#Blogmas Day 25: My 2020 Bookish Christmas Gifts

Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates!! Today is the final day of blogmas and I’m bringing to you a list of bookish presents I received this Christmas!

Every Christmas, my family asks me to make an Amazon Wishlist of gifts I want so that they know what to get me. As you might imagine, I listed a lot of books this year. On top of that, my partner, Rob, knows that I’m a fan of bookish goods and items that can improve my bookstagram account (and to start up my non-existent booktube). As a result, my Christmas this year was more of a Bookmas with loads of bookish goodies! I’ll list them below.

  • The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez
  • The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson
  • The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson
  • Halo: The Fall of Reach by Eric Nylund
  • Halo: The Flood by William C. Dietz
  • Halo: The First Strike by Eric Nylund
  • Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall
  • The Fascinators by Andrew Eliopulos
  • Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith
  • Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
  • All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban
  • Fable by Adrienne Young
  • Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston
  • The Dreamer’s Trilogy beanie/tuque
  • LED tripod w/ ring light

Non-bookish goodies I received this year were:

  • A muffin pan (we learned the hard way last year that we don’t own one when we tried to make something that required a muffin pan and ended up trying to jerry rig a solution)
  • A karaoke machine
  • ???? (my family says I have like two more things on the way so I don’t know what these are yet)

Did you get any bookish gifts this holiday season? Tell me in the comments below!

#Blogmas Day 24: End of the Year Book Tag

It’s day 24 of Blogmas (and possibly the last day depending on what tomorrow is like) and today I’m bringing you the End of the Year Book Tag!

I’m not sure who first created this, but I was tagged by Danni a month ago and I’m finally getting to it now. Thanks for the tag, Danni!

Let’s get to it!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Yes! I just posted my WWW Wednesday post yesterday that talks about this and two books that I started earlier this year and still need to finish are

  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

I don’t generally read books based on the season and it’s like 7 days until next year so NOPE!

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

I’m really bad at keeping track of upcoming releases. I basically find out what’s coming out soon by scrolling through Twitter.

Since books tend to come out on Tuesdays, I went ahed and looked at a list of some books coming out on December 29th and it seems like there’s nothing I still have to wait for this year.

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year? 

Yes! These two books are also featured on yesterday’s WWW Wednesday post:

  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?

I’m going to go ahead and say probably not. I only have the above 4 books that I still have to read this year and I don’t think any of them are going to be particularly ground-breaking for me. Catching Fire is a reread and I even considered DNFing The Bride Test so that’s 2 out of 4 that I can already disqualify for being my favorite book of 2020.

Have you already started making reading plans for 2021?

Of course! I have like three challenges that I’m interested in taking part of and I’ll also be hosting two rounds of Trope-ical Readathon with my partner Rob!

These are the challenges that I’ve been looking into:

5 Books I want to read in 2021

I’m going to go ahead and list 5 upcoming releases of 2021 so that I don’t just list books that you’ve all already read/seen

  • How Love Actually Ruined Christmas (or Colourful Narcotics) by Gary Raymond
  • One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
  • Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant
  • Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado
  • The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson

If you’d like to do this before the year is over and haven’t been tagged yet, consider yourself tagged!

#Blogmas Day 23: WWW Wednesday – December 23, 2020

Round five of WWW Wednesday and Day 16 of Blogmas! For my last WWW Wednesday post, click here. For more information about Blogmas, you can read my introduction post.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Taking on a World of Words, where you answer the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What have you recently finished?
  • What are you reading next?

If you’re interested in information about the trigger/content warnings, tropes, and representation found in any of the following books, you can search them on BookTriggerWarnings.com

Currently Reading

I am happy(ish) to announce that the only books I am currently reading are two from my last two WWW Wednesday books:

  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

I haven’t made any progress on them this month, but now that I’ve caught up on my other reading, I should be able to finish them within the next week!

Recently Finished

Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston

Purchase on Amazon (affiliate link)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I read this for a blog tour for The Write Reads and I really enjoyed it! I’m not much of a Middle Grade reader so I can’t really say how well it fits into that age category, but I think readers of all ages will find enjoyment in Amari and the Night Brothers.

You can read my full review here.

The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

Purchase on Amazon (affiliate link)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

This was another wonderful book club read with my crew at The Write Reads! We don’t have a book club name yet but I’m referring to it as the “Hannah Didn’t Know She Started a Book Club” Book Club for now.

