My Bookish Pet Peeves

“Pet Peeve: Something that a particular person finds especially annoying”

It took me awhile to think of book related things that annoy me because I am relatively low maintenance when it comes to books.

I don’t mind when a book cover is skewed or the dust jacket is lopsided or folded incorrectly.

I don’t care if the sizing of books I buy that comes in a series isn’t uniform or standardized.

I could care less if my books has stickers on them.

I am even fine with insta-love.

The standards are THAT LOW (as I usually say if I managed to read Fifty Shades of Grey AND Twilight I can read and plough through anything) but a few has managed to irk me and so read ahead and enjoy!

Recyclable vocabulary

I find it perplexing that in historical romance different authors from different publishing companies always recycle phrases, vocabulary or even metaphors to describe the male anatomy. They usually compare a male’s penis or other parts of the body to either wood or steel or worse… velvet steel. I understand that in this genre everything is stereotypical and comes in a template but it makes you wonder is that the extent of vocabulary knowledge that a historical romance authors have?

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Ignorant Beauty

Another trope that just grates on my nerves. Why is it that in a book usually YA or contemporary romance, the female lead never realizes their beauty when they are obviously drop dead gorgeous. It boggles my mind because this is not normal. I am not the most beautiful woman on Earth yet I realize that I am at the most minimum cute. So if I know this of myself why can’t these characters do the same? Why must their beauty only be validated by a man? Why must their physical beauty only be known after a man has pointed it out to them? Why can’t these women acknowledge that they are beautiful and just own it? Had said female characters for example suffer from mental illness such as body dysmorphia then that is fine because that in itself is a whole other can of worms to be discussed. I feel like this trope need to die already and die a horrible death.

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Bookception

I just recently came to know this as one of my bookish pet peeves to be honest. I realized it when I was reading ‘Bookishly Ever After‘. In this book I had to read not one but two stories of which both are equally bad. I am not interested in reading a book read by the main character and written in the actual book that I am reading and especially not when both of them are just badly written and not to mention boring. A snippet here or there is fine to increase the readers interest but chapterSSSS is truly pushing the limit.

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The Mary Sue

My ultimate NEMESIS. This trope is not even an annoyance any longer as it has evolved from being just an annoyance to being an absolute despicable inhumane species of a trope. The best example I can give is Rey from the Star Wars franchise. I am all for girl power and feminism and all round bad assery but when her skills and powers are given with no background no explanation no nothing that is just bad writing and a cop out way to appease the masses of SJW (social justice warriors). Isn’t it better to flesh out her character to show how she had gotten so powerful in the movie? To show that this girl who has innate talent had to work hard to get to where she is but no she can do no wrong, she is the best and will be the best. She has no character struggles. She is beautiful, she is powerful and is apparently perfect in everything. It annoys me because this is not realistic, yes one might argue that Star Wars as a whole isn’t realistic but character development and growth and struggles are the same regardless of genre or medium used to express it.

Another example is Feyre from the ACoTAR. She is perfect in everything, everybody loves her, powerful beyond her imagination blah blah blah blah.

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So, there you have it my bookish pet peeve. Feel free to comment on your bookish pet peeve maybe I would realize another one that I never knew I had I am quite slow on the uptake in these matters.

Also have a youtube video on this matter although in said video I am just a rambling idiot because I have yet to master the speaking my thoughts eloquently in front of a camera.

The Eighth Day by Mitsuyo Kakuta

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Title: The Eighth Day

Author: Mitsuyo Kakuta

Published: 1 May 2010

Publisher: Kodansha

Rating: 4/5

The year is 1985. Kiwako is an ordinary office worker, in love with a married man, until an unwanted abortion causes her to snap. She kidnaps her lover’s six-month-old baby and runs away with her, eventually taking refuge in an all-female religious commune. Here, she attempts to raise the girl.

Fifteen years later, the child, Elena, is an adult contending with the difficulties of returning to her “natural family,” made up of a mother who doesn’t come home, an alcoholic father, and siblings with whom she can’t connect.

