FIRST 2022 FAVORITE READ: Weather Girl Review

53369734Summary (from the publisher): Ari Abrams has always been fascinated by the weather, and she loves almost everything about her job as a TV meteorologist. Her boss, legendary Seattle weatherwoman Torrance Hale, is too distracted by her tempestuous relationship with her ex-husband, the station’s news director, to give Ari the mentorship she wants. Ari, who runs on sunshine and optimism, is at her wits’ end. The only person who seems to understand how she feels is sweet but reserved sports reporter Russell Barringer.
In the aftermath of a disastrous holiday party, Ari and Russell decide to team up to solve their bosses’ relationship issues. Between secret gifts and double dates, they start nudging their bosses back together. But their well-meaning meddling backfires when the real chemistry builds between Ari and Russell.
Working closely with Russell means allowing him to get to know parts of herself that Ari keeps hidden from everyone. Will he be able to embrace her dark clouds as well as her clear skies?
 

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

It goes without saying that Rachel Lynn Solomon is one of my all-time favorite authors, both for her young-adult and adult contemporary books alike. Her adult contemporary debut, The Ex Talk, was one of my favorite books of 2021, so I was more than excited to usher in the new year with her latest release and now a 2022 favorite of mine, Weather Girl!

Rachel Lynn Solomon is officially the queen of unique workplace romances, as Weather Girl takes place at a local Seattle news station, following meteorologist Ari Abrams. Ari has been working her dream job as a TV meteorologist with one of her role models, Torrence Hale, but work is anything but a dream as everyone at the station has come accustomed to the awful dynamics between Torrence and her ex & news director, Seth. After a disastrous holiday work party in which Torrence and Seth’s animosity takes center stage, Ari and sports reporter, Russell, team up to get the couple back together and better the workplace for everyone via Parent Trap style. As Ari & Russell work together to get their bosses back together, the two begin to form their own chemistry. 

There is just something so welcoming about Rachel Lynn Solomon’s writing style the entraps me in her books every single time. Her books, Weather Girl of course included, are the perfect blend of character and plot development. I really feel like we get a sense of who Ari is from the get-go, and we get to see her grow and go through challenges throughout the story. Rachel Lynn Solomon has shared that Weather Girl is her most personal book yet, as it reflects her own mental health journey as Ari has depression and often struggles opening up to others, including her partners, about her mental health. Like all of Rachel’s books, Weather Girl has Jewish representation, and both Ari and Russell are Jewish.

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What I’ve Been Reading Recently: January 2022 Reviews

Maybe blame it on waiting for some anticipated annual releases to come out, but I find that I usually spend January reading books. One of the themes of this reading update post is definitely popular books that I’ve avoided, but should’ve picked up sooner!

The Boys’ Club by Erica Katz – I’ve seen so much hype surrounding Erica Katz’s upcoming Fake (Release Date: February 22nd) that I finally decided to pick up her debut, The Boys’ Club. I think I originally heard about this one through Bad on Paper Podcast but something about it just didn’t grab me… and wow I wish I didn’t listen to my past self because I was SO addicted to The Boys’ Club. It was the definition of a book that I did not want to put down. The Boys’ Club follows recent law school grad Alex, who gets her first job working at a BigLaw firm in NYC. She soon starts doing work for the male-dominated M&A practice group. Definitely some darker themes, to say the least, (tw for alcohol & drug use, sexual assault & abuse), but this was the kind of book I didn’t want to end. My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars 

All the Feels by Olivia DadeAll the Feels was on so many readers’ favorite books of 2021 posts, so I decided to pick up this fan favorite from the library on a whim. This is the second book in the Spoiler Alert companion series – definitely don’t need to read the first book in order to understand All the Feels– following television star, Alex, who after a scandal/bar fight, & Lauren, an ER therapist who is assigned on 24/7 Alex watch to ensure that he doesn’t get into any more trouble.  I definitely see what all the hype is about, as Alex and Lauren’s romance is quite unique – I’d say it is a mix of enemies-to-lovers and opposites attract. However, I just couldn’t get into Alex as a character, and I kind’ve thought that it was weird he pictured Lauren as a bird?? I did ultimately enjoy this one, but it just wasn’t my FAVORITE. My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

