Review: Thirty-Life Crisis

Thirty-Life-Crisis by Lisa Schwartz

Publication: Grand Central Publishing

Publication Date: 8/27/19

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

GoodReads Synopsis: THIRTYLIFE CRISIS Lisa Schwartz’s stories and musings are all about watching her friends adult like pros, while she tries to understand why she doesn’t want or can’t seem to find all the things they have for herself. Like a big sister who’s already seen it all, Lisa will take readers through her own life experiences to say that one thing we all need to hear: you are so not alone. Unabashed and unfiltered, Schwartz’s voice and candor will appeal to anyone in their thirties who just can’t deal with the never-ending Facebook feed of friends’ engagement photos and baby pictures, the trials of figuring out where their passion meets their career, and everything in between.

Review: Thirty-Life-Crisis is Lisa Schwartz’s debut book. Overall, I realized that this book wasn’t my cup of tea. I couldn’t get into the writing style. Some of the tid bits she writes at the end of her chapters are relatable and sound advice. However, I found most of the chapters to be a bit all over the place and a little bit repetitive. I found myself skimming most the book trying to get a gist of what points she was making. Personally, I’d recommend skipping this nonfiction book unless you’re a fan of her YouTube channel.

Rating: 1/5

Review: The Arrangement

The Arrangement by Robyn Harding

Publication: Gallery / Scout Press

Publication Date: 7/30/19

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

GoodReads Synopsis: Natalie, a young art student in New York City, is struggling to pay her bills when a friend makes a suggestion: Why not go online and find a sugar daddy—a wealthy, older man who will pay her for dates, and even give her a monthly allowance? Lots of girls do it, Nat learns. All that’s required is to look pretty and hang on his every word. Sexual favours are optional.

Though more than thirty years her senior, Gabe, a handsome corporate finance attorney, seems like the perfect candidate, and within a month, they are madly in love. At least, Nat is…Gabe already has a family, whom he has no intention of leaving.

So when he abruptly ends things, Nat can’t let go. She begins drinking heavily and stalking him: watching him at work, spying on his wife, even befriending his daughter, who is not much younger than she is. But Gabe’s not about to let his sugar baby destroy his perfect life. What was supposed to be a mutually beneficial arrangement devolves into a nightmare of deception, obsession, and, when a body is found near Gabe’s posh Upper East Side apartment, murder.

Review: This was the first book I’ve read from Robyn Harding. The whole concept of sugar daddy / sugar baby relationships in this book was truly fascinating to read. Robyn’s writing style intrigues you from page one and you can’t put it down. However, half way through, the book did feel a bit predictable to me. I liked how we were able to see the perspectives of Natalie (sugar baby) and Gabe (sugar daddy), but I was craving more of the first person alternative narrations in this novel. I was also curious to learn more of Celeste (Gabe’s wife) perspective more in the book instead. If you like domestic thrillers, then you should check this one out.

Rating: 3/5

Review: Breathe In, Cash Out

Breathe In, Cash Out by Madeleine Henry

Publication: Atria Books

Publication Date: 7/9/19

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

GoodReads Synopsis: Allegra Cobb’s resume: Straight-A Princeton grad, second-year analyst at a top-tier bank, one-time USA Yoga National Champion. Allegra Cobb’s reality: Spends twenty-four hours a day changing the colors on bar charts, overusing the word “team,” and daydreaming about quitting the minute her year-end bonus hits her account. She has no interest in the cutthroat banking world—she’s going to launch her very own yoga practice.

But her plan isn’t quite as perfect as the beachfront yoga pictures she double-taps on Instagram. On top of the 100 emails an hour and coworkers already suspicious of her escape plan, Allegra’s hard-driving single father has always expected fiercely high achievement above all else. That his daughter works on Wall Street means everything to him. Still, she marches on, taking it day by extremely caffeinated day.

But after (1) unknowingly sleeping with the man now leading her banking cohort on one of their biggest deals to date and (2) meeting the #blessed yoga guru who might just be her ticket to the life she’s always wanted, it really hits her: her happy-ever-after will be harder to manifest than she thought.

