Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is a Valentine’s Day freebie and my post is inspired by Paperbacks and Planners’ postfrom last year! Their theme was too tempting to pass up and I’ve been waiting to get a change to use it!
Title: Much Ado About You Author: Samantha Young Rating: ★★★
ARC provided by Berkley through NetGalley.
Much Ado About You has the perfect premise. Who doesn’t want to move to a quaint English village on the coast, run a small local bookstore, all the while falling in love with a sweet, handsome Englishman? While the story itself ended up being pretty mediocre, the romance was smoldering and for that alone I ended up enjoying this book.
For most of the book, there was a distinct lack of connection between me and the story. The characters had zero to little personalities, there wasn’t much substance to the actual plot, and as much as I hate to say it, the entire thing just felt bland. Evie frustrated me to no end. A lot of her thoughts and actions made things more difficult for herself than they needed to be, especially with regards to Roane.
The romance was the book’s saving grace for me. The smoldering tension between Evie and Roane was incredibly well written. The chemistry between them was oozing off the pages, and I couldn’t get enough of their interactions. All of this amazing romantic tension only added to my frustration with Evie’s actions (inactions, really) throughout a majority of the story. However, I will say that the waiting finally paid off when the two of them finally get together.
Much Ado About You was one of those instances where a book features a great premise, but the execution falls flat. The plot was missing a lot of substance to make it a captivating story and the characters were too one-dimensional to elicit a strong sense of connection. The romance was the best written aspect of the story, as there was no denying the sparks flying between our protagonist and her love interest.
Happy New Year! I hope everyone’s start to 2021 has been going well. My reading has gotten off to a slower start than anticipated but I’m trying a new thing this year where I don’t stress as much about meeting my reading goals…we’ll see how that goes! 😅
THE WIFE UPSTAIRS: This was a clever, exciting retelling of Jane Eyre set in the modern world. There was a lot of tension and an overwhelming sense of urgency while reading that made the book quite thrilling. With this book being a retelling of a classic novel, it’s obvious there is going to be some degree of predictability within the plot, however, I thought the twists were too easy to predict and the book started to loose some of it’s steam towards the end. ARC provided by St. Martin’s through NetGalley. ★★★½
DOWN COMES THE NIGHT: My first disappointment of the year is unfortunately one of the books I had most been looking forward to reading. This sounded promising with a synopsis indicating a darkly gothic story and an atmospheric fantasy, however, many of these elements I had been hoping for were sadly missing. Between the writing, which I found lacking, and my dislike of the main character, the story failed to captivate me. The book’s only saving grace was the really sweet and well-written romance. ARC provided by Wednesday Books through NetGalley. ★★★ [review]
THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE: Addie was a mesmerizing, visceral, and heartbreaking: truly deserving of all of the high praise it has received. There was a sense of yearning and urgency within the pages that made the book unputdownable. The atmospheric settings had me feeling nostalgic for times and places I have never been, which is another testament to V.E. Schwab’s capabilities as a writer. The ending was equal parts heartbreaking and hopeful. ★★★★½ [review]
MUCH ADO ABOUT YOU: The premise of this book is what really drew me to the story. Who doesn’t want to move to a quaint town on the coast of England, run a small bookstore and fall in love with a sweet, handsome Englishman? The story itself was pretty good, although I found parts of the writing lacking and dull. However, the tension between Evie and Roane was so incredible the chemistry was oozing off the pages, and for that fact alone I gave it an extra star! ARC provided by Berkley through NetGalley. ★★★ [review]
Title: Perfect on Paper Author: Sophie Gonzales Rating: ★★★★½
ARC provided by Wednesday Books through NetGalley.
It’s not often that a book meets all of your expectations so superbly, but that’s exactly what Perfect on Paper managed to do. From the protagonist, to the romantic tropes, to the excellent writing, this book was a wonderful little story that made me giddy with happiness.
