Source: Scribd

Holiday Book Buddies: Bittersweet

Posted December 18, 2017 / Book Buddies Reviews, Book Reviews / 5 Comments
Holiday Book Buddies: Bittersweet

Cristina and I are teaming up for our seasonal Book Buddies read! This time, we chose BITTERSWEET by Sarah Ockler. I wanted to keep up with my usual holiday review theme for the month but we obviously have a little something more for you at the bottom! As usual, don’t forget to check out Cristina’s post too! Story I’ve had mixed experiences with Sarah Ockler so far. I loved one and felt so-so about another. This book unfortunately falls more into that second category, but I definitely enjoyed it a bit more. The diner setting was a lot of fun; I always love books that take place in restaurants of some kind (like some classic Dessens). Hudson, in addition to figure skating again, bakes insanely delicious-sounding cupcakes for the diner too. Each chapter started off with a little description about one of the cupcakes and it made me so hungry. I loved her brother and their relationship. Her mom expected a lot from her but I didn’t find it overly unreasonable, especially because Hudson kept her in the dark about everything going on in her life. I enjoyed the friendships she developed with the hockey boys but hated how she treated Dani. Hudson was a selfish character with a few goals she had laser focus on, so it was hard to like her at times. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels I wasn’t expecting full-on holiday feels for this one because it doesn’t allude to that in the synopsis, but it […]

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! […]

Series Review: Blue Heron

Posted July 18, 2017 / Book Reviews / 4 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 […]

Bite-Sized Reviews: The Last of August & Lucky in Love

Posted July 10, 2017 / Bite-Sized Reviews, Book Reviews / 10 Comments
Bite-Sized Reviews: The Last of August & Lucky in Love

I know I have full reviews and I have mini review round-ups, but there are some books that could be reviewed in just a few sentences. This is mini round-up I’ll have sometimes for books that really don’t need much more than my small Goodreads review and progress updates say. First up, we have the sequel to A Study in Charlotte. I enjoyed the first book but it wasn’t a favorite. I felt really disconnected from the characters and those issues definitely continued in book two. I’m still intrigued by the “retelling” of Sherlock Holmes vibes, so I will probably read the next book. Next, the newest Kasie West book! She’s clearly in my top three favorite authors. I always love her stories and have not rated one less than four stars. This wasn’t my favorite by her, but it was a solid story about winning the lottery and finding your own way.

Last Book of 2016 & First Book of 2017 | Reviews: The Night Circus and The Secret of a Heart Note

Posted January 23, 2017 / Book Reviews / 10 Comments
Last Book of 2016 & First Book of 2017 | Reviews: The Night Circus and The Secret of a Heart Note

I thought it would be appropriate to put my reviews for my last read of 2016 and the first read of 2017 together. I ended up cutting it very close with my Goodreads goal because I decided to be lazy with my final book. I ended up finishing it 20 minutes before I had to leave for New Jersey for my NYE plans… whoops. That’s what happens when you tell yourself to meet your Goodreads goal exactly – no more, no less. I started my first book of 2017 on New Years’ Day while Chris and I were hanging out at home before bed. I was hoping to spend a good portion of the day reading but I ended up watching lots of football (duh). In any case, here are the books that ended one year and started another! I had pretty high expectations for this book. It ends up on a LOT of people’s all-time-favorites lists. I bought this on Scribd forever ago with one of my credits, solely because it was narrated by Jim Dale. The story itself intrigued me because I find circus settings to be fascinating, but I really only went through with the purchase because of Jim Dale. He is perfection. His narration did end up being a major highlight for me. It was jarring at times because he used similar voices to the Harry Potter characters (like one character in this book sounded a lot like Dumbledore) and the book had some similar words I […]

Mini Novella Reviews: Fairest and Stars Above

Posted March 2, 2016 / Book Reviews / 7 Comments
Mini Novella Reviews: Fairest and Stars Above

I don’t have a lot to say about this one overall. I liked it and am glad it exists, because Levana’s point of view is fucking crazy, but it wasn’t at the same level of the rest of the books. Obviously the entire series is ridiculously epic and twisty and turny. This book was really just a summary of Levana’s life before Cinder technically takes place. I think this would make more sense as a 0.5 instead of 3.5, but what are ya gonna do? My Goodreads review successfully sums up my feelings on this book: I’ve been looking forward to this epilogue foreeeeever. Oh yeah, and the rest of the novellas in there 😉 I actually hadn’t read any of the existing novellas for this series yet, so the whole book was new to me. It was an absolutely great way to wrap up the series. Here are some very mini reviews on each novella included: The Keeper: I loved seeing Michelle and Scarlet’s relationship develop! Getting a little background about how everyone came together pre-Cinder was awesome. And I loved seeing her become Cinder (and why that name!) Glitches: I’m pretty sure this one was previously released, but I’m reading all of these novellas for the first time! It was heartwarming to see how Garan and Peony really did care for her, unlike the rest of them. Made me sad/happy. Also IKO! The Queen’s Army: Really interesting (and terrible) to learn about how the queen acquired her army. I felt […]