Fast-paced, laugh-out-loud funny, and totally irresistible, this is the story of a fearless young woman determined to center herself in the life she truly wants.

Review: When I initially heard about this book, I was super excited for it as practicing yoga is my other passion besides reading. I liked how work pressure was expressed in this novel and the main character’s relationships with her coworkers. The big part I did not like about this book at all was how yoga was represented in here and the whole side story about Instagram influencers which was a yawn. The author makes it as so shallow and ‘basic’, but there’s so much more to that. Yoga is not all about flexibility. It also focuses on strength as well. This part could have been portrayed a bit better. I also noticed that the author used a lot of yoga terms that if someone who doesn’t practice yoga wouldn’t know, but since I practice, I was familiar with true terminology. Honestly, I would recommend skipping this book.

Rating: 2/5

Review: The Right Swipe

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

Publication: Avon (HarperCollins)

Publication Date: 8/6/19

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

GoodReads Synopsis: Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:

– Nude pics are by invitation only

– If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice

– Protect your heart

Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears.

Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…

Review: This is the first book I’ve read from Alisha Rai and certainly won’t be my last. Based off the synopsis, I thought that this would be a more enemies turned lovers steamier read, but it ended up being a more complex story with less romance. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as Alisha Rai eloquently tackled sensitive and important topics like sexual harassment and CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) in the book. I really loved the diverse set of characters she had in her book which I found quite refreshing. I appreciate the complexities that the author brings out in the main characters which was interesting to read. However, I found them extremely unlikable and they lacked chemistry. Her secondary characters were full of wit and charm. I hope that Katrina and Lakshmi received their love stories in the Modern Love series!

Rating: 3/5

Review: Lies

Lies by T.M. Logan

Publication: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: 1/17/17

Disclaimer: I received a free finished book from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for my honest in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS BASED ON LIES?

When Joe Lynch stumbles across his wife driving into a hotel car park while she’s supposed to be at work, he’s intrigued enough to follow her in.

And when he witnesses her in an angry altercation with family friend Ben, he knows he ought to intervene.

But just as the confrontation between the two men turns violent, and Ben is knocked unconscious, Joe’s young son has an asthma attack – and Joe must flee in order to help him.

When he returns, desperate to make sure Ben is OK, Joe is horrified to find that Ben has disappeared.

And that’s when Joe receives the first message…

Review: This is the first book I’ve read from T.M. Logan. Overall, this was a decent domestic thriller. The book had a great premise and the beginning pulled me in by being fast-paced. I didn’t see the twists coming and I liked the ending. However, I did feel that the middle part of the story did drag on for a bit. There were a few cheesy parts in the book I didn’t care for and there were times I didn’t like the main character, but that didn’t hinder me to continue reading as it was fast-paced. If you like domestic thrillers, then I’d recommend checking this one out.

Rating: 3/5

Review: How to Hack a Heartbreak

How to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway

Publication Date: 7/30/19

Publisher: Harlequin – Graydon House

Rating: 2/5

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

Review: How to Hack a Heartbreak by Kristin Rockaway is a chick lit following Mel who works at a male driven tech start up where she is fed up with her job and terrible dates. After being stood up on a date, it’s the final straw and she decides to create JerkAlert app which warns women of terrible men to avoid dating. It becomes famous, however, in the midst of it all, there’s a romance story. I really wanted to love this book, but I felt like the novel missed its mark. It’s great that it advocates feminism, however, it was way too forceful and Melanie becomes unlikable. I liked the premise and that the author focuses on a woman in the tech industry, however, I didn’t like her stance that basically all men are terrible. I also didn’t like how Melanie goes about her job. If she hates it so much, why doesn’t she actually do something about it like look for a new one or report the issue to HR? Also her relationship with Alex seemed dull and immature. Alex’s character ends up being so one dimensional that I would have liked to have read his perspective as well. Overall, I would recommend skipping this book as there are other better romance reads out there.

