Review: Instructions for Dancing

Title: Instructions for Dancing
Author: Nicola Yoon
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: June 1, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Evie Thomas doesn’t believe in love anymore. Especially after the strangest thing occurs one otherwise ordinary afternoon: She witnesses a couple kiss and is overcome with a vision of how their romance began . . . and how it will end. After all, even the greatest love stories end with a broken heart, eventually.

As Evie tries to understand why this is happening, she finds herself at La Brea Dance studio, learning to waltz, fox-trot, and tango with a boy named X. X is everything that Evie is not: adventurous, passionate, daring. His philosophy is to say yes to everything–including entering a ballroom dance competition with a girl he’s only just met.

Falling for X is definitely not what Evie had in mind. If her visions of heartbreak have taught her anything, it’s that no one escapes love unscathed. But as she and X dance around and toward each other, Evie is forced to question all she thought she knew about life and love. In the end, is love worth the risk?

Review:

After her parents got divorced and she found out her dad cheated on her mom, Evie Thomas gave up on her belief in love. Then, one day she sees a couple kiss and has a vision of their entire relationship, including how it will end. She has these visions when she sees a couple in love kiss, even if they’re her best friends. Evie is led to a dance school by a book she finds called Instructions for Dancing. She’s partnered up with a boy called X, and they’re trained to compete in an LA ballroom dance competition. As they get closer and Evie starts to believe in love again, she has to decide if love is worth it in the end.

This story was a quick read. The chapters were short and the timeline of the story flew by. Even though it was fast, the story was complete. I fell in love with the characters right away, starting with Evie. She had a valid reason for not believing in love anymore, but I was rooting for her and X the whole time.

I found most of the story fun and light hearted. The parts where Evie and X were learning to dance and getting to know each other were so fun. I used to dance so I could relate to their lessons. I had read in a review that this story was heartbreaking, and I found it hard to believe that until the end. It was definitely heartbreaking but I also want more of their story.

Instructions for Dancing is another beautiful and heartbreaking Nicola Yoon story.

What to read next:

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

From Little Tokyo, With Love by Sarah Kuhn

Have you read Instructions for Dancing? What did you think of it?

Review: Misfit in Love

Title: Misfit in Love (Saints and Misfits #2)
Author: S.K. Ali
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Salaam Reads
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook, Paperback arc
Release Date: May 25, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this fun and fresh sequel to Saints and Misfits, Janna hopes her brother’s wedding will be the perfect start to her own summer of love, but attractive new arrivals have her more confused than ever.

Janna Yusuf is so excited for the weekend: her brother Muhammad’s getting married, and she’s reuniting with her mom, whom she’s missed the whole summer.

And Nuah’s arriving for the weekend too.

Sweet, constant Nuah.

The last time she saw him, Janna wasn’t ready to reciprocate his feelings for her. But things are different now. She’s finished high school, ready for college…and ready for Nuah.

It’s time for Janna’s (carefully planned) summer of love to begin—starting right at the wedding.

But it wouldn’t be a wedding if everything went according to plan. Muhammad’s party choices aren’t in line with his fiancée’s taste at all, Janna’s dad is acting strange, and her mom is spending more time with an old friend (and maybe love interest?) than Janna.

And Nuah’s treating her differently.

Just when things couldn’t get more complicated, two newcomers—the dreamy Haytham and brooding Layth—have Janna more confused than ever about what her misfit heart really wants.

Janna’s summer of love is turning out to be super crowded and painfully unpredictable.

Review:

Janna Yusuf is busy preparing for her brother, Muhammad’s wedding to Sarah. She’s been staying at her father’s lake house, where they are holding the wedding, so she’s excited to be reunited with her mother for the wedding. Janna is also excited to be reunited with her childhood friend, and crush, Nuah, who she is finally willing to tell that she likes him. However, Nuah treats her differently when she arrives. To add to the wedding drama, Muhammad has made choices for the wedding that his fiancée doesn’t like, Janna’s dad is acting strangely, and her mom has a new male friend who she has brought to the wedding. Add in charming Haytham, Sarah’s cousin, and mysterious Layth, the nephew of her mom’s friend, and Janna has a drama filled wedding weekend!

