Cinderella’s Dress by Shonna Slayton

Cinderella’s Dress by Shonna Slayton is a YA fairy-tale retelling set in 1940’s New York. Being a teen-ager during World War II is tough. Finding out you’re the next keeper of the real Cinderella’s dress is even tougher. Kate simply wants to create window displays at the department store where she’s working, trying to help out with the war effort. But when long-lost relatives from Poland arrive with a steamer trunk they claim holds the Cinderella’s dress, life gets complicated. Now, with a father missing in action, her new sweetheart shipped off to boot camp, and her great aunt losing her wits, Kate has to unravel the mystery before it’s too late. After all, the descendants of the wicked stepsisters will stop at nothing to get what they think they deserve.

Where to start, where to start…

 

I bought this book at a recent book haul from Book Outlet.

I read some reviews of this book last night after finishing it, and a lot of people said they didn’t like this book for many reasons. And, I must say, I disagree with all of those reviews.

This book was beautifully written, it had an intriguing plot, and the characters were amazing.

Kate is a very strong, promising and life-like protagonist. She’s quirky and awkward. She doesn’t always make the best decisions and she makes mistakes. She just feels so real and lovable.

I don’t think any of the characters really annoyed me. They all felt real and lovable and fun. They all had flaws and they all made mistakes, just like us humans do.

Shonna Slayton’s writing was magnificent. Plus she is just so nice! Random note, but I love when authors are friendly and reply online and stuff. I do realize and understand that some are just incapable, but talking to an author of a book I love still makes me really happy.

Of course, this book does have a little romance in it.

I was so refreshed to see this book doesn’t have the usual love-triangle like most other books. This one just has Kate and Johnny and they are just so darling together!! They are so cute together! I just can’t get over them. I think they’re one of my new OTP’s.

Plus, this book takes place in a fantastic World War ll era. I am a huge fan of vintage books and fashion and everything, and this story takes place in such a beautiful time of fashion and courtship, that I fell in love with it, and hopefully you will too.

Cleanliness rating?

This book is totally clean!! No profanity or suggestive themes. It doesn’t even have too much violence.

Overall, this is a fresh, clean twist on the Cinderella tale that I think all will enjoy.

 

-Lilian-

Top 5 Underrated Books/Series

I don’t read a lot of popular books. I haven’t read most of the big, famous books that I see all over BookTube and Instagram. I’m working my way there and I am starting to read some more popular books, but I’ve read my fair share of AMAZING books that aren’t popular and I believe they deserve to be. Here are 5 of my favorites

The River of Time series by Lisa T. Bergren:

I am not a fan of most historical fiction. I can’t really get into them. Which makes this series extra awesome because I think it’s the only real historical fiction I’ve ever loved this much. This book is mainly set in Medieval Italy and has greatly inspired me to study medieval history in school, and possibly learn Italian. It’s about two sisters who accidently time travel back in time. They are then thrown into the world of battle, treachery, castles, gowns, and (most importantly) two medieval men.

Through this 5 book series, you explore the lives of Gabi and Lia as they experience life, love, danger, and death. These books will forever be some of my favorites and Lia and Luca will forever be my OTP (One True Pair). Since they are Christian books, there isn’t any profanity or overly-suggestive content. I know the last book (and maybe the fourth one) does have a few scenes when some suggestive things are hinted, but nothing graphic or inappropriate. To check out this series, go here.

The Anomaly Trilogy by Krista McGee:

This series ultimately got me into reading dystopian and sci-fi, which are currently some of my favorite genres ever. This series takes place in an underground world that was built by scientists after radioactive bombs destroyed the surface of the earth. Other than a limited amount of scientists, everyone else is genetically made in a lab. They all serve a purpose, and only one purpose, in making a new human race.

The protagonist, named Thalli, questions the authority. While no-one else around her has any real feelings (or so she thinks), she is full of feelings. She tries to hide her feelings until one day she just breaks and shows her feelings. She is then left to fight back for the right to love and laugh and be happy and live a real life.

Overall, this trilogy is phenomenal. McGee’s writing is amazing and her story building is perfect. The last book is such a tear-jerker. I think it’s the first book I cried reading, tbh. I think it’s a must read. It’s 100% clean, too! You can learn more about this series here.

