Review: I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella, an irresistible story of love and empowerment about a young woman with a complicated family, a handsome man who might be “the one,” and an IOU that changes everything

Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” But since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will? It’s simply not in her nature to say no to people.

So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. Turns out the computer’s owner is an investment manager. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, Sebastian scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. But Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?

Then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. She wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. And Seb agrees, until the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?

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

I Owe You One will be available February 5, 2019. 

I adored this book. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a Sophie Kinsella novel and I’ve forgotten just how addictive they can be. Once I started it I could hardly put it down.

I really expected I Owe You One to be romance-heavy, but it wasn’t as central to the plot as I thought it would be. That wasn’t a bad thing, though. The story focuses a lot on Fixie’s relationship with her family and with her own issues of confidence and self-worth. Fixie got her nickname by always needing to fix things – messes, people, etc. Her siblings, Jake and Nicole, take advantage of her, as does Ryan, the man she’s had a crush on for most her life. Throughout most of the book I just couldn’t get over how awful those three people were. I was really frustrated by how Fixie let herself get steamrolled over and how she couldn’t speak up for herself. As the story goes on, though, she learns to speak up and practice a little tough love.

Even though the romance wasn’t as central as I expected, it did still play an important part in Fixie’s story. I just loved Seb. He was such a genuinely good person. I loved his sense of humor and how sweet he was. That’s not to say he’s perfect, of course. When he and Fixie first meet he’s dating someone else – who is of course awful and very ill-suited for him and that was frustrating. There’s a point where his and Fixie’s relationship hits a rocky spot and I wish they would have communicated a little more effectively, but I liked how it all turned out.

Overall, I really enjoyed I Owe You One. I liked Fixie and Seb and the quirky cast of supporting characters. I even liked Jake and Nicole by the end of the story. I liked Fixie’s character growth and her relationship with Seb. I was a little disappointed that the IOUs didn’t really pay as large a role in the book as I expected, but I did like how it was utilized. This is probably my new favorite Kinsella novel and I definitely recommend it to fans of Contemporary and Women’s Fiction.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 4 Stars

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2018 End of Year Survey

This annual survey was developed by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner.

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**2018 READING STATS**

Number Of Books You Read: 147
Number of Re-Reads: 8
Genre You Read The Most From: Mystery/Thriller and Romance/Contemporary
**These are the stats as of 12/26/18, it’s likely to go up by one or two before the end of the year

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1. Best Book You Read In 2018?

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I can’t pick one, so here are the three that I gave 4.5 Stars in 2018: Close to Home by Cara Hunter, Beartown and Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

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My Plain Jane by the Lady Janies. I absolutely adored My Lady Jane and I expected to love this one just as much, but it was probably my biggest disappointment of the year.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

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I mean come on, does Let’s Get Textual by Tegan Hunter look like a book I would enjoy? But I totally did enjoy it. I read it in a day and laughed all the way through it.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

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So I don’t actually feel like I pushed many books on people this year. I will say that I told my mother about Healing from Hidden Abuse by Shannon Thomas and then when I started sharing some quotes with her she said she wanted to read it so I bought it for her for Christmas.

 5. Best series you started in 2018? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018?

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Started: Beartown by Fredrik Backman, Sequel:  What You want to See (Roxane Weary #2) by Kristen Lepionka, Ender On Magnolia Lane (Blue Ridge #3) by Denise Hunter.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2018?

Cara Hunter and Fredrik Backman

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

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Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant. I don’t read a lot of horror and while I had my issues with this one, I mostly enjoyed it.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

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I can’t really think of any books that were really action-packed, so I’m going with one of my re-reads for this year, Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown.

 9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

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Beartown

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2018?

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The Promise (DS Imogen Grey #4) by Katerina Diamond

11. Most memorable character of 2018?

Benji from Beartown

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?

I mean, not to sound like a broken record, but Beartown. 

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2018?

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There were a lot of good lessons in the The Faithful devotional.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read? 

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Without Merit by Colleen Hoover. Brandie bought me a copy for my birthday in 2017 and it was almost a year later before I read it and I really enjoyed it.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2018?

“When we decide that boundaries are needed, they can be hard to set – and maintain – if we doubt ourselves and our assessment of the situation. Survivors often wonder if they are overreacting or being too sensitive…Another reason setting boundaries is difficult to do? We internally worry that we are withholding forgiveness and staying resentful. Boundaries have nothing to do with forgiveness or resentment. They have everything to do with the quality of our interactions with the people in our lives.” – Healing from Hidden Abuse by Shannon Thomas.

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?

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Shortest: My Sweet Friend by H.A. Leuschel

Longest: Oblivion by JLA (this was a re-read!)

