I love the holiday season but I've never been one to get sucked into the holiday movies or books. Which I realize now seems odd since I love all that cheesy romance. But, this year I snagged a few holiday books from Target and the Kindle store and wanted to share my thoughts and recommendations if you're looking for a holiday read!
I figured I should cover the sweetest of the stories first. This book is definitely PG, and is a classic feel good Christmas miracle type book. Samantha is a writer, her ex dumped her by just leaving, and now she is afraid of pretty much everything which is the opposite of her main character who is a daring spy type that goes on all sorts of adventures. She ends up going to spend Christmas at an old Dude Ranch that her publisher is hosting and while there meets Drew. I'm sure you have an idea where the story goes so I won't spoil it for you but this one was cute. I will warn you, apparently I've only been reading in first person so the third person threw me off a bit. But, once I got into story I enjoyed it. Great for romance lover that isn't a fan of spice and I did enjoy the authors colorful imagination and the references to Native American Culture as well.
I made a goal to read more books this year, but I didn't give myself a set number to achieve. I wanted to read more than last year but wasn't sure how many books I would be able to read. Last year I read 37 so I figured maybe I would hit 50, in no way did I intend to read 119 but here we are! I greatly attribute my Kindle for helping this reading addiction and definitely going to pitch Kindle Unlimited (KU) to you as well because it is so worth it! I realized I needed to stop just buying books, and the library app (Libby) didn't always have what I wanted available, so Kindle Unlimited was so nice to be able to search for books and borrow them! It's also a huge bonus when your friends also have it so you can do a mini book club together!
If I didn't like a book I put a note next to it so if you're browsing for your next book take a look below. I organized by series and then category the best that I could. I think next year I will organize my list in my phone better for this! Leave me a comment if you want to know more about one of the books I read or have another recommendation.
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Do you get easily sucked into books? I sure do, and the Avalon Bay Series was so good I read them both in a few days! I had read Elle Kennedys Off-Campus series and loved the way she wrote, so I decided to try our Good Girl Complex. Of course after I finished I immediately had to get the next one in the series because I wanted both brothers stories.
I've been on such a reading kick this year and have been loving trying new authors and genres. I never used to read any type of romance novel and now I just can't stop! I first found Elle Kennedy on my Kindle and then stumbled upon these at Target. Her writing is just so easy to read and her stories just suck you in! At first I was unsure about Good Girl Complex because when reading reviews I saw quite a few people compared it to After but I wouldn't compare them at all. Yes they both start with a bet but After is much more cruel and a very intense love story with a lot of humiliating and extreme situations. Good Girl Complex starts with Cooper making a bet to get back at Mac's boyfriend for getting him fired. The small townies don't like the "clones" aka rich kids that come for school and this is where the story begins. So obviously this is the one correlation between the stories, but this is a much more lighthearted and has closure all in one book instead of needing four. I do wish there was more of an epilogue but I was okay when I started reading Bad Girl Complex because then you get more of Mac and Cooper along with Evan (Cooper's brother) and Gen's story. I loved how Elle Kennedy gives you both perspectives of the story and I am even more excited because I saw that coming this summer the next book in the series is coming out The Summer Girl and I cannot wait to see yet another part of the story of Avalon Bay. She is the granddaughter of the woman that sold Mac the boardwalk hotel that she is redoing (I assume) so I can't wait to see if all these stories get intertwined! Check out below to read the overview of the stories and let me know if you're read them or if you have any other recommendations!
Where the Crawdads Sing- Delia Owens - This was one of our book club reads and I absolutely loved it. The writing still of The Marsh vs the courtroom was so good. The descriptive writing made me really be able to visualize everything I was reading, I loved seeing the growth of Kya and how she learns and survives through her life and relationships. Plus the ending was just absolutely amazing
It Ends with Us- Colleen Hoover - I heard this book was great; I went into reading it without totally knowing what it was about and I got wrecked. Oh my goodness this story was amazing. It’s about breaking the cycle of abuse and the ending was just amazing and I cannot wait for her to continue this story. Ps some people I saw reviewing this said they didn’t like it at all because of how the abuse (how she kept going back, making excuses etc), was but it was actually based on her parents and what it takes to walk away.
Oh my, what I thought was going to be a lighthearted fantasy novel turned into so much more! I found a Court of Thorns and Roses in a discounted section and snagged it because the storyline sounded interesting. Here I am a month later reading another one of Sarah J Maas’ series because I am hooked.
I saw a few people mention that it was hard to read, the plot took too long to develop, there isn’t enough foreshadowing, etc, but in my mind that makes me want to read more because I had to know what was happening. Books are often too predictable, you know how the love story will end, the hero is who you expected. Of course some things are still predictable but it was still fun to see how the rest turned out in this series because some things happened that did surprise me a little!
I instantly got sucked into Netflix’ Bridgerton series - I binged watched both seasons when they came out. I finally decided to read the books and I am glad I did. To be honest, I’m not sure I would have ever chosen to read these if I hadn’t watched the show. I loved the show, but after reading the books I realized how much more they put into the show to make it well, more dramatic. Of course a word for word adaptation wouldn’t be as entertaining - I mean hello Duke - but I was glad to see that Julia Quinn was involved with the show even though she did let them take creative liberties which worked well for making it so easy to watch. Check out my review for the first three books, warning: spoilers if you haven’t seen or read them!
The Duke and I actually stuck to the plot in the book pretty well when it came to the Duke and Daphne, except for the whole Queen ordeal. In the books there is no Queen on the mission to find out who Lady Whistledown is or running the show; and honestly Lady Dansbury was a disappointment in this books - she gets better later on.
I love Daphne and Simon and the fact that I got a second epilogue in the book made me so happy because you really see how in love they are and how their family grows. I also like that they have the appearance in the second book as well giving us more insights into how important family is to the Bridgertons.
If you’re like me, you’re a sucker for the Netflix Originals, and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is one I’ve watched multiple times already. I decided that I wanted to read the books to compare the movies so I snagged the set and read away.
To be completely honest, it took me a bit to get used to Jenny Han’s writing style. It’s a little jumpy, flashes to the past, and sometimes seems to just end in the middle of what I thought would be more. It gets better and I got used to it but definitely not the style I am used to reading.
If you don’t know the story line, Lara Jean is a teenage girl who gets so consumed with her emotions that she writes it down in love letters - 5 actually, addresses them and then never sends them out. It is her way of dealing with her crush and then moving past it. Of course we need more than that to have a good story, so her little sister sends off her letters and that’s where it all begins.
I have made a yearly goal to read more and once I got my Kindle working again I haven't stopped. Here you will find my reviews of my more recent reads to share with you.