Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 7-5-22
Adult - Fiction

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow- Gabrielle Zevin:
 Sam Masur and Sadie Green first met in a hospital ward as kids and bonded over their mutual love of video games. They were each other's best friends until it all imploded. Now, years later, both Sam and Sadie attend college in the same city and run into each other in the subway. This chance encounter will go on to spark a partnership for the ages. Sam and Sadie decide to collaborate to create their very own video game, and after begging and borrowing money from whoever they could, they put out the instant-hit, Ichigo. They've barely graduated college, and yet the world is already theirs. Over the next thirty years, Sam and Sadie face both personal and professional ups and downs as they learn the hard way that fame comes at a steep price. One that they may not be willing to pay.

I'm not a huge gamer, but I do appreciate the craft. I loved all the references to games I grew up playing, and it was nice to see Sam and Sadie bond over them. I liked their friendship and thought they balanced one another out pretty well. At times Sadie annoyed me because I found her very pessimistic and quick to treat those around her poorly. Both weren't perfect by any means, but they cared about one another, and I found it sweet. I also liked the dynamic once Marx was introduced. He was such a sweetie and felt like the heart of the story in many ways. Plot-wise, I enjoyed how it was broken down into different parts, but it could've been trimmed down. It was just so long, and it felt even longer. If you enjoy stories about games or the gaming industry, or stories focused more on platonic love and how sometimes your soul mates are your best friends, then you would like this.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 7-5-22
Adult - Historical Mystery

Miss Aldridge Regrets- Louise Hare: Lena Aldridge is a mixed-raced jazz singer struggling to make a name for herself. She gets by singing at her best friend's husband's club, but when he's murdered, Lena is desperate to flee England before being pulled into the investigation. It seems that luck is on her side when a stranger offers her a first-class ticket on the Queen Mary and a starring role on Broadway. Lena hopes to put miles of ocean between her and her problems, but she quickly realizes that her troubles are far from over. Just as Lena becomes friendly with a wealthy family on board, one of them is killed in a very familiar manner. Lena will have to put on the performance of a lifetime if she hopes to unravel the family's mysterious dynamic and make it to New York alive.

I was drawn in by the premise and the murder mystery aspect of this. It felt very Agatha Christie-ish. I thought the setting was great. The ship lent to the feeling of opulence and grandeur while also driving home how isolated the passengers were. I also liked how Hare touched upon the racial and class differences of the time. The story is broken down into different parts, and I was a little wary about it because I thought it might make it feel disjointed, but the narrative flowed well. There were times I was a little bored, and plot twists I was able to figure out, but it was entertaining. I think the characters could've used some work as they all fell into those stereotypical murder mystery character tropes. While I would've liked more suspense, it's a fun read if you enjoy cozy mysteries.

Rating: 3/5

Pub Date: 6-6-22
Adult - Contemporary

My Killer Vacation- Tessa Bailey: Taylor is a bubbly second-grade teacher who just wanted to give her brother a relaxing vacation on Cape Cod. But when they arrive at their rental home to find a dead body in the laundry room, all Taylor's plans go out the window. As a true-crime aficionado, Taylor is convinced she can help with the investigation, but one person stands in her way. Myles is a no-nonsense bounty hunter here for one purpose only-- to catch a murderer, not babysit the ray of sunshine in a bathing suit. Myles is good at his job because he doesn't allow for distractions, and he quickly realizes Taylor is one attachment he can't let cloud his judgment. But the more Myles and Taylor dig for clues, the more Taylor's life is put in danger. Can the pair uncover the killer before Taylor becomes the next victim?

There were a lot of things I liked about this. Firstly, the use of the grumpy/sunshine trope was perfection. I couldn't stop laughing at the banter between Taylor and Myles. Secondly, the chemistry between them was off the charts. Bailey never disappoints when it comes to the relationship between her characters, and this one was no exception. It did feel insta-lovey, but I didn't mind so much. Thirdly, I loved the setting. I enjoyed the idea of this murder mystery unfolding in this beachside vacation town. That said, there were also many things I didn't like. I thought the dynamic between Taylor and her brother was weird and didn't love how she treated him like a child when he was a grown man. Even though I liked her relationship with Myles, there were times I found him way too overprotective to the point where it was like, "Me, Tarzan. You, Jane." Bailey also beats into the ground how much bigger Myles is than Taylor. We get it, he's very tall, and she's very short (though it led to a cute nickname.) I also didn't understand the timeline. It seemed like so much was happening it should've taken longer than five days. Overall, I liked it and thought it felt like a steamier Lifetime movie, but it wasn't my favorite of hers.

Rating: 3.5/5


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