Book Review: Perfect Harmony – Emily Albright

synopsis single

Pippa Wyndham is a top cellist―she’d never settle for anything less. Determined to get into the nation’s most prestigious music college, nothing’s going to stand in her way . . . Until her senior year of high school when a new guy from a fancy New York conservatory transfers to her school. 

Declan Brogan’s cocky, and he knows how amazing he is at the cello. He has every intention of knocking Pippa out of first chair and showing her who really belongs on top. Forced together when assigned a duet, their personal competition and mutual dislike transform into a teasing friendship.

Torn between her childhood crush and the boy who threatens her dreams, Pippa finds herself at risk of losing her best friend, her future, and the boy who makes her heart melt. Struggling to make things right, Pippa discovers that sometimes the thing you want the most doesn’t always end up being the thing you need.

 


 

My Thoughts 2

♦ ARC kindly provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review♦

 

`Perfect Harmony` just made my list of Best YA Romance Novels 2018!

The cover is what stopped me in my tracks. The synopsis is what sealed the deal. For some odd reason I felt this novel was going to be a winner. And a winner it was!

Perfect Harmony

I won´t bother summing up the story for you because the synopsis reveals more than enough. So, instead, I´ll focus on sharing my emotions and praises.

 


 

What I Loved

  • The characters. Pippa was a bundle of book Heroine joy. She acted her age, her dialogue was also age appropriate and she´s a cellist. How exciting is that?! She´s a 100% relatable and lovable figure. Declan´s character was made for me. I loved the cocky side of him and the fact that he, too, is a cellist and and and…. He´s just someone I would have chased back in School. * sigh *
  • The relationship between the characters. For me, sparks were constantly flying across the pages ( that´s how much energy there was )
  • The music. There´s just something magical reading about musicians.
  • The pace. Reading this book was hiccup – less ride I fully enjoyed. I didn´t feel bored nor did I come across slower parts that would have pulled the story down.
  • The YA angst! Oooh, how I love myself some subtle angst.
  • The writing. It´s not everyday I get to read a book that´s very well written.

 

Although I loved this book it can´t be ignored that there are a few things that others might find challenging.

 

What Others Might Find Challenging

  • The romance. While a romance was definitely there, it wasn´t one in a classical sense. This can be because the story is categorized as YA and therefore not leaning on the heavy romantic side. The focus is on entirely on the romance. It´s divided between love, life and music.
  • The story is nothing new. Yes, I hate to say this… I´ve read similar YA romances like this one before.
  • The end. Although I´m a fan of the book ending others might not like it.

 


 

Personally, I believe`Perfect Harmony` is a perfect harmonious read that touches all the right buttons.

 

Would I recommend this book? I most certainly would. Anyone looking for a great, cute, light and entertaining Young Adult read will love `Perfect Harmony`.

Would I reread this book? Yes. I would.

 


 

The Cover – 5 stars ( The soft colors are eye friendly. The cover art is a total eye – catcher )

The Story – 5 stars (  The story is in all areas well balanced. Loved the romance. Loved the music. Loved loved loved. )

The Characters – 5 stars ( Perfect )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Completely satisfied! 100% happy that I found another 5 star read and a new author I can add to my fav list!

5 stars

Don´t forget to mark your calendars! 

Perfect Harmony

by Emily Albright

Expected Pub Date: 25 Sep 2018
Publisher: Amberjack Publishing
Pages: 304
Perfect Harmony

 


 

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Book Review- Running Out Of Air by K. T. Swift

synopsis single

Inanna Drew has a problem, and, of course, that problem is a boy. Though she’s quite content to read her books and excel in school, he bothers her and seems incapable of taking a hint. Thus this is a journal, nay, a chronicle that she must put to paper to explain, in her own voice, why he doesn’t deserve the time of day.

All of this changes after a sudden upheaval in her life, making Hadrian Marshall less of a pain in her side and more of a friend to be counted on.


My Thoughts 2

 

**Copy kindly provided by Netgalley & Nine Star Press in exchange for an honest review**

There´s a strong case of „It´s me, not the book.“ here. I´m sure many others would enjoy this read…. I didn´t, though.

While I enjoy coming – of – age novels I don´t enjoy protagonists who don´t act their age. A High school girl with malicious trail of thoughts and a vocabulary of an experienced adult is just a turn off for me.
From experience, I can say that an unlikable and unrelatable Heroine won´t save a story for me. It wasn´t any different with `Running Out Of Air` by K. T. Swift. running out of air

For me, it felt like the author was trying too hard to create a breathtaking novel. Cool wordy characters, lots of drama… The whole package was just far too over – the – top. The feels didn´t flow over to me. I wasn´t fazed. Instead, I was shaking my head, wondering why on earth anyone would create such an unlikable character that has the power to break what could be a decent read.

