June TBR 2020

Hello everyone. I was not sure if I should continue to let this post go up today, as I had scheduled it over a week ago. However, I have not yet spoken up about the current events on this platform (though I am trying to be as vocal as possible on social media), and I think it is so so important to use my voice for good.

First, please do not be silent about the issues that the Black community is facing right now. Especially if you are white. Stand up for these injustices in any way you can. Please. Also, boost the voices of Black people right now. Do not speak over them. Share their stories. Let their voices be heard.

If you can, please donate. Any amount that you can spare will go a very long way.

If you can’t donate money at this time, sign petitions, share links on social media, attend protests. 

In addition, educate yourself. Educate your family. Do not stop at social media. Bring your activism to your life offline. Call out your friends, stand up to cops who are interrogating innocent Black people.

Here are some resources for you to utilize:

Master Twitter Thread of Petitions to Sign and Places to Donate

Ways You Can Help

More Ways You Can Help and Educate Yourself

Protestor Safety

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This month, I am participating in the Olympic Games Read-a-thon as part of cabin 7- with my godly parent being Apollo! There are NINE challenges, but I am only going to pick 6 books for my TBR right now- the rest I am allowing myself to decide as I go!

Main Challenges

Listen to an audiobook: N/A

This one I am leaving open because I have tons of options for it, so I’ll just see what I’m in the mood for once I get to it!

Read a book you know will make you happy: Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

This book is described as a romantic comedy and if that’s not something that will make me happy, I don’t know what will! It follows two high school teens who are rivals but are forced to team up for a final senior game. Sounds like enemies to lovers if you ask me- and I am HERE for it! I received an ARC from the publisher a while back, and I am very excited to be reading it.

Predict a 5 star read: Everything I Never Told You by Celest Ng

This book was one of the books I included on my “5 Star Predictions” post, so it was only fitting that I include it here. Also, I just read Little Fires Everywhere last month (also by Celeste Ng), and now I am even more excited to read this one! I have really high expectations for it, so I’m hoping it does not let me down!

Read a book that starts with the letter ‘A’: Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

This is an audiobook I am borrowing from my library via the Libby app! I will definitely be reading it this month since I have limited time to read it. I’ve heard really great things about it, and I am definitely looking forward to reading it!

Complete a prompt for Artemis (because they are twin gods!): N/A

For this one, I am also not choosing a book yet, but the prompt I am picking to honor Artemis is “read a book while the moon is up.”

Advanced Challenges

Read a book under 200 pages: You Are Not Your Thoughts by Frances Trussell

This is my e-book pick for the month from my TBR jar! It is only around 100 pages, which is great because that means I’ll be able to get through it quickly. It is a book about mindfullness, which is something I definitely am interested in reading about, as someone who practices meditation frequently.

Read an anticipated release: Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

This is one of the releases of 2020 that I am SUPER excited about (except, of course, Midnight Sun). It came out last month, and I just got my copy in the mail a little over a week ago. I have been holding off on reading it so that I could include it here. Elizabeth Acevedo is one of my all-time favorite authors, and I am so happy to have another book by her in my hands.

Read the next book in a series: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

I am ECSTATIC about finally getting to read this book. I really enjoyed SoC, but I feel like I will love this one even more now that I know the characters better! I have the e-book on Libby as well, so I will most likely be getting to this one early in the month before I have to return it.

Read a book published within the last 5 years: N/A

This is another challenge that I have plenty of options for, so we will see where the month takes me! I have a few backlist ARCs I want to get to, so those are definitely an option. We’ll just have to wait and find out what I decide on!

let's chat

What’s on your TBR for June? Are any of these books on your TBR? Or have you read any of these yet? Let me know in the comments :)

Jessica

May 2020 Wrap-up

May is always one of my favorite months- it finally starts getting warm out, school is over, and I am usually most motivated to read this time of year!

