Publisher: Penguin Random House

Holiday Reviews: A Season for Second Chances and Window Shopping

Posted December 1, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: A Season for Second Chances and Window Shopping

Story When Annie’s life goes off the rails and she loses her spark, she decides to take on a role essentially housesitting for an elderly woman who will be away from her beachside home for the winter season. Annie moves to the cute little town to watch over the house and keep it running, rent-free, from the fall through the spring. She has to contend with the woman’s nephew, though, who is trying to sell the property to a developer. Naturally you can imagine the Hallmark movie moments that occur from there! Overall, this was a super cute story with a low-key, breezy plot. I loved the setting, cast of quirky locals, and the easy (not truly “easy” but more like drama-free) romance. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels Beachside holiday or winter books can be really fun – I know that I personally love visiting the beach and going for a walk whenever I visit Maine, regardless of weather. Having a cute seaside town transition into a little Christmassy village in England? Love those vibes. Because the book didn’t take place strictly in December or around the Christmas holidays, it wasn’t quite as Christmassy as it could have been… BUT it was super cute to see how the town went crazy for other fall holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. This was the perfect book to read in November to kick off holiday reads on a lighter note. Overall I definitely recommend this one for your first holiday-ish read of the season, […]

Quick Reviews: One of the Girls and Quarry Girls

Posted October 19, 2022 / Bite-Sized Reviews, Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Quick Reviews: One of the Girls and Quarry Girls

I’ve been really into mystery/thrillers lately and was excited to finally dive into ONE OF THE GIRLS! Set during a bachelorette weekend in Greece, this story follows the group of bridesmaids as they celebrate the bride-to-be Lexi. Like with all bach weekends, the girls come from different areas of the bride’s life and don’t really know each other that well. There’s Eleanor (sister of the groom), Bella (overbearing childhood friend of the bride), Robyn (the less annoying childhood best friend that rounded out their trio back in the day), Ana (new friend of the bride), and Fen (Bella’s girlfriend). The reason this book really worked for me is that the tension slowly built throughout each chapter. I always thought I had figured out some connections (some of my theories were accurate) but there was always more below the surface. I really enjoyed trying to figure out who would be the one to plummet off the cliffside and who, if anyone, pushed them. The story alternated between all POVs, which was necessary in building up some of the tension, but was confusing initially. I kept forgetting who was who. The ending was interesting and fairly surprising overall, so that’s a win in my book! I wasn’t sure what to expect from THE QUARRY GIRLS. I’m not really into serial killers (in terms of true crime subcategories) but the author’s note at the very beginning intrigued me and set the stage. I also don’t usually read historical fiction crime/mystery books but for […]

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 […]

Reviews: Family of Liars and This is Not the Real World

Posted August 24, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Reviews: Family of Liars and This is Not the Real World

I really didn’t enjoy WE WERE LIARS. I remember it was one of the first books I read and reviewed for my blog and it just pissed me off. It’s had a resurgence lately thanks to booktok and I still don’t understand why people like it. In any case, I was randomly intrigued by FAMILY OF LIARS and decided to read it against my best judgment. I do think I almost liked it better than the first book? This one is actually a prequel novel, set in the late 80s. It features the parents and grandparents of the main character(s) in WE WERE LIARS. It definitely took an interesting turn or two that I didn’t expect and I was addicted while reading. The main reasons I’ve “enjoyed” these two books is because they’re short, generally intriguing, and easy to read. I knew I could crank it out for my #7booksin7days challenge. I don’t have much to say. It has very similar vibes to WE WERE LIARS with rich white people on an island off Martha’s Vineyard. This one was more historical, which I did find interesting. I didn’t like the characters very much but I don’t know that you’re supposed to anyways? Regardless, am I glad I read this book? I guess so – it was quick and easy and held my interest. At this point in my life, that’s all I can ask for. I was super into the Truman Show vibes of the first book when I first heard […]

ARC Review: Nothing More to Tell

Posted August 22, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Nothing More to Tell

Karen M. McManus is truly the YA mystery queen. She hasn’t let me down yet and NOTHING MORE TO TELL was no exception. With a setup that included a private school, New England town, true crime TV show, and a murdered teacher, I knew I couldn’t go wrong. Brynn returns to her old hometown of Sturgis, MA after spending a few years with her family in Chicago. She’s come back to the St. Ambrose School with a small secret: she’s interning at a hot true crime show and trying to figure out who murdered their teacher, Mr. Larkin, four years ago. She falls back in with Tripp, one of her closest friends before she left who tried to push her away; she knows he’s hiding something. Tripp, along with two popular kids Shane and Charlotte, were the ones who found Mr. Larkin dead in the woods behind the school. As I said, I really enjoyed the setup for this one. There were lots of read-bait elements for me. I had a theory from the beginning as to whodunnit (and only about a quarter of the motive) and my suspicions did get confirmed and fleshed out later on. But honestly, there are a ton of twists in this one. There are so many characters who are semi-involved with things in ways you’d never be able to predict. I finished this book as the first in my “read 7 books in 7 days” challenge I worked on this month and it was […]

