Book Review: Once Upon a Dream

Once Upon a Dream
Once Upon a Dream
Liz Braswell
Hardcover April 2016
Available Here

What if the sleeping beauty never woke up? Once Upon a Dreammarks the second book in a new YA line that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways.

It should be simple–a dragon defeated, a slumbering maiden, a prince poised to wake her. But when said prince falls asleep as soon as his lips meet the princess’s, it is clear that this fairy tale is far from over.

With a desperate fairy’s last curse infiltrating her mind, Princess Aurora will have to navigate a dangerous and magical landscape deep in the depths of her dreams. Soon she stumbles upon Phillip, a charming prince eager to join her quest. But with Maleficent’s agents following her every move, Aurora struggles to discover who her true allies are, and moreover, who she truly is. Time is running out. Will the sleeping beauty be able to wake herself up?

The Good:

-I enjoyed Aurora a lot towards the end of the story but it was a case of too little too late
-I liked the parallels of the real world to the dream world at times it was confusing but overall I thought it was utilized well
-My favorite quote: “You don’t get it. They gave me beauty and song, and then I was left in the woods to grow up for sixteen years before being handed over to you. I don’t know anything about ruling. I don’t even really know what taxes are. I was in the woods in the real world. In the dreamworld, I hid like a mouse and then organized balls and parties.” (if only the rest of this book had been as a badass as this quote)

The Bad: 

-Philip was just god awful I was hoping to see more of a unique spin on him since Aurora developed into this strong and sarcastic leading lady I had hoped for a dashing prince who could match her
-It was too long way way too long. There were so many times where I seriously contemplated not finishing it.
-The writing was pretty childish. The dialogue was very basic and just randomly placed through out and the conversations weren’t interesting or even long enough to be considered conversations.
-Aurora spent a huge huge amount talking about how she liked to sleep and how to do anything was far too much energy. I mean I get it she’s Sleeping Beauty but you really don’t have to beat us over the head with it.
-It was too little too late. This book had so much potential and the last third or so was rather powerful but I don’t think most people will get that far.

The Rating:
2 Stars

I really enjoyed Aurora’s progression from damsel in distress to kick ass queen but the journey to get there was just not engaging enough. The writing was a little disjointed and not dialogue driven enough for me personally. Overall, I felt this book had so much potential if it just moved a little faster.

Has anyone else had a disappointing read lately? At least I can be happy to post a much more positive review for my next read. 



Summer TBR

So I am totally a mood reader thus making it hard for me to put together a reading pile for one month. So I’ve decided to do seasonal reading lists that way it gives me three months to get through the titles. Plus I’m trying to experiment more with reading multiple titles at the same time. So without further ado here is my summer reading list:

In Hope of MemoriesA Torch Against the NightWe Own the NightThe Curse of the Bruel CovenThe Square Root of SummerThe Unexpected Everything

Most of these are from Top Ten Beach Reads List so yeah I kind of need to read them during this 3 month period lol.

Replica.jpgEverlandGirl in Pieces16096824Glass SwordThe Heir

Yes you are seeing Replica on my list even though it doesn’t come out til October I was able to score an ARC (I’m still hyperventilating over that). And yes I still haven’t finished ACOTAR but not because I’m not enjoying it I’m just really taking my time. Depending on how the summer goes I might throw the sequel onto this list otherwise it will be one of the first reads for the fall.

So has anyone tried a system like this where you don’t really commit to specific books for the month? So what should I start reading next?


The Book Sacrifice Tag

Thank you so much to Giovannard for tagging me for The Book Sacrifice Tag! I’m super excited to do this!


Situation: You’re in a store when the zombie apocalypse hits. The military informs everyone that over-hyped books are the zombies only weakness. What book that everyone else says is amazing but you disliked do you start chucking at the zombies?

50 Shades.jpg

FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. I don’t get it there’s nothing sexy or romantic or even likable about anyone in this book plus it’s based off a Twilight fan-fiction which is another series I can’t get into at all.