With encountering topics like LGBT, family drama and death of a loved one, etc… I really thought I was going to finally hold a work of art in my hands. * sigh *

Nice was to see how the Heroine ( Inanna ) and the Hero ( Hadrian ) stayed connected through their milestone years and that they somehow maintained a relationship I clearly had troubles understanding ( due to the questionable Heroine )

A quick read that didn´t tickle me senseless.

Since this book wasn´t anything near my cup of tea I´m going to go ahead and say that I didn´t like `Running Out Of Air`.

Would I recommend this read? No.

 

The Cover – 5 stars: I´m a fan of simple covers that grab a reader’s attention.

The Story – 2 stars: It´s the characters fault. Because if you can´t stand the female lead then you have a hell of a hard time enjoying the rest.

The Characters – 2 stars: Questionable, to say the least. Although, I did like Hadrian a tad more than I did Inanna.

My emotional state after finishing this read – Not happy.

 

2 stars


 


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Book Review: Eight Goodbyes, Christine Brae

synopsis single

When Tessa Talman meets Simon Fremont for the first time, not only is she attracted to him, she’s intrigued by how different their lives are. He’s a dedicated scientist, practical, pragmatic, and grounded—while she’s a head-in-the-clouds romance author. As their relationship grows, they agree to meet in places around the world, while continuing to live on opposite sides of the globe.

Though their feelings for each other deepen, their priorities remain the same. Simon is in a hurry to be financially sound and settle down, but Tessa is enjoying her freedom and newfound success. Neither is willing to give in, but as each goodbye gets harder, Tessa begins to wonder whether fame is the path to happiness, or if she has everything she needs in Simon.

Just as Tessa finds the courage to go after her own happily ever after, the unthinkable happens, separating them in ways they never imagined. 

To move forward, she must let go of the past, and determine once and for all if love is truly more powerful than the pain of goodbye.

 


My Thoughts 2

**ARC kindly provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

`Eight Goodbyes` by author Christine Brae is a heartstrings tugging romance that will push all the right emotional buttons… Or, at least I hope that happens for readers when they pick this read.

Sadly enough, I have mixed feelings regarding this romance. I´m not totally against this book but I´m also not able to lay my heart on the table and profess my undying love for `Eight Goodbyes`Eight Goodbyes

Let me explain why.

The cover and book title caught my attention. The synopsis then sealed the deal for me. Everything seemed interesting and I was hopeful that I had found a new author to add to my ever-growing list of favorite writers.

With that being said- My excitement wasn´t long lasting. To express my mixed feelings a little better let be start off with mentioning what I fully appreciated about this book.

The writing.

The author has the ability to grab a reader´s attention with her words. A nice soft, feminine writing that´s perfect for an emotional read. Loved it.

Unfortunately, the writing , alone,doesn´t cut it for me.

While the synopsis sounded interesting, the story itself wasn´t as gripping. `Eight Goodbyes`. Yes. Somewhere deep down I understood this book was about saying goodbye 8 times. No surprises there. What I didn´t know was how annoying the goodbyes would be for me.

Tessa Tamlan, famous fiction author, lives the dream.

Here is where I felt a strong case of „The protagonist is the author´s self- insert“.

While most of us readers tend to believe being an author is all fun and games, Christine Brae gives us a little insight on how that´s not true through the eyes of Tessa Tamlan. In fact- The detailed mention of how exhausting and time-consuming an author´s life is feels a little too realistic.

This is pure speculation on my part but sometimes a reader can tell if there´s a self – insert. I felt it and I didn´t like it.

Nonetheless- Tessa´s character rubbed me the wrong way on many levels. She came across as arrogant, self-centered, aloof and superficial. A stark contrast to the Hero, Simon Fremont., who I enjoyed to bits.

As for the romance in the story – I had difficulties warming up to Tessa and Simon, as a couple. It took 5 chapters to lose all sympathy for the off-putting Tessa and 5 chapters to see that Simon deserved someone better. So, all the romantic feels I was supposed to feel were non-existent for me because I couldn´t connect with the Hero and Heroine.

Another aspect that made me raise my eyebrows: Tessa liked to mention how intelligent Simon and herself were. It´s a compliment when it´s mentioned once. It´s weird when it´s mentioned more than once.

