Format: eARC

Review Roundup | Sister of the Bride, Drowning, and Murder in the Family

Posted September 27, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | Sister of the Bride, Drowning, and Murder in the Family

I’ve enjoyed Morrill’s YA books before – they’re usually nice and bantery, super easy to read, and a lot of fun. I was so excited when I saw she wrote an adult contemporary romance and requested it immediately. SISTER OF THE BRIDE is apparently a Father of the Bride retelling (?) but I haven’t seen the movie. I loved the premise of a girl having to plan her sister’s wedding while falling in love with her best friend. This is the kind of book that you could easily sit and read in one sitting so I’m a little annoyed it took me so long to finish it! I started it right before my birthday weekend, which always gets too busy for reading. In any case, the Italian food and Boston vibes were immaculate in this book. I’m from Connecticut so Boston is an hour and a half from where I live. It was fun to see what they included and how they presented the story. It was a really unique situation for the MC Pippin and it was fun to see how she would move on with her life after literally everything changed. She was occasionally frustrating but I have to say, the lack of drama and miscommunication in this one (especially in a few key areas near the end) was just perfect. She would get annoyed about something and freak out, then come back to earth and apologize. It was refreshing that she didn’t let things get to her for too long and […]

ARC August Reviews: All That’s Left to Say and Same Time Next Summer

Posted September 8, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC August Reviews: All That’s Left to Say and Same Time Next Summer

Emery Lord has been one of my favorite authors since I first started my blog in 2014. It’s kind of alarming to see how underrated this book is (literally, there are only a few hundred reviews and ratings on Goodreads!). Remember when she was the top author in YA?? I feel like some of my fellow YA comrades have fallen off a bit (which I understand) but she’ll be an auto-buy forever for me. I joined some reading sprints on booktube the other day and people didn’t even really know Emery Lord when I mentioned this was my current read. I MUST EDUCATE EVERYONE. As you can see, I’ll read her books immediately regardless of topic. This book is about very fresh and unexpected grief, which is not something I like to read about. I don’t pick up sad books on purpose and just try to escape to a happier place when I read (or solve a murder mystery – nothing more or less!). Reading about the opioid crisis was even harder. However, as always, Emery Lord treated the topic with care and created a very emotional and powerful story. In ALL THAT’S LEFT TO SAY, Hannah is reeling from losing her cousin Sophie to an extremely unexpected overdose. Perfect, vivacious Sophie would never take pills on purpose! The story features her immediate grief and how she decides to get to the bottom of what happens to her. This includes transferring to Sophie’s school and trying to track down where […]

ARC August Reviews: The Last One and Business or Pleasure

Posted August 24, 2023 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
ARC August Reviews: The Last One and Business or Pleasure

If there’s one thing Will Dean has, it’s the audacity. What an ending!! I did not see that coming at all. (Had to get that off my chest first, now on to an incredibly vague review!) The synopsis of THE LAST ONE intrigued me so much when I watched a the booktuber vlog her reading experience. Basically the first 10% of the book is the synopsis and a bunch of other stuff happens after that – I strongly recommend going into this book as blind as you can so I’m definitely not going to share anything else that happens lol. My main theories right off the bat were some of the classics (everyone is dead including the MC, it’s all a dream, etc.) – needless to say I won’t tell you if anything was right. I couldn’t put this down and finished it in one day. Once some ~things~ happen and are revealed, the book is a pretty slow-ish thriller. It’s not fast-paced like many others but I still couldn’t stop reading because I was dying to know what would happen next. There are some strong twists but not too many, which was really nice (no whiplash like other thriller books/writers). It’s a little slower at parts like I said and thus I think it’s a LITTLE too long, but the ending was so good. I can’t believe how the author chose to end this lol. There was a lot of character backstory that I think was supposed to make us […]

ARC August Reviews: In Nightfall and The Blonde Identity

Posted August 16, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC August Reviews: In Nightfall and The Blonde Identity

