Book Review – Dark Triumph

“Jewels can be replaced, cousin. Independence, once lost, cannot.”

Title: Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2)

Author: Robin LaFevers

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Publication date: April 2nd, 2013

416 pages

4.5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

The convent returns Sybella to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. And while Sybella is a weapon of justice wrought by the god of Death himself, He must give her a reason to live. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

Return to the world of the critically acclaimed His Fair Assassin series in this “romantic fantasy with a vengeance” and sequel to Grave Mercy that takes reader’s deep into the wicked world of corrupt politics, dangerous love, and hard-won vengeance.

Review

“It is a good thing I no longer have a heart, because if I did, it would surely break.”

robin lafevers, dark triumph

TW: incest, sexual assault, murder

So, I was very iffy on Grave Mercy as a book because the MC just wasn’t very interesting to me – but I LOVE Sybella. I adored this book so much more than the first because Sybella’s story was so much more interesting and enthralling. Sybella is sent off to her family’s home in order to spy for the convent, as he father is the horrid man trying to marry the young duchess. It is clear from the start that Sybella had a terrible upbringing, her brother molested her and her father may have as well. Everyone is terrified to be in his father’s court, as he is impulsive and violent. But, Sybella must spy for the good of all Brittany. But, what ends are too far for even her to justify the means?

Ugh I loved this book. I felt so deeply for Sybella. She is a character struggling with her destiny and her past. Her father has her watched by her ladies in waiting, and she is in constant danger of being discovered as one of Mortain’s assassins. She also has to fend off her brother’s “love” at all times. All while following orders and keeping herself motivated. She is such a strong character. And don’t even get me started on her romance with the giant man, who loves her even with her past and even though it connects so painfully to his. *swoon*

The action is really starting to ramp up with this book. I almost felt like the first book suffered more of middle book syndrome than this book did. The action never stopped and I love learning more about Mortain with every book, and how it’s likely the convent has misinterpreted (whether purposefully or accidentally) his meaning and visions. It’s truly an interesting magic system that I’m excited to keep reading about.

The MC from the first book is still in this book, but she was still fairly infuriating. Thankfully, she held a much smaller part because she really gets on my nerves. There were so many times during this book she could have explained to Sybella what she learned in the first book, and helped her escape the grips of the convent – but she chose not to. It drove me absolutely batty.

As a second book goes, this was fantastic and has me enthusiastically looking forward to continuing the trilogy with Mortal Heart.

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – One Hundred Dogs & Counting

Title: One Hundred Dogs and Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and A Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues

Author: Cara Sue Achterberg

Publisher: Pegasus Books

Publication date: July 7th, 2020

304 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

After nearly a year struggling to find a home for a particular foster dog, Cara begins to wonder how the story ends—when will all the dogs be saved? Even after the one-hundredth foster dog passes through Cara’s home, the stream of homeless dogs appears endless.  Seized by the need to act, Cara grabs her best friend, fills a van with donations, and heads south to discover what is really happening in the rural shelters where her foster dogs originate.

What she discovers will break her heart and compel her to share the story of heroes and villains and plenty of good dogs, in the hope of changing this world. 

From North Carolina where pit bulls fill the shelters and heart-worm rages to Tennessee where dogs are left forgotten in pounds and on to Alabama where unlikely heroes fight in a state that has largely forsaken its responsibilities to its animals, Cara meets the people working on the front lines in this national crisis of unwanted animals. The dogs, the people and their inspiring stories draw her south again and again in search of answers and maybe a dog of her own.

One Hundred Dogs and Counting will introduce the reader to many wonderful dogs—from sweet Oreo to quirky Flannery—but also to inspirational people sacrificing personal lives and fortunes to save deserving animals.

Join Cara on the rescue road as she follows her heart into the places where too many dogs are forgotten and discovers glimmers of hope that the day is coming when every dog will have a home.

