Readathon Mini Reviews: Her Royal Highness, Heretics Anonymous, Love Songs & Other Lies

In case you didn’t know, I’ve participated in some readathons over the past few weeks.

The first wasn’t too fancy, just some challenges Mia and I created for ourselves. The second readathon I joined in on was Summerathon, and I ended up reading four books in the past weeks!

After reading, these were some of the books that I wanted to review and I thought to make it easier for everyone, I’d put all of my thoughts into one post in (slightly) more concise form.

A quick synopsis: Her Royal Highness follows Millie Quint, a girl from Texas who applies to an elite boarding school in the Scottish Highlands, her dream school. She soon finds that her roommate and her don’t get along at all, and that Florda, said roommate, also happens to be a Scottish princess. Though they initially butt heads, the girls slowly warm up to each other, and soon Millie is falling for the Scottish royalty.

Her Royal Highness is a sequel/companion to Royals, which came out last year. While you don’t have to read the first one to understand this one, I’d recommend it. You’ll definitely get spoiled for the first book, plus there are a lot of cool throwbacks you’ll miss out on.

But let’s talk about the book – and just how much I enjoyed it. My favorite part was definitely Millie. She’s such an awkward but relatable main character. She’s a geology nerd and totally out of touch with the royalty-stuff.

And even though her and Flora are total opposite, the romance worked so very well. It’s both friends-to-lovers and enemies-to-lovers. The development is well-paced and believable, and so incredibly adorable.

Also huge shout-out to the friendships in this book: Sakshi and Perry were BFF goals, to be honest, and so was Lee, even if he was thousands of miles away.

My only real gripe with this book was the conflict. It was really weak in my opinion and underdeveloped and seemed like it was just there because contemporaries “have to” have conflicts.

Other than that, though, the book was so much fun. This series, for me at least, isn’t one that stays with me days after reading, but I’m guaranteed to have a big, stupid grin on my face while I am reading. Plus, I listened to the audiobook, and I definitely recommend it. The Scottish, British, and Southern accents all heightened the already amusing tone of Hawkins’ writing.

Mia has been trying to get me to read this book for what feels like forever, and I finally did! I must say, I was not disappointed.

This book is about Michael, a high school junior who’s used to moving from place to place according to his dad’s work schedule. Now, he’s attending a private Catholic school as an atheist, and is entirely out of his depth. When he connects with a group of kids, called Heretics Anonymous, who are all different but share a combined frustration with the school around them, he starts to feel like he finally belongs somewhere.

Ask anyone who enjoyed this book and they’ll tell you: it was funny. I don’t pick up a lot of YA comedies. I think that Me, and Earl, and the Dying Girl might’ve scarred me a bit. But this one was absolutely worth the risk.

I loved how each member of Heretics Anonymous was unique. I expected them all to be atheists, like Michael, but they’re not. Lucy is a Catholic feminist, Avi is gay and Jewish, and the others all follow their own religions and/or moral codes. They all believe different things but rally around and support each other. The group dynamic was really fun to read.

I especially loved the conflict between Michael and his dad. If I had one complaint about this book, it’s that I wish there’d been more time spent on it – although I will admit, that’s more of a personal wish than something objectively wrong with the book as a whole. Michael is fed up with all the moving around and blames his dad for all of it. Watching their tense relationship and its eventual resolution was sad but also honest and emotional.

Overall, I really liked Heretics Anonymous. If you’re looking for something hilarious to lift your spirits a little bit, check it out!

This book was a hot mess and quite possibly my worst book of 2019 so far. On that happy not, let’s hop right in.

This story is told in the past and the present. Cam and Vee were first together two years ago, when Cam moved to Vee’s hometown and joined the band she managed. Now, two years later, the couple is broken up and barely speaking to each other. But when Cam’s band is chosen to be on a battle of the bands reality show, Vee must spend the next few months trapped on the same tour bus as him as he tries desperately to get her back.

This book is not only one of the worst books I’ve read this year, but it’s also probably my biggest disappointment. I generally enjoy celebrity-type romance books, but this was just… so not what I wanted.

My first issue is with the writing. There were so many moments I wanted to actually read about – the characters doing interviews, performing on stage, during rehearsals. But half the time, the scenes were written in summary after the fact. There were so few scenes that the author just let play out on the page, which made it hard to care about any of the characters.

Speaking of the characters – I didn’t connect with any of them. The book is told from both Cam and Vee, in past and present, yet I still don’t feel like I really know them. They were so bland and surface-level. None of the side characters stood out, either.

Cam and Vee’s relationship was so incredibly nonsensical. In the past timeline, they fall in love way too quickly, despite the fact that Vee knows absolutely nothing about who Cam was before he moved to her town. She keeps telling herself it’s fine that she knows nothing about him, but is somehow still able to fall head over heels for him. Unsurprisingly, this does not end well.

Then, in the present timeline, there is no clear progression from hating each other to falling back in love with each other. It literally goes straight from “I can’t even look at you,” to them making out. Vee always acts so mad at Cam, but then immediately forgives him for anything he does.

Cam is his own brand of surface-level cardboard. I don’t mean to be rude, but at times, it was like there was nothing going on upstairs. He has pretty much no personality besides being deceitful and even after we learned his backstory, I didn’t care any more for him.

This review is more of a rant than usual, but I truly, truly disliked this book and its writing so much that I will probably be avoiding Pennington in the future.


Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? If you haven’t, have I convinced you, or warned you off of a book? Tell me in the comments! 🙂

Stay bookish,

Jordyn

Find me elsewhere: Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads

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