Reviews

Review: Nevernight ~ By Jay Kristoff

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Review: Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicles #1) ~ by Jay Kristoff

429 pages (hardcover) ~ Adult Fantasy

August 2016 ~ St. Martin’s Press

My Rating: 5/5

Click here for Nevernight’s Goodreads Description

My Thoughts:

This book came as such a surprise to me. The first 100 pages or so I kept asking myself, “do I like this?” It was so different than anything I have ever read before that I had to keep checking in with myself. But the more I read, the more I loved it, and here’s why….

  • Jay Kristoff’s writing is so unique. There is so much wit and sarcasm that I had to read certain sections twice to really appreciate all of the little nuances. The structure of the book is also so unique – certain descriptions would be repeated verbatim but applied to very different things. This was such a clever way to connect things and provide so many “light bulb” moments. I freaking loved it!
  • Because I listened to most of the book on audio, the footnotes were really bugging me at first because it was hard to tell when I switched from story to footnote. But after a while, and once I started to recognize the shift, I came to appreciate the footnotes. There was so much world building and history in them, and most of them were just plain hilarious. Some seemed to exist for nothing more than to make us laugh.
  • The Red Church was such an amazing concept. I really loved the sanctity and ritual of it all. I was raised Catholic so these types of rituals will always appeal to me. This “school” is like a bloody version of Hogwarts, where you die if you don’t pass your OWLS.
  • All of the teachers had unique gifts and personalities. I loved Mia’s interactions with each of them. Spider Killer was my favorite.
    Every character, including the minor ones, had intricate and interesting backstories. I loved all of them.
  • The ending took me completely by surprise! I don’t know what I was expecting, but it was not that! The last 100 pages were completely suspenseful and packed full of action.
  • The set up for the next book was complete and tied so well to what Mia went through in book 1 and before.

I would have liked more of the backstory on each of the members of the Red Church. Though, I have a feeling I may get more of this in the next books. I would have also liked more information on the Ashkahi blood magic that Adonai uses as transport. This was such a fascinating concept to me and I just wanted more. But again, maybe in the next book. Overall, this was a perfect start to what is shaping up to be an amazing series!

You can find more information about Jay Kristoff here, on Goodreads

You can find me here SomewhereinPages on Instagram
And here SomewhereinPages on Goodreads

Reviews

Book Review: Again, but Better ~ by Christine Riccio

Book Review: Again, but Better ~ by Christine Riccio

Wednesday Books

2019 – YA Romantic Comedy 

My Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Description:

This story brought the perfect amount of giddy, warm fuzzy, and lovely feelings into my life. I listened to the audiobook and would practically skip to my car after work so that I could listen to more. 

I went into it a little apprehensive because I have read books by other BookTubers and been let down. But, I was honestly so pleasantly surprised by Christine’s unique writing style and this wonderfully whimsical story.

Christine’s writing embodies so much of her personality. It is open, honest, funny, and energetic. The same energy and passion that you get in Christine’s videos, is here on every page. My daughter and I have been watching Christine’s videos for years now, and this book made me love her even more. So much of Christine’s heart and soul are here for us to read and it was honestly so endearing. 

As an avid reader and all-around fangirl, I have a strong passion for the things that I love. I really fell in love with the heroine, Shane, because she has this same passion and tries to connect with people through the things she loves. Since this is something that I also do, I found it really relatable. I think this is something that most bloggers can relate to.

Pilot: “I’ve never met someone as outwardly passionate about their favorite things as you.” 

Shane: “Well, things inspire me and make me happy and feel more understood…if I can give that to someone else by recommending my things, I want to.” 

I loved that Shane and Pilot developed such a strong friendship founded on mutual respect and admiration. They encouraged each other’s creative endeavors, they had such great witty banter, and they were just adorable all around. 

If you love a good, heartwarming, funny, and magical YA romance, this is most definitely for you! 

For more information on Christine Riccio, you can find her here on Goodreads 

Follow me on Instagram @somewhereinpages & Goodreads @erinrossi

Reviews

Review: Next Year in Havana ~ by Chanel Cleeton

Review: Next Year in Havana ~ by Chanel Cleeton

356 pages (paperback) ~ Historical Fiction, Contemporary Romance

February 2018 ~ Penguin/Berkley 

My Rating: 4/5 

Goodreads Description:

After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity–and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution…

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest–until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary…

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth.

