Genre: Contemporary

Late ARC Reviews: When the Light Went Out and The Last Resort

Posted August 14, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Late ARC Reviews: When the Light Went Out and The Last Resort

I hadn’t seen much about WHEN THE LIGHT WENT OUT, both before I requested it and after the pub date. I went in with no preconceived notions or expectations. I think I did expect it to have more of a mystery/thriller vibe than contemporary, but not enough to have that ruin the book. I love books about scavenger hunts or to-do lists, especially when left behind by someone who has passed away. In this story, a group of neighborhood kids were forever affected when Marley was accidentally shot by Nick five years ago. Olivia, the main character, was the only one of the group who witnessed it. Bigs, Teeny, Ruby, Harrison, and Olivia’s sister Aidy, join in with Olivia and a returning Nick to follow on Marley’s final “Adventure” scavenger hunt for them. To be honest, there’s not much to say about these characters. They were all fine and moderately developed but there’s not much more. Marley was essentially a manic pixie dream girl character throughout most of the book, which was unsurprising – a lot of books like this memorialize and glamorize the lost person. I can’t even say too much about the plot without spoiling how everything ends. I will say that I really didn’t enjoy how it ended. I ended up starting this one on a complete whim one Sunday and finished it before the day was over. I didn’t want to stop reading; the writing style and setup were so intriguing. I’d read more from this […]

Blog Tour Cover Colors: Notes from a Former Virgin – Chloe Snow’s Diary

Posted July 26, 2019 / Book Reviews, Cover Colors, Features / 1 Comment
Blog Tour Cover Colors: Notes from a Former Virgin – Chloe Snow’s Diary

I’m not usually one to enjoy covers with real human faces on them (I like illustrated people most of the time though!) but these covers are so playful and in tune with the books themselves. All of the covers for the first three books really reflect Chloe’s kind-of goofy personality quite well. I love the color scheme for this one too! Some of my favorites. I’m kind of obsessed with this collection that I pulled together! I have the focal point of the cover as one of the main pieces of the collage: big blue heart-shaped sunglasses. I included a planner/diary that matches the cover’s color scheme because obviously this book is written as diary entries. There’s a pretty close replica of Chloe’s pink sweater and some denim shorts with blue sandals to go with it. I include some pinky/purple makeup items, like the blush, lipstick, and eyeshadow palette. I also added a contour kit for bronzed skin and a backpack for her to take during junior year of high school. Amazon: 2019 Stay Focused Planner // Jansport Superbreak Backpack // Meyison Heart Sunglasses // Floopi Sandals // HOCAIES Jean Shorts // Winjoy Casual Knit Pullover Sweater ||||| Ulta: NARS Orgasm Blush // Anastasia Beverly Hills Norvina Palette // Tarte Tarteist Glow to Go // Urban Decay  Vice Lipstick in Backtalk About the Author Website || Twitter || Goodreads Emma Chastain is a graduate of Barnard College and the creative writing MFA program at Boston University. She lives in Brooklyn with her […]

Blog Tour Review: Truly Madly Royally

Posted July 25, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Blog Tour Review: Truly Madly Royally

More purchase links: iTunes | Book Depository | Google Books | Kobo Review I’m new to royal-related fiction. This is primarily because I don’t love the real-life royals, compared to other people, but I HAVE turned a corner on fictional royal romance. I’ve loooooved a few books/series on the topic and have been opening myself up to them a lot more lately. I thought this blog tour would be the perfect way to keep my momentum and feels going. This royal romance featured an interracial couple, which was a breath of fresh air. Zora was an extremely passionate and dedicated character, who spent all of her time thinking of ways to improve and showcase her community of Appleton, NJ. When she meets the Prince of Landerel, Owen, she can’t deny their chemistry, despite all of their differences. While Zora was fully developed and vibrant, Owen fell a bit flat for me. He wasn’t anything special IMO and it was harder for me, as the reader, to feel their chemistry as a result. The plot moved very quickly and touched on a lot of events in a short amount of time. Therefore, much of the book felt rushed and underdeveloped. That includes her relationship with her father (something that was essentially dropped by the end), the budding romance between her friend and brother, and more. It was a light and breezy read with little drama, which I certainly appreciated. The synopsis implies that the royal wedding invitation is a major part of […]

