REVIEW: MEET ME IN THE MARGINS by MELISSA FERGUSON

Since I don’t share the synopsis in my reviews, feel free to click one of the following links to read the synopsis on The StoryGraph or Goodreads.

This sweet little book was sent to me by the publisher (Thomas Nelson books) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

This book was a perfect book to read leading up to Valentine’s Day! With a perfectly bookish setting, we get to go on the emotional ride with Savannah Cade as she works to live out her dream of being a romance author. With some hilarious supporting characters, a compelling workplace romance, and a fun look into the publishing industry, this story was the sweetest palette cleanser.

I loved the setting and the light, fluffy feelings this book gave me. I loved the quirky characters. I loved how easy it was to turn the pages.

My biggest drawback with the book was that there wasn’t enough romance for me – the pacing of the story was quite slow, and I was hoping to read more of Savannah and her secret editor together.

All in all, this was a solid read that I gave 3.75 stars to! It publishes on February 15, 2022, so be sure to pick up a copy from Bookshop.org or Amazon using one of my provided affiliate links if you want to support my blog!

REVIEW: VICIOUS by V.E. SCHWAB

Since my reviews will not tell you what the book is about, go ahead and click the following links to The StoryGraph or Goodreads to read the book synopsis!

It has been 2 days since I finished this masterpiece of a novel and I am still reeling over it. What a great start to my 2022 reading life!

To preface this review, I want to add that the only prior book of Schwab’s that I’ve read is The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, and while I LOVED that book with my heart and soul, it was absolutely nothing like this book. So if you’ve only read Addie and you want to pick up Vicious, just know that you are not going to get a similar novel.

I give this book 50 gajillion stars, though, and here’s why:

If I had to describe this book in one adjective, I think I would choose explosive. From start to finish, this story is fast paced, action packed, and compulsively readable. The story did not lag and there were not chunks of the book that were irrelevant. And I only read a few fantasy novels a year – so if you are worried that this book is only for avid fantasy readers, have no fear! I think anyone can pick this up and easily digest it.

Another thing that Schwab knocked out of the park was the character development alongside the storytelling. I find that, often, authors who are focused on writing something plot driven let the character development slip through the cracks, leaving readers with a lot of questions at the end about why decisions were made throughout. But since Schwab wove in the stories of our key players throughout, I never once questioned their actions or their motives.

Lastly, the dual timeline in this book was executed flawlessly, with both narratives holding a unique purpose that ultimately brought us to the end of the story. The flash backs never gave me readers whiplash, and I didn’t have to question which storyline I was in on any given page or why.

I know it’s only January 12, but I’m calling it now – this is in my top 10 of 2022. It has to be. What a ride. I’m so glad I read it!

To purchase a copy of Vicious, please consider using my affiliate links to Amazon or Bookshop.org to do so. This provides me a small commission at no cost to you!

REVIEW: WEATHER GIRL by RACHEL LYNN SOLOMON

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

Thank you to Berkley Publishing for an advanced digital copy of the book in exchange for an honest review!

I kicked off 2022 with a book by one of my favorite authors, Rachel Lynn Solomon, and I’m so glad that I did! Weather Girl birthed some brilliant, colorful characters while touching on a subject that is near and dear to my heart – depression and mental illness, brought to life and displayed in a first person voice with the main character of Ari.

Rachel Lynn Solomon did something beautiful with the portrayal of Ari and her lifelong battle with the dark looming illness of depression. This topic is often treaded lightly around in novels versus being fully discussed and exposed, and I think that our society’s stigma round mental illness is exacerbated because of it. Instead of giving subtle hints about mental illness or using it as a plot device for a side character, it is discussed openly, gently, and genuinely.

While many folks of generations past swept anything of the nature under the rug, we now live in a time where talking about it is normal and accepted – something that we see Ari grapple with. We get to watch her grow from being with someone who knew nothing about her illness to finding someone that knows, loves, and accepts her with it.

The feeling of being unable to share your whole self with others because of your disease is something that so many, myself included, struggle with daily. This portrayal in literature is a massive step in the world of mental illness, and I applaud Solomon for giving Ari to those of us who needed her. Feeling seen at this level in a story is a gift.

