MINI-REVIEWS: 10 Blind Dates & The Bone Houses aka the cute and the creepy

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Title: The Bone Houses
Author: Emily Lloyd-Jones
Pages: 352
Release Date: September 24th 2019
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Historical Fiction
Goodreads Rating:  4.11 (of 2784 ratings)

representation: MC with chronic pain (shoulder)
content warnings: death, death of parents, grief, intense sequences (violence, fighting, near death situations)

This was…well, it was? I felt like the first few chapters of this book really drew me in. I was intrigued, and I, for sure, thought I would be enjoying it. It had such an intriguing feel to it, and the premise felt fresh and unique. The atmospheric and lush feel to the story never really changed, thankfully, but I felt like it lost a lot of momentum. 

This book felt like a really dark Disney fairytale? I kind of felt like it was like Brave, but with skeleton zombies. It was even complete with an undead animal sidekick! I think this is what really kept me reading. The plot was decently interesting as well.

However, I think it hit a wall. At some point, I just…stopped caring? I wasn’t invested in it anymore. There were intriguing elements, but it began to feel like generic fantasy instead of something that was feeling fresh and new, which it had in the beginning. I also didn’t really connect with any of the characters. They just felt like they were run of the mill fantasy characters, and I couldn’t really find the depth in them. It was amazing to see, though, a character that was suffering from chronic pain in a fantasy setting, since it’s so rare to see one, period, in YA let alone in a fantasy novel. This is honestly what set it apart for me, but the rest of the characterization just felt lackluster for me.

cinderellaOverall, even though this book started off strong, it ended up being quite meh. It had certainly an unique and dark fairytale feel to it, but the characterization and overall feeling of generic fantasy led me lose a lot of interest in this story. Therefore, a Cinderella Rating!



Title: 10 Blind Dates
Author: Ashley Elston
Pages: 336
Release Date: October 1st 2019
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Contemporary
Goodreads Rating:  4.03 (of 1064 ratings)

representation: Sicilian main character/family
content warnings: tense health situations (pregnancy) for family member

I had read Elston’s previous mystery novel, so I was intrigued to see what she was going to do with a fluffy, contemporary book – and I have to say that she did quite well! This was one adorable read that provided all the feels I could ask for and so much cuteness. I might have outcheesed myself with this one.

I think the biggest thing that I loved with this novel is the family aspect. It’s so rare to see a YA book where the family plays such a crucial role in the novel. Our main character goes to stay with her extended family for Christmas break, and there are so much fun and shenanigans with them. I loved all the family moments, and this book is built on heart. It was adorable. However, I think perhaps there might have been too many? I got quite lost with some of them, and there were a few names that did blur together. However, it was so much fun!!

I also really enjoyed the premise of the blind dates. Each one was really enjoyable, and I loved the ones that got a little crazy. It’s just light and one of those super feel good movies. Think Hallmark Christmas movie but in teen format. Although oddly enough I can’t watch Hallmark movies but I can read Hallmark level quality contemps??? so weird, okay, me, sure. ANYWAY, I really enjoyed it.

However, I feel like some stuff was glazed over. I mean, while the plot was really fun, I felt like it lacked the little extra oomph that really would have made it a favorite. I also really felt like the characters needed a little more depth. I mean, they were decently well defined, but I felt like I was missing a lot of the little details that made them truly them. And regarding the romance, I felt like we went from zero to all of a sudden he’s a hard core love interest. And the whole miscommunication trope got a little too drawn out.

arielOverall, this really was a fun, light read. I’ve been lacking on my adorable cheesy goodness, and this was a perfect addition to my need for the fluffiest of the fluff. It did lack in some areas, like in the true character development, which is why it’s getting an Ariel rating! However, this is perfect for the Hallmark movie holiday lovers out there!


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What do you think? Let’s discuss in the comments below!


20 thoughts on “MINI-REVIEWS: 10 Blind Dates & The Bone Houses aka the cute and the creepy

  1. Hmm, like a teen Hallmark movie? Maybe that’s one of the reasons I loved it so much. All I know is that I was left so happy after I finished this book, and her huge family reminded me of my own. It was a perfect Sam-read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I may buy this book! I’ve cut down on book buying especially when I pay $23 to do laundry today at the laundrymat. *cringes*

    And people wonder why I am trying to cut corners when I can. Have you read Lisa Brown’s latest book about the book lovers? The second one is family oriented too! You’ll like that one I you haven’t read it yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I totally think you will enjoy, Colleen! It might be a well deserved treat. But dear gosh!! That is so much. D:

      I have not! I just found out about it maybe two weeks ago or so? I remember I loved the first one so much, and it sounded quite good. Glad to hear that. Definitely adding it to my list! 🙂


      1. I think that was one of the first books we gushed about along with Princess of Tyrone. Still never read that second one. I got The Dress for the wicked from my library!