This was a book that took a while for me to get into because I don’t care for historical novels, but once the action started going, I really enjoyed it! Though I was upset with the ending, I was still satisfied by it–if that makes any sense.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

Purchase on Amazon (affiliate link)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I just finished this one earlier this evening. I didn’t know what to expect, but I guess it was better than I thought it would be? This is one of the books on my TBR that my partner, Rob, chose for me to read and it’s a novella so it was pretty quick. I was surprised (and impressed) by how much happened in such a short amount of pages. I think I’ll definitely pick up the next book in the series at some point.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Purchase on Amazon (affiliate link)

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was another book chosen by Rob and he chose it because it was a 5-star book for him and one of his all time favorites. Although I didn’t like it as much as he did, I still thought it was a really good book! It is just over 800 pages so it’s a bunch of a chonker, but I didn’t feel bored at any point. I read it in 50-150 page chunks so that might have helped a bit.

Reading Next

There are two more books that I want to have finished before the new year!

  • One of Us is Next by Karen M. McManus
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train is a book for another book club I’m part of (The Backlist Readers Book Club) and One of Us is Next is the last book that Rob chose for my December TBR. I’m trying to read these as fast as I can, but with Christmas coming up, I also want to be able to take some time to rest. Can I do both? Who knows! Wish me luck!


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

#Blogmas Day 22: Book Review – The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

This book made me laugh. A lot. But no amount of laughter could have made me overlook how much I hated the characters.

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com!

Premise (from Goodreads)

Norris Kaplan is clever, cynical, and quite possibly too smart for his own good. A black French Canadian, he knows from watching American sitcoms that those three things don’t bode well when you are moving to Austin, Texas. Plunked into a new high school and sweating a ridiculous amount from the oppressive Texas heat, Norris finds himself cataloging everyone he meets: the Cheerleaders, the Jocks, the Loners, and even the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Making a ton of friends has never been a priority for him, and this way he can at least amuse himself until it’s time to go back to Canada, where he belongs.

Yet, against all odds, those labels soon become actual people to Norris. Be it loner Liam, who makes it his mission to befriend Norris, or Madison the beta cheerleader, who is so nice that it has to be a trap. Not to mention Aarti the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who might, in fact, be a real love interest in the making. He even starts playing actual hockey with these Texans.

But the night of the prom, Norris screws everything up royally. As he tries to pick up the pieces, he realizes it might be time to stop hiding behind his snarky opinions and start living his life—along with the people who have found their way into his heart.

Purchase this book: Amazon (affiliate link)

Review (No Spoilers)

I am predicting right now that this is going to end up more of a rant than a review so fair warning!

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager was a book that I was actually really excited to pick up, and when the first few chapters already had me in tears laughing, I was convinced that this was going to be a pretty great read. But once I got to the heart of the story, I realized this wasn’t going to be the book for me.

Let me backtrack a bit and give you some background information for why I wanted to read this book.

The main character of The Field Guide to the North American Teenager is Norris Kaplan, a Black French-Canadian who has just moved to Texas with his single mother. Having grown up in Canada his entire life, Norris is forced to try and assimilate with a culture that he finds very different from his own.

Now if you know a bit about me and my partner, Rob, you’d know that Rob is French-Canadian and I’m Black, so when Rob told me what this book was about, I was curious to see how much he and I would relate to the main character. Unfortunately, this is where the book fell flat. I absolutely hated Norris.

Norris spends almost the entire book being completely judgmental and extremely negative. He goes around complaining that everyone’s rude (and racist–though there is some truth to that) for not befriending him, all while nitpicking and criticizing everyone around him. I let this slide at the beginning of the book because I figured that him being a hypocrite was the whole point of this story–to show a teenager growing up and learning from past mistakes–but by the end of the book, I still wasn’t happy with who Norris had become. I felt like he hadn’t really changed all that much and was still, at his core, a terrible person.

If you’ve read some of my past reviews about books with unlikable characters, you know that if I can’t stand the main character, the entire book falls apart for me. I kept trying to look past my hatred of Norris to find the highlights of the book–like Ben Philippe’s sense of humor and how Liam’s character was an amazing inclusion to the narrative–but in trying to do this, I realized that it wasn’t just Norris I hated. Looking back at everyone in this book, main and side characters alike, I felt as if no one made it out of this book untouched by the demon of toxic personality traits. Everyone was, at some point, unnecessarily horrible to another person.