I read so much more than I expected to this month, and I found some new favorite reads, too! I’m so excited to tell you about them :)

Before We Go Extinct

Currently Reading:

  • Before We Go Extinct by Karen Rivers: This is the last book that was on my May TBR, and I am about a quarter of the way through! It is a pretty short read, so I will definitely be able to finish it before the end of the month (plus, this post is going up with a few days to spare).

5 Stars:

  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: This book was PHENOMENAL. I am definitely dipping more into adult books this year and each time they really surprise me in the best way possible! Also, the Hulu adaptation of this was just as beautiful and I definitely recommend it.
  • Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power: This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and Queen Rory did not disappoint! I will be sharing a full review soon, so be on the lookout for that!

4 Stars:

  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer: Right after the Midnight Sun announcement was made, I decided I wanted to re-read the entire Twilight Saga because I haven’t done so since my first ever read when I was like 11 years old! This first book just brought back so many feels for me- it was so nostalgic and I enjoyed revisiting this story! These books are not perfect by any means (not even close), but it was nice to just read an old favorite!
  • Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer: Surprisingly, Breaking Dawn was one of my favorite books in the series this time around! I used to think Eclipse was my favorite, but during this re-read, I found Jacob to be even more annoying than I remembered (team Edward forever).

 

3 Stars:

  • New Moon by Stephenie Meyer: This book was alright, but nothing too special. Again, there was too much Jacob for my liking.
  • Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer: This is probably now my least favorite of the 4 books. Jacob was just so pushy and no one ever taught him consent. I’m definitely ready to read Midnight Sun now, though, and see inside Edward’s mind!
  • Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams: This was a horror/thriller novel that was on my TBR for a really long time. There were some parts of it that were interesting, but overall I did not love this story.
  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins: I was not planning on reading this book this month, but I was able to get the audiobook, so I figured, why not? I enjoyed it. There were lots of interesting elements to it, especially in terms of the history of the hunger games and how it has evolved. However, I just didn’t care for the characters, and obviously I don’t like Snow, so having to read a whole book about him just wasn’t worth it in my opinion.

2 Stars:

  • Nutshell by Ian McEwan: In case you missed it, I shared a post where I predicted some 5-star reads, and this book was one of them. Unfortunately, I really did not enjoy it. I found it to be too slow-moving and it wasn’t capturing my attention. I’m disappointed because I know many people LOVE this author, so I may have to give him another chance one day!
  • Professed by Nicola Rendell: This was my e-book pick from my TBR jar for the month, and unfortunately it was just…not good. It is a romance that follows a professor/student relationship and it was just very cheesy, and there was no development between the characters!

truly madly deadly

1 Star:

  • Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne: Guys… I finally read my first one star book of the year. I am so sad because my reading year has been pretty good so far. I decided to finally read this one because it has been on my shelves for years. I bought it in like 2014, and I think I read like 1/2 of it before DNF’ing, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember anything about it or why I DNF’d, which is why I never got rid of it. This time around, I read the entire book, and it was just one big mess, if I’m being honest. I will definitely be unhauling this one- it’s about time!

let's chat

Please feel free to share your thoughts on any of these books if you’ve read them- whether your opinion was the same as mine or not!

I hope you all had a great reading month, too, and I’m looking forward to my June reads!

Jessica

Testing Recipes From Books!

Quarantine has been causing me to work on so many different hobbies that I never felt I had the time for. One of those is baking!

I’ve always enjoyed baking- it’s so relaxing, and testing out different recipes is so much fun. So, I had the idea to test recipes from different books I’ve read before! This is not an original idea, and I’ve seen many people try it before, but I wanted to do it myself, too!

For this post, I test three different recipes: one from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han, one from P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han, and one from With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo!

I may do more of these in the future, so if you know of any books with recipes in them, please leave a comment letting me know!

Recipe 1: Strawberry Milk

testing recipes

The first recipe I tested was strawberry milk from Elizabeth Acevedo’s book! The recipes in this novel are used to separate the different sections of the story, and they are used more for humor/as an element of the story, not as a functional recipe. Because of this, I had to figure out what I was doing on my own a bit and tweak the instructions.

