WWW Wednesday: May 12, 2021

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WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

What did you recently finish reading?

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Hostage by Clare Mackintosh. This one ended up being just ok for me.

What are you currently reading?

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Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda. I’m a little over half way through and finally something JUST happened to actually advance the plot. The main character is driving me insane, too. Unless there’s some terrific twists still to come, I don’t think this is going to be a winner for me.

I’ve only read one chapter of Win by Harlan Coben so far and then I set it down to read a couple other things and now I don’t really feel interested to pick it back up. I’ll probably let this go back to the library and try borrowing it again sometime down the road.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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On the Way to the Wedding (Bridgertons #8) by Julia Quinn. I just got this from the library and am anxious to start it, though I am really sad that this is the last book in the series!

What are you reading?

Review: The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents–who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno–Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands. At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess–who is barely making ends meet–is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist–and the science behind a soulmate–than she thought.

Funny, warm, and full of heart, The Soulmate Equation proves that the delicate balance between fate and choice can never be calculated.

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

The Soulmate Equation publishes May 18, 2021. 

First, I want to address those “eugenics” criticisms. I’ve seen reviews that say using DNA to match people together automatically falls under eugenics, but I don’t really agree with that. I think there needs to be actual intent to (or results that) only match certain demographics of people with other certain demographics of people for it to be considered eugenics – which is obviously repulsive. It’s not what’s going on in this book at all, though. I do feel like the authors could have gone a little bit more out of their way to make this distinction more clear, though. And while we’re on the topic of science, I thought it could have been handled a little more thoughtfully than it was. There is a lot scientific terminology thrown out in short bursts and I found it all pretty confusing.

I also struggled a bit with the main character, Jess. She made so many assumptions on River before ever even talking to him, that it colored all of her interactions with him once they officially meet and she was so rude. She went on and on about how he was the worst when she was the one that was acting so horribly. It drove me a little crazy. As she eventually gets to know him and realizes she was wrong about him, I started to like her a little more, just to get frustrated again by how she reacted to the Big Conflict. The unevenness of her character really brought down my overall enjoyment of the book.

While Jess wasn’t my favorite, I did really like River. He made a couple missteps – including how he handled the Big Conflict, as well – but other than those he was pretty perfect. He was sweet and romantic and probably one of my favorite male characters Christina Lauren has written. I also enjoyed Jess’ grandparents and daughter. I thought they were all kind and supportive and I wouldn’t have minded seeing a bit more of them.

Overall, I enjoyed The Soulmate Equation, but I didn’t love it. While there was some good banter occasionally and I shipped the romance, my struggle with the main character brought everything down a bit for me. While this one may not be my favorite Christina Lauren book, I look forward to checking out whatever they write next.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3 Stars

WWW Wednesday: May 5, 2021

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WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

What did you recently finish reading?

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It’s in His Kiss (Bridgertons #7) by Julia Quinn. I really enjoyed this one! There was some amazing banter.

What are you currently reading?

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Sunkissed by Kasie West. I always look forward to a new Kasie West book, so I’m feeling optimistic about this one.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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I just got Win by Harlan Coben from the library, so I will probably go with this one.

What are you reading?

April 2021 Recap

April started off nice with a week off from work, but after that it wasn’t so great. The weather can’t seem to make up it’s mind, one day it was 80 degrees and a few days later it was snowing. Even for Ohio, that’s weird for April. The heating and cooling system in my apartment is very old and it is a long, frustrating process to switch it from one to the other – which I’ve done several times. Book-wise, I read more than I have in awhile, but most were only 2 or 3 stars. I did go to a couple of author Zoom events that were kind of fun, though. They don’t compare to being able to go to the live events and meeting the authors and getting signed books, but I’ll take it. My library did an event with R.L. Stine – one of my favorite childhood authors – and another library had Anna Gomez and Kristoffer Polaha. I haven’t read their book yet, but Polaha is an actor and I’ve liked some of his shows and movies and he was on set of his latest Hallmark movie so that was kind of cool.

Books Read: 9

Adult: 9

  Books Reviewed: 4

Where Secrets Lie by Eva V. Gibson – 2/5 Stars

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry – 4/5 Stars

The Insiders by Tijan – 3/5 Stars

A Dark and Secret Place by Jen Williams – 2/5 Stars

Favorite Book of the Month:

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All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata

Books Read in 2021 Overall: 34

Funny Fridays:

April 2

April 9

April 16

April 23

Other Posts:

March 2021 Recap

Happy Easter!

WWW Wednesday: April 7, 2021

WWW Wednesday: April 14, 2021

WWW Wednesday: April 21, 2021

WWW Wednesday: April 28, 2021

Reviewing the Unreviewed: April 2021

Reviewing the Unreviewed: April 2021

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. Reviewing the Unreviewed is my monthly post where I share my few thoughts on all the books I didn’t formally review.

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Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson. Read April 3-5. 2.5 Stars.

This book was bonkers. The writing had that addictive quality I expect from Swanson, which I’m giving the extra half star for, but the story itself was like a campy Lifetime movie. I had some theories about what would happen that I thought couldn’t be right because it was too crazy, but then it went down an even crazier path. You definitely have to suspend your grip on reality to enjoy this, which I wasn’t entirely able to do.

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All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata. Read April 5-7. 4 Stars. 

I loved this! Such a sweet, slow-burn romance. I might have some issues with Zapata’s writing sometimes, but she definitely knows how to write a romantic hero that will make my cold, black heart have some feelings.

