Publisher: Penguin Random House

Review Round Up | Good as Dead and We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This

Posted September 6, 2021 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Good as Dead and We Can’t Keep Meeting Like This

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! If I could leave this review as a link to THIS review, I would haha. Basically she said she hated the book from 45% on, but understood the choices that were made, and still rated it around 3 stars. I mean… same. This series has been by go-to during the pandemic. When I’m desperate to kick my reading into gear again, one of these books has helped me do that. I loved the first book so much and didn’t want to wait for the second, so I ordered it (and the third) from Book Depository as the UK versions instead of US. I was eager to read this ASAP when it came in (around a month before the US book publishes) and was somewhat addicted like the other two, but I genuinely had to put it aside for a few days because of the turn the book took in the middle. I had figured out a THING and then it took a major turn and then, as you can see, I took a couple of days off or could only read a little at a time. It’s really hard to review this without completely giving everything away, even if you’ve read the first two books in the […]

ARC Reviews: Wait for It and The Dating Playbook

Posted August 16, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: Wait for It and The Dating Playbook

The cover of this book completely sucked me in right off the bat. Super obsessed, but who’s surprised? I decided to, very randomly, read this book ASAP when I was approved on Netgalley. I read it in just a few sittings because honestly it was pretty addicting and enjoyable! The setup here is that Annabelle’s friends invite her out to Arizona to work at their up-and-coming graphic design studio. They’ve hooked her up with a rental on the property of a mysterious retired man named Nick. She doesn’t lay eyes on him for a long time and incorrectly assumes (because he’s retired and he writes her curmudgeonly letters) he’s an old guy. Wrong – he’s her age and super hot. I enjoyed that there were a lot of things happening in this book – each character had a ton going on in their life and all of the side characters did too. Lots of history and current drama with work or family/friends. At times it felt like a bit much, but for the most part it made everyone feel very fleshed out. I always appreciate that. I also liked that the POVs went back and forth between Anna and Nick – it was important to actually get in his head to understand why he was acting a certain way. On the surface he just seemed super terrible. The writing style was a little repetitive and sometimes annoying (there were a number of things that rubbed me the wrong way). As […]

ARC Reviews: The Woods Are Always Watching and They’ll Never Catch Us

Posted August 2, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Woods Are Always Watching and They’ll Never Catch Us

I enjoyed Perkins’ first foray into contemporary horror with THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE. It felt a little closer to a mystery/thriller for me, which is probably why it worked. The whole “teen thrasher movie” vibe was fun and I was eager to read her next. After reading this, I am definitely ready for her to get back into contemporary romance. The story centers around Meena and Josie, two best friends who decide to take a 20 mile backpacking trip in the woods before one of them leaves for college in California. The first half of the book is just them bickering and having issues as they hike, try to set up camp, and sleep in the woods. The story picks up a lot and was pretty addicting in the second half.  Josie falls and injures herself, which forces the two of them to separate while Meena runs to get help. They’re a full day into their journey at this point so she has quite a ways to go. When they encounter some less-than-helpful fellow “hikers” in the forest, things get worse for them. This was definitely more horror than thriller, with some pretty terrible gore happening. I should have seen it coming obviously but it just felt yuckier than her previous horror novel.  I didn’t really enjoy that this was mostly two girls walking through the woods and fighting for the first half – it was a little boring and I missed having a full cast of characters like I […]

Review Round Up | Finlay Donovan is Killing It, The Girls Are All So Nice Here, and The Ex-Talk

Posted May 21, 2021 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Finlay Donovan is Killing It, The Girls Are All So Nice Here, and The Ex-Talk

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 was so fun and refreshing – exactly what I needed! I’ve been intrigued by the cozy mystery genre, or at least “lighter” mysteries that focus heavily on the amateur sleuth and her personal life, but none have fully hit the mark. They’ve either been not-good in a compulsively readable way, or just straight-up not great in general. This one hit the mark for me in so many ways. Finlay is a struggling romantic suspense author and she finds herself caught up in a murder mystery, along with her babysitter-turned-roommate, Vero. They have a fun relationship – I loved how quickly Vero worked with Finlay to figure out what was happening, even getting involved with some extremely elicit activities. Like many mysteries like this, the crime/murder is a main point of the book, but you learn even more about the main character and their personal life as they try to figure out what’s going on. Finlay is dealing with her shitty ex-husband and his new perfect fiance while trying to be a single working mom of two cute kids. I enjoyed seeing how she attempted to balance it all and how Vero stepped in to help her… in more ways than one. I won’t spoil too much […]

ARC Review: Malibu Rising

Posted May 10, 2021 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: Malibu Rising

Since TJR has switched up her stories away from portraits of contemporary love or marriage, and into more character studies via historical fiction, I was wondering if they would hit me the same. I adored her first foray into it with EVELYN HUGO. I loved reading about her life and figuring out how the heck she’d manage to get married seven times. I was super excited for DAISY JONES because I’m a big fan of classic rock. However, I found it to be so-so and a bit cliche. Just a classic, somewhat typical portrait of a rock band. I needed this to be more EVELYN HUGO than DAISY JONES. This story is a picture of a family across generations set around Malibu and Hollywood in the early 1980s. Mick Riva, the soon-to-be-famous rockstar, met his wife June, who worked at her family’s restaurant, and they fell in love. They got married, had some kids, broke up, got back together, had another kid, and broke up again. The story switches between past (the parents’ relationship) and present (the day of the big Riva family end-of-summer party) for most of the book. It was neat to have a full picture of the Riva family intertwined with the “present day” of summer 1983. Nina, the eldest daughter, has become a famous surfing model. Her ~twin~ brothers Jay and Hudson make their living off Jay’s surfing and Hudson’s photography of said surfing. The youngest, Kit, is kind of finding her way in the world. From […]

