Size Doesn’t Matter (188): Heroine Worship; The Brightest Fell

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (188): Heroine Worship; The Brightest FellHeroine Worship by Sarah Kuhn
Series: Heroine Complex #2
Published by DAW on July 4, 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
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three-stars

Once upon a time, Aveda Jupiter (aka Annie Chang) was demon-infested San Francisco’s most beloved superheroine, a beacon of hope and strength and really awesome outfits. But all that changed the day she agreed to share the spotlight with her best friend and former assistant Evie Tanaka—who’s now a badass, fire-wielding superheroine in her own right. They were supposed to be a dynamic duo, but more and more, Aveda finds herself shoved into the sidekick role. Where, it must be said, she is not at all comfortable.

It doesn’t help that Aveda’s finally being forced to deal with fallout from her diva behavior—and the fact that she’s been a less than stellar friend to Evie. Or that Scott Cameron—the man Aveda’s loved for nearly a decade—is suddenly giving her the cold shoulder after what seemed to be some promising steps toward friendship. Or that the city has been demon-free for three months in the wake of Evie and Aveda’s apocalypse-preventing battle against the evil forces of the Otherworld, leaving Aveda without the one thing she craves most in life: a mission.

All of this is causing Aveda’s burning sense of heroic purpose—the thing that’s guided her all these years—to falter.

In short, Aveda Jupiter is having an identity crisis.

When Evie gets engaged and drafts Aveda as her maid-of-honor, Aveda finally sees a chance to reclaim her sense of self and sets out on a single-minded mission to make sure Evie has the most epic wedding ever. But when a mysterious, unseen supernatural evil rises up and starts attacking brides-to-be, Aveda must summon both her superheroine and best friend mojo to take down the enemy and make sure Evie’s wedding goes off without a hitch—or see both her city and her most important friendship destroyed forever.

This series has the absolute best covers. Once again, this cover has actual scenes from the book beautifully illustrated. Thank you for this blessing, Penguin. Heroine Worship has all the humor and the delightful cast I fell in love with in book one, but this time the narrator is Aveda/Annie. There’s a strong emotional arc, but the plotting falls short in Heroine Worship.

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Cover Snark (242): The Astonishing Color of Snark

Welcome to Cover Snark, where the people are snarky and the covers quiver in fear. Since I don’t write many snarky book reviews here on A Reader of Fictions, Cover Snark is my outlet. If you click on the title of the book, where possible, I’ve linked to Goodreads. Clicking on the cover itself will show you the cover in a larger size, in most cases. Feel free to love covers I hate and vice versa. Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Please note that you should by no means contact the author if you do not like their cover; they likely have ZERO control. Feel free to express opinions of the covers in the comments, but please do not @ an author on Twitter because of anything you’ve seen here.

Shiny and New:

1. The Astonishing Color of After – Emily X.R. Pan

Thoughts: I would absolutely crane my neck to admire this as I walked past it.

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Series Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Series Review: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny HanTo All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
Series: To All the Boys I've Loved Before #1
Published by Simon & Schuster BFYR on April 15, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 355
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
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four-half-stars

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them… all at once?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is one of those books that I missed the boat on and then suddenly everyone was freaking out about it and mega-hype-train. At that point, I was really too scared to pick it up, even though I’d bought a copy. Sure, everyone I trust liked it and recommended it, buuuuuuut with all that pressure I was worried we wouldn’t work out. It was weird reading a book I’d actually been somewhat spoiled on, since I usually don’t know much of anything going into books these days. Thankfully, the pressure didn’t really impact my read, and I absolutely fell under Lara Jean’s spell.

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Series Review: InCryptid, Books 4-6 by Seanan McGuire

Series Review: InCryptid, Books 4-6 by Seanan McGuirePocket Apocalypse by Seanan McGuire
Series: InCryptid #4
Published by DAW on March 3, 2015
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
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three-stars

Endangered, adjective: Threatened with extinction or immediate harm.
Australia, noun: A good place to become endangered.

Alexander Price has survived gorgons, basilisks, and his own family—no small feat, considering that his family includes two telepaths, a reanimated corpse, and a colony of talking, pantheistic mice. Still, he’s starting to feel like he’s got the hang of things…at least until his girlfriend, Shelby Tanner, shows up asking pointed questions about werewolves and the state of his passport. From there, it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to Australia, a continent filled with new challenges, new dangers, and yes, rival cryptozoologists who don’t like their “visiting expert” very much.

Australia is a cryptozoologist’s dream, filled with unique species and unique challenges. Unfortunately, it’s also filled with Shelby’s family, who aren’t delighted by the length of her stay in America. And then there are the werewolves to consider: infected killing machines who would like nothing more than to claim the continent as their own. The continent which currently includes Alex.

Survival is hard enough when you’re on familiar ground. Alex Price is very far from home, but there’s one thing he knows for sure: he’s not going down without a fight.

Despite being set in Australia like I hoped, Pocket Apocalypse is my least favorite InCryptid book so far. It’s not bad, but Alex was already isolated from his family, and he only gets more isolated when he goes to Australia.

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Review: Four Weddings and a Sixpence by Julia Quinn, Elizabeth Boyle, Laura Lee Guhrke, & Stefanie Sloane

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Four Weddings and a Sixpence by Julia Quinn, Elizabeth Boyle, Laura Lee Guhrke, & Stefanie SloaneFour Weddings and a Sixpence: An Anthology by Julia Quinn, Stefanie Sloane, Elizabeth Boyle, Laura Lee Guhrke
Published by Avon on December 27, 2016
Genres: Historical, Romance, Anthologies, Short Stories
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
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four-stars

Beloved authors Julia Quinn, Elizabeth Boyle, Laura Lee Guhrke, and Stefanie Sloane deliver the stories of four friends from Madame Rochambeaux’s Gentle School for Girls who find an old sixpence in their bedchamber and decide that it will be the lucky coin for each of their weddings…

“Something Old”
Julia Quinn’s prologue introduces her heroine Beatrice Heywood and the premise for Four Weddings and a Sixpence.

“Something New”
In Stefanie Sloane’s unforgettable story, an ever-vigilant guardian decrees that Anne Brabourne must marry by her twenty-first birthday. But love finds her in the most unexpected of ways.

“Something Borrowed”
Elizabeth Boyle tells the tale of Cordelia Padley, who has invented a betrothed to keep her family from pestering her to wed. Now she’ll need to borrow one to convince them she’s found her true love.

“Something Blue”
In Laura Lee Guhrke’s story, unlucky Lady Elinor Daventry has her sixpence stolen from her and must convince the rake who pilfered the coin to return it in time for her own wedding.

“... and a Sixpence in Her Shoe”
Julia Quinn finishes with the story of Beatrice Heywood, who never believed that the sixpence was anything but a tarnished old coin—until it led all of her friends to true love. But her faith in the coin is tested when it keeps sending her to the wrong man!

While I’m generally not an anthology/novella person, I’m making an exception for romance anthologies, because that seems like an efficient way to discover new romance authors whose style I like. Plus, it’s a mission of mine to read everything Julia Quinn writes. Even though it’s not all Quinn, Four Weddings and a Sixpence didn’t let me down in the slightest.

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