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When He Was Wicked (Bridgertons #6) by Julia Quinn. Read April 8-10. 3.5 Stars. 

Another enjoyable book in the Bridgertons series, but not one of my favorites. I wish there was a little more of the Bridgertons present, but I did like both Francesca and Michael.

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Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne. Read April 16-18. 3.5 Stars.

The first several chapters were a bit of a chore to get through, but I was eventually able to get into the story. I didn’t like that the main character, Ruthie, keeps being referred to as old at 25, mostly by her 22 year-old assistant, Melanie. I didn’t really like Melanie at all. She’s supposed to be funny and supportive, but I found her a little grating. I also thought the two elderly ladies hiring young men to exploit and humiliate was a little tone deaf in today’s environment. There also wasn’t really much of a plot. But, despite all that, I did enjoy watching Ruthie and Teddy fall in love. There were several cute moments and I liked how they helped each other grow. If you’re looking for another The Hating Game, you’re not going to find it here, but it was definitely a solid effort from Thorne and I’ll try whatever she writes next.

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The Beach by R.S. Grey. Read April 25. 2.5 Stars. 

This was very short and didn’t have much of a plot. The characters are from Doctor Dearest (which wasn’t my favorite R.S. Grey book) and the story is basically the female lead internal monologuing about her crush on the guy, them hooking up a lot, and then deciding it’s not just an island fling. I would have liked a little more banter and romance thrown in to round out the story a bit.

*****DNF*****

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The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz. DNF @ 47%. I saw so many glowing reviews of this book and was very excited to read it, but it just didn’t work for me. The beginning was so slow and felt like a chore to get through. I found myself really annoyed about how often this super amazing plot is mentioned, without actually finding out what it is. I also guessed right away who the internet “troll” who accuses the main character of plagiarism was. I stopped reading properly at around 47%, but then skimmed through towards the end so I could see if my prediction was correct. It was. And that plot that kept being mentioned as revolutionary? VERY disappointing. Honestly, I thought it sounded similar to an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer…

*****Books with Future Reviews Scheduled*****

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The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren – 3 Stars

Falling by T.J. Newman – 3.5 Stars

Shutter by Melissa Larsen – 1 Star

WWW Wednesday: April 28, 2021

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WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

What did you recently finish reading?

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Shutter by Melissa Larsen. This book was not for me at all. My first 1 star book of the year.

What are you currently reading?

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Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I’m not that far in yet, but after a very promising start, I quickly became bored. I’m really hoping it picks up again soon.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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I don’t know, but I want to try and get in some more KU books before my subscription ends next month and Eleanor & Grey by Brittainy C. Cherry was recently recommend to me (thanks Deanna!).

What are you reading?

Review: A Dark and Secret Place by Jen Williams

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Synopsis from Goodreads

For readers of Jane Harper and Rachel Caine comes a chilling thriller from award-winning author Jen Williams about a woman who discovers her late mother had been secretly corresponding with a serial killer for decades.

When prodigal daughter Heather Evans returns to her family home after her mother’s baffling suicide, she makes an alarming discovery–stacks and stacks of carefully preserved letters from notorious serial killer Michael Reave. The “Red Wolf,” as he was dubbed by the press, has been in prison for over twenty years, serving a life sentence for the gruesome and ritualistic murders of several women across the country, although he has always protested his innocence. The police have had no reason to listen, yet Heather isn’t the only one to have cause to re-examine the murders. The body of a young woman has just been found, dismembered and placed inside a tree, the corpse planted with flowers. Just as the Red Wolf once did.

What did Heather’s mother know? Why did she kill herself? And with the monstrous Red Wolf safely locked inside a maximum security prison, who is stalking young women now? Teaming up with DI Ben Parker, Heather hopes to get some answers for herself and for the newest victims of this depraved murderer. Yet to do that, she must speak to Michael Reave herself, and expose herself to truths she may not be ready to face. Something dark is walking in the woods, and it knows her all too well.

A Dark and Secret Place publishes June 8, 2021

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review. 

I’m always on the lookout for a good serial killer book and I thought A Dark and Secret Place looked pretty intriguing. Unfortunately, I ultimately found it disappointing.

I thought the “Before” chapters about Michael’s early life were well done and compelling. I found Michael a sympathetic, if unsettling, character. Once Michael started to grow up, though, I didn’t find the Before chapters as well done. I wanted a lot more background information about the mysterious man that takes him in and the commune he starts. There is very little said about it’s purpose and motivations and it left me with a lot of questions. 

I struggled a lot with Heather’s character. She was so unlikable and barely anything she did made sense to me. I really felt like I had to suffer through the chapters from her point of view to get to the Before parts I enjoyed more. I also thought that as she investigated, everything fell into place just a little too easily for her. 

Overall, I found A Dark and Secret Place pretty disappointing. I really wanted to like it and was intrigued in the beginning, but the over the top turns the story took, how unlikable the main character was, and the unsatisfactory explanations in the end really let me down.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 2 Stars

WWW Wednesday: April 21, 2021

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WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

What did you recently finish reading?

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Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne. This started off really slow, but I ultimately enjoyed it. Not as good as The Hating Game, but way better than 99 Percent Mine.

What are you currently reading?

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Falling by T.J. Newman. This debut book has already made the author millions of dollars, so I have really high expectations for it.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m kind of in a mood, so I’m not sure what will catch my interest next.

What are you reading?