Book Talk: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

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.

Book Talk: Starry Eyes by Jenn BennettStarry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Published by Simon Pulse on April 3, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 432
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
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Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?

Until her next book releases, I’m officially caught up on Jenn Bennett, both the adult paranormal series and the YA contemporaries. She truly excels at YA, and Starry Eyes is no exception, though admittedly I prefer The Anatomical Shape of a Heart and Alex, Approximately. Those books are books of my heart with incredible ships. Plot-wise, I think Starry Eyes is a much stronger novel, and it doesn’t veer into the same level of melodrama. However, I also didn’t feel the same emotional connection to this one. Your mileage totally may vary on that, and I did end up really enjoying this one.

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Spotlight On: Adult Contemporary Romance

Now, my friends, it’s time to take a stroll back in time to when I was in high school. Back when I was a young adult and primarily read adult romance novels (along with Jane Austen and Shakespeare and some other classics). Back then, contemporary romances were my absolute favorite. I was reading Jane Green, Sarah Mlynowski, Meg Cabot, and every single title I could find on the library shelves published by Red Dress Ink. RIP Red Dress Ink. RIP chick lit fad of the early 2000s.

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Book Talk: More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

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

Book Talk: More Than We Can Tell by Brigid KemmererMore Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Letters to the Lost #2
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on March 6, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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Rev Fletcher is battling the demons of his past. But with loving adoptive parents by his side, he’s managed to keep them at bay...until he gets a letter from his abusive father and the trauma of his childhood comes hurtling back.

Emma Blue spends her time perfecting the computer game she built from scratch, rather than facing her parents’ crumbling marriage. She can solve any problem with the right code, but when an online troll’s harassment escalates, she’s truly afraid.

When Rev and Emma meet, they both long to lift the burden of their secrets and bond instantly over their shared turmoil. But when their situations turn dangerous, their trust in each other will be tested in ways they never expected. This must-read story will once again have readers falling for Brigid Kemmerer’s emotional storytelling.

Before reading More Than We Can Tell, I reread Letters to the Lost, and omg I had forgotten how freaking good that book was. Even on a reread, I totally couldn’t put it down, and I felt all the feels. There’s little better than when a fave passes the reread test. As such, I can’t help but compare the two, so I can say that I preferred Letters to the Lost. However, More Than We Can Tell is also a phenomenal contemporary novel, just one that builds much more slowly but oh does it get you by the end.

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Top Reads from the Top Half of 2018

Source: Audies

Every single year, I struggle bus my way through an end of year post about the best books I read that year. Or I just skip the post entirely, even though I love seeing other people’s, and I also really like the opportunity to yell more about my favorite books. Still, going back through hundreds of books, some of which you read hundreds of books ago and scarcely recall, is difficult and, for me, stressful. In an effort to help myself and also yell about some great books, I’m doing a mid-year best of post that I can mine shamelessly come 2019.

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Book Talk: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

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

Book Talk: The Kiss Quotient by Helen HoangThe Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Series: The Kiss Quotient #1
Published by Berkley on June 5, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there's not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases--a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn't help that Stella has Asperger's and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice--with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can't afford to turn down Stella's offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan--from foreplay to more-than-missionary position...

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he's making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic...

Hype makes me nervous to read books, but this is one of those times where the hype absolutely failed to do this book justice. As with The Hating Game, there was basically no way for the hype to be too high to affect this book negatively for me. If I want anything from publishing (which lol I want a LOT of things from publishing), then what I currently want most is more romances like this that are sexy, smart, and incredibly well-written. Most contemporary romances aren’t like The Kiss Quotient, but I am so fucking happy this book exists.

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