Book Lovers

Title: Book Lovers

Author: Emily Henry

Series: N/A

Publication Date: May 3, 2022

Format: E-Book

Genre: Romance

Sub Genre(s): Contemporary


Summary: Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.

Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away—with visions of a small town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.

If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.-From Goodreads


What I Liked: Emily Henry has become a must read for me because she writes characters I wish were real, characters I want to be friends with, and characters I want to date and fall in love with. Only in my dreams do I have the ability to speak like her characters do-the witty banter between Nora and Charlie, the heartfelt conversations between Libby and Nora, it was all perfection. Charlie is a perfect, brooding, enemies-to lovers romance hero who has flaws and imperfections but who deep down wants to be brave enough to show his true self to someone who deserves it. Nora is a true queen and a breath of fresh air in the romance novel world. She’s not the girl who dreams of the white picket fence or 2.5 kids. She knows who she is and what she wants but that has left her feeling left out in a world that places so much emphasis on being the sweet, docile woman. I love that Nora and Charlie compromise for each other without losing themselves in the process.  While categorized as a romance, one of my favorite parts of this book is the complex relationship between the sisters and the evolution of that relationship. The way Henry shows how two people who are everything to each other can still view shared experiences differently is masterful as is the way she shows how two “identical” people (Nora and Charlie) can be vastly different.  

What I Didn’t Like: I loved everything about this book. There is nothing I would change.

Who Should Read It: Fans of Emily Henry will love this book as will fans of complex yet fun romances.

Review Wrap Up: This book was truly an enjoyable experience that checked all the boxes I look for in an enemies-to-lovers romance: flawed yet likable characters, sexual tension, witty banter, and a satisfying ending. Emily Henry continues to write entertaining stories that are must reads for romance fans and I highly recommend this book.

Favorite Quote(s): “Is there anything better than iced coffee and a bookstore on a sunny day? I mean, aside from hot coffee and a bookstore on a rainy day.”

“That is what I’m looking for every time I flip to the back of a book, compulsively checking for proof that in a life where so many things have gone wrong, there can be beauty too. That there is always hope, no matter what.”


thespinsterlibrarian
*Thank you to Netgalley and Berkley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review*

Part of Your World

Title: Part of Your World

Author: Abby Jimenez

Series: N/A as of now

Publication Date: Expected April 19, 2022

Format: e-book

Genre: Romance

Sub Genre(s): Contemporary


Summary: After a wild bet, gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich, and cuddle with a baby goat, Alexis Montgomery has had her world turned upside down. The cause: Daniel Grant, a ridiculously hot carpenter who’s ten years younger than her and as casual as they come—the complete opposite of sophisticated city-girl Alexis. And yet their chemistry is undeniable.

While her ultra-wealthy parents want her to carry on the family legacy of world-renowned surgeons, Alexis doesn’t need glory or fame. She’s fine with being a “mere” ER doctor. And every minute she spends with Daniel and the tight-knit town where he lives, she’s discovering just what’s really important. Yet letting their relationship become anything more than a short-term fling would mean turning her back on her family and giving up the opportunity to help thousands of people.

Bringing Daniel into her world is impossible, and yet she can’t just give up the joy she’s found with him either. With so many differences between them, how can Alexis possibly choose between her world and his?

What I Liked: Romance is a genre in which the characters have to be likable (unless the trope calls for an unlikeable character) and you as a reader have to feel the chemistry between the protagonists. If I don’t buy that the people I’m reading about would fall in love by the end of the story, then the book has failed to live up to it’s promise of being a romance. This is not the case with this book. Even though Alexis and Daniel are complete opposites, their chemistry is apparent right away. I LOVE that for once, the age difference is an older woman and a younger man and that it’s not an unsubstantial amount (10 years). I like that the reservations Alexis has about their age difference aren’t the main focus of the story and goes away as their relationship develops. Despite their differences in age, class, and occupations, they are both struggling with the weight of obligation, which is a realistic obstacle in their love story.  Another fun aspect of this book that I liked was the moments of magic that pop up here and there and the allusions to Disney movies. It was fun to catch these as I was reading and added something extra to the story.

What I Didn’t Like:  There were times that the antagonists in this book, mainly Alexis’s parents, were so outlandishly over the top that I wanted to roll my eyes. I know that this was done as part of the “evil villain” theme but there was only so many scenes of Alexis being yelled at by her dad that I could take. I also felt like some of the storylines were left a little open ended or without a conclusion that made sense. Alexis’s friendship with Jessica and Gabby in particular would have benefitted from a clearer conclusion.

