Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur | Sapphic Pride & Prejudice Retelling That is All the Cuteness & Swoon

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Written in the Stars
Author: Alexandria Bellefleur
Release Date: November 10, 2020
Publisher: Avon
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
With nods to Bridget Jones and Pride and Prejudice, a charming #ownvoices queer rom-com debut about a free-spirited social media astrologer who agrees to fake a relationship with an uptight actuary until New Year’s Eve—with results not even the stars could predict!

After a disastrous blind date, Darcy Lowell is desperate to stop her well-meaning brother from playing matchmaker ever again. Love—and the inevitable heartbreak—is the last thing she wants. So she fibs and says her latest set up was a success. Darcy doesn’t expect her lie to bite her in the ass.

Elle Jones, one of the astrologers behind the popular Twitter account, Oh My Stars, dreams of finding her soul mate. But she knows it is most assuredly not Darcy… a no-nonsense stick-in-the-mud, who is way too analytical, punctual, and skeptical for someone as free-spirited as Elle. When Darcy’s brother—and Elle’s new business partner—expresses how happy he is that they hit it off, Elle is baffled. Was Darcy on the same date? Because… awkward.

When Darcy begs Elle to play along, she agrees to pretend they’re dating to save face. But with a few conditions: Darcy must help Elle navigate her own overbearing family over the holidays and their arrangement expires on New Year’s Eve. The last thing they expect is to develop real feelings during a fake relationship.

But maybe opposites can attract when true love is written in the stars?
One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Told from the perspectives of Elle and Darcy, WRITTEN IN THE STARS is all heart and swoon. It’s also the first contemporary adult f/f romance I’ve ever read (usually the ones I read are in the Young Adult or Fantasy genre), and I am HERE for it. Who else can see Elle and Darcy in a romantic comedy? WRITTEN IN THE STARS takes us back to the beloved tale of Pride & Prejudice with some extra additions: our outwardly cold Darcy is an actuary who gives off hot librarian energy and our quick-to-speak Elle is an energetic astrologer who’s looking for her soulmate. They both end up disliking their blind date (with each other), but continue with a fake relationship to appease friends and family. What can I say? Sparks fly from the very beginning, and the chemistry is THERE. Now, the characters just need to get their feelings to that spot as well. 

Not that Elle cared about Darcy’s eyes or that the color she wore complemented them. It was a passing observation, that was all. The sky was blue. The grass was green. Darcy was beautiful. Universally acknowledged truths.

Continue reading “Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur | Sapphic Pride & Prejudice Retelling That is All the Cuteness & Swoon”

Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett Review | Chasing That YA Contemporary Magic

52386214. sx318 sy475 Chasing Lucky
Author: Jenn Bennett
Release Date: November 10, 2020
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Budding photographer Josie Saint-Martin has spent half her life with her single mother, moving from city to city. When they return to her historical New England hometown years later to run the family bookstore, Josie knows it’s not forever. Her dreams are on the opposite coast, and she has a plan to get there.

What she doesn’t plan for is a run-in with the town bad boy, Lucky Karras. Outsider, rebel…and her former childhood best friend. Lucky makes it clear he wants nothing to do with the newly returned Josie. But everything changes after a disastrous pool party, and a poorly executed act of revenge lands Josie in some big-time trouble—with Lucky unexpectedly taking the blame.

Determined to understand why Lucky was so quick to cover for her, Josie discovers that both of them have changed, and that the good boy she once knew now has a dark sense of humor and a smile that makes her heart race. And maybe, just maybe, he’s not quite the brooding bad boy everyone thinks he is…

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Check out my review on GoodReads over here!