Situation: torrential downpour. What sequel are you willing to use as an umbrella to protect yourself?


Please don’t hate me for this. Typically when I read the first book of a series and I decide to continue with it I very rarely find that I dislike anything about the sequels. So even though I’m putting a Potter book which is blasphemous I know this is the only one I could think of. I just wasn’t digging the whole time travel thing and I hated meeting Sirius only to have Harry not be with him over the summer.


Situation: You’re in English class and your professor raves about a Classic that “transcends time”. If given the opportunity to travel back in time, which Classic would you try to stop from ever publishing?

Of Mice and Men.jpg

Buh-Bye Of Mice and Men ugh just thinking about this book gives me chills and not the good kind. I pretty much everything by Steinbeck but this one really takes the cake.


Situation: apparently global warming = suddenly frozen wasteland. Your only hope of survival for warmth is to burn a book. Which book will you not regret lighting?


Hmm this is kind of tough but I’m gonna have to say Cinder by Marissa Meyer (please don’t hate me). I just could not get into this story at all it was too far-fetched for me and I love fairy tales and re-tellings but this just didn’t work for me. I’ve heard the series gets better but I don’t know if I’m gonna try it. I’m still looking forward to Heartless though because I think she’s a good writer the story just didn’t click with me.

So there you have it my Book Sacrifice Tag. Thank you again to Giovannard for tagging me and now I tag anyone who wants to do this just leave me or a comment. Or if you’ve already done leave me a comment as well because I definitely want to check it out. 


Exciting News!

So I am super excited to let everyone know that I have had two authors reach out to me to review their books!!! I never thought in a million years that would happen to me I am so excited. So I’m gonna have to shuffle around my TBR pile and probably put some of the stuff I’m currently reading on the back burner. Let me introduce the two new books that have just gone to the top of my reading pile.

The Reflections of Snow White.jpg

This book by David Meredith looks at what happens after Happily Ever After. Here we find Snow on the eve of her daughter, Raven’s, wedding. Sadly this event is not a happy one for Snow as she is still mourning the loss of her own Prince Charming. I am really excited to read this because I adore fairy tale retellings and twists so I can’t wait for my e-reader to charge so I can get to reading this.

The Curse of the Bruel Coven.jpg

Ok first can we just fangirl over this cover? Omg I love love love it!!! It’s amazing and intricate and just the perfect amount of color. Ok now that I got that out of my system let’s get into the plot. This book follows teen Vivienne as she discovers she’s not quite the ordinary girl she’s been brought up to believe she is. In fact she is adopted and just like her birth mother she is a witch. When her birth mother goes missing Vivienne must tap into her power to save herself and her mom. This is the first book in a new series.

So, basically my e-reader cannot charge fast enough. And I have work tonight ugh. At least I can get some reading in during my break.

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday

Every Tuesday Bibliophile by the Sea hosts a meme where you can share the first paragraph (or few) of something you’re currently reading or about to read. Since I couldn’t think of 3 much less 10 books I bought on a whim for Top Ten Tuesday I decided to do this one instead.

The next book I have on my TBR pile is:

Once Upon a Dream.jpg
By Liz Braswell
Published April 2016
Hardcover 448 pages

Consider The Dragon

A dragon was dead.

A giant black and purple fire-breathing dragon from the very pits of hell itself was dead somewhere outside the castle. Thorns were falling from the battlements like rain, making curiously pleasant wooden sounds on the grounds of the bailey. Many strange and dire things were happening to an ancient keep that had already endured enough unusual treatment for the past sixteen years.

The handsome prince had killed the dragon with the help of the three strange little fairies he now followed. Without them, he would have done no good whatsoever.

What do you guys think so far? I love fairy tale retellings and you don’t come across too many sleeping beauty ones in YA so I’m pretty excited for this one. 

It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!

Last Week:

This was an OK week for reading. I was in a really romantic mood and finished The Siren by Kiera Cass in one sitting! So expect a review for that later on this week. I will also note that this is a rewrite so if you’ve read the book previously Cass has since made a great deal of changes. I can’t comment on that though because I’ve never read it.

