Fall 2020 Most Anticipated Adult Releases

Fall is always my favorite new release season of the year, and with all of the following books coming out, there’s no changing that feeling this year! I’m actually looking forward to breaking down my 2020 reading statistics later in December because I feel like I’ve read so much adult and new adult fiction between May and August. I wouldn’t be surprised if I still read more YA fiction than not as usual, but I’ve just been absolutely loving contemporary romance in 2020. Additionally, I’ve found myself picking up more women’s fiction, literary fiction, and non-fiction more than I’ve ever before. 

Today, I’ll be sharing my most anticipated Fall 2020 releases for September, October, & November. If you’re craving YA and want to add more books to your TBR, I shared my most anticipated young adult release for the fall last week!

Well Played (Well Met #2) by Jen DeLuca | Release Date: September 22

Jen DeLuca’s Well Met is one of my favorite books of 2020, so I could not be more excited to pick up the second book in the Well Met companion series, Well Played. I’m not sure if any male leads will beat my fictional crush for Simon from book #1, but I’m really excited for this romance between Stacey and her Ren Faire summertime fling, Dex. 

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab | RD: October 6

I feel like almost every V.E. Schwab fan has been not-so patiently waiting for The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. V.E. Schwab’s books are just so unique, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue included. The book takes place over 300 years and follows the title character’s bargain to live forever while all those who meet her forget her. I’ve heard absolutely amazing early reviews!

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren | RD: October 6 

Everyone knows a need a holiday-inspired book or ten during the late fall & holiday season, so I know I’ll be saving Christina Lauren’s In a Holidaze for when I’m craving a festive read. Set during Christmas, the book plays with the time loop trope, as Mae finds herself relieving the holiday season at her family’s Utah vacation house, giving her the chance to get her longtime crush under the mistletoe. 

Read More »

TWO GREAT READS, ONE MISS: Recent Contemporary Reads Mini Reviews

I’ve been reading so much this summer, and mini reviews have been my new favorite way to share my thoughts on my recent reads. Today’s mini reviews are books that I would describe as mixes between women’s fiction and literary fiction, which include: Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age, Emma Straub’s All Adults Here, and Jennifer Weiner’s Big Summer.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

51nyHHSxOLLSuch a Fun Age by Kiley Reid had been on my TBR since December. So many of my friends have been reading this one since its January debut, but it recently made it way back on to my bookish social media feed between the controversy surrounding The Reading Rush (in short, it was their book club choice and the hosts did not finish reading the book in time for their live show) and that it is a 2020 Booker Prize Longlist Nominee. The book follows the events after an African American babysitter, Emira, is accused by a shopper and security guard at a grocery store for kidnapping the white child she babysits for. Emira develops a romantic relationship with a white man that recorded the altercation, Kelley, while Emira’s boss and blogger, Alix, tries to best handle the situation and develop a relationship with Emira.

Such a Fun Age is a very complicated and multilayered read, alternating between Emira and Alix’s third person perspectives. This book really makes the reader think about the characters and their motivations, especially when it comes to Alix. I didn’t mind the writing style, but it didn’t necessarily grab me. It was easy to read, but again, it leaves the reader thinking about both main characters’ thoughts and actions. In short, Alix is someone who is so out of touch with reality and is ultimately really selfish. She doesn’t understand Emira’s experience and her own husband has recently made some controversial comments on his news cast that ultimately leads to Emira being accosted by the security guard. I will say that I wish there was more development surrounding Alix, especially her past with Kelley, but I think Kiley Reid leaves Alix’s ending unopened in the sense that the reader hopes or assumes that Alix will think more deeply about her actions. Read More »

LIVE LOVE ROMANCE: Contemporary Romance Mini Reviews

Everyone knows that my reading life each month is never complete without a romance book or five. This summer, I’ve done a mini dive back into Colleen Hoover’s books with Verity and Regretting You, while also reading a book by another beloved romance author, Talia Hibbert.

Verity by Colleen Hoover

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

A few of you might now that I took a break from reading Collen Hoover’s books back verin 2018. I was getting tired of seeing the same tropes and honestly, some of the toxic masculinity. Thanks to my mega-romance mood lately, I decided to give one of her books another shot, Verity. I chose Verity because it had been described to me more as a psychological thriller than romance (although there are MANY steamy scenes in this one), and so many people said that its ended has haunted them days after finishing it.  Verity follows Lowen, a struggling writer who receives the opportunity to finish a best-selling series after its author, Verity, gets into an accident that leaves her unable to write. Verity’s husband, Jeremy, offers Lowen to come stay with their family so Lowen can collect Verity’s writing notes and outlines. While searching through Verity’s office, Lowen finds a manuscript of Verity’s autobiography that reveals Verity’s perspective on the various tragedies her and her husband have faced, with plenty of bone-chilling confessions from Verity.

