Adult Fiction · Contemporary · Fantasy · for everyone · Uncategorized

Mini Reviews November Wrap Up

Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber – I think I’m going to like this series more than Caraval.  I love the amount of magical elements that are in this new land.  4/5

Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis (audio) – A wonderful story that gives you hope that everything does happen for a reason.  4/5

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller –  I liked the story but did not fall in love with this book like so many others.  I have always found mythology interesting but the way people treated others in these stories and how the innocents were treated like criminals never sat right with me.  Greek tragedies at their finest.  3/5

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrick Backman (audio) –  This is my third novel by this author and though i enjoyed it I think it isn’t my favorite.  If you love his other books it is worth a read. 3/5

The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson – An adorable book that any book lover would enjoy.  I honestly don’t know what else I could say about it. 4/5

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman (audio) – Whew boy, this is NOT like the movie we all know and love.  I cannot stress how different this story is and though it was ok, I’m afraid I’m going to say it:  THE MOVIE WAS BETTER.   3/5

The Wicked King by Holly Black (audio/book) – I’ve been dragging my feet on continuing this series.  While I’ve started to find more fairy stories that I enjoy, I hate the way everything is political in these books.  Where is the romance?  I feel like a bait and switch was pulled on me.  I’ll finish the series out but unless the next book really cranks up the romance this isn’t a series I’d ever reread. I think I will need a break before reading the next book regardless. 3/5

The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time) by Robert Jordan (audio/book) – I’ve slowly been collecting this series to try and binge and the more I collected the more I realized I would never be able to binge it.  These are hefty books but I wanted to get at least the first one done before the show premiered, which I’ve done by the skin of my teeth. I can tell you I’m not sure what would be better, audio/versus physical but the amount of world building and names being thrown at you is rough.  I struggled for quite awhile to even separate everyone in my head.  I think because of the magnitude of the world if you haven’t started these books yet, start with the show so you can picture the actors as their characters.  Overall the story was great, a true adventure, and if the show is half as good as the book it will be a hit for years to come.  4/5

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood – There was a ton of hype on this one and I think it was justified.  I’ve only recently started back reading more books classified as romance (haven’t read much in this genre since high school).  I’m 100% on board with the grumpy/sunshine trope and I’d love more recs for it!  My only issue here is I know this was a Kelo Ren/Rey thing so I immediately saw Adam Driver as the lead and while he is an attractive man I’m not so gung ho about him as others so that threw off a bit for me. Otherwise a great read, I read it over 2 days but only because I started it so late in the day.  I will definitely check out any books by this author in the future.  4/5

The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling – Anything with Gothic vibes is sure to intrigue me enough to investigate but this one fell flat.  Some of the decisions made were beyond ridiculous and the plot was so convoluted that I just couldn’t care about the characters.  It’s hard to root for someone or even care when they were only in a few chapters.  2/5

The Broken Girls by Simone St James (audio) – This is my second book by this author and I can tell you I will be reading her entire backlog.  She perfectly balances ghost stories with thrillers.  4/5

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (audio) – An extremely quick audio that was very entertaining.  Don’s growth was believable and this was one of the most realistic books I’ve ever read.  I can’t wait to see the movie version.  3/5

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey (audio) – After finding Tessa with It Happened One Summer I knew I’d have to go and read some of her older titles.  If you loved that one you will definitely like this one as well. Book one in a three book series, it was very spicy as tiktok would say (think about IHOS on steroids) and a super fast read.   I have book two ready to go!  4/5

Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey – Another series I had to pick up a physical copy of the second book.  So here’s my issue. I don’t like romance books in which the couple is already married and they are working on issues after the fact. It’s depressing and if I’m reading romance it’s not what I’m looking for. With that being said I still read this in a day and Tessa Bailey can write some spicy scenes. 3/5

Tools of Engagement by Tess Bailey (audio) – Probably my least favorite of the series but I’m not sure I can explain why?  Something didn’t sit right for me and I’m going to have to think about it for a while. 3/5

