Category: Book Reviews

Review Round Up | Strange New World, One Was Lost, and In Other Lands

Posted September 19, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Round Up | Strange New World, One Was Lost, and In Other Lands

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 loved the first book in this duo and was eagerly waiting for book two! It had a major cliffhanger (which I, OF COURSE, didn’t even mention what it was in my review so I couldn’t even remember what happened) that I was dying to see through. I picked up on what happened pretty quickly though, so all was well. This one was not quite as interesting as the first one IMO but that’s because it was just different overall? The first book followed Dahlia 16 as she tried to escape Lakeview and learn what was really going on beyond those walls. Once she found herself in the real world, reality hit her like a ton of bricks. I thought the life inside of Lakeview was fascinating with all of the clones, so I think that piece was more interesting overall. This book, on the other hand, had REALLY cool futuristic technology that was fun to unpack. I didn’t like the storyline as much with book two but it’s not like it was BAD. Just a bit different. For some reason this book also took me a looong time to read – I read the first one in just a few sittings at most. Dahlia 16 learns […]

Virginia Shreves: Now and Then

Posted September 12, 2018 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Virginia Shreves: Now and Then

I always wanted to read THE EARTH, MY BUTT, AND OTHER ROUND THINGS when I was younger, but was never sure what my mom would think if I tried to pick it out at the bookstore. I decided to give this “classic” a go when I saw the audiobook on Scribd. I later received the sequel, THE UNIVERSE IS EXPANDING (AND SO AM I) in the mail for review, so I decided to combine them here! I have a lot of feelings about this book. The first thing I feel like I need to mention is that obviously it was written in the early 2000s, so a lot of the words and references are outdated. I knew that going into it. The weird thing is that the sequel coming out isn’t like a “fifteen years later” kind of book. It takes place right after this ends. (More on that later.) Virginia was an extremely difficult narrator for me. She spent the vast majority of the book — I mean every single page — talking about her fatness and her (horrible) family reacting to her (horribly). I can feel for her on a lot of things, because I personally get it, but oh my god. It’s a very unhealthy and outdated (IMO) view of being a fat teen. She HAS to be sad and pathetic and unhappy with herself until she “gets healthier” in a very cliche way. I just don’t feel like there’s room for this portrayal of fat girls […]

Quick ARC Reviews: Unclaimed Baggage and The Dinner List

Posted September 3, 2018 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Quick ARC Reviews: Unclaimed Baggage and The Dinner List

This book was great! A quiet, heartwarming, and quirky story. I had high hopes for this one because I love when people meet in weird circumstances and come together to be friends/fall in love/etc. One flavor of this overall trope is when people meet at a job. Working at a grocery store throughout high school definitely brought me closer to the most random people from my high school that I otherwise wouldn’t have talked with as much… so you could say this “genre” has a special place in my heart. I loved the main characters so much and that only grew with every page. Grant, Doris, and Nell were fast friends and it felt so natural. Not gonna lie, they weren’t my favorite at the start of the book. They truly did grow on me with every chapter, as they also grew closer to each other and softened a little bit. The setting of the “lost luggage store” was amazing; I wish there was even more time at the Unclaimed Baggage. I loved how some of the luggage-related threads were woven together eventually. The author covered a lot of serious issues while keeping the book lighthearted overall. The southern setting definitely came into play a lot, with racism, religion, and more having a big effect on the story. Overall, I highly enjoyed this story and would definitely recommend it if you thought the premise sounded interesting. Learning what random shit people carry in their luggage was incredibly fun and the […]

ARC Reviews: Kiss Me in Paris and Sadie

Posted August 24, 2018 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
ARC Reviews: Kiss Me in Paris and Sadie

