The Plus One by Sophia Money-Coutts

Publication Date: August 9, 2018
Publisher: HQ Books
Rating: ★★

The Plus One [n] informal a person who accompanies an invited person to a wedding or a reminder of being single, alone and absolutely plus none

Polly’s not looking for ‘the one’, just the plus one
Polly Spencer is fine. She’s single, turning thirty and only managed to have sex twice last year (both times with a Swedish banker called Fred), but seriously, she’s fine. Even if she’s still stuck at Posh! magazine writing about royal babies and the chances of finding a plus one to her best friend’s summer wedding are looking worryingly slim.

But it’s a New Year, a new leaf and all that. Polly’s determined that over the next 365 days she’ll remember to shave her legs, drink less wine and generally get her s**t together. Her latest piece is on the infamous Jasper, Marquess of Milton, undoubtedly neither a plus one nor ‘the one’. She’s heard the stories, there’s no way she’ll succumb to his charms…

Review:

Thank you to Edelweiss+ and Sophia Money-Coutts for a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

I am one that loves romance, fluff, happy-endings and every possible romance plot that a book could have. I’ve read enough of them to know what makes a good one and one that doesn’t fit in my idea of a good one. This, unfortunately, is one of those circumstances.

I will start off by saying that there were some lines in this that were absolute zingers. These one-liners had me laughing out loud sometimes. However, with a lack of pace, this was the only thing I really could enjoy in this novel.

I couldn’t really enjoy Polly, the main character. Every time I thought that I’d make a connection with her, it was squashed by something she said or did. I struggled through her story because there was barely any development and sometimes she was just plain awkward. Also, the writing was a little different as the author is British and has a lot of different terms than I do (which is not always bad, but particularly this book was pretty British).

The word that I would use to describe this book would be forgettable. I don’t like using that word personally, but it’s really ringing true with this book. There was nothing in this book that made a lasting impression on me unfortunately. This was very fluffy, so if you like fluff and British books with a bit of humor, this might be for you!

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

Publication Date: January 29, 2019
Publisher: William Morrow Books
Rating: ★★★

Crush: a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach…

Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty—ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough.

When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade.

Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that’s inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying—and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.

Review: 

I am honestly shocked.

When I read The Hating Game, I was so in love with the writing, characters and just overall premise that I gave it an easy five stars. When I read about 99 Percent Mine, it sounded like something that I would enjoy. It sat on my TBR until I finally caved and picked it up. I didn’t want to look at reviews or ratings because I didn’t want to expect highly of this book compared to the Hating Game. Of course, it’s Sally Thorne, I wanted to love this book. Unfortunately, I didn’t.

There was something missing from this book. I love me a slow burn, but this was like outrageously slow. I kept reading… and reading… and then BAM! finally something happened. Then, I got pretty interested to see where it would go. I was going out-of-my-MIND to see that I was already at the end of the book. It’s not a surprise that you can gather what is going to happen in this book from the synopsis or even the first few chapters. However, things could’ve happened sooner to make this more enjoyable.

I did really enjoy the details and angsty feelings that I got after this book took a turning point. I was actually waiting and flipping through these pages to get to the end to see what was going to happen. I like when a book can do that for me! It makes a higher rating in my book, to be honest.

Overall, 99 Percent Mine just proved to me that you can’t compare books by the author. Every single author has these moments. It also proved to me that Sally Thorne is a fantastic writer and definitely can still grab my attention, no matter what point in the book I’m at. I would still recommend this book to those who like chick-lit/dramedy novels.

