Author: Julieann Dove
Title: Searching for Sarah
Genre(s): Literature and fiction; Women's fiction; Contemporary women
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Review: This book is absolutely adorable. I instantly fell in love with Sarah Keller and her quirky personality. Dove did such an amazing job at creating Sarah's character and making her incredibly distinct from any other character I've ever encountered through my readings. I genuinely felt a connection to her, as though she was a real life friend. I think that she is relatable in so many ways, especially how she has major trouble figuring out what she wants to do for a career. I also think her search for that perfect relationship is something that all women can relate to. And I liked how Sarah had a hard time seeing what was right in front of her face because I think that tends to happen in real life. Sophie and Sam made such an imprint on my heart as well, however, I was really shocked to learn more about their situation later in the book. This revelation definitely added a lot more drama to a light read. There were so many relationships that played into the plot and I think that Dove was able to write them out beautifully. Although I enjoyed this book immensely, I gave it 4 stars for two reasons. The first reason is that there were certain points throughout the book where the scene changed instantly and it was hard to keep up how it happened. I found myself re-reading paragraphs to figure out where the scene changed. The second reason is that the ending felt incredibly abrupt and I am not a huge fan of cliff hangers even if the book is in a series. I think that the ending could have involved more description and feeling since the entire rest of the book was written that way. Those two things aside, I would definitely recommend this book! It was really charming and enjoyable.
Book Description: "Sarah Keller is convinced that her Mr. Right is stuck in traffic…in another country…on another planet. ‘Thirty-one and still single’ isn’t how she wants to be introduced by her dad. That’s why she’s on five dating websites, posing as anything from an avid gardener to a crazed thrill seeker. Sam Turner is a single dad, workaholic, who owns his own company. Long-term relationships have never worked out for him. That’s why he needs a nanny. When a mutual friend suggests Sarah take the job temporarily, everything changes for them both. Sarah begins falling for the man who meets almost none of her online criteria. And when strange things start happening—things that jeopardize the safety of Sarah, Sam is the last person she would imagine is hiding something."
Author: Fern Ronay
Title: Better in the Morning
Genre(s): Contemporary women; Women's fiction; Literature and fiction
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Review: As a reader, every now and then I come across stories that touch my soul in a way that leaves an everlasting imprint. Better in the Morning did exactly that. This story is captivating, charming, and elegantly written. In the midst of my own chaotic life, I couldn't put this book down. Veronica is the essence of so many young women who make life choices for reasons that do not truly reflect their honest desires. She is incredibly witty and charismatic, but as you first get to know Veronica, her light is dulled due to the misery she is experiencing. I really enjoyed being witness to her journey of fighting through trial and error to get to the place that she always was destined to be. Ronay's way of integrating Veronica's relationship with her grandparents into the story was incredibly unique and unlike anything I have ever read before. Their relationship added a heartfelt aspect to the novel that left me feeling envious. This book really conveyed the dynamic of life and how easy it is for us to get stuck in a routine that leaves us feeling drowned and unfulfilled. It also revealed that when we take a step back and let what feels right unfold, life can become exactly what we need it to be. Better in the Morning will make you laugh out loud and shed a few tears! I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a great story with awesome character development and a few life lessons.
Book Description: "Veronica Buccino has a plan: marry John DelMonico and quit her soul-sucking job as a lawyer. And when he tells her he has big news, she's certain he'll pop the question. But instead of proposing, John informs her that he's moving to London. Heartbroken, Veronica feels lost. Salvatore and Antoinette, her dead grandparents, begin to visit her dreams in an attempt to steer her in the right direction. At their suggestion, Veronica takes a news reporting class, which leads to a challenging freelance assignment covering a conspiracy trial. She also begins dating an unlikely suitor: creative Syd Blackman. Just when her love life and career are looking up, Veronica is tossed back to square one by an event that makes her question all her new choices."