For example, the recipe said to use as many strawberries as you can find, but I was only making a batch for myself, so I had no idea how many strawberries I should use. I decided to go with four (though, if I were doing this again, I would probably use 6 for one person).

The recipe also wasn’t clear about how much sugar to use (it just said to taste), so I ended up using maybe two teaspoons, which was not enough at all. I had to keep adding little by little until I felt like I was getting the right consistency!

In the end, my syrup was not liquid enough, and it wasn’t mixing well with my oat milk. So, I poured it into my blender and blended the syrup w/ the milk. The consistency was so much better after I did this (the first picture is before blending & the second is after), and as far as taste, it was pretty good! It wasn’t as strong as I would have liked the strawberry taste to be, but again, I think that is because I didn’t use enough strawberries!

Rating: 7/10

Recipe 2: Snickerdoodle Cookies

So, this was actually my first time baking snickerdoodle cookies (despite being one of my favorite types of cookie). At first, my dough was really sticky, and so I had to add much more flour to it, but then it came out to be perfect.

The recipe said it would make about 48 cookies (which is A LOT), but I only made about 20 because I made them really big (accidentally). If I had made smaller balls of dough, there probably would have been closer to 40, but I hadn’t realized just how big they would grow- this was all my fault oops!

But, when I took them out of the oven, they looked amazing. They tasted amazing, too. My family devoured them within two days! I definitely recommend keeping them sealed up or else they will harden pretty quickly. They were still really good, but just not as soft as the first day we ate them!

This is the recipe I’m most likely to make again!

Rating: 9/10

Recipe 3: Brownies

I will say, this was a pretty standard brownie recipe. I’ve made brownies hundreds of times, so I knew what to expect when it came to making them! The one thing I did change was instead of adding walnuts (which my sister doesn’t like), I just added chocolate chips for that extra-chocolatey taste!

They definitely came out good and I have no complaints, but like I said, it was a standard recipe. They were a bit more on the chewy side instead of fudgey, but if you prefer chewy, then this is perfect for you!

Rating: 7/10

let's chat

Do you like to bake? What are some of your favorite treats to make?

Leave me a comment letting me know, and maybe I’ll try making it, too!

Jessica

My Favorite Series

I have always preferred standalone novels over series, and I don’t think that will ever change. But, of course, that doesn’t mean that every so often I won’t pick up a series and fall in love with it. Even when looking at my favorite series, they are only 3-4 books long! Anything longer than that really intimidates me, if I’m being honest!

Today, I’m going to share my five favorite series with you all!

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

This is one of a couple of books that got me back into reading in middle school. I was always a reader growing up, but around 6th and 7th grade, I got swept up in what was considered “cool” or not, so I wasn’t reading as much.

In 8th grade, I picked up this book because I knew the movie was going to be coming out soon, and I fell in love! I recently did a re-read of the entire series as well, and it is still a favorite of mine. Actually, the day this blog post goes up is the day of the release of A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. I probably won’t be getting to it for a while, but I am excited to read it!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy by Jenny Han

This series came to me my freshman year of high school. I remember asking for it for Christmas, probably after seeing it in a magazine or online somewhere. I fell in love immediately, and I was soon able to read the second book!

This series followed me all the way up until now (with the movies coming out), but it really was the series I needed to read in my early teen years. I have such fond memories of it, and it will always have a place in my heart.

The Diviners by Libba Bray

This is a series I actually just read recently, but I love all of the characters in it so much. This is the only series on this list that I haven’t completed yet, but I feel like that’s okay because the final book just came out a few months ago and I’m still waiting for my hold to come in from the library.

