Reviewing the Unreviewed: July 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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Hands Down by Mariana Zapata. Read July 3-5. 4 Stars. 

I really enjoyed this! It was a terrific slow burn romance with really likable characters. I do have my usual complaint with this author that the writing was a little too repetitive and a little more editing would really help the pace, but I know to expect those things going in, so it didn’t hinder my enjoyment too much. It was a sweet story of friendship, family, and love. I liked the cameos of characters from some of the author’s other books, too. I was sad when it ended and I had to say goodbye to the characters. This is definitely one I’ll read again.

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Melt My Heart by A.R. Perry. Read July 5-6. 3 Stars. 

A cute, short read. The characters were likable and the romance was cute, if a little too cheesy there at the end.

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The Crushing Depths (Coastal Guardians #2) by Dani Pettrey. Read July 9-11. 4 Stars. 

I was really disappointed in the first book of this series, so I was a little nervous about starting this one. Fortunately, The Crushing Depths was back to the quality I have come to expect from Pettrey. I liked the main characters much more in this installment and enjoyed the mysteries. While I did like the romance between Rissi and Mason, it was another case of there being a past relationship and they were basically in love right away when they saw each other again. I wanted to see their relationship develop a little more organically. However, the B plot involved the beginnings of a romance between Noah and Brooke and I felt much more invested in them. I look forward to reading their book in the future. I also feel pretty invested in the inevitable relationship between Emmy and Landon. After the first book I didn’t really care about any of the characters and I’m really happy I got to know them better this time around.

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The Girl in the Love Song (Lost Boys #1) by Emma. Scott. Read July 11-12. 4 Stars. 

Very angsty and a little too long, but enjoyable. I wish there was a little more time spent in the post-high school years and a little less in the teenage angst. However, I liked the characters and Miller and Violet’s relationship. It was a sweet, emotional story and I’m going to check out more by this author.

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One of the Guys by A.R. Perry. Read July 7-13. 3 Stars. 

This was ok. I didn’t find Rylee a very likable character. I hated the antagonistic relationship she had with her siblings and mother. I thought Spencer was sweet, though – most of the time. While this was ok, it’s probably going to be the last book I read by this author.

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The Fadeaway (Smart Jocks #2) by Rebecca Jenshak. Read June 29-July 16. 2.5 Stars

This was just ok for me. I did like Katrina and how she handled being a young, single mother. I didn’t really remember having a favorable impression of Joel in the first book and I didn’t care much for him here, either. It also took me a couple of weeks to finish this because it couldn’t hold my attention long enough to read more than a couple chapters at a time.

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Baking Me Crazy (Donner Bakery #1) by Karla Sorensen. Read July 19-25. 3 Stars. 

There were a lot of things I liked about this book. I liked the friendship between Levi and Joss. I liked the positive disability representation, the humor, and how incredibly sweet Levi was. Joss’ reactions to things really brought the book down for me, though. There are two instances where Levi has big news or a confession to share with her and she basically attacks him both times, refused to talk about it, and then disappears on him/gives him the cold shoulder while she processes. Both times she realizes she overreacts and she doesn’t really own up to it, she just shows back up and he is instantly fine with her again. It made me really dislike her at times. Especially when she thought Levi couldn’t possibly want to live with her disability – girl, he already had his family renovate their house to make it accommodating for you! That’s the reason this book is getting 3 stars instead of 4.

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Outsider (Kate Burkholder #12) by Linda Castillo. Read July  21-26. 4 Stars. 

Another enjoyable installment of the Kate Burkholder series. This one is a bit of a departure from the other books in the series, as it’s more Suspense/Thriller than Mystery. The story almost entirely takes place at a snowed in farm and we don’t get to see much of the beloved side characters as we usually do. I liked getting to know a little more about Kate’s backstory, though, and I loved new character, Adam. I hope he shows up again in future books.

I do have to say that the plot of the book centered around corruption in a police force and it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to be reading during these times. Castillo does include a note about how she embellished things for her story and that the (real) police department she uses in the book is a good one and the mischaracterizations are for the sake of the plot. It just feels like unfortunate timing for a book with this topic to be out. Or the perfect time, I suppose, depending on your political bent. However, the corrupt cops get their comeuppance and justice is served, so it is positive to see a police force taking action to reform their force.

All that said, it was still a good book and I will eagerly await the next installment.

*****DNF*****

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Rage & Ruin (The Harbinger #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout. DNF @ 10%. I don’t know if I’m just in a mood or if my reading tastes have changed over the years and JLA books just don’t do it for me anymore, but I can’t make myself read another page of this.