Darcy Philips was the star of the book and I don’t have a single complaint about her characterization. She was relatable, flawed, remarkable, stood up for her beliefs, and had such tremendous growth throughout the novel. How could you not root for a heroine like that? I also really loved Sophie Gonzales’ commentary on the erasure of bisexuality when dating a member of the opposite gender. I’m not a member of the LGBTQ+ community and therefore have no authority on the matter, however, I thought the way the issues were brought up and handled were brilliantly done.
The romance was impressively written. Perfect on Paper somehow managed to combine my love of the fake dating trop a lá To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before with the sweet, slow-burn that starts as friendship that made me love If I’m Being Honest so much. I love watching a romance unfold through characters’ thoughts and actions and not just being told, and that’s exactly what we are given in Perfect on Paper. In short, it was spectacular.
Perfect on Paper checked all of the right boxes to make this a tremendously heartwarming and satisfying novel. I think this book will appeal to a lot of readers and I highly recommend picking it up in March!
It’s finally December and 2020 is almost over! I was really hoping to have read more books this month but overall I felt pretty good about my reading. I’m still on orientation but I was switched to day shift for this month and I finally feel like a real person again! I’m hoping the increase energy I have from having a better schedule will help me read more books. I need to read ten more books to reach my goal for this year! I’m also really behind on writing reviews 🙈 so I’m hoping to have more time for those as well. How is everyone else’s yearly reading goals going?
THE ONCE AND FUTURE WITCHES: This was the perfect fall read! It was full of witches and magic and gave off the best fall vibes. I loved how timely and powerful the story was about sisterhood and suffragists. The writing was beautiful and I enjoyed reading through the POVs of all three Eastwood sisters. Unfortunately, the pacing of the book was what killed the momentum for me. This book is long and very slow moving throughout many parts of the book. But otherwise, I enjoyed it! ★★★½ [review]
THE CAMELOT BETRAYAL: I found myself easily falling back into the world of Camelot and King Arthur which made reading this so much more enjoyable. The books is focused more on Genevieve and her character growth than anything else, and since I really like her character I was not upset one bit about it. I liked that the plot moved pretty quickly and that more information was revealed about Genevieve’s background: I cannot wait for all the pieces to fall together in the last book! ARC provided by Random House Children’s through NetGalley. ★★★★ [review]
YOU HAVE A MATCH: I loved this even more than Tweet Cute! This book screams Parent Trap vibes and I loved all the angst and familial drama that filled the pages. I absolutely flew through this book and cannot put it down. I highly recommend this for anyone who loves YA contemporary and stories full of friendships, family, and discovering yourself. ARC provided by Wednesday Books through NetGalley. ★★★★
INTO THE HEARTLESS WOOD: Joanna Ruth Meyer’s standalone fantasies have impressed by a lot thus far (more so than her series). All I needed to know was that this book was a gender-swapped retelling of Beauty and the Beast following an astronomer’s son and a monstrous tree siren and I instantly added it to my TBR. Everything about this was magical: the beautiful writing, the fairytale vibes, the wicked woods and the monstrous creatures within. I loved every second of reading this and cannot wait for more people to read it too. Thank you to Page Street Books for sending me an ARC! ★★★★
A DEAL WITH THE ELF KING: This was my first book by Elise Kova and I was not disappointed in the least. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: we need more NA fantasy/fantasy romance books! Publishers: give the people what they want. The story is a loose retelling of Hades and Persephone and it was perfect. I’m a little bummed that it was a standalone instead of a series (the next book features different protagonists) but I look forward to reading more from this author. Maybe next year will be the year I finally read the Alchemists of Loom series! ★★★
KINGDOM OF THE WICKED: I have been looking forward to this book since it was first announced. I loved the Stalking Jack the Ripper series and had total faith in Kerri Maniscalco with writing a dark story about witches and demons. Thankfully, my trust in her was not misplaced. The plot was fantastic, and I loved both Emilia and Wrath. I had some issues with the pacing towards the end of the book and the fact that it felt like some reveals/plot lines were glossed over, but I’m really looking forward to reading the next book! ★★★★