To say the least, Verity was one of the most unique romances I’ve ever read. I’ve read a few thrillers that feature romance or relationship development, but this book was truly romance meets psychological thriller. The book is definitely disturbing at times, as Verity’s confessions in her autobiography reveal her twisted feelings about her husband and children. The book is more about Lowen uncovering Verity and Jeremy’s past than writing the books, but the mystery had me so intrigued. While Verity is pretty much bed-ridden due to her accident, Lowen feels that she’s being watched by Verity at all times, especially as Lowen and Jeremy grow closer. I didn’t really mind Lowen and Jeremy’s relationship because I think it was just a given development in the story. I will say that I had no idea what to expect about Jeremy, and I think Colleen Hoover does a great job leaving her readers guessing throughout.  I don’t think I was as creeped out by the end  as most readers were (I’m not sure what that says about me..), but nevertheless, I did not see the ending coming and I loved how it left me thinking.

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

After really enjoying Verity, I decided to pick up Colleen Hoover’s Regretting You. Many 9781542016421_p0_v2_s550x406of my blogging friends loved this one, since it reads a little bit like a young adult book. Regretting You is told from the perspectives of Morgan and Clara, a mother and daughter who are grieving over two tragic losses in their family. After having Clara at seventeen years old, Morgan is still trying to figure out what else she can be defined as in life aside from a loving mother and wife. Clara has starting to push her parent’s limits, between her crush on a guy her father disapproves and her dream to go to school for acting. At least her dad and Morgan’s husband, Chris, can be the peacemaker between the mother and daughter, until tragedy strikes.

Regretting You reads a lot like many of Colleen Hoover’s new adult reads, but it doesn’t have nearly as many or that steamy of romance scenes.  I would classify it more as a women’s fiction read with a touch of YA, since we get Clara’s perspective as a sixteen-year old high school student. We also get flashbacks to Morgan’s past when she was seventeen, mainly revolving around her finding out about her pregnancy and combatting her feelings for both Chris and Jonah. If you’ve been following the books I’ve been picking up this summer, you’ll know that I’ve been on an adult fiction kick lately, which may explain why I liked Morgan’s perspective more than Clara’s. I think there was a lot more to explore within Morgan’s storyline, between her feelings for Chris and Jonah, her desire to be something more than a housewife, and her struggle to relate to and support Clara. I liked how Colleen Hoover gets at the idea that adults often feel lost themselves or don’t have any idea what they’re doing even if it looks like it.

While I think Regretting You does have a unique premise which definitely intrigued me enough to pick up the book, I don’t think it brought anything necessarily new to the table. I was surprised by the revelation concerning Chris and Morgan’s sister, Jenny, and their relationship, but I sort’ve knew how it would be handled once it’s revealed to Jonah and Morgan. Regretting You  is a pretty fast-paced read, but it feel like I was just waiting for these plot points to reveal themselves. Additionally, Morgan and Clara didn’t really grieve over their losses. I know that grief looks different in everyone, but Morgan and Clara’s concern and feelings for Jonah and Miller respectively overshadowing their grief. While Morgan says repeatedly that she did love her husband, I wish we got to dive into their relationship more.

Overall, I did enjoy Regretting You, but it didn’t have as much depth as I was expecting, both in regards to its romantic relationships and even Clara and Morgan’s mother-daughter dynamic.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters #1) by Talia Hibbert

My Rating: 3/5 Stars

Get a Life, Chloe Brown has been floating around the romance blogosphere since its 43884209November 2019 debut so much that I knew it was finally time for me to pick it up. Talia Hibbert is often recommended to me as a staple contemporary romance author. The first book in The Brown Sisters companion series, Get a Life, Chloe Brown is a British contemporary romance following the oldest Brown sister, Chloe. Chloe has  fibromyalgia, a chronic illness that causes her pain daily. Chloe has felt discouraged to socialize and do a lot of things, so she looks to her apartment building’s ‘bad boy’ of a handy-man, Red, to help her with her ‘get-a-life’ list.

