Tag: Soul-Ripping Romance

A few weeks ago, Siobhan tagged me in the Soul-Ripping Romance Tag! (Thank you!) This is one that I hadn’t seen around before and I’m really excited to do it!


  • Thank the person who tagged you and create a pingback to the original author – Nel at Reactionary Tales.
  • Share at least 5 (but more are welcome) romances that tugged your heartstrings. They can be from books, movies, TV shows, manga; anything you can think of! They can be examples of sad tears, angry tears, happy tears or a combination of all three.
  • Nominate 5 (or more) people to share their emotional traumas
  • (Note: Try not to spoil the story for your readers in case they would like to check out these romances on their own)

Nevernight: Mia & Tric

I am not saying anything about anything when it comes to these two, but their story got me. It really did.

The Raven Cycle: Adam & Ronan

Again, not saying anything about anything, but this was some of the best relationship development.

The Hating Game: Josh & Lucy

Well, the whole world knows that Josh and Lucy are some of my favorites. Their banter! The pining!

Alex, Approximately: Bailey & “Alex”

NO SPOILERS HERE, but if you’re into online friendships and enemies-to-lovers, you’ll probably love this book.

Love and Other Words: Elliot & Macy

This is one of the only books in recent(ish) memory to make me cry! This book includes a huge misunderstanding, a ton of heartbreak, a lot of history, and a second chance romance that blew me away.

I’m not sure who has or hasn’t done this one, so please feel free to steal it if you’d like! Have you read any of these books? Which romances have pulled at your heartstrings? Let’s talk in the comments!

Book Review: Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) by Lev A.C. Rosen

Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) by Lev A.C. Rosen
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Source: Borrowed

My first time getting it in the butt was kind of weird. I think it’s going to be weird for everyone’s first time, though.

Meet Jack Rothman. He’s seventeen and loves partying, makeup and boys – sometimes all at the same time. His sex life makes him the hot topic for the high school gossip machine. But who cares? Like Jack always says, ‘it could be worse’.

He doesn’t actually expect that to come true.

But after Jack starts writing an online sex advice column, the mysterious love letters he’s been getting take a turn for the creepy. Jack’s secret admirer knows everything: where he’s hanging out, who he’s sleeping with, who his mum is dating. They claim they love Jack, but not his unashamedly queer lifestyle. They need him to curb his sexuality, or they’ll force him.

As the pressure mounts, Jack must unmask his stalker before their obsession becomes genuinely dangerous…

This book has been on my radar since I first saw it on Netgalley (and was sadly declined). I was drawn to it because I love the idea of a sex positive YA book, especially one featuring a character like Jack, a gay boy who unapologetically loves makeup, shopping, and sex. When I saw it at my library, I had to check it out and see what it was like.

I ended up having some really, really conflicted feelings about this one.

Like I said, I love the concept. I love that YA books are moving in a more sex positive direction, and I think this book was a very good idea. I think that the advice Jack gave throughout the book was great (although I have to suspend a lot of disbelief to think that a teenager would know enough about sex to reasonably give such wide-ranging advice), and it reminded me a lot of a more risque version of the advice column in Ask Me Anything.

The discussion of consent, coming out, asexuality, healthy relationships… all of that was great. The fact that Jack and his friends smoke cigarettes, frequently get black out drunk, and hook up with random strangers on Grindr (despite being actual teenagers)? Not so great. Of course, I don’t want to censor life for the target demographic of this book. I’m not deluding myself into thinking that many teenagers aren’t going out and doing these exact things. But there’s never any consequence for these behaviors. Jack doesn’t get in trouble for smoking inside the school. (What?) Aside from a mini-lecture from his mother, there’s very little said about the alcohol. There’s never a discussion about the possible repercussions of lying about your age on a hook up app. Jack has a lot of sex with a lot of different people and good for him, but it felt like all of this was inserted into the book to scream, “HEY, LOOK AT JACK! HE’S ONE OF THE COOL KIDS!”

