Review: People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry

Title: The People We Meet on Vacation
Author: Emily Henry
Page Count: 364 pages
Release Date: May 11, 2021
Publisher: Berkley Books

Synopsis: 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?


What I liked:
-The BANTER!
-The SARCASM!
-The SWOONS!
-Friends to Lovers. It is honestly NOT my favorite trope, but this book was really sweet! I think the distance between Poppy and Alex worked for me. 100% Alex worked for me. He was a great character.

What I didn’t like:
-The past summers were too choppy for me. At first I was trying to keep track of what order they were supposed to be in–does it even matter? Of course, the book wouldn’t be the same without it but I found it distracting.
-The love rants/confessions at the key points in the book were soooooo long. I listened to the audiobook at 1.4x speed and they dragged on, if I was reading the words with my eyes I think I would have been bored. Fortunately the voice actress for the book is great and I loved the reading but wow. Those paragraphs are long. 

In the end, I gave the book 4 stars and would recommend this to romance lovers with a taste for wanderlust. So tell me…

Are you a romance/romcom reader? What was your last romance read and did you enjoy it?

🎧 Book soundtrack: “Summer On You” by PRETTYMUCH

WWW Wednesday … 4/6/2022

Its been a while so I’d like to bring my blog up to speed with a WWW Wednesday post–a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words. I love this post and getting to update the 3 W’s:

The 3 W’s are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

~ The Currents

One thing that has gotten me into trouble over the past 6 months or so is starting books and not finishing them. I don’t know if this is my anxiety, my stress at home, or what the exact issue is but it is definitely an issue. I am trying to make it a goal to swing back around and finish “the unfinished” of the past 6 months to a year of my life. I just was at a point where I didn’t want books to end. I would start things, get to exciting or tense parts, and then stop. So books that I am actively reading and will soon finish are: Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé and The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould. Books I am about halfway through which I am resolving to finish soon now that I am in a better headspace: Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.

~ The Recents ~

My most recent finishes have been Fangirl, Vol. 1: The Manga which I loved. This was no surprise since I also loved the book. I thought the story and the characters came across just as well in the manga and Volume 2 is set to release May 10th! I also finished All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Hermann. This book–woo! It was dark magic and tournament games and forbidden romance and twisty mystery…I loved it. I went in not knowing there was going to be a sequel so I was pretty shocked at where the end left off but I can’t wait for book 2!

~ The Upcoming ~

This month I am doing some reads with the TBR and Beyond Book Club on Facebook. I picked up Only a Monster by Vanessa Len (note to self, this is book 1 in a planned trilogy!) as well as The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James. Also, Literally Dead Book Club is reading All Her Little Secrets by Wanda M. Morris. I also have a haul of library books to try to get through but we’ll see about those for now.

What are you currently reading? Have you read any of the books that I mentioned above?

Quarter 1 2022- Reading Summary

Hey, hi, hello! We are into April and its time to do a quarterly summary of reads so far! I set my reading goal relatively low for this year after being a little slow last year. However, so far this year I’m doing pretty well! That being said, I have plans to move this summer and we have a long way to go for 2022 so we’ll see. Now on to the books!

💻 Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson – 1/1/22 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
💻 The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson – 1/17/22 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️
🎧 People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry – 1/21/22 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
💻 The Deep by Nick Cutter – 1/31/22 – ⭐️⭐️
💻 Chef’s Kiss by Jarrett Melendez – 2/6/22 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
📖 Prince & Knight by Daniel Haack – 2/8/22 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
💻 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – 2/12/22 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
💻 Matcha Do About Murder by Eryn Scott – 2/19/22 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
📖 Drama by Raina Telgeleier – 2/27/22 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️
🎧 Meet Me in the Margins by Melissa Ferguson – 3/6/22 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
💻 Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys – 3/23/22 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
🎧 The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley – 3/27/22 – ⭐️⭐️
📖 All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman – 3/31/22 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I read 3 physical books, 7 ebooks, and listened to 3 audiobooks for a total of thirteen books in the first three months of the year. I am pretty happy with the mix of genres I have been reading and I hope to continue with this. I also plan to keep my stack of galleys in check, as well as trying to reading from my backlist!

