Genre: Contemporary

ARC Review: Love a la Mode

Posted November 21, 2018 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: Love a la Mode

I’ve had ALL of the books by this author on my TBR foreeeever now and am excited that I finally read one! Her books all sound like adorable, fluffy contemporary romances with often unique premises. My Netgalley request for this one was approved so I finally had no excuse to keep putting her words off! I loved Henry from the first chapter. He was instantly so adorable and goofy as he struggled to talk with Rosie for the first time. I was impressed from the beginning that Strohm was able to provide so much context into his family life and background within the first few pages of the book, without feeling like an unnatural info-dump. We learn right away that his dad is a chef with his own restaurant and his mom isn’t the biggest fan of him continuing down that path. The second chapter is from Rosie’s point of view, where we learned about her four brothers and love of baking. The two of them were awkward around each other (not in an unreasonable or annoying way, IMO), which added to their charm. The school itself was amazing and the setting was incredibly vivid! I felt like I was in a French boarding school, just like with Anna and the French Kiss (but these two books are quite different otherwise). Obviously this school was even more intriguing because the kids were all aspiring chefs and OH MAN AM I HUNGRY AFTER THIS BOOK! Be prepared for that, folks. I […]

Review Round Up | The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats & Piracy and Royals

Posted November 7, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats & Piracy and Royals

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE was a pleasant surprise for me – I can be hit or miss with historical fiction and it was overall a bit out of my comfort zone. I was optimistic about LADY’S GUIDE though because of how much I enjoyed Felicity in the previous book. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed here! Like the first book, it’s a bit looong. The audiobook made listening enjoyable throughout a month-long timeframe and it became one of those books where I’m not in the MOOD to listen to it, but I loved it while I was actually listening. This is exactly how I felt about GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE too. The audio narrator was solid and really brought Felicity to life. While Felicity is the main character, the other powerful ladies at the front of the story made a huge impact too. Joanna, Felicity’s childhood ex-friend, and Sim, the badass pirate, were so fun to get to know. They all wanted more for themselves and fought against the stereotypes or expectations of the time. I loved how everything ended for them too. Of course, meeting up with Monty and Percy again was wonderful. There were a lot of different parts or stages in this story, from Callum’s bakery to Joanna’s […]

ARC Reviews: Little White Lies and The Geography of Letting Go

Posted October 22, 2018 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: Little White Lies and The Geography of Letting Go

I loved THE FIXER duo so much (and it should be a trilogy — still something that makes me incredibly sad and bitter) and have been saving THE NATURALS series for when I’m desperate for more words by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I decided not to resist this one though… and I’m glad I didn’t wait! I read it during ARC August and was definitely what I needed to break the semi-slump I was in. I was just forcing myself to read (not because I wanted to read) and this book changed me for the month. It centers around Sawyer, a young mechanic who learns that her mom’s estranged family are filthy rich and only live 45 minutes away. When her grandmother shows up and offers her half a million dollars for college/life if she moves there and participates in the debutante season, she can’t resist the opportunity to find her biological father at the same time. She quickly falls in with her cousin, Lily, and her friend, Sadie-Grace… and unfortunately also with the evil Campbell. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this story, to be honest – I was kind of expecting something similar to the REBEL BELLE series with all of the ball gowns and southern traditions (minus the paranormal stuff). I did kind of get that, but there was a great mix of contemporary-mystery that Jennifer Lynn Barnes does so well. If you like her writing, I would have to recommend this book. It’s easy and addicting […]

ARC Review: The Last Wish of Sasha Cade

Posted October 3, 2018 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: The Last Wish of Sasha Cade

