They say never judge a book by the cover but the reason I requested an ARC copy of the newest from Tessa Bailey was due, in part, to the bright and colorful cover. I expected a fun read about 2 people falling in love with the backdrop of house flipping. While this book wasn’t anything like that, I enjoyed it and would definitely read the next in the series as well as more from Bailey.
This is a challenging book to review because so much has been written about it, and its author, already. It went on my “to be read” list almost immediately upon publication but was always passed over for various reasons. So when I saw the pop sugar challenge item of reading a book published posthumously, I knew the time had come to read the book that everyone seemed to love. And I was very, very happy I did because this was a gripping, emotional, and almost unbelievable story that needed to be told.
For my ARRT meeting this month, we had to read a gentle romance—a genre that I really had no desire to read. One of the suggestions was a series of “proper romance” books that at least sounded somewhat interesting to me. Most in the series seem to be retellings of classic stories, including this one. I enjoyed this book and would read others in the series.
There were things that I really enjoyed about this book and found myself wanting to find out how everyone’s lives were affected by the horoscopes. There were other things that annoyed me and prevented me from giving this a higher ratting but it was a quick, fun read and I would recommend it as a summer read.
Justine and Nick grew up together and their mother’s always thought romance was in their future. When they bump into each other years later, Justine is writing for a magazine and Nick is a struggling actor who believes in the astrological and always follows his horoscope—the horoscope that is published in the magazine Justine works for. When Justine realizes she is in love with Nick, she decides to rewrite his horoscope to make him see they are made for each other. The only problem? All the other Aquarius’s that are listening to her predictions and making life decisions based on them. Will Nick realize they are meant to be? Or will Justine find out that you shouldn’t mess with the stars?
This book was very cute and enjoyable. There wasn’t too much angst and even though the reader should find Justine somewhat unlikable based on her actions, I still found myself rooting for her and Nick. What I found surprising was my interest in the other characters and stories more than the central one. I found both Nick and Justine to be okay characters but I didn’t feel as though they truly loved each other and was frustrated that Justine didn’t just tell Nick how she felt. Nick was a bit boring as a love interest and I didn’t feel like he truly loved Justine. At the same time, I was confused where Justine’s strong feelings of love came from all of a sudden. They shared one kiss, one night together when they were teenagers and all of a sudden she is so in love with him that she risks her entire career and her credibility to send him secret messages through the horoscope? Despite these issues, I wanted to see how their story would conclude and I liked the ending. Of more interest to me were the side characters and how their lives and decisions were influenced by the altered horoscopes. Most of the humor was found in those sections and I found myself laughing out loud several times. I would have read books on several of them if Darke were to write a follow up.
Overall, this book is a great summer read and people who like movies like “Love Actually” where multiple characters fates are seen will enjoy it. I would read other books by this author if I am looking for something without too much angst and some clever dialogue.
Author: Minnie Darke
Expected Publication Date: May 21, 2019
Rating: 3.5 Stars
*I received an advanced copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
This is not a book that I would normally pick up–I like romances but the idea of a clean romance was not something I was looking forward to reading. Alas, when the next theme for my librarian reading round table is gentle romance, you read what you gotta read. One of the tasks we were assigned was to read an Amish romance so my author choice was obvious. Beverly Lewis is one of the most prolific gentle romance authors out there and her books check out like crazy at my library. While I can’t say that I disliked “The Fiddler” the genre just isn’t for me and I found the writing to be somewhat lacking.
When “The Nest” was released in 2016, I remember it being on every “must read” or “best of” list I saw. It seemed to be the hottest book that year and it immediately went on my list of to be read. And that’s where it stayed….until I needed a book about a family for one of my reading challenges. I am so glad I finally read this book because it was like nothing I expected it to be and I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would.
A prompt in one of the reading challenges I am working on this year was: “a book in which an animal or inanimate object is a point of view character.” Having already read the great “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” I could not think of another book that would apply to this prompt. Thanks to a Goodreads group, I found “A Dog About Town” which had an interesting enough premise for me to want to read it. While the book was entertaining enough, I didn’t find the mystery to be that compelling or enough to keep me interested in whodunit.
Reading poetry is a skill and one that I have not used in a while. I used to read more in my teens and twenties and have no valid reason for waiting so long to pick up a book of poetry again. That’s why I appreciated that a prompt on one of my reading challenges was a collection of poetry published since 2014. This was a great excuse to seek out new poets and new collections and I enjoyed my experience with The Black Maria, even if I found myself confused by the format.
This book was on my radar because I was looking for something to meet a reading challenge prompt of: a novel by a Trans or non-binary author. Thanks to Goodreads, I found this book and saw the amazing reviews it had. It ended up being a tough, emotional, absorbing look at what it’s like to be Trans in the world today. I would highly recommend it.