“Reading one book is like eating one potato chip.”
– Diane Duane
Soooo this is something I have always wanted to do. So here it is!! I present to you… my blog, Reading Robyn. Since my biggest hobby (and most likely the main reason I’m sane 😂) is reading, that’s what we will cover here. I am bursting at the seams with book recommendations and opinions on books.
You will get to know me as we go but here are some rapid fire facts about me.
Fave genre: Fantasy!! I love pretty much anything with magic.
Book I rant and rave about: The Illuminae series by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. READ IT WITH THE AUDIO. It’s an incredible experience!! #TrustMe
Stories I’m obsessed with currently: SPACE ADVENTURES!! Don’t worry, I’m working on a list for you!!
Series that got me obsessed with reading: I don’t want to show my age lol but I started with Dr Seuss, then Junie B Jones, then Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. But the ultimate one that cemented my commitment to fantasy.. Harry Potter.
Comment below and tell me what book(s) got you into reading.
Y’all I am not good with time zones so I thought I had another hour or so to finish typing this up. I made a mistake and started Hamilton (again, don’t judge me) and was just sitting here crying to “It’s Quiet Uptown” when I remembered that EST is actually an hour ahead of me soooooooooooo the deadline is in 18 min andddddd I am now working diligently to get this post up for you.
Can we talk a about how absolutely adorable this cover is? That is originally what made me what to read this book. Then I was curious about how much Shakespeare would be in it since I have always be interested in Shakespeare.
Since the book does not released for another 9 days or so I will try reallllllllllyyyyy hard not to get spoilery in my review. Here’s the synopsis:
Alison Green, desperate valedictorian-wannabe, agrees to produce her school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. That’s her first big mistake. The second is accidentally saying Yes to a date with her oldest friend, Jack, even though she’s crushing onCharlotte. Alison manages to stay positive, even when her best friend starts referring to the play as “Ye Olde Shakespearean Disaster.” Alison must cope with the misadventures that befall the play if she’s going to survive the year. She’ll also have to grapple with what it means to be “out” and what she might be willing to give up for love.
Dani Jansen is a teacher and writer who lives in Montreal. She should probably be embarrassed to admit that she has performed as part of her school’s Glee Club for eight years. She should probably also be ashamed to tell people that she named her cats after punctuation symbols (Ampersand and Em-Dash, in case you’re curious)
Review: I spent a lot of time relating to Alison. She was awkward around her crush and often made missteps but with good intentions. She is one of those people that have a goal and do everything within their power to accomplish that goal even if sometimes that might be detrimental to herself. This is a cute book and the voice it gives to teens who are LGBTQ+ is important because not every experience is the same. There is no rule book on being who you are and how to navigate those around you who may or may not have a reaction to you simply being who you are. I would definitely recommend this book to others to read, especially teenage readers. I did hope for a little more Shakespeare though especially since A Midsummer’s Night Dream is my favorite play.
We need to talk about this book yall. I have tried to start 3 other books since I finished Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles this morning and I am not able to concentrate on a single one because all I want is the next book in this series! (Wow that was a run on sentence. Eek.) So I decided that I needed to post my review for it immediately.
I want to start off by saying I was shocked by some of the lower reviews on Goodreads but to each their own because I loved this book. Maybe it is because I am a heavy heavy fantasy book reader or maybe it is because as a heavy fantasy book reader I am used to having unanswered questions. Y’all… this one still threw me for a loop so I gueesssss I can understand the hard feelings for it. (Not really) Anyways, on to my review!
Review: It’s important that I get these thoughts out while I’m still reeling from this book.
Let’s get the formalities out of the way first. Thank you Wednesday Books and Edelweiss for a copy of this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Y’all… 😭😬 I just made a false claim that I would no longer request arcs for book ones of a new series. Why? Because when I finish a good one I need the next book right away and waiting a year (forever) for the next book is painful. And I need book two of this series ASAP. Lemme tell you why…
Where Dreams Descend is a fantasy mystery. There’s magic so obvs fantasy but there’s something dark at work here and we don’t exactly know who or what it is at the start of the book. As each Act is complete we learn more and more about the pasts of the characters on the center stage. Kallia, our fierce female lead, is a solid character but she’s a unreliable narrator because of Jack. Jack is a powerful magician (or something stronger 🤷🏽♀️) who deals in memories. Early on we learn that he has been taking memories and creating illusions and despite their strange relationship, Kallia is not safe from him toying with her mind. Daron “Daring” Demarco is a born magician who has a tragic past that has caused him to stop using magic. He is a judge in a show that Kallia enters against Jack’s wishes. Y’all know there’s a love triangle right? Kinda. Not really but kinda… I mean it’s complicated anyway despite Daring Demarco’s best intentions he cannot seem to resist Kallia.