Who Should Read It: Fans of romantic comedies that also deal with heavy subject matter will like this book. As a content warning, a major part of this book deals with both physical and emotional abuse (nothing graphic) and how easy it is for an abuser to hide their actions from the world.

Review Wrap Up: Jimenez received some flak for a previous book that left me a bit leery to read something of hers but I’m so glad I did because this was a fun yet emotional story that managed to tackle some difficult subjects with compassion. The opposites attract trope was used well here and I enjoyed the growth that both Daniel and Alexis had to do in order to be together in a healthy way. I’m excited to read Bri’s story, expected to be released in 2023.

Favorite Quote: “Like, seriously? These are the men we’re supposed to get a UTI for? If you found someone you like, date him. Trust me.”

“I don’t think she realizes how exceptional she is. I got the sense nobody tells her, which is weird.”


*Thank you to Netgalley and Forever Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review*
thespinsterlibrarian

The Unsinkable Greta James

Title:  The Unsinkable Greta James

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Series: N/A

Publication Date: March 1, 2022

Format: E-book

Genre: Fiction

Sub Genre(s): Contemporary, Family


Summary: Greta James’s meteoric rise to indie stardom was hard-won. Before she graced magazine covers and sold out venues, she spent her girlhood strumming her guitar in the family garage. Her first fan was her mother, Helen, whose face shone bright in the dusty downtown bars where she got her start. But not everyone encouraged Greta to follow her dreams. While many daydream about a crowd chanting their name, her father, Conrad, sees only a precarious life ahead for his daughter.

Greta has spent her life trying to prove him wrong. But three months after Helen’s sudden death, and weeks before the launch of her high-stakes sophomore album, Greta has an onstage meltdown that goes viral. Attempting to outrun the humiliation and heartbreak, she reluctantly agrees to accompany her father on a week-long Alaskan cruise, the very one that her parents had booked to celebrate their fortieth anniversary.

This could be the James family’s last chance to heal old wounds, and will prove to be a voyage of discovery for them, as well as for Ben Wilder, a historian also struggling with a major upheaval in his life. Ben is on board to lecture about Jack London’s The Call of the Wild, the adventure story Greta’s mother adored, and he captures Greta’s attention after her streak of dating hanger-ons. As Greta works to build up her confidence and heal, and Ben confronts his uncertain future, they must rely on one another to make sense of life’s difficult choices. In the end, Greta must make the most challenging decision of all: to listen to the song within her or make peace with those who love her.


What I Liked: This was a lovely, realistic portrayal of grief and familial relationships that had me smiling one scene and tearing up the next. I found Greta to be a sympathetic character, even when she was making decisions that I didn’t agree with or found frustrating. One of the things I liked most about this book was the acknowledgement that everyone grieves differently and that we need to allow people the time and space they need to work through their emotions at their own pace. Greta sees her “meltdown” as weak and potentially career damaging, but it takes the time spent and discussions had with Ben and her dad for her to realize how needed that moment was for her to begin to heal.  The relationship Greta has with her dad was heartbreaking and I found myself wishing they could say to each other what they really wanted to without it turning into a fight.  But isn’t that how life is? Especially when the parent and child are both adults with their own lives and ways of seeing the world. They love each other but will they ever see eye to eye? I found it touching when Greta would have little moments of worry about her dad getting older even while she was angry with him or feeling like they would never have a good relationship. The relationship between Ben and Greta was cute and it was refreshing to see two adults that treated each other with respect and were open and honest with their feelings.  Yes, there were moments of miscommunication and angst but it never falls into unbelievable. I found the ending to be satisfying and even though I would have liked more, I appreciate an author knowing when and how to end a story.

What I Didn’t Like: I would have liked more interactions and conversations between Greta and her dad because the resolution to their storyline seemed a bit rushed. Their issues had been going on since Greta was a teenager so I would have liked to see them communicate more.

Who Should Read It: I think this would be a good book club pick that will lead to great discussions, especially about parent-child relationships. I would be hesitant to recommend this to anyone who has lost a parent without giving them a warning about the content.

Review Wrap Up: Smith has managed to write a beautiful story about the loss of a loved one without making the story overly sad or depressing. It was heartfelt and joyful and left me with hope. I believe this book will end up on a lot of people’s best of lists this year.

Favorite Quote: “Maybe the point isn’t always to make things last…maybe it’s just to make them count.”


thespinsterlibrarian

*Thank you to Netgalley and Ballatine Books for providing an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review*

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