The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox – I’m embracing the holiday season book wise.  This was billed as comparable to The Holiday, Gilmore Girls, The Parent Trap, and the GBBO, none of which are a bad choice.  This has a Hallmark story vibe as well, in fact I’m fairly certain there was a holiday swap with Candace Cameron Bure??  It was a cute read but hard to believe that identical twins who swapped places all the time when they were younger would struggle so much though.   3/5

If the Fates Allow: A Short Story by Rainbow Rowell – a COVID check-in novella with our favorite sarcastic friend Reagan. Cute. I wish it was longer. Can we get a full book on adult Reagan? 3/5

Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah Maclean – One of my 12(but really 13) friends recs for the year.  Overall I liked the story, I wish I knew before starting that it connects (vaguely) to her other books. I’m also very interested in seeing how I’m going to like the third book in this run as he is currently not a good guy. 3/5

Brazen and the Beast by Sarah Maclean – In continuing on with the Bareknuckle Bastard series I can tell you I do like the storylines but I do not like either of the heroines so far and i have absolutely no idea how the villain of both will be redeemed enough in book three for me to like him. I don’t hold much hope at this point. Hattie just thought she could pay back a debt of that size? Would that be fair? People died and that was never brought up. Again, another woman that as written as someone that is supposed to be independent and it just comes off as ignorant to me. 3/5  

Daring and the Duke by Sarah Maclean – I quit. I couldn’t read it. I only got 4-5 chapters in and I was still so mad at the villain getting a book so I can’t rate this one. I don’t think I’ll be able to finish this series but I might try to come back to it at a later date to check.

Divergent Mind: Thriving in a World That Wasn’t Designed for You by Jenara Nerenberg – A very interesting read about women and how they process things while potentially dealing with some mental health concerns and how they are generally misdiagnosed or their diagnose is overlooked.  Very informative.  3/5

Not a bad run for one month in which there was a holiday! How about you? What did you read this month?

Adult Fiction · Chick Lit · Contemporary · Fantasy · Random Stuff · YA

Mini Reviews August Wrap Up

This is what I read in August. . . let’s see how September goes!


Carry On by Rainbow Rowell  – I’m so excited to finally be in this world fully!  It’s hard to not see Harry Potter characters in my head while listening but I enjoyed trying to mash them up to see who is who. I loved it, and I loved what I think were small references to a few other author’s books. Nice to see Levi’s coffee creation lives on. 5/5

Ice Planet Barbarian Honeymoon by Ruby Dixon – Did I do the two month free trial of kindle unlimited to keep reading these? SIGH. MAYBE. It’s interesting enough to continue that’s for sure. This was just a quick inbetween story. 3/5


Rise of the Witch by C. Rochelle – This is a reverse harem surrounding Baba Yaga lore that I heard about through tiktok, the author popped up on my FYP.  When you see RH you think one thing but there was an actual story here and it was really good! The writing wasn’t as great though so I think I’ll stop here in the series. 4/5


It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey (audio)- This is my first book by Ms Bailey but it will absolutely not be my last.  The male lead is an example of why you shouldn’t settle.  WOWZA.  It moved fast but the story was great and the characters were likeable; fair warning the audio isn’t something I’d listen to without headphones.  Can’t wait to read Hannah and Fox’s story! 4/5


The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown (audio) – I’ve listened to Daring Greatly at least five times so far but have never listened to this one.  I feel like I pick up something new with each listen of her books and this one I think will be the same (I will definitely have to relisten).  While I fully understand and agree with her thoughts I still can’t make myself follow her advice out of fear.  5/5


Neon Gods by Katee Robert (audio) – Another new to me author, though I’m not sure if this was a rec by a friend or something I found on TIktok too.  I know I see the author on my FYP so anything is possible.  This was a “spicy” retelling of Hades and Persephone.  It wasn’t a bad story, but something was missing for me.  I’ll probably continue with the series though.  3/5


