Twirling Book Princess
Review
3.5 Stars
ARC Review for The Mermaid's Voice Returns in This One (Women Are Some Kind of Magic, #3)

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

I read the other two books by this author not that long ago and I was excited for this book. So, when I saw it on Netgalley I couldn’t resist requesting it, it meant I could read it immediately and not have to wait a few more months.

First up, I love the content page: The Sky, The Shipwreck, The Song, The Surviving.

This was for me the weakest book of the three. Which also has to do with my own comfort levels. I saw the warning at the beginning (thank you for that), I knew what would happen, but as a year resolution I wanted to push my boundaries a bit more. Now I am kind of crawling back and wishing I hadn’t done it. There are just a few things that I truly cannot read, never will be able to read. Child abuse. Rape.

There were still other poems/verses/whatever you want to call it that this was, and while I did like them at points, they didn’t strike an emotional chord as the second one did so so much. Which is a shame, I was kind of hoping that would happen again.

I did like that not only were these poems about things that happened (in childhoods or through the years), but also about healing, about getting better, about getting stronger.

I adored those Romeo and Juliet stories though. I loved those various worlds, various situations.

I loved the (broken-up) poems/verses/etc. more than those lumps of text without much punctuation.

This book also features work by others on the theme. I did like their messages, but… and how to explain this, it just didn’t work for me. Poems/verses/etc. are still hit and miss to me, and with Amanda Lovelace I found someone whose poetry I liked, she writes in a style that is perfect for me, however the guest writers just didn’t have that spark, or at least most of them. That feel. Maybe someone else will love them, and again, I did love their messages, but the poetry just missed something.

All in all, I still was fascinated and in awe of this book, it is an important one to read, and I am sure that, while it didn’t strike such a chord with me, it will for someone else. Someone else will be able to use the words written down in this book.

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

Review
1 Stars
ARC Review for You've Guac to Be Joking

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

This book sounded really funny, I do love puns, provided they are done right. Sure, I am not a fan of avocados, but that shouldn’t be in the way of enjoying this book. The title was hilarious, and I looked forward to tons more of those puns.

And at first I was thinking this was quite funny, but after a few more pages I started getting bored, it was just so far-fetched at times, and often I didn’t even see the effort. Oh look, Rolling Stones, hahaha, or Brad Pit, haha. Yes, so so funny. No. I am sorry, but I had expected some cleverer puns instead of simple ones.

I really had to drag myself through this book, by page 70 I was already so bored that I started watching some Netflix to get myself motivated. :P

The art was fun though, I really like the style. Just a shame that my review copy was a bit blurry/grainy. :(

But all in all, maybe you really need to be crazy about avocados to love this book, maybe that is why it didn’t work for me. I am not sure, but sorry, this wasn’t the book for me.

Review first posted https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

Review
5 Stars
ARC Review for Aria: The Masterpiece (Volume 1)

I received this manga from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

Come to Neo-Venezia, Aqua with Akari. Discover beautiful places, see Akari grow, meet new friends, and more. I was so happy that this one showed up on Netgalley and that I was able to read it, I do hope that the other books in this series will also pop up, I need to continue reading this.

So I watched Aria years ago, back when it was still airing, and I just loved the show. It was a bit slow at times, sometimes a bit boring, but I just couldn’t stop watching because of so many other fantastic elements. I also tried the manga, but it is hard to find it because Tokyopop quit years back. I hope that they will be able to finish this whole series now, I will be waiting for it to be finished before I buy it though.

And this was a gorgeous read, I loved Akari so much more in the manga than in the anime. In the anime she is often a bit more immature/childish, whereas in this one she is quite mature. Of course, at times she shows a fun/less mature side and it was quite nice to see it, because it made her more interesting and more likeable. I loved how hard she worked, how hard she tried her best to become an outstanding undine, just like her mentor Alicia.
I had quite a laugh that she trained (at Manhome) how to do the gondola the wrong way. But hey, if there is an emergency just flip her rowing the other way and she is a speedboat. :P
I loved reading the emails she was sending, though at times I found it a bit inappropriate when she was typing. Like with the fireworks show, instead of truly enjoying it with her new friends, she had her laptop on her lap. I get that you want to send a mail, and I get that you want to share those new feelings before they fade away, but really… I am sure it can wait.

We see more and more of Neo-Venezia as the story unfolds. We see tons of little sideways, alleys, secret paths, we see busy waterways and quiet ones, we see outside of it during Akari and Alicia’s picnic time, we even see the floating island and what goes on there (and what it does). I would so love to visit Neo-Venezia, find out the secrets, enjoy some delicious foods at fabulous restaurants, go in a gondola and let the undine take me to magical places.

I did feel that the training/how the time goes by was a bit weird. We do see some training but not that much, so it felt odd to see Akari get promoted. Yes, it was a few months after she has gotten there, so she worked hard for it, but I just wish we had seen a bit more of it. Of course, not too much because that would just not work out well.

