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

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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

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Book Review

Book Review: The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 404 pages
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Dial Press Trade Paperback
Release Date: July 19th, 2005
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Workaholic attorney Samantha Sweeting has just done the unthinkable. She’s made a mistake so huge, it’ll wreck any chance of a partnership.

Going into utter meltdown, she walks out of her London office, gets on a train, and ends up in the middle of nowhere. Asking for directions at a big, beautiful house, she’s mistaken for an interviewee and finds herself being offered a job as housekeeper. Her employers have no idea they’ve hired a lawyer–and Samantha has no idea how to work the oven. She can’t sew on a button, bake a potato, or get the #@%# ironing board to open. How she takes a deep breath and begins to cope–and finds love–is a story as delicious as the bread she learns to bake.

But will her old life ever catch up with her? And if it does…will she want it back?

FIRST KINSELLA BOOK.

Was it the best one to choose? I have no idea. I did enjoy this one at least. A comment to the audio book though, did not love it.

Anywho, Samantha definitely had me laughing at some of the antics she got wrapped up in. It was funny and great to see her struggle with some of the very basics of house care. I didn’t love her at first (and that was probably the intention) because of how much of a workaholic she was. The change over the course of the book for Samantha was very needed and well crafted. Her new persona felt like it really matched the true Samantha by the end.

I wish the romance was more developed. Her and Nathaniel went from zero to one-hundred like whoa. Granted, there were some cute moments, especially near the end, that worked in their favor. Overall though, I wanted more.

I’m so glad that this story had some great resolutions. Getting more to Samantha’s life as a lawyer and what happened with her law firm helped me appreciate the entire story. I needed to know that it worked out in Samantha’s favor one way or another and this is why I love a good happy ever after!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance / Fiction
  • Language: some strong throughout
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; some closed door scenes and a mild open door scene

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Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: December 2020

We’ve made it to the end of the year! I wrapped up the year with 250 books and am excited to see what a new year holds. I know I won’t hit that high of books again, but it was fun to expand genres and authors I’ve read.

Happy New Year y’all.

Favorite Reads: Forever Wild, A Sky Beyond the Storm, Skyhunter, and A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow
Least Favorite: Winterkeep, The Christmas Swap

  • Forever Wild (The Simple Wild #2.5) by K.A. Tucker
  • A Match Made at Christmas by Courtney Walsh
  • Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) by Jessica Townsend
  • A Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes #4) by Sabaa Tahir
  • The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel
  • A Christmas Spark by Cindy Steel
  • Keeper of the Lost Cities (Keeper of the Lost Cities #1) by Shannon Messenger
  • Layla by Colleen Hoover
  • [ARC] A Captain for Caroline Gray by Julie Wright
  • On the Second Day of Christmas by Deborah M. Hathaway
  • Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #2) by Jessica Townsend
  • Firefight (The Reckoners #2) by Brandon Sanderson
  • [ARC] The Lion of the Sea (The Maiden Ship #2) by Micheline Ryckman
  • Skyhunter (Skyhunter #1) by Marie Lu
  • The Christmas Train by David Baldacci
  • [ARC] Winterkeep (Graceling Realm #4) by Krisin Cashore
  • Exile (Keeper of the Lost Cities #2) by Shannon Messenger
  • A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey
  • A Princess for Christmas by Jenny Holiday
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
  • [Gifted] Ex on the Beach (The Extra Series #11) by Megan Walker and Janci Patterson
  • Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan

How was your reading this month? Did we read any of the same books? Lets talk in the comments!

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