Royally Ever After (2018) – A Royal Love Story from Hallmark Channel

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Royally Ever After (2018) – A Royal Love Story from Hallmark Channel

In celebration of the royal marriage that took place at Windsor, Hallmark debuted another royal love story of their own. This time, the heroine falls in love with a Prince Charming, all while unaware of who he really is!

Fangirl Confessions | Hallmark Channel’s ‘Royal’ Romantic-Comedies


Working as a teacher is a fulfilling role for the easy-going Sara (Fiona Gubelmann). Also making her happy is her charming and British boyfriend of one year, Danny (Torance Coombs). By their one-year anniversary, Danny knows Sara is the one, and so he proposes marriage to her, but before she says yes, he needs to tell her something. He’s actually Prince Daniel (plus insert a string of names) of St. Ives, a small country near England.

Sara’s whole world is turned upside down, but if there’s one thing she’s sure of, it’s her love for Danny. This is why she agrees to a last-minute trip with Danny to meet his parents. The catch is, she also has to earn their approval before a marriage can take place between the pair.

If there’s one thing production does right by this film, it’s the scenery! I’ve not a clue where it’s filmed (though the actress’ Instagram page says Ireland), but it’s absolutely gorgeous. Everything is all green rolling hills and majestic, and perfectly (and appropriately) royal. Especially pretty are the outdoor scenes, which is why I wish there were more of them. They add so much personality and styling to the film.

Despite nature’s beauty, and the fact that the story is darling, this isn’t my favorite Hallmark. Sad since I anticipated it would be. That said, as I always say, don’t let my ho-hum thoughts detract you i you're looking for a feel-good romcom. This story is still sweet. For me, it’s mostly the scripting that feels “off.” There’s just something awkward about one of two things. Either the dialogue is a little awkward (though I understand some of these scenes are meant to be awkward) or the cues and “placement” of the characters. Not quite sure what does feel a little wrong, but something does.

Nonetheless, the cuteness of the story is all about the trademarks of what makes this network so popular. If nothing else does, this alone endears this story because I’ve always respected what networks like Hallmark Channel is promoting. There are some adorable scenes that allow Sara and Danny to “sneak away” which I love. It’s in these quiet moments that the pace and plot helps us to fall in love with their love story. The scenes are staged sweetly and help give the script more of those romanticism feels.

If you’ve enjoyed Royal Matchmaker or any of Hallmark’s programs, you’ll be certain to enjoy Royally Ever After. In the tradition of The Prince and Me, this one has the usual markers any good royal romance needs, but still maintains its own personality. Plus, as any story involving royalty should, this one has a pretty as a picture ballroom scene, too!

Photos: Hallmark Channel

Waiting on Wednesday | Sixteenth Edition

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday | Sixteenth Edition

Hello, readers and followers! Happy (almost) Wednesday. Welcome. It's another Wednesday, which means there's another fun meme making the blogging rounds. Today's feature is all about the books we're "Waiting On" with Can't Wait Wednesday. A meme Finding Wonderland occasionally takes part in. 

Organized by the lovely Tressa of Wishful Endings, here's another edition of Can't Wait Wednesday.



Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted here to spotlight and talk about the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released as well. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. (Find out more here.)
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Today, the spotlight is placed on an almost-released YA contemporary - because who doesn't love a feel-good summer contemporary!!! This girl does. In fact, I've collected LOTS of contemporaries for my shelf this past month (which you can see me ramble on - and on about in the upcoming booktube video). Back to today's topic though. I'm featuring the novel that we don't have long to wait for (YAY!) and that is, Save the Date from Morgan Matson which releases June 5!! 

I've only read Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by this popular author, but her new book looks and sounds so freaking good.  

SAVE the DATE
Author: Morgan Matson  | Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date: June 2018

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractedly…cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.   - Goodreads

(This post does contain affiliate links; read the disclosure page for details.) Amazon | Goodreads


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PS: Before you go... 

you can read nostalgic fangirl feels in the recent added-to-the-archives review of The Prince and Me

pss: you can also enter the Book Giveaway
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Comment down below with your thoughts (have you read Morgan's books? what did you feature today? what YA books do you like? do you like to read contemporaries over the summer months?), Waiting on / Can't Wait Wednesday blog links or anything else bookish. I'd look forward to chatting all things bookish with you.

I'll be glad to visit your blogs, too - but it might take me a week to circle around. Still, I look forward to visiting.

