Review: The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

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Goodreads Summary:

Kristen Petersen doesn’t do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don’t get her. She’s also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children.

Planning her best friend’s wedding is bittersweet for Kristen—especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He’s funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he’d be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it’s harder and harder to keep him at arm’s length.

The Friend Zone will have you laughing one moment and grabbing for tissues the next as it tackles the realities of infertility and loss with wit, heart, and a lot of sass.


4 star


My Review

The Friend Zone was seriously adorable and heartbreakingly beautiful at the same time. I listened to this one on audiobook, and though the female narrator had the WORST way of enunciating, it was still so enjoyable!

The story centers around the POVs of Josh and Kristen as they both clearly fall in love with each other but continue to have a reason not to be together. It was incredibly frustrating. Josh is the best man for his best friend who happens to be marrying Kristen’s best friend (and is the maid of honor). Soon Josh becomes an even bigger part of Kristen’s life when he unexpectedly becomes her new carpenter for her small business as well. Unfortunately, Kristen is about to undergo a surgery that will make her unable to have children, but she has no way of breaking the news to Josh.

Experiencing both their POVs honestly made the story. I hadn’t read a contemporary like that in a while where you get to hear how the guy feels about the girl from the very beginning. It’s alway so sweet, and oh boy, was Josh sweet. Also fun fact, my boyfriend’s name is Josh, and I’ve never read a book where my boyfriend’s name is the same as the main guy, so that was fun! The romance was honestly quite the ride. I found myself getting so mad and having such strong feelings throughout, that I remember yelling out loud at the audiobook while driving.

The Friend Zone brings with it the harsh realities that come with love and life, and blends them all together into one beautiful story. If you’re looking for a book like that to take you on a journey that is devastating, but wonderful at the same time, then I highly recommend!

Buy The Friend Zone now! 

Book Review: Beach Read by Emily Henry

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Goodreads Summary:

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.


4 star


My Review

“Falling’s the part that takes your breath away. It’s the part when you can’t believe the person standing in front of you both exists and happened to wander into your path. It’s supposed to make you feel lucky to be alive, exactly when and where you are.”

I had been seeing Beach Read all over bookstagram this Summer and saw that everyone was ranting about it! So when I read the plot, I knew I had to have it! And let me tell ya folks, it is THE definition of a Summer read! I enjoyed this little gem a whole lot!

Beach Read centers around the POV of writer January, a girl who just lost her Father only to discover that he bequeathed her a lake house she had no idea about. When she arrives she finds that her next door neighbor is none other than her arch nemesis from college: Augustus Everett. Cue cheesy romantic love story that’s quite the cliche yet sucks you completely in anyway!

Beach Read was everything I was looking for. I’ve been reading so much fantasy lately that it was so nice to have the perfect contemporary to set the balance back. This book had so many lines that took my breath away. I literally had to reread them a few times to just take it all in. Emily Henry’s writing is nothing short of beautiful. So naturally, I was emotional by the ending. Which was really quite unexpected based on what I thought the book was like.

This story is so much more than a romance, it’s a lot about life too. It opens up the very real wounds that just existing brings. It shows that there are no guarantees, so you might as well take a leap of faith and dive on in. Of course it still has a lovely finish that made me all kinds of happy. And that’s just what Beach Read is, it’s a happy read! So if that is something you’re in need of right about now, and honestly, with 2020 being the way it is, we all could use some happy… I highly recommend it!

Buy on Amazon now!

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Bookish Things I’d Do if I had More Time & Money

This meme is hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl.

So this week is pretty cool, because it’s a FREEBIE!! So I decided to talk about what is basically my bookish bucketlist/dreams/wishlist if I had money and time for it at this point in my life. I’m a week into my first clinical rotation and have lots of piling student loans and only some extra time on my hands for now while I don’t have to study for my board exam just yet (that won’t be til the end of January 2021). I also realize that these are totally wants, and not needs, but hey, that’s why I’m working my a** off now in Physical Therapy School so that these dreams can become a reality some day.


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1. Own a full TBR Cart: I see these all over bookstagram, and I’M OBSESSED! Unfortunately the blush one that is $30 at Michaels is already sold out! Especially because it was on my upcoming birthday list! Le sigh. They’re just so pretty, it definitely adds to a library room.

2. Have my own WordPress Domain: I would love to pay the yearly fee so that I can have my own domain name without the “wordpress” logo at the end, and have the additional features that come with having the fancier wordpress page too.

