Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my eARC in exchange for my honest feedback!

Emma Lord is back at it again with a cutesy, feel good YA romance that will make the adult readers that pick it up wish that they were back at a younger time in their life (me, I’m the adult reader I’m referring to). Set in the winter/spring semester of the main character, Andie’s, freshman year of college, this story was full of heart, challenges, and for me, all of the university nostalgia.

Andie is a “fixer” for everyone in her life – always trying to take her friends problems and help them solve it in a methodical, logical way. She loves big and wears her heart on her sleeve, so much so that while in high school, she wrote a very popular advice column for the school newspaper. When she struggles with her grades her sophomore year of high school due to her using all her free time to help her boyfriend succeed, she doesn’t get into Blue Ridge State, both of her parents alma mater and the school she’s pictured herself going to her entire life.

After a semester of pulling her grades up at the local junior college, she transfers to Blue Ridge State, where her boyfriend Connor has been since the previous fall. She keeps the transfer a secret so she can surprise him – only to find out that he transferred to the junior college to be with her. Amidst the chaos of her joining a new school, dealing with the challenging academics, and trying her best to connect with the place her parents met, Andie is pulled into helping solve the problems of all of her new friends that she makes – again, letting herself slip through the cracks, starting a domino effect of so many things in Andie’s life seemingly falling apart.

I really enjoyed the college setting of this book. It felt cozy and full of life and the feeling of figuring out just who you are in those early university years. Milo, Shay, and Val are the lifelong friends that everyone hopes to make when they’re 18. The entire book really captures the ups and downs of what early college is truly like – challenging, fun, and full of life lessons.

While I enjoyed the setting and the supporting characters greatly, I found myself a bit bothered by Andie. She felt extremely naive and at times, aloof. For someone who loves to give others advice (and seemingly GOOD advice), she really could’ve used some “get your life together” instructions for herself. The book being written in first person made it a bit challenging for me to really get away from her traits that irritated me, but all in all, the storyline was strong enough that I kept on going and eventually finished. And I’m not mad that I did!

I think this book will land really well along the YA audience that it is targeted at, and is a sweet, inspiring story of a girl really figuring out who she is in the big world outside of her small town she grew up in. 

This book releases January 24, 2023, and if you would like to preorder using my Amazon or affiliate link, I would be super appreciative! These give me a small commission at no cost to you.


Thank you to the publisher for making an ARC available to me via Netgalley!

Libby is a social media manager attempting to keep her late parents house in her family, but is struggling to come up with the funds to do so. Trying to busy herself so she can ignore the sadness that comes with a Christmas season without loved ones, she’s working on her first big project since starting her business, featuring “Christmas Kitty” – a cat known for going viral with Christmas content. In the process of making this video for a company, she finds an unopened letter from a mystery friend of her late mother, and decides to travel to the nearby small town that shows on the return address to meet this friend.

This was the third book I’ve read by Karen Schaler, and sadly, my least favorite for a lot of reasons. For starters, here is what I DID enjoy about this book:

  1. I loved all the Christmas vibes. If you want a book heavy on the Christmas content (with everything from Christmas carol cell phone ringtones to a dog named Rudolph), then this one will hit the spot.
  2. The small town of Holly Peak seemed picturesque, just like in a quintessential Hallmark movie.
  3. The dog, Rudolph, seemed like a great pal to have.

Unfortunately, the joy of Christmas writing was not enough to carry this story for me.

For starters, the dialogue in this book was absolutely brutal and redundant to read. I get that Karen Schaler is known for writing Hallmark movies and that those are known for cheesy, over the top sugary sweet speaking characters, but this was absolutely excessive. The back and forth between Libby and Adam would go on for full pages with nothing accomplished. In one instance, they told each other “Thank you!” back and forth (for the same thing) for 6 paragraphs. SIX. PARAGRAPHS. Again, I understand that these are supposed to be unrealistically nice characters, but this was painful. I was so bored that my eyeballs glazed over. I think what Schaler was trying to write as “banter” just read as bad conversation for me.

