Review: The Friend Zone

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

Publication Date: 6/11/19
Publisher: Forever Romance (Grand Central Publishing)
Rating: 3/5

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

Review: The Friend Zone is Abby Jimenez’s debut novel and will be part of a series. Kristen is busy planning her best friend’s wedding along side the best man, Joshua. Kristen and Joshua are drawn to each other, but Kristen is a long distance relationship with her military boyfriend of two years. Kristen also finds out that Josh wants kids, but she won’t be able to as she’ll be facing a life-changing medical procedure that will leave her to become infertile which then leads the question of whether things can go further with Josh or not. Given all the hype of this book on Instagram, I was really looking forward to reading this, but it didn’t quite fit my romance read standards. This romance read is unique in a sense where it discusses about battling infertility. I liked the way the author incorporated this, however, the main characters and the story killed it for me. I found both main characters to be unlikable and annoying. The story doesn’t really pick up until a third of the way into it and it took me a while to warm up to it. I also didn’t like the ending at all which I will leave it at that without any spoilers. With all of that said, this is a decent romance novel. I would recommend to you check it out yourself as it might be more of your cup of tea than mine.

Review: Recursion

Recursion by Blake Crouch

Publishing Date: 6/11/19
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Rating: 5/5

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

Review: Blake Crouch’s newest novel, Recursion, is the second novel I’ve read from him. This sci-fi thriller follows NYC Detective Barry Sutton who is investigating a mysterious disease called False memory Syndrome which drives victims to insanity with memories of a life that they never lived. As Barry learns more about the mysterious disease, he ultimately faces Helena Smith, a neuroscientist who invented the device which changed the world. I don’t typically read sci-fi books, but I loved Dark Matter so I had to get my hands on this one. Blake Crouch blew it out of the water with Recursion. Not only is the premise intriguing, but you are kept on the edge of seat throughout the story. I loved the alternating perspectives of Barry Sutton and Helena Smith. Blake Crouch did an amazing job shifting through the times without making it too confusing, but also crafting it in a way which made sense and kept the reader wondering what would happen next. Themes of memories, happiness, difficult choices, and society can be found in this sci-fi thriller. I really found the perspectives of the power of memory to be quite fascinating in this novel. This is definitely one of those books where after you’re done reading, you’ll think about the subject matter for a while. I highly recommend reading this novel if you loved Dark Matter and/or if you love thrillers. You won’t regret it!

Review: Just One Bite

Just One Bite by Jack Heath

Publication Date: 6/4/19

Publisher: Hanover Square Press (Harlequin)

Rating: 4/5

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

Review: Just One More Bite is the follow up to Hangman. This crime thriller follows Timothy Blake who is at a crossroads of working as a consultant for the FBI and also taking on a job as body disposal for local crime lord. Will he able to keep his two worlds separate or will they come crashing down together?

Wow…Jack Heath does it again! The plot in this book was insane and I liked it as much as I liked Hangman. I loved the author’s fast-paced, dark, and funny at times writing style. I liked how in this book we see how Timothy Blake’s character changes a bit and that we are introduced to new characters as well. I didn’t see any of the twists coming and loved how complex the crime they were solving was. However, I still couldn’t stomach in some of gory scenes which I wouldn’t be able to handle in any book. If you love crime thrillers, this series is definitely for you.

Review: The Flatshare

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Publication Date: 5/28/19

Publisher: FlatIron Books

Rating: 4/5

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

Review: The Flatshare is Beth O’Leary’s debut novel. This contemporary romance follows two people, Tiff and Leon, in London who are in a financial bind and agree upon a peculiar roommate agreement. I loved this book! It was lighthearted and fun, but also dove into serious issues such as emotional abuse in relationships and finding justice. The story is unique and maintains the reader’s interest from start to finish. All the characters are quite lovable and realistic. The alternating perspectives were refreshing, however, Leon’s perspective took a bit to get used to as the writing was a bit choppy. I definitely recommend picking this up if you love lighthearted and fluffy romance novels.

