Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Review Round Up | The Guest List, A Castle in the Clouds, and Incomparable

Posted May 28, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 1 Comment
Review Round Up | The Guest List, A Castle in the Clouds, and Incomparable

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 was trying to get back into reading so I decided to follow my mood. I joined Book of the Month specifically so I could get an early copy of THE GUEST LIST and read it ASAP. In the end, totally glad I did! It didn’t fully grab me right from the beginning like I was hoping, but I sat and read the majority of the book in one sitting on a beautiful Saturday afternoon on my porch. The story follows a wedding on a remote island off the coast of Ireland. There are a few points of view: Jules (the bride), Olivia (the sister of the bride/maid of honor), Johnno (the best man and childhood friend of the groom), Hannah (the plus one – her husband Charlie is Jules’s best friend), and Aiofe (the wedding planner who owns the island venue with her husband). The final 40% of the book was a whirlwind of twists and secrets. I love when mystery/thrillers have shorter chapters at the end that rapidly go back and forth between points of view as things come together. I’ve had this issue lately where I figure out at least part of the “mystery” or whodunnit, so the endings of suspense stories have been […]

ARC Reviews: The Honey-Don’t List and The Happy Ever After Playlist

Posted April 16, 2020 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
ARC Reviews: The Honey-Don’t List and The Happy Ever After Playlist

I’ve said it many times before that I came aboard the Christina Lauren train pretty late – I started reading their books with THE UNHONEYMOONERS, which seems to be their first full departure from the straight-up romance novels they were writing earlier. They’ve shifted toward rom-coms with evidently less sexytimes. I’ve seen a lot of people move away from their books as a result, preferring their earlier works, but I enjoyed their latest releases (the first and only books I’ve read by this pairing). THE HONEY-DON’T LIST centers around characters dealing with a “if-Chip-and-Joanna-Gaines-had-major-issues” kind of situation. The married couple in question, Russell and Melissa, became famous through their design skills and have been only increasing in popularity over the years. When Russell starts misbehaving and creating a potential PR nightmare, their two assistants have to wrangle everything and keep them on track during their book tour… a book about marital advice, nonetheless. Carey and Jim have different reasons for working with these two and dealing with the trainwreck, and also have very different feelings about how to do everything (at first). This was cute and enjoyable – another “just what I needed” read for me. I’ll say that I definitely thought this was going to be a bit more enemies/rivals-to-more but that element was practically nonexistent. There was a tiny bit of friction for like three chapters but I found that Carey and James quickly became friendly and more. The two of them were pretty meh overall too… They […]

Review Round Up | Undercover Bromance, The June Boys, and Marriage on Madison Avenue

Posted March 23, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Undercover Bromance, The June Boys, and Marriage on Madison Avenue

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! DNF: 33% While I enjoyed the first book in this series, I certainly didn’t love it like everyone else. I didn’t really like Liv, the previous MC’s sister, at all either. She was incredibly stubborn and overprotective to me. Needless to say, I wasn’t thrilled when she was the lead character for book two. She proved to be just as irritating in this one – maybe even more so since we were in her head. I enjoyed Mack as a character and thought he was way sweeter than his “smooth guy” persona implied from the previous story. I loved how quick he was to use his resources to help Liv take down the shitty restaurant owner she previously worked for. I didn’t read the synopsis of this one fully and was really just excited to see how book two would go, so I wasn’t fully aware that this had the heavier topic of sexual assault/harassment at the forefront. I didn’t realize it was central to the plot for whatever reason. I just couldn’t read it. Also, the first book had cute inserts from the romance that the book club was reading, and showed how it related to the story itself. This book didn’t have that in the […]

ARC Reviews: Girls with Razor Hearts and In Five Years

Posted March 9, 2020 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments
ARC Reviews: Girls with Razor Hearts and In Five Years

