Review: The Fashion Intruder

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Click here to purchase the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

I was so excited to read this because it was about a transactional lawyer who leaves the legal world for the fashion world. As a law student who loves fashion, this book was right up my alley!

The book started off a bit messy. There were a lot of little one or two paragraphs from other characters’ viewpoints which made the book a little confusing in the beginning since I had no idea who they were. But once the book and the story got going, it all became much clearer.

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I loved how the book showcased the intricacies of the fashion world and all the politics that go into it. The fashion world is definitely tough and this book showed that.

I also enjoyed the jet-setting atmosphere. The main character was always traveling somewhere glamorous. As an American, I envy how easy it is to travel from one country to another in Europe. 

There was a reference to Lana Del Rey that I just have to mention because it was just so perfect. The novel states, “Although Sofia could swear she’d put her phone on silent, she suddenly heard the loud sound of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Salvatore’” (156). That song was so perfect for the character since she’s Italian and “Salvatore” is such a dreamy song that makes you wish you were in Italy.

Overall, this was a fun look into the European fashion world. It’s has a The Devil Wears Prada vibe but set in Europe. 

What Lara Jean means to me

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It’s been a few months since To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before hit Netflix and I’m still in love with it. I’ve probably seen it at least 10 times (I watch it about once a week). I’m currently listening to the soundtrack while writing this blog post.

I’ve never felt this way about a character before. I remember when I first read the book back in January of 2016. It was the first time I read a book and was like So this is what representation feels like. Lara Jean is half Korean and half white. I am half Filipino and half white. To see and read about a character that was also half and half, was life changing. I related to so many little aspects of Lara Jean’s life. Like the fact that we both hate driving (fun fact: I still do).

I remember people had criticisms about Lara Jean and said that she was “childish.” I never thought that because she was totally me in high school. Being more “innocent” is not a bad thing. I personally think it’s kind of an Asian girl thing. I think a lot (but obviously not all) Asian girls are a bit more innocent than other girls and that is totally okay. I love that Lara Jean normalizes this innocence.

I read the sequel immediately afterwards and fell in love with Lara Jean even more. The third book came out when I was a Senior in college and I didn’t want the book to end because I didn’t want to leave Lara Jean and her story. I was too attached.

Then I got into law school and the weekend before school started, the movie came out on Netflix and took Lara Jean to a whole new level. I loved Lara Jean in the books, but movie Lara Jean was exactly what I needed.

It was crazy to see an Asian American female lead character in a movie. And not just any movie, a movie that everyone was obsessed with. My heart swelled with Asian pride. Who would have thought that Lara Jean would have this kind of impact?

As much as I related to book Lara Jean, movie Lara Jean is literally me right now. And that is what makes her so special to me.

Lara Jean gives me hope. Hope that the shy Asian girl can get the hot guy. That Asian girls are not invisible. That we can get our own Peter Kavinsky. That we don’t need to be like every other white female lead in a rom-com. We are enough just the way we are. And that is the most powerful thing of all.

Just think about it. When have you ever seen a female lead like her?

Lara Jean inspired me this semester and is literally the reason why I’m getting through law school okay. I will often ask myself, What would Lara Jean do?, whenever I find myself in an awkward situation. I even had a crush on a gorgeous boy this semester and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it, but I wrote him a letter (that I never ended up giving to him and never will because he dropped out of school).

Flashback to just last week on Halloween. Nobody in my section dressed up at school except for me and this one other Asian girl. And guess who we were? Lara Jean. I was wearing her airport outfit and she was wearing LJ’s party outfit. Another Asian girl (who first saw my outfit on my Instagram) commented on how much she loved my dressing up as LJ. Crazy what the power of representation can do. Lara Jean was just the second Asian character I have been for Halloween (the first being Mulan). I haven’t dressed up for Halloween in years (the last time was in 5th grade when I was a pirate) but I just had to because I finally had someone worth being.

Basically, Lara Jean is so important to me because she represents so much. She empowers and inspires us Asian girls. Thank you Jenny Han for creating her and sharing her with the world.

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Ponytail. Check. Sunglasses on top of head. Check. Necklace. Check. Striped sweater. Check. Skirt with buttons. Check. Too many feelings. Double check. Let’s do this.

Review: The Proposal

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Click the picture to purchase the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher (Berkley Books) in exchange for an honest review. 

Please note that I have not read The Wedding Date, so all the characters in this book were brand new to me. I also cannot speak to how this book compares with that book. 

It took me forever to read this book because I just started law school, but this was such a fun romance! 

First off, I loved the diversity! The main character is black. One of her friends is a plus sized Korean American. The other is a black lesbian. The love interest is Latino. It was just so refreshing to see and read about, especially since the book takes place in Los Angeles which is so diverse. 

The premise of being proposed to at a baseball game (if only it wasn’t a Dodgers game- Go Giants!) and saying no was so creative and fun. I could picture this being turned into a great rom-com movie. 

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I also loved the overall vibe of the book. It felt very LA. Like when I was reading it, I could totally tell that it was LA and I felt like I was there with the characters. 

