As If On Cue // Book Review // Bookmas 2021

Title: As If On Cue
Author: Marisa Kanter
Published: 2021
Genre: YA/Contemporary
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Synopsis
Lifelong rivals Natalie and Reid have never been on the same team. So when their school’s art budget faces cutbacks, of course Natalie finds herself up against her nemesis once more. She’s fighting to direct the school’s first ever student-written play, but for her small production to get funding, the school’s award-winning band will have to lose it. Reid’s band. And he’s got no intention of letting the show go on. But when their rivalry turns into an all-out prank war that goes too far, Natalie and Reid have to face the music, resulting in the worst compromise: writing and directing a musical. Together. At least if they deliver a sold-out show, the school board will reconsider next year’s band and theater budget. Everyone could win.


From the synopsis, you get the sense that this is going to be a cute hate-to-love contemporary. However, the book didn’t read like one, which was slightly disappointing. Natalie and Reid’s feud started when they were in middle school, over their equal love of the clarinet. Natalie eventually found a love for theater and writing, leaving music to Reid and losing the bond she shared with her dad.

The main protagonist, Natalie, is very flawed. I didn’t enjoy how her imperfections are pointed out throughout the story, by other people close to her. She did need to hear some of these comments, but people, especially her friends, shouldn’t have been so blunt. This being said, I am unsure if we were supposed to sympathize with Natalie and find her relatable. Or, if she was intended to be an unlikable character. Because, I’m still on the fence about my opinion of her. As for Reid, her love interest, he was very pleasant to read about. His personality was relatable, and he didn’t come off as obnoxious. He knew that he was talented, but didn’t brag about it. His parents didn’t support his dreams, so he tried his hardest to prove that he was talented enough to make music as a career.

When we first meet Natalie and Reid, their interaction is rather snarky, but I found Reid to be fairly civil. It was Natalie that turned everything into a competition, and Reid was just along for the ride. This could be due to the fact that Natalie felt that Reid had replaced her in her fathers eyes. But this wasn’t Reid’s fault; she had misplaced anger. Natalie created a lot of drama and problems for herself. She never asked anyone before jumping to conclusions, and was seriously over-dramatic. Reid was trying to compromise, but she dismissed all his suggestion.

“I will never be enough for you.”

Nevertheless, I found myself empathizing with her at times. Despite all the drama, her feelings were valid. She was basically screaming out for her dad’s affection and getting shrugged off everytime. By the end of the book, I still didn’t see much growth in their relationship. Still, the message of following your dreams was a highlight in the story. A person can have a career they enjoy and still make a decent living. You might struggle, but everyone has struggles, even if they aren’t career related.

One odd plot point was the play theme, a ‘Frozen’ retelling. The author’s idea for a play – based off the animated film- that had a more important message was cute. But ‘Frozen’ just feels a little more middle school to me. Although, I am probably biased, since I am not a big ‘Frozen’ fan. I did want to mention that there is some Jewish representation in the book, but it doesn’t play a major role in the story. In short, the book didn’t feel like a true enemies-to-lovers, but more of a message about following your passion, and letting go of preconceived opinions of someone. If you are looking for a middle-of-the-road young adult contemporary, then give this one a read.

If you enjoyed this review, give the post a like and a share. I have many reviews up on the blog, and more to come, so follow the blog to get notified whenever I post.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Music Meets Books // Holiday Edition

Hi Friends,
I am a big fan of recommendations posts and videos. In the past, I have done a few but I thought that this one was pretty creative. I have seen people do similar recommendations, but on this list I have some songs and books that people never seem to recommend.


This book comes to mind everytime I hear this original winter song. Honestly, I don’t think that this holiday contemporary gets enough love. But I must admit that it has been a few years since I picked this book up and cannot remember many details about it. I do know that this is a YA romance set on a Christmas tree farm. The book is less about the holidays but redemption, love and past mistakes.


This song is about asking Santa to bring you Christmas love. This book happens to be about a girl wanting one thing for Christmas, her crush. Holiday romances can be a hit or miss, but I swooned over this enemies-to-lovers story. It is about seeing past your negative opinions of someone, because they might just be the someone for you. This book has romance, the holidays and Secret Santa. So you know it is going to be a messy and cute story.


