Title: Hang the Moon
Series: Written in the Stars #2
Author: Alexandria Bellefleur
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Tropes/Themes: Friends to Lovers, Best Friends Brother, Seattle, Rom-Coms
Edition/Pages: Paperback, 384 Pages
These books are guaranteed to leave you smiling ❤️Read More »
Title: People We Meet On Vacation
Author: Emily Henry
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Tropes/Themes: Friends to Lovers, Traveling, Second chance, Slow burn, Mutual pining
Edition/Pages: Hardcover (BOTM), 364 Pages
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by Newsweek ∙ Oprah Magazine ∙ Marie Claire ∙ Parade ∙ PopSugar ∙ BookPage ∙ BookBub ∙ Betches ∙ SheReads ∙ Good Housekeeping ∙ BuzzFeed ∙ and more!
Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read, a sparkling new novel that will leave you with the warm, hazy afterglow usually reserved for the best vacations.
Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.
Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.
Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.
Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?
Thank you SO much to Berkley Romance and Netgalley for sending me an e-arc copy in exchange for an honest review
Do you ever read a book and feel like it’s your perfect book? Like somehow the author reached inside you and pulled the story from somewhere in a dark corner of your heart? That’s this book for me. Every word of this book gave me butterflies, made me laugh out loud, or left me feeling wholly seen and understood.
There are 5 star reads – of which I’ve read plenty this year – and then there are books like that this that stamp themselves on your heart forever.
Emily Henry has officially solidified herself and my favorite rom-com author of all time. This book not only made my heart flutter, but laugh out loud more times than I can count.
These characters were deeply flawed. But I’ve never related so viscerally to characters before – I felt completely cracked open while reading this. These characters really embody what it feels like to be a millennial and a little lost in your 30s. And I loved that exploration.
This is friend to lovers perfection and I’m pretty sure this book has ruined me for this trope forever – nothing else will ever compare.
I loved that the relationship is messy and far from perfect – and the way the main characters hurt others in the cross-fire is definitely addressed. But no matter their faults, I fell head over heels for these characters. Their chemistry charged off the page, and the slow burn had me panting by the time they confessed their feelings.
But on top of all that, simply the way this book was structured was perfection. This played with timelines in the most wonderful and impactful way. Between the present day chapters, you’re moving through time as the characters meet and travel together. Each of the past chapters follows a pervious trip they main characters took – allowing you to fall in love with the characters as they fall in love with each other.
All in all this book was everything to me. I won’t soon forget this story and it’s definitely one I’ll return to again and again.
Author photo to Devyn Glista St. Blanc Studios
Emily Henry writes stories about love and family for both teens and adults. She studied creative writing at Hope College and the New York Center for Art & Media Studies, and now spends most of her time in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the part of Kentucky just beneath it. Find her on Instagram @EmilyHenryWrites.
Title: She Drives Me Crazy
Author: Kelly Quindlen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Tropes/Themes: Sapphic/Lesbian romance, Enemies to Lovers, Fake Dating
Edition/Pages: Ebook, 304 Pages
Thank you so, so much to Roaring Book Press and Netgalley for sending me an e-arc copy in exchange for an honest review.
YA contemporary romance isn’t always my thing – but this book made me a believer. This was really adorable and really well done.
While, this started off a little slow, once the story got going I absolutely fell in love with these characters. These characters read like real teens – they make bad choices, they were messy, they were angsty, and it was absolutely fantastic.
This book really explored the vast range of the teenage experiences. It dealt heavily with heartbreak, which I think anyone – including older readers – will be able to relate to. Scottie lost herself in a past relationship and is trying to recover her identity outside of it. It’s is not a topic I’ve seen discussed before in a book, so I really appreciated that Kelly Quindlen went there in a YA romance.
In general this book really dives in the discussion of toxic relationships. This features a pretty heavy theme of bullying and manipulative relationships. I loved and appreciated how the author dealt with the topic.
On top of that this had absolutely amazing female friendships. Both of the main heroines have the strongest friend groups. I love seeing characters who have friends in there life that support each other this fiercely. Everyone needs a Honey-Belle. (Also can I get an entire book for Honey-Belle? She’s amazing)
And of course the romance was fantastic! This really went there on the enemies portion of enemies to lovers. I liked that the MCs really needed to work through their toxic past before getting to their HFN.
Overall this was just an absolutely adorable YA contemporary romance that I completely fell in love with. If you want an angsty, sapphic romance – this is it! Not only do these characters have great banter and chemistry, but this book does such an amazing job of discussing heartbreak and toxic relationships. I can’t wait to read more from Kelly Quindlen in the future!
Title: The Intimacy Experiment
Series: The Roommate #2
Author: Rosie Danan
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Tropes/Themes: Opposites Attract, Jewish MC, Sex Worker MC
Edition/Pages: E-ARC, 336 Pages
This book will definitely make my favorites of 2021 list!
I absolutely adored everything this book did. Not only did this have an outstandingly sexy romance, but the main characters went through amazing personal journeys along the way. This had chemistry, tension, amazing themes, and fantastic Jewish representation (just a note – I am not own voices however I am married into a Reform Jewish family).
Naomi is a new all-time favorite main character. I loved her journey throughout this book – particularly the way she had to learn to let her guard down, and I think it’s a struggle that many people can relate to. Naomi’s tumultuous past paired with societal prejudices against sex-workers, has caused her to put up impenetrable walls. She refuses to let anyone see her as anything other than feisty and utterly self-reliant. And she fully embraces her identity as a sexual icon since that is all most people she her as anyways. But throughout the book you watch her unravel her trauma and open up. And it’s a stunning journey to experience.
The way Ethan and Naomi love each other was absolutely beautiful. Ethan stood up against everyone so fiercely for Naomi – despite the risks. And Naomi fully embraced his passion for his career. Their slow burn romance was full of chemistry and tension. And that first date scene…. left me panting.
I loved absolutely everything that Rosie Danan tackled throughout this book. From faith to sex work to society prejudices, she handled everything with so much care. There were so many moments and lines throughout that hit in a way that made it was clear the author felt personally invested in the themes she was writing.
Overall this book stole my heart. Naomi’s monologue at the end had me reading through tears and solidified this as an all-time favorite romance. I absolutely cannot wait to read whatever Rosie Danan writes next – inside this world or otherwise!
3 reviews for some recents reads!Read More »