There were so many elements that I appreciated in Get a Life, Chloe Brown, but I never really felt too engaged in the story. It took me a while to settle into the writing style and the feeling that the book was much more character-driven than I had expected. The book alternates between Chloe and Redford’s third-person perspectives, and much of the plot grows out of their dialogue. However, there aren’t too many events or major plot happenings. Additionally,  Chloe and Redford are somewhat set in the enemies-to-lovers trope, but I never really sensed anything but attraction between them. Red also doesn’t really read as a bad boy whatsoever! I really enjoyed Get a Life, Chloe Brown’s representation, as I’ve never seen a Black female protagonist with a disability as the main character.

Overall, although I appreciated certain features in Get a Life, Chloe Brown, it ultimately wasn’t a super memorable or enjoyable romance read for me. I think I one day will pick up the next book in the companion series, Take a Hint, Dani Brown, because so many romance readers that I follow have nothing but amazing things to say about it.

newfireborder

Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Do you have any recommendations for me? What other Colleen Hoover or Talia Hibbert books should I read? Share in the comments! 

Fall 2020 Most Anticipated YA Releases

The time has come for my favorite most anticipated releases season of the year. I always find fall release season so exciting because my all-time favorite books of the year often come out in September, October & November. As always, I am still clinging on to these final weeks of summer. It’s interesting this year especially because normally this would be my first week back to school as an undergraduate, but this college graduate is now home and taking most of her graduate courses remotely while student teaching. But don’t worry, I’ll be breaking out the pumpkin spice coffee soon. 

Today I’ll be sharing my most anticipated young adult releases of the fall, in order of their release date. Next week, I’ll be sharing my most anticipated adult releases for the fall. I decided to separate my YA anticipated releases from my new adult and adult ones just because there were so many exciting releases out in 2020. 

Majesty (American Royals #2) by Katherine McGee | Release Date: September 1

I am so excited that my most anticipated YA release of the fall comes out on the first fall Tuesday! I’ve basically needed Majesty in my life since I first read its predecessor, American Royals, last summer. If you’re someone who loves contemporary royalty books, you need to read this YA series about the American monarch ASAP. 

Recommended for You by Laura Silverman | RD: September 1

I’m sort’ve cheating with Recommended For You personally because I was very fortunate to have read an ARC earlier in August – my review is coming to the blog in 2 weeks! I recommend saving Recommended For You for the latter half of the fall as we get closer to the holiday season, as the book takes place at a bookstore during the holiday season as Shoshanna and Jake compete to sell the most amount of books.Read More »

Top Five Wednesday: Dream Adaptations 

I’ve been participating in Top Five Wednesday since my first year of blogging in 2017. Top Five Wednesday is a weekly meme group on Goodreads featuring a variety of book bloggers. I think the group took a hiatus for a while – I myself haven’t participated in Top Five Wednesday since November 2019, but they’ve recently started sharing topics again. 

Today’s Top Five Wednesday is all about the books we’d love to see adapted into TV shows or movies. It was actually a little difficult for me to come up with five adaptations I’d love to see because so many of my favorite books or series have been picked up for production – some recent ones include Jenny Lee’s Anna K, Lyssa Kay Adam’s The Bromance Book Club, and Alexa Martin’s Intercepted. I did some research on these 5 books to see if they hadn’t (yet) been picked up for adaptation. 

American Royals by Katharine McGee – American Royals is a series I could so see being picked up by Netflix, HBO, Amazon, or even the CW because royals-inspired TV series are often such a hit – Amazon will be adapting Casey McQuistion’s Red, White & Royal Blue into a TV series! I think American Royals would especially make for an interesting one since it’s somewhat of an alternate reality – the United States being a monarchy instead of a democracy. 

Reminder Instagram Post

The Deal/Off-Campus series by Elle Kennedy – Just like how I crave romance or contemporary books set at college, I would love to see more TV shows set at college, Elle Kennedy’s Off Campus series included! I could so see The Deal and the rest of the Off-Campus series being adapted for Netflix (especially if the show-runners kept in some of its more mature content). I could also see the show following multiple characters and intersecting storylines – instead of basing the series on just the first book, The Deal, I would try to balance all 4 books in the series in a season or two. Read More »

FAVORITE ROYAL READS: The Royal We & The Heir Affair Review 

Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan’s The Heir Affair was honestly my most anticipated book of summer. I had read the first book, The Royal We , in this William and Kate-inspired fictional duology back in 2015 and couldn’t be more than excited when I found out earlier this year that there would be a sequel. I don’t consider myself to be the biggest British royals fan (although Kate’s dress is definitely on my dream wedding mood board), but I can’t help but love a royals-inspired contemporary. Since it had been nearly 5 years in between me reading The Royal We and The Heir Affair, I decided to reread and review The Royal We before diving into the sequel. 