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland. 

PS: if you'd like to have Finding Wonderland's new content sent to your inbox; sign up for our once (or twice) monthly round up of new content. (In order to be signed up, you will be asked to confirm via email.) If you'd like to have this newsletter sent to your inbox, you can enter your email address here.

Top Ten Tuesday | Bookish Worlds that Terrify (Because Death Matches, Magic and Zombies, Oh My!)

Monday, May 28, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday | Bookish Worlds that Terrify (Because Death Matches, Magic and Zombies, Oh My!)

Happy Tuesday readers. With each new Tuesday, here on Finding Wonderland we join the long standing meme known as Top Ten Tuesday. 

That Artsy Reader Girl May 29: Bookish Worlds I’d Never Want to Live In



(This post does contain affiliate links, which means – at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through a link. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Not long ago we talked about bookish spaces with the topic ‘Books That Take Place In Another Country.’ This week, we again talk book places, only this go-round it’s about bookish worlds we’ve never (like ever) want to live in. Let’s face it, some of these bookish worlds are pretty darn terrifying. 

As I trolled my Goodreads page, and tried to call to mind the past books I’ve read, I realized something: there are some pretty terrible worlds in the fictional game. From making their protagonists fight to the death to devastating secrets that rule everyone’s actions, these worlds are no laughing matter. Needless to say, for varying reasons, the below list is among those worlds I would not – under any circumstances, wish to be a part of!

Bookish Worlds that Terrify (Because Death Matches, Magic and Zombies, Oh My!)
*also, yes, recycling last week's graphics... because, once again, last minute - again!!

1: Cessation from Gunslinger Girl by Lindsay Ely | Unique though this concept is, this is not a world I’d wish to be a part of. There’s far too many dangers lurking around every bustling corner. Amazon | Goodreads
  

2: England circa 1500s from Roses Have Thorns by Sandra Byrd | There are many books set in the Tudor times, but I choose this one for one specific reason – I actually read this one once upon a time. Another book on my shelf set during the Tudor reign is The Usurper’s Throne. In this era, it feels like all someone had to do was look at the King wrong and in the words of the Red Queen, it was all “off with his head!” Amazon | Goodreads

3: Manhattan circa 2118 from The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee | Yeah, this is another world I’d NOT wish to be a part of. There's too much drama, too many secrets, and just general dislike between all the characters. Amazon | Goodreads


4: Panem from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins | Do I use The Hunger Games a lot? I feel like I do. Still, something tells me this book is going to be super popular on today’s lists. I mean, one can understand why, too! Being placed in an arena and forced to fight until the DEATH!? Yeah. Not a prime vacation spot. Amazon | Goodreds  Find the film on Amazon Video or purchase on DVD.

5: Viyara from Bright Smoke, Cold Fire by Rosamund Hodge | Not a big fan of this story nor its world. Do you like Rosamund’s style? Or is it just this one book? Amazon | Goodreads

6: Wisconsin circa 1906 from The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright | Really, visiting the house in the 1900s or its present day timeline is not something I’d relish. In 1906 there are creepy happenings going on and in the present, the heroine is also experiencing creepiness. All in all, it’s not a house I’d be too quick to step inside! Amazon | Goodreads 

7: Zombie Infested England circa 1800s from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahme-Smith | Adding a caveat to this one. Perhaps the only thing that might tempt me to step into this world – and it’s a slim temptation is Colonel Fitzwilliam Darcy. Just saying. Amazon | Goodreads ● Rent or own Pride and Prejudice and Zombies on Amazon Video 

*video publishes Tuesday afternoon; channel linked above
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What bookish worlds terrify you? I’ve a suspicion there are more on my shelf that could apply to today’s topic, but for now, we’ll leave it at these 7! (At least next time the meme is about travel, it’ll be a pleasant experience.) Which books made your list? Let’s talk.

If you joined today’s meme, make sure and leave your Top Ten Tuesday links below so I can visit – or simply introduce your blog. I’d be glad to visit your bookish spaces.

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland.


PS: if you'd like to have Finding Wonderland's new content sent to your inbox; sign up for our once (or twice) monthly round up of new content. (In order to be signed up, you must confirm via email.) If you'd like to have this newsletter sent to your inbox, you can enter your email address here.

