Genre: Contemporary

ARC Review: Leave Me

Posted September 16, 2016 / Book Reviews / 10 Comments
ARC Review: Leave Me

Initial Excitement I wasn’t sure what to think when I saw that Gayle Forman was coming out with an adult-oriented contemporary novel. I’ve liked or loved all of her books so far and I personally have been reading more adult books lately instead of YA, so this was a welcome development for me. I had a feeling that she would knock it out of the park. She has a very sophisticated but natural writing style that I figured would lend itself very well to adult fiction as well. Summary in a Second After suffering from a heart attack, Maribeth is so overwhelmed and stressed. She’s trying to get her family up to speed as her husband barely helps, her mom comes in and offers a bizarre style of help, and her kids act like the four-year-olds that they are. One day she just up and leaves. She hides her identity, doesn’t bring a computer or cell phone, and gets an apartment elsewhere. Just like that. Of course, I don’t agree that this is the right move but it’s not hard to see where she’s coming from. Based on her home life at that time, they didn’t deserve her help. It’s really so typical to see a woman that undervalued in her home; she was somehow expected to keep everything going after a serious medical issue. I just couldn’t understand Jason’s thought process. Forman did a great job of making you feel for Maribeth and understand her actions even though abandoning your […]

Late ARC Review: The Year We Turned Forty

Posted September 14, 2016 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
Late ARC Review: The Year We Turned Forty

Initial Excitement Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke have been on my list for so long. The plot summaries of their books ALWAYS intrigue me but I haven’t been able to prioritize reading them yet. When I got approved for this one, I knew I had to read it as soon as I could. In this case, ARC August was the perfect time to get it done! I love books about parallel lives and time travel, and this one was a fun combination of both, kind of. Summary in a Second Three friends (Gabriela, Claire, and Jessie) are approached by a magician who offers to send them back in time to when they were 40. They can live the entire year all over again and change how they once handled things. Then, when the year is up, they have to decide to either stay in 2005 and live their “new” lives, or come back to 2015 and continue with their “old” lives. All three have to agree on staying there in order to stay, otherwise they all come back to 2015. Sooooo cool. Like I said, sort of a mix of parallel lives and time travel… but still very much a contemporary fiction/romance book! Storytelling & Setting Because I loved the concept behind this one, I was super eager to see how the story unfolded. I’ll admit that it was all pretty predictable for me. The girls were very obvious about what they’d change in their new 40th year. The pacing was a […]

Blog Tour | Review: The Goodbye Year

Posted September 9, 2016 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Blog Tour | Review: The Goodbye Year

Initial Excitement When I saw the summary for this one, I knew I wanted to partake in the blog tour. I’m always fascinated by stories like this for some reason. The idea of multiple people and points of view – both the parents and kids – intrigued me. The slice-of-life style always ends up on my TBR because I think it’s really interesting to see how people live their daily lives. Summary in a Second A bunch of parents and their senior year students are gearing up for the final year of high school. Each family has some major familial and relationship issues. The story follows all of them through the first half of their senior year as they try to work through their problems and other craaaazy things happen to them. Storytelling & Setting The story takes place in Crystal Cove, California, which is described as an upscale down with lots of gated communities. It sounded like it could have been a setting for a series of Real Housewives, so I was definitely excited about that! I love reading about smaller communities – whether they’re rich ones or just average – because you can really feel how everyone knows each other. That’s absolutely key in this story. About those Characters Melanie, Keith, Seth, and Dane: Melanie has been dealing with her slacker son, Dane, now that her oldest, Seth, is off at college. She copes by drinking a little too much and is trying to get the lives of her family members […]

ARC Reviews: Game On and Sweet Carolina Morning

Posted August 29, 2016 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments
ARC Reviews: Game On and Sweet Carolina Morning

