The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

book review

Review by Kayla, In Love & Words Teen Reader

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

5-stars

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han (Summer Book 1)

[Kindle eBook]
5821978

Goodreads synopsis:

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer–they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.

 

Review

This book made me laugh, smile, and cry! It’s one of those books that is just so good and filled with emotion that you can’t put it down. Let’s just say, I LOVED this book!

Belly, a forever childhood nickname for Isabella, is 15 when the book begins. She is a girl who just wants to be noticed. Belly claims that she measures her life in summer because that’s the best time of the year.

She goes to Cousins Beach every single summer with her mom and older brother Steven. Once they finally arrive at Susannah’s beach house, Belly’s mother’s best friend since they were children.

Belly has become such good friends with Jeremiah, and has had a crush on Conrad, Jeremiah’s brother, both of whom are Susannah’s sons. But every single summer, Belly is left out and unnoticed. When Steven, Jeremiah, and Conrad all hang out, Belly stays behind, uninvited. When Belly is noticed, she usually is made fun of being a “baby” since she is younger than all of them.

This particular summer is different. Belly is miraculously perceived. Both boys look at her in a way the never did before. But things get complicated with relationships and when Belly finds out a tragic truth.

I really enjoyed this book and appreciated the emotion. It could make you cry, but the whole story didn’t revolve around sadness, it balanced perfectly between good and bad that made my heart beat faster because of the intensity that made it even more amazing! And not only did it give me emotion, it gave me some butterflies too!

 

Butterfly Rating: 4 Stars

4-stars

 

Book Boyfriend Rating

This was very hard for me because there is not 1, not 2, but 3 boys in this book! But, not all of them were her boyfriend, I just had to include them all in here but each for a different reason. For Jeremiah, I would give him a ⅗, he wasn’t the the best even though some things he did were cute, but he just wasn’t my favorite. For Conrad I’d give him a ⅖, in this first book he did things that are in my definitely not list! And as for Cam I’d give him a ⅗ because although he was nice, he didn’t appeal to me as much as I would have liked for a book boyfriend.

 

Kayla’s Age Recommendation: 13+

 

There are a total of 3 books in this series:

  1. The summer I turned pretty
  2. It’s not summer without you
  3. We’ll always have summer

 


Grab a Copy of The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
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The Princess Game by Melanie Cellier

book review

Review by Kayla

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

The Princess Game: A Reimagining of Sleeping Beauty (The Four Kingdoms Book 4) by Melanie Cellier

The Princess Game

Goodreads synopsis

They call her the Sleeping Princess, but Celeste is far from asleep…

Celeste has been cursed since her sixteenth birthday–just not in the way the rest of the kingdom thinks. All they see is her breath-taking beauty, marred by her foolishness. Only she knows that she retains her brilliant mind. And it’s a secret she must keep at all costs.

Over the years she’s grown accustomed to the necessary deception. After all, her life depends on it. And she’s even found a way to protect her kingdom, working from the shadows. But now a dangerous new threat has emerged, one that Celeste can’t defeat alone. She needs the help of a newly-arrived prince. One who’s altogether too handsome and too charming. Somehow she needs to keep her secret, save her kingdom and find a way to free herself from the curse. The last thing she has time to do is sleep.

In this reimagining of the classic fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty, it’s only the princess’ mind that is asleep. And sometimes appearances can be deceiving.

 

Review

The Princess Game is the last book in The Four Kingdoms series, and let me tell you how pleased I am! I thought the whole series was so intriguing and so creative! This book is my favorite out of the whole series.

When Princess Celeste gets cursed by her aunt after given the gift of beauty and intelligence from two godmothers her whole world changes only a few days after her birth. The innocent baby is sentenced to death on her sixteenth birthday. But when a third godmother steps in she declares that at the age of sixteen, Celeste will not die, but will sleep until true love awakens her. But with the outrage of her father the King, and the Duchess of Sessily suggestion, the godmother gave her gift to the innocent princess: instead of death, only will her mind sleep.

No one knows what actually happened to Celeste. The curse forces her to act like her mind is sleeping, but inside, Celeste is the same and must protect the kingdom. Things get hard though with the curse preventing her.