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

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The subtle twist at the end of Our House by Louise Candlish is probably my favorite shock of the year.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

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Bellarke forever!!! This is more about the show than the book, but I’m counting it.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

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The group of friends in My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

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The Smallest Part by Amy Harmon

21. Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:

Have to go with Beartown again. I wouldn’t have ever picked it up if Brandie hadn’t lent it to me.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?

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Chase from One Small Thing by Erin Watt.

23. Best 2018 debut you read?

Close to Home by Cara Hunter.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

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Iron Gold (Red Rising #4) by Pierce Brown

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Let’s Get Textual by Tegan Hunter.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018?

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Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

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The Paris Wedding by Charlotte Nash.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Beartown and Us Against You

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?

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My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

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Restore Me (Shatter Me #4) by Tahereh Mafi. I was so excited for this series to continue, but the majority of this book was just the characters taking major steps back and rehashing old drama. It seemed like really lazy writing and it made me mad because I expect more from this author.

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1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2018?

I always feel too bad to answer these questions. Add to that I always forget how long I’ve been following someone, so I’m going to skip this question. I love you all, though!

2. Favorite post you wrote in 2018?

Favorite Mysteries and Thrillers

3. Favorite bookish related photo you took in 2018:?

This beautiful book-themed cake my former co-worker made me for my goodbye party.

4. Best bookish event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events,  etc.)?

This year I went to events for Linda Castillo, Karin Slaughter, and Linwood Barclay and they were all fun.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2018?

I hit over 1,000 blog posts and reached over 1,000 followers.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Due to real life, I ended up taking two month-long (or almost month-long) hiatuses.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

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My review of Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I mean, honestly, all of them.

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

I don’t really feel like I made a bookish discovery this year?

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I did the Good Reads reading challenge with a goal of 105 books and I surpassed that (147 at the time of writing this, but it will probably go up before the end of the year).

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1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2019?

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I don’t think it will be my number one priority, but I really wanted to read Archenemies by Marissa Meyer. I got it from the library, but my hold came in at a bad time and it expired before I got to it.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2019 (non-debut)?

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The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern.

3. 2019 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

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The Winter Sister by Megan Collins

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2019?

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Dark Age (Red Rising #5) by Pierce Brown

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2019?

Review more books. It feels like I only properly review ARCS and a few select other books and I want to get back into reviewing the majority of what I read again.

6. A 2019 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

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My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing and I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella

Reviewing the Unreviewed: November 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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The Supervillain and Me (Morriston Superheroes #1) by Danielle Banas. Read November 3-5. 3 Stars.

I wasn’t terribly impressed by this one. I thought the story was a little too drawn out. Very little happened until the last couple chapters. The characters were ok. I thought the mystery of the Iron Phantom’s identity should have been wrapped up sooner. It was written to make you think it was so obviously one person that you knew it couldn’t be that person, so it obviously had to be the other person. And it just took way too long to reveal it. It looks like this is supposed to be a series, but I don’t know if I’m interested enough to pick up the next book when it comes out.

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The 100 (The 100 #1) by Kass Morgan. Read November 6-8. 3 Stars. 

I kind of just want to write a long, drawn-out list of all the ways this book and the tv show are different. I feel like a bad bookworm for mostly preferring the show. However, if I read this first I might feel differently. But maybe not, because the book really wasn’t anything special. I thought Glass was a completely useless character that could have been eliminated. I understand that she was there to still have a connection to the ship, but honestly I just didn’t care. Let’s be real, though, the reason I read this and will continue to read this series is for some Bellarke shipping that won’t end in frustration.

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The Faithful: Heroes of the Old Testament by Priscilla Shirer, Kelly Minter, Beth Moore, Jennifer Rothschild, and Lisa Harper. Read October 11 – November 13. 4 Stars. 

This was a different type of devotional than I’ve done before. It’s a 5 week study and each week is from a different person, on a different topic. There is also a video for each week. Each session comes from a more detailed Bible study and sometimes it felt like this was put together just to sell more books. However, there were some really great sessions and lessons that I really needed to hear. Jennifer Rothschild on Hosea and Beth Moore on Esther were my favorites and I will definitely be looking into more from them.

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Marriage of Inconvenience (Knitting in the City #7) by Penny Reid. Read November 16-18. 3 Stars. 

