Tag Archives: Book Review

The Beau & the Belle Book Review

Title: The Beau & the Belle

belle.jpg

Author: R.S. Grey

Genre: YA/NA/Romantic Comedy

Rating: 5/5 stars




 

Beau Fortier starred in most of my cringe-worthy teenage fantasies.

I met him when I was a junior in high school, a time that revolved exclusively around bad hair, failed forays into flirting, and scientific inquiries into which brand of toilet paper worked best for stuffing bras.

That is, until Beau moved into the small guest house just beyond my bedroom window.

A 24-year-old law student at Tulane, Beau was as mysterious to me as second base (both in baseball and in the bedroom). He was older. Intimidating. Hot. Boys my age had chicken legs and chubby cheeks. Beau had calloused hands and a jaw cut from steel. Our interactions were scarce—mostly involving slight stalking on my end—and yet deep down, I desperately hoped he saw me as more of a potential lover than a lovesick loser.

Turns out, I was fooling myself. My fragile ego learned that lesson the hard way.

Now, ten years later, we’re both back in New Orleans, and guess who suddenly can’t take his eyes off little ol’ me.

My old friend, Mr. Fortier.

But things have changed. I’m older now—poised and confident. My ego wears a bulletproof vest. The butterflies that once filled my stomach have all perished.

When I was a teenager, Beau warned me to guard my heart.

Let’s hope he knows how to guard his.

 




 

This was probably the cutest book I’ve read in a very long time. I fell in love with the characters from chapter one and loved watching the change in them after the 10 year time gap. This novel starts out as a YA, Lauren a 16 year old who is very unfamiliar with dating and ends up developing a crush on Beau, the tenant who is renting out her parents apartment.

This love continues to fester for 10 years of ‘what if’s’ until they finally reconnect when Lauren is in her late 20’s and Beau in his 30’s. Once we do the time jump, things get spicier! This is one of those books that it’s been a few days since I’ve read it and I’m still thinking about/ missing the characters. Lauren’s internal monologue had me laughing out loud through the entire book.

With most romantic novels, you expect them to have sex, her move in with him and then get engaged. This novel is realistic and I was so happy to see that! There are a lot of things left open to your imagination but I didn’t feel like there were any cliffhangers whatsoever. This romantic comedy was very enjoyable and I plan on reading more from R.S. Grey.

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January Wrap Up & February TBR

 

January Wrap Up

January was a slow month of reading for me, you could call it a reading slump, but it was more like a life slump. I didn’t feel like doing much at all, but I was doing a ton of editing on my next novel. I managed to read two romance novels this month. I don’t know about you, but I really like reading adult romance during the winter!

Darker by EL James– 3/5 Stars

This is the second Fifty Shades of Grey novel in Christian’s perspective. I loved the first one from his POV, but this one lacked something for me. Maybe it was the fact that I didn’t really like Ana in this version, she seemed like the shell of a character, not fully developed at all. On a side note, who else plans on going out to see the new movie in February?

 

Blaze by Rachael Herron– 2/5 Stars

So I started watching the show 9-1-1 on Fox and then it got me on a steamy firefighter kick, so I bought this one because it was free on Kindle. This isn’t a BDSM erotica like Darker, more of a sweet romance with a non-detailed sex scene, so if you’re looking for smutty stuff, go elsewhere. This was cute, but I couldn’t see Tox as the sexy firefighter he was supposed to be and I wasn’t sure if that was the author’s lack of physical details on him or me. It was a super quick read, but I just wouldn’t get into it. The climax was very predictable and after that, I wasn’t too interested in finished the novel. There are more in this series, but I think I’ll be saying goodbye to the residents of Darling Bay.

 

 

 

 

February TBR

 

Three Sides of a Heart by Natalie C Parker and others-

This is a bunch of short stories about love triangles by various authors. I bought it just because Katie Cotugno had a short story and I already read hers! Planning on finishing all of them in honor of Valentine’s Day.

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Yes, for the hundredth time, I’ve added this to my TBR. This one has been a struggle for me to sit down and read, so now I’m just listening to it on audiobook while I’m driving to various places. I’m ten chapters in, so I am making progress!

Unashamed by Christine Caine

Part of my bookish resolutions this year was to read more faith-based books, so twice a week I’ve been trying to do just that. This month, Unashamed is that book. I’m not too far into it, but hoping to finish it before March.