Review

You would think that with a plot where a scorned woman kidnaps her ex’s baby and then took refuge in a religious commune aka A CULT (?!!!), there would be far more things happening in the storyline that would put the plot to the Mission Impossible movies to shame but alas it was not to be and I went into this book expecting action, drama, intensity and MORE action but what I got was the complete opposite which is a slice-of-life type of book which let me tell you is definitely lacking in the action-drama department but surprisingly I kept on reading even though nothing much was happening.

The book was interesting in subtle ways, it didn’t focus much on the kidnapping of the baby but instead focused on how Kiwako would raise the baby in the situation that they were in and it was the prose of the book that captivated me. The prose was simple and unassuming yet it is the main reason why I kept on reading even though half the time I was wondering where exactly is the plot going to take us and the ending of the book was realistic in a way that it was messy and a lot of things weren’t answered like how it is in the real world.

Whilst reading this book I really pity the baby who was kidnapped and the young woman she grew to be. I honestly pitied her. She was raised well by the woman who kidnapped her she had a happy childhood living on an island heck even living in the cult the kid had a happy childhood only for it to be destroyed due to adults selfishness.

Breathless… Review

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Title: Breathless

Author: Celeste Bradley & Susan Donovan

Published: 12 June 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Source: Netgalley

Rating:  4/5

Goodreads synopsis

She was “the Swan.” London’s premiere courtesan. Men want to be with her. Women loathe her success and yet admire her beauty, her riches, her independence. But when the jealous wife of her lover moves to have the Swan banished from her home on the high seas, she winds up crashed against Spain’s rocky coast with no shoes, no clothes-and no name. Taken in by a tortured, sensuous man known as The Artist, the Swan comes to know the woman she wants to be—her artist’s siren.

When Art Professor Brenna Anderson is in danger of losing her post at Harvard, the rule-following, prim professor is at a loss of how to salvage the shreds of her life. But when a new painting in the mysterious Siren collection is discovered in a dusty old house in France, Brenna does the unthinkable—hops on a plane to uncover the identity of the beautiful, enigmatic woman who is the subject of the paintings.

There’s just one hitch—the frustrating, irritating, bold and beautiful art hunter, Fitch Wilder, is also looking for the Siren. He’s been a thorn in Brenna’s professional side for years, but when their individual quests lead them to team up despite being enemies, a whole new sumptuous world of art and culture opens up for the two of them. And with it, they enter a realm of passion and love…

Review

I was quite excited when I was invited to read this book because I was interested to read how the authors were going to merge the two differing perspective between the perspective of the ‘The Swan’ in the past (Regency England-ish) and Brenna who is in the present. These two ladies are our protagonists for this book. It also helped that the book was sold to me as a mystery book with a huge whollop of romance.

After reading it, I have to say that my feelings are mixed regarding this book. Not that it isn’t good, no, the problem here lies with me. I just came to realize that contemporary romance just isn’t my thing. This realization hit me whenever I am reading the third person POV for Brenna’s part of the story, my eyes just glaze over and internally I am just praying that it will be over soon but when I read the historical romance aspect of the book which was written in the first person narrative, there just wasn’t enough material for me to read and I would be wholly disappointed that I had to return to reading about Brenna.

For me, Brenna’s romance with Fitch Wilder was so boring. Boring because of the predictability of it and how fast Brenna fell in love with Fitch, maybe it was longer than I give it credit for in the book but to me it felt like she fell in love with the guy within two weeks because the time lapse between them first meeting to when they fell in love felt so short but then again I am really bad at keeping track of the time anyway so this point is up for debate.

There was nothing for me to root for between these two characters and when Fitch admitted to lying to Brenna and her freaking out and their make up I just felt like ‘Jeez woman, just get over it’. Yes, this lying thing that Fitch did hit a raw nerve because of Brenna’s past and her estranged father but I just could not relate and in all honesty I gave zero shit but had the exposition or reasoning for her freak out been more fleshed out then maybe I would have given her the benefit of the doubt.

