Category: Review Roundup

Review Round Up | Influence, This is Not the Jess Show, and Girls With Rebel Souls

Posted April 7, 2021 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Influence, This is Not the Jess Show, and Girls With Rebel Souls

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! All Sara Shepard books are the same… and I mean that as a compliment. I know what I’m getting into and her books always hit the spot. They’re so easy to read, are super addicting, and always have a surprising ending. That’s all I ask for with my mystery/thrillers, to be honest, and reading her books feels like coming home for me. I remember the good ol’ PLL days and some of her older series. So good, so classic. This one involves influencers – a topic I personally haven’t encountered much in YA books yet. Just a little bit here and there. It goes between Delilah, Jasmine, and Fiona, with flickers of Scarlet’s live streams and vlog transcripts in between as well. Delilah just moved to LA and is a budding influencer after saving a puppy from a burning shed. Jasmine and Fiona are well-established influencers hiding major secrets, both trying to break out of their shells. I liked each of the points of view here but Delilah’s felt a bit young compared to the other two. Of course, because it’s Sara Shepard, there’s a mystery involved. The book starts with a prologue where one of the girls (we assume one of the MCs) ends up dying […]

Review Round Up | Behind the Red Door, The Wife Upstairs, and The Cousins

Posted February 10, 2021 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Round Up | Behind the Red Door, The Wife Upstairs, and The Cousins

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 met Megan Collins at a book signing/talk when she released THE WINTER SISTER. I didn’t love that book but did enjoy her writing style. Collins is a local Connecticut author who teaches creative writing at the college Chris went to for a bit. I’ll always read and support her books for these reasons! However, this one was definitely a bit disappointing for me. Fern is headed to help her terrible father pack up his house so he can move to Florida. As a character, I enjoyed reading about her – she has major anxiety, has an amazing and thoughtful husband, and works as a social worker. When she and her husband see that Astrid Sullivan, a girl who went missing and returned somewhat unharmed as a child, has gone missing again, Fern feels like she knows her somehow. But how? She starts to find out bits of information from her past, as well as a shared history or common locations with Astrid, when she’s at home with her dad in New Hampshire. There are a ton of suspicious people and red herrings all around New Hampshire and Maine that Collins brings in to divert the reader. There are a lot of times where I SAY that […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

Review Round Up | Love Your Life, Forever With You, and Well Played

Posted November 4, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Love Your Life, Forever With You, and Well Played

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 had both good and bad luck with Kinsella books in recent years – she can be super hit or miss. Sometimes the characters are just quirky enough, sometimes they’re over-the-top and annoying with it. This book was an interesting reading experience because it REALLY toed the line. I was tempted to DNF because good lord was Ava annoying… but I’m glad I kept going! My biggest issue with the story is that Ava and Matt were basically in love right away on their retreat, without knowing anything about their “real lives” outside. Kinsella didn’t do a good job of building up my investment in the relationship while they were in Italy so that I would CARE about them when they were home. If I didn’t see all the good things up front that made them want to keep trying, why should I care if they’re together? Their relationship was truly frustrating at times and her blindness to it all was even worse. Ava was frustrating and Matt was just okay for me. It seriously took a while but I was thoroughly enjoying myself around the 70% mark lol whoops. They had so much stuff to work through – I truly didn’t think this book would have […]

Review Round Up | Summer at Lake Haven, Today Tonight Tomorrow, and Then She Was Gone

Posted October 14, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Summer at Lake Haven, Today Tonight Tomorrow, and Then She Was Gone

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’m always thrilled to return to Haven Point! I started this one and then realized there was a prequel novella about the leading man’s sister that should be read first, so I paused and finished that up quickly. Ian is in town for his sister Gemma’s wedding. He rents a house next to Samantha and she’s immediately smitten with his two cute kids. The kids, in turn, are smitten with the puppies she’s temporarily taking care of! Ian and Samantha get off on the wrong foot but they grow to be friends (and then more) throughout the story, of course. I’ll be honest – they were super dry and boring. Their conversations were repetitive and offered too much information about Ian’s research on salmon (yup). I was always a bit tired of them talking, which isn’t what you need from main characters you’re supposed to be rooting for in a romance! As always, the charming Haven Point setting won major points for me. The two of them were on Lake Haven and went hiking to see some waterfalls, which led to some nice scenery descriptions. The rest of the town and the Helping Hands group were always excellent too. I won’t spoil the ending, but it was […]