Publisher: Hachette

ARC Review: One Last Summer

Posted June 10, 2024 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: One Last Summer

I absolutely loved Kate Spencer’s first book and was soooo excited to read her sophomore novel, especially when I read the synopsis. I love a friend group coming back together and anything relating to summer camp! I actually had started this back in April and was really loving the first handful of chapters. I put it aside when I got home from Disney to read another highly anticipated release and picked it back up in early May. I was never motivated to read it unfortunately, even though I generally liked it when I did make myself start reading. Honestly it put me in a bit of a slump throughout the month but I’m glad I ended up finishing it. Clara has missed the past few camp reunions at Pine Lake because of her busy job and life in the city. This year, however, her boss just requested in front of the whole company that she is suffering from burnout and needs a micro-sabbatical. There’s a huge pitch at work the following week that she needs to prep for so it couldn’t come at a worse time, but she IS ready to see her friends again. The crew consists of Sam, Nick, Trey, Eloise (and her new boyfriend Linus), and (of course – her summer crush that still works at the camp) Mack. I guess I was kind of expecting HAPPY PLACE vibes here with the group of friends but it missed the mark a lot of the time. I liked […]

Recent Reads | The Other Lola and Just for the Summer

Posted March 21, 2024 / Book Reviews, Recent Reads / 0 Comments
Recent Reads | The Other Lola and Just for the Summer

I didn’t love Ripley Jones’ debut for a variety of reasons (the number one is that I fully predicted the mystery/whodunnit and thought it was absurdly predictable). For some reason, I told myself I’d give their second book a shot. I ended up liking THE OTHER LOLA more, so I’m glad I did. This story centers around another missing girl from the same town as the first book. I didn’t fully realize this was a companion novel but it follows Cam and Blair, the podcasters from MISSING CLARISSA. They are approached by a younger girl at their school whose sister went missing five years ago and suddenly returned. The catch? She thinks this Lola is an impostor. Her family doesn’t believe her so she enlists the help of Cam and Blair to figure out what’s actually going on. I thought the mystery here was quite interesting but took a little while to get going. Cam and Blair are going through their own stuff, which takes up a lot of the plot. If I really think about the progression of the mystery and investigation, it honestly didn’t get as much page time. I liked the found family vibes of this one with Cam’s mom’s new boyfriend and Mattie joining in their little crew a bit. Those were wholesome chapters. This book has a ton of political references and discussions. I don’t want to get into it in depth here but I am a very liberal person, so I agree with many […]

Review Roundup | What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez, Fourth Wing, and The Last Word

Posted June 1, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez, Fourth Wing, and The Last Word

This book was lowkey one of my most anticipated for the year. It just seemed like such an intriguing premise! Ruth Ramirez went missing after track practice when she was a kid and her family hasn’t been the same since. When one of her sisters sees “Ruthy” on a reality TV show, they are convinced that it’s really her. The synopsis reveals a bit more information that doesn’t even happen until the end of the book, so I’ll cut it off there. The story alternates between the three remaining members of the Ramirez family (with a few chapters from Ruthy’s POV sprinkled in): Jessica, Nina, and Dolores (their mom). It’s really a portrait of a grieving family and a story about where their lives went in the years since Ruthy went missing. The father of the family died soonafter and the rest had to carry on. It’s more “slice of life” despite the premise sounding a bit more meaty. I appreciated how real and raw it felt but it lacked a bit of depth. It kind of showed them going about their daily lives without going down one more level. The family’s Puerto Rican heritage was front and center throughout the story, which I definitely enjoyed reading about. The synopsis includes that it’s a “vivid family portrait, in all its shattered reality, exploring the familial bonds between women and cycles of generational violence, colonialism, race, and silence, replete with snark, resentment, tenderness, and, of course, love.” – All of these […]

Holiday Reviews: The Christmas Letters and Season of Love

Posted December 12, 2022 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: The Christmas Letters and Season of Love

