Source: Owned

Series Review: Mara Dyer Trilogy

Posted October 25, 2017 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
Series Review: Mara Dyer Trilogy

As you know, I love to binge a good series when I can. It takes a lot for me to really keep engaged and read “the same thing” back-to-back like this… So when I do it, you know it’s worth it! I was definitely late to the party on this one and have no one to blame but myself. I love getting addicted to a world and seeing what happens post-cliffhanger in the next book. That was definitely the case for the Mara Dyer trilogy. I had put off reading these books for a while because they seemed a little… not Lauren-y? I like books about memory loss and the aftereffects, but this series seemed to weird and creepy for me. The plot summary gave almost no information and I really didn’t know if this was a mystery or paranormal series. Turns out, it’s a bit of both. Goodreads shelving can spoil you on that, so sorry if you didn’t know! Here are some mini reviews: This book caught me so off-guard. We chose it for book club and I was happy to finally read this series, since it’s been on my TBR foreeeever. I found myself incredibly addicted right off the bat. I was intrigued by the memory loss concept and honestly didn’t know what to expect genre-wise. It seemed like a big ol’ mindfuck… and that’s kind of exactly what happened. I was hoping to read a little bit before bed and absolutely could not stop reading no […]

Review Round Up | Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Love & Gelato, and Finding It

Posted September 22, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Love & Gelato, and Finding It

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 backlist books I’ve read or listened to recently. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I had high expectations for this one since I’m a huge fan of Morgan Matson. I still need to read quite a few of her books and honestly wondered if I’d ever actually read AMY & ROGER. I love books about road trips and people who go on them together falling for each other, so it was actually right up my alley. I think I was afraid I’d be disappointed somehow. Yet again, my excellent book club was there to rescue me and force me to read things. Amy is dealing with the loss of her father when she embarks on a road trip with Roger, planned by her mom. They decide to take an ~epic detour~ to take care of business and sight see across the country. Her family has been in shambles since her dad died, with her mom moving to Connecticut (and making Amy move as well) and her brother in rehab in North Carolina. The story involves some really fun elements, like playlists, scrapbook pages, and other things they grabbed along the road. It was a nice touch for sure! The serious and sad elements were woven nicely throughout the story, between flashbacks and Amy finally opening up a little bit. I loved the different places that they decided to adventure to! […]

Review Round Up | The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service and Ten

Posted September 14, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service and Ten

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 absolutely loved the last series I read from Beth Kendrick, and was a pretty big fan of one of her standalones as well. It took me a while to figure out what book to read that had an animal name in it for the Reading Quest, but I was happy to remember THE LUCKY DOG MATCHMAKING SERVICE as a light summery contemporary. I found the audio on Hoopla for the few days I was commuting into work recently and finished up with the physical copy afterwards. Anyways, this book was pretty good. It’s perfect for a dog-lover. And by dog-lover, I mean someone dog-obsessed. That person is not really me. I like them enough, but (don’t judge me) animals aren’t my thing as much as other people. I was frequently frustrated with Lara’s attitude about the dogs, their behavior, and her ex. I don’t know how I always come across adult contemps where the parents are basically like toddlers and the main character gives into their every whim, or falls for their traps. Her mom was so irritating and clearly didn’t care about bonding with her daughter. Her dad was the type of person who would fly into her life and then fly out whenever he wanted, […]

Series Review: Blue Heron

Posted July 18, 2017 / Book Reviews / 5 Comments
Series Review: Blue Heron

I’m clearly a sucker for companion series set in small towns with unique characters and charm. I adored the Black Dog Bay series and listened to all of them, one after another. This series I took my time with a little more (just because my podcast addiction is still going strong), but it was a worthy series binge! This time, the books are set in Manningsport, New York. The main characters are all generally surrounding the family that owns the Blue Heron Vineyard. Many of the stories also star those family members and their love stories. This was also another audio binge with the narrator Amy Rubinate. Quick summary: When Faith is ditched at the alter because her fiancee is gay, she moves to San Francisco to break away and start over. She returns home to find that the “best man,” Levi, is now the town sheriff and just as difficult as he was when they were teens. Heroine: Faith was a really good character! She got herself into some funny situations and tried really hard to please everyone. She dealt with a lot of guilt over her mother’s death and struggled to move on years later. I liked watching her realize she needed to be home and get over her ex. Romance: This was truly the slowest burn romance I’ve ever read. I looooved the banter and major hate-to-love feels. Levi was so grouchy because Faith was always chipper and positive. They balanced each other out and really felt strongly for each […]

The Nostalgia Project | Gemma Doyle Trilogy

The Nostalgia Project | Gemma Doyle Trilogy

The Nostalgia Project is my way of revisiting and rereading old favorites from my young adulthood to see if they still resonate with me. Learn more here and read old posts or reviews here! I didn’t include the Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray in my original post about this project. Honestly it doesn’t really fit because it’s not the same kind of genre I was looking to analyze. However, if this trilogy is anything to me, it’s nostalgic. My book club decided to read this series for our meetings for March, April, and May, so it was finally the right excuse to make this reread happen! Man, this book. ? I love when rereads are a perfect mix of homey, nostalgic feelings plus a “brand new” story (because I forgot almost everything that happened!). It’s time like these where I love that my bookish memory is terrible. This was like revisiting an old favorite and being surprised at the same time. I think the biggest difference, looking back, is the pacing. I can see how some people may consider the story somewhat slow or even boring at times. The pacing is similar to a historical fiction book (which makes sense, because it is one), but there are some fantastical elements. The pacing is definitely not like that of a fantasy novel. I didn’t mind the slow-moving plot because my feels kept me going, not gonna lie. Gemma and her friends were worse to me this time around. I liked Gemma overall, even though she was definitely […]

