Book Review

Book Review: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Ali Hazelwood
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: September 14th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.

ABSOLUTELY ADORED.

You might have seen that this book has A LOT OF HYPE.

THE HYPE IS WORTH IT.

I feel like I should just end my review there.

But, I’ll dive in a little bit deeper. The grump and sunshine trope was perfect. Adam and Olive were off the charts in banter and forced proximity moments where you know they’re both feeling it. I couldn’t get enough of each interaction they had. Those coffee dates were EVERYTHING. Not to mention I love a good, who did this to you, moment and TLH definitely had one for the books. Adam is the grumpy cinnamon roll of my bookish romance dreams and wow would I have loved getting chapters from his POV too.

I did notice some repetitive phrasing (like how many times Adam called Olive a smart-a**), and the spice was eh for me. But those were minor complaints in comparison to the whole. This had everything I love about romance books. Combining an engaging plot that supports the romance + plenty of times where swooning was the only applicable emotion. All of my heartstrings were tugged by the last page (because who doesn’t love a good confession moment?!).

The setting in STEM was amazing and the side characters greatly supported the plot. Every single thing just worked for this book. I consumed it because it’s nothing short of one of my top romance reads for 2021.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses to very open door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: sexual harassment, sexism, death of a parent recounted

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Book Review

Book Review: Drums of Autumn (Outlander #4) by Diana Gabaldon

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical fiction romance
Length: 904 pages
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Delta
Release Date: December 30th, 1996
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In this breathtaking novel—rich in history and adventure—The New York Times bestselling author Diana Gabaldon continues the story of Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser that began with the now-classic novel Outlander and continued in Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager. Once again spanning continents and centuries, Diana Gabaldon has created a work of sheer passion and brilliance….

It began at an ancient Scottish stone circle. There, a doorway, open to a select few, leads into the past—or the grave. Dr. Claire Randall survived the extraordinary passage, not once but twice.

Her first trip swept her into the arms of Jamie Fraser, an eighteenth-century Scot whose love for her became a legend—a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Her second journey, two decades later, brought them together again in the American colonies. But Claire had left someone behind in the twentieth century—their daughter, Brianna….

Now Brianna has made a disturbing discovery that sends her to the circle of stones and a terrifying leap into the unknown. In search of her mother and the father she has never met, she is risking her own future to try to change history … and to save their lives. But as Brianna plunges into an uncharted wilderness, a heartbreaking encounter may strand her forever in the past … or root her in the place she should be, where her heart and soul belong.

FAVORITE ONE [YET].

I’ve sat on this review for awhile because sometimes I feel like it’s hard to write a review over a book you LOVED and when it’s 900 pages. That’s a lot to cover?!

This might be my favorite Outlander book [yet]. This was also the first one I listened to on audio! Such a great combination. The narration was solid and really brought the book to life. Claire and Jamie were amazing again (no surprise) and I love the simplicity of the story in that, we’re following their lives. Even if the story itself is crazy complicated. I enjoy seeing how life progresses for them and watching them choose each other over and over again.

Some of my new favorites are definitely Roger and Brianna. I might have been more invested in them for this book. I’m smitten for a good love story and this was definitely good. Plenty of intrigue, banter, and romance for them. I was surprised where the story went and love how everything clicked together.

There’s a hundred different things that happened throughout this. Moments that made me smile, one’s that made me enraged, and others that brought tears. I love the writing and the way these stories flow over time. Magical and exhilarating with many, many things in between. I’m trying to intentionally keep this vague because I don’t want to spoil this (and previous books). Plenty of things keep happening here so it was a great continuation of the series!

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; a handful of open and closed door scenes (with ranging levels of detail)
  • Violence: physical, swords, guns, explosions, sickness, murder, see trigger warnings for more
  • Trigger warnings: [I know I have missed some and I apologize for those I did miss, please research before choosing this series, nothing is left out in regards to detail and some of the awfulness of this time period]: multiple depictions of enslaved Africans and racism (setting from 1760’s), lynching, death from an abortion attempt, animal attacks, rape, racism involving Native Americans, sexual assault, hate crimes

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Book Review

Book Review: Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: YA Fiction
Length: 277 pages
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Square Fish
Expected Release Date: September 9th, 2005
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Welcome to Elsewhere. It is warm, with a breeze, and the beaches are marvelous. It’s quiet and peaceful. You can’t get sick or any older. Curious to see new paintings by Picasso? Swing by one of Elsewhere’s museums. Need to talk to someone about your problems? Stop by Marilyn Monroe’s psychiatric practice.

