Publisher: Macmillan

ARC Review: Famous in a Small Town

Posted January 7, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: Famous in a Small Town

Initial Excitement & Summary Oh man, where should I begin? I started 2018 with FOOLISH HEARTS because I like the idea of reading a favorite author (one who has NEVER let you down) as the first book of the year. Get the reading year off to a great start, right? It definitely worked last year and let me tell ya – it worked again this year. I borrowed FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN from Wendy to make sure 2019 got off on the right foot again. If I could start every year with one of her books, I would and I will. This one doesn’t give much away in the synopsis but it’s about a girl named Sophie and the new cute boy next door, August. She envelops him in her amazing friend group as they try to track down their small town’s most famous person (Megan Pleasant, a country singer) in order to raise money for the marching band. She learns more about August’s mysterious past and about herself, her friends, and her neighbors in the process. Storytelling & Characters The book really felt like another quiet, slow and steady Emma Mills book. They’re my favorites because they spend so much time developing the characters so you really don’t worry much about if there’s a plot. Don’t get me wrong, there’s always a plot, but some are quieter than others? This book definitely felt like it would be a snapshot of time within this amazing friend group and nothing […]

Review Round Up | Evidence of the Affair, So Close to Being the Shit…, and My Lady’s Choosing

Posted October 18, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 1 Comment
Review Round Up | Evidence of the Affair, So Close to Being the Shit…, and My Lady’s Choosing

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! Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think I was one of the first people to hear about this short story. I randomly saw it when browsing on Amazon and was shocked that there was no information about it. I immediately preordered and read it within the first week it was out. I couldn’t wait for new TJR words and I’ll be honest – the short story length was needed in my monthly reading goal. As expected, my reaction was “holy shit.” I’ve never felt so moved by a short story before and it should really come as no surprise which author made me feel this way. There was a lot packed into these pages. I thought I saw where some parts were heading but still ended up surprised by the end. Leave it to TJR to write a novella only through letters and STILL make me feel all the things. I’m really not a short story person and I don’t hesitate to recommend this to other people who feel similarly. If you like her other novels, just give this one a read. I think the ending was close to perfect, which is usually my issue with short stories. The books never feel complete. […]

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 Reviews: My Plain Jane and To Catch a Killer

Posted June 25, 2018 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Reviews: My Plain Jane and To Catch a Killer

After absolutely loving MY LADY JANE (despite not knowing much about the actual history/true story inolved), I was incredibly excited and optimistic about MY PLAIN JANE. Like the first book, I’m actually not well-versed in Jane Eyre, the heroine for this retelling. I’ve never read the book and actually, in hindsight, it would have been nice to read that beforehand (considering it’s on my “classics I might want to read soon” list). I can’t speak to how it compares to the original source. I can’t lie – this book was a bit disappointing compared to MLJ. I know it had big shoes to fill since I loved it so much, but I found myself slogging through it sometimes (mostly in the first half). I had to start and stop this one quite a few times for other reading commitments, but when I did have time to read it, I was never really compelled to pick it up. It wasn’t as funny for engaging as MY LADY JANE was. I started to get into it a little more in the second half of the book but this definitely felt too long. I never read JANE EYRE so I have no idea how it compares but I have to say I’m a little more interested in reading it now. Jane, Charlotte, and Alexander were interesting main characters and I liked being inside each of their heads. Despite all of those complaints, MPJ got more interesting as it went on and I really enjoyed the […]

Caraval Reread + Legendary ARC Review

Posted May 17, 2018 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Caraval Reread + Legendary ARC Review

Caraval Reread Thoughts I wanted to share some of my initial thoughts on CARAVAL because I decided to reread the book first. The audiobook was a solid choice, narration-wise, so I highly recommend that if you’re thinking of a reread! First Read: July 4 – 5, 2016 As you can tell, I read this book incredibly early. I got the bound manuscript from ALA Midwinter that year and binge-read it by the pool on the 4th of July later that year. I knew the wait was going to be miserable for the second book because its release would be in late May 2018. Can you imagine? That would have been 694 days – a year and almost 11 months! So, I knew I was going to have to reread before LEGENDARY came out. Overall though, my first read of CARAVAL back in the day was fantastic. I loved the world-building and magic, but the main character bugged me sometimes. That was really my only small complaint. Second Read: February 23 – 28, 2018 I bought the audiobook for cheap during the holiday sale on Amazon, so I knew I’d like to try that format for it. Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of time to read audiobooks in Maine (no commute or getting-ready time) so I also alternated the ebook copy in when I was too addicted to wait for audio time. The good thing about having a terrible bookish memory is that it felt like I was reading the book […]

