Welcome, welcome // Beauty and the Beast Retellings: Readalong and Reviews (#BATBretellingthoughts)


I have always, always loved the story of this bookish and peculiar yet pretty girl who is imprisoned by the “beast”, a brute with a seemingly cold heart and how these creatures you assume are beasts are not really the beastly ones.

So when the live-action movie came out, I obviously watched it.

And fell in love with the story all over again.

I did some research and came up with a list of Beauty and The Beast retellings that I wanted to read over this month, and perhaps even over this year. So this series will have reviews of retellings of Beauty and The Beast, one book per post, or more if I decide to do shorter reviews.

There will be books from multiple genres and subgenres, such as high fantasy, historical romance, urban fantasy, etc.

I’ll be really happy if any of you want to join me in reading these. You can read the ones I have on my list, or find some other books like these. OR you can post reviews and/or photos of retellings you have already read before. All you have to do is either post about it on Instagram with the hashtag #BATBretellingthoughts OR make a blog post about it where you add a link to this page so that more people know about this.

I’ll be posting a list of books I plan to read if any of you are interested in this whole thing. I hope you are!

I have already read some retellings, I’ll put up reviews of them pretty soon. And if you know of any such books, please let me know in the comments below!

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(Photo credit: Pinterest)

Worldwide (Boy Band#3) ~ Jacqueline E. Smith : Book Review

Summary:

Melissa Parker’s secret is out. 

Now that the entire world knows she’s dating Sam Morneau, Mel suddenly finds herself and her relationship under the intense scrutiny of celebrity gossip bloggers, curious fans, and appropriately concerned family members. 

But then, that’s nothing compared to the other secrets and scandals that plague The Kind of September. In the midst of their long-anticipated world tour, a toxic combination of infidelity and betrayal has left the band and its fan base angry, confused, and ultimately broken. 

No one ever said that life with the world’s most popular boy band was easy, but in spite of everything she’s seen, Mel is still willing to believe that it’s worth it.

REVIEW:

Rating : 4 stars out of 5

This book was possibly my favorite one in the series yet? The story has become SO much more interesting at this point, I NEED to know the rest of it ASAP.

I have always loved the Boy Band characters. Sam is hilarious, Mel is quite funny herself in that awkward way of hers. I love all the boys (even Jesse), but right now let’s just say there is one boy in the band, I am unhappy with *cough* Mr. Bad Choices *cough*

Worldwide provides an even more detailed picture of the negative sides of fame. Even though Sam and Mel try their best to handle things as smoothly as possible, they face a lot of hardships, and this was portrayed VERY realistically, through fan tweets and newspaper article snippets.

Jacqueline E. Smith’s easy going style of writing is something I admire in all of her books. The story always progresses fast and efficiently. I finished this book in one single sitting and loved every second of it. I say this all the time, and will repeat it again- I love how each Boy Band novel ends with us readers NEEDING the next book NOW. It increases my respect for the book every time.

My favorite part of the book though was the chapter intro style. All the Boy Band novel chapters begin with a couple of lines from a song by the fictional band in the series, or by the other musicians mentioned in the book. I love the idea, but Worldwide had the best lyrics out of all the boy band novels. 💕

So if you love music and/or boy bands, cute romances, stories about friendship and love and drama and celebrities — go pick up these books now!

~ Sreepurna.

💚

Backstage (Boy Band #2) – Jacqueline E.  Smith : Book Review 

Summary

Melissa Parker might just be the luckiest girl on the planet. 

She’s just turned twenty-one. 

She’s best friends with The Kind of September. 

And she’s dating Sam Morneau, everyone’s ultimate celebrity crush. Of course, no one is supposed to know about that. 

As it turns out, no one is supposed to know about a lot of things that happen behind the scenes of life with the planet’s most popular boy band. Now, what should be Happily Ever After for Mel and Sam is turning into a series of secrets, manipulation, and potential heartbreak… Just in time for The Kind of September’s world tour.

Review:

Rating : 4/5 stars 

Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy 💕

Things I liked about this book:

● From the very beginning, Backstage had this aspect of suspense. With the cliffhanger ending of the previous book, the story took a tense turn, and I had to find out what happens next.

