Size Doesn’t Matter (168): At Your Service; Now I Rise

Size Doesn’t Matter (168): At Your Service; Now I RiseAt Your Service by Jen Malone
Published by Aladdin on August 26, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 273
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
AmazonThe Book Depository
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Chloe loves working as a junior concierge at an exclusive NYC hotel—but when three royal kids come to stay, her hospitality is put to the ultimate test!

Chloe Turner has pretty much the BEST life. She gets to live in the super fancy Hotel St. Michele. New York City is her hometown. And her dad, Mitchell Turner, concierge extraordinaire, is teaching her all the secrets of the business so she can follow in his footsteps. After helping him out with a particularly difficult kid client, Chloe is appointed the official junior concierge, tending to the hotel’s smallest, though sometimes most demanding, guests.

Her new position comes with tons of perks like cupcake parties, backstage passes to concerts, and even private fittings with the hippest clothing designers. But Chloe hasn’t faced her toughest challenge yet. When three young royals (including a real-life PRINCE!) come to stay, Chloe’s determined to prove once and for all just how good she is at her job. Except the trip is a total disaster—especially when the youngest royal disappears. Now it’s up to Chloe to save the day. Can she find the missing princess before it becomes international news?

Jen Malone has pleased me to the point of epic flailing with her YA contemporary novels (Wanderlost and Map to the Stars), so I decided the time had come to give her middle grade backlist a shot. So far so good because At Your Service is cute, funny, fluffy, and has a baby middle grade ship to boot.

While the ides of Chloe being employed as a junior concierge at a majorly classy New York City hotel at the age of thirteen is laughable, I do really love that Chloe dreams of concierging. It’s always nice to read about kids and teens who dream of careers outside of the ordinary. Pop culture tends to highlight a few main ones, and everyone can’t be an actor/singer/doctor/lawyer. Books like this open kids’ eyes to the fact that there are a whole bunch of cool things that a person can do.

Chloe’s job is to help her dad, the actual concierge, out with the kids who stay at the hotel. Since she’s young, she has a better idea what her peers would enjoy out in the city. As such, Chloe gets to hang out with royalty when the royal family of a small (fictional) European nation comes to stay at the hotel. They bond, explore the city, and get up to hijinks. Also, Chloe gets to flirt with the fourteen-year-old prince! View Spoiler » The resolution is quite satisfying, and I’m impressed with the parental involvement (middle grade parents sometimes are the most neglectful unaware people ever).

Very fun! If you like fluffy, shippy middle grade, Jen Malone is at your service!

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

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 (168): At Your Service; Now I RiseNow I Rise by Kiersten White
Narrator: Fiona Hardingham
Length: 13 hrs, 25 mins
Series: The Conqueror's Saga #2
Published by Listening Library on june 27, 2017
Genres: Historical
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible
Goodreads
four-stars

The highly anticipated, mind-blowing sequel to Kiersten White's New York Times bestseller, AND I DARKEN--the series that reads like HBO's Game of Thrones . . . if it were set in the Ottoman Empire. Fans of Victoria Aveyard's THE RED QUEEN and Sabaa Tahir's A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT won't want to miss this riveting and gorgeously written novel--the second in the trilogy.

Lada Dracul has no allies. No throne. All she has is what she's always had: herself. After failing to secure the Wallachian throne, Lada is out to punish anyone who dares to cross her blood-strewn path. Filled with a white-hot rage, she storms the countryside with her men, accompanied by her childhood friend Bogdan, terrorizing the land. But brute force isn't getting Lada what she wants. And thinking of Mehmed brings little comfort to her thorny heart. There's no time to wonder whether he still thinks about her, even loves her. She left him before he could leave her.

What Lada needs is her younger brother Radu's subtlety and skill. But Mehmed has sent him to Constantinople--and it's no diplomatic mission. Mehmed wants control of the city, and Radu has earned an unwanted place as a double-crossing spy behind enemy lines Radu longs for his sister's fierce confidence--but for the first time in his life, he rejects her unexpected plea for help. Torn between loyalties to faith, to the Ottomans, and to Mehmed, he knows he owes Lada nothing. If she dies, he could never forgive himself--but if he fails in Constantinople, will Mehmed ever forgive him?

As nations fall around them, the Dracul siblings must decide: what will they sacrifice to fulfill their destinies? Empires will topple, thrones will be won . . . and souls will be lost.

Kiersten White continues to blow my mind with the quality of The Conqueror’s Saga. I still cannot truly fathom that these books came from the same author who wrote Paranormalcy and Mind Games. They’re so massively different in absolutely every possible respect. If you loved And I Darken, you won’t be disappointed in Now I Rise.

Lada continues to be a badass murder princess of bossness. She’s such a fascinating character, because she started out almost a psychopath. She was a bully, and she didn’t give a shit about others. The shit that happened to her taught her about empathy, and she learned to care for people: her brother, Mehmed, and her soldiers. She’s been slowly softenening as the series has progressed, but if you think it’s weakness, you’re not paying attention. For all that she’s been learning about emotions, she remains driven by logic and by goals.

Radu continues to be a brilliant foil to his sister. Where she decides to pursue the throne of her home country and leave love behind, Radu chooses to stay with Mehmed. Okay, can we be real for a second? Mehmed is the fucking worst, like oh my god. I wanted to continually shake Radu for his obsessive unrequited crush on Mehmed, who is so obviously using him like gahhhhhh. Also, Radu, fyi there is a cute, nice guy with a massive crush on you, and that could be happening HINT HINT NUDGE NUDGE. View Spoiler » Bless Lada for trying to move on and recognizing how toxic Mehmed is. That sounds like I hate Radu’s arc, and I don’t. I think his arc is really convincing and brilliantly done. It’s just frustrating, and I want to shake him and drop some truth bombs on his head.

What’s perhaps most outstanding here is how much White managed to get me emotionally invested in the fall of Constantinople. Like, I was a history major, and I’m very aware that the battle they’re fighting in this book is the FALL. As in, welcome to the Ottoman Empire, my dear. And yet, I was rooting so hard for Constantinople to withstand the onslaught. White does such a nice job making the cast realistic and sympathetic yet fucked up on each side. Like, the Ottomans are being such shits in the battle, and it’s total crap that they’re trying to take this poor city…but they also may actually be better leaders than the current regime, despite Mehmed being the worst. Such complicated feelings about ancient history!

Thus far, The Conqueror’s Saga is absolutely phenomenal. I’m a bit concerned about how things can possibly end in a manner I deem satisfactory (aka not entirely tragic), but I absolutely cannot wait to see where White takes us next.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

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One response to “Size Doesn’t Matter (168): At Your Service; Now I Rise”

  1. SO GLAD to hear that about Now I Rise because I loved And I Darken a lot! I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Isn’t that the best feeling as a history major, when an author can get you to root for an outcome that is already predetermined?! I’m always hoping people won’t die even though I know they will.

    The MG book sounds adorable!

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