The romance in this book was such a slow burn that I gave up hope. I thought they were going to be just friends. But it’s Hallmark-y, so certainly the two main people are going to get together, right? It took far too long and was SO awkward getting there. The flirting reminded me of conversations I had with my middle school crushes.

Libby’s job as a social media manager/entrepreneur could’ve been presented in a really cool way, but instead, it fell absolutely flat. Almost all references to social media were obnoxiously incorrect to the point that I wanted to throw my kindle across the room. The amount of times she talked about how important hashtags are had my eye muscles strained from how far my eyeballs rolled into the back of my head. It felt like her entire career was riding on hashtags and that she really thought she could save a company from doom with the perfect one. Maybe I’m jaded after spending 4 years reviewing books on IG, but if social media is going to be talked about in a book, this was not the way to do it.

And lastly – the Christmas themed pasta mentioned was the final straw for me. Broccoli in red sauce? I’m done.

Perhaps I’m just not the target audience as someone who prefers books to be more realistic, but I like to think that I’m relatively decent at suspending any expectations that this style of novel is supposed to be believable. All in all, this totally missed the mark, and I can only hope my next Christmas read in 2022 is a better fit for my tastes.


To read the synopsis of this book, click one of the following links to The StoryGraph or Goodreads.

Finally, a book I rated higher than 3 stars! It has been a while.

This book was a breath of sea salt air! Set mainly on the shores of Destin, FL, two half sisters work together to repair their outdated and decrepit beach house AND their broken relationship.

What I loved about this book:

☀️ Everything came full circle by the end. Each character had their own story within the story that naturally played out.
☀️ The character growth in Kat, specifically. I started out the book sort of hating her and ended it with a fond appreciation. She bothered me a lot with her obsession with “‘Grammable” photos, staying on brand, and treating life like a fashion show, but she really did a 180 by the end.
☀️ The sympathy and love I felt for Blake had my eyes welling with tears throughout.
☀️ Noah 😍 This guy and his love for dogs, his quick witted, hilarious responses to everything, AND his confidence in pursuing Blake were everything. 10/10 on Noah.
☀️ This story is a perfect example of “every cloud has a silver lining” and honestly that’s a reminder that I needed in 2022.

I took off half a star for just how annoying I found Kat for the first ~60% of the book, but that was probably the whole point 😅

All in all, this was a perfect book to close out my summer reading and I’m so glad I picked it up.

Content warnings:
Death of a parent
Mild/moderate cursing
Car accident
Brief mention of cancer

If you would like to purchase this book, please consider using my Amazon or affiliate links. They give me a small commission at no cost to you.


Thank you Berkley Publishing for my free copy of this book!

To read the synopsis of this book, please click one of the following links to The StoryGraph or Goodreads.

This book is a perfect example of, “I didn’t see that coming.” And in this case, it was absolutely a good thing. I never knew that reading a book about a psychic-medium (Sylvie) that is chasing down the truth of her past would keep me so engaged, but here we are.

What I love about Fischer’s writing is the way she crafts her characters. This dual POV story gave us the ability to get inside the minds of both Thomas and Sylvie, in turn giving us the unique perspective of two people trying to find out the details of a story – but for totally different reasons. Sylvie is seeking self discovery while Thomas is trying to fulfill an agenda, but both are equally driven and straightforward. They contain flaws, they own them, and they converse like real adults – not like book adults, if you know what I mean. The conversations didn’t feel forced or unrealistic, and that made Sylvie and Thomas very believable characters.

Secondly, this entire story was incredibly unique. While classified right now on Goodreads as a romance, it really read more to me like a mystery through the bulk of it. It was a well paced mystery, though, with lots of character development that had me WANTING to find everything out. By pacing it the way that she did, Fischer made it compelling. Instead of a mystery jumping off the page at the very start, there was time to get invested and curious before really digging into the nitty gritty,

This was the second book I’ve read by this author and the second one I’ve given 5 stars to. I look forward to reading more from her in the future!