Now the reason why I need the next book now is that as usual book one ends with a cliffhanger. It was expected however what I didn’t expect is to be left with some fundamental questions being left unanswered. Throughout most the book (SPOILER ALERT HERE) we are led to believe that Jack is the antagonist. He is the big bad and every time he enters the story we are on edge. But… nope. He’s not. There is a bigger problem than Jack. A stronger, darker force behind all the horrible things that happen in this little forgotten town in the middle of a cursed dark wood that is from a different dimension. And we don’t know who or what it is. We also don’t know anything about this mirror dimension. (I’m going to call it the Shadow Realm.)
At the end of the day, I have plenty of crazy theories.
The town is a gateway to hell.
Yeahhhh I should have started with a different theory first because now that I’ve said that one… it’s definitely a gateway to hell because I can’t understand how it can be anything else. Other than like the land of the dead which is just a cooler way of saying hell. (SPOILER ALERT OVER)
Anyway, I enjoyed the story and I need more of it. Now. This review is much more spoilery than my typical reviews but I did hold a lot of stuff back. I texted my friends when I was about 30% into it and said “I feel like I’ve read a lot of this book because there is so much happening but I’m only 30% in.” It’s well written, intriguing, dramatic and fully immersive if you love fantasy, magic and stubborn, fierce female leads.
Review: I had a hard time rating this one. Overall I liked the book but I felt like things didn’t always flow naturally. I also think that the romance took a back seat to the gaming, sexism and diversity topics. They are very important topics so that’s a good think but the title makes you think romance. I also expected this hated filled coworker relationship but it’s a misunderstanding that’s resolved at the very beginning. I honestly like the characters and I was rooting for melody but I just wanted more of her and Noah.
Review: Liliana is accepted to Metco, a program to bus intercity kids to better schools in the suburbs. Those schools are attended by majority white and well off students. She didn’t know she was even on a list to go. Her parents signed her up years earlier. Her father has been gone for a few months and she is missing him. He occasionally takes breaks away from his family but he has been gone longer than usual. Her parents are immigrants from El Salvador and Guatemala. Her parents are very strict and she is not allowed to date or spend the night at friend’s houses. When she starts attending her new school we get to see liliana navigate her two separate lives, her new school and her home. She says she likes to keep her corn with the corn. The book follows her struggles at home and her struggles to excel in a school where she feels out of place and has trouble adjusting. She is also dealing with racism at her school. I really enjoyed this book. It has something very important to say and I think it should be a must read for all kids in high school. People need to learn about other cultures and embrace diversity.
Review: This is a must read if you like thrillers and YA. I was hooked. It is really an easy and fast paced read! The main characters made me go through all my emotions. I loved them and hated them. The book had so many twists and turns and uses my feelings and emotions against me! The ending gives you no easy answers either! In short, I loved it. Go read it lol
Review: TW: postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, violent thoughts towards infants
This was a tough read for me and I’ve hesitated to write this review. I want to preface this by saying that I am not typically a thriller person and I always second guess my initial thoughts upon finishing a thriller novel if they don’t blow me away initially. As a Creative Writer Major I can say that this story was very well written and told in a way that made me need to know how the story ended. While the content was a bit underwhelming at times I think it was a good look inside what could potentially go on in the mind of a mother with postpartum depression and anxiety. As a mother I could sympathize with the main characters, the struggle of maintaining a household with small children, the pressure from your significant other, family and ultimately yourself. I haven’t personally experienced postpartum depression so I can’t say whether the characterization is accurate or not. If it is, how absolutely terrifying.
My main takeaway from this book is to check on your friends who are moms, whether they are new moms or just had their second or third child. Offer to babysit just so they can sleep. Or drop off wine if you aren’t a baby person. Moms, it’s okay to not be okay and sometimes you might need help. Reach out, don’t let your pride or fear of judgement stop you from getting the help and support you need.