I’m a sucker for SO many elements of this book, which is why it was immediately added to my TBR and requested on Netgalley. I love the cover, for starters, and the whole “following a list of tasks and for someone who has moved/passed away” premise is read-bait for me. It reminds me a lot of the movie PS I Love You, which is potentially where this fascination came from for me originally. When Rocki’s best friend Sasha passes away from cancer, she sends Rocki on a scavenger hunt of sorts to keep her memory alive and make sure Rocki doesn’t go off the deep end without her. She quickly learns about and meets Elijah, Sasha’s biological brother that wasn’t adopted along with her, and starts to complete these tasks with him. I liked Sasha and her memory, but it felt like she was perfect. I’m not trying to “speak ill of the [fictional] dead” but it was like she was this never wrong, always kind, completely flawless person, so it was a little hard to feel much for her. I felt for Rocki and absolutely cried multiple times in the beginning of the book when she passed away, but it wasn’t easy to connect with her. Rocki constantly viewed herself as “Sasha’s friend” instead of her own individual person, which also made HER hard to connect with. I had high hopes, though, that this hunt would allow her to find her individuality. Elijah was a bit mysterious at the beginning […]

Virginia Shreves: Now and Then

Posted September 12, 2018 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Virginia Shreves: Now and Then

I always wanted to read THE EARTH, MY BUTT, AND OTHER ROUND THINGS when I was younger, but was never sure what my mom would think if I tried to pick it out at the bookstore. I decided to give this “classic” a go when I saw the audiobook on Scribd. I later received the sequel, THE UNIVERSE IS EXPANDING (AND SO AM I) in the mail for review, so I decided to combine them here! I have a lot of feelings about this book. The first thing I feel like I need to mention is that obviously it was written in the early 2000s, so a lot of the words and references are outdated. I knew that going into it. The weird thing is that the sequel coming out isn’t like a “fifteen years later” kind of book. It takes place right after this ends. (More on that later.) Virginia was an extremely difficult narrator for me. She spent the vast majority of the book — I mean every single page — talking about her fatness and her (horrible) family reacting to her (horribly). I can feel for her on a lot of things, because I personally get it, but oh my god. It’s a very unhealthy and outdated (IMO) view of being a fat teen. She HAS to be sad and pathetic and unhappy with herself until she “gets healthier” in a very cliche way. I just don’t feel like there’s room for this portrayal of fat girls […]

Quick ARC Reviews: Unclaimed Baggage and The Dinner List

Posted September 3, 2018 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Quick ARC Reviews: Unclaimed Baggage and The Dinner List

This book was great! A quiet, heartwarming, and quirky story. I had high hopes for this one because I love when people meet in weird circumstances and come together to be friends/fall in love/etc. One flavor of this overall trope is when people meet at a job. Working at a grocery store throughout high school definitely brought me closer to the most random people from my high school that I otherwise wouldn’t have talked with as much… so you could say this “genre” has a special place in my heart. I loved the main characters so much and that only grew with every page. Grant, Doris, and Nell were fast friends and it felt so natural. Not gonna lie, they weren’t my favorite at the start of the book. They truly did grow on me with every chapter, as they also grew closer to each other and softened a little bit. The setting of the “lost luggage store” was amazing; I wish there was even more time at the Unclaimed Baggage. I loved how some of the luggage-related threads were woven together eventually. The author covered a lot of serious issues while keeping the book lighthearted overall. The southern setting definitely came into play a lot, with racism, religion, and more having a big effect on the story. Overall, I highly enjoyed this story and would definitely recommend it if you thought the premise sounded interesting. Learning what random shit people carry in their luggage was incredibly fun and the […]

ARC Reviews: Kiss Me in Paris and Sadie

Posted August 24, 2018 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
ARC Reviews: Kiss Me in Paris and Sadie

I didn’t fully think about the fact that KISS ME IN PARIS was actually a holiday story when I started reading it, so it quickly became a “Christmas in July” kind of read. I usually don’t enjoy reading Christmassy books outside of November or December but I made an exception for the sake of my Goodreads challenge (and yes my Netgalley percentage, okay). I was dying to read something short, quick, and sweet, and I determined this would fit the bill. I loved the idea that the main character, Serena, would be retracing her parents’ steps when they first fell in love in Paris. The synopsis implied some good ol’ hate-to-love romance too, as the guy she has to stay with (Jean-Luc) isn’t overly happy about her arrival. The story happens over the course of one night, which I also love. Some of my issues were surrounding the romance. The first thing, kind of related to that, is that the book is very short – just barely over 200 pages. This almost puts it in novella territory and I tend to struggle with rushed romances. Another issue with the romance was that the couple spent quite a bit of time either focusing on an ex (Jean-Luc) or debating a new-ish flame from home (Serena). I understand creating some conflict for the sake of a story but I just didn’t get on board with actually shipping the couple as a result. There was too much time in their heads thinking about […]

ARC Review: The Leading Edge of Now & Interview with Marci Lyn Curtis!

