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Estelle: Dante’s Girl by Courtney Cole

Dante’s Girl by Courtney Cole ( website | tweet )
Publication Date: June 24, 2012
Publisher: Lakehouse Press
Pages: 224
Target audience: Young adult
Keywords: royalty, Greece, complicated relationships
Format read: ARC from NetGalley (Thanks!)

Summary: Reece’s usual summer vacation in London visiting her father takes an unexpected turn when a serious attack closes all airports, and she is whisked away to beautiful Greece with a gorgeous boy who just happens to be the son of the Prime Minister of Caberra.

Reece is a small town girl who is afraid of flying, and Dante is just about her exact opposite. In the style of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, the two bump into each other in the airport and later find themselves seated next to each other on the plane. Although unlike STAT, their plane never lifts off after a horrific explosion kills all the passengers on a nearby flight. Immediately, security whisks Dante away from the attack and he takes Reese with him.

For such a traumatic beginning, it is completely forgotten when Reese and Dante land in Caberra, a small (made up) island in Greece, where Dante’s father is Prime Minister. She is instantly attracted to him, and can’t believe her luck – spending a few days in Dante’s house, meeting his friends, and only having one outfit to her name! (Oh no.) I’ll admit I got pretty swept up in their romance and this mystery surrounding Dante, but it seems pretty unlikely that a big event like the first one would be forgotten so easily right? I, for one, would have been pretty obsessed and affected by it.

But Greece is beautiful and Reece is really having the time of her life, especially when she is given the opportunity to stay for the rest of the summer… which means more staring at Dante, thinking about Dante, and well, being with Dante. I understand what she sees in him… he’s beautiful (as she mentions a bunch of times) and is extremely Prince Charming-like. But a few events that occur during this novel feel forced, and the special moments where they get to know each other are too easily glossed over. (Doesn’t everyone know that’s the best part?) Even their dialogue feels inconsistent… Reese alternates between sounding her age and also like a much older person (which doesn’t make sense judging from her insecurities and high dramatics).
With a little finesse, the author could have bridged the gap between this light, summery romance and the dangerous sub-plot that kept popping up. Instead the darker moments are flippantly disregarded by the characters, while the story climaxes into a major fairy tale (completely with the typical good vs. evil conflict). It feels unsettling. Despite the unbalanced plot, there are elements I enjoyed: Reece’s budding friendship with Mia (who desperately needed a solid friendship), the vineyard setting that felt like it was straight out of a movie (Letters to Juliet, maybe?), and a few Cinderella moments that straight out of a Disney Channel flick.
If you are prepared to embrace the drama, Dante’s Girl is worth giving a shot. It’s fast paced (I read it in a day), the chemistry is spot-on, and it is very easy to get lost in the majesty of Greece.
January 31, 2013 - 1:03 am

Allison reviews Dante’s Girl by Courtney Cole - [...] Rather Be Reading: If you are prepared to embrace the drama, Dante’s Girl is worth giving a shot. [...]

October 30, 2012 - 2:23 am

Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl - I just bought this because of you, Estelle! It sounds darling! I love destination reads, and Greece is a place I’ve always wanted to visit!

October 27, 2012 - 3:52 pm

elena - the setting for this book was fabulous! the lack of drama over the big event was weird to me too since um, that is kind of a big deal. i totally agree with you. there elements i did enjoy about this book and elements i didn’t but overall, the ~price is right~

October 27, 2012 - 3:04 am

Kristen - This kinda sounds like a ‘Prince & Me’ kind of book. And you know, sometimes I just need to read something cute and fluffy, even with all the flaws. Thanks for the honest review Estelle.

