Review: Star-Crossed

Star-Crossed by Minnie Darke

Publication Date: 5/21/19

Publisher: Crown Publishing

Rating: 3/5

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from Crown Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.

Review: I came across Minnie Darke’s newest novel, Star-Crossed, on Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Instagram page and then went on NetGalley to request for it immediately. Star-Crossed follows Justine and Nick, childhood friends, who bump into each other as adults. When Justine learns that Nick has complete faith in the stars and religiously reads his horoscope in the magazine she works for, Justine decides to take Nick’s horoscope and fate into her own hands. Overall, this was a cute romcom and it reminded me of when I was growing up, I used to read the astrology section in the newspaper everyday along with the advice columns which were a guilty pleasure of mine. I liked the way that the chapters were broken out and that it flowed pretty well. There were so many characters introduced, but it somehow worked well. The story was a bit too cheesy for me though. I wasn’t a big fan of the cusp chapters and felt that the other subplots were a bit boring even though I understood why the author included those. If you’re looking for something light to read or are a fan of romance novels, I’d recommend this.

Review: Daisy Jones and The Six

Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Publication Date: 3/5/19
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Rating: 4/5

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from Ballantine Books in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

Review: Daisy Jones and The Six is Taylor Jenkins Reid’s newest novel which will release in March 2019. I was super excited to get my hands on an ARC as I absolutely loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and could wait to read this one. This historical fiction novel follows the former band members of famous ‘70s rock n roll group Daisy Jone and The Six and how they split in 1979. I really liked the interview writing format of this book. The writing style is great in a way that keeps your interest throughout the book. The plot was interesting, but I couldn’t really get into the ‘70s rock n roll overhyped stereotypes. By midway in the book? I was pretty fed up with the way the main characters, Daisy and Billy, were acting. Overall, I liked The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo much better than Daisy Jones and The Six. I also heard that Reese Witherspoon will be producing a limited series on Amazon based on the books so I’m curious to see how that will pan out. If you are a fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid, then I would highly recommend adding Daisy Jones and The Six to your TBR.

Review: Watching You

Watching You by Lisa Jewell

Publication Date: 12/26/18
Publisher: Atria Books

Rating: 3/5

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from Atria Books via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.

Review: This is the second book from Lisa Jewell that I have read. I had high expectations on this novel since I loved Then She Was Gone. Lisa Jewell’s newest thriller follows a group of neighbors who live in this nice posh little area, but something isn’t right. The head school teacher, Tom Fitzwilliam, is loved and adored by everyone, but there are a few people who question his character. Overall, this was a mediocre book. The plot was intriguing, however, I wasn’t a fan of the writing style. The first half of the book was extremely slow. Some of the characters were outright irritating and I didn’t really care to know more about them. The ending was pretty good even though I felt like it was a bit predictable. I wouldn’t recommend reading this novel as there are so many other great thrillers out there.

2018 Wrap Up & 2019 Goals

2018 was a wonderful reading year for me! Here are some positive things that happened:

  • Not only did I surpass my original goal of reading 50 books, but I surpassed my revised goal of reading over 100 books (I netted out to 105 books)
  • I met some really great people on bookstagram both online and in person
  • I received my first physical ARC book this year (It was An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen)

Some things I learned this past year:

  • It’s okay to DNF a book so I can read something else that’s better.
  • Be picky about the books I decide to read and put on my TBR list
  • It’s more of quality of books I’ve read versus the quantity

Going into 2019, here are my reading goals:

  • GoodReads Reading Goal: Putting the goal at zero so I focus on books I truly want to read and not stress about getting to a specific number (updated as 1/8/19)
  • Join a book club I will enjoy and to meet new friends
  • Buy less books for myself – buy books for book swaps and utilize the library more

How was your 2018 reading year? What are your goals for 2019?

2018 Best & Worst Books I’ve Read

2018 was filled with some true gems which will be part of my list of my favorite books ever and there were also a few that were real duds where I literally threw the book in the trash!

Here are my top 9 favorites in no particular order that you should add to your 2019 TBR list!

The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine

This book made me discover my love for domestic thrillers. The duplicity, affairs, toxic relationships are gripping! I definitely liked this one over The Wife Between Us. This thriller has a special place on my book cart along with in my heart.

The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

This young adult contemporary novel is surprisingly deep. The author tackles serious topics of immigration, race, family, and scientific vs. artistic mindsets in such a beautiful way with an array of diverse characters.

