Format: Hardcover

Recent Reads | The Paradise Problem and The Search Party

Posted May 24, 2024 / Book Reviews, Recent Reads / 0 Comments
Recent Reads | The Paradise Problem and The Search Party

Man, Christina Lauren has truly done it again. I know I’m a relatively new reader of theirs but I just think they’re in the top-echelon of contemporary romance / rom-com writers. I noted on my Instagram caption that each year I most look forward to new books by Emily Henry, Abby Jimenez, and Christina Lauren. These gals are my top auto-read authors for romance… and none of them have disappointed. ALL three 2024 releases by them were five stars for me. THE PARADISE PROBLEM has a marriage of convenience trope, super duper rich people with inheritance on the line, a tropical setting with a wedding involved… genuinely what more could I want? Excellent characters with fun personalities, a ton of sexual tension, and really funny moments? Yes, all of those too! Anna and West got married almost five years ago to secure cheap family student housing. Anna didn’t exactly read the finer details of their contract and surprise! They’re still married and West needs her to be his guest to his sister’s wedding on a private island in Indonesia so he can collect his multi-hundred-million-dollar inheritance. While this was the usual steamy, tension-filled rom-com from Christina Lauren, there were definitely some heavier elements involved too. West’s family is…something else. The two of them were not set up for an easy trip, especially with Anna actually being a broke artist instead of the med student he thought she was when they first got married. It was so frustrating to read about […]

Recent Reads | The Twyford Code and Kill for Me, Kill for You

Posted March 28, 2024 / Book Reviews, Recent Reads / 0 Comments
Recent Reads | The Twyford Code and Kill for Me, Kill for You

Janice Hallett has continued to cement herself as a favorite author. Even though this was technically my least favorite of her books, she still managed to pull one over on me and keep me engaged when I was doubting it. THE TWYFORD CODE centers around Smithy, recently released from prison, recording audio files on his son’s old iPhone. The book begins with the transcript being sent over for interpretation. Smithy tries to find out what happened to his missing teacher from when he was a kid and how her disappearance may be connected to Twyford’s books. Is there a secret code in there? Intermixed in his investigation, he’s talking about his young life and how he ended up in a gang. I was really intrigued by the initial investigation and the format – the story reads as if you’re literally reading the transcripts of audio files. I love a mixed media novel but this has less of the same vibe. Kind of reads like a sort of real novel, compared to her other books with emails, texts, and articles. I lost interest a little bit toward the end but as usual, she brought me right back in with the twists! I thought the reveals were a bit lame until they weren’t 😉 Hallett knows how to write a layered and intriguing mystery. When you think you have it figured out, she finds a way to surprise you. I’m so sad to be caught up on all of her books!! Phew, […]

Crescent City Series Review

Posted March 6, 2024 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Crescent City Series Review

I knew this series was a bit different than her usual books. I haven’t read a ton of urban fantasy before and the concept feels a little foreign to me! I wasn’t sure what to expect and kept putting these books off. All in all, I’m glad I waited – I found myself in a little group of people who were mostly rereading the first two in order to prepare for the third book’s release. I managed to fit both in and finished HOSAB on the same morning HOFAS released. I’m writing these reviews a bit late so details are fuzzy and reviews may be brief for the first two, but here we go! SJM baby girl this book did not need to be this long. That’s my only qualm. I really kind of loved this otherwise. It definitely took some getting used to with the cell phones and email addresses mixed in with fae and angels and witches. Absolutely nothing wrong with the genre but it’s so weird to see it from Maas! I liked Bryce as a character even though she wasn’t written to be a super likeable MC. She was stubborn and made some dumb decisions but it was cool to see her evolve and understand why she acted certain ways. I liked the friend group, including Hunt, that started to develop in this book. I also really enjoyed that there was kind of a mystery at the center – it was more interesting to learn about […]

Holiday Reviews: The Christmas Guest and Emergency Contact

Posted November 20, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: The Christmas Guest and Emergency Contact

Story This was my first holiday-themed mystery and I’m really excited for the others I have on my TBR now! This story follows Ashley, an American girl studying in England, who is invited to her friend’s family estate for the holidays. She immediately falls for her friend’s charming older brother and is brought into their cold, not-so-comforting home (and family) for the holidays. The brother, Adam, has been accused of murdering a local girl but this doesn’t really deter Ashley. Surely he had nothing to do with it? This is a story-within-a-story where someone is reading  a diary years and years later. I really enjoyed the twist in this one! After it was revealed, I did lose interest for a few pages, but Swanson brought me back in somewhat quickly. I think the story took a few interesting turns and I really enjoyed how everything was revealed. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels The holiday feels are interesting in this subgenre. Yes, it was creepy and gothic and had a mystery element. But it definitely also had cozy scenes in pubs and festive decor around the dinner table. It was a fun mix, to be honest! It creates a different kind of holiday feel but the setting was cold and wintery for sure. Overall I’m really glad that Swanson made this short as a novella – I truly think it was the perfect length and format for this kind of story. The twist packed more of a punch for me. Going […]

