Review// Egomaniac by Vi Keeland

32848471

Author: Vi Keeland
Series: Standalone
Genre: New Adult/ Romance
Release Date: January 16, 2017
Book Length:  322 pages 
Publisher: Everafter Romance
Review: 4/5

Goodreads Synopsis:

The night I met Drew Jagger, he’d just broken into my new Park Avenue office. I dialed 9-1-1 before proceeding to attack him with my fancy new Krav Maga skills.  He quickly restrained me, then chuckled, finding my attempted assault amusing.

Of course, my intruder had to be arrogant. Only, turned out, he wasn’t an intruder at all.

Drew was the rightful occupant of my new office. He’d been on vacation while his posh space was renovated. Which was how a scammer got away with leasing me office space that wasn’t really available for rent. I was swindled out of ten grand.

The next day, after hours at the police station, Drew took pity on me and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. In exchange for answering his phones while his secretary was out, he’d let me stay until I found a new place. I probably should have acted grateful and kept my mouth shut when I overheard the advice he was spewing to his clients. But I couldn’t help giving him a piece of my mind. I never expected my body to react every time we argued. Especially when that was all we seemed to be able to do.

The two of us were complete opposites. Drew was a bitter, angry, gorgeous-as-all-hell destroyer of relationships. And my job was to help people save their marriages. The only thing the two of us had in common was the space we were sharing. And an attraction that was getting harder to deny by the day.

My Review:

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Or do, I guess? I don’t know. What I do know though is that this book was great.  At the beginning, I was genuinely toying with the idea of giving it a 2/5, but the story improved so much that I had to raise it, which I was shocked about because that does not happen too often.

I loved the chemistry between Drew and Emerie, and I especially enjoyed that it was built up over a long period of time before anything actually happened.  Judging by the cover, I thought something would happen between them a lot sooner than it did, but I liked the suspense that came from waiting. Although there was a sense of sexual tension that the other probably noticed, you could tell that their feelings were still somewhat a mystery to the other for a while, and it was fun to experience how that played out. The characters also felt true to their ages—late 20s/ early 30s—which, to me, is important and made them seem more real.

Drew in particular really surprised me. When you see the title of Egomaniac, your first thought is that he’s going to be a dick, for lack of a better word. However, I think the word ‘egomaniac’ only applied to Drew as he was a victim of circumstances that sort of made him that way. He wasn’t perfect (perfect doesn’t exist anyways), but he did have good intentions with Emerie and you could tell that he truly fell for her which gave me such a soft spot for him. It also helped that I saw my personality in Emerie, so I really wanted things to work out for her. I won’t go into the details to avoid possible spoilers, but the book was about more than just the relationship between the two though, which was nice as it added dimension to the story.

10/10 would recommend if you’re a fan of New Adult. I laughed out loud and said ‘oh my god’ too many times to count, so I really can’t wait to give more Vi Keeland books a read in the future!

Has anyone read this or other good New Adult books? Any and all recommendations are welcome 🙂

– Catherine


Capture

Advertisements

Review// Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Life & Love From Dear Sugar

13152194

Author: Cheryl Strayed
Series: Standalone
Genre: Non-fiction
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Book Length:  304 pages 
Publisher: Vintage
Review: 5/5

Goodreads Synopsis:

Life can be hard: your lover cheats on you; you lose a family member; you can’t pay the bills—and it can be great: you’ve had the hottest sex of your life; you get that plum job; you muster the courage to write your novel. Sugar—the once-anonymous online columnist at The Rumpus, now revealed as Cheryl Strayed, author of the bestselling memoir Wild—is the person thousands turn to for advice.
Tiny Beautiful Things brings the best of Dear Sugar in one place and includes never-before-published columns and a new introduction by Steve Almond.  Rich with humor, insight, compassion—and absolute honesty—this book is a balm for everything life throws our way.

My Review:

It’s hard to think of the perfect thing to say that would accurately convey what this book has done to me but the one thing that I know for certain is that it was life-altering. I’m better for having read this, and that, to me, is what all the best books do—they make you feel changed for the better.

This book is a compilation of advice columns answered by a woman who goes by the name, ‘Sugar’. It is what the title says it is—advice on life and love—but for almost the whole book, I wondered why it was called Tiny Beautiful Things. It’s not until I finished that I understood that it is sometimes the tiny, beautiful, seemingly-meaningless things about life that you don’t think matter that much in the moment which are the things you look back on as some of the most profound of your life.

The letters written to Sugar over the course of this book come from people of all ages, backgrounds, religious beliefs, and the like—people who are lost, confused, lonely, desperate, and scared, looking for someone to give them answers. Sugar isn’t some all-knowing fortune teller with a crystal ball who can see into your future, and she doesn’t claim to be; she is a real human being like you or I who has also been lost, confused, lonely, desperate, and scared. That is what makes her advice so good.  That is why thousands of people write to her—because even if she hasn’t been in their particular situation, she makes them feel understood by bringing up her own experiences and never saying that they are wrong for feeling what they do. And feeling understood feels really, really good, especially when you are going through tough situations that make you feel alone, as many of these people were. Even though I can’t say I have experienced half of the exact things that the people who wrote to her were going through, I can say that I have experienced the same emotions, which made the stories feel relatable regardless.

