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 

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

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!