This song can be a bit hard to understand, but the lyrics remind me a lot of Dash and Lily. In the song, it is about how everything changed after meeting your person. And, without them Christmas just isn’t the same. In the book, two teenagers meet at the perfect time during the holidays. Both their Christmases aren’t going so well, but what they come to realize is that all they needed for Christmas was each other. This book was a whirled wind romance that I finished in one day. I think all contemporary readers should go on this holiday journey with Dash and Lily.

Do you agree with my book-to-holiday song recommendations? Do you have any recommendations of your own? Leave them in the comments below, so I and others can get more book recommendations.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Bookish Holiday Tag

Hi Friends,
Christmas will be here in just a few weeks, and I thought a holiday tag would be a great way to celebrate the holiday season! This one has some fun, bookish questions, so I knew it would be the perfect tag to do.

• What is your favorite book to gift during the holidays?
Is there any other answer than ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens? I know you are probably sick of hearing me talk about how much I love this book. So all I’ll say is that it is a classic holiday story, that you cannot go wrong with giving.

• What is the best book you have ever received as a gift?
Last year, I received a steam punk edition of ‘A Christmas Carol’, and the year before I got ‘A Christmas Carol: Book-to-Table Edition.’ However, I think the most meaningful book I have been gifted is ‘A Muppet’s Christmas Carol‘. The book is based off the movie by the same name. The film is very special to my family, so I was happy, shocked and blessed to receive the book adaptation.

• What book do you hope to get this year?
Honestly, I don’t really have a Christmas list. I am grateful to have people that love me enough to give me a gift, but I never really ask for anything. Still, if I am asked what I want I always say books. Also, I would like a brush hairdryer, which might seems a little random.

• What is your favorite holiday movie?
Don’t yell at me, but I have to mention it again. My all time favorite Christmas movie is ‘A Muppet’s Christmas Carol’. However, I will tell you the other two holiday movies that I adore. The first is the Grinch – mainly the 1966 ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’ cartoon. Yet, I also really enjoyed the 2018, The Grinch, animated version as well. Secondly, I am a huge fan of the ‘Princess Switch’ movies on Netflix. I like them all, but my favorite will probably always be the first one.

• What holiday song is always on repeat?
Can anyone just pick one holiday song? If I have to choose, then I’m going with my girl Taylor Swift. She released a small holiday album years ago. It was a Target exclusive album that I don’t think many people remember. On the album, she has a track called ‘Christmas Must Be Something More,’ which has such a powerful message. The song reminds us that Christmas isn’t about presents, decorations, or snow. It’s about so much more. As the Grinch said, “Maybe Christmas (he thought) doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.”

• What is your favorite holiday food to either make or eat?
It would be a tie between corn pudding and potatoes of any kind. We only have corn pudding on Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it is a rare treat. As for potatoes, I simply love them! I am fan of all potato dishes, from mashed to scalloped. Also, I do usually make the potatoes every year, so I maybe biased.

If you want to do this tag too, then go right ahead! Let me know in the comments if you do, so I can go check out your posts. If you don’t want to miss out on any posts, then give me a follow!

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Remember To Be Thankful // Thankful Thursday

Hi Friends,
It took me a while to figure out what my last ‘Thankful Thursday’ post should be. But, I saw this photo on Twitter, and it sparked an idea. I want to talk about things that make me thankful and bring me joy. So many times in our lives, we take for granted the small things. We forget to tell the ones we love how much they mean to us. We forget to thank ‘God’ or who/whatever it is you believe, for all we have been given. And, we probably don’t say please and thank you as much as we should. It is natural to neglect these simple things, especially when all is going well in our lives. But we should remember how blessed we are, all year long. I wanted to share below some things that remind me to be thankful.


This song reminds me that even when things are rough, it will all be okay. Sometimes we might feel like we are carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders, but in the end everything will turn out alright.


There’s no question as to how much I love books. I am so incredibly grateful and lucky for reading. I know that some people struggle with reading, or don’t even have the time to read, which makes me sad. Books have filled my life with so much joy. For that reason, I will always be thankful for them.


Is anyone not thankful for love? I find it amazing how much a person can love. I love my family, my husband, my pets, and one day my child. Giving love, as well as being loved, is a blessing. Being around people that you can share love with is a feeling that can’t be beaten.