This was eye-opening and, at times, a heavy and emotional read. I really cannot recommend it enough, and I will be giving it a reread in the future for sure.


What would you tell your twentysomething self if you could talk to her now?

There are some things you can’t understand yet. Your life will be a great and continuous unfolding. You will come to know things that can only be known with the wisdom of age and the grace of years. The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming.


Capture

Review// The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Lisa Dickenson

26174815

Author: Lisa Dickenson
Series: Standalone
Genre: Romance
Release Date: October 22, 2015
Book Length:  384 pages 
Publisher: Sphere
Review: 1/5

Goodreads Synopsis:

At thirty, Claudia’s life is stale and the romance with long-term boyfriend, Seth, has disappeared. Determined to inject some festive spark back into their love life, Claudia and Seth go on their first date in a very long time. But when the night ends in disaster, Claudia suddenly finds herself facing life – and Christmas – alone.

Life alone is exciting, scary and full of soon-forgotten exercise regimes and ill-advised attempts at crafting sexy underwear. It’s also filling up with dates, surprisingly. With best friends Penny and Nick at her side, a surplus of festive markets, mulled wine and Christmas tunes, Claudia attempts to face all this change with gusto. One thing’s for certain: this year, Christmas is going to be very different . . .

This is the story of Claudia and her twelve dates of Christmas. Hilarious, uplifting and romantic, it’s a story about losing love, finding love, and discovering what’s been there all along. Expect Christmas sparkle, butterflies-in-your-stomach romance and a lot of very funny moments in The Twelve Dates of Christmas.

My Review:

Oh my. Where do I even begin with this? The synopsis makes it sound kind of cute, but you could probably tell by my rating that this was not the book for me. Before I get into the bits I didn’t like, I will mention a few of the things I did:

The cover: it’s really pretty, and I always get sucked into the pretty covers.
It felt festive: I wanted to read a holiday-themed book, and I thought this delivered really well in giving me that vibe.
Claudia had a Friends poster in her childhood bedroom: do I even need to explain this?
The dedication at the front: the author thanked herself in the dedication which I thought was kind of funny.

Unfortunately, that is a much shorter list of things I thought were good about it than I had hoped to give it. Mainly, the thing that I didn’t like was how dramatic and far-fetched the scenarios in this book were. Claudia has just broken it off with her boyfriend of 5 years – a man who, just hours before their disastrous date that ended things, she was so into trying to impress to give him the best night ever. The part in the synopsis about ‘life alone being so exciting’ actually makes me laugh because she didn’t have a life alone after him??? It was literally ONE DAY. I completely understand that everyone grieves the end of a relationship differently, but I find it really hard to believe that like a day or two after, she was able to go on a date with someone new so effortlessly. Basically, her reasoning for this was that she kind of wanted to ‘spite’ Seth because she had seen him with someone new the night they called it off, and I found that to be very childish. Although Seth was awful, I really wanted to root for Claudia to find better, but that became difficult when she was so petty, annoying, gullible, immature, and just plain stupid. I really don’t think that she was in the right head space to go on one date, let alone twelve, so I really didn’t feel any sort of desire to watch her find love.

It felt like the author was forcing the timeline to move so fast because she could only fit the Christmas narrative within the one month of December. This is just a personal preference, but I enjoy more of a slow burn when it comes to books with romance in them; I would rather the author build up tension for like, 200 pages with narrative that makes me question where the relationship will go, rather than it being so predictable and outwardly cheesy. Speaking of cheesiness, there were many scenes in this book that reminded me so much of those Lifetime movies with the bad acting. I just cringed through so many scenes and felt way too much second hand embarrassment to allow myself to enjoy it.

The book wasn’t completely awful; it just was not my cup of tea. If you like predictability, cheesiness, and exaggerated drama, you might like this, but it just was not for me.

Let’s connect! Goodreads | Twitter


Capture

Review// The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

34037113

Author: Alice Hoffman
Series: Practical Magic #1
Genre: Fiction
Release Date: October 10, 2017
Book Length:  369 pages 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review: 4/5

Goodreads Synopsis:

For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man.

Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair, shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people’s thoughts, and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk.

From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic. And most importantly, never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse.

The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. The two beautiful sisters will grow up to be the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while Vincent, their beloved brother, will leave an unexpected legacy

My Review:

The Rules of Magic: do as you will, but harm no one; what you give will be returned to you threefold; and fall in love whenever you can.

