WWW Wednesday: April 14, 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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When He was Wicked (Bridgertons #6) by Julia Quinn. Not my favorite Bridgerton book, but still enjoyable.

What are you currently reading?

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A Dark and Secret Place by Jen Williams. I’ve been looking forward to this, but it’s just ok for me so far. I don’t care for any of the chapters from the main character’s POV, but everything else is interesting.

The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren. This one is ok, but like with the other book, I’m struggling with the main character.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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I just got Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne and The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth from the library.

What are you reading?

Review: People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

With one week to win back the best friend she might just be in love with, a travel writer plans the trip of a lifetime in this sparkling new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read.

Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart–she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown–but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.

Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.

Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together–lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.

Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

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

People We Meet on Vacation publishes May 11, 2021. 

Emily Henry’s Beach Read was one of my favorite books of 2020, so I had very high expectations for People We Meet on Vacation. While I’m not sure it will make my 2021 Favorites list, I still definitely enjoyed it.

I absolutely loved the relationship between Poppy and Alex. They had amazing banter and it was obvious how much they cared about each other. So many of their scenes just put a big smile on my face. The chapters jump around between the present and the past, where we see many of their summer trips, going back from when they first met twelve years ago. I enjoyed both timelines and being able to see the evolution of their friendship.

While I loved the humor and the romance, there were a few things that brought the story down for me. There was some subtle bashing of religion, which I found a little offensive. There was also a lot of build up to the big Croatia trip that ruined their friendship two years ago and it ended up being pretty anticlimactic to me. It was a short chapter and I expected a bit more than what actually happened. I also was a little confused about how impactful to Poppy’s life she kept saying the people she met on her travels were, when there were very few examples of that in the actual story. I can only think of a couple of examples and they left no lasting impact to me.

Overall, People We Meet on Vacation was a very cute story. It had terrific banter and several adorably romantic scenes. The characters were likable and I loved their friendship. I felt like it was a little messy at the end, though. What happened in Croatia and the fall out didn’t feel like it lived up to all the build up about it. I also felt like too much was crammed into the final chapters. Trying to make the theme of the title so important at the end when there was very little about it in the rest of the story was a little jarring. Despite that, though, this is a book that I see myself re-reading in the future.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars

WWW Wednesday: April 7, 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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Every Vow You Break by Peter Swanson. This book was bonkers and ultimately disappointed me, but it might just have broken my book slump, so I’ll take it.

What are you currently reading?

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All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata. Like all Zapata books, this took me a bit to get into, but I am really enjoying it now.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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I’m not sure, but I think I’m going to get back to my ARCs and The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz is next up.

What are you reading?

Review: Where Secrets Lie by Eva V. Gibson

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Told in two interwoven timelines—the summer when everything changed, and the summer that changes everything—Where Secrets Lie is a seductive thriller as dark as it is enthralling.

Amy Larsen has spent every summer with her cousin Ben and their best friend Teddy in River Run, Kentucky, loving country life and welcoming the break from her intensive ambitions and overbearing mother—until the summer she and Teddy confront the changing feelings and simmering sexual tension growing between them, destroying the threesome’s friendship in a dramatic face-off.

One year later, Amy returns to River Run dreading what she might find. But when Teddy’s sister disappears, Amy, Ben and Teddy agree to put aside their differences to search for her. As they dig deeper into the dark history of their small town, all three friends must unearth the truths that tie their families to tragedy, cope with their own toxic upbringings and beliefs, and atone for the damage done to each other and themselves.

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

Where Secrets Lie publishes April 20, 2021.

While I had some issues with it, I remember enjoying Eva V. Gibson’s angsty debut, Together we Caught Fire and I was really looking forward to her follow up. Unfortunately, this one did not work for me.

My biggest issue was that I was pretty incompatible with the writing style. I don’t like a lot of description or imagery and this book is over the top with the imagery and metaphors. It didn’t work for me at all and honestly just really annoyed me. I’m sure there will be readers that will love this aspect of the writing, but I have very little patience for it.

I thought all the relationships in this book were toxic. Amy and her whole extended family are obviously dysfunctional, but I thought the friendship between her, her cousin Ben, and her friend Teddy was pretty awful, as well. Honestly, I thought they were abusive towards each other and the way they kept coming back together over and over again was like a beaten spouse that can’t leave a marriage. Even if there were a couple of sweet or funny moments thrown in, I never stopped wanting these kids to get therapy and less-toxic friends.

The whole mystery aspect of the story didn’t really work for me, either. I felt like it made the story just drag on and on, as nothing they investigated brought about the resolution. Also, my very first suspect early on in the story ended up being the villain. There were a couple of other big “secrets” that I thought were super obvious long before they were revealed. I also thought that with the heavy and serious subject matter, throwing in pages upon pages of Amy being mad at Teddy for not returning her romantic feelings in the way she wanted him to was ridiculously petty and childish.

