Review: Bookish and the Beast (Once Upon A Con #3)

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (Quirk Books) in exchange for an honest review.

I am such a huge fan of this series so I was excited to read this, especially since Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale. I ended up enjoying this a lot!

So first off, there are a lot of references to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Like on page 37 there is a reference to “the great wide somewhere” and on page 224 there is talk of “Magic spells. Daring sword fights. A prince in disguise.” As a Beauty and the Beast super fan I had a ton of fun picking up all these little Easter eggs. 

As for the characters, the author always writes the most interesting and dynamic ones. Both the main and supporting characters were so lovable and fleshed out. My favorite was Rosie’s dad, aka Space Dad. He seemed like the coolest dad ever. 

The writing style as usual was perfect for the genre. It was a good amount of geeky mixed in with an easy to read prose. 

This books also had amazing descriptions dedicated to the love of books. For example, Rosie states, “But there is so much more in those words than just loving books. I love the smell of them. I love the way their bindings look pressed together on a shelf…They are portals into places I’ve never been and people I’ll never be, and in them I have lived a thousand lives and seen a thousand different worlds” (pg. 39). I couldn’t agree more. 

I also would like to point out something the author put in the acknowledgments that I absolutely loved. She writes, “I wrote this book for me. So, if you didn’t really enjoy this book, that’s okay! You’ll find one that you love” (pg. 284). I thought this was a great reminder to readers that it is okay if you didn’t like a book and that authors can write what they want to write (on the assumption for course that it is not offensive, problematic etc.) 

Lastly, I did feel like there was something missing in this book compared to the other ones in the series. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was. It could be that this book is significantly shorter than the other two and I wanted a bit more. 

Overall, if you are a fan of this series (or books or Beauty and the Beast), you’ll probably like this one! 


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Blog Tour: Poisoned

Hi beauties! Today I am a stop on the Poisoned blog tour hosted Rockstar Book Tours. If you love fairy tale retellings, be sure to check out my excerpt post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

About the Book:

Title: POISONED

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Pub. Date: October 20, 2020

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 320

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, AudibleB&NiBooks, KoboTBD, Bookshop.org

From Jennifer Donnelly, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller Stepsister, comes a fairytale retelling that’ll forever change the way you think about strength, power, and the real meaning of “happily ever after.”

Once upon a time, a girl named Sophie rode into the forest with the queen’s huntsman. Her lips were the color of ripe cherries, her skin as soft as new-fallen snow, her hair as dark as midnight. When they stopped to rest, the huntsman took out his knife . . . and took Sophie’s heart.

It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Sophie had heard the rumors, the whispers. They said she was too kind and foolish to rule — a waste of a princess. A disaster of a future queen. And Sophie believed them. She believed everything she’d heard about herself, the poisonous words people use to keep girls like Sophie from becoming too powerful, too strong . . .

With the help of seven mysterious strangers, Sophie manages to survive. But when she realizes that the jealous queen might not be to blame, Sophie must find the courage to face an even more terrifying enemy, proving that even the darkest magic can’t extinguish the fire burning inside every girl, and that kindness is the ultimate form of strength. 

GRAB STEPSISTER NOW!


EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK

Once upon long ago, always and evermore, a girl rode into the Darkwood. 

Her lips were the color of ripe cherries, her skin as soft as new-fallen snow, her hair as dark as midnight. 

The tall pines whispered and sighed as she passed under them, the queen’s huntsman at her side. 

Crows, perched high in the branches, blinked their bright black eyes. 

As the sky lightened, the huntsman pointed to a pond ahead and told the girl that they must dismount to let the horses drink. She did so, walking side by side with him. Lost in her thoughts, she did not hear the soft hiss of a dagger leaving its sheath. She did not see the huntsman lift his face to the dawn, or glimpse the anguish in his eyes. 

A gasp of shock escaped the girl as the huntsman pulled her close, his broad hand spanning her narrow back. Her eyes, wide and questioning, sought his. She was not afraid—not yet. She felt almost nothing as he slid the blade between her ribs, just a slight, soft push and then a bloom of warmth, as if she’d spilled tea down her dress. 

But then the pain came, red clawed and snarling. 

The girl threw her head back and screamed. A stag bolted from the brush at the sound. The crows burst from their roosts, their wings beating madly. 

The huntsman was skilled. He was quick. He had gutted a thousand deer. A few expert cuts with a knife so sharp it could slice blue from the sky and the delicate ribs were cleaved, the flesh and veins severed. 

The girl’s head lolled back. Her legs gave out. Gently, the huntsman lowered her to the ground, then knelt beside her. 

“Forgive me, dear princess. Forgive me,” he begged. “This foul deed was not my wish, but the queen’s command.” “Why?” the girl cried, with her dying breath. But the huntsman, tears in his eyes, could not speak. He finished his grim task and got to his feet. As he did, the girl got her answer. For the last thing she saw before her eyes closed was her heart, small and perfect, in the huntsman’s trembling hands. 

• • •

 In the forest, the birds have gone silent. The creatures are still. Gloom lingers under the trees. And on the cold ground, a girl lies dying, a ragged red hole where her heart used to be. 

“Hang the huntsman!” you shout. “Burn the evil queen!” And who would fault you? 

But you’ve missed the real villain. 

It’s easily done. He’s stealthy and sly and comes when you’re alone. He stands in the shadows and whispers his poison. His words drip, drip, drip into the small, secret chambers of your heart. 

You think you know this tale, but you only know what you’ve been told. 

“Who are you? How do you know these things?” you ask.

Fair questions, both. 

I am the huntsman. Dead now, but that’s no matter. The dead speak. With tongues blackened by time and regret. You can hear us if you listen. 

You will say that I’m telling you tales. Fairy stories. That it’s all make-believe. But there are more things afoot in the Darkwood than you can imagine, and only a fool would call them make-believe. 

Keep to the path, the old wives say. Stay out of the forest. 

But one day, you will have to walk deep into those dark woods and find what’s waiting there. 

For if you do not, it will surely find you.


About Jennifer:

Jennifer Donnelly is the author of A Northern Light, which was awarded a Printz Honor and a Carnegie Medal; Revolution (named a Best Book by Amazon, Kirkus ReviewsSchool Library Journal, and the Chicago Public Library, and nominated for a Carnegie Medal); the Deep Blue series; and many other books for young readers, including Lost in a Book, which spent more than 20 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.

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GIVEAWAY DETAILS

3 winners will receive a finished copy of POISONED, US Only.

Enter via this link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba21161/


Tour Schedule:

Week One:

10/1/2020The Book Nut : A Book Lovers GuideReview
10/2/2020oddandbookishReview
10/3/2020popthebutterflyReview

Week Two:

10/4/2020A Backwards StoryReview
10/5/2020FictitiouswonderlandReview
10/6/2020Kait Plus BooksInterview
10/7/2020The Book RookeryReview
10/8/2020History from a Woman’s PerspectiveReview
10/9/2020MomfluensterReview
10/10/2020Thindbooks BlogReview

Week Three:

10/11/2020The Momma SpotReview
10/12/2020Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersReview
10/13/2020Bookhounds YAReview
10/14/2020Seeing Double In NeverlandReview
10/15/2020Book-KeepingReview
10/16/2020Nays Pink BookshelfReview
10/17/2020Lisa Loves LiteratureReview

Week Four:

10/18/2020Two Chicks on BooksInterview
10/19/2020The Pages In-BetweenReview
10/20/2020Two Points of InterestReview