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My 2022 Reread TBR

I wish I could say that I’m a reader who always rereads her favorite books…but that just isn’t the case with me! I’m definitely someone who doesn’t prioritize rereading – I reread anywhere from 5-7 books per year, which really isn’t that many given that I read 100+ books per year- but I’m hoping that I’ll stick with at least rereading the books below! For some reason, I tend to do most of my rereading in January and February – I think it partially has to do with preparing for sequels to be released, as is the case with most of the books below, and yes, waiting for shiny new 2022 releases. 

This post was also semi-inspired by the fact that I actually already re-read one book so far in 2022, which was my favorite Erin Hahn novel, More Than Maybe, before diving into Never Saw You Coming. 

 Books to Re-Read in 2022

House of Earth & Blood by Sarah J. Maas – House of Earth and Blood will most likely be my next reread, since I want to reread this first installment in the Crescent City series before picking up book #2, House of Sky & Breath, before its February 15th release. And I’ll be 100% honest, aside from some major characters and a few plot points, I really do not remember too much from House of Earth & Blood, so this reread is more than necessary. 

American Royals and Majesty by Katharine McGee – I am over-the-moon excited that we are indeed getting a third book in Katharine McGee’s American Royals series with Rivals this May. Unlike the case with Crescent City, I feel like I remember enough from Majesty to dive into Rivals (I also reread American Royals before picking up the second book), but I love binge-reading series and will likely reread books #1 & 2 before diving into Rivals. I also want to read the prequel novella that takes place at Samantha’s graduation party, Inheritance – the audiobook version will release on March 15 and the ebook version is set for release on May 3. 

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Never Saw You Coming Review

51g-kPXZvBL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Summary (from the publisher):Raised by conservative parents, 18-year-old Meg Hennessey just found out her entire childhood was a lie. Instead of taking a gap year before college to find herself, she ends up traveling north to meet what’s left of the family she never knew existed.
While there, she meets Micah Allen, a former pastor’s kid whose dad ended up in prison, leaving Micah with his own complicated relationship about the church. The clock is ticking on Pastor Allen’s probation hearing and Micah, now 19, feels the pressure to forgive – even when he can’t possibly forget.
As Meg and Micah grow closer, they are confronted with the heavy flutterings of first love and all the complications it brings. Together, they must navigate the sometimes-painful process of cutting ties with childhood beliefs as they build toward something truer and straight from the heart.
In Erin Hahn’s Never Saw You Coming, sometimes it takes a leap of faith to find yourself.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars 

My Thoughts:

I FINALLY picked up one of my most anticipated YA books of 2021 last week with Erin Hahn’s Never Saw You Coming — and yes, totally my fault for not picking this one up sooner since I ordered it around its September release. I’m a huge fan of Erin Hahn’s first two books, You’d Be Mine and More Than Maybe, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this YA novel following Vada’s best friend, Meg, (Vada is the female lead in More Than Maybe) who is reeling after finding out that her dad isn’t her biological father after all and decides to change her gap year plans by going to Northern Michigan to connect with her biological father’s family. While there, Meg connects with Micah, who is dealing with his own family struggles as his former pastor father has been in prison for the past few years. 

I just also wanted to note before diving into my thoughts that I did reread More Than Maybe before reading Never Saw You Coming, partly because I love that book SO much and that I did want to re-familiarize myself with that world before picking up this book. I don’t necessarily think that you have to read More Than Maybe before picking up Never Saw You Coming, but much of the plot & ending of More Than Maybe is spoiled in the book.

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Recent TBR Additions: January 2022 Edition

New year, new (to me) books on my TBR! I haven’t share a recent TBR additions post since the fall, so I figured it was time to share some backlist books that I’ve recently added…and of course some upcoming 2022 releases I’m really looking forward to picking up in the spring!

