Afterland – Lauren Beukes
There’s a virus that is only affecting men. It has killed off most if not nearly all the men in the world. Females aren’t affected but the last surviving men are taken to facilities to be watched over and used as means to continue populating the Earth. Cole and her son Miles are on the run from her son being taken away to become a sperm bank or a stand-in for a stranger’s family to pretend that they have a son. She wants to escape the horror. She dresses him as a young girl and their story is that they are mother and daughter traveling out of the country. Her son doesn’t like this but he saw what the government and certain people are willing to do just to have a male.
This was one wild book that was really different. The world building happened in breadcrumbs along the way and there were a lot of character introductions as well as a story within a story being told. I grabbed this book solely on the premise of the synopsis that caught my attention. The synopsis didn’t disappoint at all. I had found myself eager to read more and more of this speculative fiction. I hardly read speculative fiction these days and I found out why. It takes a lot of time and effort to carefully read to understand that the world is taking place within our world but in a distant future. This is different from dystopian because there are some realistic aspects. I enjoyed this novel and overall loved the writing style. I may find myself looking forward to reading more from this author.
Twice in a Blue Moon – Christina Lauren
Tate is with her grandma, touring England. So is Sam and his grandpa. Tate and Sam meet in England and things start to become more intense. They have a fling that leaves her heartbroken and betrayed because he had ratted her out to journalists and paparazzi leaving her exposed and with no other option but become a star. To secretly have her face haunt him forever. Years later, on a movie set, their paths are crossed once more. She confronts him and he tells her the utter truth of why he did what he did. She hasn’t forgiven him at all for making that decision without her included but can’t be mad forever. Just when she thinks life can resume, her life is thrown into chaos and making her question who she can truly trust with her heart.
I’ve been on the fence and contemplated reading this novel for the longest of time. I like this novel and the premise is for sure intriguing. I try to read more romance and for me unless there is some sort of action or drama involved and involving science fiction, I do read it. However contemporary stuff I am unable to read due to the boringness some romance literature has. This was excellent and kept my attention with some comedic aspect and the intriguing plot too. I love the characters and the interactions they have with other characters. This author has an interesting way of having me come back to reading the author. I’ve read some of her works before and some of them are good and some of them I don’t care for much. I do recommend this novel.
My Favorite Half Night Stand – Christina Lauren
Romance, comedy, social media, dating apps, fiction.
Millie and Reid get incredibly drunk and have a one night stand. After that night, they talk to each other about remaining friends and only friends. Millie doesn’t want to remain friends and neither does Reid. Millie helps set him and their mutual friends up with dating profiles. She makes her own and a fake one. The fake one matched with Reid so she accepted the match. Reid doesn’t know that this Cathrine was really Millie. This goes on for a while until Reid finds out the truth. Millie attempts to fix their friendship that leads to both of them confessing their feelings to each other.
I loved this book. The characters are incredibly lovable and the plot is purely amazing. I was thrilled and intrigued at the idea that Millie was being herself through Catharine and yet Reid was totally oblivious. I binged this book a little fast because I was wanting to know if and when Reid would realize. I have to say that he was sort of a bad friend for not knowing Millie that well as he should have. Either way, I loved this book and I do recommend this novel.
The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren
Comedy, romance, love stories, honeymoons, faking relationships, fiction.
Olive Torres is the opposite of her twin sister Ami personality wise but looks exactly like her. Only difference is Ami gets good luck and Olive gets bad luck. While at a wedding party, everyone minus her and this other guy gets food poisoning. Ami and her now husband ask Olive to go but the only problem is she must go with the groom’s brother whom she despises, Ethan. Both agree to play the happily new wed couple on the honeymoon that was paid for. As they spend time together on the honeymoon, both learn more about each other, and a relationship between them blossom as time progresses.
