Water Runs Red by Jenna Clare // Review

On March 5th of this year, Jenna Clare came out with her debut self-published poetry collection, Water Runs Red. I have been following her online for many years, and seeing her work so hard on this book was inspiring. I knew I needed to get my hands on it immediately.

So, as soon as the paperback copy was out, I ordered it along w/ the e-book, and I devoured it as soon as it came in!

Synopsis:
This collection is a reflection of three friendships that Jenna experienced- two of which she no longer has, and one that is with her current best friend- told through poetry. In between, there are poems about asexuality, current world events, religion, self-image, and more. 

 

My Review:

I want to do this review in bullet point format (sort of stolen from Marie) because I can’t directly put my thoughts into categories for this one. I also don’t even know where to start with it- there’s so much that I love!

  • The writing is absolutely incredible- it’s so different from many modern poetry collections that I’ve read in that the writing feels like you’re reading a fantasy novel. I loved it.
  • The story is also very unique. I have never read a poetry collection about friendship before, but this is something that everyone can relate to, so I enjoyed that aspect.
  • Jenna designed the entire thing by herself. Can you believe that?? Each page must have taken her hours, and to do that all alone takes a lot of dedication.
    • The reason I love this book so much (and needed it in paperback edition) is because it so closely resembles what I want my own poetry collection to look like.
    • It reminds me a lot of Connor Franta’s books, just with poetry on every page instead of vignettes/short stories.
  • It was real. It was honest. You can tell that all of the words come from Jenna’s heart. She tells her truth and nothing more.
  • There were so many pop culture references that I loved. I definitely didn’t find them all, because they’re so subtle. But when you do notice them, you’re thinking, wow that was so clever. 
  • The whole book just screams “passion.” You can tell that Jenna was so dedicated to it, and she put everything into making this what it is. I truly admire that.

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Overall:

I loved this collection so much, and I think that many people can relate to it- I know I really did. If you like poetry (or graphic design), you should give this one a chance! It won’t disappoint.

Rating: 

5/5 stars

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Have any of you gotten this collection yet? Let me know in the comments! Also, leave me suggestions for more poetry collections for me to check out because I’m in desperate need of more! See you soon :)

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Stormy Kind of Love by Tia Lee // First 1 Star of the Year

Hey everyone! Today I have a review for Stormy Kind of Love by Tia Lee.

I was sent a review copy in exchange for an honest review**

Goodreads Synopsis: 
It’s Rachel’s first day of Sophomore year at Oklahoma State University. The first day of school her biggest problem is getting to class late. Soon she finds herself in the middle of a love triangle, only one of the men who is a potential love interest is hiding secrets that put Rachel in danger. Will Rachel make the right choices or put herself in danger for love?

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My Review:

Overview-

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much going into this book. I had read the synopsis a while ago, and when I got sent the copy, I had completely forgotten what it was about! This is what happens with most books I read though, and I don’t mind going in blind.

Unfortunately, this one was a major disappointment for me.

Writing Style-

The writing is really simple and so choppy. There was a lot of telling instead of showing. So many sentences were basically “I was sad,” “He was tired.” “She was mad.” You can easily give a better description of this, rather than simply stating the adjective. Of course, once in a while this would have been fine, but it happened way too often that it was distracting to me.

It also has so many mistakes- not even just spelling, but so many grammar mistakes, too. It looks like a fast draft that no one read over and just decided to publish as-is. This confused me so much, and made the story so hard to follow.

Here are some examples of the writing:

1. This had absolutely no point to the story and could have been eliminated. I don’t care about the compartment you keep your phone in.

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2. “Hay” is spelled wrong twice in this, and I thought that maybe it had been a UK version of the spelling, but I couldn’t find it anywhere online. It’s just incorrect.

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3. This sentence is just absolutely so confusing. It is phrased really weird, and this is just one example out of many.

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I wish I had more screenshots to share of the writing, but taken out of context, it was hard to explain why some sentences were bad. You would need to read it for yourself to see.

Characters-

The characters were very cringe-y and they didn’t feel real. Their conversations and actions were just very unnatural. I didn’t care about any of the characters at all, and I had no emotions while reading what happened.

Here’s an example of something the main love interest said, and it just rubbed me the wrong way. There were so many other instances when he said something similar, and it just was so unnecessary. And the main character “beamed” at him for saying this. WHAT???