I was so glad to return to the world of Saints and Misfits! I loved that book when I read it years ago. This story was more light hearted but still dealt with some important issues. Janna discovered that someone close to her was racist and prejudiced. It was disturbing to her to realize this, which others had noticed before. There were a couple of instances of prejudice against someone’s culture. Most of the characters were Muslim, but from different countries and cultures that some others found hard to accept. This wedding was the joining of two people, from different cultures, but that was all that mattered in the end.

Love was a major theme in this wedding story. Love is universal, and doesn’t discriminate against race, nationality, or culture. It was nice to read a story where love was the centre, after a senseless hate-motivated attack on a Muslim family in an Ontario city. I don’t understand how things like that can happen in this world. This story proves that despite our differences, deep down we are all the same. We can all join together in celebrating love, like the wedding of Muhammad and Sarah in this book.

Misfit in Love is the perfect sequel! I hope there will be another book in this series!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali

Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin

Other books in the series:

Have you read Misfit in Love? What did you think of it?

Review: Of Princes and Promises (St. Rosetta’s Academy #2)

Title: Of Princes and Promises (St. Rosetta’s Academy #2)
Author: Sandhya Menon
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 8, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes the second installment in a brand-new series set an elite boarding school that’s a contemporary spin on fairy tales, this one a delightful, romantic twist on The Frog Prince.

Caterina LaValle is determined to show she’s still the queen of St. Rosetta’s Academy. Sure, her crown may be slightly askew after her ex-boyfriend, Alaric, cheated on her, but she’s a LaValle. She’ll find a way to march right back in there, her hands clutching the strings to the whole puppet show. This time, she’s going to be untouchable.

Rahul Chopra knows that moment he shared with Caterina LaValle at the winter formal meant something. Surely she feels it, too. He’s a little uncertain how someone like him (socially inept to a point way past “adorkable”) could fit into her world, but he’s loved Caterina for years. He knows they’ll find a way.

When Caterina finds out Alaric is taking a supermodel to the upcoming gala, she knows she cannot arrive without the perfect date. But the thought of taking another superficial St. R’s boy exhausts her. The solution? Sweet-but-clueless Rahul Chopra and a mysterious pot of hair gel with the power to alter the wearer into whatever his heart desires.

When Rahul tries it, he transforms instantly into RC—debonair, handsome, and charming. But transformation comes with a price: As Rahul enjoys his new social standing, the line between his two personas begins to blur. Will he give up everything, including Caterina, to remain RC? Or will this unlikely pair find their way back to each other?

Review:

Caterina LaValle is the queen of St. Rosetta’s Academy. Everyone wants to be her friend and will do anything to be close to her. When Rahul Chopra comforted Caterina at a winter dance following her breakup with her boyfriend, Rahul fell in love with her. Now, they’ve returned to school after their winter break, and Rahul is hoping his relationship with Caterina can begin. When Caterina finds out that her ex-boyfriend is bringing a supermodel to a gala, she has to find a date quickly. She decides to transform Rahul into the perfect date. With some magical hair gel, Rahul becomes the confident and charming RC, who dazzles everyone at the party. Rahul loves this new persona and thinks he has to keep it up to be with Caterina. When his two identities begin to merge into one, he has to decide who he really is to win Caterina’s heart.

I wasn’t very familiar with the story of the Princess and the Frog before reading this story. I knew that a Princess kissed a frog, turning him into a Prince, but I haven’t read or watched any adaptations of that tale so I didn’t know what to expect from this story. I love how this series has a touch of magic in these fairytale retellings. Most of it could take place in the real world, except for the magical hair gel that literally transforms Rahul into RC. That brings a fairytale element into a contemporary story.

I was surprised at the twist at the end of the story. I knew one character was acting a little strangely, but I didn’t know why. I couldn’t have predicted the twist, so it made the ending tense and exciting. There was a bit of a teaser for the next book in the epilogue. I hope there will be another St. Rosetta’s Academy book because I love this setting and the characters.

Of Princes and Promises is another fun Sandhya Menon book!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Other books in the series:

Have you read Of Princes and Promises? What did you think of it?

Review: The Road Trip

Title: The Road Trip
Author: Beth O’Leary
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 1, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Two exes reach a new level of awkward when forced to take a road trip together in this endearing and humorous novel by the author of the international bestseller The Flatshare.