Review

Thank you to Cara Sue Achterberg for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

100 Dogs & Counting is a narrative of one woman’s experiences with fostering over 100 dogs in her county of PA – and going on an emotional journey of the South’s animal shelters and “dog pounds” to learn more about the challenges affecting animal shelters striving to be “no kill”. In an emotional tale, Cara meets with many administrators in the South working to educate the public, save animals, and change attitudes towards pets. Most animal shelter workers spend their own money, time, and resources to help these animals in these underfunded counties.

Okay, I did not go into this book expecting it to be as emotional as it was. I was expecting an interesting memoir about Cara’s fostering journey – and enjoying some lighthearted stories about my favorite, furry animals. Now, that is the first part of the book – you learn about Gala and other dogs that Cara pours her heart and soul into (to the chagrin of her husband, Nick). But the second half of the book really shows Cara’s journey into the South and the eye opening experiences.

Y’all it is terribly sad the conditions animals are living under. This book made me so angry on behalf of the dogs and cats living in those situations – it is something that I’ve never really thought about or heard about before, and it is just awful. It was heartwarming to hear that even under those conditions, there are people working tirelessly to save as many animals as possible.

For an educational book, it didn’t read like non-fiction books can. It was interesting and kept me turning to page to learn more. The writing style is less a structured story, and more of a time lapse – if that makes sense. Basically it seems like a summary of a few months of her life, used to really portray the issues and her work to assist in the ways she can. Also, she talks about her own experiences and how even fostering over 100 dogs – it is really just a drop in the bucket.

This book made me want to foster dogs IMMEDIATELY. If I lived in more than a shoebox sized town house with my fiance and personal dog, I definitely would be. I’ve already told the fiance that we will be fostering once we buy our own house and have enough space.

Please read if you love dogs and animals!

Happy reading, folks!

BLOG TOUR Book Review – In the Neighborhood of True

Title: In the Neighborhood of True

Author: Susan Kaplan Carlton

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Publication date: April 9th, 2019

320 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

A powerful story of love, identity, and the price of fitting in or speaking out.

After her father’s death, Ruth Robb and her family transplant themselves in the summer of 1958 from New York City to Atlanta—the land of debutantes, sweet tea, and the Ku Klux Klan. In her new hometown, Ruth quickly figures out she can be Jewish or she can be popular, but she can’t be both. Eager to fit in with the blond girls in the “pastel posse,” Ruth decides to hide her religion. Before she knows it, she is falling for the handsome and charming Davis and sipping Cokes with him and his friends at the all-white, all-Christian Club.

Does it matter that Ruth’s mother makes her attend services at the local synagogue every week? Not as long as nobody outside her family knows the truth. At temple Ruth meets Max, who is serious and intense about the fight for social justice, and now she is caught between two worlds, two religions, and two boys. But when a violent hate crime brings the different parts of Ruth’s life into sharp conflict, she will have to choose between all she’s come to love about her new life and standing up for what she believes.

Review

TW: racism, anti-Semitism, bombing

Set in Atlanta in the 1950’s, In the Neighborhood of True tackles anti-Semitism and racism through the eyes of 16 year old Ruth Robb. Ruth just moved to Atlanta and want to participate in being a debutante, but has to hide her Jewish faith as she wouldn’t be allowed to participate if people knew. She meets new friends, gets a boyfriend, and thinks all is swell until her temple is bombed by by someone with the KKK. The bomber took issues with her temple and rabbi assisting black churches in the efforts of integration and the equality of Black people in the South. Ruth must make a choice – honor her heritage or her newfound friends.

This story has a lot of timeliness, as there is much going on right now in America that frankly doesn’t feel much different than is portrayed in this book. The millennium may change, but people and hate have stayed consistent. It was interesting to read in the dialect and slang of the South at the time, and see just how different life was. Ruth’s story was eye opening in many ways.

