Publisher: Penguin

ARC Review: Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index

Posted June 5, 2017 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
ARC Review: Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index

Initial Excitement & Summary It was pretty obvious how excited I was for this book when I first heard of it. (I talked about it multiple times on here.) I can’t believe I waited until release week to read the ARC I was so pumped to receive. ? I always do this to myself because I get nervous that it won’t live up to my expectations, since they’re so high. I love books involving lists, letters, and other ~quests~ so this was right up my alley. When Juniper finds a letter addressed to YOU shortly after her sister, Cammie, passes away, she is determined to figure out who YOU is. In the meantime, she loses one of her own index cards with a secret on it that she doesn’t want people to find. Along the way, she develops relationships/friendships with others who are in need of a little something. Storytelling, Setting, and Feels Like I said, I had a great feeling I’d love this book from the moment I saw the synopsis (and, to be honest, the cover!). It’s pretty amazing when a book you hyped up like CRAZY for yourself ends up completely hitting the nail on the head. I’d say JUNIPER LEMON ended up even exceeding those expectations. I’ll talk more in the next section, but I loved all of the characters and the friend group Juniper pulled together. Juniper wasn’t alone on her quest to figure out who YOU was because these people helped her constantly. I don’t read many […]

Series Review: Black Dog Bay

Posted April 13, 2017 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments
Series Review: Black Dog Bay

I really enjoyed the first and only Beth Kendrick novel that I previously read – Second Time Around. I’m always interested in charming bed and breakfasts, seaside towns, friends reuniting, etc. That book and this series hit on most of those elements. I was randomly looking for a new audiobook before going skiing and came across this whole series on Hoopla. I decided it’d be the perfect light audio series to binge. The books in the series are companions to each other and set in the same coastal Delaware town of “Black Dog Bay.” It’s known as a destination for people dealing with heartbreak; there are places called the Whinery, Better Off Bed-and-Breakfast, and Eat Your Heart Out Bakery.   Quick summary: After dealing with a personal plane-related tragedy and a little bit of heartbreak, Summer heads to Black Dog Bay. It’s a town known for being perfect for people who just got out of relationships. She enters into arrangements with the hot mayor of the town as well as the crotchety old lady who essentially owns half of the town. Heroine: Summer was immediately an intriguing character. She had this past she kept alluding to that made her unwilling to find love again, so I was concerned this would annoy me later on. I liked that she was spunky and did whatever she wanted. Once she set her mind to something, she refused to give up. Romance: So, along those same lines, this definitely included her attraction to the off-limits town mayor, […]

Review Roundup | Take the Key and Lock Her Up, One Paris Summer, and Hope Was Here

Posted February 2, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 7 Comments
Review Roundup | Take the Key and Lock Her Up, One Paris Summer, and Hope Was Here

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-3 backlist books I’ve read or listened to recently. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I’m a big Ally Carter fan… You can tell from all the books listed above that I’ve read by her. While the Gallagher Girls series is one of my favorites, Embassy Row didn’t really disappoint until this final book. Many people were annoyed with Grace before but I kind of liked her closed-off ferocity. She had been through SO much; I really understood why she was so hardened to the world and how she didn’t trust easily. That was a non-issue for me in the first two books, but really took a turn in TAKE THE KEY AND LOCK HER UP. I will admit that SO much of this had to do with the audiobook narrator. She over-acted and over-exaggerated her reactions to everything, so Grace was even more whiny, irritating, and hardheaded. The story itself was lacking in some areas, but my issues with Grace really distracted me from anything else going on. She jumped headfirst into really stupid things… and then didn’t understand why certain people would be mad at her for them.  Seriously, such a moron! Her selfishness in this book astounded me. I don’t know why it surprised me so much, but it did. I thought the first half of the book dragged on a little bit because they were essentially on the […]

Holiday Mini Reviews: Winter Storms and What Light

Posted December 24, 2016 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Holiday Mini Reviews: Winter Storms and What Light

