Review: The Certainty of Chance

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Rating: ★★★★

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

What a cute Christmas read! 

First off, I love that this book basically takes you on a tour of London during Christmas. I’ve never been to London (but have always wanted to) so that aspect was exceptionally fun for me. It felt like I was right there with the characters! 

I found the romance to be pretty cute. It is a little insta-lovey, but it’s a Christmas romance so that’s to be expected. I liked that the book gave the perspectives of both Madeleine and Julian. I always enjoy seeing what goes on in the minds of both the guy and the girl. 

I also liked that the book had a lot of depth to their main characters. One of the central themes, aside from the romance, was Madeleine’s grief. I liked how the book explored that topic and didn’t shy away from it.

Music also plays a role in the story and the choice of music was so spot on. At one point, it discusses a Christmas playlist Madeleine made and it included the songs, “River” by Joni Mitchell and “Something About December” by Christina Perri. “River” is such a heartbreakingly beautiful Christmas song and I love any song by Christina Perri. 

Lastly, I appreciated the glossary of British terms at the end. They were really helpful! 

Overall, if you’re looking for Christmas romance this holiday season, consider picking this one up! 


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Review: Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass

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Rating: ★★★★★

First I just have to preface this review by saying that I am a huge fan of Lana Del Rey. She is one of my all time favorite singers and I’ve been in love with her music for years. I’ve always resonated well with her songs so that made me super eager to read her poetry. 

This poetry collection is very atmospheric. Reading the poems is like being  transported to a sunny and dreamy day in LA. It’s very on brand for Lana Del Rey.

I liked how a lot of the poems had substance. A lot of poetry collections nowadays have very short poems so I was glad to see that this one had long ones. I really liked how a lot of the longer poems told a story. 

Additionally, I liked how there were some haikus (my favorite type of poem) and that they were separated in their own section. 

The book itself is also incredibly gorgeous. Throughout the book are photos taken by Lana Del Rey herself. The photos are really beautiful and add to the overall vibe of the collection. The poems themselves are presented exactly as Lana had typed them out making the book feel really personal. 

Lastly, I loved the Notes For A Poet section, which was a lined section where the reader could write their own thoughts/notes/poems. I thought that was just a brilliant touch.

Overall, I loved the poems in this collection just as much as I loved the overall presentation of the book! 


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Review: Daisy Jones & The Six

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Rating: ★★★

I received this book for free from BookSparks as part of their Winter Reading Challenge.

I was really looking forward to reading this book because I heard nothing but great things about it and the author. Unfortunately, for me, it did not live up to all the hype. 

Basically, I was so bored throughout the first half of the book. The book is written in interview format, which is an interesting way to tell a story, but it made for a dull read in the beginning. I wasn’t able to become attached to the characters and didn’t feel any emotional connection to them. It wasn’t until page 200 that I became more interested in the story and characters. 

Additionally, a lot of the story felt generic and to me the story felt fairly simple. I was expecting some sort of magic spark to really pull me in while reading, but I never felt it. 

As for Daisy Jones, I didn’t really like her. To me, she felt like a manic pixie dream girl, especially in the first half. 

I did enjoy the ending, which I know some people did not like that much. I also liked the reveal of the author. I did not see that one coming. Also, the interview format did work well in the second half of the book. I liked that we will never truly know exactly what happened. 

Overall, I did not enjoy the book as much as I thought I would, but don’t let that deter you from reading it. It wasn’t perfect for me, but it may be perfect for you! 

Review: Starfish

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Rating: ★★★★★

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

This was such a cute and sexy, but still very sweet romance! 

Marin and Brad were such a cute couple. I loved their dynamic, especially how they brought out the best in each other and encouraged one another. That’s #RelationshipGoals. 

I also liked the balance of the cute and sexy parts of the book. This is a book about rockstars so of course there was sex and some sex scenes. However, there were a ton of really sweet moments too, which just goes back to show how great of a couple they are. Their relationship isn’t just physical, they do connect on a deeper level. 

The book also felt very realistic. At one point it talks about Marin having her period and I thought that was so refreshing to see. You don’t often see periods mentioned in romance books but they are a fact of life. I’m glad the author didn’t shy away from it. 

As a random side note, I could totally tell that the author was from California since she name dropped some lesser known cities like Roseville and Camarillo. I always like seeing that because California is more than just Los Angeles and San Francisco. 

Overall, this is a fun rockstar romance with a lot of heart. 

Review: Down & Dirty (Men of Haven #6)

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Rating: ★★★★

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

I just want to preface this review by saying that I haven’t read any of the other books in the series so I can’t compare it to the others or say if this was a satisfying conclusion to the series. Even though I didn’t read the other books, I was still able to read and enjoy this as a standalone.

I was initially interested in this book because the main character, Axel, reminded me of Axl Rose, one of my favorite rockers. They’re The guy on the cover even sort of looks like him too. 

As a whole, this was a solid contemporary romance with some BDSM mixed in. It wasn’t super heavy on the BDSM (and was fairly tame), so don’t go in expecting something super crazy. The story was a very classic alpha male plot, which I tend to really like. I loved Axel and how loyal and protective he was. 

Aside from the romance, there is a secondary storyline about Lizzy’s ex. To me, that part felt a little…meh. It kind of added something to the story but at the same time it kind of didn’t. That’s my only critique of the book. 

Overall, this was a fun read, perfect for anybody looking to read a steamy alpha male romance.

Review: Unopened

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review. 