Now, aside from that, one of the other things I wanted to mention was the mystery, or, really, the lack of it. The thing is, throughout the book, Jack occasionally gets these ominous notes from a stalker. They start out fine, along the lines of “I think you’re cute” and slowly progress into some really creepy, threatening stuff. Jack gets freaked out by it, but he never really does anything aside from worry, so what’s the point? I found the principal’s reaction troubling, to say the least, and the way everything ended left a lot to be desired. If this were just a book about the sex column without this weird stalker plot, I think I would have enjoyed it more.

All in all, I think that this book had a great concept, but I’m not entirely on board with the execution. I appreciate the open and honest Q&A about sex and think it’ll help a lot of teens, but the constant partying and constant sex made me, an adult, feel weird. If the characters were even a couple years older, this would have been less of an issue, I think.

Have you read Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts)? Is it on your TBR?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Weekly Update

In case you missed it, here are this week’s blog posts:

  • Review: Dodge City by Josh Trujillo
  • Review: Comics for Choice by Hazel Newlevant, Whit Taylor, and Ø.K. Fox
  • Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite tropes
  • Review: I love this part by Tillie Walden
  • Tag: Summer Sweatalong Book Tag
  • Review: The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

I’ve been reading:

Recently acquired:

  • Nothing this week!

2 things this week:

  • This last week has been an adventure, that’s for sure. “Getting stuck” is a strong way to put it, but my flight out of Tennessee was cancelled while I was at the airport, so that was a bit of a situation. I made it back to my apartment (and my cat) eventually. 🙂
  • I got to meet my friend’s new baby earlier this week, and I’m going to go hang out with her tonight, too. I love babies. ❤

Blog hopping:

  • Hannah wrote about problematic tropes!
  • Kaleena talked about transitioning to a self-hosted site!
  • Sarah shared YA books dealing with mental health!
  • Vicky recommended books based on the emoji mashup bot!

Song of the week:

How was your week? What’s the best thing you read or listened to? Anything interesting happening in your life? Let’s talk in the comments!

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ARC Review: The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
Source: ARC via publisher

The Last Magician meets A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue in this thrilling tale filled with magic and set in the mysterious Carpathian Mountains where a girl must hunt down Vlad the Impaler’s cursed ring in order to save her father.

Some legends never die…

Traveling with her treasure-hunting father has always been a dream for Theodora. She’s read every book in his library, has an impressive knowledge of the world’s most sought-after relics, and has all the ambition in the world. What she doesn’t have is her father’s permission. That honor goes to her father’s nineteen-year-old protégé—and once-upon-a-time love of Theodora’s life—Huck Gallagher, while Theodora is left to sit alone in her hotel in Istanbul.

Until Huck arrives from an expedition without her father and enlists Theodora’s help in rescuing him. Armed with her father’s travel journal, the reluctant duo learns that her father had been digging up information on a legendary and magical ring that once belonged to Vlad the Impaler—more widely known as Dracula—and that it just might be the key to finding him.

Journeying into Romania, Theodora and Huck embark on a captivating adventure through Gothic villages and dark castles in the misty Carpathian Mountains to recover the notorious ring. But they aren’t the only ones who are searching for it. A secretive and dangerous occult society with a powerful link to Vlad the Impaler himself is hunting for it, too. And they will go to any lengths—including murder—to possess it. 

Let me just start this review off by saying that The Lady Rogue was one of my most anticipated books for the entirety of 2019. Jenn Bennett is one of my all-time favorite authors (if not the favorite, I mean… just look at that drawing of me holding Starry Eyes below) and I basically devour everything that she ever writes. As much as it pains me to say it, The Lady Rogue and I did not click as much as I’d hoped.

Part of this, I think, is definitely me. It’s been a stressful few weeks in this household. Major life changes are coming and I’ve had very little time to read. I’ve been in the mood for something I can sit down and finish in one sitting, not a book that would take several hours of my time.