The story felt slow in the beginning and the middle, I wasn’t quite sure where it was going. But by the last 100 pages, it really picked up and showed the true struggle that Ruth was going through. Because what 16 year old doesn’t want to fit in? But is it worth changing who you are, just to please others? I felt it was well done by the author to show Ruth not only learning to accept herself as Jewish, but see Black people as equal and deserving. Ruth messed up often in the book, but was open to correction, and sometimes that’s all we can do.

I highly recommend reading this if you have an interest in social justice and the current events happening now.

Thank you to Algonquin Young Readers for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – Just Saying

Title: Just Saying

Author: Sophie Ranald

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: July 3rd, 2020

300 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

I almost gave up on love. My ex, who called his private parts ‘Nigel’, was enough to put me off men forever. But then I met Joe.

Alice thought she’d found Mr Right. Her blue-eyed boyfriend Joe gives her butterflies, makes her bacon sandwiches when she’s hungover, and doesn’t have a nickname for any of his body parts.

She should have known it was too good to be true. Because one day, Alice and Joe bump into Zoe. According to him, Zoe’s ‘just an old friend’. But Alice saw the way they froze, and heard the strange note in Joe’s voice when he said her name.

Then, out of the blue, Zoe needs a place to live. And Joe has the bright idea of inviting her, and her fluffy ginger cat Frazzle, to stay with them.

Alice tries her hardest not to feel threatened. But the thing is, Zoe doesn’t survive off microwave meals, or go days without washing her glossy copper-coloured hair, or accidentally get mascara in her contact lenses.

Joe’s ex might be pretty much perfect, but there’s no way that Alice will let Zoe steal him. She’s on a mission to prove that three (four, if you count the cat) is definitely a crowd…

Review

TW: sexual assault

Just Saying follows Alice and Joe, trainee lawyers in England as they finish up their training years. Alice and Joe have been dating for a long time, and it’s just natural that they will continue to be together. Until it all starts to come apart. They bump into Joe’s college girlfriend Zoe, Alice loses her job prospect and becomes a bartender at a dive, and Zoe moves in with them when she breaks up with her boyfriend. Alice is convinced Zoe is there to steal her man, and it doesn’t help that Joe doesn’t particularly approve of her new profession. But as Alice comes to love her work at the bar and Joe becomes more distant, Alice wonders if they can continue like this. Are they meant to be together, or has he been in love with Zoe since college? Time will tell…

I genuinely thought this was a cute story with a LOT of layers to it. Just Saying tackles not only relationships and the drama that comes from exes, but sexual assault, career crises, and just in general being friends with the opposite sex. There are some communication problems between the characters, but I didn’t feel the main conflict could’e been resolved with one conversation so that’s a positive for me. As much as there are a lot of layers in this book, I didn’t feel like they were overwhelming or popping up randomly. The story arc flowed pretty smoothly even with new topics being broached.

The book in the end did not go how I was expecting, in a GOOD way. It avoided the one part of romance novels that I don’t like. I can’t really be more clear without giving away a spoiler, but it ended the way I would have wanted it to. Alice makes tremendous progress in tackling her own issues through this book, and as much as he is her boyfriend Joe really is a side character in this story almost. It is THEIR story as a couple it’s really Alice’s story which I appreciate.

The story was missing something to take it to a full 5 star level, I think some subplots were cut off too quickly or easily. Some more depth could have been added to take this to a 5 star level for me. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed it and stayed up until about 2am to finish it!

Thank you to Bookouture, Netgalley, and Sophie Ranald for an early copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review

Happy reading, folks!

July TBR!

If you read yesterday’s post you know that I didn’t do so well with structured reading in June. I’ve been having some rough mental health days and took a step back from reading. For July, I’d like to get back into it because reading always makes me feel better. Also, I’m going on a week vacation so I’m sure I’ll be able to do lots of reading!

For July, I’m taking part in #fournationsreadathon, an Avatar the Last Airbender themed readathon! I’m going to read in honor of the Water Nation, so some of my planned books will be going towards that readathon, and that will be denoted in the list. If you’re interested – visit instagram @fournationsreadation.