October 27, 2012 - 12:21 am

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - I will say that I am already considering reading this because of the whole Greece thing. I love it when books are set in places that I want to visit myself! Plus, it does sound pretty cute, if a little far-fetched…

October 26, 2012 - 1:38 pm

Tara - I agree with you that a major event like that would stick with me for a while (especially with my fear of flying). I think I would be willing to give this one a shot having your thoughts in the back of my mind. I think I would really enjoy the Greece setting and I always love reading some dramarama :)

Dear Teen Me: A Letter By Estelle

Today Magan & I are celebrating the upcoming release of Dear Teen Me, a collection of letters written by authors to their teen selves. It’s available from Zest Books on Halloween, October 31! ( Amazon | Goodreads )

Dear Teen Me,

Here are a few things you need to know: Katie Holmes married and divorced Tom Cruise. (It’s a long story.) James Van Der Beek is currently playing himself on a new TV show. (It’s hilarious.) Your man, Joshua Jackson, stars on a show you don’t watch (it’s not your thing) but looks positively stylish and handsome, even more so than he did as Pacey. And the one who continues to garner the most buzz due to her acting talents (and unfortunate death of her daughter’s dad) is Michelle Williams. She was even nominated for an Oscar.

Crazy and unexpected right?

Just when those Capeside kids were closing up shop, you were graduating high school. Off to a college near the beach, a place where none of your fellow graduates would attend. Your new campus was sprawling with space; you couldn’t wait to write near the beach. You wanted to be a journalist. You were dating the most beautiful boy you had ever seen (up until that point) who wrote you love notes and made you mixed CDs. Like any normal teenager, you fought with your mom quite a bit. You also had some pretty awesome friends at home you were going to miss dearly.

You’d never think that the beautiful boy would break your heart into a thousand or so pieces, time and time again. That you would become the crazy of your suite because his drama sucked the life out of you. Or despite your hefty tuition and that new “green” library they were planning to build, your school was in a crapload of debt and would be closing its doors after your sophomore year. Or maybe that some of your good friends would drift away (one would even pass away – a day you still think about all the time).

Okay, those are the bad things.

But, ya know, despite the fact that the boy kept hurting you, you kept trying. You’ll still get mad that you didn’t end things sooner. That you weren’t stronger. But it’s part of the reason you are who you are. You fight like mad. You don’t give up on people. Or things. Even when your school announced its impending doom, you stayed. You became the youngest editor-in-chief of the campus paper. You tried to raise morale. You and your friends teamed up to “save the school”. You even tried out for a show in the theater. Even though you’d rather hang out in the background, the actual theater became your refuge (that smell of burnt coffee!). You starred (yes, you read that right) in a student-directed full-length movie. Sure, the school felt like a ghost town, but you still worked hard to get the best grades and made the most of all its opportunities (while partaking in round 2 of the college search).

Your drive wasn’t the only thing that remained consistent. You had support pouring in from all angles – the three ladies you grew up with, your parents who might not always understand or approve of your choices but trusted you to make the right ones (so it’s okay to stand up to them when it’s important), and two science-y girls from college by the beach. It’s amazing to think how one little choice, one friendship, can change your course and enhance your life. People come and go, but like a wise pal told you recently, they’ll come back if they’re meant to. Trust me when I say… you are the luckiest girl in town.

If anything, you’ve learned that life has its own ideas and can turn the best laid plans into a disaster and a blessing at the same time. You graduated from school in the city. You reconnected with the last person you ever thought and he ended up being the person you married. A man who makes you feel smart and beautiful, who encourages you to be your silly self, who deals with your moods, who listens to you, and who loves to go to Disney as much as you do. (This is why rewriting history and not going to your first school is not an option!) Maybe at this time certain details aren’t perfect. They aren’t ideal. But, like always, you keep on trucking. You make mistakes! You keep on fighting to do what you need to do to find happiness and move into the right direction.

When you were 18 – hell, even when you were 13 — you thought you understood the meaning of “it was the end of everything simple, and the beginning of everything else,” the little saying on those season 1 Dawson’s Creek posters. Girl, you didn’t even know the half of it. And that’s okay. Because you are a happier, better dressed, super honest person who knows what she deserves and what she can accomplish because of all of that.

Hey, if you can dream it, you can do it.

Love,
Estelle

P.S. If it’s possible, you love Disney even more than you did then. Also, your music of choice is country. Seriously.

October 30, 2012 - 4:20 pm

April Books & Wine - Dawson’s Creek forevs.

Also.

I love that you are a fighter. I think teen Estelle would be proud of just how kick ass adult Estelle is.

