Reviewing the Unreviewed: July 2019

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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Bred by Ginger Scott. Read July 6-8. 3.5 Stars.

I mostly enjoyed this book, though not a lot really seemed to happen. I thought Lily was a likable main character and I shipped the romance. There were several characters, though, that I wished we got more development on. Henry and Elena, particularly. I expected Elena to be a little more horrible than what she has. She has a reason for her behavior, but she was never much more than a caricature of a villain. I also would have liked to see Lily’s relationship with her guardians explored a little more. I also didn’t really love the end. It felt kind of anticlimactic and I expected a bigger payout. Maybe if the epilogue was set several years in the future instead? I must admit that I am a bad book worm and have never read Great Expectations, the story this book is inspired by, so I can’t say how close it is to the source material. I’m giving it an extra half star, though, because it was a pretty addictive read, even if slow paced.

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The Friend Zone by Sariah Wilson. Read June 30 – July 13. 3 Stars. 

Kind of cheesy, but sweet and cute. The characters were likable enough. Another book that was decent for a KU pick, but one I’m glad I didn’t spend money on.

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The Stories You Tell (Roxane Weary #3) by Kristen Lepionka. Read July 12-13. 4 Stars. 

I can always count on this series to deliver some addictive entertainment. I enjoyed this a lot, but after reading a few 5-star rave reviews, I hyped myself up for it a lot and was left a tiny bit disappointed. It was still very enjoyable, just not quite as amazing as I was hoping for. Anyways, the mystery was well done, even if the story telling felt a little unfocused at times. I didn’t really guess the ending, so that’s always fun. Some of the characters that were involved in the mystery of the last book show up, but since it’s been a long time since I read it, I couldn’t really remember who they were and there wasn’t really any recap info to remind me. Catherine is still the literal worst and I am Team Tom all the way. The romance aspect definitely took a backseat in this installment, though, and that was fine with me. I also always have to mention that this series is set in Columbus, which makes it extra fun, since I’m from Ohio.

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Maybe This Time by Kasie West. Read July 14. 4 Stars. 

This was probably more like 3.5 stars, but I’m bumping it up to 4 because it was a fast, easy read I finished in a day and it got a lot better for me towards the end. Sophie was really rude for the majority of the book and I had a hard time always liking her. I wish she would’ve become a little more self aware sooner. I liked how the story was broken up by major events throughout the year, but I don’t think it was always used very effectively. I felt like it was kind of just the same thing over and over again each time with Sophie and Andrew sniping at each other to hide their attraction and very little forward motion. I feel like their relationship should have progressed a little more each time, but it took about halfway through the book for the plot to advance at all. I felt like a lot more should’ve happened in the story for how long it was. However, once things started to develop a little more in their relationship and Sophie started to become more aware of herself and those around her, I really enjoyed it. I just wish more of the book was like that. I also could’ve used an epilogue. But, overall, it was another enjoyable Kasie West book and I look forward to her next one.

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The Prenup by Lauren Layne. Read July 19-20. 4 Stars.

I loved this. It did take me a little while to get into it, though. The story is told completely from Charlotte’s first person POV and I was expecting (hoping) to also get Colin’s point of view. However, once the story hooked me, I didn’t want to put it down and I completely got on board the sole POV. Both Charlotte and Colin were likable and I shipped them hard. A big thanks to Deanna for lending me her copy to read!

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The First Mistake by Sandie Jones. Read July 25-27. 3 Stars.

Pretty entertaining at times, but a little underwhelming overall. The twists and turns weren’t hard to figure out and it was a little frustrating how long it took Alice to put things together. Speaking of Alice, she reminded me a lot of the main character from this author’s previous book and that is not a favorable comparison. I was so annoyed by how she reacted to things. I didn’t care for the other characters, either. Part 2 of the book, from Beth’s POV, was very slow and I skimmed a lot. However, the first part and then towards the end was faster paced and much more entertaining. I think people who don’t read a lot of this genre might enjoy this, but it will be a little ho-hum for those that are more familiar with this type of story.

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Shamed (Kate Burkholder #11) by Linda Castillo. Read July 27-28. 4 Stars. 