Usually I adore anything and everything Jenn Bennett writes, but SAVING LUCKY felt like a weaker version of her usual works. While it maintains the nostalgic, carefree summer high school slice-of-life and romance aspect, I left like there was MORE that could have been done with the characters. Perhaps the fact that the end didn’t feel quite conclusive also added to this feeling. And while I don’t expect coming of age stories to be conclusive, (after all, characters have their whole lives ahead of them) I still felt like something was missing in the story. And that the details we were reading were all a part of a contemporary romance formula. Continue reading “Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett Review | Chasing That YA Contemporary Magic”

You Lucky Dog by Julia London Review | Aww Talk About That Puppy Love

You Lucky Dog
Author: Julia London
Release Date: August 25, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

An accidental dog swap unleashes an unexpected love match in this new romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Julia London.

Carly Kennedy’s life is in a spiral. She is drowning in work, her divorced parents are going through their midlife crises, and somehow Carly’s sister convinces her to foster Baxter–a basset hound rescue with a bad case of the blues. When Carly comes home late from work one day to discover that the dog walker has accidentally switched out Baxter for another perkier, friendlier basset hound, she has reached the end of her leash.

When Max Sheffington finds a depressed male basset hound in place of his cheerful Hazel, he is bewildered. But when cute, fiery Carly arrives on his doorstep, he is intrigued. He was expecting the dog walker, not a pretty woman with firm ideas about dog discipline. And Carly was not expecting a handsome, bespectacled man to be feeding her dog mac and cheese. Baxter is besotted with Hazel, and Carly realizes she may have found the key to her puppy’s happiness. For his sake, she starts to spend more time with Hazel and Max, until she begins to understand the appeal of falling for your polar opposite.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Check out my review on GoodReads over here!

“Forget the chemical reaction – was this love, that thing that pushed all rational thought aside and drove men to do things they might never do? Was it love that made this feel momentous and slightly desperate and unworldly? It wasn’t just corporeal – it was more transcendent than that. It was wird, this thing called love – you didn’t see it, you didn’t hear it, but suddenly, you were there.”

YOU LUCKY DOG has an adorable premise, lovable characters, and a fun family subplot. There was something about it, though, that was lacking the magic. Maybe it was passion between the main characters? They were both level-headed, and the romance a smooth development. I don’t know why, but I just felt a disconnect between their relationship development and the eventual “I-love-you’s.” Nevertheless, the premise sets it up to be a light-hearted and sweet romantic read that’s perfect for a summer day. Continue reading “You Lucky Dog by Julia London Review | Aww Talk About That Puppy Love”

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon Review | Featuring The Best Moments Of High School

52766407. sx318 sy475 Today Tonight Tomorrow
Author: Rachel Lynn Solomon
Release Date: July 14, 2020
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

The Hating Game meets Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by way of Morgan Matson in this unforgettable romantic comedy about two rival overachievers whose relationship completely transforms over the course of twenty-four hours.

Today, she hates him.

It’s the last day of senior year. Rowan Roth and Neil McNair have been bitter rivals for all of high school, clashing on test scores, student council elections, and even gym class pull-up contests. While Rowan, who secretly wants to write romance novels, is anxious about the future, she’d love to beat her infuriating nemesis one last time.

Tonight, she puts up with him.

When Neil is named valedictorian, Rowan has only one chance at victory: Howl, a senior class game that takes them all over Seattle, a farewell tour of the city she loves. But after learning a group of seniors is out to get them, she and Neil reluctantly decide to team up until they’re the last players left—and then they’ll destroy each other.

As Rowan spends more time with Neil, she realizes he’s much more than the awkward linguistics nerd she’s sparred with for the past four years. And, perhaps, this boy she claims to despise might actually be the boy of her dreams.

Tomorrow…maybe she’s already fallen for him.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Check out my review on GoodReads over here!

TODAY TONIGHT TOMORROW was super sweet, uplifting, and all that I want in my YA contemporary books! With a lovely romance and spectacular relationship development, it really hit my heart and stayed there.

