Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Big thanks to the publishers for these copies!

Pub Date: 4-12-22
Adult - Contemporary

The No-Show- Beth O'Leary: Siobhan, Miranda, and Jane could not be more different. Siobhan is confident to a fault, Miranda is used to being seen as "one of the guys," and Jane actively tries to make herself as invisible as possible. The one thing that connects these women is that they were all, unbeknownst to them, stood up by the same guy on Valentine's day. Joseph Carter is your typical handsome sweet-talker, and despite hurting each woman in turn, they all take him back. All three believe herself to be the only woman in Joseph's life, but can they truly fall for someone who has one foot out the door?

I was hesitant to pick this up at first because I'm not a fan of a cheating trope in books, but I'm glad I gave this a chance. It was more of following these three women on a journey of self-discovery and coming into their own. I enjoyed how we got perspective's from each woman and got to see how their relationship with Joseph played out. Aside from that, we also got glimpses into their day-to-day lives that helped to flesh them out. My favorite of the bunch was Miranda, so I enjoyed her chapters a bit more than the other two. I also liked watching her find a new relationship with AJ and thought they were so playful and sweet together. Aside from the romance aspect, I thought O'Leary did a nice job incorporating more serious topics such as mental health. The only issue I had with this was there were a few times I was confused as to the timeline of events but other than that I thought this was pretty good.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 4-12-22
YA - Dystopian

Gone Dark- Amanda Panitch: While most kids her age grew up playing video games and going to the mall, seventeen-year-old Zara was learning how to shoot a bow and trapping at her father's survivalist's compound. Five years ago, Zara and her mother left the woods behind and have been trying to move on from their traumatic experiences. When a malware attack cuts off electrical grids across the US, Zara can't help but remember her father's lessons about the end of the world. At first, everyone brushes off Zara's concerns, but soon she's the only hope for getting her friends to safety. Zara will have to draw upon her childhood skills and lessons to help get her friends across the country back to the only hope they have to survive: her father's compound. But with every mile they cover, the fear of seeing her father again after so many years causes Zara to consider maybe the dark is the better option.

If you're looking for something to transport you back to that early 2010's-YA dystopian-Hunger Games-Divergent time, this is the book for you. It's action-packed and has all the tropes you'd expect to find in this type of book. I did enjoy it, but I think I'm just a bit older than the targeted audience. It read very YA, so I had a hard time connecting to any of the characters. That said, I still found Zara compelling to follow. I thought her backstory was interesting and sad, but I liked how she used it to make herself stronger. While the plot/dialogue could've used some work, I thought Panitch did a pretty decent job showing you what life would be like if everything goes to hell and makes you question how you would handle it.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 4-19-22
Adult - Contemporary

Part of Your World- Abby Jimenez: Alexis Montgomery has spent her entire career trying to live up to the Montgomery name. She and her family are a part of a medical legacy that goes back generations, and despite being a successful ER doctor, it still isn't enough for her demanding father. If her father had his way, Alexis would be the chief of emergency medicine and married to her ex-boyfriend, who he keeps pressuring her to take back. Frustrated and unhappy, Alexis is desperate for a change, then she meets Daniel. The pair couldn't be more different-- Alexis comes from a wealthy family and doesn't even know how to sweep a floor, and Daniel is the unofficial mayor of a small town and nurses baby goats. Alexis is hesitant to start anything due to Daniel being almost a decade younger, but the chemistry is undeniable. Alexis can't deny that being with Daniel makes her happier than she's been in a while, but knows he doesn't fit into the plans her family has for her. But the longer they're together, the more impossible it becomes for Alexis to picture her life without Daniel, and finds herself having to decide what's truly important to her.

I'm not a big fan of the age gap trope, but dang, if Jimenez didn't charm me with this one. I liked Alexis and Daniel and was rooting for them from the moment they met. Jimenez always has top-tier love interests, and Daniel was no exception. He was adorable and so sweet. I loved how caring he was, not only towards Alexis but to every person in Wakan. I also liked how the town became a character itself and had so much personality. Despite loving the pair and their relationship, there were some bits I didn't enjoy. Mainly, Alexis's reluctance to be with Daniel due to their differences. It all got a bit tiresome after a while. For a grown woman, I thought she spent too much time worrying about what her family would think of her decisions even though they were having such negative effects on her mental health. However, it was so satisfying watching her finally choose her path. Aside from little nitpicky things, I thought this was great and can't wait for whatever Jimenez comes out with next.

Rating: 4/5


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