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba’s tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.

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My Thoughts:  

It’s been a while since I’ve picked up a Historical Fiction novel, and this book reminded me why I need to do it more often. Next Year in Havana was a heartbreaking journey of two women, grandmother, and granddaughter, who are living through similar experiences decades apart and both facing repercussions of the 1958 Cuban Revolution. 

What I loved: 

  • The Cuban History- I knew nothing about Cuban history and this element of the book was absolutely fascinating. It was told through everyday events, struggles, and daily life, so I never felt like I was witnessing something epic, but rather I was witnessing the slow change that had horrific repercussions. 
  • Characters – The pieces of history are given through the eyes of a wide range of characters – a rich upper-class woman, a struggling revolutionary, a teacher who is trying to survive and make a difference, and an outsider who wants so badly to belong to her Cuban Heritage. This gave the history a well rounded and whole view. 
  • Connection to family/heritage – This book really expressed the inherent need to feel a connection to our blood, to our heritage, and to a land that embodies both. This was heartbreaking and beautiful simultaneously and was so well done. 

What I didn’t love: 

  • The romance between Marisol and Luis was pretty lackluster. I didn’t get the feeling that there was any kind of passion or all-consuming love between them. I would have liked as much insight into their relationship as we got from Elisa and Pablo’s relationship.
  • The stories of the two women definitely paralleled each other, but it felt like we got much more insight into Elisa’s story, while Marisol’s was kind of a side note. I would have liked it if both women’s lives were equally fleshed out. 

This was my first Chanel Cleeton book and I’ll definitely plan to read more from her. 

For more information on Chanel Cleeton and her books, check her out on Goodreads 

Click here > SomewhereinPages < to find me on Instagram and here > SomewhereinPages < to find me on Goodreads. 

 

Reviews

ARC Review: Lock Every Door ~ by Riley Sager

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Review: Lock Every Door ~ by Riley Sager

384 pages ~ Thrilling Mystery, Suspense 

July 2, 2019 ~ Dutton

My Rating: 4/5 

Goodreads Description:

No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

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My Thoughts:  

I am a huge fan of Riley Sager’s other two novels, Final Girls and The Last Time I Lied. The Last Time I Lied is one of my favorite thrillers EVER. So I am very grateful to NetGalley and Dutton Books for allowing me to read Lock Every Door early. Although Lock Every Door didn’t have the same type of “keep you up all night” suspense factor that Last Time did, I still really enjoyed it. It was exactly what you would expect from a Sager thriller. The first half of the book is spent building the history of The Bartholomew building. This layering adds to the very unsettling, lurking evil aura around its past. Halfway into the novel, it beginnings to pick up as Jules starts to dig deeper and deeper into the buildings dark legacy and from that point forward, I was completely hooked. Below are my pros and cons: 

What I loved: 

  • Jules- I found Jules, our heroine, to be super relatable and funny. Her tragic past and resent misfortunes really endeared me to her. She is a loyal friend and morally good despite the horrible situation she finds herself in. 
  • Rich vs. Poor– Sager did such a great job of showing the huge disparity between the rich and the poor of New York City. We see this in Jules’ past, in the homeless shelter, and, most importantly, in the Bartholomew itself. Without giving anything away, the ending also manages to capture this disparity and I felt that it was really thoughtfully done. 
  • History of the building– I loved that Sager went into the construction of the Bartholomew, its dark history, and the unexplained events that have occurred there since its construction.
  • The Investigation– Because Sager did such a great job of establishing a connection to the history of The Bartholomew, when Jules finally puts her investigator’s hat on and gets down to business, it was a really thrilling ride. I loved traveling with her around New York in order to uncover the buildings dark past. 

What I didn’t love: 

  • The “big reveal” (or lack thereof)– Jules, and therefore, the reader, figures out the “who done it” with 25% of the book still remaining. As she goes through the process of investigation and finally believes she has her answer, I was thinking – “this can’t be it, there has to be a twist somewhere.” Well, there was, in fact, a twist, but the twist only related to motive and not to who actually committed the crime. Because of this, there was a lack of suspense in the climax of the book, which is supposed to be the most exciting part. This was a little bit of a let down for me. 
  • Some moments were also a little cliche and had me rolling my eyes. It didn’t take away from the enjoyment of the novel, but it did make it harder to suspend belief. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable and thrilling mystery. Fans of Sager’s other work will not be disappointed. It will be a perfect summer beach or vacation read!

