Book Review: Puddin’ by Julie Murphy



Release date: May 8th 2018

4 stars

Millie Michalchuk has gone to fat camp every year since she was a girl. Not this year. This year she has new plans to chase her secret dream—and to kiss her crush. Callie Reyes is the pretty girl who is next in line for dance team captain and has the popular boyfriend. But when it comes to other girls, she’s more frenemy than friend. When circumstances bring the girls together over the course of a semester, they will surprise everyone (especially themselves) by realizing they might have more in common than they ever imagined.

I was so excited when it was announced that Millie was getting her own companion novel alongside Dumplin’. She was one of my favourite supporting characters in the first book and I couldn’t wait to see more of her. This book was set a little after the events of Dumplin’ but could be read separately. There were a few references to the events in Dumplin’ but nothing that should have the reader wondering what was going on if they hadn’t read the first book.

This book was told in two POVs, Millie and Callie. They were complete opposites. Millie was a larger girl from a family who wasn’t well off but they were very close. She worked in her uncle’s gym and was very eager to start doing more with her new friends. Callie was a popular girl from a well off family who made a bad decision in anger and was paying for it. It was the type of decision that made her realize who her friends were. Both girls were confident and while Millie was open and friendly and willing to give second chances, Callie was judgemental and entitled and closed off.

I really enjoyed the different types of friendships and relationships displayed in this book. It showed great, positive female friendships with Millie and her friends but it also showed some negative aspects with Callie and her group of friends. I was really interested in how the dynamics between Millie and Callie changed through the book as they were forced to work together. Millie was definitely a positive influence on Callie and she went through a huge growth journey by the end of the book.

The book was a pretty light read, quick, but still very engaging. It had the same feel as Dumplin’ without feel too much like reading the same book. Definitely one to read if you liked Dumplin’ but also if you like female friendships, girl power, and a great story.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.



Filed under book-related, books, favorite book, reviews, talking books, ya books

February Wrap-Up/March TBR

Can anyone believe two months are gone in 2018 already? So many good books have already come out and so many more to come!

February Wrap-Up:

defiant The Defiant – Lisa M Stasse. 3/5 stars. A good finale to this series.

the-love-interest The Love Interest – Cale Dietrich. 3/5 stars. Review. The concept was interesting but the characters were a little flat.

36563330 I Have Lost My Way – Gayle Forman. 4/5 stars. Review. I enjoyed seeing the three teens connecting.

mechanica Mechanica – Betsy Cornwell. 3/5 stars. This was cute but I did find it predictable.

Empress The Empress – SJ Kincaid. 3.5/5 stars. Good follow up to The Diabolic.

Purple Hearts Purple Hearts – Michael Grant. 4/5 stars. This alternate history was really interesting.

Onyx and Ivory Onyx & Ivory – Mindee Arnett. 4/5 stars. Review. I really liked the world and the character dynamics in this book.

Bone Queen The Bone Queen – Alison Croggon. 3/5 stars. Another book that had a really interesting concept but fell a little flat. Still interesting.

lost in a book Lost in a Book – Jennifer Donnelly. 3.5/5 stars. I will always welcome more books with Beauty and the Beast. This was really cute.

Ship It Ship It – Britta Lundin. 2.5/5 stars. Review. I had no connection with the main character at all.

Bookish Boyfriends Bookish Boyfriends – Tiffany Schmidt. 3.5/5 stars. Review. This was cute, an easy read.

Arcadia Awakens Arcadia Awakens – Kai Meyer. 3.5/5 stars. I enjoyed the mythology in this book.

Puddin Puddin’ – Julie Murphy. 4/5 stars. Review coming. A great companion to Dumplin’. This was funny, sweet, and had plenty of good female friendships.

Academy The Academy – Katie Sise. 3/5 stars. This felt like a book version of Cadet Kelly but with a less interesting main character.

All of this is True All of This is True – Lygia Day Penaflor. 4/5 stars. I liked how the story was told, through interviews and e-mails and book excerpts. Lots of twists.

Furyborn Furyborn – Claire Legrand. 4/5 stars. Really interesting mythology and I enjoyed the split timelines.

