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Monday, November 21, 2022

Mistakes were Made by Meryl Wilsner Book Review

 

Cover of Mistakes were made:
Two women sitting at a bar. Blue upper half of picture and then a bar with bar stools.


I really enjoyed this book.

The romance was lovely, and you could feel the chemistry between them. 


While there is a wonderful sex scene in the first chapter it takes a long time before we have more, it becomes slowburn-ish we know they are interested in each other but her being the mom of one of her bestfriend and her being the bff, they know they "can't be together".

I loved the side characters and the friendships, how Parker being the daughter of one of our FL wasn't made into this big issue, but rather solved swiftly.


While I did not like Cassie's "She's not like other girls" type of comment in the beginning of the book when Erin (Parker's mom) takes whiskey as a drink ("... it was whiskey, neat. A no-nonsense kind of drink") it was a fun book. I just wish she hadn't made a comment like that, other drinks are not "nonsensical" I just hate it when people make women identifying characters hate on other women for things they like. I believe we are past judging and not supporting other women.


There are some scenes I wished we'd had towards the 3/4 of the book, about the struggles and some comments Erin made about "it not being serious" and about their age difference. I think if it had gone more in depth about it with more conversations between our FL's and not with their respective bff's it would've been more impactful.


I was happy there was no cheating or "making mistakes 'cause she's younger" thrope in this romance book.


A refreshing Sapphic Romance that I highly recommend. 

Bookarina

4/5 stars

Monday, November 14, 2022

Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales ARC Book Review

 



Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book; my thoughts are my own.


I really enjoyed Sophie Gonzales's debut novel and so when I saw the premise of this book I was hooked.

I was so excited for this that I couldn't wait to read it.

Unfortunately, it was a letdown. I don't know why (probably because the full description wasn't available when I first learned about the book) but I believed it would be a NA or Adult novel because of the reality Bachelor-esque premise of the book.

Instead, they were 18? It felt weird to read adult conversations about relationship's they had as children and the lack of life experience for them to be looking to settle down and get married...

I feel like this premise would've been better if the characters had been older, not super old but older than "I just became an adult" (in most of the world since in the US it's like 21 to drink and all that)

I liked the "I want revenge" premise, unfortunately the romance wasn't really interesting. None of them are likable enough for me to care about their romance, one was rude and the other just hard to care about. 


I think the romance is so unbelievable because we don't spend enough time on it, there is too much of the book spent on Jordan and on the other contestant which meant we did not have enough time to see interactions and moments that made the romance realistic. I felt like they barely knew each other, but I did enjoy the small interactions they had.


Jordan didn't make a lot of sense, for someone we are meant to hate, it just didn't feel that way and his choices (who to keep etc) seemed inconsequential and made little to no sense with the information we were getting while reading the book which made the book seems slightly dumb/silly.


I was just disappointed, great concept and an unfortunately bad/poor execution.

2.5/5 stars

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Wilting Violets by Anne Malcom Book Review



(this can be read as a standalone)

 I keep thinking about this book.

I really want to get it physically and I believe that upon a re-read it will become 5 stars.

TW: SA, Domestic violence, abortion, PTSD (guilt of not seeing the abuse, being abused, etc)
while not graphic it is mentioned and told in some amount of details.

This book is an MC age gap romance between the daughter of the new wife his best-friend has. While not his biological daughter once he marries the mother, he treats her as his.

He knows she's untouchable now, as his bf adopted daughter, but they have an undeniable chemistry, and he will go to all extremes to protect her and care for her. Our ML wants to keep his distance at first and the sort of slow-ish burn is to die for. I love when I can feel the tension and how he cares for her even after telling her they can't be together.

She is taken by surprise learning her mother will be getting married to an MC member, she until then was living abroad in school. She isn't as innocent as people believe her to be and is glad her mother is finally happy. She is dealing with some personal issues and has no intention of telling anyone. She wants to keep it together and not get in her mother's new life way.
To her grand surprise, her mother's new husband, makes it known he considers her his daughter and has no intention of keeping her to the side.
I loved how their daughter/father relationship grew.


***SPOILER***
I loved the fact that even in their "we can't be together" he (our ML) knows she is scared to drive in the rain and has panic attacks and so calls her and stays on the phone with her when he knows it will rain until she stops driving
***END SPOILER ***

There are so many things I loved about this book and while not a life changing book, it quickly became a new favorite, and I can see it becoming a comfort read.
This is a spicy book that had a great plot and was also simultaneously touching.
I highly recommend it if you are interested in it.
(I will be re-reading this soon)
4.5/5 stars
Bookarina

Monday, October 24, 2022

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix Book Review

 



This book was good, not a funny laughing out loud comedic horror, but the premise was fun and I had a great time reading it.
While it did drag on around the middle part it was a relatively short read and the main character Lynette was super interesting.
I enjoyed the intrigue and the cast of varying characters the author wrote in this novel.
While it did take me a chapter or two to get into the book, once I had started I knew it was better to finish it in one sitting.
It’s the type of look you don’t have to think too hard about I really enjoyed the way the author wove the different mysteries and a different final girl scenarios for each of our characters. The way they (each of the final girls) dealt with their traumas into different ways and reacted to situations was very interesting.
Overall I had a good time it was an easy read and a perfect spooky season read.
3.5-3.75/5⭐️

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Twisted Love by Ana Huang Book review

 This was a fun read, not a life changing or super original/unique story but a great one.

I love reading some tropes in my romances when I feel like reading one, having a morally grey MC and a sunshine (this is also her nickname from him) of a FL was lovely.

I had previously read Twisted Games (the second book in the companion novel Twisted series) and really enjoyed it. This one had more storyline and a lot less sex than the second book in the series. I was also surprised by a plot twist which I was not expecting as I had predicted most of the book. I laughed and enjoyed so many scenes from this book.

I believe it's a great read for anyone expecting a predictable, sometimes cheesy romance with an I hate everyone, but you love interest. I loved the sister/brother bond between Ava and Josh, the banter and how easy it was to get into the story. While there are spicy scenes with a mix of BDSM (as I expect most of the series will have some aspect of it after reading the first two novels), it is not just erotica, at least not for this volume & we know to expect a happy ending for each novel which is always nice when you want one.

I recommend this for fans of Lauren Asher's books, and lovers of quick easy read romances with happy ending.

A perfect pallet cleanser, a fun fact to point out is that each book has a playlist attached to it and a trigger warning collection to check out in case you need it!

4/5 stars

Bookarina

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

The Dark King by Gina L. Maxwell Book Review

 




This book had me so excited because of the blurb.

Unfortunately, it suffers a lot from "telling not showing syndrome"... 

While the concept was good, a Vegas billionaire also fae king marrying a small-town girl after hooking up with both of them having no memories of it in the morning. It failed to deliver, a lot was in there, things happened rather quickly for the size of the book, there was a lack of actual scenes showing what happens it was more a "let me tell you why" as a character appeared with the information or a "let me think of everything you need to know" so that we as reader would learn about the Fae world. This was disappointing as our MFC was as lost as us, it would have been better to learn the world with her, the laws, the events, etc. 

The writing was also not for me, it took me a while to get into it and once I was into it, it felt like there were scenes missing for the pace of the book or the events unfolding. The ending was also rushed and the last bit of it felt like just an excuse to set up the next book. Which I personally will not be reading, it did not leave me wanting more or even interested in knowing more about any character as we barely got anytime to know anyone. Our main characters have a flat personality, more (again) telling who they are are/mentioning it rather than showing it. All characters have a lack of character development, I didn't care about anyone. 

The sex scenes were all over the place, there are a lot but only half of them really made me enjoy the book, it was a half and half each time they came as to if I would enjoy it or not. They are heavy on BDSM, but not healthy in any way. While our MMC does mention the principles of BDSM he blatantly fails at respecting them in some aspect (even though he prides himself on it (knowing everything regarding it and being good at it) & his brother mentions that's the only thing he is good at in a relation with a woman), while it is reinforced throughout the book that he is a "young king" he is hundreds of years old and lacks emotional maturity in terms of romantic relationships as she is his first romantic interest. 

