Recent TBR Additions: May 2020 Edition

Blame it on my wish for the public library to open soon and dream of being able to put ALL the books on hold, but my TBR has been getting even bigger during stay-at-home. I feel like I do have it under control or am at least finding a balance, since I’m reading everything that haven’t yet read on my bookshelves and broke out the iPad to read some e-books. Listed below are the most recent books I’ve added to my TBR.



The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix –  I’ve been in the mood lately to mix up my contemporary reading game, which includes a supernatural thriller that follows a Southern women’s book club convinced that their new neighbor is a vampire. The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires found my way on to my TBR because its Bad on Paper’s May book club pick. I’m not sure if I’ll read it before the end of May, but I’d love to read it this summer.




The Guest List by Lucy Foley –  The Guest List was an April Book of the Month pick – it seemed like everyone I follow on Instagram chose this or Beach Read (which is the book I ultimately went with). This thriller is set at a wedding off the coast of Ireland, where a wedding guest turns up dead.





The Idea of You by Robinne Lee – Blame this TBR choice on Bad on Paper too – can you tell I’ve been listening to so many of their episodes on my daily walks? The Idea of You is one of their go-to recommendations, but I’ve seen it hyped up in many other bookish circles. It’s often described as One Direction fan fiction, following a thirty-nine year old mother who begins a relationship with a member of a popular boy band.




My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren – My Favorite Half-Night Stand is one of the two adult standalone Christina Lauren books I have left to read! The other is Dating You / Hating You – I’ll probably pick that up or Beautiful Bastard before their next 2020 release. Not important, I sort’ve wish My Favorite Half-Night Stand got a cover re-design to match the rest of their beautiful rom-com covers.


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READING HYPED YA: The Selection Series Review

I noted in my April Book Haul that one of my many reading moods right now- they honestly alternate on a daily basis – is catching up on YA series I’ve ignored reading over the past few years. In The Selection’s case, this read has been 8 years in the making. I would also like to again note that I purchased The Selection the night BEFORE the Netflix film adaptation was announced – because yes, while this book came out in 2012, I need to claim some sort of book hipster status. Blame it on my newfound interest in The Bachelor and in Kiera Cass’s 2020 release, The Betrothed, (not to mention my need for binge-readable books right now) for finally picking up this YA classic. The Selection is YA dystopian meets The Bachelor, as the main character, America, competes with 34 other young women to be the Crown Prince’s heart.

The Selection

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

sI still can’t get over the fact that I didn’t read The Selection until 2020 because I was absolutely obsessed. Yes, I definitely have more reading time because I’m not at school and not hanging out with friends, but I still managed to read this one in less than two days while working on two final presentations and projects. I now completely understand what all the hype is, as I could not seem to put this book down at all. I ordered The Elite and The One before I even finished the first book. It was a complex enough world to explore without being difficult to understand how the country came to be – it was both interesting and scary to read how the U.S. transformed into Illéa. I’ll honestly mention The Hunger Games a few times in this post, but the interviews with The Selected reminded me both of Caesar Flickerman & THG and Chris Harrison & The Bachelor.Read More »

YA, ROM-COM, & THRILLER FEELS: April 2020 Mini Reviews

As per usual, my April reading was filled with contemporary books, but I did manage to squeeze in a thriller. Today I’ll be sharing my thought on a YA contemporary, a way-more-popular-than-I-thought thriller, and a recent contemporary romance.

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

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

youll-miss-me-when-im-gone-9781481497749_hrRachel Lynn Solomon’s You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone had been on my TBR for what feels like forever. Between my excitement for her upcoming release, Today Tonight Tomorrow, and my need to buy all the contemporary books, I decided to finally pick up a copy! You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone follows twin sisters, Tovah and Adina, who are not the best terms in the slightest bit. Having completely different personalities and passions (viola for Adina, science for Tovah), the two decide to take a genetic test to see if they test positive for Huntington’s Disease, which has wrecked their mother’s health over their high school careers. While one twin tests negative, the other tests positive.

I enjoyed You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone for its plot and focus on family and growth. I also enjoyed Rachel Lynn Solomon’s writing style and see myself diving into the rest of her books! This book is truly a growing up story, as Tovah and Adina are forced to reanalyze their plans for college and the future in light of what they learn from the test. I haven’t read a book before that featured a character with Huntington’s Disease, and I felt like I learned a lot. The book had really great and in-depth Jewish representation. Adina and Tovah’s family are conservative Jewish. While Tovah embraces her faith and traditions, Adina struggles to do so in light of all the hardship her and her family has experienced over the years.Read More »

COMPLICATED COMEDY: Brunch and Other Obligations Review

Summary (from the publisher):

image002The only thing reclusive bookworm Nora, high-powered attorney Christina, and supermom-in-training Leanne ever had in common was their best friend, Molly. When Molly dies, she leaves mysterious gifts and cryptic notes for each of her grieving best friends, along with one final request: that these three mismatched frenemies have brunch together every month for a year.

Filled with heartwrenching scenes and witty prose, Brunch and Other Obligations explores the intricate dynamics of girlhood acquaintances who are forced to reconnect as women. This upbeat novel reminds readers that there’s hope for getting through the hard times in life―with a lot of patience, humor, and a standing brunch date.


My Rating: 4/5 Stars

 My Thoughts:

Books about female friendship always peak my interest, including Suzanne Nugent’s debut novel, Brunch and Other Obligations. Its synopsis  reminded me of the fifth book in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, Sisterhood Everlasting, although Brunch and Other Obligations takes on a comedic tone. This women’s fiction read follows the lives of three friends – or should I say, forced-to-be friends –  after the death of their best friend, Molly. Molly leaves Nora, Christina, and Leanne each with mysterious gifts and one thing to be shared amongst the three of them: monthly brunches for an entire year. Christina, Nora, and Leanne have always been forced to be acquaintances since Molly was their best friend, but they begin to discover that they actually may be able to revitalize their friendship. Even if it takes a lot of coffee to do so.

I breezed through Brunch and Other Obligations. The chapters are on the shorter side, and the writing style is really easy to just fall into. I really think the book would also make for a great one-sitting read because Suzanne Nugent creates a cast of characters that you grow to root for with each chapter.


The story is mainly told from the third person perspective of the three friends. An element I really loved about Suzanne Nugent’s writing style is that we get a peek into the inner thoughts of all the characters involved. Like the book itself, this made for both many funny moments and emotion-filled ones. The chapter on Maeve and Christina thinking about Lilly was especially a tearjerker. Between the flashbacks featuring Molly and the girls’ conversations about her, I felt like we got to understand Molly as character and her role in the overall story. The premise of Brunch and Other Obligations is sad and there were definitely some emotional moments. The first time Christina really lets herself grieve over Molly’s death was when I lost it. On a brighter side, the novel does have some really funny dialogue. My favorite moments tended to come from Christina – I loved her greeting to someone in a big scene near the end of the book – , but Nora had some great one-liners.Read More »