The Fall Bucket List // Book Tag

Hi Friends,
September 22nd is the first official day of fall, which signifies the end of summer. Thus, I wanted to do a fall inspired book tag! And, ‘The Fall Bucket List’ tag seemed like the perfect one. The tag was created by Read By Tiffany, so go check out her posts as well! Also, you are supposed to tag seven people, but I decided to tag only three bloggers.


For me that is ‘Pumpkinheads’ by Rainbow Rowell, because it is a fun and lighthearted fall graphic novel. The book takes place on Halloween in a pumpkin patch. What is more fluffy and fall than that plot?


Séance Tea Party‘ by Reimena Yee has been on so many peoples fall book recommendations list, which has made me want to see what the hype is all about. I will be doing a whole post on my Fall TBR, and this will 100% be on the list.


I don’t ever talk about this, because I read it probably 10 year ago, but that is ‘Heist Society’ by Ally Carter. If you like the movie ‘Catch That Kid’, then you will enjoy this book. This is the first book in a trilogy, and the friend group in it is really fun.


Kiki’s Delivery Service‘ by Eiko Kadono is a very heartwarming and coming-of-age story about a tween witch. This wasn’t a five star read, but it is a cute story and perfect for the fall time.
Related: Kiki’s Delivery Service // Book Review


Lara Jean in the ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ trilogy! However, she is more of a baker, but I think that still counts. These books are perfect for all, and I love that she bakes, because who doesn’t love a story that mentions baked goods?


Obviously, ‘Long Live the Pumpkin Queen‘ by Shea Ernshaw is my answer for this question. This book wasn’t amazing, but it did live up to my expectations. It was a good retelling of sorts, and I would recommend it to others that enjoyed ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’.
Related: Long Live the Pumpkin Queen // Book Review

I hope that you liked this post, because I really have a good time doing tags. I have tagged a few people below, but I tag anyone reading this post to do it as well. And, don’t forget to hit that follow button before you leave.

I Tag
Books and Sensibility
Writing Rose Read
Enchanted Elfie

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Midnight In Everwood // Book Review

About The Book
In the darkness of night, magic awaits and you will never forget what you find here. The Nutcracker for adults, perfect for fans of Robert Dinsdale’s The Toymakers, Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus and Stephanie Garber’s Caraval.

My Rating

 


All I knew about this book was that it’s a ‘Nutcracker’ retelling with a stunning cover. Since, I read ‘The Toymakers Apprentice’, which is also a ‘Nutcracker’ retelling, and loved it, I decided to give this one a  try.

The story is set in the 1900’s and follows an aspiring ballerina, Marietta. Throughout the book, Marietta expresses her desire to dance professionally, but her parents are more concerned with their social status, and getting Marietta married, to lend her dreams any consideration. Her parents were cruel and unfeeling, which worked well with the story the author was trying tell.

As for Marietta, I found her to be stubborn, but strong. Smart, yet childish. She reminded me of Belle, from ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Her goal in life wasn’t to be a wife and mother. She wanted to choose her own path.

Marietta’s brother, Frederick, was a much needed addition to the story. He wasn’t afraid to remind his sister of her privilege, while still supporting her dreams. Although, he followed his parents’ plans for his future, and kept his relationship a secret, he wasn’t bitter about the life he had.

When a new charming man arrives in town, Marietta wasn’t impressed by him. She wasn’t fooled by his façade, and knew there was more to him than met the eye. It felt as though people shrugged off her concerns because she was a woman, which is all too true for that time period.

At first, I found the story a little confusing, and my mind kept wandering. But once the magical realism aspect was introduced, I fell in love with the story. The author created a world that transported the reader into an enchanted, but scary land. It was easy to see how Marietta was fooled by the king, and also by Everwood’s beauty.

“Never dull your sparkle for anyone else, flame fiercely into your own glittering future.”

