Celebrate the end of the work week with a little book humor
Celebrate the end of the work week with a little book humor
Synopsis from Good Reads:
Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.
Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.
This book was kind of meta and I liked that. The book is about characters who meet once a year and one of them is going to write a book about it. So basically it’s like Ben is writing the book we’re reading. The characters bring up a lot of common book tropes – and then utilizes them. There is even a point in the story where the idea is compared to similar books and Ben defends it and makes sure everyone knows it’s different. As a book nerd I could really appreciate all the references.
I liked the plotline of only seeing the characters once a year, but I wish the story would’ve involved a little bit more than just their relationship and how they thought about each other non-stop every single day of the year. It didn’t really feel like there was that much character growth between November 9ths. We would get just a couple details to prove that some time had passed and then it was picking right back up where we left off with the romance. However, toward the end we did get a lot more character background on Ben and I appreciated that.
While I was a fan of Ben and Fallon’s relationship, it did make me a little uncomfortable at times. They are super intense about each other when they haven’t known each other very long at all. And though I did love Ben, he gave off a bit of a creeper vibe to me at times. And even though I did like many of the meta book references, it kind of annoyed me when it came to him. He would talk about how he was nothing like the alpha-male book boyfriends he read about and then act EXACTLY like every other guy ever written in this genre. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the norm for a reason, but I wish he either would’ve been a little different, or they would’ve really played up the comparisons a little more. All that said, I did think the romance was enjoyable and I liked their bantering a lot.
As I was finishing up this book I read another review that pointed out that the plot twist is basically the same as two other CoHo books. I hadn’t made the connection before that, but once I realized it, it was kind of all I could think about. Not being a rabid CoHo fan, I’d only read one of those books and since I liked this one much better than Confess, I can kind of overlook it, but do feel like I need to point it out, as well.
Though this book still did not convert me into a CoHo fangirl, I did end up really enjoying it. While there was a certain level of melodrama, I felt like it wasn’t as forced as the other books I’ve read by her. I found the characters more likable, as well, and especially enjoyed some of their banter. Overall, I think that fans of Hoover will eat it up and even the non-converts like me would enjoy it.
Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars
Welcome to my first Top 5 Wednesday! You can find more info about it over at their Good Reads page. This week’s topic combines two of my favorite things: Books you want to see as TV shows. I have done this topic once before for a Top Ten Tuesday, so I’m going to try to come up with all new answers.
1. The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. This book spans several years, has lots of characters, and a great central romance to root for that goes through lots of up and downs.
2. Curse Workers by Holly Black. I could totally see this on the CW.
3. You by Caroline Kepnes. I could see this as a Dexter-ish series with anti-hero Joe.
4. Red Rising by Pierce Brown. Yes, we are (eventually) getting a movie, but there’s definitely enough story there for a tv series.
5. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Action, humor, romance, magic. What more can you ask for?
We all know that rating a book is completely subjective and we are probably pretty hard pressed to find two reviewers who do it exactly the same. I’ve never actually shared what my star ratings are supposed to mean because honestly I’ve never been completely sure. I haven’t really set up defined parameters, but have tried to just go with a gut feeling. That said, I will try to define what my star ratings mean a little later.
When I first started this blog, I had it in the back of my mind that maybe, possibly, eventually I could become good enough that I could find some site that would like to hire me to write reviews. So I wanted to be able to really critically review books, based on many aspects of writing and not just on how much I enjoyed a book. And giving, say, Anna and the French Kiss, 5 stars is not something that would convince anyone of my critical analysis skills.
So in that spirit, I started out this blog by being pretty harsh with my ratings. Once I realized that this would never be anything more than a hobby, I started to become a little more generous, but I still haven’t ever given a book 5 stars. And now, after 3 years of blogging, I feel like I can’t change my mind about how I rate. If I suddenly lower my standards when it comes to 5 star ratings it feels unfair to the books I’ve read previously. I’m also afraid that by those new standards, I could end up with 5 star rated books that are not as good as some of my 4 star rated books. And yes I realize this doesn’t really effect anyone except myself, but it really give me anxiety sometimes.