I loved President Aria, he was just so silly, but at times you could indeed see that he is very intelligent. I have forgotten if he ever managed to get Hime’s love/attention, so I am eager to see that happen/see those scenes between those two.

We also meet other characters and while I don’t always like them, for instance Aika takes some getting used to, but eventually I liked her so so much.
However some, like Akatsuki, I never really truly like him. :(

The art is absolutely gorgeous. The backgrounds/scenery are just stunning, and I also like the character designs.

All in all, I need more Aria in my life. Maybe until the next volume comes out I will just re-watch the show again. :P

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

Review
3 Stars
ARC Review for House of a Million Rooms (Twisted #2)

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. 

I was definitely excited when I spotted this one up on Netgalley, I am always looking around for some new horror/ghost/haunted house stories and this one seemed to be right up my alley. 

Sadly, while it was scary at points, it wasn't as scary as I had hoped. Up until the point that they went into the house, and then a few bits of the house it was scary. Then it suddenly went way different and to be honest I wasn't scared any more. And not just me, the kids also were barely scared of things which turned me off even further. 

Plus, I can imagine that you are shocked to find out what your family did in the past, but I did think the reactions were maybe a tad bit too much. Yes, your family, and families of the town did something horrific, and yes it is terrible that it happened, and yes you will have to live with the fact they did that, but it still felt a bit too much.

In the end I had just wished the people had talked about what had happened. Instead of acting grumpy and suspicious. Because, hello? Kids are going to be kids, they are only getting more and more curious as you withhold stuff from them. I didn't blame them at all that they went inside the house, I think I may have done the same. :P 

I am glad that they found the source of why the house kept regenerating. And that they could help it out.

The story is written in simple/easy and often short sentences which didn't make it easier for me to read, but I can imagine it delights kids, especially those who have a hard time with reading. 

All in all, still an OK book with some scary moments, the Salem-trials is also named, and the house was interesting (though in the end also a disappointment).

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

Review
4.5 Stars
ARC Review for Star Collector, Vol.1

I received this comic from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

I just can't resist books with cute covers, and this one, a manga-styled comic, was right there with cute covers! I wanted to know more about this duo, would they be together? Would there be romance?

It all starts when Fynn's girlfriend breaks up with him, and he is left flummoxed about the whys and hows. As he contemplates things he meets up with the cute Niko who gets angry at Fynn for smoking when he is looking for stars. Fynn reacts like how most smokers do, though I also could see his side. Generally this is his spot, his space to calm down and have a smoke. I can imagine he isn't amused that someone just pops up and goes complaining.

But from that moment Fynn is hooked, he needs to find out more about Niko, especially after getting a tiny telescope from Niko. And I was also hooked. I loved seeing Fynn go to school (which is apparently a rare event) and searching for Niko. It was adorable to see these two get together, to see the sparks light up between them.

However, I did think the pace was a bit fast. I mean, Fynn just got dumped by his girlfriend, and he is already drooling over the next person (as you could see that he was quickly interested in Niko in a different way than friendship). Plus, that he was totally fine with kissing a dude. Yes, he questioned things, but he was quick with accepting and it just felt weird and off. Normally people don't just go Oh, I just kissed a dude, and I like it. And then want more. I would have liked more of that, it would have made the relationship that is blooming between Niko and Fynn a bit more realistic.
While I did like that he made things up with his ex-girlfriend, I did feel sorry for the girl as it must also hurt her to see him just move so fast.

I liked that we saw more of Fynn's home situation, find out more about him, and see why he is so stand-off-ish.

There was also some drama, and yes, at times I was rolling my eyes at it all. Come on guys, please.

And the Perseids thing that Fynn got notoriously wrong also got on my nerves. I did have a laugh though that Niko got it wrong once as well. :P Persieds.

The art was just gorgeous. I loved how the characters were drawn, there were so many details to them. And then there are the backgrounds, dang. Nice!

So all in all, I had fun reading this one, and I was shipping these two together. I loved the stargazing aspect to it, and how Fynn also started liking it. I will definitely have to check out the next volume in this series to see how their relationship goes on.

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

Review
4.5 Stars
ARC Review for Timo the Adventurer Book 1

I received this comic from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

A little boy who loves to read is preparing bit by bit to become that what he wishes to be the most… an adventurer!

I will write this review as I read, just like how I do the Harlequin Manga.

Timo loves stories it seems, loves them much more than frolicking around, and he looks forward to the day his parents bring a new book to him (apparently that isn’t easy, this village doesn’t have a library). I love that Timo devours books, finds new worlds and new skills, and that he was even eager to go adventuring on his own to get books. Man, that is me. If I was Timo I would also have gone for adventures. To find new books, new stories, to learn new things. dreams

But I can imagine his parents are hesitant. He is still a tiny one, and I can imagine they want to protect him.