Another great installment in the Kate Burkholder series. I thought the mystery was well done and the story was really well paced. I liked seeing Tomasetti play a bigger part in the case than he has been in the last few books, though I will always want to see more of him. I love this series and can’t wait for the next book!

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Once and for All by Sarah Dessen. Read July 28-30. 3.5 Stars. 

This was my first Dessen book. I wasn’t exactly blown away like I expected, but I did enjoy it. I thought the character development was really well done. I liked pretty much all the characters, with the exception of Jilly who never really lived up to the Great Friend raving Louna often said about her. Some of Ambrose’s actions annoyed me, but overall I liked him and I shipped him with Louna. I liked the wedding planning backdrop, as well. 

Where the book really didn’t work for me was with Ethan. SPOILERS*SPOILERS*SPOILERS* So it doesn’t take long to figure out that Ethan died and how he died. Because of that, I never got that invested his and Louna’s story. I also thought their relationship was ridiculous. They have “one epic night” together and then the rest of their short relationship is phone calls and texts. On the night that they meet Louna loses her virginity and before they say goodbye they declare their love for each other. *Insert eye roll emoji here* What made this even more ridiculous is that Jilly ends up having “one epic night” of her own with a new guy and while Louna is happy for her, she mentions several times that it happened really fast. You think, Louna?

*****Re-Read*****

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Let’s Get Textual by Teagan Hunter. I enjoyed this just as much the second time around.

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

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Where Do I Begin? by Elvia Duran – 4 Stars

Love on Lexington Avenue (Central Park Pact #2) by Lauren Layne – 4 Stars

The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon – 4 Stars

WWW Wednesday: July 10, 2019

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WWW Wednesday is hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

What are you currently reading?

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The Killing Tide (Coastal Guardians #1) by Dani Pettrey. I’ve really enjoyed other books by this author, but this one just isn’t clicking with me so far. I think it’s partly due to this mood I’m in, but also because I find the female lead REALLY unlikable. I’m hoping it gets better for me, though, especially since I’m supposed to be part of the Suspense Squad to promote it.

What did you recently finish reading?

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Bred by Ginger Scott. This was an addictive read and enjoyable, but not quite as enjoyable as I wanted it to be.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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The Summer of Sunshine & Margot by Susan Mallery. I have this from the library, so I want to get to it before it expires, but I’m  not sure if I’m in the right mood for it.

What are you reading?

Reviewing the Unreviewed: June 2019

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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Marriage for One by Ella Maise. Read May 31 – June 2. 3.5 Stars. 

This had a great slow burn romance that I loved. However, like the other book I’ve read by this author, once the slow burn developed into the actual relationship, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much. There were several explicit scenes and the end was a cheesefest. It was also a lot longer than it needed to be. However, if you’re a Romance fan and like slow burn, I still definitely recommend this one.

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Trashy Romance Novel by Jacqueline E. Smith. Read June 2-4. 3 Stars. 

Interesting idea, but a little underwhelming. I thought the big conflicts in the story were a little unbelievable. The main character published several books under a pen name and she keeps it a secret from her real life friends. But, she still does book signings and takes pictures and gives interviews and no one is supposed to figure it out? I thought what happened to her in high school that makes her refuse to tell people her real name was going to be something really intense, but it was just some poor decisions and a little bullying. I felt like the characters should have been aged down a lot for that to still have such an impact. 

I also thought it was odd that she was on set of the tv show for the whole shoot. She was a co-writer on the script, but she’s never consulted or has to do any actual work on the script while she’s there. She basically just stands around and watches them film. And the actors seem to get a whole lot of time off? I also HATED her best friend, Gemma. However, the romance was cute and there was some good banter here and there. It wasn’t bad for a Kindle Unlimited selection.

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Wild Reckless (Harper Boys #1) by Ginger Scott. Read June 8-10. 3.5 Stars. 

Cute, but super angsty – sometimes a little too over-dramatic. I shipped the romance, though there were times it didn’t seem all that healthy of a relationship. I thought the characters were well developed, though. Also, I found parts of Kensi’s relationship with her father relatable – I’m always up for seeing cheating, emotionally-abusive men get kicked to the curb.

