Book Review

Book Review: Adorkable by Cookie O’Gorman

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 332 pages
Author: Cookie O’Gorman
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: March 31st, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Adorkable (ah-dor-kuh-bul): Descriptive term meaning to be equal parts dorky and adorable. For reference, see Sally Spitz. Seventeen-year-old Sally Spitz is done with dating. Or at least, she’s done with the horrible blind dates/hookups/sneak attacks her matchmaking bestie, Hooker, sets her up on. There’s only so much one geek girl and Gryffindor supporter can take. Her solution: she needs a fake boyfriend. And fast. Enter Becks, soccer phenom, all-around-hottie, and Sally’s best friend practically since birth. When Sally asks Becks to be her F.B.F. (fake boyfriend), Becks is only too happy to be used. He’d do anything for Sal–even if that means giving her PDA lessons in his bedroom, saying she’s “more than pretty,” and expertly kissing her at parties. The problem: Sally’s been in love with Becks all her life–and he’s completely clueless. This book features two best friends, one special edition Yoda snuggie, countless beneath-the-ear kisses and begs the question: Who wants a real boyfriend when faking it is so much more fun?

CUTE AND QUIRKY.

A quick young adult contemporary romance. Filled with friends to lovers and fake dating.

I found this to be a really easy and fast read (I listened to it as an audio book). The characters were fun, definitely high school, and made me laugh and roll my eyes.

The romance was without a doubt my favorite part. It’s usually hard for me to be smitten with a friends to lovers trope, but I adored Becks. He was precious, angsty, and I love a soccer player so all good things. I thought Sally was a mostly charming heroine. A bit aloof and clueless at times, but didn’t find her overly annoying or anything of that nature.

What I did find annoying was Sally’s best friend, Hooker. Holy cow, she would NOT leave Sally alone and it was infuriating. I would hate to be continually put on dates, at 17, JUST because I haven’t dated anyone yet. Who cares? Maybe Sally didn’t want to date? Nobody, especially her best friend (and also her Mom was in on the blind dates) should be forcing her to meet all of these guys. It’s her choice and I couldn’t handle how ignorant Hooker was.

There were a lot of pop culture references. A lot. Most landed well, but at times I felt they were forced and putting them in didn’t enhance the story. A cute, and quick read, and at least a nice change of pace from the heavy books I’d been reading.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary romance
  • Language: some mild/strong
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs
  • Violence: physical alteraction

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Georgana’s Secret by Arlem Hawks

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Arlem Hawks
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Release Date: January 12th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

1811, HMS Deborah

A Regency romance on the high seas.

As a young girl, Georgana Woodall dreamed of beautiful dresses, fancy balls, and falling in love. However, when her mother dies, she cannot face a future under the guardianship of her abusive grandmother and instead chooses to join her father on his ship disguised as his cabin boy, “George.”

Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty’s Royal Navy claiming his full attention. Determined to prove himself to his new captain, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain’s cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the “boy” under his wing. After discovering a number of clues, Dominic deduces that George is really a woman. Knowing that revealing the cabin boy’s secret would put her in serious danger from the rowdy crew, Dominic keeps silent and hides his growing affection for her.

Georgana is quickly losing her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care but is convinced nothing can come of her affection. She cannot continue to live her life on the sea, and having already missed too many seasons in London, her chances of being welcomed back into polite society and finding a suitable husband have slipped away.

Thank you to Shadow Mountain Publishing for a copy of Georgana’s Secret in exchange for a review.

A HIGH SEAS SECRET ROMANCE.

I was fairly swept away by this tale. I found it full of adventure, some daring antics, and a romance. A great combination for an affair on the high seas.

The development of the connection between Dominic and Georgana was sweet. I liked how it grew out of friendship, but that also her secret didn’t stay secret too long. I hate when it’s dragged out and then leaves me flustered when everything comes out. This worked really well in that there was still plenty of time for them as well as the story as a whole.

I loved Georgana’s strong yet reserved nature. Trying to do the best she could in the situation she ended up in. Her nature to reach out rather than fight back was great, but I definitely loved when she fought back too. She and Dominic really had chemistry from the get go and I adored their banter and tender moments.