June 2019 Reads

Number of Books Read: 19
Avg. Rating of the 19 books: 4.2/5

  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
  • Smut by Karina Halle
  • Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
  • Please Send Help (I Hate Everything About You #2) by Gaby Dunn, Allison Raskin
  • The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll
  • Drops of Rain (Hale Brothers #1) by Kathryn Andrews
  • Starless Nights (Hale Brothers #2) by Kathryn Andrews
  • Unforgettable Sun (Hale Brothers #3) by Kathryn Andrews
  • Lessons in Love by Belinda Missen
  • Gimme Some Sugar (Sex and Sweet Tea #5) by Juliette Poe
  • Hangry by Lily Kate
  • The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda
  • Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey
  • My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
  • Summer by the Tides by Denise Hunter
  • Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
  • After (After #1) by Anna Todd
  • After We Collided (After #2) by Anna Todd
  • Fake Like Me by Barbara Bourland

Five-Star Rating:

  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
  • Drops of Rain (Hale Brothers #1) by Kathryn Andrews
  • Starless Nights (Hale Brothers #2) by Kathryn Andrews
  • Unforgettable Sun (Hale Brothers #3) by Kathryn Andrews
    • This series was AMAZING!!!
  • Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey
  • My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren
  • Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

 

7/19 were five star reads! I would stop what you’re doing and read these seven immediately!! Here’s to hoping July is as full of five-stars as June was!

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda

Publication Date: June 18, 2019
Publisher: Corvus
Rating: ★★★

Littleport, Maine is like two separate towns: a vacation paradise for wealthy holidaymakers and a simple harbour community for the residents who serve them. Friendships between locals and visitors are unheard of – but that’s just what happened with Avery Greer and Sadie Loman.

Each summer for a decade the girls are inseparable – until Sadie is found dead. When the police rule the death a suicide, Avery can’t help but feel there are those in the community, including a local detective and Sadie’s brother Parker, who blame her. Someone knows more than they’re saying, and Avery is intent on clearing her name before the facts get twisted against her.

Review:

“This town convinces you’re better than you really are.” 

When I first read All the Missing Girls, I made it a point to get my hands on the next Megan Miranda novel to hit the bookshelves. It was so interesting and a completely different concept than what I have read before. I read The Perfect Stranger and I felt like it lacked the necessary oomph to make it into a fast-paced mystery. Again, unfortunately, I struggled with the newest Megan Miranda novel.

Just like the beginning of The Perfect Stranger, this book had so much promise of being a book that kept my attention. I was very interested in the plot and it seemed very suspicious/spooky/made you think. However, as I went on, I struggled with every page that I turned. Sometimes, I found myself saying, “I’m only how far along?!”

In my opinion, I think this novel would’ve been a real page-turner if there was some sort of development. There was no development in really any of the characters, not even the main character, Avery. It was a tale of something happened a little while ago and now that time has passed, we resurface everything and try to find new conclusions. If the storytelling was a little better and there was something bigger behind this story, it would’ve easily been a five-star novel.

I think that Megan Miranda had all of the necessary things she needed in this book, but just did not execute them properly. The foundation to have a five-star novel was there for me for sure. However, with a less-than-appealing development throughout the story, I had a really hard time.

Lessons in Love by Belinda Missen

Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Publisher: HQ Digital
Rating: ★★★★

Falling in love is never easy…

Eleanor Manning is finally leaving behind her glittering but empty life in the city (and her soon-to-be-ex-husband) to return to the comfort of her childhood home in Apollo Bay.

She’s landed a lovely new job in her old primary school library and a flatshare with her bubbly best friend, Penny. So yes, she’s well and truly learnt her lesson when it comes to love…

But then she meets gorgeous teacher Marcus Blair and Eleanor’s self-imposed rules fly out of the window! Surely she can resist him long enough to keep this fling no strings attached?

Perfect for fans of Carole Mathews, Mhairi McFarlane and Carrie Hope Fletcher.

Review:
Thank you to Belinda Missen, HQ Digital and NetGalley for a copy of Lessons in Love in exchange for an honest review.

“Why don’t you, you know, stand up for yourself?” 

This was my first Belinda Missen novel, but surely not my last! She had a wonderful way of writing that had me swooning and laughing out loud. Also, the drama !!! had !!! me !!! going !!! crazy !!! The thing I liked the most about this book was the empowerment aspect as well as the plot as it is not really heard of.

Eleanor Manning moved after leaving her husband who cheated on her with her best friend. She moved in with her cousin to get a fresh start. She gets a job as a librarian at her childhood school and is ready to get things done. Here is where we cue *man enters and swooning commences*.

Eleanor and Marcus’ connection is unmistakable and the author really made sure of that. Their banter, insults and overall cuteness makes their connection evident. However, when she starts to see her ex-husband in him, she shies away, which is expected.