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To read the synopsis of this book, please visit one of the following links to The StoryGraph or Goodreads.

When I saw the cover of this one, I knew I had to have it. Do I judge books by their covers? Sort of. But I definitely am inspired to pick books up because of their covers.

This story gave me all the nostalgic feelings of falling in love for the first time. There’s something so sweet and romantic to me about finding your way back to the first person that stole your heart, and that’s exactly what we get to follow. Percy and Sam met at 13 and spent every summer together for years, growing a friendship that turned into the kind of love that you can only feel when you fall for someone as a teenager.

I loved the setting of this story and the imagery of summers in the sun and working in a restaurant. Sam’s character brought a smile to my face almost as much as his brother Charlie made me cringe. Sam was endearing, innocent, and so lovable that my heart wanted to burst at least once a chapter.

The biggest drawback of this story for me came toward the end, and I worry that sharing it will spoil the story. But if you’ve read it, just know that the “big reveal” was cringe-y for me and really gave me the ick.

All in all, I really enjoyed this quintessential read, and it made me want to hug my husband (my first love).

If you would like to purchase this book, please consider using one of the following affiliate links to Amazon or


To read the book synopsis, click one of the following links to be redirected to Goodreads or The StoryGraph!

Thank you to St. Martins Press for sending me a free copy in exchange for a review!

The Homewreckers marks the second book I’ve read by Mary Kay Andrews (the first being The Santa Suit) and I am glad to say that I enjoyed this one a heck of a lot more than the first. I took a risk picking this up in the middle of a massive reading slump (the last three books I read just did NOT work for me), and I was pleasantly surprised by how well this HGTV knock off storyline lured me in and kept me flipping all 435 pages.

Here are 4 things I liked about THE HOMEWRECKERS:

  1. This book had a good mix of character development and background, plot moving storyline, and some mystery mixed in. There was just enough of each aspect to keep me invested and not so much that it felt like overkill (for instance, I never felt like we were getting too into the nitty gritty about, say, painting the cabinets in the house, or something). It kept moving!
  2. The setting on Tybee Island made this the quintessential summer read, with descriptions of hot, humid air and a beachy backdrop. I will have to make her future books always be on the docket for the warm months, because this was just perfect.
  3. The main character, Hattie Kavenaugh, was likable and endearing, and carried her own in a mostly male dominated industry (contracting work). We also got to see her have to struggle through some very human things, like grieving her husband, feeling torn on being attracted to someone new, and making poor financial decisions.
  4. I love some true crime, so the whole solving a cold case situation really was the icing on the cake for me! So much fun to read and wasn’t so heavy that it felt scary. I think anyone could read it without having nightmares.

My biggest drawback to this one happens in the last 75 pages or so, and I don’t want to spoil that, but it wasn’t a huge deal. I still really enjoyed the reading experience and will definitely read more books by MKA!

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Because I do not share a detailed description of the synopsis in my reviews, click one of the following links to The StoryGraph or Goodreads to read it!

I want to preface this review with saying: when I wasn’t really reading much for pleasure, I was always reading Jodi Picoult. Every time I went into the library or the bookstore, I would check to see if she had a new title. I’ve read nearly all of her backlist, some of them twice, and always appreciated the way she approached heavy topics in tender, eye opening ways.

But this book, as a whole, didn’t work for me.

There were some things I liked:
–> I read 75% of the book via audio and the last 25% in print. I loved the audio narration. Marin Ireland never disappoints for me!
–> I really enjoyed the imagery. The Galapagos sounded absolutely breathtaking.
–> The mental illness representation in Beatriz’s character was super raw and important.

