Category: Book Reviews

Blog Tour Review: Pretty in Punxsutawney

Posted January 14, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Blog Tour Review: Pretty in Punxsutawney

I’m a huge fan of everything this book promised. I love Groundhog Day (the movie, of course, but also books with this premise) and Pretty in Pink (and allll of the similar 80s movies). My grandfather was proudly from Punxsutawney, PA, so the setting made this even more interesting for me! I’ve been wanting to plan a trip there in his honor for years. My papa used to train me on how to spell Punxsutawney when I was SO young, bringing out an actual chalkboard like a teacher and making me learn how to spell it – he loved that town. Andie had a looooot of cringe-worthy moments in the first section of the book. I got some major secondhand embarrassment and wanted to shake her out of her Colton-shaped reverie. (This is the guy she set her sights on in the beginning, when she first moved to Punxsutawney.) She was often judgmental about everyone she met in school on her first day, which made her a little hard to deal with at first. I was definitely reminded of Before I Fall in a few ways (and it’s one of my favorite books). The MC has to learn from her mistakes and become less of a mean girl in order to actually move on to the afterlife. She experiences the same “Groundhog Day” phenomenon, learning more and more about herself in the process. I had a feeling that Andie would do this too, even though she wouldn’t necessarily qualify as […]

ARC Review: In Dog We Trust

Posted January 10, 2019 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
ARC Review: In Dog We Trust

When I arrived at the end of the Black Dog Bay series, I was not ready to leave that perfect setting. I loved the town and its characters, plus all of the quirky breakup-themed businesses there. I started to come to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t get to visit there again because the final book came out in 2016 without any word of follow-ups. I was randomly browsing Netgalley one day and saw IN DOG WE TRUST. I was excited to see a new title by Beth Kendrick in general, but was even mooooore excited to see that we’d be returning to my beloved Black Dog Bay for the story. I knew I wouldn’t be able to wait on this one and had to read it immediately. The premise of the book, from the synopsis, is that Jocelyn is put in charge of some purebred Labradors after their owner passes away, and is suddenly working and living in a beachfront mansion, instead of cleaning up after tourists in her business with her mom. The late dog owner’s son shows up, looking for his inheritence, and a legal battle (of sorts) ensues. So… this wasn’t exactly what I was looking for in my unexpected return to Black Dog Bay, my literal favorite book setting of all time. First, the romance was…bizarre. Without getting too far into spoilers, Jocelyn and Liam were essentially in a legal battle throughout the book, which led to a weird version of the “hate to […]

ARC Review: Famous in a Small Town

Posted January 7, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: Famous in a Small Town

Initial Excitement & Summary Oh man, where should I begin? I started 2018 with FOOLISH HEARTS because I like the idea of reading a favorite author (one who has NEVER let you down) as the first book of the year. Get the reading year off to a great start, right? It definitely worked last year and let me tell ya – it worked again this year. I borrowed FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN from Wendy to make sure 2019 got off on the right foot again. If I could start every year with one of her books, I would and I will. This one doesn’t give much away in the synopsis but it’s about a girl named Sophie and the new cute boy next door, August. She envelops him in her amazing friend group as they try to track down their small town’s most famous person (Megan Pleasant, a country singer) in order to raise money for the marching band. She learns more about August’s mysterious past and about herself, her friends, and her neighbors in the process. Storytelling & Characters The book really felt like another quiet, slow and steady Emma Mills book. They’re my favorites because they spend so much time developing the characters so you really don’t worry much about if there’s a plot. Don’t get me wrong, there’s always a plot, but some are quieter than others? This book definitely felt like it would be a snapshot of time within this amazing friend group and nothing […]

ARC Review: The Similars

Posted January 4, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: The Similars