How has your reading been going so far in 2022? Have you discovered any new favorites?

Review: House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

Title: House of Hollow
Author: Krystal Sutherland
Page Count: 304 pages
Release Date: April 26, 2021
Publisher: Penguin Teen

B&N | Amazon | Bookshop.org

House of Hollow was so beautifully and horrifyingly written. It has been a while since I have finished a book, but this one was incredibly captivating. I recommend this book for the characters and the chilling story. This was YA horror at its finest. Definitely read this if you’re craving a creepy YA standalone with modern, fairy tale vibes!

What have you read this month?

signature5c048f506de86

🎵 Book soundtrack: “Jenny of the Oldstones” by Florence + the Machine

Review: These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

36484081._sy475_Title: These Witches Don’t Burn
Author: Isabel Sterling
Page Count: 366
Release Date: May 28, 2019
Publisher: Razorbill

Amazon | B&N | Book Depository |

From reading the synopsis and looking at the cutesy illustrated cover, These Witches Don’t Burn sounded a bit like a cozy, YA paranormal F/F mystery. I was SO excited to read this book! Turned out to be just ‘ok’ in my opinion. Maybe I set the bar too high, maybe I should have read the actual book in stead of listening to the audiobook, who knows. Either way, let’s spill the tea.

Set in Salem, These Witches Don’t Burn follows an elemental witch named Hannah who is looking forward to spending her summer avoiding her ex-girlfriend–not! Veronica (the ex) is extremely toxic and is clearly not over Hannah. Things are bearable until signs of dark magic begin to surface around town. Juggling hangouts with friends, a new crush, her family, and her coven, Hannah’s story had its share of twists and turns. I have to say that Hannah was not my favorite main character ever but I really liked the side characters in the story. Hannah’s best friend Gemma was tide and true, and a new co-worker and friend named Cal who was pretty quirky also. As for the central mystery of the book (the “which witch is which?” if you will), there were maybe three or four different people who I suspected before I figured it out.

halanna-halila--AfRBlhuaHE-unsplash

What I disliked most about the book was that it felt choppy. In the beginning of the book, the author alluded to a situation that Veronica and Hannah encountered together in New York City several months ago. Honestly, is was referenced in such a way that I had to look up whether I was actually reading book 2 and I missed something in a different book that I should know about because this entire plot seemed to be building up around it! I also felt that for reading a book about witches in the title, there was a disappointing amount of magic. Magic is not really a hyped up thing in this book. Plus, as I mentioned, Hannah is an elemental witch and after reading this book, I still need to look up what an elemental witch really is! I mean, I sort of know, but it would have been fun to learn more, all things considered.

So that’s my take. I thought it was pretty light, I thought it was kind of fun, but I wanted more. Perhaps the sequel This Coven Won’t Break will be just what the doctor ordered? Either way, it was a good summer read and its worth a shot if you’re looking for something in this vein.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?

signature5c048f506de86

Book soundtrack: “Magic City Hippies” by Robby Hunter Band

Vacation TBR

I leave for vacay in 22 days. We have approximately 12 hours to drive–there and back–plus down time at our vacation rental. We are going to be gone for eight days and we’re calling this a “work-cation”! Four days work, four days off. I love this idea. I don’t want to be on a trip and constantly be on the go. I don’t need to sight-see and be out and about 24/7. Give me that porch and that backyard and the barefeet and I will take some relaxation!! I plan to fully live life in our cabin for my 8 hours of work and 16 hours of vacay! So anyway, about the books…

I am most looking for something that is A – light and fun. B – a paranormal element. Bonus points for witches. C – maybe a romance and/or contemporary. D – summery? question mark?? Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  • Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • The Hidden Power of F*cking Up by The Try Guys
  • City of Ghosts by V.E. Schwab
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
  • Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

So that’s what I’ve got. Do you have any vacations planned? What’s on your summer TBR? Do you have any recommendations for me? Hope you are enjoying your summer so far!