Lock Every Door is out today, July 2nd, 2019!!! 

For more information Riley Sager and his books, check him out on Goodreads

Click here SomewhereinPages to find me on Goodreads.

Reviews

Book Review: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle ~ by Stuart Turton

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Review: The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle ~ by Stuart Turton

432 pages (Hardcover) ~ Thrilling Mystery, Suspense, Time Travel

September 18, 2018 ~ Sourcebooks Landmark

My Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Description:

“Gosford Park” meets “Groundhog Day” by way of Agatha Christie – the most inventive story you’ll read this year.

Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed… again.

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.

But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath.

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My Thoughts:  

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This book! I don’t even know how to describe it because it is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. My brain literally hurt when I finished it, but in a satisfying- “I just accomplished something” type of way. I had to start taking notes halfway through because there were so many characters and so much detail. The story is a constant roller coaster with twists and turns and “wait what!?” moments. You are kept guessing the entire time. There is witty banter, a dark creepy house with a sordid past, family scandal, murder (obviously), but there is also a really cool philosophical element to the story that you don’t see coming amidst all the scheming and backstabbing. I absolutely loved this book! While I don’t necessarily think this book is for everyone, I do think there are a lot of readers that will enjoy its dark twists and turns. You will most likely enjoy The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle if you like:

  • Clue – (both the game and the movie) You are basically playing clue in this book except your “character” changes daily
  • Downton Abbey – If you like the upstairs/downstairs drama and intrigue, this is definitely for you
  • Agatha Christie – this mystery is set up just like a Christie novel and Turton does a great job of paying homage to her style
  • Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol – like Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, the characters in this novel have to complete tasks before they are free, these “tasks” are designed to help them become better people- rehabilitation is the goal. A very Dickensian theme

Overall, I thought this was a really smart, interesting, unique, and well written novel. The only drawback for me was that the middle section did tend to lag in a few places. But the reward at the end was definitely worth it. This was an amazing first novel from Stuart Turton and I’m so excited to see what is next for him! 

For more information on Stuart Turton and his books, check him out on Goodreads

Click here > SomewhereinPages < to find me on Instagram and here > SomewhereinPages < to find me on Goodreads.

Reviews

Review: The Song of Achilles ~ by Madeline Miller

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Review: The Song of Achilles ~ by Madeline Miller

352 pages (paperback) ~ Literary Fiction/Greek Mythology  

2011 ~ Bloomsbury

My Rating: 5/5

Goodreads Description:

Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. By all rights, their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine their bond blossoms into something deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’ mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

Profoundly moving and breathtakingly original, this rendering of the epic Trojan War is a dazzling feat of the imagination, a devastating love story, and an almighty battle between gods and kings, peace and glory, immortal fame and the human heart.

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87c5788a-3a47-4cd5-964b-0523170c8e46My Thoughts:  

This book was absolute magic. Reading Circe was a transformative experience, and The Song of Achilles had the same profound impact on me. Though I related to Circe’s story more, mainly because it dealt with so many women’s issues, I really loved the way that Miller was able to give so much depth to a story that I thought I knew. Since there are so many beautiful reviews of this book, I will keep mine short and sweet by listing a few of my favorite elements of the book.

  • The guilt of war – in other stories of Achilles he is portrayed as a killer. I really liked that Miller used his relationship with Patroclus to show his guilt over the lives he was forced to take. This conveyed his goodness and Patroclus’ influence on him.
  • The subtlety of their love story – Patroclus and Achilles’ love for each other is never overtly stated, instead, the reader feels how much they love each other through their actions. Miller does such an amazing job of conveying their deep love and admiration for each other in such a poetic and subtle way.

“He is half my soul, as the poets say.”

  • Concept of fame – the story really plays with the idea of fame since this is something that Achilles chases throughout the book. It brings up questions of fame’s importance to history. One of my favorite quotes from the book addresses this question:

“Fame is a strange thing. Some men gain glory after they die, while others fade. What is admired in one generation is abhorred in another? We cannot say who will survive the holocaust of memory….We are men only, a brief flare of the torch. Those to come may raise us or lower us as they please. Patroclus may be such as will rise in the future.”