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When Summer Ends by Jessica Pennington. Read June 12-14. 3 Stars. 

A cute, summertime read. I liked the romance and the characters – though Olivia did annoy me sometimes. One thing that kind of seemed odd to me was that the story was told in alternating 1st person POV and it would sometimes change several times in one chapter. Which isn’t that big of a deal, but sometimes it would only be for a couple paragraphs at a time before switching back. I just didn’t really see the purpose in it. And since both voices sounded exactly the same, maybe this would have been better told in 3rd person? Anyways, it was still an enjoyable read, but the last quarter or so of the book could have been a little better for me. The ending felt really abrupt and I felt there could have been a little more detail and that’s why I’m dropping my rating down to 3 stars instead of 4.

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Coldhearted Boss by R. S. Grey. Read June 15-16. 3 Stars.

This was cute. I shipped the romance, but there were still plenty of things about it that I was kind of annoyed by. I thought they both acted really childish for way too long and I guess I expected a little more from all the hate-to-love antics.

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No Exit by Taylor Adams. Read June 17-21. 3 Stars.

This didn’t quite live up to the hype for me, but it wasn’t bad. I was hoping for a few more twists and surprises, though. I really loved to hate the main villain. I thought that characterization was pretty well done and made the book worth the read.

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A Pizza My Heart (Slice Series #1) by Teagan Hunter. Read June 21. 3.5 Stars.

As with all Hunter’s books, the addictive writing made this a fast read. I really loved about the first half. I’m all about the slow burn. I also loved the banter. I just felt like once they started to get together it became all about the physical relationship, which kind of cheapened the actual love story. I also wish the secondary characters were developed a little bit more. However, it was a quick fun read and I definitely shipped Wren and Foster.

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Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis. Read June 22-24. 4 Stars. 

I don’t listen to a lot of audio books, but I was going on a little trip and decided to browse through Hoopla to see what was available to listen to while I drove. I’m not that familiar with Rachel Hollis, but I have heard a lot of good things about her from other bloggers and decided to give this one a try. I’m glad I did. I am not really an ambitious person at all, but this made me feel inspired to start setting some small goals for myself – and then maybe some bigger goals. And while audio isn’t my favorite format because I can’t easily go back and look up passages I wanted to revisit, I think it really added to the experience to hear it narrated by Rachel herself. Definitely recommend this if you’re looking for something a little motivational.

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The Stand-In Boyfriend (Grove Valley High #1) by Emma Doherty. Read June 24-25. 4 Stars. 

I loved this. There were many ridiculous things and Livy kind of drove me crazy about 90% of the time, but I still loved it. Chase was so, so sweet and made up for everything else. A fun fake relationship story I recommend if you can deal with the angst.

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Four Doors Down (Becca McKenzie #1) by Emma Doherty. Read June 26-27. 3 Stars. 

Easy, quick read that was kind of addicting, but I did not like this one as much as the other book I have read by this author. The plot was different, but it felt really similar. Both books are about a completely oblivious girl who doesn’t realize the hot, popular guy is SUPER into her. Becca was a really unlikable character and I wish more than just the epilogue was told through Ryan’s POV. Becca was always going on about how other people were stuck up and thought they were too cool for her, but she was a complete jerk to everyone. I don’t even really want to read the next book because I don’t think I can handle any more of her. If you’re interested in this author, I would recommend The Stand-in Boyfriend, instead.

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

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The Proximity Principle by Ken Coleman.

This is for people who already know their passion and need to figure out how to achieve it, which is definitely not me yet, so this goes back on the shelf for another day.

*****DNF*****

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Rule #1: You Can’t Date the Coach’s Daughter by Ann-Marie Meyer.

DNF @ 30%. Found this on Kindle Unlimited and thought it might be cute. However, the writing isn’t great and the main character is a bit of a psycho.

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Love at First Like by Hannah Orenstein.

DNF at 33%. I really wanted to like this book, but it just wasn’t for me. The writing wasn’t bad, but the story was far-fetched and the main character was AWFUL. She was so shallow and selfish and she had zero self-awareness. I think that there will probably be a lot of people that can overlook those things and enjoy this, but I’m not one of them.

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Chasing Clouds by Kathryn Andrews.