The lead couple, Sam and Mel were so cute 💕

● As with the first book, in this one too, I felt really personally invested in the lives of the characters.

● The writing style is simple, sweet and relatable.

● THE ENDING. Jacqueline E. Smith knows exactly where to end her books. I increased the rating by one whole star just because of the ending. It makes you feel like jumping on to the next book ASAP!

Things I didn’t like about the book:

It felt a little cliche at times, and some incidents in the book reminded me of real life celebrities, and unfortunately I am not very fond of those same celebrities and their actions. (Wow that sounded so much meaner than I intended it to be 😓)

Overall:

I feel like people who like to read YA novels about romance and friendship and life problems and who love fangirling over boy bands and celebrities (like I do) should DEFINITELY give this series a go ❤

My review of Book 1:

https://thelonelybooklover.wordpress.com/2016/11/06/review-boy-band-by-jacqueline-e-smith/

~ Sripurna

A Torch Against The Night (AEITA #2) ~ Sabaa Tahir : Review

Summary

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.


Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.


But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.


Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.

Review :

Rating : 4 /5 

Thank you Harper Collins India for the review copy. ❤ 

Okay so don’t kill me. I know EVERYBODY loved this book. And while I admire Tahir’s writing style, the story was just not my type. First of all, I am tired of these brave young things saving the world. It’s too cliche right now,  after the numerous fantasy or dystopian novels we have read about the same topic. Moreover, there wasn’t a single character I could relate to. I respected them all, Laia, Elias, Helene – they are marvellously courageous people, but they aren’t close to my heart. I did not like the path the story took, some actions were unnecessary. Also, somehow Helene started taking up a huge role, shadowing Elias and Laia, and because I didn’t like her from the first book itself, I resented the fact that she took up the limelight. The lack of emotions in the characters also tires me. The AEITA fandom showers love and emotion, but the characters themselves are so stoic, even in the saddest situations. I get that it’s part of who they are, the plot requires them to be this way, but I don’t necessarily like it. 

All this being said, I think this book is WONDERFUL with respect to the writing quality. The sentences are beautifully constructed, and the world-building has been vivid. The language used is so very appropriate with that setting.

There were surprise elements which shocked the hell out of me, and I was moved by many of the scenes. There is a lot of intelligent action in this book. Sabaa Tahir is an amazing author, however, I believe this just isn’t my genre anymore. 

~ Sripurna ❤

Review: Boy Band by Jacqueline E. Smith


Summary: 

Sam Morneau is Melissa Parker’s best friend. He’s also a member of The Kind of September, basically the hottest boy band on the planet. 

After two and a half years, Mel is all too familiar with the day-to-day occurrences that come with being a member of the band’s inner circle, including hectic schedules, passionate fans, and gossip-mongering celebrity girlfriends. 

Now, with the release of the group’s third album just weeks away, their lives have never been crazier and Mel is doing everything she can to keep up, all the while trying to cope with the ridiculous rumors that follow the band everywhere they go and pretending that she isn’t harboring a secret and hopeless crush on Sam. 

It’s weird enough being in love with your best friend. It’s even weirder when the rest of the world is in love with him, too.

Review:

Rating: 4.5 stars

*Lots of thanks to the author for providing me with the review copies. My review, however, is impartial and unbiased.*

Things I liked about this book:

 This simple YA story took me back to 2 years back when I had started reading this genre. It reminded me of how relatable a YA novel can be. Don’t get me wrong, my best friend/ crush isn’t some celebrity. In fact I don’t have a crush on my best friend at all. But something about Mel’s feelings and attitude is really familiar and realistic.

● Let’s just admit that Sam is awesome ❤

● I love how the whole book stays linked with music. I have read a ton of books about rock stars, and all they do is sing a song in the end of the book to woo the heroine. But in Boy Band, every chapter began with a few lines from one of the band’s songs, and the whole story integrated the musical part of their lives as well the personal parts.