Story Winter Street swept me away pretty quickly for some reason. I was instantly intrigued by the Quinn family and wanted to get to know all of them. Once I finished with the bit of a cliffhanger, I moved on fairly quickly to Winter Stroll. The characters, over the course of the year between stories, regressed so much. They went back on decisions they already made and then made stupid ones. I didn’t like it nearly as much, but you know I was ready for the final book in the WINTER trilogy to arrive at the library. It unexpectedly did last week, so I was quick to hop right into it to finish it off. This book was definitely worse than the first one but better than the second one. I was incredibly annoyed by Ava mostly, with her love triangle that turned into a square. (Yep.)  I thought she became much snootier and more guarded than necessary. I think her character “developed” in the wrong direction. The other characters were their usual selves and I didn’t mind them as much. I love where the story went for Kevin and Isabelle, Margaret and Drake, and somewhat for Patrick and Jennifer. The ending was very abrupt and I kind of hated it. I think things were left too open-ended for my liking.  So, there was some good closure with a few characters but not all of them. Wintery Setting and Holiday Feels This story was interesting because it started in the spring […]

Book Buddies: Daughter of Deep Silence

Posted October 19, 2016 / Book Buddies Reviews, Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Book Buddies: Daughter of Deep Silence

Book Buddies is a discussion-style “review” that takes place with Cristina from Girl in the Pages. (You can check out past posts here.) We both read the book, have a discussion, and post our conversation (plus other fun things sometimes!) here. Book Buddies is a seasonal feature that now happens four times per year. Be sure to check out the other half of our feature and discussion on Cristina’s blog (link below)! Check out Cristina’s post here! We’ve decided to bring some new elements into our Book Buddies posts, so it will be less Q&A discussion between the two of us, and more personal applications to the book. I’ll also be including (at least for this particular book) my Cover Colors feature for both book covers – the redesigned paperback, which I read from, and the original hardcover. I will be sharing my quick thoughts on the book in this post for those of you who are looking for a review or recommendation as well, don’t worry! 😉 Cover Colors            Daughter of Deep Silence by bookmarklit featuring Maybelline I’ll let Cristina analyze the covers and why they may have been changed, but I have to say – they both really intrigue me, plot aside. I don’t get why the cover was changed and how the paperback edition really makes sense with the story itself. The hardcover does a perfect job of capturing what happens in the book, in my opinion. As for my Cover Colors and collage above… I loved playing […]

Rebel Belle Trilogy

Posted August 3, 2016 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
Rebel Belle Trilogy

When REBEL BELLE was selected for the Make Me Read It Readathon, I was a little nervous. I planned to binge Hawkins’ HEX HALL series previously and was stuck after book one. I just never had the burning desire to pick up the second book. However, something about this particular series kept me reading. I started the first book via audio and then finished it up with my physical copy. I immediately went on to the audiobooks for the next two stories. There won’t be spoilers from the current book in the current review, but there will be spoilers for the PREVIOUS book(s) – so don’t read beyond book one below if you haven’t read the series!! The biggest thing I can say about this book and its plot is that it’s super unique. It doesn’t feel similar to other paranormal romances I’ve read before. First of all, I’d never even heard of a Paladin before. Second, the southern setting really enhanced the story quite a bit. It took me a VERY long time to get used to the setting though, to be honest, because it seriously felt like historical fiction. Anytime she referenced Marvel or something else that happens in “present day,” I was thrown a little. Like, oh wait, this isn’t taking place in the early 1900s or something. It just felt old-school because of the southern vibes, cotillion, and all of her manners/lady-like behaviors. Not something I’m used to reading outside of historical fiction! Expanding a little […]

Review: Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here

Posted July 18, 2016 / Book Reviews / 11 Comments
Review: Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here