March TBR:

imageSave the DateAsh PrincessMiles Away From You

Leave a comment

Filed under book lists, book-related, books, favorite book, reading recap, talking books, TBR books, wrapup, ya books

Series Spotlight: The Lux series by Jennifer L Armentrout

Thursday I’m going to be putting the spotlight on a book series and talking about it. It might be one I’ve read, one I’m reading, or one I haven’t gotten to yet, depending on what I feel like talking about that week. This week’s series is hooked me right from the beginning and kept me hooked through the whole journey.


The Lux series by Jennifer L Armentrout

Review status: 0/6.

All books are released, own in paperback.

This series, I believe, was my first experience with aliens as a love interest instead of being evil world invaders. I loved that the main character was a book nerd, a blogger, and the little hints to other book series. I also loved the family dynamics and the hate to love relationship between Daemon and Katie.

Favourite character: Dee. She was the best. She was a great friend and I loved her interactions with her brothers.

Favourite book: Obsidian. The first book definitely set things up nicely and we learn so much. It introduced the Luxen and their ways without info dumping and created a great love/hate relationship between the two main characters.

Status: Finished.

Author status: auto-buy. Jennifer L Armentrout writes it and I will buy it.

Next up from Jennifer L Armentrout : The Darkest Star, first book in a Lux spin-off series starring Luc. So excited.


Leave a comment

Filed under book-related, books, favorite book, series recap, Series Spotlight, talking books, ya books

Waiting on Wednesday

New WoW

This is a feature started on Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming books.

This week’s pick is:



Release date: September 4th 2018

Goodreads: Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.
But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.
When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

Why I’m excited: There’s been a few YA crime/investigation books that I’ve read and I’ve enjoyed them. This one gives me a bit of Veronica Mars vibes and that is always a good thing.


Leave a comment

Filed under book-related, books, talking books, TBR books, waiting on wednesday, WoW, ya books

Weekly Reading Recap


With the Olympics over, all my TV shows are back and some are about to start. But I’ll still make plenty of time for reading.

Currently reading: Identical

Finished reading: FurybornAll of this is TrueAcademyPuddin

Reviewed: Ship ItBookish Boyfriends

What I’m hoping to get to next week: sword of summerWhere I Live to read

PuddinAll of this is True to review

Books read it 2018: 34

Debut authors read for 2018: 13

Contemporary: 17

Fantasy: 10

Sci-Fi: 2

Dystopian: 3

Historical: 1

Misc: 1



Filed under book-related, books, favorite book, reading recap, talking books, TBR books, wrapup, WWW, www wednesday, ya books

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was started by The Broke and the Bookish, and has now moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. Every Tuesday there’s a different topic. This week is Top Ten books I could re-read forever.

10. fangirl big Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell. The main character was just so relatable in many ways.

9. my lady jane My Lady Jane – Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows. This was so funny and ended up being a favourite. I was unsure about the history/humour mash-up at first but it worked.

8. hunger games big The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins. Usually this is re-reading certain parts of the series then marathoning the movies.

7. isla Isla and the Happily Ever After – Stephanie Perkins. My favourite of the three of them.

6. boys i've loved To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – Jenny Han. So cute and a great pick-me-up book.

5. COB&B_JKT_100517.indd Children of Blood and Bone – Tomi Adeyemi. Not out yet but I already want to re-read it.

4. 58889 Circle of Magic – Tamora Pierce. Tamora Pierce is the author that got me reading fantasy.

3. wintersong Wintersong – S Jae-Jones. This was just so beautifully written.

2. lion The Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis. I got the boxset for Christmas one year and read them all in a week. Still a go-to series.

  1. harry potter Harry Potter – JK Rowling. Because there is never a bad time to re-read Harry Potter.

1 Comment

Filed under book lists, book-related, books, favorite book, talking books, top ten, top ten tuesday, ya books

Book Review: Bookish Boyfriends by Tiffany Schmidt

Bookish Boyfriends

Bookish Boyfriends

Release date: May 1st 2018

3.5 stars

The first of two books in an intended paperback original series about a girl whose classic literary crushes manifest in real life. Merrilee Campbell, 16, thinks boys are better in books, chivalry is dead, and there’d be nothing more romantic than having just one guy woo her like the heroes in classic stories. She’s about to get the chance to test these daydreams when she, her best friend, Eliza, and her younger sister, Rory, transfer into Reginald R. Hero High, where all their fantasies come true—often with surprising consequences. 

