Friday, September 24, 2021

My Thoughts: People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

People We Meet on Vacation
by Emily Henry

Publication Date: May 11th 2021
Publisher: Berkley Books
Pages: 364
ISBN: 9781984806758
Genre: Adult Fiction / Contemporary / Romance
Source: Netgalley Review Copy / Own

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Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.

Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.

Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.

Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.

Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

From the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read, a sparkling new novel that will leave you with the warm, hazy afterglow usually reserved for the best vacations.

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry was yet another of my most anticipated reads for this summer, and I was super curious to finally read the book. I read Beach Read last summer, and I was really interested to see how this new book would compare.

There are so many things that I really enjoyed about this book! One thing was the characters. The book has so many interesting characters... including the two main characters, Poppy and Alex. I undeniably related more to Alex in his love of books and not being very spontaneous, but I think we all want to be a little like Poppy and her freedom to wander. I am such a homebody, and I can’t even imagine what that’s like. But it was fun to see it through Poppy’s eyes! Also, some of the people that they met on vacation were awesome!

Another thing that I like about the book was the storyline. It totally made me want to travel more, and, as I mentioned above, I am certainly more of a homebody. All of the places that Poppy and Alex visited throughout the book sounded interesting, and they were so well described, I could almost imagine being there as well. (I love it when that happens!)

I’m really glad that I chose to read this book in the summer, as it definitely felt like a summer read to me. Oh and I listened to the audiobook as well, and the narrator, Julia Whelan, did such a great job with the voices! Julia also narrates the audiobook for Beach Read, and has read a few others that I have checked out this year! It’s so fun to listen to a familiar voice.

Overall; People We Meet on Vacation was a fun summer read! I’m very glad that I had it on my TBR this season, and I absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on Emily’s next book, Book Lovers, which is currently set to release May 2022, also from Berkley! It sounds fantastic as well, so if it’s not already on your TBR, go ahead and add it now. *grin*

Thursday, September 23, 2021

My Thoughts: The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

The Heart Principle
(The Kiss Quotient #3)
by Helen Hoang

Publication Date: August 31st 2021
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 320
ISBN: 9780451490841
Genre: Adult Fiction / Romance / Contemporary
Source: Netgalley Review Copy / Own

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Available for Purchase:
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When violinist Anna Sun accidentally achieves career success with a viral YouTube video, she finds herself incapacitated and burned out from her attempts to replicate that moment. And when her longtime boyfriend announces he wants an open relationship before making a final commitment, a hurt and angry Anna decides that if he wants an open relationship, then she does, too. Translation: She's going to embark on a string of one-night stands. The more unacceptable the men, the better.

That's where tattooed, motorcycle-riding Quan Diep comes in. Their first attempt at a one-night stand fails, as does their second, and their third, because being with Quan is more than sex: he accepts Anna on an unconditional level that she has just started to understand herself. However, when tragedy strikes Anna's family, she takes on a role she is ill-suited for, until the burden of expectations threatens to destroy her. Anna and Quan have to fight for their chance at love, but to do that, they also have to fight for themselves. (Goodreads)

The Heart Principle is the third book in the The Kiss Quotient series by Helen Hoang, and was also one of my most anticipated reads for this summer! I loved the first two books in this series, and I couldn’t wait to read this book … especially since it’s Quan’s story!

Let me start this by saying that if you’re looking for a lighthearted, fluffy read, that is not exactly what you’re going to get with this book. Yes, there are lots of cute moments and romance in the book, but it also deals with some heavy topics as well. I was warned of this before starting the book, so I was able to prepare, but it didn’t dissuade me from reading the story at all. This is still an enjoyable read, but it’s not all light and fluffy like some may suspect. Regardless, I was hooked, and flew through this book in just a day, which rarely happens lately!

I have been really excited to read Quan’s story since we met him earlier on in the series. He really was great for Anna, as she was for him, and I enjoyed watching their relationship grow as the book went along. Both had their issues, but they figured them out together, after a few rough patches, and it was nice to see that. They are both just really great characters, and I love them both so much!

The storyline for this book, as I mentioned above, was both cute and fluffy, but also dealt with some heavier topics as well, including the sickness and death of a family member, and how that affected the people caring for him. As a person that has helped with multiple sick family members, I could definitely relate to Anna and her family. It’s definitely hard, and I’m glad that she had Quan to lean on.

Overall; The Heart Principle was a great addition to this fantastic series! I really enjoyed reading the story, and finally getting to read Quan’s story as well! I don’t know if this is the final book in the series or if we will be seeing more, but if Helen wants to write more books in this series, I would totally read them! (And I think a re-read of the series is definitely due soon!)

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

20 *More* Books on my Fall TBR!

Happy First day of Fall, Bookworms!

Did you know that Fall is my most favorite season ever? I love everything about it! The beautiful colors, the weather getting cooler, sweaters and hoodies, and ... SPOOKY SEASON! Halloween is definitely my favorite holiday.