Yay, Timo is on his way to adventures! He left a book for his best friend who listens to his stories, and I hope that he also left a note for his parents. I know he said he didn’t say goodbye, but who knows, maybe he left something written. I hope so.

I had a laugh at his adventures to get through the woods. He acts all smarty-pants, and indeed a bit show-offish, but you can see that he doesn’t know all the things. He is learning as he goes, and that makes me happy. I was already thinking he would just manage his way out in a flash, but no.

I liked the red-haired woman who is protecting the valley. I did agree with what she said to Timo, he is quite arrogant which is something he should ditch very fast or it indeed will bite him in his ass.

Ohhhh, I do like that we see journal parts. OK, sure, it is mostly a recap of what we just saw which is a shame, but still fun to see Timo’s thoughts and drawings. As the journey continues we see more of his journal and I had a laugh at his imagination. Come on, that bear was so clearly not a sage, but oh well. He is now I guess. :P

I am getting a bit tired of Timo’s whining and fancy talking. Yes, questing is hard. Yes, adventuring isn’t always fun and happiness. I am sure your books would have told you that as well. : But at least he is continuing his journey and not giving up.

I just adore seeing this world, the animals (they are so many adorable and fluffy ones, but also bigger tougher ones), the landscape, I wish I could explore this world.

Um Timo, you had to go through some wall/glass thingie, you see something in the midst of a ruined room chained up as much as it can be, and you free it? Dang, that is just not something you may want to do. Then again, this is Timo. He doesn’t seem to get various things. I wonder what Broof is and why he was chained up. Why did the animals go all weird when he was freed. What kind of consequences will come because of this?

I am still not sure how I feel about Broof, he seems to at least have his heart in the right places.. at times. I loved how he went to save Timo’s life when he found out about the bite.

That ending though, holy crap. I need the second volume of this series. I need to know what is going to happen to Timo. I need to know why letting out Broof was bad. I want to see more adventures!

The art was just amazing, I love the style oh so much. I definitely do need to check if the artist has done any other works. And then hope they are in English, German, or Dutch, or very easy Spanish/French. :P

I would recommend this fun book to everyone. Adventure, magic, fun, mysterious monsters, and a boy with a thirst to find out about this world and bring back stories to his family and friends.

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

Review
4 Stars
ARC Review for Rilakkuma - By Your Side

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

I just ADORE Rilakkuma, so I couldn't resist requesting this book when I saw it on Netgalley.

However, this is one of those cases were I would have had a physical copy rather than an ecopy. The book just doesn't work in ebook format. Why? Because this is a motivational/inspirational self-help book thing, you can read it from cover to cover, but I have to say it really got boring after x pages. The best is, what they also recommend at the beginning, to put it next to you and then pick a random page and see the text + flip further for some cute Rilakkuma and friends. But you cannot do that with an ebook. At least not in my experience.

I did think the book was cute, and I think it would be something I would buy. I can use some motivation on some days and the texts are very sweet and motivational (for instance this one: "Sometimes you need to close things", or this one: "It's okay to do things out of order".) But there is more! Flip the page after the motivational/inspirational text and there is Rilakkuma and his friends!

The ending had me smiling, I was really happy that they ended on that note and that Rilakkuma and his friends are there for me.

The art is just freaking adorable, I was squeeing the whole time.

All in all, I would still recommend this one, but again, be sure to get the paper edition of this book.

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

Review
4.5 Stars
ARC Review for The Dangerous Jacob Wilde: Harlequin Manga
I received this manga from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. 

Tick tock, time is closing for my Harlequin Manga party! We are nearing the end. After this one I got one more to go and then it is over. Not sure I will ever do another big batch like this, but who knows. Maybe I will get tempted!

Another ranch inheritance, another girl accused of being a whore/tramp. I wasn't that eager to start this one, so that is why it took me so long, but I cannot hide any longer. Here we go!

I quite loved that her mentor and friend, Charlie, gave Addison the ranch. That is so sweet, though yes, I can imagine that people may look strangely at her for getting it and may even judge her for it. A young woman getting a whole ranch from a rich guy? Especially in Harlequin world you are judged very harsh for it. Which we see happening in this one as Jacob's instant impression is that she is a mistress/seducer. Come on, give the girl a chance! 
Thankfully, she is a girl with balls and doesn't let him say that crap to her face. Plus, I am glad that the other brothers told their brother what was going on. His reaction was good, though that last part had me snorting and I probably looked the same way as his brothers did. And dang, I guess that means the whole tramp thing is now over? At page 25 of 128? Nice. I can live with that. I was already worried that crap would run the whole story and ruin everything.

Wow, the mangaka really captured the sadness and despair in Jacob's eyes. I love it.

