The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back

Disclaimer: All Amazon Links are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of these books through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

***** (5 out of 5)

The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson

Stepsister

If you liked Fangirl then you will like this book!  It was awesome. I got this book from NetGalley.  I thought it was an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) because NetGalley says the publish date is 12/26/17, but you can buy it on Amazon right now, so I don’t know.  Either way, it was a great book and I highly recommend it!

Mattie and Ella are stepsister’s in their senior year of High School.  The story is told through the eyes of Mattie (who considers herself the ugly stepsister). I can totally relate to Mattie.  For starters her favorite book is Pride and Prejudice.  That right there makes her awesome!

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She is also insecure, awkward, nerdy, smart, funny, artistic, passionate, emotional and sassy.  The whole enchilada.  Her nerdom of choice is Manga, which I don’t read, but that didn’t distract from the story at all.  No matter what your nerdom is, you can relate to how deeply she feels toward Manga, and how it gets her through the tough parts of life.

This is a coming of age teenage romance, and I know some people think that trope is overused, but I really liked it.  I got completely absorbed in this book and time flew by.  I read waaaaay past my bed time to finish it.  I cried and laughed and just loved the whole book!

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If you couldn’t tell by the name, this is a Cinderella spin-off, but its not overly cliche.  It is unique in the fact that its told through the eyes of the stepsister (who isn’t actually evil).  Also its not Ella’s love story.  It is Mattie’s.  So it only loosely follows the Cinderella structure.  I love Cinderella spin-offs but this was a fun new way to take the story!

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There were two issues I had with the book.  The first was a couple comments that belittled emotional distress. The first time Mattie cried she seemed surprised she was crying because apparently she rarely ever cries.  Then later, her love interest comments that she didn’t seem like the kind of girl to cry.  The rest of the time crying was treated as a normal, acceptable response for the stress in Mattie’s life.  Crying is perfectly normal!  I don’t like it when books portray emotional girls as weak.  Crying does not equal weakness!  Other than those two comments, this book handled emotional distress very well.

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The second issue I had with the book is with the model on the cover.  I really like the purple background with the green dress.  The contrast is great.  The title font is bold and catches your attention.  But the more I look at it I can’t figure out what is going on with the girl.  She looks super uncomfortable and unnatural.  What is she doing with her hand on her face?  Give her a normal teenage girl stance instead of that half seductive weirdness and it would be perfect!

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So I highly recommend this book.  I loved it! Go read it! Right now!

 

Highland Redemption

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Disclaimer: All Amazon Links are affiliate links.  If you purchase any of these books through one of my links I will get a small commission! All the thoughts/opinions in this post are mine and in no way influenced by Amazon.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

*** (3 out of 5)

Highland Redemption by Lori Ann Bailey

Redemption

Before I get into my review I just want to say how stoked I was to get an advanced reader copy (ARC) of a book! I used Net Galley and this was one of the suggested books to request.  I got a kindle version and I am pretty sure I was auto accepted, but I don’t care.  This was super exciting for me. Yay!

The usual issue I have with romance novels is that they focus too much on the romance and not enough on the plot line.  This book had the opposite problem.  A good romance has a nice balance between a steamy romance and an engaging story.

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I really liked the two main characters and loved the romance between them.  The issue that I had was with how the intimate scenes were written.  The writing style changed completely during these sections.  It was almost as if they were written by a different person.  The intimate scenes were boring to read and I kept getting distracted by the change in language.  The words became flowery and all of a sudden there were a shit ton of unnecessary descriptive words.  Here are a couple examples:

“His lips covered hers, scattering the wayward thoughts like swirling leaves on a brisk fall day.”

“Her fingers wove in and out of his thick hair, the silky strands tickling the place where her fingers met.”

Usually I look forward to the intimate scenes but this time I couldn’t get through them fast enough to get back to the main plot.

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I really liked the main story line.  It has a strong plot that is fairly believable.  Its got action, adventure, and love.  I also have a soft spot for romances set in the highlands.  I don’t know what it is, but it just makes such a great location.  Plus the men are always so amazing!

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P.S. I really wanted a GIF of a Scottish man in a kilt with his hair blowing in the wind but I couldn’t find one 😦

Overall I liked the book, despite the overdone intimate scenes.  I would recommend it if you like Scottish romances.