Review: Beach Read by Emily Henry

reviews

Title: Beach Read
Author: Emily Henry
Genres: Fiction, Women’s Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit
Published: May 19, 2020
Pages: ~361
My Rating: 4/5
Buy the Book: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indie Bound | Libro.fm | Audible

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

MY REVIEW:
Ok so I’ve gone back and forth with 3.5 stars and 4 stars. The reason I’m giving it 4 stars is because it kind of made me want to think about potentially POSSIBLY writing my own book 😱😂 and if you know me, writing is deff not my strong suit compared to reading. Something about the book made me excited to see how someone can go from a slump to getting out of their comfort zone and writing about something so opposite that would make me feel like my stories wouldn’t be bad. Then the 3.5 stars because it just seemed *long* like the book dragged. I was hoping for more rom-com romance but though it was there it just seemed awkwardly drawn out. I ended up skimming abit throughout the book. The characters were great—wish there was more of Naomi, the back story was depressing. Wish I knew more about her mom. Overall it was such a long story but I can’t pinpoint about what?! So weird I can’t explain it. The title was misleading too—bravo for that because I know a lot of people will want to read thinking it’s like chick lit rom-com book. It’s deff a good book! I just felt it was very very detailed.

Review: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

reviews

Title: The Poet X
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
Genres: YA, Poetry, Coming of Age, Contemporary Fiction
Published: March 6, 2018
Pages: ~368
My Rating: 4/5
Buy the Book: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indie Bound | Libro.fm | Audible

TRIGGERS: RACISM, MISOGYNY, BODY SHAME, SEXUAL HARASSMENT, PARENTAL ABUSE, CHEATING, PANIC ATTACKS, RECREATIONAL DRUG USE, ALCOHOL USE, INFERTILITY, BULLYING

A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

-Goodreads

MY REVIEW:
I finished this book in one sitting, one day. I can’t even put my finger on why or how lol. Maybe because it was a story told in poems and the pages weren’t filled with words it seemed really easy to read and not stop. It wasn’t super captivating like OMG I CANT PUT THIS DOWN. It just somehow happened that I finished the whole thing. It was an amazing story of a young girl finding her voice with a very over bearing and GOD worshiping mother. I got teary eyed at the end and it was a feel good story, especially since in the beginning I was skeptical with how this was going to play out. This was my first poetry book laid out like this and it was really good!

Review: Happily Whatever After by Stewart Lewis

reviews

Title: Happily Whatever After
Author: Stewart Lewis
Genres: Women’s Fiction. Chick Lit, Rom-Com
Published: July 28, 2020
Pages: ~288
My Rating: 4/5
Buy the Book: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indie Bound | Libro.fm | Audible

A dark comedy about putting yourself in unexpected places, reaching for your dreams, and believing in second chances.

Thirtysomething Page was content with her life in New York City—until it went to the dogs. Unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend of four years and fired from her art gallery job in the same week, she flees to Washington, DC, and moves in with her big brother. She hopes the new setting and familial comfort will help her finally find her bearings. What Page finds instead is an unlikely refuge: a park for the neighborhood’s poshest pooches, and a quirky pack of companionable dog-run regulars who become fast friends.

Both four-legged and two-, these new allies offer Page a world of possibilities. The woman who hit rock bottom now has dreams: of having her own business, getting her own place, and even wilder ones about the ruggedly handsome owner of a vineyard and two equally fetching Bernese mountain dogs.

Unleashed from all that once held her back, Page finds everything might be falling into place. But just when she thinks her life is headed in the right direction, the road takes a sharp turn to show her just how unpredictable second chances can be. Will Page get her happily ever after? Is there even such a thing?

Witty, smartly funny, and modernly romantic, Happily Whatever After shows us all that sometimes imperfect can still be good enough.

-Goodreads

MY REVIEW:
Such a great book! It wasn’t exactly what I expected but turned out to be delightful. Great comedy, some romance sprinkled in and then removed and sprinkled back in. New friendships forming and a lot of self discovery. Tragedy hits and then makes everyone put their lives into perspective. It’s a really feel good book that you finish with a smile. Great writing, doesn’t start to slow in the middle and it ends perfectly. Great read!

Review: Miss Cecily’s Recipes for Exceptional Ladies by Vicky Zimmerman

reviews

Title: Miss Cecily’s Recipes for Exceptional Ladies
Author: Vicky Zimmerman
Genres: Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit, Food & Drink
Published: May 30, 2019
Pages: ~326
My Rating: 4/5
Buy the Book: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indie Bound | Libro.fm | Audible

TRIGGERS: MURDER, VIOLENCE, KIDNAPPING.

No woman dreams of being unceremoniously dumped and moving back in with her mother on the eve of her 40th birthday. Food technician Kate Parker’s first response? Denial, long days under her duvet and bucket loads of cheesy pasta. A reluctant Kate finds herself volunteering at the Lauderdale House For Exceptional Ladies. There she meets 96-year-old Cecily Finn – spiky and sharp as a pin, but the spark has gone out of her. She has resigned herself to the imminent End.

Having no patience with Kate’s self-pity, Cecily prescribes her a self-help book with a difference – it’s a 1957 cookery manual, featuring menus for anything life can throw at ‘the easily dismayed’. It promises the answers to essential life questions. So begins an unlikely friendship between two lonely and stubborn souls – one at the end of her life, and one stuck in the middle – who come to show each other that food is for feasting, life is for living and the way to a man’s heart is . . . irrelevant!

