Genre: Contemporary

Book and Movie Review: Me Before You

Book and Movie Review: Me Before You

On the book So, I’m surprised to say I had kind of mixed feelings upon finishing this book. I fully expected to bawl my eyes out. Honestly on any other day I might have, but I had an extremely emotional day for some other reasons and maybe by brain was too tired to cry more. In any case, big surprise. My Goodreads review sums up everything perfectly to get things started: It’s been an extremely emotional day for me in general and tears have come easily for other reasons… So I have to say I’m utterly baffled by the fact that this book didn’t make me cry. At all. I loved the slow burn, banter-filled story because that is my JAM. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the characters, but am kind of underwhelmed by the ending? I think that, as usual, because it’s an all-time favorite of some people, I just held it to too high of a standard. I am suuuuuper ready for the movie this weekend! Soooo kinda mixed feelings although not really because I liked it a lot?? I’m going to break it down in a few different ways so fully explain my feelings. I liked the vast majority of things about this book, but there are some that left a bit to be desired for me. Characters and romance I LOVED both Will and Lou. Their story was amazingly slow-burn and full of banter. The whole hate (at least on one side) to love trope is […]

Blog Tour | Review: Where We Fall

Posted May 4, 2016 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Blog Tour | Review: Where We Fall

Review I mentioned this book back in my recent read-bait post. The synopsis called out to me because I love the stories about coming home, reuniting with old friends, and uncovering past ~secrets~ of some kind. I knew this book would need to be read immediately, so I’m happy to take part in the blog tour (they always give me a kick in the pants to read books I’m excited for, instead of getting bogged down in other things!). Honestly though, “For the first time in seventeen years, a trio of once-inseparable friends find themselves confronting past loves, hurts, and the rapid rush of a current that still pulls them together…” is so ridiculously ME; I can’t even deal. The book started off with a bang – it kept me interested right from the beginning. The main character, Abby, had hit an emotional rock bottom and was dealing with the consequences within her family. Her husband, Ryan, and daughter, Juliana, are very close; it weighs on Abby quite a bit that she can’t and doesn’t have the same kind of relationship as they do. There was a LOT going on within the first 50 pages of the book! As the synopsis promises, someone from their past returns home and derails everything even further. I liked when Lauren was introduced because she provided some more background about how the three of them shifted around and lost touch. Wondering about their backstory was the driving force for me. This is really character-driven story. […]

Mini ARC Reviews: Linny’s Sweet Dream List and Rebel Bully Geek Pariah

Posted March 17, 2016 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Mini ARC Reviews: Linny’s Sweet Dream List and Rebel Bully Geek Pariah

I generally liked this one, but the last half of the book bugged me. Consider this a very strong 3 stars! It was a quick, cute read about a woman trying to get her life back on track. I loved the Southern small-town setting that had lots of fun and interesting characters. The family dynamics between Linny, her sister Kate, and her mother Dottie were so great. I loved seeing their relationship, as well as Linny’s relationship with her best friend Mary Catherine. However, Linny jumped to so many conclusions throughout the book about Jack and his marital status… no matter how much evidence was OBVIOUS otherwise. QUIT ASSUMING! I also think the events of the plot could have been better spaced out; it was very slow-moving overall. The writing was a bit bland at times? I felt like the same descriptors were used too often and the book just felt… bland. I don’t know how else to explain it. She referred to Jack as “the vet” and his son as “the young boy” every other sentence instead of using their names, which felt impersonal. Overall though, it was a heartwarming, quick read with solid ending that made me happy I read it. Like most readers of this book, I expected a Breakfast Club vibe with a little mystery involved based on the synopsis. I figured it would be a contemp with multiple points of view – from the rebel, the bully, the geek, and the pariah. The book ended […]

