Humor, Romance

Crashing the A-List by Summer Heacock

Crashing the A-ListCrashing the A-List by Summer Heacock

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Out today!

What a fun, witty, and clever book! After a string of thrillers and historical fiction novels, I absolutely needed this book. It provided a ray of sunshine through the heaviness.

Crashing the A-List is about a girl who’s down on her luck. The publishing house she works for gets bought out and she loses her job. She ends up desperately taking a job cleaning out storage units that have been abandoned (think reality TV’s Storage Wars). And she stumbles upon some interesting stuff that might just change the course of her life. In an instant she finds herself blackmailed into being the fake girlfriend of a heartthrob celebrity and the rest is hilarious history.

Summer Heacock injected the perfect amount of humor into this story. There were so many times I stumbled upon witty sentences that took me a second to process, but then made me chuckle uncontrollably. I thought the funny moments were infectious. The romance was cute and not too terribly predictable.

Is the book super realistic? Maybe not so much. But I did feel like while I was reading, a rom com movie was playing in my head. I could totally see this being taken to the big screen.

Overall, I loved this one and appreciated some reprieve from the dark and sinister I’ve been reading lately. A perfect book for light summer reading if you’re looking for a few laughs.

-I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Summer Heacock, and MIRA Books for the opportunity to review.-

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Mystery, Romance, Thriller

Her Deadly Secrets by Laura Griffin

Her Deadly Secrets (Wolfe Security, #2)Her Deadly Secrets by Laura Griffin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Out July 2nd! Pre-order from Amazon here!

I just love Laura Griffin. The mystery/thriller/romance genre that she writes in is so unique from all the other thrillers I read and I always enjoy her stories. I won a copy of Desperate Girls last year in a Goodreads giveaway (the first book in this series) and absolutely fell in love. So I knew I had to read the next in the series, Her Deadly Secrets.

This cover speaks to me so much. I think it’s fantastic and really draws your eye in. Every time I see the cover for this book I do a double take because it’s pretty breathtaking.

But beyond the cover, the story itself is wonderful. Wolfe Security is enlisted to protect a private investigator whose life is in danger. She was hired by a prominent physician’s defense team to investigate a case in which he’s accused of murdering his wife. But when they find themselves in the middle of a bloodbath where one of their own is killed, they must enlist the security group to provide protection from the unknown assassin.

Laura Griffin’s stories are always such a slow burn which are usually not my favorite because they tend to be on the boring side. But she has this way of keeping the story moving and keeping the reader reading with her storytelling abilities. The mysteries are always well thought out and keep me on my toes. But to top it all off, the romance is always icing on the cake for me. In a genre that’s usually dark and twisty, she injects romantic elements that give the story a unique flare that I really enjoy.

I will say that I think the romance had a little more sexual tension in Desperate Girls so I think I enjoyed that relationship a tad more. But the relationship in Her Deadly Secrets was still steamy and enjoyable at the end of the day.

If you haven’t read Laura Griffin’s work, I would highly recommend it. She’s become a “must read” author for me and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

-I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Laura Griffin, and Gallery Books for the opportunity to review.-

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Audiobook Review, Reese Witherspoon's Book Club, Romance

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

The ProposalThe Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve seen Jasmine Guillory’s book covers all over social media. From The Proposal to The Wedding Date and The Wedding Party, the playful cover art has been grabbing my attention. The Proposal was a Reese Witherspoon pick from a few months back that finally dropped onto my shelf from the library after a while of waiting.

Nik and her boyfriend go to a Dodgers baseball game where he (after 5 months of dating) proceeds to propose to her on the scoreboard in front of thousands of fans. She is mortified and embarrassingly declines his proposal. FYI – this is not a spoiler…. all of this happens in the first chapter of the book. After her BF stomps away, Carlos and his sister (strangers and fellow Dodger watchers) feel awful for Nik as everybody stares in her direction and decide to save her. Cue the “meet cute” because the rest of the story is essentially a love story between Nik and Carlos after their unconventional meeting.

The thing I enjoyed most about this book is that it was a love story that involved persons of color, which I have found is somewhat rare (at least in the books that I have read lately). So I liked that Jasmine Guillory incorporated characters of multiple races and also tied in cultural elements from their backgrounds as well. It was a nice change of pace and added some flavor.

