The *Late* Week's Entrée #169

Hi everyone! Welcome to this super late edition of The Week's Entrée!

So it turns out that I forgot to hit publish to this post on Monday and here we are... Thursday... A BIT LATE ONLY, OKAY? I was not going to post it buuut, I did spend some time drafting it so here it goes! 

Today I want to bring a bit of awareness towards the situation on my side of the world. Central Mexico had a terrible earthquake last week of 7.1 magnitude. More than 20 buildings collapsed, including a private school where teachers and over 20 kids died. It's such a tragic loss and it shook everyone in our country. We are lucky to live in a state on the west coast, closer to Arizona, so it didn't reach us, but we are devastated by all the lives lost in the quake. Mexico City, Puebla, Oaxaca, and other surrounding states seriously cannot catch a break with repetitions occurring every now and then. 

I didn't want to make this into a sad post but I just *have* to share about this because it's my country's current state. I may not agree on many things that happen here, but these are my people and they need all the help they can get to get back on their feet. So if by any chance you are looking for a way to donate, here's an article by The New York Times with several options. I personally recommend Topos México that is a group dedicated to rescue victims from collapsed buildings.

Anywhoo, I hope things calm down in the world. My heart also goes out to Puerto Rico who which was once again hit by a hurricane in such short notice. GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL. Stay safe, you guys ♥ How are things on your end?
New books!
{For review}
From publishers, authors, Netgalley/Edelweiss, etc.

I received these three books in paperback a few days ago from author Wendy Terrien! I had almost forgotten I was getting them so I was a bit surprised to find them in the package. The Rampart Guards (and the other books) look fun and I cannot wait to binge on them!

To Read This Week:

I'm currently reading An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson and it's super good so far! People only rave about it and I am thinking of joining the crowd.  Will also be reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green for the #TurtlesAlltheWayCountDown readalong!

And that's it for this late edition of The Week's Entrée! What are you all reading? :)

YABC Review: A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck

Title: A Short History of the Girl Next Door
Author: Jared Reck
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published:  September 26th, 2017
Page Count:  272 pages
Format:  eARC
Source: From publisher via Netgalley

The unrequited love of the girl next door is the centerpiece of this fiercely funny, yet heart-breaking debut novel.

Fifteen-year-old Matt Wainwright is in turmoil. He can’t tell his lifelong best friend, Tabby, how he really feels about her; his promising basketball skills are being overshadowed by his attitude on the court, and the only place he feels normal is in English class, where he can express his inner thoughts in quirky poems and essays. Matt is desperately hoping that Tabby will reciprocate his feelings; but then Tabby starts dating Liam Branson, senior basketball star and all-around great guy. Losing Tabby to Branson is bad enough; but, as Matt soon discovers, he’s close to losing everything that matters most to him. 

Humorous and heart-wrenching, A Short History of the Girl Next Door is perfect for readers who fell in love with All the Bright Places' Finch or Stargirl’s Leo.
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 5/5 stars
.This review can also be found on YA Books Central.

I HAVE NEVER CRIED SO HARD READING A BOOK. Or laughed. Or laughed AND cried at the same time. I cannot even begin to express how much this book has touched me to the point of never wanting to release it from my grasp. A Short History of the Girl Next Door is incredibly funny, heart-warming, and heart-breaking--such an EXCELLENT read.

What I Loved:

EVERYTHING. I loved absolutely every single word and sentiment expressed in this book. A Short History of the Girl Next Door had me laughing from page one and falling in love with every character introduced. I wish I could just step into these pages and hang, if just for a few minutes, with Matt and Tabby, as well as Matt's lovable family. 

Gosh, there are so many things to love about this book. Supportive family, loving friendship, great teacher guidance, self-discipline. And it's not a book that showcases a perfect life or about leading a perfect life, it's a book that is ultimately about appreciating what you have. The little things. The big things. Enjoying the moments that make you happy and appreciating the people who are part of those moments.

I feel grateful for the opportunity to read Matt's unrequited love story. This boy is as sweet as they can get and there were a million times that I wished I could be there for him. Matt is a great human being and a great brother, the kind that takes the time to play Candy Land almost every night while making funny voices for his brother's stuffed animals. He's also a talented basketball player who strives to improve every day with admirable discipline. Seriously, he's a fantastic character. How can you not love him?!?!

I also adored the way he speaks about Tabby, the girl next door. He truly loves and respects this fierce but gentle girl whose company is precious throughout the novel. However, what I most admired about Matt is how, even if it would break his heart to see Tabby with another guy, he'd hope and wish for her well-being. That doesn't mean that he would not often hope that she'd realize HE is the one for her!