The romance was really good as well. Nik and Carlos made a great couple. I loved their interactions, especially the ones with Carlos’s family. His family is the best. 

The ending for me fell a little flat which is why I gave this 4 stars. It ended quickly and I wished that it would have been fleshed out more. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable diverse romance! 

Review: How to Keep a Secret

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Click the picture to buy the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher (Harlequin) as part of their bookstagram publicity campaign. 

I loved this book!

A blurb on the back of the book from fellow author, Jill Shalvis, describes this book as being “Jane Green meets Sophie Kinsella.” I haven’t read anything by Jane Green but I definitely got a few Sophie Kinsella vibes from this (I love Sophie Kinsella if you didn’t already know). One of the characters, Lauren, lives in London at the beginning of the book, which reminds me a lot of Sophie’s characters. 

A large part of this book are the secrets and the fallouts that happen when they get revealed and I thought they were handled perfectly. I loved how the secrets were revealed one at a time. They were spaced out nicely and woven throughout the story.

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This book is about three generations of women, which is a trope I love reading about and it was very well executed. All the women were fleshed out and felt real. I liked that we are given all 4 perspectives because that allows you to really get to know the characters and their feelings. I know some people had issues with the perspective changes but I didn’t have any issue with it and didn’t find it confusing.

There is romance, but the main focus of the book are the familial relationships, and I liked how the romance didn’t overshadow that. There was a nice balance between the two. 

Overall, this was a wonderful piece of women’s fiction with a lot of heart and romance. 

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Review: Campaign Widows

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Click the picture to purchase the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★½

I received this book for free from the publisher (Harlequin) as part of their bookstagram publicity campaign. 

This book and I got off to a rocky start. In the beginning, I had a hard time connecting with the book and the characters. I typically get sucked into chick lit, but I didn’t with this one. To me, it felt a bit like fan fiction in the beginning. It kind of felt like I was reading someone’s fantasy election season. Like the 2016 election was so bad that they just created their own.

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Once I hit the halfway mark, things got a whole lot better. The story finally seemed to be picking up and I was able to connect more with the characters. The friendship between the widows also started to blossom at this point and that’s when the book actually started to work for me. However, their friendship never reached its full potential. I would loved to have seen more of them together. A lot of the times two or three of them would be hanging out but not all four of them. 

Out of all the widows, I loved Cady and her storyline the most. She had the most development and was really the glue that brought everyone together. 

As much as I loved Cady, my favorite character was Parker. I loved his sense of humor and his bar was such a genius idea. 

Overall, this was your average chick lit novel, just with an election backdrop.

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Review: Lighthouse Beach

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Click the picture to buy the book on HarperCollins’ website

Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review as part of a TLC Book Tour.

This was a great beach read about 4 women who flee from a wedding and head to Lighthouse Beach. There’s a little bit of everything: romance, friendship, self-discovery, and secret pasts. 

The best part of the book was the setting of Lighthouse Beach and the role that it played in their lives. Lighthouse beach felt like a character and that gave the book that special something. You could feel the power of Lighthouse Beach through the pages.

I liked the 4 main characters and their story arcs, however, I definitely felt that Allie got the short end of the stick. Her character didn’t get the same level of attention that the other 3 received. Especially in the first half of the book, Allie was there but her presence wasn’t really known. More could have been done with her. At times her character felt like an afterthought. 

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One of the characters in this book is a biker doctor (appropriately nicknamed “Doc Harley”) which I found to be such an interesting combination. I’ve never seen that in a book before and I really liked that. You see bikers in books, but never one who is also a respected doctor. 

The ending leaves you wanting a bit more, but I was glad it was left more open-ended. It felt natural since the book took place over a span of just 1 week. I would love to see a sequel and what happened afterwards. Perhaps a return to Lighthouse Beach (*hint hint* to the author) could happen.

Overall, if you’re looking to start off your summer with a beach read, then look no further than Lighthouse Beach. 


Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
 
Author Links: WebsiteFacebook, and Twitter
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About Lighthouse Beach

• Paperback: 400 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (May 29, 2018)

From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Noble comes a heartrending and uplifting novel about friendship, love, and what we’re willing to sacrifice for our dreams.

What was supposed to be an idyllic wedding leads to an unexpected journey of self-discovery…

When Lillo Gray pulls up to Kennebunkport’s most exclusive hotel wearing a borrowed dress and driving a borrowed VW van, she knows she’s made a big mistake. She’s not even sure why Jessica Parker invited her to her posh wedding. They haven’t seen each other since they were unhappy fourteen-year-old girls at fat camp. And now they’re from two completely different worlds. There’s no way Lillo fits in the rarefied circles Jessica travels in.

Jess isn’t sure she’s ready to go through with this wedding, but she’s been too busy making everyone else happy to think about what she wants. But when she and her two closest friends, Allie and Diana, along with Lillo, discover her fiancé with his pants down in the hotel parking lot, she’s humiliated…and slightly relieved. In a rush to escape her crumbling life, Jess, Allie, and Diana pile into Lillo’s beat-up old van and head up the coast to Lighthouse Island. Once there, she hopes to figure out the next chapter in her life.