The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren

I received this book via NetGalley months ago, and kind of forgot that I need get to read it and review it for free! I saw Colleen Hoover recently read it and loved it! So I’m going to make sure I read that in February, for sure.

 

 

 

 

 

What Light by Jay Asher Book Review

Title: What LightBooks Jay Asher

Author: Jay Asher

Rating: 5/5 Stars




Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it’s a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. 

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb’s past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.




 

This was probably the coziest YA romance I could have picked up for the month of December. I’ve had it on my TBR since earlier this summer and had been waiting for the holiday season to hit so I could read it (yes, I prefer to read books in whatever season they take place in.)

I loved this novel so much, it wasn’t a life changing, I’m in complete since I finished it like I was with November 9 last month, but it was still super cute and I was totally crushing on Caleb.

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I didn’t find too many issues with the plot in this and I never found the characters annoying or bland. Which was why I gave this novel a perfect rating. The drama was minimal, and was usually quickly resolved.

This is the perfect novel for you to snuggle up to this Christmas! I highly recommend it, no complaints here! Beautiful scenery, plenty of details, wonderful story.

christmas-tree-farm

 

 

Dear Delilah by T Bester Book Review

Title: Dear Delilah35701298__UY2208_SS2208_

Author: T. Bester

Genre: New Adult

Rating: 2/5 Stars

Published: August 2017




 

It has been said that boys and girls can never be ‘just’ friends, and until Nathan Penn barged into my life, I thought it was complete and utter nonsense. But one night changed everything, and what I thought was the defining moment in our friendship turned out to be more than either of us were ready for.
When my boss tasks me with writing the University’s new sex advice column, Dear Delilah, I make it quite clear that I’m the least qualified person for the job – my experience is limited to one sexual encounter that taught me about love and loss all at once.
So what makes me say ‘yes’?
Simple.
A distraction.
Something to take my mind off Nathan.
But once I start, I find myself wanting to be the voice of the girl who’s too afraid to ask for advice, the girl who wants to own her sexuality but doesn’t know how. Sounds easy enough.
Except it isn’t.
It’s complicated, and messy and awkward, and when Nathan offers to help, I’m caught between a rock and his hard place. Literally.
It’s only when my identity is threatened that I realize I might be in over my head. With all of it.




 

I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

After reading the synopsis for this book, I was really excited to dive right in, thinking it would be a fun book to fly through. I was mistaken. According to my kindle, I only had an hour reading time left and I decided to DNF this book, I cannot finish it. I can’t recall ever reading a book where I didn’t care what happened to the characters in the end, until this one.

The characters were flat. I don’t think they had any loveable traits. If you were to take out the dialogue tags, I couldn’t tell you who might say what because everyone was just that boring. The character development was almost non-existent in this novel. The only character that had any ‘spunk’ was Nathan’s sister and I got really annoyed with her because it seemed like she was pressuring Sav too much to be sexually empowered. She did not sit well with me.

The setting was bland. It really bothered me that it felt like Sav was always just sitting in the room and no one else was around. What do I mean by this? When she went into the newspaper department, I never saw anyone else there but Toby. When I hear talk of a school newspaper, I think of the newspaper from Gilmore Girls where people were always bustling around, trying to meet deadlines, this newspaper just seemed… dead. It was as if Toby, Nathan and Sav were the only staff. I wanted more description. It seemed like Sav and her friends were the only people who existed on campus.

The romance was not swoon-worthy. I love romance, but there really wasn’t any in this novel. Nothing about Nathan seemed to make him good book boyfriend material. I’ve seen more loveable villains.

Why did I not give this one star if I hated it so much? Because I feel like this had the opportunity to be a really good book. From other reviews I’ve read, everyone loved the synopsis, but the writing was lacking. I’m assuming since this was an ARC, there were drastic changes that were made between when I received it a few months back and the actual publication. My copy read more like a first (very) rough draft.

 

November 9 Review by Colleen Hoover

Title: November 925111004

Author: Colleen Hoover

Rating: 5/5 stars




 

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.




 

I’m sure if you’re reading a blog about books, you’ve probably experienced the feeling I’m about to explain. You know when you finish a book and you just don’t know what to do with yourself? You got so invested in the characters lives that once you put the book down, you can’t imagine ever starting another book because you loved the last characters so much? That’s how I felt after reading November 9. This book has made it to the tip top of my favorites list.