PHYSICAL BOOKS

  1. The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1), Kalyn Josephson
  2. The Crow Rider (The Storm Crow #2), Kalyn Josephson
  3. The Merciful Crow (The Merciful Crow #1), Margaret Owen
  4. The Faithless Hawk (The Merciful Crow #2), Margaret Owen
  5. Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards #1), Janella Angeles (also for netgalley)
  6. The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1), Suzanne Collins
  7. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2), Suzanne Collins
  8. Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3), Suzanne Collins
  9. A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games #0), Suzanne Collins
  10. Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3), Sarah J. Maas (fournations)
  11. In the Neighborhood of True, Susan Kaplan Carlton (also for netgalley)
  12. The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff (fournations)

NETGALLEY/EDELWEISS/AUTHOR EARCS

  1. Set Fire to the Gods (Set Fire to the Gods #1), Sara Raasch, Kristen Simmons
  2. The Morning Flower (The Omte Origins #2), Amanda Hocking
  3. One Hundred Dogs and Counting: One Woman, Ten Thousand Miles, and A Journey into the Heart of Shelters and Rescues, Cara Sue Achterberg
  4. A Tortured Soul, L.A. Detwiler
  5. The First to Lie, Hank Phillippi Ryan (fournations)
  6. Hieroglyphics, Jill McCorkle (fournations)
  7. The Baby Group, Caroline Corcoran
  8. I Hope You’re Listening, Tom Ryan
  9. In a Holidaze, Christina Lauren

AUDIOBOOKS

  1. The Lost City (The Omte Origins #1), Amanda Hocking
  2. Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassins #3), Robin LaFevers

It’s a lot of books, and I definitely won’t read them all. But I plan to choose between these books in a mood reading way, so we’ll see how far I get! I’m currently in the middle of In the Neighborhood of True and The Tao of Pooh.

What are you reading this month?

Happy reading, folks!

June Wrap Up!

I was very unmotivated to read this month. This month really was hard emotionally as I’m trying to work on my mental health (unsuccessfully). I didn’t at all read near the amount of books I planned, but honestly it’s okay. I’m up to date on my publisher and ARC reviews – and that’s really what matters. Next month I’m hoping to pick my reading up again because I do miss it, but I want to make sure I have the time and mental capacity for it – so we’ll see!

PHYSICAL BOOKS

  1. Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3), Kerri Maniscalco – 4/5 stars
  2. Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2), Sarah J Maas – 4/5 stars
  3. The Guest List, Lucy Foley – 3/5 stars
  4. The Bone Houses, Emily Lloyd-Jones – 4.5/5 stars
  5. The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1), Helen Hoang – 5/5 stars

LIBRARY EBOOKS

  1. Mirage (Mirage #1), Somaiya Daud – 4/5 stars
  2. If I Never Met You, Mhairi MacFarlane – 4/5 stars
  3. Redwall (Redwall #1), Brian Jacques – 5/5 stars

NETGALLEY EARCS

  1. Ever Cursed, Corey Ann Haydu – 4.5/5 stars
  2. These Vengeful Hearts, Katherine Laurin – 4.5/5 stars
  3. Court of Lions (Mirage #2), Somaiya Daud – 4/5 stars
  4. Faking It, Rebecca Smith – 3/5 stars
  5. Chosen Ones (The Chosen One’s #1), Veronica Roth – 3.5/5 stars
  6. Just Saying, Sophie Ranald – 4/5 stars

What did you read this month?

Happy reading, folks!

Book Review – Hunting Prince Dracula

“Humans were the true monsters and villains, more real than any novel or fantasy could invent.”