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Behind the Red Door by Megan Collins. DNF @ 25%. I really tried with this one, but I just couldn’t get into it. The main character was really frustrating, though her mental health issues were completely understandable with her upbringing. There was some anti-religious stuff I found offensive and that kind of killed most of my desire to keep reading. I also thought the mystery of what happened to Astrid all those years ago was really obvious. While I stopped reading at about the 25% mark, I did skip to the last few chapters, just to confirm my suspicion and I was right. I’m glad I didn’t waste my time with all the chapters in between.

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The Dating Dare by A.R. Perry. DNF @ 17%. I recently read another book by this author that was cute, so I thought I’d give another one of her books a try. I only got through a couple chapters of this, but I don’t like it at all. I think the kids are crass and the whole dare scenario just doesn’t work for me.

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Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan. DNF @ 24%. I really wanted to like this one, but I just couldn’t get into it. I was expecting a thriller, but it was much more Women’s Fiction. The writing wasn’t bad, I think it was just an instance of me being the wrong reader for the book.

July 2020 Recap

July was a whirlwind. I have gone back to working 40 hours/week again. After so long with a reduced schedule, it’s been exhausting. I am thankful to have the work, though, so I’m going to try not to complain about it (much). I still get to work mostly from home, which I am all for. I also moved into my new apartment in July. Moving is always exhausting and stressful, but it went pretty well, overall. I had some washer/dryer issues, so I decided to buy some new ones. There was some drama with those, so they are being returned and I will be without for awhile. The moral of the story is that I will never, ever shop at Lowe’s again.

Books Read: 9

Adult: 6
New Adult: 1
Young Adult: 2

Favorite Book I Read This Month:

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Outsider (Kate Burkholder #12) by Linda Castillo and The Crushing Depths (Coastal Guardians #2) by Dani Pettrey

  Books Reviewed: 4

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin – 3/5 Stars

The Vacation by T.M. Logan – 4/5 Stars

The Wife Who Knew Too Much by Michele Campbell – 3.5/5 Stars

Louisiana Lucky by Julie Pennell – 4/5 Stars

Books Read in 2020 Overall: 100

Funny Fridays:

July 3

July 10

July 17

July 24

July 31

Streaming Saturday:

Streaming Saturday: The Amazing Race

Streaming Saturday: The Baby-Sitters Club

Other Posts:

WWW Wednesday: July 1, 2020

June 2020 Recap

Happy 4th of July!

Mid-Year Book Freak out Tag

WWW Wednesday: July 8, 2020

WWW Wednesday: July 15, 2020

Books I’ve Read with the Lowest Average Ratings on Goodreads

WWW Wednesday: July 22, 2020

Books I’ve Read with the Highest Average Ratings on Goodreads

WWW Wednesday: July 29, 2020

Streaming Saturday: The Baby-Sitters Club

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

The Baby-Sitters Club (2020)
 

The Baby-Sitters Club on Netflix. The show is based on the book series of the same name, focusing on a group of young girls who start their own babysitting service. There is currently one season with ten episodes available. 

Why I’m Watching

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If there is one thing that defined much of my childhood, it’s The Baby-Sitters Club books. I remember one summer walking to our small town library every day and checking out multiple BSC books at a time. Or going to Walden’s Books in the mall and using allowance money to purchase as many as I could. There are over 100 books in the series, as well as multiple Super Specials, which ignited my love of the Multiple 1st Person POV. 

While I am, obviously, much older than the target audience for the show, I knew I had to watch it. And it’s adorable! Not every episode is a winner and they get a little too social justice warrior-y for me at times, but it was enjoyable and filled me with so much nostalgia. I thought the casting was on point for most of the characters and it was fun to see Alicia Silverstone and Marc Evan Jackson as some of the parents. 

Watch If You Like…

I don’t watch enough teeny-bopper shows to be able to list similar shows, but you should definitely give this one a try if you read and loved the books as a kid, like I did. 

What are you streaming right now?

Streaming Saturday: The Amazing Race

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

The Amazing Race (2001)
 

The Amazing Race on Amazon Prime. The first 29 seasons are free to watch on Prime, but there are 31 seasons so far and the 32nd season will premiere sometime this year on CBS. The show features 11-12 couples that go on a race around the world. They visit multiple countries where they have to perform tasks and obstacles and the last person to check in at the pit stop for a particular leg, loses. The winners get a million dollars. There’s always a diverse group of couples that you will either love or love to hate. 

Why I’m Watching

I spent a very long time one day browsing available shows and absolutely nothing looked interesting to me. Then I saw The Amazing Race was available and decided to give it a try. I’ve seen almost every season of the show, but that hasn’t hindered my enjoyment in re-watching them. I’ve genuinely forgotten who most of the winners have been. I’ve watched about 6 random seasons over the last couple of weeks. I don’t even remember them all, but I do know my favorite seasons are 10 and 11. I’m looking forward to watching more of them. 

Watch If You Like…

Reality Competition shows like:

Survivor

Master Chef

Big Brother

What are you streaming right now?