Um, that guy needs to learn tact. You just don't stalk a woman back to her home in the DARK, and then touch her, hold her against the door and kiss her. NO. Just NO. Especially when the girl is clearly saying no. 
*sighs*But this is Harlequin and apparently getting shoved against the door by some total stranger who just hurt and startled you is a turn-on and you may guess how it all ends. *sighs*

I did think things were going a bit too fast. But on the other hand I also couldn't help shipping these guys, Jacob was quite adorable when he wasn't judging (I loved his look when he dreamed about those fried cheese dogs). 

"Eat as much as you want... we can just work it off later."
"Jake.. we don't have to wait until after we eat." 

I can understand both the brothers and also Jake. They care for him, as did the general, they worry. On the other hand, Jake just lost an eye and he can do most of the things with ease (though it does seem like there is quite a bit of trauma that he still needs to talk about/deal with). I can imagine it is quite restricting to get back home and feel like you are being coddled. 
I wasn't sure how I felt when he talked to those army guys in that store. I can understand why he got angry, and I am sure they also understand it, but I wish he could have been a bit kinder towards them. They are just honoured to meet you. They just want to talk and say hi. If you don't want that let it know in a kind fashion. 

I am glad that Addison's past and how she felt about Charlie, as a father, is talked about. I was already thinking she thought of him as a father so I am happy to see it confirmed. 

*cries* He shows her his scar (on his eye and yes it wasn't what I expected, dang poor guy), and he says this: "This is me. It's hideous, right?" Addison just shakes her head and kisses and embraces him and tells him this: "You're very handsome. Thank you... for showing me." And he also proceeds to tell her the story. I am glad he finally trusted her enough. Yes, it is a bit fast, but everyone moves in their own way. So I am just glad that he told her. That says a lot about their fast growing relationship. 

Aww, shucks, this manga makes me cry. We find out more about Addison as well, and I was already crying for Jake and now I am crying for her as well. :( 

Urggghhhh, Harlequin writers can we please stop with the unnecessary drama? This was totally not needed. And then we just skip to 6 months later? *flips a table* Of course, I know I know, it will all end well. Harlequin's always end on a happy note. 

And here we go! Tears are streaming from my eyes when I saw that Jake was there... waiting for her. Hoping he would catch her. He spend so long searching for her. Awwwwwwwwwwww. *cries some more tears* This ending was beautiful!

With the exception of a few parts here and there, I loved this story. I couldn't help but root for these two characters. They fitted together so well, and they both helped each other out. 

The art was just gorgeous. I love how the characters were drawn. 

All in all, recommended!

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/
 
 

 

Review
4.5 Stars
ARC Review for A Story About Cancer With a Happy Ending

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

Wow, I am so happy I have a chance to read this book. I just had to read this book, for personal reasons. I was steeling myself for the inevitable tears that would be falling from my eyes. Yes, this would have a happy ending as the title says, but I knew I would cry when she would receive the happy news.

I agree fully with her on hospitals and their colour schemes. Indeed, they are done to make people calm, but if I am sick at a hospital I would rather see happy colours. Colours that warm me. Colours that make me smile and maybe forget being sick for just a tiny bit of time.

We see how our MC was diagnosed for leukemia after being very tired and having headaches. We see her stuck to machines as she is being tested.

We read about how she felt throughout treatment, how people looked at her with sad eyes, how they tried to encourage her and tell her happy words, while all she wanted was to be treated normally. Yes, she is sick but she is still herself. It was quite nice how they illustrated this scene. You saw dark text bubbles coming out of people, and scribblies land on our MC’s body. I do wonder why she thought that people would be disappointed in her if she didn’t get better. Why do you think that? That is not how that works. Sorry. At least not for me, so I was kind of shocked that she thought that. :(

We read about the parents, how her mom tried to make her room so much more homely, how her dad tried to ward away the sadness by bad humour (and loved how she eventually understood her dad’s bad humour was just a way to protect himself).

Wow, she didn’t even recognise that she was in love with Victor, instead thinking she was just getting new symptoms. Oh my goodness. Well, that is a nice surprise for her. No you are not getting new symptoms, congrats this is your first love (at least I am guessing it is as otherwise she would have recognised the symptoms). I loved reading on how Victor and see got closer and closer, and then had a laugh that when he visited her in the hospital he saw her bum through the nightgown and is now bragging about it. :P

I did think the story was a bit all over the place. I am sure people will be angry I said this, but we jump so much around. Like how we went from hey meet Maxine to Maxine is dead to Maxine is still alive to oh now we are burying her and back to finding out what is going on with our MC (will she get better or not). Same goes for Victor, he was suddenly introduced and then we head over to other things and then back to Victor. At times it really threw me out of the story, and that is a shame.