This book was so intense and intriguing with a great twist on the story!
This is a wonderful series that I enjoyed reading, if you like re-telling of fairy tales with a little bit of romance, you will definitely like this series!

 

Kayla’s Age Recommendation: 12+

 

Book Boyfriend Rating: 5 Stars

5-stars

William truly loves Celeste for who she is and not all because of her beauty. He even is willing to sacrifice himself for her.

 

Butterfly Rating: 3 Stars

3-stars

The book did give me some butterflies! The story also produced emotion which was well written.

 

A Midwinter’s Wedding by Melanie Cellier

book review

Review by Kayla

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

4-stars

A Midwinter’s Wedding: A Four Kingdoms novella by Melanie Cellier

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Goodreads synopsis:

Princess Cordelia is used to being overshadowed by her many brothers and sisters. So when she’s offered the chance to attend her brother’s wedding in a faraway kingdom, she leaps at it. In Northhelm, she’ll finally have the chance to stand out. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll even find romance.

But not everything in the Northhelmian court is as it appears. With her brother distracted by the wedding, only Ferdinand, the ugliest man at court, will listen to Cordelia’s concerns. An observant princess and a strangely amphibious soldier may be the only thing standing between all Four Kingdoms and disaster.

Cordelia will have to overcome prejudice, deceit and danger if she wants to save the day and find romance at A Midwinter’s Wedding.

Review

A Midwinter’s Wedding is a retelling of The Frog Prince, which is yet another interesting story. Although this fairy tale isn’t as popular as some others, it’s so unique in comparison. This retelling was put into an amazing, somewhat original perspective.

When Princess Cordelia is the only one out of all of her siblings sent to her brother, Rafe and Marie’s wedding (we met these characters in the previous book) she hopes to find true love at the palace.

Cordelia’s sister Celeste, who we also met in the very first book in the series, gives Cordelia a golden ball that she believes might be magic to find true love, and was given to Celeste from her godmother.

While Cordelia is overshadowed by her many siblings including Celeste, who was gorgeous, was not used to so much attention. But when she meets the rider on a chestnut horse with odd features, he doesn’t acknowledge her, only giving her a shocked expression, and then runs off. Disappointed, Cordelia quickly reminds herself it’s not that much of a surprise being ignored.

When staying at the Northgate palace, Cordelia notices something strange with help of her amazing hearing and excellent observation. But no one seems to believe her, not even the charming Prince William, Marie’s brother. But when she meets William’s close friend Ferdinand, he is the only one that will take her seriously. Later on, Cordelia investigates her suspicions and finds out incredulous information that could ruin the Four Kingdoms!

Kayla’s Age Recommendation: 12+

Butterfly Rating: 2 Stars

2-stars

*SPOILER ALERT! This next paragraph might be a spoiler for you if you don’t want to find out who Cordelia falls in love with!*

Book Boyfriend Rating: 4 Stars

4-stars

One of the amazing things about Ferdy is that whenever there is a crisis, he always is smart and calm.

I still have more reviews coming on the rest of this series so make sure you check them out!

This is the Four Kingdoms reading order (I have reviews on all of the previous books in the series and an upcoming review on the next book which is the last!)

The Four Kingdoms series should be read in this order:

  1. The Princess Companion: A Retelling of The Princess and the Pea (Book One)
  2. The Princess Fugitive: A Reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood (Book Two)
  3. Happily Ever Afters: A Four Kingdoms Novella
  4. The Princess Pact: A Twist on Rumpelstiltskin (Book Three)
  5. A Midwinter’s Wedding: A Four Kingdoms Novella
  6. The Princess Game: A Reimagining of Sleeping Beauty (Book Four)

 


Grab a copy of A Midwinter’s Wedding by Melanie Cellier

Amazon


The Princess Pact: A Twist on Rumpelstiltskin by Melanie Cellier

book review

Review by Kayla

Overall Rating: 5 Stars

5-stars

The Princess Pact: A Twist on Rumpelstiltskin (The Four Kingdoms Book 3) by Melanie Cellier

33981777

Goodreads Synopsis:

Marie, the dutiful princess of Northhelm, chafes under the rigid protocol that governs her life. Then a growing darkness threatens the kingdom and uncovers the lie at the centre of her whole life – a single pact that changes everything.

