Funny Friday

Funny Friday started as book-related humor and then shifted into COVID-19 humor. I decided to stop limiting it to one thing and it will now be whatever I find that’s funny and relevant to me.

Every time someone mentions how nice it is outside. I’m not an outdoorsy girl…

Review: Falling by T.J. Newman

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

You just boarded a flight to New York.

There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard.

What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped.

For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die.

The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane.

Enjoy the flight.

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

Falling publishes July 6, 2021.

T.J. Newman’s book journey is pretty much every aspiring author’s dream. After dozens of agent rejections, she gets signed by one that goes on to get her a seven figure book deal. As if that isn’t astonishing enough, she then sells the movie rights to the book in another seven figure deal. With that kind of hype, I had some pretty big expectations when I started reading Falling.

The story was incredibly fast paced. We mostly follow the POVs of the pilot, Bill, a flight attendant, Jo, the pilot’s kidnapped wife, Carrie, and an FBI agent, Theo – who also happens to be the nephew of the flight attendant, along with several others that are impacted by the terrorist threat. I thought the transitions between perspectives were well done and really helped move the story along. There are also several flashback scenes interspersed throughout the story that I wasn’t quite as impressed with, but some were definitely necessary.

I thought the characters were likable and easy to root for. While this wasn’t really a character-driven story, I did feel like I got to know and understand them. While I liked them, I didn’t always find them very realistic. With a couple of minor character exceptions, it was like they were all their very best, level-headed, most courageous selves. I think we would all like to think that we would respond well in a crisis, but I think it’s highly unlikely that there wouldn’t be at least a few cracks. Also, while on the subject of characters, I want to say that having one of the flight attendants nicknamed Big Daddy and constantly referring to him as just Daddy made me cringe every single time I read it.

With how much money this story sold for, I was expecting there to be a really fresh take on who the villains would be. I was waiting for some big conspiracy plot to emerge. I was a little disappointed that it ended up just being terrorists that hate America. And the twist on the “back-up” plan on board the plane was my very first guess.

Overall, I did enjoy Falling, but did I find it worthy of that jaw dropping deal? Not really. It was fast paced and entertaining, but even so, it took me almost a week to read it (which is several days longer than a book of this size normally takes me). I thought the plot was pretty formulaic and there wasn’t really anything fresh brought to the table. However, I do think it will make a great movie that I will definitely plan on watching.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3.5 Stars

WWW Wednesday: June 9, 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 Last Secret by A.R. Torre. The ending let me down a bit, but this was a pretty good read, otherwise.

What are you currently reading?

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The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary. This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it’s just ok for me so far. Most of the characters are insufferable and it’s really slow paced. It’s also told in alternate timelines and while I’m ok with the present timeline, I really dislike pretty much everything about the past chapters. I’m really hoping there’s a great ending or something to make this worth it.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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Anne of Manhattan by Brina Starler. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Anne of Green Gables re-telling, so I’m very curious to see what this is like.

What are you reading?

Review: Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

We had no warning that she’d come back.

Hollow’s Edge used to be a quiet place. A private and idyllic neighborhood where neighbors dropped in on neighbors, celebrated graduation and holiday parties together, and looked out for one another. But then came the murder of Brandon and Fiona Truett. A year and a half later, Hollow’s Edge is simmering. The residents are trapped, unable to sell their homes, confronted daily by the empty Truett house, and suffocated by their trial testimonies that implicated one of their own. Ruby Fletcher. And now, Ruby’s back.

With her conviction overturned, Ruby waltzes right back to Hollow’s Edge, and into the home she once shared with Harper Nash. Harper, five years older, has always treated Ruby like a wayward younger sister. But now she’s terrified. What possible good could come of Ruby returning to the scene of the crime? And how can she possibly turn her away, when she knows Ruby has nowhere to go?

Within days, suspicion spreads like a virus across Hollow’s Edge. It’s increasingly clear that not everyone told the truth about the night of the Truett’s murders. And when Harper begins receiving threatening notes, she realizes she has to uncover the truth before someone else becomes the killer’s next victim.

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

Such a Quiet Place publishes July 13, 2021.

I’ve been looking forward to Such a Quiet Place for awhile now. It sounded kind of mysterious and creepy and just look at that gorgeous cover! Unfortunately, I found the story rather disappointing.