This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub – As I always forewarn in my annual anticipated releases posts, there are ALWAYS upcoming books I find out about after sharing those lists/get my mad at myself for not including in those posts, like Emma Straub’s 2022 release, This Time Tomorrow. I love Emma Straub’s adult fiction novels, and I love the premise of This Time Tomorrow – right before her 40th birthday, the main protagonist is transported back to her sixteen year old self in 1996. The books come out on May 31st.

Every Summer After by Carley Fortune – Another 2022 release that sounds right up my alley, I found out about Carley Fortune’s Every Summer After through author Hannah Orenstein’s Instagram story. This book sounds right up my alley, taking place over the course of six years and following the relationship between best friends Persephone and Sam during their summers in a lake town. The book comes out on May 10th. 

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The Fastest Way to Fall Review

Summary (from the publisher): 

81YtTqwz5cLBritta Colby works for a lifestyle website, and when tasked to write about her experience with a hot new body-positive fitness app that includes personal coaching, she knows it’s a major opportunity to prove she should write for the site full-time.

As CEO of the FitMe app, Wes Lawson finally has the financial security he grew up without, but despite his success, his floundering love life and complicated family situation leaves him feeling isolated and unfulfilled. He decides to get back to what he loves—coaching. Britta’s his first new client and they click immediately.

As weeks pass, she’s surprised at how much she enjoys experimenting with her exercise routine. He’s surprised at how much he looks forward to talking to her every day. They convince themselves their attraction is harmless, but when they start working out in person, Wes and Britta find it increasingly challenging to deny their chemistry and maintain a professional distance.

Wes isn’t supposed to be training clients, much less meeting with them, and Britta’s credibility will be sunk if the lifestyle site finds out she’s practically dating the fitness coach she’s reviewing. Walking away from each other is the smartest thing to do, but running side by side feels like the start of something big.

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

My Thoughts:

I loved reading and viewing so many readers & bloggers’ favorite books of 2021 posts. Denise Williams’ recent contemporary romance release, The Fastest Way to Fall, was at the top of so many readers’ favorites list. Between being a crowd favorite and being selected as Bad Bitch Book Club’s Book of the Month for January, I decided to pick this one up ASAP and it was my first complete read of 2022. After reading adult contemporary fiction books like The Boys’ Club and Minor Dramas and Other Catastrophes, I wasn’t entirely sure I was in the mood for a Happily Ever After (HEA) book, but The Fastest Way to Fall quickly reminded me why I love this genre so much! 

The Fastest Way to Fall follows the first person perspectives of Britta, an editorial assistant at a lifestyle magazine & website, and Wes, the co-founder at a popular new fitness app, FitMI. Britta is hoping for a promotion to full-time writer at her company and is presented a chance at the opportunity when she and her work rival write a series about their experiences on two different fitness apps. Britta has had some struggles throughout her life with her body image and exercise, but she looks forward to the opportunity to be paired with a fitness coach on the body positive app. Meanwhile, between work stress and stress over his family (Wes’ mom struggles with addiction and his sister is MIA), Wes decides to take on a client , who happens to be Britta. Wes and Britta find themselves chatting way more than expected of a coach & client, and when the two meet each other and work out together IRL, sparks fly… while never revealing to another that one is the CEO of the app and the other is writing an article series about FitMi…..

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January and February 2022 Anticipated Releases

It’s a week into the new year & I’m back with another round of anticipated releases! I shared my most anticipated books for contemporary romance & adult fiction and YA in December, but today I’m going to just be focusing on the books coming on in January and February. And yes, there are indeed books here that I didn’t share in those 2022 anticipated releases posts because I of course have added more books to my TBR since! I’m only going to be sharing details on the books I’ve added since my annual anticipated releases posts or books that I didn’t include in those round-ups. 

