Bookish and the Beast (Once Upon a Con #3) by Ashley Poston | Drumsofautumn ARC Review

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ARC provided by Netgalley
Publication: August 4th, 2020 by Quirk Books

1.) Geekerella ⭐⭐⭐⭐
2.) The Princess and the Fangirl ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

β€œEvery place his lips touch – my mouth, my nose, my cheek, my neck – lights up like a star in a constellation for us.”

Bookish & the Beast was a very fun and enjoyable installment in the Once Upon a Con series, that to me sadly couldn’t live up to its predecessors.

I truly loved both Geekerella and The Princess & the Fangirl a lot and feel very invested in the Starfield world and storyline. I think where this book mostly fell flat for me was the element of fandom and especially spending time at a convention that I love so much about the other two books.

While this definitely tried a little bit of a new take on bringing the Starfield universe into this series, by talking about the book series and partly taking place in a library with special Collector’s Editions, it just didn’t give me enough of an emotional connection to the Starfield universe itself that I became so very attached to. I immensely enjoyed some of the snippets that we would get at the beginning of chapters but sadly there were only so few of them.

β€œMost of the time, I try not to think about it, but sometimes grief comes in waves. It laps against the sandy beach of your soul, again and again, soft and rushing and impossible to escape. She’s gone, but I miss her. She no longer exists, but the words she loved still do.”

While I enjoyed the characters, the one character that stood out the most to me was probably the female main character’s dad. I just found none of the characters to be very interesting or compelling. I didn’t dislike reading from their perspective or about them but I felt like they just weren’t all that exciting to read about either.
And again, Poston definitely tried to offer us a different take to the books before too, by introducing Vance, who is an actor for the Starfield series but currently taking a break from Hollywood. And while his character and journey was very different than anything we had seen before in this series, I just can’t say I found his journey to be very believable OR captivating. I just simply didn’t care. And the same goes for the female main character too. I feel like she put such emphasis on not just being β€œthe girl with the dead mom” that she did end up being exactly that because I can’t point out many traits about her.

Again, none of these characters were dislikeable or not pleasant to read about, I just found them almost replaceable.
As for representation, both main characters read as queer (stating multiple gender attraction) but they don’t ever use labels. There is a non-binary side character that uses they/them pronouns and queer (one who is definitely bi) side characters. It seems like there is a Latinx side character too.. but that was never explicitly stated.

Just as the characters didn’t really stand out to me, the romance very much did not either and this was another really disappointing aspect for me with how much I squealed for the previous romances. Not only did I not really think the hate-to-love trope was well done but I also just found their entire development not very convincing just because I feel like we got too little of it. I barely felt chemistry, barely felt like they truly got to know about each other. We know they spend a lot of time with each other but I feel like we just didn’t really get to see that at all. Where was this entire process? There just wasn’t enough there for me personally.

When it comes to the retelling element of Beauty & the Beast, you could definitely see the elements but they didn’t stand out immensely. Some people might enjoy that, others not so much. As someone who is not a big fan of Beauty & the Beast I can’t say if that maybe affected my enjoyment of this story too? I normally never pick up retellings of the story cause I am just not interested in them or the original story but for me this was different, as I already felt invested in this universe.

At the end of the day I just don’t really think it worked all that well as the basis for a fluffy Contemporary story like this. But I also know that this was really the project of Poston’s heart and that does make me happy to know.

β€œWith him, a little of her heart leaves, but it leaves room, too. For new people. For new loves. For new impossibilities.”

So all in all, while I enjoyed reading another installment in this series, it also just didn’t have the same magic as the other two for me personally. Nothing about this book set it apart from any other YA Contemporary, sadly, and that was a very different experience for me with the first two books. If you’re a fan of the series, it’s a fun reading experience, especially with other character’s cameos too, but it is really not a must-read at all.


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✨ Lea posts a review on Meltotheany every Friday! Read more of her reviews HERE! ✨


April 2019 Book Haul

Hey, friends! I am officially in Hawaii as you are reading this! I had such a busy April, but my mail-person also had a very busy April, too! I am so privileged and so honored to haul so many of these books! And if you can’t tell by my ebook purchases, I am very much ready to read all things romance on the beach during this vacation!


