Entwined by Heather Dixon

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Title & Author: Entwined by Heather Dixon

Publisher/Year: Greenwillow Books/2011

Source: Amazon

Format: Kindle eBook

Other Books by Author: Illusionarium, Perchance to Dream: Classic Tales from the Bard’s World in New Skins

My Rating: 5hearts

What This Book Is About

Just when Azalea should feel that everything is before her—beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing—it’s taken away. All of it. And Azalea is trapped. The Keeper understands. He’s trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. So he extends an invitation.

Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest, but there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

Oh my goodness, let me start this review off by saying I freaking LOVED this book. This is my first ever fairy tale retelling I’ve read and I am so, so, sooo happy it was my first as well. With fairy tell retellings being on the rise lately, I kind of turned my nose up at them and didn’t think I’d be interested. I was participating in a challenge on Goodreads where the one option was to choose a retelling based off of a fairy tale, myth or legend. I knew I didn’t want to read the same ones everyone else had been reading (and even raving about lately) so I looked up lists on Goodreads and that is where I came across Entwined. Before finding Entwined I had never even heard of The Twelve Dancing Princesses, which made this is ideal book for what I was looking for.

I was immediately sucked into Entwined. I loved the characters, the storyline, the setting. To put it short, I loved absolutely everything about this book. I don’t even know where to start with it. Overall it took me 2-3 days to finish during the work week and I spent a majority of my free time outside of school work reading. I loved the main character Azalea. She was such a strong, independent female lead character. Her sisters were just as amazing as she was and I would love to see sequels written for some of them. The whole palace and it’s garden and the silver forest was described in such detail it seemed magical.

As for the storyline, I feel like I can’t say too much without giving spoilers away. I thought the storyline did an excellent job retelling and extending the story of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. It had romance thrown into it, along with some magic/supernatural moments and quite the action packed ending. The girls love of dancing was clear throughout the novel and their will to continue dancing although they were in their year of mourning showed how determined they were to continue doing what they and their mother loved.

I honestly would recommend anyone looking for a new book to get lost into to read Entwined. Don’t pass it by because it’s a retelling. If I had done that to Entwined, as I had done to so many other retellings, I would have missed out on an amazing book which is now definitely on my favorites shelf. If you love fairy tales, then there is no doubt you will fall in love with Entwined like I did.

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Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel

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Title & Author: Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel

Publisher/Year: Harper Teen/2015 (June)

Genre: YA Romance, YA Contemporary

Format: Paperback

Source: Around the World ARC Tours

Other Books By Author: Infinite Days, Stolen Nights, Eternal Dawn

Rating: 5hearts

What This Book Is About

A luminous young adult novel that evokes Judy Blume’s Forever for a new generation.

Ever since Sarah was born, she’s lived in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Scarlett. But this summer on Cape Cod, she’s determined to finally grow up. Then she meets gorgeous college boy Andrew. He sees her as the girl she wants to be. A girl who’s older than she is. A girl like Scarlett.

Before she knows what’s happened, one little lie has transformed into something real. And by the end of August, she might have to choose between falling in love, and finding herself.

Fans of Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins are destined to fall for this story about how life and love are impossible to predict.

(Summary from Goodreads)

My Thoughts on This Book

Let me start off by saying I loved this book. I would use the word ‘loved’ more than once, but the amount of times I’d use it to express how I felt about this book would make this post so incredibly long. If you’ve been reading and following my blog for a while you know I am a total sucker for summer themed young adult books. Throw in some romance and I am completely in love. A few days before beginning Between Us and the Moon I read a not so great review on Goodreads and I am so happy I read Between Us and the Moon despite what that person wrote because I completely disagree with it.

Sarah has lived in her sister Scarlett’s shadow her whole life so when they go on their yearly summer vacation to Cape Cod, Sarah decides she is going to do ‘The Scarlett Experiement’. Sarah figures if she dresses an acts like her sister, she will easily make friends and guys will like her the way they like Scarlett. When Sarah gets the attention of an older guy, Andrew, she pretends to be older. As summer goes on and Sarah and Andrew’s relationship progresses, so does Sarah’s lie. When summer comes to an end Sarah needs to decide between falling in love or being the Sarah she is on the inside.

I immediately loved the summary and knew I was going to fall in love with the storyline, along with the characters. I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did.

Sarah, the main character, was pretty much a homebody in the beginning of the story. After her boyfriend/best friend breaks up with her because she “watches the world”. Once their vacation begins Sarah changes, but at the same time she doesn’t. She launches into ‘The Scarlett Experiment’, but after meeting Andrew, she still has a lot of her true features, like her love for astronomy, shine through past. Sarah not only lies about her age, but also that she is attending college, MIT to be exact, in the fall. Honestly, I don’t blame her for lying and it didn’t make me feel any differently for her character. I felt like I was easily able to relate to Sarah (other than having the same name) in many ways. I feel like we same(d) many of the same personality traits and characteristics when I was in high school. Also, let’s admit it girls, we all tell some kind of lie to a guy at least once in our life.

Andrew, a good guy with genuinely good hearted motives, is three years older than Sarah and a sophomore going to college in Boston. Him and Sarah continue to run into each other while Sarah is being a klutz and often tripping over her own feet. He finally takes the opportunity to introduce himself when he see Sarah on the beach. From there they begin a summer filled with romance. Andrew is so sweet to Sarah. He is also coping with the loss of someone close to him and dealing with the guilt he feels about it. Andrew is exactly the type of guy I personally would love to find in life. He is absolutely perfect that even the imperfections he does have just make him so much more appealing.

Of course there are several supporting characters throughout the novel that add to the storyline and without them, the book just wouldn’t have been the same. Sarah’s parents, her aunt Nancy, her Gran, Scarlett, and Scarlett’s boy for the summer Curtis just to name a few. They all were part of the story from the beginning to the end and each had something to contribute to the storyline. I really liked all of the characters, even the ones that were much harder to like than others.

Between Us and the Moon will be the absolute, perfect beach/summer book when it is published. It will make you laugh and smile and it will break your heart at times as well. At the end of the book I was so upset that it was over and I am definitely suffering a mild book hangover now. As I read Between Us and the Moon as part of a book tour and I will be mailing it out to the next reader later today, I will definitely be adding my on copy when this book hits the shelves in June. Between Us and the Moon is a book I see myself re-reading several times and I’m already looking forward to reading it for the second time. I of course would LOVE a sequel as a follow up for the next summer. I am unsure if there will be one but until then I will keep my fingers crossed!