Format: eARC

ARC Review: Behind the Scenes

Posted March 1, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Behind the Scenes

I adored SATISFACTION GUARANTEED and was excited for another book by Stetz-Waters! This story centers around Rose and Ash, who meet at a random pug event (Rose has two pugs) outside of Ash’s office building in Portland. Rose is a business consultant and Ash is a disgraced filmmaker who has a bad reputation for “ruining” her ex-wife’s movie (clearly there is more to the story there!). When Rose is contacted by Ash’s friend and colleague to help her get on track and stop trying to do it all by herself for her new movie, the two begin working together. I really enjoyed both of the jobs the MCs had in this story. I love any book set around Hollywood or movie-making and it was fun to read about Ash’s world… minus all the shitty things that happened to her. Ash had a ton of trauma from her ex-wife and an accident she was in, which was unpacked throughout the book. The same could be said of Rose, who hasn’t been on an airplane for 18 years due to her parents dying in a plane crash. She basically had to raise and take care of her sisters, which was a really sweet part of the story. Rose didn’t really take risks because she wanted to be stable and secure enough to support her family. (Sidenote: Rose was a business consultant for manufacturing companies but never set foot in a factory… this would definitely never fly in real life haha. I work […]

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, […]

Review Round Up | The Villa, The Stolen Heir, and Lunar Love

Posted January 23, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Round Up | The Villa, The Stolen Heir, and Lunar Love

I’ve been following Rachel Hawkins for years – from her YA work to today’s adult mystery/suspense fiction – and she remains a lowkey favorite of mine. This book sealed the deal for me and she is still cemented as an auto-buy author. Some early reviews are a bit mixed but I actually liked both timelines: one takes place in the 70s during the original murder and the other is present day with two best friends staying at the villa. The book was very tense throughout, where you know something bad is going to happen in at least one timeline but probably both. I really loved the ending: it totally surprised me. It’s not really a true mystery or thriller but more of a suspense novel, which is definitely still a fun ride. I couldn’t put it down and was always so curious to see what would happen next. The mashup of comps at the bottom of the synopsis (“Inspired by Fleetwood Mac, the Manson murders, and the infamous summer Percy and Mary Shelley spent with Lord Byron at a Lake Geneva castle––the birthplace of Frankenstein”) all feel accurate based on m limited knowledge of those three. I would say my own personal comparison is like a much darker version of Daisy Jones and the Six haha. I love Holly Black and her writing so much. There’s truly nothing better than falling back into a familiar world, especially when you thought your time with it was over! THE STOLEN HEIR kicks […]

Blog Tour Review: Just the Nicest Couple

Posted January 13, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Blog Tour Review: Just the Nicest Couple

Purchase links: Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Bookshop // IndieBoundBooks-A-Million // Kobo //  AppleBooks // Google Play // Libro.FM Review Believe it or not, as a heavy mystery/thriller reader (especially in the past 3-4 years), this is my first Mary Kubica book! I’ve had a few of her backlist titles on my TBR over the years but for some reason never dove in. I thought this blog tour would be the perfect time to finally give her a shot.  This story is about two married couples – Lily and Christian, and Nina and Jake. From the outset, it seems like Lily and Christian have a pretty solid relationship. Nina and Jake… not so much. They had a huge fight and he’s been missing ever since. I was very curious from the first handful of chapters how this book would continue. It seemed like it could be straightforward from the overall setup, so I kept turning the pages to see how Kubica would end up getting me! From a writing perspective, Kubica uses short sentences, very staccato. It took some getting used to, and I saw a lot of other reviews also commented on it. Not sure if this was done on purpose for this book or if that’s her usual style? (Friends have since confirmed her writing is different in other books, so that’s good!) I didn’t like the characters and they (especially Christian) made a ton of dumb decisions. It was good because I didn’t really trust them, […]

Holiday Reviews: Once Upon a December and One Last Gift

Posted December 31, 2022 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: Once Upon a December and One Last Gift

Story This was such an odd reading experience. So many things came to me as I was reading that annoyed me or confused me that I actually had to keep track in a note on my phone… I don’t ever do that anymore! Before I get too far into the details, I’ll chat about the story concept itself… which was actually the best part! Astra has a holiday weekend with her three best girl friends each winter and they usually shop around this little winter market. Each year it’s come to town, she’s encountered Jack (working at the kringle bakery) and he always seems familiar. The market itself (Julemarked) is actually magical and travels around the world every December, popping up in a new location. He’s remembered her over the years and always waits for the market to land back in Milwaukee. They age differently in the Julemarked because they’re really only “alive” for a month each year. In any case, all that backstory to say that this was a unique story. When Astra finally remembers him and slowly starts to gain memories of the market back, the two start to fall for each other. Everything about Astra irritated me: the way she bent over backwards for her ex husband about her dog, answering his calls, and even hemming his pants. She talked constantly how he essentially forced her into abandoning her friends for the few years they were together and how she never wants to do it again (yet […]

Holiday Reviews: The Christmas Letters and Season of Love

Posted December 12, 2022 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: The Christmas Letters and Season of Love

