A cute, fun read should have the slightest bit of drama, fun characters, and a lots of funny moments. And lately, I’ve been reading some great books that have ALL of these very important things! What’s kind of weird, is that they’re contemporary reads?
Normally, I think of contemporary as very summery. And it is! And while both of these books were very summerish, they were great to read this time of year. Kind of weird? But okay. It’s okay to read contemporary in the middle of winter. It’s not a crime, right?
Mommy blogs are great . . . unless the blog happens to belong to your mom.
Twin sisters Claire & Poppy are accidental social media stars thanks to Mom going viral when they were babies. Now, as teens, they’re expected to contribute by building their own brand. Attending a NY fashion week and receiving fan mail is a blast. Fending off internet trolls and would-be kidnappers? Not so much.
Poppy embraces it. Claire hates it. Will anybody accept her as “just Claire”? And what should Claire do about Mom’s old journals? The handwritten entries definitely don’t sound like Mom’s perfect blog persona. Worse, one of them divulges a secret that leaves Claire wondering what else in her life might be nothing but a sham . . .
This was CUTE! And Quirky! A very quick read that felt very summerish, I mean Claire only mentions the Arizona heat a dozen times, right?
Anyway, this story is about Claire and her unhappiness with her vlog/blog life. Her entire life is on the internet and that makes for a very mopey teenager. What’s worse? Her twin sister LOVES vlogging and even wants to do a reality TV show! Yay! Or if you’re Claire, ehhhh…. please no.
Yes, this story is about a teenager having very teenagerish problems. It’s also a story about online personality and the pressure of living constantly in the public. And there’s quite of bit of fashion and computer coding thrown in.
➣ Claire! She was a fun, fun character! How often do you get a teenage girl who loves computer coding? I might have learned the tiniest bit about computer coding and am kind of inspired to learn more?
➣ Poppy. Poppy was definitely Claire’s opposite. Her motivation was very muddled and I didn’t get to really know her like I did Claire. Could I have gotten to know her better? I think so! I really wish we could have seen more of Poppy and Claire’s relationship shown on page – instead of just bickering about the internet and boys.
Now, even though I enjoyed the story, there were several moments that made me shake my head. Number one? Rafael claiming he lived in remote villages in India and couldn’t use a cellphone because there was no reception. I feel like that’s a very privileged American perspective and I really, really wish an editor had flagged that. Because, that’s just casting an entire nation in a backwards light, and it’s NOT TRUE. I mean, I’ve met dozens of people from India and other nations in Southeast Asia, and all of them had technology. It was just such an ignorant mistake that I almost stopped reading. The only reason I continued past this point was because I was in a meeting and bored and needed something to read to not fall asleep. That’s how annoyed I was by this portrayal.
Also, there are plenty of reasons to dislike phones and the invasion of tech into our everyday lives. Living in India should not be one of them. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The second time I was shaking my head? Well, that’s really spoilery. So, I can’t talk about it! Sadness. I just don’t think the author researched things like adoption and parental rights very well? Because there were some plot points that weren’t as realistic as I would have liked.
Overall, I enjoyed this story! It was a quick, fun read, with some cute romance thrown in.
My rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thanks to Netgalley and Amberjack Publishing for an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
What do a future ambassador, an overly ambitious Francophile, a hospital-volunteering Girl Scout, the new girl from Cleveland, the junior cheer captain, and the vice president of the debate club have in common? It sounds like the ridiculously long lead-up to an astoundingly absurd punchline, right? Except it’s not. Well, unless my life is the joke, which is kind of starting to look like a possibility given how beyond soap opera it’s been since I moved to Lancaster. But anyway, here’s your answer: we’ve all had the questionable privilege of going out with Lancaster High School’s de facto king. Otherwise known as my best friend. Otherwise known as the reason I’ve already helped steal a car, a jet ski, and one hundred spray-painted water bottles when it’s not even Christmas break yet. Otherwise known as Henry. Jersey number 8.
Meet Cleves. Girlfriend number four and the narrator of The Dead Queens Club, a young adult retelling of Henry VIII and his six wives. Cleves is the only girlfriend to come out of her relationship with Henry unscathed—but most breakups are messy, right? And sometimes tragic accidents happen…twice…
Just look at the cover! Look at the title! LOOK AT THAT SYNOPSIS!!!
And yay, yay, yay because this story is as DRAMATIC and SUSPENSEFULL and LOVELY as it sounds. I love history and this blend of Tudor England and high school is hilarious and just perfect.
Some things I just LOVED
➣ Cleves. Cleve’s voice is amazing. She’s funny and full of spunk and utterly feminist. Also, she calls out her own prejudices and is a totally loyal friend.
Cleve’s friendship with Henry. Okay, it was adorable. They’re hilarious and full of mischief. Which is exactly how I picture Henry VIII if he were a teenage senior from Lancaster high school. (Lancaster, Indiana, of course)
➣ ALL THE TUDOR REFERENCES. You should expect a retelling of King Henry and his six wives to have lots of English references. And it does! But they’re so hilariously perfectly done that sometimes I was laughing. It was just so great. From Brandon being Henry’s best friends, to Anna Boleyn and her yellow dress, to Jane Seymour being a very boring wallflower. It was fantastically written!
➣ The plot. This book is just fantastic. it blends high school drama, mixing Henry and his wives, ergh girlfriends, with high school drama is brilliant. Because Henry was the original drama king. And some of his wives were VERY great at Drama, aka Anne Boleyn the original drama queen. But Henry was also charismatic and charming, and literally everyone wanted to date him.
If you know the story of Henry and his Six Wives, you’ll know that some of them had a rather, um tragic, end. The Dead Queen’s Club doesn’t overlook the real tragedy of dating Henry. But it gives it a new feminist spin and it’s JUST GOOD.
My rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thanks to Edelweiss and Inkyard Press for an advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
Now, that I’ve read some very fun contemporary, I’m going to get back to reading some fantasy and wintery reads.
Since I’m participating in the Year of the Asian reading challenge, I’m going to pick up several Asian inspired fantasy reads the rest of the month! Looking forward to talking about these fantasy reads in my monthly wrap up. 😊 Or maybe another book review. We’ll see.
What have you been reading lately? Have you read Just for Clicks or The Dead Queen’s Club? Are you a fan of Tudor England or high school drama?