October 28, 2012 - 8:03 pm

Estelle: Shelve It from Rather Be Reading Blog (10/28/2012) - [...] Review: Dante’s Girl by Courtney Cole + Dear Teen Me: A Letter From Estelle + Dear Teen Me: A Letter From Magan + Review: Better than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts + Helping [...]

October 27, 2012 - 3:22 pm

elena - estelle, this letter is so wonderful and so perfect because it’s so YOU. i love that it’s so hopeful and kind and HEE at being better dressed. i am so glad you shared this, i <3 you.

October 27, 2012 - 2:58 am

Kristen - I. love. this. This letter is beautiful in every way. Thank you for sharing, Estelle. So different to have the perspective of time and age and wisdom (hopefully!) to look back on.

October 27, 2012 - 12:20 am

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - Reading your letter made me smile. Because while we all have to deal with a ton of bad things in our lives, there’s always HOPE – that things will get better, or surpass our expectations, or surprise us. I love how you expressed your feelings about how sometimes, things that don’t necessarily look “good” are actually the perfect catalyst for things to fall into place as they should. *hug*

October 26, 2012 - 4:43 pm

Lisa - This is beautiful and sad and encouraging and so full of truth.

Thank you for sharing.

oxoxo

October 26, 2012 - 11:01 am

Kelly - There’s always that guy that we hold on to for too long, eh? I would love to tell teen me to steer clear, but I wouldn’t be where I am today without having gone through that heartbreak – and coming out stronger because of it!

I love this series; both you and Magan have made me a little weepy today, so I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to write this, and then share it with us all.

You are one brave, beautiful lady!

October 26, 2012 - 6:14 am

B. Hemborg - Such a great post!

October 26, 2012 - 5:56 am

Lori - I love, love, love this!

October 25, 2012 - 9:22 pm

Tara - Estelle, you had me tearing up, then laughing, then back to tearing up. You’re amazing! This was such a great letter and I’m so happy we’ve gotten the chance to know each other more over the past few months.

PS – I have lots of questions for you for GChat tomorrow ;)

October 25, 2012 - 8:29 pm

Allison L - I love this :) Thanks for sharing it with us Estelle!

October 25, 2012 - 8:04 pm

Jamie - LOVED THIS! Also Dawson’s Creek opening FTW! Love you lady!

October 25, 2012 - 5:50 pm

anna - Love this letter — gorgeous! Hugs to teen (and adult) Estelle xo

October 25, 2012 - 4:48 pm

Ghenet Myrthil - I loved reading this! Our teen selves would definitely have been friends because I was obsessed with Dawson’s and Felicity back then too. I’ve also had not-so-great moments in high school/college that formed who I am today. So no regrets! I love the idea of Dear Teen Me. :)

October 25, 2012 - 4:39 pm

Jess @ Gone with the Words - Dear Teen Estelle,

Today you really DO listen to country a lot…and share the best songs (that go perfectly with some books!) with your friends, who you chat with on the internet. No, not AOL, it’s GChat now. AOL is nonexistent.

You are awesome, and this letter really touched me. :)

October 25, 2012 - 1:31 pm

Elizabeth - Love, love, love this.
How insightful we all are with 20/20 hindsight…..oh, if I could tell my teenage self a thing or two.
It would be one long letter.
Starting with: Drop the loser. He never amounts to anything and you will go on to find the most surprisingly perfect soul mate. The sooner you get over the first “love” you thought you had the sooner you can meet the man that will provide you with laughter and a lifetime of love. Not to mention three pretty great kids.

October 25, 2012 - 1:09 pm

Mary @ My Sisters Bookshelf - Estelle, you had me at Dawson’s Creek! I was the perfect age for that show – I lived high school alongside them!

What a fabulous concept. I think teen me was pretty strong but I’d tell her she’s smarter than she realizes! And she has lots of time…

October 25, 2012 - 12:44 pm

Ginger @ GReads! - PS – I laughed at the Dawsons Creek references in the beginning, but the quote at the end made me have an “aww” moment :) Nicely done.

October 25, 2012 - 12:42 pm

Ginger @ GReads! - Estelle, I could read what you write every day, any day. Your words are always full of heart, truth, and humor. I love this letter to your teenage self. We tend to want to go back and re-do things (usually make the bad things right again), but what you’ve captured here is the importance of living through those adventures is what makes you YOU today.