I read The Field Guide to the North American Teenager almost exactly a month ago and even though a month has passed, I still don’t really know how to feel about this book. I think it had an important message it wanted to tell, but somehow managed to not really accomplish that task. Considering how much I loved the snippets of French Canadian culture/life as well as Ben Philippe’s sense of humor, I definitely think that I’ll have to give this author another go. Not every book is going to vibe with every reader. I just have to accept this one as a loss and move forward.

#Blogmas Day 21: Book Review – Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I know you probably hate me for saying this, but I wasn’t a huge fan of this book.

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com!

Premise (from Goodreads)

Every weekend, in basements and parking lots across the country, young men with good white-collar jobs and absent fathers take off their shoes and shirts and fight each other barehanded for as long as they have to. Then they go back to those jobs with blackened eyes and loosened teeth and the sense that they can handle anything.

Fight Club is the invention of Tyler Durden, projectionist, waiter and dark, anarchic genius. And it’s only the beginning of his plans for revenge on a world where cancer support groups have the corner on human warmth. 

Purchase this book: Amazon (affiliate link)

Review (No Spoilers)

Over two years ago, Rob and I created a list of movies to watch. This consisted of movies that either he liked and I had never seen, or that I liked and he had never seen. Fight Club was on that list from pretty much the beginning. Though Fight Club was a popular movie back in the day, I only really knew three things about it:

  • Brad Pitt was in it
  • It somehow revolved around a bunch of dudes who would get together and beat each other up
  • The twist ending

I didn’t even know it was based off of a book until Rob and I moved in together and he brought his books over.

I read Fight Club one, because Rob wanted me to, and two, because Readathin had a prompt to read a book and then watch its adaptation. Unfortunately for Rob, I didn’t particularly like either one.

I’m not a big fan of books that make a point of being confusing, and I felt like that’s what Fight Club was trying to do from the get go. Relying heavily on the unreliable narrator trope, it’s written in a way that’s hard to understand and when Rob would ask me what has happened so far in the book, I would tell him what I remembered followed by, “and then there’s a bunch of stuff I don’t understand”. A part of me wonders if I would have enjoyed this novel more if I went in knowing nothing about it. I fear that I created an unrealistic idea of what it was supposed to be rather than what it was and couldn’t assimilate the two.

Something I definitely can’t deny, though, was that this book managed to take one small concept (of a fight club) and turn it into so much more. While I knew the big twist long before discovering the existence of this book, I had no idea that the plot wasn’t solely about the creation of a fight club. The intensity and absurdity about what was happening to these characters was what kept me flipping page after page, despite the confusion I was feeling.

#Blogmas Day 20: 12 Days of Christmas Book Tag

It’s day 20 of Blogmas and today I’m doing the 12 days of Christmas Book Tag! Thank you Ellie for tagging me in this! This tag was first created by Lizzie Loves Books. For more information about what Blogmas is, you can read my introduction post.

ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE.

The partridge stood alone in the pear tree. What is your favourite stand alone?

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I don’t really have favorites so I’ll go with one of my favorite stand alones and that would be Wilder Girls by Rory Power.

This book was strangely powerful despite having really flawed characters. I don’t think I particularly liked anyone in this book yet someone I loved it as a whole.

You can read my review here.

ON THE SECOND DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: TWO TURTLE DOVES.

Love is in the air! Who is your one true pairing?

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I’m going to go with Henry and Alex from Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. These two are both absolute idiots together and I adore them so much. This book was also really good at not drawing out drama just to have something to talk about. Conflicts were handled quickly and efficiently which was much appreciated.

You can read my review of this book here.

ON THE THIRD DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: THREE FRENCH HENS.

In the spirit of threes, what is the best trilogy you have read?

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I’m constantly not finishing series but the Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff was one of the few series I managed to finish and it was amazing. I think I rated all of these 4+ stars.

You can read my review of Illuminae here.

ON THE FOURTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: FOUR CALLING BIRDS.

Since series usually consist of four or more books, what is your favourite series?

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The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater is wonderful. I loved The Raven Boys so much that I convinced several people to read it.

I’m not sure what the heck is going on with the picture I found on Google because it’s not at all in the order of the series, but if you haven’t read this yet, please give it a try! The first book is The Raven Boys.