I really fell in love with these characters and the setting that Libba Bray put this story in. It was such a delight to read about, and I can not wait to finally get to the last book! I just honestly can’t believe I put off this series for so long.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

This series surprised me in many ways. I really wasn’t expecting to love it, as I don’t tend to enjoy YA mysteries as much as Adult ones. BUT, I really, really ended up loving it! The main character, Stevie, was so interesting, and the murder we learn about was fascinating.

I honestly did not know where the story was headed for the majority of it. It completely pulled me in and left me surprised! I think it was very well thought out, and I hope I’ll be able to find another mystery like it one day.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

When I first read book one of this trilogy, I fell in love. I wasn’t a big fantasy reader then (nor am I now, but I’m definitely more versed in it), so I was shocked to find a book that I enjoyed so much in this genre.

I will admit, the last book in the series was my least favorite, but I still really enjoyed the overall atmosphere of all of the stories. They were all just so magical and fun! I didn’t want my time in the world to ever end!

let's chat

There are plenty of other series that will probably make this list one day, but I tried to limit this to series that I’ve completed (or basically completed).

So, tell me what some of your favorite series are so that I can add some more to my TBR :)

Jessica

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin // Review

Hello everyone! I found another favorite book and I am so excited to share it with you all!!

Today I am going to be talking about The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. I have seen many people talking about, but I haven’t really seen a lot of reviews for it, so I thought I would share my own because I can’t stop thinking about this book.

Goodreads Synopsis:
It’s 1969 in New York City’s Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in ’80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.

The Immortalists

My Review:

I went into this book with pretty low expectations, if I’m being honest. I thought that it was going to be a fantasy book that I wasn’t going to enjoy because it would be too confusing and too slow.

Boy was I wrong! This book pulled me in, and I enjoyed every second of my reading experience.

First off, this is a story that is very character driven, which I didn’t expect- I thought it was mostly going to be focused on the plot, but it wasn’t. Each character was so unique, despite the similarity of them being siblings. They each had different personalities, interests, and drives, which I enjoyed reading about. I am a HUGE sucker for character driven novels, so I was pleased with how the story was written. It is split up into four parts, one for each character, and we get to see each of their stories and where their lives went. Given this, it is not a book for everyone. If you are someone who is looking for a fast-paced, action-packed plot, you won’t be getting that.

BUT, there were still so many plot twists and elements that kept me on my toes. There is a really good plot, and the book focuses on many important themes and questions. The story’s entire premise is centered around the question of whether you should live life by taking risks or by playing it safe.

Next, the prose was absolutely beautiful. The writing really sucked me in and kept me in the world- the book is set in NYC from the mid 1960s to the early 2000s, and the atmosphere that the book setup was incredible. I felt like I was really there- I could picture the world and every room that the author had described. The writing was also so poetic. I was sad to have ended the book when I did because I wanted to keep reading that incredible writing.

The main thing I have to say is that I left this book with so many new lessons learned and thoughts to ponder. Each character’s story taught me something new and really made me question my own life and how I was choosing to live. What would I do if I knew the date of my death? It is such a simple premise, one that we’ve heard a thousand times, but Chloe Benjamin executed it well with this story and made it a unique reading experience for me.

While there were some parts that were a bit predictable, and at times I felt the story was starting to drag a bit, this book definitely made its way onto my favorites list because I can not stop thinking about it.

I honestly think everyone should give this one a read!

Rating: 5/5 stars

let's chat

Have you read this one? If you have, what were your thoughts? I feel like this one is super underrated, even though I do remember it getting some initial hype. I, for one, will definitely be recommending it for a long time!

Jessica

May TBR 2020

Happy May! I’m really excited for this month because I will have tons of time to work on my goals and hobbies now that school is over, and it will (hopefully) be warm outside soon, so I can spend time in the sun!

This month, I also decided that I wanted to read the shortest books on my TBR! For this, I chose 4 physical books and one e-book: all of them are under 300 pages. Plus, I added one more book to the list that I just knew I wanted to get to this month.

e-book:

professed

Professed by Nicola Rendell: So as some of you may know, I pick an e-book from my TBR jar every month, and this month I got super lucky because I happened to choose one that fit in so well with the rest of my theme because it is super short- it is only 252 pages! I have seen some pretty bad reviews of it, though, so I’m a little bit worried to read it.