ARC Reviews: Stealing Home and The Wedding Party

Posted July 22, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: Stealing Home and The Wedding Party

I love a good sports romance. Football is always my favorite but baseball is usually my next best bet. There’s something about it that just grabs me (at least from a fictional perspective – watching baseball on TV isn’t my favorite but going to games in real life is so fun!). I’m happy to say that the baseball-related elements were large and in charge here. The main character, Ryan, was super into helping her dad run their minor league team (and wanted to take it over someday); she knew everything about the baseball business. When a top recruit heads to their team, sparks fly between the two. Ryan is a rule-follower though, especially when it comes to her beloved team, so she refuses to allow them to act on their feelings. I’ll be honest: I didn’t feel quite as much chemistry as I was hoping. For a super-slow-burn romance, I need to FEEL the tension dripping from the page in order for the eventual payoff to be worth it. That was very much not the case here. Sure, I was rooting for them to get together and they were good for each other, but I didn’t feel that magnetic pull toward each other like I want in this kind of romance. The ending, for this element of the story, was incredibly rushed and stilted. Aside from the romance, the other major plot point is that half of the team might get sold, and Ryan is determined to stop that from happening. This […]

Review Round Up | The Lovely and the Lost, Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck & Fortune, and Passion on Park Avenue

Posted July 10, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | The Lovely and the Lost, Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck & Fortune, and Passion on Park Avenue

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’ll be 100% honest: if Jennifer Lynn Barnes didn’t write this book, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up based on the synopsis alone. The MC was found in the woods by a family who trains search-and-rescue dogs, and she quickly joins that family business with them. There’s a survival element here that doesn’t usually appeal to me, but I DID like the idea of tracking down a missing child and solving a mystery in that way. It’s purposefully hard to connect with the main character because she had such a closed-off upbringing. She’s meant to be challenging and distant, so I understood why I wasn’t able to connect with her on the level I usually might’ve when reading a book. I loved her though – she was fierce and extremely loyal to her found family. Jude, Free, and her mother Cady were all fascinating characters. I loved getting to know the people surrounding the state park they went to to find Bella. There were a LOT of twists and turns for a book I would generally consider to be more of a contemporary book than a mystery book. I’m totally counting it as mystery for my challenges 😉 There were a lot of elements at the […]

Summerathon Reviews: The Summer House, The Unhoneymooners, and The Rest of the Story

Posted July 4, 2019 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Summerathon Reviews: The Summer House, The Unhoneymooners, and The Rest of the Story

I participated in Summerathon recently, where we focused on reading summer-oriented and beachy reads. Here’s a super quick roundup of these summertime books I read during the readathon! I always told myself that I seriously needed to get going on reading some of Jenny Hale’s summer-oriented books. She does such an amazing job of describing winter/Christmas scenes that I just should have known how well she could paint a summery scene as well. I could perfectly picture the town of Waves and the beach houses there, including The Beachcomber (soon-to-be Bed and Breakfast). The main character, Callie, and her best friend Olivia (along with her son Wyatt), always dreamed about buying the property when they were kids and finally are able to do it now, so they move to the small town and begin remodeling. Callie meets the local rich “playboy,” Luke, and is swept off her feet. The story had a similar setup to many Jenny Hale holiday books, where the love interest is rich and fancy. These books are so easy to read and just fulfills that little “what if some rich guy falls in love with me” fantasy that everyone has thought about at some point. This story had a couple more serious elements, as alluded to in the synopsis, but it was generally a light summer read. I wish I had the chance to actually read this on the beach, because it’s the perfect read for laying out in the sun. I absolutely need to get […]

Review Round Up | Always Never Yours, The Woman in the Window, and What If It’s Us

Posted June 13, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Round Up | Always Never Yours, The Woman in the Window, and What If It’s Us