While in Everwood, Marietta meets two other girls who are trapped within the kingdom as well. They forge a bond that is strong, and somewhat sisterly. And, they start to fight back. The girls in the book are seen as something to be owned, and will bend to a man’s will.

In the book, Marietta starts to connect with the captain of the King’s Arm. Let’s just say that he was swoon-worthy. His and Marietta’s relationship felt real, even though Marietta didn’t belong there. It shows that you can find love in the most unexpected places.

The ending was amazing, and had a strong message of following your dreams, no matter the cost. Still, the ending was quite sad, yet it plays off the famous quote “’It’s better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.”

Overall, the plot focuses on privilege, and if having money is worth sacrificing your dreams. As for the writing style, it was a slow paced story with poetic writing. Much like ‘The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein’ by Kiersten White, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

There are a lot of triggering topics in this book. To name a few, there’s sexism, violence, and stalking. Please do your research before reading it. You can visit the book’s StoryGraph page to see a full list of all the content warnings for the book.

Before you leave, give this review a like and share. And, hit that follow button!

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Related Post: The Toymakers Apprentice // Book Review
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A Taste for Love // Book Review

About The Book
For fans of Jenny Han, Jane Austen, and The Great British Baking Show, A Taste for Love, is a delicious rom com about first love, familial expectations, and making the perfect bao. Both high school senior Liza Yang and her mother share a love and talent for baking but disagree on the subject of dating, especially when Mrs. Yang turns her annual baking contest into a matchmaking scheme.

My Rating


This book sounded like a cute YA contemporary with a baking element. The main character, Liza, is an Asian-American teenager that has been compared to her older sister Jeanie for years. Her sister is a New York model and college student, while Liza, on the other hand, is a typical teenage girl with dreams of being a baker.

Liza is a respectable main character that doesn’t want to be controlled by her parents, mainly her mother. I understood Liza’s annoyance with her mothers constant need to set her up with upstanding Asian boys, and slight digs at her appearance and choices. The books take on Asian parents is similar to how they are portrayed in Claire Ahn’s ‘I Guess I Live Here Now’, which I have also reviewed. Liza’s mother is constantly telling her that she needs to focus on school, and trying to find her a suitable Asian boy to marry. She even goes so far as to tell her daughter that ‘true love’, so to speak, is a work of fiction.

I wasn’t a fan of how her mother treated her. She put her daughter down, and had no real faith in her. She even body-shamed her, which is not acceptable for anyone, especially a parent, to do. However, she did this all under the pretense that she was just trying to help, and was worried about her daughter’s future. On the flip-side, Liza’s father was kind, and understood Liza’s desire to figure out her own path, which was a nice contrast to her mother.

Although Liza was the main focus of the story, there were many other characters that played a big part within the plot. Her sister, Jeanie, was her confidant, and had her own struggles that Liza was a bit too blind to see. Her best friend, Grace, was a find character, but I felt as though her relationship plot happened way too fast.

“Maybe because I don’t want the guy I date to sound like a walking college application.”

I liked the addition of Liza’s friend Sara, since she tended to put her foot in her mouth a lot. She said a lot of ignorant things about Asian culture, but she acknowledged her fault, and even made it a point to say that her words never come out right. It is a very honest portrayal of a person that might say insensitive things, but without malicious intentions.

There is a baking contest in the book, but I felt that not only did the contest happen rather far into the book, it was way too long. Truthfully, the contest wasn’t as engaging as I hoped it would be, but maybe I would have felt differently if it had been more of a focus from the start.

The romance was good, but not my favorite, since I was hoping for an enemies-to-lovers type of story. It was more of an accidental encounter turned more. And even though somebody leaves a bad first impression, they deserve a second chance. Although, I didn’t think Liza and James had the greatest chemistry, and he did some frustrating things throughout the book.

James claimed to like Liza, but was willing to turn on her without even an explanation, which rubbed me the wrong way. He was older than her, but immature, and should have had the guts to talk to her before walking away.