I think I would’ve enjoyed this a little more if I read the previous books in the series. Though this is one of those series where each book can be read as a standalone, it involves characters from the previous books and they all got a lot of page time. I had a hard time keeping them all straight and other than one or two I didn’t really care about them. I thought the whole marriage of convenience plotline was a little far fetched. We also didn’t get a lot of the cute fake relationship aspects I was expecting. They basically tell their friends the whole story whenever someone asks and everyone else just goes with it right away. The relationship also became real very fast. The book was about 200 pages longer than it needed be. I thought Dan could be pretty crass at times so I never really fell in love with him. However, there were some cute, romantic moments and there were also several humorous moments. I’m giving this an extra star just because I was invested enough to finish it.

*****Book with Future Reviews Scheduled*****

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My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing – 4 Stars

The Hiding Place by C.J. Tudor – 3 Stars

For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt – 2 Stars

I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella – 4 Stars

Lovestruck by Kate Watson – 3 Stars

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Want to Read Before 2019

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday, hosted by the Good Reads group, is: Books You Want to Read Before 2019: Our Goodreads goals are quickly closing in. What are you prioritizing for the end of the year? I surpassed my Good Reads goal awhile ago (yay me!). Lately I’ve been having a hard time to find time to read, so I’m going to prioritize the library books I want to read before they expire – and also the ARCS I’ve recently been approved for.

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1. Pride by Ibi Zoboi

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2. Marriage of Inconvenience by Penny Reid

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3. Kiss Her Goodbye by Susan Gee

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4. For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt

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5. I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella

What books do you want to read by the end of the year?

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I’ve Given Up On/Don’t Plan to Finish

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, is: Series I’ve Given Up On/Don’t Plan to Finish.

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1. Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard. I read the first 9 books in this series before I just couldn’t take it anymore.

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2. The Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. I read the first 6 books. I read it back before I started writing reviews, so I don’t remember what my thoughts on book #6 were, but I did only give it 1 star.

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3. Eve by Anna Carey. I remember liking the first book alright, but I was just never interested enough to pick up the next book in the series.

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4. Pure by Julianna Baggott. I remember being very excited for this series and I think this one of the first ebooks I ever bought, but it was another one I just was never inspired to read the sequel for.

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5. Partials Sequence by Dan Wells. I read the first two books in this series and kind of lost interest in it. Technically the last book is still on my TBR, but I highly doubt I’ll ever get to it.

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6. The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle. I was so excited for a genre mashup of Amish and vampires, but this just fell pretty short of my expectations. Still, I think I actually started the second book once, but couldn’t get into it.

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7. Starbound series by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. Like everyone else at the time, I was so excited for this series. I blame the stunning cover. It ended up being way too sci-fi for my tastes at the time and although I planned on picking up the second book, it just never happened.

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8. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. Another book I bought and later regretted. It seemed like I saw nothing but good things about this book and it did not live up to my expectations and I never bothered with the rest of the series. I actually just noticed there’s a 4th book in this series publishing next month.

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9. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. This didn’t come close to living up to the hype. I did like the ending, though, and planned on continuing the series, but after all the mixed reviews of the second book I kept putting it off and I really don’t think I’ll every pick it back up.

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10. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh. I had such high expectations of this book and it just was not my cup of tea at all. This series fell so far off my radar that I didn’t even realize the second book was published until I came across a review recently (and it’s still the only review I’ve seen on it).

Have you read any of these series? Did you finish/are still reading, or have you given up on them, too?

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten Authors I’ve Read The Most Books From. So there was probably a way better way to do this, but I exported my books from Good Reads, sorted them by the author, and ran a formula to count how many times the author appeared.

Beginnings: Obsidian & Onyx (Lux, #1-2)

1. Jennifer Armentrout/J. Lynn = 27 books.
I’ve read almost every JLA book. Obsidian was the first book I’ve ever read from her and I’ve been hooked since.

Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse, #1)

2. Charlaine Harris = 15 books
The Sookie Stackhouse series. I stopped enjoying them maybe around half way through, but I was determined to finish the series.

The Best Man (Blue Heron, #1)

3. Kristan Higgins = 13 books
I’ve read all of her published books to date. I adore her writing style.

The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines, #4)

4. Richelle Mead = 12 books
The Vampire Academy and Bloodlines

The Protector (O'Malley #4)

5. Dee Henderson = 11 books
Mostly the O’Malley series, which I really liked, and a few standalone/part of other series which I didn’t enjoy as much.

Unseen (Will Trent, #7)

6. Karin Slaughter = 10
Mostly the Will Trent series. I am sooo ready for the next book in the series to come out already! She’s written two standalones since the last installment instead.

Pretty Little Liars (Pretty Little Liars, #1)

7. Sara Shepard = 9 books
Most of the PLL series before I just had to stop.

I've Got Your Number

8.Sophie Kinsella = 9 books
Mostly the Shopaholic series until I couldn’t take anymore. I’ve Got Your Number is by far my favorite, though.