Review: The Woman In The White Kimono

The Woman In The White Kimono by Ana Johns

Publication Date: 5/28/19

Publisher: Park Row Books (Harlequin)

Rating: 4/5

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

Review: Ana Johns’ debut novel, The Woman In The White Kimono, is told in alternating perspectives from 17-year-old Naoko living in Japan in 1957 Japan and Tori Kovac, an investigative journalist, living in present day America. Overall, I found this novel to be beautifully written and heartbreaking. The story reminds me a bit of Memoirs of a Geisha and the writing style reminds me bit of Lisa See’s writing. Ana Johns does a great job portraying post-WWII and describing the relationship between America and Japan. I really loved reading Naoko’s perspective as her story was fast paced and kept me on my toes. I found Tori’s perspective to be less interesting and at a slower pace, but understand the importance of her character in the story. Though I found some parts of the book to be a bit predictable, I really liked the way that Ana Johns ended the story. I would recommend reading this novel if you love historical fiction and/or interested in Japanese and American history.

Review: Miracle Creek

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

Publishing Date: 4/16/19

Publisher: Sarah Crichton Books

Rating: 5/5

Review: Miracle Creek was my April BOTM pick. This legal thriller follows a Korean immigrant family and a single mother accused of murdering her autistic son. This book certainly lives up to the hype and deserves 5 stars! I really liked the premise and the complexity of the characters in this novel. The various perspectives also helped a lot while reading to give a more wholistic view of the controversial situation at hand. This is certainly a heavy read and I would recommend taking your time with this one. If you love mystery or courtroom / legal books with controversial topics, I highly recommend picking this one up!

Review: Red, White & Royal Blue

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Publishing Date: 5/14/19
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Rating: 2/5

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

Review: Red, White & Royal Blue is Casey McQuiston’s debut novel. This romcom follows the First Son of the United States, Alex, falling in love with the Prince of Wales, Henry, in an enemies-turned-lovers whirlwind. I was initially super excited to read this book for various reasons:

  • The author is going to have a book event at a local bookstore near me in June.
  • Her book is turning into a movie.
  • There were great reviews on GoodReads.

After I finished the book, I had mixed feelings about it. First, let me start off with the positives:

  • The premise of the book intrigued me and I can totally tell why this was being picked up for a movie.
  • The diverse set of characters was definitely refreshing.
  • The strong overall message and representation in this book is wonderful to see and I’m glad to see that this is becoming more mainstreamed and discussed about.

Now with all the points I mentioned above, you would think that I would give this book a 4 or 5 star review, however, there were so many little things that made this book not so great which outweighed the pros and made it a 2 star review instead. There were a couple of times where I really wanted to DNF the book, but I decided to go through to finish it hoping it would get better and to also provide a fair and unbiased full review. Here is the list of issues I had with the book:

  • Political Ideas: Now I understand that because we are talking about the First Family that there will be some political ideas shared in here, but the author basically shoves all her political ideas into this book and calls it “romance.” I typically avoid books that are over political and thought this would only have light politics, but there are so many political digs thrown to the reader that it’s poorly executed no matter what political party you affiliate with.
  • Characters: All the characters, especially the main characters, are so unlikable and so rude. The characters are a bit immature – more to come on that later.
  • Dialogue: The things the characters say are either too much slang, profanity or just downright corny.
  • Plot:The plot is a bit all over the place and it seems like some of the things in here were just out of place.
  • Writing style: The story reads like “fan fiction” that you would find on the internet, but not in an actual novel. Also I was a bit surprised on how this read more of a YA than an adult romcom instead. I assumed since the characters were in their early 20s, it would be a bit more mature, but the writing ended up being a bit more cheesy instead.

Overall, the book just wasn’t for me. With that said, I wouldn’t say to disregard this book completely, but it wouldn’t the best book you’ve read in romance though.