Format: Paperback

Recent Reads | This Summer Will Be Different and Falling

Posted May 30, 2024 / Book Reviews, Recent Reads / 0 Comments
Recent Reads | This Summer Will Be Different and Falling

I read both of these books Memorial Day weekend but also managed to finish one book per day across Sunday and Monday. Finally brought me current on my reading challenge! Carley Fortune has been an interesting author for me (and many other readers, as far as I can tell!). Many of us fell in love with EVERY SUMMER AFTER and all of its messiness. MEET ME AT THE LAKE didn’t quite have the same charm or affect on its audience but, to me, was still a worthwhile read. I was looking forward to checking out whatever she did next… and boy did she knock THIS SUMMER WILL BE DIFFERENT out of the park. One summer, Lucy heads to PEI to visit with her best friend and hooks up with a hot restaurant worker named Felix. The next morning, they quickly realize that Felix is actually Wolf and Lucy is Bee – she just hooked up with her best friend’s brother and she’s already landed at their summer home. The two of them end up hooking up on and off throughout the years and it’s just an occasional secret fling… or is it? I loved that this was sort of quiet and slow-moving throughout the romance/plot, despite the initial hot start between the characters. Lucy and Felix really needed to find themselves and it didn’t feel rushed at all, even though every reader probably knew exactly where it was heading. While I do think this is her actual best book, it’s […]

Series Review: The Naturals

Posted October 19, 2023 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Series Review: The Naturals

My introduction to JLB was well before THE INHERITANCE GAMES was published with some of my favorite reads: THE FIXER and its sequel THE LONGE GAME. (Still wish more books were added to that series…) I had always planned to go back and read THE NATURALS series (which was published before those books) but ended up getting swept up in her new releases as they were all coming out. I read LITTLE WHITE LIES followed by THE LOVELY AND THE LOST followed by DEADLY LITTLE SCANDALS (sequel to LWL). I just kept going with all of her new books from 2018 and beyond. Then, the mother of all series started with THE INHERITANCE GAMES in 2020. I had high hopes because of how much I adored her writing in allll of these other books, and this series (now 4 books with the 5th and final coming next year) knocked my socks off. Her popularity really took off with that series because of booktok and generally because it’s excellent. I kept thinking I should buy THE NATURALS books at some point and give them a read but I kept delaying… which worked out in my favor, since they rereleased all of them with new covers this year. NOW was the time. I preordered the new covers and made a plan to binge-read the series in October of this year. It was the most open month based on other reading commitments coming to an end. All that to say… I’m finally caught […]

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: 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 […]

Series Review: Crowns of Nyaxia

Posted August 7, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Series Review: Crowns of Nyaxia

(These titles are too long to include in the blog post title.) I surprised everyone on Threads when I put vampires last on my “fantasy creatures” ranking. Honestly it’s because I’ve basically only read TWILIGHT? I can’t think of many other vampire books I’ve actually read lol. Regardless, the hype was getting to me with this series! I read the first book on a whim a few days after I checked it out from the library, also on a whim. I wasn’t expecting to see it on the shelf! I thought it would be something I’d read on Kindle Unlimited when I did my annual “one month of KU” subscription to read a few things before cancelling. Once Jamie posted about loving it and reading it in 24 hours, I decided to just go for it. Yes, it delayed me finishing the ToG series yet again but it was worth it. I ended up also subscribing to KU so I could read it on the go, and then I figured I’d start the second book while I had the subscription. I was advised to actually read the novella (#1.5) in between the books so I went for that first, and then launched into the official second book. I’m sorry in advance for how this review is mostly built around a comparison to FOURTH WING, but hear me out. I basically heard about these books at the same time. Both were popular romantasy series getting SO much hype out of nowhere. […]

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 | Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun, Tomorrow x3, and Lost in the Moment and Found

Posted February 2, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Roundup | Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun, Tomorrow x3, and Lost in the Moment and Found

This series has become truly one of my all-time favorites. It reminds me a lot of the time I read EVELYN HUGO and needed like a million more books just like it, but couldn’t find them. I wrote a whole post about it haha. There’s just some magical quality in Cosimano’s writing and these characters that gets me every time. I’ll be honest, I was nervous about this one a little bit. I’m not a big police gal and wasn’t jazzed up about reading about a ton of cops and a citizens police training program. I definitely didn’t love that aspect overall but it was kind of fun creating that “summer camp” or “college dorm” vibe where everyone is in one place during the story. This story did a good job of wrapping up some loose ends from the first two books while opening the door for future installments. Parts of the initial mystery seemed to be solved enough for the reader to finally get a bit of closure (and not drag the same questions out into book four), but there are lingering threads to keep it moving. Finlay and Vero were just as funny and interesting to read about as they always are. This is the kind of series I’d keep reading forever and ever, with the main characters solving whatever mystery comes up next. This is technically my least favorite book of the three but a four-star book I didn’t want to stop listening to? Can’t go wrong. Man, […]