Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Our Top Ten Favorite Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This Week's Topic:
Top Ten Favorite Heroines
Racquel's picks, or the OWN YO SEXUALITY, GURL! picks:

01. Katsa—I still currently reading this but WHATEVER. Graceling is a new addition to my favorite bookshelf and Katsa is DEFINITELY a big reason why. It seems that people think that she's too feminist with an agenda and while I don't agree with Katsa on marriage (it's not for her. No freedom), I understand her reasoning and fuck yeah, girl! Be assertive in your views! Stand by your choices! Not all character actions have to reflect our own beliefs. So yeah, hit me with your feminist agenda all day.

02. Rose always says she's an "act first, think later" person and I love that. Not a lot of YA heroines are impulsive, outspoken and well, bitchy, like Rose. I really relate to these characteristics and love seeing such a popular heroine who has such a backbone. Rose forever and always. I will never not mention her when I do a favorites heroines post.

03. Cat is  another recent addition. I read The Master last week and I loved it because of Cat. She owned her sexuality. She was proud of her body and wasn't ashamed to flaunt it. She's feisty and headstrong and I freaking love her.

04. Sydney is the opposite of the heroines I've mentioned so far but hey, I like variety! Sydney shows some of the most extraordinary character development I've read about in the Bloodlines series. While she's super studious, by the book, follow the rules to the death (qualities which I absolutely do NOT possess), she's pretty dang amazing. Just shows that "strong" comes in many different flavors.

05. Renna—according to the summary Renna "is the most notorious thief in the galaxy". WHY would I not love Renna?! Renna took shit from NO ONE. Definitely not the hero, Finn, AND she's unapologetic about her sexuality and had so much agency. I cry. Please never stop writing heroines who get. shit. done.

06. Grace is a fucking MESS. She's whiny and constantly crying and she doesn't know how to handle her life in any aspect whatsoever. She's a gigantic messy mess. I love her.  I want to read about more people like Grace. They really are "unlikeable" which I love. Antiheroines for the win!

07. Tia—another character who owns her sexuality. I'm so predictable. Jennifer Echols is the ROCKSTAR of YA Heroines. She writes a lot of messy heroines who are challenging to the norm. Round of applause.

08. Tansy—historical romance heroines are ~special~. They're the wallflowers who don't enjoy the social scene or dancing or blahblahblah *eye roll*. Not Tansy! Tansy likes flirting, know's she's beautiful, and is enjoying the marriage mart hunt. YES please. She was all these things which are usually always portrayed as the vain mean girl in historical romance but not Tansy. She was human. She wanted a family and knew that meant a good match and meanwhile, she was enjoying her season. Dear Julie Anne Long, THANK YOU. Thank you for complex characters who are not just caricatures who fall into this or that boxes. 

09. Vera—another messy character, HOLLA! Vera liked drinking a tad too much and she generally just got trashed. I love that. Again, I love challenging heroines! LOVE THEM.

10.  Julie James writes successful contemporary romance heroines. A lot of contemporary romance heroines are starting over, moving back to a small town, going through break up or a divorce, in a rut, etc. etc. etc. I love reading about JJ heroines who have their SHIT TOGETHER before the hero waltzes in and ~heals~ them. Hallelujah.

Now, am I contradicting myself when it comes to Julie James heroines because I mentioned Grace and Vera who are trouble? No. I like all types of heroines. All of them. I love super bad ass women, the type JJ writes, because they're inspiring. I also love the antiheroines. The unlikeable-est of the unlikeable. That's what's different between the messy characters I've mentioned and the usual women of contemporary romance who are in a rut. Those women are essentially angelic. Characters like Grace and Vera are challenging.

Sharon's Picks
In no particular order, because these ladies are all AWESOME.

01. Celaena Sardothian from the Throne of Glass series! I love how strong and fierce she is. BUT at the same time, she is completely unashamed to love pretty dresses. And that makes me happy.

