Review: Call it What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer

Title: Call it What You Want

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Pages: 384

Publication Date: June 25, 2019

Format:: Hardcover

Rob, a popular lacrosse player, used to be at the top of the world until his dad was caught embezzling funds from half the town. Now, he’s a social outcast. To top it off, his father had tried to commit suicide and failed, leaving Rob and his mother struggling to take care of him.

Maegan is an overachiever with the perfect life, until, in a fit of insecurity, she tried to cheat on the SATs, invalidating everyone’s score. Now the subject of ridicule and anger, she isolates herself. Her troubles are added to when her older sister comes home from college pregnant, yet another burden Maegan must shoulder.

When Maegen and Rob are partnered in calculus, neither one is happy, until they form a connection. However, that connection is threatened when Rob unintentionally comes across some money that doesn’t belong to him and passes it on to a needy student. Now, he’s faced with a dilemma: is it wrong to steal from the rich if you’re going to give to the poor? Or can he be a modern day Robin Hood and redistribute wealth to those who are truly in need?

This book was so good. I don’t read a lot of YA contemporary, and if I do, it’s usually queer lit, but this sucked me in. I felt so much for both of the main characters, although I do have to admit that I was a little more sympathetic to Rob. All of his problems he faces before the book begins were out of this control, and I felt so bad for him. However, I related to Maegen a lot more than Rob. I, too, am an overachiever and perfectionist who is trying to live up to a siblings seeming perfection. Both characters were deep and complex and so engaging.

I also liked the struggle Rob faced with taking money and objects from others. On the one hand, he was giving it to people who needed it and trying to make amends for what his father did. On the other, stealing is wrong. I liked his journey to realize what he had to do and what was right.

The ending was a little too quick for me. There was an overarching kind of mystery and problem and it was solved in the last few pages very fast. However, the book and the ending were so satisfying that it didn’t detract from the book at all. This is a great read and if you like YA contemporary, I highly recommend it.

Sunday Post July 14

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by the Caffeinated Reviewer . It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, and showcase books and things you’ve received. The rules are here: The Sunday Post.

Once again, this week wasn’t very eventful. I did go to a book signing to see Brigid Kemmerer, which was a lot of fun. She and the other authors, Elizabeth Eulberg and Kasie West, were hilarious. I felt a little awkward, just because I was one of the oldest people there who didn’t personally know the authors, but I wanted to go so badly. There are never book signings around here and even though it was an hour away, it was totally worth it.

Yesterday, I met with my mom and dad, who live 300 miles away. We both drove to a point about halfway between our homes so I could see my dad for his 70th birthday (and also see him before his surgery in September). We had a lot of fun. I also gave them a copy of my book, which I wrote a few years ago and was always like, “I wonder why they haven’t read it?” Recently, I realized I never gave it to them to read and they probably thought I didn’t want them to read it. They were both really excited. I just hope they like it.

In other news, I don’t know if I’ll be posting at all in two weeks. I’m leaving for my vacation on Saturday and totally freaked out about it because I’m going to Canada and have never been to another country. I’m going all by myself and there are many steps in getting from the airport to my bed and breakfast that have been all stressed so I might just give myself a break and a chance to relax. As much as I can. Which is not very much.

Monday: The Magpie Lord by KJ Charles (review)

Tuesday: Top 5 Tuesday

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Spellbound by Allie Therin (reivew)

Monday: Call it What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer (review)

Tuesday: Top 5 Tuesday

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: A Case of Possession by KJ Charles (review)

How was your week? Any great reads? Drop me a comment below and let me know!

ARC Review: Spellbound

Title: Spellbound

Author: Allie Therin

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date: July 29, 2019

Source: NetGalley

Rory Brodigan has a gift: he can see the history of an object. The danger is he can sometimes get trapped in the history of an object and lose time, sometimes even days. When the woman he works for brings an object locked in a box and tells him the client, Arthur Kenzie said not to look at it yet, Rory’s curiosity is too great and he takes a peak. A very overwhelming peak.

Arthur is, at first, bemused by the young man who comes to him in a fury, but when he realizes what happened, his protective instincts are engaged. Having dedicated his life to protecting the world from dangerous objects and people with powers, protecting Rory comes naturally to him. Rory, however, vehemently doesn’t want to be protected. That doesn’t stop him from behind powerfully attracted to Arthur, an attraction that is returned.

Now a dangerous magical object is on the way to New York. Word of Rory’s powers have gotten out and he’s in danger. Now, Arthur and Rory have to come together to protect the city and each other.

So, I love this book. It is not only really well written, but the characters are just delightful. All of them. Even the villains were incredibly sympathetic and you kind of wanted to give them hugs even though they were trying to do horrible things. Arthur was amazing; I’m a sucker for hero who wants to protect everyone around him. He’s very well named and made me think of King Arthur in his best incarnation. Rory was wonderful, too. A young man, dealing with incredible powers and battling well-founded fears as a result.

This book also had a couple of my favorite tropes. One is a little spoilery, so I won’t say it, but the other is when characters call each other by special names. Not nicknames, but secret, earned names that just they can get away with calling the other person by. I just melt when that happens.

In summary: great plot that moves along at a great pace and keeps you wanting to read more, fantastic characters, good use of historical events (specifically Prohibition) and a good sense of atmosphere. This is definitely a series I’ll be keeping my eye on and following as it unfolds.

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. Each week, you answer three questions:

What are you reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading A Case of Possession by K.J. Charles, which is the second in the Charm of Magpies books. I remember this book was a little more difficult to read than the first; the ending was a lot darker, but I still really love the characters and like seeing how they negotiate their relationship in such a restrictive environment.