 

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3. Buy new bookshelves: I desperately need new shelves, or at least to replace one of the two shelves I have. They currently don’t match one another and are both used, one looks brand new, the other, has seen better days lol.

4. String up bookmarks on my shelves: This is something I also see all over Bookstagram and love how they look on shelves, but I need to find kite string or ribben or something so I can do it myself. Anyone have advice on the best way to do it? I only have a handful of magnetic bookmarks (like 10 maybe), but I am determined to slowly grow it and get the string up.

5. Get picture editing app subscriptions: Unfortunately, all the best editing apps have subscriptions in order to give you access to more features. Not cool I say! I am not about to pay for every app just so I can get access to the one feature I like that the subscription gives, but I’d like to at least get the VSCO one and maybe one other.

6. Own all 3 sizes of booksleeves: There are just reasons to have each size, am I wrong?? I only have one size booksleeve currently and it’s a large one, so it’s annoying to take a bigger one than is necessary places #firstworldproblems. It’d also be nice to just have others for going on trips when multiple books are required too.

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7. Buy a nice reading chair: Ain’t this every bookworm’s dream though?? I dream of the day when I can have my own little library room (currently my boyfriend and I have combined our nerd room into one big fandom room), with the perfect reading chair under a big window for natural lighting and bookshelves covering one full wall minimum.

8. Go to Book Conventions: I just want to meet authors so I can fangirl, get books signed, buy merch and then the end!

9. Fly to meet Authors on Tour: It still kills me that I wasn’t able to meet Jennifer Armentrout when she came to Arizona because I was in PT school. Damn education ruining things left and right! Lord knows when she’ll come back again, but regardless, few big-time authors make their stop in AZ, so I’d love to be able to fly or drive to any of the surrounding states to meet some of my favorite authors!

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10. Buy The Nerdy Ink HP Dust Jackets: Are these not gorgeous?! I want them sooo bad, but they are going to be near impossible to get once they restock in November, so I hear anyway. I also have no idea how much they cost, and would most certainly have to find another set of  used HP books to display the new jackets separately. So this would be quite the undertaking, but my determination is strong!


Well there ya have it folks, after writing this post, I’ve basically realized that… I WANT ALL THE THINGS! I wish I could easily post that head smacking emoji next to that statement, but oh well. 


What would you include on your list? I’d love to know!

 

Review: From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Goodreads Summary:

Captivating and action-packed, From Blood and Ash is a sexy, addictive, and unexpected fantasy perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas and Laura Thalassa.

A Maiden…

Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy’s life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers.

A Duty…

The entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders, something she’s not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And longing. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden.

A Kingdom…

Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance. And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her life when every blood-soaked thread that holds her world together begins to unravel. 


4 star

My Review

From Blood and Ash is absolutely unlike any other JLA book I’ve ever read! This is her first high fantasy book and it certainly packs a punch!! Was it everything I was hoping for based on what everyone has been saying? No. BUT! I definitely enjoyed it and am super excited for book two!

From Blood and Ash gave me a “Throne of Glass” vibe right from the start!! Insert badass girl who can clearly fend for herself, befriends those closest to her, and is living in a castle while falling for the steamy male who’s duty bound to protect her. I instantly had so many questions too! This book leaves you guessing throughout. I commend JLA for giving us just enough clues that we’re able to see the big reveal coming, but not realize how much comes with it!! OMG!! I did not expect everything that came hurling at me by the last 100 pages!

Poppy is the lead female you can respect for her skill with a weapon and steadfast determination to stay true to herself. She has been forced to live a sheltered life, protected from everything life has to offer due to her status as the “Maiden.” A status that is honestly still not fully explained in book one. However, when she is given Hawke as her new bodyguard she has no idea what’s in store. Poppy cannot deny that she has an ever growing attraction to him, but things may not be what they seem.  Soon, mass rebellions start, and her whole world is turned upside down in more ways than one.

Oh my goodness was the romance in this one STEAMY!!! Like damn, folks. The relationship between these two was quite the insane ride. At times I truly didn’t know what to think, because there were just so many feelings!!!

Overall, the story was super fast paced, and easy to fly through. And even though I definitely enjoyed it, it didn’t quite hit 5 stars for me. From Blood and Ash was very much so a first book in what is clearly going to be an awesome series. It set the stage and gave all the background info, but definitely leaves you wanting a lot more. I foresee me giving book two a 5 star review because now everything’s been set, and I know there’s so much more to come! Thankfully, the next book comes out in September!!

