What I Read: Sept. 12-18

Space Oddities (Space #3) by Sara L. Hudson: Okay this series started off really strong for me but I have yet to enjoy any of the books as much as book one. I did like this story more than book two, but not enough to convince me to finish the series…plus book four includes a trope I’m not a fan of.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas: I’m only halfway through but that’s approximately 600 pages, and I honestly don’t know if I’m going to end up finishing this or not. It started off really strong and then started to lose me by taking massive detours into incredibly elaborate backstories about minor characters.

Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman: This has SO MUCH promise. Inspired by a 2011 interview with Chris Evans, I really thought the vibe of this would be more fun and less depressing. Throw in some alcoholism, two divorces, two deaths (off page) and zero chemistry…skip this and read the real article instead.

What I Read: Sept. 5-11

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy: When I realized this was sold out everywhere, I placed a Libby hold assuming it would be months before it became available. Somehow, it popped up sooner than expected but only took me one day to read – I won’t say anything that anyone else hasn’t, but infinite content warnings for this (abuse, assault, disordered eating, and so on). Jennette did a very brave thing sharing her story, and this book is getting a lot of buzz for good reason. For the record, I was a tad too old for iCarly but I was somewhat familiar with the show – you don’t need any background with the show to appreciate this book.

Put Out to Pasture (Farm to Table Mysteries #2) by Amanda Flower: This was a read-in-one-day sort of cozy mystery that was good in the moment but not super memorable. The fall vibes are lovely and the characters are solid. However, I prefer the author’s Amish Candy Shop Mystery series. Thank you Poisoned Pen Press for the finished copy!

Below Zero (The STEMinist Novellas #3) by Ali Hazelwood: I have finally finished this little trilogy of novellas, and am almost caught up with Ali Hazelwood’s work. When it comes to her books if you’ve read one, you’ve kind of read them all…but I still find them enjoyable. I enjoyed the STEMinist novellas more than The Love Hypothesis, so i’m really interested to see where Love on the Brain ends up.

Crazy Stupid Bromance (Bromance Book Club #3) by Lyssa Kay Adams: This series is delightful and I do recommend reading them in order, just so you can feel like you’re part of all of the inside jokes by the time you hit book three. Noah isn’t my FAVORITE of the male protagonists, but he’s still a great character. The Russian’s book is next, and book five is due in November, so i’m thinking I might catch up with the series by the end of this year.

What I Read: August 29-Sept. 4

Girl, Forgotten (Andrea Oliver #2) by Karin Slaughter: Now that I’m totally caught up with Karin Slaughter’s backlist, I have to (impatiently) wait for her to release something new. Thankfully, anything and everything Karin writes is worth the wait, and Girl, Forgotten is just fantastic. I’m hoping there will be more books in this new Andrea Oliver series. In the meantime, I’ll be waiting for the next Will Trent book…

We Are the Troopers: The Women of the Winningest Team in Pro Football History by Stephan Guinan: This appealed to me on so many levels: badass women in sports, specifically football, more specifically a team from Toledo. We Are the Troopers provides a really insightful look at the Toledo Troopers and their dominance in the 70s. Thank you Hachette for the ARC!

Suddenly You by Lisa Kleypas: This book was like a ride at Cedar Point (fellow Ohioans, hello). Unfortunately, it was less like a rollercoaster and more like one of those rides that starts off at the top, with a fantastic view, and then quickly lets you down… Add in a trope that I really hate and a male lead who was a kind of a douchebag, and you have a recipe for a mediocre day at the theme park.

The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell: When my copy of this showed up in the mail, I let out a noise that could best be described as a cross between a hungry manatee and a delighted raccoon. Thankfully, the horror of that noise is not indicative of the quality of this book – The Marriage Portrait is just phenomenal, and I liked it even more than Hamnet. I don’t want to say too much about the plot because it’s best to just read the synopsis and dive right in. It gets so tense and terrifying at times that I’m hoping her next book leans in a horror direction simply because her ability to create vivid imagery and emotions through words is *chef’s kiss* Thank you Knopf for the finished copy!

