The Garden of Small Beginnings – Abbi Waxman

32570475. sy475
The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: 2017
Publisher: Berkley Books
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Realistic Fiction, Grief, Contemporary, Romance, Siblings


REVIEW:

I jumped on the chance of reading this book after finishing The Bookish Life of Nina Hill and absolutely loving everything about it. The Garden of Small Beginnings is a whole other interesting beast, but a flawed one despite its entertaining elements. It deals with grief, but because the main character has a dry humour and prefers to bury her real emotions for the sake of her children and her own psyche, I had difficulty understanding what Lilian was feeling at times. Continue reading

The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren

43341641. sy475
The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Simon & Schuster Canada
Published: May 2019
Publisher: Gallery Books
Recommended Age: 14+
Genres & Themes: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Humour, Drama, Family


REVIEW:

My friend Jennifer said it best when she said that this feels like two books in one because I read the first one hundred and so pages thinking this would be a wonderful romantic comedy from start to finish, but alas drama llama made an appearance and did not want to leave the premises. It’s as though things started to become a bit too ‘‘real’’ because instead of relaxing on her fake honeymoon Olive started stressing out about everything and anything. Continue reading

Hope and Other Punchlines – Julie Buxbaum

36584899
Hope and Other Punchlines by Julie Buxbaum

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: May 7th, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, 9/11, Contemporary Romance, Family Drama, Coming of Age


REVIEW:

This is my third book from Julie Buxbaum and frankly I don’t know if I should continue with her stories. The first book I read from her, Tell Me Three Things, I couldn’t finish. The second book, What to Say Next, I enjoyed but I remember disliking the love interest or not feeling particularly moved by the romance. Well, same thing happened here. Abbi and Noah are definitely a good match because they don’t annoy one another and simply care about each other tremendously. I know, my expectations regarding soul mates are not very high nowadays. Continue reading

The Silver Cage – Anonymous

38193155The Silver Cage by Anonymous

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
First Published: January 2018
Publisher: Self-Published
Recommended Age: 16+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Adult, M/M Romance, Dark, Faith, Self-Harm, Sexual Identity


BLURB:

A bitter, mysterious author. A young and naive journalist. A tragic past, a dark secret, and an unforgettable tale of passion and love.

WARNING: The Silver Cage is intended for mature readers; it contains graphic sensuality and strong themes including suicide, sexual identity, and self-harm.

Anonymous is a pseudonymous international bestseller. The Silver Cord, a companion novel to The Silver Cage, will be released in the first half of 2018. Continue reading

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone

30339479You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
First Published: January 2nd, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Siblings, Contemporary Romance, High School, Disease, Music, First Love, Family Drama


BLURB:

Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common besides their ambitious nature. Viola prodigy Adina yearns to become a soloist—and to convince her music teacher he wants her the way she wants him. Overachiever Tovah awaits her acceptance to Johns Hopkins, the first step on her path toward med school and a career as a surgeon. But one thing could wreck their carefully planned futures: a genetic test for Huntington’s, a rare degenerative disease that slowly steals control of the body and mind. It’s turned their Israeli mother into a near stranger and fractured the sisters’ own bond in ways they’ll never admit. While Tovah finds comfort in their Jewish religion, Adina rebels against its rules. When the results come in, one twin tests negative for Huntington’s. The other tests positive. These opposite outcomes push them farther apart as they wrestle with guilt, betrayal, and the unexpected thrill of first love. How can they repair their relationship, and is it even worth saving? Continue reading

Love, Life, and the List – Kasie West

35068742Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
First Published: December 2017
Publisher: Harper Teen
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Light, Contemporary Romance, Art


BLURB:

Seventeen-year-old Abby Turner’s summer isn’t going the way she’d planned. She has a not-so-secret but definitely unrequited crush on her best friend, Cooper. She hasn’t been able to manage her mother’s growing issues with anxiety. And now she’s been rejected from an art show because her work “has no heart.” So when she gets another opportunity to show her paintings Abby isn’t going to take any chances. Which is where the list comes in. Abby gives herself one month to do ten things, ranging from face a fear (#3) to learn a stranger’s story (#5) to fall in love (#8). She knows that if she can complete the list she’ll become the kind of artist she’s always dreamed of being. But as the deadline approaches, Abby realizes that getting through the list isn’t as straightforward as it seems… and that maybe—just maybe—she can’t change her art if she isn’t first willing to change herself. Continue reading

The Wedding Date – Jasmine Guillory

33815781The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: January 30th, 2018
Publisher: Berkley
Recommended Age: 14+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Relationships, Light read


BLURB:

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist. On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend… After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other… They’re just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century–or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want… Continue reading