#Bookstagram Challenge | Wishful Wonder June 2018

Friday, May 25, 2018

Hello happy readers and fellow bookworm friends. It's that time again. Time to again present another photo challenge. So get that camera ready... today I'm popping in to share all the details of another bookstagram-y challenge. Without further ago, here's the sixth "Wishful Wonder" challenge of 2018.


If you have ideas for this challenge or suggestions, please let me know in the comments or on Instagram - or if you'd ever like to be a co-host. I'm open to new possibilities.

Pressed for time? Not sure a bookstagram challenge is for you? Below I give a spiel hoping to convince you otherwise.

+ If you’re pressed for time to participate in daily challenges, first and foremost, while we love it when you do, there’s no bookstagram rule that says you must post every day. (Not that you needed my permission to say this, but I thought I'd put this out there.)
+ If you think you can’t participate because of it being “too much work,” try taking a handful or several days’ worth of photos for an hour. (This is generally what I try to do, which is nice and I often find I have a little “stock pile” of Instagram photos as a result.)  
+ If you're looking to meet other Bookstagrammers (people in the book community on Instagram) and bloggers, or to build your "brand" in the book community, joining a challenge is an excellent way to do this.They say, Instagram is where it's at. 
+ If you don’t think our #WishfulWonder challenge looks like a good fit for you, there are TONS of challenges on Instagram. A brief #Bookstagram or some variation of a #BookChallenge hashtag search will show this. 
+ Best of all, the best thing about these challenge (well, aside from the people. And the books.) is the creative outlet. You develop your OWN style of photos, which is what makes everyone's account so unique! I've seen simplistic (in terms of prop use, etc.) photos that are stunning and I've seen more elaborate shots that compliment the book and suit the style of the bookstagrammer. Plus, if you're like me, and you love creative outlets, this is an excellent way to do this. 
+ Still not convinced? Go ahead and follow our #WishfulWonder tag on Instagram or Twitter to be inspired!

\\\\\ You're invited to join June 2018's #WishfulWonder Challenge.


Hopefully everything is self explanatory, but if you have any questions about the prompts, just ask.

We’d love to see your pictures, so be sure to tag us with the usual, #WishfulWonder hashtag. Also, feel free to share this.

As we do every month, we extend our thanks to everyone who has joined our challenges. We're having so much fun browsing our tag, and appreciate your creativity and time. (If we haven't clicked that heart on your photos and/or commented, it's not because we won't, it's simply due to time restraints - summer always seems busy. BUT please know I enjoy browsing your photos, and sooner or later I will find them with that #WishfulWonder or for specific June #WishfulWonderJ18 tag.)

We'd also LOVE your feedback on favorite prompts. Drop a comment down below. ♥
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Happy day, Book Nerdigans. Join us in our fun, bookish endeavors - we look forward to chatting with you.
Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland

Blog News | RSS Feed, Content List and GDPR

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Hello, readers, subscribers and friends. Today, I'm writing a little blog update aka we're talking about the "boring" stuff of blogging that, unfortunately, has to be mentioned.

Because of a recent law in the EU, there are privacy policy changes. This is why today I'm writing a few updates regarding GDPR.


On this blog, there are a few ways you can be updated on the new content. Here's the round up of these ways and what you have to do if you'd like to continue receiving them.

Google Friend Connect | You can hit the blue "follow" button if you'd like to receive new posts on your Blogger dashboard.

Monthly New Content List | You can also sign up for our "new content" list via a mailing list. This isn't sent out anymore than 2-3 times a month (more like once every other month or every 5-6 weeks), which means no spam! Basically, all this will be is a round up of the content that's appeared on the blog since the last update I sent out. If you'd like an idea what this is, you can view the latest one here.

If you'd like to receive this, you can sign up via the sign up form or find the link in the sidebar. Please note: if you were already signed up, you no longer are on the list. I've created a new list. Secondly, you will be asked to confirm a sign up via email (this confirmation email may also be sent to a spam or junk folder) if you choose to join the list. If you don't confirm via email, you won't be included on the update list.

If at any time you change your mind (though of course, I hope you decide to hang out with us!), you can find the "unsubscribe" button at the very bottom of the email and remove your name.

RSS Feed | Finally, you can also receive the blog's RSS feed, which is sent out once a day if and when new content is published. You can contact me at dreamer13[at]frontier[dot]com if you'd like to be removed from this feed or if you do receive the RSS feed, simply hit "unsubscribe now" at the bottom of the email.