Thank you for sharing this part of yourself, xoxo. You are such a beautiful person Estelle!

Dear Teen Me: A Letter by Magan

magan and estelle write letters to their teen selvesDear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves
Publication Date: October 31, 2012
Publisher: Zest Books
Pages: 192
Target audience: Young Adult
Keywords: weight battles, suicide, LGBT, parental problems, rape, relationships
Format read: ARC from Zest Books at ALA (Thank you!)

Summary: More than 70 authors write therapeutic letters to their teen selves, providing advice or guidance revolving around a variety of topics.

 

*Estelle and I each wrote letters to our teen selves in the format of Dear Teen Me. Stay tuned for E’s letter later today! Add DTM on Goodreads and Amazon.

Dear Magan:

It’s been almost ten years since you escaped the halls of high school, the ones that made you feel self-conscious and ugly. There was so much about high school that confused and overwhelmed you. You didn’t know how to stand up to be your own person. You wanted to impress everyone and strife or disagreements made you incredibly uncomfortable. Somehow you always felt that someone’s anger or sadness was a reflection of something you did wrong. You took everything too personally.

You participated in lots of sports – volleyball, basketball, and track – but you never felt good enough. You could never run fast enough, jump high enough, or shoot consistently enough. Despite trying your hardest, always, you felt the pressure to be greater. The summer before your senior year, you started taking diet pills. You thought that if you could just shed some weight and run faster, you’d be a better athlete and so many things would improve as a result of that: more playing time, camaraderie with your teammates, feeling like you were a useful part of the team.

All summer you dieted and the weight dropped off. You were barely eating anything. Your heart hammered inside of your chest. As a requirement for basketball season you had to go out and run 3 miles eighteen different times in the excessive Texas heat after volleyball practice was over. There were times you ran alone along those windy back roads and I can remember your heart seemed to stop beating sometimes. You would push through it, mentally telling yourself that if you could do this, nothing was impossible.

I wish I could tell you that losing weight made everything perfect. It didn’t. Your coaches did see improvement in your abilities, but you gained a sense of entitlement that left you even more hurt than before if you were benched. Being skinnier didn’t mean you had more friends. Your friends, the ones you had before you lost the weight, were still there and they were still the same amazing people. You realized that you didn’t want new friends. (Thank goodness because some of them, all these years later, are still good friends of yours. One of them is now your sister-in-law!) You didn’t become an all-star athlete. You didn’t gain scholarships based on your athletic abilities and you certainly didn’t get a modeling contract by losing weight.

There was a really awkward moment when your future mother-in-law (yep, you married your high school boyfriend!) discovered your diet pill problem. She begged you to quit taking them and listed all the problems they could cause. It was enough to scare you and make you stop. That wasn’t easy for you to do. You feared putting all the weight back on. You thought Dustyn wouldn’t find you beautiful. You were scared of what people (even strangers you’d never see again – people who probably didn’t even notice you) would think when they saw you.

I’ll be honest and say that your weight continues to be a struggle and battle for you. You’ve gone through ups and downs. My biggest piece of advice: learn how to eat correctly. Don’t be afraid of eating. You’ve lost a friend to anorexia. Eat fruits and vegetables. Figure out how to make healthy meals. Oh, and another thing: don’t fixate on the number on the scale. Dustyn will love you no matter what. He will be the best, most supportive husband a girl could ask for. He will always tell you that you’re beautiful, even when you’re not feeling like it.

Love is not measured by your weight or how skinny you are.

You have a big heart. You listen to people. You’re compassionate and empathize. These are things that matter. Don’t focus on trying to make people love you. Love other people. Be kind and considerate. Smile at strangers.

Never ever think that you’re not good enough and that your weight will change that.

Love,
Magan

October 30, 2012 - 4:15 pm

April Books & Wine - Damn you for making me tear up at work.

Magan, I am so sorry you went through this struggle with your weight.