ARC Review: Carrie Soto is Back

Posted August 10, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Carrie Soto is Back

Taylor Jenkins Reid really is something else. She’s never written a bad book (IMO) – even the one I didn’t LOVE was still a four-star read… and I’m even thinking of rereading via audio to see if my opinion changes! This book was fascinating. I wasn’t totally excited from reading the premise – a tennis player? Not interested really. I completely forgot that she was a very small side character in another book of TJR’s too. It took me a long time before I realized all of the Mick Riva connections between her newer stories. He sucks but what a fun tie-in between everything. Her historical fiction books have been so lovely lately! Carrie Soto is a badass tennis pro. She’s broken all the records and had a great career until she slowed down and retired after some bad matches and a downward spiral (ability-wise). She and her father are sitting at the tennis match when Nikki Chan, the newest phenom, breaks Carrie’s record (I had to double check this because none of the tennis information stuck in my brain)… and Carrie promptly unretires to win it back. She’s 37 years old and has been retired for 5+ years but feels like she needs to get it back. The story centers around her comeback, with a good section at the beginning going through her early career pre-retirement, as she competes in all of the major Opens. It was fascinating and felt SO true to live when TJR included commentary and […]

Review: Every Summer After

Posted August 8, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Review: Every Summer After

It’s been a very long time since I’ve sat down and read a book from start to finish in a day, but that’s what happened here. I’d seen a ton of hype about this books months and months before release, but it wasn’t at the top of my TBR. I’m not entirely sure why because the plot is right up my alley – I love stories of childhood sweethearts coming back together! Alternating timelines between past and present! Lake house vibes! All the things I love. I finally saw someone with yet another five-star review a few weeks ago and decided to pick it up on a B&N trip. This story is about Percy and Sam. When Percy’s family buys a lake house a few hours outside of Toronto, she becomes fast summertime friends with Sam and his brother Charlie. The story goes back and forth between present day (where she hasn’t spoken to the boys for 12 years and Charlie calls to invite her to their mother’s funeral) and the past (each summer during her preteen and teen years is featured). You learn about how Percy and Sam came together and eventually how they fell apart, while watching their reunion unfold during the unfortunate funeral weekend in Barry’s Bay. I loved the lake vibes in this perfect summer read. On the surface, the plot of this is completely predictable and very similar to a ton of stories I’ve read before. I think that’s why I wasn’t sure why this […]

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 […]

YA Mystery/Thriller ARC Reviews: Very Bad People and The Counselors

Posted July 7, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
YA Mystery/Thriller ARC Reviews: Very Bad People and The Counselors

For some reason, Kit Frick remains on my auto-read list even though her books never fully do it for me. I just feel like she’s a known quantity at this point and her books will be moderately good, which is sometimes all I want from a YA mystery? Add in the fact that this was a dark academia set at a boarding school with a secret society and I was ready to give it a read. Calliope is heading to Tipton Academy, where her mom went, with the hope that she’ll uncover some secrets and understand more about her late mother. Six years prior, her mom drove Calliope and her two sisters into a lake and she was the one who didn’t survive. Why did she do it? Where were they heading that day? Was it murder-suicide or an accident? She’s hoping to get some answers about her mom by transferring to the school. She’s immediately invited to join a secret society and finds out that her mother was also a member. Calliope tries to uncover some of the mysteries of her mom’s past while starting to date a boy, getting involved in the secret society’s pranks, taking down a shitty teacher, and making friends. In hindsight, there was kind of a lot going on, but it didn’t really feel that way while reading. I didn’t love her as a character and the writing style really bothered me. Calliope’s inner thoughts were very formal, like she would say “I am heading […]

Review Round Up | The Paris Apartment and Book Lovers

Posted May 27, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | The Paris Apartment and Book Lovers

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! While not my favorite of Lucy Foley’s three books I’ve read, it’s a bit different from them at least! Both THE HUNTING PARTY and THE GUEST LIST involve remote locations/islands where someone is murdered and everyone is a suspect. THE PARIS APARTMENT has a different setup, which I appreciated. Jess is heading to her brother Ben’s new place in Paris because she needs to escape her previous life… only when she arrives, he’s nowhere to be found. Jess begins creeping on the apartment buildings’ inhabitants and trying to figure out who knows something. I didn’t find this one to be quite as addicting as her other books for the beginning portion at least. I did sit down and read the final third in one sitting, which is always a good thing for me! As with most mysteries, I had a few theories and felt like I knew what happened. I enjoyed that this book was paced out nicely with surprises and twists – there’s one revelation around the 50-60% mark that definitely impacted the rest of the book and made me more intrigued. The final portion of the story was interesting and definitely ended in a way I didn’t expect! I honestly don’t have a ton to […]