Top 5 Wednesday: Biggest Disappointments of 2018 (So Far)

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday is a freebie, so I decided to go with my Biggest Disappointments of 2018 (So Far).

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1. My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. I absolutely loved My Lady Jane and I had such high expectations for My Plain Jane. However, I thought the humor was forced, I was not at all into the Jane Eyre-Ghostbusters mash-up, and didn’t really care for any of the characters.

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2. Restore Me (Shatter Me #4) by Tahereh Mafi. I had really enjoyed the original trilogy when I first read them and always felt there was potential for more story there. However, instead of moving the story forward very much, Mafi just retreads old ground and took away almost all the progress Juliette and Warner made.

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3. Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin. Black-Eyed Susans is one of my favorite books and I’ve been looking forward to more from Heaberlin ever since reading it. Unfortunately, Paper Ghosts didn’t come close to meeting my expectations. The main character was not only unlikable, but her total ineptitude after constantly talking about how well trained she was was baffling.

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4. The Isaac Project by Sarah Monzon. I hyped myself on this book years ago after one really great review. Earlier this year it finally was offered free for a limited time on Kindle and I was so excited to snatch it up. Unfortunately, lackluster writing and a really unlikable main character kept it from living up to it’s potential.

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5. The Date by Louise Jensen. I have seen nothing by wonderful things about Louise Jensen books and I was excited to finally read one. I was so sad this one didn’t live up to the hype at all for me. A pretty cliched storyline and a “twist” I saw coming a mile away is going to make me think twice before picking up another book by her.

What are some of your biggest disappointments of 2018?

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Review: The Other Woman by Sandie Jones

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

A deliciously disturbing, compulsively readable debut domestic suspense–prepare to meet The Other Woman: there’s nothing she won’t do to keep you away from her son …

Emily thinks Adam’s perfect; the man she thought she’d never meet.

But lurking in the shadows is a rival; a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.

Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.

The Other Woman is an addictive, fast-paced psychological thriller about the destructive relationship between Emily, her boyfriend Adam, and his manipulative mother Pammie.

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

The Other Woman will be available August 21, 2018. 

I thought the synopsis of The Other Woman sounded kind of like a Lifetime movie and I was expecting a really fun, guilty-pleasure type of read. Unfortunately, it fell short of my expectations.

I was really looking forward to seeing what a psycho Pammie would be. Even her name is perfect for the frustrating, overbearing mother-in-law. While she definitely did some underhanded things, she just never got as over-the-top as I wanted her to be. I think for this type of book you really have to go big and it never really got there for me.

I also found Emily, the main character, to be exasperating. She was one of those characters that just always made the wrong choice. She was also pretty spineless. She rarely stood up for herself and when she did she went about it in the wrong way. There were so many times I just wanted to slap her and tell her just to be HONEST and maybe she wouldn’t have all these problems. In addition to not liking Emily, I really didn’t like Adam. I expected him to be a sweet, yet clueless mama’s boy, however he was actually just not a very nice person. I thought he could be abusive and controlling and there were definite red flags – besides Pammie – that Emily just ignored. Their relationship was far more frustrating to me than Emily’s relationship with Pammie.

There was a bit of a twist at the ending, but I wasn’t really a fan of it. It was something I had begun to suspect, so it wasn’t very surprising. I also thought the epilogue left a lot to be desired. I didn’t really see the point in it.

Overall, I found The Other Woman to be underwhelming. I really liked the idea of it, but it just never lived up to my expectations. I thought it was pretty slow-paced and drawn out and Pammie never got as crazy as I wanted her to be. My biggest complaint, though, is with Emily’s character. If she could have been just a little less annoying I think I would’ve enjoyed the book a lot more. However, almost every other review I’ve read of this has been very positive, so it might be worth checking out.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 2 Stars

Review: Catch Him If You Can (Accidentally Yours #2) by Jennifer Shirk

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

Veterinarian Wade Roberts is done with love. But try convincing the elderly folk of Cape Harmony who are determined to play matchmaker. Now the young single women in town are bombarding him with baked goods and love notes, and being “taken” is the only way to stop the meddling grannies—which is why he needs a fake fiancée. Fast.

Arden Pearson loves planning weddings. Other people’s weddings, that is. After her own engagement ended in disaster, she prefers to live vicariously through her work. But when she needs to persuade a big client that she’s capable of planning the celebrity wedding of the year, she’s willing to go as far as pretending to be engaged herself to her best friend’s older brother.

Soon their ruse has everyone in town believing they make the perfect couple—including Arden. She’s always been nothing more than a kid sister to Wade, and it might take a village to convince him otherwise…

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

Catch Him If You Can will be available August 13, 2018. 

This book was so cute! After reading a number of mysteries/thrillers lately I was really in the mood for something light and sweet and Catch Him If You Can was exactly what I needed. I found myself smiling through the whole book.

I love a good fake relationship story and Jennifer Shirk always does a good job with them. I thought the circumstances leading up to the relationship were humorous, especially the small town matchmakers that were driving Wade crazy. I would’ve like maybe a couple more awkward, fake-dating moments before the relationship started to become more real, but overall I thought it developed at a good pace.

I thought Wade and Arden were both really likable characters. They both had a good sense of humor and I enjoyed all their scenes together. The secondary cast of characters were all likable, if not exactly memorable. I also really liked seeing Kinsley and Damon from the previous book.

