Book Review

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Katie West

Lately I’ve been getting more and more into audiobooks (shout out to my local library who has an amazing audiobook platform and collection!) and at this point I’m almost listening to one a day. At the rate I’m listening, I often just have to pick from any title that doesn’t have a waitlist, and Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss fit the bill. When I read the description, it reminded me a lot of Famous in Love (which was not one of my favorite books) so I hoped I had found a better version of that story. Unfortunately, this book is even poorer in its execution of the ‘small-time teen actress gets a major role across from a major teen heart throb’ story.

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss follows Lacey Barnes as she begins to work on her first ever major motion picture. She’s got it set: it’s an adaptation of a popular book, she’s in a leading role, and her costar is one of the biggest actors on the planet. There’s only one problem: her dad is overbearing and has set her up with a tutor to help her balance shooting and school. Things start to go sideways when she finds herself getting framed for mishaps on set, putting her job on the line. As she tries to figure out who is setting her up, she has to also evaluate the importance of the people in her life and how they fit into her big screen aspirations.

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Book Review

A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell

Summary:

She’s your best friend.
She knows all your secrets.
That’s why she’s so dangerous.
A single mother’s life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time.

But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily’s husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It’s the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over.

Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems.

Review:

Continuing on my current stream of mystery/thriller books, I decided to give this book a shot after I saw the movie. In a rare twist – the movie was actually far, far better than the book. Where the movie soars with suspense, drama, and humor – this book barely scrapes by with bland characters, a much less interesting plot, and a terrible ending.

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Book Review

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Lately, I’ve been getting more and more into mystery books. After finishing Gone Girl recently, I’ve been on the hunt for another great thriller. The Woman in Cabin 10 had a fairly unique premise and I had seen it featured in the mystery section of seemingly every book store I went to, so I finally picked it up. While it falls short of the bar that Gone Girl sets, despite it’s flaws, it was an interesting and heart-pounding novel.

Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

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Book Review

Wildcard by Marie Lu

Straight off the bat, this series has given me major Ready Player One vibes. It has the same basic premise: the world has become hooked on a high tech virtual reality world which a big bad guy wants to take advantage of. The first book in this series, Warcross, was a fun, but majorly forgettable book. My hopes weren’t high for Wildcard (it didn’t feel necessary after Warcross) and unfortunately, this book really didn’t deliver.

Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

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Book Review

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

All Your Perfects was a book blog darling upon its release – something that made me very hesitant to pick it up. All of the bloggers I follow were raving about it and touting it the best romance of 2018. I’m not sure if this is just me, but when a book gets a ton of hype, I get nervous to read and review it in case my opinion goes against the grain. So after a bit of a cooling down period, I finally got my hands on a copy of this book and devoured it in one sitting (a rare occurrence for me these days). It was surprisingly poignant and tackled difficult subject matter with poise and realism, and might be one of my favorite books I’ve read this year.

Colleen Hoover delivers a tour de force novel about a troubled marriage and the one old forgotten promise that might be able to save it.

Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.

All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. This is a heartbreaking page-turner that asks: Can a resounding love with a perfect beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?

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