Category: Book Reviews

ARC Review: You Have a Match

Posted January 4, 2021 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: You Have a Match

I absolutely adored TWEET CUTE (and pestered my sister endlessly until she finally read it and loved it as much as me). I was a huge fan of the ship, the characters, the setting, and the unique plot. I compared YOU HAVE A MATCH a lot while reading it because it’s always hard to bring a sophomore novel to top the debut, which was a five-star read. Both books are kind of complicated, to be honest – there are so many different story threads to follow along with, yet it never feels like the author is taking on too much. YOU HAVE A MATCH follows Abby as she deals with the fallout from finding out that she has an older sister who was clearly adopted about a year and a half before she was born. How could her parents keep this kind of secret? What happened!? Savvy, her newfound sister, and Abby go to the same summer camp to get to know each other and try to determine how this all went down. Abby’s best-friend-turned-crush Leo is there working in the cafeteria, while Savvy is dealing with relationship drama of her own. I loved learning about Abby’s friendship with Connie and Leo, while also seeing her sisterhood/friendship develop with Savvy (after some very rocky patches and fights at the start!).The camp setting was a lot of fun and led to some great moments with Abby’s photography. I loved that she was exploring different options instead of college, or considered community college […]

Review Round Up | Chasing Lucky, The Hunting Party, and How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories

Posted January 1, 2021 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Chasing Lucky, The Hunting Party, and How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I’ve pretty much loved all of Jenn Bennett’s books and this one was good! I have to say it might be my least favorite, but still a very cute, atmospheric read. Annoyingly, I can’t really put my finger on the things that bother me or prevent it from being a fave. Josie returns home to Beauty, RI (kind of like Newport, in my eyes) and encounters her long lost best friend, Lucky, after they were essentially ripped apart five years before. Josie and the women in her family are “cursed” and have bad luck with men. This didn’t really play into the story as much as I expected but was somewhat of an underlying theme. She and her mom are back in Beauty to run her grandma’s bookstore while she’s away with her aunt. It was fun to read about this coastal Rhode Island town but I didn’t get as many fun New England seaport vibes as I was hoping for? The bookstore was THERE but not as present as I would have liked either for some reason. There are a lot of plot points I didn’t expect or remember from the synopsis, if they were in there, like the breaking of a store window and a […]

Review Round Up | All the Missing Girls, Dear Justyce, and Second Chance on Cypress Lane

Posted December 28, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | All the Missing Girls, Dear Justyce, and Second Chance on Cypress Lane

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! In the shitty year that is 2020, I completely blew it with #ReadForGrace. No calendar reminder could help me keep track of what day it is, apparently. I decided on a whim to start a book a day or two after her birthday and I think she’d be fine with that 🙂 Megan Miranda (and ALL THE MISSING GIRLS specifically) were favorites of hers. I’d been wanting to read this one forever so it was the perfect opportunity. I’m going to keep this review brief because of spoilers, but wow – what a format! The first chapter or two set the scene for the story: Nicolette is managing the health of her aging father and has to return home to NC to help clean the house in order to sell it. You learn that her best friend from high school went missing a decade before. The narrative is then told in reverse, beginning with Day 15 and ending up at Day 1, the day another girl (Annaliese) goes missing. Along the journey, you find out about the complex relationships between Nicolette and her father, ex-boyfriend, brother… a bunch of people who never left town. It took some getting used to, reading a story in reverse, but it […]

Holiday Review: The Twelve Dates of Christmas

Posted December 27, 2020 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Holiday Review: The Twelve Dates of Christmas