Posted August 20, 2018 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: The Leading Edge of Now & Interview with Marci Lyn Curtis!

Review When Marci put a call out for bloggers to put together an ARC tour for her new release, I obviously hopped on board. (Thanks to all the participants for making this happen!!) I was sooo eager to read more words from her after loving THE ONE THING so much, too many years ago. Her humor mixed in with heartbreak was so well-balanced that I couldn’t wait to see what else she could come up with. I needed more main characters like Maggie, who didn’t let the hand she’d been dealt bring her down too much, and still managed to be sassy and funny at every turn. The story is about Grace, who returns to her almost-home of New Harbor, Florida, after spending two years in foster care. Her uncle finally signed the papers to be her legal guardian, and she’s brought back to a place where painful memories are just one room away. She was sexually assaulted, and her dad passed away from a heart attack soon after. She’s still reeling and attempting to cope with what happened, but moving to New Harbor full time is not making that easy. She’s faced with her ex-friend Janna and ex-boyfriend Owen as well. There are other interesting elements to the story, like Grace’s recent bout with stealing peoples’ wallets. She’s not perfect and never tries to be; she just tries to cope with what happened in the best way she can. I’m happy to report that this was exactly what I […]

Blog Tour | The Year of Living Awkwardly: Sophomore Year

Posted July 6, 2018 / Book Reviews, Cover Colors, Features / 1 Comment
Blog Tour | The Year of Living Awkwardly: Sophomore Year

I was extremely excited to see the opportunity to join the blog tour for this one, since I SPED THROUGH and LOVED the first book so much. I really put myself in Chloe’s shoes as a freshman in high school. I even said in my review that I wished the author would write a book for each school year! Needless to say, I hopped on this quickly. Chloe had some immaturity and normal-ish “high school related” flaws to work through in the first book. I rooted for her so much in both stories because I could really see her growing and changing. She constantly recognized how privileged she was and how she was often complaining about silly (in the grand scheme of things) issues, but they were still HER issues to work through. I absolutely LOVE her voice and her authenticity. I don’t think I’ve ever read a YA book that feels more real. The diary format helps but the overall voice in the story is so natural. I remember feeling so many of the same emotions throughout my early high school years. She goes through illogical and logical reactions to what’s happening around her, and has her mature and immature moments. Like the first book, I placed myself right in her shoes and remembered what I felt like during those years. I LOVED the ending so incredibly much, but I need more. PLEASE let there be a junior year book next. Please. Keep em coming for the next two years […]

Review Round Up | The Cottages on Silver Beach and Listen to Your Heart

Posted July 5, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | The Cottages on Silver Beach and Listen to Your Heart

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! The Haven Point series is one of my favorites, set in the adorable town with the same name. My favorite thing about companion series in these small towns is that you meet up again with old characters, visit the same local spots, and really get to know everything there is to know. The latest installment of this series follows Megan, the owner of the Inn that we actually met at the VERY beginning of book one, when it had just burned down and Eliza moved to town. The love interest is Elliot Bailey, another member of the Bailey clan that we’ve encountered in recent stories as well. I loved the parts of the book involving the Inn, Haven Point, and the Helping Hands… but there wasn’t enough of that for me in this book. I missed the setting and characters too much because a fair amount was spent on the road and in Hope’s Crossing (another companion series setting that I’m currently working through). I generally liked Megan and Elliot but the back-and-forth and arguing annoyed me more than usual. Like many of the books in the series, the couple realizes that they love each other very quickly and then proceed to ignore it for most of […]