The story overall is pretty simple. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. There is some climactic tension and a satisfying ending. So it’s not anything mind blowing in terms of the content itself. But it’s a light, easy, and fast read, which would be good for somebody who’s just coming off of a dark or heavy book and needs some reprieve.

Cute. Fun. Flirty. Romantic. All in all, a perfect feel-good romance for the summer.

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Audiobook Review, General Fiction (Adult), Romance

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

The Girl He Used to KnowThe Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I’ve seen this cover everywhere in the last 4 to 6 months with people raving about the story. I cannot even tell you how many times I entered the Goodreads giveaways for this book (and never won… haha!). So I finally gave up and requested the audiobook from the library.

This was such a fun, quirky, and beautiful love story. Tracey Garvis Graves tells the story of Annika (rhymes with Monica), a socially awkward college student who meets a boy named Jonathan in chess club. Jonathan opens her up to a world she never knew… of love… of intrigue… of acceptance. But with love comes tragedy that will rip the young lovers apart, forcing them down separate paths of independence. But fate will reunite them 10 years later and send them on a journey of rediscovery.

I thought this book was so real. Both Annika and Jonathan were perfectly developed. I could feel Annika’s awkwardness… her struggle to get by in social situations… her longing to fit in.

The beginning for me was somewhat basic. It was a basic love story. Boy meets girl. Girl is complicated. Boy and girl fall in love and boy teaches girl new things. It wasn’t anything earth shattering with the exception of Annika’s personality quirks. But the second half of the book kind of blew me away. While I saw pieces of the ending coming, the author had me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened next. I could feel the tension and angst and pain. I am not going to give away any secrets here because I think the end is the best part of the book and it is worth discovering on your own. Just take my word for it.

This one reminded me a lot of The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo which was a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick. If you enjoyed The Light We Lost, I would highly recommend giving this one a try. It will not disappoint.

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Romance, Young Adult

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Everything, EverythingEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well y’all. I just joined a new book club in Nashville that I’m super excited about it. I’ve been trying out different book clubs in the area and nothing has really “fit” up to this point. But, a fellow Nashvillian told me about this book club and I decided to give it a try. I found out about it on Monday and my first meeting was Wednesday. The book…. Everything, Everything.

I don’t know if you know this…. but I read a lot. And even I was a little worried about getting the book read by Wednesday so I could be part of the discussion. But Everything, Everything is such a quick read that I finished it in a matter of 24 hours.

From the Publisher:

What if you couldn’t touch anything in the outside world? Never breathe in the fresh air, feel the sun warm your face . . . or kiss the boy next door? In Everything, Everything, Maddy is a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly is the boy who moves in next door . . . and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken.

My absolute favorite thing about the book? The format. Super short chapters + varying format + illustrations. Short chapters are always a winner for me. I find books with short chapters difficult to put down because I’m always convincing myself that I can read just one more…. one more… one more…

The format was so interesting and perfect for this story. Nicola Yoon wrote in standard paragraph format for much of the novel but also used email, instant messaging, Maddy’s short book reviews, Maddy-approved definitions, and written schedules of those she observed to paint an overall picture of Maddy’s life. It somehow made the book feel so authentic and realistic because I could imagine an 18 year old girl who had been cooped up in a house her entire life trying to express herself through the different channels she had available to her.

Finally, the illustrations. What’s funny here is that I usually tend to listen to library books on audio but I decided to read this one in print. I’m so happy that I did because the illustrations were perfectly placed and executed (and drawn by the author’s husband), and I thought they enhanced the content of the book. One of the women I interacted with at book club listened to the audio and had no idea there were illustrations in the book. She didn’t feel like not having illustrations took anything away from the book, but I would still recommend reading versus listening to this one.

Beyond the formatting, the story was just heartwarming and cute. It definitely oozes young adult with the two main characters trying to discover who they really are as individuals as well as together. And there are a few surprises along the way that I didn’t see coming. Definitely a lot of content to unpack in a book club format and made for good discussion.

Overall, this was a really strong and powerful book. I thought it was thoroughly unique and I enjoyed reading it. Now I will have to go watch the movie to compare!

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