All in all I felt like the Brenna and Fitch aspect of the book was just not for me as it was predictable and boring but I live for parts of the book that was in ‘The Swan’s’ POV. Parts of the book which was written in her POV which was in the past was so interesting and dynamic and full of life and intrigue and mystery. The start of the book opened to her literally half-drowning in the ocean in the middle of nowhere so you are like what is going on????? Is she going to be okay?

‘The Swan’s’ POV was just SO good! She had to do many a different things back in her day to survive and prosper and prosper she did. She overcame so many hardships in her life that by the time she met a nice man on this island and was genuinely happy you couldn’t help but be so happy for her as well but the ending of her part of the book just KILLED ME DAMN IT!

The ending left me with a book hangover. I just could not get over it because why? Why would you do that to her? After all she went through that woman deserves eternal happiness!

So, yeah that sums my review.

Present plot: It was okay a bit meh for me

Past plot: THIS SHIT IS WHAT I LIVE FOR!

Hence, the 4 star rating.

*The book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review

Pelukis Jalanan… A Review

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Title: Pelukis Jalanan

Author: Teme Abdullah

Publisher: Iman publication

Published: January 2016

Source: Library

Rating: 5/5

I am quite prejudiced against my own race especially when it comes to  literature which explains why I rarely if ever read any Malay books. Not to say I don’t, I do, just very very rarely. The last Malay book I read was I think about 5-6 years ago (Projek Memikat Suami) and that was due to me watching the tv drama version of it and really enjoying it and when I knew it was adapted from a book I instantly bought it.

The reason for this whole prejudice needs a whole post on its own but basically its sexist, non-progressive, stereotypical and lacks any character development and why I am discussing all this instead of reviewing the book in question is because of these prejudices is why I never sought to even want to read Pelukis Jalanan even though I saw it on my twitter feed for years.

Incidently, I saw this book in the library and thought to myself I don’t want to be prejudice anymore so why don’t we give it a go and I did and I loved the book!

I loved the book due to a few reasons and they are listed below:

  • Relatability

Relatability because the guy is Malay and a muslim like myself . He did his SPM like me (true he is smarter but that’s not the point). He too had phases of having trouble to uphold his religion not due to lack of belief but because of life interfering and making one lose focus. So, I liked that and also the author is pretty funny and how he talks/writes is how I would write or react.

  • Mixing of English and Malay

My Malay is absolutely APPALLING, ABHORRENT, DISGUSTING…mind you just choose any synonyms and it will apply to my lack of knowledge in Malay. I truly feel that English is my mother tongue. So, anyways this book uses a mix of both language and it was a lifesaver because then I can fully understand what is being conveyed.

  • Bravado & YOLO

The first few pages of the book already states that Teme (the author) didn’t have a place to stay, didn’t have enough money for food or heck was even enrolled in the university he was planning to go for when he decided to go to UK. That alone made me feel like “DAMN! This guy has balls!”. He just has the guts to just go and YOLO the f*ck out of it and prays for the best which obviously made me want to read on because I want to know is this guy going to be okay.

Yeah, those are my reasons for loving this book and I enjoyed the book so much I actually bought the second book of which I haven’t started yet but I will soon.

Encounters With a Rogue… A Review

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Title: Encounters With a Rogue

Author: Deb Marlowe

Published: 7 March 2017

Source: Netgalley

Rating: 3.5/5

Summary

An Unexpected Encounter

Tall, practical girls might not be worth much in man’s world, but Miss Lisbeth Moreton knows she’s worth more than the squire’s prized heifer.

To change her fate, she’s run off to a date with destiny at the British Museum. Her would-be swain never shows, but an unexpected encounter with Lord Cotwell and his lonely ward might lead to altogether new prospects . . . and perhaps to love.

A Waltz in the Park

James Vickers once believed honor and family duty to be his life’s work. Now he knows better–and he’s appointed himself as silent witness to his father’s sins. His greatest goal is to act as the continuously pricking thorn in his lordship’s side–and scandal is his greatest weapon. He has no use for an innocent young miss.

