Book Review

ARC Book Review: People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Emily Henry
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: May 11th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart–she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown–but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.

Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.

Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together–lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.

Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

LOVED THIS.

I can break down this review really simply.

I have a hard time loving these tropes: friends to lovers, second chance, and books with flashback chapters.

People We Meet on Vacation made me love them ALL. It was written so beautifully and magnetically that I devoured this in a day. I didn’t want to put it down, I needed to know what happened. The story was a journey and gave me plenty of wanderlust about traveling.

I LOVE Alex and Poppy. Goodness gracious. Their chemistry leaped off the page into fireworks. From the get-go I knew I was in for this book. I love the opposites attract vibes and watching their love story play out over the flashbacks. It was expertly accomplished. I can’t say enough good things about how this story. I wish I could read it fresh again.

Need I mention some tropes I do love that were also included? ONE BED, slow burn and tension for days. The angst here was real. Alex was such a cinnamon roll. Poppy was vibrant and larger than life. I just love them. LOVE THEM. I found myself smiling and laughing at the banter and antics. How things were going utterly wrong in one way and perfectly right in another.

I like to mention in romances if that conflict we all know is coming took away from the story. This time? It didn’t take away at all. It fit into everything I learned about the characters over the book. It allowed for growth from both characters and learning what they truly wanted and needed from their own lives as their’s collided.

What a book. I love Emily Henry’s romances!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some
  • Romance: kisses to brief open door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: depicitons of anxiety, loss of a parent, bullying

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Book Review

Book Review: The Boy’s Club (London Prep #2) by Jillian Dodd

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: New adult contemporary romance
Length: 438 pages
Author: Jillian Dodd
Publisher: Bandit Publishing
Release Date: May 21st, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

It’s only my second week at Kensington School, and things are getting complicated.

I thought my relationship with Harry was finished, but he came over late one night, apologized, and asked me to be his girlfriend. I swooned right there, in the middle of the street.

And we are definitely back together.
He calls me babe, brings me flowers, and is planning our first official date.
Our relationship is growing, and I’m starting to want him in ways I never expected.

I’m falling for him.

But then there’s Noah.
I live in his house and share a bathroom with him, and we’ve had a few intense moments.

But nothing compared to him sauntering into the room, declaring that I want him and that, at some point, he’s going to give in to me.

I know!
The nerve.
I’m not sure how I’m going to tell him that I’m dating his best friend again.
Or how I’m going to keep my eyes off his shirtless chest.

With tensions running high between Noah and me, Harry’s ongoing family issues, my new friendship with Naomi, and Mohammad’s party-planning skills, things are getting crazy.

CAN’T LOOK AWAY.

No really.

Someone needs to tell me how this ends.

Oh wait.

I’ll just keep devouring these books in a day instead.

Yes. Yes, I did pick this up. BECAUSE I HAVE A SIDE. And we all know, in a love triangle scenario if our side doesn’t win it usually ruins the series for us. Time will tell if that’s the case for me here. I’m really hoping it isn’t because I will be devastated.

I do struggle a touch with the age of these characters and imagine them in my mind 19/20 rather than 16. The underage drinking/partying/etc. is a lot at times. I really am watching some teen reality show play out in front of me. It’s addicting. I can’t stop reading.

But I kinda love it for those exact reasons too. They’re some books that feel totally different and immersive from my usual preferences of romance/genre that really sink their claws into me. I love that I can’t put these down and want to know what happens next. I love the quick pace and back and forth characters. The angst and drama. It’s all here folks.

Overall audience notes:

  • New adult contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong throughout
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; a moderately detailed love scene
  • Content warnings: underage drinking

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Book Review

Book Review: The Exchange (London Prep #1) by Jillian Dodd

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 
Audience: New adult contemporary romance
Length: 314 pages
Author: Jillian Dodd
Publisher: Swoonworthy Books
Release Date: March 19th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

London Prep—where the boys are as cute as their accents.