Review: Baby Teeth

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Publication Date: 7/16/19

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Disclaimer: I received a free finished book from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for my honest in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: Meet Hanna.She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

Meet Suzette. She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette’s husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.

Review: Baby Teeth is Zoje Stage’s debut novel. When I originally got this book, I thought it was a thriller, but about quarter of the way through, I realized it was a horror book. I love thrillers and typically avoid horrors so this was definitely new waters for me. This horror book is told by alternating perspectives from the 7-year-old daughter, Hanna, and her mother, Suzette. I found all the characters in the novel to be extremely unlikable and selfish in their own ways. I couldn’t understand that if Hanna was mute this whole time and she’s super intelligent, why didn’t they teach her sign language to communicate? On the other hand, I found Zoje’s writing style to be intriguing. There were some scenes in the book that totally creeped me out or instances where I couldn’t read the book at night. Without spoiling too much, I found the ending to be very lackluster and I ended up skimming the last couple of chapters. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this book.

Rating: 2/5

Review: The Great Unexpected

The Great Unexpected by Dan Mooney

Publication Date: 6/25/19

Publisher: Harlequin Books (Park Row Books)

Rating: 5/5

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced reader copy of this book from TLC Book Tours & Harlequin Books (Park Row Books) in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review or rating.

Review: The Great Unexpected by Dan Mooney is about two men who couldn’t be more opposite of each other develop an unexpected friendship at the nursing home they reside in. They join together to plan an epic escape in this charming novel. I laughed, I cried, and the author really pulled my heartstrings when I read this novel. I found myself grabbing a tissue more than once. The writing style reminded me a bit of Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove which I adored as well. All the characters are charming and witty. The author does a great job exploring themes of agism, mental health, grief, and friendship. I really loved the unfolding of Joel and Frank’s friendship. The challenges they face and the way they handle them are so real and honest. I highly recommend picking up The Great Unexpected!

Review: Things You Save In A Fire

Things You Save In A Fire by Katherine Center

Publication Date: 8/13/19
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

GoodReads Synopsis: From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel about family, hope, and learning to love against all odds. 
Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated.
The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew, even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because she doesn’t fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don’t date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she’s worked so hard to be taken seriously?
Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt, affecting novel about life, love, and the true meaning of courage.

Review: Overall, I thought this was a pretty solid read. I definitely liked Things You Save In A Fire over Katherine’s previous book, How To Walk Away. I really liked Cassie’s character development and how she sheds light on gender inequality in her fire station along with dealing with a sick parent whom she has a strained relationship with. Overall, the writing style was very strong and the book kept me intrigued. There were some cheesy parts in here that were a bit over the top, but I was able to over look that. The only part I didn’t like so much was how rushed the epilogue was. The story started off strong and had great momentum, but at the end, everything seemed too rushed and wrapped up in a pretty bow. All in all, if you like contemporary romance, I’d recommend checking this one out. 

Rating: 4/5

Review: The Marriage Clock

The Marriage Clock by Zara Raheem

Publication Date: 7/23/19

Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (HarperCollins Publisher)

Rating: 3/5

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

Review: The Marriage Clock is Zara Raheem’s debut novel. This contemporary romance follows, Lelia, a young Muslim-American woman, who is given 3 months to find the perfect husband otherwise her conservative Indian parents will find someone for her and arrange her marriage. I found this book to be charming, witty, and could connect to the book on a personal level. Zara’s writing style keeps your attention throughout the full book. I also found it refreshing to read the view point from an Indian Muslim perspective as I am Indian Hindu and it was interesting to see what the similarities and differences were. With all of that said, there were some parts of the book that I found difficult to connect with fully which resulted in a lower star rating. First, I found Lelia’s personality to be a bit jarring, more immature, and delusional than I anticipated. At the same time, it didn’t surprise me as she was still living at home with her parents, but I expected a bit more openness and understanding from her. The ending made sense to me, but it felt me wanting something a bit more. Overall, I thought it was a great start for a debut. I’d recommend picking this up if you like contemporary novels.