The Royal We 

Summary (from the publisher): American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it’s Bex who seeks adventure at heather-cocks-jessica-morgan-theroyalweOxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain’s future king. And when Bex can’t resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick’s sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he’s fated to become.

Which is how she gets into trouble.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she’s sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.

 

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

I had originally rated The Royal We 4.5/5 stars when I read it back in 2015, but I now have granted it a full 5 out of 5 stars, purely because I forgot how great it was and also that I ignored so much homework while rereading this 450+ page book in 2 days.

As mentioned above, The Royal We was inspired by Prince William and Kate, but now sort’ve reads as a fiction mix of William & Kate and Meghan & Harry. American college student Bex meets Prince Nicholas, the third in line for the throne, during a study abroad year at Oxford. The book covers their relationship from their college years through their relationship in adulthood (and as you are probably able to tell, their wedding). While Bex and Nicholas are at the heart of the story, there are so many other character & relationship dynamics, aka drama and scandals, at play. Bex has such great support from her and Nicholas’ Oxford friends and her family.Read More »

NEW ADULT FAKE DATING: The Dare (Briar U #4) Review

Summary (from the author):

52918684._SY475_College was supposed to be my chance to get over my ugly-duckling complex and spread my wings. Instead, I wound up in a sorority full of mean girls. I already have a hard time fitting in, so when my Kappa Chi sisters issue the challenge, I can’t say no.

The dare: seduce the hottest new hockey player in the junior class.

Conor Edwards is a regular at Greek Row parties…and in Greek Row sorority beds. He’s the one you fall for before you learn that guys like him don’t give girls like me a second glance. Except Mr. Popular throws me for a loop—rather than laughing in my face, he does me a solid by letting me take him upstairs to pretend we’re getting busy.

Even crazier, now he wants to keep pretending. Turns out Conor loves games, and he thinks it’s fun to pull the wool over my frenemies’ eyes.

But resisting his easy charm and surfer-boy hotness is darn near impossible. Though I’m realizing there’s much more to Conor’s story than his fan club can see.

And the longer this silly ruse goes on, the greater the danger of it all blowing up in my face.

 

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Thoughts: 

I was beyond excited when Elle Kennedy announced back in April that there would be a fourth installment in the Briar U series. This spin-off series to the Off-Campus series follow a new set of hockey players and college students at the fictional Ivy League school, Briar University – but don’t worry, there’s plenty of cameos from the Off-Campus series! The Dare follows college junior & aspiring teacher, Taylor, who’s had enough of the mean girls in her sorority and California surfer & heartthrob of the Briar U hockey team, Conor. When Taylor and Conor begin to fake date after a dare, the two realize that could potentially be a couple even without being dared to. 

The Dare was a fun take on the fake dating trope. I really liked how Conor and Taylor are friends before moving on to anything really romance-related. Most of the relationships in the Briar U world start with romance before relationship statuses are set, so it was a refreshing take. I’ll admit that sometimes the boys of Off-Campus & Briar U blend together, but I feel like Conor wasn’t as much as a bad boy & player as some of the other guys. I also really liked Taylor as a protagonist, having enjoyed her relationships with her mom and her best friend, Sasha. It was also fun reading about her field experience as a student teacher. 

IMG_4720Read More »

Books I Loved & Not So Loved: YA Mini Reviews

I’ve read so many YA books this spring & summer that I can’t help but fangirl all over about (although I have had a few misses here or there). Today I’ll be sharing two books I LOVED and one I unfortunately didn’t love as much as I wish I had.

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

My Rating: 5/5 Stars 

If there’s at least one 2019 YA release that you need to catch up on, it’s Elizabeth downloadAcevedo’s With the Fire on High! With the Fire on High has received so much hype & praise from my bookish friends & fellow bloggers that I knew it was time to finally pick it up. The book follows Emoni, a high school senior living in Philadelphia who dreams of running her own kitchen. When her high school offers a culinary arts class that includes a week-long trip to Spain, Emoni is willing to do anything she can to make sure she gets into that class and go on the trip. But life has never been easy for Emoni, especially now as she raises her two year old daughter and tries to balance her life as a high school student and mother, with her abuela there to support.