I was blown away with the title and synopsis. I had waited a while for the library to have this novel. I am a fan of this author and wasn’t surprised with the plot. I was sort of predicting that hate would attract lust between two people, it’s a fun trope that I enjoy. This novel was so incredible on many levels. Perfect amount of romance and comedy with lovable characters and subplots that involve the protagonist and the love interest.
Roomies – Christina Lauren
Marriage, contemporary women, love stories, romance, fiction.
Holland fell for this musician she stumbled upon while taking an adventure from her apartment to the subway. After a nasty fall, its clear that he saved her life. Holland wants to give him a reward, a role in one of her uncle’s play. Unfortunate she learns that he is an illegal immigrant and she thought of a way for him to stay, she decides to marry him and pretend being married, until pretending became reality.
I didn’t really like this novel. It felt too rushed in my opinion as well as a overused trope. Nothing fresh here.
The Real Deal – Lauren Blakely
Romance, fake boyfriends, drama, comedy, fiction.
April hates every time there is a family reunion, her mother and aunts try to set her up with some guy in Wistful. April decided to bring buffer, but her buffer has something he has to go to leaving April potentially alone. However, her friend refers to this guy who can act like anything she would possibly want. Theo is looking for work to help pay the bills and pay his brother’s ex off who is money hungry. Theo sees this request and is glad. April and Theo meet each other and make rules that this is strictly an acting job nothing more nothing less. As time progresses, April’s family falls in love with Theo and its evident that April and Theo caught feelings for each other. A storm comes and makes the two really question everything.
When I grabbed this novel off the shelf and the library, I didn’t know what to expect besides the synopsis on the back. After reading this novel the first time, I was impressed. Reading again and I don’t know how this works, but the story got more hilarious. I love how the best friend in the story predicts the romance ending. I had to buy this book and recently bought it. I am going through all the stuff I’ve read and borrowed from the library to not only reread it, but to have in my ever-growing collection of books.
Josh + Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating – Christina Lauren
Romance, drama, comedy, fiction.
Josh and Hazel defined each other as undatable ever since their brief interactions in college. Years later their paths cross and still think that they are undatable to each other. After Josh breaks things off with his ever-cheating girlfriend, Hazel fills the emptiness and cheers him up with horribly planned random hangouts as well as other fun activities. They plan each other’s dates, each going hilariously wrong that leads to them hanging out more. Hazel feels like she’s falling for Josh and vice versa. Each of them knew what was going to happen next. It’s the matter of time.
I extremely loved this novel, and this was a joy to reread. I laughed even harder after reading this again. I was rooting for them to immediately admit their feelings during their college years. Also, I feel like I am the main character, Hazel because we both get along with animals rather than humans as well as being weird. I have been told multiple times by my best friend that I am weird and was told to never be normal. This novel just screams that individuality is valued and should be valued. If one can’t be themselves then why bother hanging out with people who want one to tone down themselves? The author really knows how to make the main character relatable as well as the love interests. I’m holding out for a sequel of this novel.
The Real Deal – Lauren Blakely
Romance, drama, fiction, comedy
Meet April Hamilton, a young artist who is desperate for a date for her family’s reunion. Theo Banks is a man who is trying to pay off debts and works as a boyfriend for hire plus bartending as well. When April and Theo go together to her family reunion, certain events lead them closer and closer. Things get pretty hot and heavy for them both. Eventually she feels like she is lying to her family and found out some truths about Theo that he hadn’t told her. She comes out to the truth to her family and so does he with her and to his own family. April pays him but he doesn’t want her money, so he chases the girl he fell in love with on the job. She fell for him too. After all, something that was a gig became the real deal in the end.
Usually I don’t read romance comedies but the back synopsis plus title ensnared my attention. I love how the characters just eventually seeing through the bullshit of the gig and became like real boyfriend and girlfriend. It was funny too the whole trip and events that led them to get closer and hot and heavy. Totally worth rereading.
BLAKELY, LAUREN. REAL DEAL. ST MARTINS Press, 2019.