Category: Book Reviews

Holiday Novella Reviews: The Santa Suit and The Christmas Concierge

Posted December 7, 2022 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Holiday Novella Reviews: The Santa Suit and The Christmas Concierge

Story This was a random choice this year after having been on my radar since it was released last year. When I decided to read 7 books in 7 days again, it was an easy selection due to its size (and audiobook on Scribd to switch between!). The story centers around freshly divorced Ivy heading to her newly purchased farm property in a small town. Her realtor turned handyman turned love interest Ezra is present throughout the novel. Ivy finds a gorgeous vintage Santa Suit in the attic with a heartbreaking Christmas wish from a child written on a piece of paper in the pocket. She decides to track down the writer of the note and try to figure out what happened that Christmas back in the day. Along the way, she meets and befriends a lot of people in the town who help her on her quest (and beyond – everyone is quite friendly). The story was cute and cheesy, which is what I tend to expect from holiday books in most cases. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels I love a southern small town romance with Christmas vibes! There was a cute Christmas market setting that I really enjoyed and totally wish was fleshed out more. The farm property was well-known (due to its previous owners) for its lights and Christmas cheer, so it was nice when Ivy got into the spirit with decorating. Overall, decent Christmas vibes but a short novella – so a little hard to get […]

Holiday Reviews: A Season for Second Chances and Window Shopping

Posted December 1, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: A Season for Second Chances and Window Shopping

Story When Annie’s life goes off the rails and she loses her spark, she decides to take on a role essentially housesitting for an elderly woman who will be away from her beachside home for the winter season. Annie moves to the cute little town to watch over the house and keep it running, rent-free, from the fall through the spring. She has to contend with the woman’s nephew, though, who is trying to sell the property to a developer. Naturally you can imagine the Hallmark movie moments that occur from there! Overall, this was a super cute story with a low-key, breezy plot. I loved the setting, cast of quirky locals, and the easy (not truly “easy” but more like drama-free) romance. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels Beachside holiday or winter books can be really fun – I know that I personally love visiting the beach and going for a walk whenever I visit Maine, regardless of weather. Having a cute seaside town transition into a little Christmassy village in England? Love those vibes. Because the book didn’t take place strictly in December or around the Christmas holidays, it wasn’t quite as Christmassy as it could have been… BUT it was super cute to see how the town went crazy for other fall holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. This was the perfect book to read in November to kick off holiday reads on a lighter note. Overall I definitely recommend this one for your first holiday-ish read of the season, […]

ARC Review: Nine Liars

Posted November 28, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Nine Liars

Are you kidding me with that ending?! Okay I know I should get more into other things but my jaw literally dropped. I won’t spoil anything about the actual end (and it wasn’t even a cliffhanger for the mystery but more for the personal/interpersonal stuff). As always, I’m thrilled to see more books added to this series. I’d keep reading and reading. Based on that ending I also have to assume there’s some kind of sequel coming. I’ve seen that some folks get sick of these books and the characters but I just find them compulsively readable. I need that in my life at this point because it takes me so long to read books unless they’re addicting and fun.  The mystery at the center of this one was really interesting. Stevie and crew head to London to visit David and have some “cultural experiences” for school. While there, David’s new friend asks Stevie to help solve this mystery surrounding her aunt and her eight friends. Two of them were murdered one night and she’s never believed that it was a random robbery gone wrong. Naturally, Stevie can’t resist, and spends the whole trip trying to figure out what happened that night with “the Nine.” It was really an intriguing mystery especially because there were so many people involved. There were so many little clues that I absolutely could not put together but knew they all meant something, so it was really fun to try to figure out. David annoyed […]

Quick Reviews: One of the Girls and Quarry Girls

Posted October 19, 2022 / Bite-Sized Reviews, Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Quick Reviews: One of the Girls and Quarry Girls