Review: After I Do

Posted March 3, 2016 / Book Reviews / 13 Comments
Review: After I Do

I’ve now read 2/3 of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s published works and she’s easily a favorite author. 5 stars for both books. Not only are they favorites, but they both taught me so much. Her books just have a way of impacting you unlike any others. I don’t know how she does it, but she takes regular people going through pretty average things (like falling out of love and making decisions) and just makes their stories so incredibly engaging and enthralling. For once, the hype about a book didn’t ruin anything for me. I’m not entirely sure how to describe how much I loved this book and all of the characters, so I’m going to break some stuff down. The realest relationship I loved Lauren and Ryan’s relationship from the very beginning. The book shows how they met and how their relationship developed before getting to the point where they choose to separate. It was a nice segue, showing some different increments over time: when they met, a few years into the relationship, and all the way to months before the book starts. It was truly necessary to see why these people should be together and the kind of relationship they’re fighting to fix. On top of the flashbacks, I just loved them and shipped them like crazy. At the same time, it was so obvious how they started to fall apart. There were so many lessons about keeping a relationship going during each and every moment. The little things can seriously add up. Family feels […]

Book Buddies Review: What Alice Forgot

Posted February 24, 2016 / Book Buddies Reviews, Book Reviews / 7 Comments
Book Buddies Review: What Alice Forgot

Book Buddies is a discussion-style review that takes place with one of my two buddies. (Learn more and see past reviews here) We both read the book and then have a private discussion about it. We post our discussion as a review on the last Wednesday of each month. You’ll be able to see our similar/different opinions on the overall book, characters, writing style, etc. – just like a regular review. The first half our discussion will take place right here, and the second half will be on Cristina’s blog! (Link at the bottom) View Cristina’s part of the discussion here. If something similar happened to you, what do you think ten-years-younger-you would think about present-day-you? Cristina: It’s crazy to contemplate how different nearly everything in my life would be so drastically different, I think mostly due to how big of a jump there is between being in your teens and being in your twenties. I wouldn’t know my boyfriend yet, would literally have a completely different friend set, and have very different overall goals and aspirations. However, I think 10 years younger me would be pretty happy with where I’m at. The teen years are pretty angsty, and I was definitely caught up in the small details of life back then. Yet 10 years later nearly everything in the big picture of my life is going very right in the grand scheme of things. I think younger me would be proud and impressed that I now have a great job, an awesome boyfriend, a college degree, and an […]

Mini Reviews: Of Beast and Beauty and Second Time Around

Posted February 8, 2016 / Book Reviews / 5 Comments
Mini Reviews: Of Beast and Beauty and Second Time Around

A couple of very random mini reviews for you! Both backlist: one YA retelling and one Adult “chick lit” type. Here’s what I thought of Of Beast and Beauty and Second Time Around.I definitely expected a lot from this book, and I think that wasn’t very fair of me. The biggest fault with this was comparing it too much to Princess of Thorns. The other story I read by Stacey Jay featured non-stop twists and new information and swoooons, even after a very slow beginning. With this one, there were less twists and turns and jaw-dropping moments…and I just expected too much. It started off slow but I kind of thought that might just be Jay’s style? But, it took about 75% of the book for me to really make me eager to keep reading. The ending was solid and interesting, for sure. If I try to be a little more objective, this was REALLY good. Same slow-burn, complex story with great world-building. I totally need more Stacey Jay in my life. I’m not sure if this was a case of the right book at the right time, or if I just really loved this one, but either way- so glad I read it. I needed something with no hype and non-YA, and this delivered in spades. I loved the cozy, college campus vibe (even though they were all 10 years out of college, just living somewhat on the campus) and the theme of second chances. There were four main characters […]

Holiday Review: Christmas at Lilac Cottage

Posted December 16, 2015 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Holiday Review: Christmas at Lilac Cottage

This month I’ll be highlighting different holiday or Christmas-oriented books on the blog. I love reading based on the season, so stay tuned for more wintery reviews. To learn more about what’s coming and my holiday book rating system, check here! This book started out really strong for me and then my feelings kind of dwindled towards the end. I can’t put my finger on it, but I feel like I’ve been reading a lot of instalove-like romances and I’m getting tired of it. I need a good hate-to-love romance to get back in the swing of things. I didn’t realize throughout most of my reading that this book basically only happens over the course of a week… meaning there was some EXTREME instalove. This bugs me more than love triangles do. I did feel some chemistry but the whole use of the L-word right away is a major deterrent. Here’s a breakdown of some good/bad things. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book if you don’t mind the instalove factor. I enjoyed it a lot aside from that. If the plot was just stretched out over a longer period of time, it would probably work okay for me. The story was cute in general and very atmospheric. I love the town of White Cliff Bay so I will definitely be reading the next story at some point!I definitely expected the book to be more Christmassy, especially because of the title. It took place in the week leading up to Christmas […]

