Review: Beyond the Point

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received copy of this book for free from the publisher as part of an Instagram book tour I did to promote the book. 

Omg what a beautiful book! It definitely lives up to all the hype. 

The story was mesmerizing. I became so invested in the lives of the three women. I felt like I personally knew them and that I was right there with them through their ups and downs. All three of them felt so realistic.

The author’s writing style is phenomenal. There’s something utterly captivating about it. 

Some people mention that this book should be classified as Christian fiction because of the talk of God and religion. I have read my fair share of Christian fiction and I don’t think this book quite fits that. There are mentions of God, but that’s mainly due to one character being religious. Just because the Christian religion is discussed in a book does not mean it is Christian fiction. There is so much more to this book than that (friendship, love, grief, etc.). 

My edition had a little bonus section at the end with filled background behind the novel, including interviews with real life West Point women. I enjoyed hearing their experiences. 

Lastly, I wanted to share a quote from the book about love that really struck me. The author writes,

“Love starts in the body. It starts with the tingling of toes and the rushing of blood and the lightness in the head. It feels a lot like pain…There are convulsions, nausea, heartburn, and breathlessness. There is a physical ache you feel when falling in love. It’s your heart making room for someone else, like a gardener is there, digging out a hole for a new plant. There is pain, and there is fear. The fear that the hole might stay forever”

pg. 151-152

Overall, I LOVED this book and consider it a new favorite of mine. If you’ve been putting off reading this book like I did (it had been sitting on my shelf since 2019), just pick it up already and read it! 


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Review: My Last Summer with Cass

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Rating: ★★★½

 I received an ARC of this book for free from The Novl in exchange for an honest review. 

The strongest part of this book was how it portrayed a complicated friend dynamic. It explored their past as childhood friends, then their last summer together in New York, and then finally revisited them a few years later. It really highlighted the highs and the lows of their friendship well.

Since this is a graphic novel, I have to talk about the artwork. I had an ARC so the art was not in full color. But I did look through the book preview on Amazon and saw it in full color and the coloring was amazing! 

However, I wanted a little bit more from the story. The plot is incredibly basic and I would have liked for it to have been more nuanced. It’s also very fast paced and would have benefited from a slower pace, especially after the main conflict happened. It jumped from the main conflict to three years later so fast. I would have liked to seen the aftermath of it play out more (most of it happened off page), especially in regards to Megan and her parents. 

Overall, I enjoyed this graphic novel, but ultimately was left wanting more. If you like art or are an artist yourself, you may like this one! 


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Review: Expectation

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (Harper Perennial) in exchange for an honest review. 

This was an incredibly fascinating novel. 

First off, this novel is a slow burn. The book starts off on the slow side and then gradually gets more and more interesting as it progresses.

The three women in this book are all very complicated and complex. I found them to be utterly riveting. They’re all morally grey which makes them feel more real and raw. Sometimes they make decisions that others may find irritating, but to me that makes they more dynamic. 

I liked the flashbacks that were woven throughout the book. They helped highlight different things about the women. The flashbacks also gradually introduced new information about them. There’s no information dumping in this book. Everything gets revealed at just the right time. 

This book does get compared to Sally Rooney’s books (Conversations with Friends and Normal People). I’m a big Sally Rooney fan and there is merit to that comparison. The writing style, tone, and pacing are similar in a way. 

Lastly, I liked the ending because it brought the book full circle, but at the the same time I didn’t like it. To me, the ending didn’t fully resolve everything I wanted to be resolved. 

Overall, this book is a compelling character study of three women coming to terms with how their lives turned out. 


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Review: The PLAIN Janes

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Rating: ★★★★

I received an ARC of this book for free from The NOVL in exchange for an honest review. 

Please note that since this is an ARC, it only includes the first 2 installments and a sneak peek at the third installment. Therefore, my review is based only on these parts.

I really liked this graphic novel and the story it told. The book deals with many relevant topics such as terrorism and PTSD. I was happy that the book didn’t shy away with showing the mental effects that terrorism has on people. Jane’s mother is the perfect example of that. 

I liked how the girls came together to make a statement using art. Art is such an important tool in enacting societal change. 

I loved the artwork and stylization of the text. Both the illustrations and the text were clear and easy to follow. If you find graphic novels to be a bit distracting, you might want to try this one. 

I’m really glad that all the installments were put together in this book because they all come together nicely. For example, the first installment, “The PLAIN Janes,” sort of just ends abruptly. But the second installment, “Janes in Love,” really builds upon the first. I only got a sneak peek at the third one, “Janes Attack Back,” but from what I read, I think it will be a satisfying conclusion.

Overall, I enjoyed this graphic novel and am looking forward to seeing how it all ends. 

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: Girls’ Night Out

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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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