Overall, the plot was interesting enough, and the writing was nice. My biggest problem was that I didn’t have the urge to pick the book up. I can usually finish contemporaries fairly quick, but there was just something about this book that didn’t grip me. I found that I was having to force myself to read it, which doesn’t make for a good reading experience. The moral of the story, no pun intended, is that this book just wasn’t for me.

Let me know In the comments if you’ve ever read a book that you just didn’t care for. And after you comment, hit the follow button, because I would love to have you join my bookish community!

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

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What Once Was Mine // Book Review

About The Book
What Once Was Mine is the 12th book in the series. This book is focused on the story of Tangled. Instead of Rapunzel’s mother being given the Sundrop Flower, she is instead given the Moondrop Flower. Needless to say, Rapunzel’s story becomes a much different tale than the one that we all know and love.

My Rating

 


I had a feeling going into this book that I was going to enjoy it, and I wasn’t wrong. The plot was different than I imagined, but that wasn’t a bed thing. Right from the start, I got ‘The Princess Bride’ vibes, because there was a whole storytelling aspect thrown in. If you’ve seen the movie, or read the book, then you will know what I’m talking about.

As for the story, it was very original, yet it still kept the true the essence of the ‘Tangled’ movie. There were (of course) some differences, but they just made the story more interesting. It was truly a new, refreshing take on the story that, as a tangled fan, I found entertaining.

Unlike the movie, Mother Gothel was way more cruel and ruthless. Honestly, I felt bad for Rapunzel, because it was almost as if she was neglected, or even unloved. She was gaslighted, and possible had Stockholm syndrome. I might be overreacting, but Rapunzel and Mother Gothel’s relationship seemed darker in the book, as compared to the movie.

In the book, I found Rapunzel to be a bit annoying and childish at times, yet I can see that being locked in a tower can make you not able to grow up, so to speak. Also, she came off as boy crazy., which was irritating. However, even in the movie, I found her a tad annoying, so I guess the author kept true to her personality. She just isn’t my favorite Disney princess.

There was the addition of some new characters, which I loved. We got a strong female, an older witch, and of course Flynn Rider. Let me say, out of all the Disney princess’ love interests, Flynn is my favorite. He’s cocky, funny, and charming! Who isn’t in love with Flynn Rider?

“The truth about you is all tangled, like your braids, Rapunzel. Bound up unnaturally. It’s time to let it all down, to let it out, let it go.”

Of course, to keep true to the original story, Rapunzel and Flynn end up together, but to me it was an instant love romance. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I like a good insta-love plot, but only if they are done right. However, this one fell short, since I didn’t see a real connection between the two characters. At least, not the same connection they developed in the animated film.

The message within the story was that we must accept and forgive ourselves. And, we must look deep inside us to find what true love means to us. The plot had a lot to do with loving yourself, as well as love in general. It was a simple message that wasn’t shoved in the reader’s face. It existed more in the background, but was there all the same.

Overall, I liked the story, writing, and how everything was wrapped up at the end. However, the plot as a whole is darker than the original story, while still being tween and teen friendly. I would daresay that I liked the book slightly more than the movie, and the movie was good. The book does touch on the topic of cancer, specifically in teenagers, so that may be triggering to some readers.

In the comments, let me know which Disney princess is your favorite. Mine has always been Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Don’t forget to give this post a like and share! If you want to support my blog, and like bookish content like this, you can follow my blog to get post notifications.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

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Reading Wrap-Up // August 2022

Hi Friends,
Below is my August wrap-up! I show all the books that I read in the month of August and my ratings for them. August was a great reading month, since I was able to read 13 books. My ratings were all over the place and I had my first 1 star read of the year. In the comments, let me know if you are excited to see my reviews for each of these books. And, feel free to follow not only my blog but my booktok (@bookswithbunny) and bookstagram (@books.with.bunny).