Many thanks to Sourcebooks for sending over this free package of goodies and a finished copy of THE SIMILARS for me! Initial Excitement & Summary Clearly I was excited to read this one, because I decided to go for it back in early June! I was stuck in sort of a reading slump because I binge-read too many contemporaries in a row. Usually I need to mix in a few different genres throughout the month so I don’t fully burn out. I knew I needed something sci-fi or paranormal (because reading THE COMPLICATION at one point the previous month reset my burnout too). I loved the idea of clones coming to a school without a lot of explanation and learning why they were so special. It was set sort of in the near-future; everyone has fancy “phones” with digital assistants Storytelling, Setting, & Characters There’s actually a lot to unpack with this book and truthfully I’m not smart enough to do it! There were a lot of correlations to today’s society, where people who are “different” can be ostracized for all the wrong reasons. There are growing hate movements based on leadership today and a lot of that was reflected in this book through clone rights. It was fascinating but didn’t feel like a forced theme to make a bigger picture, if that makes sense? These messages didn’t take me out of the story at all. Hanover did a really great job of keeping me guessing and keeping me reading. […]

Holiday Reviews: Season of Wonder, Christmas on Mistletoe Lane, and It Started with Christmas

Posted December 24, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: Season of Wonder, Christmas on Mistletoe Lane, and It Started with Christmas

Story ASK ME HOW PUMPED I AM FOR NEW HAVEN POINT BOOKS! (Very excited, obviously.) I love this town. I heard a few mixed things about this main character and the story as a whole, but I knew the small town Haven Point feels would make up for a lot. The lead, Diana, has two girls – one bratty teenager and one adorable six-year-old, and she moved everyone to Haven Point to hopefully run the town’s veterinary practice. She can’t resist her cop neighbor and he seemingly can’t resist her either, especially as he helps the aforementioned annoying teen daughter make up for some mistakes. This one was a bit repetitive with Dani’s internal dialogue, going back and forth all the time. She was an okay lead character but a little too hard to get to know. She was closed off to everyone, including the reader. Ruben was amazing though; the scenes with him and her kids were adorable. Mia was the cutest and Silver was a bratty teen that got better with time. I also think the big “reveal” about her ex-husband wasn’t as bad as expected? Maybe that’s terrible to say given the nature of it, but still – they built it up quite a bit. I definitely missed the cameos here too… not as many as I’d hoped because Dani refused to become a part of the town. I hope the next book, if there is one, features more of actual Haven Point and its residents. Wintry Setting […]

Holiday Reviews: The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily, Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane, and Snow In Love

Posted December 21, 2018 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily, Snowfall on Lighthouse Lane, and Snow In Love

Story I’ll keep it real – I did not love Dash and Lily as much as everyone else (and any good feelings that led me to rate it four stars have definitely faded over time for some reason). I like to eventually finish things I start though, so I decided to give the sequel a shot. It’s a short book and therefore a short audiobook; I thought it’d be the perfect one to listen to during the Tis the Season-a-thon in early December. I really loathe Lily because of her immaturity and Dash is so pretentious. It’s hard to ship a couple when one of them feels like they’re 10 years old and shouldn’t be in a serious relationship. Speaking of which, how is it possible that after a year of dating, they’re in the exact same place they were in the previous book/year? They did not communicate at all and it’s frustrating to see that they were still dancing around things. I would hope dating someone for that long would open you up a bit. Aside from that, they were constantly running to catch up to each other (so to speak). They were never on the same page. Wintry Setting & Holiday Feels The story was mostly depressing with some holiday feels involved? It happens in the 12 days before Christmas, which should bring about the most Christmassy feels possible. While being in NYC for Christmas is the last thing I want to do because of the crowds, I absolutely […]

ARC Review: The Wicked King

Posted December 14, 2018 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
ARC Review: The Wicked King

