Mini Thoughts

Hello, all!

Pub Date: 9-12-23
Adult - Contemporary

You, Again- Kate Goldbeck: When Ari, a free-spirited wanna-be comedienne, met Josh, an up-tight chef, for the first time, it was hate at first sight. It was clear from the start the pair had nothing in common except they were sleeping with the same woman. Ari and Josh never expected their paths to cross again, but fate had other plans. Years later, Ari and Josh are nursing broken hearts when they strike up an unlikely friendship. With every late-night movie session and bickering texting conversation, Ari and Josh find themselves drawn to one another. But can two people so fundamentally different find happiness together?

What drew me to this was the cover. I loved the autumnal When Harry Met Sally NYC vibes. Then to find out this has enemies-to-friends-to-lovers? I was sold. Unfortunately, I thought the premise worked better than the execution. There was just something about Ari that irked me. Her personality wasn't my favorite, and I found her annoying. However, I did like the dynamic between her and Josh. I love bickering banter, and I thought Goldbeck did a good job with that. It was a quick read, and had some cute moments, but I don't think it's a new favorite.

Rating: 3/5

*Big thanks to the publisher for the copy!

Pub Date: 6-20-23
YA - Horror

You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight- Kalynn Bayron: Horror movie-obsessed, Charity Curtis has the best summer job: playing the "final girl" at Camp Mirror Lake. It isn't your ordinary summer camp but a fully immersive terror game where people pay to re-enact scenes from a classic slasher film. Charity and her friends are in the business of fear, and the more realistic, the better. But when some of Charity's co-workers start going missing, her role as the final girl starts feeling a bit too real. When they stumble upon the true history of Mirror Lake, Charity, and her girlfriend will have to outwit a killer if they hope to survive the night.

The premise of this book sounded like it was written just for me. A camp that re-enacts scenes from an old slasher movie only to then be tormented by a real slasher? Sign me up! The first half of this book had me in its grip. I was living for the Fear Street 1978 vibes. I liked Charity and her group of friends. The way they all handled what was going on felt authentic to how teens would act, and I liked how there was so much talk about horror movie rules. The moment they decided to split up, I knew stuff was about to go down. But that's where it lost me. The second half of this book was so out there. I could see what Bayron was trying to do, but it didn't work for me. It felt a little out of left field, and I wish this would've stayed as a classic slasher. It was a quick read with some suspenseful bits, but I didn't enjoy the ending.

Rating: 2.5/5

Pub Date: 3-14-23
YA - Historical Fiction

Enter the Body- Joy McCullough: Everyone knows the tragic ends of Shakespeare's most famous females, Juliet, Ophelia, Cordelia, and Lavinia. But what if these girls could rewrite their histories? In a room below the stage where their stories first came to fruition, the four girls meet to form a support group of sorts. Each has been wronged by the ones closest to them, has had their bodies, minds, and souls broken beyond measure, and has decided that enough is enough. They decide to take back their narratives and show the world that a woman's story isn't defined by the words of a man but by her own.

Most of us can remember Shakespeare units in high school English class, and I think many would agree that the females in his plays often got the short end of the stick. I was intrigued to see how McCullough would spin their tales and give them a new voice. The concept was interesting, but the execution was lacking. The meshing of modern speech with verse kept taking me out of the story. There was also a lot of bickering between the characters, and it made them come off as catty instead of trying to empower one another. Also, the whole point was to give these girls a chance to reclaim their narratives, so I was hoping to hear Lavinia's story, but that wasn't the case. I felt like keeping her silent defeated the purpose of the story. That said, if you're a Shakespeare fan or enjoyed the musical Six or the book How to Be Eaten, then it's still worth the read.

Rating: 2/5


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