This was interesting poetry collection. It’s different than the type of poetry I usually read (I usually read more of the Instagram poet type), but I still enjoyed it. I liked that, unlike a lot of Instagram poems, some the poems were longer (more than a page long). I like it when poems are a bit longer because it allows you to go more in-depth. There was a good mix of both short and longer poems. 

I liked how the book was divided into three sections. All the poems fit well into the section they were in and I could tell the themes (family, nature, music, etc.) of each section without it being overly obvious. It was subtle which is sometimes very hard to do.

Additionally, I loved the story behind the cover. It added a really nice personal touch. 

My one critique is that the book should have been longer. I would have loved to seen at least 20 more poems to really make it more impactful and feel more complete. I felt like I got a small taste of his poetry, but I wanted more. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable and unique poetry collection. 

Review: Scrapbook of an Unfound Songstress

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Rating: ★★★

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

This book is an autobiography about the author’s own experiences trying to make it as a pop singer. I loved getting the behind the scenes look of the music industry. It was really fascinating seeing how hard it is to break into the business. 

My favorite parts of the book were the parts that focused on the trial. As a law student, I do love reading about the legal system. It was particularly interesting to see how different the British legal system is compared to the American system. Like the whole having both a lawyer and a barrister is such a strange concept to me. 

I also loved the subtle Alice in Wonderland references, like the one towards the end where she is dreaming and it parallels Alice’s. Alice in Wonderland is a favorite of mine so I enjoyed that touch.

I also enjoyed the layout of the book. It felt like a written scrapbook. Interwoven in the story were journal type entries and script excerpts. They offered a nice glimpse into her life and personality. 

I did listen to some of her songs that were featured in the book and they are pretty good. She has a beautiful voice. 

The only things I had issues with were the writing style and the organization of the book. The writing style could have been improved upon, and the book could have been organized more chronologically as opposed to jumping around from point to point to better convey her experiences. However, the author is a singer/songwriter first and foremost, so that is totally understandable. Kudos to her for actually writing a book. 

Overall, this was a quick and fun read about chasing your dreams and bouncing back from adversity. 

Review: A Dangerous Duet

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free free as part of an Instagram tour (TLC Book Tours specifically) I did to promote the book.

This was a very intriguing historical fiction mystery.

The book’s strongest point was that it was very atmospheric. It nailed that grimy Victorian England vibe perfectly. The author did a tremendous job bringing that world to life and evoking an air of mystery. 

I liked how the book focused on the unsavory parts of Victorian England. From the life of orphans to brothels, this book showcased it all. It was really interesting to see that mixed in with the musical element. It all worked really well together.

As for the mystery, I thought it was good up until the end. It was a fairly straight forward mystery so I wasn’t necessarily wowed by it. It was pretty much solved about 75% of the way through. The rest of the book was just the resolution and aftermath of it all. That being said, it was a very action packed last quarter. 

There was a little bit of romance in this as well, but I could have done without it. It felt a little forced. The book would have been just as strong had it not been there. 

Overall, this was a compelling historical mystery that will make you feel like you are actually in Victorian England. 

Review: When the Beat Drops

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received this book for free as part of BookSparks’ YA Summer Reading Challenge.

Going into this book, I didn’t have very high expectations. I thought it was just going to be an average contemporary YA summer read. Instead, this book blew me away.

The way the author describes music is incredible. From the very beginning you could just feel the passion that the main character, Mira, has for jazz music, and then later on for DJing. Prior to reading this book, I never thought of DJing as being that beautiful. But after reading this, I’m never going to look at it the same way. I have a newfound respect for it. 

I liked that this book didn’t shy away from the drug aspect of rave culture. That was a huge part of the story and it highlighted the reality of it very well. 

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I also enjoyed Mira and Britt’s sisterly relationship and the journey they went through together. A large chunk of the book is focused on them going to these music festivals and how they cope with the devastating tragedy that happens at one of them.

Character-wise, I loved Shay! She was hands down my favorite character. I was actually shipping her and Mira after they first met, even though I knew (based on the blurb) that was probably not going to happen. 

Another aspect of this book that I loved was the secrets that some of the characters had. They were all revealed at the right time and it just made the story click. 

Overall, this is an impressive novel that was realistic and hit all the right notes! 

Review: Spotlight (Boy Band #4)

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Rating: ★★★★★

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

Jacqueline has done it yet again! This was another amazing book from her.

This book is technically the end of the of the series, but I’m still holding on to hope that there will be more. *fingers crossed* As a conclusion, this book was great. It wrapped up the main storyline of the Tara drama perfectly. I was very happy with what ultimately transpired.

I really liked how this book incorporated even more of Chloe and Kendra. They’re both super awesome characters and were a nice addition to the band’s inner circle. I loved the all-girl alliance that Mel, Joni, Chloe, and Kendra formed.

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Like the other books in this series, there were a lot of twists and turns. It kept me guessing the entire time. I literally had no idea how it was going to end. I got anxious in the last 30 pages because I wasn’t sure what would happen. But like I mentioned previously, it ended very well. I have zero complaints.

As a random side note, there was one paragraph in the beginning that I really loved. It’s when Mel is describing how hot Sam looks while shooting a music video. She remarks, “By God, he looks so good. He kind of looks like the Prince from Beauty and the Beast, but if the Prince was blond and like, a million times hotter. And not animated” (46). As you probably already know, I love Beauty and the Beast and I love any reference to it.

Overall, this was perfect!!

 

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