Story This was one of my most anticipated reads for the holiday season and it didn’t disappoint! I loved the idea of following Kate on her twelve dates, set up through the 12 Dates of Christmas program. A local agency developed a matchmaking program where the people would go on twelve predetermined dates with matched partners and see how they get along. They were all seasonal and often festive with holiday themes. Lots of the dates showed some promise and plenty more were major busts, so it was funny to see how they all shook out or what activities the couple would go with. It was pretty obvious where the story was going from the beginning, which was okay by me. I like a predictable holiday romance. It did take me a little while to warm up to the winning love interest though; he was a bit annoying and it felt like he took advantage of her a little bit in the first half of the book (her kindness or friendship, I mean). I won’t say anymore! As I’ll discuss more below, her snow-covered English village was adorable. I could relate to her feelings of wanting to be in the big city (London) for a while but happily returned home to help her father out. She debated if it was the right move but truly loved being there. It makes me want to travel to England as soon as I’m able to get out of the country haha. She had […]

Holiday Reviews: Christmas at Holiday House and Christmas at Fireside Cabins

Posted December 25, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: Christmas at Holiday House and Christmas at Fireside Cabins

Story I’ve enjoyed RaeAnne Thayne’s novels over the past few years. She tends to write great small town romances that verge on too cheesy and wholesome. Well, this one definitely got further into that territory and I was a little put off by it. There were a lot of repetitive thoughts or conversations that made me roll my eyes. Backing up a bit, this one centers around Abigail and her son Christopher. They move to Silver Bells for a few weeks to help out her friend’s grandma before they plan to move from Arizona to Texas for a fresh start. She’s hoping to move on from her husband’s tragic death with a new city and life for her son. While in Silver Bells, she finds a growing attraction to her friend Lucy’s brother, Ethan, who manages the family’s fancy hotel chain. The story also kind of weirdly and randomly has Lucy’s point of view a few times where she wrestles with her feelings for her brother’s best friend. While I appreciated their story, it was kind of weird because the book had three points of view that weren’t split evenly. It was very much Abigail’s story with some pops of Ethan and even less pops of Lucy. It didn’t make a ton of sense to me. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels Silver Bells was a super cute town and the Holiday House setting was even better. She ends up helping to decorate the mansion with a dozen Christmas trees and […]

Holiday Reviews: In a Holidaze and Season of Joy

Posted December 18, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 1 Comment
Holiday Reviews: In a Holidaze and Season of Joy

Story I’ve been lucky that there have been a few books this year where I was like “yup this is exactly what I needed.” I’m one of those people who didn’t hop on the Christina Lauren bandwagon until they started writing more rom-com style books, and I’ve enjoyed most of them. Somewhat mixed, but always quick and easy reads. This is easily one of my favorites! This featured a Groundhog Day-style story where Mae keeps returning to the beginning of the trip to try to find out what will make her happy. Can she save the cabin? Will she take a shot at Andrew, her childhood friend and longtime crush? I’ll admit that I usually prefer more “restarts” when I read these books. I won’t say how many times she looped back to the start for spoiler reasons. The big group of people who come to this cabin on a yearly basis were lovely – Mae’s parents (now divorced) and her parents’ college friends, plus all of their kids. There’s somewhat of a SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY vibe with a brother-based “love triangle” (not really, IMO) that I also loved. Benny, their parents fun single friend, was a great confidante for Mae and I loved him. I could have read a lot more about this chosen family! I think that’s one of the main areas where the book was lacking – I wanted MORE of the holiday feels, as discussed below, and more moments with everyone together. I just loved […]

Holiday Reviews: One Way or Another and A Princess for Christmas

Posted December 9, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: One Way or Another and A Princess for Christmas

Story I’m a sucker for a parallel life/universe kind of story. Should she go to NYC or her crush’s cabin for the Christmas holiday? I love seeing both timelines and how they end – will she end up in the same place? The main character, Paige, struggles with anxiety and decision-making; when she hits her head on the grocery store floor, the story and her life split into two universes so we can see how it plays out. I enjoyed the best-friends-to-more situation that was possibly brewing too – Paige had had a crush on her best guy friend for years and is trying to figure out how to move on and get over it. I liked reading both stories/settings. I think the wintery cabin with Fitz and his family was more interesting because they were actually spending time together. The NYC timeline was cool for her to travel and spend time with her mom’s friend’s son, Harrison, but she spent a ton of time still thinking about Fitz. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels NYC during the holidays is always a dream setting. I’ve been near Christmas and it was a chaotic time that I don’t want to relive ever again. I’m not a city girl. I can definitely see the magic in it and love reading Christmas books set there! It’s the closest I’ll get haha. The Christmas feels were medium because those elements weren’t the point of the story. It was just the time of year where the […]