I loved all three of these books. I read Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer in one evening. It was incredibly good and I just couldn’t put it down. Spellbound by Allie Therin was also very well done. It was an ARC from NetGalley and I cannot wait for it to come out. It’s a great story.

I have no idea. I’m leaving for a trip in about 13 days, and don’t really want to go to the library and check out a bunch of things. I’ll have time to read them, but it’ll be one less thing on my mind as to what I need to do. So, I’m playing it by ear. Any suggestions for Kindle books?

Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Shanah at the Bionic Book Worm. Each week, she gives a topic and participants get to answer. This week the theme is books starting with F-G-H-I-J!

F is for Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I love stories about fans and online life, and I related hard with Cath and her world. Like Cath, I am a huge fangirl and got through college by writing fanfic. While I wasn’t as popular as she was, I had a strong following and had that same sense of obligation to get fic out. So, I loved reading Cath’s story and her life and really seeing myself in her.

G is for Good Night, Mr. Holmes by Carole Nelson Douglas. This book was formative for me. I discovered it either in high school or college when I was a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. I loved Irene in these books. She was dramatic, clever, a detective in her own right, independent, and stubborn. I also loved the narrator, Irene’s faithful friend Penelope, whom I saw myself in. I also appreciate that this is one of the few Irene Adler books that did not assume that her marriage with Godfrey was a shame or went bad quickly and all Irene really wanted to do was sleep with Sherlock Holmes. She was fascinated by him, but as a rival, not as a love interest, and that’s really refreshing.

H is for The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I think I’ve told the story before of first reading this book (I was at Disney’s California Adventures, we’d taken a short break, I pulled out the book, and walked around with my nose in it until the lights went out for World of Color), but I love, love this book. I’ve frequently told my sister that what I want more than anything is to read this book again for the first time. It was so engrossing and compelling, and I’ve never quite found a book that replicated that feeling.

I is for Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I almost didn’t finish this book. It was about a quarter of the way through and I didn’t know what was going on or who the characters were and was so confused. I was ready to give up, but everyone said it was so good and I wanted to like it. So, I went back into it and really paid attention to who was speaking or writing at any given time, and it was so worth it. This series is amazing. I love Kady and I love AIDAN to death. Seriously, I have never loved an AI as much as AIDAN, and I was Mary Sue married to Data for awhile. But AIDAN, I am obsessed with.

Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix is a wonderful kid’s book about what happens to Cinderella after the ball. She has to go through training to be considered a proper princess and she can’t seem to find the right fit. I like Ella and how she tries to hard and yet can’t make things work. I like how she tries with the prince, who is terrible. And I love the ending and the choices she makes. It’s a great read.

This was so much easier now that I know how to organize my GoodReads list by alphabetical order! It’s so cool to see all the great books I’ve read listed out like that.

Have you read any of the books on my list? What did you think?

The Magpie Lord (Review)

Title: The Magpie Lord

Series: A Charm of Magpies (book 1)

Author: K.J. Charles

Publisher: Samhain/KJC Books

Format: e-book

Pages: 222

Lucien Vaudrey, the new Lord Crane, has been exiled to China for the past twenty years. The unexpected death of his brother has brought him back to England. Resentful and missing home, Lucien also finds himself under a curse that very much wants him dead. Desperate, he reached out for a local shaman, called practitioners in England, and winds up with Stephen Day, a short, scrawny, but powerful practitioner who hates his family. However, Stephen has a fierce sense of duty and honor and cannot let the curse on Lucien stand. Together, they travel to Piper, the family home, and Stephen soon finds himself not only fighting powerful forces, but his powerful–and requited–attraction to Lucien.

I really love this book. This is the third time I’ve read it, and it’s just as good as the first. Lucien is just amazing. He’s sleek, sophisticated, but rough around the edges and proud of it. In China, he was a trader and a smuggler, among other things, and he’s not ashamed of his past and refuses to hide it. He also doesn’t hide his attraction to men and goes after what he wants with single-minded determination.

I also love Stephen. His father had been wronged by Lucien’s father, and when he first goes to Lucien, he’s prepared to throw that in his face. However, he’s so good and dutiful and believes in justice that when he realizes the depravity of the curse on Lucien, he helps him without hesitation. I love the measures he goes through to try and deny Lucien, not out of lack of desire, but a sense of propriety. I also like when his defenses finally crumble.

The plot of this book is engaging and fun. The characters have great chemistry and the intimacy the grows between them is very real and natural. The sex scenes are scorching. Everything about this book just works for me and it’s definitely one of my favorite romances.

Sunday Post July 7

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by the Caffeinated Reviewer . It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, and showcase books and things you’ve received. The rules are here: The Sunday Post.

Not much went on this week. I went to therapy and did some work. Got some bad news about my dad’s health and then got a scare on my own health yesterday. But, despite that, I’m generally feeling okay.

I read a great book yesterday called Spellbound by Allie Therin that I really loved. It was an ARC from NetGalley and the first in the series. I’m already dying to read the next one, and the first technically isn’t out yet! But the characters were great, the plot was fun, and it had some tropes that I really enjoy.

This week will be more of the same. I just hope the gloom we’ve been having goes away and the sun decides to come back. It’s summer. The sun should be out. It’s the rule.

Monday: The One by Kiera Cass (review)

Tuesday: Top 5 Tuesday (A-B-C-D-E)

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: On the Come Up by Angie Thomas (review)

Saturday: June Wrap-Up

Monday: The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles (review)

Tuesday: Top 5 Tuesday (F-G-H-I-J)

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Spellbound by Allie Therin (review)

What are you currently reading? How do you like it? Drop me a comment and let me know!