Category: Book Reviews

Review Round Up | The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service and Ten

Posted September 14, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service and Ten

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 absolutely loved the last series I read from Beth Kendrick, and was a pretty big fan of one of her standalones as well. It took me a while to figure out what book to read that had an animal name in it for the Reading Quest, but I was happy to remember THE LUCKY DOG MATCHMAKING SERVICE as a light summery contemporary. I found the audio on Hoopla for the few days I was commuting into work recently and finished up with the physical copy afterwards. Anyways, this book was pretty good. It’s perfect for a dog-lover. And by dog-lover, I mean someone dog-obsessed. That person is not really me. I like them enough, but (don’t judge me) animals aren’t my thing as much as other people. I was frequently frustrated with Lara’s attitude about the dogs, their behavior, and her ex. I don’t know how I always come across adult contemps where the parents are basically like toddlers and the main character gives into their every whim, or falls for their traps. Her mom was so irritating and clearly didn’t care about bonding with her daughter. Her dad was the type of person who would fly into her life and then fly out whenever he wanted, […]

The Nostalgia Project: The A-List | Wrap-Up

Posted September 11, 2017 / Book Reviews, The Nostalgia Project / 1 Comment
The Nostalgia Project: The A-List | Wrap-Up

The Nostalgia Project is my way of revisiting and rereading old favorites from my young adulthood to see if they still resonate with me. Learn more here and read old posts or reviews here! I’m really happy to say that this series really did live up to what I expected. I remembered something sort of fluffy and super fast to read. I was able to binge these books throughout August and a little into September, with just taking a short break or two in-between for other books. I found myself getting a little exhausted with the characters if I read too many in a row without switching it up for a day or two. I have a lot of takeaways from this series and overall thoughts. Good Things I liked that it was a third person omniscient point of view. I got to see what was happening inside the heads of each character, even the smaller ones. I loved knowing how everyone felt about what was going on. I think it was appropriate based on how many dramatic events followed this group of friends around! There was a lot of recap at the beginning of each book, which must have helped me when I was originally reading them. It’s the kind of series that’s easy to NOT binge, if you so choose. You get SO much recap. The characters were all interesting in their own ways. I love following around rich and famous people, and these folks were no exception. I’ll talk more about the […]

The Nostalgia Project: The A-List | Review Round-Up

Posted September 6, 2017 / Book Reviews, The Nostalgia Project / 1 Comment
The Nostalgia Project: The A-List | Review Round-Up

The Nostalgia Project is my way of revisiting and rereading old favorites from my young adulthood to see if they still resonate with me. Learn more here and read old posts or reviews here! Because there are ten books in this series, we figured it made sense to do some mini reviews for each one. My reviews, specifically, will round up a few books at once and sort of talk through my feelings on each one. I’ll be referencing all major plot points, so there will be spoilers. Don’t read this post if you haven’t read this series before. I took notes in a Google Doc as I read because I KNEW that the books would blend together too much, so here are my thoughts from rereading. The A-List The first book in the series involves setting up all of the characters and the backstory; it’s super introductory. The premise of this series is that old-money-rich Anna heads to LA for an internship in lieu of finishing high school in Manhattan. She meets Ben, a hot guy wearing a Princeton hoodie, on the airplane. They connect immediately and he invites her to the wedding of Jackson Sharpe, a famous movie star. Anna decides to take some risks in her life in LA and reinvent herself, instead of constantly referencing the fake rich upper east side bible she’s lived up to, so she goes to the wedding with Ben. She quickly meets Sam, who is the daughter of said movie star, and her friends, Dee and […]

The Nostalgia Project: The A-List | Intro & Goals

Posted September 4, 2017 / Book Reviews, The Nostalgia Project / 4 Comments
The Nostalgia Project: The A-List | Intro & Goals