Now, on to what I didn’t like (and mild spoilers if you haven’t read it):

I found Diana to be absolutely dreadful. There was nothing about her character that appealed to me. Her actions were insensitive and selfish, and she spent way too much time emphasizing her “life plan” in the beginning, only to flip at the end when she decided that Finn, the man who stood by her side and helped her regain her health, was “not the person” she wanted to fulfill that life plan with. Like, what? You were so concerned about fulfilling this grand plan that you didn’t care that you got his feelings wrapped up in it, had him fall in love with you, only for you to flip the switch when you realized you didn’t love HIM, but you loved the plan? Oof, that made me so mad. Finn was the best character in this book and Diana tried hard to make him seem awful through her eyes, but it didn’t fool me.

Secondly, this whole “it was all a dream” trope has got to go. It wasn’t super surprising to a Picoult fan that has read all the books, but in this case, I found it to be insensitive and eye roll worthy. Because it “wasn’t real”, there were some really heavy topics addressed in the first half that were suddenly, poof, unimportant. Sooo, what about Beatriz and her mental anguish? What about her relationship with her dad after feeling so betrayed by him? We were expected to finish the book without these characters that we spend the first 50ish% getting attached to, and it was just not fair.

All in all, I did not appreciate the way this one played out or the execution of it. It felt jumbled and rushed at best. While I do think I will read more of Picoult’s work in the future, this isn’t one I would recommend. I would recommend My Sister’s Keeper or The Pact for someone that wants a book that pulls at their heartstrings, not this frustrating one.

While I didn’t love this one, I am in the minority of readers, as the book has over 93k reviews on Goodreads and over a 4 star rating. If you want to give the book a try, please consider using one of the following affiliate links to Amazon or when purchasing. It gives me a small commission at no cost to you!


To read the book synopsis, follow on of the following links to The StoryGraph or Goodreads.

Lease on Love marks the last time I will allow myself to start a new book at 10:30pm. I stayed up until 2:30am and forced myself to get some rest so I wouldn’t feel dead on my feet the next day, then finished the book in the afternoon that same day. It was a hilarious ride with a wonderful cast of characters, and I have no regrets on how tired I felt afterward.

My favorite part of this book was the cast of characters and how close they all were. The friendships were unlike anything I’ve ever read! Living in NYC, they all lean on each other for the support that people in small towns get from their immediately family. They all felt like family, and I was just as invested in the side characters as I was the protagonist. It embodied true friendship in your 20’s and I found myself wishing I was in this group.

From start to end, the book takes place over about 18 months, and I thought the pacing of it was mostly realistic and perfectly executed. A lot happens in the under 350 pages, and that’s the kind of book that I love! Something that will leave me thinking about it for a long time without taking a ton of my time. The main character experiences a lot of growth throughout the story, and I loved being able to witness it firsthand.

Overall, this was a solid, solid debut from Falon Ballard and I cannot wait to read more from her! If you would like to purchase this book, please consider using my affiliate link to either Amazon or These give me a small commission at no cost to you.


To read the book synopsis, click one of the following links to The StoryGraph or Goodreads!

This was a sweet little middle grade novel with a lot of heart! I had such a fun time flying through this in just about 24 hours. It’s a quick read (265 pages with big spacing) but still packs a good punch!The things I loved in this book:

Here’s what I enjoyed in this book:

  • A look into the world of growing up Asian in a mostly white world. I felt this was approached in a sensitive, age appropriate way for the target audience of the novel.
  • The figure skating references had me so entertained – and wanting to look up each of the routines referenced! It also felt very “true to life” for children that age who idolize their sports heroes.
  • The portrayal of a new, sweet friendship between Maxine and Hollie was just so special.
  • All the 90’s pop culture references made this so much fun!

Overall, I think this was a perfect read for middle grade, and was still entertaining as an adult!

If you would like to purchase this novel, please consider using one of the following affiliate links to Amazon or to do so. These give me a small commission at no cost to you!