It sucks that the whole weight thing is a problem with teen girls and well a lot of women too. I hate that our society and media tells us that we have to look a certain way to be beautiful/pretty therefore worthy. It’s so dumb. :-/

<333333

October 30, 2012 - 2:28 am

Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl - Magan, thanks for sharing. I was almost in tears over here, because you really spoke to my heart. I’ve always struggled with my weight as well, and I was anorexic in high school. I ended up destroying my metabolism, and managing my weight has become even harder. I appreciate your story, and think it’s amazing how much you’ve learned. I haven’t quite gotten to where you are yet, but I now have hope I’ll get there eventually. :) *hugs*

October 28, 2012 - 10:10 pm

kailia @ Reading the Best of the Best - *HUGS* I’m currently 17 years old and I feel like I battle my weight every single day! Thank you for sharing your story!

October 28, 2012 - 8:04 pm

Estelle: Shelve It from Rather Be Reading Blog (10/28/2012) - [...] Review: Dante’s Girl by Courtney Cole + Dear Teen Me: A Letter From Estelle + Dear Teen Me: A Letter From Magan + Review: Better than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts + Helping Books of Wonder in NYC  + Review: All [...]

October 28, 2012 - 12:08 pm

Allison L - I’m a little late because I didn’t realize that you had written a ‘Dear Teen Me’ letter too, Magan. Sorry! Thank you for bravely opening up, and sharing a piece of your story with us. It was very touching to read! <3

October 27, 2012 - 3:24 pm

elena - oh teenage magan, i adore you and you are such a beautiful soul. i went through my issues in high school too and although they weren’t the same as yours, it really can be quite debilitating and hard to overcome. thank you so much for posting this letter and sharing. this & estelle’s letter are some of my very favourite on your blogs. <3

October 27, 2012 - 12:16 am

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - Oh M, thank you so much for opening up and sharing a part of your story, the one that makes you YOU, with us by writing this letter. I certainly think that you are one of the most BEAUTIFUL and AMAZING people I’ve ever had the fortune to meet and call a friend. I wish I could give you a hug in person right now!

October 26, 2012 - 5:13 pm

Lisa - Thank you for sharing this, Magan!

I would also tell my teen self to get over the whole weight thing. When you find the love of your life who cherishes you the way you are and loves your heart, that’s all that matters. Honestly.

You are gorgeous and brave and I adore you so!

October 26, 2012 - 10:56 am

Kelly - This is heartbreakingly beautiful and inspiring! You’re so brave to share something so personal, and the bit about your husband being there no matter the number on the scale made me a wee bit weepy.

I don’t know what you look like, but you are a beautiful person – and that’s what matters most!

October 26, 2012 - 6:06 am

Lori - Magan, this is so touching! You’re so brave and wonderful! *hugs*

October 26, 2012 - 2:54 am

Kristen - This is beautiful and brave and heartbreaking all at the same time. YOU are beautiful and brave. Thank you so much for sharing this. I love these letters so much. I need to get this book and read it. *hug*

October 25, 2012 - 9:18 pm

Tara - Oh Magan, I <3 you so much! I think you are beautiful and amazing and if I were with you right now, I'd give you the biggest hug ever.

October 25, 2012 - 8:22 pm

Jamie - HUGS! Loved this! Teen Jamie struggled with her weight (which was insane as she really was quite skinny. It’s sad that a lot of us of all shapes and sizes struggle with it. So many mixed messages out there! I used to get made fun of for being too skinny and girls would call me anorexic. My sister who is in high school struggles with this. It’s crazy because either you are “too fat” or “too skinny” or you have too big of boobs or not big enough. It’s exhausting. It’s sad how much we all struggle. Just wish we could all realize that most of us were really fine the way we were. Most of us were healthy and of a fine weight — whether or not or genes made us predisposed to be a rail or a little bit bigger than average. Being a girl sucked (sucks still) sometimes.

October 25, 2012 - 5:52 pm

Anna - Where is teen Magan? I NEED TO HUG HER! I NEED TO HUG ADULT MAGAN TOO! Major smooches. This touched my heart!

October 25, 2012 - 4:49 pm

Jess @ Gone with the Words - I wish I could give you a Magan hug right now. You know the ones. They leave you feeling like you’re special and cared for dearly. :)

You’re wonderful. This post is so incredibly touching, Magan.

