Book Review

Book Review: More Than We Can Tell (Letters to the Lost #2) by Brigid Kemmerer

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult contemporary romance
Length: 410 pages
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: March 6th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay…until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.

Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.

When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected. This must-read story will once again have readers falling for Brigid Kemmerer’s emotional storytelling.

FEEL LIKE I’VE BEEN GUT PUNCHED.

This was one of those books where you ask yourself, why did I let it sing for so long on my shelves? I adored it. Even when it hurt my soul.

I loooove Rev and Emma together. They were adorable and so very sweet. Everything was slow and a high school romance that made sense for the story line (which always makes a book ten times better). I like how even when conflict arose there was still a chance for apologies and forgiveness. This all just felt real.

Emma struggled in this book. I went from liking her, to being annoyed, and back and forth. While everything was dramatized, I also could feel how this was a high school girl going through an awful situation (that I’ve dealt with too). So I really couldn’t fault her for her actions, because I also got to see Emma grow and evolve as the book progressed. She wasn’t a perfect character, which made her a great character.

Rev had my heart and soul. I wanted to follow him around and hug him. He needs all the hugs. I loved watching him grow over this book too. He and Emma had great arcs as they grappled with what was before them. Heavy on the drama, yet very easy to be involved and loving the drama.

This book read quickly. I finished this a lot faster than I thought [which was totally fine with me]. The story flowed up and down with a bit of action and quiet moments. I thought the ending wrapped up nicely and I really enjoyed getting to see Declan again.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary romance
  • Language: a little strong and vulgar
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: physical
  • Trigger warnings: cyber bullying, extreme child abuse, PTSD, sexual abuse, attempted kidnapping

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Book Review

Book Review: Lucky Caller by Emma Mills

Rating: ☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary
Length: 336 pages
Author: Emma Mills
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Release Date: January 14th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

When Nina decides to take a radio broadcasting class her senior year, she expects it to be a walk in the park. Instead, it’s a complete disaster.

The members of Nina’s haphazardly formed radio team have approximately nothing in common. And to maximize the awkwardness her group includes Jamie, a childhood friend she’d hoped to basically avoid for the rest of her life.

The show is a mess, internet rumors threaten to bring the wrath of two fandoms down on their heads, and to top it all off Nina’s family is on the brink of some major upheaval.

Everything feels like it’s spiraling out of control―but maybe control is overrated?

With the warmth, wit, intimate friendships, and heart-melting romance she brings to all her books, Emma Mills crafts a story about believing in yourself, owning your mistakes, and trusting in human connection in Lucky Caller.

NOT FEELING LUCKY.

This book let me down in a big way. It’s been awhile since I gave a two-star review because I had a hard time finding things I enjoyed about it. Lucky Caller was overall nothing I expected, and nothing I wanted.

Everything was cringe worthy, awkward, and stilted. The main character, her love interest, side characters, the plot, everything. I don’t feel like anything flowed that well and was extremely choppy. I’m usually a fan of short chapters. These chapters felt like each one was only ONE tiny scene and it was weird. Granted, it made for a very quick read (of which I was happy for), but that’s it.

There was also a portion of the book dedicated to a made-up kids game that Nina, Jamie and her sisters used to play together. I didn’t care one moment about this. I felt it brought it down and made it more juvenile. The background story as to why Nina and Jamie were continually so awkward could have been written out differently.

I don’t really want to raze on this more, it just wasn’t a match for me this time. Which I’m sad about because this gorgeous cover and cute synopsis had dragged me in.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses

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Book Review

Book Review: Maybe This Time by Kasie West

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Young adult contemporary romance
Length: 368 pages
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Point
Release Date: July 9th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

One year. Nine events. Nine chances to . . . fall in love?

Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year’s Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.

Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn’t so bad after all . . .

Told over the course of one year and following Sophie from event to event, this delightful novel from master of romantic comedy Kasie West shows how love can blossom in unexpected places.

CUTE PREMISE.

Here I am again, slowly working my way through Kasie West books. Looking for something ti compare to P.S. I Like You because that book is just a gem. This was cute, but I had the same struggles I’ve seen before.

I loved the idea of this book. Going through different events as the same characters connected over and over again. It flowed well and when it jumped to the next event it still felt continuous. The addition of all the floral aspects was gorgeous. I’m obsessed with flowers so I definitely didn’t mind. Comparing the flowers to the event was a fun quirk at the beginning of each section.

I didn’t love the main character, Sophie. I found her annoying, abrasive, a bit rude, and while yes, she definitely got better, I had already signed off on her in my mind. I don’t need a perfect character it would just have flowed better if she hadn’t bothered me the entire book. I thought her love interest Andrew was cute. They got off on the wrong foot and found their way back to companionship. Nice little happily ever after that I’m always a fan of.

The general adorable-ness usually present felt forced with this cast. I had a hard time convincing myself that I cared for anyone in particular. I feel these books are either a big hit or a big miss.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses

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Book Review

ARC Book Review & Blog Tour: More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 336 pages
Author: Erin Hahn
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: May 12th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Growing up under his punk rocker dad’s spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn’t in front of a crowd, it’s on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major un-requited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell.

Vada’s got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom’s boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil’s music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley’s prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor’s summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out-of-this-world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her?

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own!

SUPER CUTE.

I feel like I use that word a lot when describing books, but I like reading cute books! Maybe I’ll come up with another adjective at some point, but for now, I found this book super cute.

When I read Erin Hahn’s first book (You’d Be Mine), I found it charming, but only alright. Upon seeing her latest book and the summary, I was enthralled and it sounded completely up my alley. Take a chance? YUP. And I’m happy I did.

There were plenty of pop culture references throughout. I usually find them more on the obnoxious side, but guys, these made me laugh. Actually giggle at my book because they were spot on. They reference would hit at the right moment and I loved them in this book.

I love allllll of the music. One of the few things that could make this book better would be putting it together as an actual movie. I would be all over hearing these songs because the lyrics are stunning and heartfelt. I was pleasantly surprised that I knew most of the songs referred to by Vada and Luke. Music plays a big role in the feelings and emotions and creates a great backdrop for the story as a whole.

Luke and Vada were adorable. Simply adorable. I LOVED the way their relationship developed over the course of the book. It didn’t need an enemies to lovers trope to sway me. This friends to lovers things was perfect. The awkward, young love flirtations made me smile and I was smitten with them together. I liked both of their personalities and interactions and the natural way everything came together for them. The side characters were great in their own right. Cullen and Zack were a sweet and funny couple. I love how accepted they were and what they added as a brother and friend to Luke.

Not to mention, the side story between Vada’s Mom and Phil (Vada’s boss) was everything I needed in a sub-plot. These two were flippin’ cute and I am so happy we got their full story too. I love when other characters who get page time have a beautiful and moving adventure too.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong throughout
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs; mentions of sexual relationships (side characters), but no actual scenes in book
  • Violence: drunk/belligerent father

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