Mr. And Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel

If you’re looking for a feel good lighthearted novel that isn’t too romantic, look no further! This contemporary novel dives into beauty pageants, family, finding your identity, and the American Dream.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

This steamy heartfelt read will give you all the reads. I love that author uses Asian main characters and also brings awareness to Asperger’s in a sensitive way as well. This book also won GoodRead’s best romance novel of the year.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This was the first book I read from TJR that quickly made her one of my favorite authors. This historical fiction novel oozes fame, money, and sex set in the Hollywood glamour era. I loved the vulnerability of the characters and how unapologetic the female characters are while getting what they want.

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

This dark compulsive thriller almost gave me nightmares! The book explores themes of mean girls, revenge, and summer camp. If you loved Riley Sanger’s Final Girls, then you’ll love this one even more!

No Exit by Taylor Adams

This insanely twisted thriller kept me on my toes the whole time. The storyline gripes you from page 1 and you don’t see any of the twists and turns coming. I have to admit that it makes me think twice about stopping at rest stop in the middle of nowhere now.

Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Jones

This beautifully written novel explores love, survival, nature, heartbreak, and loneliness. I loved that this book combined elements of historical fiction and mystery. Some of the quotes will resonate with you long after you are finished reading.

Wonder by R.J. Palacios

The main message in this book is to be kind. I think every child and parent should be required to read this book. You never know what another person is going through and a little bit of kindness goes a long way. This is one of those books that will resonate with you and give you deeper insight into human connections.

Here are the top 9 worst books I read in 2018 in no particular order that I recommend skipping at all costs.

Look For Me by Lisa Gardner

This crime novel covers topics about family, troubled pasts, abuse, and survivors. I was disappointed in how dull this book was with the unnecessary repetition and lack of character depth considering it had an intriguing premise.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Unpopular opinion alert! I was in the minority who didn’t like this novel at all. I found the writing to be mediocre and the characters were all so unlikable that I found myself struggling to finish.

Match Made in Manhattan by Amanda Stauffer

I was really looking forward to reading this one since it’s a contemporary novel that explores online dating in NYC. Though the premise was interesting, the writing style was pretty choppy filled with heavy mundane dialogue. I found myself skipping sections to see if it would get better and let me tell you that it does not!

When You Disappeared by John Marrs

This thriller ended up being a dud. At some point the twists ended up being predictable and the writing wasn’t as strong as the author had in other books. This novel explores toxic relationships, abandonment, and deception.

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll

Fame, feminism, gossip, and sisterhood are some of the themes found in this novel. It barely qualifies as a thriller. The writing style was mediocre, however, all the characters ended up being so irritating which made it difficult to finish.

The Sisters Chase by Sarah Healy

This has got to be one of the dumbest thrillers I have ever read. It shouldn’t even classify as a thriller as all the drama was so predictable and boring. All the characters lacked depth and the storyline ended up being so bland.

Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou

This novel is supposed to be a thriller, but ended up being melodramatic and boring. Guilt, toxic relationships, and resentment are some topics that can be found in this novel. The writing style was so boring and the twists ended up being predictable able a quarter of the way into the book.

Sunburn by Laura Lippman

Small town, lust, betrayal, and troubled pasts are some of the themes across this thriller. The characters were pretty dense and the storyline ended up being a drag. Skip at all costs.

The Spite Game by Anna Snoekstra

This is basically a terrible wanna be thriller version of mean girls. The plot sounded promising, but the story was terribly executed. The alternating between present day and various years flashbacks were confusing and sometimes made no sense at all.

Review: Chemistry

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Chemistry by Weike Wang

Clues to describe this book: Toxic Stress, Fork in the road, Self Identity, Acceptance

Review: Chemistry is a coming-of-age story about a young Chinese-American female scientist who goes on a soul-searching journey to find herself as she wrestles with the burden of parental expectations, career aspirations, and her boyfriend’s marriage proposal. Weike’s writing style is choppy and is told from the perspective an unnamed protagonist. Overall, I enjoyed this book and felt that this book was very relatable, especially the part about needing to live up to the expectations that comes with being second generation Asian. Chemistry is a short, but it’s well-written and a satisfying read. If you ever felt like you have encountered a fork in the road, this book will resonate with you and is definitely worth the read.