Long Live The Pumpkin Queen // Book Review

About The Book
Nightmare Before Christmas fans rejoice! Long Live the Pumpkin Queen picks up where the beloved film left off, with Sally in her new role as the Queen of Halloween Town. This delightful return to The Nightmare Before Christmas universe is sure to appeal to fans old and new.

My Rating


If you are a lover of ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’, but have been dying for another story with these characters, then this book is for you. This time around, we follow Sally as she struggles to come to terms with her new role as the Pumpkin Queen.

It was interesting getting to know Sally a bit more. All we learned about her in the movie was that she was in with love with Jack, and created by the Professor. However, through this story, we discover, along with Sally herself, that she is strong, smart, and not simply a creation.

I don’t want spoil too much, but Sally’s discovery of something life changing was kind of cheesy in my opinion. The author literally flips the script on Sally’s whole backstory. So, it takes retelling to the max.

All I can say is that love and family are very important aspects in this story. I liked that the author showed that family is more than blood. Sally, despite her life before Jack, loved her home of Halloweentown. She would do anything for the monsters that lived there.

“I am now Sally Skellington. The Pumpkin Queen. And I’m certain I will never again be as happy as I am right now.”

The book takes our rag doll protagonist on a journey of self discovery, and I liked seeing her come into her own. She makes a great Pumpkin Queen. Also, the addition of the Sandman as an evil character was a nice touch. Especially since the Sandman is such an interesting fantasy character.

The other characters in the book were great! Jack and Zero were so similar to their movie counterparts. Shea Ernshaw captured the essence of Tim Burton’s film perfectly.

Overall, the book isn’t amazing, and something felt kind of ridiculous, yet I loved it! Honestly, if you have any love for ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’, you need this book on your TBR. I would 100% recommend the audiobook, because the voices are nearly identical to the ones in the movie. It takes the reading experience to the next level.

In the comments, let me know your favorite Tim Burton film! Mine has to either be ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ or ‘Corpse Bride’. Don’t forget to follow my blog if you like bookish posts!

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Rereading Books // Bunny Babbles


Hi Friends,
Recently, I was considering rereading a book that I read a few years ago. Well, I wondered to myself if rereads should count towards people’s reading goals for the year. I am the type of reader that actually enjoys rereading books. Yet there are some exceptions to my rereading. I wouldn’t necessarily read a thriller over again, since it’s less impactful the second time around. But, I love rereading YA contemporaries!

Every year, I reread ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens and ‘The Afterlife of Holly Chase’ by Cynthia Hand. But, I think it is pretty normal to reread holiday books, since people rewatch their favorite holiday films every year.

There are some books that I do want to read again, because I can’t fully remember them. And, I always try to reread a series if it’s been over a year since I read the previous books. I am someone that does count rereads towards my yearly reading goal, because whether I’ve already read it or not, I’m still technically reading. A reading goal is for all the books you read that year, right? It isn’t just for new books read in a year.

In the comments, I would love to know where you stand on rereading, if they should count towards your yearly reading goal. Please follow my book blog, so that I know you like these types of posts.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

Related Post: The Afterlife of Holly Chase Book Review

Book Tropes // The Ones I Dislike

Hi Friends,
You might remember that I did a post talking about my favorite book tropes. Well, for sometime now I have been meaning to do one dedicated to my least favorite tropes. I have 5 book tropes that just don’t work for me, but this isn’t to say I won’t read books containing these tropes. Even though these types of books aren’t my favorites, I am sometimes up for giving them a try. Especially if the book is written by a favorite author of mine.


Single Parents
This is one that I don’t really have a reason for not liking, which seems kind of weird. I read a lot of YA books, and it seems as though one parent always has to be dead or absent. This is also a factor in a lot of Disney Channel movies and shows. I’m looking at you ‘That’s So Raven’ and ‘The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody’. And, don’t even get me started on Disney movies. I just feel like the trope is thrown in there to make us sympathize with the main character. I am not a fan of plot points that are only there so that we feel bad for the MC.