I’ve been really into mystery/thrillers lately and was excited to finally dive into ONE OF THE GIRLS! Set during a bachelorette weekend in Greece, this story follows the group of bridesmaids as they celebrate the bride-to-be Lexi. Like with all bach weekends, the girls come from different areas of the bride’s life and don’t really know each other that well. There’s Eleanor (sister of the groom), Bella (overbearing childhood friend of the bride), Robyn (the less annoying childhood best friend that rounded out their trio back in the day), Ana (new friend of the bride), and Fen (Bella’s girlfriend). The reason this book really worked for me is that the tension slowly built throughout each chapter. I always thought I had figured out some connections (some of my theories were accurate) but there was always more below the surface. I really enjoyed trying to figure out who would be the one to plummet off the cliffside and who, if anyone, pushed them. The story alternated between all POVs, which was necessary in building up some of the tension, but was confusing initially. I kept forgetting who was who. The ending was interesting and fairly surprising overall, so that’s a win in my book! I wasn’t sure what to expect from THE QUARRY GIRLS. I’m not really into serial killers (in terms of true crime subcategories) but the author’s note at the very beginning intrigued me and set the stage. I also don’t usually read historical fiction crime/mystery books but for […]

ARC Reviews: What Might Have Been and The Hookup Plan

Posted October 13, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: What Might Have Been and The Hookup Plan

I’m always, always a sucker for a “what might have been” story, where the book splits into two timelines and plays out what might happen to the MC depending on a certain decision they make. In WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN (appropriately named), Lucy has a decision to make once she abruptly quits her job. Should she STAY in her beachside hometown, live with her sister, save money, and pursue writing her novel full time? Or should she GO live with her friend in London in her spare room and take on the cushy advertising job she’s also dreamed about? Lucy runs into her ex Max, who she believed was her soulmate before he inexplicably broke up with her toward the end of college, and this spurs her decision-making. In the STAY timeline, she decided to put Max in the past and pursues the cute guy Caleb she also met the same night. The two have to work through some things, like Caleb’s pending divorce, but she finds herself very happy pursuing her writing dream and spending more time with her sister and nephew. In GO, she reconnects with Max and the two have to try to figure out how to make their relationship work once some major secrets get revealed. These books usually go one of two ways: the two timelines result in the MC ending up in the same place and/or with the same guy regardless of their decision, OR they end up in two very different places but […]

Review Round Up | One Italian Summer, All Good People Here, and The Final Gambit

Posted September 8, 2022 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | One Italian Summer, All Good People Here, and The Final Gambit

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 picked this one up from my shelves on a whim when I was trying to read 7 books in 7 days. It was short and had an audiobook available on Scribd, so I was able to read it in a day and feel good about my progress! I was pleasantly surprised for the most part, after really enjoying Serle’s other adult fiction books (and not loving her YA lol). She writes such unique and creative concepts! The book starts with a lot of raw grief as Katy is mourning the loss of her mom, Carol. Her mom was legitimately her best friend and it sounds like she really relied on her for pretty much everything. I don’t usually gravitate toward books where someone is actively grieving like this – I don’t mind books with someone trying to move on but usually not right after, if that makes sense… I try to stay away from sad reads! I also couldn’t relate to her relationship with her mom. I really love my mom and get along well with her, but she isn’t my go-to person for every problem or question. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the way Katy spoke about her, but it was clear they […]

Reviews: Family of Liars and This is Not the Real World

Posted August 24, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Reviews: Family of Liars and This is Not the Real World

I really didn’t enjoy WE WERE LIARS. I remember it was one of the first books I read and reviewed for my blog and it just pissed me off. It’s had a resurgence lately thanks to booktok and I still don’t understand why people like it. In any case, I was randomly intrigued by FAMILY OF LIARS and decided to read it against my best judgment. I do think I almost liked it better than the first book? This one is actually a prequel novel, set in the late 80s. It features the parents and grandparents of the main character(s) in WE WERE LIARS. It definitely took an interesting turn or two that I didn’t expect and I was addicted while reading. The main reasons I’ve “enjoyed” these two books is because they’re short, generally intriguing, and easy to read. I knew I could crank it out for my #7booksin7days challenge. I don’t have much to say. It has very similar vibes to WE WERE LIARS with rich white people on an island off Martha’s Vineyard. This one was more historical, which I did find interesting. I didn’t like the characters very much but I don’t know that you’re supposed to anyways? Regardless, am I glad I read this book? I guess so – it was quick and easy and held my interest. At this point in my life, that’s all I can ask for. I was super into the Truman Show vibes of the first book when I first heard […]