As everyone around here knows, I’m a huge fan of Suzanne Young and all of her books. She’s such a talented writer and her prose is so accessible (definitely mean that as a compliment – I read her stories SO quickly!). IN NIGHTFALL is a bit different for her in some ways, and different for my reading tastes as well… which I loved! The story follows Theo and her brother Marco as they head to Nightfall, Oregon with their father for the summer as punishment for a big party they threw. Her dad is originally from there and his mom lives there, so they stay with her. She’s been an enigma in the kids’ lives and they’re basically meeting her for the first time. She’s prickly and has a lot of weird rules, like don’t stay out after dark and don’t talk with the locals. Naturally both of them ignore these rules and immediately fall in with some local teens. The town (and most people there) are really creepy and mysterious. There are some upcoming traditions that they want Theo and Marco to partake in, as well as their nightly parties on the beach. Theo starts to feel like something weird is in the air in Nightfall and these two podcasters in town for the Midnight Dive event are investigating it as well. The book is a little creepy but breezy and easy to read as well. I really liked the tension being slowly turned up throughout the book as […]

ARC Reviews: The Legacies and Dark Corners

Posted July 20, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Legacies and Dark Corners

It’s no secret around here that I love a “rich people behaving badly book” – there’s something about it that appeals to my Gossip Girl-loving heart. I KNOW they’re bad people and I’m okay with reading about them. I don’t have to like or root for the characters in every book I read. I know it’s a personal preference thing and I’m okay with that. Just be warned, if you aren’t a rich kid drama girlie, you probably won’t find much to like in this one. This book feels simultaneously similar and different than Goodman’s other books. I’ve rated her other books 3, 3.5, and 4 stars, respectively, so she’s always been a good-but-not-a-favorite author of mine. I still find myself so drawn to her synopses and eagerly await each new release! The whole vibe of this one (like her other three books) is more of a contemporary fiction book with some death and suspense as the backbone. Her books aren’t thrillers, they’re sort of mysteries, but they’re more like… mysterious contemporary fiction? This book is the first that features unlikeable rich kids at a prep school in NYC – the others are set in normal high schools or at summer camp. The story alternates between Bernie (a rich kid living in her mom’s shadow), Isobel (another rich kid and Bernie’s best friend with a substance abuse issue), and Tori (the scholarship kid whose mom died the year before). I enjoyed reading from each of their POVs for the most part […]

Review Roundup | The Wishing Game, Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, and Live and Let Chai

Posted July 17, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | The Wishing Game, Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, and Live and Let Chai

I was soooo looking forward to THE WISHING GAME. The book sounded so magical (while being realistic and not actually featuring any magic or fantastical elements) and the cover? Absolutely one of my favorites I’ve ever seen… which is why it’s such a bummer that I feel so incredibly mixed on this book. I had to really think about a rating for it. At its core, this book is a whimsical ode to children’s books and the lifelong impact they have on us. I loved that aspect! It was so cute in a lot of ways. If I sit here and think about the story as a whole and ignore a lot of the details that really bugged me, this could have easily been very highly rated. I appreciate the granting of wishes and foster care/adoption plotline in a general sense but I was really uncomfortable with how Lucy went about it all with Christopher. It’s one thing to want to adopt a child that needs it but I personally found it to be inappropriate that she was kissing his forehead and having him sit on her lap (and discussing her desire to adopt him before she was permitted to – I have to think, if it didn’t happen or come true, wouldn’t the kid be in a worse mental space? She even tried to argue that sleeping on the floor of her bedroom in a house she shared with drunk college students would be a better situation for him […]

ARC Review: The Seven Year Slip

Posted June 19, 2023 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: The Seven Year Slip

I’ve loved Ashley Poston since her YA book days a few years ago. Her foray into “adult contemporary fiction with a sprinkle of magic” has been LOVELY so far – THE DEAD ROMANTICS was one of my favorite books last year and I can still remember the feeling of sitting on the amazing porch at our Airbnb and reading so much of it in one sitting. While that story gets the half-star edge over THE SEVEN YEAR SLIP, I clearly loved this one too. The story centers around Clementine and her somewhat boring life in NYC, six months after her beloved aunt and travel partner passed away. She was willed her apartment and has been living there ever since, despite how painful it can be. Her aunt always said the apartment was a bit magical and Clementine finds out firsthand how true that was. Somehow timelines overlap, and you may return to your apartment one day and find yourself seven years in the past… yes, including whoever was living there seven years prior. One summer, that turns out to be Iwan, a gorgeous Southern guy that her aunt sublet the apartment to when she was overseas (oddly enough, with Clementine) at the time. The two connect very quickly but Clementine isn’t sure how to tell him exactly what’s happening with their time-related disconnect. Some other ~things~ progressed in this story that were not what I expected when I read the synopsis, but I actually liked it way better than what […]