I thought this quote was really interesting considering that the book seems to be attempting this very thing.

  • Remembered for his goodness  – The ending of the book was heartbreaking and beautiful. Achilles is a hero who is known for his ruthlessness and his ability to cut men down. However, Miller does an amazing job of attempting to rewrite his history. Instead, we remember Achilles through Patroclus’ eyes. He is remembered instead through this great and epic love story, rather than for death and destruction.

“They do not come as words, but like dreams, rising as scent from the rain-wet earth. This, I say. This and this. The way his hair looked in summer sun. His face when he ran. His eyes, solemn as an owl at lessons. This and this and this. So many moments of happiness, crowding forward.”

I would definitely recommend this book to fans of Greek Mythology, however, I think that everyone would enjoy it. There is no need to have prior or extensive knowledge of mythology before going into this book.

If you have read it, or plan to, leave me a message!

For more information on Madeline Miller and her books, check her out on Goodreads.

Click here > SomewhereinPages < to find me on Instagram and here > SomewhereinPages < to find me on Goodreads.

Reviews

Review: ARC of The Stranger on the Beach ~ by Michele Campbell

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Review: The Stranger on the Beach~ by Michele Campbell

353 pages (Hardcover) ~ Thrilling Mystery, Suspense

July 23rd, 2019 ~ St. Martin’s Press

My Rating: 2/5

Goodreads Description:

There is a stranger outside Caroline’s house.

Her spectacular new beach house, built for hosting expensive parties and vacationing with the family she thought she’d have. But her husband is lying to her and everything in her life is upside down, so when the stranger, Aiden, shows up as a bartender at the same party where Caroline and her husband have a very public fight, it doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary.

As her marriage collapses around her and the lavish lifestyle she’s built for herself starts to crumble, Caroline turns to Aiden for comfort…and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling that means nothing to Caroline and everything to him, Aiden’s obsession with Caroline, her family, and her house grows more and more disturbing. And when Caroline’s husband goes missing, her life descends into a nightmare that leaves her accused of her own husband’s murder.

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img_2561My Thoughts:  

Unfortunately, this mystery didn’t hit the mark for me. From the start, there were things that just kept preventing me from getting into the story.

  • I did enjoy the fact that both narrators were unreliable, however, because I was never sure who was telling the truth, it made it very difficult to relate or to sympathize with either character. It also made the story difficult to follow because the timelines and events were completely muddled.
  • I didn’t like either character. I found Caroline annoying and Campbell seemed to go out of her way to make her fit into every stereotypically rich white woman cliche possible. Because Caroline’s POV was flippant and, quite frankly, abhorrent, it made the writing appear unsophisticated. I feel that the style the author used for Caroline’s POV was intentionally done in order to make readers question her credibility, however, it just made the book really difficult to read.
  • There were moments when I liked Aiden, but his character was overshadowed by the ridiculous story Caroline was weaving. He also came across completely unrealistic.

Overall, I did finish the book, which means that I was engaged enough to make it the end and I did actually care about the outcome. The ending does have a twist, but unfortunately, it was a pretty predictable twist.

Despite everything, I really liked the questions that the book posed regarding our desire to automatically place blame based on preconceived ideas- ie: male, criminal record, poor. I liked that it portrayed our desire to ignore guilt when it comes to those who are rich, put together, or from a certain class. This was definitely the most interesting part of the book for me.

The Stranger on the Beach comes out July 23rd and it would be a nice “who-done-it” for the beach or a plane ride. Thank you so much to NetGalley and to St. Martin’s Press for sending me the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Click here > SomewhereinPages < to find me on Instagram and here > SomewhereinPages < to find me on Goodreads.

Reviews

Review: The Silent Patient ~ by Alex Michaelides

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Review: The Silent Patient ~ by Alex Michaelides

323 pages ~ Thrilling Mystery, Suspense

2019 ~ Celadon Books

My Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Description:

ALICIA

Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet – and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can’t bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain.

Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.

THEO

Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia’s silence goes far deeper than he first thought.

And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?

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My Thoughts:  

The hype around this book and this debut author is definitely well deserved. The story is crafted so well, the writing is stellar, and there is so much attention to detail. It was insanely fast-paced and nearly impossible to put down once started. It keeps you guessing and questioning yourself the entire time. It was smart, suspenseful, unpredictable, and anxiety-inducing. Everything that you want from a good thriller!