ON THE FIFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: FIVE GOLDEN RINGS.

One ring to rule them all! Who is your favourite Villain/Antagonist?

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I’m going to go with Rebecca and Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Rebecca is not even alive for like the entire book, yet her presence is always there and threatening to make the unnamed narrator’s life miserable.

Mrs. Danvers on the other hand just succeeded in being creepy af and I think everyone in my book club chat loved how evil she seemed.

ON THE SIXTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: SIX GEESE A LAYING.

Creation is a beautiful thing. What is your favourite world/world-building?

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I can’t really think but I think that the world in The Hunger Games series was well created. I am a huge fan of dystopian novels and I recently reread The Hunger Games earlier this year. I’m supposed to be doing a reread for the rest of the series because I’ve DNFed Mockingjay twice and I’m hoping a buddy read will get me through it.

ON THE SEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: SEVEN SWANS A SWIMMING.

Who needs seven swans when all it takes is one good animal sidekick? Who’s your favourite animal sidekick?

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I would say Guinevere from The Doll Factory by she’s not really a sidekick as much as just an adorable addition to the book. Instead I’ll say Chainsaw from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater.

Chainsaw isn’t really a sidekick because she has a huge attitude and is completely useless at times, but that’s what I love so much about her.

ON THE EIGHTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: EIGHT MAIDS A MILKING.

Milk is so 18th century. Which book or series takes beverages/food to a whole new level?

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Love à la Mode by Stephanie Kate Strohm made me so hungry when I was reading it. It’s about a young woman who gets to attending a culinary school in Paris so there are a lot of food descriptions throughout the novel.

Hopefully one day I’ll be able to go to Paris with my partner Rob because he’s my local French speaker.

ON THE NINTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: NINE LADIES DANCING.

Dancing is just one skill of a Lady! Who is your favourite kickass female lead?

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I’m still in the middle of this book but Ead from The Priory of the Orange Tree is one of my favorite characters of all time. She won’t take anyone’s nonsense regardless of who they are and she is an extremely talented fighter.

I still have around 250 pages to go in this book and I swear to God if she dies I. will. riot.

ON THE TENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: TEN LORDS A LEAPING.

How about your favourite leading lad?

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I don’t read many books with male leads that I like, but Justyce in Dear Martin was possibly the most relatable character I’ve ever read. So much of what he had to go through was what I experienced when I was in high school and undergrad. I would do anything to protect him.

ON THE ELEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: ELEVEN PIPES PIPING.

What is your favourite book or bookish thing with musical influence? (It can be about music, reference music a lot etc.)

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This is the only book I could think of and I haven’t read it yet but it’s on my TBR. Considering it’s about Nannerl Mozart, I’m assuming it references music a lot.

The cover is gorgeous so I can’t wait to see if the story is just as good!

ON THE TWELFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS MY TRUE LOVE SENT TO ME: 12 DRUMMERS DRUMMING.

Drum roll please…what is your favourite read of this year?

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The year isn’t over yet and I’m only going based off of what I remember reading for this one. I’ve read over 150 books and my memory is trash, so I’m sure I’ve forgotten some that I really loved. Regardless, The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes was definitely amongst my favorite books of this year. It was so beautifully and skillfully written and I’m still not over it.

You can read my full review here.

I tag:


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

#Blogmas Day 19: #TheWriteReads #UltimateBlogTour Review – Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Full of magic, adventure, and characters of deep complexity.

Thank you so much to The Write Reads and B. B. Alston for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary digital copy!

Purchase this book (affiliate link): Amazon

Review

Book CWs

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

Premise (from Goodreads)

Quinton Peters was the golden boy of the Rosewood low-income housing projects, receiving full scholarship offers to two different Ivy League schools. When he mysteriously goes missing, his little sister, 13-year-old Amari Peters, can’t understand why it’s not a bigger deal. Why isn’t his story all over the news? And why do the police automatically assume he was into something illegal?

Then Amari discovers a ticking briefcase in her brother’s old closet. A briefcase meant for her eyes only. There was far more to Quinton, it seems, than she ever knew. He’s left her a nomination for a summer tryout at the secretive Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. Amari is certain the answer to finding out what happened to him lies somewhere inside, if only she can get her head around the idea of mermaids, dwarves, yetis and magicians all being real things, something she has to instantly confront when she is given a weredragon as a roommate.

