Tuesday, August 13, 2019

BOOK REVIEW | Start Here by Trish Doller

Title: Start Here
Author: Trish Doller
Series? No, Start Here is a standalone.
Pages: 352
Publisher: Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster)
Publication Date: August 13, 2019
Source: I recieved an ARC via Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest. Many thanks to the publisher! All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Two teens go on a life-changing sailing trip as they deal with the grief of losing their best friend in this heartwrenching, hopeful novel from the author of Something Like Normal and In a Perfect World.

Willa and Taylor were supposed to spend the summer after high school sailing from Ohio to Key West with their best friend, Finley. But Finley died before graduation, leaving them with a twenty-five-foot sailboat, a list of clues leading them to destinations along the way, and a friendship that’s hanging by a thread.

Now, Willa and Taylor have two months and two thousand miles to discover how life works without Finley—and to decide if their own friendship is worth saving.

From acclaimed author Trish Doller comes a poignant tale of forgiveness, grief, and the brilliant discoveries we make within ourselves when we least expect it.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

July Wrap Up!

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be wrapping up everything that happened in July. And let me tell you, it was a busy one, personally, professionally, and reading-wise!

Without further ado, here are the nine books I read in July!

The Love Solution by Ashley Croft

As I said in my goodreads review, The Love Solution was of an odd reading experience for me. The novel follows two different sisters and their complex love lives; while I liked the basis of the plot, I just couldn't connect with the characters and was a bit put-off by one of the sisters, who wanted to use a love potion on her ex. There was also a love triangle in this novel, and too much attention was put into the character who doesn't end up with one of the protagonists, making the successful relationship weak in comparison.

How to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway

After being a bit disappointed with The Love Solution, I wanted to read a novel that seemed to be a shoe-in for at least four stars. Unfortunately, How to Hack a Heartbreak just missed the mark. I did give the book 3.5 stars, and that's because I loved reading about a woman in STEM and how she navigated a sexist world, both professionally and romantically. The protagonist, Mel, is a great, and she had such a distinct voice. However, the novel just felt a bit off-balance. The romance between Mel and her love interest wasn't fleshed out that much, and yet there was so much focus on this being a romance novel. In fact, I think the strongest points of the novel was its social commentary, and I wish the book leaned more into that.

Getaway Girl by Tessa Bailey 

After reading Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey in June (review here), I wanted to read more from the author. While I did find the ending a bit abrupt and melodramatic, Bailey's writing sucked me in, and I could not put this romance novel down! The novel follows Addison, a black sheep in a small town, and Elijah, the new mayor. Their relationship was wonderful; I felt the tension, their devotion, and also their reservations about diving deep into such strong feelings while everyone is watching.

The Duke and I (The Bridgertons #1) by Julia Quinn
I'm not too sure what prompted me to reading The Duke and I by Julia Quinn, but I'm sure glad I did! I've always struggled to get into historical romance, but The Duke and I hit the nail on the head! I'm a sucker for a romance between a woman and her brother's best friend, which is exactly what The Duke and I is! The day I finished reading this, news announced that Shonda Rimes is adapting the series for a tv show, set to air on Netflix, and I am ecstatic!!  
The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory 

On one of the first days of my new job, there was an ARC of The Wedding Party in the back of the store. Let's just say I snatched that one up very quickly! I've read Jasmine Guillory's other novels - The Wedding Date and The Proposal - and enjoyed both of them. I'm pleased to say this was my favorite yet!

The Last Hope (The Raging Ones #2) by Krista & Becca Ritchie
After reading and enjoying The Raging Ones by Krista and Becca Rtichie last year, I knew I had to read the sequel, especially after the ending that left me reeling! Here is my review of the first book. A lot of my questions were answered in this second book, and the meticulous world building of the first novel paid off. I felt so immersed in The Last Hope, and the novel is one of my favorites of the year, without a doubt. You can read my review on the 14th, in which I'm participating in the blog tour! 