Being inside Matt's head was hands down the best thing about this book. His internal monologue was often hilarious, creating scenarios for how he wishes things to play out and mocking his own imaginary romantic movie, while comparing it to how things actually turn out. His thoughts are exactly how I imagine a sweet 15-year-old teenager to be and I enjoyed being privy to them. (Even with the constant use of swear words.)

I have to say that this book caught me off guard and before I knew it, I was a sobbing mess in the middle of the night. Even now I feel like breaking down. How does one go from laughing out loud just a few seconds ago to crying your heart out in the next few? How can one NOT feel when everything is easily relatable which makes it a 100 times more real? I FELT it. I felt every emotion that Matt goes through. His shock. His anger. The resentment. The unbearable pain. The unfairness of it all.

This book shook me to my core. I was not expecting such a plot twist right in the middle, but I cannot deny that it's splendidly executed. Author Jared Reck did a great job writing this novel that balances life's beautiful moments with heart-wrenching realities.

Final Verdict:

A Short History of the Girl Next Door now belongs in my top favorite reads of 2017 list. It is beautifully painful and it certainly leaves a lasting impression. Grab some tissues and go read this book!

Waiting on Wednesday #39: Winter Glass by Lexa Hillyer

Hi everyone! Welcome to another "Waiting on Wednesday" post (meme hosted by Breaking the Spine!). 

This week I am waiting on:

Winter Glass by Lexa Hillyer
April 10th 2018, HarperTeen
YA Fantasy
A curse comes undone. A kingdom shatters. But some bonds can’t be broken.

Princess Aurora, torn from the dream world, plots to assassinate the faerie queen Malfleur, only to confront temptations she never expected. Isabelle, meanwhile, opens her heart to Prince William as they attempt to unite their kingdoms and wage war against Malfleur’s army. But when the appearance of an unbreakable glass slipper prompts Isabelle to discover more about her lineage, her true identity begins to take shape and her legacy becomes as clear as ice. 

Devoted half-sisters Isabelle and Aurora will grapple with their understanding of love and loyalty as they face a threat even greater than that of the evil queen—the threat of losing each other forever.
 I enjoyed Spindle Fire (was it this year when I read it?!?!) which is the first book in the series, so I am quite looking forward to reading this sequel! I am especially looking forward to read more from Isabelle's POV which was my favorite :D she's super cool!

What are you waiting on this week? :)

The Week's Entrée #168

Hi everyone! Welcome to another edition of The Week's Entrée!

You guuuuuyyyss, I am currently obsessed with a kdrama called Strong Girl Bong-Soon and it's HILARIOUS and all kinds of amazing. The girl, Do Bong Soon, is extremely strong since she comes from a generation of women who had the same strength. However, she can only use her strength for good or else it gets taken away and she might get extremely ill (even die). Anywhoo, she gets hired as a bodyguard by a Video Gaming CEO and this CEO is so sassy and omggg, LOVE HIM. Seriously, I demand you all watch it! (kidding, but if you are looking for a funny kdrama then this one is it!). Girl power and a thrilling plot-line! Perfect combo ♥

Actually, this kdrama reminds me of The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, and although I haven't read the book, I feel it's a lot like it which makes me want to pick up the book STAT. (Next week, I promise!) Maybe it was inspired by??? Will do my research!

And isn't this such a cool cover?!?!?  Have you read it???
New books!
{For review}
From publishers, authors, Netgalley/Edelweiss, etc.

I had already lost hopes of reading  Forest of a Thousand Lanters by Julie C. Dao but earlier last week PRH Global sent me a link to download from Netgalley and well, HERE WE ARE. Can't wait to read it!!!
To Read This Week:

I'm moving up to the third book in the #TurtlesAlltheWayCountDown read along, which is Paper Towns by John Green. I haven;t even watched the movie! Will do so right after I finish this book :D I will also read Frostblood by Elly Blake this week!

And that's it for The Week's Entrée! What are you all reading? :)

Before She Ignites Blog Tour: Review + INTL Giveaway!

Hi booknerds! Today we're super stoked to be participating in the blog tour of Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows hosted by Booknerd Addict Tours! Below you can read more about this book in The Chef's review plus enter the giveaway for a chance to win a finished copy. Thanks for stopping by! ♥

Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows
September 12th, 2017 from Katherine Tegen Books
YA Fantasy

Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.

But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.


Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.