ARC Review: Love & Olives

Posted December 3, 2020 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Love & Olives

Honestly, my experiences with this series so far have been hit or miss. Meaning, book one was a miss for me and book two was a major hit. This 50/50 record was enough to still keep me super excited for book three – a book set in Greece featuring the lost city of Atlantis? YES! And honestly, I loved LOVE & LUCK enough to know the first one was a fluke. My thoughts on LOVE & GELATO were as follows: Pausing this for now. I don’t mind the audio narrator but I think I would be better off reading this one instead. I’ll wait for my library hold to come in. I have a feeling things may pick up, based on the synopsis, but I’m not going to carve out listening time for this one as it is right now. ——– 2nd time putting this one aside. Not sure why I can’t get into it. I tried my physical copy and had no desire to pick the book up again. I feel like I would like it but it’s not the time for me to read it. Idk. Gonna give it to my sister and see how I feel much later. Anyways, I thought third time could definitely be the charm. I have no issue with skipping, DNFing, or avoiding the first book in a companion series in favor of book two if it still sounds up my alley. LOVE & OLIVES hit the mark for me in the synopsis, […]

Holiday Novella Reviews: Booked for Christmas and The Christmas Wish

Posted November 19, 2020 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Holiday Novella Reviews: Booked for Christmas and The Christmas Wish

This novella is an adult romance by Sandhya Menon, using her pen name Lily Menon. The main character is an author of romance novels and has some friends over for a holiday party. A reviewer who trashes her books, Wolfe, shows up as a plus-one and she tries not to let it ruin her night. When a snowstorm rolls in and all the guests but Wolfe are able to leave, the two of them end up with a cozy and snowy holiday romance. I’m a sucker for hate-to-love so that was warmly welcomed by me! I always have issues with novellas where the pacing is off and things move too quickly, but this one actually felt just right – both in the overall story and with the romance. I wish there were more actual Christmas feels but the snow-covered remote cabin was a wonderful setting for this romance. It can be hard to capture THAT much Christmas in a small novella too. Overall though, this was a solid start to my holiday reading with a favorite author writing in a new age target. Another cozy and atmospheric small town romance companion series to start! My favorite. I love that this holiday novella is the first book in the Sunshine Valley series, set in the fictional town in Colorado. This story centers around the new town manager, Everett, who is struggling to get the city budget in place by the end of the year. He’s made some changes and fixed things […]

Review Round Up | The Night Swim, Admission, and Recommended for You

Posted November 13, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | The Night Swim, Admission, and Recommended for You

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I forgot to cancel BOTM and ended up with a rogue credit to use. The very small synopsis on the website seemed addicting and up my alley (I mean, any book about a true crime podcaster will win me over). However, after I selected it and headed to Goodreads, the heavier subject matter (that I usually avoid- sexual assault and rape) became apparent. It’s out of my wheelhouse and comfort zone, generally speaking, but I decided to go with it anyways. I’m really glad I did! Yes, it was hard to read at times, especially because both stories or “timelines” in this feature sexual assault. It was a super addicting book that I never wanted to put down, which is huge for me in 2020. Actually, all three of the books here did that for me! The main character, Rachel, is visiting a small beach town in North Carolina to follow a rape trial for the third season of her podcast. While there, a former local tracks her down and leaves mysterious messages for Rachel, begging her to solve the mystery of her own sister’s rape and murder 25 years prior. The two stories were similar and because intertwined in ways I didn’t see coming. Overall, really […]