Category: Review Roundup

Review Roundup | When in Rome, Bad Summer People, and Happy Place

Posted July 5, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | When in Rome, Bad Summer People, and Happy Place

I always expect the popular, hyped books to not be as good as others say (looking at you, Fourth Wing), but I was thrilled to be proved wrong with WHEN IN ROME! I suddenly had the urge to follow the hype (something I’m doing this year for some reason) and request this one from the library. I also requested the new companion sequel, PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT, at the same time. I thought I’d probably enjoy this one but I didn’t think I’d be adding my name to the list of crazed Sarah Adams fans… yet here we are with a new favorite five-star romance! This story follows Amelia, a super popular pop star who needs a break from it all, when her car breaks down in the middle of nowhere Rome, Kentucky. She’s saved by adorable baker Noah and he eventually offers up his guest room for her. She gets to know Noah, his sisters, and other locals around Rome, and pretty much falls for everyone very quickly. This was exactly the kind of low-drama romance I’m into these days! I don’t want to spoil anything but there’s really not any major events or miscommunications leading to a huge breakup of the main couple. It’s definitely got instalove (I mean, they knew each other for two weeks!!) and zero spicy scenes. It’s closed door, which is fine, but I do think the story could have used some! (Maybe I’m just biased toward that kind of romance these days lol.) I […]

Review Roundup | Before We Were Innocent and The True Love Experiment

Posted June 22, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | Before We Were Innocent and The True Love Experiment

I’m always drawn to these stories of complicated best friend groups, especially when there’s some overseas travel involved. I was thinking this might be like The Villa (and a few elements were definitely reminiscent of that) but I did like that book more. The premise is that Bess (our MC), Joni, and Evangeline head to Evangeline’s family vacation home in Greece for the summer before they’re due to go away to college. They’re thinking it’s a last hurrah before they all go to different schools. Evangeline ends up dying there and the two remaining girls are swept up in accusations that one or both of them killed her. This was interesting but definitely some mixed feelings. I think a lot of it reads like a very classic “three teens go on vacation, only two come home, did one of them kill the other one?” story. I had a (very obvious) prediction but the book ended up being less predictable than that… but I’m not sure that made it any better? I got to the end and just said “okay…?” Kind of a bit pointless yet heavy-handed with some of the messaging. One Goodreads review that I totally agree with said that it basically doesn’t do enough. It’s not enough of a mystery or enough of a “toxic best friends” story to really be that good. I could really picture the setting (Greece) during the chapters set in 2008, which made for kind of a fun summer read? There’s also a plotline […]

Review Roundup | What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez, Fourth Wing, and The Last Word

Posted June 1, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez, Fourth Wing, and The Last Word

This book was lowkey one of my most anticipated for the year. It just seemed like such an intriguing premise! Ruth Ramirez went missing after track practice when she was a kid and her family hasn’t been the same since. When one of her sisters sees “Ruthy” on a reality TV show, they are convinced that it’s really her. The synopsis reveals a bit more information that doesn’t even happen until the end of the book, so I’ll cut it off there. The story alternates between the three remaining members of the Ramirez family (with a few chapters from Ruthy’s POV sprinkled in): Jessica, Nina, and Dolores (their mom). It’s really a portrait of a grieving family and a story about where their lives went in the years since Ruthy went missing. The father of the family died soonafter and the rest had to carry on. It’s more “slice of life” despite the premise sounding a bit more meaty. I appreciated how real and raw it felt but it lacked a bit of depth. It kind of showed them going about their daily lives without going down one more level. The family’s Puerto Rican heritage was front and center throughout the story, which I definitely enjoyed reading about. The synopsis includes that it’s a “vivid family portrait, in all its shattered reality, exploring the familial bonds between women and cycles of generational violence, colonialism, race, and silence, replete with snark, resentment, tenderness, and, of course, love.” – All of these […]

Review Roundup | The Escape Room and Legends & Lattes

Posted May 11, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Roundup | The Escape Room and Legends & Lattes