Throwing off convention, she joins Rafe, a handsome, charming newcomer, on a quest to save her kingdom. Except he doesn’t know she has a mission of her own – to discover the truth about her identity. Increasingly drawn to Rafe’s strength and good humour, Marie is torn by her double purpose. With time running out and death and destruction looming, Marie will have to unravel the bargains that surround her and choose where her true allegiance lies.

In this twist on the classic fairy tale, Rumpelstiltskin, a hidden identity is just one of the things Marie will have to unravel.

Full book details.

Review

The Princess Pact: A Twist on Rumpelstiltskin is one of the best books in the series so far! I really enjoyed reading this! I always thought that the story of Rumpelstiltskin was so interesting but this was so much more so!

I also love how it contributed to the other books. One thing I love about this series is it is a bunch of retelling of fairy tales, but is, in a way, combined into one amazing story.

Elements such as characters, the setting, and objects, all play along in each of the books following one another. But what’s really cool is that each book has a happy ending but then when you read the next book it will mention things from the past books!

This book was just so interesting and I loved how the story was told. It was a classic Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale, but with a twist like the title claimed, and it gets you thinking, “Why didn’t the original fairy tale play out like that?”

Marie, the main character, also who we met in the very first book of the series, is a princess who carries herself like one, but doesn’t look like one. She soon is revealed to the hurtful truth: why she doesn’t look like a royal; which leads her into a dangerous task with many decisions to make that could possibly risk the lives of her people and the whole kingdom.

I think the author Melanie Cellier, is very creative in her writing and I’m excited for the rest of the series I’m yet to read!

Kayla’s Age Recommendation: 12+

This is a clean novel.

Butterfly Rating: 3 Stars

3-stars
This book didn’t give me too, too, many butterflies.

New Book Boyfriend: 5 Stars

5-stars
Not only does Rafe have unexpected fighting skills and charm, but he also has a great sense of humor!

The Four Kingdoms series should be read in this order:

  1. The Princess Companion: A Retelling of The Princess and the Pea (Book One)
  2. The Princess Fugitive: A Reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood (Book Two)
  3. Happily Ever Afters: A Four Kingdoms Novella
  4. The Princess Pact: A Twist on Rumpelstiltskin (Book Three)
  5. A Midwinter’s Wedding: A Four Kingdoms Novella
  6. The Princess Game: A Reimagining of Sleeping Beauty (Book Four)

Grab a Copy of The Princess Pact: A Twist on Rumpelstiltskin by Melanie Cellier

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What is your favorite fairytale and/or fairytale retelling?

Happily Ever Afters: A Four Kingdoms Novella by Melanie Cellier

book review

Overall Rating: 4 Stars
4-stars

Happily Ever Afters: A Four Kingdoms Novella by Melanie Cellier

32864271

Goodreads synopsis:

Sometimes a fairy tale ending is only the beginning…

Sarah and Evelyn have already risked everything to help Ava win a crown. But they soon learn that a coronation is a beginning, not an ending. Not everyone in Rangmere is happy to see the young queen on the throne, and intrigue and danger lurk all around.

The cousins find themselves fighting not only for their new kingdom but also for their own survival in the royal court. When a new threat emerges, the two girls must defeat it to both save the crown and secure their own Happily Ever Afters.

Full book details.

 

Review

Let me just say how surprised I was when I found out that Happily Ever Afters: A Four Kingdoms Novella was told in Sarah and Evelyn’s point of view! I thought it was so amazing that it was told like that because I was expecting it to be in Ava’s point of view! (Just saying now if you don’t read this series in order you are going to be a little confused! It’s a MUST to read them in order! I also have reviews here and here on the past books in the series and will have upcoming reviews in the later books in The Four Kingdoms series.)

Happily Ever Afters was such an interesting book to have read about the happy endings of each of the characters in the book. It gave a further ending to Ava and Hans and their wedding, and also about Sarah and Evelyn their happy ends. But not only did the book give their happy endings, it also gave intense and interesting details of what happened along the way that made you eager to turn the pages.