Below are a few things I loved and a few things I had issues with:

What I loved:

  • By far my favorite aspect of the book was the discussion of psychotherapy, the “talking cure” as Theo refers to it. The book questions the merits of therapy throughout. Questions like: how and why does psychotherapy work? What are the limits of therapy? Are some people beyond its effects? How much do we end up repeating our trauma regardless of being “cured?” You never for a second forget that Theo is a psychotherapist and his POV is uniquely colored by both his past, his own experiences with therapy, and his profession.
  • Alicia was fascinating. I loved reading her journals and I felt that her voice was captured really well. Michaelides did a great job of creating a distinct voice for her that was drastically different from Theo’s. I would have liked more of Alicia’s past and her relationships with her father and husband, but I understand there is only so much room to do that in a thriller.
  • Alicia’s use of the Greek tragedy of Alcestis in order to communicate was a brilliant connection. At first, it was so hard to see how the pieces of the tragedy were going to fit with Alicia’s story, but when they finally did, it added such a fascinating and heavy layer to the sadness of it all.

What I didn’t love:

  • The book didn’t have the dark, creepy vibe that thrillers usually have, instead, this book was actually pretty freaking sad. I cried at the end and was kind of depressed. This is probably just me, I don’t really like stories that involve infidelity and child abuse- both of which are center stage here. So, if those topics are also not your cup of tea, probably best to avoid this one.
  • The rest of my complaints involve the ending so I have created a section below that is full of spoilers…so proceed with caution. However, if you have read it, I would love to hear if you agree or disagree with me.

 

Spoiler Below:

You have been warned. There will be spoilers below.

I would really hate to spoil anything for anyone, especially with a thriller.

  • Ok, let’s talk about the ending. I have read a lot of reviews where people claim that ending took them completely by surprise. This was not the case for me. I had a feeling it was Theo the second he found out his wife was cheating on him and he started to follow her. So, about 25% into the book. However, I completely dismissed this theory because of one crucial piece of information that was intentionally left out of the entire book…….THE TIMELINE!! I thought, “there is no way the Theo theory works because Kathy is cheating on Theo 6 years after Alicia’s tragedy.” It was also at this point that I started thinking it was really strange that there were no years listed after any of the dates. I feel like Michaelides was kind of cheating us here. You can’t just leave the dates completely off and then say “Ha Ha I fooled you!” at the end. No! You didn’t fool me, you left off the freaking dates!! This seemed like a cheaters attempt at a twist if I am being honest.

Even though I obviously had reservations about the ending, the book was really enjoyable for all of the reasons that I mentioned above. I would definitely recommend it to other thriller lovers. I am excited to see what Michaelides writes in the future.  

I listened to the unabridged audiobook on Audible narrated by Jack Hawkins from the BBC’s Call the Midwife and Louise Brealey from the BBC’s Sherlock. Both actors did an amazing job of bringing this story to life. If you are an audiobook fan, this is definitely one to check out. Link here Audible 

For more information on Alex Michaelides and his books- Click here Alex Michaelides to find him on Goodreads.

Click here SomewhereinPages to find me on Instagram and here SomewhereinPages to find me on Goodreads.

Reviews

Review: The Kiss Quotient ~ by Helen Hoang

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Review: The Kiss Quotient ~ by Helen Hoang

336 pages ~ Contemporary Romance   

June 5, 2018 ~ Berkley

My Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Description:

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic...

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My Thoughts:  

What can I say about this book that hasn’t already been said?! Ok, I’ll give it a try…..

Like so many people, I found Stella and Michael’s story to be super sweet, funny, sexy, heartwarming, but also really inspiring. It was difficult at first watching both of these characters beat up on themselves for their perceived “flaws.” They’re both such genuine, honest, and loveable people, but I wanted them to love themselves as much as I loved them. It was frustrating at times that they didn’t realize their own awesomeness. However, this frustration ultimately gave way to inspiration when I saw them come together to battle for each other and for their own dreams.

This book will restore your faith in the healing power of love!