 

physical:

Nutshell by Ian McEwan: (208 pages) This is a book I just got recently, and I talked about it in my 5-star predictions post. All I know is that this is a thriller that involves murder. I don’t want to know more going into it because I feel like that would be best for this one.

Ruthless by Carolyn Lee Adams: (248 pages) Clearly there is a big mystery/thriller theme happening in this TBR because this one is also a thriller. This is a YA novel, and YA thrillers are definitely hit or miss for me, but I do hope it is good!

Before We Go Extinct by Karen Rivers: (256 pages) I have absolutely no idea what this one is about but I bought it on BookOutlet one day to get my total to $35 for free shipping hahaha (that is something I no longer do- it is such a bad habit). Anyway, I like the cover, and maybe I’ll find a new favorite read.

Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne: (262 pages) This book is one of the oldest on my TBR- I bought it in middle school maybe ??? Which is way too long to have owned a book and not read it considering I’m a rising college junior. I remember I started it a couple of times but for some reason just never finished it. It wasn’t because I wasn’t enjoying it, but simply because other books were my priority. I am finally going to actually work my way through this one (and if I still can’t finish it, it’s getting unhauled).

Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power: This is the extra book that is on my TBR this month because I have been dying to finally read this. I have nothing but high hopes for this one, and it is definitely going to get read early in the month!

let's chat

Have you read any of these books? Let me know what your thoughts of them were if you have, and tell me what are some books you want to read in May!

Jessica

The Starless Sea- Playlist

Hello everyone! Today is a bit of a different post, but it’s one that I have been wanting to make for a really long time. I’m someone who loves making playlists for different moods, seasons, etc., but I never made one for a book. I thought it would so much fun to make a playlist with songs that remind me of a specific book, and for that, I chose The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern.

The Starless Sea

 

It’s such an atmospheric book, and I wanted to find the perfect whimsical music to go along with it while you read it (or any other book with beautiful prose).

I also chose a specific order to put all of the songs in to make some sense with the story, but overall these songs all go so well with it in my opinion.

 

Here is the link to the Spotify playlist I made, if you want to listen to all of these songs.

starless sea playliststarless sea playlist

let's chat

I know that this post is very different from my usual content, but I thought it would be really fun! Let me know what you think of it.

Would you guys be interested in seeing more of these? If so, which book(s) should I do next?

Jessica

New 5 Star Predictions! (#3)

I recently did a post where I went over the results of my previous 5-star predictions!

Now that I have read all of the books on my previous lists, I thought it was time to make a new one. I also think I know my tastes better now than I did in the past, so hopefully these will be more accurate!

Let’s just get to my five predictions!

 

Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power

I read and ADORED Wilder Girls, Rory’s debut, and her next release is one of my most anticipated releases of the year. My amazing friend Liv, who you may know as Stories for Coffee, gifted me her ARC of the book, and I am actually planning on starting it very soon.

If it is anything like her first book, I have no doubt in my mind that I will love it!

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

I read Six of Crows for the very first time this month! I loved it so, so much, and I totally understand what all of the hype is for. I already placed a hold for this one on Libby, and I am not-so-patiently waiting for it to come in!!

I think that especially now that I care for the characters so much, I will enjoy the story even more than the last one. Plus, all of Leigh’s books get progressively better, so I have high expectations!

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This is one that I have heard nothing but good things about. I got it really recently because the owner of a local independent bookstore recommended it a couple of times to me.

She said that the twist at the end of this is really good, and that completely sold me! A good twist can bump a 3-star book up to a 5-star one in my opinion, if it is done well and catches me off guard!