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Rachel is the most unlikeable main character ever. Everything she does makes me want to punch a brick wall. So much happens in this story, and it was very serious. But Rachel decides she’s not going to tell her parents what is going on because she’s afraid of them pulling her out of school. But the situation is so serious that she probably should leave, or at least transfer somewhere else.

Plot-

This book is marketed as a suspense novel, but it was not thriller-y at all. In fact, it felt more like a contemporary romance.

The ending was so unrealistic and came completely out of nowhere. Also, there was an alternate ending provided, which is a really cool concept, but it was so unnecessary for this book. There are just so many issues with this book, and I would not recommend it unfortunately.

Final Rating:

1/5 stars 

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I wanted to DNF this story the entire time. I considered it at every chapter, but I wanted to give it a fair review since it is for a blog tour. The story is just very unrealistic, and it’s predictable the entire time- I literally knew what was going to happen in each chapter to a tee.

The story could have been very good, but the execution was just so bad. It was a really poorly done story, and needs a lot of editing.

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Sadie by Courtney Summers | Review

Hello, loves. One of my resolutions this year was to put more effort into my creative pursuits. For the blog, that means writing posts with more depth and better content overall. Specifically, I want to incorporate more reviews on here because I love writing them, and I get to share my feelings more.

Today, I want to talk about Sadie by Courtney Summers. I finished reading it literally a few minutes ago and knew immediately that I wanted to write a post about it.

Stats:

Trigger Warnings- murder/death, sexual assault/rape, pedophilia
Representation- stutter, LGBTQ+ 

It took me about 3 days to read. I started it on the first of February, and today (the day I’m writing this) is the third. But, I didn’t really read much for the first two days because I had other books to read. I read l over half of it today.

I alternated between the physical and audio because I knew I wanted to listen to at least some of it. The audiobook is what got the most hype for this book, so obviously I had to listen.

My rating: 5/5 stars

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Summary:

This is one that I definitely think you should go into knowing very little, so all that I am going to say is it follows a girl (Sadie) who goes missing, and the story switches two POVs. One is Sadie narrating her travels, and the other is a podcast host, who is telling her story alongside her, gathering his own clues about where she is.

Characters:

I am a character driven reader, so this is the first category I want to talk about. At first, I did not like reading from Sadie’s POV. I was much more interested in the podcast part because it was faster paced. However, the more I got to know Sadie, the more I started to love her.

I decided that she is definitely a scorpio- she’s stubborn and when she feels something, any emotion, she feels it deeply and with her whole heart. There is not a lot that can get in her way if she has her mind set on something. She’s also just such a badass. Her relationship with her sister was obviously so strong, and it drove her to do things you wouldn’t expect.

I see a lot of myself in her, so once I got used to the writing style from her POV, I loved her and everything we read about her.

As far as the podcast host goes, I loved him. He was very conflicted on whether he should take on this story or not, but you definitely see him evolve as he gets more invested in the case. He definitely cares.

Plot:

Like I said earlier, I don’t want to give too much away about this book. It was a fast-paced story that gripped me from beginning to end. The concept of the podcast was so unique and interesting. It tells the story of grief and sister love.

As far as the ending, I can’t stop thinking about it, and I know I won’t be able to for a while. It’s a little open-ended (not really, you understand if you read it), so if you don’t like that, you might be a little angry at it!

Overall:

I would highly recommend checking this out. It’s gripping, it’s fast-paced, and you won’t want to put it down. I will definitely be picking up more by Courtney Summers. This book was truly a whole experience from beginning to end, and I’m so happy I finally picked it up.

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Have you read this book? What were your thoughts on it? Leave me recommendations of books that are similar to it :)

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My Reading Tastes Have Changed… & So Has the Way I Rate Books

Hello, loves! Jess here. Notice anything new? I recently changed my site name, as well as my Instagram and Twitter handles! I wanted to “rebrand” in a way because my old name just didn’t encompass what this site is. I wanted a name that fits this blog and me! Kisses From Jess is now in the past :)

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What does this change mean? Basically nothing.

Like I said, I mainly just wanted a name that fits what this blog is- and that’s what Jessica C Writes does. I write. About books, writing, journaling, and a couple other things. As far as content, the type of things I post will stay the same, but I am going to be putting a lot of effort into those posts. I want each and every post to be something I am proud of. So that is going to be my aim for this coming year (oh- and expect more book reviews).