ARC Review: Something Close to Magic

Posted June 12, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Something Close to Magic

I’m a huge Emma Mills fan. Every New Years Day for a few years in a row, I would hang out and read her next release that day, basically in one sitting, to start the New Year off on the right foot. I think I still have one contemporary romance from her backlist to read but I was really excited to see her foray into fantasy… especially one that sounded on the cozier side! I’ll admit that it took me a while to get into this. I think the problem was mostly having to read on my iPad because of the file type but I also just wasn’t hooked like I thought I would be. Her writing style is really different here and fantasy-oriented. I never would have guessed it was her writing without knowing. It just took a little getting used to! There are some elements of her signature clever dialogue between the characters though, so that helped! The story centers around Auralie, a baker’s apprentice in a small village, who suddenly finds herself hanging out with trolls and princes and bounty hunters. They go on a little quest at the beginning and then there’s an interlude of letter-writing (cute!) before some fun drama and action at the end. I’d definitely say this qualifies as a cozy fantasy because it’s breezy and fun to read while not having high-stakes action and worldbuilding. The second half of this book honestly REALLY took off for me. The trouble I had trying […]

ARC Reviews: Liars Beach and Jana Goes Wild

Posted June 5, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: Liars Beach and Jana Goes Wild

I love Cotugno but haven’t read her latest releases for one reason or another. The synopsis of this one really appealed to me and I liked that she was working in a different genre. There are very few reviews and the overall Goodreads rating is pretty low, which is interesting, but I was still cautiously optimistic. I haven’t read THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES but it’s definitely on my Agatha Christie to-read list now. Linden is off to Martha’s Vineyard to spend some time with his roommate Jasper and his family at their gorgeous house on the beach. He’s hiding a lot about his true background/socioeconomic status but tries to fit in with them nonetheless. He’s on a lacrosse scholarship at a fancy boarding school and has to keep up appearances. His childhood friend (his mom works for their family) Holiday is there too. When a body of a guy everyone hates shows up in the pool, Holiday and Linden set out to solve the mystery. I ended up really enjoying this! It’s a little surface-level and super short, which made for a breezy Memorial Day Weekend read on the porch in just a couple of hours. I don’t actually wish it was longer though – she achieved what she needed to in under 300 pages. There are definitely discussions on class, Great Gatsby vibes/themes, and manic pixie dreamgirl energy, which was all a part of the wider story and message Cotugno was trying to convey. The ending was interesting and […]

ARC Review: Meet Me at the Lake

Posted May 17, 2023 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: Meet Me at the Lake

I absolutely devoured EVERY SUMMER AFTER last year. I was on the fence about reading it and was cautious about the hype, but I literally sat there and finished the book in one sitting on my deck on a sunny afternoon. That was such a wonderful and specific reading experience that I was super nervous to read her sophomore novel. Such high expectations! ESA was not perfect – it was messy in a way that really worked for me. I was curious to see if this novel would have much of the same (not really!) or if the author would branch out a bit. I was happy to still see dual timelines following the lead couple, a second chance romance, and another glorious summer setting. MEET ME AT THE LAKE is centered around the main character’s family resort on a lake in Canada. Fern determined as a college student that she didn’t want to take over the business someday and broke her mom’s heart in the process. Years later, with some success managing coffee shops in Toronto in the meantime, her mom passes away in an accident… leaving the resort to her. Beyond the grief and family feels of it all, the story alternates between past and present with Fern and Will – a boy she had a whirlwind day/night with as a college student. It feels a bit like instalove (especially because the chemistry 10 years ago just wasn’t there for me as much as it was in present […]