The Strangers
Wicked Saints – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
The Goal – β˜…
The Red Scrolls of Magic – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
Descendant of the Crane
Normal People


A Lesson in Thorns


Red, White & Royal Blue – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
City of Bones (Lily, I love you so much) – β˜…β˜…β˜…
The Monster of Elendhaven
The Unhoneymooners – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
Well Met
Say You Still Love Me
Serious Moonlight
Heirs of Fate (Thank you, Bethany!)
Sorcery of Thorns – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Okay, friends! I think that’s everything! I truly had such an amazing book haul this month! And I will be forever thankful! I hope you’re all having an amazing end to this April, and I hope you’re having the happiest of reading!Β πŸ’–

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March 2019 Book Haul

Hey friends! I hope you all are having an amazing end to March! Even though I’m not sure how we are even at the end of March… but regardless, I got some pretty cool books this month! And publishers (especially romance publishers) were too dang kind to me, and I truly am going to be living my bookish romance dream life this Spring!πŸ’–


The Weight of the Stars | Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Near Witch
The Shadowglass | Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Steel Prince, Vol. 1 | Review: ⭐⭐⭐
The Priory of the Orange Tree


Aurora Rising
The Right Swipe
The Dragon Republic


You Must Not MissΒ (Thank youΒ Kayla!)
Wilder GirlsΒ (Thank youΒ McKinlay!)
The Wedding Party
Girls with Sharp Sticks
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck & Fortune
Waiting for Tom Hanks
The Red Scrolls of Magic | Review: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (Thank you Heather!)
Mrs. Everything
Swipe Right for Murder
Holy Sister | Currently Reading

And that’s all of them! Holy moly, this was a much bigger haul than I anticipated! But I am so thankful and so privileged. I hope you all are having an amazing day, and let me know a few bookish acquisitions you got this month! Happy reading, loves!Β πŸ’–

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January 2019 Book Haul

Hey, loves! I can’t believe it is already the end of the month! Like, how? Honestly? But here we are, and here is another book haul! But this book haul is a little special, because I bought 102 copies of The Wicked King! πŸ’–


Fence, Vol. 2
Truly Devious (ilysm, Taylor) | Review: β˜…β˜…β˜…
The Hod King | Review: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
The Last of August
The Case for Jamie
In An Absent Dream | Review: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
Song of the Dead | Review: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
The Winter of the Witch | Review: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
The Wicked King | Review: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
The Wicked King | Review: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
The Wicked King | Review: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
The Winter of the Witch | Review: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
(Del Rey actually sent me this last one, but I accidentally kept it in this stack!)Β 


The Girl with the Red Balloon
Start Here
The Kiss Thief
The Legend of the Golden Raven (free on Amazon US as of today!)


99 Percent Mine | Review: β˜…β˜…β˜…
The Bride Test
Holy Sister
(Thank you so much, Alexa!)


The Devouring Gray
Spin the Dawn
Red, White & Royal Blue
Blood Heir


Just because I’m trash & love this picture

Okay, my loves! There is my first book haul of 2019! I hope you enjoyed! And I hope I enjoy all of the ones that I haven’t read yet! Which one of these are you most excited for? I’m still in disbelief that I have The Bride Test in my hands! It’s going to be so amazing! I can’t wait for Contemporaryathon to actually start it! Ahhhh! Happy reading, friends! πŸ’–

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November 2018 Book Haul


Hey, friends! I’m not sure how it is already the end of the month, and already time for another book haul, but here we are! I was so blessed to get some amazing ARCS from publishers who always make my mailbox feel like it is Christmas! And I was also very privileged to pick up a few very anticipated releases! πŸ’™


The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
Skyward | Review: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
Girls of Paper and Fire | Review: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
The Diviners
Lord of Shadows | Review: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
The Monster Baru Cormorant
Kingdom of Ash | Review: β˜…β˜…β˜…


Merry Inkmas (Free on Amazon US as of today!)


