Review: Famous in a Small Town by Kylie Scott

Famous in a Small Town by Kylie Scott
Famous in a Small Town
Kylie Scott
Publisher: Kylie Scott
Publication Date: April 7, 2022
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 2 Stars

MY REVIEW

CW: Grief; anxiety; pregnancy; home invasion

It pains me so much that I didn’t like this book. I was greatly looking forward to it as I adored Kylie Scott’s Stage Dive series and was excited for her to write another musician hero. However, this book fell flat. This book was a bit of a nebulous meh. 

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Review: It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey
It Happened One Summer
Tessa Bailey
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: July 13, 2021
Series or Standalone: Bellinger Sisters #1
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating:2 Stars

MY REVIEW

When it comes to Tessa Bailey’s books, they’re incredibly hit or miss for me. And this one was a big ole miss. 

I know this book is incredibly popular, but it did not work for me. I found the characters to be unlikeable, the romance underdeveloped, and the writing awkward. Some of the choices also made me angry as the central conflict is based on a failure to communicate.

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Review: A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas

A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas
A Wallflower Christmas
Lisa Kleypas
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: October 14, 2008
Series or Standalone: The Wallflowers #4.5
Links:AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating:2 Stars

MY REVIEW

Yes, I know it’s no longer Christmastime, but I ended up reading A Wallflower Christmas a few days after Christmas, so my first review of the year is a Christmas book. I love the Wallflowers series and was greatly looking forward to this novella. However, I did not like this book. I was disappointed with the romance and some secondary storylines involving the OG Wallflowers. 

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Loathe at First Sight by Suzanne Park

Review: Loathe at First Sight by Suzanne Park

Cover of Loathe at First Sight by Suzanne Park
Loathe at First Sight
By Suzanne Park
Publisher: Avon
Published Date: August 18, 2020
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating:2 Stars

MY REVIEW

Where to start with this book? First off, this book is marketed as a romance. In my opinion, it’s not a romance. It’s a book that has a romance in it, but the romance is not central to the plot despite the title and summary from the publisher. The little bit of romance we do get in the book is also pretty lackluster. Instead, I feel this book is more of a workplace drama and there isn’t anything wrong with that, but that’s really not how it’s marketing.

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Review: Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas

Devil in Winter
Lisa Kleypas
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: February 28, 2006
Series or Standalone: The Wallflowers #3
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 2 Stars


MY REVIEW

I’ve been really loving the Wallflowers series, but y’all, this one was not for me. I know that there are a ton of people who love this book and love St. Vincent, but I am not one of those people. 

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A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee

Review: A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee

Cover of A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee from publisher St. Martin's Griffin.


A Sweet Mess
By Jayci Lee
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: July 14, 2020
Series or Standalone: A Sweet Mess #1
Links: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Rating: 2 Stars




MY REVIEW

Note – this review includes spoilers. Proceed with caution if you don’t want some plot points revealed.

A Sweet Mess had so much potential, but unfortunately it was not my cup of tea. Or my slice of cake I should say if we want to align with the book’s baking theme.

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Vlog Review: Haven

Haven

Kristi Cook
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: February 22, 2011
Pages: 416
Source: Simon and Schuster’s Galley Grab
Ratings: 2 Stars
Summary (from Goodreads):
One month into her junior year, sixteen-year-old Violet McKenna transfers to the Winterhaven School in New York’s Hudson Valley, inexplicably drawn to the boarding school with high hopes. Leaving Atlanta behind, she’s looking forward to a fresh start–a new school, and new classmates who will not know her deepest, darkest secret, the one she’s tried to hide all her life: strange, foreboding visions of the future.
But Winterhaven has secrets of its own, secrets that run far deeper than Violet’s. Everyone there–every student, every teacher–has psychic abilities, ‘gifts and talents,’ they like to call them. Once the initial shock of discovery wears off, Violet realizes that the school is a safe haven for people like her. Soon, Violet has a new circle of friends, a new life, and maybe even a boyfriend–Aidan Gray, perhaps the smartest, hottest guy at Winterhaven.
Only there’s more to Aidan than meets the eye–much, much more. And once she learns the horrible truth, there’s no turning back from her destiny. Their destiny. Together, Violet and Aidan must face a common enemy–if only they can do so without destroying each other first.
Review in the vlog below. WARNING!!! CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS!!




