WWW Wednesday: October 7, 2020

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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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The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler. This was the cutest book and I really enjoyed it.

What are you currently reading?

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I’m still in a mood where I’m having trouble concentrating on anything, so I decided it would be best to go with another cute book instead of Mystery/Thriller like I was going to. I’ve heard good things about Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey so I have high hopes for it.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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The Ingredients of You and Me (Hopeless Romantics #3) by Nina Bocci.

What are you reading?

Review: Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

The author of the “rich, dark, and intricately twisted” (Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author) The Family Upstairs returns with another taut and white-knuckled thriller following a group of people whose lives shockingly intersect when a young woman disappears.

Owen Pick’s life is falling apart.

In his thirties, a virgin, and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a geography teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct, which he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel—involuntary celibate—forums, where he meets the charismatic, mysterious, and sinister Bryn.

Across the street from Owen lives the Fours family, headed by mom Cate, a physiotherapist, and dad Roan, a child psychologist. But the Fours family have a bad feeling about their neighbor Owen. He’s a bit creepy and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night.

Meanwhile, young Saffyre Maddox spent three years as a patient of Roan Fours. Feeling abandoned when their therapy ends, she searches for other ways to maintain her connection with him, following him in the shadows and learning more than she wanted to know about Roan and his family. Then, on Valentine’s night, Saffyre Maddox disappears—and the last person to see her alive is Owen Pick.

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

Invisible Girl publishes October 13, 2020. 

I’m a big fan of Lisa Jewell and oftentimes her books rate among my favorites of the year. Unfortunately, though, I did not really care for Invisible Girl. 

Let’s start with what I did like about this book. Jewell always takes a lot of care with character development and she continued to do it really well here. I felt like I got to know all of the characters. I also thought the three different POVs were used really effectively to create suspense.

While I felt like I got to know the characters, I didn’t really care about most of them. I thought Cate was shallow and judgmental, while she she lived in deep denial about her own life and relationship. I felt sad for what Saffyre went through as a child, but really nothing she did in the present made a bit of sense to me. And honestly I found most of her actions incredibly selfish – and some a big overreaction – and I’m upset that she didn’t face any consequences at all for what she’d done. Owen is the only character that I really felt something for. He made me really sad most of the time – and a few times a little disgusted. For the most part, though, Owen was very misunderstood. While we get to see him come to understand how he has misperceived others and how to work on himself, none of the people who frequently labeled him as creepy got the same education and that kind of disappointed me.

I also wasn’t a big fan of the whole incel plotline. It wasn’t as big a part of the plot as I thought it would be based on the synopsis and I was glad for that. But I felt like I wanted them explained a little bit more. While the people described are obviously hateful, I wondered if there was another side of the coin. It’s like when all people on the political left are grouped together with the far-left and all people on the political right are grouped together with the far-right. Not everyone is an extremist. I didn’t like that celibacy was only looked upon as something weird and creepy and not a valid lifestyle. Though, I do suppose these people are “involuntarily” celibate.

Overall, Invisible Girl just wasn’t for me. It took me well over half the book to really feel interested in the story and even then, I felt like there was a big lack of payoff because I didn’t care about most of the characters. However, I’m still a big Lisa Jewell fan and I will look forward to her next book.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 2.5 Stars

Streaming Saturday: Teen Wolf

We all love books here, but I thought I might start dedicating some posts on Saturdays to highlight one of my other loves – TV!

What I’m watching

10729 Teen Wolf - American TV Series LAMINATED POSTER CA #fashion #home #garden #homedcor #postersprints (ebay link)

Teen Wolf on Amazon Prime.

An average high school student and his best friend get caught up in some trouble causing him to receive a werewolf bite. As a result they find themselves in the middle of all sorts of dramas in Beacon Hills.

Why I’m Watching

I’m not really a Halloween person, but as the weather starts to get more Fall-like, I get in the mood for spooky/scary/horror movies/tv shows. I went looking for what was available on the streaming services I use and came across Teen Wolf. I remember watching a few episodes when it first came out years ago, but didn’t really remember anything about it besides liking Stiles. I decided to give it another try and I really enjoyed it. There is a certain amount of ridiculous you need to get past (even once you get past the title), but I loved the friendships and the humor and the times when it could be surprisingly emotional. Seasons 2 and 3 were my favorite and season 6b (the final season) was probably it’s worst, but it was still definitely worth the series binge and I blame this show as the reason why I read so little last month.

Obviously, though, the best part of the show is Stiles. He’s one of the very few humans among all his supernatural friends and while he started off as mostly comic relief, he brings a lot of heart to the show. I’m a definite Stiles fangirl now.