Southern Summer(ish)time Series ARC August was perfect for catching up on some books I’d been putting off for basically no reason. I recently was approved for both of these on Netgalley. While they’re for different target audiences – one is YA and one is Adult – they’re both set in the south and bring some major warm weather vibes. They’re also both second in their each of their series, respectively, and I generally enjoyed their predecessors (although not 100% loved).I hate to say it, but I have mixed feelings on this one as well. I found my attention wavering a lot in the beginning of the book and I don’t think I paid enough attention to what was going on for some reason. I liked Bri and Eric well enough, but don’t feel like I really got to KNOW Bri as much as Eric. I feel like there were significantly more chapters from his point of view and I missed out on Bri’s perspective at times. I was missing some friendship feels I would have liked, but the family parts were fleshed out pretty nicely on both sides. My favorite trope involves childhood-best-friends-getting-together, PLUS there was a slow-burn romance involved here. It sounded like such a win-win on the romance side for me. I liked when they reminisced on their childhood together, but this was a bit too slow-burn for me. I guess they were both protecting their hearts but I wanted to just do this so badly: Super slow-burn aside, some of the […]

Review: Truly Madly Guilty

Posted August 22, 2016 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Review: Truly Madly Guilty

Initial Excitement Liane Moriarty is definitely one of my favorites. I’ve enjoyed all of her books so far and love them even more in audiobook form. When I saw that the same narrator was reading this one, I preordered the audio right away. I had just finished up an audio-binge-listen of a trilogy and definitely was ready to move on to something different. In other words… I started this book within the first week it was released, which never happens to me with audiobooks. Summary in a Second Six adults and three kids went to a random BBQ and clearly something happened to alter their lives forever. Much like BIG LITTLE LIES, this book went back and forth between the day of the barbecue and present day. The reader slowly learns about what happened that day and why everyone is in a tizzy. The book goes in between characters and hears their perspectives before and after the events of that day. Storytelling & Setting I love the Australian setting for Moriarty’s books (and especially because “Aussie author” is a square on this season’s Bookish Bingo card! Totally forgot!). My favorite thing about her books is her ability to go back and forth in time to create tension and suspense. I’m always wondering what the hell happened and can feel my curiosity and nervousness growing with each change in time or chapter. She’s a masterful storyteller, even if sometimes the end result doesn’t meet my expectations. Unfortunately, that was the case here. […]

Blog Tour | ARC Review: Results May Vary

Posted August 10, 2016 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Blog Tour | ARC Review: Results May Vary

My Thoughts Honestly I went into this book with pretty high expectations. I really loved THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY and had been anticipating Chase’s next novel ever since. After the end of her debut, there was an excerpt for her next story. It was slated to be a companion to THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY and I was soooo pumped. Later, Chase talked about how her editor fell in love with this story instead, and wanted to publish them in a different order. I was slightly disappointed but still VERY excited to read her next story… no matter which one it was! Turns out, I had absolutely no reason to be nervous; my high expectations were truly met and definitely exceeded. This book – almost instantly – became my favorite book of the year. No exaggeration. Within the first page or two, I just had this weird feeling come over me that this book was going to be fantastic. I was completely captivated from the first page and never wanted to stop reading. I could see SO much improvement between her debut and her sophomore novels. That’s saying a LOT though, because I was incredibly impressed with her debut as it is! I always think I’m more of a plot-driven reader instead of character-driven. I like the characters to have personalities and be fully fleshed out, of course, but I more want there to be action and a story. Some writers change that for me. This book was really […]

Blog Tour Review: In Twenty Years

Posted July 25, 2016 / Book Reviews / 7 Comments
Blog Tour Review: In Twenty Years

A group of ex-college roommates returns to the house they lived in together, per the will of one of their friends who passed away. The group had been estranged since her death and things get ~uncomfortable~ as they confront the past and try to move on. The book alternates between each of their points of view: Catherine, Owen, Lindy, Annie, and Colin. The ex-friends are back near their old college campus, staying in the same house they once lived in. I love reunion stories so much, which is why this was quick to make it onto my TBR. The story itself was interesting because you get to see them all work through their issues – both personally and with each other – as they try to figure out why Bea wanted them to come back to their college home. Catherine is the creator a popular crafty blog and is married to Owen, her college sweetheart. She works a lot while he stays home with their kids. They’ve had quite a few issues lately. Lindy is an aging rockstar who doesn’t know how much longer she’ll be relevant. Annie is married to an unfaithful husband and is obsessed with showing off how “perfect” her life is on social media. Colin is a plastic surgeon in LA and still a bachelor. You slowly learn alllll of the complicated bits of history between each person: who loved who, who slept with who, who is fighting with who. It’s all really interesting because they’re […]