Although it was a little shorter than the other books in the series, it still had so much meaning to it!

Kayla’s Age Recommendation: 12+

This is a clean series but does have a little bit of violence in it for anyone who is concerned.

 

Butterfly Rating: 2 Stars

2-stars
This book barely gave me butterflies but it was intense.

 

Book Boyfriend Ratings: 4 Stars Each

4-stars

*SPOILER ALERT THIS NEXT PARAGRAPH HAS SPOILERS*

For the book boyfriend rating there is 3 girls Sarah, Evelyn, and Ava so that means 3 different boyfriends for each girl. (If you read the books in order you would know that Ava is already married to Hans)

I would give all of them Hans, Miles, and Jake ⅘ because they were really good for each girl even though Evelyn and Jake fit together in the end as well as Sarah and Miles. And Ava was engaged in the last book “The Princess Fugitive”. All of the couples are so in love with each other!

*NO SPOILERS BELOW*

Like I said before you should definitely read the books in order:

The Four Kingdoms Reading Order:

  1. The Princess Companion: A Retelling of The Princess and the Pea (Book One)
  2. The Princess Fugitive: A Reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood (Book Two)
  3. Happily Ever Afters: A Four Kingdoms Novella
  4. The Princess Pact: A Twist on Rumpelstiltskin (Book Three)
  5. A Midwinter’s Wedding: A Four Kingdoms Novella
  6. The Princess Game: A Reimagining of Sleeping Beauty (Book Four)

The Princess Fugitive: A Reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood (The Four Kingdoms Book 2) by Melanie Cellier

book review

Review by Kayla

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

4-stars

The Princess Fugitive: A Reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood (The Four Kingdoms Book 2) by Melanie Cellier

[Kindle eBook]

The Princess Fugitive

Goodreads synopsis:

Princess Ava used to be a weapon – sharp, strong and beautiful. But when she fails at her most important task, she’s forced to flee from her own family.

Only her personal bodyguard, Hans, remains loyal. Hans claims to know the real Ava but she finds that hard to believe – after all, she’s been the villain so long that she can’t remember anything else.

But deep in exile, Ava learns her kingdom needs a hero and she might be the only one who can save it. The catch? She’ll have to ally herself with the very people she blames for her downfall.

But in a game of life and death where the stakes are an entire kingdom, winning over her enemies will only be the beginning. Can one fugitive save her people, her kingdom and, hardest of all, herself?

In this reimagining of the classic fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood, the girl in the red hood has been swallowed up by the wolf and must decide if she’s willing to fight for her freedom, no matter the cost.

Full book details.

 

Review

I have read a lot of retelling of fairy tales recently, but I can’t say that I remember reading any reimagining of a fairy tale until I read this book. (I have a review on the first book also, and will have upcoming reviews on all of the books in the series.)

Although this was a very good book, I have to say, it didn’t have a lot of parts from Little Red Riding Hood as I’d expected. But if you didn’t know that this was based on Little Red Riding Hood, it would definitely remind you of it and it is somewhat similar in certain ways.

Ava, the main character in the book, must fight for who she truly is and resist the “wolf” inside of herself that her father tried to make her become. She must also become allies with the Arcadians, her enemy and the kingdom that she wronged before she can become who she truly is; and fight for the throne over her brother who could endanger the whole kingdom.

She flees into the woods with her loyal personal guard, Hans, in search for a way to defeat her evil brother. She also makes a lot new friends and has a greater relationship with Hans and falls in love with him!

I think it was very interesting to see in book 1 who she originally was and now, in book 2, seeing who she truly is.

 

Age Recommendation: 12+

This whole series is clean.

Book Boyfriend Rating: 4 Stars

4-stars

Hans always stayed so loyal to Ava and supported her throughout everything. Since he is her personal guard, he has amazing skills that never fail and keep watch over Ava at ALL times! Even when he was hurt, (you will find out why once you read the book) he risked his life to save Ava with his potentially fatal injury.

 

Butterfly Rating: 3 Stars

3-stars

This book did give me some butterflies so I would give this a ⅗ butterfly rating.