Review: Y’all… this book!! As an avid fan of Stranger Things I KNEW I had to have this book when it was suggested for people who enjoy that show. They were not wrong. While this book starts out slow, it is well written and you learn a lot about the characters in the beginning. I was on the edge of my seat (figuratively not literally) while reading this because I knew there was going to be some aliens or something from another dimension coming. The reader is kept in the dark for most of the book but that is because the characters are as well. We find out things at the same time and despite the clues that I am sure were there for the characters and the reader, I was completely caught off guard when the big reveal happened. I wish the ending was paced slower since the rest of the book was but it was good. The only way for this to have been paced slower at the end would be if the author decided to make it into a series but as it is now, that is not necessary. Well done. Would recommend.
I’m sure yall know by now that I am trash for anything Fantasy or Sci-Fi. So I absolutely had to jump on the chance to do a cover reveal for this book when I read the synopsis. Now even though anyone will tell you that I am quick to pick up a book based solely on its cover, I am going to give you the synopsis first.
SYNOPSIS: When a heist goes terribly wrong and the binding spell holding 17-year-old Neva’s powers at bay is shattered, the half-human thief knows she’s in trouble.
Neva has always hidden her Da’Valian heritage while working risky jobs to make a name for herself and serving at her family’s tavern, but she won’t be able to hide much longer. She can either risk the safety of those she cares about or seek out her mother’s people to gain control over her emerging powers.
The Da’Valia are beautiful, brutal creatures created by the god of war, and the austere Da’Valian soldier Astiand reluctantly agrees to take Neva to his clan under his protection. She makes unexpected friends, including the handsome fighter Emiliand, and a new enemy in the clan’s ruthless leader.
Spying on her guardian, the sly heroine quickly discovers just how deep she has stumbled into a dangerous, developing clan feud.
Will she be able to embrace who she is in time to keep her loved ones safe?
But whaaaatttttt dooooessssss it look like Robyn??? Okay okay I’ll show you.
Then of course we need to see who is the brilliant mind behind this story.
Author Info: Christina Davis was raised in the Santa Cruz Mountains and is a California girl at heart. She spent much of her childhood in and out of hospitals and embraced reading as an escape. After being home-schooled through high school, she graduated summa cum laude from San Jose State University and attended NYU’s Summer Publishing Institute before embarking on a decade-long career in journalism. She enjoys chocolate, cosplay, coffee, and board games, but not necessarily in that order. She now lives in beautiful Monterey County with her husband and daughter.
Whew we made it through another week of the year 2020 and we have new books to talk about!
How is everybody doing? Are you taking care of yourself? Drinking water? Popping an unnecessary amount of vitamin C? Washing your hands? We have to stick together if we are going to make it through this Monday of a year. (Seriously, doesn’t the ENTIRE year feel like a Monday? Every single day???)
Okay, enough wallowing… Let’s get to the books!
1. Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters (BACKLIST Published July 14th, 2020)
Review: I wasn’t sure what to expect with this one but I really loved it! This is an amazingly eerie debut about a girl desperate to save her brother and a fiddle that raises ghosts. I didn’t realize that this was a magical realism novel and was surprised by the modern setting. However I found that the author did a great job blending the magic into the contemporary to make a very spooky atmosphere. There are a lot of secrets and really make this into a mystery as well. Overall it is a great read and I’m sad it’s the authors first book. I need more! 😂
Review: I really loved this book! I’m always here for a story about a princess and this one had a little twist! The authors writing and world building was amazing! It is an original story but I could feel some other fairytales in it like Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast and Repunzel. The story was all about magic and powers but wasn’t too whimsical which is my favorite! I would highly recommend this book. I need to read the authors other book!
Review: All Our Worst Ideas is all about the power of love. I loved it and wanted more! It is so well written! The heartache and drama was realistic and relatable. The sarcasm and wit made me smile and laugh. It just really made me feel all emotions. It felt like a bridge between YA and new adult. I loved all the music and when the main characters find their song 💕 This is really a perfect book!