DNF @ 14%. This seems a little unbelievable, but it has potential. However, I put this down because it hadn’t really grabbed me and I just don’t feel interested in picking it back up again.

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

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Good Girl, Bad Girl by Michael Robotham – 3 Stars

Reviewing the Unreviewed: December 2018

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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My Sweet Friend by H.A. Leuschel. Read November 30 – December 1. 3 Stars. 

So, I kind of don’t get the hype with this one? I was expecting a lot of twists and craziness, but it was kind of a boring story about a manipulative person that we know is manipulative and the people she’s manipulating figures it out pretty quickly. At least this was a novella and not a book I wasted several days on. I’m giving it three stars because there wasn’t really anything wrong with the writing and the characters were kind of interesting. I think I just had higher expectations than I should have.

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A Woman Scorned by Jack Jordan. Read December 2-3. 3.5 Stars. 

Another over-hyped story I have been waiting a long time to read. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely had some fun elements and some nice, little twists. I kind of enjoyed how messed up everything/everyone was. But I expected something a little more explosive. The ending was really anti-climatic. 

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Day 21 (The 100 #2) by Kass Morgan. Read December 6-8. 3 Stars. 

Not a whole lot actually happened in this book, but I think I enjoyed it a little more than the first. Bellarke becomes official, so that’s enough to make me happy.

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Verity by Colleen Hoover. Read December 8-10. 4 Stars. 

This is definitely a different type of book than CoHo’s usual thing and I was into it. It has one of my favorite narrative devices – a book within a book. The characters were really interesting, if not always likable. I didn’t like that there was a cheating storyline. While I thought there was a definite creep factor, the suspense felt a little cheap and I wasn’t surprised by the “twist” at the end. I did, however, like that it left things kind of open-ended. I don’t usually appreciate that, but I thought it worked really well here. I’ve been struggling with what to rate this, but I think I’m going to knock it up to 4 stars because I did have a good time reading it.

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Healing from Hidden Abuse: A Journey Through the Stages of Recovery from Psychological Abuse by Shannon Thomas. Read December 10-11. 4 Stars. 

My father was never the easiest person to live with. Objectively, there were good times and he could be helpful and kind. But, those times were not the norm. Still, it was not until the events that led to my mother filing for divorce last year that we recognized his behavior over the years was narcissistic and abusive. This book had a lot of good information and there are many passages I highlighted that I will need to write down as reminders (I’ll probably update this review with them eventually). However, I feel like while I did face that psychological abuse, I was also kind of a step removed from it. I felt the focus of things discussed in this book would definitely be more applicable to my mother. I’m glad I read it, though, and would recommend it to people who are struggling with toxic people in their life.

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From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon. Read December 4-16. 3.5 Stars. 

First of all, I want to say I think everyone today that goes around calling people “nazis” when they don’t agree with them should read this book (or one like it…or even an actual History textbook…). The atrocities that were done to the Jewish people during this time are just disgusting and heartbreaking. 

In terms of the book itself, the writing is as beautiful as you would expect from Amy Harmon. The characters were real and likable. I did take a big issue with a main theme in the book, though, which is making me give it a lower rating than pretty much everyone else I know. Most of the time I feel Amy Harmon treats religion and faith very thoughtfully in her books. I am neither Catholic nor Jewish, but I honestly felt a little offended in how disrespectful both main characters were in regards to their faiths. Angelo is a priest, even though he should have never become one because he was already in love with someone. And then he sleeps with her while he’s a priest. And then he basically denounces his Catholic faith for one of Universalism instead. It wasn’t really a message I could get behind. One of the main reasons I put this book off for so long is because I was a little concerned about a priest being the love interest and while the book was still worth the read, I know I was right to be a little hesitant about it. 

Obviously, this is an unpopular opinion that didn’t really seem to bother anyone else. And I still definitely recommend Amy Harmon’s books, but this is not one I would pick up again.

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Can’t Text This (Text #3) by Teagan Hunter. Read December 16. 4 Stars. 