Yesterday I shared my Top 10 *New Releases* on my Fall TBR, but I wanted to share a few more books I am hoping to read on this official first day of fall! I am definitely feeling in the season at the moment, and my fall TBR  reflects that. There are SO many books that I am excited to read! I have a great selection of mysteries, thrillers, witchy reads and ALL kinds of spooky books both old and new to read this season. I've been waiting so long to get started on this TBR, and now I finally can!!

As I said above, I have a LOT of books on my TBR this season, but I'm going to share my top 20 reads here! Keep scrolling to check them out!

A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins
The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

Not A Happy Family by Shari Lapena
Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee
The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith

Small Favors by Erin A. Craig
Horrid by Katrina Leno

Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda
The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

One by One by Ruth Ware
The End of Her by Shari Lapena

No One Will Miss Her by Kat Rosenfield
The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
(My yearly re-read!)
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
The Storyteller by Dave Grohl

•     •     •

So many awesome books, right?! I am so excited to get started on these. Most of them I have been saving to read this fall, and I'm beyond thrilled that I can finally get started on them. :)

What about you? What books are you hoping to read this fall??

Waiting on Wednesday: Daughter of the Deep & A Spindle Splintered

Daughter of the Deep
by Rick Riordan

Expected publication: October 5th 2021 by Disney-Hyperion

New York Times #1 best-selling author Rick Riordan pays homage to Jules Verne in his exciting modern take on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Ana Dakkar is a freshman at Harding-Pencroft Academy, a five-year high school that graduates the best marine scientists, naval warriors, navigators, and underwater explorers in the world. Ana's parents died while on a scientific expedition two years ago, and the only family's she's got left is her older brother, Dev, also a student at HP. Ana's freshman year culminates with the class's weekend trial at sea, the details of which have been kept secret. She only hopes she has what it'll take to succeed. All her worries are blown out of the water when, on the bus ride to the ship, Ana and her schoolmates witness a terrible tragedy that will change the trajectory of their lives.

But wait, there's more. The professor accompanying them informs Ana that their rival school, Land Institute, and Harding-Pencroft have been fighting a cold war for a hundred and fifty years. Now that cold war has been turned up to a full broil, and the freshman are in danger of becoming fish food. In a race against deadly enemies, Ana will make amazing friends and astounding discoveries about her heritage as she puts her leadership skills to the test for the first time.

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A Splindle Splintered
by Alix E. Harrow

Expected publication: October 5th 2021 by Tordotcom

USA Today bestselling author Alix E. Harrow's A Spindle Splintered brings her patented charm to a new version of a classic story.

It's Zinnia Gray's twenty-first birthday, which is extra-special because it's the last birthday she'll ever have. When she was young, an industrial accident left Zinnia with a rare condition. Not much is known about her illness, just that no one has lived past twenty-one.

Her best friend Charm is intent on making Zinnia's last birthday special with a full sleeping beauty experience, complete with a tower and a spinning wheel. But when Zinnia pricks her finger, something strange and unexpected happens, and she finds herself falling through worlds, with another sleeping beauty, just as desperate to escape her fate.

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•     •     •

Two awesome books for my WOW picks this week! I am SOOOOO excited for the new book by Rick Riordan! I am definitely having withdrawals after finishing all of this books.

And I'm excited to finally read something by Alix Harrow as well! I have this one AND Once and Future Witches on my TBR this fall, and I'm very excited for both!

**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

My Thoughts: Portrait of a Scotsman by Evie Dunmore

Portrait of a Scotsman
(A League of Extraordinary Women #3)
by Evie Dunmore

Publication Date: September 7th 2021
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 448
ISBN: 9781984805720
Genre: Adult Fiction / Romance / Historical
Source: Netgalley Review Copy / Own

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Available for Purchase:
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Going toe-to-toe with a brooding Scotsman is rather bold for a respectable suffragist, but when he happens to be one's unexpected husband, what else is an unwilling bride to do?

London banking heiress Hattie Greenfield wanted "just" three things in life:

1. Acclaim as an artist.
2. A noble cause.
3. Marriage to a young lord who puts the gentle in gentleman.

Why then does this Oxford scholar find herself at the altar with the darkly attractive financier Lucian Blackstone, whose murky past and ruthless business practices strike fear in the hearts of Britain's peerage? Trust Hattie to take an invigorating little adventure too far. Now she's stuck with a churlish Scot who just might be the end of her ambitions....

When the daughter of his business rival all but falls into his lap, Lucian sees opportunity. As a self-made man, he has vast wealth but holds little power, and Hattie might be the key to finally setting long-harbored political plans in motion. Driven by an old revenge, he has no room for his new wife's apprehensions or romantic notions, bewitching as he finds her.