October 25, 2012 - 9:56 am

Elizabeth - What is it with high schools and diet pills?
I, too, tried to lose weight in high school by downing diet pills with a Diet Coke everyday.
Looking back, it definitely didn’t make anything better.
Your letter was beautifully written.
This past Mother’s Day, I wrote a similiar letter but to my kids…just the advice I thought they would need from all the experiences I have had.
It is truly therapeutic to write about.

October 25, 2012 - 8:35 am

Ginger @ GReads! - Oh my sweet Magan, I wish I could hug you right now. Your letter was so very touching. YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Probably one of the most beautiful people I have the pleasure of calling my friend. I am constantly inspired by your creativity and generosity towards others. I wish I would have known you in high school. We could have encouraged each other to lose weight the healthy way, and also remind one another that it’s about being HAPPY.. not about the number on the scale. Teen Ginger struggled with that, too. Love you so incredibly much! xoxo

Estelle: Better than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts

Better than Chocolate by Sheila RobertsBetter than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts
Publication Date: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 400
Keywords: sisters, small business, small towns, romance
Target audience: Adult
Format read: ARC from Little Bird Publicity (Thanks!)

Summary: With little time to act, Samantha and her family are forced to come up with a solution when they find out their chocolate business is in trouble.

You know that feeling when you want a chocolate bar and you reach into your shoulder bag and all you find is granola? Sure, the granola still fills your appetite but it’s just not the same.

That pretty much captures how I felt reading Better than Chocolate.

I was expecting to be swept up in some big, epic romance but, instead this novel focused on Samantha and the struggling chocolate business that has been in her family for generations. After her step-father unexpectedly dies, she finds out the business owes a huge amount of money to the bank. When she receives no help from the new bank owner/that popular football player from high school, Blake, she and her sisters decide to hold a chocolate festival by Valentine’s Day in hopes of saving the company.

Even though this book is more about Samantha’s determination and loyalty to her family’s legacy, I liked watching her band forces with her sisters and her mom to organize this huge event. Everyone wants to root for the local company, the underdog, when it comes to a bigger company taking over the town. In Icicle Falls, we see the town support the event and tons of creative ideas make it to the table. It was exactly the kind of project I would want to be a part of.

In the meantime, Samantha is sure Blake is anxious for her chocolate company to fail and is intent on making him the big, bad enemy. But of course, he’s super attractive and she can’t stop thinking about him. He’s also conflicted because he loves Samantha’s passion (and her butt) but he knows he can’t help her the way he really wants to. While they are more on each other’s minds than physically spending time together, the sizzling moments only made me want more of the book dedicated to the two of them.

So while romance was more like the icing on top of a scrumptious chocolate cupcake, I did like reading about four women who all had different feelings on careers, independence, and love and took different routes to get to where they were. The fate of their family company caused them to face certain truths, and make crucial life changes and that was nice to see.

Better than Chocolate will make you crave the delicious morsels featured in the book, but also leave you wanting more. After 400 pages it wraps up a little too perfectly, totally softening any tension, and falls together in too much of a fairy tale fashion. Though the trend of setting books in cute small towns with tons of charm? I’m so on board with that. Book me a ticket!

Make It Yours: The Price is Right: Rather Be Reading

Goodreads | Buy on Amazon

August 6, 2013 - 2:05 pm

Review: Better Than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts | Gone with the Words - […] Estelle @ Rather Be Reading – “Better than Chocolate will make you crave the delicious morsels featured in the book, but also leave you wanting more.” […]

February 14, 2013 - 1:44 am

Review: Better Than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts | Gone with the Words - [...] Estelle @ Rather Be Reading – “Better than Chocolate will make you crave the delicious morsels featured in the book, but also leave you wanting more.” [...]

October 28, 2012 - 8:47 pm

Estelle: Shelve It from Rather Be Reading Blog (10/28/2012) - [...] Courtney Cole + Dear Teen Me: A Letter From Estelle + Dear Teen Me: A Letter From Magan + Review: Better than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts + Helping Books of Wonder in NYC  + Review: All You Never Wanted by Adele [...]

October 27, 2012 - 3:57 pm

elena - if i want chocolate just reading your review, i can’t imagine actually reading the book! although it’s not the perfect book by any means, it does sound pretty cute. a delicious review, e!

October 27, 2012 - 12:14 am

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - This book sounds incredibly cute! I adore the fact that it’s about chocolate, which is one of my favorite things in the whole entire universe. And I can always get down with a story of an underdog business struggling to survive and a small town coming together to make it happen!

October 26, 2012 - 6:23 am

Lori - I adore books set cute little towns. I think it’s my love of Stars Hollow coming through. This sounds great. I’m sad to hear there’s not more romance. Like Melissa, I’m sold from the cover alone.

October 24, 2012 - 3:12 pm

Estelle - Amber, thanks for commenting today. I hope you do look into the book. Let me know what you think when/if you do!

October 24, 2012 - 3:11 pm

Estelle - Tina, thanks for stopping in! It IS a fun premise! There’s even a few recipes included. Which is a lovely touch!

October 24, 2012 - 3:10 pm

Estelle - Jen, it’s so good to switch up genres. I think you can appreciate your reading so much more! Let me know what you think of this one. :)

October 24, 2012 - 3:10 pm

Estelle - Melissa, you are right! The cover is ridiculously cute. There’s another one on GR that is like total opposite but cute too. haha

October 24, 2012 - 3:09 pm

Estelle - Warning!! You will get hungry. VERYYY hungry.

October 24, 2012 - 2:08 pm

Jess @ Gone with the Words - I’m so glad you enjoyed this one as much as you did because I’ll be reading it soon and now I know I’ll mostly likely love it too. :D Thanks, Estelle!!

October 24, 2012 - 12:39 pm

Melissa - I hate to admit that I was already sold based upon the cover..but now I really want to pick this one up! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

October 24, 2012 - 10:58 am

Jen - While I’m not so much a fan of the “perfect, fairytale endings,” I do totally love the way you describe this setting. Plus, chocolate? Yes, please. This book sounds adorable. And while I do read primarily YA, there are some days when a good adult book is exaaaaaactly what’s needed.

October 24, 2012 - 10:04 am

Amber - Sounds quite interesting! Might have to look into it!

October 24, 2012 - 9:47 am

Tina - This sounds like a fun book for the fall, I love fast little reads about food, cooking and romance…:) Cute review!

Reviving Books of Wonder in NYC

When I buy books, I’ll be completely honest, I go for convenience.

This is why I end up at the Barnes & Noble by my job, or clicking through Amazon to purchase my books.

As a person on a budget, it’s just what needs to happen.

But since starting this blog and attending various events in NYC, I’ve had the opportunity to visit various independent bookstores and they instantly brought back the romantic visions of Meg Ryan’s job in the earlier scenes of You’ve Got Mail.

Despite my stops in B&N or Amazon, I’ve always been drawn to the cozy bookstore. It’s such a New York thing, ya know?

This is why today’s news… the adorable Books of Wonder hitting bad times … is just so unfortunate.

While I’ve only been there a handful of occasions, I’ve been lucky enough to attend events with authors and get real face-to-face time to chat and discuss their books. (After I got over my shyness, of course.) The events are always personal and fun, and a great way to deepen anyone’s love of reading.

You really can’t find anything else like it.

So I’m asking you to check out all the details about why Books of Wonder is trying to raise a minimum of $100,000 in the next 30 days.

Remember any small donation helps! It’s so important to show support for independent bookstores.

To donate, please jump over here.

Thanks for listening!

→ Check out Rachel’s post about Books of Wonder too!

October 26, 2012 - 2:47 am

Kristen Evey - This is so sad! I live on the West Coast and never been to this bookstore, but I definitely support independent bookstores. Thanks for blogging about this!

October 25, 2012 - 12:43 pm

Estelle - Laura, I knowwwww! I have to get back there & buy some books. Cause you know, I need more. haha

October 25, 2012 - 12:40 pm

Estelle - Thanks B! So far they’ve raised over 30K! So I’m hopeful!

October 23, 2012 - 6:34 am

B. Hemborg - Living in a country where I do not speak the native language I miss book shopping in person so much! I do love an independent book store and I wish Books of Wonder the best of luck1

October 23, 2012 - 12:18 am

Laura - Oh no! I was just at Books of Wonder last week! I had no idea!