Publisher: Simon and Schuster

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 […]

ARC Review: Something Wilder

Posted August 3, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Something Wilder

I’ve come to know almost exactly what to expect from a Christina Lauren novel and write the same little spiel here every time I review their books. They’re usually addicting, romantic, steamy, and enjoyable from start to finish. This book though… was definitely a different experience! SOMETHING WILDER follows Lily and Leo. The two met and fell quickly in love when they were in their late teens and then Leo went back to NYC without ever speaking to each other again. Lily remained bitter and confused about what happened. Almost a decade later, Lily and her friend Nicole are hosting wild west/cowboy-style trips in the desert. She’s been struggling since her dad died, trying to find her way and make ends meet. Leo and his friends Bradley and Walter end up being members of their tour during their annual vacation, with their added (annoying) “friend” Terry. The group set off on their cowboy camping trip while Leo and Lily try to ignore their history. It’s kind of hard to review this one without giving away a big thing that happens around 30% in but I’ll try my best. The story abruptly changes – the synopsis explains that the trip goes “horribly and hilariously wrong” but I would argue its only the former. It’s not your typical Christina Lauren romance – there’s a lot of “heavier” stuff in here but I don’t even know if that’s the right world. It becomes more of a romantic suspense novel in some ways? You […]

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 […]

ARC Review: See You Yesterday

Posted May 18, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: See You Yesterday

Rachel Lynn Solomon DOES NOT MISS. She really doesn’t. Is this what I start all of my reviews for her books with?? Maybe. Whether she’s writing YA or adult, I end up loving it. Add in the fact that this book featured one of my favorite tropes, and I was sold. I love books where people are stuck in a time loop, repeating the same day over and over again. Usually there’s some kind of message or lesson they need to learn and they try to go through each day differently to figure out what it is. The first one I read and loved was BEFORE I FALL and I will pick them up every dang time. In this story, there were quite a few twists to the typical Groundhog Day story that made it a winner. Barrett begins her first day of college with a physics class and ends it with burning down a frat house. When she wakes up the next morning and realizes she’s reliving the same day again, she’s eager to right those wrongs. She soon learns that the boy sitting next to her in physics, Miles, is also stuck in the time loop with her. I’ve never read one like this before! It was a unique take on the story because they were able to work together to figure out how to get out of it. These stories can admittedly get a little repetitive. Sometimes hearing the same dialogue bits or repeating scenes with slight differences […]

Review Round Up | Of Princes & Promises and Reckless Girls

Posted February 25, 2022 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Of Princes & Promises and Reckless Girls

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 series continues to baffle me a little bit. I enjoyed this book a similar amount to the first one. I was really hoping it was the characters from book one that prevented me from loving it but that turned out to not be the case here. If I were to read this without knowing Sandhya Menon wrote it, I’d be shocked to learn that she did. It just does not have the same feel as her other books, like the Dimple/Rishi universe. I think it’s mostly because she writes the characters as posh boarding school kids and her writing style feels weird as a result, like she’s trying hard to be fancy or something? In any case, this story followed Catarina and Rahul. She’s the pretty rich girl who rules the school and Rahul is the socially awkward kid whose family doesn’t even include him in public photos (his cousin stands in). The two of them had a ~moment~ after the school dance and Rahul is dying to capitalize on this. Catarina starts to “train him” to be a prince instead of a frog; she wants to make her cheater-ex-boyfriend jealous at some important events with a transformed Rahul on her arm. They acquire a magical […]

ARC Review: Wish You Were Gone

Posted February 18, 2022 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Wish You Were Gone

I’ve loved Kieran Scott (also known as Kate Brian) for many, many years. Her PRIVATE series has been on my list to reread (or at least finally complete) for YEARS. I hold that series up with GOSSIP GIRL and THE A-LIST as some of my favorite addicting series about rich and/or terrible teenagers. As Kate Brian, she blew me away with the SHADOWLANDS trilogy (some of the first reviews on my blog!). She also wrote a fun mythology-based trilogy a number of years ago that I really enjoyed as Kieran Scott. Since then, she wrote two horror/mysteries (that I haven’t gained the confidence to read yet) and a fun political-ish YA thriller. I love that she’s taken a turn writing adult mystery/thrillers because honestly it seemed right up her alley. WISH YOU WERE GONE is her adult fiction debut. It follows a family rattled by the sudden death of the patriarch. Emma and her son, Hunter, hear a crash one night and discover that her husband, James, has crashed through the garage and died. They both know he was probably drunk at the time. Her daughter, Kelsey, rushes home to see what’s happened. Turns out, James wasn’t the best guy and has more secrets than he can count. The story alternates between multiple characters, including Emma and her kids, to really understand who James was. There’s an interesting power struggle between Lizzie and Gray, Emma’s two best friends who don’t really get along, and Gray’s husband (James’ business partner). This […]

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: To Sir, with Love and Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake

Posted June 17, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: To Sir, with Love and Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake

I shouldn’t say things like “this was a pleasant surprise!” when I read a Lauren Layne book at this point, but that was my immediate reaction. I adored the Central Park Pact series and have a feeling I’ll go on to enjoy many of her other romances. I don’t think I was expecting to love this one quite as much as I did though. The premise is essentially You’ve Got Mail, so you can’t go wrong! Gracie is a romantic, obsessed with fairy tales and finding her soulmate. She’s got a pen pal she’s falling for on a dating app who she’s never met, but she can tell they’re perfect for each other. She took over the family business, a sparkling wine store in NYC, after her father passed away. Her siblings bowed out a long time ago and she never wanted to disappoint her father, even after his death. Her brother moved to New Hampshire and her sister still lives in NYC with her high school sweetheart husband; they’re not as close as they used to be. Enter: Sebastian. His company owns the shop Gracie leases and they want to buy her out of their lease. As you can imagine, Gracie does NOT want to give up the family business and the two fight constantly whenever they see each other. Enemies-to-lovers, baby. It’s very obvious to the reader who Sir (the pen pal) is – she already knows him IRL. It was wild to watch them fall in love in person […]

ARC Reviews: The Soulmate Equation and Satisfaction Guaranteed

Posted June 7, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Soulmate Equation and Satisfaction Guaranteed

I won’t bore you to death with my usual story about Christina Lauren books, but just know that I’ve really enjoyed all of the ones I’ve read (and yes they all fall into the “recently published rom-com” category instead of their previous series). I tend to not love books involving kids as much so I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this one, but I ended up really enjoying that aspect. Jess is a single mother and freelance statistician with excellent grandparents who help her out whenever needed. When she and her friend Fizzy are recruited to join an up-and-coming dating app based on DNA matches, she is shocked to find that she is a top-level match with the owner and founder of the company, River. She also hasn’t had the best experiences with him so far, so she’s really unsure of how this would ever work. They offer to pay her a lot of money to just spend time with River and see how things go. You can guess what happens from here, I’m sure! I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Many are comparing it to Christina Lauren’s older books, which I haven’t read, but I think this is on par with all of their books that I’ve read. I tend to just love the characters’ chemistry and their easy, addicting writing style. I was able to mostly read this via audiobook while doing stuff around the house and it really kept my attention. That’s genuinely hard to do with […]

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 […]