Book Review: Paperback Crush by Gabrielle Moss

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Title: Paperback Crush
Author: Gabrielle Moss
Publication: October 30th 2019
Synopsis:

A hilarious and nostalgic trip through the history of paperback pre-teen series of the 80s and 90s.

Every twenty- or thirty-something woman knows these books. The pink covers, the flimsy paper, the zillion volumes in the series that kept you reading for your entire adolescence. Spurred by the commercial success of Sweet Valley High and The Babysitters Club, these were not the serious-issue YA novels of the 1970s, nor were they the blockbuster books of the Harry Potter and Twilight ilk. They were cheap, short, and utterly beloved.

PAPERBACK CRUSH dives in deep to this golden age with affection, history, and a little bit of snark. Readers will discover (and fondly remember) girl-centric series on everything from correspondence (Pen Pals and Dear Diary) to sports (The Pink Parrots, Cheerleaders, and The Gymnasts) to a newspaper at an all-girls Orthodox Jewish middle school (The B.Y. Times) to a literal teen angel (Teen Angels: Heaven Can Wait, where an enterprising guardian angel named Cisco has to earn her wings “by helping the world’s sexist rock star.”) Some were blatant ripoffs of the successful series (looking at you, Sleepover Friends and The Girls of Canby Hall), some were sick-lit tearjerkers à la Love Story (Abby, My Love) and some were just plain perplexing (Uncle Vampire??) But all of them represent that time gone by of girl-power and endless sessions of sustained silent reading.

In six hilarious chapters (Friendship, Love, School, Family, Jobs, Terror, and Tragedy), Bustle Features Editor Gabrielle Moss takes the reader on a nostalgic tour of teen book covers of yore, digging deep into the history of the genre as well as the stories behind the best-known series.

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MY RATING: 3/5 STARS

I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

To be honest, I was in love with the cover, the idea, and the everything about this book when I first heard about it. This book basically captures my childhood in a tightly bound thick coffee table book. I loved Babysitter’s Club and any series this book brought back from the deep recesses of my memories so I was super excited to dive into it.

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Book Review: Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

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Title: Don’t You Forget About Me
Author: Mhairi McFarlane
Publication: March 26th 2019
Synopsis:

Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to rise again…

The hilarious new heartbreaker from Mhairi McFarlane!

If there’s one thing worse than being fired from the grottiest restaurant in town, it’s coming home early to find your boyfriend in bed with someone else.

Reeling from the indignity of a double dumping on the same day, Georgina snatches at the next job that she’s offered – barmaid in a newly opened pub, which just so happens to run by the boy she fell in love with at school: Lucas McCarthy. And whereas Georgina (voted Most Likely to Succeed in her school yearbook) has done nothing but dead-end jobs in the last twelve years, Lucas has not only grown into a broodingly handsome man, but also has turned into an actual grown-up with a business and a dog along the way.

Meeting Lucas again not only throws Georgina’s rackety present into sharp relief, but also brings a dark secret from her past bubbling to the surface. Only she knows the truth about what happened on the last day of school, and why she’s allowed it to chase her all these years…

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MY RATING: 3/5 STARS

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

This is my first novel by Mhairi McFarlane and it won’t be my last. She’s been recommended to me a lot after I asked a lot of people who their favourite romantic comedy author was besides my queen Sophie Kinsella. However, it was only until I received an ARC that really pushed me into actually reading her stories.

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Book Review: 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

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Title: 99 Percent Mine
Author: Sally Thorne
Publication: January 29th 2019
Synopsis:

Crush: a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach…

Darcy Barrett has undertaken a global survey of men. She’s travelled the world, and can categorically say that no one measures up to Tom Valeska, whose only flaw is that Darcy’s twin brother Jamie saw him first and claimed him forever as his best friend. Despite Darcy’s best efforts, Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. That’s the problem with finding her dream man at age eight and peaking in her photography career at age twenty—ever since, she’s had to learn to settle for good enough.

When Darcy and Jamie inherit a tumble-down cottage from their grandmother, they’re left with strict instructions to bring it back to its former glory and sell the property. Darcy plans to be in an aisle seat halfway across the ocean as soon as the renovations start, but before she can cut and run, she finds a familiar face on her porch: house-flipper extraordinaire Tom’s arrived, he’s bearing power tools, and he’s single for the first time in almost a decade.

Suddenly Darcy’s considering sticking around to make sure her twin doesn’t ruin the cottage’s inherent magic with his penchant for grey and chrome. She’s definitely not staying because of her new business partner’s tight t-shirts, or that perfect face that’s inspiring her to pick up her camera again. Soon sparks are flying—and it’s not the faulty wiring. It turns out one percent of Tom’s heart might not be enough for Darcy anymore. This time around, she’s switching things up. She’s going to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers.