January 2022 Releases

When You Get the Chance by Emma Lord | Release Date: January 4

Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon | RD: January 11

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5 Star Predictions: 2022 Edition 

One of my favorite ways to kick off a new year of books & blogging is with five star predictions! There are just some books that you know (and really ultimately hope) will be 5 star reads. For me, most of my 5 star predictions include books from my favorite authors that I know have a 95% chance of being a perfect/5 star read for me or a book with a synopsis that sounds really amazing. 

Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon | Release Date: January 11

Weather Girl is definitely a 5 star prediction case due to the fact that Rachel Lynn Solomon is one of my favorite authors (also why she is on this list twice). I loved her 2021 adult contemporary romance, The Ex Talk, and Weather Girl has another really unique synopsis, following a meteorologist and sports reporter who team up to get their divorced bosses together. 

House of Sky and Breath (Crescent City #2) by Sarah J. Maas | Release Date: February 15 

I honestly haven’t even really read the synopsis of House of Sky and Breath but I am obsessed with anything Sarah J. Maas writes and I loved House of Earth and Blood so much when I first read it in 2020 – I’m actually going to do a reread before reading this sequel! 

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End of Year Book Survey 2021

I love starting the new year off on the blog with a final recap on my previous year reading with the End of Year Book Survey, created by Jamie of The Perpetual Page-Turner. This survey takes an in-depth look at some of my favorite (and not-so favorite) books of the year, books I’m excited about in 2022, and blogging life in general. 

2021 Reading Stats

Number of Books You Read: 162 Books ; 3 Novellas

Number of Re-Reads: 4

Genre You Read the Most From: Contemporary/Contemporary Romance 

Best Book You Read in 2021: Tie between People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry and The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t? Mom Jeans & Other Mistakes by Alexa Martin

Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Good Way: Rush by Lisa Patton – was way more addicted to this book than expected

Bad Way: Controversial opinion time! – From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout 

Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)? Can I count the fact that I made my friends watch Bridgerton (The Duke & I by Julia Quinn) on Netflix?? 

Best series you started in 2020? Best Sequel? Best Series Ender of 2020?

Best series started: Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano 

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 ALL THE HOLIDAY BOOKS & MORE: December 2021 Wrap Up

December was a mix of hectic times and relaxing times. My New Year’s Eve plans with friends have unfortunately been cancelled again this year, but I am actually looking forward to staying in with my family, watching some movies, and maybe finishing another book before midnight. I did my most amount of reading in December since the summer, as of right now having read 13 books and 1 novella. Over the past week or so, it’s been super nice to unplug from work and the screen and just dive into reading & relaxing. I’ve included some of my thoughts on the books I read this month – so many must reads!

I read a few holiday books this month, like Jenny Bayliss’ A Season for Second Chances (very cozy & cute) and Kara McDowell’s One Way or Another – this one is in my classroom library, and one of my students recently loved it, so I wanted to give it a read to). My favorite holiday read of the month was definitely Jean Meltzer’s Hanukkah inspired romance, The Matzah Ball. I remembered the day after Christmas that Rainbow Rowell’s e-novella following Reagan from Fangirl is available for free. The novella is also Christmas-themed, set in 2020 and 2021. There was a lot of covid/pandemic talk involved, but I loved being in the Fangirl world and loved Reagan’s banter & personality . I also read Elin Hildebrand’s entire Winter Street series in December, her holiday/Christmas series set on Nantucket. I wouldn’t necessarily say that they’re my favorite Elin Hilderbrand books, but they all had such a binge-worthy & cozy quality. 

I also finally read the first book in the Bridgerton series. I found myself rewatching season 1 this month, and I think I’m going to continue on with the book series closer to season 2’s March 25th release on Netflix!I also found myself reading some adult fiction picks and was heavily addicted to them, specifically Lisa Patton’s Rush (following a fictional sorority at Ole Miss) and Minor Dramas and Other Catastrophes by Kathleen West (following a high school English and a stay-at-home mom caught in school scandals). 

The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer | 4.5/5 Stars

The Winter Street series by Elin Hilderbrand: Winter Street, Winter Stroll, Winter Storms, & Winter Solstice | Overall Series Rating: 4/5 Stars

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