Mini Reviews: All the Summer Girls and The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Posted July 11, 2016 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments
Mini Reviews: All the Summer Girls and The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

I have a tendency to add adult fiction to my TBR alllll the time… and then never read it. I was randomly in the mood for some recently and a couple of them happened to be nice beachy reads. I spotted the first one on Hoopla and remembered being interested in it a few months ago. Then, I was browsing my Kindle for another read and remembered the eARC I’ve been putting off for no reason. It’s not nearly as summery or anything, but it is about a vacation (“holiday”) in general… so that counts.I saw mixed reviews for this one, but it seemed like a lot of my friends enjoyed it more than the random reviewers. I was quickly intrigued by the story but thought it was kind of heavy-handed at times. There wasn’t a lot going on and the secrets the characters were hiding seemed obvious to me. Kate felt like the main character even though it switched perspectives. She just got dumped and found out she was pregnant, so she uses her Bachelorette weekend to head to the Jersey Shore with her friends. Vanessa now is a stay-at-home mom who is getting feelings for an old boyfriend, despite being married. Dani is a free spirit kinda gal who kept moving west after losing 12 jobs in 7 years post-college. Needless to say, they’re all quite different. It was fun to see the friends get back into a rhythm after time apart, even though you knew tensions were […]

ARC Review: One True Loves

Posted June 22, 2016 / Book Reviews / 7 Comments
ARC Review: One True Loves

Woooof, where do I begin with this one? Because it’s Taylor Jenkins Reid, I already had sky-high expectations. I’ve read all of her books now except one and they’ve all blown me away. This is the lowest rating and its 4.5 stars! That being said, it wasn’t my favorite by her, but was still utterly fantastic. Loved it I love the fact that TJR’s books always focus more on character development and emotions than plot. Obviously a lot of things happen to move the story along, but there’s so much emphasis on the character working through her feelings that it takes center stage. This makes her books incredibly quoteable and rereadable. Just fantastic. I really felt the struggle that Emma had to deal with. I mean, what could you possibly do in that situation? You think your husband is dead, you finally move on and get engaged, then the husband returns!? It’s unthinkable. I love how Jenkins Reid gives a thorough backstory on the characters and their relationships before diving in. Like in AFTER I DO, she goes through the whole relationship first to see how it breaks down. You get to know the characters and can really see all sides of the dilemma. The same thing happens here in ONE TRUE LOVES. You learn about Emma and Jesse and Sam, so you really understand why she has a hard time deciding what to do. I was really nervous about the ending of this one. I had a feeling it […]

Blog Tour | Review: Mystic Summer

Posted June 15, 2016 / Book Reviews / 11 Comments
Blog Tour | Review: Mystic Summer

It is my absolute favorite thing to read books that take place in towns or cities I’ve been to before. What’s even better? When it’s a location I know very well and is in my home state! I adore Mystic and haven’t been there in way too long. This book absolutely inspired me to get in the car some weekend soon and take a trip down there. It’s only an hour-ish from where I live and is full of fun things to do. So, needless to say, the setting for this book was pretty wonderful. The author did a fantastic job of setting the scene for people who may have never been there. I’m positive that all readers want to visit Mystic after reading this. Aside from the setting, this book was incredibly enjoyable. Maggie, the main character, starts spending time in her hometown of Mystic when her summer vacation starts. She was a teacher in a Boston prep school but finds out that she may lose her job due to budget cuts. She’s in the midst of helping her best friend plan a wedding, figuring out where she’ll live when her friend moves out, and determining some next steps with her actor boyfriend. When she comes home, she discovers her ex-boyfriend from high school has also returned to Mystic…with a lot going on that she didn’t expect. The two spend time together and you can imagine the rest! I enjoyed Maggie’s personality a lot and loved being inside her head. […]