Genre: Young Adult

Review Roundup | Practice Makes Perfect, The Risk, and No Good Tea Goes Unpunished

Posted August 4, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | Practice Makes Perfect, The Risk, and No Good Tea Goes Unpunished

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT had a lot to live up to. I fell head over heels for WHEN IN ROME and was pretty certain its companion sequel wouldn’t match up. My sister marked this one as her favorite of the two but she predicted that I’d love WIR more. Surprisingly, both ended up being five-star reads for me! (But yes, if I had to pick, Amelia/Noah are my peeps and edge out Will/Annie just a bit.) I thought Annie would annoy me a bit based on her characterization in WHEN IN ROME – she’s treated like a little angel who doesn’t swear and keeps track of her siblings cursing. Let me just say: she has so much more under the surface, and all of those little things I thought would annoy me weren’t really accurate. Will definitely had me from the beginning – I loved learning more about him and his childhood. I think I would have liked a LITTLE more there but it was good overall… There was a lot of telling instead of showing in regards to his background (and some things later in the book I won’t spoil). The two of them embark on a “fake dating” journey but more like “practice dating” – Annie wants to be less boring so she can land a husband and start the rest of her life. Will is simply just bored hanging out as a bodyguard in Rome, Kentucky… can’t fault him for that! I really loved watching their relationship develop […]

ARC Reviews: The Legacies and Dark Corners

Posted July 20, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Legacies and Dark Corners

It’s no secret around here that I love a “rich people behaving badly book” – there’s something about it that appeals to my Gossip Girl-loving heart. I KNOW they’re bad people and I’m okay with reading about them. I don’t have to like or root for the characters in every book I read. I know it’s a personal preference thing and I’m okay with that. Just be warned, if you aren’t a rich kid drama girlie, you probably won’t find much to like in this one. This book feels simultaneously similar and different than Goodman’s other books. I’ve rated her other books 3, 3.5, and 4 stars, respectively, so she’s always been a good-but-not-a-favorite author of mine. I still find myself so drawn to her synopses and eagerly await each new release! The whole vibe of this one (like her other three books) is more of a contemporary fiction book with some death and suspense as the backbone. Her books aren’t thrillers, they’re sort of mysteries, but they’re more like… mysterious contemporary fiction? This book is the first that features unlikeable rich kids at a prep school in NYC – the others are set in normal high schools or at summer camp. The story alternates between Bernie (a rich kid living in her mom’s shadow), Isobel (another rich kid and Bernie’s best friend with a substance abuse issue), and Tori (the scholarship kid whose mom died the year before). I enjoyed reading from each of their POVs for the most part […]

Review Roundup | The Wishing Game, Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, and Live and Let Chai

Posted July 17, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | The Wishing Game, Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, and Live and Let Chai

I was soooo looking forward to THE WISHING GAME. The book sounded so magical (while being realistic and not actually featuring any magic or fantastical elements) and the cover? Absolutely one of my favorites I’ve ever seen… which is why it’s such a bummer that I feel so incredibly mixed on this book. I had to really think about a rating for it. At its core, this book is a whimsical ode to children’s books and the lifelong impact they have on us. I loved that aspect! It was so cute in a lot of ways. If I sit here and think about the story as a whole and ignore a lot of the details that really bugged me, this could have easily been very highly rated. I appreciate the granting of wishes and foster care/adoption plotline in a general sense but I was really uncomfortable with how Lucy went about it all with Christopher. It’s one thing to want to adopt a child that needs it but I personally found it to be inappropriate that she was kissing his forehead and having him sit on her lap (and discussing her desire to adopt him before she was permitted to – I have to think, if it didn’t happen or come true, wouldn’t the kid be in a worse mental space? She even tried to argue that sleeping on the floor of her bedroom in a house she shared with drunk college students would be a better situation for him […]

Review Roundup | When in Rome, Bad Summer People, and Happy Place

Posted July 5, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | When in Rome, Bad Summer People, and Happy Place