The waiting, oh boy, I was almost chewing my nails, would she get good news or not? I know the title of this book features a happy ending, but still I was just nervous! And then they are called and my nerves intensified. And yes, I cried at the moment she walked to the door with her parents, her family, Victor, Maxine behind her. How she said she would miss all those things and ended on Victor. :( Oh, man I was for sure she was sick due to how everything was said, but then that ending came, and yes, I was fully crying. OMG, congrats! That is fantastic news.

The art was really pretty, and I love the style, it captures everything, the emotions, perfectly.

All in all, even with the story kind of jumbled, I still loved reading it, and as I predicted, it made me cry. I would recommend this one.

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

Review
1.5 Stars
ARC Review for Yurikuma Arashi Vol.1

I received this manga from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

So, while I didn’t like the anime that much, or I should say it was graphically pleasing and very gorgeous, the story just didn’t make sense. But, I read that the manga would have a different plot, so I thought maybe I would get that one. Sadly, no. Not really. I have been utterly confused from the start.

I am not even sure how write a review about this manga. So I will try my best, but I am just not sure.

Kureha and Ginko’s love? On the one hand I was shipping them, on the other hand… not so much. Sorry, but Ginko? You cannot trap or imprison someone so no one will get to them. That is just abusive, that is creepy, that is wrong. I get that you love Kureha, I get you want to protect her, I get that you want her love. But locking her up, stalking her, and even going so far to do things with the school’s president is just eww. So yeah, conflicting feelings.

Then there is the whole bear thing that is going on. Ginko who talks to some bear and calls her mom, Kureha dreams of bears and also sees Ginko as some kind of bear princess, and then there is the very annoying love rival named Lulu who dresses in barely anything and wears bear ears. Then Lulu also has a little bear who she calls her little brother. Whut?
And apparently Ginko has it in her head that everyone is a bear? And she is the only one who can see that. I guess that has something to do with her craycray mom who put that idea (and the wounds on her heart) in her mind. Then again, she is 15/16, why is everyone still pretending, can’t they find help for the girl?

I am just not going to continue this one. I am sure I am too tired for this one, or not smart enough, or something else. But even though it has different plotlines, I still don’t have a clue what this anime/manga is about. Bears? Yuri? I guess. Other than that, no clue.

The art is gorgeous though. Very gorgeous, and the bears are adorable.

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

Review
4 Stars
ARC Review for One-Third Nerd

I received this book from the publisher/tour host in exchange of an honest review.

I was so very excited when I got the confirmation that I was accepted for the tour and was scheduled for a review/excerpt. This book has been on my Eep-2019 for some time, so you may just imagine my delight (yes, I was bookshimmying).

Oh, and then I opened the ecopy and found out that this author also wrote the Al Capone series, I read two in that series and liked them both. So my excitement was upped even further. Now I really couldn't wait to read this book.

And this book was such a fun one! Liam, the big brother, Izzy, his little sister who has Down Syndrome, Cupcake the Dog who has a problem, their divorced parents who try to take care of them. OH yes, Dakota. We don't talk about Dakota. This is a positive area, an area of happiness and joy. Dakota doesn't fit in there. But, yes, she sadly exists and was the reason why this book isn't a 5 stars, but instead a 4.

I just adored Izzy, she was a sweetie and I loved how while she didn't always have the words, she always was there with hugs and love. She was just one big positive bundle of joy. She even hugged the angry neighbour next door, and she did things that other characters wouldn't have done but that were absolutely the sweetest. She even helped out her siblings when they needed help, it was adorable how she tried to explain what she meant, and how eventually they understood.

Liam was just the best, though I did feel sorry for him at times. He didn't have an easy life at times, which was mostly to blame to a certain person we aren't going to name in this positive space. I loved how he allowed Izzy to be part of the club just because she got all sparkly at seeing that beautiful pink bracelet, and how he sat down with her to explain things to her in a soft way so that she wouldn't be too upset. He also helped out with the club of kids like Izzy. Making up a song, including all of them, being so sweet and understanding. He brought a smile to me at so many moments in the book.
I hope he can be a bit more honest about where he lives though. That was also something that was mentioned quite a few times. He has made a new friend, but he is afraid that person would judge him if he saw his house. I did love the friendship between him, his old friend, and his new friend. They made quite the trio.

Then there is Cupcake. An adorable dog with a big problem... She is peeing everywhere. Is there something big happening or is it the medicines she uses? Sadly, our characters don't have the money to go to the vet any more. I found the prices ridiculous. Who the hell can pay 3k for a treatment? I know I never would be able to do that.
So most of this book is Liam, Izzy, and She-who-will-not-be-named, try to make money in various ways to help out their dog. Most of the ideas were just dumb, but there were a few that made me happy. I could have thought of a few more ideas of things they could have done. Like doing groceries for those less-abled/eldery, selling cupcakes/lemonade, making things and selling those.

There are also many many illustrations that warmed up my heart even further. Then again, Églantine Ceulemans is one of my favourite illustrators, she draws so well.