Buy From Blood and Ash on Amazon!!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Make Me Smile

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl

So most of these are basically the entire series not a single book, because when I think about the series as a whole, I get all giddy inside. I’m going to include books from my childhood in here as well, because they still just make me smile from the nostalgia of it, and honestly, I’ve been wanting to reread some of them!

The Princess Bride: My all time favorite movie, reading the book is like playing the complete movie in my head. All the best lines are in it too!

ACOTAR series but in particular, A Court of Mist and Fury: Oh my goodness, be still my beating heart, falling in love with Rhysand in this story always makes me smile

The Frog Princess series:  I just remember this being one of those happy series that I loved growing up, I still own some of the books and would love to reread them because  they’re just so darn cute!

Dealing with Dragons: Another series I loved as a kid, it was probably my first experience with books about dragons and it was seriously awesome! I own the series still and have got to reread them!

Obsidian, but really the entire Lux Series because the whole thing makes my heart happy: “holy alien babies,” the banter, Daemon Black, the story, Daemon Black. I am so in love with this series!! This one goes down in history for me.

The Premonition Series (Center picture): Yet another series in my top category, so intense, unique, and steamy!

Alice in Zombieland/Entire White Rabbit Chronicles : It’s just a wonderfully done series, that will always be special to me. I remember sneaking reading these books during high school and during work because I was so engrossed in them.

Throne of Glass (entire series): Just wow with these books, what a journey! This series is wild and is easily in my top 10. They are unlike anything you’ll ever read!

Harry Potter (Particularly book 7, but I smile through all of these): Harry Potter  literally made my childhood. I can’t imagine my life without it. I will probably be rereading these books til the day I die. And I look forward to reading it to my future kids some day.

The Host: This one just really stands out for me as a totally underrated book that I remember reading on two different occasions and being utterly in love with both times!

 

 

 

Book Review: The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

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Goodreads Summary:

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.


3 Star

My Review

I so hesitate putting up this review because I know I’m not going to be with the majority, but I was genuinely disappointed. I have seen The Raven Cycle series EVERYWHERE for years! I’ve had it on my TBR for a very long time, and I’ve had the book on my shelf for going on 3 years now I believe. I can definitely say that it was nothing like what I thought it would be.

I was genuinely excited to dive into The Raven Boys, because I loved Stiefvater’s Shiver series. I had heard some really good things about it for the most part too. The story follows characters Blue and the boys of Aglionby Academy as they set off on a hunt for the mysterious and supernatural.

Right off the bat, I noticed a third person POV that had a very distinct tone of voice encircling the story. It was eerie and elegant and I felt like the voice in my head reading it sounded so proper without me even realizing it lol. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t horrible, but I felt like it kept me from being able to truly connect with the characters. If it had been told in first person, I think it would have been more enjoyable.

I had a hard time connecting with Blue, Gansey and Adam because I just didn’t know how to feel about the romantic (or lack there of) implications between the three of them. It was never given a chance to play out in book one. In fact, it felt like book one was entirely a “setting the stage” book. As I reached the halfway mark, I realized that not a whole lot had really happened yet. And as I progressed to being 3/4 of the way done, I couldn’t help but feel the same way still. I will give it some credit though, in that it never felt dragged out. It was actually a quick read and flew by. There were even a few pretty good plot twists here and there. By the end of book one, I was left a ton of questions and not a whole lot of answers. I can only assume that’s what the rest of the books are there for.

Overall, I was expecting a lot more from what I know is a very popular series. I haven’t quite decided if I’ll give book two a shot yet. Let me know you’re thoughts and if you think it’s worth me continuing.

 

 

Cover Real: The Trouble with Wanting by Jillian Liota

Today I have the cover reveal for The Trouble with Wanting by Jillian Liota! Check out the gorgeous cover and be sure to pre-order your copy today!

Title: THE TROUBLE WITH WANTING

Author: Jillian Liota

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: July 20th

About The Trouble With Wanting:

Ruby Roberts is heading to Cedar Point to connect with the father who left her behind. Easy conversation with the handsome man sitting next to her isn’t what she’s expecting from her cross-country flight, but it’s not something she’s complaining about, that’s for sure.

Boyd Mitchell is flying home for some end-of-summer relaxation and time with his favorite people – his family. A talkative seat-mate that pulls him out of his shell is the last thing he wants, but he can’t seem to resist her charm.

When Boyd and Ruby end up in the same lakeside town, their banter and flirtation quickly become a steamy fling that leaves them both breathless. Neither of them are expecting to find a romance that has them both reconsidering everything they used to believe about love.