This was filled with a lot more than a bunch of people on a ship. I liked having scenery changes with landings, crossings with other ships, and back at home. This mix up kept everything from getting too stagnant and like I was stuck on a ship. It’s a regency story that has a vibrant and different setting.

I enjoyed the sweet little epilogue at the end and felt satisfied with how things worked out for all of the characters.

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency Proper Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: ship battles, physical altercations, severe wounds and illness

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Book Review

Book Review: Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) by Fonda Lee

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Urban Fantasy
Length: 498 pages
Author: Fonda Lee
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: November 7th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Magical jade—mined, traded, stolen, and killed for—is the lifeblood of the island of Kekon. For centuries, honorable Green Bone warriors like the Kaul family have used it to enhance their abilities and defend the island from foreign invasion.

Now the war is over and a new generation of Kauls vies for control of Kekon’s bustling capital city. They care about nothing but protecting their own, cornering the jade market, and defending the districts under their protection. Ancient tradition has little place in this rapidly changing nation.

When a powerful new drug emerges that lets anyone—even foreigners—wield jade, the simmering tension between the Kauls and the rival Ayt family erupts into open violence. The outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones—from their grandest patriarch to the lowliest motorcycle runner on the streets—and of Kekon itself.

Jade City begins an epic tale of family, honor, and those who live and die by the ancient laws of jade and blood.

NEW FANTASY SERIES FOR ME.

I am a lover of all things fantasy, though they do tend to lean towards fantasy with romance. So this is more outside of my usual. Aaaaaaand, I loved it! Definitely can’t wait to continue with The Green Bone Saga.

These characters are something else. Ambiguous, complex, loyal [to a fault sometimes], and so much more. I have a soft spot for Hilo, but I was pretty smitten with everyone by the time this book ended. There’s many tough choices, and rough scenarios that bring out the best and worst in everyone. I love that I could never see quite what was coming, who was dying, and what choices each person was going to make. Being kept on my toes is my favorite aspect.

This magic system and world set up is fascinating. I appreciate that this magic system has clear limitations and rules. It made for a concrete structure that I could easily follow and understood in minimal time. I love the Asian inspired and clan setting amongst the world. Things were centered more around the Kaul siblings and their lives rather than any major romances. Did I miss the romance? In this books case, no. It worked beautifully just the way it was.

The ending was open enough to make me want the next book, and closed enough to not be left on a major cliffhanger. I can’t wait to follow these characters through the next book (which I’ve heard is even better!!)

Overall audience notes:

  • Adult fantasy
  • Language: strong throughout
  • Romance: 2 small/brief open-door scenes
  • Violence: very bloody/gory and detailed; physical, magic, swords, guns, skirmishes and battles
  • Trigger warnings: brief mention of a characters family member passing away from suicide

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: You Have a Match by Emma Lord

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult contemporary
Length: 320 pages
Author: Emma Lord
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: January 5th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From the beloved author of Tweet Cute comes Emma Lord’s You Have a Match, a YA novel of family, friendship, romance and sisterhood…

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.

But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.

When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents—especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.

The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby’s growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.

But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.

Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own!

ADORED THIS.

You Have a Match is the parent trap, found family, summer camp mash-up I didn’t know I needed. I loved this so much. Emma Lord is cementing herself as an auto-buy author for me. After loving Tweet Cute, I’m so happy I got a chance to read her next book!

I absolutely loved all of these characters. There were weaknesses and strengths. So much growth, and seizing opportunities and finding your future path. It was such a perfect young adult book. Watching Abby cope with learning about her new sister felt raw and real. Abby and Savannah conquered a lot because they realized they truly wanted to be in each other’s lives. Trapping their parents together was such a gem and seeing how the adults worked out their prior conflicts enhanced everything. I honestly couldn’t peg down the full story until it was revealed and I love that it remained a well-timed mystery.

The side story romance between Leo and Abby was PRECIOUS. Such a sweet friends to lovers that definitely had me shipping them from the beginning. I love where it fit in because it never over shadowed the main plot. It clearly was meant to be on the side and it appropriately remained there.

There was just so many little things that added together to make this story what it was. I felt like I learned more about myself just from reading it. Wanting a place to belong, understanding that our parents aren’t perfect, finding that sister you didn’t know you had, and falling in love. Incredibly heart-warming and intensely charming, You Had a Match needs to be on your TBR ASAP.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs

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