All in all, I loved this book, and I would recommend it. Just ignore the one we shall not name in this positive and happy place.

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

Review
4 Stars
ARC Review for The Boss and the Beauty: Harlequin Manga

I received this manga from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

Oh my, I just adored this cover! The guy who looks quite troubled, and I can see why. That girl is definitely having some kick-ass vibes. I am a bit worried about the blurb, as it seems he only fell in love with her due to her new looks. I so hope that this turns out a bit differently, and that he falls in love with the full package (in and out).

It all starts with her birthday and how her boss forgot all about it, oopsie. I did think those friends of her were nice to celebrate + give a make-over, though at times I did think it was a bit harsh. Yes, she looks quite plain, yes, she would rather flatter a guy with her wits and soul, but to laugh at her? No. But holy hell, that make-over. I cannot even recognise her any more. Man. That is one make-over. Magics. 

Urggggggh, his reaction was at first funny, but when he held her longer than normal, and even kissed her. Eww. Yes, she changed. From the outside. No need to immediately turn into a horny guy. I so dislike guys who just judge people based on their looks. I so so hope that the story will evolve in him also liking her for who she actually is. 

Her friends of course don't listen to her and set her up with a date with her boss. Well, at least the dinner and the dance at home wasn't a disaster, and they found out a bit more about each other. Like that Cindy travelled around quite a bit due to her parents. We also learn why Cindy may be a bit against the whole pretty on the outside stuff, namely her mom. I am curious if there is more story to it. We still got 60-ish pages to go, so who knows. At first I was a bit pissed at Kyle's reaction, but I am glad he corrected himself. Now the question remains, is it true what he said, or is he just trying to get Cindy in bed?

Ah, and now we are trying to make Kyle jealous. *grins* And he is falling for it hook, line, sinker. 

So? I am kind of confused. So he always had an interest in Cindy, but because of something happening in the past he never went for it? But why now? Because now she is extra pretty? It just doesn't make sense that now he is suddenly interested. :| And yes, on the one hand I am happy that he is confessing, and yay they can be in love, but it still feels so superficial. :( 
Ah, I am going to be correcting myself, a few pages we get more talk, and he didn't go for her just because she was extra pretty. He was jealous. Worried that the love of his life would find another guy. OK, OK, that is pretty sweet. I am happy with that. Now I will definitely root for these two. 

There we go, more truth about Cindy's mom. Apparently mommy dearest was a prostitute... I can imagine our girl having a big aversion to beauty and all that with a mom that thrived on that and dragged her kid around like an accessory. But we find out some more, and yes, I was crying. OK, I can't help it. These Harlequin Manga are terrible for my tearducts. I cry so often while reading these manga. 

The ending was a bit abrupt, so eh. I wished to have a few more pages. 

The art was fabulous though. A bit wonky at times, but in general it was done very gorgeously. 

All in all, this was a good story about love, about looks, about family. And I was happy for our couple. 

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

Review
5 Stars
ARC Review for At His Majesty's Request: Harlequin Manga
I received this manga from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

I just have to say I am loving that cover. I love the roses and the details on the clothes. Then there is the blurb, and oh my. A prince who needs a bride, but then falls in love with the matchmaker (and she with him). Eeeeeeeeeeeeeep. 

Um... "Prince Stavros... why are you cutting it off at age twenty-eight?" "Because I want kids. Three, ideally." Um, women 28+ can still get kids you know. :P 

Oh, and hilariously, on the cover our girl has green eyes, yet on the colour pages she has blue eyes. Mmmmmmm. Curious. 

I had a laugh at the idea of the prince. He wasn't that happy with the matchmaking, sure, he wanted the girls, but he just wanted to go on dates and not just a few minutes here and there of conversations. And I totally agree. I loved his idea though: "What if we just put up posters around the country? A castle, tiara, title and a small island! All this can be yours if you marry the prince."

Aww, he wants to get to know her! Ship ship shippppp! Can I say I much like this Jessica more than her stiff and business-like matchmaker self. Of course, she has to be professional, but what is wearing here is still pretty fancy. Also she keeps wearing some gorgeous dresses throughout the manga, I just wanted to step in and ask her wear she bought them so I could get them as well!

*sniffles*Aww, that part made me sad. So she can't have children due to what happened to her in the past. Poor girl. :( I can imagine that the prince may not like that if he does fall in love, but I am also optimistic he can get over it. There is always the option to adopt a tiny human.

*snickers* Haha, he now has no interest in the girls Jessica picked because she is so sexy to him (he likes her legs). And they are getting closer and closer, I just wonder who will make the first move. They are so adorable together and I am rooting for them to get together. They would make quite the pair. Whoooooooop, he makes the first move! Yes! As I was already hoping. *swoons* 

I am sorry, but her face during the reveal of what was going on with her. I laughed. Because it looked so out of place. More like a horror instead of a confession in a romance manga.