Storm (Elemental, #1)

9. Brigid Kemmerer = 8 books
The Elemental series

The Dead Will Tell (Kate Burkholder, #6)

10. Linda Castillo = 8 books
The Kate Burkholder series.

Which authors have you read the most from?

Reviewing the Unreviewed: July 2015

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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. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads

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After the Storm (Kate Burkholder #7) by Linda Castillo. Read July 14-17. 3.5 stars.

I enjoy this series and did enjoy this book, but it definitely wasn’t my favorite of the group. The main mystery felt pretty predictable and didn’t really contain any surprises (except for *SPOILER* a guy who we’ve only seen in a wheelchair, doesn’t actually need it. I still don’t understand what the purpose of that was. Why would he need to fake a stroke or whatever? For thirty years no one suspected him of anything *END OF SPOILER*). There were some exciting scenes with Kate and an unknown shooter that kept the book interesting, though.

On the personal relationship front, I was kind of annoyed at the new development. Tomasetti and Kate both learn something about themselves that bode well for the future, though, so I guess it’s ok. Tomasetti had a few moments where he got to be part of the investigation(s), but mostly his role was just Kate’s boyfriend – which isn’t a bad role, but I miss seeing him be more front and center.

Overall, After the Storm, is a good installment to the Kate Burkholder series and I look forward to the next one.

The First Wife

The First Wife by Erica Spindler. Read July 18-19. 3 stars.

So this is basically a Lifetime movie. And like most Lifetime movies, I felt oddly compelled to finish it, no matter how corny things are along the way. The writing left a lot to be desired, the characters weren’t really ones I connected with or rooted for. The resolution of the mystery seemed so blatantly obvious that I knew it couldn’t be right and I wanted to find out the twist. Though a lot of the book was drawn out and repetitive, it did do a good job of keeping me guessing. I suspected nearly everybody at one point or another and there was a couple of twists that surprised me.

I generally enjoyed the book, though I won’t be running out to read anything else by this author in the near future. I think fans of Lifetime mysteries would enjoy it.

Ink (Paper Gods, #1)

Ink (Paper Gods #1) by Amanda Sun. Read July 25-26. 3 stars.

I’m not sure if this would have been a book I tried if I hadn’t won it in a giveaway, so I’m glad that I did!

I don’t think I’ve ever read a book set in Japan before, so the setting was definitely interesting. I enjoyed learning a little bit about the culture. One thing that always bugs me about multi-cultural books is when they say things in a different language and they don’t explain what it is. I was looking up a bunch of terms as I was reading and it wasn’t until I was almost done (I was actually counting the remaining pages last night so I could decide between going to bed or finishing the book)when I discovered there was a glossary in the back of the book! While I would rather terms be explained in context (and to be fair, some of them were), I definitely appreciate having a glossary.

I’m also really glad that I got to have an actual hard copy of this book. There’s illustrations throughout (and it’s always iffy how they turn out in my simple e-reader) and even a couple of instances where there were some doodles on the side of several pages that end up being like a flip book animation, which was cool.

The story itself was enjoyable. I thought that the explanation of the Kami could have been a little better done, as I was left a little confused through most of the book. The characters were likable and the two main characters, Katie and Tomohiro, were well developed. I knew Jun was going to play a bigger part in the story and thought it was fairly obvious what that would be, but I was ok with that.

I’m interested to see what will happen next and am looking forward to the next book!

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Audio Book/Re-read

I've Got Your Number

A few weeks ago I went to Canada for the first time to visit my sister and brother-in-law and my meet my new baby niece! The drive is about ten hours and I get really bad motion sickness if I try to read in the car, so I browsed the library for available audio books and downloaded I’ve Got Your Number, which is one of my favorite chick lit books. This was the first audio book I’ve ever listened to the whole way through and I really enjoyed it. I liked the narrator, too. The real kicker, though, was that I talked my parents into listening to it during the drive and they both really enjoyed it!

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RE-READS

The first half of July was the month of the Re-read. I’m not going to go into great detail, but I enjoyed all these just as much as the first time.

Untold (The Lynburn Legacy, #2)  Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy, #3)  Just One of the Guys  Definitely, Maybe in Love (Definitely Maybe, #1)  Someday Maybe (Definitely Maybe, #2)

Untold (The Lynburn Legacy #2) by Sarah Rees Brennan
Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy #3) by Sarah Rees Brennan
Just one of the Guys by Kristan Higgns
Definitely, Maybe in Love (Definitely Maybe #1) by Ophelia London
Someday Maybe (Definitely Maybe #2) by Ophelia London