It Ends With Us – Colleen Hoover
Romance, contemporary, relationships, fiction.
Lily throughout her life is a hard worker and came from her hometown to start a flower business in Boston. After her father’s funeral, she is on the rooftop just trying to relax when a man comes up smoking a joint telling her what to do. He thinks she is going to jump but she isn’t. He tells her that his name is Ryle and he’s a neurosurgeon. Each shares bits and pieces of their lives and he warns her about himself. She warns him of herself. They depart and life goes on as usual until their paths cross again. This time he doesn’t take the warning too seriously and dares to ask her out. With time, they slowly become more and more involved but also someone from her past, Atlas, appears in her life. This causes her to be torn between Ryle and Atlas.
I had heard of this author on TikTok and this book was on the BookTok table at my local Barnes and Nobles. I didn’t really like this novel because it was too fast-paced. I was able to read it in one sitting and this book left me saddened and the plot felt like something was missing from the story. The way the book ended was not satisfying at all. The writing was great, don’t get me wrong, it’s just the way Hoover wrote the plot could have been more satisfying at the end. The characters, such as Atlas and Lily, should have gotten together instead of Lily going with Ryle. Lily should have listened to Atlas and left Ryle the moment Ryle hit her. No man should be allowed a second chance after he hits a woman who he claims he loves. I thought that was where the novel was going to take the reader/audience but it disappointed me. I appreciate reading this novel and maybe I should find another Colleen Hoover book to read to understand more of the hype of the author. I do know that she has a bunch out that are on Booktok.
Black Girls Must Die Exhausted – Jayne Allen
Infertility issues, black women. Family, interpersonal relationships, fiction.
Tabitha finds out that she has an infertility issue that she has to address sooner rather than later. Not only that but she finds out her boyfriend, Marc, isn’t ready for any family life nor marriage. He breaks up with her. Tabitha goes to her friends and family to help her. She gets the dream promotion at her work. She comes to terms that she will die exhausted but she will live her life to the fullest.
I enjoyed the writing of this novel. The flow was so perfectly done. The plot and narrative felt surreal. I’m glad that this book covered a very heavy subject with some lightness and comedy. There was a great balance. Not a lot of books cover infertility issues because it is so stigmatized. We should unstigmatized sexual wellness. There was another topic that was covered here and it is racism. There is a lot of systematic and institutionalized racism in this country that has made people of color scared of the police. When Tabitha got pulled over by the cop and was very afraid for her life, I nearly cried because police are supposed to make everyone feel safe. However, with the rising numbers of police brutality against people of color, police have become even more feared more now than ever. With that said, please contact local representatives and tell them that we need police reform. I’ve done my part by calling daily and I want my followers to do the same. My website is a hate-free zone. This is a peace zone.
Paper Doll Lina – Robyn Lucas
Domestic violence, family, marriage, interpersonal relationships, domestic abuse, fiction.
Lina is a stay at home mother and housewife with two children and a husband that loves her. Their marriage at the beginning was rocky but they always found their way back to one and other. Recently her husband has been more distant and crueler with his words that belittle and make Lina feel absolutely terrible. He does things without asking her and expects her to be on board with the ideas. Her two children got an idea for a website and decided to go on television to get the website more seen; her husband isn’t supportive. He sees this as her bad idea and that the kids would get bored of their project. However, her two children are deeply invested as well as she is. He gets mad and says that he wasn’t included in the plans despite her informing him of said plans. She had run into Noah Attoh, a famous movie actor, who helps the website get more coverage as well as being her friend. The two of them spend more time together and she realizes slowly when she reconnects with an old best friend that her husband is toxic and that she needs to get out of the relationship fast and with her children as well.
Let me tell you I was crying when I was almost done reading this novel. It is not easy to read because domestic abuse is a very serious overseen issue. Lucas shares that aspect with this novel that sometimes domestic abuse isn’t physical but it is verbal and tends to be very nasty. What Lina’s husband was doing was a form of narcissism. People who are narcissists tend to manipulate others into believing their side rather than the victim’s side. They psychologically and emotionally abuse the victim as well as doing intentional things to ensure that the victim stays within reach by all means necessary. Sometimes victims of domestic violence do not get the happy ending or recognition that they are being abused when something terrible happens such as serious injury or even death. That is the reality that Robyn Lucas shares in this novel with these characters and sometimes it’s hard getting out of the toxicness of the relationship. I was so glad that Lina was able to get help that she really needed and the way that things happened was the right kind of justice that was needed. I highly recommend this novel as it goes over a serious topic that needs to be more addressed and there should be more education for domestic abuse of all kinds. This may be fiction but domestic violence and abuse is a very real issue that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Wolfsbane – Andrea Cremer
Wolves, supernatural, fiction, young adults, identity, interpersonal relationships.
Calla was captured by the enemy. Only to find out the truth and that Shay was telling the truth of the reality she is now faced with. She has to work with them to fight her true enemy. In order to go back to rescue her pack, she must train and be prepared. She has to protect Shay as he is the key to the future. Even though she turned him into the wolf so he can give her pack blood in order to save his life, he is still in need of protection. She has to trust her own heart to make the right decision.
I, of course, couldn’t resist getting the entire trilogy of this series. I loved this series as a teenager and even love them more as an adult. The synopsis is short because most of the book has a lot of details and I wouldn’t want to spoil. Andrea Cremer does such a good job world building and making lovable, as well as hateable, characters. This book was fairly paced and well written. A bit shorter than the first novel but definitely action packed. Calla going through the whole identity and purpose crisis was really character building and has made her better. I still find it funny that her other love interest, Shay, is now a werewolf. He hasn’t fully adjusted and it’s quite humoring. I might hold off reading the final book, BloodRose because I want to enjoy this series and relish the moments. I will also work on getting the prequel series that goes along with this book that gives background information of the history behind all what is going on in this series which I also had read back in middle school when I had that werewolf witch phase. I wasn’t on the team Edward lol. I was on the werewolf team. Go find this book series and read it if one is into werewolves and witches.