● The characters were so realistic, it really made me wonder about real life boy bands and their lives. It felt like this book was sort of a journal or a documentary for a real boy band!

● The ending! I would have given this book 3.5 stars if not for that ending. I loved it, and I wasn’t expecting it at all, but I highly support it. 😂😂

Things I didn’t like about this book:

I wanted a little more angst and feels, I think.

Overall:

This is a cute and fun YA romance perfect for pre-teens and teens. All the characters– Sam, Mel and the rest of the band and crew are really interesting and have their own dynamic. Also, this is a book where the book summary isn’t misleading at all. If you like the blurb, you’ll love the book. Also this a very short read (all the 3 books in this series are short), so all of you busy teens out there, go ahead and pick this up already.

I wish I could read the 2nd book literally NOW, but I have my finals this month and I don’t think I’ll be able to read it before 23rd November. 😭 But watch this space after that for more 😊

Buy Boy Band on Amazon

~ Sripurna.

Review: Eternal Darkness by J.F. Johns

The world is divided between humans and cyborgs. 

Scarlet Lock is neither. 

She is a soldier created to kill on command. But her memory has been erased and when she awakens in a government facility she soon discovers that this new world is a dangerous place, full of government secrets and cruel experiments performed in the name of progress. 

With the help of a group of cyborgs, Scarlet will fight to uncover the truth and transform the future of the new world she now lives in. 

Eternal Darkness is full of suspense, action and romance and will make readers question what it means to be human.


Rating: 4.5 stars

Things I liked about this book:

Eternal Darkness is not really from my genre of books. I have read very few books about cyborgs and dystopian future. But this book captivated my interest, and I just couldn’t let go of the book till I reached the very last page!

 The characters are real. Whether its father figure-like Sam, confusing Madeleine, charming Eric or messed up Andrew, they are all so real and familiar. Every character felt inportant in one way or the other.

Romance angle: I just loved the romance angle of this book!!! The boys, Eric and Andrew, are both so amazing in their own ways, I don’t know who is better. I can’t decide my ship yet, I need the next book NOW!

That ending! Holy mother of Cliffhangers!!!!

This book is everything it claims to be in the blurb. It really had suspense, romance, action- it won’t let you down.

Things I did not like about it:

Its a bit slow paced in the beginning. And I didn’t LOVE Scarlet, the main character. She does go through some character development, so by the ending, she grew on me.

Overall:

If you like cyborg stories, THIS IS YOUR BOOK. If you like dystopian novels, THIS IS ALSO YOUR BOOK. If you have never read sci-fi/ cyborg / dystopia, and you want to try one, yes, READ THIS BOOK ALREADY.

Buy your copy here on Amazon

~Sripurna.

Review: Cut (Flawless #2) by Emily Duvall

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Cut (Flawless #2)

Emily Duvall

Blurb:

Jessica Cahill is having one perfect night. In six weeks she’ll walk down the aisle and marry her long-time boyfriend. But for tonight, she’s celebrating hard at her bachelorette party. It’s the time of her life until… she takes things too far. 

Brent Harrison is having the worst night of his life. Across town, seven rare diamonds are tucked safely in the vault at his brother’s mansion. These diamonds are special. They hold significance. They belong to the infamous Abbott Tiara. The task should be easy, he should have them by the morning. That’s when everything goes wrong. That’s when he runs into her. 

One tiara 
Seven diamonds 
Sometimes beautiful things come at a cost…

REVIEW:

4 stars

(Review copy provided by author in exchange of honest review)

This book was not what I expected it to be.

I expected a roundabout repetition of the first book, just this time, it was going to be Jessica’s story.

“Of all the women to run into tonight.”

But no.

This book is a proper sequel. The stories continued from the last book (Inclusions) , and all the same characters were there. Like the last book, this one is really well-written too. All over, its such a bittersweet book.

And oh, expect more of the “suspense” that was slightly missing the first book, here.

“A cut determines how light reflects back to the human eye.”

So if you want a fast-paced romantic suspense book with a generous amount of action and character development, then this is your book.

And that’s all I can give away without letting out spoilers.. 😄

– Sripurna