Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ARC Reviews: The Project and A Pho Love Story

Posted March 3, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Project and A Pho Love Story

I really loved SADIE – it was the kind of addicting read I’m always looking for when it comes to mystery/thrillers. It stuck with me for a long time after reading too. I’ve only read a few (at most) cult-related books so I was intrigued by THE PROJECT. Lo’s parents died in a car accident (she survived) and her sister joined The Unity Project, a group in New York that pretty much screams “cult” to everyone outside it, so she’s been alone for a number of years when the book begins. The story goes back and forth between her POV in present day and Bea’s (her sister) in the past as she is getting deeper in the Project. I enjoyed reading about how Lo tried to make a life for herself, as imperfect or sad as it was, and her time investigating the Project. It took me a really long time to get into this one. It was interesting for the most part but I knew exactly where it was headed. Too many reviews or summaries said the ending was “unexpected” so I kind of knew where it was probably going as a result. I kept mixing up the two characters names in my head and it went back and forth between them, which didn’t help me. While I liked the book overall, it won’t stick with me like SADIE did. I wish I didn’t see parts of the ending coming because I do think it impacted my reading. I […]

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 | Chasing Lucky, The Hunting Party, and How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories

Posted January 1, 2021 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Chasing Lucky, The Hunting Party, and How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories

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 pretty much loved all of Jenn Bennett’s books and this one was good! I have to say it might be my least favorite, but still a very cute, atmospheric read. Annoyingly, I can’t really put my finger on the things that bother me or prevent it from being a fave. Josie returns home to Beauty, RI (kind of like Newport, in my eyes) and encounters her long lost best friend, Lucky, after they were essentially ripped apart five years before. Josie and the women in her family are “cursed” and have bad luck with men. This didn’t really play into the story as much as I expected but was somewhat of an underlying theme. She and her mom are back in Beauty to run her grandma’s bookstore while she’s away with her aunt. It was fun to read about this coastal Rhode Island town but I didn’t get as many fun New England seaport vibes as I was hoping for? The bookstore was THERE but not as present as I would have liked either for some reason. There are a lot of plot points I didn’t expect or remember from the synopsis, if they were in there, like the breaking of a store window and a […]

Review Round Up | All the Missing Girls, Dear Justyce, and Second Chance on Cypress Lane

Posted December 28, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | All the Missing Girls, Dear Justyce, and Second Chance on Cypress Lane

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! In the shitty year that is 2020, I completely blew it with #ReadForGrace. No calendar reminder could help me keep track of what day it is, apparently. I decided on a whim to start a book a day or two after her birthday and I think she’d be fine with that 🙂 Megan Miranda (and ALL THE MISSING GIRLS specifically) were favorites of hers. I’d been wanting to read this one forever so it was the perfect opportunity. I’m going to keep this review brief because of spoilers, but wow – what a format! The first chapter or two set the scene for the story: Nicolette is managing the health of her aging father and has to return home to NC to help clean the house in order to sell it. You learn that her best friend from high school went missing a decade before. The narrative is then told in reverse, beginning with Day 15 and ending up at Day 1, the day another girl (Annaliese) goes missing. Along the journey, you find out about the complex relationships between Nicolette and her father, ex-boyfriend, brother… a bunch of people who never left town. It took some getting used to, reading a story in reverse, but it […]

Holiday Reviews: In a Holidaze and Season of Joy

Posted December 18, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 1 Comment
Holiday Reviews: In a Holidaze and Season of Joy

Story I’ve been lucky that there have been a few books this year where I was like “yup this is exactly what I needed.” I’m one of those people who didn’t hop on the Christina Lauren bandwagon until they started writing more rom-com style books, and I’ve enjoyed most of them. Somewhat mixed, but always quick and easy reads. This is easily one of my favorites! This featured a Groundhog Day-style story where Mae keeps returning to the beginning of the trip to try to find out what will make her happy. Can she save the cabin? Will she take a shot at Andrew, her childhood friend and longtime crush? I’ll admit that I usually prefer more “restarts” when I read these books. I won’t say how many times she looped back to the start for spoiler reasons. The big group of people who come to this cabin on a yearly basis were lovely – Mae’s parents (now divorced) and her parents’ college friends, plus all of their kids. There’s somewhat of a SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY vibe with a brother-based “love triangle” (not really, IMO) that I also loved. Benny, their parents fun single friend, was a great confidante for Mae and I loved him. I could have read a lot more about this chosen family! I think that’s one of the main areas where the book was lacking – I wanted MORE of the holiday feels, as discussed below, and more moments with everyone together. I just loved […]