What I Read: August 22-28

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes: I really enjoyed this book! The setting was cozy, the story was interesting and the characters were incredibly lovable (and the baseball angle was a huge plus!) This is basically the book version of a cable-knit sweater.

I Hate You More by Lucy Gilmore: Despite a relatively low rating on Goodreads, I had a fairly enjoyable experience with this book. It’s a little bit too “skimming the surface” to be considered REALLY good, but the characters are cute and there are some funny bits sprinkled throughout. My main criticism is that this is billed as “enemies-to-lovers” and that’s not really true. Our main characters get off to a slightly bumpy start, but if you’re looking for vibes similar to The Hating Game, this won’t do the trick.

What I Read: August 15-21

Devil in Winter (Wallflowers #3) by Lisa Kleypas: I’m honestly on the fence about this series. I somewhat enjoyed the first book, DNFed the second. I can see why everyone loves Sebastian but this dragged in some spots for me (it’s just a tiny bit too long). Not sure if I’ll pick up book four, or move on to a different Kleypas series.

The Moving Finger (Miss Marple #3) by Agatha Christie: After struggling through the first two books (see: novels. Technically the first book in the series is a collection of short stories) in the Miss Marple series, this was a pleasant surprise. To be clear, I enjoyed this more for the overall vibes vs. the actual plot, but it gave me hope that i’ll be happy continuing on in the series.

What I Read: August 8-14

Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez: This was a pleasant surprise, and Daniel is easily one of the best male leads I’ve read in a romance so far. Highly recommend this for the cozy, small-town vibes and lovable cast of side characters.

Book Lovers by Emily Henry: This is receiving a lot of hype for a reason. I loved some parts and disliked others (if I have to read about a grown woman calling her sister “Sissy” dozens of times again, I’m throwing the book), but overall I really enjoyed my reading experience. My one major complaint is that there is a severe lack of Charlie, honestly. This isn’t as romance-y as you might expect and that’s a darn shame.

Xeni (Loose Ends #2) by Rebekah Weatherspoon: I love that Rebekah Weatherspoon writes mature, low-angst romance. Xeni is a great female lead and Mason is a sweetheart (a giant Scotsman with a heart of gold? Fantastic).

What I Read: Catching Up

It’s been a few weeks since I shared a review post, so I’m going to get caught up with a sentence or two for each book I’ve read recently.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne: Surprisingly amazing. In the running for one of my favorite romcoms of all time.

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James: This had a promising start, but ended up with a lot of unanswered questions and loose ends. Thank you Once Upon a Book Club for the gift box!

Stuck With You (The STEMinist Novellas #2) by Ali Hazelwood: Didn’t love this quite as much as the first, but these two had great chemistry! A worthwhile, short romance read.

Space Cowgirl: Houston, All Systems Go (Space #2) by Sara L. Hudson: Great male lead, insufferable female lead (tragically afflicted with “Not Like Other Girls” syndrome). However, I think this series is worth reading and I’ll be picking up book three sooner rather than later.

Everything For You (Bergman Brothers #5) by Chloe Liese: I’ll recommend this series to anyone and everyone – especially if you like a good romcom with an extra dose of big feelings. The grumpy/sunshine trope is extra fabulous when the grump is a literary version of Roy Kent.

Upgrade by Blake Crouch: A total downgrade from the Crouch novels I’ve loved before. Read those and skip this.

Nobody’s Princess (Wild Wynchesters #3) by Erika Ridley: A Regency-era romance with two superhero-adjacent leads. And the Wynchester family is delightfully chaotic as usual. Thank you Forever for the finished copy! | Check out my review on Instagram

40-Love (There’s Something About Marysburg #2) by Olivia Dade: Good but not great. Someday I’ll learn my lesson and stop reading books by Olivia Dade.