Review: I really don’t know what I feel about this book And how I should rate it. I feel like this is two different books. The first half is beautiful and has something to say about discrimination, sexual assault and immigration. When I started I couldn’t put the book down. The second half involved aliens and went somewhere I wasn’t expecting. It was still interested but I didn’t have the same pull. I really don’t know how I feel about the 2nd half. Maybe I need to process more. If It has continued on the same path as the first half easily 5 stars. They even mention one of my favorite books. If I’m rating the 2nd half 3 stars. It’s not bad just really different and I wasn’t prepared. I may have to revisit this review.
Review: I’m torn because I really loved this book and I’m really excited for the sequel. It’s relevant to today but It lagged just a bit so I docked it half a star. Manu is an illegal immigrant who lives with her mom and 95 Perla. Manu is trapped inside because she has different color and shapes eyes. If she was discovered her mother and her could be deported or could be in danger. She lives her life thru books and dreams. When ICE takes her mom, she runs off and ends up in the place from her dreams. This book Tackles immigration, sexism, and individuality. It’s steeped in folklore and fantasy and magical realism. It comes together beautifully. It’s very vivid and excited. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends.
So as you all know there was a significant amount of time that passed that where I was not posting and not reading but WE ARE BACK ON THE GRIND!! Which means there are quite a few books that were neglected that I have to tell you all about.
Review: Another great book from Talia Hilbert. If you are in search of a smart, funny, sexy love story you found it. Dani is a professor who hasn’t been a relationship since the first guy broke her heart. Zafir works security at her university. He is large and grumpy and everyone is afraid of him but Dani. She was honks he is a teddy bear. Zafir was a former soccer player who quit when he lost his brother and father in a car accident. He doesn’t believe in sex without a relationship, and Dani only wants sex with no strings attached. When dani gets trapped in the elevator during a drill, zafir rushes to her aid and carries her out of the building. That footage is leaked and it brings a lot of attention to Zafir’s foundation to help boys. Zafir is convinces by his family that this great publicity for his foundation. He has Dani to be his fake girlfriend and they begin a “relationship”. Their chemistry is undeniable and Dani finds zafir’s understanding of her schedule endearing. I would definitely recommend this. I love all the worry dialogue and the steamy love scenes.
Review: This reminded me of If I Was Your Girl except it’s a trans boy. It’s heartbreaking, and thought provoking. Pony is has transferred to a new school because of all the attention at this old school. His father isn’t addressing him with his preferred pronouns. He just wants to fly under the radar at the new school. Georgia is a cheerleader who just broke up with her jock boyfriend. She is starting to feel like there is more to life. She promises herself she will stop dating but when she meets Pony sparks fly. Pony isn’t out and isn’t ready to be out but has feelings for Georgia. I love how the story unfolds. I would definitely recommend this book to others but it is a hard read.
Review: This was a very unique take on the Cinderella story. I cheered for Sophia the entire time and enjoyed every bit of her journey. There is absolutely no way for me to summarize this story without giving spoilers so here are some things I want to highlight. Sophia is black obviously from the cover. This does feature a f/f couple and nothing is as it seems. Like I mentioned before, this is a very unique take on this particular fairytale that we have seen done hundreds of ways. I’ll recommend it to anyone who likes retellings and strong female leads.
Thank you Netgalley and edelweiss for a copy of this eARC in exchange for a honest review
Review: The best part of this book was the sisterhood between the two main characters. Their story was about discovering themselves and each other and it was not romance driven at all. The worst part of the book was the use of the word legiterally. I cringed every time I read it.
This is a powerful book to read right now as it speaks about discrimination, prejudice and the fallout from both. It speaks about how to the characters handle being “different.” It speaks about sisterhood and the importance of having at least one person in your corner.
Review: This book was so good! I went into it blindly and I’m so speechless. It gets the best after 50% just so you know. Once you hit that part you won’t be able to put it down! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time! So many twists and turns at the end! The writing style was spectacular! I can’t wait to read more by this author
Guess who’s back!!! Omg this… (gestures everywhere) has thrown off our reading schedules but I think we are back. June was a rough month reading wise, so bad we shall never speak of it again.
(Ugh I just broke an important key on my keyboard 🤦🏽♀️ the freaking delete button. 😩)
Let’s get started!!