Review: None of the Above

Posted February 19, 2016 / Book Reviews / 5 Comments
Review: None of the Above

I think this book is so incredibly important and, a lot of the time, super powerful. I’ve never read a book about an intersex character and I don’t know of any others that exist. The only time I’ve even heard of the term is in the show Faking It. I’m always happy to learn more about the letters across the QUILTBAG spectrum, so this was great for that purpose. Before I get into the characters and plot events aside from the intersex aspect, I’ll just say that this book is really interesting throughout. I wanted to see how Kristin would react to the hand she was dealt and she didn’t often disappoint me. I think it was a super realistic chain of events (unfortunately) that could happen to anyone in her situation. Learning more about AIS was great and for that reason, I’m glad I read this one. It was super informative, without feeling too forced. I think my biggest issue was with the audiobook narrator? While she had a great voice that I liked listening to, she felt really detached from the story emotionally… This made me feel like the MC didn’t have a lot of emotional reaction at times. That’s why I say it didn’t feel TOO forced or clinical, but at times it did. There was one thing that Kristin did that REALLY annoyed me towards the end of the book and I can’t get it out of my head. It involves her friends and determining who spilled […]

Mini NA Reviews: Faking It and The Score

Posted February 1, 2016 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Mini NA Reviews: Faking It and The Score

After really despising the previous book in this series (and DNFing it), I couldn’t decide if I wanted to read the rest. Because this is a companion series, I was tempted! New characters but the same Cora Carmack writing I generally enjoy? Why not?! I finally decided to go for it via audio (after testing out a sample, because the narrator ruined it last time). I have to say, this book was the complete opposite for me! The narrators were perfect and didn’t feel like young children reading books about sex. The characters were so fun and the narrators did an awesome job of capturing their personalities. I knew from the first few chapters that this one would give me a totally different experience. Thank god! I’ve been feeling annoyed by anything resembling instalove lately, and unfortunately SOME of this fell in that category. I rolled my eyes a bit throughout but it’s because I’m bitter about romance, and have been for the past few months. I liked their chemistry from the very beginning and fake dating is a trope I looooove. It was also a case of opposites attracting, so that was fun. Beyond the romance, Max had a lot of complicated personal and family-related things going on. Cade did too but they weren’t really addressed at all. It was focused a lot on HER and her problems, and I wish he got more attention. As far as characters are concerned, I wished for more about him and less […]

Book Buddies Review: The Dream Thieves

Posted January 28, 2016 / Book Buddies Reviews, Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Book Buddies Review: The Dream Thieves

Book Buddies is a discussion-style review that takes place with one of my two buddies. (Learn more and see past reviews here) We both read the book and then have a private discussion about it. We post our discussion as a review on the last Wednesday of each month. You’ll be able to see our similar/different opinions on the overall book, characters, writing style, etc. – just like a regular review. The first half our discussion will take place right here, and the second half will be on Kaitlin’s blog! (Link below) View Kaitlin’s part of the discussion here. Some spoilers ahead! In our discussion of THE RAVEN BOYS, I asked which character was your favorite. Has your answer changed now that we’ve gotten to know them a bit more? Kaitlin: Oh man, this is a hard question because all of the characters are so good. In this book, the boys did some things that I really did not agree with but I am leaning towards Noah or Gansey for my favorite Raven boy. Adam and Ronan did some things that had ticked me off a bit so that had caused me to like them a bit less compared to Gansey and Noah. I really liked Blue in this book as well and it was really great to read more about Maura, Calla, and Persephone because all four of these ladies are such great characters. Lauren: I agree! I think Gansey might be my favorite for some reason, but I really want to get in his head even […]

Holiday Review: Decked with Holly

Posted December 23, 2015 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Holiday Review: Decked with Holly

This month I’ll be highlighting different holiday or Christmas-oriented books on the blog. I love reading based on the season, so stay tuned for more wintery reviews. To learn more about what’s coming and my holiday book rating system, check here! Buddy Read with Rachel from Go Read A Book When Rachel reached out asking if I wanted to Buddy Read, I happily agreed! Then, of course, I messed up the date we were supposed to post and we ended up just having a casual Google Hangouts chat! She’s posting her review today as well, and we wanted to keep it informal. We both agreed that this book wasn’t the best, but was cute enough to read. Rachel gave it 3 stars and I was a little more generous with 3.5 stars 😉 We started out with how we both generally liked Dominic, but I had some reservations. In hate-to-love romances, there’s always some tension and dislike towards the beginning. He took it a little too far, with commenting nonstop about her appearance. She looked bad when they first met because she was seasick. He also jumped to a lot of conclusions about her right away and didn’t strike me as the sharpest tool in the shed. Lauren: It kind of bothered me how he didn’t seem to like Holly and judged her appearance for a long time. I’m a fan of the hate-to-love romance trope, but I don’t like that he was kind of mean about her. It took adding […]