This turned into a really cute, quick read that ended up surprising me a little bit. I wasn’t sure about it going in and, at first I wasn’t connecting with it, but as it went on, I found myself being drawn into the story. It was an easy read, had some pretty interesting characters, and I really liked the family dynamics. The way the sisters fought but still always had each other’s backs was so familiar, coming from someone with siblings.

Merrilee was a huge bookworm, often lost in thought thinking about books, and that was easy to relate to. Her parents often referred to her as their little dreamer and her friends were used to her zoning out. It was just part of who she was. She dreamed of a romance like in her books and when one of the most popular guys in school wanted her, it was like a dream come true. I could understand her ignoring her unease, even when it frustrated me. I enjoyed seeing her journey as she became more confident in herself and stood up for what she wanted.

The supporting characters really shone in this book for me. From Merrilee’s best friends, Eliza and Toby, to new friends Sera and Hannah, her sisters, her older sister’s fiance and his mother, Merrilee’s parents, and her English teacher. They all added to the plot in some way. I also enjoyed the snark that Fielding brought, though at times he could go too far with it. He and Merrilee definitely had that Darcy/Elizabeth vibe that the cover seemed to promise.

The plot was cute, made for a quick and easy read, and it left itself open for the possibility of companion novels, which I wouldn’t mind seeing. I like the idea of the characters destined to find ‘their book’ by basically living it out in their real lives. I’m already curious to know which book would chose certain characters.

*I received a copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music in exchange for an honest review.



Filed under book-related, books, reviews, talking books, ya books

Book Review: Ship It by Britta Lundin

Ship It

Ship It

Release date: May 1st 2018

2.5 stars

Claire is a sixteen-year-old fangirl obsessed with the show Demon Heart. Forest is an actor on Demon Heart who dreams of bigger roles. When the two meet at a local Comic-Con panel, it’s a dream come true for Claire. Until the Q&A, that is, when Forest laughs off Claire’s assertion that his character is gay. Claire is devastated. After all, every last word of her super-popular fanfic revolves around the romance between Forest’s character and his male frenemy. She can’t believe her hero turned out to be a closed-minded jerk. Forest is mostly confused that anyone would think his character is gay. Because he’s not. Definitely not.
Unfortunately for Demon Heart, when the video of the disastrous Q&A goes viral, the producers have a PR nightmare on their hands. In order to help bolster their image within the LGBTQ+ community-as well as with their fans-they hire Claire to join the cast for the rest of their publicity tour. What ensues is a series of colourful Comic-Con clashes between the fans and the show that lead Forest to question his assumptions about sexuality and help Claire come out of her shell. But how far will Claire go to make her ship canon? To what lengths will Forest go to stop her and protect his career? And will Claire ever get the guts to make a move on Tess, the very cute, extremely cool fanartist she keeps running into?

I was really hoping to like this book a lot of more than I actually did. It sounded like it could be one I would really enjoy because I can admit I can get a little(very) into a series but I had a hard time connecting to Claire and her journey through this book. I did like the dynamic between Forest and his co-star Rico, a bit of a mentor/rookie vibe, and the show Demon Heart sounded like something I would definitely watch.

Claire was very into Demon Heart and the cast coming to a comic-con near her was a dream come true. She wrote slash fanfiction based on the two main characters and it was a huge part of her world so she wanted it to be canon. I can understand being disappointed when something you’d been hoping would happen doesn’t, but Claire took it too far and she came off as entitled and it felt like her actions were too easily forgiven. I did find myself a little more invested in Forest’s journey, the young actor in his first major job and still in a bit of disbelief that he’d landed the Demon Heart role. He was hoping to eventually turn that role into something more serious but worried that rumours could kill any hope he had.

Demon Heart definitely sounded like a show I would watch if it was on TV. It would fit right in with other shows on the CW. The relationships in the book were interesting, with my favourite being the mentioned bond between Forest and Rico. There was a cute dynamic forming between Claire and a fanartist that she kept running into, Tess, and it was nice to see Claire questioning what her feelings for Tess meant. Even the relationship between Claire and Forest could be interesting when it wasn’t all about Claire pushing her vision of the show and its characters on Forest.