OMG, he researched. For her! Awwww. *swoons some more* And he is so sweet with his thoughts. He is pissed at Jessica's ex husband, and he wants to make her happy without hurting her. OMG. *sniffs*

Oh my! Drama and more sadness. Run after her boy! Do it! 

I am not crying, I have something in my eye. That was a beautiful and heartbreakingly gorgeous ending. Wow. 

"Oh, Stavros... I always thought there was something wrong with me."
"There is nothing wrong with you. You were made for me. That's why we found each other." *cries* 

Well, this was just perfect. I loved EVERY bit of it. The art was fabulous (OK, maybe a bit awkward at points). OMG, this was just amazing. Highly recommended. 

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/
 
 

 

Review
3 Stars
ARC review for Claimed for Makarov's Baby: Harlequin Manga
I received this manga from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

OH MY GOSH that cover is just adorable. Though I am curious why the girl is looking behind her with such a worried face, I guess we will find out soon. 

Oh dear, oh dear, another hidden child story. A woman who has gotten pregnant, and now the guy finally finds out about his child. This can go two ways. He is understanding, or he is a dick. Which one will our guy be? OK, first impressions aren't well. Objection is one thing (especially when the wedding is fake anyway), but just grabbing her and kissing her? No. Nope. Not romantic. Just creepy. 

He: "Why didn't you come to me? I'm much richer than that Brazilian." 
She: That would have been a loveless marriage, too!" <- Ladies and gentlemen the fatal burn has been applied. :P

How magical, the one time they had sex she gets pregnant. Gee, I know that contraception isn't always safe, but come on, this was too much of a coincidence and I couldn't help but laugh at it all. 

*snorts* She never felt attracted to him until she saw him practically naked. Wow. That is kind of bad. :P
Also this conversation: "Are you really my secretary, Erin? How are you making me so excited? Erin!" I am sorry, maybe this was meant to be romantic, but it just made me laugh. 

Dang, the rest of their conversation is just one big NOPE I don't like this guy. Playboy types are not my types. Plus, he is so contradictory. No I want her. Oh yes, I want her. No, I am not interested in my kid, oh yes I am take this money. Urghhh. And now he is just going to whisk her away because all of the sudden he wants to be with her. Oh, and instead of it being romantic... he is also blackmailing her. If she isn't coming he is going to tell his son who he is. 

But I did like how these two got closer and became more honest with each other. Yes, I could see that there was love blooming between these two, and it was very nicely done. Eventually I was rooting for these two to get together. To share kisses, to share love. 

Oh, dramatic past story for Dimitri. I can imagine his childhood wasn't a happy one. :( 

When Erin leaves with Leo, and Dimitri is wondering this: "Did I make a mistake somewhere? Where did I make a mistake?" Um the one where you propose to her? Right after sex? And then told her that you and she don't love each other so it would be OK, no breaking hearts or whatever. *sighs* Dude, really...

Urgh, I had magical things happening. Suddenly something is found and oh hey, turns out certain things weren't as bad.. *sighs* And of course that spurs a dramatic speech and yet another proposal, because this is Harlequin and we just have a few pages left and so need to end this one in a happy ending. 

As you can read, this was hit and miss, so a 3 star is what I will give. The art was very pretty and I quite loved it. 

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/
 
 

 

Review
5 Stars
ARC Review for The Italian's Deal for I Do: Harlequin Manga

I received this manga from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review!

#3 in my Harlequin Manga party 2019 (part 1 I am guessing as the year just started). I was in love with this cover, and while the blurb worried me, I had read enough Harlequin to know that even that blurb could turn into something amazing. So here I go!

I had a laugh that the guy seriously thought the girl was his mistress. That is the first thing that hits your head? Not that she may be someone he just cares about? Someone who is family? Does she need to be a prostitute or a temptress? 
I guess I am happy that, unlike so many of the Harlequin Manga, this one starts with the POV of the male character. They don't often get much attention in the stories, only occasionally here and there, so it is quite refreshing to see the story start with his. 

And then we switch to a combined Olivia/Rocco POV. And the drama starts. He first seduces her, practically strips her of her clothes, and then confronts her. Um, something tells me this isn't the right kind of way to go about things. But hey, it is Harlequin. My suspicions on Giovanni and Olivia's relationship was correct! She was someone he cares about, the daughter of a woman he loved but both couldn't have a relationship (which made me tear up). 

Wow, Rocco. Dick much? Jealous that your grandpappie had someone else he likes? Pissed that you cannot have all your shares in the company? I felt so sorry for Olivia, no one should be forced to do that. You know she ran away from it all because it was too much. You are really doing this all because you are a sad sad man who apparently can't do things on his own but needs to drag down others. :( Bleh. 

