Genre: Contemporary

ARC Review: Serious Moonlight

Posted April 3, 2019 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
ARC Review: Serious Moonlight

Initial Excitement & Summary I’m a huge fan of Jenn Bennett. Seriously, huge. All of her books have been major successes in my eyes. She always creates somewhat unique situations for romance and develops her characters in wonderful ways. Her three releases before SERIOUS MOONLIGHT each earned 4.5 stars from me… so clearly I’m a fan. From an overall plot perspective, with the mystery solving and quirky settings across Seattle, this had the right setup to be another favorite by Bennett. Birdie and Daniel meet under interesting circumstances and find soonafter that they’ll be working together during the night shift at a famous Seattle hotel. They move past the awkwardness of their first meeting to solve a mystery together – an author, who remains anonymous and uses a pseudonym, is staying at their hotel each week, and they want to confirm his identity. Birdie is big into mystery novels and hopes to be a detective of some kind someday. Daniel loves magic and has a talent for woodworking. Both of them also have secrets they’re hiding from each other… Storytelling & End Feels I’ve never been to Seattle but I can say with certainty that I want to visit even more now! I know the hotel was made-up but the rest of the city felt real to me. I’d love to take a ferry to the island and explore the market on the other side. There were so many cool shops, like the bookstore (mysteries!) and magic shop, that made […]

Review Round Up | The Fairest Kind of Love, Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee, The Winter Sister, and I’ll Be There For You

Posted March 27, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Round Up | The Fairest Kind of Love, Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee, The Winter Sister, and I’ll Be There For You

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! This series is something I would call a guilty pleasure if I believed in that term. I genuinely don’t. BUT it’s a whimsical, short, breezy, easy, and cute series. There isn’t a lot of substance involved but I love the magical beings and seeing what Amber gets up to next! This is the final book in the series, I believe, and it’s one I’ve remained loyal to over the past few years of new releases. I saw it on Hoopla and immediately downloaded it, of course. Amber is gearing up to meet with a matchmaker to determine a few things – can she get her powers back and functioning properly? AND, is Charlie her soulmate? Since her abilities have gone haywire, she’s been trying to figure out how to get them back and move on with her life after graduating high school. I liked that this installment involved fairies, my fave magical creature, and some of the classic elements you’re familiar with (like wishing using fairy dust and having to be very specific about what you want!). This one felt cheesier than the last two. I’m not sure if it’s just because there’s been enough time in between where I forgot what they were like, or if […]

ARC Review: The Princess and the Fangirl

Posted March 21, 2019 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
ARC Review: The Princess and the Fangirl

Initial Excitement & Summary I adored GEEKERELLA and was SO excited to see a companion sequel. I already need there to be a million books in this series. The first book was basically a love letter to being a fan, attending cons, and geek culture as a whole. I’m not QUITE as into fandom things (for anything really) as many of my friends, but I totally get it. While the first book was a Cinderella retelling, this was a Princess and the Pauper retelling – the classic situation where two people look like each other and switch lives for a few days. In this case, the actor who plays Princess Amara in Starfield (Jess) switches place with Imogen (a Starfield fan and leader of the “Save Amara” movement). The two switch lives so Jess can track down who leaked the new Starfield script. Storytelling & Characters Just like the first book, this was filled with geeky references that I loved. (Sometimes it feels like a little too much, but not bad! – I liked that Jess was not really a geeky character so the references were only during one of the POVs.) The Princess and the Pauper trope was really well done and super fun to follow in a con setting. I enjoyed both Jess and Imogen as main characters. Jess was hard to get used to in the beginning because she didn’t like Starfield; it was off-putting to hear her grouchy inner monologue. This definitely changed throughout the book […]

Blog Tour Review & Cover Colors: Night Music

Posted March 18, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Blog Tour Review & Cover Colors: Night Music