To those of you who want to stick around, interact together on Finding Wonderland or receive updates, thank you. At any time, if you do wish to unsubscribe from any of Finding Wonderland's (hoping you'll want to continue to hang out) services, you can find the "unsubscribe" (or "unfollow") option on ANY options or of course, contact me, and all of the email content sent to you will no longer be sent to your email address.

Finally, Finding Wonderland (RissiWrites.com) DOES NOT sell or share any of your information. We do use cookies to better serve the reader experience, place ads, use third party services (like Rafflecopter) and will use some affiliate links (any post that contains affiliate links will contain a notice). (We are not responsible for nor do we control what third-party ads, links, etc. do with user information.) Finding Wonderland uses your information in one of two ways:

1: To send out email or RSS feed updates which you signed up for (thank you!), as described above.
2: To contact you via the email you provide in a Rafflecopter hosted giveaway app.

You can read more about our Privacy Policy if you'd like. I hope you stick with Finding Wonderland, and enjoy the content. Thank you so everyone who's been a reader and supported Finding Wonderland. I'm glad to have you along on this adventure!
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Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland 

The Prince and Me (2004) – Romantic-Comedy Inspires Nostalgic Feels

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Prince and Me (2004) – Romantic-Comedy Inspires Nostalgic Feels

The era of romantic-comedies from my teen years is a thing of the past. One of the films that fell in my teen years is the royal romance, The Prince and Me. It also happens to be one of the films I still adore today.

Romantic Movie Scene Feature | Paige and Eddie from 'The Prince and Me'


This ‘once upon a time’ begins on a farm in Wisconsin where a frazzled Paige Morgan (Julia Stiles) is preparing to return to college. Studious with plans to attend medical school, Paige is laser focused on education. Her goals? Make good grades and attend Johns Hopkins. Her world shifts when she meets the infuriating Eddie (Luke Mably), a British student currently enrolled in her school.

Eddie is something of a play boy who, in Denmark is actually the royal prince. But he’s tired of the stuffy restrictions of royal life, so he enrolls in an American school, hoping to meet some American party girls. Though he takes an immediate interest in Paige, he quickly learns she’s not the kind of girl he normally hangs out with. Instead she's actually the kind of girl who could inspire change in him. Only trouble is, Eddie has this royal secret Paige is blissfully ignorant of.

Irrespective of the painfully outdated technology, this film remains one of my most favorites. There’s something about it that charms its viewer, all without even trying. As I’ve recounted before, I can still remember being at the theater and my teenage self being thoroughly enchanted with this film. That feeling is still intact.

Until recently, I hadn’t seen this film for far too long. But I had to watch it one Friday night because of an article. I walked away with a realization the fashion was painfully old, but the heart of the story is still beautiful. That’s all the matters when all I, as a viewer, wish for, is a lighthearted and entertaining piece of entertainment. This film presents this exact feeling, and of course, that’s exactly the prism through which I watch this.


Beyond my (over) gushing about the “cuteness” of the production, there is more to love about this script. Part of the good is this cast. Julia Stiles may not have achieved the same sort of star power as Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock, but she’s a darn good actress. In this role, she’s found her “perfect match.” As Paige she shines. Her looks and personality seem to fit this role so well. Then there’s Luke, a newcomer (to me) who also has the right aptitude for this role. (The unique talent to be a playboy character and a “stiff upper lip” royal and all that Plus, he and Julie have a fabulous chemistry.

The reunion scene is perhaps a little too "pomp and circumstance" or outlandish, but it's still sweet, plus the ensuing, quiet scene that follows is lovely. This means I can excuse the silliness preceding it. Additionally, there's a fun sequence in which Eddie shows Paige his world, and that too makes the silly irrelevant. In the end, The Prince and Me isn’t perfect (what is?). But the story is adorable, and is probably one of the first of its genre to have been produced (can we believe it’s 14 years old?!).

There’s adorable and quiet romantic moments, and then there’s those swoony moments. All this to say, I’m still a softie for The Prince and Me. It’s a film that shows the best and worst of a love story, while still retaining its sense of humor and of course, a journey to happily ever after.

(This post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I'll receive a small percentage of the sale. Read the disclosure page for details.) You can rent or own The Prince and Me on Amazon Video or purchase on DVD.

Content: there is some adult content in this film including some suggestive innuendo, and commonplace profanity. The film is rated PG.