Prior to reading November 9, I hadn’t enjoyed the books that I’ve read from Hoover, so I wasn’t expecting much from this one. I only started it because I saw it was on sale since it’s November. This book exceeded my expectations. The characters were beautiful, I loved the plot, and I adored how we only got to see the one day out of the entire year for these characters.

I laughed, cried, screamed… everything while reading this novel. I’ve never experienced such a crazy roller coaster of feelings.

I don’t want to say too much, and spoil this amazing novel, but I must say, it comes full circle but I was still very shocked by the plot twist. Normally, I can predict pretty well what will happen, but not with this one.

Even though I loved this book, I’ve seen many negative reviews, mostly on Goodreads. This novel has stirred some unnecessary controversy (guys, it’s fiction, get off of Hoover’s metaphorical dick!) that I don’t really agree with, but we’re all free to have our own opinions. I won’t go into those reviews because I don’t think they deserve attention, and I’m kind of still fuming from the annoying tumblr rants, sadly, Hoover felt like she had to apologize for some of what was written. That being said, proceed with caution when reading this book, but also have an open mind.

I’m planning on ordering an autographed copy of this novel from her website, if that helps you understand just how much I enjoyed the lives of Ben and Fallon. Three days after finishing this book, I’m still having issues with moving on from their story.

Well done, Hoover, well done!

gFMhf

 

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Wytches (Vol. 1) by Snyder

Everything you thought you knew about witches is wrong. They are much darker, and they are much more horrifying. Wytches takes the mythology of witches to a far creepier, bone-chilling place than readers have dared venture before. When the Rooks family moves to the81HOHp3nwWL remote town of Litchfield, NH to escape a haunting trauma, they’re hopeful about starting over. But something evil is waiting for them in the woods just beyond town. Watching from the trees. Ancient…and hungry.




 

It’s kind of tough to give a review of a graphic novel… and I’m just now realizing that. It was even hard for me to pick what star review I should give this also. I found this graphic novel/comic to be very creepy but also mysterious at the same time. I loved the bond between Sailor and her dad, though there were times I didn’t really understand their relationship. Sailor has anxiety and I couldn’t tell if her dad hated her for it or was worried about her. We have these flashbacks that seem to be her dad trying to put her in a situation that she doesn’t want to be in, thinking she needs to fight her fears but I don’t think it worked out too well. Though, we do see Sailor’s strength and thirst for life come out later in the comic.

I loved the plot, but some of the actual conversation bubbles were tough to read. I’m not a expert reviewer/reader of graphic novels, so I might be alone on this thought but I felt like the font size and type was not good on the eyes. This took away from the story a bit for me.

I think I’d give this a 3/5 stars. Plot was great, but a little tough to follow. You can’t just stop in the middle of this and pick it up again, you have to keep pushing through so you don’t miss out on anything. Hoping this story continues on! Would love to see more of the wytches!

Top Ten by Katie Cotugno Book Review

Title: Top TenTopTen_1

Author: Katie Cotugno

Genre: Young Adult

Rating: 3/5 Stars



 

Ryan McCullough and Gabby Hart are the unlikeliest of friends. Introverted, anxious Gabby would rather do literally anything than go to a party. Ryan is a star hockey player who can get any girl he wants—and does, frequently. But against all odds, they became not only friends, but each other’s favorite person. Now, as they face high school graduation, they can’t help but take a moment to reminisce and, in their signature tradition, make a top ten list—counting down the top ten moments of their friendship:

10. Where to begin? Maybe the night we met.
9. Then there was our awkward phase.
8. When you were in love with me but never told me…
7. Those five months we stopped talking were the hardest of my life.
6. Through terrible fights…
5. And emotional makeups.
4. You were there for me when I got my heart broken.
3. …but at times, you were also the one breaking it.
2. Above all, you helped me make sense of the world.
1. Now, as we head off to college—how am I possibly going to live without you?



 

I didn’t think it would happen, but I’ve finally read a book of Katie Cotugno’s that I wasn’t thrilled about. I’ve never given her anything less than a five star until this novel. It won’t stop me from reading her stuff in the future, but I don’t think it was nearly as good as 99 Days of How to Love.