Somethings in the vlog I didn’t mention. I didn’t hate this book, I just had a lot of issues with it that made me not enjoy it. I felt Haven was well written with the exception of the “you knows”. I liked that Violet was all moody and gloomy like Bella Swan, and instead was her own character.  I failed to mention that I hated the hot and cold of Violet and Aidan’s relationship. One moment Violet was all lovey dovey and then would completely ignore Aidan and then wonder why he isn’t talking to her. That was extremely annoying. 


Here are some highlights from my Goodreads feed for Haven that basically sum up my feelings on this book:

Page 42 – I find myself talking to this book.   

Page 230 – Beautiful use of the phrase “you know”: “Well, I figured she was jealous of you anyway. You know, about Aidan. Not that they’ve ever…you know.”

Page 243 – WTF!! “I was supposed to be frightened. But there was no denying that I was totally turned on.” This is seriously wrong. 

Page 272- “I guess my breaching his mind had cured the vampire version of a hard-on he’d been suffering from.” WTF 

Page 347- (AFTER THE LICKING) “By the time he finished, I was reduced to a quivering mass on the bed, panting and squirming.” This girl has serious issues.

Page 387 – That was fast. And anti-climatic

Here’s what people who thought differently from me said: 
Miss Page Turner’s City of Books – “In my opinion, a very good novel is always marked by a very good writing style. Cook applied a writing style that supported the story very well. Although I noticed serval word repetitions, I find Cook’s writing just right.”
My Reading Room – “Fun characters, a plot that sucks you in and great storytelling make Haven one of my favorite YA books this year.”
The Book Sp(l)ot – “The beginning of the book was  a fast, engrossing read that really drew me in. Then, a little bit of the middle did go a little slower, but definitely stick with it because the ending (and middle/end) really gets going again and draws you right back in!”
The Crazy Bookworm – “Haven is very magical. It wisps you away from the hustle and bustle of ordinary life and transports you into this whimsical place. Not all of it is lollipops and rainbows though, there is a great deal of suspense.
Between the Covers –  “Haven was a quick, enjoyable read. Cook’s writing easily engages the reader, finding just the right balance of description and action and refined style and teen voice that brings the story to life. 

Review: Firelight

Firelight
Sophie Jordan
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 7, 2010
Pages: 336
Ratings: 2 Stars
Summary (from Goodreads):
With her rare ability to breathe fire, Jacinda is special even among the draki—the descendants of dragons who can shift between human and dragon forms. But when Jacinda’s rebelliousness leads her family to flee into the human world, she struggles to adapt, even as her draki spirit fades. The one thing that revives it is Will, whose family hunts her kind. Jacinda can’t resist getting closer to him, even though she knows she’s risking not only her life but the draki’s most closely guarded secret.
Firelightwas an intriguing concept that was not executed in the best way. I really wanted to love this book because the idea of this race of people descended from dragons called draki was something that struck me as very fresh and interesting. However, I was deeply disappointed in Firelight.
For me, Firelight was Twilight. Seriously. I am not a huge fan of Twilight and I  dislike when things are compared to Twilight but the whole time I was reading about Jacinda and Will, I couldn’t stop drawing the comparison. The relationship between Will and Jacinda was very reminiscent of Bella and Edward. At one point, Jacinda even says that Will is an “addictive drug”, something to keep her draki alive while it is slowly dying from the harsh, desert environment. Sounds eerily familiar to Bella being Edward’s brand of heroin. At times, Jacinda and Will’s relationship seemed a bit rushed and all over the place. The focus of all the characters was mainly on Jacinda and Will and I felt like all the secondary characters got pushed into the background and were only brought back up again when need and were never fully developed. Along with that, I felt Will and Jacinda were very one-dimensional and I could not see past Jacinda’s narration. Everything revolved around her and her problems and at points I just want her to stop complaining so the story could continue. I was glad to see that towards the end of the book, though, that Jacinda started to change and see past herself and accept other people’s emotion, she started to become a stronger character I could respect a bit more.
While I really enjoyed the idea of Firelight, the writing was constantly distracting me. I felt like the entire book was composed of very short, fragmented sentences that distracted me from enjoying the book. I was engaged by the draki way of life and wanted to know more about the hunters and draki, but the writing kept getting in the way. I frequently had to read this book in short bursts because the writing would annoy me and take away from my enjoyment of the story.
The ending of the book was a bit anticlimactic. I felt like for the first novel in a series, Firelight did not leave a strong enough impact. I was left with more questions at the end of the book than I would have liked and I really wished that more descriptions about draki and draki life were provided in the first book. A first book in a series needs to wow me to make me interested in continue reading the series. Unfortunately, that was not the case with Firelight. I might check out the sequel to see what happens next and to see if more is explained but I won’t count on it.