Amari must compete against some of the nation’s wealthiest kids—who’ve known about the supernatural world their whole lives and are able to easily answer questions like which two Great Beasts reside in the Atlantic Ocean and how old is Merlin? Just getting around the Bureau is a lesson alone for Amari with signs like ‘Department of Hidden Places this way, or is it?’ If that all wasn’t enough, every Bureau trainee has a talent enhanced to supernatural levels to help them do their jobs – but Amari is given an illegal ability. As if she needed something else to make her stand out.

With an evil magican threatening the whole supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she is an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t pass the three tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton.

Review (No Spoilers)

Now that I’ve copied and pasted the book blurb from Goodreads, I’m shocked at how long it is. If you’ve done what I sometimes do when reading reviews and scrolled past the blurb, just know that Amari and the Night Brothers is an amazing middle grade fantasy novel filled with complex characters, adventure, and a whole lot of magic. That alone should be enough of a reason to give it a try!

After seeing so many 5-star reviews for this book, I could not wait until I finally had the chance to pick it up. My reading schedule is packed this month, so I had to wait a long time before I could actually start it. Now that I’ve finished, I think it’s safe to say the wait was worth it.

Amari and the Night Brothers succeeded in grabbing my attention right off the bat. The story does not shy away from being absolutely bonkers from the get-go, and it had me laughing as early as the second chapter. While I did think the pacing in the middle was a bit slow, the action-packed ending definitely made up for it. There are also a surprising amount of twists that make it a hard book to put down.

My favorite part of this novel would have to be the complexity of the characters. Each person is so beautifully flawed that you can’t help but identify with not only Amari, but everyone around her as well. B.B. Alston has a real talent for writing characters and I’d be curious to see what a YA/Adult novel from him would look like.

As some of you might know, there is a planned film adaptation for this book, and I already know that it’s going to be amazing. I am so so excited for the impact these stories will have on the new generation. I hope you are too.


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

#Blogmas Day 18: First Lines Fridays – December 18, 2020

Day 18 of Blogmas and I’m finally doing my first First Lines Fridays post! For more information about Blogmas, you can read my introduction post.

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Today’s First Lines

The lights go out.

In an instant, everything is in darkness. The band stop their playing. Inside the tent the wedding guests squeal and clutch at one another. The light from the candles on the tables only adds to the confusion, send shadows racing up the canvas walls. It’s impossible to see where anyone is or hear what anyone is saying: above the guests’ voices the wind rises in a frenzy.

So what do you think? Have I got you hooked? Can you guess what book it is?

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The bride ‧ The plus one ‧ The best man ‧ The wedding planner ‧ The bridesmaid ‧ The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed.

But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast.

And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?

#Blogmas Day 17: Book Review – The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I really wanted to like this book but I didn’t connect with either of the main characters.

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com!

Premise

Samiah Brooks would have never imagined that she would find out that her boyfriend is a catfishing, unfaithful jerk through a Twitter thread. She also would have never imagined that when she confronts him, alongside his two other girlfriends, the incident would go viral.

With their laundry sufficiently aired, Samiah, London, and Taylor decide to swear off men for good–well, for the next six months at least–and focus on themselves in what they dub “The Boyfriend Project”. With the love and support of these new (and unexpected) friends, Samiah is determined to spend all of her energy on work and finally launching the app she’s been putting off for years.

But when new-hire Daniel Collins shows up at her job, the attraction between them is undeniable. Suddenly, Samiah finds herself forced to choose between seeing The Boyfriend Project through or letting herself fall for a man that, once again, might be hiding something from her.

Purchase this book (affiliate link): Amazon

Review (No Spoilers)

FINALLY back to writing reviews for the books I read last month during Readathin. I know I’ve posted a few reviews this month already, but those were pre-written and just sitting in my drafts. This is the first one that I’m actually sitting down in December to write.

The Boyfriend Project was a book that I wanted to love so badly. I am a huge fan of illustrated covers, and the blurb for this was right up my alley. Watching two people try to ignore the chemistry between them is something that I love reading and that’s exactly what the premise of this book is. Samiah and Daniel both have very valid reasons to not pursue a relationship, but they can’t seem to stay away from each other. Thus begins the battle of heart vs. mind.