Gabby’s Anxiety

Gabby reminded me so much of myself. She hates being put in social situations, doesn’t want to be in a crowd, hates parties and constantly thinks she makes mistakes and dwells on the past. Literally. Me. There were moments I thought, ‘Shit, Cotugno, how’d you get into my brain and write my anxiety so well?’ She did a great job at the ‘panicers’ and anxiety, but I found myself really annoyed with Gabby for how she treated Ryan and her sisters sometimes. She came off as a total ass and I know she didn’t mean to, but you can only blame the anxiety for so long.

Sexuality

I was also put off my Gabby being bi, I’m not a big fan about ready non-heterosexual romance (I’m not against this, I’m just not a fan of reading something I can’t relate to like that). I feel like if you’re going to make a character bi/gay/trans it needs to be in the synopsis, especially since this played a huge role in the book. I may be the only one who feels this way, and forgive me if I sound ignorant, but that’s how I felt.

Out of Order Plot

How to Love was written in a THEN/NOW alternating chapters, which I loved. This novel however did a countdown that was mixed in some areas. Had it been written their senior year, backwards until you get to when they meet each other, that would have been easier to follow.

 

For Ryan and Gabby being best friends, I feel like they never actually knew how to handle one another, they seemed to constantly be stepping around their feelings for each other. This drove me absolutely nuts! Ryan was always worried about setting off Gabby and Gabby was always worried about pissing off Ryan. It didn’t seem healthy for either of them. And poor Ryan! I felt like Gabby was constantly messing with his emotions!

 

 

 

 

Before We Were Strangers by Renee Carlino Book Review

Title: Before We Were Strangers23309634

Author: Renee Carlino

Genre: New Adult/Adult

Rating: 5/5 Stars




 

To the Green-eyed Lovebird:

We met fifteen years ago, almost to the day, when I moved my stuff into the NYU dorm room next to yours at Senior House.

You called us fast friends. I like to think it was more.

We lived on nothing but the excitement of finding ourselves through music (you were obsessed with Jeff Buckley), photography (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of you), hanging out in Washington Square Park, and all the weird things we did to make money. I learned more about myself that year than any other.

Yet, somehow, it all fell apart. We lost touch the summer after graduation when I went to South America to work for National Geographic. When I came back, you were gone. A part of me still wonders if I pushed you too hard after the wedding…

I didn’t see you again until a month ago. It was a Wednesday. You were rocking back on your heels, balancing on that thick yellow line that runs along the subway platform, waiting for the F train. I didn’t know it was you until it was too late, and then you were gone. Again. You said my name; I saw it on your lips. I tried to will the train to stop, just so I could say hello.

After seeing you, all of the youthful feelings and memories came flooding back to me, and now I’ve spent the better part of a month wondering what your life is like. I might be totally out of my mind, but would you like to get a drink with me and catch up on the last decade and a half?

M




 

Before We Were Strangers is a story of friendship, love, loss and finding your way. This novel is beautifully written and deserves nothing less than 5 stars. I was taken on an emotional roller coaster while reading the story of Matt and Grace, I devoured this book in one weekend. It was with me everywhere I went.

Matt and Gracie try their best to be just friends, but they can’t fight the chemistry. Have you ever felt like you’re just meant to be with someone, because Matt and Grace know they should be together forever, the only problem with these quick moving relationships is that they can come crashing down.

I felt this horrible feeling throughout the book that there would be no happy ending for Grace and Matt. Carlino did such an amazing job establishing that fear along with the setting and characters.

Carlino gives these subtle hints throughout the novel of what’s going to happen in the end and they’re easily forgotten or read right over, but once you get to the end, all those things come rushing back to you! This novel was brilliant.

You have to read this one…

 

 

Everything, Everything Book Review/Movie Comparison

Title: Everything, EverythingEverything,_Everything

Author: Nicola Yoon

Genre: Young Adult

Rating: 5/5 Stars




 

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.




 

Book Review

This book was amazing. I’m not sure how to put how amazing it was, into words. I read it because I saw the movie trailer and I really wanted to watch it but thought the book was worth a try.

I loved Maddy because of how pure and kind she was. She can’t remember a time of ever leaving her house, she literally didn’t understand the concept of traffic. The things we take for granted, are things Maddy was just getting to experience at 18 for the first time. Olly brought out this new person in her and he was so caring and concerned for her.