This also makes me really suspicious of other people’s 5 star ratings. There are some reviewers out there that seem to pass them out like candy to every book they read. When every book is 5 stars, how can I trust their opinion? Of course, when most of my books are around 3 stars, it appears that I don’t really have much of an opinion. But, still, there are so many hyped books out there that I find just ok and everyone else is giving it 5 star ratings and I just can’t wrap my head around it.
Ok, so what’s my rating criteria??
1 star – Completely awful with basically no redeeming characteristics.
2 stars – Has a couple of redeeming qualities, but mostly complaints. May include: terrible writing, unlikable or underdeveloped characters, outlandish or boring plot.
3 stars – Is enjoyable and pretty well-written, but nothing that really stands out from the genre. It could be something I really enjoyed, but I still have issues with writing/plot/characters, etc. or something that had great writing or a couple of great characters, but lacked in every other aspect.
4 Stars – Both enjoyable and well written. Stands out amongst similar books. Have only a couple, minor complaints.
5 Stars – Perfection. Completely enjoyable and really well written. Not a single complaint.
Some books I’ve reviewed that have come close to 5 Stars
–Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
–Golden Son by Pierce Brown
–The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
–Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Celebrate the end of the work week with a little book humor
I was tagged by Deanna over at A Novel Glimpse (check her out, she’s awesome!). I’ve never played Pokémon or Pokémon Go (I don’t really get it, to be honest), but I love book tags!
I’m going to go with The Baby-Sitters Club books by Ann M. Martin.
Persuasion by Jane Austen. Every time I re-read this I love it just as much. The Letter!.
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. While I did see this everywhere, it’s not why I lost interest. I just didn’t find it to be an interesting book. Even though I was so excited to get an eArc of it, I DNF-ed it.
Wife for the Weekend by Ophelia London. I absolutely love fake relationship stories and this is my favorite one I’ve read this year.
The Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin. I was just talking to someone at work about them and how she’s re-reading them and loves them, but the size of it just intimidates me so much!
Golden Son by Pierce Brown. What is a book tag without a Red Rising mention? I could not stop thinking about this book when I was reading it (or after I finished).
I’m going to go with Kami and Jared from The Lynburn Legacy series by Sarah Rees Brennan. I love them soooo much!
I read Paper Princess by Erin Watt in a day…and thought it was a little too “fire-hot” for YA…
We are getting a Red Rising spin-off series AND a pre-quell comic book!!!
The Curse Workers series by Holly Black. Even though the first book in the series didn’t quite live up to the hype, I fell in love with the series in the second book.
The Dreamland series by E.J. Mellow. I’ve seen soooo many glowing reviews on it. I want to go to there.
I would love to have a first edition of a Jane Austen book!
The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee is getting a lot of hype lately.
Pierce Brown. I will read anything he ever writes. This Adventure Ends also convinced me to make Emma Mills an auto-buy.
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo!!! This month!!!
I spent a lot of time this month in a book slump. I just wasn’t in the mood to read much. I did manage to read a few good ones, but not as many books as I usually do. I also spent a week with very little reading when my sister, brother-in-law, and niece from Canada were here! My niece was 12 weeks early so she’s been very small and I’ve always been a little afraid that I will break her. But she’s now over a year old and she’s big enough that I’m not scared of her anymore haha. She’s crawling and walking and just so much fun! I even babysat her by myself a couple of times. The first time I was supposed to put her to bed and she was not the least bit interested in that and I found her crying traumatizing so I got her back up and she fell asleep on my lap instead. My sister thought it made a cute picture, but her and my brother-in-law were not very impressed with my babysitting skills…They left on Monday of this week and I miss them so much already.
The Regulars by Georgia Clark – 2.5/5 Stars
P.S. I Like You by Kasie West – 4/5 Stars
One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid – 4/5 Stars
The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware – 3.5/5 Stars
Crooked Kingdom comes out this month! This is probably one of my most anticipated books of 2016 and I’m so excited to read it. Leigh Bardugo is going to be in the Cleveland area this month and I am seriously considering going to see her. It is a couple hours away in the middle of the week and big cities make me nervous, so I’ll probably chicken out. But maybe…
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