ARC Review: Nothing More to Tell

Posted August 22, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Nothing More to Tell

Karen M. McManus is truly the YA mystery queen. She hasn’t let me down yet and NOTHING MORE TO TELL was no exception. With a setup that included a private school, New England town, true crime TV show, and a murdered teacher, I knew I couldn’t go wrong. Brynn returns to her old hometown of Sturgis, MA after spending a few years with her family in Chicago. She’s come back to the St. Ambrose School with a small secret: she’s interning at a hot true crime show and trying to figure out who murdered their teacher, Mr. Larkin, four years ago. She falls back in with Tripp, one of her closest friends before she left who tried to push her away; she knows he’s hiding something. Tripp, along with two popular kids Shane and Charlotte, were the ones who found Mr. Larkin dead in the woods behind the school. As I said, I really enjoyed the setup for this one. There were lots of read-bait elements for me. I had a theory from the beginning as to whodunnit (and only about a quarter of the motive) and my suspicions did get confirmed and fleshed out later on. But honestly, there are a ton of twists in this one. There are so many characters who are semi-involved with things in ways you’d never be able to predict. I finished this book as the first in my “read 7 books in 7 days” challenge I worked on this month and it was […]

ARC Review: Carrie Soto is Back

Posted August 10, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Carrie Soto is Back

Taylor Jenkins Reid really is something else. She’s never written a bad book (IMO) – even the one I didn’t LOVE was still a four-star read… and I’m even thinking of rereading via audio to see if my opinion changes! This book was fascinating. I wasn’t totally excited from reading the premise – a tennis player? Not interested really. I completely forgot that she was a very small side character in another book of TJR’s too. It took me a long time before I realized all of the Mick Riva connections between her newer stories. He sucks but what a fun tie-in between everything. Her historical fiction books have been so lovely lately! Carrie Soto is a badass tennis pro. She’s broken all the records and had a great career until she slowed down and retired after some bad matches and a downward spiral (ability-wise). She and her father are sitting at the tennis match when Nikki Chan, the newest phenom, breaks Carrie’s record (I had to double check this because none of the tennis information stuck in my brain)… and Carrie promptly unretires to win it back. She’s 37 years old and has been retired for 5+ years but feels like she needs to get it back. The story centers around her comeback, with a good section at the beginning going through her early career pre-retirement, as she competes in all of the major Opens. It was fascinating and felt SO true to live when TJR included commentary and […]

Review: Every Summer After

Posted August 8, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Review: Every Summer After

It’s been a very long time since I’ve sat down and read a book from start to finish in a day, but that’s what happened here. I’d seen a ton of hype about this books months and months before release, but it wasn’t at the top of my TBR. I’m not entirely sure why because the plot is right up my alley – I love stories of childhood sweethearts coming back together! Alternating timelines between past and present! Lake house vibes! All the things I love. I finally saw someone with yet another five-star review a few weeks ago and decided to pick it up on a B&N trip. This story is about Percy and Sam. When Percy’s family buys a lake house a few hours outside of Toronto, she becomes fast summertime friends with Sam and his brother Charlie. The story goes back and forth between present day (where she hasn’t spoken to the boys for 12 years and Charlie calls to invite her to their mother’s funeral) and the past (each summer during her preteen and teen years is featured). You learn about how Percy and Sam came together and eventually how they fell apart, while watching their reunion unfold during the unfortunate funeral weekend in Barry’s Bay. I loved the lake vibes in this perfect summer read. On the surface, the plot of this is completely predictable and very similar to a ton of stories I’ve read before. I think that’s why I wasn’t sure why this […]