I didn’t fully think about the fact that KISS ME IN PARIS was actually a holiday story when I started reading it, so it quickly became a “Christmas in July” kind of read. I usually don’t enjoy reading Christmassy books outside of November or December but I made an exception for the sake of my Goodreads challenge (and yes my Netgalley percentage, okay). I was dying to read something short, quick, and sweet, and I determined this would fit the bill. I loved the idea that the main character, Serena, would be retracing her parents’ steps when they first fell in love in Paris. The synopsis implied some good ol’ hate-to-love romance too, as the guy she has to stay with (Jean-Luc) isn’t overly happy about her arrival. The story happens over the course of one night, which I also love. Some of my issues were surrounding the romance. The first thing, kind of related to that, is that the book is very short – just barely over 200 pages. This almost puts it in novella territory and I tend to struggle with rushed romances. Another issue with the romance was that the couple spent quite a bit of time either focusing on an ex (Jean-Luc) or debating a new-ish flame from home (Serena). I understand creating some conflict for the sake of a story but I just didn’t get on board with actually shipping the couple as a result. There was too much time in their heads thinking about […]

Excellent Adaptations: Crazy Rich Asians (with Book Review) + To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Posted August 23, 2018 / Book Reviews, Book to Movie Reviews / 4 Comments
Excellent Adaptations: Crazy Rich Asians (with Book Review) + To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

I have been #blessed with some amazing movie adaptations lately. Both involve Asian or Asian American casts and/or main characters, which provides some excellent representation, and both are amazing romantic comedies. I’ve already reviewed To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before on the blog (and the sequels here and here), so I won’t review it again, but I will be sharing my book review for Crazy Rich Asians as well since I haven’t yet. Crazy Rich Asians   Thoughts on the movie: Phew, this movie was a whirlwind. I took Chris to see it because I was sure he would love it, and I happened to be right! The man who doesn’t like rom-coms was totally smitten with this movie. We were in a super packed theater on a Tuesday night and it was made up of probably 80% Asian patrons. He thought it was really powerful to share the experience and laugh about some of the cultural pieces with other people. (REPRESENTATION IS SO NECESSARY.) I can’t speak too much about his experience, but those were some points he hammered home for the rest of the night. He thought the movie was well-done, funny, and deeper than a “normal rom-com.” I kept getting slightly annoyed when things differed from the book, but it truly didn’t ruin my experience of the movie at all. The biggest differences I noticed were with the ending and with Peik Lin’s family. Her personality (and her family overall) was kicked up about 100 notches. I […]

ARC Review: The Leading Edge of Now & Interview with Marci Lyn Curtis!

Posted August 20, 2018 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: The Leading Edge of Now & Interview with Marci Lyn Curtis!

Review When Marci put a call out for bloggers to put together an ARC tour for her new release, I obviously hopped on board. (Thanks to all the participants for making this happen!!) I was sooo eager to read more words from her after loving THE ONE THING so much, too many years ago. Her humor mixed in with heartbreak was so well-balanced that I couldn’t wait to see what else she could come up with. I needed more main characters like Maggie, who didn’t let the hand she’d been dealt bring her down too much, and still managed to be sassy and funny at every turn. The story is about Grace, who returns to her almost-home of New Harbor, Florida, after spending two years in foster care. Her uncle finally signed the papers to be her legal guardian, and she’s brought back to a place where painful memories are just one room away. She was sexually assaulted, and her dad passed away from a heart attack soon after. She’s still reeling and attempting to cope with what happened, but moving to New Harbor full time is not making that easy. She’s faced with her ex-friend Janna and ex-boyfriend Owen as well. There are other interesting elements to the story, like Grace’s recent bout with stealing peoples’ wallets. She’s not perfect and never tries to be; she just tries to cope with what happened in the best way she can. I’m happy to report that this was exactly what I […]

Review: The Kiss Quotient

Posted August 17, 2018 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
Review: The Kiss Quotient

