Book Review

ARC Book Review: Begin Again by Emma Lord

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 352 pages
Author: Emma Lord
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: January 24th, 2023
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

As usual, Andie Rose has a plan: Transfer from community college to the hyper competitive Blue Ridge State, major in psychology, and maintain her lifelong goal of becoming an iconic self-help figure despite the nerves that have recently thrown her for a loop. All it will take is ruthless organization, hard work, and her trademark unrelenting enthusiasm to pull it all together.

But the moment Andie arrives, the rest of her plans go off the rails. Her rocky relationship with her boyfriend Connor only gets more complicated when she discovers he transferred out of Blue Ridge to her community college. Her roommate Shay needs a major, and despite Andie’s impressive track record of being The Fixer, she’s stumped on how to help. And Milo, her coffee-guzzling grump of an R.A. with seafoam green eyes, is somehow disrupting all her ideas about love and relationships one sleep-deprived wisecrack at a time.

But sometimes, when all your plans are in rubble at your feet, you find out what you’re made of. And when Andie starts to find the power of her voice as the anonymous Squire on the school’s legendary pirate radio station–the same one her mom founded, years before she passed away–Andie learns that not all the best laid plans are necessarily the right ones.

Filled with a friend group that feels like family, an empowering journey of finding your own way, and a Just Kiss Already! romance, Begin Again is an unforgettable novel of love and starting again.

Thank you Wednesday Books for the eARC!

LOVED, AS ALWAYS.

Emma Lord books just hit different. They are everything I wish I could have read at the young adult age. Filled with promising outlooks, taking on new challenges and letting go of things holding you back, Begin Again was yet another beautifully crafted read.

I adored Andie. Yes, she definitely was making some poor decisions, but character arcs are my jam and I LOVED her self revelations and discoveries about how she had been handling many facets of her life. I found myself teary every time these books come to a close because they’re just so GOOD. I love the parent discussions, the formation of life length friendships, and falling in love (with the right guy).

College plots need more books. I thought it was a lot of fun with the broadcasting segments, finding ribbons, work/study jobs and more. There were all of these little aspects of the setting that I know contributed to my love of this book.

And the romance was so sweet!! It was a slowwww burn. But the development from friendship to relationship was wonderful. Filled with the tender moments and then (when the time was right) realizing that those feelings had become more. Milo was an absolute gruff sweetheart and I LOVED IT.

I’ll just be sitting here waiting for the next book from one of my favorite auto-read authors.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Contemporary Romance
  • Language: a little strong
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a mother from cancer (off page, mentioned), cheating, loss of a father from a car wreck (off page, mentioned)

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Book Review

Book Review: Brought to Light by Allie Lewis

Rating: ★★★
Audience: NA Mystery Romance
Length: 360 pages
Author: Allie Lewis
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: August 5th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Three things Whitney is obsessed with: true crime podcasts, sticky notes, and coffee.
Two things Whitney knows for certain: she needs to focus on her future and she doesn’t want a relationship her senior year of college.
One thing Whitney never saw coming: Derek Mitchell.

When a dead body is found in the middle of Stratford University’s campus, Whitney Snow feels like she’s been dropped straight into one of the true crime podcasts she listens to every morning. She’s determined to help solve the case by whatever means necessary, but when Stratford’s golden boy, Derek Mitchell, offers to help with the investigation, Whitney isn’t so sure. Her one experience with Derek freshman year left her with a bad taste in her mouth from the guy every girl on campus seems to be obsessed with.

After Whitney reluctantly agrees to let Derek help her investigate the murder, things get even worse when rumors start spreading that the two are dating. Not wanting to rouse suspicion about what they’re really up to—especially with a potential murderer on campus—Derek and Whitney go along with this fake dating scenario. But as they work closely together to solve the case, the investigation isn’t the only thing that starts heating up. And as it turns out, the secrets buried deep within Stratford University may not be the only secrets that are brought to light.

Brought to Light is a new adult romance novel perfect for those who love a sizzling romance (without explicit sexual content) with a dash of murder mystery.

NOT TOO SHABBY.

I took a chance on a new debut author and in it found some good and some okay.

The setting? ADORED. There needs to be more college setting books. I loved the fall semester vibes and all that entailed. The vibes was definitely there.

Murder mystery? Lacking. It was strong in the beginning and strong in the end but the middle felt like a separate college romance story. These two plots moved alongside each other rather than being woven together. I needed a little more weaving to follow the flow and pacing better.

Romance? One of the best aspects. I thought it was really sweet. Whitney and Derek had some great chemistry and interactions. There were some cute dates and I loooove some good protection moments. The emotions at the end gave all the warm fuzzies of romantic ending.

Writing wise, I could tell it was a debut. There were times I could easily skim over some paragraphs because there was too much attention paid to nuances of the story that didn’t truly matter to the story.

I would definitely read another book by this author and look forward to what she has in store next.

Overall audience notes:

  • NA Murder Mystery + Romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, physical altercations

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