Propriety is Miss Adelaide Stockton’s most important asset. She must be all that is prim and proper if she’s to live down her parent’s misdeeds and have any hope of catching a husband. She must avoid scoundrels like Vickers at all costs.

Yet fate has thrown them together–and given each a key to the other’s ambition. A bargain is struck…but together they find that gaining what one desires most is far more difficult than a waltz in the park.

Review

This book is actually two novellas so I will review it individually.

An Unexpected Encounter

Rating: 4/5

I really liked the plot to this novella because I found Lord Cotwell to be an adorably shy and awkward guy. He was refreshing to me because he wasn’t suave, he wasn’t drop dead gorgeous, he wasn’t smooth with the ladies, he was just an average joe with a kind heart who loves doing mechanics. He said all the wrong things at the wrong times even though he means well. The plot was nice and sweet and I wished it was a full fledged novel instead of a novella but I enjoyed it immensely nonetheless.

A Waltz in the Park

Rating: 3/5

I didn’t like this novella so much. I unfortunately found it boring and so tedious to read as I didn’t feel a connection with the main characters and pretty much that really from me regarding the second novella. Nothing much to say except it was boring for me.

Overall, these two novellas does make me more interested in reading more works from Deb Marlowe because in both novellas the protagonists weren’t the atypical characterization expected from historical romance.

*The book was provided by the publishers via Netgalley in return for an honest review

The Luck of the Bride… A Review

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Title: The Luck of the Bride

Author: Janna MacGregor

Published: May 2018

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Source: Netgalley

Rating: 5/5

Summary

Family secrets, mistaken identities…love and money make people do crazy things in The Luck of the Bride, the third Cavensham Heiresses novel.

March Lawson has never had much luck, and in a desperate move to save her family, she’s been posing as the Marquess of McCalpin. But when she’s summoned to a meeting with the Marquess himself, March expects jail time…not to be bewitched by dark hair and sapphire eyes.

Michael Cavensham, the Marquess of McCalpin and heir to the Duke of Langham, finds himself drawn to March despite the judgments from his peers. He isn’t sure he can trust March, especially since Michael has a secret that could ruin him and his family.

But society conspires to keep March and Michael apart, and when March is accused of not being who she says she is, will Michael toss her aside or fight for the woman he’s come to love?

Review

I thought I was over my love for historical romance books as I had tired of reading them whilst I was in the struggles of my reading slump but the publisher had emailed me inquiring whether I was interested in reading this book and I thought “well, I have read the others I might as well continue on” and continue I did and let me say…

I LOVED IT!

Reading this book I had no expectations whatsoever and so it took me by surprise when I was so absorbed by the book that I finished it within a day. I found the book to be entertaining, funny, adorable and heart wrenching.

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As much as I loved historical romance they have never brought tears (tears of anger and disappointment doesn’t count) to my eyes up until this book. I felt for the female protagonist, March Lawson, so much that I just wanted her to be happy because damn it she deserved it! Everything in her life was so unfair and finally… FINALLY she was to achieve happiness with a man she loved but all that was almost robbed from her as she was framed for something that she didn’t do and it broke my heart when her lover, Michael Cavensham, doubted her love. Like why GOD DAMN IT!

I didn’t expect the book to be so intense for me emotionally. Janna (the author) truly blew my socks off.

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Aside from my feelings for the main female protagonist, I must say that I also loved how the author included letters from March’s youngest sibling, Lord Bennet Lawson, to Michael. This is because I found it so cute and endearing how he would misspell his words or cross some sentences out because it was grammatically wrong and how some words were misspelled but he had not realized it. It shows his young age. Also, I loved how Bennet as young as he was became a wise and brave young man when it came to the safety and happiness of his sisters especially March. He went to Michael personally and talked to him man to man on the fate of March. It broke my heart because the situation that permitted that meeting was when March was framed and also because as the reader you can see how Bennet has grown from a baby to a fine young man. I felt like a proud parent.