Nursing broken hearts and broken dreams, four lost women embark on a journey to find their way back into happiness with new love, friendship, and the healing power of Lighthouse Beach.

About Shelley Noble

Shelley Noble is a former professional dancer and choreographer and has worked on a number of films. She lives at the Jersey shore where she loves to visit lighthouses and vintage carousels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America.

Find out more about Shelley at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Review: How to Walk Away

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Click the picture to buy the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★★

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (St. Martin’s Press).

This book tackles the heavy subject of ending up paralyzed after an airplane crash. When I first started reading this I felt very sad for the main character, Margaret. Her situation was very depressing. But luckily the book didn’t continue down that path. It got pretty uplifting about a 1/3 of the way in. 

I really enjoyed seeing Margaret’s state of mind change throughout her recovery. It was really inspiring. Often times I stopped and thought about what I would do in her situation. 

I loved the love interest, Ian. I liked that he did have his faults, which made him feel real. So many times books like these have a “Mr. Perfect” type of love interest, so I was very happy to see that Ian was different. 

As for the other characters, I really liked Margaret’s sister, Kitty. She was such a fun character. 

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I also really liked that the book was realistic. Like I mentioned previously, Ian felt like a realistic love interest, but besides that, the way Margaret’s condition was handled felt very realistic as well. It could have gone down the “miracle” route, but didn’t. The author did a great job highlighting the reality of Margaret’s injury and did it proper justice. 

The writing style was also superb. It was written in a very easy-going, conversational manner, which made it a joy to read.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The realistic characters and realistic portrayal of life in a wheelchair combined with great writing makes this book a hit! 

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Review: The Theory of Happily Ever After

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Click on the picture to buy the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher (Revell Books) in exchange for an honest review. 

Typically I really like chick lit and rom-coms, but I didn’t really like this one. 

My main issue with this book was the characters. The main character, Maggie, was pretty annoying for the first half of the book. All she would do was complain about her life over and over again. It got way too repetitive. Maggie’s two best friends were annoying too, especially Haley. I could not stand Haley at all. She acted like a spoiled brat and was not a very good friend, in my opinion. The male characters were slightly better. I really liked Sam, but I thought Brent was just okay. 

I also found the book to be too short. I felt like towards the end, the story was just starting to take shape. The book definitely could have benefitted from some more fleshing out. 

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In regards to what I liked, I enjoyed the premise of the book. The singles’ cruise was a clever idea.

I also liked the references to Disney princesses. There were nods to Beauty and the Beast (at one point Maggie even dresses up as Belle) and one reference to Frozen (pg. 168-“I needed to find solace in another Disney princess and follow her advice: let it go”).

Overall, the book would have been more enjoyable if the characters were less bothersome.

Review: The Bucket List

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Click the picture to buy the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

I received this book for free through an ARC giveaway on the author’s Instagram page. 

Please note, that despite the cute cover, this book does contain a lot of sex talk and sex scenes. 

Omg this book was amazing. It was serious, yet funny. Sexy but sweet. 

This was a very unique read. I’ve never read anything like it before. It was like a chick lit book, but less superficial and more deep than they typically get. 

The book deals with a very serious topic, being BRCA1 positive. The way the author handles it is incredibly well done. She did a phenomenal job tapping into the emotions and anxieties that come with the diagnosis. You can tell the author did a tremendous amount of research. 

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I loved how sex positive this entire book was. Like I mentioned before, there is a lot of sex in this book, but it is never seen as a bad thing. It even calls out some double standards. 

I also loved the diversity. The main character’s two best friends were both POC. One was Asian and the other was British Indian who was also a lesbian. Even many of the love interests/sexual partners were POC too, including an Iranian fashion designer. I’ve read quite a few books set in New York City, but none had this much diversity. 

The romance aspects felt very real. All the decisions the main character made regarding her love life felt plausible. Sometimes romances can end up being too far fetched, so it was nice to see one that was more grounded. 

Lastly, the final 30 pages of the book were incredibly heartfelt and I just loved it! There was a lot of emotion and heart. 

Overall, if you’re looking for a different kind of chick lit book, I really recommend this one! 

Review: Girls’ Night Out

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Click the picture to buy the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★½

I received this book for free from the authors in exchange for an honest review. 

This book started off really strong. There was a lot of intrigue, which made this a complete page turner. I just couldn’t put it down! I needed to know what happened to Ashley. 

Then the ending came and I was a bit disappointed. It wasn’t as big of a reveal as I thought it was going to be. I was expecting a huge twist that usually comes with thrillers, but instead it was more subdued. That being said I still enjoyed the book overall. 

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I really liked how the authors combined chick lit elements with thriller/suspense elements. The book was a strong blend of the two genres. The setting really helped with that. Mexico was perfect for this story to take place in. 

As for the characters, I wasn’t a big fan of any of them. All three of the main characters annoyed me at some point. I just couldn’t get over some of their reasonings for the things they did and the attitudes they held. They were all a little too self absorbed and it was hard to feel any sympathy towards them. 

Overall, if you’re looking to unwind and want to read a fast paced and thrilling beach read for the summer, be sure to check out this book! 

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