May 16, 2015

Abbreviations #8 | The Chocolate Kiss, The Duff + Hopeless

This week's set of mini-reviews includes a delightful bunch of reads! There's the delectable adult novel that features three of my favorite things: romance, Paris and sweets. Then there's a YA novel that was recently turned into a film (and they're very different from each other). And then, I finish this set off with an angst-filled NA that I really wound up enjoying.

The Chocolate Kiss book cover
The Chocolate Kiss by Laura Florand
Series: Amour et Chocolat #2
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: December 24, 2012
Source/Format: Bought || Kindle e-book

Ah, l'amour! There's nothing quite like love, and Laura Florand captures the essence of love in its entire capacity in her Amour et Chocolat series. I enjoyed the playfulness of The Chocolate Thief, and came off of a reread when I first read The Chocolate Kiss. Guys, words fail me when I try to express how utterly delightful this whimsical tale is! It's the story of a prince: the prince of patisseries, Philippe Lyonnais, handsome, dedicated to his craft, a gentleman, a lion who is determined to capture his prey. It's the story of a witch: the lovely Magalie Chaudron, fashionable, independent and determined to be entirely her own person. It's the story of delectable macarons, irresistible chocolat chaud and the dueling bouts of two individuals who are falling in love but stubbornly resisting giving in to their emotions. Honestly, I have no idea how Florand manages it, but her story is the perfect blend of fairy tale magic and contemporary swoons - and I thoroughly enjoyed my immersion in it. Plus, with her beautiful descriptions of Paris and the sweet treats to be had - it's no wonder I loved this one as much as I did! If you've yet to check out Laura Florand, you'd do well to give the Amour et Chocolat series a try.

The DUFF book cover
The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Poppy
Publication Date: January 1, 2010
Source/Format: Borrowed from the library || Paperback

When I started The DUFF, I was immediately drawn to Bianca. Her sassy sense of humor, as well as her solid sense of self, really drew me in. Between her sarcasm and Wesley's amusing quips, I laughed out loud more than once during the first five chapters. But without warning, The DUFF takes a turn for the serious. It threw me for a loop for a little bit, but I gradually warmed up to it. Despite finding it initially disconcerting, the serious situations Bianca has to deal with helped me to understand her choices (even though they were really frustrating most of the time). It's not the easiest thing in the world to read about a character making inadvisable choices, but Keplinger succeeds in making us like Bianca enough to want to see her story through to the end. (And let me tell you, I really liked how it all ended!) Plus, Keplinger managed to make me think about, no matter who we are or what we look like, we can all certainly feel like the DUFF sometimes. While not a favorite for me, The DUFF turned out to be a decent read. (And I'm certainly looking forward to seeing the movie!)

Hopeless book cover
Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
Series: Hopeless #1
Publisher: Self-published
Publication Date: December 17, 2012
Source/Format: Bought || Kindle e-book

I was craving an angsty NA novel, so I turned to Kelly for a recommendation, which is how I ended up reading Hopeless. I knew nothing about it when I started reading, but I think that contributed to my positive experience with my first Hoover story! The twists and turns of Sky & Holder’s story are heavy on the angst + drama, particularly in terms of romance. I’ll admit that it took me a while to warm up to the “will they-won’t they-what will they” dynamic that Hoover uses for Sky and Holder. Add in Sky’s crazy life circumstances, and it’s a doozy of a drama – but it worked because that was exactly what I had been craving. The main reason, apart from my mood, that it really worked for me? Sky. She was just an awesome combination of smart, sassy, awkward and relatable, and I was truly invested in knowing her story. While I doubt I could revisit this story often (since I’d need to be in the right mood), I really did like how Hoover wrote Hopeless.


  1. Hmm, I'd go to famous events from the past....and probably stay away from the future.

  2. Julie K. (fantasy-maniak)May 16, 2015 at 2:17 PM

    I heard about The Duff but I don't know if I want to read it.. maybe, I'll see

  3. I know this is totally morbid, but I have always been fascinated by the Holocaust and WWII, so I would want to go back to that time. It's so easy to think "oh, yeah, of course I'd be brave and fight for humanity" but it's impossible to know until you're in that situation. I've always had this weird wish to be in the middle of it all - to really test myself. (Of course, it's easy to wish that when I know it will never happen. :p)

  4. It looks like a great book!

  5. Katherine @ Neon Yeti ReadsMay 16, 2015 at 6:36 PM

    I didn't really like the DUFF. I was expecting more commentary on bullying and not being a DUFF, but this didn't really seem to get at any of that. It was a really strange relationship too. I'm looking forward to seeing the movie though.

  6. I would go back and give former self some tips and advice for the future.

  7. Kristin @ SimplyBookishThingsMay 17, 2015 at 10:27 AM

    I have read The DUFF and Hopeless and I loved them both, although I do agree with what you said about The DUFF. The Amour et Chocolat looks so cute and sweet, so here I go off to Goodreads! ;)

  8. Hm....visit lots of historical landmarks

  9. If I could travel through time, I'd love to see the development of fashion trends! Or food! Or military warfare ahaha :) -seekellytse

  10. Danielle @ Love at First PageMay 19, 2015 at 7:02 PM

    Hopeless is a favorite of mine - it's angsty, but I love that the romance doesn't go up and down much.
    I really need to read Laura Florand's books - they're recommended to me all the time. I'm sure I'd love them
    Great reviews, dear!

  11. I have yet to read a SINGLE CoHo book, but I will one day. I'm definitely going to start with either Hopeless, which I'm glad you liked, or Someday.

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