Elizabeth Acevedo is so well known for her beautifully written verse. Although With the Fire on High isn’t written in verse, her writing style shines through and was so descriptive! The chapters are between 2-5 pages each, with each chapter title’s alluding to its main theme. I always feel like I blow through books with shorter chapters faster for some reason, which only added to how I could not put With the Fire on High down. Emoni was a really complex character. I think what is likely the most intriguing part of her story is that Emoni has a daughter, having had her when she was a freshman in high school.  Emoni directly disputes a lot of the stereotypes associated with her as a mother. Emoni has to make some tough decisions as a student and as a mother, but she fortunately has her grandmother and her best friend to help support her and her daughter, Emma. Growing up in a predominantly Puerto Rican neighborhood in Philadelphia there are also somer really great discussions surrounding race, as Emoni identifies as Afro-Puerto Rican.Read More »

Happy 22nd Birthday to Me: 22 Favorite Books, TV Shows & More 

If you couldn’t tell by the title, today is my twenty-second birthday. To say the least, it’s definitely a weird birthday thanks to our current reality. I’ll be going out shopping – in mostly outdoor shopping outlets –  for the first time since January and I have plans to celebrate with friends later on this week. 21 was a big growing up year for me, and despite the events of the last five months or so, I loved being 21. I think 22 is going to be another big growing up year for me, as I navigate post-college life, real working world and grad school included. I’m trying to be more optimistic and less stressed in August, and I want to do my best to carry out this attitude this year!

I wanted to bring some birthday cheer to the blog today, so I’ll be sharing 22 of my favorite things that have brought me so much joy this summer, in the forms of books, TV/movies, and podcasts – you’ll likely recognize a few repeats from my monthly wrap-ups but I can’t stop gushing about them so much! I also didn’t want to share strictly books because I recently shared my favorite reads of 2020, and let’s be honest yearly wrap ups or a summer wrap up will be here before we know it!

Books

Some books that I’ve LOVED but haven’t shared too many details about yet or full reviews for include: 

The Heir Affair (The Royal We #2) by Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks – I feel like I’ve mentioned The Heir Affair in so many blog posts this summer, but I officially read & finished it last week… and I can’t stop thinking about this sequel to The Royal We! I actually got too impatient to wait for a physical copy from the library, so I borrowed a digital copy and devoured it on my Kindle in about 2 days. The Heir Affair was everything I wanted in this sequel, and while I’m really content with the way it ended, I seriously would not mind a third book. 

Anna K by Jenny Lee – Anna K is hands-down one of the best YA books I’ve read in 2020. I’ve come to realize that I don’t want to use the Gossip Girl meets Crazy Rich Asians comparison because while it has GG vibes (and honestly not really CRA), it is such a story of its own. I loved its Anna Karenina retelling, and it just felt so mature. I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on the upcoming sequel. Read More »

Folklore Book Tag 

Music Taylor SwiftOut of all the things, books and film included, that haven’t been able to happen in 2020, the last thing that I expected this year was a new Taylor Swift album! folklore is not my absolute favoriteeee Taylor Swift album… but that doesn’t mean I haven’t listened to it at every opportunity possible! I really do love its indie vibe, and I find that it makes for the perfect background music while I’m doing school work or blogging. Like every TSwift album, my top 3 favorite songs are always changing but my current three faves are “betty,” “illicit affairs,” and “august” (with “exile” and “invisible string” as a very close #4 & #5). I’m also going to be providing my thoughts on each song in the corresponding prompts!

This album has also caused me to fall into Taylor Swift Tik Toks – I especially love the ones focusing on the bridge of “betty” transitioning into the “All Too Well” bridge and the ones comparing life when Lover came out last August vs. pandemic life with folklore. I definitely relate to this last category so much, considering that when I did the Lover book tag last fall, I was starting my senior year of college, commuting to the city every week, and living with my best friends…. but at least we have folklore now to compliment all of our feels! I also admit that I came to close to hitting ‘submit order’ for the merch cardigan from the “cardigan” music video, but I’ve determined to find a lookalike! 

The folklore book tag was created by Ilsa of A Whisper of Ink, and I was tagged by Rebecca of bookishlyrebecca. I also want to shout out Erin from rin’s reads, where I first saw the tag and I love her graphics for each question! I also really loved Cristina from Girl in the Pages’ folklore-inspired post, where she paired books on her TBR with songs on the album!

the one: a book with an ending that left you speechless

I’m going to go with a recent read of mine, Verity by Colleen Hoover. It’s been a while that I’ve read a book with an ending that still has me thinking about it and rethinking the book’s ending weeks later! 

song review: I think “the 1” is a strong first song, and it sort’ve reminds me of the vibes of Lover’s first song, “I Forgot That You Existed.”Read More »