1. More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M Masood Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42655335-more-than-just-a-pretty-face Rating: ALL THE STARS Review: I loved this book. It made me feel the full range of emotions and it made me think. That’s all it takes from me to give a book all the stars. Danyel is a senior in high school. He doesn’t do well in school. He wants to be a chef and marry his best friend’s sister. She is a beautiful girl. Danyel’s mother doesn’t think she is the one and neither do his friends. Danyel’s parents have arranged for him to start meeting girls and their families so his marriage can be arranged. Bismal has a past and her parents don’t think any of the boys will agree to marry her but they keep trying. It’s breaking her spirit. Danyel is chosen to represent his class on a renaissance man competition. His teacher has given up on him. Everyone has. Bismal begins to help him and open his eyes to the world, to love and religion. Danyel begins to help her remember what being happy is again. I would recommend this to everyone. -S Amazon: https://amzn.to/3fx49WW
2. You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52886627-you-had-me-at-hola Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️/5 Review: Loved it. Everything I want in a romance bonus the characters are all Latinex. This book is fun and sexy. Jasmine has just been dumped on tv by her rockstar boyfriend. She is moving from LA to New York to start working on a new show for flix. Her family lives in New York and although she loves them, it is easier when they aren’t in the same city. Ashton has been in Miami starring in telenovelas but he wants to make the leap to larger productions. His family and his son live in Puerto Rico. He had a stalker when his son Yadiel was a baby and he decided to keep him out of the spotlight. They both plan to keep the set strictly business but fate has a different plan. They have chemistry and when they start to rehearse together, they start to have feelings for each other but things get complicated. I won’t go further but I definitely recommend picking this up for a steamy, fun read! -S
Thank you Edelweiss and Random House for a copy of this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Since I absolutely adored the first 2 books in this series I knew I had to get my hands on this one.
Rosie meets a super cute and intriguing guys at Excelsicon and has a great night but they don’t exchange information or even tell each other what their names are. Ahhhh I don’t want to spoil it! Read the book!! If you’ve read book 1 and 2 and loved them… get ready for this installment of this feel good romance series. For those who haven’t started the series yet… do you like comic cons? Fanfics? Sci-fi and space adventures? With a heavy sprinkle of YA romance? Pick up this series. -J
4. The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed Goodreads: Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ /5 Review: This book is well done. It’s very relevant to what’s going on as you read this. It addresses identity, racism, institutionalized racism, mental illness. It’s a hard read but it’s real.
Ashley lives in la with her parents. She lives in Brentwood and goes to a private school. All of her friends are white. Her sister dropped out of college and moved closer to downtown LA and eloped. Ashley is trying to discover herself thru her relationships and family. She is graduating this year. At the same time, LA is awaiting the results of the Rodney King Verdict. She has been friends with the same three girls since elementary. She knows their friendship isn’t the same anymore but it’s graduation year. We watch her and her family react to the verdict. As things begin to happen, her family begins to learn more about themselves and each other. There are family secrets that have been hidden. Ashley’s parent have been trying to protect her and her sister but when your black you have to grow up faster. You have to be better. I really enjoyed where the story went and how things come together. I would definitely recommend this to everyone but especially to high school students. I think it’s a must read. -S
5. They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43785478-they-wish-they-were-us Rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️/5 Review: Fast paced read. It definitely kept me interested and I finished in one day. Murder, rich children from important families and lots of secrets. Jill attends a prep school. She is on scholarship. She is in a very exclusive club called The Players. Her best friend was killed freshmen year and she still has nightmares about it. The killer is in jail, her loving boyfriend. Jill gets a message from his sister and things begin to unravel. I would definitely recommend this to my friends. -K
I have been super stressed about it, so much so that I haven’t even signed up for any others because I had to know if this one went well first.
Let’s talk about the book shall we? First, y’all know I am a sucker for covers so check this beauty out.
If there was someway to make this light up on my bookshelf without ruining the book… I would figure it out because I am in love with this design.
Now for the nitty-gritty stuff.