The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons #2) by Julia Quinn
After a two-book hiatus from Julia Quinn's series, I felt compelled to pick up the second book in the series, and I'm so glad that I did! I'm not too sure what my favorite of the series is, but The Viscount Who Loved Me was not a disappointment! Antoni and Kate have wonderful chemistry, as I've begun to expect for Julia Quinn. 

Buns (Hudson Valley #3) by Alice Clayton 

Goodreads
 
Buns is the third book of Clayton's Hudson Valley series. While the series does not follow the same characters, it takes place in the same town - you guessed it, Hudson Valley. This third and final book in the series follows Clara, the best friend of the two prior leads in the story and a master hotel renovator, and her love interest, the gruff Archie Bryant, an upcoming hotel owner, who is extremely reluctant about any updates. While Clara and Archie's romance isn't a slow burn, their emotional vulnerability did take a bit to develop. Out of all the novels in the series, Buns was my favorite.

Nobody's Victim: Fighting Psychos, Stalkers, Pervs, and Trolls by Carrie Goldberg

Goodreads
 
Since I started my new job at a local indie bookstore, I've had the pleasure of having access to a ton of ARCs, spanning genres. This has allowed me to explore other genres outside of YA and romance, like nonfiction essays by Carrie Goldberg, an accomplished victim's rights attorney. Her essays on her personal experiences and her (anonymous) clients were angering, appalling, and will also inspire readers to fight back.




In my last life update, I mentioned that I was offered a job at a local indie bookstore right by UNC, which is the university I attend! I started on the 9th, and so far have had a great time. Working at a bookstore is so different from working at a huge company like Harris Teeter. I'm given a lot more tasks, so there's always something for me to do. I like that I'm never just standing around doing nothing, and the atmosphere is both relaxing and welcoming.

me at the ballgame!
Outside of the job update, I also celebrated  my 20th birthday! I spent the day-of with my parents; we had a nice lunch at a new local restaurant and went to the movies and saw Spider Man: Far From Home. (Side note: I liked the movie, but I also didn't love it.) You might see a post shortly about the movies I've been watching; I miss talking about other entertainment on the blog! A couple days later, I went to a lemur center with one my friends. I have never seen lemurs in real life, so it was great to learn more about them! Then a week after my birthday, my two closest friends and I went to see a baseball game in a nearby city. It was a pro game, but the team actually serves as a feeder team into a team in the MLB. I don't watch baseball too much, but I love the atmosphere of the ballpark! Overall, I had a great month!  

Did you have a good July? What books did you read? 

Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you soon with another post!

Happy Reading!

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!
 




Wednesday, July 31, 2019

An Impromptu Readathon | My Disney-a-thon TBR!

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'm going to be sharing with you my TBR for Disney-a-thon, a readathon I recently found about on twitter. You can go check out all the info here on the profile for the readathon.

Image result for tangled posterNow, if you know anything about me, I suck at TBRs. And normally, that means I suck at readathons. You see, I'm a mood reader. If you don't know what that means, I essentially let the wind take me where it goes. I never have that many plans on what I'll read next. The only time that I actually read books at specific times are when I'm assigned to read them by a certain date, whether that is an ARC I have, or a book for a class.

Despite my failed TBRs of the past, here is mine plan for Disney-a-thon. I took the quiz to find out which team I'm starting wtih, and it looks like it's Team Tangled for me!

Going by the prompts, here are the books I'm reading.




Goodreads
The first book that came to mind for this prompt was The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary. However, when I tried to request it from my local library, I couldn't! Lo and behold, I requested this weeks ago, and it still hasn't come in. Since the book isn't coming in anytime soon, I decided to take a go at Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu. All I know about this well-loved graphic novel follows an LGBTQ+ relationship. That's literally all I know, besides the fact that it takes place in university and has a hockey focus, and that's all I need to know.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Mini Book Reviews | Recent Romance Releases!

Title: Fix Her Up
Author: Tessa Bailey
Series? Yes, the first in a companion series  
Pages: 400
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Publisher: Avon Books (imprint of HarperCollins)
Source: I received an e-arc of Fix Her Up via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

A brand new romantic comedy from New York Times bestseller Tessa Bailey!