I’ve been working my way through Goldin’s books and she’s quickly become one of my favorite mystery/thriller authors. An absolute auto-read for me. (I’ve got one more backlist title to go now!) THE ESCAPE ROOM was on my radar but I never got around to it because I’ve always thought I don’t like locked room mysteries. I’m definitely curious to keep testing that theory because I think it’s wrong haha – I enjoy ones like this! It’s so intriguing to have two timelines or POVs and see what’s happening separate from the “locked room” (in this case, an elevator). This story centers around a few shitty financial/banking people who get trapped in an “escape room” elevator together. The other POV is Sara, a girl who busted her ass in the company’s graduate program and how she started rising up the ranks. Once the story gets going, there are some good twists and turns – I always found myself eager to check out what was happening in the other POV, which kept me turning the pages. I did finish this book in one day (great audiobook, btw!) but I don’t think I would classify it to other people as unputdownable. I just had the right kind of day to sit down and read or listen to the audiobook while multi-tasking all day. I do think it’s quite predictable overall – I wasn’t shocked by the ending and there was a lot of explanation and backstory when it got toward the end. […]

Review Roundup | Daisy Darker and Wrong Place Wrong Time

Posted April 26, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | Daisy Darker and Wrong Place Wrong Time

This was such an interesting reading experience – I can now see why this is such a polarizing book haha. This is my first Alice Feeney and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. I have really weird expectations for what her other books may be like?? DAISY DARKER follows Daisy and the Darker family as they head out to her grandmother’s island house for her 80th birthday. They all assume they’ll be learning what they’ll be getting for inheritances because her grandmother always expected to die at age 80. It follows the traditional AND THEN THEY WERE GONE plotline where people start being killed one by one. There’s a big ol’ twist that plenty of people predicted but I felt like an absolute idiot because I didn’t see it coming at all. The book itself was really sad, seeing how they treated Daisy throughout her life. It was super depressing. Because I managed to not really predict anything correctly, I can’t help but give this a pretty high rating. BUT the twist itself is kind of cheesy at this point. Even if I’m not sure I liked it in many ways, it’s definitely going to stick with me. I read this book in one day – I listened to the audiobook when tooling around the house and read the physical copy whenever I had the chance. I’m never mad about an unputdownable book, so I won’t complain too much! I’d been told by some friends I really […]

Review Roundup | Confessions, The Golden Spoon, and Lock Every Door

Posted April 13, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | Confessions, The Golden Spoon, and Lock Every Door

I recently shared that there are a number of books I planned to read this year based purely on the hype and their popularity in the community. A bunch of my favorite booktubers have read and loved this one, claiming that there is a twist or big reveal at the end of each chapter (there are 6 chapters across a quick book of 240 pages). I was curious (based on the premise) how they would pull that off and decided to finally go for it. After all, I don’t read a lot of backlist books and this looked promising based on everyone’s feelings! Unfortunately this book wasn’t what I expected and the hype was REAL. I couldn’t get everyone’s voices out of my head while reading. I expected wild jaw-dropping twists but it didn’t really read like that to me? Yes, it is definitely twisty and very well-plotted and well-written, but not in the same way people had built it up. Each chapter reveals some new information from a different person’s point of view so the backstory starts to slowly come together. My jaw literally dropped at the end of the first chapter and the build-up of reveals throughout the rest of the story was pretty great. The ending was strong – surprising and very clever. Again, the plotting made a big difference here and the order in which the author included the different character POVs. I expected a new favorite and ended up with a solid four-star read that […]

Review Roundup | The Heart Principle, Mirror Lake, and Remarkably Bright Creatures

Posted March 20, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | The Heart Principle, Mirror Lake, and Remarkably Bright Creatures

THE HEART PRINCIPLE was one of my most-anticipated releases of 2021. I was thrilled when it was a BOTM selection and I could read it right away! And then… it sat on my shelf until March of 2023. I don’t know why I never got around to picking it up. I think I wasn’t expecting to love this as much as the other two in this companion series? It had a lot to live up to. I rated the first book 4.5 stars and the second book 5 stars, so where would this one land? I didn’t remember the two previous books that well but it’s a companion series, so that wasn’t an issue. We’re introduced to Anna, a professional violinist who is stuck in a major rut with her music. Her longtime boyfriend suggests they have an open relationship for a bit before taking the next step and she’s too angry to argue. She hops on a dating app and decides that if he can have a one-night stand or two, so can she. She’s introduced to our boy Quan (love) and they fail at hooking up a few times but can’t seem to leave it at that. I really loved the relationship that Quan and Anna built – it was so sweet and wholesome! Both of them had some major issues they were dealing with and slowly began to open up to each other. When Anna’s father becomes very ill, she’s tasked with helping him and the family, […]