Photos: Paramount

Romantic Movie Scene Feature | Paige and Eddie from 'The Prince and Me'

For many interested Americans, this past Saturday (May 19th 2018) was a pretty exciting day. You see, it was the day Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle said their 'I Dos.' 

Here's a little secret. I'm not one of the people who has swooned over or followed this royal love story, but let me tell you another secret. I am one of those girls who swoons over a good fictional royal romance. 

Fangirl Confessions | Hallmark Channel’s ‘Royal’ Romantic-Comedies


Yes, I realize, this is a kind of contrary fan girl situation. 




As we established earlier this week, one of my favorite royal love story staples is the Hallmark network. On their channel, there are plenty of sweet and old-fashioned royal romance stories. Several of which I talk about in my list. Also, over on Silver Petticoat, I curated a list of ten royal stories (books and films!) that you might enjoy if you need something to read or stay in and watch on a lazy night in. 

(This post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I'll receive a small percentage of the sale. Read the disclosure page for details.) You can rent or own The Prince and Me on Amazon Video or purchase on DVD.

You can read the entire "romantic moment" over on Silver Petticoat via the links below (which will redirect you to Silver Petticoat). This spotlight involves Shakespeare and laundry (!!!). Somehow it's a scene that works really well for these pair, and film. Have you seen this romantic-comedy? Do you like or dislike it? Tell me about your favorite moment from this film!

ROMANTIC MOMENT OF THE WEEK: The Prince and Me

THE FILM: The Prince and Me (2004)
THE PAIRING: Paige Morgan (Julia Stiles) and Eddie (Luke Mably)
THE MOMENT: Eddie teaches Paige about Shakespeare
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One of my most nostalgic romantic comedy favorites is a little film called The Prince and Me. In fact, I still have this vague memory of being at the theater, and seeing the life-size cutout poster art for the film. Needless to say, the romantic teenager in me was a little bit enchanted with The Prince and Me. Continue Reading on Silver Petticoat →

Photo: Paramount 

Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siedgemund-Broka – YA Heroine Finds Love on Shakespearean Stage

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Book Review: Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siedgemund-Broka – YA Heroine Finds Love on Shakespearean Stage
(This post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I'll receive a small percentage of the sale. Read the disclosure page for details.) 

ABOUT the BOOK
Author: Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
Publisher: Speak (Penguin Random House)
Publication Date: 2018
Genre: Fiction; Secular Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Publisher Provided – thank you, Speak!
FIND the BOOK ELSEWHERE:
FIND the REVIEW ELSEWHERE:
Amazon | Blogger | Goodreads | Wordpress
Rating: ★★★ ½


High school senior Megan Harper has a history. A history no one would be keen to repeat, and yet for Megan, it does. Her history with dating ends in anything but “happily ever after.” You see every guy she dates falls madly in love… only it’s never with her. Right after she and her boyfriend break up, they find the person they’re meant to be with. The latest is Tyler, her ex, who is now dating her best friend. Awkward, right? Maybe, but Megan’s totally cool with this. 

During their senior play, Megan becomes interested in a cute stage hand named Will. But so far he seems pretty clueless, which is where Will’s friend Owen comes in. As Megan tries to navigate school, organize the senior showcase (which she needs for her college application), the possibility of a new romance and her dysfunctional family, Megan’s once semi-normal world starts to fall apart. 



BOOK REVIEW | The Way You Make Me Feel By Maurene Goo – Colorful, Sassy YA Summer Read (Comes With Food Truck!)

From the moment I read the synopsis of this novel, I knew it sounded like something I’d want to take a second look at. Indeed the more I noticed it on shopping carousels or on Goodreads, the more I knew it would be something I’d simply “have” to read. Not only is its synopsis adorable, its cover design (look at the motion, those colors, and that font?!) and title was also a strong influence. Unfortunately, for any one pro, there’s usually two cons. 

The novel’s premise is unique and one of the cutest ideas I’ve seen in a while. It has a story that “pops” off the page, and might have worked really well were it not for one thing. These characters treat relationships way too casually. Perhaps I’m being unreasonable saying this in consideration of the immaturity of the characters, but I still feel it’s a negative. Admittedly, the plot does kind of suggest multiple relationships. But even at this, multiple relationships and treating them casually doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive. In this case, they are. 