Here are a few highlights for me:

  • It was so interesting and insightful to read a book from an autistic perceptive, written by an autistic author. This really helped me better understand the struggles and the unique way people on the spectrum see the world. Getting inside Stella’s head- her work obsession, her daily routine, her approach to love and communication- this was all so fascinating and was by far my favorite element of the book
  • The sex scenes were actually about love and connection – there was no weird power play or struggle for dominance, everything is very tender and romantic
  • Michael’s family – I really loved the connection to Michael’s mom, sisters, grandma, and cousins. Not only were they all adorable and hilarious, but it was also a really cool look into a Vietnamese/American family. This also highlighted the cultural difference between Michael and Stella and how beautifully they were able to come together.  

Overall, I really loved this book. The only downfall for me was that I found it difficult at times to relate to Stella. However, this did not deter from my enjoyment or my appreciation for Stella as a character. If you are interested in other books that center around autistic characters, The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis-Graves is also wonderful.

Happy Reading!!

For more information on Helen Hoang and her books, check her out on Goodreads

Follow me on Instagram @somewhereinpages & Goodreads @erinrossi

Reviews

Review: ACR- Passion on Park Ave. ~ by Lauren Layne

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Review: Passion on Park Avenue (The Central park Pact Vol. 1) ~ by Lauren Layne  

288 pages (Paperback) ~ Romance/Woman’s Fiction   

May 28th, 2019 ~ Gallery Books

My Rating: 3/5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads Description:

For as long as she can remember, Bronx-born Naomi Powell has had one goal: to prove her worth among the Upper East Side elite—the same people for which her mom worked as a housekeeper. Now, as the strong-minded, sassy CEO of one of the biggest jewelry empires in the country, Naomi finally has exactly what she wants—but it’s going to take more than just the right address to make Manhattan’s upper class stop treating her like an outsider.

The worst offender is her new neighbor, Oliver Cunningham—the grown son of the very family Naomi’s mother used to work for. Oliver used to torment Naomi when they were children, and as a ridiculously attractive adult, he’s tormenting her in entirely different ways. Now they find themselves engaged in a battle-of-wills that will either consume or destroy them…

Filled with charm and heart and plenty of sex and snark, this entertaining series will hook you from the very first page.

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Note: I received a digital ARC of Passion on Park Avenue from Gallery Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Gallery Books & NetGalley.

img_1883My Thoughts:

Passion on Park Avenue was a super fun, sexy read. I read it in one sitting and while I did find fault with a few things, overall, I enjoyed it.

Highlights for me:

  • The sexy banter between Naomi and Oliver had me laughing out loud through the entire book. The sexual tension and chemistry between the two made this the highlight of the book for me.
  • I also really loved the New York scenes and the juxtaposition between Park Ave and the Bronx. I’m always a sucker for a good New York setting.
  • Oliver was just adorable. He was smart, kind, devoted to his family, and loyal. I found myself relating more to him in this book than to Naomi, which usually never happens for me.
  • The “real life” struggles that Oliver and Naomi have to face- caring for sick parents, etc. was a refreshing departure from typical romance novels.

What I didn’t love:

  • The three friends, Claire, Naomi, and Audrey, become friends really quickly and in a super unrealistic way. I didn’t mind the unrealistic part because I’m not really looking for reality when I read, but the set up of their friendship could have been done better. They seemed to just randomly stumble into each other in Central Park, discover each other’s identities and decide “hey, we should be friends.” This was really hard to swallow. I think that the friendship between the three women could have been better set up and established. It just felt so awkward and forced.
  • There was a constant mention of fashion labels. I get that the author is trying to establish that Naomi has money, but the constant mention of “Chloe” bag and “Chanel” sunglasses became so distracting.
  • The beginning starts with a death and there were completely crass mentions of death and hell by the main character that really turned me off.
  • There were a lot of inconsistencies in the story- ie: characters who had supposedly never meet knew more than they should about each other. There was also a lot of repetition. The main characters having the same observations again and again – I hope some of these errors get worked out before the final edition is published.
  • A lot of cliches – for example- Naomi states that she wants to wear red high heels because that is the opposite of what a “good girl” would wear. What!? Who says “good girls” don’t wear red high heels?
  • Naomi was immature and annoying at times. There were times when I really liked her, but also times when I found her super annoying.
  • Steamy scenes did not deliver enough steam. There was a lot of build up, but very little delivery.

Overall, I enjoyed it- It was a nice palette cleanser and a fun distraction. This story is a perfect vacation or beach read! It comes out May 28th! Just in time was Summer!

For more information on Lauren Layne and her books, check her out on Goodreads 

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