Review I’ve gone on record to say, controversially probably, that I am not one of those people who actively seeks out books about music. I LIKE music as much as the next guy but you’re more likely to find me listening to a podcast or audiobook at this point. I don’t find new music; my music selections are probably 80% from before I was born and 20% from the 90s and early 2000s (some outliers from my HS/college years too of course). So, you could say that a book surrounding classical music would not be up my alley. That is the exact reason I decided to join this blog tour. I’ve been itching to expand my reading horizons, even within my favorite genre of YA contemporary. I wanted to learn about the classical music world I knew virtually nothing about. On top of that, I ADORED the other book by Jenn Marie Thorne that I read – The Wrong Side of Right – and was due for another of her stories. This book is about Ruby, one member of a very famous family in the classical music world, right after she decides that this world is not necessarily for her. She doesn’t feel talented enough, or that she fits in it. Oscar is the latest prodigy to stay in her house (!!) and learn from her famous father. The two fall together pretty quickly, swept away into a summer of music and attraction. The description in the synopsis of “breezy […]

Blog Tour | Book Review & Cover Colors: Small Town Hearts

Posted March 13, 2019 / Book Reviews, Cover Colors, Features / 7 Comments
Blog Tour | Book Review & Cover Colors: Small Town Hearts

Book Review The title “Small Town Hearts” and the synopsis promising a sleepy coastal Maine town were enough for me to add this to my TBR! The cute cover, bisexual main character, and coffeeshop workplace were other excellent selling points. I had high hopes for this one as a result! The story surrounds one summer, the one after graduation, where Babe encounters some ~issues~ with her friends and falls for a summer boy, while somewhat pining over an ex-girlfriend. I loved reading about her experiences with friendship and how friendships can change over the years… sometimes without you even realizing it. Her growing relationship with Lucy, her coworker, was nice to read as she learned the people who would support her and be there. (It also didn’t hurt that Lucy hated ketchup as much as I do!) Beginnings could be scary, and there was always a chance that the ending wouldn’t be pretty, but the middle was what made it all worth it… People weren’t meant to be preserved in amber. Maybe there were no happily ever afters. But there could be happiness, if I was brave enough to go for it. (ARC pg 194) Some elements of the story felt a little unlikely or uncommon, like both Babe and her friend Penny living by themselves in lighthouses and houseboats (just because they’re on coastal Maine doesn’t mean that would happen, on top of the fact that they JUST graduated high school lol)… but it honestly made the book a bit more whimsical and […]

Review Round Up | Field Notes on Love, Girls with Sharp Sticks, and Springtime at Hope Cottage

Posted March 7, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | Field Notes on Love, Girls with Sharp Sticks, and Springtime at Hope Cottage

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! THIS WAS SO CUTE. I was determined to finish another book in February to keep up with 10 books per month, so I ended up scrambling to read this between the last two days. I read so much of it in one sitting on the 28th, both because I “had to” and definitely because I wanted to. Seriously, let me say again, it was ADORABLE. I’m a sucker for those weird circumstances where people meet, especially when traveling. In this case, Hugo was planning a cross-country train trip with his girlfriend (Margaret Campell), when she surprisingly broke up with him. He decided to continue on the trip with the one caveat that that whole thing was nontransferable and booked under HER name. He needed a new Margaret Campbell, put out an ad, and found Mae. The vast majority of the book takes place on the train. I love the idea of this kind of journey, so reading about it was almost as good as doing it myself. I didn’t find it boring or repetitive to read about them talking and spending time one-on-one. Even though the side characters weren’t IN the story that much, they felt fully fleshed out. Alfie’s siblings (he’s a sextuplet!) and cute parents, […]

ARC Review: Just for Clicks

Posted February 7, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: Just for Clicks

Initial Excitement & Summary I was sold on the premise of this one right from the beginning because it’s weirdly something I think about a lot. Let me first say that people can make their own decisions and this is just MY opinion – but I can’t imagine sharing so much about my children online without their consent. I can see posting some pictures or talking about a few things, but having them reach a certain level of fame before they’re old enough to make their own decisions? That’s hard for me to figure out. One of my favorite YouTubers has said that she won’t feature her children on her channel until they’re old enough to understand and decide for themselves, which is probably what I’d do (aside from some pictures here and there). But I digress! The storyline fascinated me because it’s definitely going to be an area of contention going forward, as more and more people live SO much of their lives online. This book focused on twin daughters of a famous fashion blogger and how they were essentially pressured into creating their own vlog channel and following in their mother’s footsteps. Story & Characters I like that this story was both fluffy and young while also having some more serious topics involved. Claire is struggling with her identity because her life has been shaped by her mom’s blog. She’s famous because she’s a twin and is forced to participate in vlogs and Instagram posts all the time… […]

