Publisher: Simon and Schuster

First Read of the Year: Bright Young Women

Posted January 12, 2024 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
First Read of the Year: Bright Young Women

This was a really surprising first book of the year for me. I thought about making it my last book of 2023 but it was too clean and nice to end the year at 115 books instead of 116 😉 I just took a little reading break for a few days as we ushered in the new year and I got over being sick. BRIGHT YOUNG WOMEN follows two women on opposite coasts affected by the same serial killer. Pamela’s sorority house is broken into – two girls are murdered and two are gravely injured, and she is dealing with the fallout as sorority president and friend to these girls. She soon encounters Tina, a woman who believes she knows who the killer is… Her friend Ruth (the other POV we get in the book) was one of his victims before he made his way from Washington to Florida. As you may be able to tell, this story is based broadly on Ted Bundy and his horrible acts across the US. I was on the fence about reading this book and hadn’t even marked it as “to read” on Goodreads when I bought it on a whim at the store and started it within the week. I don’t follow serial killer true crime stories or podcasts because the victims aren’t at the forefront so my only knowledge of the man “featured” in this book was the Zac Efron movie (watched only because of said actor). This reads like a true […]

Review Roundup | Sister of the Bride, Drowning, and Murder in the Family

Posted September 27, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | Sister of the Bride, Drowning, and Murder in the Family

I’ve enjoyed Morrill’s YA books before – they’re usually nice and bantery, super easy to read, and a lot of fun. I was so excited when I saw she wrote an adult contemporary romance and requested it immediately. SISTER OF THE BRIDE is apparently a Father of the Bride retelling (?) but I haven’t seen the movie. I loved the premise of a girl having to plan her sister’s wedding while falling in love with her best friend. This is the kind of book that you could easily sit and read in one sitting so I’m a little annoyed it took me so long to finish it! I started it right before my birthday weekend, which always gets too busy for reading. In any case, the Italian food and Boston vibes were immaculate in this book. I’m from Connecticut so Boston is an hour and a half from where I live. It was fun to see what they included and how they presented the story. It was a really unique situation for the MC Pippin and it was fun to see how she would move on with her life after literally everything changed. She was occasionally frustrating but I have to say, the lack of drama and miscommunication in this one (especially in a few key areas near the end) was just perfect. She would get annoyed about something and freak out, then come back to earth and apologize. It was refreshing that she didn’t let things get to her for too long and […]

ARC Review: Something Close to Magic

Posted June 12, 2023 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Something Close to Magic

I’m a huge Emma Mills fan. Every New Years Day for a few years in a row, I would hang out and read her next release that day, basically in one sitting, to start the New Year off on the right foot. I think I still have one contemporary romance from her backlist to read but I was really excited to see her foray into fantasy… especially one that sounded on the cozier side! I’ll admit that it took me a while to get into this. I think the problem was mostly having to read on my iPad because of the file type but I also just wasn’t hooked like I thought I would be. Her writing style is really different here and fantasy-oriented. I never would have guessed it was her writing without knowing. It just took a little getting used to! There are some elements of her signature clever dialogue between the characters though, so that helped! The story centers around Auralie, a baker’s apprentice in a small village, who suddenly finds herself hanging out with trolls and princes and bounty hunters. They go on a little quest at the beginning and then there’s an interlude of letter-writing (cute!) before some fun drama and action at the end. I’d definitely say this qualifies as a cozy fantasy because it’s breezy and fun to read while not having high-stakes action and worldbuilding. The second half of this book honestly REALLY took off for me. The trouble I had trying […]

Review Roundup | The Do-Over, The Appeal, and Cold Clay

Posted March 13, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | The Do-Over, The Appeal, and Cold Clay

I’m a sucker for Groundhog Day / time loop stories, as everyone knows by now. I was intrigued by THE DO-OVER when I saw so many people reading it but didn’t set out on a mission to read it until (a) I realized it was a Groundhog Day book and (b) it took place on Valentines Day. I was so determined to read it during Valentines Day that I went to three different stores and attempted two store pick-up orders before I finally snagged it in the fifth and final attempt (another Target store pickup). When Emilie sees her boyfriend cheating on her on Valentines Day, she wakes up the next day only to find it is yet again Valentines Day. Can she stop him from cheating? Does she even want to? The story progresses in a similar way to other time loop stories with the MC trying new ways to live out the day and see if it resets the loop. She ends up getting close to Nick, her surly lab partner, on and off throughout the days and sparks fly on one of her repeating days. All in all, the book was really cute and enjoyable to read! There were absolutely has some cringe-worthy levels of cheesiness toward the end but I got through it. Every Groundhog Day book has at least one day where the MC does whatever they want, damn the consequences, because there ARE no consequences. That particular day for Emilie was definitely cringey. These […]

Recent Reads: Made in Manhattan, The Family Game, and You’re Invited

Posted January 4, 2023 / Bite-Sized Reviews, Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Recent Reads: Made in Manhattan, The Family Game, and You’re Invited

I’ve read a few books at the end of last year (that didn’t really involve the holiday season) and just wanted to share some quick thoughts, so we’re here today with mini reviews! I’ve become a huge sucker for Lauren Layne’s books. I adored the Central Park Pact series and found them super addicting, and her follow-up (TO SIR WITH LOVE) was excellent too. I just think her writing is so easy to read and exactly what I need in my life when I’m struggling with books holding my attention! MADE IN MANHATTAN was a reverse “My Fair Lady” retelling. Posh NYC heiress Violet is asked by her de facto grandmother to help whip her newly discovered grandson, Cain, into shape so he can (hopefully) take over their family business. The two spend time getting to know each other and disagree on a ton of things before the obvious happens. This was a cute story and I’m glad I finally picked it up – I definitely needed something light and breezy. Cain and Violet were nice characters with more in common than they thought. The ending was sweet and the drama was minimal, which is generally what I prefer from my romance these days! I’d recommend it if you like her other books for sure. THE FAMILY GAME was a was super intriguing and addicting! Harry and her fiance begin spending more and more time with his family and she’s quickly brought into their world. His father seems intense (and […]

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 […]