Story Jenny Hale’s holiday books used to be my absolute go-tos each year but the past couple were not quite as good as her earlier books. I’m excited to report that this one was definitely back along the lines of her older books! Elizabeth fled her small farm and hometown ten years ago for the bright NYC lights, high society with a rich boyfriend, and charity work in lieu of a “real career.” When her boyfriend dumps her, she heads home to her recently departed grandmother’s farm, which her mom is currently running. They find old Christmas letters from her grandma and realize her story isn’t quite as straightforward as they once thought. Meanwhile, Liz hits it off with a newcomer who is there for the holiday season and falls back in love with the way of life on the farm. I really enjoyed that she reconnected with her family, friends, and neighborhood. I enjoyed the southern farm town quite a bit. There was a little mystery in the letters and the ending of the book truly surprised me! It was so unexpected and really made this a winner for me. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels The farm made for a fun Christmas setting – very similar to another holiday novella I read this year. I liked reading about the decor, festive shops in town, etc. but as usual, I could have gone for more! Lots of snowy scenes too. Overall This was more reminiscent of some of Hale’s best […]

Holiday Reviews: A Season for Second Chances and Window Shopping

Posted December 1, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: A Season for Second Chances and Window Shopping

Story When Annie’s life goes off the rails and she loses her spark, she decides to take on a role essentially housesitting for an elderly woman who will be away from her beachside home for the winter season. Annie moves to the cute little town to watch over the house and keep it running, rent-free, from the fall through the spring. She has to contend with the woman’s nephew, though, who is trying to sell the property to a developer. Naturally you can imagine the Hallmark movie moments that occur from there! Overall, this was a super cute story with a low-key, breezy plot. I loved the setting, cast of quirky locals, and the easy (not truly “easy” but more like drama-free) romance. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels Beachside holiday or winter books can be really fun – I know that I personally love visiting the beach and going for a walk whenever I visit Maine, regardless of weather. Having a cute seaside town transition into a little Christmassy village in England? Love those vibes. Because the book didn’t take place strictly in December or around the Christmas holidays, it wasn’t quite as Christmassy as it could have been… BUT it was super cute to see how the town went crazy for other fall holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. This was the perfect book to read in November to kick off holiday reads on a lighter note. Overall I definitely recommend this one for your first holiday-ish read of the season, […]

ARC Review: Nine Liars

Posted November 28, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Nine Liars

Are you kidding me with that ending?! Okay I know I should get more into other things but my jaw literally dropped. I won’t spoil anything about the actual end (and it wasn’t even a cliffhanger for the mystery but more for the personal/interpersonal stuff). As always, I’m thrilled to see more books added to this series. I’d keep reading and reading. Based on that ending I also have to assume there’s some kind of sequel coming. I’ve seen that some folks get sick of these books and the characters but I just find them compulsively readable. I need that in my life at this point because it takes me so long to read books unless they’re addicting and fun.  The mystery at the center of this one was really interesting. Stevie and crew head to London to visit David and have some “cultural experiences” for school. While there, David’s new friend asks Stevie to help solve this mystery surrounding her aunt and her eight friends. Two of them were murdered one night and she’s never believed that it was a random robbery gone wrong. Naturally, Stevie can’t resist, and spends the whole trip trying to figure out what happened that night with “the Nine.” It was really an intriguing mystery especially because there were so many people involved. There were so many little clues that I absolutely could not put together but knew they all meant something, so it was really fun to try to figure out. David annoyed […]

Quick Reviews: One of the Girls and Quarry Girls

Posted October 19, 2022 / Bite-Sized Reviews, Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Quick Reviews: One of the Girls and Quarry Girls

I’ve been really into mystery/thrillers lately and was excited to finally dive into ONE OF THE GIRLS! Set during a bachelorette weekend in Greece, this story follows the group of bridesmaids as they celebrate the bride-to-be Lexi. Like with all bach weekends, the girls come from different areas of the bride’s life and don’t really know each other that well. There’s Eleanor (sister of the groom), Bella (overbearing childhood friend of the bride), Robyn (the less annoying childhood best friend that rounded out their trio back in the day), Ana (new friend of the bride), and Fen (Bella’s girlfriend). The reason this book really worked for me is that the tension slowly built throughout each chapter. I always thought I had figured out some connections (some of my theories were accurate) but there was always more below the surface. I really enjoyed trying to figure out who would be the one to plummet off the cliffside and who, if anyone, pushed them. The story alternated between all POVs, which was necessary in building up some of the tension, but was confusing initially. I kept forgetting who was who. The ending was interesting and fairly surprising overall, so that’s a win in my book! I wasn’t sure what to expect from THE QUARRY GIRLS. I’m not really into serial killers (in terms of true crime subcategories) but the author’s note at the very beginning intrigued me and set the stage. I also don’t usually read historical fiction crime/mystery books but for […]

ARC Reviews: What Might Have Been and The Hookup Plan

Posted October 13, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: What Might Have Been and The Hookup Plan

I’m always, always a sucker for a “what might have been” story, where the book splits into two timelines and plays out what might happen to the MC depending on a certain decision they make. In WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN (appropriately named), Lucy has a decision to make once she abruptly quits her job. Should she STAY in her beachside hometown, live with her sister, save money, and pursue writing her novel full time? Or should she GO live with her friend in London in her spare room and take on the cushy advertising job she’s also dreamed about? Lucy runs into her ex Max, who she believed was her soulmate before he inexplicably broke up with her toward the end of college, and this spurs her decision-making. In the STAY timeline, she decided to put Max in the past and pursues the cute guy Caleb she also met the same night. The two have to work through some things, like Caleb’s pending divorce, but she finds herself very happy pursuing her writing dream and spending more time with her sister and nephew. In GO, she reconnects with Max and the two have to try to figure out how to make their relationship work once some major secrets get revealed. These books usually go one of two ways: the two timelines result in the MC ending up in the same place and/or with the same guy regardless of their decision, OR they end up in two very different places but […]