The `good-byes` frustrated me. The Heroine was unlikable. The story wasn´t my cup of tea. Still…..

Would I recommend this book? For readers who rely on my opinion- No.

Would I reread this book? No.


The cover – 5 stars ( I´m usually not a fan of character images on covers but I did like this one.)

The Story – 2 stars ( The idea is great. The way the story panned out- Not so great )

The Characters – 2 ( Tessa did not work for me. Simon felt like the better character )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Frustrated.

2 stars

Book Title: Eight Goodbyes

Author: Christine Brae

Genre: contemporary romance

Release date: 1. Sept. 2018

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Mug Monday & New Books Talk

Mug Feature                                                                                                                                             IKEA – Black Mug

Book Topic & Book Feature                                                                                                                New Books & Belle by Cameron Dokey

 

Happy Mug Monday!

 

So, what has this little book blogger been up to since her last Mug Monday post? Ha! I´ve been procrastinating. Alright. Fine. If you want to know the truth- I´ve been physically lazy and mentally working overtime.

Ever since my short break I´ve had time to think. Of course, I´ve read a few books, too, but that´s secondary at the moment.

I´ve noticed a shift in my reading tastes. I´m not sure if this has something to do with the lack of good romances being published or if it´s just a phase. I cannot stomach another sappy love story.

Don´t get me wrong. I still love the romance genre. I also still make a beeline towards the women’s fiction aisle in a bookstore and I still search for new romance titles online in hopes for finding something good ( See? I´ve even lowered my book standards ).  But do I find anything worth reading? Not at the moment. It´s as if authors are bored with the genre and just publish romances for the heck of it. That´s probably not true. But give a girl a break. Book hunting is exhausting at the moment. Especially when it´s scorching 35°C ( 95°F ) outside.

 

So, this means a few things. I could:

a) Continue to tackle the TBR list

b) Wait for a miracle to happen

c) Move on

d) Visit Netgalley

e) Go on another creative break

f) Do garden work

g) Contact friends I promised I´d call… 2 months ago

 

I contacted the friends- I´m forgiven. I don´t need ANOTHER creative break. Garden work is the greatest punishment ever. My TBR list can kindly go to hell.  I cannot foresee any miracles happening soon so that leaves me with Netgalley.

Netgalley. It´s been a while since I last stepped foot on Book Catalogue Land. Well, it´s been exactly 14 hours ( before that, 3 years ). Since romance isn´t feeding my needs I decided to check out what´s available on Netgalley.

I was successful. Greedy and successful. SO MANY BOOKS. So many non romances. And now, I have loads of Netgalley reads, a giant TBR list and the books I got while on vacation.

 

Sometimes I really do believe I have fruit missing from my fruit bowl.

 

Well, at least I have books to read, right? My worries for the romance genre are currently put to rest for the time being. I´ll be occupied with mermaids and pirates, kingdoms and witches now.

 

Speaking of new books and reading… I just finished this beauty ( pun intended ).

belle

`Belle` ( A retelling of Beauty and the Beast ) by author Cameron Dokey. Did I love, like, enjoy or hate it? Well, I´ll tell you that I fell in love with the cover. The rest of my thoughts will be available in the upcoming review.

The mug is nothing special. Just your typical IKEA mug that probably won´t last long ( they never do in my house ). The cold chocolate milk topped with whipped cream was divine, though.

 

That´s it for this week, lovies. Now you know I´ve dug my own grave and will now endure a massive and glorious reading marathon.

Hope you enjoy your Monday!

Don´t forget to share the book ❤

Warm hugs,

Morgana <3<3

 

 

 

 

Advanced Readers Copy – Then & Now

Book bloggers who interact with authors and hang around Netgalley will know what an ARC is. For the rest of the world who´s always asked themselves what the abbreviation means… I´m here to help!

You´re welcome.

 

arc banner

 

And now you´re thinking: “WOW! Those book bloggers get free books from publishers / authors directly? That´s awesome!”

You´re right. It is AWESOME.

Us book blog folks can´t really complain when it comes to receiving books before they hit the bookshelves.

But receiving ARCs comes with a price. It´s not just about getting free, yet to be published, books.

 

Granted. The price we pay isn´t necessarily high. But it´s tiresome and even taxing over time. But sometimes reading those ARCs can be rewarding.

I think it´s fair to add that there is a difference between traditional published and self published ARCs. And then there´s Netgalley, which is a whole different level of giving out unpublished free copies to readers.