Anyways…

Let’s move onto what you clicked for- which is a discussion post about how my reading tastes have changed, but more specifically how it has changed my ratings!

I wrote a post about how I read both critically and for fun a few months ago, but my opinions have definitely changed on that subject since then.

I realized that (especially in the last few months) my reading tastes have been changing dramatically. What I used to read were mainly YA contemporaries- very fluffy ones. I had the occasional thriller or fantasy or adult book thrown in there, but I basically just stuck to one genre that I knew I loved.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.

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But the truth is, I didn’t really know what I liked in books and what I didn’t because I was only reading one type of book. Within the past few months, I wanted to change this. I wanted to pick up different books so that I could figure out what I like.

I now pick up books that are very different from what I was reading just a couple years back. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t suddenly become a huge high fantasy or science fiction reader, but I stray outside of the YA contemporary romance books. I read mysteries and thrillers, and lots of NA and Adult books! I also add a lot more fantasy novels to my TBRs than I have in the past!

Overall, I have definitely broadened my horizons when it comes to reading, and I am so happy about that!

How has this affected my reviews?

Because I now know what I like to see in books- in terms of themes, genres, character development, etc., I read more critically. I am very picky about what I like and what I don’t like, so I don’t give everything 4 or 5 stars anymore as I previously had for no reason whatsoever. I basically just gave everything 5 stars as long as I somewhat enjoyed it.

With that in mind, I am also pickier about what I read to begin with- I don’t add books to my TBR just because they are extremely hyped by the book community. I only add books that I have a genuine interest in reading now. So even though I said I give less 4/5 stars, that doesn’t mean the book is necessarily bad. It still had something in it that drew me to it, it just isn’t one of my all time favorites.

Mainly, I am just pickier about what I choose as my favorite books opposed to just good books.

For example- a rating between 4-5 means a book is amazing and I really, really love it. It has definitely earned a spot in my top favorites.

However, a book with 3-4 stars does not mean the book is bad- there was just certain elements that fell flat for me, or I was a little disappointed by it. For example, I might not have liked the writing style, but loved the story. Or the pacing was slow but I loved the characters, etc. This is still a book I enjoyed though!

I think most people see a 3 star rating and assume a book is bad, when that is not the case for me at all. It all definitely depends on each reviewer and how they rate their books, but I think in general a 3 star rating is not equal to a book being awful.

I rarely give 1-2 stars, but those are the books that I consider “bad.”

By experimenting with my reading tastes, I have definitely turned into a much more critical reader. Reading critically is something I really enjoy, and I’ve always been this way with books for school, so I don’t know why it has taken me this long to be this way with other books.

This post is getting pretty long, so I’ll end it there!

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Have your reading tastes changed at all? How/Why? This is a topic I could go on about for days, and it’s super interesting to hear other people talk about! Definitely leave a comment letting me know your opinions on this down below :)

See you soon!

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Summer Bird Blue- Book Review // Blogmas day 7

I recently read Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman and I think it’s safe to say it is in my top 3 favorite books of the year. It was just so. good.

I haven’t done a book review in a pretty long time, so I thought this was way overdue.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Rumi Seto spends a lot of time worrying she doesn’t have the answers to everything. What to eat, where to go, whom to love. But there is one thing she is absolutely sure of—she wants to spend the rest of her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea.

Then Lea dies in a car accident, and her mother sends her away to live with her aunt in Hawaii while she deals with her own grief. Now thousands of miles from home, Rumi struggles to navigate the loss of her sister, being abandoned by her mother, and the absence of music in her life. With the help of the “boys next door”—a teenage surfer named Kai, who smiles too much and doesn’t take anything seriously, and an eighty-year-old named George Watanabe, who succumbed to his own grief years ago—Rumi attempts to find her way back to her music, to write the song she and Lea never had the chance to finish.

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My Review:

This book is just simply beautiful. There’s really no other way to describe it.

I felt so connected to Rumi and I wanted to just give her a hug and tell her that everything was going to be okay. Akemi’s writing is honestly a masterpiece. She knows how to hit you in all the right places, and I definitely cried from this one.