What makes you thankful? Who makes you thankful? Let me know in the comments below. Feel free to share this, and all my ‘Thankful Thursday’ posts. As always, give the blog a follow to get notified about all my posts.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Self Care For Mental Health // Toss Up Tuesday

Hi Friends,
Earlier this year, I did a post called “A Little Bit Personal” – where I shared some of my mental health struggles. Today, I wanted to talk about a few self-care things you can do when anxiety and depression become overwhelming. Currently, depression and anxiety have been dominating my days. Some days, it’s hard to get out of bed, or find the simple joy in doing things that I normally do. So I hope these tips can help you, and me.

Give Yourself Permission To Be Sad

First, I am guilty of ignoring this rule, and I’d bet that some of you are too. For some reason, I think that everything should be happy and good 24/7, which isn’t healthy or normal. So stop putting all this pressure on yourself to be in a good mood all the time. The first step in dealing with mental illness is telling yourself that it’s okay to not be okay. Our feelings are valid.

Sleep The Day Away

Does everyone feeling stressed when they sleep all day? Or is it just me? I am trying hard to remind myself that sleep is good for the brain. When you’re depressed, sleep can help clear your mind. Living with a mental illness is hard, and can lead to negative thinking. So, fo ahead and sleep off the sadness and destructive thoughts.

Talk It Out

It can be hard to share your feelings when you have anxiety and depression. But I have always found it better to open up to people, rather than keeping my feelings bottled up. I am blessed to have some amazing people in my life that I can talk to on the rough days. However, I know not everyone has a support system. There are plenty of online, text, and talk help lines. Crisis Text Line is a 24/7 chat that helps people with anxiety, depression, eating disorders and more.

Find Your Playlist

Music is such a powerful healing tool. When you are dealing with mental health issues, having a ‘default’ playlist you can go to can really help. Just shut the world out, and simply listen to the lyrics. Trying having a mix of sad songs, mental illness related songs and songs that make you happy on your playlist. Or playlists for your individual moods. You know yourself, run with it.

The Little Things

We always forget to think about the little things in life. Whatever is weighing you down, when you see it come to the forefront of your thoughts, just stop for a moment. Think about all the little things in your life that lift you up. We all have a reason – no matter how small – to smile.

I’d like to think that this post has reached someone, even one person, that needed to see these words today. We may not be fighting the same battle, but we are all fighting a battle. Now wake up, take a deep breath, and ride your wave. Help this post reach that one person that needs to see it, and like, share, subscribe.

Until The Next Chapter,

Bunny

Mid-Month Reading Update

Hello bookish friends.
This is a quick little mid-month reading, watching and listening update.I thought it would be fun to let you know how my reading has been going. Also, I thought I would throw in what I have been watching and listening too lately. I plan to do this type of post each month, so I hope you guys like it.

Reading
I have read three books this month, which isn’t bad in my opinion. I am hoping to finish two more books before the end of the month. I know my original goal was 9 books, still I am very happy with how my reading is going. I am sticking to my monthly tbr as well.

Movies
Netflix’s Prom The Musical (8.0/10.00 Stars): This was such a cute and fun musical. It is based on a Broadway musical, and stars some amazing actors. All the songs were great, yet my favorites has to be “Love Thy Neighbor.”

The Live Action Tom and Jerry Movie (4.0/10.0 Stars): I have never been a Tom and Jerry fan, so I might not be the target audience for this movie. I can appreciate the modern day take on the classic cartoon, but I felt it lack something. It was slow at times and not very funny.

Legally Blonde (9.0/10.0 Stars): Yep! We watched this 2000s gem. It was a good time and I fell in love with this movie all over again. Need I say more.

Valley Girl (5.0/10.0 Stars): This movie was a 2020 release, and is a musical with a Romeo and Juliet type plot. The songs where covers of classic 80s hits, still the over all story was a bit mundane. However, despite my low rating I would watch this movie again. Yeah I am strange.

TV
Me and my husband are making our way through a few shows right now. Below are the shows we are watching and the episode we are on.
Avatar the Last Airbender (Season 1, Episode 3)
Fringe (Season 1, Episode 1)
Nip/Tuck (Season 1, Episode 3)
House MD (Season 1, Episode 6)
Gilmore Girls (Season 3, Episode 8)
Pretty Little Liars (Season 1, Episode 1)

Listening
I have only been listening to the Prom: The Musical soundtrack and Willow by Taylor Swift. I need some knew music recommendations.

There is my mid-month update! Let me know what you have been reading, watching and listening too. Please support my book blog by liking and sharing this post. You can follow the blog to get notified when I post.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny