Book Review: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, by Abbi Waxman

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, by Abbi Waxman

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

Published by Berkley Books on July 9, 2019

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, romance, women’s fiction

Format & Length: paperback, 333

Source: purchased

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Meet Nina Hill: A young woman supremely confident in her own…shell.

The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.

When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all–or mostly all–excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?

Nina considers her options.
1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)

It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

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Audiobook Review: Maybe in Another Life, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Maybe in Another Life

Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Published by Dreamscape Media, LLC on August 18, 2015 (originally published July 7, 2015)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, romance, women’s fiction

Format & Length: audiobook, 8:52:21

Source: library

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From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.

At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan.

Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan?

In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate?

Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.

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Book Review: Firstlife, by Gena Showalter

Firstlife, by Gena Showalter

Firstlife by Gena Showalter

Published by Harlequin Teen on February 23, 2016

Series: Everlife, #1

Genre(s): fiction, dystopia, fantasy, romance

Format & Length: e-book, 475

Source: library

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Step one…you die.

ONE CHOICE. TWO REALMS. NO SECOND CHANCE.

Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live — after she dies. There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, long-time enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms that will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t where the boy she’s falling for lives? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…

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Book Review: The Bookshop on the Corner, by Jenny Colgan

The Bookshop on the Corner, by Jenny Colgan

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

Published by HarperCollins Publishers on September 20, 2016 (originally published February 11, 2016)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, romance, women’s fiction

Format & Length: e-book, 368

Source: purchased

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Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.

Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile—a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.

From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.

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Book Review: The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Published by Ecco on August 28, 2012 (originally published September 20, 2011)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, romance

Format & Length: paperback, 378

Source: purchased

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Achilles, “the best of all the Greeks,” son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods’ wrath.

They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.

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Book Review: Past Due for Murder, by Victoria Gilbert

Past Due for Murder, by Victoria Gilbert

Past Due for Murder by Victoria Gilbert

Published by Crooked Lane Books on February 12, 2019 (expected)

Series: Blue Ridge Library Mysteries, #3

Genre(s): fiction, mystery, romance

Format & Length: e-book, 304

Source: Netgalley

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Has a curse fallen on the small town of Taylorsford, Virginia? After a young woman goes missing during a spring bonfire, library director Amy Webber must wade through the web of lies only to find a truth that she may not want to untangle. 

Spring has sprung in quaint Taylorsford, Virginia, and the mayor has revived the town’s long-defunct May Day celebration to boost tourism. As part of the festivities, library director Amy Webber is helping to organize a research project and presentation by a local folklore expert. All seems well at first―but spring takes on a sudden chill when a university student inexplicably vanishes during a bonfire.

The local police cast a wide net to find the missing woman, but in a shocking turn of events, Amy’s swoon-worthy neighbor Richard Muir becomes a person of interest in the case. Not only is Richard the woman’s dance instructor, he also doesn’t have an alibi for the night the student vanished―or at least not one he’ll divulge, even to Amy.

When the missing student is finally discovered lost in the mountains, with no memory of recent events―and a dead body lying nearby―an already disturbing mystery takes on a sinister new hue. Blessed with her innate curiosity and a librarian’s gift for research, Amy may be the only one who can learn the truth.

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Mini Reviews: The Mentalist Series, by Kenechi Udogu

Mini Reviews: The Mentalist Series, by Kenechi Udogu

For this set of mini reviews, I’m going to talk about The Mentalist series, which consists of a trilogy and prequel. This isn’t a direct comparison by any means, but this paranormal YA romance series had vibes that reminded me of Twilight. If that and the blurb below sounds like your thing, read on for my thoughts on each of these books!

*Thanks to the author for providing copies of this editions in exchange for an honest review.

For Gemma Green’s first time, things should have been straightforward. Find your subject, hold their gaze and push a thought into their head to save them from future disaster – Aversion complete. A pretty simple process given that the subject was to have no recollection of the experience. But Russ Tanner doesn’t seem to want to forget. In fact the more she tries to avoid him, the more he pushes to get to know her. Gemma knows she has a problem but is she facing the side effects of a failed Aversion or has the school’s tennis champ really fallen for her?

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Audiobook Review: The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Published by Random House Audio on September 13, 2011

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, romance

Format & Length: audiobook, 13:40:16

Source: library

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The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

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Book Review: Select Few, by Marit Weisenberg

Select Few, by Marit Weisenberg

Select Few by Marit Weisenberg

Published by Charlesbridge Teen on October 9, 2018 (expected)

Series: Select, #2

Genre(s): fiction, fantasy, science fiction, romance, young adult

Format & Length: e-book, 384

Source: Netgalley

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After rejecting the cult-like influence of her father’s family, Julia moves into a fancy hotel in downtown Austin. But she finds herself alone except for her boyfriend, John–and her fears. Once again she’s suppressing her abilities, afraid her family will come for John when they find out he’s been developing abilities of his own in her presence. The FBI is also keeping a close eye on Julia hoping she can lead them to her father, Novak, as he’s wanted for questioning in his former assistant’s death.

With tensions high, Julia and John agree to go separate ways for the summer, paving the way for Julia to reunite with Angus, fellow outcast. Together they set out on a road trip to California to find Julia’s mom and a way into Novak’s secret underground world. Along the way Julia will learn the Puri perhaps aren’t the only humans evolving into something different. . . and that maybe she’s the leader her people have needed all along.

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Book Review: Read, Write, Love at Seaside, by Addison Cole

Read, Write, Love at Seaside, by Addison Cole

Read, Write, Love at Seaside by Addison Cole

Published by Addison Cole on June 12, 2017

Series: Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers #1

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, romance

Format & Length: e-book, 224

Source: purchased

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Bestselling author Kurt Remington lives to write. He spends twelve hours a day in front of his computer, rarely leaving the seclusion of his beach-front property, where he’s come to finish his latest thriller — that is, until free-spirited Leanna Bray nearly drowns in the ocean trying to save her dog. Kurt’s best-laid plans are shot when he comes to their rescue. Kurt’s as irritated as he is intrigued by the sexy, hot mess of a woman who lives life on a whim, forgets everything, and doesn’t even know the definition of the word organized.

Leanna’s come to the Cape hoping to find a fulfilling career in the jam-making business, and until she figures out her own life, a man is not on the menu. But Leanna can’t get the six-two, deliciously muscled and tragically neat Kurt out of her mind. She tells herself she’s just stopping by to say thank you, but the heart-warming afternoon sparks an emotional and unexpectedly sweet ride as Kurt and Leanna test the powers of Chemistry 101: Opposites Attract.

Sweet with Heat books are the sweet editions of the Love in Bloom steamy romance novels by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster. Sweet with Heat books convey all of the passion you expect between two people in love, without any explicit scenes or harsh language.

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