The Nostalgia Project is my way of revisiting and rereading old favorites from my young adulthood to see if they still resonate with me. Learn more here and read old posts or reviews here! I started The Nostalgia Project a couple of years ago when I decided to reread some of my old favorites. High school Lauren loved dramatic teen series involving rich kids, boarding school, and/or Hollywood and fame. I haven’t been super successful so far in rereading too many of these series, but I jumped on the chance to start this particular reread with Cristina when she tweeted about it. We decided to use a similar format to my Nostalgia Project posts, since the idea of it is pretty much the same. As far as expectations go, I really had no recollection of this series! I didn’t expect to completely binge it in the course of a couple of weeks (especially because my reading has been spotty lately). To be honest, I expected to be exasperated by all of these teenagers and their absurd early-2000s-book behavior. Most of these kinds of books don’t hold up for me over time. I knew they’d be quick reads, but I clearly had no idea how quick. I remembered the main character was Anna and that the books centered around her journey to California. I vaguely remembered the names of other characters and the love interests. Of course, there are multiple love interests throughout the 10 book series. I didn’t remember AT ALL how the […]

ARC Review: The Dazzling Heights

Posted August 24, 2017 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: The Dazzling Heights

There will be some spoilers for book one in this review, so don’t read it unless you’ve already read THE THOUSANDTH FLOOR! This was absolutely one of my most anticipated books this year, so you can only imagine my excitement when I got an advanced copy from Edelweiss. I don’t want to say that this sequel disappointed me, because the final 25% of this book made up for the slower start for sure, but it definitely didn’t reach my expectations. I sped through book one and was so eager to learn all their secrets, discover new places in the tower, and see how it would all end. This book was less addicting for me and I was surprised that it took me so many sittings to actually finish it. It really felt like this book was heading nowhere for a loooong time. It was slow-going and almost no action really happened until the 75% mark. THE DAZZLING HEIGHTS is centered around mostly the same characters, except for Eris for obvious reasons. I originally thought Mariel was going to be a new character POV for this one, but it ended up being a completely new character – Calliope. I didn’t exactly understand why she was introduced (even now after finishing it) because her character didn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things. I did enjoy her POV for sure, so I’m not complaining, but I kind of think the book would have benefited more from having Mariel’s perspective as that last […]

ARC Review: In Some Other Life

Posted August 11, 2017 / Book Reviews / 7 Comments
ARC Review: In Some Other Life

Initial Excitement I adore parallel life books. Anything involving that premise goes on my TBR immediately. The concepts of fate and destiny vs. free will have always been super interesting to me. I’ve enjoyed the synopses of Brody’s books but hadn’t managed to pick one up until this one. I think I’ll definitely try her other sometime soon! Summary & Storytelling The story starts with a fairly long glimpse into Kennedy’s real life where she chose the public high school. She’s the school newspaper editor and helped revive it from being shut down. Soonafter the story starts, she discovers her best friend and her boyfriend kissing at his house. She rushes to the Windsor Academy, where she’s been secretly pining over the fact that she got in and didn’t go, and promptly hits her head. She wakes up from this concussion and is in the parallel universe where she said yes to Windsor Academy and started there instead. There’s no newspaper, she’s in Robotics Club, and plans to major in Economics in college. Basically, her life is super different. I loved that her younger brother, Frankie, is incredibly smart for his age and interested in physics. She was able to talk with him about what happens and he came up with theories about the parallel universes out there. Usually books like this involve the main character having no one to talk with about what’s going on with them. It was annoying because she knew what happened when she moved into the […]

Blog Tour Review: The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky | Hilarious Rom-Com

Posted August 7, 2017 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Blog Tour Review: The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky | Hilarious Rom-Com

Review Guys… this book was so funny. I love contemporary romances that read more like romantic comedies! It makes me want to curl up and watch some of my old favorites. Book-wise, I would compare this one to My Not So Perfect Life and The Hating Game. Pretty big shoes to fill, but I think Summer Heacock pulls it off so well. This genre is often accused of being too predictable and formulaic (I know I’ve done it sometimes!), so it’s really awesome when a unique premise is brought to the table to switch things up. I wish I had a dollar for every time a vagina was referenced in one way or another; this book is centered around Kat’s “broken” one. She has a sudden realization that it’s been two years since she and her boyfriend have had sex, so she decides to give him a free pass to go out there until their anniversary and hook up. Meanwhile, she’ll be working on fixing her broken parts. She quickly starts going out with Ben, a regular customer at her cute cupcake shop/bakery, and tries to turn her reproductive organs around. I really enjoyed being inside Kat’s head. I smiled and laughed so much as she tried to navigate through this particular issue. Ben was nerdy and adorable; I loved him so much. AND Kat’s friends, who were central to the plot, were all excellent characters with different backstories and contributions. There are some definite #SquadGoals in the Cup My […]