Watch If You Like…

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The Vampire Diaries

Scream (the tv series)

What are you streaming right now?

September 2020 Recap

I don’t really have much to say about September. It was just another banner month of 2020. I actually didn’t read very much, sometimes going a couple days in a row without reading anything at all, which is super unusual for me. I am enjoying the cooler weather, though. I’m hoping we continue to have a nice fall before winter takes over.

Books Read: 9

Adult: 9

Favorite Book I Read This Month:

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Yours to Keep (Man of the Year #2) by Lauren Layne

  Books Reviewed: 4

The Switch by Beth O’Leary – 4 Stars

They Never Learn by Layne Fargo – 4 Stars

A Path to Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers and Karin Stock Burrsma – 4 Stars

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren – 4 Stars

Books Read in 2020 Overall: 120

Funny Fridays:

September 4

September 11

Dragonfly Treasure: More stuff to make you laugh ~ WW

September 18

September 25

Other Posts:

August 2020 Recap

WWW Wednesday: September2, 2020

Streaming Saturday: Making the Cut

WWW Wednesday: September 9, 2020

WWW Wednesday: September 16, 2020

WWW Wednesday: September 23, 2020

WWW Wednesday: September 30, 2020

Reviewing the Unreviewed: September 2020

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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The Rural Diaries by Hilarie Burton Morgan. Read August 29 – September 1. 4 Stars.

I enjoyed this. I thought Hilarie’s journey from teen drama star to small-town farmer\occasional actress was really interesting. Though I definitely respect all of the work she and her husband have put into their relationship, I have to say it came across as pretty dysfunctional most of the time. He mostly came across as self-centered and controlling to me, following all of his hollywood dreams while she either took care of things at home or just followed him around. I did think she downplayed a lot of the acting jobs she took, though. And she seemed happy with her life, so I’ll try not to judge.

While I think the tone of the book was supposed to be kind of inspirational about how you can do anything you put your mind to, there wasn’t much said about how everything they did was possible because of how wealthy they are. Overall, though, I thought she came across as likable and relatable and this was an enjoyable read.

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Yours to Keep (Man of the Year #2) by Lauren Layne. Read September 3-6. 4 Stars. 

I am always happy when a new Lauren Layne book comes out. This was cute and bantery and fun. I really liked both Carter and Olive and loved watching as their friendship evolved into more. I also liked that it was set mostly in a cute, small town. Most of Layne’s books these days are set in NYC with super rich, polished characters and it was a nice change to see a quirky high school teacher as the lead.

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Dating Mr. Darcy (Love Manor #1) by Kate O’Keeffee. Read September 8-9. 3.5 Stars.

This was pretty cute. I liked the dating reality show concept. I liked the romance, but thought it could have been developed a little more. It felt like they only had a couple real interactions before they were “in love.” I’d be interested in reading more from this, author.

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Steal Home (The Sweet Magnolias #1) by Sherryl Woods. Read September 8-11. 3 Stars.

I wanted to read this ever since watching the Netflix show. I enjoyed it for the most part. I liked watching Maddie navigate her divorce and becoming a single parent and her new relationship with Cal. I liked the romance, even if it was a little fast. I kind of skimmed through a lot of the rest of it, though. In the show, I really liked the friendship between Maddie and her two best friends, but they kind of annoyed me here. They weren’t really given much to do besides encourage Maddie to go into business with them and pursue a relationship with Cal (though, the next couple of books in the series shifts the focus to them, so I’m sure the character development will improve).

Since I’ve already watched the show, I have to point out some of the differences. The show made Noreen a much more sympathetic character than the book did. There were several plotlines on the show with Maddie’s kids and I have to say I’m not mad that most of them didn’t exist in the book. I thought Book Cal was a lot sweeter than Show Cal, but I thought Show Maddie was more likable than Book Maddie.

I’m looking forward to watching season two, but I don’t see myself reading more of this series, even though I mostly enjoyed this one.

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Not My Romeo (The Game Changers #1) by Ilsa Madden-Mills. Read September 12-13. 3.5 Stars.

I actually enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. The characters were likable and I loved the small town atmosphere. I thought Jack was really sweet, if a little unbelievable. There were several more graphic scenes than I generally appreciate, but that was one of the only things that brought it down for me.

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Loathe Thy Neighbor (Roommate Romps #1) by Teagan Hunter. Read September 17-27. 2 Stars. 

This wasn’t for me. There were some funny parts, which Hunter always does well, but the story itself was pretty ‘meh’. I didn’t like the main character and I didn’t even really ship the romance.

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

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The Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell – 2.5 Stars

Love Your Life by Sophie Kinsella – 3 Stars