The only thing I had issues with in this book was how long it took for things to happen. Of course, I love a slow burn and when angsty things happen. However, I felt like I was already closer to the end of the book before things started to resolve itself. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just wish it happened a little bit sooner.

Overall, I definitely will read Belinda’s other books. They are cute, fun, and laugh-out-loud funny. This is for sure a winning novel on my list.

Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Publisher: HarperCollins Leadership
Rating: ★★★★

“I believe we can change the world. But first, we’ve got to stop living in fear of being judged for who we are.”

Rachel Hollis has seen it too often: women not living into their full potential. They feel a tugging on their hearts for something more, but they’re afraid of embarrassment, of falling short of perfection, of not being enough.

In Girl, Stop Apologizing, #1 New York Times bestselling author and founder of a multimillion-dollar media company, Rachel Hollis sounds a wake-up call. She knows that many women have been taught to define themselves in light of other people—whether as wife, mother, daughter, or employee—instead of learning how to own who they are and what they want. With a challenge to women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams, Hollis identifies the excuses to let go of, the behaviors to adopt, and the skills to acquire on the path to growth, confidence, and believing in yourself.

Review:

“Grown women don’t need to ask permission.”

Rachel Hollis came out with Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be and I immediately got my hands on it. I was so in love with her positivity that when Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals was announced, I knew that I had to go for it.

There is something about the way that Rachel Hollis speaks. I listened to both of her books as an audiobook which were narrated by her. She speaks to your soul and there’s no doubt about it.

There were some things in Girl, Stop Apologizing that I loved, but also that I wasn’t a fan of. Some of these things range from self-love to bragging about her life (which I get, but it sometimes felt overdone).

I loved the fact that Rachel really discussed appreciation and support of others. Something that I always have struggled with is disappointment when it comes to people’s support/appreciation of me.

“Are you a shadow of who you’re meant to be because someone in your life doesn’t fully appreciate you?”

This quote especially resonated with me and it felt like she was speaking just to me. Letting yourself change and be in the shadows because of who supports/appreciates you is stupid and Rachel really lets you know it.

Now, to the thing I didn’t like. Rachel Hollis is a wealthy woman. We all know that. She is married to a wealthy man. That is also known. In her debut novel, we got to really see her life and what happened while she was growing up, getting married, becoming a mom, etc. In this book, I feel like there were many times where she discussed things relating to being rich and it made it unrelatable for me.

Girl, Stop Apologizing was not as good as her debut novel, but I really did love a lot of the content that Rachel Hollis discussed. In her next book, I hope she focuses more on motivational and spiritual things instead of her not-so-subtle gloating in her books.

Please Send Help by Gaby Dunn & Allison Raskin

Publication Date: July 16, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Rating: ★★★

In this hilarious follow-up novel to the New York Times bestseller I Hate Everyone But You, long distance best friends Ava and Gen have finally made it to the same time zone (although they’re still over a thousand miles apart).

Through their hilarious, sometimes emotional, but always relatable conversations, Ava and Gen are each other’s support systems through internships, relationship troubles, questionable roommates, undercover reporting, and whether or not it’s a good idea to take in a feral cat. Please Send Help perfectly captures the voice of young adults looking to find their place in the world and how no matter how desperate things seem, you always have your best friend to tell it like it is and pick you back up.

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Gaby Dunn, Allison Raskin, and Wednesday Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

“Every day IS a day. Wow. Is this my next tattoo?”

Please Send Help is the second book of the I Hate Everyone But You Series by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin. These two ladies sure do know how to make you laugh.

Something that I loved about I Hate Everyone But You was that it was funny. Some of the stuff that was said in this one had me laughing out loud. It was a pretty unfortunate situation, but lead to hilarious quotes like this:

“I’m honestly not sure where to begin here. You know how there are certain moments and experiences that really stay with you forever? I REALLY hope today was not one of them.”

Their wit and sarcasm displayed throughout this book is A+. I feel like Gaby and Allison had to just be actually responding to each other and that’s how they are in real life.