The reason this book ended up falling short for me was because I was not a fan of the writing nor the characters. The book is written in third person, and the author liked to do this thing where a character would be thinking through something and then randomly say one sentence out loud, even when they were completely alone. The lines chosen weren’t particular “aha!” moments, so I’m still not sure why this was done. It felt as if the author didn’t want to go too long without someone speaking and decided that this was the best solution for when characters were alone.

Moving on to the characters! While I appreciated Samiah and Daniel’s go-getting and determined attitudes, both of them made choices that I couldn’t rationalize. As a result, a lot of the tension and conflict in the book seemed unnecessarily contrived. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the book does try its best to include the reasoning behind each main character’s actions–which I can definitely appreciate–but a lot of the time, the character would just be flopping back and forth, sometimes completely contradicting something they said not long before.

On top of that, I have a strong inkling that Daniel was specifically written to be the “perfect man”. I recently learned about how “Mary Sue” is often what people call characters who represent the author’s ideal self, and I felt like Daniel was written to be the author’s ideal man. Don’t get me wrong, he still had flaws, but most of the time I felt he was unrealistically molded to be exactly what Samiah needed.

I’ll definitely be giving Farrah Rochon another shot as this book was really good at promoting self-love, diversity, and feminism. If there’s a book coming out about Taylor or London, I would definitely jump at the chance to read it. Those two characters were so unexpectedly complex that they were probably my favorite part of the book. I’d definitely read spin-offs of their stories.

I should be posting at least 3 more reviews this month of books that I read in November, so stay tuned!


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

#Blogmas Day 16: WWW Wednesday – December 16, 2020

Round four of WWW Wednesday and Day 16 of Blogmas! For my last WWW Wednesday post, click here. For more information about Blogmas, you can read my introduction post.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Taking on a World of Words, where you answer the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What have you recently finished?
  • What are you reading next?

If you’re interested in information about the trigger/content warnings, tropes, and representation found in any of the following books, you can search them on BookTriggerWarnings.com

Currently Reading

I’m still reading basically all of the stuff I was reading during the last check in. I did forget to mention last time that I’m also reading The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton.

This is a book club read so we read a certain amount for each week which is why I haven’t finished it yet. I’m having so much trouble keeping up with the names on this book. I keep calling one of the main characters Lisa even though her name is Sara. I have no idea why. It’s pretty good so far so hopefully the second half is just as good!

Here is a recap of all of the books I mentioned last week that I am still reading.

I haven’t made any progress in Catching Fire and The Bride Test but I am reading The Priory of the Orange Tree pretty consistently! I originally was trying to do 50 pages per day but I got too busy and haven’t succeeded in this the past few days.

Recently Finished

Black Witch Magic by Mila Nicks

Purchase on Amazon (affiliate link)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I finally succeeded in reading a NetGalley book and then I ended up receiving another one for an upcoming blog tour so my percentage has not really change unfortunately.

This book was pretty good but the weird insta-love between the two main characters was very strange for me. I also wasn’t a fan of the writing-style which seemed more YA than Adult and was repetitive or contradicting at times.

I would say that the best part of this book was the fantasy aspect involving witches and spells, so I wish it would have explored that side of the story a bit more.

You can read my full review here.

The Spark by Jules Wake

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Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

This book shocked me with how much it related to my life. It follows a woman and her new boyfriend as they struggle with an ex who refuses to let go. I went through very similar events around two years ago so I related to this book so much that it physically hurt at times to read it, but I just couldn’t stop.

You can read my full blog tour review for this one here.

Christmas at the Marshmallow Cafe by CP Ward

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

This, like The Spark, was a blog tour read for Rachel’s Random Resources. It’s super Christmassy–if you couldn’t tell from the title–and involves a fifty-two year old woman taking a risk on her dream of running a cafe in an amusement park called Christmas Land (told you it was super Christmassy).

Despite some of the British phrases that often stumped me while I was reading, I really enjoyed this book. Once I finished it, I was desperate to figure out how to make hot chocolate with cocoa beans and marshmallows without gelatin.

You can read my blog tour review here.

Reading Next

Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston (Tour Date: December 19)

Purchase on Amazon (affiliate link)

Though I want to mostly focus on continuing/finishing the books I’m currently reading, I do have an upcoming blog tour post for Amari and the Night Brothers. I’ve literally only seen 5-star reviews for this, so I’m super excited!

Do you see any books you’ve read or want to read? Stay tuned for next week’s installment for an updating on my December reading!


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.