Monday, April 1st 2019

The Hating Game

The Hating GameThe Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on August 9th 2016
Pages: 384

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;2) A person’s undoing;3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

I am just going to say it…I love this book. I’ve read it three times so far. I think that says more than I want it to about my love life, but whatever.

This romance has two of my favorite tropes: a slow burn and the enemies to lovers. So, so good.

I’ve seen others talk/write about this book and some of its problematic elements and while I can acknowledge those elements, they don’t make me love the story any less.

This is my go-to book when I am in a reading slump. If you like the same romantic tropes as me, give this one a try.


Saturday, November 17th 2018

Batch Reviews

I am behind in my book reviews and now it’s been a while since I have read some of them. Here are my quick thoughts and ratings. 

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: 3/5 stars. Meh, this is more like 2.5 rating for me. I read all eight comics. They were okay. Honestly, I like the show better. 

History is All You Left Me: 5/5 stars. Adam Silvera breaks my damn heart again. Jerk.

The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You: 4/5 stars. Just want I wanted. Enemies to lovers. A favorite trope. 

The Nowhere Girls: 4/5 stars. This was heartbreaking and intense. And all too familiar. 

The Wicked Deep: 4/5 stars. Beautifully atmospheric. 

The Perfect Mother: 4/5 stars. Creepy and a pretty good “who done it.” 

Meaty: 4/5 stars. I will read/listen to anything Samantha Irby puts out into the universe. 

Anger is a Gift: 5/5 stars. Very timely. A must-read for everyone. 

My Plain Jane: 4/5 stars. Not quite as good as My Lady Jane, but pretty close. Can’t wait for the third book. 

Monday, October 1st 2018


GhostedGhosted by Rosie Walsh
Published by Pamela Dorman Books on July 24th 2018
Pages: 337


Seven perfect days. Then he disappeared. A love story with a secret at its heart.
When Sarah meets Eddie, they connect instantly and fall in love. To Sarah, it seems as though her life has finally begun. And it's mutual: It's as though Eddie has been waiting for her, too. Sarah has never been so certain of anything. So when Eddie leaves for a long-booked vacation and promises to call from the airport, she has no cause to doubt him. But he doesn't call.
Sarah's friends tell her to forget about him, but she can't. She knows something's happened--there must be an explanation.
Minutes, days, weeks go by as Sarah becomes increasingly worried. But then she discovers she's right. There is a reason for Eddie's disappearance, and it's the one thing they didn't share with each other: the truth.

This book ended up being more than just a story of a woman being ghosted. Based on the title, I knew what was going to happen, I just didn’t know how it was going to make for a 300+ page book. But I have to say that I really enjoyed the sub-plot of this book. I did not read any synopsis of this book before reading it. I went in completely blind. That’s not to say that I think you should go in blind, that is just what I did. And I did enjoy the twist/curveball.

I enjoyed Rosie Walsh’s writing style for the most part. I do think she strayed here and there in over-describing some scenes, but it wasn’t so overdone that I put the book down.

I enjoyed most of the characters, however, I wish there had been just a little more development with some of Sarah’s friends. I felt like I had to fill in some gaps myself with how the mechanics of some of the friendships/relationships worked. I did enjoy Sarah as the main character as well, even though some of her thoughts/actions drove me batshit crazy. And I loved Eddie, even though for a good portion of the book we are supposed to feel slighted by him. But I knew there was more to the story.

My only big gripe about this book is the beginning. I am not one to be bothered by just being thrust into a story without much context right away, but for some reason, it just did not sit well with me for this book. I can see others getting frustrated a few chapters in and giving up. It all made sense the further I got into the book, but it was difficult to stick it out at first.


Monday, March 5th 2018

Small Great Things

Small Great ThingsSmall Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Published by Ballantine Books on October 11th 2016
Pages: 480


Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years' experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she's been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?
Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy's counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other's trust, and come to see that what they've been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.
With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn't offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.

I love the difficult topics explored in books by Jodi Picoult. I was a little nervous going into this one as it’s not an own voices novel. But I felt that Picoult handled this difficult topic with great care. The story is told with three perspectives, the nurse, the lawyer and the white supremacist. At first, I was annoyed because I did not want to listen (I listened to the audiobook), to the white supremacist chapters of this book because obviously, I hated him, but his story was just as important because it helped me understand how someone gets involved in so much hate.

I loved all the characters, even the ones you love to hate. I felt the “twist” was pretty good. I feel like Picoult is as well known for her twists as M. Night Shyamalan. The only reason this book got 4 stars instead of 5 from me is that I felt the end was kind of rushed. There was more I wanted to know that I felt could have been included in the end. There was no reason to really rush the end and leave me with some questions. But overall I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it.


Monday, January 15th 2018

The Dazzling Heights (The Thousandth Floor #2)

The Dazzling Heights (The Thousandth Floor #2)The Dazzling Heights (The Thousandth Floor #2) by Katharine McGee
Published by HarperCollins on August 29th 2017
Pages: 422


All that glitters is not gold.
New York City, 2118. Manhattan is home to a thousand-story supertower, a breathtaking marvel that touches the sky. But amid high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, five teenagers are keeping dangerous secrets…
Leda is haunted by memories of what happened on the worst night of her life. She’ll do anything to make sure the truth stays hidden—even if it means trusting her enemy.
Watt just wants to put everything behind him…until Leda forces him to start hacking again. Will he do what it takes to be free of her for good?
When Rylin wins a scholarship to an upper-floor school, her life transforms overnight. But being there also means seeing the boy whose heart she broke, and who broke hers in return.
Avery is tormented by her love for the one person in the world she can never have. She’s desperate to be with him…no matter the cost.
And then there’s Calliope, the mysterious, bohemian beauty who arrives in New York determined to cause a stir. And she knows exactly where to begin.
But unbeknownst to them all, someone is watching their every move, someone with revenge in mind. After all, in a world of such dazzling heights, just one wrong step can mean a devastating fall.

I was a little surprised at how much I loved this book. I loved it more and rated it higher than the first one. I loved all the characters except for Calliope and the mystery person (don’t want to spoil anything). These characters were not badly written, I just disliked them as people. I just love the drama of these books. Everyone has secrets and is terrified of those secrets getting out, which of course, they do. Honestly, I would love some book recommendations that are like these books.

The characters are great, the plot is great and the setting is wonderful. The idea is that all of Manhatten lives in this tower with a thousand floors. The wealthiest live on the top floors, middle class on the middle floors and the poor on the bottom floors. And the book covers characters from each economic class and how they are linked together. It’s all woven together beautifully.

The book is written in multiple perspectives and each chapter is a different character’s perspective. I tend to run into issues with books written this way. I always find myself leaning towards one or two characters over the others and skim or even skip the chapters of the characters I am not that fond of. That did not happen with the first book or this one. I was engaged the whole time. I highly recommend this series.