REVIEW: The Friend Zone – Abby Jimenez

42785825Title: The Friend Zone
Author: Abby Jimenez
Rating: ★★★★

What I expected upon picking up The Friend Zone was a light-hearted, fluffy contemporary romance perfect for summer. And while the book delivered with the romance, angst, and humor, it also contained a layer of emotional complexity that was unexpected in the best way.

I’ll admit, I was pretty hesitant reading upon reading the first quarter of the book. The beginning of the story features some very grey-area cheating, which is not my cup of tea. However, I was thankful that that particular conflict was resolved early on in the book, allowing me to then fully immerse myself in the story and the characters.

A large focus of the story was on Kristen and her infertility issues, and I think Abby Jimenez did an very excellent job with the subject. Kristen was a great character and it’s impossible not to root for her – even when she’s being extremely stubborn! It was easy to understand her reservations and struggles, but still want her to take a chance on a the person she loves.

Other than the grey-area cheating at the beginning, there were a couple other things that kept me from fully loving this book. Josh constantly compares Kristen to other women, repeatedly saying things along the lines of how she’s “not like other girls” and she’s a “cool girl.” I really don’t appreciate when the heroine of the story is show in a positive light by bringing down other women in comparison. The other thing that bothered me is probably going to sound super nitpicky but YOU CANNOT USE A DEFIBRILLATOR WHEN SOMEONE IS FLATLINING!!! This is a huge misconception perpetuated by all the medical drama shows. Stop this nonsense. The paddles are used for when the heartbeat is dangerously out of rhythm, not when there is an absent of a heartbeat. This honestly made me so irate.

The ending took me by surprise. The best way I could describe the events of the last few chapters would be bittersweet. There is a particular part of the story that is emotional and heartbreaking. The epilogue was the perfect ending and helped balance the heartache. Overall, I was really impressed by this debut and would recommend The Friend Zone to anyone looking for a moving, captivating read!

REVIEW: The Huntress – Kate Quinn

38376046Title: The Huntress
Author: Kate Quinn
Rating: ★★★★

It’s hard to explain just how ecstatic I was to learn that Kate Quinn wrote another WWII-inspired historical fiction. If you haven’t learned by now, she is the ultimate queen of historical fiction novels and I devour everything she writes. And even though this wasn’t a five star read for me, it was still an amazing book.

As always, Quinn did such a tremendous job weaving historical facts with fiction to create a totally unique and captivating story. The chapters alternate between the three main characters: Ian, Nina, and Jordan. And if you’ve read The Alice Network, yes that is the same Ian Graham that briefly appeared in that book! In addition to Ian, a few other characters from The Alice Network make cameos in The Huntress, it was so great to see them mentioned! I highly enjoyed Ian and Nina’s POVs, but I wasn’t big on Jordan’s character. Her storyline was very interesting and I always looked forward to her chapters because of the connection to the overall plot, but as I really didn’t connect with her all that much. 

Once the story really gets going, The Huntress is a hard book to put down. The readers are told at the beginning what happened, but more and more of the truth and events leading up to it are revealed as the story evolves. The theme of Nazi criminals and the aftermath of World War II and the Nuremberg Trials was absolutely fascinating to me. The author notes at the end of the story were very eye opening and I definitely will be doing some more of my own research on this subject in the future. Another excellent novel by Kate Quinn; I don’t see her being dethroned as my favorite author any time soon.

REVIEW: The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren (ARC)

42201431Title: The Unhoneymooners
Author: Christina Lauren
Rating: ★★★★½

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

As I’ve said in previous reviews, no one writes contemporary romances quite like the amazing duo of Christina Lauren. I read the synopsis once and immediately requested the book and I’m so extremely thankful I was approved. The Unhoneymooners was like reading my own romantic fantasies come to life: hate-to-love romance, fake dating trope, and a dream vacation to Hawaii. 

Everytime I pick up a CLo book, there are a few things I expect to find within the pages: a quirky, relatable heroine, witty banter, scenes that make me laugh out loud (or at least snort unattractively), and a swoon-worthy love interest. And thankfully, The Unhoneymooners checked all those boxes. The only reason I did not give this book five stars, was that it was surprisingly light on the tension/angst, especially considering the plot literally revolves around two characters who hate each other, pretending to be in love. 

The Unhoneymooners is a seriously fun and lighthearted read, perfect for the summer! This book is perfect for fans of The Proposal, The Hating Game, or Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Christina Lauren know how to write contemporary romance and it shows with every book they write.

Game of Thrones: Favorite Characters

As a huge fan of both George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and the HBO series Game of Thrones, I’m extremely ecstatic (and sad) about the upcoming final season. The books and show are one of my favorite things to talk to others about, and I decided in honor of the premiere coming soon, I will be posting a fun Game of Thrones inspired post every on various Sundays before the first episode airs and throughout the season. If you’re a fan of either of the show or books, please chat with me in the comments with your thoughts and opinions!