        And yesss. I really want my own washer and dryer but there’s no hookups here. We went from four washers to just two at the apartment laundry facility. I can’t stand wasting any dollars on my own like I did today.

        Hopefully my next place will have a washer and dryer. That will save me about $50 a month. I might possibly be moving soon to keep our family dog. Good thing is most pet friendly apartments have washer and dryers!!!! I keep pointing those ones out to my parents lol. Sorry I keep talking about that here. That was just an hour of frustration today. And I won’t have to go outside into another building to do it either! I could do it at midnight if I wanted to!!! 😜 Can you tell I am stoked about just having my own washer and dryer soon maybe? LOL. Guess I’m officially an adult if I’m excited about an appliance.

        And I just bought that 10 dates book to cheer up cause it’s been awhile. Maybe I should start buying one or two books a month again. Ebooks are cheap! Usually.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes!! I was super excited to see there was a second one. I’m wondering if I need to read the first one again?

        And omg yes!! It’s so handy and you’ll be saving so much with it. It really is exciting since it’s be a load off your shoulders in money and stress to get it out there. Hopefully that will be perfect and work out for it!!

        And yes! Ebooks definitely are cheaper. It might be nice to have something to look forward to and one isn’t enough to break the bank, I’m sure.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I don’t think you need to read the first one again unless you want to swoon over Dash and Viv again. There’s only like a couple of mentions to the first book. I think you’ll be fine!

        I hope so, but now my parents are playing the I don’t know game after telling me to figure stuff out lol. Now they might buy a condo in Michigan and I’m just like…make up your mind! I was going to try to help them with our dog. Was looking forward to it
        Also…I want to move there too! LOL. My dad is still over in UAE, this would just be a downsize from their house for them. Sorry for that being slightly off topic. Life is just a huge I don’t know thing right now. With holidays thrown into it.

        And yes! I still love my Kobo for built in Overdrive too. Speaking of which, have you checked out Disney+ yet? I mean, that app seems made for you guys!!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Okay, perfect! I will probably skip then. Although I do have the first book, so I don’t know either.

        Oh gosh, yes! That’s a lot of major things that are in flux right now, and I mean, I would be struggling with just wanting to get the information!! With major things like that, it’s so hard to deal with period let alone the holidays. D:

        Yes! And ugh, I have it, but I haven’t had the time to check it out yet, and I just want to binge it all. Have you??

        Liked by 1 person

      5. You can reread if you really want to! I have no judgement for people who reread because I do it too. But I bet your TBR pile is like mine, LOL.

        And yesss, now the move thankfully isn’t happening for me but maybe my stepmom instead. They might sell their house here and have her move to Michigan. They are all over the place but it would be easier for her. I still have stuff going on like the holidays though. And I want to try to write and I am trying to go to the gym but so far one hour a week is all I’ve been able to do. UGH. There’s just not enough hours in a day.

        And yes, I finally started watching it like last week and I started rewatching That’s So Raven. One weekend I rewatched The Lion King movies again. I needed something familiar. Though this last weekend I did watch Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel and Netflix too.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I have finally started to really getting into rereads…mostly because I grew tired of trying to piece together all the books I’ve forgotten which is like every book haha. But that is always the hardest part with the TBR pile.

        Ugh that stinks. There is just so much to do around this season and gets to be so much. I agree so much about not enough hours. I would like at least 30, please.

        Oooooh I have that’s so Raven on my list but I just need to get myself to watch it. And I’ve been thinking about the lion king ones. Glad your watching is going good!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The more I read your reviews, the more I feel like your unique “princess” rating system is the way to go. I often feel SO restricted by the typical 5 stars, and 10 is WAY too many (maybe). I think the rating system is one of the reasons I adore this blog. I know EXACTLY how you feel from your review and rating, and it really helps to recommend books that way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sha and I had a really intense conversation about just going to the star rating system, and it was really tough decision. We both agreed that it really did feel quite constricting as you said, and no one really does out of 10. But with defining with the different themes really does help. I’m glad to know that it really does work since I wasn’t sure if it was just my overwhelming love for princesses lol. Would you want to do a themed rating of sorts?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I recently added 10 Blind Dates to my TBR. I seriously need to pick up more contemporary and i love the sound of it. I’m happy to hear that you mostly enjoyed it. The family aspect sounds quite intriguing too.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s wonderful to know (: I don’t think I’ll have a chance to get to it over the holidays now though. I got behind on everything between doing some major blog post planning and getting a lot of headaches /: I’ll see though (: Either way its definitely on my TBR as it sounds like the sort of sweet, contemporary read that I want to pick up more often.

        Liked by 1 person

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