Bomb Shelter: Love, Time and Other Explosives by Mary Laura Philpott: Philpott’s writing makes me feel seen (or wonder if I blacked out and wrote this book myself). Funny and heartfelt; feels like a hug from a big sister or a beloved friend.

The Stand-Up Groomsman (Donut Fall in Love #2) by Jackie Lau: Asian representation, a short (5’6″!) male lead, and a great opposites-attract dynamic. Thank you Berkley for the e-ARC! | Check out my review on Instagram

The Bodyguard by Katherine Center: Katherine Center can do no wrong. I absolutely LOVED this.

What I Read: July 11-17

My Killer Vacation by Tessa Bailey: This was a fun read, although a bit ridiculous. I liked the combination romcom/murder mystery, and Tessa Bailey’s writing is fun enough that I’m always interested in what she will publish next.

The Last Move by Mary Burton: This was an interesting read with a compelling murder case (I won’t really call it a “mystery” because there wasn’t much to solve here – we pretty much know who the killer is right from the jump. There aren’t any major twist or surprises). This is definitely on the darker side without being TOO gratuitously gory.

Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade: Uhhh. SPOILER ALERT: I gave up on this book at the 70% mark (but I’m pretty sure that’s far enough to count it as “read”). I realized that 1. the characters are supposed to be 36 and 40, but they act like they’re in their early 20s and 2. I just didn’t really care what happened with them. This was just a little too long and a little too immature for me.

Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers #1) by Lisa Kleypas: If you’re going to read historical romance, Lisa Kleypas is IT. I’ve been hoarding Kleypas novels for almost two years now, but I had only ever read two of them before finally picking this up (for what it’s worth, I’m going to read the entire Wallflowers series, before moving on to the Ravenels). This wasn’t the BEST historical romance I’ve ever read, but Kleypas’ writing is fantastic and I assume the books will only get better.

CURRENTLY READING: I won’t name it, but I’m reading a VERY popular romcom right now, and kind of enjoying it (at least so far…but I’m only on chapter two).

What I Read: July 4-10

Shady Hollow by Juneau Black: I enjoyed this at first, but it ended up a bit lackluster. The idea is really cute, but the execution was just a bit off (a little TOO cutesy, a little TOO simplistic).

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg: I absolutely LOVED this book! I have never seen the movie, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The format and short chapters made it a really quick read, and it’s such a lovable, huggable book. Highly recommend if you haven’t given this modern classic a try.

CURRENTLY READING: Finally picked up Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel.

What I Read: June 27-July 3

The Marlow Murder Club (The Marlow Murder Club #1) by Robert Thorogood: This is like the Thursday Murder Club combined with Golden Girls – I enjoyed the cast of characters and the mystery was interesting (and caught me by surprise a few times!) Thank you Poisoned Pen Press for the finished copy!

Float Plan (Beck Sisters #1) by Trish Doller: I loved this so much more than I thought I would. Anna’s development throughout the book felt realistic and emotional, and the descriptions of the ocean and islands were like taking a little vacation. And, of course, Keane was super dreamy and a perfect book boyfriend. I don’t want to wait too long to grab book two!

Slightly Dangerous (Bedwyn Saga #6) by Mary Balogh: My journey through the Bedwyn Saga has been a bit of a rollercoaster, but the payoff was worth it (granted, I totally skipped book five). Wulfric’s story is absolutely worth a read, but I would highly recommend reading at least some of the other books in the series before picking this up. Wulfric is like Mr. Darcy cranked up to 1,000 and I absolutely loved every part of the reading experience. Now I need to decide which Mary Balogh series to tackle next: The Survivors’ Club or the Simply Quartet.

CURRENTLY READING: I’m about a quarter of the way through Shady Hollow (Shady Hollow #1) by Juneau Black, which i’m enjoying so far.