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 is one of those books that I was super eager to read and still took forever to do so. I saw it referred to as a Shakespeare retelling in some places but didn’t fully believe that it was. I don’t think it fully tells any one Shakespeare story and it’s not a typical Shakespeare “retelling” but there are a lot of parts that line up to Shakespeare plot points or tropes? There are romantic entanglements, love triangles, miscommunications between characters, and countless references to Shakespeare’s plays (especially because the book centers around a Romeo and Juliet school play). The main character, Megan, is constantly compared to Rosalie from the play too. Anyways, I loved this. Megan was a fascinating character; she’s totally comfortable doing whatever she wants, pursuing guys, and flirting shamelessly. There are some pieces of her personality that could be considered ~unlikeable~ by some standards but I loved her for all of those reasons. Owen was ADORABLE and I loved the messy romance of this one, tbh. I think haters of love triangles and cheating (to an extent?) won’t like this one, but this felt super high school to me in a great way. It was real, in my opinion. The family dynamics worked […]

Blog Tour | Cover Colors: Screen Queens

Posted June 5, 2019 / Book Reviews, Cover Colors, Features / 0 Comments
Blog Tour | Cover Colors: Screen Queens

Mini Review This book just looked so girl-power-ish and I am here for it. I loved that they’d be taking on the tech world and Silicon Valley, especially because I read this right before heading off on a trip to San Francisco for this week! It centers around the three girls featured on the cover and their experience at ValleyStart, a prestigious tech incubator/summer internship. Lucy has tech running in her family, growing up local to Palo Alto. Maddie is from the Boston area and is hoping to beef up her graphic design portfolio, while missing her brother on the East Coast. And finally, Delia: she taught herself how to code and now she has to see if she can match up to everyone else at ValleyStart. I didn’t love Lucy at the beginning because she was a little irritating, with her constant chatter and semi-rude comments to Maddie when they first met. She grew on me the more I got to know her and understand why she struggled (under her mom’s big name and general pressure to succeed). To be completely honest, each of these girls had their own flaws that made them different from each other, as well as their own individual strengths. I loved that they were imperfect and trying their best in the “Dave-dominated” tech world. They came out of their shells (well, Lucy was already very much out of her shell already!) and grew together as a team. I loved the idea for their app, […]

ARC Review: Hungry Hearts

Posted May 24, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: Hungry Hearts

I was so excited for this anthology because I’m a huge fan of food (of all types) and short story collections in general! I love even MORE when the stories are connected. In this case, all of these occur on Hungry Hearts Row, a place where “magic and food and love are sometimes one and the same.” As usual, I’ll be sharing mini reviews and ratings for each story, plus overall feelings and an average rating for the whole anthology. Rain by Sangu Mandanna I’m glad that the first story introduced the setting of Hungry Hearts Row, because I was curious about how they would set that scene if someone didn’t read the synopsis. The main character comes in from England and talks about the Indian food from her mother’s home. She’s grieving her mother and struggling to keep a connectiong with her father throughout the story, so it was a bit melancholy. I loved how she connected her mother with food (specifically her favorite dish). Such a cute and simple story about family, loss, and food… and how all three connect to keep someone’s memory alive. Kings and Queens by Elsie Chapman I loved the exploration Chinese food here, especially because it has become so Westernized in American Chinese restaurants. (I also loved that the first connections between the stories starting already, because this family’s restaurant was referenced in the first story and there were a few characters I assume will come around later.) It took a turn I […]

Review Round Up | Fumbled, The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project, and There’s Something About Sweetie

Posted May 6, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Fumbled, The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project, and There’s Something About Sweetie

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 really enjoyed INTERCEPTED, despite the incessant internal hashtagging that the main character did. There were some parts I didn’t love about that book though, so I was slightly concerned but optimistic about FUMBLED. I really had nothing to worry about though, because this book was even better than the first! I loved TK when he made appearances in the first book so I was super excited to see that this starred him, in a second chance romance. Poppy and TK were together in high school… and TK has no idea that her nine-year old son is his. When they cross paths again at a club where Poppy works, sparks fly and she knows the truth will have to come out. I appreciated that this piece of drama was not dragged out; the honest moment happened early on instead of way-too-late like it would in most books. TK and Poppy had reasonable arguments, discussions, and conversations about everything. I loved their openness. There were actually quite a few moments where I expected there to be friction between them (about money, parenting style, etc.) that were handled perfect well and logically. It was genuinely refreshing to read in a romance novel where one person is a celebrity/athlete and […]