It’s a character driven story, so if you’re looking for action and excitement, you’re not going to get that here. Character driven novels are my favorite though because you truly connect and understand all of the people in the story. They are the books that most often make me feel something. That’s exactly how I felt with Rumi. She taught me so much about love and grief and just being a better person. I want to be her friend.

It delves really deep into grief and dealing with loss in such a raw way. I felt like I was reading poetry, not prose, because the writing was just so lyrical. It flowed so nicely, and each chapter connected really well.

Aside from Rumi, all of the other characters were so well written. Each one was so unique and important to the story. I really fell in love with all of them, and they are each so dear to me. You watched as they struggled, too because they wanted to help Rumi but didn’t know how, and it was almost painful. I don’t have too much experience with death, but Rumi helped me to understand grief much better.

Also, it has such great representation- Throughout the novel (on top of dealing with the death of her sister), Rumi is also discovering her sexuality, and she ultimately identifies as aro/ace.

The whole story was heartbreaking but so beautifully done, and nothing comes close to this one to me.

I don’t think I will ever forget this book. I loved the story so much, and I’m going to hold it very close to my heart.

Rating:

5/5 stars (duh!)

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Please leave a comment letting me know if you’ve read this book or not! I would love to hear your thoughts :)

And if you haven’t, you should definitely pick it up!

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To Be Honest Blog Tour | Review

Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying this wonderful day. Today I have brought to you a review of To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin thanks to the wonderful people of Xpresso Book Tours!

I have a lot to say about it, so let’s jump into it!

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Savannah is dreading being home alone with her overbearing mother after her sister goes off to college. But if she can just get through senior year, she’ll be able to escape to college, too. What she doesn’t count on is that her mother’s obsession with weight has only grown deeper since her appearance on an extreme weight-loss show, and now Savvy’s mom is pressuring her even harder to be constantly mindful of what she eats.

Between her mom’s diet-helicoptering, missing her sister, and worrying about her collegiate future, Savvy has enough to worry about. And then she meets George, the cute new kid at school who has insecurities of his own. As Savvy and George grow closer, they help each other discover how to live in the moment and enjoy the here and now before it disappears.

My Review:

The Pros:

I want to start off by saying, this book gives off such a powerful message! The main character, Savvy, does such an amazing job of talking about body positivity and showing that “fat isn’t a bad word.” I really appreciated how straight-forward and honest she was, and she wasn’t afraid to stand up to her mom about her weight.

Even with all of the pressures around her, she was happy in her own skin, which is something I really admired, because I know it can be so hard to love your body, no matter what size.

**However, there is a trigger warning for eating disorders/starving yourself to be careful of!!

Her mom was a really well written character, and she had my blood boiling at so many points (which is a good thing). I’m glad that her relationship with her mother was really developed, and it changed a lot from beginning to end.

I also really loved Savvy’s friendship with Grace, her long time best friend. Grace was always so supportive and helped Savvy grow as a person. Grace is the perfect example of the friend I want to be. She was always there for her, and gave amazing advice. She pushed Savvy to where she needed to be, without pushing her over the edge.

Something else I really enjoyed reading about was the journalism aspect. Savvy and Grace were both so passionate about this project that they worked on, and it was so fun to read about. It is something I could really relate to, so I just wish it was focused on a little bit more throughout the book.

The representation in this book is great, both with fat rep, LGBTQ+ rep, and even mental illness rep! I’m really glad it covered some important topics.

The Cons:

There were a few things that were kind of off putting to me, which made my rating go down a little bit for this book.

For one, the writing style was a bit simple for me, and oftentimes I found myself getting annoyed by it’s lack of variety in sentence structures and descriptions/phrases. Some of the same lines kept getting repeated over and over, rather than finding new ways to say them. For example, I think the phrase “his strawberry blonde hair” was used at least 5 times about the same character. I just wished this would have been edited a bit better.

Another thing that I didn’t like was the romance. It didn’t seem very real to me. The characters had a strange love-hate relationship that would switch randomly though out the book for no reason. I would have much preferred it if there was a slow build up to them liking each other, rather than the characters having huge mood swings.

I also wish that the relationship between Savvy and her sister was explored more, and didn’t look so one-sided. Her sister was there for her a lot, but only after Savvy expressed that she needed her. Her sister never called her asking how she was, or telling her about her day. Savvy always needed to reach out to her. The way that Savvy had described their relationship at the start was completely different from what it actually was. However, her friendship with Grace makes up for the lack of relationship here (at least for me).