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MY RATING: 2/5 STARS

I was provided an ARC from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.

I wanted to start off this book review by stating that I was one of the very few that did not like/could not get through The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. I know. It’s a big shock for a lot of people but please don’t hate me because I think it’s a me and Sally problem and not her books are actually horrible and nobody should read them. Personally, I think it’s me not being able to connect to her writing and characters. And you know what? That’s okay.  Because Sally is a very talented writer who writes the tropes that everyone in the women’s fiction and romance fan category crave and love. It just doesn’t resonate with me.

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Balancing Books, Life, and Work–How to Realistically Read More.

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Honestly, there are countless of articles, blog posts, and booktube videos that have explored this topic many of times. Heck, even I think I wrote some a while back but since then I’ve blossomed into a realistic reader. By realistic reader, I mean that I accept the fact that life doesn’t always allow for premium reading time most of the time. Sometimes, I just don’t feel like reading and that’s completely okay. But if you ever find yourself wanting to reach your reading goals or maybe just want to knock off more books off your TBR, I’ve curated a few lessons I’ve learned in the past few years to share with you.

Reading Is Like Running In A Marathon

Just like how you probably won’t sign up for a 10K and just do a light jog around your block as an excuse for training, you probably shouldn’t have hopes of finishing a 400 pager soon after escaping a reading slump or a 3 month break from not reading a single page. Be more realistic with yourself and start off slow with a shorter book. You’re going to have to train yourself to have a longer attention span so that you slowly increase the number of hours you can read for a day. For example, not many people can concentrate on reading for more than an hour before they grow tired or bored. The same goes for reading longer books. Once you read more per day, you will be able to finish books faster, and burn through longer books in a shorter amount of time.

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Counting the Pages–Why Big Books Might Not Be Better

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There’s a saying among the book community that ‘we like big books and we can’t not lie’ but I’m here to tell you that I have decided to be on the opposing side. I still enjoy books and very much enjoy reading but bigger books does not always mean a better book.

In fact, the majority of the books I have read that are over 400 pages in length this past year has not surpassed a 4 star rating. These books were majorly young adult fantasy, a genre notoriously known for tomes. And if you know me, I have slight bias towards these books already as I tend to find myself having a difficult time in getting myself immersed within the story. However, I have realized that even with a romantic comedy, bigger books tend to not be very good…

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Blog Tour/Book Review: Do You Feel it Too? By Nicola Rendell

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Title: Do You Feel It Too?
Author: Nicola Rendell
Publication: November 20th 2018
Synopsis:

A hot summer night is perfect for feeling your way in the dark…

For urban-legend hunter and television host Gabe Powers, it’s business—investigate the most notorious haunted places in Savannah. Then he meets his new sound engineer, a dewy Georgia peach who may just turn this gig into (im)pure pleasure. All it takes is one night for them to conjure floor-rattling, wall-banging moans…but they’re not from the ghosts.

Blame the rippling abs, the cocky swagger, the granite jawline, the whole muscle-bulging package, but Gabe is bringing out good-girl Lily Jameson’s dirty side. Damn her code-of-conduct contract—this isn’t just a molten-hot fling.

There’s just one kink in the relationship they’ve been avoiding: soon they’ll be going their separate ways. Lily’s home is in Savannah, and Gabe is a globe-trotter at heart. For them to be together, they’ll both have to upend their so-very-different worlds and face their fears in the process. And suddenly things don’t feel so Georgia peachy keen at all.

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MY RATING: 4/5 STARS

I received a copy from Thomas Allen & Sons in exchange for a honest review and to take part in the blog tour.

This is my first Nicola Rendell book and after being told by my friend, Ambur, that Nicola’s books are flirty, fun, and sexy I knew I would enjoy this one. Do You Feel It Too tells the story of a character very similar to Bear Grylls, the British adventurer, that dominated our televisions with his extraordinary show.

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Blog Tour/ Book Review: Hate Notes by Penelope Ward and Vi Keeland

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Title: Hate Notes
Author: Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
Publication: November 6th 2018
Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling authors Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward comes an unexpected love story of secondhand hearts and second chances…

It all started with a mysterious blue note sewn into a wedding dress.

Something blue. 

I’d gone to sell my own unworn bridal gown at a vintage clothing store. That’s when I found another bride’s “something old.”

Stitched into the lining of a fabulously feathered design was the loveliest message I’d ever read: Thank you for making all of my dreams come true. 

The name embossed on the blue stationery: Reed Eastwood, obviously the most romantic man who ever lived. I also discovered he’s the most gorgeous. If only my true-love fantasies had stopped there. Because I’ve since found out something else about Mr. Starry-Eyed.

