Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 11-30-21
Adult - Historical Fiction

The Sisters Sweet- Elizabeth Weiss: Twins Harriet and Josie Szász grew up in the spotlight. Their parents, who were no strangers to the theater, were ambitious and determined to see the twins follow in their footsteps. They eventually made a name for themselves performing on the vaudeville circuit as conjoined twins going by the name "The Sisters Sweet." Being the timider of the two, Harriet never wanted a life in the limelight but went along with it after seeing how much joy and purpose it brought to her family, especially Josie. But when Josie decides she's had enough of sharing the stage, exposing her family's secret, and running off to Hollywood, Harriet must re-learn how to live a normal life while being in her sister's shadow. While Josie is off charming tinsel town, Harriet struggles to keep the rest of the family afloat. Soon, Harriet starts forming new friendships and relationships and must decide if she wants to stay as the obedient daughter or finally live the life she's always dreamed of.

I love reading about this time and anything having to do with the show business of this era. I find it fascinating how it can be so glamorous yet so grimy at the same time, and I appreciated how much research Weiss must've done to make it feel so authentic. Her writing style was very descriptive and lush, albeit a tad wordy at times. She really goes deep into each family member's backstory, and while I understand why she did it so that way we have a complete picture, I found it to be a little boring. I didn't feel connected to any of the characters and found them unlikeable at times. I also felt there were some pacing issues with the story itself that hindered the flow of the narrative. Despite that, I still enjoyed hearing Harriet recount her life, but I think I was taken more with the setting than the story itself. I'd still recommend it if you're interested in historical fiction or are fans of City of Girls, The Show Girl, or The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 5-19-16
Adult - Contemporary

Wasted Words- Staci Hart: After being burned in the past, Cam Emerson has strict rules on who to date. Ever since she was young, Cam has put people into categories: those who are way out of her league and those who are just as nerdy as she is, and therefore, safe to date. Cam knows the way to avoid another heartbreak is to date within the latter category, but that doesn't mean she can't harbor a massive crush on her roommate/best friend, Tyler, even though there's no way he'd ever like her back. Tyler Knight has overcome a lot of hardships in his life. Most notably, a career-ending injury turned his NFL dreams into a job as a sports agent and a terrible break-up, which was a blessing in disguise since it lead him to Cam. She's made it very clear to Tyler that she could never see him as anything more than a friend, but that doesn't stop him from hoping for more. When they both admit their feelings for one another, Tyler is sure he's finally found the one, but will Cam's insecurities about their differences end their happiness before it even begins?

I'm a sucker for a friends-to-lovers trope, so I ate this up. I was immediately charmed by the characters and the story itself. Hart's writing felt effortless and breezy, and I practically read this in one sitting because I needed to see what would happen to Cam and Tyler. They had such a fun dynamic that it was so natural for them to transition into something more than just friends. While Tyler stole my heart straight away, it took me a while to warm up to Cam because she was infuriating. She very much had that "I'm not like other girls--I watch football and wear Converse!" vibe, and no matter how many times Tyler told her he cared for her, she just kept harping on the fact that she thought he was too attractive to actually want to be with her. Everyone's entitled to their insecurities, but she was so stubborn and refused to see reason. She also had a bad habit of meddling in other people's love lives (this is supposed to be inspired by Jane Austen's Emma, so I get it), which was a bit much at times. She did grow on me by the end, but it was a journey. Aside from that, I thought this was adorable and perfect if you're looking for something quick and sweet that's still a little steamy.

Rating: 3.5/5

Pub Date: 9-8-20
Adult - Mystery/Thriller

One by One- Ruth Ware: When up-and-coming tech company, Snoop, booked a stay at a mountain resort, they were expecting to spend their time skiing, cozying up by the fire, and building team morale. All their plans are dashed after an avalanche traps them with no power, dwindling food supplies, and leaving them cut off from the rest of the world. Soon bodies start turning up and it's clear that someone is targeting the Snoop members leaving everyone to question who can be trusted and who will be next. Can they survive until help arrives, if help is coming at all?

I haven't read much by Ruth Ware, but I do know most of the time you either love her work or aren't that impressed. I fall somewhere in the middle. I thought the premise was fun and very Agatha Christie-ish and I do love a good murder mystery, but the overall execution wasn't my favorite. Though this is told in alternating POVs of two characters, there were so many others introduced that I had a difficult time keeping them all straight at points. I also felt the pacing was a little wonky. The beginning felt slow then plateaued in the middle and then really geared up towards the end. Despite that, I did enjoy the end bit and felt it was definitely suspenseful, but I didn't find the big reveal all that shocking. My favorite bit was the setting, I thought it was so atmospheric. All in all, it had its moments but I just thought it was okay.

Rating: 3/5

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