Desperate
I am so done with reading about girls that are extremely desperate to be liked or get a boyfriend. It is annoying to read a book where 50% of the time the protagonist is whining about not having a boyfriend. Or, they’re so resolute for someone to like them that they lie about who they truly are. Let’s get more self-assured female characters that don’t need a man! As Christina Yang said, “He’s very dreamy, but he is not the sun, you are.”


Bad Boy, Good Girls
I know that bad boys make them good girls go bad. You see what I did there? Anyways, what is so appealing about the ‘bad boy’ in books? It seems like every girl that is shy and smart always fall for the dangerous guy. I like a bad boy love story just as much as the next person, but let’s flip the script and do bad girl meets good boy for a change. Girls can be rebels too.


Ordinary Girl
In half the books I read, the protagonist is the average girl. There’s nothing special about her, and she isn’t a raving beauty. Typically, she’s shy, smart, and doesn’t fit in. Think Bella Swan. There are so many other type of personalities out there that should be represented. I would once like to read a book about a girl who has a lot of friends, knows who she is but is still a little weird. Also, why do all ordinary girls have to not wear makeup or have a good fashion sense? This trope is seriously outdated.



Cheating
Nope. No. No way! Thank you, next! Cheating is a trope that I can’t stand in the slightest. If someone cheats on you, then they don’t care about you or your relationship. Even worse, some books that contain cheating end with the couple staying together. In my opinion, cheating is unforgivable. It’s possible that some books make this trope work, but I still won’t be picking up those books.

Those are the main book tropes that I don’t like to read. In the comments, let me know what your least favorite tropes are. Don’t forget to follow the blog for more bookish content.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

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The Lake // Book Review

About The Book
Esme and Kayla are back at Camp Pine Lake as counselors-in-training, years after they agreed to cover up a terrible incident that occurred while they were campers there themselves. Unfortunately, it’s not all fun and games at camp, and when mysterious threats aimed at the counselors start getting more and more violent, the girls know they aren’t the only ones who know their secret.

My Rating


There were just so many things wrong with this book, that I don’t know where to start. The characters weren’t likable, and the plot was so predictable. And, to top it all off, there wasn’t even one twist that I didn’t see coming. If anything, the only redeeming quality was that it was over quickly.

In the book, Esme and her best friend Kayla return to a summer camp they went to as kids, to be camp counselors themselves. But Esme is nervous, since they did something horrible at the camp when they were kids, and it’s been their little secret for years now. Esme’s character was boring and annoying. She was seriously paranoid, which made me wonder why she even agreed to go back to the camp in the first place.

As for Kayla, she was a bad friend, and didn’t even want to take responsibility for her part in their past mistake. She kept making Esme think she was overreacting. Like, it was very obvious someone was after them. Personally, I would have left that camp after the first creepy experience.

The book was very main character focused, but there were a few side characters. Esme and Kayla formed a friend group with the other camp counselors, one being Esme’s sort of love interest. I say sort of, since the two didn’t have much chemistry, and didn’t seem to really trust one another. The rest of the characters were okay, but didn’t play much of a part in the story.

“Living with guilt is hell.”

You could say that there were a lot of suspects throughout the book, but early on, Esme, and probably the reader, knows the culprit. I was hoping that the author would throw a curveball, and make the villain someone out of the blue. Instead of, you know, taking the easy way out and picking the most likely person. It was frustrating knowing right away who was behind it all, and so desperately hoping for some kind of twist.

However, there was a part where Esme pretended her car had broken down in order to talk with someone. The interaction reminded me of a scene in ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’, so that was kind of fun. But one short and silly scene didn’t make up for a very lackluster thriller.

Overall, the plot didn’t have much depth to it, and the big secret wasn’t my favorite. The book was missing those thriller vibes, and was more of a mystery. The book ends on a cliffhanger, so be aware of that. However, I know some people like that in books. I am not one of those people.