This would be my one “big” complaint about this story. Otherwise, if you look past this, it is cute. Its basic premise is darling. There are a few fun subplots including one that involves a high school Shakespeare play, and Megan’s dysfunctional family dynamics. Then there’s Megan herself. Irrespective of her unwise choices, I found her to be a very interesting and complex character. She uses her failed relationships as a convenient excuse why she’s not currently in a successful relationship. Underneath, as any good character should, she has her virtues and vulnerabilities, just waiting for the right person to bring them out. 


If you’re looking for a quick summer read to enjoy (and you don’t mind the secular mindset), Always Never Yours is worth adding to the list. It’s an easy read that inspired me to keep flipping its pages, eager to learn what comes next for Megan - and unlike the Shakespearean character this protagonist is playing, Megan’s story finally gets its happy ending. 


Content note: this is a secular YA novel so it contains multiple uses of the f-word (20 or so) plus various other commonplace profanities. The idea of love is treated very casually as evidenced by the character’s eagerness to “hook up,” which is something implied throughout much of the novel; Megan in particular treats relationships with a careless attitude. (There are about 2-3“fade to black” sexual situations.) There is also a subplot involving a same-sex relationship. 

Synopsis: Megan Harper is the girl before. All her exes find their one true love right after dating her. It’s not a curse or anything, it’s just the way things are, and Megan refuses to waste time feeling sorry for herself. Instead, she focuses on pursuing her next fling, directing theatre, and fulfilling her dream school’s acting requirement in the smallest role possible. 

But her plans quickly crumble when she’s cast as none other than Juliet–yes, that Juliet–in her high school’s production. It’s a nightmare. No–a disaster. Megan’s not an actress and she’s certainly not a Juliet. Then she meets Owen Okita, an aspiring playwright who agrees to help Megan catch the eye of a sexy stagehand in exchange for help writing his new script. 

Between rehearsals and contending with her divided family, Megan begins to notice Owen–thoughtful, unconventional, and utterly unlike her exes, and wonders: shouldn’t a girl get to play the lead in her own love story? – Goodreads

Coming Next from Austin and Emily, As We Go Forth: Dana Leydig at Puffin has acquired two novels by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley. The first, As We Go Forth, is a contemporary romance told in alternating perspectives; it features Juniper and Fitz, two high school seniors with vastly different views about the future, who meet unexpectedly on their respective college tours. Publication is planned for spring 2020; Katie Shea Boutillier at Donald Maass Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights. – Goodreads 

Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book; all opinions are my own.

Top Ten Tuesday | What’s in a Name? aka Favorite and Unique Character Names

Monday, May 21, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday | What’s in a Name? aka Favorite and Unique Character Names

Hello, happy readers and friends. Welcome back to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday. This week the topic is especially fun methinks. Let’s take a look.

That Artsy Reader Girl May 22: Best Character Names (make this as narrow/broad as you’d like

(This post does contain affiliate links, which means – at no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through a link. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Character names have been something I’ve talked about off and on. To me, the more unique a character name (and provided I can pronounce it!), the more that character’s story lingers with me. For example, the name Katniss Everdeen is an “icon” in YA fiction. Despite the fact that I do not love The Hunger Games, this name – and all of the characters, really – has certainly stuck with me these many years. It just sounds cool.

I’m not ordinarily (with exception to a few cases) the biggest fan of names that you see often spelled unusually, but when a name is unique or unusual, it does help the character and the story linger in my mind. Last week, I uploaded a video to Finding Wonderland’s Booktube channel in which I discuss unique (and favorite) character names.

Today, we're talking about eight additional names that are favorite. Let's have a look.

1: Avery from Still Life by Dani Pettrey | Not only do I love this name, I also love this character. Also, here’s a fact: Avery is one of the character names from my old WIP novel. Which I haven’t dusted off in years – and to be truthful, I’d be a little scared to open said document today. Amazon | Goodreads


2: Bane Alexander from Against the Tide by Elizabeth Camden | Years ago I read this wonderful historical novel. Though I don’t remember particulars, I do remember loving this story, and the hero. Not only is a good man of character, but how cool is his name!? Amazon | Goodreads

3: Caymen from The Distance Between Us by Kasie West | This isn’t my favorite novel by West, but irrelevant of this, it’s still a darling story that has a heroine with a really (really) cool name. Plus, if you like them, you’ll love knowing this one boasts Gilmore Girls vibes. Amazon | Goodreads