-Goodreads

MY REVIEW:
This book was so cute. Took me awhile to finish it (six days) however it was none the less delightful. It’s a great book of unlikely friendships and the trials and tribulations of life, going out of your comfort zones and making yourself your priority. A lot easier said than done but the friendship between Cicely and Kate was so cute and progressed naturally. The end was predictable but had a pleasant surprise. A great read in between heavier reads, though the book is quite lengthy.

Review: Vanilla Bean Vengeance by Agatha Frost

reviews

Title: Vanilla Bean Vengeance
Author: Agatha Frost
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Series: Claire’s Candles #1
Published: February 28, 2020
Pages: ~206
My Rating: 4/5
Buy the Book: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indie Bound | Libro.fm | Audible

TRIGGERS: MURDER

Claire Harris loves nothing more than crafting homemade candles. She has always dreamed of one day opening a quaint candle shop in her home village of Northash, but at thirty-five, she still can’t afford to take the risk. Stuck in a dead-end job at the local candle factory, and back living with her parents, Claire knows her life needs a shakeup.

The last place she expected change to come from was the factory itself, but when the owner is shockingly pushed to her death, Claire’s life is flipped upside down. She isn’t the only person in the village depending on the factory, so when the murder plunges the business’s future into uncertainty, Claire feels compelled to solve the crime.

With the help of her retired-detective father and closest friends, Claire uncovers a tangled web of conspiracies, cover-ups, secrets, and lies, but can she uncover the truth before her candle shop dream slips through her fingers forever?

Book 1 in the Claire’s Candles Cozy Mystery series! Can be read as a standalone. A light, cozy mystery with a candle-loving British amateur female sleuth, in a small village setting with quirky characters. Written in British English. No cliffhanger, swearing, gore or graphic scenes! Contains mild peril.

-Goodreads

MY REVIEW:
This was a first “cozy mystery” read for me. I enjoyed it, it was light and not overly predictable. It wasn’t anything WOW-worthy but I kept wanting to read. Not a long read so I could see myself reading more Agatha Frost books in between heavier reads. I did not realize this was part of a continuing series about Claire, so I can’t wait to read book two soon (Black Cherry Betrayal.)

Review: Play Only For Me by R.B. O’Brien

reviews

Title: Play Only For Me
Author: R.B. O’Brien
Genres: Contemporary Adult Romance
Published: April 26, 2021
Pages: ~200
My Rating: 4/5
Buy the Book: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indie Bound | Libro.fm | Audible

Colton Masters:
I have no idea why I’m being so rude to her. She hasn’t done anything wrong to me. She seems nice actually, sweet. She’s attractive, that’s for sure, but she certainly isn’t trying to capitalize on it. A baggy sweatshirt and a pair of jeans? Maybe it’s the UGGS that get under my skin. The screaming designer label on her sweatshirt. Maybe it’s the fact that I haven’t stopped fantasizing about what she might look like underneath it.

Lauren Percy:
Why is he being so rude to me? He has a face that has that boy charm. Dimples, big brown eyes, sandy hair, clear skin. But as I travel to his chest, I can see this is no innocent boy. Through his white t-shirt that grips his biceps, I see the black ink of tattoos. Where I come from, I have never seen a tattoo up close and personal. His hands are calloused, his fingernails slightly bitten, and he has a slight scar on his collarbone, but it’s hard to see under the hemp choker he’s wearing. He’s sexy as hell.

Play Only For Me is a standalone New Adult Romance of two college music majors discovering themselves but ultimately discovering that true love and dreams can come with sacrifice, and that happy endings are not always one-note, scripted, already-heard songs. 

-Goodreads

MY REVIEW:
This was a very cute read. You can almost cut the tension with a knife while wanting to strangle Colton 😂 The book went at a good pace, a great coming of age story. Bad boy & a virgin. The ending wasn’t what I usually go for but it was good!

Review: The Sound of Love by Kyle Shoop

reviews

Title: The Sound of Love
Author: Kyle Shoop
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Series: Senses of Love #1
Published: January 15, 2020
Pages: ~307
My Rating: 4/5
Buy the Book: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indie Bound | Libro.fm | Audible

“I never stopped looking for you.”

Experience the compelling, heart warming romance of Charlotte and John as they rekindle their long-lost love.

Charlotte and John grew up as young orphans in the secluded outskirts of a rural town. Each day, they’d sneak out to the nearby forest to escape the cold grasp of the orphanage’s tyrant-ruler. However, the safety that came from their friendship was suddenly ripped apart when they got caught.

Years later, Charlotte conquered the marketing world in downtown Portland. Having gained normalcy in her life since her days in the orphanage, Charlotte never expected her world to be turned upside down by John abruptly being thrust back into her life.

But the years since the orphanage had not at all been kind to John, leaving him unable to open up to Charlotte about the details. So, Charlotte seeks to reignite John’s love for playing music, finding that his songwriting is the only way to help him express what he otherwise has difficulty saying.

Would the reunited friends discover that John’s rekindled love for music also rekindled their long-awaited, and much desired, love?

-Goodreads

MY REVIEW:
I loved reading this book. Kyle is such a great author. This story takes you from a sad spot in two kids lives to such a perfect spot in their adult lives. The ending is amazing. You finish the book smiling from ear to ear. It was thee perfect feel good read!