Tagromance

REVIEW: Dial Em For Murder

 

Title: Dial Em For Murder 

Author: Marni Bates

Synopsis: 

Sixteen-year-old Emmy Danvers was just trying to write a halfway decent romance novel when a senile old man mumbled a cryptic warning, tackled her to the ground in the middle of Starbucks, and…died right on top of her.

Unfortunately for Emmy, the incident wasn’t quite as random as she thought, and it turns out that the old man might have taken a bullet for her. Not only that, he slipped something into her pocket: a digital tablet containing secrets that she has no idea how to unlock, but that others are ready to kill for. Thrust into a world where nothing is as it seems, Emmy must try to track down her absentee father, deal with a flirtatious bad boy who may or may not be on her side, and, oh yeah, stay one step ahead of the killers lurking in the shadows of an exclusive prep school. The old man’s parting advice to “trust nobody” doesn’t sound so crazy after all….

 

WARNING: THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.

When I picked up this book, I had very high standards. It seemed cute, and the plot seemed very interesting. It also seemed enticing with the promises of a ‘flirtatious bad boy’. (What can I say? I’m a sucker for those.) And while it was enjoyable and I finished it within the day I started it, it only met some of my hopes.

At some points, the plot was a lot to keep up with. There were a million things to keep up with from page one, but thankfully there was no problem for me. But if you’re like others who prefer a simple one tracked plot, you might want to put the book down. Despite that, the plot was really enjoyable. I didn’t expect the plot twist at the end (any of the plot twists, really) and I was able to relate somewhat to the main character, Emmy. (Yeah, she’s a mess. But so am I. We’re practically twins!) But she wasn’t perfect, especially with her hyper-focusing on finding her father. Like, Hellooo? Someone’s trying to kill you! But whatever.

And speaking of characters, my favorite has to be Sebastian. While we don’t really learn that much about him (despite the fact that he and his grandfather clearly have some kind of weird spy thing going on), his humorous comments pretty much made the book. And when he kissed Emmy in the locker room I had major Stydia vibes going on.

There was also one of Emmy’s best friends, Audrey. If we’re being honest here, she was just added to advance the plot. Her fallen relationship with Sebastian’s best friend isn’t really that much of an interest especially with everything else going on. I still love her and her nerdy self though!

And don’t get me started on Ben. He seemed somewhat likable at first. But then he got annoying. (Or just realistic? I dunno. I was too distracted with Sebastian. Oops! He’s the naggy annoying best friend (that she’s somehow in love with – ew) that you just want Emmy to drop and move into the arms of Sebastian. Wait, did I say that? I meant move on. Heh.  At least there’s Force, the bodyguard who is extremely scary but I’d also want to adopt me.

And of course, with so much that has to happen in too few pages, the book leaves on a cliffhanger like I’ve never seen before. Like, seriously. There’s so much left unanswered and it left me unsatisfied as I finished it. I NEED THE NEXT BOOK!! Oh well, I’ll just distract myself by re-reading series I’ve already reread a thousand times.

          

                                            My Rating: 3 Stars

                                    

                                         This book was really good, despite the frustrating factors.

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Thanks for Reading with me!
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My Top 4 Favorite Romance Authors

Valentine’s Day is coming up soon. The holiday of love! That means a lot of annoying emails from publishers promoting their romance authors and books. So instead of you taking your books from a list meant to just promote authors whether the book is good or not, you get me telling you my favorite romance authors! (You’re Welcome.)

 

  1. Sarah Dessen 

Sarah Dessen is my favorite author of all time. While her books aren’t the conventional types of ‘Romance’ books with hearts and couples all over the covers, her books focus on important issues (Domestic Violence, Family Issues, inc.) while also having the element of romance in most of them. When I first read one of her books, I fell in love. I bet you will too once you pick up one of her books.

What Book Should You Start Out With?: The book I started out with, What Happened To Goodbye! 

 

      2. Jen Malone

Jen writes both young adult and middle school books, but that doesn’t make her romance books childish. I’ve read all of her recent romance YA books. and they all were amazing. My personal favorite, Wanderlost, had a wonderful coming of age story that wasn’t credited to the romance (a rarity) and a super cute romance. (Okay, I said Wanderlost was my favorite but Changes in Latitudes was just as good. Ugh. Decisions.) Anyways, her YA romance books were super good and cute and I highly recommend her!

What Book Should You Start Out With?:  My undecided favorite, Wanderlost!

     3. Jennifer E. Smith

Now this one might be an obvious. If you have read any YA romance books, you’ve probably seen one of her books. Every one of her books have been a hit and a favorite around young adults everywhere. They’re adorable and lovable, and a definite ideal Valentine’s Day read.

What Book Should You Start Out With?: The Geography of You and Me!

 

    4. Kasie West

She is an absolute favorite of mine! Her books are a 100% must read. If you don’t read any of the other authors on this list, you must read this one. Her books are so adorable, lovable, and amazing. The books have diverse characters without making it too forced, which is quite rare when a lot of authors often use diverse characters for no other reason than to draw in readers. So in summary, Kasie West is absolutely amazing.

