DWJ ReRead · Fantasy

Everard’s Ride by Diana Wynne Jones

“Good!” said the Prince. “Good.” To Cecelia he sounded quite murderous. He stared at Alex in a dreadful, satisfied way, which turned Cecelia cold and faint. Alex stared back, admiring that black eye, cocking his head sideways, almost as if he had painted it on the Prince’s face with the finest of brushes.

– Everard’s Ride, Diana Wynne Jones

Everard’s Ride is a novella written in 1966 but published in 1995, in a 1000-copy limited edition volume by NESFA Press for a conference where she was a guest of honour. Of course, I do not own this volume. Thankfully it was later reprinted in Unexpected Magic (2004), which I appreciate, although it doesn’t seem to quite fit in the collection, as the rest of the collection were all short stories.

The story is about Alex and Cecilia Hornby, two siblings in Victorian England whose lives changed when a stranger came to their house for shelter one night. Continue reading “Everard’s Ride by Diana Wynne Jones”

Contemporary · Romance

Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan

This book was in my TBR because I was expecting a cute fluffy romcom as well. It’s a romcom, and it’s kind of cute, but not really that fluffy? I’d give it a solid three stars.

The main character, Lou (Elouise), struck me as extremely annoying at first. I felt bad for her because she got stuck with the hot dog costume for the second year in a row at Magic Castle Playland, when she applied to be the princess. I felt bad for her because Magic Castle Playland was an important place for her, growing up, and it was closing down.

I felt bad for her because Nick, the guy she’d been crushing on for a long time, was dating the princess of Magic Castle Playland. But when she started to drag her best friend Seeley into a scheme to (1) break Nick up with his girlfriend and have him fall for her, and (2) keep the castle running despite the owner’s insistence that he had made up his mind? I don’t know – I guess once upon a time I used to find these things fun to read/watch, but not anymore.

These days I just got annoyed, especially when Seeley was one of the coolest characters I’ve read about lately and Lou’s scheme involved pretending she and Seeley were together which (1) doesn’t make sense, and (2) plays to the stereotype that bisexual girls only date girls to get boys’ attention? Fortunately, Seeley was cool enough that I read on, and the more I did the more I got to know Lou, who turned out to be more complex and interesting than I originally gave her credit for. And in turn, as she got to know Nick better, she began to realise that he was more complex a person than the ideal she had in her head, and that she was really in love with Seeley. Yay!

This book wasn’t quite what I expected it to be, but since it’s about how people may not be who we expect them to be, I thought that it was kinda apt.

tl;dr: This book is cute fluffy romcom, and not much else, which puts it in the “okay, fun” category for me now but I probably would’ve loved as a teen.


My copy: I received an ARC of this book from PRH International for work.

Bookish Things

Book Tag: Seven Deadly Bookish Sins

So I saw this book tag over at Chris’ blog, and decided that I want to do it. It’s been awhile since I’ve done something like this, after all 🙂


GREED

What is the most expensive book you own? Which is the least expensive?

Hmm, expensive means different things to different people, but I suppose the books I’ve spent most on (and had to miss many lunches to buy) are all the books I have from Subterranean Press – the cheapest are around RM 145, and the more expensive ones are over RM 200 in our currency. And all of the books were novellas! One of my favourites is Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant, which set me back around RM 184 ($44.60 ish?)

Continue reading “Book Tag: Seven Deadly Bookish Sins”

Contemporary · Romance

Rachel Hawkin’s Her Royal Highness

There was a moment last month when I felt super ambitious and wanted to read loads of queer YA and write about all of them in a wrap-up post at the end of the month. And then… I was so busy at work I almost missed the entire month. I still read most of the books I intended to read, though, and this was one of them.

There is one thing you should know about me, if you don’t already – I’m an absolute sucker for romcoms. I don’t necessarily like sappy stories or lovey dovey characters, but I do enjoy unrealistic romcom tropes. One of my favourite tropes? Normal person meets famous/royal person. The more out of this world, the better – I guess being aro, reading romance is even more of a fantasy than not, and the more outlandish the fantasy the better? I don’t know.

Continue reading “Rachel Hawkin’s Her Royal Highness”