I found it really hard to suspend my belief that a TV show would hire a random fan, that they would allow her to have access to harass the show’s creator like Claire did. I do think it could create some good debates about how much queer-baiting happens in shows, what fans are ‘owed’ by the creator(if anything), and fanon vs canon. Maybe with more information on Demon Heart and its fans I could have found it easier to get behind Claire’s desire to see her fanon become canon, not the methods she used, but she never really took into consideration what other fans of the show wanted. Her view of the show was the only one she accepted and she had a hard time conceiving that people didn’t see the show the same way. I think fandom can be great but not being open to other people’s views is when it can turn toxic and that’s what Claire really reminded me of.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.



Filed under book-related, books, reviews, talking books, ya books

Series Spotlight: Matched by Ally Condie

Every Thursday I’m going to be putting the spotlight on a book series and talking about it. It might be one I’ve read, one I’m reading, or one I haven’t gotten to yet, depending on what I feel like talking about that week. This week’s series is a back to a trilogy that had some great moments but also fell a little flat at times.

matched bigcrossedreached

The Matched trilogy by Ally Condie

Review status: 1/3. Reached

All books are released, own in hardcover in a box set.

I picked this series up during my dystopian obsession. I was a little unsure about it since it seemed like it would be heavily love triangle focused with the whole two matches for one girl plot. I did like the concept more than I anticipated and I think the world Ally Condie created and the character dynamics, especially outside of the two main characters, really helped keep my interest.

Favourite character: Xander. He was a good guy, maybe not the exciting choice because he was the one originally chosen for Cassia and that would mean no drama. I would have loved to have seen more of his thoughts through the whole series. We need more just genuinely nice guys in the world.

Favourite book: Matched. If I had to list them it would be Matched, then closely behind would be Reached, then a pretty big gap to Crossed. Matched set everything up very well and introduced the characters and the controlling government concept. Reached went a surprising way that I feel I appreciate more now that I’ve read so much dystopian. It tried to do something different. Crossed felt a little too middle bookish to really grab me the whole time and I found myself struggling through it.

Status: Finished.

Author status: Semi auto-buy. If her book sounds interesting I will very likely buy it but it’s not as automatic as it is with some authors(who I might not even read what the book is about before buying it).

Next up from Ally Condie: A co-write with Brandon Reichs called The Deepdark, coming out this fall. It’s middle grade and described as Stranger Things meets the Goonies with the heart of Stand by Me. Which is probably enough to get me to buy it when it comes out.


Leave a comment

Filed under book-related, books, series recap, Series Spotlight, talking books, wrapup, ya books

Waiting on Wednesday

New WoW

This is a feature started on Breaking the Spine that puts the spotlight on upcoming books.

This week’s pick is:

Letting Go of Gravity

Letting Go of Gravity

Release date: July 17th 2018

Goodreads: Twins Parker and Charlie are polar opposites.
Where Charlie is fearless, Parker is careful.
Charlie is confident while Parker aims to please.
Charlie is outgoing and outspoken; Parker is introverted and reserved.
And of course, there’s the one other major difference: Charlie got leukemia. Parker didn’t.
But now that Charlie is officially in remission, life couldn’t be going better for Parker. She’s landed a prestigious summer internship at the hospital and is headed to Harvard in the fall to study pediatric oncology—which is why the anxiety she’s felt since her Harvard acceptance is so unsettling. And it doesn’t help that her relationship with Charlie has been on the rocks since his diagnosis.
Enter Finn, a boy who’s been leaving strange graffiti messages all over town. Parker can’t stop thinking about those messages, or about Finn, who makes her feel free for the first time: free to doubt, free to make mistakes, and free to confront the truth that Parker has been hiding from for a long time.
That she keeps trying to save Charlie, when the person who really needs saving is herself.

Why I’m excited: I enjoyed Meg Leder’s previous book and this one seems like it will have great sibling dynamics, which I always love.


Leave a comment

Filed under book-related, books, talking books, TBR books, waiting on wednesday, WoW, ya books