I was hooked on the idea of this story the second I found out it was about witches; I could really use some more books about witches in my life. I think one of the best parts about this was the characters. Franny, Jet, and Vincent all had very different and distinct personalities but they worked so well as a team. Although they had their disagreements, as all siblings do, they always watched out for one another and had the others’ best interests at heart. Something I adored was getting to watch them grow old as the story progressed; usually a story will only show you a snapshot in time of characters’ lives, but this took you through practically their whole lifespans. This was made even better by real historic events being woven through the story as the decades went on to make it very believable.

Yes, one of the major themes in this book is love, but more than that, it is about family, growing up, loss, and choosing courage over caution to face it all. Most of the time, you don’t get to choose the cards you are dealt in life, but none of the siblings ever let the looming curse stop them from choosing courage to make it through, even though caution was always more convenient.

This was such a great book and one I would recommend to anybody looking for a feel-good, magical story.

Let’s connect! Goodreads | Twitter


Capture

Disney Channel Halloween Movies Tag

Yay, a Halloween-inspired tag! Thank you to Rendz of Reading With Rendz for tagging me to do this; I was really excited because Disney Channel Halloween movies are my life this time of year. (And no, I don’t care how old I get, I will always love the classic Disney Channel movies – Halloween or not – of my childhood. No shame whatsoever).

Rules:

  1. Tag the creator (bookprincessreviews) of the DHM Tag.
  2. Thank the person who tagged who.
  3. Answer the questions.
  4. Tag five more people.

Halloweentown: Where is your favorite place to go for Halloween or a place you want to go?

Image result for halloweentown gif

Can I literally say Halloweentown or is that cheating? The first Halloweentown movie is my favourite one they play on Disney Channel during this season. Normally I would be terrified to go where all of those creatures live, but that movie made them seem friendly and I was always so jealous of those kids. Really hoping I’m not too old for a distant relative to show up on Halloween night and tell me I’m a witch…

Under Wraps: What’s something that used to be scary to you and then you realized it wasn’t just the mummy in this movie?

Image result for under wraps gif

The dark used to be very scary to me and I’ve learned to not be as afraid of it, buuut sometimes I still can be! My issue is that I really like to read about/ watch things that freak me out, so if I do it too close to bed time I am in for a long, sleepless night.

Tower of Terror: What is the scariest place you’ve ever been?

Image result for tower of terror gif

I went to one of those amusement parks around Halloween time that has mazes where people dressed in scary costumes jump out at you, and where people come at you with chainsaws. You can imagine I did not sleep well that night. But, like I said, I enjoy things that freak me out… even if I am tortured by the thoughts of it later.

Twitches: If you could be any supernatural creature, what would you be?

Image result for twitches gif

I would want to be a witch for sure!!! I was that girl whose costume was a witch like 5 times in a row in elementary school.

Don’t Look Under the Bed: Were you scared of monsters when you were a kid? When did it stop?

Image result for don't look under the bed gif

Yes. I used to practically suffocate under blankets before I allowed my feet to dangle off my bed for fear that a monster would grab my foot. I don’t even know when it stopped, but I’m gonna guess it was a lot more recently that I would prefer to admit.

Phantom of the Megaplex: Do you watch scary movies? If so, what is your favorite or the one you got most afraid of?

Image result for phantom of the megaplex gif

I do! Does it count if I’m covering my eyes (more than) half the time though?! I liked IT – I’ve only watched the remake – and Poltergeist, and I remember watching The Strangers when it came out and being terrified. Going to a remote cabin in the woods??? Noooooope. Count me out.

The Scream Team: Who would be on your dream team if you went on a ghost/supernatural creature hunt?

Image result for the scream team gif

Rhysand from the ACOTAR series. I feel like he would be a good protector, and like he’s a High Fae so he has some cool powers I think may be helpful. (I’m only on the second book, no one spoil him for me!!!) Also, I liked Rendz’s idea of bringing along a hot guy to hide behind so I am totally stealing that.

Mom’s Got a Date with a Vampire: Have you ever witnessed something/someone that could only be explained by the paranormal? If yes, what/who?

Image result for mom's got a date with a vampire gif

I’m going to sound crazy, but when I was a kid my bed used to be close to my window and one night I heard a little kid calling for their dad over and over in the exact same tone (sounded like a broken record) at like 11PM. First of all, no little kid lived next door, and second, I don’t think one would be outside by themselves at 11PM on a school night in the dead of winter. The second I called for my own dad, the voice stopped. Pretty sure I slept with the covers aaaaalll the way up to my nose that night.

This tag was so fun! I tag: 

Shalini

Becky

Catherine

Angelica

Kristin

As always, if you don’t want to do the tag or have done it already, no pressure to do it! And if I didn’t tag you but you want to do it, feel free to say I tagged you so I can see your answers 🙂

Happy reading,

Catherine

Let’s connect! Goodreads | Twitter


Capture