Nightshade – Andrea Cremer
Wolves, supernatural, fiction, young adults, identity, interpersonal relationships.
While patrolling, Calla and her friend Bryn come across a bear attacking a human. Calla and Bryn fight off the bear and she tells Brynn to go. Calla goes up to the hiker and heals him then takes him to the car. They don’t speak of what happened. Calla is the alpha of her pack, Nightshades, and this year for her would be life changing since she is being paired to one of the Banes, Renier, as her alpha equal. This hasn’t been done before where a new pack is formed. When they go to school, they are introduced to Shay, a new student, and Calla recognizes the human, he was the hiker. As he is mixing with the pack and them having to protect him, Calla spends time with him dissecting texts that allude to her lineage and his lineage. Confused by what she wants and what is a part of her life, she now questions everything that she ever was taught and decides to do what is right.
I read this novel in middle school and I can’t get over how good this was. I had to buy new copies of the entire series to reread because it has been so long. I was never a twilight person because vampires are not cool Werewolves and witches are cooler. This is a really in depth explanation with a lot of world building. It isn’t overwhelming but it helps create the rest of the world and the following novels to come. I love Calla as she is the scariest and more fierce. This book will take the reader, like myself, on a roller coaster of feelings. I felt sad, happy, excited, and angry all the time because there are duties that Calla has to do but she doesn’t want to follow all the rules. She tries to please others and she never is able to enjoy herself and life. I loved this novel as a teenager when I first read it and love it even more as an adult.
The Wife Between Us – Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Interpersonal relationships, love triangles, suspense, marriage, psychological, fiction.
Emma is getting married to Richard, someone she fell deeply in love with and he fell for her too. She is taking all the necessary steps to become his wife. Vanessa is recovering from a divorce and trying to get over Richard. Vanessa finds out that Richard has a new wife on the way, and this makes her curious about the new bride of his. Emma gets ready to leave to get married but before doing so she is confronted by Vanessa who tries to warn her about Richard. Emma dismisses until she decides to investigate the incident that Vanessa refers to. After some digging, Emma has an epiphany that his ex-wife isn’t as crazy as she seems. Both meetup to discuss plans of how to confront Richard, but some truths are scarier than a psychotic fiancée, their connection to each other.
I was intrigued by the synopsis and the title of the novel, so I had to buy this book. The plot was very interesting, and the character’s connection is quite fascinating. I wasn’t expecting the novel’s plot to have a darker side in which this does. The character’s intertwined fate and interactions make the novel very thrilling and suspenseful. The chapters are sometimes alternating between perspectives, but the reader has to put the pieces together of whose perspective it is, was it either Emma’s or Vanessa’s perspective. There were enough breadcrumbs to follow along and to see how the story would play out. Overall, I did find this novel very enjoyable.
My Ex-Life – Stephen McCauley
LGBTQ+, relationships, family life, divorce, Fiction.
David’s life starts falling apart as well as his ex-wife, Julie, is falling apart as well. Julie calls him to come help her with not only her life but with her daughter’s educational life and future. Her to be ex-husband wants her to sell the house, but she wants the house. David settles his business and flies out to assist her. As time flies, they reconnect like the best friends they were, even reminiscing the good days. Julie’s daughter, Mandy, was fired from her job and her acquaintance who keeps offering her a job gives her an opportunity. Except Mandy thinks that this opportunity wasn’t any better than her previous job. All of them must face life and take one day at a time.
My boyfriend and I were book shopping and came across this book in the “exceptional value” section at our local Barnes and Nobles bookstore. He found it first and read the synopsis and he told me about it. I had my attention turned to the novel. I was intrigued to read and wanted to get the book, so I did. After reading I found myself feeling that this book was going to be slow and boring, but I was half wrong. It’s slow but a good read. I love the interrelationships between all the characters as well as a meaningful plot. I found myself smiling and tearing up throughout the novel. However, I was expecting one plot, but instead, got another which I don’t mind. This novel shows how daily life challenges us and we must persist. I do recommend this novel for those who are looking for a slow yet intriguing book. This novel is great if one is wanting a quick read or wanting to slowly enjoy a novel before bed.
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.
The Bromance Book Club – Lyssa Kay Adams
Romance, comedy, women, relationships, fiction.
Gavin was making love to his wife and afterwards is horrified that she’s faked the orgasms before, and this was the first real one in a long time. He was caught off guard and had reacted in such a way, Thea, kicked him out. Another blow is that she wants a divorce. His buddies invite him into their book club to not just read romance novels they do read but help him understand women more. As well as they decide to guide him into saving his marriage. Thea doesn’t want to give him another chance, but he begs to attempt on her terms. She outlines terms that he has to agree with. He has until Christmas to win her back. Along the way, he learns and wakes up to the truth that he hadn’t seen before and has epiphanies about their marriage.
I was expecting something else with the title and was questioning the synopsis. I found myself smiling at the end of the novel. This book is told through third perspective but with the focus on the husband rather than the wife as well as some part of the chapters there are samples of the book that Gavin was reading for the Bromance Book Club. This was heartfelt and made my heart swell. This book addresses some issues that married couples may have had or are working on. Marriage isn’t easy and requires dedication as well as devotion with both partners. I would’ve preferred this novel longer to further explain about Thea’s parents as well as Gavin’s parents to help the plot. With or without that the novel is beyond great.