I always expect the popular, hyped books to not be as good as others say (looking at you, Fourth Wing), but I was thrilled to be proved wrong with WHEN IN ROME! I suddenly had the urge to follow the hype (something I’m doing this year for some reason) and request this one from the library. I also requested the new companion sequel, PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT, at the same time. I thought I’d probably enjoy this one but I didn’t think I’d be adding my name to the list of crazed Sarah Adams fans… yet here we are with a new favorite five-star romance! This story follows Amelia, a super popular pop star who needs a break from it all, when her car breaks down in the middle of nowhere Rome, Kentucky. She’s saved by adorable baker Noah and he eventually offers up his guest room for her. She gets to know Noah, his sisters, and other locals around Rome, and pretty much falls for everyone very quickly. This was exactly the kind of low-drama romance I’m into these days! I don’t want to spoil anything but there’s really not any major events or miscommunications leading to a huge breakup of the main couple. It’s definitely got instalove (I mean, they knew each other for two weeks!!) and zero spicy scenes. It’s closed door, which is fine, but I do think the story could have used some! (Maybe I’m just biased toward that kind of romance these days lol.) I […]

Blog Tour: The Night It Ended

Posted June 30, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Blog Tour: The Night It Ended

Additional Purchase Links: HarperCollins // Bookshop // Books-a-Million Review I’ve been really into mystery/thrillers lately and this one definitely intrigued me! A boarding school setting is one of my absolute favorites, and this one was even creepier because the 95% of the campus was away for winter break. When a girl dies tragically on campus, Madeline (a psychologist who specializes in female violence) is brought on campus to investigate what happened with the private investigator, Matthew, the family hired. They don’t believe the local police that it was a tragic accident; the PI thinks Madeline can help crack the girls on campus to see what really happened that night. The book was a bit of a slow burn with not a ton happening in the first half, but the setting and characters were intriguing enough to continue. I liked the chapters from the past that were mixed in (an interview or interrogation between two people who are not named) to keep me engaged in multiple stories. I assumed I knew who was in that interview from the previous year, but wasn’t sure if it would be that easy or predictable! I won’t spoil it either way. Madeline was struggling with some mistakes she’d made in her past – I wanted to know more about what she did to make her act this way and/or lose contact with her family in some way. It was interesting because she often felt like an unreliable narrator based on her behavior and issues she was […]

Review Roundup | Before We Were Innocent and The True Love Experiment

Posted June 22, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | Before We Were Innocent and The True Love Experiment

I’m always drawn to these stories of complicated best friend groups, especially when there’s some overseas travel involved. I was thinking this might be like The Villa (and a few elements were definitely reminiscent of that) but I did like that book more. The premise is that Bess (our MC), Joni, and Evangeline head to Evangeline’s family vacation home in Greece for the summer before they’re due to go away to college. They’re thinking it’s a last hurrah before they all go to different schools. Evangeline ends up dying there and the two remaining girls are swept up in accusations that one or both of them killed her. This was interesting but definitely some mixed feelings. I think a lot of it reads like a very classic “three teens go on vacation, only two come home, did one of them kill the other one?” story. I had a (very obvious) prediction but the book ended up being less predictable than that… but I’m not sure that made it any better? I got to the end and just said “okay…?” Kind of a bit pointless yet heavy-handed with some of the messaging. One Goodreads review that I totally agree with said that it basically doesn’t do enough. It’s not enough of a mystery or enough of a “toxic best friends” story to really be that good. I could really picture the setting (Greece) during the chapters set in 2008, which made for kind of a fun summer read? There’s also a plotline […]

ARC Review: The Seven Year Slip

Posted June 19, 2023 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: The Seven Year Slip

I’ve loved Ashley Poston since her YA book days a few years ago. Her foray into “adult contemporary fiction with a sprinkle of magic” has been LOVELY so far – THE DEAD ROMANTICS was one of my favorite books last year and I can still remember the feeling of sitting on the amazing porch at our Airbnb and reading so much of it in one sitting. While that story gets the half-star edge over THE SEVEN YEAR SLIP, I clearly loved this one too. The story centers around Clementine and her somewhat boring life in NYC, six months after her beloved aunt and travel partner passed away. She was willed her apartment and has been living there ever since, despite how painful it can be. Her aunt always said the apartment was a bit magical and Clementine finds out firsthand how true that was. Somehow timelines overlap, and you may return to your apartment one day and find yourself seven years in the past… yes, including whoever was living there seven years prior. One summer, that turns out to be Iwan, a gorgeous Southern guy that her aunt sublet the apartment to when she was overseas (oddly enough, with Clementine) at the time. The two connect very quickly but Clementine isn’t sure how to tell him exactly what’s happening with their time-related disconnect. Some other ~things~ progressed in this story that were not what I expected when I read the synopsis, but I actually liked it way better than what […]