Yup, this was just about as wild and powerful as expected, and the perfect way to kickoff my reading year. I chose it as my first book of 2020 because I love starting things off on a perfect note, or at least with a book I can safely assume will be in the 4.5-5 star range! Mena and the other girls have escaped Innovations, on the road to enacting their revenge against the evil corporation and academy that trained them to be obedient little girls like society wants. This is an incredibly feminist story, obviously, and offers dystopian-like connections to our own world. Young is masterful with this – she makes you realize immediately where she’s drawing inspiration from our world, but manages to make this near-future feel like a possibility. I think there are some elements of this that are possibly a little too on the nose and preachy but it really makes sense coming from Mena’s point of view (somewhat spoilery reasons if you haven’t read the first book – but I will say it’s primarily because Mena and the other girls haven’t been outside in the real world to know what it’s like. You’re seeing it through their inexperienced eyes.). I loved (and obviously hated because this book is not necessarily a walk in the park) the moments where they would think they could trust someone or think that a man would be helpful and then realize he may be almost as bad as the rest of […]

Review Round Up | The King of Crows, Starting Over at Blueberry Creek, and All Eyes on Us

Posted February 27, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | The King of Crows, Starting Over at Blueberry Creek, and All Eyes on Us

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! Spoilers for the previous books and tiny early-book spoilers for this book. HO BOY. I can’t believe this series is over! As sad as I am that I didn’t start way back when it first came out, I’m glad I had the experience of the Diviners Readalong to keep me going and break up these huge books. I did a little refresher before diving into the final installment though, since I read the third book back in November. I really liked how the beginning/middle of the book went, with all of the Diviners split up and trying to get to the same place. The groupings were wild and entertaining: Henry, Memphis, and Bill near the flooded Mississippi River and on trains; Theta, Evie, *someone*, and Isiah with the circus; and Ling and Jericho traveling with a band. It created some fun dynamics and new friendships/alliances among everyone while journeying across the country. The King of Crows, the Shadow Men, Roy, and Jake Marlowe fucked with them every step of the way. I don’t want to get into spoiler territory but let me say there were a few parts of this that totally broke my heart! I am truthfully really happy with how the book ended though and […]

ARC Review: Of Curses and Kisses

Posted February 6, 2020 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Of Curses and Kisses

I am a member of Sandhya’s Street Team because I support her and love her books. However, this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. When I first saw the announcement for this book and series, I was straight-up over the moon. It immediately became one of my top most anticipated reads. When I was accepted to join Sandhya’s street team and was given an egalley of this book, I was even MORE excited. I dove into it pretty quickly. Unfortunately I didn’t FINISH it just as quickly, but I’ll get into that later. As you can see from this post, I was so effing excited: Like… excuse my French but are you fucking kidding me? I need this series more than I need the air I breathe. Everything about this is perfect and has me written all over it. The author, the boarding school setting, the fairytale retellings, the possible fake dating/hate-to-love trope… Good lord. I’ve been turning a corner on Royal-related books lately and this one will 100% be perfect for me. I just know it. I was in a bit of a slump in September 2019 when I started reading this (woof) and unfortunately that hindered my interest in it. I put it aside for maybe a week or two after starting because I had a few other required reads to sneak in between. When I picked it back up in October, I wasn’t quite as excited to keep reading. The premise […]

Holiday Reviews: The White Christmas Inn and Royal Holiday

Posted December 25, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: The White Christmas Inn and Royal Holiday

Story I really enjoyed this one, even more than I had hoped! The story is kind of a “slice of life” that takes place at a Vermont inn during the few days around Christmas. There were a lot of characters but I think there wasn’t TOO much detail about each of them, which ended up being a good thing. I was able to really just enjoy peeking in through the windows of this inn during the story. There was just enough backstory to feel invested in each of them. Molly, a writer of children’s books, comes to the inn in the hopes she’ll be able to finish her next book. She meets Marcus and his two girls and quickly falls for the small family. Hannah, who was set to get married at the inn over the holiday period, is sent reeling when her fiance calls it off. She luckily has her parents and maid of honor with her, as well as a reunion with her childhood friend Luke, to get her thought the heartbreak. Jeanne and Tim are the owners of the inn and struggling, both in their marriage and with the business itself. I loved reading about everyone’s different stories and the smaller side characters who come into play, like the grumpy British traveler and empty-nesters staying there too. Again, writing all of this further emphasizes how many characters and plotlines there are in such a short book, but it was really a nice quick snapshot of everyone’s lives […]