This is definitely not one of my usual type of books. However, just like the first book in this series, I read this in one evening. Basically in one sitting. I love the texting so much. Robbie and Monty’s banter just cracked me up. I didn’t love how sex-centered the plot was, but I kind of feel like the humor and characters made up for it. I also loved how much we got to see of Zach from the previous books. While this book would not be for everyone, it was exactly the light-hearted read I needed right now and I thoroughly enjoyed it. And that’s why I’m bumping my rating up to 4 stars.

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The Hardest Fall by Ella Maise. Read December 17-19. 3.5 Stars. 

I really loved the slow burn in this. It was so cute and romantic and funny. I was really ready to give this 4 stars, but it went a little off the rails for me in the last third or so of the book. Once Dylan and Zoe actually got together, it was all sex scenes and miscommunication drama, and cheesiness. I just did not enjoy the ending as much as I did the beginning, even though I was happy with how it all turned out. I’m definitely interested in reading more from this author, though.

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Luna and the Lie by Mariana Zapata. Read December 19-22. 4 Stars. 

Like every other book I’ve read by this author, it could’ve used way more editing and been about 200 pages shorter than it was. There is so much repetition and so many pages where nothing in the story moved forward whatsoever. However, the characters were still compelling enough to make me want to keep reading. Though Luna annoyed me sometimes, I liked her and her optimism. I enjoyed the slow burn romance with Rip, too. While there were plenty of sweet and romantic moments between them, there were some things that didn’t sit super well with me either. There’s about a 15 year age difference between them that isn’t really ever addressed. And there were times he came across a little controlling and jerky. I’m still giving this book 4 stars, though, because despite my problems with it, I still really enjoyed reading it.

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All These Beautiful Strangers by Elizabeth Klehfoth. Read December 26-28. 3.5 Stars. 

I enjoyed this, but I had some issues with it that kept me from giving it 4 stars. First what I enjoyed – I liked the writing. I loved the multiple POVs and timelines. I thought they were really well done. The mystery was pretty well done, too. No shocking twists or any real surprises, but it worked. 

Now, my issues. I thought the whole A’s thing was ridiculous. It’s supposed to be a super exclusive club that will help you succeed in adulthood, but really all we see of it is horrible kids doing horrible things for really petty reasons. Every single thing they did was just stupid. I didn’t really care about any of the characters, either. Charlie was interesting, but I never really liked her. And I really didn’t like how her main confidant/love interest is a college graduate when she’s a junior in high school. I also didn’t really like how it ended. It kind of skipped over all the fall-out for her and her “friends” and I would’ve liked more details about what happened to them.

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The Bullet Journal Method by Ryder Carroll. Read December 25-28. 4 Stars. 

I tried bullet journaling earlier this year and pretty much crashed and burned with it. I’ve been wanting to try it again, though, and I think after reading this book I have a much better chance at being successful. I know that as I get started with it in 2019 I will be referring back to this often as a manual and it will decrease my frustration. I also liked that Ryder really stressed that your BuJo does not have to be super creative and beautiful like so many you see online. The most important thing is that it works for you and that you are tracking and logging meaningful things. If making things really pretty helps inspire you, that’s great, but if you aren’t artistic, it’s ok. I thought it got a little too “self-help” now and then, but overall I definitely recommend this one for people who are thinking about bullet journaling, but not quite sure where to start.

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Diced by Ginger Scott. Read December 28. 3 Stars. 

This was just ok for me. I think the biggest problem is that I’m just not a big fan of novellas. I mostly decided to read this because I wanted to hit a certain number of books read for the year and this would help me get there. It did have some cute moments, but everything just felt so rushed and things weren’t really explained to my satisfaction. And then instead of the characters really having a good conversation about the future in the end, they just say some cliched things in an extended sex scene and I was kind of over it. However, if you are a big Romance and novella fan, you will probably enjoy it more than I did.

*****DNF*****

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To Love Jason Thorn by Ella Maise. DNF at 28%. I tried. I really tried with this one, but I just can’t take anymore. I can’t stand any of the characters and I really don’t like the “little one” nickname. It makes me cringe every time Jason says it – which is a lot. I have heard from people that it gets better, but I just don’t care enough to make myself move forward with it.

*****Book with Future Review Scheduled*****

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The Temp by Michelle Frances – 2 Stars