Blog Tour: Cassandra in Reverse

Posted June 15, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Blog Tour: Cassandra in Reverse

Review I’m a sucker for time travel books or anything involving parallel lives/universes, time loops, Groundhog Day… you name it – if the book messes with time in some way, I’m THERE. This book was on my list a long time ago so I’m thrilled to join the blog tour. CASSANDRA IN REVERSE centers around Cassandra, who is suddenly given the opportunity to time travel in the midst of a terrible day. Her boyfriend breaks up with her and then she’s fired from her job, so she goes home and takes a nap… only to wake up and it’s the previous morning again. She figures out how to choose when to travel and fix her mistakes. It’s not easy for her to interact with people and pick up on social cues, so having a second chance at certain conversations or situations really helps her figure things out. It was interesting to read a time travel story with someone who could control the power rather than just dealing with the Groundhog Day type of thing. I couldn’t put this book down and read the first half in one sitting. The second half was equally compelling. There was a portion in the middle where I was getting slightly bored with how she was using the time travel but it very quickly moved to something more intriguing. There were some twists near the end of the book that I didn’t love (and I wasn’t a fan of the final ending/scene very much), which […]

ARC Review: Something Close to Magic

Posted June 12, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Something Close to Magic

I’m a huge Emma Mills fan. Every New Years Day for a few years in a row, I would hang out and read her next release that day, basically in one sitting, to start the New Year off on the right foot. I think I still have one contemporary romance from her backlist to read but I was really excited to see her foray into fantasy… especially one that sounded on the cozier side! I’ll admit that it took me a while to get into this. I think the problem was mostly having to read on my iPad because of the file type but I also just wasn’t hooked like I thought I would be. Her writing style is really different here and fantasy-oriented. I never would have guessed it was her writing without knowing. It just took a little getting used to! There are some elements of her signature clever dialogue between the characters though, so that helped! The story centers around Auralie, a baker’s apprentice in a small village, who suddenly finds herself hanging out with trolls and princes and bounty hunters. They go on a little quest at the beginning and then there’s an interlude of letter-writing (cute!) before some fun drama and action at the end. I’d definitely say this qualifies as a cozy fantasy because it’s breezy and fun to read while not having high-stakes action and worldbuilding. The second half of this book honestly REALLY took off for me. The trouble I had trying […]

ARC Reviews: Liars Beach and Jana Goes Wild

Posted June 5, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: Liars Beach and Jana Goes Wild

I love Cotugno but haven’t read her latest releases for one reason or another. The synopsis of this one really appealed to me and I liked that she was working in a different genre. There are very few reviews and the overall Goodreads rating is pretty low, which is interesting, but I was still cautiously optimistic. I haven’t read THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES but it’s definitely on my Agatha Christie to-read list now. Linden is off to Martha’s Vineyard to spend some time with his roommate Jasper and his family at their gorgeous house on the beach. He’s hiding a lot about his true background/socioeconomic status but tries to fit in with them nonetheless. He’s on a lacrosse scholarship at a fancy boarding school and has to keep up appearances. His childhood friend (his mom works for their family) Holiday is there too. When a body of a guy everyone hates shows up in the pool, Holiday and Linden set out to solve the mystery. I ended up really enjoying this! It’s a little surface-level and super short, which made for a breezy Memorial Day Weekend read on the porch in just a couple of hours. I don’t actually wish it was longer though – she achieved what she needed to in under 300 pages. There are definitely discussions on class, Great Gatsby vibes/themes, and manic pixie dreamgirl energy, which was all a part of the wider story and message Cotugno was trying to convey. The ending was interesting and […]