TOP TEN TUESDAY – BOOKS WITH GEOGRAPHICAL TERMS IN THE TITLE

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. The topic this week is a BOOKS WITH GEOGRAPHICAL TERMS IN THE TITLE. This one was slightly more difficult than I thought it would be! However, I managed to find at least ten for this week! I had a couple of others picked out but thought they were only VAGUELY related to the theme, so I left them off.

So we have: Sea, City, Garden, Sea, City, Woods, Town, Beach, Mount, and yet another Sea! What geographical terms did you use this week?

BOOK REVIEW: BEACH READ BY EMILY HENRY

  • STAR RATING:  4 stars
    PAGE LENGTH: 361 pages
  • DATE PUBLISHED: May 19th 2020
  • PUBLISHER:  Berkley 
    CONTENT WARNINGS: Confinement, panic attacks, fire

  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: Book Lovers by Emily Henry, People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

SYNOPSIS

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really. 

I am now all caught up on the Emily Henry adult contemporary romance novels! And I have to say, my ranking of them goes as follows: Book Lovers, People We Meet on Vacation, and lastly, Beach Read. Now they’re all solidly 4 stars and higher, so don’t go thinking I didn’t enjoy Beach Read. I just enjoyed it less than the other books!

Let’s get into the why:

First off — Beach Read is profoundly about grief, over everything else. Grief of relationships not being what you thought, grief of a father who passed away unexpectedly, grief of a non-childhood. Grief, grief, grief. I am a-okay with books being about grief, but when I pick up a book called Beach Read, it’s not really what I’m expecting. Like at all. And it took over halfway through the book for the characters to even end up on a beach! (I was very confused as to why this book was even titled what it is for a good chunk.) Secondly, Gus just seems like a garbage-slob of a person all of the time? He is kind, but not nice, and it’s not my favorite sort of leading man in a romance novel. He reminded me of Nick from New Girl, but if Nick was about a million times less funny, and dealing with some serious childhood trauma.

January was extremely relatable, however. (The give-up pants made me laugh so much.) I loved her character, and I rooted for her the entire novel. I wanted her to succeed in everything she wanted so very badly. I wished that she could have had the chance to just shout at her dad. She deserved it. As for the romantic relationship, I understood why January liked Gus, but I didn’t believe it as much as I did in Henry’s other books. I am probably an outlier in how I feel about this. They are just so, so different, but dealing with so, so much trauma it seemed like a bad bedrock for a relationship.

Overall, though, another solid book from Emily Henry. Four stars.

Add to your Goodreads, or preorder at at the following links:

GOODREADS | BOOKSHOP.ORG | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

PS – Don’t forget my Sabriel Read-a-long starts next week!

WWW WEDNESDAY — AUGUST 24

Will slept through the night last night after a hellish 15 month doctor visit. (He screamed the entire time.) He’s 89th percentile on weight and 74% percentile on height, so he’s a big boy! Doctor says we need to work on words, though, so here’s hoping he picks up some soon!

This meme is hosted by Taking on a World of Words. It’s super simple — all you do is answer the following questions.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently like…15% of the way into Ashes of the Sun, and I’m enjoying it so far but whooo there’s a lot of world-building going on. Hoping some more interesting stuff happens soon. I just finished reading Beach Read, and mostly enjoyed it. The review will be out tomorrow for that one! Next, I’ll probably pick up Blood of the Chosen if I end up liking Ashes of the Sun enough to continue.

What are you currently reading?

TOP TEN TUESDAY – IDK MAN, MY BRAIN IS BROKE.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. The topic this week is COMPLETED SERIES I WISH HAD MORE BOOKS, but uh, my brain is literally not working so I instead made you a very pretty rainbow of book covers. Enjoy.

I’ve read all of these BESIDES The Kiss Curse, which I am getting to next month! (I recommend all of these, too!) I’m blaming my lack of coordination and thought on the fact that Will woke up at 3, and would only try to sleep while I was singing to him. So I sang ‘This Old Man’ for an hour, and he finally fell asleep. ANYWAY, I’m brain dead, tired, and just want to go home. Have a post, my friends.

