the connection between Charlie and Gage. They have these calm talks by the fence (hence the title of the book), and their feelings start to grow. Their relationship doesn’t start for a while, but it was definitely worth the wait. In my opinion, a slow and steady romance beats a fast and instant relationship. Charlie and Gage are both different when they are with other people, but when they are with each other you see a different side of both of them.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time, you know I LOVE plot twist! Well no spoilers from me, but just know that this book has one and it was a twist I didn’t expect that’s for sure.

Thorny Features

Even though I liked Charlie, sometimes she was annoying. Like I said earlier, Charlie had her own issues. She lied SO many times! It just got so annoying to the point where I was shaking the book. Ahhh

Maybe this is just my inner feminist, but I didn’t really like the way that some girls were portrayed in this book. I mean I get it, it’s just a book, but the book made it sound like there were only two types of girls either tomboys and girly girls. It was just annoying because I didn’t like reading about that type of stereotype.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I rate this book a 3.5 out of 5. I liked this book, but I will say I had higher expectations going into this book. This book is short, so it’s super easy to read. Lots of entertaining moments. I would recommend this book just because it was fun to read. It’s the perfect sit by the pool and read a book type of book. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, you’ve just been reviewed.

Book Review: “The Nest” by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

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“The Nest” by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

D E S C R I P T I O N

A warm, funny and acutely perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a nineteen-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs’ joint trust fund, “The Nest,” which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest mid-life supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the future they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.

This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love.”

Rose-Worthy Features

            One thing that I loved about this book was the complexity of the characters. If I could describe the Plumb family in one word, it would be dysfunctional. The oldest was Leo, and it’s safe to say that he’s a HOT MESS. He’s a player, irresponsible and makes stupid decisions. Next, there was Bea, and honestly, she wasn’t that involved in the book. There were a few chapters that were following her, but she wasn’t always in the book. Bea is an author and the closest sibling to Leo. The third sibling is Jack, and he was one of my favorites. He is ambitious, hard-working, sometimes a snob, but still one of the most intriguing characters. Last but not least there is the youngest sibling, Melody. Melody was an interesting character. She is the only one of her siblings who had children, and I found it interesting to watch her grow from being a mother.  Melody was quiet, but she definitely had a problem with spending money. My favorite characters were Jack and Melody. I liked reading their chapters the most, and I found them the most interesting.

            I did like reading about the relationships in this book. I loved the inclusivity with Walker being gay and Nora, Melody’s daughter questioning her sexuality. Leo was a hot mess in the relationship department. He’s going through, a divorce, he starts up with an old fling, which leads to a big surprise. He is the king of terrible relationships. Bea starts things up with a guy, but it’s not really focused on.

Thorny Features

            The plot was something I had mixed feelings about. I love a well-structured plot with a clear problem, but this story seemed a little off. At first, it was about the Plumb family trying to get their trust fund, The Nest, but that isn’t mentioned as much towards the end of the book. Then Leo its all about finding Leo. There wasn’t a set problem. There were lots of moments that I found entertaining to read, and even though the plot was kind of messy, it was still entertaining to read.

            There were some moments in this book that was kind of confusing. Like I didn’t understand anything that involved Matilda. Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention, but I wished it just stuck to the Plumb family.

            This book talks about the rocky relationship between the Plumb siblings and their mother, but it only mentions it a couple of times. I wished there were more scenes with the mom involved, I think that would help explain why this family was so dysfunctional.

Final Thoughts

            Overall, I rate this book a 3 out of 5. This book wasn’t bad, and it had some interesting moments. I liked the complexity of the characters. If you liked watching Lorelai’s wealthy life and her struggles with her mom and dad, then I think you will like this book. There were some things that I wasn’t a big fan of in this book, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless.

Buy The Book (Affiliate Links)

✰ ‘The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Interview With Chani Lynn Feener, Author of The Xenith Trilogy

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     It’s time to jump back into outer space with a new segment on my blog! If you have been following me for a while, you know that I posted a blog post a couple months ago reading books that take place in space.  The book that was by far my favorite was the amazing “Amid Stars and Darkness” by Chani Lynn Feener. I’m thrilled to say that I interviewed her for a new addition to my blog! For this segment, I want to interview authors and find out the secrets that are behind the words on the pages! For this interview, I asked questions about the process of writing to new upcoming details about the last book in her Xenith Trilogy. Sit back and I hope you enjoy!

What gave you the inspiration to write your book?

“I was watching Ancient Aliens, and wondered what it might be like for a character who has no interest in aliens, but is living in a world that knows aliens exist, to get abducted. When I started, that’s pretty much all I knew about the book. Delaney wouldn’t be interested in aliens, but then she gets abducted and is forced to acknowledge their existence.”

Is the main character of your book based off someone?

“No, she isn’t. I might take small snippets of someone I know once in a while, but I don’t typically base whole characters off anyone I’ve met in real life.”

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

“When I was 9 or 10, in the fifth grade. We had something called Story Time everyday after lunch and I realized, “I’ve always loved books…why don’t I write them?”

Do you have a routine you do to get you into the writing zone?

“Not really, but I do try to always have coffee by me first! I tend to zone out while I’m writing, so if I don’t have coffee beforehand I’ll go the whole day without drinking it or anything. I don’t really do anything to help me get into that headspace though. I won’t force it if I’m blocked for the day, however.”

Do you have any tips for people who want to have a book published or pursue writing?

“Not to give up and keep trying even if you’re rejected a hundred times. I know a lot of people who say they want to be writers…but then don’t write. If you don’t actually write something, you’re obviously never going to accomplish your goal. Then there’s the rejection that tends to deter people. Rejection is okay. No one likes being told they’re not accepted, but if you look at it from a learning point of view, you can actually end up benefiting from it. I think preparing yourself for rejection ahead of time, and convincing yourself how you’ll handle it, is smart. As long as you don’t give up, you can get thirty rejections and only ONE acceptance and that’s enough!”

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How did you decide the names of your characters in your book? Was it a hard process, easy?

“Naming my characters is probably the only part of starting a book I plan out. I think names are really important. Delaney and Ruckus both came easily, but I searched around a bit for Trystan’s before settling on it, and how I wanted to spell it. From there naming becoming easier since I based it off a system: Vakar male names end in US and Kint male names end in AN.”

When you write for your book do you write it out on paper with a pencil or do you prefer to type everything out?

“I type the actual manuscript out, and while I’m writing the book, I write all notes down in a notebook in pen.”

If you could describe you latest book coming out in three words what would they be?

“Delaney. Ruckus. Trystan.

I’m joking (but it’d be a lot easier to just leave it at that)! Probably: responsibility, decisions, conclusion.”

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Have had any crazy moments after publishing your books?

“I’ve had a couple strangers private message me on various social media platforms, just to say they’ll “get me” if she doesn’t end up with a particular guy at the end, which was…a bit much. I mean, I love hearing from people who’ve read the books, but threats are kind of out there. Fortunately, that’s been the extent of crazy moments though!”

If you could have a conversation with any book character, whether there yours or someone else’s who would they be and what would you talk about?

“That’s a tough one. It would probably be Gansey from The Raven Cycle though. I’m not sure what I’d want to talk about, there’s so much we could discuss.”

     I want to thank Chani Lynn Feener for letting me interview her! I couldn’t imagine interviewing any other author for my first interview. I really recommend reading her books, especially The Xenith Trilogy! The last book will be out soon, and the first two are amazing! Make sure to let me know your thoughts about this interview in the comments below! Did you like the interview? Any feedback? Recommendations for which author I interview next? Let me know in the comments below! I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, xoxo Meredith!