Friday, September 20, 2019

Falls Short: No Judgments by Meg Cabot

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Falls Short: No Judgments by Meg Cabot
No Judgments
Meg Cabot
Series: Little Bridge Island #1
Genre: Adult, Chick Lit, Romance
Publication date: September 24th, 2019
by William Morrow Paperbacks

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The storm of the century is about to hit Little Bridge Island, Florida—and it’s sending waves crashing through Sabrina “Bree” Beckham’s love life…

When a massive hurricane severs all power and cell service to Little Bridge Island—as well as its connection to the mainland—twenty-five-year-old Bree Beckham isn’t worried . . . at first. She’s already escaped one storm—her emotionally abusive ex—so a hurricane seems like it will be a piece of cake.

But animal-loving Bree does become alarmed when she realizes how many islanders have been cut off from their beloved pets. Now it’s up to her to save as many of Little Bridge’s cats and dogs as she can . . . but to do so, she’s going to need help—help she has no choice but to accept from her boss’s sexy nephew, Drew Hartwell, the Mermaid Café’s most notorious heartbreaker.

But when Bree starts falling for Drew, just as Little Bridge’s power is restored and her penitent ex shows up, she has to ask herself if her island fling was only a result of the stormy weather, or if it could last during clear skies too. 
-A copy was provided by William Morrow for review-

Ummm, I don’t know about this one frankly. No Judgments has Cabot’s signature humor and promises a good time and yet, I feel like it falls short of being a truly good book?? There are certain plot points that are sort of swooped over and things like sexual assault, which I feel, aren’t handled with care.

We were introduced to Little Bridge in Bridal Boot Camp and while Bridal Boot Camp wasn’t my fav, I was still very excited to read more about this town and meet new characters. When I dove into No Judgments I found myself sucked into this town and immediately enthralled. The threat of a hurricane made things slightly more exciting (plot-wise) and I was really excited to see Drew and Bree pushed together under such tense circumstances.

Here is the thing though, for all the hype about a hurricane, we really didn’t actually see the hurricane hit?? Which was what I had been expecting? We got the before and after but not the during and that was also never explained? So we never got a scene where the hurricane actually hits and people are frightened. We go from people being nervous to clean-up & aftermath and that was such a weird transition. 

Bree was sexually assaulted before she gets to the island and the way the book deals with that seems sort of insensitive? At one point, Bree is basically cornered into telling Drew what happened and that was so uncomfortable to read. At another, Bree is basically forced to confront her assaulter with no warning. Not only is that awful, but the confrontation itself was really poorly written and serves as a ‘solution.’ I am sorry but that’s not how trauma works?? Confronting your assaulter doesn’t erase it??? 

These two things definitely dampened most of my excitement about No Judgments. Bree and Drew may be cute, and their budding romance is definitely swoony but it doesn’t truly make up for these other issues I had. So while I did genuinely enjoy No Judgments at first and don’t really regret reading it, it was definitely not what I wanted or expected. I personally feel that Cabot has written way better and can do better. 

Having said that, had I not gone into No Judgments with such high expectations perhaps I might have been more forgiving. There is still fun to be had but after a lifetime of reading Cabot, I know she can do better than just ‘fun.’ If No Judgments seems like your kind of book, you should definitely read it but just keep this stuff in mind if it could potentially bother you. 

2.5 Stars
2.5 Hot Espressos

Characters Worth Dying For: Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

Characters Worth Dying For: Middlegame by Seanan McGuire

Posted by on 09/13/2019 • 1 Comment

I want to preface this review by stating that I love Roger and Dodger so much. I would DIE for these kids. Months ago, when Middlegame had just come out, I saw someone describe this as a story about two superheroes who screw up a whole lot (paraphrased because I don’t remember who said this or even what platform I came across this description on.) That description is absolutely perfect for this boo. Even though there is a LOT of stuff-bigger than both the MCs- going on, at its heart, Middlegame is 1000% a coming of age story. It follows these kids from childhood well into adulthood as the navigate all the pains of growing up. 