I didn’t quite liked the ending though not because it wasn’t appropriate nor good but because I wanted March to make Michael suffer a little bit more. The pettiness in me wanted Michael to grovel for March’s affections and forgiveness. It has been a daydream of mine where a man chases me across the globe to prove his love so I was hoping it would come to fruition here but alas it didn’t but it is fine everything else in the book was completely amazing that I am willing to overlook this slight misgiving I have with the ending.

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Another thing that I liked was how the author included dyscalculia (it’s a form of dyslexia but with numbers) as well as a gay character in the plot as I felt that it was in line with the changing perceptions of modern readers.

In conclusion, I truly felt that this book was by far the best in the Cavensham Heiresses series. It kicked me in the feels when I least expected it.

*The book was given to me by the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

 

Kawaii Doodle Class… A Review

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Title: Kawaii Doodle Class

Author: Zainab Khan

Published: 1 September 2017

Publisher: Race Point Publishing

Source: Netgalley

Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Summary

Create your own kawaii world with Pic Candle and Kawaii Doodle Class!

The Japanese word kawaii  translates to “cute,” and this how-to book is chock-full of super-adorable images of tacossushismoothiescloudsrainbowscactidoodle monstersChristmas treeslipsticksteacups, and more for your adoration.

Popular kawaii artist Zainab Khan shows you how to draw 75 super-cute characters with simple step-by-step illustrations and instructions. She has also included fun search-and-find images to play along with, and inspiration boards that show you how to give your characters different facial expressions and zany accessories.

Review

I really enjoyed this book because it was easy for me to draw the characters as they all had step-by-step instructions for me to follow. This is great because I don’t have any drawing talent whatsoever plus because it has step-by-step instructions it allows you to practice all the basic shapes for the eyes, body etc which you can then apply and use to create your own character.

So, far that is all I have to say for this book. It was a chill,easy to follow doodling book that is great for anybody regardless of artistic background to try.

*The book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Dumpling Cats… A Review

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Title: Dumpling Cats

Author: Sarah Sloyer

Published: 21 June 2017

Publisher: Dover Publications

Source: Netgalley

Rating: 5/5

Goodreads summary

Waffles is a relaxed feline who loves to read, and Cheeks just can’t get enough to eat. These fun-loving characters are just two of the 25 dumpling-shaped crochet cats in this whimsical collection. The cuddly crochet critters were inspired by the Pokémon™-like craze Neko Atsume, a game that enables you to attract cats to your backyard and “collect” them. Each little dumpling has a name and personality points that add up to big fun!
You don’t have to be an expert to crochet and collect these adorable kitties — the patterns are suitable for crocheters of all skill levels. Easy-to-follow instructions are accompanied by full-color photos and simple drawings. The directions explain every stage, from ears to tail, and some of the patterns include accessories and costume items. Plus, there are bonus patterns for a cat bed, food bowls, and more!

Review

I really liked this book because come on, cute crochet kitties? Like, hello… what is there not to like?

From the cover to the end the book was aesthetically pleasing and kawaii approved! At first, I was worried on how the instructions for crocheting the kitties will be because I have some patterns are difficult for me to understand from the get go and I have to actually crochet it first and understand as I go and re-do some aspects of the pattern to get it correct but not for the patterns from this book.

The patterns were easy to follow as it had step-by-step detailed instructions and photographs, which by the way was superb. There is 25 patterns in this book as well as extra patterns for miscellaneous things such as food bowls, boxes and a pet bed.

I would highly recommend this book to anybody who likes to crochet as the finished products can be used for gifts or any of the sort.

*The book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review.

Bookishly Ever After… A Review

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Title: Bookishly Ever After

Author: Isabel Bandeira

Published: 19 January 2016

Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

Source: Netgalley

Rating: 2/5

Goodreads summary

In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary.

But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favorite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favorite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing?

