We Are the Perfect Girl by Ariel Kaplan

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

We Are the Perfect Girl by Ariel KaplanWe Are the Perfect Girl by Ariel Kaplan
Length: 10 hrs, 46 mins
Published by Listening Library on May 21, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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She’s the beauty, I’m the bold one–together, we are the perfect girl…

Aphra Brown is bold and outgoing. Her best friend, Bethany, is achingly beautiful. Individually, they could both do a little better in the self-esteem department, but together? Together, they have what it takes to win over Greg D’Agostino, a proverbial “ten,” who happens to be fluent in six languages–seven if you count the language of smoldering gazes . . .

What begins as an honest mistake turns into an elaborate deception, wherein Bethany goes on dates with Greg while Aphra coaches her on what to say, and texts him in the guise of Bethany, trying and failing, all the while, to tamp down her own hopeless crush. It’s only a matter of time before things come crashing down. The question is: What will happen when Greg finds out? And can Aphra and Bethany’s friendship survive the fallout?

From the author of We Regret to Inform You comes a witty, warm-hearted exploration of love in all its forms, and a cris-de-coeur for self-acceptance when the pressure to be perfect is overwhelming.

Somehow I hadn’t heard pretty much anything about this book, but I did end somehow end up with both an egalley and a review audiobook. Still, I had the feeling this would be good because Dahlia loved it, and she knows what’s up. We Are the Perfect Girl is a book that builds from a beginning where you think you know what’s going to happen, which turns out to be right and wrong in the best ways. It’s a book I haven’t stopped thinking about since I finished it a week ago, which, let me tell you, is notable.

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Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda HolmesEvvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
Published by Random House Audio on June 25, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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In a small town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth "Evvie" Drake rarely leaves her house. Everyone in town, including her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and she doesn't correct them. In New York, Dean Tenney, former major-league pitcher and Andy's childhood friend, is struggling with a case of the "yips": he can't throw straight anymore, and he can't figure out why. An invitation from Andy to stay in Maine for a few months seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button.

When Dean moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie's house, the two make a deal: Dean won't ask about Evvie's late husband, and Evvie won't ask about Dean's baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken--and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. But before they can find out what might lie ahead, they'll have to wrestle a few demons: the bonds they've broken, the plans they've changed, and the secrets they've kept. They'll need a lot of help, but in life, as in baseball, there's always a chance--right up until the last out.

TBH I’m not a big NPR listener, much to the disappointment of my bestie and my boyfriend. I’ve just always been more of a fiction person than a nonfiction person, so unless it’s a quiz show, I’d rather listen to music or an audiobook in the car. My boyfriend could tell you that one of my flaws is changing the radio in his car from NPR to music. All that to say that Linda Holmes being an NPR…person (correspondent? DJ? reporter? host? I do not know this terminology) wasn’t a big draw. Actually, it made me nervous that Evvie Drake Starts Over would be more literary fiction than contemporary romance. But omg friends, this book is an amazing contemporary with a great romance. The hype is real and earned.

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I’ve Got You Covered (12)

I’ve Got You Covered has replaced Cover Snark. It’s less frequent and all positive. In this feature, I’m sharing all my favorite new book covers. Hope you find some shiny new reads! Tell me your favorites in the comments.

Middle Grade

1. Ghost Squad – Claribel A. Ortega

Suspicious chunker cat is everthing.

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Start Here by Trish Doller

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Start Here by Trish DollerStart Here by Trish Doller
Published by Simon Pulse on August 13, 2019
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
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Two teens go on a life-changing sailing trip as they deal with the grief of losing their best friend in this heartwrenching, hopeful novel from the author of Something Like Normal and In a Perfect World.

Willa and Taylor were supposed to spend the summer after high school sailing from Ohio to Key West with their best friend, Finley. But Finley died before graduation, leaving them with a twenty-five-foot sailboat, a list of clues leading them to destinations along the way, and a friendship that’s hanging by a thread.

Now, Willa and Taylor have two months and two thousand miles to discover how life works without Finley—and to decide if their own friendship is worth saving.

From acclaimed author Trish Doller comes a poignant tale of forgiveness, grief, and the brilliant discoveries we make within ourselves when we least expect it.

Trish Doller is one of my favorite authors who writes books that don’t necessarily sound like my thing. Emma Mills and Tessa Dare, for example, right books that sound 100% like books written for me. Doller’s tend to sound much more intense and darker, so, while obviously they’ve been interesting enough for me to pick up, it’s always accompanied by a frisson of nerves. Start Here unsurprisingly didn’t sound totally like my thing, but on the knowledge of how good all her prior books were, I downloaded a review copy. As expected, the book focuses less on romance and more on the emotional and physical journey, but it’s also very excellent.

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Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-BrokaAlways Never Yours by Emily Wibberley, Austin Siegemund-Broka
Published by Penguin on May 22, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Library
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Shouldn't a girl get to star in her own love story?

Seventeen-year-old Megan Harper is about due for her next sweeping romance. It's inevitable—each of her relationships starts with the perfect guy and ends with him falling in love . . . with someone else. But instead of feeling sorry for herself, Megan focuses on pursuing her next fling, directing theater, and fulfilling her dream college's acting requirement in the smallest role possible.

So when she’s cast as Juliet (yes, that Juliet) in her high school’s production, it’s a complete nightmare. Megan’s not an actress, and she’s used to being upstaged—both in and out of the theater. In fact, with her mom off in Texas and her dad remarried and on to baby #2 with his new wife, Megan worries that, just like her exes, her family is moving on without her.

Then she meets Owen Okita, an aspiring playwright inspired by Rosaline from Shakespeare's R+J. A character who, like Megan, knows a thing or two about short-lived relationships. Megan agrees to help Owen with his play in exchange for help catching the eye of a sexy stagehand/potential new boyfriend. Yet Megan finds herself growing closer to Owen, and wonders if he could be the Romeo she never expected.

In their fresh and funny debut, Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka break down the high school drama to find there's always room for familial love, romantic love, and—most importantly—self-love.

Dahlia told me to read this one even before it came out, but I didn’t have a review copy, so it just didn’t happen until now. I may not be the most timely in reading recommendations, but it’s not that I’m ignoring them! The covers for their next couple books were also strong inducements; this one looked a bit less fluffy, especially paired with the title. Friends, I am happy to report that this book is, in fact, quite fluffy and with points of delicious depth of literary analysis.

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