As their time in Cedar Point comes to an end, the two will have to decide whether they want their connection to turn into a real-world relationship, or whether wanting more is nothing but trouble.

Pre-Order Today:

Amazon

About Jillian Liota:

Jillian Liota is a new author writing contemporary romance and new adult fiction. She lives in Kailua, Hawaii with her amazing husband, 2 cats, and 3-legged pup.

She is the author of the new adult romance novel The Keeper, which focuses on a female college soccer goalie, as well as the follow up novella, Keep Away. Her newest release, Like You Mean It, is in the contemporary romance genre and has a more mature voice, as it follows a pregnant mother finding love in a new town. The next novel in the Like You Series, Like You Want It, will be published in Spring 2019

She has a master’s in Higher Education and Student Affairs, and she is passionate about all things improvement, development and organization.

She’s also a big fan of taking walks with her husband and dog Maia, reading romance (obviously), watching a handful of horrible reality TV shows, and exploring the island she calls home. Check out her Contact page for more information on how to connect.

Connect with Jillian:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Email

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Authors I’ve Read the Most Books By

This meme is hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. 

This week’s theme is Top Ten Authors I’ve Read the Most Books by. I don’t have a full ten again this weeks, whoops. I guess that means I need to step my game up when it comes to reading more books by authors I love. Since I’ve been obsessed with PicMonkey lately, I decided to switch up my format this week. JLA is by far my favorite of these, if you couldn’t tell lol! I’m currently reading From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout, and I’ve got books pre-ordered by JLA, Colleen Hoover, and Sarah J. Maas, so these lists will continue to grow.

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Jennifer L Armentrout on Goodreads 


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Colleen Hoover on Goodreads


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Sarah J. Maas on Goodreads


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Nicholas Sparks on Goodreads


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Gena Showalter on Goodreads

Review: The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Goodreads Summary:

A story about friendship, survival, and finding your voice.

Growing up, Mallory Dodge learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime. Now, after years of homeschooling, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at a public high school. But she never imagined she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day. 

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet soon it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory must make a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants and the truths that need to be heard.


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Favorite Quotes: 

“And it was knowing that I could still be…still be afraid of everything, but not letting that fear stop me from living.”

“Forever was something we all took for granted, but the problem with forever was that it really didn’t exist.”


My Review

This is one of only a handful of stand alones by JLA. My history with her stand alone novels has always been great so I’ve been super excited to dive into this one! I’ve had it on my Kindle for a few years now and finally was able to read it. And once again, I was not disappointed!

The story follows Mallory as she navigates public school for the first time. She’s had a morbid past involving abusive foster parents and after being adopted and going through the necessary steps, is finally ready to face the great unknown that is her senior year in high school. The last thing she expects is to run into someone from her past on day one: her only friend and great protector Rider.

I have to say, this story’s lead female character was unlike any JLA has ever written about before. Usually her books consist of strong-willed badass girls with a great sense of humor. Mallory is definitely not any of these. Honestly, it wouldn’t have fit the story nearly as well if she was. And it was totally realistic for someone with her particular past to not come out unscathed.

This book was a breath of fresh air in that it depicted the very real ways anxiety can affect your day to day life. It also showed how you never quite know what someone is going through. Most importantly, it demonstrates that your past can be let go and you can move forward from it stronger. Overall, it spoke to me, and I couldn’t help but share a few of the lines that gave me chills while reading (see above).

The Problem with Forever was a quick read with a sweet romance, difficult social concepts, and a teary eyed beautiful finish. I 100% recommend you read it, especially if you’re a JLA fan.

Buy on Amazon. 

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of 2020

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. 

I certainly don’t have 10 but oh well. I am so behind on the latest releases from the past three years. That kind of makes me happy though because it’s so much easier to not have to wait for the next book in a series to come out. So there’s a silver lining for ya!

Layla by Colleen Hoover (Releasing Dec 8, 2020): So this is her first paranormal romance book and I am SO excited!!! I have never not enjoyed one of her books and had to pre-order this one when I found out! Sad it doesn’t release til December though 😦

The Brightest Night (Origin #3) by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Releasing Oct 20, 2020): Another book I had to pre-order as soon as I was done with book two! I cannot wait to continue this awesome story!

We Were Restless Things by Cole Vagamatsu (Releasing Oct 6, 2020):  I actually was recently given an ARC on Netgalley for this one and plan to read it very very soon! The plot sounds awesome!