Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 5-2-23
Adult - Contemporary

The Last Word- Katy Birchall: Harper Jenkins is a well-known journalist with a knack for getting celebrities to open up. She loves her job as a celebrity editor, but then her horrible boss went and hired Ryan Jansson. Harper met Ryan years ago when they were both starting as interns, and despite being complete opposites, the pair quickly started a whirlwind romance--until Ryan betrayed Harper, and the two haven't spoken since. Now they're thrown together again and butting heads at every turn. But somewhere between bickering over articles and who's going to what event, that spark starts to reignite and comes to a head when they're both sent on a romantic press trip abroad. With rumors of layoffs at their office, will Harper and Ryan maintain their air of professionalism, or will they give in to their desires?

As soon as I saw this described as a mix between The Hating Game and Beach Read, I knew I had to pick it up. Sadly, it didn't work for me. It wasn't a bad book; it just never piqued my interest. It was my first book by Birchall, and I don't think her writing style is for me. Do you know those chatty co-workers who never know when to stop talking? That's what the writing felt like to me. I also found the characters to be meh. Neither one stood out to me. For being an enemies-to-lovers trope, I expected the banter to be better. I wanted it to be snappy and witty, but it often came across as immature. I know the whole opposites attract saying, but Harper and Ryan felt so different that I didn't find their relationship believable. The story had a lot of potentials, but I found the execution lacking.

Rating: 2/5

*Big thanks to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 5-2-23
Adult - Fiction

The Daydreams- Laura Hankin:
 In 2004, four teens got the chance of a lifetime starring in the popular TV show, The Daydreams. Each played their roles well: You had Summer, the naive girl-next-door; Noah, the heartthrob; Kat, the mean girl; and Liana, the quirky best friend. The four sang and danced their hearts out in front of millions and were best friends behind the scenes. They had everything going for them until it all came crashing down. Now, fourteen years later, the cast agrees to participate in a reunion special. Some are doing it for forgiveness, others for revenge. But as they slowly reconnect, the magic that was once between them starts to stir. Will this be the shot at redemption they all hoped for, or will the past repeat itself?

Do you long to reminisce about the days of dELiA*s catalogs, TRL, and the era of Nickelodeon/Disney shows about teens having to balance their rockstar dreams with pop quizzes? If so, this book is for you. I kept picturing The Daydreams as a Nickelodeon version of Glee. It had all the makings of being a juicy book about castmates reuniting to pick up the pieces after their disastrous ending. There was all this betrayal, animosity, and awkwardness surrounding the characters, and I was excited to see all the drama unfold. I will give it to Hankin for throwing in some twists I wasn't expecting, but for me, this fell into the category of the plot being more interesting than the characters. None of them stood out or even felt fully developed. We're following Kat as our main character, and she was so boring. The pacing also dragged, especially in the middle, and it started to feel repetitive. However, I'd still recommend checking it out if you enjoy stories about celebrity drama.

Rating: 3/5

*Big thanks to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 4-25-23
Adult - Contemporary

Happy Place- Emily Henry: To the outside world, Harriet and Wyn have the perfect relationship. They've been inseparable since college and got engaged soon after. But Harriet and Wyn have been keeping a secret from everyone: they broke up months ago. Now, they have to pretend to still be together for their annual friend's trip to Maine. After learning that their beloved cottage is being sold, neither wants to ruin the trip further by dropping an even bigger bombshell, so they decide to stick it out for the week. But as the days pass, it gets harder and harder for them to pretend they didn't break each other's hearts mere months ago and that they're not still desperately in love despite it.

After finishing this, I understand why everyone says you'll love or hate it. I fall somewhere in the middle. It wasn't my favorite Emily Henry book, but it wasn't terrible. The setting was my favorite part. It felt so summery and quaint and made me wish I could visit. I think my issue was with the characters. I didn't feel a strong connection towards any of them. I had the same issue with the romance. I did like Harriet and Wyn, but they didn't wow me. Some bits had me swooning because, duh, it's Emily Henry and all of her men know the right things to say, but something felt like it was missing. There's this underlying thread of sadness in all of Henry's works, but this one felt the heaviest. The best way I could describe it is bittersweet. It felt more about the brutal reality of growing up and growing apart, whether with friends or in relationships, and that felt so relatable. While I enjoyed this, I think I was hoping for a little bit more.

Rating: 3.5/5


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