Finally, some of the lingo used between the characters was very cringe-worthy at times. For example, phrases like “I heart it” or “sissy” were just very unnatural. I have never heard a teenager speak like that before.

Conclusion:

The cons that I have for this book are pretty small things. Personally, I could overlook some of the negative aspects of this book, and I ended up enjoying it a lot. It’s a quick read, and I enjoyed the plot a lot. I highly recommend this book, and I am probably going to pick up a finished copy soon!

Final Rating: 3.75/5 Stars ⭐️

Giveaway:

As part of the Blog Tour, all of the hosts are doing a giveaway! It is tour wide, and you can check out the link below for more information on how to enter.

Enter Here

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Let me know what you think of this book if you’ve read it! If not, you can purchase the book with any of these links!

Xo, Jess

If You Love Me, I’m Yours | Blog Tour

Hello everyone! I hope you are having an amazing day :)

Today I am here to introduce you to a new book titled “If You Love Me I’m Yours” by Lizzie Chantree.

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Synopsis:

Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, clothes, and love life… if you counted an overbearing ex who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realized he’d begun! She could tolerate not fulfilling her dreams, if her parents would pay her one compliment about the only thing she was passionate about in life: her art. 

Dot should have fit in with her flamboyant and slightly eccentric family of talented artists, but somehow, she was an anomaly who couldn’t paint. She tried hard to be part of their world by becoming an art agentextraordinaire, but she dreamed of finding her own voice.
Dot’s brother Nate, a smolderingly sexy and famous artist, was adored by everyone. His creative talent left them in awe of his ability to capture such passion on canvas. Women worshipped him, and even Dot’s friend Maud flushed and bumped into things when he walked into a room, but a tragic event in his past had left him emotionally and physically scarred, and reluctant to face the world again.

Someone was leaving exquisite little paintings on park benches, with a tag saying, ‘If you love me, I’m yours’. The art was so fresh and cutting-edge, that it generated a media frenzy and a scramble to discover where the mystery artist could be hiding. The revelation of who the prodigious artist was interlinked Maud, Dot and Nate’s lives forever, but their worlds came crashing down.

Were bonds of friendship, love and loyalty strong enough to withstand fame, success and scandal?

My Review:

This book is all about friendship and discovering who you are, and I really enjoyed it. I liked the two main characters, they were very interesting to read. It was a really light-hearted and simple book, but it was still engaging.

The dialogue between characters was really funny and relatable, so I enjoyed that. I also enjoyed the aspect of art because being an artistic person myself, I really found myself connecting with the majority of the book.

I would highly recommend this if you are looking for a quick and easy summer book to read!

My one complaint would be that the writing style was not my type. Some of the sentences were a bit too juvenile for me, and I think this book would have been better written in first person, so that you could get a feel for the girls’ personalities more and read from their two POVs.

Overall, I would give this a 3.5/5 stars!

Purchase:

If you are interested in the book, you can purchase it by clicking the link here.

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Thank you for reading :) I hope you enjoyed this post!

Xo, Jess

The Poet X- Review!!

Hello everyone!! I just got back from vacation in Punta Cana, so I’m sorry for being a little MIA recently. I am back on the blogging grind though, and I have been reading more than ever.

Today I wanted to post a review of a book I just read recently and completely fell in LOVE with! That book is The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo.

Goodreads Synopsis:

A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

 

My Review:Image result for the poet x

**There are some trigger warnings that I want to include first for abuse and sexual assault.

My initial thoughts were: Wow. Just wow.

This book is told entirely in verse, which was just so unique and wonderful to me. It made the book flow quickly and smoothly, so I finished it in about a day. This writing style just really suited the book and I loved it a lot.

The main character, Xiomara, is such a badass and I loved her personality so much. There were some things she did that made me cringe a little bit because I thought they were just a bit too much, but overall she was a great character.

I also loved how the book involved religion. I felt myself relating to Xiomara so much because of this aspect of growing up in a religious home when I, myself, am not religious.

Overall, the book helped me fall in love with poetry all over again. I have always been a poetry fan, but recently haven’t been as involved in writing it. After reading this, I immediately grabbed a pen and paper and started writing again. It felt so freeing.