What if the end of the road is just the beginning?

Four years ago, Dylan and Addie fell in love under the Provence sun. Wealthy Oxford student Dylan was staying at his friend Cherry’s enormous French villa; wild child Addie was spending her summer as the on-site caretaker. Two years ago, their relationship officially ended. They haven’t spoken since.

Today, Dylan’s and Addie’s lives collide again. It’s the day before Cherry’s wedding, and Addie and Dylan crash cars at the start of the journey there. The car Dylan was driving is wrecked, and the wedding is in rural Scotland–he’ll never get there on time by public transport.

So, along with Dylan’s best friend, Addie’s sister, and a random guy on Facebook who needed a ride, they squeeze into a space-challenged Mini and set off across Britain. Cramped into the same space, Dylan and Addie are forced to confront the choices they made that tore them apart–and ask themselves whether that final decision was the right one after all.

Review:

Addie and Dylan met four years ago while staying at a friend’s villa in Provence. They had an instant connection and a whirlwind romance filled with miscommunication. Now, they have been broken up for a year and a half. While on the way to a mutual friend’s wedding, they end up having a car accident, totaling Dylan’s car. Dylan and his friend Marcus don’t have any other way to get to the wedding, which is an eight hour drive to Scotland. Addie and her sister Deb end up offering to drive Dylan and Marcus, along with Rodney, who is another guest who needs a ride to the wedding. As Dylan and Addie are forced to spend this road trip together, they must re-examine their relationship and figure out what went wrong.

This is another wonderful romance by Beth O’Leary. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Addie and Dylan. They’re both such passionate people in their own ways. Addie loves fiercely and Dylan is a hopeless romantic. Deb and Marcus were great contrasts to Addie and Dylan, both ready to shut the other down if they think they’re making the wrong choice. Rodney was also a hilarious random addition to the road trip.

This story alternated between Addie’s and Dylan’s perspectives, and between the timelines of their past relationship and the road trip happening now. I found the road trip to be a hilarious comedy of errors. Things kept going wrong in the best ways. These kinds of road trips are only funny in hindsight or when they aren’t happening to you, but they are fun to read about. The other narrative of their past relationship had a much more serious tone. There were lots of heavy feelings, like when they fell in love and when they broke up. There were also some tougher storylines, such as alcohol abuse and sexual assault. I kept finding myself waiting to get to the present narrative because it was more comedic. With the serious tone balanced with the funny moments, this story has something for everyone.

The Road Trip is the perfect summer read!

Thank you Berkley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Talk Bookish to Me by Kate Bromley

Have you read The Road Trip? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: The Hunting Wives

Title: The Hunting Wives
Author: May Cobb
Genre: Thriller, Contemporary
Publisher: Berkley
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 18, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The Hunting Wives share more than target practice, martinis, and bad behavior in this novel of obsession, seduction, and murder.

Sophie O’Neill left behind an envy-inspiring career and the stressful, competitive life of big-city Chicago to settle down with her husband and young son in a small Texas town. It seems like the perfect life with a beautiful home in an idyllic rural community. But Sophie soon realizes that life is now too quiet, and she’s feeling bored and restless.

Then she meets Margot Banks, an alluring socialite who is part of an elite clique secretly known as the Hunting Wives. Sophie finds herself completely drawn to Margot and swept into her mysterious world of late-night target practice and dangerous partying. As Sophie’s curiosity gives way to full-blown obsession, she slips farther away from the safety of her family and deeper into this nest of vipers.

When the body of a teenage girl is discovered in the woods where the Hunting Wives meet, Sophie finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation and her life spiraling out of control.

Review:

Sophie O’Neill left behind her busy life in Chicago to move to the Texas small town, where she went to high school, with her husband and toddler son. Soon after, she becomes obsessed with the socialite Margot Banks. Margot is gorgeous and seems to have it all. One day, Margot invites Sophie to join her small group of friends, called the Hunting Wives, at her lake house. They like to drink and do target practice with shotguns. However, they get up to other secret wild and dangerous activities. When a body is found on the lake house property, Sophie ends up being one of the main suspects. Sophie has to save herself as her life spins out of control.