4: Celia from Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge | Celia isn’t unusual in some of the ways Bane or Caymen is, but it’s an old-fashioned name that I think is beautiful. Amazon | Goodreads

5: Finley from There You’ll Find Me by Jenny B. Jones | What I love about this name, I cannot quite pinpoint, but I do. I think it suits the character so well, and is also crazy unique which as we’ve established, I admire. Amazon | Goodreads


6: Hamlet from The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo | I’m not a Shakespeare fan, but for this character and this story, the name Hamlet is just… cool! Amazon | Goodreads

7: Isla from Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins | Though I haven’t read this novel yet, I feel like the name fits the character 100% “to a T.” It’s a striking name that sounds really sophisticated, plus I love how it sounds as a title. Amazon | Goodreads


8: Lara Jean from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han | Again, this is another book I haven’t read (WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME!? Now seems an excellent time to binge read considering the upcoming film). Irrelevant of this, from all I know of these stories, Lara Jean sounds like the PERFECT name for this character. Amazon | Goodreads

*video publishes Tuesday afternoon; channel linked above
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Of all the books on my shelf, I've zero doubt I could find MORE names that are favorites. But since I'm thinking a "part 2" video or something will be in my near future, I don't want to use all of my favorites. What are your thoughts on character names? Do you prefer more the names you see commonly or do you like names that sound unique? How do you feel about unique spellings of names you see commonly? Tell me about your favorite character names!

If you joined today’s meme, make sure and leave your Top Ten Tuesday links below so I can visit – or simply introduce your blog. I’d be glad to visit your bookish spaces.

Thank you for visiting Finding Wonderland.

When We First Met (2018) – Netflix’s Romantic-Comedy Repeats its Love Story

When We First Met (2018) – Netflix’s Romantic-Comedy Repeats its Love Story

Unless it looks to be inappropriate beyond the common standard, anytime I spy a new romantic-comedy, its click bait. This is true of the recently released comedy, When We First Met. With a bright cast and catching premise, this one does entertain. Let’s talk about why and how it does.


Three years ago, everything changed for Noah (Adam Devine). On this Halloween night, he met the girl of his dreams. Today, Avery (Alexandra Daddario) is happier than she’s ever been and about to marry, Ethan (Robbie Amell). Perfect in every way, Ethan is everything Noah is not. But three years ago, as Noah fell in love with Avery, she unceremoniously “friended” him. So for the past three years, he’s been the best guy friend Avery has ever had… all without saying a word to his dream girl.

Then a twist of fate and an old school photo booth changes his present. Noah, along with Avery’s snarky best friend, Carrie (Shelley Henning), is about to be given the chance to change the past.

Comedies with a romantic angle are my bread and butter. Much as I enjoy a solid drama with heart, when I want to unplug and enjoy something without having to use much brain power, it’s the romcom I seek out. One of my recent discoveries came about thanks to that monthly (aka addictive) subscription known as Netflix. One of the most popular things just now is services creating original content. Whether it’s the veteran Hallmark Channel, Amazon Prime or now Netflix, any number of brands release originals under their banner. One of Netflix’s latest is the subject of today’s review, When We First Met.

Other than its genre, I’m really not sure why I settled in to watch this one. The reason I say this is a simple one. Its premise is a kind of Groundhog Day-esque story, which has never been a favorite story of mine. In fact, I watched the first half of this one late one night, and while I thought it was cute, I turned it off when the hour grew too late. Days passed, and I still hadn’t finished the movie, usually a sure indicator I’m really not that into it. But finally I did decide to watch the latter half, and my opinion did a 180. In the end, this story somehow endeared itself. Whether it’s just because I needed a good laugh, or I found something new to love about the characters, this film become something I could thoroughly enjoy.

With a cast unburdened by stereotype casting (because they’re mainly newcomers), and a script that keeps the story moving forward (despite the repeated days), When We First Met is comedy cute. Is it brilliant filmmaking? No, but then I don’t think it aspires to be. Instead it’s exactly what you’d think it’d be – entertainment. With a great cast, fun characters and some fun scenarios, this Netflix original is a comedy I’m glad to have spent the time to enjoy. It makes me laugh, and oftentimes, this is all something needs to accomplish to win over this girl.

Content: There is sexual innuendo/some crude humor, and a suggestive scene that involves removal of clothing before cutting to the “morning after” scene. There’s also some minor profanity. The film is appropriately rated TV14, which equates to a PG13 rating.

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