ARC Reviews: People We Meet on Vacation and 10 Truths and a Dare

Posted May 5, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: People We Meet on Vacation and 10 Truths and a Dare

I read and loved BEACH READ, like many others, but I know that was somewhat polarizing. Lots of readers didn’t think it was really a rom-com, since it centered around some heavier family or career-related elements, and the cover doesn’t totally match the vibe. However, I adored it for what it was and that whole thing didn’t affect my enjoyment whatsoever. I had really high hopes and expectations for PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION as a result. Oh MAN, did this book deliver. Complete banter-y perfection. I saw a few people call Emily Henry’s writing “witty” and that’s such a great way to describe it. The characters in this book especially were so hilarious. I adored getting to know Poppy, Alex, and all of their inside jokes. The story follows the two of them after a two-year friendship hiatus. It goes back and forth between ten summer trips they’ve taken across ten years, and the present day vacation in Palm Springs. It recounts their many years of friendship, where their annual summer trips are the key grounding point in their relationship. There are always tiny hints of what-if-we-were-more, but the two of them also have a few relationships with other people to navigate as well. You also spend most of the book what happened during the dreaded Croatia trip that made them stop speaking for two years. Poppy is so unique and her family life fascinated me. Her parents and brothers sounded wonderful and quirky. She had a fun sense […]

Review Round Up | Influence, This is Not the Jess Show, and Girls With Rebel Souls

Posted April 7, 2021 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Influence, This is Not the Jess Show, and Girls With Rebel Souls

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! All Sara Shepard books are the same… and I mean that as a compliment. I know what I’m getting into and her books always hit the spot. They’re so easy to read, are super addicting, and always have a surprising ending. That’s all I ask for with my mystery/thrillers, to be honest, and reading her books feels like coming home for me. I remember the good ol’ PLL days and some of her older series. So good, so classic. This one involves influencers – a topic I personally haven’t encountered much in YA books yet. Just a little bit here and there. It goes between Delilah, Jasmine, and Fiona, with flickers of Scarlet’s live streams and vlog transcripts in between as well. Delilah just moved to LA and is a budding influencer after saving a puppy from a burning shed. Jasmine and Fiona are well-established influencers hiding major secrets, both trying to break out of their shells. I liked each of the points of view here but Delilah’s felt a bit young compared to the other two. Of course, because it’s Sara Shepard, there’s a mystery involved. The book starts with a prologue where one of the girls (we assume one of the MCs) ends up dying […]

Review Round Up | Behind the Red Door, The Wife Upstairs, and The Cousins

Posted February 10, 2021 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Round Up | Behind the Red Door, The Wife Upstairs, and The Cousins

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 met Megan Collins at a book signing/talk when she released THE WINTER SISTER. I didn’t love that book but did enjoy her writing style. Collins is a local Connecticut author who teaches creative writing at the college Chris went to for a bit. I’ll always read and support her books for these reasons! However, this one was definitely a bit disappointing for me. Fern is headed to help her terrible father pack up his house so he can move to Florida. As a character, I enjoyed reading about her – she has major anxiety, has an amazing and thoughtful husband, and works as a social worker. When she and her husband see that Astrid Sullivan, a girl who went missing and returned somewhat unharmed as a child, has gone missing again, Fern feels like she knows her somehow. But how? She starts to find out bits of information from her past, as well as a shared history or common locations with Astrid, when she’s at home with her dad in New Hampshire. There are a ton of suspicious people and red herrings all around New Hampshire and Maine that Collins brings in to divert the reader. There are a lot of times where I SAY that […]

Review Round Up | The Night Swim, Admission, and Recommended for You

Posted November 13, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | The Night Swim, Admission, and Recommended for You

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 forgot to cancel BOTM and ended up with a rogue credit to use. The very small synopsis on the website seemed addicting and up my alley (I mean, any book about a true crime podcaster will win me over). However, after I selected it and headed to Goodreads, the heavier subject matter (that I usually avoid- sexual assault and rape) became apparent. It’s out of my wheelhouse and comfort zone, generally speaking, but I decided to go with it anyways. I’m really glad I did! Yes, it was hard to read at times, especially because both stories or “timelines” in this feature sexual assault. It was a super addicting book that I never wanted to put down, which is huge for me in 2020. Actually, all three of the books here did that for me! The main character, Rachel, is visiting a small beach town in North Carolina to follow a rape trial for the third season of her podcast. While there, a former local tracks her down and leaves mysterious messages for Rachel, begging her to solve the mystery of her own sister’s rape and murder 25 years prior. The two stories were similar and because intertwined in ways I didn’t see coming. Overall, really […]

Review Round Up | Love Your Life, Forever With You, and Well Played

Posted November 4, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Love Your Life, Forever With You, and Well Played

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 had both good and bad luck with Kinsella books in recent years – she can be super hit or miss. Sometimes the characters are just quirky enough, sometimes they’re over-the-top and annoying with it. This book was an interesting reading experience because it REALLY toed the line. I was tempted to DNF because good lord was Ava annoying… but I’m glad I kept going! My biggest issue with the story is that Ava and Matt were basically in love right away on their retreat, without knowing anything about their “real lives” outside. Kinsella didn’t do a good job of building up my investment in the relationship while they were in Italy so that I would CARE about them when they were home. If I didn’t see all the good things up front that made them want to keep trying, why should I care if they’re together? Their relationship was truly frustrating at times and her blindness to it all was even worse. Ava was frustrating and Matt was just okay for me. It seriously took a while but I was thoroughly enjoying myself around the 70% mark lol whoops. They had so much stuff to work through – I truly didn’t think this book would have […]