I picked this one up and put it right back down a few times in the past month because I just couldn’t get into it. But I threw this book in my backpack when I took a quick weekend trip to Tennessee, just on the off chance that I’d get a minute to read it, and ended up with a cancelled flight and, finally, a lot of time to read. And while it might have taken me several weeks to get into it, once I got into it, I finished it in a couple of hours.

All of this is to say that this is not a bad book. There is nothing inherently wrong with this book. And three stars is not a bad rating! It’s one of those it’s not you, it’s me kind of things.

I will explain.

First things first, what I liked. As always, I love Jenn Bennett’s writing style. She’s one of those writers that, once I get absorbed in the book, I can just go for hours without stopping. The action was steady, but never too much. I loved our main character, Theo, and her adventures traipsing around Europe in search of a mystical ring and her missing father.

Now, for what I wasn’t so sold on. I’ve spent a little bit of time sitting here thinking about why exactly I didn’t love this book as much as I’ve loved Jenn Bennett’s other work, and I think a lot of it comes down to the genre. I’ve had a hard time recently getting into this fantastical kind of adventure story recently (see The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy).

I also associate Jenn Bennett with cute contemporary romances (see Starry Eyes, Alex, Approximately, The Anatomical Shape of a Heart, Serious Moonlight) and although there’s the barest hint of a romance here, it felt kind of like an afterthought. Huck was definitely my least favorite of Bennett’s love interests and I really struggled to feel any chemistry between him and Theo. But, again, romance isn’t really the point of this book. The adventure is the point, and I kept having to remind myself of that.

I think, all in all, that The Lady Rogue is a really well-written, really fun YA historical fantasy. If you go into it knowing that’s what it is and are prepared for it to be very different from Bennett’s previous work, you’ll probably enjoy it. Even though it wasn’t my favorite of her work, I can still appreciate the good writing and the good story, and I’m so excited to read whatever she comes up with next.

#mm19: mode of transportation

Have you read The Lady Rogue? Is it on your TBR?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Tag: Summer Sweatalong Book Tag

Thank you to Jenna @ Bookmark Your Thoughts for tagging me in this one! It’s been a good two and a half months or so, but I finally did it! (Sorry it took so long.) At least it’s still summer. 🙂

The Rules

  1. Link back to the original creator of the book tag (thebookwormdreamer).
  2. Start off with telling us your favourite season and why it is/isn’t summer!
  3. Tag five friends to take part.
  4. Enjoy!

My favorite season: Spring

I have no opposition to summer. I think it’s great to be able to do a ton of stuff outside and I feel like the summer vibe is usually more relaxed than the rest of the year, but the heat. I like spring because it’s when everything finally thaws from winter, the snow melts, everything starts blooming, and I can open my windows and let a nice breeze in my apartment.

Don’t Stop!
a book you couldn’t stop reading

Hyperbole and a Half is a 371-page book that I read in one sitting.

You’re a Cheetah
a book you read in just one day

I think most graphic novels I’ve read would fit this prompt, so I’ll just go with one I recently finished: I love this part by Tillie Walden. Heartbreaking, but so good.

Couldn’t Let Go
a book you reread straight away

Literally none, sorry. I rarely reread, and never right away.

Calm It Down!
a book that got your heart racing

Definitely Saga. From the beginning, I had to know what would happen next.

Second Best
a sequel that you read faster than the first

Don’t get me wrong, I had no opposition to Amour Amour, but Infini was really something else. I connected with this book immediately and could hardly put it down.

Books On Fire!
a series you read straight through

I haven’t done this recently, but one series I can remember marathoning was The Hunger Games. I read it over spring break in college and barely stopped to sleep.

Midnight Madness
a book that kept you up late

My classic answer for this kind of prompt is Me Before You, which kept me up until about 2am when I had to be to work the next morning by 7:30.

I’m tagging:

Lori 🌴 Jamsu 🍹Rae 🐚 Consu 🌻Cait

Please feel free to do this tag even if I didn’t specifically tag you! (And, of course, no pressure if I did tag you and you already did it or just aren’t interested.) Which book got your heart racing? What series did you read straight through? Let’s talk in the comments!

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