Review Roundup | The Brothers Hawthorne, Project Hail Mary, and The Pumpkin Spice Cafe

Posted November 10, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 3 Comments
Review Roundup | The Brothers Hawthorne, Project Hail Mary, and The Pumpkin Spice Cafe

I’m really bummed by this one to be honest – it was really just FINE. I’ve loved this series so much and was excited to get into the heads of a couple of the brothers for this “spinoff” fourth book. It follows Jameson and Grayson as they embark on their own individual journeys. (It may have been more fun to follow Nash and Xander instead because they were featured less than Grayson and Jameson in other books.) Grayson’s part of the story was more interesting as he learned more about his father and the family that he never knew about. There was a little mystery there for him to solve and some lovable new characters introduced. Jameson is also dealing with his father and more games/riddles. I thought the concept behind his part of the book was good but not executed in a way that made me want to keep reading? It took me all of September to read this one because I just kept being more interested in other books. I did end up reading the final section pretty quickly and was curious to see how things would wrap up. I’m glad there’s another book and I’m hoping it’ll be more interesting than this one was. I really enjoyed THE MARTIAN despite not usually reading adult science fiction. (Even YA sci-fi is lower on my list unfortunately, despite enjoying them!) I kept seeing insanely positive reviews for this one and decided I should give it a try. The audiobook […]

Series Review: Once Upon a Broken Heart

Posted November 2, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Series Review: Once Upon a Broken Heart

I was a huge fan of the CARAVAL trilogy and can’t really think of a good reason for not reading this spin-off trilogy until the same year the final book was released! I kept seeing amazing reviews where so many people read and loved this (without even reading CARAVAL). My expectations were pretty high. I decided to finally take the plunge and read all three books in October (right after another series binge by a favorite author). I didn’t remember anything from CARAVAL really but definitely found that you don’t need to. I think the backstory on Jacks and the previous trilogy as a whole were helpful in understanding the world for sure, but I can see why many people jumped right into these books. I would honestly recommend reading CARAVAL first though – that’s just my opinion! Without further ado, here are my thoughts on the ONCE UPON A BROKEN HEART trilogy. I was shocked at how quickly I read this book, considering that fantasy usually takes me a looong time to get through. I would absolutely recommend this series (as well as CARAVAL) to anyone who is curious about fantasy but nervous about understanding a new world. This is super accessible fantasy that anyone could read and enjoy IMO. Garber has a great writing style. This story follows Evangeline Fox and Jacks, the Prince of Hearts, from the first series. I really like that the synopsis doesn’t give away nearly anything in the book! You only learn that […]

TOG Review: Empire of Storms, Tower of Dawn, and Kingdom of Ash

Posted October 2, 2023 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
TOG Review: Empire of Storms, Tower of Dawn, and Kingdom of Ash

I recently decided to reread the Throne of Glass series in order to finally finish it off and shared some thoughts on each of the first few books in the series. Now, we’re into the books I never got around to during my first read! I remember wanting to put off Empire of Storms for a few months after finishing Queen of Shadows just because I had read all of those initial books in such a short amount of time… but I just never got to it. Ever. Somehow??? I’m glad I decided to wait though because I was introduced to the concept of tandem reading for this book and Tower of Dawn. If you’re not familiar, someone realized that because Tower of Dawn and Empire of Storms take place at the same time but involve different characters in each book, you could read them at the same time and see what was happening with EVERYONE all at once. You basically read a few chapters in one book, switch and read some in the next, and keep going back and forth according to this schedule: I went through and bookmarked each section off so I knew when to switch back to the other book and its next set of chapters. I also kept this guide very handy just to be safe! I got both books in all formats (ebooks, hardcovers from the library, and audiobooks) so I could switch back and forth based on what I was doing. I had a weekend trip to Maine planned one weekend so I was […]

Review Roundup | The Honeymoon Crashers, None of This is True, and One of Us is Back

Posted September 14, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | The Honeymoon Crashers, None of This is True, and One of Us is Back

I was so excited when I learned that THE UNHONEYMOONERS was getting a “sequel” in any capacity. Learning it was an audio exclusive with a full cast, sound effects, and generally full production was even MORE exciting for me. This novella-length audiobook follows the best man and maid of honor for Olive and Ethan’s wedding on Maui! The two announce to Olive’s family they’re just going to elope and get married on the island alone. Cue her twin sister Ami and brother Diego deciding instead to invite 18 family members to surprise the two of them there with a real wedding instead of an elopement. The production here was awesome, and appropriately sparse (if that makes sense) – there were a handful of scenes with background noise and sound effects like the ocean or breezy music, but not all the time. It was perfectly done to not be distracting! Many of the conversations between characters alternated between them like they were actually talking, with the voice actors taking turns and no “he said” or “she said” in between like you would read in the book. I liked Ami and Brody a lot – I think the book did a good job of building up their romance and chemistry in a shorter time period, but I totally could have seen this being a full-length book instead. They had different personalities but in a way that balanced each other out. Plus, you learn a bit more about Brody at the end of […]

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 […]