02. Katsa from Graceling. What can I say? I love a girl who can kick some butt. And knows what she wants (and doesn't want).

03. Sydney from the Bloodlines series. I love that Sydney has imperfections and insecurities. She is also incredibly smart and logical and talented.

04. Macy from The Truth About Forever. Macy is a major perfectionist and is dealing with grief. She grows a lot over the course of the book and gets to know herself and be more comfortable in her own skin. And that

05. Cath from Fangirl. I love how much of a fangirl Cath was. It was awesome to see that reflected in a book. But there was a lot more to her character, too.

06. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series. Smart girls who care deeply about things and aren't afraid to do somethi g about them for the win!

07. Jessica Trent from Lord of Scoundrels. This lady is fierce and strong and hilarious amd witty and takes no crap from anyone, least of all the hero.

08. Karana from Island of the Blue Dolphins. She was the reason I read that book like a gazillion times growing up.

09. Jo March from Little Women. I was much more of a Beth growing up, but I always wanted to be Jo. In fact, when I was little, I cut off my brunette Barbie's hair and named her Jo. My mother was not impressed.

10. Elizabeth Bennett. It wouldn't be a favorite heroine list without Lizzie Bennett. She is simply wonderful.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

|Review| The Devil Takes a Bride by Julia London

Title: The Devil Takes a Bride
Published January 27th 2015 by HQN Books
Genre: historical romance
Rating: B+
Goodreads summary:
From powerful love to sizzling passion, Julia London always delivers an incomparable reading experience. Returning to her acclaimed Cabot Sisters series, we meet an earl who can only be tamed by one wicked lady…

A plan born of desperation…
Once the toast of society, Grace Cabot and her sisters now await the shame of losing high status and fine luxuries upon the death of the Earl of Beckington. The dire circumstances are inevitable unless, of course, Grace's wicked plot to seduce a wealthy viscount into marriage goes off without a single hitch. But once a stolen embrace with the wrong man leads her to be discovered in the arms of Jeffrey, the Earl of Merryton, her plan takes a most unexpected—and scorching—twist.

…and altered by passion.

Governed by routine and ruled by duty, Jeffrey had no desire for a wife before he succumbed to Grace's temptation. Though his golden-haired, in-name-only bride is the definition of disorder, he can't resist wanting her in every way. But once her secrets meet his, society might consider their lives to be ruined beyond repair…while Jeffrey might just see it as a new beginning.
If it isn't clear by now, arranged/force/convenience/in-trouble marriages are my FAVORITE romances to read so of course I was all over The Devil Takes a Bride. Good thing too because it was definitely different than the average historical romance I read PLUS it just reiterated why I love marriage romances so much.

Grace, the heroine, is the second oldest Cabot sister after Honor and is followed by Prudence and Mercy. Due to the desperate financial situation that Grace's family is currently in, it drove her to the situation that has her accidentally married to our hero, Jeffrey. I really liked Grace! She was headstrong and was constantly moving forward and trying to make the best of her marriage to Jeffrey and that's why I like reading about these types of stories! Seeing the characters work hard at it makes the payoff so well earned! I also liked that the author didn't make her unlike the ~other~ women of the ton to highlight how special she is. Grace admits that she likes flirting and enjoyed the game of suitors but when things got tough, Grace did what she thought would benefit their family.
She rather enjoyed flirting and suggestive innuendo.
Jeffrey is what made the book special. He's OCD and well, he's kinky. BUT he doesn't know that his kinky side is normal and thinks he's plagued by some sort of evilness, especially when you factor in his OCD. He doesn't have any friends or people close to him to tell him how normal he is so he was a rather shy man which was so cute to read about and a welcome change from the regular alphas.
She wondered if there was a way to reach that she boy, buried in that aloof man.
Can we get more diverse heroes? PLEASE AND THANKS! So, Grace and Jeffrey are secluded in Jeffrey's country estate which means that they're all alone in the country and they must learn to be a couple. Be still, my heart.
"I thought if we had some friends in common, we might...well, we might become friends, too."
Oh, this is what dreams are made of!! If this isn't a Racquel book, I don't know what is! Add in the fact that this is a sister series (yay sisters!) and we have some really good family scenes, especially with Jeffrey and his brother, John. The epilogue did not disappoint which makes me so happy since to me, epilogues are either super satisfying or super sucky. This would easily be an A read, honestly, but it took me over a week to read it thanks to school and that is one of my worst bookish problems. If I take more than a day to read a book, I lose enjoyment no matter how much I'm loving the book. Other than that, I didn't have any issues (that my memory can recall). Another book to solidify my love for married couple books? check!