Traditional published advanced copies are usually reserved for journalists, celebrities, major blogs. Of course, any every-day-book-blogger can receive a traditional published ARC, as well. It just involves a little more work and luck.

Self published ARCs are much easier to get our hands on. We either wait for an open opportunity to add ourselves to a list or an author may ask us directly if we´re interested in reading an ARC.

Or, we hop over to Netgalley and include ourselves to a list there and then hope for the best.

Either way – ARCs come with a set of rules. These rules may vary but they core of rules is always the same.

  1. Do not forward the book to a third party
  2. Must leave a review ( either before or after or directly on publication date )
  3. Include publisher / authors name
  4. Meet the deadline
  5. Don´t publish a review with less than a 3 star rating. ( not a mandatory rule, but it still pops up once in a while )

 

So, basically you get to read for free if you promise not to let anyone else read the unpublished book and if you include the publisher / author in your review by thanking them for letting you read the free copy then everyone´s happy.

 

Many book bloggers will mention that the book they´ve read was an ARC in their reviews. Sometimes it´s even asked of us book bloggers to add a small recognition line in our reviews. That might look something like this:

 

I received an Avanced Readers Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review”

 

A simple line, right? That can always be easily worked into a review before it´s published. That line might raise some questions to normal reader who´s only looking for his/her next read, though.

 

No matter how a book blogger receives an ARC the rules stay the same.

 

Don´t do shit you promised not to do! Do shit you promised you´d do!

 

 

The price we pay is truly small compared to what we´d normally spend after the ARC hits the bookshelves.

Are Advanced Readers Copies worth it?

I´d say yes and no. Yes, because it´s a fabulous way to get our hands on new books and ARCs are kind to our wallets.

No, because book bloggers tend to agree to read more ARCs than they´re able to fit into their schedule

.
Let´s do simple math that displays what I´m talking about:

2 ARCs a week = 8 ARCs a month = better have a calendar or else you´re screwed.

 

 

And then there´s that issue when you want to DNF the ARC. You have to contact the publisher or author and give details as to why you can´t continue to read.

Meeting a deadline is also sometimes exhausting.

Life is often not nice to us book bloggers. Sometimes we have to hop back to reality and can´t meet a deadline. You have to contact the publisher or author and explain why.

 

So, are ARCs truly worth it?

Sort of. Kind of. Depends on what type of person / book blogger you are.

 

ARCs Then & Now

Nowadays, 98% of all ARCs come in e-book format. Why? Because it´s much easier and quicker. There´s no hassle with printed ARCs and no shipping issues. ARCs flow from one device to another within seconds or a few hours. ARCs these days look like this:

 

arc 2
Taken from my unloved Kindle

 

Or, dare I share this little gem from Netgalley:

 

arc 3
Another shot from my unloved Kindle

 

A few years back, though, there were still publishers and authors who made a point of giving out printed advanced copies to readers.

 

arc
ARC taken from my personal bookshelf.

 

Weird, right? Hardly imaginable in the day of modern technology yet they existed. Printed ARCs were a thing and I miss them dearly.

 

 

These days, authors love to give out e-book arcs because they´re efficient. Low cost and no wasted effort.

And many authors have misunderstood the meaning of an ARC. The roots of ARCs.

What was once an uncorrected proof read turned into a nearly finished – finished project ready to hit sales.

Let´s do a quick listing of things that made ARCs different from the past and now.

ARCs Back Then

  • Uncorrected proof reads
  • No final cover image
  • Story wasn´t final
  • Paperback format came as a naked product

 

Readers gave feedback on the proof read and THEN the whole book was combed through again before it would be published, 3 – 6 months later with a cover image.

ARCS NOW

  • handed out in exchange for an honest review
  • often final product
  • often comes with a finished cover image

 

In short: readers receive a copy for review purposes and then the book gets published within 1-3 months ( or less ).
So, the idea of an ARC has changed over the years. And then there´s the time issue. We live in a fast living world. If authors / publishers don´t get said book out yesterday then the genre might go out of style tomorrow.

There´s hardly any time to send out a paperback ARC across oceans to the opposite side of the world when the same thing can be sent via technology within a blink of an eye.

Makes sense, right?

It still doesn´t change the fact that I don´t like ARCs, no matter what form they come in.

They´re added work. The story has to sound freaking special before I accept an advanced copy.

Do you like to read Advanced Readers Copies? How often do you accept ARCs?

Let me hear your thoughts! I´m dying to discuss this topic with you.

 

Hope you all have a lovely day!

Much Love,

Morgana ❤ ❤