No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

*The Chef's Review*
My rating: 4/5 stars
Before She Ignites is my first book by Jodi Meadows and I really liked her writing style. Her approach in this novel is different from other fantasy books out there since she starts with a main character who is decidedly NOT yet a heroine. Much as the title suggests, Before She Ignites is BEFORE Mira's fight for the truth truly begins.

What I Liked:

It's been a while since I've read a book where the plot doesn't skip right into an epic journey with a fierce heroine at its heels. I, for one, appreciated the chance to read about a main character who not only struggles with a terrible situation but also deals with anxiety plus OCD, how this intensifies her problems tenfold, yet still manages to retain a bit of her spirit and willingness to protect the things she stands for.

Mira gets thrown into a literal pit in which she faces her worst demons (and even crueler evils). She is mistreated and comes close to dying several times due to the awful living conditions as a prisoner, and having lived a privileged life up until this point proves to make everything much harder. All of Mira's weaknesses are laid out in this book but underneath them there's so much MORE. Loyalty. Heart. Endurance. Several traits that make her an admirable not-yet heroine. I can see her potential and where she could lead this story.

Leaving Mira aside, Jodi Meadows does a great job drawing out the world in Before She Ignites. I liked how The Fallen Isles are tied to gods and each Island and their people have different ways and personalities. Looking forward to exploring each place and meeting more people (preferably outside a prison).

What Left Me Wanting More:

I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed in the lack of dragons in this book. They are often mentioned and they are THE reason why Mira is thrown into the pit (she is willing to protect them at all cost) but we don't really interact with them, at least not in this installment. Pretty sure in the sequel we'll see more action from them, but I kind of wanted to see them now.

Not so sure what to think about the romance either... or some of the side characters. Would love to read more about them, from their point of view if possible. They seem to have stories to tell!

Final Verdict:

Before She Ingites is a good read that lays the foundation to an intriguing world! One can only hope that the next book comes out soon to see where Mira's journey leads. :)

 -- The Chef

...Book Trailer...

Now check out the awesome book trailer made by Sarah from The Book Traveler!


Tour Stops

Monday 9/4 -TheLifeofABookNerdAddict - Guest Post
Monday 9/4 - TalesofTheRavenousreader- Creative Post
Tuesday 9/5 - BooksAndPrejudice - Review
Wednesday 9/6 - EaterofBooks - Interview
Thursday 9/7 - ForTheSakeofReading - Review
Friday 9/8 - ABackwardsStory- Guest Post

Monday 9/11 -MaryHadALittleBookBlog -Guest Post
Monday 9/11 - -Review
Tuesday 9/12  - TheYABookTraveler -Review
Wednesday 9/13 - AThousandWordsAMillionBooks - Interview
Thursday 9/14 - BookCrush- Creative Post
Friday 9/15 - TheReaderAndTheChef- Review

Monday 9/18 -  YAandWine - Review
Tuesday 9/19 - TakeMeAwayToAGreatRead - Creative Post
Wednesday 9/20 - AphonicSarah - Interview
Thursday 9/21 - TheKindredReader - Review
Friday 9/22 - ReadWriteLove28 - Excerpt

Friday 9/22 - LoveIsNotATriangle - Guest Post

Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win 1 of 2 finished copies of Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows. Open International!

About Jodi Meadows
Jodi Meadows wants to be a ferret when she grows up and she has no self-control when it comes to yarn, ink, or outer space. Still, she manages to write books. She is the author of the INCARNATE Trilogy, the ORPHAN QUEEN Duology, and the FALLEN ISLES Trilogy (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen), and a coauthor of MY LADY JANE (HarperTeen). Visit her at Website:
Website | Twitter | Goodreads 

Hosted by:

Hunting Prince Dracula Blog Tour: Menu + INTL Giveaway!

Hey everyone! I'm super thrilled to be hosting a stop in the blog tour of Hunting  Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco brought to you by The Knights of Whitechapel! This is the sequel to Stalking Jack the Ripper and omg, I LOVED it so much! Both books are fantastic and the series overall is one of my all-time favorites. Below you can find more info about this book, a Hunting Prince Dracula Menu & and an international giveaway for a chance to win an ARC! Thanks for stopping by!!!

Hunting Prince Dracula  by Kerri Maniscalco
September 19th, 2017 from Jimmy Patterson
YA Historical/Thriller
In this hotly anticipated sequel to the haunting #1 bestseller Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer...or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper's true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe's best schools of forensic medicine...and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life's dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school's forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 


...Hunting Prince Dracula Menu...