This was such an intense thriller. It had short chapters, which I always find makes me read the book faster. There were so many twists and unexpected events that I couldn’t predict where the story was going. I was completely surprised at the ending. I thought I had figured out what was happening but I was wrong. I love it when a story can surprise me like that.

There were some very intense and potentially triggering scenes. There were instances of alcohol abuse, drugging someone, and having affairs. There were also mentions of suicide and abortions. These things made the story very intense and dramatic, but these scenes could be triggering to some readers.

The Hunting Wives was an intense and surprising thriller!

Thank you Berkley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

Where to buy:

Bookshop: http://bit.ly/2KcI6v3  

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2XG4tMu

B&N: http://bit.ly/35DV3Wi

BAM: http://bit.ly/2N4yQKD

Target: http://bit.ly/39s9QVf

Apple Books: http://apple.co/3ibYw3B

Google Play: http://bit.ly/3skvovw

Kobo: http://bit.ly/39u1LiT

Have you read The Hunting Wives? What did you think of it?

Review: Beth and Amy

Title: Beth and Amy
Author: Virginia Kantra
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Retelling
Publisher: Berkley Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 25, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Four sisters face new beginnings in this heartfelt modern take on Little Women by New York Times bestselling author Virginia Kantra. 

Amy March is more like her older sister Jo than she’d like to admit. An up-and-coming designer in New York’s competitive fashion industry, ambitious Amy is determined to get out of her sisters’ shadow and keep her distance from their North Carolina hometown. But when Jo’s wedding forces her home, she must face what she really wants…and confront the One Big Mistake that could upend her life and forever change her relationship with Jo.

Gentle, unassuming Beth grew up as the good girl of the family. A talented singer-songwriter, she’s overcome her painful anxiety to tour with country superstar Colt Henderson. But life on the road has taken its toll on her health and their relationship. Maybe a break to attend her sister’s wedding will get her out of her funk. But Beth realizes that what she’s looking for and what she needs are two very different things….

With the March women reunited, this time with growing careers and families, they must once again learn to lean on one another as they juggle the changes coming their way.

Review:

In this sequel to Meg and Jo, Beth and Amy March are called back to their hometown in North Carolina for their sister Jo’s wedding. They appear to be leading exciting lives, but there is a lot hidden beneath the surface. Beth is on tour with her country singer boyfriend, but she’s suffering in secret with her health. Amy has designed a successful line of purses, but she really wants to find love with the one man who doesn’t love her back. All of the March women are reunited again as they find their places in the world and their family.

I haven’t read Little Men, the sequel to Little Men, so I was surprised at what happened in this novel. I won’t give any spoilers, but Amy’s love interest was quite surprising to me. I didn’t like that relationship at the beginning, but by the end of the book I was rooting for them to be together. These characters were so well developed that I changed my mind about them and I loved them at the end.

I like the way this retelling has been adapted to a modern setting. For example, Beth’s illness of scarlet fever in Little Women was turned into an eating disorder in this story. Beth having an eating disorder and anxiety makes it more relatable to a modern audience, rather than having scarlet fever like she had in the original book. The personalities of the characters were the same as in the original book and they fulfilled the same character roles, but in a modern setting.

Beth and Amy is a great retelling of Little Women.

Thank you Berkley Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Other books in the series:

Have you read Beth and Amy? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: Talk Bookish to Me

Title: Talk Bookish to Me
Author: Kate Bromley
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: VIZ Media
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook, Paperback arc
Release Date: May 25, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Inspiration can come from the most unlikely—and inconvenient—sources.

Kara Sullivan’s life is full of love—albeit fictional. As a bestselling romance novelist and influential Bookstagrammer, she’s fine with getting her happily-ever-after fix between the covers of a book. 

But right now? Not only is Kara’s best friend getting married next week—which means big wedding stress—but the deadline for her next novel is looming, and she hasn’t written a single word. The last thing she needs is for her infuriating first love, Ryan Thompson, to suddenly appear in the wedding party. But Ryan’s unexpected arrival sparks a creative awakening in Kara that inspires the steamy historical romance she desperately needs to deliver. 

