Format: Audiobook

Nonfiction Reviews: The Last Black Unicorn and I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

Posted November 23, 2018 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Nonfiction Reviews: The Last Black Unicorn and I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

I absolutely loved Tiffany Haddish in GIRLS TRIP and wanted to make it a point to see as many things as possible with her in them. I loved her even more when I learned about her favorite expensive white dress that she planned to wear to multiple events. Her explaining how she grew up without a lot of money and was homeless at eighteen inspired me to pick up her memoir; it sounded like she led an interesting life! Her memoir was fascinating – she really did have some wild experiences over the years. I enjoy a good celebrity memoir, as long as it’s someone I like or am interested in, and this was a great audio experience to finish off one of my reading challenges. I think the writing style wasn’t particularly wonderful, with quite a bit of repetition, but hearing her read the story was perfect. She talked about her childhood, getting into comedy, being homeless, and more. I can’t emphasize enough though… she has had QUITE a life. I appreciate how far she’s come and the fact that she has a memoir to share all of these experiences. I think my main complaints are about the writing style and how often certain words or phrases were repeated, even within the same passages, but the way she reads the story definitely suits her personality. True crime podcasts are my JAM but the first true crime book I tried to read didn’t really go according to plan… even though […]

Review Round Up | The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats & Piracy and Royals

Posted November 7, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats & Piracy and Royals

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! GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE was a pleasant surprise for me – I can be hit or miss with historical fiction and it was overall a bit out of my comfort zone. I was optimistic about LADY’S GUIDE though because of how much I enjoyed Felicity in the previous book. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed here! Like the first book, it’s a bit looong. The audiobook made listening enjoyable throughout a month-long timeframe and it became one of those books where I’m not in the MOOD to listen to it, but I loved it while I was actually listening. This is exactly how I felt about GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE too. The audio narrator was solid and really brought Felicity to life. While Felicity is the main character, the other powerful ladies at the front of the story made a huge impact too. Joanna, Felicity’s childhood ex-friend, and Sim, the badass pirate, were so fun to get to know. They all wanted more for themselves and fought against the stereotypes or expectations of the time. I loved how everything ended for them too. Of course, meeting up with Monty and Percy again was wonderful. There were a lot of different parts or stages in this story, from Callum’s bakery to Joanna’s […]

Review Round Up | Evidence of the Affair, So Close to Being the Shit…, and My Lady’s Choosing

Posted October 18, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 1 Comment
Review Round Up | Evidence of the Affair, So Close to Being the Shit…, and My Lady’s Choosing

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! Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think I was one of the first people to hear about this short story. I randomly saw it when browsing on Amazon and was shocked that there was no information about it. I immediately preordered and read it within the first week it was out. I couldn’t wait for new TJR words and I’ll be honest – the short story length was needed in my monthly reading goal. As expected, my reaction was “holy shit.” I’ve never felt so moved by a short story before and it should really come as no surprise which author made me feel this way. There was a lot packed into these pages. I thought I saw where some parts were heading but still ended up surprised by the end. Leave it to TJR to write a novella only through letters and STILL make me feel all the things. I’m really not a short story person and I don’t hesitate to recommend this to other people who feel similarly. If you like her other novels, just give this one a read. I think the ending was close to perfect, which is usually my issue with short stories. The books never feel complete. […]

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 […]

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 / 6 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 […]

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 […]

Review Round Up | The Cottages on Silver Beach and Listen to Your Heart

Posted July 5, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | The Cottages on Silver Beach and Listen to Your Heart

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! The Haven Point series is one of my favorites, set in the adorable town with the same name. My favorite thing about companion series in these small towns is that you meet up again with old characters, visit the same local spots, and really get to know everything there is to know. The latest installment of this series follows Megan, the owner of the Inn that we actually met at the VERY beginning of book one, when it had just burned down and Eliza moved to town. The love interest is Elliot Bailey, another member of the Bailey clan that we’ve encountered in recent stories as well. I loved the parts of the book involving the Inn, Haven Point, and the Helping Hands… but there wasn’t enough of that for me in this book. I missed the setting and characters too much because a fair amount was spent on the road and in Hope’s Crossing (another companion series setting that I’m currently working through). I generally liked Megan and Elliot but the back-and-forth and arguing annoyed me more than usual. Like many of the books in the series, the couple realizes that they love each other very quickly and then proceed to ignore it for most of […]

Review Round Up | Not If I Save You First and A Court of Frost and Starlight

Posted May 18, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | Not If I Save You First and A Court of Frost and Starlight

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 a big fan of Ally Carter… clearly, if you look at all the reviews up at the top there. She writes some of the most fun and engaging “light mystery” kinds of books. I love all of them for different reasons. I was pretty excited to explore a standalone too! This was a first for her. The whole Alaskan survival thing didn’t exactly appeal to me but I can’t resist her stories, so I dove in soonafter it came out. I enjoyed Maddie and Logan, and the complexities of their relationship. I’m a huge fan of childhood-friends-to-more, especially if there’s hate-to-love involved. This checked off a lot of boxes for me in terms of tropes I love! There was a decent amount of build for their relationship and understanding where they both were coming from. I shipped them but not to OTP levels. The survival aspects were nicely done and not overkill, considering that I don’t love that genre/topic in general. The journey was really quick (the book itself is quite short and I listened to the audiobook, which was only around 6 hours). I think I would have liked a little more to the story? It was kind of simple, if that makes sense. I […]

Review Round Up | Crazy Little Thing Called Love and The Becoming of Noah Shaw

Posted November 27, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 3 Comments
Review Round Up | Crazy Little Thing Called Love and The Becoming of Noah Shaw

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 either buy an ebook on sale and never read it, or read it within the first couple weeks of buying it. There’s no in-between. In this case, I’m very glad I hopped on reading CLTCL because it was completely delightful. The book starts on Christmas, has a big Christmas scene/section in the middle, and ends on Christmas as well. It was a nice unexpected “first holiday read” of the year, but could definitely be read in any season. Leila has gone on a “man ban” and started running a successful blog for other single women, which then moves into events, retreats, and presentations, all while balancing her landscape design job. When her brother gets married three months into her celibacy promise, she meets his new brother-in-law, Nick… and her man ban is all downhill from there! I really loved the couple of Leila and Nick, even though they had a number of obstacles to overcome in their journey. Leila was definitely a spunky main character and I just loved their chemistry together. The ending got a bit wild and absurd, but I really liked it. I think it actually was fairly reasonable based on how the characters’ personalities were. The reader really gets to know everyone […]

Review Round Up | Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Love & Gelato, and Finding It

Posted September 22, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Love & Gelato, and Finding It

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 had high expectations for this one since I’m a huge fan of Morgan Matson. I still need to read quite a few of her books and honestly wondered if I’d ever actually read AMY & ROGER. I love books about road trips and people who go on them together falling for each other, so it was actually right up my alley. I think I was afraid I’d be disappointed somehow. Yet again, my excellent book club was there to rescue me and force me to read things. Amy is dealing with the loss of her father when she embarks on a road trip with Roger, planned by her mom. They decide to take an ~epic detour~ to take care of business and sight see across the country. Her family has been in shambles since her dad died, with her mom moving to Connecticut (and making Amy move as well) and her brother in rehab in North Carolina. The story involves some really fun elements, like playlists, scrapbook pages, and other things they grabbed along the road. It was a nice touch for sure! The serious and sad elements were woven nicely throughout the story, between flashbacks and Amy finally opening up a little bit. I loved the different places that they decided to adventure to! […]