The Siren

I also attempted I’ll Give You the Sun. I was hoping to change up my current run of fantasy but sadly I cannot get into this book at all. It relies a little too heavily on metaphor and the characters just aren’t that interesting or realistic. Maybe I’ll try reading it again but it’s most likely going in the DNF pile which is incredibly upsetting because it has a 4 star rating on GoodReads.

I'll Give You the Sun

This Week:

For this week my goal is to start A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Mass it’s a pretty hefty title and with my work schedule I’m not sure I’ll finish it this week but I’ll try.


I’m also gonna read Glass Sword even though I kind of don’t want to because I don’t want to wait a whole year to find out what happens in the next book but I need more Mare and Cal (and let’s be honest Maven too).

Glass Sword

I think tomorrow I’ll take a trip to Barnes and Noble and pick out something new. In case you didn’t know this the biggest titles always come out on Tuesday. These are the titles that are either by well-established  authors or the new releases that the publishers have a lot of faith in. Last week was huge for new young adult titles so I’m sure between last week and tomorrow I’ll find a book I want. I also need to get the rest of The Selection series.

So hopefully this week will go better in terms of reading. What are your plans for reading this week?


Book Review: The Selection

The Selection
Kiera Cass
E-Reader Format April 2014
Available Here

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

The Good:
-I really loved America. I admired her being able to stay true to herself throughout the whole book from wearing very little makeup to making sure her maids were safe during an attack. I also appreciated that she was an artist/musician and not someone who was overly brave or a bad-ass in the typical dystopian setting.
-The main characters did not have inst-love. Well…it may have been insta-love for Maxon but America was very much still interested in her former boyfriend so her development of her relationship with Maxon felt more organic
-The supporting characters were enjoyable and unique. I liked that we weren’t flooded with a whole lot of people but those that we did meet were interesting and I felt like they served a purpose
-I am really eager to read more about America and Maxon

The Bad:
-The whole rebel thing was a bit silly and I felt like it was only included to prevent this from being a straight up romance.
-It’s categorized as fantasy but there was really nothing about the world or characters that screamed fantasy to me
-It took a little long to get to the whole selection and right when I felt myself being sucked in the book was over

The Rating:
3.5 stars

This was a light and enjoyable read. It took me a long time to get through because I kept finding myself in a mood for a more action-oriented book. But once I got that out of my system I was ready to return to America. I think this is a great book for girls who want to read about a girly-girl who is true to herself and overall a really good person (well until her tryst at the end but she’s young so I’m going to forgive her). I am definitely eager to read the rest even though thanks to The Heir I pretty much know how it’s going to play out but I still want to follow the journey there. The world building was nothing extraordinary but this is an awesome cozy swoon-worthy read if you’re in the right mood.

What’s your guilty pleasure read?


Cover War Wednesday

So this super unique and fun meme comes from Mariana over at Book is Glee. The idea of this meme is to compare different covers of the same book and pick out a winner. For my first Cover War I am going to use The Selection  by Kiera Cass.


This cover can be summed up in one word. GORGEOUS. I love the subtle differences in the blue where the dress in the front is almost a sky blue and the ones in the back look a little more teal. Plus I love that the cover model is wearing what appears to be very little makeup since America is all about remaining true to herself. So overall I love love love this cover.

Romanian Selection

Here is the Romanian cover. And this is definitely a WOW cover. I’m pretty sure I understand the reference to the red dress but I don’t love it. For me the dress is too blah and the model looks too old to be America. However, I do love the font it is so quirky and the crown looking image is really cool as well.

The Winner

Without a doubt I have to give this one to the US version. I love the blue dress and the look of the model. I think it captures America’s look and suits the story perfectly.

Which cover was your favorite?


Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I”d Love to Visit in Ten Years

Hosted by the lovelies over at The Broke and the Bookish comes one of my favorite weekly memes, Top Ten Tuesday.