Do you want to eat à la Hunting Prince Dracula? Then we've got you covered with this menu of all food & drinks mentioned in the book! Check image below. ;)

My sister and I took the liberty to name a few of the dishes based on the scenes they are mentioned in. And notice the pricing? Instead of the value we inserted the page number! (Note: Page numbers are based on an ARC copy but we will update with the correct page number once our finished copy arrives.)

This is the list of "dishes" mentioned in the menu:

Mrs. Harvey's Tonic Baking
Meeting Professor Radu
Thomas' Favorite
Main Courses
Plăcintă rapidă cu carne și ciuperci
Bran Castle's Best
Radu's Stew
Far Too Pleasant for the Blizzard
Moş Nicolae's Gift
Audrey Rosehips
Traveling Tonic
A juice of some sort

This took us quite a while to pull together but it was so much fun! ♥ We will definitely try to replicate the dishes soon. The Traveling Tonic makes me giggle. What do you guys think? Do you like it? :D:D:D:D

Enter the Rafflecopter below to win an ARC of Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco. Open International!

About Kerri Maniscalco

Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.
Her first novel in this series, Stalking Jack the Ripper, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history.

ARC Review: Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

Title: Hunting Prince Dracula
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #2
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Genre: YA Historical
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson 
Publication Date:  September 19th, 2017
Page Count: 448 pages
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

In this hotly anticipated sequel to the haunting #1 bestseller Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer...or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper's true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe's best schools of forensic medicine...and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life's dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school's forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again. 
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 5/5 stars
.This review can also be found on YA Books Central.

Why do I always feel highly inadequate to correctly express my love and admiration for Kerri Maniscalco and her extraordinary novels? Stalking Jack the Ripper turned out to be my favorite read of 2016 and I dare say that Hunting Prince Dracula might be my favorite of 2017! This is THE sequel we were all hoping for and more, so get ready to be swept away into a slaying mystery set in the Kingdom of Romania!

What I Loved:

It's unusual for me to come across a book that I want to read oh-so-slowly in fear of running out of pages too soon yet that's what happened when I read Hunting Prince Dracula. I dragged my reading experience and forced myself to put it down every few chapters so I could extend mya time with Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell. Their company is far too precious for me and the thought to have to wait another year to read more about them injures my poor heart. However, despite my best effort, I did end up devouring the last few chapters in the blink of an eye (though I certainly don't regret it at all!).

After the horrific events of Stalking Jack the Ripper, in Hunting Prince Dracula we start a new journey en route to Romania to live in Bran Castle, home to the Academy of Forensic Medicine and Science. Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell are closer than ever (be still my heart!) and they face off a new set of creepy murders that stem from myths and superstitions of Romanians. We are talking about Vlad the Impaler, Prince of Wallachia (also known as Dracula), and the harrowing tales that follow this enigmatic historical character!

Author Kerri Maniscalco has firmly set her place into my list of favorite authors because her characters, writing style, and ability to draw you deep into mysterious historical settings is simply magnificent. Once again I became enraptured by the bloody cases and I spent most of my reading time trying to guess the culprit behind the attacks on students and guests of the Academy. Every second spent exploring the castle and its many hidden passages or reading about the myths and vampire lore would send goosebumps running over my arms. However, just like Kerri Maniscalco is fantastic at raising chills and turning stomachs, she's also great at lessening the tension by adding humor and adorable banter between the characters.

Audrey Rose and Thomas Cresswell have managed to steal my heart and I love how well they belong together. Sure, I love them as a couple, but one thing to admire about them above everything else is that they are partners in crime. Their friendship and feelings for each other take a step back whenever they have a mystery to solve and seeing them piece clues togetherwhile trapping themselves in unfortunate situationsis spectacularly exciting. 

However, my heart did suffer for Audrey Rose who's still understandably shaken by the case of Jack the Ripper. Reading about her facing her trauma alone is tough because how can one recover after such a terrible ordeal? And yet Audrey Rose is not one to give in to her fears that easily, she fights it head on like the smart and capable young lady that we have grown to admire while proving left and right that she has what it takes to study forensics and solve even the most gruesome cases. No prince (dead or alive), headmaster, or even our Thomas Cresswell can put a damper on who she really is and what she stands for.

Final Verdict:

Hunting Prince Dracula certainly lived up to its predecessor and you won't hear anything but praise from me! Bloody, tenebrous, and more than captivating, readers will eagerly follow the dangerous trail left by the most popular vampire in history in the company of a dynamic duo that give Sherlock Holmes and John Watson a run for their money!