The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson (audio) – This was my favorite in the series by far!  Loved the mystery in it and most of it was a complete surprise.  BUT. . .while I’m aware of Stevie being a teen I feel like Stevie made absolutely no growth or learned a single thing from the main series.  A lot of selfish things were done and I wasn’t a fan.  I feel like everyone else grew overall though.  I also think it would have been a little better reading versus audio, the narrator’s interpretation of the male voices threw me a bit. 4/5


Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher (audio) – I’d been wanting to read this one for a long time.  Something about it told me it would be special.  Grief is hard and it is unique to every single person.  It was a wonderful and heartbreaking book though it read more like I was reading a Nicholas Sparks novel.  I wouldn’t ever think of a teen speaking like these characters.  4/5


Tweet Cute by Emma Lord – This one is from my 12/12 (but really 13) recommendations from friends.  I’ll have more on that post but overall it was a quick and cute read.  3/5


Giant Days Volume 10 by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julia Madrigal – It took forever for my library to order these and I’ve been reading as they come in.  Such a cute series, I love Susan and McGraw. 4/5


Giant Days Volume 11 by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julia Madrigal – Cute as always.  Fingers crossed for Ed! 3/5


Giant Days Volume 12 by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julia Madrigal – I know things arecoming to an end and I’m sad.  This is by far one of the cutest graphic novel series I’ve ever picked up.  4/5

Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert (audio) – Another 12/12 read from friends.  The narrators was very monotone to me at normal speed so I had to speed it up.  Fun fact – before I started reading this book I’d found book two without realizing this was a series and that I’d found book two, LOL.  A cute but awkward read. 3/5  


If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy (audio) – This was a bout of books choice.  This was a hard one to rate.  I loved the story overall and the audio – it gave me Beauty Queens from Libba Bray vibes but on the other hand I HATE the premise of The Bachelor.  The idea of a group of women fighting over one man makes me want to punch a wall.  You only see from Cindy’s POV as well so you just have to hope Henry’s intentions are pure.  I almost went with 3 stars on this one but there was a letter written by someone near the end that had me crying.  4/5


The Comfort Book by Matt Haig – A self-help/inspirational book about when you are feeling low and need a pick me up.  It’s definitely worth a look.  3/5


Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin – This was a book I carried around for a long time, never opened, and when I finally sat down to read I was mad at myself for waiting so long.  I think the size was more off putting than anything but it moved quickly.  Glad I already have book two ready to go! 4/5


Rat Queens Volume 8 The God Dilemma by Ryan Ferrier, Moritat, Casy Silver, Priscilla Petraites, & Marco Lesko – To be completely honest I’m completely lost to the storyline of this series.  I have no idea what is going on anymore but I’m going to keep reading.  3/5

Adult Fiction · Chick Lit · Contemporary · Favorite Author · Library Find

You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley

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Acclaimed author Colleen Oakley delivers a heart-wrenching and unforgettable love story about a woman who must choose between the man she loves and the man fate has chosen for her in a novel that reminds us that the best life is one led by the heart.

Mia Graydon’s life looks picket-fence perfect; she has the house, her loving husband, and dreams of starting a family. But she has other dreams too — unexplained, recurring ones starring the same man. Still, she doesn’t think much of them, until a relocation to small-town Pennsylvania brings her face to face with the stranger she has been dreaming about for years. And this man harbors a jaw-dropping secret of his own—he’s been dreaming of her too.

Determined to understand, Mia and this not-so-stranger search for answers. But when diving into their pasts begins to unravel her life in the present, Mia emerges with a single question—what if? 

Source: library (support your local library, y’all!)

Mia, happily married and recently moved to a small town, looks up one day at the grocery store and locks eyes with a man who she’s dreamed about for years, a man she’s never met. This sends her on a quest to find out why.

TRIGGER WARNING

Mia has had several miscarriages. It plays a big part of the plot.

Mia’s connection and attraction to Oliver, the guy from her dreams, is helping her to deal with this and her husband, Harrison’s recent distance.