Title: Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2)

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Books

Publication date: September 19th, 2017

435 pages

4.5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine… and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

In this New York Times bestselling sequel to Kerri Maniscalco’s haunting #1 debut Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer…or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Review

“For there are no limits to the stars; their numbers are infinite. Which is precisely why I measure my love for you by them. An amount too boundless to count.”

kerri maniscalco, hunting prince dracula

Audrey Rose and Thomas just can’t escape death. I mean, they *are* forensic examiners so they see death all the time but for our purposes I mean unexpected deaths. Our friends are off on the Orient Express to Romania to study at the exceptional school for forensic science as Vlad the Impaler’s old castle (nbd, right). And bam someone is murdered on the train. Like I said, they can’t escape death. So, they have to start figuring out why it seems vampires exist & people are being killed by them.

Okay first off, Thomas was a complete butt and tried to fork up his relationship with Audrey Rose in the first third of the book and I was not there for it. Like, don’t be dumb man. But he brought it back and returned to being a amazing lil cinnamon roll that I just want to steal and squeeze. Audrey Rose was having some PTSD issues in this book, but overall she is still a cool character and I’m here for females doing male dominated things, especially in this time period.

The plot was suitably creepy for the a vampire novel and it had the same level of surprise and suspense that STJR had. I love vampire books so the mystery aspects of who was trying to convince people in Romania that vampires back was super cool. I liked the additional characters that were added – Thomas’ sister & her girlfriend (here for LGBTQIA rep) were very cool and I wish they were more active in the book.

The ending scenes and chapters were amazing. Even better than the reveal in STJR, because there was so much intense build up to the final showdown. It was so well written and thrilling. Hats off to Kerri for handling that ending in such an fantastic way.

Excited to continue in the series! Happy reading, folks!

Book Review – Grave Mercy

“One heart cannot serve two masters.” 

Title: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1)

Author: Robin LaFevers

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Publication date: April 3rd, 2012

576 pages

Goodreads Synopsis

Why be the sheep when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Review

“I stare at him coldly. “I do not care for needlework.” I pause. “Unless it involves the base of the skull.”

robin lafevers, grave mercy

Another day, another review for a book with a young, female assassin! Whereas Grave Mercy has a similar main character to Throne of Glass, that’s pretty much the only similarity these two books have! But, I do still enjoy a good, female assassin!

Grave Mercy is the first in a trilogy following the lady assassins of St. Mortain, the god of Death. Set in the 1400’s in Brittany, Europe, Grave Mercy is a historical fantasy where the gods grant certain powers, abilities, and duties to those sworn to them. Ismae, our MC, hsa a horrendous childhood as she was marked at birth and seen as cursed. Her birthmark is really proof that St. Mortain saved her when her mother tried to abort her. Ismae was sold to a terrible husband, but quickly saved to go study to be an assassin for the god. The story jumps and Ismae is thrust into the political environment of Brittany as they try to stave off the French, and she is instructed to protect the young duchess ruling all of Brittany.

I have many thoughts on this book. First off, I don’t generally like historical fiction/fantasy that much, but this book reads more like fantasy than historical – so much so that I didn’t realize it was really based off real events until I read the afterword! It feels like a fresh, new world & the powers and abilities of the assassins of St. Mortain are interesting.

In terms of the actual assassinating, Ismae is good at what she does – but she isn’t written as all powerful like Celaena from Throne of Glass. She isn’t unstoppable, she’s methodical and take pride in her work, but not necessarily enjoyment. As a character, Ismae did not thrill me. I loved her budding romance with *redacted* but I found her character to be more boring than the other characters. There were chunks of the book I enjoyed her more in than others, so it was really a roller coaster experience for me.

The writing is superb, the world-building is phenomenal, and the political intrigue is top notch. I enjoyed these elements of Grave Mercy immensely, and definitely plan on continuing to read this series to see how the story goes with the Duchess and Brittany. The villain was also suitable evil and hateable, which I always enjoy!

Happy reading, folks!

Book Review – Throne of Glass

“We all bear scars,… Mine just happen to be more visible than most.”