While I did have some fun with it, we never got explanations for some of the fantasy aspects of the book or if we did get some it still missed some information for us to really understand the Fae world. The ending left me meh, while it is not the worst book I have ever read, it is also not a read I would really personally recommend, there are books that just do it better in my opinion and this is simultaneously a very short and lengthy book.

I can see why some people loved it, but it unfortunately did not work for me. Overall, a disappointing read, I am happy some people enjoyed it.

2.5/5 stars

Bookarina

Monday, October 3, 2022

Dirty Dom by Willow Winters Book Review

 




underwhelming, fast paced, with no time for feelings ... 

This book was so fast paced that we got no feeing for any characters, it felt like it was trying to have too much happen in too little time.
The POV’s are hard to differentiate and often switch per paragraph which makes for a hard to follow read.
I had heard so many good things about it and the only feeling to left me with is annoyed and how underwhelming the whole story is.

This is a generic mafia book that you could read in the beginning of the Wattpad era, the plot is nothing really more descriptive than actually happening and jumping left and right.
The sex scenes are short and repetitive, also very disappointing for something that was supposed to be BDSM.
It felt like the author was just trying to check cases with what a typical mafia romance would have, they have sex within their first encounter/conversation if you can even call that a conversation. This mob boss conveniently called Dom also has no personality, no idea who he is meeting for collecting the debt he is owed and is bland overall.
Our “Doll” Rebecca called Becca is not better, she never explains anything, and their “banter” is her asking questions to a monster like duh he won’t answer. The whole book was boring and predictable, simultaneously too long and too short due to the lack of plot progressing cohesively in a way that makes sense with the events and actually empathize with our MC’s.
The writing was bad, something I expect from a frayed fanfic where the author has ideas for a story, but no actual experience as to how to connect all those ideas/scenes together.
Overall, I don’t understand why people like this book, I found nothing redeemable, I have another more recent book of hers that I now don’t know when I’ll get to after this read.
1/5 stars 
Bookarina 

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Would You Rather by Allison Ashley ARC Book Review

 



Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book my thoughts are my own.


This book didn't make me fall in love as much as I had hoped to. I usually love fake dating, fake wedding, marriage of convenience. This let me down, its good just not as amazing as everyone had led me to believe, maybe my hopes were too high or I just wasn't in the perfect mood to read it, who knows.


I felt there were too many time jumps, there was also the whole "we have been friends for years" aspect which if not done perfectly always makes me irk. In this case, it felt off sometimes, we could feel the pinning, but no reason was "strong enough" to me for this to had been the moment when they let their feelings out. I hate the whole theme of making it seem like opposite genders cannot be friends or best friends. 


Outside of the romance there is no storyline, because of the time jumps once again, there is never something that is explored thematically outside of making a check list of typical tropes or romance scenes; one bed check, friends to lovers check, kissing practice check, ...


This is not to say there weren't moment I enjoyed, because there were, and the writing was super enjoyable. However, this is an adult romance with fade to black smut which is not something I want when I read a romance, while there are some, I enjoy in this case due to the lack of story it was kind of a letdown.


Anyways, while not a new favorite for me, I can see why a lot of people enjoyed it.

2.85/5 stars 

Bookarina

Friday, July 1, 2022

This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede ARC Book Review




 Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book, my thoughts are my own.


This was a huge let down,

Maybe if I did not read as much as I do, if this was the first YA fantasy I have ever read and was in the beginnings of my reading journey I would've loved it.

Unfortunately for it, it is not the case here.


This is like a carbon copy of things I have already read in YA, with clichés and overly simplistic characters, wrapped in a story where everything conveniently happens for our MC.

The thing I was most looking forward to was the magic system and world building, there is little to none, what is said about the magic is overall vague when you are left with a compilation of questions and explanations that don't really make a lot of sense. The characters have no depth, the author confused character development with banter, I don't feel like I care about and know any of these characters. They have cliché dialogs, moments and realizations.

While I love a bodyguard romance, what is meant to be a fantasy novel should not be felt as an excuse to be able to have a romance. Everything felt like a set up for the romance, which made no sense since this isn't a romance or wasn't meant to be. The reading is nothing special, unfortunately is boring, again cliché and not particularly enjoyable. 

There are so many other books I love that have character building, depth, rich fantasy world and magic system with original storylines. 


Don't waste your time, probably one of the worst books I read this year this was mediocre to read at most. 

I cannot with a good heart recommend it when there are so many other  better books out there waiting to be read.


1/5 stars.

Bookarina


Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Boys, Beasts & Men by Sam J. Miller ARC Book Review

 




Disclaimer: My thoughts are my own. 

First, I want to thank the publisher and author for the opportunity to read and review this short stories collection. 


It is hard to review a collection of short stories, there are always some hit and miss.

I would like to start by saying : please check the content warnings, hopefully in the final copy a list will be at the beginning before you read the book. 

-- back unto the review--

A lot of miss for me unfortunately, my favorite part was the a page or so of writing before each stories, there's these little text written beautifully that just hit me harder than the actual stories in most cases. A couple of them like "The beasts we want to be" , were stories I would've loved to read in a full novel format, others like the "Allosaurus Burgers" I couldn't bring myself to care about and didn't enjoy. 

It was a shame, for me, that the writing of the "in between parts" was not consistent with the writing style of the actual stories as I loved it so much. It felt like some of the stories needed to be longer and had much left to be discovered/answered while others were too long. I loved the queerness of the stories and how the title made sense once you read the collection as a whole, however some of the stories could've been left out and it would have not made much of a change in my opinion.

All in all, it was not a bad experience even though there were a lot of lows the highs were extremely addicting and I would love to read a full novel by the author with a similar theme is a fantasy or magical realism setting. The concept was good and well executed in most parts, there was a lack of character development due to the length of the stories which made it hard to really root for or connect with any of the characters. But their individual worlds, if we can call them that, were full of potential which made it fun to learn more about. (or as much as we could about each of them in the short period of time we got)

Overall, 2.75-3/5 stars

Recommended for : fans of magical realism, speculative fiction, (weirdly enough) Junji Ito's short stories/short manga collection and short stories.

most stories were at a 3 star, 2 (5 stars), 3 (4 stars)   and 3 (2 stars).

Bookarina.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Kelcie Murphy and the academy for the Unbreakable Arts by Erika Lewis Book ARC Review

 Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book, my thoughts are my own.




Disclaimer: I received an ARC my thoughts are my own !

THIS BOOK. WAS. AMAZING.

I loved the carefully woven bits of mythology and the way the author paced the story. 

As a Slytherin this definitely appealed to me as the people said it would. Also one of my favorite things, a magical school !

I loved that Kelcie was a foster kid, with magic that is associated to a traitor, it made it that much more interesting when learning about her, the magic and the world. This very much has a harry potter vibe so far as in, we get a full year in the novel. 

I really enjoyed the competition aspect of the book when they had to compete for a place at the academy and how we are suddenly transported into the magical world. It felt like we were learning with her and was reminiscent of one of my favorite middle grade novel "Nervermoor".

Overall a great beginning to a series, cannot wait to see where this goes !!


4/5 stars.

Bookarina

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Daughter of The Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan Book Review

 



THIS BOOK IS  E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G...
I LOOOOOVVVVEDD it . The mythology, the lyrical writing, the fast paced action.
So much happens in this book, there is so much content, twist and turns and the romance is just an added bonus, not the point of the story. I loved the women friendship in the book and how confident our FL grew to be. The time skips are well placed and you don't feel like you missed something or that she learned a skill too fast. The author made a master piece, while this could be read as a stand alone with a complete ending, I cannot wait to see where this will go and how much the world will expand/everything wrap up as some loose ends were left at the end.

There are so many moments in the book where you cannot stop reading it, I recommend going into it knowing only that she hopes to find a way to free her mother from her confinement on the moon. 

Overall a wonderfully crafted novel perfect for fans of mythology, fantasy and fast paced action with romance added to the mix. I cannot recommend this enough.

5/5 stars
Bookarina