BOOK REVIEW: PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION

  • STAR RATING:  4.5 stars
    PAGE LENGTH: 364 pages
  • DATE PUBLISHED: May 11th 2021
  • PUBLISHER:  Berkley 
    CONTENT WARNINGS: Confinement, panic attacks, fire

  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: Book Lovers by Emily Henry, 99% Mine by Sally Thorne

SYNOPSIS

Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.

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?

People We Meet on Vacation is my second foray into Emily Henry’s writing, and I can safely say that I really like her books. Despite me saying that, Book Lovers still remains top dog in the Emily Henry pile for me. It’s going to be a hard one to beat, that’s for sure. People We Meet on Vacation is an extremely cute read, but there was just a tiny something missing for me, and I’m still not quite sure what that something could be.

(Is it Charlie Lastra? It might be Charlie Lastra.)

Even though there is no Charlie in People We Meet on Vacation, Poppy and Alex are adorable together. This is childhood-friends to lovers only…they meet in college. So not really childhood friends, but sort of? Eh, it’s close enough. Anyway. They’re really dang cute together. Co-dependent to the extreme, but adoring and there for each other when needed. (When he comes to take care of her when she’s sick? I think I audibly sighed out loud. God, that was great.) Poppy was just a tiny bit obnoxious in parts, but that’s just who she is. She’s a loud person, vibrant, friendly, and absolutely unavoidably present in every scene. Alex is much more like me — quiet, likes to read, always taking care of others.

I loved the vacations they went on together, the little glimpses of the world travel that they went on. My favorite of the bunch was New Orleans — I could really almost see myself there, right alongside them as they had fun getting wasted and discovering the city. And who hasn’t been on a bad vacation before? The ‘current’ vacation they’re on just…woof. That one was rough — until it’s not.

My biggest beef with this book is that the whole book we’re led to believe something god-awful happened two years ago, but once the reveal finally comes its…lackluster. It’s nothing that should have broken them, and it’s nothing that feels worth the build up that it was given. But regardless of that one tiny thing, People We Meet on Vacation is a really cute read. I love, love, love Emily Henry’s writing, and I can’t wait to get my hands on Beach Read.

Add to your Goodreads, or preorder at at the following links:

GOODREADS | BOOKSHOP.ORG | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

WWW WEDNESDAY — AUGUST 17

Good morning, all! We had a decent night last night! Will slept through the night, and that means we all got decent sleep! Yay! I hope your Wednesday is treating you well!

This meme is hosted by Taking on a World of Words. It’s super simple — all you do is answer the following questions.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently buddy-reading Kingdom of the Wicked with Destiny. I haven’t gotten much farther than the uh…second sentence so I can’t comment on how I feel about it, yet! I’m also reading People We Meet on Vacation, and I’m about 30% of the way through that one. I like it so far, but not as much as I loved Book Lovers. We’ll see as I continue! I finished up Fake Empire on Sunday, and honestly…wasn’t that into it. I’m not even going to post a review on the blog. If you’re super interested in my opinion, you can check my Goodreads for a tiny little review. Next, I think I’ll pick up Ashes of the Sun, as Orbit was kind enough to send finished copies of the first two books in the series so I can be ready for the last book in the series.

What are you currently reading?

TOP TEN TUESDAY – HILARIOUS BOOKS

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. The topic this week is HILARIOUS BOOK TITLES. But uh, I don’t know that many books with funny titles off the top of my head that I’ve read, so we’re twisting this one to just be funny books, or books with scenes that made me laugh out loud. I have read quite a few funny books.

PALADIN’S STRENGTH — Look this entire book made me laugh out loud. I leave you with this exchange:

“Istvhan woke, for the second time that month, with his head buried in someone’s cleavage. Unlike the first time, he knew exactly where he was and who he was with. Admittedly, she was still a nun, but that didn’t seem to matter nearly as much as it used to.

This is a very fine way to wake up. I could get used to this.

“Are you all right down there?” asked Clara.

“I am having a moment.”

“Yes, I see that. Can you breathe?”

“Air is for the weak.”

ALLOY OF LAW — Just…Wayne. That’s all.

THE MARTIAN — This book starts off with “I’m pretty much fucked. That’s my considered opinion. Fucked.” and goes off from there. It’s a really extremely funny book about a not-so-funny situation.

BOOK LOVERS — I loved literally all of the banter in this book, but especially the little back-and-forth about bigfoot erotica.