The one downfall of this book that I have to mention is the ending. It wrapped up way too quickly and too perfectly. I think the ending could have used some more development, or at least just made longer so it wasn’t so sudden.

Besides that, I loved every other aspect of this book, and I am incredibly happy that I have read it.

Definitely recommend giving it a read!

5/5 stars

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Have you read this book? What were your thoughts on it if you have?

Xo, Jessica

Blog Tour- The Past is Present by Kathleen Webb

Hello everyone! Today I am back with a new blog post, and this one is a fun one! I was invited to take part in a blog tour for the debut book The Past is Present by Kathleen Webb!

**All opinions are my own**

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Goodreads Synopsis:
After the untimely death of her mother and father, twenty-four year old Catherine Morgan leaves the Cambridge home where she has spent the better part of her life, to move to Cornwall. She takes a job as a teacher, working in an old rambling school which has been converted from a domestic home, perched high up on a hilltop, overlooking the beautiful Cornish coastline. 

Out of the blue a letter arrives from a bank in Switzerland, advising Catherine that she is the sole heir to a fortune of over thirty million dollars. With no living relatives, save for a great aunt in the USA, Catherine sets out to uncover the source of this staggering inheritance, and to unravel the mystery that lies behind it. 

With the help of her great aunt, Catherine begins to dig deep into long forgotten family secrets. Strange dreams begin to plague her. She is haunted by the eerie feeling that someone from her family’s past is trying to help her. Catherine must work to make sense of the past while defending herself, and her fortune, from someone in the present who will stop at nothing to secure the money for themselves. 

My Review

The first thing I have to say about this book is that I did not really enjoy the writing style. It was a little difficult to get into initially. It feels a little juvenile and basic, but once I got used to it, I was able to enjoy the story more.

Besides that, I did enjoy the story. The main character, Catherine, was very likable. I felt myself relating to many of the things she was saying,

The story also switches between two different times. It was done pretty well, but it felt a little forced at times. There were some plot holes that were left unfinished, but for a debut novel, the storyline itself was decent.

Towards the end, the book really picked up, which I appreciated. There were some twists and exciting events that I enjoyed reading.

Overall, I would give this book a 3/5 stars. It was okay, but definitely could have been improved upon.

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I hope you enjoyed this post, and thank you to Faye for hosting this blog tour! See you in my next post :)

Xo, Jess

Book Club Recap: The Unexpected Everything Review

Hey everyone! If you didn’t know, I just hosted my first month of my new book club! If you didn’t read my last post, you wouldn’t know that I actually decided to take break from it this coming month because I have a lot of important deadlines coming up in May. However, it will be back up and running in June!

The April book was The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson. I’m here to write a little review for you guys on it today.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?

My Thoughts:

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Initially, I was a little weary of picking up this book because IT IS SO LONG- especially for a contemporary. I do think some scenes could have been a bit shorter, but I actually really enjoyed reading a longer contemporary. I got to fall in love with the characters a little more which helped with my overall enjoyment of the book, and it was still an easy read.

As my first Matson book, this one did not disappoint! I fell in love with the characters, the story, and the writing.

I really loved that this book was not the typical fast love story, and the characters got to know each other a little bit before actually going out, which I appreciated a lot. I also really liked learning about the job that Andie ends up taking for the summer- dog walking. It was really interesting because I didn’t ever think about all of the components that went with it.

This book also really gives you those summer vibes. It was the perfect book to read right now because we’re so close to that warm weather and that really helped me get through the month! Matson really knows how to make you feel like you’re there with the characters, spending the summer with them. It just felt so real.

Also, so much happens in this book, and I had no idea where it was going to lead to. There isn’t really a main plot or conflict in the novel. I would say that there are a lot of subplots that all end up connecting in the end. For one, there is Andie’s relationship with her dad, as well as the conflicts she has with her friends, her boyfriend, and herself. I think Andie’s character development was really significant and inspiring. She really learned who she was in those two months of summer, and she changed a lot as a person. The growth experienced showed through the actions she takes in the last few chapters a lot.

I just really loved both the love interest, as well as the relationship Andie has with all of her friends, and I really think this is worth the read if you like contemporary novels!

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Have you read this book before? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!

Xo, Jess