 

Nutshell by Ian McEwan

I bought this one at the same time as the previous one on the recommendation of the bookstore owner. I asked her for recommendations of psychological books that have a good twist. She said this one is excellent, and from the reviews I’ve read, everyone seems to agree.

All I know is that it is about a murder, and I am here for it!!

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Finally, we have a gorgeous book that I have been dying to read. This one is also about a murder, but I’m mostly interested in it for the secrets and mysteries of a family. I heard that the way the story is told combined with the writing style is excellent. I love books with beautiful, unique prose, so that is what I am counting on in this one!

let's chat

Please tell me what your thoughts were if you’ve read any of these books! I am aiming for at least 3/5 correct- meaning that I give three of them 5 stars. I am going to try to get to these soon so that the next predictions update will come sooner than the last one!

Do you think I made the right predictions?

Jessica

 

Sunshine Blogger Award #2

Hello and welcome to another post!

Today I am happy to announce that I was nominated for another Sunshine Blogger Award by Evelyn Reads! Thank you so much :)

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you & link back to their blog
  • Answer their questions
  • Nominate 11 more people & give them 11 new questions

What book, if any, would you most love to see a prequel of?

This is such a fun question, but it was so hard to answer! I think I would love to read a prequel to The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. I think it would be so fun to read about the very beginning of the Starless Sea, from a different perspective (even though the history does get talked about a bit).

What makes you want to read a book?

I’m going to answer this from the perspective of going into a bookstore or library without knowing what I want to buy. Initially, I’m drawn to a book by its cover. Then, I check out the author- if it’s someone I’ve heard of or read before, I’m more likely to pick it up (assuming I enjoyed their previous work).

Next, the description and genre are obviously important to me. I look for tropes and characteristics I like, which I wrote a blog post about. If a book has one of these things, I’m almost guaranteed to read it at some point!

A book you can’t stop raving about?

Any book by Jenn Bennett, Daisy Jones and the Six, and The Starless Sea.

Which fictional character do you most admire?

Oo, this is another really great question. For this one, I’m going to have to go with Emoni from With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo. She is a single teenage mom raising her daughter almost while still in high school who also finds a way to go after her passions. It’s incredible!

summer bird blue

What’s your favorite lesser-known, or talked about, book?

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman. I feel like no one talks about this book, even though Starfish by the same author was really hyped for a while. Personally, I enjoyed Summer Bird Blue even more, and I think more people should read it!

Who is the most under-rated author you have read?

Jenn Bennett doesn’t get the credit she deserves, PERIOD. But some others include Tamara Ireland Stone and Zack Smedley!

What books lived up to the hype? Which didn’t?

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Illuminae, and The Diviners definitely lived up to the hype.

Unfortunately, some that didn’t work for me were Emergency Contact, The Cruel Prince, and Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda. These books weren’t bad, just not as good as I was expecting.

What is one book that helped you through rough times?

There are so, so many, but definitely Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone, Turtles All the Way Down by John Green, and the To All the Boys trilogy by Jenny Han!

Book outside of your comfort zone that surprised you or changed your perspective?

This one was hard to find an answer for, but I decided on Beloved by Toni Morrison. I read this one for an English class last semester, and the writing style was so incredible to me. This is a historical fiction novel about slavery. The story was so eye-opening, and it really broadened my horizons. I definitely hope to read more by Morrison soon.

Who is an auto-buy author for you?

Erin Morgenstern, Rory Power, Angie Thomas, and Jenn Bennett!

Favorite hobby outside of reading?

I love to run and work out, bake, and write!

My Tags & Questions:

I am not going to nominate 11 people because I never have enough people to tag, but here are my nominees:

Sophie | Kelly | Kim |

  1. What is your next 5-star prediction?
  2. Do you prefer stand-alones or series?
  3. Who is an author you want to give a second try to?
  4. Most disappointing read this year?
  5. Where do you typically read?
  6. Are you a morning or night reader?
  7. Favorite reading drinks/snacks?
  8. How long have you been blogging?
  9. What is a book you wish you could read for the first time again?
  10. What author would you love to meet?
  11. What is your favorite friendship or friend group from a book?

let's chat

Tags are so much fun to do! I hope you enjoyed reading this one :)

Are any of your answers similar to mine? Let me know down in the comments.