He’s arrogant, cynical, and demanding. I should know. Thanks to a twist of fate, he’s my new boss. But that’s not going to stop me from discovering the story behind his last love letter. A love letter that did not result in a happily ever after.

But that story is nothing compared to the one unfolding between us. It’s getting hotter, sweeter, and more surprising than anything I could have imagined.

Something new. 

But I have no idea how this one is going to end . . .

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MY RATING: 4/5 STARS

I received a copy from Thomas Allen & Sons in exchange for a honest review and to take part of this blog tour.

I have to seriously thank the company for allowing me to take part of this blog tour because ‘Hate Notes’ was the one book that pulled me out of this weird book slump I was suffering through back in October/September. Hate Notes is an office romance that I never knew I needed until I actually read it. Why did I ever stop reading these gems? They’re so fun.

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Blog Tour/Book Review: You Are the Everything by Karen Rivers

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Title: You Are The Everything
Author: Karen Rivers
Publication: Karen Rivers
Synopsis:

Can you want something—or someone—so badly that you change your destiny? Elyse Schmidt never would have believed it, until it happened to her. When Elyse and her not-so-secret crush, Josh Harris, are the sole survivors of a plane crash, tragedy binds them together. It’s as if their love story is meant to be. Everything is perfect, or as perfect as it can be when you’ve literally fallen out of the sky and landed hard on the side of a mountain—until suddenly it isn’t. And when the pieces of Elyse’s life stop fitting together, what is left?

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MY RATING: 3/5 STARS

I received a copy from Thomas Allen & Sons in exchange for a honest review.

This is my first Karen Rivers book so I didn’t know what to expect. To my surprise, the book is entirely written from second person POV so it was essentially a book about myself. Ha!

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Book Review: Tossed Into Love by Aurora Rose Reynolds

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Title: Tossed Into Love
Author: Aurora Rose Reynolds
Publication: August 21st 2018
Synopsis:

Can the best of enemies become the hottest of lovers? New York Times bestselling author Aurora Rose Reynolds proves that opposites can be compatible—and twice as combustible…

Libby Reed is over it. Or that’s what she tells herself. She’s lusted after one of New York’s bravest for years, but firefighter Antonio Moretti has doused her interest for the last time. As much as she wants the arrogant jerk (in a bad, bad way), they can’t even be in the same room without setting each other off…which might be a problem now that she’s volunteered to help out in his family’s restaurant.

Antonio’s been burned before. Now he knows better than to trust a pretty face and follow another pair of long, beautiful legs into heartbreak. But while Libby might rub him the wrong way, he can’t deny the heat between them. And it only burns hotter when she steps up in his time of need. The closer they get, the more he realizes he may have misjudged her. Then again, he doesn’t know the secret Libby’s keeping that could send their relationship up in flames before it’s even begun.

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MY RATING: 2/5 STARS

I received a copy from Thomas Allen and Sons in exchange for a honest review.

I don’t believe this is my first Aurora Rose Reynolds book but I also don’t remember ever enjoying the books I’ve read by her. I think they were always an average of 3 out of 5 stars the greatest and even then, I had issues with the writing and the characters themselves. Her stories are popular because they’re captivating and interesting and I can see it now from reading this one. While it missed the mark for me, this book was still entertaining.

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Book Review: The Infinite Pieces of Us by Rebekah Crane

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Title: The Infinite Pieces of Us
Author: Rebekah Crane
Publication: November 1st 2018
Synopsis:

From the author of The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland comes a hilarious and heartbreaking novel about coming apart, getting it together—and moving on. It’s just a two-hour drive…

Pondering math problems is Esther Ainsworth’s obsession. If only life’s puzzles required logic. Her stepfather’s solution? Avoidance. He’s exiled the family to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, to erase a big secret from Esther’s past. So much for the truth. Now for the consequences: an empty swimming pool, a water-sucking cactus outside her window, a goldfish rescued from a church festival, and Esther’s thirst for something real.

Step one: forget about her first love. Step two: make allies. Esther finds them in Jesús from the local coffee bar; a girl named Color who finds beauty in an abandoned video store; Beth, the church choir outcast; and Moss, a boy with alluring possibilities. Step three: confess her secret to those she hopes she can trust. Esther’s new friends do more than just listen. They’re taking Esther one step further.

Together, they hit the road to face Esther’s past head-on. It’s a journey that will lead her to embrace her own truth—in all its glory, pain, and awesomeness.

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MY RATING: 2/5 STARS

I received a copy from Thomas Allen & Sons in exchange for a honest review.

Reader, I would like to let you know that after reading ‘The Upside of Falling Down’ and ‘The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland’ both by Rebekah Crane, I knew I found a new favourite author. Imagine my disappointment when I read The Infinite Pieces of Us and it completely either missed the mark or made me angry to the point that I had to put it down and just skim through the ending.

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