Note: If you read this I would definitely make sure you read the first book because it is crucial to the story. The books in this series should be read in this order:

The Four Kingdoms Reading Order

  1. The Princess Companion: A Retelling of The Princess and the Pea (Book One)
  2. The Princess Fugitive: A Reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood (Book Two)
  3. Happily Ever Afters: A Four Kingdoms Novella
  4. The Princess Pact: A Twist on Rumpelstiltskin (Book Three)
  5. A Midwinter’s Wedding: A Four Kingdoms Novella
  6. The Princess Game: A Reimagining of Sleeping Beauty (Book Four)

 


Grab a Copy of The Princess Fugitive: A Reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood by Melanie Cellier

Amazon | Google Books


A Princess Companion: A Retelling of the Princess and the Pea (The Four Kingdoms Book 1) by Melanie Cellier

book review

Review by Kayla

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

4-stars

A Princess Companion: A Retelling of the Princess and the Pea (The Four Kingdoms Book 1) by Melanie Cellier

The Princess Companion

Synopsis from Goodreads | Full book details here

One dark and stormy night, lost and alone, Alyssa finds herself knocking on the door of a castle.

After a lifetime spent in the deep forest, Alyssa has no idea what to expect on the other side.

What she finds is two unruly young princesses and one very handsome prince. When Alyssa accepts the job of Princess Companion she knows her life will change. What she doesn’t know is that the royal family is about to be swept up in unexpected danger and intrigue and that she just might be the only thing standing between her kingdom and destruction.

This retelling of the classic fairy tale, The Princess and the Pea, reimagines the risks and rewards that come when one royal family goes searching for a true princess.

Danger and romance await a woodcutter’s daughter in a royal palace.

 

Review

Currently, I’m really loving the retelling of fairy tales! I think it is so interesting to look at fairy tales with a different point of view. Now that I’m older I can still really enjoy fairy tales (it’s almost like they age with me!) And because I’m a romance book fan I love the retelling of fairy tales, even more, when the book includes a love story.

A Princess Companion was really good.

Alyssa, the main character, gets lost in the wood and tries to find shelter because there is a storm coming. She comes across the Winter castle, which belongs to King Henry, Queen Eleanor, Princess Max, and the twin princesses Lilly and Sophie.

Alyssa is welcomed into the castle and stays in the guest room, which she thinks for a woodcutter’s daughter like herself, is much too fancy. After a restless night and breakfast with the royal family, she accepts a job as a princess companion for the twins.

Alyssa later falls in love with the prince, but there are many obstacles in their path to happiness.

I think it’s really important when it comes to books that retell original stories that they don’t follow too much of the original story but just enough and I think that the book did just that, it gave its own twist to the story but also if you didn’t know it was a retelling of the princess and the pea it would remind you of it, and to me that is very crucial.

This is the first book in the Four Kingdoms series. The books should be read in order. (I will have more reviews on all of the books in the series)

 

The Four Kingdoms Reading Order

  1. The Princess Companion: A Retelling of The Princess and the Pea (Book One)
  2. The Princess Fugitive: A Reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood (Book Two)
  3. Happily Ever Afters: A Four Kingdoms Novella
  4. The Princess Pact: A Twist on Rumpelstiltskin (Book Three)
  5. A Midwinter’s Wedding: A Four Kingdoms Novella
  6. The Princess Game: A Reimagining of Sleeping Beauty (Book Four)

 

Kayla’s Age recommendation: 12+

Although this book did not have any age recommendations, I would recommend ages 12+ (This is a clean story). I think anyone would like this book if they like the retelling of fairy tales with a nice little love story (like most fairy tales have).

 

Butterfly Rating: 2 Stars

2-stars

This book really didn’t give me many butterflies at all. If you currently like romance books that give you butterflies, this probably won’t be the book for you unless you like the retelling of fairy tales no matter what.

 

Book Boyfriend Rating: 3 Stars

3-stars

I think Max, the Prince of Arcadia was better for Alyssa, the woodcutter’s daughter, than me Although he had some amazing features and actions in the story I don’t think I would have 5/5 rating for my liking even though he was really good in the story.

 


Grab a copy of A Princess Companion

Amazon