My love for the main characters unfortunately did not help the plot or the…

Hits All the Right Notes: A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

Hits All the Right Notes: A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

Posted by on 09/06/2019 • 2 Comments

It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything by Nalini Singh but when I saw she was venturing into the world of suspense, I knew I’d have to pick up A Madness of Sunshine. A Madness of Sunshine is exactly I want from a mystery. It has no flashy red herrings, but is still enticing. In fact, once I hit the 33% mark, I read the book in one sitting. Which, I read books in single sittings all the time, but I’ve been struggling a lot with reading lately and this just… it was what I needed. If you love small town mysteries, where secrets bubble underneath the surface, A Madness of Sunshine is exactly what you need too.

By the 20% mark in this book, I trusted no…

Fresh Batch (August 25th – 31st)

Fresh Batch (August 25th – 31st)

Posted by on 08/24/2019 • 0 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

Crown of Coral and Pearl Mara Rutherford Series: Crown of Coral and Pearl #1 Publication date: August 27th 2019by Inkyard Press

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For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…

Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar,…

An Adventure Worth Reading: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

An Adventure Worth Reading: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Posted by on 08/23/2019 • 2 Comments

It’s been a while since I finished Gods of Jade and Shadow and yet its managed to linger in my mind. I start every single review I’ve written this year of a fantasy book by stating that I’ve been struggling with fantasy lately but I don’t think that statement truly encompasses how much I’ve been struggling. Part of it is my mood but I think a huge part of it is that fantasy these days is just not the kind of fantasy I grew up loving? I love journeys and adventures through foreign lands. I love fantasies that have strong plots driving them forward. I love fantasies that are fairy-tale-esque. 

When Casiopea’s father died, her mother and her were forced to move in with relatives. Of course, in exchange for…

I Think I Have Turned Reading Into A Chore

I Think I Have Turned Reading Into A Chore

Posted by on 08/14/2019 • 5 Comments

Is it redundant to start this post off with the title of this post? Because yeah I think I turned reading into a chore and am not entirely sure how to read for fun anymore.

I am not even sure blogging is entirely to blame for this because I read a lot more than I review in an attempt to maintain a balance.

When I was a young baby, just starting to dip my toes into the online blogging community, I was driven by this fear of running out of books to read. I added everything I possibly could to my Goodreads shelves and I read like I was running out of time. In 2013, I read close to 400 books.

Ever since, in a desire…

Great World Building But A Little Slow: The Magnolia Sword by Sherry Thomas

Great World Building But A Little Slow: The Magnolia Sword by Sherry Thomas

Posted by on 08/07/2019 • 0 Comments

With the upcoming release of the live action Mulan, there has been an upsurge in Mulan retellings and I whole-heartedly welcome it. I fell in love with Spin the Dawn so I was pretty excited to dive into The Magnolia Sword. I went into it hoping that I would be blown away the same way I was with Spin the Dawn but I was not. Having said that, I loved the world building SO SO MUCH and enjoyed the building romantic tension between the main characters.

Let me clear, I am not trying to compare The Magnolia Sword to Spin the Dawn. I only mention the latter because both these stories adapt Mulan and I love Mulan (I’ve only been exposed to the Disney version of this story.)  They may…

Romance Mini Reviews #4: Novellas

Romance Mini Reviews #4: Novellas

Posted by on 08/02/2019 • 2 Comments

Can’t Escape Love Alyssa Cole

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Regina Hobbs is nerdy by nature, businesswoman by nurture. She’s finally taking her pop culture-centered media enterprise, Girls with Glasses, to the next level, but the stress is forcing her to face a familiar supervillain: insomnia. The only thing that helps her sleep when things get this bad is the deep, soothing voice of puzzle-obsessed live streamer Gustave Nguyen. The problem? His archive has been deleted.

Gus has been tasked with creating an escape room themed around a romance anime…except he knows nothing about romance or anime. Then mega-nerd and anime expert Reggie comes calling, and they make a trade: his voice for her knowledge. But when their online friendship has IRL chemistry, will they be able to…