Blog Tour Review: Water on the Moon

Posted October 28, 2015 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Blog Tour Review: Water on the Moon

I’m excited to join in on the blog tour for Water on the Moon, a book that I otherwise wouldn’t have heard about! I’ve decided to go with my “reasons to read” style of review for this particular book. AND, don’t forget to check out the giveaway for a copy of the book at the bottom of the post! Water on the Moon is about how a woman’s life is forever changed by an airplane crashing into her home. She works to uncover the mystery and strange historical connections between herself and the pilot, all while finding romance and caring for her daughters. Reasons to Read Connecticut! | I absolutely love reading books that are set in my home state. It doesn’t come around too often, since it’s ridiculously small and boring. Although Greenwich is the farthest possible town from where I’m from, it’s still cool to read about. I may have to make my way down for a visit at some point. I read another post by a tour host who mentioned living near an airport in Connecticut and fearing similar events. I can completely relate. I actually lived two minutes away from the main airport in Connecticut and all of my childhood home videos feature the noises of airplanes going overhead. I would lay on the grass and watch them go by, wondering what would happen in the event of a crash. Family history and mystery | The story centers around Lidia and her two daughters after a plane crashes into their […]

Blog Tour Review: Come Away With Me

Posted September 10, 2015 / Book Reviews / 14 Comments
Blog Tour Review: Come Away With Me

I absolutely raced through and devoured this book. It was the epitome of the “one more chapter” excuse before bed because I literally could not force myself to put the book down and sleep. I wasn’t expecting to be so entranced by the story, but I couldn’t stop. I generally read Young Adult books because I still feel like I am one. I’m 24 years old (officially, as of yesterday!) but relate much more to the YA characters I read than the ones in Adult Fiction. The characters in this book were going through some pretty tough stuff that I truly couldn’t relate to, but I was still SO deeply invested in their stories. For me, that’s a successful book. I love reading books where I have been through similar experiences to the main character(s), because it’s just easier to relate and enjoy it. If a book is able to creep in my mind and never leave, regardless of never experiencing anything like it, it’s wonderful to me. Tegan and her husband, Gabe, had a serious car accident with even more serious consequences. She still hasn’t forgiven him for the accident and the results of it, and she has slipped into a depression for the past few months. Gabe reminds her one day of their “jar of spontaneity” that they put together when they were engaged, and they decide now is the time to pull it out. They wrote various destinations and “bucket list” tasks on slips of paper and would pull […]

Blog Tour Review: Broken Homes and Gardens

Posted September 2, 2015 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Blog Tour Review: Broken Homes and Gardens

This book was such a pleasant surprise! I’ve never seen the movie When Harry Met Sally – I know, shame on me – but judging from the plot I read online, this book does a pretty good job of lining up with that! Joanna and Malcolm are two longtime friends who spend years dancing around the fact that they should probably stop being dummies and get together. The story was incredibly quiet and character-driven, which I couldn’t help but enjoy. Looking back on the actual plot, not much happens – but not in a bad way at all. I like reading stories where the characters feel real and are just kind of going through their regular lives. There weren’t huge areas of drama or angst, which was refreshing. I loved Joanna and found myself relating to her a lot. She struggled with what to do for a career and never felt like she was good enough in any one area to make a career of it. She constantly referenced people’s lives in movies and the whole book had that kind of dreamy I-wish-my-life-was-like-that way. I don’t know how to explain it, but I think this would be a wonderful rom com movie. I loved Malcolm and shipped them from the start. I could see the chemistry from the very first night and Joanna’s reservations about ruining their friendship were pretty silly to me. They were on-and-off friends over the years – living together, writing back and forth long distance, not speaking… I […]