ARC Review: Love & Olives

Posted December 3, 2020 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Love & Olives

Honestly, my experiences with this series so far have been hit or miss. Meaning, book one was a miss for me and book two was a major hit. This 50/50 record was enough to still keep me super excited for book three – a book set in Greece featuring the lost city of Atlantis? YES! And honestly, I loved LOVE & LUCK enough to know the first one was a fluke. My thoughts on LOVE & GELATO were as follows: Pausing this for now. I don’t mind the audio narrator but I think I would be better off reading this one instead. I’ll wait for my library hold to come in. I have a feeling things may pick up, based on the synopsis, but I’m not going to carve out listening time for this one as it is right now. ——– 2nd time putting this one aside. Not sure why I can’t get into it. I tried my physical copy and had no desire to pick the book up again. I feel like I would like it but it’s not the time for me to read it. Idk. Gonna give it to my sister and see how I feel much later. Anyways, I thought third time could definitely be the charm. I have no issue with skipping, DNFing, or avoiding the first book in a companion series in favor of book two if it still sounds up my alley. LOVE & OLIVES hit the mark for me in the synopsis, […]

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 | Summer at Lake Haven, Today Tonight Tomorrow, and Then She Was Gone

Posted October 14, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Summer at Lake Haven, Today Tonight Tomorrow, and Then She Was Gone

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’m always thrilled to return to Haven Point! I started this one and then realized there was a prequel novella about the leading man’s sister that should be read first, so I paused and finished that up quickly. Ian is in town for his sister Gemma’s wedding. He rents a house next to Samantha and she’s immediately smitten with his two cute kids. The kids, in turn, are smitten with the puppies she’s temporarily taking care of! Ian and Samantha get off on the wrong foot but they grow to be friends (and then more) throughout the story, of course. I’ll be honest – they were super dry and boring. Their conversations were repetitive and offered too much information about Ian’s research on salmon (yup). I was always a bit tired of them talking, which isn’t what you need from main characters you’re supposed to be rooting for in a romance! As always, the charming Haven Point setting won major points for me. The two of them were on Lake Haven and went hiking to see some waterfalls, which led to some nice scenery descriptions. The rest of the town and the Helping Hands group were always excellent too. I won’t spoil the ending, but it was […]

ARC Reviews: Sunshine on Silver Lake and 10 Things I Hate About Pinky

Posted August 24, 2020 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
ARC Reviews: Sunshine on Silver Lake and 10 Things I Hate About Pinky

I’m always so thrilled to come home to Sweetwater Springs! This series has catapulted its way into my favorites list and continues to cement that spot with each new book. This is one of the best ones too, IMO! I loved that this was both fake dating AND (kinda) second chance romance AND childhood-friends-to-more. All of my tropes rolled into one in a way that made sense! Emma and Jack were close friends (almost more) in their younger years, until Jack blew her off for her senior prom. They did reconcile and remained friends throughout their adult lives living in Sweetwater Springs, but neither one of them would take the plunge into something more. When Jack suddenly has his nephew in his care for the summer, it’s easy for him to pretend (for his sister’s sake) that Emma is his girlfriend. Naturally, things progress into more. Emma is currently struggling with turning 30 and the bad feelings it provides about her mother’s untimely passing and battle with cancer. I REALLY enjoyed both of these characters and thought their friends-to-more relationship developed incredibly naturally. As always, there wasn’t any minor drama to split the couple up and I was never frustrated by miscommunication. Rains generally does a great job of giving the characters actual problems that need to be worked through to cause the “breakup” moment in the book. This one was short-lived too. Sweetwater Springs continues to be a fun, cute setting, and I love that we keep getting introduced […]

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 […]