Story Jenny Hale’s holiday books used to be my absolute go-tos each year but the past couple were not quite as good as her earlier books. I’m excited to report that this one was definitely back along the lines of her older books! Elizabeth fled her small farm and hometown ten years ago for the bright NYC lights, high society with a rich boyfriend, and charity work in lieu of a “real career.” When her boyfriend dumps her, she heads home to her recently departed grandmother’s farm, which her mom is currently running. They find old Christmas letters from her grandma and realize her story isn’t quite as straightforward as they once thought. Meanwhile, Liz hits it off with a newcomer who is there for the holiday season and falls back in love with the way of life on the farm. I really enjoyed that she reconnected with her family, friends, and neighborhood. I enjoyed the southern farm town quite a bit. There was a little mystery in the letters and the ending of the book truly surprised me! It was so unexpected and really made this a winner for me. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels The farm made for a fun Christmas setting – very similar to another holiday novella I read this year. I liked reading about the decor, festive shops in town, etc. but as usual, I could have gone for more! Lots of snowy scenes too. Overall This was more reminiscent of some of Hale’s best […]

ARC Reviews: What Might Have Been and The Hookup Plan

Posted October 13, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: What Might Have Been and The Hookup Plan

I’m always, always a sucker for a “what might have been” story, where the book splits into two timelines and plays out what might happen to the MC depending on a certain decision they make. In WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN (appropriately named), Lucy has a decision to make once she abruptly quits her job. Should she STAY in her beachside hometown, live with her sister, save money, and pursue writing her novel full time? Or should she GO live with her friend in London in her spare room and take on the cushy advertising job she’s also dreamed about? Lucy runs into her ex Max, who she believed was her soulmate before he inexplicably broke up with her toward the end of college, and this spurs her decision-making. In the STAY timeline, she decided to put Max in the past and pursues the cute guy Caleb she also met the same night. The two have to work through some things, like Caleb’s pending divorce, but she finds herself very happy pursuing her writing dream and spending more time with her sister and nephew. In GO, she reconnects with Max and the two have to try to figure out how to make their relationship work once some major secrets get revealed. These books usually go one of two ways: the two timelines result in the MC ending up in the same place and/or with the same guy regardless of their decision, OR they end up in two very different places but […]

Review Round Up | One Italian Summer, All Good People Here, and The Final Gambit

Posted September 8, 2022 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | One Italian Summer, All Good People Here, and The Final Gambit

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 picked this one up from my shelves on a whim when I was trying to read 7 books in 7 days. It was short and had an audiobook available on Scribd, so I was able to read it in a day and feel good about my progress! I was pleasantly surprised for the most part, after really enjoying Serle’s other adult fiction books (and not loving her YA lol). She writes such unique and creative concepts! The book starts with a lot of raw grief as Katy is mourning the loss of her mom, Carol. Her mom was legitimately her best friend and it sounds like she really relied on her for pretty much everything. I don’t usually gravitate toward books where someone is actively grieving like this – I don’t mind books with someone trying to move on but usually not right after, if that makes sense… I try to stay away from sad reads! I also couldn’t relate to her relationship with her mom. I really love my mom and get along well with her, but she isn’t my go-to person for every problem or question. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the way Katy spoke about her, but it was clear they […]

ARC Reviews: The Dead Romantics and The True Love Bookshop

Posted July 22, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Dead Romantics and The True Love Bookshop

