Book Review

Book Review: Sunkissed by Kasie West

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary + Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: May 4th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A lighthearted and swoony contemporary YA romance by fan-favorite author Kasie West about a girl who finds that a summer spent at a family resort isn’t as bad as she imagined…and that falling in love is filled with heartache, laughter, and surprises!

After being betrayed by her best friend, Avery is hoping for a picture-perfect summer. Too bad her parents have dragged her and her sister to a remote family camp for the entire summer. And that’s not even the worst part. Avery also has to deal with no internet, a cute but off-limits staff member, and an always-in-her-face sister.

But what starts as a disaster turns into a whirlwind summer romance as Avery embarks on an unexpected journey to figure out what she truly wants and who she wants to be.

HIT HOME.

This made me want to relive some of my high school years and figure out some aspects of my life. I love how this was approached. Watching Avery find her passion and owning her truths to her family and friends really resonated. I have been deeply reminded why I love Kasie West’s books and the way she’s able to captivate and fill my cup.

Avery was a great teenage main character. Not over the top dramatic, but honest in her faults, and struggling to remember her strengths. I loved her character progression and how she took a chance on her summer to try new things.

Add in a sweet romance with Brooks and I was smitten. Teen, summer love! Oh how cute. I liked their relationship a lot too. From being honest with one another, and learning (and admitting) about communications issues felt true. This whole book was a warm summer hug.

I read it in a day and it was super cute and relatable to my soul.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Contemporary + Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: a parent in a care home (unable to care for themselves after a stroke)

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: Meet Me in Paradise by Libby Hubscher

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 352 pages
Author: Libby Hubscher
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: March 23rd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Marin Cole has never:
Seen the ocean
Climbed a mountain
Taken a risk on love
….But if her sister’s plan works, she just might do all three.

Ever since her journalist mother died on assignment, Marin has played it safe, refusing to set foot outside the state of Tennessee. Her wild-child younger sister, Sadie, has trotted the globe as a photographer, living off of art and adrenaline.

When Sadie returns from a tough assignment abroad and looks a little worse for wear, Marin reluctantly agrees to a sisters’ spa weekend on the tropical island of Saba. But her lifelong fear of travel is affirmed when Sadie misses the flight, Marin’s luggage gets mixed up with another passenger’s, and an episode of turbulence sends her hurtling into the lap of Lucas Tsai, the handsome stranger who stole her sister’s seat.

For the first time in a long time, Marin has to step outside of her comfort zone as she explores the island with Lucas and learns what she’s been missing out on. With each breathtaking new experience, Marin gets closer to her real self, the man she’s falling for, and the heart-wrenching truth about why she’s there in the first place.

EMOTIONALLY BEAUTIFUL.

LOVED THIS BOOK SO DANG MUCH Y’ALL.

This was filled with so much!!

I love the strong bonds of sisterhood. Marin and her sister, Sadie were partners in life and everything else. I adored both of them with all of my heart and their family dynamic hit home in many ways. I’m going to start crying just trying to type this review out.

The romance was incredibly tender. It was somehow quick-moving but perfectly paced. I was all in from the moment Lucas sat beside Marin on the plane. It was incredibly romantic and had me swooning and cheering them on. It was everything I love to see in an passionate island getaway.

The setting had me wanting to brave my own fear of flying and get on a plane ASAP. It was enchanting and the locals were fantastic. I love that Marin got to meet many new people and really explore for the first time in her life.

Marin had incredible growth. She stretched and found a whole new world to stand in. Marin chose herself [finally] first and it allowed her to be able to see where she wanted to go next and with who.

Many times I was brought close to tears and the pure raw emotion emanating from the pages. This story will break you completely down and still be able to hand out hope in the end. I love how this combined life and love together to create one magnificent read. I couldn’t put this down and I loved every second of it (even if I wanted to cry half the time).

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses to closed door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: a dicey plane ride, a loved one with terminal illness, loss of a parent

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: All About Us by Tom Ellen

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 400 pages
Author: Tom Ellen
Publisher: HQ
Release Date: October 13th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A chance encounter leads to the journey of a lifetime in this powerful and emotional love story, perfect for fans of One Day, Me Before You and In Five Years.

If you could turn back the clock, would you choose a different life?

Ben’s always loved the month of December, but this year, with his relationship with Daphne on the rocks, it’s missing its usual magic. And then his old friend Alice gets back in touch. Ben’s always thought of Alice as the one that got away, and he can’t help but wonder: what if he’d done things differently all those years ago?

He never imagines he might get to find out… but when a stranger sells Ben a mysterious watch one freezing winter’s night, he’s astonished to wake up the next morning on 5th December 2005: the day he first kissed Daphne, leaving Alice behind.

Now Ben must make the biggest decision of his life, all over again. But this time around, will he finally find the courage to follow his heart?

All About Us is a captivating novel of heartbreak and loss, friendship and hope – and how the choices we make throughout our lives will shape our destiny.

AN ENJOYABLE RETELLING.

I must have missed the memo that this was A Christmas Carol modern retelling. Am I upset about this fact? Not a bit, I loved the way this was written.

It’s a much more somber and heart-felt Christmas/Holiday romance. There’s a lot to unpack with Ben and watching him find his way again. He had an incredible character arc that I appreciated and felt for. I ended up in his corner, wanting him to learn from his mistakes and becoming a better man.

I didn’t love that there was a cheating aspect woven into the plot. It’s a bit of a gray area type cheating, but still there emotionally and physically. Though usually I really hate a book that has this, I found myself not hating it as much this time around. It had its reasons for being there and captured the essence of what Ben was choosing to do.

Seeing Ben and Daphne rekindle things and work through them was a beautiful touch. I don’t read (or even come across) many romance involving a married couple and I always feel them on a different level as someone who is married.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Holiday Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses; a mention of a few closed door scenes (no detail)
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: emotional/physical cheating, sudden loss of a parent, depictions of depression and grief

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary fiction
Length: 341 pages
Author: Fredrick Backman
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: September 8th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A poignant, charming novel about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined

Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix up their own marriage. There’s a wealthy banker who has been too busy making money to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises, these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in a motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.

Humorous, compassionate, and wise, Anxious People is an ingeniously constructed story about the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope—the things that save us, even in the most anxious of times.

COULDN’T PUT THIS DOWN.

Absolutely loved this. Worth the hype. What a story. This writing style was unique and magnetic. It has such a quick pace that I just kept flipping pages and couldn’t believe how much I had read. I loved going into this without reading the synopsis and I suggest you do too (but do read the trigger/content warnings list first).

I couldn’t believe how much I fell in love with these characters. Many annoyed me at the beginning and as the plot developed, wow, was I caught up in each individual’s story. The way they’re woven together and inter-connected, *amazing*.

This also plays as a mystery and that kept me wanting to unravel the entire story. I wanted to see the big picture. Feel all of the emotions rolling around and loved how the “worst hostages ever” made this novel.

There’s so much here. Love, compassion, kindness and humility. The struggles of living and making a normal day survivable. Many of the sentiments discussed resonated on such a deep level with me. I loved it.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary fiction
  • Language: very little (maybe even none, I read it so fast I forgot to mark if I noticed any)
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: suicide, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, addiction, loss of loved ones, depictions of anxiety and depression

Instagram || Goodreads