Georgette Castle’s family runs the best home renovation business in town, but she picked balloons instead of blueprints and they haven’t taken her seriously since. Frankly, she’s over it. Georgie loves planning children’s birthday parties and making people laugh, just not at her own expense. She’s determined to fix herself up into a Woman of the World... whatever that means.

Phase one: new framework for her business (a website from this decade, perhaps?)

Phase two: a gut-reno on her wardrobe (fyi, leggings are pants.)

Phase three: updates to her exterior (do people still wax?)

Phase four: put herself on the market (and stop crushing on Travis Ford!)

Living her best life means facing the truth: Georgie hasn’t been on a date since, well, ever. Nobody’s asking the town clown out for a night of hot sex, that’s for sure. Maybe if people think she’s having a steamy love affair, they’ll acknowledge she’s not just the “little sister” who paints faces for a living. And who better to help demolish that image than the resident sports star and tabloid favorite?

Travis Ford was major league baseball’s hottest rookie when an injury ended his career. Now he’s flipping houses to keep busy and trying to forget his glory days. But he can’t even cross the street without someone recapping his greatest hits. Or making a joke about his… bat. And then there's Georgie, his best friend’s sister, who is not a kid anymore. When she proposes a wild scheme—that they pretend to date, to shock her family and help him land a new job—he agrees. What’s the harm? It’s not like it’s real. But the girl Travis used to tease is now a funny, full-of-life woman and there’s nothing fake about how much he wants her...

Fix Her Up has taken the romance community by storm, and for good reason! I had the pleasure of reading an ARC of this book, and I was completely enamored. I picked this up late at night, thinking I could get a couple chapters in before going to bed. Lo and behold, I got to around the 40 percent mark and realized it was way past my bed time. And don't be taken aback by the illustrated cover, this book is steamy. If you're going to read this in public, be prepared to blush and make sure no one is reading over your shoulder. For someone who has a horrible (nonexistent) poker face, I read this in the wonderful privacy of my bed. The emotional conflict was also done so well. I really related to Georgie and her insecurities about not being taken seriously, especially professionally. My only complaint about Fix Her Up was the ending. I felt it was too abrupt, and I wish that there was just another chapter. Fix Her Up is a standout romance release of this year!

I give Fix Her Up 4 out of 5 Flowers!

Monday, July 22, 2019

Stranger Things Book Tag!




Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'm going to be doing a book tag! I haven't done one of these in a quick minute, but was actually thinking of creating my own Stranger Things book tag when I saw this on my feed. The first one I saw was Jessica from A GREAT Read, and it was made from Tracy at Cornerfolds. Check out their posts, which I hyperlinked.

I absolutely devoured the third season of Stranger Things, and I'm glad to see all the hype transferring into the book community. If Netflix really wanted to get money hungry, they'd do some middle grade/YA book series. Maybe it could focus on the mundane, like what happened in between the time jump of seasons 2 and 3, or other characters, like Eleven's "sister," who I didn't care too much about, to be honest.

Here's a quick low down about my feelings on ST3:
  • I wish Nancy had more of a purpose, because it seemed like she was written for the love triangle in mind in the first and second seasons, and then was pushed aside when it all got resolved. 
  • The cinematography was on point! The season was so beautiful and eye-catching.
  • I thought the ending episode was fantastic. I laughed; I cried. 
  • Robin and Erica are such stand outs, and I loved both of them so much. 
  • The first couple episodes didn't feel distinct from each other, and I would like a bit more separation from episode to epsilon. I love having a season-long ARC (as we always do), but the singular episode plot lines felt a bit too similar in the first couple episodes.
Okay, now that I got all my rambling over (lol, sorry), onto the reason you clicked on this post...the tag!




Goodreads

I was hooked right as I opened Getaway Girl by Tessa Bailey. While romance novels are easy to interest me in general, I couldn't put this down! Getaway Girl opens with the protagonist, Addison Potts, attempting to crash her cousin's wedding when the groom, Elijah, is stood up. There's drama from the first page, as well as sparks between the two main characters. The novel never slowed down either, even as it nears 300 pages.