Overall, I really enjoyed Catch Him If You Can. I always enjoy fake relationship stories and this one was so cute and exactly what I wanted it to be. It was humorous and sweet and the perfect weekend read. I definitely recommend it to fans of Sweet Romances.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars

July 2018 Recap

   

July was a great book event month for me. First, I got to see Linda Castillo. She comes to the area every year on book tour and it’s always one of the highlights of my summer. This year she did a writing seminar before her regular author event. It was really interesting to learn more of her process and I even asked a question (if you know me, you know this is kind of huge deal for me to talk in front of a crowd). When I got to talk to her afterwards to get my book signed, she remembered my name which is pretty awesome.

      

I also went with Amanda to see Linwood Barclay! He’s one of my favorite authors and I have always wanted to meet him so it was definitely a Book Nerd Bucket List moment. He was pretty funny and I enjoyed hearing how some of his real life moments make it into his books. There was this elderly woman there that basically begged him to continue a series he ended over a decade ago that was really funny. She also had a big tote bag full of all of his books she wanted him to sign. I want to be her when I grow up. When it actually came time to get my book signed I was basically a mute idiot…but that should come as no surprise to anyone. It was a great time and it was also so nice to catch up with Amanda, even though most of it was spent with me venting all my family drama. Thanks for listening, Amanda!

5 Year Blogiversary

I think I forgot to mention that my blog turned 5 back in June? I really meant to do a whole post and maybe a giveaway for it. But…I obviously missed it again. Maybe next year.

Books Read: 10

Adult: 8
YA: 2

Favorite Book I Read This Month:

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Close to Home (DI Adam Fawley #1) by Cara Hunter

  Books Reviewed: 7

A Gathering of Secrets (Kate Burkholder #10) by Linda Castillo – 4/5 Stars

I Think I Love You (Oxford #5) by Lauren Layne – 4/5 Stars

Girls’ Night Out by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke – 2/5 Stars

Dead Drift (Chesapeake Valor #4) by Dani Pettrey – 4/5 Stars

Good Luck with That by Kristan Higgins – 4/5 Stars

Close to Home (DI Adam Fawley #1) by Cara Hunter – 4.5/5 Stars

Our House by Louise Candlish – 4/5 Stars

Books Read in 2018 Overall: 92

Funny Fridays:

July 6

5 Steps to Becoming a Happier Person | books, reading, quotes

July 13

You can't read all day. If you don't start in the morning.

July 20

Haha

July 27

Other Posts:

June 2018 Recap

Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag: 2018

Reviewing the Unreviewed: July 2018

Looking forward to August

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One more author event of the summer! Amanda and I get to see Karin Slaughter again as part of her Pieces of Her book tour.

Reviewing the Unreviewed: July 2018

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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Lies You Never Told Me by Jennifer Donaldson. Read July 1-3. 3 Stars. 

This wasn’t bad, but it didn’t live up to the hype for me. I developed a theory about how the two storylines were connected fairly early on and it ended up being right. When that was finally revealed to be true I kept expecting something else shocking or twisty to happen at the end of the book, but nothing did. So I guess if you didn’t figure it out early it would appear as a fun twist, but it was just kind of ho hum for me. I did like the different POVs, though, and I really liked Gabe, even though he frustrated me many times.

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Sirens (Aidan Waits Thriller #1) by Joseph Knox. July 4-6. 4 Stars. 

This book is dark and kind of messed up, but I really enjoyed it. Short chapters and a fast pace made it a pretty quick read. I wavered a little bit with what to rate it because I found myself sometimes not really understanding what was going on and the writing seemed a little scattered at times. However, I liked that Knox was able to take a rather cliched storyline (addict/kind of dirty cop main character, drugs, murder, etc.) into something that really did seem unique. I thought the mystery was pretty well done and it kept my interest the whole time. I’m definitely looking forward to more from this series.

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My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. Read June 27-July 7. 2 Stars. 

I am so disappointed!!! My Lady Jane is one of my absolute favorite books and I have been looking forward to My Plain Jane for so long. Unfortunately it just fell so short of my expectations. The humor that I loved in the previous book felt so forced here. This book got a couple of chuckles out of me, but much more eye-rolling. I also didn’t love the Jane Eyre-Ghostbusters mash-up. I felt like the story really dragged and it did not keep my attention. I actually read two other books in the time it took me to finish this one. I had originally really liked the idea of having Charlotte Bronte and Jane Eyre both be characters, but I didn’t end up liking either of them. Alexander was probably my favorite POV of the three, but I didn’t really care that much about him either. I’m just overall really underwhelmed and disappointed with this one.

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Catch Him if You Can (Accidentally Yours #2) by Jennifer Shirk. Read July 19-21. 4 Stars. 

This book was so cute! After reading a number of mysteries/thrillers lately I was really in the mood for something light and sweet and Catch Him If You Can was exactly what I needed. I found myself smiling through the whole book. Full review to come closer to release date. 

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I Knew You Were trouble (Oxford #4) by Lauren Layne. Read July 22-23. 3.5 Stars.

This wasn’t my favorite Lauren Layne book, but it was still enjoyable. I liked Nick. Taylor took awhile to grow on me, but she wasn’t bad. I was looking for something light and quick to read and this was perfect for that.

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Hard Sell (21 Wall Street #2) by Lauren Layne. Read July 27-28. 4 Stars.

I love both Fake Relationship and Hate-to-Love stories and this book utilized both. Full review to come closer to release date. 

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Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren. Read July 28-29. 3.5 Stars.

I’ve had some mixed reviews with the Christina Lauren books I’ve read so I’m never really sure what to expect when I pick one up. However, I do know that there will be some addicting writing that will make the book hard to put down and Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating was exactly that. Full review to come closer to release date.