I know to expect a lot of character development and a slower pace when I pick up a Megan Miranda book, but I thought this one was too slow. It was past the halfway point before anything even happened to actually advance the plot. I thought things might pick up after that, but it remained pretty slow and boring. I also wasn’t a fan of how the mystery slowly unraveled. Harper would just stumble into information and then make big assumptions on what must have happened. I found it pretty anti-climactic when it was all said and done.

Speaking of Harper, she was my greatest struggle while reading this. I spent over half the book being incredibly annoyed and frustrated with her for what a pushover she was. Now, I am a people-pleaser that avoids confrontation, so when I think someone is a pushover, it’s pretty bad. I could not, for the life of me, understand how she could just let Ruby move back into her house, take her car, etc. I didn’t care if Ruby was innocent or a murderer. Harper found her manipulative and untrustworthy and Ruby obviously had zero respect for her. And Harper just acted helpless to ever say no. There’s some things said about how she’s too trusting and that she felt a little guilty, but neither were enough to justify how she allowed Ruby to walk all over her. I’m getting mad all over again just thinking about it.

Overall, Such a Quiet Place was a disappointing read for me. While Miranda does character development and setting very well, those are the only positive things I can really say about this one. I absolutely could not stand how Harper acted and I found the mystery really lacking. However, I’ve seen some much more positive reviews for this book, so if you can handle how frustrating Harper can be, you might enjoy this more than me.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 2 Stars

Review: How to Kill You Best Friend by Lexie Elliott

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

If you suspected your best friend, the person you were closest to in the whole world, was a murderer, what would you do? Would you confront her? Would you help keep her secret? Or would you begin to feel afraid? Most importantly, why don’t you feel safe now that she’s dead? From the author of The French Girl comes a novel full of secrets, suspense, and deadly twists.

Georgie, Lissa, and Bronwyn have been inseparable since dominating their college swim team; swimming has always been an escape from their own problems, but now their shared passion has turned deadly. How can it be true that Lissa, the strongest swimmer they know, drowned? Granted, there is something strange about Kanu Cove, where Lissa was last seen, swimming off the coast of the fabulous island resort she owned with her husband.

Lissa’s closest friends gather at the resort to honor her life, but Georgie and Bron can’t seem to stop looking over their shoulders. Danger lurks beneath the surface of the crystal-clear water, and even their luxurious private villas can’t help them feel safe. As the weather turns ominous, trapping the funeral guests together on the island, nobody knows who they can trust. Lissa’s death was only the beginning….

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

How to Kill Your Best Friend publishes August 17, 2021. 

This is a good example on why you shouldn’t decide to read a book based on the title alone. I thought this would be fun and mysterious, but it was incredibly slow paced and a bit of a chore to get through.

The story is told in alternating points of view between Georgie and Bronwyn, with a few anonymous pages thrown in. The anonymous POV pages describe the various ways in which you might kill your best friend, which I wanted to like, but ultimately found kind of pointless. The chapters from Georgie and Bron weren’t much better. There were tedious amounts of detail and nothing happened for long stretches of time. I predicted pretty much every single twist, except for one surprise right at the end.

Overall, I found How to Kill Your Best Friend disappointing. The very slow pace and unlikable characters kept me from ever getting that invested in the story. I wish there had been more time spent exploring Lissa’s past and her relationships instead of just one or two stories and vague references to her unstable behavior. The only reason I’m giving this two stars instead of one is because it did manage to surprise me once at the end.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 2 Stars

WWW Wednesday: June 2, 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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Never Saw me Coming by Vera Kurian. I actually really enjoyed this one. Finally a book with a good concept that lived up to it’s potential. My review for this will post later this month.

What are you currently reading?

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How to Kill Your Best Friend by Lexie Elliott. I’m about a third of the way through and am so far pretty bored with this. I’ve browsed reviews on Goodreads and a lot of them say it picks up towards the end and there’s some twists, so I’m going to power through.

What do you think you’ll read next?

So, my current book is my last ARC on my TBR shelf and I don’t have any library books at the moment. So I’m not sure what I’ll read next, but it will be WHATEVER I WANT! I’m looking forward to taking a bit of a break and mood reading.

What are you reading?

May 2021 Recap

2021 is just continuing to speed on by. I actually had a pretty good month in regards to how much reading I got done. I DNF-ed a few, but ended up reading 15 books, which is the most yet I’ve done this year. I’m pushing myself to get all my ARCs done so I can focus on mood reading without guilt. I also took a few days off work and was able to knock out several books.