With her wedding duties intensifying, her deadline getting closer by the second and her bills not paying themselves, Kara knows there’s only one way for her to finish her book and to give her characters the ever-after they deserve. But can she embrace the unlikely, ruggedly handsome muse—who pushes every one of her buttons—to save the wedding, her career and, just maybe, write her own happy ending?

Review:

Kara Sullivan is a romance writer on a deadline. Her best friend is getting married, so she has that stress on top of her work. Before the wedding, Kara meets the groom’s best friend, who happens to be Kara’s ex-boyfriend, Ryan. Ryan was Kara’s first love and they had a devastating break up ten years ago. Now, Kara and Ryan are thrown together in the wedding planning. Spending time with Ryan actually gives Kara inspiration for her novel. Since Kara is finally making progress on her book, she decides to give Ryan a second chance to make their own happily every after.

This was such a sweet and emotional romance. I could relate to Kara as a writer. She had written books in the past but she was struggling with her current idea. Sometimes, you just need the right inspiration to keep moving forward. Ryan was the key to finishing her novel. She used the formula of a romance plot to guide her relationship with Ryan, to hopefully make it last this time.

Since this was a romance novel, I knew something would happen to divide Kara and Ryan before they could show their strength and become a real couple. Ryan seemed like a dream guy to me, especially since he could discuss romance novels with Kara, which made what he did almost unforgivable. I was so heartbroken for Kara, and I don’t know if I would have forgiven Ryan. I was glad that the story picked up and had a happier, romantic ending.

Talk Bookish to Me is a fun bookish rom com!

Thank you HarperCollins for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

About the author:

KATE BROMLEY lives in New York City with her husband, son, and her somewhat excessive collection of romance novels (It’s not hoarding if it’s books, right?). She was a preschool teacher for seven years and is now focusing full-time on combining her two great passions – writing swoon-worthy love stories and making people laugh. Talk Bookish to Me is her first novel.

Where to buy:

BookShop.org

Harlequin 

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Books-A-Million

Powell’s

Have you read Talk Bookish to Me? What did you think of it?

Review: Strong Like the Sea

Title: Strong Like the Sea
Author: Wendy S. Swore
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: May 25, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Featuring a secret ocean code with a hidden message for YOU to decipher!

Even though twelve-year-old Alexis was born in Hawaii, she won’t surf or swim with her friends—not since the ocean and its hidden creatures swept her out to sea. Instead, she grabs her best detective hat and decodes her mom’s latest challenge

Alex’s mom works in counterintelligence and leaves codes, ciphers, and puzzles behind for Alex to solve, always with a “treasure” at the end. It’s a brilliant game between them, and Alex loves figuring out her mom’s puzzles—especially the tricky ones—but when an emergency at sea puts her mom in possible danger, solving the next one suddenly feels far more urgent.

Friends help as Alex races to decipher each clue before time runs out, but when the trail leads to grumpy old Uncle, his enormous dog Sarge, and a sea turtle unlike any other, the challenge changes into something bigger than any before. With storms on the horizon and lives on the line, Alex must face her fears to solve Mom’s challenge and save those she loves. With her ohana to help, she must be strong like the sea.

Review:

Twelve-year-old Alexis was born in Hawaii but she’s scared of the water. Her mom travels with the navy, and she leaves codes and puzzles for Alexis to solve while she’s gone. Alexis has to solve her most difficult puzzle yet. She needs help to solve it, including from her grumpy Uncle. Before she can finish it, her mom goes missing. This becomes Alexis’s most important challenge, as she races to finish it to make her mom proud.

I would have loved this book when I was a kid. I loved puzzles and mystery stories. Alexis had many different types of puzzles to solve, including treasure hunts and codes. These sounded so fun, and may spark an interest in puzzles for young readers.

I loved the island setting. I haven’t been to Hawaii but I definitely want to go after reading this story. There were many Hawaiian terms used throughout the story, but they were either explained in the context of the sentence or in the glossary at the end. Food was an important part of the story as well. Most of it sounded really delicious, except for the stinky fruit they used to make a healing tea. I loved learning about Hawaiian culture in this story.

Strong Like the Sea is a great middle grade novel!

Thank you Shadow Mountain Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Sugar and Spite by Gail D. Villanueva

Hurricane Season by Nicole Melleby

Have you read Strong Like the Sea? What did you think of it?