Blog Tour Review: That’s Not What I Heard

Posted January 28, 2019 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Blog Tour Review: That’s Not What I Heard

Review Stephanie Kate Strohm is one of those authors where I continued to add EVERY one of her releases to my TBR… and just let them sit there?? I’m not sure why because they ALL sounded like Lauren books. I finally read LOVE A LA MODE after requesting it from Netgalley and fell in absolute love with it. Her writing was wonderful and I knew I’d have to finally work my way through her backlist. THEN, I saw tour sign-ups for this new release and couldn’t resist. Phew, now that you’re up to speed… I have to admit that books where ONE misunderstanding is the entire plot (the kind where the MCs just need to have one single conversation to clear up the whole premise of the book) do not work for me usually. I tend to get frustrated because the whole thing can unravel if they just SPOKE to each other about the issue. HOWEVER, with this story, the experience was quite different for me. There were so many points of view, including everyone from teachers to students to the principal, which really made it awesome. I actually preferred all of those points of view over reading from Teddy and Kim’s perspectives. That was when I would be reminded that the two just needed to talk to each other to make everything better. The other people were more interesting as rumors were spread and the breakup somehow affected the entire school (including the faculty). My two favorite points of view […]

Review Round Up | Nine Perfect Strangers, The Last Best Story, and Those Other Women

Posted January 23, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 1 Comment
Review Round Up | Nine Perfect Strangers, The Last Best Story, and Those Other Women

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! I was trying to explain Liane Moriarty’s books to my boyfriend as I was racing through the pages of this one. I love that her stories are contemporary fiction at the heart, but always have some kind of suspenseful, mysterious, or thriller-y aspect to them. They always keep me reading and guessing as I go. This latest was no exception! However… it was definitely not what I expected; it got weirder and weirder as it went on, but I ended up liking it quite a bit. It’s reminiscent of her other works, but quite different at the same time. Getting to know the “nine strangers” was a lot of fun and I liked the multiple POVs throughout the story. Frances was the “main character” if I had to pick; she was mostly hilarious. I liked reading everyone’s unique circumstances for why they ended up there and what their goals/lives were. The second half of the book was unexpected but kind of fascinating, once I got over the initial shock of it haha. I enjoyed the ending of the story so much! This is one of the more interesting stories by Moriarty lately, as many of the other recent works have been somewhat predictable and disappointing by the […]

Blog Tour Review: Pretty in Punxsutawney

Posted January 14, 2019 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Blog Tour Review: Pretty in Punxsutawney

I’m a huge fan of everything this book promised. I love Groundhog Day (the movie, of course, but also books with this premise) and Pretty in Pink (and allll of the similar 80s movies). My grandfather was proudly from Punxsutawney, PA, so the setting made this even more interesting for me! I’ve been wanting to plan a trip there in his honor for years. My papa used to train me on how to spell Punxsutawney when I was SO young, bringing out an actual chalkboard like a teacher and making me learn how to spell it – he loved that town. Andie had a looooot of cringe-worthy moments in the first section of the book. I got some major secondhand embarrassment and wanted to shake her out of her Colton-shaped reverie. (This is the guy she set her sights on in the beginning, when she first moved to Punxsutawney.) She was often judgmental about everyone she met in school on her first day, which made her a little hard to deal with at first. I was definitely reminded of Before I Fall in a few ways (and it’s one of my favorite books). The MC has to learn from her mistakes and become less of a mean girl in order to actually move on to the afterlife. She experiences the same “Groundhog Day” phenomenon, learning more and more about herself in the process. I had a feeling that Andie would do this too, even though she wouldn’t necessarily qualify as […]