The Sunday Review: The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Title: The Ex Talk
Author: Rachel Lynn Solomon
Page Count: 358 pages paperback
Audiobook: 10 hrs, 52 min
Release Date: January 26, 2021
Publisher: Berkley

Shay is the daughter of a public talk radio legend but she is more comfortable behind the scenes, mainly because she is self-conscious of her voice (don’t we all kind of know that feeling?). Dominic is the new, young hotshot at the station who thinks he knows everything about the world of public radio. One day an announcement is made that the funding for public radio station she works for is being cut and Shay pitches a crazy idea for a new show – a show where ex’s give relationship advice. The station boss volunteers Shay and Dominic to host the show to play the exes….except they aren’t exes.

So what happens when they pose as exes? Can they work together and pull it off? Will their show be a public radio hit? And what happens when these so-called exes inevitably fall for one another?

I really, really, REALLY enjoyed this book! Now, it could be that the audio version gave it an extra boost. I don’t think I would have enjoyed reading a physical copy as much as I enjoyed listening to these characters sparring and yet longing for each other. It was also very refreshing to find a book with a main (male) character who is not a player and who is actually relatively inexperienced. Note – not not-confident, but just hasn’t slept around, isn’t deceptive or boastful about his “number,” etc. I’m glad I have listened to a bit of NPR in my lifetime–just enough to catch the nods to most of the radio personalities and enjoy it. Overall, I really enjoyed this fun, flirty read!

Have you read this book? Would you recommend it to your fellow readers?

Book Soundtrack: American Authors “Best Day Of My Life”

February 2021 Reads

Another month in the books. I don’t know what it is, friends, but I am in a little bit of a funk so far this year. I like to think we’re off on the right foot but my brain isn’t quite in the right place. *sigh* Oh well. At least I have my books to keep me company. So here is what I have been reading (and I have several in the queue right now):

January 2021 Reads

So I’m not going to lie, the entire time this pandemic has been going down, I have been quite calm and collected. I work from home and isolate and I have just rolled with the punches. But this month anxiety has just hit me. I’m not going to bring any drama here onto my blog but rather keep it brief and say I’m still here and reading just trying to keep it together and I hope you all are too.

Without further ado, here are my reads for January!

The Sunday Review: More Than Maybe by Erin Hahn

Title: More Than Maybe
Author: Erin Hahn
Page Count: 336 Hardcover
Release Date: July 21, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books

Synopsis: Growing up under his punk rocker dad’s spotlight, eighteen-year-old Luke Greenly knows fame and wants nothing to do with it. His real love isn’t in front of a crowd, it’s on the page. Hiding his gift and secretly hoarding songs in his bedroom at night, he prefers the anonymous comfort of the locally popular podcast he co-hosts with his outgoing and meddling, far-too-jealousy-inspiringly-happy-with-his-long-term-boyfriend twin brother, Cullen. But that’s not Luke’s only secret. He also has a major un-requited crush on music blogger, Vada Carsewell.

Vada’s got a five year plan: secure a job at the Loud Lizard to learn from local legend (and her mom’s boyfriend) Phil Josephs (check), take over Phil’s music blog (double check), get accepted into Berkeley’s prestigious music journalism program (check, check, check), manage Ann Arbor’s summer concert series and secure a Rolling Stone internship. Luke Greenly is most definitely NOT on the list. So what if his self-deprecating charm and out-of-this-world music knowledge makes her dizzy? Or his brother just released a bootleg recording of Luke singing about some mystery girl on their podcast and she really, really wishes it was her?

Review: I am so in love with this book! I knew when I first started reading it that I would like Luke because I connected with him as a fellow musician. As I read more, I connected personally with Vada as a music critic more and more. Both main characters were so passionate about music and their art, but yet didn’t fully know how to express themselves. However, when they meet each other and challenge themselves with a school project, they find that they truly bring out each other’s strengths–even as they are overcoming their own separate familial issues.

More Than Maybe was a book that I devoured. Erin Hahn throws out music references left and right and creates an amazing book soundtrack. I thought it was so great because really, this is life. I live off of playlists with my besties and my (now) hubby! Music defines us, and this book did a great job of bringing these characters right into my heart! I loved it and I highly recommend!

What’s a recent 5-star read that you recommend?

🎵 Book Soundtrack: Heavydirtysoul by Twenty One Pilots
Thank You by Led Zepplin
Mr. Jones by Counting Crows
Green Light by Lorde
and so many more….this is a music book, people!!! Get your headphones out!!!