ARC Reviews: Deadly Little Scandals and Twice in a Blue Moon

Posted October 28, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: Deadly Little Scandals and Twice in a Blue Moon

I have loved every Jennifer Lynn Barnes book I’ve read, even including the ones that were not necessarily up my alley synopsis-wise. I still have to read THE NATURALS series and I can’t wait to be blown away by those too! In any case, I was sure to read this one relatively quickly to continue the story I loved so much. I didn’t remember that much from the first book but Barnes did a good job of recapping without overdoing it or feeling like an actual recap. I think the biggest issue with these books, which became even more of a problem in this one compared to the first, is that there are SO many characters. I could never keep anyone straight! The book, like the first one, also has chapters in the present and small flash-forward chapters that you’re working up to timeline-wise. This book additionally had some chapters set 25 years in the past, with the parents of all of the main characters. I was constantly trying to remember who was who. On top of the amount of characters, there are so many secrets around everyone’s parentage and family lineage too. Just when you think you’ve figured out who gave birth to someone or is related to someone else, everything changes again. I can’t say much more without being spoilery so I’ll just try to leave it at that. Overall though, this made it challenging to follow the story. There were a lot of big reveals though. I […]

ARC Reviews: She’s the Worst and Love on Lexington Avenue

Posted October 4, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: She’s the Worst and Love on Lexington Avenue

I have to say, I was super excited about this one but a bit nervous too. I didn’t like Spieller’s debut that much and was nervous that I’d be disappointed here. Honestly, it was so cute and fun! I read it in one sitting on a Saturday morning when I was desperate to read a little more on the final day of the month; it was the perfect book to just read at once. April and Jenn were definitely “opposites” in most ways, with Jenn being the perfect sister that always helped their parents and got good grades. April was a bit younger and reckless, playing soccer instead of working at the family’s store. It was hard to read about how easily they grew apart, and the fact that it was honestly mostly their parents’ fault. I don’t want to dive too much into them because I HATED THEM SO MUCH but they were incredibly unreasonable. I have to say, they were some of my least favorite parents I’ve read about. April decides to give Jenn a tour of their memories around LA, where they live, and I won’t disclose Jenn’s secret, but it was a good idea for their sister day. They had a lot of issues to resolve within their relationship, as well as how they were impacted by their parents’ choice to open – and fight about – an antique store for years. There were other things touched upon, like Jenn’s feelings about college, her boyfriend, and […]

Review Round Up | A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Well Met, and We Came Here to Forget

Posted August 26, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Well Met, and We Came Here to Forget

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! ARC August Edition As always with fantasy books, I kind of waited forever to read my review copy of this book. I was hoping to mix in the audiobook but I couldn’t track it down in my usual places, so I just broke up my reading and charged through. I also made sure it was both my August book club selection AND a pick for my Disney-a-thon TBR, so I would be guaranteed to have read it. I’m not 100% sure if this book is classified as a true portal fantasy, but I loved that it featured both “our world” and another fantasy world – Emberfall. It was fun to learn about that world and those who inhabit it (Rhen, Grey, etc.). The curse and Beauty and the Beast elements were really well done and more unique than the traditional Stockholm Syndrome-esque story or other retellings. I appreciated that a lot. Harper was kind of a badass main character and it was cool to read about a fantasy heroine with cerebral palsy. Like the author’s note said, she wasn’t defined by it throughout the story but there were clear mentions about how it affected her daily life. I do wish I read this all in […]