Miranda in Milan
My Favorite Half-Night Stand | Review: β˜…β˜…β˜…
The Weight of the Stars
The Hod King
The Binding
A Curse so Dark and Lonely | Review: β˜…β˜…β˜…


One Word Kill


The Beholder
With the Fire on High
The Wise and the Wicked
Descendant of the Crane


Wuthering Heights
A Study in Scarlet
Sense and Sensibility
Anna Karenina
Something Wicked This Way Comes


BOTMΒ | A Ladder to the Sky

OwlcrateΒ |Β Girls of Paper and Fire | Review: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Whew! I think that’s everything! Man oh man, did Edelweiss come through for me! So many good books! And I feel so very blessed that I was able to add all of these to my personal library! I hope you all are having a wonderful end of November, and I hope it is filled with amazing books for you, too! Happy reading, loves! ❄⛄

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October 2018 Book Haul


Hey, friends! Okay, so October was the book release month of 2018, apparently! Also, I was so very privileged and fortunate to receive so many amazing ARCs from publishers this month, too, which I am forever thankful for. And I for sure spent the last of my birthday money on Muse of Nightmares subscription boxes! (Yikes!) But I hope you all enjoy this (not so) little haul! πŸŽƒπŸ‚βœ¨



Small SpacesΒ | Review:Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
Shadow of the FoxΒ | Review:Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
Aquicorn CoveΒ | Review:Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
Tales from the Shadowhunter AcademyΒ | Review:Β β˜…β˜…β˜…
The Bane ChroniclesΒ | Review:Β β˜…β˜…β˜…
Six of CrowsΒ | Review:Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
Strange Grace (That you, Taylor, I love you!)Β | Review:Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
Blanca y RojaΒ | Review:Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
What If It’s UsΒ | Review:Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
Sawkill GirlsΒ | Review:Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

➽ Muse of Nightmares:

Muse of NightmaresΒ | Review:Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…



The Lost Sisters | Review:Β β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
Kingdom of AshΒ | Review: β˜…β˜…β˜…


The Beasts Heart
Wicked Saints
Gates of Stone
The Matchmaker’s List
Once & Future
A Brightness Long Ago
The Winter of the WitchΒ (That you, Lilly, I love you!)
The Girl He Used to Know
The Women’s War


The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees



A Place For Wolves by Kosoko Jackson
The Queen’s Resistance (The Queen’s Rising #2) by Rebecca Ross


BOTMΒ | An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, Winter in Paradise, & The Lies we Told

Owlcrate| Pride & Shadow of the Fox


Illumicrate (Still in stock as of 10/28!)

Candles in Bookland

Okay, friends! That is everything. This is the biggest haul I’ve had all of 2018, and I can’t see November or December beating it! But tell me your favorite book that you hauled this month; purchase, arc, or borrow! I’d love it hear it! And I hope you all are having an amazing end of October! Happy reading, friends! πŸŽƒπŸβœ¨

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September 2018 Book Haul

SeptemberBookHaulHello, friends! Okay, so my birthday was August 27th, and I honestly thought my birthday haul was pretty wild, but I apparently put those gift cards to good use in September, because this is the most books I’ve bought…. maybe ever?Β πŸŽƒπŸ“–


The Impostor QueenΒ (Thank you, Elise, I love you!)Β πŸ’•
The Last Time I Lied
The Death of Mrs. Westaway
An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters (Thank you, Lilly, I love you!)Β πŸ’•
Sleepless, Vol. 1
Giant Days, Vol. 1Β | Review – β˜…β˜…β˜…
Monstress, Vol. 3
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, Vol. 1
Fullmetal Alchemist 01
Fullmetal Alchemist 02
Strange GraceΒ | Review – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
Eliza and her MonstersΒ | Review – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
Ramona Blue
The Heart ForgerΒ | Review – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
The Bone Witch | Review – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…


The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
I Belong to the Earth (free on Amazon US still!)
Prince of Gods


Four Dead Queens
The Kingdom of Copper
The Priory of the Orange Tree


Daisy Jones & The Six
My Favorite Half-Night Stand
The Gilded Wolves


Kingdom of Copper
99 Percent Mine


Owlcrate| Mirage: Review – β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Owlcrate| Vengeful

BOTMΒ | The Silence of the Girls & The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock

Okay, loves! I hope that’s it! I also hope I don’t have another haul this big in 2018! But I’ll be honest, I’ve already preordred so many books in October. *Hamilton voice* just you wait… until you see how many Muse of Nightmares I preordered. But have you read and loved any of these? Any I should prioritize? Let me know! And I hope you’re all having an amazing end to September! Happy reading!Β πŸ‚ 🍁

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