As you can tell, this wasn’t the thriller for me, but let me know in the comments your thoughts on it, if you have read it. Please give my blog a quick follow before you go.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny

The Survival List // Book Review

 About The Book
From author Courtney Sheinmel comes an emotional, page-turning novel about the bonds of sisterhood, the imprecision of memory, and the incomparable value of finding something to live for. Fans of I Was Here by Gayle Forman and Far from the Tree by Robin Benway will be floored by this heartbreaking yet uplifting teen novel about a grieving girl who follows a mysterious list across the country after her older sister’s death.

My Rating


I’m going to be completely honest, and admit that when I think back on this book, I could barely remember it. So that should speak for itself. The book follows Sloane as she struggles to cope with her older sister Talley’s suicide. Once Sloane finds a mysterious list that Talley left behind, she is hell-bent on figuring out what it means. She thinks that the list holds all the answers to why her sister chose to the take her own life.

The book shows Sloane going through a lot of guilt over Talley’s death, believing that she could have prevented her sister’s suicide. This made her very obsessed with the list. I haven’t experienced what Sloane was going through, but I found that her obsession with finding a reason behind her sisters death unhealthy.

In the book, the list takes Sloane to California, where she reconnects with her estranged aunt. And where she meets a boy named Adam, who might be a piece to the puzzle that is her sister.  But the thing is, suicide doesn’t always have an answer. It isn’t always so black and white. I wanted Sloane to give in to her grief, and try to start healing. She needed to start focusing on keeping her sister’s memory alive, instead of chasing her ghost.

Sloane’s aunt didn’t add much to the story, but gave Sloane new insight to  her sister, as well as her mother. As for Adam, him and Sloane’s friendship felt random and cringy. Honestly, I didn’t like how Sloane would lash out at him for keeping secrets. He barely even knew her, but she excepted him to be an open book. I get that she was lashing out because of grief, but he didn’t owe her anything.

Personally, all the characters in the book fell short, since they were bland. Not one of them stood out to me. Except perhaps Sloane’s best friend, but only because her name was Juno. Also, the book had very weird wording that was a bit on the juvenile side. I am a big YA fan but the author was trying way to hard using phrases such as ‘shit slammer’ and ‘up in my grill.’

“When you try to keep a secret, even if you convinced yourself that it’s for someone else’s own good, it often backfires.”

There was a twist at the end that some people might find offensive. Specifically people that know firsthand the difficulty of having cancer. It was a very unique twist that I found unsettling and wrong. It seemed as though the book was trying to create a reason behind suicide. As if it ran in families. Sometimes that might be the case, but most of the time, there’s no reason to why someone takes their life. Or, at least, you will never truly know why they made such a choice.

You never really know someone, even if they’re family. In the end, we are all fighting our own battles, and depression doesn’t discriminate. The smartest person, with a happy life, could actually be the one that’s hurting most of all. The fact remains that suicide doesn’t end the pain, it just passes it on to someone else.

It was nice that the author made it a priority to mention that the people you get close to will change your life forever. Even after they have passed on. People always leave their mark on the hearts they touch. I did find it funny that the book stated the whole ‘don’t ask permission, but ask forgiveness’ opinion. Because I know first hand, that isn’t true. Don’t believe me? Ask my mom.

Overall, the book was about showing the aftermath of suicide, and how it effects the people you leave behind. However, the story didn’t pack that emotional punch that it needed to make me feel something. I found myself to be pretty bored throughout the book, and I didn’t shed a tear. Still, it was interesting to learn that suicide is illegal in Minnesota. Yet, I don’t know if that still the case today. Remember to research all the trigger warnings for the book, but a few of them are suicide, underage drinking, depression, and overdose.

I’m the comments, let me know if this book is on your TBR. Don’t forget to like and share his review. You can always support my blog by giving it a follow.

Until The Next Chapter,
Bunny