Elsewhere is where fifteen-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has died. It is a place so like Earth, yet completely different. Here Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth. But Liz wants to turn sixteen, not fourteen again. She wants to get her driver’s license. She wants to graduate from high school and go to college. And now that she’s dead, Liz is being forced to live a life she doesn’t want with a grandmother she has only just met. And it is not going well. How can Liz let go of the only life she has ever known and embrace a new one? Is it possible that a life lived in reverse is no different from a life lived forward?

This moving, often funny book about grief, death, and loss will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned.

AN INTERESTING CONCEPT.

This was a SUPER quick read. And a very interesting take on heaven.

The whole idea of someone aging backwards until their a baby again in the land of Elsewhere was a bit odd and troublesome to me, but I thought it was unique to think about. While this didn’t change any personal concepts on what I believe the afterlife is like I still found it thoughtful.

It’s a very moving and bittersweet story for Liz, who’s life is cut way too short by an accident. She had to cope with grief and depression to find the hope that she could in her new world. Liz definitely pulled at my heart strings. I love the characters that were in her world and how they each brought something to the story. Betty, Owen, Thandi, and more surrounded Liz when she needed it to help her move on.

It’s even more well-imagined when I got to the dog portion. OHEMGEE talking dogs? SERIOUSLY ALL I WANT. I love the perspective and life and love that came from having a dog in the afterlife. They were cute and spunky and I wanted to hug them all.They also brought a different layer to the story because they were constantly just as thoughtful as the humans.

I like that there was a tiny touch of romance and overwhelming friendships. I think Liz needed something like that to understand her story of life and death. While wildly different they can also be wildly similar.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fiction
  • Language: little
  • Romance: a few kisses
  • Violence: discussion of death and how people died (some included were: cancer, overdose, hit and run, gunshot wound, plane crash, flu and more)

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Book Review

Book Review: The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 325 pages
Author: Beth O’Leary
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Release Date: April 10th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Tiffy and Leon share an apartment. Tiffy and Leon have never met.

After a bad breakup, Tiffy Moore needs a place to live. Fast. And cheap. But the apartments in her budget have her wondering if astonishingly colored mold on the walls counts as art.

Desperation makes her open minded, so she answers an ad for a flatshare. Leon, a night shift worker, will take the apartment during the day, and Tiffy can have it nights and weekends. He’ll only ever be there when she’s at the office. In fact, they’ll never even have to meet.

Tiffy and Leon start writing each other notes – first about what day is garbage day, and politely establishing what leftovers are up for grabs, and the evergreen question of whether the toilet seat should stay up or down. Even though they are opposites, they soon become friends. And then maybe more.

But falling in love with your roommate is probably a terrible idea…especially if you’ve never met.

What if your roommate is your soul mate? A joyful, quirky romantic comedy, Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare is a feel-good novel about finding love in the most unexpected of ways. 

CUTE AT TIMES.

I didn’t know how I was going to feel about this book when I first started reading it. I wasn’t immediately drawn in and had a hard time connecting with everything. I think the second half of the book was MUCH better and I was so excited when Tiffy and Leon finally met in person.

This was a charming read. I loved watching Tiffy and Leon’s friendship start over post-it notes. That’s precious. The notes were cute and endearing and I really do think letter writing is its own form of intimacy (especially because nobody does it today). You could easily see the opposite spectrum of personalities they had. Tiffy effervescent and loud. Leon reserved and thoughtful. It was an opposites attract that worked so well.

The main conflict centered around Tiffy’s ex boyfriend, Justin. He angered me to a whole other level and I don’t feel like giving him the time of day in this review. What I did like was the approach that Tiffy’s friends had to help her. It can be hard in many ways to work through an awful situation like that (emotionally abusive) and I love that Tiffy had such a strong support group.

I thought the premise was unique too. I think I would be way too nervous to share a flat with someone I had never met, but I’m really happy it worked out for them. I got some good bubbly feelings from this, but it just didn’t have everything I needed to be a GREAT rom-com.

Overall audience notes:

  • Adult contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong throughout
  • Romance: kisses, make-outs, some almost love scenes (with mild description) and one fade-to-black love scene
  • Violence: physical
  • Trigger warnings: abusive relationship (emotional/controlling), PTSD from the relationship

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