Review: Cool for the Summer

Title: Cool for the Summer
Author: Dahlia Adler
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBT
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: May 11, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Lara’s had eyes for exactly one person throughout her three years of high school: Chase Harding. He’s tall, strong, sweet, a football star, and frankly, stupid hot. Oh, and he’s talking to her now. On purpose and everything. Maybe…flirting, even? No, wait, he’s definitely flirting, which is pretty much the sum of everything Lara’s wanted out of life.

Except she’s haunted by a memory. A memory of a confusing, romantic, strangely perfect summer spent with a girl named Jasmine. A memory that becomes a confusing, disorienting present when Jasmine herself walks through the front doors of the school to see Lara and Chase chatting it up in front of the lockers.

Lara has everything she ever wanted: a tight-knit group of friends, a job that borders on cool, and Chase, the boy of her literal dreams. But if she’s finally got the guy, why can’t she stop thinking about the girl?

Cool for the Summer is a story of self-discovery and new love. It’s about the things we want and the things we need. And it’s about the people who will let us be who we are.

Review:

Lara has had a crush on Chase Harding, the star quarterback at her school, for six years. When she starts her senior year, Chase finally notices her and starts flirting with her immediately. However, Lara isn’t the same girl she used to be. She spent the summer with her mom at her mom’s boss’s summer house where she met Jasmine, the daughter of her mom’s boss. Lara and Jasmine had a summer romance that Lara thought was in the past since Jasmine was going back to her home with her mom. Now that Jasmine has moved to Lara’s school, she is a constant reminder of their summer fling. Lara has to wonder if it was just a fling and she should enjoy the attention from Chase, or if she has deeper feelings for Jasmine.

This was such a fun story. It would be perfect for summer because there were many scenes from Lara and Jasmine’s summer spent at the beach. There were also lots of feelings in this book. Lara was experiencing so many emotions, with her surprise feelings for Jasmine and her dreams of dating Chase coming true. This was a heart pounding story about figuring out your teenage romantic feelings.

This story explored what it means to identify as bisexual. In other novels that I’ve read with bi characters, they have a hard time defining their feelings. Lara had always had a crush on Chase so she assumed she was straight. When those feelings were finally recognized by him, she thought she had to be with him since that was her dream. However, she started to question her sexuality after having a relationship with a girl. For some reason, it’s sometimes difficult for people to accept that people can like both girls and boys, including the person experiencing those feelings themself. It’s possible to identify as bisexual and be in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex or the same sex, without being identified as straight or gay. Lara had to come to terms with her feelings before she could become her true self.

Cool for the Summer is the perfect summer read!

Thank you Wednesday Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Have you read Cool for the Summer? What did you think of it?

Review: The Last Thing He Told Me

Title: The Last Thing He Told Me
Author: Laura Dave
Genre: Thriller, Contemporary
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: May 4, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

We all have stories we never tell.
Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her.

Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers: Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered; as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss; as a US Marshal and FBI agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.

Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth, together. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they are also building a new future. One neither Hannah nor Bailey could have anticipated.

Review:

The day that Owen Michaels goes missing, he sends a note to his wife that says “Protect her.” His wife, Hannah Hall, knows that the note is referring to his daughter, Bailey. Hannah has never been close to her stepdaughter, but now she has to protect her. Then, they find out what happened. The company that Owen works for is being charged with fraud, and his boss and closest friend has been arrested. Owen has disappeared without a trace. The more that Hannah searches for him, the more she has to realize that her husband isn’t the man she thought he was.

This was such a suspenseful read. I read some reviews that said this story had a slow pace. I don’t think it was slow, but it wasn’t action packed like a lot of popular thrillers. The chapters were short which always makes me read a book faster. This was more of a psychological suspense story, without a lot of explosive action.

This story kept me guessing until the end. I really had no idea where the story was going to go, so I had to keep reading to find out. The pieces of the puzzle of what happened with Owen unraveled slowly and everything came together at the end. I would have liked a more impactful ending, but I was pleased with where they ended up.

The Last Thing He Told Me is a suspenseful thriller!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Lucky by Marissa Stapley

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Have you read The Last Thing He Told Me? What did you think of it?