Review

Well I had a whole rant review written for this book but I lost it and I just don’t have enough momentum in me to write another rant review so this review will be concise and short and straight to the point.

I did not enjoy this book at all even though every fibre of my being really wanted to because the protagonist is a book nerd who knits and let us be honest I can insert myself into the plot because all that can also describe me; a book nerd who crochet instead of knits but it is fine we all know crochet is knittings second cousin thrice removed.

The writing was too juvenile for my taste which threw me off from immersing myself in the plot because the main characters age is 16 yet the writing felt more middle grade than anything.

Then we have the characters themselves. Every character was a stereotype and all of them fell flat. They were nothing more than their stereotype and they weren’t worth the time to even warrant the need to get to know them better but the character I hated the most was the main protagonist, Phoebe.

I did not like how she has no personality nor wit nor anything she can call her own. She does everything that her favorite book character does. From her archery to how she was going to get her crushs attention. I honestly don’t mind if you use fictional characters characteristics and whatnot as inspiration to improve your own life but literally just following whatever they are doing without putting any forethought into it seems ludicrous. Had Phoebe been younger it would have been more believable but she is 16, so I find a 16 year old following everything she reads from a fictional book highly unlikely if it was from a magazine like Cosmo or whatever that is highly likely but from a fictional book? Really?

Another thing that annoyed me about Phoebe was how she has no character development. At the start of the book she is a shy book nerd out to get the attention of her crush and does so by reading fictional books and copies whatever is in it and at the end she is still a shy book nerd who now just has a boyfriend. She learns nothing from her endeavors.

Also, I did not like how she wants the guy to ask her out because she still believes in romantic gestures yet does nothing more pronounced to hint at her crush that she likes them. Yes, she dresses better, she wears make-up, she plays coy and what not but all that can be misconstrued as being friendly and all that does not warrant on how upset she gets because her crush doesn’t understand how she feels. She gets so upset over it she cuts their friendship, doesn’t explain why or anything and it is wholly unfair to the guy i question because maybe he did like her but is too shy himself to ask her out without a more direct hint.

The romance in this book is also very odd for me. At the start of the book she likes Kris, the schools star athlete but then just because Phoebe’s best friend, Em, says that Dev has a thing for Phoebe suddenly she goes all gung-ho for Dev immediately. I don’t understand why. Like why do you suddenly like Dev? Is he cute? Is he sweet? Is he funny? Is he drop dead gorgeous. You don’t just like somebody who MIGHT have a crush on you for no apparent reason. There must be something even though the reasoning might be very superficial.

Another problem I faced was the pacing of this book. It felt so slow for me. I felt like I was reading nothing because almost everything was just filler. Fillers that did not move the plot forward or create any intimacy between us as the reader towards the characters or heck even enjoyable fillers.

Talking about fillers I have found a bookish pet peeve because of this book and that is fillers in the form of bookception (book inception). Remember I told you that Phoebe gets all her tips and tricks to get Dev’s attention well she writes this all down in her notebook where Phoebe will legit write line by line from the chapter she gets her inspiration from and we get to read it. Yeay! Not!

If I wanted to read another book in this book I would have just picked up another book in real life or heck even contacted the author herself to write this fictional book she put in ‘Bookishly Ever After’ so I can read it myself and so that the plot just focuses on Phoebe and puts in more effort so that I actually care about this girl because at this rate due to the writing and the one dimensional characters I don’t give a shit about Phoebe and whatever she is trying to achieve so what makes you think by including a book within a book that I would care more? Like what are you doing? Are you trying to be meta? Had this bookception been complete slashed off or have half of it cut out would improve the pacing of this book tremendously.

I don’t care about Kaylee whatever and her indecision to choose to pursue music in the city or follow her heart and stay with a potato farmer boy for true love or how Maeve feels betrayed and hurt that she is only used as a pawn by her leprechaun-esque partner/lover.

This book was just a huge disappointment for me and I just can’t even anymore so I will stop here.

*Book was given by the publishers in return for an honest review