What Book Should You Start Out With?:  A book that took over my heart, Lucky In Love!

These are my book/author recommendations for romance! How many of them have you read? Tell me in the comments below!

Thanks for Reading with me!
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My Top 10 Favorite Romance Tropes

As a female teenager, a lot of the books I read are romance ones. And I’ve read a lot of them. Therefore, I come across a lot of tropes. Good, bad, toxic, too good to be true. You know the deal. We all have a favorite trope. For some of us, those are cheesy and cliche and we’d never let a soul know them. For others, they’re cute and not too unrealistic and they’re just so cute. And some people, like me, can’t pick just one. So here are my top 10 favorite romance tropes. They’re not in order of favorites, I could never choose.

            1. Enemies to Lovers 

This one is a definite classic for me. Two people start out hating each other. They would rather end up in the hospital than be around eachother. Or, they would fight to the ends of the earth to get the job promotion, get the better GPA, or get into the better college than the other one. And then, they suddenly start to realize ‘Hey, they’re kind of cute.’ And next thing you know, their screaming match turns into a makeout session. There is a thin line between love and hate. Definitely one of the best tropes.

            2.  Opposites Attract

Opposites Attract is one of the more popular tropes in the media. The couple are completely opposites. Nerd/Jock, Good Girl/Bad Boy, City Boy, Country Girl. I could go on, and on. Despite their differences, they manage to preserve and fall in love. This usually includes a mean ex girlfriend who tells the female love interest to “stay away from their boyfriend or else” when in fact they are not dating at all, but I don’t claim those books due to the obvious internalized misogyny the writers feels as they turn an already confident, independent, and aspiring woman into a villian. But the romance is cute…

            3. Return to Hometown 

I usually prefer this one in movies. (Sweet Home Alabama, one of my mother’s personal favorites, is an example of this trope.) But it is quite cute in books. The gist is that one of the love interest returns to their hometown, willingly or unwillingly (but usually unwillingly), for a usually short amount of time. In these cases, either the other love interest is returning too, or they had never left. There’s many ways this could go, but my personal favorite is when they both return to their hometown for a wedding or reunion, have some sort of competition where they try to prove who has the better new life, and inevitably fall in love.

            4. Alpha Hero

Now this one is a guilty pleasure. Alpha Hero is a trope where there hero is “Type A” – he’s driven, assertive, and in control of the world around him, and then his love interest comes along. We’ve all read it, swooned over it, and then hoped we’d find a man like him. If you’re going “Nah, that’s so cheesy! I’d never read that!” – you’re a liar and I condemn you.

           5. Blackmail

This trope has a lot of drama. The blackmail trope is when one love interest knows a secret about the other, and seeks a big payday. It doesn’t seem romancey at first, but these usually end in the blackmailer realizing that they love the other love interest and stops blackmailing them, and helps them fix their secret. (But not before they fight about the blackmailing – duh.)

          6. Disguise

These are fun and anxiety inducing and usually an overall good read. Disguise is a trope where one love interest pretends to be what they are not – royalty, an expert in the workplace, rich – but they fall in love while is disguise and are forced to maintain the ruse. This is a cute trope in both movies and books but they usually end in the other finding out that they were in disguise all along. It has some angst, but in the end they usually get together and live a long happy life.

         7. Friends to Lovers

This trope is extremely popular. Kasie West recently wrote a book with this trope. You can find it in almost every TV show and movie you watch, and in a lot of books. Friends to Lovers. Friends to Lovers is a lot like Enemies to Lovers – but they don’t hate each other. Instead, they are actually friends! One love interest secretly pines over the other, not knowing that the other one is doing the same to them. They never admit their feelings until a series of events usually including jealousy, parties, and going to college forcing them to face and admit their feelings to the other. A lot of times it includes the girl admitting her feelings, running off before the other can admit their feelings back, crying, and then lots of kisses. If you’re like me, no matter how many times you’ve read books with this trope, you can’t get enough of it.

        8. Fake Relationship

Oh no! Your family is coming to town, including your nosy aunt who constantly nags you about getting a boy/girlfriend! What do you do about it? Deal with it? Ignore her? Of course not – ask your fe/male best friend to pretend to be your boyfriend! This is pretty much the first couple chapters of the Fake Relationship trope. Someone needs to convince other people that they’re in a relationship, so they fake it with a friend. But of course, all that cuddling, fake kissing, and hand holding can really put a burden on ones emotions when their best friend is a total hottie. So they fall in love. They ignore it, and act like its just because of that cuddling, fake kissing, and hand holding. Then the family leaves town. And they find themselves standing there, still wanting to make out with their best friend. So they do, and it all ends happily ever after. It may sound extremely cheesy and basic but I promise you – well it is cheesy and basic. But its also super cute and I love it. I refuse to apologize.

        9. Playboy 

One of the love interests has a reputation for playing the field, seeking out sexual relationships without any emotional attachment – until s/he meets his/her one true love. Like I’ve said about many of the others, this is a big and popular trope. It actually shows up in one of my current favorite TV shows – Lucifer. They don’t see any point in love, and they hop from wo/man to wo/man. But then they meet the other love interest. And then suddenly that hot bartender they would normally hit on just doesn’t seem that appealing. It is quite one of the cutest tropes ever created. It’s so lovable.