WHEN A SCOT TIES THE KNOT — The entire premise of this book is a laugh riot, but Logan himself is amazing.

GIDEON THE NINTH — There are too many amazing quotes for me to just give you one. Just know this book is filled with memes and references only the terminally online would get. It’s hilarious.

LET’S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED — Jenny Lawson is one of the funniest people on earth, and her books reflect that in the best ways. The entire chapter on Beyonce the chicken is just…perfect.

SWORDHEART — The scene in which they discuss what happens to Sarkis’s urine after he goes back into the sword is just top-notch laughter.

MELT FOR YOU — Cameron is amazing, hilarious, and always there for Joellen.

DEAD BEAT — Dresden brings Sue-the-T-rex’s fossil back to life in this one. AN ENTIRE DINOSAUR FOSSIL. HE RIDES IT INTO BATTLE.

TOP TEN TUESDAY – BOOK COVERS THAT FEEL LIKE SUMMER

Good morning, my darlings. I hope today is treating you right so far! It’s Tuesday again, so that means it’s time for another TOP TEN TUESDAY, which is probably my favorite book meme that I do.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is BOOK COVERS THAT FEEL LIKE SUMMER. This was relatively easy for me – apparently blues, teals, and bright yellows equal summer? Who knew!

I’ve read and enjoyed most of these! Have you read any? Which one was your favorite? Alternatively — what’s your favorite summer activity?

BOOK REVIEW: BOOK LOVERS BY EMILY HENRY

the cover for Book Lovers by Emily Henry
  • STAR RATING:  5 stars
    PAGE LENGTH: 377 pages
  • DATE PUBLISHED: May 3rd 2022 
  • PUBLISHER: Berkley
    CONTENT WARNINGS: Death of parent, grief, sexual content, pregnancy

  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: Well Met by Jen DeLuca, The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

SYNOPSIS

One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn’t see coming….

Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.

Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away—with visions of a small-town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.

If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.

Book Lovers is pretty much universally adored by contemporary romance readers — that I’ve seen, anyway. (This is a partial fib — I’ve seen like…two bad reviews of this book. Two out of the many, many, many good ones.) I am firmly in the holy-shit-I-adored-this-book category, in case you were wondering. Book Lovers is full of tropes, but Henry twists them on their head and pokes fun of them in the best way possible. If you’re a romance lover, you’ll see so many familiar tropes you’ll end up grinning from ear to ear as you pick them apart.

Now, this is my first Emily Henry book, so I can’t say much about her consistency, but I can say that I loved how she writes dialogue. The characters felt like real people talking — no fake plasticine layer over everything. I loved the banter between the leads, Nora and Charlie, most of all. I frequently found myself laughing out loud at some exchange between them. Their chemistry was like fire — smoky, and extremely hot.

The general plot of the book is that Nora needs to learn how to let go and not control everything — including her sister. She doesn’t want to control her sister, as much as she desperately wants to take care of her, but still. Nora is controlling. It takes three weeks in a podunk little town — and an extremely hot rival — to get her to loosen up. The scenes with Nora and Libby truly felt like real situations between sisters. The love they had for each other was extremely evident on page, and it was a joy to read.

I also love that this book did not end with Nora and Charlie expecting a baby or moving to the little town. I love that they got their happy ending where they wanted it the whole novel — right there in NYC. It just goes to show how many romance novels end with the lead couple giving up their separate dreams to live out some generic idea of happiness. Book Lovers ended perfectly, in my eyes. Five stars. Holy crap, I loved this.

Add to your Goodreads, or preorder at at the following links:

GOODREADS | BOOKSHOP.ORG | AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

WWW WEDNESDAY — JULY 6

Hi everyone! Hopefully, your Wednesday is off to a fantastic start! I don’t have much to say today, so we’ll just jump right into the meme, okay?

This meme is hosted by Taking on a World of Words. It’s super simple — all you do is answer the following questions.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

As of right now, I’m almost done with Book Lovers, and I am absolutely LOVING this book. I adore the banter between the two leads so, so much. I finished up Nettle & Bone over the weekend — my review will be up tomorrow. Another book I really, really enjoyed by T. Kingfisher. She never disappoints. I’m torn on what book I read next — it has to be an ARC as they’re piling up — do I go with the vampire book, Day Boy or Notorious Sorcerer? Any suggestions?

What are you currently reading?