Man – this was excellent. I really enjoyed the initial books in the GEEKERELLA series but still have to finish the series off. I haven’t read Poston’s fantasy books or anything else but I think I’ll have to. I believe this was her adult debut as well? This story is about Florence and her family as they navigate the loss of their larger-than-life father. She escaped her small town to NYC 10 years prior without ever returning, and now she’s forced to face it all head-on. The Day family has run a funeral home for many generations in their community and Florence and her father even have a special connection to the dead – they both can see and communicate with ghosts. They’re able to help people with unfinished business pass into the afterlife. When Florence heads home for the funeral services and to help out her mom and siblings, she encounters the ghost of Ben – a man she just started working for at the publishing house. The two of them can’t figure out why he’s there but he helps her get through the difficult week at home. There are lots of things going on in this story that I loved. I mean, is she really going to fall in love with a ghost? This can’t end well! The family vibes were excellent – I loved reading about Florence’s mom and two siblings. (There may even be a hint of a companion novel involving her sister…?!) Funeral homes definitely […]

ARC Review: Part of Your World

Posted April 18, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Part of Your World

How are all of her books so good!? PART OF YOUR WORLD centers around Alexis, a doctor with a strong family history in medicine at a specific hospital in the city, and Daniel, a mayor/carpenter/B&B manager in the country. When Alexis is driving through his small town and runs her car off the road, Daniel helps her out of the ditch. They cross paths later that night when she stops by the local VFW for dinner and end up having a great night together. Their relationship picks up over the coming weeks until they’re basically a couple (at least in his small town). She could never bring Daniel into he world. Her twin brother’s new wife doesn’t pass her parents’ test of a suitable partner so clearly a tattooed, bearded man who is 10 years younger than her won’t either. She tries to protect Daniel from their scrutiny and the other side of her life but it gets harder and harder. I wasn’t fully sold on the age-gap romance (not my cup of tea) but it wasn’t the “main issue” these two had going for them, so it worked out fine for me. I really loved their chemistry in this one and the kind of opposites attract vibe. (Clearly I can’t resist it because this is the second book with that trope in a row where I read 60% or more of it in one sitting.) Daniel’s small town and all of the people in it were so cute. I loved […]

ARC Review: In a New York Minute

Posted April 13, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: In a New York Minute

This was definitely on my radar as a top anticipated read for 2022. I tend to love the rom-coms from Forever Romance and was hoping Kate Spencer would be added to my auto-buy list. Spoiler alert: definitely has been! This story centers around a meet cute that goes viral. Franny is having a terrible day – she gets laid off from her job and then her dress rips in the subway door, exposing her butt to the world. Luckily a kind stranger (Hayes) shares his fancy suit jacket with her so she can get home. They start trending as #SubwayQTs and inevitably meet up again in real life to appease the masses. I like that this was an “opposites attract” romance. They were both drawn to each other for different reasons and complemented each other well, despite being so different. Franny is loud and confident while Hayes is a bit awkward and professional. On paper, they don’t make a ton of sense. I also love that New York City was like a third main character in this story, as it often is! I live close enough to NYC where I could go there every weekend if I wanted, but I don’t like the place in real life – just enjoy reading about it in books. This was another book that made me feel that New York magic. I loved that Franny and Hayes were both passionate about the city but had very different experiences there. They were able to share […]

Review Round Up | Kamila Knows Best and Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead

Posted April 1, 2022 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Kamila Knows Best and Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead

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’m enjoying Farah Heron’s books a lot! This book, like the first one I read by her, made me so hungry! This time for biryani instead of beer and bread. In KAMILA KNOWS BEST, she is struggling to balance everything in her life. She loves her job at a small accounting firm run by her father and family friends, volunteering for party planning and with an animal shelter, and hosting elaborate weekly Bollywood movie nights for her friends. She has a ton on her plate and still manages to take on more. Kamila was a…challenging character to get along with for me. Her actions and the fact that she constantly cut people off, assuming she knew what they were going to say about her, was so frustrating. I know that her father and Rohan sometimes acted like they knew what she wanted and assumed things when they shouldn’t, but she totally did the same thing to them too. Aside from those frustrating moments, she otherwise had a fun personality and generally wasn’t afraid to be herself… I just struggled to LIKE her a lot of the time. The ending was so cute and I love the way everything wrapped up. The romance was top-notch for most of […]