Books Read: 15

Adult: 13

YA: 2

  Books Reviewed: 3

The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren – 3/5 Stars

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid – 3/5 Stars

Shutter by Melissa Larsen – 1/5 Stars

Favorite Book of the Month:

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Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian

Books Read in 2021 Overall: 49

Funny Fridays:

May 7

May 14

May 21

May 28

Other Posts:

April 2021 Recap

WWW Wednesday: May 5, 2021

WWW Wednesday: May 12, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Titles that are Complete Sentences

WWW Wednesday: May 19, 2021

WWW Wednesday: May 26, 2021

Reviewing the Unreviewed: May 2021

Reviewing the Unreviewed: May 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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Eleanor & Grey by Brittainy C. Cherry. Read May 1-2. 3.5 Stars

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I feel like lately it’s been taking me a really long time to finish books, but I did not want to put this one down once I started it. I really enjoyed Eleanor and Grey’s love story, but there were a few things that made me not quite able to give it 4 stars.

The story is told in two parts – the first with the characters in high school in 2003-2004 and then the next in 2019. It felt like reading two different stories. I really enjoyed the first part and thought they were absolutely adorable together, but felt the time jump to be really jarring. Grey didn’t seem like the same character at all for a long time once the second part began. And I get it that they’ve grown up and he’s gone through a lot, but he seemed too different. I think maybe interweaving the timelines instead of keeping them in separate parts of the book might have helped.

Also, it’s never really mentioned, but based on the age of his oldest daughter, it means she would have been born his Sophomore year of college. It made me a little sad that he would’ve moved on with someone so quickly after leaving Eleanor. Which brings me to another point – I wish we would’ve seen some of his relationship with his wife before she passed. Without getting to see their love story, it made me just feel a little resentful towards him that he was with someone else and I wasn’t as patient with his grieving because I wanted him back together with Eleanor.

There were also a few things with the writing that threw me off. There’s a lot of the same words and phrases repeated a lot. I get what Cherry was going for, but it didn’t always work for me. I also didn’t like that the characters prayed to their dead relatives. And the last few chapters were way, way too sappy for my liking.

And I know this sounds like I didn’t like a lot about the book, but I did really enjoy it! It was sweet and funny and I loved what a booknerd Eleanor was and her introvertism. I loved that Grey read her favorite book so they could talk about it and I will definitely be reading more from this author in the future.

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Badly Behaved by Meagan Brandy. Read April 30-May 4. 3 Stars. 

I’m not really sure if this book is a little less crazy than the last couple books I tried by this author, or if my threshold for the ridiculous has changed, but this one was ok for me. It was over the top, but not all the time and I liked the friendship between the characters.

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It’s In His Kiss (Bridgertons #7) by Julia Quinn. Read May 2-4. 4 Stars. 

I loved this one! Hyacinth and Gareth’s banter was so much fun. While I did miss seeing some of the other Bridgertons, their absence wasn’t as noticeable as it has been in previous books since I loved Hyacinth and Gareth so much.

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Sunkissed by Kasie West. Read May 4-6. 3 Stars. 

This had some cute and funny moments, but ended up being just ok for me. It felt like there were a lot of things recycled from some of West’s other books – the songwriting from “PS I Like you“, the making a list of things to do to expand your horizons like “Life, Love, and the List“, the outdoorsy setting like “Listen to your Heart.” It was just kind of odd. I liked the main character well enough, but felt pretty ambivalent about everyone else, including the love interest. I also felt like she spent the whole book trying to become a better version of herself and then it happened all at once at the end. This probably isn’t one I would read again, but I’ll still look forward to the next Kasie West book.

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Hostage by Clare Mackintosh. Read May 8-10. 3 Stars. 

I enjoyed this, but not as much as I had hoped to. I recently read another book about a plane hijacking and couldn’t help myself from comparing the two. While this one did a much better job on character development and a giving a fresher take on who the hijackers were, it was not nearly as fast paced or suspenseful as the other one. Being a fan of Mackintosh, I knew to be on the look out for a great twist at the end – and we got it. However, there was a big clue into at least part of that twist throughout the book and I guessed it from a mile away. The epilogue was pretty great, though. I might have increased my rating by half a star due to those final few pages, but then my whole reading experience was brought down a bit by the condescending climate change lecture given in the Author’s Note.

*I received a copy of this title via a giveaway on Goodreads.*

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On the Way to the Wedding (Bridgertons #8) by Julia Quinn. Read May 13-16. 4 Stars.