When my parents told me that I’d be spending three weeks at a London prep school on a student exchange my junior year, I was furious. I love New York. My school. My friends. And I didn’t want to leave. But after some not-so-subtle insistence about experiencing a new culture, gaining worldly knowledge, and the fact that it was only three weeks, I knew I wasn’t getting out of it.

So, I decided that if I had to go, I might as well have some fun.
Which was how I met Harry at a pub. His blue eyes, adorable accent, and charm instantly won me over—right after his lips did.

And I started to think that London might not be so bad.

But then I met Noah.
He’s tall, dark, intense, and spends way too much time in the shower. I know this because I have to live with him. And did I mention that he hates me?

My first day at school is more eventful than I anticipated. A boy named Mohammad takes me under his wing, declares himself my guide to the “hostile and hormonal battlefield that is Kensington School,” and lays three facts on me:

He, Harry, and Noah are best mates.
I’m the new girl and bound to cause drama.
And I’ve already got his boys all twisted up.

I’m in way over my head, and it’s only my first day!

REALITY BOOK AT ITS FINEST.

I’m kinda laughing at myself for reading this. It’s not usually what I pick up, but after a couple of friends good reviews I decided, what the heck?

And then…I was sucked in by all the tropes I don’t usually like. Insta-love + love triangle. WHO AM I? I’m concluding that I really needed a palate cleanser from the bigger fantasies I’ve been reading lately.

Though, now I’m invested, and have chosen a side (TEAM NOAH). Which means I’ve already downloaded book two because I need some answers.

The only way to describe this is that I felt like I was watching a realty TV show that isn’t all that fantastic, but couldn’t look away from. This is filled with a lot of drama, girl fights, club parties on a Wednesday, and a prep school. Mallory has some older YA vibes (and the book I honestly think leans towards new adult) that I liked. She could handle herself, even wrapped up in hormones, and had a quirky personality that made me connect with her.

I adore the boys she’s fallen in with. Harry, Noah and Mohammed are a fun group. Definitely make some poor choices, but adds some spice to this [only] week long story line.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA / New adult contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong throughout
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; innuendo and general discussions of sex
  • Violence: physical altercations
  • Trigger/Content warnings: physically abusive parent, underage drinking

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Book Review

Book Review: The Boyfriend Project (The Boyfriend Project #1) by Farrah Rochon

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 368 pages
Author: Farrah Rochon
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: June 9th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Samiah Brooks never thought she would be “that” girl. But a live tweet of a horrific date just revealed the painful truth: she’s been catfished by a three-timing jerk of a boyfriend. Suddenly Samiah-along with his two other “girlfriends,” London and Taylor-have gone viral online. Now the three new besties are making a pact to spend the next six months investing in themselves. No men, no dating, and no worrying about their relationship status . . .

For once Samiah is putting herself first, and that includes finally developing the app she’s always dreamed of creating. Which is the exact moment she meets the deliciously sexy, honey-eyed Daniel Collins at work. What are the chances? When it comes to love, there’s no such thing as a coincidence. But is Daniel really boyfriend material or is he maybe just a little too good to be true? 

GOOD OFFICE ROMANCE.

A solid contemporary romance y’all. Flew through it pretty quickly, enjoyed the characters. All good notes.

I really enjoyed the friendship between Samiah, London, and Taylor. I love how it was a show of coming together rather than tearing each other down over the initial situation. Add in the continuing moments of them supporting one another and I want that kind of girl gang in my life. Great camraderie.

Daniel was adorable and I loved him. He was sweet, focused, and an amazing support person for Samiah. I wasn’t hooked by their initial chemistry, but loved the way it worked out. As well know, rom-coms have a conflict somewhere between the couple and this was no different. What was unique was the set-up for it all. I haven’t read something like that in a romance which made for a nice change in the genre for me.

I loved the conversations on privilege and consent and what it means to be a POC woman working in the tech industry. The writing was easy and fun. Didn’t love the steamy scenes, but that didn’t wholly distract from the story. I did like Daniel and Samiah together as couple though which really brought the ending home. A bit cheesy, but totally cute and a nice happy ever after.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: strong throughout
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; a few open door scenes
  • Violence: mention of a bike & car accident

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