*snorts* Oh hey, he has 4 friends and they have some fancysmancy name. Gee, what does this remind me off. *thinks back to the Billionaire series she read a few months ago* Ah yes, that one. 

*giggles*OH that girl. Naughty, naughty, but I had quite a laugh that she dared to do that in public just to see his reactions to it. 

"It's alright. You're not alone. You have me." Awww, and that is what I come for. She is having panic attacks and he is there to help her. Awwww. *swoons* He also helps her out with other things. I am melting. See, this is what I was hoping for. And yes, I am now crying. That ending was just perfect!!!! I loved that secret episode that was added. 

The art was just absolutely gorgeous. I love the style, and I do need more of this artist's art in my life. 

All in all, a bit of a bumpy ride, but dang it was worth it. The second half was just amazing, and yes, I cried many times. Definitely would recommend this one!

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

Review
3 Stars
ARC review for Junior High Drama

I received this graphic novel from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. 

So, I hadn't expected this one to feature multiple characters. I just thought it would be the girl on the cover. Yes, I didn't really read the blurb, I just saw the cover. :P I was a bit confused when the next story popped up with a new character, but in the end I am definitely delighted with more characters. I didn't see that this was featured in the same school. It isn't until the end that you see everything truly connect. I wish that this had been done better.

First girl up is Kamilla, a sweet girl with a killer voice, but she has a problem. She is very insecure about her weight. She thinks she is fat and big, and just wishes to hide or get smaller. I did like Kamilla, though I did want to shake her a bit at times. How she fell out against her friend who just wanted to comfort her and then got the whole: You are thin, you don't understand. Gee, girl... chill. Your friend is just worried about you, and you aren't making it easier by being grumpy and not saying much about it.
I did like that the teacher didn't give up on her, made her alternate, and then later also did that. The teacher is truly wonderful. Thanks to that teacher Kamilla finally realised that maybe she should just go for it. It also helps that she found someone special in her life who supported her, not only with her singing, but also when she was trying to do more exercise. I would give Kamilla's story 4 stars.

Next up is Lily, a girl who wants to be popular and with the in-crowd. I was quite interested to see what she would do to get into the crowd, but it seems she only had to have one thing, a hot older brother. :P
I liked how she tried to still be friends with her other best friend (and even tried protecting her) even when she got closer to the in-crowd. However, of course, nothing ever goes right, it is the mean girl crowd after all, and Lily finds her on the bullied end when certain things happen. I felt oh so sorry for her, and was rooting for her to stand up, or at least find someone to talk to about it. Because bullying is a big no-no.
I don't really understand why these girls called Lily fat, given the art, especially given that in the art they all seem a bit more chubby. Oh well, I guess they were just desperately looking for something to call Lily.
Lily's best friend was just perfect. I love how she is not afraid to give her opinion, how she is happy in her own skin, and I love that she is in the anime club! The ending was pretty OK. I would give Lily's story a 3 stars.

Allie, the girl who can run fast like lightning. After a meet goes wrong (so very wrong) she discovers she has diabetes. You can imagine her life goes topsyturvy and she isn't the happiest about things. She has to check her sugar levels, she can't eat too much sugary stuff, she has to go healthy, she has to give herself a shot if things go wrong. Throughout the book we see her come to terms with her illness. I have to say I did wanted to shake her and tell her she should just confide in her friends. Instead she hides, is grumpy to hell. Again, I get that it is hard for her, I understand that, for a teen, it is not something you want to tell the world. But a lot of things in this book could have been prevented if our girl had just been honest. If she just had sought out some support.
I also wasn't too happy how she treated her parents. Girl, they are just trying to make sure you don't land in the hospital again. They are just trying to care for you. You should be happy you have such wonderful parents. I would give Lily's story 3 stars.

And the last girl is: Lucia. A girl who is a bit like me at that age. I just wasn't too interested in boys. Didn't get the fuss. What was so special about them? But I did get annoyed with her. Her story was definitely the least favourite because for most of the book she is whining and complaining and just being eh about the party. If you don't want to go, just don't go. I didn't get why she was making such a big deal out of it. But of course, like so many cliche stories, she meets a guy she likes (yep, suddenly she doesn't think boys are that bad and hey that party is also cool).
While I did like the two of them together, they did make a cute match, it just felt a bit too cliche. Instead of her just coming to terms with her feelings and tell people no I don't want to go to the party, she falls in love.
I would rate Lucia's story a 2 star.

I liked how everything got connected at the end, how we saw the various clubs, teams, and more.

One thing I didn't like was how often the ending just came out of nowhere. They felt rushed. Like with Lily's story, how she goes from afraid of the bullies and sad to standing up against them and being very strong in just a few pages.

The art however was just fabulous, I really love the style, the way the characters were drawn (and the amount of attention to the clothes, hair, and faces).

All in all, I am still happy I read this book. It was quite fun, but yeah, some things could have been better.

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/