I’m a huge lover of insta-love in books, so I was kind of worried how this one would play out because the characters don’t get too much interaction together. However, I was not disappointed at all. It was the perfect about of swoony, cute, first love and personal dilemmas with Maddy.

Olly was the perfect image of the boy next door that most girls dream of falling in love with. Enough bad boy vibe, but nothing over the top. Maddy and Olly made one another into better versions of themselves and I think that’s a romance worth looking up to.

I think this may have been my favorite book that I’ve read this year.

The movie, on the other hand, is another story….

Movie Adaptation

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I was so excited to watch the movie adaptation. When I heard this was going to be a movie, I immediately bought a copy to read before it came out. Me being me, I procrastinated all summer and then just waited for it to come out on DVD/BluRay. Sadly, the movie fell way short in my opinion, probably because the book was so fresh on my mind, so I was picking everything they did wrong with it.

I loved these scenes when they were in Hawaii, those were my favorite, but I missed the visit and conversation with Olly’s friend, that seemed like a big part to miss out on, along with the visit with her nurse before she left.

The way they handled the text conversations could have been better. If I hadn’t read the book I would have been really confused. My parents watched this with me and they didn’t understand how one second they were just texting and the next they’re in the diner or library together. However, I did love the astronaut in the background. My favorite part of the whole movie had to be when he was trying to drink his milkshake and he couldn’t because of his helmet. I could not stop laughing!

The casting of Olly and Maddy were fantastic, I felt like these two really pulled off these roles well. I wasn’t too thrilled with the casting for the mother though, correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t she supposed to be Korean and the father African-American?

They should have also stepped out Olly’s father’s drinking and abuse. They hint at it, but not enough.

Overall, I’d give this movie a 2/5 stars. Yeah, I said it, ouch. Was not a fan.

Wanderlost by Jen Malone Review

Title: Wanderlost26244548

Author: Jen Malone

Genre: Young Adult (super YA)

Rating: 2/5 Stars




 

Not all those who wander are lost, but Aubree Sadler most definitely is on this novel’s whirlwind trip through Europe. A romantic and charming YA debut perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Jenny Han.

Aubree can’t think of a better place to be than in perfectly boring Ohio, and she’s ready for a relaxing summer. But when her older sister, Elizabeth, gets into real trouble, Aubree is talked into taking over Elizabeth’s summer job, leading a group of senior citizens on a bus tour through Europe.

Aubree doesn’t even make it to the first stop in Amsterdam before their perfect plan unravels, leaving her with no phone, no carefully prepared binder full of helpful facts, and an unexpected guest: the tour company owner’s son, Sam. Considering she’s pretending to be Elizabeth, she absolutely shouldn’t fall for him, but she can’t help it, especially with the most romantic European cities as the backdrop for their love story.

But her relationship with Sam is threatening to ruin her relationship with her sister, and she feels like she’s letting both of them down. Aubree knows this trip may show her who she really is—she just hopes she likes where she ends up.




 

I’m not 100% sure what it was about this book, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Possibly the first issue I found with it was the boy on the cover did not match the description of the boy in the novel (I don’t see any curly hair on our cover model…) I don’t know who that boy on the cover is, but it definitely was not Sam.

And I was constantly annoyed with Aubree… or is she Elizabeth…. or Lizzie? I felt like she let the lie of who she was go on for way too long and she had so many opportunities to tell the truth.

The old folk were probably the best part of this book, especially Mr. Fenton and Bento. I have no idea what Bento was saying in Spanish, but I think that’s what made me like him so much.

I didn’t start to enjoy this book until 75% of the way through. I think that’s when we start to see Aubree begin to mature. Part of me could relate to her, being terrified of going to a new country and eating new food, but I also thought she was being a tad overdramatic most of the time.

The rating I gave this book was probably the lowest of any book I read this year, but I think that’s only due to the content being for the younger crowd. I could see someone in their early teens really enjoying this book, but as a 27 year old, it wasn’t up to my standards of what makes a YA book good.

With that said, I think Malone did do a good job of describing the European cities that Aubree ventured through, that was the one thing that saved this book from getting a one star (other than the Mr. Fenton plot, loved his character).