There were a few things that I wasn’t so sure of in this sequel. I feel like in the first book, I was able to connect with the characters because we learned about them over their exchange of emails and instant messages. In this one, some time has passed, but I feel like there were some misleading signs of development.

Also, something in this book that was not shown in the first, there were a lot of manipulative tendencies throughout the characters. I know many people who fancy that in a book, however, I am not one of them. I understand that it’s a young adult novel, and they are …young …adults, but I feel like these problems were for sure older than they were.

I would definitely recommend reading this sequel if you read the first one. I feel like you could also read this book as a standalone, there’s not much that you miss.

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Publication Date: May 14, 2019
Publisher: Gallery Books
Rating: ★★★★★

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Christina Lauren, & Gallery Books for a free copy of The Unhoneymooners in exchange for an honest review!

The Unhoneymooners was my third Christina Lauren book that I have read. After finishing this new release, I can surely say that the dynamic duo of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings is becoming one of my favorite authors. My favorite things in all of the books I’ve read by them is the fact that they write love so well. Do not wait to read this one.

It doesn’t take me much to connect with a character. Usually, it’s right from the first few sentences whether I know if I am going to enjoy the characters or not. From the first minute, Olive was a character I connected with. Her attitude and her love of food (I really associate with this) is something that I really enjoyed throughout the entire novel. Also, something else I really love throughout a book is character development. I feel like Olive was the queen of character development. Every different thing that happened in this book, she took differently and it was really refreshing to see the maturity come to life.

I read a ton of romance novels, and one of my favorite themes is enemies to lovers. I feel like this might be in my top 5 of enemies to lovers. The resentment and comments between both Olive and Ethan were hilarious and feisty. From calling each other different names to just being overall spunky, these two had a undeniable connection. I’ve read a ton of enemies to lovers novels and it’s true for me to say that Ethan and Olive’s connection was one of the best I’ve ever read.

Something I absolutely adore about enemies to lover novels is I know what is going to happen. Some might find that uninteresting to keep reading the same plot, however, I know that in my heart that every single book with this plot is different. Is there angst? Is it a quick realization? Is it a slow burn? Is it their friends that show them that their good together or do they figure it out on their own? Those are only some of the possibilities. Christina Lauren really hit the nail on the head. I feel like everything I just listed was in The Unhoneymooners. It was the perfect amount of everything rolled into one perfect book.

Overall, I am ecstatic that I read this quickly and within the first month of the publication date. I love the fact that I can tell everyone about this book and to read it as soon as possible. I felt every part of this book from start to finish, and I believe that each part was so perfectly detailed to where I felt every emotion. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up right away.

We All Fall Down by Natalie D. Richards

Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Rating: ★★★★

“Theo’s always been impulsive. But telling Paige how he feels? He’s obsessed over that decision. And it’s time. Tonight. At the party on the riverbank, under the old walking bridge, site of so many tales of love and death.

Paige has had a crush on Theo since they first met, but she knows her feelings are one-sided. She’s trying to move on, to flirt. A party at the river is just what she needs. Except a fight breaks out, and when Paige tries to intervene–Theo’s fist lands in her face.

All Theo and Paige want to do is forget that fateful night. But strange events keep drawing them back to the bridge. Someone, something is determined to make them remember…and pay for what they each did.”

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley & Sourcefire Books for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

We All Fall Down was a pretty interesting young adult novel. I definitely had my attention grabbed from the beginning. I love the unrequited love, especially if the characters don’t know if it’s unrequited. It’s all a slow burn, and it grabs my attention every time.

I think this book had five star potential. I really liked the development and how their troubled pasts really shaped how this book turned out. I was pretty curious on how it would be when I reached towards the end. However, I think that this book lost me a couple of times which is why I gave it four stars. There were times where I had to stop and go back and think “huh”. Books like this generally intrigue me, but with this one, I didn’t totally understand one-hundred percent.

I really liked the concept of how this book was towards the end. It was a question of: is this a paranormal story or what’s even going on here? I loved that it was making me think in ways that a book hasn’t made me think in a while.

I’m excited to read Natalie D. Richard’s other books now. This was my first novel by her, but for sure not my last!