* No spoilers for this book, but there will be spoilers for THE CRUEL PRINCE * Initial Excitement & Summary There were so many moments since I finished THE CRUEL PRINCE that I just wished I had this book. It’s funny, because I was often in a reading slump this summer and I kept saying “if I just had THE WICKED KING aka the only book I want to read, I wouldn’t be in this predicament.” Needless to say, I was extremely excited and did not want to wait until January to read this. After the events of TCP, I was ready to see what the hell was going to happen next. Jude and Cardan had gotten a bit closer, but then she screwed him over by crowning him Prince. Everyone betrayed everyone and Jude ended up as an adviser (meaning she had a spell/charm on Cardan so she could command him to do whatever she wanted him to do) to him as the king. The events of this book start out with the status of their relationship and how Jude has fallen into her position of power. Without getting too much into it, there was a lot of focus around those relationships and Taryn’s upcoming marriage to Locke. Storytelling, Characters, and Ending I was so eager to see what was going to happen next, after the way TCP ended! Talk about a cliffhanger. I was eager to see how Jude would grow into her new role and power, because […]

Review Round Up | The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, The Towering Sky, and The Chase

Posted December 13, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | The Next Person You Meet in Heaven, The Towering Sky, and The Chase

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 first read THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN when everyone else did and it took the country by storm. I liked the made-for-TV movie version too. My parents even read the book and they don’t read books like this ever (lol). I was pretty excited to see a sequel 15 years later because it’s been a long time since I’ve read any Mitch Albom book, and he is definitely an author I wasn’t sure would “hold up” for me now that my tastes have grown and changed over the years. This book was the best way to check him out again since it would feature some familiar faces AND involve my favorite concept to read about – how everyone is interconnected and one small decision could change everything, and impact everyone. This story is about Annie, the little girl that Eddie saved before dying in the first book. It takes you through her life, leading up to the wedding day that leads to her trip to heaven. She had a difficult life after the accident at the amusement park and finds herself making a lot of mistakes (in her mind at least). It was pretty interesting to follow along and learn about her, but I […]

Blog Tour | Review & Author Interview: The Accidental Beauty Queen

Posted December 7, 2018 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Blog Tour | Review & Author Interview: The Accidental Beauty Queen

On Sale: December 4, 2018 Gallery Books | Trade Paperback Original Available for purchase here ISBN: 9781501197604 | $16.00 E-ISBN: 9781501197611 | $7.99 Audio-ISBN: 9781508283553 | $17.99 Review Once I learned that this author had written books and Hallmark movie adaptations, I was sold on this book. I also tend to love books that are billed as more “romantic comedies” as well, a la Sophie Kinsella. Another key point? The reference to Miss Congeniality. I’m so happy that this book lived up to my expectations! Charlotte and Ginny are twin sisters. The former is a children’s librarian and the latter is a beauty queen… until they have to secretly switch places. While Charlotte visits with Ginny in Florida for a pageant, Ginny suffers an allergic reaction that would otherwise derail her participation in the pageant. Much to Charlotte’s initial dismay, Ginny begs her to compete instead… and she agrees. It was interesting to see these two seemingly different sisters try to bond and essentially become the same person for a few days. It was even better to meet others in the competition and see how Charlotte’s biases toward them completely changed; she was able to see that her sister was right – they ARE about more than just outward appearances. The contestants are supportive and encouraging to each other, and there were a lot of sweet scenes along those lines. Of course, it wouldn’t be a rom-com without the romance element! It’s not exactly in the synopsis so I won’t spoil […]

TRULY DEVIOUS Paperback Release Celebration

Posted December 4, 2018 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
TRULY DEVIOUS Paperback Release Celebration

If you remember back in January, I read and loved TRULY DEVIOUS by Maureen Johnson. There were a lot of twists and complexities that I really appreciated. I remember continuing to flip the pages way later than I planned on reading that night! So, when I was approached to share some excitement again for the paperback release and the upcoming sequel, THE VANISHING STAIR, it was a no-brainer. Here’s more about this one: New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson weaves a delicate tale of murder and mystery in the first book of a striking new series, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and E. Lockhart. Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.” Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history. True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the […]