I took this photo in the snow because one of my favorite passages in the book came from a chapter/scene that took place during a snowstorm, where Ari explains that depression cannot be controlled, and no matter what she does or how content she is at any given time, it’ll eventually come back. And that is so personal to me and my life – where I truly felt seen. Because while yes, I am happy in my life, and I do everything I can to try and beat the battle going on for serotonin in my brain, at the end of it all, it always comes back.


That being said, this book had a few shortcomings that kept it from being a 5 star read for me, the first one being the lack of chemistry between the lead characters. While I enjoyed Ari and found Russell endearing, I had a hard time believing in their attraction to one another. I don’t know if it was a lack of banter or dialogue in general, but something just…missed the mark on that one.

Secondly, I felt like a side story (that really felt close to being the main story) was overall more interesting than the story of Ari and Russell. And maybe that was the authors intention, I can’t be sure, but I found myself more invested in characters that were not as present throughout.

With this book, Rachel Lynn Solomon has proven once again that she can mesh a bunch of different tropes into one heck of a story, charming readers and making us fall in love with and want to travel to Seattle yet again. I recommend reading this one upon its release on January 11, 2022!

To purchase a copy of Weather Girl, please consider using the following affiliate links to Amazon or Bookshop.org. Those provide me with a small commission at no cost to you.

REVIEW: THE HOLIDAY SWAP by MAGGIE KNOX

Thank you to Putnam Books for sending me this free copy in exchange for a review!

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

This book was like The Parent Trap + Christmas + love stories, and those are three things that I love!

This sweet story of sisters banding together to help solve each others problems made me genuinely wish I had a sister, or even a twin. While the romances were definitely plot points, the sisterly bond was my favorite part to read. Especially the twin ESP moments, where one could FEEL something that the other was feeling, even from afar!

While I thought there were a few things that were “off” with this one (pacing a smidge uneven, some characters that just didn’t thrill me), I do think this was a sweet story for someone looking for a light holiday read that’ll make you want to eat all the cookies – and call your sister.

To purchase this book, please consider using the following affiliate links to Amazon or Bookshop.org. These provide me with a small commission at no cost to you.

HOLIDAY BOOK MINI REVIEWS

I’ve finished these three (plus a few more that I forgot to photograph) since I started reading holiday books and I am hoping to squeeze in a few more before the end of the season. So far they’ve been really sweet – here’s a little mini review of each!

THE HOLIDAY SWAP by Maggie Knox – this sweet twin story made me wish I had a sister myself! I enjoyed the banter between the characters and their unique storylines. It’s a Christmas-y version of The Parent Trap! ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Click the following links to purchase on Amazon or Bookshop.org.

CHRISTMAS BY THE BOOK by Anne Marie Ryan – you know I love a book set in a bookstores, and this one brought a quaint little story about one to life! Read this one if you love character driven novels that feel like a hug in a book, this one is for you! ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Click the following links to purchase on Amazon or Bookshop.org.

THE MATZAH BALL by Jean Meltzer – I really enjoyed the look into the Jewish traditions both in day to day life and during the Hanukkah holiday. This romance had some great chronic illness representation – I learned a lot! ⭐️⭐️⭐️.💫 Click the following links to purchase on Amazon or Bookshop.org.

REVIEW: MOM JEANS AND OTHER MISTAKES by ALEXA MARTIN

Click the following links to read the book synopsis on Goodreads or The StoryGraph.

This book made me laugh, made me feel seen, and provided an escape into a story of a realistic, loving friendship.

4 things I loved about this book:
⭐️ Lauren – she’s a QUEEN and I adore her. A brilliant, rockstar single mom that also keeps it real? Here for it.
⭐️ The dual perspective helped me get to know the main characters and had very distinct voices – if I zoned out, I could pick up mid chapter and know who I was reading because the MCs are super unique.
⭐️The love interest was sweet, charming, and not too focused on. It was healthy and I love seeing that in books!
⭐️ The emotions that Martin was able to evoke from me 👏🏻 I am not a sensitive reader, but I FELT something when I read this book.

I recommend this book to any mom who needs an escape and wishes she could have a girlfriend there through everything.