Author: Bella Forrest
Title: The Gender Game
Genre(s): Romance; Action and adventure; Teen and young adult; Mysteries and thrillers; Science fiction and fantasy
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Review: I am so incredibly thankful that this book is part of a series, because I am obsessed with it! Normally, I listen to my audiobooks during my drives, but I was so engrossed in this book that I couldn't stop listening to it. I think the idea of splitting the U.S. into two areas (Matrus and Patrus) is a really cool concept. I think it shows the importance of understanding how the ruling of one gender (no matter which one) would be detrimental to the country's citizens in one way or another. Aside from the world that Forrest created, Violet's character is captivating, strong, and vulnerable. She has so many aspects to her personality and I enjoyed seeing each facet pull through during different parts of the story. Despite her growing up as an orphan in Matrus, Violet was able to mold herself to fulfill a duty while she was sent to Patrus. Lee's character was really interesting as well. Not to give anything away, but I never felt like I really believed his story. Something always felt off when Lee was talking about his mission. The third main character, Viggo, is the essence of masculinity. I loved his character and the relationship he had with Violet. I think both of their histories and personalities made their connection even stronger. Obviously based on the star rating, I highly recommend this book. I think it would be a fun read for teens, young adults, and adults who like science fiction, action, and mild romance.
Book Description: "A toxic river divides nineteen-year-old Violet Bates's world by gender.
Women rule the East. Men rule the West. Welcome to the lands of Matrus and Patrus. Ever since the disappearance of her beloved younger brother, Violet's life has been consumed by an anger she struggles to control. Already a prisoner to her own nation, now she has been sentenced to death for her crimes. But one decision could save her life. To enter the kingdom of Patrus, where men rule and women submit. Everything about the patriarchy is dangerous for a rebellious girl like Violet. She cannot break the rules if she wishes to stay alive. But abiding by rules has never been her strong suit, and when she is thrust into more danger than she could have ever predicted, Violet is forced to sacrifice many things in the forbidden kingdom ... including forbidden love. In a world divided by gender, only the strongest survive..."
Author: Emily Maynard
Title: I Said Yes
Genre(s): Biographies and memoirs; Arts and literature; Religious; Actors and entertainer
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Review: I think that Emily is incredibly brave to have written this book and have it published. In this biography, Emily takes us through her difficult times and her happiest of times. At a few points, she talks about her battle with suicide. This is one of those topics that may come across as taboo to talk about, but Emily made her experience incredibly relatable. As I was watching the Bachelor and Bachelorette, I felt like I wanted to get to know Emily on a deeper level. This book let all of her fans do exactly that and even more so by helping her come across as more than just a reality TV star. I enjoyed learning about her relationship with Ricky Hendricks and how her relationship with her baby girl changed her life after the devastation of losing her fiancee. Disclosure: I am not a particularly religious person, but I think that Emily's journey of finding herself through her belief in God was really cool to read about. Emily also wrote about her experience on the Bachelor and the Bachelorette, which cleared up a lot of mystery for her fans. Emily has been engaged four times and its curious how she got to that point. Emily's book is extremely vulnerable and raw and a really good read for anyone who is interested in her story or just a heartfelt story of a woman on her life's journey.
Book Description: "Millions know Emily Maynard Johnson from her unprecedented double appearances on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Millions also know that neither of the relationships from those shows lasted much longer than a commercial break. Overcome with embarrassment following her nationally televised failures at romance, Emily finally committed her heart to the only one she knew would never leave her empty and alone. Abandoning her desire to be chosen by men and finding peace in the fact that she was already chosen by God, Emily found the joy she had been looking for in serving God. In I Said Yes, Emily tells the story of her life before and after reality TV fame, describing the profound new reality she discovered when she forsook fame in favor of the Lord. At the end of a long, fruitless search for a man, this courageous young woman found the truest love of all waiting right in front of her. To that love, Emily said yes."