But a sudden journey to Scotland paints everything in a different light. Hattie slowly sees the real Lucian and realizes she could win everything—as long as she is prepared to lose her heart. (Goodreads)

Portrait of a Scotsman is the third book in the A League of Extraordinary Women by Evie Dunmore, and was also another of my most anticipated reads for this summer! Not only because I really enjoy the series, (I DO!), but also because this is Hattie’s book, and I have been SO curious for her story since we met her in the first book. I’m so thrilled to have finally read this!

As I mentioned above, Portrait of a Scotsman is all about Hattie! She has been so intriguing since the beginning of the series, and I really wanted to know more about her. I love her so much more than I expected! Add Lucian into the mix, and they are perfection. I very much enjoyed their story and watching their relationship blossom as I turned the pages. I was invested in their story! (I also really enjoyed getting to see the characters from the previous books as well! It’s so great to get a fun little update on them.)

I really, really enjoy the storyline for this book (and series)! Not only because I love reading about the women’s suffrage, but also because I don’t read nearly enough historical fiction, (including romances), and this series definitely makes me want to read them more. I definitely need more books like this in my collection, and I’m beyond thrilled to see so many are coming out soon!

I also want to add that while I started reading the physical version of this book, immediately switched the audiobook once I found out that Lucian was a Scotman… with a lovely Scottish accent. SO worth it! I ended up reading along with the book while I listened to the audiobook, and it really is the best experience ever. If you can do both, then please do both! Lol! Oh and the narrator for the book is Elizabeth Jasicki, who also narrated the previous books in the series!

Overall; Portrait of a Scotsman was a great addition to this absolutely fantastic series! Now I will be anxiously waiting to get my hands on the fourth book in the series, which as of this moment is currently untitled and without a release date. I can only assume that it is Catriona’s story, and I can’t wait to read it as well!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Fall 2021 TBR!

September 21: Books on My Fall 2021 To-read List

Happy Tuesday, Bookworms! Today I'm sharing some of the *new releases* coming out this fall that I am super excited to read! There are so many awesome books coming out, it was hard to choose just 10.

Here are a few that I am excited for!

The Bronzed Beast by Roshani Chokshi
Kingdom of the Cursed by Kerri Maniscalco

The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling
Well Matched by Jenn DeLuca

A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow
Payback's a Witch by Lana Harper

A Psalm of Storms and Silence by Roseanne A. Brown
The Righteous by Renee Ahdieh

You'll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus
Heartstopper Vol 4. by Alice Oseman

•     •     •

Those are just a few new releases that I am excited to check out!
 Stop by tomorrow to see EVEN MORE books that I'll be reading this fall!

Monday, September 20, 2021

My Thoughts: If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy

If the Shoe Fits
(Meant to Be #1)
by Julie Murphy

Publication Date: August 3rd 2021
Publisher: Hyperion Avenue
Pages: 304
ISBN: 9781368050388
Genre: Adult Fiction / Contemporary / Romance
Source: Netgalley Review Copy

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Available for Purchase:
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After having just graduated with a degree in shoe design, and trying to get her feet on the ground, Cindy is working for her stepmother, who happens to be the executive producer of America's favorite reality show, Before Midnight. When a spot on the show needs filling ASAP, Cindy volunteers, hoping it might help jump-start her fashion career, or at least give her something to do while her peers land jobs in the world of high fashion.

Turns out being the only plus size woman on a reality dating competition makes a splash, and soon Cindy becomes a body positivity icon for women everywhere. What she doesn't expect? That she may just find inspiration-and love-in the process. Ultimately, Cindy learns that if the shoe doesn't fit, maybe it's time to design your own.

If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy is the very first book in a brand new series by Disney Publishing titled Meant to Be! From what I have read about this series, the books are modern retellings of our favorite fairytales, written for adults, and each book will be by a different author. Sound exciting? It definitely does to me!

I am a big fan of fairytale retellings! I love when someone takes one of my favorite stories and puts their own spin on it. It’s familiar, yet all new at the same time. Cinderella is not my most favorite fairytale, but I do always appreciate a good spin on the original.

There was SO much to love about If the Shoe Fits! The one thing that I loved the MOST was that there was no evil stepmom/stepsisters in this story. I want to get this out there because that’s probably my least favorite part of the original story. I LOVED that this story was different! The stepmom and stepsisters were great!

Also another thing I loved about this book were the characters. There were so many character in the book to love! From the main character, Cindy, to the secondary characters, they were really all great. (Ok, except for the one. Read the book and you’ll see.) I also really enjoyed the storyline for the book! The modern take on the original story, with the reality show twist, was fantastic. I devoured this book in no time, I was so hooked.

Overall; If you can’t already tell, I really, really enjoyed If the Shoe Fits! I am very excited to read more books in this series. There is very little information so far on the second book, but I did manage to find that the next book is titled By the Book, written by Jasmine Guillory, and is a BEAUTY AND THE BEAST retelling! (Beauty and the Beast is my Favorite fairytale!) I am definitely excited to get my hands on that book, and the rest of the series, as soon as possible!