Synopsis: New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty returns to her roots with this YA coming of age story set in a New Jersey mall.The year is 1991. Scrunchies, mixtapes and 90210 are, like, totally fresh. Cassie Worthy is psyched to spend the summer after graduation working at the Parkway Center Mall. In six weeks, she and her boyfriend head off to college in NYC to fulfill The Plan: higher education and happily ever after.But you know what they say about the best laid plans…Set entirely in a classic “monument to consumerism,” the novel follows Cassie as she finds friendship, love, and ultimately herself, in the most unexpected of places. Megan McCafferty, beloved New York Times bestselling author of the Jessica Darling series, takes readers on an epic trip back in time to The Mall.
Author bio: Megan McCafferty writes fiction for tweens, teens and teens-at-heart of all ages. The author of several novels, she’s best known for Sloppy Firsts and several more books in the New York Times bestselling Jessica Darling series. Described in her first review as “Judy Blume meets Dorothy Parker” (Wall Street Journal), she’s been trying to live up to that high standard ever since.
But wait! I haven’t even told you how we here at Reading Robyn felt about the book. We totally loved it.
Jen- ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️/5
Everyone who know me knows I love the 90s! Not only was life simpler back then but the music was incredible no matter the genre! And every 90s kid knows how important being at the mall was for your social life and entertainment.
Cassie, our main character, suffers a heartbreak early in the book but that heartbreak leads to adventure, friendship and most importantly self discovery. This book is about learning who you are and what your boundaries are. It is about learning to be the very best version of yourself despite what life might throw at you or in the case of most teenagers in the world, what situations you find yourself in.
If you want a nostalgic read that takes place in The Mall of old (because lets be honest malls have lost their shine these days) then this is a book for you.
Kaitlin- ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️/5
I loved this book from the beginning. It’s a very quick and easy read. The authors writing style pulled me in and didn’t let me go. It was very nostalgic and fun. The perfect carefree entertainment that we all need right now. We can’t go to the mall right now so you can read about it 🤪 I highly recommend this book! I need to read more by this author.
Steph- ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️/5
I was immediately into this book. I was in high school in the 90s so it was really nostalgic. It’s a quick and fun read about a girl finding out who she really is. Cassie has just graduated from high school. It’s the summer before she leaves for college and she has it all planned out but she is in for a surprise. Things go very differently than she has planned but it’s for the best. She reconnects with an old friend Gia. She helps Gia solve a mystery and starts to find herself in the process. I would definitely recommend this book.
All the important links for this book are here below:
I can’t tell if we are living in a dystopian novel right now or not. (Can we all agree that it is a poorly written one? 0 stars would not recommend.) But I can tell that we are living through history. There will be books written about this time period. This will be taught in schools. I know it’s stressful and at times you may feel powerless and overwhelmed. One of the best ways for me to feel better is to escape into a book. So we are going to do our best to help you all do the same.
However, another important part of reading is learning. Even though some people may argue against this but a lot can be learned from a fiction novel. There is something about immersing yourself into a story that can teach you how that main character felt. You can learn lessons from the morals of stories. You can travel the world, the galaxies and entirely new and different universes.
We have a lot to learn and a lot to discover. Some of the lists we will curate in the coming months will have a purpose. Yes, we will still keep you up to date on new releases but we are going to take things a little deeper now because our world demands that we start taking things more seriously. We are not going to beat you over the head with things because we know that reading is an escape but we will try to introduce you to new voices, different perspectives and we hope that we all can grow from this.
If there is a book that you have read that you think everyone should read, message us on Reading Robyn’s facebook page or Instagram and tell us why.
Alright… I’ve been slacking. Finals and homeschooling my kids completely wrecked me this month so I owe you some reviews. My backlist definitely took a hit this month. Let’s get right into it!
1. Happy & You Know It by Laura Hankin Rating: ALL THE STARS Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52358404 Review: Highly entertaining and hilarious. Claire has been kicked out of her band right as they are becoming famous. She is broke and accepts an offer to sing at a mommy and baby playgroup. The moms are beautiful and perfect and seem to have it all together, but nothing is as it seems. They are all keeping secrets. This was really well done and I could not put it down. It does get dark as the secrets are revealed. Definitely prepare for some twist and turns. I would highly recommend this book.