Review Roundup | The Do-Over, The Appeal, and Cold Clay

Posted March 13, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | The Do-Over, The Appeal, and Cold Clay

I’m a sucker for Groundhog Day / time loop stories, as everyone knows by now. I was intrigued by THE DO-OVER when I saw so many people reading it but didn’t set out on a mission to read it until (a) I realized it was a Groundhog Day book and (b) it took place on Valentines Day. I was so determined to read it during Valentines Day that I went to three different stores and attempted two store pick-up orders before I finally snagged it in the fifth and final attempt (another Target store pickup). When Emilie sees her boyfriend cheating on her on Valentines Day, she wakes up the next day only to find it is yet again Valentines Day. Can she stop him from cheating? Does she even want to? The story progresses in a similar way to other time loop stories with the MC trying new ways to live out the day and see if it resets the loop. She ends up getting close to Nick, her surly lab partner, on and off throughout the days and sparks fly on one of her repeating days. All in all, the book was really cute and enjoyable to read! There were absolutely has some cringe-worthy levels of cheesiness toward the end but I got through it. Every Groundhog Day book has at least one day where the MC does whatever they want, damn the consequences, because there ARE no consequences. That particular day for Emilie was definitely cringey. These […]

Review Roundup | Ninth House, Shady Hollow, and Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries

Posted February 16, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Roundup | Ninth House, Shady Hollow, and Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries

Oh man, that was a ride. I put off reading this one for a long time because I was honestly just nervous. The story definitely intimidated me, and I was right to be a little nervous! It took me a very long time to settle into this and really understand what was going on. (Even though I plan to read HELL BENT soon, I’ll be watching or reading some kind of summary of this one…) Leigh Bardugo is really masterful at writing though – she’s the main reason I picked this up. I do fantasy/paranormal and mysteries but usually not ones quite like this. It’s pretty dark but Bardugo manages to inject humor in certain scenes and keep intrigue up even when I was confused. Truthfully, I almost DNFed this after the first 100 or so pages but I decided to press on. Luckily, the literal next chapter I listened to helped pull things together and keep me interested. The other reason I wanted to read this is that it’s set at Yale in Connecticut. New Haven is really its own character, and it was fun to line up the locations/setting with my experience going there and walking around Yale. I forgot that Bardugo went there, so it was nice to see her accurate depictions of the area. I really liked Alex as a character, as well as Darlington and Dawes. Even her roommates, who weren’t in this too much, were enjoyable to read about. The timeline went back and […]

Review Roundup | Begin Again, The Housemaid, and Kill Joy

Posted February 10, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | Begin Again, The Housemaid, and Kill Joy

It’s been well-established that I’ll read everything Emma Lord writes, even if YA is lower on my list overall these days. I’ve never been disappointed by one of her books (even the ones that maybe don’t sound like my favorite premise) – and luckily BEGIN AGAIN was no exception to this rule! To be fair, it was probably my “least favorite” of her books (which seems dumb with a 4+ star rating)… but I don’t fully know why. I liked that this was a slice of life story set in college (let’s make a petition to get more YA books set during that time period) and the characters were really enjoyable. I liked that there was a solid mix of new friendships taking off, romantic relationships and crushes, and tons of family feels. The whole premise was good but the ~love triangle~ vibes were a bit drawn out IMO. My jaw dropped at a very unexpected twist that made for some intrigue for a few chapters, but I kind of with the dual love interest situation was wrapped up earlier. The main character, Andie, and her friends had their ups, downs, and flaws, which were all well-explored. I really liked that there wasn’t any major drama and miscommunication – the vast majority of the time, all of the characters said how they felt (within reason) and forgave each other for certain issues. It was definitely refreshing to read! I’m now craving a very fancy bagel and ridiculous flavored cream cheese. Whew, […]