To purchase this book, please consider using my Amazon or Bookshop.org links. These give me a small commission at no cost to you!

REVIEW: YOU’LL BE THE DEATH OF ME by KAREN MCMANUS

Thank you Delacorte press for an early readers copy in exchange for an honest review!

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

Thank you Delacorte Press for a free ecopy in exchange for a review!

Karen McManus is back at it again with a compelling storyline about seemingly unconnected teenagers who are connected in a twist way. Another random murder that teens are caught in the middler of and trying to investigate? I’m here for it. Karen McManus is one of my favorite authors and writes fast paced, page turning thrillers.

This one took a little bit to get invested, for sure, and I think the reason for that is that the three main characters all have similar “voices”. While the book is written in first person with chapters rotating between each of the MC’s voicing, I found myself getting lost mid chapter, trying to figure out who was behind each one (in the beginning particularly). They all “sounded” the same – nobody was particularly interesting or unique, either.

Around the halfway point was where it picked up for me, and I read the remainder of the book in 36 hours. Once the ball got rolling, it moved quickly.

But at the end of it, I only really liked one character – the rest were just “meh” for me. I have trouble getting invested in a story if I don’t feel anything for the main players, and that’s exactly what happened here.

All in all – the storyline, while slow in the beginning, was a solid 4 stars from me. An intricately woven tangled web, McManus delivered with juicy plot twists driven by untrustworthy characters.

The characters, however, get a 3 star “meh” from me, averaging this book out to a 3,5/5 stars.

Will I read her next one? 100% I will. this one wasn’t a total miss, just took a hot minute to get revved up.

To purchase this book, please consider using my affiliate links to Amazon or Bookshop.org. It releases 11/30 in the USA. This provides me with a small commission at no cost to you.

REVIEW: HEARD IT IN A LOVE SONG by TRACEY GARVIS GRAVES

Click the following links to The StoryGraph or Goodreads to read the synopsis of the book!

Thank you St. Martin’s press for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

This is my the fourth book I have read by Tracey Garvis Graves, and sadly, my least favorite. What I loved about her previous novels (fast pacing, a storyline that pulls me in quickly) definitely was not present in this one. While I found the premise of the book intriguing and the characters to be mostly compelling, I had a tough time getting through it. It took me a couple of weeks to read it, something that did not happen to me with any of her previous books.

While I did not dislike most of the story or the characters, I found the storytelling to be poorly paced and clunky. The switching back and forth between past and present day did not fit together as seamlessly as I think Graves is capable of, and I do wonder if maybe the spacing (or lack thereof) in the ebook affected my reading experience. It felt like being tossed around in a teacup rollercoaster ride at times, with no real direction and also giving me the feeling of, “Can this be over already?”

I did find both of the main characters to be likable for the most part, something that is important for me in a novel, so Graves nailed that one. They were realistic, flawed, and human without being unbelievable.

The romance was the slowest burn of anything I’ve ever read by Graves, and while I don’t mind a slow burn, this was…barely an ember at times. I felt like I was reading a story of cousins or something. And not only was the romance itself slow, the entire PLOT of the book was slow. It read more like a family drama than a romance, and while slow pacing isn’t necessarily BAD, it just wasn’t what I was expecting.

All in all, the book had great bones, just lacked something I cannot quite put my finger on. 3/5 stars with the hopes that TGG next book is a better fit for my reading tastes!

Content warnings: divorce, animal death

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REVIEW: MALIBU RISING by TAYLOR JENKINS REID

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

Oh, Taylor Jenkins Reid, you’ve done it again. You’ve pulled at my heartstrings in the best way and have made me fall in love with people who don’t exist. How dare you!

This atmospheric, engrossing read had me hooked from the start, with a slow paced, steady burn that kept the pages turning easily. Reid knows how to write flawed characters that are lovable and dialogue that feels real. I was so invested in the Riva family and felt like they were distant family members of mine.

I took off a star because the ending fell a little flat for me. I was hoping for something more explosive, but I felt Reid wanted this to be “quieter” novel, and she accomplished just that.

A wonderful, engrossing book that made my heart break and think about the importance of family and loyalty.

Content warnings: alcoholism, death of parent, abandonment, drug use, infidelity, sexual content, car accident

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