I’ve seen some rather mixed reviews for this one, but I really enjoyed it! The last couple of chapters were a little on the ridiculous side, but I enjoyed the rest of the book enough to make up for it. I really liked Gregory and Lucy. I liked that there were some more Bridgertons around than the last couple of books had, but I wanted at least one scene where they were altogether since this was the last book in the series and was sad we didn’t get that. Still, though, this has been such a fun series that is outside the genre I usually read and I’m glad I gave them a try.

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Forbidden (Ward Sisters #4) by Karla Sorensen. Read May 22-23. 4 Stars. 

I’ve been waiting for Isabel’s story and while I found her much more frustrating than I expected to, I liked her and Aiden together. I wish we got a little more of Aiden’s POV and I wish there was more relationship development and less focus on physical fantasies. Still, though, it was a good end to the series that I sped right through. I liked that we got to see a good deal of the rest of the Ward family and that there was some closure with their estranged mother.

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The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After (Bridgertons #1.5-8.5; 8.6) by Julia Quinn. Read May 23. 4 Stars.

I was able to read the 2nd epilogues for all of the previous books when I read them, so I got this just for Violet’s story. It didn’t go the way I was expecting it to, but I did like it. I really liked that we got to see some of her relationship with her husband, who never got to make an appearance in the series. And while I wish she would have found love again, I liked that she was still happy with her life without it.

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In the Now by Jennifer Ann Shore. Read May 23-24. 3.5 Stars

3.5 Stars. I picked this one up randomly browsing KU and it’s one of the better books I’ve found in that way. I liked the characters, but I wanted a little more from the romance. Noah bullied Olivia pretty hard in high school. Like, really mean things and I thought it was all just brushed past way too easily. Adult Noah was like a completely different character. There’s also a lot said about his family that I thought could have been explored a little more. Overall, this was a quick, enjoyable read and I might check out more from this author.

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Find You First by Linwood Barclay. Read May 25-27. 4 Stars.

I enjoyed this one. When it comes to character driven thrillers, Linwood Barclay is one of the best. The plot veered into the unbelievable a bit more than his books usually do, but it was entertaining.

*****DNF*****

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The Engagement Arrangement (Boots and Bouquets #2) by Jaci Burton. DNF @ 4%. I usually try to give books a little more of a chance before I decide to DNF it, but this is the second time I’ve tried to read this one and I still can’t make myself get past the first chapter. I thought the main character was kind of creepy and found myself saying, “that escalated quickly” several times – and it was only the first chapter! I think it’s safe to say that this book won’t be for me.

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Match Made in Paradise (Paradise, Alaska #1) by Barbara Dunlop. DNF @ 58%. I thought this had a lot of potential in the beginning, but I pretty quickly became bored with it. I didn’t think the “hate-to-love” was that well done – they had bad first impressions of each other and then lots of inner-monologues about how attractive they found each other. I never really felt any real chemistry or friendship between them. I didn’t like the main character and her “poor me for being so beautiful and rich” behavior. Since I was so far into the book I thought I should finish it, but once I got to the part where the main character and her cousin discuss shipping in models from LA to date the local Alaskan men, I just couldn’t take any more.

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Just One Look by Lindsay Cameron. DNF @ 14%. I don’t have anything bad to say about the writing, but after just a few chapters I felt like I had already read this story several times before and I was just not in the mood for it. I did skim through to the end just to see if there was anything new or surprising. There wasn’t. I have seen some very positive reviews on the book, though, so I’m sure it will still be an entertaining read for many.

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The Bookworm’s Guide to Flirting (The Bookworm’s Guide #3) by Emma Hart. DNF @ 6%. I thought this looked funny and cute, but it only took one chapter to know it’s not for me. That’s not to say that it won’t be funny and cute. There was some banter that made me smile, but I know that I can’t take a whole book in the main character’s head. I really did not care for her and the general tone of the writing.

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

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Win by Harlan Coben. I think I was in a weird mood when I started this and I only read one chapter that didn’t grab me. I put it down to try some other books and was never inspired to pick it back up. I do plan on requesting it from the library again in the future, though.

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

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Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda – 2 Stars

The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish – 3.5 Stars

Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian – 4 Stars

WWW Wednesday: May 26, 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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In the Now by Jennifer Ann Shore. I came upon this one randomly when browsing KU and found it pretty enjoyable. I’ll probably try out more from this author in the future.

What are you currently reading?

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Find You First by Linwood Barclay. I always look forward to a Linwood Barclay book and I’m liking this one so far.

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 with The Other Me by Sarah Zachrich Jeng.

What are you reading?