Leah on the Offbeat

Leah on the Offbeat

Leah on the Offbeat (Creekwood #2) By: Becky Albertalli

Plot:

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

Review:

I was excited to read this for personal reasons and it definitely ended up coloring my opinion of the book. I cannot stand angsty teenage drama. This book was basically angsty teenage drama in book form. I wouldn’t have normally even been able to finish, but I ended up really liking it.

Leah is a perfectionist that isn’t willing to do anything in public unless she knows she’s going to be great at it. She’s hyper critical of herself and ends up coming off as a super bitch. Honestly, Leah was not very likeable. She spends a lot of time not thinking about stuff she should think about. There’s a fair amount of social anxiety there, but she does try and push herself by the end.

The ending was what really sold the book for me. At one point I laughed so hard I cried and I can’t remember the last time that happened. I also, actually, cried for emotional reasons too. It was a really good ending and even though I didn’t like or dislike the rest of the book the ending pushed it up a star rating.

The kids are mostly all in college now so I don’t know if Albertalli is going to do another book. She could probably do one with Simon’s sister as the protagonist, but I don’t really see myself reading further. I got what I wanted to from the series and I’m incredibly grateful for that.

4/5

 

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A Princess in Theory

A Princess in Theory

A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals #1) By: Alyssa Cole

Plot:

Between grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales…or patience for the constant e-mails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Sure. Right. Delete! As a former foster kid, she’s learned that the only things she can depend on are herself and the scientific method, and a silly e-mail won’t convince her otherwise.

Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed. When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life—and love—without the burden of his crown.

The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?

Review:

While voting for the 2018 Goodreads Choice awards I stumbled across A Princess in Theory. The cover grabbed me, the blurb sold me, and then holy cow I freaking loved the story.

It had the much loved prince pretending to be a commoner trope, something that usually ends up grating on my nerves and has me screaming at the character to just stop lying, but Cole revealed the lie halfway in. I really appreciated that because we got to see the aftermath of discovering someone you have feelings for has been lying to you.

Naledi was awesome. Strong, smart, vulnerable, but very much capable. She had character growth and an intriguing and sad past. I loved that the issues women in STEM careers have to face was brought up.

Prince Thabiso was the perfect prince. Seriously, the man was perfection. He loved his country and just wanted what was best for them. He had a reputation as a playboy, but the only time you really saw that was in his abilities in bed. Time well spent.

This story was so much fun. Entertaining, ridiculously romantic, I really loved it. I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series.

5/5

Magic Triumphs

Magic Triumphs

Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels #10) By: Ilona Andrews

Plot:

Kate has come a long way from her origins as a loner taking care of paranormal problems in post-Shift Atlanta. She’s made friends and enemies. She’s found love and started a family with Curran Lennart, the former Beast Lord. But her magic is too strong for the power players of the world to let her be.

Kate and her father, Roland, currently have an uneasy truce, but when he starts testing her defenses again, she knows that sooner or later, a confrontation is inevitable. The Witch Oracle has begun seeing visions of blood, fire, and human bones. And when a mysterious box is delivered to Kate’s doorstep, a threat of war from the ancient enemy who nearly destroyed her family, she knows their time is up.

Kate Daniels sees no other choice but to combine forces with the unlikeliest of allies. She knows betrayal is inevitable. She knows she may not survive the coming battle. But she has to try.

For her child.

For Atlanta.

For the world.

Review:

The climactic conclusion to the Kate Daniels series! I have not been this excited for a book since the final Harry Potter. Somehow I was able to resist staying up into the wee hours of the morning to finish this, but it was close. The only reason I resisted reading it so long was because I was afraid of doing that and I need my sleep lately.

There were a couple heart wrenching moments, aided by the fact that my baby is just a couple months older than Kate’s baby. I cried. A couple times. I ignored my children as they destroyed the house around me.

SPOILERS

Kate has become a helicopter parent. She is definitely experiencing some post pregnancy hormones and has come such a long way from the original character. She loves so much and so afraid to lose it all and will do anything to protect those she loves. It hurts when you allow people in your heart, but she doesn’t regret it at all.

Not as many people died as I expected. In fact no one I really thought of as important died, which kind of lessened the impact of everything, but I don’t care. I love these characters and it would have hurt so much if they’d died.

Kate and Curran got their happy ending. We got to see Hugh and his woman and pretty much everyone in the universe we’ve met so far. They all had their part to play, but it never felt too chaotic. There was also a set up for another series, though, it doesn’t necessarily have to happen because things were wrapped up really well. It was nice that the world won’t necessarily be ignored and we can look forward to more stories in it.

I didn’t want to do anything after reading this, I just wanted to absorb, and then re-read the entire series. I might just do that, we’ll see, it’s been a while. If you’ve been waiting until the series is over to start it, here you go, never a better time to start.

5/5

Diamond Fire

Diamond Fire

Diamond Fire (Hidden Legacies 3.5) By: Ilona Andrews

Plot:

Catalina Baylor is looking forward to wearing her maid of honor dress and watching her older sister walk down the aisle. Then the wedding planner gets escorted off the premises, the bride’s priceless tiara disappears, and Rogan’s extensive family overruns his mother’s home. Someone is cheating, someone is lying, and someone is plotting murder.

To make this wedding happen, Catalina will have to do the thing she fears most: use her magic. But she’s a Baylor and there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for her sister’s happiness. Nevada will have her fairy tale wedding, even if Catalina has to tear the mansion apart brick by brick to get it done.

Review:

I devoured this novella. The world that has been created in the Hidden Legacy series is so interesting and complicated. The Baylor’s are such capable strong women and I love reading about them

This story was basically just an introduction to Catalina. We’ve, of course, seen her before, but we’ve never had her point of view on things. She is protective of her family, but also shy and more reserved than Nevada. She is scared of her power, for understandable reasons, and she doubts what her future holds.

The story was fun. There were moments of righteous outrage that I loved. A whole plethora of characters that may or may not show up later. Tons of family secrets revealed. It was a highly entertaining short read and I cannot wait for the next book in the series.

5/5

BlacKkKlansman (2018)

BlacKkKlansman

BlacKkKlansman (2018)

Director:

Spike Lee

Starring:

John David Washington

Laura Harrier

Adam Driver

Plot:

Ron Stallworth, an African American police officer from Colorado Springs, CO, successfully manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan branch with the help of a Jewish surrogate who eventually becomes its leader. Based on actual events.

Review:

I chose to watch this instead of election coverage to help my nerves. It totally failed on that front but that’s my problem not the movies lol

Ron Stallworth, John David Washington, is the first black cop in Colorado Springs. He deals with racism and bigots, but also manages to infiltrate the KKK by calling their number listed in the paper. It’s stupidly easy and you can see that he’s just saying things that have been said to him, things that are disgusting and stereotypical, and the KKK people on the phone eat it up. Naturally, they want to meet this amazing new brother and set up a meeting. In steps Adam Driver and things progress rapidly from there.

At times the movie was a bit heavy handed in its contrast between Black and White protests, but I feel like Lee showed a LOT of restraint on that front. There were obvious inferences about current affairs, but I wouldn’t say it went outside plausible conversations for the time period.

The ending with the clips from Charlottesville were just soul crushing. The image of the upside down flag really hit home. I highly recommend the BlacKkKlansman. We have so much work to do in this country.

5/5