Reviews: This Is Your Afterlife and The Burning Sky

Posted December 28, 2016 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Reviews: This Is Your Afterlife and The Burning Sky

I had no idea this book was less than 200 pages when I started reading, so that was actually a pleasant surprise! I was on a roll reading at the time and was damn happy to keep the reading going. I ended up finishing it up within two sittings on the same day. It was really fun and easy to read! When I added it to my Must Read in 2016 Challenge TBR, I think I completely forgot what the premise was and mixed it up with The Catastrophic History of You and Me (seriously look at the covers and you can see why I made this mistake!). So, needless to say, the book wasn’t what I expected when I started reading. This wasn’t a bad thing! I really enjoyed the premise. Reading about spirits, communicating with the dead, tarot cards, and seances was REALLY interesting. I don’t have a lot of experience with this outside of witch-related books. The characters were pretty fantastic in my opinion. I liked Keira a lot and Jimmy was excellent too. Dan was okay and the romance aspect was fine. I always root for best-friends-to-more and in this case it was ex-best-friends-to-more… so that’s fun! I could have totally read about them in a longer story and/or sequel. I am apparently getting much better at predicting whodunnit in YA mysteries. I knew who the killer was within the first half of the book. I did dampen my enjoyment a little bit because I was hoping […]

Holiday Book Buddies: Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless

Posted December 23, 2016 / Book Buddies Reviews, Book Reviews / 6 Comments
Holiday Book Buddies: Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless

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. Because this book featured a bunch of lists the main character keeps in her head, we decided to channel the same thing for our post! The lists below are generally related to the book too. Chloe gets stuck at work in a grocery store on Christmas Eve, so you’ll see some place and food-related questions below! 5 Things About This Book This book made me so nostalgic for my grocery store days. I worked at Geissler’s Supermarket, a family-owned chain only in Connecticut and Massachussets, throughout the end of high school and beginning of college (on breaks). This book is incredibly accurate for what it’s like to work in a grocery store, from scheduling breaks to weird relationships with coworkers to having to work on Christmas Eve. Chloe and her coworkers were a bit presumptuous. I didn’t like so many of the assumptions they made about fellow […]

Review: Cruel Beauty

Posted October 13, 2016 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Review: Cruel Beauty

Initial Excitement I was really intrigued by this book when it was first released, but I hesitated on reading it for a while. Cristina and I chose Crimson Bound by the same author for one Book Buddies month but I ended up DNFing it (so we chose another book). That made me nervous for this story. However, it was randomly picked by my book club using our new book selection method and I was ready for the push to read it finally. I was cautiously optimistic because I know a lot of people loved this one compared to Crimson Bound or really any others by Hodge. Summary in a Second Nyx has been set to marry the Gentle Lord, Ignifex, since she was a baby. Her father made a selfish deal with him and Nyx’s plan is to kill him to set her people free. (It’s kind of a long, complicated story, so I’ll let you investigate that on your own.) It’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling so there are definitely similar elements woven through – the castle, being kind of a prisoner, the non-human man thingy keeping you hostage, etc. Storytelling & Setting I have to say, I’ve never read a story quite like this one. The world was so vast and explored piece by piece. The writing was gorgeous and somehow way more interesting than Crimson Bound‘s prose. The plot itself was unveiled slowly as Nyx uncovered new secrets and opened hidden doors throughout the castle. She found herself falling for a […]

NA Reviews: Rebound and The Goal

Posted October 6, 2016 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
NA Reviews: Rebound and The Goal

My thoughts on this book compared to Boomerang could not be more different. I loved the banter of the first book and literally laughed out loud on multiple occasions. I couldn’t put it down and read the book in one day. Unfortunately, Rebound had a lot to live up to. I’m not sure if my expectations were too high or if too much time passed between me reading the books, but it just didn’t have the same witty magic by any means. Adam and Allison were good characters and I sort of felt their spark, but so much of the chemistry was telling instead of showing. I believed it, but only because the two of them kept repeating how attracted to each other they were. I wanted to feel the chemistry through their conversations but it just didn’t happen that much. Much of the plot and conflict was incredibly predictable. I know this happens in a lot of YA or NA books (especially because I’ve read so many of them), but sometimes it frustrates me more than others. The setup of the story is that Allison’s father is looking to invest in Adam’s company, Boomerang, so he sends her out to get some information on him. Meanwhile, Adam is covering up some secret from his past. You can probably see where I’m headed here but I won’t give blatant spoilers. Just too predictable (and too angsty at times) for me. This is really a low three star book for me. There […]

Throne of Glass Series – Part One

Posted September 5, 2016 / Book Reviews / 7 Comments
Throne of Glass Series – Part One

I’ve been saying for literal years that I needed to get going on this series. I kept promising everyone “by the end of the year!!” and it never happened. Something just clicked the other day when I needed a new audiobook, and I just pressed play on the first book without thinking. I had actually planned to read the novella bind-up first because people are very passionate about doing that, but I completely didn’t think of it at the time. In any case, I hopped into it right after finishing book one and before heading to book two. SO, here you’ll find my reviews for the first book, the novella bind-up, and the second book. (The order below is in the order I read them, but technically you could definitely read the novellas first!) I finally did it, guys! I can’t believe it. After reading and loving both ACOTAR and ACOMAF, I thought it really was time to get to Sarah J. Maas’s first series. I obviously had built it up a little in my head because it’s so many people’s favorite series ever. Luckily, I also knew that this is a series that gets better with each book (supposedly). My expectations were held in check a little because of that; I knew if I didn’t LOVE the first book I could still likely love later books. That’s kind of what happened here! I was a little bit underwhelmed at times because it felt like not much was happening. I know […]