Goodreads

I actually don't read too much fantasy anymore. While it was one of my favorite genres when I was getting into reading, I find that I can't connect with the characters as much in a fantastical setting. However, the fantasy world of The Raging Ones would be interesting to experience, but just for a day or so, and then I'd like to come back to the real world, thankyouverymuch. The Raging Ones is set in a far future in a different galaxy and different planets. In this world, people are born knowing when they die. There are some who die before maturation, like Babes, and others who live past 100 years, such as Influentials. I wonder what it would be like to live in this world, where I know the day I was going to die, and if that would affect my actions and values.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Backlist Book Review #4 | Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be doing another backlist book review. Backlist book review is a new series on my blog where I review books that I read weeks, perhaps months, ago. Check out my first three backlist book review posts, where I reviewed This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada, Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi, and The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. Instead of my usual paragraph format, I'm going to be answering four questions:
  • What is my rating?
  • What is the book about?
  • What do I remember?
  • Does my rating still stand? 

Without further ado, here is my backlist book review for Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali!

Goodreads


 
Title: Love from A to Z
Author: S.K. Ali
Series? No, Love From A to Z is a standalone.
Pages: 384
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
Publisher: Salaam Reads (imprint of Simon and Schuster)
Source: I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. :) 






  What did I rate it?

4 out of 5 Flowers!


What is it about?

Love From A to Z follows two main characters: Zayneb, a Muslim high-school student who notices all the oddities of the world, and Adam, a college student who is hiding his recent diagnosis of multiple sclerosis from his family. After one of Zayneb's teachers, who is an Islamophobe, makes a mountain out of a molehill, Zayneb is suspended right before spring break. She travels to Doha, Qatar for an early spring break with her aunt. On the plane ride, she meets Adam, who, lo and behold, is in Doha for the spring as well. The novel isn't just a romance, even thought that is a key plot point. Love From A to Z also tackles Islamophobia, grief, chronic disease, and activism with such grace. 

Friday, July 12, 2019

10 Exceptional Summer Reads


Hey everyone and welcome back to my blog! Now that summer is in full swing, I wanted to give some recommendations to you. Below are 10 exceptional summer reads.

You might be thinking, "what really makes a book a 'summer read'?" Well, in my head, summer-y books usually have at least one of these attributes.
  • Set in the summer or a summer-y location (beaches, pool, camp)
  • People are given another set of circumstances different from their usual. For instance, a YA summer book isn't going to be about the set of characters studying for tests. No, these characters are worried about summer jobs and love lives. 
  • The tone is light, and if the novel does have darker themes, there is humor to relieve some of tension.
This list is (obviously) not the "end all be all" of what requires a book to be a summer read. My list down below is contradictory, there's some books on here that match all these points, and some that match none. All of this is objective! If you are looking for a list of recommendations with moody tones and dark themes though, this list isn't for you. 

With all that out of the way, here are 10 reads that are perfect for the summer!



The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren


The Unhoneymooners has been raved about all over my Twitter feed, and for good reason. If you didn't know, Christina Lauren is one of my favorite authors, and they did not disappoint with their newest release, which is a hate-to-love romance that takes place in Maui. It's hilarious as well; I laughed out loud multiple times.




I had the absolute pleasure of reading an e-arc of There's Something About Sweetie earlier this year, and I absolutely fell in love with the book. I wish I had this novel when I was 16, when I was so insecure about myself. Reading about a fat MC like Sweetie was so inspiring, and this is by-far my favorite book of Menon's to date. Just writing about this makes me want to go back and reread it!

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston


I wouldn't be surprised at all if you've already heard of this book! Red, White, & Royal Blue was all over my twitter feed upon its release, and I was so glad it was getting all the attention it deserves. RW&RB is part m/m romance novel, part political drama, and part slice-of-life. I absolutely adore the novel, and there's definitely been times I've flipped through my copy just to read some of my favorite scenes.