It’s quite an emotional book. I felt so much for Mia and I was pulled in many different directions, wondering if I should hope for her continued marital happiness or this new, possibly better future with Oliver. Oakley doesn’t make it easy for you to know who Mia should be with. There is no clear “winner” in the handsome men who want to be with me sweepstakes.

I sped through this book, wanting to understand and get to the resolution of the dreams and why Mia and Oliver were having them, but also wanting resolution to Mia’s restlessness and heartbreak and relationships.

This is one of three books I was desperate to read this year. I was very much looking forward to it because I am a big fan of Colleen Oakley ‘s book Before I Go. You Were There Too didn’t reach the level of Before I Go for me, but I couldn’t put it down. The characters were relatable and the story was unique. Overall, I enjoyed the book and Mia’s story, heartbreaking and tender as it may be.

4/5

Adult Fiction · Adult Series · Blog Tour · Brown Chicken Brown Cow · Chick Lit · Contemporary · Favorite Author · Giveaway · LOL · Review · Romance · SERIES

Playing for Keeps by Jill Shalvis (Heartbreaker Bay #7) GIVEAWAY

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If you’re planning on falling in love…
When it comes to the confident, charismatic Caleb Parker, Sadie Lane feels the spark—the kind that comes from rubbing each other the wrong way. She’s yoga pants, he’s a suit. She’s a tattoo artist, he’s a straight-laced mogul. But after they accidentally co-rescue an abandoned dog from a storm, Sadie sees a vulnerable side to the seemingly invincible hottie.

you’d better be sure…
Caleb doesn’t do emotions. Growing up the underdog, he’s learned the hard way to build up an impenetrable wall. Perfect for business. Disastrous for relationships. He’s never worried about it before—not until he finally gets behind Sadie’s armor and begins to fall.

… someone is there to catch you. 

Both guarded and vulnerable, Sophie and Caleb are complete opposites. Or are they? Shocked at their undeniable connection, can they ever admit to wanting more? That all depends on what they’re each willing to risk.

Source: finished copy courtesy of publisher, Harper Collins/Avon. Thank You!

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Contemporary · Guest Post/Interview · YA

The Way You Make Me Feel – Blog Tour: Guest Post – Favorite Food Trucks

Welcome to the first stop on the blog tour for. . .

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo 

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind? 

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Addresses Issues/Diverse · Contemporary · Contemporary Romance Challenge 2016 · Diverse Characters · YA

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

Talking to other people isn’t Kate Bailey’s favorite activity. She’d much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school’s podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she’ll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate’s surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend … until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.

SOURCE:  ARC via fellow blogger (Thanks!)

 

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Addresses Issues/Diverse · Contemporary · Diverse Characters · POC Author · YA

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi

For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

SOURCE: finished copy

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Contemporary · YA

I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin

I Hate Everyone But You by Gaby Dunn & Allison Riskin

Dear Best Friend,
I can already tell that I will hate everyone but you.
Sincerely,
Ava Helmer
(that brunette who won’t leave you alone)

We’re still in the same room, you weirdo.
Stop crying.
G

So begins a series of texts and emails sent between two best friends, Ava and Gen, as they head off to their first semesters of college on opposite sides of the country. From first loves to weird roommates, heartbreak, self-discovery, coming out and mental health, the two best friends will document every moment to each other. But as each changes and grows into her new life, will their friendship be able to survive the distance?

SOURCE:  ARC and finished copy via publisher for review (Thanks!)

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Contemporary · Favorite Author · Thriller/Horror · YA

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

 

Love hurts…

Makani Young thought she’d left her dark past behind her in Hawaii, settling in with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska. She’s found new friends and has even started to fall for mysterious outsider Ollie Larsson. But her past isn’t far behind.

Then, one by one, the students of Osborne Hugh begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasingly grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and her feelings for Ollie intensify, Makani is forced to confront her own dark secrets.

SOURCE:  ARC swapped with fellow blogger

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