Jessica

Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett Review

I read one of my most anticipated releases and I’m so excited to share my thoughts with you all. I probably mention Jenn Bennett or one of her books in every other blog post at this point, but I just truly love her books and her writing style.

I was sent an ARC of her newest release, Chasing Lucky, by Simon and Schuster and I was so ecstatic! All I knew going into it was that it involved photography, a small town, childhood best friends to lovers, and a bad boy. I was already sold.

Chasing Lucky Jenn Bennett

Goodreads Synopsis: Budding photographer Josie Saint-Martin has spent half her life with her single mother, moving from city to city. When they return to her historical New England hometown years later to run the family bookstore, Josie knows it’s not forever. Her dreams are on the opposite coast, and she has a plan to get there.

What she doesn’t plan for is a run-in with the town bad boy, Lucky Karras. Outsider, rebel…and her former childhood best friend. Lucky makes it clear he wants nothing to do with the newly returned Josie. But everything changes after a disastrous pool party, and a poorly executed act of revenge lands Josie in some big-time trouble—with Lucky unexpectedly taking the blame.

Determined to understand why Lucky was so quick to cover for her, Josie discovers that both of them have changed and that the good boy she once knew now has a dark sense of humor and a smile that makes her heart race. And maybe, just maybe, he’s not quite the brooding bad boy everyone thinks he is…

chasing lucky review

My Review:

So to start off, the beginning of this book was a little shaky for me- I felt like the relationship between the main character, Josie, and the love interest, Lucky, was a little strange and rushed. It felt awkward because they hadn’t seen each other since they were 12, and they avoided speaking to each other for an entire school year. However, they run into each other at a part at the beginning of summer, and they act like they were never apart. Which, sure, it could happen, but their relationship left off in a bad place when Josie moved away, and they both changed a lot in the time since they last saw each other. I feel like the progression of them rebuilding their relationship should have been a little slower.

But, I pushed through because I wasn’t ready to give up hope on this one, and it worked in my favor. After about 60 or so pages, I was able to get into the story, especially because I was really invested in each of the characters individually. Josie was a little stubborn and didn’t know how to communicate very well, which led to lots of frustrating events in the book, but they all served a purpose.

Josie grew up in an unstable home where she constantly moved around, and her and her mom did not have good communication. It makes sense that Josie would not be good at expressing herself to others, especially someone she hadn’t seen in so long. Plus, the character development is really present, so you can see how she improves over time.

Lucky was very different from Josie, but he was such an interesting and dynamic character. He is portrayed as the town’s “bad boy,” but the reality is far from that. He cares about people and his passions so deeply. I really enjoyed him and his background story because it showed his personality so well. He was definitely a great character.

 

Also, the small-town setting was one I enjoyed a lot. Plus, Josie’s family owns a bookstore, which is something I always love reading about (duh, I’m a reader! Bookshops are my favorite place).

As far as the actual plot, I thought it was a really good one. Some of the smaller things were a bit predictable for me, but there were many twists that I did not see coming. It was a fast-paced story, and I was able to read the majority of it in two days because I couldn’t put it down!

chasing lucky review
Here’s an aesthetic I made

It’s not my favorite of Jenn’s, but it did keep me hooked the entire time. I’m happy with the way this book ended, and I’m glad to say that it was another great read by Jenn Bennett.

The release date for this one was rescheduled from next month to November due to covid-19. However, if you are interested in reading it, you can preorder it now, and mark it as “to-read” on Goodreads so you won’t forget about it!

Rating: 4.5 stars

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Have you read any of Jenn Bennett’s books before? Which was your favorite? Be sure to leave a comment letting me know in the comments :)

Jessica