ARC Reviews: 9 Days and 9 Nights, Love Songs and Other Lies, and August and Everything After

Posted May 9, 2018 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
ARC Reviews: 9 Days and 9 Nights, Love Songs and Other Lies, and August and Everything After

^ can we just talk about how many times the word “and” appears up there?? You know those books you finish and you wish you could have a sequel, but you also really don’t want one because you feel like it’ll get ruined? Well when that sequel ends up happening and the original story DOESN’T get ruined, it’s one of the best feelings as a reader. I’m here to confirm that totally happened for me with 9 DAYS AND 9 NIGHTS. Katie Cotugno writes the messiest characters and situations that have me on the edge of my seat, anxious the whole time, and completely enthralled too. I read 99 DAYS in one sitting, way past my bedtime, and I did the same thing here (luckily a little earlier in the night though). Preamble aside… that was so fucking good. I loved it. Almost maybe more than the first one, or at least very close? Everything in Molly’s head felt so real, as it did before, and I loved every conversation that happened. It was just so authentic. In a lot of books, if the main character has a boyfriend but is considering someone else, there’s usually something super wrong with that guy. It’s obvious from the get-go that he’s not right for her and the breakup is logical and tidy. Ian was a really great guy in this story. He was funny, thoughtful, and fairly perfect most of the time. Then of course… there’s Gabe. The guy she can’t help […]

Review Round Up | Truly Devious and Renegades

Posted February 22, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 3 Comments
Review Round Up | Truly Devious and Renegades

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 love books about boarding school and have really been meaning to read Maureen Johnson, so it’s only natural that TRULY DEVIOUS intrigued me right away. I requested it from the library before it even came out, so my hold came in immediately. I quickly started reading… and quickly finished in two sittings. I read 70% of a 400+ page book in one night and could not stop reading if I tried, even though my eyes kept closing on me from exhaustion. I was fascinated and intrigued by the story from the very beginning. Everything from the setting (remote Vermont boarding school for incredibly smart kids) to the mixing of past and present (1936 when the first murders and kidnappings happened and present day when Stevie attends the school) kept pulling me in. While there were some parts that dragged a little and even confused me (why so many characters?!), I was hooooooked. Stevie was an interesting main character and I LOVED her interest in true crime. I’m a podcast addict when it comes to that topic as well. Her friends and housemates were all unique and compelling from the beginning, even though it was sometimes hard to keep track of all the characters involved. There are […]

Review Round Up | Surprise Me and Gone Rogue

Posted February 8, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Round Up | Surprise Me and Gone Rogue

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’ve been a fan of Sophie Kinsella since wayy before these books were “appropriate” for me. I read some of the SHOPAHOLIC series back before high school. I read a few more in 2014 and loved her latest release before this one, so clearly I was jazzed up for SURPRISE ME. I liked Sylvie and Dan as a couple, with them finishing each other’s sentences and managing to have a really solid relationship. When the whole “you have 65 years left together because you’re super healthy and will live LONG lives” thing comes up, they’re both thrown. How are they going to survive THAT many years together? It’s a reality check for them and even though there’s really not much wrong with their relationship necessarily, they second-guess everything. Sylvie develops this plan where they surprise each other with little things to keep everything interesting. Naturally, the surprises go awry and Sylvie learns that surprises aren’t the only key to a long and healthy marriage. The whole situation about Sylvie’s father that died and her weird mother was… interesting. She had the opposite of the traditional “daddy issues” thing – she was obsessed with her dad and thought he was a perfect hero. She had a very odd […]

Review Round Up | They Both Die at the End, Foolish Hearts, Top Ten, and Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Posted January 24, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 6 Comments
Review Round Up | They Both Die at the End, Foolish Hearts, Top Ten, and Wonder Woman: Warbringer

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 definitely DID expect for this book to wreck me, based on what the last Silvera book did to me, and that doesn’t even consider the countless reviews of THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END where people talked about it wrecking them. I was totally prepared for it and not nearly prepared enough at the same time. The story is set in the near-future world, where a company called Death-Cast calls you on the day you’re going to die. You don’t know how or when specifically, but just that you have less than 24 hours left. Rufus and Mateo both receive the call and meet up through the Last Friend app. I’m so happy that I ended the year with this book. Can you ask for a better rating to finish a reading year?! Adam Silvera writes such compelling stories with characters I grow to love so quickly. Seeing people just go through one 24 hour period and feeling connected to them in that short of a timeframe is really powerful to me. I love stories where people are connected in ways you don’t understand at first. The first part of the book alternates between Mateo and Rufus as they learn their fates. The following parts include […]