The premise of the book is that Scarlett’s favorite show, that she writes popular fanfic about, was cancelled. She’s trying to move on from the loss, get ~things~ going with the childhood friend she’s always had a crush on, manage her relationships with her parents, and keep up both IRL and online friendships. The book has snippets of IM conversations as well as pieces of fanfiction sprinkled throughout, so that was fun! Reasons to Read Sassy main character Scarlett is a really fun main character. Her sarcasm and sassiness levels are out of control. This was often funny and quick, but sometimes it was definitely a defense mechanism. I was hoping for some development in that area but didn’t want her personality to change. I love sarcastic and clever main characters. It was hard to be in her head at times because it seemed like her thoughts were going a mile per minute, but I did enjoy it overall. Fanfic and fandom, plus online friendships The book centers a bit around Scarlett’s new fanfic. They decide to spin-off from the TV show and create their own (something I didn’t understand based on the IM conversations, but whatever…). Scarlett bases hers primarily around the guy she likes (Gideon), the girl he’s seeing (Ashley), and other people at their school. You can imagine how this turns out for her. Minus all of the expected drama, I thought the fanfic elements (and really everything related to being in a fandom) were so fun. It’s so relatable […]

Mini Reviews: The Forbidden Wish and Just a Girl

Posted June 24, 2016 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
Mini Reviews: The Forbidden Wish and Just a Girl

After I saw the early reviews for this book, I bumped it up even higher on my TBR. I requested from the library and decided to read it as soon as possible, even with a million other more priority books waiting to be read. Unfortunately I kind of wish I didn’t bother reading it right away, because it didn’t grab me like I expected it to. The story was really great and the writing was lovely, but I was left slightly disappointed. It took me FOREVER to read this book. I never really wanted to pick it up and read it, and my attention would wander while I was reading. Khara was a really interesting main character because of her strength, backstory, and magic. I just loved reading about her. Aladdin was also a fantastic love interest and I kind of loved him. I definitely shipped them. However, there just was a little spark missing. The other side characters (the princess and her watchmaidens) were amazing too! The biggest issue, for me, is the general lack of plot. I could summarize the book in a few bullet points and call it a day. The ending had a lot more action, so that was a great change of pace. Overall, this book didn’t really meet my expectations, but I really did enjoy it. The gorgeous writing, lovable characters, and ending definitely sealed the deal for me. Here’s a nice age-level switch for you – a New Adult book I finished but […]

Book and Movie Review: Me Before You

Book and Movie Review: Me Before You

On the book So, I’m surprised to say I had kind of mixed feelings upon finishing this book. I fully expected to bawl my eyes out. Honestly on any other day I might have, but I had an extremely emotional day for some other reasons and maybe by brain was too tired to cry more. In any case, big surprise. My Goodreads review sums up everything perfectly to get things started: It’s been an extremely emotional day for me in general and tears have come easily for other reasons… So I have to say I’m utterly baffled by the fact that this book didn’t make me cry. At all. I loved the slow burn, banter-filled story because that is my JAM. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the characters, but am kind of underwhelmed by the ending? I think that, as usual, because it’s an all-time favorite of some people, I just held it to too high of a standard. I am suuuuuper ready for the movie this weekend! Soooo kinda mixed feelings although not really because I liked it a lot?? I’m going to break it down in a few different ways so fully explain my feelings. I liked the vast majority of things about this book, but there are some that left a bit to be desired for me. Characters and romance I LOVED both Will and Lou. Their story was amazingly slow-burn and full of banter. The whole hate (at least on one side) to love trope is […]

ARC Review: Wink Poppy Midnight

Posted March 11, 2016 / Book Reviews / 18 Comments
ARC Review: Wink Poppy Midnight

I’m the kind of person who usually writes reviews immediately after finishing the book. I just really don’t even know what to say about this one and decided not to write the review right away, just in case it would come to me or something. This was a mistake because I’m struggling to even remember anything besides: this book was really fucking weird. While my rating report below leans strongly towards 2.5, I just can’t bring myself to do it. It’s been a couple of days since I finished the book and (a) I barely remember what happened and (b) I don’t like anything that I do remember. Within the first handful of pages, I could see the comparison to We Were Liars. As we all know by now, that book didn’t work for me in any way. I should have DNFed this one once I saw the comparison but something compelled me to keep going. For a while, I was glad I did! Things got really creepy and interesting for a handful of pages. But, then the end disappointed me. As I said in my Goodreads review (at the bottom here), the entire first half or so of the book felt incredibly pointless. We learn a bit about the characters and their weird relationships, but that’s about it. There were short, easy “chapters” to highlight each character, so that helped with being able to read it quickly, but that was the only thing that kept me going for a while. Things […]