“We’ve compared test scores and GPAs and clashes on everything from school projects to gym-class pull-up contests. We can’t seem to stop trying to one-up each other… until now.
After graduation this weekend, I’ll never have to see him again. No more morning texts, no more sleepless nights.
I am almost free.” Continue reading “Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon Review | Featuring The Best Moments Of High School”

The Royal Runaway by Lindsay Emory Review | Patronizing Heroes Need to S t o p

38532225The Royal Runaway
Author: Lindsay Emory
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Publisher: Gallery Books
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

For fans of The Princess Diaries and The Royal We comes a fun and daring novel about a modern-day princess who teams up with a spy to find out what happened to the fiancé who left her at the altar—and who just might get her own fairytale in the process.Princess Theodora Isabella Victoria of Drieden of the Royal House Laurent is so over this princess thing.

After her fiancé jilted her on their wedding day, she’s finally back home after spending four months in exile—aka it’s back to press conferences, public appearances, and putting on a show for the Driedish nation as the perfect princess they expect her to be. But Thea’s sick of duty. After all, that’s what got her into this mess in the first place.

So when she sneaks out of the palace and meets a sexy Scot named Nick in a local bar, she relishes the chance to be a normal woman for a change. But just as she thinks she’s found her Prince Charming for the night, he reveals his intentions are less than honorable: he’s the brother of her former fiancé, a British spy, and he’s not above blackmail. As Thea reluctantly joins forces with Nick to find out what happened the day her fiancé disappeared, together they discover a secret that could destroy a centuries-old monarchy and change life as they know it.

Funny, fast-paced, and full of more twists and turns than the castle Thea lives in, The Royal Runaway is a fresh romantic comedy that will leave you cheering for the modern-day royal who chucks the rulebook aside to create her own happily-ever-after.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

To give you a clue on how I felt about this book, The Royal Runaway ruined my post-Royal Wedding haze. Yes, the Royal Wedding that happened less than a week ago (per writing this review) for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle that I couldn’t escape from social media, and subsequently ended up enjoying. I really wanted to like this book – I really did. There’s a super cute cover, a tight and engaging premise, and in general just sounded like a fun ride. Instead, I get lackluster chemistry, lackluster character development, and a cardboard love interest. Around the 50% mark, I was looking at the time to see how fast I could finish it. The answer? Not fast enough.

Continue reading “The Royal Runaway by Lindsay Emory Review | Patronizing Heroes Need to S t o p”

ARC Review: My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

22524101My So-Called Bollywood Life
Author: Nisha Sharma
Release Date: May 15, 2018
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

The romance of Stephanie Perkins meets the quirk of Maureen Johnson, then gets a Bollywood twist in this fate-filled debut that takes the future into its own hands.

Winnie Mehta was never really convinced that Raj was her soul mate, but their love was written in the stars. Literally, a pandit predicted Winnie would find the love of her life before her eighteenth birthday, and Raj meets all the qualifications. Which is why Winnie is shocked when she returns from her summer at film camp to find her boyfriend of three years hooking up with Jenny Dickens. As a self-proclaimed Bollywood expert, Winnie knows this is not how her perfect ending is scripted.

Then there’s Dev, a fellow film geek and one of the few people Winnie can count on. Dev is smart and charming, and he challenges Winnie to look beyond her horoscope and find someone she’d pick for herself. But does falling for Dev mean giving up on her prophecy and her chance to live happily ever after? To find her perfect ending, Winnie will need a little bit of help from fate, family, and of course, a Bollywood movie star.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

OH. MY. GOD. This book was absolutely STUNNING. Let me give you five reasons on why I’m rating this book five stars:

Preface: I know for a fact that some readers are going to say “This book had too much drama” or “This book was predictable” or “These characters were immature” or along those lines. The drama part is true, so come into the book with that expectation in mind. My main point is that this is a total rom-com, and thus, romance is a focal point to this book (as well as hella character development). What can I say? I’m weak for fluffy romantic comedies. ESPECIALLY when they feature marginalized characters. Continue reading “ARC Review: My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma”

Blog Tour: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett Review (With the Help of Emojis!) + Giveaway

Hello everyone!