    10. Secret/Lost Heir

Last, but not least – Secret/Lost Heir. One of the classic tropes. In fact, the Disney movie Rapunzel, has this trope. One of the love interest is the secret or lost heir to a great fortune, kingdom, buisness, enc. They usually don’t discover this until the other love interest is introduced and helps them find their way. A lot in times, more common in books than in Disney Princess films, the love interest gets swept up in all of the riches and glory that they almost forget about the other love interest, which really ticks that love interest off. But of course, they get back together and live happily ever after.

There you go! These were my Top 10 Romance Tropes! Let me know if you liked it! Also make sure to comment your favorite tropes below – I might make a part two!

Thanks for Reading with me!
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2017 Year In Review

 

 

Hi! So it’s been a long year. A realllyyy longgg year. So much has happened in 2017 so I decided to write a year-in-review! Nothing better than realizing that you haven’t read as many books as you feel you should have!

In 2017 I have read 47 books and am finishing my 48th currently. (The 48th will not be included in this post, since I have not finished it yet.) This is actually beating my goal, since my goal was 45. I chose this goal because when signing up for the challenge I had no idea what number I wanted to hit, so I set it to 45 since Goodreads said it was the average number of books people had chosen for their Goodreads goals.

According to Goodreads’ Year In Review that is 15,469 pages. Which, I gotta say, totally makes me sound like a smart person. I loveee when reading boosts my ego. Not only does it give me something to enjoy and immerse myself in, but it also makes me sound like I know everything. (And gives my family bragging rights at dinners with friends.)

Now it’s time to find out what book I started out this mess of a year reading.. and that book is….

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller!

I actually love this book so much. I’ve reread it so many times. (That actually might of been a reread?) Yet it’s part of a series. and I’ve never bothered to pick up the next books. Oops?

Now the last – Well, not the last. Like I said, I’m reading another book right now and might end up reading another before the year ends. But just bear with me. – book I’ve read this year was….

The Little Book of Skincare by Charlotte Cho. 

Not the usual book I’d read, I know. But lately I’ve been obsessed with skincare. My skin care regime currently takes up 20 minutes everyday and I’m constantly looking for ways to improve it. And Charlotte’s book has tons of Korean skincare tips which is awesome because like, have you seen Korean skin? Anyways, they’re all really useful so if you’re looking for ways to improve your skincare routine I’d definitely recommend reading this.

Now, for the next part of this post I decided to do a bookish survey/tag of some sorts about the books I’ve read in 2017. Soo… here we go!

  1. Best Book You Read in 2017

Definitely A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas. (Okay, I know I said “definitely” like it was an easy choice, but it was so not.)  This book was apart of a series, but I love this specific book sooo much.  Many of my favorite characters are introduced in this book, and my love for Feyre and Rhysand definitely formed while reading this book. (Well, I loved Feyre before, but I had more respect for her while reading this.) I’ve said this before, and I will say it again, if you haven’t read this series, read it! Each book is nice and long and will put you on an emotional rollercoaster.

                2. Book You Can’t Believe You Waited Until 2017 To Read

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I really procrastinated reading this one. I had gotten it at the library multiple times because I saw it all over social media, left it in my bag, and returned it to the library without ever reading it. But one day I got an epub of it and decided to read it because I was on quite a reading streak. And I fell in love! This book was so original, had interesting characters, unpredictable plotlines, and great friendships. I don’t understand how I went so long without reading it!

                3. Best 2017 Debut You Read

Caraval by Stephanie Garber. This book blew me away. You know those books where predict everything that is going to happen so when a plot twist comes you’re not really surprised? Well, that’s not this book. When you read it, you’re learning everything as the main character does. And when the plot twists come? You won’t be ready. This debut kept me on the edge of my seat with its dark fantasy like theme. The best debut I’ve read it a while, honestly.

             4.  Worst Book You Read in 2017

Suprise, Suprise. It’s No Second Chances by Kate Evangelista. You can find my review here. I hated this book. I had to force myself to read it because it would’ve been the 45th book I read this year and I really wanted to reach it. But at least it made for a nice rant. The only decent character was a little kid who was in the book for 15 pages, the storyline was predictable just by reading the back of the book and the love interest was a douche who did in fact, like the title says, deserve No Second Chances. Not a very good read.

            5. Best Comic You Read in 2017

I read quite a lot of comics this year, so this one is hard. But after some thinking, I’m going with Batgirl Annual #1. Okay so, the main reason I’m choosing this is because my two of my favorite heroes, Supergirl and Batgirl, teamed up. Don’t blame me, Batgirl Annual #1 is my baby I’ll be using for the rest of my life. (Yeah, that was a Taylor Swift reference. Go buy Reputation, out now.) Barbara and Kara work so well together and are my little babies. 100% the best comic read of 2017.

That’s all for now! I would’ve made the tag longer but I had the first have of the post and well, Christmas is soon.

Speaking of that, Merry Christmas!

THANKS FOR READING WITH ME!
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