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Title: Glass Sword
Genre(s): Teens; Romance; Science fiction and dystopian; Fantasy
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Review: This book was such an extreme disappointment after reading Red Queen. Ultimately, I felt like not much happened in this book and it could have been watered down to fit into either Red Queen or King's Cage. The story kept going around in circles and it seemed like there were very few things that the plot accomplished even though it was a fairly long book. The plot was not the only thing that was stuck in this book. I felt like Mare did very little growing of developing in this book of the series. There was very little self-discovery and that was very frustrating as a reader who loved the first novel. There were some important issues that came up that were relevant to the plot, but there could have been a lot more depth added to those issues. Instead everything came across as superficial almost as if this book was a pit stop between Red Queen and King's Cage. I am honestly really saddened by how frustrated this book made me because I am hesitant to read the King's Cage in fear of being disappointed again. Honestly, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read King's Cage, and needs the information from this book for the third one to make sense.
Book Description: "The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they've always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul. Mare Barrow's blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control. The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind. Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?"
Author: Andi Dorfman
Title: It's Not Okay: Turning Heartbreak into Happily Never After
Genre(s): Biographies and memoirs; Relationships; Love and romance; Television
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Review: This book is completely different from what I normally go for, but I thought that it might be something fun to listen to on my way to and from school. I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor/The Bachelorette franchise and Andi was by far one of my favorite ladies. During her time on both shows she presented herself as a sassy and independent woman who didn't take any crap from other people. I was really interested to learn more about her experience as a contestant, bachelorette, and newly single woman. I didn't have a lot of expectations going into this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed how it was literally written like pages from her journal and her personality was very apparent throughout the entire book. I also liked how she started from her experience as a contestant and then moved through her breakup with Josh Murray and how she ended up in New York. Andi also disclosed a lot about her relationship with Josh and how hard it was during their breakup. I felt that this book is incredibly raw and you can definitely experience that pain and torment that Andi felt as she was going through the different stages of her life. I gave this 4 stars instead of 5 because I personally felt that there were some things that she could have left out to help one of her exes (Nick Viall) save a little face. It didn't seem necessary for her to have certain things exposed that could literally ruin a person, so I perceive this a little more as an expose than just a bibliography. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys The Bachelor series or who enjoys diary style books.
Book Description: "Andi Dorfman, the beloved finalist of season eighteen of The Bachelor who infamously rejected Juan Pablo and went on to star on season ten of The Bachelorette, dishes about what it’s like to live out a love story—and its collapse—in front of the cameras, offering hard-won advice for moving on after a break-up, public or not. Andi Dorfman, star of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, talks candidly about what it’s like to be courted by twenty-five handsome, single men in this juicy, insider’s peek at dating—and breaking up—on national TV. She shares entertaining and heartfelt stories about her fellow Bachelor alums—many of whom are still close friends—comes clean about calling out Bachelor #18 Juan Pablo for bad behavior, and reflects on her personal challenges and uplifting experiences in love that she hopes will help you get through your own break-ups with grace and style!"
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Title: Red Queen
Genre(s): Teens; Mystery thrillers; Romantic; Fantasy and supernatural
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Review: The concept of this book's world was really intriguing to me. I like the idea of the reds and the silvers and how their body chemistry is genuinely different from one another. I think that Aveyard did an amazing job at providing her readers with an elaborate painting of this world. When I was listening to this book, I was transported to the Stilts and the Silver Palace. I also really enjoyed Mare's character and how dedicated she is to her family and her people. Although she becomes entangled with the silver royal brothers, she never loses sight of her true purpose, freeing her fellow reds from poverty and destruction. Mare represents a truly powerful heroine that I think all women can admire. While Mare was very apparently dedicated to her people, I also admired Cal for being dedicated to his. Although I despised how the silvers treated the reds, I always have respect for those who fiercely believe in their own ideals and Cal did just that. I was not expecting for the book to end the way that it did, but Aveyard set the scene for the following novel in a very profound way. Overall, I think this book is pretty great in all aspects! I highly recommend it to young readers and adults.
Book Description: "Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. There, before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own. To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess, and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays the only certainty is betrayal. This sweeping story of palace intrigue, class hierarchy, and deception will keep readers hurtling along, desperate to find out Mare’s fate. Her honesty and determination, quick wit, and no-holds-barred attitude will surely make readers fall in love with her."