I’m incredibly excited to be on this blog tour for Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett. I’ve been following all her YA contemporary novels, and they have ALL been a hit. She’s definitely one author that you can’t miss out on! Starry Eyes brings two characters to life that you’re going to absolutely fall in love with, just like I did. There’s camping, survival skills, the cutest banter, and wonderful exploration of family dynamics. Let’s get this party started!


35297469Starry Eyes
Author: Jenn Bennett
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Get it Here:Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Kobo | Indiebound | iBooks

Synopsis:

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their fami-lies are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safe-ty. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection sur-vive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Suchhhh a good YA contemporary read. Perfect for the summer: that comfortable time in-between semesters where teens have that sense of freedom and independence. Jenn Bennett always writes hit contemporaries, and Starry Eyes was no exception. There were excellent, down-to-earth characters, the most wholesome romance, and an adventurous setting. There was a bit more drama than her past books, but the atmosphere of the book overall remained light and sweet. Here are some reasons, with the help of emojis, that explain why I recommend this book. Continue reading “Blog Tour: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett Review (With the Help of Emojis!) + Giveaway”

Book Review: Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry

35133826Say You’ll Remember Me
Author: Katie McGarry
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
When Drix was convicted of a crime–one he didn’t commit–he thought his life was over. But opportunity came with the new Second Chance Program, the governor’s newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Drix knows this is his chance to get his life back on track, even if it means being paraded in front of reporters for a while.Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor’s daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. But the expectations and pressure to be someone she isn’t may be too much to handle. She wants to follow her own path, whatever that means.

When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle’s parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix’s messy life.

But sometimes love can breach all barriers.

Fighting against a society that can’t imagine them together, Drix and Elle must push themselves–Drix to confront the truth of the robbery, and Elle to assert her independence–and each other to finally get what they deserve.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I was in the mood for a feel-good contemporary Young Adult book, and Say You’ll Remember Me hit all the right spots. There’s a forbidden romance that has some insta-attraction, amazing character growth, and the exploration of familial dynamics from two vastly different point of views. I’ve only read one other book by McGarry, but so far they’ve both been successful, and I can’t wait to see what she writes next. Continue reading “Book Review: Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry”

ARC Review: American Panda by Gloria Chao

35297380American Panda
Author: Gloria Chao
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

An incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her squeamishness with germs and crush on a Japanese classmate.At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth–that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

“‘Sometimes I’m so proud to be Chinese, and other times I resent it so much. The obligations. Duty to family. Xiàoshùn.’”

And with that line, American Panda understood me in a way no book has before.

I’m making all my Chinese-American friends (both who read and who don’t) to preorder this book because it is exceptional. Although we only see the experience of a Chinese-American through the lense of one teenage girl, I believe there is something – whether it is stinky tofu, matchmaking, or dreams of being a doctor – that a Chinese-American teen can relate to in Mei’s story. American Panda is superbly written, with hilarious dialogue and equally witty inner monologues of Mei, a seventeen-year old who is college-bound to MIT. She’s intelligent and checks off all the boxes for Obedient Taiwanese Teen™. She’s on the premed track and meets her parents once a week (if not more) at Chow Chow, a restaurant they frequently eat at. She’s shy. She’s the child that her parents are piling their dreams on after they disowned her brother. But at this turn of her life, Mei is experiencing an internal conflict that continues to grow as she meets new people and experiences new things in college. Continue reading “ARC Review: American Panda by Gloria Chao”

ARC Review: The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

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33815781The Wedding Date
Author: Jasmine Guillory
Release Date: January 30, 2018
Publisher: Berkley
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend…

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other…

They’re just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century–or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want…

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I adored The Wedding Date and highly recommend it for contemporary readers who like a sweet and heartwarming story of two passionate people who meet each other in the oddest circumstance and find love through it. Alexa was a woman of my heart; she’s confident in her work environment and does her job well, but her love life wasn’t really going anywhere. Drew is the kind of guy to date a girl and break it off with her just when things were going well. They have instant chemistry and find themselves drawn towards the other, despite living across the state of California. Continue reading “ARC Review: The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory”