Friday, June 12, 2020

Review: Shopaholic on Honeymoon by Sophie Kinsella

Goodreads Overview:

The new Mr and Mrs Brandon are on honeymoon, and Becky has big plans! They’ve got a whole year to explore Venice, learn yoga in India, sleep in little wooden huts in South America… maybe even see penguins in the Antarctic. And of course they’ll need to buy just a few essential souvenirs along the way (everyone needs a set of Murano glass goblets, after all).

They’re not just tourists, they’re travelers. Becky is sure it is just the thing that Luke needs – time to unwind. He’ll come back a changed man… with all the good bits still intact of course.

But it soon becomes clear that Luke has different plans entirely. Can Becky help him let go, or will this little disagreement threaten their whole honeymoon?


The previous book in the series, Shopaholic Ties the Knot, was all about Becky and Luke's wedding. The planning and everything leading up to the big day and their honeymoon. I haven't read the next book in the series yet, Shopaholic and Sister, but Sophie Kinsella released a free short story in 2014 to bridge the gap between the two books. The ebook is less than 30 pages and is an entertaining addition to the series.

Luke, ever the workaholic, is beginning to question the decision to take a full year off to travel the world. He is very intent on seeing and learning as much as he can at each location, and once they have hit all of the highlights, is ready to move onto their next destination. A souvenir to commemorate a location is certainly enough. 

Becky is the one planning and organizing the honeymoon and has far different plans. She is happy relaxing in one city and taking in the culture. She is in no hurry and of course has to purchase all sorts of souvenirs to fully experience each city. For example, she sees some artists painting and decides she needs to take up painting, even though she has never had an interest in the past and has no artistic talent.

Ever the practical person that I am, I have a very hard time relating to Becky and her frivolous spending. She is constantly buying things she doesn't need and ultimately regrets purchasing once she sees how much she has spent or her sudden impulse has passed. Her antics are entertaining and provide a number of laughs, but I think that sort of personality would wear on me after a very short period of time. Fortunately, Luke is wealthy and can support her habits. 

They have a bit of a falling out over their difference of opinions, but ultimately work through their issues. I enjoyed this short story and would recommend it if you are a fan of the series. It is a very quick read and provided some humorous insight into their honeymoon adventures.

I downloaded the ebook for free from the library, so it was certainly worth more than the price :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Review: All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

Goodreads Overview:

Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice.

She will reign.

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer — the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder — and more peril — than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.


All the Stars and Teeth was the February OwlCrate selection. The following is a picture from their site showing everything that was included in the box. I absolutely love the bento box and have been using it to take my lunch to work. I also thought the pin was a perfect design for this book. It represents the crown and title Amora has worked so hard for since she was a child. The playing cards are a beautiful shimmery bluish purple and I have used them several times playing cards with my family while stuck in quarantine this spring. The key chain even came in handy. I wasn't really in need of additional book marks and the metal style isn't my first choice, so I will most likely pass these along to a fellow reader.

I really enjoyed this story and loved all of the characters. At the beginning of the book, Amora is supposed to demonstrate her magical skill and solidify her position as the heir to the throne. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned and she is forced to flee the island for her own safety. Fortunately, a pirate named Bastian comes to her rescue with a magical ship for their getaway. 

The premise behind this book is a belief that has been passed down for generations that wielding multiple types of magic is dangerous. For this reason, people are segregated on different islands based upon their type of magic. An uprising is taking place because the Kingdom is not helping some of the islands that have been struggling from natural disasters and the like. These disasters could be prevented if they had people on their island with some of the other forms of magic. Amora was completely unaware of what was going on within the Kingdom and is determined to make things right, but it is a very difficult task. 

Ferrick is a powerful healer and is Amora's fiancee via. an arranged marriage. They are friends, but Amora has no intention of marrying him. Out of a sense of obligation he ends up tagging along on the journey and proves to be a valuable asset throughout their adventures. They also pick up a mermaid along the way named Vataea. She has some unique powers that are essential to their quest, but she isn't acting solely out of the kindness of her heart. The mermaids have been treated kindly by Amora's father and Amora promises to reward her for her efforts. 

Bastian and his magical ship have a secret they are keeping, which eventually comes to light. I absolutely loved his character and Amora seems to be drawn to him as well. They find themselves in an unusual situation at the end of the book and I sincerely hope they will find a solution in the sequel. The crew has come a long way in quelling the uprising, but Amora has a ways to go to earn back the trust of her people. While her intentions are pure, the years of damage and suffering on some of the islands will not easily be forgotten.

This was a highly entertaining start to the series with a captivating cast of characters. I enjoyed the magical ship and other magical elements that were woven into this story. The concept is very original and easily held my interest. OwlCrate has yet to lead me astray with one of their selections and I can't wait to read the sequel.