Title: Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s

Publication date: August 2nd, 2012

404 pages

5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

In a land without magic, where the king rules with an iron hand, an assassin is summoned to the castle. She comes not to kill the king, but to win her freedom. If she defeats twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition, she is released from prison to serve as the king’s champion. Her name is Celaena Sardothien. 

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. But something evil dwells in the castle of glass—and it’s there to kill. When her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena’s fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the evil before it destroys her world.

Review

“No. I can survive well enough on my own— if given the proper reading material.” 

sarah j maas, throne of glass

Celaena is a world reknowned assassin… but she was captured and thrown in prison for the last year. And not just any prison, Endovier is a salt mine where almost 100% of people perish before they serve their sentences. Celaena is approached by Prince Dorian to be his choice to compete for King’s Champion, a role that Celaena can’t imagine playing – but would in order to leave Endovier. But once the competition starts, it becomes immediately clear that there are magical forces at play, looking to wipe out the competition, including Celaena.

WOW. I read this book so quickly, and loved it so much. There were so many pieces and layers to ToG that it seems impossible that it was all done in a relatively shorter book. You’ve got assassins, competition, slight romance, magic, world-building, Fae, and adventure all wrapped up. Basically it has all the real components of adult fantasy, but set in a more YA world and tone.

Celaena as a character is dominant. I honestly think that is the best way to describe her. She is just fierce and basically unbeatable. Maas writes her as basically an assassinating prodigy (except for that one time she got caught but we’ll give her a pass for that one). Celaena is also sassy, moody, and a READER. She’s basically a normal human that was forced into being an assassin and now accepts her role in life. I also loved Dorian and Chaol, for very different reasons. If I could, I would have her end up with both of them at this point tbh.

Going back to an original point, there is so much going on in ToG, that sometimes it is hard to keep track of everything. There was almost too much plot happening to follow, too many threads to tie together. However, this did not lessen my satisfaction with this book, as I know this series is super long & it is setting up a large and complex universe.

Overall, I’m very excited to continue reading this series as I know there will be incredible twists and turns. The writing is easy to get through and isn’t super dense. Give me more!

Happy reading, folks!

Book Review – Beach Read

“Here’s the thing about writing Happily Ever Afters: it helps if you believe in them.” 

Title: Beach Read

Author: Emily Henry

Publisher: Berkley

Publication date: May 19th, 2020

361 pages

4.5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

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.

Review

“He fit so perfectly in the love story I’d imagined for myself that I mistook him for the love of my life.”

emily henry, beach read

I am obsessed with this book. Beach Read is the adult romance novel that you need in your life. January is going through a lot right now, her father just died, she learned he had a mistress for a very long time, and she just inherited their love nest. She also was dumped, lost her home, and has writer’s block – which doesn’t help matters as her next draft is due by the end of the summer. She moves into her father’s old house, and is shocked to find her arch rival from college is her neighbor. Augustus ‘Gus’ Everett is also an author, also having writer’s block. However, the two couldn’t author different genres if they tried. They team up to try & bust their writer’s block by writing each other’s chosen genres – and spend a LOT of time together as a result…

As much as this title would lead you to believe otherwise, this book is not entirely lighthearted. There are some serious topics tackled and discussed, but it is still an amazing romantic comedy. Janaury and Gus’ chemistry just leaps off the page, and they are both very funny and endearing. They communicate with each other via messages written on notepads and held up in mirrors ala Taylor Swift in the You Belong with Me video – which is completely heartwarming. And don’t get me started on the Gus in the tent scene…

The middle portion of this book has a slower pace which causes it to drag a bit. And I feel like there could’ve been more time spent wrapping up the bet they made – it could’ve just been longer and more detailed and I would’ve loved that.

I finished this book weeks ago and I still think about it pretty regularly – which I always find to be a great sign about how good a book is. It is definitely one I will reread in the future when I need to read an amazing book.

Happy reading, folks!