For my first post, I’m so excited to talk about all of my favorite characters! The great thing about Game of ThronesASOIAF is all the different characters present: good, bad, and every shade of gray in-between. There are many POVs in the books (and on the show) that I enjoy reading/watching, but don’t particular hope they succeed in their endeavors. And then there are other characters whose storylines I cannot get enough of and wish all the happiness in the world for (HA. We all know GRRM by now).


SANSA STARK

My Queen in the North. All I want is for her to end up alive, happy, and surrounded by her loved ones in Winterfell. The amount of hate she gets is not only completely unwarranted and uncalled for, but extremely upsetting and frustrating. People are always so surprised when I tell them she’s my absolute favorite. Must of her hate stems from the fact that she’s a female character that is not oversexualized in the show but is also not a “fierce, warrior” type woman, and so they believe her to be useless – despite the fact that she is sharp, intelligent, kind, and arguably the character with the greatest character growth. People blame her for her idealistic, naive behaviors/thoughts she had when she was a CHILD and continue to hold it against her. The fact that is 2019 and there are still so many people who think she deserves all the abuse/rape/trauma that has happened to her is sickening and you can miss me with that bullshit. sansa


JON SNOW

Given my track record with favorite male characters, you may be surprise to learn that I didn’t like Jon Snow at first. It actually took me until season 4/5 until I really began to like his character. While reading the books, however, he was quickly one of my favorite POVs to read. BookJon and ShowJon have many similarities, but BookJon is a bit more harder and possesses a more questionable sense of honor than in the show – and I kind of dig it. His chapters also helped me appreciate his show character so much more, and it has made a tremendous difference. The last couple of seasons, besides Sansa he is the one character I treasure and hope all the best for.
jon


CERSEI LANNISTER

Let me preface this by saying I do not like Cersei Lannister, but she is a fantastic character – book and showise. In the show, Lena Headey does such a marvelous job with her character. While I never want her to succeed in her schemes, she is just so damn entertaining to watch. In the books, I still despise her as a person and pray for her demise, but I’d be lying if I said her chapters aren’t some of my absolute favorite to read. Cersei’s mind is so interesting to be inside of: she’s diabolical, manipulative, and vain. A Feast for Crow was the most boring book of the series for me, and one of the only redeeming qualities was all of the Cersei chapters.
cersei


ASHA / YARA GREYJOY

Asha – known as Yara in the show – is such a badass female character and I love following her! She’s an easy character to root for and I really want her to claim the Seachair in the Iron Islands. Throughout both the books and the show, she has proved herself to be a strong, intelligent, courageous woman. I’m still making my way through A Dance with Dragons, but I’m excited that there will finally be more chapters from her POV! asha


ARYA STARK

She’s about as opposite as you can get from her sister, but I really enjoy her character. Throughout the story, Arya has gone through some really tough shit. I’ve enjoyed watching her grow as a character immensely, and I absolutely love every time she gets revenge on someone. She was so close so many time to reuniting with different members of her family; it was both heartbreaking and extremely frustrating. I was ecstatic when she finally made her way home to Winterfell. 

arya


DAENERYS TARGARYEN

She is such a fascinating character, and I’ve really enjoyed reading and watching her transition into an anti-hero as the time has gone on. As with Cersei, I don’t necessarily like her as a person, but I love being in her mind. Even though there a lot of things she does that I don’t agree with and that make her a borderline villain, there are a few situations in which I rooted for her and applauded her success. There’s no denying the fact that Daenerys sets out to do good, and yet the way she gets things done is not always right or just. Do I want her to ultimately sit on the Iron Throne? Gods, no. Have I enjoyed watching her journey to the throne? Hell yes. daenerys


Thanks for reading! Do you watch or read Game of Thrones? Who are your favorite characters? If you enjoyed this post let me know below and be sure to look for my next Game of Thrones themed post next Sunday!

REVIEW: Roomies – Christina Lauren

34466910Title: Roomies
Author: Christina Lauren
Rating: ★★★★★

I always worry that one of these days I’ll read a CLo book that doesn’t live up to my expectations. This is not that day. I wanted a fun, contemporary romance with a smidge of sexiness and and once again these authors delivered on all aspects.

“Crushes are the worst, but in hindsight a crush from afar seems so much easier than this. I should stick to making up stories in my head and watching from a distance like a reasonable creeper.”

I don’t know how they do it, but it seems like in every CLo book I read, there’s a heroine with whom I can relate to. And the fact that I can always connect with the main character on some level makes their books so much more enjoyable. Roomies was a witty, heartwarming, delightful book that I didn’t want to put down. The “fake marriage” trope was executed perfectly and it was so lovely to watch the relationship between Holland and Calvin slowly develop over time. And speaking of Calvin, from the first few chapters he had me turning into a puddle of goo. Holland Bakker is one lucky gal: she gets a handsome, wholesome, adorable Irish man as her husband – that’s the dream (or at least it’s mine).

Roomies had the whole package when it comes to what I look for in a contemporary romance: relatable heroine, witty writing, great dialogue between characters, steamy scenes, and a love interest I wish I could pull forth from the pages. This was such a fun and charming book and I always highly recommend Christina Lauren’s books!