Review Round Up | Here Lies Daniel Tate, Just Dreaming, and Same Beach, Next Year

Posted August 3, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | Here Lies Daniel Tate, Just Dreaming, and Same Beach, Next Year

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 backlist books I’ve read or listened to recently. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I was pretty eager to get my hands on HERE LIES DANIEL TATE. I’ve thought about ALL OUR YESTERDAYS so much since I finished it a few years ago and have been hoping for a new book from Terrill. This one seriously did not disappoint! I expected something twisty that I couldn’t put down and I totally got that. “Daniel” is the ultimate unreliable narrator. He blatantly lies, tells you that he was lying, and always implies that maybe some of the story isn’t even true. I can’t say too much about him or the plot without giving a lot away about what happens, but just know that his unreliability does not change. I still, weirdly, found myself liking him as a main character. Mia was super adorable and Nicholas was really interesting as well. I have a few issues overall, but not much. I think the inclusion of some kind of “romance” was definitely not necessary. I mean, I can sort of see why it was included? Minor spoiler in italics: I think it was to show that the MC was really a normal human boy with feelings, or at least was starting to develop them. It added a little bit to his character because part of him really just wanted that normal life and […]

ARC Review: Hello, Sunshine

Posted July 24, 2017 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: Hello, Sunshine

Initial Excitement & Summary First of all, I have to note how weird it is that two books with this title were released this year… and I read them both! One is YA and one is adult, but still. They also, oddly enough, involve “fame” in one way or another. I was really excited for this one because Laura Dave is one of those authors I’ve wanted to read for a while. I’ve been on this adult contemporary kick lately and was excited to get to this one. Sunshine is a famous YouTube chef, essentially, whose world comes crumbling down one day when her lies are revealed. She doesn’t know anything about cooking, she’s not from a small southern farm, and she’s cheated on her husband. The world learns she’s a fraud and she has no choice but to head to her hometown of Montauk, New York. Storytelling & Characters I love the Hamptons as a book setting so much. There’s something so special about northeast / east coast beaches for me. I can’t imagine growing up there and then desperately wanting to leave, like Sunshine did. The story itself has somewhat of a redemption arc, with Sunshine going home and having to make up for lost time with her remaining family. She has to start from scratch in just about every area of her life, especially her career. She picks an interesting path to try to get back into the cooking world, which honestly didn’t make much sense to me. […]

Series Review: Blue Heron

Posted July 18, 2017 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Series Review: Blue Heron

I’m clearly a sucker for companion series set in small towns with unique characters and charm. I adored the Black Dog Bay series and listened to all of them, one after another. This series I took my time with a little more (just because my podcast addiction is still going strong), but it was a worthy series binge! This time, the books are set in Manningsport, New York. The main characters are all generally surrounding the family that owns the Blue Heron Vineyard. Many of the stories also star those family members and their love stories. This was also another audio binge with the narrator Amy Rubinate. Quick summary: When Faith is ditched at the alter because her fiancee is gay, she moves to San Francisco to break away and start over. She returns home to find that the “best man,” Levi, is now the town sheriff and just as difficult as he was when they were teens. Heroine: Faith was a really good character! She got herself into some funny situations and tried really hard to please everyone. She dealt with a lot of guilt over her mother’s death and struggled to move on years later. I liked watching her realize she needed to be home and get over her ex. Romance: This was truly the slowest burn romance I’ve ever read. I looooved the banter and major hate-to-love feels. Levi was so grouchy because Faith was always chipper and positive. They balanced each other out and really felt strongly for each […]