Today’s topic is: Ten Childhood Characters You’d Love To Revisit As Adults (i.e. a novella or something to see what they grew up to be) — you could always just pick YA characters you’ve read recently you wouldn’t mind revisiting in 10 years or so. Or you could pick 10 characters and guess what you think they’d be doing in 10 years or 20 years. OR you could go the other way and wish for coming of age stories for adult characters you love. 

1. Max from Where the Wild Things Are: I’ve been reading this one on a regular basis due to my 3 year old’s love of monsters and being a crank (like Max hahaha). I’m really curious to see how Max progresses through his teens and into adulthood.

2. The kids from The Boxcar Children:  Does anyone know what happened to them? I would love to pay them a visit and see if they’re still solving mysteries and how they moved into adulthood.

3. Jess and Elizabeth from Sweet Valley High:  Oh my god I loved these girls and I especially loved their mystery books. Who was your favorite Jess or Elizabeth? I think I’m more an Elizabeth but I def would not have dated Todd he was a bore.

4. Nobody Owens from The Graveyard Book:  Neil Gaiman is an amazing author who develops amazing characters and Nobody us no exception. I mean the kid grew up in a graveyard raised by a vampire, you don’t get much cooler than that!

5. Alice from Alice in Wonderland:  I can’t be the only one who has been dying to know what her life was like after traveling to Wonderland and then coming back here to our oh-so-boring world. Do you think she met Wendy and they were able to trade stories and become lifelong BFF’s (that’s what I’m hoping anyway).

6. The boys from Lord of the Flies:  They did some dastardly stuff on that island and I am fascinated to know what happened after, did they keep in touch? Go on to college? Form a cult? Who knows the possibilities are endless.

7. The Pevensie kids from The Chronicles of Narnia:  Edward was my hero (mainly because of the movies) and I want to know what him and the others are up to.

8. The ladies of Pretty Little Liars:  I know we sort of get a peak if you watch the tv show but I would love to know what Sara Shepard had in mind for them as adults.

9. Katniss and Peeta from The Hunger Games:  I love love love the two of them (especially Peeta, totally swooning right now).And I want to know more about their babies, like what do you think their names are? I like to think their daughter is named Prim.

10.   Audrey from Finding Audrey:  As a sufferer from Generalized Anxiety disorder Audrey is my hero. And I would love to see how she does in college and “the real world” plus I like to think that her and Linus make beautiful babies and grow old together.

So there you have it the ten characters I would love to visit. Please let me know who you want to visit? Are there any adults you wish had a book out about their childhood?  I’m gonna have to think about that one….

Thanks for visiting!


Review: Wink, Poppy, Midnight

Wink, Poppy, Midnight
April Genevieve Tucholke
Hardcover Pub. March 2016
Available Here

Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.

The Good:
-The writing. The writing definitely falls into the category of phenomenal.
-After it ends it stays with you. I found myself thinking about this for days (weeks) after finishing it
-The character of Poppy I love me a well-written villain, if she can even be considered the villain in this.
-Multiple view points. I love getting inside the heads of multiple characters and I think all 3 MC’s had very distinct voices so there was no chance of getting confused.

The Bad:
-There wasn’t much of a plot at least not until almost 2/3 through the book and by that point it’s almost too little too late
-I really enjoy character-driven books but we were a little beaten over the head with the same reveals about the characters like Poppy smells like jasmine and Wink has curly red hair and freckles
-I couldn’t stand Wink she annoyed me to no end. She just felt too unreal for me to really connect to. And I couldn’t figure out why Midnight was so impressed with her. Also, what was so amazing about Midnight?
-At the end I sort of felt myself wondering what exactly was the point of this?

Overall, this is a hard book to peg in any category. It’s sort of magical realism but not and it’s sort of a mystery but not. I think I would have enjoyed it significantly more had the action started earlier. We would have been given much stronger character arcs for all 3 characters and that would add to the reader engagement. I would definitely read more books by the author though because it mastery of words is just amazing. In the end, I am giving this title 3 stars.

Have you read this book? Are there any books that totally capture you based on the blurb and when you close the cover it sadly didn’t live up to your expectations?