2. Beach Read by Emily Henry Rating: ALL THE STARS Goodreads: Review: This wasn’t what I was expecting and I absolutely loved that. I was thinking a rom com but it’s so much more. It’s is funny in a wonderfully sarcastic way. There is definitely also romance but in a slow all consuming way. This isn’t an immediate love at first site. There are layers. January is a broke romance writer, who has been unable to write since the death of her father. She found out he wasn’t the man she thought he was. He had a secret life that everyone but her knew about and she is struggling to come to terms. She goes to the beach house (his love best with the other woman) he left her. She plans the wrote the book she owes her agent and prepare the house to be sold. She fights with her neighbor the first day. He turns out to be her college Nemesis Gus. I feel like this book is way more realistic. They both have flaws and fears and they are dealing with their pasts. They are trying to figure out their next moves and write their next books in the process. I don’t want to give away to much but this book is heartbreaking and beautiful and funny. It’s a must read for everyone.
3. Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson Rating: 2/5 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51351884 Review: I was Excited for this book but it just didn’t live up to the hype. It’s told from two different perspectives. The problem is they aren’t written well. Its very predictable and there isn’t much of a romance.
4. A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos Rating: DNF 25% Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52219879 Review: I wanted to love this but sadly I didn’t. It isn’t written well and there is much character development. It’s a predictable and dry. I’m sad to write this I had high hopes.
5. The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos Rating: 2/5 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/work/best_book/70026994-the-fascinators Review: I was so excited for this. I mean it mentions Simon vs the Homosapiens as a comparison but atlas it did not deliver. I’m really sad. The premise and cover had me hoping as well. Unfortunately the plot moves at a snails pace and then it rushes at the end. There is no character building so you don’t fall in love with anyone. It’s just never got anywhere.
6. By the Book by Amanda Sellet Rating: 4/5 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/45861077 Review: Mary lives in her own private classic literary world. Her parents are both professors and most of her family is obsessed with books. She is moving to a new school and she only has one friend. Her friend dumps her on the first day of school. Now is alone and since she lines in her world of books she has t spent a lot of time socializing. She accidentally steps in to cover a bookstore and meets three popular classmates. She drops in on their conversation to save one girl from a guy she thinks is bad news. She uses literary examples and titles of characters and the girls welcome her to their friend group. They work to introduce her to her new social world while she helps them to navigate the available boys using her literary knowledge. It’s a cute book. Great for the book loving public. If you live classics you may really enjoy this one.
7. The Paper Girl of Paris by Jordyn Taylor Rating: 4/5 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52462895 Review: Alice’s gram has died and left her an apartment in Paris along with a many family secrets. This was an interesting read with lots of feels towards the end. It told from Alice’s perspective in present day Paris and gram’s sister Adalyn’s perspective during WW2. Its very exciting to watch the story unfold. My only issue is the portrayal of depression. I won’t go into detail but they make it seem so easy to resolve. Warning this isn’t light reading. There are some horrible stories about the treatments of Jews and the resistance in Adalyn’s narrative. No worse than other books about World War II, but it is always hard to learn about. I would recommend this book to anyone. It kept me engaged and I didn’t want to stop reading.
9. Recipe of Persuasion Rating: 4/5 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52695036 Review: Trigger warnings: rape, suicide, panic attacks This isn’t your normal rom com. There are real issues being dealt with. That being said there is great character building and story building. There is a lot of chemistry between the main characters Ashna and Rico. I couldn’t put it down and would definitely recommend it. I truly enjoyed the first book in the series as well. Her stories are deep and passionate and beautiful.this is told from three different perspectives, ashna, Rico and Shobi, Ashni’s mother. Also it does go back and forth from past to present but I think it’s done seamlessly. It’s basically about mending past relationships.
10. The Black Flamingo Rating: ALL THE STARS Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41020406 Review: Wow, just wow. What a powerful beautiful book written in verse. It is the story of Michael. He lives with his mother and he half Black, half Greek. His father isn’t in the picture, although his uncle is. A five Michael knows he wants a Barbie for his six birthday. He knows he can’t dress the way he wants. He knows he isn’t black enough, he isn’t man enough. He isn’t enough. This is a story of loving yourself, of embracing your uniqueness, of coming out in your own terms. This is a must read for anyone struggling to be themselves, for those who are never enough. It deserves all the stars!
Can we just give Stephanie a huge round of applause?? Because these are alllllll her reviews. She killed it this month and I would not even begin to be able to do this without her. And maybe talk to her about us starting a book club because she says no allll the time. Thanks guys!