Would I try the other companion books? HELL YEAH.
Recommended for: fans of unique historical romance!
Rating: [B+] A really pleasant surprise!

*quotes taken from an eARC.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Racquel's Bookish Problems

Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This Week's Topic:
Top Ten Bookish Problems
Racquel's picks
01. My name is Racquel and I'm addicted to spoilers
I'm getting better and I'm definitely on the path of recovery but man, there was a point when my air was spoilers. I NEED THEM TO SURVIVE. I was a serious read-the-last-page-first, Google-the-plot worst type of spoiler seeker. Dangerous Girls is my BIGGEST accomplishment. Not spoiling that book for myself took every ounce of energy in me but I'm still not cured! My worst moment? I once stapled the last chapter of a book together just so I don't skim through it to see what happens. Yup. I told you I'm spoiler sick.

02. I'm awful at reading series
I REALLY AM! I put off reading (sequel) series until its complete and when it is? It takes me foreveeeeeer (I do mean YEARS) to pick it up to binge read. If I read a series from the beginning then I'll abandon it mid series because I hate waiting for new releases. I fail.

I need the book I read to match my mood, the weather, the day of the week, the month, the country I'm in...

04. If it takes me longer than a day to read a book, I lose interest
Being a fast reader is a blessing and a curse. Since I can get through books in a day now, if it takes me longer than that, EVEN if I'm 1000000% loving the book, I will lose interest, or I won't have any motivation to pick it up. Beginnings are my favorite and I'm always itching for a new book, new characters, new story.

The book I'm reading also needs to match the outfit I'm wearing, the time of day, the way my hair is parted, if I'm upstairs or downstairs in my house...

When I'm loving a book SO MUCH and it's so exciting to the point where I start skimming because I want to gobble it all up. Patience is not one of my virtues.

07. I'VE WAITED FOR YOU ALL MY LIFE! So just sit on myself unread
For the rare series I read, or the companion series I'm able to keep up with, or the newest book from an author I LOVE, I have countdowns on my phone because I'm so excited I could DIE. And when I get the book? I don't read it. I get scared and wait for my hype to die and for my excitement to reach a reasoanble level and the next thing you know its been two years and I still haven't read the book.

08. I'll ONLY read the first page (yeah right)
I like to test books out so I tell myself I'll only read one page but I end up skimming half the book and  never go back to ACTUALLY read it. Once again, I suck.

09. Superstitious 
The last 3 books I read were amazing therefore the next book is bound to suck so now I have to find a book to read that I don't mind hating or just wait to ride the amazing books high out or or or or you know I just won't read.

10. Mood. Freaking. Reader. 
What I'm having for lunch also needs to match the book I will decide to reader. Do I have a test/paper/presentation and will this book serve my procrastination state? I'm I in a mood to hate or love a book? Does my mood want to read adult romance, NA, or YA? Historical, contemporary, paranormal, or fantasy? Series, standalone, debut, new to me author?! ALL these have to fit whatever mood I'm in and the bajillion ludicrous unnecessary factors that control my mood. This is why I'm a sucky blogger. My mood owns me and rules me. It. Is. A. Serious. Problem. I can go days without reading JUST because I won't find a book to fit my ~mood~. Except I don't know what the mood is or what it wants. Help.