The Remnants novels by Lisa T. Bergren:

After reading her River of Time series, I jumped straight into Lisa’s dystopian series and I was not disappointed. This series is kinda hard for me to describe, so read the plot from goodreads instead-

THEIR ARRIVAL WAS FORETOLD FOR YEARS . . . Andriana is a Remnant, gifted as an empath and one of the Ailith, destined to act as humanity’s last shield against the horrors that now plague those who remain. After years of training in stealth and warfare, Andriana and her Knight protector, Ronan, are finally ready to answer the Call and begin the life they were designed for. But as they embark with the other Remnants on the first of their assignments, they quickly discover that the world beyond their protected Valley is more dangerous than they imagined. The Sons of Sheol will stop at nothing to prevent Dri and Ronan from rescuing anyone sympathetic to the Remnants’ cause. And as the Remnants battle the demonic forces, still other enemies close in. Dangers intensity, but so do Dri’s feelings for Ronan–the one emotion she is not meant to feel. In the midst of their mission, Andriana must find a way to master her feelings. Or risk compromising everything . . .

These books are packed with action, adventure, and romance (Niero and Dri forever<3). The second book is a lot darker than the first one, but they are all Christian so it’s nothing too bad. The third book (Season of Glory) comes out in March, 2016 and it’s so so hard to wait that long. For more info, look here.

Pivot Point and Split Second by Kasie West:

These are somewhat more popular, but they are so mind-blowingly good that more people NEED to read them!! They are set in a future where people have special powers. The protagonist, when faced with a decision, can look into the future and see what happens with each choice she makes. So in the beginning of the book she is faced with a major decision, so the whole main story is her looking in the future at what would happen with both the choices she has.

While the plot may sound confusing, it’s actually super easy to get into! I read both of these books pretty fast. They are just that good! The end of Pivot Point was just so surprising… I didn’t see it coming. Plus Kasie West’s writing is just perfection! I am in need of all her books now. The second book, Split Second, isn’t as good as the first one but it is still really good! These are both totally clean. More info here.

Embassy Row series by Ally Carter:

This book was so much better than I thought it would be! This one is also very hard for me to describe myself, so here’s another goodreads description-

Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things: 1. She is not crazy. 2. Her mother was murdered. 3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay. As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her — so there’s no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands. Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can’t control Grace — no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

So only 1 book in the series is currently out, but book 2 (See How They Run) comes out this December and I just want it right now!!

All Fall Down (Book 1) leaves you guessing the whole time and end with such a surprise and cliffhanger. The writing is awesome and the character building is beautiful. Look for more info on this book here.

So I hope you enjoyed this post!

What books do YOU feel are underrated? Let me know in the comments below!!

-Lilian-

An Ember in the Ashes Book Review

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

I am actually unashamed to say that I honestly only bought and read this book because of how popular it was and how everyone said that it was one of the best books of the year.

When I bought this, I honestly knew almost nothing about it but that it was a dystopian/fantasy mix and that it was fairly clean.

So while I don’t think this will be my favorite book of the year, I am glad I read it and I look forward to the next book and the movie.

When I first started reading this book, I was kinda disappointed. It didn’t seem new or spectacular like I was expecting it to be. It took me roughly 100 pages to really get into the story and characters.

After I got past the first 100 pages, the story really started to pick up and I found myself constantly thinking about the book and wanting to read it all the time. I honestly think I read over 50% of the book in 24 hours. It just got that good.

The characters and their development was flawless. I fell in love with Laia, Keenan, and Elias and I am so excited to see them develop in the next book. Plus, The Commandment (aka the villain) was so strong and so believable… I loved her. I love how I also got a little backstory for her. I would honestly love to see a novella about her and how she got where she is now.

Don’t we all have a few of those characters that we just hate? Like you just don’t agree with any of their actions and wish that they were gone? I added a new character to my list after reading this book.

I’m talking about you Helene.

She reminded me a lot of Theresa from The Maze Runner (whom I also hate). I know, in the end, she meant well… but I can’t justify her actions. She was a horrible friend to Elias and.. ugh I could rant about this all day but I’ll just move on.

This book is not clean. It does involve some frequent uses of language and has some suggestive material. Nothing explicit, but it does talk about wench’s and things like that quite often.

I do recommend this book for the fantastic story and phenomenal writing, but it’s definitely not for kids or young teens.

Have you read the book?

Are you on #TeamElias or #TeamKeenan?

-Lilian-