I won’t lie: I was planning on sleeping on this book for a LONG time until the hype died down. This story was all I saw in my feeds (Twitter, Goodreads, RSS, etc.) for quite a while. The hype kept pushing me farther and farther away from it. When I saw the audiobook on Hoopla, though, it was the only one calling my name for some reason. Well, I recommend throwing any reservations out the window and just picking this one up folks, because the hype was well worth it. The premise was… unique, to say the least. Stella has Asperger’s and (so far) hasn’t enjoyed any of her intimate experiences. She decides to hire a male escort in order to get over these fears or concerns. I absolutely loved their dynamic and haven’t read such great steamy moments in a LONG time. There were a few parts of those scenes that made me cringe because of the dirty talk (like Stella did initially haha), but they were otherwise SO good. Both Michael and Stella felt so REAL to me, which I really appreciated. The characters were fully fleshed out and their personalities went much deeper than any kind of stereotypes that could have been used. Michael’s history with his family (especially his father) was very interesting and I kept wondering when we’d learn exactly what happened there. I think Stella’s parents were okay for most of the book but was surprised they weren’t more present, since the story opened […]

Bite Sized Reviews: Jackaby Series

Posted August 13, 2018 / Bite-Sized Reviews, Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Bite Sized Reviews: Jackaby Series

I know I have full reviews and I have mini review round-ups, but there are some books that could be reviewed in just a few sentences. This is mini round-up I’ll have sometimes for books that really don’t need much more than my small Goodreads review and progress updates say. I decided to show all of my Goodreads reactions to the JACKABY series because I found that I didn’t have too much to say about each of them. I read the series with my book club over quite a few months (we had to skip some meetings). Here are my thoughts on each book in this series. We moved into the second book pretty quickly because we had to postpoone our March book club. There was a snowstorm and Chris and I had to drive back up to Maine before it hit. The third book was also pretty good. I binge-listened while packing to come home and driving around town running errands. Nothing specific to mention here that I don’t talk about below! The fourth and final book of the series was read a bit later due to some personal issues for one of the members, so we finally finished up the series for the August 1st meeting! I didn’t enjoy this one because of the ending and was mostly confused, but oh well.

Blog Tour: After Nightfall

Posted August 8, 2018 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Blog Tour: After Nightfall

Review I’ve been trying to expand my reading horizons a little bit (especially after my mid-year goal check-in, when I remembered that I wanted to read 50% or less contemporary fiction books), so this story allowed me the opportunity to do just that. Not only is it a psychological thriller, but it’s also adult fiction instead of YA. I was intrigued by the premise because “friendship” stories are my cup of tea, especially when friends coming together can have disastrous consequences. I was excited to jump into this story. Marissa is getting married and decides to bury the hatchet with a friend who had long-ago betrayed her. She invites her to the engagement party… and then she ends up dead off the side of a cliff. Marissa decides to investigate the accident (or murder?) and finds so many people in her life are implicated. I appreciated Marissa’s dedication to her job as a SLP (this was a really detailed part of the book, even though  she was on leave throughout the story), but I otherwise didn’t love her as a main character. She poked and prodded to get answers but kept forcing things despite signs she should back off. I kept wanting her to tread more carefully. She didn’t trust anyone, which was mostly a good thing, but she was bulldozing into conversations with people without thinking of how they might be affected if what she knew was true.  She refused to believe that certain things were true, despite all […]

ARC Review: The Good Luck Charm

Posted July 25, 2018 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
ARC Review: The Good Luck Charm

I’ve been burnt out on YA contemporary for a while now; all of my reads this year have kind of suffered as a result. However, when most of my TBR falls in that category, I end up continuing to read them. Every once in a while I try to mix in an adult or new adult title to keep things interesting. THE GOOD LUCK CHARM did the trick for me! The story follows Lilah and Ethan, who were once best friends turned high school sweethearts. When he went off to college and was inevitably going to be drafted to the NHL, he ended the relationship with Lilah (we learn why during the story). She had since gotten married and divorced, never really giving her heart away. He never bothered with serious relationships when moving to new cities. Ethan returns home to Minnesota because he was traded to their local NHL team, and immediately discovers his father suffering from a stroke. Lilah, a nurse at the hospital and still close family friend to Ethan’s parents, is there to help. They are immediately pulled together again. One of my biggest pet peeves in romance novels is when the main issue is a result of miscommunication or general lack of communication. If the climax or driving issue in the book could be fixed with one conversation, the whole book suffers. I like the “inevitable breakup” part of the story to have higher stakes. However, that doesn’t mean I love a lot of drama […]