Overall, Where Secrets Lie was not for me. I didn’t connect with the writing style and could never really get on board with either the mystery or the romance. The one bright spot in the book was Ben, who I actually really disliked about half the time, but still found pretty compelling.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 2 Stars

March 2021 Recap

I don’t have a lot to say about March. I hit a book slump about halfway through and haven’t been able to read anything. Instead, I started binging Schitt’s Creek on Netflix and just finished it yesterday. It took me a bit to get into it, but I really enjoyed it and I know it’s a series that I’ll be watching again. I’ve been feeling really burnt out and stressed with work, so I finally scheduled some vacation time. I’ll be off all next week and I could not be more excited for it. I have some plans, but would really love to pick one day just to sleep as long as I want.

Books Read: 7

Adult: 6
YA: 1

  Books Reviewed: 2

The Songbook of Benny Lament by Amy Harmon – 4/5 Stars

Bookshop by the Sea by Denise Hunter – 3/5 Stars

Favorite Book of the Month:

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Love at First by Kate Clayborn

Books Read in 2021 Overall: 25

Funny Fridays:

March 5

March 12

March 19

March 26

Other Posts:

Reviewing the Unreviewed: February 2021

February 2021 Recap

WWW Wednesday: March 3, 2021

WWW Wednesday: March 10, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Spring 2021 TBR

WWW Wednesday: March 17, 2021

WWW Wednesday: March 24, 2021

The Book Snob Tag

Reviewing the Unreviewed: March 2021

Reviewing the Unreviewed: March 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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To Sir Phillip, With Love (Bridgertons #2) by Julia Quinn. Read March 8-11. 4 Stars.

I have been eagerly anticipating Eloise’s book and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I expected to. It took me awhile to figure out what wasn’t working for me, and it was half way through when her brothers show up that I realized I was missing the other Bridgertons. The banter that I love wasn’t as present in this installment of the series due to the Bridgertons not being around for most of the book and also that Phillip is on the quieter side. I also was a little disappointed that we didn’t get to see much of the initial letters that led up to their meeting and their wedding was glossed over. Though we did get to see more of it in the previous book, I wanted to see it from Eloise and Phillip’s point of view. And I know this sounds like a lot of complaints, but they’re small nitpicky things and I did end up enjoying this. I will be eagerly waiting the next book in the series to become available at the library.

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Too Good to be True by Carola Lovering. Read March 5-12. 2 Stars. 

I found this really disappointing. I kept hearing about great twists, but there was absolutely nothing in this book that was surprising. Maybe if you’ve read very few books in this genre? Still, though, at least one of the “twists” was super obvious from very early on and wasn’t “revealed” until after half way through the book. I was waiting for a really explosive ending, but everything that happened just made me roll my eyes.

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Love at First by Kate Clayborn. Read March 4-13. 4 Stars. 

Quirky, romantic, a little sad, and sweet. I really ended up enjoying this book. I loved Will and Nora and all their neighbors. Though it took me just a bit to get into the story (I think that probably had more to do with my mood at the time I started it than the book itself), once I did, I was hooked and didn’t want to put it down. While it was just a little longer than I thought it needed to be, it was such a sweet story and I’m really looking forward to checking out more by this author.

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Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn. Read March 17-18. 4 Stars. 

I struggled a little with how to rate this. There wasn’t really much to the plot for most of the book, it could get pretty cheesy, and the big dramatic turn it takes in the last quarter or so of the book seemed a little out of nowhere – and in how it impacted Meg a little on the unrealistic side. However, the romance was cute and sweet, there was some good humorous moments, it made me want to learn calligraphy, and I did overall enjoy the reading experience, so I’m going to boost my rating up to 4 stars.

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To Have and to Hate by R.S. Grey. Read March 18-19. 4 Stars. 

This was a cute marriage of convenience story. I got a little frustrated with the lack of communication and would have liked Elizabeth’s relationship with her family a little more explored. Overall, though, it was a quick read that I enjoyed.

*****Back on the TBR*****

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A Simple Murder (Kate Burkholder series novellas) by Linda Castillo. I was in a big book slump for the last week and a half or so and by the time I finally felt like reading again, I only got through one of the stories before my library book expired. I will definitely try this again later, though. 

*****DNF*****

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A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses #4) by Sarah J. Maas. DNF @ 4%. Yes, I only read a couple chapters of this, but I couldn’t really force myself to read anything more. I looked at a lot of other reviews and there was nothing in them that made me think it would be worth it to me to finish the book.

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Take it Off the Menu by Christina Hovland. DNF @ 36%. I thought this sounded cute, but I never really connected with it. I didn’t think the main character was very likable and I hate when poor communication is a major plot point.

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

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Where Secrets Lie by Eva V. Gibson – 2 Stars